Following Karni's seminal work, Walker and other researchers have recently provided gradually convincing evidence that sleep is critical for the consolidation-based enhancement (CBE) of motor sequence learning. Studies in our laboratory using a motor adaptation paradigm, however, show that CBE can also occur after the simple passage of time, suggesting that sleep effects on memory consolidation are task-related, and possibly dependent on anatomically dissociable circuits.
Duhem—Quine underdetermination plays a constructive role in epistemology by pinpointing the impact of non-empirical virtues or cognitive values on theory choice. Underdetermination thus contributes to illuminating the nature of scientific rationality. Scientists prefer and accept one account among empirical equivalent alternatives. The non-empirical virtues operating in science are laid open in such theory choice decisions. The latter act as an epistemological test tube in making explicit commitments to how scientific knowledge should be like.
I argue that a modern gloss on Aristotle’s notions of Form and Matter not only allows us to escape a dualism of the psychological and the physical, but also results in a plausible sort of materialism. This is because Aristotle held that the essential nature of any psychological state, including perception and human thought, is to be some physical property. I also show that Hilary Putnam and Martha Nussbaum are mistaken in saying that Aristotle was not a materialist, but a (...) functionalist. His functionalism should instead be given a materialistic interpretation, since he holds that only the appropriate sort of matter can realize the human psyche. Aristotle’s functionalism is therefore best viewed as a “causal functionalism,” in which functional descriptions enable us to find the right sort of material embodiment. By sidestepping dualistic assumptions, Aristotle also avoids having to deal with any further notion of consciousness. (shrink)
I argue for the following analysis of a freely willed action: an act is done of one's own free will, if and only if, it is an intentional act performed by one acting as a rational agent from unobstructed reasons, and so situated that he or she has the capacity to forbear from performing it.
Abstract It is argued that psychological explanations involve psychological generalizations that exhibit the same features as laws of physics. On the basis of the ?systematic theory of lawhood?, characteristic features of laws of nature are elaborated. Investigating some examples of explanations taken from cognitive psychology shows that these features can also be identified in psychological generalizations. Particular attention is devoted to the notion of ?ccteris?paribus laws?. It is argued that laws of psychology are indeed ceteris?paribus laws. However, this feature does (...) not distinguish them from the laws of physics, because such laws are found in physics as well. Moreover, the laws invoked in psychological explanations are genuine laws of psychology; they are not laws of other disciplines that are brought to bear on psychological problems. The conclusion is that if there are laws of physics then laws of psychology exist as well. (shrink)
Abstract The paper addresses the question of how the unity of science can adequately be characterized. A mere classification of scientific fields and disciplines does not express the unity of science unless it is supplemented with a perspective that establishes a systematic coherence among the different branches of science. Four ideas of this kind are discussed. Namely, the unity of scientific language, of scientific laws, of scientific method and of science as a practical?operational enterprise. Whereas reference to the unity of (...) scientific language and of scientific laws does not provide a viable basis for the unity of science, the methodological and practical unity might. The unity of science can be characterized by the way in which methodological criteria enter into the assessment or evaluation of theories, and, moreover, by a transdisciplin?ary approach to problems. Accordingly, the unity of science is not expressed by theoretical uniformity but by the unity of scientific practice. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction: The Rise of Philosophical Art Criticism 1 -- Chapter 1. In the Beginning Was Formalism 17 -- Chapter 2. The Structuralist Adventure 33 -- Chapter 3. The Historicist, Antiessentialist Definition of Art 55 -- Chapter 4. Resentment and Its Discontents 71 -- Chapter 5. The Deconstruction of Structuralism 87 -- Afterword: The Fate of Philosophical Art Criticism 111.
No evidence exists that the accidental origin of life is too improbable to have occurred naturally, but there are numerous attempts to argue so. Dizzying statistics are cited to show that a god had to be responsible. This paper identifies the Argument from Biogenesis, then explains why all these arguments so far fail, and what would actually have to be done to make such an argument succeed. Describes seven general types of error, with examples. Includes a table of forty-seven statistics (...) used by over twenty authors to date. (shrink)
Funding policies for science are usually directed at supporting technological innovations. The im-pact and success of such policies depend crucially on how science and technology are connected to each other. I propose an “interactive view” of the relationship between basic science and technol-ogy development which comprises the following four claims: First, technological change derives from science but only in part. The local models used in accounting for technologically relevant phenomena contain theoretical and non-theoretical elements alike. Second, existing technologies and rules (...) of experience constitute another major repository of technological inventions. Third, technology dynamics is only weakly coupled to progress in basic science but it is closely related to science. There is a dependence of technological change on a more fundamental understanding, to be sure, but it is of an indirect and long-term character. Fourth, progress in basic research is some-times the effect (rather than the cause) of technological change. Technological change sometimes brings about increased theoretical understanding (application innovation). (shrink)
In a previous issue of Philo, Michael Almeida claimed to have “defeated” William Rowe’s “New Evidential Argument from Evil” againstthe existence of a benevolent god. However, Almeida’s argument suffers from serious logical errors and even logical absurdities, leaving Rowe’s argument intact and quite unthreatened by anything Almeida argues.
