Citizen event reporting (CER) attempts to leverage the eyes and ears of a large population of citizen sensors to increase the amount of information available to decision makers. When deployed in an environment that includes hostile elements, foes can exploit the system to exert indirect control over the response infrastructure. We use an agent-based model to relate the utility of responses to population composition, citizen behavior, and decision strategy, and measure the result in terms of a force multiplier. We show (...) that CER can lead to positive force multipliers even with a majority of hostile elements in the population. When reporter identity is known, a reputation system that keeps track of trustworthy reporters can further increase the force multipliers. (shrink)
This book is the product of a major British Academy Symposium held in 2007 to mark the centenary of the birth of H.L.A. Hart, the most important legal philosopher and one of the most important political philosophers of the twentieth century. -/- The book brings together contributions from seventeen of the world's foremost legal and political philosophers who explore the many subjects in which Hart produced influential work. Each essay engages in an original analysis of philosophical problems that were (...) tackled by Hart, some essays including extended critical discussions of his major works: The Concept of Law, Punishment and Responsibility, Causation in the Law and Law, Liberty and Morality. All the main topics of Hart's philosophical writings are featured: general jurisprudence and legal positivism; criminal responsibility and punishment; theories of rights; toleration and liberty; theories of justice; and causation in the law. (shrink)
Debate has long been waged over the morality of capital punishment, with standard arguments in its favour being marshalled against familiar arguments that oppose the practice. In The Ethics of Capital Punishment, Matthew Kramer takes a fresh look at the philosophical arguments on which the legitimacy of the death penalty stands or falls, and he develops a novel justification of that penalty for a limited range of cases. -/- The book pursues both a project of critical debunking of the (...) familiar rationales for capital punishment and a project of partial vindication. The critical part presents some accessible and engaging critiques of major arguments that have been offered in support of the death penalty. These chapters, suitable for use in teaching courses on capital punishment, valuably take issue with positions at the heart of contemporary debates over the morality of such punishment. -/- The book then presents an original justification for executing truly terrible criminals, a justification that is free-standing rather than an aspect or offshoot of a general theory of punishment. Its purgative rationale, which has not heretofore been propounded in any current philosophical and practical debates over the death penalty, derives from a philosophical reconception of the nature of evil and the nature of defilement. -/- As the book contributes to philosophical discussions of those phenomena, it also contributes importantly to general normative ethics with sustained reflections on the differences between consequentialist approaches to punishment and deontological approaches. Above all, the volume contributes to the philosophy of criminal law with a fresh rationale for the use of the death penalty and with probing assessments of all the major theories of punishment that have been broached by jurists and philosophers for centuries. Although the book is a work of philosophy by a professional philosopher, it is readily accessible to readers who have not studied philosophy. It will stir both philosophers and anyone engaged with the death penalty to reconsider whether the institution of capital punishment can be an appropriate response to extreme evil. -/- . (shrink)
Acquisition of complex skills is a universal feature of human behavior that has been conceptualized as a process that starts with intense resource dependency, requires effortful cognitive control, and ends in relative automaticity on the multi-faceted task. The present study examined the effects of different theoretically-based training strategies on cortical recruitment during acquisition of complex videogame skills. Seventy-five participants were recruited and assigned to one of three training groups: Fixed Emphasis Training (FET), in which participants practiced the game, Hybrid Variable (...) Priority Training (HVT), in which participants practiced using a combination of part-task training and variable priority training, or a Control group that received limited game play. After 30 hours of training, game data indicated a significant advantage for the two training groups relative to the control group. The HVT group demonstrated enhanced benefits of training, as indexed by an improvement in overall game score and a reduction in cortical recruitment post-training. Specifically, while both groups demonstrated a significant reduction of activation in attentional control areas, namely the right middle frontal gyrus, right superior frontal gyrus, and the ventral medial prefrontal cortex, participants in the control group continued to engage these areas post-training, suggesting a sustained reliance on attentional regions during challenging task demands. The HVT group showed a further reduction in neural resources post-training compared to the FET group in these cognitive control regions, along with reduced activation in the motor and sensory cortices and the posteromedial cortex. Findings suggest that training, specifically one that emphasizes cognitive flexibility can reduce the attentional demands of a complex cognitive task, along with reduced reliance on the motor network. (shrink)
Metaphysical grounding is standardly taken to be irreflexive: nothing grounds itself. Kit Fine has presented some puzzles that appear to contradict this principle. I construct a particularly simple variant of those puzzles that is independent of several of the assumptions required by Fine, instead employing quantification into sentence position. Various possible responses to Fine's puzzles thus turn out to apply only in a restricted range of cases.
