The relation between testosterone levels and aggressive behavior is well established. From an evolutionary viewpoint, testosterone can explain at least part of the sex differences found in aggressive behavior. This explanation, however, is mediated by factors such as prenatal testosterone levels and basal levels of cortisol. Especially regarding sex differences in aggression during adolescence, these mediators have great influence. Based on developmental brain structure research we argue that sex differences in aggression have a pre-pubertal origin and are maintained during adolescence. (...) Evidence of prenatal, adolescent, and adult levels of testosterone in relation to aggression taken together, support Archer's argument for sexual selection as the driver of sex differences in aggression. (shrink)
The epistemological premises and scientific viability of Stoffregen & Bardy's ecological perspective are evaluated by analyzing the concept of direct perception of global invariants vis-à-vis (1) behavioral evidence that perception is based on the integration of modal sources of information and (2) neurophysiological aspects of the integration of sensory signals.
A critical discussion is provided of three central assumptions underlying Nunez's approach to modeling cortical activity. A plea is made for neurophysiologically realistic models involving nonlinearities, multiple time scales, and stochasticity.
The view that Pausanias 9. 13. 1–15. 6 is a simple epitome of Plutarch's lost Epaminondas, first advanced by Wilamowitz in 1874 and later elaborated by Wilamowitz himself and by Ludwig Peper, has commonly been accepted, with little or no further discussion, by students of Plutarch, Pausanias and fourth-century history. In a recent general reaffirmation of the thesis John Buckler does note that what Pausanias says about Mantinea is hard to square with Plutarchan evidence and he therefore admits some (...) contamination of the hypothetical source with non-Plutarchan material. But Buckler's discussion of the matter within the framework of a book on the Theban hegemony is necessarily brief and somewhat unsystematic, and may be thought over-ready to assume Plutarchan connections where none can be demonstrated. The purpose of this paper is to show that the Wilamowitz/Peper hypothesis in its pure form cannot reasonably be sustained, that at the very least some degree of contamination must be presumed, and that the existence of a direct connection between Pausanias and Plutarch can hardly be regarded as established beyond reasonable doubt. (shrink)
Open peer commentary on the article “Lived Experience and Cognitive Science Reappraising Enactivism’s Jonasian Turn” by Mario Villalobos & Dave Ward. Upshot: Jonas was not defending an unrestrained anthropomorphism but, rather, a “zoomorphism,” which offered a rigorous, considered view of the deep phylogenetic origins of purpose and mind. Jonas did not reject science per se, but an alienated, rigid conception of the latter. His work helped pave the way to a richer science of mind.
A version of nonstandard analysis, Internal Set Theory, has been used to provide a resolution of Zeno's paradoxes of motion. This resolution is inadequate because the application of Internal Set Theory to the paradoxes requires a model of the world that is not in accordance with either experience or intuition. A model of standard mathematics in which the ordinary real numbers are defined in terms of rational intervals does provide a formalism for understanding the paradoxes. This model suggests that in (...) discussing motion, only intervals, rather than instants, of time are meaningful. The approach presented here reconciles resolutions of the paradoxes based on considering a finite number of acts with those based on analysis of the full infinite set Zeno seems to require. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of the classical and quantum mechanics of performing an infinite number of acts in a finite time. (shrink)
A threat to humanity portending the end of our species lurks in the cold recesses of space. Our only hope is an eleven-year-old boy. Celebrating the long-awaited release of the movie adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s novel about highly trained child geniuses fighting a race of invading aliens, this collection of original essays probes key philosophical questions raised in the narrative, including the ethics of child soldiers, politics on the internet, and the morality of war and genocide. Original essays dissect (...) the diverse philosophical questions raised in Card’s best-selling sci-fi classic, winner of the Nebula and Hugo Awards and which has been translated in 29 languages Publication coincides with planned release of major motion picture adaptation of _Ender’s Game_ starring Asa Butterfield and Harrison Ford Treats a wealth of core contemporary issues in morality and ethics, including child soldiers, the best kind of education and the use and misuse of global communications for political purposes A stand-out addition to the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture series. (shrink)
