While recognising the power and fundamental importance of Wickham’s Framing the Early Middle Ages, this essay explores some of the problems associated with the relative silence within the text about the issue of the forces of production and their development. By contrast, Harman suggests that Wickham’s most important contribution to our understanding of the period, his concept of a peasant-mode of production, is best understood against the backdrop of prior developments of the forces of production. Moreover, the peasant-mode’s temporality is (...) itself best understood against the background of further developments of the forces of production. (shrink)
Sciabarra replies to the seven respondents to his Fall 2002 essay on Rand, Rush, and progressive rock music. He defends the view that Rand's dialectical orientation underlies a fundamentally radical perspective. Rand shared with the counterculture—especially its libertarian progressive rock representatives—a repudiation of authoritarianism, while embracing the "unknown ideal" of capitalism. Her ability to trace the interrelationships among personal, cultural, and structural factors in social analysis and her repudiation of false alternatives is at the heart of that ideal vision, which (...) transcends left and right. (shrink)
The phenomenological perspective described by M. Merleau-Ponty seems to be emerging in the context of contemporary developmental research, theories of communication, metaphor theory, and cognitive neuroscience. This emergence is not always accompanied by reference to Merleau-Ponty, however, or appropriate interpretation. On some cases, the emergence of the perspective seems rather inadvertent. The purpose of this essay is to ferret out some of the points which contemporary thinking has in common with Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology. Though it may appear that the examples chosen (...) for this essay might be scrutinized separately, the thread that ties them together is Merleau-Ponty's work. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
In Life's Dominion Ronald Dworkin argues that disagreement over the morality ofabortion is about how best to respect the intrinsic value of human life, rather than about foetal rights as many people mistakenly suppose. Dworkin argues that the state should be neutral indebates about intrinsic value and thus it should be neutral in the abortion debate. Through a consideration of the notion of intrinsic value, it is argued in this article that Dworkin'sargument fails. On the interpretation of which Dworkin seems (...) to favour, it is shown to be implausible that such a notion accounts for different views about the value of human life. On an alternative interpretation of it is argued that the state is not usually neutral on such matters, and thus there is no reason why it should be in the case of abortion. (shrink)
BackgroundMedical ethics has recently seen a drive away from multiple prescriptive approaches, where physicians are inundated with guidelines and principles, towards alternative, less deontological perspectives. This represents a clear call for theory building that does not produce more guidelines. Phronesis offers an alternative approach for ethical decision-making based on an application of accumulated wisdom gained through previous practice dilemmas and decisions experienced by practitioners. Phronesis, as an ‘executive virtue’, offers a way to navigate the practice virtues for any given case (...) to reach a final decision on the way forward. However, very limited empirical data exist to support the theory of phronesis-based medical decision-making, and what does exist tends to focus on individual practitioners rather than practice-based communities of physicians.MethodsThe primary research question was: What does it mean to medical practitioners to make ethically wise decisions for patients and their communities? A three-year ethnographic study explored the practical wisdom of doctors and used their narratives to develop theoretical understanding of the concepts of ethical decision-making. Data collection included narrative interviews and observations with hospital doctors and General Practitioners at all stages in career progression. The analysis draws on neo-Aristotelian, MacIntyrean concepts of practice- based virtue ethics and was supported by an arts-based film production process.ResultsWe found that individually doctors conveyed many different practice virtues and those were consolidated into fifteen virtue continua that convey the participants’ ‘collective practical wisdom’, including the phronesis virtue. This study advances the existing theory and practice on phronesis as a decision-making approach due to the availability of these continua.ConclusionGiven the arguments that doctors feel professionally and personally vulnerable in the context of ethical decision-making, the continua in the form of a video series and app based moral debating resource can support before, during and after decision-making reflection. The potential implications are that these theoretical findings can be used by educators and practitioners as a non-prescriptive alternative to improve ethical decision-making, thereby addressing the call in the literature, and benefit patients and their communities, as well. (shrink)
I connect two increasingly popular ideas in social epistemology—group knowledge and epistemic extension—both departures from mainstream epistemological tradition. In doing so, I generate a framework for conceptualizing and organizing contemporary epistemology along several core axes. This, in turn, allows me to delineate a largely unexplored frontier in group epistemology. The bulk of extant work in group epistemology can be dubbed intra-group epistemology: the study of epistemically salient happenings within groups. I delineate and attempt to motivate what I dub inter-group epistemology: (...) the study of epistemically salient happenings between groups and other subjects and entities. (shrink)
