The Indian Buddhist philosopher Vasubandhu is known for his critical contribution to Buddhist Abhidharma thought, his turn to the Mahayana tradition, and his concise, influential Yogacara-Vijñanavada texts. _Paving the Great Way_ reveals another dimension of his legacy: his integration of several seemingly incompatible intellectual and scriptural traditions, with far-ranging consequences for the development of Buddhist epistemology and the theorization of tantra. Most scholars read Vasubandhu's texts in isolation and separate his intellectual development into distinct phases. Featuring close studies of Vasubandhu's (...) _Abhidharmakosabhasya_, _Vyakhyayukti_, _Vimsatika_, and _Trisvabhavanirdesa_, among other works, this book identifies recurrent treatments of causality and scriptural interpretation that unify distinct strands of thought under a single, coherent Buddhist philosophy. In Vasubandhu's hands, the Buddha's rejection of the self as a false construction provides a framework through which to clarify problematic philosophical issues, such as the nature of moral agency and subjectivity under a broadly causal worldview. Recognizing this continuity of purpose across Vasubandhu's diverse corpus recasts the interests of the philosopher and his truly innovative vision, which influenced Buddhist thought for a millennium and continues to resonate with today's philosophical issues. An appendix includes extensive English-language translations of the major texts discussed. (shrink)
Many Christian traditions affirm a doctrine of assurance. According to this doctrine, those who are saved have assurance of their own salvation; that is, the doctrine of assurance tells us that the elect can know their status as elect. In this paper, I explore two developments of the doctrine of assurance by theologians (i.e. John Calvin & Kenneth Keathley) and argue that they fail to accommodate the fallibilistic nature of human knowing. I then develop a fallibilistic doctrine of assurance, which (...) makes such assurance available to most Christians, and respond to an objection from the camp of pragmatic encroachment. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that no strong doctrine of the Fall can undermine the propriety of epistemic self-trust. My argument proceeds by introducing a common type of philosophical methodology, known as reflective equilibrium. After a brief exposition of the method, I introduce a puzzle for someone engaged in the project of self-reflection after gaining a reason to distrust their epistemic selves on the basis of a construal of a doctrine of the Fall. I close by introducing the worry as (...) a formal argument and demonstrate the self-undermining nature of such an argument. (shrink)
Concussion in sports is a topic that is receiving increasing amounts of publicity and attention. Increasing recognition of concussion as well as improving understanding of the short- and long-term physiologic effects of concussion have resulted in widespread legislation governing the recognition and treatment of sports concussion. The increasing amount of medical research in the field and oftentimes subjective symptoms of concussion leave many ethical questions to be answered.
Despite the increased prevalence of bioethics research that seeks to use empirical data to answer normative research questions, there is no consensus as to what an appropriate methodology for this would be. This review aims to search the literature, present and critically discuss published Empirical Bioethics methodologies.
