Since at least Hume and Kant, philosophers working on the nature of aesthetic judgment have generally agreed that common sense does not treat aesthetic judgments in the same way as typical expressions of subjective preferences—rather, it endows them with intersubjective validity, the property of being right or wrong regardless of disagreement. Moreover, this apparent intersubjective validity has been taken to constitute one of the main explananda for philosophical accounts of aesthetic judgment. But is it really the case that most people (...) spontaneously treat aesthetic judgments as having intersubjective validity? In this paper, we report the results of a cross‐cultural study with over 2,000 respondents spanning 19 countries. Despite significant geographical variations, these results suggest that most people do not treat their own aesthetic judgments as having intersubjective validity. We conclude by discussing the implications of our findings for theories of aesthetic judgment and the purpose of aesthetics in general. (shrink)
Does the Ship of Theseus present a genuine puzzle about persistence due to conflicting intuitions based on “continuity of form” and “continuity of matter” pulling in opposite directions? Philosophers are divided. Some claim that it presents a genuine puzzle but disagree over whether there is a solution. Others claim that there is no puzzle at all since the case has an obvious solution. To assess these proposals, we conducted a cross-cultural study involving nearly 3,000 people across twenty-two countries, speaking eighteen (...) different languages. Our results speak against the proposal that there is no puzzle at all and against the proposal that there is a puzzle but one that has no solution. Our results suggest that there are two criteria—“continuity of form” and “continuity of matter”— that constitute our concept of persistence and these two criteria receive different weightings in settling matters concerning persistence. (shrink)
Philosophers have long debated whether, if determinism is true, we should hold people morally responsible for their actions since in a deterministic universe, people are arguably not the ultimate source of their actions nor could they have done otherwise if initial conditions and the laws of nature are held fixed. To reveal how non-philosophers ordinarily reason about the conditions for free will, we conducted a cross-cultural and cross-linguistic survey (N = 5,268) spanning twenty countries and sixteen languages. Overall, participants tended (...) to ascribe moral responsibility whether the perpetrator lacked sourcehood or alternate possibilities. However, for American, European, and Middle Eastern participants, being the ultimate source of one’s actions promoted perceptions of free will and control as well as ascriptions of blame and punishment. By contrast, being the source of one’s actions was not particularly salient to Asian participants. Finally, across cultures, participants exhibiting greater cognitive reflection were more likely to view free will as incompatible with causal determinism. We discuss these findings in light of documented cultural differences in the tendency toward dispositional versus situational attributions. (shrink)
Is behavioral integration a necessary feature of belief in folk psychology? Our data from over 5,000 people across 26 samples, spanning 22 countries suggests that it is not. Given the surprising cross-cultural robustness of our findings, we argue that the types of evidence for the ascription of a belief are, at least in some circumstances, lexicographically ordered: assertions are first taken into account, and when an agent sincerely asserts that p, nonlinguistic behavioral evidence is disregarded. In light of this, we (...) take ourselves to have discovered a universal principle governing the ascription of beliefs in folk psychology. (shrink)
Is behavioral integration (i.e., which occurs when a subjects assertion that p matches her non-verbal behavior) a necessary feature of belief in folk psychology? Our data from nearly 6,000 people across twenty-six samples, spanning twenty-two countries suggests that it is not. Given the surprising cross-cultural robustness of our findings, we suggest that the types of evidence for the ascription of a belief are, at least in some circumstances, lexicographically ordered: assertions are first taken into account, and when an agent sincerely (...) asserts that p, non-linguistic behavioral evidence is disregarded. In light of this, we take ourselves to have discovered a universal principle governing the ascription of beliefs in folk psychology. (shrink)
