What is progressive education? -- Origins of progressive education -- Progressive education in action: what really happens -- Broken promises: why progressive education has failed to deliver -- Making progressive education work: perspectives, conclusions, and recommendations.
Quantum Theory and the Flight from Realism is a critical introduction to the long-standing debate concerning the conceptual foundations of quantum mechanics, and the problems it has posed for physicists and philosophers from Einstein to the present. Quantum theory has been a major influence on postmodernism, and presents significant challenges for realists. Clarifying these debates for the non-specialist, Christopher Norris examines the premises of orthodox quantum theory and its impact on various philosophical developments. He subjects a wide range of (...) opponents and supporters of realism to a high and equal level of scrutiny. Combining rigor and intellectual generosity, he draws out the merits and weaknesses from opposing arguments. (shrink)
In this book Christopher Norris develops the case for scientific realism by tackling various adversary arguments from a range of anti-realist positions. Through a close critical reading he shows how they fail to make adequate sense on any rational, consistent and scientifically informed survey of the evidence. Along the way he incorporates a number of detailed case-studies from the history and philosophy of science. Norris devotes much of his discussion to some of the most prominent and widely influential (...) source-texts of anti-realism. Also included are the sophisticated versions of verificationism developed by thinkers such as Michael Dummett and Bas van Fraassen. Central to Norris's argument is a prolonged engagement with the once highly influential but nowadays neglected work of Norwood Russell Hanson. This book will be welcomed especially by readers who possess some knowledge of the background debate and who wish to deepen and extend their understanding of these issues beyond an introductory level. (shrink)
Can war ever be justified? Why is it wrong to kill? In this new book Richard Norman looks at these and other related questions, and thereby examines the possibility and nature of rational moral argument. Practical examples, such as the Gulf War and the Falklands War, are used to show that, whilst moral philosophy can offer no easy answers, it is a worthwhile enterprise which sheds light on many pressing contemporary problems. A combination of lucid exposition and original argument (...) makes this the ideal introduction to both the particular debate about the ethics of killing and war, and also to the fundamental issues of moral philosophy itself. (shrink)
Top-down feedback does not benefit speech recognition; on the contrary, it can hinder it. No experimental data imply that feedback loops are required for speech recognition. Feedback is accordingly unnecessary and spoken word recognition is modular. To defend this thesis, we analyse lexical involvement in phonemic decision making. TRACE (McClelland & Elman 1986), a model with feedback from the lexicon to prelexical processes, is unable to account for all the available data on phonemic decision making. The modular Race model (Cutler (...) & Norris 1979) is likewise challenged by some recent results, however. We therefore present a new modular model of phonemic decision making, the Merge model. In Merge, information flows from prelexical processes to the lexicon without feedback. Because phonemic decisions are based on the merging of prelexical and lexical information, Merge correctly predicts lexical involvement in phonemic decisions in both words and nonwords. Computer simulations show how Merge is able to account for the data through a process of competition between lexical hypotheses. We discuss the issue of feedback in other areas of language processing and conclude that modular models are particularly well suited to the problems and constraints of speech recognition. Key Words: computational modeling; feedback; lexical processing; modularity; phonemic decisions; reading; speech recognition; word recognition. (shrink)
Norris presents a series of closely linked chapters on recent developments in epistemology, philosophy of language, cognitive science, literary theory, musicology and other related fields. While to this extent adopting an interdisciplinary approach, Norris also very forcefully challenges the view that the academic "disciplines" as we know them are so many artificial constructs of recent date and with no further role than to prop up existing divisions of intellectual labour. He makes his case through some exceptionally acute revisionist (...) readings of diverse thinkers such as Derrida, Paul de Man, Wittgenstein, Chomsky, Michael Dummett and John McDowell. In each instance Norris stresses the value of bringing various trans-disciplinary perspectives to bear while none-the-less maintaining adequate standards of area-specific relevance and method. Most importantly he asserts the central role of recent developments in cognitive science as pointing a way beyond certain otherwise intractable problems in philosophy of mind and language. (shrink)
