Revisiting African philosophy’s classic questions, D. A. Masolo advances understandings of what it means to be human—whether of African or other origin. Masolo reframes indigenous knowledge as diversity: How are we to understand the place and structure of consciousness? How does the everyday color the world we know? Where are the boundaries between self and other, universal and particular, and individual and community? From here, he takes a dramatic turn toward Africa’s current political situation and considers why individual rights and (...) freedoms have not been recognized, respected, demanded, or enforced. Masolo offers solutions for containing socially destructive conduct and antisocial tendencies by engaging community. His unique thinking about community and the role of the individual extends African philosophy in new, global directions. (shrink)
A three-valued propositional logic is presented, within which the three values are read as ?true?, ?false? and ?nonsense?. A three-valued extended functional calculus, unrestricted by the theory of types, is then developed. Within the latter system, Bochvar analyzes the Russell paradox and the Grelling-Weyl paradox, formally demonstrating the meaninglessness of both.
In debates about criteria for human death, several camps have emerged, the main two focusing on either loss of the "organism as a whole" (the mainstream view) or loss of consciousness or "personhood." Controversies also rage over the proper definition of "irreversible" in criteria for death. The situation is reminiscent of the proverbial blind men palpating an elephant; each describes the creature according to the part he can touch. Similarly, each camp grasps some aspect of the complex reality of death. (...) The personhood camp, in contrast to the mainstream "organism" camp, recognizes that a human organism can still be a biological living whole even without brain function. The mainstream camp, in contrast to the personhood camp, recognizes that a person can be permanently, even irreversibly unconscious, and still be a living person so long as his/her body is alive. The author proposes that hylomorphic dualism incorporates both these key insights. But to complete the picture of the entire "death elephant," a fundamental paradigm shift is needed to make sense of other seemingly conflicting insights. The author proposes a "semantic bisection" of the concept of death, analogous to the traditional distinction at the beginning of life between "conception" and "birth." To avoid the semantic baggage associated with the term "death," the two new death-related concepts are referred to as "passing away" (or "deceased") and "deanimation," corresponding, respectively, to sociolegal ceasing-to-be (mirror image of birth) and ontological/theological ceasing-to-be of the bodily organism (mirror image of conception). Regarding criteria, the distinguishing feature is whether the cessation of function is permanent (passing away) or irreversible (deanimation). If the "dead donor rule" were renamed the "deceased donor rule" (both acronyms felicitously being "DDR"), the ethics of organ transplantation from non–heart-beating donors could, in principle, be validly governed by the DDR, even though the donors are not yet ontologically "deanimated." Thus, the paradigm shift satisfies both those who insist on maintaining the DDR and those who claim that it has all along been receiving only lip service and should be explicitly loosened to include those who are "as good as dead." Even so, a number of practical caveats remain to be worked out for non–heart-beating protocols. (shrink)
In this essay an ‘objective’ account of intrinsic value is proposed and partly defended. It is claimed that a kind of value exists which is, or may reasonably be supposed to be, a property of certain objects. The presence of such value is not to be wholly accounted for as the ‘projection’ of certain human feelings elicited by the object thought to be of value, nor by the object's meeting certain operative human conventions prescribing what is to be admired, nor (...) by its being conformable, in some way, to human needs or desires. Hume, of course, would have none of this. It is hoped to show that if one adopts Hume's account, then his attempt to show that there nevertheless will be convergence in the long run as to what is of aesthetic value is forced and unsuccessful. By contrast, on the ‘objective’ account convergence is to be expected. This, of course, only shows the superiority of the ‘objective’ account so long as there is an expectation of long-term convergence. This is not an expectation of most contemporary value ‘subjectivists’, and therefore the argument will not be directly relevant to their positions. (shrink)
If the world were wholly just, the following inductive definition would exhaustively cover the subject of justice in holdings. 1. A person who acquires a holding in accordance with the principle of justice in acquisition is entitled to that holding. 2. A person who acquires a holding in accordance with the principle of justice in transfer, from someone else entitled to the holding, is entitled to the holding. 3. No one is entitled to a holding except by applications of i (...) and 2. The complete principle of distributive justice would say simply that a distribution is just if everyone is entitled to the holdings they possess under the distribution. (shrink)
