Recent articles in Religious Studies have underscored the questions of whether Buddhism presents any empirical doctrines, and whether, if it does, such doctrines are false or vacuous. In what follows I want to sketch an interpretation of Buddhism according to which it does not offer doctrines which are empirically false, on the one hand, or trivially true on the other. In doing so I take my cue from an earlier, and by now classic, paper by H. H. Price. For the (...) exposition of Buddhism I take the Pali Nikāyas, the single most significant collection of texts in the Buddhist tradition. The particular doctrine which is the focus of discussion here is the kammavāda or ‘karma view’ of early Indian Buddhism, for it is the focus of much of the recent literature cited above and a doctrine which some have thought amenable to statement in empirical terms. (shrink)
In his concept of an anthropological physiology, F.J.J. Buytendijk has tried to lay down the theoretical and scientific foundations for an anthropologically-oriented medicine. The aim of anthropological physiology is to demonstrate, empirically, what being specifically human is in the most elementary physiological functions. This article contains a sketch of Buytendijk''s life and work, an overview of his philosophical-anthropological presuppositions, an outline of his idea of an anthropological physiology and medicine, and a discussion of some episternological and methodological problems. It is (...) demonstrated that Buytendijk''s design of an anthropological physiology is fragmentary and programmatic and that his methodology offers few points of contact for specific anthropological experimental research.Notwithstanding, it is argued that Buytendijk''s description of the subjective, animated body forms a pre-eminent point of reference for all research in physiology and psychology in which the specific human aspect is not ignored beforehand. (shrink)
This paper responds to the issues raised by D. Chalmers by offering a research direction which is quite radical because of the way in which methodological principles are linked to scientific studies of consciousness. Neuro-phenomenology is the name I use here to designate a quest to marry modern cognitive science and a disciplined approach to human experience, thereby placing myself in the lineage of the continental tradition of Phenomenology. My claim is that the so-called hard problem that animates these Special (...) Issues can only be addressed productively by gathering a research community armed with new pragmatic tools for the development of a science of consciousness. I will claim that no piecemeal empirical correlates, nor purely theoretical principles, will really help us at this stage. We need to turn to a systematic exploration of the only link between mind and consciousness that seems both obvious and natural: the structure of human experience itself. In what follows I motivate my choice by briefly examining the current debate about consciousness at the light of Chalmer’s hard problem. Next, I outline the phenomenological strategy. Finally I conclude by discussing some of the main difficulties and consequences of this strategy. (shrink)
F. J. J.Buytendijk died on October 21st 1974 at the age of 87. His important contribution to the study of animal behaviour is analyzed here in relation to the historical development of animal psychology and ethology. The detailed study of his scientific production suggests, according to the authors, that some important findings, although largely not paid attention to in present-day literature, are akin to the conceptual and methodological evolution of comparative ethology.
American society was transformed by the expansion of capital Westward and the explosion in opportunities for land-grabbing and agricultural and industrial investment. F.J. Turner’s ( 1961) frontier thesis portrays this transformation as the fulfilment of American character. The tensions between character and personality are examined following the ideas of Carl Schmitt on the significance of ‘the occasion’ in acquiring competitive advantage. Schmitt indicated the significance of a ‘vertical’ frontier in challenging social conventions and this constitutes a counterpoint to the ‘horizontal’ (...) frontier developed in the frontier thesis of Turner. The importance of the occasion and personality in developing the American way of life is presented by an examination of the vaudeville and celebrity traditions in American entertainment. (shrink)
Timothy Williamson, in various places, has put forward an argument that is supposed to show that denying bivalence is absurd. This paper is an examination of the logical force of this argument, which is found wanting.
The biological sciences study (bio)complex living systems. Research directed at the mechanistic explanation of the "live" state truly requires a pluralist research program, i.e. BioComplexity research. The program should apply multiple intra-level and inter-level theories and methodologies. We substantiate this thesis with analysis of BioComplexity: metabolic and modular control analysis of metabolic pathways, emergence of oscillations, and the analysis of the functioning of glycolysis.