Anisotropy of the critical current in a  niobium single crystal of very high purity is observed to result from tensile deformation. The critical current exhibits local maxima when the magnetic field is directed along the [1 0] and  directions. The height of the [1 0] maximum increases with respect to the height of the  maximum as the magnetic field is decreased. The  maximum is sensitive to the condition of the sample surface and exhibits ?rectification?. The anisotropy (...) is not caused by the anisotropy in Hc2 , by sub-oxide or other precipitates or by the ellipticity of the deformed crystal surface. There is a contribution to the anisotropy of the as-deformed crystal caused by anisotropic surface roughness, which can be removed by chemical polishing. The [l 0] maximum is attributed to the interactions between flux lines and parallel dislocation debris in the interior of the crystal, the dislocation lines lying primarily along the [1 0] direction. The pinning force, estimated on the basis of the Yamafuji-Irie theory, agrees within an order of magnitude with the theoretical estimates of the elastic interaction force between a dislocation and a parallel flux line. The  maximum is tentatively assigned to the interaction between dislocations and flux lines near the crystal surface, the density of dislocations threading the (1 0) surface being higher than that threading the (001) surface. The effect of the interaction at the surface is thought to be magnified by the decrease in the flux line lattice shear modulus C66 in that region. (shrink)
John Locke's labor theory of property is one of the seminal ideas of political philosophy and served to establish its author's reputation as one of the leading social and political thinkers of all time. Through it Locke addressed many of his most pressing concerns, and earned a reputation as an outstanding spokesman for political individualism - a reputation that lingers widely despite some partial challenges that have been raised in recent years. In this major new study Matthew Kramer offers (...) an extensive critique of the labor theory and investigates the consequences of its downfall. With incisive analyses of the merits and failings of many aspects of Locke's political thought, Kramer advances a powerful challenge to Locke's image as an individualist. Employing a rigorously philosophical methodology, but remaining aware of the insights generated by historical approaches to Locke, Kramer concludes that Locke's political vision was in fact profoundly communitarian. (shrink)
This book is an uncompromising defense of legal positivism that insists on the separability of law and morality. After distinguishing among three facets of morality, Kramer explores a variety of ways in which law has been perceived as integrally connected to each of those facets. The book concludes with a detailed discussion of the obligation to obey the law--a discussion that highlights the strengths of legal positivism in the domain of political philosophy as much as in the domain of (...) jurisprudence. (shrink)
Edited by leading contributors to the literature, Freedom: An Anthology is the most complete anthology on social, political and economic freedom ever compiled. Offers a broad guide to the vast literature on social, political and economic freedom. Contains selections from the best scholarship of recent decades as well as classic writings from Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau and Kant among others. General and sectional introductions help to orient the reader. Compiled and edited by three important contributors to the field.
The discovery of mirror neurons in both primates and humans has led to an enormous amount of research and speculation as to how conscious beings are able to interact so effortlessly among one another. Mirror neurons might provide an embodied basis for passive synthesis and the eventual process of further communalization through empathy, as envisioned by Edmund Husserl. I consider the possibility of a phenomenological and scientific investigation of laughter as a point of connection that might in the future bridge (...) the gap Husserl feared had grown too expansive between the worlds of science and philosophy. Part I will describe some implications of the discovery of mirror neurons. Part II will address Husserl’s concept of embodiment as it relates to neuroscience and empathy. Part III will be a primer to investigating laughter phenomenologically. Part IV will be a continuation of the study of laughter and empathy as possible elements helpful in broadening the scope of what Husserl calls the Life-World. (shrink)
Alan Gewirth has propounded a moral theory which commits him to the view that prescriptions can appropriately be addressed to people who have neither any moral reasons nor any prudential reasons to follow the prescriptions. We highlight the strangeness of Gewirth's position and then show that it undermines his attempt to come up with a supreme moral principle.
