These essays engage Jin Y. Park’s recent translation of the work of Kim Iryŏp, a Buddhist nun and public intellectual in early twentieth-century Korea. Park’s translation of Iryŏp’s Reflections of a Zen Buddhist Nun was the subject of two book panels at recent conferences: the first a plenary session at the annual meeting of the Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy and the second at the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association on a group program session sponsored by the (...) International Society for Buddhist Philosophy. This exchange also includes a response from Park. (shrink)
The Weyl theory of gravitation and electromagnetism, as modified by Dirac, contains a gauge-covariant scalar β which has no geometric significance. This is a flaw if one is looking for a geometric description of gravitation and electromagnetism. A bimetric formalism is therefore introduced which enables one to replace β by a geometric quantity. The formalism can be simplified by the use of a gauge-invariant physical metric. The resulting theory agrees with the general relativity for phenomena in the solar system.
A spherically symmetric entity with the Weyl-Dirac geometry holding in its interior is investigated. The structure is determined by the presence of the Dirac gauge function, which creates a mass density. Two models are obtained, one that can describe a cosmic body, the other an elementary particle.
Functional human brain mapping is commonly performed during invasive monitoring with intracranial electroencephalographic electrodes prior to resective surgery for drug resistant epilepsy. The current gold standard, electrocortical stimulation mapping, is time consuming, sometimes elicits pain, and often induces after discharges or seizures. Moreover, there is a risk of overestimating eloquent areas due to propagation of the effects of stimulation to a broader network of language cortex. Passive iEEG spatial-temporal functional mapping has recently emerged as a potential alternative to ESM. However, (...) investigators have observed less correspondence between STFM and ESM maps of language than between their maps of motor function. We hypothesized that incongruities between ESM and STFM of language function may arise due to propagation of the effects of ESM to cortical areas having strong effective connectivity with the site of stimulation. We evaluated five patients who underwent invasive monitoring for seizure localization, whose language areas were identified using ESM. All patients performed a battery of language tasks during passive iEEG recordings. To estimate the effective connectivity of stimulation sites with a broader network of task-activated cortical sites, we measured cortico-cortical evoked potentials elicited across all recording sites by single-pulse electrical stimulation at sites where ESM was performed at other times. With the combination of high gamma power as well as CCEPs results, we trained a logistic regression model to predict ESM results at individual electrode pairs. The average accuracy of the classifier using both STFM and CCEPs results combined was 87.7%, significantly higher than the one using STFM alone, indicating that the correspondence between STFM and ESM results is greater when effective connectivity between ESM stimulation sites and task-activated sites is taken into consideration. These findings, though based on a small number of subjects to date, provide preliminary support for the hypothesis that incongruities between ESM and STFM may arise in part from propagation of stimulation effects to a broader network of cortical language sites activated by language tasks, and suggest that more studies, with larger numbers of patients, are needed to understand the utility of both mapping techniques in clinical practice. (shrink)
Elementary particles, regarded as the constituents of quarks and leptons, are described classically in the framework of the general relativity theory. There are neutral particles and particles having charges±1/3e. They are taken to be spherically symmetric and to have mass density, pressure, and (if charged) charge density. They are characterized by an equation of state P=−ρ suggested by earlier work on cosmology. The neutral particle has a very simple structure. In the case of the charged particle there is one outstanding (...) model described by a simple analytic solution of the field equations. (shrink)
It is suggested that the dark matter of the universe is due to the presence of a scalar field described by the gauge function introduced by Dirac in his modification of the Weyl geometry. The behavior of such dark matter is investigated.
Einstein's approach to unified field theories based on the geometry of distant parallelism is discussed. The simplest theory of this type, describing gravitation and electromagnetism, is investigated. It is found that there is a charge-current density vector associated with the geometry. However, in the static spherically symmetric case no singularity-free solutions for this vector exist.
It is shown that all spherically symmetric distributions of prematter in the framework of general relativity are static. These results provide a justification for the models of elementary particles proposed previously.
