Visualizations used in the practice of neuroscience, as one example of a scientific practice, can be sorted according to whether they represent (A) actual things, (B) theoretical models, or (C) some integration of these two. In this paper I hypothesize that an assessment of a chain of visual representations from (A) through (C) to (B) (and back again) is used, as part of the practice of scientific judgment, to assess the adequacy of the "working fit" between the theoretical model and (...) the actual thing or process that the model is intended to explain. (shrink)
This essay answers the “Bayesian Challenge,” which is an argument offered by Bayesians that concludes that belief is not relevant to rational action. Patrick Maher and Mark Kaplan argued that this is so because there is no satisfactory way of making sense of how it would matter. The two ways considered so far, acting as if a belief is true and acting as if a belief has a probability over a threshold, do not work. Contrary to Maher and Kaplan, Keith (...) Frankish argued that there is a way to make sense of how belief matters by introducing a dual process theory of mind in which decisions are made at the conscious level using premising policies . I argue that Bayesian decision theory alone shows that it is sometimes rational to base decisions on beliefs; we do not need a dual process theory of mind to solve the Bayesian Challenge. This point is made clearer when we consider decision levels : acting as if a belief is true is sometimes rational at higher decision levels. (shrink)
This study investigates the relative attractiveness of production level jobs provided by multinational firms in Mexico's maquiladora industry. We take the position that workers themselves are an important and often overlooked source of information relevant to the controversy focusing on the responsibilities of multinational companies to their employees in the developing world. We conducted interviews with 59 maquila production level workers in the Mexican cities of Cd. Juárez and Chihuahua. Using a relative attractiveness framework that compared maquila jobs to other (...) employment available in the local economy, maquila line and technical workers responded to questions addressing why they were working at a maquila, their work history, the attractiveness of maquila jobs compared to both their prior jobs and the jobs held by friends and family, and whether they planned to continue working in the maquilas. While the responses from maquila workers are diverse, they suggest that maquila jobs provide attractive employment for the economically disadvantaged in Northern Mexico. (shrink)
Exercise psychology encompasses the disciplines of psychiatry, clinical and counseling psychology, health promotion, and the movement sciences. This emerging field involves diverse mental health issues, theories, and general information related to physical activity and exercise. Numerous research investigations across the past 20 years have shown both physical and psychological benefits from physical activity and exercise. Exercise psychology offers many opportunities for growth while positively influencing the mental and physical health of individuals, communities, and society. However, the exercise psychology literature has (...) not addressed ethical issues or dilemmas faced by mental health professionals providing exercise psychology services. This initial discussion of ethical issues in exercise psychology is an important step in continuing to move the field forward. Specifically, this article will address the emergence of exercise psychology and current health behaviors and offer an overview of ethics and ethical issues, education/training and professional competency, cultural and ethnic diversity, multiple-role relationships and conflicts of interest, dependency issues, confidentiality and recording keeping, and advertisement and self-promotion. (shrink)
In her recent case study, Elizabeth Potter attempts to show how Boyle’s experimental method was biased by gender considerations. Part of her argument focuses on the combination of the "invisibility" of women in Boyle’s published work together with his unpublished comments on female chastity, and part concerns Boyle’s rejection of the animistic explanation of his air pump experiments by Francis Line. I argue that the historical and biographical elements of the case make Potter’s arguments questionable. In addition, I address whether (...) and how such historical cases can shed light on current debates about gender issues and argue that Boyle’s methodological writings could be used to better advantage in the feminist cause. (shrink)
This paper contrasts the value maximization norm of welfare economics that is central to law and economics in its prescriptive mode to the Aristotelian/Aquinian principles of Catholic social thought. The reluctance (or inability) of welfare economics and law and economics to make judgments about about utilities (or preferences) differs profoundly from the Catholic tradition (rooted in Aristotle as well as religious faith) of contemplation of the nature of the good. This paper also critiques the interesting argument by Stephen Bainbridge that (...) homo economicus bears a certain affinity to fallen man, and that law and economics thus provides appropriate rules for a fallen world. From a Catholic perspective, the social vision of neo-classical economics and its progeny (welfare economics and law and economics) rests on a concept of human autonomy and a utilitarian concept of pleasure inconsistent with the Aristotelian and Aquinean concept of virtue and the conception of civic happiness articulated by Antonio Genovesi and other Catholic economists. (shrink)
Various explanations for the success of science have become central to both sides of the philosophical debate over scientific realism. In this paper I argue that the recent attempt by Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer, in Leviathan and the Air-Pump, to provide a sociological explanation for the success of experimental science fails to make any significant contribution to this debate because of (1) the historical prejudgments that they employ and (2) their oversimplification of present-day philosophy of science.
