Bryan S. Turner: Can We Live Forever? A Social and Moral Inquiry Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 301-303 DOI 10.1007/s12376-009-0024-6 Authors Thomas R. Cole, University of Texas-Houston School of Medicine McGovern Center for Health, Humanities, and the Human Spirit Houston TX 77030 USA Journal Medicine Studies Online ISSN 1876-4541 Print ISSN 1876-4533 Journal Volume Volume 1 Journal Issue Volume 1, Number 3.
Preprint of Cole, Sacks, and Waterman. 2000. "On the immunity principle: A view from a robot." Trends in Cognitive Science 4 (5): 167, a response to Shaun Gallagher, S. 2000. "Philosophical conceptions of the self: implications for cognitive science," Trends in Cognitive Science 4 (1):14-21. Also see Shaun Gallagher, Reply to Cole, Sacks, and Waterman Trends in Cognitive Science 4, No. 5 (2000): 167-68.
In a majority of situations the normal adult maintains posture or moves without consciously monitoring motor activity. Posture and movement are usually close to automatic; they tend to take care of themselves, outside of attentive regard. One's body, in such cases, effaces itself as one is geared into a particular intentional goal. This effacement is possible because of the normal functioning of a body schema. Body schema can be defined as a system of preconscious, subpersonal processes that play a dynamic (...) role in governing posture and movement (Head, 1920). There is an important and often overlooked conceptual difference between the subpersonal body schema and what is usually called body image . The latter is most often defined as a conscious idea or mental representation that one has of one's own body (for example, Adame, Radell, Johnson, and Cole, 1991; Gardner and Moncrieff, 1988; Schilder, 1935). Despite the conceptual difference many researchers use the terms interchangeably, leading to both a terminological and conceptual confusion. (shrink)
Jerry Fodor, LOT 2: The Language of Thought Revisited , New York: Oxford University Press, 2008, x+228, $37.95, ISBN 978-0-119-954877-4 Content Type Journal Article Pages 439-443 DOI 10.1007/s11023-009-9164-4 Authors David Cole, University of Minnesota-Duluth Department of Philosophy 369 A B Anderson Hall Duluth MN 55812 USA Journal Minds and Machines Online ISSN 1572-8641 Print ISSN 0924-6495 Journal Volume Volume 19 Journal Issue Volume 19, Number 3.
Scientists often make surprising claims about things that no one can observe. In physics, chemistry, and molecular biology, scientists can at least experiment on those unobservable entities, but what about researchers in fields such as paleobiology and geology who study prehistory, where no such experimentation is possible? Do scientists discover facts about the distant past or do they, in some sense, make prehistory? Derek Turner argues that this problem has surprising and important consequences for the scientific realism debate. His discussion (...) covers some of the main positions in current philosophy of science - realism, social constructivism, empiricism, and the natural ontological attitude - and shows how they relate to issues in paleobiology and geology. His original and thought-provoking book will be of wide interest to philosophers and scientists alike. (shrink)
Welcome to the world of cutting-edge math, physics, and neuroscience, where the search for the ultimate vacuum, the point of nothingness, ground zero of theory, has rendered the universe deep, rich, and juicy. "Modern physics has animated the void," says K. C. Cole in her entrancing journey into the heart of Nothing. Every time scientists and mathematicians think they have reached the ultimate void, new stuff appears: a black hole, an undulating string, an additional dimension of space or time, repulsive (...) anti-gravity, universes that breed like bunnies. Cole's exploration at the edge of everything is as animated and exciting as the void itself. Take Cole's hand on this adventure into the unknown, and you'll come back informed, amused, and excited. (shrink)
The authors co-organized (Snyder and Crooks) and gave a keynote presentation at (Turner) a conference on ethical issues in medical tourism. Medical tourism involves travel across international borders with the intention of receiving medical care. This care is typically paid for out-of-pocket and is motivated by an interest in cost savings and/or avoiding wait times for care in the patient’s home country. This practice raises numerous ethical concerns, including potentially exacerbating health inequities in destination and source countries and disrupting continuity (...) of care for patients. In this report, we synthesize conference presentations and present three lessons from the conference: 1) Medical tourism research has the potential for cross- or inter-disciplinarity but must bridge the gap between researchers trained in ethical theory and scholars unfamiliar with normative frameworks; 2) Medical tourism research must engage with empirical research from a variety of disciplines; and 3) Ethical analyses of medical tourism must incorporate both individual and population-level perspectives. While these lessons are presented in the context of research on medical tourism, we argue that they are applicable in other areas of research where global practices, such as human subject research and health worker migration, are occurring in the face of limited regulatory oversight. (shrink)
Habermas meets science Content Type Journal Article Category Essay Review Pages 1-5 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9560-2 Authors Stephen Turner, Department of Philosophy, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
