Our work is aimed at studying the optimization of a complex motor behaviour from a global perspective. First, free climbing as a sport will be briefly introduced while emphasizing in particular its psychomotor aspect called route finding. The basic question raised here is how does the optimization of a sensorimotoricity-environment system take place. The material under study is the free climber's trajectory, viewed as the signature of climbing behaviour (i.e., the spatial dimension). The concepts of learning, optimization, constraint, and degrees (...) of freedom of a system will be discussed using the synergistic approach to the study of movement (Bernstein, 1967; Kelso, 1977). Measures of a trajectory's length and convex hull can be used to define an index whose equation resembles that of an entropy. This index is a measure of the trajectory's overall complexity. Some important concepts related to the thermodynamics of curves will also be discussed. The optimization process will be studied by examining the changes in entropy over time for a set of trajectories generated during the learning of a route (ten successive repetitions of the same climb). It will be shown that the entropy of the trajectories decreases as learning progresses, that each level of expertise has its own characteristic entropy curve, and that for the subjects tested, the mean entropy of skilled climbers is lower than that of average climbers. Basing our analysis on the concepts of degrees of freedom and constraint equations, an attempt is made to relate trajectory entropy to system entropy. Based on the postulate that trajectory entropy is equal to the difference in entropy between the unconstrained and constrained system, a model of motor optimization is proposed. This model is illustrated by an entropy graph reflecting a dynamic release process. In the light of our results, two opposing views will be examined: movement construction vs. movement emergence. (shrink)
The strict-tolerant approach to paradox promises to erect theories of naïve truth and tolerant vagueness on the firm bedrock of classical logic. We assess the extent to which this claim is founded. Building on some results by Girard we show that the usual proof-theoretic formulation of propositional ST in terms of the classical sequent calculus without primitive Cut is incomplete with respect to ST-valid metainferences, and exhibit a complete calculus for the same class of metainferences. We also argue that the (...) latter calculus, far from coinciding with classical logic, is a close kin of Priest’s LP. (shrink)
This paper will attempt an investigation of hypothetical intelligent extraterrestrial life from the perspective of the philosophy and theology of St. Thomas Aquinas. Section I will feature an overview of St. Thomas's relevant philosophy of human nature and the differences between human and extraterrestrial natures. Section II will, with special attention to St. Thomas's De malo, treat some possibilities regarding the need for salvation in our hypothetical species. Section III will outline relevant aspects of Thomistic soteriology, especially the reasons behind (...) the Incarnation and the role of human nature in Redemption. Section IV will feature a critique of representatives from the two major schools of scholarly thought on this issue, showing that they either disregard the necessity of a human nature for incorporation into the Mystical Body of Christ or deny the magnitude and singular importance of the Incarnation. Section V will sketch some possibilities for the soteriology of extraterrestrial life using the theology of St. Thomas Aquinas as a framework. (shrink)
This is a very good book. It gives 205 inscriptions from ten of the Cycladic islands. A number of them are published here for the first time. In their majority they are either funerary or invocations for divine help. Some are dedicatory. Some are inscriptions on well-paintings identifying the scene or the saint depicted or being themselves dedicatory or invocatory. Some are in praise of God or in thanks to God. Some are exhortations to the faithful or quotations from the (...) Scriptures. Two are boundary stones and two are magical exorcisms. Outstanding among them are the cadastre of the area of Perissa on the island of Thera, the invocations for divine help carved by weatherbeaten seafarers on the rocks of the desert cove of Grammata on the island of Syros, and the intriguing 60-odd funerary inscriptions of the angels, also from Thera, that keep defying explanation. As a whole they give an insight and lead to a close intimacy with the life of the islanders in these early centuries, fortified as they were by the christian faith, toiling on the thin soil of their land and venturing at sea. Some of them raise questions that cannot be easily answered. Others are quite straightforward. (shrink)
Since St. Thomas Aquinas holds that death is a substantial change, a popular current interpretation of his anthropology must be mistaken. According to that interpretation – the ‘survivalist’ view – St. Thomas holds that we human beings survive our deaths, constituted solely by our souls in the interim between death and resurrection. This paper argues that St. Thomas must have held the ‘corruptionist’ view: the view that human beings cease to exist at their deaths. Certain objections to the corruptionist view (...) are also met. (shrink)
One resolution of the St. Petersburg paradox recognizes that a gamble carries a risk sensitive to the gamble's stakes. If aversion to risk increases sufficiently fast as stakes go up, the St. Petersburg gamble has a finite utility.
