Review of Joseph LeDoux: Das Netz der Persönlichkeit. Wie unser Selbst entsteht. Walter Verlag, Düsseldorf 2003. 510 Seiten (mit Abbildungen), 39,90 Euro. - Der eine Mensch ist mißtrauisch, der nächste leichtgläubig, diese ist warmherzig, jene kaltschnäuzig. Viele haben Charakter, manche sogar Persönlichkeit. Wie kommt es dazu? In seinem neuen Buch untersucht der Neurowissenschaftler Joseph LeDoux wie unser Selbst entsteht. In dem sehr lesbaren und angenehm übersetzten Werk wird anschaulich und detailliert berichtet, wie sich in unserem Gehirn die Charakteristika eines (...) Individuums ausbilden. (shrink)
William Burnside was one of the three most important algebraists who were involved in the transformation of group theory from its nineteenth-century origins to a deeper twentieth-century subject. Building on work of earlier mathematicians, they were able to develop sophisticated tools for solving difficult problems. His works are of enormous historical importance; they remain also a source of inspiration and information. The works of his contemporaries, such as Klein, Frobenius, Schur, have been published as also have the works of his (...) immediate successors such as Phillip Hall. All of Burnside's papers are reproduced here, organized chronologically and with a detailed bibliography. Walter Feit has contributed a foreword, and a collection of introductory essays are included to provide a commentary on Burnside's work and set it in perspective along with a modern biography that draws on archive material. This is the first reference volume of Burnside's collected papers, enhanced by a series of critical essays on his work, and is important for group theorists and historians and philosophers of mathematics and fills the gap in this area of literature. (shrink)
These essays strip away Nietzsche's flamboyant style, his tragic biography, and his notorious "influence" to reveal him purely as a philosopher, a thinker occupied with problems of justification, value, science and knowledge, truth and God. They discover a profound and very human philosopher who has too long been ignored and distorted by the wrong kinds of admiration and criticism. Contributors include Walter Kaufmann, Arthur Danto, Richard Schacht, Karl Jaspers, Kathryn Pyne Parsons, Max Scheler, Ivan Soll, Thomas Mann, and (...) Herman Hesse. (shrink)
My original enthusiasm for the invitation of the city of Frankfurt to deliver the commemorative address on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Goethe's death soon gave way to a state of depression. I thought of Walter Benjamin who, exactly fifty years ago, on the 100th anniversary of Goethe's death, wrote: “Every word about Goethe spared this year is a blessing.” I then came across Thomas Mann's caustic remark made on the 200th anniversary of Goethe's birth in (...) 1949, in his address “Goethe and Democracy”: “I have nothing new to say to you.” And as if this were not enough, Leo Kreutzer only recently told us that “there is no longer any idea connected with Goethe which might still be capable of playing any significant role.”. (shrink)
The essays compiled in this book explore aspects of Walter Benjamin's discourse that have contributed to the formation of contemporary architectural theories. Issues such as technology and history have been considered central to the very modernity of architecture, but Benjamin's reflection on these subjects has elevated the discussion to a critical level. The contributors in this book consider Walter Benjamin's ideas in the context of digitalization of architecture where it is the very technique itself that determines the processes (...) of design and the final form. This book was published as a special issue of Architectural Theory Review. (shrink)
In The City of God , XI, 10, St Augustine claims that the divine nature is simple because ‘it is what it has’ . We may take this as a slogan for the Doctrine of Divine Simplicity , a doctrine which finds its way into orthodox medieval Christian theological speculation. Like the doctrine of God's timeless eternality, the DDS has seemed obvious and pious to many, and incoherent, misguided, and repugnant to others. Unlike the doctrine of God's timeless eternality, the (...) DDS has received very little critical attention. The DDS did not originate with Augustine, but I am not primarily concerned with its pedigree. Nor am I concerned to ask how the doctrine interacts with trinitarian speculation. I will have my hands full as it is. In Section I of this paper I shall provide a rough characterization of the DDS, indicate its complexity, and focus on a particular aspect of the doctrine which will exercise us in the remainder of the paper, namely, the thesis that the divine attributes are all identical with each other and with God. In section n I shall discuss Alvin Plantinga's recent objections to Aquinas' version of the DDS. I shall then offer a more detailed presentation of what I take to be Aquinas' version , and recast it in terms of a theory of attributes which is significantly different from Plantinga's . Although the recasting of the doctrine will enable me to rebut Plantinga's objections , it by no means solves all the problems of the DDS. In section vi I shall discuss the chief lingering problem facing a defender of the DDS. (shrink)
