We prove a definable analogue to Brouwer's Fixed Point Theorem for o-minimal structures of real closed field expansions: A continuous definable function mapping from the unit simplex into itself admits a fixed point, even though the underlying space is not necessarily topologically complete. Our proof is direct and elementary; it uses a triangulation technique for o-minimal functions, with an application of Sperner's Lemma.
The anthropological turn, which Pannenberg decisively and successfully executed in the early 1980s, has provided his latest ethical argumentation with an extra dimension and increased depth. Pannenberg now believes that ethics has its foundations in anthropology rather than directly in dogmatics. The ethical as a common concern of all humankind must not be isolated and made independent of metaphysics and religion. For only then can the claim of universal validity for ethics be sustained, which in turn Pannenberg sees as the (...) condition of its binding nature for Christians. Our awareness of moral obligations would become vague when it cannot be clarified in terms of any universally valid norms. Our final verdict on Pannenberg's new approach, however, must await greater clarity on whether his universal moral claim can withstand the potent challenge arising in today's increasingly pluralistic world; otherwise, his latest methodology would only bring him from the historicist fringe to the anthropologist margin. (shrink)
With Peach Blossom Spring and other poetical works written by Tao Qian in the 5th century, there was born a vision of utopia that remains forever etched into the Chinese collective imaginary. Thirteen centuries later, Cao Xueqin drew inspiration from it when he gave form to the ‘Grandview Garden’, a universe with fundamentally female characteristics and one of the centres for the plot of The Story of the Stone, a masterpiece of Chinese romantic fiction also known as ‘Dream of the (...) Red Chamber/Mansions’. Reading the two works in parallel, in both the figurative and the literal sense, points up the message of the Daodejing that utopia cannot be planned or imposed. In fact it emerges from a spirit of openness, an attitude of patient waiting, listening with the ear of the other. This intuition leads to reflection on difference, based on Zhuangzi’s Butterfly Dream. (shrink)
This book is a collection of articles on different aspects of university education in China since the late nineteenth century, addressing how far the ideal of modern university education, which has gradually been developed in the West since the age of European Enlightenment, was adopted or transformed by Chinese universities.
I thought the paper by Kai-yee Wong and Chris Fraser was fascinating and insightful. Two things I especially appreciated are the clarity with which they summarize my views. I think they are quite fair and accurate. Second, I appreciate their suggestion that the way to deal with the practical problem of weakness of will has much to do with the role of the Background in shaping our actions. I think they are especially on the right track when they say (...) that the improvement of Background skills may actually narrow the range of real options for action, (p. 21) nonetheless, they do not decrease freedom. As they say, “It is a process of strengthening the self, and the agent is likely to experience the concomitant restriction of ‘live’ options not as a limitation but as strength of character.” (p. 21). That seems to me very much on the right track. What they are suggesting, and it is a powerful addition to my own writings, is that we should not just think of the Background as facilitating languages, games and social practices generally, but for morality as well (p. 23). (shrink)
In this book, David B. Wong defends an ambitious and important new version of moral relativism. He does not espouse the type of relativism that says anything goes, but he does start with a relativist stance against alternative theories such that there need not be only one universal truth. Wong proposes that there can be a plurality of true moralities existing across different traditions and cultures, all with one core human question as to how we can all live (...) together. (shrink)
This essay explains the inescapability of moral demands. I deny that the individual has genuine reason to comply with these demands only if she has desires that would be served by doing so. Rather, the learning of moral reasons helps to shape and channel self- and other-interested motivations so as to facilitate and promote social cooperation. This shaping happens through the “embedding” of reasons in the intentional objects of motivational propensities. The dominance of the instrumental conception of reason, according to (...) which reasons must be based in desires of the individual, has made it harder to recognize that reasons shape desires. I attempt to undermine this dominance by arguing that the concept of a self that extends over time is constructed to meet the demands of social cooperation. Prudential reasons to act on behalf of the persisting self's desires are often taken to constitute the paradigm of reasons based on desires of the individual. But such reasons, along with the very concept of the persisting self, are constructed to promote human cooperation and to shape the individual's desires. (shrink)
This is my contribution to a symposium on David Wong’s paper, “Early Confucian Philosophy and the Development of Compassion.” I simply grant Wong his reading of the relevant texts and consider the merits of the ideas about ethical development on their own terms. In particular, my aim is to see how fruitful these ideas might be in the contemporary philosophical landscape.
