The purpose of this article is to clarify some of the areas considered most problematic in Mircea Eliade's approach to religion. One of its principal goals is to show that Eliade's method is primarily phenomenological rather than theological, as some interpreters of his work maintain. In presenting this phenomenological interpretation of Eliade four areas of his approach are addressed: (1) the extent to which it incorporates historical method; (2) the meaning of religion as sui generis and irreducible; (3) Eliade's use (...) of the term 'sacred'; and (4) Eliade's hierarchalizing of religious phenomena. Eliade's departure from phenomenology to explain the causes of religious experience is also addressed. (shrink)
This article is an evaluation of Christian views about Buddhism based on Paul Williams’ The Unexpected Way: On Converting from Buddhism to Catholicism . Studstill focuses specifically on five Christian claims about Buddhism: Buddhism prevents the recognition of objective reality and objective truth, Buddhism promotes egoism, Buddhism encourages immorality, Buddhism is quite possibly irrational, and Buddhism is excessively pessimistic. Studstill critically examines Williams’ defense of these claims and concludes that each is either false or highly problematic. As a (...) corrective to Williams’ errors about Buddhism, Studstill clarifies Buddhist views regarding suffering and egoism, the transformation of consciousness, the realization of truth, and the cultivation of altruism and compassion. (shrink)
In the popular misconception fostered by blockbuster action movies and best-selling thrillers--not to mention conventional explanations by social scientists--violence is easy under certain conditions, like poverty, racial or ideological hatreds, or family pathologies. Randall Collins challenges this view in Violence, arguing that violent confrontation goes against human physiological hardwiring. It is the exception, not the rule--regardless of the underlying conditions or motivations. -/- Collins gives a comprehensive explanation of violence and its dynamics, drawing upon video footage, cutting-edge forensics, and (...) ethnography to examine violent situations up close as they actually happen--and his conclusions will surprise you. Violence comes neither easily nor automatically. Antagonists are by nature tense and fearful, and their confrontational anxieties put up a powerful emotional barrier against violence. Collins guides readers into the very real and disturbing worlds of human discord--from domestic abuse and schoolyard bullying to muggings, violent sports, and armed conflicts. He reveals how the fog of war pervades all violent encounters, limiting people mostly to bluster and bluff, and making violence, when it does occur, largely incompetent, often injuring someone other than its intended target. Collins shows how violence can be triggered only when pathways around this emotional barrier are presented. He explains why violence typically comes in the form of atrocities against the weak, ritualized exhibitions before audiences, or clandestine acts of terrorism and murder--and why a small number of individuals are competent at violence. (shrink)
This is the first philosophical study of artifacts that is book length. In it Randall Dipert develops a theory of what artifacts are and applies it extensively to one of the most complex and intriguing kind of artifacts, art works. He presents his own account of what agents, intentions, and actions are, then uses these notions to clarify what it is for an agent to "make" something. From this starting point, he develops a full theory of artifacts and other (...) artificial things - and, especially, a theory of art works and performances of art works as artifacts. He proposes a theory of nature and of the value of nature as what is essentially nonartificial. Two chapters are devoted to value considerations: merit in artifacts generally, and the evaluation of art works and performance art as artifacts or intentional gestures. Believing that a developed theory of action and philosophy of mind is necessary for a developed aesthetics and philosophy of art, Dipert relies on classical and contemporary research on agency, actions, and intentions, and on the intentionalist theory of mental objects of Brentano and Meinong. Dipert considers artifacts to be physical entities, but he also includes in the definition thoughts, utterances, and performances. This vast category encompasses everyday household objects and tools, streets and edifices, as well as communicative and artistic artifacts. Especially with regard to artistic artifacts, Dipert proposes a theory of expression and communication as actions and extensively discusses the problems of interpreting and recognizing actions, artifacts, and art works. (shrink)
