This paper documents a conversation between a philosopher and a human computer interaction researcher whose research has been enormously influenced by Wittgenstein. In particular, the in vivo use of categories in the design of communications and AI technologies are discussed, and how this meaning needs to evolve to allow creative design to flourish. The paper will be of interest to anyone concerned with philosophical tools in everyday action.
Die Untersuchung stellt die Psychologie und Psychiatrie des jungen Kant vor, die im Rahmen seiner Auseinandersetzung mit dem schwedischen Gelehrten, Mystiker und Geisterseher Emanuel von Swedenborg entstanden ist. Hieraus ging Kants Wahnkritik hervor, in der er die drei Aspekte der Schizophrenie die Projektion, die Ich-Spaltung sowie die Paranoia analysiert. Constantin Rauer zeigt, dass und wie Kant seine fruhe Wahnkritik in die spatere Vernunftkritik ubertragen hat, und wie sich durch diese Anwendung der Psychologie auf die Logik das vollzog, was spater (...) Kants kritische Wende genannt wurde. Damit vollzieht der Autor erstmals Kants Revolution der Denkungsart und mit dieser die Genese seiner Kritik der reinen Vernunft systematisch nach. So fuhrt seine Untersuchung zu einem neuen Kant-Verstandnis, indem sie zeigt, dass Kants Vernunftkritik auch als eine Anti-Wahnkritik zu verstehen ist. Mit seiner Kritik des Wahns aber zielt Kant auf die verborgene Irrationalitat der Moderne: auf den erkenntnistheoretischen Wahn des Empirismus, den ethischen Wahn des Sozialdarwinismus sowie den religiosen Wahn im Kulturrelativismus. "Die Arbeit ist klar und uberzeugend aufgebaut. Uberdies ist sie sehr gut lesbar geschrieben: klar, zupackend, argumentativ, immer wieder von erhellenden Bildern durchsetzt; und die Verbindung einer wohldurchdachten Interpretation und Argumentation mit einer neuartigen These fuhrt zu einem philosophisch geradezu spannenden Text.... Hier findet eine hochentwickelte internationale Kantforschung einen grundlegend neuen Blick." ". (shrink)
Deleuze and Philosophy provides an exploration of the continuing philosophical relevance of Gilles Deleuze. This collection of essays uses Deleuze to move between thinkers such as Plato, Aristotle, Husserl, Hume, Locke, Kant, Foucault, Badiou and Agamben. As such the reader is left with a comprehensive understanding not just of the philosophy of Deleuze but how he can be situated within a much broader philosophical trajectory. Constantin Boundas has gathered together recent scholarship on Deleuze's philosophy by an acclaimed line-up of (...) international contributors, all of whom seek to provide new and previously unexplored theoretical terrains that will be of interest to both the Deleuze specialist and student alike. Three of the essays are by key French Deleuzians whose work is not widely available in translation. This enticing collection is essential reading for anyone interested not just in Deleuze but in the history of philosophical ideas. Contributors include: Zsuzsa Baross, Veronique Bergen, Ronald Bogue, Bruce Baugh, Rosi Braidotti, Claire Colebrook, Bela Egyed, Philippe Mengue, Dorothea Olkowski, Davide Panagia, Daniel W. Smith, Jeremie Valentin, Arnaud Villani. (shrink)
Global health research partnerships have many benefits, including the development of research capacity and improving the production and use of evidence to improve global health equity. These partnerships also include many challenges, with power and resource differences often leading to inequitable and unethical partnership dynamics. Responding to these challenges and to important gaps in partnership scholarship, the Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research conducted a three-year, multi-regional consultation to capture the research partnership experiences of stakeholders in South Asia, Latin America, (...) and sub-Saharan Africa. The consultation participants described persistent inequities in the conduct of global health research partnerships and called for a mechanism through which to improve accountability for ethical conduct within partnerships. They also called for a commitment by the global health research community to research partnership ethics. The Partnership Assessment Toolkit is a practical tool that enables partners to openly discuss the ethics of their partnership and to put in place structures that create ethical accountability. Clear mechanisms such as the PAT are essential to guide ethical conduct to ensure that global health research partnerships are beneficial to all collaborators, that they reflect the values of the global health endeavor more broadly, and that they ultimately lead to improvements in health outcomes and health equity. (shrink)
