The purpose of this article is to examine the applicability of the theory of projection for Anthropological hypotheses. The claim is made that Goodman's classic statement of the problem does not apply in its entirety to actual Anthropological hypotheses. The recent Freeman-Mead debate is employed as a framework for the discussion, illustrating that the issue of projectibility, while central for the social sciences, is best used as a backdrop to illustrate several important methodological problems. For Anthropology, and other related social (...) sciences, the central methodological problem, which is directly related to the projectibility one, is the development and justification of evidence-rules that can be used for a theory of confirmation. A preliminary attempt is then made to articulate the nature of these rules within the general Hempelian framework of qualitative confirmation. (shrink)
Investigation of neural and cognitive processes underlying individual variation in moral preferences is underway, with notable similarities emerging between moral- and risk-based decision-making. Here we specifically assessed moral distributive justice preferences and non-moral financial gambling preferences in the same individuals, and report an association between these seemingly disparate forms of decision-making. Moreover, we find this association between distributive justice and risky decision-making exists primarily when the latter is assessed with the Iowa Gambling Task. These findings are consistent with neuroimaging studies (...) of brain function during moral and risky decision-making. This research also constitutes the first replication of a novel experimental measure of distributive justice decision-making, for which individual variation in performance was found. Further examination of decision-making processes across different contexts may lead to an improved understanding of the factors affecting moral behaviour. (shrink)
This book contains new essays in honor of Melvin J. Lerner, a pioneer in the psychological study of justice. The contributors to this volume are internationally renowned scholars from psychology, business, and law. They examine the role of justice motivation in a wide variety of contexts, including workplace violence, affirmative action programs, helping or harming innocent victims and how people react to their own fate. Contributors explore fundamental issues such as whether people's interest in justice is motivated by self-interest or (...) a genuine concern for the welfare of others, when and why people feel a need to punish transgressors, how a concern for justice emerges during the development of societies and individuals, and the relation of justice motivation to moral motivation. How an understanding of justice motivation can contribute to the amelioration of major social problems is also examined. (shrink)
Following the general formalism presented by Rezzolla, Ahmedov and Miller, (1) we here derive analytic solutions of the electromagnetic fields equations in the internal and external background spacetime of a slowly rotating highly conducting magnetized neutron star. The star is assumed to be isolated and in vacuum, with a dipolar magnetic field not aligned with the axis of rotation. Our results indicate that the electromagnetic fields of a slowly rotating neutron star are modified by general relativistic effects arising from (...) both the monopolar and the dipolar parts of the gravitational field. The results presented here differ from the ones discussed by Rezzolla, Ahmedov and Miller (1) mainly in that we here consider the interior magnetic field to be dipolar with the same radial dependence as the external one. While this assumption might not be a realistic one, it should be seen as the application of our formalism to a case often discussed in the literature. (shrink)
The separation, uniformization, and other properties of the Borel and projective hierarchies over hyperfinite sets are investigated and compared to the corresponding properties in classical descriptive set theory. The techniques used in this investigation also provide some results about countably determined sets and functions, as well as an improvement of an earlier theorem of Kunen and Miller.
