Once seen as synonymous with "anti-feminism" postfeminism is now understood as the theoretical meeting ground between feminism and anti-foundationalist movements such as postmodernism, post-structuralism and post-colonialsm. In this clear exposition of some of the major debates, theorists and practitioners, Ann Brooks shows how feminism is being redefined for the twenty first century. Individual chapters look at postfeminism in relation to feminist epistemology, Foucault, psychoanalytic theory and semiology, postmodernism and postcolonialism, cultural politics, popular culture, film and media, and sexuality and (...) identity. For all students looking for guidance through the sometimes murky waters of contemporary feminist theory, this book will provide a reassuring first port of call. (shrink)
Artificial Intelligence as a discipline has gotten bogged down in subproblems of intelligence. These subproblems are the result of applying reductionist methods to the goal of creating a complete artificial thinking mind. In Brooks (1987) 1 have argued that these methods will lead us to solving irrelevant problems; interesting as intellectual puzzles, but useless in the long run for creating an artificial being.
We have previously built a small IKg ([Angle 89] and [Brooks 89]) six legged walking robot named Genghis. It was remarkably successful as a testbed to develop walking and learning algorithms. It encouraged us to build a more fully engineered robot with higher performance. We are building two copies of the robot, both 1.6Kg in mass. Their generic name is Attila. Attila has 24 actuators and over 150 sensors, all connected via a local network (the I2C bus) to 11 (...) onboard computers. (shrink)
This article argues that even if we grant that murderers may deserve death in principle, retributivists should still oppose capital punishment. The reason? Our inability to know with certainty whether or not individuals possess the necessary level of desert. In large part due to advances in science, we can only be sure that no matter how well the trial is administered or how many appeals are allowed or how many years we let elapse, we will continue to execute innocent persons (...) for as long as we legalize capital punishment. Thus, on grounds of desert, this article argues that retributivists should oppose capital punishment. (shrink)
Artificial intelligence research has foundered on the issue of representation. When intelligence is approached in an incremental manner, with strict reliance on interfacing to the real world through perception and action, reliance on representation disappears. In this paper we outline our approach to incrementally building complete intelligent Creatures. The fundamental decomposition of the intelligent system is not into independent information processing units which must interface with each other via representations. Instead, the intelligent system is decomposed into independent and parallel activity (...) producers which all interface directly to the world through perception and action, rather than interface to each other particularly much. The notions of central and peripheral systems evaporateeverything is both central and peripheral. Based on these principles we have built a very successful series of mobile robots which operate without supervision as Creatures in standard office environments. (shrink)
Hegel's legacy is particularly controversial, not least in legal theory. He has been classified as a proponent of either natural law, legal positivism, the historical school, pre-Marxism, postmodern critical theory, and even transcendental legal theory. To what degree has Hegel actually influenced contemporary legal theorists? This review article looks at Michael Salter's collection Hegel and Law. I look at articles on civil disobedience, contract law, feminism, and punishment. I conclude noting similarities between Hegel's legal theory and that of Ronald Dworkin. (...) I also criticize the volume's emphasis on Hegel's postmodern credentials, all of which I doubt. (shrink)
In both Great Britain and the United States there has been a growing debate about the modern acceptability of jury nullification. Properly understood, juries do not have any constitutional right to ignore the law, but they do have the power to do so nevertheless. Juries that nullify may be motivated by a variety of concerns: too harsh sentences, improper government action, racism, etc. In this article, I shall attempt to defend jury nullification on a number of grounds. First, I discuss (...) the use of general verdicts and reject their replacement in criminal trials by special verdicts. Second, I examine verdicts based upon mistakes and racial prejudice, turning my attention to perverse verdicts and the question of whether or not juries are guilty of legislating when nullifying the law. Finally, I look at the problem of the awarding of excessive damages by juries. My goal will be to provide a sound theoretical defence of the practice of jury nullification. (shrink)
boundaries. It is impossible to do good science without having an appreciation for the problems and concepts in the other levels of abstraction (at least in the direction from biology towards physics), but there are whole sets of tools, methods of analysis, theories and explanations within each discipline which do not cross those boundaries.
Plato justifies the concentration and exercise of power for persons endowed with expertise in political governance. This article argues that this justification takes two distinctly different sets of arguments. The first is what I shall call his 'ideal political philosophy' described primarily in the Republic as rule by philosopher-kings wielding absolute authority over their subjects. Their authority stems solely from their comprehension of justice, from which they make political judgements on behalf of their city-state. I call the second set of (...) arguments Plato's 'practical political philosophy' underlying his later thought, where absolute rule by philosopher-kings is undermined by the impure character of all political knowledge. Whereas the complete comprehension of justice sanctions the absolute political power of those with this expertise, partial knowledge of justice disallows for such a large investment of power. Plato's practical political philosophy argues for a mixed theory of governance fusing the institutions of monarchy with democracy in the best practical city-state. Thus, Plato comes to realize the insurmountable difficulties of his ideal political thought, preferring a more practical political philosophy instead. (shrink)
This article offers a justification for the continued use of jury trials. I shall critically examine the ability of juries to render just verdicts, judicial impartiality, and judicial transparency. My contention is that the judicial system that best satisfies these values is most preferable. Of course, these three values are not the only factors relevant for consideration. Empirical evidence demonstrates that juries foster both democratic participation and public legitimation of legal decisions regarding the most serious cases. Nevertheless, juries are costly (...) and, therefore, economically less efficient than competing modes of trial. I do not argue that all human beings possess an inalienable legal right to be tried by a jury. However, it is my hope that this analysis will make clear what we might gain or lose when we propose jury reforms. (shrink)
Secondary qualities have peculiarities which are thought to threaten physicalism. It is argued that these peculiarities are only to be expected in a physicalist universe in virtue of the essential characteristics of a representing device. Any device representing the world such as a camera will have depictional qualities. Secondary qualities are a subset of these.
