The computation of both Scalar Implicatures (SI) and Association with Focus (AF) is characterized with reference to sets of alternatives. However, it has generally been assumed that the relevant alternatives are determined in different ways for the two processes. Specifically, it has been assumed that the alternatives for SI – scalar alternatives – are computed by a special procedure specifically designed for implicatures, whereas the alternatives for AF – focus alternatives – are determined by the general theory of association with (...) focus – focus semantics. As far as we know, the only attempt to connect the two is Krifka (1995), under which scalar alternatives and focus alternatives are identical and determined by focus semantics. However, Krifka’s result is based on a specific stipulation about scalar items, which he borrows from Horn and incorporates into focus semantics, namely that scalar items are inherently focused and have their Horn Scale as their lexically specified focus values. (shrink)
This paper proposes an architecture for the mapping between syntax and phonology — in particular, that aspect of phonology that determines ordering. In Fox and Pesetsky (in prep.), we will argue that this architecture, when combined with a general theory of syntactic domains ("phases"), provides a new understanding of a variety of phenomena that have received diverse accounts in the literature. This shorter paper focuses on two processes, both drawn from Scandinavian: the familiar process of Object Shift and the less (...) well-known process of Quantifier Movement. We will argue that constraints on these operations can be seen as instances of the same property of grammar that explains the fact that movement is local and successive cyclic. We begin by sketching a model in which locality and successive cyclicity are consequences of the architecture that we propose, rather than specific facts about movement itself. We next present our proposal in somewhat greater detail, and show how it can account for a wide range of apparent limitations on movement — in particular, superficially contradictory restrictions on Object Shift and Quantifier Movement. The restrictions on Object Shift include those grouped under the rubric of Holmberg's Generalization, which Quantifier Movement does not seem to obey. We will argue that Quantifier Movement instead obeys a near mirror-image of Holmberg's Generalization (an "Inverse Holmberg Effect"), but that both Holmberg's Generalization and its mirror image are expected if our proposed architecture is correct. (shrink)
In a recent paper, Martin Hackl and I identified a variety of circumstances where scalar implicatures, questions, definite descriptions, and sentences with the focus particle only are absent or unacceptable (Fox and Hackl 2006, henceforth F&H). We argued that the relevant effect is one of maximization failure (MF): an application of a maximization operator to a set that cannot have the required maximal member. We derived MF from our hypothesis that the set of degrees relevant for the semantics of degree (...) constructions is always dense (the Universal Density of Measurement, UDM). The goal of this paper is to present an apparent shortcoming of F&H and to argue that it is overcome once certain consequences of the proposal are shown to follow from more general properties of MF. Specifically, the apparent problem comes from evidence that the core generalizations argued for in F&H extend to areas for which an account in terms of density is unavailable. Nevertheless, I will argue that the account could still be right. Certain dense sets contain "too many alternatives" for there to be a maximal member, thus leading to MF. But, there are other sets that lead to the same predicament. My goal will be to characterize a general signature of MF in the hope that it could be used to determine the identity of alternatives in areas where their identity is not clear on independent grounds. (shrink)
Recently there has been a lively revival of interest in implicatures, particularly scalar implicatures. Building on the resulting literature, our main goal in the present paper is to establish an empirical generalization, namely that SIs can occur systematically and freely in arbitrarily embedded positions. We are not so much concerned with the question whether drawing implicatures is a costly option (in terms of semantic processing, or of some other markedness measure). Nor are we specifically concerned with how implicatures come about (...) (even though, to get going, we will have to make some specific assumptions on this matter). The focus of our discussion is testing the claim of the pervasive embeddability of SIs in just about any context, a claim that remains so far controversial. While our main goal is the establishment of an empirical generalization, if we succeed, a predominant view on the division of labor between semantics and pragmatics will have to be revised. A secondary goal of this paper is to hint at evidence that a revision is needed on independent grounds. But let us first present, in a rather impressionistic way, the reasons why a revision would be required if our main generalization on embedded SIs turns out to be correct. In the tradition stemming from Grice (1989), implicatures are considered a wholly pragmatic phenomenon and SIs are often used as paramount examples. Within such a tradition, 㳊 semantics is taken to deal with the compositional construction of sentence meaning (a term which we are using for now in a loose, non technical way), while pragmatics deals with how sentence meaning is actually put to use (i.e. enriched and possibly modified through reasoning about speakers’ intentions, contextually relevant information, etc.). Simply put, on this view pragmatics takes place at the level of complete utterances and pragmatic enrichments are a root phenomenon (something that happens globally to sentences) rather than a compositional one.. (shrink)
