Abstract The ‘species problem’ in the philosophy of biology concerns the nature of species. Various solutions have been proposed, including arguments that species are sets, classes, natural kinds, individuals, and homeostatic property clusters. These proposals parallel debates in ecology as to the ontology and metaphysics of populations, communities and ecosystems. A new solution—that species are processes—is proposed and defended, based on Robert Ulanowicz’s metaphysics of process ecology. As with ecological systems, species can be understood as emergent, autocatalytic systems with propensities (...) for centripetality and mutuality in the course of dynamically balancing ascendency (order and persistence) and overhead (randomness and change). The species-as-processes perspective accords with the Ulanowicz’s postulates of process ecology and it can be accommodated by existing theories of species—particularly in a reframing of Richard Boyd’s metaphysics such that species are homeostatic process clusters. Rather than contending that process-based metaphysics is the only, best or true account of species, a pluralist-realist approach is advocated based on the pragmatic principles that are reflected in modern view of species and ecology. If species are understood to be comprised of processes and to be emergent processes themselves, there are important implications for the life sciences, including: animal models in medical and environmental studies, conservation biology, extinction, biodiversity, restoration ecology, and evolutionary biology. Content Type Journal Article Category Invited Paper Pages 1-30 DOI 10.1007/s10516-011-9169-5 Authors Jeffrey A. Lockwood, Department of Philosophy, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071, USA Journal Axiomathes Online ISSN 1572-8390 Print ISSN 1122-1151. (shrink)
Sketching is a powerful means of working out and communicating ideas. Sketch understanding involves a combination of visual, spatial, and conceptual knowledge and reasoning, which makes it both challenging to model and potentially illuminating for cognitive science. This paper describes CogSketch, an ongoing effort of the NSF-funded Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center, which is being developed both as a research instrument for cognitive science and as a platform for sketch-based educational software. We describe the idea of open-domain sketch understanding, the (...) scientific hypotheses underlying CogSketch, and provide an overview of the models it employs, illustrated by simulation studies and ongoing experiments in creating sketch-based educational software. (shrink)
The purpose of Aristotle's discussion of political justice (τò πoλιτικòν δικαιoν) in EN V.6-7 has been a matter of dispute. Although the notion of political justice which Aristotle seeks to elucidate is relatively clear, namely the notion of justice which obtains between free and equal citizens living within a community aiming at self-sufficiency under the rule of law, confusion arises when one asks how political justice relates to the other kinds of justice examined in EN V. Is political justice a (...) highly determinate subdivision of justice which Aristotle examines alongside the other varieties of particular justice analyzed in EN V.2-5? Or is political justice related to the analysis of ethical agency which follows in EN V.8-11? The question is complicated by the fact that the passage in question – EN V 1134a17-1135a15 – has occasioned much speculation about textual dislocations and has been incorporated into chapter divisions differently according to the two prevalent modern editorial divisions of the Ethics.To resolve these problems, I argue that Aristotle's account of political justice is situated within an extended aporetic analysis which begins in EN V.6 and extends through EN V.8. Aristotle introduces the notion of political justice within the extended analysis concerning the ascription of character states because calling someone just or unjust presupposes that the person is a fully mature ethical agent, but anyone capable of political justice possesses such agency. Once the extended argument in the second half of EN V is properly understood, it appears that the received text is not in need of emendation. To further support my claim that Aristotle's account of political justice introduces a new inquiry which is not analogous to the analyses of particular justice in the first half of EN V, I compare political justice to the other species of justice. (shrink)
The model of parallel architecture for language presented by Jackendoff is a kind of stratificational model in the spirit of Sydney Lamb. It differs from the more usual stratificationalism most importantly in its clear commitment to nativism, though the variety of nativism is greatly modified from what is more usual among Chomskyans. The revised model presents a potential for fruitful discussion with proponents of stratificationalism, and the potential for enrichment via a relational implementation.
