The book is the first dedicated volume in English on some aspects of Ḥamīd Dīn Kirmānī's and Mullā Ṣadrā's political thought.Kirmānī was a key Isma'ili figure who represented and advocated "moderate" Isma'ili thought during the imamate of the Fatimid imam/caliph in Cairo, al-Ḥākim bi-Amr Allah. Mullā Ṣadrā is the most eminent Shi'Imami philosopher in the last four hundred years and the founder of the school of transcendent philosophy who has received huge attention in Muslim and in Western academia.In her extremely (...) useful study, Sayeh Meisami addresses the philosophical link between the theoretical and practical philosophies of the two thinkers, particularly the... (shrink)
I attempt a reconstruction of Adam Smith's view of human nature as explicated in The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Smith's view of human conduct is neither functionalist nor reductionist, but interactionist. The moral autonomy of the individual, conscience, is neither made a function of public approval nor reduced to self-contained impulses of altruism and egoism. Smith does not see human conduct as a blend of independently defined impulses. Rather, conduct is unified, by the underpinning sentiment of sympathy.
Medical research must involve the participation of human subjects. Knowledge of patients' perspectives and concerns with their involvement in research would enhance recruitment efforts, improve the informed consent process, and enhance the overall trust between patients and investigators. Several studies have examined the views of patients from Western countries. There is limited empirical research involving the perspectives of individuals from developing countries. The purpose of this study is to examine the attitudes of Egyptian individuals toward medical research. Such information would (...) help clarify the type and extent of concerns regarding research participation of individuals from cultural, economic, and political backgrounds that differ from those in developed countries. (shrink)
ObjectivesDepression and anxiety persist in cancer patients, creating an additional burden during treatment and making it more challenging in terms of management and control. Studies on the prevalence of depression and anxiety among cancer patients in the Middle East are limited and include many limitations such as their small sample sizes and restriction to a specific type of cancer in specific clinical settings. This study aimed to describe the prevalence and risk factors of depression and anxiety among cancer patients in (...) the inpatient and outpatient settings.Materials and MethodsA total of 1,011 patients formed the study sample. Patients’ psychological status was assessed using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, the Patient Health Questionnaire, and the Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item scale. The prevalence rate of depressive and anxious symptomatology was estimated by dividing the number of patients who exceeded the borderline score: 10 or more for each subscale of the HADS scale, 15 or more for the GAD-7 scale, and 15 or more in the PHQ-9 by the total number of the patients. Risk factors were identified using logistic regression.ResultsThe prevalence of depressive and anxious symptomatology among all patients was 23.4% and 19.1–19.9%, respectively. Depressive symptomatology was more prevalent across patients who were hospitalized compared with patients in the outpatient setting. Similarly, anxious symptomatology was more prevalent in the inpatient setting. In the inpatient setting, depressive symptomatology was more prevalent among patients with bladder cancer, while severe anxious symptomatology was more prevalent across patients with lung cancer. In the outpatient setting, depressive and anxious symptomatology was more prevalent among breast and prostate cancer patients, respectively. Despite that, around 42.7% and 24.8% of the patients, respectively, reported that they feel anxious and depressed, and only 15.5% of them were using medications to manage their conditions.ConclusionOur study findings demonstrated a higher prevalence of depressive and anxious symptomatology in the inpatient setting and advanced disease stages. In addition, the underutilization of antidepressant therapy was observed. There is a need to consider mental disorders as part of the treatment protocol for cancer patients. Enhanced clinical monitoring and treatment of depression and anxiety of cancer patients are required. (shrink)
This paper discusses the question of an Ismaʿili influence within the cosmology of al-Ghazālī and argues that al-Ghazālī appropriated certain features of the Ismaʿili cosmology from the Persian Ismaʿili thought of Nāṣir-i Khusraw. After introducing Nāṣir-i Khusraw and his Ismaʿili Neoplatonic cosmology, the paper first examines some of the Ismaʿili doctrinal material presented in al-Ghazālī’s anti-Ismaʿili polemical work Faḍāʾiḥ al-bāṭiniyya—concerning cosmology, revelation, and taʾwīl—and traces this content back to Nāṣir-i Khusraw’s works, arguing that Nāṣir-i Khusraw was one of the sources (...) for al-Ghazālī’s knowledge of Ismaʿili doctrines. Secondly, the paper highlights a number of commonalities and shared terminology between the cosmology, epistemology, and doctrine of prophecy in al-Ghazālī’s Mishkāt al-anwār and the Ismaʿili doctrines of Nāṣir-i Khusraw, revealing how the two thinkers understand the cosmos as containing precisely ‘two worlds’, emphasize the correspondence between the spiritual and physical realms, and conceive the faculty of prophecy as a higher supra-intellectual spirit or ‘eye’ of perception. Thirdly, the paper revisits the scholarly debate concerning al-Ghazālī’s higher theology and cosmology in the Veils section of the Mishkāt. It demonstrates that al-Ghazālī’s worldview, which places the transcendent God above the First Mover of the Aristotelians and the Necessary Existent of the falāsifa using the Qurʾānic symbolism of Moon and Sun worship, has been appropriated from Nāṣir-i Khusraw’s Ismaʿili Neoplatonic cosmology. (shrink)