Abstract Flax seedlings grown in the absence of environmental stimuli, stresses and injuries do not form epidermal meristems in their hypocotyls. Such meristems do form when the stimuli are combined with a transient depletion of calcium. These stimuli include the “manipulation stimulus” resulting from transferring the seedlings from germination to growth conditions. If, after a stimulus, calcium depletion is delayed, meristem production is also delayed; in other words, the meristem-production instruction can be memorised. Memorisation includes both storage and recall of (...) information. Here, we focus on information recall. We show that if the first transient calcium depletion is followed by a second transient depletion there is a new round of meristem production. We also show that if an excess of calcium follows calcium depletion, meristem production is blocked; but if the excess of calcium is in turn followed by another calcium depletion, again there is a new round of meristem production. The same stored information can thus be recalled repeatedly (at least twice). We describe a conceptual model that takes into account these findings. Content Type Journal Article Category Regular Article Pages 1-15 DOI 10.1007/s10441-012-9145-5 Authors Marie-Claire Verdus, Laboratoire AMMIS (Assemblages Moléculaires, Modélisation et Imagerie SIMS), CNRS (GDR DYCOEC), Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Université de Rouen, 76821 Mont-Saint-Aignan Cedex, France Camille Ripoll, Laboratoire AMMIS (Assemblages Moléculaires, Modélisation et Imagerie SIMS), CNRS (GDR DYCOEC), Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Université de Rouen, 76821 Mont-Saint-Aignan Cedex, France Vic Norris, Laboratoire AMMIS (Assemblages Moléculaires, Modélisation et Imagerie SIMS), CNRS (GDR DYCOEC), Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Université de Rouen, 76821 Mont-Saint-Aignan Cedex, France Michel Thellier, Laboratoire AMMIS (Assemblages Moléculaires, Modélisation et Imagerie SIMS), CNRS (GDR DYCOEC), Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Université de Rouen, 76821 Mont-Saint-Aignan Cedex, France Journal Acta Biotheoretica Online ISSN 1572-8358 Print ISSN 0001-5342. (shrink)
There are at least three times as many nations as states in the world today. This book addresses some of the special challenges that arise when two or more national communities re the same (multinational) state. As a work in normative political philosophy its principal aim is to evaluate the political and institutional choices of citizens and governments in states with rival nationalist discourses and nation-building projects. The first chapter takes stock of a decade of intense philosophical and sociological debates (...) about the nature of nations and nationalism. Norman identifies points of consensus in these debates, as well as issues that do not have to be definitively resolved in order to proceed with normative theorizing. He recommends thinking of nationalism as a form of discourse, a way of arguing and mobilizing support, and not primarily as a belief in a principle. A liberal nationalist, then, is someone who uses nationalist arguments, or appeals to nationalist sentiments, in order to rally support for liberal policies. The rest of the book is taken up with the three big political and institutional choices in multinational states. First, what can political actors and governments legitimately do to shape citizens' national identity or identities? This is the core question in the ethics of nation-building, or what Norman calls national engineering. Second, how can minority and majority national communities each be given an adequate degree of self-determination, including equal rights to carry out nation-building projects, within a democratic federal state? Finally, even in a world where most national minorities cannot have their own state, how should the constitutions of multinational federations regulate secessionist politics within the rule of law and the ideals of democracy? More than a decade after Yael Tamir's ground-breaking Liberal Nationalism, Norman finds that these three great practical and institutional questions have still rarely been addressed within a comprehensive normative theory of nationalism. (shrink)
This essay takes Badiou’s recently published book as an opportunity to discuss not only his complex (though generally hostile) approach to Wittgenstein but also his evolving critical stance in relation to various other movements in present-day philosophical thought. In particular it examines his distinction between ‘sophistics’ and ‘anti-philosophy’, as developed very largely through his series of encounters with Wittgenstein. Beyond that, I offer some brief remarks about the role of set-theoretical concepts in Badiou’s thinking and the vexed question of their (...) bearing on his other (including political) concerns. Finally – with an eye to certain CR-internal trends and debates – I focus on Badiou’s powerful critique of the religious or mystical (hence ‘anti-philosophical’) dimension of Wittgenstein’s thought. Content Type Journal Article Category Review Essay Pages 487-498 DOI 10.1558/jcr.v11i4.487 Authors Christopher Norris, Cardiff University, Humanities Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff CF10 3EU Journal Journal of Critical Realism Online ISSN 1572-5138 Print ISSN 1476-7430 Journal Volume Volume 11 Journal Issue Volume 11, Number 4 / 2012. (shrink)
The concepts of freedom and equality lie at the heart of much contemporary political debate. But how, exactly, are these concepts to be understood? And do they really represent desirable political values? Norman begins from the premise that freedom and equality are rooted in human experience, and thus have a real and objective content. He then argues that the attempt to clarify these concepts is therefore not just a matter of idle philosophical speculation, but also a matter of practical (...) politics, for the philosophical conclusions we reach also have important implications for the day-to-day world of political action. Touching on the work of such influential thinkers as Mill, Berlin, Hayek, Nozick, Rawls, and Williams, this book serves as a valuable introduction to the central issues in political philosophy. (shrink)
In this detailed study, Christopher Norris defends the kinds of arguments advanced by the early realist, Hilary Putnam. Norris makes a point of placing Putnam's work in a wider philosophical context, and relating it to various current debates in epistemology and philosophy of science. Much like Putnam, Norris is willing to take full account of opposed viewpoints while maintaining a vigorously argued commitment to the values of debate and enquiry.
