The problem of reference is central to the fields of linguistics, cognitive science, and epistemology yet it remains largely unresolved. Naming and Reference explains the reference of lexical terms, with particular emphasis placed on proper names, demonstrative pronouns and personal pronouns. It examines such specific issues as: how to account for the reference of names that are empty or speculative, which abound in science and philosophy, and how to account for intentional reference as in "he took Mary to be Jane." (...) Naming and Reference begins with a survey of the history of the subject within a philosophical and critical setting, from Locke, Brentano, Peirce, Frege, Russell, Strawson, Tarski, Carnap and Quine up to Kripke and Fodor. The rest of the book is devoted to an algorithmic theory of reference derived from Peirce's idea that signification is a three-way relationship involving a term, an object and an interpretant. The theory rounds out the causal notion of reference, while at the same time preserving Frege's distinction between sense and reference, and making a place for indexical terms. Through the use of various computer models, R. J. Nelson explores the meaning and reference of words to objects and the relationship of these phenomena to perception, belief and truth. The models used are parallel, connectionist computational models rather than the sequential models of mid-century artificial intelligence. The aim, in opposition to nativist and mental representation theories, is to account for the genesis of semantically interpretable symbols, not to assume them. (shrink)
Signs of mankind's solidarity, by J. R. Nelson.--Mankind, Israel and the nations in the Hebraic heritage, by M. Greenberg.--Christian insights from biblical sources, by C. Maurer.--Muhammad and all men, by D. Rahbar.--The impact of New World discovery upon European thought of man, by E. J. Burrus.--The effects of colonialism upon the Asian understanding of man, by J. G. Arapura.--Religious pluralism and the quest for human community, by S. J. Samartha.--From Confucian gentleman to the new Chinese 'political' man, by D. (...) A. Robinson.--The scientific revolution and the unity of man, by B. Towers.--Language and communication, by E. A. Nida.--Man and the son of man, by J. Moltmann.--The potentiality of conciliarity: communion, conscience, council, by W. B. Blakemore.--Oneness must mean wholeness, by J. R. Nelson. (shrink)
In this paper it is argued that certain stimulus-response learning models which are adequate to represent finite automata (acceptors) are not adequate to represent noninitial state input-output automata (transducers). This circumstance suggests the question whether or not the behavior of animals if satisfactorily modelled by automata is predictive. It is argued in partial answer that there are automata which can be explained in the sense that their transition and output functions can be described (roughly, Hempel-type covering law explanation) while their (...) behaviors are in principle not predictable short of possession of their complete histories or of information concerning present internal states by indirect observation. (shrink)
Ecological feminism (or ecofeminism) and feminist bioethics seem to have much in common. They share certain methodological and epistemological concerns, offer similar challenges to traditional philosophy, and take up a number of the same practical issues. The two disciplines have thus far had little or no direct interaction; this is one attempt to begin some conversation and perhaps stimulate some cross-pollination of ideas. The email dialogue engaged an active ecofeminist scholar, Karen Warren, and an active feminist bioethicist, Hilde Nelson, (...) in an exchange of ideas. Jessica Pierce, whose research cuts between environmental philosophy and bioethics, served as moderator. (shrink)
Determining whether a research risk meets or exceeds a regulatory standard of risk acceptability is difficult. Recently a framework called the systematic evaluation of research risks (SERR) has been proposed as a method of comparing research risks with predetermined standards of acceptability. SERR purports to offer a systematic and largely determinate (definite) way to compare risks and say whether a specific research risk falls below or above an acknowledged standard of acceptable risk. Here the authors review some philosophical problems with (...) this framework, which they take to be representative of determinate approaches to risk comparison, and conclude that it should not be used in a stand-alone or determinate fashion. Instead, the authors suggest that a deliberative approach may be a more viable candidate for future development. Such an approach could be informed by methods such as SERR without being rigidly bound to them. (shrink)
Infant face processing becomes more selective during the first year of life as a function of varying experience with distinct face categories defined by species, race, and age. Given that any individual face belongs to many such categories (e.g. A young Caucasian man’s face) we asked how the neural selectivity for one aspect of facial appearance was affected by category membership along another dimension of variability. 6-month-old infants were shown upright and inverted pictures of either their own mother or a (...) stranger while event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded. We found that the amplitude of the P400 (a face-sensitive ERP component) was only sensitive to the orientation of the mother’s face, suggesting that “tuning” of the neural response to faces is realized jointly across multiple dimensions of face appearance. (shrink)
