Bioethics today has become a subject of wide public concern. Almost every one of its tenets is being seriously questioned and likely to be reformulated. Moreover, the pressure on bioethics continues to mount as the number of moral conflicts that buffet our society increases. What, then, will bioethics look like a decade from now? In the variety of approaches that have been employed in the practice of bioethics, one has dominated in the United States in the last decade and a (...) half. That approach is "principlism", the use of moral principles to address theoretical issues and to resolve conflicts at the bedside. Recently, however, bioethicists and others increasingly have realized the limitations of principlism and are calling for the development of alternative approaches such as phenomenology, hermeneutics, narrative ethics, casuistry, and virtue ethics. This book maps the debate over principlism and the future direction of U.S. bioethics. Part One consists of a sociological description of U.S. bioethics at the beginning of the 1990s, along with a defense of principlism by one of its major proponents. Part Two maps cross-cultural critiques of principlism, while Part Three covers five alternatives to it. Three essays in Part Four - by a bioethicist, a physician, and a theologian - reflect on the future of U.S. bioethics, principlism, and its alternatives. The Afterword emphasizes the place of religion and theological discourse in the alternative approaches and in the future of bioethics. (shrink)
The spatial dynamics of the optical emission from an array of 50 times 50 individual microcavity plasma devices is investigated. The array is operated in argon and argon-neon mixtures close to atmospheric pressure with an ac voltage. The optical emission is analysed with phase and space resolution. It has been found that the emission is not continuous over the entire ac period, but occurs once per half period. Each of the observed emission phases shows a self-pulsing of the discharge, with (...) several bursts of emission of fixed width and repetition rate. The number of emission bursts depends on applied voltage and frequency. Spatially resolved measurements prove that the emission bursts are formed by overlapping emission pulses from single discharge cavities. Intensity differences between positive and negative half-wave can be interpreted through spatially resolved measurements of single discharge cavities. (shrink)
When Dr. van Fleteren writes of the articles I criticized as dating from some twenty years ago, the unwary reader might infer that my criticism of those articles was, for its part, relatively recent. The fact is, however, that when the two connected articles I eventually criticized appeared in the volumes of Augustinian Studies, I wrote this reply while Fr. Robert Russell, of happy memory, was still at the helm, and was promised publication in the near future. Meanwhile, however, Fr. (...) Russell had the discourtesy to move on to a more intimate acquaintance with Augustine than any of us on this confused planet can boast of, and someone sowed cockle into field he had tended: in unaccountable fashion my article seems to have disappeared. Only a recent letter of inquiry on my part, and Fr. Allan Fitzgerald’s understanding reply, resulted in this renewal of dialogue between Dr. van Fleteren and me. Let me assure both Dr. van Fleteren and Fr. Fitzgerald that I am grateful for giving it exactly that form, a courteous dialogue. (shrink)
Introduction, by R. A. Markus.--St. Augustine and Christian Platonism, by A. H. Armstrong.--Action and contemplation, by F. R. J. O'Connell.--St. Augustine on signs, by R. A. Markus.--The theory of signs in St. Augustine's De doctrina Christiana, by B. D. Jackson.--Si fallor, sum, by G. B. Matthews.--Augustine on speaking from memory, by G. B. Matthews.--The inner man, by G. B. Matthews.--On Augustine's concept of a person, by A. C. Lloyd.--Augustine on foreknowledge and free will, by W. L. Rowe.--Augustine on free (...) will and predestination, by J. M. Rist.--Time and contingency in St. Augustine, by R. Jordan.--Empiricism and Augustine's problems about time, by H. M. Lacey.--Political society, by P. R. L. Brown.--The development of Augustine's ideas on society before the Donatist controversy, by F. E. Cranz.--De Civitate Dei, XV, 2, and Augustine's idea of the Christian society, by F. E. Cranz.--Chronological table.--Note on further reading (p. -423). (shrink)
This paper contends that rationality is more properly evaluated as a property of an organization’s relationships with its stakeholders than of the organization itself. We predicate our approach on the observation that stakeholders can hold goals quite distinct from those of owners and top managers, and these too can be rationally pursued. We build upon stakeholder theory and Weber’s classic distinction between wertrationalitat and zweckrationalitat, adding to them the “new institutionalist” concept of the organization field . Stakeholders employ a variety (...) of direct and indirect mechanisms to rationalize relations with the firm. We discuss four: internal subunits, legislated stakeholder participation, legislated access to information, and direct stakeholder activism. Thesedevelopments are blurring the distinction between the environment and the organization by importing the values and goals of external stakeholders into the internal organization. They are also precipitating a more structured set of relationships among the actors who comprise the field. To the extent that the zweckrationalitat values of managers and owners as well as the wertrationalitat concerns of stakeholders are met, the firm is more rational. (shrink)
William James’ celebrated lecture on “The Will to Believe” has kindled spirited controversy since the day it was delivered. In this lively reappraisal of that controversy, Father O’Connell contributes some fresh contentions: that James’ argument should be viewed against his indebtedness to Pascal and Renouvier; that it works primarily to validate our “over-beliefs” ; and most surprising perhaps, that James envisages our “passional nature” as intervening, not after, but before and throughout, our intellectual weighing of the evidence for belief.
