The relationship of word-meaning to speaker's-meaning has not been examined thoroughly enough. Some philosophical problems are solved and others made plainer if the full consequences of a proper relationship between these two is worked out.
When first published twenty years ago, The Logic of Medicine presented a new way of thinking about clinical medicine as a scholarly discipline as well as a profession. Since then, advances in research and technology have revolutionized both the practice and theory of medicine. In this new, extensively rewritten edition, Dr. Murphy includes changes to show how these different areas of scholarship may affect details of "the logic of medicine" without compromising its fundamental coherence. New to this edition are discussions (...) of the challenge of the flood of new empirical data, new ideas in genetics, molecular biology, homeostasis, pathogenesis, cancer, aging, and Alzheimer's disease. Murphy also comments on such new theoretical topics as dynamic systems, chaos, and fractals and their impact on the burgeoning fields of philosophy and practice of medicine. Written with medical students in mind, the book includes a glossary, many new examples, and problems for solutions with comments on each. An entirely new chapter deals with modeling. Clinicians and researchers will also find the principles thought-provoking and illuminating. (shrink)
There have been two recent strands of argument arguing for the pro tanto impermissibility of fully autonomous weapon systems. On Sparrow's view, AWS are impermissible because they generate a morally problematic ‘responsibility gap’. According to Purves et al., AWS are impermissible because moral reasoning is not codifiable and because AWS are incapable of acting for the ‘right’ reasons. I contend that these arguments are flawed and that AWS are not morally problematic in principle. Specifically, I contend that these arguments presuppose (...) an incoherent conception of an AWS as somehow making genuine decisions but not being morally responsible for those very same decisions. Rather than conceiving of AWS in this way, I argue that an AWS is either a socially-constructed institution that has been physically instantiated or it is a genuine agent. If it is the former, then we should treat AWS as we do any other collective action problem. If it is the latter, then we should treat AWS as responsibility-bearers, but also as bearers of rights and/or interests. To reject this disjunction is not only conceptually incoherent but also potentially morally dangerous. (shrink)
Much of experimental philosophy consists of surveying 'folk' intuitions about philosophically relevant issues. Are the results of these surveys evidence that the relevant folk intuitions cannot be predicted from the ‘armchair’? We found that a solid majority of philosophers could predict even results claimed to be 'surprising'. But, we argue, this does not mean that such experiments have no role at all in philosophy.
Stronach and Allan state that the use of humor by the disabled is an attempt to reintegrate themselves back into a social surround. Seeing this assignment of a reintegration function as a bit too teleological, and given the absence of interactional data, the reviewer is critical of the authors' reliance on literary research and offers an alternative way to study humor in interaction.
The inspectability of after-images has been denied. A typical claim is Ilham Dilman's: ‘I cannot say my apprehension of the after-image I see has changed but not the after-image itself’, for, he says, appearance and reality are one as regards the after-image. His reason is that this is a logical consequence of the fact that other people have no possible basis for correcting what I say about the after-image I see.
what is now the mainstream view as to the best way forward in the dream of engineering reliable software systems out of autonomous agents. The way of using formal logics to specify, implement and verify distributed systems of interacting units using a guiding analogy of beliefs, desires and intentions. The implicit message behind the book is this: Distributed Artificial Intelligence (DAI) can be a respectable engineering science. It says: we use sound formal systems; can cite established philosophical foundations; and will (...) be able to build reliable and flexible software systems. (shrink)
This is a survey of the development of the philosophy of perception over the past twelve years. There are four sections. Part I deals largely with arguments for the propositionalizing of perception and for those types of externally founded realism that eschew inner representation. Part ii is devoted to three books that put the case for sense-Data (pennycuick, Jackson, Ginet) and some of the arguments against (pitcher). Part iii outlines james j gibson's psychological theory. Part iv takes up the arguments (...) for a theory of 'dual coding', Combining a non-Epistemic inner presentation as a first stage with epistemic selection as an independent module. The mental-Image argument (kosslyn, Pylyshyn) and wittgenstein's remarks on psychology, Recently published, Are brought in as relevant to this issue. (edited). (shrink)
This discussion takes up an attack by Jerrold Aronson (seconded by Rom Harre) on the use made by Norwood R. Hanson of the Gestalt-Switch Analogy in the philosophy of science. Aronson's understanding of what is implied in a gestalt switch is shown to be flawed. In his endeavor to detach conceptual understanding from perceptual identification he cites several examples, without realizing the degree to which such gestalt switches can affect conceptualizing or how conceptualizing can affect gestalts. In particular, he has (...) not confronted the possibility of such gestalt selection being involved in the basic identification of what we term "entities". (shrink)
Introduction: Vulnerability is a poorly understood concept in research ethics, often aligned to autonomy and consent. A recent addition to the literature represents a taxonomy of vulnerability developed by Kipnis, but this refers to the conduct of clinical trials rather than qualitative research, which may raise different issues. Aim: To examine issues of vulnerability in cancer and palliative care research obtained through qualitative interviews. Method: Secondary analysis of qualitative data from 26 black Caribbean and 19 white British patients with advanced (...) cancer. Results: Four domains of vulnerability derived from Kipnis’s taxonomy were identified and included: (i) communicative vulnerability, represented by participants impaired in their ability to communicate because of distressing symptoms; (ii) institutional vulnerability, which referred to participants who existed under the authority of others—for example, in hospital; (iii) deferential vulnerability, which included participants who were subject to the informal authority or the independent interests of others; (iv) medical vulnerability, which referred to participants with distressing medical conditions; and (v) social vulnerability, which included participants considered to belong to an undervalued social group. Participants from both ethnic groups populated all these domains, but those who were black Caribbean were more present among the socially vulnerable. Conclusions: Current classifications of vulnerability require reinterpretation when applied to qualitative research at the end of life. We recommend that researchers and research ethics committees reconceptualise vulnerability using the domains identified in this study and consider the research context and interviewers’ skills. (shrink)
