Among the most interesting of the controversies in the recent history of parapsychology and related studies is the claim made in 1933 by the psychical researcher Harry Price that the medium Rudi Schneider had on one particular occasion produced his psychic effects by fraudulent means. The background to this event, and the controversy which followed it, are described in detail in this article, which draws on many hitherto unpublished materials. The issues involved range from the design of experiments in (...) an unusual area of science, through the relation between fringe and orthodox science, to the role of popularisers of science and the ethics of science. (shrink)
The authors of the papers in A Simple Matter of Justice? reject something they label “heterosexism.” Their writing is obscure, but it seems they desire a state-regimented conformity, with state-approved roles for gays, for lesbians and for others, with state hand-outs and other privileges for all manner of favoured groups, and with no possibility of anyone indulging in the pleasures of “commercial consumerism.” None of the authors appears concerned with the demand that, provided he/she does not violate anyone’s rights, the (...) state should not put any barriers in the way of the sexually active citizen. The Geography of Perversion is a dull and ponderous history of European ideas about male homosexual behaviour, which in places seems to be little more than lists of what various people said. It is appallingly written in grandiloquent language larded with daft Marxist clichés. (shrink)
What does it mean to drive a Cadillac? What does 'cuckoo' suggest about the bird? -- two examples explored in this investigation of the history of language signs and of what philosophers, linguists, and others have had to say about them. Rudi Keller shows how signs emerge, function, and develop in the permanent process of language change. He recombines thoughts and ideas from Plato to the present day to create a new theory of the meaning and evolution of icons (...) and symbols. By assuming no prior knowledge and by developing his argument from first principles, Rudi Keller has written a basic text which includes all the necessary features: easy style, good organization, original scholarship, and historical depth. This is a non-technical book which will interest linguists, philosophers, students of communications and cultural studies, semioticians/semanticists, sociologists, and anthropologists. (shrink)
Anders, Rudi I enjoy mixing with people who hold different beliefs from mine. Belief is a very complex and rather odd thing. I am particularly interested in the psychology of belief. Sometimes belief is the cause of terrible conflict and suffering.
Anders, Rudi Mental conditioning is like gravity; it feels so normal and ever-present that it often goes unnoticed, but it influences much human behaviour. I am not free when I am not aware how my ideas and attitudes are absorbed from my culture, family, the media and peers. It takes courage to stand alone.
Anders, Rudi Mathematics is objective and unambiguous, but as soon as mathematics is applied to anything in the human world, human values complicate the issues. Two apples for two people equals one apple for each person, but compassion for a starving person, or other human values, can alter the outcome.
Anders, Rudi When I see a colourful sunset, my mind goes to a spectacular purple sunset I saw near the Mexican border many years ago. That memory stops me from being fully aware of the scene in front of me. No two sunsets are the same and my memory is stopping me from fully appreciating the spectacle before my eyes. Famous and spectacular places don't work for me because expectations and memories get in the way, but when I walk (...) alone in nature I find my mind stops chattering and I begin to effortlessly notice the shades of green in the foliage, the patterns in the bark on the trees and the sounds and fragrances. It sometimes feels as if am absorbed by the surroundings. When this happens I don't bother with the names of birds or flowers because even that distracts from direct experience. (shrink)
Anders, Rudi The articles in AH I like best are the ones with which I disagree to a greater or lesser degree, because they force me to re-think and clarify my position. One such article was by John Perkins, titled 'Let's admit that Islam is a problem'. Although the article is very well-written, and I admire John's fact-finding regarding Islam, I think he misses the elephant in the room. Namely, Christian Europe and North America killed far more people than (...) Islam ever did. Buddhist and Shinto Japan did shocking things in the last world war. Jews in Israel ignore the rights of Palestinians. The atheist communist Soviet Union was as bad as Christian Czarist Russia. There is gross injustice in Hindu India. I don't think Islam should be singled out as a problem. I agree that religion can be a problem but the many atheist dictators, for example: Napoleon Bonaparte, Mussolini and Stalin, are also a problem, so atheism as such is not a guarantee of justice. (shrink)
Anders, Rudi Sometimes it is nice to do something totally unconnected to the usual bustle of life, such as a walk in the park. This time I visit a German Lutheran church in Melbourne; I have never entered it before. The exterior and interior consistently retain the traditional design. The bluestone gives it a sense of permanence - timelessness. I rarely like modern churches; mixing modern and traditional never works for me. This church is not large and has an (...) intimate feel to it. The people are all smiles. I like people, regardless of their beliefs. Family groups look like they feel at home, and visitors like me are made welcome. I sit and admire the skill of the craftsmen who attended to every detail in the church. They didn't have the modern machines we take for granted. (shrink)
In this article the author analyzes the positions of the intellectuals from the former Yugoslavia, gathered around Praxis journal, toward nationalism, as well as nationalists’ critiques of them, mainly from Croatia and Serbia. The analysis covers up the period from the beginning of Praxis to the first decade of this century.
