University education is full of promise. Indeed universities have the capacity to create and shape, through staff and students, all kinds of enthralling ‘worlds’ and ‘new possibilities of life’. Yet students are encouraged increasingly to view universities as simply a means to an end, where neoliberal education delivers flexible skills to directly serve a certain type of capitalism. Additionally, the universal challenge of technological unemployment, alongside numerous other social issues, has become educationalised and portrayed in HE policy, as an issue (...) to be solved by universities. The idea that more education can resolve the problem of technological unemployment is a political construction which has largely failed to deliver its promise. In this article, we look at educationalisation in hand with technologisation and we draw on a Critical Discourse Analysis of HE policies, to demonstrate the problems arising from taken for granted visions of neoliberal social development related to education,... (shrink)
This paper examines relationships between learning and technological change and argues that we urgently need new ways to approach what it means to learn in the context of a global Fourth Industrial Revolution. It briefly introduces the postdigital perspective, which considers the digital ‘revolution’ as something that has already happened and focuses to its reconfiguration. It claims that what we access, how we access it, what we do with it, and who then accesses what we have done, are important elements (...) of a postdigital world worthy of closer examination. Focusing to recent debates about postdigital collective intelligence, we develop the concept of postdigital we-learn by showing that it might help us, amongst other things, to counter the idea of a lone human accessing education primarily for future individual, economic profit, as prescribed by the neoliberal learning economy. Building on new schools of thought emerging in response to the expansion of non-human agency, we refine the concept of postdigital we-learn as a gathering between humans and machines. The consequences of this gathering are uncomfortable, as they imply unlearning elements of both capitalism and critical pedagogy. However, such unlearning is inherent to ‘a critical pedagogy of becoming’ and positions postdigital we-learn as a suitable framework for understanding and development of emancipatory, critical learning in our postdigital reality. (shrink)
This debate, principally between myself (Nigel Thomas) and Patrick Hayes, the well known computer scientist and Artificial Intelligence researcher, took place through the internet mailing list for the discussion of the scientific study of consciousness, PSYCHE-D (moderated by Patrick Wilken), which is associated with the on-line journal PSYCHE. The discussion touches on the various different senses in which the expression "mental image" may be used, the underlying cognitive mechanisms of imagery, and the relevance of an understanding of imagery to (...) the understanding of conscious thought, and thought in general. As the debate became rather 'unthreaded' on the list, following it through this page may help the reader to better understand what was going on. (shrink)
When certain formal symbol systems (e.g., computer programs) are implemented as dynamic physical symbol systems (e.g., when they are run on a computer) their activity can be interpreted at higher levels (e.g., binary code can be interpreted as LISP, LISP code can be interpreted as English, and English can be interpreted as a meaningful conversation). These higher levels of interpretability are called "virtual" systems. If such a virtual system is interpretable as if it had a mind, is such a "virtual (...) mind" real? This is the question addressed in this "virtual" symposium, originally conducted electronically among four cognitive scientists: Donald Perlis, a computer scientist, argues that according to the computationalist thesis, virtual minds are real and hence Searle's Chinese Room Argument fails, because if Searle memorized and executed a program that could pass the Turing Test in Chinese he would have a second, virtual, Chinese-understanding mind of which he was unaware (as in multiple personality). Stevan Harnad, a psychologist, argues that Searle's Argument is valid, virtual minds are just hermeneutic overinterpretations, and symbols must be grounded in the real world of objects, not just the virtual world of interpretations. Computer scientist Patrick Hayes argues that Searle's Argument fails, but because Searle does not really implement the program: A real implementation must not be homuncular but mindless and mechanical, like a computer. Only then can it give rise to a mind at the virtual level. Philosopher Ned Block suggests that there is no reason a mindful implementation would not be a real one. (shrink)
In Fallibilism Democracy and the Market, Calvin Hayes proposes an original solution to the major meta-theoretical issue in moral philosophy, the is-ought problem, then utilizes it to define and/or solve practical problems in both applied ethics and public policy. The solution and its applications are based on a unified theory of rationality applicable to epistemology, ethics and public policy, predicated on a revised Popperian fallibilism. It is intended as a defense of Karl Popper's political philosophy but only after a (...) substantial revision of its theoretical and meta-theoretical basis. (shrink)
In this book, authors Alyssa Magee Lowery and William Hayes trace the history of teaching from Greek philosophy to twenty-first century educational issues in an effort to provide some perspective in the long art versus science debate, ultimately finding that the two components may be able to coexist peacefully.
