This paper considers the ethical implications of applying three major ethical theories to the memory structure of an artificial companion that might have different embodiments such as a physical robot or a graphical character on a hand-held device. We start by proposing an ethical memory model and then make use of an action-centric framework to evaluate its ethical implications. The case that we discuss is that of digital artefacts that autonomously record and store user data, where this data are used (...) as a resource for future interaction with users. (shrink)
Bringing culture and personality in a combination with emotions requires bringing three different theories together. In this paper, we discuss an approach for combining Hofstedeâs cultural dimensions, BIG five personality parameters and PSI theory of emotions to come up with an emergent affective character model.
In a questionnaire study we surveyed the owners of 113 companion dogs. Owners had to mark on a four-grade scale how long their dog remembered particular memory items (persons, other animals, events, objects). Additionally we collected descriptive data on the demographical characteristics of the dog and the keeping conditions.A principal component analysis on the memory items resulted in five components. From these, two were connected to people (`Family' and `Intruders'), three other components contained individual items of memory of objects and (...) events (`Going out', Playing' and `Doing something'). Analyses of variance revealed that the dog-owner relationship, the keeping conditions, age and breed of the dog affect the dogs' memory as described by the owner. The amount of time spent together or the education of the owner had no or minimal effect on these components.Our study showed that owners form stable opinions about their dogs' episodic memory capacity. Nevertheless, the results can be biased by such factors that affect either the owners' opinions about their dog-companions, or the dogs' access to particular stimuli, which can modify the formation of memory traces. In the future, these results can serve as a starting point for empirical testing of family dogs' memory. Keywords: dogs; dog owners; memory; questionnaire. (shrink)
Dissipative systems are described by a Hamiltonian, combined with a “dynamical matrix” which generalizes the simplectic form of the equations of motion. Criteria for dissipation are given and the examples of a particle with friction and of the Lotka-Volterra model are presented. Quantization is first introduced by translating generalized Poisson brackets into commutators and anticommutators. Then a generalized Schrödinger equation expressed by a dynamical matrix is constructed and discussed.
In Malta and Southern Italy, legends centred on the prestigious figure of the Sibyl are still known by the older people. In Majorca, the prophetic song attributed to the Greek Sibyl, Erythrea (6th century BC), is still sung on Christmas eve in the monastery-sanctuary of Lluc. This paper focuses on the history of this prophetic song since its adoption by the medieval Church and on its surviving tradition in certain areas of Catalan culture – a fabulous example of cultural continuity.
The article deals with Kant's understanding of personhood and autonomy. It highlights the connection of autonomy and human dignity within Kant's appreciation of morality, and indicates how his distinction between the empirical and transcendental spheres enables Kant to extend dignity even to humans who are not actually autonomous. Turning to contemporary approaches within ethics that refer to Kant but omit this transcendental framework, it defends the necessity of a trans-empirical frame within the Kantian system and hints at consequences for bioethics. (...) It concludes that Kant works with neither an absolutist notion of freedom in terms of solipsistic autarky, nor an empirical freedom and autonomy that begin and end at certain points of time. (shrink)
Moral development has become an integral part in military training and the importance of moral judgment and behavior in military operations can hardly be overestimated. Many armed forces have integrated military ethics and moral decision-making interventions in their training programs. However, little is known about the effectiveness of these interventions. This study examined the effectiveness of a 1-week training program in moral decision making in the Swiss Armed Forces. The program was based on a strategy-based interactional moral dilemma approach. Results (...) of this quasi-experimental intervention study showed significant improvements in content-related (moral and instrumental awareness, quality of moral information processing, development of compensatory actions) as well as process-related (situational analysis, development and evaluation of alternative solutions, justification of decision) aspects in moral decision making. Results of a follow-up test indicated positive long-term effects with regard to moral and instrumental awareness and process-related aspects. Findings are discussed, and consequences for leadership development programs and further research are explored. (shrink)
This article notes differences in legislation in Germany and Great Britain regarding human embryo research and looks for an explanation in their divergent intellectual traditions. Whereas the German Stem Cell Act invokes an anthropological concept of human dignity to ground its ban on using embryos for research, there is no definition of what it means to be human in either the British Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act or in the advisory Warnock-Report. After studying the differences and providing some philosophical background, (...) the essay distinguishes two notions that are significant for understanding human dignity. It then proposes from a theological point of view a basic understanding within a relational anthropology, and comes to the conclusion that because of continuity in development and their relational constitution, humans embryos should be accepted as human from the moment of conception. (shrink)
The issue of prisoners in war is a highly timely topic that has received much attention from both scholars and practitioners since the start of the military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and the ensuing legal and political problems concerning detainees in those conflicts. This book analyses these contemporary problems and challenges against the background of their historical development. It provides a multidisciplinary yet highly coherent perspective on the historical trajectory of legal and ethical norms in this field by integrating (...) the historical analysis of war with a study of the emergence of the modern legal regime of prisoners in war. In doing so, it provides the first comprehensive study of prisoners, detainees and internees in war, covering a broad range of both regular and irregular wars from the crusades to contemporary counterinsurgency campaigns. -/- The book revolves around two major developments: First, there has been a continuous increase in the political relevance of prisoners in war, in particular since the emergence of POW camps in the nineteenth century. Secondly, and related, the growth in the legal regime pertaining to prisoners had contradictory consequences. Whilst it enhanced the protection of prisoners in regular conflicts, its state-centric bias tends to exclude combatants who do not fit the template of regular inter-state war. Detainees in the 'war on terror' embody both tendencies, the development of which, however, is by no means a novel phenomenon. -/- This book is a project of the Oxford Leverhulme Programme on the Changing Character of War. (shrink)
Henry Harris noted that ‘the Baconian applied science of this world is the solid foundation upon which Hegel’s ladder of spiritual experience rests’. Understanding the philosophical character of Hegel’s Philosophy of Nature requires recognizing some basic legitimate philosophical issues embedded in the development of physics from Galileo to Newton (§2). These issues illuminate the character of Hegel’s analysis of philosophical issues regarding nature (§3) and the central aims and purposes of Hegel’s philosophy of nature (§4). Hegel recognized some key weaknesses (...) in Newton’s own mathematical treatment of planetary orbits which were only rectified when Johann Bernoulli recast Newtonian gravitational theory on the basis of mathematical analysis (calculus). So reconstructed, Newtonian physics provides sufficient grounds to ascribe gravitational force to matter (Enz. §§262, 269). Hegel incorporated this important point into his illuminating accounts of causal laws of nature and natural-scientific explanation. These points reveal how Hegel’s Science of Logic and Philosophy of Nature are interdependent works, integrated in part by Hegel’s critical, moderately holistic theory of semantic meaning and reference. Highlighting these features of Hegel’s Philosophy of Nature illuminates Hegel’s emergentist account of structural and functional organization of various kinds of natural phenomena. (shrink)