In addressing the scientific study of consciousness, Crick and Koch state, “It is prob- able that at any moment some active neuronal processes in your head correlate with consciousness, while others do not: what is the difference between them?” (1998, p. 97). Evidence from electro- physiological and brain-imaging studies of binocular rivalry supports the premise of this statement and answers to some extent, the question posed. I discuss these recent developments and outline the rationale and experimental evidence for the interhemispheric (...) switch hypothesis of perceptual rivalry. According to this model, the perceptual alternations of rivalry reflect hemispheric alterna- tions, suggesting that visual consciousness of rivalling stimuli may be unihemispheric at any one time (Miller et al., 2000). However, in this paper, I suggest that interhemispheric switching could involve alternating unihemispheric attentional selection of neuronal processes for access to visual consciousness. On this view, visual consciousness during rivalry could be bihemispheric because the processes constitutive of attentional selection may be distinct from those constitutive of visual consciousness. This is a special case of the important distinction between the neuronal correlates and constitution of visual consciousness. (shrink)
This book is concerned with the relationship between semantics and surface structure and in particular with the way in which each is mapped into the other. Jim Miller argues that semantic and syntactic structure require different representations and that semantic structure is far more complex than many analysts realise. He argues further that semantic structure should be based on notions of location and movement. The need for a semantic component of greater complexity is demonstrated by an examination of prepositions, (...) particles, adverbs and verb-prefixes, and is shown to accord with cross-language and historical facts. The volume goes on to consider the sort of rules that are required to map semantic structures onto syntax. Semantics and Syntax tackles fundamental issues and draws together many of the key concepts of traditional grammar and formal linguistics. The general framework for handling syntax, semantics and morphology that it outlines is perhaps a controversial one, but it will be recognized as challenging and original. (shrink)
To many who develop and use free software, the GNU General Public License represents an embodiment of the meaning of free software. In this paper we examine the definition and meaning of free software in the context of three events surrounding the GNU General Public License. We use a case involving the GPU software project to establish the importance of Freedom 0 in the meaning of free software. We analyze version 3 of the GNU General Public License and conclude that (...) although a credible case can be made that the added restrictions are consistent with the definition of free software, the case requires subtle arguments. Strong arguments against the added restrictions are less subtle, and may therefore be more convincing to many users and developers. We also analyze the Affero General Public License and conclude that it is inconsistent with the definition of free software. (shrink)
This paper will discuss the origin of the human mind, and the qualitative discontinuity between human and animal cognition. We locate the source of this discontinuity within the language faculty, and thus take the origin of the mind to depend on the origin of the language faculty. We will look at one such proposal put forward by Hauser et al. (Science 298:1569-1579, 2002), which takes the evolution of a Merge trait (recursion) to solely explain the differences between human and animal (...) cognition. We argue that the Merge-only hypothesis fails to account for various aspects of the human mind. Instead we propose that the process of lexicalisation is also unique to humans, and that this process is key to explaining the vast qualitative differences. We will argue that lexicalisation is a process through which concepts are reformatted to be able to take on semantic features and to take part in grammatical relations. These are both necessary conditions for a grammatical mind and the increased ability to express conceptual content. We therefore propose a possible explanans for the discontinuity between humans and animals, namely that merge with lexicalisation (and consequently semantic features and grammatical relations) is a minimal requirement for the human mind. (shrink)
: This response to Lynn Jansen's critique of clinical pragmatism concentrates on two themes: (1) contrasting approaches to moral epistemology and (2) the connection between theory and practice in clinical ethics. Particular attention is paid to the status of principles and the role of consensus, with some closing speculations on how Dewey might view the current state of bioethics.
