Philosophers of science discuss whether theory selection depends on aesthetic judgments or criteria, and whether these putatively aesthetic features are genuinely extra-epistemic. As examples, judgments involving criteria such as simplicity and symmetry are often cited. However, other theory selection criteria, such as fecundity, coherence, internal consistency, and fertility, more closely match those criteria used in art contexts and by scholars working in aesthetics. Paying closer attention to the way these criteria are used in art contexts allows us to understand some (...) evaluative and developmental practices in scientific theory selection as genuinely aesthetic, enlarging the scope of the goals of science. (shrink)
Discursive accounts of the body have been prominent recently. While acknowledging the usefulness of these, the author, drawing upon specific philosophers of the body and a wide range of other theorists, focuses attention on the experiencing body which she refers to as 'creatural existence’. Thinking in terms of the creatural, she argues, can better situate human beings in their environment, thus emphasizing a kind of 'ecological notion of subjectivity’, in which place-based existence is understood anew. The educational implications of focusing (...) on what bodies 'do' and not so much in terms of how they are socially inscribed, presents them as practico-sensory totalities which should perhaps be seen as systems rather than an as mere organisms or entities. Such an articulation of creatural existence emphasizes animality, and in so doing reminds us of the centrality of the senses in all knowing and doing, including crucially, in relation to those practices which we have understood as 'work'. Multi-sensorial education is a major sub-theme of the book and the author argues persuasively for this by means of a critical analysis of the ocularcentrism that is characteristic of contemporary culture. (shrink)
In this paper, I use Gloria Anzaldúa’s narrative method of “autohistoría” in concert with theoretical analysis to reflect on my experiences as a queer teacher in the heteronormative United States schooling system. These reflections are aimed at unpacking the ways in which racialization, sexual orientation and coloniality are inseparably tied to living out one’s gender. It is this phenomenon of “Gender-as-Lived” that I urge become a focus of identity development research in education studies and is my central concern in this (...) post-intentional phenomenological study. Furthermore, Anzaldúa’s conceptualization of the liminal zone of “nepantla” as an embodied and in-between space of resistance offers to transform the practice of teaching into a vocation of healing. (shrink)
Models of memory in cognitive science and philosophy have traditionally explained human remembering in terms of storage and retrieval. This tendency has been entrenched by reliance on computationalist explanations over the course of the twentieth century; even research programs that eschew computationalism in name, or attempt the revision of traditional models, demonstrate tacit commitment to computationalist assumptions. It is assumed that memory must be stored by means of an isomorphic trace, that memory processes must divide into conceptually distinct systems and (...) phases, and that human remembering consists in inner, cognitive processes that are implemented by distinct neural processes. This dissertation draws on recent empirical work, and on philosophical arguments from Ludwig Wittgenstein and others, to demonstrate that this latent computationalism in the study of memory is problematic, and that it can and should be eliminated. Cognitive psychologists studying memory have encountered numerous data in recent decades that belie archival models. In cognitive neuroscience, establishing the neural basis of storage and retrieval processes has proven elusive. A number of revised models on offer in memory science, that have taken these issues into account, fail to sufficiently extricate the archival framework. Several impasses in memory science are products of these underlying computationalist assumptions. Wittgenstein and other philosophers offer a number of arguments against the need for, and the efficacy of, the storage and retrieval of traces in human remembering. A study of these arguments clarifies the ways that these computationalist assumptions are presently impeding the science of memory, and provides ways forward in removing them. We can and should characterize and model human memory without invoking the storage and retrieval of traces. A range of work in connectionism, dynamical systems theory, and recent philosophical accounts of memory demonstrate how the science of memory can proceed without these assumptions, toward non-archival models of remembering. (shrink)
O'Loughlin, Frank In this article I want to look at the priesthood specifically as a sacrament of the church. Much of what is presented here would also apply, mutatis mutandis, to the episcopate and some of it to the diaconate, the other two forms of the sacrament of orders.