It is perhaps ironic that a methodology still convinced of its radical iconoclasm and progressive nature should at the same time be regarded as critically backward, a by-product of a disappearing philosophy. Such a view of the historical-critical method is held by John Milbank who argues that because of its dependence upon heretical philosophies that affirm the ontological autonomy of a world without reference to or participation in God, it should be confined to theological history. This essay will argue that (...) Milbank's challenge ought to be taken seriously by Christian biblical interpreters and suggests that historical-critical study, in the form criticised by Milbank, needs to be rejected. Milbank exposes the philosophical bankruptcy of the method from a Christian perspective; nevertheless, Milbank overstretches himself. His rejection of the historical-critical method results in a hermeneutic that has no place for a biblical text's historical particularity and sense. Because of this, he is left subsuming historic texts into the regula fidei of his philosophical meta-narrative, whether they fit such a move or not. This is particularly the case with Milbank's treatment of biblical texts, which, it shall be argued, operates as a refusal of history and a refusal of the particularity and alterity of the text. This highlights the need for an historical hermeneutic for Christian biblical interpretation, based on theological presuppositions, which takes the theological value of both historical particularity and the text seriously. (shrink)
The standard of disinterested objectivity embedded within the US Data Quality Act (2001) has been used by corporate and political interests as a way to limit the dissemination of scientific research results that conflict with their goals. This is an issue that philosophers of science can, and should, publicly address because it involves an evaluation of the strength and adequacy of evidence. Analysis of arguments from a philosophical tradition that defended a concept of useful knowledge (later displaced by Logical Empiricism) (...) is used here to suggest how the legitimacy of scientific findings can be supported in the absence of disinterested objectivity. (shrink)
How to avoid disease, how to breed successfully, and how to live to a reasonable age are questions that have perplexed humankind throughout history. This book explores our progress in understanding these challenges, and the risks and rewards of devising solutions. A broad range of topics are covered, including reproduction, the development of human progeny from conception to adulthood, staying healthy, ageing, cancer, infection and the burden of our genetic legacy.
In her recent case study, Elizabeth Potter attempts to show how Boyle's experimental method was biased by gender considerations. Part of her argument focuses on the combination of the “invisibility” of women in Boyle's published work together with his unpublished comments on female chastity, and part concerns Boyle's rejection of the animistic explanation of his air pump experiments by Francis Line. I argue that the historical and biographical elements of the case make Potter's arguments questionable. In addition, I address whether (...) and how such historical cases can shed light on current debates about gender issues and argue that Boyle's methodological writings could be used to better advantage in the feminist cause. (shrink)
Calvin Blanchard (1808–1868) was a prolific, albeit repetitive, author, publisher, and printer who was identified by L. L. and Jessie Bernard as an early American sociologist who helped introduce Americans to Auguste Comte. The Bernards also said that Blanchard was mentally ill.1 The Bernards’ discussion of Blanchard is the only recognition of Blanchard that predates the reprinting of one of his novels, The Art of Real Pleasure (1864), in Arthur O. Lewis’s 1971 American Utopian Literature set of forty-two volumes. The (...) Bernards’ discussion is also unusual in that it includes works in addition to The Art of Real Pleasure, and it is one of two that, while disparaging him, take him somewhat seriously. The other work .. (shrink)
Even though utopias are potentially dangerous, we nonetheless need utopian visions. Loss of hope and utopia means loss of humanity. But how can we stop utopia turning into dystopia? Utopia thought of in terms of perfection, purity and exclusivity imposes its version of a better life as the only possible one. On the other hand the utopianism of opposition does not seek perfection, or removal of opportunities for evolution. Its goal is progress and not repression of human beings. It is (...) not utopianism that is at fault, the problem arises rather from the conviction that a particular utopia can bring about the only correct way to live. (shrink)