In this article I clarify the concepts of ‘pain’, ‘suffering’. ‘pains of body’, ‘pains of soul’. I explore the relevance of an ethic to the clinical setting which gives patients a strong prima facie right to freedom from unnecessary and unwanted pain and which places upon medical professionals two concomitant moral obligations to patients. First, there is the duty not to inflict pain and suffering beyond what is necessary for effective diagnosis. treatment and research. Next, there is the duty to (...) do all that can be done to relieve all the pain and suffering which can be alleviated. I develop in some detail that individuality of pain sensitivity must be taken into account in fulfihing these obligations. I explore the issue of the relevance of informed consent and the right to refuse treatment to the matter of pain relief. And I raise the question of what conditions, if anv, should override the right to refuse treatment where pain relief is of paramount concern. (shrink)
This article explores a form of ethics and spirituality based on the nearly universal but often undeveloped human capacity for identifying self with others and with non-personal values. It begins with commonplace non-moral identification experiences, then describes identification with others in ethical and spiritual unions. Freud’s psychological emphasis on identification is linked with ethics and spirituality, though Freud would have objected. Robert S. Hartman’s three kinds of goodness—systemic, extrinsic, and intrinsic—are applied to abundant ethical and spiritual living through identification. Intrinsic (...) identification with intrinsic values is the highest moral ideal; intrinsic identification with ultimate reality and with goodness in all its forms is the highest spiritual ideal. (shrink)
This article argues that not all arguments from parts to wholes commit the informal logical fallacy of composition,and especially not the cosmological argument for God which moves from the contingent existence of all the parts of the cosmos to the contingent existence of the whole.
This article approaches Judaism through Rabbi Bradley S. Artson’s book, God of Becoming and Relationships: The Dynamic Nature of Process Theology. It explores his understanding of how Jewish theology should and does cohere with central features of both process theology and Robert S. Hartman’s formal axiology. These include the axiological/process concept of God, the intrinsic value and valuation of God and unique human beings, and Jewish extrinsic and systemic values, value combinations, and value rankings.
This article introduces Formal Axiology, first developed by Robert S. Hartman, and explains its essential features—a formal definition of “good” (the “Form of the Good”), three basic kinds of value and evaluation—systemic, extrinsic, and intrinsic, and the hierarchy of value according to which good things having the richest quantity and quality of good-making properties are better than those having less. Formal Axiology is extended into moral philosophy by applying the Form of the Good to persons and showing how this culminates (...) in an Axiological Virtue Ethics. This involves the systemic, extrinsic, and intrinsic goodness of persons, the intrinsic-good-making properties of persons, and the moral virtues that respect the intrinsic worth of persons in thoughts, feelings, and actions. A few obstacles to being and becoming morally good persons are also identified and explained. (shrink)
An explicit linking of the minutiae of everyday parenting practices and the good of society as a whole has been a feature of government policy. The state has taken responsibility for instilling the right parenting skills to deal with what is said to be the societal fall-out of contemporary and family change. ?Knowledge? about parenting is seen as a resource that parents must access in order to fulfil their moral duty as good parents. In this policy portrait, caring for children (...) is posed as a classless and gender-neutral activity. A key theme of this article is that parents from different social class groups are positioned and understand themselves in quite distinct ways in relation to parenting skills advice and expert intervention into their family and home lives. We take a ?relational? perspective to show how mothers and fathers from different social class groups see themselves, and are located by policy and practice, as clients or consumers, and as commonplace or pioneers, in relation to parenting support for themselves and the education system for their children. We identify the lived gendered and classed disparities of power, and associated moral worth, attached to particular parenting practices. (shrink)
This article provides a material enactment of educational theory to explore how we might do educational theory differently by defamiliarising the familiar. Theory is often assumed to be abstract, located solely in the realm of ideas and separate from practice. However, this view of theory emerges from a set of ontological and epistemological assumptions of separating meaning from matter that are taken to be foundational, when this need not be the case. Drawing upon what variously might be termed materialist, performative (...) or post-human positions, the article suggests that it is possible to re-enact theory as a matter-ing practice—of matter and meaning. The assumption of a separation that divides theory from practice is challenged in this article, which suggests that theory matters by being entangled with the material and that a separation of matter from meaning is an effect. This approach enacts things as matters of concern by contrast with the representation of objects as matters of fact. In this way, educational theory becomes a form of responsible experimentation rather than simply a representation of others. Some implications for education are outlined. (shrink)
Educational analysts need new ways to engage with policy processes in a networked world of complex transnational connections. In this discussion, Tara Fenwick and Richard Edwards argue for a greater focus on materiality in educational policy as a way to trace the heterogeneous interactions and precarious linkages that enact policy as complex manifestations. In particular, Fenwick and Edwards point to the methodologies of actor-network theory (ANT), at least in its most recent permutations, as a useful approach to materiality in policy (...) analysis. Published examples of educational policy studies drawing from these methodologies are beginning to appear. In reviewing these, we argue that ANT sensibilities help to make visible the sociomaterial assemblages—the “messy objects”—that enact policy, the micro-negotiations that mobilize and stabilize (and destabilize) these assemblages, and the multiple ontologies that often coexist in policy environments. Fenwick and Edwards conclude with a discussion of methodological issues for working with concepts of ontological variance and messy objects in educational policy. (shrink)
Rather than eliminate the terms "mental health and illness" because of the grave moral consequences of psychiatric labeling, conservative definitions are proposed and defended. Mental health is rational autonomy, and mental illness is the sustained loss of such. Key terms are explained, advantages are explored, and alternative concepts are criticized. The value and descriptive components of all such definitions are consciously acknowledged. Where rational autonomy is intact, mental hospitals and psychotherapists should not think of themselves as treating an illness. Instead, (...) they are functioning as applied axiologists, moral educators, spiritual mentors, etc. They deal with what Szasz has called "personal, social, and ethical problems in living." But mental illness is real. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
This is a serious critque of Whitehead's "epochal theory of time." It argues that our human experience of time is more like Whitehead's divine continuous concrescence than it is like temporal atomism. It offers additional arguments against temporal atomism at either the human or divine levels, and arguments for conceiving selves at both the divine and human levels as actual entities.