Every person has his/her own unique signature that is used mainly for the purposes of personal identification and verification of important documents or legal transactions. There are two kinds of signature verification: static and dynamic. Static(off-line) verification is the process of verifying an electronic or document signature after it has been made, while dynamic(on-line) verification takes place as a person creates his/her signature on a digital tablet or a similar device. Offline signature verification is not efficient and slow for a (...) large number of documents. To overcome the drawbacks of offline signature verification, we have seen a growth in online biometric personal verification such as fingerprints, eye scan etc. In this paper we created CNN model using python for offline signature and after training and validating, the accuracy of testing was 99.70%. (shrink)
Background Paediatric clinical research faces unique challenges that compromise optimal recruitment of children into clinical trials. A main barrier to enrolment of children is parental misconceptions about the research process. In developing countries, there is a knowledge gap regarding parental perceptions of and attitudes towards their children's participation in clinical trials. Objective To explore such perceptions and attitudes in Lebanese parents. Study design 33 in-depth interviews were conducted with parents with and without previous research experience. Interviews were tape-recorded, transcribed in (...) colloquial Arabic, and later subjected to thematic analysis. Results Benefit/risk ratio assessment was a major determinant of parental consent. Fear of adverse events or painful procedures in research was a recurring theme in most interviews. Whereas perception of direct benefit to the child, trust in the physician or institution, financial gains or having a positive previous experience in research facilitated consent, a complex informed consent form and misunderstanding of the term ‘randomisation’ hindered parental approval of participation. Conclusion Lebanese parents have perceptions of and attitudes towards children's participation in clinical trials that are similar to those reported from the industrialised world. Improving communication with parents and building trust between researchers and parents is important for successful recruitment. Investigators planning to conduct paediatric trials in developing countries need to simplify consent forms and devise new ways to explain randomisation. (shrink)
BackgroundStudies have shown that research participants fail to appreciate the difference between research and medical care, labeling such phenomenon as a "therapeutic misconception" (TM). Since research activity involving human participants is increasing in the Middle East, qualitative research investigating aspects of TM is warranted. Our objective was to assess for the existence of therapeutic misconception amongst Egyptians.MethodsStudy Tool: We developed a semi-structured interview guide to elicit the knowledge, attitudes, and perspectives of Egyptians regarding medical research.Setting: We recruited individuals from the (...) outpatient settings (public and private) at Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt.Analysis: Interviews were taped, transcribed, and translated. We analyzed the content of the transcribed text to identify the presence of a TM, defined in one of two ways: TM1 = inaccurate beliefs about how individualized care can be compromised by the procedures in the research and TM2 = inaccurate appraisal of benefit obtained from the research study.ResultsOur findings showed that a majority of participants (11/15) expressed inaccurate beliefs regarding the degree with which individualized care will be maintained in the research setting (TM1) and a smaller number of participants (5/15) manifested an unreasonable belief in the likelihood of benefits to be obtained from a research study (TM2). A total of 12 of the 15 participants were judged to have expressed a TM on either one of these bases.ConclusionThe presence of TM is not uncommon amongst Egyptian individuals. We recommend further qualitative studies investigating aspects of TM involving a larger sample size distinguished by different types of illnesses and socio-economic variables, as well as those who have and have not participated in clinical research. (shrink)
Plato’s Cleitophon: On Socrates and the Modern Mind is a short but weighty book examining important questions with clarity and depth. From the hope for globalism and perpetual peace to the despair of nihilism, Kremer brings Socratic philosophy to bear upon the modern mind.