Participation in victim-offender mediation can reduce the risk of reoffending. However, relatively little is known about how VOM affects the intermediate psychological changes underlying this effect. It was hypothesized that VOM increases feelings of responsibility, guilt, and shame among offenders as well as empathy toward the victim. It was also expected that VOM leads to feelings of moral failure among offenders, increasing their intention to desist, and improving their relation with the victim, relatives, and community. Lastly, it was hypothesized that (...) offenders may experience reduced rejection, concerns about condemnation, threat to their social moral identity, and victim blame following VOM. To this end, we compared psychological changes in offenders who participated in a VOM program in the Netherlands with those of offenders who were willing to but did not participate. A quasi-experimental, pre- and postmeasure research design was used to compare these groups. Our findings tentatively suggest that offenders who participate in VOM have more responsibility-taking and victim empathy, feel more guilt and shame, and experience higher moral failure than offenders who do not participate in VOM do. Offenders also reported feeling significantly less awkward about meeting the victim again after VOM. Future research should address how and to what degree these psychological changes translate into a lower risk of reoffending. (shrink)
An able and clear defense of Bradley's principal theses and the underlying conception of metaphysical enterprise. "This is a book about a metaphysician, about metaphysics, and, most importantly, it attempts to develop elements of a metaphysical position long the lines of what is called Absolute Idealism." The Introduction takes up the Verificationists [[sic]] argument and two recent accounts of metaphysics. Part I devotes ten Chapters to the elucidation and defense of Bradley's conception of reality. It culminates in examining three alternative (...) accounts of "Real". Part II considers "the major philosophical theories of the self in order to defend Bradley's Theory of the self within his metaphysical scheme."--A. S. C. (shrink)
In 1931 the mathematical logician Kurt Godel published a revolutionary paper that challenged certain basic assumptions underpinning mathematics and logic. A colleague of Albert Einstein, his theorem proved that mathematics was partly based on propositions not provable within the mathematical system and had radical implications that have echoed throughout many fields. A gripping combination of science and accessibility, Godel’s Proof by Nagel and Newman is for both mathematicians and the idly curious, offering those with a taste for logic and philosophy (...) the chance to satisfy their intellectual curiosity. (shrink)
The first major work in the history of philosophy to bear the title "Metaphysics" was the treatise by Aristotle that we have come to know by that name. But Aristotle himself did not use that title or even describe his field of study as 'metaphysics'; the name was evidently coined by the first century C.E. editor who assembled the treatise we know as Aristotle's Metaphysics out of various smaller selections of Aristotle's works. The title 'metaphysics' -- literally, 'after the Physics' (...) -- very likely indicated the place the topics discussed therein were intended to occupy in the philosophical curriculum. They were to be studied after the treatises dealing with nature (ta phusika). In this entry, we discuss the ideas that are developed in Aristotle's treatise. (shrink)
In this astonishingly rich volume, experts in ethics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, political theory, aesthetics, history, critical theory, and hermeneutics bring to light the best philosophical scholarship on what is arguably Nietzsche's most rewarding but most challenging text. Including essays that were commissioned specifically for the volume as well as essays revised and edited by their authors, this collection showcases definitive works that have shaped Nietzsche studies alongside new works of interest to students and experts alike. A lengthy introduction, annotated (...) bibliography, and index make this an extremely useful guide for the classroom and advanced research. (shrink)
In this highly original account of Bishop George Berkeley's epistemological and metaphysical theories, George S. Pappas seeks to determine precisely what doctrines the philosopher held and what arguments he put forward to support them. Specifically, Pappas overturns accepted opinions about Berkeley's famous attack on the Lockean doctrine of abstract ideas. Berkeley's criticism of these ideas had been thought relevant only to his views on language and to his nominalism; Pappas persuasively argues that Berkeley's ideas about abstraction are crucial to nearly (...) all of the fundamental principles that he defends. Pappas demonstrates how an adequate appreciation of Berkeley's views on abstraction can lead to an improved understanding of his important principle of esse is percipi, and of the arguments Berkeley proposes in support of this principle. Pappas also takes up Berkeley's widely rejected claim to be a philosopher of common sense. He assesses the validity of this self-description and considers why Berkeley might have chosen to align himself with a commonsense position. Pappas shows how three core concepts—abstraction, perception, and common sense—are central to and interdependent in the work of one of the major figures of early modern Western thought. (shrink)
Rousseau's Critique of Science is the first book-length treatment of Rousseau's first philosophic work. It argues that the Discourse is indispensable, both for those interested in the genesis and meaning of Rousseau's philosophic system, and for those interested in the moral consequences of our liberal democratic commitment to scientific progress.
