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2016

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Articles 1 - 30 of 1451

Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

The Concept Of Atmosphere In Management And Organization Studies, Christian Julmi Dec 2016

The Concept Of Atmosphere In Management And Organization Studies, Christian Julmi

Organizational Aesthetics

Despite a growing interest in atmospheric phenomena within management and organization studies, a distinct line of research on atmospheres can hardly be identified. The present article reviews existing concepts of atmosphere in management and organization studies to promote a common understanding of how to conceptualize atmospheres. On the uppermost level, dualistic and non-dualistic concepts of atmosphere are distinguished. This article shows that non-dualistic conceptions are more appropriate for researching atmospheres than dualistic conceptions, but still need further development. In case of this paper, it is shown that considering the socialites of atmospheres is especially important to foster such a development ...


Understanding Imperfection, Martin Zwick Dec 2016

Understanding Imperfection, Martin Zwick

Martin Zwick

Because of their inherent abstraction, systems ideas are not themselves sufficient for gaining scientific knowledge or solving practical problems, but they can be a source of insights into the universality of imperfection, insights which can contribute to a new scientific world view. Systems theory offers a metaphysics, or more precisely an ontology, of imperfection. Through it, we can heed Spinoza's injunction, “Not to lament, not to curse, but to understand.”


Complexity Theory & Political Change: Talcott Parsons Occupies Wall Street, Martin Zwick Dec 2016

Complexity Theory & Political Change: Talcott Parsons Occupies Wall Street, Martin Zwick

Martin Zwick

Complexity theory can assist our understanding of social systems and social phenomena. This paper illustrates this assertion by linking Talcott Parsons' model of societal structure to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Parsons' model is used to organize ideas about the underlying causes of the recession that currently afflicts the US. While being too abstract to depict the immediate factors that precipitated this crisis, the model is employed to articulate the argument that vulnerability to this type of event results from flaws in societal structure. This implies that such crises can be avoided only if, in Parsons' terms, structural change occurs ...


Systems Metaphysics: A Bridge From Science To Religion, Martin Zwick Dec 2016

Systems Metaphysics: A Bridge From Science To Religion, Martin Zwick

Martin Zwick

'Systems theory' is familiar to many as the scientific enterprise that includes the study of chaos, networks, and complex adaptive systems. It is less widely appreciated that the systems research program offers a world view that transcends the individual scientific disciplines. We do not live, as some argue, in a post-metaphysical age, but rather at a time when a new metaphysics is being constructed. This metaphysics is scientific and derives from graph theory, information theory, non-linear dynamics, decision theory, game theory, generalized evolution, and other transdisciplinary theories. These 'systems' theories focus on form and process, independent of materiality; they are ...


Information, Constraint, And Meaning, Martin Zwick Dec 2016

Information, Constraint, And Meaning, Martin Zwick

Martin Zwick

Despite the familiar and correct disclaimer that information theory (Shannon and Weaver, 1949) does not concern the semantic level of communication, the technical definition of information nonetheless bears directly and importantly on the subject of meaning. Meaning, at least in one sense of the word, is the recognition of constraint and is based on isomorphism of structure. Constraint reduces information yet information is also the very substrate of meaning. Meaning is thus the union of the informative and the intelligible (Moles, 1958), the reconciliation of this dialectical opposition being achievable in several different ways.


A Conversation On Theodicy, Martin Zwick Dec 2016

A Conversation On Theodicy, Martin Zwick

Martin Zwick

The following is a dialog, published in The Global Spiral, January 9, 2008, about the idea of a systems-theoretic 'secular theodicy,' discussed in the author's "Towards an Ontology of Problems," "Understanding lmperfection," and (exemplified in a preliminary way in) "Incompleteness, Negation, and Hazard: On the Precariousness of Systems." The dialog was inspired by Susan Neiman's Evil in Modem Thought: An Alternative History of Philosophy, Princeton University Press, 2002.


