I discuss two types of evidential problems with the most widely touted experiments in evolutionary psychology, those performed by Leda Cosmides and interpreted by Cosmides and John Tooby. First, and despite Cosmides and Tooby's claims to the contrary, these experiments don't fulfil the standards of evidence of evolutionary biology. Second Cosmides and Tooby claim to have performed a crucial experiment, and to have eliminated rival approaches. Though they claim that their results are consistent with their theory but contradictory to the (...) leading non-evolutionary alternative, Pragmatic Reasoning Schemas theory, I argue that this claim is unsupported. In addition, some of Cosmides and Tooby's interpretations arise from misguided and simplistic understandings of evolutionary biology. While I endorse the incorporation of evolutionary approaches into psychology, I reject the claims of Cosmides and Tooby that a modular approach is the only one supported by evolutionary biology. Lewontin's critical examinations of the applications of adaptationist thinking provide a background of evidentiary standards against which to view the currently fashionable claims of evolutionary psychology. (shrink)
Recent philosophical attention to climate models has highlighted their weaknesses and uncertainties. Here I address the ways that models gain support through observational data. I review examples of model ﬁt, variety of evidence, and independent support for aspects of the models, contrasting my analysis with that of other philosophers. I also investigate model robustness, which often emerges when comparing climate models simulating the same time period or set of conditions. Starting from Michael Weisberg’s analysis of robustness, I conclude that his (...) approach involves a version of reasoning from variety of evidence, enabling this robustness to be a conﬁrmatory virtue.. (shrink)
This is a critique of "A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion" (Thornhill & Palmer, 2000). Lloyd argues that they have failed to do "excellent science" as required to defend themselves against criticism. As an example, Lloyd contends that they make conclusions which depend on rape being a single trait, while failing to prorivde any basis for such an assumption.
Nurses are responsible for the well-being and quality of life of many people, and therefore must meet high standards of technical and ethical competence. The most common form of ethical guidance is a code of ethics/professional practice; however, little research on how codes are viewed or used in practice has been undertaken. This study, carried out in six European countries, explored nurses’ opinions of the content and function of codes and their use in nursing practice. A total of 49 focus (...) groups involving 311 nurses were held. Purposive sampling ensured a mix of participants from a range of specialisms. Qualitative analysis enabled emerging themes to be identified on both national and comparative bases. Most participants had a poor understanding of their codes. They were unfamiliar with the content and believed they have little practical value because of extensive barriers to their effective use. In many countries nursing codes appear to be ‘paper tigers’ with little or no impact; changes are needed in the way they are developed and written, introduced in nurse education, and reinforced/implemented in clinical practice. (shrink)
We have previously found that attention to internal somatic sensations during a heart beat perception task increases the misperception of external touch on a somatic signal detection task , during which healthy participants erroneously report feeling near-threshold vibrations presented to their fingertip in the absence of a stimulus. However, it has been suggested that mindful interoceptive attention should result in more accurate somatic perception, due to its non-evaluative and controlled nature. To investigate this possibility, 62 participants completed the SSDT before (...) and after a period of brief body-scan mindfulness meditation training, or a control intervention . The meditation intervention reduced tactile misperception and increased sensitivity during the SSDT. This finding suggests that the perceptual effects of interoceptive attention depend on its particular nature, and raises the possibility that body-scan meditation could reduce the misperception of physical symptoms in individuals with medically unexplained symptoms. (shrink)
Why would the work of the 17th century philosopher Benedict de Spinoza concern us today? How can Spinoza shed any light on contemporary thought? In this intriguing book, Moira Gatens and Genevieve Lloyd show us that in spite of or rather because of Spinoza's apparent strangeness, his philosophy can be a rich resource for cultural self-understanding in the present. _Collective Imaginings_ draws on recent re-assessments of the philosophy of Spinoza to develop new ways of conceptualising issues of freedom and difference. (...) This ground-breaking study will be invaluable reading to anyone wishing to gain a fresh perspective on Spinoza's thought. (shrink)
