& Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we examined whether individual differences in amygdala activation in response to negative relative to neutral information are related to differences in the speed with which such information is evaluated, the extent to which such differences are associated with medial prefrontal cortex function, and their relationship with measures of trait anxiety and psychological well-being (PWB). Results indicated that faster judgments of negative relative to neutral information were associated with increased left and right amygdala activation. In (...) the prefrontal cortex, faster judgment time was associated with relative decreased activation in a cluster in the ventral anterior cingulate cor-. (shrink)
The basic idea of his Origin of Species is that in nature there is a process similar to what goes on in the breeding of domestic plants and animals. If a breeder wants to produce a variety with certain characteristics, he/she keeps an eye out for individuals that have some approximation to those characteristics and breeds from them and not from individuals that do not have something like the desired characteristics. The other individuals may be destroyed, or they may just (...) be segregated; at any rate they are not allowed to breed with the selected stock. The breeder follows this policy also with the second generation of the offspring of the selected individuals of the first generation; those that after all do not have the desired characteristics are rejected, those that do are selected to produce the third generation, and so on. The whole process presupposes some degree of variability within the plant or animal being bred from. There have to be spontaneously produced individuals with something like the desired characteristics for the breeder to select. What can be accomplished by selection breeding depends of the range of variation that occurs spontaneously. (Hence the topic of Darwin's book of 1868, Variation of Plants and Animals under Domestication.) See in the Readings book the picture of the different breeds of pigeons from the Illustrated London News, 1864; Darwin was a pigeon fancier. (shrink)
In this short essay I express my own deep sympathy with Nel Noddings's ethic of care and applaud her stubborn resistance in Happiness and Education to what John Dewey would have called false dualisms, such as those between intelligence and emotion, theory and practice, or vocation and academic studies. However, I question whether the sort of caring relation she depicts so beautifully in this and many other books is sufficiently robust to alone carry the weight of the moral life that (...) she supports, and whether her suspicion of community, while sounding important cautions, does not leave us with an ethical vision that is too thin to deliver the sort of education she prescribes. To this end, I argue that she judges Victor Frankl's conception of freedom too harshly and his response to human suffering with an uncharacteristic lack of charity. Following well-known communitarian arguments of Michael Walzer and Charles Taylor I suggest that some account of a situated human agent who can choose freely to enter into relation is necessary to sustain the role of caring in education that has been Noddings most significant philosophical contribution. (shrink)
Jennifer Nagel (2010) has recently proposed a fascinating account of the decreased tendency to attribute knowledge in conversational contexts in which unrealized possibilities of error have been mentioned. Her account appeals to epistemic egocentrism, or what is sometimes called the curse of knowledge, an egocentric bias to attribute our own mental states to other people (and sometimes our own future and past selves). Our aim in this paper is to investigate the empirical merits of Nagel’s hypothesis about the psychology involved (...) in knowledge attribution. (shrink)
It is no coincidence that the church in Luke's narrative bore the nickname “The Way.” The Evangelist's “mental map” of the early church's development is more fluid and open than the hierarchical model of later centuries.
We construct a machine that knows its own code, at the price of not knowing its own factivity. knowing machines; Reinhardt's strong mechanistic thesis; Lucas-Penrose argument; Kleene's recursion theorem; quantified modal logic.
Reinhardt's conjecture, a formalization of the statement that a truthful knowing machine can know its own truthfulness and mechanicalness, was proved by Carlson using sophisticated structural results about the ordinals and transfinite induction just beyond the first epsilon number. We prove a weaker version of the conjecture, by elementary methods and transfinite induction up to a smaller ordinal.
