This paper focuses on the role of punishment as a critical social mechanism for cheating prevention in MMORPGs. The role of punishment is empirically investigated in a case study of the MMORPG Tibia (Cipsoft 1997–2011 ) ( http://www.tibia.com ) and by focusing on the use of bots to cheat. We describe the failure of punishment in Tibia, which is perceived by players as one of the elements facilitating the proliferation of bots. In this process some players act as a moral (...) enterprising group contributing to the reform of the game rules and in particular to the reform of the Tibia punishment system by the game company. In the conclusion we consider the ethical issues raised by our findings and we propose some general reflections on the role of punishment and social mechanisms for the governance of online worlds more generally. (shrink)
A central question, if not the central question, of philosophy of perception is whether sensory states have a nature similar to thoughts about the world, whether they are essentially representational. According to the content view, at least some of our sensory states are, at their core, representations with contents that are either accurate or inaccurate. Tyler Burge’s Origins of Objectivity is the most sustained and sophisticated defense of the content view to date. His defense of the view is problematic in (...) several ways. The most significant problem is that his approach does not sit well with mainstream perceptual psychology. (shrink)
Altruism is generally understood to be behavior that benefits others at a personal cost to the behaving individual. However, within evolutionary biology, different authors have interpreted the concept of altruism differently, leading to dissimilar predictions about the evolution of altruistic behavior. Generally, different interpretations diverge on which party receives the benefit from altruism and on how the cost of altruism is assessed. Using a simple trait-group framework, we delineate the assumptions underlying different interpretations and show how they relate to one (...) another. We feel that a thorough examination of the connections between interpretations not only reveals why different authors have arrived at disparate conclusions about altruism, but also illuminates the conditions that are likely to favor the evolution of altruism. (shrink)
Accounting educators are being called on to provide a greater emphasis on ethics education. This paper examines three important issues concerning ethics education in accounting. First, the question of whether ethics can indeed be taught is examined. Next, several innovative approaches are presented which have been used by accounting educators to integrate ethics into the classroom. Finally, results of a survey of students concerning their perspectives of ethical issues in accounting education, the accounting profession, and society at large are presented (...) and discussed. Survey results reveal that students consider a lack of ethics damaging to the accounting profession and society. Results also indicate that accounting students are seeking ethical and moral direction. (shrink)
In this article I investigate Kant’s argumentation in the Critique of Pure Reason in favor of transcendental idealism. The argumentation for transcendental idealism seeks to establish the main conjecture of Kant’s Copernican hypothesis, to the effect that objects are conformed to our knowledge and not our knowledge to objects. But if the argumentation for transcendental idealism should presuppose anything of the Copernican hypothesis itself, then such argumentation remains as hypothetical as the Copernican hypothesis. What I seek to establish in this (...) article is that in the Critique Kant presupposes the same presuppositions as does the Copernican turn, in which case transcendental idealism, as defended in the Critique, is nothing more than an elaborate hypothesis. (shrink)
A number of recent discussions have argued that George Price's equationfor representing evolutionary change is a powerful and illuminatingtool, especially in the context of debates about multiple levels ofselection. Our paper dissects Price's equation in detail, and comparesit to another statistical tool: the calculation and comparison ofaverage fitnesses. The relations between Price's equation and equationsfor evolutionary change using average fitness are closer than issometimes supposed. The two approaches achieve a similar kind ofstatistical summary of one generation of change, and they (...) achieve thisvia a similar loss of information about the underlying fitnessstructure. (shrink)
Formal methods developed for modeling levels of selection problems have recently been applied to the investigation of major evolutionary transitions. We discuss two new tools of this kind. First, the ‘near-variant test’ can be used to compare the causal adequacy of predictively equivalent representations. Second, ‘state-variable gestalt-switching’ can be used to gain a useful dual perspective on evolutionary processes that involve both higher and lower level populations.
