As Archer argues, recent developmental data on human physical aggression support the sexual selection hypothesis. However, sex differences are largely due to males on a chronic trajectory of aggression. Maternal characteristics of these males suggest that, in societies with low levels of physical violence, females with a history of behavior problems largely contribute to maintenance of physical aggression sex differences.
This classic, first published in 1969, introduces to English-speaking readers a field which is of increasing importance in contemporary philosophy and theology--hermeneutics, the theory of understanding, or interpretation. Richard E. Palmer, utilizing largely untranslated sources, treats principally of the conception of hermeneutics enunciated by Heidegger and developed into a "philosophical hermeneutics" by Hans-Georg Gadamer. He provides a brief overview of the field by surveying some half-dozen alternate definitions of the term and by examining in detail the contributions of Friedrich (...) Schleiermacher and Wilhelm Dilthey. In the Manifesto which concludes the book, Palmer suggests the potential significance of hermeneutics for literary interpretation. (shrink)
A few years ago I ran across a statement by Jean-Paul Sartre which seemed to imply that if there is a God, then there can be no human freedom. That thesis struck me as questionable, but at the time I did not pause to examine it. More recently I ran across a similar, more explicit statement by Kurt Baier, and I decided the time to pause had come. My knee-jerk response to Baier – and I confess it was probably nothing (...) more – was, ‘Why can't there be human freedom if there is a God? Indeed, can there be human freedom if there isn't a God ?’ The second of these questions has proved to be the more provocative to me, for the more I have thought about it, the more it has seemed to me that it is the atheist and not the theist who should be on the defensive about libertarianism, i.e. the position that human beings do act, that human actions are not determined, that we are the sole cause of our actions, and that all things remaining the same, we could have done otherwise. Indeed, the more I thought about that question – Can there be human freedom if there is no God? – the more convinced I became that the atheist has no good reason for believing in libertarianism. Note: I am not saying that atheism is logically incompatible with libertarianism. Perhaps it is, but if it is, that is not yet obvious to me. Rather, I am saying that an atheist who believes in libertarianism must believe in it on the basis of faith and must hold this faith in opposition to the only type of evidence that is available to him. Hence, by denying the existence of God, Baier and Sartre do not make room for human freedom; they make belief in human freedom irrational. By contrast, I shall argue, the theist does have a good reason for believing that humans are free. Let's take separate looks at Baier and Sartre; then I shall summarize the substance of my position. (shrink)
While reflecting one day on the enormous difficulties that men have in knowing that there is a God, a completely unexpected and unfamiliar question drifted into my purview – perhaps as a kind of ultimate expression of my philosophical frustration. ‘Indeed’, the question asked, ‘can even God know that he is God?’ At first I thought this query merely amusing. ‘Wouldn't it be funny if God cannot know that he is God! But of course he can.’ So my mind wandered (...) on to other things. The question did not leave me alone, though. It insisted that I take it seriously, and the more I did, the more legitimate, complex, and significant it came to seem - and still does. (shrink)
Reviews evidence which suggests that there may be little or no direct introspective access to higher order cognitive processes. Ss are sometimes unaware of the existence of a stimulus that importantly influenced a response, unaware of the existence of the response, and unaware that the stimulus has affected the response. It is proposed that when people attempt to report on their cognitive processes, that is, on the processes mediating the effects of a stimulus on a response, they do not do (...) so on the basis of any true introspection. Instead, their reports are based on a priori, implicit causal theories, or judgments about the extent to which a particular stimulus is a plausible cause of a given response. This suggests that though people may not be able to observe directly their cognitive processes, they will sometimes be able to report accurately about them. Accurate reports will occur when influential stimuli are salient and are plausible causes of the responses they produce, and will not occur when stimuli are not salient or are not plausible causes. (shrink)
As its subtitle 'Skepticism, Individuality and Chastened Politics' indicates, this book is an exploration of and a largely favorable engagement with salient elements in the thinking of a theorist who is widely regarded as the greatest Anglophone political thinker and among the top rank of philosophical writers generally. In emphazing Hobbes's skepticism, Richard Flathman goes against the grain of much of the literature concerning Hobbes. The theme of individuality is more familiar, particularly from the celebrated writings on Hobbes by (...) Michael Oakeshott, but the idea of a chastened politics challenges the widely influential view that Hobbes was not only an authoritarian but an incipient or proto-totalitarian. (shrink)
