This essay asks why Aristotle, certainly no friend to unlimited democracy, seems so much more comfortable with unconstrained rhetoric in political deliberation than current defenders of deliberative democracy. It answers this question by reconstructing and defending a distinctly Aristotelian understanding of political deliberation, one that can be pieced together out of a series of separate arguments made in the Rhetoric, the Politics, and the Nicomachean Ethics.
Background: Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is characterised by abnormal fear and anxiety in social situations. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a brain imaging technique that can be used to illustrate neural activation to emotionally salient stimuli. However, no attempt has yet been made to statistically collate fMRI studies of brain activation, using the activation likelihood-estimate technique, in response to emotion recognition tasks in individuals with social anxiety disorder. Methods: A systematic search of fMRI studies of neural responses to socially (...) emotive cues in SAD and GSP was undertaken. Activation likelihood-estimate (ALE) meta-analysis, a voxel based meta-analytic technique, was used to estimate the most significant activations during emotional recognition. Results: 7 studies were eligible for inclusion in the meta-analysis, constituting a total of 91 subjects with SAD or GSP, and 93 healthy controls. The most significant areas of activation during emotional recognition versus neutral stimuli in individuals with social anxiety disorder compared to controls were: bilateral amygdala, left medial temporal lobe encompassing the entorhinal cortex, left medial aspect of the inferior temporal lobe encompassing perirhinal cortex and parahippocampus, right anterior cingulate, right globus pallidus, and distal tip of right postcentral gyrus. Conclusion: The results are consistent with neuroanatomic models of the role of the amygdala in fear conditioning, and the importance of the limbic circuitry in mediating anxiety symptoms. (shrink)
In this book, Edward Stein offers a clear critical account of the debate about rationality in philosophy and cognitive science. He discusses concepts of rationality--the pictures of rationality on which the debate centers--and assesses the empirical evidence used to argue that humans are irrational. He concludes that the question of human rationality must be answered not conceptually but empirically, using the full resources of an advanced cognitive science. Furthermore, he extends this conclusion to argue that empirical considerations are also (...) relevant to the theory of knowledge--in other words, that epistemology should be naturalized. (shrink)
In the last decade, fierce controversy has arisen over the nature of sexual orientation. Scientific research, religious views, increasingly ambiguous gender roles, and the growing visibility of sexual minorities have sparked impassioned arguments about whether our sexual desires are hard-wired in our genes or shaped by the changing forces of society. In recent years scientific research and popular opinion have favored the idea that sexual orientations are determined at birth, but philosopher and educator Edward Stein argues that much of (...) what we think we know about the origins of sexual desire is probably wrong. Stein provides a comprehensive overview of such research on sexual orientation and shows that it is deeply flawed. Stein argues that this research assumes a picture of sexual desire that reflects unquestioned cultural stereotypes rather than cross-cultural scientific facts, and that it suffers from serious methodological problems. He considers whether sexual orientation is even amenable to empirical study and asks if it is useful for our understanding of human nature to categorize people based on their sexual desires. Perhaps most importantly, Stein examines some of the ethical issues surrounding such research, including gay and lesbian civil rights and the implications of parents trying to select or change the sexual orientation of their children. The Mismeasure of Desire offers a reasoned, accessible, and incisive examination of contemporary thinking about one of the most hotly debated issues of our time and adds a compelling voice of dissent to prevailing--and largely unexamined--assumptions about human sexuality. (shrink)
"Any state exists only for the benefit of human beings. this basic tenet of Edith Stein's political thought rests on her conviction that humanity is fundamentally one community, precious beyond measure.
This is the first book to systematically examine the underlying theory of evidence in Anglo-American legal systems. Stein develops a detailed and innovative theory which sets aside the traditional vision of evidence law as facilitating the discovery of the truth. Combining probability theory, epistemology, economic analysis, and moral philosophy, he argues instead that the fundamental purpose of evidence law is to apportion the risk of error in conditions of uncertainty.
