Metacognition is either direct, as when information is recalled before making a confidence judgment, or indirect, as when the probability of successful future retrieval is determined inferentially. Direct metacognition may require an explicit mental representation as its object and can only be demonstrated under specific experimental circumstances. Other forms of metacognition can be based on publicly observable stimuli rather than introspection.
RobertRussell's theological work has been a helpful stimulus to the task of understanding the meaning of divine action and providence in the age of science. He relates God's direct action "fundamentally" to the hidden domain of quantum events, and his theology of nature deserves careful attention. It is questionable, however, whether the term fundamental as applied to quantum events by physical science may be taken over by theology without more careful qualification than Russell offers.
This essay compares Robert John Russell's work in his recent book Cosmology from Alpha to Omega: The Creative Mutual Interaction of Theology and Science (2008) to that of the authors known collectively as "the new atheists." I treat the latter as recent contributors to the modern tradition of scientific naturalism. This tradition makes claims to legitimacy on the basis of its close relations to the natural sciences. The purpose of this essay is to show up the poverty of (...) the naturalist tradition's scientific credentials by contrasting it with Russell's careful account of positive relations between science and Christian theology. (shrink)
The main title of Robert J. Russell's Cosmology from Alpha to Omega: The Creative Mutual Interaction of Theology and Science catches the substance of the essays; the subtitle his methodological vision. The mutualis modest as far as the influence from theology on science goes; in no way is Russell curtailing the pursuit of science. Driven by intellectual honesty, he holds that in the end religious convictions will have to stand the test of compatibility with scientific knowledge. And (...) as a Christian he believes core beliefs of Christianity, reformulated as needed, will be able to stand this test. The essays address the origin and contingency of our universe in relation to belief in creation, and his proposal for noninterventionist objective divine action. For him a stumbling block is natural evil; the evolutionary intelligibility of evil falls short of what would be desirable theologically. As steps toward an adequate eschatology Russell seeks to develop a more complex understanding of temporality, and proposes to understand the resurrection of Jesus as the First Instantiation of a New Law of the New Creation. This area is more in tension with current science, but that could be expected when one moves from creation to redemption. Within his self-imposed boundaries, these essays are well informed and well argued, and together they provide a sincere and sustained research program. (shrink)
This paper consists of a thorough examination of the russell-Wittgenstein controversy over identity. The early wittgenstein's comments on this issue are cryptic and obscure; yet one thing is obvious. His views on identity are partly, If not wholly a negative response to russell's. In unearthing the source of the controversy, I distinguish several senses of 'identity'. I then examine several texts of russell's showing that he fails to make these necessary distinctions. I conclude by demonstrating that wittgenstein's (...) comments are designed in part to rectify this mistake and in part to offer an illuminating analysis of his own. (shrink)
George Berkeley notoriously claimed that his immaterialist metaphysics was not only consistent with common sense but that it was also integral to its defense. Roberts argues that understanding the basic connection between Berkeley's philosophy and common sense requires that we develop a better understanding of the four principle components of Berkeley's positive metaphysics: The nature of being, the divine language thesis, the active/passive distinction, and the nature of spirits. Roberts begins by focusing on Berkeley's view of the nature of being. (...) He elucidates Berkeley's view on Locke and the Cartesians and by examining Berkeley's views about related concepts such as unity and simplicity. From there he moves on to Berkeley's philosophy of language arguing that scrutiny of the famous "Introduction" to the Principles of Human Knowledge reveals that Berkeley identified the ideational theory of meaning and understanding as the root cause of some of the worst of man's intellectual errors, not "abstract ideas." Abstract ideas are, rather, the most debilitating symptom of this underlying ailment. In place of the ideational theory, Berkeley defends a rudimentary "use theory" of meaning. This understanding of Berkeley's approach to semantics is then applied to the divine language thesis and is shown to have important consequences for Berkeley's pragmatic approach to the ontology of natural objects and for his approach to our knowledge of, and relation to other minds, including God's. Turning next to Berkeley's much aligned account of spirits, the author defends the coherence of Berkeley's view of spirits by way of providing an interpretation of the active/passive distinction as marking a normative distinction and by focusing on the role that divine language plays in letting Berkeley identify the soul with the will. With these four principles of Berkeley's philosophy in hand, he then returns to the topic of common sense and offers a defense of Berkeley's philosophy as built upon and expressive of the deepest metaphysical commitments of mainstream Christianity. Roberts' reappraisal of this important figure should appeal to all historians of philosophy as well as scholars in metaphysics and philosophy of language. (shrink)