Character education in schools has been high on the UK political agenda for the last few years. The government has invested millions in grants to support character education projects and declared its intention to make Britain a global leader in teaching character and resilience. But the policy has many critics: some question whether schools should be involved in the formation of character at all; others worry that the traits schools are being asked to cultivate are excessively competitive or military. In (...) this pamphlet Randall Curren sets out a robust defence of character education. He welcomes the political support it presently enjoys, but contends that greater clarity about the nature, benefits and acquisition of good character is essential. In particular, he argues that too narrow a focus on traits like perseverance and resilience is a serious mistake: these traits are only virtues when they are part of a wider set of moral and intellectual qualities, and when their exercise is guided by good judgment. Curren offers us a compelling and coherent account of what good character is and how it might be cultivated in schools. He explains why schools must be needs-supporting environments that provide students with opportunities to engage in rewarding activity, and why cultivating good character implies promoting the ‘fundamental British values’ of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance. His groundbreaking pamphlet promises to expand the scope and strengthen the foundations of character education in British schools, and should go a long way towards allaying the fears of its detractors. (shrink)
Forming intimate relationships is a fundamental human motive. Emotions play a critical role in intimate relationships—they are central to the development and maintenance of these bonds, and these very bonds can influence both individual and interpersonal emotional dynamics across time. Investigating emotional dynamics in an interpersonal context provides unique insight into the functioning of intimate relationships and, at the same time, provides a window into the interdependence of partners’ daily experiences. Reviewing a selection of the literature involving emotional dynamics in (...) intimate relationships, we explore how intimate relationships shape partner’s emotional experiences and the implications this may have for their relationship across time. (shrink)
There has been considerable debate in the literature about the relative merits of information processing versus dynamical approaches to understanding cognitive processes. In this article, we explore the relationship between these two styles of explanation using a model agent evolved to solve a relational categorization task. Specifically, we separately analyze the operation of this agent using the mathematical tools of information theory and dynamical systems theory. Information-theoretic analysis reveals how task-relevant information flows through the system to be combined into a (...) categorization decision. Dynamical analysis reveals the key geometrical and temporal interrelationships underlying the categorization decision. Finally, we propose a framework for directly relating these two different styles of explanation and discuss the possible implications of our analysis for some of the ongoing debates in cognitive science. (shrink)
This paper addresses a puzzle about moral learning concerning its social context and the potential for moral progress: Won't the social context of moral learning shape moral perceptions, beliefs, and motivation in ways that will inevitably limit moral motivation, perceptiveness, and progress? It addresses the relationships between habituation and moral reasoning in Aristotelian moral education, and assesses Julia Annas’s attempt to defend the possibility of moral progress within a virtue ethical framework. Focusing on the motivational core of the puzzle, the (...) paper argues that Self-determination Theory provides resources for better understanding how moral progress is possible and how moral education can facilitate such progress. (shrink)
_A Companion to the Philosophy of Education_ is a comprehensive guide to philosophical thinking about education. Offers a state-of-the-art account of current and controversial issues in education, including issues pertaining to multiculturalism, special education, sex education, and academic freedom. Written by an international team of leading experts, who are directly engaged with these profound and complex educational problems. Serves as an indispensable guide to the field of philosophy of education.