Breaking bad news to mothers whose children has disability is an important role of physicians. There has been considerable speculation about the inevitability of parental dissatisfaction with how they are informed of their child’s disability. Egyptian mothers’ preferences for how to be told the bad news about their child’s disability has not been investigated adequately. The objective of this study was to elicit Egyptian mothers’ preferences for how to be told the bad news about their child’s disability.
Women’s political representation is the common concern of the entirefeminist. However, the idea of women representation in politics is criticized thatto how women should be represented in politics. The present study aimed to analyse the challenges and opportunities to the women substantive role in local government Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The study adopted the qualitative method of research to analyse women’s substantive representation. The women’s substantive roles were assessed by pre developed themes as;women’s participation in the local council business, Women’s influence on (...) political party, women’s access to local government financial resources, and women’s role in civil society’s mobilization. The researchers further asked leading questions under eachtheme to collect respondent’s views with respect to challenges and opportunities to women substantive role in local government Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.The study was conducted in District Mardan Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The researchers conducted 10 in-depth interviews with women councillors elected on reserved seats in village/neighbourhood council of district Mardan by using purposive sampling technique of qualitative research. (shrink)
Plant production provides human and animal life with different requirements. The concern of workers in agriculture in general and those interested in plant diseases, in particular, has been focused on protection from all that is expected to have problems of production. As environmental conditions play a critical role in the treatment of diseases, the plant is prepared and rendered more susceptible to production, which is exposed and may result in the loss of the entire crop. Objectives: The main goal of (...) this expert system is to get the appropriate diagnosis of Apple disease and the correct treatment. Methods: In this paper the design of the proposed Expert System which was produced to help Farmers, people interested in agriculture and agricultural engineers in diagnosing many of the apple diseases such as : Apple scab, Marssonina leaf blotch (pre mature leaf fall) , Black rot canker, Collar rot , Powdery mildew ,Sooty blotch and fly speck, Apple mosaic and other virus diseases , Alternaria leaf spot/blight , Core rot , Brown rot , White rot / root rot , Seedling blight . The proposed expert system presents an overview about apple diseases are given, the cause of diseases are outlined and the treatment of disease whenever possible is given out. CLIPS with Delphi were used for designing and implementing the proposed expert system. Results: The proposed apple diseases diagnosis expert system was evaluated by Farmer, Agricultural experts and teachers of the Gaza School of Agriculture and they were satisfied with its performance. Conclusions: The Proposed expert system is very useful for Farmers, and those interested in agriculture with apple disease and recent graduate students. (shrink)
Buildings energy consumption is growing gradually and put away around 40% of total energy use. Predicting heating and cooling loads of a building in the initial phase of the design to find out optimal solutions amongst different designs is very important, as ell as in the operating phase after the building has been finished for efficient energy. In this study, an artificial neural network model was designed and developed for predicting heating and cooling loads of a building based on a (...) dataset for building energy performance. The main factors for input variables are: relative compactness, roof area, overall height, surface area, glazing are a, wall area, glazing area distribution of a building, orientation, and the output variables: heating and cooling loads of the building. The dataset used for training are the data published in the literature for various 768 residential buildings. The model was trained and validated, most important factors affecting heating load and cooling load are identified, and the accuracy for the validation was 99.60%. (shrink)
Rachlin basically marshals three reasons behind his unconventional claim that altruism is a subcategory of self-control and that, hence, the prisoner's dilemma is the appropriate metaphor of altruism. I do not find any of the three reasons convincing. Therefore, the prisoner's dilemma metaphor is unsuitable for explaining altruism.
