Robots today serve in many roles, from entertainer to educator to executioner. As robotics technology advances, ethical concerns become more pressing: Should robots be programmed to follow a code of ethics, if this is even possible? Are there risks in forming emotional bonds with robots? How might society--and ethics--change with robotics? This volume is the first book to bring together prominent scholars and experts from both science and the humanities to explore these and other questions in this emerging field. Starting (...) with an overview of the issues and relevant ethical theories, the topics flow naturally from the possibility of programming robot ethics to the ethical use of military robots in war to legal and policy questions, including liability and privacy concerns. The contributors then turn to human-robot emotional relationships, examining the ethical implications of robots as sexual partners, caregivers, and servants. Finally, they explore the possibility that robots, whether biological-computational hybrids or pure machines, should be given rights or moral consideration. Ethics is often slow to catch up with technological developments. This authoritative and accessible volume fills a gap in both scholarly literature and policy discussion, offering an impressive collection of expert analyses of the most crucial topics in this increasingly important field. (shrink)
This volume is a direct result of a conference held at Princeton University to honor George A. Miller, an extraordinary psychologist. A distinguished panel of speakers from various disciplines -- psychology, philosophy, neuroscience and artificial intelligence -- were challenged to respond to Dr. Miller's query: "What has happened to cognition? In other words, what has the past 30 years contributed to our understanding of the mind? Do we really know anything that wasn't already clear to William James?" Each participant (...) tried to stand back a little from his or her most recent work, but to address the general question from his or her particular standpoint. The chapters in the present volume derive from that occasion. (shrink)
This intriguing and ground-breaking book is the first in-depth study of the development of philosophy of science in the United States during the Cold War. It documents the political vitality of logical empiricism and Otto Neurath's Unity of Science Movement when these projects emigrated to the US in the 1930s and follows their de-politicization by a convergence of intellectual, cultural and political forces in the 1950s. Students of logical empiricism and the Vienna Circle treat these as strictly intellectual non-political projects. (...) In fact, the refugee philosophers of science were highly active politically and debated questions about values inside and outside science, as a result of which their philosophy of science was scrutinized politically both from within and without the profession, by such institutions as J. Edgar Hoover's FBI. It will prove absorbing reading to philosophers and historians of science, intellectual historians, and scholars of Cold War studies. (shrink)
A revision of George Kennedy's translation of, introdution to, and commentary on Aristotle's On Rhetoric. His translation is most accurate, his general introduction is the most thorough and insightful, and his brief introductions to sections of the work, along with his explanatory footnotes, are the most useful available.
Identity Economics provides an important and compelling new way to understand human behavior, revealing how our identities--and not just economic incentives--influence our decisions. In 1995, economist Rachel Kranton wrote future Nobel Prize-winner George Akerlof a letter insisting that his most recent paper was wrong. Identity, she argued, was the missing element that would help to explain why people--facing the same economic circumstances--would make different choices. This was the beginning of a fourteen-year collaboration--and of Identity Economics. The authors explain how (...) our conception of who we are and who we want to be may shape our economic lives more than any other factor, affecting how hard we work, and how we learn, spend, and save. Identity economics is a new way to understand people's decisions--at work, at school, and at home. With it, we can better appreciate why incentives like stock options work or don't; why some schools succeed and others don't; why some cities and towns don't invest in their futures--and much, much more. Identity Economics bridges a critical gap in the social sciences. It brings identity and norms to economics. People's notions of what is proper, and what is forbidden, and for whom, are fundamental to how hard they work, and how they learn, spend, and save. Thus people's identity--their conception of who they are, and of who they choose to be--may be the most important factor affecting their economic lives. And the limits placed by society on people's identity can also be crucial determinants of their economic well-being. (shrink)
Cognitive science is a child of the 1950s, the product of a time when psychology, anthropology and linguistics were redefining themselves and computer science and neuroscience as disciplines were coming into existence. Psychology could not participate in the cognitive revolution until it had freed itself from behaviorism, thus restoring cognition to scientific respectability. By then, it was becoming clear in several disciplines that the solution to some of their problems depended crucially on solving problems traditionally allocated to other disciplines. Collaboration (...) was called for: this is a personal account of how it came about. (shrink)
George A. Olah, Alain Goeppert and G. K. Surya Prakash (eds): Beyond oil and gas: the methanol economy, 2nd updated and enlarged edition Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s10698-011-9141-x Authors George B. Kauffman, Department of Chemistry, California State University, Fresno, Fresno, CA 93740-8034, USA Journal Foundations of Chemistry Online ISSN 1572-8463 Print ISSN 1386-4238.
