Several studies have now documented menstrual synchrony in human females. There is a broad consensus that the phenomenon mainly occurs in women who spend a significant amount of time together, such as close friends and coworkers, and that social contact rather than a similar environment plays an important role in mediating the effect. However, the mechanisms involved and the adaptive function of menstrual synchrony are not understood. There is some evidence that olfactory cues between females might underlie the effect. More (...) research is needed before the precise mechanisms that regulate menstrual synchrony are elucidated. (shrink)
In this paper I sketch an account of moral blame and blameworthiness. I begin by clarifying what I take blame to be and explaining how blameworthiness is to be analyzed in terms of it. I then consider different accounts of the conditions of blameworthiness and, in the end, settle on one according to which a person is blameworthy for φ-ing just in case, in φ-ing, she violates one of a particular class of moral requirements governing the attitudes we bear, and (...) our mental orientation, toward people and other objects of significant moral worth. These requirements embody the moral stricture that we accord to these others a sufficient level of respect, one that their moral worth demands. This is a familiar theme which has its roots in P. F. Strawson’s pioneering views on moral responsibility. My development of it leads me to the conclusion that acting wrongly is not a condition of blameworthiness: violating a moral requirement to perform, or refrain from performing, an action is neither necessary nor sufficient for being blameworthy. All we are ever blameworthy for, I will argue, are certain aspects of our mental bearing toward others. We can be said to be blameworthy for our actions only derivatively, in the sense that those actions are the natural manifestations of the things for which we are strictly speaking blameworthy. (shrink)
We have synthesized a 582,970-base pair Mycoplasma genitalium genome. This synthetic genome, named M. genitalium JCVI-1.0, contains all the genes of wild-type M. genitalium G37 except MG408, which was disrupted by an antibiotic marker to block pathogenicity and to allow for selection. To identify the genome as synthetic, we inserted "watermarks" at intergenic sites known to tolerate transposon insertions. Overlapping "cassettes" of 5 to 7 kilobases (kb), assembled from chemically synthesized oligonucleotides, were joined by in vitro recombination to produce intermediate (...) assemblies of approximately 24 kb, 72 kb ("1/8 genome"), and 144 kb ("1/4 genome"), which were all cloned as bacterial artificial chromosomes in Escherichia coli. Most of these intermediate clones were sequenced, and clones of all four 1/4 genomes with the correct sequence were identified. The complete synthetic genome was assembled by transformation-associated recombination cloning in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, then isolated and sequenced. A clone with the correct sequence was identified. The methods described here will be generally useful for constructing large DNA molecules from chemically synthesized pieces and also from combinations of natural and synthetic DNA segments. 10.1126/science.1151721. (shrink)
In this book Keith Graham examines the philosophical assumptions behind the ideas of group membership and loyalty. Drawing out the significance of social context, he challenges individualist views by placing collectivities such as committees, classes or nations within the moral realm. He offers an understanding of the multiplicity of sources which vie for the attention of human beings as they decide how to act, and challenges the conventional division between self-interest and altruism. He also offers a systematic account of (...) the different ways in which individuals can identify with or distance themselves from the groups to which they belong. His study will be of interest to readers in a range of disciplines including philosophy, politics, sociology, law and economics. (shrink)
_The Internet: A Philosophical Inquiry_ develops many of the themes Gordon Graham presented in his highly successful radio series, _The Silicon Society_. Exploring the tensions between the warnings of the Neo-Luddites and the bright optimism of the Technophiles, Graham offers the first concise and accessible exploration of the issues which arise as we enter further into the world of Cyberspace. This original and fascinating study takes us to the heart of questions that none of us can afford to (...) ignore: how does the Internet affect our concepts of identity, moral anarchy, censorship, community, democracy, virtual reality and imagination? Free of jargon and full of stimulating ideas, this is essential reading for anyone wishing to think clearly and informatively about the complexities of our technological future. (shrink)
David Lewis has offered a reply to the standard argument for the claim that the truth of determinism is incompatible with anyone’s being able to do otherwise than she in fact does. Helen Beebee has argued that Lewis’s compatibilist strategy is untenable. In this paper I show that one recent attempt to defend Lewis’s view against this argument fails and then go on to offer my own defense of Lewis’s view.
