It is bad news to find out that one's cognitive or perceptual faculties are defective. Furthermore, it’s not always transparent how one ought to revise one's beliefs in light of such news. Two sorts of news should be distinguished. On the one hand, there is news that a faculty is unreliable -- that it doesn't track the truth particularly well. On the other hand, there is news that a faculty is anti-reliable -- that it tends to go positively wrong. These (...) two sorts of news call for extremely different responses. We provide accounts of these responses, and prove bounds on the degree to which one can reasonably count oneself as mistaken about a given subject matter. (shrink)
Primordial emotions are the subjective element of the instincts which are the genetically programmed behaviour patterns which contrive homeostasis. They include thirst, hunger for air, hunger for food, pain and hunger for specific minerals etc.There are two constituents of a primordial emotion—the specific sensation which when severe may be imperious, and the compelling intention for gratification by a consummatory act. They may dominate the stream of consciousness, and can have plenipotentiary power over behaviour.It is hypothesized that early in animal evolution (...) complex reflex mechanisms in the basal brain subserving homeostatic responses, in concert with elements of the reticular activating system subserving arousal, melded functionally with regions embodied in the progressive rostral development of the telencephalon. This included the emergent limbic and paralimbic areas, and the insula. This phylogenetically ancient organization subserved the origin of consciousness as the primordial emotion, which signalled that the organisms existence was immediately threatened. Neuroimaging confirms major activations in regions of the basal brain during primordial emotions in humans. The behaviour of decorticate humans and animals is discussed in relation to the possible existence of primitive awareness.Neuroimaging of the primordial emotions reveals that rapid gratification of intention by a consummatory act such as ingestion causes precipitate decline of both the initiating sensation and the intention. There is contemporaneous rapid disappearance of particular regions of brain activation which suggests they may be part of the jointly sufficient and severally necessary activations and deactivations which correlate with consciousness [Crick, F. & Koch, C. . A framework for consciousness. NatureNeuroscience,6, 119–126]. (shrink)
Long time delay before lasing in a II-VI laser diode has been observed. Due to this delay, a nominal threshold current increases as the width of applied current pulse becomes shorter. This delay is attributed to the internal Q switching caused by the balance of injected carriers, temperature rise and gain-guiding. By fitting the calculated data to the experimental ones, rates of refractive index change with carrier concentration and with temperature have been estimated.
Presents a plethora of approaches to developing human potential in areas not conventionally addressed. Organized in two parts, this international collection of essays provides viable educational alternatives to those currently holding sway in an era of high-stakes accountability.
Stephen Stich has argued that psychological theories that instantiate his Syntactic Theory of Mind are to be preferred to content-based or representationalist theories, because the former can capture and explain a wider range of generalizations about cognitive processes than the latter. Stich's claims about the relative merits of the Syntactic Theory of Mind are unfounded. Not only is it false that syntactic theories can capture psychological generalizations that content-based theories cannot, but a large class of behavioral regularities, readily explained by (...) content-based theories, appear to be beyond their explanatory reach. (shrink)
Previous research on counterfactual thoughts about prevention suggests that people tend to focus on enabling rather than causing events and controllable rather than uncontrollable events. Two experiments explore whether counterfactual thinking about enablers is distinct from counterfactual thinking about controllable events. We presented participants with scenarios in which a cause and an enabler contributed to a negative outcome. We systematically manipulated the controllability of the cause and the enabler and asked participants to generate counterfactuals. The results indicate that when only (...) the cause or the enabler is controllable participants undid the controllable event more often. However, when the cause and enabler are matched in controllability participants undid the enabler slightly more often. The findings are discussed in the context of the mental model, functional and judgement dissociation theories as well as previous research on counterfactual thinking. The importance of controllability and.. (shrink)
Planned home birth has been considered by some to be consistent with professional responsibility in patient care. This article critically assesses the ethical and scientific justification for this view and shows it to be unjustified. We critically assess recent statements by professional associations of obstetricians, one that sanctions and one that endorses planned home birth. We base our critical appraisal on the professional responsibility model of obstetric ethics, which is based on the ethical concept of medicine from the Scottish and (...) English Enlightenments of the 18th century. Our critical assessment supports the following conclusions. Because of its significantly increased, preventable perinatal risks, planned home birth in the United States is not clinically or ethically benign. Attending planned home birth, no matter one’s training or experience, is not acting in a professional capacity, because this role preventably results in clinically unnecessary and therefore clinically unacceptable perinatal risk. It is therefore not consistent with the ethical concept of medicine as a profession for any attendant to planned home birth to represent himself or herself as a “professional.” Obstetric healthcare associations should neither sanction nor endorse planned home birth. Instead, these associations should recommend against planned home birth. Obstetric healthcare professionals should respond to expressions of interest in planned home birth by pregnant women by informing them that it incurs significantly increased, preventable perinatal risks, by recommending strongly against planned home birth, and by recommending strongly for planned hospital birth. Obstetric healthcare professionals should routinely provide excellent obstetric care to all women transferred to the hospital from a planned home birth. The professional responsibility model of obstetric ethics requires obstetricians to address and remedy legitimate dissatisfaction with some hospital settings and address patients’ concerns about excessive interventions. Creating a sustained culture of comprehensive safety, which cannot be achieved in planned home birth, informed by compassionate and respectful treatment of pregnant women, should be a primary focus of professional obstetric responsibility. (shrink)
A collection of personal narratives and essays, Living Professionalism is designed to help medical students and residents understand and internalize various aspects of professionalism. These essays are meant for personal reflection and above all, for thoughtful discussion with mentors, with peers, with others throughout the health care provider community who care about acting professionally.
In June 1995, a campaign by Greenpeace forced the multinational oil company Shell to cancel its planned disposal of a redundant oil installation in the Atlantic. The Brent Spar incident attracted massive publicity and was influential in changing government policy on marine disposal of waste. During and following their campaign, Greenpeace were criticised as emotive and irrational by Shell and academic scientists. This paper looks at the arguments used during the debate, using literature, interviews and questionnaires. We investigate the (...) use of key environmental words and phrases and ask what is meant by rationality in this context. We discuss some of the lessons that should be learnt from the incident by policy makers and scientists. (shrink)
There is currently much concern over the use of pharmaceuticals and other biomedical techniques to enhance athletic performance—a practice we might refer to as doping. Many justifications of anti-doping efforts claim that doping involves a serious moral transgression. In this article, I review a number of arguments in support of that claim, but show that they are not conclusive, suggesting that we do not have good reasons for thinking that doping is wrong.
There has been much debate about whether the concept of disease articulated in Boorse’s biostatistical theory is value-neutral or value-laden. Here, I want to examine whether this debate matters. I suggest that there are two basic respects in which value-ladenness might be important: it could threaten either scientific legitimacy or moral permissibility. I argue that value-ladenness does not threaten the scientific legitimacy of our disease-concept because the concept makes little difference to the formulation and testing of scientific hypotheses. Likewise, even (...) if our disease-concept is value-laden, this does not show it is morally impermissible. To determine its permissibility, we must regard it as a tool to structure social institutions. Seen in that way, whether our disease-concept is morally permissible is a consequentialist matter and depends exquisitely on unanswered empirical questions. (shrink)