The dramatic increase in the number of overseas students studying in the United Kingdom and other Western countries has required academics to reevaluate many aspects of their own, and their institutions', practices. This article considers differing cultural values among overseas students toward plagiarism and the implications this may have for postgraduate education in a Western context. Based on focus-group interviews, questionnaires, and informal discussions, we report the views of plagiarism among students in 2 postgraduate management programs, both of which had (...) a high constituency of overseas students. We show that plagiarist practices are often the outcome of many complex and culturally situated influences. We suggest that educators need to appreciate these differing cultural assumptions if they are to act in an ethical manner when responding to issues of plagiarism among international students. (shrink)
Business ethics should be taught in business schools as an integrated part of core curricula in MBA programs with a dual focus on both analytical frameworks and their applications to the business disciplines. To overcome the reluctance of many faculty to handle ethical issues, a critical mass of faculty must develop suitable materials, educate their peers in its use, and take the lead by introducing it in their own courses and on senior management programs.
This paper argues that the inappropriate framing and implementation of plagiarism detection systems in UK universities can unwittingly construct international students as ‘plagiarists’. It argues that these systems are often implemented with inappropriate assumptions about plagiarism and the way in which new members of a community of practice develop the skills to become full members of that community. Drawing on the literature and some primary data it shows how expectations, norms and practices become translated and negotiated in such a way (...) that legitimate attempts to conform with the expectations of the community of practice often become identified as plagiarism and illegitimate attempts at cheating often become obscured from view. It argues that this inappropriate framing and implementation of plagiarism detection systems may make academic integrity more illusive rather than less. It argues that in its current framing – as systems for ‘detection and discipline’ – plagiarism detection systems may become a new micro-politics of power with devastating consequences for those excluded. (shrink)
When everyone can be a publisher, what distinguishes the journalist? This article considers contemporary challenges to institutional roles in a digital media environment and then turns to three broad journalistic normative values - authenticity, accountability, and autonomy - that affect the credibility of journalists and the content they provide. A set of questions that can help citizens determine the trustworthiness of information available to them emerges from the discussion.
BackgroundHIV prevention research in resource-limited countries is associated with a variety of ethical dilemmas. Key amongst these is the question of what constitutes an appropriate standard of health care (SoC) for participants in HIV prevention trials. This paper describes a community-focused approach to develop a locally-appropriate SoC in the context of a phase III vaginal microbicide trial in Mwanza City, northwest Tanzania.MethodsA mobile community-based sexual and reproductive health service for women working as informal food vendors or in traditional and modern (...) bars, restaurants, hotels and guesthouses has been established in 10 city wards. Wards were divided into geographical clusters and community representatives elected at cluster and ward level. A city-level Community Advisory Committee (CAC) with representatives from each ward has been established. Workshops and community meetings at ward and city-level have explored project-related concerns using tools adapted from participatory learning and action techniques e.g. chapati diagrams, pair-wise ranking. Secondary stakeholders representing local public-sector and non-governmental health and social care providers have formed a trial Stakeholders' Advisory Group (SAG), which includes two CAC representatives.ResultsKey recommendations from participatory community workshops, CAC and SAG meetings conducted in the first year of the trial relate to the quality and range of clinic services provided at study clinics as well as broader standard of care issues. Recommendations have included streamlining clinic services to reduce waiting times, expanding services to include the children and spouses of participants and providing care for common local conditions such as malaria. Participants, community representatives and stakeholders felt there was an ethical obligation to ensure effective access to antiretroviral drugs and to provide supportive community-based care for women identified as HIV positive during the trial. This obligation includes ensuring sustainable, post-trial access to these services. Post-trial access to an effective vaginal microbicide was also felt to be a moral imperative.ConclusionParticipatory methodologies enabled effective partnerships between researchers, participant representatives and community stakeholders to be developed and facilitated local dialogue and consensus on what constitutes a locally-appropriate standard of care in the context of a vaginal microbicide trial in this setting.Trial registrationCurrent Controlled Trials ISRCTN64716212. (shrink)
