Last year the editors of Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society invited feminists worldwide to comment on the millennial transition. Representing a disciplinary and generational range of writers, the resulting collection is at turns inspiring, troubling, provocative, despairing, celebratory. Some of the essays give voice to anxieties, others are more hopeful some reflect back, others look forward. Many of these fifty-plus short essays speak to themes of gender, nationality, global independence, transnational corporate domination, racial and ethnic identities, and (...) complex intersections among these systems. Readers will find eye-opening writing that is thoughtful, committed, and passionate about feminist futures. (shrink)
The author has recently shown that a mathematical question regarding the fundamental constituents of hardrons cannot be resolved unless the classical axioms of nonfinite mathematics are revised in such a way as to produce a new theory of particle motion in continuous space-time. Under this new theory, the instantaneous position of a moving object has a magnitude that is increasing as the object's velocity. The purpose of this paper is to show that, quite apart from the question of Cantorian axiomatics, (...) the new theory of motion is more consistent with what physicists really believe than the traditional theory of motion. (shrink)
Scholars have detected hostility to technology in Daoist thought. But is this a problem with any machine or only some applications of some machines by some people? I show that the problem is not with machines per se but with the people who introduce them, or more exactly with their knowledge. It is not knowledge as such that causes the disorder Laozi and Zhuangzi associate with machines; it is confused, disordered knowledge—superficial, inadequate, unsubtle, and artless. In other words the problem (...) is not with machines but with the ethics of engineering and the government of technology. The Daoist argument does not devalue machines or knowledge of them; instead, it sets a new goal, defining an alternative ideal—alternative to techniques held hostage to despotic ideas about efficiency and profit. (shrink)
In a late discussion of Kant’s essay, “Was ist Aufklärung?,” Foucault credits Kant with posing “the question of his own present” and positions himself as an inheritor of this Kantian legacy.1 Foucault has high praise for the critical tradition that emerges from Kant’s historical-political reflections on the Enlightenment and the French Revolution; Kant’s concern in these writings with “an ontology of the present, an ontology of ourselves” is, he says, characteristic of “a form of philosophy, from Hegel, through Nietzsche and (...) Max Weber, to the Frankfurt School,” a form of philosophy in which Foucault, perhaps surprisingly, situates his own work. (shrink)
There once was an ugly duckling. Except he wasn’t a duckling at all, and once he realized his error he lived happily ever after. And there you have an early primer from the animal literature on the issue of misrepresentation -- perhaps one of the few on this topic to have a happy ending. Philosophers interested in misrepresentation have turned their attention to a different fairy tale animal: the frog. No one gets kissed in this story and the controversial issue (...) of self-recognition is avoided. There are simply some scientifically established facts about ways to get a frog to stick out its tongue. (Who would want to kiss a frog under those conditions, anyway?) Some frogs, it seems, are fairly indiscriminate about sticking out their tongues. Not just flies, but a whole slew of other things will go down the hatch if propelled at just the right velocity and range through a frog’s visual field, provoking a tongue-flicking response. Fortunately for us all, frogs seem to be a bit more discriminating about whom they will kiss. At first sight, the frog’s tongue-flicking response seems like an ideal starting point for those who wish to promote evolutionary or "teleological" theories of intentional content. The signals passed from the frog’s retina to the frog’s brain were undoubtedly honed by the deaths of untold millions of insects snagged by countless generations of amphibians. Those amphibian ancestors whose eyes generated signals that were more 1 reliable guides to the location of food in the environment did better at propagating their genes, all other things being equal, than their cohorts whose eye to brain signals were less reliable. The teleosemanticist identifies the content of frogs’ intracranial signals in terms of the environmental conditions that historically corresponded to successful tongue-flicking, namely the presence of frog food -- typically flies -- in tongue-flicking range. And their descendants live happily ever after. But this would not be a fairy tale unless there were something to pose a credible threat to this happy ending.. (shrink)
This paper examines Young’s conception of power, arguing that it is incomplete, in at least two ways. First, Young tends to equate the term power with the narrower notions of ‘oppression’ and ‘domination’. Thus, Young lacks a satisfactory analysis of individual and collective empowerment. Second, as Young herself admits, it is not obvious that her analysis of power can be useful in the context of thinking about transnational justice. Allen concludes by considering one way in which Young’s analysis of (...) power needs to be extended or perhaps modified in order to do justice to questions of transnational justice. (shrink)
