The Chinese room argument has presented a persistent headache in the search for Artificial Intelligence. Since it first appeared in the literature, various interpretations have been made, attempting to understand the problems posed by this thought experiment. Throughout all this time, some researchers in the Artificial Intelligence community have seen Symbol Grounding as proposed by Harnad as a solution to the Chinese room argument. The main thesis in this paper is that although related, these two issues present different problems in (...) the framework presented by Harnad himself. The work presented here attempts to shed some light on the relationship between John Searle’s intentionality notion and Harnad’s Symbol Grounding Problem. (shrink)
Scientific cosmology is an empirical discipline whose objects of study are the large-scale properties of the universe. In this context, it is usual to call the direction of the expansion of the universe the "cosmological arrow of time". However, there is no reason for privileging the ‘radius’ of the universe for defining the arrow of time over other geometrical properties of the space-time. Traditional discussions about the arrow of time in general involve the concept of entropy. In the cosmological context, (...) the direction past-to-future is usually related to the direction of the gradient of the entropy function of the universe. But entropy is a thermodynamic magnitude that is typically associated with subsystems of the universe: the entropy of the universe as a whole is a very controversial matter. Moreover, thermodynamics is a phenomenological theory. Geometrical properties of space-time provide a more fundamental and less controversial way of defining an arrow of time for the universe as a whole. We will call the arrow defined only on the basis of the geometrical properties of space-time, independently of any entropic considerations, the "cosmological arrow of time". In this paper we will argue that: (i) it is possible to define a cosmological arrow of time for the universe as a whole, if certain conditions are satisfied, and (ii) the standard models of contemporary cosmology satisfy these conditions. (shrink)
Thomas Bonk has dedicated a book to analyzing the thesis of underdetermination of scientific theories, with a chapter exclusively devoted to the analysis of the relation between this idea and the indeterminacy of meaning. Both theses caused a revolution in the philosophic world in the sixties, generating a cascade of articles and doctoral theses. Agitation seems to have cooled down, but the point is still debated and it may be experiencing a renewed resurgence.
: This paper deals with Claudia Card's important contributions to a theory of evil that steps out from traditional models of thinking about this problem (theodicies, metaphysical theories, etc.). Instead, our author seeks to explore important elements from other theorists (such as Kant and Nietzsche) in order to build up her ideas of what she calls the "atrocity paradigm." This critical essay focuses mainly in the spaces where Card's conclusions need to rethink the limits and constraints of her theory.
: The key concept is "vertigo of secularization." It relates to the fears that societies experience when understanding the need to ground their political orders as separated from religion. The erosion of values produces vertigos around the world. We need to understand better these kinds of processes because only by doing so can we keep that fear and violence from taking precedence over the hard working tasks of building up a global political community.
In the centenary year of Turing’s birth, a lot of good things are sure to be written about him. But it is hard to find something new to write about Turing. This is the biggest merit of this article: it shows how von Neumann’s architecture of the modern computer is a serendipitous consequence of the universal Turing machine, built to solve a logical problem.