Trust is essential in human relationships including those within healthcare. Recent studies have raised concerns about patients’ declining levels of trust. This article will explore the role of trust in decision-making about cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). In this research thirty-three senior doctors, junior doctors and division 1 nurses were interviewed about how decisions are made about providing CPR. Analysis of these interviews identified lack of trust as one cause for poor understanding of treatment decisions and lack of acceptance of medical judgement. (...) Two key implications emerged from the analysis. First, before embarking on a discussion about CPR it is essential to establish trust between the doctor and the patient/family. Secondly, it is essential that the CPR discussion itself does not undermine trust and cause harm to the patient. (shrink)
Objectives: The mental health legislation of most developed countries includes either a dangerousness criterion or an obligatory dangerousness criterion (ODC). A dangerousness criterion holds that mentally ill people may be given treatment without consent if they are deemed to be a risk to themselves or others. An ODC holds that mentally ill people may be given treatment without consent only if they are deemed to be a risk to themselves or others. This paper argues that the dangerousness criterion is unnecessary, (...) unethical and, in the case of the ODC, potentially harmful to mentally ill people and to the rest of the community. Methods: We examine the history of the dangerousness criterion, and provide reasoned argument and empirical evidence in support of our position. Results: Dangerousness criteria are not required to balance the perceived loss of autonomy arising from mental health legislation. Dangerousness criteria unfairly discriminate against the mentally ill, as they represent an unreasonable barrier to treatment without consent, and they spread the burden of risk that any mentally ill person might become violent across large numbers of mentally ill people who will never become violent. Mental health legislation that includes an ODC is associated with a longer duration of untreated psychosis, and probably contributes to a poorer prognosis and an increase risk of suicide and violence in patients in their first episode of psychosis. Conclusions: Dangerousness criteria should be removed from mental health legislation and be replaced by criteria that focus on a patient’s capacity to refuse treatment. (shrink)
In the svārthānumāna chapter of his Pramāṇavārttika, the Buddhist philosopher Dharmakīrti presented a defense of his claim that legitimate inference must rest on a metaphysical basis if it is to be immune from the risks ordinarily involved in inducing general principles from a finite number of observations. Even if one repeatedly observes that x occurs with y and never observes y in the absence of x, there is no guarantee, on the basis of observation alone, that one will never observe (...) y in the absence of x at some point in the future. To provide such a guarantee, claims Dharmakīrti, one must know that there is a causal connection between x and y such that there is no possibility of y occurring in the absence of x. In the course of defending this central claim, Dharmakīrti ponders how one can know that there is a causal relationship of the kind necessary to guarantee a proposition of the form “Every y occurs with an x.” He also dismisses an interpretation of his predecessor Dignāga whereby Dignāga would be claiming non-observation of y in the absence of x is sufficient to warrant to the claim that no y occurs without x. The present article consists of a translation of kārikās 11–38 of Pramānavārttikam, svārthānumānaparicchedaḥ along with Dharmakīrti’s own prose commentary. The translators have also provided an English commentary, which includes a detailed introduction to the central issues in the translated text and their history in the literature before Dharmakīrti. (shrink)
The doctrine that there is no permanent creator who superintends creation and takes care of his creatures accords quite well with each of the principles known as the four noble truths of Buddhism. The first truth, that distress is universal, is traditionally expounded in terms of the impermanence of all features of experience and in terms of the absence of genuine unity or personal identity in the multitude of physical and mental factors that constitute what we experience as a single (...) person. As we saw above, the principal Buddhist arguments against the existence of God focus on the impossibility of permanence and unity in the causal structure of the universe. The second noble truth, that distress is the outcome of one's own unrealistic aspirations, is traditionally seen as ruling out the erroneous view that distress is something inflicted upon creatures by a cosmic superintendent or by other circumstances completely beyond their control. The third noble truth, that distress can be eliminated by divesting oneself of all unrealistic aspirations, rules out the view that sentient beings, as powerless victims of a divine will, have no alternative to a life of constant frustration. And the fourth noble truth, that the best means of removing unrealistic desires is to follow a methodical course of self-discipline, counters the view that the road to happiness lies in obedience to divine will or in trying to manipulate the sentiments of a cosmic intelligence through prayer or ritual. (shrink)
