The various aesthetic phenomena found repeatedly in the scientific enterprise stem from the role of God as artist. If the Creator is an artist, how and why natural scientists study the divine art work can be understood using theological aesthetics and the philosophy of art. The aesthetic phenomena considered here are as follows. First, science reveals beauty and the sublime in natural phenomena. Second, science discovers beauty and the sublime in the theories that are developed to explain natural phenomena. Third, (...) the search for beauty often guides scientists in their work. Fourth, where beauty is perceived, feelings of the sublime often also follow upon further contemplation. This linkage of beauty in science with truth and the sublime runs counter to most aesthetic theory since Kant. Scholarship in theological aesthetics has recently argued that the modern and postmodern elevation of the sublime over beauty is merely a preference that reveals a bias against transcendence—against God. If doing and understanding science can show this sundering of the sublime from the beautiful to be in error, science also gives evidence of transcendence. (shrink)
Few people, if any, still argue that science in all its aspects is a value-free endeavor. At the very least, values affect decisions about the choice of research problems to investigate and the uses to which the results of research are applied. But what about the actual doing of science? -/- As Science, Values, and Objectivity reveals, the connections and interactions between values and science are quite complex. The essays in this volume identify the crucial values that play a role (...) in science, distinguish some of the criteria that can be used for value identification, and elaborate the conditions for warranting certain values as necessary or central to the very activity of scientific research. -/- Recently, social constructivists have taken the presence of values within the scientific model to question the basis of objectivity. However, the contributors to <I>Science, Values, and Objectivity</I> recognize that such acknowledgment of the role of values does not negate the fact that objects exist in the world. Objects have the power to constrain our actions and thoughts, though the norms for these thoughts lie in the public, social world. -/- Values may be decried or defended, praised or blamed, but in a world that strives for a modicum of reason, values, too, must be reasoned. Critical assessment of the values that play a role in scientific research is as much a part of doing good science as interpreting data. (shrink)
The current research applied a mid-level evolutionary theory that has been successfully employed across numerous animal species—life history theory—in an attempt to understand the Dark Triad personality trait cluster (narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism). In Study 1 (N = 246), a measure of life history strategy was correlated with psychopathy, but unexpectedly with neither Machiavellianism nor narcissism. Study 2 (N = 321) replicated this overall pattern of results using longer, traditional measures of the Dark Triad traits and alternative, future-discounting indicators of (...) life history strategy (a smaller-sooner, larger-later monetary dilemma and self-reported risk-taking behaviors). Additional findings suggested two sources of shared variance across the Dark Triad traits: confidence in predicting future outcomes and openness to short-term mating. (shrink)
For some fifty years now, nearly all work in mainstream analytic philosophy has made no serious attempt to understand the _nature of_ _physical reality,_ even though most analytic philosophers take this to be all of reality, or nearly all. While we've worried much about the nature of our own experiences and thoughts and languages, we've worried little about the nature of the vast physical world that, as we ourselves believe, has them all as only a small part.
Theories of Theories of Mind brings together contributions by a distinguished international team of philosophers, psychologists, and primatologists, who between them address such questions as: what is it to understand the thoughts, feelings, and intentions of other people? How does such an understanding develop in the normal child? Why, unusually, does it fail to develop? And is any such mentalistic understanding shared by members of other species? The volume's four parts together offer a state of the art survey of the (...) major topics in the theory-theory/simulationism debate within philosophy of mind, developmental psychology, the aetiology of autism and primatology. The volume will be of great interest to researchers and students in all areas interested in the 'theory of mind' debate. (shrink)
Courts and commentators have struggled for years to identify rules to explain and justify certain widely-shared intuitions about impossibility attempts, and they have proposed rules variously based upon (1) what mistakes actors make, (2) what intentions actors possess, and (3) what conduct actors perform. None of the proposals fully succeeds, however, and none is able to explain the widely-shared intuition, which underlies Sandy Kadish's inventive hypothetical regarding Mr. Law and Mr. Fact, that some attempts based upon mistakes of law are (...) just as blameworthy as attempts based upon mistakes of fact. I propose an alternative rule that, I believe, not only explains where and why people possess widely-shared intuitions regarding impossibility attempts (including regarding Mr. Law and Mr. Fact), but also explains where and why people have conflicting intuitions. I argue that widely-shared intuitions of blameworthiness and non-blameworthiness regarding impossibility attempts are a function, respectively, of whether informed citizens of the jurisdiction that enacted the statutory offense that the defendant allegedly attempted to commit widely believe or disbelieve that he would have been a threat to interests that the statute seeks to protect - a determination, in turn, that is a function of whether they widely believe or disbelieve that he would have committed the offense under counterfactual circumstances that they fear could have obtained. (shrink)
This paper outlines an interpretation of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s remark in the _Big Typescript_ in which he compares the philosopher bewitched by the workings of language to “the suffering of an ascetic”. The interpretation takes as its starting point Friedrich Nietzsche’s terse account of the philosopher, the history of philosophy, and his diagnosis of ascetic self-misunderstanding, from the Third Essay, “What do ascetic ideals mean?”, in _On the Genealogy of Morality_. In its assumption of an affinity between Wittgenstein’s remark and Nietzsche’s (...) descriptions, and in its analysis, this paper introduces a “method of voice borrowing” to approach the question: “Wittgenstein and Nietzsche?” The juxtaposition of Wittgenstein’s conception of the philosopher’s linguistic self-misunderstanding with Nietzsche’s notion of the ascetic self-misunderstanding leads finally to the question of what is gained by introducing this method, and hence by reading Wittgenstein’s remark on the suffering of an ascetic with the help of Nietzsche’s voice. (shrink)
