Al-Radd al-jamīl, A Fitting Refutation of the Divinity of Jesus Attributed to Abū Ḥāmid al-Ghazālī. Edited by Mark Beaumont and Maha El Kaisy-Friemuth. History of Christian-Muslim Rela- tions, vol. 28. Leiden: Brill, 2016. Pp. vii + 207. $125, €104.
The European Union Commission’s whitepaper on Artificial Intelligence proposes shaping the emerging AI market so that it better reflects common European values. It is a master plan that builds upon the EU AI High-Level Expert Group guidelines. This article reviews the masterplan, from a culture cycle perspective, to reflect on its potential clashes with current societal, technical, and methodological constraints. We identify two main obstacles in the implementation of this plan: the lack of a coherent EU vision to drive future (...) decision-making processes at state and local levels and the lack of methods to support a sustainable diffusion of AI in our society. The lack of a coherent vision stems from not considering societal differences across the EU member states. We suggest that these differences may lead to a fractured market and an AI crisis in which different members of the EU will adopt nation-centric strategies to exploit AI, thus preventing the development of a frictionless market as envisaged by the EU. Moreover, the Commission aims at changing the AI development culture proposing a human-centred and safety-first perspective that is not supported by methodological advancements, thus taking the risks of unforeseen social and societal impacts of AI. We discuss potential societal, technical, and methodological gaps that should be filled to avoid the risks of developing AI systems at the expense of society. Our analysis results in the recommendation that the EU regulators and policymakers consider how to complement the EC programme with rules and compensatory mechanisms to avoid market fragmentation due to local and global ambitions. Moreover, regulators should go beyond the human-centred approach establishing a research agenda seeking answers to the technical and methodological open questions regarding the development and assessment of human-AI co-action aiming for a sustainable AI diffusion in the society. (shrink)
A major controversy in the study of the "Analects" has been over the relation between two central concepts, ren (humanity, human excellence) and li (rites, rituals of propriety). Confucius seems to have said inconsistent things about this relation. Some passages appear to suggest that ren is more fundamental than li, while others seem to imply the contrary. It is therefore not surprising that there have been different interpretations and characterizations of this relation. Using the analogy of language grammar and mastery (...) of a language, it is proposed here that we should understand li as a cultural grammar and ren as the mastery of a culture. In this account, society cultivates its members through li toward the goal of ren, and persons of ren manifest their human excellence through their practice of li. (shrink)
The rise of neo-integrative worldviews : towards a rational spirituality for the coming planetary civilization -- Beyond fundamentalism : spiritual realism, spiritual literacy and education -- Realism, literature and spirituality -- Judgemental rationality and the equivalence of argument : realism about God, response to Morgan's critique -- Transcendence and God : reflections on critical realism, the "new atheism", and Christian theology -- Human sciences at the edge of panentheism : God and the limits of ontological realism -- Beyond East and (...) West -- Meta-Reality (re-)contextualized -- Anti-anthropic spirituality : dualism, duality and non-duality -- "The more you kick God out the front door, the more he comes in through the window" : Sean Creaven's critique of transcendental dialectical critical realism and the philosophy of meta-Reality -- Resisting the theistic turn -- The pulse of freedom and the existential dilemma of alienation -- Meta-Reality, creativity and the experience of making art. (shrink)
In Wisdom in Love : Kierkegaard and the Ancient Quest for Emotional Integrity , Rick Furtak argues that emotions are cognitive phenomena to be understood in terms of the relation between subject and object. Furtak uses his conception of emotion to argue that love is the source of meaning and value in human life. This paper places Kierkegaard's views, and the role love plays in them, in his historical context. I argue that Furtak's approach fails to account for the subtle (...) and complex role religious love plays in Kierkegaard's thought, and ultimately leaves him at odds with Kierkegaard methodologically and metaphysically. (shrink)
Much has been made of the Kierkegaardian flavour of Wittgenstein's thought on religion, both with respect to its explicit allusions to Kierkegaard and its implicit appeals. Even when significant disparities between the two are noted, there remains an important core of de facto methodological agreement between them, addressing the limits of theory and the dispelling of illusion. The categories of ‘nonsense’ and ‘paradox’ are central to Wittgenstein's therapeutic enterprise, while the categories of ‘paradox’ and the ‘absurd’ are central to much (...) of Kierkegaard's attempt to dispel religious illusion. Writing of how the ‘urge to thrust against the limits of language’ yields ‘nonsense’, Wittgenstein explicitly appealed to Kierkegaard: ‘Kierkegaard, too, recognized this thrust and even described it in much the same way ’. 1 I want to consider whether Kierkegaard's category of paradox of the absurd is assimilable to Wittgenstein's view of nonsense and paradox. I shall argue that a consideration of Wittgenstein's view of paradox can highlight contrasting strands in Kierkegaard's writings on religious faith, strands which take paradox more or less strictly – in particular, it can clarify several different opinions concerning the status of religious claims. My exploration will bring to the fore some implications of the attempt to make room, in the religious employment of language, for a ‘higher understanding’ of truths which we are said to be able to grasp but cannot express. (shrink)
