Ethical concerns regarding agricultural practices can be found to co-evolve with technological developments. This paper aims to create an understanding of ethics that is helpful in debating technological innovation by studying such a co-evolution process in detail: the development and adoption of the milking robot. Over the last decade an increasing number of milking robots, or automatic milking systems, has been adopted, especially in the Netherlands and a few other Western European countries. The appraisal of this new technology in ethical (...) terms has appeared to be a complicated matter. Compared to using a conventional milking parlor, the use of an AMS entails in several respects a different practice of dairy farming, the ethical implications and evaluation of which are not self-evident but are themselves part of a dynamic process. It has become clear that with its use, the entire practice of dairy farming has been reorganized around this new device. With a robot, cows must voluntarily present themselves to be milked, whereby an ethical norm of freedom for cows can be seen to emerge together with this new technology. But adopting a robot also implies changes in what is considered to be a good farmer and an appropriate relation between farmer and cow. Through interviews, attending “farmers’ network” meetings in the Netherlands, and studying professional literature and dedicated dairy farming web forums, this paper traces the way that ethical concerns are a dynamic part of this process of rearranging a variety of elements of the practice of dairy farming. (shrink)
A plethora of ethical issues in livestock agriculture has emerged to public attention in recent decades, of which environmental and animal welfare concerns are but two, albeit prominent, themes. For livestock agriculture to be considered sustainable, somehow these interconnected themes need to be addressed. Ethical debate on these issues has been extensive, but mostly started from and focused on single issues. The views of farmers in these debates have been largely absent, or merely figured as interests, instead of being considered (...) morally worthwhile themselves. In this paper the relevance for ethical debates of the ways farmers discuss and engage with moral concerns is explored. The variety of norms that figure in contemporary farming practices is sketched in its multifarious complexity, illustrated by ethnographic fieldwork, and systematized in terms of “orders of worth.” Reviewing the practical arguments and commitments of farmers within this framework reveals that farming practices are subject to mixed motives, in which an amalgam of types of concerns play a role. Recognition of the peculiarly entangled nature of the ethics of farming practices could counter the tendency in policy making, technological innovation, and ethical thought to compartmentalize our moral landscape. Understanding farming practice as the integration of a mosaic of concerns in the light of a variety of moral experiences would foster public appreciation of positions of farmers in debates on improving the sustainability and societal acceptability of livestock agriculture. (shrink)
In this paper we study the termination behavior of Russell’s description elimination rewrite system. We discuss certain claims made by Kripke (2005) in his paper concerning the possible nontermination of elimination of descriptions.
Why do predicates like know embed both declarative and interrogative clauses, whereas closely related ones like believe only embed the former? The standard approach following Grimshaw to this issue has been to specify lexically for each predicate which type of complement clause it can combine with. This view is challenged by predicates such as be certain, which embed interrogative clauses only in certain contexts. To deal with this issue, this paper proposes a novel, unified semantics for declarative and interrogative embedding (...) and a theory where embedding is constrained by semantic considerations. The reason for the apparent unembeddability of an interrogative clause under a given predicate is the resulting trivial meaning of the sentence. Such triviality manifests itself in unacceptability. Crucially, it is affected by both the lexical meaning of the predicate and the polarity of the sentence as a whole. (shrink)
Next SectionBy discussing a novel paradigm, it is shown that the likeliness of an operator to trigger an intervention effect in a wh-in-situ question is determined by the logical properties of that operator (contra Beck 1996a, 2006, for instance). A new empirical generalization accounting for the differences between operators in their ability to cause intervention and improving on existing analyses is suggested. This generalization is fully predictive and allows one to not have to list in the lexicon whether an intervener (...) is problematic or not. It is implemented as a formal condition on wh-questions in a version of Hamblin 1973's/Karttunen 1977's question semantics that makes crucial use of Chierchia 2006's domain alternatives. (shrink)
Our aim in this survey article is to provide an accessible overview of some key results and questions in the theory of judgment aggregation. We omit proofs and technical details, focusing instead on concepts and underlying ideas.