Nature’s Sublime provides a radical new vision of infinite nature and its deepest aesthetic dimensions as they are encountered by finite human sign users. Rather than looking to religion for healing and salvation, Nature’s Sublime argues that the arts provide a deeper relationship to the vast depths of nature.
"One basic and underlying assumption of this investigation will be that there is a distinct continuity and development in Berkeley's thought which can be traced through all of his reflective analyses of the problem of perception." The essay argues for Berkeley's theory of perception as a "prototype of the phenomenalists." It argues also for Berkeley's incorporation of elements from the representative theory of perception. Of special interest is the treatment of Berkeley's doctrine of "suggestion" and its connection with the role (...) of imagination in the perception of physical objects. The linguistic aspect of Berkeley's work is minimized. Berkeley's theory of notions receives only a passing reference. The last third of the book is a clear and useful discussion of Berkeley and contemporary phenomenalism. It is suggested, though not shown, that Berkeley has affinity with contemporary phenomenology of perception.--A. S. C. (shrink)
G. E. Moore observed that to assert, 'I went to the pictures last Tuesday but I don't believe that I did' would be 'absurd'. Over half a century later, such sayings continue to perplex philosophers. In the definitive treatment of the famous paradox, Green and Williams explain its history and relevance and present new essays by leading thinkers in the area.
Plato's Euthyrphro, Apology, andCrito portray Socrates' words and deeds during his trial for disbelieving in the Gods of Athens and corrupting the Athenian youth, and constitute a defense of the man Socrates and of his way of life, the philosophic life. The twelve essays in the volume, written by leading classical philosophers, investigate various aspects of these works of Plato, including the significance of Plato's characters, Socrates's revolutionary religious ideas, and the relationship between historical events and Plato's texts.
John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism continues to serve as a rich source of moral and theoretical insight. This collection of articles by top scholars offers fresh interpretations of Mill's ideas about happiness, moral obligation, justice, and rights. Applying contemporary philosophical insights, the articles challenge the conventional readings of Mill, and, in the process, contribute to a deeper understanding of utilitarian theory as well as the complexity of moral life.
This book examines Augustine's description of the actually existing world, especially that aspect most important for the human pursuit of happiness: the human being and God. It begins with an overview of the characteristics of the human individual and the context in which they must live out their lives, a context dominated by two seemingly contradictory realities: the existence of God and the existence of evil.