Projecting Illusion offers a systematic analysis of the impression of reality in the cinema and the pleasure it gives to the film spectator. Film provides a compelling experience that can be considered as a form of illusion akin to the experience of day-dream and dream. Examining the concept of illusion and its relationship to fantasy in the experience of visual representation, Richard Allen situates his explanation within the context of an analytical criticism of contemporary film and critical theory. He (...) argues that many contemporary film theorists correctly identify the significance of the impression of reality, although their explanation of it is incorrect because of an invalid philosophical understanding of the relationship between the mind, representation and reality. Offering a clear presentation and critique of the central arguments of contemporary film and critical theory, Allen also touches on fundamental issues in current discourses of philosophy, art history and feminist theory. (shrink)
In this paper, we explore the impact of individualism and collectivism on three basic aspects of ethical decision making - the perception of moral problems, moral reasoning, and behavior. We argue that the inclusion of business practices within the moral domain by the individual depends partly upon individualism and collectivism. We also propose a pluralistic approach to post-conventional moral judgment that includes developmental paths appropriate for individualist and collectivist cultures. Finally, we argue that the link between moral judgment and behavior (...) is related to individualism and collectivism. (shrink)
A number of authors have commented on the topic of mandated reporting in cases of suspected child maltreatment and the application of this requirement to researchers. Most of these commentaries focus on the interpretation of current legal standards and offer opinions for or against the imposition of mandated reporting laws on research activities. Authors on both sides of the issue offer ethical arguments, although a direct comparison and analysis of these opposing arguments is rare. This article critically examines the ethical (...) arguments made by authors on both sides of the debate. The conclusion is reached that researchers should be mandated reporters of child maltreatment because the current arguments do not justify their exclusion from current ethical and legal standards. The author makes recommendations for the ethically responsible conduct of research in regard to this topic and legal implications are discussed. (shrink)
Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in general, comprehensive models of human cognition. Such models aim to explain higher-order cognitive faculties, such as deliberation and planning. Given a computational representation, the validity of these models can be tested in computer simulations such as software agents or embodied robots. The push to implement computational models of this kind has created the field of artificial general intelligence (AGI). Moral decision making is arguably one of the most challenging tasks for computational (...) approaches to higher-order cognition. The need for increasingly autonomous artificial agents to factor moral considerations into their choices and actions has given rise to another new field of inquiry variously known as Machine Morality, Machine Ethics, Roboethics, or Friendly AI. In this study, we discuss how LIDA, an AGI model of human cognition, can be adapted to model both affective and rational features of moral decision making. Using the LIDA model, we will demonstrate how moral decisions can be made in many domains using the same mechanisms that enable general decision making. Comprehensive models of human cognition typically aim for compatibility with recent research in the cognitive and neural sciences. Global workspace theory, proposed by the neuropsychologist Bernard Baars (1988), is a highly regarded model of human cognition that is currently being computationally instantiated in several software implementations. LIDA (Franklin, Baars, Ramamurthy, & Ventura, 2005) is one such computational implementation. LIDA is both a set of computational tools and an underlying model of human cognition, which provides mechanisms that are capable of explaining how an agent’s selection of its next action arises from bottom-up collection of sensory data and top-down processes for making sense of its current situation. We will describe how the LIDA model helps integrate emotions into the human decision-making process, and we will elucidate a process whereby an agent can work through an ethical problem to reach a solution that takes account of ethically relevant factors. (shrink)
This memoir provides the personal story of a tenured poet who initially walked the picket line during the 1990 University of Bridgeport faculty strike. During the strike's second week, he made the difficult decision to cross the picket line of a union he helped create seventeen years earlier. He continually relives his strike experience.