Scalar implicatures depend on alternatives in order to avoid the symmetry problem. I argue for a structure-sensitive characterization of these alternatives: the alternatives for a structure are all those structures that are at most as complex as the original one. There have been claims in the literature that complexity is irrelevant for implicatures and that the relevant condition is the semantic notion of monotonicity. I provide new data that pose a challenge to the use of monotonicity and that support the (...) structure-sensitive definition. I show that what appeared to be a problem for the complexity approach is overcome once an appropriate notion of complexity is adopted, and that upon closer inspection, the argument in favor of monotonicity turns out to be an argument against it and in favor of the complexity approach. (shrink)
A Logical Form (LF) is a syntactic structure that is interpreted by the semantic component. For a particular structure to be a possible LF it has to be possible for syntax to generate it and for semantics to interpret it. The study of LF must therefore take into account both assumptions about syntax and about semantics, and since there is much disagreement in both areas, disagreements on LF have been plentiful. This makes the task of writing a survey article in (...) the field fairly difficult, a difficulty that is amplified by the amount of material that needs to be covered if the result is going to be in any way representative. My response to this difficulty is to limit my objectives. As a start, I will confine myself to issues relating to the syntactic positions of Quantificational Noun Phrases (QNPs) at LF and to various interpretive consequences. But even within these relatively narrow confines, I will not attempt anything close to a comprehensive survey. Instead my goal will be restricted to the presentation of one leading idea and to the discussion of some evidence that might bear on it.1 Much research on the nature of LF has consisted in attempts to account for the meaning of sentences containing QNPs. (shrink)
This paper will be concerned with the conjunctive interpretation of a family of disjunctive constructions. The relevant conjunctive interpretation, sometimes referred to as a “free choice effect,” (FC) is attested when a disjunctive sentence is embedded under an existential modal operator. I will provide evidence that the relevant generalization extends (with some caveats) to all constructions in which a disjunctive sentence appears under the scope of an existential quantifier, as well as to seemingly unrelated constructions in which conjunction appears under (...) the scope of negation and a universal quantifier. (shrink)
It is widely believed that existential quantifiers can bring about the semantic effects of a scope which is wider than their actual syntactic scope (See Fodor & Sag (1982), Cresti (1995), Kratzer (1995), Reinhart (1995) and Winter (1995), among many others.) On the other hand, it is assumed that the syntactic scope of universal quantifiers can be determined unequivocally by the semantics. This paper shows that this second assumption is wrong; universal quantifiers can also bring about scope illusions, though in (...) a very specific environment. In particular, we argue that in the environment of generic tense, universal quantifiers can show the semantic effects of a scope which is wider than the one that is actually realized at LF. Our argument has four steps. First, we show that in generic contexts, universal quantifiers escape standard “scope-islands” (Section 1). Second, we show how the effects of wide scope in generic contexts can be achieved without syntactic wide scope (Section 2.1). Third, we show that this result is actually forced on us, once we take seriously certain independent issues concerning the interpretation of generic tense (Sections 2.2 - 2.4). Finally, the semantics of generic tense and, in particular, its interaction with focus, will yield some intricate new predictions, which, as we show, are borne out (Sections 3 - 5). (shrink)
The notion of measurement plays a central role in human cognition. We measure people’s height, the weight of physical objects, the length of stretches of time, or the size of various collections of individuals. Measurements of height, weight, and the like are commonly thought of as mappings between objects and dense scales, while measurements of collections of individuals, as implemented for instance in counting, are assumed to involve discrete scales. It is also commonly assumed that natural language makes use of (...) both types of scales and subsequently distinguishes between two types of measurements. This paper argues against the latter assumption. It argues that natural language semantics treats all measurements uniformly as mappings from objects (individuals or collections of individuals) to dense scales, hence the Universal Density of Measurement (UDM). If the arguments are successful, there are a variety of consequences for semantics and pragmatics, and more generally for the place of the linguistic system within an overall architecture of cognition. (shrink)