Recent years have seen a renewed debate over the importance of groupselection, especially as it relates to the evolution of altruism. Onefeature of this debate has been disagreement over which kinds ofprocesses should be described in terms of selection at multiple levels,within and between groups. Adapting some earlier discussions, we presenta mathematical framework that can be used to explore the exactrelationships between evolutionary models that do, and those that donot, explicitly recognize biological groups as fitness-bearing entities.We show a fundamental set (...) of mathematical equivalences between these twokinds of models, one of which applies a form of multi-level selectiontheory and the other being a form of ``individualism.'' However, we alsoargue that each type of model can have heuristic advantages over theother. Indeed, it can be positively useful to engage in a kind ofback-and-forth switching between two different perspectives on theevolutionary role of groups. So the position we defend is a``gestalt-switching pluralism.''. (shrink)
Enhancing body awareness has been described as a key element or a mechanism of action for therapeutic approaches often categorized as mind-body approaches, such as yoga, TaiChi, Body-Oriented Psychotherapy, Body Awareness Therapy, mindfulness based therapies/meditation, Feldenkrais, Alexander Method, Breath Therapy and others with reported benefits for a variety of health conditions. To better understand the conceptualization of body awareness in mind-body therapies, leading practitioners and teaching faculty of these approaches were invited as well as their patients to participate in focus (...) groups. The qualitative analysis of these focus groups with representative practitioners of body awareness practices, and the perspectives of their patients, elucidated the common ground of their understanding of body awareness. For them body awareness is an inseparable aspect of embodied self awareness realized in action and interaction with the environment and world. It is the awareness of embodiment as an innate tendency of our organism for emergent self-organization and wholeness. The process that patients undergo in these therapies was seen as a progression towards greater unity between body and self, very similar to the conceptualization of embodiment as dialectic of body and self described by some philosophers as being experienced in distinct developmental levels. (shrink)
The Aristotelian concept of habituation is receiving mounting and warranted interest in educational circles, but has also been subject to different lines of interpretation and critique. In this article, I bring forward Aristotle's words on habituation, and then clarify the two lines of interpretation that have developed in the contemporary philosophical literature. I argue that the mechanical interpretation contains an intellectualist bias and then argue a cognitivist view that positions habituation as the only method appropriate to cultivating the starting points (...) of the ethical life. I contend, contrary to the popular view, that the starting points are non-discursive and not subject to explanation, and thus require the non-discursive method of habituation. I conclude with some thoughts for moral education that answer critiques of habituation concerning the role of reasoning and critical independence of students. (shrink)
Will the proliferation of devices that provide the continuous archival and retrieval of personal experiences (CARPE) improve control over, access to and the record of collective knowledge as Vannevar Bush once predicted with his futuristic memex? Or is it possible that their increasing ubiquity might pose fundamental risks to humanity, as Donald Norman contemplated in his investigation of an imaginary CARPE device he called the “Teddy”? Through an examination of the webcam experiment of Jenni Ringley and the EyeTap experiments of (...) Steve Mann, this article explores some of the social implications of CARPE. The authors’ central claim is that focussing on notions of individual consent and control in assessing the privacy implications of CARPE while reflective of the individualistic conception of privacy that predominates western thinking, is nevertheless inadequate in terms of recognizing the effect of individual uptake of these kinds of technologies on the level of privacy we are all collectively entitled to expect. The authors urge that future analysis ought to take a broader approach that considers contextual factors affecting user groups and the possible limitations on our collective ability to control the social meanings associated with the subsequent distribution and use of personal images and experiences after they are captured and archived. The authors ultimately recommend an approach that takes into account the collective impact that CARPE technologies will have on privacy and identity formation and highlight aspects of that approach. (shrink)
Persons registered to vote in Seattle, Washington for the November, 1986 general election and a September, 1987 primary election were randomly assigned to treatments in two telephoneconducted experiments that sought to increase voter tumout. The experiments applied and extended a "self-prophecy” technique, in which respondents are asked simply to predict whether or not they will perform a target action. In the present studies, voting registrants were asked to predict whether or not they would vote in an election that was less (...) than 48 hours away. This technique, which previously increased turnout in a small study done during the 1984 U.S. Presidential election, was again effective among moderate prior-turnout voters in the second of the present much larger experiments. The failure of the effect in Experiment 1 was plausibly a ceiling effect due to very high turnout for a U.S. Senate contest in the 1986 election. Successful applications of the self· prophecy technique are facilitated by social desirability of the target action (which leads subjects to predict that they will perform it). However, social desirability of the target behavior is not a sufficient condition for the effect, as indicated by an unexpected nonoccurrence of the effect among low prior-tumout voters in Experiment 2. (shrink)
One of the most distinguishing features of environmental ethics has been the effort to develop a nonanthropocentric intrinsic value theory, that is, a definition of the good which is not dependent upon some quality particular to humanity, a definition of the good whereby properties found in the terrestrial, nonhuman world are constitutive of that definition. In this paper, I argue that major nonanthropocentric theories suffer from arbitrariness. I argue through the use of representative thinkers that much nonathropocentric theory has committed (...) the naturalistic fallacy because it has deployed various forms of empirical naturalism, and that to meet this challenge nonanthropocentrism must employ a form of metaphysically based nonanthropocentrism. I do not argue that the naturalistic fallacy is valid. Rather, I show that a sample of major thinkers, representative of a logically exhaustive set of possible evasions of the naturalistic fallacy, all fail to evade the fallacy. Further, I show that the failure of this set of possible evasionsleaves but one evasion possible, namely, ethical theory grounded in metaphysics. Finally, I recommend “process” metaphysics as the most promising metaphysical ground for environmental ethics, assuming the validity of the naturalistic fallacy. (shrink)
A model of “ephemeral” population structure is presented that applies not only to biological systems in which discrete groups form but also to networks without group boundaries. The evolution of altruistic behaviors is discussed. Nonrandom interaction and nonlinear fitness structures are modeled; together, these factors can produce stable polymorphisms of altruistic and selfish types, as well as bistability. Empirical applications of the model may be found in microbes, marine invertebrates, annual plants, and other organisms.