We usually consider literary thinking to be peripheral and dispensable, an activity for specialists: poets, prophets, lunatics, and babysitters. Certainly we do not think it is the basis of the mind. We think of stories and parables from Aesop's Fables or The Thousand and One Nights, for example, as exotic tales set in strange lands, with spectacular images, talking animals, and fantastic plots--wonderful entertainments, often insightful, but well removed from logic and science, and entirely foreign to the world of everyday (...) thought. But Mark Turner argues that this common wisdom is wrong. The literary mind--the mind of stories and parables--is not peripheral but basic to thought. Story is the central principle of our experience and knowledge. Parable--the projection of story to give meaning to new encounters--is the indispensable tool of everyday reason. Literary thought makes everyday thought possible. This book makes the revolutionary claim that the basic issue for cognitive science is the nature of literary thinking. In The Literary Mind, Turner ranges from the tools of modern linguistics, to the recent work of neuroscientists such as Antonio Damasio and Gerald Edelman, to literary masterpieces by Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, and Proust, as he explains how story and projection--and their powerful combination in parable--are fundamental to everyday thought. In simple and traditional English, he reveals how we use parable to understand space and time, to grasp what it means to be located in space and time, and to conceive of ourselves, other selves, other lives, and other viewpoints. He explains the role of parable in reasoning, in categorizing, and in solving problems. He develops a powerful model of conceptual construction and, in a far-reaching final chapter, extends it to a new conception of the origin of language that contradicts proposals by such thinkers as Noam Chomsky and Steven Pinker. Turner argues that story, projection, and parable precede grammar, that language follows from these mental capacities as a consequence. Language, he concludes, is the child of the literary mind. Offering major revisions to our understanding of thought, conceptual activity, and the origin and nature of language, The Literary Mind presents a unified theory of central problems in cognitive science, linguistics, neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy. It gives new and unexpected answers to classic questions about knowledge, creativity, understanding, reason, and invention. (shrink)
Do states have the right to prevent potential immigrants from crossing their borders, or should people have the freedom to migrate and settle wherever they wish? Christopher Heath Wellman and Phillip Cole develop and defend opposing answers to this timely and important question. Appealing to the right to freedom of association, Wellman contends that legitimate states have broad discretion to exclude potential immigrants, even those who desperately seek to enter. Against this, Cole argues that the commitment to the moral equality (...) of all human beings - which legitimate states can be expected to hold - means national borders must be open: equal respect requires equal access, both to territory and membership; and that the idea of open borders is less radical than it seems when we consider how many territorial and community boundaries have this open nature. In addition to engaging with each other's arguments, Wellman and Cole address a range of central questions and prominent positions on this topic. The authors therefore provide a critical overview of the major contributions to the ethics of migration, as well as developing original, provocative positions of their own. (shrink)
All normal human beings alive in the last fifty thousand years appear to have possessed, in Mark Turner's phrase, "irrepressibly artful minds." Cognitively modern minds produced a staggering list of behavioral singularities--science, religion, mathematics, language, advanced tool use, decorative dress, dance, culture, art--that seems to indicate a mysterious and unexplained discontinuity between us and all other living things. This brute fact gives rise to some tantalizing questions: How did the artful mind emerge? What are the basic mental operations that make (...) art possible for us now, and how do they operate? These are the questions that occupy the distinguished contributors to this volume, which emerged from a year-long Getty-funded research project hosted by the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford. These scholars bring to bear a range of disciplinary and cross-disciplinary perspectives on the relationship between art (broadly conceived), the mind, and the brain. Together they hope to provide directions for a new field of research that can play a significant role in answering the great riddle of human singularity. (shrink)
The thermodynamics of life Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s11016-012-9651-8 Authors J. Scott Turner, SUNY, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Denys Turner argues that there are reasons of faith why the existence of God should be thought rationally demonstrable and that it is worthwhile revisiting the theology of Thomas Aquinas to see why. The proposition that the existence of God is demonstrable by rational argument is doubted by nearly all philosophical opinion today and is thought by most Christian theologians to be incompatible with Christian faith. Turner's robust challenge to the prevailing orthodoxies will be of interest to believers as well (...) as non-believers. (shrink)
