Lang, B. Philosophy and the manners of art.--Hofstadter, A. Freedom, enownment, and philosophy.--Mehta, J. L. A stranger from Asia.--Fox, D. A. A passage past India.--Rucker, D. Philosophy and the constitution of Emerson's world.--Schneider, H. W. The pragmatic movement in historical perspective.--Barnes, H. E. Reflections on myth and magic.--Cauvel, J. The imperious presence of theater.--Seay, A. Musical conservatism in the fourteenth century.--Hochman, W. R. The enduring fascination of war.--Davenport, M. M. J. Glenn Gray and the promise of wisdom.
J. A. Gray et al. have recently argued that synaesthesia can be used as a counterexample to functionalism. They provide empirical evidence which they hold supports two anti-functionalist claims: disparate functions share the same types of qualia and the effects of synaesthetic qualia are, contrary to what one would expect from evolutionary considerations, adverse to those functions with which those types of qualia are normally linked. I argue that the empirical evidence they cite does not rule out functionalism, rather (...) the reverse. The fact that the effects of synaesthesia are adverse shows that understanding synaesthetic experiences requires a concept of dysfunction, which in turn presupposes a functionalist account. Such an account, moreover, shows how tokens of the same types of qualia can be associated with different causal histories, thus disarming their first objection. (shrink)
The claim that indigenous communities are entitled to have intellectual property rights (IPRs) to both their plant varieties and their botanical knowledge has been put forward by writers who wish to protect the plant genetic resources of indigenous communities from uncompensated use by biotechnological transnational corporations. We argue that while it is necessary for indigenous communities to have suchrights, the entitlement argument is an unsatisfactory justification for them. A more convincing foundation for indigenous community IPRs is the autonomy theory developed (...) by Will Kymlicka. (shrink)
In a recent Inquiry article Louis Pascal argues that the problem of massive starvation in the modern world is the result of a genetically-based human propensity to produce as many offspring as possible, regardless of ecological conditions. In this paper biological and anthropological objections to Pascal's thesis are discussed as well as the conclusions he draws from it. It is suggested that natural selection has produced humans who are flexible in their reproductive behavior in order to cope with rapidly changing (...) environments. The implications of both arguments for the population movement and the attempt to eliminate starvation are discussed. (shrink)
We propose a framework for analyzing the development, operation and failure to survive of all things, living, non-living or organized groupings. This framework is a sequence of developments that improve survival capability. Framework processes range from origination of any entity/system, to the development of increased survival capability and development of life-forms and organizations that use intelligence. This work deals with a series of developmental changes that arise from the uncovering of emergent properties. The framework is intended to be general, but (...) we see a potential to apply it to scientific topics such as the exploration of the origin of life or the search for life beyond Earth, and to understand some biological issues in evolution and symbiosis, and also to apply to social systems that do not seem to be operating well, to determine their problems and correct them. (shrink)
Male and female participants were instructed to produce an altered response pattern on an Implicit Association Test measure of gender identity by slowing performance in trials requiring the same response to stimuli designating own gender and self. Participants’ faking success was found to be predictable by a measure of slowing relative to unfaked performances. This combined task slowing (CTS) indicator was then applied in reanalyses of three experiments from other laboratories, two involving instructed faking and one involving possibly motivated faking. (...) Across all studies involving instructed faking, CTS correctly classiﬁed 75% of intentionally faking participants. Using the CTS index to adjust faked Implicit Association Test scores increased the correlation of CTS-adjusted measures with known group membership, relative to unadjusted (i.e., faked) measures. (shrink)
We use the Newell Test as a basis for evaluating ACT-R as an effective architecture for cognitive engineering. Of the 12 functional criteria discussed by Anderson & Lebiere (A&L), we discuss the strengths and weaknesses of ACT-R on the six that we postulate are the most relevant to cognitive engineering.
