Alcohol use has long been assumed to alter cognition via attentional processes. To better understand the cognitive consequences of intoxication, the present study tested the effects of moderate intoxication on attentional processing using complex working memory capacity span tasks and a change blindness task. Intoxicated and sober participants were matched on baseline WMC performance, and intoxication significantly decreased performance on the complex span tasks. Surprisingly, intoxication improved performance on the change blindness task. The results are interpreted as evidence that intoxication (...) decreases attentional control, causing either a shift towards more passive processing and/or a more diffuse attentional state. This may result in decreased performance on tasks where attentional control or focus are required, but may actually facilitate performance in some contexts. (shrink)
That alcohol provides a benefit to creative processes has long been assumed by popular culture, but to date has not been tested. The current experiment tested the effects of moderate alcohol intoxication on a common creative problem solving task, the Remote Associates Test . Individuals were brought to a blood alcohol content of approximately .075, and, after reaching peak intoxication, completed a battery of RAT items. Intoxicated individuals solved more RAT items, in less time, and were more likely to perceive (...) their solutions as the result of a sudden insight. Results are interpreted from an attentional control perspective. (shrink)
Gregory of Nyssa made important contributions to both theological thought and the understanding of the spiritual life. He was especially significant in adapting the thought of Origen to fourth century orthodoxy. The early treatise on the inscriptions of the Psalms shows the early stages of the development of Gregory's thought. This book presents the first translation of the treatise in a modern language. The annotations show Gregory's indebtedness to the thought of classical antiquity as well as to (...) the Bible. The Introduction sets forth the structure of Gregory's treatise, and places it in the context of earlier Christian commentaries on the Psalms. It shows how his hermeneutical approach was influenced by both Iamblichus the Neo-Platonist and Origen. Finally, Dr Heine compares Gregory's understanding of the stages of the spiritual life in the treatise with that in his later and more widely known writings on the life of Moses and the Song of Songs. (shrink)
According to Brentano in a much-quoted passage, Every psychological phenomenon is characterized by…intentional inherent existence of … an object… In the idea something is conceived, in the judgement something is recognized or discovered, in loving loved, in hating hated, in desiring desired, and so on.
Why do we need government? A common view is that government is necessary to constrain people's conduct toward one another, because people are not sufficiently virtuous to exercise the requisite degree of control on their own. This view was expressed perspicuously, and artfully, by liberal thinker James Madison, in The Federalist, number 51, where he wrote: “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” Madison's idea is shared by writers ranging across the political spectrum. It finds clear expression in (...) the Marxist view that the state will gradually wither away after a communist revolution, as unalienated “communist man” emerges. And it is implied by the libertarian view that government's only legitimate function is to control the unfortunate and immoral tendency of some individuals to violate the moral rights of others. (shrink)
The traditional Christian view that God foreknows the future exclusively in terms of what will and will not come to pass is partially rooted in two ancient Hellenistic philosophical assumptions. Hellenistic philosophers universally assumed that propositions asserting ‘ x will occur’ contradict propositions asserting ‘ x will not occur’ and generally assumed that the gods lose significant providential advantage if they know the future partly as a domain of possibilities rather than exclusively in terms of what will and will not (...) occur. Both assumptions continue to influence people in the direction of the traditional understanding of God's knowledge of the future. In this essay I argue that the first assumption is unnecessary and the second largely misguided. (shrink)
In a well-known article, 1 John Hick argues that the proposition ‘God exists' is, in principle, verifiable but is not falsifiable. Essentially, his argument is that while no experience in this life could conclusively disprove the existence of the Christian God, certain experiences one might have in the after-life would conclusively verify the existence of the Christian God. In particular, he argues that post mortem experiences of Christ ruling in the Kingdom of God would constitute a verification of the existence (...) of the Christian God. In this paper, I shall argue that on Hick's own assumptions, the existence of the Christian God turns out to be falsifiable, in principle, as well as verifiable. (shrink)
Gregory Conniff's large-scale black and white pastoral images evoke the sensuality of nineteenth century photographic materials. In his affectionate and intelligent work, there is a visible connection to the history of landscape art, reaching back as far as Claude Lorrain and seventeenth-century Dutch drawing. Conniff is also a leading practitioner of a new pastoralism that is casting a contemporary eye on the current state of America's open land. Postmodern in the best sense, Conniff's pictures address the timeless human need (...) to see beauty in the world that shapes our lives. A resident of Wisconsin for more than thirty years, Conniff has focused much of his artistic energy on the rural Midwest, exploring the interdependent relationship between land and people. For the past fifteen years, Conniff has also been making pictures of rural Mississippi, again focusing on elements of the landscape that resonate with a universal sense of aesthetic familiarity. As he explains, "I am interested in work that defines and protects the vanishing, commonplace beauties that let us know we're home.". (shrink)
This paper shows that the perceived difference between utilitarianism and natural rights theories in the eighteenth century was much less sharp than that in the twentieth century. This is demonstrated by exploring Josiah Tucker's critique of Locke and his disciples and the way in which the latter responded to it. Tucker's critique of Locke was based on a sharp distinction between a conception of natural rights as individual entitlements and the conception of the public good. The disciples of Locke did (...) not share Tucker's views and his interpretation of Locke. In defending natural rights they appealed less to the notion of moral agency and more to utilitarian ideas. The extent to which the advocates of the rights of man employed utilitarian ideas is obscured by the fact that they never divested themselves of the political advantage of using the words ‘natural rights’ even when their arguments were closer to the principle of utility. (shrink)
It is, perhaps, a propitious time to discuss the economic rights of disabled persons. In recent years, the media in the United States have re-ported on such notable events as: students at the nation's only college for the deaf stage a successful protest campaign to have a deaf individual ap-pointed president of their institution; a book by a disabled British physicist on the origins of the universe becomes a best seller; a pitcher with only one arm has a successful rookie (...) season in major league baseball; a motion-picture actor wins an Oscar for his portrayal of a wheelchair-bound person, beating out another nominee playing another wheelchair-bound person; a cancer patient wins an Olympic gold medal in wrestling; a paralyzed mother trains her children to accept discipline by inserting their hands in her mouth to be gently bitten when punishment is due; and a paraplegic rock climber scales the sheer four-thousand-foot wall of Yosemite Valley's El Capitan. Most significantly, in 1990, the United States Congress passed an important bill – the Americans with Disabili-ties Act – extending to disabled people employment and access-related protections afforded to members of other disadvantaged groups by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (shrink)
This new and complete translation of Spinoza's famous 17th-century work fills an important gap, not only for all scholars of Spinoza, but also for everyone interested in the relationship between Western philosophy and religion, and the history of biblical exegesis.
