This essay presents and reflects upon the construction of a few experimental artworks, among them Caracolomobile , that looks for poetic, aesthetic and functional possibilities to bring computer systems to the sensitive universe of human emotions, feelings and expressions. Modern and Contemporary Art have explored such qualities in unfathomable ways and nowadays is turning towards computer systems and their co-related technologies. This universe characterizes and is the focus of these experimental artworks; artworks dealing with entwined subjective and objective qualities, weaving (...) perceptions, sensations and concepts. One of them, Caracolomobile, features an art installation creating a set up for an artificial robot that recognizes humans’ affective states and answers them with movements and sounds. The robot was installed over an artificial mirror lake in an open indigo-blue space surrounded by mirrors. It perceives and discriminates human emotional states and expressions using an interface developed with a non-intrusive neural headset (The neural headset used was developed by Emotiv Systems: http://www.emotiv.com . Accessed 11 August 2011). This artwork raises questions and looks for answers inquiring about the preliminary steps for the creation of artefacts that would conduct one to poetically experiment with affect, emotion, sensations and feelings in computational systems. Other works in progress ask about the poetic possibilities of mixing computational autonomous processes and behavioural robotic procedures (Arkin 1998 ) to create artificial environments mixed with humans. (shrink)
Among the various contemporary schools of moral thinking, consequence-based ethics, as opposed to rule-based, seems to have a good acceptance among professionals such as software engineers. But naïve consequentialism is intellectually too weak to serve as a practical guide in the profession. Besides, the complexity of software systems makes it very hard to know in advance the consequences that will derive from professional activities in the production of software. Therefore, following the spirit of well-known codes of ethics such as the (...) ACM/IEEE’s, we advocate for a more solid position in the ethical education of software engineers, which we call ‘moderate deontologism’, that takes into account both rules and consequences to assess the goodness of actions, and at the same time pays an adequate consideration to the absolute values of human dignity. In order to educate responsible professionals, however, this position should be complemented with a pedagogical approach to virtue ethics. (shrink)
Tras una breve semblanza del autor y de su obra, se incluye la traducción de un pasaje del Libro de los animales en el que al-Yâhiz alude a la versión de una lengua a otra y se comentan algunas cuestiones planteadas por la moderna teoría de la traducción en relación al mismo.
Una escueta visión histórica de la filosofía política analizada desde el punto de vista de la teoría del derecho y de la sociedad, nos permite ver cómo ha ido desarrollándose, desde Ockham, y actualmente hasta filósofos liberales como Rawls, una concepción de la justicia fundada en el hecho contractual, dispositivo mediante el cual se establece un determinado orden en la sociedad, orden basado en una noción artificial (construida) de la justicia. Hobbes se constituye en el momento clave del giro copernicano (...) de la cuestión, con su idea convencional de justicia. Luego el utilitarista Hume elabora las llamadas ¿circunstancias de la justicia¿, también convencionales, argumentación que influirá finalmente en Rawls en su idea de ¿sociedad bien ordenada¿. (shrink)
A intenção do presente artigo é essencialmente responder à pergunta por que é que Hume constitui um claro representante do construtivismo ético. Nesse sentido, o autor começa por demonstrar até que ponto a gnoseologia de Hume determina em grande medida o conteúdo da sua teoria moral. Aquela, bem como a sua aplicação ao campo da moral, origina-se na sua aceitação do nominalismo, tanto em epistemologia como em metafísica. Com efeito, mediante a teoria associacionista das ideias, é possível inferir noções prováveis, (...) pois a repetição de acontecimentos gera o costume e o costume provoca uma crença. Tal como ocorre com os factos comuns, segundo o filósofo escocês, assim também acontece com o mundo das valorações éticas. Assim sendo, afirma Hume, não há demonstração possível de que um facto seja bom ou mau, dado que não se trata de um assunto que se possa dirimir racionalmente. /// What is it that makes David Hume a clear representative ofethical constructi-vism?His gnoseology outlines most ofthe content of his moral theory, that together with its application to moral, are based in the acceptance of nominalism, both in its epistemology and metaphysics. By analyzing his association theory ofideas, it becomes possible to infer probable notions, sincefrom repetition of events customs areproduced, and a custom produces a belief. According to this Scottish philosopher, the some that happens with ordinary actions happens in the world of ethical appreciation. Thus, he states, there is no possible demostration of an action as neither good nor bad, since it is something that cannot be rationally assessed. (shrink)
