The UK Medical Research Council, in order to further its mission of maintaining and improving human health, supports a substantial number of clinical trials on a wide variety of medical questions; some of these trials involve the use of placebos as controls or to maintain blinding. Before providing support, proposed trials are carefully reviewed to assess scientific quality, and to determine whether a placebo is required and is ethical — in addition to ethics review by independent Research Ethics Committees. Some (...) questions such as the choice of placebos in trials in developing countries, in surgical trials and those involving alternative medicine require consideration of additional, specific issues. Involvement of consumers in MRC work has been increasing and includes the establishment of a Consumer Liaison Group; members of this group comment on patient information leaflets for clinical trials, helping to improve patient understanding of trials and ensuring topics like placebo use are explained clearly. Views differ on the value of placebos in clinical care and on their mechanism of action; continuing research is helping to clarify the issues. (shrink)
Recognized in his day as a man of letters equaling Rousseau and Voltaire in France and rivaling Samuel Johnson, David Hume passed from favor in the Victorian age--his work, it seemed, did not pursue Truth but rather indulged in popularization. Although Hume is once more considered as one of the greatest British philosophers, scholars now tend to focus on his thought rather than his writing. To round out our understanding of Hume, M. A. Box in this book charts the interrelated (...) development of Hume's literary ambitions, theories of style, and compositional practice from his Treatise in 1739 through the Enquiries. In so doing, Box makes the case for Hume's career-long concern with the presentational modes of reaching an audience for his philosophical writings. Hume reacted to the popular failure of his masterpiece, A Treatise of Human Nature, Box suggests, by self-consciously exploring strategies in his subsequent works for agreeably bringing his readership to participate in the act of philosophizing. Combining a sensitive grasp of the ways Restoration period and eighteenth-century writers conceived the relations between rhetoric and philosophy with sound readings of particular texts, Box shows how Hume's literary concerns went beyond matters of style to involve persona, structure, and doctrine. While this book helps explain long-standing ambiguities surrounding Hume, especially by pointing out the tension between his created persona and his own voice, it also serves as an excellent introduction to his philosophy. (shrink)
Kant, having identified the formulas of the supreme principle of morality, offers a succinct explanation of their interrelation. What Kant says is, “The above three ways of representing the principle of morality are at bottom only so many formulae of the very same law, and any one of them of itself unites the other two in it.”1 This claim – hereafter the “Unity Claim” – plays the role of the eccentric cousin in the family of Kant’s ethics: although glaringly present, (...) it is little spoken of, but seldom disowned. Most commentators, at any rate, focus their attention on more important matters, such as the content of the individual formulas, the moral psychology, or the deduction of freedom. Such matters are sufficiently absorbing to leave the Unity Claim often passed over without remark. But the Unity Claim should not be ignored. Kant does assert it, which compels us to attempt to find a place for it in his moral theory. It would seem to constrain the interpretation of the other, more momentous issues. How one interprets the content of the categorical imperative, in particular, would seem to be significantly restricted by the Unity Claim; one could not, given the Unity Claim, offer a complete interpretation of any single formula without also at least referring to the other formulas. And, as I shall argue in Part III below, the Unity Claim is no accident. Kant is committed to the Unity Claim by virtue of some basic features of his moral theory. This paper will thus offer what amounts to an extended commentary on the Unity Claim. I shall review the various suggestions of what it might mean, and how it might, or might not, be accommodated within Kant’s moral theory. The structure of this paper will be as such. Part II will examine the two main strategies for including the Unity Claim within Kant’s moral theory, and explain why they are both inadequate. Part III will examine the other main approach to the 2 Unity Claim: giving up on it.. (shrink)
A newly emerged field within economics, known as geographical economics claims to have provided a unified approach to the study of spatial agglomerations at different spatial scales by showing how these can be traced back to the same basic economic mechanisms. We analyze this contemporary episode of explanatory unification in relation to major philosophical accounts of unification. In particular, we examine the role of argument patterns in unifying derivations, the role of ontological convictions and mathematical structures in shaping unification, the (...) distinction between derivational and ontological unification, the issue of how explanation and unification relate and finally the idea that unification comes in degrees. (shrink)
The information-theoretic point of view proposed by Leibniz in 1686 and developed by algorithmic information theory (AIT) suggests that mathematics and physics are not that different. This will be a first-person account of some doubts and speculations about the nature of mathematics that I have entertained for the past three decades, and which have now been incorporated in a digital philosophy paradigm shift that is sweeping across the sciences.
