Vytautas Magnus University
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Central European countries with a historically dominant Roman Catholic heritage belong to a particular cluster in respect to the governance of religion. This paper focuses on Hungary and Slovakia and addresses the effect of religious nationalism on the regimes of governance of religion in the two countries. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, there was a brief period of neutral stance towards religion, which was characterized by liberal values. With the introduction of the bilateral Concordat agreements with the Holy See, both countries started to treat traditional Christian Churches preferentially. By the 2010s legislation in both countries created restrictive entry barriers for “new” religions. This created two or multi-tiered systems for “old” and “new” religions, in which the former enjoyed closer relationship with the state. As a result, the separation of church and state has become blurred. Preferentially treated churches reappeared in the public space as providers of certain educational and social services. Preferentially treated churches and the state developed asymmetrically interdependent relationships, the state having the upper hand. Meanwhile, increasingly populist and nationalist parties instrumentalized religion by involving Christianity in their nationalistic political discourse. This helped create a normative space, in which the state is able to give further preferential treatment to certain religious groups over others. The emphasis on Christian national identity underpinned these governments’ narratives that conflates migration with security and Islam, which pushed those religious groups on the margins, which do not fit in the religious nationalist narrative of the increasingly right- and populism-leaning governing elite.
A conclusion in the form of a tapestry is no conclusion for granularity is not about tying up the loose ends. It is rather about not being able to tie up the loose ends ever. Therefore, this conclusion is nothing but beginning anew, or simply the continuation of introduction by other means. In this spirit, some further attempts to think the Absolute anew are presented. Peirce’s categories of firstness, secondness, and thirdness are offered to facilitate the articulation of the notion of absolute justice in relation to the critique of Žižek’s work to drive home the message that transrational satori experience is far from pathological.
The pedagogical core of the overall argument is delineated in reference to the notion of hyperholistic education. The latter embodies the therapeutic principle of revealing and bringing into action the unconditioned in any thought pattern. Any philosophical position, by virtue of the interpermeation of all philosophical positions, is the embodiment of the unconditioned. Therefore, hyperholistic education can deploy any conceptual perspective as a therapeutic device to shake the self out of its hypnotic stupor. Accordingly, the question of self is analyzed in its ontological, phenomenological and psychological registers with the goal of situating this analysis within the spectrum of consciousness development that spans the entire psyche of a human being. A spectrum of consciousness model employed by Ken Wilber is brought into play in this context. According to the latter, the human psyche has three basic unfolding structures: prerational, rational, and transrational. Hyperholistic education follows the path of transformation from prerational to rational to transrational levels of psychic development in the face of ontological ambiguity. To illustrate the issue of overcoming the limitations of rational mental-egoic consciousness, Bergson and Levinas’ thought as well as the analysis of various contemporary Promethean projects are utilized. In contradistinction to contemporary teleophobia, a Buddhist Prometheanism in the form of the ethics of the Bodhisattva ideal is formulated.
This is a work in moral metaphysics in which metaphysical and moral concerns necessarily co-emerge out of an immanent, unitary, and boundless field referred to as granularity. Ontology, metaphysics, ethics, and education are all inextricably implicated inasmuch as all interpenetrates all within and as the field of granularity. Speculative reflection on metaphysics and ontology is not treated separately from the practical concerns of ethics and education. Each includes each for each embodies and manifests the universal interrelatedness of each. In line with this understanding, a necessarily incomplete account of a universal speculative metaphysical scheme with soteriological relevance is offered. One of the main motifs underlying this section and the book as a whole can be formulated as ‘being is ambiguity.’ To elucidate the latter, both Eastern (Indian, Chinese and Japanese Mahāyāna Buddhist, and Daoist) as well as Western (classical and contemporary Continental philosophical) sources are deployed within an intertextual philosophical practice without, however, an explicit attempt to offer a comparative or an integrative framework. Furthermore, a justification of the stylistic and methodological preferences is provided. The essayistic style, the inextricability of form and content, is justified in relation to the notion of granularity. The section ends with a discussion of what is referred to as ‘non-understanding,’ an inflection of the major motif ‘being is ambiguity’ that exemplifies the methodological considerations that can be situated within the ontological turn that has been underway in contemporary Continental philosophy. Certain parallelisms between the latter and East Asian patterns of thought, especially in relation to Brook Ziporyn’s Neo-Tiantai approach to Chinese Buddhism, are considered in conjunction with various aspects of quantum mechanics to illustrate the structural determinants of ambiguity of being.
