Abstract This paper is a close textual criticism of Theodosius Dobzhansky's Genetics and the Origin of Species. It argues that the book succeeds as interdisciplinary communication by promoting polysemy. The professional goals of two scientific communities are embedded in the text in such a way that each audience reads the call for co?operative action as implicit support for their own methods.
Hierarchical Bayesian models (HBMs) provide an account of Bayesian inference in a hierarchically structured hypothesis space. Scientific theories are plausibly regarded as organized into hierarchies in many cases, with higher levels sometimes called ‘paradigms’ and lower levels encoding more specific or concrete hypotheses. Therefore, HBMs provide a useful model for scientific theory change, showing how higher‐level theory change may be driven by the impact of evidence on lower levels. HBMs capture features described in the Kuhnian tradition, particularly the idea that (...) higher‐level theories guide learning at lower levels. In addition, they help resolve certain issues for Bayesians, such as scientific preference for simplicity and the problem of new theories. *Received July 2009; revised October 2009. †To contact the authors, please write to: Leah Henderson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, 32D‐808, Cambridge, MA 02139; e‐mail: email@example.com. (shrink)
Does the Buddhist doctrine of no-self imply, simply put, no-other? Does this doctrine necessarily come into conflict with an ethics premised on the alterity of the other? This article explores these questions by situating Emmanuel Levinas’s ethics in the context of contemporary Japanese philosophy. The work of twentieth-century Japanese philosopher Watsuji Tetsurō provides a starting point from which to consider the ethics of the self-other relation in light of the Buddhist notion of emptiness. The philosophy of thirteenth-century Zen Master Dōgen (...) casts doubt on Watsuji’s commitment to reciprocal self-other relationality, showing that the idea of self-emptiness disrupts any conventional understanding of reciprocity and promotes instead other-oriented compassion. Despite interesting similarities between the ethics of alterity and Buddhist compassion, a Buddhist-influenced understanding of alterity differs from Levinas on important points, by making possible the claim that all others—human, animal, plant, and mineral—are ethical others. (shrink)
Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) are increasingly used to assess multiple facets of healthcare, including effectiveness, side effects of treatment, symptoms, health care needs, quality of care, and the evaluation of health care options. There are thousands of these measures and yet there is very little discussion of their theoretical underpinnings. In her 2008 Presidential address to the Society for Quality of Life Research (ISOQoL), Professor Donna Lamping challenged researchers to grapple with the theoretical issues that arise from these measures. In (...) this paper, I attempt to do so by arguing for an analogy between PROMs and Hans-Georg Gadamer’s logic of question and answer. While researchers readily admit that the constructs involved in PROMs are imperfectly understood and lack a gold standard, they often ignore the consequences of this fact. Gadamer’s work on questions and their importance to philosophical hermeneutics helps to show that the questions researchers ask about such constructs are also imperfectly understood. I argue that these questions should not be standardized, and I instead propose a theoretical framework that understands PROMs as posing genuine questions to respondents—questions that are open to reinterpretation. (shrink)
The notion of rationality is crucial to Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, Economics, Law, Philosophy, Psychology, Anthropology, etc. Most if not all of these disciplines presuppose the agent's capacity to infer in a logical manner. Theories about rationality tend toward two extremes: either they presuppose an unattainable logical capacity, or they tend to minimize the role of logic, in light of vast data on fallacious inferential performance. We analyze some presuppositions in the classical view of logic, and suggest empirical and (...) theoretical evidence for the place of inferential heuristics in a theory of rationality. We propose (1) to outline a new theory of rationality that includes the key notion of logical capacity as a necessary but realistic factor, (2) to expand the notion of inference to include non-deductive inference, specifically non-monotonic, and (3) to emphasize the logical role of inferential heuristics and constraints such as cognitive economy. (shrink)
Twelve years ago the British media got wind of a London gynecologist who performed an elective reduction on a twin pregnancy reducing it to a singleton. Perhaps not surprisingly, opinion on the moral status of twin reductions was divided. But in the last few years new evidence regarding the medical risks of twin pregnancies has emerged, suggesting that twin reductions are relevantly similar to the reductions performed on high-end multi-fetal pregnancies. This evidence has appeared to resolve the moral debate. In (...) this paper I look at the role of clinical evidence in medical ethics. In particular I examine the role of clinical evidence in determining what counts as a significant harm or risk. First, I challenge the extent to which these empirical claims are descriptive, suggesting instead that the evidence is to some degree normative in character. Second, I question whether such empirical claims should count as evidence for what are essentially difficult ethical decisions – a role they appear to play in the case of elective reductions. I will argue that they should not, primarily because the value-laden nature of this evidence conceals much of what is ethically at stake. It is important to recognize that empirical evidence cannot be a substitute for ethical deliberation. (shrink)