Laboratory work in early geoscience: changing the story Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9621-6 Authors John Norris, Vodni 1 A, 602 00 Brno, Czech Republic Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
In What's Wrong with Postmodernism Norris critiques the "postmodern-pragmatist malaise" of Baudrillard, Fish, Rorty, and Lyotard. In contrast he finds a continuing critical impulse--an "enlightened or emancipatory interest"--in thinkers like Derrida, de Man, Bhaskar, and Habermas. Offering a provocative reassessment of Derrida's influence on modern thinking, Norris attempts to sever the tie between deconstruction and American literary critics who, he argues, favor endless, playful, polysemic interpretation at the expense of systematic argument. As he explores leftist attempts to arrive (...) at an accommodation with postmodernism, Norris addresses the politics of deconstruction, the issue of men in feminism, Habermas' quarrel with Derrida, narrative theory as a hermeneutic paradigm, musical aesthetics in relation to literary theory, and various aspects of postmodern debate. A chapter on Stanley Fish brings several of these topics together and offers a generalized statement on the function of current criticism. (shrink)
The two contrasting theoretical approaches to visual perception, the constructivist and the ecological, are briefly presented and illustrated through their analyses of space and size perception. Earlier calls for their reconciliation and unification are reviewed. Neurophysiological, neuropsychological, and psychophysical evidence for the existence of two quite distinct visual systems, the ventral and the dorsal, is presented. These two perceptual systems differ in their functions; the ventral system's central function is that of identification, while the dorsal system is mainly engaged in (...) the visual control of motor behavior. The strong parallels between the ecological approach and the functioning of the dorsal system, and between the constructivist approach and the functioning of the ventral system are noted. It is also shown that the experimental paradigms used by the proponents of these two approaches match the functions of the respective visual systems. A dual-process approach to visual perception emerges from this analysis, with the ecological-dorsal process transpiring mainly without conscious awareness, while the constructivist-ventral process is normally conscious. Some implications of this dual-process approach to visual-perceptual phenomena are presented, with emphasis on space perception. Key Words: constructivist; dual-process approach; ecological; size perception; space perception; two visual systems; visual perception theories. (shrink)
This paper raises a challenge for those who assume that corporate social responsibility and good corporate governance naturally go hand-in-hand. The recent spate of corporate scandals in the United States and elsewhere has dramatized, once again, the severity of the agency problems that may arise between managers and shareholders. These scandals remind us that even if we adopt an extremely narrow concept of managerial responsibility – such that we recognize no social responsibility beyond the obligation to maximize shareholder value – (...) there may still be very serious difficulties associated with the effective institutionalization of this obligation. It also suggests that if we broaden managerial responsibility, in order to include extensive responsibilities to various other stakeholder groups, we may seriously exacerbate these agency problems, making it even more difficult to impose effective discipline upon managers. Hence, our central question: is a strong commitment to corporate social responsibility institutionally feasible? In searching for an answer, we revisit the history of public management, and in particular, the experience of social-democratic governments during the 1960s and 1970s, and their attempts to impose social responsibility upon the managers of nationalized industries. The results of this inquiry are less than encouraging for proponents of corporate social responsibility. In fact, the history of public-sector management presents a number of stark warnings, which we would do well to heed if we wish to reconcile robust social responsibility with effective corporate governance. (shrink)
In this essay I examine various aspects of the nearcentury-long debate concerning the conceptualfoundations of quantum mechanics and the problems ithas posed for physicists and philosophers fromEinstein to the present. Most crucial here is theissue of realism and the question whether quantumtheory is compatible with any kind of realist orcausal-explanatory account which goes beyond theempirical-predictive data. This was Einstein's chiefconcern in the famous series of exchanges with NielsBohr when he refused to accept the truth orcompleteness of a doctrine (orthodox QM) (...) which ruledsuch questions to be strictly inadmissible. I discussthe later history of quantum-theoretical debate withparticular reference to the issue of nonlocality,i.e., the phenomenon of superluminal(faster-than-light) interaction betweenwidely-separated particles. Then I show how thestandard `Copenhagen' interpretation of QM hasinfluenced current anti-realist orontological-relativist approaches to philosophy ofscience. Indeed, there are clear signs that somephilosophers have retreated from a realist positionvery largely in response to just these problems. So itis important to ask exactly why – on what scientificor philosophical grounds – any preferred alternative(causal-realist) construal should have been ruled outas a matter of orthodox QM wisdom. Moreconstructively, my paper presents various arguments infavour of one such alternative, the `hidden-variables'theory developed since the early 1950s by David Bohmand consistently marginalised by proponents of theCopenhagen doctrine. (shrink)