Some aspects of play may be explained by Pavlovian learning processes, but others are not so easily handled. Especially when there is a chance that specific actions can be misinterpreted; animals alter their behavior to reduce the likelihood that this will occur. The flexibility and fine-tuning of play make it an ideal candidate for comparative and evolutionary cognitive studies.
Seven chimpanzees in twenty-seven experiments run over the course of ﬁve years at his University of Louisiana laboratory in New Iberia, Louisiana, are at the heart of Daniel Povinelli’s case that chimpanzee thinking about the physical world is not at all like that of humans. Chimps, according to Povinelli and his coauthors James Reaux, Laura Theall, and Steve Giambrone, are phenomenally quick at learning to associate visible features of tools with speciﬁc uses of those tools, but they appear to lack (...) cognitive access to forces and other invisible causal features of those tools. Povinelli’s chimps appar- ently rely on a trial-and-error strategy to learn whether a particular tool is suitable for a particular task, and and having mastered one task they appear unable to generalize to other tasks on the basis of tool properties that are not directly visible. Thus, for instance, Povinelli’s research subjects did not immediately recognize that a tool that had been demonstrated to be non- rigid would be unsuitable for dragging a piece of food towards them. When presented with a choice between a rigid, T-shaped “rake” that they had used many times previously and a rake with non-rigid arms, Povinelli and Reaux found, over the course of eight trials, that their chimps chose the non-rigid rake as frequently as they chose the rigid one (experiment 9, chapter 7). (shrink)
In the last decade it has become en vogue for cognitive comparative psychologists to study animal behavior in an ‘integrated’ fashion to account for both the ‘innate’ and the ‘acquired’. We will argue that these studies, instead of really integrating the concepts of ‘nature’ and ‘nurture’, rather cement this old dichotomy. They combine empty nativist interpretation of behavior systems with blatantly environmentalist explanations of learning. We identify the main culprit as the failure to take development seriously. While in some areas (...) of biology interest in the relationship between behavior and development has surged through topics such as extragenetic inheritance, niche construction, and phenotypic plasticity, this has gone almost completely unnoticed in the study of animal behavior in comparative psychology, and is frequently ignored in ethology too. The main aims of this paper are to clarify the relationship between the concepts of learning, experience, and development, and to investigate whether and how all three concepts can be usefully deployed in the study of animal behavior. This will require the full integration of the psychological study of behavior into biology, and of the idea of learning into a wider concept of experience. We lay out how, in a systems view of development, learning may just appear as one among many processes in which experience influences behavior. This new synthesis should help to overcome the age-old dualism between innate and acquired. It thereby opens up the possibility of developing scientifically more fruitful distinctions. (shrink)
This study explores the impact of environmental turbulence on relationships between personal and organizational characteristics, personal values, ethical perceptions, and behavioral intentions. A causal model is tested using data obtained from a national sample of marketing research professionals in South Africa. The findings suggest turbulent conditions lead professionals to report stronger values and ethical norms, but less ethical behavioral intentions. Implications are drawn for organizations confronting growing turbulence in their external environments. A number of suggestions are made for ongoing research.
This article challenges the idea that the priority of liberty poses a threat to individual and population health. While acknowledging there are cases in which liberty does indeed pose a threat to the health of individuals and populations, I argue that the tension between liberty and health is overstated and that much can be done to relieve this tension. Indeed, liberty and health can and should be viewed as co-equal values in our broader conception of health justice. My thesis is (...) moderate to the extent it acknowledges limits to the coequal status of these twin values; robust to the extent it conceives legitimate health interventions as the outcome of complex and multiperspectival processes of deliberative testing. (shrink)
Under an approach advocated by Noyes, this paper introduces a testable theory which explains a single-photon type of nonlinear photoionization described by Panarella. The present theory differs from that of Panarella in that the former depends upon the standard first principles of quantum mechanics, while the latter seeks to revise these principles.
