Suppose that a school restricts student expression critical of homosexual conduct yet allows or actively supports student expression that promotes acceptance and tolerance of gays and lesbians. Can such a policy be justified if the anti-gay speech disrupts the educational environment of the school while the pro-gay speech does not? Or does the differential treatment of anti-gay and pro-gay speech constitute unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination because it distorts the marketplace of ideas within the school? Can viewpoint discrimination ever be justified on (...) the ground that anti-gay speech invades the rights of others under Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, 393 U.S. 503 (1969)? These were among the questions debated by Judges Reinhardt and Kozinski in the Ninth Circuit's now-vacated panel opinion in Harper v. Poway Unified School District, 445 F.3d 1166 (9th Cir. 2006), but their significance to the law of student speech is quite general. Courts are increasingly becoming concerned with the question of whether Tinker allows viewpoint-based restrictions of student speech, but so far jurists have not reached agreement on this question or even on the simpler question of what counts as viewpoint discrimination. This article attempts to clarify the emerging debate about the permissibility of viewpoint discrimination under Tinker and proposes modifications to the Tinker framework that would enable courts to deal more fruitfully with charges that school officials have imposed viewpoint-based restrictions on student speech. I argue that we should think of viewpoint discrimination as purposeful restriction of expression on the basis of governmental disagreement with the message. Tinker must be understood to bar purposeful viewpoint discrimination, but the conclusion that a school speech restriction constitutes purposeful viewpoint discrimination will come at the end rather than at the beginning of constitutional analysis. A school will never announce that it has restricted student speech on the basis of disagreement with the message; instead, it will claim that it has regulated speech to prevent harm. And this is something that schools (and the state more generally) may sometimes do - at least with sufficient justification. Tinker obviously contemplates the regulation of speech where necessary to prevent two specific sorts of harms - disruption to the school's mission and violations of the rights of other students - and so must require courts to distinguish between school speech restrictions based on impermissible ideological purposes and those based on the permissible purposes of preventing disruptions or violations of student rights. Tinker's substantial disruption test, I contend, should primarily be understood as a mechanism for helping courts to smoke out these impermissible purposes. (shrink)
The ontology of ‘powerful qualities’ is gaining an increasing amount of attention in the literature on properties. This is the view that the so-called categorical or qualitative properties are identical with ‘dispositional’ properties. The position is associated with C.B. Martin, John Heil, Galen Strawson and Jonathan Jacobs. Robert Schroer ( 2012 ) has recently mounted a number of criticisms against the powerful qualities view as conceived by these main adherents, and has also advanced his own (radically different) version of the (...) view. In this paper I have three main aims: firstly, I shall defend the ontology from his critique, arguing that his criticisms do not damage the position. Secondly, I shall argue that Schroer’s own version of the view is untenable. Thirdly, the paper shall serve to clear up some conceptual confusions that often bedevil the powerful qualities view. (shrink)
Though physicalism remains the most popular position in the metaphysics of mind today, there is still considerable debate over how to retain a plausible account of mental concepts consistently with a physicalistic world view. Philip Goff (Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89(2), 191–209, 2011) has recently argued that physicalism cannot give a plausible account of our phenomenal concepts, and that as such, physicalism should be rejected. In this paper I hope to do three things, firstly I shall use some considerations from (...) ontology to rebut Goff’s argument and consider some objections and replies. Secondly, I shall outline a version of a posteriori physicalism about phenomenal consciousness which draws on this particular ontology. Thirdly, I shall give support to this version of physicalism by arguing that it marries well with prominent theories in cognitive science, and has important advantages over other versions of a posteriori physicalism. (shrink)
La educación cristiana se encuentra en un mundo posmoderno, que presenta oportunidades y desafíos. En este nuevo entorno, educadores cristianos tienen que pensar profundamente sobre sus creencias y convicciones. En este ensayo se examinan los fundamentos desmoronantes del modernismo: la autonomía hu..
