Critics of John McDowell’s Mind and World have by and large failed to take sufficient notice of the transcendental context within whichMcDowell situates his work—a failure that has adversely affected their criticisms. In this paper, I make clear this transcendental context and show how it figures in the transcendental argument I see McDowell offering in Mind and World. Interpreting McDowell’s argument in this way, I further argue, helps to answer some of the most pressing objections to what he is doing (...) in Mind and World, particularly certain objections made by Robert Brandom and Hilary Putnam. (shrink)
Western philosophers have traditionally concentrated on theory as the means for expressing knowledge about a variety of phenomena. This absorbing book challenges this fundamental notion by showing how objects themselves, specifically scientific instruments, can express knowledge. As he considers numerous intriguing examples, Davis Baird gives us the tools to "read" the material products of science and technology and to understand their place in culture. Making a provocative and original challenge to our conception of knowledge itself, _Thing Knowledge _demands that (...) we take a new look at theories of science and technology, knowledge, progress, and change. Baird considers a wide range of instruments, including Faraday's first electric motor, eighteenth-century mechanical models of the solar system, the cyclotron, various instruments developed by analytical chemists between 1930 and 1960, spectrometers, and more. (shrink)
The direct reading emission spectrometer was developed during the1940s. By substituting photo-multiplier tubes and electronics forphotographic film spectrograms, the interpretation of special lineswith a densitometer was avoided. Instead, the instrument providedthe desired information concerning percentage concentration ofelements of interest directly on a dial. Such instruments `de-skill' the job of making such measurements. They do this by encapsulatingin the instrument the skills previously employed by the analyst,by `skilling' the instrument. This paper presents a history of thedevelopment of the Dow Chemical/Baird (...) Associates direct reader. Thishistory is used to argue for a materialist conception of knowledge.The instrument is a material form of knowledge, knowledge of aspectsof spectroscopy, analytical spectrochemistry, electronics, instrumentdesign and construction, and metal production industry economics. (shrink)
Sir Dugald Baird sketches the history of abortion legislation in Great Britain from the beginning of the century. In his views the 1967 Abortion Act has been one of the most important and beneficial pieces of social legislation enacted in Britain in the last 100 years. It has, however, brought problems both of administration in the hospitals and to individual doctors and nurses, particularly when the patients are young single women and even schoolgirls. One of the consequences of the (...) Abortion Act has been a fall in maternal mortality and perinatal mortality rates. Abortion does not seem to be followed by serious emotional sequelae. Nevertheless recent changes in sexual mores have introduced new and serious social problems which are discussed in relation to the role of the doctor in his relationship with patients seeking abortion. (shrink)
Work‐related stress is too often neglected by employers and rarely seen as an ethical issue by them. Its moral implications are explored here by the Senior Corporate Policy Manager at City and Inner London North Training and Enterprise Council, 80 Great Eastern Street, London EC2A 3DP. Sue Bryan, M.A., A.M.I.P.D., is also completing an Executive MBA degree at London Business School.
Aldo Leopold was a pragmatist in the vernacular sense of the word. Bryan G. Norton claims that Leopold was also heavily influenced by American Pragmatism, a formal school of philosophy. As evidence, Norton offers Leopold's misquotation of a definition of right (as truth) by political economist, A.T. Hadley, who was an admirer of the philosophy of William James. A search of Leopold's digitised literary remains reveals no other evidence that Leopold was directly influenced by any actual American Pragmatist or (...) by Pragmatism (although he may have been indirectly influenced by Pragmatism early in his career). A 1923 reference, by Leopold, to Hadley and Hadley's putative definition of truth, cited by Norton, is dripping with irony. Leopold, as he matured philosophically, regarded a profound cultural shift from anthropocentric dominionism and consumerism to an evolutionary-ecological worldview and an associated non-anthropocentric 'land ethic' to be necessary for successful and sustainable conservation. Hadley espoused a brutal form of Social Darwinism and his philosophy, as expressed in the book of Hadley's that Norton cites, is politically reactionary, militaristic and unconcerned with conservation. Leopold's mature philosophy and Hadley's – far from consonant, as Norton claims – are diametrically opposed. (shrink)
Bryan Norton argues that my recent critique of anthropocentrism presupposes J. Baird Callicott's philosophically problematic distinction between intrinsic and instrumental value and that the problems that it raises for anthropocentrism in general are in fact only problems for strong anthropocentrism. I argue, first, that my own view does not presuppose Callicott's distinction, nor any claims about instrumental value, and second, that the problems it raises for anthropocentrism apply to weak and strong anthropocentrism alike.