In his wide-ranging study of architecture and cultural evolution, Chris Abel argues that, despite progress in sustainable development and design, resistance to changing personal and social identities shaped by a technology-based and energy-hungry culture is impeding efforts to avert drastic climate change. The book traces the roots of that culture to the coevolution of Homo sapiens and technology, from the first use of tools as artificial extensions of the human body to the motorized cities spreading around the world, whose (...) uncontrolled effects are fast changing the planet itself. Advancing a new concept of the meme, called the 'technical meme', as the primary agent of cognitive extension and technical embodiment, Abel proposes a theory of the 'extended self' as a complex and diffuse outcome of that coevolution. Challenging conventional ideas of the self as a separate and autonomous being, the extended self, he explains, encompasses material and spatial as well as psychological and social elements, including the built environment and artifacts, and now reaches out into the virtual world of cyberspace. Drawing upon research into extended cognition and embodied minds from philosophy, psychology and the neurosciences, the book presents a new approach to environmental and cultural studies. N.B. This book was the winner of the International Committee of Architectural Critics 2017 Bruno Zevi Book Award by unanimous decision of the international jury. (shrink)
Expanding his collected essays on architectural theory and criticism, Chris Abel pursues his explorations across disciplinary and regional boundaries in search of a deeper understanding of architecture in the evolution of human culture and identity formation. From his earliest writings predicting the computer-based revolution in customised architectural production, through his novel studies on 'tacit knowing' in design or hybridisation in regional and colonial architecture, to his radical theory of the 'extended self', Abel has been a consistently fresh and provocative (...) thinker, contesting both conventions and intellectual fashions. This revised third edition includes a new introduction and six additional chapters by the author covering a broad range of related topics, up to recent concerns with genetic design methods and virtual selves. Together with the former essays, the book presents a unique global perspective on the changing cultural issues and technologies shaping human identities and the built environment in diverse parts of the world, both East and West (from the book cover). (shrink)
This study examines the history of the psychoanalytic theory of mysticism, starting with the seminal correspondence between Freud and Romain Rolland concerning the concept of "oceanic feeling." Providing a corrective to current views which frame psychoanalysis as pathologizing mysticism, Parsons reveals the existence of three models entertained by Freud and Rolland: the classical reductive, ego-adaptive, and transformational (which allows for a transcendent dimension to mysticism). Then, reconstructing Rolland's personal mysticism (the "oceanic feeling") through texts and letters unavailable to Freud, Parsons (...) argues that Freud misinterpreted the oceanic feeling. In offering a fresh interpretation of Rolland's mysticism, Parsons constructs a new dialogical approach for psychoanalytic theory of mysticism which integrates culture studies, developmental perspectives, and the deep epistemological and transcendent claims of the mystics. (shrink)
The red tape and delays around research ethics and governance approvals frequently frustrate researchers yet, as the lesser of two evils, are largely accepted as unavoidable. Here we quantify aspects of the research ethics and governance approvals for one interview- and questionnaire-based study conducted in England which used the National Health Service procedures and the electronic Integrated Research Application System. We demonstrate the enormous impact of existing approvals processes on costs of studies, including opportunity costs to focus on the substantive (...) research, and suggest directions for radical system change. We have recorded 491 exchanges with 89 individuals involved in research ethics and governance approvals, generating 193 pages of email text excluding attachments. These are conservative estimates. The exchanges were conducted outside IRAS, expected to be the platform where all necessary documents are provided and questions addressed. Importantly, the figures exclude the actual work of preparing the ethics documentation. We propose six areas of work to enable system change: 1. Support the development of a broad range of customised research ethics and governance templates to complement generic, typically clinical trials orientated, ones; 2. Develop more sophisticated and flexible frameworks for study classification; 3. Link with associated processes for assessment, feedback, monitoring and reporting, such as ones involving funders and patient and public involvement groups; 4. Invest in a new generation IT infrastructure; 5. Enhance system capacity through increasing online reviewer participation and training; and 6. Encourage researchers to quantify the approvals processes for their studies. Ethics and governance approvals are burdensome for historical reasons and not because of the nature of the task. There are many opportunities to improve their efficiency and analytic depth in an age of innovation, increased connectivity and distributed working. If we continue to work under current systems, we are perpetuating, paradoxically, an unethical system of research approvals by virtue of its wastefulness and impoverished ethical debate. (shrink)
