Pt. 1. The individual and his creator. The fear of God in our time -- Natural morality -- In-depth Torah study -- Levels of mitzvot -- The personal element in serving God -- Religious experience -- Naturalness in the worship of God -- The significance of Torah values -- Tension vs. tranquility in the worship of God -- Pt. 2. The individual and society. Fundamentals of prayer -- Derekh eretz, being a mensch -- "I dwell among my people" -- The (...) obligation to sanctify God's name -- Attending to the needs of the community -- The message beyond mere words -- How to relate to one who has lost his faith -- Pt. 3. The individual and his life. Humanity -- Dealing with crisis -- Adhering to values -- Independent decision-making. (shrink)
“Israel is to blame, and not Oslo,” writes Reuven Kaminer, a longtime member of the Israeli left. The almost instinctual tendency to delegitimize the Palestinian right to determine their future on an equal basis is the source of the current tension, he explains, arguing that the conflict continues today because Israel, backed by the United States - which has repeatedly proven not to be an “honest broker” - refuses to recognize the just national rights of the Palestinian people.
I have based my psychological hypotheses on studies in perception and in personality. Research in these two areas began independently, but by the late forties the supposedly unconnected processes came to be seen as different aspects of one process. For instance, a low tolerance for perceptual ambiguity and cognitive dissonance was found to be significantly correlated with lack of emotional responsiveness, dogmatism, and authoritarianism; conversely, a high tolerance for perceptual ambiguity and cognitive dissonance was found to be significantly correlated with (...) tolerance of emotional ambivalence, openness to new experience, and a liberal world view.1 Later studies, primarily those conducted in the sixties, then established strong correlations between these findings and information-processing styles. Information processing involves three stages: first, stimuli are selected from the environment ; these stimuli are then arranged into "dimensions"; finally, if two or more dimensions result, they are compared and/or combined according to certain rules. H. M. Schroder and his colleagues have established correlations between personality styles and styles of information processing.2 For example, an intolerant personality—that is, one with a low integration index—"identifies and organizes stimuli in a fixed way, and the rules derived from existing schemata are explicit in defining this one way" . What psychologists call an "abstract personality" and identify in terms of "flexibility" or "tolerance of ambiguity"—what in literary studies is most conveniently called "negative capability"—is not necessarily characterized as lacking rules but rather as possessing a greater number of conflicting rules on a lower level which may be accommodated by rules on a higher level. · 1. See Jerome S. Bruner and David Krech, eds., Perception and Personality, 2nd ed. and Robert R. Blake and Glenn V. Ramsey, eds., Perception: An Approach to Personality . Although, as Else Frenkel-Brunswick says, "rigidity in one respect may go with flexibility in another," she also adds: "There is some indication that in the case of distinct intolerance of emotional ambivalence one may as a rule be able to locate at least some aspects of intolerance of cognitive ambiguity although these may often be more apparent on a higher level than that of perception proper" The present essay, since it is one section of a projected larger study, deals with the issues inherent in this approach in only a limited fashion. One could, for instance, quote whole essays in this branch of psychology dealing with ambiguity and point to their relevance for some aspects of literary study and the teaching of literature. Ambiguity, of course, is also a central term in New Criticism. See William Empson, Seven Types of Ambiguity and Ernst Kris and Abraham Kaplan, "Aesthetic Ambiguity," in Psychoanalytic Explorations in Art, ed. Kris , pp. 243-64.· 2. H. M. Schroder, M. J. Driver, and S. Streufert, "Levels of Information Processing," in Thought and Personality, ed. Peter B. Warr , pp. 174-91. All citations to this work will appear in the text. Reuven Tsur, senior lecturer in Hebrew literature at Tel-Aviv University, is the author of several books in Hebrew on medieval and modern Hebrew poetry and, in English, A Perception-Oriented Theory of Metre. (shrink)
