Libertarians like Robert Kane believe that indeterminism is necessary for free will. They think this in part because they hold both that my being the ultimate cause of at least part of myself is necessary for free will and that indeterminism is necessary for this "ultimate self-causation". But seductive and intuitive as this "USC Libertarianism" may sound, it is untenable. In the end, no metaphysically coherent conception of ultimate self-causation is available. So the basic intuition motivating the USC Libertarian is (...) ultimately impossible to fulfill. (shrink)
In American, the terms “schism,” “heresy,” “sect,” and “cult” have been used to describe splinter groups as they distinguish themselves from the majority religion. The term cult has been used in two different senses. Within the Roman Catholic Church a group’s devotion to a particular saint may earn them the title “Cult of” that particular saint. However, among contemporary American Protestants the term cult has come to be applied to religious groups that split from mainstream Christianity with regard to their (...) beliefs and behavior to the degree that the groups are considered dangerous to themselves and society. When it comes to defining what a cult is, only about ten percent of the attention is placed on a cult’s beliefs and ninety percent is placed on a cult’s behavior. In fact, there seems to be a general squeamishness about using the term cult in the first place. There are several reasons for this malaise toward the term, but this article will argue that the term cult can and should be used in general and scholarly contexts. (shrink)
Responsibility and accountability of CEOs has been a major ethical concern over the past 10 years. Major ethical dilemmas at Enron, Worldcom, AIG, as well as other well-known organizations have been at least partially blamed on CEO malfeasance. Interviews with Ken Lay, CEO of Enron, after his 2006 fraud convictions provides an opportunity to document his perceived role in the demise of Enron. Possibly no other CEO has had as much impact on the scrutiny and legalization of business ethics as (...) Ken Lay. This analysis is timely because of many information sources now available and the recent Supreme Court decisions on Enron conviction appeals. Using Ken Lay as the focal point, a review of literature provides the background for research questions to explore the role of the CEO in developing an ethical corporate culture. (shrink)
Systems thinking is a general worldview concerning the nature of reality. It sees the world as composed of systems, and all particular entities populating reality as linked with other entities – the emergence of new properties denies the flatland of plain materiality, and generates entities of a higher order. Spirituality in historical and modern traditions has minimally amounted to relating oneself to a larger or higher systemic whole, which confers meaning to particular cases of existence. In some religious traditions this (...) larger systemic whole has been understood as a transcendental sphere of existence, whereas in other religious and spiritual traditions it has been seen as an immanent thatness. The search for spirituality and wisdom has never been confined to religious traditions, but has inspired other systems thinkers as well, for example in philosophy, the New Age movement, in developmental psychology, biology, or futures research. The American philosopher and theoretical psychologist Ken Wilber has discussed, re-interpreted and synthesized various views on spiritual development as well as systems thinking and has provided input for the New Age movement, comparative religion, developmental psychology, and world philosophy. In this article we will discuss the relationship between systems thinking and spirituality and will assess Ken Wilber’s contribution to their conceptualization. (shrink)
Ever since the publication of his first book, The Spectrum of Consciousness, written when he was twenty-three, Ken Wilber has been identified as the most comprehensive philosophical thinker of our times. This introductory sampler, designed to acquaint newcomers with his work, contains brief passages from his most popular books, ranging over a variety of topics, including levels of consciousness, mystical experience, meditation practice, death, the perennial philosophy, and Wilber's integral approach to reality, integrating matter, body, mind, soul, and spirit. Here (...) is Wilber's writing at its most reader-friendly, discussing essential ideas of the world's great psychological, philosophical, and spiritual traditions in language that is lucid, engaging, and inspirational. (shrink)
Game theory has proved a useful tool in the study of simple economic models. However, numerous foundational issues remain unresolved. The situation is particularly confusing in respect of the non-cooperative analysis of games with some dynamic structure in which the choice of one move or another during the play of the game may convey valuable information to the other players. Without pausing for breath, it is easy to name at least 10 rival equilibrium notions for which a serious case can (...) be made that here is the “right” solution concept for such games. (shrink)