Lexical Semantics is about the meaning of words. Although obviously a central concern of linguistics, the semantic behaviour of words has been unduly neglected in the current literature, which has tended to emphasize sentential semantics and its relation to formal systems of logic. In this textbook D. A. Cruse establishes in a principled and disciplined way the descriptive and generalizable facts about lexical relations that any formal theory of semantics will have to encompass. Among the topics covered in depth are (...) idiomaticity, lexical ambiguity, synonymy, hierarchical relations such as hyponymy and meronymy, and various types of oppositeness. Syntagmatic relations are also treated in some detail. The discussions are richly illustrated by examples drawn almost entirely from English. Although a familiarity with traditional grammar is assumed, readers with no technical linguistic background will find the exposition always accessible. All readers with an interest in semantics will find in this original text not only essential background but a stimulating new perspective on the field. (shrink)
In some languages every statement must contain a specification of the type of evidence on which it is based: for example, whether the speaker saw it, or heard it, or inferred it from indirect evidence, or learnt it from someone else. This grammatical reference to information source is called 'evidentiality', and is one of the least described grammatical categories. Evidentiality systems differ in how complex they are: some distinguish just two terms (eyewitness and noneyewitness, or reported and everything else), while (...) others have six or even more terms. Evidentiality is a category in its own right, and not a subcategory of epistemic or some other modality, nor of tense-aspect. Every language has some way of referring to the source of information, but not every language has grammatical evidentiality. In English expressions such as I guess, they say, I hear that, the alleged are not obligatory and do not constitute a grammatical system. Similar expressions in other languages may provide historical sources for evidentials. True evidentials, by contrast, form a grammatical system. In the North Arawak language Tariana an expression such as "the dog bit the man" must be augmented by a grammatical suffix indicating whether the event was seen, or heard, or assumed, or reported. This book provides the first exhaustive cross-linguistic typological study of how languages deal with the marking of information source. Examples are drawn from over 500 languages from all over the world, several of them based on the author's original fieldwork. Professor Aikhenvald also considers the role evidentiality plays in human cognition, and the ways in which evidentiality influences human perception of the world.. This is an important book on an intriguing subject. It will interest anthropologists, cognitive psychologists and philosophers, as well as linguists. (shrink)
Mill says that the object of his essay On Liberty is to defend a certain principle, which I will call the ‘liberty principle’, and will take to say the following: ‘It is permissible, in principle, for the state or society to control the actions of individuals “only in respect to those actions of each, which concern the interest of other people”’. The liberty principle is a prescription of intermediate generality. Mill intends it to support more specific political prescriptions, such as (...) liberty of conscience, of expressing and publishing opinions, of framing a plan of life to suit our own character, and of combination for any purpose not involving harm to others. The liberty principle is more general than these prescriptions but less general than its possible moral foundations, such as utilitarianism. My concern will be with attempts to defend the liberty principle by showing it to be supported by an acceptable moral position. (shrink)
This article is written from within the Catholic, and more particularly the Augustinian/Thomist tradition of moral theology. It analyses the response of the Catholic Magisterium to the prospect of germline-genetic engineering (GGE). This is a very new issue and the Church has little definitive teaching on it. The statements of Popes and Vatican congregations or commissions have not settled the key questions. An analysis of theological themes drawn from secular writers points beyond pragmatic safety considerations toward intrinsic ethical limits to (...) GGE. Given the impossibility of identifying would-have-been-created persons who would be “treated” by this intervention, altering the human genome for the sake of future generations cannot be regarded as “therapy.” Further theological considerations suggest that GGE may not be morally permissible, even in the case of identifiable genetic diseases. This is an area where more theological reflection is needed. (shrink)
Physicians have developed a number of implicit and explicit approaches to complex medical decisions. Decision analysis is an explicit, quantitative method of clinical decision making that involves the separation of the probabilities of events from their relative values, or utilities. Its use can help physicians make difficult choices in a manner that promotes true patient participation. Decision analysis also provides a framework for the incorporation of data from multiple sources and for the assessment of the impact of uncertain data on (...) the final decision. Although this approach is imperfect, it represents a significant advance in clinical decision making. (shrink)