In this comprehensive collection of essays, most of which appear for the first time, eminent scholars from many disciplines—philosophy, economics, sociology, political science, demography, theology, history, and social psychology—examine the causes, nature, and consequences of present-day consumption patterns in the United States and throughout the world.
Two things have been striking in the US response to the COVID-19 pandemic: the chaos, incompetence, irrationality, and often cruel misguidedness of the centralized government response; and the rationality, care, and effectiveness of grassroots measures in many parts of the country. In this paper we focus on the latter—especially the case of Washington, DC—to illustrate core features of anarchist politics. We do not argue for the correctness of any version of anarchist politics here, but merely illustrate guiding ideas that have (...) been a part of anarchist theory and practice for well over a century. We also do not claim that the bulk of this grassroots work was done with anarchist ideas in mind, or explicitly out of a... (shrink)
The concept of a proposition is important in several areas of philosophy and central to the philosophy of language. This collection of readings investigates many different philosophical issues concerning the nature of propositions and the ways they have been regarded through the years. Reflecting both the history of the topic and the range of contemporary views, the book includes articles from Bertrand Russell, Gottlob Frege, the Russell-Frege Correspondence, Alonzo Church, David Kaplan, John Perry, Saul Kripke, Hilary Putnam, Mark Richard, (...) Scott Soames, and Nathan Salmon. (shrink)
For forty years, Harvey Mansfield has been worth reading. Whether plumbing the depths of MachiavelliOs Discourses or explaining what was at stake in Bill ClintonOs impeachment, MansfieldOs work in political philosophy and political science has set the standard. In Educating the Prince, twenty-one of his students, themselves distinguished scholars, try to live up to that standard. Their essays offer penetrating analyses of Machiavellianism, liberalism, and America., all of them informed by MansfieldOs own work. The volume also includes a bibliography of (...) MansfieldOs writings. (shrink)
Tuberculosis is a globally widespread disease, with approximately a quarter of the world’s population currently infected. Some risk factors, such as HIV status, nutrition and body mass index, have already been thoroughly investigated. However, little attention has been given to behavioural and/or psychological risk factors such as stress and education level. This study investigated the risk factors for TB diagnosis by statistical analyses of publicly available data from the most recent wave of the Indonesian Family Life survey conducted in 2015. (...) Out of 34,249 respondents there were 328 who reported having TB. For comparison and completeness, variables were divided into levels: individual-, household- and community-level variables. The most prominent and interesting variables found to influence TB diagnosis status were investigated, and a logistic regression was subsequently developed to understand the extent to which each risk factor acts as a predictor for being diagnosed with TB. Age, health benefit or insurance, stress at work and living in a rural area all showed significant association with TB diagnosis status. This study’s findings suggest that suitable control measures, such as schemes for improving mental health/stress reduction and improved access to health care in rural areas should be implemented in Indonesia to address each of the key factors identified. (shrink)
This collection of essays, offered in honor of the distinguished career of prominent political philosophy professor Clifford Orwin, brings together internationally renowned scholars to provide a wide context and discuss various aspects of the virtue of “humanity” through the history of political philosophy.
This collection of essays, offered in honor of the distinguished career of prominent political philosophy professor Clifford Orwin, brings together internationally renowned scholars to provide a wide context and discuss various aspects of the virtue of “humanity” through the history of political philosophy.