This paper argues that “covert” operations like Quantifier Raising (QR) can precede “overt” operations. Specifically we argue that there are overt operations that must take the output of QR as their input. If this argument is successful there are two interesting consequences for the theory of grammar. First, there cannot be a “covert” (i.e. post-spellout) component of the grammar. That is, what distinguishes operations that affect phonology from those that do not cannot be an arbitrary point in the derivation (“spellout”) (...) before which the former apply and after which the latter do; all syntactic operations apply in the same component (henceforth ‘single component grammar’). Second, there must be some alternative means for distinguishing “overt” from “covert” operations. One such alternative, which we can call the ‘phonological theory of QR’, was suggested by Bobaljik (1995), Pesetsky (1998), Groat and O’Neil (1994). These authors proposed that the distinguishing property has to do with principles of the syntax-phonology interface. Assume that movement is a copying operation with phonology targeting one copy in a chain for pronunciation. The distinction between “overt” and “covert” movement, these authors suggest, is this: “overt” movements are the result of phonology targeting the head of a chain for.. (shrink)
It is well-known that constructions involving ellipsis (i.e. construction in which semantically interpreted material is not realized phonologically, henceforth ECs) share many properties with constructions that involve phonological reduction (in which semantically interpreted material is realized phonologically but in a reduced form, henceforth PRCs). (See, among others, Lasnik 1972, Chomsky and Lasnik 1993, Rooth 1992 and Tancredi 1992.) The similarity between ECs and PRCs is semantic: the interpretation of both is constrained by the interpretation of an antecedent (Parallelism). (...) Rooth and Tancredi have pointed out that this similarity follows from an independently needed theory of focus. (shrink)
Our proposal is concerned with the relation between an aspect of phonology (linearization) and syntax.1 In the picture that we had in mind, the syntax is autonomous — "it does what it does" — but sometimes the result maps to an unusable phonological representation. In this sense, linearization acts logically as a filter on derivations. We know of no evidence that the syntax can predict which syntactic objects will be usable by the phonology, and we know of no clear evidence (...) that the phonology communicates this information to the syntax. In this sense, our proposal fits squarely into the tradition that Svenonius characterizes as the "mainstream".2 We thus attempted to identify certain deviant configurations that are not plausibly excluded for syntax-internal reasons, but are filtered out in the linearization process. (shrink)
It is well known that in certain environments the scope of a moved quantifier phrase can be determined at either its pre-movement position (“scope reconstruction”) or its postmovement position (“surface scope”). Thus the familiar ambiguity of (1) results from two choices for the scope of the moved QP. Under scope reconstruction, the scope of the moved existential QP is the sister of the pre-movement position (i.e. the sister of t, [to win the lottery]), while under surface scope it is the (...) sister of the post-movement position (i.e. [is likely t to win the lottery]). The two scope possibilities yield different semantic interpretations, corresponding to the paraphrases in (2). (1) Someone from New York is likely t to win the lottery (2) a. It is likely that there will be someone from New York who wins the lottery.. (shrink)
It is well known that in Sluicing constructions wh-dependencies can cross certain projections that are otherwise barriers to movement (Ross (1969), Chomsky (1972)). This fact would follow under the assumption that the relevant barriers are somehow deactivated when phonologically deleted ('island repair'). The problem, however, is that another form of phonological deletion (VP Ellipsis, VPE) seems to be impossible in certain contexts where Sluicing allows for island repair (Chung et al. (1995), Merchant (1999)).
Claims: A. Shared assumption (1) needs to be modified. The argument of a restrictive quantifier phrase, QP, (at least when there is Inverse Scope) is a partial function defined only for individuals that satisfy the restrictor: (3'a) a. λP.[[book]] ⊆ P b.
The semantics of association with focus and the pragmatic conditions governing the appropriateness of focus in discourse are usually taken to depend on focus alternatives. According to a common view, these alternatives are generated by a permissive process. This permissive view has been challenged by Michael Wagner, who has noted that certain alternatives are systematically excluded from consideration. Wagner describes a more restrictive view, on which only contrastive alternatives are relevant for association with focus and for the appropriateness of focus (...) in discourse. I use recent work on the role of contradiction to show that the standard, permissive view derives the same results as the contrast-based view for the basic cases. These basic cases involve a contradiction that prevents us from using them to distinguish the two approaches. I show that when this contradiction is eliminated, evidence of non-contrastive alternatives emerges, supporting the permissive standard view over the restrictive contrast-based one. (shrink)
Rory Fox challenges the traditional understanding that Thomas Aquinas believed that God exists totally outside of time. His study investigates the work of several mid-thirteenth-century writers, including Albert the Great and Bonaventure as well as Aquinas, examining their understanding of the topological and metrical properties of time. Fox thus provides access to a wealth of material on medieval concepts of time and eternity, while using the conceptual tools of modern analytic philosophy to express his conclusions.
