Although Darwinian concepts have largely been banned from the social sciences of the last century, they have recently seen a revival in several disciplines such as sociology, anthropology, or economics. Most of the current proponents of evolutionary theorizing in the social sciences avoid references to the older literature on social evolution. On that background, this article presents a contribution to Darwinist thinking in early American sociology that has mainly been overlooked in the literature. As the leading figure of the Human (...) Ecology Approach, which was established during the 1920s and 1930s, Robert Ezra Park drew heavily on evolutionary concepts to explain human evolution. A systematic presentation of these concepts in the light of the modern discussion on sociocultural evolution is given, followed by a conclusion about what can be learned from Park today. (shrink)
The world is increasingly full of junk science. Pseudo-scientific claims are rife, and the public is regularly misled. Here, the physicist RobertPark points out seven warning signs of pseudo-science. Does parapsychology exhibit any of these warning signs? Read on to find out….
From uttering a prayer before boarding a plane, to exploring past lives through hypnosis, has superstition become pervasive in contemporary culture? RobertPark, the best-selling author of Voodoo Science, argues that it has. In Superstition, Park asks why people persist in superstitious convictions long after science has shown them to be ill-founded. He takes on supernatural beliefs from religion and the afterlife to New Age spiritualism and faith-based medical claims. He examines recent controversies and concludes that science (...) is the only way we have of understanding the world. Park sides with the forces of reason in a world of continuing and, he fears, increasing superstition. Chapter by chapter, he explains how people too easily mistake pseudoscience for science. He discusses parapsychology, homeopathy, and acupuncture; he questions the existence of souls, the foundations of intelligent design, and the power of prayer; he asks for evidence of reincarnation and astral projections; and he challenges the idea of heaven. Throughout, he demonstrates how people's blind faith, and their confidence in suspect phenomena and remedies, are manipulated for political ends. Park shows that science prevails when people stop fooling themselves. Compelling and precise, Superstition takes no hostages in its quest to provoke. In shedding light on some very sensitive--and Park would say scientifically dubious--issues, the book is sure to spark discussion and controversy. (shrink)
The intent of ethics is to establish a set of standards that will provide a framework to modify, regulate, and possibly enhance moral behaviour. Eleven focus groups were conducted with physicians from six culturally distinct countries to explore their perception of formalized, written ethical guidelines (i.e., codes of ethics, credos, value and mission statements) that attempt to direct their ethical practice. Six themes emerged from the data: lack of awareness, no impact, marginal impact, other codes or value statements supersede, personal (...) codes or values dictate, and ethical guidelines are useful. Overall, codes were valued only when they were congruent with existing personal morality. The findings suggest the need to re-evaluate the purpose, content, and delivery of codes for them to improve their function in promoting ethical conduct. (shrink)
This book introduces Robert Corrington’s “ecstatic naturalism,” a new perspective in understanding “sacred” nature and naturalism, and explores what can be done with this philosophical thought. This is an excellent resource for scholars of Continental philosophy, philosophy of religion, and American pragmatism.
A plea has been made for replacing the perspective of “symbolic interactionism” with a new interactionist's perspective—“radical interactionism.” Unlike in symbolic interactionism, where Mead's and Blumer's ideas play the most prominent roles, in radical interactionism's, Park's ideas play a more prominent role than either Mead's or Blumer's ideas. On the one hand, according to Mead, the general principle behind the organization of human group life was once dominance, but it is now “sociality.” On the other hand, according to (...) class='Hi'>Park, this general principle is now and has always been dominance. Blumer takes a position much closer to Mead's than Park's arguing that the general principle underlying the organization of human group life is sociality. Under certain special conditions, however, it can become dominance. Although like radical interactionism, symbolic interactionism is rooted in pragmatism, unlike in radical interactionism, symbolic interactionism is still plagued with strains of utopian thought, among which the notion of sociality is the most virulent. Sociality may be the principle on which human group life is organized in heaven, but, down here on earth, it remains organized on the basis of domination. Thus, radical interactionism provides a much-needed antidote to the idealistic overtones still found in symbolic interactionism. (shrink)
Reviews : Robyn Eckersley, Environmentalism and Political Theory: Toward an Ecocentric Approach ; Robert E. Goodin, Green Political Theory ; Peter Hay and Robyn Eckersley , Ecopolitical Theory: Essaysfrom Australia, ; Peter Hay, Robyn Eckersley and Geoff Holloway Environmental Politics in Australia and New Zealand ; Drew Hutton , Green Politics in Australia ; Michael Muetzelfeldt , Society, State and Politics in Australia.
This is a review of the book Cultivating Original Enlightenment: Wŏnhyo's Exposition of the Vajrasamādhi-Sūtra, by Robert E. Buswell, Jr., published by the Univeristy of Hawaii Press. This volume, the first to be published in the Collected Works of Wŏnhyo series, contains the translation of a single text by Wŏnhyo, the Kŭmgang Sammaegyŏng Non.