It has been repeatedly argued, most recently by Nicholas Maxwell, that the special theory of relativity is incompatible with the view that the future is in some degree undetermined; and Maxwell contends that this is a reason to reject that theory. In the present paper, an analysis is offered of the notion of indeterminateness (or "becoming") that is uniquely appropriate to the special theory of relativity, in the light of a set of natural conditions upon such a notion; and reasons (...) are given for regarding this conception as (not just formally consistent with relativity theory, but also) philosophically reasonable. The bearings upon Maxwell's program for quantum theory are briefly considered. (shrink)
Cohen (1981) and others have made an interesting argument for the thesis that humans are rational: normative principles of reasoning and actual human reasoning ability cannot diverge because both are determined by the same process involving our intuitions about what constitutes good reasoning as a starting point. Perhaps the most sophisticated version of this argument sees reflective equilibrium as the process that determines both what the norms of reasoning are and what actual cognitive competence is. In this essay, I will (...) evaluate both the general argument that humans are rational and the reflective equilibrium argument for the same thesis. While I find both accounts initially appealing, I will argue that neither successfully establishes that humans are rational. (shrink)
In 1936 Tarski sketched a rigorous definition of the concept of logical consequence which, he claimed, agreed quite well with common usage-or, as he also said, with the common concept of consequence. Commentators of Tarski's paper have usually been elusive as to what this common concept is. However, being clear on this issue is important to decide whether Tarski's definition failed (as Etchemendy has contended) or succeeded (as most commentators maintain). I argue that the common concept of consequence that Tarski (...) tried to characterize is not some general, all-purpose notion of consequence, but a rather precise one, namely the concept of consequence at play in axiomatics. I identify this concept and show that Tarski's definition is fully adequate to it. (shrink)
If, as is not implausible, the correct moral theory is indexed to human capacity for moral reasoning, then the thesis that moral heuristics exist faces a serious objection. This objection can be answered by embracing a wide reflective equilibrium account of the origins of our normative principles of morality.
There is an apparent tension between the open-ended aspect of the ordinal sequence and the assumption that the set-theoretical universe is fully determinate. This tension is already present in Cantor, who stressed the incompletable character of the transfinite number sequence in Grundlagen and avowed the definiteness of the totality of sets and numbers in subsequent philosophical publications and in correspondence. The tension is particularly discernible in his late distinction between sets and inconsistent multiplicities. I discuss Cantor’s contrasting views, and I (...) conclude that his account of that distinction is only tenable if the definiteness of the set-theoretical universe is rejected. Partially supported by the Spanish CICYT, grant MTM 2008–03389. Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the VIII International Ontology Congress in San Sebastian, and at the Seminar in Logic and the Philosophy of Mathematics of the University of Bristol. I wish to thank the participants for their comments. I am also grateful to Joan Bertran, Joan Climent, and one anonymous referee for their careful reading of the paper and their helpful remarks and suggestions. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
Gödel's conclusion that time-travel is possible in his models of Einstein's gravitational theory has been questioned by Chandrasekhar and Wright, and treated as doubtful in the recent philosophical literature. The present note is intended to remove this doubt: a review of Gödel's construction shows that his arguments are entirely correct; and the objection is seen to rest upon a misunderstanding. Computational points treated succinctly by Gödel are here presented in fuller detail. The philosophical significance of Gödel's results is briefly considered, (...) and a set of technical questions is posed whose answers would clarify this significance. (shrink)
George Boolos has described an interpretation of a fragment of ZFC in a consistent second-order theory whose only axiom is a modification of Frege's inconsistent Axiom V. We build on Boolos's interpretation and study the models of a variety of such theories obtained by amending Axiom V in the spirit of a limitation of size principle. After providing a complete structural description of all well-founded models, we turn to the non-well-founded ones. We show how to build models in which foundation (...) fails in prescribed ways. In particular, we obtain models in which every relation is isomorphic to the membership relation on some set as well as models of Aczel's anti-foundation axiom (AFA). We suggest that Fregean extensions provide a natural way to envisage non-well-founded membership. (shrink)