Amongst intellectuals and activists, neoliberalism has become a potent signifier for the kind of free-market thinking that has dominated politics for the past three decades. Forever associated with the conviction politics of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, the free-market project has since become synonymous with the 'Washington consensus' on international development policy and the phenomenon of corporate globalization, where it has come to mean privatization, deregulation, and the opening up of new markets. But beyond its utility as a protest slogan (...) or buzzword as shorthand for the political-economic Zeitgeist, what do we know about where neoliberalism came from and how it spread? Who are the neoliberals, and why do they studiously avoid the label? Constructions of Neoliberal Reason presents a radical critique of the free-market project, from its origins in the first half of the 20th Century through to the recent global economic crisis, from the utopian dreams of Friedrich von Hayek through the dogmatic theories of the Chicago School to the hope and hubris of Obamanomics. The book traces how neoliberalism went from crank science to common sense in the period between the Great Depression and the age of Obama. Constructions of Neoliberal Reason dramatizes the rise of neoliberalism and its uneven spread as an intellectual, political, and cultural project, combining genealogical analysis with situated case studies of formative moments throughout the world, like New York City's bankruptcy, Hurricane Katrina, and the Wall Street crisis of 2008. The book names and tracks some of neoliberalism's key protagonists, as well as some of the less visible bit-part players. It explores how this adaptive regime of market rule was produced and reproduced, its logics and limits, its faults and its fate. (shrink)
This investigation is motivated by the lack of scholarship examining the content of what firms are communicating to various stakeholders about their commitment to socially responsible behaviors. To address this query, a qualitative study of the legal, ethical and moral statements available on the websites of Forbes Magazine''s top 50 U.S. and top 50 multinational firms of non-U.S. origin were analyzed within the context of stakeholder theory. The results are presented thematically, and the close provides implications for social responsibility among (...) managers of global organizations as well as researchers interested in business ethics. (shrink)
In this work, Jamie Mayerfeld undertakes a careful inquiry into the meaning and moral significance of suffering. Understanding suffering in hedonistic terms as an affliction of feeling, he claims that it is an objective psychological condition, amenable to measurement and interpersonal comparison, although its accurate assessment is never easy. Mayerfeld goes on to examine the content of the duty to prevent suffering and the weight it has relative to other moral considerations. He argues that the prevention of suffering is (...) morally more important than the promotion of happiness, and that the duty to relieve suffering is much stronger than most of us acknowledge. (shrink)
Jamie Dow presents an original treatment of Aristotle's views on rhetoric and the passions, and the first major study of Aristotle's Rhetoric in recent years. He attributes to Aristotle a normative view of rhetoric and its role in the state, and ascribes to him a particular view of the kinds of cognitions involved in the passions.
The most public-facing forms of contemporary Darwinism happily promote its worldview ambitions. Popular works, by the likes of Richard Dawkins, deflect associations with eugenics and social Darwinism, but also extend the reach of Darwinism beyond biology into social policy, politics, and ethics. Critics of the enterprise fall into two categories. Advocates of Intelligent Design and secular philosophers (like Mary Midgley and Thomas Nagel) recognise it as a worldview and argue against its implications. Scholars in the rhetoric of science or science (...) communication, however, typically take the view that Darwinism isn't a worldview, but a scientific theory, which has been improperly embellished by some; they uphold the distinction between is and ought and argue that science is restricted to the former. This prompts an is–ought problem on another level. I catalogue the ways in which Darwinism plainly is a worldview and why commentators' beliefs that it ought not to be distorts their analysis. Hence, it is their own worldview that precludes them from accepting Darwinism's worldview implications. (shrink)
In reference to the philosophical theology of medieval Islamic theologian Ibn Taymiyya, this paper outlines a parallel between Taymiyyan thought and Alvin Plantinga’s thesis of ‘Reformed Epistemology’. In critiquing a previous attempt to build an account of ‘Islamic externalism’, the Taymiyyan model offers an account that can be seen as wholly ‘Plantingan’.
