The ongoing debate about the FDA approval of BiDil in 2005 demonstrates how the first racially/ethnically licensed drug is entangled in both Utopian and dystopian future visions about the continued saliency of race/ethnicity in science and medicine. Drawing on the sociology of expectations, this paper analyzes how scientists in the field of pharmacogenetics are constructing certain visions of the future with respect to the use of social categories of race/ethnicity and the impact of high-throughput genotyping technologies that promise to transform (...) scientific practices. (shrink)
In a recent discussion about how scientific knowledge might potentially change our understanding of the nature and extent of human genetic, cultural, or biological variation, the sociologist David Skinner identified two competing visions of the future: one that was decidedly dystopian, which conjured up a “re-racialized” future, and an opposing utopian future in which the potential for racialized thinking might be finally overcome. We can situate the ongoing debates about the congestive heart failure drug BiDil, approved by the Food and (...) Drug Administration for use only by African Americans, in relation to these differing future prospects.When the FDA announced its approval of BiDil in June 2005, it located the drug, and perhaps the future of pharmaceutical development, within a particular vision of the future, heralding BiDil as “representing a step toward the promise of personalized medicine.” The discourse of “personalized medicine” can be characterized as part of a utopian future, one in which clinicians will be able to make increasingly individualized decisions based on each patient’s genetic makeup so that the drugs they take will be those that work best for them. (shrink)
Widely acclaimed upon its release as a future classic, Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 is visually stunning, philosophically profound, and a provocative extension of the story in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. Containing specially commissioned chapters by a roster of international contributors, this fascinating collection explores philosophical questions that abound in Blade Runner 2049, including: -/- What distinguishes the authentically "human" person? How might natality condition one’s experience of being-in-the-world? How might shared memories feature in the constitution of personal identities? What (...) happens when created beings transcend the limits intended in their design? What (if anything) is it like to be a hologram? Can artificial beings participate in genuinely romantic relationships? How might developing artificial economics impact our behaviour as prosumers? What are the implications of techno-human enhancement in an era of surveillance capitalism? -/- Including a foreword by Denis Villeneuve, Blade Runner 2049: A Philosophical Exploration is essential reading for anyone interested in philosophy, film studies, philosophy of mind, psychology, gender studies, and conceptual issues in cognitive science and artificial intelligence. (shrink)
In this chapter, we analyze the relationships between the Internet and its users in terms of situated cognition theory. We first argue that the Internet is a new kind of cognitive ecology, providing almost constant access to a vast amount of digital information that is increasingly more integrated into our cognitive routines. We then briefly introduce situated cognition theory and its species of embedded, embodied, extended, distributed and collective cognition. Having thus set the stage, we begin by taking an embedded (...) cognition view and analyze how the Internet aids certain cognitive tasks. After that, we conceptualize how the Internet enables new kinds of embodied interaction, extends certain aspects of our embodiment, and examine how wearable technologies that monitor physiological, behavioral and contextual states transform the embodied self. On the basis of the degree of cognitive integration between a user and Internet resource, we then look at how and when the Internet extends our cognitive processes. We end this chapter with a discussion of distributed and collective cognition as facilitated by the Internet. (shrink)
Alongside existing research into the social, political and economic impacts of the Web, there is a need to study the Web from a cognitive and epistemic perspective. This is particularly so as new and emerging technologies alter the nature of our interactive engagements with the Web, transforming the extent to which our thoughts and actions are shaped by the online environment. Situated and ecological approaches to cognition are relevant to understanding the cognitive significance of the Web because of the emphasis (...) they place on forces and factors that reside at the level of agent–world interactions. In particular, by adopting a situated or ecological approach to cognition, we are able to assess the significance of the Web from the perspective of research into embodied, extended, embedded, social and collective cognition. The results of this analysis help to reshape the interdisciplinary configuration of Web Science, expanding its theoretical and empirical remit to include the disciplines of both cognitive science and the philosophy of mind. (shrink)
Endurantists have recently faced a mereological puzzle in various forms. Here I argue that, instead of presenting a genuine worry, the puzzle actually reveals a common misunderstanding about the endurantist ontology. Furthermore, through this discussion of the alleged problem and the misunderstanding which motivates it, I reveal metaphysical commitments the endurantist has that may not be widely recognized. For instance, she is committed to interesting and perhaps controversial views about shape and location. I highlight these commitments and what they mean (...) for the endurantist. (shrink)
This popular pocket-size guide empowers readers with critical thinking tools based on the groundbreaking work of RichardPaul and Linda Elder. This bestselling volume in the Thinker’s Guide Library provides students, educators, and professionals with an authoritative problem-solving framework essential for every aspect of life.