The central question for this book is whether schools should attempt to cultivate patriotism, and if so why, how, and with what conception of patriotism in mind. The promotion of patriotism has figured prominently in the history of public schooling in the United States, always with the idea that patriotism is both an inherently admirable attribute and an essential motivational basis for good citizenship. It has been assumed, in short, that patriotism is a virtue in its own right and that (...) it is a foundational aspect of civic virtue more generally. Through an integrated historical and philosophical approach, this book demonstrates that there have been many and diverse attempts to cultivate patriotism in public schools in the United States and that they have been predicated on different conceptions of patriotism, citizenship, and learning. In order to assess these assumptions and evaluate the various practices of patriotic education, we address the nature of virtue and the motivational foundations of civic responsibility, and we frame a general approach to the ethics of education. We find that the history of attempts to cultivate patriotism in schools offers both cautionary and positive lessons. We argue that there is a virtuous form of patriotism and that an inclusive and enabling just school community may contribute to its development. Yet, we conclude that patriotism is not a virtue as such. We argue that civic virtue is what schools should aim to cultivate, and that civic education should be organized around three components of civic virtue, namely civic intelligence, civic friendship, and civic competence. We hold that virtuous patriotism is an appropriate responsiveness to a country’s value, and that such responsiveness is part and parcel of civic virtue that is also responsive to what has value beyond one’s own country. The book concludes with a defense of global civic education, arguing that it should promote global civic friendship and cooperation. The book situates its understanding of patriotism in the context of nationalist, populist, and authoritarian movements in the United States and Europe, and it mounts a spirited defense of democratic institutions that should be of interest to anyone concerned about the polarization of public life and future of democracy. (shrink)
Climate scientists and activists face the disturbing truths of climate change every day. How do they manage this psychologically? In-depth qualitative interviews with a small sample from these two groups suggest that scientists often take refuge in conventional understandings of scientific rationality in their attempts to defend themselves against anxieties generated by the politicisation of climate change. By contrast, activists seem more emotionally literate, building psychological support into their practice. We trace some of the dysfunctional effects of the social defences (...) adopted by the scientific community, and demonstrate how a different approach has led to the development of what might be called 'sustainable activism'. (shrink)
Taking the possibility of visual argumentation seriously, this essay explores how refutation might proceed. We posit three ways in which images can refute and be refuted in a mixed-media environment: dissection, in which an image is broken down discursively; substitution, in which one image is replaced within a larger visual frame by a different image; and transformation, in which an image is recontextualized in a new visual frame. These strategies are illustrated in an analysis of three American documentary films on (...) abortion. (shrink)
The author sets forth the relevance of philosophy's past to present day concerns and issues. He shows how philosophizing has arisen from and played a central role in the complex process of cultural change. The author maintains that awareness of past experience throws light on present choices, and he demonstrates how classic visions of philosophy can liberate men from provincialism, insularity, and narrowness of outlook.
Palliative care is a recent branch of health care. The doctors, nurses, and other professionals involved in it took their inspiration from the medieval idea of the hospice, but have now extended their expertise to every area of health care: surgeries, nursing homes, acute wards, and the community. This has happened during a period when patients wish to take more control over their own lives and deaths, resources have become scarce, and technology has created controversial life-prolonging treatments. Palliative care is (...) therefore faced with more ethical problems that other areas of health care. This book, by a clinician, teacher, and writer on health care ethics, has been written to provide all those who care for the terminally ill--doctors, nurses, social workers, clergymen, physiotherapists--with the concepts and principles which will assist them with difficult decisions. It challenges many received doctrines of palliative care, but its well-illustrated central theme is that technical expertise must be controlled by humane, non-technical judgments. (shrink)
In this provocative book, Randall Havas articulates an approach to Nietzsche which demonstrates that the authentic individual need not stand apart from his or her culture in order to resist the demands of conformism. On Havas's reading, the task of the Nietzschean individual is instead to replace the illusion of culture - "herd morality" - with real community, and in this way to avoid nihilism. It is such community that Nietzsche aspires to establish with his readers - a claim (...) that, in the author's view, suggests that Nietzsche's conception of the nature of community and, hence, of individuality must be understood in terms of his theory of reading and interpretation. Nietzsche holds that the category of the individual is itself a historical construct. Havas's interpretation of this view dissolves the threat it appears to pose to individualism. By treating genealogical method as a response to this threat, he shows how Nietzsche's defense of individualism, his conception of history, and his commitment to truth reinforce one another. On this reading, Nietzsche's more properly ethical concerns lie at the heart of his understanding of the will to knowledge. Havas argues that, for Nietzsche, ostensibly epistemological questions can be assessed only in the light of an understanding of the interdependence between individual and community. (shrink)
