This groundbreaking handbook of character strengths and virtues is the first progress report from a prestigious group of researchers who have undertaken the systematic classification and measurement of widely valued positive traits. Character Strengths and Virtues classifies twenty-four specific strengths under six broad virtues that consistently emerge across history and culture. This book demands the attention of anyone interested in psychology and what it can teach about the good life.
In this analytically oriented work, Peterson articulates and defends five moral principles for addressing ethical issues related to new and existing technologies: the cost-benefit principle, the precautionary principle, the sustainability principle, the autonomy principle, and the fairness principle.
The imposing scope and penetrating insights of German philosopher Nicolai Hartmann’s work have received renewed interest in recent years. The Neo-Kantian turned ontological realist established a philosophical approach unique among his peers, and it provides a wealth of resources for considering contemporary philosophical problems. The chapters included in this volume examine his ethics, ontology, aesthetics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of nature. They explore his ontology of values, autonomy and human enhancement, and law; his theory of levels of reality, space-time (...) and geometry, the categories of temporality, causality, and “life,” the question of realism, and social ontology. Others take inspiration from his aesthetic theory, ideas about education,and his embrace of the Socratic pathos of wonder. They bring his philosophy into conversation with that of his contemporaries, including Roman Ingarden and Konrad Lorenz’s appropriation of Hartmann, as well as with the history of philosophy, including Plato’s theory of recollection, pre-Socratic philosophy, and that of his Russian teacher Nikolai Lossky. Those familiar with Hartmann’s wide-ranging systematic philosophy will benefit from these new engagements with his work, and those new to it will find them relevant to a number of current philosophical debates. (shrink)
The Tanner Lectures on Human Values is the annual publication of lectures given at Clare Hall, Cambridge University; Brasenose College, Oxford University; Harvard University; Yale University; the University of California; Stanford University; the University of Michigan; and the University of Utah as well as other locations. Established to reflect upon the scholarly and scientific learning relating to human values, the lectureships are international and intercultural, and transcend ethnic, national, religious, and ideological distinctions. This Volume X, first published in 1989, includes: (...) ALBERT O. HIRSCHMAN 'Two Hundred Years of Reactionary Rhetoric: The Case of the Perverse Effect'; ROBERT A. DAHL 'The Pseudodemocratization of the American Presidency'; JAVIER MUGUERZA 'The Alternative of Dissent'; WILLIAM THEODORE DE BARY 'The Trouble with Confucianism'; ANTHONY QUINTON 'The Varieties of Value'; BARRY STROUD 'The Study of Human Nature and the Subjectivity of Value'. (shrink)
Although people can take spatial perspectives different from their own, it is widely assumed that egocentric perspectives are natural and have primacy. Two studies asked respondents to describe the spatial relations between two objects on a table in photographed scenes; in some versions, a person sitting behind the objects was either looking at or reaching for one of the objects. The mere presence of another person in a position to act on the objects induced a good proportion of respondents to (...) describe the spatial relations from that person’s point of view. When the query about the spatial relations was phrased in terms of action, more respondents took the other’s perspective than their own. The implication of action elicits spontaneous spatial perspective-taking, seemingly in the service of understanding the other’s actions. (shrink)
_Being Human _examines the complex connections among conceptions of human nature, attitudes toward non-human nature, and ethics. Anna Peterson proposes an "ethical anthropology" that examines how ideas of nature and humanity are bound together in ways that shape the very foundations of cultures. Peterson discusses mainstream Western understandings of what it means to be human, as well as alternatives to these perspectives, and suggests that the construction of a compelling, coherent environmental ethics will revise our ideas not only (...) about nature but also about what it means to be human. (shrink)