According to Tocqueville, the freedom of the press, which he treats as an extension of the freedom of speech, is a primary constituent element of liberty. Tocqueville treats the freedom of the press in relation to and as an extension of the right to assemble and govern one’s own affairs, both of which he argues are essential to preserving liberty in a free society. Although scholars acknowledge the importance of civil associations to liberty in Tocqueville’s political thought, they routinely ignore (...) the importance he places on the freedom of the press and speech. His reflections on the importance of the free press and speech may help to shed light on the dangers of recent attempts to censor the press and speech. (shrink)
Civil society consists of members obligated to respect each other’s rights and, hence, trade with each other as equals. What determines the boundary, rather than the nature, of civil society? For Adam Smith, the boundary consists of humanity itself because it is determined by identification: humans identify with other humans because of common humanness. While Smith’s theory can explain the emotions associated with justice (jubilance) and injustice (resentment), it provides a mushy ground for the boundary question: Why not extend the (...) common identity to nonhuman animals? Or why not restrict the boundary to one’s own dialect, ethnicity or race? For David Hume, the boundary need not consist of humanity itself because it is determined by self-interest: a European need not respect the property of outsiders such as Native Americans, if the European benefits more by exploiting them than including them in the European society. While Hume’s theory can provide a solid ground for the boundary question, it cannot explain the emotions associated with justice. This paper suggests a framework that combines the strengths, and avoids the shortcomings, of Smith’s and Hume’s theories. (shrink)
Although the Titanic disaster happened just over one hundred years ago, it still appeals researchers to understand why some passengers survived while others did not. With the use of a machine learning tool (JustNN) and the provided dataset we study which factors or classifications of passengers have a strong relationship with survival for passengers that took that trip on 15th of April, 1912. The analysis seeks to identify characteristics of passengers - cabin class, age, and point of departure – and (...) that relationship to the chance of survival for the disaster. Furthermore, we developed a model for classifying passengers. The model was trained and tested and we found the accuracy to be more than 99.28%. (shrink)
Are there empirical anomalies upon which Dewey's theory of action sheds better light than existing neoclassical and heterodox approaches? This introduction answers in the affirmative. They are the set of anomalies highlighted by behavioral economics. These anomalies stress the centrality of context. Neoclassical theorists react to the 'context problematic' by claiming that context, after all, is part of either the constraint set or the preference set. Dewey and his collaborator, Bentley, called such standard rationality theories 'interactional.' On the other hand, (...) heterodox economists and mainstream sociologists and anthropologists appropriate the 'context problematic' to buttress their normative views on how constraints such as culture, norms, and budgets mold preferences after their image. Dewey and Bentley called such normative theories 'self-actional.' Both neoclassical theorists and their critics fail to see that context cannot be reduced to the constraint set, preference set, or set of norms. In contrast, Dewey and Bentley offer a fresh way to solve the 'context problematic,' what they call the 'transactional view.'. (shrink)
In the conditions in which dominant global powers is still trying to expand their cultural hegemony, neo-colonialism, over the countries which are trying to hold their independence, through the creation of native intellectuals who are mentally Gharbzadeh, Westoxificated. This study finds it crucial to take the issue a step further ahead to discuss how the ideas of Ale-e Ahamad’s famous theory of Gharbzadegi is still applicable in our time and reveals its representations in Said’s well-known concept of Orientalism. These imperial (...) powers through the controlling of the world’s educational system and thoughts and ultimately the mindsets of the native intellectuals of the downtrodden countries would have produced Intellectuals who are mentally filled with Westernized knowledge. These people who are mostly kind, good in nature, and placid seem to be dominated by a sense of instrumental rationality which makes them obediently adaptable to the dominant power. These people have narrated our history so far and we have had enough. (shrink)