How did Casanova learn the theory of sex? Why did male pornographers write in the characters of women? What happens when philosophers take sexuality seriously and the sex-writers present their outrageous fantasies as an educational, philosophical quest? -/- Schooling Sex is the first full history of early modern libertine literature and its reception, from Aretino and Tullia d'Aragona in 16th century Italy to Pepys, Rochester, and Behn in late 17th century England. James Turner explores the idea of sexual education, from (...) the simple instructional dialogue to the advanced experiments of the philosophical libertine, analysing the hard-core curiculum that defined sexuality centuries before the Marquis de Sade. He shows how close, nuanced readings of neglected but compelling texts - like the searingly explicit Alcibiade fanciullo, L'escole des filles, and Aloisia Sigea - link them to larger issues of gender politics, aesthetics, literary criticism, sexual history, medical science, mind-body philosophy, and the educational revolution. (shrink)
Based on the proven maxim that "money makes the world go round", this study, drawing from Shakespeare's texts, presents a lexicon of common words as well as a variety of familiar familial and cultural sitations in an economic context. Making constant recourse to well-known material from Shakespeare's plays, Turner demonstrates that terms of money and value permeate our minds and lives even in our most mundane moments. His book offers a new, humane, evolutionary economics that fully expresses the moral, spiritual, (...) and aesthetic relationships among persons, and between humans and nature. Playful and incisive, Turner's book offers a way to engage the wisdom of Shakespeare in everyday life in a trenchant prose that is accessible to scholars and to the general reader. (shrink)
The concept of "practices"--whether of representation, of political or scientific traditions, or of organizational culture--is central to social theory. In this book, Stephen Turner presents the first analysis and critique of the idea of practice as it has developed in the various theoretical traditions of the social sciences and the humanities. Understood broadly as a tacit understanding "shared" by a group, the concept of a practice has a fatal difficulty, Turner argues: there is no plausible mechanism by which a "practice" (...) is transmitted or reproduced. The historical uses of the concept, from Durkheim to Kripke's version of Wittgenstein, provide examples of the contortions that thinkers have been forced into by this problem, and show the ultimate implausibility of the idea. Turner's conclusion sketches a picture of what happens when we do without the notion of a shared practice, and how this bears on social theory and philosophy. It explains why social theory cannot get beyond the stage of constructing fuzzy analogies, and why the standard constructions of the contemporary philosophical problem of relativism depend upon this defective notion. This first book-length critique of practice theory is sure to stir discussion and controversy in a wide range of fields, from philosophy and science studies to sociology, anthropology, literary studies, and political and legal theory. (shrink)
Considerations of personal identity bear on John Searle's Chinese Room argument, and on the opposed position that a computer itself could really understand a natural language. In this paper I develop the notion of a virtual person, modelled on the concept of virtual machines familiar in computer science. I show how Searle's argument, and J. Maloney's attempt to defend it, fail. I conclude that Searle is correct in holding that no digital machine could understand language, but wrong in holding that (...) artificial minds are impossible: minds and persons are not the same as the machines, biological or electronic, that realize them. (shrink)
Philosophers working in the nascent field of ‘experimental philosophy’ have begun using methods borrowed from psychology to collect data about folk intuitions concerning debates ranging from action theory to ethics to epistemology. In this paper we present the results of our attempts to apply this approach to the free will debate, in which philosophers on opposing sides claim that their view best accounts for and accords with folk intuitions. After discussing the motivation for such research, we describe our methodology of (...) surveying people’s prephilosophical judgments about the freedom and responsibility of agents in deterministic scenarios. In two studies, we found that a majority of participants judged that such agents act of their own free will and are morally responsible for their actions. We then discuss the philosophical implications of our results as well as various difficulties inherent in such research. (shrink)
Incompatibilists believe free will is impossible if determinism is true, and they often claim that this view is supported by ordinary intuitions. We challenge the claim that incompatibilism is intuitive to most laypersons and discuss the significance of this challenge to the free will debate. After explaining why incompatibilists should want their view to accord with pretheoretical intuitions, we suggest that determining whether incompatibilism is in fact intuitive calls for empirical testing. We then present the results of our studies, which (...) put significant pressure on the claim that incompatibilism is intuitive. Finally, we consider and respond to several potential objections to our approach. (shrink)