Charles Babbage's Reflections on the Decline of Science in England … is very well known to historians of science who are aware of its role in the movement to found the British Association for the Advancement of Science and to reform the Royal Society. The work is probably responsible, in large measure, for the assumption that science in Great Britain was in a marked decline in the early decades of the last century, an assumption rarely subject to exact analysis although (...) fairly widely held. Not as widely known is a reply to Babbage written by Gerard Moll of Utrecht and presented to the English reading public by Faraday, one of the men attacked in Babbage's volume. To the best of my knowledge, Babbage's only published rejoinder to Moll appeared in 1851, dismissing Moll and other critics as not having challenged his facts. (shrink)
This paper seeks to present in detail Silvia Federici's considerations about neoliberalism, having as a center of discussion the way in which the body, reproduction and daily life are mobilized by the author. In this perspective, a materialistic condition of the way of becoming possible of individuals will be presented to the extent that we are fundamentally bodies whose connection to social totality is mediated by rooting in the situated particularity of daily life. Therefore, also dialoguing with other authors such (...) as Simone de Beauvoir, Rosa Luxemburgo and Henri Lefebvre, it is a question of presenting the development of a perspective that places the daily reproduction of life as a central productive force for the social being and, sedimented as habits in the body, produces and reproduces ways of being, the basis from which considerations about neoliberal logic will be understood, and thus, the importance of Federici’s feminist critical approach to the capitalist mode of production will be marked. (shrink)
In this paper, I consider a novel challenge to John Martin Fischer and Mark Ravizza’s reasons-responsiveness theory of moral responsibility. According to their view, agents possess the control necessary for moral responsibility if their actions proceed from a mechanism that is moderately reasons-responsive. I argue that their account of moderate reasons-responsiveness fails to provide necessary and sufficient conditions for moral responsibility since it cannot give an adequate account of the responsibility of individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Empirical evidence suggests (...) that autistic individuals demonstrate impairments in counterfactual thinking, and these impairments, I argue, are such that they cast doubt on Fischer and Ravizza’s construal of moderate reasons-responsiveness. I then argue that modifying the view in order to accommodate individuals with ASD forces them to defend a strong reasons-responsive account despite the fact that they explicitly deny that such an account can adequately characterize what it is to be morally responsible for one’s actions. (shrink)
I propose and defend a novel view called “de se consequentialism,” which is noteworthy for two reasons. First, it demonstrates—contra Doug Portmore, Mark Schroeder, Campbell Brown, and Michael Smith, among others—that agent-neutral consequentialism is consistent with agent-centered constraints. Second, it clarifies the nature of agent-centered constraints, thereby meriting attention from even dedicated nonconsequentialists. Scrutiny reveals that moral theories in general, whether consequentialist or not, incorporate constraints by assessing states in a first-personal guise. Consequently, de se consequentialism enacts constraints through (...) the very same feature that nonconsequentialist theories do. (shrink)
The contemporary moment in rhetoric studies is complex, marked by a number of powerful currents pulling scholarship in new directions. One of those currents is the deepening engagement with science and technology studies through rhetorical investigations of medicine, environmental policy, and science. Another is the increasing experimentation with qualitative methodologies, often called “rhetorical ethnography.” A third is the rapidly developing encounter with interwoven philosophies of speculative realism, object-oriented ontology, and new materialism. If you are interested in any of these, you (...) should absolutely read Scott Graham’s The Politics of Pain Medicine. The title is overly... (shrink)
