'Live and die in Aristotle’s works.' - Christopher Marlowe, _Faustus_ Aristotle is without doubt one of the most influential people in history. His belief that philosophy should be grounded in observation laid the foundation for the scientific method. His moral philosophy exerted a profound influence on religious thinking and has recently returned to prominence with the resurgence of virtue ethics. His works are so thorough and wide-ranging as to constitute a quasi encyclopaedia of Greek knowledge. Amongst the most important are (...) Physics, Metaphysics, Nicomachean Ethics, Politics, On the Soul, Poetics, and the Organon, with which he created the field of logic and dominated it so thoroughly and for so long that even Kant thought that he had said the last word upon it. This book aims to provide the student and general reader with a comprehensive overview of Aristotle’s thought. It includes an introduction to the life of Aristotle, and – for the first time – a précis of each of his works, including the Organon, Physics, Metaphysics, Nicomachean Ethics, Politics, On the Soul, Poetics, and several others. _Author description:_ Dr NeelBurton is a philosopher and psychiatrist and prize-winning author who lives and teaches in Oxford, England. His other books include Plato’s Shadow, The Art of Failure, and The Meaning of Madness, all also with Acheron Press. (shrink)
This book provides the student and general reader with a comprehensive overview of Plato's thought. It includes an introduction to the life and times of Plato and a precis of each of his dialogues, amongst which the Apology, Laches, Gorgias, Symposium, Phaedrus, Phaedo, Meno, Timaeus, Theaetetus, Republic, and 18 others.
It seems uncontroversial that Buddhism is therapeutic in intent. The word ‘therapy’ is often used, however, to denote methods of treating medically defined mental illnesses, while in the Buddhist context it refers to the treatment of deep-seated dissatisfaction and confusion that, it is claimed, afflict us all. The Buddha is likened to a doctor who offers a medicine to cure the spiritual ills of the suffering world. In the Pāli scriptures, one of the epithets of the Buddha is ‘the Great (...) Physician’ and the therapeutic regimen or healing treatment is his teaching, the Dhamma. This metaphor is continued in later literature, most famously in the Saddharmapuṇḍarīka Sūtra, where the Buddha is said to be like a benevolent doctor who attempts to administer appropriate medicine to his sons. In the Mahāyāna pantheon, one of the most popular of the celestial Buddhas is Bhaiṣajyaguru, the master of healing, who is believed to offer cures for both the spiritual and more mundane ailments of sentient beings. The four truths, possibly the most pervasive of all Buddhist teachings, are expressed in the form of a medical diagnosis. The first truth, that there is suffering, is the diagnosis of the disease. The second truth, that suffering arises from a cause, seeks to identify the root source of the disease. The third truth, that suffering can be ended, is a prognosis that the disease is curable. The fourth truth describes the path to end suffering, and is the prescription of treatment. (shrink)
You recognize when you know something for certain, right? You "know" the sky is blue, or that the traffic light had turned green, or where you were on the morning of September 11, 2001--you know these things, well, because you just do. In On Being Certain , neurologist Robert Burton challenges the notions of how we think about what we know. He shows that the feeling of certainty we have when we "know" something comes from sources beyond our control (...) and knowledge. In fact, certainty is a mental sensation, rather than evidence of fact. Because this "feeling of knowing" seems like confirmation of knowledge, we tend to think of it as a product of reason. But an increasing body of evidence suggests that feelings such as certainty stem from primitive areas of the brain, and are independent of active, conscious reflection and reasoning. The feeling of knowing happens to us; we cannot make it happen. Bringing together cutting edge neuroscience, experimental data, and fascinating anecdotes, Robert Burton explores the inconsistent and sometimes paradoxical relationship between our thoughts and what we actually know. Provocative and groundbreaking, On Being Certain , will challenge what you know (or think you know) about the mind, knowledge, and reason. ROBERT BURTON, M.D. graduated from Yale University and University of California at San Francisco medical school, where he also completed his neurology residency. At age 33, he was appointed chief of the Division of Neurology at Mt. Zion-UCSF Hospital, where he subsequently became Associate Chief of the Department of Neurosciences. His non-neurology writing career includes three critically acclaimed novels. He lives in Sausalito, California. Visit his website at http://www.rburton.com/ “What do we do when we recognize that a false certainty feels the same as certainty about the sky being blue? A lesser guide might get bogged down in nail-biting doubts about the limits of knowledge. Yet Burton not only makes clear the fascinating beauty of this tangled terrain, he also brings us out the other side with a clearer sense of how to navigate. It's a lovely piece of work; I'm all but certain you'll like it. “ --David Dobbs, author of Reef Madness; Charles Darwin, Alexander Agassiz, and the Meaning of Coral “Burton has a great talent for combining wit and insight in a way both palatable and profound.” --Johanna Shapiro PhD, professor of Family Medicine at UC Irvine School of Medicine “A new way of looking at knowledge that merits close reading by scientists and general readers alike.” -- Kirkus “This could be one of the most important books of the year. With so much riding on ‘certainty,’ and so little known about how people actually reach a state of certainty about anything, some plain speaking from a knowledgeable neuroscientist is called for. If Gladwell's Blink was fascinating but largely anecdotal, Burton's book drills down to the real science behind snap judgments and other decision-making.” -- Howard Rheingold, futurist and author of Smart Mobs “A fascinating read. Burton’s engaging prose takes us into the deepest corners of our subconscious, making us question our most solid contentions. Nobody who reads this book will walk away from it and say ‘I know this for sure’ ever again.” --Sylvia Pagán Westphal, science reporter, The Wall Street Journal “Burton provides a compelling and though-provoking case that we should be more skeptical about our beliefs. Along the way, he also provides a novel perspective on many lines of research that should be of interest to readers who are looking for a broad introduction to the cognitive sciences.” -- Seed Magazine. (shrink)
