Describes the attempt of a medium "to bring the facts of other-world existence to the people of Mars." Giordano Bruno appears as one of a band of interplanetary spirits conducting the medium on her tour.--A. C. P.
The discovery of a second genesis of life besides the one on Earth, this time on Mars, would have profound scientific and philosophical implications. Scientifically, it would provide a second example of biochemistry and of evolutionary history. Many important biological questions may be answerable through the comparison of biochemistry between the life forms on the two planets. Philosophically, the discovery of a second genesis of life in our solar system would suggest that the phenomenon of life is distributed throughout the (...) universe. We could finally be confident that we are not alone. To protect a second genesis as we search for it, the robotic and human exploration of Mars should be done in a way that is biologically reversible, i.e., we must be able to undo our contamination of Mars if we discover a second genesis of life there. It is important to note that human exploration can be done in a way that is biologically reversible. Further, the discovery of a second genesis of life on Mars poses new questions in ethics. One question is: what ethical consideration is due to an alien life form when that life is distinctly different from Earth life, and the members of that life are no more advanced than microorganisms? Will we choose to terraform Mars to enhance the richness and diversity of the indigenous life we find there? In considering our answers to these questions, we should note that for most of Earth’s history our ancestors were microscopic. (shrink)
This article provides current Schwartz Values Survey data from samples of business managers and professionals across 50 societies that are culturally and socioeconomically diverse. We report the society scores for SVS values dimensions for both individual- and societallevel analyses. At the individual- level, we report on the ten circumplex values sub- dimensions and two sets of values dimensions. At the societal- level, we report on the values dimensions of embeddedness, hierarchy, mastery, affective autonomy, intellectual autonomy, egalitarianism, and harmony. For each (...) society, we report the Cronbach' s? statistics for each values dimension scale to assess their internal consistency as well as report interrater agreement analyses to assess the acceptability of using aggregated individual level values scores to represent country span sp. (shrink)
table ronde du Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Paris, 27-29 mars 1979. Huygens et la France (Paris, Vrin, 1981, p. 99-114) CHRISTIAAN HUYGENS VU PAR LEIBNIZ par Albert HEINEKAMP (*) (Leibniz-Archiv, Hannover) Les ...
IntroductionInformation and communication technologies are becoming an integral part of medical practice, research and administration and their use will grow as telemedicine and electronic medical record use become part of routine practice. Security in maintaining patient data is important and there is a statuary obligation to do so, but few health professionals have been trained on how to achieve this. There is no information on the use of computers and email by doctors and nurses in South Africa in the workplace (...) and at home, and whether their current computer practices meets legal and ethical requirements. The aims of this study were to determine the use of computers by healthcare practitioners in the workplace and home; the use and approach to data storage, encryption and security of patient data and patient email; and the use of informed consent to transmit data by email.MethodsA self-administered questionnaire was administered to 400 health care providers from the state and private health care sectors. The questionnaire covered computer use in the workplace and at home, sharing of computers, data encryption and storage, email use, encryption of emails and storage, and the use of informed consent for email communication.Results193 doctors and 207 nurses in the private and public sectors completed the questionnaire. Forty (10%) of participants do not use a computer. A third of health professionals were the only users of computers at work or at home. One hundred and ninety-eight respondents (55%) did not know if the data on the computers were encrypted, 132 (36.7%) knew that the data were not encrypted and 30 (8.3%) individuals knew that the data on the computers they were using were encrypted. Few doctors, 58 (16%), received emails from patients, with doctors more likely to receive emails from patients than nurses (p = 0.0025). Thirty-one percent of individuals did not respond to the emails. Emails were saved by 40 (69%) recipients but only 5 (12.5%) doctors encrypted the messages, 19 (47.5%) individuals knowingly did not encrypt and 16 (40.0%) did not know if they encrypted the data. While 20% of health professionals have emailed patient data, but only 41.7% gained consent to do so.ConclusionsMost health professionals as sampled in South Africa are not compliant with the National Health Act or the Electronic Communications Transactions Act of South Africa or guidelines from regulatory bodies when managing patient data on computers. Many appear ignorant or lack the ability to comply with simple data security procedures. (shrink)