This paper looks at conflicts of interest in the not-for-profit sector. It examines the nature of conflicts of interest and why they are of ethical concern, and then focuses on the way not-for-profit organisations are especially prone to and vulnerable to conflict-of-interest scandals. Conflicts of interest corrode trust; and stakeholder trust (particularly from donors) is the lifeblood of most charities. We focus on some specific challenges faced by charitable organisations providing funding for scientific (usually medical) research, and examine a case (...) study involving such an organisation. One of the principal problems for charities of this kind is that they often distribute their funds within a relatively small research community (defined by the boundaries of a small region, like an American state or Spanish Autonomous region, or a small country), and it often proves difficult to find high-level researchers within the jurisdiction to adjudicate impartially the research grants. We suggest and recommend options appropriate for our case study and for many other organisations in similar situations. (shrink)
: This paper represents the authors' attempt to provide a useful framework for discussing and investigating the links between the apparently disparate disciplines of neuroscience and dance. This attempt arose from an interdisciplinary course offering on this topic. A clear need apparent in preparing for an exploration of such uncharted territory was for some definition of the relevant landmarks in the form of a conceptual framework. The current status of that developing framework is presented here, as we consider the historical (...) context that contributed to the cultural distance between neuroscience and dance as disciplines; the conceptual and technical obstacles to collaborative work between these disciplines; and the recent developments, both conceptual and technological, that make the interface between neuroscience and dance a particularly fruitful source of inspiration not only for dancers and neuroscientists but potentially for a wide variety of disciplines touching on health and education in general. (shrink)
The conception of social justice as equality is defended in this paper by examining what may appear to be two inegalitarian conceptions of justice, as distribution according to desert and as distribution according to need. It is argued that claims of just entitlement arise within a context of reciprocal co-operation for mutual benefit. Within such a context there are special cases where it can be said that those who contribute more deserve more, and that those who need more should get (...) more, but those claims themselves presuppose a norm of equal contribution and equal benefit. (shrink)
In this essay, I offer a critical evaluation of Hilary Putnam's writings on epistemology and philosophy of science, in particular his engagement with interpretative problems in quantum mechanics. I trace the development of his thinking from the late 1960s when he adopted a strong causal-realist position on issues of meaning, reference, and truth, via the "internal realist" approach of his middle-period writings, to the various forms of pragmatist, naturalized, or "commonsense" epistemology proposed in his latest books. My contention is that (...) Putnam's retreat from a full-fledged realist outlook has been prompted in large part by his belief that it cannot possibly be reconciled with the implications of quantum mechanics for our understanding of processes and events in the subatomic domain. However, I suggest, this response should be seen as premature given the range of as-yet unresolved problems with quantum mechanics on the orthodox (Copenhagen) interpretation and also the existence of an alternative account - David Bohm's hidden-variables theory - which perfectly matches the established predictive-observational results while providing a credible realist ontology. I also examine Putnam's case for adopting a nonstandard (three-valued) "quantum logic" in relation to the thinking of other philosophers - Michael Dummett among them - who have espoused a more global or doctrinaire version of anti-realism. I conclude that Putnam's early (causal-realist) position is by no means untenable in light of the various arguments that he now takes as counting decisively against it. (shrink)
Jonathan Dancy, in his 1994 Aristotelian Society Presidential Address, set out to show ''why there is really no such thing as the theory of motivation''. In this paper I want to agree that there is no such thing, and to offer reasons of a different kind for that conclusion. I shall suggest that the so-called theory of motivation misconstrues the question which it purports to answer, and that when we properly analyse the question and distinguish it clearly from other questions (...) with which it should not be confused, we do not need a theory of motivation at all. (shrink)