In the light of two unpublished letters from Carnap to Kuhn, this essay examines the relationship between Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions and Carnap's philosophical views. Contrary to the common wisdom that Kuhn's book refuted logical empiricism, it argues that Carnap's views of revolutionary scientific change are rather similar to those detailed by Kuhn. This serves both to explain Carnap's appreciation of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions and to suggest that logical empiricism, insofar as that program rested on Carnap's (...) shoulders, was not substantially upstaged by Kuhn's book. (shrink)
Scientists of many countries in which English is not the primary language routinely use a variety of manuscript preparation, correction or editing services, a practice that is openly endorsed by many journals and scientific institutions. These services vary tremendously in their scope; at one end there is simple proof-reading, and at the other extreme there is in-depth and extensive peer-reviewing, proposal preparation, statistical analyses, re-writing and co-writing. In this paper, the various types of service are reviewed, along with authorship guidelines, (...) and the question is raised of whether the high-end services surpass most guidelines’ criteria for authorship. Three other factors are considered. First, the ease of collaboration possible in the internet era allows multiple iterations between the author(s) and the “editing service”, so essentially, papers can be co-written. Second, “editing services” often offer subject-specific experts who comment not only on the language, but interpret and improve scientific content. Third, the trend towards heavily multi-authored papers implies that the threshold necessary to earn authorship is declining. The inevitable conclusion is that at some point the contributions by “editing services” should be deemed sufficient to warrant authorship. Trying to enforce any guidelines would likely be futile, but nevertheless, it might be time to revisit the ethics of using some of the high-end “editing services”. In an increasingly international job market, awareness of this problem might prove increasingly important in authorship disputes, the allocation of research grants, and hiring decisions. (shrink)
Joy Gordon has made a major contribution to both the ethical analysis and the policy evaluation of economic sanctions. Her claims against sanctions should be understood as critique rather than condemnation of sanctions on ethical grounds.
Philosophical (p-) zombies are constructs that possess all of the behavioral features and responses of a sentient human being, yet are not conscious. P-zombies are intimately linked to the hard problem of consciousness and have been invoked as arguments against physicalist approaches. But what if we were to invert the characteristics of p-zombies? Such an inverse (i-) zombie would possess all of the behavioral features and responses of an insensate being yet would nonetheless be conscious. While p-zombies are logically possible (...) but naturally improbable, an approximation of i-zombies actually exists: individuals experiencing what is referred to as “anesthesia awareness.” Patients under general anesthesia may be intubated (preventing speech), paralyzed (preventing movement), and narcotized (minimizing response to nociceptive stimuli). Thus, they appear—and typically are—unconscious. In 1-2 cases/1000, however, patients may be aware of intraoperative events, sometimes without any objective indices. Furthermore, a much higher percentage of patients (22% in a recent study) may have the subjective experience of dreaming during general anesthesia. P-zombies confront us with the hard problem of consciousness—how do we explain the presence of qualia? I-zombies present a more practical problem—how do we detect the presence of qualia? The current investigation compares p-zombies to i-zombies and explores the “hard problem” of unconsciousness with a focus on anesthesia awareness. (shrink)
In the spring of 1937, the University of Chicago Press mailed hundreds of subscription forms for its latest enterprise – a projected series of twenty short monographs by various philosophers and scientists. Together the monographs were to form the first section of the International Encyclopedia of Unified Science. Included in each mailing was an introductory prospectus which began:Recent years have witnessed a striking growth of interest in the scientific enterprise as a whole and especially in the unity of science. The (...) concern throughout the world for the logic of science, the history of science, and the sociology of science reveals a comprehensive international movement interested in considering science as a whole in terms of the scientific temper itself. A science of science is appearing. The extreme specialization within science demands as its corrective an interest in the scientific edifice in its entirety. This is especially necessary if science is to satisfy its inherent urge for the systematization of its results and methods and if science is to perform adequately its educational role in the modern world. Science is gradually rousing itself for the performance of its total task. (shrink)
