Lang, B. Philosophy and the manners of art.--Hofstadter, A. Freedom, enownment, and philosophy.--Mehta, J. L. A stranger from Asia.--Fox, D. A. A passage past India.--Rucker, D. Philosophy and the constitution of Emerson's world.--Schneider, H. W. The pragmatic movement in historical perspective.--Barnes, H. E. Reflections on myth and magic.--Cauvel, J. The imperious presence of theater.--Seay, A. Musical conservatism in the fourteenth century.--Hochman, W. R. The enduring fascination of war.--Davenport, M. M. J. Glenn Gray and the promise of wisdom.
In a recent Inquiry article Louis Pascal argues that the problem of massive starvation in the modern world is the result of a genetically-based human propensity to produce as many offspring as possible, regardless of ecological conditions. In this paper biological and anthropological objections to Pascal's thesis are discussed as well as the conclusions he draws from it. It is suggested that natural selection has produced humans who are flexible in their reproductive behavior in order to cope with rapidly changing (...) environments. The implications of both arguments for the population movement and the attempt to eliminate starvation are discussed. (shrink)
J. A. Gray et al. have recently argued that synaesthesia can be used as a counterexample to functionalism. They provide empirical evidence which they hold supports two anti-functionalist claims: disparate functions share the same types of qualia and the effects of synaesthetic qualia are, contrary to what one would expect from evolutionary considerations, adverse to those functions with which those types of qualia are normally linked. I argue that the empirical evidence they cite does not rule out functionalism, rather (...) the reverse. The fact that the effects of synaesthesia are adverse shows that understanding synaesthetic experiences requires a concept of dysfunction, which in turn presupposes a functionalist account. Such an account, moreover, shows how tokens of the same types of qualia can be associated with different causal histories, thus disarming their first objection. (shrink)
Dr Gray leaves us with a question at the conclusion of his article--how should we choose priorities? He says that the debate so far has been mainly on what we should choose, but perhaps we should consider how to choose even more. Under the various subheadings of Criteria, Principles and Persons Dr Gray sets out the pros and cons of the arguments in the priority debates and tries to offer some more specific guidelines to offset the criticism that (...) the government's priority discussions have been too generalised. Yet this is a difficult task when everyone's priorities are so different. (shrink)
It's surprising that contemporary moral philosophers have not thought more about food. The rapidly expanding industrialized landscape of modern western agribusiness raises moral concerns about large-scale livestock production, the increased usage of genetically modified crops, and the effects these now common practices may have on long-term environmental and human health. Here Pence argues that biotechnology is more helpful than harmful, on the ground that it will abate world hunger. Positioning himself as an "impartialbioethicist" he sets about the task of sorting (...) through the extremism he thinks drives all environ- mental movements' opposition to genetically modified (GM) crops. His argu- ment is simple: the claim that GM foods are unsafe is the product of alarmism, not sound reason. Discarding what environmentalists have called the Precau- tionary Principle, he argues that GM foods are safe because they have not been proven unsafe. And GM foods have been tested more than many food products now on the market. (shrink)
We propose a framework for analyzing the development, operation and failure to survive of all things, living, non-living or organized groupings. This framework is a sequence of developments that improve survival capability. Framework processes range from origination of any entity/system, to the development of increased survival capability and development of life-forms and organizations that use intelligence. This work deals with a series of developmental changes that arise from the uncovering of emergent properties. The framework is intended to be general, but (...) we see a potential to apply it to scientific topics such as the exploration of the origin of life or the search for life beyond Earth, and to understand some biological issues in evolution and symbiosis, and also to apply to social systems that do not seem to be operating well, to determine their problems and correct them. (shrink)
Male and female participants were instructed to produce an altered response pattern on an Implicit Association Test measure of gender identity by slowing performance in trials requiring the same response to stimuli designating own gender and self. Participants’ faking success was found to be predictable by a measure of slowing relative to unfaked performances. This combined task slowing (CTS) indicator was then applied in reanalyses of three experiments from other laboratories, two involving instructed faking and one involving possibly motivated faking. (...) Across all studies involving instructed faking, CTS correctly classiﬁed 75% of intentionally faking participants. Using the CTS index to adjust faked Implicit Association Test scores increased the correlation of CTS-adjusted measures with known group membership, relative to unadjusted (i.e., faked) measures. (shrink)
The claim that indigenous communities are entitled to have intellectual property rights (IPRs) to both their plant varieties and their botanical knowledge has been put forward by writers who wish to protect the plant genetic resources of indigenous communities from uncompensated use by biotechnological transnational corporations. We argue that while it is necessary for indigenous communities to have suchrights, the entitlement argument is an unsatisfactory justification for them. A more convincing foundation for indigenous community IPRs is the autonomy theory developed (...) by Will Kymlicka. (shrink)
We use the Newell Test as a basis for evaluating ACT-R as an effective architecture for cognitive engineering. Of the 12 functional criteria discussed by Anderson & Lebiere (A&L), we discuss the strengths and weaknesses of ACT-R on the six that we postulate are the most relevant to cognitive engineering.
Purpose Prescription stimulant use as “cognitive enhancers” has been described among undergraduate college students. However, the use of prescription stimulants among future health care professionals is not well characterized. This study was designed to determine the prevalence of prescription stimulant misuse among students at an academic health sciences center. -/- Method Electronic surveys were e-mailed to 621 medical, pharmacy, and respiratory therapy students at East Tennessee State University for four consecutive weeks in fall 2011. Completing the survey was voluntary and (...) anonymous. Surveys asked about reasons for, frequency of, and side effects of nonprescription misuse of prescription stimulants. Given the sensitive material, an opportunity to win one of ten $50 gift cards was used as an incentive. -/- Results Three hundred seventy-two (59.9%) students completed the survey from three disciplines (47.6% medical, 70.5% pharmacy, and 57.6% respiratory therapy). Overall, 11.3% of responders admitted to misusing prescription stimulants. There was more misuse by respiratory therapy students, although this was not statistically significant (10.9% medicine, 9.7% pharmacy, 26.3% respiratory therapy; P = .087). Reasons for prescription stimulant misuse included to enhance alertness/ energy (65.9%), to improve academic performance (56.7%), to experiment (18.2%), and to use recreationally/get high (4.5%). -/- Conclusions Prescription stimulant misuse was prevalent among participating students, but further research is needed to describe prevalence among future health care workers more generally. The implications and consequences of such misuse require further study across professions with emphasis on investigating issues of academic dishonesty (e.g., “cognitive enhancement”), educational quality, and patient safety or health care quality. (shrink)