Standard agent and action-based approaches in computer ethics tend to have difficulty dealing with complex systems-level issues such as the digital divide and globalisation. This paper argues for a value-based agenda to complement traditional approaches in computer ethics, and that one value-based approach well-suited to technological domains can be found in capability theory. Capability approaches have recently become influential in a number of fields with an ethical or policy dimension, but have not so far been applied in computer ethics. The (...) paper introduces two major versions of the theory – those advanced by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum – and argues that they offer potentially valuable conceptual tools for computer ethics. By developing a theory of value based on core human functionings and the capabilities (powers, freedoms) required to realise them, capability theory is shown to have a number of potential benefits that complement standard ethical theory, opening up new approaches to analysis and providing a framework that incorporates a justice as well as an ethics dimension. The underlying functionalism of capability theory is seen to be particularly appropriate to technology ethics, enabling the integration of normative and descriptive analysis of technology in terms of human needs and values. The paper concludes by considering some criticisms of the theory and directions for further development. (shrink)
A succinct introduction to mathematical logic and set theory, which together form the foundations for the rigorous development of mathematics. Suitable for all introductory mathematics undergraduates, Notes on Logic and Set Theory covers the basic concepts of logic: first-order logic, consistency, and the completeness theorem, before introducing the reader to the fundamentals of axiomatic set theory. Successive chapters examine the recursive functions, the axiom of choice, ordinal and cardinal arithmetic, and the incompleteness theorems. Dr. Johnstone has included numerous exercises (...) designed to illustrate the key elements of the theory and to provide applications of basic logical concepts to other areas of mathematics. (shrink)
This is an exploration of what Locke and Whately said about the Argumentatum ad Hominem, especially in the context of what they said about the other ad arguments, and with a view to ascertaining whether what they said lends support to the understanding of this argument implicit in Johnstone's thesis that all valid philosophical arguments are ad hominem. It is concluded that this support is forthcoming insofar as Locke and Whately had in mind an argument concerned with principles.The essay (...) ends with a brief reformulation of Johnstone's generalization regarding philosophical arguments. (shrink)
The centerpiece of the Analyses is a translation from the German of notes for a series of lectures given by phenomenologist Edmund Husserl in the early twenties, which is to say some eighty years ago. Husserl designated the topic of the lectures 'transcendental logic'. In this context, the term, 'transcendental', is not to be understood in some mystical sense, but rather in a Kantian sense: pertaining to the conditions of possibility of experience. Likewise, the term, 'logic', is not to be (...) taken in the narrow sense of formal logic, but rather in the very general sense it had for Platonic dialectic: a concern with normative guidelines and critical assessment of the possibility of truth. The topic of the lectures is succinctly characterized by Husserl as 'a universal theory of science, and at the same time, a theory of science in principle,' where the latter means 'the science of the a priori of all sciences as such' (p. 1). (shrink)
In recent years it has become popular to model putative refutations of skepticism on Kant's answer to Hume, that is, on transcendental arguments purporting to show that the skeptical theses presupposes essential features of the very conceptual scheme they call into question. In his book, Oneself as Another, Paul Ricoeur makes the claim that transcendental considerations of the sort invalidate Edmund Husserl's foundationalist epistemological enterprise, that of uncovering the genesis of primitive concepts of oneself, world, and others in a primordial (...) solipsistic stage from which all trace of others is excluded. According to Ricoeur the concept of others must be presupposed throughout. This paper examines the experiential evidence for four of the transcendental arguments endorsed by Ricoeur, each treating one of four key concepts--the concept of oneself as subject, that of one's flesh, that of one's body, and that of other selves. It finds that in each case Ricoeur’s argument fails, and that in each case Husserl is right to claim that a rudimentary nonlinguistic concept may arise within the confines of first-person perceptual experience. The paper then briefly examines the source of Ricoeur's erroneous evaluation. (shrink)
Recent research suggests that spiritual experiences are related to increased physiological activity of the frontal and temporal lobes and decreased activity of the right parietal lobe. The current study determined if similar relationships exist between self-reported spirituality and neuropsychological abilities associated with those cerebral structures for persons with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Participants included 26 adults with TBI referred for neuropsychological assessment. Measures included the Core Index of Spirituality (INSPIRIT); neuropsychological indices of cerebral structures: temporal lobes (Wechsler Memory Scale-III), right (...) parietal lobe (Judgment of Line Orientation), and frontal lobes (Trail Making Test, Controlled Oral Word Association Test). As hypothesized, spirituality was significantly negatively correlated with a measure of right parietal lobe functioning and positively correlated (nonsignificantly) with measures of left temporal lobe functioning. Contrary to hypotheses, correlations between spirituality and measures of frontal lobe functioning were zero or negative (and nonsignificant). The data support a neuropsychological model that proposes that spiritual experiences are related to decreased activity of the right parietal lobe, which may be associated with decreased awareness of the self (transcendence) and increased activity of the left temporal lobe, which may be associated with the experience of specific religious archetypes (religious figures and symbols). (shrink)
Notices Amer. Math. Sac. 51, 2004). Logically, such a "Grothendieck topos" is something like a universe of continuously variable sets. Before long, however, F.W. Lawvere and M. Tierney provided an elementary axiomatization..
