I claim that Mill has a theory of poetry which he uses to reconcile nineteenth century associationist psychology, the tendency of the intellect to dissolve associations, and the need for educated members of society to desire utilitarian ends. The heart of the argument is that Mill thinks reading poetry encourages us to feel the feelings of others, and thus to develop pleasurable associations with the pleasurable feelings of others and painful associations with the painful feelings of others. Once the associations (...) are developed, they are supported and maintained by our natural capacity for sympathy and by external elements in society, and provide motivation for the pursuit of utilitarian ends. Further, the additional support causes the associations to be strengthened to the extent that they come to be seen as ‘natural and necessary’, and as such are immune from the dissolving force of the intellect. (shrink)
Introduction: "Know yourself" -- The revelation of God's wisdom -- Credo ut intellegam -- Intellego ut credam -- The relationship between faith and reason -- The interventions of the Magisterium in philosophical matters -- The interaction between philosophy and theology -- Current requirements and tasks -- Conclusion.
This major volume assembles leading scholars to address and explain the significance of Paul Ricoeur's extraordinary body of work. Ricoeur's work is of seminal importance to the development of hermeneutics, phenomenology, and ideology critique in the human sciences. Opening with three key essays from Ricoeur himself--on Europe, fragility and responsibility, and love and justice--this fascinating volume offers a tour of his work ranging across topics such as the hermeneutics of action, narrative force, and the other and deconstruction, while discussing (...) his work in the context of such contemporary thinkers as Heidegger, Levinas, Arendt, and Gadamer. Offering a very useful overview of Paul Ricoeur's enormous contribution to modern thought, Paul Ricoeur will be invaluable for students and academics across the social and human sciences and philosophy. (shrink)
This is a short introduction to a book symposium on Paul Gowder's recent book, _The Rule of Law in thee Real World_ (Cambridge University Press, 2016). The book symposium will appear in the St. Luis University Law Journal, 62 St. Louis U. L.J., -- (2018), with commentaries on Gowder's book by colleen Murphy, Robin West, Chad Flanders, and Matthew Lister, along with replies by Paul Gowder.
In this chapter I discuss Charles Taylor's and Paul Ricoeur's theories of narrative identity and narratives as a central form of self-interpretation. Both Taylor and Ricoeur think that self-identity is a matter of culturally and socially mediated self-definitions, which are practically relevant for one's orientation in life. First, I will go through various characterisations that Ricoeur gives of his theory, and try to show to what extent they also apply to Taylor's theory. Then, I will analyse more closely Charles (...) Taylor's, and in section three, Paul Ricoeur's views on narrative identity. (shrink)
The existing literature on the development of recombinant DNA technology and genetic engineering tends to focus on Stanley Cohen and Herbert Boyer's recombinant DNA cloning technology and its commercialization starting in the mid-1970s. Historians of science, however, have pointedly noted that experimental procedures for making recombinant DNA molecules were initially developed by Stanford biochemist Paul Berg and his colleagues, Peter Lobban and A. Dale Kaiser in the early 1970s. This paper, recognizing the uneasy disjuncture between scientific authorship and legal (...) invention in the history of recombinant DNA technology, investigates the development of recombinant DNA technology in its full scientific context. I do so by focusing on Stanford biochemist Berg's research on the genetic regulation of higher organisms. As I hope to demonstrate, Berg's new venture reflected a mass migration of biomedical researchers as they shifted from studying prokaryotic organisms like bacteria to studying eukaryotic organisms like mammalian and human cells. It was out of this boundary crossing from prokaryotic to eukaryotic systems through virus model systems that recombinant DNA technology and other significant new research techniques and agendas emerged. Indeed, in their attempt to reconstitute 'life' as a research technology, Stanford biochemists' recombinant DNA research recast genes as a sequence that could be rewritten thorough biochemical operations. The last part of this paper shifts focus from recombinant DNA technology's academic origins to its transformation into a genetic engineering technology by examining the wide range of experimental hybridizations which occurred as techniques and knowledge circulated between Stanford biochemists and the Bay Area's experimentalists. Situating their interchange in a dense research network based at Stanford's biochemistry department, this paper helps to revise the canonized history of genetic engineering's origins that emerged during the patenting of Cohen-Boyer's recombinant DNA cloning procedures. (shrink)
