A computably enumerable (c.e.) degree is a maximal contiguous degree if it is contiguous and no c.e. degree strictly above it is contiguous. We show that there are infinitely many maximal contiguous degrees. Since the contiguous degrees are definable, the class of maximal contiguous degrees provides the first example of a definable infinite anti-chain in the c.e. degrees. In addition, we show that the class of maximal contiguous degrees forms an automorphism base for the c.e. degrees and therefore for the (...) Turing degrees in general. Finally we note that the construction of a maximal contiguous degree can be modified to answer a question of Walk about the array computable degrees and a question of Li about isolated formulas. (shrink)
We focus on a particular class of computably enumerable degrees, the array noncomputable degrees defined by Downey, Jockusch, and Stob, to answer questions related to lattice embeddings and definability in the partial ordering of c. e. degrees under Turing reducibility. We demonstrate that the latticeM5 cannot be embedded into the c. e. degrees below every array noncomputable degree, or even below every nonlow array noncomputable degree. As Downey and Shore have proved that M5 can be embedded below every nonlow2 degree, (...) our result is the best possible in terms of array noncomputable degrees and jump classes. Further, this result shows that the array noncomputable degrees are definably different from the nonlow2 degrees. We note also that there are embeddings of M5 in which all five degrees are array noncomputable, and in which the bottom degree is the computable degree 0 but the other four are array noncomputable. (shrink)
Kalam cosmological arguments have recently been the subject of criticisms, at least inter alia, by physicists---Paul Davies, Stephen Hawking---and philosophers of science---Adolf Grunbaum. In a series of recent articles, William Craig has attempted to show that these criticisms are “superficial, iII-conceived, and based on misunderstanding.” I argue that, while some of the discussion of Davies and Hawking is not philosophically sophisticated, the points raised by Davies, Hawking and Grunbaum do suffice to undermine the dialectical efficacy of kalam cosmological arguments.
Even Jesus had a favorite -- Saints and favorites -- Fairness, tribes, and nephews -- Classic cases of favoritism -- To thy own tribe be true: biological favoritism -- Moral gravity -- The biochemistry of favoritism -- Humans are wired for favoritism -- A healthy addiction -- Flexible favoritism -- Kin selection -- Rational or emotional motives -- Conflicting brain systems -- Facts and values -- In praise of exceptions -- Building the grid of impartiality -- Going off the grid (...) -- Friendship and favoritism -- Reasonable favoritism -- "But, Dad, that's not fair!" -- The fusion of feelings and ideas -- Sowing the seeds of confusion: sharing -- Sowing the seeds of confusion: open minds -- Envy and fairness -- Excellence, fairness, and favoritism -- The circle of favors: global perspectives -- Chinese favoritism -- Face culture -- Indian favoritism -- Disentangling nepotism and corruption -- Disentangling tribalism and tragedy -- "Your people shall be my people?" -- Minorities, majorities, and favoritism -- Affirmative action and favoritism -- The finite stretch -- Feeling the stones with your feet -- Because you're mine, I walk the line -- The virtues of favoritism -- You can't love humanity. You can only love people -- The future of favoritism -- The archbishop and the chambermaid. (shrink)
Stephen Morse seems to have adopted a controversial position regarding the mindbody relationship: John Searle’s non-reductivism, which claims that conscious mental states are causal yet not reducible to their underlying brain states. Searle’s position has been roundly criticized, with some arguing the theory taken as a whole is incoherent. In this paper I review these criticisms and add my own, concluding that Searle’s position is indeed contradictory, both internally and with regard to Morse's other views. Thus I argue that (...) Morse ought to abandon Searle’s non-reductive theory. Instead, I claim Morse ought to adopt a non-eliminative reductive account that can more easily support his realism about folk psychological states, and the existence of causally effective mental states in a purely physical world. (shrink)
Alvin Plantinga’s evolutionary argument against naturalism argues that the probability of our possessing reliable cognitive faculties, given the truth of evolution and naturalism, is low, and that this provides a defeater for naturalism, if the naturalist in question holds to the general truths of evolutionary biology. Stephen Law has recently objected to Plantinga’s evolutionary argument against naturalism by suggesting that there exist conceptual constraints governing the content a belief can have given its relationships to other things, including behaviour . (...) I show that Law’s objection fails, since it offers an auxiliary hypothesis to naturalism which is itself improbable. I consider multiple variants of the CC thesis, demonstrating that each is improbable, and that any weaker version with greater prior probability is compromised by a failure to render the relevant datum – the reliability of our cognitive faculties – probable. Thus, Law’s objection to Plantinga’s argument fails. (shrink)
According to Stephen Finlay, ‘A ought to X’ means that X-ing is more conducive to contextually salient ends than relevant alternatives. This in turn is analysed in terms of probability. I show why this theory of ‘ought’ is hard to square with a theory of a reason’s weight which could explain why ‘A ought to X’ logically entails that the balance of reasons favours that A X-es. I develop two theories of weight to illustrate my point. I first look (...) at the prospects of a theory of weight based on expected utility theory. I then suggest a simpler theory. Although neither allows that ‘A ought to X’ logically entails that the balance of reasons favours that A X-es, this price may be accepted. For there remains a strong pragmatic relation between these claims. (shrink)