Philosophical naturalism faces a dilemma: take it as an ideology, and you face charges of internal incoherence, since the ideological stance itself does not look to be a deliverance of science. Forgo the ideological aspect, on the other hand, and naturalism becomes a merely subjective assessment, a cry of “yay for science!” that carries no normative weight for those who are not inclined to agree. I ﬁrst argue that both horns of this dilemma are sharp, and that current attempts to (...) negotiate them have failed. I then give a plausible construal of methodological naturalism that is both ideological and internally coherent, and so threads this dilemma. Finally, I consider objections to this formulation of naturalism. (shrink)
The following review by "Crito" was reproduced in shortened form in 1888 (Dibdin, Annals, 89-90) and is not now readily available. It is transcribed and edited here as illustrative of the events prompting David Hume's dedication to John Home of Four Dissertations in 1757. The possibility that Crito was in fact Hume deserves exploring, though the question remains speculative given the evidence available.The review appeared as a letter in the Caledonian Mercury and the Edinburgh Evening Courant, both on 18 December (...) 1756, on the day of the fourth performance of Home's Douglas at what was then openly called a theater. Until recently the theater had been carefully denominated the "Concert-hall, Canongate," wherein .. (shrink)
The fundamental issue dividing Pro- and Anti-abortionists is the question of whether or not the foetus/unborn child is to be regarded as a human being, a person with a right to life. An answer to this question which would satisfy both disputants must be developed in a consistent way from beliefs that are shared between them. I outline these shared beliefs (viz., attitudes towards potential life, and, how and when the value of life is realised by an individual) and argue (...) that the quickening of the foetus is the point at which the adoption of a moral attitude towards it is consistent with both the Pro- and the Antiabortionist standpoint. (shrink)
Hi everybody! It's a great pleasure for me to be back here at the new, improved Santa Fe Institute in this spectacular location. I guess this is my fourth visit and it's always very stimulating, so I'm always very happy to visit you guys. I'd like to tell you what I've been up to lately. First of all, let me say what algorithmic information theory is good for, before telling you about the new version of it I've got.
The interactivist approach to development generates a framework of types of constraints on what can be constructed. The four constraint types are based on: (1) what the constructed systems are about; (2) the representational relationship itself; (3) the nature of the systems being constructed; and (4) the process of construction itself. We give illustrations of each constraint type. Any developmental theory needs to acknowledge all four types of constraint; however, some current theories conflate different types of constraint, or rely on (...) a single constraint type to explicate development. Such theories will be inherently unable to explain important aspects of development. (shrink)
In 2004, the United States Sentencing Commission amended the Federal Sentencing Guidelines to allow firms that create “effective compliance and ethics programs” to receive better treatment if prosecuted for fraud. Effective compliance and ethics, however, appear to be limited to activities focused on complying with the firms’ internal legal and ethical standards. We explored a potential connection between the firms’ external corporate social responsibility (CSR) behaviors and internal compliance: Is there an organizationally valid relationship between these two firm activities? That (...) is, when organizations demonstrate CSR with behaviors external to the firm, such as employee volunteerism, are their employees more likely to demonstrate uncompromised legal and ethical compliance behavior internally? We collected data from 164 working professionals enrolled in a top-tier MBA program in the southeastern United States regarding their employer-sponsored volunteer activities and their intentions to comply in various organizational compliance vignettes. We found that employer-sponsored volunteerism is associated with uncompromised compliance choices in one of the three vignettes. This finding indicates preliminary support for further inquiry into the relationship within the firm between external CSR behaviors and policies regarding organizational compliance. Post hoc analyses suggest that employer-sponsored volunteerism is strongly associated with a positive organizational identity, but organizational identity is not associated with the significant compliance vignette. This evidence suggests that the underlying mechanism that connects external CSR behaviors and internal compliance intentions is complex and requires future study. (shrink)
My intention in this paper is to present a schema for understanding ï¿½sthetic transactions. (By 'ï¿½sthetic transactions' I mean to refer to the artist's creation of a work of art and the audience's appreciation of it). For Kant a schema was a rule or principle that enables the under- standing to apply its categories. I am using this term in a narrower sense but in the same spirit : The schema to be considered is to serve as a principle which (...) will allow us to grasp in a definitive fashion the special character of ï¿½sthetic transactions. (shrink)
