This paper argues that the accelerating pace of life is reducing the time for thoughtful reflection, and in particular for contemplative scholarship, within the academy. It notes that the loss of time to think is occurring at exactly the moment when scholars, educators, and students have gained access to digital tools of great value to scholarship. It goes on to explore how and why both of these facts might be true, what it says about the nature of scholarship, and what (...) might be done to address this state of affairs. (shrink)
David Hume's sympathetic principle applies to physical equals. In his account, we sympathize with those like us. By contrast, Adam Smith's sympathetic principle induces equality. We consider Hume's “other rational species” problem to see whether Smith's wider sympathetic principle would alter Hume's conclusion that “superior” beings will enslave “inferior” beings. We show that Smith introduces the notion of “generosity,” which functions as if it were Hume's justice even when there is no possibility of contract. Footnotes1 An earlier version was presented (...) at the 18th-Century Scottish Studies Society, Arlington meeting in June 2001. We benefited from conversations with and comments from Gordon Schochet, Roger Emerson and Silvia Sebastiana. A letter from Leon Montes helped sharpen the argument. The readers for the journal contributed to the output. We remain responsible for the errors and omissions. (shrink)
To the extent that indeterminacy intervenes between our reasons for action and our decisions, intentions and actions, our freedom seems to be reduced, not enhanced. Free will becomes nothing more than the power to choose irrationally. In recognition of this problem, some recent libertarians have suggested that free will is paradigmatically manifested only in actions for which we have reasons for both or all the alternatives. In these circumstances, however we choose, we choose rationally. Against this kind of account, most (...) fully developed by Robert Kane, critics have pressed the demand for contrastive explanations. Kane has responded by arguing that the demand does not need to be met: responsibility for an action does not require that there be a contrastive explanation of that action. However, this response proves too much: it implies that agents are responsible not only for the actions they choose, but also for the counterfactual actions which were equally available to them. (shrink)
Euthanasia and physician assisted-suicide are terms used to describe the process in which a doctor of a sick or disabled individual engages in an activity which directly or indirectly leads to their death. This behavior is engaged by the healthcare provider based on their humanistic desire to end suffering and pain. The psychiatrist's involvement may be requested in several distinct situations including evaluation of patient capacity when an appeal for euthanasia is requested on grounds of terminal somatic illness or when (...) the patient is requesting euthanasia due to mental suffering. We compare attitudes of 49 psychiatrists towards euthanasia and assisted suicide with a group of 54 other physicians by means of a questionnaire describing different patients, who either requested physician-assisted suicide or in whom euthanasia as a treatment option was considered, followed by a set of questions relating to euthanasia implementation. When controlled for religious practice, psychiatrists expressed more conservative views regarding euthanasia than did physicians from other medical specialties. Similarly female physicians and orthodox physicians indicated more conservative views. Differences may be due to factors inherent in subspecialty education. We suggest that in light of the unique complexity and context of patient euthanasia requests, based on their training and professional expertise psychiatrists are well suited to take a prominent role in evaluating such requests to die and making a decision as to the relative importance of competing variables. (shrink)
This work provides a reflective assessment of recent developments, social relevance and future of environmental political theory, concluding that although the alleged pacification of environmentalism is more than skin deep, it is not yet quite deep enough. This book will appeal to students and researchers of social science and philosophers with an interest in environmental issues.
