A central question, if not the central question, of philosophy of perception is whether sensory states have a nature similar to thoughts about the world, whether they are essentially representational. According to the content view, at least some of our sensory states are, at their core, representations with contents that are either accurate or inaccurate. Tyler Burge’s Origins of Objectivity is the most sustained and sophisticated defense of the content view to date. His defense of the view is problematic in (...) several ways. The most significant problem is that his approach does not sit well with mainstream perceptual psychology. (shrink)
The philosophy of religion, as commonly understood by Christians in both the Catholic and Reformed traditions, whether they think it a worthwhile enterprise or not, begins with arguments for the existence of a deity, proceeds to show that this deity is necessarily unique, eternal, and suchlike, and leaves it to reflection on divine revelation to consider whether this deity might be properly designated as ‘three persons in one nature’. Much later, after discussing the metaphysical implications of the incarnation of the (...) second person of the triune godhead, one would arrive at theories about the death of Jesus Christ as putatively redemptive, and describable as sacrificial, atoning and the like. (shrink)
In a footnote to the preface to the second edition of his Critique of Pure Reason Kant remarked that ‘it still remains a scandal to philosophy and to human reason in general that the existence [ Dasein ] of things outside us … must be accepted on faith , and that if anyone thinks good to doubt their existence, we are unable to counter his doubts by any satisfactory proof’ . In Being and Time Heidegger remarks, somewhat less famously, that (...) the scandal of philosophy, far from being the continuing absence of philosophically satisfactory proof of the existence of the world outside human subjectivity, is rather-the-very idea that such proof need be sought at all: ‘If Dasein is understood correctly, it defies such proofs, because, in its being, it already is what subsequent proofs deem necessary to demonstrate for it’. (shrink)
Recent years have seen a renewed debate over the importance of groupselection, especially as it relates to the evolution of altruism. Onefeature of this debate has been disagreement over which kinds ofprocesses should be described in terms of selection at multiple levels,within and between groups. Adapting some earlier discussions, we presenta mathematical framework that can be used to explore the exactrelationships between evolutionary models that do, and those that donot, explicitly recognize biological groups as fitness-bearing entities.We show a fundamental set (...) of mathematical equivalences between these twokinds of models, one of which applies a form of multi-level selectiontheory and the other being a form of ``individualism.'' However, we alsoargue that each type of model can have heuristic advantages over theother. Indeed, it can be positively useful to engage in a kind ofback-and-forth switching between two different perspectives on theevolutionary role of groups. So the position we defend is a``gestalt-switching pluralism.''. (shrink)
Altruism is generally understood to be behavior that benefits others at a personal cost to the behaving individual. However, within evolutionary biology, different authors have interpreted the concept of altruism differently, leading to dissimilar predictions about the evolution of altruistic behavior. Generally, different interpretations diverge on which party receives the benefit from altruism and on how the cost of altruism is assessed. Using a simple trait-group framework, we delineate the assumptions underlying different interpretations and show how they relate to one (...) another. We feel that a thorough examination of the connections between interpretations not only reveals why different authors have arrived at disparate conclusions about altruism, but also illuminates the conditions that are likely to favor the evolution of altruism. (shrink)
The prospect of using cell-based interventions to treat neurological conditions raises several important ethical and policy questions. In this target article, we focus on issues related to the unique constellation of traits that characterize CBIs targeted at the central nervous system. In particular, there is at least a theoretical prospect that these cells will alter the recipients' cognition, mood, and behavior—brain functions that are central to our concept of the self. The potential for such changes, although perhaps remote, is cause (...) for concern and careful ethical analysis. Both to enable better informed consent in the future and as an end in itself, we argue that early human trials of CBIs for neurological conditions must monitor subjects for changes in cognition, mood, and behavior; further, we recommend concrete steps for that monitoring. Such steps will help better characterize the potential risks and benefits of CBIs as they are tested and potentially used for treatment. (shrink)
