In theory, at least, we might achieve a certain sort of invulnerability right at the end of life. Suppose that under favorable circumstances we can live a certain number of years, say 125, but no longer, and also that we can make life as a whole better and better over time. Under these assumptions we might hope to disarm death by spending 125 years making life as good as it can be. If we were lucky enough to (...) accomplish that, afterwards we would be immune to mortal harm. Especially for those who are closer to the beginning of life than to the end, however, this strategy leaves much to be desired. It is like devouring an entire banquet so as to eliminate the danger of someone stealing it from us. Like a feast, a good life is safely ours after it is over, but then safety comes too late to be of any use to us. To be of practical value, we need protection from mortal harm much earlier in life. (shrink)
A guide to defining and then creating a flourishing life, based on the popular class at Yale What makes a good life? The question is inherent to the human condition, asked by people across generations, professions, and social classes, and addressed by all schools of philosophy and religions. This search for meaning, as Yale professors Miroslav Volf, Matthew Croasmun, and Ryan McAnnally-Linz argue, is at the crux of a crisis that is facing Western culture, a crisis that, they (...) propose, can be ameliorated by searching, in one's own life, for the underlying truth. In A Life Worth Living, named after its authors' highly sought-after undergraduate course, Volf, Croasmun, and McAnnally-Linz chart out this question, providing readers with jumping-off points, road maps, and habits of reflection for figuring out where their lives hold meaning and where things need to change. Drawing from the major world religions and from impressively truthful and courageous secular figures, A Life Worth Living is a guide to life's most pressing question, the one asked of all of us: How are we to live? (shrink)
Head of Rugby School for over a decade, Thomas Arnold became Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford in the final year of his life. Known for his controversial ideas on schooling and religion, he was a prominent and influential figure in the history of British education. First published in 1844, this two-volume work presents a diverse collection of Arnold's correspondence, compiled by his friend and former pupil Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, Dean of Westminster. Interspersed with biographical commentary by Stanley, (...) the letters in Volume 1 illuminate Arnold's early life and work, and his career at Rugby up to 1835. In them he discusses his ideas for reform in both teaching and religion, revealing his unfailing dedication to both. Offering insights into the role of school and church in the early nineteenth century, Arnold's writings continue to interest scholars of both religion and education. (shrink)
What would your life be like if you committed to something larger than yourself? Find out in the newest book from global transformation thought leader Lynne Twist. How does one person make a difference in the world? People constantly seek to discover meaning in their lives, but as humans take on the challenges facing us in this decade and beyond, we're searching for it now more than ever. Living a Committed Life demonstrates the power of dedication that goes (...) beyond the self and teaches how to live a committed life that enables you to draw on resources and capacities from your most authentic self. In five parts, Lynne Twist shows how to make and keep commitments, engage in individual and collective action, and discover ways to connect and collaborate to make a difference. By sharing stories and perspectives from her life, Twist reveals her unique experience as a thought leader and activist in multiple causes, from ending world hunger and protecting the Amazon rainforest to empowering women's leadership. The book presents the guiding principles that have enabled her own success and that turn inspiration into action for everyone. (shrink)
Modern medicine provides unprecedented opportunities in diagnostics and treatment. However, in some situations at the end of a patient’s life, many physicians refrain from using all possible measures to prolong life. We studied the incidence of different types of treatment withheld or withdrawn in 6 European countries and analyzed the main background characteristics.
This chapter investigates the Kantian idea that a rational life is a life of “mere form”—a life in which a “mere form” is the force or spring of action. I start by developing Kant’s practical notion of life—the capacity to be the cause of what one represents. In a second step, I investigate the way in which Kant characterizes a rational life—the capacity to act in accordance with the representation of laws and to determine ourselves (...) by the mere form of a practical rule. In the third section, I point to some of the attractions and some of the problems of such an account. I close by considering a Hegelian alternative: the notion that a rational life is not the life of “mere,” but of “absolute form.”. (shrink)
The account of the best life for humans - i.e. a happy or flourishing life - and what it might consist of was the central theme of ancient ethics. But what does it take to have a life that, if not happy, is at least worth living, compared with being dead or never having come into life? This question was also much discussed in antiquity, and David Machek's book reconstructs, for the first time, philosophical engagements with (...) the question from Socrates to Plotinus. Machek's comprehensive book explores ancient views on a life worth living against a background of the pessimistic outlook on the human condition which was adopted by the Greek poets, and also shows the continuities and contrasts between the ancient perspective and modern philosophical debates about biomedical ethics and the ethics of procreation. His rich study of this relatively neglected theme offers a fresh and compelling narrative of ancient ethics. (shrink)
Questioning America's obsession with open-ended medical progress that neglects other necessities of health and life, the author examines the relation between proper medical goals and reasonable health care.