The contribution focuses on philosophical issues of justice of positive law in the light of the social teaching of John Paul II. The analyses start with consideration of anthropological foundations of justice as virtue, develop with the reflexion upon justice of actions realizing justice and finally arrive at examination of the criteria of justice of law. -/- It is argued that relations between a human being and goods (ends of actions) form ontological basis of natural law and justice of (...) actions – orders and prohibitions are secondary in respect to these relations. An aim of just law (and natural law) is not preservation or restoration of abstractly understood moral order based on norms – orders and prohibitions) but integral development (good) of a person – a being possessing dignity. John Paul’s II philosophy of law takes advantage primarily of Thomas Aquinas’ approach to law and combines it with constructions which are typical for modern human rights protection. John Paul’s II conception of natural law is anthropocentric and bases on subjective rights thinking. Human dignity and human rights which derive from it provide basic criteria for the justice of law. Human rights as subjective rights disclose natural law which is understood as a set of goods for a human person. These goods are ends of actions and as such they determine actions and their forms. This point of view is compatible with Aquinas’ definition: “law is nothing but a rational plan of operation, and … the rational plan of any kind of work is derived from the end” (Summa contra gentiles, lib. 3, cap. 114, n. 5). -/- Positive (human) law which is not just has no normative power in this sense that it does not in itself provide reasons for concrete actions of a concrete actor. Sometimes there are moral reasons for following unjust law, however if its norm prescribes actions which are wrong in themselves (internally wrong) there is moral obligation to act contrary to such a legal norm. -/- Zasadniczym przedmiotem opracowania jest filozoficzna refleksja Jana Pawła II nad sprawiedliwością prawa stanowionego. Analizy przebiegają od zagadnienia antropologicznych podstaw sprawiedliwości poprzez problematykę działań realizujących sprawiedliwość do zagadnienia sprawiedliwości prawa stanowionego. Opracowanie zamykają uwagi wskazujące na kontekst teologiczny istotny dla problematyki sprawiedliwości, którego analiza wykracza jednak poza podjęte zamierzenie koncentrujące się na problematyce filozoficznoprawnej. Argumentuje się, że u podstaw tej refleksji leży namysł nad relacją człowieka do dobra, która stanowi ontologiczną podstawę prawa naturalnego i sprawiedliwości – nakazy i zakazy są wtórne wobec tej relacji. Celem prawa i sprawiedliwości jest dobro konkretnego, obdarzonego godnością człowieka, a nie np. przywracanie abstrakcyjnie pojętego porządku moralnego. Od strony konstrukcji teoretycznej, filozofia prawa Jana Pawła II jest osadzona przede wszystkim na koncepcji Tomasza z Akwinu łączonej z konstrukcjami typowymi dla współczesnej ochrony praw człowieka. To w godności i wynikających z niej prawach człowieka poszukiwać trzeba zasadniczych treściowych kryteriów sprawiedliwości prawa. Prawa człowieka jako prawa podmiotowe są podstawowym wyrazem prawa naturalnego, stanowiącego ontyczną podstawę sprawiedliwości i które pojmowane jest jako zespół dóbr dla osoby, zatem i celów kształtujących działanie. Perspektywa pojmowania prawa naturalnego jest antropocentryczna. Prawo stanowione, które nie jest sprawiedliwe, nie ma „mocy prawa”, przede wszystkim w takim sensie, że nie stanowi samo w sobie racji działania. Niekiedy, ze względów moralnych, niesprawiedliwe prawo wymaga posłuszeństwa. Jeśli jednak prawo stanowione daje uprawnienia do czynów wewnętrznie złych i nakazuje takie czyny, to nie tylko nie obowiązuje w sumieniu i nie jest racją działania, ale obowiązkiem jest postępowanie wbrew takiemu prawu. (shrink)
Paul Boyer shared a Nobel Prize in 1997 for his work on the mechanism of ATP synthase. His earlier work, though (which contributed indirectly to his triumph), included major errors, both experimental and theoretical. Two benchmark cases offer insight into how scientists err and how they deal with error. Boyer's work also parallels and illustrates the emergence of bioenergetics in the second half of the twentieth century, rivaling achievements in evolution and molecular biology.
The self-portrait of an intellectual reveals his childhood in Vienna, wounds at the Russian front in the German army, encounters with the famous, innumerable love affairs, four marriages, and refusal to accept a "petrified and tyrannical ...