I very much appreciate Daniel Nathan’s thoughtful commentary on Aesthe- tic Creation. He describes my view accurately, with a full understanding of what is moving me, and with some sympathy for my methodological concerns, even if he thinks that I over emphasize some desiderata and even if he cannot endorse the particular aesthetic theory that I argue emerges from the methodological reflections. He makes a number of interesting criticisms. (A) Nathan worries about doodles being classified as art according (...) the aesthetic creation theory. Nathan says that this violates certain intuitions about the nature of art. I query this appeal to intuition. Whose concepts? Which intuitions? Why do such intuitions have evidential weight? We have intuitions abut the physical world: that the earth is flat not round. More to the point we have intuitions about kinds. For example, it is intuitive that a whale is a fish. But such intuitions may be mistaken. Similarly with intuitions about what is art and what is not art. With intuitions I say at least that there is, or should be, a question mark standing over them. We are interested in the world, not in our concepts or intuitions. The question is: what are these things? And the question about concepts is: which do we need to understand the things? Which concepts should we have? Not: which do we have? As Nathan notes, for me, explanation trumps extension if there is a conflict. Or perhaps rather, for me, extension is subsumed under explanation. It is true that there are avant garde works that I exclude that other theories include. And there also are doodles that I include and they exclude. The question is where we go from there. (B) Nathan worries about the success condition. I required that to some extent artists are right about aesthetic/nonaesthetic dependencies. Actually, I would not kill for the success condition. Perhaps aesthetic intent is enough1. A person might form an aesthetic intention but never get round to acting on it, in which case we do not have a work of art.. (shrink)
In an epoch marked by the threat of global warming, the conflicts between science and religion are no longer simply matters that concern only intellectual elites and armchair philosophers; they are in many ways matters that will determine the degree to which we can meet the challenges of our times. John H. Evans's Morals Not Knowledge represents an important provocation for those committed not only to using scientific method as a resource for making moral judgments but also to creating political (...) alliances with religious constituencies. In this important work, Evans argues that most conflicts between science and religion do not concern a clash between two contradictory ways of knowing, but rather a clash over our moral responsibilities and ultimate values. In my response to his work, I suggest that integrating both John Dewey's pragmatic understanding of the moral situation and Kenneth Burke's rhetorical interpretation of motives helps bolster Evans's cause and provides support for a political movement that aims to bridge the divide between science and religion in the epoch of the Anthropocene. (shrink)
Beginning ca. 500 bc, the Athenians annually buried their war dead in a public cemetery and marked their graves with casualty lists. This article explores the formal and expressive content of the lists, focusing in particular on their relationship to defeat. The lists created a monumental, visual rhetoric of collective resilience and strength that capitalized on Athenian notions of manhood and exploited conceptions of shame. For most of the fifth century, the casualty lists were undecorated, austere monuments testifying to the (...) endurance of the community. When decoration began anew, the public reliefs, in contrast to private funerary reliefs, represented, through imagery and setting, struggle rather than victory. The selective remembrance and, paradoxically, frequent forgetting both enacted and enabled by the lists helped the Athenians elide internal political strife and facilitated their repeated return to the fields of war. (shrink)
Most research on mind-wandering has characterized it as a mental state with contents that are task unrelated or stimulus independent. However, the dynamics of mind-wandering—how mental states change over time—have remained largely neglected. Here, we introduce a dynamic framework for understanding mind-wandering and its relationship to the recruitment of large-scale brain networks. We propose that mind-wandering is best understood as a member of a family of spontaneous-thought phenomena that also includes creative thought and dreaming. This dynamic framework can shed new (...) light on mental disorders that are marked by alterations in spontaneous thought, including depression, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. (shrink)
On 26 April 1883, two days after the divorce from his first wife, Harriet Melusina Fay, was finalized, Charles Peirce married Juliette Pourtalai, a woman of unknown, or at least of unspoken, origin.1 This marked the most consequential juncture of Peirce's life for it triggered a turn of events which led to his dismissal from Johns Hopkins University and his separation from the U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey2 and it precipitated his exclusion from influential social circles he had belonged to (...) and even to some extent from his own family. Four years after their marriage, Charles and Juliette abandoned urban living and retreated to Milford, Pennsylvania, a village in the Upper Delaware River Valley between... (shrink)