Where’s Wilber at? That is, what is the present philosophical position of Ken Wilber, the pundit who many claim to be the world’s most intriguing and foremost philosopher? This is not an easy question to answer, for the breadth of Wilber’s encyclopedic vision is enormous and covers over a quarter century of prolific publication and continual evolution. In other words, Wilber’s work too has evolved over the years. Indeed, its progressive unfoldment in complexity and depth allows us to recognize at (...) least five consecutive and distinct phases or periods in his career to date (which we’ll discuss in depth below). Because of this, many people, reading from an array of sources, often find him hard to pin down, to really understand exactly “where he’s at.” But where he is at, stated quickly and summarily, is Phase-5 or Wilber-5 or Wilber/Phase-51 – the post-metaphysical AQAL approach (reviewed in detail in Part II and III of this essay). Therefore, by including in our understanding the important contributions and advancements of all four previous phases, we may better understand where the philosophy of Ken Wilber stands today and where it’s going during the opening years of the new millennium. From the perspective of an overview, Wilber/Phase-5 is a continuation of the AQAL (pronounced ah-quil) or the “all-quadrants, all-levels”– which is actually short for “all quadrants, all levels, all lines, all states, all types” – approach to integral studies pioneered by.. (shrink)
This is the second part of a two-part paper. It can be read independently of the first part provided that the reader is prepared to go along with the unorthodox views on game theory which were advanced in Part I and are summarized below. The body of the paper is an attempt to study some of the positive implications of such a viewpoint. This requires an exploration of what is involved in modeling “rational players” as computing machines.
Evolution and Rationality marks the end of a three-year project, ‘Evolution, Cooperation, and Rationality’, directed at the University of Bristol by the book’s editors, Samir Okasha and Ken Binmore. The collection draws together the editors’ pick of the papers delivered at the conferences the project hosted, and covers a wide range of topics at the intersection of evolutionary theory and the social sciences. It is a splendid anthology: timely, interdisciplinary, thematically cohesive, and full of substantive and interesting disagreements between the (...) contributors. (shrink)
In 1969 the American avant-garde filmmaker Ken Jacobs gained wide recognition with a two-hour long interpretation of a 1905 silent short film. Ever since, the artist has kept on revisiting the same material, each time with a different technological approach. Originally hailed as a prime example of structural filmmaking, Jacobs’ more recent variations on the theme of Tom Tom the Piper’s Son beg for a broader understanding of his methods and the meanings implied. To gain a deeper insight in this (...) on-going mise-en-abyme, this essay expands comments by the artist himself with concepts taken from animation, media-archaeology and Warburg’s Mnemosyne atlas. Rereading a filmic text with minute attention, remediating it from an analogue to an electronic format, and reanimating the original action by adding a variety of intervals: all Jacobs’ strategies are aimed at demonstrating the afterlife of Tom Tom in a contemporary cultural context. (shrink)
Why do so many people think Ken Wilber is one of the most important thinkers of our time? Why are so many disturbed by what he writes? In this review of his work, I hope to throw some light on both questions.
v. 1. The spectrum of consciousness ; No boundary ; Selected essays -- v. 2. The Atman Project ; Up from Eden -- v. 3. A sociable god ; Eye to eye -- v. 4. Integral psychology ; Transformations of consciousness ; Selected essays -- v. 5. Grace and grit : spirituality and healing in the life and death of Treya Killam Wilber. 2nd ed. -- v. 6. Sex, ecology, spirituality : the spirit of evolution. 2nd, rev. ed. -- v. (...) 7. A brief history of everything ; The eye of spirit -- v. 8. The marriage of sense and soul ; One taste. (shrink)
Ken Wilber’s AQAL model offers a way to synthesize the partial truths of many theories across various fields of knowledge such as evolutionary biology and sociology, developmental psychology, and perennial and contemporary philosophy to name only a few. Despite its reconciling power and influence, the model has been validly criticized for its static nature and its overemphasis on the ascendant, versus descendant, path of development. This paper points out areas of Wilber’s writing that suggest a way to overcome these criticisms. (...) Doing so allows for the refinement of AQAL’s Twenty Tenets for an extension of its formal, dynamic features. This is accomplished first by relating Wilber’s original dynamic drives to the quadrants and levels enabling the quadrants and levels to then predict additional drives not specified by Wilber. The full set of drives then suggests clarifications of assumptions and applications of the model regarding transcendence and inclusion in order for the refined model to be internally consistent. The result helps correct for AQAL’s ascending bias, a bias which overemphasizes a linear path from lower to higher stages of development. Instead, more possibilities emerge such as those in which ascending development is overly dependent on a higher capacity with inclusion of only basic, lower core capacities. This is in contrast to more fully realizing the potential for development of individuals or societies in the more fundamental, lower levels, through deeper inclusion within higher capacities. Also, given the other horizontal drives that are predicted by the model, further possibilities are explored for differing directions of, and emphasis in, development. (shrink)
An interview with the economist and moral philosopher Ken Binmore about his theory about the origins of our conception of fairness. (Note: A substantially revised and expanded version appears in Conversations on Ethics, OUP 2009).