Formerly a spectral apparition that haunted behaviorism and provided a puzzle about our knowledge of other minds, the inverted spectrum possibility has emerged as an important challenge to functionalist accounts of qualia. The inverted spectrum hypothesis raises the possibility that two individuals might think and behave in the same way yet have different qualia. The traditional supposition is of an individual who has a subjective color spectrum that is inverted with regard to that had by other individuals. When he looks (...) at red objects, this individual has the qualia normally produced in others by blue objects. And when presented with a blue object, this individual experiences qualia that most persons experience only when presented with red objects. And so forth - the Invert's color spectrum is the inverse of normal; there are systematic inter-subjective differences in qualia. (shrink)
Philosophers often suggest that their theories of free will are supported by our phenomenology. Just as their theories conflict, their descriptions of the phenomenology of free will often conflict as well. We suggest that this should motivate an effort to study the phenomenology of free will in a more systematic way that goes beyond merely the introspective reports of the philosophers themselves. After presenting three disputes about the phenomenology of free will, we survey the (limited) psychological research on the experiences (...) relevant to the philosophical debates and then describe some pilot studies of our own with the aim of encouraging further research. The data seem to support compatibilist descriptions of the phenomenology more than libertarian descriptions. We conclude that the burden is on libertarians to find empirical support for their more demanding metaphysical theories with their more controversial phenomenological claims. (shrink)
Functionalism, a philosophical theory, has empirical consequences. Functionalism predicts that where systematic transformations of sensory input occur and are followed by behavioral accommodation in which normal function of the organism is restored such that the causes and effects of the subject's psychological states return to those of the period prior to the transformation, there will be a return of qualia or subjective experiences to those present prior to the transform. A transformation of this type that has long been of philosophical (...) interest is the possibility of an inverted spectrum. Hilary Putnam argues that the physical possibility of acquired spectrum inversion refutes functionalism. I argue, however, that in the absence of empirical results no a priori arguments against functionalism, such as Putnam's, can be cogent. I sketch an experimental situation which would produce acquired spectrum inversion. The mere existence of qualia inversion would constitute no refutation of functionalism; only its persistence after behavioral accommodation to the inversion would properly count against functionalism. The cumulative empirical evidence from experiments on image inversion suggests that the results of actual spectrum inversion would confirm rather than refute functionalism. (shrink)
We develop and test a model of pseudo-transformational leadership. Pseudo-transformational leadership (i.e., the unethical facet of transformational leadership) is manifested by a particular combination of transformational leadership behaviors (i.e., low idealized influence and high inspirational motivation), and is differentiated from both transformational leadership (i.e., high idealized influence and high inspirational motivation) and laissez-faire (non)-leadership (i.e., low idealized influence and low inspirational motivation). Survey data from senior managers (N = 611) show differential outcomes of transformational, pseudo-transformational, and laissez-faire leadership. Possible (...) extensions of the theoretical model and directions for future research are offered. (shrink)
Dretske’s Naturalizing the Mind sets out the case for holding that mental states in general are natural representers of reality. Mental states have functions; for many states the function is to indicate what is going on in the world. Among such indicator states are beliefs. The content of these states is given by what they are supposed to represent. So if a state is supposed to indicate that it’s dark, then “it’s dark” is the content of the state. Thus we (...) can characterize how the organism takes things to be, its subjectivity, by noting first what physical (neural) state it is in, and second what the biological indicator function of that state is. Thus the mind and meaning are naturalized. (shrink)
Stephen Pinker sets out over a dozen arguments in The language instinct (Morrow, New York, 1994) for his widely shared view that natural language is inadequate as a medium for thought. Thus he argues we must suppose that the primary medium of thought and inference is an innate propositional representation system, mentalese. I reply to the various arguments and so defend the view that some thought essentially involves natural language. I argue mentalese doesn't solve any of the problems Pinker cites (...) for the view that we think in natural language. So I don't think I think the way he thinks I think. (shrink)
"Mantras were not viewed as the only means of expressing truth, however. Thought, which was defined as internalized speech, offered yet another aspect of truth. And if words and thoughts designated different aspects of truth, or reality, then there had to be an underlying unity behind all phenomena" (S. A. Nigosian 1994: World Faiths, p. 84).
