John Shook

John Shook
Bowie State University

PhD in Philosophy

About

107
Publications
22,954
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531
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2007 - present
University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
Position
  • Instructor
August 2000 - May 2006
Oklahoma State University - Stillwater
Position
  • Associate Professor of Philosophy

Publications

Publications (107)
Article
Full-text available
Neuroethics applies cognitive neuroscience for prescribing alterations to conceptions of self and society, and for prescriptively judging the ethical applications of neurotechnologies. Plentiful normative premises are available to ground such prescriptivity, however prescriptive neuroethics may remain fragmented by social conventions, cultural ideo...
Article
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Techniques for achieving moral enhancement will modify brain processes to produce what is alleged to be more moral conduct. Neurophilosophy and neuroethics must ponder what “moral enhancement” could possibly be, if possible at all. Objections to the very possibility of moral enhancement, raised from various philosophical and neuroscientific standpo...
Article
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An integrated and principled neuroethics offers ethical guidelines able to transcend conventional and medical reliance on normality standards. Elsewhere we have proposed four principles for wise guidance on human transformations. Principles like these are already urgently needed, as bio- and cyberenhancements are rapidly emerging. Context matters....
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How should ethics help decide the morality of enhancing morality? The idea of morally enhancing the human brain quickly emerged when the promise of cognitive enhancement in general began to seem realizable. However, on reflection, achieving moral enhancement must be limited by the practical challenges to any sort of cognitive modification, along wi...
Chapter
The roles of abductive inference in dynamic heuristics allows scientific methodologies to test novel explanations for the world’s ways. Deliberate reasoning often follows abductive patterns, as well as patterns dominated by deduction and induction, but complex mixtures of these three modes of inference are crucial for scientific explanation. All po...
Chapter
A fundamental question for philosophy of science asks, How is knowledge of the world created? A pragmatist approach is constructed to show how discovery and justification are tightly related during the creation of scientific knowledge. Procedural abduction, at the scientific level of Strict Abduction and higher, integrates the learnable (postulatio...
Article
Preview: /Review: Martha Nussbaum, The Cosmopolitan Tradition: A Noble but Flawed Ideal (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2019), 310 pages./ For decades Martha Nussbaum allied herself whole-heartedly with cosmopolitanism. No longer. She appealed at length to the righteousness of Stoic cosmopolitanism in past publications such as Cultivatin...
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The meaning of ‘secular’ in the scientific use of ‘secular trend’, ‘secular variation’, and similar terms is a topic that merits historical investigation. The scientific meaning for ‘secular’ has an origin and independent role apart from both religion and secularization. Fields in the social sciences, life sciences, and natural sciences have been u...
Chapter
Humanism is a convenient label for three distinct but overlapping worldviews. All three are congenial to developing a lifestance of values, a sense of one’s place in the world, and an orientation for one’s life through meaningful practices and activities. Humanism is open for anyone’s life journey, although in practice humanism is the principal alt...
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John Dewey (b. 1859–d. 1952) was America’s foremost philosopher and public intellectual during the first half of the 20th century. As a leading representative of the Progressive movement, Dewey’s educational, ethical, economic, and political views embodied that movement’s demands for the expansion of liberty and opportunity in more democratic socie...
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Louise Rosenblatt (b. 1904–d. 2005) was a highly influential thinker in literary and critical theory, reading pedagogy, and education. She was professor of education at New York University from 1948 until 1972, and she continued to teach for many years at other universities. The impact of her writings extends to aesthetics, communication and media...
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Enhancements for morality could become technologically practical at the expense of becoming unethical and uncivil. A mode of moral enhancement intensifying a person's imposition of conformity upon others, labeled here as “moral righteousness”, is particularly problematic. Moral energies contrary to expansions of civil rights and liberties can drown...
Article
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Positive assessments of moral enhancement too often isolate intuitive notions about its benefits apart from the relevance of surrounding society or civic institutions. If moral bioenhancement should benefit both oneself and others, it cannot be conducted apart from the enhancement of local social conditions, or the preparedness of civic institution...
Book
Atheology is the intellectual effort to understand atheism, defend the reasonableness of unbelief, and support nonbelievers in their encounters with religion. This book presents a historical overview of the development of atheology from ancient thought to the present day. It offers in-depth examinations of four distinctive schools of atheological t...
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After the publication of this article [1] it has come to our attention that the following quote from the article by Lombera and Illes [2] ".must have the power - defined by quality of knowledge and ease of access - to help shape that future.". was missing a reference citation in the introduction. The omission of the reference citation for this quot...
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After a decade of growth and development, neuroethics as a defined discipline is establishing domains of inquiry and action, a defined canon, and set(s) of practices. Neuroethical address and discourse must engage the realities forged and fostered by brain science no matter where they emerge and deliberate upon neurotechnological applications on th...