This commentary on Edwin Carels’ essay “Revisiting Tom Tom: Performative anamnesis and autonomous vision in Ken Jacobs’ appropriations of Tom Tom the Piper’s Son” broadens up the media-archaeological framework in which Carels places his text. Notions such as Huhtamo’s topos and Zielinski’s “deep time” are brought into the discussion in order to point out the difficulty to see what there is to see and to question the position of the viewer in front of experimental films like Tom Tom the Piper’s (...) Son and its remakes. (shrink)
Through the eye of the developmentalist, human activity is everywhere characterized by evolution and growth. It is seen in the psychological makeup of individuals as well as in the lives of cultures and nations. Developmentalists from Sigmund Freud to Lawrence Kohlberg (1981), Robert Kegan (1994) and Clare Graves (1981; Beck & Cowan, 1996) have studied the growth of emotional, intellectual, and moral capabilities in individuals and extrapolated their findings to issues of cultural and international import. Ken Wilber's unique contribution, here (...) and in other recent books (e.g., Wilber, 1995; 1997; 2000a), is to synthesize many lines of scholarship into a powerful developmental model that spans the distance from persons to cultures and societies. (shrink)
Ken López-Escobar questions the timeless status of various entities—propositions, numbers, etc.—as well as my characterization of pure propositional logic as an ontological theory. In my response I argue that my characterization of propositional logic does not depend on timeless propositions, or on other abstract truth bearers, but is a characterization in terms of truth relations between any truth bearers. I also discuss his views on numbers as cultural constructs, as well as his use of quantification in propositional logic.Ken López-Escobar questiona (...) o estatuto atemporal de vários entes—pro-posições, números, etc.— assim como minha caracterização da lógica proposicional pura como teoria ontológica. Na réplica argumento que minha caracterização não depende de proposições atemporais, ou de outros portadores de verdade abstratos, mas é uma caracterização em termos de relações de verdade entre quaisquer portadores de verdade. Examino também suas considerações sobre números como construtos culturais, assim como seu uso de quantificação na lógica proposicional. (shrink)
The Argument from Personal Incredulity: Miller claims that the problem with anti-evolutionists like Michael Behe and me is a failure of imagination -- that we personally cannot "imagine how evolutionary mechanisms might have produced a certain species, organ, or structure." He then emphasizes that such claims are "personal," merely pointing up the limitations of those who make them. Let's get real. The problem is not that we in the intelligent design community, whom Miller incorrectly calls "anti-evolutionists," just can't imagine how (...) those systems arose. The problem is that Ken Miller and the entire biological community haven't figured out how those systems arose. It's not a question of personal incredulity but of.. (shrink)
I raise a few questions about key points in the argument of Natural Jus- tice. 1. The pivotal role assigned to the theory of indefinitely repeated games appears to be both implausible and unnecessary. 2. The evolutionary foundations of the Nash bargaining solution are not completely secure, and its role in the account of interper- sonal comparisones of utility is questionable. 3. Free renegotiation behind the veil of ignorance appears neither to have an evolutionary rationale nor to be a brute (...) fact about the way men are. (shrink)