What is the origin of individual differences in ideology and personality? According to the parasite stress hypothesis, the structure of a society and the values of individuals within it are both influenced by the prevalence of infectious disease within the society's geographical region. High levels of infection threat are associated with more ethnocentric and collectivist social structures and greater adherence to social norms, as well as with socially conservative political ideology and less open but more conscientious personalities. Here we use (...) an agent-based model to explore a specific opportunities-parasites trade-off hypothesis, according to which utility-maximizing agents place themselves at an optimal point on a trade-off between the gains that may be achieved through accessing the resources of geographically or socially distant out-group members through openness to out-group interaction, and the losses arising due to consequently increased risks of exotic infection to which immunity has not been developed. We examine the evolution of cooperation and the formation of social groups within social networks, and we show that the groups that spontaneously form exhibit greater local rather than global cooperative networks when levels of infection are high. It is suggested that the OPTO model offers a first step toward understanding the specific mechanisms through which environmental conditions may influence cognition, ideology, personality, and social organization. (shrink)
Primordial emotions are the subjective element of the instincts which are the genetically programmed behaviour patterns which contrive homeostasis. They include thirst, hunger for air, hunger for food, pain and hunger for specific minerals etc.There are two constituents of a primordial emotion—the specific sensation which when severe may be imperious, and the compelling intention for gratification by a consummatory act. They may dominate the stream of consciousness, and can have plenipotentiary power over behaviour.It is hypothesized that early in animal evolution (...) complex reflex mechanisms in the basal brain subserving homeostatic responses, in concert with elements of the reticular activating system subserving arousal, melded functionally with regions embodied in the progressive rostral development of the telencephalon. This included the emergent limbic and paralimbic areas, and the insula. This phylogenetically ancient organization subserved the origin of consciousness as the primordial emotion, which signalled that the organisms existence was immediately threatened. Neuroimaging confirms major activations in regions of the basal brain during primordial emotions in humans. The behaviour of decorticate humans and animals is discussed in relation to the possible existence of primitive awareness.Neuroimaging of the primordial emotions reveals that rapid gratification of intention by a consummatory act such as ingestion causes precipitate decline of both the initiating sensation and the intention. There is contemporaneous rapid disappearance of particular regions of brain activation which suggests they may be part of the jointly sufficient and severally necessary activations and deactivations which correlate with consciousness [Crick, F. & Koch, C. . A framework for consciousness. NatureNeuroscience,6, 119–126]. (shrink)
We present a theory of decision by sampling (DbS) in which, in contrast with traditional models, there are no underlying psychoeconomic scales. Instead, we assume that an attribute’s subjective value is constructed from a series of binary, ordinal comparisons to a sample of attribute values drawn from memory and is its rank within the sample. We assume that the sample reﬂects both the immediate distribution of attribute values from the current decision’s context and also the background, real-world distribution of attribute (...) values. DbS accounts for concave utility functions; losses looming larger than gains; hyperbolic temporal discounting; and the overestimation of small probabilities and the underestimation of large probabilities. Ó 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. (shrink)
Traditional explanations of multistable visual phenomena (e.g. ambiguous figures, perceptual rivalry) suggest that the basis for spontaneous reversals in perception lies in antagonistic connectivity within the visual system. In this review, we suggest an alternative, albeit speculative. explanation for visual multistability - that spontaneous alternations reflect responses to active, programmed events initiated by brain areas that integrate sensory and non-sensory information to coordinate a diversity of behaviors. Much evidence suggests that perceptual reversals are themselves more closely related to the expression (...) of a behavior than to passive sensory responses: (1) they are initiated spontaneously, often voluntarily, and are influenced by subjective variables such as attention and mood; (2) the alternation process is greatly facilitated with practice and compromised by lesions in non- visual cortical areas; (3) the alternation process has temporal dynamics similar to those of spontaneously initiated behaviors; (4) functional imaging reveals that brain areas associated with a variety of cognitive behaviors are specifically activated when vision becomes unstable. In this scheme, reorganizations of activity throughout the visual cortex, concurrent with perceptual reversals, are initiated by higher, largely non- sensory brain centers. Such direct intervention In the processing of the sensory input by brain structures associated with planning and motor programming might serve an important role in perceptual organization, particularly in aspects related to selective attention. (shrink)
A comprehensive introduction to the ways in which meaning is conveyed in language. Alan Cruse covers semantic matters, but also deals with topics that are usually considered to fall under pragmatics. A major aim is to highlight the richness and subtlety of meaning phenomena, rather than to expound any particular theory. Rich in examples and exercises, Meaning in Language provides an invaluable descriptive approach to this area of linguistics for undergraduates and postgraduates alike.