This article sympathetically explores the phenomenological pragmatism of Robert E. Innis in Consciousness and the Play of Forms and Pragmatism and the Forms of Sense. Disputing both the realistic view that perception underlies semiosis and deconstructionist reversals of this, Innis claims they are inextricably interwoven. He forges an alliance between pragmatists Peirce and Dewey, and Continental phenomenologists Polanyi, Bühler, and Cassirer, a "polyphony" that also yields a richly aesthetic critique of technology. By restricting his analysis to a methodological "frame," (...) Innis overlooks a metaphysical tension between Polanyi's realism and Cassirer's idealism, though potentially resolvable in Dewey's transactional philosophy. (shrink)
The precise application of the term ‘heroic measures’ in the discourse of medicine and medical ethics is somewhat uncertain. What counts and what does not is, at the margins, a perpetually contentious issue. Basically, though, we can say that the term refers to the deployment of unusual technologies or treatment regimes, or of ordinary technologies or treatment regimes beyond their usual limits.
Maximizing want-satisfaction per se is a relatively unattractive aspiration, for it seems to assume that wants are somehow disembodied entities with independent moral claims all of their own. Actually, of course, they are possessed by particular people. What preference-utilitarians should be concerned with is how people's lives go—the fulfilment of their projects and the satisfaction of their desires. In an old-fashioned way of talking, it is happy people rather than happiness per se that utilitarians should be striving to produce.
Elsewhere I have defended utilitarianism as a philosophy peculiarly well suited to the conduct of public affairs, on grounds of the peculiar tasks and instruments confronting public officials. Here I add another plank to that defence of ‘utilitarianism as a public philosophy’, focusing on the peculiar role responsibilities of people serving in public capacities. Such ‘public service utilitarianism’ is incumbent not only upon public officials but also upon individuals in their capacities as citizens and voters. I close with reflections on (...) how best to evoke appreciation of these utilitarian role responsibilities from officials and electors alike. (shrink)
O presente artigo procura mostrar a crítica conservadora inglesa do século XVII às noções de liberdade natural e contrato originário, ao deslocar a origem do poder político para as relações afetivas estabelecidas pelos laços sentimentais de família que mantêm pais e filhos unidos. Mais exatamente, a legitimação política do poder teria como fundamento uma autoridade natural semelhante à relação verificada entre pais e filhos. Segundo essa teoria, cujo mais importante representante foi Robert Filmer, o fundamento da autoridade política não (...) é fruto de uma instituição arbitrária dos homens, mas uma necessidade introduzida por Deus, com o propósito de justificar as monarquias absolutistas. (shrink)
Robert Innis has performed an immensely valuable service for scholars in the fields of American philosophy, aesthetics, and semiotics. Not only does his comprehensive view of Susanne K. Langer’s opus show us its development, but this is the only book in English devoted solely to Langer. I hope it may help retrieve her considerable philosophical achievement from the penumbral, fading status it has today. Not only does Innis give us a close discussion of Langer’s philosophy, but he also presents (...) a running argument that she should be embraced as an “American philosopher” and semiotician who shares themes with Dewey and Peirce. This is significant insofar as Langer held herself aloof from the work of both Dewey and . (shrink)
Insieme a John McDowell, Robert Brandom è uno dei filosofi emergenti della reazione al naturalismo filosofico; seguace Wilfrid Sellars, è l'autore americano che più si avvicina al dialogo con la filosofia continentale e propone una rivalutazione di Kant e Hegel nella filosofia analitica. Già allievo di Richard Rorty, Brandom è diventuo famoso con la pubblicazione di Making it Explicit. Questo ponderoso volume di 900 pagine non ha avuto però ancora una sufficiente attenzione nel dibattito filosofico italiano (a parte alcuni (...) inteventi pubblicati su Iride). Forse questo dipende in parte dalla peculiarità e difficoltà del suo approccio, in parte dalla mole stessa del citato volume. Anche per questo motivo Brandom ha presentato una serie di lezioni2 ove riprende i temi del libro maggiore e ne approfondisce alcune parti. In quanto segue si presentano i temi fondamentale di Making it Explicit, arricchiti con elementi presi dal nuovo approfondimento. (shrink)
In questo studio sono pubblicate alcune lettere inedite, conservate nella Bibliothèque Publique et Universitaire di Ginevra, risalenti agli anni 1669-1678, scambiate tra Jean-Robert Chouet e Claude Pajon. Grazie all’apporto di questi due protagonisti delle accademie di Saumure di Ginevra è possibile meglio intendere, nella complessità dei riferimenti e delle sfumature, le soluzioni relative al tema della libertà divina nell’opera della creazione e della redenzione, argomento di grande interesse nella speculazione filosofica e teologica del Seicento. Si tratta di documenti preziosi, (...) in particolare per la storia della filosofia cartesiana, in quanto il confronto critico, che verte soprattutto sulle tesi di Cartesio concernenti la volontà divina e umana, offre a Chouet l’opportunità di intervenire a chiarire, contro riduttive letture volontaristiche, il significato della dottrina cartesiana della «volonté souveraine et independante de Dieu». (shrink)