'It's all in the genes'. Is this true, and if so, _what_ is all in the genes? _Genes: A Philosophical Inquiry_ is a crystal clear and highly informative guide to a debate none of us can afford to ignore. Beginning with a much-needed overview of the relationship between science and technology, Gordon Graham lucidly explains and assesses the most important and controversial aspects of the genes debate: Darwinian theory and its critics, the idea of the 'selfish' gene, evolutionary psychology, (...) memes, genetic screening and modification, including the risks of cloning and 'designer' babies. He considers areas often left out of the genes debate, such as the environmental risks of genetic engineering and how we should think about genes in the wider context of debates on science, knowledge and religion. Gordon Graham asks whether genetic engineering might be introducing God back into the debate and whether the risks of a brave new genetic world outweigh the potential benefits. Essential reading for anyone interested in science, technology, and philosophy, _Genes: A Philosophical Inquiry_ is ideal for those wanting to find out more about the ethical implications of genetics and the future of biotechnology. (shrink)
Introduction Patients require an accurate knowledge about placebos and their possible effects to ensure consent for placebo-controlled clinical trials is adequately informed. However, few previous studies have explored patients’ baseline levels of understanding and knowledge about placebos. The present online survey aimed to assess knowledge about placebos among patients with a history of back pain. Design A 15-item questionnaire was constructed to measure knowledge about placebos. Additional questions assessed sociodemographic characteristics, duration and severity of back pain, and previous experience of (...) receiving placebos. Setting Participants recruited from community settings completed the study online. Results 210 participants completed the questionnaire. 86.7% had back pain in the past 6 months, 44.3% currently had back pain. 4.3% had received a placebo intervention as part of a clinical trial and 68.1% had previously read or heard information about placebos. Overall knowledge of placebos was high, with participants on average answering 12.07 of 15 questions about placebos correctly. However, few participants correctly answered questions about the nocebo effect and the impact of the colour of a placebo pill. Conclusions The findings identified key gaps in knowledge about placebos. The lack of understanding of the nocebo effect in particular has implications for the informed consent of trial participants. Research ethics committees and investigators should prioritise amending informed consent procedures to incorporate the fact that participants in the placebo arm might experience adverse side effects. (shrink)
_The Social Thought of Ortega y Gasset_ is the third and final volume of John T. Graham's massive investigation of the thought of Ortega, the renowned twentieth-century Spanish essayist and philosopher. This volume concludes the synthetic trilogy on Ortega's thought as a whole, after previous studies of his philosophy of life and his theory of history. As the last thing on which he labored, Ortega's social theory completed what he called a "system of life" in three dimensions—a unity in (...) the plurality of philosophy, history, and sociology as three fundamental disciplines that enter into and overlap each other and other humanities. In this volume, Graham investigates Ortega's social thought as expressed in his central work, _Man and People,_ and in several pragmatic fields, interpreting it all in terms of comprehensive categories of postmodernism and interdisciplinarity. While others have studied Ortega's social thought and recently his postmodernity, no one has done so in the context of his thought as a whole or by such a variety of methods. The "unity in plurality" of Ortega's system is evident in the broad and varied structure of his sociology, which he intended to serve for postmodern times. His own postmodernism was rooted in Nietzsche but also in the pragmatism—from James, Peirce, and Dewey—that informs all parts of this trilogy. Ortega was the first educator with an interdisciplinary theory and practice—another aspect of the "unity in plurality" of his system. He found inspiration in both ancient and modern precedents for what he saw as a postmodern method of investigating themes and problems that are common to all the human sciences. Innovations at his Institute of Humanities were early postmodern precedents for a new interdisciplinary social method for use by specialists in a variety of fields. All of those interested in Ortega can utilize such methods to elucidate his thought as a whole as well as to pursue their own collaborative work. Home Complete Catalog Order Information Search. (shrink)
This special issue presents an excellent opportunity to study applied epistemology in public policy. This is an important task because the arena of public policy is the social domain in which macro conditions for ‘knowledge work’ and ‘knowledge industries’ are defined and created. We argue that knowledge-related public policy has become overly concerned with creating the politico-economic parameters for the commodification of knowledge. Our policy scope is broader than that of Fuller (1988), who emphasizes the need for a social epistemology (...) of science policy. We extend our focus to a range of policy documents that include communications, science, education and innovation policy (collectively called knowledge-related public policy in acknowledgement of the fact that there is no defined policy silo called ‘knowledge policy’), all of which are central to policy concerned with the ‘knowledge economy’ (Rooney and Mandeville, 1998). However, what we will show here is that, as Fuller (1995) argues, ‘knowledge societies’ are not industrial societies permeated by knowledge, but that knowledge societies are permeated by industrial values. Our analysis is informed by an autopoietic perspective. Methodologically, we approach it from a sociolinguistic position that acknowledges the centrality of language to human societies (Graham, 2000). Here, what we call ‘knowledge’ is posited as a social and cognitive relationship between persons operating on and within multiple social and non-social (or, crudely, ‘physical’) environments. Moreover, knowing, we argue, is a sociolinguistically constituted process. Further, we emphasize that the evaluative dimension of language is most salient for analysing contemporary policy discourses about the commercialization of epistemology (Graham, in press). Finally, we provide a discourse analysis of a sample of exemplary texts drawn from a 1.3 million-word corpus of knowledge-related public policy documents that we compiled from local, state, national and supranational legislatures throughout the industrialized world. Our analysis exemplifies a propensity in policy for resorting to technocratic, instrumentalist and anti-intellectual views of knowledge in policy. We argue that what underpins these patterns is a commodity-based conceptualization of knowledge, which is underpinned by an axiology of narrowly economic imperatives at odds with the very nature of knowledge. The commodity view of knowledge, therefore, is flawed in its ignorance of the social systemic properties of ��knowing’. (shrink)
As his subtitle indicates, Keith Graham's book is more than a reappraisal of Austin's work. It offers a general critique of ordinary language philosophy, with Austin as its representative exponent, and, as the dustjacket adds, "it will also serve as an introduction both to philosophical questions in general and to the alternative techniques available within the analytic tradition for answering them." The first fifty pages or so are devoted to staking out these broad claims, particularly a long chapter-essay entitled (...) "Philosophy of Language as a Method.". (shrink)
Deftly combining political science and philosophy, Graham systematically examines the central political ideologies of the Western world, including liberalism, socialism, democracy, nationalism, fascism, anarchy, and conservatism. He provides a clear account of the place of ideology in politics, touching on various sociological explanations as well as Marxist definitions. He explores the ideas of Mill, Marx, Locke, Luther, Fanon, Mussolini, and Burke as well as those of recent writers such as Robert Nozick, Roger Scruton, and Michael Oakeshott.
