This collection of original essays brings together a world-class lineup of philosophers to provide the most comprehensive critical treatment of Ted Honderich’s philosophy, focusing on three major areas of his work: (1) his theory of consciousness; (2) his extensive and ground-breaking work on determinism and freedom; and (3) his views on right and wrong, including his Principle of Humanity and his judgments on terrorism. Grote Professor Emeritus of the Philosophy of Mind and Logic at University College London, Honderich is a (...) leading contemporary philosopher of mind, determinism and freedom, and morals. The collection begins with a comprehensive introduction written by Honderich followed by fourteen original chapters separated into three sections. Each section concludes with a set of remarks by Honderich. Contributors include Noam Chomsky, Paul Snowdon, Alastair Hannay, Barbara Gail Montero, Barry Smith, Derk Pereboom, Paul Russell, Kevin Timpe, Gregg D. Caruso, Mary Warnock, Paul Gilbert, Richard J. Norman, Michael Neumann, and Saul Smilansky. (shrink)
The first classification of general types of transition between phases of matter, introduced by Paul Ehrenfest in 1933, lies at a crossroads in the thermodynamical study of critical phenomena. It arose following the discovery in 1932 of a suprising new phase transition in liquid helium, the “lambda transition,” when W. H. Keesom and coworkers in Leiden, Holland observed a λhaped “jump” discontinuity in the curve giving the temperature dependence of the specific heat of helium at a critical value. This (...) apparent jump led Ehrenfest to introduce a classification of phase transitions on the basis of jumps in derivatives of the free energy function. This classification was immediately applied by A.J. Rutgers to the study of the transition from the normal to superconducting state in metals. Eduard Justi and Max von Laue soon questioned the possibility of its class of “second-order phase transitions” -- of which the “lambda transition was believed to be the arche type -- but C.J. Gorter and H.B.G. Casimir used an “order parameter to demonstrate their existence in superconductors. As a crossroads of study, the Ehrenfest classification was forced to undergo a slow, adaptive evolution during subsequent decades. During the 1940s the classification was increasingly used in discussions of liquid-gas, order-disorder, paramagnetic-ferromagnetic and normal-super-conducting phase transitions. Already in 1944 however, Lars Onsagers solution of the Ising model for two-dimensional magnets was seen to possess a derivative with a logarithmic divergence rather than a jump as the critical point was approached. In the 1950s, experiments further revealed the lambda transition in helium to exhibit similar behavior. Rather than being a prime example of an Ehrenfest phase transition, the lambda transition was seen to lie outside the Ehrenfest classification. The Ehrenfest scheme was then extended to include such singularities, most notably by A. Brain Pippard in 1957, with widespread acceptance. During the 1960s these logarithmic infinities were the focus of the investigation of “scaling” by Leo Kadanoff, B. Widom and others. By the 1970s, a radically simplified binary classification of phase transitions into “first-order” and “continuous” transitions was increasingly adopted. (shrink)
The positive operator (valued) measures (POMs) allow one to generalize the notion of observable beyond the traditional one based on projection valued measures (PVMs). Here, we argue that this generalized conception of observable enables a consistent notion of unsharp reality and with it an adequate concept of joint properties. A sharp or unsharp property manifests itself as an element of sharp or unsharp reality by its tendency to become actual or to actualize a specific measurement outcome. This actualization tendency—or potentiality—of (...) a property is quantified by the associated quantum probability. The resulting single-case interpretation of probability as a degree of reality will be explained in detail and its role in addressing the tensions between quantum and classical accounts of the physical world will be elucidated. It will be shown that potentiality can be viewed as a causal agency that evolves in a well-defined way. (shrink)
In Religion and the Obligations of Citizenship Paul J. Weithman asks whether citizens in a liberal democracy may base their votes and their public political arguments on their religious beliefs. Drawing on empirical studies of how religion actually functions in politics, he challenges the standard view that citizens who rely on religious reasons must be prepared to make good their arguments by appealing to reasons that are 'accessible' to others. He contends that churches contribute to democracy by enriching political (...) debate and by facilitating political participation, especially among the poor and minorities, and as a consequence, citizens acquire religiously based political views and diverse views of their own citizenship. He concludes that the philosophical view which most defensibly accommodates this diversity is one that allows ordinary citizens to draw on the views their churches have formed when voting and offering public arguments for their political positions. (shrink)
This exploration of a notorious mathematical problem is the work of the man who discovered the solution. Written by an award-winning professor at Stanford University, it employs intuitive explanations as well as detailed mathematical proofs in a self-contained treatment. This unique text and reference is suitable for students and professionals. 1966 edition. Copyright renewed 1994.