In the remainder of this article, we will disarm an important motivation for epistemic contextualism and interest-relative invariantism. We will accomplish this by presenting a stringent test of whether there is a stakes effect on ordinary knowledge ascription. Having shown that, even on a stringent way of testing, stakes fail to impact ordinary knowledge ascription, we will conclude that we should take another look at classical invariantism. Here is how we will proceed. Section 1 lays out some limitations of previous (...) research on stakes. Section 2 presents our study and concludes that there is little evidence for a substantial stakes effect. Section 3 responds to objections. The conclusion clears the way for classical invariantism. (shrink)
En años recientes se han diseñado múltiples experimentos que muestran cómo el razonamiento humano tiende a quebrantar lo que usualmente se consideran los principios normativos de razonamiento, a saber, los principios de la teoría estándar de la probabilidad y de la lógica clásica. Estos supuestos quebrantos han sido interpretados como muestra de la irracionalidad humana. Una noción de norma del razonamiento diferente de la subyacente en dicha interpretación me permite afirmar que razonar correctamente implica razonar de acuerdo con reglas diseñadas (...) para resolver una clase limitada de problemas en el marco de un dominio especifico y que pueden no ser formulados en términos de principios generales. Esta idea me lleva a sostener que la estructura heurística de nuestro razonamiento apunta a la manera como somos racionales. /// Much research in the last decades has demonstrated that khuman reasoning tends to violate what have usually been regarded as the normative principles of reasoning -- e.g. the principles of standard theory of probability or classical logic. These supposed violations have been interpreted as indicating systematic irrationalities in human cognition. A notion of a reasoning norm different from that underlying such an interpretation allows me to assert that correct reasoning implies reasoning in accordance with rules designed to solve a limited class of problems in a specific domain of knowledge and which are not susceptible to being formulated in terms of general principies. This contention leads me to sustain that the heuristic structure of our reasoning signáis the way in which we are rational. (shrink)
This article examines whether people share the Gettier intuition (viz. that someone who has a true justified belief that p may nonetheless fail to know that p) in 24 sites, located in 23 countries (counting Hong-Kong as a distinct country) and across 17 languages. We also consider the possible influence of gender and personality on this intuition with a very large sample size. Finally, we examine whether the Gettier intuition varies across people as a function of their disposition to engage (...) in “reflective” thinking. (shrink)
This article examines whether people share the Gettier intuition in 24 sites, located in 23 countries and across 17 languages. We also consider the possible influence of gender and personality on this intuition with a very large sample size. Finally, we examine whether the Gettier intuition varies across people as a function of their disposition to engage in “reflective” thinking.
La gestación por sustitución, llamada también subrogación de útero o alquiler de vientres, es una práctica que suscita múltiples problemas éticos relacionados con los límites morales del mercado, la idea del cuerpo humano como objeto de contrato o los conflictos entre libertad negativa y positiva. Además, la repercusión de las ideologías políticas y del feminismo en el debate es notable: por un lado, las izquierdas critican la mercantilización de la capacidad reproductiva, pues genera injusticias y grandes desigualdades; por otro, el (...) feminismo se opone a que las mujeres sean tratadas como medios para cumplir fines, y considera que la subrogación de útero conduce a la negación de las libertades conquistadas. El autor de este libro denuncia que el mercado reproductivo de corte neoliberal, nutriéndose del deseo de tener hijos y escudándose en la defensa de la libre elección, fomenta prácticas que perjudican a las mujeres gestantes, en clara desventaja económica y social, para satisfacer los intereses procreativos de las clases privilegiadas. Y en su crítica rescata conceptos clave de la izquierda emancipadora para abordar el debate en términos de derechos básicos y justicia social. (shrink)