The core idea explored in this chapter is whether we can live without psychological conflict, discontent, and anxiety. In other words, is it possible to eliminate psychological trauma, the state of self being divided against itself, completely? Positively put, is it possible to live immersed in a state of consciousness of wholeness, unification, and undividedness? To address this question, Žižek’s interpretation of the second draft of Schelling’s Die Weltalter (Ages of the World) in his The Abyss of Freedom is engaged vis-à-vis Sean McGrath’s work on Schelling. Employing the notion of interpervasiveness of forms, that is, granularity, the reader is invited to enter an intricate labyrinthine matrix of Schelling-Žižek-Hegel-Lacan-McGrath interminably interpreting and reinterpreting each other. Whosoever we start with—Žižek’s Schelling, McGrath’s Schelling, Hegel’s Schelling, Lacan’s Hegel, Schelling’s Hegel, Žižek’s Hegel, Žižek’s Lacan, Žižek’s Lacan’s Hegel, McGrath’s Lacan, Žižek’s Lacanian reading of Schelling against Schelling (!) and so forth—the others are immediately within reach: any one starting point leads to all and more since any one starting point is granular containing all and more. Here, only a few threads of this interminable labyrinth are rehearsed.
Catherine Malabou’s groundbreaking interpretation of Heidegger in her book The Heidegger Change provides an occasion to suggest strong parallels between Heideggerian and Daoist/Buddhist ontologies. In her imaginative reading of Heidegger, Malabou comes close to a Buddhist/Daoist conception of change: the metamorphosed Dasein is a daoist Dasein. Here an attempt is made to think together presence, in its Buddhist sense revealed by way of satori, and presencing, in its Heideggerian sense, that is, the sense that there is no foundation beyond the epochal play of the concealing and revealing of being. Presence and presencing refer to granularity in the mode of eternity and temporality, respectively. These two modes, which are not-two, interpervade. The self-givenness of being oscillates between these two modes, hence its ambiguity since by nature this oscillation is a transparent-non-transparent process. There is really no oscillation between two distinct and separate modes or poles. The poles are always-already intertwined. Given this, within the context of Malabou’s reading of Heidegger, the originary mutability, or oscillation, of there is/it gives is analysed and the implications of such an analysis for the meaning of schooling are explored.
In fifteen loosely connected threads, a tapestry of expressions that hints at various aspects of the notion of granularity is interwoven. The term ‘granularity’ is explicated through a loosely woven tapestry of issues in reference to some of the major figures of the contemporary space of ontology such as Badiou, Agamben, Žižek, Zupančič, Speculative Realists, Malabou, and the German Idealists Hegel and Schelling in conjunction with Chinese and Japanese traditions of Buddhist philosophy. The notion of granularity is articulated from within the overall contemporary movement of ontological turn to the Absolute. A certain kinship among the thinkers and traditions listed here is discerned despite the diversity in terms of content, form, and method employed in their works. Hegel and his conception of the Absolute act as the fulcrum point. Some of the issues discussed are: graininess in and of nature, the implications of the prevalence of theories of everything in science, the ability to welcome absolutely everything on an equal footing, the so-called egalitarian maxim, thinking being as beginning, namely, at once as presence and presencing, the fundamental plurality and singularity of being, the role of contradictions in thinking the Absolute, the difficulties involved in attempting to think the Absolute, namely, the paradox of self-belonging, and so forth. The fundamental philosophical claims are presented in a ‘loose unity’ fashion. What the latter entails in terms of methodology is discussed.