: My text is written to answer the questions asked at the APA Meeting's presentation of the book Moral Textures: Feminist Narratives in the Public Sphere by professors María Lugones and Eduardo Mendieta. The answer seeks to clarify that Lugones's infrapolitics position is not so distant from mine. I also address Mendieta's question directed more to the aesthetic domain. There, I seek to show how my position could be taken as a creative effort to extend some of Habermas's early work (...) on the public sphere, and to develop the thesis of the important relations between the aesthetic and the moral realms. (shrink)
Pragmatism, with its insistence that philosophy attend to practical affairs of what Charles Sanders Peirce called "vital importance," has always faced a unique double bind. If it spent too much time on philosophical speculation, it made no difference to practical affairs. But if it fixated on the practical affairs of the social and political realm, it was no longer engaged in philosophy. This double bind is not unique to pragmatism and has shown itself repeatedly in the last two hundred years (...) as feminist and anti-racist philosophy have gained traction in academia. Feminists who worry about concrete cases of oppression, who work in practical ways to end this oppression, are not regarded as true philosophers. .. (shrink)
Medicine in a Neurocentric World: About the Explanatory Power of Neuroscientific Models in Medical Research and Practice Content Type Journal Article Category Editorial Notes Pages 307-313 DOI 10.1007/s12376-009-0036-2 Authors Lara Huber, University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz Institute for History, Philosophy and Ethics of Medicine Am Pulverturm 13 55131 Mainz Germany Lara K. Kutschenko, University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz Institute for History, Philosophy and Ethics of Medicine Am Pulverturm 13 (...) 55131 Mainz Germany Journal Medicine Studies Online ISSN 1876-4541 Print ISSN 1876-4533 Journal Volume Volume 1 Journal Issue Volume 1, Number 4. (shrink)
This paper investigates the nature and foundation of duties to oneself in Kant's moral theory. Duties to oneself embody the requirement of the formula of humanity that agents respect rational nature in them-selves as well as in others. So understood, duties to oneself are not subject to the sorts of conceptual objections often raised against duties to oneself; nor do these duties support objections that Kant's moral theory is overly demanding or produces agents who are preoccupied with their own virtue. (...) Duties to oneself emerge as an essential and compelling part of Kant's moral theory. (shrink)
This is a survey article in which I explore some important recent work on the topic in question, Kant’s formula of the end in itself (or “formula of humanity”). I first provide an overview of the formulation, including what the formula seems roughly to be saying, and what Kant’s main argument for it seems to be. I then call the reader’s attention to a variety of questions one might have about the import of and argument for this formula, alluding to (...) some of the works in which philosophers have recently raised or tried to answer these questions. Then, for the bulk of the paper, I focus my discussion on two issues of contention: the identity of the “end in itself” that the formula refers to, and the relation between the value of the end in itself and the value of other ends. I do not attempt to argue for a particular position of my own regarding these issues. Instead, I explain a number of the more interesting or influential recent attempts to answer these questions, compare these approaches in various ways, draw implications from them, and raise concerns about some of them. I also suggest that an important link connects the question about the identity of the end in itself and the question about the relation between the value of the end in itself in relation to the value of other ends: How one answers these questions commits one to a position on the thorny issue of whether, how, and how fully, autonomy is manifested through empirical (not simply pure) practical reason. (shrink)
Although Kant argues that morality is prior to and independent of religion, Kant nevertheless claims that religion of a certain sort (“moral theism”) follows from morality, and that atheism poses threats to morality. Kant criticizes atheism as morally problematic in four ways: atheism robs the atheist of springs for moral action, leads the atheist to moral despair, corrupts the atheist’s moral character, and has a pernicious influence on the atheist’s community. I argue that Kant is right to say that moral (...) theism can help support morality, and that (for some people), morality leads to religion. But I also argue that one may refrain from accepting the existence of God and still act from respect for the moral law, resist despair, cultivate and retain a virtuous character, and pose no moral threat to one’s community. Indeed, theism, even moral theism, raises moral risks of its own. This article includes discussions of different versions of the highest good, and of two main types of atheism (skeptical and dogmatic). (shrink)
The formula of universal law (FUL) is a natural starting point for philosophers interested in a Kantian perspective on the morality of abortion. I argue, however, that FUL does not yield much in the way of promising or substantive conclusions regarding the morality of abortion. I first reveal how two philosophers' (Hare's and Gensler's) attempts to use Kantian considerations of universality and prescriptivity fail to provide analyses of abortion that are either compelling or true to Kant=s understanding of FUL. I (...) then turn to some recent interpretations of Kant=s FUL contradiction in conception (CC) and contradiction in will (CW) tests. I argue that none of the interpretations of the CC testBincluding the practical interpretation favored by KorsgaardBdoes much to reveal moral problems with maxims of abortion. The CW test (as developed by Herman) is more helpful. Nevertheless, I argue that neither by considering abortion maxims as a subset of maxims of convenience killing, nor by considering such maxims as maxims of refusing to aid, can the CW test generate a general prohibition of abortion. At best, the CW test illuminates the abortion issue because by forcing us to think about how killing a fetus differs from killing other human beings, what attitudes we may reasonably have toward a fetus, and whether Kant's moral theory must be amended to do justice to the problem of abortion. But to pursue these questions, we must look beyond FUL; Kant’s formula of humanity and doctrine of virtue may well have more to offer. (shrink)