In men and women sexual arousal culminates in orgasm, with female orgasm solely from sexual intercourse often regarded as a unique feature of human sexuality. However, orgasm from sexual intercourse occurs more reliably in men than in women, likely reflecting the different types of physical stimulation men and women require for orgasm. In men, orgasms are under strong selective pressure as orgasms are coupled with ejaculation and thus contribute to male reproductive success. By contrast, women's orgasms in intercourse are highly (...) variable and are under little selective pressure as they are not a reproductive necessity. The proximal mechanisms producing variability in women's orgasms are little understood. In 1924 Marie Bonaparte proposed that a shorter distance between a woman's clitoris and her urethral meatus (CUMD) increased her likelihood of experiencing orgasm in intercourse. She based this on her published data that were never statistically analyzed. In 1940 Landis and colleagues published similar data suggesting the same relationship, but these data too were never fully analyzed. We analyzed raw data from these two studies and found that both demonstrate a strong inverse relationship between CUMD and orgasm during intercourse. Unresolved is whether this increased likelihood of orgasm with shorter CUMD reflects increased penile–clitoral contact during sexual intercourse or increased penile stimulation of internal aspects of the clitoris. CUMD likely reflects prenatal androgen exposure, with higher androgen levels producing larger distances. Thus these results suggest that women exposed to lower levels of prenatal androgens are more likely to experience orgasm during sexual intercourse. ￼￼￼. (shrink)
This article discusses various dangers that accompany the supposedly benign methods in behavioral evoltutionary biology and evolutionary psychology that fall under the framework of "methodological adaptationism." A "Logic of Research Questions" is proposed that aids in clarifying the reasoning problems that arise due to the framework under critique. The live, and widely practiced, " evolutionary factors" framework is offered as the key comparison and alternative. The article goes beyond the traditional critique of Stephen Jay Gould and Richard C. Lewontin, to (...) present problems such as the disappearance of evidence, the mishandling of the null hypothesis, and failures in scientific reasoning, exemplified by a case from human behavioral ecology. In conclusion the paper shows that "methodological adaptationism" does not deserve its benign reputation. (shrink)
My contribution to this Symposium focuses on the links between sexuality and reproduction from the evolutionary point of view.' The relation between women's sexuality and reproduction is particularly importantb ecause of a vital intersectionb etweenp olitics and biology feminists have noticed, for more than a century, that women's identity is often defined in terms of her reproductive capacity. More recently, in the second wave of the feminist movement in the United States, debates about women'si dentityh ave explicitlyi ncludeds exuality;m uch (...) feminist argument in the late 1960's and early 1970's involved an attempt to separate out an autonomous female sexuality from women's reproductive functions. It is especially relevant, then, to examine biological arguments, particularlye volutionarya rgumentst, o see what they say about whether and how women's sexuality is related to reproduction. We shall find that many evolutionarya rgumentss eem to supportt he direct linkingo f female sexualitya nd reproductionY. et I will argue that this supporti s not well-groundedI. n fact, I think evolutionarye xplanationso f female sexuality exemplify how social beliefs and social agendas can influence very basic biological explanations of fundamental physiological processes. In this paper, I shall spend some time spelling out a few examples in which assumptions about the close link between reproduction and sexuality yield misleading results, then I shall conclude with a discussion of the consequences of this case study for issues in the philosophy of science. (shrink)
We critically examine Denis Walsh’s latest attack on the causalist view of fitness. Relying on Judea Pearl’s Sure-Thing Principle and geneticist John Gillespie’s model for fitness, Walsh has argued that the causal interpretation of fitness results in a reductio. We show that his conclusion only follows from misuse of the models, that is, (1) the disregard of the real biological bearing of the population-size parameter in Gillespie’s model and (2) the confusion of the distinction between ordinary probability and Pearl’s causal (...) probability. Properly understood, the models used by Walsh do not threaten the causalist view of fitness. (shrink)
Today's climate models are supported in a couple of ways that receive little attention from philosophers or climate scientists. In addition to standard 'model fit', wherein a model's simulation is compared to observational data, there is an additional type of confirmation available through the variety of instances of model fit. When a model performs well at fitting first one variable and then another, the probability of the model under some standard confirmation function, say, likelihood, goes up more than under each (...) individual case of fit alone. Thus, two instances of fit of distinct variables of a global climate model using distinct data sets considered collectively will provide stronger evidence for a model than either one of the instances considered individually. This has consequences for model robustness. Sets of models that produce robust results will, if their assumptions vary enough and they each are observationally sound, provide reasons to endorse common structures found in those models. Finally, independent empirical support for aspects and assumptions of the model provides an additional confirmational virtue for climate models, contrary to what is implied by some current philosophical writing on this topic. (shrink)
I propose a distinct type of robustness, which I suggest can support a confirmatory role in scientific reasoning, contrary to the usual philosophical claims. In model robustness, repeated production of the empirically successful model prediction or retrodiction against a background of independentlysupported and varying model constructions, within a group of models containing a shared causal factor, may suggest how confident we can be in the causal factor and predictions/retrodictions, especially once supported by a variety of evidence framework. I present climate (...) models of greenhouse gas global warming of the 20th Century as an example, and emphasize climate scientists’ discussions of robust models and causal aspects. The account is intended as applicable to a broad array of sciences that use complex modeling techniques. (shrink)