In this article I reject the claim that the responsibilities acquired by gamete providers can be transferred to their biological children's intending parents. I defend this position by first showing that arguments in defence of the transferability of responsibilities in gamete provision cases fail to distinguish between the transfer and delegation of responsibility. I then provide an argument against the transferability of responsibilities in gamete provision cases that differs from the ones offered by James Lindemann Nelson and Rivka Weinberg. Though (...) I conclude that gamete providers have inalienable responsibilities towards their biological offspring, I note that the precise ethical and policy implications this has for gamete provision remain somewhat unclear. (shrink)
The present study was motivated by the hypothesis that inputs from internal states in obsessive–compulsive individuals are attenuated, which could be one source of the pervasive doubting and checking in OCD. Participants who were high or low in OC tendencies were asked to produce specific levels of muscle tension with and without biofeedback, and their accuracy in producing the required muscle tension levels was assessed. As predicted, high OC participants performed more poorly than low OC participants on this task when (...) biofeedback was not available. When biofeedback was provided, the difference between the groups was eliminated, and withdrawing the monitor again reversed this effect. Finally, when given the opportunity, high OC participants were more likely than low OC participants to request biofeedback. These results suggest that doubt in OCD may be grounded in a real and general deficiency in accessing internal states. (shrink)
From a social science perspective, a major purpose of religion is to organize the behavior of the community of believers in order to maximize its success as a collective. The underlying premise of this lecture is that religious authority will sanction violence and aggression when they are assessed to be an effective means of realizing the goals of the collective. Conversely, when violence and aggression become unhelpful or counter- productive for realizing community goals they are forbidden. This phenomenology of religion (...) and violence is applied to the history of Judaism, Christianity and Islam to demonstrate that none of these religions is inherently more or less apt to engage in violence. Their use of belligerent and irenic behaviors are more profoundly influenced by historical context and social needs than by theology. (shrink)
Meditative poetry has the ability to reproduce aspects of the meditative experience. In this paper we explore this ability, trying to clarify the phenomenon by pointing out the cognitive processes involved. We focus on Christian Jesuit meditation and pinpoint one of its most effective elements: “the composition of place”. We argue that three main abilities associated with “the composition of place” are responsible for the meditative quality detected in poetic meditative texts: The text’s ability to evoke an orientation process; the (...) text’s ability to support diffuse perception and encourage divergent ways of processing; the text’s ability to generate the mental set required for this experience, the absence of purpose, and to supply the conditions that enable such a mental set to exist over time. We illustrate our theoretical discussion through a close reading of two meditative poetic masterpieces: Donne’s Holy Sonnet No. 7, and the Spanish anonymous sonnet “A Cristo Crucificado”. (shrink)
Gambling and Speculation takes the long, historic perspective of its controversial subject. The book offers not only a better understanding of the recent "gambling craze," but also a fundamental inquiry into human nature and the structure of societies. The Brenners argue that the negative image of gamblers and of speculators stems from prejudice, whose roots are in the distant, forgotten past. Legal scholars have frequently confused gambling with speculation and the anti-gambling laws were, at times, erroneously interpreted as implying the (...) prohibitions of contracts in futures and insurance markets. One consequence of all this confusion was that during this century both in the United States and England, the legislation and law on betting and gambling became ambiguous. The authors touch on this issue and make policy recommendations: to abolish restrictions on the industry, diminish the states' role in selling lotteries, and, at the same time, make legal distinctions capable of helping the tiny percentage of players who might be "addicted.". (shrink)
This book studies how poetic structure transforms verbal imitations of religious experience into concepts. The book investigates how such a conceptual language can convey such non-conceptual experiences as meditation, ecstasy or mystic insights. Briefly, it explores how the poet, by using words, can express the ‘ineffable’. It submits to close reading English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Armenian and Hebrew texts, from the Bible, through medieval, renaissance, metaphysical, and baroque poetry, to romantic and symbolistic poetry.
