21 found
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  1.  9
    Disagreement and Authority: Comparing Ecclesial and Scientific Practices.Louis Caruana - 2015 - In A. J. Carroll, M. Kerkwijk, M. Kirwan & J. Sweeney (eds.), Towards a Kenotic Vision of Authority in the Catholic Church. Washington: The Council for Research in Values and Philosophy. pp. 91-102.
    In recent years, disagreement as a philosophical topic has started to attract considerable attention, giving rise to rich debates not only on the logical nature of disagreement but also on specifically political and religious forms of it. Moreover, in some recent documents of the Catholic Church, we see corresponding attempts at understanding religious pluralism, dialogue among religions, and doctrinal tensions that sometimes arise within various parts of the Church itself. In such debates, many assume that the realm of the humanities (...)
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  2.  9
    Darwinism, Mind and Society.Louis Caruana - 2009 - In Darwin and Catholicism: The Past and Present Dynamics of a Cultural Encounter. London: Continuum. pp. 134-150.
    This paper seeks to clarity the extent to which we can legitimately apply evolutionary explanation to the realm of moral and social behavior. It evaluates two perspectives, one dealing with purely philosophical arguments, and the other with arguments from within the Catholic tradition. The challenges faced by evolutionary ethics discernible from the secular perspective turn out to be practically the same as those discernible from the religious perspective. Whether we discuss the issues in terms of intentional states or in terms (...)
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  3.  42
    Different Religions, Different Animal Ethics?Louis Caruana - 2020 - Animal Frontiers 10 (1):8-14.
    Many people assume that serious reflection on animal ethics arose because of recent technological progress, the sharp rise in human population, and consequent pressure on global ecology. They consequently believe that this sub-discipline is relatively new and that traditional religions have little or nothing to offer. In spite of this however, we are currently seeing a heightened awareness of religion’s important role in all areas of individual and communal life, for better or for worse. As regards our relations with nature (...)
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  4.  17
    Euthanasia: Considerations Regarding Depression and Ethics.Louis Caruana & Y. Cho - 1995 - Cambridge Medicine 11 (3):35-36.
    Presenting the case against legalizing euthanasia, this paper refers mainly to two clinical facts. First that, in the majority of cases, a wish to die is a symptom of depression; and second, that depression affects rational decision making. Since a depressive individual is not fully competent, it is a mistake to resort to that individual's autonomy. One should recall that a subclinical depressive state is an object of treatment, and safeguards are necessary lest this state should be an object of (...)
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  5.  22
    Electronic Persons?Louis Caruana - 2020 - Gregorianum 101 (3):593-614.
    To describe computers and sophisticated robots, many people today have no problem using personal attributes. Alan Turing published his famous intelligence test in 1950. From that time onwards, computers have gained increasingly higher status in this regard. Computers and robots nowadays are not only intelligent. They perceive, they remember, they understand, they decide, they play and so on. Recently, another such step has occurred but, this time, many researchers are seriously concerned. In February 2017, the European Parliament passed a Resolution (...)
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  6.  6
    From Water to the Stars: A Reinterpretation of Galileo’s Style.Louis Caruana - 2014 - In P. Lo Nostro & B. Ninham (eds.), Aqua Incognita: why ice floats on water and Galileo 400 years on. Ballart-Australia: Connor Court. pp. 1-17.
    The clash between Galileo and the Catholic Inquisition has been discussed, studied, and written about for many decades. The scientific, theological, political, and social implications have all been carefully analysed and appreciated in all their interpretative fruitfulness. The relatively recent trend in this kind of scholarship however seems to have underestimated the fact that Galileo in this debate, as in his earlier debates, showed a particular style marked by overconfidence. If we keep in mind the Lakatosian account of scientific development, (...)
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  7.  10
    Human Evolution and Religion: Some New Developments.Louis Caruana - 2019 - Gregorianum 100 (1):115-131.
    This paper critically examines three positions in the area of the evolutionary psychology of religion: the one according to which religion is completely beyond the reach of any evolutionary explanation, the one according to which religion is adaptive in the evolutionary sense, and the one according to which religion is mal-adaptive, in the sense that it confers no survival advantages but rather disadvantages. The result of the critical evaluation of these positions indicates that the embodied rationality of Homo sapiens renders (...)