The authors find East Asians to be holistic, attending to the entire field and assigning causality to it, making relatively little use of categories and formal logic, and relying on "dialectical" reasoning, whereas Westerners, are more analytic, paying attention primarily to the object and the categories to which it belongs and using rules, including formal logic, to understand its behavior. The 2 types of cognitive processes are embedded in different naive metaphysical systems and tacit epistemologies. The authors speculate that the (...) origin of these differences is traceable to markedly different social systems. The theory and the evidence presented call into question long-held assumptions about basic cognitive processes and even about the appropriateness of the process–content distinction. (shrink)
_Philosophy of Religion: The Basics_ offers a concise introduction to philosophy of religion, distilling key discussions and concepts of the subject to their succinct essence, providing a truly accessible entry into the subject. A truly accessible introduction to philosophy of religion for beginners Takes a topical approach, starting with the nature of religion and moving the reader through the major concepts, explaining how topics connect and point to one another Offers a thorough and full treatment of diverse conceptions of God, (...) the ontological argument, and divine attributes and dilemmas A genuinely concise introduction, this text can be used alongside other resources without overtaxing students Represents 30 years of experience teaching to undergraduates Includes a free downloadable file with key excerpts and additions to help students study. (shrink)
Staged 2 different videotaped interviews with the same individual—a college instructor who spoke English with a European accent. In one of the interviews the instructor was warm and friendly, in the other, cold and distant. 118 undergraduates were asked to evaluate the instructor. Ss who saw the warm instructor rated his appearance, mannerisms, and accent as appealing, whereas those who saw the cold instructor rated these attributes as irritating. Results indicate that global evaluations of a person can induce altered evaluations (...) of the person's attributes, even when there is sufficient information to allow for independent assessments of them. Furthermore, Ss were unaware of this influence of global evaluations on ratings of attributes. In fact, Ss who saw the cold instructor actually believed that the direction of influence was opposite to the true direction. They reported that their dislike of the instructor had no effect on their rating of his attributes but that their dislike of his attributes had lowered their global evaluations of him. (shrink)
Richard Wolin, in his article 'Nazism and the Complicities of Hans-Georg Gadamer: Untruth and Method' ( New Republic , 15 May 2000, pp. 36-45), wrongly accuses Gadamer of being 'in complicity' with the Nazis. The present article in reply was rejected by the New Republic , but is printed here to show that Wolin in his article is misinformed and unfair. First, Wolin makes elementary factual errors, such as stating that Gadamer was born in Breslau instead of Marburg. He (...) relies on a highly questionable source, Teresa Orozco, as 'definitive'. He argues often by misconstruing the evidence and guilt by association. For instance, he associates Gadamer with Werner Jaeger, with whom he disagreed and had little contact. Finally,he misinterprets basic terms in Gadamer's hermeneutics, Vorurteil and authority, attributing to them the popular sense of these terms instead of their place in Gadamer's hermeneutics. Vorurteil , popularly translated as 'prejudice', but better rendered as 'prejudgment', refers to the prior knowledge that one needs in order to understand a situation or a text. In some cases, this is part of the inherited tradition. Authority refers to the respect one pays to those one recognizes as having more knowledge than oneself: one's doctor, or parent, or teacher, a judge, or certain texts. It is not an abject surrender to all authority but the necessary respect for authority in human relationships and in society in general. By misconstruing these terms, Wolin attempts to discredit Gadamer's general philosophy,not just to demonstrate a connection to the Nazis. At the end, his argument turns into a misinformed general political attack on Gadamer as an enemy of Enlightenment values. (shrink)
A long-standing challenge to evolutionary theory has been whether it can explain the origin of complex organismal features. We examined this issue using digital organisms—computer programs that self-replicate, mutate, compete and evolve. Populations of digital organisms often evolved the ability to perform complex logic functions requiring the coordinated execution of many genomic instructions. Complex functions evolved by building on simpler functions that had evolved earlier, provided that these were also selectively favoured. However, no particular intermediate stage was essential for evolving (...) complex functions. The ﬁrst genotypes able to perform complex functions differed from their non-performing parents by only one or two mutations, but differed from the ancestor by many mutations that were also crucial to the new functions. In some cases, mutations that were deleterious when they appeared served as stepping-stones in the evolution of complex features. These ﬁndings show how complex functions can originate by random mutation and natural selection. (shrink)
Ethics and the Environment includes contributions from distinguished philosophers, humanists, politicians, geologists, chemists and physicists. This volume opens with an historical and philosophical background to provide a basis for discussion of significant contemporary changes in ethical theory.