Given that as much as half of human thought arises in a stimulus independent fashion, it would seem unlikely that such thoughts would play no functional role in our lives. However, evidence linking the mind-wandering state to performance decrement has led to the notion that mind-wandering primarily represents a form of cognitive failure. Based on previous work showing a prospective bias to mind-wandering, the current study explores the hypothesis that one potential function of spontaneous thought is to plan and anticipate (...) personally relevant future goals, a process referred to as autobiographical planning. The results confirm that the content of mind-wandering is predominantly future-focused, demonstrate that individuals with high working memory capacity are more likely to engage in prospective mind-wandering, and show that prospective mind-wandering frequently involves autobiographical planning. Together this evidence suggests that mind-wandering can enable prospective cognitive operations that are likely to be useful to the individual as they navigate through their daily lives. (shrink)
Metacognition refers to any knowledge or cognitive process that monitors or controls cognition. We highlight similarities between metacognitive and executive control functions, and ask how these processes might be implemented in the human brain. A review of brain imaging studies reveals a circuitry of attentional networks involved in these control processes, with its source located in midfrontal areas. These areas are active during conflict resolution, error correction, and emotional regulation. A developmental approach to the organization of the anatomy involved in (...) executive control provides an added perspective on how these mechanisms are influenced by maturation and learning, and how they relate to metacognitive activity. (shrink)
The current research investigates the interaction between thought suppression and individuals’ explicit awareness of their thoughts. Participants in three experiments attempted to suppress thoughts of a prior romantic relationship and their success at doing so was measured using a combination of self-catching and experience-sampling. In addition to thoughts that individuals spontaneously noticed, individuals were frequently caught engaging in thoughts of their previous partner at experience-sampling probes. Furthermore, probe-caught thoughts were: associated with stronger decoupling of attention from the environment, more likely (...) to occur under cognitive load, more frequent for individuals with a desire to reconcile, and associated with individual differences in the tendency to suppress thoughts. Together, these data suggest that individuals can lack meta-awareness that they have begun to think about a topic they are attempting to suppress, providing novel insight into the cognitive processes that are involved in attempting to control undesired mental states. (shrink)
In this research, we shed new light on the empirical link between corporate social performance (CSP) and corporate financial performance (CFP) via the application of empirical models and methods new to the CSP–CFP literature. Applying advanced financial models to a uniquely constructed panel dataset, we demonstrate that a significant overall CSP–CFP relationship exists and that this relationship is, in part, conditioned on firms’ industry-specific context. To accommodate the estimation of time-invariant industry and industry-interaction effects, we estimate linear mixed models in (...) our test of the CSP–CFP relationship. Our results show both a significant overall CSP effect as well as significant industry effects between CSP and CFP. In conflict with expectations, the unweighted average effect of CSP on CFP is negative. Our industry analysis, however, shows that in over 17% of the industries in our sample, the effect of CSP on CFP for socially responsible firms is positive. We also examine the multidimensional nature of the CSP construct in an industry context by exploring the CSP dimension–industry nexus and identify dimensions of social performance that are associated with either better or worse financial performance. Our results confirm the existence of disparate CSP dimension–industry effects on CFP, thus our results provide important and actionable information to decision makers considering whether and how to commit corporate resources to social performance. (shrink)
The Greek word eoikos can be translated in various ways. It can be used to describe similarity, plausibility or even suitability. This book explores the philosophical exploitation of its multiple meanings by three philosophers, Xenophanes, Parmenides and Plato. It offers new interpretations of the way that each employs the term to describe the status of their philosophy, tracing the development of this philosophical use of eoikos from the fallibilism of Xenophanes through the deceptive cosmology of Parmenides to Plato's Timaeus. The (...) central premise of the book is that, in reflecting on the eoikos status of their accounts, Xenophanes, Parmenides and Plato are manipulating the contexts and connotations of the term as it has been used by their predecessors. By focusing on this continuity in the development of the philosophical use of eoikos, the book serves to enhance our understanding of the epistemology and methodology of Xenophanes, Parmenides and Plato's Timaeus. (shrink)
The issue of the relation between financial derivatives, money and crisis remains one of on-going debate within Marxism. This paper takes issue with a recent contribution to this debate by Tony Norfield. We contend that the relationship between financial derivatives and the concept of ‘money’ needs to be framed in the context of a changing understanding of liquidity, and that issues of crisis and renewed accumulation are better understood though this path than via debates about speculative versus real investment and (...) productive versus unproductive capital. Indeed these latter taxonomies are being superseded by current developments within finance, and Marxian analysis needs to be attuned to these current developments. (shrink)
