We examine Gärdenfors’ theory of conceptual spaces, a geometrical form of knowledge representation (Conceptual spaces: The geometry of thought, MIT Press, Cambridge, 2000), in the context of the general Creative Systems Framework introduced by Wiggins (J Knowl Based Syst 19(7):449–458, 2006a; New Generation Comput 24(3):209–222, 2006b). Gärdenfors’ theory offers a way of bridging the traditional divide between symbolic and sub-symbolic representations, as well as the gap between representational formalism and meaning as perceived by human minds. We discuss how both these (...) qualities may be advantageous from the point of view of artificial creative systems. We take music as our example domain, and discuss how a range of musical qualities may be instantiated as conceptual spaces, and present a detailed conceptual space formalisation of musical metre. (shrink)
We examine Gärdenfors’ theory of conceptual spaces, a geometrical form of knowledge representation (Conceptual spaces: The geometry of thought, MIT Press, Cambridge, 2000 ), in the context of the general Creative Systems Framework introduced by Wiggins (J Knowl Based Syst 19(7):449–458, 2006a ; New Generation Comput 24(3):209–222, 2006 b ). Gärdenfors’ theory offers a way of bridging the traditional divide between symbolic and sub-symbolic representations, as well as the gap between representational formalism and meaning as perceived by human minds. We (...) discuss how both these qualities may be advantageous from the point of view of artificial creative systems. We take music as our example domain, and discuss how a range of musical qualities may be instantiated as conceptual spaces, and present a detailed conceptual space formalisation of musical metre. (shrink)
From Hippocrates to paternalism to autonomy : the new hegemony -- From autonomy to consent -- Consent, autonomy, and the law -- Autonomy at the end of life -- Autonomy and pregnancy -- Autonomy and genetic information -- Autonomy and organ transplantation -- Autonomy, consent, and the law.
Just allocation of resources for control of infectious diseases can be profoundly influenced by the dynamics of those diseases. In this paper we discuss the use of antiviral drugs for treatment of pandemic influenza. While the primary effect of such drugs is to alleviate and shorten the duration of symptoms for treated individuals, they can have a secondary effect of reducing transmission in the community. However, existing stockpiles may be insufficient for all clinical cases. Here we use simple mathematical models (...) to present scenarios where the optimum policies to minimise morbidity and mortality, with a limited drug stockpile, are not always the most intuitively obvious and may conflict with theories of justice. We discuss ethical implications of these findings. (shrink)
Majority cycling and related social choice paradoxes are often thought to threaten the meaningfulness of democracy. But deliberation can prevent majority cycles – not by inducing unanimity, which is unrealistic, but by bringing preferences closer to single-peakedness. We present the first empirical test of this hypothesis, using data from Deliberative Polls. Comparing preferences before and after deliberation, we find increases in proximity to single-peakedness. The increases are greater for lower versus higher salience issues and for individuals who seem to have (...) deliberated more versus less effectively. They are not merely a byproduct of increased substantive agreement (which in fact does not generally increase). Our results both refine and support the idea that deliberation, by increasing proximity to single-peakedness, provides an escape from the problem of majority cycling. (shrink)
Xenotransplantation - the transfer of living tissue between species - has long been heralded as a potential solution to the severe organ shortage crisis experienced by the United Kingdom and other 'developed' nations. However, the significant risks which accompany this biotechnology led the United Kingdom to adopt a cautious approach to its regulation, with the establishment of a non-departmental public body - UKXIRA - to oversee the development of this technology on a national basis. In December 2006 UKXIRA was quietly (...) disbanded and replaced with revised guidance, which entrusts the regulation of xenotransplantation largely to research ethics committees. In this article we seek to problematize this new regulatory framework, arguing that specialist expertise and national oversight are necessary components of an adequate regulatory framework for a biotechnology which poses new orders of risk, challenges the adequacy of traditional understandings of autonomy and consent, and raises significant animal welfare concerns. We argue for a more considered and holistic approach, based on adequate consultation, to regulating biotechnological developments in the United Kingdom. (shrink)