Are you fascinated by some basic questions about science, technology, and our future? Questions like: Is cryonics technically feasible? When will nanoassemblers be feasible and how quickly will resulting changes come? Does a larger population help or hinder the world environment and economy? Will uploading be possible, and if so when? When can I live in space? Where will I be able to live free from tyranny? When will A.I.s be bucking for my job? Is there intelligent life beyond earth? (...) If you are like most Extropy readers, such question matter to you. Now how do we, as a society, go about answering such questions? People who have an appropriate background, and who are interested enough in a particular question, can research that subject in depth themselves, and come to a considered opinion. And people who happen to know, respect, and trust such a person can simply take those opinions as their own, avoiding all the hard work. But what is everyone else to do, people whose actions often implicitly depend on such questions? In practice, people usually defer to larger social institutions on most questions, institutions which combine and evaluate contributions from many specialists, and which offer apparent institutional consensus estimates on many different questions. (shrink)
The first form of the inside-outside dichotomy appears as a self-encapsulated system with an active border. These systems are based on two complementary but asymmetric processes: constructive and interactive. The former physically constitute the system as a recursive network of component production, defining an inside. The maintenance of the constructive processes implies that the internal organization also constrains certain flows of matter and energy across the border of the system, generating interactive processes. These interactive processes ensure the maintenance of the (...) constructive processes thus specifying a meaningful outside. Upon this basic form of identity formation, the evolutionary and historical domain is open for the emergence of a whole hierarchy and ecology of insides and outsides. These which mutually subsume and collaborate in the maintenance of the essential inside-outside dichotomy that defines the conditions of possibility of the subjects and the worlds they generate. (shrink)
I would like to begin by welcoming all of you and by saying how nice it is to be President of the AAP NZ DIV or (the altervative Title) and to be addressing you tonight in that capacity. As I began writing this it occurred to me that every former Secretary of this Association must have asked themselves at some time just how meaningful this automatic honour of becoming President the following year actually is. Certainly it is an advantage to (...) be able to deliver your paper first, and to command a decent audience, but I feel that occupying the office of President could be made into something rather special if the following practice, which I intend to inaugurate tonight, were to become an established custom. (shrink)
Sex and sensibility: The role of social selection Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9464-6 Authors Erika L. Milam, Department of History, University of Maryland, 2115 Francis Scott Key Hall, College Park, MD 20742, USA Roberta L. Millstein, Department of Philosophy, University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA Angela Potochnik, Department of Philosophy, University of Cincinnati, P.O. Box 210374, Cincinnati, OH 45221, USA Joan E. Roughgarden, Department of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5020, USA Journal Metascience (...) Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796. (shrink)
By way of an example, Lewis imagines your being invited to join Schrödinger’s cat in its box for an hour. This box will either fill up with deadly poison fumes or not, depending on whether or not some radioactive atom decays, the probability of decay within an hour being 50%. The invitation is accompanied with some further incentive to comply (Lewis sets it up so there is a significant chance of some pretty bad but not life-threatening punishment if you don’t (...) get in the box). Lewis argues that the many minds theory implies that you should get in the box with the cat, despite this making it 50% likely you will die. (shrink)
The article seeks to consider the relationship between hope and utopianism by looking at the ancient Greek myth of Pandora's Box, with its enigmatic figure of hope. It begins by considering Hesiod's influential formulation of the myth, before examining a range of modern interpretations in which diverse conceptions of hope are to be found. Using the work of Spinoza, Hume and Day an alternative conception of hope is proposed that conjoins hope with fear. This is followed by an exploration of (...) the utopian, using this time another figure associated with the myth, Prometheus. An attempt is then made to differentiate the frequently conflated concepts of hope and the utopian. Finally, in the spirit of recent post-secularism, the two concepts are brought to bear on the nature of religion. (shrink)
In this paper I characterize the problem of first-person authority as it confronts the proponent of the belief box conception of belief, and I develop the groundwork for a belief box account of that authority. If acceptable, the belief box account calls into question (by undermining a popular motivation for) the thesis that first-person authority is not to be traced to a truth-tracking relation between first-person opinions themselves and the beliefs which they are about.
I argue that Graham Priest's story 'Sylvan's Box' has an attractive consistent reading. Priest's hope that this story can be used as an example of a non-trivial 'essentially inconsistent' story is thus threatened. I then make some observations about the role 'Sylvan's Box' might play in a theory of unreliable narrators.