Executives, professionals, educators and labour leaders are requesting an update on corporate ethical trends. This article presents an examination of why the interest in corporate ethics is growing both in society and in corporations. An analysis follows of how corporations are responding to this interest, and of how that response might be enhanced through improved second-generation codes of ethical performance.
This article examines the pressures and players that have shaped business ethics in Canadian corporations, and reports on the status of Canadian corporate social performance in 1995. Business in Canada has not been subject, up to 1996, to a powerful national institutional framework such as the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Consequently, business ethics in Canada have developed primarily in response to broader socio-political and socio-economic factors than in the US, and will probably continue (...) to do so. Interestingly, the issues, policies and practices developed in Canada may provide insights for US corporations as they respond to broadened pressures. Business ethics in Canada, on the other hand, will benefit increasingly from the US experience as pressures grow for national regulation and statutes governing corruption. (shrink)
Proponents of two axioms of biological evolutionary theory have attempted to find justification by reference to nonequilibrium thermodynamics. One states that biological systems and their evolutionary diversification are physically improbable states and transitions, resulting from a selective process; the other asserts that there is an historically constrained inherent directionality in evolutionary dynamics, independent of natural selection, which exerts a self-organizing influence. The first, the Axiom of Improbability, is shown to be nonhistorical and thus, for a theory of change through time, (...) acausal. Its perception of the improbability of living states is at least partially an artifact of closed system thinking. The second, the Axiom of Historically Determined Inherent Directionality, is supported evidentially and has an explicit historical component. Historically constrained dynamic populations are inherently nonequilibrium systems. It is argued that living, evolving systems, when considered to be historically constrained nonequilibrium systems, do not appear improbable at all. Thus, the two axioms are not compatible. Instead, the Axiom of Improbability is considered to result from an unjustified attempt to extend the contingent proximal actions of natural selection into the area of historical, causal explanations. It is thus denied axiomatic status, and the effects of natural selection are subsumed as an additional level of constraint in an evolutionary theory derived from the Axiom of Historically Determined Inherent Directionality. (shrink)
The majority of North American corporations awakened to the need for their own ethical guidelines during the late 1970s and early 1980s, even though modern corporations are subject to a surprising multiplicity of external codes of ethics or conduct. This paper provides an understanding of both internal and external codes through a discussion of the factors behind the development of the codes, an analysis of internal codes and an identification of problems with them.
Mahādeviyakka was a radical 12th century Karnataka saint of whom surprisingly little has been written. Considered the most poetic of the Virashaivas, her vacanas are characterized by their desperate searching for Shiva. I attempt to convey Mahādevi's epistemology and its struggle to 'know' Shiva, necessitating a lifetime of searching for him; offer an interpretation of the innate presence of iva in the world and its consequences for epistemology; and explore the sense of tragic love inherent in devotional searching for Shiva. (...) My primary goal is to offer a powerful and positive, yet critical, interpretation of Mahādevi's beautiful prose on her relationship with Shiva. (shrink)
Current trends toward increased pace, more complex substance and lower tolerance of error have caused the financial marketplace to rely more heavily on the integrity of financial data and, therefore, of those who prepare the financial statements. At the same time, these trends place higher challenges before professional accountants and it is essential that they have excellent ethical guidance to live up to modern expectations. However, in view of the current codes of conduct, an accountant may not have a clear (...) understanding of what priority of interests to satisfy, who can be consulted for advice, to whom to report misdeeds, what protection is offered a right-doer and what sanction will be forthcoming for doing wrong. Possible solutions are offered to these problems in ways that ought to strengthen the accounting profession and prevent unscrupulous companies from taking advantage of both members of the profession and the unsuspecting public. To provide the appropriate quality of service to society in the future, the Canadian accounting profession should offer its members the improved guidance and enhanced mechanisms for confidential consultation, assistance and protection outlined herein. (shrink)
It is widely accepted by the scientific community and beyond that human beings are primarily responsible for climate change and that climate change has brought with it a number of real problems. These problems include, but are not limited to, greater threats to coastal communities, greater risk of famine, and greater risk that tropical diseases may spread to new territory. In keeping with J. S. Mill's 'Harm Principle', green political theorists often respond that if we are contributing a harm to (...) others in contributing to climate change and its negative effects, we then have a negative duty to assist those we have harmed and to reduce our carbon emissions. In this paper, I will take seriously negative duties stemming from a contribution to climate change and demonstrate that our negative duties do not demand that we necessarily end our contribution to climate change if we were able to compensate those who may be affected by climate change. Thus, the conclusion of many green political theorists - that we must reduce our carbon emissions - does not necessarily follow from the view that humans are primarily responsible for climate change and its attended ill effects. (shrink)