I argue that Johanna Meehan's call to examine the extra-linguistic psychic, affective and biological dimensions of gender identity is extremely important both for feminist theory in particular and for contemporary Continental philosophy in general. However, I suspect that such an examination might necessitate more than a mere expansion or reconstruction of Habermas' views; on the contrary, I suggest that Meehan's line of argument might lead instead toward a radical deconstruction of Habermasian critical theory. Key Words: feminism Habermas identity (...) moral vs ethical. (shrink)
This article discusses the relationship between power and reflective disclosure in Nikolas Kompridis' book Critique and Disclosure . Although the concept of power is not explicitly theorized in great detail in this book, I argue that power is highly relevant for Kompridis' account of reflective disclosure. I offer a few ways in which a thematization of power relations might complicate and enrich Kompridis' understanding of disclosure.
The aim of this study is to increase our understanding of the ethical climate of entrepreneurial firms as they grow and develop. A developmental framework is introduced to describe the formal and informal ethical structures that emerge in entrepreneurial firms over time. Factors influencing where firms are within the developmental framework are posited, including the entrepreneur's psychological profile, lifecycle stage of the business, and descriptive characteristics of the venture. It is also proposed that the implementation of ethical structures will impact (...) perceptions of the clarity and adequacy of the ethical standards of the firm and the firm's preparedness to deal with ethical challenges as they arise. Results are reported of a cross-sectional survey of small firms at different stages of development. The findings indicate the existence of four distinct clusters of firms based on their formal and informal ethical structures: Superlatives, Core Proponents, Pain and Gain, and Deficients. Evidence is also provided of statistically significant relationships between the proposed antecedent and outcome variables. Implications are drawn from the results, and priorities are established for future research. (shrink)
Viktor Hamburger was a developmental biologist interested in the ontogenesis of the vertebrate nervous system. A student of Hans Spemann at Freiburg in the 1920s, Hamburger picked up a holistic view of the embryo that precluded him from treating it in a reductionist way; at the same time, he was committed to a materialist and analytical approach that eschewed any form of vitalism or metaphysics. This paper explores how Hamburger walked this thin line between mechanistic reductionism and metaphysical vitalism in (...) light of his work on the factors influencing growth of neurons into limb buds, and the discovery of nerve growth factor, work carried out with Rita Levi-Montalcini and Stanley Cohen. (shrink)
In seeking to determine what place, if any, the concept of moral rights can and/or should have in theological ethics, it is first necessary to clarify the nature of the concept. On this task contemporary moral philosophy is found to be especially helpful. It is then suggested that from a theological standpoint an appeal to moral rights might be justified by reference to (1) the moral fabric of persons under God, (2) the worth of persons as ends, and (3) the (...) inclusiveness of the moral community. The author claims that the concept of moral rights is compatible with belief in a sovereign God who promises his steadfast love, and that it need not imply any "natural" ethic in competition with theological ethics. Finally, the affirmation of moral rights is found to be highly appropriate to an emphasis upon love toward other persons. (shrink)
A new collection of pseudo-words was recorded from a single female speaker of American English for use in multi-talker speech intelligibility research. The pseudo-words (known as the PARG collection) consist of three groups of single syllable pseudo-words varying only by the initial phoneme. The PARG method allows speech intelligibility to be studied free of the influence of shifts of spatial attention from one loudspeaker location to another in multi-talker contexts. To achieve this, all PARG pseudo-words share the same concluding rimes, (...) with only the first phoneme serving as a distinguishing identifier. This ensures that listeners are unable to correctly identify the target pseudo-word without hearing the initial phoneme. As the duration of all the initial phonemes are brief, much shorter than the time required to spatially shift attention, the PARG method assesses speech intelligibility without the confound of shifting spatial attention. The PARG collection is available free for research purposes. (shrink)