Objectives: To discover the current state of opinion and practice among doctors in Victoria, Australia, regarding end-of-life decisions and the legalisation of voluntary euthanasia. Longitudinal comparison with similar 1987 and 1993 studies.Design and participants: Cross-sectional postal survey of doctors in Victoria.Results: 53% of doctors in Victoria support the legalisation of voluntary euthanasia. Of doctors who have experienced requests from patients to hasten death, 35% have administered drugs with the intention of hastening death. There is substantial disagreement among doctors concerning the (...) definition of euthanasia.Conclusions: Disagreement among doctors concerning the meaning of the term euthanasia may contribute to misunderstanding in the debate over voluntary euthanasia. Among doctors in Victoria, support for the legalisation of voluntary euthanasia appears to have weakened slightly over the past 17 years. Opinion on this issue is sharply polarised. (shrink)
‘The loss of a stable state’ (Schon 1973 ) in organizational transformation can both be regarded as lamentable and inevitable. Transformation causes disruption and invasions of comfort zones to those affected by it, but it is nevertheless inevitable. The article maintains that while the loss of a stable state is inevitable in the stream of change confronting organizations today, points of stability and methods of dealing with instability are attainable through responsible management. The article postulates that steps taken by responsible (...) leadership in response to specific business crises will reduce the effects of instabilities brought about by such transformational situations and reassert a stable state more rapidly. Utilizing Weber’s ‘ideal type’ model format (Morrison 2006 ) with a specific example of international best practice of remedial steps taken by management in reaction to a specific crisis experienced by an organization, the article uses a qualitative historical case study analysis and quantitative time series research design to investigate South African firms which had recently faced crises impinging on their current corporate reputations. Findings suggest that both the number of remedial steps taken by companies and the speed in which they are implemented in conformance with the model are negatively associated with the size of the share price falls immediately post crises. The findings also suggest that larger share price appreciations over 6-month post-crises are associated with greater perceived corporate reputations and brand strengths. Tentative conclusions and possibilities for further research are briefly discussed. (shrink)
[This résumé was published in English in Matematicheskii Sbornik along with the article.]The present paper contains an investigation of a three-valued logical calculus (the system) previously described by the author [Recueil Mathématique 4 (46), 2 (1938)].
Migrations driven by ethnic, religious, and other forms of social conflict have been common in the past quarter-century, and have in Africa led many to seek refuge and to expect hospitality abroad. This leads to a concern for pluralist ethics, for many receiving refuge abroad expect that they will be able to live by their thoughts and beliefs, creating enclaves of cultural difference. But difference exists in all communities: cultural homogeneity does not exist except in the conservative imagination. Nevertheless, a (...) sameness – the sameness of the value of every person – remains within this plurality. The sameness is conceived in distinct ways in the Natural Law tradition that yields liberalism, in the Golden Rule, in Kant's categorical imperative, and in the Luo culture of Eastern Africa. The Luo precept Luoro remb dhano is compared with these other ethical cosmopolitan wellsprings in this essay. (shrink)