Systems Theory And The Metaphysics Of Composition, Martin Zwick Dec 2016

Systems Theory And The Metaphysics Of Composition, Martin Zwick

Martin Zwick

Ideas from systems theory - recursive unity and emergent attributes - are applied to the metaphysical and meta-metaphysical debates about the ontological status of composites. These ideas suggest the rejection of both extremes of universalism and nihilism, favoring instead the intermediate position that some composites exist in a nontrivial sense - those having unity and emergent novelty - while others do not. Systems theory is egalitarian: it posits that what exist are systems, equal in their ontological status. Some systems are fundamental, but what exists is not merely the fundamental, and the fundamental is not merely the foundational. The status of composites raises non-trivial ...


Levels Of Altruism, Martin Zwick, Jeffrey Alan Fletcher Dec 2016

Levels Of Altruism, Martin Zwick, Jeffrey Alan Fletcher

Martin Zwick

The phenomenon of altruism extends from the biological realm to the human sociocultural realm. This paper sketches a coherent outline of multiple types of altruism of progressively increasing scope that span these two realms and are grounded in an ever-expanding sense of "self." Discussion of this framework notes difficulties associated with altruisms at different levels. It links scientific ideas about the evolution of cooperation and about hierarchical order to perennial philosophical and religious concerns. It offers a conceptual background for inquiry into societal challenges that call for altruistic behavior, especially the challenge of environmental and social sustainability.


Freedom As A Natural Phenomenon, Martin Zwick Dec 2016

Freedom As A Natural Phenomenon, Martin Zwick

Martin Zwick

"Freedom" is a phenomenon in the natural world. This phenomenon - and indirectly the question of free will - is explored using a variety of systems-theoretic ideas. It is argued that freedom can emerge only in systems that are partially detennined and partially random, and that freedom is a matter of degree. The paper considers types of freedom and their conditions of possibility in simple living systems and in complex living systems that have modeling (cognitive) subsystems. In simple living systems, types of freedom include independence from fixed materiality, internal rather than external detennination, activeness that is unblocked and holistic, and the ...


Is The Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception Of Nature False?, Martin Zwick Dec 2016

Is The Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception Of Nature False?, Martin Zwick

Martin Zwick

This paper assesses the main argument of Thomas Nagel's recent book, Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False. The paper agrees with Nagel that, as an approach to the relation between mind and matter and the mystery of subjective experience, neutral monism is more likely to be true than either materialism or idealism. It disagrees with Nagel by favoring a version of neutral monism based on emergence rather than on a reductive pan-psychism. However, the paper invokes a reductive view when applied to information (as opposed to psyche), and posits a hierarchy ...


Mind And Life: Is The Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception Of Nature False?, Martin Zwick Dec 2016

Mind And Life: Is The Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception Of Nature False?, Martin Zwick

Martin Zwick

A partial review of Thomas Nagel's book, Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist NeoDarwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False is used to articulate some systems-theoretic ideas about the challenge of understanding subjective experience. The article accepts Nagel' s view that reductionist materialism fails as an approach to this challenge, but argues that seeking an explanation of mind based on emergence is more plausible than one based on panpsychism, which Nagel favors. However, the article proposes something similar to Nagel's neutral monism by positing a hierarchy of information processes that span the domains of matter, life, and ...


Freedom As A Natural Phenomenon, Martin Zwick Dec 2016

Freedom As A Natural Phenomenon, Martin Zwick

Martin Zwick

This phenomenon of "freedom" in the natural world - and indirectly the question of free will - is explored using systems-theoretic concepts that link the idea of freedom to ideas about autonomy and agency. The focus is on living systems in general, and on living systems that have cognitive subsystems more specifically. After touching on the relevance to freedom of determinism vs. randomness, the paper examines four types of freedom: (i) independence from fixed materiality, (ii) activeness that is unblocked and wholistic, (iii) internal rather than external determination, and (iv) regulation by an informational subsystem. These types of freedom are not all-or-nothing ...


