In this paper Bloom analyzes the popular magazine, Men's Health, from a feminist perspective, locating ways that the magazine participates in an insidious form of anti-feminist backlash. She specifically analyzes the magazine to make sense of how its writers discursively position women in their relationships to heterosexual men and how they use the voices of women who call themselves feminists to promote an anti-feminist, pro-patriarchy agenda. She demonstrates that the “health” of men being promoted in this magazine is a (...) mental health grounded in the maintenance of male privilege and power. (shrink)
Logical pluralism is the view that there is more than one correct logic. In this article, I explore what logical pluralism is, and what it entails, by: (i) distinguishing clearly between relativism about a particular domain and pluralism about that domain; (ii) distinguishing between a number of forms logical pluralism might take; (iii) attempting to distinguish between those versions of pluralism that are clearly true and those that are might be controversial; and (iv) surveying three prominent attempts to argue for (...) logical pluralism and evaluating them along the criteria provided by (ii) and (iii). (shrink)
Two suggestions are at the back of the present talk. First, toleration is obligatory, not criticism. So do not try to make people critically-minded: do not force them in any way to try to offer or accept criticism, to learn to participate effectively in the game of critical discussion. If they refuse, then they are within their right. Also, they will easily ad vance excuses for their refusal; admittedly some of these are unreasonable, but not all. Instead of trying to (...) make people critically-minded, try to help them become criticallyminded if and when they request help on this matter, but not otherwise. My second suggestion is that a simple, inconclusive, criterion should be used to distinguish with ease between proper and improper criticism — not by reference to validity, since proper criticism may turn out to be invalid, and some of the worst diatribes may inadvertently include valid criticism. This should hardly be expected of diatribes, and these are recognizable by their display of poor appreciation their target. (This was noted in a recent review by Stefano Gattei of the Italian edition of the Lakatos -Feyerabend correspondence: it largely concerns Popper, yet it displays boorish disrespect to him.) So much for my messages here. I also wish to present here the following ideas. (shrink)
Two studies demonstrate that a dispositional proneness to disgust (“disgust sensitivity”) is associated with intuitive disapproval of gay people. Study 1 was based on previous research showing that people are more likely to describe a behavior as intentional when they see it as morally wrong (see Knobe, 2006, for a review). As predicted, the more disgust sensitive participants were, the more likely they were to describe an agent whose behavior had the side effect of causing gay men to kiss in (...) public as having intentionally encouraged gay men to kiss publicly— even though most participants did not explicitly think it wrong to encourage gay men to kiss in public. No such effect occurred when subjects were asked about heterosexual kissing. Study 2 used the Implicit Association Test (IAT; Nosek, Banaji, & Greenwald, 2006) as a dependent measure. The more disgust sensitive participants were, the more they showed.. (shrink)
The false belief task has often been used as a test of theory of mind. We present two reasons to abandon this practice. First, passing the false belief task requires abilities other than theory of mind. Second, theory of mind need not entail the ability to reason about false beliefs. We conclude with an alternative conception of the role of the false belief task. q 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
This essay examines Joseph Carens' open borders argument in the light of a case study of recent Somali migrants to the UK. It argues that, although arguments for significantly more open borders are compelling, they must take into account existing domestic injustice in receiving states as well as existing global injustice.
Over the past few decades, there has been increasing attention focused on the ethics of health research, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Despite the increasing focus on the literature addressing human protection, community engagement, appropriate consent procedures and ways to mitigate concerns around exploitation, there has been little discussion about how the duration of the research engagement may affect the ethical design and implementation of studies. In other words, what are the unique ethical challenges when researchers engage with host (...) communities for longer periods (10 years or more), and what special considerations does this time commitment generate when applying ethical principles to these kinds of studies? This article begins to outline key areas of ethical concern that arise during long-term, sustained research activities with communities in low-resource settings. Through a review of the literature and consultations with experts in health systems, we identified the following key themes: fair benefits and long-term beneficence; community autonomy, consultation and consent; impacts on local health systems; economic impacts of research participation; ethical review processes; and institutional processes and oversight within research organizations. We hope that this preliminary exploration will stimulate further dialogue and help inform ethical guidance around long-term research engagements in the developing world. (shrink)
A signed -equation is an expression of the form t t or t t, where t and t are -terms (for some ranked set ). We characterize those classes of -algebras which are models of a set of signed -equations. Further we consider the problem of finding a complete deductive system analogous to equational logic for the logical consequence operation restricted to signed equations.
