John Palmer develops and defends a modal interpretation of Parmenides, according to which he was the first philosopher to distinguish in a rigorous manner the fundamental modalities of necessary being, necessary non-being or impossibility, and non-necessary or contingent being. This book accordingly reconsiders his place in the historical development of Presocratic philosophy in light of this new interpretation. Careful treatment of Parmenides' specification of the ways of inquiry that define his metaphysical and epistemological outlook paves the way for detailed analyses (...) of his arguments demonstrating the temporal and spatial attributes of what is and cannot not be. An appendix presents a Greek text of the fragments of Parmenides' poem with English translation and textual notes. (shrink)
Over the past hundred years, a number of scientific investigators claim to have adduced experimental evidence for phenomena information” seems to behave like a weak signal that has to compete for the information-processing resources of the organism, a reduction of ongoing sensorimotor activity may facilitate ESP detection. Such a meaningful convergence of results suggests that psi phenomena may represent a unitary, coherent process whose nature and compatibility with current physical theory have yet to be determined. The theoretical implications and potential (...) practical applications of psi could be significant, irrespective of the small magnitude of psi effects in laboratory settings. (shrink)
Can we do what we want with other species? How do conflicting international interests affect global issues? What do we owe the next generation? Just Environments investigates these questions and the ethics which lie at their core.
In this ambitious and highly original study, McCabe presents an intricately structured argument designed to demonstrate Plato’s concern with fundamental issues of rationality and personhood. In doing so, she pursues themes announced in her Plato’s Individuals and in Form and Argument in Late Plato, a collection she co-edited with Christopher Gill. The development of her position via consideration of the philosophical importance of characterization and the dialogue form in the Theaetetus, Sophist, Statesman, and Philebus leads her to focus in particular (...) on Plato’s depiction of his predecessors. These include, firstly, the Theaetetus’s Protagoras and Heraclitean flux theorists and the Sophist’s Parmenides and materialist giants, all “mean-minded opponents” whose views threaten the very possibility of rational inquiry. Refutation of them, accordingly, is Plato’s means of establishing certain basic principles of reason. (shrink)
Foetal images have been central to the medicalized abortion debate since the 1960s. Feminists have extensively analysed such pictures, arguing that the pregnant body is separated from the foetus and erased from view, and that the rights of women and foetuses are set in opposition. In this article I introduce the latest image in this debate, the 3D sonogram, which is widely reported as new evidence for a reduction in the gestational time limit. Through close analysis of two examples, I (...) argue that the rhetorical use of these images can be characterized by a conflation of knowing with seeing. With the new clarity of sonograms to the untrained eye, image producers are legitimated by a discourse of public information and concerned citizens are called upon to exercise their rights to see/know. For feminist theory, this implies the need for continued analysis of the epistemology of foetal images and renewed focus on the subject position of the viewer. (shrink)
Feminist scholars have long argued that the pregnant body is erased – both literally and discursively – from mainstream foetal representations. Janemaree Maher argues that the placenta, as point of distinction and connection between pregnant women and foetuses, has the radical potential to refigure understandings of pregnant embodiment and subjectivity, and offer ‘a way to begin thinking through the impasse of pregnant representation’. Drawing on Maher's notion of the ‘placental body’, this article will examine the place of the placenta in (...) the practice of non-diagnostic 4D ultrasound scanning. The analysis seeks to connect Maher's theoretical perspective, and the rich feminist literature around foetal imaging, with observational data from my study of 4D scans. I will argue that the capacity of 3- and 4D sonography to image the placenta and umbilical cord in a way that is newly intelligible to lay viewers might present an opportunity for thinking differently about the interconnections – material and social – between pregnant women and foetuses and to relocate women as the subjects of their pregnancies. (shrink)
Advance care directives for health care have been promoted as a way to improve end-of-life decision making. These documents allow a patient to state, in advance of incapacity, the types of medical treatments they would like to receive, to name a surrogate to make those decisions, or to do both. Although studies have shown that both physicians and patients generally have positive attitudes about the use of these documents, relatively few individuals have actually completed one.What underlies this discrepancy between attitudes (...) and behavior with regard to advance care directives? One obvious explanation is lack of access. Emanuel et al. estimated that approximately 90 percent of the population desire an advance care directive, and they pointed to access as the major barrier. Yet interventions that increase accessibility have typically failed to yield more than a 20 percent completion rate. Thus, it appears that access is not the sole determinant of advance care directive completion. (shrink)