The Phenomenon of Man, by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, has been characterized as metaphysics, poetry, and mysticism-virtually everything except what its author claimed it was: a "purely scientific mémoir." Professor O'Connell here follows up on a nest of clues, uncovered first in an early unpublished essay, then in the series of essays contained principally in The Vision of the Past. Those clues all point to Teilhard's intimate familiarity with the philosophy of science propounded by the celebrated Pierre Duhem. It (...) was Duhem's central claim that science, to remain true to itself, must aim at establishing a genuine "natural classification" phenomenal reality. That insight, Professor O'Connell argues, guided Teilhard's lifelong effort to describe the "imposed reality-factors" which science in its variety of forms suggests as ingredients and operative at every phase in the evolutionary development of planet Earth. Limiting his focus to the way Teilhard unfolded his vision of the past, Professor O'Connell concludes that those who deprecate Teilhard as unscientific betray little awareness of how sophisticated his understanding of science truly was. (shrink)
A great thinker once said that "all philosophy is merely footnotes to Plato."Through Plato, Father O'Connell provides us here with an introduction to all philosophy. Designed for beginning students in philosophy, Plato on the Human Paradox examines and confronts human nature and the eternal questions concerning human nature through the dialogues of Plato, focusing on the Apology, Phaedo, Books III-VI of the Republic, Meno, Symposium, and O'Connell presents us here with an introduction to Plato through the philosopher's quest (...) to define "human excellence" or arete in terms of defining what "human being" is body and soul, focusing on Plato's preoccupations with the questions of how and what it means to have a "good life" in relation to or as opposed to a "moral life.". (shrink)
As a young student in Paris, O'Connell was first enamored of the intriguing artistic imagery of Augustine's works. The imagery continued to impress him as his scholarship continued. Now, after many years of research and regarding study on the topic, a thorough treatment of Augustine's "image clusters" is revealed in this volume, Soundings in St. Augustine's Imagination. That St. Augustine's writings are empowered by use of poetic imagery is of interest to readers of philosophy, theology, as well as language. (...) In this work, Augustine's imagery is used as a basis to shed light on some of his thought which had previously puzzled the scholarly world. Soundings in St. Augustine's Imagination is an imperative addition to any philosophical library and a rich reward for all intrigued by his dramatic use of language and metaphor. (shrink)
This book rounds off the study of St. Augustine's view of the human condition which Fr. O'Connell began in St. Augustine's Early Theory of Man, A.D. 386-391, and continued in St. Augustine's Confessions: The Odyssey of Soul. The central thesis of that first book, and the guiding hypothesis of the second, proposed that Augustine thought of us in "Plotinian" terms, as "fallen souls," and that he interpreted, in all sincerity, the teachings of Scripture as reflecting that same view. (...) class='Hi'>O'Connell sees the weightiest objection to his proposal as stemming from what scholars generally agree is Augustine's firm rejection of that view in his later works. The central contention here is that Augustine did indeed reject his earlier theory, but only for a short while. He came to see the text from Romans 9, 11 as apparently compelling that rejection. But then his firm belief that all humans are guilty of original sin would have left him traducianism as his only acceptable way of understanding the origin of sinful human souls. The materialistic cast of traducianism, however, always repelled Augustine. Hence, he struggles to elaborate a fresh interpretation of Romans 9,11, and eventually he finds one that permits him to return to a slightly revised version of his earlier view. That theory, O'Connell argues, is encased in both the De Civitate Dei and the final version of the De Trinitate. This terse summary barely hints at the richness of detail contained here: O'Connell beginswith a minute analysis of the third book of the De Libero Arbitrio, then of the letters and works ostensibly supporting rival chronological patterns which he must overturn in order to make his case. Finally, in the light of his findings, he offers fresh interpretations of Augustine's three mature masterpieces, On Genesis, The Trinity, and City of god. These, along with Fr. O'Connell's contention that Augustine's anti-Pelagian De Peccatorum Meritis et Remissione must have seen publication no earlier than A.D. 416/17, will doubtless fuel scholarly debate for some time to come. Indeed, Pelagianism made the question of the soul's origin so pivotal for Augustine, that few of our current interpretations of Augustine are likely to remain unaffected by the results of O'Connell's searching and provocative study. (shrink)
A narrative history of Oxford Movement, whereby a group of Anglican intellectuals, notably Newman, Pusey, Keble and Froude, attempted to restore to the Victorian Church of England the character of primitive Christianity. Many of the inherent principles, such as Apostolic Succession, were seen to be exemplified by the Catholic Church.
“... it ain't likely to have a radius of exactly zero,” is the conclusion of H. G. Dehmelt(1) from his Nobel Prize (1989) winning observations on trapped electrons. There are small discrepancies between Dehmelt's observations and the theoretical predictions of quantum electrodynamics (QED), which assumes that the electron is a point particle. Here we present evidence in support of Dehmelt's contention that the electron has a structure. Essentially, we point out that the nonrelativistic limit of QED is at variance with (...) a fundamental principle underlying all of physics, viz. the second law of thermodynamics. (shrink)
What was the background to Newman’s rectorship of the Catholic University in Dublin? In 1845 the British government proposed to establish three non-denominational colleges in Ireland; some of the Irish bishops felt that it would be possible to work out a modus vivendi with the government. A slight majority of the bishops, however, opposed these so-called “godless” colleges and voted at the Synod of Thurles in 1850, to found a Catholic University in Ireland—a country that had been repeatedly decimated by (...) poverty and oppression, and a few years earlier the potato famine (1845-48). (shrink)
The phase space formulation of quantum mechanics is based on the use of quasidistribution functions. This technique was pioneered by Wigner, whose distribution function is perhaps the most commonly used of the large variety that we find discussed in the literature. Here we address the question of how one can obtain distribution functions and hence do quantum mechanics without the use of wave functions.