Philip Burton explores Augustine's treatment of language in his Confessions - a major work of Western philosophy and literature, with continuing intellectual importance. One of Augustine's key concerns is the story of his own encounters with language: from his acquisition of language as a child, through his career as schoolboy orator then star student at Carthage, to professor of rhetoric at Carthage and Rome. Having worked his way up to the eminence of Court Orator to the Roman Emperor at (...) Milan, Augustine rediscovered the catholic Christianity of his childhood - and decided that this was incompatible with his rhetorical profession. Over the next ten years, he gradually reinvents himself as a different sort of language professional: a Christian intellectual, commentating on Scripture and preaching to his flock. (shrink)
This paper summarizes the findings of a three-year exploratory qualitative study of teenage childbearing in 20 low-income multigeneration black families. Teenage childbearing in these families is part of an alternative life-course strategy created in response to socioenvironmental constraints. This alternative life-course strategy is characterized by an accelerated family timetable; the separation of reproduction and marriage; an age-condensed generational family structure; and a grandparental child-rearing system. The implications of these patterns for intergenerational family roles are discussed.
Research in face recognition has tended to focus on discriminating between individuals, or “telling people apart.” It has recently become clear that it is also necessary to understand how images of the same person can vary, or “telling people together.” Learning a new face, and tracking its representation as it changes from unfamiliar to familiar, involves an abstraction of the variability in different images of that person's face. Here, we present an application of principal components analysis computed across different photos (...) of the same person. We demonstrate that people vary in systematic ways, and that this variability is idiosyncratic—the dimensions of variability in one face do not generalize well to another. Learning a new face therefore entails learning how that face varies. We present evidence for this proposal and suggest that it provides an explanation for various effects in face recognition. We conclude by making a number of testable predictions derived from this framework. (shrink)
Emptiness means that all entities are empty of, or lack, inherent existence - entities have a merely conceptual, constructed existence. Though Nagarjuna advocates the Middle Way, his philosophy of emptiness nevertheless entails nihilism, and his critiques of the Nyaya theory of knowledge are shown to be unconvincing.
Because no single person or group holds knowledge about all aspects of research, mechanisms are needed to support knowledge exchange and engagement. Expertise in the research setting necessarily includes scientific and methodological expertise, but also expertise gained through the experience of participating in research and/or being a recipient of research outcomes. Engagement is, by its nature, reciprocal and relational: the process of engaging research participants, patients, citizens and others brings them closer to the research but also brings the research closer (...) to them. When translating research into practice, engaging the public and other stakeholders is explicitly intended to make the outcomes of translation relevant to its constituency of users. In practice, engagement faces numerous challenges and is often time-consuming, expensive and ‘thorny’ work. We explore the epistemic and ontological considerations and implications of four common critiques of engagement methodologies that contest: representativeness, communication and articulation, impacts and outcome, and democracy. The ECOUTER methodology addresses problems of representation and epistemic foundationalism using a methodology that asks, “How could it be otherwise?” ECOUTER affords the possibility of engagement where spatial and temporal constraints are present, relying on saturation as a method of ‘keeping open’ the possible considerations that might emerge and including reflexive use of qualitative analytic methods. This paper describes the ECOUTER process, focusing on one worked example and detailing lessons learned from four other pilots. ECOUTER uses mind-mapping techniques to ‘open up’ engagement, iteratively and organically. ECOUTER aims to balance the breadth, accessibility and user-determination of the scope of engagement. An ECOUTER exercise comprises four stages: engagement and knowledge exchange; analysis of mindmap contributions; development of a conceptual schema ; and feedback, refinement and development of recommendations. ECOUTER refuses fixed truths but also refuses a fixed nature. Its promise lies in its flexibility, adaptability and openness. ECOUTER will be formed and re-formed by the needs and creativity of those who use it. (shrink)
This paper examines the philosophical basis for the argument that there is a connection between ethical behavior and profitability. Both sides of this argument – that good ethics is good business and that bad ethics is bad business – are explored. The possibility of a moral floor above which ethical behavior is not rewarded is considered, and an economic experiment testing such a proposition is discussed. Johnson & Johnson suffers a potentially devastating blow when some cyanide-laced Tylenol capsules cause several (...) deaths. Johnson & Johnson voluntarily pulls Tylenol off the shelf, to universal acclaim. When Tylenol is returned to the marketplace, its share of the over-the-counter painkiller market becomes greater than it was before the tragedy. Arthur Andersen, the venerable accounting firm, is caught in the web surrounding the downfall of Enron, Inc. As Enron’s various sins are discovered, it is found that Arthur Andersen auditors had signed off on flawed audits and had shredded documents to cover themselves. Andersen is prosecuted for, and convicted of, obstructing justice (although the conviction is later overturned). Today the firm barely exists and has no resemblance to the Big Five accounting giant of 1999. These stories seem to indicate that ethical (or unethical) behavior leads to positive (or negative) financial results. But the philosophical arguments underpinning such statements are seldom subjected to proper analysis. They are perhaps wishful thinking, or perhaps based on examples such as the above without considering other examples that may reinforce a contrary position. This paper will explore the philosophical arguments and empirical evidence regarding these statements and state some research questions for exploration in this area. In particular we will propose the possibility that a moral floor exists above which firms that engage in ethical activities will not reap rewards, but below which firms that engage in unethical activities will be punished by actors in the economic marketplace. We will discuss an economic experiment to determine if such actors indeed form a moral floor. (shrink)
