A central theme throughout the impressive series of philosophical books and articles Stephen Toulmin has published since 1948 is the way in which assertions and opinions concerning all sorts of topics, brought up in everyday life or in academic research, can be rationally justified. Is there one universal system of norms, by which all sorts of arguments in all sorts of fields must be judged, or must each sort of argument be judged according to its own norms? In The (...) Uses of Argument Toulmin sets out his views on these questions for the first time. In spite of initial criticisms from logicians and fellow philosophers, The Uses of Argument has been an enduring source of inspiration and discussion to students of argumentation from all kinds of disciplinary background for more than forty years. (shrink)
The relations among consciousness, brain, behavior, and scientific explanation are explored in the domain of color perception. Current scientific knowledge about color similarity, color composition, dimensional structure, unique colors, and color categories is used to assess Locke.
The Limits of Influence is a detailed examination and defense of the evidence for largescale-psychokinesis . It examines the reasons why experimental evidence has not, and perhaps cannot, convince most skeptics that PK is genuine, and it considers why traditional experimental procedures are important to reveal interesting facts about the phenomena.
For over thirty years, Stephen Braude has studied the paranormal in everyday life, from extrasensory perception and psychokinesis to mediumship and materialization. _The Gold Leaf Lady and Other Parapsychological Investigations_ is a highly readable and often amusing account of his most memorable encounters with such phenomena. Here Braude recounts in fascinating detail five particular cases—some that challenge our most fundamental scientific beliefs and others that expose our own credulousness. Braude begins with a south Florida woman who can make thin (...) gold-colored foil appear spontaneously on her skin. He then travels to New York and California to test psychokinetic superstars—and frauds—like Joe Nuzum, who claim to move objects using only their minds. Along the way, Braude also investigates the startling allegations of K.R., a policeman in Annapolis who believes he can transfer images from photographs onto other objects—including his own body—and Ted Serios, a deceased Chicago elevator operator who could make a variety of different images appear on Polaroid film. Ultimately, Braude considers his wife’s surprisingly fruitful experiments with astrology, which she has used to guide professional soccer teams to the top of their leagues, as well as his own personal experiences with synchronicity—a phenomenon, he argues, that may need to be explained in terms of a refined, extensive, and dramatic form of psychokinesis. Heady, provocative, and brimming with eye-opening details and suggestions, _The Gold Leaf Lady and Other Parapsychological Investigations_ will intrigue both adherents and detractors of its controversial subject matter alike. (shrink)
Why are people interested in money? Specifically, what could be the biological basis for the extraordinary incentive and reinforcing power of money, which seems to be unique to the human species? We identify two ways in which a commodity which is of no biological significance in itself can become a strong motivator. The first is if it is used as a tool, and by a metaphorical extension this is often applied to money: it is used instrumentally, in order to obtain (...) biologically relevant incentives. Second, substances can be strong motivators because they imitate the action of natural incentives but do not produce the fitness gains for which those incentives are instinctively sought. The classic examples of this process are psychoactive drugs, but we argue that the drug concept can also be extended metaphorically to provide an account of money motivation. From a review of theoretical and empirical literature about money, we conclude that (i) there are a number of phenomena that cannot be accounted for by a pure Tool Theory of money motivation; (ii) supplementing Tool Theory with a Drug Theory enables the anomalous phenomena to be explained; and (iii) the human instincts that, according to a Drug Theory, money parasitizes include trading (derived from reciprocal altruism) and object play. (Published Online April 5 2006) Key Words: economic behaviour; evolutionary psychology; giving; incentive; money; motivation; play; reciprocal altruism. (shrink)
The Limits of Influence is a detailed examination and defense of the evidence for largescale-psychokinesis. It examines the reasons why experimental evidence has not, and perhaps cannot, convince most skeptics that PK is genuine, and it considers why traditional experimental procedures are important to reveal interesting facts about the phenomena.