Giordano Bruno Giordano Bruno was an Italian philosopher of the later Renaissance whose writings encompassed the ongoing traditions, intentions, and achievements of his times and transmitted them into early modernity. Taking up the medieval practice of the art of memory and of formal logic, he focused on the creativity of the human mind. Bruno … Continue reading Giordano Bruno →.
In Studies on Early Modern Aristotelianism PaulRichard Blum shows that Aristotle’s thought remained the touchstone of modern philosophy; for it was the philosophy taught at universities. The concept of philosophy at Jesuit schools forms the first part of this book. Their impact on the sciences and mathematics in combination with Renaissance ideas of nature is the topic of the second part. The transformation of Aristotelian metaphysics and theology under the influence of the Renaissance is the third area (...) of this book. Surprising continuity from the late Middle Ages into modernity and the radical difference of subject centered modern philosophy from ‘teachable’ school philosophy are innovative in these studies. (shrink)
Here I defend the compatibility of presentism and time travel against a few objections. Keller and Nelson argue that, if presentism is at all plausible, presentism and time travel are as compatible as eternalism and time travel. But Miller and Sider are not convinced. I reply that for their concerns to have merit, Miller and Sider must assume presentists are committed to positions they need not be; I explain why presentists are not so committed and, in the process, defend Keller (...) and Nelson’s position that there is no roadblock to presentist time travel that does not also apply to eternalist time travel. (shrink)
I explicate and defend a non-standard theory of persistence, which I call transdurantism. In short, transdurantism is the view is that objects persist by being temporally extended simples. Transdurantism is sometime misrepresented as a version of endurantism. Other times, transdurantism is misrepresented as a version of perdurantism. But I argue transdurantism must be disambiguated from perdurantism and endurantism—when endurantism, perdurantism, and transdurantism are properly construed, transdurantism stands apart from the other theories of persistence and we can better understand the distinct (...) burdens they each bear. I also argue that the transdurantist is capable of handling several key problems found in the persistence literature at least as well as her rivals, but she does face her own unique challenges. (shrink)
I argue that David Lewis’s philosophically dominant conception of time travel cannot straightforwardly handle what we might call cases of relativistic time travel—that is, the sort of time travel which could only plausibly occur in a relativistic setting. I evaluate whether or not the Lewisian account can be successfully adapted such that it would able to analyse potential cases of relativistic time travel satisfactorily while still being employable in the analysis of those cases that make no mention of physics or (...) the structure of spacetime. This is primarily an analytical and explanatory exercise, rather than a polemical one. (shrink)
Mereological challenges have recently been raised against the endurantist. For instance, Barker and Dowe (2003) have argued that eternalist endurantism entails (1) persisting objects are both 3D and 4D, and that (2) the lives of persisting objects last longer than they actually do. They also argue that presentist endurantism also entails, albeit in a tensed way, that (3) the lives of persisting objects last longer than they actually do. While they’ve further argued (2005) that the objections raised by McDaniel (2003) (...) and Beebee and Rush (2003) fail, here I show that such objections are tenable without requiring further significant metaphysical commitments; I argue that such endurantist defences are tenable, contra to prior analyses. (shrink)
Critical Thinking, 2nd Edition is about becoming a better thinker in every aspect of your life—as a professional, as a consumer, citizen, friend, or parent. RichardPaul and Linda Elder identify the core skills of effective thinking, then help you analyze your own thought processes so you can systematically identify and overcome your weaknesses.