Even where an act appears to be responsible, and satisfies all the conditions for responsibility laid down by society, the response to it may be unjust where that appearance is false, and where those conditions are insufficient. This paper argues that those who want to place considerations of responsibility at the centre of distributive and criminal justice ought to take this concern seriously. The common strategy of relying on what Susan Hurley describes as a 'black box of responsibility' has the (...) advantage of not taking responsibility considerations to be irrelevant merely because some specific account of responsibility is mistaken. It can, furthermore, cope perfectly well with an absence of responsibility, even of the global sort implied by hard determinism and other strongly sceptical accounts. Problems for the black box view come in where responsibility is present, but in a form that is curtailed in one significant regard or another. The trick, then, is to open the box of responsibility just enough that its contents can be the basis for judgements of justice. I identify three 'moderately sceptical' forms of compatibilism that cannot ground judgements of justice, and are therefore expunged by the strongest 'grey box' view. (shrink)
In Darwin's Black Box: The BiochemicalChallenge to Evolution I argued thatpurposeful intelligent design, rather thanDarwinian natural selection, better explainssome aspects of the complexity that modernscience has discovered at the molecularfoundation of life. In the five years since itspublication the book has been widely discussedand has received considerable criticism. Here Irespond to what I deem to be the mostfundamental objections. In the first part ofthe article I address empirical criticismsbased on experimental studies alleging eitherthat biochemical systems I discussed are notirreducibly complex (...) or that similar systemshave been demonstrated to be able to evolve byDarwinian processes. In the remainder of thearticle I address methodological concerns,including whether a claim of intelligent designis falsifiable and whether intelligent designis a permissible scientific conclusion. (shrink)
In economics, models are built to answer specific questions. Each type of question requires its own type of models; in other words, it defines the requirements that a model should meet and thereby instructs how the models should be built. An explanation is an answer to a ‘why’-question. In economics, this answer is provided by a white-box model. To answer a ‘how much’-question, which is asking for a measurement, economists can make use of black-box models. Economic phenomena are often (...) so complex that white-box models that should function as explanations for them appear not to be intelligible. So, for questions concerning understanding - e.g. ‘Can you clarify this phenomenon‘’ ‘Can you tell me what would happen if‘’ - it would appear that grey-box models are more adequate. This implies a twofold revision of de Regt and Dieks’s (2005) criteria for understanding phenomena. First, whenever the term ‘theory’ is used it should be substituted by ‘model’. Secondly, the Criterion for the Intelligibility of Models (CIM) is now simplified as: ‘A model M is intelligible for economists (in context C) if they have built M as a grey-box construction’. A grey-box construction implies that they ‘can recognize qualitatively characteristic consequences of M without performing exact calculations’. (shrink)
A mathematical theory is proposed and exemplified, which covers an extended class of black boxes. Every kind of stimulus and response is pictured by a channel connecting the box with its environment. The input-output relation is given by a postulate schema according to which the response is, in general, a nonlinear functional of the input. Several examples are worked out: the perfectly transmitting box, the damping box, and the amplifying box. The theory is shown to be (a) an extension of (...) the S-matrix theory and the accompanying channel picture as developed in microphysics; (b) abstract and applicable to any problem involving the transactions of a system (physical, biological, social, etc.) with its milieu; (c) superficial, because unconcerned with either the structure of the box or the nature of the stimuli and responses. The motive for building the theory was to show the capabilities and limitations of the phenomenological approach. (shrink)
It has been argued, partly from the lack of any widely accepted solution to the measurement problem, and partly from recent results from quantum information theory, that measurement in quantum theory is best treated as a black box. However, there is a crucial difference between ‘having no account of measurement' and ‘having no solution to the measurement problem'. We know a lot about measurements. Taking into account this knowledge sheds light on quantum theory as a theory of information and computation. (...) In particular, the scheme of ‘one-way quantnum computation' takes on a new character in light of the role that reference frames play in actually carrying out any one-way quantum comptuation. ‡Thanks to audiences at the PSA and the Centre for Time, University of Sydney, for helpful comments and questions. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
The complexity of crisis situations allows for corporate responses to create multiple interpretations for organizational stakeholders concerning crisis evidence, the organization's intentions, and the locus of responsibility. Hence, organizations have the ability to emphasize an interpretation where the organization is viewed most favorably. Using Jack in the Box as a case study, we apply stakeholder theory to ascertain the ethical implications of employing strategic ambiguity in organizational crisis communication. We conclude that the crisis response provided by Jack in the Box's (...) leaders was ethically questionable in the areas of evidence, intent, and locus because the ambiguity they introduced privileged their financial stakeholders over others. Ultimately, this strategic use of ambiguity diminished the deliberative ability of Jack in the Box's publics. (shrink)