This paper reviews Deleuze’s theory of language in Logic of Sense, and Deleuze and Guattari’s theory of language in A Thousand Plateaus. In the ontology informed by the Stoics described in those books, human being and language do not exist separately but in a mixture of words and things. The author argues that this flattened ontology of surfaces is incommensurable with the ontology of depth used in conventional humanist qualitative methodology and recommends beginning new empirical inquiry with a concept instead (...) of with method and methodology. (shrink)
Throughout his works, St. Augustine offers at least nine distinct views on the nature of time, at least three of which have remained almost unnoticed in the secondary literature. I first examine each these nine descriptions of time and attempt to diffuse common misinterpretations, especially of the views which seek to identify Augustinian time as consisting of an un-extended point or a distentio animi . Second, I argue that Augustine's primary understanding of time, like that of later medieval scholastics, is (...) that of an accident connected to the changes of created substances. Finally, I show how this interpretation has the benefit of rendering intelligible Augustine's contention that, at the resurrection, motion will still be able to occur, but not time. (shrink)
In his epistles, St. Paul sounded a universalism that has recently been taken up by secular philosophers who do not share his belief in Christ, but who regard his project as centrally important for contemporary political life. The Pauline project—as they see it—is the universality of truth, the conviction that what is true is true for everyone, and that the truth should be known by everyone. In this volume, eminent New Testament scholars, historians, and philosophers debate whether Paul's promise can (...) be fulfilled. Is the proper work of reading Paul to reconstruct what he said to his audiences? Is it crucial to retrieve the sense of history from the text? What are the philosophical undercurrents of Paul's message? This scholarly dialogue ushers in a new generation of Pauline studies. (shrink)
The realism grounding St. Thomas Aquinas’s pre-modern natural science defends the reception of similitudes of the forms of things known by abstraction. Modern natural science challenges this abstractio- nist account by recasting «form» in the leading role of principle of intelligibility—instead of forms, modern science discovers laws. Thomistic realism is prima facie incompatible with this account. Following Charles De Koninck, this essay outlines a rapprochement between the epistemology of pre-modern, Thomistic natural science and its modern successor. I argue that natural (...) forms are noetic limits towards which physical laws tend, and our grasp of this tendency uses a mode of knowledge comparable to what St. Thomas termed universal in repraesentando. (shrink)
It has been argued that St. Thomas Aquinas’s anthropological views fall prey to the problem of “Too Many Thinkers.” The worry, roughly, is that his views entail that I—a human person—am able to think, but that my soul—which is not a human person—is also able to think. Hence, too many thinkers: there are too many ofus having my thoughts. In this paper, I show why this is not a problem for St. Thomas. Along the way, I also address Peter Unger’s (...) argument for substance dualism. (shrink)
I reason: (1) For any x, if I knew that A contained x, then the odds are even that B contains either 2x or x/2, so the expected amount in B would be 5x/4. So (2) for all x, if I knew that A contained x, I would have an expected gain in switching to B. So (3) I should switch to B. But this seems clearly wrong, as my information about A and B is symmetrical.
An ethnographic case study of five rural farmwomen in Cedar County, Nebraska, was conducted to contribute to the understudied area of rural entrepreneurship and women entrepreneurs. This naturalistic inquiry into the lived experiences of five women provides an exceptional view of the founding of a new microenterprise, the St. James Marketplace, a farmer-to-customer market in an agricultural setting. The study considered factors identified from previous research on entrepreneurship in both urban and rural settings. It connected the formation of this microenterprise (...) to the history, culture, values, and economic situation that motivated the founders’ entrepreneurial behavior. A social embeddedness perspective was employed in the analysis. Negative forces from the macroenvironment, such as the closing of the local church parish and declining economic conditions for farming, influenced the creation of the venture. However, the most important motivation was to sustain community. This study satisfies a need for in-depth inquiry into rural entrepreneurship, rural communities, and rural farmwomen entrepreneurs. (shrink)
This paper suggests that lessons from the field of environmental ethics and sociological perspectives on knowledge are important tools for rethinking what type of ethical analysis is needed for building up further the field of development ethics and, more generally, for addressing some of the most fundamental ethical problems related to global poverty and development. The paper argues for a methodologically pragmatist approach to development ethics that focuses on the interplay between facts, values, concepts and practices. It views development ethics (...) as a hybrid between a public moral?political philosophy and a public conception of social science. Ethical analyses of poverty and development must lead to fundamental changes in the ways knowledge is produced and justified and must challenge the dominance of global institutions and orthodox economics as the single sources of expert knowledge for development. Two of the main tasks of ethical analysis is to provide tools for the formulation of alternative knowledge for development centred on the equal moral worth of all human beings, and to influence global policy making as well as multilateral institutions' goals and policies. The last section of the paper argues that Amartya Sen's version of the Capability Approach is already methodologically pragmatist and points to some convergence between Sen's work and John Dewey's. Further sociological and methodologically pragmatist analysis of the approach is needed to assess the ways in which it is influencing debates on human development and leading to policy changes, and the possible distortions it suffers when adopted by multilateral agencies and policy makers. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the international conference on Ethics and Development at Michigan State University, East Landing (USA) 8?15 April 2005. The section on methodological pragmatism draws from an unpublished paper written with Andrew Light called ?A Pragmatist Methodology for Development Ethics,? presented at the American Philosophical Association (APA) meeting in New York, December 1999. I have updated, transformed and used some parts and insights developed with Light in a way he may not recognize. (shrink)
In the Proslogion, St. Anselm presents a philosophical argument for the existence of God. Anselm's proof, known since the time of Kant as the ontological argument for the existence of God, has played an important role in the history of philosophy and has been incorporated in various forms into the systems of Descartes, Leibniz, Hegel, and others. Included in this edition of the Proslogion are Gaunilo's "A Reply on Behalf of the Fool" and St. Anselm's "The Author's Reply to Gaunilo." (...) All three works are in the original Latin with English translation on facing pages. Professor Charlesworth's introduction provides a helpful discussion of the context of the Proslogion in the theological tradition and in Anselm's own thought and writing. (shrink)