This book examines two questions: Do people make use of abstract rules such as logical and statistical rules when making inferences in everyday life? Can such abstract rules be changed by training? Contrary to the spirit of reductionist theories from behaviorism to connectionism, there is ample evidence that people do make use of abstract rules of inference -- including rules of logic, statistics, causal deduction, and cost-benefit analysis. Such rules, moreover, are easily alterable by instruction as it occurs in classrooms (...) and in brief laboratory training sessions. The fact that purely formal training can alter them and that those taught in one content domain can "escape" to a quite different domain for which they are also highly applicable shows that the rules are highly abstract. The major implication for cognitive science is that people are capable of operating with abstract rules even for concrete, mundane tasks; therefore, any realistic model of human inferential capacity must reflect this fact. The major implication for education is that people can be far more broadly influenced by training than is generally supposed. At high levels of formality and abstraction, relatively brief training can alter the nature of problem-solving for an infinite number of content domains. (shrink)
H.P. Grice is known principally for his influential contributions to the philosophy of language, but his work also includes treatises on the philosophy of mind, ethics, and metaphysics--much of which is unpublished to date. This collection of original essays by such philosophers as Nancy Cartwright, Donald Davidson, Gilbert Harman, and P.F. Strawson demonstrates the unified and powerful character of Grice's thoughts on being, mind, meaning, and morals. An introductory essay by the editors provides the first overview of Grice's work.
Rights might be regarded as an objectionable and even a dangerous feature of moral, political, and legal arrangements. It is an element of all types of rights that Able's having right X entails requirements or prohibitions for Baker. These restrictions hold against Baker at Able's discretion, that is unless Able excuses Baker from respecting them. Nor are the restrictions merely decorative. We must presume that they are established because of the expectation that Baker would otherwise be disposed to interfere with (...) the action Ms. Able's right warrants her in taking. Thus as writers as early as Spinoza have stressed, rights are powers – one might even say weapons – that Able may use against Baker. Of course, as a practical matter these “weapons” are frequently ineffective. Ms. Baker may willfully ignore her obligations and prevent Ms. Able from enjoying her entitlements. But such occurrences, as common and as unfortunate as they are, do not materially ease the task of justifying rights. It is only insofar as rights are effective, and hence only insofar as anyone will have reason to defend them, that they are weapons in Able's hands. (shrink)
The fitness of any evolutionary unit can be understood in terms of its two basic components: fecundity (reproduction) and viability (survival). Trade-offs between these fitness components drive the evolution of life-history traits in extant multicellular organisms. We argue that these trade-offs gain special significance during the transition from unicellular to multicellular life. In particular, the evolution of germ–soma specialization and the emergence of individuality at the cell group (or organism) level are also consequences of trade-offs between the two basic fitness (...) components, or so we argue using a multilevel selection approach. During the origin of multicellularity, we study how the group trade-offs between viability and fecundity are initially determined by the cell level trade-offs, but as the transition proceeds, the fitness trade-offs at the group level depart from those at the cell level. We predict that these trade-offs begin with concave curvature in single-celled organisms but become increasingly convex as group size increases in multicellular organisms. We argue that the increasingly convex curvature of the trade-off function is driven by the cost of reproduction which increases as group size increases. We consider aspects of the biology of the volvocine green algae – which contain both unicellular and multicellular members – to illustrate the principles and conclusions discussed. (shrink)