Embryonic development and ontogeny occupy whatis often depicted as the black box betweengenes – the genotype – and the features(structures, functions, behaviors) of organisms– the phenotype; the phenotype is not merelya one-to-one readout of the genotype. Thegenes home, context, and locus of operation isthe cell. Initially, in ontogeny, that cell isthe single-celled zygote. As developmentensues, multicellular assemblages of like cells(modules) progressively organized as germlayers, embryonic fields, anlage,condensations, or blastemata, enable genes toplay their roles in development and evolution.As modules, condensations are (...) fundamentaldevelopmental and selectable units ofmorphology (morphogenetic units) that mediateinteractions between genotype and phenotype viaevolutionary developmental mechanisms. In ahierarchy of emergent processes, gene networksand gene cascades (genetic modules) link thegenotype with morphogenetic units such ascondensations, while epigenetic processes suchas embryonic inductions, tissue interactionsand functional integration, link morphogeneticunits to the phenotype. To support theseconclusions I distinguish units of heredityfrom units of transmission and discussepigenetic inheritance by tracing the historyof relationship between embryology andevolution, especially the role(s) assigned tocells or to cellular components in generatingtheories of morphological change in evolution.The concept of cells as modular morphogeneticunits is modeled and illustrated using themammalian dentary bone. (shrink)
The photon box thought experiment can be considered a forerunner of the EPR-experiment: by performing suitable measurements on the box it is possible to ``prepare'' the photon, long after it has escaped, in either of two complementary states. Consistency requires that the corresponding box measurements be complementary as well. At first sight it seems, however, that these measurements can be jointly performed with arbitrary precision: they pertain to different systems (the center of mass of the box and an internal clock, (...) respectively). But this is deceptive. As we show by explicit calculation, although the relevant quantities are simultaneously measurable, they develop non-vanishing commutators when calculated back to the time of escape of the photon. This justifies Bohr's qualitative arguments in a precise way; and it illustrates how the details of the dynamics conspire to guarantee the requirements of complementarity. In addition, our calculations exhibit a ``fine structure'' in the distribution of the uncertainties over the complementary quantities: depending on when the box measurement is performed, the resulting quantum description of the photon differs. This brings us close to the argumentation of the later EPR thought experiment. (shrink)
NOTES: Based on the book Socrates on trial written by Andrew Irvine and published by the University of Toronto Press. Performed at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, May 31-June 7, 2008. CONTENTS: Trailer, Who was Socrates?, Selected scenes, The production, Credits. UBC Library Catalogue Permanent URL: http://resolve.library.ubc.ca/cgi-bin/catsearch?bid=3956307.
The paper aims at reconstructing the sequence of works through which the fixed-point technique entered the tool-box of modern economics and at establishing a link between this sequence and the neoclassical approach to economic modeling. The focus is on the change in the demonstration techniques caused by the spread of the so-called formalist approach to mathematical economics; this change was embodied by the fixed-point technique. The main conclusions of the paper are that the formalist revolution marked a dramatic discontinuity in (...) the history of economic theory and that early game theory - despite having been the gateway through which the fixed-point entered economics - was only partly responsible for such a discontinuity. (shrink)
We describe a research on the interplay that appears to exist in companies between Human Resource Management and innovation. This complex, multicomponent, non-linear and dynamic interplay is often viewed as a "black box". To help open the black box, we outline both a theoretical framework and preliminary empirical data. We view innovation as an organization-level property, favored by the organization's self-perception as a knowledge engine. Therefore, we devised a protocol to study the companies' strategies for training and development and their (...) innovation profile. The protocol consisted in a questionnaire with 100 closed questions, suitable for companies which rely mostly on an inner training and development service. The questionnaire was administered to a sample of Italian firms from the Food & beverages and Fashion markets. The results show that certain facets of training and development are indeed correlated to innovation. Finally, we discuss the results. (shrink)
The project of constructing a logic of scientific inference on the basis of mathematical probability theory was first undertaken in a systematic way by the mid-nineteenth-century British logicians Augustus De Morgan, George Boole and William Stanley Jevons. This paper sketches the origins and motivation of that effort, the emergence of the inverse probability (IP) model of theory assessment, and the vicissitudes which that model suffered at the hands of its critics. Particular emphasis is given to the influence which competing interpretations (...) of probability had on the project, and to the role of the 'lottery' or 'ballot box' metaphor in the philosophical imagination of the proponents of the IP model. (shrink)
In Danto's view, Andy Warhol's Brillo Box was not only a radical attack on traditional definitions of the art work; it brought the history of Western art to a close. In this collection of interconnected essays, he grapples with this and many more of the most challenging issues in art today, from the problems of contemporary pluralism to the dilemmas of censorship and state support for artists.