Book Review: The Question Of The Animal And Religion: Theoretical Stakes, Practical Implications, A. G. Holdier Dec 2016

Book Review: The Question Of The Animal And Religion: Theoretical Stakes, Practical Implications, A. G. Holdier

Between the Species

No abstract provided.


Reef Society And The Tyranny Of Data, Robert Wintner Dec 2016

Reef Society And The Tyranny Of Data, Robert Wintner

Animal Sentience

Modern science now approaches divergent processes in many areas, including health assessments of marine eco-systems and social aspects of marine species. Scientific data have long enjoyed a reputation for objectivity but incidents of science-for-hire, data spinning/skewing and political jading are more frequent than ever. In the field of reef creature sensitivity, technical treatises can “logically” explain away what a person of average education can clearly observe on any given reef. Western medicine discounted anecdotal evidence of any cure outside the 4% margin of error until those cures demanded attention and in some cases application. Modern science must now enter ...


Still Wondering How Flesh Can Feel, Gwen J. Broude Dec 2016

Still Wondering How Flesh Can Feel, Gwen J. Broude

Animal Sentience

Reber believes he has simplified Chalmers’s “hard problem” of consciousness by arguing that subjectivity is an inherent feature of biological forms. His argument rests on the related notions of continuity of mind and gradual accretion of capacities across evolutionary time. These notions need to be defended, not just asserted. Because Reber minimizes the differences in mental faculties among species across evolutionary time, it becomes easier to assert, and perhaps believe, that sentience is already present in early biological forms. The more explicit we are about the differences among these mental faculties and the differences across species, the less persuasive ...


Ser Y Objeto, Víctor Velarde-Mayol Dec 2016

Ser Y Objeto, Víctor Velarde-Mayol

Víctor Velarde-Mayol

Being and Object
1. The perspective of the object: what is an object, types of objects and types of beings. The difference between the theory of objects and metaphysics.
2. Content and Object. Different intentional acts in Brentano. Arguments for the distinction between object and content. Existence and persistence from the perspective of the object. The inexistent object.
3. The pure object.


Editor's Introduction To "Legal Worlds And Legal Encounters" -- Open Access, Elizabeth Lambourn Dec 2016

Editor's Introduction To "Legal Worlds And Legal Encounters" -- Open Access, Elizabeth Lambourn

The Medieval Globe

This introduction presents and draws together the articles and themes featured in this special issue of The Medieval Globe, “Legal Worlds and Legal Encounters.”


The Medieval Globe 2.2 (2016) Dec 2016

The Medieval Globe 2.2 (2016)

The Medieval Globe

No abstract provided.


The Future Of Aztec Law, Jerome A. Offner Dec 2016

The Future Of Aztec Law, Jerome A. Offner

The Medieval Globe

This article models a methodology for recovering the substance and nature of the Aztec legal tradition by interrogating reports of precontact indigenous behavior in the works of early colonial ethnographers, as well as in pictorial manuscripts and their accompanying oral performances. It calls for a new, richly recontextualized approach to the study of a medieval civilization whose sophisticated legal and jurisprudential practices have been fundamentally obscured by a long process of decontextualization and the anachronistic applications of modern Western paradigms.


Land And Tenure In Early Colonial Peru: Individualizing The Sapci, "That Which Is Common To All", Susan E. Ramirez Dec 2016

Land And Tenure In Early Colonial Peru: Individualizing The Sapci, "That Which Is Common To All", Susan E. Ramirez

The Medieval Globe

This article compares and contrasts pre-Columbian indigenous customary law regarding land possession and use with the legal norms and concepts gradually imposed and implemented by the Spanish colonial state in the Viceroyalty of Peru in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Natives accepted oral histories of possession going back as many as ten generations as proof of a claim to land. Indigenous custom also provided that a family could claim as much land as it could use for as long as it could use it: labor established rights of possession and use. The Spanish introduced the concept of private property ...


