To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Deficits in visuospatial attention, known as neglect, are common following brain injury, but underdiagnosed and poorly treated, resulting in long-term cognitive disability. In clinical settings, neglect is often assessed using simple pen-and-paper tests. While convenient, these cannot characterise the full spectrum of neglect. This protocol reports a research programme that compares traditional neglect assessments with a novel virtual reality attention assessment platform: The Attention Atlas (AA).
The AA was codesigned by researchers and clinicians to meet the clinical need for improved neglect assessment. The AA uses a visual search paradigm to map the attended space in three dimensions and seeks to identify the optimal parameters that best distinguish neglect from non-neglect, and the spectrum of neglect, by providing near-time feedback to clinicians on system-level behavioural performance. A series of experiments will address procedural, scientific, patient, and clinical feasibility domains.
Analyses focuses on descriptive measures of reaction time, accuracy data for target localisation, and histogram-based raycast attentional mapping analysis; which measures the individual’s orientation in space, and inter- and intra-individual variation of visuospatial attention. We will compare neglect and control data using parametric between-subjects analyses. We present example individual-level results produced in near-time during visual search.
The development and validation of the AA is part of a new generation of translational neuroscience that exploits the latest advances in technology and brain science, including technology repurposed from the consumer gaming market. This approach to rehabilitation has the potential for highly accurate, highly engaging, personalised care.
This chapter examines the dangers of utopian hope and strategies to limit them. It builds on the idea, emphasized throughout this study, that ideal theory shares overlooked features with apocalyptic thought. One long-standing worry with apocalyptic thought is that it promotes violence. Notably, both apocalyptic thought and ideal theory can fall victim to false confidence regarding their ability to identify and achieve utopia. Purported knowledge of the path to utopia has justified all kinds of bloodshed and cruelty throughout history, yet the ideal never comes. Partly in response to the explosive potential of apocalyptic belief, strands of Jewish and Christian thought stress the radical nature of human ignorance regarding what the ideal society looks like, how to bring it about, and when it might come. By pairing utopian hope with epistemic humility, the apocalyptic tradition – at least parts of it – suggests an approach that ideal theory would be wise to imitate.
This chapter explores Engels’s engagement with apocalyptic thought. Some reduce Marxism to a secularized version of Christian eschatology, a claim that functions as a rhetorical weapon against Marxism’s originality. I reject this simplistic view but take seriously the textual evidence showing Engels’s interest in the apocalyptic figure Thomas Müntzer and the book of Revelation. He praises Müntzer, going so far as to argue that the coming kingdom of God preached by Müntzer was actually a Marxist ideal marked by radical equality. Though Engels rejects Christian apocalyptic doctrines, he shares with them the belief that things must worsen and reach a crisis before a utopian future is possible. Whereas Machiavelli rejects apocalyptic hope and Hobbes tempers it, Engels embraces it.
This chapter explores what apocalyptic thought shares with ideal theory, with a focus on our grounds for believing any proposed account of the ideal society. As John Rawls understands it, ideal theory is based on plausible reasons that others should accept, whereas religious belief is unsuitable to collectively guide society. Some, though, have questioned Rawls’s confidence in ideal theory, and this chapter draws on social science research to place these criticisms on firmer ground. It outlines an argument for why future uncertainty makes it impossible to offer a plausible defense of ideal theory. As a result, ideal theory, like religious belief, ultimately must rest on faith. Though ideal theory must abandon aspirations of outlining an ideal to collectively guide society, there is still a potential role for it as a source of utopian hope.
This chapter examines pitfalls in current methodological approaches to studying secular apocalyptic thought and proposes an alternative. Over a half-century ago, Judith Shklar and Hans Blumenberg argued that secular apocalyptic thought is an unhelpful and vague concept, which too often functions as a rhetorical weapon. Their critiques largely have been neglected. I make the case for taking these critiques seriously and suggest a strategy to address them: the study of secular apocalyptic thought should focus on examples where secular thinkers explicitly reference religious apocalyptic texts, figures, and concepts so as to avoid making spurious connections and reading into texts influences that are not there.