A major international consultancy firm identified ‘AI ethicist’ as an essential position for companies to successfully implement artificial intelligence (AI) at the start of 2019. It declares that AI ethicists are needed to help companies navigate the ethical and social issues raised by the use of AI. Top 5 AI hires companies need to succeed in 2019. The view that AI is beneficial but nonetheless potentially harmful to individuals and society is widely shared by the industry, academia, governments, and civil (...) society organizations. Accordingly and in order to realize its benefits while avoiding ethical pitfalls and harmful consequences, numerous initiatives have been established to a) examine the ethical, social, legal and political dimensions of AI and b) develop ethical guidelines and recommendations for design and implementation of AI. (shrink)
The Chinese government and technology companies assume a proactive stance towards digital technologies and AI and their roles in users’—and more generally, people’s—lives. This vision of ‘Tech for Good’, i.e., the development of good digital technologies and AI or the application of them for good, is also shared by major technology companies in the globe, e.g., Google, Microsoft, and Facebook. Interestingly, these initiatives have invited a number of critiques for their feasibility and desirability, particularly in relation to the social and (...) political conditions of liberal democratic societies. In this article, I discuss whether these critiques also apply to the Chinese context and contend that Confucian philosophy provides the normative resources to answer these critiques. This cross-cultural analysis, therefore, allows us to formulate a different account of AI4SG, which I shall call ‘AI for Datong’, and helps us in our reimagining of the normative vision for AI. (shrink)
This book examines the relationship between law and scientific advancement, with a particular focus on the theory of evolution and medical innovation. Historically, the law has struggled to keep pace with modern medical advances. The authors demonstrate that the laws that govern human behaviour must evolve in response to such advances."--Provided by publisher.
Kam-por Yu, Julia Tao, and Philip J. Ivanhoe (eds.), Taking Confucian Ethics Seriously: Contemporary Theories and Applications Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-6 DOI 10.1007/s11712-011-9253-y Authors Karyn Lai, School of History of Philosophy, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia Journal Dao Online ISSN 1569-7274 Print ISSN 1540-3009.
This essay examines the theological method employed by Newman in An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine by considering its objective content and subjective methodology. The objective content concerns the principles of authentic development of doctrine that culminated in his identification of Roman Catholicism as the true Apostolic Church. The subjective methodology consists of his heuristic application of the notes that guided him to the attainment of certitude. Newman’s Essay on Development thus resulted in his conviction in the overpowering (...) vision of truth in the Roman claim in which ecclesial faith is experienced as simultaneously wholly objective and wholly personal. (shrink)
The view defended is one sense externalist on the relation between moral reasons and motivation: A's having a moral reason to do X does not necessarily imply that A has a motivation that would support A's doing X via some appropriate deliberative route. However, it is in another sense externalist in holding that there are the kind of moral reasons there are only if the relevant motivational capacities are "generally present" in human beings, if not in all individuals. The process (...) of socialization is an attempt to embed the recognition of what we have moral reason to do in the intentional content of one's feelings. E.g., learning that about others' suffering embeds their suffering as a reason to help in the intentional content of incipient compassionate feelings. This endows the reason with motivational efficacy while conferring further direction to the feelings in ways that shape us for social cooperation. (shrink)
I understand (MR) as meaning that there is a way the world is that is independent of our minds or representations. One may also state (MR) in terms of ‘A description/language independent world/reality’ or ‘a conceptual scheme independent world/reality’. For our purposes, we need not distinguish these variants of formulation.
The prominent philosopher Feng Youlan in the late 1950s devised an 'abstract inheritance method' with which he sought to salvage traditional thought. The debates over this method and what it entailed lasted until the Cultural Revolution. This book is an examination of those debates, and therepercussions arising from them in the discussions on classical Chinese philosophy.