The reality of an ageing Europe has called attention to the importance of e-inclusion for a growing population of senior citizens. For some, this may mean closing the digital divide by providing access and support to technologies that increase citizen participation; for others, e-inclusion means access to assistive technologies to facilitate and extend their living independently. These initiatives address a social need and provide economic opportunities for European industry. While undoubtedly desirable, and supported by European Union initiatives, several cultural assumptions (...) or issues related to the initiatives could benefit from fuller examination, as could their practical and ethical implications. This paper begins to consider these theoretical and practical concerns. The first part of the paper examines cultural issues and assumptions relevant to adopting e-technologies, and the ethical principles applied to them. These include (1) the persistence of ageism, even in e-inclusion; (2) different approaches to, and implications of independent living; and (3) the values associated with different ethical principles, given their implications for accountability to older users. The paper then discusses practical issues and ethical concerns that have been raised by the use of smart home and monitoring technologies with older persons. Understanding these assumptions and their implications will allow for more informed choices in promoting ethical application of e-solutions for older persons. (shrink)
There is a debate regarding the use of the white coat, a traditional symbol of the medical profession, by students. In a study evaluating final-year South African medical students' perceptions, the white coat was associated with traditional symbolic values (e.g., trust) and had practical uses (e.g., identification). The coat was generally perceived to evoke positive emotions in patients, but some recognized that it may cause anxiety or mistrust. Donning a white coat generally implied a responsibility to the profession. For a (...) few, without the coat, patients would not cooperate, resulting in some perceiving no need to be distinguished from qualified practitioners. There was thus some evidence of entitled (vs. earned) respect. In the light of the underresourced health care setting in which these students learn clinical medicine, we recommend that students be able to recognize the potential for unprofessional or unethical behavior. Students should also be able to identify role models. (shrink)
Altruism can be understood in terms of traditional principles of reinforcement if an outcome that is beneficial to another person reinforces the behavior of the actor who produces it. This account depends on a generalization of reinforcement across persons and might be more amenable to experimental investigation than the one proposed by Rachlin.
The system of clinical ethics committees (CECs) in the United Kingdom is based on goodwill. No formal requirements exist as to constitution, membership, range of expertise or the status of their recommendations. Healthcare professionals are not obliged to use CECs where they exist, nor to follow any advice received. In addition, the make-up of CECs suggests that ethics itself may be under-represented. In most cases, there is one member with a training in ethics – the rest are healthcare professionals or (...) administrators, although a lawyer is generally also included in the membership. This begs the question as whether CECs can ‘do ethics’, as well whether or not they can take seriously the requirements of due process, formal justice and human rights. Moreover, the role of the patient in this system is opaque. (shrink)
The rapid rise of varieties of historicism in Germany, during the mid- to late-nineteenth century, and subsequently in England and America, resulted in a radical transformation of the principles of coherence and methods of analysis within biblical studies.1This paper will argue that the foundational ‘subject/object’ metaphysics of historicism has been subverted over the past century. For this reason, historical positivism should no longer be accorded the status of ‘normative paradigm’ and ‘gatekeeper’ over and against other interpretive approaches. This paper next (...) lays out five principles for a renewed practice of historical inquiry. It argues, first, that historical inquiry continues to serve a vital function within biblical studies in its ability to call attention to historical difference, and, thereby, to contribute to a strategy of resistance to ideology and to totalizing theories; second, that the traditional appeal to historical ‘context’ and ‘author’ in the interpretation of texts continues to be a useful practice – despite the provisional and constructed nature of both – as a way of taking into account extra-lingual reference and of avoiding presentism; third, that the substitution of new ‘grand narratives’ of Christian origins in place of the (quasi-theological) ‘historical’ narrative of traditional Christianity – under the claim of historical objectivity – should be abandoned because the very concept of ‘origins’ is the result of a literalizing of a metaphor. Such totalizing narratives always reduce history's inherent polycentricism. Fourth, I will argue that the continued use of historicism in the antiquarian attempt to reconstruct the past, disconnected from both a quest for social justice and a desire for personal self-creation, represents a form of thought that alienates scholars from themselves and from their real material contexts. Finally, and following on the previous point, this paper submits that the practice of historical analysis has an ethical dimension by virtue of the fact that the personhood of the biblical historian is indissolubly linked to other dimensions of life including the social and ethical aspects of life. These added dimensions complicate the making of choices, which is implicit within all practices of interpretation. These five principles are here suggested as points of departure for the reconceptualization of the scope and function of historical inquiry within the discipline of New Testament studies. (shrink)