The emphasis on the limitations of objectivity, in specific guises and networks, has been a continuing theme of contemporary analytic philosophy for the past few decades. The popular sport of baiting feminist philosophers — into pointing to what's left out of objective knowledge, or into describing what methods, exactly, they would offer to replace the powerful objective methods grounding scientific knowledge — embodies a blatant double standard which has the effect of constantly putting feminist epistemologists on the defensive, on the (...) fringes, on the run.This strategy can only work if objectivity is transparent, simple, stable, and clear in its meaning. It most certainly is not. In fact, taking objectivity as a sort of beautiful primitive, self-evident in its value, and all-powerful in its revelatory power, requires careless philosophy, and the best workers in metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of science have made reworked definitions of objectivity absolutely central to their own projects. In fact, classic feminist concerns with exploring the impact of sex and gender on knowledge, understanding, and other relations between human beings and the rest of the world fall squarely within the sort of human and social settings thatare already considered central in most current analytic metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of science. I argue that the burden of proof is clearly on those who wish toreject the centrality and relevance of sex and gender to our most fundamental philosophical work on knowledge and reality. (shrink)
I argue that four of the fundamental claims of those calling themselves `genic pluralists'Philip Kitcher, Kim Sterelny, and Ken Watersare defective. First, they claim that once genic selectionism is recognized, the units of selection problems will be dissolved. Second, Sterelny and Kitcher claim that there are no targets of selection. Third, Sterelny, Kitcher, and Waters claim that they have a concept of genic causation that allows them to give independent genic causal accounts of all selection processes. I argue that each (...) one of these claims is either false or misleading. Moreover, the challenge that arises from the availability of genic causal accounts, namely, the inability to choose on rational grounds among genic and higher-level accounts, is unsupported. (shrink)
The central characteristic of cognitive explanations of behavior is the appeal to inner representations. I examine the grounds which justify representational explanations, seeking the minimum conditions which organisms must meet to be candidates for such explanations. I first discuss Fodor's proposal that representationality be attributed to systems which respond to nonnomic properties, arguing that the distinction between the nomic and nonnomic in perception is fatally ambiguous. Then I turn to an illustrative review of the behavior and neurobiology of Hermissenda crassicornis, (...) a marine mollusk. Concerning this "model system," I compare the representational style of explanation with both behaviorist and neurophysiological explanations. Representational explanation is potentially more comprehensive than its rivals, and thus I conclude that representations are useful posits wherever internal information-bearing states mediate behavior. (shrink)
Given the recent explosion of interest in applications of evolutionary biology to understanding human psychology, we think it timely to assure better understanding of modern evolutionary theory among the psychologists who might be using it. We find it necessary to do so because of the very reducd version of evolutionary theorizing that has been incorporated into much of evolutionary psychology so far. Our aim here is to clarify why the use of a reduced version of evolutionary genetics will lead to (...) faulty science and to indicate where other resources of evolutionary biology can be found that might elevate the standard of the evolutionary component of evolutionary psychology. (shrink)
When natural selection theory was presented, much active philosophical debate, in which Darwin himself participated, centered on its hypothetical nature, its explanatory power, and Darwin's methodology. Upon first examination, Darwin's support of his theory seems to consist of a set of claims pertaining to various aspects of explanatory success. I analyze the support of his method and theory given in the Origin of Species and private correspondence, and conclude that an interpretation focusing on the explanatory strengths of natural selection theory (...) accurately reflects neither Darwin's own self-consciously held views, nor the nature of his support. Darwin's methodological and philosophical arguments were at once consistently empiricist and more sophisticated than such interpretations credit to him. (shrink)
The theory of evolution by natural selection is, perhaps, the crowning intellectual achievement of the biological sciences. There is, however, considerable debate about which entity or entities are selected and what it is that fits them for that role. This article aims to clarify what is at issue in these debates by identifying four distinct, though often confused, concerns and then identifying how the debates on what constitute the units of selection depend to a significant degree on which of these (...) four questions a thinker regards as central. (shrink)
The essays in this volume present versions of feminism that are explicitly liberal, or versions of liberalism that are explicitly feminist. By bringing together some of the most respected and well-known scholars in mainstream political philosophy today, Amy R. Baehr challenges the reader to reconsider the dominant view that liberalism and feminism are 'incompatible.'.
