What are the processes, from conception to adulthood, that enable a single cell to grow into a sentient adult? Neuroconstructivism is a pioneering 2 volume work that sets out a whole new framework for considering the complex topic of development, integrating data from cognitive studies, computational work, and neuroimaging.
A general meta-logical theory is developed by considering ontological disputes in the systems of metaphysics. The usefulness of this general meta-logical theory is demonstrated by considering the case of the ontological dispute between the metaphysical systems of Lewis’ Modal Realism and Terence Parsons’ Meinongianism. Using Quine’s criterion of ontological commitments and his views on ontological disagreement, three principles of metalogic is formulated. Based on the three principles of metalogic, the notions of independent variable and dependent variable are introduced. Then, the (...) ontological dispute between Lewis’ Modal Realism and Terence Parsons’ Meinongianism are restated in the light of the principles of metalogic. After the restatement, Independent variable and dependent variables are fixed in both Lewis’ Modal Realism and Terence Parsons’ Meinongianism to resolve the dispute. Subsequently, a new variety of quantifiers are introduced which is known as functionally isomorphic quantifiers to provide a formal representation of the resolution of the dispute. The specific functionally isomorphic quantifier which is developed in this work is known as st-quantifier. It is indicated that how st-quantifier which is one of the functionally isomorphic quantifiers can function like existential quantifier. It is also shown that there is some kind of inconsistency which is unavoidable in stating the ontological disagreement and therefore, paraconsistent logic is a requirement in stating the ontological disputes. (shrink)
Many believe that the ethical problems of donation after cardiocirculatory death (DCD) have been "worked out" and that it is unclear why DCD should be resisted. In this paper we will argue that DCD donors may not yet be dead, and therefore that organ donation during DCD may violate the dead donor rule. We first present a description of the process of DCD and the standard ethical rationale for the practice. We then present our concerns with DCD, including the following: (...) irreversibility of absent circulation has not occurred and the many attempts to claim it has have all failed; conflicts of interest at all steps in the DCD process, including the decision to withdraw life support before DCD, are simply unavoidable; potentially harmful premortem interventions to preserve organ utility are not justifiable, even with the help of the principle of double effect; claims that DCD conforms with the intent of the law and current accepted medical standards are misleading and inaccurate; and consensus statements by respected medical groups do not change these arguments due to their low quality including being plagued by conflict of interest. Moreover, some arguments in favor of DCD, while likely true, are "straw-man arguments," such as the great benefit of organ donation. The truth is that honesty and trustworthiness require that we face these problems instead of avoiding them. We believe that DCD is not ethically allowable because it abandons the dead donor rule, has unavoidable conflicts of interests, and implements premortem interventions which can hasten death. These important points have not been, but need to be fully disclosed to the public and incorporated into fully informed consent. These are tall orders, and require open public debate. Until this debate occurs, we call for a moratorium on the practice of DCD. (shrink)
We have synthesized a 582,970-base pair Mycoplasma genitalium genome. This synthetic genome, named M. genitalium JCVI-1.0, contains all the genes of wild-type M. genitalium G37 except MG408, which was disrupted by an antibiotic marker to block pathogenicity and to allow for selection. To identify the genome as synthetic, we inserted "watermarks" at intergenic sites known to tolerate transposon insertions. Overlapping "cassettes" of 5 to 7 kilobases (kb), assembled from chemically synthesized oligonucleotides, were joined by in vitro recombination to produce intermediate (...) assemblies of approximately 24 kb, 72 kb ("1/8 genome"), and 144 kb ("1/4 genome"), which were all cloned as bacterial artificial chromosomes in Escherichia coli. Most of these intermediate clones were sequenced, and clones of all four 1/4 genomes with the correct sequence were identified. The complete synthetic genome was assembled by transformation-associated recombination cloning in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, then isolated and sequenced. A clone with the correct sequence was identified. The methods described here will be generally useful for constructing large DNA molecules from chemically synthesized pieces and also from combinations of natural and synthetic DNA segments. 10.1126/science.1151721. (shrink)