This paper reviews the actual and potential use of social media in emergency, disaster and crisis situations. This is a field that has generated intense interest. It is characterised by a burgeoning but small and very recent literature. In the emergencies field, social media (blogs, messaging, sites such as Facebook, wikis and so on) are used in seven different ways: listening to public debate, monitoring situations, extending emergency response and management, crowd-sourcing and collaborative development, creating social cohesion, furthering causes (including (...) charitable donation) and enhancing research. Appreciation of the positive side of social media is balanced by their potential for negative developments, such as disseminating rumours, undermining authority and promoting terrorist acts. This leads to an examination of the ethics of social media usage in crisis situations. Despite some clearly identifiable risks, for example regarding the violation of privacy, it appears that public consensus on ethics will tend to override unscrupulous attempts to subvert the media. Moreover, social media are a robust means of exposing corruption and malpractice. In synthesis, the widespread adoption and use of social media by members of the public throughout the world heralds a new age in which it is imperative that emergency managers adapt their working practices to the challenge and potential of this development. At the same time, they must heed the ethical warnings and ensure that social media are not abused or misused when crises and emergencies occur. (shrink)
This paper argues that higher-order doubt generates an epistemic dilemma. One has a higher-order doubt with regards to P insofar as one justifiably withholds belief as to what attitude towards P is justified. That is, one justifiably withholds belief as to whether one is justified in believing, disbelieving, or withholding belief in P. Using the resources provided by Richard Feldman’s recent discussion of how to respect one’s evidence, I argue that if one has a higher-order doubt with regards to P, (...) then one is not justified in having any attitude towards P. Otherwise put: No attitude towards the doubted proposition respects one’s higher-order doubt. I argue that the most promising response to this problem is to hold that when one has a higher-order doubt about P, the best one can do to respect such a doubt is to simply have no attitude towards P. Higher-order doubt is thus much more rationally corrosive than non-higher-order doubt, as it undermines the possibility of justifiably having any attitude towards the doubted proposition. (shrink)
Despite anxieties about the growing power of neo-liberalism, the crisis of the EU and the upsurge of right-wing political movements, it is important to recognize that utopian movements on the left have also in recent years been symbolically revitalized and organizationally sustained. This article analyses three recent social upheavals as utopian civil society movements, placing the 2008 US presidential campaign of Barack Obama, the Egyptian uprising in Tahrir Square and the Occupy Movement in the USA inside the narrative arc that (...) began with the non-violent democratic uprisings against authoritarian governments four decades earlier. In this new utopian surge, however, there is an unprecedented connection of eastern and western impulses, demonstrating that the tide of democratic thought and action is hardly confined to Judeo-Christian civilizations. (shrink)
Consider the problem of allocating a scarce resource to people. A fair decision procedure is one where each person has an equal chance of receiving the resource. An unfair decision procedure is one where the chances are not equal. Normally we think that, in an unfair decision procedure, that the correct way to redress the injustice is by rerunning the allocation using a fair decision procedure. In this paper, I show that this actually creates an overall bias favouring one person, (...) and solutions to this problem are counterintuitive, in that they typically involve introducing additional unfair elements into the situation. (shrink)
Multiarm bandit problems have been used to model the selection of competing scientific theories by boundedly rational agents. In this paper, I define a variable-arm bandit problem, which allows the set of scientific theories to vary over time. I show that Roth-Erev reinforcement learning, which solves multiarm bandit problems in the limit, cannot solve this problem in a reasonable time. However, social learning via preferential attachment combined with individual reinforcement learning which discounts the past, does.
Social theory between progress and apocalypse -- Autonomy and domination: Weber's cage -- Barbarism and modernity: Eisenstadt's regret -- Integration and justice: Parsons' utopia -- Despising others: Simmel's stranger -- Meaning evil -- De-civilizing the civil sphere -- Psychotherapy as central institution -- The frictions of modernity and their possible repair.
This piece is a review essay on Victor Tadros’s The Ends of Harm. Tadros rejects retributive desert but believes punishment can be justified instrumentally without succumbing to the problems of thoroughgoing consequentialism and endorsing using people as means. He believes he can achieve these results through extension of the right of self-defense. I argue that Tadros fails in this endeavor: he has a defective account of the means principle; his rejection of desert leads to gross mismatches of punishment and culpability; (...) and he cannot account for punishment of inchoate crimes. (shrink)
My contribution to this symposium is short and negative: There are no theoretical problems that attach to one’s causing the conditions that permit him to claim a defense to some otherwise criminal act. If one assesses the culpability of an actor at each of the various times he acts in a course of conduct, then it is obvious that he can be nonculpable at T2 but culpable at T1, and that a nonculpable act at T2 has no bearing on whether (...) an actor was culpable at T1 when he caused the circumstances that are exculpatory with respect to his act (or conduct) at T2. Moreover, as I interpret the Model Penal Code, it gets matters close to right on this point. (shrink)