Wavefunction collapse models modify Schrödinger's equation so that it describes the rapid evolution of a superposition of macroscopically distinguishable states to one of them. This provides a phenomenological basis for a physical resolution to the so-called “measurement problem.” Such models have experimentally testable differences from standard quantum theory. The most well developed such model at present is the Continuous Spontaneous Localization (CSL) model in which a universal fluctuating classical field interacts with particles to cause collapse. One “side effect” of this (...) interaction is that the field imparts energy to the particles: experimental evidence on this has led to restrictions on the parameters of the model, suggesting that the coupling of the classical field to the particles must be mass-proportional. Another “side effect” is that the field imparts momentum to particles, causing a small blob of matter to undergo random walk. Here we explore this in order to supply predictions which could be experimentally tested. We examine the translational diffusion of a sphere and a disc, and the rotational diffusion of a disc, according to CSL. For example, we find that the rms distance an isolated 10−5 cm radius sphere diffuses is ≈(its diameter, 5 cm) in (20 sec, a day), and that a disc of radius 2 ⋅ 10−5 cm and thickness 0.5 ⋅ 10−5 cm diffuses through 2πrad in about 70 sec (this assumes the “standard” CSL parameter values). The comparable rms diffusions of standard quantum theory are smaller than these by a factor 10−3±1. It is shown that the CSL diffusion in air at STP is much reduced and, indeed, is swamped by the ordinary Brownian motion. It is also shown that the sphere's diffusion in a thermal radiation bath at room temperature is comparable to the CSL diffusion, but is utterly negligible at liquid He temperature. Thus, in order to observe CSL diffusion, the pressure and temperature must be low. At the low reported pressure of 5 ⋅ 10−17 Torr, achieved at 4.2°K, the mean time between air molecule collisions with the (sphere, disc) is ≈(80, 45)min. This is ample time for observation of the putative CSL diffusion with the standard parameters and, it is pointed out, with any parameters in the range over which the theory may be considered viable. This encourages consideration of how such an experiment may actually be performed, and the paper closes with some thoughts on this subject. (shrink)
Through the personal stories of managers running global business, this book takes an inside look into the dilemmas of managers who are asked to make profits ethically according to the dictates of their company's ethics code. It examines what companies `think" they are doing to help managers in those situations and how those managers are actually affected. Thanks to the boost from the 1991 Sentencing Guidelines which minimizes penalties for companies with ethics codes caught in ethical wrongdoing, more than 85% (...) of US companies and two thirds of all Canadian companies and half of all European companies now have Codes of Ethics. Yet, over and over, we hear of stories of personal dilemmas and conflicts experienced by individual managers navigating those business waters in other cultures. "Eileen Morgan does an excellent job of mapping the course for navigating the previously uncharted global ethical waters. By identifying best practices, she leads the reader on a journey from Surviving, to Understanding to Knowing the ethical issues that frequently confront international business people. This is a must read for anyone who wants to successfully compete in world markets." -Michael J. Litwin, Executive Vice President, Chief Credit Officer, Heller Financial, Inc. "Eileen Morgan has combined the pragmatic concerns of the individual manager with the moral concerns that come from personal-life history, cultural roots, and corporate ethical culture …This book focuses on the constructive task of formulating and using an "ethical map," and is sure to be a tonic to conscientious managers who want to navigate cross-cultural commerce with integrity. It has done a superb job of creating order out of the complexity of cross-cultural moral experience by insisting that the complexity must be honored and appropriated rather than ignored or suppressed." -Dr. Richard Beauchamp, Professor of Ethics, Christopher Newport University "In this groundbreaking book, Eileen Morgan has provided scores of real-life examples and developed a framework for approaching ethical leadership in international business. This is mandatory reading for anyone involved in global management today...This is an important book on an important subject." -Stephen H. Rhinesmith, Ph.D. Author, A Manager's Guide to Globalization "Eileen Morgan provides us with a much needed roadmap for how to walk the path of ethical leadership with practical feet. She reminds us that ethical decision-making is a critical aspect of every day leadership, and that we can all choose to be 'ethical pioneers' in our companies and our communities. Every leader engaged in global business can benefit from the lessons and stories included in this book." -Christi A. Olson, Ph.D. Chair, Telecommunications Management Department, Golden Gate University "Eileen Morgan's thoughtful analysis of 'ethical capital' should be read by anyone who does business in a global environment…Morgan's book presents the issue clearly, comprehensively and compellingly, demonstrating that ethics is an indispensable aspect of individual leadership and organizational credibility. …It provides a clear roadmap for business leaders who need to communicate their commitment to integrity and accountability to their employees, their partners, and their customer, making their 'ethical capital' one of their most valuable assets." -Nell Minnow, Principal, Lens, The Corporate Governance Investors "Eileen Morgan gives excellent insight into ethical practices. She focuses on business but her insights have general application. This book also describes differences in ethical interpretation that can arise between diverse cultures. Ms. Morgan has made an excellent contribution to understanding the benefit of positive ethical practices." -David C. Lincoln, Sponsor, Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics, College of Business, Arizona State University President, Arizona Oxides, LLC · First in-depth look at how managers in global companies actually bridge the gap between their organizations and their daily decisions · Explains the need for internal and external ethical operations¦and how organizations often create confusion rather than clarity with the label of "ethics". (shrink)
Stephen Davis has argued that the second ontological argument fails as a theistic proof because it ignores the logical possibility of what he calls an ontologically impossible being. By an “ontologically impossible being” he means a being that does not exist, logically-possibly exists, and would exist necessarily if it existed. In this brief essay, I argue, first, that even if an OIB is logically possible, its logical possibility is irrelevant to the OA at issue; and second, that an OIB (...) is in fact logically impossible, because the predicates which define it are inconsistent. The concept of an OIB may be coherent if necessity is understood as ontological self-sufficiency, but even so the OIB is irrelevant to the OA. (shrink)
This review commemorates the 20th anniversary of Stephen Clark’s explication of ecological thought. After appraising both philosophical and theological perspectives, Clark argues that society must awaken to Earth’s “Otherness.” I describe Clark’s ecological consciousness and highlight the significance of his book for 21st-century readers.
