According to mental model theory, illusory inferences are a class of deductions in which individuals systematically go wrong. Mental model theory explains them invoking the principle of truth, which is a tendency not to represent models that falsify the premises. In this paper we focus on the illusory problems based on conditional sentences. In three experiments, we show that: (a) rather than not representing models that falsify the conditionals, participants have a different understanding of what falsifies a conditional (Experiment I); (...) (b) specifically, participants think that a conditional with an impossible antecedent or consequent is false (Experiment 2); (c) if the domain of the conditionals in the illusory problems are expanded to show that their antecedents and consequents are possible, the participants find it easy to reach the correct conclusions (Experiment 3). According to our results, the illusory inferences based on conditional premises, differently from those based on disjunctive premises, are caused by a difference between the understanding of natural language factual conditionals and the truth table of the factual implication; the principle of truth is not necessary to explain them. (shrink)
The paper tries to outline something like a short “critique of pure materialism” in the domain of perception, a sketch showing – through a series of examples, picked out in an apparently heterogeneous fashion from the Western philosophical tradition – how this epistemological model each time, and in everyone of its forms, fails in giving account of the basic features of perceiving. After giving a survey of authors like Democritus, Hobbes, De Sade, Lenin, the final appendix, devoted to the concept (...) of “supervenience” and its treatment in Davidson and Kim, aims at summarizing the whole problem through the categories of the contemporary philosophy of mind. The conclusion is that a pure materialistic approach is incapable to give reason to some of the fundamental characteristics of perception, that make it one of the basic moods of “being-in-the-world”. (shrink)
Simona Giordano presents the first full philosophical study of ethical issues in the treatment of anorexia and bulimia nervosa. Beginning with a comprehensive analysis of these conditions and an exploration of their complex causes, she then proceeds to address legal and ethical dilemmas such as a patient's refusal of life-saving treatment. Illustrated with many case-studies, Understanding Eating Disorders is an essential tool for anyone working with sufferers of these much misunderstood conditions, and for all those ethicists, lawyers, and medical (...) practitioners engaged with the widely relevant issues they raise. (shrink)
The Exclusion Problem (EP) for mental causation suggests that there is a tension between the claim that the mental causes physical effects, and the claim that the mental does not overdetermine its physical effects. In response, Karen Bennett (2008, 2003) puts forward an extra necessary condition for overdetermination: if one candidate cause were to occur but the other were not to occur, the effect would still occur. She thus denies one of the assumptions of EP, the assumption that if an (...) effect has two sufficient causes, it is overdetermined. If sound, her argument does two things: it solves EP, and it shows how to use counterfactuals in order to make the notion of overdetermination precise. However, the argument is not sound. (shrink)
A large part of the debate around the right to refuse life-prolonging treatment of anorexia nervosa sufferers centers on the issue of competence. Whether or not the anorexic should be allowed to refuse life-saving treatment does not depend solely or primarily on competence. It also depends on whether the anorexic’s suffering is bearable or tractable, and on the degree of involvement of the family in the therapeutic process. Anorexics could be competent to refuse lifesaving treatment (Giordano 2008). However, the anorexic’s (...) refusal of life-saving treatment should not be respected purely because it is a competent decision. In fact, anorexia has two characteristics that weaken the strength of the principle .. (shrink)
Simona Giordano (2010) claims that whether or not anorexics should be allowed to die should not primarily depend on their competence, but on the extent of whether the condition can be alleviated. This implies two outcomes. First, that if an anorexic has a reasonable chance of recovery, competent refusal of treatment can be overridden. Second, that if an anorexic has no realistic chance of recovery, patient refusal needs to be upheld—not, exclusively, on the basis of patient’s decision-making competence, but (...) on the basis of their prolonged and unnecessary suffering. Giordano is right, in my view, to suggest that there are good moral grounds to uphold patient wishes to refuse life-saving treatment, when .. (shrink)
Is phenomenal consciousness a problem for the brain sciences? An increasing number of researchers hold not only that it is but that its very existence is a deep mystery. That this problematic phenomenon exists is generally taken for granted: It is asserted that phenomenal consciousness is just phenomenologically obvious. In contrast, I hold that there is no such phenomenon and, thus, that it does not pose a problem for the brain sciences. For this denial to be plausible, however, I need (...) to show that phenomenal consciousness is not phenomenologically obvious. That is the goal of this article. †To contact the author, please write to: 1414 Simona Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15201; e‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