The paper questions the effectiveness of the United Kingdom Central Council's (UKCC's) Code of Professional Conduct upon the moral climate of nursing. It challenges the claim that the empowerment of nurses is significantly enhanced by the Code or that it necessarily makes them more accountable for their practice. The position is taken that the Code, in the absence of an effective support network for whistle-blowers, places an unreasonable burden upon nurses in its exhortations to report unprofessional conduct. The paper acknowledges (...) the need to retain the Code, but with more modest claims being made concerning its empowering qualities. It is argued that unless more attention is focused on ways to support potential whistle-blowers, the Code will come to be seen as an irrelevance. Cet article met en question l'effet du Code du UKCC sur le climat moral des soins infirmiers. Il conteste l'affirmation que les infirmiers/ères sont considérablement plus fort à cause du Code ou qu'il les rend plus responsables dans leur pratique. La position est prise que le Code, en l'absence d'un réseau efficace de soutien pour les 'Whistleblowers' (personnes qui dévoilent un système), met un fardeau excessif sur les infirmiers/ères dans ses exhortations de signaler une conduite contraire au Code professionnel. Cet article reconnâit la nécessité de retenir le Code, mais avec des demandes plus modestes concernant ses pouvoirs de rendre fort. Il est soutenu que si non plus d'attention est concentré sur les moyens de soutenir les 'Whistlebowers', le Code va devenir hors de propos. Dieser Artikel bezweifelt die Wirksamkeit des Kodex des UKCC über das moralische Klima der Krankenpflege. Er stellt die Behauptung in Frage, dass der Kodex das Pflegepersonal bedeutend ermächtigt, oder dass er es mehr verantwortlich macht für seine Praxis. Die Position ist hier, dass der Kodex, in der Abwesenheit von effektiver Unterstützung für 'Whistleblowers' (d.h. Leute, die ein System verpfeifen), zu viel vom Pflegepersonal verlangt, in seiner Ermahnung, berufswidrige Praxis zu melden. Dieser Artikel anerkennt die Notwendigkeit, den Kodex zu behalten, aber mit kleineren Ansprüchen für seine ermächtigenden Qualitäten. Wenn nicht mehr Aufmerksamkeit gelegt wird, auf welche Weise die 'Whistleblowers' unterstützt werden können, dann wird der Kodex als eine Nebensächlichkeit verurteilt. (shrink)
This paper seeks to develop a phenomenological account of the disorientation of grief, specifically the relationship between disorientation and the breakdown in practical self-understanding at the heart of grief. I argue that this breakdown cannot be sufficiently understood as a breakdown of formerly shared practices and habitual patterns of navigating lived-in space that leaves the bereaved individual at a loss as to how to go on. Examining the experience of losing a loved person and a loved person-to-be, I instead propose (...) that this breakdown should be understood primarily in relation to a distinctive kind of futurity operative in disorientation, irrespective of the extent to which there is a breakdown of formerly shared practices and habitual patterns of navigating lived-in space. Drawing on the resources afforded by Heidegger’s phenomenology, I argue that it is a core characteristic of the experience of disorientation in grief that the grieving person can no longer meaningfully press ahead into a specific futural self. This view comes with certain advantages over existing accounts of the temporality of grief for making sense of the disorientated relationship to futurity, which the appeal to Heideggerian resources makes possible. (shrink)
Modern societies are characterized by a division of epistemic labor between laypeople and epistemic authorities. Authorities are often far more competent than laypeople and can thus, ideally, inform their beliefs. But how should laypeople rationally respond to an authority’s beliefs if they already have beliefs and reasons of their own concerning some subject matter? According to the standard view, the beliefs of epistemic authorities are just further, albeit weighty, pieces of evidence. In contrast, the Preemption View claims that, when one (...) discovers what an authority believes, it is not permissible to rely on any of one’s own reasons concerning the subject matter. The original version of this view, as proposed by Linda Zagzebski, has recently been severely criticized for recommending blind trust and for abandoning even minimal standards for critical thinking. In our paper, we defend a new version of the Preemption View—Defeatist Preemptionism—in a way that differs radically from Zagzebski’s. We argue that our view can be derived from certain widely accepted general epistemic principles. In particular, we claim that preemption can be identified as a special case of source sensitive defeat. Moreover, we argue that Defeatist Preemptionism does not lead to the undesirable consequences that critics ascribe to the Preemption View. The paper thus articulates the foundations and refinements of the Preemption View, such that it adequately captures the phenomenon of epistemic authority and the rational requirements related to it. (shrink)
