Emmanuel Levinas argues that justice is meaningful only to the extent that other persons are encountered in their individuality, as my neighbors, and not merely abstract citizens of a political community. That is, the political demand for justice arises from my ethical relationship with the other whose face I cannot look past. But despite his revolutionary ideas about the origins of justice, Levinas ultimately appeals to a very traditional view of justice in which persons are considered equal and comparable. and (...) responsibilities and rights are distributed evenly among them. In response to Levinas, I argue that insofar as justice is constructed by and for the ethicalrelationship, it must also be deconstructed by that relationship. If one takes seriously Levinas’s claim that asymmetrical ethical responsibility is the origin of justice, then one must also reject Levinas’s suggestion that justice involves viewing persons and responsibilities as comparable and symmetrical. (shrink)
El objetivo principal de este trabajo es dar a conocer en lengua castellana un texto del profesor Thomas Buchheim acerca de la «última prueba» de la existencia de Dios a partir del futurum exactum de su maestro, Robert Spaemann. Para ello se analiza en primer lugar el argumento del futurum exactum del «haber-sido». Seguidamente se exponen las objeciones contra el argumento presentado de esta forma. A continuación, la presentación del argumento a partir del futurum exactum de la verdad. Finalmente se (...) plantean los rasgos personales de la capacidad de verdad que dan pie a considerar la necesidad de una conciencia personal para poder hablar de verdad en sentido propio. (shrink)
Why do some parents refuse to vaccinate their children? Why do some people keep guns at home, despite scientific evidence of risk to their family members? And why do people use antibiotics for illnesses they cannot possibly alleviate? When it comes to health, many people insist that science is wrong, that the evidence is incomplete, and that unidentified hazards lurk everywhere. In Denying to the Grave, Gorman and Gorman, a father-daughter team, explore the psychology of health science denial. Using several (...) examples of such denial as test cases, they propose six key principles that may lead individuals to reject "accepted" health-related wisdom: the charismatic leader; fear of complexity; confirmation bias and the internet; fear of corporate and government conspiracies; causality and filling the ignorance gap; and the nature of risk prediction. The authors argue that the health sciences are especially vulnerable to our innate resistance to integrate new concepts with pre-existing beliefs. This psychological difficulty of incorporating new information is on the cutting edge of neuroscience research, as scientists continue to identify brain responses to new information that reveal deep-seated, innate discomfort with changing our minds. Denying to the Grave explores risk theory and how people make decisions about what is best for them and their loved ones, in an effort to better understand how people think when faced with significant health decisions. This book points the way to a new and important understanding of how science should be conveyed to the public in order to save lives with existing knowledge and technology. (shrink)
"Here is a unique and penetrating postmodernist invitation to reread Pascal's Pensées. With a full control on two centuries of Pascalian hermeneutics, Sara Melzer leads her readers into a passionate quest far beyond the worn-out search for a paleontological reconstruction of the Pensées's hypothetical final form. She rightly and deeply understands Pascal's writing--écriture--as the complex story of the "Fall of Truth into language." Such a perspective gives to Pascal's fragments a rejuvenated life, a newness, a dramatic and powerful voice (...) for our own culture. In brief, a welcome breeze of fresh air in the Pascalian world!" --Edouard Morot-Sir, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill "By approaching Pascal's Pensées from the point of view of contemporary critical theory, Melzer sheds new light on this well-known work. Her argument is clear, lucid, and cogent. She has a firm grasp of the major issues at stake in debates among literary critics. I think this is an important work that will be of interest not only to Pascal specialists but also to people who work in the general area of literary theory.... One of the genuine strengths of the book is the author's ability to discern the theological implications of issues that preoccupy literary theorists. This is particularly important at a time when students of theology and religion are becoming more and more interested in literary theory. They will find this analysis of Pascal very suggestive." --Mark Taylor, Williams College. (shrink)