O'Loughlin, Frank Over recent years there has been a great deal of discussion and disagreement about the nature of marriage and family both in the public sphere and within the church. Almost every aspect of human relationships and sexuality has come up for discussion. The two synods on marriage and the family that took place in Rome in 2014 and 2015 have been a watershed for Catholics in these discussions. Similar discussions will need to continue for some time yet if (...) we are to come to greater clarity and depth in our understanding of the many issues involved. In this article I am seeking to put forward elements of the Christian tradition concerning marriage that, I hope, may be helpful background in these current discussions. (shrink)
Human microbiome research makes causal connections between entire microbial communities and a wide array of traits that range from physiological diseases to psychological states. To evaluate these causal claims, we first examine a well-known single-microbe causal explanation: of Helicobacter pylori causing ulcers. This apparently straightforward causal explanation is not so simple, however. It does not achieve a key explanatory standard in microbiology, of Koch’s postulates, which rely on manipulations of single-microorganism cultures to infer causal relationships to disease. When Koch’s postulates (...) are framed by an interventionist causal framework, it is clearer what the H. pylori explanation achieves and where its explanatory strengths lie. After assessing this ‘simple’, single-microbe case, we apply the interventionist framework to two key areas of microbiome research, in which obesity and mental health states are purportedly explained by microbiomes. Despite the experimental data available, interventionist criteria for explanation show that many of the causal claims generated by microbiome research are weak or misleading. We focus on the stability, specificity and proportionality of proposed microbiome causal explanations, and evaluate how effectively these dimensions of causal explanation are achieved in some promising avenues of research. We suggest some conceptual and explanatory strategies to improve how causal claims about microbiomes are made. (shrink)
Adomnán of Iona's work on the holy places of Jerusalem and surrounding regions has been used as a guide to seventh-century Palestine. In particular, its plans of monuments such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre have been used by archaeologists for information about buildings, while their form interests historians of cartography. However, these plans must be read with the book's several purposes in mind. They attempt to harmonize biblical data visually. In addition, they project elements of Iona's monastic liturgy (...) into an alien liturgical space. The plans are not simply illustrations to clarify the text but constitute a distinct, parallel text of their own, with elements shown that Adomnán would not have asserted in writing. They indicate that, for Adomnán, there were different orders of verification for written texts and visual materials such as plans. (shrink)
of (from British Columbia Philosophy Graduate Conference) Despite the apparent polarity between the philosophies of Wittgenstein and G�del, I here seek to demonstrate and consider important similarities in these two allegedly disparate interpretations of mathematical proposition. Wittgenstein asserts that the meaning is comprised by proof, while G�del relegates provability to an intrinsically imperfect status. Each represents metamathematical statements as severely limited, and analysis emphasizing the complementary here yields a rich interpretation of mathematical proposition: invention, but not without a basis for (...) describing these inventions as incomplete. As contrivances that exhibit a necessarily imperfect correlation to hypothetical completeness, the extent to which any one system is comparatively useful is thus a reflection of the degree of imperfection with which it correlates to the otherwise inarticulable qualities that dictate usefulness. Inconsistency produced by our necessarily incomplete systems should therefore be viewed as a natural consequence of the inherent imperfect correlation, and so admits of meaningful interpretation. (shrink)
This commentary questions the applicability of the Newell Test for evaluating the utility of connectionism. Rather than being a specific theory of cognition (because connectionism can be used to model nativist, behaviorist, or constructivist theories), connectionism, we argue, offers researchers a collection of computational and conceptual tools that are particularly useful for investigating and rendering specific fundamental issues of human development. These benefits of connectionism are not well captured by evaluating it against Newell's criteria for a unified theory of cognition.