Hospital ethics committees (HECs) and ethicists generally describe themselves as engaged in four domains of practice: case consultation, research, education, and policy work. Despite the increasing attention to quality indicators, practice standards, and evaluation methods for the other domains, comparatively little is known or published about the policy work of HECs or ethicists. This article attempts to open the ?black box? of this health care ethics practice by providing two detailed case examples of ethics policy reviews. We also describe the (...) development and application of an evaluation strategy to assess the quality of ethics policy review work, and to enable continuous improvement of ethics policy review processes. Given the potential for policy work to impact entire patient populations and organizational systems, it is imperative that HECs and ethicists develop clearer roles, responsibilities, procedural standards, and evaluation methods to ensure the delivery of consistent, relevant, and high-quality ethics policy reviews. (shrink)
This essay presents a construct of constitutionalism. This is to do with more than a ?constitution?, or a ?corporate organisation?, or ?majority rule?. Constitutionalism is marked by a particular type of corporate rule, featuring a persistent (continuing) popular sovereignty, in which all who are governed are members, have a duty of mutual respect, enjoy an equal share in the vote, and are equally subject to the law. Under constitutionalism, the sovereign is perceived as bound by rules (in law) which that (...) sovereign cannot rise above. Constitutionalism underscores a procedure of non?exclusion, public rationality, and transparency. It is assumed to supply the most suitable philosophical and legal framework for most ?multiculturalist? theses. The essay extracts from British constitutional practice what it locates as the ?despatch?box? regime, and argues for this as a key principle in the management of all constitutionalist entities, including the European Union. (shrink)
Utilizing the writings of Pierre Bourdieu and Sheldon Wolin,this paper introduces a special issue on ``Educational Rights andEntitlements.'' Its purpose is to characterize and critique `the box ofliberalism' that both advances and constrains what is conceived andenacted in education. Following it are a set of significantcontributions from the sixth biennial conference of the InternationalNetwork of Philosophers of Education, August 1998, Ankara.
John Searle's Chinese room argument is perhaps the most influential andwidely cited argument against artificial intelligence (AI). Understood astargeting AI proper â claims that computers can think or do thinkâ Searle's argument, despite its rhetorical flash, is logically andscientifically a dud. Advertised as effective against AI proper, theargument, in its main outlines, is an ignoratio elenchi. It musterspersuasive force fallaciously by indirection fostered by equivocaldeployment of the phrase "strong AI" and reinforced by equivocation on thephrase "causal powers" (at least) equal (...) to those of brains." On a morecarefully crafted understanding â understood just to targetmetaphysical identification of thought with computation ("Functionalism"or "Computationalism") and not AI proper the argument is still unsound,though more interestingly so. It's unsound in ways difficult for high churchâ "someday my prince of an AI program will come" â believersin AI to acknowledge without undermining their high church beliefs. The adhominem bite of Searle's argument against the high church persuasions of somany cognitive scientists, I suggest, largely explains the undeserved reputethis really quite disreputable argument enjoys among them. (shrink)
The following text is the first ever translation into English of a writing by German phenomenologist Hermann Schmitz (*1928). In it, Schmitz outlines and defends a non-mentalistic view of emotions as phenomena in interpersonal space in conjunction with a theory of the felt body’s constitutive involvement in human experience. In the first part of the text, Schmitz gives an overview covering some central pieces of his theory as developed, for the most part, in his massive System of Philosophy, published in (...) German in a series of volumes between 1964 and 1980. Schmitz’s System is centred on the claim that the contemporary view of the human subject is the result of a consequential historical process: A reductionist and ‘introjectionist’ objectification of lived experience culminating in the ‘invention’ of the mind (or ‘soul’) as a private, inner realm of subjective experience and in a corresponding ‘grinding down’ of the world of lived experienced to a meagre, value-neutral ‘objective reality’. To counter this intellectualist trend, Schmitz puts to use his approach to phenomenology with the aim of regaining a sensibility for the nuanced realities of lived experience—hoping to make up for what was lost during the development of Western intellectual culture. Since both this text and the overall style of Schmitz’s philosophising are in several ways unusual for a contemporary readership, a brief introduction is provided by philosophers Jan Slaby and Rudolf Owen Müllan, the latter of whom translated Schmitz’s text into English. The introduction emphasises aspects of Schmitz’s philosophy that are likely to be of relevance to contemporary scholars of phenomenological philosophy and to its potential applications in science and society. (shrink)