En este trabajo buscaremos proponer un encuentro entre Gilles Deleuze y Paul Klee. Para esto, en primer lugar, consideraremos el concepto de repetición propuesto por Deleuze en el segundo capítulo de Diferencia y repetición; a través de este, el autor francés buscará dar cuenta de la generación de la experiencia del tiempo y, al mismo tiempo, preguntar por el estatuto de la misma. Luego de haber considerado el rol de la experiencia de la repetición, problematizaremos la imagen de ella (...) misma al considerar orgánicamente lo que experimentaría en el límite de sí; y para esto, introduciremos la noción de membrana. Pues bien, si dicha noción complejiza la desenvoltura de la experiencia de la repetición, propondremos volver a problematizarla a través de una noción de ritmo que encontraremos desarrollada en Paul Klee, lo que implicará preguntar por la relación entre arte y naturaleza desde una perspectiva cosmogenética. (shrink)
This volume is devoted to a reappraisal of the philosophy of Paul Feyerabend. It has four aims. The first is to reassess his already well-known work from the 1960s and 1970s in light of contemporary developments in the history and philosophy of science. The second is to explore themes in his neglected later work, including recently published and previously unavailable writings. The third is to assess the contributions that Feyerabend can make to contemporary debate, on topics such as perspectivism, (...) realism, and political philosophy of science. The fourth and final aim is to reconsider Feyerabend's place within the history of philosophy of science in the light of new scholarship. (shrink)
Kalam cosmological arguments have recently been the subject of criticisms, at least inter alia, by physicists---Paul Davies, Stephen Hawking---and philosophers of science---Adolf Grunbaum. In a series of recent articles, William Craig has attempted to show that these criticisms are “superficial, iII-conceived, and based on misunderstanding.” I argue that, while some of the discussion of Davies and Hawking is not philosophically sophisticated, the points raised by Davies, Hawking and Grunbaum do suffice to undermine the dialectical efficacy of kalam cosmological arguments.
To some, a misguided Lamarckian and a fraud, to others a martyr in the fight against Darwinism, the Viennese zoologist Paul Kammerer (1880-1926) remains one of the most controversial scientists of the early 20th century. Here his work is reconsidered in light of turn-of-the-century problems in evolutionary theory and experimental methodology, as seen from Kammerer's perspective in Vienna. Kammerer emerges not as an opponent of Darwinism, but as one would-be modernizer of the 19th-century theory, which had included a role (...) for the inheritance of acquired characteristics. Kammerer attempted a synthesis of Darwinism with genetics and the chromosome theory, while retaining the modifying effects of the environment as the main source of favorable variation, and he developed his program of experimentation to support it. Kammerer never had a regular university position, but worked at a private experimental laboratory, with sidelines as a teacher and a popular writer and lecturer. On the lecture circuit he held forth on the significance of his science for understanding and furthering cultural evolution and he satisfied his passion for the arts and performance. In his dual career as researcher and popularizer, he did not always follow academic convention. In the contentious and rapidly changing fields of heredity and evolution, some of his stances and practices, as well as his outsider status and part-Jewish background, aroused suspicion and set the stage for the scandal that ended his career and prompted his suicide. (shrink)
In his recently published Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, & Naturalism 2011 Alvin Plantinga criticises Paul Draper’s evolutionary argument against theism as part of a larger project to show that evolution poses no threat to Christian belief. Plantinga focuses upon Draper’s probabilistic claim that the facts of evolution are much more probable on naturalism than on theism, and with regard to that claim makes two specific points. First, Draper’s probabilistic claim contradicts theism’s necessary falsehood; unless Draper wishes (...) to acknowledge that theism is necessarily true, his claim commits him to theism’s contingency and so sets him at odds with a mainstream that sees God’s existence as decidedly noncontingent. Second, Plantinga argues that Draper’s probabilistic claim is, even if true, overwhelmed by counterclaims about facts that are more likely on theism than naturalism. I argue this critique of Draper depends upon a serious error, and that Plantinga overlooks the full implications of his own presuppositions. Correcting these shortcomings shows that Plantinga’s own probabilistic-apologetics (e.g., the ‘Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism’) requires theism’s contingency no less than does Draper’s atheology. (shrink)