La concepción legalista de la justicia es una doctrina originada en la filosofía política de Hobbes. Para el filósofo inglés, son justos los actos que se conforman a la ley, e injustos lo contrario; lo único que se tiene en cuenta es el hecho del cumplimiento, y no la naturaleza y el fin del deber. Además, en la noción hobbesiana de equidad hay un aspecto fuertemente convencional, ya que el deber del soberano de obrar equitativamente se constituye en un motivo (...) fundamental del pacto acordado. (shrink)
Following the “Encountering Human Rights” conference in January 2007, Emily Grabham interviewed Tania Pouwhare, a women’s rights activist working at the Women’s Resource Centre in London. Their discussion engaged with the professionalisation of activism, funding constraints and New Labour policies and their impact on immigrant women. Against a background of financial insecurity and huge demand for their services, many women’s organisations in the United Kingdom struggle to use human rights law to advance women’s rights. Nevertheless, the rhetoric of human (...) rights remains powerful within women’s activism, and law remains relevant as a potential form of ‘direct action’ and “another way of making a really big fuss”. (shrink)
Editorial: Dimensions of Experimental Philosophy Content Type Journal Article Pages 315-318 DOI 10.1007/s13164-010-0037-9 Authors Joshua Knobe, Program in Cognitive Science and Department of Philosophy, Yale University, New Haven, CT USA Tania Lombrozo, Department of Psychology, UC Berkeley, 3210 Tolman Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA Edouard Machery, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh, 1017 CL, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA Journal Review of Philosophy and Psychology Online ISSN 1878-5166 Print ISSN 1878-5158 Journal Volume Volume 1 Journal Issue (...) Volume 1, Number 3. (shrink)
Contemporary debates about the nature of semantic reference have tended to focus on two competing approaches: theories which emphasize the importance of descriptive information associated with a referring term, and those which emphasize causal facts about the conditions under which the use of the term originated and was passed on. Recent empirical work by Machery and colleagues suggests that both causal and descriptive information can play a role in judgments about the reference of proper names, with findings of cross-cultural variation (...) in judgments that imply differences between individuals with respect to whether they favor causal or descriptive information in making reference judgments. We extend this theoretical and empirical line of inquiry to views of the reference of natural and nominal kind concepts, which face similar challenges to those concerning the reference of proper names. In two experiments, we find evidence that both descriptive and causal factors contribute to judgments of concept reference, with no reliable differences between natural and nominal kinds. Moreover, we find evidence that the same individuals’ judgments can rely on both descriptive and causal information, such that variation between individuals cannot be explained by appeal to a mixed population of “pure descriptive theorists” and “pure causal theorists.” These findings suggest that the contrast between descriptive and causal theories of reference may be inappropriate; intuitions may instead support a hybrid theory of reference that includes both causal and descriptive factors. We propose that future research should focus on the relationship between these factors, and describe several possible frameworks for pursuing these issues. Our findings have implications for theories of semantic reference, as well as for theories of conceptual structure. (shrink)
The Sophists, who rose to prominence in democratic Athens during the mid-fifth century b.c., understood the art of rhetoric and the importance of being able to transform effective reasoning into persuasive public speaking. Their inquiries-into the gods, the origins of religion, and whether virtue can be taught-influenced the next generation of classical philosophers and formed the foundations of the European prose style and formal oratory. In this new translation each chapter is organized around the work of one character, including Gorgias, (...) Prodicus, Protagoras, and Antiphon, among others. (shrink)
Recent years have seen an explosion of new work at the intersection of philosophy and experimental psychology. This work takes the concerns with moral and conceptual issues that have so long been associated with philosophy and connects them with the use of systematic and well-controlled empirical investigations that one more typically finds in psychology. Work in this new field often goes under the name "experimental philosophy".