A short story of an assassin and a sleeping old Fisherman: Before I explain the rationale of this anecdote, let me begin my response by saying how grateful I am to Bratton and Tomasini for engaging with me over such a thorny and unpleasant topic. Many of us have either suffered eating disorders, or have a relative or a friend who has had an eating disorder, or who has died with anorexia. I still remember giving a talk on anorexia nervosa, (...) several years ago, and at the end of the talk one senior academic was very shaken and nearly in tears. He had lost his sister with anorexia. For many of us, eating disorders are an extremely sensitive issue, and for this very reason, I feel particularly indebted when .. (shrink)
This paper investigates the interaction of prosodic information and discourse principles in child language, taking sentences with the focus operator only as a case study. For adults, prosodic information alone can influence the truthconditional interpretation of (otherwise) ambiguous sentences. However, the findings of two experiments demonstrate that children are not able to use prosodic information alone to resolve certain ambiguities involving the focus operator only. The next section reviews the semantic properties of the focus operator only. Then we review the (...) relevant prior literature on child language, before turning to our own experimental studies. (shrink)
The well-known label of “theater of the absurd” is based on the Aristotelian logic of the nonincluded middle, the common interpretation being that of the chaotic and irrational character of the universe, human destiny, and language. However, we propose another view on the subject, relying on the discoveries of quantum physics, the main principles of transdisciplinarity, and the literary theory of the possible worlds. We applied these ideas to some of Eugene Ionesco’s fa-mousplays, concluding that absurd becomes an irrelevant notion (...) if analyzed in this perspective. (shrink)
In this issue of the Hastings Center Report, Tony Hope, Jacinta Tan, Anne Stewart, and Ray Fitzpatrick, reporting on twenty-nine interviews they conducted with women with so-called anorexia nervosa, note that the participants recurrently raised issues of authenticity. The paper reflects on the way their behaviors, experiences, and choices can be considered authentic (parts of their “real selves”), or inauthentic (parts of their anorexia). The authors also pose a question about the normative implications of their analysis—if some choices are inauthentic, (...) then is it ethical to override them? For example, they suggest that “showing respect” for the sufferer “does not necessarily mean simply acceding to the person’s .. (shrink)
Eating Disorders, particularly anorexia and bulimia, are of immense contemporary importance and interest. News stories depicting the tragic effects of eating disorders command wide attention. Almost everybody in society has been touched by eating disorders in one way or another, and contemporary obsession with body image and diet fuels fascination with this problem. It is unclear why people develop eating disorders. Clinical and sociological studies have provided important information relating to the relational systems in which eating disorders are mainly found. (...) This paper shows that their explanations are not conclusive and points out that the reasons why people develop eating disorders should not be found in the dysfunctional interactions occurring in both familial and social systems, but in the moral beliefs that underlie these interactions. Eating disorders are impossible to understand or explain, unless they are viewed in the light of these beliefs. A moral logic, that is a way of thinking of interpersonal relations in moral terms, gives shape to and justifies the clinical condition, and finds consistent expression in abnormal eating behaviour. The analysis offered here is not mainstream either in philosophy (eating disorders are in fact seldom the subject of philosophical investigation) or in clinical psychology (the methods of philosophical analysis are in fact seldom utilised in clinical psychology). However, this paper offers a important contribution to the understanding of such a dramatic and widespread condition, bringing to light the deepest reasons, which are moral in nature, that contribute to the explanation of this complex phenomenon. (shrink)
Gender Identity Disorder (GID) is regarded as a mental illness and included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). It will also appear in the DSM-V, due to be published in 2013. The classification of GID as a mental illness is contentious. But what would happen to sufferers if it were removed from the diagnostic manuals? Would people lose their entitlement to funded medical care, or to reimbursement under insurance schemes? On what basis should medical treatment for (...) GID be provided? What are the moral arguments for and against funded or reimbursed medical care for GID? This paper starts out with a fiction: GID is removed from the diagnostic manuals. Then the paper splits in two, as in happened in the Howitt’s 1998 film Sliding Doors . The two scenarios run parallel. In one, it is argued that GID is on a par with other body modifications, such as cosmetic and racial surgery, and that, for ethical reasons, treatment for GID should be privately negotiated by applicants and professionals and privately paid for. In the other scenario, it is argued that the comparison between GID and other body modifications is misleading. Whether or not medical treatment should be funded or reimbursed is independent of whether GID is on a par with other forms of body dissatisfaction. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Travelling facts Mary S. Morgan; Part I. Matters of Fact: 2. Facts and building artefacts: what travels in material objects? Simona Valeriani; 3. A journey through times and cultures? Ancient Greek forms in American 19th century architecture: an archaeological view Lambert Schneider; 4. Manning's N: putting roughness to work Sarah J. Whatmore and Catharina Landström; 5. My facts are better than your facts: spreading good news about global warming Naomi Oreskes; 6. Real problems with (...) fictional cases Jon Adams; Part II. Integrity and Fruitfulness: 7. Ethology's travelling facts Richard Burkhardt; 8. Travelling facts about crowded rats: rodent experimentation and the human sciences Ed Ramsden; 9. Using cases to establish novel diagnoses: creating generic facts by making particular facts travel together Rachel Ankeny; 10. Technology transfer and travelling facts: a perspective from Indian agriculture Peter Howlett and Aashish Velkar; 11. Archaeological facts in transit: the eminent mounds of central North America Alison Wylie; Part III. Companionship and Character: 12. Packaging small facts for re-use: databases in model organism biology Sabina Leonelli; 13. Designed for travel: communicating facts through images Martina Merz; 14. Using models to keep us healthy: the productive journeys of facts across public health research networks Erika Mansnerus; 15. The facts of life and death: a case of exceptional longevity David Haycock; 16. Love life of a fact Heather Schell. (shrink)
Typical spatial descriptions, such as “The car is in front of the house,” describe the position of a located object (LO; e.g., the car) in space relative to a reference object (RO) whose location is known (e.g., the house). The orientation of the RO affects spatial language comprehension via the reference frame selection process. However, the effects of the LO's orientation on spatial language have not received great attention. This study explores whether the pure geometric information of the LO (e.g., (...) its orientation) affects spatial language comprehension using placing and production tasks. Our results suggest that the orientation of the LO influences spatial language comprehension even in the absence of functional relationships. (shrink)
The introduction of Linear Logic extends the Curry-Howard Isomorphism to intensional aspects of the typed functional programming. In particular, every formula of Linear Logic tells whether the term it is a type for, can be either erased/duplicated or not, during a computation. So, Linear Logic can be seen as a model of a computational environment with an explicit control about the management of resources.This paper introduces a typed functional language ! and a categorical model for it.
The target article approaches individual differences in terms of phenotypic differences developing through the interaction between a specific genetic make up and environmental variables. This interaction is proposed to be cooperative and oriented toward a progressive stabilisation of the trait. However, experimental data from animal studies indicate that environmental pressure promotes dramatic changes in phenotypic expression in mature organisms. Indeed, environmental constraint not only promotes the phenotypic expression of facilitated VTA-NAS DA transmission in genotype-resistant individuals; it also inhibits its expression (...) in genetically prone individuals. This is in line with negative genotype-environment correlation revealed by behavior genetics. (shrink)
This paper investigates legal and moral justificationsof coerced treatment for psychiatric patients who aredetained on the grounds that they may harm others.While the general issues concerning compulsorytreatment and detention have been widely canvassed, ithas seldom, if ever, been noticed that the moralreasons that we may have to detain a person whoappears to be dangerous to others are different fromthe moral reasons we may have to treat him or her. For example, it has not been noticed that compulsorydetention and compulsory treatment (...) are supported bytwo different moral principles, namely the Principleof Harm and the Principle of Beneficence, and,therefore, that the arguments which support compulsorydetention do not also support compulsorytreatment. The conceptual confusion between legitimacyof compulsory detention and legitimacy of compulsorytreatment is exacerbated by the ambiguous wordingutilised in S 3 of the UK Mental Health Act, whichimplies that treatment may be necessary for theprotection of others. Failure to pay attention to these distinctions has led to tragic consequences, in terms of violations of individual autonomy and in terms of public safety. (shrink)
Renaud Barbaras, La vie lacunaire [Thomas Vercruysse, p. 324] • Wolfram Hogrebe, Der implizite Mensch [Federica Ceranovi, p. 334] • Emmanuel Alloa, Das durchscheinende Bild [Maria Teresa Costa, p. 344] • Alexander R. Galloway, The Interface Effect [Angela Maiello, p. 346] • Francisco José Ramos, La significación del lenguaje poético [Michele Gardini, p. 348] • Alessandro Arbo, Entendre comme. Wittgenstein et l’esthétique musicale [Leonardo V. Distaso, p. 351.