Søren Kierkegaard and John Henry Newman have starkly opposed formulations of the relation between faith and reason. In this essay I focus on a possible convergence in their respective understandings of the transition to religious belief or faith, as embodied in metaphors they use for a qualitative transition. I explore the ways in which attention to the legitimate dimension of discontinuity highlighted by the Climacan metaphor of the ‘leap’ can illuminate Newman's use of the metaphor of a ‘polygon inscribed in (...) a circle’, as well as the ways in which Newman's metaphor can illuminate the dimension of continuity operative in the Climacan appreciation of qualitative transition. (shrink)
This article aims to draw on the ‘Qur'anic Rationalism’ of Taqī al-Dīn Ibn Taymiyya in elucidating an Islamic epistemology of theistic natural signs, in the lens of contemporary philosophy of religion. In articulating what Ibn Taymiyya coins ‘God's method of proof through signs ’, it seeks aid in particular from the work of C. Stephen Evans and other contemporary philosophers of religion, in an attempt to understand the relevance and force of this alternative to natural theology within the Islamic tradition. (...) In doing so, it aims to respond to existing criticisms of Ibn Taymiyya's perspective in the literature, and to consider the implications of a Taymiyyan reading of theistic natural signs, on the epistemic function of Qur'anic āyāt as theistic evidence. (shrink)
This article proposes a new reading of the mirror analogy presented in the doctrine of Chinese Yogācāra Buddhism. Clerics, such as Xuanzang 玄奘 and his protégé Kuiji 窺基, articulated this analogy to describe our experience of other minds. In contrast with existing interpretations of this analogy as figurative ways of expressing ideas of projecting and reproducing, I argue that this mirroring experience should be understood as revealing, whereby we perceive other minds through the second-person perspective. This mirroring experience, in its (...) allusion to the collectivity of consciousness, yields the metaphysical explication of mutual interdependence and the prescription of norms for compassionate actions. (shrink)
The past thirty years have seen a surge of empirical research into political decision making and the influence of framing effects--the phenomenon that occurs when different but equivalent presentations of a decision problem elicit different judgments or preferences. During the same period, political philosophers have become increasingly interested in democratic theory, particularly in deliberative theories of democracy. Unfortunately, the empirical and philosophical studies of democracy have largely proceeded in isolation from each other. As a result, philosophical treatments of democracy have (...) overlooked recent developments in psychology, while the empirical study of framing effects has ignored much contemporary work in political philosophy. In Framing Democracy, Jamie Terence Kelly bridges this divide by explaining the relevance of framing effects for normative theories of democracy. -/- Employing a behavioral approach, Kelly argues for rejecting the rational actor model of decision making and replacing it with an understanding of choice imported from psychology and social science. After surveying the wide array of theories that go under the name of democratic theory, he argues that a behavioral approach enables a focus on three important concerns: moral reasons for endorsing democracy, feasibility considerations governing particular theories, and implications for institutional design. Finally, Kelly assesses a number of methods for addressing framing effects, including proposals to increase the amount of political speech, mechanisms designed to insulate democratic outcomes from flawed decision making, and programs of public education. (shrink)
The patenting of human genes has been the subject of debate for decades. While China has gradually come to play an important role in the global genomics-based testing and treatment market, little is known about Chinese scholars’ perspectives on patent protection for human genes. A content analysis of academic literature was conducted to identify Chinese scholars’ concerns regarding gene patents, including benefits and risks of patenting human genes, attitudes that researchers hold towards gene patenting, and any legal and policy recommendations (...) offered for the gene patent regime in China. 57.2% of articles were written by law professors, but scholars from health sciences, liberal arts, and ethics also participated in discussions on gene patent issues. While discussions of benefits and risks were relatively balanced in the articles, 63.5% of the articles favored gene patenting in general and, of the articles that explored gene patents in the Chinese context, 90.2% supported patent protections for human genes in China. The patentability of human genes was discussed in 33 articles, and 75.8% of these articles reached the conclusion that human genes are patentable. Chinese scholars view the patent regime as an important legal tool to protect the interests of inventors and inventions as well as the genetic resources of China. As such, many scholars support a gene patent system in China. These attitudes towards gene patents remain unchanged following the court ruling in the Myriad case in 2013, but arguments have been raised about the scope of gene patents, in particular that the increasing numbers of gene patents may negatively impact public health in China. (shrink)
Feyerabend is infamous for his defense of pluralism, which he extends to every topic he discusses. Disagreement, a by-product of this pluralism, becomes a sign of flourishing critical communities. In Feyerabend’s political works, he extends this pluralism from science to democratic societies and incorporates his earlier work on scientific methodology into a procedure for designing just policy. However, a description and analysis of Feyerabend’s conception of disagreement is lacking. In this paper, I reconstruct and assess Feyerabend’s conception of disagreement, with (...) a particular emphasis on the role of experts, and its role in the formation of science policy. I go on to assess this argument in light of recent literature on manufactured disagreement on politically contentious science policy. I conclude by suggesting some prospects and problems for de-idealizing Feyerabend’s position on disagreement to see whether it may be plausibly implemented. (shrink)
This paper surveys some ways of distinguishing Quasi-Realism in metaethics from Non-naturalist Realism, including ‘Explanationist’ methods of distinguishing, which characterize the Real by its explanatory role, and Inferentialist methods. Rather than seeking the One True Distinction, the paper adopts an irenic and pragmatist perspective, allowing that different ways of drawing the line are best for different purposes.