Like nature itself, modern economic life is driven by relentless competition and unbridled selfishness. Or is it? Drawing on converging evidence from neuroscience, social science, biology, law, and philosophy, Moral Markets makes the case that modern market exchange works only because most people, most of the time, act virtuously. Competition and greed are certainly part of economics, but Moral Markets shows how the rules of market exchange have evolved to promote moral behavior and how exchange itself may make us more (...) virtuous. Examining the biological basis of economic morality, tracing the connections between morality and markets, and exploring the profound implications of both, Moral Markets provides a surprising and fundamentally new view of economics--one that also reconnects the field to Adam Smith's position that morality has a biological basis. Moral Markets, the result of an extensive collaboration between leading social and natural scientists, includes contributions by neuroeconomist Paul Zak; economists Robert H. Frank, Herbert Gintis, Vernon Smith, and Bart Wilson; law professors Oliver Goodenough, Erin O'Hara, and Lynn Stout; philosophers William Casebeer and Robert Solomon; primatologists Sarah Brosnan and Frans de Waal; biologists Carl Bergstrom, Ben Kerr, and Peter Richerson; anthropologists Robert Boyd and Michael Lachmann; political scientists Elinor Ostrom and David Schwab; management professor Rakesh Khurana; computational science and informatics doctoral candidate Erik Kimbrough; and business writer Charles Handy. (shrink)
The hermeneutical key to reading and interpreting the Gospel of Mark is the role which the Evangelist has given to the passion of Jesus as the primary perspective for understanding all the other traditions about Jesus incorporated in the Gospel.
There is as yet... no unanimity among New Testament scholars as to the extent to which, or even whether at all, the category of divine man played a part in the interpretation of Jesus in the early Christian traditions.
This study examines the effects of demographic characteristics on ethical perceptions. While earlier research has produced conflicting results regarding the predictive power of these variables, significant and definite insights were obtained with proper controls. The following predictors of ethical attitudes are examined: age, gender, marital status, education, dependent children status, region of the country and years in business, while controlling for job status. A nation-wide random sample of employees was used in obtaining a response rate of fifty-three percent (total n (...) of 423). Indices of aspects of business ethical attitudes were constructed using factor analysis. Linear multiple regression analysis indicated the significant predictive variables. Age was found to be a most-significant predictor. Older workers had stricter interpretations of ethical standards. Gender and region predicted attitudes about job-discrimination practices only, with women and persons from the Midwest most strongly opposed to the practice. All the other variables proved to be unreliable ethics predictors. (shrink)
For over twenty years, Paul Weithman has explored the thought of John Rawls to ask how liberalism can secure the principled allegiance of those people whom Rawls called 'citizens of faith'. This volume brings together ten of his major essays, which reflect on the task and political character of political philosophy, the ways in which liberalism does and does not privatize religion, the role of liberal legitimacy in Rawls's theory, and the requirements of public reason. The essays reveal Rawls (...) as a thinker deeply engaged with political and existential questions that trouble citizens of faith, and explore how - in firm opposition to political realism - he tries to show that the possibility of liberal democracy and the natural goodness of humanity are objects of reasonable faith. The volume will be of interest to political philosophers, political theorists, moral theologians, and religious ethicists. (shrink)
This paper examines the strengths and weaknesses of one of science's most pervasive and flexible metaprinciples;optimalityis used to explain utility maximization in economics, least effort principles in physics, entropy in chemistry, and survival of the fittest in biology. Fermat's principle of least time involves both teleological and causal considerations, two distinct modes of explanation resting on poorly understood psychological primitives. The rationality heuristic in economics provides an example from social science of the potential biases arising from the extreme flexibility of (...) optimality considerations, including selective search for confirming vidence, ex post rationalization, and the confusion of prediction with explanation. Commentators are asked to reflect on the extent to which optimality is an organizing principle of nature, a set of relatively unconnected techniques of science, a normative principle for rational choice and social organization, a metaphysical way of looking at the world, or something else still. (shrink)