PaulRichard Blum. Philosophy of religion in the Renaissance Farnham /Burlington : Ashgate, 2010, 211p. The book begins with a preface on the status of the philosophy of religion in the Renaissance. While this could be initially understood as a continuation of the medieval tradition of reflecting on the praeambula fidei, it gradually has shifted towards a reflection sui generis on a variety of issues, including the historicity of dogmas and rituals, or religious policies, and the epistemological legitimacy (...) of addressing matters of piety through reason. The rest of the book is composed of ten different essays or chapters, followed by an epilogue and a bibliography. Each of the ten chapters is dedicated to a particular personality that has helped in shaping the Renaissance culture and has played some role in the interaction between religion and philosophy in particular. (shrink)
Contents: Preface; From faith to reason for fideism: Raymond Lull, Raimundus Sabundus and Michel de Montaigne; Nicholas of Cusa and Pythagorean theology; Giordano Bruno's philosophy of religion; Coluccio Salutati: hermeneutics of humanity; Humanism applied to language, logic and religion: Lorenzo Valla; Georgios Gemistos Plethon: from paganism to Christianity and back; Marsilio Ficino's philosophical theology; Giovanni Pico against popular Platonism; Tommaso Campanella: God makes sense in the world; Francisco Suárez – scholastic and Platonic ideas of God; Epilogue: conflicting truth claims; Bibliography; (...) Index. (shrink)
Scientific and political developments of the early twentieth century led Michael Polanyi to study the role of the scientist in research and the interaction between the individual scholar and the surrounding conditions in community and society. In his concept of “personal knowledge” he gave the theory and history of science an anthropological turn. In many instances of the history of sciences, research is driven by a commitment to beliefs and values. Society plays the role of authority and communicative backdrop that (...) presupposes individual liberty. As a system of beliefs science is rooted in community and also in history. However, as soon as fellow humans become the objects of research, their appeal transcends the researcher. Consequently, the history of human endeavor reveals a “firmament” of standards and obligations which represent an ontological reality, for which Polanyi invokes Teilhard de Chardin’s notion of noosphere. (shrink)
The main theme of this thesis is time travel; time travel cases—both from relativistic physics and science fiction—provide or highlight deep problems for certain positions in contemporary debates about the metaphysical nature of time and of how material objects persist through time. This thesis explores the implications of these discussions; more specifically, I draw attention to some of the interesting things we can learn about presentism and endurantism from discussions of time travel cases that have been raised recently in the (...) literature. In the end, I argue in favour of what I consider a non-standard theory of persistence, which I call transdurantism, according to which persisting objects are temporally extended simples. (shrink)
Elisabeth Blum and PaulRichard Blum, both Loyola University Maryland, jointly published: Giordano Bruno: Spaccio della bestia trionfante / Austreibung des triumphierenden Tieres, a translation form the Italian into German with introduction and extensive commentary at Meiner Verlag in Hamburg (Germany) 2009. ISBN: 978-3-7873-1805-6.
PaulRichard Blum Et nuper Plethon – Ficino's Praise of Georgios Gemistos ABSTRACT Most authors who refer to Marsilio Ficino's famous Prooemium to his translation of Plotinus, addressed to Lorenzo de'Medici, discuss the alleged foundation of the Platonic Academy in Florence, but rarely continue reading down the same page, where – for a second time – Georgios Gemistos Plethon is mentioned. The passage contains more than one surprising claim: 1. Pletho is a reliable interpreter of Aristotle. 2. Pletho (...) and Pico are the most recent Aristotelians, more precisely, they are the latest candle bearers of true Aristotelian tradition. 3. Pletho, alongside with the other authors mentioned, is religiously orthodox. In this paper I show that these statements are contrafactual, and discuss the reasons for Ficino's attempt at making Plethon and Pico his allies. Ficino suggests that Pico and Pletho are representatives of such "philosophic religion" that eventually might convert the Aristotelians to the same piety that unites Pico, Plethon, and the Platonizing interpreters of Aristotle. Pletho's agenda was to restore ancient pagan wisdom in order not to supplant Christianity. Ficino's device to counter corrupt Aristetelianism is to create a counter-tradition, that parallels Platonism, namely the pious reading of Aristotle. He employed the figure of young Pico as having urged him to translate Plotinus. Pico serves as a step stone between the Council of Florence, when in 1439 Cosimo encountered Pletho, and the new translation of Plotinus. The divine inspiration, instilled by Pletho and forwarded from Cosimo via Pico to Ficino christianizes the project, which would sound dubitable, if related only to Pletho. Thus Pico was to help saving Ficino's reputation as a religious philosopher. For this purpose, Ficino had to parallel Pletho with the unsuspected Pico, to the effect that Pletho becomes so to say christened. (shrink)