Abstract Ethics education should aim to promote students? maturity across a broad spectrum of moral functioning, including moral reasoning, moral affect and moral behaviour. To identify the most effective strategy for promoting the comprehensive moral maturity of high school students, we enrolled students in one of four groups: an introductory ethics class, a blended economics??ethics class, a role?model ethics class taught by graduate students and a non?ethics comparison class. Pretest and post?test instruments measured the ways students (a) reason, (b) feel (...) and (c) act with regard to ethical?normative issues. The results indicated that the approaches to teaching ethics varied considerably in terms of their ability to promote significant positive changes in students? moral reasoning, empathy and behaviour. (shrink)
Episodic memory is usually regarded in a Conceptualist light, in the sense of its being dependent upon the grasp of concepts directly relevant to the act of episodic recollection itself, such as a concept of past times and of the self as an experiencer. Given this view, its development is typically timed as being in the early school-age years. We present a minimalist, Non-Conceptualist approach in opposition to this view, but one that also exists in clear contrast to the kind (...) of minimalism espoused by Clayton and Dickinson with regard to memory in food-caching birds. While emphasising the nonconceptual elements of episodic memory we also insist on the essentially phenomenological nature of the memory. We propose the third year of life as a plausible onset period. Our view is rooted in Kantian assumptions about the spatiotemporal content of experience and about the synthetic unity of experience—and thus of re-experience. We answer two objections to this position. (shrink)
We commonly identify something seriously defective in a human life that is lived in ignorance of important but unpalatable truths. At the same time, some degree of misapprehension of reality may be necessary for individual health and success. Morally speaking, it is unclear just how insistent we should be about seeking the truth. Robert Sparrow has considered such issues in discussing the manufacture and marketing of robot ‘pets’, such as Sony’s doglike ‘AIBO’ toy and whatever more advanced devices may (...) supersede it. Though it is not his only concern, Sparrow particularly criticizes such robot pets for their illusory appearance of being living things. He fears that some individuals will subconsciously buy into the illusion, and come to sentimentalize interactions that fail to constitute genuine relationships. In replying to Sparrow, I emphasize that this would be continuous with much of the minor sentimentality that we already indulge in from day to day. Although a disposition to seek the truth is morally virtuous, the virtue concerned must allow for at least some categories of exceptions. Despite Sparrow’s concerns about robot pets (and robotics more generally), we should be lenient about familiar, relatively benign, kinds of self-indulgence in forming beliefs about reality. Sentimentality about robot pets seems to fall within these categories. Such limited self-indulgence can co-exist with ordinary honesty and commitment to truth. (shrink)
Current debates about “Darwinizing culture” have typically focused on the validity of memetics. In this article we argue that meme-like inheritance is not a necessary requirement for descent with modification. We suggest that an alternative and more productive way of Darwinizing culture can be found in the application of phylogenetic methods. We review recent work on cultural phylogenetics and outline six fundamental questions that can be answered using the power and precision of quantitative phylogenetic methods. However, cultural evolution, like biological (...) evolution, is often far from treelike. We discuss the problems reticulate evolution can cause for phylogenetic analyses and suggest ways in which these problems can be overcome. Our solutions involve a combination of new methods for the study of cultural evolution , and the triangulation of different lines of historical evidence. Throughout we emphasize that most debates about cultural phylogenies can only be settled by empirical research rather than armchair speculation. (shrink)
Against criticisms advanced by stroll ("canadian journal of philosophy", Volume iv, Number 4, June 1975), This article defends russell's arguments for distinguishing names from descriptions as well as russell's view that descriptive phrases have meaning only in sentential context.
__Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action: Twenty Years of Challenge and Progress_ _is a collection of thirteen essays assessing the scholarly contributions to the _Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action_ series, which is comprised of five volumes resulting from international research conferences co-sponsored by the Vatican Observatory and the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences between 1991 and 2000. The overarching goal of the series is to advance the engagement of constructive theology with the natural sciences with special attention to the (...) theme of divine action and to investigate the philosophical and theological elements within science. This volume is divided into three sections: In Section One, contributors review the history of the series and the development of new research methodology and discuss philosophical issues raised by the laws of nature and the limits of science; in Section Two, authors provide philosophical analysis of specific issues in the series; and in Section Three, contributors offer theological analyses of specific issues. The five volumes in the series include: _Quantum Cosmology and the Laws of Nature_ ; _Chaos and Complexity_ ; _Molecular and Evolutionary Biology_ ; _Neuroscience and the Person_ ; and _Quantum Mechanics _, and are distributed by University of Notre Dame Press. (shrink)
I gratefully acknowledge and respond here to four reviews of my recent book, Cosmology from Alpha to Omega. Nancey Murphy stresses the importance of showing consistency between Christian theology and natural science through a detailed examination of my recent model of their creative interaction. She suggests how this model can be enhanced by adopting Alasdair MacIntyre's understanding of tradition in order to adjudicate between competing ways of incorporating science into a wider worldview. She urges the inclusion of ethics in my (...) model and predicts that this would successfully challenge the competing naturalist tradition in contemporary society. John F. Haught weighs the alternatives of viewing divine action as objective versus subjective and of divine action at one level in nature or at all levels. He asks whether physics is fundamental to nature, arguing instead that metaphysics should be considered as fundamental. Michael Ruse assesses occasional versus universal divine action, the problems raised to divine action when it is related to quantum mechanics, and the way these relations exacerbate the challenge of natural theodicy. As an alternative he suggests viewing God as outside time and acting through unbroken natural law. Willem B. Drees discusses my use of the bridge metaphor for the relation between theology and science, the implications when science is inspired by theology, the role of contingency and necessity in the anthropic principle/many-worlds debate, and the challenge of cosmology to eschatology with the ensuing problem of theodicy. (shrink)
Traditional eschatology clashes with the theory of entropy. Trying to bridge the gap, Robert John Russell assumes that theology and science are based on contradictory, yet equally valid, metaphysical assumptions, each one capable of questioning and impacting the other. The author doubts that Russell's proposal will convince empirically oriented scientists and attempts to provide a viable alternative. Historical‐critical analysis suggests that biblical future expectations were redemptive responses to changing human needs. Apocalyptic visions were occasioned by heavy suffering (...) in postexilic times. Interpreted in realistic terms, they have since proved to be untenable. The expectation of a new creation without evil, suffering, and death is not constitutive for the substantive content of the biblical message as such. Biblical future expectations must be reconceptualized in terms of best contemporary insight and in line with a dynamic reading of the biblical witness as God's vision of comprehensive optimal well‐being that operates like a shifting horizon and opens up ever new vistas, challenges, and opportunities. (shrink)
There is a problem regarding God and perception right at the heart of Berkeley ’s metaphysics. With respect to this problem, I will argue for : It is intractable. Berkeley has no solution to this problem, and neither can we hope to offer one on his behalf. However, I will also argue for : The truth of need not be seen as threatening the viability of Berkeley ’s metaphysics. In fact, it may even be seen as speaking in its favor.
This essay offers a defense of Axiarchism's answer to the question, "Why does the world exit?" against prominent objections leveled against it by Derek Parfit. Parfit rejects the Axiarchist answer while abstracting from it his own Selector strategy. I argue that the abstraction fails, and that even if we were to regard Axiarchism as an instance of a Selector hypothesis, we should regard it as the only viable one. I also argue that Parfit's abstraction leads him to mistake the nature (...) and, thereby, the force of Axiarchism's claim to being an ultimate explanation. Finally, I defend the Axiarchist's claim that the good could not fail to rule. (shrink)
I present a dilemma which depressive behavioral pathology poses for both Humean and non-Humean theories of motivation and value. Although the dilemma shows that neither theory can be considered adequate in its standard form, I argue that if the Humean theory is modified so as to embrace a richer notion of satisfaction than it currently does, it can solve the problem which depression poses for it and, thus, the dilemma can be avoided. Embracing a richer notion of satisfaction not only (...) solves this problem, it also extends the scope of the Humean theory in a potentially dramatic way, by extending the explanatory reach of moral psychology to issues often thought to fall outside its scope, namely, issues in moral psychopathology. (shrink)
An objection is offered to the frege-russell definition. the definition identifies the number 1 with the set of all unit sets. however, it is argued here that the identity conditions for sets require that if any member of a set had not existed, the set itself would not have. therefore, had any object whatever not existed, the unit set containing it would not have either, and thus the set with which the definition identifies 1 would not have. but then, (...) 1 either would not have existed or would have been a different entity than it is, and it is argued that neither alternative is acceptable. (shrink)
This paper discusses the ethical and regulatory issues raised by ‘‘intragenics’’ – organisms that have been genetically modified using gene technologies, but that do not contain DNA from another species. Considering the rapid development of knowledge about gene regulation and genomics, we anticipate rapid advances in intragenic methods. Of regulatory systems developed to govern genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, the Australian system stands out in explicitly excluding intragenics from regulation. European systems are also (...) under pressure to exclude intragenics from regulation. We evaluate recent arguments that intragenics are safer and more morally acceptable than transgenic organisms, and more acceptable to the public, which might be thought to justify a lower standard of regulation. We argue that the exemption of intragenics from regulation is not justified, and that there may be significant environmental risks associated with them. We conclude that intragenics should be subject to the same standard of regulation as other GMOs. (shrink)