This book is a collection of secondary essays on America's most important philosophic thinkers—statesmen, judges, writers, educators, and activists—from the colonial period to the present. Each essay is a comprehensive introduction to the thought of a noted American on the fundamental meaning of the American regime.
Thomas Aquinas produced a voluminous body of work on moral theory, and much of that work is on virtue, particularly the status and value of the virtues as principles of virtuous acts, and the way in which a moral life can be organized around them schematically. Thomas Osborne presents Aquinas's account of virtue in its historical, philosophical and theological contexts, to show the reader what Aquinas himself wished to teach about virtue. His discussion makes the complexities of Aquinas's (...) moral thought accessible to readers despite the differences between Thomas's texts themselves, and the distance between our background assumptions and his. The book will be valuable for scholars and students in ethics, medieval philosophy, and theology. (shrink)
Résumé : Le thème de la Métaphysique de l’acte d’être a connu un succès jamais démenti au cours du siècle dernier, avec des auteurs comme Gilson, Maritain ou Fabro, pour ne citer que les plus célèbres. Pourtant, des questions de fond n’ont jamais reçu de réponse satisfaisante, et ont laissé le sentiment d’une doctrine inachevée et inachevable. Trois observations contribuent à cette insatisfaction : la quasi-absence d’une telle problématique chez Thomas d’Aquin, les désaccords entre certains points de la théorie (...) ainsi qu’entre les auteurs, et les incompatibilités avec certains thèmes centraux de la philosophie de Thomas d’Aquin. - Abstract: The theme of the Metaphysics of the act of being has known a never denied success over the last century, with authors like Gilson, Maritain or Fabro, to name only the most famous. Nevertheless, some important questions have never been fittingly answered, and have left the feeling of an unachieved and unachievable doctrine. Three observations contribute to this disappointment : a quasi-absence of such a problematic in Thomas Aquinas, contradictions between certain points of the theory as well as between the authors, and incompatibilities with certain central themes of the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas. (shrink)
R. T. Mullins’s “Flint’s Molinism and the Incarnation is too Radical,” published by this journal in 2015, attempts to summarize some speculations I have offered regarding Christology and eschatology, to show that these speculations are independently implausible, and to demonstrate that they are at odds with the pronouncements of the Fifth Ecumenical Council and hence incompatible with orthodox Christianity. In this reply, I argue that Mullins’s essay fails in all three of these endeavors: its summaries are inaccurate, its arguments for (...) implausibility are unconvincing, and its ascriptions of heresy are baseless. (shrink)
In recent years, the research participant’s family’s need, if not right, to know their disease risk has comprised a great deal of the genetic testing discourse. This most often arises in the context of clinical genetic tests for hereditary cancers, especially colorectal and breast cancer, and other genetic disorders where the presence of a genetic mutation greatly increases the likelihood of the disease’s manifestation. However, this discussion has not led to comprehensive or cohesive guidance for health care professionals or patients. (...) Indeed, various governmental and professional bodies run the gamut of possibilities, from no disclosure to family without the consent of the patient, to recognition that genetic risk information is important enough to the family to allow exception to traditional notions of confidentiality. (shrink)
Research now provides participants greater indications of genetic risk for disease, even for conditions incidental to the research study. Given this development, should such information also be disclosed to the family of research participants? There has been some indication at the national level that genetic risk information can be disclosed to participants' families; however, limited attention has been given to returning research results to family. Thus, we have also incorporated the discussion surrounding the disclosure of genetic risk discovered in the (...) clinic (e.g., genetic testing). A number of important questions are examined: Should genetic research results be provided to family? Are there differences between clinical and research findings that would prevent research results from being disclosed to family? Who should make the disclosure, if in fact it is done at all? We conclude by noting that the return of results is increasingly accepted as technology permits the discovery of more and more medically useful data. However, debates of whether results should be returned to participants must first be settled before moving to familial disclosure. (shrink)
The Essays on the Active Powers of Man was Thomas Reid's last major work. It was conceived as part of one large work, intended as a final synoptic statement of his philosophy. The first and larger part was published three years earlier as Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man. These two works are united by Reid's basic philosophy of common sense, which sets out native principles by which the mind operates in both its intellectual and active aspects. The (...) Active Powers shows how these principles are involved in volition, action, and the ability to judge morally. Reid gives an original twist to a libertarian and realist tradition that was prominently represented in eighteenth-century British thought by such thinkers as Samuel Clarke and Richard Price. (shrink)
This essay offers a diagnosis of what may be at stake in the current preoccupation with defining science‐based educational research. The diagnosis unfolds in several readings: The first is a charitable and considerate appraisal that draws attention to the fact that advocating experimental methods as important to a science of educational research is not an inherently evil thing to do. Subsequent readings are grimmer, suggesting more deleterious consequences of the science‐based research movement for the entire enterprise of educational practice and (...) research. The central thesis of the essay is that making arguments about method and science the focal point in the current quarrel may be largely beside the point. Instead, educational researchers should join the political and public conversation about the place of educational science in society and about how science is both implicated in and confronts the politics of what counts as knowledge. (shrink)
