Recent EEG studies on the early postmortem interval that suggest the persistence of electrophysiological coherence and connectivity in the brain of animals and humans reinforce the need for further investigation of the relationship between the brain’s activity and the dying process. Neuroscience is now in a position to empirically evaluate the extended process of dying and, more specifically, to investigate the possibility of brain activity following the cessation of cardiac and respiratory function. Under the direction of the Center for Healthy (...) Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, research was conducted in India on a postmortem meditative state cultivated by some Tibetan Buddhist practitioners in which decomposition is putatively delayed. For all healthy baseline and postmortem subjects presented here, we collected resting state electroencephalographic data, mismatch negativity, and auditory brainstem response. In this study, we present HB data to demonstrate the feasibility of a sparse electrode EEG configuration to capture well-defined ERP waveforms from living subjects under very challenging field conditions. While living subjects displayed well-defined MMN and ABR responses, no recognizable EEG waveforms were discernable in any of the tukdam cases. (shrink)
In Law's Empire Prof. Ronald Dworkin has advanced a new theory of law, complex and intriguing. He calls it law as integrity. But in some ways the more radical and surprising claim he makes is that not only were previous legal philosophers mistaken about the nature of law, they were also mistaken about the nature of the philosophy of law or jurisprudence. Perhaps it is possible to summarize his main contentions on the nature of jurisprudence in three theses: First, jurisprudence (...) is interpretive: “General theories of law… aim to interpret the main point and structure of legal practice”. Second, legal philosophy cannot be a semantic account of the word “law.” Legal philosophers “cannot produce useful semantic theories of law”. Third, legal philosophy or jurisprudence “is the general part of adjudication, silent prologue to any decision at law”. (shrink)
Further research on the theological contributions of experts at Vatican Council II has led to identifying six texts by Prof. Joseph Ratzinger, which are presented here. The theological themes expressed in these texts include an insistence on the interior dynamics and questioning of human beings in conceiving the present-day "hearer of the word" to which Vatican II will speak. One is not surprised by the Professor's repeated call for doctrinal formulations drawn from the biblical and patristic sources instead of (...) borrowing from recent theological textbooks. The lecture of October 10, 1962, develops, among other topics, an impressive account of God's self-revelation, which has primacy over the codified witness given by Scripture and tradition, which derive from the one fons that is God's self-manifestation. On biblical inspiration the Council should not attempt a systematic account but simply make reference to essential aspects: those active as human authors, their context which is salvation history, and the communities that they served by writing. All missionary activity in the Church arises ultimately from God's love poured out upon the world in the missions of the Son and Spirit and such action has its summa in Jesus' inaugural proclamation, "Be converted and believe in the Gospel" . In approaching its dialogue with the contemporary world, the Church speaks out of a complex conviction combining awareness that hum. (shrink)
Postema's article discusses, lucidly and probingly, a central jurisprudential idea, which he calls the autonomy thesis. In its general form it is shared by many writers who otherwise support divergent accounts of the nature of law. It is, according to Postema, a thesis that is meant to account for a core idea, that the law's “defining aim is to … unify public political judgment and coordinate social interaction.” In some form or another this core idea is probably supported by Postema (...) himself. However, in this article his concern is to criticize what he takes to be the widespread belief that it is explained by the autonomy thesis. The autonomy thesis is flawed and must be rejected. In arguing to that conclusion he succumbs to one of the unattractive tendencies of contemporary legal and political philosophy, namely he does not discuss anyone's view, but a family of views. This allows one to construct one's target by selecting features from a variety of authors so that the combined picture is in fact no one's view, and all those cited as adhering to it would disagree with it. (shrink)
The main purpose of this paper is to bring out some significant humanistic characteristics of Chinese religious thought. My account is limited to what is originally and typically Chinese. That is to say, it will exclude what has been influenced by Buddhism from India or Christianity from the Western world. Some of the theses of this paper are based on scholarly works, while others are drawn from the author's primary experience.
Moral philosophers are fond of the dictum “ought implies can” and even deontologists normally admit the need to take account of consequences in the design of social institutions. Too often, however, philosophers fail to take advantage of the knowledge provided by the social sciences about the constraints and consequences of alternative forms of social organization. By discussing ideals in abstraction from the problems of institutionalization, they fail at least to see some of the important consequences and costs of a proposed (...) ideal, and sometimes they fail even to understand the ideal itself. (shrink)
The essays in this volume place the history of science in context, especially the genre of history of science informed by Joseph Needham's ecumenical vision of science. The book presents a number of questions that relate to contemporary concerns of the history of sciences and multiculturalism.
Lam, Joseph The reception of Augustine's theology and thoughts in Thomas Aquinas's works has never been a point of serious disagreement among scholars. What divides scholars is rather the question of how to assess the weight of Aristotelian influence and Thomas's Augustinian heritage. According to Gilson, the answer is evident in itself. While acknowledging in the works of the Dominican friar a close familiarity with Augustine's theology, the French philosopher nevertheless argued for a distinct Aristotelian colour in Thomas's philosophical (...) approach to the question of natural truths. To the question of how human reasoning arrives at the truth, Gilson wrote: 'What is it to know truth? It is intellectually to grasp the essences of things such as they are and to associate them in our minds, by means of judgements, in the same way they are associated in reality'. Knowledge, therefore, is not the result of a subjective mind, but rather an outcome of a conscious judgement that concords with the objective intellection of the given objects. In this Gilson observed a basic difference between Augustine and Thomas: Both St. Thomas's philosophy and St. Augustine's philosophy are philosophies of the concrete, but their attitude toward the concrete is not the same. St. Augustine always seeks notions comprehensive enough to embrace the concrete in its complexity. Thomas always seeks notions precise enough to define the elements that constitute the concrete. In a word, the former expresses the concrete, the latter analyses it. (shrink)
Anyone teaching in theological schools or university departments of religion in the West should be struck by two related factors which seem to influence the attitude and thinking, of today's students. The first is the preoccupation with ‘experience’, while the second is the openness toward Eastern religious insights as well as their meditation techniques. In this paper, the writer intends to reflect on these two factors both as the causes and the effects of the significant change that has taken place (...) in Western man's world of meaning in our time. (shrink)
To confront the Modernist challenge to traditional Catholic theology, a number of neoscholastic thinkers proposed various schemes for the grounding of metaphysics and the defense of the analogy of being. The specific tack Joseph Maréchal chose was epistemological: justification of the cognitive grounds for the science of metaphysics and for the analogous knowledge of God emphasized by Thomistic theology.