Kant’s ethics conceives of rational beings as autonomous–capable of legislating the moral law, and of motivating themselves to act out of respect for that law. Kant’s ethics also includes a notion of the highest good, the union of virtue with happiness proportional to, and consequent on, virtue. According to Kant, morality sets forth the highest good as an object of the totality of all things good as ends. Much about Kant’s conception of the highest good is controversial. This paper focuses (...) on the apparent conflict between Kant’s claim that we are autonomous, and passages in which he seems to suggest that we require belief in the possibility of the highest good to motivate moral action. I distinguish three distinct versions of these problematic claims that seem to be present in Kant’s texts: that the highest good serves as (1) a motivational supplement to respect for the moral law, (2) a fundamental spring of right action, and (3) a condition of the bindingness of moral requirements. I argue that the texts are better interpreted to yield alternatives to (2) and (3) that do not conflict with our autonomy. I also argue that, properly understood, (1) does not conflict with our autonomy. In arguing for the last claim, I explore Kant’s notion of radical evil and its implications for human agency and virtue. (shrink)
Many philosophers have portrayed Kant as having little of interest or merit to say about personal relationships--especially marriage. I argue that we can glean a compelling ideal of marriage from Kant’s ethical theory if we draw on Kant’s ideal of friendship (and on the formula of humanity, on which that ideal is based). Indeed, Kant himself often compares marriage and friendship, though he says that it is friendship rather than marriage that contains the maximum of reciprocal love balanced with respect. (...) I suggest that we cannot forge this Kantian ideal of marriage, however, without challenging Kant on a number of points. I argue that we must disregard a variety of Kant’s views about women and men, soften Kant’s insistence on both equality and distance between friends, and place more importance on the emotion of love in both friendship and marriage. (shrink)
This paper situates abortion in the context of women’s duties to themselves. I argue that Kant’s fundamental moral requirement (found in the formula of humanity) to respect oneself as a rational being, combined with Kant’s view of our animal nature, form the basis for a view of pregnancy and abortion that focuses on women’s agency and moral character without diminishing the importance of their bodies and emotions. The Kantian view of abortion that emerges takes abortion to be morally problematic, but (...) sometimes permissible, and sometimes even required. I first sketch Kant’s account to duties to oneself, highlighting duties to oneself as an animal and moral being. Next, I discuss pregnancy and the challenges it poses to women’s self-preservation, development, and efficacy as rational human agents. I then give my main argument: that abortion is morally problematic because it is antagonistic to an important subset of morally useful emotions that we have self-regarding duties to protect and cultivate. I argue that self-regarding moral considerations ground a rebuttable deliberative presumption against maxims of abortion for inclination-based ends. Finally, I consider three objections to this account of abortion: that it rests on implausible assumptions about the effects of abortion on women’s morally useful sentiments; that it portrays the virtuous agent’s reasoning about abortion as objectionably self-regarding; and that it fails adequately to recognize the moral significance of the fetus as a potential rational being. (shrink)
This paper provides an account of what it is to have faith in a proposition p, in both religious and mundane contexts. It is argued that faith in p doesn’t require adopting a degree of belief that isn’t supported by one’s evidence but rather it requires terminating one’s search for further evidence and acting on the supposition that p. It is then shown, by responding to a formal result due to I.J. Good, that doing so can be rational in a (...) number of circumstances. If expected utility theory is the correct account of practical rationality, then having faith can be both epistemically and practically rational if the costs associated with gathering further evidence or postponing the decision are high. If a more permissive framework is adopted, then having faith can be rational even when there are no costs associated with gathering further evidence. (shrink)
The ‘rollback argument,’ pioneered by Peter van Inwagen, purports to show that indeterminism in any form is incompatible with free will. The argument has two major premises: the first claims that certain facts about chances obtain in a certain kind of hypothetical situation, and the second that these facts entail that some actual act is not free. Since the publication of the rollback argument, the second claim has been vehemently debated, but everyone seems to have taken the first claim for (...) granted. Nevertheless, the first claim is totally unjustified. Even if we accept the second claim, therefore, the argument gives us no reason to think that free will and indeterminism are incompatible. Furthermore, seeing where the rollback argument goes wrong illuminates how a certain kind of incompatibilist, the ‘chance-incompatibilist,’ ought to think about free will and chance, and points to a possibility for free will that has remained largely unexplored. (shrink)
: This review considers the process of expansion of subjectivity that María Pía Lara introduces in Moral Textures: Feminist Narratives in the Public Sphere. As the complexity of Lara's understanding of multiculturalism is exhibited, the process of achievement of self-realization and autonomy is critiqued as inconsistent with the hidden transcript/public transcript distinction. The "we" to be fashioned intersubjectively in the dialogical process of subjective expansion cannot countenance that crucial distinction to the understanding of those narratives.
