This case study describes an initiative to promote spiritual wellness on a public state college campus and demonstrates evidence of the effectiveness of taking a community-based approach. We employed the community readiness model to develop an initiative to promote spiritual wellness in a Midwestern state university. We recruited informants through purposeful sampling and conducted interviews, both pre- and post-initiative launch. Baseline data was used to inform initiative efforts. The community’s level of readiness to promote spiritual wellness increased from stage three, (...) vague awareness, at baseline to stage six, initiation, at follow up. Although these findings are specific to our community, this community-based participatory research approach may be an effective way of developing appropriate strategies to promoting spiritual practices throughout higher education. (shrink)
Is the existence of God a question of fact? To the majority of theists, both now and in the past, I think it has seemed clear that, if the phrase ‘God exists’ is to be meaningful, then it is a fact, either that God exists or that he does not. This assertion may even seem trivially true; and yet it has evidently been denied, in recent years, by many theologians. The reasons for such a denial are, in part, to be (...) found in the general reaction against metaphysical philosophy, which was characteristic of the early years of this century, and which is, in Britain, epitomised by A. J. Ayer's stipulation that no proposition can be factually significant unless it is verifiable; unless, in principle at least, some series of observations could conceivably show it to be true. By restricting ‘observation’ to the senses of the physical body, and by emphasising the fact that God, as transcendent by definition, was not a possible object of the senses, some philosophically sensitive theologians were startled into denying that ‘God’ was, even in principle, verifiable; and consequently into denying that propositions purporting to assert his existence were factual. (shrink)
This comprehensive and important volume includes contributions by activists, journalists, lawyers and scholars from twenty-one countries. The essays map the directions the movement for women's rights is taking--and will take in the coming decades--and the concomittant transformation of prevailing notions of rights and issues. They address topics such as the rapes in former Yugoslavia and efforts to see that a War Crimes Tribunal responds; domestic violence; trafficking of women into the sex trade; the persecution of lesbians; female genital mutilation; and (...) reproductive rights. (shrink)
There is growing interest in understanding and eliciting division of labor within groups of scientists. This paper illustrates the need for this division of labor through a historical example, and a formal model is presented to better analyze situations of this type. Analysis of this model reveals that a division of labor can be maintained in two different ways: by limiting information or by endowing the scientists with extreme beliefs. If both features are present however, cognitive diversity is maintained indefinitely, (...) and as a result agents fail to converge to the truth. Beyond the mechanisms for creating diversity suggested here, this shows that the real epistemic goal is not diversity but transient diversity. (shrink)
J.S. Mill's plural voting proposal in Considerations on Representative Government presents political theorists with a puzzle: the elitist proposal that some individuals deserve a greater voice than others seems at odds with Mill's repeated arguments for the value of full participation in government. This essay looks at Mill's arguments for plural voting, arguing that, far from being motivated solely by elitism, Mill's account is actually driven by a commitment to both competence and participation. It goes on to argue that, for (...) Mill, much of the value of political participation lies in its unique ability to educate the participants. That ability to educate is not, however, a product of participation alone; rather, for Mill, the true educative benefits of participation obtain only when competence and participation work together in the political sphere. Plural voting, then, is a mechanism for allowing Mill to take advantage of the educative benefits that arise from the intersection of competence and participation. (shrink)
J. S. Mill's role in the Indian education controversy is well known, but scarcely well understood. That he drafted, in 1836, a despatch sharply critical of Macaulay's infamous Minute on Indian Education, is general knowledge now. That in drafting the despatch Mill drew upon the ideas of H. H. Wilson, a noted Orientalist and sharp critic of Macaulay and the Anglicists, has been adequately demonstrated. That the despatch was never sent to India, because of the objections of the President of (...) the Board of Trade, John Hobhouse, a Whig with some utilitarian connections, has been common knowledge for several decades. (shrink)
Increasingly, epistemologists are becoming interested in social structures and their effect on epistemic enterprises, but little attention has been paid to the proper distribution of experimental results among scientists. This paper will analyze a model first suggested by two economists, which nicely captures one type of learning situation faced by scientists. The results of a computer simulation study of this model provide two interesting conclusions. First, in some contexts, a community of scientists is, as a whole, more reliable when its (...) members are less aware of their colleagues' experimental results. Second, there is a robust tradeoff between the reliability of a community and the speed with which it reaches a correct conclusion. ‡The author would like to thank Brian Skyrms, Kyle Stanford, Jeffrey Barrett, Bruce Glymour, and the participants in the Social Dynamics Seminar at University of California–Irvine for their helpful comments. Generous financial support was provided by the School of Social Science and Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences at UCI. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, Baker Hall 135, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890; e-mail: [email protected] (shrink)
Theories of scientific rationality typically pertain to belief. In this paper, the author argues that we should expand our focus to include motivations as well as belief. An economic model is used to evaluate whether science is best served by scientists motivated only by truth, only by credit, or by both truth and credit. In many, but not all, situations, scientists motivated by both truth and credit should be judged as the most rational scientists.
Much of contemporary knowledge is generated by groups not single individuals. A natural question to ask is, what features make groups better or worse at generating knowledge? This paper surveys research that spans several disciplines which focuses on one aspect of epistemic communities: the way they communicate internally. This research has revealed that a wide number of different communication structures are best, but what is best in a given situation depends on particular details of the problem being confronted by the (...) group. (shrink)
The strange story of the von Neumann impossibility proof is recalled, and the even stranger story of later impossibility proofs, and how the impossible was done by de Broglie and Bohm. Morals are drawn.
Various claims have been made, recently, that Darwin's argumentation in the Origin instantiates and so supports some general philosophical proposal about scientific theorizing, for example, the "semantic view". But these claims are grounded in various incorrect analyses of that argumentation. A summary is given here of an analysis defended at greater length in several papers by the present author. The historical and philosophical advantages of this analysis are explained briefly. Darwin's argument comprises three distinct evidential cases on behalf of natural (...) selection, cases, that is, for its existence, its adequacy and its responsibility. Theorizing, today, about evolution by natural selection involves a similar structure of evidential and explanatory concerns. (shrink)
This paper approaches the problem of testimony from a new direction. Rather than focusing on the epistemic grounds for testimony, it considers the problem from the perspective of an individual who must choose whom to trust from a population of many would-be testifiers. A computer simulation is presented which illustrates that in many plausible situations, those who trust without attempting to judge the reliability of testifiers outperform those who attempt to seek out the more reliable members of the community. In (...) so doing, it presents a novel defense for the credulist position that argues one should trust testimony without considering the underlying reliability of the testifier. (shrink)