: This article critiques Elizabeth Grosz's understanding that queer theory is unproductive insofar as it disrupts the specific identities of gay and lesbian. Reconsidering ideas about desire, the body, and identity that Grosz takes from Gilles Deleuze's work on Friedrich Nietzsche and Baruch Spinoza, this essay argues that, despite her productive reworking of homophobia in terms of "active" and "reactive" forces, Grosz's application of Spinoza is only partial. Focusing on Spinoza's evaluation of bodies, the essay both critiques Grosz's approach to (...) experimental desire and observes Spinozist preoccupations in order to talk about the experimental body. It concludes that if Grosz were to attend more seriously to the Spinozist imperative to analyze a body in terms of its capabilities—that is, its power to be affected—the epistemological basis of her argument would change. It would be difficult to dismiss the plurality and sensibility of a queer body or its challenge to lesbian and gay as the source of a primary identity. (shrink)
In this article I argue that hope is rightly numbered by Hesiod among the evils, as hope cannot be separated from an awareness of the inadequacy of one's current state. Political hope for democrats in particular is tied to the awareness that we have not yet realized ourselves, that, to paraphrase Pindar, we have not yet become who we are. I argue that, although Rorty comes close to articulating this in his book Achieving Our Country, his emphasis on pride ultimately (...) obscures more than it reveals. I conclude that Thoreau's anguished reflection in Walden on the failures of his fellow citizens is a better place to look for instruction on the question of political hope. (shrink)
This article offers a critical perspective on two lines of thought in recent epistemology and philosophy of science, namely Michael Dummett?s anti-realist approach to issues of truth, meaning, and knowledge and Bas van Fraassen?s influential programme of ?constructive empiricism?. While not denying the salient differences between them (the one a metaphysical doctrine premised on logicolinguistic considerations, the other a thesis primarily concerned with the scope and limits of empirical inquiry) it shows how they converge on a sceptical outlook concerning the (...) realist claim that truth might always transcend the restrictions of some given (or indeed some future best-possible) state of knowledge. The author puts the case that such sceptical arguments, if followed through consistently, must involve giving up all claim to account for our knowledge of the growth of scientific knowledge. He also takes issue with Dummett?s idea of truth as nothing more than a matter of ?warranted assertibility? and with van Fraassen?s likewise verificationist conception of empirical warrant as the most we can have by way of epistemic justification. Thus it is wrong to suppose that the realist is merely indulging in a display of ?courage not under fire? when she assumes ontological commitments in excess of the observational data. This disavowal of realism in favour of a theory which ?saves the (empirical) appearances? has a less-than-distinguished prehistory in the range of compromise strategies adopted by upholders of a dominant metaphysics or world-view, starting out with the orthodox Catholic attempt to defuse the implications of the heliocentric hypothesis advanced by Copernicus and Galileo. Such theological motives are nowadays not so prominent although ? it is suggested fithey do emerge at certain points in Dummett?s writing. More constructively, this article presents a case for objectivism with regard to scientific truth and also for inference to the best causal explanation on both the micro- and the macrophysical scale as the only approach with an adequate claim to make sense of the history of advancements in scientific knowledge to date. (shrink)
This essay examines some of the arguments in David Deutsch's book The Fabric of Reality , chief among them its case for the so-called many-universe interpretation of quantum mechanics (QM), presented as the only physically and logically consistent solution to the QM paradoxes of wave/particle dualism, remote simultaneous interaction, the observer-induced 'collapse of the wave-packet', etc. The hypothesis assumes that all possible outcomes are realized in every such momentary 'collapse', since the observer splits off into so many parallel, coexisting, but (...) epistemically non-interaccessible 'worlds' whose subsequent branchings constitute the lifeline-or experiential world-series- for each of those proliferating centres of consciousness. Although Deutsch concedes that his 'multiverse' theory is counter-intuitive, he none the less takes it to be borne out beyond question by the sheer observational/predictive success of QM and the conceptual dilemmas that supposedly arise with alternative (single-universe) accounts. Moreover, he claims the theory resolves a range of longstanding philosophical problems, notably those of mind/body dualism, the various traditional paradoxes of time, and the freewill/determinism issue. The essay suggests on the contrary, that Deutsch unwittingly transposes into the framework of presentday quantum debate speculative themes from the history of rationalist metaphysics, often with bizarre or philosophically dubious results, and that he rules out at least one promising rival account, namely Bohm's 'hidden variables' theory. It goes on to consider reasons for resistance to that theory among proponents of the 'orthodox' (Copenhagen) doctrine, and for the strong anti-realist, at times even irrationalist bias that has characterized much of this discussion since Bohr's debates with Einstein about quantum non-locality, observer-intervention, and the limits of precise measurement. Finally, the contrast is pointed out between Deutsch's ontologically extravagant use of the many-worlds hypothesis (akin to certain ideas advanced by speculative metaphysicians from Leibniz down) and those realist modes of counterfactual reasoning- e.g. in Kripke and the early Putnam- which deploy similar arguments to very different causal-explanatory ends. (shrink)