In this book, Chris W. Surprenant puts forward an original position concerning Kant’s practical philosophy and the intersection between his moral and political philosophy. Although Kant provides a detailed account of the nature of morality, the nature of human virtue, and how right manifests itself in civil society, he does not explain fully how individuals are able to become virtuous. This book aims to resolve this problem by showing how an individual is able to cultivate virtue, the aim of (...) Kant’s practical philosophy. Through an examination of Kant’s accounts of autonomy, the state, and religion, and their effects on the cultivation of virtue, Surprenant develops a Kantian framework for moral education, and ultimately raises the question of whether or not Kantian virtue is possible in practice. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThis article examines William Barclay's response to Jean Boucher's De Justa Abdicatione Henrici Tertii in view of the complexities of Catholic political thought in this post-Tridentine period. It argues that Barclay's famous category of ‘monarchomach’ is problematic for its avoidance of the issue of confessional difference, and that on questions of the relationship between the respublica and the ecclesia Barclay struggled to find an adequate response to Boucher in his De Regno et Regali Potestate. His De Potestate (...) Papae is treated as the intellectual extension of his battle with Boucher, and more broadly his confrontation with the position of the Catholic League and Jesuits on indirect papal power. By considering Barclay's works in the context of French Gallicanism and the Catholic League in the French Wars of Religion, this discussion aims to reposition Barclay in relation to other Catholic political theorists and thereby re-evaluate the category of Catholic resistance theory. (shrink)
A continuing challenge for researchers and practitioners alike is the lack of data on the effectiveness of corporate–community investment programmes. The focus of this article is on the minerals industry, where companies currently face the challenge of matching corporate drivers for strategic partnership with community needs for programmes that contribute to local and regional sustainability. While many global mining companies advocate a strategic approach to partnerships, there is no evidence currently available that suggests companies are monitoring these partnerships to see (...) if they do, in fact, represent ‘strategic’ investments. This article argues that applying the management concept of ‘investment performance’ to corporate–community partnerships requires questioning traditional evaluation methods that focus on the results of programmes or activities. We adopt a case study approach to introduce an evaluation framework that considers performance from both corporate and community perspectives and that conceptualises partnership performance as comprising four aspects: (1) the contribution of the partnership to the overall portfolio of a company’s community investment programmes, (2) the appropriateness of the partnership model, (3) the effectiveness of the partnering relationship and (4) the ability of the partners to achieve programme goals. The application of this evaluation framework to an established corporate–community partnership programme provided some useful insights as to how partnership performance can be improved. (shrink)
Chris Matthew Sciabarra surveys discussions of Ayn Rand in the literature on Progressive rock music. He examines critically Edward Macan's Rocking the Classics: English Progressive Rock and the Counterculture, Paul Stump's The Music's All That Matters: A History of Progressive Rock, Carol Selby Price and Robert M. Price's Mystic Rhythms: The Philosophical Vision of Rush, Bill Martin's Listening to the Future: The Time of Progressive Rock, 1968-1978 , and Durrell S. Bowman's essay on the rock band Rush in Kevin (...) Holm-Hudson's Progressive Rock Reconsidered. He argues that the authors show varying degrees of understanding of Rand's brand of "redemptive politics." [html version available]. (shrink)
This book takes concepts developed by researchers in theoretical computer science and adapts and applies them to the study of natural language meaning. Summarizing over a decade of research, Chris Barker and Chung-chieh Shan put forward the Continuation Hypothesis: that the meaning of a natural language expression can depend on its own continuation.
CHRIS MATTHEW SCIABARRA replies to the seven respondents to his Fall 2002 essay on Rand, Rush, and progressive rock music. He defends the view that Rand's dialectical orientation underlies a fundamentally radical perspective. Rand shared with the counterculture—especially its libertarian progressive rock representatives—a repudiation of authoritarianism, while embracing the "unknown ideal" of capitalism. Her ability to trace the interrelationships among personal, cultural, and structural factors in social analysis and her repudiation of false alternatives is at the heart of that (...) ideal vision, which transcends left and right. (shrink)
In this incisive study of the biological and cultural origins of the human self, the author challenges readers to re-think ideas about the self and consciousness as being exclusive to humans. In their place, he expounds a metatheoretical approach to the self as a purposeful system of extended cognition common to animal life: the invisible medium maintaining mind, body and environment as an integrated 'field of being'. Supported by recent research in evolutionary and developmental studies together with related discoveries in (...) animal behavior and the neurosciences, the author examines the factors that have shaped the evolution of the animal self across widely different species and times, through to the modern, technologically enmeshed human self; the differences between which, he contends, are relations of degree rather than absolute differences. We are, he concludes, instinctive and 'fuzzy' individuals clinging to fragile identities in an artificial and volatile world of humanity's own making, but which we now struggle to control. This book, which restores the self to its fundamental place in identity formation, will be of great interest for students and academics in the fields of social, developmental and environmental psychology, together with readers from other disciplines in the humanities, especially cultural theory and philosophy. (shrink)
We review Potts' influential book on the semantics of conventional implicature, offering an explication of his technical apparatus and drawing out the proposal's implications, focusing on the class of CIs he calls supplements. While we applaud many facets of this work, we argue that careful considerations of the pragmatics of CIs will be required in order to yield an empirically and explanatorily adequate account.