In this collection of short meditations on various topics, Hans Blumenberg eschews academic ponderousness and writes in a genre evocative of Montaigne's _Essais_, Walter Benjamin's _Denkbilder_, or Adorno's _Minima Moralia_. Drawing upon an intellectual tradition that ranges from Aesop to Wittgenstein and from medieval theology to astrophysics, he works as a detective of ideas scouring the periphery of intellectual and philosophical history for clues—metaphors, gestures, anecdotes—essential to grasping human finitude. Images of shipwrecks, attempts at ordering the world, and questions (...) of foundations are traced through the work of Goethe, Schopenhauer, Simmel, Husserl, Thomas Mann, and others. The book's reflections culminate in a rereading of the fable "Care Crosses the River" that lies at the center of Heidegger's analysis of Dasein in which the fable's elided Gnostic center is recovered: Care creates the human in its own image, as a reflection of its narcissism. At stake throughout are two inextricable elements of Blumenberg's thought: a theory of nonconceptuality as essential to philosophizing and an exploration of culture understood as humanity's unceasing attempts to relieve itself of the weight of the absolutism of reality. (shrink)
_An exemplary collection of work from one of the world’s leading scholars of intellectual history__ “Földényi... stage[s] a broad metaphysical melodrama between opposites that he pursues throughout this fierce, provoking collection.... He proves himself a brilliant interpreter of the dark underside of Enlightenment ambition.”—James Wood, _New Yorker__ László Földényi’s work, in the long tradition of public intellectual and cultural criticism, resonates with the writings of Montaigne, Walter Benjamin, and Thomas Mann. In this new essay collection, Földényi considers the (...) continuing fallout from the collapse of religion, exploring how Enlightenment traditions have not replaced basic elements of previously held religious mythologies—neither their metaphysical completeness nor their comforting purpose. Realizing beautiful writing through empathy, imagination, fascination, and a fierce sense of justice, Földényi covers a wide range of topics including a meditation on the metaphysical unity of a sculpture group and an analysis of fear as a window into our relationship with time. (shrink)
[opening paragraph]: Walter Freeman discusses with Jean Burns some of the issues relating to consciousness in his recent book. Burns: To understand consciousness we need know its relationship to the brain, and to do that we need to know how the brain processes information. A lot of people think of brain processing in terms of individual neurons, and you're saying that brain processing should be understood in terms of dynamical states of populations?
The science underlying global warming, climate change, and the connections between these phenomena are reviewed. Projected future climate changes under various plausible scenarios of future human behavior are explored, as are the potential impacts of projected climate changes on society, ecosystems, and our environment. The economic, security, and ethical considerations relevant to determining the threat posed by climate change are subsequently assessed. The article then discusses the various means available for climate change mitigation, focusing on the relative strengths and weaknesses (...) of various societal alternatives including ‘geoengineering’ and transitioning to less carbon intensive energy sources. The article concludes with the author's views as to what steps might most profitably be taken to avert dangerous anthropogenic interference with Earth's climate, and the ramifications if such steps are not taken. (shrink)
The author of this book pursues the objective of treating the whole of pure mathematics [die ganze reine Mathematik] in four sections [Abtheilungen]. One half of the first of these sections is dedicated to arithmetic and is already available. The other half of the first section “A heuristic treatise on number [Zahlenlehre in freier Gedankenentwicklung]” which treats the same discipline is supposed to follow. The author may have opted for such an unusual separation [of the treatment of arithme..