Puritans had big stories to tell, and they cast themselves big parts to play in those stories. The fervent English Protestants who believed that the Elizabethan Church urgently needed further reformation, and the self-selecting band among them who went on to colonize New England, were sure that they could re-create the churches of the apostolic age, and eliminate centuries’ worth of Romish accretions. By instituting scriptural forms of worship, these purified churches might have a beneficial influence on the state as (...) well, and bring about the rule of the godly. If a purified English church and state could inaugurate reformation across all of Christendom, spread the gospel to infidels around the globe, and usher in the millennium, then all the better. In 1641, an anonymous tract called A Glimpse of Sions Glory announced that the new puritan-controlled Parliament would bring on “Babylon's destruction... The work of the day [is] to give God no rest till he sets up Jerusalem in the praise of the whole world.” The leading minister of colonial Boston at the time, John Cotton, predicted that as soon as 1655, as Michael Winship summarizes Cotton: the states and Christian princes of Europe, under irresistible supernatural influence, would have instituted congregationalism [Massachusetts’ form of church polity] and overthrown Antichrist and Muslim Turkey. The example of their churches’ pure Christianity would have brought about the conversion of Jews and pagans across the globe. Thereafter, the churches of Christ would enjoy the millennium's thousand years of peace before the climactic battle with Gog and Magog at the end of time. Those are big stories. (shrink)
Human immunodeficiency virus and other sexually transmitted infections significantly burden youth 13–24 years of age in the United States. Directly engaging youth in sexual health research is a public health priority and urgently needed to develop targeted, youth-friendly, and culturally relevant HIV/sti prevention interventions. Controversies arise, however, regarding informed assent and consent, parental permission or consent, and the definition of “child”/“minor” as it relates to medical, legal, and ethical issues. In this article, we describe challenges in the human subjects review (...) processes that were undertaken before beginning an HIV/sti prevention research project with sexually active youth in an urban setting. These findings provide important contextual information to facilitate youth sexual health research and care, and Institutional Review Board approval processes with fewer delays. (shrink)
Two interpretations of the precautionary principle are considered. According to the normative interpretation, the precautionary principle should be characterised in terms of what it urges doctors and other decision makers to do. According to the epistemic interpretation, the precautionary principle should be characterised in terms of what it urges us to believe. This paper recommends against the use of the precautionary principle as a decision rule in medical decision making, based on an impossibility theorem presented in Peterson . However, (...) the main point of the paper is an argument to the effect that decision theoretical problems associated with the precautionary principle can be overcome by paying greater attention to its epistemic dimension. Three epistemic principles inherent in a precautionary approach to medical risk analysis are characterised and defended. (shrink)
A thorough academic discussion of Jordan Peterson’s work has been conspicuously absent—until now. Despite being addressed to an academic audience, Myth, Meaning, and Antifragile Individualism, by Marc Champagne, is written in a well-crafted, straightforward style accessible to the informed layperson. The book’s first part offers an invaluable introduction to Peterson’s work within an academic framework. The second part offers critiques of Peterson’s work, some of which are prudent and others of which are weaker. The book is an (...) essential contribution to anyone who wants to better understand Peterson’s ideas and scrutinize them in a rational context. (shrink)
Jordan Peterson has attracted a high level of attention. Controversies may bring people into contact with Peterson's work, but ideas are arguably what keep them there. Focusing on those ideas, this book explores Peterson’s answers to perennial questions. What is common to all humans, regardless of their background? Is complete knowledge ever possible? What would constitute a meaningful life? Why have humans evolved the capacity for intelligence? Should one treat others as individuals or as members of a (...) group? Is a single person powerless in the face of evil? What is the relation between speech, thought, and action? Why have religious myths and narratives figured so prominently in human history? Are the hierarchies we find in society good or bad? After devoting a chapter to each of these questions, Champagne unites the different strands of Peterson’s thinking in a handy summary. Champagne then spends the remaining third of the book articulating his main critical concerns. He argues that while building on tradition is inevitable and indeed desirable, Peterson’s individualist project is hindered by the non-revisable character and self-sacrificial content of religious belief. This engaging multidisciplinary study is ideal for those who know little about Peterson’s views, or for those who are familiar but want to see more clearly how Peterson’s views hang together. The debates spearheaded by Peterson are in full swing, so Myth, Meaning, and Antifragile Individualism should become a reference point for any serious engagement with Peterson’s ideas. (shrink)