Farm-to-school (FTS) programs have garnered the attentions and energies of people in a diverse array of social locations in the food system and are serving as a sort of touchstone for many in the alternative agrifood movement. Yet, unlike other alternative agrifood initiatives, FTS programs intersect directly with the long-established institution of the welfare state, including its vestiges of New Deal farm programs and public entitlement. This paper explores how FTS is navigating the liminal terrain of public and private initiative, (...) particularly the ways in which it interfaces with neoliberalism as both a material and discursive project. It examines the political emergence of school food programs and finds that FTS is strikingly similar to traditional school programs in objectives, but differs in approach. Yet, in their efforts to fill in the gaps created by political and economic neoliberalization, FTS advocates are in essence producing neoliberal forms and practices afresh. These include those associated with contingent labor relationships, private funding sources, and the devolution of responsibility to the local, all of which have serious consequences for social equity. The paper also discusses how FTS programs are employing the rhetoric of neoliberal governmentality, including personal responsibility and individual success, consumerism, and choice. While these may be tactical choices used to secure funding in a competitive environment, they may also contribute to the normalization of neoliberalism, further circumscribing the possibilities of what can be imagined and created to solve social problems. (shrink)
Introducing the sixth and final installment of the Common Knowledge symposium “Apology for Quietism,” Allen looks at the symposium retrospectively and concludes that it has mainly concerned “sage knowledge,” defined as foresight into the development of situations. The sagacious knower sees the disposition of things in an early, incipient form and knows how to intervene with nearly effortless and undetectable (quiet) effectiveness. Whatever the circumstance, the sage handles it with finesse, never doing too much but also never leaving anything (...) undone that must be accomplished. Quiet, when it is knowingly and effectively quiet (not pusillanimous or poor in spirit), is about what not to do, how not to approach a problem, what not to decide, what is not known, what will not work. Allen explains these principles in terms of traditional Chinese thought, Daoist and Confucian: wei we wei, or “doing-not-doing,” means effective inaction. What makes such wisdom possible is not mystical insight, he argues, but discipline in a certain kind of art. The sage has no need of reasons (let alone doctrines), only effectiveness; and he does not need truth or justice, only subtlety. The detachment of a quietist has little, if anything, to do with transcending perspectives. Detachment is good as a means to flexibility, and instead of transcending perspectives, a sage is skilled in the quiet art of never getting stuck in one. To be effectively quiet is not so much to be silent as to be inaudible, invisible; the sage “vanishes into things.”. (shrink)
Knowledge and Civilization advances detailed criticism of philosophy's usual approach to knowledge and describes a redirection, away from textbook problems of epistemology, toward an ecological philosophy of technology and civilization. Rejecting theories that confine knowledge to language or discourse, Allen situates knowledge in the greater field of artifacts, technical performance, and human evolution. His wide ranging considerations draw on ideas from evolutionary biology, archaeology, anthropology, and the history of cities, art, and technology.
This paper examines Michael Young's 1958 dystopia, The Rise of the Meritocracy. In this book, the word 'meritocracy' was coined and used in a pejorative sense. Today, however, meritocracy represents a positive ideal against which we measure the justice of our institutions. This paper argues that, when read in the twenty-first century, Young's dystopia does little to dislodge the implicit appeal of a meritocratic society. It examines the principles of education and administrative justice upon which meritocracy is based, suggesting that (...) since 1958 those principles have changed. Young's warning no longer has any effect on us because the meritocratic system it warns us against has been transformed. (shrink)
Eric Booth has completed the curriculum for today’s classical music performers in The Music Teaching Artist’s Bible: Becoming a Virtuoso Educator (2009). This book could handily serve as the text for a class designed to help music performance majors learn about the items that are usually ignored within today’s skill-based music performance degrees offered in most American universities and conservatories. Booth makes the case that many classically trained performing musicians unknowingly do more harm than good for their audiences and careers. (...) He repeatedly states that a better understanding of the issues addressed in his book will equal more gigs and employment for musicians while providing better experiences for .. (shrink)
Power is clearly a crucial concept for feminist theory. Insofar as feminists are interested in analyzing power, it is because they have an interest in understanding, critiquing, and ultimately challenging the multiple array of unjust power relations affecting women in contemporary Western societies, including sexism, racism, heterosexism, and class oppression.In The Power of Feminist Theory, Amy Allen diagnoses the inadequacies of previous feminist conceptions of power, and draws on the work of a diverse group of theorists of power, including (...) Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, and Hannah Arendt, in order to construct a new feminist conception of power. The conception of power developed in this book enables readers to theorize domination, resistance, and solidarity, and, perhaps more importantly, to do so in a way that illuminates the interrelatedness of these three modalities of power. (shrink)