The Way of Ideas died an ignoble death, committed to the flames by behaviorist empiricists. Ideas, pictures in the head, perished with the Way. By the time those empiricists were supplanted at the helm by functionalists and causal theorists, a revolution had taken place in linguistics and the last thing anyone wanted to do was revive images as the medium of thought. Currently, some but not all cognitive scientists think that there probably are mental images - experiments in cognitive psychology (...) (e.g. Shepard and Metzler 1971) have shown it to be plausible to posit mental images. Even so, the phenomenon of mental imagery has been largely regarded as peripheral in cognition, perhaps even epiphenomenal. Images cannot fix the content of thought (intentions, rules), the Wittgenstein story went. The central processes of thought, so the post-Wittgenstein story goes, require a propositional representation system, a language of thought, universal and modeled on the machine languages of computers. The language of thought is compositional, productive, and, leading advocates argue, has a causal semantics. Images lack all of these essential qualities and so are hopeless as key players in thinking. (shrink)
In Book II of the _Essay_, at the beginning of his discussion of language in Chapter II ("Of the Signification of Words"), John Locke writes that we humans have a variety of thoughts which might profit others, but that unfortunately these thoughts lie invisible and hidden from others. And so we use language to communicate these thoughts. As a result, "words, in their primary or immediate signification,stand for nothing but _the ideas in the mind of him that uses them_.
This paper offers an evolutionary account of chronic pain. Chronic pain is a maladaptive by-product of pain mechanisms and neural plasticity, both of which are highly adaptive. This account shows how evolutionary psychology can be integrated with Flanagan's natural method, and in a way that avoids the usual charges of panglossian adaptationism and an uncritical commitment to a modular picture of the mind. Evolutionary psychology is most promising when it adopts a bottom-up research strategy that focuses on basic affective and (...) motivational systems (as opposed to higher cognitive functions) that are phylogenetically deep. (shrink)
In Ruling Passions, Simon Blackburn contends that we should reject sensibility theory because it serves to support a conservative complacency. Blackburn's strategy is attractive in that it seeks to win this metaethical dispute – which ultimately stems from a deep disagreement over antireductionism – on the basis of an uncontroversial normative consideration. Therefore, Blackburn seems to offer an easy solution to an apparently intractable debate. We will show, however, that Blackburn's argument against sensibility theory does not succeed; it is no (...) more supportive of conservative complacency than Blackburn's noncognitivism. A victory for noncognitivism cannot be so easily won. (shrink)
Experimental examination of how the folk conceptualize certain philosophically loaded notions can provide information useful for philosophical theorizing. In this paper, we explore issues raised in Shaun Nichols' (2004) studies involving people's conception of free will, focusing on his claim that this conception fits best with the philosophical theory of agent-causation. We argue that his data do not support this conclusion, highlighting along the way certain considerations that ought to be taken into account when probing the folk conception of free (...) will. (shrink)
I consider David Eﬁrd and Tom Stoneham’s recent version of the subtraction argument for meta- physical nihilism, the view that there could have been no concrete objects at all. I argue that the two premises of their argument are only jointly acceptable if the quantiﬁers in one range over a diﬀerent set of objects from those which the quantiﬁers in the other range over, in which case the argument is invalid. So either the argument is invalid or we should not (...) accept both its premises. (shrink)
Studies of perception have focussed on sensation, though more recently the perception of action has, once more, become the subject of investigation. These studies have looked at acute experimental situations. The present paper discusses the subjective experience of those with either clinical syndromes of loss of movement or sensation (spinal cord injury, sensory neuronopathy syndrome or motor stroke), or with experimental paralysis or sensory loss. The differing phenomenology of these is explored and their effects on intention and agency discussed. It (...) is shown that sensory loss can have effects on the focussing of motor command and that for some a sense of agency can return despite paralysis. (shrink)
The major emphasis of the "sociology of scientific knowledge" has been on the natural sciences. Recently, however, the field has taken a reflexive turn. I examine the relation between this kind of reflexivity and that in the history of the sociology of knowledge generally with an eye to assessing its place in social theory. Although reflexive adequacy, like other criteria for choice of theory, is not an absolute and overriding cognitive good, reflexive considerations often are critical in assessing the prospective (...) claims of a research program and in evaluating the intellectual honesty and seriousness of these claims. (shrink)
Surely one of the most interesting problems in the study of mind concerns the nature of sentience. How is it that there are sensations, rather than merely sensings? What is it like to be a bat -- or why is it like anything at all? Why aren't we automata or responding but unfeeling Zombies? How does neural activity give rise to subjective experience? As Leibniz put the problem (Monadology section 17):