At least since the publication of Isaiah Berlin's famous essay "Two Concepts of Liberty" nearly half a century ago, political philosophers have argued vigorously over the relative merits of "positive" and "negative" accounts of freedom. Matthew Kramer writes squarely within the negative-liberty tradition, but he incorporates a number of ideas that are quite often associated with theories of positive liberty. Much of The Quality of Freedom is devoted to elaborating the necessary and sufficient conditions for the existence of particular (...) freedoms and unfreedoms; however, the book's cardinal objective is to establish the measurability of each person's overall freedom and of each society's aggregate freedom. On the one hand, Kramer contends that the existence of any particular instance of liberty or unfreedom is a matter of fact that can be confirmed or disconfirmed without any reliance on evaluative or normative considerations. On the other hand, he argues that the extent of each person's overall freedom or unfreedom cannot be ascertained entirely in the absence of evaluative assumptions. By combining those two positions and developing them in detail, Kramer pits himself against all positive accounts of liberty and most negative accounts. In the course of so doing, he aims to demonstrate the rigorous measurability of overall liberty - something that many writers on freedom have casually dismissed as impossible. Although Kramer concentrates principally on constructing a systematic analysis of sociopolitical freedom, he engages critically with the work of many of the leading contemporary writers on the topic. (shrink)
Communism is not a reaction against the failure of the nineteenth century to organize optimal economic output. It is a reaction against its comparative success. It is a protest against the emptiness of economic welfare, an appeal to the ascetic in us all... The idealistic youth play with Communism because it is the only spiritual appeal which feels to them contemporary.
The perceptual load theory of attention proposes that the degree to which visual distractors are processed is a function of the attentional demands of a task – greater demands increase filtering of irrelevant distractors. The spatial configuration of such filtering is unknown. Here, we used steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) in conjunction with time-domain event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate the distribution of load-induced distractor suppression and task-relevant enhancement in the visual field. Electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded while subjects performed a foveal (...) go/no-go task that varied in perceptual load. Load-dependent distractor suppression was assessed by presenting a contrast reversing ring at one of three eccentricities (2°, 6°, or 11°) during performance of the go/no-go task. Rings contrast reversed at 8.3 Hz, allowing load-dependent changes in distractor processing to be tracked in the frequency-domain. ERPs were calculated to the onset of stimuli in the load task to examine load-dependent modulation of task-relevant processing. Results showed that the amplitude of the distractor SSVEP (8.3Hz) was attenuated under high perceptual load (relative to low load) at the most proximal (2°) eccentricity but not at more eccentric locations (6˚ or 11˚). Task-relevant ERPs revealed a significant increase in N1 amplitude under high load. These results are consistent with a center-surround configuration of load-induced enhancement and suppression in the visual field. (shrink)
How are law and morality connected, how do they interact, and in what ways are they distinct? In Part I of this book, Matthew Kramer argues that moral principles can enter into the law of any jurisdiction. He contends that legal officials can invoke moral principles as laws for resolving disputes, and that they can also invoke them as threshold tests which ordinary laws must satisfy. In opposition to many other theorists, Kramer argues that these functions of moral (...) principles are consistent with all the essential characteristics of any legal system. Part II reaffirms the legal positivist argument that law and morality are separable, arguing against the position of natural-law theory, which portrays legal requirements as a species of moral requirements. Kramer contends that even though the existence of a legal system in any sizeable society is essential for the realization of fundamental moral values, law is not inherently moral either in its effects or in its motivational underpinnings. In the final part, Kramer contests the widespread view that people whose conduct is meticulously careful cannot be held morally responsible for harmful effects of their actions. Through this argument, he reveals that fault-independent liability is present even more prominently in morality than in the law. Through a variety of arguments, Where Law and Morality Meet highlights both some surprising affinities and some striking divergences between morality and law. (shrink)