The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is particularly reactive to signals of error, punishment, and conflict in the service of behavioral adaptation and it is consistently implicated in the etiology of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). This association makes conceptual sense, given that MDD has been associated with hyper-reactivity in neural systems associated with punishment processing. Yet in practice, depression-related variance in measures of mPFC functioning often fails to relate to performance. For example, neuroelectric reflections of mediofrontal error signals are often found (...) to be larger in MDD, but a deficit in post-error performance suggests that these error signals are not being used to rapidly adapt behavior. Thus, it remains unknown if depression-related variance in error signals reflects a meaningful alteration in the use of error or punishment information. However, larger mediofrontal error signals have also been related to another behavioral tendency: increased accuracy in avoidance learning. The integrity of this error-avoidance system remains untested in MDD. In this study, EEG was recorded as 21 symptomatic, drug-free participants with current or past MDD and 24 control participants performed a probabilistic reinforcement learning task. Depressed participants had larger mPFC EEG responses to error feedback than controls. The direct relationship between error signal amplitudes and avoidance learning accuracy was replicated. Crucially, this relationship was stronger in depressed participants for high conflict “lose-lose” situations, demonstrating a selective alteration of avoidance learning. This investigation provided evidence that larger error signal amplitudes in depression are associated with increased avoidance learning, identifying a candidate mechanistic model for hypersensitivity to negative outcomes in depression. (shrink)
The initiation of surface cracks in single-crystal superalloy components exposed to an oxidizing environmental under thermomechanical loading condi-tions is known to be linked to the presence of internal 10?20??m-diameter casting defects (i.e. porosities), and to the localization of inelastic strain. In this work, the effects of oxidation on both the local degradation of the superalloy microstructure and the initiation of surface cracks from such defects is investi-gated. The approach relies on a rate-dependent crystallographic theory to describe the viscoplastic behaviour of (...) the single crystal, and on a coupled oxidation?deformation framework to incorporate explicitly the effects of micro-structural degradation due to oxidation. Predictions of the formation of surface cracks under constant far-field loading, linked to the nucleation and coalescence of microcracks from internal porosities, are obtained from a recently proposed mechanistic anisotropic void growth model. Coupled oxidation?deformation finite-element analyses in compact tension fracture specimens show that environmental effects reduce the time to crack initiation from blunt notches owing to an increase in the accumulated inelastic deformation in the vicinity of the porosities. (shrink)
In this introduction to Part 1 of the Common Knowledge symposium, “Fuzzy Studies,” the journal's editor discusses four essays from the 1980s by Richard Rorty, in which Rorty chose to associate himself with various neopragmatists, Continental thinkers, and “left-wing Kuhnians” under the rubric of the “new fuzziness.” The term had been introduced as an insult by a philosopher of science with positivist leanings, but Rorty took it up as an “endearing” compliment, arguing that “to be less fuzzy” was also to (...) be “less genial, tolerant, open-minded, and fallibilist.” He defined the “new fuzziness” as “an attempt to blur just those distinctions between the objective and subjective and between fact and value which the critical conception of rationality has developed.” This introduction also examines W. V. Quine's essay “Speaking of Objects” (1957), which describes objects as fuzzy “half-entities”; Clifford Geertz's essay “Blurred Genres” (1980), which advises social scientists that being “taxonomically upstanding” is futile; and Lofti Zadeh's article “The Concept of a Linguistic Variable and Its Application to Approximate Reasoning” (1975), which abandons “Aristotelian, bivalent logic” in favor of a “fuzzy logic” based on Zadeh's “fuzzy set theory.” This introductory piece relates these theoretical works of the past half-century to the sorites paradox and to classical issues of vagueness raised and still unresolved in Western philosophy. Returning then to Rorty, the author questions how Rorty expected his endorsement of the “new fuzziness” to be applied, as proposed, to theology and politics. Suggesting that such applications are the natural work of historians, the author, having asked the historian Natalie Zemon Davis for comment, then quotes her response—which associates fuzzy studies, “common knowledge,” and peacemaking—at length. (shrink)