Two complementary bodies of literature either claim explicitly or imply that human cruelty is rooted in asymmetrical relationships. The first describes and analyzes various forms of domination and acquiescence, including colonialism, racism, imperialism, sexism, and interpersonal power dynamics, among others. The second attempts to describe what would constitute the antidote, namely symmetrical relationships of mutuality and equality. Both of these literatures counsel abandoning asymmetrical relationships in favor of the symmetrical. To the contrary, this paper argues that it is only in (...) the context of asymmetrical relationships that humans can learn the basics of equality and mutual regard that undergird democracy. More particularly, the moral use of asymmetrical relations would be to help the young acquire, inter alias, the kinds of self-awareness and self-understanding that would enable them to function as responsible parties in symmetrical relations. (shrink)
Herein I offer a model for understanding the traditional distinction between essentially and accidentally ordered causal series and their function in traditional proofs for the existence of God. I argue that, like the traditional proofs, my model of the causal series in question permits an infinite regress of the accidentally ordered series but not of the essentially ordered series. Furthermore, I argue that on the basis of this model one can avoid Edwards’s criticism that no matter how we conceive of (...) the causal series (as accidental or essential) we still have to deal with the suggestion that arriving at a first cause does not mean that we have an uncaused first cause. Finally, I end with a short speculation on what a successful proof for an uncaused first cause might lead to. (shrink)
This paper examines the distinction drawn by Rawls between the ideas of property-owning democracy and welfare state capitalism, and assesses the strength of the support provided by justice as fairness for the implementation of the kinds of policies that distinguish property-owning democracy most sharply from welfare state capitalism. It is argued first that justice as fairness does not provide strong grounds for the implementation of policies designed to improve access to and broaden the distribution of nonhuman capital, arguably the most (...) important institutional feature of property-owning democracy. It is then argued that the idea of “highest-order interests” provides the basis upon which a powerful case for the implementation of this key policy type may be constructed. (shrink)
We have two main objections to Kerr and Godfrey-Smith's (2002) meticulous analysis. First, they misunderstand the position we took in Unto Others – we do not claim that individual-level statements about the evolution of altruism are always unexplanatory and always fail to capture causal relationships. Second, Kerr and Godfrey-Smith characterize the individual and the multi-level perspectives in terms of different sets of parameters. In particular, they do not allow the multi-level perspective to use the individual fitness parameters i (...) and i. We don't see why the multi-level perspective prevents one from thinking in these terms. Kerr and Godfrey-Smith's argument that Uyenoyama and Feldman's (1980, 1992) definition of altruism belongs more to the individualist perspective than it does to the multi-level perspective is an artifact of their choice of parameters; the same point applies to their argument about the individualism inherent in the idea of Class I and Class II fitness structures. (shrink)
This paper deals with Angus Kerr-Lawson's interpretation of George Santayana's philosophy of values. I claim that Kerr-Lawson reads Santayana correctly; however, as regards axiology, he reads Santayana literally and misses Santayana's engagement with it. Santayana's engagement with the philosophy of values is clearly seen when we use axiological terms and problematics in approaching his thought.
