The argument that Broca's area is preferentially involved in specific syntactic operations is based on a strong assertion regarding patterns of sentence comprehension found among patients with Broca's aphasia. This assertion is shown to be largely inconsistent with the available evidence from published studies, which indicates that only a subgroup of Broca patients demonstrate the target pattern.
The goal of our target article is to establish that electrophysiological data constrain models of short-term memory retention operations to schemes in which activated long-term memory is its representational basis. The temporary stores correspond to neural circuits involved in the perception and subsequent processing of the relevant information, and do not involve specialized neural circuits dedicated to the temporary holding of information outside of those embedded in long-term memory. The commentaries ranged from general agreement with the view that short-term memory (...) stores correspond to activated long-term memory (e.g., Abry, Sato, Schwartz, Loevenbruck & Cathiard [Abry etal.], Cowan, Fuster, Grote, Hickok & Buchsbaum, Keenan, Hyönä & Kaakinen [Keenan et al.], Martin, Morra), to taking a definite exception to this view (e.g., Baddeley, Düzel, Logie & Della Sala, Kroger, Majerus, Van der Linden, Colette & Salmon [Majerus et al.], Vallar). (shrink)
High temporal resolution event-related brain potential and electroencephalographic coherence studies of the neural substrate of short-term storage in working memory indicate that the sustained coactivation of both prefrontal cortex and the posterior cortical systems that participate in the initial perception and comprehension of the retained information are involved in its storage. These studies further show that short-term storage mechanisms involve an increase in neural synchrony between prefrontal cortex and posterior cortex and the enhanced activation of long-term memory representations of material (...) held in short-term memory. This activation begins during the encoding/comprehension phase and evidently is prolonged into the retention phase by attentional drive from prefrontal cortex control systems. A parsimonious interpretation of these findings is that the long-term memory systems associated with the posterior cortical processors provide the necessary representational basis for working memory, with the property of short-term memory decay being primarily due to the posterior system. In this view, there is no reason to posit specialized neural systems whose functions are limited to those of short-term storage buffers. Prefrontal cortex provides the attentional pointer system for maintaining activation in the appropriate posterior processing systems. Short-term memory capacity and phenomena such as displacement of information in short-term memory are determined by limitations on the number of pointers that can be sustained by the prefrontal control systems. Key Words: coherence; event-related potentials; imaging; long-term memory; memory; short-term memory; working memory. (shrink)
Plagiarism is increasingly evident in business and academia. Though links between demographic, personality, and situational factors have been found, previous research has not used actual plagiarism behavior as a criterion variable. Previous research on academic dishonesty has consistently used self-report measures to establish prevalence of dishonest behavior. In this study we use actual plagiarism behavior to establish its prevalence, as well as relationships between integrity-related personal selection and workplace deviance measures. This research covers new ground in two respects: (a) That (...) the academic dishonesty literature is subject to revision using criterion variables to avoid self bias and social desirability issues and (b) we establish the relationship between actual academic dishonesty and potential workplace deviance/white-collar crime. (shrink)
Joy is often mentioned in discussion of theories of hedonism, happiness, desire, or religion, but is rarely considered in itself. Consequently, much about the nature of joy remains unclear. Is it, for example, a distinctive state? A feeling? An emotion? Why is it experienced? Does it have a functional role? Through discussion of joy's nature, role, and importance, it will be demonstrated that joy can indeed be defined: as an intense, positively-valenced emotion, whose inherent connection to the desire for self-preservation (...) renders it inappropriate for providing the basis for theories of morality. (shrink)
Fragmented thinking, broken world -- Toward recovery of wholeness: the radical humanities and traditional wisdom -- Toward recovery of wholeness: another look at science -- Insight-imagination -- Living thinking, living world: toward an education of insight-imagination.
No matter what we do, however kind or generous our deeds may seem, a hidden motive of selfishness lurks--or so science has claimed for years. This book, whose publication promises to be a major scientific event, tells us differently. In Unto Others philosopher Elliott Sober and biologist David Sloan Wilson demonstrate once and for all that unselfish behavior is in fact an important feature of both biological and human nature. Their book provides a panoramic view of altruism throughout the (...) animal kingdom--from self-sacrificing parasites to insects that subsume themselves in the superorganism of a colony to the human capacity for selflessness--even as it explains the evolutionary sense of such behavior. (shrink)
Review of Pankaj Jain, Dharma and Ecology of Hindu Communities Sustenance and Sustainability Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s11841-011-0286-9 Authors Rita Roy Chowdhury, Dept. of Philosophy, Vivekananda College for Women, (Residence) 56, M.C.Garden Road, Kolkata, 700030 West Bengal, India Journal Sophia Online ISSN 1873-930X Print ISSN 0038-1527.
