Much of our work with enriched experience and training in animals supports the Quartz & Sejnowski (Q&S) thesis that environmental information can interact with pre-existing neural structures to produce new synapses and neural structure. However, substantial data as well as an evolutionary perspective indicate that multiple information-capture systems exist: some are constructivist, some are selectionist, and some may be tightly constrained.
According to the relevant alternatives theory of knowledge (RA), I know that p only if my evidence eliminates all relevant alternatives to p . Jonathan Schaffer has recently argued that David Lewis's version of RA, which is perhaps the most detailed version yet provided, cannot account for our failure to know in cases involving missed clues, that is, cases in which we see but fail to appreciate decisive evidence. I argue, however, that Lewis's version of RA survives exposure to missed (...) clue cases. Moreover, even though Schaffer maintains that Lewis's Rule of Belief provides no protection against missed clue cases, I argue that we should credit the Rule of Belief with ensuring the survival of Lewis's version of RA. (shrink)
Representation was invented as an issue during the 17th century in response to specific developments in the technology of simulation. It remains an issue of central importance today in the design of information systems and approaches to artificial intelligence. Our cultural legacy of thought about representation is enormous but as inhibiting as it is productive. The challenge to designers of representative technology is to reshape this legacy by enlarging the politics rather than the technics of simulation.
I defend a sensitive neo-Moorean invariantism, an epistemological account with the following characteristic features: (a) it reserves a place for a sensitivity condition on knowledge, according to which, very roughly, S’s belief that p counts as knowledge only if S wouldn’t believe that p if p were false; (b) it maintains that the standards for knowledge are comparatively low; and (c) it maintains that the standards for knowledge are invariant (i.e., that they vary neither with the linguistic context of the (...) subject of knowledge nor with the linguistic context of the attributor of knowledge). I argue that this sort of account allows us to respond adequately to some difficult puzzles in epistemology, puzzles such as skeptical puzzles, as well as puzzles that inspire epistemological contextualism. I also maintain that by utilizing what Keith DeRose calls a warranted assertibility maneuver, sensitive neo-Moorean invariantism can account for our epistemic judgments in each of these puzzle cases. (shrink)
According to a Moorean response to skepticism, the standards for knowledge are invariantly comparatively low, and we can know across contexts all that we ordinarily take ourselves to know. It is incumbent upon the Moorean to defend his position by explaining how, in contexts in which S seems to lack knowledge, S can nevertheless have knowledge. The explanation proposed here relies on a warranted-assertability maneuver: Because we are warranted in asserting that S doesn’t know that p, it can seem that (...) S does in fact lack that piece of knowledge. Moreover, this warranted-assertability maneuver is unique and better than similar maneuvers because it makes use of H. P. Grice’s general conversational rule of Quantity—“Do not make your contribution more informative than is required”—in explaining why we are warranted in asserting that S doesn’t know that p. (shrink)
I agreed to come here today to speak on some such subject as "The Libertarian as Conservative." To me this is so obvious that I am hard put to find something to say to people who still think libertarianism has something to do with liberty. A libertarian is just a Republican who takes drugs. I'd have preferred a more controversial topic like "The Myth of the Penile Orgasm." But since my attendance here is subsidized by the esteemed distributor of a (...) veritable reference library on mayhem and dirty tricks , I can't just take the conch and go rogue. I will indeed mutilate the sacred cow which is libertarianism, as ordered, but I'll administer a few hard lefts to the right in my own way. And I don't mean the easy way. I could just point to the laissez faire Trilateralism of the Libertarian Party, then leave and go look for a party. It doesn't take long to say that if you fight fire with fire, you'll get burned. (shrink)