One of the arguments advanced in favor of scientific realism is the 'miracle argument'. It says that for the anti-realist the predictive success of science appears as an utter miracle. This argument indeed has some prima facie plausibility, provided that it is sharpened by construing "predictive success" as prediction of previously unknown laws and the occurrence of a consilience of inductions. Still, the history of science teaches us that it is possible to arrive at predictive success in this sense by (...) employing radically non-referring theoretical mechanisms. The 'miracle argument' is thus unsound. Rather, the capacity of a theory to generate predictive success can be traced back to its "classificativity correspondence.". (shrink)
We reconstruct genetic determinism as a reductionist thesis to the effect that the molecular properties of cells can be accounted for to a great extent by their genetic outfit. The non-reductionist arguments offered at this molecular level often use the relationship between structure and function as their point of departure. By contrast, we develop a non-reductionist argument that is confined to the structural characteristics of biomolecules; no appeal to functions is made. We raise two kinds of objections against the reducibility (...) claim underlying genetic determinism. First, some conceptual distinctions at the protein level cannot be captured on a genetic basis. A one-to-many relationship between DNA sequences and proteins emerges from them. Second, the relationship between genes and proteins is characterized by explanatory loops or reciprocal explanatory dependence. The presence of proteins is explained by the transcription from corresponding DNA sequences, and the latter is in turn accounted for by the action of proteins. By contrast, a reductive account requires a unidirectional explanatory dependence. (shrink)
This paper investigates how deans and directors at the top 50 global MBA programs (as rated by the "Financial Times" in their 2006 Global MBA rankings) respond to questions about the inclusion and coverage of the topics of ethics, corporate social responsibility, and sustainability at their respective institutions. This work purposely investigates each of the three topics separately. Our findings reveal that: (1) a majority of the schools require that one or more of these topics be covered in their MBA (...) curriculum and one-third of the schools require coverage of all three topics as part of the MBA curriculum, (2) there is a trend toward the inclusion of sustainability-related courses, (3) there is a higher percentage of student interest in these topics (as measured by the presence of a Net Impact club) in the top 10 schools, and (4) several schools are teaching these topics using experiential learning and immersion techniques. We note a fivefold increase in the number of stand-alone ethics courses since a 1988 investigation on ethics, and we include other findings about institutional support of centers or special programs; as well as a discussion of integration, teaching techniques, and notable practices in relation to all three topics. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to discuss the relation between the observation basis and the theoretical principles of General Relativity. More specifically, this relation is analyzed with respect to constructive axiomatizations of the observation basis of space-time theories, on the one hand, and in attempts to complete them, on the other. The two approaches exclude one another so that a choice between them is necessary. I argue that the completeness approach is preferable for methodological reasons.
To assess ethics pedagogy in science and engineering, we developed a new tool called the Engineering and Science Issues Test (ESIT). ESIT measures moral judgment in a manner similar to the Defining Issues Test, second edition, but is built around technical dilemmas in science and engineering. We used a quasi-experimental approach with pre- and post-tests, and we compared the results to those of a control group with no overt ethics instruction. Our findings are that several (but not all) (...) stand-alone classes showed a significant improvement compared to the control group when the metric includes multiple stages of moral development. We also found that the written test had a higher response rate and sensitivity to pedagogy than the electronic version. We do not find significant differences on pre-test scores with respect to age, education level, gender or political leanings, but we do on whether subjects were native English speakers. We did not find significant differences on pre-test scores based on whether subjects had previous ethics instruction; this could suggest a lack of a long-term effect from the instruction. (shrink)
I argue that the time-gap argument poses no objection to Direct Realism. In the case of exploded stars many light years from us, what we see is no longer the star, but its light. I argue that in all cases of seeing we see light, but only when physical objects exist at the time of our seeing do we see them.
Zusammenfassung Da Goethes Farbenlehre im allgemeinen allein unter dem Blickwinkel der darin enthaltenen methodologischen Thesen untersucht wird, tritt hier die Rekonstruktion ihres physikalischen Gehalts in den Vordergrund. Es zeigt sich auf diese Weise, daÃ die Farbenlehre als eine Verbindung physikalischer und sinnesphysiologischer Aspekte einige der zentralen Versuche der Newtonschen Optik angemessen interpretieren kann. Die Diskussion der Methodologie zeitigt anschlieÃend ein zukunftweisendes Element: die Erkenntnis der Bedeutung der MeÃapparatur fÃ¼r die Konstitution der Theorie. SchlieÃlich wird Goethes Naturbild und seine Aktualisierung in (...) den Bestrebungen der kritischen Theorie erÃ¶rtert. (shrink)
I argue that sentences ascribing beliefs to non-human animals have the same logical form as sentences of the "perceives that" variety. Pace D.M. Armstrong, I argue that animal belief sentences can be referentially opaque, just as perception sentences containing a propositional clause are. In both cases, referential opacity requires our assuming that the animal believer and the human perceiver has each identified the object of the belief or perception.