This article explores five important issues relating to the evaluation of ethics education in accounting. The issues that are considered include: (a) reasons for evaluating accounting ethics education (see Caplan, 1980, pp. 133–35); (b) goal setting as a prerequisite to evaluating the outcomes of accounting ethics education (see Caplan, 1980, pp. 135–37); (c) possible broad levels of outcomes of accounting ethics education that can be evaluated; (d) matters relating to accounting ethics education that are in need of evaluation (see Caplan, (...) 1980, p. 136); and (e) possible techniques for measuring outcomes of accounting ethics education (see Caplan, 1980, pp. 144–49). The paper concludes with a discussion of the issues under consideration. (shrink)
In the Philosophy of Sport literature, play has been widely conceived, in whole or part, as an autotelic activity; that is, an activity pursued for intrinsic factors. I examine several versions of the conception of play as an autotelic activity. Given these different accounts, I raise the question whether the concept of autotelic play is tenable. I examine three possibilities: (i) accept the concept of autotelic play and reject the possibility of satisfying the conditions for play activities; (ii) accept the (...) concept and acknowledge that play refers to a range of activities ranging from the purely autotelic to something less; and, (iii) reject the definition of play as an autotelic activity and redefine play. I argue that the third option is the best avenue for constructing a viable account of play. In defending this third option, I argue that play activities are value laden, that the value of play is an empirical matter, and that the effect of motivating reasons on behavior is the basis for determining which motivating reasons count as intrinsic or extrinsic. I conclude that the weight of the arguments suggest we would be well-served to redefine and move beyond the notion of autotelic play. (shrink)
This article explores the defense Indian Buddhist texts make in support of their conceptions of lives that are good for an individual. This defense occurs, largely, through their analysis of ordinary experience as being saturated by subtle forms of suffering . I begin by explicating the most influential of the Buddhist taxonomies of suffering: the threefold division into explicit suffering , the suffering of change , and conditioned suffering . Next, I sketch the three theories of welfare that have been (...) most influential in contemporary ethical theory. I then argue that Buddhist texts underdetermine which of these theories would have been accepted by ancient Indian Buddhists. Nevertheless, Buddhist ideas about suffering narrow the shape any acceptable theory of welfare may take. In my conclusion, I argue that this narrowing process itself is enough to reconstruct a philosophical defense of the forms of life endorsed in Buddhist texts. (shrink)
Four experiments are reported which investigated the types of truth tables that people associate with conditional sentences and the kinds of inferences that they will draw from them. The present studies differed from most previous ones in using different types of content in the conditionals, for example promises and warnings. It was found that the type of content had a strong and consistent effect on both truth tables and inferences. It is suggested that this is because in real life conditionals (...) make probabilistic assertions, and that the strength of the probabilistic link is determined by the situation in which the conditional occurs. The implications of these findings for current theories of reasoning are considered and it is concluded that none of them is entirely satisfactory. It is suggested that more linguistically based theories may prove more successful. (shrink)
This paper reconstructs an Indian Buddhist response to the overdemandingness objection, the claim that a moral theory asks too much of its adherents. In the first section, I explain the objection and argue that some Mahāyāna Buddhists, including Śāntideva, face it. In the second section, I survey some possible ways of responding to the objection as a way of situating the Buddhist response alongside contemporary work. In the final section, I draw upon writing by Vasubandhu and Śāntideva in reconstructing a (...) Mahāyāna response to the objection. An essential component of this response is the psychological transformation that the bodhisattva achieves as a result of realizing the nonexistence of the self. This allows him to radically identify his well-being with the well-being of others, thereby lessening the tension between self and others upon which the overdemandingness objection usually depends. Emphasizing the attention Mahāyāna authors pay to lessening moral demandingness in this way increases our appreciation of the philosophical sophistication of their moral thought and highlights an important strategy for responding to the overdemandingness objection that has been underdeveloped in contemporary work. (shrink)
What is art's relationship to play? Those interested in this question tend to look to modern philosophy for answers, but, as this book shows, the question was already debated in antiquity by luminaries like Plato and Aristotle. Over the course of eight chapters, this book contextualizes those debates, and demonstrates their significance for theoretical problems today. Topics include the ancient child psychology at the root of the ancient Greek word for 'play', the numerous toys that have survived from antiquity, and (...) the meaning of play's conceptual opposite, the 'serious'. What emerges is a concept of play markedly different from the one we have inherited from modernity. Play is not a certain set of activities which unleashes a certain feeling of pleasure; it is rather a certain feeling of pleasure that unleashes the activities we think of as 'play'. As such, it offers a new set of theoretical challenges. (shrink)
The popular impression of Epicurean hedonism is that it advocates a life of sensual delights. Scholars know, however, that this impression is mistaken, both because of the overall conceptual structure of Epicurus’ ethics and because Epicurus prominently and repeatedly expressed such ideas as this.