This book is based on the assumption that the world is governed by a widespread field of interconnected laws. In this field man-made laws – legal laws - have to coexist with the laws of nature, the laws of science and the laws of logic. They have to find their place in relation to a certain society. They have to relate to the demands of morality, ethics, custom and trust. They have to follow the laws of language. They have to (...) deal with a variety of professional and esthetic rules. They have to defend their position between art and craft. Finally, and significantly, they have to cope with a host of different ideas about truth. This book approaches law as a human construct meant to strengthen society as it develops through the ages. Knowledge of the law – legal knowledge – is of doubtful value if it ignores the demands and ideals of society. The same goes for the thinking leading to legal knowledge. This book focuses on a basic concept. That concept is met if the legal thinking, leading to legal knowledge, reaches the level of an independent, law and society oriented, contemplative discipline. A discipline which is in that sense and to that extent in touch with - cherished or less cherished - parts of given law. (shrink)
Novotný is the Czech philologist who between 1915 and 1961 translated the entire corpus platonicum into Czech and who in 1948-49 wrote a "systematic study" in three volumes on Plato’s life, writings and philosophy. Its fourth volume on the influence of Plato upon subsequent eras appeared in 1964 and is now translated into English. The Posthumous Life of Plato can be best, although somewhat irreverently, described as a successful "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Plato But Were (...) Afraid to Ask." It objectively traces in detail and with extensive references to relevant primary and secondary literature the reactions to Plato in antiquity, in medieval eras, and in the "new age". (shrink)
Our daily experience, dominated by the corporate clock that so many of us contort ourselves to fit inside, is destroying us. It wasn't built for people, it was built for profit. This is a book that tears open the seams of reality as we know it-the way we experience time itself-and rearranges it, reimagining a world not centered around work, the office clock, or the profit motive. Explaining how we got to the point where time became money, Odell offers us (...) new models to live by--inspired by pre-industrial cultures, ecological, and geological time--that make a more humane, more hopeful way of living seem possible. In this dazzling, subversive, and deeply hopeful reframing of time, Jenny Odell takes us on a journey through other temporal habitats. As planet-bound animals, we live inside shortening and lengthening days, alongside gardens growing, birds migrating, and cliffs eroding. The stretchy quality of waiting and desire, the way the present may suddenly feel marbled with childhood memory, the slow but sure procession of a pregnancy, or the time it takes to heal from injuries--physical or emotional. Odell urges us to become stewards of these different rhythms of life, to imagine a life, identity, and source of meaning outside of the world of work and profit, and to understand that the trajectory of our lives--or the life of the planet--is not a foregone conclusion. In that sense, "saving" time-recovering its fundamentally irreducible and inventive nature-could also mean that time saves us. (shrink)
This second edition of Life Science Ethics includes four essays not found in the first edition: Richard Haynes on “Animals in Research” Stephen M. Gardiner on “Climate Change” Christopher Kelty on “Nanotechnology” Gary Comstock on “Genetically Modified Foods” and a revised and expanded version of the chapter on “Farms” in which Stephen Carpenter joins Charles Taliaferro as author. In addition, Part III has been thoroughly revised with the goal of focusing attention on salient examples. Three new case studies have (...) been added: Robert Streiffer and Sara Gavrell Ortiz on “Enviropigs” Donald F. Boesch, et al. on “Coastal Dead Zones” Deb Bennett-Woods on “Nanotechnology and Human Enhancement” The first edition was praised for providing instructors with a stimulating text that will help students hone their critical thinking skills. That text is here enhanced with treatments of critical new issues, including global warming, nanotechnology, and the possibility that bioengineering may be able to change human nature. The new edition includes classroom discussion questions for use in provoking and guiding in-class discussions. Part I introduces ethics, the relationship of religion to ethics, how we assess ethical arguments, and a method ethicists use to reason about ethical theories. Part II demonstrates the relevance of ethical reasoning to the environment, land, farms, food, biotechnology, genetically modified foods, animals in agriculture and research, climate change, and nanotechnology. Part III presents case studies for the topics found in Part II. Two appendices include exercises to help students learn systematic ways of thinking through ethical dilemmas and notes for instructors using the book as a text. (shrink)
This book explores the breadth of philosophical interest in life and death during the early modern period. It connects debates in philosophy with the life sciences, linking the study of organisms to the practical aspect of philosophy, and reminding us that that philosophers were concerned with learning how to live and how to die.
