There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: the same came to Jesus by night…John 3: 1–2A lady asked the famous Lord Shaftesbury what religion he was of. He answered the religion of wise men. She asked, what was that? He answered, wise men never tell.Diary of Viscount Percival , i, 113NEWTON AS HERETICIsaac Newton was a heretic. But like Nicodemus, the secret disciple of Jesus, he never made a public declaration of his private (...) faith – which the orthodox would have deemed extremely radical. He hid his faith so well that scholars are still unravelling his personal beliefs. His one-time follower William Whiston attributed his policy of silence to simple, human fear and there must be some truth in this. Every day as a public figure and as the figurehead of British natural philosophy, Newton must have felt the tension of outwardly conforming to the Anglican Church, while inwardly denying much of its faith and practice. He was restricted by heresy laws, religious tests and the formidable opposition of public opinion. Heretics were seen as religiously subversive, socially dangerous and even morally debased. Moreover, the positions he enjoyed were dependent on public manifestations of religious and social orderliness. Sir Isaac had a lot to lose. Yet he knew the scriptural injunctions against hiding one's light under a bushel. Newton the believer was thus faced with the need to develop a modus vivendi whereby he could work within legal and social structures, while fulfilling the command to shine in a dark world. This paper recovers and assesses his strategies for reconciling these conflicting dynamics and, in so doing, will shed light on both the nature of Newton's faith and his agenda for natural philosophy. (shrink)
Media sources brought international attention to dog fighting during the Michael Vick case. Although a significant number of people who watched footage of the abused dogs used in the Vick case may have felt sympathy for them, the characteristics associated with those types of individuals are not known. The current study examined personality and gender as predictors of sympathetic reactions to the mistreatment of a bait dog depicted in a film clip. The results supported the predictions that animal-oriented sympathy, trait (...) sympathy, agreeableness, and gender would predict sympathetic reactions to the bait dog. The analyses showed that trait sympathy could not explain unique variance beyond animal-oriented sympathy, but that agreeableness fully mediated the relation between gender and sympathetic reactions to the bait dog. Unexpectedly, emotional stability was also a unique predictor. Implications and limitations of these results are discussed. (shrink)
American universities are increasingly proactive in dealing with conflict of interest problems of their faculty. Changing social norms, publicized scandals, and more have made both university administrators and faculty extra alert to the dangers of faculty infidelity to their roles as teachers and scholars. Personal interests — both financial and non-financial — appear increasingly to pressure faculty to behave inappropriately. Most faculty members resist those pressures. Yet, enough conduct that either is, or appears to be, improper has occurred to prompt (...) the adoption by universities of an ever-more complex regulatory regime. This regime no longer relies primarily upon threats of after-the-fact punishment for gross deviations from professorial norms. Instead, universities have also enacted a wide array of in-advance restrictions. These include required disclosures by faculty members of certain private interests, prohibitions of specific faculty behavior, and specified instances in which faculty members must temporarily withdraw from their professorial roles in light of their private interests. This article draws especially upon the author’s experience at the University of California to illustrate the new system of regulation. (shrink)
This article addresses whether cardiopulmonary resuscitation and sustained physiological support should ever be permitted in individuals who are diagnosed as brain dead and who had held previously expressed moral or religious objections to the currently accepted criteria for such a determination. It contrasts how requests for care would normally be treated in cases involving a brain-dead individual with previously expressed wishes to donate and a similarly diagnosed individual with previously expressed beliefs that did not conform to a brain-based conception of (...) death. The paper first focuses narrowly on requests for CPR and then expands its scope to address extended physiological support. It describes how refusing the brain-dead non-donor's requests for either CPR or extended support would represent enduring harm to the antemortem or previously autonomous individual by negating their beliefs and self-identity. The paper subsequently discusses potential implications of policy that would allow greater accommodations to those with conscientious objections to currently accepted brain-based death criteria, such as for cost, insurance, higher brain formulations and bedside communication. The conclusion is that granting wider latitude to personal conceptions around the definition of death, rather than forcing a contested definition on those with valid moral and religious objections, would benefit both individuals and society. (shrink)
By all accounts one of the most influential philosophical contributions of Duns Scotus is his distinction between intuitive cognition, in which a thing is known as present and existing, and abstractive cognition, which abstracts from actual presence and existence. Recent scholarship has focused almost exclusively on the role given intuitive cognition in the justification of contingent propositions and on the debates over certitude which arose from the critiques of Scotus's distinction by Peter Aureoli and William of Ockham.
