Spiritual Writer, theologian, and philosopher, Fr. Robert Spitzer S.J., tackles the topic of recognizing and overcoming spiritual evil. His focus is the human heart. His goal: our spiritual and moral transformation, which leads to true peace and genuine happiness. The book is divided into two main parts: (1) the realities of God's goodness and of spiritual evil, and (2) recognizing and overcoming the diabolical tactics of deception, temptation, and sin. The author synthesizes the best advice given by Catholic spiritual (...) masters throughout the ages and gives a practical guide to implementing it in our busy lives. Father Spitzer provides the biblical and theological background of Jesus' victory over evil. He also explores the reality of the devil, including extraordinary manifestations of diabolic activity such as possession. With insights from modern psychology, he shows how prayer can transform the subconscious psyche, making us better able to resist temptation, detach from the world, and grow in holiness. (shrink)
In _Pharmaceutical Freedom_ Professor Flanigan argues we ought to grant people self-medication rights for the same reasons we respect people’s right to give (or refuse to give) informed consent to treatment. Despite being the most comprehensive argument in favour of self-medication written to date, Flanigan’s _Pharmaceutical Freedom_ leaves a number of questions unanswered, making it unclear how the safe-guards Flanigan incorporates to protect people from harming themselves would work in practice. In this paper, I extend Professor Flanigan’s account by discussing (...) a hypothetical case to illustrate how these safe-guards could work together to protect people from harms caused by their own ignorance or incompetence. (shrink)
This book provides an introduction to postphenomenology, an emerging school of thought in the philosophy of technology and science and technology studies, which addresses the relationships users develop with the devices they use.
This five-step metaphysical proof borrows from the metaphysical thought of Aquinas as well as from Bernard Lonergan’s proof of God in Insight. It makes several advances to proofs of God. Most importantly, by showing that an unconditioned reality must be unrestrictedly intelligible, the second step of the proof is original and lays a stronger foundation than previous proofs for the uniqueness of an unconditioned reality as well as its identification with an unrestricted act of thinking. This point strengthens the argument (...) that this unique reality is a creator of everything else in reality. In so doing, it responds to contemporary criticisms of proofs of God by Richard Dawkins and others. This proof also adapts metaphysical ideas and terms to those arising out of the contemporary scientific world view, so that it is relevant and applicable to quantum and relativity theory, quantum cosmology, and other contemporary cosmological ideas, such as a multiverse and multidimensional physical realities. (shrink)
Though contemporary ethical problems may be partially mitigated by legislation, increased reporting requirements, audit committees, and other external structures; real long-term improvements will not occur until organizational leaders touch the hearts of individuals and organizational culture. This article addresses three ways in which leaders can get to the heart of ethics: (1) moving individuals and the culture from a dominant ego-comparative identity to a dominant contributive (common good) identity, (2) helping stakeholders to move from a “less than tacit” awareness of (...) principles to a reflective utilization of them; and (3) educating stakeholders in the proper use of precedents. The first point is particularly important because it controls the amount of fear and hubrisin a culture which, in turn, affects openness to ethics, moral courage, and the reflective use of principles and precedents. These techniques for internalizing ethics provide a necessary complement to today’s proliferation of external requirements. (shrink)
In light of the variety of uses of the term autonomy in recent bioethics literature, in this paper, I suggest that competence, not being as contested, is better placed to play the anti-paternalistic role currently assigned to autonomy. The demonstration of competence, I will argue, can provide individuals with robust spheres of non-interference in which they can pursue their lives in accordance with their own values. This protection from paternalism is achieved by granting individuals rights to non-interference upon demonstration of (...) competence. In this paper, I present a risk-sensitive account of competence as a means of grounding rights to non-interference. On a risk-sensitive account of competence individuals demonstrate their competence by exercising three capacities to the extent necessary to meet a threshold determined by the riskiness of the decision. These three capacities are the capacity to acquire knowledge, use instrumental rationality, and form and revise a life plan. (shrink)
This essay maintains that the logical distinction between ‘is’ and ‘ought’ does not amount to a dichotomy between the natural order and the moral, or between speculative knowledge and practical. This essay thus clarifies an important and often misunderstood aspect of the natural law theory advanced by the Grisez School. While affirming the logical distinction of ‘is’ from ‘ought’, this essay attempts to argue that the principles of the moral order have a basis in human nature insofar as human nature (...) delimits the parameters of what is fulfilling for human persons. Furthermore, it is through the experience of one’s nature that one inductively grasps by a non-inferential insight the practical principles whose integral directiveness leads one to human fulfillment. The non-practical awareness of factual data one grasps in experience and which ground such a non-inferential practical insight is distinct from and more basic than reflexive, propositional, speculative knowledge (‘speculative knowledge proper’). Thus, practical understanding supposes some non-practical knowledge, although the non-practical knowledge supposed differs from speculative knowledge as ordinarily understood. Still, while the understanding of practical principles does not presuppose speculative knowledge proper, such speculative knowledge does contribute to practical reasoning in significant ways by supplying content crucial for adequate deliberation. (shrink)
This article argues against the relevance of the enhancement/treatment and biomedical/non-biomedical enhancement distinctions by analysing their validity in two ways: their clarity and whether they track our intuitions regarding what is permissible and impermissible. The treatment/enhancement distinction is found to be deficient in both respects. The biomedical/non-biomedical distinction, whilst clear, does not track our intuitions regarding what is permissible and impermissible. The article concludes that, in order to help the enhancement medicine debate, the distinctions should be abandoned due to the (...) fact they hinder clear ethical analysis. (shrink)