With AI permeating our lives, there is widespread concern regarding the proper framework needed to morally assess and regulate it. This has given rise to many attempts to devise ethical guidelines that infuse guidance for both AI development and deployment. Our main concern is that, instead of a genuine ethical interest for AI, we are witnessing moral diplomacies resulting in moral bureaucracies battling for moral supremacy and political domination. After providing a short overview of what we term ‘ethics washing’ in (...) the AI industry, we analyze the 2021 UNESCO Intergovernmental Meeting of Experts (Category II) tasked with drafting the Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence and show why the term ‘moral diplomacy’ is better suited to explain what is happening in the field of the ethics of AI. Our paper ends with some general considerations regarding the future of the ethics of AI. (shrink)
Using a sample of multinational firms in Germany, we develop and empirically examine a model to test the effects of ethical climate and its antecedents on purchasing social responsibility (PSR). Our results show different effects of benevolence dimensions of ethical climate on PSR: employee-focused climate has no effect, but community-focused climate is a significant driver of PSR. The results also show that top management ethical norms and code of conduct implementation impact PSR directly as well as indirectly through ethical climate.
In the UK an increasing number of Clinical Ethics Committees (CECs) have been developed mainly in response to local need and interest. Their functions include education of health professionals, of policy and guideline development, and case review (both retrospective analysis of topics and advice on acute cases). The UK Clinical Ethics Network, a charitable foundation provides CEC s with help, support and advice and enables them to share their experience The legal status of UK CECs is unclear but some legal (...) commentators have suggested that CECs lack competencies and procedural rules necessary for acute case review. The UKCEN has proposed core competencies for CECs that lists the ethical, operational and procedural skills, knowledge and personal attributes required and how they may be acquired, assessed and maintained. Their implementation might lead to the development of ethical and legal governance which should benefit to future patient care. (shrink)
A majority of Americans say they are Christians. In fact, when you ask what they really believe about God you find that almost half are really deists. Let’s look at the data. A 2006 Pew survey reports that about 50 percent of Americans are Protestants and another 25 percent Catholics, which would indicate a strong Christian majority of 75 percent. Like most such surveys, however, Pew simply asked people to state their religious affiliations. A 2005 survey by Baylor University tried (...) something different and questioned people about what they actually believe. The results were surprising and have great significance in properly comprehending religious belief in the U.S. For some reason, they have received little attention. (shrink)
History casts a spell on our minds more powerful than science or religion. It does not root us in the past at all. It rather flatters us with the belief in our ability to recreate the world in our image. It is a form of self-assertion that brooks no opposition or dissent and shelters us from the experience of time. So argues Constantin Fasolt in The Limits of History , an ambitious and pathbreaking study that conquers history's power by (...) carrying the fight into the center of its domain. Fasolt considers the work of Hermann Conring (1606-81) and Bartolus of Sassoferrato (1313/14-57), two antipodes in early modern battles over the principles of European thought and action that ended with the triumph of historical consciousness. Proceeding according to the rules of normal historical analysis--gathering evidence, putting it in context, and analyzing its meaning--Fasolt uncovers limits that no kind of history can cross. He concludes that history is a ritual designed to maintain the modern faith in the autonomy of states and individuals. God wants it, the old crusaders would have said. The truth, Fasolt insists, only begins where that illusion ends. With its probing look at the ideological underpinnings of historical practice, The Limits of History demonstrates that history presupposes highly political assumptions about free will, responsibility, and the relationship between the past and the present. A work of both intellectual history and historiography, it will prove invaluable to students of historical method, philosophy, political theory, and early modern European culture. (shrink)
