Aquinas’s reflection on the relationship between faith and science took place amidst serious controversy about the acceptability of the very form of science Aquinas had adopted. Aquinas uses the Aristotelian conception of science and his own view of the place of theology and faith, to produce arguments for the compatibility of reason and science. I examine the arguments he presents in the Summa Contra Gentiles, and I criticize details of his arguments, but I endorse what I see as his general (...) strategy. (shrink)
Part intellectual autobiography and part exposition of complex yet contemporary economic ideas, this lively conversation with renowned scholar and public intellectual Kenneth J. Arrow focuses on economics and politics in light of history, current events, and philosophy as well. Reminding readers that economics is about redistribution and thus about how we treat each other, Arrow shows that the intersection of economics and ethics is of concern not just to economists but for the public more broadly. With a foreword by (...) Amartya Sen, this book highlights the belief that government can be a powerful force for good, and is particularly relevant in the current political climate and to the lay reader as well as the economist. (shrink)
This book is written for the non-philosophy major taking 'Contemporary Moral Issues' or 'Intro to Ethics' courses. It provides a method to research any complex moral issue in hundreds of print, periodical, and Internet research sources, and gives a model of the method applied to the question of capital punishment.
Behavior, language, development, identity, and science—all of these phenomena are commonly characterized as 'social' in nature. But what does it mean to be 'social'? Is there any intrinsic 'mark' of the social shared by these phenomena? In the first book to shed light on this foundational question, twelve distinguished philosophers and social scientists from several disciplines debate the mark of the social. Their varied answers will be of interest to sociologists, anthropologists, philosophers, psychologists, and anyone interested in the theoretical foundations (...) of the social sciences. (shrink)
The Trouble with America critiques the theory and practice of American government—government too weak to solve our public problems, restrained more in its ability to do good than in its ability to do harm, and grossly unfair to the poor and middle classes. As a result, we Americans find ourselves with poor leadership, inadequate representation, failing policies, and a pathological culture.
One of the central questions of economics relates to the coordination of individual units within a large organization to achieve the central objectives of that organization. This book examines the problems involved in allocating resources in an economic system where decision-making is decentralized into the hands of individuals and individual enterprises. The decisions made by these economic agents must be coordinated because the input decisions of some must eventually equal the output decisions of others. Coordination arises naturally out of the (...) mathematical theory of optimization but there is still the question of how it can be achieved in practice with dispersed knowledge. The essays here explore the many facets of this problem. Nine papers are grouped under the title 'Economies with a single maximand'. They include papers on static and dynamic optimization, decentralization within firms, and nonconvexities in optimizing problems. Fourteen papers are concerned with 'Economies with multiple objectives'. Among the topics covered here are stability of competitive equilibrium, stability in oligopology, and dynamic shortages. The final part of the book includes three papers on informational efficiency and informationally decentralized systems. Leonid Hurwitcz is the Nobel Prize Winner 2007 for The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, along with colleagues Eric Maskin and Roger Myerson, for his work on the effectiveness of markets. (shrink)
From schools advertising McDonald's, Nike, and Shell oil to military generals appointed as superintendents; from corporate CEOs hailed as education experts to students suspended for wearing Pepsi tee shirts on Coke day; Collateral Damage sifts through a wide range of incidents to reveal how the rising corporatization of public schools needs to be understood as a part of a broader attack on the public sector. Uniquely, Collateral Damage considers the privatization of public education in relation to both globalization and local (...) struggles over curriculum, schools, and culture. (shrink)
After decades of acrimonious debate on the nature of scientific knowledge, researchers in the human or social sciences are reaching a state of relative equanimity, a condition that may be characterized as a reflective pragmatism. Yet, even while the context has favored the development of new forms of research, the longstanding ocular metaphor of inquiry remains pervasive. That is, researchers continue the practice of observing what is the case, with the intent to illuminate, understand, report on, or furnish insight into (...) given states of affairs. And, while selectively useful, such an orientation is not only limited in potential but subject to a receding span of application. As I will propose, when the logics of reflective pragmatism are fully extended, we enter a new territory of understanding, one in which the vision of research is radically altered. We replace the captivating gaze on the world as it is with value based explorations into what it could be. This conception of a future forming orientation to research opens the way to new aims, practices, and reflections. (shrink)