Reinforcement learning (RL) models of decision-making cannot account for human decisions in the absence of prior reward or punishment. We propose a mechanism for choosing among available options based on goal-option association strengths, where association strengths between objects represent previously experienced object proximity. The proposed mechanism, Goal-Proximity Decision-making (GPD), is implemented within the ACT-R cognitive framework. GPD is found to be more efficient than RL in three maze-navigation simulations. GPD advantages over RL seem to grow as task difficulty is increased. (...) An experiment is presented where participants are asked to make choices in the absence of prior reward. GPD captures human performance in this experiment better than RL. (shrink)
It is argued that the moral theory undergirding J.S. Mill''s argumentin On Liberty is a species of perfectionism rather than any kind of utilitarianism. The conception of human flourishing that itinvokes is one in which the goods of personal autonomy and individualityare central. If this conception is to be more than the expression ofa particular cultural ideal it needs the support of an empiricallyplausible view of human nature and a defensible interpretation ofhistory. Neither of these can be found in Mill. (...) Six traditionalcriticisms of Mill''s argument are assessed. It is concluded thatin addition to depending on implausible claims about human natureand history Mill''s conception of the good contains disablingincommensurabilities. It is argued that these difficulties andincommensurabilities plague later liberal thinkers such as IsaiahBerlin and Joseph Raz who have sought to ground liberalism in avalue-pluralist ethical theory. No thinker in Mill''s liberal posterity has been able to demonstrate the universal authority of liberal ideals. (shrink)
This rejoinder to J. Patrick Gray's and Linda Wolfe's 'The Loving Parent Meets the Selfish Gene' (Inquiry, this issue), which in turn was in response to the author's 'Human Tragedy and Natural Selection' (Inquiry, Vol. 21, No. 4), briefly addresses their major objections and suggests that in many instances they have misunderstood the point of that paper. They argue that many of the traits referred to are more cultural than genetic. That this is not the central issue is made (...) clearer by stressing certain aspects of the view underlying the original article, chiefly concerning the extent of human irrationality and insensitivity. (shrink)
In economics, models are built to answer specific questions. Each type of question requires its own type of models; in other words, it defines the requirements that a model should meet and thereby instructs how the models should be built. An explanation is an answer to a ‘why’-question. In economics, this answer is provided by a white-box model. To answer a ‘how much’-question, which is asking for a measurement, economists can make use of black-box models. Economic phenomena are often (...) so complex that white-box models that should function as explanations for them appear not to be intelligible. So, for questions concerning understanding - e.g. ‘Can you clarify this phenomenon‘’ ‘Can you tell me what would happen if‘’ - it would appear that grey-box models are more adequate. This implies a twofold revision of de Regt and Dieks’s (2005) criteria for understanding phenomena. First, whenever the term ‘theory’ is used it should be substituted by ‘model’. Secondly, the Criterion for the Intelligibility of Models (CIM) is now simplified as: ‘A model M is intelligible for economists (in context C) if they have built M as a grey-box construction’. A grey-box construction implies that they ‘can recognize qualitatively characteristic consequences of M without performing exact calculations’. (shrink)
Evolutionary psychologists claim that the mind contains “hundreds or thousands” of “genetically speciﬁed” modules, which are evolutionary adaptations for their cognitive functions. We argue that, while the adult human mind/brain typically contains a degree of modularization, its “modules” are neither genetically speciﬁed nor evolutionary adaptations. Rather, they result from the brain’s developmental plasticity, which allows environmental task demands a large role in shaping the brain’s information-processing structures. The brain’s developmental plasticity is our fundamental psychological adaptation, and the “modules” that result (...) from it are adaptive responses to local conditions, not past evolutionary environments. If different individuals share common environ- ments, however, they may develop similar “modules,” and this process can mimic the development of genetically speciﬁed modules in the evolutionary psychologist’s sense. (shrink)
Determining whether a homoplastic trait is the result of convergence or parallelism is central to many of the most important contemporary discussions in biology and philosophy: the relation between evolution and development, the importance of constraints on variation, and the role of contingency in evolution. In this article, I show that two recent attempts to draw a black-or-white distinction between convergence and parallelism fail, albeit for different reasons. Nevertheless, I argue that we should not be afraid of gray areas: (...) a clarified version of S. J. Gould's earlier account, based on a separation of underlying developmental mechanisms from the realized trait, still represents a useful approach. (shrink)
This article presents a reading of Mill in which his view of self is social rather than individualistic. I will provide criticisms of the radically-individualist interpretations of Mill offered by John Gray, R. P. Anschutz, and Robert Wolff. Gray and Anschutz get Mill wrong from the right, and Wolff gets Mill wrong from the left. Mill’s individualism has at times been overstated, leading to a neglect of the importance that he places on positive community influence of moral agents. (...) This heavy emphasis on individual detachment can lead to an (intended or not) impression that Mill’s individual is thoroughly atomistic. An overemphasis on the individualism in Mill neglects the importance of community’s role in nurturing the individual to be united with fellow citizens, to develop sympathetic affections, and to be integrated into a unified web of corroborative associations. (shrink)