The doctrine of divine simplicity, the doctrine that God has no physical or metaphysical complexity whatsoever, is not a doctrine designed to induce immediate philosophical acquiescence. There are severe questions about its coherence. And even if those questions can be answered satisfactorily in favour of the doctrine, there remains the question why anyone should accept it. Thomas V. Morris raises both sorts of questions about a version of the doctrine which I have put forward. In the following pages I shall (...) respond to what I take to be the most serious of Morris's objections. I shall argue that the doctrine survives Morris's onslaught, but that one observation of his points it in a direction I had hitherto not taken seriously. The bulk of Morris's paper raises questions of the first sort; perforce the bulk of my paper will also. I shall offer, at the end, a reason for thinking that neither of us is yet in a position to pronounce categorically on the second question. My remarks in this paper constitute an interim report on how I think things presently stand with divine simplicity. (shrink)
[The following notes, from a MS. of Headlam's, now published by permission of the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press, give the substance of a lecture which Headlam delivered in Cambridge but did not publish, though some account of it is given in the memoir by Mr. Cecil Headlam . A few verbal alterations have been made for the sake of clearness and some references added.—GEORGE THOMSON].
Down Girl is a broad, original, and far ranging analysis of what misogyny really is, how it works, its purpose, and how to fight it. The philosopher Kate Manne argues that modern society's failure to recognize women's full humanity and autonomy is not actually the problem. She argues instead that it is women's manifestations of human capacities -- autonomy, agency, political engagement -- is what engenders misogynist hostility.
This chapter explores the possibility of identifying core moral claims with the states of mind which are called bodily imperatives—e.g. the ‘make it stop’ state of mind which is plausibly an aspect of, if not identical with, severe pain states and states such as severe thirst, hunger, sleeplessness, humiliation, terror, and torment. The chapter combines this idea with another, that the desire-like, conative, or ‘world-guiding’ states of mind which make normative claims on agents need not belong to the agent on (...) whom the claim is made, on a broadly Humean or desire-based view in metaethics. On the view defended, any subject’s bodily imperatives can make moral claims on any moral agent. The case is made that bodily imperatives are a good candidate for constituting the core moral claims or basic imperatives of morality, which all others are either built from, or at least constrained by. (shrink)
In healthcare ethics there is a discussion regarding whether autonomy of personal preferences, what sometimes is referred to as authenticity, is necessary for autonomous decision-making. It has been argued that patients’ decisions that lack sufficient authenticity could be deemed as non-autonomous and be justifiably overruled by healthcare staff. The present paper discusses this issue in relation certain psychiatric disorders. It takes its starting point in recent qualitative studies of the experiences and thoughts of patients’ with anorexia nervosa where issues related (...) to authenticity seem particularly relevant. The paper examines different interpretations of authenticity relevant for autonomy and concludes that the concept, as it has been elaborated in recent debate, is highly problematic to use as a criterion for autonomous decision-making in healthcare. (shrink)
Different ideas of the normative relevance of autonomy can give rise to profoundly different action-guiding principles in healthcare. If autonomy is seen as a value rather than as a right, it can be argued that patients’ decisions should sometimes be overruled in order to protect or promote their own autonomy. We refer to this as paternalism in the name of autonomy. In this paper, we discuss different elements of autonomy (decision-making capacity, efficiency, and authenticity) and arguments in favor of paternalism (...) for the sake of autonomy that have been proposed in the bioethical debate. We argue that if autonomy is valuable, then paternalism for the sake of autonomy may be justified. However, policies allowing paternalism in the name of autonomy may be self-defeating. (shrink)
An alarming number of philosophers and cognitive scientists have argued that mind extends beyond the brain and body. This book evaluates these arguments and suggests that, typically, it does not. A timely and relevant study that exposes the need to develop a more sophisticated theory of cognition, while pointing to a bold new direction in exploring the nature of cognition Articulates and defends the “mark of the cognitive”, a common sense theory used to distinguish between cognitive and non-cognitive processes Challenges (...) the current popularity of extended cognition theory through critical analysis and by pointing out fallacies and shortcoming in the literature Stimulates discussions that will advance debate about the nature of cognition in the cognitive sciences. (shrink)