The Consensus Statement of the Third International Congress on Concussion in Sport in November 2008 defined concussion as a “complex pathophysiologic process affecting the brain, induced by traumatic biochemical forces.” Definitions of concussion vary slightly between various professional organizations of neurosurgeons, neurologists, and orthopedic surgeons, but all share the common characteristics of trauma affecting the head or body resulting in transient neurologic deficits or symptoms. Underlying the symptoms of concussion is a complex pathophysiologic process at the cellular level. While concussion (...) is typically thought of as resulting from a direct impact to the head, a concussion can also be sustained as a result of an impact to the body causing the force of the impact to be transmitted to and absorbed by the brain. (shrink)
Some of the basic terminology of Yogācāra philosophy needs reevaluation. Whereas commentaries almost universally gloss the term dvaya ('duality') with some version of the phrase grāhya grāhaka ca (lit. 'grasped and grasper', but usually translated as 'subject and object'), in fact this gloss is absent from the earliest strata. The term and its gloss are derived from separate streams of Yogācāra reasoning - one from discussions of linguistic conceptualization and the other from discussions of perception. Once we see that these (...) two are distinct, it becomes clear that the commentarial literature asserts their identity in order to philosophically unify Yogācāra thought. One upshot of this is that even in this later assertion 'duality' refers not to the distinction between internal and external reality (as in 'textbook' Yogācāra), but to the falsely projected distinction between mental subjects and mental objects. (shrink)
The goal of this paper is to examine the impact of leadership and promotion regulatory focus on employees’ willingness to engage in unethical pro-organizational behavior . Building from a person–situation interactionist perspective, we investigate the interaction of leadership style and how leaders frame messages, as well as test a three-way interaction with promotion focus. Using an experimental design, we found that inspirational and charismatic transformational leaders elicited higher levels of UPB than transactional leaders when the leaders used loss framing, but (...) not gain framing. Furthermore, followers’ promotion regulatory focus moderated this relationship such that the effect held for followers with low promotion focus, but not for individuals with high promotion focus. Our findings extend the understanding of UPB, offer theoretical mechanisms to explain when this behavior occurs, and contribute to leadership theory and research on ethical decision making. (shrink)
We perceive colour, shape, sound and touch 'bound together' in a single experience. The following arguments about this binding phenomenon are raised: (1) The individual signals passing from neurone to neurone are not bound together, whether as elements of information or physically. (2) Within a single cell, binding in terms of bringing together of information is potentially feasible. A physical substrate may also be available. (3) It is therefore proposed that a bound conscious experience must be a property of an (...) individual cell, not of a group of cells. Since it is unlikely that one specific neurone is conscious, it is suggested that every neurone has a version of our consciousness, or at least some form of sentience. However absurd this may seem it appears to be consistent with the available evidence; arguably the only explanation that is. It probably does not alter the way we should expect to experience the world, but may help to explain the ways we seem to differ from digital computers and some of the paradoxes seen in mental illness. It predicts non-digital features of intracellular computation, for which there is already evidence, and which should be open to further experimental exploration. The arguments given may well prove flawed or the conclusion biologically or physically untenable, but the idea is raised for discussion not least because a formal demonstration that it is invalid may help to identify more fruitful avenues. (shrink)
Several types of amygdala-dependent learning can be blocked by local infusion of NMDA antagonists into the amygdala. This blockade shows anatomical, pharmacological, temporal, and behavioral specificity, providing a pattern of data more consistent with a role for NMDA receptors in learning than in arousal or attention, and supporting the contention that an “LTP-like” process is a neural substrate for memory formation.
This expands the proposal in 'Is consciousness only a property of individual cells?' to attempt to cover all relevant psychological, neuroscientific and philosophical issues. Some of the material is now dated (in 2011) but chiefly in the sense that tentative proposals have become firmer views for me. An example of this is the clarification of complementarities in "Are our spaces made of words?'.
Analytic theologians have ironically experienced difficulties in precisely defining the meaning of ‘analytic’ with respect to their style of theology. In this article, I turn to the history of a similar research project, analytic feminism, to see how it went about defining ‘analytic’ in relation to the typically non-analytic subject area of feminist studies. I then consider two commonly referred to attempts to define analytic theology, one methodological and the other socio-historical, and discuss shortcomings of each. I close with a (...) new definition of analytic theology that aims to incorporate all the insights in the discussions which precede it. (shrink)
This paper describes a pilot study of a new model for narrative medicine training, “community-based participatory narrative medicine”, which centers on shared narrative work between healthcare trainees and patients. Nine medical students and eight patients participated in one of two, five-week-long pilot workshop series. A case study of participants’ experiences of the workshop series identified three major themes: the reciprocal and collaborative nature of participants’ relationships; the interplay between self-reflection and receiving feedback from others; and the clinical and pedagogical implications (...) of the CBPNM model. Principles and proposed outcomes of the CBPNM model are presented. (shrink)