This paper is an enquiry into the logical, metaphysical, and physical possibility of time travel understood in the sense of the existence of closed worldlines that can be traced out by physical objects. We argue that none of the purported paradoxes rule out time travel either on grounds of logic or metaphysics. More relevantly, modern spacetime theories such as general relativity seem to permit models that feature closed worldlines. We discuss, in the context of Gödel's infamous argument for the ideality (...) of time based on his eponymous spacetime, what this apparent physical possibility of time travel means. Furthermore, we review the recent literature on so-called time machines, i.e., of devices that produce closed worldlines where none would have existed otherwise. Finally, we investigate what the implications of the quantum behaviour of matter for the possibility of time travel might be and explicate in what sense time travel might be possible according to leading contenders for full quantum theories of gravity such as string theory and loop quantum gravity. (shrink)
Conflicting accounts of the role of mathematics in our physical theories can be traced to two principles. Mathematics appears to be both (1) theoretically indispensable, as we have no acceptable non-mathematical versions of our theories, and (2) metaphysically dispensable, as mathematical entities, if they existed, would lack a relevant causal role in the physical world. I offer a new account of a role for mathematics in the physical sciences that emphasizes the epistemic benefits of having mathematics around when we do (...) science. This account successfully reconciles theoretical indispensability and metaphysical dispensability and has important consequences for both advocates and critics of indispensability arguments for platonism about mathematics. (shrink)
ABSTRACTDespite the growing research on the emergence of the term ‘Europe’ in the Early Modern Period and its implications, concepts and conceptualizations, most studies rely on vernacular sources exclusively. The vast and even unclear amount of Neo-Latin literature processing the discourse on Europe and European identity has yet attracted only little interest. With its proper investigation starting now, the following article aims to make a corresponding contribution by examining a treatise of one of the most prominent Neo-Latin writers of the (...) seventeenth century, John Barclay. The treatise in question, entitled Icon animorum, has received scant attention in modern Neo-Latin scholarship so far, notwithstanding its early modern popularity, its excellent Latin and its famous author. The article will thus atone for the lack of both the work’s literary and historical credit. The argument will show that with his Icon, Barclay has not just created a description of European nations typical of his time, but that he has, in fact, reached out to a supranational concept of Europe according to the principle of ‘unity in diversity’. (shrink)
The vertebrate retina is said to be inverted because the photoreceptors are oriented in the posterior direction and are thus unable to maximize photodetection under conditions of low illumination. The tapetum lucidum is a photoreflective structure located posterior to the photoreceptors in the eyes of some fish and terrestrial animals. The tapetum reflects light forward, giving incident photons a “second chance” to collide with a photoreceptor, substantially enhancing retinal photosensitivity in dim light. Across vertebrates (and arthropods), there are a wide (...) variety of tapeta that vary in structure, chemical composition, and even tissue architecture, indicating repeated convergent evolution. To date, the tapetum has not been observed in any cephalopod, however, which also possess a camera-like eye, but with the retinal photoreceptors oriented in the anterior direction. We therefore hypothesize that the tapetum lucidum is a compensatory adaptation for the suboptimal design of the inverted retina of vertebrates. (shrink)
The chapter introduces and characterizes the notion of fittingness. It charts the history of the relation and its relevance to contemporary debates in normative and metanormative philosophy and proceeds to survey issues to do with fittingness covered in the volume’s chapters, including the nature and epistemology of fittingness, the relations between fittingness and reasons, the normativity of fittingness, fittingness and value theory, and the role of fittingness in theorizing about responsibility. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of issues to (...) do with fittingness that aren’t covered extensively by the volume’s chapters in order to indicate avenues for further research. (shrink)
Mentalizing refers to our ability to read the mental states of other agents and engages many neural processes. The brain's mirror system allows us to share the emotions of others. Through perspective taking, we can infer what a person currently believes about the world given their point of view. Finally, the human brain has the unique ability to represent the mental states of the self and the other and the relationship between these mental states, making possible the communication of ideas.