In her Introduction, Tymieniecka states the core theme of the present book sharply: Is culture an excess of nature's prodigious expansiveness - an excess which might turn out to be dangerous for nature itself if it goes too far - or is culture a 'natural', congenial prolongation of nature-life? If the latter, then culture is assimilated into nature and thus would lose its claim to autonomy: its criteria would be superseded by those of nature alone. Of course, nature and (...) culture may both still be seen as being absorbed by the inner powers of specifically human inwardness, on which view, human being, caught in its own transcendence, becomes separated radically in kind from the rest of existence and may not touch even the shadow of reality except through its own prism. Excess, therefore, or prolongation? And on what terms? The relationship between culture and nature in its technical phase demands a new elucidation. Here this is pursued by excavating the root significance of the 'multiple rationalities' of life. In contrast to Husserl, who differentiated living types according to their degree of participation in the world, the phenomenology of life disentangles living types from within the ontopoietic web of life itself. The human creative act reveals itself as the Great Divide of the Logos of Life - a divide that does not separate but harmonizes, thus dispelling both naturalistic and spiritualistic reductionism. (shrink)
Considers four apparent problems of eternal life--is heaven a mystical or social reality, is it other-worldly or this-worldly, is it static or dynamic, is it boring?--and shows how the teachings of Thomas Aquinas support more satisfying solutions than many contemporary philosophical and theological approaches.
According to Burri, a major reason why suicide is often irrational lies in the option value of life. Remaining alive is valuable because this allows for a larger menu of options, and the possibility of committing suicide in the future adds further value to the act of remaining alive now. In this note, I represent life as a trust game played by two selves – the young self and the old self – and I argue that the possibility (...) to commit suicide in the future can encourage committing suicide now, against what the theory of the option value of life predicts. (shrink)
Jack Miles, a former member of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), and Mark Taylor, a philosophical atheist, have both in different ways brought religious and philosophical concerns into the wider world. Approaching the end of their careers as well as the end of their lives, they were prompted by the advent of a deadly pandemic amid worldwide political crises to think through matters of "ultimate concern": what is the human self, embedded as it is in a cosmos of nonhuman and (...) artificial intelligences? Within this larger ecology, what is the meaning of individual death? And can philosophy help us intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually understand and accept our fundamental impermanence? The authors' sense of urgency about their impending mortality, the worth of a life, the grief of loss and what was left undone, the fragility of existence, the uncertainty of the ending permeate their conversations. Readers will be drawn into the inner lives, the hidden fears and emotions, the existential dread experienced by these two exceptional philosophers facing life's close in extraordinary times when both annihilation and revolutionary new beginnings seem equally possible. The authors glean insight from Kierkegaard and Weil, Dickinson and Baldwin, Nagarjuna and Mahavira, Bateson and El Greco, leavened with a little Gluck, Auden, Borges, Ella Fitzgerald, and Hamilton. Reminiscent of the intimate conversations in "My Dinner with Andre," they confront an unknown future. Combining the diary's closeness to the self with the reflection of the personal letter much as Karl Ove Knausgaard combines diary with novelistic realism, these two distinctive voices are uncompromising, immediate, and raw. At the book's end they decide that their dialogue "will continue to change us even after one of us, perhaps both of us, dies." Ghosts may not be holy spirits, but even an atheist can believe that they are real. (shrink)
Philosophers, writers, and artists throughout history have come to the conclusion that life and its pursuits are meaningless. In many ways, they are correct. Yet when life is considered in the light of the gospel message, you will find true and deep meaning."--Back cover.
Life strategy in personal dimension could be identified as a complex phenomenon, which includes main key dimensions and categories that characterize person’s life and behavior. Life strategy is a way of life self-determining, self-establishing, self-expression and self-organizing as well as the ability to bring living conditions according with personality own values and individual uniqueness. The student life strategies directly connected with higher education. Author’s sociological research examines the main features of life strategies of modern (...) Ukrainian students. In the article, the author's typology of the main types of life strategies of students is proposed. The tipology reflects the crucial connection with the appropriate understanding of the place and role of higher education: career-pragmatic, universal education, and adaptive-conformist. (shrink)
Life is a self-maintaining process based on metabolism. Something is said to be alive when it exhibits organization and is actively involved in its own continued existence through carrying out metabolic processes. A life is a spatio-temporally restricted event, which continues while the life processes are occurring in a particular chunk of matter (or, arguably, when they are temporally suspended, but can be restarted at any moment), even though there is continuous replacement of parts. Life is (...) organized in discrete packages, particular cells and multicellular organisms with differing degrees of individuality. Biological species, too, have been shown to be individuals, and not classes, as these collections of organisms are spatio-temporally localized, restricted, continuous, and somewhat cohesive entities, with a definite beginning and end. Assuming that all life on Earth has a common origin, all living organisms, cells, and tissues descending from this origin exhibit continuity of the life processes at the cellular level, as well as many of the features that define the individual character of species: spatio-temporal localization and restriction, continuity, historicity, and cohesiveness. Therefore, life on Earth is an ontological individual. Independent origins of life will have produced other such individuals. These provisionally called ‘life-individuals’ constitute a category of organization of life which has seldom been recognized. The discovery of at least one independent life-individual would go a long way toward the project of the universality of biology. (shrink)