To anyone vaguely aware of Feyerabend, the title of this paper would appear as an oxymoron. For Feyerabend, it is often thought, science is an anarchic practice with no discernible structure. Against this trend, I elaborate the groundwork that Feyerabend has provided for the beginnings of an approach to organizing scientific research. Specifically, I argue that Feyerabend’s pluralism, once suitably modified, provides a plausible account of how to organize science. These modifications come from C.S. Peirce’s account of the economics of (...) theory pursuit, which has since been corroborated by empirical findings in the social sciences. I go on to contrast this approach with the conception of a ‘well-ordered science’ as outlined by Kitcher, Cartwright :981–990, 2006), which rests on the assumption that we can predict the content of future research. I show how Feyerabend has already given us reasons to think that this model is much more limited than it is usually understood. I conclude by showing how models of resource allocation, specifically those of Kitcher, Strevens :55–79, 2003) and Weisberg and Muldoon :225–252, 2009), unwittingly make use of this problematic assumption. I conclude by outlining a proposed model of resource allocation where funding is determined by lottery and briefly examining the extent to which it is compatible with the position defended in this paper. (shrink)
As human consumption is one of the key contributors to environmental problems, it is increasingly urgent to promote sustainable consumption. Drawing on the agentic-communal model of power, this research explores how the psychological feeling of power influences consumers’ preference for green products. We show that low power increases consumers’ preference for green products compared to high power. Importantly, we identify two factors moderating the main effect of power on green consumption. Specifically, we find that the effect of power on green (...) consumption is more salient among those with high green consumption values. In addition, the effects of power are dynamic as a function of power distance belief, such that low power promotes green consumption in the low-PDB context while high power promotes green consumption in the high-PDB context. Taken together, these findings provide novel insights into understanding green consumption from the perspectives of social power, green values, and PDB. Besides contributing to the literature, the findings have significant implications for marketers and policy-makers in promoting green campaigns, bridging the attitude-behavior gap, and building a more sustainable society. (shrink)
The paper describes the problem for robust moral realism of explaining the supervenience of the moral on the non-moral, and examines five objections to the argument: The moral does not supervene on the descriptive, because we may owe different obligations to duplicates. If the supervenience thesis is repaired to block, it becomes trivial and easy to explain. Supervenience is a moral doctrine and should get an explanation from within normative ethics rather than metaethics. Supervenience is a conceptual truth and should (...) be explained by the nature of our concepts rather than by a metaphysical theory. The moral does not supervene on the descriptive, because moral principles are not metaphysically necessary. It concludes that none of these objections is successful, so Robust Realists do have an explanatory debt to worry about. (shrink)
This collection addresses whether ethicists, like authorities in other fields, can speak as experts in their subject matter. Though ethics consultation is a growing practice in medical contexts, there remain difficult questions about the role of ethicists in professional decision-making. Contributors examine the nature and plausibility of moral expertise, the relationship between character and expertise, the nature and limits of moral authority, how one might become a moral expert, and the trustworthiness of moral testimony. This volume engages with the growing (...) literature in these debates and offers new perspectives from both academics and practitioners. The readings will be of particular interest to bioethicists, clinicians, ethics committees, and students of social epistemology. These new essays promise to advance discussions in the professionalization and accreditation of ethics consultation. (shrink)
From the 1970s onwards, Feyerabend argues against the freedom of science. This will seem strange to some, as his epistemological anarchism is often taken to suggest that scientists should be free of even the most basic and obvious norms of science. His argument against the freedom of science is heavily influenced by his case study of the interference of Chinese communists in mainland China during the 1950s wherein the government forced local universities to continue researching traditional Chinese medicine rather than (...) Western medicine. Feyerabend claims this move was justifiable and, eventually, vindicated by the resulting research which was beneficial for locals and the West at large. The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive overview and analysis on Feyerabend’s views on the freedom of science and his social commentary on US science funding policy that follows therefrom. This proves to be exceedingly difficult because Feyerabend’s writings on the subject are filled with gaps, unnoticed tensions, and cognitive dissonance. Still, I think Feyerabend’s scattered insights and the contradictions that emerge lead to an interesting microcosm of the issues contained in the freedom of science debate. (shrink)