Stephen Mulhall has distinguished himself as one of the most rigorous and constructive contemporary thinkers on European philosophy and its complicated relationship to Christian theology. A prominent locus of that relationship in his work is the Christian doctrine of original sin, and its criticism but also structural recapitulation in the work of Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre and others. This article begins with an overview of relevant themes and their development in Mulhall's writings. I then offer an account of the internal (...) tensions Mulhall identifies in Heidegger et al's ambivalent contestation of original sin, and of his own response. The centre of this response is a reconfiguration of the character of the divine, and of human participation in that divine, as radical self-abnegation. I conclude with an appreciative critique of Mulhall's proposal as insufficiently responsive to the eschatological framework within which original sin has its doctrinal and ontological place in Thomist thought. (shrink)
continent. 1.4 (2011): 279—285. Concerning its Transitive Nature, the Conversion of Native Americans of Spanish Colonial California, Indoctrinated Catholicism, & the Creation There’s no direct archaeological evidence that Jesus ever existed. 1 I memorized the Act of Contrition. I don’t remember it now, except the beginning: Forgive me Father for I have sinned . . . This was in preparation for the Sacrament of Holy Reconciliation, where in a confessional I confessed my sins to Father Scott, who looked like Jesus, (...) at least in Western cultural representations of Jesus since the middle ages, and if Jesus put on a few pounds. Father Scott was long-haired, redheaded, bearded, chubby, and tall. When he left church with the procession of altar servers and Eucharistic ministers, yelling, “Sing a Good Song Unto the Lord,” he smiled, hands folded, and he gazed over his parishioners, and bounced along. For four months every year he lived among the Crow Nation in Montana, where towards the end of his tenure at Our Lady of Refuge, they adopted him as an honorary member of their tribe. * This is the prayer we chanted, holding hands, every night before dinner: Bless us oh Lord, for these our gifts, which we are about to receive, our bounty through Christ, our Lord, Amen. Then we all said, God bless the cook! When we were with my grandparents, Grandpa said, God bless Chicky, and Holly, and Harvey, and Boots—all the dead dogs. * My sister tells me that she sits next to a handsome man on a flight across the country. After chitchat, she withdraws her book. She’s reading Kevin Sampsell’s A Common Pornography . After a few moments, the handsome man also reads from his book—his leather-bound Bible. Sister thinks, Oh, Jesus—too bad. She falls asleep. Later, settled in Nashville, she opens her volume and out falls a Jesus-covered card that reads, You can still find God and Salvation! Because that handsome God-fearing young man saw that word— pornography . * I suppose Father Jim’s dark hair, beard, and glasses made me think doctoral-ly of him. He called while I was in the midst of a breakup, after I’d twice attempted suicide, and my mother was desperate for help. She somehow found and phoned him. And Jim, now years out of Our Lady of Refuge’s parish, twenty years since my baptism, years even since he’d left the priesthood and the Catholic faith, still made the effort to bring me back into the fold. He said, “Have you seen a priest?” I did not respond, as I was more shocked to hear his voice than anything, so I said, “How are you, Father Jim? Sorry, I guess I shouldn’t call you ‘Father.’” And I said, “Why did you leave the priesthood? Do you have a girlfriend?” He said that I should call him just “Jim.” He said, “Do you need someone to talk to?” I said, “Not really.” He said, “Call your mother; she’s worried about you.” That was the last time I talked to Father Jim. * Mother let me know just how disappointed Jesus was. I cried and cried, and said I was sorry. Into my hands she placed my missal, ordered forty Rosaries. She said next Saturday I would go to confession. I hated confession. Who wouldn’t? * I realize, of course, that this page is a kind of confessional. * The Kumeyaay, Ipai, Tipai, Chumash, Esselen, Rumsen—all Native Americans of Alta California—shared similarities in their religions. Southern Californian tribes made use of Datura, or jimpson weed, a hallucinogen, for religious rituals. In the creation, God made brother sky and sister earth. Brother and sister mated, and sister gave birth to all things on Earth, including people, but it was difficult to distinguish people from all other aspects of Earth because everything was alive: granite and obsidian, the Pacific and its waves, the San Diego and Los Angeles Rivers. Wiyot—a hero—was very powerful, born from lightning, the son of the Creator and a virgin. When Wiyot thought that human women’s legs were more beautiful than Frog’s, Frog became jealous and poisoned Wiyot. The dying Wiyot went to all the people’s villages, and he distributed his power among them. He said, “When I die, I should be cremated.” The people built the fire and funeral pyre. When the fire was ready, and the people about to place Wiyot’s body upon it, Coyote came and snatched away Wiyot’s heart. * My friend Nick told me once how he ate some jimpson weed and that he hallucinated for three days. His family took a road trip and, while driving over the Sierra Nevada mountains, he kept seeing dinosaurs roaming the open meadows and charging down snowy slopes. So it’s no wonder that Native Americans who ingested this plant would have developed religion. * Walking Castroville’s streets after school I got into fights but mostly watched other boys scrabbling on the asphalt. I went to Burger King for Whoppers. Me and my friends cussed. Antonio admonished me when I said, “damn,” while strutting a sidewalk alongside the church. He said, “Jaime”—pronounced Hi-May, which was what all the Mexicans called me—“you’re crazy, eh. Don’t cuss at the church.” He meant while at church, as in, within its vicinity. I said, “We’re not in church.” Once we’d crossed the street, Tony said, “Damn dude, you’re fuckin crazy!” * Blessed Father Fray Junípero Serra raised the Eucharistic goblet to his lips, and candlelight danced on the blood’s tiny waves. Incense clouded the church so completely that some of the Pame natives grew nauseous. So, too, felt Blessed Father Fray Junípero Serra later that night, as he bent over a ceramic bowl and vomited blood, not only the Lord’s, but his own, for poison had laced the sacred vessel into which he poured the sacrament. The physician tending to the sick prelate urged him to take the remedy he’d prepared. But Blessed Father Fray Junípero Serra refused, said that he would pray, for he had never taken any medicine in his life, and he never would. * The Chumash of El Valle de Los Osos called themselves the Stishni, separating themselves from Chumash of other regions, those varying tribes of the central California coast that spoke mutually unintelligible dialects of their Hokan language. This made learning their