This study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine the influence of a 9-month physical activity program on task-evoked brain activation during childhood. The results demonstrated that 8- to 9-year-old children who participated in 60+ minutes of physical activity, 5 days per week, for 9 months, showed decreases in fMRI brain activation in the right anterior prefrontal cortex coupled with within-group improvements in performance on a task of attentional and interference control. Children assigned to a wait list control group (...) did not show changes in brain function. Furthermore, at post-test, children in the physical activity group showed similar anterior frontal brain patterns and incongruent accuracy rates to a group of college-aged young adults. Children in the wait list control group still differed from the young adults in terms of anterior prefrontal activation and performance at post-test. There were no significant changes in fMRI activation in the anterior cingulate cortex for either group. These results suggest that physical activity during childhood may enhance specific elements of prefrontal cortex function involved in cognitive control. (shrink)
Genetic variability in the dopaminergic and neurotrophic systems could contribute to age-related impairments in executive control and memory function. In this study we examined whether genetic polymorphisms for catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) were related to the trajectory of cognitive decline occurring over a 10-year period in older adults. A single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the COMT (Val158/108Met) gene affects the concentration of dopamine in the prefrontal cortex. In addition, a Val/Met substitution in the pro-domain for BDNF (Val66Met) affects (...) the regulated secretion and trafficking of BDNF with Met carriers showing reduced secretion and poorer cognitive function. We found that impairments over the 10-year span on a task-switching paradigm did not vary as a function of the COMT polymorphism. However, for the BDNF polymorphism the Met carriers performed worse than Val homozygotes at the first testing session but only the Val homozygotes demonstrated a significant reduction in performance over the 10-year span. Our results argue that the COMT polymorphism does not affect the trajectory of age-related executive control decline, whereas the Val/Val polymorphism for BDNF may promote faster rates of cognitive decay in old age. These results are discussed in relation to the role of BDNF in senescence and the transforming impact of the Met allele on cognitive function in old age. (shrink)
This collection of essays forms a lively debate over the fundamental characteristics of legal and moral rights. The essays examine whether rights fundamentally protect individuals' interests or whether they instead fundamentally enable individuals to make choices.
In a recent full‐length review of Matthew Kramer's In Defense of Legal Positivism, David Dyzenhaus has attacked legal positivists' accounts of adjudication and their views of the relationship between law and morality. The present essay defends legal positivism against his strictures, by arguing that he has misunderstood specific texts and the general lines of enquiry which the positivists pursue.
Lon Fuller is best known among legal philosophers for his efforts to highlight the intrinsically moral nature of law. To show that his efforts come to nought, the present essay ponders not only the ideas advanced by Fuller himself, but also some of the defences of him that have been mounted in recent years. Those defences centre on his notion of reciprocity, according to which the officials in a genuine legal system have effectively undertaken to respect die confines of the (...) mandates which they ask citizens (including themselves) to obey. Building on that notion, the supporters of Fuller have affirmed that the basic characteristics of law are intrinsically promotive of values such as autonomy and due process. As the present essay seeks to demonstrate, their sophisticated lines of argument turn out to be unavailing. (shrink)
Ronald Dworkin has long criticized legal positivists for their efforts to distinguish between legal and non-legal standards of conduct that are incumbent on people. Recently, Dworkin has broached this criticism in his hostile account of the debates between Incorporationist Legal Positivists and Exclusive Legal Positivists. Specifically, he has maintained that Incorporationists cannot avoid the unpalatable conclusion that the axioms and theorems of arithmetic are legal norms. This article shows why such a conclusion is indeed avoidable and why Dworkin's criticism is (...) therefore wide of the mark. (shrink)
