De nobis ipsis silemus: About ourselves — we keep silent. If we violate this prudent rule by the least modest of literary exercises — the autobiography — we must be able to say that we do so to bear witness. From my intellectual vocation of physician and philosopher, I have received the Chinese blessing of “living in interesting times.” I received two degrees in 1962 and spent thirty years developing a previously unimaginable encounter between medicine and humanism. That which follows (...) tells the story of the development of bioethics in Ibero-America from the perspective of a testifying witness. (shrink)
Q: If necessity is the mother of invention, whence necessity? A. : The matrix of necessity in God-talk is religious experience, philosophically interpreted. The interpreters, theists and non-thesists, have indeed been inventive.
The selection of wanted from unwanted messages requires discriminatory mechanisms of as great a complexity as those in normal perception, as is indicated by behavioral evidence. The results of neurophysiology experiments on selective attention are compatible with this supposition. This presents a difficulty for Filter theory. Another mechanism is proposed, which assumes the existence of a shifting reference standard, which takes up the level of the most important arriving signal. The way such importance is determined in the system is further (...) described. Neurophysiological evidence relative to this postulation is discussed. (shrink)
We all ‘know’ that public opinion came to prominence in the political vocabulary of the late eighteenth century. It may be that this dates its rise a bit late, but it is not relevant to argue the matter here. My concern is rather that we be equally aware of the purposes for which people made use of the concept. Here I wish to consider various possible contexts for speaking or writing of public opinion, or ‘opinion’, as it was usually called (...) prior to the mid-eighteenth century. It may be possible to define, more fully than heretofore, the work that the expression did in eighteenth-century thought. As contemporary students of public opinion have been learning, an answer to this question may not even be wholly irrelevant to the task of specifying the nature of public opinion in our own time. (shrink)
Some philosophers hold that philosophy is what you do to a problem until it’s clear enough to solve it by doing science. Others hold that if a philosophical problem succumbs to empirical methods, that shows it wasn’t really philosophical to begin with. Either way, the facts seem clear enough: questions first mooted by philosophers are sometimes coopted by people who do experiments. This seems to be happening now to the question: “what are propositional attitudes?” and cognitive psychology is the science (...) of note. (shrink)
Extant semantic theories for languages containing vague expressions violate intuition by delivering the same verdict on two principles of classical propositional logic: the law of noncontradiction and the law of excluded middle. Supervaluational treatments render both valid; many-Valued treatments, Neither. The core of this paper presents a natural deduction system, Sound and complete with respect to a 'mixed' semantics which validates the law of noncontradiction but not the law of excluded middle.
Enterprise management often encourages their marketing personnel to offer gifts to purchasers of clients but won''t allow the purchasers of the company to accept gifts. This double standards create an atmosphere of dishonesty in the company.When considering that purchasers fulfilling the procurement function for a company are the major spenders of company funds, and that purchasers are frequently tempted to accept gifts and prevailing double standards within the company, it is no wonder that they sometimes succumb to unethical behaviour. The (...) purchasing environment thus creates an atmosphere conductive to unethical behaviour. (shrink)
It's an achievement of the last couple of decades that people who work in linguistic semantics and people who work in the philosophy of language have arrived at a friendly, de facto agreement as to their respective job descriptions. The terms of this agreement are that the semanticists do the work and the philosophers do the worrying. The semanticists try to construct actual theories of meaning (or truth theories, or model theories, or whatever) for one or another kind of expression (...) in one or another natural language; for example, they try to figure out how the temperature could be rising compatibly with the substitutivity of identicals. The philosophers, by contrast, keep an eye on the large, foundational issues, such as: what's the relation between sense and denotation; what's the relation between thought and language; whether translation is determinate; and whether life is like a fountain. Every now and then the philosophers and the semanticists are supposed to get together and compare notes on their respective progress. Or lack thereof. (shrink)
We would like to thank Dolega and Dewhurst for a thought-provoking and informed deconstruction of our article, which we take as applause from valued members of our audience. In brief, we fully concur with the theatre-free formulation offered by Dolega and Dewhurst and take the opportunity to explain why we used the Cartesian theatre metaphor. We do this by drawing an analogy between consciousness and evolution. This analogy is used to emphasize the circular causality inherent in the free energy principle. (...) We conclude with a comment on the special forms of active inference that may be associated with selfawareness and how they may be especially informed by dream states. (shrink)
This paper shows that, for a large range of parameters, the journal editor prefers to delegate the choice to review the manuscript to the biased referee. If the peer review process is informative and the review reports are costly for the reviewers, even biased referees with extreme scientific preferences may choose to become informed about the manuscript’s quality. On the contrary, if the review process is potentially informative but the reviewer reports are not costly for the referees, the biased reviewer (...) has no incentive to become informed about the manuscript. Furthermore, if the reports are costly for referees but the peer review processes are not potentially informative, the biased reviewers will never become informed. In this paper, we also present a web resource that helps editors to experiment with the review process as a device for information transmission. (shrink)
What follows is a discussion, in three parts, of the African concept of ubuntu and related issues. In the first part of the discussion J.A.I. Bewaji assesses an essay by W.M.J. van Binsbergen on Ubuntu and the Globalisation of Southern African Thought and Society (2001). In the second part Bewaji reviews M.B. Ramose's African Philosophy through Ubuntu (2002). And in the third part Ramose responds to both Bewaji and Van Binsbergen. Although Ramose disagrees with some of Bewaji's comments and interpretations (...) – especially with regard to the thesis on which ubuntu is, according to the former, founded (i.e. “that ontology proper is a rheology”) – both Bewaji and Ramose agree that Van Binsbergen's critique of ubuntu philosophy, and specifically of Ramose's explication thereof, is untenable. S. Afr. J. Philos. Vol.22(4) 2003: 378-414. (shrink)