Questions central to the ontology of art include the following: what sort of things are works of art? Do all works of art belong to any one basic ontological category? Do all or only some works have multiple instances? Do works have parts or constituents, and if so, what is their relation to the work as a whole? How are particular works of art individuated? Are they created or discovered? Can they be destroyed? Explicit and extensive treatments of these topics (...) written prior to the 19th century have yet to be found. This does not mean, however, that there is nothing relevant to these ontological questions in early writings on beauty, the arts, and related matters. For example, Aristotle's claims about the functions and elements of tragedy can be mined for ideas about the nature of literary works more generally. And what can be made of the hint, in Metaphysics Eta, 6, that the unity of The Iliad is a matter of a set of words made “one” by being connected together? Rather than attempting to make conjectures about such difficult exegetical topics, this entry focuses primarily on contributions made by authors who explicitly address themselves at length to some of the aforementioned questions pertaining to the ontology of works of art, either in general or with reference to such major art forms as music, literature, painting, architecture, and sculpture. One further note about the scope of this entry is in order. Instructive surveys of the subfield of aesthetics known as the ontology of art are fairly plentiful; see Nicholas Wolterstorff, Gregory Currie, Joseph Margolis, Stephen Davies, Amie Thomasson, Guy Rohrbaugh, Theodore Gracyk, Robert Stecker, and Carl Matheson and Ben Caplan. Surveys of the history of the field have not, however, been forthcoming, and the comments on this topic that crop up in the literature are sketchy and sometimes quite misleading. One shortcoming has been a marked tendency to focus on contributions from the last two decades of the 20th century, the one salient exception being due attention paid to works by Roman Ingarden. The present entry has been designed with this shortcoming in mind. A schematic mapping of questions and positions is provided and reference is made to neglected, earlier contributions to the ontology of art. (shrink)
Individual differences in ethical ideology are believed to play a key role in ethical decision making. Forsyths (1980) Ethics Position Questionnaire (EPQ) is designed to measure ethical ideology along two dimensions, relativism and idealism. This study extends the work of Forsyth by examining the construct validity of the EPQ. Confirmatory factor analyses conducted with independent samples indicated three factors – idealism, relativism, and veracity – account for the relationships among EPQ items. In order to provide further evidence of the instruments (...) nomological and convergent validity, correlations among the EPQ subscales, dogmatism, empathy, and individual differences in the use of moral rationales were examined. The relationship between EPQ measures of idealism and moral judgments demonstrated modest predictive validity, but the appreciably weaker influence of relativism and the emergence of a veracity factor raise questions about the utility of the EPQ typology. (shrink)
Although much has been written about the so-called political, ethical and religious turns in the thinking of Jacques Derrida, few have noticed that his late writings were marked by what we could tentatively call a “zoological turn.” This is surprising given that in The Animal That Therefore I Am Derrida clearly stated that the question as to what distinguishes the human from the animal has for him always been the most important question of philosophy. This essay will attempt to offer (...) a preliminary exploration of this still largely uncharted aspect of Derrida’s thought. Starting from a brief overview of Derrida’s most important writings on the question of the animal, it will be argued that his decision to write an entire book on this issue was largely motivated by his eagerness to settle a discussion with one of his pupils, the French theorist of technology Bernard Stiegler. (shrink)
We are addressing this letter to the editors of Philosophical Psychology after reading an article they decided to publish in the recent vol. 33, issue 1. The article is by Nathan Cofnas and is entitled “Research on group differences in intelligence: A defense of free inquiry” (2020). The purpose of our letter is not to invite Cofnas’s contribution into a broader dialogue, but to respectfully voice our concerns about the decision to publish the manuscript, which, in our opinion, fails (...) to meet a range of academic quality standards usually expected of academic publications. (shrink)