Finitary sketches, i.e., sketches with finite-limit and finite-colimit specifications, are proved to be as strong as geometric sketches, i.e., sketches with finite-limit and arbitrary colimit specifications. Categories sketchable by such sketches are fully characterized in the infinitary first-order logic: they are axiomatizable by σ-coherent theories, i.e., basic theories using finite conjunctions, countable disjunctions, and finite quantifications. The latter result is absolute; the equivalence of geometric and finitary sketches requires (in fact, is equivalent to) the non-existence of measurable cardinals.
Three standard psychometric tests were administered to parents who volunteered their children for a randomised, double-blind placebo-controlled trial of a new asthma drug and to a control group of parents whose children were eligible for the trial but had declined the invitation. The trial took place at a children's hospital in Australia. The subjects comprised 68 parents who had volunteered their children and 42 who had not, a participation rate of 94 per cent and 70 per cent, respectively. The responses (...) of these parents to the Gordon Survey of Interpersonal Values Questionnaire, the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory and the Cattell Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire were analysed by computer. There was a marked difference between the psychological profiles of the two groups of parents. Volunteering parents put more value on benevolence while non-volunteering parents were more concerned with power and prestige. The self-esteem of volunteering parents was much lower than that of non-volunteering parents. Finally, volunteering parents were more introverted, exhibited greater anxiety and low supergo, while non-volunteering parents appeared to have greater social confidence and emotional stability. Since an individual's values, self-esteem and personality may be important antecedents of behaviour, these findings suggest that parents who volunteer their children for clinical research are not only socially disadvantaged and emotionally vulnerable, but may also be psychologically predisposed to volunteering. Furthermore, these findings provide evidence for the existence of a psychosocial 'filter' effect of the informed consent procedure, which may be discouraging the better educated, more privileged and psychologically resilient members of society from participation as research subjects. (shrink)
The all too common sunk cost effect is apparent when an investor influenced by what has been spent already persists in a venture, committing further resources or foregoing more profitable opportunities, when the economically rational action is to quit. Less common but arguably just as much a sunk cost effect is the mistake of giving up on a failed or failing venture too readily, sometimes out of nothing but pique at what has been lost, or perhaps through the more subtle (...) psychological forces posited by Kahneman, Tversky, Thaler and others within prospect theory and related work on ``mental budgeting''. Two case examples are considered, wherein decision makers dissatisfied with the results of their investments, and having lost money, appear to compound their losses by selling out at prices less than their own estimates of the remaining financial worth of the failed assets. These decisions are evaluated from the perspectives of both behavioral and prescriptive economics, and are found to have possible explanations in both. Their prescriptive rationale assumes a portfolio theory of investment decisions, and is demonstrated within both expected utility (economics) and mean-variance (finance) frameworks. (shrink)
I provide indestructibility results for large cardinals consistent with V = L, such as weakly compact, indescribable and strongly unfoldable cardinals. The Main Theorem shows that any strongly unfoldable cardinal κ can be made indestructible by <κ-closed. κ-proper forcing. This class of posets includes for instance all <κ-closed posets that are either κ -c.c, or ≤κ-strategically closed as well as finite iterations of such posets. Since strongly unfoldable cardinals strengthen both indescribable and weakly compact cardinals, the Main Theorem therefore makes (...) these two large cardinal notions similarly indestructible. Finally. I apply the Main Theorem forcing extension preserving all strongly unfoldable cardinals in which every strongly unfoldable cardinal κ is indestructible by <κ-closed. κ-proper forcing. (shrink)
This paper explores why respondents to a telephone public-opinion survey often give reasons for answering as they do, even though reason-giving is neither required nor encouraged and it is difficult to see the reasons as attempts to deal with disagreement. We find that respondents give reasons for the policy claims they make in their answers three times as frequently as they give reasons for value or factual claims, that their reasons tend to involve appeals to personal experience, and that they (...) often talk about their thought processes, especially when the evidentiary stakes are high. We then explore several ways of explaining these findings. We suggest that one useful approach is to see the reason-giving in the survey interviews as deliberative, reflexive argumentation of the sort described as `critical thinking. We further suggest that the reason such argumentation is often conducted out loud in the interviews, rather than internally, is that it functions in the service of rhetorical ethos, in particular the need to display the fact that one is human, with human autonomy and agency. Doing this may be particularly important in contexts such as anonymous survey interviews in which people are at risk of being treated like machines. (shrink)