We set out an account of how self-domestication plays a crucial role in the evolution of language. In doing so, we focus on the growing body of work that treats language structure as emerging from the process of cultural transmission. We argue that a full recognition of the importance of cultural transmission fundamentally changes the kind of questions we should be asking regarding the biological basis of language structure. If we think of language structure as reflecting an accumulated set of (...) changes in our genome, then we might ask something like, “What are the genetic bases of language structure and why were they selected?” However, if cultural evolution can account for language structure, then this question no longer applies. Instead, we face the task of accounting for the origin of the traits that enabled that process of structure-creating cultural evolution to get started in the first place. In light of work on cultural evolution, then, the new question for biological evolution becomes, “How did those precursor traits evolve?” We identify two key precursor traits: the transmission of the communication system through learning; and the ability to infer the communicative intent associated with a signal or action. We then describe two comparative case studies—the Bengalese finch and the domestic dog—in which parallel traits can be seen emerging following domestication. Finally, we turn to the role of domestication in human evolution. We argue that the cultural evolution of language structure has its origin in an earlier process of self-domestication. (shrink)
ABSTRACTMany scholars have drawn attention to the way that elements of Anne Conway’s system anticipate ideas found in Leibniz. This paper explores the relationship between Conway and Leibniz’s work with regard to time, space, and process. It argues – against existing scholarship – that Conway is not a proto-Leibnizian relationist about time or space, and in fact her views lie much closer to those of Henry More; yet Conway and Leibniz agree on the primacy of process. This exploration advances our (...) understanding of Conway’s system, and the intellectual relationships between Conway, More, and Leibniz. (shrink)
This study examined the effect of various antecedent variables on marketers’ perceptions of the role of ethics and socialresponsibility in the overall success of the firm. Variables examined included Hofstede’s cultural dimensions , as well as corporate ethical values and enforcement ofan ethics code. Additionally, individual variables such as ethical idealism and relativism were included. Results indicated that most ofthese variables impacted marketers’ perceptions of the importance of ethics and social responsibility, although to varying degrees.
Using Hofstede's culture theory (1980, 2001 Culture's Consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviours, Institutions, and Organizations Across Nation. Sage, NewYork), the current study incorporates the moral development (e.g. Thorne, 2000; Thorne and Magnan, 2000; Thorne et al., 2003) and multidimensional ethics scale (e.g. Cohen et al., 1993; Cohen et al., 1996b; Cohen et al., 2001; Flory et al., 1992) approaches to compare the ethical reasoning and decisions of Canadian and Mainland Chinese final year undergraduate accounting students. The results indicate that Canadian accounting (...) students' formulation of an intention to act on a particular ethical dilemma (deliberative reasoning) as measured by the moral development approach (Thorne, 2000) was higher than Mainland Chinese accounting students. The current study proposes that the five factors identified by the multidimensional ethics scale (MES), as being relevant to ethical decision making can be placed into the three levels of ethical reasoning identified by Kohlberg's (1958, The Development of Modes of Moral Thinking and Choice in the Years Ten to Sixteen. University of Chicago, Doctoral dissertation) theory of cognitive moral development. Canadian accounting students used post-conventional MES factors (moral equity, contractualism, and utilitarianism) more frequently and made more ethical audit decisions than Chinese accounting students. (shrink)
In Value and Context Alan Thomas articulates and defends the view that human beings do possess moral and political knowledge but it is historically and culturally contextual knowledge in ways that, say, mathematical or chemical knowledge is not. In his exposition of "cognitive contextualism" in ethics and politics he makes wide-ranging use of contemporary work in epistemology, moral philosophy, and political theory.
The Jubilee Centre’s new report, Virtuous Medical Practice, examines the place of character and values in the medical profession in Britain today. Its findings are drawn from a UK-focused multi-methods study of 549 doctors and aspiring doctors at three career stages, first and final year students and experienced doctors.