I consider Kant’s use of claims about “nature’s ends” in his arguments to establish maxims of homosexual sex, masturbation, and bestiality as constituting “unnatural” sexual vices, which are contrary to one’s duties to oneself as an animal and moral being. I argue, first, that the formula of humanity is the principle best suited for understanding duties to oneself as an animal and moral being; and second, that although natural teleology is relevant to some degree in specifying these duties, it cannot (...) play a sufficiently robust role to establish Kant’s conclusion. I also discuss what the formula of humanity (along with warranted attention to natural teleology) suggests about the morality of homosexual sex, masturbation, and bestiality. (shrink)
Kant claims that we have a duty to promote our own moral perfection, but not the moral perfection of others. I examine three types of argument for this asymmetry, as well as the implications of these arguments--and their success or failure--for Kantian theory. The arguments I consider say that (first) to promote others’ perfection is impossible; (second) to try to promote others’ perfection is impermissible; and (third) one cannot be obligated to promote both others’ perfection and one’s own. I argue (...) that none of these arguments establishes Kant’s conclusion. Since the formula of humanity grounds a duty to promote our own perfection out of respect for our rational nature, the absence of an argument denying that we must promote others’ perfection suggests that we must do so (out of respect for their rational nature). Even so, Kant’s theory discourages moral paternalism and takes perfection to be a primarily self-regarding project. Thus, I also show that a Kantian duty to promote the moral perfection of others would be unobjectionable, despite the problems such a duty might initially seem to invite. (shrink)
In Kant’s moral theory, we do not have duties to animals, though we have duties with regard to them. I reconstruct Kant’s arguments for several types of duties with regard to animals and show that Kant’s theory imposes far more robust requirements on our treatment of animals than one would expect. Kant’s duties regarding animals are perfect and imperfect; they are primarily but not exclusively duties to oneself; and they condemn not merely cruelty to animals for its own sake, but (...) also, such things as killing them for food when our health does not require it and ingratitude to service animals. Central to understanding these duties is appreciating Kant’s concern for our morally useful emotions, for it is primarily because of the effect that cruelty to animals has on our sympathetic emotions—which greatly help us treat other rational beings appropriately—that we have duties not to be cruel to animals. Yet cruelty and callousness toward animals are not problematic only because they may weaken some of our morally useful emotions. Cuelty and callousness toward animals are problematic also because they oppose our morally useful emotions; these emotions, as part of the perfection of our nature, should be honored, supported, and furthered, unless there are compelling reasons not to do so in particular cases. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Contributors; Method of citing Aristotle's works; Method of citing Kant's works; Introduction; 1. Virtue ethics in relation to Kantian ethics: an opinionated overview and commentary Marcia Baron; 2. What does the Aristotelian Phronimos know? Rosalind Hursthouse; 3. Kant and agent-oriented ethics Allen Wood; 4. The difference that ends make Barbara Herman; 5. Two pictures of practical thinking Talbot Brewer; 6. Moving beyond Kant's moral agent in the Grounding Julian Wuerth; 7. A Kantian conception of human flourishing (...)Lara Denis; 8. Kantian perfectionism Paul Guyer; 9. Aristotle, the Stoics, and Kant on anger Nancy Sherman; 10. Kant's impartial virtues of love Christine Swanton; 11. The problem we all have with deontology Michael Slote; 12. Intuition, system, and the 'paradox' of deontology Timothy Chappell; Bibliography; Index. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that if one is to do justice to reason's unity in Kant, then one must acknowledge that reason's practical ends are presupposed in every theoretical investigation of nature. Thus, contrary to some other commentators, I contend that the notion of the metaphysical ground of the unity of nature should not be attributed to the “dynamics of reason” and its “own practical purposes.” Instead, the metaphysical ground of the unity of nature is in fact an indispensable (...) and necessary notion for reason in both its theoretical and practical functions, but this need of reason to presuppose such a notion can only find its adequate proof in the practical. By offering a synopsis of Kant's accounts of nature's systematicity in the Transcendental Ideal of the Critique of Pure Reason (Part I), the Appendix to the Dialectic of the Critique of Pure Reason (Part II), and in the Critique of Judgment (Part III), I identify in each section Kant's theoretical and practical arguments for reason's presupposition of the “unconditioned,” demonstrate their structural interdependence, and show a general continuity in Kant's position on this issue throughout his critical system. (shrink)
