"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)
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)
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)
John McDowell has attempted to defend himself against the charge that the view presented in his influential book Mind and World is idealist. This paper argues that in spite of that defence, there is a clear way in which the view does depend on a form of idealism. McDowell is committed to the thought that the world is ‘conceptually organized’. I consider what this means, and argue that, although it does not formally imply idealism, it is only defensible from a (...) broadly idealist view—one which is in fact in tension with important claims made by McDowell in other works. (shrink)
The cause of poor welfare in broilers is multifactorial, but genotype is a major contributor. Modern broilers have been bred for rapid growth, and this leads to increases in lameness and ascites as the legs and hearts of the heavier birds find it difficult to cope with the extra demands placed on them. Visible lameness indicative of pain is more common in New Zealand than in Europe. The government, however, insists that New Zealand welfare standards are higher than Europe. The (...) government also appears to have a strong antipathy to those demanding better welfare for broilers. Reasons for this antipathy and disparities between government statements and research results are discussed. Government publications reveal that animal welfare is seen as a question of image for market access and that there is little concern with animal welfare as an ethical imperative for its own sake. The Animal Welfare Act in theory makes it an offence to ill treat an animal, but in practice allows exemptions for industrial agriculture. The interests of animals may be better protected by an independent animal welfare advisory service. (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)
Although it is a commonplace that the "Protagoras" and the "Republic" present diffent views of akrasia, the nature of the difference is not well understood. I argue that the logic of the famous argument in the "Protagoras" turns just on two crucial assumptions: that desiring is having evaluative beliefs (or that valuing is desiring), and that no one can have contradictory preferences at the same time; hedonism is not essential to the logic of the argument. And the logic of the (...) argument for the division of the soul in the "Republic" requires the rejection of just the second of these assumptions, but not the evaluative conception of desire. I also maintain that Plato was aware, at the time of composition, of these features of the argumentation of his dialogues. Finally, I argue that there is reason to think that, even at the time of the "Protagoras," Plato held the conception of the soul expressed in the "Republic," and not anything like that expressed in the famous argument of the "Protagoras." The Protagoras view, even without hedonism, is a poor expression of the thesis that virtue is knowledge. (shrink)
Changes in attitudes toward animal welfare, with a greater emphasis on the importance of allowing animals to express normal patterns of behavior has led to an examination of the practice of keeping hens in battery cages. There is widespread scientific consensus that the conditions of confinement and the barren nature of battery cages severely restrict hens’ behavioral repertoire, and are thus detrimental to their welfare. The New Zealand Animal Welfare Act 1999, stipulates that animals must have “the opportunity to display (...) normal patterns of behaviour.” In spite of this provision, the New Zealand government has not acted in phasing out battery cages, arguing instead that there is insufficient evidence that welfare will be improved by a phase-out. There is evidence of strong industry pressure on the government, and the use of tactics common in policy considerations where changes are resisted by powerful interests. It is important that policy processes are better managed so that welfare changes are based on both public preferences and scientific knowledge, and ways of doing this are discussed. (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)
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)
This paper presents a critical analysis of the central argument of Derrida's paper 'White Mythology'. The crucial claims are that the concept of metaphor presupposes philosophy, that philosophy presupposes the concept of metaphor, and that philosophy cannot accommodate the concept of metaphor. I offer support for the first two claims, explaining the general kind of view of philosophy and of metaphor which they require, but I argue that even if we grant the first two claims, the concept of metaphor only (...) presents a difficulty for a particular conception of philosophy, rather that philosophy as such. (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.
This paper attempts to raise a question for the everyday view that language is a means of communication, a system of marks or sounds which we use to convey thoughts and describe the world. It first isolates the assumptions behind this everyday view before raising questions about them.
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)
If we ask ourselves whether ultimate moral conflicts exist, and if we take seriously the goal of capturing ordinary emotional experience in our views about morality, we find the evidence mixed. We might have some reason for concluding that some situations are ultimate moral conflicts, but we also have good reasons of the same kind for concluding that these situations are not ultimate moral conflicts. So this kind of argument does not provide secure enough footing for any sort of powerful (...) criticism of moral theories which deny the existence of ultimate moral conflicts. Those who want to argue for the reality of ultimate moral conflicts can still argue from something other than ordinary emotional experience. Any such alternative strategy, though, will involve a retreat from the idea that ordinary emotional experience provides unambiguous support for the existence of ultimate moral conflicts and a secure point from which to criticize moral theories.I conclude, then, that accepting the reality of ultimate moral conflicts does not allow a truer picture of ordinary emotional experience. I am not sure, though, that this should be good news for those who believe in a moral realm without ultimate moral conflicts. What is most striking about ordinary emotional experience is not its tendency to support one or another picture of the moral realm, with or without ultimate moral conflicts, but its failure to endorse any very determinate picture of a moral realm. This suggests a rather shocking gap in our understanding of the concepts of moral obligation, prohibition, and permission, concepts which, after all, are alleged to play a familiar and vital role in our lives. Perhaps this gap can be filled by arguments beginning somewhere other than ordinary emotional experience. (Although skeptics will point to the failure of deontic logicians to find any decisive reason to choose between accounts that do and do not permit ultimate moral conflicts.) Alternatively, though, the ambiguity of ordinary emotional experience on the question of ultimate moral conflict might provide one kind of support for the suspicion, famously entertained by Elizabeth Anscombe, that the word “ought,” used to refer to a specifically moral realm, is a word “containing no intelligible thought: a word retaining the suggestion of force, and apt to have a strong psychological effect, but which no longer signifies a real concept at all - No content could be found in the notion ‘morally ought’; if it were not that - philosophers try to find an alternative (very fishy) content and to retain the psychological force of the term.” G.E.M. Anscombe, “Modem Moral Philosophy,” Philosophy 33 (1958): 8. (shrink)