The close of the book offers a brief overview of its arguments and revisits the parable that opens the study. It also considers a parable from the apocalyptic tradition, the Sheep and the Goats in Matthew 25:31–46, and offers an interpretation to highlight its potential wisdom for ideal theory. On this interpretation, the parable serves as a subtle reminder of the virtue found in pairing utopian hope with epistemic humility.
The book opens with a parable to introduce three central figures in the chapters to come – Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Engels – and their approaches to apocalyptic thought. It then defines key concepts and gives an overview of the three main arguments advanced in Apocalypse without God. The first argument is methodological: the study of secular apocalyptic thought would place itself on firmer ground by focusing on cases where secular thinkers explicitly reference religious apocalyptic texts, figures, and concepts. The second argument is interpretive: apocalyptic thought’s political appeal partly lies in offering resources to navigate persistent challenges that arise in ideal theory, which tries to imagine the best and most just society. And the third argument is normative: ideal theory and apocalyptic thought both rest on faith and are best suited to be sources of utopian hope, but not guides for collective action by a society.
Why would secular thinkers find in Christian apocalyptic beliefs – often dismissed as bizarre – appealing tools for interpreting politics? This chapter aims to unpack that puzzle. A helpful approach for understanding apocalyptic thought’s appeal is the lens of ideal theory, which tries to imagine the best and most just society. Ideal theory faces a daunting task: outlining a goal that is both utopian and feasible. To be worth striving for, the ideal must be utopian and possess sufficient moral appeal to justify the transition costs needed to achieve it. Yet the ideal also must be feasible, since it is difficult to justify dedicating limited resources to pursue the impossible. These competing goals result in a catch-22: a more utopian ideal is a less feasible moral goal, which diminishes reasons to strive for it, but a more modest and feasible ideal is a less appealing moral goal, which also diminishes reasons to strive for it. What I call cataclysmic apocalyptic thought proposes a way out of this dilemma. It embraces a utopian goal and declares it feasible by pointing to crisis as the vehicle to wipe away corruption and bring the seemingly impossible within reach.
This chapter examines how Hobbes tempers apocalyptic thought to advance his political philosophy. What troubles Hobbes about such thought is its potential to spur continuous upheaval. Apocalyptic thought anticipates perfection – a divine kingdom that will wipe away corruption. The failure to realize utopian hopes breeds endless dissatisfaction, disruption, and instability in politics. But rather than abandon apocalyptic ideals, Hobbes co-opts them. Specifically, he reinterprets the doctrine of the kingdom of God to make it safe for politics. He arrives at an interpretation that denies, at present, all claims to represent God’s kingdom by prophets and sects challenging the sovereign’s authority. For now, the kingdom of God can only take one form – what Hobbes calls the natural kingdom of God. Importantly, the Leviathan-state is a manifestation of the natural kingdom of God. By identifying God’s kingdom with the Leviathan-state, Hobbes transforms a Christian doctrine used to justify rebellion into one bolstering the sovereign’s authority.
This chapter examines Machiavelli’s view of Girolamo Savonarola – an apocalyptic figure in fifteenth-century Florence – and apocalyptic thought more generally. Though the standard understanding of Machiavelli is that he dismisses Savonarola, a close reading of his writings reveals a respect for Savonarola and his apocalyptic message. Savonarola used his apocalyptic message to help found new orders – the highest human achievement according to Machiavelli. By drawing on the Christian idea of the new Jerusalem and Roman idea of the Eternal City, Savonarola instilled the republican government of Florence with deep religious meaning and political promise. Though Machiavelli sees Savonarola as a failed founder, his failure is not due to his apocalyptic message. Machiavelli recognizes the power of this message, but ultimately rejects apocalyptic hope because he cannot fathom achieving a lasting utopia in a world marked by decay and continual change.