The pace of change in the world is accelerating, yet educational institutions have not kept pace. Indeed, schools have historically been the most static of social institutions, uncritically passing down from generation to generation outmoded didactic, lecture-and-drill-based, models of instruction. Predictable results follow. Students, on the whole, do not learn how to work by, or think for, themselves. They do not learn how to gather, analyze, synthesize and assess information. They do not learn how to analyze the diverse logic of (...) the questions and problems they face and hence how to adjust their thinking to those problems. They do not learn how to enter sympathetically into the thinking of others, nor how to deal rationally with conflicting points of view. They do not learn to become critical readers, writers, speakers and listeners. They do not learn how to use their native languages clearly, precisely, or persuasively. They do not, therefore, become ‘literate’, in the proper sense of the word. Neither do they gain much in the way of genuine knowledge since, for the most part, they could not explain the basis for what they believe. They would be hard pressed to explain, for example, which of their beliefs were based on rational assent and which on simple conformity to what they have been told. They have little sense as to how they might critically analyze their own experience, or identify national or group bias in their own thinking. They are much more apt to learn on the basis of irrational than rational modes of thought. They lack the traits of mind of a genuinely educated person: intellectual humility, courage, integrity, perseverance, and faith in reason.Happily, there is a movement in education today striving to address these problems in a global way, with strategies and materials for the modification of instruction at all levels of education. At its foundation is an emerging new theory of knowledge, learning, and literacy, one which recognizes the centrality of independent critical thinking to all substantial learning, one which recognizes that higher-order, multilogical thinking is as important to childhood as to adult learning, and as important to foundational learning in monological as in multilogical disciplines. This educational reform movement is not proposing an educational miracle cure, for its leading proponents recognize that many social and historical forces must come together before the ideals of the critical thinking movement will become a full academic reality. Schools do not exist in a social vacuum. To the extent that the broader society is uncritical so, on the whole, will be society's schools. Nevertheless, the social conditions necessary for fundamental changes in schooling are increasingly apparent. The pressure for fundamental change is growing. Whether and to what extent these needed basic changes will be delayed or side-tracked, thus requiring new periodic resurgences of this movement, with new, more elaborate articulations of its ideals, goals, and methods — only time will tell. (shrink)
"Die eigentliche Optik PaulRichard Blums sollte man akkurat als holistisch bezeichnen. Es handelt sich um ein verborgenes Streben nach Ganzheitlichkeit, das diesem Buch eine methodologische Einheit gibt. ... Ein Mensch zu sein nach dem Zeitalter der Renaissance und Moderne ... bedeutet die Aufgabe, sich in einer strukturellen und inhaltlichen Offenheit zu situieren, die die verschiedenen Antworten auf die Frage: Was heißt es, ein Mensch zu sein? in der paradoxen Einheit eines neuen Humanismus zusammenbringt. ... Genau wie die (...) Philosophie des 20. Jahrhunderts ... das Fragen selbst ins Zentrum des Denkens stellte, so versucht Blum, Peter Wust folgend, das Prinzip insecuritas als Herzstück seiner Philosophie zu definieren." Balázs Mezei (Budapest). (shrink)
I argue that, according to Just War Theory, those who work as administrative personnel in the private military industry can be permissibly harmed while at work by enemy combatants. That is, for better or worse, a Just War theorist should consider all those who work as administrative personnel in the private military industry either: (i) individuals who may be permissibly restrained with lethal force while at work, or (ii) individuals who may be harmed by permissible attacks against their workplace. In (...) doing so, I also provide some critical analysis of the relevant Just War concepts. (shrink)
In 1949, the Department of Philosophy at the University of Manchester organized a symposium “Mind and Machine” with Michael Polanyi, the mathematicians Alan Turing and Max Newman, the neurologists Geoff rey Jeff erson and J. Z. Young, and others as participants. Th is event is known among Turing scholars, because it laid the seed for Turing’s famous paper on “Computing Machinery and Intelligence”, but it is scarcely documented. Here, the transcript of this event, together with Polanyi’s original statement and his (...) notes taken at a lecture by Jeff erson, are edited and commented for the fi rst time. Th e originals are in the Regenstein Library of the University of Chicago. Th e introduction highlights elements of the debate that included neurophysiology, mathematics, the mind-body-machine problem, and consciousness and shows that Turing’s approach, as documented here, does not lend itself to reductionism. (shrink)
As a supplement to other volumes in the Thinker’s Guide Library, this book provides a framework by which to assess the integration of critical thinking into an educational system The critical thinking competency standards articulated in this guide serve as a resource for teachers, curriculum designers, administrators and accrediting bodies.
