Normal 0 0 1 85 487 UBC 4 1 598 11.773 0 0 0 Under what conditions is the failure to have evidence that p evidence that p is false? Absent evidence reasoning is common in many sciences, including astronomy, archeology, biology and medicine. An often-repeated epistemological motto is that “the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” Analysis of absent evidence reasoning usually takes place in a deductive or frequentist hypothesis-testing framework. Instead, I develop a Bayesian analysis of (...) this motto and prove that, under plausible assumptions about the nature of evidence, the absence of evidence is evidence of absence. (shrink)
Recently, several philosophers have challenged the view that evolutionary theory is usefully understood by way of an analogy with Newtonian mechanics. Instead, they argue that evolutionary theory is merely a statistical theory. According to this alternate approach, natural selection and random genetic drift are not even causes, much less forces. I argue that, properly understood, the Newtonian analogy is unproblematic and illuminating. I defend the view that selection and drift are causes in part by attending to a pair of important (...) distinctions—that between process and product and that between natural selection and fitness. (shrink)
In various places we have defended the position that a new human organism, that is, an individual member of the human species, comes to be at fertilization, the union of the spermatozoon and the oocyte. This individual organism, during the ordinary course of embryological development, remains the same individual and does not undergo any further substantial change, unless monozygotic twinning, or some form of chimerism occurs. Recently, in this Journal Jason Morris has challenged our position, claiming that recent findings in (...) reproductive and stem cell biology have falsified our view. He objects to our claim that a discernible substantial change occurs at conception, giving rise to the existence of a new individual of the human species. In addition, he objects to our claim that the embryo is an individual, a unified whole that persists through various changes, and thus something other than a mere aggregate of cells. Morris raises a number of objections to these claims. However, we will show that his arguments overlook key data and confuse biological, metaphysical, and ethical questions. As a result, his attempts to rebut our arguments fail. (shrink)
Several philosophers have argued that natural selection will favor reliable belief formation; others have been more skeptical. These traditional approaches to the evolution of rationality have been either too sketchy or else have assumed that phenotypic plasticity can be equated with having a mind. Here I develop a new model to explore the functional utility of belief and desire formation mechanisms, and defend the claim that natural selection favors reliable inference methods in a broad, but not universal, range of circumstances.
Biologists rely extensively on the iterated Prisoner's Dilemma game to model reciprocal altruism. After examining the informal conditions necessary for reciprocal altruism, I argue that formal games besides the standard iterated Prisoner's Dilemma meet these conditions. One alternate representation, the modified Prisoner's Dilemma game, removes a standard but unnecessary condition; the other game is what I call a Cook's Dilemma. We should explore these new models of reciprocal altruism because they predict different stability characteristics for various strategies; for instance, I (...) show that strategies such as Tit-for-Tat have different stability dynamics in these alternate models. (shrink)
Ernst Fehr and his collaborators have argued that traditional explanations of human cooperation cannot account for strong reciprocity. They provide substantial empirical evidence that strong reciprocity is an important phenomenon that cannot be explained by the traditional models of kin selection or reciprocal altruism. In this note, however, I argue that it will be di cult to test speci c adaptive explanations of strong reciprocity because it is apparently unique to humans. Consequently, it is di cult to employ the comparative (...) method, which is one of biology's best tools for testing adaptationist claims. (shrink)
This paper will argue for a conception of intrinsic value which, it is hoped, will do justice to the following issues: that Nature need not and should not be understood to refer only to what exists on this planet, Earth; that an environmental ethics informed by features unique to Earth may be misleading and prove inadequate as technology increasingly threatens to invade and colonize other planets in the solar system; that a comprehensive environmental ethics must encompass not only our attitude (...) to Earth, but to other planets as well—in other words, it must not simply be an Earthbound but virtually an astronomically bounded ethics. (shrink)
The following brief memoir of Wittgenstein needs a few preliminary words of explanation. Among those who attended his lectures and discussions in the years it covers was D. G. James, who later became Professor of English at Bristol University and then Vice-Chancellor of Southampton University. I met him both in Bristol and Southampton, and on one occasion suggested to him that some of us who had known Wittgenstein, but who had not become professional philosophers, might write down our recollections of (...) him, and that he and I should start. What prompted the suggestion was, I think, the publication of Norman Malcolm's book, and a feeling that the non-professionals might have something to contribute to the assessment of Wittgenstein, particularly as a person. I wrote a preliminary draft and sent it to James; but he never responded, there was much else to do, I let the matter rest, and now James is dead. I wrote in about the year 1960 on holiday and away from any books of reference and from my own notes of Wittgenstein's lectures and conversations. I have shown the typescript to a few interested people, but because of its preliminary and unfinished nature have not previously thought of publication. It has recently been suggested to me that it might be of more general interest, and I publish it now as it was written, with one or two trifling alterations. I am well aware of its limitations. It was intended to give an impression of Wittgenstein as a person rather than as a philosopher, and the rather miscellaneous collection of remarks in section 3 have that in view rather than any more strictly ‘philosophical’ intention. Others may well question some of the detail and disagree with some of the opinions expressed. And there are some things which I might put rather differently today. But if the memoir has any interest it is best left as it was written. (shrink)
More than 2,200 years have passed since a group of sober people gathered in a covered colonnade, or stoa, in the marketplace of Athens to discuss the good life – a life of virtue and honor. They became known as Stoics, and their ancient creed is enjoying a renaissance today in, of all things, popular culture.
