Mark David Webster ABSTRACT: Using qualitative methods, the author sought to better understand how philosophical assumptions about technology affect the thinking, and influence the decision making, of educational technology leaders in their professional practice. One of the research questions focused on examining whether assumptions of technological determinism were present in thinking and influenced the decisions that leaders make. The core category that emerged from data analysis, Keep up with technology (or be left behind), was interpreted to be a manifestation (...) of the technological imperative, an assumption associated with the philosophical perspective of technological determinism. The article presents a literature review and critique of philosophical issues surrounding technological determinism. Data analysis led to the conclusion that technology leaders working in K-12 education place weighted priority on the technological imperative, and there is philosophical tension between Keep up with technology (or be left behind), and a concurrently held perspective based on the logic of the instrumental view of technology. The findings suggest that different accounts of technological determinism, including Bimber’s three accounts of normative, nomological, and unintended consequences, are significant in the thinking of participants. School technology leaders placed priority on embracing technological change, sometimes adopting technology for its own sake. (shrink)
David Webster explores the notion of desire as found in the Buddhist Pali Canon. Beginning by addressing the idea of a 'paradox of desire', whereby we must desire to end desire, the varieties of desire that are articulated in the Pali texts are examined. A range of views of desire, as found in Western thought are presented as well as Hindu and Jain approaches. An exploration of the concept of ditthi (view or opinion) is also provided, exploring the way (...) in which 'holding views' can be seen as analogous to the process of desiring. Other subjects investigated include the mind-body relationship, the range of Pali terms for desire, and desire's positive spiritual value. A comparative exploration of the various approaches completes the work. (shrink)
John Webster provides a major scholarly analysis, the first in any language, of the final sections of the Church Dogmatics. He focuses on the theme of human agency in Barth's late ethics and doctrine of baptism, placing the discussion in the context of an interpretation of the Dogmatics as an intrinsically ethical dogmatics. The first two chapters survey the themes of agency, covenant and human reality in the Dogmatics as a whole; later chapters give a thorough analysis of Church (...) Dogmatics IV/4 and the posthumously published text The Christian Life. A final chapter examines the significance of Barth's work for contemporary accounts of moral selfhood. The book is important not only for a detailed analysis of a neglected part of Barth's oeuvre, but also because it casts into question much of what has hitherto been written about Barth's ethical dogmatics. (shrink)
May we speak, in the present age, of holy scripture? And what validation of that claim can be offered, robust enough to hold good for both religious practice and intellectual enquiry? John Webster argues that while any understanding of scripture must subject it to proper textual and historical interrogation, it is necessary at the same time to acknowledge the special character of scriptural writing. His 2003 book is an exercise in Christian dogmatics, a loud reaffirmation of the triune God (...) at the heart of a scripture-based Christianity. But it is written with intellectual rigour by a theologian who understands the currents of modern secular thought and is able to work from them towards a constructive position on biblical authority. It will resonate with anyone who has wondered or worried about the grounds on which we may validly regard the Bible as God's direct communication with humanity. (shrink)
Thomas Bertram Lonsdale Webster. the Persians decided on the best form of government in 520 B.C., but it is far more likely that the discussion reflects political theorising at Athens where he was writing during the contest for power between ...