Despite the importance of extrapair copulation (EPC) in human evolution, almost nothing is known about the design features of EPC detection mechanisms. We tested for sex differences in EPC inference-making mechanisms in a sample of 203 young couples. Men made more accurate inferences (φmen = 0.66, φwomen = 0.46), and the ratio of positive errors to negative errors was higher for men than for women (1.22 vs. 0.18). Since some may have been reluctant to admit EPC behavior, we modeled how (...) underreporting could have influenced these results. These analyses indicated that it would take highly sex-differentiated levels of underreporting by subjects with trusting partners for there to be no real sex difference. Further analyses indicated that men may be less willing to harbor unresolved suspicions about their partners’ EPC behavior, which may explain the sex difference in accuracy. Finally, we estimated that women underreported their own EPC behavior (10%) more than men (0%). (shrink)
Atom probe tomography is used to observe the solute distribution in electrodeposited nanocrystalline Ni?W alloys with three different grain sizes (3, 10 and 20?nm) and the results are compared with atomistic computer simulations. The presence of grain boundary segregation is confirmed by detailed analysis of composition fluctuations in both experimental and simulated structures, and its extent quantified by a frequency distribution analysis. In contrast to other nanocrystalline alloys previously examined by atom probe tomography, such as Ni?P, the present nanocrystalline Ni?W (...) alloys exhibit only a subtle amount of solute segregation to the intergranular regions. (shrink)
The 2012 Varsity Medical Debate between Oxford University and Cambridge University provided a stage for representatives from these famous institutions to debate the motion “This house believes that trainee doctors should be able to use the developing world to gain clinical experience.” This article brings together many of the arguments put forward during the debate, centring around three major points of contention: the potential intrinsic wrong of ‘using’ patients in developing countries; the effects on the elective participant; and the effects (...) on the host community. The article goes on to critically appraise overseas elective programmes, offering a number of solutions that would help optimise their effectiveness in the developing world. (shrink)
Recent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and pathological studies have indicated that axonal loss is a major contributor to disease progression in multiple sclerosis. 1 H magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), through measurement of N -acetyl aspartate (NAA), a neuronal marker, provides a unique tool to investigate this. Patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis have few lesions on conventional MRI, suggesting that changes in normal appearing white matter (NAWM), such (...) as axonal loss, may be particularly relevant to disease progression in this group. To test this hypothesis NAWM was studied with MRS, measuring the concentration of N -acetyl derived groups (NA, the sum of NAA and N -acetyl aspartyl glutamate). Single-voxel MRS using a water-suppressed PRESS sequence was carried out in 24 patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis and in 16 age-matched controls. Ratios of metabolite to creatine concentration (Cr) were calculated in all subjects, and absolute concentrations were measured in 18 patients and all controls. NA/Cr (median 1.40, range 0.86–1.91) was significantly lower in NAWM in patients than in controls (median 1.70, range 1.27–2.14; P = 0.006), as was the absolute concentration of NA (patients, median 6.90 mM, range 4.62–10.38 mM; controls, median 7.77 mM, range 6.60–9.71 mM; P = 0.032). There was no significant difference in the absolute concentration of creatine between the groups. This study supports the hypothesis that axonal loss occurs in NAWM in primary progressive multiple sclerosis and may well be a mechanism for disease progression in this group. (shrink)
Cooperation can evolve in the context of cognitive activities such as perception, attention, memory, and decision making, in addition to physical activities such as hunting, gathering, warfare, and childcare. The social insects are well known to cooperate on both physical and cognitive tasks, but the idea of cognitive cooperation in humans has not received widespread attention or systematic study. The traditional psychological literature often gives the impression that groups are dysfunctional cognitive units, while evolutionary psychologists have so far studied cognition (...) primarily at the individual level. We present two experiments that demonstrate the superiority of thinking in groups, but only for tasks that are sufficiently challenging to exceed the capacity of individuals. One of the experiments is in a brain-storming format, where advantages of real groups over nominal groups have been notoriously difficult to demonstrate. Cognitive cooperation might often operate beneath conscious awareness and take place without the need for overt training, as evolutionary psychologists have stressed for individual-level cognitive adaptations. In general, cognitive cooperation should be a central subject in human evolutionary psychology, as it already is in the study of the social insects. (shrink)