Social media applications such as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook have attained huge popularity, with more than three billion people and organizations predicted to have a social networking account by 2015. Social media offers a rapid avenue of communication with the public and has potential benefits for communicable disease control and surveillance. However, its application in everyday public health practice raises a number of important issues around confidentiality and autonomy. We report here a case from local level health protection where the (...) friend of an individual with meningococcal septicaemia used a social networking site to notify potential contacts. (shrink)
The literature regarding social and environmental sustainability of business focuses primarily on rationales for adopting sustainability strategies and operational practices in support of that goal. In contrast, we examine sustainability from a perspective that has received far less research attention—attitudes that inform managerial decision-making. We develop a conceptual model that identifies six elemental categories of attitudes that can be held independently or aggregated to yield a meta-attitude representing the legitimacy of sustainability. Our model distinguishes among three types of internally held (...) attitudes and externally perceived subjective norms: pragmatic, moral, and cognitive. We propose a refinement of Ajzen's (In: Kuhl J, Beckmann J (eds) Action control: from cognition to behavior, 1985; Organ Behav Hum Decis Process 50:179-211, 1991) Theory of planned behavior (TPB) that incorporates these sub-categories of personal attitudes and subjective norms. Practical implications are discussed including how organizations considering adopting sustainability programs might use the model as a conceptual tool to help achieve and assess program success. (shrink)
ABSTRACTEmotional reactivity has been implicated in the development and maintenance of anxiety. The metacognitive model suggests that maladaptive metacognitive beliefs may increase the impact of emotional reactivity on anxiety. As such, the purpose of the present study was to examine maladaptive metacognitive beliefs as a moderator of the relationship between emotional reactivity and anxiety in an undergraduate student sample. Participants completed a battery of self-report measures and a negative emotion induction procedure during a single laboratory session. As predicted, higher levels (...) of maladaptive metacognitive beliefs strengthened the relationship between emotional reactivity and anxiety. This effect was found in relation to negative, but not positive, metacognitive beliefs. Study results support the proposal that maladaptive metacognitive beliefs potentiate the effect of emotional reac... (shrink)
Global meta-philosophical skepticism (i.e. completely unrestricted skepticism about philosophy) based upon disagreement faces the problem of self-defeat since it undercuts its motivating conciliatory principle. However, the skeptic may easily escape this threat by adopting a more modest kind of skepticism, that will be called “extensive meta-philosophical skepticism”, i.e., the view that most of our philosophical beliefs are unjustified, except our beliefs in epistemically fundamental principles. As I will argue in this paper, this kind of skepticism is well-motivated, does not undercut (...) the conciliatory principle, but still poses a radical challenge to philosophy as a cognitive discipline. Moreover, I will argue that non-global skepticism that is still extensive undermines itself as well. The deeper reason for this is that this more modest kind of skepticism can only be motivated by the assumption that disagreement with philosophical peers is abundant and that we can identify peers only by relying on track-record arguments. But then one can argue for extensive meta-philosophical skepticism only if one presupposes that those philosophical beliefs that form the basis of track-record evaluations are justified. Here, the threat of self-defeat looms again. I will proceed by first defending the premises of this new anti-skeptical argument against standard objections from the literature. Second, I will show in more detail where the epistemic inconsistency arises in the argument for extensive meta-philosophical skepticism. I conclude with an assessment of the scope and the limits of my argument. (shrink)
We develop an axiomatic theory of “generalized Routley-Meyer logics.” These are first-order logics which are can be characterized by model theories in a certain generalization of Routley-Meyer semantics. We show that all GRM logics are subclassical, have recursively enumerable consequence relations, satisfy the compactness theorem, and satisfy the standard structural rules and conjunction and disjunction introduction/elimination rules. We also show that the GRM logics include classical logic, intuitionistic logic, LP/K3/FDE, and the relevant logics.