Failures in self-regulation are predictive of adverse cognitive, academic and vocational outcomes, yet the interplay between cognition and self-regulation failure remains elusive. Two experiments tested the hypothesis that lapses in self-regulation, as predicted by the strength model, can be induced in individuals using cognitive paradigms and whether such failures are related to cognitive performance. In Experiments 1, the stop-signal task (SST) was used to show reduced behavioural inhibition after performance of a cognitively demanding arithmetic task, but only in people with (...) low arithmetic accuracy, when compared with SST performance following a simple discrimination task. Surprisingly, and inconsistently with existing models, subjects rapidly recovered without rest or glucose. In Experiment 2, depletions of both go-signal reaction times and response inhibition were observed when a simple detection task was used as a control. These experiments provide new evidence that cognitive self-regulation processes are influenced by cognitive performance, and subject to improvement and recovery without rest. (shrink)
There is a difference between the private and social cost of preserving the past. While it may be privately rational to forget the past, the social cost is significant: we fail to see that Classical political economy is a polemic against racism. The past is a rich source of surprises and debates, and resources on the Web are uniquely suited to teaching such wide-ranging debates. Our ASecret History of the Dismal Science on the web, provides a rich series of windows (...) on the literary and analytical texts, and the artwork, that figured in the debates. Students who read Smith juxtaposed with Whitman, who read the Carlyle-Mill exchange, and who see these images, understand the debate the way a student who reads only the Wealth of Nations, Ricardo's Principles, or John Stuart Mill cannot. (shrink)
In this paper, we compare how individuals acquire and process information relative to their scientific counterparts. Individuals rely on a heuristic, what we call 'proverbial wisdom', while experts rely on models. We then examine the properties of 'proverbial wisdom' relative to models. As a preliminary step towards comparing models and proverbs, we propose commensurate idealizations of models and proverbs. We then demonstrate that aggregated anecdotal evidence can improve upon the expert's model-based estimation if the model is not exactly correct. Thus, (...) neither the expert nor ordinary people dominates the other and so we allow for the possibility of the relationship of exchange. Our technical construct - what we call the median of anecdotal evidence - supports the possibility of analytical egalitarianism by providing a theoretical counter-example to analytical hierarchy. Our evidence consists of the sort of Monte Carlo study employed to study estimation procedures in non-ideal circumstances. (shrink)
I survey the difficulties of several probabilistic views of non-deductive argument and of inductive probability and propose to explicate non-deductive reasoning in terms of rational preference. Following a critical examination of Popper’s allegedly deductive theory of rational preference, I draw upon the work of Popper and Rescher to present my view which includes: (i) the conjecturing of a set of alternative answers to or theories or hypotheses about the questions prompting the inquiry and (ii) the “reduction” of this set via (...) plausibilistic principles of rational preference. (shrink)
Des calculs du typo Monte Carlo ont été conduits pour simuler une expérience de trempe d'aluminium à 4°K. Ces calculs montrent que les trilacunes doivent ?tro mobiles pour rendre compte des caractéristiques oxpérimentales de 1'agglomération. On est conduit à admettre une énergie do liaison lacune-laoune de 0.2 eV environ.
While the twentieth century was dominated by advances in controlling electrical currents through the charge of the electron, aka electronics, the rapid developments since 1988 have lead to a control of currents through the spin of the electron, i.e., spintronics. The groundwork for this field comes from studies on metallic alloys and multilayers started in the early 1960s. Due to parallel developments in the growth of semiconductor heterostructures, e.g., molecular beam epitaxy, work on metallic layers rapidly advanced in the late (...) 1970s and early 1980s. By 1988 groups lead by Fert and Grünberg were able to grow metallic multilayers which displayed the sought after effect; a small magnetic field was able to dramatically change the electric resistance of the structures. This led to an immediate explosion in activity in this area; so much so that the materials which display this effect were incorporated in the read-heads of hard disk drives of computers by 1997. I will focus on developments in three distinct time periods. The first was from 1988 to 1995 which was dominated by metallic multilayers which displayed giant magnetoresistance (GMR), the second from 1995 to 2000 when reproducible magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) were studied for their tunnelling magnetoresistance (TMR), and the third period from 2000 to 2005 in which the ideas of Berger and Slonczewski were realized on the back action of currents on the magnetic background of the materials doing the conducting, i.e., current induced magnetization switching (CIMS). The contributions of Peter Weinberger to these developments illustrate the broad range of his activities in spintronics, this field which is barely twenty years old. (shrink)