« Le formalisme juridique conduisant à la reconnaissance officielle d’un saint n’a cessé de se durcir entre le XIIe et le XVIIIe siècle. Il n’a été quelque peu allégé que depuis 1969, en raison peut-être de l’engorgement de l’administration pontificale face au flot grossissant des causes introduites - une quarantaine par an en moyenne - ces dernières décennies » (J. P. Albert, « Hagiographie. L’écriture qui sanctifie », pp. 75-83). Résultat : « entre 1978 et 1989, Jean Paul II a (...) procédé à 123.. (shrink)
The world is swimming in misinformation. Conflicting messages bombard us every day with news on everything from politics and world events to investments and alternative health. The daily paper, nightly news, websites, and social media each compete for our attention and each often insist on a different version of the facts. Inevitably, we have questions: Who is telling the truth? How would we know? How did we get here? What can we do? Beyond Fake News answers these and other queries. (...) It offers a technological and market-based explanation for how our informational environment became so polluted. It shows how purveyors of news often have incentives to mislead us, and how consumers of information often have incentives to be misled. And it chronicles how, as technology improves and the regulatory burdens drop, our information-scape becomes ever more littered with misinformation. Beyond Fake News argues that even when we really want the truth, our minds are built in such a way so as to be incapable of grasping many facts, and blind spots mar our view of the world. But we can do better, both as individuals and as a society. As individuals, we can improve the accuracy of our understanding of the world by knowing who to trust and recognizing our limitations. And as a society, we can take important steps to reduce the quantity and effects of misinformation. (shrink)
The hypothesis that life’s rapid appearance on Earth justifies the belief that life is widespread in the universe has been investigated mathematically by Lineweaver and Davis (Astrobiol- ogy 2002;2:293–304). However, a rapid appearance could also be interpreted as evidence for a nonterrestrial origin. I attempt to quantify the relative probabilities for a non-indigenous ver- sus indigenous origin, on the assumption that biogenesis involves one or more highly im- probable steps, using a generalization of Carter’s well-known observer-selection argument. The analysis is (...) specifically applied to a Martian origin of life, with subsequent transfer to Earth within impact ejecta. My main result is that the relatively greater probability of a Mar- tian origin rises sharply as a function of the number of difficult steps involved in biogene- sis. The actual numerical factor depends on what is assumed about conditions on early Mars, but for a wide range of assumptions a Martian origin of life is decisively favored. By con- trast, an extrasolar origin seems unlikely using the same analysis. These results complement those of Lineweaver and Davis. Key Words: Origin of life—Mars—Probability theory— Carter—Transpermia. Astrobiology 3, 673–679. (shrink)
The author tries to find a neutral beginning point and to argue from there to a dualistic representationalism. His overall strategy is to argue that representationalism better fits scientific findings than any other position. The analysis is marred by two factors: alternative positions are handled quite unsympathetically, and some of his arguments for eliminating alternatives might be elaborated more fully, spelling out what is behind such arguments which makes them persuasive. Except for these factors, the treatment is commendable.—P. S.
An enlargement of a previous work by the author, this work is intended as a reference source for study in the theory of models of logical systems, and as a textbook; the latter aim is reached by including numerous problems, many of them of a high level of difficulty, at the end of each chapter. The sections deal with, respectively, the lower predicate calculus, the structure of algebraic theories, concepts from model theory, completeness of various systems, definability of concepts, generalizations (...) of algebraic concepts, the metamathematical theories of ideals and varieties, and various selected topics including non-standard analysis. Unfortunately, there are numerous misprints which mar an otherwise excellent presentation. Much of the material presented is new, or is presented in new form. Robinson's approach is mildly idiosyncratic and often at variance with more conventional presentations, and this may make for difficulty in relating it to these presentations. Nevertheless, for the reader with a working knowledge of algebra and no small perseverance, this book will be rewarding.—P. J. M. (shrink)
A. Bonnet, Qualification des espaces publics urbains par les rythmes de la marche : approche à travers la danse contemporaine – Directeur de thèse : Jean-Paul Thibaud, Université de Grenoble, Centre de recherche sur l'espace sonore et l'environnement urbain – 2013, 406 p., lll. en coul. Un dvd accompagne ce travail. Il contient les deux films Vertige et Abandon. L'esplanade de la BnF et Vertige, abandon, ascension et envol. La passerelle Simone de Beauvoir, qui sont des propositions de (...) - (...) Actualités. (shrink)
