"A 'wormhole' is a theoretical object permitted by Einstein's theory of general relativity, where distant regions of space are connected by a shortcut," says Landis, a scientist at NASA's Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, OH. "Such wormholes could have been created in the distant past, in the time just following the 'big bang' that created the universe. What we discovered at the workshop was that if such wormholes did exist, they could be detected by the bending of light due to (...) gravity, an effect known as the 'gravitational lens.' ". (shrink)
We propose that culture affects people through their perceptions of what is consensually believed. Whereas past research has examined whether cultural differences in social judgment are mediated by differences in individuals’ personal values and beliefs, we investigate whether they are mediated by differences in individuals’ perceptions of the views of people around them. We propose that individuals who perceive that traditional views are culturally consensual (e.g., Chinese participants who believe that most of their fellows hold collectivistic values) will themselves behave (...) and think in culturally typical ways. Four studies of previously well-established cultural differences found that cultural differences were mediated by participants’ perceived consensus as much as by participants’ personal views. This held true for cultural differences in the bases of compliance (Study 1), attributional foci (Study 2), and counterfactual thinking styles (Study 3). To tease apart the effect of consensus perception from other possibly associated individual differences, Study 4 experimentally manipulated which of two cultures was salient to bicultural participants and found that judgments were guided by their perception of the consensual view of the salient culture. (shrink)
To claim that there is a politics to or expressed within media technology is of course by no means new, but it remains controversial and not always well understood. Walter Benjamin’s (1986b) essay from 1936 on the political import of media technology is often regarded as the starting point of such discussions, since it foregrounds a key theme in critical theory, namely the politics of perception. In what follows, I would like to review the importance of the politics of perception (...) by first outlining Benjamin’s political analysis of cinema and then engaging with a critique of Benjamin by recent American cognitivist philosophy. This will allow a consideration of the competing phenomenological cognitive science of embodied cognition that I argue offers a better account of the mind and cognition than cognitivism. As a result of this analysis of cognition, I conclude that the philosophy of embodied cognition supports Benjamin's political theory of media technology. (shrink)
Some artistic representations—the painting of a hat in a famous picture by Rembrandt is an example—are able to present vividly the character of what they represent precisely by calling attention to their medium of representation. There is a puzzle about this whose structure, I argue, is analogous to that of a familiar Kantian problem for traditional realism. I offer a precise characterization of the puzzle, before arguing that an analogue for the case of representation to the Kantian solution to the (...) problem for traditional realism is implausible. I offer an alternative solution to the puzzle about representation which also explains why we should be interested in artistic representation in the first place. I close with the outline of a possible realist response to the traditional Kantian problem. (shrink)
Peer review is a widely accepted instrument for raising the quality of science. Peer review limits the enormous unstructured influx of information and the sheer amount of dubious data, which in its absence would plunge science into chaos. In particular, peer review offers the benefit of eliminating papers that suffer from poor craftsmanship or methodological shortcomings, especially in the experimental sciences. However, we believe that peer review is not always appropriate for the evaluation of controversial hypothetical science. We argue that (...) the process of peer review can be prone to bias towards ideas that affirm the prior convictions of reviewers and against innovation and radical new ideas. Innovative hypotheses are thus highly vulnerable to being “filtered out” or made to accord with conventional wisdom by the peer review process. Consequently, having introduced peer review, the Elsevier journal Medical Hypotheses may be unable to continue its tradition as a radical journal allowing discussion of improbable or unconventional ideas. Hence we conclude by asking the publisher to consider re-introducing the system of editorial review to Medical Hypotheses. (shrink)
Abstract: In this paper I consider the significant but generally overlooked role that the French Revolution played in the development of German Idealism. Specifically, I argue that Reinhold and Fichte's engagement in revolutionary political debates directly shaped their interpretation of Kant's philosophy, leading them (a) to overlook his reliance upon common sense, (b) to misconstrue his conception of the relationship between philosophical theory and received cognitive practice, (c) to fail to appreciate the fundamentally regressive nature of his transcendental argumentative strategy, (...) and, ultimately, (d) to seek to deduce his philosophy from a single first-principle, one grounded in the immediate awareness of the subject's mental life. (shrink)
Introduction -- The nature of the world -- The legacy of Frege and Russell -- The general theory of representation -- Sentences as models -- Logic and compound sentences -- Solipsism, idealism, and realism -- Metaphysics, ethics, and the limits of philosophy -- Appendix: The substance argument.
