Topic Review
Rhetoric of Technology
The rhetoric of technology is both an object and field of study. It refers to the ways in which makers and consumers of technology talk about and make decisions regarding technology and also the influence that technology has on discourse. Studies of the rhetoric of technology are interdisciplinary. Scholars in communication, media ecology, and science studies research the rhetoric of technology. Technical communication scholars are also concerned with the rhetoric of technology. The phrase "rhetoric of technology" gained prominence with rhetoricians in the 1970s, and the study developed in conjunction with interest in the rhetoric of science. However, scholars have worked to maintain a distinction between the two fields. Rhetoric of technology criticism addresses several issues related to technology and employs many concepts, including several from the canon of classical rhetoric, for example ethos, but the field has also adopted contemporary approaches, such as new materialism.
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  • 29 Sep 2022
Topic Review
J. M. E. McTaggart
John McTaggart Ellis McTaggart[lower-alpha 1] FBA (1866–1925) was an English idealist metaphysician. For most of his life McTaggart was a fellow and lecturer in philosophy at Trinity College, Cambridge. He was an exponent of the philosophy of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and among the most notable of the British idealists. McTaggart is known for "The Unreality of Time" (1908), in which he argues that time is unreal. The work has been widely discussed through the 20th century and into the 21st.
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  • 29 Sep 2022
Topic Review
Gottlob Frege
Friedrich Ludwig Gottlob Frege (/ˈfreɪɡə/; German: [ˈɡɔtloːp ˈfreːɡə]; 8 November 1848 – 26 July 1925) was a German philosopher, logician, and mathematician. He worked as a mathematics professor at the University of Jena, and is understood by many to be the father of analytic philosophy, concentrating on the philosophy of language, logic, and mathematics. Though he was largely ignored during his lifetime, Giuseppe Peano (1858–1932) and Bertrand Russell (1872–1970) introduced his work to later generations of philosophers. His contributions include the development of modern logic in the Begriffsschrift and work in the foundations of mathematics. His book the Foundations of Arithmetic is the seminal text of the logicist project, and is cited by Michael Dummett as where to pinpoint the linguistic turn. His philosophical papers "On Sense and Reference" and "The Thought" are also widely cited. The former argues for two different types of meaning and descriptivism. In Foundations and "The Thought", Frege argues for Platonism against psychologism or formalism, concerning numbers and propositions respectively. Russell's paradox undermined the logicist project by showing Frege's Basic Law V in the Foundations to be false.
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  • 29 Sep 2022
Topic Review
Wild Animal Suffering
Wild animal suffering is the suffering experienced by nonhuman animals living outside of direct human control, due to harms such as disease, injury, parasitism, starvation and malnutrition, dehydration, weather conditions, natural disasters, and killings by other animals, as well as psychological stress. Some estimates indicate that the vast majority of individual animals in existence live in the wild. A vast amount of natural suffering has been described as an unavoidable consequence of Darwinian evolution and the pervasiveness of reproductive strategies which favor producing large numbers of offspring, with a low amount of parental care and of which only a small number survive to adulthood, the rest dying in painful ways, has led some to argue that suffering dominates happiness in nature. The topic has historically been discussed in the context of the philosophy of religion as an instance of the problem of evil. More recently, starting in the 19th-century, a number of writers have considered the suspected scope of the problem from a secular standpoint as a general moral issue, one that humans might be able to take actions toward preventing. There is considerable disagreement around this latter point as many believe that human interventions in nature, for this reason, should not take place because of practicality, valuing ecological preservation over the well-being and interests of individual animals, considering any obligation to reduce wild animal suffering implied by animal rights to be absurd, or viewing nature as an idyllic place where happiness is widespread. Some have argued that such interventions would be an example of human hubris, or playing God and use examples of how human interventions, for other reasons, have unintentionally caused harm. Others, including animal rights writers, have defended variants of a laissez-faire position, which argues that humans should not harm wild animals, but that humans should not intervene to reduce natural harms that they experience. Advocates of such interventions argue that animal rights and welfare positions imply an obligation to help animals suffering in the wild due to natural processes. Some have asserted that refusing to help animals in situations where humans would consider it wrong not to help humans is an example of speciesism. Others argue that humans intervene in nature constantly—sometimes in very substantial ways—for their own interests and to further environmentalist goals. Human responsibility for enhancing existing natural harms has also been cited as a reason for intervention. Some advocates argue that humans already successfully help animals in the wild, such as vaccinating and healing injured and sick animals, rescuing animals in fires and other natural disasters, feeding hungry animals, providing thirsty animals with water, and caring for orphaned animals. nThey also assert that although wide-scale interventions may not be possible with our current level of understanding, they could become feasible in the future with improved knowledge and technologies. For these reasons, they claim it is important to raise awareness about the issue of wild animal suffering, spread the idea that humans should help animals suffering in these situations and encourage research into effective measures which can be taken in the future to reduce the suffering of these individuals, without causing greater harms.