Existe una aparente incongruencia entre, por una parte, la gran distancia que Ludwig Wittgenstein detectaba entre sus objetivos filosóficos y los de los pragmatistas y, por otra, el acercamiento que posteriormente se ha producido en la historia de la recepción de la filosofía wittgensteiniana entre esta y el (neo)pragmatismo. Con afán de tratar de arrojar algo de luz sobre tal discordancia, nos ocuparemos aquí de modo privilegiado en las reflexiones de Wittgenstein en torno al cumplimiento de reglas (es decir, sobre (...) el fenómeno de la normatividad), y la solución que a este respecto dan diversos autores pragmatistas, para comprobar si efectivamente es similitud o más bien radical disparidad (o tal vez, si se nos permite la manida referencia, simplemente un «parecido de familia») la que se da entre el proyecto filosófico wittgensteiniano y el pragmatista. Pero el objetivo fundamental de este escrito no es, con todo, una simple determinación exegética de cuáles son las verdaderas intenciones de unos y otros (esfuerzo intencionalista que combinaría bastante mal, por lo demás, con las nociones tanto wittgensteinianas como pragmatistas acerca de la normatividad); sino que de lo que se tratará será principalmente de ver qué tesis resultan, a la postre, más plausibles si queremos hacernos con una idea filosóficamente coherente del fenómeno de lo normativo: si las de un pragmatismo estereotipado (que Wittgenstein repudia ferviente), o bien las de un pensamiento que se quiere no filosófico (como el del propio vienés), o bien las mucho más matizadas consideraciones procedentes del neopragmatismo. (shrink)
Existe una aparente incongruencia entre, por una parte, la gran distancia que Ludwig Wittgenstein detectaba entre sus objetivos filosóficos y los de los pragmatistas y, por otra, el acercamiento que posteriormente se ha producido en la historia de la recepción de la filosofía wittgensteiniana entre esta y el pragmatismo. Con afán de tratar de arrojar algo de luz sobre tal discordancia, nos ocuparemos aquí de modo privilegiado en las reflexiones de Wittgenstein en torno al cumplimiento de reglas , y la (...) solución que a este respecto dan diversos autores pragmatistas, para comprobar si efectivamente es similitud o más bien radical disparidad la que se da entre el proyecto filosófico wittgensteiniano y el pragmatista. Pero el objetivo fundamental de este escrito no es, con todo, una simple determinación exegética de cuáles son las verdaderas intenciones de unos y otros ; sino que de lo que se tratará será principalmente de ver qué tesis resultan, a la postre, más plausibles si queremos hacernos con una idea filosóficamente coherente del fenómeno de lo normativo: si las de un pragmatismo estereotipado , o bien las de un pensamiento que se quiere no filosófico , o bien las mucho más matizadas consideraciones procedentes del neopragmatismo. (shrink)
Local seed systems remain the fundamental source of seeds for many crops in developing countries. Climate resilience for small holder farmers continues to depend largely on locally available seeds of traditional crop varieties. High rainfall events can have as significant an impact on crop production as increased temperatures and drought. This article analyzes the dynamics of maize diversity over 3 years in a farming community of Yucatán state, Mexico, where elevated levels of precipitation forced farmers in 2012 to reduce maize (...) diversity in their plots. We study how farmers maintained their agroecosystem resilience through seed networks, examining the drivers influencing maize diversity and seed provisioning in the year preceding and following the 2012 climatic disturbance. We found that, under these challenging circumstances, farmers focused their efforts on their most reliable landraces, disregarding hybrids. We show that farmers were able to recover and restore the diversity usually cultivated in the community in the year following the critical climate event. The maize dynamic assessed in this study demonstrates the importance of community level conservation of crop diversity. Understanding farmer management strategies of agrobiodiversity, especially during a challenging climatic period, is necessary to promote a more tailored response to climate change in traditional farming systems. (shrink)
Anders was a preeminent critic of technology and critic of the atomic bomb as he saw this hermeneutico-phenomenologically in the visceral sense of beingand time: the sheer that of its having been used as well as the bland politics of nuclear proliferation functions as programmatic aggression advanced in the name of defense and deterrence. The tactic ofsheerly technological, automatic, mechanical, aggression is carried out in good conscience. The preemptive strike is, as Baudrillard observed, the opponent’s fault: such are the wages (...) of evil. Violence in good conscience characterizes the postwar, cold war era and the present day with its mushrooming effects ofneo-fascism under the titles of national security and anti-terrorism. Karl Krauss’ 1913 bon mot regarding psychoanalysis as the very insanity it claims to cure [Psychoanalyse ist jene Geisteskrankheit, für deren Therapie sie sich halt] has never been more apt for political translation—straight into the heart of what Lacan called the Real which has ‘always been’ the political register. Where Habermas and heirs have tended to disregard Anders , just as most philosophers of technology have ignored the political as well as