This article engages bell hooks's concept of “radical black subjectivity” through the lens of the Buddhist doctrine of no-self. Relying on the Zen theorist Dōgen and on resources from Japanese aesthetics, I argue that non-attachment to the self clarifies hooks's claim that radical subjectivity unites our capacity for critical resistance with our capacity to appreciate beauty. I frame this argument in terms of hooks's concern that postmodernist identity critiques dismiss the identity claims of disempowered peoples. On the one hand, identity (...) critique has an emotional component, as it involves questioning the self and possibly letting go of aspects of that self in which a person has inevitably made emotional investments. On the other hand, it has an aesthetic component, as it opens a space for the creative crafting and recrafting of identity. Japanese aesthetics emphasizes that all aesthetic appreciation is accompanied by feelings of mournfulness, for the object of aesthetic appreciation is transient. Linking hooks's liberatory aesthetics with the resources of the Japanese tradition suggests that mournfulness in the face of self-loss necessarily accompanies all instances of critical resistance. Thus non-attachment becomes a useful framework in which to understand both the emotional and aesthetic components of empowered identity critique. (shrink)
In this article, I examine Adam Smith's theory of the ways individuals in society bridge social and biological difference. In doing so, I emphasize the divisive effects of gender, race, and class to see if Smith's account of social unity can overcome such fractious forces. My discussion uses the metaphor of “proximity” to mean both physical and psychological distance between moral actors and spectators. I suggest that education – both formal and informal in means – can assist moral judgment by (...) helping agents minimize the effects of proximity, and, ultimately, learn commonality where difference may otherwise seem overwhelming. This article uses the methods of the history of philosophy in order to examine an issue within contemporary discourse. While I seek to offer an authentic reading of Smith representative of his eighteenth-century perspective, I do so with an eye towards determining the extent to which Smith anticipated central issues in modern multiculturalism. (Published Online April 18 2006) Footnotes1 I would like to thank Luc Bovens, Kim Donehower, David Levy, Elizabeth Sund, and Leah M. McClimans, for their help on previous drafts of this article. (shrink)
Shenker has claimed that Von Neumann's argument for identifying the quantum mechanical entropy with the Von Neumann entropy, S() = – ktr( log ), is invalid. Her claim rests on a misunderstanding of the idea of a quantum mechanical pure state. I demonstrate this, and provide a further explanation of Von Neumann's argument.
Failings in patient care and quality in NHS Trusts have become a recurring theme over the past few years. In this paper, we examine the Care Quality Commission’s Guidance about Compliance : Essential Standards of Quality and Safety and ask how NHS Trusts might be better supported in fulfilling the regulations specified therein. We argue that clinical ethics committees (CECs) have a role to play in this regard. We make this argument by attending to the many ethical elements that are (...) highlighted in the Commission’s Regulations and by providing practical examples of how CECs can (and in some case already do) provide ethics support to health professionals and trusts. Although CECs have been traditionally associated with case consultation, i.e., discrete problems caused by individual circumstances, in the previous 10 years the literature suggests that clinical ethics services have become more integrated into the life of the health care organization and are increasing construed as proactive agents of systematic change. We provide evidence from a recent survey of UK clinical ethics services that this trend is present in the UK. (shrink)
Abstract In this paper I discuss how we should distinguish legitimate from illegitimate questions. I will argue that we should not make such distinctions prior to asking our questions; that questioning is more of an art than a science and that this art is part of the art of conversation in general. Nonetheless, the desire to limit in advance the questions that we can legitimately ask is not infrequent. In the philosophy of science this ambition manifests in response to concerns (...) regarding the corruption of scientific knowledge and inquiry. Similarly in the quantitative social sciences researchers develop measures by isolating in advance just those questions that they believe will best illuminate the construct under investigation. In order to preserve the integrity of their data much is done to avoid and adjust for errant respondent understandings of these questions. I argue, however, that limiting our questions in these ways does not secure knowledge and inquiry from bias, but rather unduly limits what we might come to know. Drawing on Gadamer?s work in Truth and Method I argue that we can distinguish legitimate from illegitimate questions, but that we can only do so by first asking them. (shrink)
One of the key concepts in the Philosophy of Logic is the notion of inference. In this paper we expand the notion of logical inference and describe its role in a comprehensive theory of rationality. Some recent rationality theories either presuppose an unattainable logical capacity or they minimize the role of logic, in light of the vast amount of data on fallacious inferential performance. In this paper we defend the view that logical acuity, redefined to include heuristics, is a necessary (...) factor in rationality. We evaluate some presuppositions of algorithmic models and some normative and metatheoretical properties of heuristic models, and defend our model against possible objections. Our revised notion of logical inference functions as the nucleus of the notion of logical acuity which in turn is a necessary building block for a realistic model of rationality. This model emphasizes the logical role of inferential heuristics, cognitive constraints and contextuality, introduces concepts such as "obvious inference", "cautious deductive closure", and "familiarity", and develops the notions of cognitive economy and contextual limitations as tools for evaluating and predicting rational behavior. (shrink)
One of philosophy’s oldest paradoxes is the apparent contradiction between the great triumphs and the dramatic failures of the human mind. The same organism that routinely solves inferential problems too subtle and complex for the mightiest computer often makes errors in the simplest of judgments about everyday events. (Nisbett and Ross 1980, p. xi).