Spirit of the Environment brings spiritual and religious concerns to environmental issues. Providing a much needed alternative to exploring human beings' relationship to the natural world through the restrictive lenses of 'science', 'ecology', or even 'morality', this book offers a fresh perspective to the field. Spirit of the Enironment addresses: * the environmental attitudes of the major religions; * the relationship between art and nature; * the Gaia hypothesis; * the non-instrumental values which have inspired environmental concern. Contributors range from (...) a variety of disciplines including philosophy, comparative religion, education and social anthropology, providing students with an intriguing survey on the role that spirituality and religion play in nature. This is a vital collection for those eager to examine the relationship between the spiritual and the environment. (shrink)
This paper reviews the debate over the evidence for ESP provided by experiments using the ganzfeld technique, a simple method used to induce a mild altered state of consciousness. The quantitative literature review technique called meta-analysis has played a prominent role in this controversy. The first question addressed by the reviewer is whether the data establish that ESP in the ganzfeld is replicable. Issues discussed include the effect of multiple analyses, the 'file-drawer' problem and statistical errors. The second question asks, (...) if the effect is real, can it be explained by methodological artifacts? Potential flaws discussed include sensory leakage, problems of randomization and participant fraud. The reviewer's first conclusion is that the aggregate database does provide evidence for a genuine psi effect. However, heterogeneity of results across experimenters indicates that the phenomenon is not easily replicable. The second conclusion is that conventional alternative explanations offered for the observed results tend to be conceivable, but even critics sometimes agree that they are implausible. (shrink)
Members of the New Academy presented their sceptical position as the culmination of a progressive development in the history of philosophy, which began when certain Presocratics started to reflect on the epistemic status of their theoretical claims concerning the natures of things. The Academics' dogmatic opponents accused them of misrepresenting the early philosophers in an illegitimate attempt to claim respectable precedents for their dangerous position. The ensuing debate over the extent to which some form of scepticism might properly be attributed (...) to the Presocratics is reflected in various passages in Cicero's "Academica." In this essay, we try to get clearer about the precise nature of the Academics' historical claim and their view of the general lesson to be learned from reflection on the history of philosophy down to their own time. The Academics saw the Presocratics as providing some kind of support for the thesis that things are non-cognitive, or, more specifically, that neither the senses nor reason furnishes a criterion of truth. As this view is susceptible to both 'dialectical' and non-dialectical readings, we consider the prospects for each. We also examine the evidence for the varied functions both of the Academics' specific appeals to individual Presocratics and of their collections of the Presocratics' divergent opinions. What emerges is a better understanding of why the Academics were concerned with claiming the Presocratics as sceptical ancestors and of the precise manner in which they advanced this claim. (shrink)
By addressing specific global problems and placing them within an ethical context, "The Environment in Question" provides the reader with both a theoretical and practical understanding of environmental issues. The contributors are internationally known figures drawn from the various disciplines which bear upon these issues, such as geography, psychology, social policy, and philosophy. The contributions range from those tackling individual concrete issues to those addressing matters of policy, principle and attitude. "The Environment in Question" is designed as a text for (...) students of philosophy, environmental science, environmental education, ecology, and teacher education. It can be used as an inter-disciplinary, self-contained course book or in conjunction with relevant material. In addition, as the essays directly and controversially address current environmental debates in a non-technical manner, it is of great interest both to professionals in those areas and to readers who care about the planet's future. The substantial cross-section of concerns and approaches will enable all readers to develop the necessary level of understanding required to initiate and sustain debate on environmental issues. Contributors: Robert Allsion, David E. Cooper, Barry S. Gower, F. G. T. Holliday, C. A. Hooker, Mary Midgley, Philip Neal, Joy A. Palmer, Robert Prosser, Holmes Rolston III, Mark Sagoff, Vandana Shiva, Stephen Sterling, Rosemary J. Stevenson, Jennifer Trusted. (shrink)
John Palmer presents a new and original account of Plato's uses and understanding of his most important Presocratic predecessor, Parmenides. Adopting an innovative approach to the appraisal of intellectual influence, Palmer first explores the Eleatic underpinnings of central elements in Plato's middle-period epistemology and metaphysics and then shows how in the later dialogues Plato confronts various sophistic appropriations of Parmenides.
Anyone interested in the influence of Presocratic thought may be tempted to begin with Plato and Aristotle. There is, however, sufficient evidence of Presocratic influence among the sophists to make it clear that this temptation should be resisted. Some traces of this earlier influence may be found in Plato and Aristotle themselves, and this fact should serve as a reminder that their own involvement with Presocratic philosophy did not take place in a vacuum but will have been conditioned or mediated (...) by previous developments. This article deals with classical thinkers who interpreted, wrote about, and preserved the Presocratics, pointing out that just as one must read the Presocratics through the filters of Plato and Aristotle and their successors and commentators, Plato and Aristotle were influenced by the already burgeoning tradition of historiography that developed in the late fifth and fourth centuries. (shrink)