Since the last century, vaccination has been one of the most important tools we possess for the prevention and elimination of disease. Yet the tremendous gains from vaccination are now threatened by a growing hesitance to vaccinate based on a variety of concerns or objections. Geographic clustering of some families who choose not to vaccinate has led to a number of well-publicized outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. Of note is that some of these outbreaks are centered within some Christian religious groups (...) that increasingly avoid vaccination due to moral concerns, fears about safety, or doubts about the necessity of vaccines. We argue from the perspective of Catholic social teaching on why there is a moral duty to vaccinate. (shrink)
ABSTRACTHélène Landemore's Democratic Reason offers a new justification for democracy and for broad-based citizen participation, appealing to the “emergent” intelligence of large, diverse groups. She argues that ordinary citizens should rule as directly as possible because they will make better informed, more intelligent decisions than, for example, appointed officials, councils of experts, or even elected representatives. The foundation of this conclusion is the premise that “diversity trumps ability” in a wide range of contexts. But the main support for that claim (...) is merely a series of computer experiments that are strongly biased toward that result and tell us essentially nothing about decision making in real-world political settings. Moreover, Landemore's analyses of alternative forms of rule deal only in abstract comparisons between sharply distinguished ideal types. Among other difficulties, they entirely overlook the central consideration in such comparisons: the relative ability of any decision-making process to go beyond stereotyped, intrinsic strategies and integrate multiple sources and varieties of information. In the end, Landemore's claims for the superior intelligence of broadly participatory forms are thus not supported by credible evidence. (shrink)
From February 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic led to closures of educational institutions to reduce the spread of infectious disease. This forced the U.S. education system into a massive experiment with online education. Despite conducting online bioethics education for nearly twenty years, our bioethics program, a joint endeavor of Clarkson University and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, was not immune to this disruption because our curriculum features intensive, one-week onsite courses. Even in the face of historic disruptions, it is (...) vital to ensure minimal interruptions to teaching and assessing students to provide effective education. This paper reviews the steps we took to successfully convert the onsite components of our curriculum to a synchronous online format, and it focuses on how we preserved instruction and assessment of practical skills that comprise these courses’ core. It also explains how we fostered interactive classroom environments. (shrink)
A framework is presented for studying ethical conduct in public accounting practice. Four levels of analysis are distinguished: individual, local office, multi-office firm and professional institute. Several propositions are derived from the framework and discussed: (1) The effects of ethical vs. unethical behavior on an accountant's prospects for advancement are asymmetrical in nature; (2) the way individuals perceive or frame the decision problem at hand will make an ethical response more or less likely; (3) the economic incentives present in competitive (...) markets influence the work goals of firms and offices, and lead to ethical dilemmas for individuals; and (4) initiatives at the firm or institute level aimed at compliance with professional ethical standards will by themselves have little effect on individual ethical behavior. Research into ethical behavior of practitioners will capture self-conscious and biased responses unless it is designed so as to permit indirect observation and recording of spontaneous comments. To assure valid research findings, practitioners should be interviewed and their motives assessed indirectly. A longitudinal approach is recommended, beginning with students who are choosing an accounting career. Two types of questions for use in these interviews are described. (shrink)
Through a detailed re-reading of Saussure's work in the light of contemporary developments in the human, life and physical sciences, Paul Thibault provides us with the means to redefine and refocus our theories of social meaning-making. Saussure's theory of language is generally considered to be a formal theory of abstract sign-types and sign-systems, separate from our individual and social practices of making meaning. In this challenging book, Thibault presents a different view of Saussure. Paying close attention to the original (...) texts, including the Cours de Linguistic Generale, he demonstrates that Saussure was centrally concerned with trying to formulate a theory of how meanings are made. In addition to demonstrating the continuing viability of Saussure's thinking through a range of examples, Re-reading Saussure makes an important intervention in contemporary linguistic and semiotic debate. (shrink)