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Background As a discipline, neuroethics addresses a range of questions and issues generated by basic neuroscientific research (inclusive of studies of putative neurobiological processes involved in moral and ethical cognition and behavior), and its use and meanings in the clinical and social spheres. Here, we present Part 4 of a four-part bibliogra...
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Proposals that god-belief is an innate capacity of all humanity have not been confirmed by empirical studies. Scientific disciplines presently lean against god-belief’s innateness. Perhaps religion should be relieved that belief in gods is not innate. Intuitive cognitive functions supporting god-belief offer little convergence upon any god. Religio...
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The four commentaries on my article “Are People Born to be Believers, or are Gods Born to be Believed?” only indirectly address my main argument that god-belief is not an innate (natural, normal, and so on) capacity of all humanity. Although scientific disciplines dispute criteria for innate biological functions, there remains little scien-tific ev...
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As Charles Peirce developed his pragmatic methodology and metaphysical cosmology, he also explored philosophical views about religion and God. Religion and science could be reconciled, he judged, if inquiries into God applied his scientific philosophy. Peirce died before clarifying what a Peircean God is like, but cooperation between theology, phil...
Article
Full-text available
The roles of abductive inference in dynamic heuristics allows scientific methodologies to test novel explanations for the world’s ways. Deliberate reasoning often follows abductive patterns, as well as patterns dominated by deduction and induction, but complex mixtures of these three modes of inference are crucial for scientific explanation. All po...
Article
Full-text available
Atheism is skeptical towards gods, and atheology advances philosophical positions defending the reasonableness of that rejection. The history of philosophy encompasses many unorthodox and irreligious movements of thought, and these varieties of unbelief deserve more exegesis and analysis than presently available. Going back to philosophy’s origins,...
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The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (PCSBI) released the second volume of its Gray Matters report in March 2015 to address neuroethical, legal, and social issues arising in and from efforts of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. In concert with recommendations made in the...
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Atheology, accurately defined by Alvin Plantinga, offers reasons why god’s existence is implausible. Skeptically reasoning that theological arguments for god fail to make their case is one way of leaving supernaturalism in an implausible condition. This ‘rationalist’ atheology appeals to logical standards to point out fallacies and other sorts of i...
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Neuroethics has greater responsibilities than merely noting potential human enhancements ascribed to brain science, and tracking their implications for ethics and civic life. Neuroethics must utilize current neuroscientific knowledge to shape incisive discussions about what could count as enhancement in the first place, and what should count as gen...
Book
Dewey is known for education theories to promote democracy, but what is democracy for? His philosophy advanced democracy as education itself, reaching higher levels of social intelligence. Praising community or promoting rights doesn’t get to the heart of Dewey’s vision, which seeks everyone’s good in a social life that is intelligently lived.
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Paul Kurtz will be long remembered as the late twentieth century’s pre-eminent philosophical defender of freethinking rationalism and skepticism, the scientific worldview to replace superstition and religion, the healthy ethics of humanism, and democracy’s foundation in secularism. Reason, science, ethics, and civics – Kurtz repeatedly cycled throu...
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William James proposed a Science of Religions in his Varieties of Religious Experience in order to fulfill his promise that pragmatic empiricism could illuminate the meaning and truth conditions of religious ideas. Most commentators have focused either on his "will to believe" defense of faith, or on his analysis of the power of mystical inspiratio...
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I This volume brings together some pragmatist philosophers vitally interested in neuroscience and the brain sciences generally. Pragmatism is a perennial philosophy precisely because its core views on experience, cognition, learning, knowledge, values, psychological and education development, inter-personal relationships, and social organization en...
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Neurophilosophical pragmatism, or neuropragmatism, is a scientifically informed treatment of cognition, knowledge, the body-mind relation, agency, socialization, and further issues predicated on sound judgments about these basic matters. Neuropragmatism is capable of grappling with philosophical questions arising at many levels, from synapse to soc...
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Neuropragmatism is a research program taking sciences about cognitive development and learning methods most seriously, in order to reevaluate and reformulate philosophical issues. Knowledge, consciousness, and reason are among the crucial philosophical issues directly affected. Pragmatism in general has allied with the science-affirming philosophy...
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Over the past three decades, cognitive science has been making a turn towards pragmatism. Here we outline steps towards completing this turn. As a handful of cognitive scientists and philosophers have been arguing more recently, the insights of William James, John Dewey, and George Herbert Mead are not only being re-discovered, they are also provin...
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Recent work in psychology by Daniel Kahneman on system 1 and system 2, recent interest in revitalizing representationalism in cognitive science, and recent use of the concept of information in the science of consciousness all suffer from a creeping Cartesianism that blocks the road to inquiry. Neuropragmatism offers a way through this hurdle by emp...
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John R. Shook rejects traditional philosophical and psychological approaches to the problem of other minds, which unjustifiably isolate internal mind from external world and wrongly prioritize individualistic and reductivist explanations for cognition. Both philosophical considerations and recent social neuroscience point the way toward a thoroughl...