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  • 29 Sep 2022
Topic Review
Principle of Least Action
The principle of least action – or, more accurately, the principle of stationary action – is a variational principle that, when applied to the action of a mechanical system, can be used to obtain the equations of motion for that system. It was historically called "least" because its solution requires finding the path of motion in space that has the least value. The principle can be used to derive Newtonian, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian equations of motion, and even general relativity (see Einstein–Hilbert action). In relativity, a different action must be minimized or maximized. The classical mechanics and electromagnetic expressions are a consequence of quantum mechanics. The stationary action method helped in the development of quantum mechanics. In 1933, the physicist Paul Dirac demonstrated how this principle can be used in quantum calculations by discerning the quantum mechanical underpinning of the principle in the quantum interference of amplitudes. Subsequently Julian Schwinger and Richard Feynman independently applied this principle in quantum electrodynamics. The principle remains central in modern physics and mathematics, being applied in thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, the theory of relativity, quantum mechanics, particle physics, and string theory and is a focus of modern mathematical investigation in Morse theory. Maupertuis' principle and Hamilton's principle exemplify the principle of stationary action. The action principle is preceded by earlier ideas in optics. In Ancient Greece , Euclid wrote in his Catoptrica that, for the path of light reflecting from a mirror, the angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection. Hero of Alexandria later showed that this path was the shortest length and least time. Scholars often credit Pierre Louis Maupertuis for formulating the principle of least action because he wrote about it in 1744 and 1746. However, Leonhard Euler discussed the principle in 1744,[ and evidence shows that Gottfried Leibniz preceded both by 39 years.
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  • 29 Sep 2022
Topic Review
Fine-tuned Universe
The fine-tuned universe is the proposition that the conditions that allow life in the universe can occur only when certain universal dimensionless physical constants lie within a very narrow range of values, so that if any of several fundamental constants were only slightly different, the universe would be unlikely to be conducive to the establishment and development of matter, astronomical structures, elemental diversity, or life as it is understood. Various possible explanations of ostensible fine-tuning are discussed among philosophers, scientists, theologians, and proponents and detractors of creationism. The fine-tuned universe observation is closely related to, but is not exactly synonymous with, the anthropic principle, which is often used as an explanation of apparent fine-tuning.
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  • 28 Sep 2022
Topic Review
Mithyatva
Mithyatva means "false belief", and an important concept in Jainism and Hinduism. Disappearance (nivrtti) is the necessary presupposition of mithyatva because what is falsely perceived ceases to exist with the dawn of right knowledge. Mithyatva, states Jayatirtha, cannot be easily defined as 'indefinable', 'non-existent', 'something other than real', 'which cannot be proved, produced by avidya or as its effect', or as 'the nature of being perceived in the same locus along with its own absolute non-existence'. Mithyatva is a concept in Jainism distinguishing right knowledge from false knowledge, and parallels the concepts of Avidya in the Vedanta school of Hinduism, Aviveka in its Samkhya school, and Maya in Buddhism. The opposite of Mithyatva (false belief) is Samyaktva (right belief).
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  • 28 Sep 2022
Topic Review
Superficiality
The discourses in philosophy regarding social relation. What social psychologists call "the principle of superficiality versus depth" has pervaded Western culture since at least the time of Plato.
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  • 27 Sep 2022
Topic Review
Factors in MOOCs Adoption in Higher Education
Due to the rapid growth of Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs), higher educational institutions across the world are investing heavily in MOOCs to support their traditional teaching, their students’ learning experience, and their performance. User’s perception (performance expectancy (PE), effort expectancy (EE), attitude (ATT), task characteristics (TAC), and technology characteristics (TEC)) can positively influence BI’s willingness to use MOOCs.
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  • 19 Sep 2022
Topic Review
Cultural Additivity
This entry provides the conceptual development of “cultural additivity.” It reviews the three most relevant concepts namely syncretism, cultural hybridity, and creolization, and then makes a case for the usefulness of “cultural additivity” in explaining the adoption and rejection of emerging cultural values. The newly introduced concept utilizes a well-developed theory called mindsponge theory.
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  • 02 Sep 2022
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