This is Part II of a reflection by RichardPaul on critical thinking, its theory and pedagogy, and on political and personal barriers to critical thinking education and practice. Part I of Paul’s reflection appeared in INQUIRY, Vol. 26 No. 3 (Fall 2011), pp. 5-24. In Part II Paul focuses on the concept of critical thinking, pointing out its unifying features as well as the many ways it can be contextualized in human thought and life. He (...) lays out his basic critical thinking theory and offers critical thinking polarities for use in assessing critical thinking approaches. He provides an overview of the work of the Foundation for Critical Thinking in advancing fairminded critical thought in education and in society. (shrink)
This essay-based test assesses the extent to which students have acquired the reading and writing abilities required for skilled analysis and evaluation. Developed by the Foundation for Critical Thinking, the test is designed for secondary and higher education students and fosters close reading and substantive writing abilities.
On the 27th of October, 1949, the Department of Philosophy at the University of Manchester organized a symposium "Mind and Machine", as Michael Polanyi noted in his Personal Knowledge (1974, p. 261). This event is known, especially among scholars of Alan Turing, but it is scarcely documented. Wolfe Mays (2000) reported about the debate, which he personally had attended, and paraphrased a mimeographed document that is preserved at the Manchester University archive. He forwarded a copy to Andrew Hodges and B. (...) Jack Copeland, who in then published it on their respective websites. The basis of this interpretation here is the copy preserved in the Regenstein Library of the University of Chicago, Special Collections, Polanyi Collection (abbreviated RPC, box 22, folder 19). The same collection holds the mimeographed statement that Polanyi prepared for this symposium: "Can the mind be represented by a machine?" This text has not been studied by Polanyi scholars. (shrink)
This handbook teaches students to read for deep understanding, properly analyze and assess what they read, and reason within the logic of an author. Written by critical thinking authorities RichardPaul and Linda Elder as part pf the Thinker’s Guide Library, this guide includes activities for students to work through in developing close reading skills using the tools of critical thinking.
This volume of the Thinker’s Guide Library offers a framework for ethical reasoning, illuminating powerful, universal tools for thinking through ethical questions. Linda Elder and RichardPaul discuss the main impediments to ethics and present ethical concepts and principles as guides for people of different backgrounds to find common ground.
This volume of the Thinker’s Guide Library applies critical thinking concepts to the unique requirements of engineering. Students and professionals across the field of engineering will find their analytical abilities enhanced by the engaging authoritative framework of inquiry set forth by RichardPaul and Linda Elder.
This volume of the Thinker’s Guide Library introduces readers to powerful methods for questioning that pinpoint underlying beliefs and systems of logic. RichardPaul and Linda Elder show how practical and accessible the Socratic method of inquiry can be and how useful it is when assessing and solving any problem.
This volume of the Thinker’s Guide Library employs critical thinking concepts in the development of productive scientific thought. Readers will learn to reason within the logic of their scientific disciplines and will find their analytical abilities enhanced by the engaging framework of inquiry set forth by RichardPaul and Linda Elder.
Inhalt: Descartes und das scholastische Argumentieren - Scholastik und Humanismus im Bildungsprogramm der Jesuiten - Nikolaus Cusanus - Marsilio Ficino - Giordano Bruno - Studienordnung und Philosophiebegriff: die Ratio studiorum SJ - Der ...
L’élaboration d’une théorie de l’objet sert de guide à la doctrine de la science en général, et à l’élaboration formelle du statut de la métaphysique en particulier. L’étude de PaulRichard Blum porte sur l’objet de la métaphysique selon Bartholomaeus Mastrius : l’auteur y dégage les principales positions de Mastrius, débouchant, à la suite de son modèle scotiste, sur une ontologie formelle totalement détachée de la physique, à la différence de la tradition thomiste.The elaboration of the theory of (...) object directs the theory of science in general, and specifically the formal elaboration of the status of metaphysics. PaulRichard Blum’s study deals with the object of metaphysics according to Bartholomaeus Mastrius : the author outlines Mastrius’ principal positions. His metaphysics leads, according to its Scotistic model, to a purely formal ontology, completely severed from physics, contrasting with the Thomistic tradition. (shrink)