We humans construct time around us: in it we live, organise our activities, mark events, and celebrate our memories. This celebration of our memories, anamnesis, is part of who we are as the community who profess and proclaim faith. But because religious calendars have been part of every religion, Christians have sometimes been suspicious of marking time – this paper suggests that in a world where ‘time is money’, we should also assert that time is precious; and we should be (...) sensitive to its place in celebrating the Christian mystery. (shrink)
In this celebration of the work of Paul Hager, I draw attention to his highly successful collaborations with David Beckett and John Halliday as indicative of his collegiality and his conviction that knowledge is produced in cooperation with others. I highlight his enduring theme of practice and his deep concern for vocational and technical education. The theme of embodiment underpins his extensive explorations of practical knowledge, work and learning. Hager?s focus on those processes of making and repairing are foregrounded in (...) the article. The work of Mathew B. Crawford and Olivier Dupon is deployed to explore these ideas further, with particular attention paid to Crawford?s spirited defence of the trades and of tradespeople, artisans and repairers. The functioning of judgement as reasoning within practice and the significance of tacit knowing are briefly explored. Hager?s enormous contribution to our understanding of work and its significance to conceptions of the good life are wholeheartedly applauded. (shrink)
Despite more than a century of historical research on Latin patristic and medieval theology, one period still lags behind: the theologians between Augustine and Charlemagne — Boethius and Bede being exceptions — are an unstudied group. There are a few monographs on individuals and themes, but no more. The period is, in the eyes of many, a «dark age». This neglect is all the more surprising when we consider that when the «revival» of Latin learning took place it was based (...) not so much on the great works of the Fathers being re-read after centuries of neglect, as it was the outcome of the work who in previous generations had handed on and given particular slants to that illustrious legacy. This attitude of ignoring «the interval» has a long history going back to later medieval authors. From the early scholastic period there has been a tendency to by-pass this period as one which produced little of lasting value. Seen in this light the early writers could at best be presented as engaged in a «holding action» between the Fathers and the later period. Yet, these early writers produced the first European, in contrast to Classical, theology, and their works, for all their defects, were successful in the Christianisation of the new peoples within the frontiers of the old western Roman Empire. This paper seeks to highlight some characteristics of their works which may provide a window into their intellectual world. (shrink)
This piece was written for performance and might be best enjoyed read aloud. It was an imaginative exercise based on a kind of intertextuality— combining my own story with the story of the God of the Genesis creation stories. Thus God became a Mother who was experiencing some of the things that mothers of teenage children might experience. It is a sort of poem, following the style of the first creation story but also provides an explanation of why things are (...) as they are, like the second creation story. It was first read at a weekend conference on Ethics. (shrink)
In this paper I am concerned with the notion of empathy and its capacity for overcoming the problem of difference in social life. The concept of empathy has a long history in the Western philosophic tradition but has become discursively submerged in recent times. I am particularly interested in what philosophies of the body may contribute to our understanding of empathy. Psychoanalytic feminism provides some insights. However I identify Merleau-Ponty's conception of body-subject and the intersubjective encounter as offering a potentially (...) more fruitful account of empathy. (shrink)
This paper is focussed on a passage from the fourth-century Christian treatise, De uiris illustribus. This is the oldest extant witness to some traditions about Jesus that is often lumped together as ‘apocrypha’. The passage in question addresses the issue of a post-resurrection meal. The passage suggests that we need a more all embracing notion of sacramentality of Christians eating at table than one where a sacramental dimension is linked to ritual or even ceremonial form.
This article exposes the disjunction between the progressive rhetoric of the European Court of Human Rights on rehabilitation and the reality for life-sentenced prisoners. It illuminates the tensions between the Court’s jurisprudence on the prisoner’s right to rehabilitation and a nebulous ‘right to security’ of the public that threatens to undermine prisoners’ rights. It is argued that two distinct conceptual frameworks for understanding rehabilitation for life-sentenced prisoners underpin the ECtHR’s jurisprudence: rehabilitation as risk reduction and rehabilitation as redemption. The first (...) is shaped by a preoccupation with identifying and reducing risk factors for offending. The second reflects the idea that offending indicates bad character but that people can atone for their crimes by working hard to change themselves. The article concludes that the ECtHR, by placing the onus on life-sentenced prisoners to demonstrate they have achieved rehabilitation, risks entrenching the trends of popular punitiveness and precautionary penal warehousing that it has sought to oppose. (shrink)
In Acts 10–11: 18, Luke use a set of connected stories about Peter, shared eating, and food to explore issues of Christian boundaries and the boundaries between Christians. Luke’s presentation of the apostolic history argues for a genuine ecumenism between Jewish and Gentile Christians characterized and enacted through commensality. Moreover, when this commensality within the Eucharistic pattern of all early Christian community meals, we see that it has a bearing on how Luke viewed the Christian symposium; while it has definite (...) implications for Christian Eucharistic sharing/ecumenism today. (shrink)