We contend that if efficiency and reliability are important factors in neural information processing then distributed, not localist, representations are “evolution's best bet.” We note that distributed codes are the most efficient method for representing information, and that this efficiency minimizes metabolic costs, providing adaptive advantage to an organism.
Venkataramanaiah, V. Introduction.--Narla, V. R. Russell and his rejection of religion.--Mehta, G. L. The sceptical crusader.--Dalvi, G. R. Russell, the man.--Venkatarao, V. The nuclear war and the future of man.--Innaiah, N. Bertrand Russell's philosophy.--Subbarayudu, P. Rationality vis-a-vis faith.--Nageswar Rao, B. Russell and nuclear warfare.--Rajagopala Rao, M. Rebel in Russell.--Shankar, G. N. J. The man who revolutionised modern thought.--Maharajasri. Russell, the social scientist in the four-dimensional universe.--The life of Bertrand Russell.--Acknowledgements.--A list of principal works (...) of Bertrand Russell.--Russell's conception of good society in a democratic socialist order.--Objects. (shrink)
" The supreme principle, both in politics and in private life, should be to promote all that is creative, and so to diminish the impulses and desires that center round possession." This book, originally entitled Why Men Fight, is generally seen as the fullest expression of Bertrand Russell's political philosophy. Russell argues that after the experience of the Great War the individualistic approach of traditional liberalism had reached its limits. Political theory must be based on the motivated forces (...) of creativity and impulse rather than on competition. The ideas expressed in Principles of Social Reconstruction have greatly contributed to Russell's fame as a social critic and anti-war activist. The introduction by Richard Rempel locates them in the context of Russell's other writings and show that neither his ideas nor his language have lost their force and topicality over the years. (shrink)
We are naturally social beings; and given with our natural commitment to social existence is a natural commitment to that whole web or structure of human personal and moral attitudes and feelings, and judgments of which I spoke. Our natural disposition to such attitudes and judgments is naturally secured against arguments suggesting they are in principle unwarranted or unjustified ….
Cenozoic temperature, sea level and CO2 covariations provide insights into climate sensitivity to external forcings and sea-level sensitivity to climate change. Climate sensitivity depends on the initial climate state, but potentially can be accurately inferred from precise palaeoclimate data. Pleistocene climate oscillations yield a fast-feedback climate sensitivity of 3±1°C for a 4 W m−2 CO2 forcing if Holocene warming relative to the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) is used as calibration, but the error (uncertainty) is substantial and partly subjective because of (...) poorly defined LGM global temperature and possible human influences in the Holocene. Glacial-to-interglacial climate change leading to the prior (Eemian) interglacial is less ambiguous and implies a sensitivity in the upper part of the above range, i.e. 3–4°C for a 4 W m−2 CO2 forcing. Slow feedbacks, especially change of ice sheet size and atmospheric CO2, amplify the total Earth system sensitivity by an amount that depends on the time scale considered. Ice sheet response time is poorly defined, but we show that the slow response and hysteresis in prevailing ice sheet models are exaggerated. We use a global model, simplified to essential processes, to investigate state dependence of climate sensitivity, finding an increased sensitivity towards warmer climates, as low cloud cover is diminished and increased water vapour elevates the tropopause. Burning all fossil fuels, we conclude, would make most of the planet uninhabitable by humans, thus calling into question strategies that emphasize adaptation to climate change. (shrink)
Niche construction is a potentially important concept for the human behavioural sciences but we question how it differs from models of gene-culture coevolution and whether it can be developed in the detailed ways that will be necessary if it is going to make a significant contribution to the human behavioural sciences.