The question of when other people’s bad acts belong on our moral ledger arises in a number of different scenarios. Each scenario has received some philosophical attention, but no one has noted the structural similarities of these various scenarios or the implications of a proposed approach to one for how the others should be approached. That is the ambition of this article. In it, seemingly disparate moral phenomena—blunt rules, preemptive restrictions, moral blackmail, complicity, retreat and proportional response, and the duty (...) to rescue from a peril one has caused—are shown to have similar structures and thus to require similar moral approaches. (shrink)
The Philosophy of Criminal Law collects 17 of Doug Husak’s articles on legal theory, 16 of which have been previously published, spanning a period of over two decades. In sum, these 17 articles make a huge and lasting contribution to criminal law theory. There is much wisdom contained in them; and I find surprisingly little to disagree with, making my job as a critical reviewer quite challenging. Most of the points on which Doug and I disagree can be found in (...) my other published work in this field, so I will have little to say about them, except where they illuminate those few points of disagreement that arise in the particular essays I discuss. Most of what I will say will be in accord with Doug’s views and will principally explore their wider implications. The 17 essays in the book cover too many and too varied topics for one review essay. Therefore, I will focus on just three of them: “Rapes Without Rapists: Consent and Reasonable Mistake” (co-authored by George C. Thomas); “Mistakes of Law and Culpability”; and “Already Punished Enough.” Although I generally agree with the upshots of Doug’s arguments in these chapters, I think the issues they raise are worth further exploration. (shrink)
Gideon Yaffe's Attempts is a masterfully executed philosophical investigation of what it means to attempt something. Yaffe is obviously motivated by the fact that the criminal law punishes attempted crimes, and he believes that his philosophical analysis can shed light on and be used to criticize the law's understanding of those crimes. I focus exclusively on the relevance of Yaffe's philosophical analysis of attempts to the criminal law of attempts. I assume that Yaffe's account of what it is to attempt (...) something is basically correct and ask whether the criminal law uses in the way Yaffe uses it, and whether it should use Yaffe's conception of an attempt. I conclude that a lot of criminal-law doctrine, including, very importantly, the influential Model Penal Code's treatment of attempts, is inconsistent with Yaffe's conception of attempts. Because Yaffe is principally interested in what it means to attempt something rather than in the criminal law's treatment of attempts, I believe he misanalyzes the problem of factual versus legal impossibility. And Yaffe's chapter on inherently impossible attempts concludes by positing a quite paradoxical type of criminal attempt, one that is indeed an attempt but for which the defendant should not be convicted because the evidence of its commission is insufficient. I find Yaffe's argument to this effect opaque and therefore unconvincing. (shrink)
A variation of Fitch’s paradox is given, where no special rules of inference are assumed, only axioms. These axioms follow from the familiar assumptions which involve rules of inference. We show (by constructing a model) that by allowing that possibly the knower doesn’t know his own soundness (while still requiring he be sound), Fitch’s paradox is avoided. Provided one is willing to admit that sound knowers may be ignorant of their own soundness, this might offer a way out of the (...) paradox. (shrink)
A biologically unavoidable sequence is an infinite gender sequence which occurs in every gendered, infinite genealogical network satisfying certain tame conditions. We show that every eventually periodic sequence is biologically unavoidable (this generalizes König's Lemma), and we exhibit some biologically avoidable sequences. Finally we give an application of unavoidable sequences to cellular automata.
We argue that C. Darwin and more recently W. Hennig worked at times under the simplifying assumption of an eternal biosphere. So motivated, we explicitly consider the consequences which follow mathematically from this assumption, and the infinite graphs it leads to. This assumption admits certain clusters of organisms which have some ideal theoretical properties of species, shining some light onto the species problem. We prove a dualization of a law of T.A. Knight and C. Darwin, and sketch a decomposition result (...) involving the internodons of D. Kornet, J. Metz and H. Schellinx. A further goal of this paper is to respond to B. Sturmfels’ question, “Can biology lead to new theorems?”. (shrink)
We extend first-order logic to include variadic function symbols, and prove a substitution lemma. Two applications are given: one to bounded quantifier elimination and one to the definability of certain Borel sets.
Dewey’s A Common Faith has been variously interpreted, both in terms of its relation to Dewey’s corpus and internally in terms of its leading ideas. I argue for its crucial relevance in understanding Dewey and undertake an analysis of the key idea of “religious experience” as an “attitude of existence.” This distinguishes religious experience from other types of qualitative experience and shows the unique place this concept has for Dewey.
" Our various cultures are symbolic environments or "spiritual ecologies" within which the Human Eros can thrive. This is how we inhabit the earth. Encircling and sustaining our cultural existence is nature.
