Though we agree with their argument that language is shaped by domain-general learning processes, Christiansen & Chater (C&C) neglect to detail how the development of these processes shapes language change. We discuss a number of examples that show how developmental processes at multiple levels and timescales are critical to understanding the origin of domain-general mechanisms that shape language evolution.
Le canon 812 du Code de droit canon de 1983 exige que ceux qui enseignent une discipline théologique dans une université catholique aient un mandatum de la part de l’autorité ecclésiastique compétente. Entre insistances et rappels à l’ordre romains, s’en suivirent aux Etats-Unis neuf ans de consultations, discussions et conflits qui impliquèrent évêques, présidents d’universités et théologiens. Il y a là un fait théologique et ecclésial dont les Eglises d’autres pays n’ont pas fait la même expérience. L’examen des enjeux ecclésiologiques (...) de ces péripéties constitue l’objet de ces réflexions qui représentent ainsi une sorte de lettre théologique des Etats-Unis. Pourquoi l’acuité de la question dans ce pays ? Comment comprendre le mandatum avec l’emploi du concept de communion ? Qu’est-ce que ce mandatum comme fait historique et comme institution ecclésiale ? Telles sont les questions auxquelles tente de répondre J.G. Mueller dans cet article.Canon 812 of the Code of Canon Law of 1983 requires that those who teach a theological discipline in a Catholic university have a mandatum from the competent church authority. In between Rome’s insistence and calls to order, there followed nine years of consultations, discussions, and conflicts in the United States involving bishops, university presidents, and theologians. This is a theological and ecclesial fact of which Churches in other countries have not had the same experience. An examination of the ecclesiological stakes of these vicissitudes constitutes the subject of these reflections, which represents a sort of theological letter from the United States. Why the acuity of the question in this country? How can we understand the mandatum by using the concept of communion? What is this mandatum as a historical fact and as an ecclesiastical institution? Such are the questions that J.G. Mueller attempts to answer in this article. (shrink)
As an attempt to formulate epistemological boundaries , for which Gustave Flaubert becomes a test-case, L'Idiot de la famille can be seen simultaneously as the exemplification of a method and as a re-assertion and further development of Sartre's theory of subjectivity. This article proposes to approach the issue of Sartre's notion of human subjectivity in L'Idiot from the particular angle of the idea of “destiny.” It will be argued that the term “ destin ” provides a focal point for multiple (...) visions of subjectivity as it contains at least three layers of meaning: firstly, Sartre's representation of Flaubert's idea of his life as predetermined destiny; secondly, Sartre's analysis of destiny as a situation created by others; and finally, an understanding of destiny which is close to the notion of the project. It will be argued that precisely the mutual interdependence of these terms is an expression of Sartre's conception of alienation and the possibility of freedom. (shrink)
An ethnographic field study about the informed consent process in investigational drug trials for seriously ill persons with hepatitis C suggests that nurses and physicians referred to these trials as giving treatment, even though they involved placebos. Interview data and informed consent documents contained frequent references to the term `treatment trial' or `treatment'. Although these findings were unexpected and not the original focus of our study, we consider them in the light of an extensive literature on the `therapeutic misconception' that (...) has been described among physicians and patients with AIDS and other serious illnesses. We also suggest that certain organizational and professional characteristics of nursing and medicine reinforce this tendency to refer to the trials as treatment. Implications for further research are provided. (shrink)
Goethe's objections to Newton's theory of light and colours are better than often acknowledged. You can accept the most important elements of these objections without disagreeing with Newton about light and colours. As I will argue, Goethe exposed a crucial weakness of Newton's methodological self-assessment. Newton believed that with the help of his prism experiments, he could prove that sunlight was composed of variously coloured rays of light. Goethe showed that this step from observation to theory is more problematic than (...) Newton wanted to admit. By insisting that the step to theory is not forced upon us by the phenomena, Goethe revealed our own free, creative contribution to theory construction. And Goethe's insight is surprisingly significant, because he correctly claimed that all of the results of Newton's prism experiments fit a theoretical alternative equally well. If this is correct, then by suggesting an alternative to a well-established physical theory, Goethe developed the problem of underdete... (shrink)
Let us imagine an ideal ethical agent, i.e., an agent who (i) holds a certain ethical theory, (ii) has all factual knowledge needed for determining which action among those open to her is right and which is wrong, according to her theory, and who (iii) is ideally motivated to really do whatever her ethical theory demands her to do. If we grant that the notions of omniscience and ideal motivation both make sense, we may ask: Could there possibly be an (...) ideal utilitarian, that is, an ideal ethical agent whose ethical theory says that our only moral obligation consists in maximizing utility? I claim that an ideal agent cannot be utilitarian. My reasoning against ideal utilitarianism will parallel Putnam's famous argument against the brains in a vat. Putnam argues that an envatted brain cannot describe its own situation because its words do not refer to brains and vats; I argue that an ideal utilitarian cannot entertain or communicate the beliefs necessary to being a utilitarian. (shrink)
Kasm does not offer any concept of proof which is regulative for all metaphysics, for he is convinced that each metaphysical approach requires its own proper logic and methodology. Within this pluralistic framework he seeks to discern the structure of formal truth as expressed in the concept of proof inherent in various metaphysical approaches.--L. S. F.