Dutch Book Arguments. B is susceptibility to sure monetary loss (in a certain betting set-up), and F is the formal role played by non-Pr b’s in the DBT and the Converse DBT. Representation Theorem Arguments. B is having preferences that violate some of Savage’s axioms (and/or being unrepresentable as an expected utility maximizer), and F is the formal role played by non-Pr b’s in the RT.
This significant, stimulating contribution to Kantian practical philosophy strives to interpret Kant’s theory of action in ways that will increase readers’ understanding and appreciation of Kant’s moral theory. Its thesis is that Kant combines metaphysical freedom and psychological determinism: our actions within the phenomenal world are causally determined by our prior psychological states in that world and are appearances of our free action in the noumenal world. McCarty argues for a metaphysical, “two-worlds” interpretation of Kant’s transcendental distinction between appearances and (...) things in themselves over epistemological or methodological “two-standpoints” interpretations familiar from Christine Korsgaard .. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that, on Kant's view, the work of genius serves as a sensible exhibition of the Idea of the highest good. In other words, the work of genius serves as a special sign that the world is hospitable to our moral ends and that the realization of our moral vocation in such a world may indeed be possible. In the first part of the paper, I demonstrate that the purpose of the highest good is not to (...) strengthen our motivation to accept the moral law as binding for us but, rather, to strengthen our motivation to persist in our already existent moral dispositions. In the second part, I show that the works of genius exhibit the Idea of the highest good and, consequently, strengthen our hope in its realization. Drawing on the results of the second part, the third part of the paper demonstrates that beauty, of both art and nature, symbolizes morality in a more substantive sense than that suggested by Henry Allison's “formalistic” interpretation. Since, on my view, fine art in Kant serves as a sensible representation of an undetermined conceptual content, or the Idea of the highest good, the fourth part of the paper addresses the vexed question of whether Kant's account of fine art already anticipates the cognitive role later attributed to it by the German Idealists. (shrink)
In this paper, I develop a criticism to a method for metaontology, namely, the idea that a discourse’s or theory’s ontological commitments can be read off its sentences’ truth-conditions. Firstly, I will put forward this idea’s basis and, secondly, I will present the way Quine subscribed to it (not actually for hermeneutical or historic interest, but as a way of exposing the idea). However, I distinguish between two readings of Quine’s famous ontological criterion, and I center the focus on (assuming (...) without further discussion the other one to be mistaken) the one currently dubbed “ontological minimalism”, a kind of modern Ockhamism applied to the mentioned metaontological view. I show that this view has a certain application via Quinean thesis of reference inscrutability but that it is not possible to press that application any further and, in particular, not for the ambitious metaontological task some authors try to employ. The conclusion may sound promising: having shown the impossibility of a semantic ontological criterion, intentionalist or subjectivist ones should be explored. (shrink)
Evolutionary applications of game theory present one of the most pedagogically accessible varieties of genuine, contemporary theoretical biology. We present here Oyun (OY-oon, http://charlespence.net/oyun), a program designed to run iterated prisoner’s dilemma tournaments, competitions between prisoner’s dilemma strategies developed by the students themselves. Using this software, students are able to readily design and tweak their own strategies, and to see how they fare both in round-robin tournaments and in “evolutionary” tournaments, where the scores in a given “generation” directly determine contribution (...) to the population in the next generation. Oyun is freely available, runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers, and the process of creating new prisoner’s dilemma strategies is both easy to teach and easy for students to grasp. We illustrate with two interesting examples taken from actual use of Oyun in the classroom. (shrink)
This essay reflects on issues raised by commentators regarding my book, The Atrocity Paradigm: A Theory of Evil (Oxford 2002). They are (1) Robin Schott's observation of the tension between my discussion of forgiveness and of castration fantasies; (2) Bat-Ami Bar On's questions regarding whether evil is ethical, political, or both; (3) Adam Morton's queries regarding the relative seriousness of evils and injustices; and (4) María Pía Lara's concerns regarding what is valuable in Kant's ethics.