Normal children learn tens of thousands of words, and do so quickly and efficiently, often in highly impoverished environments. In How Children Learn the Meanings of Words, I argue that word learning is the product of certain cognitive and linguistic abilities that include the ability to acquire concepts, an appreciation of syntactic cues to meaning, and a rich understanding of the mental states of other people. These capacities are powerful, early emerging, and to some extent uniquely human, but they are (...) not special to word learning. This proposal is an alternative to the view that word learning is the result of simple associative learning mechanisms, and it rejects as well the notion that children possess constraints, either innate or learned, that are specifically earmarked for word learning. This theory is extended to account for how children learn names for objects, substances, and abstract entities, pronouns and proper names, verbs, determiners, prepositions, and number words. Several related topics are also discussed, including naïve essentialism, children's understanding of representational art, the nature of numerical and spatial reasoning, and the role of words in the shaping of mental life. Key Words: cognitive development; concepts; meaning; semantics; social cognition; syntax; theory of mind; word learning. (shrink)
Introduction: the Badiouian-Žižekian politburo--political interventions in the shadow of Lacan -- Alain Badiou: from event to act -- The quick and the dead: Badiou and the split speeds of transformation -- One must have confidence that the other does not exist: select preconditions for events and acts in contemporary circumstances -- Slavoj Žižek: from act to event -- The cynic's fetish: Žižek and the dynamics of belief -- From the spectacular act to the vanishing act: the politics of Lacanian theory (...) -- Appendix A: "Let a thousandflowersbloom!": some brief remarks on and responses to Zizek's "Badiou: notes from an ongoing debate" -- Appendix B: Slavoj Žižek, "An answer to two questions". (shrink)
Causation is one of philosophy's most venerable and thoroughly-analyzed concepts. However, the study of how ordinary people make causal judgments is a much more recent addition to the philosophical arsenal. One of the most prominent views of causal explanation, especially in the realm of harmful or potentially harmful behavior, is that unusual or counternormative events are accorded privileged status in ordinary causal explanations. This is a fundamental assumption in psychological theories of counterfactual reasoning, and has been transported to philosophy by (...) Hitchcock and Knobe (2009). A different view--the basis of the culpable control model of blame (CCM)--is that primary causal status is accorded to behaviors that arouse negative evaluative reactions, including behaviors that stem from nefarious motives, negligence or recklessness, a faulty character, or behaviors that lead to harmful or potentially harmful consequences. This paper describes four empirical studies that show consistent support for the CCM. (shrink)
What would it be like to have never learned English, but instead only to know Hopi, Mandarin Chinese, or American Sign Language? Would that change the way you think? Imagine entirely losing your language, as the result of stroke or trauma. You are aphasic, unable to speak or listen, read or write. What would your thoughts now be like? As the most extreme case, imagine having been raised without any language at all, as a wild child. What—if anything—would it be (...) like to be such a person? Could you be smart; could you reminisce about the past, plan the future? (shrink)
What determines our intuitions as to which objects are members of specific artifact kinds? Prior research suggests that factors such as physical appearance, current use, and intended function are not at the core of concepts such as chair, clock and pawn. The theory presented here, based on Levinson`s (1993) intentional-historical theory of our concept of art, is that we determine that something is a member of a given artifact kind by inferring that it was successfully created with the intention to (...) belong to that kind. This theory can explain why some properties (such as shape) are more important than others (such as color) when we determine kind membership and can account for why certain objects are judged to be members of artifact kinds even though they are highly dissimilar from other members of the kinds. It can also provide a framework for explaining the conditions under which broken objects cease to be members of their kinds and new artifacts can come into existence. This account of our understanding of artifact concepts is argued to be consistent with more general "essentialist" theories of our understanding of concepts corresponding to proper.. (shrink)
Young children reliably distinguish reality from fantasy; they know that their friends are real and that Batman is not. But it is an open question whether they appreciate, as adults do, that there are multiple fantasy worlds. We test this by asking children and adults about fictional characters’ beliefs about other characters who exist either within the same world (e.g., Batman and Robin) or in different worlds (e.g., Batman and SpongeBob). Study 1 found that although both adults and young children (...) distinguish between within-world and across-world types of character relationships, the children make an unexpected mistake: they often claim that Batman thinks that Robin is make believe. Study 2 used a less explicit task, exploring intuitions about the actions of characters—whom they could see, touch, and talk to—and found that children show a mature appreciation of the ontology of fictional worlds. q 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. (shrink)
