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)
Earlier in the pages of this journal (p 481), Wendler and Miller offered the "net risks test" as an alternative approach to the ethical analysis of benefits and harms in research. They have been vocal critics of the dominant view of benefit-harm analysis in research ethics, which encompasses core concepts of duty of care, clinical equipoise and component analysis. They had been challenged to come up with a viable alternative to component analysis which meets five criteria. The alternative must (...) (1) protect research subjects; (2) allow clinical research to proceed; (3) explain how physicians may offer trial enrolment to their patients; (4) address the challenges posed by research containing a mixture of interventions and (5) define ethical standards according to which the risks and potential benefits of research may be consistently evaluated. This response argues that the net risks test meets none of these criteria and concludes that it is not a viable alternative to component analysis. (shrink)
My initial hope when I first saw Miller’s book was that here at least would be a work which satisfies the long standing need for a comprehensive introduction to contemporary metaethics which is accessible enough to be employed in advanced undergraduate courses and introductory graduate seminars. This hope was only partially realized, however, as Miller ends up oscillating between clear presentations of extant debates in the recent literature and his own extended attempts to determine where the truth of (...) the matter lies. The result is an interesting book that likely will appeal both to those looking for a classroom text in metaethics as well as to experts on the relevant issues. (shrink)
We are often warned against stepping onto ‘slippery slopes’ — dangerously slick slides leading down to where the really bad stuff lies. But, as Arthur Miller here explains, these warnings often exaggerate the risk of a slip.
Sayre finds deep connections between collection and division, the two kinds of measure distinguished in the Statesman, the conceptions of Limit and Unlimited in the Philebus, and the Dyad that Aristotle reports was a key principle in the "unwritten teachings." The Stranger's dialectical account of statesmanship practices due measure; by "cutting down the middle," the Stranger shows how Forms — understood as Limits as, in turn, "numbers in the sense of measures" — "mark off a middle ground between [the] extremes (...) [implied by] the Unlimited" and, thus, preserve the mean. I suggest a number of critical reconfigurations of these seminal insights. (shrink)
Clearly, Marx thought he was promoting democratic values. In the Manifesto, the immediate goal of socialism is summed up as “to win the battle of democracy.” Marx sees the reduction of individuality as one of the greatest injuries done by a system in which most people buy and sell their labor power on terms over which they have little control. As they supervised translations and re-issues of the Manifesto, Marx and Engels singled out just one point as a major topic (...) on which their view in 1848 had been superseded. The forms of government needed to be changed to give people more control over the state, a change in structure pioneered by the Paris Commune. (shrink)
Paul Boghossian has argued, on grounds concerning the holistic nature of belief fixation, that there are principled reasons for thinking that 'optimal conditions' versions of reductive dispositionalism about content cannot hope to satisfy a condition of extensional accuracy. I discern three separable strands of argument in Boghossian's work—the circularity objection, the open-endedness objection, and the certification objection—and argue that each of these objections fails. My conclusion is that for all that Boghossian has shown, 'optimal conditions' versions of reductive dispositionalism have (...) to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. (shrink)