The state currently grants the medical profession a monopolistic entitlement on the legal use of medical technology. As physicians are duty bound to not expose people to medically unnecessary harm, individuals who wish to engage in Body Modification Practices are effectively precluded from doing so as only physicians are legally entitled to use medical technology. In this article, I argue this is incompatible with respect for persons. Abolishing the medical monopoly allows us to meet the demands of respect for persons (...) by granting access to technology, whilst still upholding physicians’ right to refuse to provide requested services and thereby determine the boundaries of their profession according to what they consider to be the internal morality of medicine. (shrink)
What motives underlie the ways humans interact socially? Are these the same for all societies? Are these part of our nature, or influenced by our environments?Over the last decade, research in experimental economics has emphatically falsified the textbook representation of Homo economicus. Literally hundreds of experiments suggest that people care not only about their own material payoffs, but also about such things as fairness, equity and reciprocity. However, this research left fundamental questions unanswered: Are such social preferences stable components of (...) human nature; or, are they modulated by economic, social and cultural environments? Until now, experimental research could not address this question because virtually all subjects had been university students, and while there are cultural differences among student populations throughout the world, these differences are small compared to the full range of human social and cultural environments. A vast amount of ethnographic and historical research suggests that people's motives are influenced by economic, social, and cultural environments, yet such methods can only yield circumstantial evidence about human motives. Combining ethnographic and experimental approaches to fill this gap, this book breaks new ground in reporting the results of a large cross-cultural study aimed at determining the sources of social preferences that underlie the diversity of human sociality. The same experiments which provided evidence for social preferences among university students were performed in fifteen small-scale societies exhibiting a wide variety of social, economic and cultural conditions by experienced field researchers who had also done long-term ethnographic field work in these societies. The findings of these experiments demonstrated that no society in which experimental behaviour is consistent with the canonical model of self-interest. Indeed, results showed that the variation in behaviour is far greater than previously thought, and that the differences between societies in market integration and the importance of cooperation explain a substantial portion of this variation, which individual-level economic and demographic variables could not. Finally, the extent to which experimental play mirrors patterns of interaction found in everyday life is traced.The book starts with a succinct but substantive introduction to the use of game theory as an analytical tool and its use in the social sciences for the rigorous testing of hypotheses about fundamental aspects of social behaviour outside artificially constructed laboratories. The results of the fifteen case studies are summarized in a suggestive chapter about the scope of the project. (shrink)
The liar paradox is widely conceived as a problem for logic and semantics. On the basis of empirical studies presented here, we suggest that there is an underappreciated psychological dimension to the liar paradox and related problems, conceived as a problem for human thinkers. Specific findings suggest that how one interprets the liar sentence and similar paradoxes can vary in relation to one’s capacity for logical and reflective thought, acceptance of certain logical principles, and degree of philosophical training, but also (...) as a function of factors such as religious belief, gender, and whether the problem is treated as theoretical or practical. Though preliminary, these findings suggest that one reason the liar paradox resists a final resolution is that it engages both aspects described by so-called dual process accounts of human cognition. (shrink)
Why does performing certain tasks cause the aversive experience of mental effort and concomitant deterioration in task performance? One explanation posits a physical resource that is depleted over time. We propose an alternative explanation that centers on mental representations of the costs and benefits associated with task performance. Specifically, certain computational mechanisms, especially those associated with executive function, can be deployed for only a limited number of simultaneous tasks at any given moment. Consequently, the deployment of these computational mechanisms carries (...) an opportunity cost – that is, the next-best use to which these systems might be put. We argue that the phenomenology of effort can be understood as the felt output of these cost/benefit computations. In turn, the subjective experience of effort motivates reduced deployment of these computational mechanisms in the service of the present task. These opportunity cost representations, then, together with other cost/benefit calculations, determine effort expended and, everything else equal, result in performance reductions. In making our case for this position, we review alternative explanations for both the phenomenology of effort associated with these tasks and for performance reductions over time. Likewise, we review the broad range of relevant empirical results from across sub-disciplines, especially psychology and neuroscience. We hope that our proposal will help to build links among the diverse fields that have been addressing similar questions from different perspectives, and we emphasize ways in which alternative models might be empirically distinguished. (shrink)
Theories of discourse bring to realism new ideas about how knowledge develops and how representations of reality are influenced. We gain an understanding of the conceptual aspect of social life and the processes by which meaning is produced. This collection reflects the growing interest realist critics have shown towards forms of discourse theory and deconstruction. The diverse range of contributions address such issues as the work of Derrida and deconstruction, discourse theory, Eurocentrism and poststructuralism. What unites all of the contributions (...) is a sense that it is essential to provide a realist alternative to the hitherto dominance of social constructionism, hermeneutics and postmodernism, over many of the issues discussed. By developing a realist perspective the different authors attempt to embed discourse within the structured nature of the reality of the world. Realism can situate language, discourse and ideology within context specific, or 'causally efficacious' circumstances. Realism can help to uncover issues of power, representation, and subjectivity and how discursive and other social practices produce real effects. This can help us understand the manner in which social structures are reproduced through various forms of ideology and discourse. And by knowing this, we can start to address questions concerning human emancipation and how the world is to be transformed. (shrink)
This book introduces Robert Corrington’s “ecstatic naturalism,” a new perspective in understanding “sacred” nature and naturalism, and explores what can be done with this philosophical thought. This is an excellent resource for scholars of Continental philosophy, philosophy of religion, and American pragmatism.