Patocka’s Heretical Essays were first published in Czechoslovakia in 1975. The essays display a unique phenomenological interpretation of Western history. In the first essay, Patocka explains his project as being based on a phenomenology of “work, production, action, and creation”. Following Heidegger’s phenomenology, Patocka accepts concealment of being and the distinction of ontic and ontological phenomena. However, Patocka departs from Heidegger by emphasizing the historical dependencies of being. Initially, people were natural. They worked to survive without using their ability to (...) problematize. The transition to historical being is marked by the conception of divine life. This life is not marred by work, pain, birth, and death. Human life is distinct from divine life though there is resemblance through the eternal character of the human community by means of generative continuity. This idea presupposes a questioning that puts humankind on the journey of history. (shrink)
Dans l’introduction de cet ouvrage collectif publié en mars 2003, Emmanuel Renault et Yves Sintomer exposent leur volonté de « rendre compte de l’actualité d’un projet [celui de la théorie critique] tout en mettant en perspective les débats ouverts par les œuvres d’Habermas et de Honneth » (p. 10). On peut dire qu’ils ont pleinement réalisé leur ambition : l’ouvrage qu’ils proposent ici est une synthèse très riche et très stimulante des derniers travaux en cours sur la théorie critique et (...) l’É.. (shrink)
Cet ouvrage est une publication collective issue de deux journées d'études organisées en mars 1995 par le CNRS et l'Institut Français de Recherche en Iran, sur la question des femmes iraniennes. L'idée de ce livre est née d'une réaction des chercheuses (nombreuses dans l'équipe « monde iranien » du CNRS) face au décalage entre les représentations dominantes véhiculées sur l'Iran et les comportements, pratiques et discours des femmes iraniennes d'aujourd'hui. Dans une courte préface, Da..
La parution de ce livre a coïncidé exactement avec les premières ordinations de femmes-prêtres dans l'Église d'Angleterre en mars 1994. L'événement et le livre ont produit un certain émoi dans la presse française et cela à juste titre car un événement trés important avait eu lieu en effet. La décision d'ordonner des femmes à la prêtrise prise par l'Église Mère de la Communion anglicane a eu - et continuera à avoir - des répercussions bien au delà de l'Église anglicane elle-même. (...) Mais d.. (shrink)
Ce livre est le premier en hongrois à s'intéresser au rôle des femmes dans les arts et la société avant la Deuxième Guerre mondiale. Il reprend les communications présentées lors du colloque « Rôle et Création » organisé par le Petöfi Museum of Literature à Budapest en mars 1996. Ce colloque rassemblait pour la première fois des spécialistes d'histoire et d'histoire de l'art travaillant sur les femmes (27 auteurs, dont 6 hommes). Dans sa première partie, l'ouvrage explore le rôle des (...) .. (shrink)
Although arguments for and against competing theories of vagueness often appeal to claims about the use of vague predicates by ordinary speakers, such claims are rarely tested. An exception is Bonini et al. (1999), who report empirical results on the use of vague predicates by Italian speakers, and take the results to count in favor of epistemicism. Yet several methodological difficulties mar their experiments; we outline these problems and devise revised experiments that do not show the same results. We then (...) describe three additional empirical studies that investigate further claims in the literature on vagueness: the hypothesis that speakers confuse ‘P’ with ‘definitely P’, the relative persuasiveness of different formulations of the inductive premise of the Sorites, and the interaction of vague predicates with three different forms of negation. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Astrobiology in societal context Constance Bertka; Part I. Origin of Life: 2. Emergence and the experimental pursuit of the origin of life Robert Hazen; 3. From Aristotle to Darwin, to Freeman Dyson: changing definitions of life viewed in historical context James Strick; 4. Philosophical aspects of the origin-of-life problem: the emergence of life and the nature of science Iris Fry; 5. The origin of terrestrial life: a Christian perspective Ernan McMullin; 6. The alpha and the (...) omega: reflections on the origin and future of life from the perspective of Christian theology and ethics Celia Deane-Drummond; Part II. Extent of Life: 7. A biologist's guide to the Solar System Lynn Rothschild; 8. The quest for habitable worlds and life beyond the Solar System Carl Pilcher; 9. A historical perspective on the extent and search for life Steven J. Dick; 10. The search for extraterrestrial life: epistemology, ethics, and worldviews Mark Lupisella; 11. The implications of discovering extraterrestrial life: different searches, different issues Margaret S. Race; 12. God, evolution, and astrobiology Cynthia S. W. Crysdale; Part III. Future of Life: 13. Planetary ecosynthesis on Mars: restoration ecology and environmental ethics Christopher P. McKay; 14. The trouble with intrinsic value: an ethical primer for astrobiology Kelly C. Smith; 15. God's preferential option for life: a Christian perspective on astrobiology Richard O. Randolph; 16. Comparing stories about the origin, extent, and future of life: an Asian religious perspective Francisca Cho; Index. (shrink)