What is the biological reason for gossip? For laughter? For the creation of art? Why do dogs have curly tails? What can microbes tell us about morality? These and many other questions are tackled by renowned evolutionist David Sloan Wilson in this witty and groundbreaking new book. With stories that entertain as much as they inform, Wilson outlines the basic principles of evolution and shows how, properly understood, they can illuminate the length and breadth of creation, from the origin (...) of life to the nature of religion. Now everyone can move beyond the sterile debates about creationism and intelligent design to share Darwin’s panoramic view of animal and human life, seamlessly connected to each other. Evolution, as Wilson explains, is not just about dinosaurs and human origins, but about why all species behave as they do—from beetles that devour their own young, to bees that function as a collective brain, to dogs that are smarter in some respects than our closest ape relatives. And basic evolutionary principles are also the foundation for humanity’s capacity for symbolic thought, culture, and morality. In example after example, Wilson sheds new light on Darwin’s grand theory and how it can be applied to daily life. By turns thoughtful, provocative, and daringly funny, Evolution for Everyone addresses some of the deepest philosophical and social issues of this or any age. In helping us come to a deeper understanding of human beings and our place in the world, it might also help us to improve that world. (shrink)
Musical Perceptions is a much-needed text that introduces students of both music and psychology to the study of music perception and cognition. Because the book aims to foster a closer interaction between research in the science and the art of music, both psychologists and musicians contribute chapters on a wide range of topics, including the philosophy of music; research in musical performance; perception of melody, tonality, and rhythm; pedagogical issues; language and music; and neural networks. With their unique ability to (...) introduce musical and psychological concepts to first-time students in the area, Rita Aiello and John Sloboda have edited a volume that will be popular with undergraduate and graduate students taking courses in the perception, psychology, and aesthetics of music. They have prefaced each chapter with an introduction to the chapter's research. This book will also be useful to cognitive and physiological psychologists and music theorists interested in music perception. (shrink)
Roughly, psychological egoism is the thesis that all of a person's intentional actions are ultimately self-interested in some sense; psychological altruism is the thesis that some of a person's intentional actions are not ultimately self-interested, since some are ultimately other-regarding in some sense. C. Daniel Batson and other social psychologists have argued that experiments provide support for a theory called the "empathy-altruism hypothesis" that entails the falsity of psychological egoism. However, several critics claim that there are egoistic explanations of the (...) data that are still not ruled out. One of the most potent criticisms of Batson comes from Elliott Sober and David Sloan Wilson. I argue for two main theses in this paper: (1) we can improve on Sober and Wilson’s conception of psychological egoism and altruism, and (2) this improvement shows that one of the strongest of Sober and Wilson's purportedly egoistic explanations is not tenable. A defense of these two theses goes some way toward defending Batson‘s claim that the evidence from social psychology provides sufficient reason to reject psychological egoism. (shrink)
The hypothesis of group selection fell victim to a seemingly devastating critique in 1960s evolutionary biology. In Unto Others (1998), we argue to the contrary, that group selection is a conceptually coherent and empirically well documented cause of evolution. We suggest, in addition, that it has been especially important in human evolution. In the second part of Unto Others, we consider the issue of psychological egoism and altruism -- do human beings have ultimate motives concerning the well-being of others? We (...) argue that previous psychological and philosophical work on this question has been inconclusive. We propose an evolutionary argument for the claim that human beings have altruistic ultimate motives. (shrink)
In the second half of their recent, critically acclaimed book Unto Others: The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior , Elliott Sober and David Sloan Wilson discuss psychological hedonism. This is the view that avoiding our own pain and increasing our own pleasure are the only ultimate motives people have. They argue that none of the traditional philosophical arguments against this view are good, and they go on to present theirownevolutionary biological argument against it. Interestingly, the first half of (...) their book, which is a defense of group selectionism, has received almost all of the attention of those people who have published reactions to the book. No one has published a detailed reaction to the argument of the latter half of the book. In this article, the author explains and critically discusses their evolutionary biological argument against psychological hedonism, concluding that in its current form it is not strong enough to support its conclusion. However, the author goes on to argue that despite recent criticisms of Robert Nozick’s experience-machine argument, it is still a good argument against psychological hedonism. In support of the latter point, the author responds to the objections of Sober and Wilson and to the more recent criticisms offered by Matthew Silverstein. Key Words: hedonism • psychological egoism • evolution • Robert Nozick • Elliott Sober. (shrink)