1. A Profession of Faith -- 2. Who or What Decides, for Derrida : A Catastrophic Theory of Decision -- 3. Derrida's Destinerrance -- 4. The Late Derrida -- 5. Derrida's Remains -- 6. Derrida Enisled -- 7. Derrida's Special Theory of Performativity --8. "Don't Count Me In" : Derrida's Refraining -- 9. Derrida's Ethics of Irresponsibilization ; or, How to Get Irresponsible, in Two Easy Lessons -- 10. Derrida's Politics of Autoimmunity -- 11. Touching Derrida's Touching Nancy -- 12. (...) Absolute Mourning : It Is Jacques You Mourn For -- Notes -- Index. (shrink)
In their important paper “Autonomous Agents”, Floridi and Sanders use “levels of abstraction” to argue that computers are or may soon be moral agents. In this paper we use the same levels of abstraction to illuminate differences between human moral agents and computers. In their paper, Floridi and Sanders contributed definitions of autonomy, moral accountability and responsibility, but they have not explored deeply some essential questions that need to be answered by computer scientists who design artificial agents. One such question (...) is, “Can an artificial agent that changes its own programming become so autonomous that the original designer is no longer responsible for the behavior of the artificial agent?” To explore this question, we distinguish between LoA1 (the user view) and LoA2 (the designer view) by exploring the concepts of unmodifiable, modifiable and fully modifiable tables that control artificial agents. We demonstrate that an agent with an unmodifiable table, when viewed at LoA2, distinguishes an artificial agent from a human one. This distinction supports our first counter-claim to Floridi and Sanders, namely, that such an agent is not a moral agent, and the designer bears full responsibility for its behavior. We also demonstrate that even if there is an artificial agent with a fully modifiable table capable of learning* and intentionality* that meets the conditions set by Floridi and Sanders for ascribing moral agency to an artificial agent, the designer retains strong moral responsibility. (shrink)
Traditionally, biomedical research has been devoted to improvement in the understanding and treatment or prevention of disease. Building on the knowledge generated by the long history of disease-oriented research, the next few decades will witness an explosion of biomedical enhancements to make people faster, stronger, smarter, less forgetful, happier, prettier, and live longer (Turner et al. 2003; Vastag 2004; Rose 2002). As with other biomedical interventions, research to assess the safety and efficacy of these enhancements in humans should be conducted (...) before their introduction into clinical practice.1 However, various concerns regarding the ethics of enhancement research could be raised. Those who .. (shrink)
: Medical research is widely thought to have a fundamentally therapeutic orientation, in spite of the fact that clinical research is thought to be ethically distinct from medical care. We need an entirely new conception of clinical research ethics—one that looks to science instead of the doctor-patient relationship.
The dual-use dilemma arises in the context of research in the biological and other sciences as a consequence of the fact that one and the same piece of scientific research sometimes has the potential to be used for bad as well as good purposes. It is an ethical dilemma since it is about promoting good in the context of the potential for also causing harm, e.g., the promotion of health in the context of providing the wherewithal for the killing of (...) innocents. It is an ethical dilemma for the researcher because of the potential actions of others, e.g., malevolent non-researchers who might steal dangerous biological agents, or make use of the original researcher’s work. And it is a dilemma for governments concerned with the security of their citizens, as well as their health. In this article we construct a taxonomy of types of “experiments of concern” in the biological sciences, and thereby map the terrain of ethical risk. We then provide a series of analyses of the ethical problems and considerations at issue in the dual-use dilemma, including the impermissibility of certain kinds of research and possible restrictions on dissemination of research results given the risks to health and security. Finally, we explore the main available institutional responses to some of the specific ethical problems posed by the dual-use dilemma in the biological sciences. (shrink)
Joel Kupperman's latest book is a wide ranging discussion of many of the leading issues in contemporary ethical theory. Its main aim is to advance a view which he calls "multi level indirect consequentialism" as a viable alternative to traditional act and rule consequentialist positions. Such a view purports to secure many of the agent centered constraints and options which are familiar from ordinary morality, as well as to take seriously considerations of fairness and respect for persons. Needless to say, (...) Kupperman's project is ambitious, and his book provides us with a preliminary sketch of the proposal. In what follows, I first summarize the two parts of Ethics and Qualities of Life and then offer some critical remarks. (shrink)
We use a result due to Rolin, Speissegger, and Wilkie to show that definable sets in certain o-minimal structures admit definable parameterizations by mild maps. We then use this parameterization to prove a result on the density of rational points on curves defined by restricted Pfaffian functions.