Objective : Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) has been utilized by assisted reproductive technology (ART) to genetically screen embryos before placement in the uterus. However, many objections have been raised against the genetic screening of embryos, giving the practice an uncertain ethical, legal, and social status. Our aim was, therefore, to survey the possible presence and compliance to any legislation for PGD in the existing 60 in vitro fertilization (IVF) centres in the Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC) countries as well as the (...) availability of such a technological service. Methods : The study was performed in the department of biochemistry at King Faisal University between the periods Mar 2006 to Nov 2007. A questionnaire, in the form of a table, was sent to responsible persons of all 60 IVF centres and health authorities in the GCC countries. The collected data about the regulations and guidelines for the PGD program was analyzed using SPSS software package version 12.0 and the level of significance was set at P Results: 18 respondents, 16 IVF centres and 2 health authorities (26.87% of total) participated in the survey. The PGD techniques, mainly FISH analyses, were practiced in three centres in Saudi Arabia and one centre in the UAE. The major provider of PGD was King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Riyadh where more than 300 PGD tests had been performed. Whilst some regulations and guidelines have been introduced to IVF centres in all GCC countries, their implementations were left to the discretion of the treating centre. Conclusions : PGD services in the GCC countries were under-utilized due to the high cost of tests, the sophisticated technology involved and the poor returns of the investment. As a result of some deficiencies in the legislations which regulated PGD, the medical teams involved often faced difficulties on what rights to exercise in various PGD cases. (shrink)
In 1997 an international conference on Aristotle and modern science took place in Thessaloniki. Aristotle’s view of nature—his criticism of the atomists, on the one hand, and modern science, on the other—seem to be widely opposed, but in recent years science has changed so much that scientists resort to certain basic notions of Aristotle’s natural philosophy to underpin their theories and make material nature more intelligible. In a first paper Hilary Putnam argues against Victor Gaston that Aristotle’s theory of cognition (...) is a “ direct realism” and not as many say a theory based on representation. Perception and thinking are in direct contact with things and their properties. In a charming comparison Bas C. van Fraassen argues that both tragedy and science are subspecies of representation. As in poetry, in science the inexplicable is kept off stage. John P. Anton is confident that the revival of Aristotle’s model of science can provide a solution to the question of the unity of the various sciences. He levels a stinging attack at Putnam’s interpretation of Aristotle’s theory of cognition. Lambros Couloubaritsis voices amazement that in Physics IV Aristotle says nothing about the creative capacity of time, but believes that the notion of “appropriate time” will bring this out. James R. Brown argues that the main stream of science stemming from the seventeenth century is a fusion of the Platonic and mechanic traditions, but that in recent years Aristotle has made an impressive comeback. He examines to what extent the notion of potentiality may be in agreement with and help explain certain physical facts perceived by common sense observation, although it does no justice to quantum “ bizarreness”. He sees better help in the Platonic account of formal causality. Speaking about levels of reality Basarab Nicolescu believes that the universe is self-creating, showing an open structure. A flow of information traverses the various levels of reality. The notion of potency, we are told by Ephtichios Bitsakis, exercises quite some attraction on scientists. Indeed, Aristotle is a precursor of scientific realism, but his theories are marred by many inconsistencies: the Prime Mover, final causality, and entelechy contradict his dynamic view of nature and should be abandoned. In the transformation of massive particles into nonmassive ones the actual mass becomes potential. Thomas M. Olshewsky points out that Aristotle has a differentiated notion of prime matter and rejects absolute prime matter. Jagdish Hattiangadi suggests giving up the idea of substance. Demetra Sfendoni-Mentzou also tackles “the always actual question” of what matter is for Aristotle. Nowadays the idea of stable particles has disappeared and we have to deal with what is potentially real. (shrink)
Cet article a déjà paru dans la revue Projet n° 273, p. 35-42, en mars 2003. Il remet en question avec efficacité et élégance un certain nombre d'idées reçues, de clichés et de généralisations abusives concernant les évolutions contemporaines des régimes temporels. À lire absolument. L'individualisme contemporain serait-il la nouvelle maladie de nos sociétés, comme le laisse entendre le discours sur la crise du lien social ? Répondre à cette question suppose que l'on conçoive précisément ce que signifie (...) - (...) Sociologie – Nouvel article. (shrink)