A balance needs to be struck between facilitating compassionate access to innovative treatments for those in desperate need, and the duty to protect such vulnerable individuals from the harms of untested/unlicensed treatments. We introduced a principle-based framework to evaluate such requests and describe its application in the context of recently evolved UK, US and European regulatory processes. 24 referrals were received by our quaternary children's hospital Clinical Ethics Committee over the 5-year period. The CEC-rapid response group evaluated individual cases within (...) 48-hours; the main referrers being haematology/oncology, immunology or transplant services. Most requests were for drug/vaccine/pre-trial access or biological/cellular therapies. The majority of individual requests were approved ; neutral or negative opinions were given in 5, including 3 group requests. Recently evolved regulatory processes share common criteria and conditions to our framework including: demonstration of clinical need; sound scientific basis with lack of viable alternative; risks-benefit/best interests evaluation; arrangements for fully informed consent; no compromise of arrangements to test treatment for licensing purposes; consideration of resource implications. There are differences between individual processes and with our framework, with respect to procedures, scope, application format, costs and obligation to make available all outcome data. Our experience has emphasized the need for an independent, principled, consistent, fair and transparent response to the increasing demand for innovative treatment on a compassionate basis. We believe that there is a need for harmonization of the recent proliferation of regulation and legislation in this area. (shrink)
Interview with Constantine Sigov, dedicated to the history of the "European Dictionary of Philosophies": from the emergence of an idea in the early 90's in France until the accomplishment of the Ukrainian edition in 2019.
An understanding of human nature has been central to the work of some of the greatest philosophical thinkers including Plato, Descartes, Hume, Hobbes, Rousseau, Freud and Marx. Questions such as 'what is human nature?', 'is there such a thing as an exclusively human nature?', 'through what methods might we best discover more about our nature?', and 'to what extent are our actions and beliefs constrained by it?' are of central importance not only to philosophy, but to our general understanding of (...) ourselves as part of the human species. This volume addresses such questions through the inclusion of special commissioned essays by specialists including John Cottingham, Hans-Johann Glock, P. M. S. Hacker, Wolfram Hinzen, Rosalind Hursthouse, Peter Kail, Sarah Patterson and Richard Samuels. (shrink)
History casts a spell on our minds more powerful than science or religion. It does not root us in the past at all. It rather flatters us with the belief in our ability to recreate the world in our image. It is a form of self-assertion that brooks no opposition or dissent and shelters us from the experience of time. So argues Constantin Fasolt in _The Limits of History_, an ambitious and pathbreaking study that conquers history's power by carrying (...) the fight into the center of its domain. Fasolt considers the work of Hermann Conring and Bartolus of Sassoferrato, two antipodes in early modern battles over the principles of European thought and action that ended with the triumph of historical consciousness. Proceeding according to the rules of normal historical analysis—gathering evidence, putting it in context, and analyzing its meaning—Fasolt uncovers limits that no kind of history can cross. He concludes that history is a ritual designed to maintain the modern faith in the autonomy of states and individuals. God wants it, the old crusaders would have said. The truth, Fasolt insists, only begins where that illusion ends. With its probing look at the ideological underpinnings of historical practice, _The Limits of History_ demonstrates that history presupposes highly political assumptions about free will, responsibility, and the relationship between the past and the present. A work of both intellectual history and historiography, it will prove invaluable to students of historical method, philosophy, political theory, and early modern European culture. (shrink)
Our technological lifeworld has become an info-computational media populated by data and algorithms, an artificial environment for life and shared experiences. In this chapter, I tried to sketch three new assumptions for bioethics – it is hardly possible to substantiate ethical guidelines or an idea of normativity in an aprioristic manner; moral status is a function of data entities, not something solely human; agency is plural and thus is shared or sometimes delegated – in order to chart a proposal for (...) a posthuman bioethics. Posthuman is perhaps not the best expression available, but it covers the idea of a shift from a world centered on self-contained and exclusively human agency to a more comprehensive and relational way of thinking. The “posthuman” label should be understood as a rebuttal of biocentrism and anthropocentrism by moving closer to conceptions we encounter in population ethics or in discourse about biosocial and technical systems. Posthuman bioethics is “environmentalist” without losing the humanistic stance. The question regarding how suitable an infocentric bioethics is in practice remains to be settled. The moral principles in bioethics could be reconceived as relying on these new assumptions, in a postindividualistic manner that accepts formal primacy of causal digital artifacts in affording actions in a world of ambient algorithmic intelligence. (shrink)
