Causal inference plays a central role in behavioral science. Historically, behavioral science methodologies have typically sought to infer a single causal relation. Each of the major approaches to causal inference in the behavioral sciences follows this pattern. Nonetheless, such approaches sometimes differ in the causal relation that they infer. Incremental causal inference offers an alternative to this conceptualization of causal inference that divides the inference into a series of incremental steps. Different steps infer different causal relations. Incremental causal inference is (...) consistent with both causal pluralism and anti-pluralism. However, anti-pluralism places greater constraints the possible topology of sequential inferences. Arguments against causal inference include questioning consistency with causation as an explanatory principle, charging undue complexity, and questioning the need for it. Arguments in favor of incremental inference include better explanation of diverse causal inferences in behavioral science, tailored causal inference, and more detailed and explicit description of causal inference. Incremental causal inference offers a viable and potentially fruitful alternative to approaches limited to a single causal relation. (shrink)
Cramer et al. present a thoughtful application of network analysis to symptoms, but certain questions remain open. These questions involve the intended causal interpretation, the critique of latent variables, individual variation in causal networks, Borsboom's idea of networks as measurement models, and how well the data support the stability of the network results.
Philosophers and scientists have studied sensory perception and, in particular, vision for many years. Increasingly, however, they have become interested in the nonvisual senses in greater detail and the problem of individuating the senses in a more general way. The Aristotelian view is that there are only five external senses—smell, taste, hearing, touch, and vision. This has, by many counts, been extended to include internal senses, such as balance, proprioception, and kinesthesis; pain; and potentially other human and nonhuman senses. This (...) “multisensory turn” has been driven partly by developments in contemporary psychology and neuroscience, which have revealed a host of complex interrelations and interactions between sensory modalities previously thought to be distinct. Contrasts between modalities and other crossmodal phenomena, including multisensory integration, synesthesia, and sensory substitution, have also begun to receive more attention in a burgeoning scientific and philosophical literature on multisensory perception and other crossmodal effects. This article focuses on recent empirically informed contributions to the philosophy of perception, as well as key scientific works that provide important background information and insights into the nature of the senses and sensory perception. Indeed, one of the lessons of the multisensory turn, and of contemporary philosophy of mind more generally, is that philosophers ignore this body of empirical research at their peril because many human and animal senses turn out to be richer and more complex than philosophers and scientists had previously imagined, making this a fruitful area for interdisciplinary interaction and research. (shrink)
Many philosophers and scientists take perceptual experience, whatever else it involves, to be representational. In ‘The Silence of the Senses’, Charles Travis argues that this view involves a kind of category mistake, and consequently, that perceptual experience is not a representational or intentional phenomenon. The details of Travis’s argument, however, have been widely misinterpreted by his representationalist opponents, many of whom dismiss it out of hand. This chapter offers an interpretation of Travis’s argument from looks that it is argued presents (...) a genuine and important challenge to orthodox representational views of experience. Whilst this challenge may not be insurmountable, it places a substantial burden upon the representationalist to explain not only how experiences come to have the contents that they do, but how those contents come to feature in our conscious mental lives. (shrink)
In his account of visual perception, Thomas Reid describes visible figure as both ‘real and external’ to the eye and as the ‘immediate object of sight’. These claims appear to conflict with Reid's direct realism, since if the ‘immediate’ object of vision is also its direct object, then sight would be perceptually indirect due to the role of visible figure as a perceptual intermediary. I argue that this apparent threat to Reid's direct realism may be resolved by understanding visible figure (...) as the set of geometrical properties that holds between an object's visible surfaces and some particular perspective or point of view. On this relational interpretation of visible figure, and once an ambiguity over the use of the term ‘object’ is resolved, Reid's account of vision is both epistemically and perceptually direct, as well as consistent with his account of the other senses and doctrine of signs. (shrink)
In the past decade, digital technology, fiber optics, cellular phones, satellite television, home computers, and the Internet have substantially transformed business, education, and leisure practices. These technologies are becoming so integrated into our daily routines that their ubiquity often goes unnoticed. We are, nonetheless, in the midst of a telecommunications revolution, and the healthcare industry is becoming a major player. The burgeoning field of home-based telemedicine is evidence of this.