We investigate the application of embedded atom method (EAM) interatomic potentials in the study of crystallization kinetics from deeply undercooled melts, focusing on the fcc metals Al and Cu. For this application, it is important that the EAM potential accurately reproduces melting properties and liquid structure, in addition to the crystalline properties most commonly fit in its development. To test the accuracy of previously published EAM potentials and to guide the development of new potential in this work, first-principles calculations have (...) been performed and new experimental measurements of the Al and Cu liquid structure factors have been undertaken by X-ray diffraction. We demonstrate that the previously published EAM potentials predict a liquid structure that is too strongly ordered relative to measured diffraction data. We develop new EAM potentials for Al and Cu to improve the agreement with the first-principles and measured liquid diffraction data. Furthermore, we calculate liquid-phase diffusivities and find that this quantity correlates well with the liquid structure. Finally, we perform molecular dynamics simulations of crystal nucleation from the melt during quenching at constant cooling rate. We find that EAM potentials, which predict the same zero-temperature crystal properties but different liquid structures, can lead to quite different crystallization kinetics. More interestingly, we find that two potentials predicting very similar equilibrium solid and liquid properties can still produce very different crystallization kinetics under far-from-equilibrium conditions characteristic of the rapid quenching simulations employed here. (shrink)
Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were performed of the structural changes occurring through the liquid?glass transition in Cu?Zr alloys. The total scattering functions (TSF), and their associated primary diffuse scattering peak positions (K p), heights (K h) and full-widths at half maximum (K FWHM) were used as metrics to compare the simulations to high-energy X-ray scattering data. The residuals of difference between the model and experimental TSFs are ?0.03 for the liquids and about 0.07 for the glasses. Over the compositional range (...) studied, Zr1? x Cu x (0.1 ≤ x ≤ 0.9), K p, K h and K FWHM show a strong dependence on composition and temperature. The simulation and experimental data correlate well between each other. MD simulation revealed that the Cu?Zr bonds undergo the largest changes during cooling of the liquid, whereas the Cu?Cu bonds change the least. Changes in the partial-pair correlations are more readily seen in the second and third shells. The Voronoi polyhedra (VP) in glasses are dominated by only a few select types that are compositionally dependent. The relative concentrations of the dominant VPs rapidly change in their relative proportion in the deeply undercooled liquid. The experimentally determined region of best glass formability, x Cu ? 65%, shows the largest temperature dependent changes for the deeply undercooled liquid in the MD simulation. This region also exhibits very strong temperature dependence for the diffusivity and the total energy of the system. These data point to a strong topological change in the best glass-forming alloys and a concurrent change in the VP chemistry in the deeply undercooled liquid. (shrink)
A growing body of literature provides evidence for the prophylactic influence of cardiorespiratory fitness on cognitive decline in older adults. This study examined the association between cardiorespiratory fitness and recruitment of the neural circuits involved in an attentional control task in a group of healthy older adults. Employing a version of the Stroop task, we examined whether higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness were associated with an increase in activation in cortical regions responsible for imposing attentional control along with an up-regulation (...) of activity in sensory brain regions that process task-relevant representations. Higher fitness levels were associated with better behavioral performance and an increase in the recruitment of prefrontal and parietal cortices in the most challenging condition, thus providing evidence that cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with an increase in the recruitment of the anterior processing regions. There was a top-down modulation of extrastriate visual areas that process both task-relevant and task-irrelevant attributes relative to the baseline. However, fitness was not associated with differential activation in the posterior processing regions, suggesting that fitness enhances attentional function by primarily influencing the neural circuitry of anterior cortical regions. This study provides novel evidence of a differential association of fitness with anterior and posterior brain regions, shedding further light onto the neural changes accompanying cardiorespiratory fitness. (shrink)
The A-kinase-anchoring protein 5 (AKAP5), a post-synaptic multi-adaptor molecule that binds G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and intracellular signaling molecules has been implicated in emotional processing in rodents, but its role in human emotion and behavior is up to now still not quite clear. Here, we report an association of individual differences in aggressive behavior and anger expression with a functional genetic polymorphism (Pro100Leu) in the human AKAP5 gene. Among a cohort of 527 young, healthy individuals, carriers of the less common Leu (...) allele (15.6% allele frequency) scored significantly lower in the physical aggression domain of the Buss and Perry Aggression Questionnaire (BPAQ) and higher in the anger control dimension of the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory (STAXI). In a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiment we could further demonstrate that AKAP5 Pro100Leu modulates the interaction of negative emotional