Taking the visual appeal of the ‘bell curve’ as an example, this paper discusses in how far the availability of quantitative approaches (here: statistics) that comes along with representational standards immediately affects qualitative concepts of scientific reasoning (here: normality). Within the realm of this paper I shall focus on the relationship between normality, as defined by scientific enterprise, and normativity, that result out of the very processes of standardisation itself. Two hypotheses are guiding this analysis: (1) normality, as it is (...) defined by the natural and the life sciences, must be regarded as an ontological, but epistemological important fiction and (2) standardised, canonical visualisations (such as the ‘bell curve’) impact on scientific thinking and reasoning to a significant degree. I restrict my analysis to the epistemological function of scientific representations of data: This means identifying key strategies of producing graphs and images in scientific practice. As a starting point, it is crucial to evaluate to what degree graphs and images could be seen as guiding scientific reasoning itself, for instance in attributing to them a certain epistemological function within a given field of research. (shrink)
The purpose of this study was to extend the knowledge about why procedural justice (PJ) has behavioral implications within organizations. Since prior studies show that PJ leads to legitimacy, the author suggests that, when formal regulations are unfairly implemented, they lose their validity or efficacy (becoming deactivated even if they are formally still in force). This “rule deactivation,” in turn, leads to two proposed destructive work behaviors, namely, workplace deviance and decreased citizenship behaviors (OCBs). The results support this mediating role (...) of RD, thus suggesting that it forms part of the generative mechanism through which unfair procedures influence (un)ethical behavior within organizations. The author ends the article by discussing behavioral ethics and managerial implications as well as suggestions for future research. (shrink)
Many feminist philosophers have been highly critical of Kant’s ethics, either because of his rationalism or because of particular claims he makes about women in his writings on anthropology and political philosophy. In this paper, I call attention to the aspects of Kant’s ethical theory that make it attractive from a feminist standpoint. Kant’s duties to oneself are rich resource for feminism. These duties require women to act in ways that show respect for themselves as rational human agents by, e.g., (...) avoiding servility, self-deception, self-mutilation, and sexual self-degradation, and cultivating their natural talents (as well as their virtue). Duties to others demand that other people treat women respectfully by requiring that they avoid mocking, degrading, or acting arrogantly toward others. Indeed, even when one sets out to promote others’ happiness, Kant’s ethics requires that one not act paternalistically. Kant’s ethics insists that every rational agent recognize the equality and dignity of all rational agents. Thus, it pushes women to respect themselves and to demand respect from others; and it pushes men to respect women as a basic moral requirement. (shrink)
Tänk dig att du kommit som Robinson Crusoe till en nästan öde ö, dvs till en ö du trodde var öde till dess att du träffade Fredag. Fredag förefaller tala ett språk, men det är helt olikt varje språk du hittills stött på. Du bestämmer dig efter ett tag för att försöka lära dig det. Det förefaller gå bra. Av allt att döma får du god kontakt med Fredag. Ni delar med er av mat till varandra. Ni lyckas uppfatta en (...) del av varandras åtbörder: pekgester, uttryck för uppskattning, en anmodan att komma eller gå, och annat. På grundval av detta lyckas du, eller åtminstone förefaller det så, inleda ett samarbete med Fredag ifråga om att skaffa fram mat. Fredag börjar till och med hjälpa dig att bygga en inhägnad för några höns ni fångat. Under tiden detta pågår börjar du försöka använda en del ord eller andra uttryck du hört Fredag yttra. Du har t.ex. hört honom ibland yttra "ptocha" när ni pekat ut hönsfåglar för varandra, och försöker göra detsamma själv. Några gånger ler han uppmuntrande men andra gånger brummar han misstroget och gör en huvudrörelse som du börjat uppfatta som nekande. Du förstår först inte varför. Senare märker du att en fågel du pekat ut när Fredag gjort den nekande rörelsen plötsligt fäller ut vingarna och flyger ut ur inhägnaden. Samma sak händer igen. Och efter ett tag börjar du märka små skillnader i färg, ifråga om näbbens storlek och klornas längd, så att du själv kan skilja mellan fåglar som flyger iväg och fåglar som inte gör det. Du drar slutsatsen att "ptocha" står för den art av hönsliknande fåglar som har flygförmåga. Den här processen fortsätter. Du identifierar verb och adjektiv, pronomen, prepositioner och räkneord, liksom logiska partiklar som (Fredags motsvarigheter till) "och", "eller", "inte", "om..., så...". Du kan sätta ihop hela meningar som Fredag själv inte yttrat, men som består av delar som han yttrat.. (shrink)