The introduction of Linear Logic extends the Curry-Howard Isomorphism to intensional aspects of the typed functional programming. In particular, every formula of Linear Logic tells whether the term it is a type for, can be either erased/duplicated or not, during a computation. So, Linear Logic can be seen as a model of a computational environment with an explicit control about the management of resources.
Higher order sensory processing follows a general subdivision into a ventral and a dorsal stream for visual, auditory, and tactile information. Object identification is processed in temporal structures (ventral stream), whereas object localization leads to activation of parietal structures (dorsal stream). To examine whether the chemical senses demonstrate a similar dissociation, we investigated odor identification and odor localization in 16 healthy young subjects using functional MRI. We used two odors (1. eucalyptol; 2. a mixture of phenylethanol and carbon dioxide) which (...) were delivered to only one nostril. During odor identification subjects had to recognize the odor; during odor localisation they had to detect the stimulated nostril. We used General Linear Model (GLM) as a classical method as well as Independent Component Analysis (ICA) in order to investigate a possible neuroanatomical dissociation between both tasks. Both methods showed differences between tasks - confirming a dual processing stream in the chemical senses - but revealed complementary results. Specifically, GLM identified the left intraparietal sulcus and the right superior frontal sulcus to be more activated when subjects were localising the odorants. For the same task, ICA identified a significant cluster in the left parietal lobe (paracentral lobule) but also in the right hippocampus. While GLM did not find significant activations for odor identification, ICA revealed two clusters (in the left central fissure and the left superior frontal gyrus) for this task. These data demonstrate that higher order chemosensory processing shares the general subdivision into a ventral and a dorsal processing stream with other sensory systems and suggest that this is a global principle, independent of sensory channels. (shrink)
The main objectives of this paper are to analyze the relation between memory and oblivion and their exterior forms to the level of physical and cultural space. The notion of memory places (defined as accumulations of signs of identity and their materializations) is presented in its two manifestations: as memory landmarks (connection points to the collective past) and as memory signs. The distinction is based on the power of memory to remind us who we are, but also what we forgot (...) about ourselves. We divided the paper in several parts. (shrink)
Neuroscientific and psychological research on moral development has until now developed independently, referring to distinct theoretical models, contents and methods. In particular, the influence of socio-economic and cultural factors on morality has been broadly investigated by psychologists but as yet has not been investigated by neuroscientists. The value of bridging these two areas both theoretically and methodologically has, however, been suggested. This study aims at providing a first connection between neuroscientific and psychological literature on morality by investigating whether socio-economic dimensions, (...) i.e. living socio-geographic/economic area, immigrant status and SES, affect moral reasoning as operationalized in moral domain theory (a seminal approach in psychological studies on morality) and in Greene and colleagues’ (2001) perspective (one of the main approaches in neuroethics research). Participants were 81 primary school (M = 8.98 yrs.; SD = 0.39), 72 middle school (M = 12.14 yrs.; SD = 0.61) and 73 high school (M = 15.10 yrs.; SD = 0.38) students from rural and urban areas. Participants’ immigrant status (native vs. immigrant) and family SES level were recorded. Moral reasoning was assessed by means of a series of personal and impersonal dilemmas based on Greene and colleagues' (2001) neuroimaging experiment and a series of moral and socio-conventional rule dilemmas based on the moral domain theory. Living socio-geographic/economic area, immigrant status and SES mainly affected evaluations of moral and, to a higher extent, socio-conventional dilemmas, but had no impact on judgment of personal and impersonal dilemmas. Results are mainly discussed from the angle of possible theoretical links and suggestions emerging for studies on moral reasoning in the frameworks of neuroscience and psychology. (shrink)