theethical in their eagerness to avoid suspicion of technophobia, we continue to require both critical theory and a critical philosophy of technology, a conjunction incorporating Ander’s complicated dialectic less of art in Benjamin’s prescient but still innocent age of technological reproduction but and much rather “on the devastation of life in the age of the third industrial revolution.” Thus rather thanreading Anders’ critique of the bomb as limited to a time we call the Atomic Age—as Anders himself varied Samuel Beckett’s 1957 Endgame asEndzeit that is “Endtime,” here invoking the eschatological language of Jacob Taubes as Anders does—this essay connects his reflections on the bomb with his critique of technology and the obsolescence of humanity as of a piece with our dedication to hurling ourselves against our own mortality. This concern with the violence of technology, this hatred of the vulnerability of having been born and having been set on a path unto death inspires Anders’ engagement with the sons of Eichmann—the heirs of those who designed and executed the Nazi death camps and extermination chambers of the Holocaust—and the sons of Claude Eatherly—the heirs ofboth those who designed and those who as pilots deployed the bombings that exploded nothing the stuff of the sun itself against the Empire of the Sun in the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We, embroiled as we are in wartime after wartime, suppressing public protest on a scale like never before, in country after country across the globe, cannot dispense with Anders today. (shrink)
El fenómeno de la esclavitud acompañó a toda la época colonial. Un fenómeno cuyas raíces se ponen en la época clásica, de cuyo estudio se pasa normalmente al de sus manifestaciones en épocas coloniales. Inexplicablemente, suele haber un silencio casi general respecto a la esclavitud en la Edad Media: si en ella aumentó o disminuyó el número de esclavos, y por qué; si se dio -y cómo- o no se dio la esclavitud. El presente trabajo pretende aportar datos y opinión (...) a tales interrogantes.Palabras llave: Edad Media; esclavitud; siervos de la gleba.The phenomenon of slavery was current during all of the America’s colonial times. This phenomenon has its roots in classical era, and the study of its manifestations in these last times normally follows the study of it in antiquity. Unexplainably, there is usually an almost general silence with respect to slavery in the Middles Ages: if in these times the number of slaves grew o diminished and why, or even if slavery as such existed -and how- or not. This article Intend to contribuye with informations and opinions on those questions.Palabras llave: Middle ages; slavery; serfs. (shrink)
According to Ramsey (Representation reconsidered, Cambridge University Press, New York, 2007 ), only classical cognitive science, with the related notions of input–output and structural representations, meets the job description challenge (the challenge to show that a certain structure or process serves a representational role at the subpersonal level). By contrast, connectionism and other nonclassical models, insofar as they exploit receptor and tacit notions of representation, are not genuinely representational. As a result, Ramsey submits, cognitive science is taking a U-turn from (...) representationalism back to behaviourism, thus presupposing that (1) the emergence of cognitivism capitalized on the concept of representation, and that (2) the materialization of nonclassical cognitive science involves a return to some form of pre-cognitivist behaviourism. We argue against both (1) and (2), by questioning Ramsey’s divide between classical and representational, versus nonclassical and nonrepresentational, cognitive models. For, firstly, connectionist and other nonclassical accounts have the resources to exploit the notion of a structural isomorphism, like classical accounts (the beefing-up strategy); and, secondly, insofar as input–output and structural representations refer to a cognitive agent, classical explanations fail to meet the job description challenge (the deflationary strategy). Both strategies work independently of each other: if the deflationary strategy succeeds, contra (1), cognitivism has failed to capitalize on the relevant concept of representation; if the beefing-up strategy is sound, contra (2), the return to a pre-cognitivist era cancels out. (shrink)
The aesthetics reflection can not carry out through the exclusive analysis of the figure produced by the artist, but demands to know the various nature factors that have intervened in the gestation of the work. For the study of the present aesthetics in the work of Michael Angel, results indispensable to know what the medieval philosophy expresses on what is beautiful. Furthermore, Michael Angel was a deep intellectual anxieties man. Therefore, the study of the theories outstanding aesthetics in his era, (...) it could give impulse to his own creativity. (shrink)