This article focuses on a particular episode in Sammy Gronemann’s life that occurred in 1902 and is briefly described in his memoires, Erinnerungen. Gronemann was asked to travel to Mainz for a propaganda lecture on behalf of the Zionist Movement in which he caused an uproar. Earlier in the year, the Jewish-orthodox newspaper Der Israelit of Mainz had published a slanderous article on the Zionist bank, the Jewish Colonial Trust, for which it was sued by the Zionist leadership. In the (...) midst of the trial against the paper and its editor-in-chief, Oskar Lehmann, efforts were made to bring the trial to a quick end by means of a settlement. During Gronemann’s talk in Mainz, he spotted Lehmann in the audience and entered into a tirade. He publicly insulted Lehmann, who angrily left the venue. This caused an uproar and jeopardized the leverage of the Zionists in the settlement negotiations and the trial’s speedy conclusion. This paper provides the background to the events, discusses its outcome, and puts the episode in its historical context. (shrink)
The value-free ideal for science prohibits noncognitive values from influencing the practice of science. After all, a scientist should not reject an empirical theory on religious grounds. But while motivated by reasonable concerns, VFI overlooks legitimate roles for noncognitive values in science. Contra VFI, Hugh Lacey explains that noncognitive values can promote scientific aims by grounding new methodologies that may lead to novel theories and extend to new domains. Yet, Lacey agrees with one aspect of VFI: noncognitive values should not (...) serve as grounds in the empirical evaluation of theories. This has led some critics to misidentify his view merely as an updated version of VFI. I argue that views of the kind Lacey endorses, which I call Dialectical Empiricism, deserve further investigation. They capture what VFI gets right; but they also show that noncognitive values are essential to good science. Throughout the dissertation I explore variants of DE, demonstrating its potential and flexibility. Furthermore, I defend DE against its critics, especially those who mistake it for a version of VFI. In stark opposition to VFI, DE reveals how the illusion of value-freedom sometimes blinds us to promising alternatives to mainstream scientific approaches. I demonstrate this by applying the framework of DE to contemporary research in agricultural and nutritional science. These case studies show that noncognitive values really do influence scientific practices. And, most importantly, they demonstrate how embracing a value-laden view of science can open our eyes to promising alternative approaches that may have the potential to increase our knowledge of the world and of possibilities for human flourishing. (shrink)
In the study of Pali metres, abundant research has been conducted on the establishment of rules and taxonomy, and scanning of unscanned verses. In comparison, the stylistic aspects of metres have been somewhat neglected. When the audiences listen to verses with their ears only set for metrical rules but not also the interplay of various rhythmic patterns, they fail to fully capture the aesthetic beauty and the very philosophical messages embedded in them. Taking the verses in the Dasanipata of the (...) Theragatha as examples, this article focuses on the stylistic interplay of rhythmic uniformity and change in the expression of core messages in a Pali poem. It aims to unveil the poets’ strategies in the use of various types of metres and prosodic elements to create the narrative style of each poem and draw the audiences’ attention to the Buddha’s key teachings in the verses. (shrink)
This essay explores Confucian views on war as seen in the Spring and Autumn Annals . The interpretation is based mainly on the Gongyang Zhuan , supplemented by other authoritative sources in the Gongyang tradition, such as D ong Zhongshu (179-104 BCE) and H e Xiu (129-182). The Spring and Autumn Annals contains three components: facts, words, and principles. This essay explicates the principles for going to war and the principles for conducting a war. The Confucian perspective sheds light on (...) war against enemies of civilization, conditions for waging a preemptive war, punitive expedition, as well as the use of weapons of mass destruction. The Confucian views as presented here are realistic and pragmatic in nature but are also compatible with the humanistic concern of Confucianism. This essay ends with a summary of the salient and sophisticated features of the Confucian views on war. (shrink)
Why Be Moral? Learning from the Neo-Confucian Cheng Brothers by Yong Huang is a work of comparative philosophy with an original approach. It is a careful and learned study of two important philosophers in Chinese philosophy, but at the same time it is an interesting and stimulating alternative introduction to fundamental philosophical problems.Huang explains: "My interest is not in exploring the similarities and differences between Confucianism and virtue ethics in the West …, but in seeking the possible contributions Confucianism can (...) make to contemporary virtue ethics". I think Huang is able to deliver very well the goods he has set out to deliver. The topics discussed are all living issues in contemporary... (shrink)
Personal autonomy presupposes the notion of rationality. What is not so clear is whether, and how, a compromise of rationality to various degrees will diminish a person's autonomy. In bioethical literature, three major types of threat to the rationality of a patient's medical decision are identified: insufficient information, irrational beliefs/desires, and influence of different framing effects. To overcome the first problem, it is suggested that patients be provided with information about their diseases and treatment choices according to the objective standard. (...) I shall explain how this should be finessed. Regarding the negative impact of irrational beliefs/desires, some philosophers have argued that holding irrational beliefs can still be an expression of autonomy. I reject this argument because the degree of autonomy of a decision depends on the degree of rationality of the beliefs or desires on which the decision is based. Hence, to promote patient autonomy, we need to eliminate irrational beliefs by the provision of evidence and good arguments. Finally, I argue that the way to smooth out the framing effects is to present the same information in different perspectives: it is too often assumed that medical information can always be given in a complete and unadorned manner. This article concludes with a cautionary note that the protection of patient autonomy requires much more time and effort than the current practice usually allows. (shrink)