One way to characterize dispositions is to take them to be reducible to categorical properties plus experimental arrangements. We argue that this view applied to Bohm 's ontological interpretation of quantum theory provides a good picture of the unremarkable nature of spin in that interpretation, and so explains how a simple realism of possessed values may be retained in the face of Kochen and Specker's theorem. With this in mind we discuss Redhead's influential analysis of Kochen and Specker's theorem which (...) does nor appear to allow for the above view. (shrink)
Is knowledge-how, or “practical” knowledge, a species of knowledge-that, or “theoretical” knowledge? There is no comfortable position to take in the debate around this question. On the one hand, there are counterexamples against the anti-intellectualist thesis that practical knowledge is best analysed as an ability. They show that having an ability to ϕ is not necessary for knowing how to ϕ. On the other hand, the intellectualist analysis of practical knowledge as a subspecies of theoretical knowledge is threatened by its (...) own set of counterexamples, which convincingly establish that practical knowledge lacks many of the typical characteristics of theoretical knowledge. Most strikingly it does not even appear to require a belief. In this paper, I develop an account of practical knowledge that avoids these counterexamples. It also manages to preserve both the status of such knowledge as a cognitive achievement and its apparently close conceptual relation to abilities. I start with the counterexamples against the necessity of abilities for practical knowledge and show that they fail because they underestimate the cognitive demands of attempts. I then make use of the logic of dispositions to bridge the gap that counterexamples against the necessity of abilities for practical knowledge open. It is argued that, instead of the ability to ϕ, it is a specific disposition to have the ability to ϕ that constitutes practical knowledge about ϕ. The resulting theory is an anti-intellectualist position that preserves essential intellectualist motivations and thus should be satisfactory for proponents of both views. (shrink)
_The Philosophy of Action: An Anthology_ is an authoritative collection of key work by top scholars, arranged thematically and accompanied by expert introductions written by the editors. This unique collection brings together a selection of the most influential essays from the 1960s to the present day. An invaluable collection that brings together a selection of the most important classic and contemporary articles in philosophy of action, from the 1960’s to the present day No other broad-ranging and detailed coverage of this (...) kind currently exists in the field Each themed section opens with a synoptic introduction and includes a comprehensive further reading list to guide students Includes sections on action and agency, willing and trying, intention and intentional action, acting for a reason, the explanation of action, and free agency and responsibility Written and organised in a style that allows it to be used as a primary teaching resource in its own right. (shrink)
The management of child protection concerns arouses strong emotions and controversies and creates ethical tensions for all concerned. This paper provides a rational analysis of some of the issues involved and suggests responses to them. The ethical and legal duties of health-care professionals are to act in the best interests of the child by safeguarding children and reporting concerns. But this may involve conflicts with parents and produce reluctance of professionals to become involved, especially in controversial types of abuse. Mandatory (...) reporting of concerns might overcome such reluctance, but may be ineffective in the face of diagnostic uncertainties. Assembly of a stronger diagnostic evidence base would seem ethically justified, but organization of the necessary case controlled studies might be problematic. Even with a comprehensive evidence base, individual diagnoses of abuse will always involve value judgements that should be underpinned by effective training and assessment of core competencies of professionals. These manoeuvres are unlikely to prevent both justified and vexatious complaints, often in relation to breaches in professional duties or concerning professional misconduct. The tendency to blame experts may have contributed to a reluctance of other professionals to become involved, despite proposals for reforms in the expert witness and court systems. Current approaches to child protection may neither promote greater understanding nor be in the best interests of children. A revised social contract for the effective protection of children could include: a duty of care that adequately addresses the primacy of the child's welfare; the acquisition of a sound evidence base; professional transparency and accountability (but with protection from malicious and vexatious complaints); and a shift emphasis towards a more inquisitorial system that embraced the principles of truth and reconciliation. (shrink)
