Psychologists' emerging interest in spirituality and religion as well as the relevance of each phenomenon to issues of psychological importance requires an understanding of the fundamental characteristics of each construct. On the basis of both historical considerations and a limited but growing empirical literature, we caution against viewing spirituality and religiousness as incompatible and suggest that the common tendency to polarize the terms simply as individual vs. institutional or ′good′ vs. ′bad′ is not fruitful for future research. Also cautioning against (...) the use of restrictive, narrow definitions or overly broad definitions that can rob either construct of its distinctive characteristics, we propose a set of criteria that recognizes the constructs' conceptual similarities and dissimilarities. Rather than trying to force new and likely unsuccessful definitions, we offer these criteria as benchmarks for judging the value of existing definitions. (shrink)
Trading on non-public material information is fertile ground for a discussion of ethical behavior. The long-running legal tug-of-war over what constitutes illegal insider trading delivers challenges to regulatory authorities charged with detecting and enforcing the law, and is likely one of the reasons that prosecution of insider trading events remains rather uncommon. One can observe both increased volume in the equity and option markets and run-ups in the stock price prior to the announcement of the acquisitions; however, the detection of (...) illegal or unethical insider trading can be difficult. Given the legal uncertainty around insider trading and the circumstantial evidence from the trading activity, it is almost impossible to identify unethical insider trades unless there is a whistleblower or trades are large in size and impeccable in timing. Using call option trading around two merger announcements with similar firms that resulted in different ultimate treatment from the SEC, we illustrate the struggle regulators and prosecutors have with identifying and enforcing unethical insider trades. (shrink)
In three experiments, subjects attempted to track multiple items as they moved independently and unpredictably about a display. Performance was not impaired when the items were briefly (but completely) occluded at various times during their motion, suggesting that occlusion is taken into account when computing enduring perceptual objecthood. Unimpaired performance required the presence of accretion and deletion cues along fixed contours at the occluding boundaries. Performance was impaired when items were present on the visual field at the same times and (...) to the same degrees as in the occlusion conditions, but disappeared and reappeared in ways which did not implicate the presence of occluding surfaces (e.g. by imploding and exploding into and out of existence, instead of accreting and deleting along a fixed contour). Unimpaired performance did not require visible occluders (i.e. Michotte’s tunnel effect) or globally consistent occluder positions. We discuss implications of these results for theories of objecthood in visual attention. (shrink)
In an excellent work on the American legal system, John C. Anderson holds modern legal theory as largely to blame for the gross injustices that he claims commonly occur. Anderson begins by listing a number of examples of legal injustices and then spends the rest of the book explaining why misguided legal theory is to blame. His critique begins with the most representative and influential of twentieth-century legal theorists, Ronald Dworkin, then moves back to Kant, whom he holds to be (...) the intellectual forefather of the errors of modern legal theory. The fourth chapter attempts to rehabilitate Aristotle’s theory of natural justice and the book ends with a series of proposals for correcting the legal system. (shrink)
Lukacher claims that the theory of eternal recurrence is the secret alternative approach to time and man’s relation to it in western thought. Eternal recurrence has been buried in philosophy by the dominance of Christian thought and theology and its concomitant linear approach to history. Lukacher seeks to resuscitate the pagan theory by tracing its path of development from the pre-Socratics Heraclitus and Anaximander through Nietzsche and into contemporary thought with Derrida.
Film theory has long been dominated by the conflict between formalists and realists. According to Singer, “formalists call attention to the technical means by which a filmmaker goes beyond the real world in order to express his or her artistic vision” while realists “emphasize that film records properties of the physical world that lend themselves to the photographic process”. Singer attempts to ply a middle path, which emphasizes films’ ability to transform reality through both realist and formalist means. The book (...) is divided into three parts with each part consisting of one chapter advancing his theory and another applying his theory to a film. (shrink)
Linda Williams has written a solid and comprehensive introduction to Nietzsche’s concept of will to power. She covers all of the fundamental questions and issues that interpreters of Nietzsche must face along with reviewing the strongest interpretative positions and suggesting her own approach.
There seems to be a general consensus that the most important Continental philosopher of the twentieth century was Martin Heidegger. Even Étienne Gilson spoke of him as one of only two real philosophers of his lifetime. Despite the general acknowledgment of his philosophical brilliance, Heidegger remains a highly controversial figure in the history of thought largely on account of his infamous involvement with Nazism. In recent years Richard Wolin has gone to great lengths to document and examine Heidegger’s troubling politics (...) and legacy. Wolin claims that Heidegger’s Children is his final offering on Heidegger and his flawed politics; it follows upon his books The Politics of Being and The Heidegger Controversy. (shrink)
In Volume Two of Ernest Fortin: Collected Essays, Fortin deals with the relationship between religion and civil society in a Christian context: that of an essentially nonpolitical but by no means entirely otherwordly religion, many of whose teachings were thought to be fundamentally at odds with the duties of citizenship. Sections focus upon Augustine and Aquinas, on Christianity and politics; natural law, natural rights, and social justice; and Leo Strauss and the revival of classical political philosophy. Fortin's treatment of these (...) and related themes betrays a keen awareness of one of the significant intellectual events of our time: the recovery of political philosophy as a legitimate academic discipline. (shrink)
The dominant approach to the study of dynamic preference is to generate preference change by manipulating aspects of decision-problem presentation (problem description, task procedure, contextual options). The predisposing approach instead manipulates the decision maker’s mental state while holding problem presentation constant. Three illustrative studies are outlined here. The first modified preferences for ambitious consumption by manipulating subjects’ consumption energy. The second modified preferences for immediate consumption by manipulating subjects’ hedonic resources. The third modified preferences for consumption itself by manipulating subjects’ (...) desire proneness. Whereas framing is thought to affect perception, predisposing apparently can affect tastes and so involves a special kind of preference dynamism. (shrink)
Lankford’s (2013) essential empirical argument, which is based on evidence such as psychological autopsies, is that suicide attacks are caused by suicidality. By operationalizing this causal claim in a hypothetical experiment, I show the claim to be provable, and I contend that its truth is supported by Lankford’s data. However, I question the success of his follow-on arguments about beauty and goodness.