This short book is a history of what might be called the Chicago school of pragmatist evolutionary ethics. It places John Dewey and Jane Addams in their late-nineteenth-century intellectual context, emphasizing in particular how they drew on the work of Herbert Spencer, Thomas Henry Huxley, and Peter Kropotkin. Eddy suggests in her introduction that because today’s “social climate” is similar in many respects to that of the United States circa 1900, pragmatism may offer “significant insights for our situation now” (p. (...) xi). Her overall thesis is that although the ethical approach of Dewey and Addams was sometimes marred by a commitment to “teleological progress” (p. 38), at its best it defended a “melioristic hope” (p. 119): we try to make the world better, but there are no guarantees. Although the book provides some helpful context for the ethical work of the Chicago pragmatists, Eddy does not convincingly show that Addams and Dewey ever saw progress as “teleological,” in the sense of inevitable movement toward a specific end. (shrink)
In the first premiss, how is the word 'different' used? If we are prepared to say that, in certain areas of discourse, the word 'different,' like the word 'same,' has two uses and that there are two senses of the word, there seem to be two ways of interpreting the first premiss. On the one hand, we can take the word 'different' to be used in the way in which it would be used if someone wished to point out that (...) the table that was in this room was replaced by another very similar table and, to point this out, said that the table that is here now is different from—or is a different table from—the one that was here a week ago. If in the first premiss we take the word 'different' to be used in this way, the premiss can be read: "Everything is numerically different from everything else." On the other hand, we can take the word 'different' to be used in the way in which it would be used if someone were to say, about two tables that were in front of him, that one is different from the other, and elaborate on his remark by saying that the one is a darker brown than the other. If we take the word 'different' to be used in this way, the first premiss can be read: "Everything is qualitatively different from everything else." Which of the two interpretations is correct? It seems that both are, for, although Mr. Blanshard purports to be discussing one argument, what he says in reply to Nagel's objections supports the second interpretation; whereas his statement of the argument at the outset supports the first interpretation. When he answers Nagel's objections, he considers the case of two "patches." A is a circular patch on the earth, and B a triangular patch on Mars. Maintaining against Nagel that A and B are internally related, the relation between A and B that he contends is internal is their difference in shape. And the argument that he seems to be defending here would have as its first premiss that everything differs qualitatively from every other thing. Yet, when he presents the argument on p. 229, he seems to have a different argument in mind. To show that two seemingly unrelated things are related, he says that a farmer in Iowa and a ballet dancer in Moscow are "different individuals," and the point that I take him to be making here is that, from the proposition that the farmer in Iowa and the dancer in Moscow are two individuals, it follows that the one is different from the other and hence that the two are related. This favors the first interpretation, viz., that in the first premiss the word 'different' is to be understood as in the remark that the table that is here now is different from—is a different table from—the table that was here a week ago. (shrink)
C. Bouriau et al., « Préface » dans L'espace et le temps. Approches en philosophie, mathématiques et physique, Paris, Kimé, 2011, 254 p. Paru dans la revue Philosophia Scientiæ n° 3/ 2011 (15-3), p. 9-16. Également accessible ici. Nous remercions Christophe Bouriau de nous avoir donné l'autorisation de reproduire ce texte sur RHUTHMOS. Ce volume fait suite à un colloque qui s'est tenu les 25 et 26 mars 2010 à la faculté des Sciences et Techniques de l'université Henri Poincaré de (...) Nancy. L'objectif (...) - Physique – Nouvel article. (shrink)
The Space Act of 1958 begins, “The Congress hereby declares that it is the policy of the United States that activities in space should be devoted to peaceful purposes for the benefit of all mankind.” In March 1982, a Defense Department official commented on the statute: “We interpret the right to use space for peaceful purposes to include military uses of space to promote peace in the world.”1 The absurdity of this willful misinterpretation amazed me on first reading, and months (...) later it readily came to mind when I was looking for an effective way to illustrate the politics of interpretation. With just the right touch of moral indignation, I offered my literary criticism class this example of militaristic ideology blatantly misreading an antimilitaristic text.