Pain is an important focus for consciousness research because it is an avenue for exploring somatic awareness, emotion, and the genesis of subjectivity. In principle, pain is awareness of tissue trauma, but pain can occur in the absence of identifiable injury, and sometimes substantive tissue injury produces no pain. The purpose of this paper is to help bridge pain research and consciousness studies. It reviews the basic sensory neurophysiology associated with tissue injury, including transduction, transmission, modulation, and central representation. In (...) addition, it highlights the central mechanisms for the emotional aspects of pain, demonstrating the physiological link between tissue trauma and mechanisms of emotional arousal. Finally, we discuss several current issues in the field of pain research that bear on central issues in consciousness studies, such as sickness and sense of self. (shrink)
This paper examines relationships between accountants’ personal values and their moral reasoning. In particular, we hypothesize that there is an inverse relationship between accountants’ “Conformity” values and principled moral reasoning. This investigation is important because the literature suggests that conformity with rule-based standards may be one reason for professional accountants’ relatively lower scores on measures of moral reasoning (Abdolmohammadi et al. J Bus Ethics 16 (1997) 1717). We administered the Rokeach Values Survey (RVS) (Rokeach: 1973, The Nature of Human Values (...) (The Free Press, New York)) and the Defining Issues Test (DIT) (Rest: 1979, Development in Judgment Moral Issues (University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN)) to164 graduating accounting students enrolled in capstone courses at two universities in the Northeastern United States. As potential entrants into the accounting profession, these subjects bring their values and moral reasoning to bear on attitudes and behaviors in the workplace. We find a highly significant inverse relationship between “Conformity” values and principled moral reasoning (i.e., those who prefer Conformity values have lower levels of moral reasoning). However, we also find that accounting students as a group do not prefer Conformity values above other values such as Self-actualization and Idealism, and we find positive relationships between Self-actualization and Idealism values and moral reasoning. Implications for values and ethics research are discussed. (shrink)
The measurement of pain depends upon subjective reports, but we know very little about how research subjects or pain patients produce self-reported judgments. Representationalist assumptions dominate the field of pain research and lead to the critical conjecture that the person in pain examines the contents of consciousness before making a report about the sensory or affective magnitude of pain experience as well as about its nature. Most studies to date have investigated what Fechner termed “outer psychophysics”: the relationship between characteristics (...) of an external stimulus and the magnitude and nature of pain experience. In contrast, Fechner originally envisioned that “inner psychophysics” should investigate the relationship between physiological states and subjective experience. Despite the lack of established research tradition, inner psychophysics has a potential utility in elucidating underlying mechanisms for the production of phenomenal self-report. We illustrate this, using causal modeling analyses of the accuracy of self-reported pain ratings from our laboratory. We submit that the results are inconsistent with representationalist assumptions. Converging trends from several domains of consciousness studies seem to suggest that we need to abandon the unquestioned doctrine of representationalism and search for a more viable framework for understanding the generation of subjective self-report. (shrink)
The facial expression of pain is the end product of a complex process that is, in part, emotional. The evolutionary study of facial expression must account for the social nature of human consciousness and should address the questions of why empathy exists, the adaptive importance of empathy, and whether facial expression is a mechanism of empathy and second-person consciousness.
Trust in leadership is at all all-time low and the impact on organizational behavior and performance cannot be ignored or denied. As leaders, there is a way for you to reverse this trend. You can decide to establish and sustain trust in the workplace—by getting naked—not in the physical sense, but from the perspective of being authentic and transparent. Earning the trust and loyalty of those you are privileged to lead lays the groundwork for a high performing, motivated, and, engaged (...) culture . . . a definitive competitive advantage. Needless to say, culture is always a reflection of our leadership values and behavior. Through our words, decisions, and behavior, the culture is “sculpted.” In every case, culture is created either by intentional design or by default. If you aspire to make a profound, positive, and sustaining impact on your organization, the hearts and minds of those you lead must be earned. In a world and time where corruption, deceit, and ethical lapses are commonplace, we’ve never had a greater need for trusted, ethical leaders. If you choose to be a trusted leader, you have the opportunity to differentiate yourself and your organization and enjoy a sustainable competitive advantage while making the world a better place. (shrink)
One of our most brilliant evolutionary biologists, Richard Lewontin has also been a leading critic of those--scientists and non-scientists alike--who would misuse the science to which he has contributed so much. In The Triple Helix, Lewontin the scientist and Lewontin the critic come together to provide a concise, accessible account of what his work has taught him about biology and about its relevance to human affairs. In the process, he exposes some of the common and troubling misconceptions that misdirect (...) and stall our understanding of biology and evolution.The central message of this book is that we will never fully understand living things if we continue to think of genes, organisms, and environments as separate entities, each with its distinct role to play in the history and operation of organic processes. Here Lewontin shows that an organism is a unique consequence of both genes and environment, of both internal and external features. Rejecting the notion that genes determine the organism, which then adapts to the environment, he explains that organisms, influenced in their development by their circumstances, in turn create, modify, and choose the environment in which they live.The Triple Helix is vintage Lewontin: brilliant, eloquent, passionate, and deeply critical. But it is neither a manifesto for a radical new methodology nor a brief for a new theory. It is instead a primer on the complexity of biological processes, a reminder to all of us that living things are never as simple as they may seem. (shrink)
Ever since Plato took it out of public places and made it academic, Western philosophy has been the work of theorists: people whose leisure and culture leave them free to stand back from history and look on as spectators. Traditionally, Western philosophers have tried to build their theories on suprahistorical foundations. With the American and French revolutions, history and historical consciousness become essential elements of philosophy, but its suprahistorical foundations remain. Hegel's theory completes all prior philosophical theories by showing how (...) they progressively embody history's transcendent reality. Marx makes Hegelian idealism stand up: it becomes the historically contingent theory of revolutionary practice. Yet Marxian philosophy is haunted by a spectre of its own historical inevitability that subsequent Marxists have characteristically invoked to legitimate their contingent practice. (shrink)
Following in the fashion of Stephen Jay Gould and Peter Medawar, one of the world's leading scientists examines how "pure science" is in fact shaped and guided by social and political needs and assumptions.
The philosophical problem of the relation of symbol to truth is far from solved, but there have been significant advances toward its solution. It is the common Christian understanding that God is Truth , and that all truths must ultimately find union in him. This is to say that all genuine truths must be compatible. The true conclusions of genuine science must be compatible with the true conclusions of genuine theology. Or, to bring this general statement to a more particular (...) level, the true conclusions of Biblical scholarship must be compatible with the true conclusions of the natural sciences. When this compatibility is lacking, and it so often is, we must assume that the conclusions of one field of truth-seeking or the other do not partake of the Truth which is God. And there is no guarantee that theology as a field of truth-seeking cannot err. Another characteristic of genuine truth is that it is not dependent upon any particular environment or milieu —either social, cultural, philosophical, or even theological. Unless we are to make the common but dangerous division of sacred and secular, of holy and profane, claim that these areas of human experience have nothing to do the one with the other, compartmentalise our thought, and ask, ‘What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?’, it must be concluded that there is no one specifically Christian milieu . Genuine truths must be true at all times, in all places, and for all men. But since we are not gods, we must hold these truths in what St Paul called earthen vessels , vessels shaped and moulded by our particular milieu. (shrink)