Are current theories of moral responsibility missing a factor in the attribution of blame and praise? Four studies demonstrated that even when cause, intention, and outcome (factors generally assumed to be sufficient for the ascription of moral responsibility) are all present, blame and praise are discounted when the factors are not linked together in the usual manner (i.e., cases of ‘‘causal deviance’’). Experiment 4 further demonstrates that this effect of causal deviance is driven by intuitive gut feelings of right and (...) wrong, not logical deliberation. Ó 2003 Published by Elsevier Science (USA). (shrink)
Shaun Nichols (this issue) correctly points out that current theories of the development of mindreading say nothing about children's intuitions concerning indeterminist choice. That is, there are numerous theories of how children make sense of belief, desire, and action, but none that appeal to any notion of free will. Nichols suggests two alternatives for why this is the case. It could either be (a) an --outrageous oversight-- on the part of developmental psychologists or (b) a principled omission, reﬂecting a consensus (...) that the notion of indeterminist choice is absent from children's mindreading processes. Nichols charitably favors the sec- ond alternative. (shrink)
How Children Learn the Meanings of Words (HCLMW) defends the theory that words are learned through sophisticated and early-emerging cognitive abilities that have evolved for other purposes; there is no dedicated mental mechanism that is special to word learning. The commentators raise a number of challenges to this theory: Does it correctly characterize the nature and development of early abilities? Does it attribute too much to children, or too little? Does it only apply to nouns, or can it also explain (...) the acquisition of words such as verbs and determiners? More general issues are discussed as well, including the role of the input, the relationship between words and concepts, and debates over nativism, adaptationism, and modularity. (shrink)
There are two facts about word learning that everyone accepts. The ﬁrst is that words really do have to be learned. There is controversy over how much conceptual structure and linguistic knowledge is innate, but nobody thinks that this is the case for the speciﬁc mappings between sounds (or signs) and meanings. This is because these mappings vary arbitrarily from culture to culture. No matter how intelligent a British baby is, for instance, she still has to learn, by attending to (...) the language of the people around her, that rabbits are called ‘rabbits’, that sleeping is called ‘sleeping’, and so on. (shrink)
Generic sentences (such as ‘‘Birds lay eggs’’) are important in that they refer to kinds (e.g., birds as a group) rather than individuals (e.g., the birds in the henhouse). The present set of studies examined aspects of how generic nouns are understood by English speakers. Adults and children (4- and 5-year-olds) were presented with scenarios about novel animals and questioned about their properties, using generic and non-generic questions. Three primary findings emerged. First, both children and adults distinguished generic from non-generic (...) reference, interpreting generics as referring to kinds. Thus, under certain contexts children and adults accepted that ‘‘Dobles have claws’’ even when all the dobles in the available context were clawless. Second, adults further distinguished properties that are inborn from those that are acquired. Inborn properties were judged to be predicated of a generic kind, even when all available instances have lost the property, but this was not the case for acquired properties. Third, children did not distinguish inborn from acquired properties. These data suggest the existence of developmental changes in conceptual or semantic understanding, and are interpreted in light of recent theories of psychological essentialism. Ó 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. (shrink)
It is well known that today jails and prisons house many seriously mentally ill citizens who in prior decades have been treated in mental hospitals and community mental health programs. This paper begins with a brief review of the history of support for mental health programs at the federal level and then, using the State of Oregon as an example, describes the new state era of mental health services which is characterized by the increasing use of the criminal justice system (...) as a cornerstone of the treatment of many seriously and chronically mentally ill individuals. Are there any solutions to our current dilemma? The paper ends with this question, and the reader must determine if any of the suggestions posed in this discussion are realistic and/or feasible given the current fiscal and political climate. (shrink)
A few months ago, a young man in jeans and a baseball cap took a violin into a subway station in Washington DC during morning rush hour. He opened the case in front of him, put some coins inside to encourage donations and played for 45 minutes. The young man was Joshua Bell, one of the world's greatest violinists, and he was playing his multimillion-dollar Stradivarius. He was incognito, as an experiment devised by The Washington Post to see whether people (...) appreciate great art in an unlikely place. (shrink)
What does The Simpsons have to say about this issue? Most likely, absolutely nothing. The Simpsons is a fine television show, but it’s not where to look for innovative ideas in cognitive neuroscience or the philosophy of mind. We think, however, that it can help give us insight into a related, and extremely important, issue. We might learn through this show something about common-sense metaphysics, about how people naturally think about consciousness, the brain and the soul.