The paper examines the ramifications of naturalism with regard to the question of individuality in economics and biology. Economic theory has to deal with whether households, firms, and states are individuals or are mere entities such as clubs, networks, and coalitions. Biological theory has to deal with the same question with regard to cells, organisms, family packs, and colonies. To wit, the question of individuality in both disciplines involves three separate problems: the metaphysical, phenomenist, and ontological. The metaphysical problem is (...) concerned with purposeful action: Is the firm or organism exclusively the product of efficient causality (optimization) or is it motivated by final causality (purposefulness)? The phenomenist problem is interested in the substantiality of essences: Is the firm''s or organism''s scheme of institutions/traits deep or is it extraneous to identity? The ontological problem is related to the issue of reductionism: Is the behavior of lower-level organization governed by a pre-constituted entities or is it context-sensitive? The paper finds that theoretical differences run along the naturalist/anti-naturalist divide rather than along disciplinary specialization. Also, the paper finds that it is not inconsistent for the same theorist to be naturalist with regard to one problem and anti-naturalist with respect to the other two problems. (shrink)
BackgroundBreaking bad news to mothers whose children has disability is an important role of physicians. There has been considerable speculation about the inevitability of parental dissatisfaction with how they are informed of their child’s disability. Egyptian mothers’ preferences for how to be told the bad news about their child’s disability has not been investigated adequately. The objective of this study was to elicit Egyptian mothers’ preferences for how to be told the bad news about their child’s disability.MethodsMothers of 100 infants (...) recently diagnosed with Down syndrome were interviewed regarding their preferences for how to be told bad news. Mothers were recruited through outpatient clinics of the Pediatric Genetics Department at Fayoum University Hospital from January to June 2011.Results and discussionQuestionnaire analyses revealed nine themes of parental preferences for how to be told information difficult to hear. Mothers affirmed previously reported recommendations for conveying bad medical news to parents, including being told early, being told of others with a similar condition, and being informed of the prognosis.ConclusionsMothers affirmed communication themes previously discussed in the literature, such as being told early, and being informed of the prognosis. Although more research is needed in this important area, we hope that our findings will stimulate future search and help health care providers in different societies establish guidelines for effectively communicating bad news. (shrink)
Textual exegesis is used to show that Marx's concept of social labor is transhistorical, referring to a collective activity of humans as a species. The collective nature of labor is suspended in capitalist production because of the anarchic character of market relations. But the suspension is skin deep: The sociality of labor asserts itself in a mediated manner through the alienated empowerment of goods with value. This is commodity fetishism, which vanishes when relations of production become actually collective?matching the transhistorical (...) essence of labor. Marx's concept of social labor is adjudged inadequate. It amounts to asserting that the actions of agents could be ex ante calculated according to a global rationality. In this respect, Marx's concept of social labor is reminiscent of the equally deficient notion of perfect competition in mainstream neoclassical economics. (shrink)
Redish et al. view addictions as errors arising from the weak access points of the system of decision-making. They do not analytically distinguish between addictions, on the one hand, and errors highlighted by behavioural decision theory, such as over-confidence, representativeness heuristics, conjunction fallacy, and so on, on the other. Redish et al.'s decision-making framework may not be comprehensive enough to capture addictions.