El documento expone los antecedentes sugeridos por Paul Ricoeur sobre lo que podría denominarse “la polémica epistemológica en ciencias sociales”, referidos a la formulación de un método legítimo para la investigación en dichas ciencias que responda a las particularidades propias de su objeto de estudio. En este sentido, se rastrea la cuestión en la tradición hermenéutica romántica, concretamente en el pensamiento de Wilhelm Dilthey, pasando por la teoría estructural de estudio del texto escrito y la formulación de una teoría (...) de la acción anglosajona, para finalmente terminar en la ricoeurtiana consideración hermenéutica de la acción significativa, que asume al texto como paradigma y propuesta de superación de los escollos en torno a la referida polémica. (shrink)
Hermeneutics, or the science of interpretation,is well accepted in the humanities. In thefield of education, hermeneutics has played arelatively marginal role in research. It isthe task of this essay to introduce thegeneral methods and findings of Paul Ricoeur'shermeneutics. Specifically, the essayinterprets the usefulness of Ricoeur'sphilosophy in the study of domination. Theproblem of domination has been a target ofanalysis for critical pedagogy since itsinception. However, the role of interpretationas a constitutive part of ideology critique isrelatively understudied and it is here (...) thatRicoeur's ideas are instructive. Last, theessay radicalizes Ricoeur's insights in orderto realize their potential to disruptasymmetrical relations of power in education. To this extent, the author contributes to thebuilding of a critical brand of hermeneutics,or the interpretation of domination. (shrink)
Paul Ricoeur's understanding of the relations of faith, love, and hope suggests a unique approach to theological ethics, one that holds fresh promise for bringing together considerations of the good (teleology) and the right (deontology) around the notion of an "economy of the gift." The economy of the gift articulates Ricoeur's distinctively dialectical understanding of the relation of the human and the divine, and the resulting dialectical moral relation of the self and the other. Despite our fallen condition, Ricoeur (...) suggests, we are called by the divine to embrace the radical possibility of the reconciliation of human goods under the requirement of accountability to human diversity and otherness. (shrink)
Revisionists and traditionalists appeal to Acts 15, welcoming the Gentiles, for analogies directing the church's response to homosexual persons. John Perry has analyzed the major positions. He faults revisionists for inadequate attention to the Jerusalem Decree and faults one traditionalist for using the Decree literally rather than through analogy. I argue that analogical use of the Decree must supplement rather than displace the plain sense. The Decree has been neglected due to assumptions that Paul opposed it, that it expired, (...) or because Gentiles wanted non-kosher meat. I argue that Paul continued to observe the Torah and supported the Decree, that it has not expired, and that Gentile desire for non-kosher meat is not a firm obstacle. Affirming the plain sense of the Decree, I develop the analogy from Acts 15 to homosexual persons. (shrink)
In 1920, Eugen Steinach and Paul Kammerer reported experiments showing that exposure to high temperatures altered the structure of the gonad and produced hyper-sexuality in "heat rats," presumably as a result of the increased production of sex hormones. Using Steinach's evidence that the gonad is a double gland with distinct sexual and generative functions, they used their findings to explain "racial" differences in the sexuality of indigenous tropical peoples and Europeans. The authors also reported that heat induced anatomical changes (...) in the interstitial cells of the gonad were inherited by the heat rats' descendants. Kammerer used this finding to link endocrinology to his long-standing interest in the inheritance of acquired characteristics. The heat rats supported his hypothesis that the interstitial cells of the double gland were the mechanism of somatic induction in the inheritance of acquired characteristics. The Steinach-Kammerer collaboration, Kammerer's use of Steinach's "puberty gland" to explain somatic induction, and his endocrine analysis of symbiosis reveal Paul Kammerer's late career attempt to integrate endocrinology and genetics with the political ideals of Austrian socialism. With them he developed a bioethics that challenged the growing reliance on race in eugenics and instead promoted cooperation over competition in evolution. I relate his attempt to the controversies surrounding the interstitial cells, to the status of extra-nuclear theories of heredity, and to Kammerer's commitment to Austromarxist social reforms during the interwar period. (shrink)
Se presentan las concepciones sobre el argumento ontológico en Paul Tillich y en Jean-Luc Marion. Paul Tillich no ha creado una propia escuela de pensamiento, pero ha influido sobre muchos pensadores. Abre el camino a posteriores reflexiones, desde diversos puntos metodológicos, sobre el problema ontológico, sobre la realidad de Dios y sobre la relación del Ser con la cultura. Se puede decir que, a partir de él, se abren caminos para pensar el papel de la mística en el (...) conocimiento del Being itself (el ser mismo), la relación dinámica en la vida del hombre, el darse del Ser como ágape, la correlación entre mística y cultura. Y Jean-Luc Marion lleva a su plenitud las ideas de Anselmo y Tillich: Dios no se piensa sino que se da. (shrink)