Machine generated contents note: Part I. Introduction: 1. Personal epistemology in the classroom: a welcome and guide for the reader Florian C. Feucht and Lisa D. Bendixen; Part II. Frameworks and Conceptual Issues: 2. Manifestations of an epistemological belief system in pre-k to 12 classrooms Marlene Schommer-Aikins, Mary Bird, and Linda Bakken; 3. Epistemic climates in elementary classrooms Florian C. Feucht; 4. The integrative model of personal epistemology development: theoretical underpinnings and implications for education Deanna C. Rule and Lisa D. (...) Bendixen; 5. An epistemic framework for scientific reasoning in informal contexts Fang-Ying Yang and Chin-Chung Tsai; Appendices; 6. Who knows what and who can we believe? Epistemological beliefs are beliefs about knowledge (mostly) to be attained from others Rainer Bromme, Dorothe Kienhues, and Torsten Porsch; Part III. Students' Personal Epistemology, its Development, and Relation to Learning: 7. Stalking young persons' changing beliefs about belief Michael J. Chandler and Travis Proulx; 8. Epistemological development in very young knowers Leah K. Wildenger, Barbara K. Hofer, and Jean E. Burr; 9. Beliefs about knowledge and revision of knowledge: on the importance of epistemic beliefs for intentional conceptual change in elementary and middle school students Lucia Mason; 10. The reflexive relation between students' mathematics-related beliefs and the mathematics classroom culture Erik De Corte, Peter Op 't Eynde, Fien Depaepe, and Lieven Verschaffel; 11. Examining the influence of epistemic beliefs and goal orientations on the academic performance of adolescent students enrolled in high-poverty, high-minority schools P. Karen Murphy, Michelle M. Buehl, Jill A. Zeruth, Maeghan N. Edwards, Joyce F. Long, and Shinichi Monoi; 12. Using cognitive interviewing to explore elementary and secondary school students' epistemic and ontological cognition Jeffrey A. Greene, Judith Torney-Purta, Roger Azevedo, and Jane Robertson; Part IV. Teachers' Personal Epistemology and its Impact on Classroom Teaching: 13. Epistemological resources and framing: a cognitive framework for helping teachers interpret and respond to their students' epistemologies Andrew Elby and David Hammer; 14. The effects of teachers' beliefs on elementary students' beliefs, motivation, and achievement in mathematics Krista R. Muis and Michael J. Foy; Appendices; 15. Teachers' articulation of beliefs about teaching knowledge: conceptualizing a belief framework Helenrose Fives and Michelle M. Buehl; Appendices; 16. Beyond epistemology: assessing teachers' epistemological and ontological world views Lori Olafson and Gregory Schraw; Part V. Conclusion: 17. Personal epistemology in the classroom: what does research and theory tell us and where do we need to go next? Lisa D. Bendixen and Florian C. Feucht. (shrink)
The Hebrew Bible: glimpses of immortality -- Early post-biblical literature: gateways to heaven and hell -- The mishnah: who will merit the world to come? -- The Talmud: what happens in the next world? -- Medieval Jewish philosophy: faith and reason -- Mysticism: reincarnation in Kabbalah -- Modernity: what do we believe? -- The Messiah: the eternal thread of hope.
This paper describes a holistic approach and an interdisciplinary curriculum in enhancing critical thinking and education for democracy at the junior-high schools and highschools levels. The curriculum includes academic subjects such as the humanities, sciences, social sciences and art. The aim of this curriculum is not to teach an additional lesson in history, political sciences, art, etc., but to fostercritical thinking and democratic behavior. The theoretical framework has two bases. The first derives from eighteenth century rationalism and scientific thinking, while (...) the second is from the Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century. Both produced social economies and a political structure of mass democracy. The focal point here is that critical thinking is a prerequisite for the existence of democratic values and principles in a post-modern society. The program integrates McPeck’s strategies on the conception of critical thinking and the dialectic technique of Richard Paul. The curriculum is designed forone or two semesters (14 to 28 meetings). It is built in a modular fashion, in which each subject stands on its own and is presented by various lecturers from different domains. The curriculum was implemented in junior high and high schools in Haifa and vicinity."It is this consensus around liberal democracy as the final form of government that I have called “the end of history.”(Fukuyama, F (1990) in Fortune, January 15, 1990, p. 75). (shrink)