This article examines Iranian secondary students’ life purposes. Economic and hedonistic life goals were the most valued. Relationships in terms of having a family and children were also appreciated. In the students’ views, religiousness was associated with social goals such as helping others in need and volunteering in the community. Gender differences in students’ life goals occurred only in aesthetic goals, which applied more to girls than to boys. K-Cluster analysis identified four purpose profiles: self-oriented dabblers, beyond-the-self dreamers, self-oriented life (...) goal pursuers and purposeful youth. The dominant profile among the youth was self-oriented life goal pursuer. The study validated Damon’s conceptual work on purpose profiles in a previously unstudied cultural context. (shrink)
This book explores Dostoevsky as a political thinker from his religious and philosophical foundation to nineteenth-century European politics and how themes that he had examined are still relevant for us today.
Stanley Rosen ranks among the two or three most serious philosophers of the last several decades. For more than forty years, Rosen has broken significantly new philosophical ground with his careful considerations of the problem of nihilism and the limits of analysis to his profound treatments of Platonic, Hegelian, Nietzschean, and Heideggerian philosophy. Now, still at the peak of his powers, he philosophizes about the origin and spread of twentieth-century philosophy’s general tendency “to take one’s bearings by, or to place (...) central emphasis on, the correct conceptual treatment of ordinary, everyday, pretheoretical experience”. (shrink)
A neural network exploits the non-linearity of a problem to define a set of desired inputs. Neural networks are important in realizing a better way for classification in machine learning and finds application in various fields such as data mining, pattern recognition, forensics etc. In this paper, our focus is to classify of patient records obtained from clinical data. Feature selection is a supervised method that attempts to select a subset of the predictor features based on the information gain. The (...) Lymphography dataset comprises of 18 attributes and 148 instances with the class label having four distinct values. This paper highlights the accuracy of EasyNN backbrapagation calssification algorithm in classifying predictor attributes and highlights its performance on Lymphography dataset. The accuracy we have reached is 97.78 percent in classification accuracy with the predictor feature. (shrink)
The value relevance of corporate social responsibility performance disclosures for financial markets participants remains uncertain despite advances in the literature and the recent proliferation of CSR disclosures around the world. Using an experimental approach involving MBA students at universities in the United States and Lebanon, we study the value relevance of CSR disclosures by testing whether they affect participants’ personal portfolio management investment decisions. We also examine whether the degree to which the CSR disclosures affect these decisions is influenced by (...) corporate governance quality. To examine these issues, we examine the effect of environmental performance on investment decisions in Experiment 1, and the effect of labor performance on investment decisions in Experiment 2. Results from both experiments show that investment decisions are affected by CSR performance. Analysis shows that governance strength exerts a marginal effect on the investment decision only when CSR performance is strong. Lebanese participants appear to be more sensitive to weak performance than U.S. participants. Overall, our findings extend the CSR disclosures literature by documenting the value relevance of CSR performance for financial markets participants’ decision making. These findings also extend the governance literature by documenting that consistent with attribution theory, the effects of governance quality are contingent upon the information and decision context, and that efforts to decontextualize governance may be counterproductive. (shrink)
We present a new viable nonlinear chaotic paradigm. This paradigm has four nonlinear terms. The essential features of the new paradigm have been investigated. Our new system is confirmed to have chaotic behaviors by calculating its Lyapunov exponents. The relations of the system states are displayed by a suggested new signal flow graph. The proposed SFG is discussed via some graph theory tools, and some of its hidden features are calculated. In addition, the system is realized via constructing its electronic (...) circuit which helps in the real applications. Also, a robust controller for the system is designed with the aid of a genetic algorithm. (shrink)