To meet the increasing demand for patterning smaller feature sizes, a lithography technique is required with the ability to pattern sub-20 nm features. While top-down photolithography is approaching its limit in the continued drive to meet Moore’s law, the use of directed self-assembly (DSA) of block copolymers (BCPs) offers a promising route to meet this challenge in achieving nanometre feature sizes. Recent developments in BCP lithography and in the DSA of BCPs are reviewed. While tremendous advances have been made in (...) this field, there are still hurdles that need to be overcome to realize the full potential of BCPs and their actual use. (shrink)
A survey of 106 medical students assessing their interest in and attitudes to medical ethics in the curriculum is reported by the authors. Results indicate that 64 per cent of the students rated the importance of medical ethics to good medical care as high or critical and 66 per cent desired to learn more about the topic. However, in reports of patient encounters identifying ethical issues, less than six per cent of the students reported a frequency of more than one (...) such patient encounter per week. The students also demonstrated a greater awareness of more obvious ethical issues than of more subtle, less publicised issues. When asked how medical ethics should be taught, the students clearly affirmed a desire for an integrated exposure to the subject throughout the medical curriculum. Possible implications of these findings for medical education are discussed. (shrink)
Is it harder to acquire knowledge about things that really matter to us than it is to acquire knowledge about things we don't much care about? Jason Stanley 2005 argues that whether or not the relational predicate 'knows that' holds between an agent and a proposition can depend on the practical interests of the agent: the more it matters to a person whether p is the case, the more justification is required before she counts as (...) knowing that p. The evidence for Stanley's thesis includes a number of intuitive judgments about examples. In this paper we provide parallel examples for which Stanley's thesis requires unwelcome knowledge-attributions, and argue that this is possible because his thesis conflicts with familiar and plausible principles about knowledge. (shrink)
Contextualists often argue from examples where it seems true to say in one context that a person knows something but not true to say that in another context where skeptical hypotheses have been introduced. The skeptical hypotheses can be moderate, simply mentioning what might be the case or raising questions about what a person is certain of, or radical, where scenarios about demon worlds, brains in vats, The Matrix, etc., are introduced. I argue that the introduction of these skeptical hypotheses (...) leads people to fallaciously infer that it is no longer true to say that the relevant person knows. I believe that that is a better explanation of the so-called intuition that the person does not know than the contextualists who claim that raising these skeptical hypotheses changes the standards that determine when it is true to say S knows that P. At the end I raise the possibility that contextualists might defend their view on pragmatic rather than skeptical grounds by arguing that the standards of evidence rise when more is at stake in a practical sense. (shrink)
Human beings differ in ways of understanding, interpreting, describing or sharing experience. On the basis of experience we construct our own conceptual systems (beliefs and values) that are neither consistent nor monolithic. "Alternative conceptual systems exist, whether one likes it or not. They are not likely to go away, since they arise from a fundamental human capacity to conceptualise experience...A refusal to recognise conceptual relativism where it exists does have ethical consequences. It leads directly to conceptual elitism and imperialism - (...) to the assumption that our behaviour is rational and that of other people is not, and to attempts to impose our way of thinking on others" (Lakoff, 1987; p.337). (shrink)
Between 1903 and 1918 Russell made a number of attempts to understand the unity of the proposition, but his attempts all foundered on his failure clearly to distinguish between different senses in which the relation R might be said to relate a and b in the proposition aRb: he failed to distinguish between the relation as truth-maker and the relation as unifier, and consequently committed himself again and again to the unacceptable consequence that only true propositions are genuinely unified. (...) There is an anticipation of this confusion in the writings of the fourteenth-century philosopher Richard Brinkley. (shrink)
This essay is a brief response to Durwood Foster and Richard Gelwick’s essays analyzing the 1963 encounter of Paul Tillich and Michael Polanyi and to Robert Russell’s assessment of the importantce of Polanyi’s ideas for recent theology and science discussions.
Abstract Pavel Florensky solves Lewis Carroll’s ‘Barbershop’ paradox to support his reasoning in a previous chapter. Our discussion includes a) the problem (which we also refer to as the p paradox), b) Carroll’s solution, c) Bertrand Russell’s solution, d) Florensky’s solution and then e) a material example proffered by Florensky. Both Russell and Florensky disagree with Carroll’s solution, yet, (ostensibly) unbeknownst to themselves they offer the same solution, which is ‘p implies not-q’. Given Florensky’s material example, the solution (...) seems to tell us something about the logic of belief. We ask whether Florensky’s example has reverse implications for Russell’s solution. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-10 DOI 10.1007/s11406-011-9333-6 Authors Michael Rhodes, Philosophy and Religious Studies (NPD), Chicago, IL, USA Journal Philosophia Online ISSN 1574-9274 Print ISSN 0048-3893. (shrink)
This is an outstanding anthology. It contains extended reflections on Russell’s idea that our notion of causation is a relic of stone-age metaphysics, which fails to fit contemporary physics and thus deserves elimination (‘On the Notion of Cause’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 13, 1913, pp. 1–26). It will be of interest to anyone interested in causation or the physical image of the world, and to anyone interested in reconciling the manifest and scientific images.