In my ‘Seven Sins of Pseudo-Science’ (Journal for General Philosophy of Science 1993) I argued against Grünbaum that Freud commits all Seven Sins of Pseudo-Science. Yet how does Freud manage to fool many people, including such a sophisticated person as Grünbaum? My answer is that Freud is a sophisticated pseudo-scientist, using all Seven Strategies of the Sophisticated Pseudo-Scientist to keep up appearances, to wit, (1) the Humble Empiricist, (2) the Severe Selfcriticism, (3) the Unbiased Me, (4) the Striking but Irrelevant (...) Example, (5) the Proof Given Elsewhere, (6) the Favorable Compromise, and (7) the Display of Methodological Sophistication. One should note that not all strategies are disreputable in themselves. But all are used very cunningly so as to hide weaknesses in Freud's arguments. To be fair, quite a few of his methodological remarks are sophisticated enough. As Freud combines these sophisticated remarks with an appalling methodology in practice, I call him a sophisticated pseudo-scientist. I do not claim that these rhetorical strategies are specific to him. (shrink)
he most worrisome skeptical doubt Descartes raises in the first of his Meditations is the hypothesis of an evil deceiver. While it might seem plainly certain and indubitable that he is “sitting by the fire, wearing a winter cloak, holding this paper” in his hands, and so on, it is possible that all these—fire, cloak, paper, even hands—are illusions. “I will suppose, then, not that there is a supremely good God, the source of truth; but that there is an evil (...) spirit, who is supremely powerful and intelligent, and does his utmost to deceive me. I will suppose that sky, air, earth, colors, shapes, sounds and all external objects are mere delusive dreams, by means of which he lays snares for my credulity.”. (shrink)
Joan Scott's poststructuralist critique of experience demonstrates the dangers of empiricist narratives of experience but leaves feminists without a meaningful way to engage nonempiricist, experience-oriented texts, texts that constitute many women's primary means of taking control over their own representation. Using Chandra Mohanty's analysis of the role of writing in Third World feminisms, I articulate a concept of experience that incorporates poststructuralist insights while enabling a more responsible reading of Third World women's narratives.
There is little doubt that the development and commercialisation of nanotechnologies is challenging traditional state-based regulatory regimes. Yet governments currently appear to be taking a non-interventionist approach to directly regulating this emerging technology. This paper argues that a large regulatory toolbox is available for governing this small technology and that as nanotechnologies evolve, many regulatory advances are likely to occur outside of government. It notes the scientific uncertainties facing us as we contemplate nanotechnology regulatory matters and then examines the notion (...) of regulation itself, suggesting new ways to frame our understanding of both regulation and the regulatory tools relevant to nanotechnologies. By drawing upon three different conceptual lenses of regulation, the paper articulates a wide range of potential regulatory tools at hand. It also focuses particularly on the ways various tools are currently being used or perhaps may be employed in the future. The strengths and weaknesses characterising these tools is examined as well as the different actors involved. The paper concludes that we will increasingly face debate over what is likely to work most effectively in regulating nano technologies, the legitimacy of these different potential approaches, and the speed at which these different regimes may be employed. (shrink)
Across mammals, when fathers matter, as they did for hunter-gatherers, sex-similar pair-bonding mechanisms evolve. Attachment fertility theory can explain Schmitt's and other findings as resulting from a system of mechanisms affording pair-bonding in which promiscuous seeking is part. Departures from hunter-gatherer environments (e.g., early menarche, delayed marriage) can alter dating trajectories, thereby impacting mating outside of pair-bonds.
In this paper, I take up the question to what extent and in which sense we can conceive of Johannes Baptista Van Helmont’s (1579-1644) style of experimenting as “modern”. Connected to this question, I shall reflect upon what Van Helmont’s precise contribution to experimental practice was. I will argue - after analysing some of Van Helmont's experiments such as his tree-experiment, ice-experiment, and thermoscope experiment - that Van Helmont had a strong preference to locate experimental designs in places wherein variables (...) can be more easily controlled (and in the limit, in relatively closed physical systems such as paradigmatically the vessel, globe or sphere (vas, globus, sphera)). After having reviewed some alternative candidates, I shall argue that Van Helmont’s usage of relatively isolated physical systems and a moderate degree of quantification, whereby mathematical procedures mainly refer to guaranteeing that quantities are conserved by roughly determining them, are the characteristics that best captures his contributions to “modern” experimentation. (shrink)
Bickle argues for both a narrow causal reductionism, and a broader ontological-explanatory reductionism. The former is more successful than the latter. I argue that the central and unsolved problem in Bickle's approach to reductionism involves the nature of psychological terms. Investigating why the broader reductionism fails indicates ways in which phenomenology remains more than a handmaiden of neuroscience.