ABSTRACTDespite exposure to political violence, many Tibetans in the diaspora avoid framing past experience in terms of trauma. Instead, they deploy shared cultural understandings often infused with Buddhist doctrine, to reframe loss, violence and displacement. Drawing on 14 months of ethnographic research in Dharamsala, India conducted in the Tibetan language, this article investigates how Tibetans utilise everyday cultural wisdom framed by lojong teachings to cope with adversity. Here, compassion practices serve to orient members of the diaspora towards recovery even, and (...) perhaps, especially, when they are struggling. In this article, I argue that this cultural form of resilience is better conceived of as a practice of agency than a mental health practice, despite a global interest in adapting meditation and mindfulness for use in clinical settings. This study also challenges theory on structural violence and social suffering, which tends to overemphasise victimhood, bypassing the ordinary ways that people find agency. (shrink)
A common reductionist assumption is that macro-scale behaviors can be described "bottom-up" if only sufficient details about lower-scale processes are available. The view that an "ideal" or "fundamental" physics would be sufficient to explain all macro-scale phenomena has been met with criticism from philosophers of biology. Specifically, scholars have pointed to the impossibility of deducing biological explanations from physical ones, and to the irreducible nature of distinctively biological processes such as gene regulation and evolution. This paper takes a step back (...) in asking whether bottom-up modeling is feasible even when modeling simple physical systems across scales. By comparing examples of multi-scale modeling in physics and biology, we argue that the “tyranny of scales” problem presents a challenge to reductive explanations in both physics and biology. The problem refers to the scale-dependency of physical and biological behaviors that forces researchers to combine different models relying on different scale-specific mathematical strategies and boundary conditions. Analyzing the ways in which different models are combined in multi-scale modeling also has implications for the relation between physics and biology. Contrary to the assumption that physical science approaches provide reductive explanations in biology, we exemplify how inputs from physics often reveal the importance of macro-scale models and explanations. We illustrate this through an examination of the role of biomechanics modeling in developmental biology. In such contexts, the relation between models at different scales and from different disciplines is neither reductive nor completely autonomous, but interdependent. (shrink)
There is an increased controversy surrounding Westerners' use of ayahuasca. One issue of importance is psychological resiliency of users and lack of screening by ayahuasca tourism groups in the Amazon. Given the powerful effects of ayahuasca coupled with lack of cultural support, Western users are at increased risk for psychological distress. Many Westerners who experience psychological distress following ayahuasca ceremonies report concurrently profound spiritual experiences. Because of this, it may be helpful to consider these episodes "spiritual emergencies," or crises resulting (...) from intense and transformative spiritual experiences. Although the author warns readers to avoid romantic comparisons of Western ayahuasca users to shamans, ethnographic data on indigenous shamanic initiates along with theory on liminality may be of some use to understand difficult experiences that accompany ayahuasca use. Given that psychotherapy is culturally sanctioned, therapists trained in treating spiritual crises can help Western ayahuasca users make meaning of their distress. Three case studies are offered as examples of individuals working through various sorts of crises following ayahuasca ceremonies. (shrink)
Despite the enormous progress made in the advancement of health technologies over the last century, infectious diseases continue to cause significant morbidity and mortality in developing countries. Neglected diseases are a subset of infectious diseases that lack treatments that are effective, simple to use, or affordable. Neglected diseases primarily affect populations in poor countries that do not constitute a lucrative market sector, thus failing to provide incentives for the pharmaceutical industry to conduct R&D for these diseases. Of the treatments that (...) do exist for neglected diseases, most are completely out-dated, with poor side-effect profiles, cumbersome logistics of administration, and inadequate efficacy. Historically, the impetus for a majority of neglected disease research was driven by early 20th-century colonialism, and in the post-colonial era, these diseases have been virtually ignored. Of the 1556 New Chemical Entities brought to market during the 30-year period from 1975 to 2004, only 20 — less than 0.02% — were for neglected diseases. (shrink)
Recent advances in immunology have provided a foundation of knowledge to understand many of the intricacies involved in manipulating the human response to fight parasitic infections, and a great deal has been learned from malaria vaccine efforts regarding strategies for developing parasite vaccines. There has been some encouraging progress in the development of a Chagas vaccine in animal models. A prize fund for Chagas could be instrumental in ensuring that these efforts are translated into products that benefit patients.