Granularity conjures up metaphysical speculation with universal significance since the claim is we can think the Absolute, namely, the unconditioned, albeit not in a representational framework. Affirming everything in their ambiguity, that is, rendering them hyperoperative, is how we think the Absolute. This notion relies on Brook Ziporyn’s masterful exposition of Tiantai Buddhist ontology, for which ‘interpermeation of forms’ is a key idea. The latter is crucial to understanding what rendering things hyperoperative entails. By deploying Agamben’s take on Nāgārjuna’s work to render things inoperative, the limitations of Nāgārjunian approach vis-à-vis Tiantai Buddhist ontology are highlighted. The Cartesian body-mind dualism is used as an example to illustrate how dualistic thinking in general can be overcome, that is, rendered hyperoperative. This is followed by an extended engagement with an intriguing interresonance that plays out between various forms of Mahāyāna Buddhist ontology and Žižek’s dialectical materialism to exemplify the process of rendering things hyperoperative.
As far as hyperholistic education is concerned, ontology, epistemology, ethics, psychology, and politics are inextricably intertwined. Neo-Tiantai ontology, the Buddhist Promethean project in the form of the ethics of the Bodhisattva ideal, transformations of consciousness from pre-egoic state to egoity to granularity are all intimately interwoven, for, at bottom, they all point, as the natural consequence of the notion of granularity, to non-hierarchical equality as the immanent source of action in the world. Another word that can be employed to refer to this complex is ecology: the intuitive, immanent, self-developing, self-organizing unitary whole encompassing all its contradictions within which human life is constituted. The German tradition of Bildung in its contemporary forms is analyzed in relation to the ecological aspect of hyperholistic education to support the claim that Bildung is still a relevant concept for education in late modern societies. Levinas, Biesta, and Žižek feature as conversation partners in the discussion of the granularity of subjectification as the tension between egological and nonegological modes of existence.
The aim of this study is to employ panel data approach to investigate determinants of total GHG emissions in all European Union (EU) economies in years 1990–2018 and evaluate the role of nuclear energy in climate change mitigation. It incorporates the following variables potentially affecting the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions: economic—gross domestic product (GDP) per capita and GDP per capita squared to control for non-linear relationship between economic output and GHG emissions; structural—economic structure reflected in the share of manufacturing in total gross value added (GVA); energy-mix—share of nuclear power and renewable sources in total gross electricity production; environmental policy—the amount of environmental taxes (as a percentage of GDP) and the number of European Union Emission Trading System (EU ETS) allowances auctioned or sold (as a percentage of GDP per capita). The main findings of this study confirm the long-run relationship between GHG emissions, GDP level, and energy-mix variables. It endorses that higher share of nuclear power together with renewables in gross electricity production has significant impact on GHG emissions in the long run. In turn, it also validates the existence of the environmental Kuznets curve for selected countries.
Research shows that in providing assistance to individuals who have experienced psychological traumas, it is beneficial not only to take into account the specific religious spiritual needs but also to employ religious resources. Although the role of religious counsellors using various psychological theories in helping to cope with traumatising experiences is acknowledged, there is still a lack of a conceptualising approach to the possibilities of employing religious resources used in Christian spiritual assistance, seeking to help cope with the effects of workplace mobbing. Therefore, this study aims to conceptualise the perspective of integrating Christian spiritual assistance resources in overcoming the individual consequences of workplace mobbing. This review is based on an interdisciplinary approach and abundant literature of psychology, psychotherapy and theology sciences. The article details the main physical, psychological and social aspects of damage to the person, caused by mobbing, which provide for a corresponding triple assistance perspective. After highlighting the essential resources provided by the Christian religion for coping with traumatic experiences, the necessity to consider the religious needs of the victims of mobbing is reasoned and the possibilities of using religious spiritual resources are discussed. In the context of helping victims of mobbing, two main functions of Christian spiritual assistance are distinguished and discussed: auxiliary and main. The results of this review are a useful resource for lay and religious counsellors and encourage their collaboration. The research findings also provide a basis for further research on the use of religious resources in the context of helping victims of mobbing.