In many ways, globalization created the problem of representation for feminist solidarity across the borders of the nation state. This problem is one of presenting a cohesive identity for representation in the transnational public sphere. This paper proposes a solution to this problem of a cohesive identity for women’s representation by drawing on the work of Paul Ricœur. What these women seem to have in common are shared political aims, but they have no basis for those aims. This paper (...) provides a basis for these aims by turning to Ricœur’s work on collective memory from Memory, History, Forgetting. The paper concludes that it is the shared testimony through narrative hospitality, which can provide a foundation for a social bond for those with common political aims. More specifically, this common knowledge provides a justification for the representation of women and their allies in the transnational public sphere. (shrink)
Paul Valéry is de dichter die zwijgt; de denker die weigert filosoof te zijn; de schrijver die de taal in staat van beschuldiging stelt; de expert die volhoudt een amateur te zijn; de mysticus die zijn heil zoekt bij de wiskunde; de stamelaar die aan een kwaal van precisie lijdt; de Narcissus die misschien toch liever Orpheus had willen zijn. Hij is de chroniqueur van het denken en de meester van de tegenspraak. Ik probeer me hem voor te stellen. (...) Het is 1894 en hij zit gebogen te schrijven in de schriftjes waarin hij elk ochtend 'entre la lampe et le soleil' zijn denken fileert, een project dat uitmondde in ca. 30.000 bladzijden weerbarstige onvoltooidheid: de Cahiers. (shrink)
Éric Delassus | : Selon Fabienne Brugère, un point de rencontre existe entre l’éthique spinoziste et les éthiques du care, le care pouvant être envisagé comme une réactualisation du conatus spinoziste. Cet article vise à démontrer que cette convergence peut s’établir à partir d’une éthique narrative inspirée de la pensée de Paul Ricoeur. Cela concerne principalement la perception que l’on peut avoir de soi en tant que corps et esprit, dans la mesure où l’esprit est défini par Baruch Spinoza (...) comme « idée du corps ». L’éthique spinoziste invite à se rendre utile aux autres pour augmenter notre puissance d’être et nous libérer d’une servitude qui n’est pas sans rapport avec la vulnérabilité telle que définie dans les éthiques du care. L’humain.e vulnérable a besoin pour se sentir exister d’avoir une idée cohérente de son corps, et le récit est l’une des voies lui permettant de progresser dans cette direction. Encore faut-il, pour y parvenir, trouver des pourvoyeuses et pourvoyeurs de care disposé.e.s à écouter, aptes à susciter en soi le désir de se raconter. | : According to Fabienne Brugère, there is common ground between Spinoza’s ethics and the ethics of care, which can be regarded as a renewal of the Spinozan concept of ‘conatus.’ This article aims to demonstrate that this form of convergence can be based upon a narrative ethic as inspired by Paul Ricoeur’s thought. It is mainly about how people can perceive themselves both as mind and body, insofar as “mind” is defined by Spinoza as the “idea of the body.” The Spinozan ethic leads us to make ourselves useful to other people in order to expand our capacity to be and to free ourselves from a form of servitude that is somewhat linked to vulnerability as it is defined in the ethics of care. Therefore, vulnerable people each need to develop consistent ideas of their bodies if they wish to feel that they do exist. Narrative is one of the many ways of advancing in that direction. However, vulnerable people should not be alone; they must be accompanied by care providers who have a sympathetic ear and who can arouse in them the desire to tell and share their stories. (shrink)
Paul Ricœur, with Rawls, Walzer, and Habermas as some of his main interlocuters, has developed a substantial and distinctive body of political thought. On the one hand, it articulates a rich conception of the paradoxical character of the domain of politics. On the other, it provides a fresh approach to such major topics as the relationship among politics, economics, and ethics and between concern for universal human rights and respect for cultural plurality. His work, rooted as it is in (...) Aristotle, Kant, and Hegel, also provides resources for a fruitful rethinking of the issues at stake in the liberal-communitarian debate. (shrink)
This article proposes to retrace the path of trust that Paul Ricœur has drawn across his works. If the concept of trust is never themed as such, nevertheless it unfolds in subtle ways in fields as diverse as ethics, morality, politics, and religion. We will argue that trust is a solid but fragile foundation for Ricœur’s recognition theory. Rooted in man’s structural disproportion, trust is a perpetual tension between the finitude of existence and the infinitude of mutual recognition, between (...) the ability and fallibility of the human being -it is thus a continuous search, always disappointing but always renewed, of a mediation between the self and the other, the hope of happiness and the reality of evil. The analysis of various forms of trust, including interpersonal and institutional forms, will then be coupled with a study of trust in practical terms, based on Ricœur’s approach to healthcare relationships, or the perception of foreigners. (shrink)
Paul Weingartner's classification of the sciences is analyzed in detail. There is a small mistake in the definition of the set of descriptive-normative sciences, which makes the classification incorrect, but which can easily be remedied.