Debates over postmodernism, analyses of knowledge and power, and the recurring issue of Heidegger's Nazism have all deepened questions about the relation between philosophy and the social roles of intellectuals. Against such postmodernist rejections of philosophical theory as mounted by Rorty and Lyotard, Richard Peterson argues that precisely reflection on rationality, in appropriate social terms, is needed to confront urgent political issues about intellectuals. After presenting a conception of intellectual mediation set within the modern division of labor, he offers (...) an account of postmodern politics within which postmodern arguments against critical reflection are themselves treated socially and politically. Engaging thinkers as diverse as Kant, Hegel, Marx, Habermas, Foucault, and Bahktin, Peterson argues that a democratic conception and practice of philosophy is inseparable from democracy generally. His arguments about modern philosophy are tied to claims about the relation between liberalism and epistemology, and these in turn inform an account of impasses confronting contemporary politics. Historical arguments about the connections between postmodernist thought and practice are illustrated by discussions of the postmodernist dimensions of recent politics. (shrink)
The science-religion debate is a hot topic in academic circles and contemporary culture, and evolution makes the subject particularly contentious. Does modern science tip the scales toward atheism? Or does religion have resources to support its credibility and relevance? And how does evolution influence both worldviews?Comprehensive, balanced, and engaging, Science, Evolution, and Religion provides a dynamic yet respectful introduction to the science-religion debate, framed as a conflict between theism and atheism and structured around the impact of evolution on both perspectives. (...) Philosophers Michael Peterson and Michael Ruse argue for theism and atheism, respectively. Peterson occasionally draws from Christian doctrine to supplement theism; Ruse often supports his atheism with elements drawn from the larger context of philosophical naturalism. The result is a rich dialogue on the nature and history of science, cosmic origins, biological origins, the anthropic principle, the foundations of morality, human uniqueness, the meaning of life, and other important topics in this area. (shrink)
In den historiographischen Debatten über die verschiedenen Ideologien der ersten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts wird der Begriff „katholischer Faschismus“ gelegentlich verwendet, um eine spezifische Version des Faschismus in den 1920ern, 1930ern und 1940ern Jahren zu bezeichnen. Im vorliegenden Aufsatz wird dieses Konzept in historischer und historiographischer Perspektive analysiert. Dabei geht es v. a. um den religiösen Hintergrund, die verschiedenen begrifflichen Unterscheidungen, die wichtigsten Ereignisse und die ideologischen Zusammenhänge. Der protestantische Faschismus sowie das Konfliktfeld zwischen Katholizismus und faschistischer Ideologie werden auch (...) thematisiert.In the historiographical debates about the different streams of ideology in the first half of the 20th century, the term “Catholic fascism” has been used on occasion to refer to a specific version of fascism and Catholicism in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. The following article analyzes this concept in historical and historiographical perspective, drawing attention to the religious background, the various conceptual distinctions, key events and ideological interrelationships. Protestant fascism is also addressed along with the ideological conflict between Catholicism and fascist ideology. Before turning to these themes, however, the critical role of papal theological and cultural analysis will be addressed. (shrink)
In diesem Aufsatz werden die Veröffentlichungen des Jesuiten Erich Przywara und der sehr einflussreichen jesuitischen Zeitschrift Stimmen der Zeit aus den frühen 193oern Jahren und besonders aus dem Jahr 1933 analysiert. In diesem Zusammenhang antworte ich auch meinen Kritikern. Außerdem werden die Hintergründe und Quellen der spezifischen Form des Antisemitismus dargestellt, die in den Stimmen der Zeit vertreten wurde. Deutsche Jesuiten propagierten 1933 durchaus radikale Positionen in der Zeitschrift. In dem katholischen Blatt liest man u. a., dass die Juden dem (...) deutschen Volk mehr Schaden als Nutzen brächten. Es wurde damals auch die nordische Rasse als für Herrschaft besonders geeignet bezeichnet. Im letzten Teil dieses Aufsatzes werden Przywaras spätere Briefe an Carl Schmitt, den gläubigen antisemitischen deutschen Katholiken, analysiert. Sie zeigen, dass Przywara von dessen antidemokratischer politischer Theorie der 1930er Jahre zutiefst beeindruckt war und die Ideen des Kronjuristen des Dritten Reiches sogar noch in der Zeit nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg verbreiten wollte. (shrink)