In the interwar period there was a significant school of thought that repudiated Einstein's theory of relativity on the grounds that it contained elementary inconsistencies. Some of these critics held extreme right-wing and anti-Semitic views, and this has tended to discredit their technical objections to relativity as being scientifically shallow. This paper investigates an alternative possibility: that the critics were right and that the success of Einstein's theory in overcoming them was due to its strengths as an ideology rather than (...) as a science. The clock paradox illustrates how relativity theory does indeed contain inconsistencies that make it scientifically problematic. These same inconsistencies, however, make the theory ideologically powerful. The implications of this argument are examined with respect to Thomas Kuhn and Karl Popper's accounts of the philosophy of science. (shrink)
The behavioural decision-theoretic concepts of mental accounting, framing and transaction utility have now been employed in marketing models and techniques. To date, however, there has not been any discussion of the ethical issues surrounding these significant developments. In this paper, an ethical evaluation is structured around three themes: (i) utilitarian justification (ii) the strategic exploitation of cognitive habits, and (iii) the claim of scientific status for the techniques. Some recommendations are made for ethical practices.
The article by Barbey & Sloman (B&S) provides a valuable framework for integrating research on base-rate neglect and respect. The theoretical arguments and data supporting the nested set model are persuasive. But we found the dual-process account to be under-specified and less compelling. Our concerns are based on (a) inconsistencies within the literature cited by B&S, and (b) studies of base-rate neglect in categorization.
The proposal regarding rules and similarity is considered in terms of ability to provide insights regarding previous work on reasoning and categorization. For reasoning, the issue is the relation between this proposal and one-process as well as two-process accounts of deduction and induction. For categorization, the issue is how the proposal would simultaneously explain both similarity-to-rule and rule-to-similarity shifts.
Writers presenting Buddhism to European and North American audiences have often availed themselves of philosophical terminology from modern traditions to convey presumably less familiar ideas coming from various classical and medieval Asian settings. Since the Buddha and many philosophers who developed his ideas seem to have stressed the importance of practice over theory, Buddhism is frequently described as practical or even pragmatic in its orientation. Since there have been few unpleasant clashes between traditional Buddhist beliefs and the findings of modern (...) science, and nothing that would compare in importance to the confrontations between Darwinians and Creationists, many Buddhist apologists have been able to get away with characterizing theirs as a religion that is scientific in spirit; many Buddhists, especially Therav ¯. (shrink)
Few ethics committees were in place when the New Jersey Supreme Court announced its ruling on the Quinlan case in 1976. Today, the vast majority of hospitals have formed ethics committees and their use in nursing homes and other healthcare facilities is growing. Given the increasing commitment to the use of ethics committees and their increasing influence on healthcare decision making, the careful evaluation of committee performance should be a high priority. Yet to date ethics committees appear to have undergone (...) relatively little scrutiny. While professional articles on ethics committees do appear and at least one journal sets aside a regular section for the discussion of “Ethics Committees at Work” articles to date have primarily been limited to essays, philosophical inquiries, reports, case studies, and, occasionally, surveys. The use of more structured research methodologies has been lacking. As a result, it is not yet clear, for example, what characteristics describe the best functioning ethics committee. Indeed, what constitutes best functioning lacks careful definition as well. Committee impact on medical decision making and patient outcomes, while discussed, has not been systematically measured and analyzed. (shrink)
The purpose of this chapter will be to outline the classical Buddhist program for transforming the human mentality from one that is rigid, closed and prone to injuring itself and others to one that is flexible, open and competent to heal itself and others.