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the French philosopher of science Edmond Goblot wrote three prescient papers on function and teleology. He advanced the remarkable thesis that functions are, as a matter of conceptual analysis, selected effects. He also argued that “selection” must be understood broadly to include both evolutionary natural selection and intelligent design. Here, I do three things. First, I give an overview of Goblot’s thought. Second, I identify his core thesis about function. Third, I argue (...) that, despite its ingenuity, Goblot’s expansive construal of “function” cannot be right. Still, Goblot deserves (long-overdue) credit for his work. (shrink)
A published simulation model Riolo et al. 2001 ) was replicated in two independent implementations so that the results as well as the conceptual design align. This double replication allowed the original to be analysed and critiqued with confidence. In this case, the replication revealed some weaknesses in the original model, which otherwise might not have come to light. This shows that unreplicated simulation models and their results can not be trusted - as with other kinds of experiment, simulations need (...) to be independently replicated. (shrink)
The central topic for this book is the ethics of treating individuals as though they are members of groups. The book raises many interesting questions, including: Why do we feel so much more strongly about discrimination on certain grounds – e.g. of race and sex - than discrimination on other grounds? Are we right to think that discrimination based on these characteristics is especially invidious? What should we think about ‘rational discrimination’ – ‘discrimination’ which is based on sound statistics? To (...) take just one of dozens of examples from the book. Suppose a landlord turns away a prospective tenant, because this prospective tenant is of a particular ethnicity – arguing that statistics show that one in four of this group have been shown in the past to default on their rent. That seems clearly unfair to people of this ethnicity. But we are routinely being judged in this way – not just on the basis of our ethnicity, but assumptions are made about us and decisions taken about us based on our gender, religion, job, post-code, hobbies, blood-group, nationality, etc. Now suppose that another landlord turns away a convicted criminal, arguing that one in four of convicted criminals have been shown to be unreliable rent payers. Is our intuition the same as before? Should it be? This book is suitable for all students of philosophy, especially those with an interest in applied ethics. (shrink)
In this paper I will argue that, in general, where the evidence supports two theories equally, the simpler theory is not more likely to be true and is not likely to be nearer the truth. In other words simplicity does not tell us anything about model bias. Our preference for simpler theories (apart from their obvious pragmatic advantages) can be explained by the facts that humans are known to elaborate unsuccessful theories rather than attempt a thorough revision and that a (...) fixed set of data can only justify adjusting a certain number of parameters to a limited degree of precision. No extra tendency towards simplicity in the natural world is necessary to explain our preference for simpler theories. Thus Occam's razor eliminates itself (when interpreted in this form). (shrink)
Background: The research community has a mandate to discover effective treatments for neurodegenerative disorders. The ethics landscape surrounding this mandate is in a constant state of flux, and ongoing challenges place ever greater demands on investigators to be accountable to the public and to answer questions about the implications of their work for health care, society, and policy. Methods: We surveyed US-based investigators involved in neurodegenerative diseases research about how they value ethics-related issues, what motivates them to give consideration to (...) those issues, and the barriers to doing so. Using the NIH CRISP database we identified 1,034 researchers with relevant, active grants and invited them to complete an online questionnaire. We received 193 responses. We used exploratory factor analysis to transform individual survey questions into a smaller set of factors, and linear regression to understand the effect of key variables of interest on the factor scores. Results: Ethics-related issues clustered into two groups: research ethics and external influences. Heads of research groups viewed issues of research ethics to be more important than the other respondents. Concern about external influences was related to overall interest in ethics. Motivators clustered into five groups: ensuring public understanding, external forces, requirements, values, and press and public. Heads of research groups were more motivated to ensure public understanding of research than the other respondents. Barriers clustered into four groups: lack of resources, administrative burden, relevance to the research, and lack of interest. Perceived lack of ethics resources was a particular barrier for investigators working in drug discovery. Conclusions: The data suggest that senior level neuroscientists working in the field of neurodegeneration (ND), and drug discovery specifically, are motivated to consider ethics issues related to their work, but the perceived lack of ethics resources thwarts their efforts. With bioethics centres at more than 50% of the institutions at which these respondents reside, the neuroscience and bioethics communities appear to be disconnected. Dedicated ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI) programs, such as those fully integrated into genetics and regenerative medicine, provide models for achieving meaningful partnerships not yet adequately realized for scholars and trainees interested in drug discovery for ND. (shrink)
In contemporary debates in religious epistemology, theistic philosophers provide differing responses to the evidentialist argument against religious beliefs. Plantinga’s strategy is to argue that evidence is not needed to justify religious beliefs while Swinburne’s strategy is to argue that religious beliefs can be justified by evidence. However, in Aquinas’ account of religious epistemology, he seems to employ both strategies. In his account of religious knowledge by faith, he argues that evidence is unnecessary for religious beliefs. But in his account of (...) religious knowledge by science, he argues that there is evidence for religious beliefs. In this paper, I argue that there is no real dichotomy between Plantinga’s and Swinburne’s responses to the evidentialist argument. From a Thomistic perspective, Reformed Epistemology and Natural Theology are different but compatible responses to Evidentialism. (shrink)