The Edict Of King Gälawdéwos Against The Illegal Slave Trade In Christians: Ethiopia, 1548 -- Featured Source, Habtamu M. Tegegne Dec 2016

The Edict Of King Gälawdéwos Against The Illegal Slave Trade In Christians: Ethiopia, 1548 -- Featured Source, Habtamu M. Tegegne

The Medieval Globe

This study explores the relationship between documentary-legal prescriptions of slavery and actual practice in late medieval Ethiopia. It does so in light of a newly discovered edict against the enslavement of freeborn Christians and the commercial sale of Christians to non-Christian owners, issued in 1548 by King Gälawdéwos. It demonstrates that this edict emerged from a dramatic and violent encounter between the neighboring Sultanate of Adal, which was supported by Muslim powers, and the Christian kingdom of Ethiopia, which had the support of expanding European powers in the region. The edict was therefore issued to reaffirm and clarify the principles ...


Common Threads: A Reappraisal Of Medieval European Sumptuary Law, Laurel Wilson Dec 2016

Common Threads: A Reappraisal Of Medieval European Sumptuary Law, Laurel Wilson

The Medieval Globe

Medieval sumptuary law has been receiving renewed scholarly attention in recent decades. But sumptuary laws, despite their ubiquity, have rarely been considered comprehensively and comparatively. This essay calls attention to this problem and suggests a number of topics for investigation, with specific reference to the first phase of European sumptuary legislation in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. It argues that comparative study demonstrates that this chronology closely parallels the development of the so-called “Western fashion system” and that the ubiquity of sketchy or nonexistent enforcement is evidence for the symbolic importance of sumptuary legislation, rather than its instrumentality. Comparison across ...


Toward A History Of Documents In Medieval India: The Encounter Of Scholasticism And Regional Law In The Smṛticandrikā, Donald R. Davis Jr. Dec 2016

Toward A History Of Documents In Medieval India: The Encounter Of Scholasticism And Regional Law In The Smṛticandrikā, Donald R. Davis Jr.

The Medieval Globe

In order to understand the legal use and significance of documents in medieval India, we need to start from the contemporaneous legal categories found in the Sanskrit scholastic corpus called dharmaśāstra. By comparing these categories with actual historical documents and inscriptions, we gain better insight into the encounter of pan-Indian legal discourse in Sanskrit and regional laws in vernacular languages. The points of congruence and transgression in this encounter will facilitate a nuanced history of documents and their use beyond unhelpfully broad categories of written and oral. A new translation of one major scholastic discussion of documents is presented as ...


Chinese Porcelain And The Material Taxonomies Of Medieval Rabbinic Law: Encounters With Disruptive Substances In Twelfth-Century Yemen, Elizabeth Lambourn, Phillip I. Ackerman-Lieberman Dec 2016

Chinese Porcelain And The Material Taxonomies Of Medieval Rabbinic Law: Encounters With Disruptive Substances In Twelfth-Century Yemen, Elizabeth Lambourn, Phillip I. Ackerman-Lieberman

The Medieval Globe

This article focuses on a set of legal questions about ṣīnī vessels (literally, “Chinese” vessels) sent from the Jewish community in Aden to Fustat (Old Cairo) in the mid-1130s CE and now preserved among the Cairo Geniza holdings in Cambridge University Library. This is the earliest dated and localized query about the status of ṣīnī vessels with respect to the Jewish law of vessels used for food consumption. Our analysis of these queries suggests that their phrasing and timing can be linked to the contemporaneous appearance in the Yemen of a new type of Chinese ceramic ware, qingbai, which confounded ...


Mutilation And The Law In Early Medieval Europe And India: A Comparative Study -- Open Access, Patricia E. Skinner Dec 2016

Mutilation And The Law In Early Medieval Europe And India: A Comparative Study -- Open Access, Patricia E. Skinner

The Medieval Globe

This essay examines the similarities and differences between legal and other precepts outlining corporal punishment in ancient and medieval Indian and early medieval European laws. Responding to Susan Reynolds’s call for such comparisons, it begins by outlining the challenges in doing so. Primarily, the fragmented political landscape of both regions, where multiple rulers and spheres of authority existed side-by-side, make a direct comparison complex. Moreover, the time slippage between what scholarship understands to be the “early medieval” period in each region needs to be taken into account, particularly given the persistence of some provisions and the adapatation or abandonment ...