I am very grateful to Aaron Cicourel, Penelope Brown, Max Louwerse, and Matthew Ventrura for their constructive comments. Aaron Cicourel provides a helpful summary of my book and his commentary offers a good place to enter the discussion for readers who have not yet read How Children Learn the Meanings of Words. Brown and Louwerse and Ventura raise some critical questions with regard to the text to which I will speak in turn.
Ren-xing can be aptly translated as "human nature," representing as it does the Mencian conviction of and sympathy for a common humanity. The enterprise of comparative philosophy is furthered by drawing attention to the large and important conceptual sphere within which Mencius was working, to his concern for the most fundamental realities of human life, and to his translatability across time and cultures.
How do young children extend names for human-made artifacts, such as knife, toy, and painting? We addressed this issue by showing 3-year-olds, 5-year-olds, and adults a series of simple objects and asking them for each, `What is this?' In one condition, the objects were described as purposefully created; in another, the objects were described as being created by accident. This manipulation had a signi®cant effect on the participants' responses: even 3- year-olds were more likely to provide artifact names (e.g. `a (...) knife') when they believed the objects were intentionally created and material-based descriptions (e.g. `plastic') when they believed the objects were accidentally created. This result supports a theory of artifact naming in which intuitions about intention play an important role. q 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved. (shrink)
Adults value certain unique individuals—such as artwork, sentimental possessions, and memorabilia—more than perfect duplicates. Here we explore the origins of this bias in young children, by using a conjurer’s illusion where we appear to produce identical copies of realworld objects. In Study 1, young children were less likely to accept an identical replacement for an attachment object than for a favorite toy. In Study 2, children often valued a personal possession of Queen Elizabeth II more than an identical copy, but (...) showed no such bias for another sort of valuable object. These findings suggest that young children develop attachments to individuals that are independent of any perceptible properties that the individuals possess. Ó 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. (shrink)
A wealth of human knowledge is acquired by attending to information provided by other people – but some people are more credible sources than others. In two experiments, we explored whether young children spontaneously keep track of an individual’s history of being accurate or inaccurate and use this information to facilitate subsequent learning. We found that 3- and 4-year-olds favor a previously accurate individual when learning new words and learning new object functions and applied the principle of mutual exclusivity to (...) the newly learned words but not the newly learned functions. These findings expand upon previous research in a number of ways, most importantly by showing that (a) children spontaneously keep track of an individual’s history and use it to guide subsequent learning without any prompting, and (b) children’s sensitivity to others’ prior accuracy is not specific to the domain of language. Ó 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. (shrink)
We argue that the dance metaphor does not appropriately characterize language. Indeed, language may be a red herring, distracting us from the intriguing question of the nature of apes' social interactions.
Recent findings suggest that infants are capable of distinguishing between different numbers of objects, and of performing simple arithmetical operations. But there is debate over whether these abilities result from capacities dedicated to numerical cognition, or whether infants succeed in such experiments through more general, non-numerical capacities, such as sensitivity to perceptual features or mechanisms of object tracking. We report here a study showing that 5-month-olds can determine the number of collective entities – moving groups of items – when non-numerical (...) perceptual factors such as contour length, area, density, and others are strictly controlled. This suggests both that infants can represent number per se, and that their grasp of number is not limited to the domain of objects. q 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved. (shrink)