It is argued that both neuroscience and physics point towards a similar re-assessment of our concepts of space, time and 'reality', which, by removing some apparent paradoxes, may lead to a view which can provide a natural place for consciousness and language within biophysics. There are reasons to believe that relationships between entities in experiential space and time and in modern physicists' space and time are quite different, neither corresponding to our geometric schooling. The elements of the universe may be (...) better described not as 'particles' but as dynamic processes giving rise, where they interface with each other, to the transfer, and at least in some cases experience, of 'pure'or 'active'information, the mental and physical just reflecting different standpoints. Although this analy-sis draws on general features of quantum dynamics, it is argued that purely quantum level events (and their 'interpretations') are unlikely to be relevant to the understanding of consciousness. The processes that might be able to give rise, within brain cells, to an experience like ours are briefly reviewed. It is suggested that the elementary signals that are integrated to generate a spatial experience may have features more in common with words than pixels. It is further suggested that the laws of integration of words in language may provide useful clues to the way biophysical integration of signals in neurons relates to integration of elements in experiential space. (shrink)
Although psychologist impairment has received attention from researchers, there is a paucity of empirical data aimed at determining the point at which such impairment necessitates action. The purpose of this study was to provide such empirical data. Members of Division 42 ( n = 285) responded to vignettes describing a psychologist whose symptoms of either depression or substance abuse varied across five levels of severity. Results identified specific levels of impairment at which psychologists were deemed too impaired to practice psychotherapy, (...) as well as significant differences between ratings of increasingly severe impairment. Practical and ethical implications of these results are discussed. (shrink)
Male-male competition is involved in inter- and intrasexual selection, with both endocrine and psychological factors presumably contributing to reproductive success in human males. We examined relationships among men’s naturally occurring testosterone, their self-perceived mate value, self-esteem, sociosexuality, and expected likelihood of approaching attractive women versus situations leading to child involvement. We then monitored changes in these measures in male rowers from Cambridge, UK, following a manipulated “win” or “loss” as a result of an indoor rowing contest. Baseline results revealed that (...) men with heightened testosterone and SPMV values typically had greater inclinations toward engaging in casual sexual relationships and a higher likelihood of approaching attractive women in a hypothetical social situation. As anticipated, both testosterone and SPMV increased following a manipulated “victory” and were associated with heightened sociosexuality, and increased expectations toward approaching attractive women versus individuals who would involve them in interacting with children after the race. SPMV and self-esteem appeared to mediate some of the effects of testosterone on post-race values. These findings are considered in the broader context of individual trade-offs between mating and parental effort and a model of the concurrent and dynamic androgenic and psychological influences contributing to male reproductive effort and success. (shrink)
Building from an interactionist view of ethics, this study sought to integrate individual and contextual factors for understanding ethical perceptions in teams. Given the proximal nature of team members, this study specifically explored how individuals comparatively evaluate their own ethical behaviors and team members’ ethical behaviors to arrive at a perception of ethical person–group fit within a team. Grounding our theoretical arguments in relational schemas theory, we demonstrate that interpersonal ethical perceptions can have distal impacts on perceptions of team functioning. (...) The results support the hypotheses that a perceived ethical incongruence between the self and other team members negatively influenced perceptions of relationship conflict and ultimately information sharing. By exploring individual and team level aspects of ethics concurrently, we contribute to a deeper understanding of contextual forces in ethics through an interactionist approach. (shrink)
Current accounts suggest that self-referential thought serves a pivotal function in the human ability to simulate the future during mind-wandering. Using experience sampling, this hypothesis was tested in two studies that explored the extent to which self-reflection impacts both retrospection and prospection during mind-wandering. Study 1 demonstrated that a brief period of self-reflection yielded a prospective bias during mind-wandering such that participants’ engaged more frequently in spontaneous future than past thought. In Study 2, individual differences in the strength of self-referential (...) thought — as indexed by the memorial advantage for self rather than other-encoded items — was shown to vary with future thinking during mind-wandering. Together these results confirm that self-reflection is a core component of future thinking during mind-wandering and provide novel evidence that a key function of the autobiographical memory system may be to mentally simulate events in the future. (shrink)
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