processing and executive functions. To investigate implicit control-processes of anger control, we used the well-known flanker-task in order to evoke processes of action-monitoring and error-processing and added task-irrelevant neutral or angry faces in the background of the flanker stimuli. In line with our predictions, Leu carriers showed increased activation of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) during emotional interference, which in turn predicted shorter reaction times and might be related to stronger control of emotional interference. Conversely, Pro homozygotes exhibited increased orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) activation during emotional interference, with no behavioral advantage. Immunohistochemistry revealed AKAP5 expression in the human ACC and OFC. Our results suggest that AKAP5 Pro100Leu contributes to individual differences in human aggression and anger. Further research is warranted to explore the detailed role of AKAP5 in human emotional processing. (shrink)
In his important and engaging book LEGALITY, Scott Shapiro seeks to provide the motivation for the development of his own elaborate account of law by undertaking a critique of H.L.A. Hart’s jurisprudential theory. Hart maintained that every legal system is underlain by a Rule of Recognition through which the officials of the system identify the norms that belong to the system as laws. Shapiro argues that Hart’s remarks on the Rule of Recognition are confused and that his model of law (...) ─ though commendably more sophisticated than any model propounded by earlier legal positivists ─ is consequently untenable. Having thus endeavored to establish that Hart’s exposition of the nature of legality is unsustainable, Shapiro contends that a new approach is vital for progress in the philosophy of law. With his lengthy presentation of his own Planning Theory of Law, he aspires to pioneer just such an approach. -/- Except for a very terse observation in the final main section, this article will not directly assess the strengths and shortcomings of Shapiro’s piquant Planning Theory. Instead, I will defend Hart against Shapiro’s charges and will thereby undermine the motivation for the development of the Planning Theory. Nearly all the objections to Hart’s work posed by Shapiro are inapposite, or so this article will aim to show. (shrink)
This analysis comments on Bernstein’s lack of clear understanding of subjectivity, based on his book, Beyond Objectivism and Relativism: Science, Hermeneutics, and Praxis. Bernstein limits his interpretation of subjectivity to thinkers such as Gadamer and Habermas. The authors analyze the ideas of classic scholars such as Edmund Husserl and Friedrich Nietzsche. Husserl put forward his notion of transcendental subjectivity and phenomenological ramifications of the relationship between subjectivity and objectivity. Nietzsche referred to subjectivity as perspectivism, the inescapable fact that any and (...) all consciousnesses exist in space and time. Consciousness is fundamentally constituted of cultural, linguistic, and historical dimensions. (shrink)
Some important recent articles, including one in this journal, have sought to devise theories of rights that can transcend the longstanding debate between the Interest Theory and the Will Theory. The present essay argues that those efforts fail and that the Interest Theory and the Will Theory withstand the criticisms that have been levelled against them. To be sure, the criticisms have been valuable in that they have prompted the amplification and clarification of the two dominant theories of rights; but (...) their upshot has been to reveal the need for the improvement, rather than the abandonment, of those theories. (shrink)
In the mid 1970s labor-saving technology was introduced into a Maya subsistence agricultural community that markedly increased the efficiency with which maize could be ground and water collected. This increased efficiency introduces a possible savings in the time that women allocate to work, which can be reapportioned to child care, food production, domestic work, or leisure. An earlier study suggested that this labor-saving technology had a positive effect in decreasing the age at which these Maya women begin their reproductive careers. (...) Although there is a statistical association between the age at which women bear their first child and the introduction of modern technology, this association does not demonstrate that the decline in age at first birth is causally related to the presence of technology. This paper pursues two objectives to evaluate this potential causal relationship in greater detail. First, a theory relating technological change to the initiation of a reproductive career is briefly developed in order to make qualitative predictions about behavioral changes as a response to changing technology. Second, these predictions are then tested against time allocation data recently collected in this same Maya community.We suggest that both of the conditions necessary to initiate reproduction—fecundity and access to mates—fundamentally depend on the amount of help that a girl provides to her family. Further, the help that a girl provides can be affected by technological changes. Analyses show that when modern technology is available, unmarried young women do not change the time allocated to domestic tasks and child care, and allocate more time to low-energy leisure activities. This lack of perceived benefit to working more and a potential concomitant shift towards a positive energy balance may in part explain why Maya women leave home and initiate reproduction at a younger age after labor-saving technology is introduced. (shrink)