In this paper, I consider the claim that a corporation cannot be held to be morally responsible unless it is a person. First, I argue that this claim is ambigious. Person flags three different but related notions: metaphysical person, moral agent, moral person. I argue that, though one can make the claim that corporates are metaphysical persons, this claim is only marginally relevant to the question of corporate moral responsibility. The central question which must be answered in discussions of corporate (...) moral responsibility is whether corporations are moral agents or moral persons. I argue that, though we can make a case for saying corporations are moral agents, they are not moral persons, and hence, we can hold them responsible. In addition, we need not treat them the way we would be obligated to treat a moral person; we needn't have the same scruples about holding a corporation morally responsible as we would a moral person. (shrink)
The naturalistic fallacy is mentionedfrequently by evolutionary psychologists as anerroneous way of thinking about the ethicalimplications of evolved behaviors. However,evolutionary psychologists are themselvesconfused about the naturalistic fallacy and useit inappropriately to forestall legitimateethical discussion. We briefly review what thenaturalistic fallacy is and why it is misusedby evolutionary psychologists. Then we attemptto show how the ethical implications of evolvedbehaviors can be discussed constructivelywithout impeding evolutionary psychologicalresearch. A key is to show how ethicalbehaviors, in addition to unethical behaviors,can evolve by natural selection.
The need for professionals to volunteer their time in crisis situations and to reach across time and culture in the service of humanitarian interventions will likely not abate in the near future. This article provides readers with multiple venues for considering the ethical dimensions present in crisis and humanitarian interventions. Core ethical concerns common to helping situations are magnified in crisis work. In addition, issues unique to the nature of volunteer and crisis work must also be considered. Using hypothetical case (...) examples, bioethical principles, and ethical decision-making models, helping professionals are encouraged to go beyond their particular ethical codes in contemplating ethically and clinically sensitive volunteering. (shrink)
Anthropology today seems to shy away from the big, comparative questions that ordinary people in many societies find compelling. Questions of Anthropology brings these issues back to the centre of anthropological concerns. Individual essays explore birth, death and sexuality, puzzles about the relationship between science and religion, questions about the nature of ritual, work, political leadership and genocide, and our personal fears and desires, from the quest to control the future and to find one's "true" identity to the fear of (...) being alone. Each essay starts with a question posed by individual ethnographic experience and then goes on to frame this question in a broader, comparative context. (shrink)
The group selection controversy is about whether natural selection ever operates at the level of groups, rather than at the level of individual organisms. Traditionally, group selection has been invoked to explain the existence of altruistic behaviour in nature. However, most contemporary evolutionary biologists are highly sceptical of the hypothesis of group selection, which they regard as biologically implausible and not needed to explain the evolution of altruism anyway. But in their recent book, Elliot Sober and David Sloan Wilson (...)  argue that the widespread opposition to group selection is founded on conceptual confusion. The theories that have been propounded as alternatives to group selection are actually group selection in disguise, they maintain. I examine their arguments for this claim, and John Maynard Smith's arguments against it. I argue that Sober and Wilson arrive at a correct position by faulty reasoning. In the final section, I examine the issue of how to apply the principle of natural selection at different levels of the biological hierarchy, which underlies the dispute between Sober and Wilson and Maynard Smith. (shrink)
The recent interest of cognitive- and neuro-scientists in the topic of consciousness (and the dissatisfaction with the present state of knowledge) has revealed deep conceptual differences with Humanists, who have dealt with issues of consciousness for centuries. O'Regan & Noë have attempted (unsuccessfully) to bridge those differences.
Bering's argument that human beings are endowed with a cognitive system dedicated to forming illusory representations of psychological immortality relies on the claim that children's beliefs in the afterlife are not the result of religious teaching. We suggest four reasons why this claim is unsatisfactory.