Caplan has argued that the philosophy of medicine does not exist. Although I will not deny the points he makes, I will argue that the philosophy of medicine has characteristics of a developing field with the potential to meet all of Caplan's criteria. The argument is based on Dewey's established views on logical development for a field of inquiry, as well as pointing out how other criteria Caplan imposes can be fulfilled.
This essay seeks to clarify the relationship between history and religion in the modern age. It proceeds in three steps. First, it draws attention to the radical asymmetry between first-person and third-person statements that Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations rescued from the metaphysical exile to which it had been condemned by Descartes’s definition of the self as a thing. Second, it argues that religion is designed to alleviate the peculiarly human kind of suffering arising from this asymmetry. Third, it maintains that history (...) relies on the same means as religion in order to achieve the same results. The turn to historical evidence performed by historians and their readers is more than just a path to knowledge. It is a religious ritual designed to make participants at home in their natural and social environments. Quite like the ritual representation of the death and resurrection of Christ in the Mass, the historical representation of the past underwrites the faith in human liberty and the hope in redemption from suffering. It helps human beings to find their bearings in the modern age without having to go to pre-industrial churches and pray in old agrarian ways. History does not conflict with the historical religions merely because it reveals them to have been founded on beliefs that cannot be supported by the evidence. History conflicts with the historical religions because it is a rival religion. (shrink)
We establish the existence uncountably many atoms in the subvariety lattice of the variety of involutive residuated lattices. The proof utilizes a construction used in the proof of the corresponding result for residuated lattices and is based on the fact that every residuated lattice with greatest element can be associated in a canonical way with an involutive residuated lattice.
WHAT DOES RESPECT REQUIRE OF RELIGIOUSLY MOTIVATED CITIZENS AS they support coercive public policies? In his recent work, Christopher Eberle argues against the doctrine of restraint, a norm that requires citizens to refrain from supporting laws for which public reasons are unavailable. Against Eberle, I defend the doctrine of restraint as a necessary corollary to liberal democratic respect. For this defense, I draw from one imaginary case, Robert Audi's example of "sacred dandelions" and laws banning lawn maintenance, and one real-world (...) dispute, current debates about same-sex marriage policies. I argue that the doctrine of restraint when coupled with an inclusive definition of public reason better accords with our intuitive sense of what respect requires in both cases. (shrink)
Accounts of human and animal action have been central to modern philosophy from Suarez and Hobbes in the sixteenth century to Wittgenstein and Anscombe in the mid-twentieth century via Locke, Hume, Kant, and Hegel, among many others. Philosophies of action have thus greatly influenced the course of both moral philosophy and the philosophy of mind. This book gathers together specialists from both the philosophy of action and the history of philosophy with the aim of re-assessing the wider philosophical impact of (...) action theory. It thereby explores how different notions of action, agency, reasons for action, motives, intention, purpose, and volition have affected modern philosophical understandings of topics as diverse as those of human nature, mental causation, responsibility, free will, moral motivation, rationality, normativity, choice and decision theory, criminal liability, weakness of will, and moral and social obligation. In so doing, it reinterprets the history of modern philosophy through the lens of action theory while also tracing the origins of contemporary questions in the philosophy of action back across half a millennium. This book was originally published as a special issue of Philosophical Explorations. (shrink)