RESUMENEl artículo analiza la significación del pensamiento de J. Patočka para un acceso no confesional al fenómeno religioso. El análisis persigue dos objetivos. Primero determinar en qué medida los fundamentos de su filosofía de la historia implican una conmoción del orden fenoménico que abre el pensamiento hacia el Misterio que trasciende pero, a la vez, posibilita la historia humana. Segundo, explicitar el sacrificio como el medio por excelencia a través del cual el hombre en la era nihilista puede religarse con (...) el llamado de ese Misterio trascendente a realizar la infinita riqueza del ser y mantener viva la historia como historia con sentido.PALABRAS CLAVE HISTORIA, SACRIFICIO, SENTIDO, LO DIVINO.ABSTRACTThe paper analyzes the significance of J. Patočka’s thought for a non confessional access to the religious phenomenon. The analysis pursues two objectives. Firstly, to determine to what extent the foundations of his philosophy of history imply a commotion of the phenomenal order that opens the thought to the Mystery that transcends, but, at the same time, makes human history a reality. Secondly, to explicit sacrifice as the medium par excellence through which the man in the nihilistic era can connect himself with the call from this transcendent Mystery to fulfil the infinite richness of being and maintaining history alive as well as meaningful.KEYWORDSHISTORy, SACRIFICE, MEANING, THE DIVIN. (shrink)
Certainty : a contemporary question -- Beginnings: questions and debates in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries -- Abba Father: the certainty of salvation -- The spiritual man judges all things: the certainty of exegetical authority -- Are you alone wise?: the Catholic response -- Experientia: the great age of the Spirit -- Unmasking the angel of light: the discernment of the spirits -- Men should be what they seem: appearances and reality.
En 1968 Raquel Carson comenzaba una revolución en el pensamiento, quizá una de las de mayor peso en la actualidad. En su libro "La primavera silenciosa" acusaba del deterioro ambiental al poder ilimitado del ser humano. La creencia surgida en la modernidad de que todo lo que el hombre decidía era en sí mismo lo mejor por haber sido fruto de una voluntad libérrima, daba primacía y legitimidad absoluta a su acción sobre la naturaleza. Surgieron con gran fuerza numerosos grupos (...) ecologistas que adoptaron un pensamiento que responde al nombre de "ecología profunda" o "Deep Ecology" descrito por primera vez por Arme Naess en un artículo publicado por la revista Inquiry y titulado "The Shallow and the Deep, Long Range Ecology Movement". Los principios que proponía este movimiento (Naess 1984) pueden ser resumidos en ocho grandes puntos: 1) la vida de los seres no humanos es un valor en sí: 2) la riqueza y la diversidad de estas formas de vida son también valores en sí; 3) los seres humanos no pueden intervenir de manera destructiva en la vida; 4) a este respecto, la intervención humana actual es eminentemente excesiva; 5) por consiguiente, las reglas de juego deben ser radicalmente modificadas; 6) esta modificación radical debe hacerse tanto a nivel de las estructuras económicas como de las estructuras ideológicas y culturales; 7) a nivel ideológico, el cambio principal consiste en apreciar más la calidad de la vida que el goce de los bienes materiales; 8) las personas que acepten estos principios tienen la obligación de contribuir, directa o indirectamente a la realización de los cambios fundamentales que aquellos implican. (shrink)
En las actuales sociedades avanzadas cada ciudadano genera a diario una ingente cantidad de datos sobre su persona. La masiva utilización de esta información por las tecnologías Big Data suscita profundos y justificados recelos en muchas personas. Sobre todo por la incidencia que podría tener en derechos humanos como la privacidad, la libertad, la igualdad y la justicia social y porque el formidable poder que representa BD es controlado por un número cada vez más anónimo y reducido de personas. La (...) utilización de herramientas tecnológicas en todos los niveles del aprendizaje podría reportar grandes ventajas, a pesar de los recelos que suscita en algunas personas. En sí mismos, los conoci-mientos no tienen connotaciones éticas, sino que su moralidad radica en el uso que de ellos se haga. Los ángeles y los demonios no están en la técnica, sino en el corazón de quienes se sirven de ella. Será muy difícil enfrentarse a problemas como los arriba mencionados, si los principios morales de que partimos en nuestros debates no son distintos de los habituale. (shrink)