I have argued that substance ontology cannot be used to determine the moral status of embryos. Patrick Lee, Christopher Tollefsen, and Robert George wrote a Reply to those arguments in this Journal. In that Reply, Lee, Tollefsen, and George defended and clarified their position that their substance ontology arguments prove that the zygote and the adult into which it develops are the same entity that share the same essence. Here, I show the following: Even using the substance ontology framework (...) to which Lee, Tollefsen, and George subscribe, we cannot know when in development substance changes cease. Substance ontology cannot therefore be used to assign moral status to embryos. The Lee, Tollefsen, and George substance ontology framework should not be applied to the study of development or to biological discourse in general, because this framework depends on premises that do not apply. (shrink)
Previous research found that mixed handers were more likely than strong handers to update their beliefs . It was assumed that this was due to greater degrees of communication between the two cerebral hemispheres in mixed handers. Niebauer and Garvey made connections between this model of updating beliefs and metacognitive processing. The current work proposes that variations in interhemispheric interaction contribute to differences in consciousness, specifically when consciousness is used in rumination versus the metacognitive task of self-reflection. Using the Rumination–Reflection (...) Questionnaire , predictions were supported such that strong handedness was associated with self-rumination; whereas, mixed handedness was associated with increased self-reflection p values < .01, . James’s concept of the “fringe of consciousness” is used to make connections between metacognition, updating beliefs, and self-reflection. Several studies are reviewed suggesting that mixed handers experience fringe consciousness to a greater degree than strong handers. (shrink)
Sound has given rise to many rich theoretical reflections, but when compared to the study of images, the study of sound continues to be marginalized. How is the “sense” of sound constituted and elaborated linguistically, textually, technologically, phenomenologically, and geologically, as well as acoustically? How is sound grasped as an object? Considering sound both within and beyond the scope of the human senses, contributors from literature, film, music, philosophy, anthropology, media and communication, and science and technology studies address topics that (...) range from Descartes’s resonant subject to the gendering of hearing physiology in the nineteenth century, Cold War politics and the opera _Nixon in China_, sounds from the Mediterranean, the poetics of signal processing, and the acousmatic voice in the age of MP3s. In the interpretive challenges posed by voice, noise, antinoise, whispering, near inaudibility, and silence and in the frequent noncoincidence of emission and reception, sound confronts us with what might be called its inhuman qualities—its irreducibility to meaning, to communication, to information, and even to recognition and identification. _Rey Chow_ is Anne Firor Scott Professor of Literature at Duke University. She is the author of _The Age of the World Target _and_ Modern Chinese Literary and Cultural Studies in the Age of Theory_, both_ _published by Duke University Press. _James A. Steintrager _is Professor and Chair of English at the University of California, Irvine. _ Contributors:_ Caroline Bassett, Eugenie Brinkema, Iain Chambers, Michel Chion, Rey Chow,_ _Mladen Dolar, Veit Erlmann, Evan Johnson, Christopher Lee, Mara Mills, John Mowitt, Dominic Pettman, Tara Rodgers, Nicholas Seaver, James A. Steintrager, Jonathan Sterne. (shrink)
In this chapter I argue that Machiavelli does not hold that all deception is permissible in war. While Machiavelli claims that "deceit... in the conduct of war is laudable and honorable," he insists that such deceit, or ruses of war, is not to be confounded with perfidy. Any Lee's U.S. Civil War film, "Ride With the Devil," illustrates this difference. The film also illustrates the difference between lying as part of romance, which is permitted, and lying at the moment of (...) truth in a relationship, when admitting one's feelings, which is not. (shrink)
Although Henry Lee is often recognized to be an important early critic of Locke's 'way of ideas', his Anti-Scepticism (1702) has hardly received the scholarly attention it deserves. This paper seeks to fill that lacuna. It argues that Lee's criticism of Locke's alleged representationalism was original, and that it was quite different from the more familiar kind of criticism that was launched against Locke's theory of ideas by such thinkers as John Sergeant and Thomas Reid. In addition, the paper offers (...) an interpretation of Lee’s claim that, pace Locke, attempts to prove the veridicality of our cognitive apparatus are fundamentally misguided. (shrink)