Two variables are usually recognised as determinants of human causal learning: the contingency between a candidate cause and effect, and the temporal and/or spatial contiguity between them. A common finding is that reductions in temporal contiguity produce concomitant decrements in causal judgement. This finding had previously (Shanks & Dickinson, 1987) been interpreted as evidence that causal induction is based on associative learning processes. Buehner and May (2002, 2003, 2004) have challenged this notion by demonstrating that the impact of temporal delay (...) depends on expectations about the timeframe between cause and effect. A corollary of this knowledge-mediation account is that in certain situations longer delays could facilitate, while shorter delays should impair, causal learning. Here we present two experiments involving a physical apparatus that demonstrate a detrimental effect of contiguity under certain conditions. In contrast to all previous studies, delays universally promoted causal learning. This evidence is clearly at variance with the notion of a bottom-up contiguity bias in causal induction. A new, more general timeframe bias is discussed. (shrink)
Abstract In this paper, we explore how the application of technological tools has reshaped food production systems in ways that foster large-scale outbreaks of foodborne illness. Outbreaks of foodborne illness have received increasing attention in recent years, resulting in a growing awareness of the negative impacts associated with industrial food production. These trends indicate a need to examine systemic causes of outbreaks and how they are being addressed. In this paper, we analyze outbreaks linked to ground beef and salad greens. (...) These case studies are informed by personal interviews, site visits, and an extensive review of government documents and peer-reviewed literature. To explore these cases, we draw from actor-network theory and political economy to analyze the relationships between technological tools, the design of industrial production systems, and the emergence and spread of pathogenic bacteria. We also examine if current responses to outbreaks represent reflexive change. Lastly, we use the myth of Prometheus to discuss ethical issues regarding the use of technology in food production. Our findings indicate that current tools and systems were designed with a narrow focus on economic efficiency, while overlooking relationships with pathogenic bacteria and negative social impacts. In addition, we find that current responses to outbreaks do not represent reflexive change and a continued reliance on technological fixes to systemic problems may result in greater problems in the future. We argue that much can be learned from the myth of Prometheus. In particular, justice and reverence need to play a more significant role in guiding production decisions. Content Type Journal Article Category Articles Pages 1-26 DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9357-8 Authors Diana Stuart, Kellogg Biological Station and Department of Sociology, Michigan State University, 3700 East Gull Lake Drive, Hickory Corners, MI 49060, USA Michelle R. Woroosz, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, Auburn University, 306A Comer Hall, Auburn, AL 36849, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863. (shrink)
Stuart, Jennie Review(s) of: Hands off not an option! The reminiscence museum mirror of a humanistic care philosophy, by Professor Dr Hans Marcel Becker assisted by Inez van den Dobbelsteen- Becker and Topsy Ros. Eburon Academic Publishers, Delft, 2011 272 pp.
The Ikhwan al-Safa (Brethren of Purity), the anonymous adepts of a tenth-century esoteric fraternity based in Basra and Baghdad, hold an eminent position in the history of science and philosophy in Islam due to the wide reception and assimilation of their monumental encyclopaedia, the Rasa'il Ikhwan al-Safa (Epistles of the Brethren of Purity). This compendium contains fifty-two epistles offering synoptic accounts of the classical sciences and philosophies of the age; divided into four classificatory parts, it treats themes in mathematics, logic, (...) natural philosophy, psychology, metaphysics, and theology, in addition to didactic fables. The Rasa'il constitutes a paradigmatic legacy in the canonization of philosophy and the sciences in mediaeval Islamic civilization, as well as having shown a permeating influence in Western culture. The present volume is the first of this definitive series consisting of the very first critical edition of the Rasa' il in its original Arabic, with a complete, fully annotated English translation. This epistle, The Case of the Animals versus Man Before the King of the Jinn (Epistle 22), prepared by Professors Lenn E. Goodman and Richard McGregor, is arguably the best known, on account of its prominent ecological fable which casts the exploited and oppressed animals pursuing a case against mankind. Perhaps yet more relevant in modern times, the Ikhwan demonstrate the arrogance of man's claim to superiority, in contrast to the animals' pious understanding of their respective roles within nature. The fable complements and expands upon the short exposition on zoology featured at the beginning of the epistle. (shrink)
This is a new English translation of a classic of medieval Islamic learning, which illuminates the intellectual debates of its age and speaks vividly to the concerns of our own. It is the most famous work of the Brethren of Purity, a tenth-century esoteric fraternity based in Basra and Baghdad. In this rich allegorical fable the exploited and oppressed animals pursue a case against humanity. They are granted the gift of speech and presented as subjects with views and interests of (...) their own. Over the course of the hearing they rebuke and criticise human weakness, deny man's superiority, and make powerful demands for greater justice and respect for animals. This sophisticated moral allegory combines elements of satire with a thought-provoking thesis on animal welfare. Goodman and McGregor accompany their translation with an introduction and annotations that explore the rich historical and cultural context to the work. (shrink)
Stuart, Stephen Review(s) of: On being certain: Believing you are right even when you're not, by Robert A. Burton, St Martin's Griffin, New York, 2008, (xiv + 256 pp., index, pbk, ISBN 978-0-312-54152-1).
