The development of symbolic logic is often presented in terms of a cumulative story of consecutive innovations that led to what is known as modern logic. This narrative hides the difficulties that this new logic faced at first, which shaped its history. Indeed, negative reactions to the emergence of the new logic in the second half of the nineteenth century were numerous and we study here one case, namely logic at Oxford, where one finds Lewis Carroll, a mathematical teacher (...) who promoted symbolic logic, and John Cook Wilson, the Wykeham Professor of Logic who notoriously opposed it. An analysis of their disputes on the topic of logical symbolism shows that their opposition was not as sharp as it might look at first, as Cook Wilson was not so much opposed to the « symbolic » character of logic, but the intrusion of mathematics and what he perceived to be the futility of some of its problems, for logicians and philosophers alike. (shrink)
This is the first book to offer the best essays, articles, and speeches on ethics and intelligence that demonstrate the complex moral dilemmas in intelligence collection, analysis, and operations. Some are recently declassified and never before published, and all are written by authors whose backgrounds are as varied as their insights, including Robert M. Gates, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency; John P. Langan, the Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Professor of Catholic Social Thought at the Kennedy Institute of (...) Ethics, Georgetown University; and Loch K. Johnson, Regents Professor of Political Science at the University of Georgia and recipient of the Owens Award for contributions to the understanding of U.S. intelligence activities. Creating the foundation for the study of ethics and intelligence by filling in the gap between warfare and philosophy, this is a valuable collection of literature for building an ethical code that is not dependent on any specific agency, department, or country. (shrink)
In a recent paper, John J. Park argues (1) that an abstract object can bring a universe into existence, and (2) that, according to the Big Bang Theory, the initial singularity is an abstract object that brought the universe into existence. According to Park, if (1) and (2) are true, then the kalam cosmological argument fails to show that the cause of the universe must be divine. I argue, however, that both (1) and (2) are false. In my argument (...) I analyse the abstract/concrete distinction and conclude that, by its nature, an abstract object is causally inefficacious in the sense that it cannot bring something into existence. (shrink)
In 1845, Robert Graham’s death created a vacancy for the traditionally dual appointment to the University of Edinburgh’s chair of botany and the Regius Keepership of the Edinburgh Royal Botanic Garden. John Hutton Balfour and Joseph Hooker emerged as the leading candidates. The contest quickly became embroiled in long running controversies over the nature and control of Scottish university education at a time of particular social and political tension after a recent schism in Church of Scotland. The politics (...) of the appointment were complicated by the fact that the Edinburgh Town Council chose the chair while the keepership was under the patronage of the Westminster government . Balfour eventually emerged triumphant after a bitter campaign marked on all sides by intense politicking. The struggle to replace Graham provides a case study in how Victorian men of science adapted their aspirations to the practical realities of life in industrial, reforming, imperial, multinational Britain. (shrink)
In the last homily he gave before becoming Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger described modern life as ruled by a “dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely” of satisfying “the desires of one’s own ego.” An eminent scholar familiar with the centuries-old debates over relativism, Ratzinger chose to oversimplify or even caricature a philosophical approach of great sophistication and antiquity. His homily depicts the relativist as someone blown about “by (...) every wind of doctrine,” whereas the relativist sticks firmly to one argument—that human knowledge is not absolute. Gathering prominent intellectuals from disciplines most relevant to the controversy—ethics, theology, political theory, anthropology, psychology, cultural studies, epistemology, philosophy of science, and classics—this special double issue of _Common Knowledge_ contests Ratzinger’s denunciation of relativism. One essay relates the arguments of Ratzinger to those of two other German scholars—the conservative political theorist Ernst Wolfgang Böckenförde and the liberal philosopher and sociologist Jürgen Habermas—since all three men assume that social order depends on the existence of doctrinal authority. The contributors here argue for an intellectual and social life free of the desire for an “infantilizing” authority. One proposes that the Christian god is a relativist who prefers limitation and ambiguity; another, initially in agreement with Ratzinger about the danger relativism poses to faith and morals, then argues that this danger is what makes relativism valuable. The issue closes with the first English translation of an extract from a book on Catholic-Jewish relations by Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, one of the Catholic Church’s most progressive figures. _Contributors_. David Bloor, Daniel Boyarin, Mary Baine Campbell, Lorraine Daston, Arnold I. Davidson, John Forrester, Kenneth J. Gergen, Simon Goldhill, Jeffrey F. Hamburger, Julia Kristeva, Carlo Maria Cardinal Martini, Christopher Norris, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Richard Shusterman, Barbara Herrnstein Smith, Jeffrey Stout, Gianni Vattimo. (shrink)
The existence of psi—anomalous processes of information transfer such as telepathy or clairvoyance—continues to be controversial. Earlier meta-analyses of studies using the ganzfeld procedure appeared to provide replicable evidence for psi (D. J. Bem & C. Honorton, 1994), but a follow-up meta-analysis of 30 more recent ganzfeld studies did not (J. Milton & R. Wiseman, 1999). When 10 new studies published after the Milton-Wiseman cutoff date are added to their database, the overall ganzfeld effect again becomes significant, but the mean (...) effect size is still smaller than those from the original studies. Ratings of all 40 studies by 3 independent raters reveal that the effect size achieved by a replication is significantly correlated with the degree to which it adhered to the standard ganzfeld protocol. Standard replications yield significant effect sizes comparable with those obtained in the past. (shrink)
This book discusses the Apostolic Letter Novo millennio ineunte , wherein John Paul II outlined the path the Church should adopt in the third millennium. Peters highlights the Blessed Virgin Mary as educator from the teachings of John Paul II and Father Joseph Kentenich, founder of the Schoenstatt Movement.
By the death, last summer, of Jack Robson, the world of utilitarian studies and a wider world of scholarship on both sides of the Atlantic lost one of their most distinguished figures. It would not be appropriate here, even if it were possible now, to attempt a full and measured assessment of his work. Writing only a few months after the news of his death, while the sense of loss is still so sharp for all his many friends, two things (...) are possible. Something can and should be said to acknowledge and celebrate Robson's achievement as a scholar; and to this can be added some personal recollections of one whose human qualities were as outstanding as his scholarship. (shrink)