Respect for autonomy is typically considered a key reason for allowing physician assisted suicide and euthanasia. However, several recent papers have claimed this to be grounded in a misconception of the normative relevance of autonomy. It has been argued that autonomy is properly conceived of as a value, and that this makes assisted suicide as well as euthanasia wrong, since they destroy the autonomy of the patient. This paper evaluates this line of reasoning by investigating the conception of valuable autonomy. (...) Starting off from the current debate in end-of-life care, two different interpretations of how autonomy is valuable is discussed. According to one interpretation, autonomy is a personal prudential value, which may provide a reason why euthanasia and assisted suicide might be against a patient’s best interests. According to a second interpretation, inspired by Kantian ethics, being autonomous is unconditionally valuable, which may imply a duty to preserve autonomy. We argue that both lines of reasoning have limitations when it comes to situations relevant for end-of life care. It is concluded that neither way of reasoning can be used to show that assisted suicide or euthanasia always is impermissible. (shrink)
This selection of correspondence written by the man who was America's political conscience spans the years from 1907 to 1969 and includes letters to President Frankin D. Roosevelt and responses to inquisitive graduate students.
Drugs used to provide improvement of cognitive functioning have been shown to be effective in healthy individuals. It is sometimes assumed that the use of these drugs constitutes cheating in an academic context. We examine whether this assumption is ethically sound. Beyond providing the most up-to-date discussion of modafinil use in an academic context, this contribution includes an overview of the safety of modafinil use in greater depth than previous studies addressing the issue of cheating. Secondly, we emphasize two crucial, (...) but hitherto nearly overlooked, nuances to the issues: the potential for modafinil to decrease inequality and disadvantage in academic settings, and the fact that how modafinil is used dramatically impacts its effects on health, coercion, fairness, authenticity and effort. Finally, we explicitly defend the position that there are no qualitatively morally relevant differences between modafinil use and other enhancement modalities; any such differences are in degree,... (shrink)
This book offers a provocative, clear and rigorously argued account of the nature of perception and its role in the production of knowledge. Walter Hopp argues that perceptual experiences do not have conceptual content, and that what makes them play a distinctive epistemic role is not the features which they share with beliefs, but something that in fact sets them radically apart. He explains that the reason-giving relation between experiences and beliefs is what Edmund Husserl called 'fulfilment' - in (...) which we find something to be as we think it to be. His book covers a wide range of central topics in contemporary philosophy of mind, epistemology and traditional phenomenology. It is essential reading for contemporary analytic philosophers of mind and phenomenologists alike. (shrink)
Womens Liberation and the Sublime is a passionate report on the state of feminist thinking and practice after the linguistic turn. A critical assessment of masculinist notions of the sublime in modern and postmodern accounts grounds the author's positive and constructive recuperation of sublime experience in a feminist voice.
Recent advances in medical and information technologies, the availability of new types of medical data, the requirement of increasing numbers of study participants, as well as difficulties in recruitment and retention, all present serious problems for traditional models of specific and informed consent to medical research. However, these advances also enable novel ways to securely share and analyse data. This paper introduces one of these advances—blockchain technologies—and argues that they can be used to share medical data in a secure and (...) auditable fashion. In addition, some aspects of consent and data collection, as well as data access management and analysis, can be automated using blockchain-based smart contracts. This paper demonstrates how blockchain technologies can be used to further all three of the bioethical principles underlying consent requirements: the autonomy of patients, by giving them much greater control over their data; beneficence, by greatly facilitating medical research efficiency and by reducing biases and opportunities for errors; and justice, by enabling patients with rare or under-researched conditions to pseudonymously aggregate their data for analysis. Finally, we coin and describe the novel concept of prosent, by which we mean the blockchain-enabled ability of all stakeholders in the research process to pseudonymously and proactively consent to data release or exchange under specific conditions, such as trial completion. (shrink)