Political realism criticises the putative abstraction, foundationalism and neglect of the agonistic dimension of political practice in the work of John Rawls. This paper argues that had Rawls not fully specified the implementation of his theory of justice in one particular form of political economy then he would be vulnerable to a realist critique. But he did present such an implementation: a property-owning democracy. An appreciation of Rawls s specificationist method undercuts the realist critique of his conception of justice as (...) fairness. (shrink)
Super-substantivalism is the thesis that space is identical to matter; it is currently under discussion ? see Sklar (1977, 221?4), Earman (1989, 115?6) and Schaffer (2009) ? in contemporary philosophy of physics and metaphysics. Given this current interest, it is worth investigating the thesis in the history of philosophy. This paper examines the super-substantivalism of Samuel Alexander, an early twentieth century metaphysician primarily associated with (the movement now known as) British Emergentism. Alexander argues that spacetime is ontologically fundamental and it (...) gives rise to an ontological hierarchy of emergence, involving novel properties such as matter, life and mind. Alexander's super-substantivalism is interesting not just because of its historical importance but also because Alexander unusually attempts to explain why spacetime is identical to matter. This paper carefully unpacks that explanation and shows how Alexander is best read as conceiving of spacetime as a Spinozistic substance, worked upon by evolution. (shrink)
What makes us conscious? Many theories that attempt to answer this question have appeared recently in the context of widespread interest about consciousness in the cognitive neurosciences. Most of these proposals are formulated in terms of the information processing conducted by the brain. In this overview, we survey and contrast these models. We first delineate several notions of consciousness, addressing what it is that the various models are attempting to explain. Next, we describe a conceptual landscape that addresses how the (...) theories attempt to explain consciousness. We then situate each of several representative models in this landscape and indicate which aspect of consciousness they try to explain. We conclude that the search for the neural correlates of consciousness should be usefully complemented by a search for the computational correlates of consciousness. (shrink)
Virtue ethics has long provided fruitful resources for the study of issues in medical ethics. In particular, study of the moral virtues of the good doctor—like kindness, fairness and good judgement—have provided insights into the nature of medical professionalism and the ethical demands on the medical practitioner as a moral person. Today, a substantial literature exists exploring the virtues in medical practice and many commentators advocate an emphasis on the inculcation of the virtues of good medical practice in medical education (...) and throughout the medical career. However, until very recently, no empirical studies have attempted to investigate which virtues, in particular, medical doctors and medical students tend to have or not to have, nor how these virtues influence how they think about or practise medicine. The question of what virtuous medical practice is, is vast and, as we have written elsewhere, the question of how to study doctors’ moral character is fraught with difficulty. In this paper, we report the results of a first-of-a-kind study that attempted to explore these issues at three medical schools in the United Kingdom. We identify which character traits are important in the good doctor in the opinion of medical students and doctors and identify which virtues they say of themselves they possess and do not possess. Moreover, we identify how thinking about the virtues contributes to doctors’ and medical students’ thinking about common moral dilemmas in medicine. In ending, we remark on the implications for medical education. (shrink)
Duncan Purves and Nicolas Delon have argued that one’s life will be meaningful to the extent that one contributes to valuable states of affairs and this contribution is a result of one’s intentional actions. They then argue, contrary to some theorists’ intuitions, that non-human animals are capable of fulfilling these requirements, and that this finding might entail important things for the animal ethics movement. In this paper, I also argue that things besides human beings can have meaningful existences, but I (...) disagree with Purves and Delon’s theory of meaning, and some of the practical implications they suggest arise from their conclusion. Specifically, I argue that Purves and Delon are wrong to suggest that intentional agency is necessary for one’s life to be meaningful; contributing to valuable states of affairs can be sufficient by itself. Purves and Delon’s objection to such a claim is that it would allow even inanimate objects’ existences to count as meaningful. However, while I accept this... (shrink)