Is machine autonomy the same as human autonomy? Answers to this question are developed inphilosophical dialogue. Becket Geist, a romanticphilosopher with scientific leanings, is irked by thearrogance of Fortran McCyborg – a Model 2000 cyborg. Nonette Naturski, a champion of naturalistic views,joins Becket in playing devil''s advocate by arguingthat Fortran''s actions are voluntary, not chosen byhim, and lacking the freedom caused by deliberatedesire. With the attempts to reduce Fortran''s status,Fortran ups the ante by arguing for yet higher status– that he (...) is an angel. The dialogue with therealization that the conversation which denied Fortranautonomous status presupposed it on some level. Angelic Machines picks up where Loss of theWorld leaves off. (shrink)
The inspiration for this collective writing project began with a digital conference entitled ‘Knowledge Socialism, COVID-19 and the New Reality of Education’ held at Beijing Normal University. In this conference and through this article, multiple researchers spread across six continents have engaged in the collaborative task of outlining emerging innovations and alternative contingencies towards education, international collaboration, and digital reform in this time of global crisis. Trends associated with digital education, knowledge openness, peer production, and collective intelligence as articulated by (...) Michael A. Peters’ conception of Knowledge Socialism are given careful analysis and exploration. Some of the members of this collective endeavor to identify problems, others, begin to draw boxes around potential solutions. Overall, this article engages with real world challenges and innovations that look beyond dominant neoliberal trends in the knowledge economy to build bridges toward novel possibilities in this era of rapid digital change. (shrink)
Population health has recently grown from a series of loosely connected critiques of twentieth-century public health and medicine into a theoretical framework with a corresponding field of research—population health science. Its approach is to promote the public’s health through improving everyday human life: affordable nutritious food, clean air, safe places where children can play, living wages, etc. It recognizes that addressing contemporary health challenges such as the prevalence of type 2 diabetes will take much more than good hospitals and public (...) health departments. -/- Blending philosophy of science/medicine, public health ethics and history, this book offers a framework that explains, analyses and largely endorses the features that define this relatively new field. Presenting a philosophical perspective, Valles helps to clarify what these features are and why they matter, including: searching for health’s “upstream” causes in social life, embracing a professional commitment to studying and ameliorating the staggering health inequities in and between populations; and reforming scientific practices to foster humility and respect among the many scientists and non- scientists who must work collaboratively to promote health. -/- Featuring illustrative case studies from around the globe at the end of all main chapters, this radical monograph is written to be accessible to all scholars and advanced students who have an interest in health—from public health students to professional philosophers. (shrink)
Contemporary scholarship, such as Professor Li Xueqin's work on the formative stage of the "first classic," helps us better understand not only "the first of all Chinese classics," but also the philosophical and cultural continuum between the Shang and Zhou dynasties. By reexamining several perplexing issues, going from the authenticity of the Guicang to the interpretation of "King Wen of Zhou developed the Zhouyi," I argue that archaeological evidence is of critical importance in the study of the preclassics era.
This essay examines the character of biblical Yael oscillating between two patriarchal mythical images of femininity, as portrayed by Gilbert and Gubar—“the angel” and “the monster.” The argument arising is that the transition between these two polar and opposite characters occurs as an extreme response to oppression and injury, followed by a subversive and defying transformation. The essay points to the manner in which Yael’s story, which embodies this transformation, demonstrates how the female body is at the center of this (...) conversion, not only as a site for patriarchal control and taming, but also as embodying a text of protest and opposition to this oppression. Yael’s story, as illustrated by this analysis, is revealed as a subversive tradition with radical feminist insights. (shrink)
As part of an effort to improve the teaching of medical ethics in the College of Medicine, Lagos University two-day workshops were organised. Participants included people from various walks of life, for example politicians, lawyers, doctors, and patients. The workshops were quite successful, and have led to more extensive teaching of medical ethics in the college.