An empirical procedure is suggested for testing a model that postulates variables that intervene between observed causes and abserved effects against a model that includes no such postulate. The procedure is applied to two experiments in psychology. One involves a conditioning regimen that leads to response generalization; the other concerns the question of whether chimpanzees have a theory of mind.
While the activity of imagination is present in much writing about environmental ethics, little direct attention has been given to clarifying its role. Both its significant presence and provocative theoretical work showing the central role of imagination in ethics suggest a need for discussion of its contributions. Environmental ethicists especially should attend to imagination because of the pervasive influence of metaphorical constructs of nature and because imaginative work is required to even partially envision the perspective of a nonhuman being. Without (...) clear awareness of the limits of contemporary Western metaphoric constructs of nature, environmental ethicists may overlook or even contribute to the cultural extinction of ideas of nature present in the imaginative visions of indigenous cultures. In this article, I briefly review the reasons why the dominant Western philosophical tradition ranks imagination below the power of abstract reasoning, survey contemporary ideas about the role of imagination in ethics, and consider the implications of these ideas for environmental ethics. The work of imaginative empathy in constructing what might be the experience of nonhuman beings, the role of diverse metaphors and symbols in understanding nature, and the process of envisioning the possible future are developed as three central contributions of imagination to environmental ethics. Imaginative work is not peripheral, butcomplementary to the work of reason in shaping an environmental ethic. (shrink)
This paper responds to Professor John McMurtry, primarily to his critique (Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 44, 2003) of my recent book, Economics as Moral Science (Springer-Verlag, 2001). Although agreeing with my attribution of a moral a priorism to orthodox or neo-classical economics, McMurtry takes issue with my conversion thesis, that ana priori, ethically committed theory can be transformed into a testable empirical science of actual behaviour through the application of institutional constraints to individual motivations. McMurtry views such a thesis (...) as logically possible but morally abhorrent. In so doing, he ascribes a version of economic determinism to me which, he claims, leads me to mistakenly understand the neo-classical paradigm as circumscribing the boundaries of reality itself and thereby entrenching the life-destructive values presupposed by this paradigm. I reject such a reading of Economics as Moral Science and explain the manner in which it is inconsistent both with the theoretical substance and practical agenda of my work. I propose that the irreducible basis of disagreement remains one wherein I believe that a more radical reform of the capitalist market order is mandatory to establish more defensible moral ideals than does McMurtry. My reply closes by recommending a constitutional partitioning of material goods such that we may more securely act outside the ethical constraints of neo-classical theory. (shrink)
Crucial to bayesian contributions to the philosophy of science has been a characteristic psychology, according to which investigators harbor degree of confidence assignments that (insofar as the agents are rational) obey the axioms of the probability calculus. The rub is that, if the evidence of introspection is to be trusted, this fruitful psychology is false: actual investigators harbor no such assignments. The orthodox bayesian response has been to argue that the evidence of introspection is not to be trusted here; it (...) is to investigators' dispositions--not to their felt convictions--that the psychology is meant to be (and succeeds in being) faithful. I argue that this response, in both its orthodox and convex-set bayesian forms, should be rejected--as should the regulative ideals that make the response seem so attractive. I offer a different variant of bayesianism, designed to give the evidence of introspection its due and thus realize (as I claim the other forms of bayesianism cannot) the prescriptive mission of the bayesian project. (shrink)
Organizational cybernetics offers theoretical and methodological support for self-organizing communities seeking to contribute to the conscious evolution of society. Previous experiences with the Viable Systems Model (VSM) and Team Syntegrity (TS) illustrate ways of enabling social networks to create a shared language, reach democratic agreements, and develop knowledge networks.
Post-secondary students in the applied professions (e.g., business, education, psychology) often see the value of creativity to their future work, but have never had the opportunity to critically examine their assumptions about creativity. A more critically examined and substantiated understanding of creativity can go a long way in helping pre-professional students consider how creativity might be best applied and cultivated in their future professional work. The purpose of this article is to discuss how principles of critical thinking can be brought (...) to bear on understanding creativity. First, a discussion of the importance of critically examining the basic assumptions surrounding creativity will be presented. Then, a pedagogical framework for incorporating critical thinking into the examination of creativity will follow. Finally, an example of how the model might: be used with post-secondary students will be presented, followed by a brief conclusion. (shrink)