Accounting educators are being called on to provide a greater emphasis on ethics education. This paper examines three important issues concerning ethics education in accounting. First, the question of whether ethics can indeed be taught is examined. Next, several innovative approaches are presented which have been used by accounting educators to integrate ethics into the classroom. Finally, results of a survey of students concerning their perspectives of ethical issues in accounting education, the accounting profession, and society at large are presented (...) and discussed. Survey results reveal that students consider a lack of ethics damaging to the accounting profession and society. Results also indicate that accounting students are seeking ethical and moral direction. (shrink)
Will the proliferation of devices that provide the continuous archival and retrieval of personal experiences (CARPE) improve control over, access to and the record of collective knowledge as Vannevar Bush once predicted with his futuristic memex? Or is it possible that their increasing ubiquity might pose fundamental risks to humanity, as Donald Norman contemplated in his investigation of an imaginary CARPE device he called the “Teddy”? Through an examination of the webcam experiment of Jenni Ringley and the EyeTap experiments of (...) Steve Mann, this article explores some of the social implications of CARPE. The authors’ central claim is that focussing on notions of individual consent and control in assessing the privacy implications of CARPE while reflective of the individualistic conception of privacy that predominates western thinking, is nevertheless inadequate in terms of recognizing the effect of individual uptake of these kinds of technologies on the level of privacy we are all collectively entitled to expect. The authors urge that future analysis ought to take a broader approach that considers contextual factors affecting user groups and the possible limitations on our collective ability to control the social meanings associated with the subsequent distribution and use of personal images and experiences after they are captured and archived. The authors ultimately recommend an approach that takes into account the collective impact that CARPE technologies will have on privacy and identity formation and highlight aspects of that approach. (shrink)
Objective: To examine lay persons’ ability to identify methods of random allocation and their acceptability of using methods of random allocation in a clinical trial context.Design: Leaflets containing hypothetical medical, non-medical, and clinical trial scenarios involving random allocation, using material from guidelines for trial information leaflets.Setting and participants: Adults attending further education colleges , covering a wide range of ages, occupations, and levels of education.Main measures: Judgements of whether each of five methods of allocation to two groups was random in (...) a medical or non-medical scenario. Judgements of whether these allocation methods were acceptable in a randomised clinical trial scenario, with or without a scientific justification for randomisation.Results: The majority of our group of participants judged correctly that allowing people their preference was not random, and that the following were random: using a computer with no information about the individual , tossing a coin, drawing a name out of a hat. Judgements were split over allocating people in turn . Judgements were no different in medical and non-medical scenarios. Few of the correctly identified random methods were judged to be acceptable in a clinical trial scenario. Inclusion of a scientific justification for randomising significantly increased the acceptability of only one random method: allocation by computer.Conclusions: Current UK guidelines’ recommended description of random allocation by computer seems warranted. However, while potential trial participants may understand what random allocation means, they may find it unacceptable unless offered an acceptable justification for its use. (shrink)
This paper reviews the technical and social problems concerned in donor insemination in the light of recent developments. The most important of these is the declining number of babies available for adoption by subfertile couples because modern methods and attitudes have reduced the number of unplanned births. At the same time the technique of donor insemination is being developed as public attitudes to it are changing.