Everyday Life and Cultural Theory provides a unique critical and historical introduction to theories of everyday life. Ben Highmore traces the development of conceptions of everyday life, from the Mass Observation project of the 1930s to contemporary theorists. Individual chapters examine: * Theories of the everyday * Fragments of everyday life * Surrealism: the marvelous in the everyday * Walter Benjamin's Trash Aesthetics * Mass Observation: the science of everyday life * Henri Lefebvre's Dialectics of (...) Everyday Life * Michel de Certeau's Poetics of Everyday Life * Everyday life and the future of cultural studies. (shrink)
-/- This paper offers a preliminary interpretation of Nietzsche’s doctrine of Eternal Recurrence, according to which the doctrine constitutes a parable that, speaking of what is permanent in life, praises and justifies all that is impermanent. What is permanent, what always recurs, is the will to power or to self-overcoming that is the fundamental engine of all life. The operating mechanism of such a will consists in prompting the living to undergo transformations or transitory deaths, after which this (...) fundamental engine resurrects again and is once more activated. The individual human being, in his capacity as creator, is only a conscious and finite surrogate of this fundamental will. In confronting his abysmal thought of Eternal Recurrence, Zarathustra comes to the realization that the individual human being will never cease to be a mere transit that, while remaining in existence, will have to always return to the moment of his own self-overcoming. This means that the small man in each of us, the man that can be overcome, will always recur, and that even the greatest man we could become will still be too small and human all too human. Although this thought generates disgust with existence, it can also become a source of life-affirmation, when we learn to love our tragic destiny: that of never being able to realize the ideal of superhumanity that is recommended by the book, and, yet, that of eternally striving to realize it. (shrink)
Objective Explore parents’ point of view about forgoing life sustaining treatment in terminal critically ill children and factors affecting their decisions. Method This was a qualitative study using in-depth interviews with parents whose child died between 6–12 months old in pediatric intensive care unit of a university-affiliated teaching hospital. Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed. Data were analyzed using interpretive description method. Result A total of 7 parents of 5 children decided to withhold or withdraw LST. Five parents from 4 (...) children decided to sign the do not attempt resuscitation, and none choose to withdrew the LST, including mechanical support. Factors influenced their decision were communication, value of children, child best interest, intuition, religious belief, and emotions. Economic factors did not influence the decision-making. Conclusion Most parents decided to sign the DNAR, none choose to withdrew mechanical support. Communication was the most important factor that influenced parents to make a forgoing LST decision. (shrink)
This book provides a fascinating study of a community of scientists at the prestigious Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Science in Melbourne, Australia. These scientists are mainly concerned with investigating the immune system, which enables us to cope with the many bacteria and viruses that invade our bodies. The Hall Institute scientists are part of a distinctive subculture, with its own myths and rites of passage, which can be investigated in much the same way as anthropologists investigate 'primitive' (...) cultures. The volume shows how scientific programs and methods are shaped by cultural factors, including social, political, and economic constraints, and by the Institute's setting and the ethos of the new biology. The emphasis is on how science is actually done in concrete situations as distinct from what scientists say they do, and what philosophers and historians and sociologists of science theorize about what they do. Life Among the Scientists will be of great interest to scientists, students of the philosophy, history, and sociology of science, anthropologists and social scientists, and the general reader who wants to know what the scientific life is really like. (shrink)
Herman J. Saatkamp’s _A Life of Scholarship with Santayana: Essays and Reflections_ gathers together his work of a lifetime. There are twenty-three pieces, in three sections: “Santayana and Philosophy,” “Editorship,” and “Genetic Concerns and the Future of Philosophy.”.
As a philologist, Nietzsche had to be a materialist – a materialist of letters. If letters are not life, however, they are the indices of its limits. You can’t live except at the limit; to get to a limit, you have to reconstruct a genealogy for yourself; once you know where you are, you have the opportunity to lose yourself again, this time effectively. Life is whatever will have greeted you in that loss, the disappearance at the limit.
'any service I may have rendered my countrymen in my active life I may also extend to them... now that I am at leisure'Marcus Tullius Cicero, Rome's greatest orator, had a career of intense activity in politics, the law courts and the administration, mostly in Rome. His fortunes, however, followed those of Rome, and he found himself driven into exile in 58 BC, only to return a year later to a city paralyzed by the domination of Pompey, Crassus, and (...) Caesar. Cicero, though a senior statesman, struggled to maintain his independence and it was during these years that, frustrated in public life, he first started to put his excess energy, stylistic brilliance, and superabundant vocabulary into writing these works of philosophy. The three dialogues collected here are the most accessible of Cicero's works, written to his friends Atticus and Brutus, with the intent of popularizing philosophy in Ancient Rome. They deal with the everyday problems of life; ethics in business, the experience of grief, and the difficulties of old age. (shrink)