Mindwandering is associated with both positive and negative outcomes. Among the latter, negative mood and negative cognitions have been reported. However, the underlying mechanisms linking mindwandering to negative mood and cognition are still unclear. We hypothesized that MW could either directly enhance negative thinking or indirectly heighten the accessibility of negative thoughts. In an undergraduate sample we measured emotional thoughts during the Sustained Attention on Response Task which induces MW, and accessibility of negative cognitions by means of the Scrambled Sentences (...) Task after the task. We also measured depressive symptoms and rumination. Results show that in individuals with elevated levels of depressive symptoms MW during SART predicts higher accessibility of negative thoughts after the task, rather than negative thinking during the task. These findings contribute to our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of MW and provide insight into the relationship between task-involvement and affect. (shrink)
In public communication contexts, such as when a company announces the proposal for an important organizational change, argumentation typically involves multiple audiences, rather than a single and homogenous group, let alone an individual interlocutor. In such cases, an exhaustive and precise characterization of the audience structure is crucial both for the arguer, who needs to design an effective argumentative strategy, and for the external analyst, who aims at reconstructing such a strategic discourse. While the peculiar relevance of multiple audience is (...) often emphasized in the argumentation literature and in rhetorical studies, proposals for modelling multi-audience argumentative situations remain scarce and unsystematic. To address this gap, we propose an analytical framework which integrates three conceptual constructs: Rigotti and Rocci’s notion of communicative activity type, understood as the implementation of an interaction scheme into a piece of institutional reality, named interaction field; the stakeholder concept, originally developed in strategic management and public relations studies to refer to any actor who affects and/or is affected by the organizational actions and who, accordingly, carries an interest in them; the concept of participant role as it emerges from Goffman’s theory of conversation analysis and related linguistic and media studies. From this integration, we derive the notion of text stakeholder for referring to any organizational actor whose interest becomes an argumentative issue which the organizational text must account for in order to effectively achieve its communicative aim. The text stakeholder notion enables a more comprehensive reconstruction and characterization of multiple audience by eliciting the relevant participants staged in a text and identifying, for each of them, the interactional role they have, the peculiar interest they bear and the related argumentative issue they create. Considering as an illustrative case the defense document issued by a corporation against a hostile takeover attempt made by another corporation, we show how this framework can support the analysis of strategic maneuvering by better defining the audience demand and, so, better explaining how real arguers design and adapt their topical and presentational choices. (shrink)
Introduction: Talking 'bout my generation -- Part I: Looking for difference -- Levinas, multiculturalism, and us -- In respectful contempt : Heidegger, appropriation, facticity -- Whistling in the dark : two approaches to anxiety -- Part II: After Levinas -- The price of being dispossessed : Levinas' God and Freud's trauma -- The mortality of the transcendent : Levinas and evil -- Is ethics fundamental? : questioning Levinas on irresponsibility -- Part III: After Heidegger -- Intransitive facticity : a question (...) to Heidegger -- Demons and the demonic : Kierkegaard and Heidegger on anxiety and sexual difference -- Dissensus communis : how to keep silent "after" Lyotard -- Conclusion: In search of visibility. (shrink)