Fox, Patricia Any study of recent publications, the statistics from diocesan websites and the litanies of anecdotal evidence reveals that the Church in Australia is at present being confronted by some very serious pastoral realities.1 In the face of this, I want to suggest that Vatican II's teaching on the call to holiness can open new pathways for the church by offering a significant challenge to the still widespread assumption among Catholics that God's call belongs only to a select few. (...) I want to propose that a restored and renewed theology of vocation needs to be a crucial element within the church's response to the serious pastoral situations confronting us. I will begin with the teaching on the call to holiness in Lumen Gentium, trace some developments towards a renewed pneumatology and theology of vocation that occurred in the wake of the conciliar teaching on holiness, and then consider briefly the creative impact of this on a theology of ministry and ministerial practice. I want to argue that there is an urgent pastoral necessity in this country for the leadership of the church, universal and local, to receive and enact the church's teaching on being called and sent. (shrink)
The cipher of the zodiac Content Type Journal Article Category Book Symposium Pages 1-22 DOI 10.1007/s11016-012-9674-1 Authors Robert Fox, Faculty of History, Oxford University, George Street, Oxford, OX1 2RL UK Charles C. Gillispie, Program in History of Science, Department of History, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA Theresa Levitt, Department of History, University of Mississippi, 310 Bishop Hall, University, MS 38677, USA David Aubin, Institut de Mathématiques de Jussieu, Histoire des sciences mathématique, UPMC - case postale 247, 4, place Jussieu, (...) 75252 Paris cedex 05, France Jed Z. Buchwald, Humanities and Social Sciences 101-40, Caltech, 1200 East California Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91125, USA Diane Greco Josefowicz, Writing Program, College of Arts and Sciences, Boston University, 730 Commonwealth Ave., Rm. 301, Boston, MA 02215, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796. (shrink)
This Article considers the moral and legal status of practices that aim to modify traits in human offspring. As advancements in reproductive biotechnology give parents greater power to shape the genetic constitution of their children, an emerging school of legal scholars has ushered in a privatized paradigm of genetic control. Commentators defend a constitutionally protected right to prenatal engineering by appeal to the significance of procreative liberty and the promise of producing future generations who are more likely to have their (...) lives go well. This 'new eugenics,' however, confronts us with ethical challenges that neither liberal arguments about autonomy, fairness, and consent, nor utilitarian arguments about preferences, happiness, and equality, are able to capture. I begin by analyzing the Supreme Court's modern substantive due process jurisprudence, as it bears on recent advancements and controversies in genetic science. After developing a doctrinal framework that could support an asserted right to genetic engineering, I draw on empirical research in behavioral psychology to examine the influence of eugenic norms on egalitarian attitudes and institutions. I predict that if parents become accustomed to choosing the genes of their children, it would be radically more difficult to give an influential account for why the successful should adopt a charitable posture toward those who are less fortunate. I argue that by shifting control over offspring DNA from chance to choice, enhancement will inflate a sense of individual entitlement for social and economic outcomes. I conclude that increasing willingness to prevent the birth of abnormal children distracts attention from institutions that fail to accommodate the limitations of imperfect people. Some may reply that producing people who better fit the roles society chooses to reward need not deter us from providing for people whose abilities fail to meet the demands of modern society. However, this reply misses the way that changes in reproductive practices can bring about changes in the way that we understand our identities and relationships. Eugenic solutions to social problems such as poverty, crime, and unemployment reshape the challenge of genetic disadvantage so that it is no longer one we address through collective measures such as public education, social services, and income redistribution, and instead becomes one for individual parents to prevent through donor screening, embryo discard, or selective abortion. (shrink)
Religion has become a vital resource for attempts to rethink the meaning of the political. This article rehearses the efforts of two recent figures, René Girard and Giorgio Agamben, to transform the political by renewing its connection to religion. Both thinkers struggle to escape politics as defined by Carl Schmitt's friend/enemy distinction. Girard and Agamben do clash ideologically, but their inquiries into sacrifice and messianism take similar courses. Regarding origins, Girard argues for the sacrificial crisis as the common parent to (...) religion and politics. Conversely, for Agamben, the Roman figure of homo sacer distinguishes politics from religion. With respect to the future, Girard's messianism installs Christian belief as the only way to move beyond violence. By contrast, Agamben steers Pauline messianism toward the efforts to displace sovereignty and reopen the political. I conclude that Agamben breaks with Schmitt while Girard reinscribes his politics at a higher level. Key Words: Giorgio Agamben Rey Chow Christianity René Girard homo sacer messianism politics sacred sacrifice Carl Schmitt. (shrink)
This exploratory study examines how managers and professionals regard the ethical and social responsibility reputations of 60 well-known Australian and International companies, and how this in turn influences their attitudes and behaviour towards these organisations. More than 350 MBA, other postgraduate business students, and participants in Australian Institute of Management (Western Australia) management education programmes were surveyed to evaluate how ethical and socially responsible they believed the 60 organisations to be. The survey sought to determine what these participants considered ‘ethical’ (...) and ‘socially responsible’ behaviour in organisations to be. The survey also examined how the participants’ beliefs influenced their attitudes and intended behaviours towards these organisations. The results of this survey indicate that many managers and professionals have clear views about the ethical and social responsibility reputations of companies. This affects their attitudes towards these organisations which in turn has an impact on their intended behaviour towards them. These findings support the view in other research studies that well-educated managers and professionals are, to some extent, taking into account the ethical and social responsibility reputations of companies when deciding whether to work for them, use their services or buy shares in their companies. (shrink)
The usage, derivation, and psychological, ethical, and legal aspects of slang terminology in medicine are discussed. The colloquial vocabulary is further described and a comprehensive glossary of common UK terms provided in the appendix. This forms the first list of slang terms currently in use throughout the British medical establishment.