The monthly magazine Hochland was probably the most influential Catholic cultural periodical in Germany in the Weimar Period. According to Georg Cardinal von Kopp’s assessment in 1911, it was “unfortunately the most read periodical in all of the educated circles of Germany, Austria and German Switzerland”. Moving beyond the simple rejection of modern culture in Germany, the journal tried to follow a new program of mediatory engagement, although it did continue to hold to traditional positions in many regards. In this (...) article the reception of modern, Enlightenment-affirmative philosophy of religion in the journal is introduced with reference to reviews and essays from the later 1910s to the early 1930s. The journal’s treatment of a few critical subject areas is given close interpretive analysis, including the journal’s treatment of Gertrud Simmel’s Über das Religiöse, individually conceptualized forms of personalist moral theory, and the general shift to phenomenological discourses and the individual in the philosophy of religion. The fundamental rejections of these ideas and these schools of thought in reviews and essays, which are also found in the journal at this time, are not addressed in this article. The article thus sheds light on an often-forgotten and relatively small minority phenomenon in German Catholic intellectual circles of the Weimar Period, namely the positive embrace of Enlightenment-oriented modern thought. By promoting these ideas at this time, this group made themselves highly vulnerable to disciplinary measures by the Catholic Church. (shrink)
Romano Guardini was one of the most important intellectuals of German Catholicism in the twentieth century. He influenced nearly an entire generation of German Catholic theologians and was the leading figure of the German Catholic youth movement as it grew exponentially in the 1920s. Yet there are many open questions about his early intellectual development and his academic contribution to religious, cultural, social and political questions in the Weimar Republic and in National Socialist Germany. This article draws upon Guardini’s publications, (...) the secondary literature on Guardini and on some archival material, seeking to outline his early development and his engagement with the ideological context following World War I and in National Socialist Germany. Here Guardini’s criticisms of the modern age are presented. Besides this many other issues are addressed, such as his criticism of the women’s movement, his understanding of the youth movement, reception of Carl Schmitt, views of race, interpretation of the controversial Volk-concept, contribution to a Jewish journal in 1933, and his basic positions on the issues of obedience, order and authority. While Guardini was viewed critically by some National Socialists in the Third Reich, the administrative correspondences on him in the 1940s actually show that there was an internal debate about him among the National Socialist officials. This involved different figures, including a diplomat who came to Guardini’s defense. The internal disagreements were made more complicated because Guardini’s brothers were apparently members of the Fascist Party in Italy at this time. (shrink)
In these skeptical and disillusioned times, there are still groups of people scattered throughout the world who are trying to live out utopian dreams. These communities challenge the inevitability and morality of dominant political and economic models. By putting utopian religious ethics into practice, they attest to the real possibility of social alternatives. In Seeds of the Kingdom, Anna L. Peterson reflects on the experiences of two very different communities, one inhabited by impoverished former refugees in the mountains of (...) El Salvador and the other by Amish farmers in the Midwestern U.S. What makes these groups stand out among advocates of environmental protection, political justice, and sustainable development is their religious orientation. They aim, without apology, to embody the reign of God on earth. The Salvadoran community is grounded in Roman Catholic social thought, while the Amish adhere to Anabaptist tradition. Peterson offers a detailed portrait of these communities' history, social organization, religious life, environmental values, and agricultural practices. She discovers both practical and ideological commonalities in these two comparatively successful and sustainable communities, including a strong collective identity, deep attachment to local landscapes, a desire to preserve non-human as well as human lives, and, perhaps unexpectedly, a utopian horizon that provides both goals and the hope of reaching them. By examining the process by which people struggle to live according to a transcendent value system, she sheds light on both the actual and the potential place of religion in public life. Peterson argues that the Amish and Salvadoran communities, geographically and culturally removed from the industrialized West, have relevance for the political and environmental problems of the developed world. These communities have succeeded in the face of significant internal and external challenges, offering important practical and theoretical lessons on how to achieve ecological sustainability and social justice in the wider world. (shrink)