Gregory Fried offers in this book a careful investigation of Martin Heidegger's understanding of politics. Disturbing issues surround Heidegger's commitment to National Socialism, his disdain for liberal democracy, and his rejection of the Enlightenment. Fried confronts these issues, focusing not on the historical debate over Heidegger's personal involvement with Nazism, but on whether and how the formulation of Heidegger's ontology relates to his political thinking as expressed in his philosophical works. The inquiry begins with Heidegger's interpretation of Heraclitus, particularly (...) the term polemos ("war," or, in Heidegger's usage, "confrontation"). Fried contends that Heidegger invests polemos with broad ontological significance and that his appropriation of the word provides important insights into major strands of his thinking--his conception of the human being, understanding of truth, and interpretation of history--as well as the meaning of the so-called turn in his thought. Although Fried finds that Heidegger's politics are continuous with his thought, he also argues that Heidegger's work raises important questions about contemporary identity politics. Fried also shows that many postmodernists, despite attempts to distance themselves from Heidegger, fail to avoid some of the same political pitfalls his thinking entailed. (shrink)
The present paper tries to trace the particular contours that the problem of theodicy assumes in the Chinese Buddhist text the Awakening of Faith in the Great Vehicle. It analyses the beginning section of the main body of text – the section, that is, that outlines the major theoretical structure of the work – in terms of a problem that has been of particular concern in western theology. I believe that taking such a tack is especially valuable for highlighting the (...) central Problematik around which the text is organized. The paper will thus use the problem of theodicy as a means of exploring some of the philosophical implications of the Awakening of Faith. (shrink)
This study describes the results of a retrospective review of patients' charts who had an advanced directive and who were hospitalized in a tertiary, acute care teaching hospital. The purpose of the review was to understand from clinical, sociological, ethical and legal perspectives the nature and utility of ADs. Findings and implications of the review are discussed in terms of: patient demographics; diagnoses; quality of ADs; influence of ADs on clinical decisions; and legal aspects of ADs.
This paper argues that Oswald Spengler has an innovative philosophical position on the nature and interrelation of mathematics and science. It further argues that his position in many ways parallels that of Martin Heidegger. Both held that an appreciation of the mathematical nature of contemporary science was critical to a proper appreciation of science, technology and modernity. Both also held that the fundamental feature of modern science is its mathematical nature, and that the mathematical operates as a projection that establishes (...) in advance the manner in which an object will present itself. They also assert that modern science, mathematics and metaphysics all have their roots in the ‘mathematical’, whose essence is itself nothing numerical. (shrink)
Gregory the Great depicts himself as a contemplative who, as bishop of Rome, was compelled to become an administrator and pastor. His theological response to this existential tension illuminates the vexed questions of his relationships to predecessors and of his legacy. Gregory develops Augustine’s thought in such a way as to satisfy John Cassian’s position that contemplative vision is grounded in the soul’s likeness to the unity of Father and Son. For Augustine, “mercy” lovingly lifts the neighbor toward (...) life in God. Imitating God’s own love for humankind, this mercy likens the Christian to God’s essential goodness and, by this likeness, prepares him or her for the vision of God, which Augustine expects not now but only in the next life. For Augustine, the exercise of mercy can—when useful—involve a shared affection or understanding. Gregory makes this shared affection essential to the neighborly love that he calls “compassion.” In this affective fellowship, Gregory finds a human translation of the passionless unity of Father and Son—so that, for Gregory, compassion becomes the immediate basis for and consequence of seeing God—even in this life. Compassion does not degrade; rather, it retrenches the perfection of contemplation. Reconciling compassionate activity and contemplative vision, this creative renegotiation of Augustine and Cassian both answered Gregory’s own aspirations and gave to the tumultuous post-Imperial West a needed account of worldly affairs as spiritual affairs. (shrink)