ABSTRACT The financial crisis was in large part caused, prolonged, and worsened by a series of government actions and interventions. The housing boom and bust that precipitated the crisis were enabled by extraordinarily loose monetary policy. After the housing boom came to an end, the Federal Reserve misdiagnosed financial markets' uncertainty about the location and value of risky subprime mortgage?backed securities as being, instead, a liquidity problem, and it took inappropriate compensatory actions that had side effects that included raising the (...) price of oil. Finally, in mid?September 2008, the government's ad?hoc bailouts, and the unpredictable terms of the proposed tarp legislation, appear to have caused a sharp spike in uncertainty in the financial markets. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with the ambiguities and confusions that arise when studies of the ‘surveillance state’ are contrasted with studies of the ‘service state’. Surveillance studies take a largely negative view of the information capture and handling of personal data by Government agencies. Studies that examine Government service providing take a largely positive view of such data capture as Government is seen to be attempting to enhance service provision to individual citizens. This paper examines these opposing perspectives through a (...) series of case studies and concludes that a new understanding and methodology should be brought forward so as to create a reconciliation of these two points of departure for research. The call is for an holistic appreciation of data capture activities by Government so that researchers and public policy makers alike can appreciate and reconcile these competing perspectives. (shrink)
There are now various approaches to understand where and how in the brain consciousness arises from neural activity, none of which is universally accepted. Difficulties among these approaches are reviewed, and a missing ingredient is proposed here to help adjudicate between them, that of ''perspectivalness.'' In addition to a suitable temporal duration and information content of the relevant bound brain activity, this extra component is posited as being a further important ingredient for the creation of consciousness from neural activity. It (...) guides the development of what is termed the ''Central Representation,'' which is supposed to be present in all mammals and extended in humans to support self-consciousness as well as phenomenal consciousness. Experimental evidence and a theoretical framework for the existence of the central representation are presented, which relates the extra component to specific buffer working memory sites in the inferior parietal lobes, acting as attentional coordinators on the spatial maps making up the central representation. The article closes with a discussion of various open questions. (shrink)
The basic postulate that consciousness arises from stable states of recurrent activity is shown to need considerable modification from our current knowledge of the neural networks of the brain. Some of these modifications are outlined.
This paper explores a remarkable convergence of ideas and evidence, previously presented in separate places by its authors. That convergence has now become so persuasive that we believe we are working within substantially the same broad framework. Taylor's mathematical papers on neuronal systems involved in consciousness dovetail well with work by Newman and Baars on the thalamocortical system, suggesting a brain mechanism much like the global workspace architecture developed by Baars (see references below). This architecture is relational, in the sense (...) that it continuously mediates the interaction of input with memory. While our approaches overlap in a number of ways, each of us tends to focus on different areas of detail. What is most striking, and we believe significant, is the extent of consensus, which we believe to be consistent with other contemporary approaches by Weiskrantz, Gray, Crick and Koch, Edelman, Gazzaniga, Newell and colleagues, Posner, Baddeley, and a number of others. We suggest that cognitive neuroscience is moving toward a shared understanding of consciousness in the brain. (shrink)
An exploration is given of neural network features now being uncovered in cortical processing which begins to go a little way to help bridge the ''Explanatory Gap'' between phenomenal consciousness and correlated brain activity. A survey of properties suggested as being possessed by phenomenal consciousness leads to a set of criteria to be required of the correlated neural activity. Various neural styles of processing are reviewed and those fitting the criteria are selected for further analysis. One particular processing style, in (...) which semiautonomous and long-lasting cortical activity ''bubbles'' are created by input, is selected as being the most appropriate. Further experimental criteria are used to help narrow the possible neural styles involved. This leads to a class of neural models underpinning phenomenal consciousness and to a related set of testable predictions. (shrink)
This paper contains a critique of the 'Kalam' Cosmological Argument for a first cause of the universe as a whole. I argue that one of its major premises (that the universe began to exist) cannot be justified a priori from the paradoxes of the actual infinite, nor by appeal to current cosmological theories. But those who wish to infer from cosmology to the non-existence of a first cause also fail to make their case. I conclude with some morals for the (...) project of natural theology. (shrink)
Abstract Cognitive?developmental theory claims that moral reasoning can be developed through discussion with others, especially those at a higher stage. This study examined two social/contextual factors that may mediate such cognitive processes in moral development: socio?metric status and moral climate. Socio?metric status was studied because participants were 101 institutionalised young offenders with established differences in peer status. Moral climate was studied because participants came from residential units that varied markedly in programme activities. Participants were assessed for moral reasoning, perceptions of (...) moral and institutional climate and also through behavioural ratings. Moral climate was found to represent a valid measure of the factors which predict behaviour within institutional settings. To study peer status, 40 young offenders participated in moral dilemma discussions with another subject who systematically differed in level of moral reasoning and peer status. It was found that exposure to both higher?stage reasoning and higher peer status were essential elements within the developmental process. Implications for cognitive??developmental theory and moral education within correctional and school programmes are discussed. (shrink)
In the Aharonov-Bohm effect, electromagnetic potentials alter the two-slit interference pattern formed by an electron beam. We discuss here a curious feature of this effect, namely that, even though the interference pattern changes, none of its moments are shifted.