In everyday life people frequently recognize that a person at a time may be more or less strongly motivated to carry out an intentional action and that “trying harder” frequently affects the successful completion of an intentional action. In “Rational Choice and Action Omnipotence,” John Pollock provides an original account of rational choice in which “trying to do an action” is a basic factor. This paper argues that Pollock’s “expected-utility optimality prescription” is deficient because it lacks a parameter for intensity (...) of trying. The paper also indicates specific ways in which this deficiency could be corrected. (shrink)
Wittgenstein’s remarks on Frazer’s The Golden Bough were first edited and published in 1967 by Rush Rhees as Wittgenstein’s Bemerkungen über Frazers ‘The Golden Bough’. However, there is another edition, called Ludwig Wittgenstein: Remarks on Frazer’s Anthropology, edited and translated by Kenneth Laine Ketner and James Leroy Eigsti. In this paper I outline at least part of the history of this edition. At the same time, I shall describe some of the characteristic features of the Ketner and Eigsti edition. This (...) presentation takes as its point of departure the correspondence contained in the box “Wittgenstein 143” at the von Wright and Wittgenstein Archives, consisting of twelve letters that passed between Ketner and Eigsti, G.E.M. Anscombe, Rhees, and G.H. von Wright in 1972 and 1973. The presentation will also indirectly throw light on a number of issues concerning the editorial principles applied in publishing Wittgenstein’s remarks. (shrink)
"The best known approaches to "reasoning with inconsistent data" require a logical framework which is decidedly non-classical. An alternative is presented here, beginning with some motivation which has been surprised in the work of C.I. Lewis, which does not require ripping great swatches from the fabric of classical logic. In effect, the position taken in this essay is representative of an approach in which one assumes the correctness of classical methods excepting only the cases in which the premise set is (...) inconsistent. (shrink)
The standard semantics for sentential modal logics uses a truth condition for necessity which first appeared in the early 1950s. in this paper the status of that condition is investigated and a more general condition is proposed. in addition to meeting certain natural adequacy criteria, the more general condition allows one to capture logics like s1 and s0.9 in a way which brings together the work of segerberg and cresswell.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Dana Scott introduced a kind of generalization (or perhaps simplification would be a better description) of the notion of inference, familiar from Gentzen, in which one may consider multiple conclusions rather than single formulas. Scott used this idea to good effect in a number of projects including the axiomatization of many-valued logics (of various kinds) and a reconsideration of the motivation of C.I. Lewis. Since he left the subject it has been vigorously prosecuted (...) by a number of authors under the heading of abstract entailment relations where it has found an important role in both algebra and theoretical computer science. In this essay we go back to the beginnings, as presented by Scott, in order to make some comments about Scott’s cut rule, and show how much of Scott’s main result may be applied to the case of single-conclusion logic. (shrink)
. This paper examines the underpinnings of the preservationist approach to characterizing inference relations. Starting with a critique of the ‘truth-preservation’ semantic paradigm, we discuss the merits of characterizing an inference relation in terms of preserving consistency. Finally we turn our attention to the generalization of consistency introduced in the early work of Jennings and Schotch, namely the concept of level.
In _The Metaphysics of Media_, award-winning media critic Peter K. Fallon tackles the complicated question of how a succession of dominant forms of media have supported—and even to some extent created—different conceptions of reality. To do so, he starts with the basics: a critical discussion of the very idea of objective reality and the various postmodern responses that have tended to dominate recent philosophical approaches to the subject. From there, he embarks on a survey of the evolution of communication (...) through four major eras: orality; literacy; print; and electricity. Within each era, Fallon argues, the dominant form of media supported particular ways of understanding the world, from the ascendance of reason that followed the development of alphabets to the obliteration of space and time that we associate with electronic communications. Fallon concludes with a hard look at the mass ignorance that prevails today despite the sea of information with which contemporary life is surrounded. A stirring, philosophically rich investigation, _The Metaphysics of Media_ offers not only a clear picture of where our society has been but also a road map to a more engaged, informed, and fully human future. (shrink)
H. B. Smith, Professor of Philosophy at the influential 'Pennsylvania School' was (roughly) a contemporary of C. I. Lewis who was similarly interested in a proper account of 'implication'. His research also led him into the study of modal logic but in a different direction than Lewis was led. His account of modal logic does not lend itself as readily as Lewis' to the received 'possible worlds' semantics, so that the Smith approach was a casualty rather than a beneficiary of (...) the renewed interest in modality. In this essay we present some of the main points of the Smith approach, in a new guise. (shrink)
Violence in schools is a pervasive, highly emotive and, above all, global problem. Bullying and its negative social consequences are of perennial concern, while the media regularly highlights incidences of violent assault - and even murder - occurring within schools. This unique and fascinating text offers a comprehensive overview and analysis of how European nations are tackling this serious issue. _Violence in Schools: The Response in Europe_, brings together contributions from all EU member states and two associated states. Each chapter (...) begins by clearly outlining the nature of the school violence situation in that country. It then goes on to describe those social policy initiatives and methods of intervention being used to address violence in schools and evaluates the effectiveness of these different strategies. Commentaries from Australia, Israel and the USA and an overview of the book's main themes by eminent psychologist Peter K. Smith complete a truly international and authoritative look at this important - and frequently controversial - subject. This book constitutes an invaluable resource for educational administrators, policymakers and researchers concerned with investigating, and ultimately addressing, the social and psychological causes, manifestations and effects of school violence. (shrink)