Abstract The effect of inducing negative, positive or neutral affect on the recall of moral and conventional transgressions and positive moral and conventional acts was examined. It was found that inducing negative affect was associated with higher recall of moral transgressions while inducing positive affect was associated with higher recall of positive moral acts. Affect induction condition did not have a significant effect on the recall of the conventional transgressions or positive acts. The results are interpreted within the Violence Inhibition (...) Mechanism model of moral development (Blair, 1995) and by reference to a new, hypothesised system, the Smiling Reward Response. (shrink)
Blair, David David Tribe, in his article, 'On science, good, bad and ugly' (AH, No. 107, Spring 2012), criticises an earlier article by Victor Bien. Bien - rightly in my view - defends present-day science in respect of three areas where science is under attack; the most prominent of these three is anthropogenic global warming (AGW). Tribe claims that, Victor Bien appears to have inflated views on the sagacity, objectivity and probity of scientists, who can be called our new (...) priests. Much as I respected David Tribe for his work in philosophy, I must criticize much of what he says about science in his article. (shrink)
In this paper, we will consider the neuro-cognitive systems involved in mediating morality. Five main claims will be made. First, that there are multiple, partially separable neuro-cognitive architectures that mediate specific aspects of morality: social convention, care-based morality, disgust-based morality and fairness/justice. Second, that all aspects of morality, including social convention, involve affect. Third, that the neural system particularly important for social convention, given its role in mediating anger and responding to angry expressions, is ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. Fourth, that the (...) neural systems particularly important for care-based morality are the amygdala and medial orbital frontal cortex. Fifth, that while Theory of Mind is not a prerequisite for the development of affect-based 'automatic moral attitudes', it is critically involved in many aspects of moral reasoning. (shrink)
Psychopathy is a developmental disorder associated with specific forms of emotional dysfunction and an increased risk for both frustration-based reactive aggression and goal-directed instrumental antisocial behavior. While the full behavioral manifestation of the disorder is under considerable social influence, the basis of this disorder appears to be genetic. At the neural level, individuals with psychopathy show atypical responding within the amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). Moreover, the roles of the amygdala in stimulus-reinforcement learning and responding to emotional expressions and (...) vmPFC in the representation of reinforcement expectancies are compromised. The implications of these functional impairments for responsibility are discussed. (shrink)
This target article considers the relation of fluid cognitive functioning to general intelligence. A neurobiological model differentiating working memory/executive function cognitive processes of the prefrontal cortex from aspects of psychometrically defined general intelligence is presented. Work examining the rise in mean intelligence-test performance between normative cohorts, the neuropsychology and neuroscience of cognitive function in typically and atypically developing human populations, and stress, brain development, and corticolimbic connectivity in human and nonhuman animal models is reviewed and found to provide evidence of (...) mechanisms through which early experience affects the development of an aspect of cognition closely related to, but distinct from, general intelligence. Particular emphasis is placed on the role of emotion in fluid cognition and on research indicating fluid cognitive deficits associated with early hippocampal pathology and with dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis stress-response system. Findings are seen to be consistent with the idea of an independent fluid cognitive construct and to assist with the interpretation of findings from the study of early compensatory education for children facing psychosocial adversity and from behavior genetic research on intelligence. It is concluded that ongoing development of neurobiologically grounded measures of fluid cognitive skills appropriate for young children will play a key role in understanding early mental development and the adaptive success to which it is related, particularly for young children facing social and economic disadvantage. Specifically, in the evaluation of the efficacy of compensatory education efforts such as Head Start and the readiness for school of children from diverse backgrounds, it is important to distinguish fluid cognition from psychometrically defined general intelligence. (Published Online April 5 2006) Key Words: cognition; cognition-emotion reciprocity; developmental disorders; emotion; fluid cognition; Flynn effect; general intelligence; limbic system; neuroscience; phenylketonuria; prefrontal cortex; psychometrics; schizophrenia. (shrink)
I argue that argumentation is not to be identified with (attempted) rational persuasion, because although rational persuasion appears to consist of arguments, some uses of arguments are not attempts at rational persuasion. However, the use of arguments in argumentative communication to try to persuade is one kind of attempt at rational persuasion. What makes it rational is that its informing ideal is to persuade on the basis of adequate grounds, grounds that make it reasonable and rational to accept the claim (...) at issue. (shrink)
We question whether empathy is mediated by a unitary circuit. We argue that recent neuroimaging data indicate dissociable neural responses for different facial expressions as well as for representing others' mental states (Theory of Mind, TOM). We also argue that the general empathy disorder considered characteristic of autism and psychopathy is not general but specific for each disorder.