_It must be confessed, however, that Perception_ [consciousness?]_, and (...) that which depends upon it, are_ _inexplicable by mechanical means, that is to say, by figures and motions. Supposing that there were a_ _machine whose structure produced thought, sensation, and perceptions, we could conceive of it as increased_ _in its interior size with the same proportions until one was able to enter into its interior, as he would into a_ _mill. Now, on going into it he would find only pieces working upon one another, but never would he find_
_anything to explain Perception._ [Montgomery trans.]. (shrink)
The Consequence Argument is a staple in the defense of libertarianism, the view that free will is incompatible with determinism and that humans have free will. It is often thought that libertarianism is consistent with a certain naturalistic view of the world — that is, that libertarian free will can be had without metaphysical commitments beyond those pro- vided by our best (indeterministic) physics. In this paper, I argue that libertarians who endorse the Consequence Argument are forced to reject this (...) naturalistic worldview, since the Consequence Argument has a sis- ter argument — I call it the Supervenience Argument — which cannot be rejected without threatening either the Consequence Argument or the naturalistic worldview in question. (shrink)
thought and problem solving in persons lacking natural language altogether would be a decisive challenge, but there is no clear evidence of any abstract thinking capabilities similar to those evinced by the scientists. Pinker cites languageless persons rebuilding broken locks - this is evidence of perhaps visual imagery, but not mentalese (at least not without quite a bit more detail and argument than we are given). Spiders, e.g., build marvelous things, but no inference to spiderese appears to be warranted. There (...) simply is much we don. (shrink)
An agent S wants to A and knows that if she A-s she will also bring about B. S does not care at all about B. S then A-s, also bringing about B. Did she intentionally bring B about? Joshua Knobe (2003b) has recently argued that, according to the folk concept of intentional action, the answer depends on B's moral significance. In particular, if B is reprehensible, people are more likely to say that S intentionally brought it about. Knobe defends (...) this position with empirical facts about how ordinary people use the adjective 'intentionally.' Knobe's results are consistent with the thesis that the concept of intentional action is fundamentally evaluative. There is an alternative hypothesis, however, which can account for Knobe's data and which keeps the concept of intentional action within the purview of action theory. The current author suggests that the following conditions are jointly sufficient for a side effect E, produced by S's action A, being intentional: (i) S knows that E will (or is likely to) occur as a result of A-ing, (ii) bringing about E counts against A-ing (from the S's perspective), and (iii) S does not try to keep E from occurring. Known immoral side effects will always, from the folk's perspective, satisfy condition (ii) of this hypothesis. (shrink)
Durkheim's functional and structural sociology is examined with an eye to the two structuralist modes of inquiry that it inspired, French structuralism and British structuralism. French structuralism comes from Levi-Strauss's inverting the basic ideas of Durkheim and others in the French circle, including Marcell Mauss, Robert Hertz, and Ferdinand de Saussure. British structuralism comes from A.R. Radcliffe-Brown's adoption of Durkheimian ideas to ethnographic interpretation and theoretical speculation. French structuralism produced a broad intellectual movement, whereas British structuralism culminated in network analysis, (...) which is beginning only now to become a broad intellectual movement. In both cases, the intellectual children and grandchildren of functionalism may prove to be more influential in sociology and elsewhere than Durkheimian functionalism, the parent. (shrink)
Since the introduction of the imitation game by Turing in 1950 there has been much debate as to its validity in ascertaining machine intelligence. We wish herein to consider a different issue altogether: granted that a computing machine passes the Turing Test, thereby earning the label of ``Turing Chatterbox'', would it then be of any use (to us humans)? From the examination of scenarios, we conclude that when machines begin to participate in social transactions, unresolved issues of trust and responsibility (...) may well overshadow any raw reasoning ability they possess. (shrink)
This volume contains an array of essays that reflect, and reflect upon, the recent revival of scholarly interest in the self and consciousness. Various relevant issues are addressed in conceptually challenging ways, such as how consciousness and different forms of self-relevant experience develop in infancy and childhood and are related to the acquisition of skill; the role of the self in social development; the phenomenology of being conscious and its metapsychological implications; and the cultural foundations of conceptualizations of consciousness. Written (...) by notable scholars in several areas of psychology, philosophy, cognitive neuroscience, and anthropology, the essays are of interest to readers from a variety of disciplines concerned with central, substantive questions in contemporary social science, and the humanities. (shrink)