Objectives To review the extant literature on HIV criminal laws, and to determine the impact of these laws on public health practice.Methods The available research on this topic was obtained and reviewed.Results The extant literature addressed three main topics: people's awareness of HIV criminal laws; people's perceptions of HIV criminal laws; and the potential effects of HIV criminal laws on people's sexual, HIV-status disclosure and healthcare-seeking practices. Within these categories, the literature demonstrated a high level of awareness of HIV criminal (...) laws, but a poor comprehension of these laws. For perceptions, on the whole, the quantitative research identified support for, while the qualitative literature indicated opposition to, these laws. Lastly, the behavioural effects of HIV criminal laws appear to be complex and non-linear.Conclusions A review of the extant literature from a public health perspective leads to the conclusion that HIV criminal laws undermine public health. (shrink)
By a close examination of changes in analytical chemistry between the years 1920 and 1950, I document the case that natural science has undergone and continues to undergo a major revolution. The central feature of this transformation is the rise in importance of scientific instrumentation. Prior to 1920, analytical chemists determined the chemical constitution of some unknown by treating it with a series of known compounds and observing the kind of reactions it underwent. After 1950, analytical chemists determined the chemical (...) constitution of an unknown by using a variety of instruments which allow one to discriminate chemicals in terms of their physical properties. This transformation involved changes in the practice of analytical chemistry. It involved the development of a new family of scientific instrument-making companies, and a new level of capital expenditure necessary to do analytical chemistry. It involved the development of new means to disseminate information about scientific instruments. While I do not document the broader case, these changes have been widespread throughout the natural sciences. It is the rise in the importance of instrumentation which is the key conceptual change in what has been identified as the fourth big scientific revolution. (shrink)
This article asserts that graduate study should include preparation for participation in the process of self-regulation to assure the responsible conduct of research in the scientific community. This article outlines the various ways in which doctoral study can incorporate such preparation. These suggested ways include the inculcation of general attitudes and values about professional self-regulation, various ways doctoral study can be configured so that future scientists are prepared to participate in the deterrence, detection and sanctioning of scientific wrongdoing. The stages (...) of doctoral study in the United States and their relevance to preparation for self-regulations are also discussed. Recommendations regarding an extended role for faculty advisors, graduate assistantships, coursework and departmental policies and activities are also advanced. (shrink)
According to Peter Galison , science has a highly fractionated structure with multiple sub-sub-disciplines, each with its own agenda. Cooperative trading between groups is necessary for most scientific work to move forward, and it is this trading that preserves the stability of science. We argue that it is not trading per se, but trading in a gift economy that guarantees stability. We support our claims with an examination of contemporary work on magnetic resonance imaging instrumentation. Specifically, we consider: How a (...) feature improvement, intended to reduce scan time, led to substantial medical mis-diagnosis; How a technical error, when corrected, created a consumer crisis in which radiologists preferred technically flawed instruments; How new magnetic resonance theory radically altered the physical interpretation of MRI images; How the MRI instrument at first was financially supported by, and--ironically--ultimately invalidated, the accepted understanding of the nature, source and management of chronic back pain. Ultimately there are three reasons stability requires gifting. First, without a general sense of shared purpose traders will not be committed to mutual engagement; profit does not provide an adequate shared purpose for the MRI community. Second, stability requires trust, and profits are not an adequate foundation for trust. Finally, knowledge is a gift that will not keep on giving if treated simply as a source of profit. (shrink)
Supporting Hamilton’s inclusive fitness theory, archival analyses of inheritance patterns in wills have revealed that people invest more of their estates in kin of closer genetic relatedness. Recent classroom experiments have shown that this genetic relatedness effect is stronger for relatives of direct lineage (children, grandchildren) than for relatives of collateral lineage (siblings, nieces, nephews). In the present research, multilevel modeling of more than 1,000 British Columbian wills revealed a positive effect of genetic relatedness on proportions of estates allocated to (...) relatives. This effect was qualified by an interaction with lineage, such that it was stronger for direct than for collateral relatives. Exploratory analyses of the moderating role of benefactors’ sex and estate values showed the genetic relatedness effect was stronger among female and wealthier benefactors. The importance of these moderators to understanding kin investment in modern humans is discussed. (shrink)
Kentridge and Heywood (this issue) extend the concept of metacognition to include unconscious processes. We acknowledge the possible contribution of unconscious processes, but favor a central role of awareness in metacognition. We welcome Shimamura's (this issue) extension of the concept of metacognitive regulation to include aspects of working memory, and its relation to executive attention.