This article provides current Schwartz Values Survey (SVS) data from samples of business managers and professionals across 50 societies that are culturally and socioeconomically diverse. We report the society scores for SVS values dimensions for both individual- and societal-level analyses. At the individual-level, we report on the ten circumplex values sub-dimensions and two sets of values dimensions (collectivism and individualism; openness to change, conservation, self-enhancement, and self-transcendence). At the societal-level, we report on the values dimensions of embeddedness, hierarchy, mastery, affective (...) autonomy, intellectual autonomy, egalitarianism, and harmony. For each society, we report the Cronbach’s α statistics for each values dimension scale to assess their internal consistency (reliability) as well as report interrater agreement (IRA) analyses to assess the acceptability of using aggregated individual level values scores to represent country values. We also examined whether societal development level is related to systematic variation in the measurement and importance of values. Thus, the contributions of our evaluation of the SVS values dimensions are two-fold. First, we identify the SVS dimensions that have cross-culturally internally reliable structures and within-society agreement for business professionals. Second, we report the society cultural values scores developed from the twenty-first century data that can be used as macro-level predictors in multilevel and single-level international business research. (shrink)
This article describes research pursued by members of the McDonnell Collaborative on Causal Learning. A number of members independently converged on a similar idea: one of the central functions served by claims of actual causation is to highlight patterns of dependence that are highly portable into novel contexts. I describe in detail how this idea emerged in my own work and also in that of the psychologist Tania Lombrozo. In addition, I use the occasion to reflect on the nature (...) of interdisciplinary collaboration in general and on the interaction between philosophy and psychology in particular. (shrink)
Research in education and cognitive development suggests that explaining plays a key role in learning and generalization: When learners provide explanations—even to themselves—they learn more effectively and generalize more readily to novel situations. This paper proposes and tests a subsumptive constraints account of this effect. Motivated by philosophical theories of explanation, this account predicts that explaining guides learners to interpret what they are learning in terms of unifying patterns or regularities, which promotes the discovery of broad generalizations. Three experiments provide (...) evidence for the subsumptive constraints account: prompting participants to explain while learning artificial categories promotes the induction of a broad generalization underlying category membership, relative to describing items (Exp. 1), thinking aloud (Exp. 2), or free study (Exp. 3). Although explaining facilitates discovery, Experiment 1 finds that description is more beneficial for learning item details. Experiment 2 additionally suggests that explaining anomalous observations may play a special role in belief revision. The findings provide insight into explanation’s role in discovery and generalization. (shrink)
Can children’s handedness influence how they represent abstract concepts like kindness and intelligence? Here we show that from an early age, right-handers associate rightward space more strongly with positive ideas and leftward space with negative ideas, but the opposite is true for left-handers. In one experiment, children indicated where on a diagram a preferred toy and a dispreferred toy should go. Right-handers tended to assign the preferred toy to a box on the right and the dispreferred toy to a box (...) on the left. Left-handers showed the opposite pattern. In a second experiment, children judged which of two cartoon animals looked smarter (or dumber) or nicer (or meaner). Right-handers attributed more positive qualities to animals on the right, but left-handers to animals on the left. These contrasting associations between space and valence cannot be explained by exposure to language or cultural conventions, which consistently link right with good. Rather, right- and left-handers implicitly associated positive valence more strongly with the side of space on which they can act more fluently with their dominant hands. Results support the body-specificity hypothesis (Casasanto, 2009), showing that children with different kinds of bodies think differently in corresponding ways. (shrink)