This Article examines the influence of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on affective attitudes toward children with disabilities and on the incidence of disability-selective abortion. Applying regression analysis to U.S. natality data, we find that the birthrate of children with Down syndrome declined significantly in the years following the ADA's passage. Controlling for technological, demographic, and cultural variables suggests that the ADA may have encouraged prospective parents to prevent the existence of the very class of people the Act was (...) designed to protect. We explain this paradox by showing how specific ADA provisions could have given rise to demeaning media depictions and social conditions that reinforced negative understandings and expectations among prospective parents about what it means to have a child with a disability. We discuss implications for reproduction law and antidiscrimination policy. (shrink)
This essay considers principles of distributive justice for access to reproductive biotechnologies which make it is possible to enhance the traits of human offspring. I provide prima facie reason to think that redistributive principles apply to genetic goods and proceed to evaluate the way in which four distributive patterns - egalitarianism, luck egalitarianism, prioritarianism, and sufficientarianism - would implement a just distribution of genetic goods. I argue that the currency of genetic redistribution consists in natural primary goods like health, vision, (...) and rationality as these goods contribute to the biological component of basic capabilities, like being healthy, seeing properly, and being able to reason. I develop a mixed sufficiency/priority approach to genetic enhancement, and defend this approach against objections. (shrink)
I will discuss those epistemic accounts of truth that say, roughly and at least, that the truth is what all ideally rational people, with maximum evidence, would in the long run come to believe. They have been defended on the grounds that they can solve sceptical problems that traditional accounts cannot surmount, and that they explain the value of truth in ways that traditional (and particularly, minimal) accounts cannot; they have been attacked on the grounds that they collapse into idealism. (...) I show that all these claims are mistaken. The system of statements accepted by an adherent of an epistemic account who also accepts the equivalence scheme is the same as that accepted by an adherent of a traditional account who also accepts a remarkably strong thesis of epistemic optimism. The singling out of one rather than another claim within this system as defining 'true' cannot make as much difference as to imply idealism or refute scepticism. However, it can make all the difference when it is a matter of explaining the value of truth. For a crucial point in such explanation depends on what can be soundly substituted for what in intensional contexts; above all those governed by such verbs as 'know', 'hope', 'believe', 'value'. That is, it depends on what expressions are intensionally equivalent. And one point of singling out one formulation as definitional can be to settle just this. But though some epistemic theorists have deemed ability to explain the value of truth a merit of their account (and lack of this ability a fatal defect of traditional accounts, of minimal accounts in particular), it turns out that minimal accounts of 'true' fit a sound account of our valuing of truth in a way that epistemic accounts do not. In the course of this argument I rebut related positions: e.g. Dummett's, that minimal definitions fail because they cannot account for the point of having a notion of truth, and that an account of the practice of assertion is what would fill this lacuna. I argue to the contrary that if the point of the notion could not be explained on the basis of a traditional definition, it could not be explained at all. (shrink)
Abstract I will explicate Zhuangzi's conception of wuwei as it is articulated in the image of the ?hinge of dao.? First, I will discuss the few actual instances of the term ?wuwei? in the Zhuangzi. Second, I will show that the text uses this imagery to suggest an adaptive or reflective mode of conduct. Third, I will analyse the metaphor of the hinge, and show how this metaphor can illuminate Zhuangzi's notion of wuwei and the behaviour of the realised person. (...) I will show that the hinge represents the way in which the ideal person responds to inevitability, and that Zhuangzi's ideal person could be described as ?perfectly well?adjusted?. Finally, I will demonstrate that this reading offers new meanings and textures to a text that has long been read in only certain ways, so that many of its subtleties have been overlooked. (shrink)
This book provides a systematic study of three foundational issues in the semantics of natural language that have been relatively neglected in the past few decades. focuses on the formal characterization of intensions, the nature of an adequate type system for natural language semantics, and the formal power of the semantic representation language proposes a theory that offers a promising framework for developing a computational semantic system sufficiently expressive to capture the properties of natural language meaning while remaining computationally tractable (...) written by two leading researchers and of interest to students and researchers in formal semantics, computational linguistics, logic, artificial intelligence, and the philosophy of language. (shrink)
The impulse toward violence and cruelty is endemic to the human species. But so, likewise, is the impulse toward compassionate behavior. Victor Nell acknowledges this, but he does not explore the matter any further. I supplement his account by discussing how compassion, specifically in the moral education of children, can help remedy the problem of violence and cruelty in society.