This article examines Hilary Putnam's work in the philosophy of mathematics and - more specifically - his arguments against mathematical realism or objectivism. These include a wide range of considerations, from Gödel's incompleteness-theorem and the limits of axiomatic set-theory as formalised in the Löwenheim-Skolem proof to Wittgenstein's sceptical thoughts about rule-following (along with Saul Kripke's ‘scepticalsolution’), Michael Dummett's anti-realist philosophy of mathematics, and certain problems – as Putnam sees them – with the conceptual foundations of Peano arithmetic. He also adopts (...) a thought-experimental approach – a variant of Descartes' dream scenario – in order to establish the in-principle possibility that we might be deceived by the apparent self-evidence of basic arithmetical truths or that it might be ‘rational’ to doubt them under some conceivable (even if imaginary) set of circumstances. Thus Putnam assumes that mathematical realism involves a self-contradictory ‘Platonist’ idea of our somehow having quasi-perceptual epistemic ‘contact’ with truths that in their very nature transcend the utmost reach of human cognitive grasp. On this account, quite simply, ‘nothing works’ in philosophy of mathematics since wecan either cling to that unworkable notion of objective (recognition-transcendent) truth or abandon mathematical realism in favour of a verificationist approach that restricts the range of admissible statements to those for which we happen to possess some means of proof or ascertainment. My essay puts the case, conversely, that these hyperbolic doubts are not forced upon us but result from a false understanding of mathematical realism – a curious mixture of idealist and empiricist themes – which effectively skews the debate toward a preordained sceptical conclusion. I then go on to mount a defence of mathematical realism with reference to recent work in this field and also to indicate some problems – as I seethem – with Putnam's thought-experimental approach as well ashis use of anti-realist arguments from Dummett, Kripke, Wittgenstein, and others. (shrink)
This essay responds to Jeff Malpas's foregoing article, itself written in response to my various publications over the past two decades concerning Donald Davidson's ideas about truth, meaning, and interpretation. It has to do mainly with our disagreement as regards the substantive content of Davidson's truth-based semantic approach in relation to the problematic legacy of logical empiricism, including Quine's incisive but no less problematical critique of that legacy. I also raise questions with respect to Malpas's coupling of Davidson with Heidegger, (...) intended to provide a more adequate depth-ontological grounding for the formalized (logico-semantic) conception of truth that Davidson adopts from Tarski. My essay then argues the case for an outlook of objectivist causal realism joined with a theory of inference to the best, most rational explanation that would satisfy this need in more philosophically (as well as scientifically) accountable terms. (shrink)
My response and reactions to the quite diverse commentaries are presented. Among the topics covered are a response to holders of the ecological viewpoint; memory and learning in the two perceptual systems; development of the two systems; biological motion; size and distance perception; illusion and the two systems; and several others. It is suggested that the dual-process approach is a viable working theory of space perception and, perhaps, of other types of perception as well. Hopefully, future research will enhance it (...) with added refinements and variations on the original theme. (shrink)
New concepts may prove necessary to profit from the avalanche of sequence data on the genome, transcriptome, proteome and interactome and to relate this information to cell physiology. Here, we focus on the concept of large activity-based structures, or hyperstructures, in which a variety of types of molecules are brought together to perform a function. We review the evidence for the existence of hyperstructures responsible for the initiation of DNA replication, the sequestration of newly replicated origins of replication, cell division (...) and for metabolism. The processes responsible for hyperstructure formation include changes in enzyme affinities due to metabolite-induction, lipid-protein affinities, elevated local concentrations of proteins and their binding sites on DNA and RNA, and transertion. Experimental techniques exist that can be used to study hyperstructures and we review some of the ones less familiar to biologists. Finally, we speculate on how a variety of in silico approaches involving cellular automata and multi-agent systems could be combined to develop new concepts in the form of an Integrated cell (I-cell) which would undergo selection for growth and survival in a world of artificial microbiology. (shrink)
Language production and comprehension are intimately interrelated; and models of production and comprehension should, we argue, be constrained by common architectural guidelines. Levelt et al.'s target article adopts as guiding principle Ockham's razor: the best model of production is the simplest one. We recommend adoption of the same principle in comprehension, with consequent simplification of some well-known types of models.