The primary outcome of natural selection is adaptation to an environment. The primary concern of epistemology is the acquistion of knowledge. Evolutionary epistemology must therefore draw a fundamental connection between adaptation and knowledge. Existing frameworks in evolutionary epistemology do this in two ways; (a) by treating adaptation as a form of knowledge, and (b) by treating the ability to acquire knowledge as a biologically evolved adaptation. I criticize both frameworks for failing to appreciate that mental representations can motivate behaviors that (...) are adaptive in the real world without themselves directly corresponding to the real world. I suggest a third framework in which mental representations are to reality as species are to ecosystems. This is a many-to-one relationship that predicts a diversity of adaptive representations in the minds of interacting people. As “species of thought”, mental representations share a number of properties with biological species, including isolating mechanisms that prevent them from blending with other representations. Species of thought also are amenable to the empirical methods that evolutionists use to study adaptation in biological species. Empirical studies of mental representations in everyday life might even be necessary for science to succeed as a normative “truth-seeking” discipline. (shrink)
David Sloan Wilson has recently revived the idea of a group mind as an application of group selectionist thinking to cognition. Central to my discussion of this idea is the distinction between the claim that groups have a psychology and what I call the social manifestation thesis-a thesis about the psychology of individuals. Contemporary work on this topic has confused these two theses. My discussion also points to research questions and issues that Wilson's work raises, as well as their (...) connection to externalist conceptions of the mind familiar since the work of Putnam and Burge. (shrink)
We address the following issues raised by the commentators of our target article and book: (1) the problem of multiple perspectives; (2) how to define group selection; (3) distinguishing between the concepts of altruism and organism; (4) genetic versus cultural group selection; (5) the dark side of group selection; (6) the relationship between psychological and evolutionary altruism; (7) the question of whether the psychological questions can be answered; (8) psychological experiments. We thank the contributors for their commentaries, which provide a (...) diverse agenda for future study of evolution and morality. Our response will follow the organization of our book, distinguishing between evolutionary issues that concern fitness effects and psychological issues that concern motives. (shrink)
Part of an early version of this paper was read at the University of Warwick in October 1977, and a later version was read at the Newcastle Royal Institute of Philosophy in November 1977 and at Aberystwyth and Oxford in early 1978. Thanks are due to the many colleagues and friends who made helpful comments on early drafts; special thanks to Hugh Mellor, Rita Nolan and Paul Weiss for detailed written criticisms, and to Don Locke, for very helpful discussions.
In this paper, I survey liberal and communitarian defenses of privacy, paying particular attention to defenses of privacy in the workplace. I argue that liberalism cannot explain all our of intuitions about the wrongness of workplace invasions of privacy. Communitarianism, on the other hand, is able to account for these intuitions.
As third wave feminist philosophers attending graduate schools in different parts of the country, we decided to use our e-mail discussion as the format for presenting our thinking on the subject of third wave feminism. Our dialogue takes us through the subjects of postmodernism, the relationship between theory and practice, the generation gap, and the power relations associated with feminist philosophy as an established part of the academy.
I examine the relationship between evolutionary definitions of altruism that are based on fitness effects and psychological definitions that are based on the motives of the actor. I show that evolutionary altruism can be motivated by proximate mechanisms that are psychologically either altruistic or selfish. I also show that evolutionary definitions do rely upon motives as a metaphor in which the outcome of natural selection is compared to the decisions of a psychologically selfish (or altruistic) individual. Ignoring the precise nature (...) of both psychological and evolutionary definitions has obscured many important issues, including the biological roots of psychological altruism. (shrink)
Part I includes pieces by Phillip Sloan on how Darwin theorized evolution, Jon Hodge on the Notebooks and the years Darwin spent in London after the voyage of the Beagle , and essays on Darwin’s views on heredity (Jim Endersby), on mind and the emotions (Robert Richards) and the argument structure of the Origin (Ken Waters). All of these are excellent and nuanced, and well referenced, written by leading specialists on each topic. Endersby’s essay in particular introduced me to (...) material I hadn’t previously encountered. (shrink)
Although the work of Revonsuo is commendable for its attempt to use an evolutionary approach to formulate a hypothesis about the adaptive function of dreaming, the conclusions arrived at by this author cannot be fully shared. Particularly questionable is the idea that the specific function of dreaming is to simulate threatening events. I propose here a hypothesis in which the dream can have a different function. [Revonsuo].