The report of the President's Council on Bioethics, Human Cloning and Human Dignity, addresses the central ethical, political, and policy issue in human embryonic stem cell research: the moral status of extracorporeal human embryos. The Council members were in sharp disagreement on this issue and essentially failed to adequately engage and respectfully acknowledge each others' deepest moral concerns, despite their stated commitment to do so. This essay provides a detailed critique of the two extreme views on the Council (i.e., embryos (...) have full moral status or they have none at all) and then gives theoretical grounding for our judgment about the intermediate moral status of embryos. It also supplies an account of how to address profound moral disagreements in the public arena, especially by way of constructing a middle ground that deliberately pays sincere respect to the views of those with whom it has deep disagreements. (shrink)
Pierre Trémaux’s 1865 ideas on speciation have been unjustly derided following his acceptance by Marx and rejection by Engels, and almost nobody has read his ideas in a charitable light. Here we offer an interpretation based on translating the term sol as “habitat”, in order to show that Trémaux proposed a theory of allopatric speciation before Wagner and a punctuated equilibrium theory before Gould and Eldredge, and translate the relevant discussion from the French. We believe he may have influenced Darwin’s (...) revision to the third edition of the Origin on rates of evolution, and suggest that Gould’s dismissal of Trémaux is motivated by concern that others might think punctuated equilibrium theory was tainted by a connection with Trémaux. (shrink)
This paper examines the relationship between modern theories of microeconomics and macroeconomics and, more generally, it evaluates the prospects of theoretically reducing macroeconomics to microeconomics. Many economists have shown strong interest in providing "microfoundations" for macroeconomics and much of their work is germane to the issue of theoretical reduction. Especially relevant is the work that has been done on what is called The Problem of Aggregation. On some accounts, The Problem of Aggregation just is the problem of reducing macroeconomics to (...) microeconomics. I show how to separate these problems and then try to determine to what extent particular kinds of solutions to The Problem of Aggregation succeed in reducing macroeconomics to microeconomics as well. I argue that reduction is not possible by this means given the current state of microeconomics. I also describe how reduction may be possible by means of (dis)aggregation if microeconomics is supplemented in a certain way with the results of experimental research on individual economic agents. (shrink)
What if human joy (more technically, utility) went on endlessly? Suppose, for example, that each human generation were followed by another, or that the Western religions are right when they teach that each human being lives eternally after death. If any such possibility is true in the actual world, then an agent might sometimes be so situated that more than one course of action would produce an infinite amount of utility (or of disutility, or of both). Deciding whether to have (...) a child born this year rather than next is a situation wherein an agent may face several alternatives whose effects could well ramify endlessly on such suppositions, for the child born this year would be a different person—one who preferred different things, performed different actions, and had different descendants—from a child born next year. It has recently been suggested that traditional utilitarianism stumbles on such cases of infinite utility. Specifically, utilitarianism seems to require, for its application, that all experience of pleasure and pain cease at some time in the future or asymptotically approach zero. If neither of these conditions holds, then the utility (and disutility) produced by each of two alternative actions may turn out to be infinite, and utilitarianism thus loses its ability to discriminate morally between them. (shrink)
This book is a wide-ranging examination of rationalist thought in philosophy from ancient times to the present day. Written by a superbly qualified cast of philosophers. Critically analyses the concept of rationalism. Focuses principally on the golden age of rationalism in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Also covers ancient rationalism, nineteenth-century rationalism, and rationalist themes in recent thought. Organised chronologically. Various philosophical methods and viewpoints are represented.
Quines ontological relativity is related to Tarskis theory of truth in two ways: Quine repudiates term-by-term-correspondence, as does Tarskis rule of truth; and Quines proxy argument in support of relativity finds exact formulation in Tarskis truth definition.Unfortunately, relativity is threatened by the fact that the proxy argument doesnt comply with the rule of truth (Tarskis celebrated condition (T)). Despite Quines express allegiance to (T), use of proxy schemes does not generate all of the true sentences condition (T) requires.
In the case of an intellectually disabled patient, the attending physician was restricted from writing a Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) order. Although the rationale for this restriction was to protect the patient from an inappropriate quality of life judgment, it resulted in a worse death than the patient would have experienced had he not been disabled. Such restrictions that are intended to protect intellectually disabled patients may violate their right to equal treatment and to a dignified death.