A key source of support for the view that challenging people’s beliefs about free will may undermine moral behavior is two classic studies by Vohs and Schooler (2008). These authors reported that exposure to certain prompts suggesting that free will is an illusion increased cheating behavior. In the present paper, we report several attempts to replicate this influential and widely cited work. Over a series of five studies (sample sizes of N = 162, N = 283, N = 268, N (...) = 804, N = 982) (four preregistered) we tested the relationship between (1) anti-free-will prompts and free will beliefs and (2) free will beliefs and immoral behavior. Our primary task was to closely replicate the findings from Vohs and Schooler (2008) using the same or highly similar manipulations and measurements as the ones used in their original studies. Our efforts were largely unsuccessful. We suggest that manipulating free will beliefs in a robust way is more difficult than has been implied by prior work, and that the proposed link with immoral behavior may not be as consistent as previous work suggests. (shrink)
Given any proposition, is it possible to have rationally acceptable attitudes towards it? Absent reasons to the contrary, one would probably think that this should be possible. In this paper I provide a reason to the contrary. There is a proposition such that, if one has any opinions about it at all, one will have a rationally unacceptable set of propositional attitudes—or if one doesn’t, one will end up being cognitively imperfect in some other manner. The proposition I am concerned (...) with is a self-referential propositional attitude ascription involving the propositional attitude of rejection. Given a basic assumption about what constitutes irrationality, and a few assumptions about the nature of cognitively ideal agents, a paradox results. This paradox is superficially like the Liar, but it is importantly different in that no alethic notions are involved at all. As such, it stands independent of the Liar and is not a ‘revenge’ version of it. After setting out the paradox I discuss possible responses. After considering several I argue that one is best off simply accepting that the paradox shows us something surprising and interesting about rationality: that some cognitive shortfall is unavoidable even for ideal agents. I argue that nothing disastrous follows from accepting this conclusion. (shrink)
Contemporary Philosophy in Focus offers a series of introductory volumes to many of the dominant philosophical thinkers of the current age. Thomas Kuhn, the author of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, is probably the best-known and most influential historian and philosopher of science of the last 25 years, and has become something of a cultural icon. His concepts of paradigm, paradigm change and incommensurability have changed the way we think about science. This volume offers an introduction to Kuhn's life (...) and work and then considers the implications of Kuhn's work for philosophy, cognitive psychology, social studies of science and feminism. The volume is more than a retrospective on Kuhn, exploring future developments of cognitive and information services along Kuhnian lines. Outside of philosophy the volume will be of particular interest to professionals and students in cognitive science, history of science, science studies and cultural studies. (shrink)
Because many of Aquinas’s most distinctive philosophical claims are embedded in theological works, in order to see what his philosophy comes to it is necessary to do a great deal of extracting and reconstructing. A major school of interpretation, however, cautions that such efforts are misguided, since Aquinas’ philosophy and theology are inextricably bound together. We respond that some versions of this inseparability thesis are too strong to be true and the remainder too weak to stand in the way of (...) renewed efforts to identify Aquinas’ pure philosophical systems. Nonetheless, a good deal is to be learned about Aquinas (and about other religious philosophers) by pondering the inseparablist challenge to rational reconstruction. (shrink)
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For the first time in three centuries, this book brings back into print three discourses now confirmed to have been written by the young Thomas Hobbes. Their contents may well lead to a resolution of the long-standing controversy surrounding Hobbes's early influences and the subsequent development of his thought. The volume begins with the recent history of the discourses, first published as part of the anonymous seventeenth-century work, Horae Subsecivae . Drawing upon both internal evidence and external confirmation afforded (...) by new statistical "wordprinting" techniques, the editors present a compelling case for Hobbes's authorship. Saxonhouse and Reynolds present the complete texts of the discourse with full annotations and modernized spellings. These are followed by a lengthy essay analyzing the pieces' significance for Hobbes's intellectual development and modern political thought more generally. The discourses provide the strongest evidence to date for the profound influences of Bacon and Machiavelli on the young Hobbes, and they add a new dimension to the much-debated impact of the scientific method on his thought. The book also contains both introductory and in-depth explanations of statistical "wordprinting.". (shrink)
The past decade has seen a rapid development and proliferation of sophisticated computer systems in organizations. Designers, however, have minimized the importance of security control systems, (except for those systems where data security and access control have obviously been of major importance). The result is an increasing recognition that computer systems security is often easily compromised.This research will provide the initial step in assessing ways in which attorneys retained to prosecute computer crimes and computer people who discover these violations can (...) work together to strengthen both our computer systems to thwart violators and the laws that are currently on the books that can be used to prosecute violators. (shrink)