Social robots are expected to take over a significant number of jobs in the coming decades. The present research provides the first systematic evaluation of occupation suitability of existing social robots based on user perception derived classification of them. The study was conducted in the Middle East since the views of this region are rarely considered in human–robot interaction research, although the region is poised to increasingly adopt the use of robots. Laboratory-based experimental data revealed that a robot’s appearance plays (...) an important role in the perception of its capabilities and preference for it to perform a particular job. Participants showed a preference for machine-like robots to perform dull and dirty occupations and humanoids, but not androids, to perform jobs requiring extensive social interaction with humans. However, other aspects of appearance than morphology determine whether a robot is preferred for a job irrespective of its perceived capability to do it. (shrink)
Flooding is one of the most damaging natural hazards globally. During the past three years, floods have claimed hundreds of lives and millions of dollars of damage in Iran. In this study, we detected flood locations and mapped areas susceptible to floods using time series satellite data analysis as well as a new model of bagging ensemble-based alternating decision trees, namely, bag-ADTree. We used Sentinel-1 data for flood detection and time series analysis. We employed twelve conditioning parameters of elevation, normalized (...) difference’s vegetation index, slope, topographic wetness index, aspect, curvature, stream power index, lithology, drainage density, proximities to river, soil type, and rainfall for mapping areas susceptible to floods. ADTree and bag-ADTree models were used for flood susceptibility mapping. We used software of Sentinel application platform, Waikato Environment for Knowledge Analysis, ArcGIS, and Statistical Package for the Social Sciences for preprocessing, processing, and postprocessing of the data. We extracted 199 locations as flooded areas, which were tested using a global positioning system to ensure that flooded areas were detected correctly. Root mean square error, accuracy, and the area under the ROC curve were used to validate the models. Findings showed that root mean square error was 0.31 and 0.3 for ADTree and bag-ADTree techniques, respectively. More findings illustrated that accuracy was obtained as 86.61 for bag-ADTree model, while it was 85.44 for ADTree method. Based on AUC, success and prediction rates were 0.736 and 0.786 for bag-ADTree algorithm, in order, while these proportions were 0.714 and 0.784 for ADTree. This study can be a good source of information for crisis management in the study area. (shrink)
Organisms change their shape and behavior during ontogenesis in response to incentives—what biologists call “phenotypic plasticity” or what is called here more specifically “behavioral plasticity.” Such plasticity is usually in the direction of enhancing welfare or fitness. In light of basic concepts in economics, such behavioral plasticity is nothing but rationality. Such rationality is not limited to organisms with neural systems. It also characterizes brainless organisms such as plants, fungi, and unicellular organisms. The gist of the article is the distinction (...) between rationality and intelligence. Whereas rationality is ubiquitous in all organisms, intelligence varies in degrees depending on division of labor that may involve the evolution of a neural system. This article aims to defend the universality of rationality—the Organismus oeconomicus hypothesis. It argues that neither the notion of bounded rationality of behavioral economics nor Herbert Simon’s “procedural rationality” can ultimately undermine the Organismus oeconomicus hypothesis. (shrink)
This paper proffers a dialogical theory of decision-making: decision-makers are engaged in two modes of rational decisions, instrumental and existential. Instrumental rational decisions take place when the DM views the self externally to the objects, whether goods or animate beings. Existential rational decisions take place when the DM views the self in union with such objects. While the dialogical theory differs from Max Weber’s distinction between two kinds of rationality, it follows Martin Buber’s philosophical anthropology. The paper expounds the ramifications (...) of the dialogical theory in understanding structures of exchange considering assessments of diverse thinkers. (shrink)
ABSTRACTWhat is the source of the adulation of the rich-and-powerful? It cannot be benevolence. But then what is the criterion that delineates adulation from benevolence? This paper argues that the criterion resides in the set of inputs of the utility function: Does the set includes only interests, i.e. bundles of goods and resources? If so, the product is benevolence. But if the set includes aspiration, i.e. the desire to attain some imagined higher station, the product is adulation. Relying on Smith's (...) theory, aspiration first amounts to the immersion of the self with the desired higher station. Second, aspiration becomes supplanted with adulation, the basking under the achievements of the more successful rich-and-powerful as second best, i.e. when the decision maker fails to attain the aspired station. The proposed interests-aspiration distinction, as the ground of the benevolence-adulation distinction, has one important payoff. The origin of the adulation of higher rank, and the consequent stability of the political order, should be traced to aspiration-derived inputs, not exclusively to interests. (shrink)