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has imperatively shaken the behavior of the global financial markets. This study estimated the impact of COVID-19 on the behavior of the financial markets of Europe and the US. The results revealed that the returns of the S&P 500 index have been greatly affected by a lockdown in the US owing to COVID-19. However, the health crisis generated due to the novel coronavirus significantly decreased the stock returns of the Nasdaq Composite index. The results also showed (...) that the economic crisis generated from the pandemic in Spain has had more impact on the IBEX 35 as compared to the health crisis itself. On the other hand, in the long-run, Italy’s stock markets are more affected by the health crisis as contrasted with the economic crisis, while, in the short-run, both lockdown conditions and economic instability lower the stock returns of FTSE MIB. The UK stock markets witnessed that in the short-run, deficiency of health management systems imperatively damaged the stock returns of the London Stock Exchange. The investigation revealed that deficiency of health systems and lockdown conditions have imperatively damaged the structure of financial markets, inferring that sustainable development of these nations is at risk due to COVID-19. The study suggested that governments should allocate more of their budget to the health sector to overcome a health crisis in the future. (shrink)
Academic medical ethics must be a bulwark against a disturbing trend toward post-truth cultures. Activism of course has its place in massive cultural debates like abortion. The fact that so many people care so deeply about these debates is part of what makes them so important. But especially when coming from clinicians, academics, and others to whom we entrust the care of our public discourse, interventions into the debates must be disciplined by a thoroughgoing commitment to engage with the available (...) data to back up the central claims even when those claims seem like common sense—perhaps especially when they seem like common sense. (shrink)
Since Blood Simple, the first film they wrote and directed together, the Coen Brothers have been working their way up in the film world and, in spite of their outside-the-mainstream taste for the noir and the surreal, have earned a number of prestigious prizes. After Fargo, one of their most critically acclaimed films, expectations were high, and when the Brothers released their next bizarre venture, most critics rushed to measure it against Fargo’s success. Consequently, The Big Lebowski, the Coens’ 1998 (...) neo-noir detective comedy, was considered an incoherent, “unsatisfactory” medley of genres and styles and a box office bomb, and nothing hinted that this unorthodox story of mistaken identity, featuring a pot-smoking, unemployed character named the Dude as its “hee-ro,” would gain a following. Yet, since its 1998 DVD release, The Big Lebowski has been hailed as the first cult film of the Internet, continuously inspiring versatile cultural phenomena as nonconformist in their nature as the movie itself. This essay examines particular factors which initially might have been responsible for alienating the audience only to help The Big Lebowski become a peculiar cultural event in later years. It looks at The Big Lebowski’s characters, the historical time and place of the film’s action as well as at various external historical events, phenomena, places and people such as, for example, the Port Huron Statement, the Reagan-Bush era, Los Angeles and its immigration issues, racial minorities, civil rights activists, the Western genre and, last but not least, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Reflecting the film’s oddities, this bag of cultural idiosyncrasies appears to provide some plausible explanations for The Big Lebowski’s unexpected, against-all-odds rise from the marginal position of a critical and commercial failure to the status of a cult classic and cultural landmark. (shrink)
Since Blood Simple, the first film they wrote and directed together, the Coen Brothers have been working their way up in the film world and, in spite of their outside-the-mainstream taste for the noir and the surreal, have earned a number of prestigious prizes. After Fargo, one of their most critically acclaimed films, expectations were high, and when the Brothers released their next bizarre venture, most critics rushed to measure it against Fargo’s success. Consequently, The Big Lebowski, the Coens’ 1998 (...) neo-noir detective comedy, was considered an incoherent, “unsatisfactory” medley of genres and styles and a box office bomb, and nothing hinted that this unorthodox story of mistaken identity, featuring a pot-smoking, unemployed character named the Dude as its “hee-ro,” would gain a following. Yet, since its 1998 DVD release, The Big Lebowski has been hailed as the first cult film of the Internet, continuously inspiring versatile cultural phenomena as nonconformist in their nature as the movie itself. This essay examines particular factors which initially might have been responsible for alienating the audience only to help The BigLebowski become a peculiar cultural event in later years. It looks at TheBig Lebowski’s characters, the historical time and place of the film’s action as well as at various external historical events, phenomena, places and people such as, for example, the Port Huron Statement, the Reagan-Bush era, Los Angeles and its immigration issues, racial minorities, civil rights activists, the Western genre and, last but not least, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Reflecting the film’s oddities, this bag of cultural idiosyncrasies appears to provide some plausible explanations for The Big Lebowski’s unexpected, against-all-odds rise from the marginal position of a critical and commercial failure to the status of a cult classic and cultural landmark. (shrink)