In Carnap’s autobiography, he tells the story how one night in January 1931, “the whole theory of language structure” in all its ramiﬁcations “came to [him] like a vision”. The shorthand manuscript he produced immediately thereafter, he says, “was the ﬁrst version” of Logical Syntax of Language. This document, which has never been examined since Carnap’s death, turns out not to resemble Logical Syntax at all, at least on the surface. Wherein, then, did the momentous insight of 21 January 1931 (...) consist? We seek to answer this question by placing Carnap’s shorthand manuscript in the context of his previous efforts to accommodate scientiﬁc theories and metalinguistic claims within Wittgenstein’s Tractatus theory of meaning. The breakthrough of January 1931 consists, from this viewpoint, in the rejection of the Tractatus theory in favor of the meta-mathematical perspective of Hilbert, Gödel, and Tarski. This was not yet the standpoint of the published Logical Syntax, as we show, but led naturally to the “principle of tolerance” and thus to Carnap’s mature philosophy, in which the inconsistencies between this ﬁrst view and the principle of tolerance, which survived into the published Syntax, were overcome. (shrink)
Newton's Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica provides a coherent and deductive presentation of his discovery of the universal law of gravitation. It is very much more than a demonstration that 'to us it is enough that gravity really does exist and act according to the laws which we have explained and abundantly serves to account for all the motions of the celestial bodies and the sea'. It is important to us as a model of all mathematical physics.Representing a decade's work from (...) a distinguished physicist, this is the first comprehensive analysis of Newton's Principia without recourse to secondary sources. Professor Chandrasekhar analyses some 150 propositions which form a direct chain leading to Newton's formulation of his universal law of gravitation. In each case, Newton's proofs are arranged in a linear sequence of equations and arguments, avoiding the need to unravel the necessarily convoluted style of Newton's connected prose. In almost every case, a modern version of the proofs is given to bring into sharp focus the beauty, clarity, and breath-taking economy of Newton's methods.Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar is one of the most reknowned scientists of the twentieth century, whose career spanned over 60 years. Born in India, educated at the University of Cambridge in England, he served as Emeritus Morton D. Hull Distinguished Service Professor of Theoretical Astrophysics at the University of Chicago, where he has was based from 1937 until his death in 1996. His early research into the evolution of stars is now a cornerstone of modern astrophysics, and earned him the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1983. Later work into gravitational interactions between stars, the properties of fluids, magnetic fields, equilibrium ellipsoids, and black holes has earned him awards throughout the world, including the Gold Medal from the Royal Astronomical Society in London, the National Medal of Science in the United States, and the Copley Medal from the Royal Society. His many publications include Radiative transfer, Hydrodynamic and hydromagnetic stability, and The mathematical theory of black holes, each being praised for its breadth and clarity. Newton's Principia for the common reader is the result of Professor Chandrasekhar's profound admiration for a scientist whose work he believed is unsurpassed, and unsurpassable. (shrink)
Our study presents an overview of the issues that were brought forward by participants of a moral case deliberation (MCD) project in two elderly care organizations. The overview was inductively derived from all case descriptions (N = 202) provided by participants of seven mixed MCD groups, consisting of care providers from various professional backgrounds, from nursing assistant to physician. The MCD groups were part of a larger MCD project within two care institutions (residential homes and nursing homes). Care providers are (...) confronted with a wide variety of largely everyday ethical issues. We distinguished three main categories: ‘resident’s behavior’, ‘divergent perspectives on good care’ and ‘organizational context’. The overview can be used for agendasetting when institutions wish to stimulate reflection and deliberation. It is important that an agenda is constructed from the bottom-up and open to a variety of issues. In addition, organizing reflection and deliberation requires effort to identify moral questions in practice whilst at the same time maintaining the connection with the organizational context and existing communication structures. Once care providers are used to dealing with divergent perspectives, inviting different perspectives (e.g. family members) to take part in the deliberation, might help to identify and address ethical ‘blind spots’. (shrink)
In his book Shadows of the Mind: A search for the missing science of con- sciousness [SM below], Roger Penrose has turned in another bravura perfor- mance, the kind we have come to expect ever since The Emperor’s New Mind [ENM ] appeared. In the service of advancing his deep convictions and daring conjectures about the nature of human thought and consciousness, Penrose has once more drawn a wide swath through such topics as logic, computa- tion, artiﬁcial intelligence, quantum physics (...) and the neuro-physiology of the brain, and has produced along the way many gems of exposition of diﬃcult mathematical and scientiﬁc ideas, without condescension, yet which should be broadly appealing.1 While the aims and a number of the topics in SM are the same as in ENM , the focus now is much more on the two axes that Pen- rose grinds in earnest. Namely, in the ﬁrst part of SM he argues anew and at great length against computational models of the mind and more speciﬁ- cally against any account of mathematical thought in computational terms. Then in the second part, he argues that there must be a scientiﬁc account of consciousness but that will require a (still to be found) non-computational extension or modiﬁcation of present-day quantum physics. (shrink)