Robert Cecil Mortimer. use them as the instruments of his greed and selfishness, two things are certain. 'First, that the Scriptural revelation of the innate inalienable dignity and value of the individual is an indispensable bulwark of human ...
Early intervention aims to identify children or families at risk of poor health, and take preventative measures at an early stage, when intervention is more likely to succeed. EI is concerned with the just distribution of “life chances,” so that all children are given fair opportunity to realize their potential and lead a good life; EI policy design, therefore, invokes ethical questions about the balance of responsibilities between the state, society, and individuals in addressing inequalities. We analyze a corpus of (...) EI policy guidance to investigate explicit and implicit ethical arguments about who should be held morally responsible for safeguarding child health and well-being. We examine the implications of these claims and explore what it would mean to put the proposed policies into practice. We conclude with some remarks about the useful role that philosophical analysis can play in EI policy development. (shrink)
There is currently a consensus among comparative psychologists that nonhuman animals are capable of some forms of mindreading. Several philosophers and psychologists have criticized this consensus, however, arguing that there is a “logical problem” with the experimental approach used to test for mindreading in nonhuman animals. I argue that the logical problem is no more than a version of the general skeptical problem known as the theoretician’s dilemma. As such, it is not a problem that comparative psychologists must solve before (...) providing evidence for mindreading. (shrink)
Despite there being little consensus on what intelligence is or how to measure it, the media and the public have become increasingly preoccupied with the concept owing to recent accomplishments in machine learning and research on artificial intelligence (AI). Governments and corporations are investing billions of dollars to fund researchers who are keen to produce an ever‐expanding range of artificial intelligent systems. More than 30 countries have announced such research initiatives over the past 3 years 1. For example, the EU (...) Commission pledged to increase the investment in AI research to €1.5 billion by 2020 (from €500 million in 2017), while China has committed $2.1 billion towards an AI technology park in Beijing alone 1. This global investment in AI is astonishing and prompts several questions: What are the true possibilities and limitations of AI? What do AI researchers and developers mean by “intelligence”? How does this compare to the everyday concept of intelligence and how the term is other branches of cognitive science? And can machine learning produce anything that is truly “intelligent”? (shrink)
We evaluate a common reasoning strategy used in community ecology and comparative psychology for selecting between competing hypotheses. This strategy labels one hypothesis as a “null” on the grounds of its simplicity and epistemically privileges it as accepted until rejected. We argue that this strategy is unjustified. The asymmetrical treatment of statistical null hypotheses is justified through the experimental and mathematical contexts in which they are used, but these contexts are missing in the case of the “pseudo-null hypotheses” found in (...) our case studies. Moreover, statistical nulls are often not epistemically privileged in practice over their alternatives because failing to reject the null is usually a negative result about the alternative, experimental hypothesis. Scientists should eschew the appeal to pseudo-nulls. It is a rhetorical strategy that glosses over a commitment to valuing simplicity over other epistemic virtues in the name of good scientific and statistical methodology. (shrink)
This paper discusses the findings of qualitative research that examined the accounts of five “mostly recovered” ex-patients who had experienced transition between two or more eating disorder diagnoses. This study found that, in the minds of participants, the different diagnostic labels were associated with various good or bad character traits. This contributed to the belief in a diagnostic hierarchy, whereby individuals diagnosed with anorexia nervosa were viewed as morally better than those diagnosed with bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder. Consequently, (...) diagnostic crossover from a “better” to a “worse” eating disorder was often experienced as shameful moral failing, and a new diagnosis impacted the individual’s sense of self-identity. These findings are of significance for both ethicists and clinicians; the paper concludes by outlining the relevance and possible clinical implications of shame in diagnostic crossover and suggesting avenues for future research. (shrink)
We argue that general intelligence, as presented in the target article, generates multiple distinct and non-equivalent characterisations. Clarifying this central concept is necessary for assessing Burkart et al.’s proposal that the cultural intelligence hypothesis is the best explanation for the evolution of general intelligence. We assess this claim by considering two characterisations of general intelligence presented in the article.
The professionalization of science is a recent phenomenon. Before the mid-1800s, investigations of the natural world were largely performed by those hobbyists who had the leisure time to do so. Things are very different today. Open one of the over twenty thousand scientific journals currently in circulation, and you would be hard pressed to decipher the technical prose, much less the methodological and conceptual strategies being employed. This is changing, however. People are not only taking greater interest in how science (...) works, but choosing to actively participate in the process, whether this involves discovering new protein configurations , identifying and categorizing cancer cells from tissue samples , or analyzing the vocalizations of canids .Why start a review on what might seem like an academic book in contemporary philosophy of biology with a discussion of citizen science? Craver and Darden’s book, In Search of Mechanisms, is positi .. (shrink)
A colleague of Roland Barthes at the CNRS in the 1950s and cowriter and friend of Cornelius Castoriadis until the latter's death, Edgar Morin has until recently been too little known in the English-speaking world. In an oeuvre that spans half a century, attempting to combine in ongoing dialogue the `humanities' and `sciences', Morin has written on scientific method, fundamental anthropology, politics, contemporary life and popular culture. He is an advocate of `complex' thought, thought which does not reduce, rationalize and (...) mutilate phenomena under examination, which emphasizes the interaction between researcher and researched, and participation as a way of being in the world. This article particularly focuses on his work on death and cinema, suggesting a strong continuity between his early studies and his more recent writing on complexity and ecology. The radically democratic complexion of Morin's writings, his emphasis on a human empathy that can incorporate notions of unity and difference, make him a thinker of great relevance for today. (shrink)