languages impossible for the Spanish friars, to say nothing of translating the Doctrina. Thus the priests baptized few natives, despite the help that the tribes offered the fledgling settlements in the form of meat and acorn meal, which the Spaniards found repugnant. Some from these cultures, feeling threatened by the newcomers, shot flaming arrows into the thatched roofs of the mission structures. And why wouldn’t they feel threatened when priests chastised them for performing, for example, their Coyote Dance, wherein a man donning a coyote-skin-and-skull costume dances while a singer sings his tale, which laments the human feces strewn imaginatively about the Earth? Coyote, meantime, tries to get an onlooker to lick his genitals, and finally engages in public sexual intercourse with a female tribe member or two, then ends the dance by defecating. Though the Franciscans called such forbidden acts devilry , the Chumash maintained their Datura cult religion, along with the enforced Christianity. For the Chumash, the Earth was made of two enormous snakes that caused earthquakes when they slithered past one another—a vast reptilian tectonics. In the 20th century, long after Blessed Father Fray Junípero Serra and his cohorts had died, when asked by an anthropologist about religious contradictions, conflating the Datura and Christian cults, a Chumash man replied, incredulous: “But these are two different religions.” * When Portolá ordered that if by March 19th, the feast day of St. Joseph, the San Antonio had not arrived in San Diego Bay to relieve them, the Sacred Expedition to Nueva California would be abandoned, Blessed Father Fray Junípero Serra prayed a novena for San José’s intercession. And lo, a lookout sighted the San Antonio ’s sails—what seemed to the priest a miracle—that very Saint’s feast day. Europeans would stay in California, and Blessed Father Fray Junípero Serra would continue to reap a great harvest of souls for the Lord. By the end of mission secularization in 1836—sixty-six years after the San Antonio rescued the Spaniards—Native American populations in California had declined by seventy-three percent. * When Peter the Aleut would not renounce his Eastern Orthodox faith the padre of San Francisco had a toe severed from each foot with each refusal, totaling ten. The native Ohlones employed in this gruesome task—their obsidian chiseled knives tearing through skin and grinding bone—continued as per their orders, and cut off also each of Peter’s fingers (equals a total of twenty refusals). They quartered the martyr, spilled his bowels, as if from bear attack, attack by a bear in the shape of a Catholic. * Blessed Father Fray Junípero Serra absolutely believed that the slow rate of conversion for the native people was due to the influence of the Devil, who had been outraged by the coming of the Catholics to California, this region that he had long held in his dominion. * In his reception speech for the Nobel Prize for Literature, John Steinbeck said, “Man himself has become our greatest hazard and our only hope. So that today, St. John the Apostle may well be paraphrased: In the end is the Word, and the Word is Man—and the Word is with Men.” * In 1602, when Sebastián Vizcaíno and his friars sang mass on Catalina Island, as many as a hundred Pimungans witnessed the rite, asking by signs what it was about. According to Vizcaíno’s records, the Californians marveled not a little at the idea of Heaven and at the image of Jesus crucified. * Vizcaíno was brought to a prairie on Santa Catalina Island where the Pimungans worshipped their sun god. Upon the prairie they had placed an icon, a headless figure with horns protruding from the body, a figure that Vizcaíno predictably described as a demon. The Pimungans urged Vizcaíno not to approach the image of their deity, but he ignored them. He placed his crucifix against the wooden figurine and prayed the Our Father. Vizcaíno told the natives that his prayer was from Heaven, and that their god was the Devil. Vizcaíno held out his crucifix, encouraging the Pimungans to touch it and receive Jesus. He pointed at the sky and indicated Heaven. The Pimungans worshipped a sun deity, so they were impressed with this white man and his description of his god, for their gods seemed to be one and the same. It’s no wonder then that Vizcaíno’s diary reports the natives being pleased with this exchange. “Surely,” the diary says, “they will be converted to our Holy Faith.” * The Miwok women wailed and scratched at their faces when their men consorted with Sir Francis Drake and the other Englishmen who had landed on California’s coast in the summer of 1579. “The blood streaming downe along their brests, besides despoiling the upper parts of their bodies of those single coverings . . .they would with furie cast themselves upon the ground . . . on hard stones, knobby hillocks, stocks of wood, and pricking bushes.” Drake and his men fell themselves to their knees in prayer, their eyes Heavenward, so that the natives might see they prayed to God and they too might worship God then their eyes that had been so blinded by the deceiver might be opened. * Father Fray Antonio de la Ascención—Carmelite friar in Vizcaíno’s party—writes that the Indians of California can “easily and with very little labor be taught our Holy Catholic faith, and that they would receive it well and lovingly.” He calls for two hundred older and honorable soldiers to ensure brotherhood during the conquest, so that peace and love—the best tools to pacify pagans—should reign. The religious, the friar says, should likewise be wise and loving to easily quell animosities between Spaniards and the heathen, and therefore avoid war. The Spaniards should bring with them trinkets—beads, mirrors, knives—to distribute amongst the gentiles, so that they might come to love the Christians, and see “that they are coming to their lands to give them that of which they bring, and not to take away the Indians’ possessions, and may understand that they are seeking the good of their souls.” No women are to accompany the conquest, says Father Fray Antonio, “to avoid offenses to God.” * In 1955 Wallace Stevens admitted himself to St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut. There, it’s rumored he converted to Catholicism before dying of stomach cancer, exclaiming to his priest after the baptism, “Now I am in the fold.” Stevens’s late-career poems seem less cynical, more in awe of being and death (read “Metaphor as Degeneration” from The Auroras of Autumn ). He could have chosen from at least three secular hospitals in Hartford at the time. * I was reading Stevens’s Collected Poems when I joined eHarmony and listed that as my “currently reading” book among the “more than twelve” books a year that I would read. I fell in love with my wife when she said, “Are you sending your work out to literary journals?” Prior to this, the first girl I talked to on the phone, when I explained my doctoral exams, said, “So, you’re like, reading Stephen King and stuff?” When I said not exactly she responded defensively: “He must be doing something right, since he makes all that