Dans quelle mesure la philosophie du langage ordinaire, faite par des anglophones (usagers de l'English language,) qui réfléchissent sur la langue (language encore) et son usage correct, est-elle liée à l'anglais ? Ainsi, quand elle traite de la nature de la connaissance, se peut-il qu'il s'agisse de questions induites par le terme knowledge (connaissance/savoir) ? Adrian Moore instruit la cohérence d'une réponse négative à partir d'une réflexion sur le « nous » qui parle. Mais il voit dans l'impossibilité de principe (...) pour la philosophie du langage ordinaire de denier toute force à ce lien une bonne raison pour la philosophie analytique aujourd'hui de ne pas s'y laisser réduire. (shrink)
A two-systems model of moral judgment proposed by Joshua Greene holds that deontological moral judgments (those based on simple rules concerning action) are often primary and intuitive, and these intuitive judgments must be overridden by reflection in order to yield utilitarian (consequence-based) responses. For example, one dilemma asks whether it is right to push a man onto a track in order to stop a trolley that is heading for five others. Those who favor pushing, the utilitarian response, usually take longer (...) to respond than those who oppose pushing. Greene's model assumes an asymmetry between the processes leading to different responses. We consider an alternative model based on the assumption of symmetric conflict between two response tendencies. By this model, moral dilemmas differ in the "difficulty" of giving a utilitarian response and subjects differ in the "ability" (tendency) to give such responses. (We could just as easily define ability in terms of deontological responses, as the model treats the responses symmetrically.) We thus make an analogy between moral dilemmas and tests of cognitive ability, and we apply the Rasch model, developed for the latter, to estimate the ability-difficulty difference for each dilemma for each subject. We apply this approach to five data sets collected for other purposes by three of the co-authors. Response time (RT), including yes and no responses, is longest when difficulty and ability match, because the subject is indifferent between the two responses, which also have the same RT at this point. When we consider yes/no responses, RT is longest when the model predicts that the response is improbable. Subjects with low ability take longer on the "easier" dilemmas, and vice versa. (shrink)
Mindfulness based meditation practices involve various attentional skills, including the ability to sustain and focus ones attention. During a simple mindful breathing practice, sustained attention is required to maintain focus on the breath while cognitive control is required to detect mind wandering. We thus hypothesized that regular, brief mindfulness training would result in improvements in the self regulation of attention and foster changes in neuronal activity related to attentional control. A longitudinal randomized control group EEG study was conducted. At baseline (...) (T1), 40 meditation naïve participants were randomized into a wait list group and a meditation group, who received three hours mindfulness meditation training. 28 participants remained in the final analysis. At T1, after 8 weeks (T2) and after 16 weeks (T3), all participants performed a computerized Stroop task (a measure of attentional control) while the 64-channel EEG was recorded. Between T1 and T3 the meditators were requested to meditate daily for ten minutes. Event-related potential (ERP) analysis highlighted two between group effects that developed over the course of the 16-week mindfulness training. An early effect at left and right posterior sites 160 – 240 ms post stimulus indicated that meditation practice improved the focusing of attentional resources. A second effect at central posterior sites 310 – 380 ms post stimulus reflects that meditation practice reduced the recruitment of resources during object recognition processes, especially for incongruent stimuli. Scalp topographies and source analyses (VARETA) indicate relevant changes in neural sources, pertaining to left medial and lateral occipitotemporal areas for the early effect and right lateral occipitotemporal and inferior temporal areas for the later effect. The results suggest that mindfulness meditation may alter the efficiency of allocating cognitive resources, leading to improved self regulation of attention. (shrink)
Thomas Scanlon influentially argues that, in the provision of reasons to act or believe, goodness and value ‘pass the buck’ to other properties. This paper first extends his arguments: if Scanlon shows that goodness and value pass the buck, then relevantly analogous arguments show that, contrary to Scanlon, duty and wrongness too pass this same buck. The paper then reverses Scanlon’s buck-passing arguments: if they show that goodness and value pass the reason-providing buck, then reasons themselves also pass the buck (...) for providing goodness, value, duty, and wrongness. What to make of all this? The paper argues for scepticism about the significance of Scanlon’s buck-passing arguments for ethics. (shrink)
The interpretation of Kant's Critical philosophy as a version of traditional idealism has a long history. In spite of Kant's and his commentators’ various attempts to distinguish between traditional and transcendental idealism, his philosophy continues to be construed as committed (whether explicitly or implicitly and whether consistently or inconsistently) to various features usually associated with the traditional idealist project. As a result, most often, the accusation is that his Critical philosophy makes too strong metaphysical and epistemological claims.
The work of William Sewell and Marshall Sahlins has led to a growing interest in recent years in events as a category of analysis and their role in the transformation of social structures. I argue that tying events solely to instances of significant structural transformation entails problematic theoretical assumptions about stability and change and produces a circumscribed field of events, undercutting the goal of developing an "eventful" account of social life. Social continuity is a state that is achieved just as (...) much as are structural transformations, and events may be constitutive of processes of reproduction as well as change. (shrink)
New Zealand's health (and disability) ethics committees are children of public inquiries: the ‘Cartwright’ ministerial inquiry of 1988, the ‘Gisborne’ cervical screening ministerial inquiry of 2001, and the Health Select Committee clinical trials inquiry of 2011. The Cartwright inquiry strengthened external scrutiny of research. The Gisborne Inquiry strengthened ethics committee accountability and expertise, and greatly streamlined review process. The Health Select Committee inquiry is further sharpening accountability and process. Under-discussed systemic issues also persist, including: how to keep the ethical primacy (...) of the researcher-participant relationship and of researcher responsibility for good study conduct; whether the point of ethics committees is to facilitate good research as well as to protect participants; and whether ethics committees are just standard public bodies - to be given powers and limitations just like any other administrative tribunal or licensing board. (shrink)