Notable in cross-cultural comparisons is the variable span of time between when children become economically self-sufficient and when they initiate their own reproductive careers. That variation is of interest because it shapes the age range of children reliant on others for support and the age range of children available to help out, which in turn affects the competing demands on parents to support multiple dependents of different ages. The age at positive net production is used as a proxy to estimate (...) the close of juvenile economic dependence among a group of Maya subsistence agriculturalists. Maya children produce more than they consume by their early to mid teens but remain in their natal households for a number of years before leaving home and beginning families of their own. The Maya results contrast markedly with those from several groups of hunter-gatherers and horticulturalists for whom we have similar data. Even in the Maya case, where children are self-sufficient at a relatively young age, parents are unable to support their children without help from others. The production surplus of older children appears to help underwrite the cost of large Maya families and subsidize their parents’ continued reproduction. (shrink)
Matthew Kramer has recently defended a novel justification for the death penalty, something he calls the purgative rationale. According to this rationale, the death penalty can be justifiably implemented if it is necessary in order to purge defilingly evil offenders from a moral community. Kramer claims that this rationale overcomes the problems associated with traditional rationales for the death penalty. Although Kramer is to be commended for carving out a novel niche in a well-worn dialectical space, I (...) argue that his rationale falls somewhat short of the mark. By his own lights, a successful justification of the death penalty must show that death is the minimally invasive, most humane means to some legitimate moral end. But even if we grant that his rationale picks out a legitimate moral end, there are at least three alternatives to death, either ignored or not fully considered by Kramer, which would seem to satisfy that end in a less invasive, more humane manner. (shrink)
Research shows that a culture of consumerism and materialism has a dramatic and negative impact on children's physical and psychological health. Psychologists have a duty to act to reverse this trend. Information on why and how to act is the key. This article explores the use of psychology to improve the effectiveness of advertising to youth and details the harm suffered by children as a result of some of this advertising. A discussion of ethical considerations related to specific guiding principles (...) and ethical standards of the 2002 American Psychological Association (APA) Ethics Code frames why action is imperative. Actions for psychologists to take in applying the 2002 APA Ethics Code are suggested herein. (shrink)
This essay argues against the commonly held view that "ought" implies "can" in the domain of morality. More specifically, I contest the notion that nobody should ever be held morally responsible for failing to avoid the infliction of any harm that he or she has not been able to avoid through all reasonably feasible precautions in the carrying out of some worthwhile activity. The article explicates the concept of a moral right in order to show why violations of moral rights (...) can occur even when no one has acted wrongfully in any fashion. In so doing, it will effectively be maintaining that strict liability (i.e., liability irrespective of the presence or absence of culpability) exists in morality as well as in law. When we take account of the distinction between exoneration and extenuation, we can see that scrupulously thorough precautions are never sufficient to constitute an excuse in morality. Having made that point with some extended examples, the article goes on to consider a number of possible objections - objections that lead into discussions of some basic distinctions within moral philosophy and some central principles within deontic logic. (shrink)
Two recent high-quality articles, including one in this journal, have challenged the Inclusivist and Incorporationist varieties of legal positivism. David Lefkowitz and Michael Giudice, writing from perspectives heavily influenced by the work of Joseph Raz, have endeavored—in sophisticated and interestingly distinct ways—to vindicate Raz's contention that moral principles are never among the law-validating criteria in any legal system nor among the laws that are applied as binding bases for adjudicative and administrative decisions in such a system. The present article (...) responds to their defenses of Raz's Exclusive Legal Positivism. (shrink)