money.” * Mom walked me, my brother, and sister, through the Stations of the Cross. We did this on Ash Wednesdays, or whenever she thought we needed extra God after church. It might’ve happened before church, though that’s unlikely because we were always late. Anyway, it’s easiest to walk the Stations of the Cross when there’s no one else around. To walk the actual Stations means one goes to Jerusalem and walks the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. So the Stations elsewhere—usually paintings, or low-relief sculptures upon church walls—serve as a kind of virtual Dolorosa. Mom held our hands and started from the rear of Our Lady of Refuge: the First Station. Mom said we should say a prayer at each Station and to think of all the pain Jesus went through so that we could go to Heaven. It was hard to keep thinking about that one thing for so long. My mind went to that Saturday’s little league game, to the donut and chocolate milk (our after-church reward from Castroville Bakery), and as I grew older I thought about girls. When you’re thirteen you can’t not think about the girl’s butt in the pew in front of yours as she kneels and stands to pray throughout mass. * It grew increasingly juvenile to lie awake at night daring myself to utter a simple sentence. Even if I said I didn’t believe in God, wouldn’t He know the truth? He was omniscient, like a narrator. Even the idea of Him as a him ceased making sense. Not only did this come with a budding realization of my paternalistic culture, but due to the simple question of why? If God was everything, everywhere, all knowing, then why would he be a man? There’s that question: If God is a man then God must have a penis, and if so, what for? * The Catholic Church incorporates some modern scientific research into its dogma concerning the formation of the Universe, Solar System, and Earth, as well as evolution. According to Catholic doctrine, in approximately the fifth millennia BCE, humans began to worship the one true God. Those humans were Adam and Eve, though the Church says humans had been around for thousands of years prior to Adam and Eve. The Church claims to be infallible. Every time the Church changes its doctrine it remains infallible. * One Catholic writer, Tom Meagher, writes that “Modernism[—]the idea that we come to our beliefs individually through emotional or personal experiences[—]has crept into our Catholic schools.” * Catholics believe that evil spirits, given power through Original Sin, can imbue ordinary inanimate objects of everyday use. Thus, such objects should be blessed in order to induce in them the desire to serve the good. Such objects are not limited to, but include, “new ships and boats, railways and trains, bridges, fountains, wells, cornmills, limekilns, smelting furnaces, telegrams, steam engines, and machines for providing electricity.” * In The Sound of Music Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer sing together: “Nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever could...” * To explain competing theories on the very early universe, and pre-verse would be another book. What was the inflaton? Did (mem)branes collide, initiating the Big Bang, as opposed to Lemaître’s primordial atom, a singularity? Without a unified theory there’s gravity hanging out there, fucking everything up. We cannot make sense of the mechanics of the Planck Epoch—0-10-34 seconds into the Universe’s creation—named for Max Planck, who stumbled into the discovery of quantum mechanics in the early twentieth century. * My students often ask if I believe in God, since I espouse evolution, the Big Bang, Science, reject a strictly biblical or creationist theory of the Universe. I tell them that yes, I believe in God, though not the God that they imagine one must believe in. * When questioned regarding the rumor that, before his death, founder of quantum mechanics Max Planck had converted to Catholicism, he replied that he did not believe “in a personal God, let alone a Christian God.” * Physicist and Catholic priest George Lemaître, who formulated the theory and wrote the 1946 book The Primeval Atom Hypothesis , was made a household name by then-detractor Fred Hoyle, who pejoratively referred to the idea as a “Big Bang.” * Suicide is a mortal sin. To end one’s own life one must have despair, which is to lose hope, which is to lose faith, and to disbelieve in God. * Archaeology has uncovered graffiti in all of California’s missions—Indian pictographs inscribed into the adobe, covered with layers of whitewash. Native deities and depictions of cultural practices show that tribespeople never fully gave up their native traditions even after baptism and coming to the missions. There was something inside Native Californians that would never die. (shrink)
Stephen Hetherington é um dos mais proeminentes epistemólogos a defender que é possível ter conhecimento segundo as condições de crença verdadeira e justificada, apesar dos contraexemplos elaborados por Edmund Gettier. Ele fundamentou sua perspectiva no pressuposto de falibilidade do conhecimento e naquilo que ele chamou de "falácia de contrafactuais epistêmicos", segundo a qual não se deve assumir impossibilidade do conhecimento factual apenas em virtude da sua impossibilidade contrafactual - o que é reiterado por Anthony Booth. As críticas apresentadas por (...) Brent Madison, John Turri e Duncan Prtichard apontaram para a relevância das suas ideias, mas também para o fato de que Hetherington ignorou que há diferentes tipos de sorte que podem interferir no processo de aquisição de conhecimento. Palavras-chave: Falácia de contrafactuais epistêmicos. Falibilismo. Infalibilismo. Sorte epistêmica. Stephen Hetherington. (shrink)
In Alice Walker’s vignette “The Flowers,” a young black girl’s walk in the woods is interrupted when she treads “smack” into the skull of a lynched man. As her name predicates, Myop’s age and innocence obstruct her from seeing deeply into the full implications of the scene, while the more worldly reader is jarred and confronted with a whole history of racial violence and slavery. The skeleton, its teeth cracked and broken, is a temporal irruption, a Gothic “smack” that (...) shatters the transience of the pastoral scene with the intrusion of a deeper past from which dead matter/material de-composes the story’s present with the violent matter/issue of racism. Walker’s story is representative of an important trope in fiction, where the pastoral dead speak through the details of their remains, and the temporal fabric of text is disrupted by the very substance of death. Against the backdrops of Terry Gifford’s post-pastoral and Fred Botting’s Gothic understanding of the literary corpse as “negative[ly] sublime,” this essay explores the fictional dead as matter unfettered by genre, consistently signifying beyond their own inanimate silences, revealing suppressed and unpalatable themes of racial and sexual violence, child abuse and cannibalistic consumerism. Along with Walker’s story, this study considers these ideas through new readings of Stephen King’s novella The Body, Raymond Carver’s story “So Much Water So Close to Home,” and The Road by Cormac McCarthy. While these writers may form an unlikely grouping in terms of style, each uses pastoral remains as significant material, deploying the dead as Gothic entities that force the reader to confront America’s darkest social and historical matters. (shrink)
