Tag Archives: victoria n. alexander

Trixie is out!

I’m happy to announce that my latest novel, Trixie, is now in print.

With Trixie I have taken uncertain steps as a writer.  My previous novels were published under “Victoria N. Alexander,” the name that appears on my passport, not “Tori Alexander,” the name my family and friends use.   The reason for the switch is to “disambiguate” myself, as they say these days, from a popular writer of Romance novels named “Victoria Alexander.”  I am decidedly not a Romance writer.  If any thing Trixie is anti-Romance as my heroine is not too keen on Continue reading

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The Choice Issues in the Health Care Bill: eating meat and reading literature

Two extremely important issues–that are not strictly health related–are holding up the health care bill. These are: whether the government should help fund abortions and whether the government should help fund end-of-life consultations between patients and physicians. Anyone who knows my novels knows that I’m a feminist and so would expect me to support Pro-Choice, and I do. Anyone who has read Naked Singularity knows that I would fight for choice on the issue of euthanasia too. Nevertheless, I think both should be withdrawn from the bill. Here’s why: Continue reading

Smoking Hopes is now available as an Ebook

My first novel Smoking Hopes was released in hardcover by The Permanent Press in 1996.  I’ve wanted it to go to ebook for a long time now, for reasons that I’ve been writing about in my “Literary Fiction” posts. Mainly the ebook appeal involves copyright protection for authors as well as greener practices for the globe. So I was really glad to see The Permanent Press go digital.

Teleology revisited

Teleology is the study of the purposes of action, development and existence. Its practitioners believe nature is purposeful. An ancient and enduring form of inquiry that has been out-of-fashion among educated people for centuries, teleology’s slow, steady decline as a scientific discipline began in the 17th century with the birth of modern empiricism and continued to plummet apace with the rise of the Enlightenment, Darwinism, and quantum mechanics. Nature is not purposeful, it was said, and those who continued to think it was were primarily spiritualists, artists, or madmen, who credited the guidance of gods, muses, or fate. Continue reading

Nature is a Work of Art

Telos is Greek for an “end” or function, which helps explain why something exists or why its previous actions occurred: in order to serve that function.  Telic action requires some kind representation of the goal that helps achieve it.  In short, teleologists argue that ideas, or something like mental concepts or thoughts, cause events in a way wholly different from the way that objects cause events (atoms, molecules or larger bodies hitting each other and/or reacting). Continue reading

Purpose, biosemiotics and the complexity sciences

Telos is otherwise known as final cause, one of four causes identified by Aristotle’s natural philosophy: Material cause describes how the physical properties of matter determine what a thing is and how it will react with other things. For example, an ivory ball will roll differently than a wooden ball, as the density and weight of the material determines how much resistance it has. Efficient cause describes how the agent (person, animal, or even a moving object like a billiard ball) acting on something determines what happens. For example, the pool player, the cue stick or ball hitting another ball at rest is the efficient cause of the latter’s moving. Formal cause describes how the “blueprint” or the natural laws of form determine what can be. Some forms are physically impossible; others are very probable. Experienced pool players have learned that certain types of moves can be expected to result in certain types of outcomes, and they may apply their knowledge of geometry to their game.  Final cause describes how the “end,” or the function something ultimately serves, determines what happens or how something develops. The ball was struck so that the pool player might win the game and further develop his abilities and reputation. Continue reading

Hospice nurses: mercy killers or predators?

Recently the controversial issue of euthanasia was tossed around in the news media due to the living will clause in the health care reform bill.  Democrats wanted health insurance to cover any patient who wished to have an “end-of-life consultation” with his/her physician, deciding ahead of time what to do if the patient’s condition was past hope and the patient no longer able to communicate his/her desires. Continue reading