The food we choose to eat tells a good deal about who we are and how we stand in relation to nonhuman animals and nature as a whole. Though most people are concerned about the state of the world and about their own health, they tend not to reflect very much, if at all, on what results from their dietary choices, and therefore see nothing wrong in eating meat. I question this attitude. Specifically, I argue that, for the same reasons (...) we should care about pain, suffering, well-being, and death in humans, so should we care about the fate of animals we traditionally designate as sources of meat. Caring is supplemented in my argument by considerations of justice, and I contend that for reasons of caring and justice, we should be vegetarians, consistent with the aim of minimizing the harm we cause by our lifestyle choices. Finally, I examine what it means to take responsibility for our diets and challenge meat eaters to come to terms with the wrongdoing that is inherent in the livestock industry today. (shrink)
There has recently been considerable discussion of the relative merits of deep ecology and ecofeminism, primarily from an ecofeminist perspective. I argue that the essential ecofeminist charge against deep ecology is that deep ecology focuses on the issue of anthropocentrism (i.e., human-centeredness) rather than androcentrism (i.e., malecenteredness). I point out that this charge is not directed at deep ecology’s positive or constructive task of encouraging an attitude of ecocentric egalitarianism, but rather at deep ecology's negative or critical task of dismantling (...) anthropocentrism. I outline a number of problems that can attend not only the ecofeminist critique of deep ecology, but also comparable critiques that proceed from a broad range of social and political perspectives. I then proceed to argue that deep ecology’s concem with anthropocentrism is entirely defensible-and defensible in a way that should be seen as complementing and expanding the focus of radical social and political critiques rather thanin terms of these approaches versus deep ecology. (shrink)
A virtual particle is an elementary particle in a quantum field theory that serves to symbolise the interaction of its counterparts, the so called real particles. In the last 20 years, philosophers of physics have put forth several arguments for and against an interpretation of virtual particles as being like ordinary objects in space and time. In this article, I will attempt to systematise the major arguments and argue that no pro-argument is ultimately satisfactory, and that only one contra-argument—that of (...) superposition—is sufficient to deny the realistic interpretation of virtual particles. The secondary aim of this paper is to argue that even the philosophical considerations of virtual particles overestimate their role in that these entities are merely pictorial descriptions of a mathematical approximation method. This description, while helpful, is not necessary to understand particle interactions. In the end, quantum field theory is not the place to explain what actually happens in the very centre of an individual particle interaction. (shrink)
This essay attempts to clarify certain notions that the author finds useful for the discussion of relativism and then to show what kinds of relativism about values, rationality, and truth are and are not coherent.
Liberal theory seeks to achieve the moral and practical goods of toleration, civil peace, and mutual respect within modern pluralistic societies by excluding from public debate those arguments that arise from within formative conceptions about what gives value to human life. I ask whether it is reasonable to bracket, for purposes of public deliberation, our deepest moral views about genetic engineering. The answer to this question depends, at least in part, on how we come down on those moral issues that (...) such biotechnological practices presupposes. I argue that the moral language of liberal justice - of rights and duties, interests and opportunities, freedom and consent, equality and fairness - cannot speak to the moral concerns at the heart of such practices. My goal is not to indict liberalism as a valuable framework in many areas of theory and practice. I mean, instead, to challenge the suitability of liberalism to furnish a plausible and coherent account of the moral status for a range of biotechnological practices. (shrink)
In his book "Walden", Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) describes an experiment intended to determine what is essential in life. His analysis includes a critique of the excesses of material culture, concluding that the most important concerns for human beings revolve around the retention of what he calls "heat." I suggest that there are a number of interesting parallels between this analysis and a cluster of ideas generally describable as "protodaoist" and often attributed to the legendary and obscure figure known as (...) Yang Zhu or Yangzi. In particular, both of these models can be seen to relate one's efficient preservation of life force to the accomplishment of what I am calling one's "natural destiny," and both include a concomitant critique of material culture. In this essay I will define the concept of natural destiny and articulate and compare the two models' common concern with achieving it through properly economizing one's resources in the face of the diversion provoked by material attachments. (shrink)
Introduction -- Struggle, compensation, and argument in Cicero's philosophy -- Reading and reception -- Literature, history, and philosophy : the example of De re publica -- History with rhetoric, rhetoric with history : De oratore and De legibus -- History and memory -- Brutus -- Divination, history, and superstition -- Ironic history in the Roman tradition -- Cicero from Enlightenment to idealism -- Conclusions.