We hypothesize that juvenile baboons are less efficient foragers than adult baboons owing to their small size, lower level of knowledge and skill, and/or lesser ability to maintain access to resources. We predict that as resources are more difficult to extract, juvenile baboons will demonstrate lower efficiency than adults will because of their lower levels of experience. In addition, we hypothesize that juvenile baboons will be more likely to allocate foraging time to easier-to-extract resources owing to their greater efficiency in (...) acquiring those resources.We use feeding efficiency and time allocation data collected on a wild, free-ranging, non-provisioned population of chacma baboons (Papio hamadryas ursinus) in the Moremi Wildlife Reserve, Okavango Delta, Botswana to test these hypotheses. The major findings of this study are:1. Juvenile baboons are significantly less efficient foragers than adult baboons primarily for difficult-to-extract resources.We propose that this age-dependent variation in efficiency is due to differences in memory and other cognitive functions related to locating food resources, as is indicated by the greater amount of time juvenile baboons spend searching for food. There is no evidence that smaller body size or competitive disruption influences the differences in return rates found between adult and juvenile baboons in this study.2. An individual baboon’s feeding efficiency for a given resource can be used to predict the duration of its foraging bouts for that resource.These results contribute both to our understanding of the ontogeny of behavioral development in nonhuman primates, especially regarding foraging ability, and to current debate within the field of human behavioral ecology regarding the evolution of the juvenile period in primates and humans. (shrink)
Recent research in ethics education shows a potentially problematic variation in content, curricular materials, and instruction. While ethics instruction is now widespread, studies have identified significant variation in both the goals and methods of ethics education, leaving researchers to conclude that many approaches may be inappropriately paired with goals that are unachievable. This paper speaks to these concerns by demonstrating the importance of aligning classroom-based assessments to clear ethical learning objectives in order to help students and instructors track their progress (...) toward meeting those objectives. Two studies at two different universities demonstrate the usefulness of classroom-based, formative assessments for improving the quality of students’ case responses in computational modeling and research ethics. (shrink)
The effective provision of psychotherapy services to individuals with intellectual disability requires consideration of ethical issues related to clinical competence, access to services, obligations to multiple parties, guardianship, and appropriate assessment practices. This article provides an overview of major ethical considerations with guidance for clarifying and resolving common ethical concerns. Psychologists are encouraged to expand access to psychotherapy services for this population while maintaining awareness of potential modifications, training needs, and boundaries of professional competence. The authors provide recommendations and resources (...) for effective and ethical treatment of psychotherapy clients with intellectual disabilities. (shrink)
Cancer Pain and Coping.Sara E. Appleyard & Chris Clarke - 2019 - In Marc A. Russo, Joletta Belton, Bronwyn Lennox Thompson, Smadar Bustan, Marie Crowe, Deb Gillon, Cate McCall, Jennifer Jordan, James E. Eubanks, Michael E. Farrell, Brandon S. Barndt, Chandler L. Bolles, Maria Vanushkina, James W. Atchison, Helena Lööf, Christopher J. Graham, Shona L. Brown, Andrew W. Horne, Laura Whitburn, Lester Jones, Colleen Johnston-Devin, Florin Oprescu, Marion Gray, Sara E. Appleyard, Chris Clarke, Zehra Gok Metin, John Quintner, Melanie Galbraith, Milton Cohen, Emma Borg, Nathaniel Hansen, Tim Salomons & Grant Duncan (eds.), Meanings of Pain: Volume 2: Common Types of Pain and Language. Springer Verlag. pp. 185-207.details
Receiving a diagnosis of cancer can be devastating. Cancer continues to be one of the most feared diagnoses, and experiencing pain is a major fear for people diagnosed with cancer. Cancer pain is complex in aetiology and can be acute or chronic and can be caused by various compression, ischaemic, neuropathic or inflammatory processes. Many people with cancer will experience excruciating pain, which is often underreported and undertreated. The reasons for this are complex and include various factors including fears and (...) beliefs held by patients. Cognitive factors are important modulators of pain and the appraisals, meanings and beliefs that people have in relation to illness, cancer, and pain, have implications in regard to help-seeking behaviours and the coping strategies people adopt. Cancer pain can impact a range of psycho-social factors across its course. Cancer pain relates to higher rates