The aim of the paper is to advance the theory of argument or inference schemes by suggesting answers to questions raised by Walton's Argumentation Schemes for Presumptive Reasoning (1996), specifically on: the relation between argument and reasoning; distinguishing deductive from presumptive schemes, the origin of schemes and the probative force of their use; and the motivation and justification for their associated critical questions.
Many just war theorists (call them traditionalists) claim that just as people have a right to personal self-defense, so nations have a right to national-defense against an aggressive military invasion. David Rodin claims that the traditionalist is unable to justify most defensive wars against aggression. For most aggressive states only commit conditional aggression in that they threaten to kill or maim the citizens of the nation they are invading only if those citizens resist the occupation. Most wars, then, claimed to (...) be justified by the traditionalist fail to meet the proportionality criterion. Thus, a just war, for Rodin, is best conceived of as a punitive war of law enforcement, not as a war of national-defense. I argue that Rodin does not have a case against the traditionalist. If national-defense is a disproportionate response to conditional aggression, then punitive war is a disproportionate response as well. Furthermore, the belief that punitive war is a proportionate response to conditional aggression underscores the traditionalist’s view that self-determination, cultural identity and the like are of sufficient value to defend by means of lethal force. I end the paper by very briefly sketching an account, different from that of Rodin’s, of how individual nations can be justified in waging wars of law enforcement. (shrink)
Primary issues raised by the commentaries on the target article relate to (1) the need to differentiate distinct but overlapping aspects of fluid cognition, and (2) the implications that this differentiation may hold for conceptions of general intelligence. In response, I outline several issues facing researchers concerned with differentiation of human cognitive abilities and suggest that a revised and expanded theory of intelligence is needed to accommodate an increasingly diverse and varied empirical base. (Published Online April 5 2006).
In the wake of the First World War, a new form of commemoration emerged internationally, but in each case focused upon a new kind of national “hero”—the unknown soldier or warrior. The first instances appeared in France and Britain in 1920, followed by the United States in 1921, and Belgium in 1922. Other nations followed suit over the years, with the most recent WWI Unknown Soldier monument dedicated in 2004, in New Zealand. The motivational calculus of these national tombs was, (...) of course, the massive number of combatant dead whose remains could not be identified. This paper takes up the two very different arguments composed by these commemorative sites. The first argument was directed to surviving family members and was articulated most explicitly by the French as a hypothetical enthymeme “this could be your husband, your father, your brother,” etc. The second argument has been directed to national and international collectives as a constitutive proclamation of legitimated nation-state or Empire Although this argument is particularly explicit in postcolonial gestures of independence on the part of former dominions of old empires, it was evident in even the earliest cases of the tombs of the unknown. (shrink)
The paper's thesis is that dialogue is not an adequate model for all types of argument. The position of Walton is taken as the contrary view. The paper provides a set of descriptions of dialogues in which arguments feature in the order of the increasing complexity of the argument presentation at each turn of the dialogue, and argues that when arguments of great complexity are traded, the exchanges between arguers are turns of a dialogue only in an extended or metaphorical (...) sense. It argues that many of the properties of engaged back-and-forth exchanges of paradigmatic argument dialogues are not found in âsoloâ arguments, and that at least some of the norms appropriate to the former type of argument, such as some of the pragma-dialectical rules of van Eemeren and Grootendorst's model, do not apply to the latter. (shrink)
– We present a new paradigm extending the Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma to multiple players. Our model is unique in granting players information about past interactions between all pairs of players – allowing for much more sophisticated social behaviour. We provide an overview of preliminary results and discuss the implications in terms of the evolutionary dynamics of strategies.
The following progress report views language acquisition as primarily the attempt to create processes that connect together in a fruitful way linguistic input and other activity. The representations made of linguistic input are thus those that are optimally effective in mediating such interconnections. An effective Language Acquisition Device should contain mechanisms specific to the task of creating the desired interconnection processes in the linguistic environment in which the language learner finds himself or herself. Analysis of this requirement gives clear indications (...) as to what these mechanisms may be. (shrink)
Using measures developed by Singhapakdi et al. (1996, Journal of Business ethics 15, 1131–1140) the perceived importance of ethics and social responsibility (PRESOR) is measured among MBA students in the United States, Malaysia and Ukraine revealing a stockholder view and two stakeholder views. Relativism and Idealism are also measured. The scores of MBA students are compared among each other and with those of the U.S. managers who were part of the original study. Managers'' scores tend to be significantly higher on (...) the Stockholder and Stakeholder II views, and much lower on Relativism than the MBA students. The Malaysian MBA students scored higher than did the American MBA students on Relativism, Idealism and the Stockholder view. The Ukrainian MBA students'' scores on the three PRESOR factors are generally similar to those of the American MBAs, while they had the highest scores of any group on the Relativism scale. Overall, the patterns of responses, as much as the significant differences on specific scales, support the notion that culture, however defined, affects both values and ethics. Several directions for future research are identified.''. (shrink)
We make two suggestions with regard to Depue & Collins's (D&C's) target article. First, regarding the functioning of MOC13, we provide data indicating that, contrary to D&C's apparent position, this structure is not necessary for instrumental conditioning. Second, we suggest that D&C's approach would be advanced by reference to formal computational theory, in particular the work of Grossberg. We suggest that an integration of Grossberg's and D&C's models can provide a more complete account of extraversion.