Formulations of mill's principle of utility are examined, And it is shown that mill did not recognize a moral obligation to maximize the good, As is often assumed. His was neither a maximizing act nor rule utilitarianism, But a distinctive minimizing utilitarianism which morally obligates us only to abstain from inflicting harm, To prevent harm, To provide for others minimal essentials of well being (to which rights correspond), And to be occasionally charitable or benevolent.
Most process theologians have rejected the creation of the world out of nothing, holding that our universe was created out of some antecedent universe. This article shows how on process grounds, and with faithfulness to much of what Whitehead had to say, process theologians can and should affirm the creation of our universe out of nothing. Standard process objections to this are refuted.
Drawing upon concepts from actor-network theory (ANT), this article explores how the principle of symmetry can provide alternative readings of the translations of the prescribed into the enacted curriculum, without reducing understanding to explanation. The paper explores the contrasting ways in which the prescribed curriculum is translated into the enacted curriculum as certain organisations, individuals and artefacts become enrolled through networks of school and college. It points to the ways in which a position which eschews conventional distinctions e.g. between the (...) human and non-human, and enacts an anti-foundationalist ontology provides the basis for a radical materialist understanding of the multiplicity of educational practices. (shrink)
This article defends Marjorie Suchocki’s position against two main objections raised by David E. Conner. Conner objects that God as a single actual entity must be temporal because there is succession in God’s experience ofthe world. The reply is that time involves at least two successive occasions separated by perishing, but in God nothing ever perishes. Conner also objects that Suchocki’s personalistic process theism is not experiential but is instead theoretical and not definitive. The reply is that his dismissal of (...) Part V of PR is arbitrary, the interpretation of all experience is theoretical, and no metaphysical interpretations are absolutely definitive, including PR as a whole. Also, Conner ignores religious experience. (shrink)
The question of capacity building in education has predominantly been approached with regard to the methods and methodologies of educational research. Far less attention has been given to capacity building in relation to theory. In many ways the latter is as pressing an issue as the former, given that good research depends on a combination of high quality techniques and high quality theorising. The ability to capitalise on capacity building in relation to methods and methodologies may therefore well be restricted (...) by a lack of attention to theory. In this paper we make a case for capacity building with regard to theory, explore the different roles of theory in educational research, and provide an outline of an agenda for capacity building with regard to theory. (shrink)
The theses of this paper i: I. that the attempt to found absolute norns on rationality presupposes the availability of a single universal absolute conception of rationality but that no such conception is available; and II. that any conception of rationality which might be available for justifying one's ultimate normative commitments is itself evaluative. “Rationality” itself is a value-laden concept, as are all its philosophical sub-divisions—logic, ethics, aesthetics, axiology, etc. Choosing ultimate value principles under conditions of freedom, enlightenment, and impartiality (...) presupposes that one positively values such things. (shrink)
These two remarkable books, both published in 2010, share many themes but differ in significant ways, and each is very much worth reading and pondering. Oord’s The Nature of Love concentrates primarily on conceptual and theological themes relating to the very nature of love itself and what influential theologians have had to say about love. His Defining Love focuses on how the social and physical sciences impact our understanding of human and divine love. Both books presuppose and express many themes (...) that are prominent in process theology such as: freedom is universally present (by degrees) in all creatures, especially us; predestination is abhorrent and untenable; God exists necessarily and everlastingly but not .. (shrink)
This article tries to show that commonplace economic, ethico-religious, anti-racist,and logical-consistency objections to public funding of abortions and abortion counseling for poor women are quite weak. By contrast, arguments appealing to basic human rights to freedom of speech, informed consent, protection from great harm, justice and equal protection under the law, strongly support public funding. Thus, refusing to provide abortions at public expense for women who cannot afford them is morally unacceptable and rationally unjustifiable, despite the opinions of former Presidents (...) Reagan and Bush, the more conservative members of the Supreme Court of the United States, the current Congress, and the majority of the American people. (shrink)
In his Edifying Discourses , Soren Kierkegaard published a sermon entitled ‘The Unchangeableness of God’ in which he reiterated the dogma which dominated Catholic, Protestant and even Jewish expressions of classical supernaturalist theology from the first century A.D. until the advent of process theology in the twentieth century. The dogma that as a perfect being, God must be totally unchanging in every conceivable respect was expressed by Kierkegaard in such ways as: He changes all, Himself unchanged. When everything seems stable (...) and in the overturn of all things, He remains equally unchanged; no change touches Him, not even the shadow of a change; in unaltered clearness He, the father of lights, remained eternally unchanged. 1. (shrink)