This review essay examines some central aspects of Kristján Kristjánsson’s book, Aristotelian Character Education, beginning with the claim that contemporary virtue ethics provides methodological, ontological, epistemological, and moral foundations for Aristotelian character education. It considers three different formulations of what defines virtue ethics, and suggests that virtue ethical moral theory has steered character educators away from important aspects of Aristotle’s views on character education. It goes on to suggest a broadening of attention to psychology beyond personality and the psychological status (...) of virtues, and it concludes with an examination of Kristjánsson’s understanding of phronesis. (shrink)
Shuford, Albert and Massengill proved, a half century ago, that the logarithmic scoring rule is the only proper measure of inaccuracy determined by a differentiable function of probability assigned the actual cell of a scored partition. In spite of this, the log rule has gained less traction in applied disciplines and among formal epistemologists that one might expect. In this paper we show that the differentiability criterion in the Shuford et. al. result is unnecessary and use the resulting simplified characterization (...) of the logarithmic rule to give novel arguments in favor of it. (shrink)
A central focus of care ethics is on the compelling moral salience of attending to the needs of our particular others. However, there is no consensus within the care literature for how and when such partiality is morally justified. This article outlines and defends a novel justificatory argument that grounds partiality in the facts and values of the relation itself. Specifically, this article argues that partiality is justified when grounded in caring values exemplified in good caring relations. Hence, this justification (...) is termed the argument from good caring relations. This justification is promising for two reasons. First, the argument from good caring relations has the potential to spur engagement between care ethics and the broader partiality literature. In particular, the argument from good caring relations could enhance what Simon Keller has termed ‘the relationships view’. Second, the argument from good caring relations is more persuasive than the other major justificatory argument for partiality presently in the care literature: a distributive argument, which takes the form of a modified version of Robert Goodin’s assigned responsibility model of moral obligation. Indeed, where this distributive argument fails, the argument from good caring relation succeeds. This article thus concludes that the argument from good caring relations is preferable for justifying partiality in care ethics. (shrink)
Philosophy of Education: An Anthology brings together the essential historical and contemporary readings in the philosophy of education. The readings have been selected for their philosophical merit, their focus on important aspects of educational practice and their readability. Includes classic pieces by Plato, Aristotle, Isocrates, Locke, Rousseau, Mill, and Dewey. Addresses topical issues such as teacher professionalism and accountability, the commercialization of schooling, multicultural education, and parental choice.
The paper addresses several issues in the morality of cyberwar and cyberwarfare, defined as one nation's attacks on the governmental or civilian information systems of another nation. It sketches the diverse technical ways in which an attack may occur, including denial-of-service attacks and the insertion of various forms of malware. It argues that existing international law and widely discussed principles of Just War Theory do not straightforwardly apply to cyberwarfare, and many forms of cyberwarfare differ from previous forms of warfare (...) in neither injuring nor killing human beings, nor causing lasting physical damage ? but can nevertheless cause serious harm to a nation's vital interests. Another dissimilarity with traditional warfare is in the degree of knowledge of the identity of an attacker (the ?attribution problem?). The paper argues that cyberwarfare is not amenable to regulation by international pacts and that we can expect long periods of low-level, multilateral cyberwarfare, a Cyber Cold War, as a game-theoretic equilibrium is sought,. The paper laments the lack of a cyberwarfare policy, and concludes that it is only by applying game-theoretic principles that strategies can be discovered that are both moral and effective in suppressing overall harm to all parties in the long run. (shrink)
Many researchers in the field of business ethics have attempted to develop methods to determine and evaluate the ethics of a variety of different classes of people, including students, professionals, and mixed samples of students and professionals. Unfortunately, most of these studies were disjunctive, simply adding confusion to an already unfocused area of research. However, Reidenbach and Robin (1988, 1990), have changed this trend by attempting to quantify the various ethical philosophies into a multi-dimensional scale of business ethics. This paper (...) examines the background of the Reidenbach and Robin (1988, 1990) scale — including the authors'' findings, empirically tests the scale, and concludes that the scale needs further refinement. A promising result is a model with four dimensions: a broadbased ethical judgment dimension, a deontological judgment dimension, a teleological judgment dimension, and a social contract dimension. (shrink)
This study examines the impact of a social desirability response bias as a personality characteristic (self-deception and impression management) and as an item characteristic (perceived desirability of the behavior) on self-reported ethical conduct. Findings from a sample of college students revealed that self-reported ethical conduct is associated with both personality and item characteristics, with perceived desirability of behavior having the greatest influence on self-reported conduct. Implications for research in business ethics are drawn, and suggestions are offered for reducing the effects (...) of a socially desirable response bias. (shrink)
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