A two-systems model of moral judgment proposed by Joshua Greene holds that deontological moral judgments (those based on simple rules concerning action) are often primary and intuitive, and these intuitive judgments must be overridden by reflection in order to yield utilitarian (consequence-based) responses. For example, one dilemma asks whether it is right to push a man onto a track in order to stop a trolley that is heading for five others. Those who favor pushing, the utilitarian response, usually take longer (...) to respond than those who oppose pushing. Greene's model assumes an asymmetry between the processes leading to different responses. We consider an alternative model based on the assumption of symmetric conflict between two response tendencies. By this model, moral dilemmas differ in the "difficulty" of giving a utilitarian response and subjects differ in the "ability" (tendency) to give such responses. (We could just as easily define ability in terms of deontological responses, as the model treats the responses symmetrically.) We thus make an analogy between moral dilemmas and tests of cognitive ability, and we apply the Rasch model, developed for the latter, to estimate the ability-difficulty difference for each dilemma for each subject. We apply this approach to five data sets collected for other purposes by three of the co-authors. Response time (RT), including yes and no responses, is longest when difficulty and ability match, because the subject is indifferent between the two responses, which also have the same RT at this point. When we consider yes/no responses, RT is longest when the model predicts that the response is improbable. Subjects with low ability take longer on the "easier" dilemmas, and vice versa. (shrink)
This collection of thirteen essays by prominent scholars explores the history of evolutionary thought in all of its cultural richness over the past two hundred years. Evolutionary ideas have undergone fundamental changes and are now found to have diverse sources and universal scope. They are no longer beholden to biologists’ understanding of their own past, and do not focus exclusively on Charles Darwin. This volume aims to address the problem of the human significance of evolution. The contributors draw on contemporary (...) sources as diverse as medicine, literature and natural history tableaux, as well as the resources of publishing history, feminine scholarship, and the histories of politics, sociology, and philosophy. The essays offer new perspectives on familiar figures such as Erasmus, Charles Darwin, Lamarck, Chambers, Huxley, and Haeckel, but also on many lesser known participants in the evolutionary debates. Contents Preface; Introductory conversation; 1. Erasmus Darwin: Doctor of Evolution? R. Porter; 2. Nature’s powers: a reading of Lamarck’s distinction between creation and production L. Jordanova; 3. Lamarckism and democracy: corporations, corruption, and comparative anatomy in the 1830s A. Desmond; 4. The nebular hypothesis and the science of progress S. Schaffer; 5. Behind the veil: Robert Chambers and Vestiges J. A. Secord; 6. Of love and death: why Darwin ’gave up Christianity’ J. R. Moore; 7. Encounters with Adam, or at least the Hyaenas: nineteenth-century visual representation of the deep past M. Rudwick; 8. Huxley and woman’s place in science: the ’woman question’ and the control of Victorian anthropology E. Richards; 9. Ideology, evolution, and late-Victorian agnostic popularizers B. Lightman; 10. Ernst Haeckel, Darwinismus, and the secularization of nature P. Weindling; 11. Holding your head up high: degeneration and orthogenesis in theories of human evolution P. J. Bowler; 12. Evolution, ideology, and world view: Darwinian religion in the twentieth century J. R. Durant; 13. Persons, organisms, and łdots primary qualities R. M. Young; Afterword John C. Greene; Index. (shrink)
In this provocative new work of social philosophy, Seligman evaluates modernity's wager, namely, the gambit to liberate the modern individual from external social and religious norms by supplanting them with the rational self as its own ...
Criminologists have long acknowledged the link between a number of cognitive deficits, including low intelligence and impulsivity, and crime. A new wave of research has demonstrated that pharmacological intervention can restore or improve cognitive function, particularly executive function, and restore neural plasticity. Such restoration and improvement can allow for easier acquisition of new skills and as a result, presents significant possibilities for the criminal justice system. For example, studies have shown that supplements of Omega-3, a fatty acid commonly found in (...) food such as tuna, can decrease frequency of violent incidents in an incarcerated population. Research has also begun to explore the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors to reduce impulsivity in some violent offenders. However, there are significant legal and ethical implications when moving from dietary supplements to prescription pharmaceuticals and medical devices for cognitive intervention. This paper will explore the legal and ethical issues surrounding the use of pharmacological intervention on prisoners as an effort to reduce crime and recidivism. (shrink)
The importance of being ambiguous -- Interlude : ambiguity, order and the deity -- Notation and its limits -- Interlude : the Israelite red heifer and the edge of power in China -- Ritual and the rhythms of ambiguity -- Interlude : crossing the boundaries of empathy -- Shared experience -- Interlude : experience and multiplicity.