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  8. Is Religion Undermined By Evolutionary Arguments?Louis Caruana - 2010 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 2 (1):85 - 106.
    I examine three major antireligious arguments that are often proposed in various forms by cognitive and evolutionary scientists, and indicate possible responses to them. A fundamental problem with the entire debate arises because the term "religion" is too vague. So I reformulate the debate in terms of a less vague central concept: faith. Referring mainly to Aquinas on faith, I proceed by evaluating how the previously mentioned cognitive and evolutionary arguments fare when dealing with faith. The results show that some (...)
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  9.  14
    John von Neumann's 'Impossibility Proof' in a Historical Perspective.Louis Caruana - 1995 - Physis 32:109-124.
    John von Neumann's proof that quantum mechanics is logically incompatible with hidden varibales has been the object of extensive study both by physicists and by historians. The latter have concentrated mainly on the way the proof was interpreted, accepted and rejected between 1932, when it was published, and 1966, when J.S. Bell published the first explicit identification of the mistake it involved. What is proposed in this paper is an investigation into the origins of the proof rather than the aftermath. (...)
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  10.  6
    Mechanistic Trends in Chemistry.Louis Caruana - 2018 - Substantia 2 (1):29-40.
    During the twentieth century, the mechanistic worldview came under attack mainly because of the rise of quantum mechanics but some of its basic characteristics survived and are still evident within current science in some form or other. Many scholars have produced interesting studies of such significant mechanistic trends within current physics and biology but very few have bothered to explore the effects of this worldview on current chemistry. This paper makes a contribution to fill this gap. It presents first a (...)
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  11.  18
    Nature, Science, and Critical Explicitation.Louis Caruana - 2018 - International Philosophical Quarterly 58 (1):93-105.
    Science has uncovered many mistakes that had been hidden for centuries among implicit everyday assumptions. When we make explicit what lies implicit within language, there is no guarantee that we will arrive at truth about the world. Many therefore assume that only science delivers truth. Recent debates on this issue often refer to Wilfred Sellars’s arguments against the pre-conceptual given but conclude that his additional insistence on the exclusivity of the scientific image of the world is unfounded. In this paper (...)
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  12.  23
    Science and Ethics: Tracing Parallels and Contrasts Between Science, Relativism and Utilitarianism.Louis Caruana - 2006 - Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 62 (1):119-136.
    In its first section, dedicated to the topic science and relativism, the article argues against those who hold that science is absolutist while ethics is relativist. The point made is that the two disciplines are not all that different. There is an element of objectivity and an element of relativity in both. The article insists that there are two plausible ways in which these elements may be appreciated in both disciplines. The first way involves an analysis of precedents; the second (...)
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  13.  13
    Science and Progress: Some Recent Views.Louis Caruana - 2002 - Gregorianum 83 (1):145-163.
    Philosophical reflection on the idea of progress is undergoing a recent revival, especially because of renewed interest in the broad implications of the theory of biological evolution and in its applicability to epistemology. In this paper, the main interest lies with the following two questions: What kind of word is ‘progress’? Does it refer to a process that can be detected empirically? In the first section, three ways of understanding biological progress are evaluated. It is shown that ambiguity arises in (...)
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  14.  8
    Science Interacting With Philosophy: The Case of Ludwig Wittgenstein.Louis Caruana - 2003 - Gregorianum 84 (3):584-616.
    Rom Harré has recently proposed that there is a difference between the driving force behind the early and the later Wittgenstein. According to Harré, in the early work, the major inspiration came from science, while, in the later, it came from religion. I show that only Harré’s first proposal is fully justified. In section one of my paper, I examine the picture theory, the theory of truth-functions, the meaning of propositions, and Tractatus §6.3. In section two, about the Philosophical Investigations, (...)
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  15. Science, Religion and Common Sense.Louis Caruana - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 4 (4):161--173.