Given that visualisations via medical imaging have tremendously increased over the last decades, the overall presence of colour-coded brain slices generated on the basis of functional imaging, i.e. neuroimaging techniques, have led to the assumption of so-called kinds of brains or cognitive profiles that might be especially related to non-healthy humans affected by neurological, neuropsychological or psychiatric syndromes or disorders. In clinical contexts especially, one must consider that visualisations through medical imaging are suggestive in a twofold way. Imaging data not (...) only visually render pathological entities, but also tend to represent objective and concrete evidence for these psychophysical states in question. This article aims to identify key issues in visually rendering psychiatric disorders via functional approaches of imaging within the neurosciences from an epistemological point of view. (shrink)
Medical classification systems aim to provide a manageable taxonomy for sorting diagnoses into their proper classes. The question, this paper wants to critically examine, is how to correctly systematise diseases within classification systems that are applied in a variety of different settings. ICD and DSM , the two major classification systems in medicine and psychiatry, will be the main subjects of this paper; however, the arguments are not restricted to these classification systems but point out general methodological and epistemological challenges (...) of classifying diseases for differing purposes. Deciding what qualifies as a disease to be included into a classification system as well as choosing a specific validator for correctly systematising diseases is complicated because the broad applicability of medical classification systems simultaneously appears as aim and challenge. Drawing upon the case study of classifying Alzheimer’s disease, this paper will address three dilemmas in designing ‘good’ medical classification systems. They are due to general epistemological problems of medicine, such as the relationship between individual manifestations of diseases and the necessity of building groups in order to scientifically elucidate causes of diseases. Moreover, they involve pragmatic issues of designing usable classifications that allow for easily discriminating between classes of diseases, restricting, however, the completeness of disease representations. This paper wants to trace how the choice of certain validators is unavoidably value-laden and deeply intertwined with epistemological assumptions of how different uses relate to each other, resulting either in a prioritisation of (constrained) coherence or of (vague) pluralistic connectibility. (shrink)
Viviamo in un mondo tutt’altro che simmetrico. Luca ama Lara, ma lei lo detesta. I ricchi sfruttano i poveri e i belli deridono i brutti, mai viceversa. Chi parla non ascolta, chi ascolta non parla. Anche l’economia è asimmetrica: raramente gli agenti di mercato condividono le medesime informazioni sui beni di scambio, e mentre il venditore tende a tacere la vera natura dei propri prodotti (mai provato a comprare un’auto usata?) il compratore che fiuta l’affare non è da meno (...) (direste forse al mercante che la crosta che vuol svendervi potrebbe essere un Corot?) L’economista Joseph Stiglitz ha vinto il Nobel 2001 proprio0sulla teoria dei «macinini usati». E poi c’è la guerra, questa guerra che ci inquieta proprio per le inedite asimmetrie degli schieramenti: gli obiettivi appaiono diversi, le strategie incomparabili, i valori e principi ispiratori brutalmente dissonanti. «Contrastare la forza dell’avversario facendo leva sulle sue debolezze», diceva Sun Tzu. Ed ecco che al Pentagono ci si ritrova a riflettere sul paradosso di uno scenario strategico in cui la superiorità militare del Golia statunitense teme il colpo della fionda nemica. E si battezza la «guerra asimmetrica». (shrink)