We use Bayesian tools to assess Law’s skeptical argument against the historicity of Jesus. We clarify and endorse his sub-argument for the conclusion that there is good reason to be skeptical about the miracle claims of the New Testament. However, we dispute Law’s contamination principle that he claims entails that we should be skeptical about the existence of Jesus. There are problems with Law’s defense of his principle, and we show, more importantly, that it is not supported by Bayesian considerations. (...) Finally, we show that Law’s principle is false in the specific case of Jesus and thereby show, contrary to the main conclusion of Law’s argument, that biblical historians are entitled to remain confident that Jesus existed. (shrink)
Stephen Houlgate is one of the leading Hegel scholars of the English-speaking world. In this interview he explains how he became a “Hegelian” while studying in Cambridge, and he offers a fundamental profile of his account of Hegel. The interview addresses the following questions: Why does Houlgate consider Hegel’s philosophy to be the “consummate critical philosophy”? What are the main barriers to a proper access to Hegel’s thought? Why is logic as dialectical logic still indispensable for philosophical thought? And (...) finally, what can both analytical and “continental” philosophers learn from Hegel? (shrink)
[Stephen Makin] Aristotle draws two sets of distinctions in Metaphysics 9.2, first between non-rational and rational capacities, and second between one way and two way capacities. He then argues for three claims: [A] if a capacity is rational, then it is a two way capacity [B] if a capacity is non-rational, then it is a one way capacity [C] a two way capacity is not indifferently related to the opposed outcomes to which it can give rise I provide explanations (...) of Aristotle's terminology, and of how [A]-[C] should be understood. I then offer a set of arguments which are intended to show that the Aristotelian claims are plausible. \\\ [Nicholas Denyer] In De Caelo 1: 11-12 Aristotle argued that whatever is and always will be true is necessarily true. His argument works, once we grant him the highly plausible principle that if something is true, then it can be false if and only if it can come to be false. For example, assume it true that the sun is and always will be hot. No proposition of this form can ever come to be false. Hence this proposition cannot be false. Hence it is necessarily true, and so too is anything that follows from it. In particular, it is necessarily true that the sun is hot. Moreover, if the sun not only is and always will be hot, but also always has been, then it follows by similar reasoning that the sun not only cannot now fail to be hot, but also never could have failed. Anything everlastingly true is therefore, in the strictest sense of the term, necessarily true. (shrink)
Is there a contradiction in Stephen Colbert’s attitudes towards race? How can he consistently claim to be colorblind and yet hold a national search for a new "black friend"? I argue that Stephen is trying to claim rights and shirk responsibilities on matters of race relations in America, and that his famous notion of "truthiness" is an extension of this attitude to other areas of social and political discourse.
The fundamental question of political reparation is: why should a state provide redress for an injustice? The predominant answer justifies redress in terms of debts—the perpetration of an injustice creates a debt, and a state is required to make redress for the same reasons that it is required to repay its debts . Other approaches justify redress on the grounds that it will facilitate the achievement of some broader political goal, like the fair distribution of social resources or political reconciliation.In (...) Transitional Justice in Established Democracies, Stephen Winter provides a novel answer to this fundamental question in terms of political legitimacy. On Winter’s “legitimating account,” the state’s perpetuation of certain injustices compromises its political legitimacy. Redress is a required for a (liberal, democratic) state to bolster its legitimacy and to live up to its political commitments.Winter’s book makes a number of contributions to thinking about redress and transitional .. (shrink)
In this essay I will attempt to explain the significance of Stephen Bantu Biko's life. This I will do in terms of his intellectual contribution to the liberation of black people from the radically unjust apartheid society in South Africa. Firstly, I will discuss his contribution to liberate blacks psychologically from the political system of apartheid, pointing out how he broke through the normative and pragmatic acceptance of the situation in the radically unjust apartheid society. He experienced black people (...) as being defeated people, and he wanted to direct their attention to the fact that the cause of their unjust situation was other human beings and thus they could change it. Secondly, I point out how he gave black people a new self-understanding and self worth. One way of doing this was by means of community projects which fostered self-reliance. For Biko it was important that black people should act autonomously, and not let other people make decisions on their behalf. They also had to re-evaluate their cultural heritage to discover the positive aspects thereof. Lastly, I focus on his views on his ideal for a future just South Africa and show how important he regarded dialogue as a political tool. (shrink)
There seems to be widespread agreement that there are two modal values: necessity and possibility. X is necessary if it is not possible that not-X; and Y is possible if it is not necessary that not-Y. In their path-breaking book, Rani Lill Anjum and Stephen Mumford defend the radical idea that there is a third modal value, weaker than necessity and stronger than possibility. This third value is dubbed 'dispositional modality' (DM) or 'tendency' and is taken to be an (...) irreducible and sui generis worldly modality: "the modality that's everywhere" (5). The source of DM is the causal powers of particulars; hence, DM is constitutively involved in causation: "a cause tends or disposes towards its effect, and can sometimes succeed in producing it" (9). Accordingly, DM is involved in all causal processes, from fundamental physics to the social and moral realm. This "deeply tendential view" (11) of the metaphysics of nature is advanced as distinct from both extant neo-Aristotelian and Humean views. Its key feature is that there is neither pure contingency nor necessitation in nature. (shrink)