Stuart, Stephen Review(s) of: Wicked company: Freethinkers and friendship in pre-revolutionary Paris, by Philipp Blom, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 2011, (xxii + 361 pp., index, ISBN 978-0-297-85818-8).
My aim in this paper is to go some way towards showing that the maintenance of hard and fast dichotomies, like those between mind and body, and the real and the virtual, is untenable, and that technological advance cannot occur with being cognisant of its reciprocal ethical implications. In their place I will present a softer enactivist ontology through which I examine the nature of our engagement with technology in general and with virtual realities in particular. This softer ontology is (...) one to which I will commit Kant, and from which, I will show, certain critical moral and emotional consequences arise. It is my contention that Kant’s logical subject is necessarily embedded in the world and that Kant, himself, would be content with this view as an expression of his inspired response to the “scandal to philosophy… that the existence of things outside us… must be accepted merely on faith” [Bxl]. In keeping with his arguments for the a priori framing of intuition, the a priori structuring of experience through the spontaneous application of the categories, the synthesis of the experiential manifold, and the necessity of a unity of apperception, I will present an enactivist account of agency in the world, and argue that it is our embodied and embedded kinaesthetic engagement in our world which makes possible the syntheses of apprehension, reproduction and recognition, and which, in turn, make possible the activity of the reproductive or creative imagination. (shrink)
In this paper we consider the concept of a self-aware agent. In cognitive science agents are seen as embodied and interactively situated in worlds. We analyse the meanings attached to these terms in cognitive science and robotics, proposing a set of conditions for situatedness and embodiment, and examine the claim that internal representational schemas are largely unnecessary for intelligent behaviour in animats. We maintain that current situated and embodied animats cannot be ascribed even minimal self-awareness, and offer a six point (...) definition of embeddedness, constituting minimal conditions for the evolution of a sense of self. This leads to further analysis of the nature of embodiment and situatedness, and a consideration of whether virtual animats in virtual worlds could count as situated and embodied. We propose that self-aware agents must possess complex structures of self-directed goals; multi-modal sensory systems and a rich repertoire of interactions with their worlds. Finally, we argue that embedded agents will possess or evolve local co-ordinate systems, or points of view, relative to their current positions in space and time, and have a capacity to develop an egocentric space. None of these capabilities are possible without powerful internal representational capacities. (shrink)
It is argued that, based on Kant's descriptive metaphysics, one can prescribe the necessary metaphysical underpinnings for the possibility of conscious experience in an artificial system. This project is developed by giving an account of the a priori concepts of the understanding in such a system. A specification and implementation of the nomological conditions for a conscious system allows one to know a priori that any system possessing this structure will be conscious; thus enabling us to avoid possible false-indicators of (...) consciousness like that offered in a behaviouristic analysis. This is an alternative approach to the bottom-up or top-down approaches adopted by, for example CYC (Lenat and Feigenbaum 1992) and COG (Brooks 1994; Brooks and Stein 1993), neither of which, alone, or in some hybrid form, have proved productive. (shrink)
Machine consciousness exists already in organic systems and it is only a matter of time -- and some agreement -- before it will be realised in reverse-engineered organic systems and forward- engineered inorganic systems. The agreement must be over the preconditions that must first be met if the enterprise is to be successful, and it is these preconditions, for instance, being a socially-embedded, structurally-coupled and dynamic, goal-directed entity that organises its perceptual input and enacts its world through the application of (...) both a cognitive and kinaesthetic imagination, that I shall concentrate on presenting in this paper. It will become clear that these preconditions will present engineers with a tall order, but not, I will argue, an impossible one. After all, we might agree with Freeman and Núñez's claim that the machine metaphor has restricted the expectations of the cognitive sciences (Freeman & Núñez, 1999); but it is a double-edged sword, since our limited expectations about machines also narrow the potential of our cognitive science. (shrink)
