The present study examines whether deictic time and valence are mentally associated, with a link between future and positive valence and a link between past and negative valence. We employed a novel paradigm, the two-choice-sentence-completion paradigm, to address this issue. Participants were presented with an initial sentence fragment that referred to an event that was either located in time or of different valence. Participants chose between two completion phrases. When the given dimension in the initial fragment was time, the two (...) completion phrase alternatives differed in valence. However, when the given dimension in the initial fragment was valence, the two completion phrase alternatives differed in time. As expected, participants chose completion phrases consistent with the proposed association between time and valence. Additional analyses involving individual differences concerning optimism/pessimism revealed that this association is particularly pronounced for people with an optimistic attitude. (shrink)
Despite substantial research on overall decision-making capacity levels in schizophrenia, the factors that cause individuals to make errors when making decisions regarding research participation or treatment are relatively unknown. We examined the responses of 84 individuals, middle-aged or older, with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. We used a structured decision-making capacity measure, the MacArthur Competence Assessment Tool for Clinical Research, to determine the frequency and apparent cause of participants’ errors. We found that most errors were due to difficulty recalling the disclosed (...) information, particularly the study’s procedures, potential risks, and purpose. Errors attributable to concrete thinking, psychotic symptoms, or perceived coercion were rarer. These results suggest that informed consent procedures for this population might be improved by providing information in a way that facilitates learning and memory, such as iterative disclosure of the information, corrective feedback, and emphasis of key points of the study—for instance, its purpose, procedures, and potential risks. (shrink)
The Alligator's Child was full of 'satiable curtiosity. One day while rummaging in a trunk in the lumber room he came across a photograph of his father wearing an aardvark uniform and standing by a large ant hill. All excitement, he rushed to his father and breathlessly said, ‘Father, I didn't know that you had been an aardvark! What is it like to be an aardvark?’.
Glenberg argues for embodied representations relevant to action. In contrast, we propose a grouping of representations, not necessarily all being directly embodied. Without assuming the existence of representations that are not directly embodied, one cannot account for the use of knowledge abstracted from direct experience.
This essay explains the inescapability of moral demands. I deny that the individual has genuine reason to comply with these demands only if she has desires that would be served by doing so. Rather, the learning of moral reasons helps to shape and channel self- and other-interested motivations so as to facilitate and promote social cooperation. This shaping happens through the “embedding” of reasons in the intentional objects of motivational propensities. The dominance of the instrumental conception of reason, according to (...) which reasons must be based in desires of the individual, has made it harder to recognize that reasons shape desires. I attempt to undermine this dominance by arguing that the concept of a self that extends over time is constructed to meet the demands of social cooperation. Prudential reasons to act on behalf of the persisting self's desires are often taken to constitute the paradigm of reasons based on desires of the individual. But such reasons, along with the very concept of the persisting self, are constructed to promote human cooperation and to shape the individual's desires. (shrink)
To a student audience seduced by the claims of a ‘secular Christianity’, Professor Gordon Rupp once urged the combined loyalties of ‘worldmanship’ and ‘other-worldmanship’. The Muslim world shows little friendship to secularist ideologies which explicitly reject the eschatological dimension, but Muslims are increasingly involved in secularising processes; many of these are ‘Islamised’, if they are compatible with Islamic social or political ideals, and the stigma of bid‘ah , innovation, is thereby avoided. A Lebanese author, Muhammad Darwazah, in his Dustūr al-Qur’ (...) ānī , Cairo 1956, advocated a ‘Qur'ānic Constitution’ for the modern world since the Qur'ān’s world-view is both in-worldly and other-worldly: ‘Islam is a religion of the world , of government, society, morals and order, to the same extent as it is a religion of faith and belief and the next world .’. (shrink)
H. B. D. Kettlewell's field experiments on industrial melanism in the peppered moth, Biston betularia, have become the best known demonstration of natural selection in action. I argue that textbook accounts routinely portray this research as an example of controlled experimentation, even though this is historically misleading. I examine how idealized accounts of Kettlewell's research have been used by professional biologists and biology teachers. I also respond to some criticisms of David Rudge to my earlier discussions of this case study, (...) and I question Rudge's claims about the importance of purely observational studies for the eventual acceptance and popularization of Kettlewell's explanation for the evolution of industrial melanism. (shrink)
‘Apologetics’ is hardly a word to be used without apology in the present dispensation. And to speak of anything like a neglected avenue or opportunity in religious apologetics might almost seem as if one were speaking of an opportunity in just such an enterprise as no self-respecting philosopher would nowadays wish even to be associated with. For all of their avoidance of the term, however, the thing designated by the term is something with which not a few philosophers of recent (...) years have been not above dabbling in, albeit usually under other names and other labels. After all, religious language has now come to be recognized as not just a legitimate, but even a fashionable object of philosophic attention. And a concern with religious language has often brought with it a concern with religious attitudes, religious behaviour, religious argumentation — yes, even to the point of occasionally becoming a concern with the very religious realities themselves that religious language, religious attitudes, religious behaviour, and religious argument are presumably all about. True, religious realities in this sense are to today's garden of philosophy pretty much what the tree of knowledge once was to the garden of Eden. In fact, one even suspects that there could be a serpent about somewhere, for cases have been reported of an occasional philosopher Adam or philosopher Eve having yielded to temptation: a consideration of God-talk has been known to lead to cautious admissions that such talk might be cognitively meaningful; a consideration of God-experiences to the admission that such experiences under certain circumstances could be veridical; or, even more rarely, a consideration of proofs for God's existence to the gingerly admission that at least some of these proofs might just possibly be valid. Needless to say, though, such a yielding to temptation on the part of some few contemporary philosophers, while it may not have led to any manifest sewing together of fig-leaves, has certainly brought with it the danger, if not always the reality, of a supercilious expulsion from the glorious Eden of contemporary professional philosophy. (shrink)
This paper seeks to reinterpret the life and work of J. B. S. Haldane by focusing on an illuminating but largely ignored essay he published in 1927, "The Last Judgment" -- the sequel to his better known work, "Daedalus" (1924). This astonishing essay expresses a vision of the human future over the next 40,000,000 years, one that revises and updates Wellsian futurism with the long range implications of the "new biology" for human destiny. That vision served as a kind of (...) lifelong credo, one that infused and informed his diverse scientific work, political activities, and popular writing, and that gave unity and coherence to his remarkable career. (shrink)
Greek art and literature follow parallel courses through the long period from Homer to Euripides. Homer and Euripides, Dipylon vases and the latest white lekythoi are as far apart from each other as it is possible for works in the same medium to be. The distance can only be explained by a similar change in the views of artists, writers, and their public.