In this discussion paper, I evaluate some arguments of Mark Johnston's which appear in his articles «Fission and the Facts» and «Reasons and Reductionism» . My primary concern is with his description of fission cases, and his assessment of the implications of such cases for value theory. In particular, Johnston advances the following three claims:Rejecting the intrinsicness of identity is an arbitrary response to the paradox of fission;Fission cases involve indeterminate identity;Contra Parfit, fission cases have no implications for value theory (...) in the actual world.I argue that and are false, and that , if true, is not true for any reason that Johnston gives. (shrink)
Clarke acknowledges in his collected essays that he is a "Thomistically inspired" metaphysician rather than simply "Thomistic," because his principal aim is the creative retrieval and completion of Aquinas's metaphysics in the light of contemporary thought. Self-styled Thomists will inevitably and justifiably contest some of Clarke's creative completions of Aquinas, preferring the original to the interpretation, yet they can learn from his efforts at retrieval. While Clarke claims that his main interest is not historical exposition, two early essays show him (...) eminently capable of such writing. One is a classic exposition of how Aquinas transformed the Aristotelian act-potency theory to do the work of explaining the metaphysical composition of esse and essentia within a Neoplatonically inspired participation schema wherein act is considered to be intrinsically unlimited. The second is a general account of participation in Aquinas which displays Clarke's early assimilation of this central theme and his deep grounding in the European scholarship that transformed the landscape of Thomism at the midpoint of this century. (shrink)
Lukacs's post-1930 literary criticism reveals a problematic continuity with the theory of totality articulated in History and Class Consciousness (1923). No longer the self-knowledge of a militant proletariat, totality emerges as the contemplative vision of great bourgeois novelists. Shorn of its earlier messianic overtones, the later criticism promises a more labile political theory whose possibilities have already been explored by theorists such as liberation theologians and socialist feminists. This same change, however, coupled with Lukacs's failure to confront its metatheoretical consequences, (...) severs theory and practice and threatens to reduce revolutionary activity to a subjective and strident moralizing. (shrink)
This slender volume is a polemical work on two fronts. First and foremost, it is an attempt to distinguish sharply the aim of Aquinas from that of post-Cartesian rationalism with respect to the role of philosophical argumentation in establishing the existence of God. Cartesian rationalism holds that it is possible to articulate presuppositionless, universal, compelling, and purely philosophical reasons to justify a foundational belief in God. Velecky criticizes this view on Wittgensteinian grounds and holds that there are significant affinities between (...) Aquinas and Wittgenstein on the relationship between religious belief and philosophical justification. What counts as a good philosophical case for the existence of God is always relative to the existential situation of the inquirer. So-called proofs for the existence of God are really attempts to formulate corroborating intellectual grounds for a belief that one has already come to on the basis of God's self-revelation, faith, and personal encounter. Belief in the proposition "that God exists" is not a statement reporting the existence of an item encounterable in our normal experience or the conclusion of an argument, but rather expresses the adoption of an entirely distinct perspective on the whole of reality. So when Aquinas describes arguments for the existence of God as preambula fidei, he does not mean that they are prior to faith as epistemologically necessary conditions for belief, but rather that they are logically required by faith in a different sense. It must be possible to locate or refer to the object of religious belief within a universe of philosophical discourse; or, to put it another way, it must be possible to give some content to the notion of divinity. The function of Aquinas's arguments is thus to make the proposition Deum esse intelligible within the universe of broadly Aristotelian discourse. This is especially important if believers want to have any kind of conversation with nonbelievers. Velecky writes: "At the conclusion of the Five Arguments nothing more--and nothing less--has been achieved than that a reasonable philosophical case has been made for a topic of conversation between Christians and others about the basic characterization of something which is thought to be the transcendent cause of all beings and which has left some traces of its transcendence in the world we can experience". Velecky's Wittgensteinian reading of Aquinas is a welcome antidote to the more usual Cartesian reading. But while Velecky is careful to distinguish Aquinas from Wittgensteinian fideism, nevertheless his overall strategy comes dangerously close to pushing Aquinas too far in that direction; Aquinas is neither Cartesian nor Wittgensteinian. (shrink)
When Norman Kretzmann died in August of 1998, he left unfinished what was to have been a three volume presentation of Aquinas’s natural theology according to the first three books of the Summa contra gentiles. This second volume, the successor to The Metaphysics of Theism, thus stands as his final work. Kretzmann’s hope was to present Aquinas’s natural theology in such a way as to show its contemporary philosophical relevance and viability; it was not to be a historical reconstruction or (...) a commentary, but rather a critical appreciation or even a rethinking of Aquinas’s achievement. (shrink)
Perhaps a more exact title for this book might have been God and Reason in Medieval Universities, for its major focus is on the way that reason, especially in the form of logic and natural philosophy, became a permanently and pervasively established feature of human inquiry across the various faculties. Indeed the central thesis of the book is that despite the distorting characterizations of the Middle Ages as a period of faith at best and darkness at worst, it was actually (...) a period in which human reason achieved an unprecedented preeminence that was the necessary condition for the development of early modern science. According to Grant, “in all the history of human civilization, reason had never been accorded such a central role, one that involved so many people over such a wide area for such an extended period”. (shrink)