As the family is one of the few structures that survives from ancient times to the present and looks set to continue for quite some time to come, it attracts the attention of every new generation of sociologists, historians and economists alike. From Engels to Herlihy, Goody and Moxnes, the family has been held responsible for the development of private property, for forms of social organisation and the oppression of women. Those interested in the period of late antiquity ask a (...) key question: what happened to the family when polytheist views of the immortal gods were gradually replaced by a belief in Christianity? Was the family changed, and in what ways, by what is often perceived as a fundamental shift in religious understanding? Or did the development of Christian institutions merely confirm tendencies, which may be observed in the late Roman period? In his book Geoffrey S. Nathan brings theories of the family to bear on this complex problem. The introduction surveys the traditional understanding of what makes a family, as well as more recent models, setting the scene for two traditions, of which the more enduring one is not Christian. With a structure of well-planned chapters, on marriage and alternatives to marriage, children, slaves and extended family, each marked by sensible headings and conclusions, this should be a most informative presentation. But it fails to convince. (shrink)
1. The ideal of spatio-temporally unrestricted generalisation, which marks all post-mythological thinking about nature, marks no more than the continuity of totemism in political casuistry. No unrestricted principle of Socialism or Conservatism or Liberal Democracy is defensible unless it is accorded a moral ultimacy which almost no one fully conscious of what he was about would actually want to accord it. If this bare platitude is to be fully assimilated, it needs both concrete exemplification and support of the systematic kind. (...) Liberal principles are well provided for in these respects: J. F. Stephen showed in brilliant detail that, from a utilitarian point of view, the question whether liberty even in advanced societies is irrespective of time and place a good or a bad thing is an irrational question—”as irrational as the question whether fire is a good or a bad thing.” But demonstrations and illustrations of the restricted nature of our other popular political principles are not so easily come by, and the critical survey of standard prodemocratic arguments, which makes up Part III of this paper, is meant to supply a part of the deficiency. (shrink)
The Importance of Time is a unique work that reveals the central role of the philosophy of time in major areas of philosophy. The first part of the book consists of symposia on two of the most important works in the philosophy of time over the past decade: Michael Tooley's Time, Tense, and Causation and D.H. Mellor's Real Time II. What characterizes these essays, and those that follow, are the interchanges between original papers, with original responses to them by commentators. (...) The wide range of interrelated topics covered in this book is one of its most distinctive features. The book is divided into six parts: I. Book Symposia, II. Temporal Becoming, III. The Phenomenology of Time, IV. God, Time and Foreknowledge, V. Time and Physical Objects, and VI. Time and Causation, and contains 24 essays by leading philosophers in the various areas: Laurie Paul, Quentin Smith, L. Nathan Oaklander, Hugh Mellor, John Perry, William Lane Craig, Brian Leftow, Ned Markosian, Ronald C. Hoy, Michael Tooley, Storrs McCall, David Hunt, Mark Hinchliff, Robin Le Poidevin, Iain Martel and Eric M. Rubenstein. (shrink)
I argue that John Dewey’s analysis of imagination enables an account of learning from imaginary cases consistent with Jonathan Dancy’s moral particularism. Moreover, this account provides a more robust account of learning from cases than Dancy’s own. Particularism is the position that there are no, or at most few, true moral principles, and that competent reasoning and judgment do not require them. On a particularist framework, one cannot infer from an imaginary case that because a feature has a particular moral (...) importance there, that it must have that import in an actual case. Instead, for Dancy, cases can yield “reminders,” and a person with a lot of experience (real or imagined) brings a “checklist” of features that can matter to a situation. Using the Nathan-David exchange from 2 Samuel and Martha Nussbaum’s “Steerforth’s Arm” from Love’s Knowledge, I show that this account does not explain all instances of learning from cases. Drawing on recent work on cases, I argue that cases can be educative by serving an exploratory function, probing what one takes to be known and provoking change in the background one uses in evaluating a situation. I then argue that Dewey’s work on imagination in his comments on sympathy and in A Common Faith and Art as Experience enables such a role for cases on a particularist framework. Mark Johnson’s recent work on metaphor further illuminates how Dewey’s account of art can be exploratory. I contend that this account affords an exploratory role for cases consistent with Dancy’s particularism. (shrink)
This experiment examined the effects of three elements comprising Jones' (1991) moral intensity construct, (social consensus, personal proximity, and magnitude of consequences) in a cross-cultural comparison of ethical decision making within a human resource management (HRM) context. Results indicated social consensus had the most potent effect on judgments of moral concern and judgments of immorality. An analysis of American, Eastern European, and Indonesian responses also indicted socio-cultural differences were moderated by the type of HRM ethical issue. In addition, individual differences (...) in personal ethical ideology (relativism and idealism) varied reliably with moral judgments after controlling for issue characteristics and socio-cultural background. (shrink)