In C. S. Peirce, as well as in the work of many biosemioticians, the semiotic object is sometimes described as a physical “object” with material properties and sometimes described as an “ideal object” or mental representation. I argue that to the extent that we can avoid these types of characterizations we will have a more scientific definition of sign use and will be able to better integrate the various fields that interact with biosemiotics. In an effort to end Cartesian dualism (...) in semiotics, which has been the main obstacle to a scientific biosemiotics, I present an argument that the “semiotic object” is always ultimately the objective of self-affirmation (of habits, physical or mental) and/or self-preservation. Therefore, I propose a new model for the sign triad: response-sign-objective. With this new model it is clear, as I will show, that self-mistaking (not self-negation as others have proposed) makes learning, creativity and purposeful action possible via signs. I define an “interpretation” as a response to something as if it were a sign, but whose semiotic objective does not, in fact, exist. If the response-as-interpretation turns out to be beneficial for the system after all, there is biopoiesis. When the response is not “interpretive,” but self-confirming in the usual way, there is biosemiosis. While the conditions conducive to fruitful misinterpretation (e.g., accidental similarity of non-signs to signs and/or contiguity of non-signs to self-sustaining processes) might be artificially enhanced, according to this theory, the outcomes would be, by nature, more or less uncontrollable and unpredictable. Nevertheless, biosemiotics could be instrumental in the manipulation and/or artificial creation of purposeful systems insofar as it can describe a formula for the conditions under which new objectives and novel purposeful behavior may emerge, however unpredictably. (shrink)
Objective Adolescents have had very limited access to research on biomedical prevention interventions despite high rates of HIV acquisition. One concern is that adolescents are a vulnerable population, and trials carry a possibility of harm, requiring investigators to take additional precautions. Of particular concern is preventive misconception, or the overestimation of personal protection that is afforded by enrolment in a prevention intervention trial. Methods As part of a larger study of preventive misconception in adolescent HIV vaccine trials, we interviewed 33 (...) male and female 16–19-year-olds who have sex with men. Participants underwent a simulated HIV vaccine trial consent process, and then completed a semistructured interview about their understanding and opinions related to enrolment in a HIV vaccine trial. A grounded theory analysis looked for shared concepts, and focused on the content and process of adolescent participants’ understanding of HIV vaccination and the components of preventive misconception, including experiment, placebo and randomisation. Results Across interviews, adolescents demonstrated active processing of information, in which they questioned the interviewer, verbally worked out their answers based upon information provided, and corrected themselves. We observed a wide variety of understanding of research concepts. While most understood experiment and placebo, fewer understood randomisation. All understood the need for safer sex even if they did not understand the more basic concepts. Conclusions Education about basic concepts related to clinical trials, time to absorb materials and assessment of understanding may be necessary in future biomedical prevention trials. (shrink)
We present a novel paradigm to identify shared and unique brain regions underlying non-semantic, non-phonological, abstract, audio-visual (AV) memory versus naming using a longitudinal functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment. Participants were trained to associate novel AV stimulus pairs containing hidden linguistic content. Half of the stimulus pairs were distorted images of animals and sine-wave speech versions of the animal’s name. Images and sounds were distorted in such a way as to make their linguistic content easily recognizable only after being made (...) aware of its existence. Memory for the pairings was tested by presenting an AV pair and asking participants to verify if the two stimuli formed a learned pairing. After memory testing, the hidden linguistic content was revealed and participants were tested again on their recollection of the pairings in this linguistically informed state. Once informed, the AV verification task could be performed by naming the picture. There was substantial overlap between the regions involved in recognition of nonlinguistic sensory memory and naming, suggesting a strong relation between them. Contrasts between sessions identified left angular gyrus and middle temporal gyrus as key additional players in the naming network. Left inferior frontal regions participated in both naming and nonlinguistic AV memory suggesting the region is responsible for AV memory independent of phonological content contrary to previous proposals. Functional connectivity between angular gyrus and left inferior frontal gyrus and left middle temporal gyrus increased when performing the AV task as naming. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that, at the spatial resolution of fMRI, the regions that facilitate nonlinguistic AV associations are a subset of those that facilitate naming though reorganized into distinct networks. (shrink)
It has become increasingly popular to respond to experimental philosophy by suggesting that experimental philosophers haven’t been studying the right kind of thing. One version of this kind of response, which we call the reflection defense, involves suggesting both that philosophers are interested only in intuitions that are the product of careful reflection on the details of hypothetical cases and the key concepts involved in those cases, and that these kinds of philosophical intuitions haven’t yet been (and possibly cannot be) (...) adequately studied by experimental philosophers. Of course, as a defensivemove, thisworks only if reflective intuitions are immune from the kinds of problematic effects that form the basis of recent experimental challenges to philosophy’s intuition-deploying practices. If they are not immune (or at least sufficiently less vulnerable) to these kinds of effects, then the fact that experimental philosophers have not had the right kind of thing in their sights would provide little comfort to folks invested in philosophy’s intuition-deploying practices. Here we provide reasons to worry that even reflective intuitions can display sensitivity to the same kinds of problematic effects, although possibly in slightly different ways. As it turns out, being reflective might sometimes just mean being wrong in a different way. (shrink)