In the previous four papers in this series, individual versus structural or contextual factors have informed various understandings of moral distress. In this final paper, we summarize some of the key tensions raised in previous papers and use these tensions as springboards to identify directions for action among practitioners, educators, researchers, policymakers and others. In particular, we recognize the need to more explicitly politicize the concept of moral distress in order to understand how such distress arises from competing values within (...) power dynamics across multiple interrelated contexts from interpersonal to international. We propose that the same socio-political values that tend to individualize and blame people for poor health without regard for social conditions in which health inequities proliferate, hold responsible, individualize and even blame health care providers for the problem of moral distress. Grounded in a critical theoretical perspective of context, definitions of moral distress are re-examined and refined. Finally, recommendations for action that emerge from a re-conceptualized understanding of moral distress are provided. (shrink)
How is the burden of proof to be distributed among individuals who are involved in resolving a particular issue? Under what conditions should the burden of proof be distributed unevenly? We distinguish attitudinal from dialectical burdens and argue that these questions should be answered differently, depending on which is in play. One has an attitudinal burden with respect to some proposition when one is required to possess sufficient evidence for it. One has a dialectical burden with respect to some proposition (...) when one is required to provide supporting arguments for it as part of a deliberative process. We show that the attitudinal burden with respect to certain propositions is unevenly distributed in some deliberative contexts, but in all of these contexts, establishing the degree of support for the proposition is merely a means to some other deliberative end, such as action guidance, or persuasion. By contrast, uneven distributions of the dialectical burden regularly further the aims of deliberation, even in contexts where the quest for truth is the sole deliberative aim, rather than merely a means to some different deliberative end. We argue that our distinction between these two burdens resolves puzzles about unevenness that have been raised in the literature. (shrink)
Many claims about conceptual matters are often represented as, or inferred from, claims about the meaning, reference, or mastery, of words. But sometimes this has led to treating conceptual analysis as though it were nothing but linguistic analysis. We canvass the most promising justifications for moving from linguistic premises to substantive conclusions. We show that these justifications fail and argue against current practice (in metaethics and elsewhere), which confuses an investigation of a word’s meaning, reference, or competence conditions with an (...) analysis of some concept or property associated with that word. (shrink)
: This paper responds to the sense of "crisis" or "trouble" that dominates contemporary feminist debate about the categories of sex and gender. It argues that this perception of crisis has emerged from a fundamental confusion of theoretical and political issues concerning the implications of the sex/gender debate for political representation and agency. It explores the sense in which this confusion is manifest in a debate between Seyla Benhabib and Judith Butler.
Examines modern controversies over Freud and Freudian thought while questioning the theory of infantile sexuality and showing where Freud consistently misdiagnosed his patients and failed to make his claimed cures.
Language comprehension requires a simulation that uses neural systems involved in perception, action, and emotion. A review of recent literature as well as new experiments support five predictions derived from this framework. 1. Being in an emotional state congruent with sentence content facilitates sentence comprehension. 2. Because women are more reactive to sad events and men are more reactive to angry events, women understand sentences about sad events with greater facility than men, and men understand sentences about angry events with (...) greater facility than women. 3. Because it takes time to shift from one emotion to another, reading a sad sentence slows the reading of a happy sentence more for women than men, whereas reading an angry sentence slows the reading of a happy sentence more for men than for women. 4. Because sad states motivate affiliative actions and angry states motivate aggressive action, gender and emotional content of sentences interact with the response mode. 5. Because emotion simulation requires particular action systems, adapting those action systems will affect comprehension of sentences with emotional content congruent with the adapted action system. These results have implications for the study of language, emotion, and gender differences. (shrink)
The United States and Canada regulate frearms, particularly handguns, quite differently. With only a few state and local exceptions, the U.S. approach emphasizes the ability of most individuals to purchase, possess, and carry handguns. By comparison, Canada has a form of restrictive licensing for handguns that places a premium on community safety. The authors first review the potential individual and community level harms and benefits associated with these differing fre-arm policies. Using this information, they explore the ethical dimensions of the (...) U.S. and Canadian approaches through three major themes of autonomy, prevention of harms, and social justice. The authors conclude that the Canadian approach is consistent with respect for the autonomy of persons, fosters the prevention of harms, and more appropriately furthers social justice. (shrink)
Supporting Hamilton’s inclusive fitness theory, archival analyses of inheritance patterns in wills have revealed that people invest more of their estates in kin of closer genetic relatedness. Recent classroom experiments have shown that this genetic relatedness effect is stronger for relatives of direct lineage (children, grandchildren) than for relatives of collateral lineage (siblings, nieces, nephews). In the present research, multilevel modeling of more than 1,000 British Columbian wills revealed a positive effect of genetic relatedness on proportions of estates allocated to (...) relatives. This effect was qualified by an interaction with lineage, such that it was stronger for direct than for collateral relatives. Exploratory analyses of the moderating role of benefactors’ sex and estate values showed the genetic relatedness effect was stronger among female and wealthier benefactors. The importance of these moderators to understanding kin investment in modern humans is discussed. (shrink)
The simulations of Steels & Belpaeme (S&B) suggest that communication could lead to color categories that are closely shared within a language and potentially diverge across languages. We argue that this is opposite of the patterns that are actually observed in empirical studies of color naming. Focal color choices more often exhibit strong concordance across languages while also showing pronounced variability within any language.