So, C. I don’t know that T. Premises 1 and 2 are both plausible. However, C seems false—I do seem to know that there is a tree before me. AI presents a puzzle because its two plausible premises yield a conclusion whose negation is plausible. And no matter whether we accept or reject AI, we find that we must give up something plausible—either premise 1, premise 2, or the negation of C. But which of these should we give up? I (...) call this question the skeptical puzzle.1 Recently, Mark Heller2 has argued that we can solve the skeptical puzzle by giving up premise 2. I argue, however, that Heller does not adequately respond to an objection to his proposed solution. I go on to argue that we can solve the skeptical puzzle by giving up premise 1. (shrink)
Topics at a Poynter Institute privacy conference in December 1992 ranged from the role and obligations of the journalist to the rights of victims. Journalists' responsibility to fulfill a dual role of truthtelling and minimizing harm to vulnerable people in society framed the discussion. The public' s curiosity and media obsessions with information about victims of sex crimes are the first topics to be explored. Bob Steele of the Poynter Institute sets the stage for the delicate balance. Helen Benedict, author (...) of Virgin or Vamp: How the Press Covers Sex Crimes, suggests some reforms regarding this area of news. Patricia Bowman, a victim's advocate, talks about her experience as the victim of the media and of a celebrated sex crime case. Elinor Brecher of the Miami Herald discusses a particularly vexing assignment she recently faced, and Tom French of the St. Petersburg Times expresses concern for the subjects of sensitive personal stories and recommends trying to inform them about the story and help them cope with the intrusion into their private life. In separate articles, J. T. Johnson of Sartor Associates in San Francisco and Nora Paul of the Poynter Institute offer insights into the paradox of individual privacy and public right/desire to know, particularly as the issues arise in today's information society. Finally, Robert Ellis Smith, publisher of Privacy Journal, outlines ways media can approach privacy issues and still feel they are on safe ground; he recommends self-restraint in place of government restrictions. The general theme of the Poynter Conference is restraint and concern for others' responsible usage of information that has the possibility to harm others. (shrink)
Abstract In three replicated studies, a total of 855 adults (ages 17?51) described their reasons pro and con a recent moral temptation, and they rated on Likert scales the perceived importance of certain variables pertinent to their decision, ?do it? or ?don't do it?. Three patterns of pro: con strengths were found in both decisions: (a) pro>con ("Typical?, ?do it"); (2) con>pro (Typical ?don't do it"); and (3) pro = con ("Equal?, less common in both ?do? and ?don't do? decisions). (...) And in apparent contradiction of common sense, the decision in a substantial minority was the reverse of Typicals in both ?do? and ?don't do? decisions ("Reversals"). The latter acted in apparent opposition to their dominant reasons. In both the ?do? and ?don't? decisions, the three pro: con patterns were also accompanied by three similar patterns of negative affect (regret and guilt). Moreover, how pleased subjects were with their decision after the act, and how they were likely to decide in the future also reflected the same pro: con patterns. Most remarkable, the investigation disclosed that the decisions, particularly in Equals and Reversals, were influenced by extraneous intrusions from the individual's ?life?world?. To offset the power of these extraneous intrusions that divert moral decisions from taking a rational direction, a training procedure is recommended to fortify conscience itself by drawing on the very power that often overrides it. (shrink)
One of the many philosophical responses to scepticism is naturalism. It is explored how and to what extent it is successful in discussing these questions as they pertain external world scepticism. One interesting feature of naturalism is that it shares with scepticism the view that we lack proof and knowledge of an external world. The naturalist, however, unlike many sceptics and their more traditional disputants, doesn't think it matters. The first part of the paper contains a description of the naturalistic (...) response with emphasis on so-called frame-judgments. The second part is addressed to criticism of this response and replies to it. (shrink)
(2012). “Just Something Gone, But Nothing Missing”: Booker T. Washington, Nannie Helen Burroughs, and the Social Significance of Black Teachers Theorizing Across Two Centuries. Educational Studies: Vol. 48, Black Teachers Theorizing, pp. 215-219.
