Facing the possibility of a surge of COVID-19-infected patients requiring ventilatory support in Intensive Care Units, the Singapore Hospice Council and the Chapter of Palliative Medicine Physicians forward its position on the guiding principles that ought to drive the allocation of ICU beds and its role in care of these patients and their families.
The role of Chan Buddhism for mind therapy is distinguished from psychotherapy by the objectives in diminishing or removing the deluded perceived self and the psychological self of attachments and cravings, which are considered as the more basic origins for psychological suffering and problems. The Buddhist concepts of impermanence, no-self and emptiness are discussed to explain the Buddhist explanation for human suffering. A four-stage theory is described to explain the common Buddhist meditation experience toward the realization of no-self. Removing (...) psychological attachment is found to be of explanatory value for many enlightenment episodes of Chan masters. Meditation concentration and reduction of self-attachment will mutually reinforce each other toward a complete therapy of the mind. An innovative approach for psychotherapy in going further to tackle a person's basic life attachments is suggested. (shrink)
Comparative study of religions and philosophies, in spite of its significance and urgency, has been neither fully appreciated nor developed in the study of religion or philosophy. Comparative study, historically speaking, is still young and complex in its approach. Religious Studies as an intellectual discipline has traditionally concentrated on the investigation of a single tradition, enabling a student to become an ‘expert’ in that particular tradition. The world in which we live, however, no longer allows us to be content with (...) the idea, the value, the way of thinking in our own tradition alone. In short, we no longer live in a ‘provincial’ age but in a ‘global’ age. (shrink)
For many people attracted to Eastern religions (particularly Zen Buddhism), Asia seems the source of all wisdom. As Bernard Faure examines the study of Chan/Zen from the standpoint of postmodern human sciences and literary criticism, he challenges this inversion of traditional "Orientalist" discourse: whether the Other is caricatured or idealized, ethnocentric premises marginalize important parts of Chan thought. Questioning the assumptions of "Easterners" as well, including those of the charismatic D. T. Suzuki, Faure demonstrates how both West and (...) East have come to overlook significant components of a complex and elusive tradition. Throughout the book Faure reveals surprising hidden agendas in the modern enterprise of Chan studies and in Chan itself. After describing how Jesuit missionaries brought Chan to the West, he shows how the prejudices they engendered were influenced by the sectarian constraints of Sino-Japanese discourse. He then assesses structural, hermeneutical, and performative ways of looking at Chan, analyzes the relationship of Chan and local religion, and discusses Chan concepts of temporality, language, writing, and the self. Read alone or with its companion volume, The Rhetoric of Immediacy, this work offers a critical introduction not only to Chinese and Japanese Buddhism but also to "theory" in the human sciences. (shrink)
In Atheism: A Philosophical Justification, Michael Martin argues that to posit a God that is both omnipotent and omniscient is philosophically incoherent. I challenge this argument by proposing that a God who is necessarily omniscient is more powerful than a God who is contingently omniscient. I then argue that being omnipotent entails being omniscient by showing that for an all-powerful being to be all-powerful in any meaningful way, it must possess complete knowledge about all states of affairs and thus must (...) be understood to be omniscient. (shrink)
In this paper, we describe four broad ‘meta-methods’ employed in scientific and philosophical research of qualia. These are the theory-centred metamethod, the property-centred meta-method, the argument-centred meta-method, and the event-centred meta-method. Broadly speaking, the theory-centred meta-method is interested in the role of qualia as some theoretical entities picked out by our folk psychological theories; the property-centred meta-method is interested in some metaphysical properties of qualia that we immediately observe through introspection ; the argument-centred meta-method is interested in the role of (...) qualia in some arguments for non-physicalism; the event-centred metamethod is interested in the role of qualia as some natural events whose nature is hidden and must be uncovered empirically. We will argue that the event-centred metamethod is the most promising route to a comprehensive scientific conception of qualia because of the flexibility of ontological and methodological assumptions it can provide. We also reveal the hidden influences of the different meta-methods and in doing so show why consideration of meta-methods has value for the study of consciousness. (shrink)
People make significant decisions in contexts of risk and uncertainty. Some of these decisions seem wise under the circumstances, and others seem like irrational choices. In both cases, people offer reasons as clarifications and explanations of these choices to others and to themselves. Argument analysis, a technique well known in philosophy and more generally in the humanities, can explicate the strands of assumptions, intermediate conclusions, data, warrants, and claims that the person articulates. But alone, argument analysis often falls short of (...) revealing why the person’s decision makes sense to that person. Thefindings of empirical research into the influences of cognitive heuristics, the mental shortcuts we all use in decision making and problem solving, adds focus to the analysis of these choices. This paper links these two powerful analytic strategies, and provides a much fuller, more fruitful picture of explanations for seemingly irrational choices. Using an example explanation for deciding not to quit smoking, the paper makes both its methodological argument and its implicit argument for the significance of extending this analytical strategy to applied contexts. The implications of extending this analysis of everyday argument to management, health care, and education could be profound. (shrink)
Este artículo analiza la estructura genérica y los fundamentos de la Lacedaimonion Politeia de Jenofonte. La Lac. ha sido frecuentemente considerada como un elogio o defensa de Esparta. Sin embargo, su retórica y estructura narrativa tienen poca similitud con prácticas contemporáneas para la composición de encomios o defensas. Aun cuando esto no impide un motivo elogioso o defensivo, examinar el tipo de retórica y los patrones narrativos de Jenofonte revela distintas afiliaciones genéricas, mostrando que la Lac., al igual que muchos (...) otros escritos de Jenofonte, es un trabajo híbrido con características de la literatura de politeiai y de la investigación filosófica. En efecto, una cuidadosa pesquisa, en particular, de la manera en que Jenofonte utiliza interlocutores imaginarios sugiere que el encomio no puede haber sido el objetivo de este tratado. (shrink)
The Humility Thesis is a persistent thesis in contemporary metaphysics. It is known by a variety of names, including, but not limited to, Humility, Intrinsic Humility, Kantian Humility, Kantian Physicalism, Intrinsic Ignorance, Categorical Ignorance, Irremediable Ignorance, and Noumenalism. According to the thesis, we human beings, and any knowers that share our general ways of knowing, are irremediably ignorant of a certain class of properties that are intrinsic to material entities … Continue reading Humility Regarding Intrinsic Properties →.