One central objection to the maximin payoff criterion is that it focuses on the state that yields the lowest payoffs regardless of how low these are. We allow different states to have different sets of possible outcomes and show that the original axioms of Milnor (1954) continue to characterize the maximin payoff criterion, provided that the sets of payoffs achievable across states overlap. If instead payoffs in some states are always lower than in all others then ignoring the “bad” states (...) is no longer inconsistent with these axioms. Similar dependence on overlap of outcome spaces across states holds for the minimax regret and maximin joy criteria. (shrink)
The influence of movement skill on action representations and identification of agency was investigated. Point-light displays were created of highly skilled gestures of thirteen orchestral conductors in visual, auditory, and audiovisual versions and compared to two control conditions . In subsequent experimental sessions, participants indicated whether displays presented them or other conductors, whether the soundtrack contained their or others’ musical interpretations, and rated the quality and emotional content of the gestures. Self-recognition was more accurate in conditions presenting highly skilled conducting (...) movements as compared to other displays. Participants judged the quality of their own movements to be better than those of others, independently of whether or not they recognized movement agency. Emotional content was perceived accurately across conditions both for own and others’ actions. These results point to the influence of dynamical characteristics of motor skill, rather than merely type of movement or emotional content, on action representations and self-other identification. (shrink)
In this article, I discuss how things go with the "Nothing" in the work of Alain Badiou, a topic which is evidently central to his thought, and which has received a great deal of attention in the commentary to date. As this problem is inaccessible outside of Badiou’s deployment of mathematics, I will suggest how accounts of Badiou’s work remain flawed insofar as they evade his mathematical demonstrations, and I attempt to clarify how mathematics operates in his system. I then (...) examine the consequences that such a use of mathematics has for Badiou’s doctrine of the nothing. I conclude with a discussion of some of the difficulties that the nothing continues to pose to Badiou, which have not (yet) been satisfactorily resolved. These difficulties devolve from the problematic of the incessantly doubling void. (shrink)
We consider the complexity of the isomorphism relation on countable first-order structures with transitive automorphism groups. We use the theory of Borel reducibility of equivalence relations to show that the isomorphism problem for vertex-transitive graphs is as complicated as the isomorphism problem for arbitrary graphs and determine for which first-order languages the isomorphism problem for transitive countable structures is as complicated as it is for arbitrary countable structures. We then use these results to characterize the complexity of the isometry relation (...) for certain classes of homogeneous and ultrahomogeneous metric spaces. (shrink)
In Logiques des Mondes, Paris, Seuil, 2006, Alain Badiou has produced a sequel to his magnum opus Being and Event. Whereas Being and Event primarily restricted itself to the relationship between ontology and the event, mathematics and poetry, the new book seriously extends and revises certain of its predecessor's. This article outlines some of the major doctrines, arguments, and motivations for the new work, as well as several points of possible difficulty.
Synthetic biology is a research field that has grown rapidly and attracted considerable attention. Most prominently, it has been labelled the ‘engineering of biology’. While other attempts to label the field have been also pursued, the program of engineering can be considered the core of the field’s disciplinary program, of its identity. This article addresses the success of the ‘engineering program’ in synthetic biology and argues that its success can partly be explained by distinct practices of persuasion that aim at (...) persuading scientific, but also non-scientific audiences. The article explores two different modes of persuasion:, building tools as heuristic models and posing visionary claims. Objects such as the toggle switch or the synthetic oscillator in synthetic biology can more adequately be described as heuristic models of engineering instead of simply as prototypes of ‘tools’. Posing visionary claims can be also understood as a persuasion practice, since the claims are used to construct the societal relevance of the field. Drawing upon Michel Callon’s ‘sociology of translation’, I argue that both practices of persuasion aim at ‘enrolling’ entities into the disciplinary identity. The article is based on the textual analysis of rhetorical practices in three synthetic biology review articles which are considered seminal for the history of the field. (shrink)
Institutional theory rests on a rejection of reductionism. Instead of reducing higher-order phenomena to aggregates of behavior, institutional theory reverses this causal imagery. It attributes the behavior of organizations and nation-states to contextual factors, notably organizational fields, national institutional systems, or the emerging global polity, Institutionalists, particularly within sociology, also emphasize specifically cultural mechanisms for these higher-order effects. This article develops the methodological foundations for these claims. It surveys and elaborates research designs for documenting higher-order effects and for differentiating the (...) cultural mechanisms of institutional influence. It also presents new strategies for assessing multiple logics and the coherence of institutional orders, moving beyond adoption and diffusion studies to analyze the dynamic and contested processes of institutionalization and institutional change. (shrink)