The concept of temporal flow has been attacked both on the grounds that it is logically incoherent, and on the grounds that it conflicts with the theory of relativity. I argue that the charge of incoherence cannot be made to stick: McTaggart's argument commits the fallacy of equivocation, and arguments deployed by Smart and others turn out to be question-begging. But objections arising from relativity, so I claim, have considerably more force than Lucas acknowledges. Moreover, the idea of equating the (...) cosmic time which arises in general relativistic cosmology with a metaphysically preferred space-time foliation, founders on the fact that the Friedmann models are idealisations. Finally, Lucas may be right in claiming that dynamical wave-function collapse, provided it does not propagate superluminally, will define a preferred foliation. But it is arguable that this consideration, so far from supporting Lucas's position, is grounds for rejecting collapse interpretations of quantum mechanics. (shrink)
I develop a general framework for natural and human values based on the position that end value is constructed by persons, but not wholly referent to them, identify and analyze three hierarchically related levels of end value in relation to the functional values which support them and the held and ascribed values generated by entities possessing teleological value, use this framework to indicate the context in which economic values should be located, and assess the implications of the framework for environmental (...) policy and future valuation work. (shrink)
Drawing on data from contemporary experimental psychology and research in artificial intelligence, Dennett argues for a multiple drafts model of human consciousness, which he offers as an alternative to what he calls Cartesian materialism. I argue that the considerations Dennett advances do not, in fact, call for the abandonment of Cartesian materialism. Moreover, the theory presented by Dennett does not, as he claims, succeed in explaining consciousness; in particular, it fails to do justice to qualia. Illuminating though Dennett's discussion is, (...) in many ways, it nevertheless leaves the traditional mind?body problem intact. (shrink)
Il a été récemment proposé de recourir, pour la répartition des ressources médicales, à la notion de quality adjusted life year (QALY). Selon cette perspective, une année de vie en bonne santé équivaut à un QALY, tandis qu'une année avec incapacité ou gêne comptera pour moins, la valeur précise dépendant de la gravité de l'affection. Les partisans de cette méthode préconisent de répartir les dépenses de santé de manière à gagner le plus grand nombre de QALY. La présente étude analyse (...) les mérites et les inconvénients de la méthode proposée. Elle montre finalement qu'avoir pour unique critère le gain en QALY escomptés est à la fois contestable d'un point de vue utilitariste, et injuste. A recent proposal for allocating medical resources appeals to the concept o f a quality adjusted life year (QALY). The idea is that a year of healthy life counts for one QALY, and a year of life involving disability or discomfort counts for less than one, how much less depending on its seriousness. Advocates of this approach argue that health care expenditure should be so distributed as to maximise the total number of QALYs gained. The merits and demerits of this proposal are examined in this article. We conclude that the approach should not be rejected altogether, but that taking the expected gain in QALYs per unit cost as one's sole criterion would both be objectionable in utilitarian terms and be unjust. (shrink)
The moral dilemmas raised by modern medicine are no longer the concerns of doctors alone, but are the subject of intense public debate. Test-tube babies, the mechanical prolongation of life, the prescription of contraceptive pills to underage girls, the nontreatment of handicapped newborns--these issues generate widespread discussion throughout society. In this book, well-known experts address these concerns from philosophical, medical, and legal points of view. Clearly written and thought-provoking, these essays will contribute to the understanding of contemporary moral thinking and (...) medical practice, and will inform public debate. (shrink)
According to Singer, it is not directly wrong to kill 'non-self-conscious beings', such as lower animals, human foetuses and newborn infants, provided that any consequent loss of happiness is made good by the creation of new sentient life. In contrast, normal adult humans, being 'self-conscious', generally have a strong preference for going on living, the flouting of which cannot, Singer argues, be morally counterbalanced by creating new, equally happy individuals. Singer's case might be reinforced by taking account, not only of (...) the preference for continued life itself, but also of other preferences for whose satisfaction continued life is essential. It proves difficult, however, to find a formulation of 'preference utilitarianism' which, while lacking other obviously unacceptable consequences, supports Singer's 'non-replaceability principle'. Also, Singer's position fails adequately to accommodate our conviction that the lives of human beings are, in general, more valuable than those of other animals. Finally, his thesis that lower animals (let alone human infants) are replaceable, has decidely counterintuitive implications. (shrink)
Abstract Values education is occasionally attacked as violative of the privacy rights of students and others. Stipulating a definition of the right to privacy, the author develops some general reasons for protecting the right to privacy. General criteria for judging the extent to which values education curricula violate privacy are established and applied to two approaches to values education. One conclusion is that not all approaches to values education should be seen as violative of privacy rights.
Abstract: A distinction is drawn between public policy issues which are specific to time and place, and the kind of moral dilemma used by Kohlberg which is more general and universal. It is hypothesized that the same type of reasoning will be revealed by both. To test this a sample of sixty subjects at two different ages from both a predominantly middle class school and a predominantly lower class school were given three public policy dilemmas and three moral dilemmas. Responses (...) were analyzed according to level of reasoning displayed. The results indicated a substantial positive association between the types of reasoning applied to the two kinds of dilemmas. The expected age differences were also found, with older subjects tending to exhibit higher stages of moral development. (shrink)