Points of criticism of the target include: the extreme violence of females in defence of young despite high potential cost, the reality of female dominance striving, differences in male and female ritualization of aggression, the real existence of institutionalized female instrumental aggression, and the uselessness of “patriarchy” as defined as a category for differential analysis. It is concluded that it may in fact be the decline of patriarchy in the strict sense that leads to the female use of exculpatory explanations (...) for aggression, thus reversing Campbell's proposed causal sequence. (shrink)
This essay considers the moral status of certain practices that aim to enhance offspring traits. I develop an objection to offspring enhancement that draws on an account of the role morality of parents. I work out an account of parental ethics by reference to premises about child development and to observations about parenting culture in the United States. I argue that excellence in parenthood consists in a dual responsibility both to guide children toward the good life and to accept them (...) as they are. I conclude that prenatal manipulation of healthy and normal characteristics in human offspring fails to balance the dispositional extremes of control and restraint to which many parents today are susceptible. I apply this account of good parenting to the challenging case of height enhancement for short but otherwise healthy children. Finally, I reply to objections, first, about the phenomenology of bearing normative obligations to people who do not yet exist and, second, about the moral logic of criticizing embryo selection in the context of assisted reproduction when we accept child selection in the context of adoption. (shrink)
This special volume of Health Care Analysis is dedicated to a consideration of the status of body parts and products and the roleof law in regulating them. We argue that such a discussion is timely giventhe conflation of technological and academic concerns posed by thecomplex legal framework within which these issues are currentlyaddressed and in the light of debates such as those regardingthe storage of children's organs addressed by inquiries atAlder Hay and Bristol, United Kingdom. The contributors addressspecific legal problems (...) which have been brought before the courts in the UK and other jurisdictions, something which wesuggest is likely to occur with increasing regularity oncethe Human Rights Act 1998 comes into force in October 2000.The issues are also considered on a more theoretical level with papers exploring the role of concepts such as property, donation, commodification and kinship in these debates.While the volume focuses principally upon the manner inwhich these issues have arisen in a UK context, though withreference to certain comparative examples, the concepts discussed here are of more general application acrossother jurisdictions. (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)
Context: Although ethics consultation is commonplace in United States (U.S.) hospitals, descriptive data about this health service are lacking. Objective: To describe the prevalence, practitioners, and processes of ethics consultation in U.S. hospitals. Design: A 56-item phone or questionnaire survey of the "best informant" within each hospital. Participants: Random sample of 600 U.S. general hospitals, stratified by bed size. Results: The response rate was 87.4%. Ethics consultation services (ECSs) were found in 81% of all general hospitals in the U.S., and (...) in 100% of hospitals with more than 400 beds. The median number of consults performed by ECSs in the year prior to survey was 3. Most individuals performing ethics consultation were physicians (34%), nurses (31%), social workers (11%), or chaplains (10%). Only 41% had formal supervised training in ethics consultation. Consultation practices varied widely both within and between ECSs. For example, 65% of ECSs always made recommendations, whereas 6% never did. These findings highlight a need to clarify standards for ethics consultation practices. (shrink)
The coming of bioethics -- The coming of bioethicists -- "Choices on our conscience": the inauguration of the Kennedy Institute of Education -- "Hello, Dolly": bioethics in the media -- Celebrating bioethics and bioethicists -- Thinking socially and culturally in bioethics -- Reminiscences of observing participants -- Bioethics circles the globe -- Bioethics in France -- The development of bioethics in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan -- The coming of the culture wars to American bioethics.