This essay examines Paul Ricœur’s views on recognition in his book The Course of Recognition . It highlights those aspects that are in some sense surprising, in relation to his previous publications and the general debates on Hegelian Anerkennung and the politics of recognition. After an overview of Ricœur’s book, the paper examines the meaning of “recognition” in Ricœur’s own proposal, in the dictionaries Ricœur uses, and in the contemporary debates. Then it takes a closer look at the ideas (...) of recognition as identification and as “taking as true.” Then it turns to recognition (attestation) of oneself, in light of the distinction between human constants (and the question “What am I?”), and human variables (and the question “Who Am I?”). The last section concerns the dialectics of struggles for recognition and states of peace, and the internal relationship between the contents of a normative demand and what counts as satisfying the demand. . (shrink)
Imre Lakatos and Paul Feyerabend initially both accepted Popper's philosophy of science, but then reacted against it, and developed it in different directions. Lakatos sought to reconcile Kuhn and Popper by characterizing science as a process of competing research programmes, competing fragments of Kuhn's normal science. Feyerabend emphasized the need to develop rival theories to facilitate severe empirical testing of accepted theories, but then, as a result of a disastrous mistake, came to hold that theories that are incompatible with (...) one another cannot be compared empirically. He ended up rejecting method in science. All four philosophers, Popper, Kuhn, Lakatos and Feyerabend missed the decisive defect in Popper's philosophy of science: persistent acceptance of unified theories only when endlessly many empirically more successful disunified rivals are available means that physics makes a big, highly problematic metaphysical assumption about the nature of the universe: it is such that some kind of underlying unity exists in nature. We need to adopt a new conception of science. In order to subject this implicit metaphysical conjecture to sustained critical assessment in an attempt to improve it, we need to see science as making a hierarchy of metaphysical assumptions about the knowability and comprehensibility of the universe, these assumptions becoming less substantial and more likely to be true as we ascend the hierarchy. Elements of Popper, Kuhn and Lakatos are to be found in this picture, but it also differs radically from all three. It more closely resembles Einstein's mature views about the nature of science. (shrink)
“Guy Bennett-Hunter dans «Tillich and Divine lneffabililty» affirme l‘étroite correlation entre l’affirmation tillichienne de l’ineffabilité divine et le rejet de l’ontothéologie. L’affirmation de leur incompatibilité lui semble une contribution majeure de Tillich à la pensée religieuse. Guy Bennett-Hunter part des déclarations bien connues où Tillich affirme que l’on ne saurait, à proprement parler, attribuer l’existence a Dieu puisque Dieu est «être même au-delà de l’essence et de l’existence». En d’autres termes, Dieu «mystére de l’être», «fondement et abîme de la raison», (...) résiste à la connaissance coneeptuelle et à l’articulation linguistique.” — Anne Marie Reijnen & France Farago. (shrink)
Vatican II's documents Gaudium et Spes and Ad gentes reveal two interrelated dialogues: a dialogue between Church and other religious traditions, and a more general dialogue between faith and particular societies. The theme takes its cue form Paul VI's first encyclical, Ecclesiam Suam and, in the last fifty years, has flowered into a rich body of teaching expressed in various documents. It became central to the teaching of John Paul II with his passionate concern for the dignity of (...) the human person. Benedict XVI in a series of speeches delivered both before and after becoming Pope introduced a note of caution to such cultural dialogue. While accepting that he offered an impressive case against the positivism, which he considered to be undermining contemporary culture, we should be hesitant in following his more cautious approach. (shrink)