Persons registered to vote in Seattle, Washington for the November, 1986 general election and a September, 1987 primary election were randomly assigned to treatments in two telephoneconducted experiments that sought to increase voter tumout. The experiments applied and extended a "self-prophecy” technique, in which respondents are asked simply to predict whether or not they will perform a target action. In the present studies, voting registrants were asked to predict whether or not they would vote in an election that was less (...) than 48 hours away. This technique, which previously increased turnout in a small study done during the 1984 U.S. Presidential election, was again effective among moderate prior-turnout voters in the second of the present much larger experiments. The failure of the effect in Experiment 1 was plausibly a ceiling effect due to very high turnout for a U.S. Senate contest in the 1986 election. Successful applications of the self· prophecy technique are facilitated by social desirability of the target action (which leads subjects to predict that they will perform it). However, social desirability of the target behavior is not a sufficient condition for the effect, as indicated by an unexpected nonoccurrence of the effect among low prior-tumout voters in Experiment 2. (shrink)
Despite the fact that animal behavior involves a particularly powerful form of niche construction, few researchers have considered how the environmental impact of behavior may feed back to influence the evolution of the cognitive underpinnings of behavior. I explore a model that explicitly incorporates niche construction while tracking cognitive evolution. Agents and their stimuli are modeled as coevolving populations. The agents are born with “weights” attached to behaviors in a repertoire. Further, these agents are able to change these weights based (...) on previous success and an inherited learning parameter. Both the agent and the stimulus receive payoffs through a behavioral interaction . The behaving agent exhibits niche construction through its effects on stimuli , which can feed back to influence the value of different cognitive strategies. Here I focus on two forms of niche construction: the stimulus and responding agent have common interests and the stimulus and agent have dissimilar interests . The form of niche construction qualitatively affects cognitive evolution . Given a mutualism between the stimulus and responding agent, rapid learning and “fixed” behavioral distributions evolve. Given an antagonism between the stimulus and agent, slower learning and “flexible” behavioral distributions evolve. I discuss these results in light of findings from the fields of ethology, psychology, and evolutionary ecology. (shrink)
A model of “ephemeral” population structure is presented that applies not only to biological systems in which discrete groups form but also to networks without group boundaries. The evolution of altruistic behaviors is discussed. Nonrandom interaction and nonlinear fitness structures are modeled; together, these factors can produce stable polymorphisms of altruistic and selfish types, as well as bistability. Empirical applications of the model may be found in microbes, marine invertebrates, annual plants, and other organisms.
It has been shown that for the Reissner-Nordström solution to the vacuum Einstein field equations charge, like mass, has a unique space-time signature (Marsh, Found. Phys. 38:293–300, 2008). The presence of charge results in a negative curvature. This work, which includes a discussion of effective mass, is extended here to the Kerr-Newman solution.
Philosophy of Science is a mid-level text for students with some grounding in philosophy. It introduces the questions that drive enquiry in the philosophy of science, and aims to educate readers in the main positions, problems and arguments in the field today. Alex Rosenberg is certainly well qualified to write such an introduction. His works cover a large area of the philosophy of natural and social sciences. In addition, the author of the argument that the ‘queen of the social (...) sciences’, economics, is not a science at all, can be counted on to show how the philosophy of science can be relevant to the understanding of the status of scientific knowledge and can provide a critical assessment of practitioners’ view of their field. (shrink)
Origens : Alex Atala, Fernando e Humberto Campana -- Presente : Fernando e Humberto Campana e Jum Nakao -- Intermezzo : convívio : Jam Nakao e colaboradores -- Destinos : Alex Atala e Jum Nakao -- Entrevistas -- Um pouco de história.
A common objection to moral enhancement is that it would undermine our moral freedom and that this is a bad thing because moral freedom is a great good. Michael Hauskeller has defended this view on a couple of occasions using an arresting thought experiment called the 'Little Alex' problem. In this paper, I reconstruct the argument Hauskeller derives from this thought experiment and subject it to critical scrutiny. I claim that the argument ultimately fails because (a) it assumes that (...) moral freedom is an intrinsic good when, in fact, it is more likely to be an axiological catalyst; and (b) there are reasons to think that moral enhancement does not undermine moral freedom. (shrink)
In “Prediction, Understanding, and Medicine,” Alex Broadbent rejects the curative thesis, the view that the core medical competence is to cure, in favor of his predictive thesis that the main intellectual medical competence is to explain and the main practical medical competence is to predict. Broadbent thinks his account explains the phenomenon of multiple consultation, which is the fact that people persist in consulting alternative medical traditions despite having access to mainstream medicine. I argue that Broadbent’s explanation of multiple (...) consultation makes sense only from the perspective of patients who migrate from mainstream to alternative consultation. His explanation is not as convincing when we consider alternative-to-mainstream migration. I also provide an argument against Broadbent’s view that prediction is medicine’s main practical competence and argue that, when it comes to explaining most cases of multiple consultation, the curative thesis provides a more convincing explanation than the predictive thesis. (shrink)