According to Hempel’s raven paradox, the observation of one non-black non-raven confirms the hypothesis that all ravens are black. Bayesians such as Howson and Urbach (Scientific reasoning: the Bayesian approach, 2nd edn. Open Court, Chicago, 1993 ) claim that the raven paradox can be solved by spelling out the concept of confirmation in the sense of the relevance criterion. Siebel (J Gen Philos Sci 35:313–329, 2004 ) disputes the adequacy of this Bayesian solution. He claims that spelling out (...) the concept of confirmation in the relevance sense lets the raven paradox reappear as soon as numerous non-black non-ravens are observed. It is shown in this paper that Siebel’s objection to the Bayesian solution is flawed. Nevertheless, the objection made by Siebel may give us an idea of how Bayesians can successfully handle situations in which we observe more than one non-black non-raven. (shrink)
We analyze the rather unusual properties of some exact solutions in 2D dilaton gravity for which infinite quantum stresses on the Killing horizon can be compatible with regularity of the geometry. In particular, the Boulware state can support a regular horizon. We show that such solutions are contained in some well-known exactly solvable models (for example, RST). Formally, they appear to account for an additional coefficient B in the solutions (for the same Lagrangian which contains also “traditional” solutions) that gives (...) rise to the deviation of temperature T from its Hawking value T H . The Lorentzian geometry, which is a self-consistent solution of the semiclassical field equations, in such models, is smooth even at B≠0 and there is no need to put B=0 (T=T H ) to smooth it out. We show how the presence of B≠0 affects the structure of spacetime. In contrast to “usual” black holes, full fledged thermodynamic interpretation, including definite value of entropy, can be ascribed (for a rather wide class of models) to extremal horizons, not to nonextreme ones. We find also new exact solutions for “usual” black holes (with T=T H ). The properties under discussion arise in the weak-coupling regime of the effective constant of dilaton-gravity interaction. Extension of features, traced in 2D models, to 4D dilaton gravity leads, for some special models, to exceptional nonextreme black holes having no own thermal properties. (shrink)
A range of themes—race and gender, sexuality, otherness, sisterhood, and agency—run throughout this collection, and the chapters constitute a collective discourse at the intersection of Black feminist thought and continental philosophy, converging on a similar set of questions and concerns. These convergences are not random or forced, but are in many ways natural and necessary: the same issues of agency, identity, alienation, and power inevitably are addressed by both camps. Never before has a group of scholars worked together to (...) examine the resources these two traditions can offer one another. By bringing the relationship between these two critical fields of thought to the forefront, the book will encourage scholars to engage in new dialogues about how each can inform the other. If contemporary philosophy is troubled by the fact that it can be too limited, too closed, too white, too male, then this groundbreaking book confronts and challenges these problems. -/- Table of Contents -/- Foreword Beverly Guy-Sheftall Acknowledgments Introduction: Black Feminism and Continental Philosophy Maria del Guadalupe Davidson, Kathryn T. Gines, and Donna-Dale L. Marcano -/- 1. Black Feminism, Poststructuralism, and the Contested Character of Experience Diane Perpich -/- 2. Sartre, Beauvoir, and the Race/Gender Analogy: A Case for Black Feminist Philosophy Kathryn T. Gines -/- 3. The Difference That Difference Makes: Black Feminism and Philosophy Donna-Dale L. Marcano -/- 4. Antigone’s Other Legacy: Slavery and Colonialism in Tègònni: An African Antigone Tina Chanter -/- 5. L Is for . . . : Longing and Becoming in The L-Word’s Racialized Erotic Aimee Carrillo Rowe -/- 6. Race and Feminist Standpoint Theory Anika Maaza Mann -/- 7. Rethinking Black Feminist Subjectivity: Ann duCille and Gilles Deleuze Maria del Guadalupe Davidson -/- 8. From Receptivity to Transformation: On the Intersection of Race, Gender, and the Aesthetic in Contemporary Continental Philosophy Robin M. James -/- 9. Extending Black Feminist Sisterhood in the Face of Violence: Fanon, White Women, and Veiled Muslim Women Traci C. West -/- 10. Madness and Judiciousness: A Phenomenological Reading of a Black Woman’s Encounter with a Saleschild Emily S. Lee -/- 11. Black American Sexuality and the Repressive Hypothesis: Reading Patricia Hill Collins with Michel Foucault Camisha Russell -/- 12. Calling All Sisters: Continental Philosophy and Black Feminist Thinkers Kathy Glass -/- Afterword: Philosophy and the Other of the Second Sex George Yancy Contributor Notes Index. (shrink)