The crux of this book is expressed in one short sentence from the Preface: 'Unity is a fundamental part of our experience, something that is crucial to its phenomenology' [p.xii], and the crux of this sentence is that the unity of consciousness is not a matter of phenomenal relations existing between distinct experiences – the received view [p.17], but the existence of relations between the contents of experiences – the one experience view [p.25ff]. In its simplest form Tye's claim is (...) that: all our conscious states, whether visual, auditory, olfactory, tactual or gustatory, whether imagistic or emotional are experienced concurrently; they 'are phenomenologically unified ... [and] ... Phenomenological unity is a relation between qualities represented in experience, not between qualities of experiences. [p.36]. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to establish the logically necessary preconditions for the existence of self-awareness in an artificial or a natural agent. We examine the terms, agent, situated, embodied, embedded, and representation, as employed ubiquitously in cognitive science, attempting to clarify their meaning and the limits of their use. We discuss the minimal conditions for an agent’s environment constituting a ‘world’ and reject most, though not all, types of virtual world. We argue that to qualify as genuinely situated (...) an agent should function in real time within the dynamic world we inhabit, or some close simulacrum of it. We show that embodied agents will possess or evolve local co-ordinate systems, or points of view, locating, identifying and interacting with objects relative to their current position in space-time, and we discuss various types of embodiment, arguing that most current situated and embodied systems are too limited to be candidates for even the most minimal claim to self-identity. We argue that a truly autonomous agent has to be active in its participation with the world, able to synthesise and order its internal representations from its own point of view, and to do this effectively the agent will have to be embedded. To this end we propose a six point definition of embeddedness. Ultimately we argue for a philosophical-cum-cognitive science model of the self that satisfies essential elements of both sets of definitions of the term. (shrink)
While the recent special issue of JCS on machine consciousness (Volume 14, Issue 7) was in preparation, a collection of papers on the same topic, entitled Artificial Consciousness and edited by Antonio Chella and Riccardo Manzotti, was published. The editors of the JCS special issue, Ron Chrisley, Robert Clowes and Steve Torrance, thought it would be a timely and productive move to have authors of papers in their collection review the papers in the Chella and Manzotti book, and include these (...) reviews in the special issue of the journal. Eight of the JCS authors (plus Uziel Awret) volunteered to review one or more of the fifteen papers in Artificial Consciousness; these individual reviews were then collected together with a minimal amount of editing to produce a seamless chapter-by-chapter review of the entire book. Because the number and length of contributions to the JCS issue was greater than expected, the collective review of Artificial Consciousness had to be omitted, but here at last it is. Each paper's review is written by a single author, so any comments made may not reflect the opinions of all nine of the joint authors! (shrink)
King, C. R. Touching the earth.--Tracol, H. Thus spake Beelzebub.--Nicoll, M. On the formation of a psychological body.--Fullerson, M. C. Discovery of intimate order.--Halevi, Z. ben S. Order.--Dürckheim, K. G. von. On the double origin of man.--Guenther, H. V. Towards spiritual order.--Eracle, J. The Buddhist way to deliverance.--Blofeld, J. (...) Return to the source.--Werner, K. Spiritual personality and its formation according to Indian tradition.. (shrink)
The management literature is replete with studies on business ethics. Unfortunately, most of these studies have dealt exclusively with ethics in large businesses. Although a handful of studies can be found on small business ethics, none has paid attention to the issue of ethics in small minority businesses. Similarly, several studies on ethics have utilized the Wood et al. (1988) 16-vignette ethics scale, although reliability and validity issues associated with the scale have never been fully addressed. In this study, a (...) purification (via content analysis) of the above mentioned scale was performed. Three reliable factors were extracted from the purified scale. They were used to investigate the ethics in small minority businesses. The study found an association between business ethics and demographic and company-related variables. In the case of age of respondents, findings ran counter the usual relationship of age being positively related to ethical attitudes. The implications of these findings are also discussed. (shrink)