In spite of vast global improvements in living standards, health, and well-being, the persistence of absolute poverty and its attendant maladies remains an unsettling fact of life for billions around the world and constitutes the primary cause for the failure of developing states to improve the health of their peoples. While economic development in developing countries is necessary to provide for underlying determinants of health – most prominently, poverty reduction and the building of comprehensive primary health systems – inequalities in (...) power within the international economic order and the spread of neoliberal development policy limit the ability of developing states to develop economically and realize public goods for health. With neoliberal development policies impacting entire societies, the collective right to development, as compared with an individual rights-based approach to development, offers a framework by which to restructure this system to realize social determinants of health. The right to development, working through a vector of rights, can address social determinants of health, obligating states and the international community to support public health systems while reducing inequities in health through poverty-reducing economic growth. At an international level, where the ability of states to develop economically and to realize public goods through public health systems is constrained by international financial institutions, the implementation of the right to development enables a restructuring of international institutions and foreign-aid programs, allowing states to enter development debates with a right to cooperation from other states, not simply a cry for charity. (shrink)
In his A Theory of Justice, John Rawls suggests that a society's notion of justice informs its distribution of rights, obligations, and goods. For him, "justice as fairness" ensures that the principles dictating this distribution be agreed upon fairly. I will argue that there is no exact parallel in the Chinese tradition to what Rawls is calling "justice as fairness." Instead, we see serving a similar purpose an emphasis on the regulation of harmonious processes within the body of society. This (...) can be seen in the use of the Chinese word zhi (ÖÎ) to refer both to governing and to healing. In this sense, Chinese ideas about justice seem to come closer to Plato than to Rawls. (shrink)
I propose to consider chapter 1 of the famous, classic, and foundational Daoist text Dao De Jing, attributed to Laozi, in order to enable a non-expert to negotiate the subject of Daoism in a global philosophy context, and to further enhance the teaching of philosophy by introducing and emphasizing at least some of the controversies that inevitably surround interpretation of a classical set of texts and ideas. This forces students to see through simplistic dichotomies and form subtler conclusions, on their (...) own, and I suggest that this is what the teaching of philosophy should always involve, to be considered philosophy. (shrink)
Background: Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) system activation is adaptive in response to stress, and HPA dysregulation occurs in stress-related psychopathology. It is important to understand the mechanisms that modulate HPA output, yet few studies have addressed the neural circuitry associated with HPA regulation in primates and humans. Using high-resolution F-18-ﬂuorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) in rhesus monkeys, we assessed the relation between individual differences in brain activity and HPA function across multiple contexts that varied in stressfulness.
We present an approach to anaphora and ellipsis resolution in which pronouns and elided structures are interpreted by the dynamic identiﬁcation in discourse of type constraints on their semantic representations. The content of these conditions is recovered in context from an antecedent expression. The constraints deﬁne separation types (sub-types) in Property Theory with <span class='Hi'>Curry</span> Typing (PTCT), an expressive ﬁrst-order logic with <span class='Hi'>Curry</span> typing that we have proposed as a formal framework for natural language semantics.
This book is the outgrowth of a panel of papers on the theme of "memory," presented at the 1987 Annual Meeting of the Buddhism Section of the American Academy of Religion. Four of the contributors to this volume, including Western phenomenologist Edward Casey from SUNY Stony Brook, participated in that panel, though the papers were obviously further developed since that inceptional presentation. The book focusses on the crucial but heretofore almost entirely overlooked topic of memory and remembrance as it appears (...) in the Indian and Tibetan Buddhist traditions. There are 11 papers here, plus an editor's introduction, and though some of them seem to overlap somewhat, none makes any of the others completely redundant or unnecessary. The result is a very thorough and novel treatment of a crucially important subject for Buddhologists, and is further a fine example of Comparative Philosophy. (shrink)
Current philosophical debate on the anns race and on the use of nuclear weapons tends to focus on the rationality and morality of deterrence. I argue, however, that in view of recent scientific findings concerning the possibility of nuclear winter following upon nuclear war, or of some lesser but still massive consequences for nature, the perspective of environmental ethics is one from which nuclear war and preparations for it ought to be examined and condemned. Adopting a “weak anthropocentric” position of (...) the sort advocated by Bryan Norton and others, I argue that it is the extinction or decimation of the human species that should be our central concern, but that even without ascribing intrinsic value to nature, natural objects and nonhuman organisms, the destruction or decimation of the environment provides additional grounds for judging nuclear war to be immoral and unthinkable. (shrink)
The medical humanities were organized, beginning in the late 1960s, by a small group of people who shared a critique of medical education and a commitment to vigorous action to change it. They proposed to create several demonstration programs in humanities education at American schools. Although the group began with a religious orientation, it soon acquired a broader, more secular mission. As a result of shrewd political organizing, the group attracted members from within medicine, and was awarded a grant to (...) promote the medical humanities. This paper describes these events and sets them in the context of the social and medical history of the 1960s and early 1970s. (shrink)