Bergson’s model of time (1889) is perhaps the proto-phenomenological theory. It is part of a larger model of mind (1896) which can be seen in modern light as describing the brain as supporting a modulated wave within a holographic field, specifying the external image of the world, and wherein subject and object are differentiated not in terms of space, but of time. Bergson’s very concrete model is developed and deepened with Gibson’s ecological model of perception. It is applied to the (...) problems of consciousness, direct realism, qualia and illusions. The model implies an entirely different basis for memory and cognition, and a brief overview is given for the basis of direct memory, compositionality and systematicity. (shrink)
A common approach to explaining the perception of form is through the use of static features. The weakness of this approach points naturally to dynamic definitions of form. Considering dynamical form, however, leads inevitably to the need to explain how events are perceived as time-extended—a problem with primacy over that even of qualia. Optic flow models, energy models, models reliant on a rigidity constraint are examined. The reliance of these models on the instantaneous specification of form at an instant, t, (...) or across a series of such instants forces the consideration of the primary memory supporting both the perception of time-extended events and the time-extension of consciousness. This cannot be reduced to an integration over space and time. The difficulty of defining the basis for this memory is highlighted in considerations of dynamic form in relation to scales of time. Ultimately, the possibility is raised that psychology must follow physics in a more profound approach to time and motion. (shrink)
Within Piaget there is an implicit theory of the development of explicit memory. It rests in the dynamical trajectory underlying the development of causality, object, space and time – a complex (COST) supporting a symbolic relationship integral to the explicit. Cassirer noted the same dependency in the phenomena of aphasias, insisting that a symbolic function is being undermined in these deficits. This is particularly critical given the reassessment of Piaget’s stages as the natural bifurcations of a self-organizing dynamic system. The (...) elements of a theoretical framework required to support explicit memory are developed, to include, (1) the complex developmental trajectory supporting the emergence of the explicit in Piaget, (2) the concrete dynamical system and the concept of a non-differentiable time contained in Bergson’s theory required to support a conscious, as opposed to an implicit remembrance, (3) the relation to current theories of amnesia, difficulties posed by certain retrograde amnesic phenomena, the role of the hippocampus and limitations of connectionist models, (4) the fact that nowhere in this overall framework does the loss of explicit memory imply or require the destruction of experience “stored in the brain.”. (shrink)
Stephen Whicher's Freedom and Fate begins with a tribute to Ralph Rusk's monumental biography The Life of Ralph Waldo Emerson, acknowledging its supremacy as a factual telling of Emerson's life that cannot be surpassed. Whicher's book aims to be a complement to the painstakingly researched outer life of Emerson by focusing on the great sage's inner life—not just his intellectual biography but the very nature of his thinking. Whicher stresses the life of "spectator-ship" that the young Emerson, perpetually ill (...) as he turned out to be, was condemned to. His writings, especially his private thoughts recorded in his journals, document the ebb and flow of his spirit, alternatively listless and resolute. (shrink)
In proposing that their model can operate in the concrete, perceptual world, Rogers & McClelland (R&M) have not done justice to the complexities of the ecological sphere and its invariance laws. The structure of concrete events forces a different framework, both for retrieval of events and concepts defined across events, than that upon which the proposed model, rooted in essence in the verbal learning tradition, implicitly rests.
Bergson's 1896 theory of perception/memory assumed a framework anticipating the quantum revolution in physics, the still unrealized implications of this framework contributing to the large neglect of Bergson today. The basics of his model are explored, including the physical concepts he advanced before the crisis in classical physics, his concept of perception as ‘virtual action’ with its relativistic implications, and his unique explication of the subject/object relationship. All form the basis for his solution to the ‘hard’ problem. The relation between (...) Bergson and Gibson as natural complements is also explored, with Bergson providing the framework that explicates Gibson's concept of direct perception, with Gibson's resonance model as a precursor to dynamic systems models of the brain and his reliance on invariance laws defining perceived events providing more detail for the mechanisms Bergson only envisioned from afar, and with Bergson providing the basis for an otherwise missing Gibsonian model of direct memory. (shrink)
The philosophical literature on multiple personality has focused primarily on problems about personal identity and psychological explanation. But multiple personality and other dissociative phenomena raise equally important and even more urgent questions about moral responsibility, in particular: In what respect(s) and to what extent should a multiple be held responsible for the actions of his/her alternate personalities? Cases of dreaming help illustrate why attributions of responsibility in cases of dissociation do not turn on putative changes in identity, as some have (...) supposed. Instead, it is argued that traditional criteria of rationality and behavioral control apply also to cases of dissociation. It is noted, however, that one can distinguish different kinds of responsibility in cases of dissociation, and that one is responsible for one's dreams in a different sense from that in which one is responsible for actions one can control and evaluate. It is also argued that in cases of multiple personality it is important to distinguish control over switching of personalities from an alter's control over its own behavior. Moreover, the author considers reasons for thinking that amnesia is less relevant to attributions of responsibility than many have supposed. (shrink)
In this paper, we consider the licensing of and codes of ethics that affect the accountant not in public accounting, the potential for an accountant not in public accounting encountering an ethical conflict situation, and the moral responsibility of such accountant when faced with an ethical dilemma. We review an approach suggested by the National Association of Accountants for dealing with an ethical conflict situation including that association's position on whistleblowing. We propose another approach based on the work of De (...) George (1981), in which both internal and external whistleblowing are possible alternatives, for use by management accountants in an ethical conflict situation. Finally, we consider the implications of our analysis for management accounting. While most of the analysis centers on management accountants, we note the likely applicability of the analysis to accountants in the public sector. (shrink)
In this article we review the principal directions that an American Accounting Association committee has taken in the past three years to encourage the teaching of ethics in accounting programs and/or courses in higher education. We also (1) briefly comment on the place of accounting ethics in both higher education and continuing professional education and (2) provide some brief final comments.