This book offers a sustained re-evaluation of the most central and perplexing themes of Leibniz's metaphysics. In contrast to traditional assessments that view the metaphysics in terms of its place among post-Cartesian theories of the world, Jan Cover and John O'Leary-Hawthorne examine the question of how the scholastic themes which were Leibniz's inheritance figure - and are refigured - in his mature account of substance and individuation. From this emerges a fresh and sometimes surprising assessment of Leibniz's views on modality, (...) the Identity of Indiscernibles, form as an internal law, and the complete-concept doctrine. As a rigorous philosophical treatment of a still-influential mediary between scholastic and modern metaphysics, their study will be of interest to historians of philosophy and contemporary metaphysicians alike. (shrink)
The rule of double effect is regularly invoked in ethical discussions about palliative sedation, terminal extubation and other clinical acts that may be viewed as hastening death for imminently dying patients. Unfortunately, the literature tends to employ this useful principle in a fashion suggesting that it offers the final word on the moral acceptability of such medical procedures. In fact, the rule cannot be applied appropriately without invoking moral theories that are not explicit in the rule itself. Four tenets of (...) the rule each require their own ethical justification. A variety of moral theories are relevant to making judgements in a pluralistic society. Much of the rich moral conversation germane to the rule has been reflected in arguments about physician-asssisted suicide and voluntary active euthanasia, but the rule itself has limited relevance to these debates, and requires its own moral justifications when applied to other practices that might hasten death. (shrink)
Condensed detachment is usually regarded as a notation, and defined by example. In this paper it is regarded as a rule of inference, and rigorously defined with the help of the Unification Theorem of J. A. Robinson. Historically, however, the invention of condensed detachment by C. A. Meredith preceded Robinson's studies of unification. It is argued that Meredith's ideas deserve recognition in the history of unification, and the possibility that Meredith was influenced, through ukasiewicz, by ideas of Tarski going back (...) at least to 1939, and possibly to 1930 or earlier, is discussed. It is proved that a term is derivable by substitution and ordinary detachment from given axioms if and only if it is a substitution instance of a term which is derivable from these axioms by condensed detachment, and it is shown how this theorem enables the ideas of ukasiewicz and Tarski mentioned above to be formalized and extended. Finally, it is shown how condensed detachment may be subsumed within the resolution principle of J. A. Robinson, and several computer studies of particular Hilbert-type propositional calculi using programs based on condensed detachment or on resolution are briefly discussed. (shrink)
In The Face of Emotions, which was Carroll Izard’s first major attempt at elaborating his differential emotions theory, he stated that the book “presents a theoretical framework for the study of emotions and their role in personality and interpersonal processes.” Yet, over the years, his contribution to personality theory has generally been overshadowed by the attention focused on his views on facial expressions and the structure of emotions. This article will begin with a brief overview of the DET perspective on (...) personality development. Then, it will examine how the DET framework can be used to organize recent findings from three lines of research on adult personality. It will conclude with suggestions for future research as well as some personal recollections. (shrink)
A review of Vasiliu's book, Du Diaphane. Aristotle's theory of the transparent is his riposte to the doctrine expressed in Plato's Timaeus that the manifestation of sensible qualities should be explained in terms of the receptacle's participation in the realm of Forms.
One thousand stones, suitably arranged, might form a heap. If we remove a single stone from a heap of stones we still have a heap; at no point will the removal of just one stone make sufficient difference to transform a heap into something which is not a heap. But, if this is so, we still have a heap, even when we have removed the last stone composing our original structure. So runs the Sorites paradox. Similar paradoxes can be constructed (...) with any predicate which, like 'heap', displays borderline vagueness. Although I have frequently heard it said that there is no completely credible and satisfying dissolution of the paradoxes of the Sorites family; and although there is no possible approach to dissolution which has not been at least partially explored, philosophers continue glibly to use vague language as though it were entirely unproblematic. Since no argument has ever been produced which would justify our ignoring the para~doxes, this situation is extremely unsatisfactory. (shrink)
We prove that compactness is equivalent to the amalgamation property, provided the occurrence number of the logic is smaller than the first uncountable measurable cardinal. We also relate compactness to the existence of certain regular ultrafilters related to the logic and develop a general theory of compactness and its consequences. We also prove some combinatorial results of independent interest.
In arbitrating between representational and relational theories of perception, perceptual illusions—cases in which a subject’s perceptual experience diverges from the way the world really is—constitute an important battleground. The debate has, however, been dominated by discussions of visual perception. In attempting to extend the debate to audition, it is appropriate to start by considering what is thought to be a key case of auditory illusion. I consider the phenomenon of the ‘missing fundamental’, as well as examining a notion that is (...) often deployed by representationalists to explain it—namely, perceptual inference. Though it is frequently deployed as an explanatory concept by inferentialists, the notion of perceptual inference is somewhat opaque. Here, I formulate a ‘job description’ for perceptual inference, involving rule-following. I then identify two sets of cases that commonly prompt the invocation of perceptual inference: namely, cases of perceptual illusion, and cases of veridical perception where the perceptual content outstrips the information present in the stimulus. I then argue that an appeal to perceptual inference is unnecessary, in the case of the missing fundamental, for two reasons. Firstly, the missing fundamental is not, after all, a clear candidate for the ascription of inferential capacity to the auditory system: it is neither an illusion, nor is it the case that the stimulus is crucially impoverished. That is, it submits to a ‘direct’ explanation. Secondly, given the adequacy of a simpler explanation, and the difficulty between distinguishing between real rule-following and the mere appearance of it, I argue that we should avoid ascribing inferential capacity to the auditory system. I close by considering objections, and offering replies. (shrink)