Many of the same fundamental principles and regulations that govern civilian biomedical research also apply to research conducted by the US Military. Despite these similarities, the conduct of research by the US Military has additional requirements designed to preserve service members’ informed consent rights, ethical standards and information that may be deemed classified. Furthermore, there are also additional rules and regulations associated with potential research to be done in a combat setting. Before conducting battlefield research, many unique circumstances must be (...) considered to include: (1) the current legal and regulatory requirements for advanced informed consent (2) the tactical situations, and the ability to adequately document in the “austere” environment (3) the need to provide improved drugs and devices for combat casualty care and (4) the special nature of the superior-subordinate relationship. This paper discusses historical background, regulatory oversight, ethical implications and release of information as it pertains to research conducted by the US Military. (shrink)
In this textbook, Michael Morris offers a critical introduction to the central issues of the philosophy of language. Each chapter focusses on one or two texts which have had a seminal influence on work in the subject, and uses these as a way of approaching both the central topics and the various traditions of dealing with them. Texts include classic writings by Frege, Russell, Kripke, Quine, Davidson, Austin, Grice and Wittgenstein. Theoretical jargon is kept to a minimum and is fully (...) explained whenever it is introduced. The range of topics covered includes sense and reference, definite descriptions, proper names, natural-kind terms, de re and de dicto necessity, propositional attitudes, truth-theoretical approaches to meaning, radical interpretation, indeterminacy of translation, speech acts, intentional theories of meaning, and scepticism about meaning. The book will be invaluable to students and to all readers who are interested in the nature of linguistic meaning. (shrink)
We present an annotated bibliography of peer reviewed scientific research highlighting the human health, animal welfare, and environmental risks associated with genetic modification. Risks associated with the expression of the transgenic material include concerns over resistance and non-target effects of crops expressing Bt toxins, consequences of herbicide use associated with genetically modified herbicide-tolerant plants, and transfer of gene expression from genetically modified crops through vertical and horizontal gene transfer. These risks are not connected to the technique of genetic modification as (...) such, but would be present for any conventionally produced crops with the same heritable traits. In contrast, other risks are a direct consequence of the method used in gene manipulation. These come about because of the unstable nature of the transgene and vectors used to insert it, and because of unpredictable interactions between the transgene and the host genome. The debate over the release of genetically modified organisms is not merely a scientific one; it encompasses economics, law, ethics, and policy. Any discussion on these levels does, however, need to be informed by sound science. We hope that the scientific references provided here will provide a useful starting point for further debate. (shrink)
Sows housed in stalls are kept insuch extreme confinement that they are unableto turn around. In some sectors of the porkindustry, sows are subjected to this degree ofconfinement for almost their entire lives(apart from the brief periods associated withmating). While individual confinement isrecognized by farmers and animal welfarecommunity organizations alike, as a valuabletool in sow husbandry (to mitigate againstaggression), what remains questionable from ananimal welfare point of view is the necessityto confine sows in such small spaces.In 2001, the Australian Journal (...) ofAgricultural Research published a reviewarticle on the science associated with the useof the sow stall, and claimed that ``noscientific evidence to support therecommendation in the Code of Practice advisingagainst housing of sows in stalls followed byhousing in crates'''' (Barnett et al., 2001, p. 21).If all the available scientific publications onthe animal welfare implications of sow stallsare consulted (many of which did not feature inthe above review), then one will indeed findscientific evidence to support recommendationsagainst the housing of sows in stalls. Becausethere is science on both sides of this policydivide, the argument to defend the use of sowstalls, therefore, is not one of science vspublic opinion, but one of ethics. (shrink)
Intrusive agricultural experimentspublished in New Zealand in the last five yearsare reviewed in terms of the degree of animalsuffering involved, and the necessity for thissuffering in relation to research findings.When measured against animal welfare criteriaof the Ministry of Agriculture, thirty-sixstudies inflicted ``severe'' or ``very severe''suffering. Many of these experiments hadquestionable short-term applications, had anapplication restricted to agriculturalproduction or economic growth, or could havebeen modified to prevent or reduce suffering.