Among moral attributes true virtue alone is sublime. … [I]t is only by means of this idea [of virtue] that any judgment as to moral worth or its opposite is possible. … Everything good that is not based on a morally good disposition … is nothing but pretence and glittering misery. 1.
The paper illustrates how organic chemists dramatically altered their practices in the middle part of the twentieth century through the adoption of analytical instrumentation — such as ultraviolet and infrared absorption spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy — through which the difficult process of structure determination for small molecules became routine. Changes in practice were manifested in two ways: in the use of these instruments in the development of ‘rule-based’ theories; and in an increased focus on synthesis, at the expense (...) of chemical analysis. These rule-based theories took the form of generalizations relating structure to chemical and physical properties, as measured by instrumentation. This ‘Instrumental Revolution’ in organic chemistry was two-fold: encompassing an embrace of new tools that provided unprecedented access to structures, and a new way of thinking about molecules and their reactivity in terms of shape and structure. These practices suggest the possibility of a change in the ontological status of chemical structures, brought about by the regular use of instruments. The career of Robert Burns Woodward provides the central historical examples for the paper. Woodward was an organic chemist at Harvard from 1937 until the time of his death. In 1965, he won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. (shrink)
If “perfectionism” in ethics refers to those normative theories that treat the fulfillment or realization of human nature as central to an account of both goodness and moral obligation, in what sense is “human flourishing” a perfectionist notion? How much of what we take “human flourishing” to signify is the result of our understanding of human nature? Is the content of this concept simply read off an examination of our nature? Is there no place for diversity and individuality? Is the (...) belief that the content of such a normative concept can be determined by an appeal to human nature merely the result of epistemological naiveté? What is the exact character of the connection between human flourishing and human nature? These questions are the ultimate concern of this essay, but to appreciate the answers that will be offered it is necessary to understand what is meant by “human flourishing.” “Human flourishing” is a relatively recent term in ethics. It seems to have developed in the last two decades because the traditional translation of the Greek term eudaimonia as “happiness” failed to communicate clearly that eudaimonia was an objective good, not merely a subjective good. (shrink)
In L. Frank Baum's story, Ozma of Oz, which is a sequel to Baum's much more famous story, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and her companion come upon a wound-down mechanical man bearing a label on which are printed the following words: Smith and Tinker's Patent Double-Action, Extra-Responsive, Thought-Creating Perfect-Talking MECHANICAL MAN Fitted with our Special Clock-Work Attachment Thinks, Speaks, Acts, and Does Everything but Live As Dorothy and her companion are made to discover when they wind up this (...) man, he is indeed capable of doing all the things of which his label boasts—acting, speaking and even thinking. But as Tik-Tok himself insists, and no one in the story casts doubt on the matter, he is not alive. (shrink)
Jean-Paul Sartre, in describing the realization of his freedom, was often inclined to say mysterious things like ‘I am what I am not’, ‘I am not what I am’ He was therefore plainly contradicting himself, but was this merely a playful literary figure , or was he really being incoherent? By the latter judgment I do not mean to reject his statements entirely ; for I believe there is an intimate link between contradiction and freedom, as I shall explain in (...) this paper. But a minor thing we must first have out of the way is the suggestion that Sartre's language was just a rhetorical trope, designed merely to express some banal platitude in a bemusing way: ‘I am not yet what I will be’, ‘I am no longer what I was’ are sane and sensible, for instance, but cannot be the meant content of Sartre's sayings, since, while they would indeed describe the reform of some character, they would be appropriate only before or after some metamorphosis, not, as Sartre clearly intended, in the midst of some process of riddance and conversion, whether radical or otherwise. Yet, in the turmoil of such a change, ‘I am not what I am’ still, surely, cannot be true, and if that is the case, Sartre must be being inocherent, and therefore, obfuscating and deliberately obscure, and hence, it seems, must properly be rejected by all right and clear thinking men. (shrink)