When the Taliban destroyed the famous statues of the Buddha in the Bamiyan Valley in Afghanistan more than a decade ago, the outrage of the global community, including that of prominent Muslim religious leaders, was matched perhaps only by the pious euphoria of Afghanistan’s hardliners. They had finally succeeded in removing visible signs of idolatry from their landscape, and fulfilled, at least in their own eyes, a long overdue religious mission. In the words of the Taliban leader Mullah Omar, “Muslims (...) should be proud to destroy idols. Our destroying them was an act of praise for God.”1Yet such extreme acts of puritanical iconoclasm at the hands of Muslim fundamentalists, at least within modern history, have more.. (shrink)
The article examines the nature of tawba, usually translated as ‘repentance’, in the thought of Abū Țālib al-Makkī . Makkī’s most comprehensive discussion of this topic appears in the thirty-second chapter of his Qūt al-qulūb , one of the most widely reads works of the early Sufi tradition. It is the longest single sustained treatment of tawba, written from the perspective of Sufi spiritual psychology, currently available to us from the first four centuries of Islam. By drawing on Revelation as (...) well as the earlier Sufi tradition he is heir to, Makkī delineates certain conditions which have to be met in order for tawba to be sound. The article explores Makkī’s treatment of these conditions as well as their relation to notions of tawba in the broader Islamic tradition. (shrink)
Alfred I. Tauber (ed.), Organism and the Origins of Self. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1991. xix + 384 pp., US$ 110.00 (US$ 25.00 paperback). This is a fascinating book based on a 1990 symposium at Boston University. It promises to change the way one conceives of the organism. The authors start from different specializations but provide a most tantalizing feast of ideas. Richard Lewontin commences the book with a strange foreword. Lewontin submits that the concern with the "self and (...) private identity in modern biology is ... only one manifestation of the ideology of individualism that is a shibboleth of our particular [bourgeois] form of social organization" (p. xix). If this is the case, the reader should stop reading the book and ask for her money back. But I advise patience. Tauber's introduction is a mixture of the history of the medical notion of disease and the advocacy of a dialectical concept of the self as the interpenetration of part and whole. Tauber highlights Elie Metchnikoff's appealing idea of phagocytosis as just one form of the active organism striving to attain harmony among competing cells. (shrink)
Research highlights several risk and resilience factors at multiple ecological levels that influence individuals’ mental health and wellbeing in their everyday lives and, more specifically, in disaster or outbreak situations. However, there is limited research on the role of these factors in the early days of the COVID-19 crisis. The present study examined if and how potential risk factors and resilience factors are associated with mental health and well-being outcomes, and whether these resilience factors buffer the associations between risk factors (...) and said outcomes. One to two weeks after the government recommended preventative measures, 1,122 Canadian workers completed an online questionnaire, including multiple wellbeing outcome scales in addition to measures of potential risk and resilience factors. Structural equation models were tested, highlighting that overall, the considered risk factors were associated with poorer wellbeing outcomes, except social distancing which was associated with lower levels of stress. Each of the potential resilience factors was found to have a main effect on one or more of the wellbeing outcomes. Moderation analysis indicated that in general these resilience factors did not, however, buffer the risk factors. The findings confirm that the COVID-19 crisis encompasses several stressors related to the virus as well as to its impact on one’s social, occupational, and financial situation, which put people at risk for lower wellbeing as early as one to two weeks after the crisis began. While several resilience factors emerged as positively related to wellbeing, such factors may not be enough, or sufficiently activated at that time, to buffer the effects of the numerous life changes required by COVID-19. From an ecological perspective, while mental health professionals and public health decision-makers should offer/design services directly focused on mental health and wellbeing, it is important they go beyond celebrating individuals’ inner potential for resilience, and also support individuals in activating their environmental resources during a pandemic. (shrink)