In a recent symposium on Descartes' ontological argument, Norman Malcolm has restated a rather ingenious version of St Anse1m's ontological argument. 1 The purpose of the present paper is to assess the merits of this particular version of the ontological argument.
One of the contemporary results of Germany’s memorial conundrum is the rise of its “counter-monuments”: brazen, painfully self-conscious memorial spaces conceived to challenge the very premises of their being. On the former site of Hamburg’s greatest synagogue, at Bornplatz, Margrit Kahl has assembled an intricate mosaic tracing the complex lines of the synagogue’s roof construction: a palimpsest for a building and community that no longer exist. Norbert Radermacher bathes a guilty landscape in Berlin’s Neukölln neighborhood with the inscribed light of (...) its past. Alfred Hrdlicka began a monument in Hamburg to counter—and thereby neutralize—an indestructible Nazi monument nearby. In a suburb of Hamburg, Jochen Gerz and Esther Shalev-Gerz have erected a black pillar against fascism and for peace designed to disappear altogether over time. The very heart of Berlin, former site of the gestapo headquarters, remains a great, gaping wound as politicians, artists, and various committees forever debate the most appropriate memorial for this site.4 4. The long-burning debate surrounding projected memorials, to the Gestapo-Gelände in particular, continues to exemplify both the German memorial conundrum and the state’s painstaking attempts to articulate it. For an excellent documentation of the process, see Topographie des Terrors: Gestapo, SS und Reichssicherheitshauptamt auf dem “Prinz-Albrecht-Gelände,” ed. Reinhard Rürup . For a shorter account, see James E. Young, “The Topography of German Memory,” The Journal of Art 1 : 30. James E. Young is assistant professor of English and Judaic studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is the author of Writing and Rewriting the Holocaust: Narrative and the Consequences of Interpretation and The Texture of Memory: Holocaust Memorials and Meaning in Europe, Israel, and America , from which this essay is drawn. He is also the curator of “The Art of Memory,” an exhibition at the Jewish Museum of New York. (shrink)
Philosophers continue to debate about David Hume’s case against the rationality of belief in miracles. This article clarifies semantic, epistemological, and metaphysical questions addressed in the controversy. It also explains the main premises of Hume’s argument and discusses criticisms of them. The article concludes that one’s evaluation of Hume’s argument will depend on one’s views about (a) the definitions of ’miracle’ and ’natural law’; (b) the type of reasoning one ought to employ to determine the probability that a particular miracle (...) claim is true; and (c) whether reasonable people proportion their beliefs about the occurrence of miracles to their evidence. (shrink)
"Cluster randomized trials," in which groups of patients are randomly assigned to different therapeutic interventions, provide a powerful way of evaluating drugs. CRTs have not been widely used, in good part because of concerns about whether patients must give informed consent to participate in them. A better understanding of how CRTs fit into clinical practice resolves the concerns.
The Free Will Defence , as we shall understand it here, is an attempt to show that God exists and he is omnipotent, omniscient, and wholly good is logically consistent with There is moral evil in the actual world.
The main thesis of this paper is that it is not possible to determine the nature of epistemic justification apart from scientific psychological investigation. I call this view the strong thesis of methodological psychologism. Two sub-theses provide the primary support for this claim. The first sub-thesis is that no account of epistemic justification is correct which requires for the possession of at least one justified belief a psychological capacity which humans do not have. That is, the correct account of epistemic (...) justification must be psychologically realistic. The second sub-thesis is that it is not possible to determine whether an account of epistemic justification is psychologically realistic apart from scientific psychological investigation. After defending these subtheses, I point out some interesting consequences of the overall thesis which present a challenge to traditional epistemology. (shrink)
This paper represents an effort to distinguish between two types of guanxi prevalent in mainland China: favor-seeking guanxi that is culturally rooted and rent-seeking guanxi that is institutionally defined. Different rules of maneuvering the two types of guanxi are identified in light of Chinese cultural and business ethics. Strategies for entering guanxi in mainland China are also suggested.