This article compares and contrasts Hans Kelsen's concept of normative imputation, in the Lecture Course of 1926, with the concepts of peripheral and central imputation, in The Pure Theory of Law of 1934. In this process, a wider and more significant distinction is revealed within the development of Hans Kelsen's theory of positive law. This distinction represents a shift in Kelsen's philosophical allegiance from the Neo-Kantianism of Windelband to that of Cohen. This, in turn, reflects a broader disengagement of The (...) Pure Theory of Law from the more direct connection with a political project of a civitas maxima envisaged by the Lecture Course. (shrink)
Objective: To determine the views of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and professionals in relation to confidentiality, consent and access to data within a proposed MS register in the UK. Design: Qualitative study using focus groups (10) and interviews (13). Setting: England and Northern Ireland. Participants: 68 people with MS, neurologists, MS nurses, health services management professionals, researchers, representatives from pharmaceutical companies and social care professionals. Results: People with MS expressed open and altruistic views towards the use of their personal (...) information to facilitate service provision and research, placing trust in responsible guardianship and legitimate use of their information. Participant’s proposed that people with MS should be able to select their individual level of involvement in a register using levels of consent. It was agreed that access to the register should be governed by a guardianship committee composed of a range of stakeholders. People with MS did not wish their details to be used by marketing agencies and did not consider this a legitimate use of their data. Whilst participants were positive of the role a register could play in promoting research, participants felt that access to data by pharmaceutical industries should be administered by the guardianship committee. People with MS are concerned should their employers be able to access their personal information. Professionals were more cautious than people with MS in their approach to the use of patient personal data within a register. Conclusions: Whilst all stakeholders were positive of the benefits of an MS register, development of such a resource must incorporate robust data security and guardianship measures in order to ensure that, whilst opportunities are maximised, risks to the privacy of individuals and legal challenges to professionals are avoided. (shrink)
In The Impossibility of Perfection, Michael Slote tries to show that the traditional Aristotelian doctrine of the unity of the virtues is mistaken. His argumentative strategy is to provide counterexamples to this doctrine, by showing that there are what he calls “partial virtues”—pairs of virtues that conflict with one another but both of which are ethically indispensible. Slote offers two lines of argument for the existence of partial virtues. The first is an argument for the partiality of a particular pair (...) of virtues: frankness and tact. The second is a kind of feminist critique. I argue that both of these lines of argument fail. In both cases, Slote fails to ask whether the apparent conflict between putatively partial virtues has arisen from a misunderstanding of the demands of those virtues. From this error I suggest we can learn an important lesson: whether in our studies thinking about the virtues or in our everyday lives trying to practice them, it is a serious mistake to focus on the relationships among virtues without considering precisely what each of these virtues demands. (shrink)
The case of Dr. Nancy Olivieri, the Hospital for Sick Children, the University of Toronto, and Apotex Inc. vividly illustrates many of the issues central to contemporary health research and the safety of research participants. First, it exemplifies the financial and health stakes in such research. Second, it shows deficits in the ways in which research is governed. Finally, it was and remains relevant not only in Toronto but in communities across Canada and well beyond its borders because, absent appropriate (...) policies, what happened in Toronto could have happened (and could well still happen) elsewhere. In Part One of this paper, we review the facts of the Olivieri case relevant to the issues we wish to highlight: first, the right of participants in a clinical trial to be informed of a risk that an investigator had identified during the course of the trial and the obligation of the investigator to inform participants (both her own and those of other investigators); and second, the obligation of institutions to protect and promote the well-being of research participants as well as academic freedom and research integrity, the obligations of research sponsors to inform participants, research regulators, and others about unforeseen risks, and the obligations of research regulators to ensure that participants are informed of unforeseen risks and to otherwise protect and promote research integrity. In Part Two, we relate these facts and issues to New Zealand and Australia. We also make detailed recommendations for changes to the various instruments used for the governance of research involving humans in Australasia. (shrink)
I present five theses to characterize and argue for "Instrumental Realism," a realism wedded to what we do with instruments, and not what our theories say: The Independence Thesis: Questions about realism are independent of questions about meaning. The Intervening Thesis: Our ability to produce consistent effects with our instruments provides one guarantee that we are engaged with the real world. The Historical Thesis: If the descriptions of what we know and do are of something real, then it will be (...) possible to trace a history from earlier antiquated names and actions to current usages. The Instruments-Do-Not-Always-Work-Right Thesis: Since instruments do not always work right, a successful instrumental intervention cannot be a social construct. The Tinkering Thesis: Since instruments are created by tinkering, we should not take any claim that generalizes away from our instrumental practice realistically. (shrink)