of psychological distress, anxiety and low mood, and the perception of pain intensity is, in turn, influenced by psychological factors. Cancer pain can negatively affect psychological health, and psycho-social factors can affect the pain experience. It has been suggested that people with a life-limiting illness experience ‘total pain’, and this can encompass psychological, social, practical, spiritual domains. Research demonstrates that cancer is predominantly an illness affecting older people, yet there is a higher risk of under-treated pain in this age group and there is a paucity of research into the subjective experiences of older people managing their cancer pain. Many older people are required to self-manage cancer pain at home as outpatients, due to drivers to keep people out of inpatient care, such as the high healthcare costs of inpatient treatment, and patients wanting to manage their illness, and die, at home. Our own research into this area found that the self-management of cancer pain involves a sequential and temporal process, which centres on perceptions of control. We describe how the older people in our study experienced a perceived loss of control, followed by a sense of gaining control over pain through various experience of certain internal and external factors. The assessment and treatment of physical pain should be done in combination with assessment and treatment of psycho-social and spiritual pain, and interventions for cancer pain need to focus on increasing positive affect and reducing helplessness. No person should suffer with poorly controlled pain and we argue for the need for further research in this area to ensure adequate treatment for all.Clinical Implications: Assessment and treatment of physical pain in people with cancer needs to be conducted in combination with assessment and treatment of psycho-social issues and spiritual pain. Psychological and behavioural approaches have strong evidence supporting their efficacy for reducing cancer pain. Interventions should target helplessness and focus on increasing positive affect through positive psychological states including fighting spirit and resilience. Person-centred interventions that focus on helping people with the search for meaning may help those with cancer pain derive positive benefits. (shrink)
Strategic games require reasoning about other people’s and one’s own beliefs or intentions. Although they have clear commonalities with psychological tests of theory of mind, they are not clearly related to theory of mind tests for children between 9 and 10 years of age “Flobbe et al. J Logic Language Inform 17:417–442 ”. We studied children’s individual differences in how they played a strategic game by analyzing the strategies that they applied in a zero, first, and second-order reasoning task. For (...) the zero-order task, we found two subgroups with different accuracy levels. For the first-order task, subgroups of children applied different suboptimal strategies or an optimal strategy. For the second-order task only suboptimal strategies were present. Strategy use for all tasks was related to age. The 5- and 6-year old children were additionally tested on theory of mind understanding and executive functioning. Strategy-use in these children was related to working memory, but not to theory of mind after correction for age, verbal ability and general IQ. (shrink)
Top-down causation is often taken to be a metaphysically suspicious type of causation that is found in a few complex systems, such as in human mind-body relations. However, as Ellis and others have shown, top-down causation is ubiquitous in physics as well as in biology. Top-down causation occurs whenever specific dynamic behaviors are realized or selected among a broader set of possible lower-level states. Thus understood, the occurrence of dynamic and structural patterns in physical and biological systems presents a problem (...) for reductionist positions. We illustrate with examples of universality and functional equivalence classes how higher-level behaviors can be multiple realized by distinct lower-level systems or states. Multiple realizability in both contexts entails what Ellis calls “causal slack” between levels, or what others understand as relative explanatory autonomy. To clarify these notions further, we examine procedures for upscaling in multi-scale modeling. We argue that simple averaging strategies for upscaling only work for simplistic homogenous systems, because of the scale-dependency of characteristic behaviors in multi-scale systems. We suggest that this interpretation has implications for what Ellis calls mechanical top-down causation, as it presents a stronger challenge to reductionism than typically assumed. (shrink)
This book examines the Condorcet Jury Theorem and how its assumptions can be applicable to the real world. It will use the theorem to assess various familiar political practices and alternative institutional arrangements, revealing how best to take advantage of the truth-tracking potential of majoritarian democracy.