Meditative poetry has the ability to reproduce aspects of the meditative experience. In this paper we explore this ability, trying to clarify the phenomenon by pointing out the cognitive processes involved. We focus on Christian Jesuit meditation and pinpoint one of its most effective elements: ¿the composition of place¿. We argue that three main abilities associated with ¿the composition of place¿ are responsible for the meditative quality detected in poetic meditative texts: The text¿s ability to evoke an orientation process; the (...) text¿s ability to support diffuse perception and encourage divergent ways of processing; the text¿s ability to generate the mental set required for this experience, the absence of purpose, and to supply the conditions that enable such a mental set to exist over time. We illustrate our theoretical discussion through a close reading of two meditative poetic masterpieces: Donne¿s Holy Sonnet No. 7, and the Spanish anonymous sonnet ¿A Cristo Crucificado¿. (shrink)
In this article I examine a recent approach to regulating assisted reproduction, whereby use of some kind of medical intervention ‘triggers’ laws governing legal parenthood that are more favourable to intending parents and sperm providers. I argue that although perhaps an improvement on the previous legal framework, these laws are problematic for three important reasons. First, they are prone to violating parental rights and unjustly imposing substantial burdens on individuals. Second, they are discriminatory. Third, even if we take a pragmatic (...) approach to the question of parenthood in these cases, these laws fail to properly consider the welfare interests of children. Finally, I conclude by showing that my argument does not entail adopting a laissez-fair attitude to conception using third-party sperm. (shrink)
Abraham Joshua Heschel's oeuvre deals with the continuum of Jewish religious consciousness from the biblical and rabbinic periods through the kabbalistic and Hasidic ones with regard to God's concern for humanity. The goal of this study is to show how such a “Nachmanidean” reading has partially displaced the discontinuous “Maimonidean” reading promoted by Yehezkel Kaufman, Ephraim Urbach, and Gershom Scholem. The result is that Heschel's understanding of the development of Jewish theologizing is more influential now than it was during his (...) lifetime. This study traces the growth of that development and explores how Heschel became the scholar-theologian who most succeeded in bridging the gap between scholarship and constructive theology. (shrink)
El objetivo de este artículo es analizar algunas de las dificultades de la escritura académica en el nivel de postgrado reportadas en determinados estudios en el marco del concepto de las funciones cognitivas desarrollado por Reuven Feuerstein y otros trabajos que permiten evidenciar la posible relación entre estos dos fenómenos. Para ello, se exploró el marco conceptual de las funciones cognitivas y las operaciones mentales con base en la teoría de Feuerstein, et al., posteriormente se hizo una síntesis las (...) dificultades descritas por Carlino, Slafer y Hernández, para establecer, finalmente, evidencias de la relación entre funciones cognitivas y dificultades en la escritura académica. Los resultados muestran que las diferentes dificultades evidenciadas en los procesos de escritura en el postgrado tienen su fuente en las deficiencias cognitivas presentadas en cada fase del acto mental. Se concluye que las dificultades en la escritura académica registradas en los estudios tienen un vínculo estrecho con funciones cognitivas de las fases de elaboración y salida del pensamiento, aunque estas se asocian a la fase de entrada. (shrink)
This non-article explores the limitations of applying brain science in “higher” disciplines. Many brain scientists believe that it is only a matter of time that everything human will be accounted for by the findings of brain science. Michael Polányi in the nineteen-sixties and recently Michael Gazzaniga argued against such determinism. They say that while “lower-level” processes constrain “higher-level” ones, they cannot determine them. The human mind is an emergent process, and it cannot be predicted from brain structure anymore than traffic (...) can be predicted from the structure of a car. I claim that in many instances, the application of brain science in psychology and literary studies merely re-states in brain-language what has already been said in psychology-language or literature-language. It can, however, be fruitfully applied when it refutes prevalent erroneous assumptions or resolves certain incongruities in the domain of “higher” disciplines. (shrink)
This is a theoretical and methodological statement of what isn't and what is Cognitive poetics. It is focused on Peter Stockwell's discussion of deixis; but, I claim, much of what I have to say on Stockwell's work would apply to some degree to the work of many other critics. I argue that Stockwell translates traditional critical terms into a “cognitive“ language, but does not rely on cognitive processes to account for issues related to the texts discussed; and that he uses (...) these terms to label or classify poetic expressions rather than point out their interaction in generating poetic effects. The present paper does not presume to tell what is the “correct“ way to handle those terms, but attempts to give examples of how the same terms could be used with reference to cognitive processes, so as to account for poetic effects. (shrink)