Nearly every major philosophy, from Plato to Hegel and beyond, has argued that democracy is an inferior form of government, at best. Yet, virtually every contemporary political philosophy working today - whether in an analytic or postmodern tradition - endorses democracy in one variety or another. Should we conclude then that the traditional canon is meaningless for helping us theorize about a just state? In this paper, I will take up the criticisms and positive proposals of two such canonical figures (...) in political philosophy: Plato and Hegel. At first glance, each is rather disdainful, if not outright hostile, to democracy. This is also how both have been represented traditionally. However, if we look behind the reasons for their rejection of (Athenian) democracy and the reasons behind their alternatives to democracy, I believe we can uncover a new theory of government that does two things. First, it maps onto the so-called Schumpeterian tradition of elite theories of democracy quite well. Second, perhaps surprisingly, it actually provides an improved justification for democratic government as we practice it today than rival theories of democracy. Thus, not only are Plato and Hegel not enemies of modern democratic thought after all, but each is actually quite useful for helping us develop democratic theory in a positive, not negative, manner. (shrink)
This paper offers two potential worries in Robert B. Talisse's A Pragmatist Philosophy of Democracy. The first worry is that is that the picture of democracy on offer is incomplete. While Talisse correctly argues that democracy is about more than elections, democracy is also about more than deliberation between citizens. Talisse's deliberative democracy is problematic to the degree its view of deliberation fails to account for democracy. The second worry we may have concerns the relationship between Talisse's Peircean pragmatism and (...) deliberative democracy. If this pragmatism is always open to revision and change in light of future evidence, then no pragmatist should adhere to only one particular political system, such as democracy. When we claim that only one system can ever be justified, then we fail to honour our professed openness to revision and change in the future. If my analysis is correct, then I do not aim to demonstrate that Talisse's Peircean pragmatism is incorrect, only incomplete. Thus, the hope of this paper is to help develop this pragmatism further. (shrink)
Graduate students often lack concrete advice on publishing. This essay is an attempt to fill this important gap. Advice is given on how to publish everything from book reviews to articles, replies to book chapters, and how to secure both edited book contracts and authored monograph contracts, along with plenty of helpful tips and advice on the publishing world (and how it works) along the way in what is meant to be a comprehensive, concrete guide to publishing that should be (...) of tremendous value to graduate students working in any area of the humanities and social sciences. (shrink)
When can ever be justified in banning a religious practice? This paper focusses on Martha Nussbaum's capabilities approach. Certain religious practices create a clash between capabilities where the capability to religious belief and expression is in conflict with the capability of equal status and nondiscrimination. One example of such a clash is the case of polygamy. Nussbaum argues that there may be circumstances where polygamy may be acceptable. On the contrary, I argue that the capabilities approach cannot justify polygamy in (...) any circumstance. Her approach rules out polygamy, but may not rule out all non-monogamous relationships, such as polyamory. Finally, I conclude that the capabilities approach would benefit from a more robust understanding of recognition. (shrink)
The first part of this paper explores the general issues in using Artificial Life techniques to program actual mobile robots. In particular it explores the difficulties inherent in transferring programs evolved in a simulated environment to run on an actual robot. It examines the dual evolution of organism morphology and nervous systems in biology. It proposes techniques to capture some of the search space pruning that dual evolution offers in the domain of robot programming. It explores the relationship between robot (...) morphology and program structure, and techniques for capturing regularities across this mapping. (shrink)
The purpose of this essay is to critically appraise J. Angelo Corlett's recent interpretation of Kant's theory of punishment as well as his rejection of Hegel's penology. In taking Kant to be a retributivist at a primary level and a proponent of deterrence at a secondary level, I believe Corlett has inappropriately wed together Kant's distinction between moral and positive law. Moreover, his support of Kant on these grounds is misguided as it is instead Hegel who holds such a distinction. (...) Finally, I attempt to refute the almost timeless retributivist rejection of deterrence-based theories of punishment on the grounds that the latter somehow would condone in some cases the punishment of innocent persons. These individuals almost always demand that no innocent person be punished as a rule of the highest order. (shrink)
In this journal, Michael Clark defends a "A Non-Retributive Kantian Approach to Punishment". I argue that both Kant's and Rawls's theories of punishment are retributivist to some extent. It may then be slightly misleading to say that by following the views of Kant and Rawls, in particular, as Clark does, we can develop a nonretributivist theory of punishment. This matter is further complicated by the fact Clark nowhere addresses Rawls's views on punishment: Rawls endorses a mixed theory combining retributive and (...) utilitarian features. Of those discussed by Clark, only Scanlon defends the use of nonretributivist punishments. Yet, here too Clark nowhere addresses Scanlon's views on punishment. Thus, Clark's views on retributive punishment are highly problematic. (shrink)