Good governance for nanotechnology and nanomaterials is predicated on principles of general good governance. This paper discusses on what lessons we can learn from the oversight of past emerging technologies in formulating these principles. Nanotechnology provides us a valuable opportunity to apply these lessons and a duty to avoid repeating past mistakes. To do that will require mandatory regulation, grounded in precaution, that takes into account the uniqueness of nanomaterials. Moreover, this policy dialogue is not taking place in a vacuum. (...) In applying the lessons of the past, nanotechnology provides a window to renegotiate our public's social contract on chemicals, health, the environment, and risks. Emerging technologies illuminate structural weaknesses, providing a crucial chance to ameliorate lingering regulatory inadequacies and provide much needed updates of existing laws. (shrink)
How should we oversee new and emerging technologies and their products? What lessons can we discern from existing regulatory examples and from past mistakes? How do these lessons learned translate into informed recommendations for adequate oversight for nanotechnology to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past? The investigators of this interdisciplinary project undertook this endeavor intending to answer these questions among others.In parallel with the project team putting together this symposium, another, very different process on the oversight of nanotechnology took (...) place. An international coalition of non-governmental organizations formed to address the nanotech policy dialogue. The first goal of this NGO group was to agree upon and draft fundamental principles of oversight, which it completed in 2007-08. These principles close with a call for their adoption and/or internalization by all relevant actors and bodies. In effect, they serve a function in the policy dialogue similar to that of this project’s forthcoming recommendations. (shrink)
I criticize conceptual pluralism, as endorsed recently by John Dupre and Philip Kitcher, for failing to supply strategies for demarcating science from non-science. Using creation-science as a test case, I argue that pluralism blocks arguments that keep creation-science in check and that metaphysical pluralism offers it positive, metaphysical support. Logical empiricism, however, still provides useful resources to reconfigure and manage the problem of creation-science in those practical and political contexts where pluralism will fail.
This paper, first presented at the spring 1990 conference on Mass Media Ethics in the Information Age, compares and contrasts approaches of five scholars - Harold Innis, Marshall McLuhan, Walter Ong, Neil Postman, and Jacques Ellul - whose works are chief contributions to an influential communications theory that posits that the history of media technologies is central to the history of civilization, that media transformations result in social change, and that changes in the form of media technology alter the structure (...) of consciousness. (shrink)
Everyone has felt those tingling, tickly sensations occurring spontaneously all over the body in the absence of stimuli. But does anyone know where they come from? Here, right-handed subjects were asked to focus on one hand while looking at it and while looking away and subsequently to map and describe the spatial and qualitative attributes of sensations arising spontaneously. The spatial distribution of spontaneous sensations followed a proximo-distal gradient, similar to the one previously described for the density of receptive units. (...) The intensity and spatial extent of the reported sensations were modulated by the focusing condition, especially in respect of the left hand. Convergent focusing acted upon the conscious perception of sensations by enhancing or suppressing them. To our knowledge, this is the first ever study of spontaneous sensations, and it offers considerable insight into their sources. The presence of the proximo-distal distributional gradient is a clear sign that receptive units are involved. The enhancement/suppression effects also confirm the involvement of attention. Finally, left-hand dominance suggests several right-hemisphere processes may be involved, such as spatial and tactile perception, and probably interoception. (shrink)