A precise formulation of the structure of modern evolutionary theory has proved elusive. In this paper, I introduce and develop a formal approach to the structure of population genetics, evolutionary theory's most developed sub-theory. Under the semantic approach, used as a framework in this paper, presenting a theory consists in presenting a related family of models. I offer general guidelines and examples for the classification of population genetics models; the defining features of the models are taken to be their state (...) spaces, parameters, and laws. The suggestions regarding the various aspects of the characterization of population genetics models provide an outline for further detailed research. (shrink)
Holobionts, consisting of a host and diverse microbial symbionts, function as distinct biological entities anatomically, metabolically, immunologically, and developmentally. Symbionts can be transmitted from parent to offspring by a variety of vertical and horizontal methods. Holobionts can be considered levels of selection in evolution because they are well-defined interactors, replicators/reproducers, and manifestors of adaptation. An initial mathematical model is presented to help understand how holobionts evolve. The model offered combines the processes of horizontal symbiont transfer, within-host symbiont proliferation, vertical symbiont (...) transmission, and holobiont selection. The model offers equations for the population dynamics and evolution of holobionts whose hologenomes differ in gene copy number, not in allelic or loci identity. The model may readily be extended to include variation among holobionts in the gene identities of both symbionts and host. (shrink)
I suggest following Paul Feyerabend's own advice, and interpreting Feyerabend's work in light of the principles laid out by John Stuart Mill. A review of Mill's essay, On Liberty, emphasizes the importance Mill placed on open and critical discussion for the vitality and progress of various aspects of human life, including the pursuit of scientific knowledge. Many of Feyerabend's more unusual stances, I suggest, are best interpreted as attempts to play certain roles--especially the role of "defender of unpopular minority opinion"--that (...) are necessary to fulfilling Mill's conditions for rational exchange and optimal human development. (shrink)
This paper will examine the violence of heteronormativity: the violence that constitutes and regulates bodies according to normative notions of sex, gender, and sexuality. This violence, I will argue, requires more than a focus on gendered or sexualized physical harms of the kinds normally examined when studying violence against sexual minorities or women. Rather, it necessitates focusing on the multiple modalities through which heteronormativity performs its violence on, through, and against bodies and persons, including through the production of certain bodies (...) and persons as inciting violence in their very being. To establish my argument, I explore the killing in 2002 of trans woman Gwen Araujo and the violence of the legal strategy (the trans panic defense) used in the legal trials that followed her killing. Both forms of violence, I suggest, operate in a similar way, albeit through different mechanisms, to maintain and extend the system of binary morphology that itself entails the perpetual violent materialization of sexed bodies. (shrink)
Commonsense psychology and cognitive science both regularly assume the existence of representational states. I propose a naturalistic theory of representation sufficient to meet the pretheoretical constraints of a "folk theory of representation", constraints including the capacities for accuracy and inaccuracy, selectivity of proper objects of representation, perspective, articulation, and "efficacy" or content-determined functionality. The proposed model states that a representing device is a device which changes state when information is received over multiple information channels originating at a single source. The (...) changed state of a representing device is a representation. The unitary information source which would give rise to the information impinging on the representing device, and hence, give rise to the representation, is the content of the representation. The model meets the pretheoretic constraints, and also conforms to available neurobiological data for two invertebrate species. (shrink)
This paper describes a teaching methodology whereby students can gain practical experience of ethical decision-making in the engineering design process. We first argue for the necessity to teach a ‘practical’ understanding of ethical issues in engineering education along with the usual theoretical or hypothetical approaches. We then show how this practical understanding can be achieved by using a collaborative design game, describing how, for example, the concept of responsibility can be explored from this practical basis. We conclude that the use (...) of games in design education can provide an excellent basis for discussing practical and ethical reasoning during the process of design. (shrink)
this requirement for adaptations. Emergent characters are always potential adaptations. Not all selection processes produce adaptations, however. The key issue, in delineating a selection process, is the relationship between a character and fitness. The emergent character approach is more restrictive than alternative schemas that delineate selection..