In 1998, the US Supreme Court first held that asymptomatic HIV infection constituted a disability when it ruled on the case of Bragdon v. Abbott . The use of yet another label (disabled) to identify women living with HIV has been rarely (if ever) questioned. While we do value the use of this label as an anti-discriminatory strategy, we believe that there is a need to examine how language and more specifically, the use of words such as disability, (...) limitation, and impairment may create new forms of identities for women living with HIV. Using this legal case as a starting point, the goal of this paper is to critically examine the 'fabrication' of asymptomatic HIV infection as a disability. Grounded in a feminist poststructuralist perspective, this paper exposes the relationship between language, social institutions, subjectivity, and power in the construction of difference. By doing so, it addresses the identification of women living with HIV/AIDS as disabled and the self-differentiation process that they must go through in order to live as normally as possible. (shrink)
Michael Philips in his paper 'Are Coerced Agreements Involuntary?' argues against the widely accepted claim that agreements secured by coercion are involuntary and hence the law should not enforce coerced agreements. Philips's argument relies, I argue, upon an indefensible account of voluntariness. His account of voluntariness does not provide a justification for the system of voluntary exchanges, nor does it link up with our entrenched views about moral and legal responsibility. After arguing for the inadequacy of Philips's analysis of voluntary, (...) I show that Philips has not established the conclusions he thinks he has; specifically, he does not show that agreements made in response to coercion are not involuntary, that coercion does not invalidate agreements, and that the distinction between illegal and legal means which he is so eager to make cannot do the work he wants it to do. (shrink)
As environmental and conservation efforts increasingly turn towards agricultural landscapes, it is important to understand how land management decisions are made by agricultural producers. While previous studies have explored producer decision-making, many fail to recognize the importance of external structural influences. This paper uses a case study to explore how consolidated markets and increasing corporate power in the food system can constrain producer choice and create ethical dilemmas over land management. Crop growers in the Central Coast region of California face (...) conflicting demands regarding environmental quality and industry imposed food safety standards. A mail survey and personal interviews were used to explore growers’ perceptions and actions regarding these demands. Results indicate that in many cases growers face serious ethical dilemmas and feel pressured by large processing and retail firms to adopt measures they find environmentally destructive and unethical. Future strategies to address environmental issues on agricultural landscapes should consider the economic constraints producers face and the role of large firms in creating production standards. (shrink)
The basics -- The family as an institution for the development of values -- The role of community and culture in shaping land use policy -- The mending wall : religion and ethics at the dawn of a century -- Character education : a dialogue -- Restoring trust in government : the role of integrity and responsiveness -- Is there a crisis of citizenship? -- Organizational ethics and responsibility -- Media ethics -- Reflections on values, ethics, and personal responsibility.
T. Stuart (1993). John Buridan on Being and Essence. In Egbert P. Bos & H. A. Krop (eds.), John Buridan, a Master of Arts: Some Aspects of His Philosophy: Acts of the Second Symposium Organized by the Dutch Society for Medieval Philosophy Medium Aevum on the Occasion of its 15th Anniversary, Leiden-Amsterdam (Vrije Universiteit), 20-21 June, 19. Ingenium Publishers.score: 30.0
Representation of similarities is not sufficient for most visual tasks. The proposed framework collapses useful dimensions such as position and pose for the sake of naming the object. Collapsing these dimensions leaves no representation of the object itself, but only an internal name that cannot be meaningfully manipulated.