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Morality, like many other complex things in the natural world, can look designed. The moralities that we see humans practicing today are largely designed, designed by humans. Morality did not originate in human design, however; it is not some original invention of ours but a creation of unguided natural evolution. However, by learning how to modify...
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The conference "Neuroscience and Pragmatism: Productive Prospects" was held on June 10, 2011 at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies in Arlington, Virginia.
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Naturalism dominated twentieth century American philosophy.1 Naturalism is a philosophical worldview that relies upon experience, reason, and especially science for developing an understanding of reality. Naturalism demands that these three modes of understanding together shall control our notion of reality. Varieties of naturalism emerge because t...
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Religion under Scrutiny Debating Dogma Theology and Atheology Could Atheism Prove God Doesn't Exist? Could Religion Disprove Atheism?
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Believing in God without Knowledge of God Believing in God without Concepts of God Belief, Faith, and Pseudo-faith The Argument from Pseudo-faith
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Scientific History Scientific History and Scripture The Argument from Divine Signs The Argument from Apostolic Faith The Argument from Divine Character The Argument from Pseudo-history
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The Existence of Nature Argument for God The Fine-tuning Argument for God Why Would God Create? The Problem of Evil The Argument from Pseudo-cosmology
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Liberal Modernism and Its Rivals Twelve Worldviews Faith and Reason Realigned
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Theology and Science Arguments from Nature Arguments from Design Arguments from Religious Experience Arguments from Morality Explanations for Reason The Ontological Argument for God The Argument from Pseudo-science
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Categorizing Theologies Theology From The Scripture Theology From The World Theology Beyond The World Theology In The Know Theology Into The Myst
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Arguments from Ignorance Religious Epistemologies Knowledge, Justification, and Truth The Religious Community The Arguments from Pseudo-theology
Article
Charles S. Peirce believed that his pragmatic philosophy could reconcile religion and science and that this reconciliation involves a religious ethics creating a real community with the cosmos and God. After some rival pragmatic approaches to God and religious belief inconsistent with Peirce's philosophy are set aside, his metaphysical plan for a r...
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Peter Hare devoted much scholarly effort to understanding and explaining the philosophical views of Brown University philosopher C. J. Ducasse. Ducasse was influenced by William James and Josiah Royce at Harvard University. Hare was especially interested in Ducasse's views on aesthetics, the ethics of belief, and philosophy of religion. Hare judged...
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It's only natural to wonder about the higher purposes in one's life. Religious people sometimes argue that because they discover and enjoy a higher purpose to life, then religious beliefs appear quite natural and reasonable. This argument can be turned around, to make humanism look unnatural and unreasonable, if humanism denies any higher purpose t...
Article
Peter Hare devoted much scholarly effort to understanding and explaining the philosophical views of Brown University philosopher C. J. Ducasse. Ducasse was influenced by William James and Josiah Royce at Harvard University. Hare was especially interested in Ducasse's views on aesthetics, the ethics of belief, and philosophy of religion. Hare judged...
Article
Comparative political philosophy can be stimulated by imposing a categorization scheme on possible varieties of political philosophies. This article develops a categorization scheme using four essential features of political philosophies, resulting in twelve archetypal political philosophies. The four essential features selected are a political phi...
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This collection of previous published essays, revised from their origins in work spanning the past twenty years, is a welcome gift from Larry Hickman, eminent Dewey scholar and Director of the Center for Dewey Studies at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. An ambassador from Deweyan pragmatism to the world, Hickman makes friendly introducti...
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Schiller's Humanism, Personalism, and PragmatismPragmatism and FrancePragmatism in ItalyGermany and PragmatismOther European Philosophers and Pragmatism
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This essay examines the two important arguments that John Dewey's social philosophy offers against the retributivist justification for punishment. The first argument is that retributivism cannot serve as an adequate explanation for the moral practice of punishment, while the second argument develops the position that a liberally democratic society...
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Entrepreneurship cannot be explained by any economic theory that isolates innovation from ongoing social processes or locates creativity in a space of given, fixed values. Unfortunately, mainstream economics has committed these mistakes, rooted in instrumentalist and antidemocratic notions of consumption and rationality that permits reasoning only...
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The Journal of Speculative Philosophy 17.4 (2003) 245-258 Direct realist theories of perception do not receive much consideration today, aside from the cursory refutations that have appeared in the literature for decades. The model of perception most widely accepted today, dominant across not just mainstream philosophy of mind but also psychology,...

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If moral righteousness, (here taken to be) an eagerness to impose one’s moral stance on the lives of others, can be psychologically diminished, might the overall balance of moral forces along with amoral social forces cumulatively shift in a direction of greater civil rights?