Conflict produces group solidarity in four phases: (1) an initial few days of shock and idiosyncratic individual reactions to attack; (2) one to two weeks of establishing standardized displays of solidarity symbols; (3) two to three months of high solidarity plateau; and (4) gradual decline toward normalcy in six to nine months. Solidarity is not uniform but is clustered in local groups supporting each other's symbolic behavior. Actual solidarity behaviors are performed by minorities of the population, while vague verbal claims (...) to performance are made by large majorities. Commemorative rituals intermittently revive high emotional peaks; participants become ranked according to their closeness to a center of ritual attention. Events, places, and organizations claim importance by associating themselves with national solidarity rituals and especially by surrounding themselves with pragmatically ineffective security ritual. Conflicts arise over access to centers of ritual attention; clashes occur between pragmatists deritualizing security and security zealots attempting to keep up the level of emotional intensity. The solidarity plateau is also a hysteria zone; as a center of emotional attention, it attracts ancillary attacks unrelated to the original terrorists as well as alarms and hoaxes. In particular historical circumstances, it becomes a period of atrocities. (shrink)
Does the experience of cultural consumption have its own sui generis attraction and value in itself, or is it an index of external social ranking? Four criteria are proposed that are observable in microsociological detail: (1) bodily self-absorption in the cultural experience, creating an intense internal interaction ritual; (2) collective effervescence among the audience; (3) Goffmanian front-stage self-presentation in settings of cultural consumption; and (4) verbal discourse during and around the cultural experience. Data from highly committed opera fanatics in Buenos (...) Aires are used to document the extreme pole of cultural consumption that rejects external social hierarchies in favor of pure musical experience. This individualized and internal style of music consumption resembles religious mysticism, and what Weber in his typology of orientations to religious experience called virtuoso religiosity, as distinct from typical social class orientations to religion and to music. (shrink)
The most common objection to fine tuning arguments for theism is that there are, or might be, multiple universes among which the fundamental physicalconstants and parameters vary. This essays describes the two main variants of this objection and argues that they both fail.
The deceased's prior consent to posthumous reproduction is a common requirement in many common law jurisdictions. This paper critically evaluates four arguments advanced to justify the presumption against consent. It is argued that, in situations where death is caused by sudden trauma, not only is there inadequate justification for the presumption against consent, but there are good reasons to reverse the presumption. The article concludes that the precondition of prior consent may be inappropriate in these situations.
This paper argues that theism and related axiarchic hypotheses provide the only promising solution to the problems of cosmic coincidence and induction raised by necessitarians against the regularity view of the laws of nature. Hence, it is argued, the fundamental order of the world provides significant support for theism and these related hypotheses.
In his opening case , Quentin Smith has presented an ingenious argument for the claim that the universe is self caused, and hence its existence is self explanatory. He then goes on to claim that the fact that the universe is self caused, and hence self explanatory, is inconsistent with theism. His main argument is based on the assumption that each temporal part of the universe has an explanation in terms of the temporal parts existing prior to it. The fundamental (...) temporal parts that Smith uses are instantaneous universe states. Before going into Smith's argument, we need to mention two technicalities that the impatient reader may skip. (shrink)
cis is presented of Randall Collins's book, The Sociology of Philosophies: A Global Theory of Intellectual Change. It presents a sociological theory of intellectual networks that connect thinkers in chains of masters and pupils, colleagues and rivals, and of the internalized conversations that constitute the social processes of thinking. The theory is used to analyze long-term developments of the intellectual communities of philosophers in ancient Greece, ancient and medieval China and India, medieval and modern Japan, medieval Islam and Judaism, medieval (...) Christendom, and modern Europe through the early 20th century. (shrink)
Laws of mechanics, quantum mechanics, electromagnetism, gravitation and relativity are derived as “related mathematical identities” based solely on the existence of a joint probability distribution for the position and velocity of a particle moving on a Riemannian manifold. This probability formalism is necessary because continuous variables are not precisely observable. These demonstrations explain why these laws must have the forms previously discovered through experiment and empirical deduction. Indeed, the very existence of electric, magnetic and gravitational fields is predicted by these (...) purely mathematical constructions. Furthermore these constructions incorporate gravitation into special relativity theory and provide corrected definitions for coordinate time and proper time. These constructions then provide new insight into the relationship between manifold geometry and gravitation and present an alternative to Einstein’s general relativity theory. (shrink)
Sociology is split into two antagonistic or mutually oblivious wings: quantitative and nonquantitative. Statistics does not occupy a privileged methodological position vis-a-vis qualitative, verbal sociology. Probability is a theory like any other, and each statistical method contains its particular theoretical bias. Such biases should be brought into the open and tested. Statistics may continue to be useful, though, as a substantive theory of change processes in the social world. A reorientation in our views of statistics may bring mathematical and antimathematical (...) branches of sociology back into a common enterprise. (shrink)
It is shown that the Hilbert space formalism of quantum mechanics can be derived as a corrected form of probability theory. These constructions yield the Schrödinger equation for a particle in an electromagnetic field and exhibit a relationship of this equation to Markov processes. The operator formalism for expectation values is shown to be related to anL 2 representation of marginal distributions and a relationship of the commutation rules for canonically conjugate observables to a topological relationship of two manifolds is (...) indicated. (shrink)
A new approach to developing formulisms of physics based solely on laws of mathematics is presented. From simple, classical statistical definitions for the observed space-time position and proper velocity of a particle having a discrete spectrum of internal states we derive u generalized Schrödinger equation on the space-time manifold. This governs the evolution of an N component wave function with each component square integrable over this manifold and is structured like that for a charged particle in an electromagnetic field but (...) also includes SU(N) gauge field couplings. This construction reveals a new hasis for gauge invariance and new insight into the appearance of spin and other such properties in relativistic quantum mechanics and suggests a new charged particle model. (shrink)
Discussions of modes of analysis, as well as the received wisdom about which categories to place scholars in, often obscure the breadth and nature of inquiry a particular figure engaged in. This examination of Reinhard Bendix's various uses of comparison suggests that, beyond the sociohistorical comparison he was known for, one should also consider his reflexive works, his work on the role of social science and claims for knowledge, and his reflections on the history of ideas, the need for conceptual (...) clarification of terms, and the search for regularities and universals. (shrink)
This is a contribution to the first online book debating theism and naturalism. In this contribution, I present the case for theism from the fine-tuning of the universe, and the elegance and intelligibility/discoverability of the law of nature. Also included is Paul Draper’s response to my arguments, along with my replies. (The online book can be found at http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/debates/great-debate.html).
This is a condensed version of an in-process book on the fine-tuning argument for God’s existence. In this 48,000 word essay, I first develop a probabilistic framework for articulating the argument, and then use this framework to answer in detail many of the objections commonly raised against it. Along the way, I present some of the fine-tuning evidence itself and consider major objections against the evidence; further, there are two major sections dealing with the multiverse objection, particularly that based on (...) inflationary cosmology. (shrink)
A relativistic one-particle, quantum theory for spin-zero particles is constructed uponL 2(x, ct), resulting in a positive definite spacetime probability density. A generalized Schrödinger equation having a Hermitian HamiltonianH onL 2(x, ct) for an arbitrary four-vector potential is derived. In this formalism the rest mass is an observable and a scalar particle is described by a wave packet that is a superposition of mass states. The requirements of macroscopic causality are shown to be satisfied by the most probable trajectory of (...) a free tardyon and a nontrivial framework for charged and neutral particles is provided. The Klein paradox is resolved and a link to the free particle field operators of quantum field theory is established. A charged particle interacting with a static magnetic field is discussed as an example of the formalism. (shrink)