Based on the technique of pressure blinding of the eye, two types of after-image were identified. A physicalist or mind/brain identity explanation was established for a negative a AI produced by moderately intense stimuli. These AI's were shown to be located in the neurons of the retina. An illusory AI of double a grating's spatial frequency was also produced in the same structure and was both prevented from being established and abolished after establishment by pressure blinding, thus showing that the (...) location was not more central. The illusory AI was predicted from the known non-linearity in the retina and this is the first case of a clear cut type-type identity of a sensation and a neural process. Some implications for the concepts of the explanatory gap between neurology and consciousness and multiple neural realizations of conscious states and topic neutrality are discussed. (shrink)
Amongst the many aims of education, surely the pursuit of global peace must be one of the most significant. The mandate of UNESCO is to pursue world peace through education by primarily promoting collaboration. The sort of collaboration that UNESCO endorses involves democratic dialogue, where various persons from differing backgrounds can come together, listen, negotiate and discuss possible ways in which peace might be pursued. While this sort of democratic dialogue with its associated free intellectual inquiry is more readily acceptable (...) for issues dealing with problems in the realm of physical nature, it is not so easily tolerated in the realm of ethics and values. Indeed inquiry into the realm of ethics by Kierkegaard has been described by Levinas to be a form of violence. Similarly John Dewey's work has been included in a list of the ten most harmful books by some conservatives in the United States because he promoted inquiry into morals and religion. Dewey argued against the assumption that there are two-realms—one physical and one moral. He and Kierkegaard both encouraged democratic inquiry into ethics, which is the sort of collaboration recognised by UNESCO as being necessary if we are to pursue world peace. Yet such investigations can be considered by some to be violent and harmful. It is argued here that pursuing inquiries into ethics and aims of education, while appearing to challenge the status quo, should not be construed as being violent but rather should be understood as democratic and educative. (shrink)
Russell and others have argued that the real nature of colour is transparentto us in colour vision. It's nature is fully revealed to us and no further knowledgeis theoretically possible. This is the doctrine of revelation. Two-dimensionalFourier analyses of coloured checkerboards have shown that apparently simple,monadic, colours can be based on quite different physical mechanisms. Experimentswith the McCollough effect on different types of checkerboards have shown thatidentical colours can have energy at the quite different orientations of Fourierharmonic components but no (...) energy at the edges of the checkerboards, thusrefuting revelation. It is concluded that this effect is not explained by a superveniencedispositional account of colour as proposed by McGinn . It was argued that theMcCollough effect in checkerboards was an example of a local mind/body reduction, by which the different characteristics of identical colours falsifies revelation. This reduction being based on both physical and neurological mechanisms led to a clear explanation of the perceive phenomenal effects and thus laid a small bridge over the explanatory gap. (shrink)
Introduction: Facts and values -- Challenge and response -- Sentience, sense, and suffering -- Husbandry and welfare on the farm : assessment and assurance -- Animals for food : industrialised farming, pigs, and poultry -- Animals for food : cattle and other ruminants -- Animals for food : handling, transport, and slaughter -- Animals, science, and biotechnology -- Animals for sport -- Animals for pets -- Limping towards Eden : stepping stones.
Through use of decision?making expertise already in place, newspaper publishers already possess elemental tools required for ethical decision?making relating to extent of participation in civic activities. By also considering added qualitative factors that embrace broad perspective, detachment, and declaration, decisions are more likely to be adequately informed. This article suggests that publishers become active in building business and community leadership models strong enough to allay critics who question ethical motives.