Stephen Finlay’s Confusion of Tongues is a bold and sophisticated book. The overarching goal is metaphysical: to reductively analyze normative facts, properties, and relations in terms of non-normative facts, properties, and relations. But the method is linguistic: to first provide a reductive analysis of the corresponding bits of normative language, with a particular focus on ‘good’, ‘ought’, and ‘reason’. The gap between language and reality is then bridged by taking linguistic analysis as a guide to conceptual analysis, and conceptual (...) analysis as a guide to metaphysical analysis. In this review, I consider three challenges to Finlay’s project that deserve more attention than they receive in the book. The first concerns Finlay’s claim to have provided a *reductive* theory of normative language, the second concerns his claim to have provided a *unified* theory of normative language, and the third concerns his claim to have provided a *correct* theory of normative language. (shrink)
In the December 2015 Issue of the Police Journal Sam Poyser and Rebecca Milne addressed the subject of miscarriages of justice. Cold case investigations can address some of these wrongs. The salient points for attention are those just before his sudden death: Milligan was appointed Private Secretary to Jonathan Aitken, the then Minister of Arms in the Conservative government in 1994. The known facts are as follows: 1. Stephen David Wyatt Milligan was found deceased on Tuesday 8th February 1994 (...) at his Chiswick, West London house where he lived alone. His body was found by his secretary Vera Taggart who was told by Julie Kirkbride where a spare key to his London house was kept and who decided to go to his house that day because he was not answering his telephone. Police said he had made one last telephone call on Saturday evening at 9.00pm. 2. Stephen David Wyatt Milligan had been the elected Member of Parliament (‘MP’) for Eastleigh in Hampshire since 1992. 3. The important topics this MP was addressing in 1994 at the time of his death included: (i) rail privatization plans and the impact through job losses on communities, especially his own constituency of Eastleigh; (ii) arms dealings with Saudi Arabia, especially with his previous intelligence gathered as an economics journalist for esteemed publications; (iii) the UK military industry; (iv) homosexuality among senior government Ministers, as revealed by British footballer Fasanu; (v) personal relationship and planned marriage to his fiancée (Julie Kirkbride) who at the time was a political journalist. 4. Stephen Milligan was also appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Jonathan Aitken, Arms Minister and this position must have required that he came ‘up to speed’ on international arms trade and indeed its relation to bribery and corruption across jurisdictions. Milligan’s experience and knowledge as a former high-level political and economics journalist must have been of huge benefit to government minister Jonathan Aitken who was later imprisoned for perjury. 5. Regarding Stephen Milligan’s death in 1994, the Guardian newspaper in their immediate obituary said that ‘The death of one of the government's most outspoken and loyal supporters will pose a stiff electoral test for the Tories to surmount. He was on the left of the Tory party - he had even had a brief flirtation with the SDP when it was formed - and was a noted Euro-enthusiast… the death of one of the government's most outspoken and loyal supporters will pose a stiff electoral test for the Tories to surmount. Regarding Stephen Milligan’s sudden and unexpected death in 1994, MP David Willetts (Conservative, Havant) said in March 2015, in his address in the House of Commons. ‘…The inevitable ups and downs and triumphs and disasters of politics are among the great features of this place. There are colleagues in all parts of the House who are tolerant and understanding. There are friendships that keep the downs as well as the ups of politics in perspective. Having entered the House in 1992, I think particularly of two good friends, Judith Chaplin and Stephen Milligan, who both died within two years of being elected; that loss stayed with me for a long time...’ 6. On 28 February 2000, in the House of Commons, at Column 106, Mr Mike Hancock (Portsmouth) said, on the deaths of Michael Colvin and of Stephen Milligan MP: ‘I knew Michael Colvin for nearly 30 years, from when he was first elected to Hampshire county council. During my time as leader of that council, he and the late former Member of Parliament for Eastleigh, Stephen Milligan, were usually the only Members of Parliament who readily supported the council when necessary. Michael Colvin supported many ventures in the county of Hampshire. He will be missed here, in his constituency, and in Europe, and I stress that Hampshire has lost a staunch supporter. I am sure that the county will at some stage want to record its regret at his death and its deepest appreciation of the part that he played in its life....’ -/- Mike Hancock had, like Stephen Milligan, served on the Select Committee on Defence. It is interesting that he mentioned Stephen Milligan’s support as MP for Eastleigh when Milligan had only been so appointed a couple of years before his sudden death, as compared to 30 years of support from Mike Colvin. 7. Mr Andrew Robathan (for Blaby) said in the House of Commons Hansard Debates on 27 January1997, (Column 62) (on the registering of sex offenders): ‘I remember the death of my honourable friend Stephen Milligan, who represented Eastleigh. The press reports of the time stated that each Metropolitan police station had a police officer in the pay of newspapers. I do not know whether that is true, but I am aware that the police are not renowned for being entirely secure with their information…’ This statement is mischievous and it has been demonstrated time and time again, as being untrue, especially during the recent press inquiry leading to the four-volume Leveson Report, published in November 2012, into phone hacking and the ethics and culture of the UK media, pursuant to section 26 of the Inquiries Act 2005, and ordered by the House of Commons to be printed on 29 November 2012, ISBN: 9780102981063, by the Stationery Office Limited on behalf of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. In Volume 4 of the 2012 Leveson Report, chapter 4 concluded on the Press Complaints Commission (‘PCC’) and its effectiveness and revealed that the PCC does not initiate its own investigations other than those ‘needed to head off criticism of the press or self-regulation- or to accept complaints from third parties across the board and on a transparent basis… and the report states that ‘the resources of the police are limited’ in terms of being able to fully inspect the Press and media reports. (shrink)