The Relevance Of Intuitions In Experimental Philosophy Surveys, Alexander Lidiak Dec 2016

The Relevance Of Intuitions In Experimental Philosophy Surveys, Alexander Lidiak

Ursidae: The Undergraduate Research Journal at the University of Northern Colorado

Experimental philosophy (X-Phi) is a novel approach to philosophy, which surveys people’s intuitions in order to support or undermine philosophical theories. It is a major assumption of X-Phi that these surveys accurately capture people’s intuitive responses to philosophical issues. The central purpose of this research is to investigate whether this is a safe assumption. One of the most influential X-Phi surveys discovered a surprising asymmetry in people’s “intuitions” about intentionality (Knobe, 2003). In my project, I distribute the same survey questions but provide a philosophical definition of intentionality to participants in advance. It will be investigated how ...


The Relationship Between Conceptions Of Free Will And Meaning In Life, Sofia Softas-Nall Dec 2016

The Relationship Between Conceptions Of Free Will And Meaning In Life, Sofia Softas-Nall

Ursidae: The Undergraduate Research Journal at the University of Northern Colorado

Current research asks the question: 'How do our conceptions of free will influence our sense of meaning in life?' (Caruso, 2014; Pereboom, 2014). Many philosophers and psychologists fear that if people cease to believe in free will they will be subject to feelings of meaninglessness (May, 1953; Strawson, 1962). Others argue that people without a belief in free will would not lack one's sense of meaning in life (Caruso, 2014). I aim to investigate this debate empirically and I hypothesize that people with stronger conceptions of free will report higher levels of meaning in life. In order to examine ...


Nietzsche's Spiritual Exercises, Babette Babich Dec 2016

Nietzsche's Spiritual Exercises, Babette Babich

Articles and Chapters in Academic Book Collections

Nietzsche’s third Untimely Meditation, composed in 1874, Schopenhauer as Educator, reflects upon and describes a “spiritual exercise” not unlike the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, detailing tactics and including practical advice. Thus Nietzsche’s “spiritual exercises” correspond to the traditional practice of self-cultivation, self-education, characteristic of the Stoic philosophers but also influential for the Hellenistic neo-Platonic tradition, the church fathers, and St. Augustine, author of De Magistro and the Confessions. Beyond antiquity, spiritual exercises refer to a theological practice of selfcultivation and self-discipline.


Rationality, Parapsychology, And Artificial Intelligence In Military And Intelligence Research By The United States Government In The Cold War, Guy M. Lomeo Dec 2016

Rationality, Parapsychology, And Artificial Intelligence In Military And Intelligence Research By The United States Government In The Cold War, Guy M. Lomeo

School of Arts & Sciences Theses

A study analyzing the roles of rationality, parapsychology, and artificial intelligence in military and intelligence research by the United States Government in the Cold War. An examination of the methodology behind the decisions to pursue research in two fields that were initially considered irrational.


The Moral Implications Of Software Piracy, Kyle Hamrick Dec 2016

The Moral Implications Of Software Piracy, Kyle Hamrick

Student Scholarship - Computer Science

Computer software is integrated into almost every aspect of our professional and personal lives. Much of this software requires payment for use and is legally protected by the copyright system. This paper examines and analyzes the arguments pertaining to the moral use of protected software (digital piracy). The three arguments presented are the “victimless crime” argument, the “noble justification” argument, and the “willing but unable argument.” These three arguments claim that piracy is morally justified in certain cases, and claim that software providers are not harmed in such situations. The three arguments are tested against counter-arguments, and it is discovered ...