In 1967, American biologist Adrian Wenner (1928-) launched an extensive challenge to Karl von Frisch's (1886-1982) theory that bees communicate to each other the direction and distance of food sources by a symbolic dance language. Wenner and various collaborators argued that bees locate foods solely by odors. Although the dispute had largely run its course by 1973 -- von Frisch was awarded a Nobel Prize, while Wenner withdrew from active bee research -- it offers us a rare window into mid-twentieth (...) century discussions about animals, language, and cognition. Historians, sociologists, and scientists have commented on the debate and its outcome, but none has seriously questioned why von Frisch and Wenner pursued such different explanations of the bees' dances. In this paper, I explore von Frisch and Wenner's differing visions of animals and their behaviors and show how these contributed to their respective positions. Von Frisch's early-twentieth-century training in experimental physiology disposed him to focus on individual animals, their abilities, and their behaviors' evolutionary significance. Wenner, by contrast, was trained in mathematics and statistics and the Schneirla school of behavior. He viewed the bees' behaviors probabilistically with an eye toward the entire hive and its surroundings and ultimately explained them in terms of simple stimulus--response conditioning. Finally, while the debate was resolved in von Frisch's favor, he neither waged nor won the battle by himself. Instead, I show that practitioners, whose agendas ranged from the nascent fields of sociobiology to cognitive ethology, took up the cause of the communicating bees. (shrink)
Using two samples drawn from contrasting developed and developing countries, this investigation considers the powerful, unique Millennial consumer group and their engagement in ethical consumerism. Specifically, this study explores the levers that promote their ethical consumption and the potential impact of country of residence on cause-related purchase decisions. Three distinct subgroups of ethical consumers emerge among Millennials, providing insight into their concerns and behaviors. Instead of being conceptualized as a single niche market, Millennials should be treated as a collection of (...) submarkets that differ in their levels of awareness of ethical issues, consider discrete motives when making consumption decisions, and are willing to engage in cause-related purchasing to varying degrees. These findings have several critical implications for theory and practice. (shrink)
Both philosophers and psychologists have argued for the existence of distinct kinds of explanations, including teleological explanations that cite functions or goals, and mechanistic explanations that cite causal mechanisms. Theories of causation, in contrast, have generally been unitary, with dominant theories focusing either on counterfactual dependence or on physical connections. This paper argues that both approaches to causation are psychologically real, with different modes of explanation promoting judgments more or less consistent with each approach. Two sets of experiments isolate the (...) contributions of counterfactual dependence and physical connections in causal ascriptions involving events with people, artifacts, or biological traits, and manipulate whether the events are construed teleologically or mechanistically. The findings suggest that when events are construed teleologically, causal ascriptions are sensitive to counterfactual dependence and relatively insensitive to the presence of physical connections, but when events are construed mechanistically, causal ascriptions are sensitive to both counterfactual dependence and physical connections. The conclusion introduces an account of causation, an "exportable dependence theory," that provides a way to understand the contributions of physical connections and teleology in terms of the functions of causal ascriptions. (shrink)
Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) remains a controversial technique, one that has elicited a variety of regulatory responses throughout the world. On March 29, 2005, Canada's Assisted Human Reproduction Act came into force. This law prohibits a number of research activities, including SCNT. Given the pluralistic nature of Canadian society, the creation of this law stands as an interesting case study of the policy-making process and how and why a liberal democracy ends up making the relatively rare decision to use (...) a statutory prohibition, backed by severe penalties, to stop a particular scientific activity. In this article, we provide a comprehensive and systematic legal analysis of the legislative process and parliamentary debates associated with the passage of this law. (shrink)
The integration of computer science, biology, and engineering has resulted in the emergence of rapidly growing interdisciplinary fields such as bioinformatics, bioengineering, DNA computing, and systems and synthetic biology. Ideas derived from computer science and engineering can provide innovative solutions to biological problems and advance research in new directions. Although interdisciplinary research has become increasingly prevalent in recent years, the scientists contributing to these efforts largely remain specialists in their original disciplines and are not fully capable of covering the many (...) facets of multidisciplinary problems, which impedes the development of truly integrated solutions. It would be .. (shrink)
The desire for parsimony – to posit as few explanatory features as possible – has a rich philosophical history and is often given lots of weight in philosophical theory construction. But, as the psychologist Tania Lombrozo has demonstrated, our bias in favour of parsimony can lead us to adopt simple explanations even when it’s far more likely that a complicated explanation is correct.