The intersection of biology and religion has spawned exciting new areas of academic research that raise issues central to understanding our own humanity and the living world. In this comprehensive and accessible survey, Michael L. Peterson and Dennis R. Venema explain the engagement between biology and religion on issues related to origins, evolution, design, suffering and evil, progress and purpose, love, humanity, morality, ecology, and the nature of religion itself. Does life have a chemical origin - or must there (...) be a divine spark? How can religious claims about divine goodness be reconciled with widespread predation, suffering, and death in the animal kingdom? Peterson and Venema develop a philosophical discussion around such controversial questions. The book situates each topic in its historical, scientific, and theological context, making it the perfect introduction for upper-level undergraduates, graduate students, scholars, and the interested general reader. (shrink)
Works Righteousness explores the ways that different ethical theories relate to what people actually do. Peterson argues that the most dominant philosophical and religious approaches have largely ignored practice, assuming that internal mental states are what matter for ethics and that ideas and practices are related in a simple, linear fashion. However, some alternative models, including pragmatism, Marxism, and religious pacifism, present a more complex view of the relations between values and practices. These traditions show how attention to practices (...) opens up new ways of thinking about moral theory and concrete issues like hate speech, euthanasia, and climate change. (shrink)
Metaethical constructivism aims to explain morality’s authority and relevance by basing it in agency, in a capacity of the creatures who are in fact morally bound. But constructivists have struggled to wring anything recognizably moral from an appropriately minimal conception of agency. Even if they could, basing our reasons in our individual agency seems to make other people reason-giving for us only indirectly. This paper argues for a constructivism based on a social conception of agency, on which our capacity to (...) recognize ourselves as having reasons ties us inescapably to others. It argues that mutual recognition is a pervasive feature of linguistic concepts, and builds this into a view called transformative expressivism. (shrink)
A transformative decision rule transforms a given decision probleminto another by altering the structure of the initial problem,either by changing the framing or by modifying the probability orvalue assignments. Examples of decision rules belonging to thisclass are the principle of insufficient reason, Isaac Levi'scondition of E-admissibility, the de minimis rule, andthe precautionary principle. In this paper some foundationalissues concerning transformative decision rules are investigated,and a couple of formal properties of this class of rules areproved.
This book interrogates the nature and state of African American citizenship through the prism of Social Contract Theory. Challenging the United States’ commitment to African American citizenship, this book explores the idea of Social Nullification, the decision to reject, revoke and re-define the social contract with a state and society. Charles F. Peterson surveys the history of Social Contract Theory, examines Nullification as political and legal theory, argues public policy as a measure of the state’s commitment to the contractarian (...) relationship and frames the writings and activism of Martin R. Delany, Ida B. Wells-Barnett and the African American Reparations Movement as examples of Social Nullification and challenges to the terms of Black life in America. (shrink)
This book presents the first systematic typological analysis of applicatives across African, American Indian, and East Asian languages. It is also the first to address their functions in discourse, the derivation of their semantic and syntactic properties, and how and why they have changed over time.Applicative constructions are typically described as transitivizing because they allow an intransitive base verb to have a direct object. The term originates from the seventeenth-century missionary grammars of Uto-Aztecan languages. Constructions designated as prepositional, benefactive, and (...) instrumental may refer to the same or similar phenomena. Applicative constructions have been deployed in the development of a range of syntactic theories which have then often been used to explain their functions, usually within the context of Bantu languages. Dr Peterson provides a wealth of cross-linguistic information on discourse-functional, diachronic, and typological aspects of applicative constructions. He documents their unexpected synchronic variety and the diversity of diachronic sources about them. He argues that many standard assumptions about applicatives are unfounded, and provides a clear guide for future language-specific and cross-linguistic research and analysis. (shrink)
Although some attention has been devoted to assessing the attitudes and concerns of businesspeople toward ethics, relatively little attention has focused on the attitudes and concerns of tomorrow's business leaders, today's college students. In this investigation a national sample was utilized to study college students' attitudes toward business ethics, with the results being analyzed by academic classification, academic major, and sex. Results of the investigation indicate that college students are currently somewhat concerned about business ethics in general, and that female (...) students in particular are more concerned about ethical issues than are their male counterparts. (shrink)