There is an apparent tension between the open-ended aspect of the ordinal sequence and the assumption that the set-theoretical universe is fully determinate. This tension is already present in Cantor, who stressed the incompletable character of the transfinite number sequence in Grundlagen and avowed the definiteness of the totality of sets and numbers in subsequent philosophical publications and in correspondence. The tension is particularly discernible in his late distinction between sets and inconsistent multiplicities. I discuss Cantor’s contrasting views, and I (...) conclude that his account of that distinction is only tenable if the definiteness of the set-theoretical universe is rejected. (shrink)
This paper considers a central objection to evolutionary epistemology. The objection is that biological and epistemic development are not analogous, since while biological variation is blind, epistemic variation is not. The generation of hypotheses, unlike the generation of genotypes, is not random. We argue that this objection is misguided and show how the central analogy of evolutionary epistemology can be preserved. The core of our reply is that much epistemic variation is indeed directed by heuristics, but these heuristics are analogous (...) to biological preadaptations which account for the evolution of complex organs. We also argue that many of these heuristics or epistemic preadaptations are not innate but were themselves generatedby a process of blind variation and selective retention. (shrink)
This article argues that certain philosophically devised quality control parameters should guide approaches to interdisciplinary education. We sketch the kind of reflections we think are necessary in order to produce epistemologically responsible curricula. We suggest that the two overarching epistemic dimensions of levels of analysis and basic viewpoints go a long way towards clarifying the structure of interdisciplinary validity claims. Through a discussion of how best to teach basic ideas about numeracy in Mind, Brain, and Education, we discuss what it (...) means for an interdisciplinary curriculum to respect both the minds of students and the complexity of the subject matter. (shrink)
In this paper, the author considers an argument against the thesis that humans are irrational in the sense that we reason according to principles that differ from those we ought to follow. The argument begins by noting that if humans are irrational, we should not trust the results of our reasoning processes. If we are justified in believing that humans are irrational, then, since this belief results from a reasoning process, we should not accept this belief. The claim that humans (...) are irrational is, thus, self-undermining. The author shows that this argument--and others like it--fails for several interesting reasons. In fact, there is nothing self-undermining about the claim that humans are irrational; empirical research to establish this claim does not face the sorts of a priori problems that some philosophers and psychologists have claimed it does. (shrink)
Understanding the origins of evil behaviour is one of our most important intellectual tasks. A distinction can perhaps be drawn between overt sadistic cruelty and the lack of empathy to suffering that is a hallmark of evil. There is increasing data available on the prevalence, proximal psychobiological underpinnings, and distal evolutionary basis for these contrasting phenomena.
Enzymes are protein catalysts of extraordinary efficiency, capable of bringing about rate enhancements of their biochemical reactions that can approach factors of 1020. Theories of enzyme catalysis, which seek to explain the means by which enzymes effect catalytic transformation of the substrate molecules on which they work, have evolved over the past century from the “lock-and-key” model proposed by Emil Fischer in 1894 to models that explicitly rely on transition state theory to the most recent theories that strive to provide (...) accounts that stress the essential role of protein dynamics. In this paper, I attempt to construct a metaphysical framework within which these new models of enzyme catalysis can be developed. This framework is constructed from key doctrines of process thought, which gives ontologic priority to becoming over being, as well as tenets of a process philosophy of chemistry, which stresses environmentally responsive molecular transformation. Enzyme catalysis can now be seen not as enzyme acting on its substrate, but rather as enzyme and substrate entering into a relation which allows them to traverse the reaction coordinate as an ontologic unity. (shrink)
This paper examines the effects of environmental factors on the ethical behavior of managers using computers at work in Mainland China. In this study, environmental factors refer to senior management, peer groups, company policies, professional practices, and legal considerations. Ethical behaviors include attitudes to disclosure, protection of privacy, conflict of interest, personal conduct, social responsibility, and integrity. A questionnaire survey was used for data collection, and 125 mainland Chinese managers participated in the study. The results show that peer groups, professional (...) practices, and legal considerations do influence the ethical behavior of mainland Chinese managers in the areas of social responsibility, integrity, and accountability. A discussion of the implications of the results is also provided in this paper. (shrink)