Nietzsche sees base morality and traditional philosophy as reactive, essentially predicated on negation and opposition. But is it possible to reject negation? To oppose oppositionality? This issue has been addressed by a variety of 20th century thinkers who think that the paradox is insurmountable. I use the thought of Deleuze to propose a way Nietzsche can respond to the accusation of paradox. Specifically, I believe Nietzsche proposes a set of philosophical terms that allow him to refer the question of opposition (...) to a critical analysis of types of wills. Nietzsche attempts to show us a will that does not negate and oppose, but is rather affirmative. Its affirmation will be creative, rather than recognizing and reacting to an antecedent state of affairs or set of values. The purpose of this paper is to argue for the coherence and novelty of this conception of affirmative, noble will. (shrink)
This article examines various dilemmas (or, as I suggest, pseudo-dilemmas) that have dogged epistemology and philosophy of language since the 1940s heyday of logical empiricism. These have to do chiefly with the problem those thinkers faced in overcoming the various dichotomies imposed by their Humean insistence on maintaining a sharp distinction between logical 'truths of reason' and empirical 'matters of fact'. I trace this problem back to Kant's failure to offer any plausible, explanatorily adequate account of the process whereby 'sensuous (...) intuitions' were brought under 'concepts of understanding' through the joint (somewhat mysterious) agency of 'judgement' and 'imagination'. The argument then proceeds, via Quine's (on the face of it) radically anti-dualist critique of logical empiricism, to more recent attempts - by Davidson and McDowell - to locate the residual dualism in Quine (that of scheme and content), and thus to bring philosophy out on the far side of all these vexing dilemmas. I maintain that the problem goes much deeper and re-emerges with full force both in Davidson's coupling of a formalized (Tarskian) truth-theoretic approach with a strain of radical empiricism and likewise in McDowell's revisionist, supposedly 'naturalized', but none the less dualist reading of Kant on the twin powers of 'spontaneity' and 'receptivity'. Its ultimate source - I suggest - is the normative deficit, i.e., the lack of rational and justificatory values that has typified empiricist thinking from Hume to Quine, along with its attendant sceptical outlook as regards the existence of causal powers or the status and validity of causal explanations. My paper concludes by indicating briefly some alternative resources that might point a way beyond this longstanding impasse. (shrink)
With the advent of the newest technologies, it is necessary for engineering to incorporate the integration of social responsibility and technical integrity. A possible approach to accomplishing this integration is by expanding the culture of the engineering profession so that it is more congruent with the complex nature of the technologies that are now being developed. Furthermore, in order to achieve this expansion, a shift in thinking is required from a linear or reductionist paradigm (atomistic, deterministic and dualistic) to a (...) nonlinear paradigm (holistic, chaotic and subjective). Three aspects of such a nonlinear paradigm (holism, transparency and responsiveness) enable an engineer to shift from “applying ethics” to “being ethical”. This culture change can be a basis for developing new curricula to satisfy the ABET-2000 requirements as well as for the practice of engineering in the 21st Century. (shrink)
Are there any advantages to thinking and speaking about ethical business in the language of citizenship? We will address this question in part by looking at the possible relevance of a vast literature on individual citizenship that has been produced by political philosophers over the last fifteen years. Some of the central elements of citizenship do not seem to apply straightforwardly to corporations. E.g., “citizenship” typically implies membership in a state and an identity akinto national identity; but this connotation of (...) citizenship is obviously problematic for multinational corporations. However, the language of citizenship does help to focus our attention on various legal and political virtues (or vices) for corporations—topics that have been largely neglected by discussions under other rubrics, such as CSR or sustainability. We finish with an evaluation of the potential benefits and costs of conceptualizing and talking about ethical business practices in thelanguage of citizenship.“Citizen” and “Citizenship” are powerful words. They speak of respect, of rights, of dignity. . . . We find no perjorative uses. It is a weighty, monumental, humanist word.—Fraser and Gordon 1994: 90[The rhetorical appeal to citizenship often] seems to have no purpose other than to add normative weight to a policy, institution or practice that could just asaptly be described without reference to citizenship.—Weinstock 2002: 244. (shrink)
The purpose of this study is twofold. The first objective is to examine the impact of an individual's ethical ideology and level of professional commitment on the earnings management decision. The second objective is to observe whether the presence of a personal benefit affects an individual's ethical orientation or professional commitment within the context of an opportunity to manage earnings. Using a sample of 375 undergraduate business majors, our results suggest a significant relationship between an individual's ethical orientation and decision-making. (...) Further, participants with higher levels of professional commitment seem to be less likely to engage in earnings management behavior and less likely to behave opportunistically. These results have the potential to add to our understanding of certain behaviors in entry-level personnel and should be of interest to managers, practitioners, academicians, and researchers. (shrink)
Carruthers invokes a number of controversial assumptions to support his thesis. Most are questionable and unnecessary to investigate the wider relevance of language in cognition. A number of research programs (e.g., interactionist psycholinguistics and cognitive linguistics) have for years pursued a similar thesis and provide a more empirically grounded framework for investigating language’ cognitive functions.