We attempt to defend the species-as-individuals hypothesis by examining the logical role played by the binomials (e.g., "Homo sapiens," "Pinus ponderosa") in biological discourse about species. Those who contend that the binomials can be properly understood as functioning in biological theory as singular terms opt for an objectual account of species and view species as individuals. Those who contend that the binomials can in principle be eliminated from biological theory in favor of predicate expressions opt for a predicative account of (...) species and view species as kinds. We contend that biologists' talk about species is talk about species as individuals, and we conclude that the most plausible account of species is an objectual account. (shrink)
Objective We sought to understand ethics and education needs of emergency nurses and physicians in paediatric and adult emergency departments in order to build ethics capacity and provide a foundation for the development of an ethics education programme. Methods This was a prospective cross-sectional survey of all staff nurses and physicians in three tertiary care EDs. The survey tool, called Clinical Ethics Needs Assessment Survey, was pilot tested on a similar target audience for question content and clarity. Results Of the (...) 123 participants surveyed, 72% and 84% of nurses and physicians fully/somewhat agreed with an overall positive ethical climate, respectively. 69% of participants reported encountering daily or weekly ethical challenges. Participants expressed the greatest need for additional support to address moral distress, conflict management with patients or families and resource issues. Of the 23 reported occurrences of moral distress, 61% were associated with paediatric mental health cases. When asked how the ethics consultation service could be used in the ED, providing education to teams was the most desired method. Conclusions Nurses report a greater need for ethics education and resources compared with their physician colleagues. Ethical challenges in paediatric EDs are more prevalent than adult EDs and nurses voice specific moral distress that are different than adult EDs. These results highlight the need for a suitable educational strategy, which can be developed in collaboration with the leadership of each ED and team of hospital ethicists. (shrink)
We attempt to defend the species-as-individuals hypothesis by examining the logical role played by the binomials in biological discourse about species. Those who contend that the binomials can be properly understood as functioning in biological theory as singular terms opt for an objectual account of species and view species as individuals. Those who contend that the binomials can in principle be eliminated from biological theory in favor of predicate expressions opt for a predicative account of species and view species as (...) kinds. We contend that biologists' talk about species is talk about species as individuals, and we conclude that the most plausible account of species is an objectual account. (shrink)
The Christian intellectual tradition consistently affirms that God is present in and continues to speak through Scripture. These functions of the Christian Scriptures have been underexamined in contemporary philosophy of religion and philosophical theology. Careful attention to the phenomenon of shared attention is instructive for providing an account of these matters, and the shared attention account developed here provides a useful conceptual framework within which to situate recent work on Scripture by scholars such as Kevin Vanhoozer, Nicholas Wolterstorff, and Michael (...) Rea. (shrink)
After decades of specialization within the sciences, the development and application of implantable microchips and biosensors are now being made possible by a growing convergence among seemingly disparate scientific disciplines including, among others, biology, informatics, chemistry, and engineering. This convergence of diverse scientific disciplines is the basis for the creation of new technologies that will have significant medical potential. As of today, implantable microchips and biosensors are being used as mental prostheses to compensate for a loss of normal function, to (...) remotely monitor patients' vital signs, to control the delivery of medications, and to communicate with geographically distant healthcare professionals and the outside environment. (shrink)
Drawing on the empirical premise that attention makes objects look more intense, Ned Block has argued for mental paint, a phenomenal residue that cannot be reduced to what is perceived or represented. If sound, Block's argument would undermine direct realism and representationism, two widely held views about the nature of conscious perception. We argue that Block's argument fails because the empirical premise it is based upon is false. Attending to an object alters its salience, but not its perceived intensity. We (...) also argue that salience should be equated with mental primer, a close cousin of mental paint that reintroduces difficulties for direct realism and representationism. The upshot is that direct realism and representationism are still in trouble, but not for the reason that Block thinks. (shrink)
In an incisive critique of Professor Hick's Evil and the God of Love , Professor Puccetti claims to ‘carry the campaign as well as the battle’—i.e. to show that, with respect to evil, theists ‘are either “explaining it away” or saying it cannot be explained at all. And in both cases they are in effect admitting they have no rational defence to offer. Which means that despite appearances they really are abandoning the battlefield.’.