The ethic of care provides not only a basis for understanding relationships of care at the micro level but also a potent form of political ethics, relevant to the development of welfare services. Williams (2001), for example, argues that the concept of care has the capacity to be a central referent in social policy?a point at which social and cultural transformations meet with the changing relations of welfare (Williams 2001, p. 470). English social care services are currently in another period (...) of change precipitated by the ?personalisation agenda?. This agenda is seen as having the potential to revolutionise social care, to create the conditions needed to tailor services to individual needs, and to give service users greater choice and control, including, where possible, control over their own service budgets or direct possession and management of care funds. These developments are inextricably linked to broader economic and social trends, key amongst which are the ageing of the population and changing economic conditions affecting both the labour market and the market for care services. This article applies the feminist ethic of care to an analysis of the personalisation agenda in the context of care for dependent older people. It highlights fundamental political questions posed concerning the nature and extent of older people's need for care, responsibility for meeting these needs and the associated costs. It questions whether the personalisation agenda could potentially offer a more responsive form of care, by placing more power and control in older people's hands. Key points considered are the individualisation of care and the ways in which control is conceptualised. The article concludes with an assessment of the feminist ethic of care as a basis for policy evaluation. (shrink)
& Functional brain imaging offers new opportunities for the begin with single-subject (preprocessed) scan series, and study of that most pervasive of cognitive conditions, human consider the patterns of all voxels as potential multivariate consciousness. Since consciousness is attendant to so much encodings of phenomenal information. Twenty-seven subjects of human cognitive life, its study requires secondary analysis from the four studies were analyzed with multivariate of multiple experimental datasets. Here, four preprocessed methods, revealing analogues of phenomenal structures, datasets from the (...) National fMRI Data Center are considered: particularly the structures of temporality. In a second Hazeltine et al., Neural activation during response competi- interpretive approach, artificial neural networks were used tion; Ishai et al., The representation of objects in the human to detect a more explicit prediction from phenomenology, occipital and temporal cortex; Mechelli et al., The effects of namely, that present experience contains and is inflected by presentation rate during word and pseudoword reading; and past states of awareness and anticipated events. In all of 21 Postle et al., Activity in human frontal cortex associated with subjects in this analysis, nets were successfully trained to spatial working memory and saccadic behavior. The study of extract aspects of relative past and future brain states, in consciousness also draws from multiple disciplines. In this comparison with statistically similar controls. This exploratory article, the philosophical subdiscipline of phenomenology study thus concludes that the proposed methods for provides initial characterization of phenomenal structures ‘‘neurophenomenology’’ warrant further application, includ- conceptually necessary for an analysis of consciousness. These ing the exploration of individual differences, multivariate structures include phenomenal intentionality, phenomenal differences between cognitive task conditions, and explora- superposition, and experienced temporality.. (shrink)
climate scientists have been engaged in a decades-long debate over the standing of satellite measurements of the temperature trends of the atmosphere above the surface of the earth. This is especially significant because skeptics of global warming and the greenhouse effect have utilized this debate to spread doubt about global climate models used to predict future states of climate. I use this case from an under-studied science to illustrate two distinct philosophical approaches to the relation among data, scientists, measurement, models, (...) and theory. I argue that distinguishing between 'direct' empiricist and 'complex' empiricist approaches helps us understand and analyze this important scientific episode. I also introduce a complex empiricist account of testing and evaluation, and contrast it with the basic Hypothetico-Deductive approach to the climate models used by the direct empiricists. This more developed complex empiricist apporach will serve philosophy of science well, as computational models become more wide-spread in the sciences. (shrink)
The continual background awareness of duration is an essential structure of consciousness, conferring temporal extension to the many objects of awareness within the evanescent sensory present. Seeking the possible neural correlates of ubiquitous temporal awareness, this article reexamines fMRI data from off-task “default mode” periods in 25 healthy subjects studied by Grady et al. , 2005). “Brain reading” using support vector machines detected information specifying elapsed time, and further analysis specified distributed networks encoding implicit time. These networks fluctuate; none are (...) continuously active during DM. However, the aggregate regions of greatest variability closely resemble the default mode network. It appears that the default mode network has an important role as a state-dependent monitor of temporality. (shrink)
This new edition of Genevieve Lloyd's classic study of the maleness of reason in philosophy contains a new introduction and bibliographical essay assessing the book's place in the explosion of writing and gender since 1984.