There is no doubt that women play a vital role in all aspects of economic activities around the globe. However, despite the great efforts that governments have made over the past three decades to increase women’s integration into the labor market, their participation is still relatively low compared to men. On the other hand, economic literature argues that the government can use fiscal policy tools such as tax revenue and spending to decrease gender inequality in the labor market. The aim of this paper is to investigate the impact of government spending and tax revenue shocks on the female labor force participation rate (the share of women in the total labor force) in Egypt. Annual time-series data were collected from the Central Bank of Egypt and the World Bank from 1990 to 2021, where the vector autoregressive (VAR) model and impulse response functions have been used. The results suggest that government spending and tax revenue shocks increase gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate, female labor force participation, and inflation. Results validated the research hypotheses and showed that a one standard deviation shock to either government spending or tax revenue has a positive impact on female labor force participation. Therefore, the study recommends that using an expansionary fiscal policy may increase the accessibility of Egyptian women to the labor market.
The relationship between self-efficacy and performance exclusively within the sports environment is yet to be quantified. Hence, we meta-analysed this relationship by following the PRISMA guidelines. Two previous meta-analyses, five relevant databases, and Google Scholar were searched. Forty-four articles published between 1983 and 2021 met the inclusion criteria, with 55 independent samples. Comprehensive meta-analysis software version 4 was used for all meta-analytic calculations using a random-effects model to calculate the mean effect size, and a mixed-effects model was used for moderation analyses. The mean pre-event self-efficacy and performance effect size was r = 0.31 (95% CI 0.22, 0.40). For moderation analyses, the mean differences resulted (r ≥ 0.08) for concordance [concordant (r = 0.37), nonconcordant (r = 0.22)], sports skill [closed (r = 0.37), open (r = 0.23)], and athlete level [elite (r = 0.40), sub-elite (r = 0.28)]. The true effect prediction interval ranged from negative (i.e., self-efficacy impairing performance) to positive (self-efficacy improving performance) for all moderator variables except self-referenced vs. other-referenced performance. In conclusion, the relationship between pre-event self-efficacy and performance is positive and moderate in magnitude , although with prediction intervals ranging from debilitating to facilitating performance. Researchers and practitioners should note that high athlete-rated self-efficacy might not always improve impending competitive sports performance.
Finding optimal paths in connected graphs requires determining the smallest total cost for traveling along the graph’s edges. This problem can be solved by several classical algorithms, where, usually, costs are predefined for all edges. Conventional planning methods can, thus, normally not be used when wanting to change costs in an adaptive way following the requirements of some task. Here, we show that one can define a neural network representation of path-finding problems by transforming cost values into synaptic weights, which allows for online weight adaptation using network learning mechanisms. When starting with an initial activity value of one, activity propagation in this network will lead to solutions, which are identical to those found by the Bellman–Ford (BF) algorithm. The neural network has the same algorithmic complexity as BF, and, in addition, we can show that network learning mechanisms (such as Hebbian learning) can adapt the weights in the network augmenting the resulting paths according to some task at hand. We demonstrate this by learning to navigate in an environment with obstacles as well as by learning to follow certain sequences of path nodes. Hence, the here-presented novel algorithm may open up a different regime of applications where path augmentation (by learning) is directly coupled with path finding in a natural way.
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Robert van Voren
  • Department of Political Science
Vytautas Tamutis
  • Botanical Garden Division of Dendrology and Phytopathology Sciences
Tomas Krilavičius
  • Faculty of Informatics
Audrius Maruska
  • Instrumental Analysis Open Access Centre
Kaunas, Lithuania