Three experiments examined the role of response criteria in a masked semantic priming paradigm using an exclusion task. Experiment 1 used on-line prime-report and exclusion instructions in which participants were told to avoid completing a word stem with a word related to a prime flashed for 0, 38 or 212 ms. Semantic priming was significant in the items analysis, but was moderated by peoples’ ability to report the prime in the participant analysis. Prime-report thresholds in Experiment 2 were made more (...) liberal by instructing participants to guess on every trial. Prime-report increased from Experiment 1 as exclusion failures were eliminated. Experiment 3 clarified the relationship between awareness and prime identification using an on-line measure of confidence and different liberal prime report instructions. The current findings suggest that the ability to act upon and report information in a masked prime is determined by a variable response criterion, which can be manipulated as an independent variable. (shrink)
In his recent paper ‘Gratuitous Evil and Divine Existence’. Keith Yandell declares the deductive argument from evil solved. He notes, however, that what persists is a probabilistic version of the argument from evil, one concluding from the evidence of evil that it is ‘highly improbable’ that God exists. Yandell attempts to refute this probabilistic argument from gratuitous evil; as shown below, however, he fails.
My discussion in this paper is divided into three parts. In section I, I discuss some fairly familiar lines of approach to the question how moral considerations may be shown to have rational appeal. In section II, I suggest how our existence as constituents in collective entities might also influence our practical thinking. In section III, I entertain the idea that identification with collectives might displace moral thinking to some degree, and I offer Marx's class theory as a sample of (...) collective identification for the purposes of practical deliberation. (shrink)
The dual role of olfaction in both smelling and tasting, i.e. flavour perception, makes it an important test case for philosophical theories of sensory individuation. Indeed, the psychologist Paul Rozin claimed that olfaction is a “dual sense”, leading some scientists and philosophers to propose that we have not one, but two senses of smell: orthonasal and retronasal olfaction. In this paper I consider how best to understand Rozin’s claim, and upon what grounds one might judge there to be one or (...) two distinct olfactory modalities. I conclude that while Rozin may be right that humans have dual occurrences of an olfactory ‘sense’, the concept of a sense-modality, and hence the ‘sense’ of smell, is ambiguous between two different notions: a physiological sensory channel and an experiential modality, along the lines suggested by J. J. Gibson. Furthermore, recognising that these are complementary rather than competing conceptions of a sense-modality enables the formulation of a powerful ‘dual-concept’ framework for posing and addressing questions concerning the complex architecture of human multisensory experience. (shrink)
Many philosophers have held that perceptual experience is fundamentally a matter of perceivers being in particular representational states. Such states are said to have representational content, i.e. accuracy or veridicality conditions, capturing the way that things, according to that experience, appear to be. In this thesis I argue that the case against representationalism — the view that perceptual experience is fundamentally and irreducibly representational — that is set out in Charles Travis’s ‘The Silence of the Senses’ (2004) constitutes a powerful, (...) but much misunderstood and neglected argument against this prevailing philosophical orthodoxy. -/- In chapter 2, I present an interpretation of Travis’s arguments that poses a dilemma for the representationalist concerning the indeterminacy and availability of perceptual content. Chapters 3 and 4 evaluate a variety of arguments in favour of such content based upon the nature of appearances, or ‘looks’, including those by Byrne (2009), Siegel (2010) and Schellenberg (2011b), each of which I find to be problematic. Finally, chapters 5 and 6 examine the relationship between representational content and phenomenal character, i.e. what perceptual experience is subjectively like, outlining some potential responses to Travis’s anti-representationalism. These include the external individuation of content and self-knowledge, and the operation of perceptual discriminatory capacities (the latter of which does not necessarily favour a representationalist account of experience). -/- I conclude that Travis’s arguments establish substantive constraints upon the nature and role of perceptual content. Moreover, I argue that the debate centres less upon the existence of such content than its explanatory role, particularly in relation to phenomenal character and the contents of other mental states: belief, intention, thought, knowledge, and so on. This in turn highlights the need for representationalists to better clarify the role of the contents their theories posit, and why such theories constitute a better explanation of the relevant phenomena than the corresponding non-representational view.. (shrink)
We would like to thank Ian Carter and Matthew Kramer for their challenging reply to our recent article. Dowding and van Hees is one of a series of articles in which we try to address measurement issues with regard to individual freedom. Our aim is to provide a conception of freedom that will eventually yield a way of measuring the relative freedom of groups of people within a society and a relative measure of freedom across societies. In doing so, we (...) draw upon the important work of Carter and Kramer, but as should be clear, we also depart from it in several respects. (shrink)