Hubert L. Dreyfus's engagement with other thinkers has always been driven by his desire to understand certain basic questions about ourselves and our world. The philosophers on whom his teaching and research have focused are those whose work seems to him to make a difference to the world. The essays in this volume reflect this desire to "make a difference"--not just in the world of academic philosophy, but in the broader world.Dreyfus has helped to create a culture of reflection--of questioning (...) the deep premises that inform and shape work in artificial intelligence and cognitive science. He has also been the primary introducer and interpreter of Martin Heidegger's work to the world of information technology. The essays in this volume represent the fruitful application of deep philosophical analysis to the concerns of our modern technological world.The sections are Coping and Intentionality; Computers and Cognitive Science; and "Applied Heidegger." In addition to cognitive science and artificial intelligence, topics include everyday skills, religion, business practices, and medical care. The book concludes with Dreyfus's responses to the essays.Contributors : Daniel Andler, Patricia Benner, Albert Borgmann, Harry Collins, George Downing, Fernando Flores, Sean Kelly, Joseph Rouse, Theodore R. Schatzki, John Searle, Robert C. Solomon, Charles Spinosa, David Stern, Charles Taylor, Terry Winograd, Mark Wrathall. (shrink)
This Review Essay examines Mark Freeman’s thoughtful book, Necessary Evils: Amnesties and the Search for Justice. One of the book’s core arguments is that amnesties from criminal prosecution, however unpalatable to liberal legalist sensibilities, should not be entirely purged from the toolbox of post-conflict transitions. Although advancing this argument, Freeman also struggles with it, and ultimately builds a very restrained and heavily technocratic defense of the amnesty. This Review Essay weighs this argument, among others, on its own terms and (...) also within the context of recent events that post-date the book’s publication. The result is a vibrant exposition of the limits of law, and the limits of politics, in transcending episodes of massive human rights violations. (shrink)
S. Kierkegaard argued that our highest task as humans is to realize an “intensified” or “developed” form of subjectivity—his name for self-responsible agency. A self-responsible agent is not only responsible for her actions. She also bears responsibility for the individual that she is. In this paper, I review Kierkegaard’s account of the role that our capacity for reflective self-evaluation plays in making us responsible for ourselves. It is in the exercise of this capacity that we can go from being subjective (...) in a degraded sense—merely being an idiosyncratic jumble of accidental and arbitrary attitudes and affects—to being a subject in the ideal or eminent sense. The latter requires the exercise of my capacity for reflective self-evaluation, since it involves recognizing, identifying with, and reinforcing those aspects of my overall make-up that allow me to express successfully a coherent way of being in the world. Kierkegaard argues that taking immortality seriously is one way to achieve the right kind of reflective stance on one’s own character or personality. Thus, Kierkegaard argues that immortality as a theoretical posit can contribute to one’s effort to own or assume responsibility for being the person one is. (shrink)
This paper describes and defends the view that minimal chemical life essentially involves the chemical integration of three chemical functionalities: containment, metabolism, and program (Rasmussen et al. in Protocells: bridging nonliving and living matter, 2009a ). This view is illustrated and explained with the help of CMP and Rasmussen diagrams (Rasmussen et al. In: Rasmussen et al. (eds.) in Protocells: bridging nonliving and living matter, 71–100, 2009b ), both of which represent the key chemical functional dependencies among containment, metabolism, and (...) program. The CMP model of minimal chemical life gains some support from the broad view of life as open-ended evolution, which I have defended elsewhere (Bedau in The philosophy of artificial life, 1996 ; Bedau in Artificial Life, 4:125–140, 1998 ). Further support comes from the natural way the CMP model resolves the puzzle about whether life is a matter of degree. (shrink)
An innocent form of emergence—what I call "weak emergence"—is now a commonplace in a thriving interdisciplinary nexus of scientific activity—sometimes called the "sciences of complexity"—that include connectionist modelling, non-linear dynamics (popularly known as "chaos" theory), and artificial life.1 After defining it, illustrating it in two contexts, and reviewing the available evidence, I conclude that the scientific and philosophical prospects for weak emergence are bright.