Inferential Internalists accept the Principle of Inferential Justification (PIJ), according to which one has justification for believing P on the basis of E only if one has justification for believing that E makes probable P. Richard Fumerton has defended PIJ by appeal to examples, and recently Adam Leite has argued that this principle is supported by considerations regarding the nature of responsible belief. In this paper, I defend a form of externalism against both arguments. This form of externalism recognizes what (...) I call the phenomenon of reflective defeat: if one is justified in not believing that E makes probable P, then this defeats whatever justification one has for believing P upon the basis of E. I argue that this modified version of externalism has the virtue of accommodating the intuitions that motivate internalism, without the cost of the vicious regress that makes internalism so unattractive. (shrink)
Inferential internalism holds that for one to be inferentially justified in believing P on the basis of E one must be justified in believing that E makes probable P. Inferential internalism has long been accused of generating a vicious regress on inferential justification that has drastic skeptical consequences. However, recently Hookway and Rhoda have defended a more modest form of internalism that avoids this problem. They propose a form of weak inferential internalism according to which internalist conditions are restricted to (...) only certain kinds of inferential justification. In this paper, I clarify and argue against weak internalism. I contend that while weak internalism avoids the vicious regress, it does so at the cost of compromising its internalist credentials. For I show that unless weak internalism makes an arbitrary distinction between individuals who believe for the very same reasons, the view collapses into externalism. (shrink)
In “Weak Inferential Internalism” I defended the frequently voiced criticism that any internalist account of inferential justification generates a vicious regress. My defense involved criticizing a recent form of internalism, “Weak Inferential Internalism” (WII) defended by Hookway and Rhoda. I argued that while WII does not generate a vicious regress, the position is only distinguishable from externalism insofar as it makes an arbitrary distinction between individuals who believe for the very same reason. Either way, WII is not a defensible internalist (...) account of inferential justification. In his “In Defense of Weak Inferential Internalism,” Rhoda has responded to my dilemma argument. He argues that it is mistaken to assume that WII must be incompatible with externalism, and that contrary to my claims, WII is distinguishable from externalism in several ways. In this reply, I explain why none of Rhoda’s replies suggest that there is a defensible internalist account of inferential justification. (shrink)
Decision theory faces a number of problematic gambles which challenge it to say what value an ideal rational agent should assign to the gamble, and why. Yet little attention has been devoted to the question of what an ideal rational agent is, and in what sense decision theory may be said to apply to one. I show that, given one arguably natural set of constraints on the preferences of an idealized rational agent, such an agent is forced to be indifferent (...) among entire families of goods, and hence cannot choose among them. This result illustrates the dangers of speaking of the choices of an ?ideal rational agent? when one does not make precise the exact nature of the idealizing assumptions. The result may also be viewed as providing an upper bound on the kinds of idealizing assumptions which can be made for rational agents, beyond which the very concept of choice becomes attenuated. (shrink)
Philosophy has four forms: wonder, faith, doubt and scepticism. These are not separate categories, but separate ideal possibilities. Modern academic philosophy has fallen, for several centuries, into an error: which is the error of supposing that philosophy is only what I call doubt. Philosophy may be doubt: indeed, it is part of my argument that this is undeniably one element of, or one possibility in, philosophy; but doubt is only one of four points of the compass. In this essay I (...) indicate the nature of each point of the compass as it has been found in the history of philosophy. (shrink)
In this article I take up a conceptual question: What is the distinction between ‘the law’ and the behavior the law regulates, or, as I formulate it, the distinction between what is ‘inside’ the law and what is ‘outside’ it? That conceptual question is in play in (at least) three different doctrinal domains: the constitutional law doctrines regarding the limits on the delegation of legislative powers; the criminal law doctrines regarding mistakes of law; and the constitutional rights doctrines that turn (...) on the distinction between state action and the acts of non-state actors. I argue that legal doctrines should turn solely on normative considerations and should not turn on answers to conceptual questions. However, the doctrines I discuss appear to turn on the conceptual question regarding what is ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ the law. I show how each of these doctrinal areas appears to raise this conceptual issue, and I explain how the doctrines might or might not escape being held hostage to conceptual controversy. (shrink)
Iconoclasts? Who, Us? A Reply to Dolinko Content Type Journal Article Category Original Paper Pages 1-7 DOI 10.1007/s11572-012-9143-3 Authors Larry Alexander, San Diego, CA, USA Kimberly Kessler Ferzan, Camden, NJ, USA Journal Criminal Law and Philosophy Online ISSN 1871-9805 Print ISSN 1871-9791.