This study investigated (1) whether potential future purchasing agents were predisposed to accept gratuities or whether the practice of gratuity acceptance is a manifestation of the job itself, (2) whether the existence of a code of ethics forbidding gratuity acceptance curtails the occurrence, and (3) whether disparities in ethics policies between the sales and purchasing functions affect gratuity acceptance. Hypotheses based upon the concepts of organizational concern and institutionalized ethics are developed and empirically tested. Results suggest that future purchasing agents (...) are predisposed to accept gratuities and that formal written ethics policies decrease the acceptance of gratuities. Disparities in ethics policies between the sales and purchasing functions concerning gratuities failed to affect gratuity acceptance significantly. (shrink)
This paper considers three essential gestures in Levinas’s theology, highlighting in each case how Levinas’s thinking allows him to either incorporate or sidestep some of the fiercest modern criticisms of traditional theism. First, we present Levinas’s vision of divine transcendence, outlining his ontological atheism and explaining how this obviates proving the existence of God and avoids the tangles of traditional theodicy. Second, we describe Levinas’s idea of the trace, showing how a nonexistent God still leaves its mark in the face (...) of the other person and explaining how this vision of divine immanence accords with the agendas of thinkers such as Feuerbach and Nietzsche, who criticized theology that elevated God while debasing humanity. Third, we present Levinas’s insistence on the philosophical primacy of ethics, showing how he infuses his ethical philosophy with religious themes, elevating moral philosophy to the level of ultimate concern in a way that even atheist social theoris. (shrink)
The thesis of existentialism holds that if a proposition p exists and predicates something of an object a, then in any world where a does not exist, p does not exist either. If “possibly, p” entails “in some possible world, the proposition that p exists and is true,” then existentialism is prima facie incompatible with the truth of claims like “possibly, the Eiffel Tower does not exist.” In order to avoid this claim, a distinction between two kinds of world-indexed truth (...) –and two associated kinds of modality –is needed. This paper embodies an attempt to develop a full account of just such a distinction. (shrink)
To what extent is imagination dependent on embodied experience? In attempting to answer such questions I consider the experiences of those who have to come to terms with altered neurological function, namely those with spinal cord injury at the neck. These people have each lost all sensation and movement below the neck. How might these new ways of living affect their imagination?
Phenotype, whether conventional or extended, is defined as a reflectionof an underlying genotype. Adaptation and the natural selection thatfollows from it depends upon a progressively harmonious fit betweenphenotype and environment. There is in Richard Dawkins' notion ofthe extended phenotype a paradox that seems to undercut conventionalviews of adaptation, natural selection and adaptation. In a nutshell, ifthe phenotype includes an organism's environment, how then can theorganism adapt to itself? The paradox is resolvable through aphysiological, as opposed to a genetic, theory of (...) natural selection andadaptation. (shrink)
: Many bioethicists assume that morality is in a state of wide reflective equilibrium. According to this model of moral deliberation, public policymaking can build upon a core common morality that is pretheoretical and provides a basis for practical reasoning. Proponents of the common morality approach to moral deliberation make three assumptions that deserve to be viewed with skepticism. First, they commonly assume that there is a universal, transhistorical common morality that can serve as a normative baseline for judging various (...) actions and practices. Second, advocates of the common morality approach assume that the common morality is in a state of relatively stable, ordered, wide reflective equilibrium. Third, casuists, principlists, and other proponents of common morality approaches assume that the common morality can serve as a basis for the specification of particular policies and practical recommendations. These three claims fail to recognize the plural moral traditions that are found in multicultural, multiethnic, multifaith societies such as the United States and Canada. A more realistic recognition of multiple moral traditions in pluralist societies would be considerably more skeptical about the contributions that common morality approaches in bioethics can make to resolving contentious moral issues. (shrink)
The idea of the “nation” has played only a small role in modern political philosophy because of its apparent irrationalism and amoralism. David Miller, however, sets out to show that these charges can be overcome: nationality is a rational element of one’s cultural identity, and nations are genuinely ethical communities. In this paper I argue that his project fails. The defence against the charge of irrationalism fails because Miller works within a framework of ethical particularism which leads to a position (...) of metaethical relativism. A consequence of this relativism is that a community’s moral principles and boundaries of exclusion cannot be rationally justified to those constructed as “outsiders”. The defence against the charge of amoralism fails because Miller does not so much provide an argument to show that nations are ethical communities as assume they are; we are therefore left without resources to discriminate between ethical and unethical nations. I apply these problems to Miller’s treatment of the question of immigration, arguing that it shows that his version of “liberal” nationalism has a tendency to collapse towards a conservative position on such issues. This should not give us any great confidence that the nation, as Miller presents it, should be embraced by modern political philosophy. (shrink)