In common with much of theEnglish-speaking world, New Zealandersgenerally oppose the use of animalexperimentation where there is no demonstrableand immediate benefit for human, animal, orenvironmental health. Intrusive experiments onsheep internal and external parasites publishedbetween 1996 and 2000 are reviewed, anddiscussed in relation to these publicsensibilities. A total of 16 publishedexperiments on sheep parasites involvedsurgical manipulations or other intrusiveprocedures. Some of these experiments had noshort-term application, or the only applicationwas in increasing animal production. Otherscould have been modified at some extra expenseso (...) that they were less intrusive. Still otherswere duplications of previous work. All thesemanipulations would be unacceptable accordingto the orthodox morality of the general public.Breeding programs, rotation of grazing,``low-tech'' vaccination, and in vitromodels of sheep can provide insights intopreventing parasite infestation withoutintrusive experiments. Such research protocolsshould take priority over existing programs.The results also confirm earlier reports thatanimal ethics committees are not fulfillingtheir mandated objective of acting as watchdogsfor the public. Possible changes in New Zealandanimal welfare legislation and itsinterpretation by Animal Ethics Committees arediscussed. (shrink)
Pest control operations andexperimentation on sentient animals such as thebrushtail possum can cause unnecessary andavoidable suffering in the animal subjects.Minimizing animal suffering is an animalwelfare goal and can be used as a guide in thedesign and execution of animal experimentationand pest control operations.The public has little sympathy for the possum,which can cause widespread environmentaldamage, but does believe that control should beas painless as possible. Trapping and poisoningprovide only short-term solutions to the possumproblem and often involve methods that causesuffering. Intrusive experiments (...) connected withthese methods of control and published in thelast 6 years are reviewed. Many of theexperiments do not attain the welfare standardsrequired by members of the public. (shrink)
The aim of this study is to increase our understanding of the ethical climate of entrepreneurial firms as they grow and develop. A developmental framework is introduced to describe the formal and informal ethical structures that emerge in entrepreneurial firms over time. Factors influencing where firms are within the developmental framework are posited, including the entrepreneur's psychological profile, lifecycle stage of the business, and descriptive characteristics of the venture. It is also proposed that the implementation of ethical structures will impact (...) perceptions of the clarity and adequacy of the ethical standards of the firm and the firm's preparedness to deal with ethical challenges as they arise. Results are reported of a cross-sectional survey of small firms at different stages of development. The findings indicate the existence of four distinct clusters of firms based on their formal and informal ethical structures: Superlatives, Core Proponents, Pain and Gain, and Deficients. Evidence is also provided of statistically significant relationships between the proposed antecedent and outcome variables. Implications are drawn from the results, and priorities are established for future research. (shrink)
Fly strike is a painful conditioncaused by live maggots eating at the flesh of sheep.Remedies for this disorder are traumatic, with sheepundergoing painful mulesing and tail dockingoperations to protect against flystrike. In an attemptto find control solutions and to understand thedisorder, Australasian researchers increase sheepsuffering by conducting experiments that artificiallyinduce fly strike. Some of these experiments have noapplication in prevention and control of fly strike.Many others could be modified or replaced with lesspainful techniques.Anecdotal evidence through communication withorganic farmers suggests that (...) fly strike is largelypreventable if farmers keep sheep healthy and inspectthem regularly. Some organic farmers have largelyeliminated fly strike from their farm. Investigationson fly strike control using non-intrusive techniquesare also progressing in Australasia and the UnitedKingdom. (shrink)
This study explores the impact of environmental turbulence on relationships between personal and organizational characteristics, personal values, ethical perceptions, and behavioral intentions. A causal model is tested using data obtained from a national sample of marketing research professionals in South Africa. The findings suggest turbulent conditions lead professionals to report stronger values and ethical norms, but less ethical behavioral intentions. Implications are drawn for organizations confronting growing turbulence in their external environments. A number of suggestions are made for ongoing research.
In his response to my Why There Are No Mental Representations, Robert Cummins accused me of having misinterpreted his views, and attempted to undermine a crucial premise of my argument, which claimed that one could only define a semantic type non-semantically by stipulating which tokens should receive a uniform interpretation. I respond to the charge and defend the premise.
This book provides a radical alternative to naturalistic theories of content, and offers a new conception of the place of mind in the world. Confronting the scientific conception of the nature of reality that has dominated the Anglo-American philosophical tradition, Morris presents a detailed analysis of content and propositional attitudes based on the idea that truth is a value. He rejects the causal theory of the explanation of behavior and replaces it with an alternative that depends upon a rich conception (...) of the behavior we explain with references to state of mind. His lucid and detailed exposition of this controversial arguments poses an emphatic challenge to the naturalistic orthodoxy in areas as diverse as metaphysics, ethics, and cognitive science. (shrink)