We review the state of the art in moral psychology to answer 6 questions: 1) Where do moral beliefs and motivations come from? 2) How does moral judgment work? 3) What is the evidence for the social intuitionist model? 4) What exactly are the moral intuitions? 5) How does morality develop? And 6) Why do people vary in their morality? We describe the intuitionist approach to moral psychology. The mind makes rapid affective evaluations of everything it encounters, and these evaluations (...) (intuitions) shape and push subsequent moral reasoning. This approach to moral judgment has a variety of implications for moral philosophy and for the law in that it questions common assumptions about the reliability and causal efficacy of private, conscious reasoning. (shrink)
In the metaethical debate on moral internalism and externalism, appeal is constantly made to people’s intuitions about the connection between moral judgments and motivation. However, internalists and externalists disagree considerably about their content. In this paper, we present an empirical study of laymen’s intuitions about this connection. We found that they lend surprisingly little support to the most celebrated versions of internalism, which provide reasons to be skeptical of the evidential basis for these views.
Aspects of cognitive immaturity may serve both to adapt children to their immediate environment and to prepare them for future ones. Language may have evolved in children's groups in the context of play. Developmental plasticity provides variability upon which natural selection operates, and such plasticity, that likely played an important role in the evolution of language, characterizes human children today.
Behavioral inhibition (BI) increases vulnerability to develop anxiety disorders and is typified by avoidance and withdrawal from novel objects, people, and situations. The present study considered the relationship between behavioral inhibition and temperamental risk factors, such as trait anxiety and acquisition rate of a classically conditioned eyeblink response. 174 healthy undergraduate students (mean age 20.3 years, 71.8% female) were given the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and a battery of self-report measures of behavioral inhibition consisting of the Adult and Retrospective Measures of (...) Behavioural Inhibition (AMBI/RMBI) and the Concurrent and Retrospective Self Report of Inhibition (CSRI/RSRI). Participants then underwent standard delay classical eyeblink conditioning consisting of 45 trials with a 500-ms CS overlapping and co-terminating with a 10-ms airpuff US. Individuals with higher scores on the AMBI and Trait Anxiety Inventory, but not the other measures, showed faster acquisition of a conditioned eyeblink response than individuals with lower scores. Results support a relationship between facilitated acquisition of inter-stimulus relationships and risk for anxiety, and suggest that some measures assessing anxiety vulnerability better capture this relationship than others. (shrink)
Objectives—To evaluate a departmental computer system.Design—a. Direct comparison of the time taken to use a manual system with the time taken to use a computer system for lung function evaluation, loan of equipment and production of correspondence. b. Analysis of the accuracy of data capture before and after the introduction of the computer system. c. Analysis of the comparative running costs of the manual and computer systems.Setting—Within a department of respiratory medicine serving a hospital of 1323 beds.Main Outcome Measures—a. Time (...) taken to perform functions with the assistance of computerised methods, in comparison to the manual method used alone. b. Accuracy of data capture. c. Relative running costs.Results—a. The computer system (CS) was significantly faster than the manual system (MS) for lung function evaluation (CS=7.63 min/test, MS=12.25 min/test), loan of equipment (CS=0.40 min/loan, MS=2.07 min/loan), and checking for overdue equipment (CS=0.49 s/record, MS=9 s/record). The production of correspondence was slightly slower with the computer (CS=9.30 min/letter, MS=8.54 min/letter). b. All outpatient episodes, but only 43 of 65 (66%) of inpatient episodes, were captured. Lung function and managerial report data were accurate using both manual and computerised methods. The manual system for equipment loans was inefficient, and use of the computer resulted in the recovery of 221 nebulisers. c. Development costs for 1988–1990 were high (£72 178). Only £1200 to £1845 per year was recovered directly from staff time saved by the computer but larger savings resulted from changes in work practice (£4049–4765). After 10 years the projected deficit is £10 000 per annum in running costs.Conclusions—In comparison with the manual methods, the computer system has shown significant advantages which provide accurate information, with significant favourable effects on working practices. In evaluating computer systems used in clinical practice it is essential to ensure that the projected work practice benefits are achieved without unacceptable costs in staff time, inaccurate data and high financial outlay. (shrink)
Although conditional stimulus (CS)/unconditional stimulus (US) contingency awareness appears to be necessary for human Pavlovian autonomie conditioning, only a selective review of the literature and the forgetting of certain basic, brute facts can allow the cognitive conclusion that awareness causes, or even is important for, conditioning. That conclusion is theoretically barren for explaining the phenomenon and is also of little potential practical use.
BackgroundIn 2009, Dr. Paolo Zamboni proposed chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) as a possible cause of multiple sclerosis (MS). Although his theory and the associated treatment (“liberation therapy”) received little more than passing interest in the international scientific and medical communities, his ideas became the source of tremendous public and political tension in Canada. The story moved rapidly from mainstream media to social networking sites. CCSVI and liberation therapy swiftly garnered support among patients and triggered remarkable and relentless advocacy efforts. (...) Policy makers have responded in a variety of ways to the public’s call for action.DiscussionWe present three different perspectives on this evolving story, that of a health journalist who played a key role in the media coverage of this issue, that of a health law and policy scholar who has closely observed the unfolding public policy developments across the country, and that of a medical ethicist who sits on an expert panel convened by the MS Society of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to assess the evidence as it emerges.SummaryThis story raises important questions about resource allocation and priority setting in scientific research and science policy. The growing power of social media represents a new level of citizen engagement and advocacy, and emphasizes the importance of open debate about the basis on which such policy choices are made. It also highlights the different ways evidence may be understood, valued and utilized by various stakeholders and further emphasizes calls to improve science communication so as to support balanced and informed decision-making. (shrink)
This study is concerned with exploring pre-colonial Malay ideas about power— about relationships between people and those who sought authority over them — and about the sources of social action and identity in pre-colonial Malay political culture. It examines, as its principal source for information about these issues, the Sejarah Melayu (Raffles MS 18), identifying significant instances in the text of dissent and of pluralism in Malay political culture.
The Principle of Distinction between combatants and noncombatants in war is, if not unique, then among a vanishingly small set of moral principles on which almost everybody agrees. And yet, despite this robust historical and cross-cultural support, Distinction is fundamentally fragile. It hinders the advancement of belligerents' interests when the stakes are as high as they can possibly be. Respecting Distinction, directing force at combatants rather than noncombatants, makes military defeat more likely. In protracted asymmetric conflicts, and arduous wars of (...) attrition, states and insurgents with few options left inevitably see noncombatants as an easy target, and Distinction as an unwarranted yoke. For this fundamental principle to endure, and to constrain, it is crucial that we marshal all the normative resources at our disposal to strengthen and affirm it. This is a task for governments and their militaries, national and international non-governmental organisations, and activists of all kinds. But it is also a task for philosophers, and the task of this book. Perhaps our prospects of making a difference are slight, but a clear-headed exposition of the best arguments for Distinction can only help in this essential endeavour. (shrink)