In this article, we report a study in which 109 research-active mathematicians were asked to judge the validity of a purported proof in undergraduate calculus. Significant results from our study were as follows: (a) there was substantial disagreement among mathematicians regarding whether the argument was a valid proof, (b) applied mathematicians were more likely than pure mathematicians to judge the argument valid, (c) participants who judged the argument invalid were more confident in their judgments than those who judged it valid, (...) and (d) participants who judged the argument valid usually did not change their judgment when presented with a reason raised by other mathematicians for why the proof should be judged invalid. These findings suggest that, contrary to some claims in the literature, there is not a single standard of validity among contemporary mathematicians. (shrink)
Emmanuel Levinas (1905-1995) was one of the foremost thinkers of the twentieth century. His work influencing a wide range of intellectuals such as Maurice Blanchot, Jacques Derrida, Luce Irigaray and Jean-Luc Marion.
Although Charles Peirce is generally not interpreted primarily as a social-political philosopher, several commentators on Peirce have contended, along with Lara Trout, that his philosophy “provides significant resources to add to contemporary discussions of social criticism” (11). Trout’s bold, creative, and lively volume, however, is perhaps the first to develop that point systematically and in depth. By reading Peirce as a social critic, Trout argues, we allow the various strands of his thought to come together more fully and, at (...) the same time, see more clearly the blind spots in his thinking: “social criticism helps Peirce be more Peircean” (15). Trout makes a very compelling case (although this .. (shrink)
Occupational health remains neglected in developing countries because of competing social, economic and political challenges. Ethical issues in the workplace related to the hazards and risks of becoming infected by Leishmania (Leishmania) mexicana , through the bite of naturally infected sand flies, is another area of concern that has been neglected as well. We report here the results of reviewing two entomological field studies carried out in our research center from 2003 to 2006. Eight students from our School of Biology (...) were invited to catch sand flies. A total of six of the eight (75%) developed a typical clinical picture of Localized Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (LCL) caused by L. (L.) mexicana . In this article we identify the ethical issues related to these kinds of studies and propose some guidelines for conducting them. (shrink)
In this book Lara Trout provides provocative but problematic food for thought. She crafts an exegesis of Peirce's concepts of evolutionary agapism and critical commonsensism as resources for a theory of social justice aligned with contemporary race and gender theories. Conforming Peirce's tenets to her own agenda, she develops a radical politics of societal inclusiveness by way of analyzing and critiquing putative "nonconscious biases" in the "background" beliefs of broad segments of the contemporary populace. Unfortunately, this steers Peirce's ship (...) on an unrecognizable course. Trout's strategic word, straight out of the Foucaultian-Frankfurtian play-book, is "hegemonic," which she repeatedly applies to "white .. (shrink)
The sensation of smell at its most powerful is more about a peculiarly immediate kind of intellectual association than about pure sensory delight or horror. The most evocative odours resonate with other fragrances in our individual smell vocabulary, and film as a medium is equal to literature in capturing the more peculiar or unconscious workings of the mind. Indeed, this seems to be what cinema does most naturally; it is better placed than literature to make effortless subliminal connections.
Leadership is the art of discovering and expressing one's inborn nature. It is a natural response, a way of being and doing within reality that creates a powerful influence on one's community toward greater degrees of peace and harmony on the individual and communal levels. In this paper, I use Chuang Tzu's philosophy (in its 1968 translation by Burton Watson) about the nature of reality and how one finds inner peace and harmony within themselves in order to demonstrate why it (...) is the self-realized individual who is the best candidate to non-coercively influence one's community into sounding more like a symphony, rather than a cacophony. (shrink)