Although the history of nerve and muscle electrophysiology is often truncated and presented as if it started with Galvani's Commentarius (1791) late in the 18th century, a strong (but narrower) case for animal electricity had been made a few decades earlier with three types of fishes: "torpedo" rays, electric catfishes, and the electric "eel." (For a history of electric fishes and how their shocks ultimately were perceived as electrical, see Finger and Piccolino 2011.) More than 2,000 years before the Common (...) Era, Egyptian artisans had drawn the electric catfish of the Nile on the walls of some tombs, and later the ancient Greeks and Romans described the flat saltwater rays that could numb or torpify at a distance. .. (shrink)
This article provides a critical assessment of some aspects of Ann Kerr and Tom Shakespeare's Genetic Politics: from eugenics to genome. In particular, I evaluate their claims: (a) that bioethics is too ‘top down’, involving normative prescriptions, whereas it should instead be ‘bottom up’ and grounded in social science; and (b) that contemporary bioethics has not dealt particularly well with people's moral concerns about eugenics. I conclude that several of Kerr and Shakespeare's criticisms are well-founded and serve as (...) valuable reminders to the bioethics community. These include the claims: that bioethics ought not to consist entirely of applying moral theory to cases; that bioethics must take account of relevant empirical evidence; and that bioethicists should be on the look out for those subtle social forces which can undermine the voluntariness of people's choices and consents. However, we should reject some of Kerr and Shakespeare's other criticisms and I conclude (amongst other things) that even ‘mainstream’ bioethics is better able to deal with difficult issues like eugenics than Kerr and Shakespeare suggest. (shrink)
Philip R. Shields shows that ethical and religious concerns inform even the most technical writings on logic and language, and that, for Wittgenstein, the need to establish clear limitations is both a logical and an ethical demand. Rather than merely saying specific things about theology and religion, major texts from the Tractatus to the Philosophical Investigations express their fundamentally religious nature by showing that there are powers which bear down upon and sustain us. Shields finds a religious view of the (...) world at the very heart of Wittgenstein's philosophy. "Shields argues that the appearance throughout Wittgenstein's writings of such concepts as ritual, limit, transgression, a change of will, pride, temptation, and judgment implies a relation between religion and the logical aspects of Wittgenstein's philosophy."-- Choice "Of the many recent books about Wittgenstein, Logic and Sin is one of the very few that are well worth having"--Fergus Kerr, Modern Theology "What Shields has uncovered in Wittgenstein's religious sensibility is something genuine and profound. . . . Shields has not just written an important book on Wittgenstein but an enlightening work that invites further reflection."--Eric O. Springsted, Cross Currents. (shrink)
George Santayana was not only a poet but also a philosopher whose style, concerns, and even positions drew in his own time and continues to draw in ours the attention of poets and, more broadly, literary authors. He was, in short, a poet's philosopher. In so characterizing Santayana, however, there is no slight of his strictly philosophical achievement. The philosophical finesse with which he treated complex topics is, indeed, nowhere more evident than in his rigorous analysis of poetic utterance. The (...) author of this essay explores Santayana's nuanced account of poetic utterance and, then, interprets Santayana's own literary accomplishments, including his philosophical writings, in light of this account. Given the attention which Angus Kerr-Lawson has paid to the rhetorical strategies and literary qualities of this singular philosopher, it is fitting to contribute such an essay to an issue in his honor. (shrink)
We investigate Kerr–Newman black holes in which a rotating charged ring-shaped singularity induces a region which contains closed timelike curves (CTCs). Contrary to popular belief, it turns out that the time orientation of the CTC is oppo- site to the direction in which the singularity or the ergosphere rotates. In this sense, CTCs “counter-rotate” against the rotating black hole. We have similar results for all spacetimes sufficiently familiar to us in which rotation induces CTCs. This motivates our conjecture that (...) perhaps this counter-rotation is not an accidental oddity particular to Kerr–Newman spacetimes, but instead there may be a general and intuitively comprehensible reason for this. (shrink)
In Scepticism and Animal Faith, Santayana pursues two projects: the development of a philosophy of animal faith and the presentation of an ontology. The two projects are not easily reconciled and Santayana appears not to have distinguished them or recognized that they pull in different directions. The hypothesis that he has two projects explains a variety of the anomalous features of Santayana's philosophy, including the account of matter concerning which Kerr-Lawson and I have long disagreed.
Family medicine has grown as a specialty from its early days of general practice. It was established as a Board Certified specialty in 1969. This growth and maturation can be traced in the philosophy of family medicine as articulated by Edmund D. Pellegrino, M.D. Long before it was popular to do so, Pellegrino supported the development of family medicine. In this essay I examine the development of Pellegrino's philosophical thought about family practice, and contrast it to other thinkers like Ian (...) McWhinney, Kerr White, Walter Spitzer, Donald Ransom, and Hebert Vandervoort. The arguments focus on whether the goals of family medicine and family practice (possibly two distinct entities) can be articulated, especially considering the definitional problems of family and community. I conclude by echoing Pellegrino's hope that family medicine can contribute a fresh alternative to isolated, individualistic and technological thinking in medicine. (shrink)
We discuss the Starobinskii-Unruh process for the Kerr black hole. We show how this effect is related to the theory of squeezed states. We then consider a simple model for a highly relativistic rotating star and show that the Starobinskii-Unruh effect is absent.
A beginning philosopher in the mid-twentieth century might encounter difficulties with each of the two main options open to him. The English speaking philosophical world is focused on language and the application of mathematical logic to arguments. While the questions that arise may be of technical interest, attempts to apply these excessively precise techniques to deal with philosophical issues seem ill chosen, and fail to come to grips with the perennial questions of philosophy. Indeed, with these techniques came the amazing (...) thesis that philosophy is unable to deal at all with many such questions. Continental European philosophy is the main alternative. It does tackle important issues, but it seems at times to rely on rhetoric and force majeure, rather than on honest consideration of opposing arguments and positions. In... (shrink)