There seems to be a proliferation of prizes and rankings for ethical business over the past decade. Our principal aims in this article are twofold: to initiate an academic discussion of the epistemic and normative stakes in business-ethics competitions; and to help organizers of such competitions to think through some of these issues and the design options for dealing with them. We have been able to find no substantive literature — academic or otherwise — that addresses either of these two (...) broad topics and audiences. Our modest aim, therefore, is to suggest an agenda of issues, and to begin to explore and analyse some of the possible arguments for and against various philosophical or practical solutions. Part I explores the challenges facing a prize-organizing committee, including problems derived from what Rawls calls the "fact of pluralism" in democratic societies (reasonable people will always disagree over some basic values, including those relevant to evaluating business practices), and epistemic issues about how we can justify qualitative judgments on the basis of incomplete quantitative data. We also try to identify risks and opportunity costs for ethics-prize granters. In Part II we spell out (a) a range of design options and (b) some advice about how any particular prize-awarding committee might select among these options to best achieve its goals (which typically involve highlighting and publicizing best practices for ethical business). (shrink)
In order that a degree-of-belief function be coherent it is necessary and sufficient that it satisfy the axioms of probability theory. This theorem relies heavily for its proof on the two-valued sentential calculus, which emerges as a limiting case of a continuous scale of truth-values. In this "continuum of certainty" a theorem analogous to that instanced above is proved.
We discuss five kinds of representations of rationales and provide a formal account of how they can alter disputation. The formal model of disputation is derived from recent work in argument. The five kinds of rationales are compilation rationales, which can be represented without assuming domain-knowledge (such as utilities) beyond that normally required for argument. The principal thesis is that such rationales can be analyzed in a framework of argument not too different from what AI already has. The result is (...) a formal understanding of rationales, a partial taxonomy, and a foundation for computer programs that represent and reason with rationales.The five kinds of rationales are as follows: (c)ompression and (s)pecialization, which yield rules, and (d)isputation, which yields a decision. These are modeled as potentially changing the focus of the dispute. Then there are (f)it, a rationale for rules, and (r)esolution, a rationale for decisions. These cannot be modeled as simply; they force disputation to a meta-level, at least temporarily. (shrink)
The relationship between vague statements and fuzzy sets is examined. It is shown that the probability of vague statements may be defined in a manner analogous to that discussed in Reichenbach's logic of weight.
To discover a unifying theory of biology, it is necessary first to believe in its existence and second to seek its elements. Such a theory would explain the regulation of the cell cycle, differentiation and the origin of life. Some elements of the theory may be obtained by considering both eukaryotic and prokaryotic cell cycles. These elements include cytoskeletal proteins, calcium, cyclins, protein kinase C, phosphorylation, transcriptional sensing, autocatalytic gene expression and the physical properties of lipids. Other more exotic candidate (...) elements include the dynamic enzoskeleton, ATP generation, mechanotransduction, the piezoelectric effect and resonance. Bringing these disparate elements together — and discovering others — will require extensive collaborations between specialists from different sciences. This can only be achieved within the context of an integrated approach to biology. (shrink)
The central thesis of our target article is that feedback is never necessary in spoken word recognition. In this response we begin by clarifying some terminological issues that have led to a number of misunderstandings. We provide some new arguments that the feedforward model Merge is indeed more parsimonious than the interactive alternatives, and that it provides a more convincing account of the data than alternative models. Finally, we extend the arguments to deal with new issues raised by the commentators (...) such as infant speech perception and neural architecture. (shrink)
What is biological complexity? How many sorts exist? Are there levels of complexity? How are they related to one another? How is complexity related to the emergence of new phenotypes? To try to get to grips with these questions, we consider the archetype of a complex biological system, Escherichia coli. We take the position that E. coli has been selected to survive adverse conditions and to grow in favourable ones and that many other complex systems undergo similar selection. We invoke (...) the concept of hyperstructures which constitute a level of organisation intermediate between macromolecules and cells. We also invoke a new concept, competitive coherence, to describe how phenotypes are created by a competition between maintaining a consistent story over time and creating a response that is coherent with respect to both internal and external conditions. We suggest how these concepts lead to parameters suitable for describing the rich form of complexity termed hypercomplexity and we propose a relationship between competitive coherence and emergence. (shrink)
Considerable attention is currently being directed to ethics in business, government and academia in both the professional and popular media. Most of these studies propound that ethics have eroded over time, resulting in their current low state. However, few, if any, of these articles provide comparative or longitudinal data to support their arguments. In this investigation, both comparative and longitudinal data were collected between 1976 and 1986 from retail store managers and retail students concerning their current perceptions of ethical retail (...) practices. The results indicate a significant increase in the ethics of retail store managers, and a significant decrease in the ethics of retail students. (shrink)