A-LOGIC is a full-length book (600+ pg). It functions as a system of logic designed to: 1) solve the standard paradoxes and major problems of standard mathematical logic; 2) minimize that logic's anomalies with respect to ordinary language, yet; 3) prove that all theorems in mathematical logic are tautologies. It covers lst order logic the logic of the words "and", "or", "not", "all" and "some". But it also has a non truth functional "if...then" and differs in its definition of validity, (...) its semantics and its theorems. In the book A-logic is contrasted step by step with standard mathematical logic as presented and defended by Quine. All of standard logic's theorems are proven tautologies in A-logic. But some argument-forms called "valid" in standard logic are not valid in A-logic -- notably non-sequiturs like "(P and not-P), therefore Q". In addition A-logic has many tautologies with its non-truthfunctional "if ... then" that standard logic can not derive -- e.g., "Not-(if P&Q then not-P)." A-logic's semantics is based on syntactically defined concepts of logical synonymy and containment of meanings rather than on truth-values and truth-functions. Its "if...then" sentences (called "C-conditionals") are valid if and only if (i) the meaning of the consequent is logically contained in that of the antecedent, and (ii) the antecedent and consequent are jointly consistent. The predicate "valid" holds only of C-conditionals and arguments. No valid C-conditionals are translatable into standard logic though all of them imply tautologies of standard logic. (shrink)
In the early 20th century, the most numerous and well-funded institutions in the United States—corporations—used public relations to make a widespread and fundamental change in the way they constitute and regulate their relations of knowledge with the public. Today, we can see this change reflected in a variety of areas such as journalism, political outreach, social media, and in the ‘fake news’ and ‘post-truth’ administration of Donald J. Trump. This article traces practices of corporate truth-telling and knowledge production across three (...) periods I will call the personal, the legal, and public relations, which are roughly coincident with the antebellum period, the Gilded Age, and the 20th century, respectively. In sum, what can be found in public relations and now broadly across society, is that relations of knowledge have come to be refigured as relations of power, subordinating traditional epistemological concerns like justification and belief in favor of government and control. (shrink)
Research Ethics Committees (RECs) are frequently a focus of complaints from researchers, but evidence about the operation and decisions of RECs tends to be anecdotal. We conducted a systematic study to identify and compare the ethical issues raised in 54 letters to researchers about the same 18 applications submitted to three RECs over one year. The most common type of ethical trouble identified in REC letters related to informed consent, followed by scientific design and conduct, care and protection of research (...) participants, confidentiality, recruitment and documentation. Community considerations were least frequently raised. There was evidence of variability in the ethical troubles identified and the remedies recommended. This analysis suggests that some principles may be more institutionalized than others, and offers some evidence of inconsistency between RECs. Inconsistency is often treated as evidence of incompetence and caprice, but a more sophisticated understanding of the role of RECs and their functioning is required. (shrink)
There has been longstanding interest in the consistency of decisions made by research ethics committees in the UK, but most of the evidence has come from single studies submitted to multiple committees. A systematic comparison was carried out of the decisions made on 18 purposively selected applications, each of which was reviewed independently by three different RECs in a single strategic health authority. Decisions on 11 applications were consistent, but disparities were found among RECs on decisions on seven applications. An (...) analysis of the agreement between decisions of RECs yielded an overall measure of agreement of κ = 0.286 , indicating a level of agreement that, although probably better than chance, may be described as “slight”. The small sample size limits the robustness of these findings. Further research on reasons for inconsistencies in decision making between RECs, and on the importance of such inconsistencies for a range of arguments, is needed. (shrink)
What are angels? Where were they first encountered? Can we distinguish angels from gods, faeries, ghosts, and aliens? And why do they remain so popular? This concise introduction investigates stories and speculations about angels in religions old and new, in art, literature, film, and the popular imagination.