Two groups of scientists have just announced what is being described as a leap forward in human stem cell research.1–3 Both have found ways of producing what are being called “induced pluripotent cells” , stem cells that they hope will demonstrate the same key properties of regeneration and unrestricted differentiation that human embryonic stem cells possess, but which are derived from skin cells not from embryos. In simple terms, these scientists have succeeded in reprogramming skin cells to behave like hESCs.Stem (...) cell research has been hailed as one of the most important and exciting areas of science, because it is believed that these types of cells will not only play an important part in regenerative medicine, but also yield valuable scientific information. These latest developments in cell reprogramming represent a milestone for stem cell science. No longer does the paradigm of irreversible cell specialisation hold true; instead, almost any type of cell might have the potential to become any other.The advent of techniques for producing these iPCs has also been hailed as an ethical breakthrough. Up until now, the production of hESCs has required a process which involves the destruction of embryos. Many of these embryos are available as by-products of IVF; but in addition, the process of somatic cell nuclear transfer to produce cloned embryonic stem cells requires a supply of human oocytes, which must currently be harvested from female donors at no insignificant cost. In a nutshell, iPCs seem to enable us to produce “embryo-free” human pluripotent stem cells, and in a “gender-neutral” way—that is, without the need for human oocytes.The response from the scientific community, ethical commentators and the public has, however, reflected an inherent confusion over the ethical significance of this research. The anti-embryo …. (shrink)
Questions about sincerity play a central role in our lives. But what makes an assertion insincere? In this paper we argue that the answer to this question is not as straightforward as it has sometimes been taken to be. Until recently the dominant answer has been that a speaker makes an insincere assertion if and only if he does not believe the proposition asserted. There are, however, persuasive counterexamples to this simple account. It has been proposed instead that an insincere (...) assertion that p is one made by a speaker who (a) does not express his belief that p; or (b) does not believe that he believes that p; (c) does not assent to p; or (d) does not express any of these cognitive states. We show that these .. (shrink)
This essay describes the questions which shaped and continue to fuel Peter and Noreen Facione’s passionate involvement with critical thinking, its definition, measurement, training, and practical application to everyday decisions, big and small. In reflecting on their work they say “we have identified three groups of questions: those vexing, recurring questions that motivate us to explore critical thinking, those scholarly questions around which we organized our empirical and conceptual research, and those urgent practical questions which demand the development of (...) applications and assessment solutions. We conclude with two recommendations for the consideration of all those who value fair-minded, well-reasoned, reflective decision making.”. (shrink)
O objetivo deste artigo é descrever o grau de parentesco existente entre várias famílias de origem chinesa que se estabeleceram em Nicoya e analisar como isso influenciou suas contribuições para o desenvolvimento socioeconômico da cidade e seus padrões de mobilidade em todo o Pacífico da Costa Rica desde final do século XIX até meados do século XX. Os participantes do estudo são descendentes de imigrantes que se enraizaram em Nicoya entre 1880 e 1950, que possuíam duas peculiaridades: pertenciam aos mesmos (...) clãs familiares, apesar dos diferentes sobrenomes com os quais estavam registrados ou eram da mesma área geográfica e, às vezes, até da mesma aldeia, que desenvolveu laços de afinidade tão fortes quanto laços consanguíneos. Isso lhes permitiu apoiar-se mutuamente para alcançar o desenvolvimento coletivo do grupo de imigrantes chineses em Nicoya. (shrink)
Since the very beginning, Confucianism has been troubled by a serious gap between its political ideals and the reality of societal circumstances. Contemporary Confucians must develop a viable method of governance that can retain the spirit of the Confucian ideal while tackling problems arising from nonideal modern situations. The best way to meet this challenge, Joseph Chan argues, is to adopt liberal democratic institutions that are shaped by the Confucian conception of the good rather than the liberal conception of (...) the right. -/- Confucian Perfectionism examines and reconstructs both Confucian political thought and liberal democratic institutions, blending them to form a new Confucian political philosophy. Chan decouples liberal democratic institutions from their popular liberal philosophical foundations in fundamental moral rights, such as popular sovereignty, political equality, and individual sovereignty. Instead, he grounds them on Confucian principles and redefines their roles and functions, thus mixing Confucianism with liberal democratic institutions in a way that strengthens both. Then he explores the implications of this new yet traditional political philosophy for fundamental issues in modern politics, including authority, democracy, human rights, civil liberties, and social justice. -/- Confucian Perfectionism critically reconfigures the Confucian political philosophy of the classical period for the contemporary era. (shrink)