    Susan Haack has recently attempted to discredit religion by showing that science is an extended and enhanced version of common sense while religion is not. I argue that Haack’s account is misguided not because science is not an extended version of common sense, as she says. It is misguided because she assumes a very restricted, and thus inadequate, account of common sense. After reviewing several more realistic models of common sense, I conclude that common sense is rich enough to allow (...)
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  16.  2
    Somatic Semantics: Anorexia and the Nature of Meaning.Louis Caruana - 2010 - In Antonio Mancini, Silvia Daini & Louis Caruana (eds.), Anorexia Nervosa, a multi-disciplinary approach: from biology to philosophy. New York: Nova Science Publishers. pp. 173-186.
    This paper explores some ways how perceptual-cognitive accounts of anorexia can benefit from philosophy. The first section focuses on the three dimensions of anorexia most open to a contribution from philosophy: the dimensions of language, perception and cognition. In the second section, I offer a brief overview of what philosophy has to say regarding these dimensions, especially as they relate to two crucial issues: introspection and meaning. I draw from current philosophy of language, especially from the arguments against using internal (...)
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  17.  22
    The Beauty of What is Unfolding: Philosophy, Biology, and Laudato Si'.Louis Caruana - 2021 - Gregorianum 102 (3):617-631.
    One of the aims of the encyclical "Laudato Si’" is to help us “marvel at the manifold connections existing among creatures”, to show how we are also involved, and to motivate us thereby to care for our common home. Are there new dimensions of beauty available to us today because of recent advances in biology? In this paper I seek to answer this question by first recalling the basic criteria for beauty, as expressed by Aristotle and Aquinas, and then evaluating (...)
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  18.  12
    The Jesuits and the Quiet Side of the Scientific Revolution.Louis Caruana - 2008 - In Thomas Worcester (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Jesuits. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 243-260.
    Working from within the Lakatosian framework of scientific change, this paper seeks to gain a deeper understanding of the Jesuits’ role in the scientific revolution during the years of Galileo’s trials and the subsequent century. Their received research program was Aristotelian cosmology. Their efforts to construct protective belts to shield the core principles were fueled not only by the basic instinct to conserve but also by the impact of official prohibitions from the side of Church authorities. The paper illustrates how (...)
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  19.  21
    The Limits of Causality.Louis Caruana - 2020 - In A. Balsas & B. Nobre (eds.), The Insides of Nature: Causality and Conceptions of Nature. Braga: Axioma – Publicacoes da Faculdade de Filosofia. pp. 31-54.
    For decades, much literature on causality has focused on causal processes and causal reasoning in the natural sciences. According to a relatively new trend however, such research on causality remains insufficient because of its refusal to accept a certain degree of pluralism within the concept, a pluralism that is evident in how we use ideas of cause and effect in everyday life. I will build on work in this latter trend, following philosophers like G. E. M. Anscombe and N. Cartwright. (...)
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  20.  15
    Wittgenstein and the Status of Contradictions.Louis Caruana - 2004 - In A. Coliva & E. Picardi (eds.), Wittgenstein Today. Padova: Poligrafo. pp. 223-232.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein, in the "Remarks on the Foundation of Mathematics", often refers to contradictions as deserving special study. He is said to have predicted that there will be mathematical investigations of calculi containing contradictions and that people will pride themselves on having emancipated themselves from consistency. This paper examines a way of taking this prediction seriously. It starts by demonstrating that the easy way of understanding the role of contradictions in a discourse, namely in terms of pure convention within a (...)
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  21.  7
    A Neglected Difficulty with Social Darwinism.Louis Caruana - 2008 - Heythrop Journal-a Quarterly Review of Philosophy and Theology 49 (4):652-658.
    When evolutionary explanation is transferred from its normal habitat of biology to the realm of human social, cultural, and moral concerns, a problem is often neglected. After examining arguments for and against Social Darwinism, this paper identifies this problem and proceeds by exploring the possibility of a middle-ground position according to which Social Darwinism would be enough for explaining some aspects of moral and social behaviour but not enough for explaining all aspects. The investigation indicates that this middle-ground position is (...)
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