Of singular importance to the medieval theory of transcendentals was the position of John Duns Scotus that there could be a concept of being univocally common, not only to substance and accidents, but even to God and creatures. Scotus''s doctrine of univocal transcendental concepts violated the accepted view that, owing to its generality, no transcendental notion could be univocal. The major difficulty facing Scotus''s doctrine of univocity was to explain how a real, as opposed to a purely logical, concept could (...) be abstracted from what agreed in nothing real, in this case, God and creatures. The present article examines Scotus''s solution to this difficulty and its interpretation in four of his noted fourteenth-century followers. It is shown that the balance Scotus''s solution achieved between the competing demands of the real diversity between God and creatures, on the one side, and the conceptual unity of transcendental being, on the other, is taken in opposed directions by his interpreters. Either the real diversity of God and creatures is given priority, so that the concept of being becomes a purely logical notion, or the real unity of the concept of being is stressed, so that some sort of real community is posited between God and creatures. (shrink)
Background To determine whether fetal care paediatric and maternal–fetal medicine specialists harbour differing attitudes about pregnancy termination for congenital fetal conditions, their perceived responsibilities to pregnant women and fetuses, and the fetus as a patient and whether self-perceived primary responsibilities to fetuses and women and views about the fetus as a patient are associated with attitudes about clinical care.Methods Mail survey of 434 MFM and FCP specialists .Results MFMs were more likely than FCPs to disagree with these statements : ‘the (...) presence of a fetal abnormality is not an appropriate reason for a couple to consider pregnancy termination’ ; ‘the effects that a child born with disabilities might have on marital and family relationships is not an appropriate reason for a couple to consider pregnancy termination’ ; and ‘the cost of healthcare for the future child is not an appropriate reason for a couple to consider pregnancy termination’ . 65% MFMs versus 47% FCPs disagreed that their professional responsibility is to focus primarily on fetal well-being . Specialists did not differ regarding the fetus as a separate patient. Responses about self-perceived responsibility to focus on fetal well-being were associated with clinical practice attitudes.Conclusions Independent of demographic and sociopolitical characteristics, FCPs and MFMs possess divergent ethical sensitivities regarding pregnancy termination, pregnant women and fetuses, which may influence clinical care. (shrink)
Everyone knows what it is to feel a conflict between a ‘non-rational’ desire and reason, as e.g., when we want a second dish of ice cream but think it would be unwise to take it. In such cases we commonly think of our desires as unreasonable: they prompt us to perform some action contrary to our deliberations. Nevertheless, most of us assume that reason can move us: that simply recognizing an act as the most reasonable thing to do gives us (...) a motive to do it — even if in fact we do not perform that action. If we do not eat the second dish of ice cream we are disposed to think that we did not because we judged it unwise. If, on the other hand, we do eat the second dish, we are disposed to think we did because we were more strongly inclined toward eating than not eating, even though we were inclined toward refraining because we judged eating unwise. This is the position of the man on the street. It is the commonsensical notion of reason, motivation, and their relationship. (shrink)
Coercion is commonly said to invalidate consent, and that is always true if the source of the coercion is the physician. However, if it is a family member who coerces the patient to consent, the resultant consent may be quite valid and treatment should proceed.
This essay considers the recent reception and use of the deuterocanonical books in contemporary Catholic liturgy, drawing on Tobit 12, Esther 14, and Sirach 3 to illustrate the ways these texts function as Scripture in the teaching of the church and in liturgical contexts.
A stunning compilation of the strongest pro-choice and pro-life arguments brought together for the first time in a single work that allows for meaningful comparisons and intelligent dialogue. This gives the discerning reader an opportunity to see both sides comprehensively; and move beyond emotionally charged mixed feelings to rational thought.
In this essay, I situate Irigaray’s philosophy of sexuate difference between the Heideggerian response to the collapse of the project of Western modernity and that of decolonial theorist Oscar Guardiola-Riviera. First, I return to Heidegger’s theorisation of ‘planetary technicity’ as the ontology of modernity, arguing, with Heidegger, that in order to respond to this problem we must return to the question of Being. From here, I link Heidegger’s theory of technicity with the work of decolonial theory on the ‘coloniality of (...) Being’, suggesting that one reason for Heidegger’s pessimism is that he did not think technicity from beyond a Eurocentric perspective. The recent ‘ontological turn’ in decolonial anthropology that seeks to study Indigenous thought as ontology, however, shows that there are resources for thinking beyond the onto-logic of technicity. Yet, here, I return to Irigaray’s critique of Heidegger for his forgetting of sexuate difference in his analysis of technology to say that a move to a decolonial ontology beyond planetary technicity can only take place if we go through an ontology of sexual difference: because, as Irigaray shows, the onto-logic of technicity that underwrites coloniality and modernity begins in an ontological annihilation of life, sexuate difference, and the maternal debt, the only way to recover this is by thinking the question of sexuate difference. Finally, I conclude by examining the case of the Kogi peoples of Colombia who have warned Westerners that the destruction of the planet can only be stopped if we learn to recompense our common Mother. This case, I suggest, shows how and why the turn to non-Western ontologies as a way out of the death project of modern technicity must reckon with the work of Irigaray. (shrink)