In this paper we investigate intergroup conflict and examine the impact of strategies to manage and hopefully reduce it. To do this, we use a probabilistic computer simulation model, based on feedback principles. The model examines how conflict between two groups evolves over time. Group differences and the occurrence of intergroup incidents drive the model. Intergroup hostility which depends on past history, recent conflict incidents, and group differences is the key variable that indicates the proclivity toward conflict between the two (...) groups. We use the model to examine various cases and the effect of conflict management strategies. Based on the model results, we develop some conclusions about the applicability of the findings to actual situations, as well as directions for further research. (shrink)
The article is an attempt to better understand the objections to the doctrine of 'reliabilism' made by prominent epistemologists. The view argued for here is that while one extreme case of anti-reliabilism seems to be the paradigm case against the entire concept, this very case points out some additional, and implicit, problems with the standard account of epistemic justification. The most notable is that the standard view attacks reliabilism on the grounds that it lacks a means of giving adequate reasons (...) or evidence for its claims. We argue that the standard view, while correct on its paradigm case against reliabilism, is itself weakened by its lack of recognition of the central role theories of evidence must play in its basic account. Since theories of evidence are themselves divergent and problematic in terms of explaining how claims are justified, the standard account needs to address the issues of which account of evidence is 'adequate' and why it is. It is finally suggested that traditional epistemology might be more accurately described as a branch of confirmation theory. (shrink)
: This paper presents a method of moral problem solving in clinical practice that is inspired by the philosophy of John Dewey. This method, called "clinical pragmatism," integrates clinical and ethical decision making. Clinical pragmatism focuses on the interpersonal processes of assessment and consensus formation as well as the ethical analysis of relevant moral considerations. The steps in this method are delineated and then illustrated through a detailed case study. The implications of clinical pragmatism for the use of principles in (...) moral problem solving are discussed. (shrink)
: The "therapeutic misconception," described by Paul Appelbaum and colleagues more than 20 years ago, refers to the tendency of participants in clinical trials to confuse the design and conduct of research with personalized medical care. Although the "therapeutic misconception" has become a term of art in research ethics, little systematic attention has been devoted to the ethical significance of this phenomenon. This article examines critically the way in which Appelbaum and colleagues formulate what is at stake in the therapeutic (...) misconception, paying particular attention to assumptions and implications that clinical trial participation disadvantages research participants as compared with receiving standard medical care. After clarifying the ethical significance of the therapeutic misconception with respect to the decision making of patients, we offer policy recommendations for obtaining informed consent to participation in clinical trials. (shrink)
This paper examines the discursive construction of collective identity in several feminist organizations, as a way of shedding new light on the debate over essentializing or totalizing terms in contemporary feminist/postmodernist theory. We argue that while this debate is about language, it has remained largely untouched by the insights of a discursive approach. The latter as we take it up here treats language as irremediably strategic or interested. In contrast, the feminist argument over essentializing terms appears to hold to a (...) correspondence version of language, a position which limits the debate in fatal ways. Part 1 reviews the argument that terms such as women, feminist and feminist identity are essentializing discourses which dominate by silencing difference. Part 2 then considers the way one such concept – feminist identity – is actually constructed and used in the routine talk of members of feminist organizations. In Part 3 we draw out the implications of a discursive approach to such terms for the feminist/postmodernist debate. (shrink)
The scientific, ethical, and policy issues raised by research involving the engraftment of human neural stem cells into the brains of nonhuman primates are explored by an interdisciplinary working group in this Policy Forum. The authors consider the possibility that this research might alter the cognitive capacities of recipient great apes and monkeys, with potential significance for their moral status.
This paper attempts to clarify the meaning and significance of "qualitative confirmation". The need to do so is related to the fact that, without such a conceptualization, a large portion of the human sciences are relegated to a less than scientific status. Accordingly, "qualitative confirmation" is viewed as a proper subset of traditional confirmation theory. To establish such a case, a general Hempelian framework is utilized, but it is supplemented with two additional levels of confirmation. It is concluded that the (...) final test for adequacy of such confirmation must rest on a subjective probability notion. (shrink)