The so-called ‘cognitive revolution’ (Gardner, 1985) in American psychology owed much to developments in adjacent disciplines, especially theoretical linguistics and computer science. Indeed, the cognitive revolution brought forth, not only a change in the conception of psychology, but also an inter-disciplinary approach to understanding the mind, involving philosophy, anthropology and neuroscience along with computer science, linguistics and psychology. Many commentators agree in dating the conception of this inter-disciplinary approach, cognitive science, to 11 September 1956, the second day of a symposium (...) on information theory held at MIT (Miller, 2003). Over the next twenty years or so, cognitive science developed an institutional presence through research centres, conferences, journals, and a substantial infusion of funds from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. (shrink)
Group selection is increasingly being viewed as an important force in human evolution. This paper examines the views of R.D. Alexander, one of the most influential thinkers about human behavior from an evolutionary perspective, on the subject of group selection. Alexander's general conception of evolution is based on the gene-centered approach of G.C. Williams, but he has also emphasized a potential role for group selection in the evolution of individual genomes and in human evolution. Alexander's views are internally inconsistent and (...) underestimate the importance of group selection. Specific themes that Alexander has developed in his account of human evolution are important but are best understood within the framework of multilevel selection theory. From this perspective, Alexander's views on moral systems are not the radical departure from conventional views that he claims, but remain radical in another way more compatible with conventional views. (shrink)
The aim of the paper is twofold. On a methodological level we explore the way classic literary texts can be used as a resource for analysis and reflection in the field of business ethics. On the level of substance we use the story of the Grand Inquisitor to analyze the problem of hypocrisy in business ethics and leadership. To overcome the problem of hypocrisy we look for some clues in the work of Dostoyevsky himself.
A number of philosophers and feminist authors have recently equated domestic abuse with the ubiquitous and ill-defined concept of “terrorism.” Claudia Card, for instance, argues that domestic abuse is a frequently ignored form of terrorism that creates and maintains “heterosexual male dominance and female dependence and service” (Card 2003). Alison Jaggar, in a recent article, also concludes that an acceptable definition of terrorism will find rape and domestic violence to be terrorist acts (Jaggar 2005). Yet there seem to be several (...) obstacles to any simple appropriation of the term “terrorism” for cases of domestic abuse. In this paper I will address what I take to be three significant problems that might be raised with regard to any attempt to identify domestic abuse as an act of terrorism. These problems include the fact that a) definitions of terrorism usually require clear political motivations, b) definitions of terrorism normally require that the terrorist intend to create a climate of terror, and c) adopting the term terrorism for cases of domestic abuse might appear simply inappropriate or unhelpful. I will argue, however, that each of these possible objections can be answered effectively and that domestic abuse rightly falls under the rubric of terrorism. (shrink)
The doctor patient relationship starts with a story. Doctors' notes, a patient's chart, the recommendations of ethics committees and insurance justifications all hinge on written and verbal narrative interaction. The "practice" of narrative profoundly affects decision making, patient health and treatment and the everyday practice of medicine. In this edited collection, the contributors provide conceptual foundations, practical guidelines and theoretical considerations central to the practice of narrative ethics.
Abstract About 2 million minor children in the U.S. have at least one parent incarcerated for criminal offenses. There are about 33,000 undocumented persons detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in jails and federal detention centers around the country, and 79% of the minor children of these detainees are U.S. citizens. There are few government programs that measure and respond to the harm caused to these children by the incarceration and detention of their parents, and the negative effects on these (...) children are largely ignored in public policy debates about incarceration and immigration detention. I argue that we have an obligation to these children based on (1) the special status of children, (2) the harm caused to children by the arrest, detention and incarceration of their parents, (3) current incarceration and detention policies even in the presence of alternatives that would, on balance, create less harm. (shrink)
In this essay I defend two interrelated theses. The first is that Whiteheadian structured societies are best understood as open-ended systems akin to those currently being proposed in the natural and social sciences by Stuart Kauffman, David Sloan Wilson, and Niklas Luhmann. The second is that an open-ended system is best understood in terms of an ongoing interplay of subjectivity and objectivity, which I derive from a modest rethinking of the workings of a Whiteheadian structured society.