Demonstrating the different roles that logic plays in the disciplines of computer science, mathematics, and philosophy, this concise undergraduate textbook covers select topics from three different areas of logic: proof theory, computability theory, and nonclassical logic. The book balances accessibility, breadth, and rigor, and is designed so that its materials will fit into a single semester. Its distinctive presentation of traditional logic material will enhance readers' capabilities and mathematical maturity. The proof theory portion presents classical propositional logic and first-order logic (...) using a computer-oriented (resolution) formal system. Linear resolution and its connection to the programming language Prolog are also treated. The computability component offers a machine model and mathematical model for computation, proves the equivalence of the two approaches, and includes famous decision problems unsolvable by an algorithm. The section on nonclassical logic discusses the shortcomings of classical logic in its treatment of implication and an alternate approach that improves upon it: Anderson and Belnap's relevance logic. Applications are included in each section. The material on a four-valued semantics for relevance logic is presented in textbook form for the first time. Aimed at upper-level undergraduates of moderate analytical background, Three Views of Logic will be useful in a variety of classroom settings. Gives an exceptionally broad view of logic. Treats traditional logic in a modern format. Presents relevance logic with applications. Provides an ideal text for a variety of one-semester upper-level undergraduate courses. (shrink)
The empirical turn in bioethics has been widely discussed by philosophical medical ethicists and social scientists. The focus of this discussion has been almost exclusively on methodological issues in research, on the admissibility of empirical evidence in rational argument, and on the possible superiority of empirical methods for permitting democratic lay involvement in decision-making. In this paper I consider how the collection of qualitative and quantitative social research evidence plays its part in the construction of social order, and how this (...) creates certain paradoxes for the normative ideal of a public bioethics. The analysis in this paper is based on Foucauldian ideas, and on recent work in the history of the human sciences. The paper closes with some open questions for theoretical work in the sociology and philosophy of bioethics. (shrink)
Disputes regarding the ethics of work by children have intensified in recent years, with little resolution. The impasses stem from failure to recognize the diverse forms of child work and a lack of empirical research regarding its causes and consequences. We report on data gathered in Brazil’s export-oriented shoe industry, which is notorious for the employment of children. Central findings are: 1) the causes of child work have less to do with backwardness and more to do with how shoe workers (...) are integrated into the global order; 2) local employers and children regard this work as benign, but the U.S. government sees it as hazardous to children and unfair to U.S. producers; 3) efforts to remove children from the shoe industry have been frustrated by local resistance and raise ethical questions; and 4) in certain circumstances, efforts to eliminate hazards from the workplace are morally superior to campaigns to remove childworkers from employment. (shrink)
Edited by four leading members of the new generation of medical and healthcare ethicists working in the UK, respected worldwide for their work in medical ethics, Principles of Health Care Ethics, Second Edition_is a standard resource for students, professionals, and academics wishing to understand current and future issues in healthcare ethics. With a distinguished international panel of contributors working at the leading edge of academia, this volume presents a comprehensive guide to the field, with state of the art introductions to (...) the wide range of topics in modern healthcare ethics, from consent to human rights, from utilitarianism to feminism, from the doctor-patient relationship to xenotransplantation. This volume is the Second Edition of the highly successful work edited by Professor Raanan Gillon, Emeritus Professor of Medical Ethics at Imperial College London and former editor of the Journal of Medical Ethics, the leading journal in this field. Developments from the First Edition include:_ The focus on ‘Four Principles Method’ is relaxed to cover more different methods in health care ethics. More material on new medical technologies is included, the coverage of issues on the doctor/patient relationship is expanded, and material on ethics and public health is brought together into a new section. (shrink)