The Heideggerian rupture in the history of philosophy in the name of a phenomenological and poetic ontology has provided an opening which many of the key figures in twentieth century continental thought have exploited. However, this opening was marked by Heidegger himself as an ambiguous one, insofar as metaphysics was perhaps integrally ‘onto-theology,’ that is, ultimately continuous with the world-historical capture of the thought of being. This piece argues that the philosophy of Alain Badiou, which departs from the recognition that (...) Heidegger is the ‘last universally recognised philosopher’, provides the means for a radical reconsideration of the philosophy-theology relationship in its specifically Heideggerian form, involving as it does further questions of science and technology, the status of the poem, and the nature of ontological thought as such. We argue that, through the deployment of mathematics as ontology, the Gordian knot of onto-theology and its legion of consequences can be cut, and a new assemblage of many of the key Heideggerian motifs can be put into play: the poem, history, and philosophy itself. (shrink)
The presence of contrastive focus on pronouns interpreted as bound variables is puzzling. Bound variables do not refer, and it is therefore unclear how two of them can be made to contrast with each other. It is argued that this is a problem for both alternative-based accounts such as Rooth’s (Nat Lang Semantics 1:75–116, 1992) and givenness-based ones such as Schwarzschild’s (Nat Lang Semantics 7:141–177, 1999). The present paper shows that previous approaches to this puzzle face an empirical problem, namely (...) the co-occurrence of additive too and focus on bound pronouns. Our account is based on the idea that the alternatives introduced by focused bound pronouns denote individuals. Putting forward the novel concept of compositional reconstruction, we show that a suitably modified Roothian analysis of focus licensing allows us to get bound pronouns to contrast with other bound pronouns. The reason for this is that the number of potential alternatives increases. We also suggest a modification of Rooth’s ~-operator: contrastiveness becomes a requirement of the operator, which is modelled as a definedness condition. It is argued that in the case of focused bound pronouns a ~-operator is necessarily inserted in the scope of the quantifier. If this is on the right track, it follows that the phenomenon of focused bound pronouns warrants both an operator interpreting focus as well as a semantic value for the contribution of focus. Any givenness-based analysis must include these two ingredients as well; we suggest a way in which this can be implemented more or less straightforwardly. (shrink)
In the framework of transferable utility games, we modify the 2-person Davis–Maschler reduced game to ensure non-emptiness of the imputation set of the adapted 2-person reduced game. Based on the modification, we propose two new axioms: reduced game monotonicity and reduced dominance. Using RGM, RD, NE, Covariance under strategic equivalence, Equal treatment property and Pareto optimality, we are able to characterize the kernel.
In many Western countries the pressure exerted on immigrants to integrate has become intense in recent years. Efforts to preserve their ethnic identity through multicultural recognition has now been replaced by the requirements of active civic participation and assimilation. Of course integration is considered important not only for the immigrant parents but also for their children. The central question in this article is whether there is a relationship between the degree of integration of the immigrant parents and the generation of (...) their children on the one hand and the level of language and numeracy achievement of the children on the other. To answer this question we use data collected in 2008 from the Dutch COOL5–18 cohort study. The information comes from more than 9000 immigrant and 16,000 indigenous children and their parents. The results show that as immigrant parents are better integrated and their children are of later generations, the language and numeracy skills of the children improve, though there remain large differences in achievement between different ethnic groups. (shrink)
From the very beginning of ancient Greek philosophy up to the present day a puzzling correlation is found between rationality and reality. In this study this relation is examined with emphasis on the philosophical tradition of Aristotle and Aquinas. A comparison is made with the virtual reality created by computers and actual reality of our universe. The view expressed in the scientific neopositivism of Jordan and Mach is found to be an adequate approach to avoid contradictions in the interpretation of (...) modern physics. A challenging hypothesis is made by updating the Laplacian Demon by a powerful creative intellect in line with Judeo-Christian tradition. With this hypothesis a new light is shed on several fundamental issues in modern science. (shrink)
We present Activity Analysis as a new method for the quantification of subjective reports of altered states of consciousness with regard to the indicated level of simulated motor activity. Empirical linguistic activity analysis was conducted with dream reports conceived immediately after EEG-controlled periods of hypnagogic hallucinations and REM-sleep in the sleep laboratory. Reports of REM-dreams exhibited a significantly higher level of simulated physical dreamer activity, while hypnagogic hallucinations appear to be experienced mostly from the point of passive observer. This study (...) lays the groundwork for clinical research on the level of simulated activity in pathologically altered states of subjective experience, for example in the REM-dreams of clinically depressed patients, or in intrusions and dreams of patients diagnosed with PTSD. (shrink)