The new discipline of exobiology formed from the intertwining of origin of life research with the search for life or its building blocks on other planets, from 1957-1973. The field was inherently highly interdisciplinary, yet it coalesced very quickly and was responsible in its first twenty years for numerous important contributions to twentieth century life science and planetary sciences such as climatology, the study of mass extinctions, etc. NASA played a very important role in catalyzing the rapid consolidation of exobiology, (...) both through research grants and through sponsored meetings that overcame disciplinary boundaries, bringing together scientists from diverse backgrounds. The presence of a handful of prominent senior scientists such as Joshua Lederberg, Melvin Calvin and Norman Horowitz helped gain credibility for exobiology, in the face of criticism and competition from existing life sciences disciplines. Tensions within the exobiology research community and between NASA-funded science and the academic research community are explored, as are such milestones of discipline formation as journals and professional societies. (shrink)
Parental brain responses to baby stimuli constitute a unique model to study brain-basis frameworks of emotion. Results for baby-cry and picture stimuli may fit with both locationist and psychological constructionist hypotheses. Furthermore, the utility of either model may depend on postpartum timing and relationship. Endocrine effects may also be critical for accurate models to assess mental health risk and treatment.
The Alexandrian emphasis on smallness, elegance, and slightness at the expense of grand themes in major poetic genres was not preciosity for its own sake: although the poetry was written by and for scholars, it had much larger sources than the bibliothecal context in which it was composed. Since the time of the classical poets, much had changed. Earlier Greek poetry was an intimate part of the life of the city-state, written for its religious occasions and performed by its citizens. (...) But eh conquests of Alexander had altered the structure and the boundaries of the Greek world to an astonishing degree. Alexandria, the center of the poetic culture of the new age, was a city that had not even existed at the time of Euripides; it was in Egypt, not in Greece, and was a huge, polyglot community. As immigrants immersed in a new, impersonal, and bureaucratic society, the poets not unreasonably sought out what was small, intimate, and personal in their verses. The heroes of early Greek poetry are larger than life; those of Alexandrian poetry are life-size. They are human, like us; they have a childhood and an old age; they are afraid or in love or caught in a rainstorm. It was simply one way of reducing the world to more manageable dimensions. At the same time, the new world of Alexandria needed a new poetry. To continue writing epics about a mythology that seemed very far away was senseless; it was impossible to recapture either the style or the immediacy of Homer, lyric poetry, or Attic tragedy. The scholar-poets of Alexandria admired the literature of classical Greece; for them Homer was incomparable and inimitable, to be studied—but not to be copied. Far better, then, to find a new voice on a more manageable scale: instead of oral epic, erudite epyllion; instead of lyric, epigram; instead of tragedy, mime. The poets of an urban and unheroic world might long for but could never re-create the grandeur of the past. James E. G. Zetzel is associate professor of classics at Princeton University and editor of the Transactions of the American Philological Association. He is the author of Latin Textual Criticism in Antiquity and, with Anthony T. Grafton and Glenn W. Most, has translated Friedrich August Wolf’s Prolegomena ad Homerum. (shrink)
The parent-infant dyad, characterized by contingent social interactions that develop over the first three months postpartum, may depend heavily on parental brain responses to the infant, including the capacity to smile. A range of brain regions may subserve this social key function in parents and contribute to similar capacities in normal infants, capacities that may go awry in circumstances of reduced care.
The patient-physician relationship, as formulated in the traditional biomedical model of medicine, is inherently flawed. In entering this relationship, most patients seek simply to be delivered from illness back to normal psychosocial functioning. The physician, however, almost invariably responds with a purely biologic approach to diagnosis and treatment that often does not effectively address the patient's needs. This precludes the opportunity for a consensus between them, and may in fact lead to the physician manipulating the patient's decisions about the course (...) of therapy. The relationship should be reshaped within a new scientific model of patient care that combines the biomedical analysis of disease with an empathic understanding of the patient's illness experience. Truly informed consent is viewed as a natural outcome of the application of this more comprehensive framework. (shrink)