Student cheating and reporting of that cheating represents one form of organizational wrong-doing and subsequent whistle-blowing, in the context of an academic organization. Previous research has been hampered by a lack of information concerning the validity of survey responses estimating the incidence of organizational wrongdoing and whistle-blowing. An innovative method, the Randomized Response Technique (RRT), was used here to assess the validity of reported incidences of wrongdoing and whistle-blowing. Surprisingly, our findings show that estimates of these incidences did not vary (...) significantly when RRT questionnaire results were compared to those obtained from standard surveys. In fact, a large number of business undergraduates admitted cheating while only a small percentage reported peers'' cheating when they observed it. These results should be sobering for managers and their implications are considered in some detail. (shrink)
Race and religion are integral parts of bioethics. Harm and oppression, with the aim of social and political control, have been wrought in the name of religion against Blacks and people of color as embodied in the Ten Commandments, the Inquisition, and in the history of the Holy Crusades. Missionaries came armed with Judeo/Christian beliefs went to nations of people of color who had their own belief systems and forced change and caused untold harms because the indigenous belief systems were (...) incompatible with their own. The indigenous people were denounced as ungodly, pagan, uncivilized, and savage. Hence, laws were enacted because of their perceived need to structure a sense of morality and to create and build a culture for these indigenous people of color. To date bioethics continues to be informed by a Western worldview that is Judeo/Christian in belief and orientation. However, missing from bioethical discourse in America is the historical influence of the Black Church as a cultural repository, which continues to influence the culture of Africans and Blacks. Cultural aspects of peoples of color are still largely ignored today. In attempting to deal with issues of race while steering clear of the religious and cultural impact of the Black Church, bioethics finds itself in the middle of a distressing situation: it simply cannot figure out what to do with race. (shrink)
This study employs a pretest-posttest experimental design to extend recent research pertaining to the effects of teaching business ethics material. Results on a variety of perceptual and attitudinal measures are compared across three groups of students — one which discussed the ethicality of brief business situations (the business scenario discussion approach), one which was given a more philosophically oriented lecture (the philosophical lecture approach), and a third group which received no specific lecture or discussion pertaining to business ethics. Results showed (...) some significant differences across the three groups and demonstrated that for a single lecture, the method used to teach ethics can differentially impact ethical attitudes and perceptions. Various demographic and background variables did not moderate the relationship between the teaching method and the dependent variables, but the sex of the student was strongly associated with the ethical attitude and perception measures. (shrink)
The phenomenon of globalization of markets has been accompanied by calls for a globalization of ethical norms. One principle often referred to in such calls is the so-called Golden Rule. The rule, often stated as Do unto others as you would have others do unto you, has long been used and referenced in the business literature. But those who use it often do so without full realization of the rule itself and what it stands for. This paper examines the history, (...) meaning, and problems of the rule and attempts to show, through a case analysis, how these problems surface when using the rule in a business context. In so doing it attempts to clarify exactly what the rule means and how it can fit into a universal code of morality. (shrink)
The rapid rise of international collaborative science has enabled access to genomic data. In this article, it is argued that to move beyond mapping genomic variation to understanding its role in complex disease aetiology and treatment will require extending data sharing for the purposes of clinical research translation and implementation.
Few studies have examined the influence of the food environment on obesity rates among very young, low-income consumers. This research contributes to this growing literature by examining the relationship between modifications to the retail environment and obesity rates for low-income, preschool-aged children. Based on data combined from various secondary sources, this study finds that changes in the retail environment are significantly related to obesity rates. More specifically, the authors find a positive relationship between the number of convenience stores in the (...) retail environment and obesity rates among low-income, preschool-aged children. Results also show that the percent change in grocery stores and supercenters and club stores in the retail environment is negatively related to the obesity rates of low-income, preschool-aged children [i.e., as grocery stores and supercenters/club stores increase, obesity decreases ].Further, the percent change in supercenters and club stores mediates the positive relationship between participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and obesity rates. (shrink)