The discovery of a quaternary complexity limitation to mature cognitive operations raises important theoretical issues. We propose that cognitive limitations arise naturally in a complex dynamic information processing system, and consider problems such as the distinction between parallel and serial processes and the representativeness of the empirical data base used by Halford et al. to support their relational complexity scheme.
Division 25 is composed of about 1500 behaviorally-oriented psychologists, both applied and basic. It is one of the few divisions defined not by a specific sub-content area of psychology, but by an approach to the whole of psychology. In this sense, Division 25 is probably one of the most philosophically-oriented of all the divisions in APA: the majority of its members are more or less comfortable with behavioral philosophy. Of course, some of our members are not at all philosophically oriented, (...) and are members because of their attraction to behavioral techniques, methodology, or to specific behavioral theories. Further, due to the history of behavioral analysis, there are fundamental disagreements about the nature of behaviorism among behaviorists. Thus, the remainder of what I will say in this paper should be thought of merely as my personal opinion—not as a statement on behalf of the Division. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
It is true for many disciplines within the humanities that there are numerous excellent works that introduce the beginner to the basic building blocks of the discipline, and also many advanced studies for the accomplished scholar, but few works that help the student get from the beginning stage to the advanced level. That has certainly been true of the discipline of Sanskrit. Once a student has devoted a couple of years to working through one of the excellent introductions to the (...) language by Ashok Aklujkar, Michael Coulson, Madhav Deshpande, Robert Goldman, or Walter Maurer, there have been hardly any intermediate texts to help the student systematically progress to more advanced levels. Now, however, with the publication of Scholastic Sanskrit, an important step has been taken toward filling that lacuna. This book assumes that the student has learned enough about Sanskrit grammar and syntax to be ready to begin plunging into the vast corpus comprising the many genres of Sanskrit literature. It is built on the conviction that even a student at the early stages of exploring Sanskrit literature can benefit from the work of traditional commentators; it is also built on the observation that until now there have not been reliable guides to help the student make intelligent use of Sanskrit commentaries. (shrink)
Like most religions, the Buddhist tradition is rich in stories that are designed to illustrate key principles and values. Stories of the Buddha himself offer a verbal portrait of an ideal human being that followers of the tradition can aspire to emulate; his story offers a picture of a person with a perfectly healthy mind. Stories of other people (and of gods, ghosts and ghouls) portray a wide range of beings from the nearly perfect to the dreadfully imperfect, all presented (...) as models of what one could eventually become oneself through gradual transformations from one’s present mentality. In what follows, I shall first tell a brief story about myself and will then recount the stories of two men who were cousins with similar but importantly different mentalities. And I shall conclude with a few observations about what I see as the significance of the difference between these two cousins. (shrink)
Henry re. your recent reply to Aaron. OK, current physics does not allow us to retreat into a comfortable assumption of Newtonian regularity. However, given the following range of options, I know which I find the 'spookiest'.
Chow illustrates the important role played by significance testing in the evaluation of research findings. Statistics and the goals of research should be treated as both interrelated and separate parts of the research evaluation process – a message that will benefit all who read Chow's book. The arguments are especially pertinent to the debate over the relative merits of confidence intervals and significance tests.