The crisis of western civilization is a crisis of public philosophy. This is the charge of Public Philosophy and Political Science, a stunning new collection of essays edited by E. Robert Statham Jr. Vividly cataloging the decay of the moral and intellectual foundations of civic liberty, the book portrays a generation of Americans alienated from institutions built on public philosophy. The work exposes the failure of America's political scientists to acknowledge and understand this alarming crisis in the American body politic. (...) The distinguished contributors examine the evolution of public philosophy; the inextricable relationship between politics and philosophy; and the interplay between public philosophy, the constitution, natural law, and government. They reveal the dire threat to deliberative democracy and the fundamental order of constitutional society posed by public philosophy's waning power to refine, cultivate, and civilize. The work is an indictment of a society which has discarded a way of life rooted in natural law, democracy and the traditions of civility; and is a denunciation of an educated elite that has divorced itself from the standards upon which public philosophy rests. It is essential reading for philosophers and political and social scientists seeking to resurrect the standards of American public life. (shrink)
Although not universally accepted at the time, the atomic hypothesis during the 19th century provided a definite ordering scheme for certain relatively sophisticated chemical phenomena. As such, it was conceptually responsible for the formulation and precise articulation of important seminal ideas in chemical studies. In this paper we will explore this claim with regard to the views of the British chemist Alexander W. Williamson.
Our objective is to test an optimality model of human fertility that specifies the behavioral requirements for fitness maximization in order (a) to determine whether current behavior does maximize fitness and, if not, (b) to use the specific nature of the behavioral deviations from fitness maximization towards the development of models of evolved proximate mechanisms that may have maximized fitness in the past but lead to deviations under present conditions. To test the model we use data from a representative sample (...) of 7,107 men living in Albuquerque, New Mexico, between 1990 and 1993. The model we test proposes that low fertility in modern settings maximizes number of grandchildren as a result of a trade-off between parental fertility and next generation fertility. Results do not show the optimization, although the data do reveal a trade-off between parental fertility and offspring education and income.We propose that two characteristics of modern economies have led to a period of sustained fertility reduction and to a corresponding lack of association between income and fertility. The first is the direct link between costs of investment and wage rates due to the forces of supply and demand for labor in competitive economies. The second is the increasing emphasis on cumulative knowledge, skills, and technologies in the production of resources. Together they produce historically novel conditions. These two features of modern economies may interact with evolved psychological and physiological mechanisms governing fertility and parental investment to produce behavior that maximizes the economic productivity of lineages at the expense of fitness. If cognitive processes evolved to track diminishing returns to parental investment and if physiological processes evolved to regulate fertility in response to nutritional state and patterns of breast feeding, we might expect non-adaptive responses when returns from parental investment do not diminish until extremely high levels are reached. With high economic payoffs from parental investment, people have begun to exercise cognitive regulation of fertility through contraception and family planning practices. Those cognitive processes maynot have evolved to handle fitness trade-offs between fertility and parental investment. (shrink)
The essays included in this volume are concerned with assessing Newton's contribution to the thought of others. They explore all aspects of the conceptual background-historical, philosophical, and narrowly methodological-and examine questions that developed in the wake of Newton's science.