What is biological complexity? How many sorts exist? Are there levels of complexity? How are they related to one another? How is complexity related to the emergence of new phenotypes? To try to get to grips with these questions, we consider the archetype of a complex biological system, Escherichia coli. We take the position that E. coli has been selected to survive adverse conditions and to grow in favourable ones and that many other complex systems undergo similar selection. We invoke (...) the concept of hyperstructures which constitute a level of organisation intermediate between macromolecules and cells. We also invoke a new concept, competitive coherence, to describe how phenotypes are created by a competition between maintaining a consistent story over time and creating a response that is coherent with respect to both internal and external conditions. We suggest how these concepts lead to parameters suitable for describing the rich form of complexity termed hypercomplexity and we propose a relationship between competitive coherence and emergence. (shrink)
This essay considers more closely Nigel Biggar’s account of the role love plays in orienting and qualifying the moral experience of just warriors. The evidence that Biggar employs is highly selective and belies a more complex picture of the motivations of soldiers, the experience of killing, and the moral ends of training for modern warfare. This essay argues that a more ambivalent account of love can be reconciled more easily with recent research on the experience of moral injury among combat (...) veterans and is a more useful starting point for grounding the Christian community’s service to combat veterans. (shrink)
This paper examines the relation between the various forces which underlie human action and verbal reports about our reasons for acting as we did. I maintain that much of the psychological literature on confabulations rests on a dangerous conflation of the reasons for which people act with a variety of distinct motivational factors. In particular, I argue that subjects frequently give correct answers to questions about the considerations they acted upon while remaining largely unaware of why they take themselves to (...) have such reasons to act. Pari passu, experimental psychologists are wrong to maintain that they have shown our everyday reason talk to be systematically confused. This is significant because our everyday reason-ascriptions affect characterizations of action that are morally and legally relevant. I conclude, more positively, that far from rendering empirical research on confabulations invalid, my account helps to reveal its true insights into human nature. (shrink)
To discover a unifying theory of biology, it is necessary first to believe in its existence and second to seek its elements. Such a theory would explain the regulation of the cell cycle, differentiation and the origin of life. Some elements of the theory may be obtained by considering both eukaryotic and prokaryotic cell cycles. These elements include cytoskeletal proteins, calcium, cyclins, protein kinase C, phosphorylation, transcriptional sensing, autocatalytic gene expression and the physical properties of lipids. Other more exotic candidate (...) elements include the dynamic enzoskeleton, ATP generation, mechanotransduction, the piezoelectric effect and resonance. Bringing these disparate elements together — and discovering others — will require extensive collaborations between specialists from different sciences. This can only be achieved within the context of an integrated approach to biology. (shrink)
This essay introduces a tension between the public Wittgenstein’s optimism about knowledge of other minds and the private Wittgenstein’s pessimism about understanding others. There are three related reasons which render the tension unproblematic. First, the barriers he sought to destroy were metaphysical ones, whereas those he struggled to overcome were psychological. Second, Wittgenstein’s official view is chiefly about knowledge while the unofficial one is about understanding. Last, Wittgenstein’s official remarks on understanding themselves fall into two distinct categories that don’t match (...) the focus of his unofficial ones. One is comprised of those remarks in the Investigations that challenge the thought that understanding is an inner mental process. The other consists primarily of those passages in PPF and On Certainty concerned with the difficulty of understanding others without immersing oneself into their form of life. In its unofficial counterpart, Wittgenstein focuses on individuals, rather than collectives. The official and the unofficial sets of remarks are united in assuming a distinction between understanding a person and understanding the meaning of their words. If to understand a language is to understand a form of life, then to understand a person is to understand a whole life. (shrink)