Existence in Black is the first collective statement on the subject of Africana Philosophy of Existence. Drawing upon resources in Africana philosophy and literature, the contributors explore some of the central themes of Existentialism as posed by the context of what Frantz Fanon has identified as "the lived-experience of the black." Among questions posed and explored in the volume are: What is to be done in a world of near universal sense of superiority to, if not universal hatred (...) of, black folk?; What is black suffering?; What is the meaning (if any) of black existence? The introduction argues that a response to these questions requires a journey through the resources of identity questions in critical race theory and the teleological dimensions of liberation theory. The contributors address these questions through an analysis of nearly every dimension of Africana phiosophy. In the first half of the book, they address Black Philosophies of Existence in terms of Traditional African Philosophy, the Harlem Renaissance, Du Boisian Double-Consciousness, and Fanonian and Sartrean Philosophies of Existence. In the second half of the book, contributors consider racial identity through examinations of such concepts as equality, death, mimesis, property, embodiment, technology, disappointment, and dread. Part II is an exploration of postmodern challenges to "black existence" through discussions of postmodern conservatism, Nietzsche's thoughts on blacks, Richard Wright and fragmented consciousness, and feminist critiques of race. And Part IV is an examination of problems of historical responsibility and constructing black liberation theories. Contributors are: Ernest Allen, Jr., Robert Birt, Bernard Boxill, George Carew, Bobby Dixon, G.M. James Gonzales, Lewis R. Gordon, Leonard Harris, Floyd Hayes, III, Paget Henry, Patricia Huntington, Joy Ann James, Clarence Shole Johnson, Bill E. Lawson, Howard McGary, Roy D. Morrison, William Preston, Jean-Paul Sartre, T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting, Gary Schwartz, Robert Westley, and Naomi Zack. (shrink)
Ice Cube "What's a brother gotta do to get a message through to the Red, White, and Blue?" Ice-T Rap music has emerged as one of the most distinctive and controversial music genres of the past decade. A significant part of hip hop culture,  rap articulates the experiences and conditions of African-Americans living in a spectrum of marginalized situations ranging from racial stereotyping and stigmatizing to struggle for survival in violent ghetto conditions. In this cultural context, rap provides a (...) voice to the voiceless, a form of protest to the oppressed, and a mode of alternative cultural style and identity to the marginalized. Rap is thus not only music to dance and party to, but a potent form of cultural identity. It has become a powerful vehicle for cultural political expression, serving as the "CNN of black people" (Chuck D), or upping the high-tech ante, as their "satellite communication system" (Heavy D). It is an informational medium to tune into, one that describes the rage of African-Americans facing growing oppression, declining opportunities for advancement, changing moods on the streets, and everyday life as a matter of sheer survival. In turn, it has become a cultural virus, circulating its images, sounds, and attitude throughout the culture and body politic. (shrink)
We propose that black holes may serve as a physical substratum for intelligent beings, based on(1) The descriptions of brain and psyche are complementary to each other, as internal and external observers of a black hole in the Susskind-t'Hooft's schema.(2) There is an aspect of the inner structure of a black hole that is isomorphic to the structure of the human subjective domain in the psychological model of reflexion.(3) Both black holes and the brain-psyche system have (...) a facet that can be represented using thermodynamic concepts.(4) Both lend themselves to a holographic description. (shrink)
Transparency has evolved from an individual, dangerous power in Plato to a desirable, collective property in the contemporary world. This paper intends to give a brief account of this long and somehow surprising path and extract some interesting consequences for economic and political activities, as well as for information technologies. Six literary masterpieces are used to highlight the contradictions and dangers entailed by the abuse of the fascinating metaphor of transparency. In the end, what is usually intended when demanding transparency (...) from a corporation, a firm or a state is more (or more accessible) information about it, i.e., understandable and abundant black and white data. This means reporting, picturing, producing material, becoming apparent, which is precisely the contrary of being transparent. We don’t want to look through , but to look directly at . The question, then, is not transparency, but opacity: what do we need and want to see, and how is this going to be produced? (shrink)