The so-called “problem of personal identity” can be viewed as either a metaphysical or an epistemological issue. Metaphysicians want to know what it is for one individual to be the same person as another. Epistemologists want to know how to decide if an individual is the same person as someone else. These two problems converge around evidence from mediumship and apparent reincarnation cases, suggesting personal survival of bodily death and dissolution. These cases make us wonder how it might be possible (...) for a person to survive death and either temporarily or permanently animate another body. And they make us wonder how we could decide if such postmortem survival has actually occurred. In this essay I argue, first, that metaphysical worries about postmortem survival are less important than many have supposed. Next, I'll consider briefly why cases suggesting postmortem survival can be so intriguing and compelling, and I'll survey our principal explanatory options and challenges. Then, I'll consider why we need to be circumspect in our appraisal of evidence for mind-body correlations. And finally, I'll try to draw a few tentative and provocative conclusions. (shrink)
In this essay several challenges are raised to the project of classifying Śāntideva’s ethical reasoning given in his Bodhicaryāvatāra, or Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva, as a species of ethical theory such as consequentialism or virtue ethics. One set of difficulties highlighted here arises because Śāntideva wrote this text to act as a manual of psychological transformation, and it is therefore often difficult to determine when his statements indicate his own ethical views. Further, even assuming we can identify (...) a set of statements that accurately portray the moral position of Śāntideva, it is argued that these statements underdetermine which foundational normative theory should be ascribed to him. (shrink)
Evolutionary theory has yet to offer a detailed model of the complex transitions from a living system of one design to another of more advanced, or simply different, design. Hidden within the writings of evolution's expositors is an implicit appeal to AI-like processes operating within the "cosmic machine" that has hitherto been evolving the plethora of functional living systems we observe. In these writings, there is disturbingly little understanding of the deep problems involved, resting as they do in the very (...) heart of AI. The end-state requirements for a system, device, or "machine" with intelligence capable of design are examined. The representational power must be sufficient to support analogical thought, an operation demanding transformations of events in imagery, in turn a function of perception, both dependent on a non-differentiable flow of time. The operational dynamics of the device must inherit this fundamental property of the dynamically transforming matter-field. Whether the evolutionary mechanisms or algorithmics thus far envisioned by biology or AI are coordinate with such requirements is left seriously in doubt. (shrink)
Bergson, writing in 1896, anticipated “sensorimotor contingencies” under the concept that perception is “virtual action.” But to explain the external image, he embedded this concept in a holographic framework where time-motion is an indivisible and the relation of subject/object is in terms of time. The target article's account of qualitative visual experience falls short for lack of this larger framework. [Objects] send back, then, to my body, as would a mirror, their eventual influence; they take rank in an order corresponding (...) to the growing or decreasing powers of my body. The objects which surround my body reflect its possible action upon them. – Henri Bergson (1896/1912, pp. 6–7). (shrink)
This paper expands the literature on accounting ethics education by considering the teaching of ethics in accounting doctoral education. Some of the ethical issues that might be addressed in accounting doctoral education are reviewed. A number of matters relating to teaching ethics to accounting doctoral students are considered. The paper concludes with a summary and some final remarks.
In this paper I discuss the advantages and challenges of using active learning, when teaching an accounting ethics course offered in higher education . The willingness of an instructor to use active learning in an accounting ethics course may be influenced at least in part by that instructor’s assessment of the advantages and challenges of using active learning. Consequently, my paper may be of assistance to instructors with experience in teaching an accounting ethics course and to instructors who are preparing (...) to teach their initial accounting ethics course. (shrink)