This paper articulates a feminist poststructural philosophy of education by combining the work of Luce Irigaray and Michel Foucault. This acts as an underpinning for a philosophy of desire (McWilliam, 1999) in education, or as a minor philosophy of education where multiple movements of bodies are enacted through theoretical methodologies and research. These methods include qualitative analysis and critical discourse analysis; where the conjunction Irigaray-Foucault is a paradigm for dealing with educational phenomena. It is also a rigorous materialism (Braidotti, 2005) (...) that opens up the way in which we think about philosophical bodies in education with language. This simultaneously creates gaps in our thinking about the problems associated with philosophical bodies in education, where the imagination may intercede and Eros can do his work, ‘For if Eros possessed all that he desires, he would desire no more’ (Irigaray, 1993, p. 22). (shrink)
This essay explores the preferences, anticipations and expectations of the elderly regarding the role of family members in making health care decisions for them should they become decisionally incapacitated. Findings are presented from a series of in-depth interviews of men and women aged 67–91 years. Following a discussion of the uncertain legal status of familial surrogate decision-making, we argue that the family unit's autonomy is sufficient to justify the elderly's preferred reliance on their own family. Further, we suggest that social (...) and legal policy changes should facilitate, rather than impede, familial decision-making. (shrink)
Altruism and cynicism are two fundamental algorithms of moral decision-making. This derives from the evolution of cooperative behavior and reciprocal altruism and the need to avoid being taken advantage of. Rushton (1986) developed a self-report scale to measure altruism, however no scale to measure cynicism has been developed for use in ethics research. Following a discussion of reciprocal altruism and cynicism, this article presents an 11-item self-report scale to measure cynicism, developed and validated using a sample of 271 customer-service and (...) sales personnel. (shrink)
Cultural models of health, illness, and moral reasoning are receiving increasing attention in bioethics scholarship. Drawing upon research tools from medical and cultural anthropology, numerous researchers explore cultural variations in attitudes toward truth telling, informed consent, pain relief, and planning for end-of-life care. However, culture should not simply be equated with ethnicity. Rather, the concept of culture can serve as an heuristic device at various levels of analysis. In addition to considering how participation in particular ethnic groups and religious traditions (...) can shape moral reasoning, bioethicists need to consider processes of socialization into professional cultures, organizational cultures, national civic culture, and transnational culture. From the local world of the community clinic or oncology unit to the transnational workings of human rights agencies, attentiveness to the concept of culture can illuminate how patients, family members, and health care providers interpret illness, healing, and moral obligations. (shrink)
Cheating and rule violations in intercollegiate athletics continue to be relevant issues in many institutions of higher education because they reflect upon the integrity of the institutions in which they are housed, causing concern among many faculty members, administrators, and trustees. Although a great deal of research has documented the numerous rule violations in NCAA intercollegiate athletics, much of it has failed to combine sound theory with practical solutions. The purpose of this study was to examine the possible extensions of (...) the organizational justice framework to the problem of rule violations in intercollegiate athletics. In doing so, the current study examined (a) perceived areas of injustice among coaches at NCAA Division I institutions, (b) avenues by which coaches resolve these injustices, and (c) potential solutions for resolving injustices in an attempt to reduce NCAA violations. Six NCAA Division I basketball coaches from various parts of the country (four from men's teams and two from women's teams) were interviewed using a semi-structured format. Despite the NCAA's efforts to create parity, results showed that coaches perceived several areas of inequities in recruiting, including financial resources and academic standards. The interviewed coaches described several means that are currently used to resolve these inequities and offered recommendations for changes to reduce injustice in the future. (shrink)
Within the theoretical framework of the moral intensity model of ethical decision making (Jones, 1991), two studies ascertained the contention that ethicality judgements are contingent upon the perceived intensity of the moral issue. In addition, Study 1 extended the validity of the moral intensity notion to whistle-blowing behaviour; Study 2 addressed the effect of the individual difference variable, need-for-cognition, on differential utilization of intensity dimensions in the ethical decision process. A scenario approach was used in both studies. Results have provided (...) convergent support for the issue-contingency nature of ethical decisions. Study 1 also showed that felt empathy for potential victims predicted the likelihood of whistle-blowing behaviour, and that the perceived overall ethicality of a wrongdoing predicted felt empathy when potential victims are psychologically and physically close. Results of Study 2 further suggested a greater utilization of issue-relevant information by high need-for-cognition individuals in ethical decision making. (shrink)