Issues of nature conservation, and socio-cultural movement called ecologism, are vivid becouse o f it’s many controvertions and actual validity in terms o f sustainable development. This paper presents contemporary motives o f preserving the nature, scientific ways of it’s realization, and chosen issues o f so called „ecological spirituality”. Reflection on the abilities and perils of science and spirituality, with reference to philosophy and practical conservation activity, will be led. Finally, there will be an attemption to answer the question (...) about relation between nature preservation, science and ecological spirituality, and to define the spiritual condition and trends in contemporary ecologism. (shrink)
ABSTRACT In Power Without Knowledge, Jeffrey Friedman contends that ideational complexity can stymie social-scientific understanding and prevent the reliable predictive knowledge required of a well-functioning technocracy. However, even this somewhat pessimistic outlook may understate the problem. Ideational complexity has both cognitive and phenomenal dimensions, each of which poses unique dilemmas. Further, due to its methodological individualism, Friedman’s vision may neglect emergent layers of knowledge produced through social interaction, creating yet another source of unknowns. Given these two factors, social science should (...) embrace a pluralism regarding levels of analysis. This would recognize the multifaceted limitations on social-science knowledge production, furthering epistemic humility about the potential role of social science in technocratic policymaking. (shrink)
In this article, I develop an understanding of ritual and of sincerity as two ideal-typical modes of framing human action. I focus on the dangers of what I term the sincere model because it is so strongly counter-intuitive to the way we usually understand the world, the moral imperatives of action and the framing of our intersubjective universe. I will begin, however, with some brief remarks on ritual — not as a discrete realm of human endeavor, usually identified with ‘religious’ (...) ritual (though inclusive of religious ritual), but rather as a particular modality of understanding action that is essential to the constitution of both social and individual selves and without which a shared world would not be possible. (shrink)
Religious beliefs, including those about an afterlife and omniscient spiritual beings, vary across cultures. We theorize that such variations may be predictably linked to ecological variations, just as differences in mating strategies covary with resource distribution. Perhaps beliefs in a soul or afterlife are more common when resources are unpredictable, and life is brutal and short.
Atran & Norenzayan (A&N) correctly claim that religion reduces emotions related to existential concerns. Our response adds to their argument by focusing on religious differences in the importance of emotion, and on other emotions that may be involved in religion. We believe that the important differences among religions make it difficult to have one theory to account for all religions.
The Spiral Discovery Method was originally proposed as a cognitive artifact for dealing with black-box models that are dependent on multiple inputs with nonlinear and/or multiplicative interaction effects. Besides directly helping to identify functional patterns in such systems, SDM also simplifies their control through its characteristic spiral structure. In this paper, a neural network-based formulation of SDM is proposed together with a set of automatic update rules that makes it suitable for both semiautomated and automated forms of optimization. The behavior (...) of the generalized SDM model, referred to as the Spiral Discovery Network, and its applicability to nondifferentiable nonconvex optimization problems are elucidated through simulation. Based on the simulation, the case is made that its applicability would be worth investigating in all areas where the default approach of gradient-based backpropagation is used today. (shrink)
This paper explores the temporal dimension of risks associated with the production, trade and consumption of food. The paper operates at many levels of substantive and theoretical analysis: it focuses on problems for understanding and action that arise from the invisibility of the hazards, explores the effects of those hazards on consumers and sets out the differences in risks that are faced by farmers, processors, traders and consumers. With its emphasis on that which tends to be disattended in conventional social (...) science analysis – the temporal and the invisible – the paper has implications for social theory at the level of ontology and epistemology. It concludes with reflections on the role of social theory in such contemporary timescapes of risk. (shrink)
"Provides a definition and defense of individual privacy rights. Applies the proposed theory to issues including privacy versus free speech; drug testing; and national security and public accountability"--Provided by publisher.
This study demonstrates the importance of social context to the study of networks vital to business success. Results from analyses of the personal and business characteristics associated with different types of networks, a topic that has been neglected in past research, show the importance of structural perspectives emphasizing that women and men in the same situations have similar networks. Yet there are some network differences even among these women and men who operate the same kinds of businesses. This suggests that (...) insights from gender construction perspectives should be integrated into network and other gender inequality studies. (shrink)