In this paper, I critically examine Stephen Turner's critique of practice theory in light of recent neurophysiological discoveries regarding the “mirror neuron system” in the pre-frontal mo-tor cortex of humans and other primates. I argue that two of Turner's strongest objections against the sociological version of the practice-theoretical account, the problem of transmission and the problem of sameness, are substantially undermined when examined from the perspective of re-cently systematized accounts of embodied learning and intersubjective action understanding in-spired by these (...) developments. In addition, I show that the practice-theoretical framework out-lined by Pierre Bourdieu in the Logic of Practice and other works is, in contrast to Turner's por-trayal of a confused hodgepodge of logical errors and empirical impossibilities, largely consistent with the latest neurophysiological evidence and as such fundamentally foreshadowed more recent understandings of the neurocognitive foundations of the perception, understanding and structure of the motor schemes productive of action in the world. Also in line with these newer neurosci-entific developments, the practice-theoretical focus on the body as the central matrix generative of tacit understandings and analogical operations responsible for “higher order” systems of classi-fication emerges as the key to solving some of the thorniest problems in the theory of action: eliminating to need to resort to unwarranted “collective object” explanations for the origins of shared presuppositional frameworks. (shrink)
In a recent paper on Foundations of Physics Stephen Boughn argued that quantum mechanics does not require nonlocality of any kind and that the common interpretation of Bell theorem as a nonlocality result is based on a misunderstanding. In this note I argue that the Boughn arguments, that summarize views widespread in certain areas of the foundations of quantum mechanics, are based on an incorrect reading of the presuppositions of the EPR argument and the Bell theorem and, as a (...) consequence, are totally unfounded. (shrink)
This essay deals with property rights in body parts that can be exchanged in a market. The inquiry arises in the following context. With some exceptions, the laws of many countries permit only the donation, not the sale, of body parts. Yet for some years there has existed a shortage of body parts for transplantation and other medical uses. It might then appear that if more sales were legally permitted, the supply of body parts would increase, because people would have (...) more incentive to sell than they currently have to donate. To allow sales is to recognize property rights in body parts. To allow sales, however, makes body parts into “commodities”—that is, things that can be bought and sold in a market. And some view it as morally objectionable to treat body parts as commodities. (shrink)
To understand H.L.A. Hart's general theory of law, it is helpful to distinguish between substantive and methodological legal positivism. Substantive legal positivism is the view that there is no necessary connection between morality and the content of law. Methodological legal positivism is the view that legal theory can and should offer a normatively neutral description of a particular social phenomenon, namely law. Methodological positivism holds, we might say, not that there is no necessary connection between morality and law, but rather (...) that there is no connection, necessary or otherwise, between morality and legal theory. The respective claims of substantive and methodological positivism are, at least on the surface, logically independent. Hobbes and Bentham employed normative methodologies to defend versions of substantive positivism, and in modern times Michael Moore has developed what can be regarded as a variant of methodological positivism to defend a theory of natural law. (shrink)
During the 1970s, a "revolution" in American paleobiology took place. It came about in part because a group of mostly young, ambitious paleontologists adapted many of the quantitative methodologies and techniques developed in fields including biology and ecology over the previous several decades to their own discipline. Stephen Jay Gould, who was then just beginning his career, joined others in articulating a singular vision for transforming paleontology from an isolated and often ignored science to a "nomothetic discipline" that could (...) sit at evolution's "high table." Over the course of a single decade, between 1970 and 1980, this transformation had in large part been accomplished. Among those most centrally involved in this process were Gould, Thomas Schopf, David Raup, and Gould's graduate student Jack Sepkoski, all of whom made major contributions in theoretical and quantitative analysis of the fossil record and evolutionary history. Recognizing that an ideological agenda was not enough, Gould and others developed and promoted new outlets, technologies, and pedagogical strategies to nurture their new discipline. This paper describes this process of transformation, and presents Sepkoski's education and participation as exemplary of the "new model paleontologist", which Gould hoped to produce. (shrink)
In this paper I discuss Stephen Davies’s defence of literalism about emotional descriptions of music. According to literalism, a piece of music literally possesses the expressive properties we attribute to it when we describe it as ‘sad’, ‘happy’, etc. Davies’s literalist strategy exploits the concept of polysemy: the meaning of emotion words in descriptions of expressive music is related to the meaning of those words when used in their primary psychological sense. The relation between the two meanings is identified (...) by Davies in music’s presentation of emotion-characteristics-in-appearance. I will contend that there is a class of polysemous uses of emotion terms in descriptions of music that is not included in Davies’s characterization of the link between emotions in music and emotions as psychological states. I conclude by indicating the consequences of my claim for the phenomenology of expressive music. (shrink)
In Meanings and Other Things fourteen leading philosophers explore central themes in the writings of Stephen Schiffer, a leading figure in philosophy since the 1970s. Topics range from theories of meaning to moral cognitivism, the nature of paradox, and the problem of vagueness. Schiffer's responses set out his current thinking.
Theories of economic justice are characteristically based on abstract ethical concerns often unrelated to practical distributive results. Two decades ago, Rawls's theory of justice began as a reaction against the alleged ‘sacrifices’ condoned by utilitarian theory. One variant of this objection is that utilitarianism permits gross inequalities, severe deprivations of individual liberty, or even the enslavement of society's least well-off individuals. There are, however, more subtle forms of the objection. In Rawls, it is often waged without any claim that utilitarianism (...) does in fact imply such gross deprivations in actual realworld circumstances. A second variant hinges, rather, on the milder claim that utilitarianism could condone such deprivations or sacrifices in some possible world—the objection being that utilitarianism improperly makes justice contingent, or uncertain, in this way. A third, still more abstract, variant would be that utilitarianism is flawed—not because of any practical distributive result, actual or hypothetical, but in theory —due to the way it treats individuals' interests, or the ‘concept of persons’ it presupposes. (shrink)