pt. 1. Background you need. -- What is brain-compatible teaching -- The old and new of it -- When brain research is applied to the classroom everything will change -- Change can be easy -- We're not in Kansas anymore -- Where's the proof -- Tools for exploring the brain -- Ten reasons to care about brain research -- The evolution of brain models -- Be a brain-smart consumer: recognizing good research -- Action or theory: who wants to read all (...) that research -- Excellent sources of research -- Fun factoids on the brain -- What's in the human brain -- Brain teaser -- The brain divided -- The brain connected -- Brain geography -- Brain "cell" ebration: far-out facts about brain cells -- Learning happens but how -- Are today's kids different -- Boy's and girl's brain differences -- Learning disabilities; different brains -- The cranial soup bowl: understanding the chemicals in our brains -- pt. 2. The foundation for teaching is principles, not strategies. What are the principles -- Principle 1: the principle of change: brain is dynamic, not fixed -- Principle 2: the principle of variety: all brains are unique -- Principle 3: the principle of developmental sensitivity -- Principle 4: the principle of interaction: we have a social brain -- Principle 5: the principle of connectivity: the brain is an integrated system of systems -- Principle 6: the principle of memory malleability -- Principle 7: the principle of resource consumption -- necessity for processing -- pt. 3. So what; now what. Asking big questions: what's in a brain-compatible curriculum -- Brain-compatible test-taking success strategies -- Systemic change: the next level -- Big picture analysis: transformation happens -- Action research makes a difference -- The learning community -- What's next. (shrink)
Introduction -- Part I: Humanism : its modern construction and deconstruction -- The modern construction of the person -- The critique of modern humanism -- Part II: Pre-philosophical awareness of the foundations of human meaning -- Foundations for human meaning in totemic thought -- Myth as picturing human life and meaning -- Part III: The western notion of the person for global times -- Building the notion of the human person in western philosophy -- Human subjectivity and the unity and (...) plurality of cultures -- Karol Wojtyla's philosophy of person as integration of being and consciousness -- Part IV: Asian paths for person and community -- Confucian harmony and humane progress -- Hinduism : metaphysical path to the holy. (shrink)
As predicted by Duverger’s Law, the UK has two-party competition in each electoral district. However, there can be different patterns of two-party competition in different districts (currently there are five), so that there have usually been more than two effective parties in the Commons. Since 1874 it has always contained parties fighting seats in only one of the non-English parts of the Union. These parties wish to change the Union by strengthening, weakening, or dissolving it. By calculating the Penrose power (...) index for all parties in the House of Commons for all General Elections since 1874, we identify the occasions on which a party that wished to modify the Union was pivotal. We explain various acts (e.g, the Crofters Act 1886; the first three Irish Home Rule Bills; the Parliament Act 1911) and non-acts (e.g. the failure to enact female suffrage before 1914) by reference to the Penrose indices of the non-English parties. The indices also explain how and why policy towards Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland changed, and did not change, in the 1970s. (shrink)
Totemic unity as key to community in thought and action -- Myth : the emergence of diversity within unity -- The individual in the Greek polis -- The synthesis of personal uniqueness and social unity in Christian and Islamic thought -- Modern alienation of individuals and society -- Opening a new paradigm for civil society and social harmony : a contemporary metaphysics of freedom -- The diversified unity of a global whole.
Philosophy of Science is a mid-level text for students with some grounding in philosophy. It introduces the questions that drive enquiry in the philosophy of science, and aims to educate readers in the main positions, problems and arguments in the field today. Alex Rosenberg is certainly well qualified to write such an introduction. His works cover a large area of the philosophy of natural and social sciences. In addition, the author of the argument that the ‘queen of the social (...) sciences’, economics, is not a science at all, can be counted on to show how the philosophy of science can be relevant to the understanding of the status of scientific knowledge and can provide a critical assessment of practitioners’ view of their field. (shrink)
In his essay ‘Transparency, Belief, Intention’, Alex Byrne (2011) argues that transparency—our ability to form beliefs about some of our intentional mental states by considering their subject matter, rather than on the basis of special psychological evidence—involves inferring ‘from world to mind’. In this reply I argue that this cannot be correct. I articulate an intuitive necessary condition for a pattern of belief to count as a rule of inference, and I show that the pattern involved in transparency does (...) not meet that condition. As a result, I conclude that transparency does not involve inference. (shrink)