In Australia and other countries, certain groups of women have traditionally been denied access to assisted reproductive technologies . These typically are single heterosexual women, lesbians, poor women, and those whose ability to rear children is questioned, particularly women with certain disabilities or who are older. The arguments used to justify selection of women for ARTs are most often based on issues such as scarcity of resources, and absence of infertility , or on social concerns: that it “goes against nature”; (...) particular women might not make good mothers; unconventional families are not socially acceptable; or that children of older mothers might be orphaned at an early age. The social, medical, legal, and ethical reasoning that has traditionally promoted this lack of equity in access to ARTs, and whether the criteria used for client deselection are ethically appropriate in any particular case, are explored by this review. In addition, the issues of distribution and just “gatekeeping” practices associated with these sensitive medical services are examined. (shrink)
Both unipolar and bipolar depression have been linked with impairments in executive functioning. In particular, mood symptom severity is associated with differences in common EF, a latent measure of general EF abilities. The relationship between mood disorders and EF is particularly salient in adolescence and young adulthood when the ongoing development of EF intersects with a higher risk of mood disorder onset. However, it remains unclear if common EF impairments have associations with specific symptom dimensions of mood pathology such as (...) blunted positive affect, mood instability, or physiological arousal, or if differences in common EF more broadly relate to what is shared across various symptom domains, such as general negative affect or distress. To address this question, bifactor models can be applied to simultaneously examine the shared and unique contributions of particular mood symptom dimensions. However, no studies to our knowledge have examined bifactor models of mood symptoms in relation to measures of common EF. This study examined associations between common EF and general vs. specific symptom dimensions using structural equation modeling in adolescents and young adults with varying severity of mood symptoms. A General Depression factor capturing shared variance across symptoms statistically predicted lower Common EF. Additionally, a factor specific to physiological arousal was associated with lower Common EF. Anhedonia-specific and Mania-specific factors were not significantly related to Common EF. Altogether, these results indicate that deficits in common EF are driven by, or reflect, general features of mood pathology that are shared across symptom dimensions but are also specifically associated with physiological arousal. (shrink)
Constructivism is at the heart of a pedagogical philosophy going back to Vico, whose view of the interrelationship of the arts and sciences sought to reconstitute the classical paideia. The Vichian idea that human beings can only know the truth of what they themselves have made has theoretical and practical consequences for Vico's pedagogy and view of the university. Vico's ideas on education are extended in the modern period by such thinkers as Cassirer, Piaget and Bateson. At the basis of (...) Cassirer's pedagogical philosophy is his theory of the symbol, the symbol being a universal and transcendent modality in culture. The result of this unifying theory is that symbolism, which is pervasive across the disciplines, provides a moral and ethical means for integrating communication about teaching. Cassirer's thought is compatible with Piaget's, which emphasizes the pluralism of experience and the role of dynamic learning in the construction of meaningful order. Piaget's constructivism assumes that an operational bridge exists to link together the hard sciences, the human sciences, and the historical disciplines. This systems view of epistemological matters is similar in many respects to the one advanced by Gregory Bateson, which is explored in the paper's final section. (shrink)
Biological theories of religious belief are sometimes understood to undermine the very beliefs they are describing, proposing an alternative explanation for the causes of belief different from that given by religious believers themselves. This article surveys three categories of biological theorizing derived from evolutionary biology, cognitive science of religion, and neuroscience. Although each field raises important issues and in some cases potential challenges to the legitimacy of religious belief, in most cases the significance of these theories for the holding of (...) religious beliefs is not very great. (shrink)
This volume explores the role of both “mere habits” and sophisticated habitus in the formation of moral character and the virtues, incorporating perspectives from philosophy, theology, psychology, and neuroscience.