“But … the Defense Department is right!” objected the first student to speak. Somewhat amused, I spent the next ten minutes trying, with decreasing amusement, to show this student that the Reagan administration’s reading was clearly, obviously, painfully wrong. I pointed to the text. I cited the traditional interpretation. I noted the class consensus, which supported me. All to no avail. It was at this point that I felt that “theoretical urge”: the overwhelming desire for a hermeneutic account to which I could appeal to prove my student wrong. What I wanted was a general theory of interpretation that could supply rules outlawing my student’s misreading.This little hermeneutic fable introduces the three topics of my essay. One topic is the theoretical moment that concludes the narrative; another is the simple plot, a brief rhetorical exchange; and finally there’s the institutional setting in which the exchange takes place. These three topics preoccupy the sections that follow. Section 1 analyzes the problems resulting from the theoretical urge, the impasse of contemporary critical theory. Section 2 proposes my solution to this impasse, a solution I call rhetorical hermeneutics, which leads in section 3 to a rhetorical version of institutional history. 1. “National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958,” United States Statutes at Large , vol. 72, pt. 1, sec. 102, p. 426; Robert Cooper, director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, quoted in Frank Greve, “Pentagon Research Retains Vision of ‘Winning’ N-war,” Miami Herald, 27 Mar. 1983, sec. D, p. 4. Steven Mailloux, associate professor of English at the University of Miami, is the author of Interpretive Conventions: the Reader in the Study of American Fiction. He is currently at work on a book tentatively entitled Rhetorical Power: Politics in American Literature, Criticism, and Theory. His previous contributions to Critical Inquiry are “Stanley Fish’s ‘Interpreting the Variorum’: Advance or Retreat?” and “Truth or Consequences: On Being Against Theory”. (shrink)
Cet article a déjà paru dans les Cahiers philosophiques, mars 2000, n° 82, p. 5-22, puis de nouveau dans un numéro hors-série consacré au « Plaisir », 2012, p. 7-21. Nous remercions les Cahiers et Bernard Sève de nous avoir autorisé à le reproduire ici. Le chapitre 4 de la Poétique indique, dès sa première phrase, que l'art poétique doit sa naissance « à deux causes, toutes deux naturelles ». La première cause est immédiatement précisée et analysée : il s'agit (...) de la tendance à l'imitation, présente - Poétique et Études littéraires – GALERIE – Nouvel article. (shrink)
Although arguments for and against competing theories of vagueness often appeal to claims about the use of vague predicates by ordinary speakers, such claims are rarely tested. An exception is Bonini et al. , who report empirical results on the use of vague predicates by Italian speakers, and take the results to count in favor of epistemicism. Yet several methodological difficulties mar their experiments; we outline these problems and devise revised experiments that do not show the same results. We then (...) describe three additional empirical studies that investigate further claims in the literature on vagueness: the hypothesis that speakers confuse ‘P’ with ‘definitely P’, the relative persuasiveness of different formulations of the inductive premise of the Sorites, and the interaction of vague predicates with three different forms of negation. (shrink)
It is fortunate for my purposes that English has the two words ‘almighty’ and ‘omnipotent’, and that apart from any stipulation by me the words have rather different associations and suggestions. ‘Almighty’ is the familiar word that comes in the creeds of the Church; ‘omnipotent’ is at home rather in formal theological discussions and controversies, e.g. about miracles and about the problem of evil. ‘Almighty’ derives by way of Latin ‘omnipotens’ from the Greek word ‘ pantokratōr ’; and both this (...) Greek word, like the more classical ‘ pankratēs ’, and ‘almighty’ itself suggest God's having power over all things. On the other hand the English word ‘omnipotent’ would ordinarily be taken to imply ability to do everything; the Latin word ‘omnipotens’ also predominantly has this meaning in Scholastic writers, even though in origin it is a Latinization of ‘ pantocratōr ’. So there already is a tendency to distinguish the two words; and in this paper I shall make the distinction a strict one. I shall use the word ‘almighty’ to express God's power over all things, and I shall take ‘omnipotence’ to mean ability to do everything. (shrink)
Theism, according to David O'Connor, has in recent centuries been on trial for its life, the charge being that the existence of so much evil in the world is incompatible with belief in a benevolent creator. But this trial, he claims is incapable of producing a reasoned verdict.
My topic is personal identity, or rather, our identity. There is general, but not, of course, unanimous, agreement that it is wrong to give an account of what is involved in, and essential to, our persistence over time which requires the existence of immaterial entities, but, it seems to me, there is no consensus about how, within, what might be called this naturalistic framework, we should best procede. This lack of consensus, no doubt, reflects the difficulty, which must strike anyone (...) who has considered the issue, of achieving, just in one's own thinking, a reflective equilibrium. The theory of personal identity, I feel, provides a curious contrast. On the one side, it seems highly important to know what sort of thing we are, but, on the other, it is hard to find any answer which has a ‘solid’ feel. (shrink)