The United States is at a crossroad in its treatment of Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code, which deals with reorganization of bankrupt organizations. It is vital that the issues surrounding the debate be properly framed. This paper attempts to do just that by reviewing the evolution of bankruptcy law, assessing the impact of Chapter 11 leniency on societal stakeholders, considering bankruptcy as a strategic option, and addressing the ethical and societal issues that arise from the use of Chapter 11 (...) to avoid massive litigation or to abrogate labor contracts. Serious threats to the underlying fibers of the American system of enterprise are exposed and an assessment of these threats is offered. (shrink)
This paper derives a mathematical expression giving the development of the probability of a scientific hypothesis with the number of confirming tests, as determined by Bayes's theorem, in a special case in which all the tests are "independent" of one another. The simple expression obtained shows clearly how the various factors influence the growth of the probability. The result is used to set a numerical lower bound on the probabilities representing the a priori beliefs of humans in generalizations that become (...) accepted. By making a comparison with the predictions of a "logical atomic" model in the case of physical laws, it is argued that humans have significant a priori "knowledge" in a weak sense. (shrink)
I am most grateful to James Blair and Justin D’Arms for commenting on my work. I would be hard put to name two other moral psychologists whose reactions I’d be so keen to hear. There is a striking asymmetry in their commentaries. Blair prefers a minimalist story about moral judgment, maintaining that the appeal to rules is unnecessary. D’Arms, by contrast, maintains that the account I offer is overly simple and that children lack moral concepts despite their (...) partial facility with moral language. It is tempting to treat my account as achieving the golden mean between Blair’s austerity and D’Arms’ extravagance. But it would be unfair to both. Blair is attracted to the sparse account for empirical reasons, and D’Arms is attracted to a richer account for philosophical reasons. Nonetheless, I still think that the account I offer is preferable to Blair’s minimalism and to D’Arms neosentimentalism. Rather than give a point-by-point reply, which would likely be tedious, I’ll try to say why I think that my account is still more plausible than the alternatives proffered by Blair and D’Arms. (shrink)
The article is a brief response to Jacob Blair’s critique of David Rodin’s argument in War and Self-Defense that there are circumstances in which war conceivably could be justified not as self-defence, but as law enforcement or punishment. It argues that while Rodin’s position potentially is less dilemmatic than Blair suggests, Blair nevertheless usefully highlights tensions within it. Blair’s own argument in favour of ar as law-enforcement is suggestive, but in no way conclusive.
What follows here is the first chapter, 'Change and Reform', of a book that inquires into the distinctions and rationale of the political tradition of conservatism. The book, now much enlarged and revised, was originally Conservatism, published in 1989 as a contribution to an election. Now, in particular, each chapter ends with a sizeable section on what replaced the Labour Party in Britain, the New Labour Party. For good measure, the final section of the second chapter, partly on something known (...) as The Third Way, is added to the final section of the first chapter below. To the book's progress towards finding the rationale of the tradition of conservatism, as you will anticipate, is added progress towards deciding on the nature of New Labour. An actual analysis of the ideology and reality of the tradition of conservatism is of use in deciding whether New Labour is in it, and maybe a start towards answering the question of New Labour's place in history. The other chapters, after the first one on change and reform: Theory, Other Thinking, Incentives; Human Nature, Dealing With It; Freedoms; Government; Societies; Equalities; Desert, Conclusions. The book is published by the estimable Pluto Press . -------------------------. (shrink)
Philosophy of Science After Feminism is an important contribution to philosophy of science, in that it argues for the central relevance of advances from previous work in feminist philosophy of science and articulates a new vision for philosophy of science going in to the future. Kourany’s vision of philosophy of science’s future as “socially engaged and socially responsible” and addressing questions of the social responsibility of science itself has much to recommend it. I focus the book articulation of an ethical-epistemic (...) ideal for science, the Ideal of Socially Responsible Science, compare it to recent work in the same vein by Heather Douglas, and argue for some advantages of Kourany’s approach. I then ask some critical question about the view, particularly with respect to the source of values that are to be integrated into science and the status of values that are to be so integrated. I argue that Kourany is too sanguine about where the values that inquirers will use come from and that these values seem to be accorded too fixed a status in her account. (shrink)