Can human history as a whole be interpreted in any meaningful way? Has there been real progress between stone age and space age? Does history repeat itself? Is there evidence of divine providence? Questions such as these have fascinated thinkers, and some of the greatest philosophers, notably Kant and Hegel, have turned their minds to philosophical history. As a branch of philosophy, however, it has received little attention in the analytical tradition. This pioneering work aims to bring the methods of (...) analytical philosophy to the critical examination of some of these questions. The ideas of historical progress, cultural cycles, historical rupture, and God in history are all subjected to careful analysis. Gordon Graham argues that, although unfashionable, the claim that history is the story of progress under the guidance of providence is one of the most plausible accounts of the shape of the past. (shrink)
Daniel Graham offers a clear, accurate new translation of the eighth book of Aristotle's Physics, accompanied by a careful philosophical commentary to guide the reader towards understanding of this key text in the history of Western thought. It is the culmination of Aristotle's theory of nature: he explains motion in the universe in terms of a single source and regulating principle, a first `unmoved mover'.
In epistemology and philosophy of science, there has been substantial debate about truth’s relation to understanding. “Non-factivists” hold that radical departures from the truth are not always barriers to understanding; “quasi-factivists” demur. The most discussed example concerns scientists’ use of idealizations in certain derivations of the ideal gas law from statistical mechanics. Yet, these discussions have suffered from confusions about the relevant science, as well as conceptual confusions. To that end, we shall argue that the ideal gas law is best (...) interpreted as favoring non-factivism about understanding, but only after delving a bit deeper into the statistical mechanics that has informed these arguments and stating more precisely what non-factivism entails. Along the way, we indicate where earlier discussions have gone astray, and highlight how a naturalistic approach furnishes more nuanced normative theses about the interaction of rationality, understanding, and epistemic value. (shrink)
What is a religious or spiritual delusion? What does religious delusion reveal about the difference between good and bad spirituality? What is the connection between religious delusion and moral failure? Or between religious delusion and religious terrorism? Or religious delusion and despair?The Abraham Dilemma: A Divine Delusion is the first book written by a philosopher on the topic of religious delusion - on the disorder's causes, contents, consequences, diagnosis and treatment. The book argues that we cannot understand a religious delusion (...) without appreciating three facts. One is that religiosity or spirituality is a part of human nature, whether it takes theistic or non-theistic forms. Another is that religious delusion is something to which we are all vulnerable. The third is that the delusion is not best understood by reducing it to brain chemistry, or by insisting that it is empirically false. It is best understood by examining its harmful personal and moral consequences - consequences that nearly unfolded when the biblical patriarch Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac in response to a command, he thought, from God.The book presents a fascinating and profound exploration of a phenomenon as old as mankind itself. (shrink)
Patients in the vegetative state are wholly unaware of themselves, or their surroundings. However, a minority of patients diagnosed as vegetative are actually aware. What is the well-being of these patients? How are their lives going, for them? It has been argued that on a reasonable conception of well-being, these patients are faring so poorly that it may be in their best interests not to continue existing. I argue against this claim. Standard conceptions of well-being do not clearly support the (...) conclusion that these patients would be better off having life-sustaining treatment withdrawn, and in fact, it may be possible for these patients to retain a passable level of well-being. I suggest that further research into the subjective experiences of these patients will allow us to better promote their well-being. (shrink)
The paper is a discussion of a result of Hilbert and Bernays in their Grundlagen der Mathemnatik. Their interpretation of the result is similar to the standard intepretation of Tarski's Theorem. This and other interpretations are discussed and shown to be inadequate. Instead, it is argued, the result refutes certain versions of Meinongianism. In addition, it poses new problems for classical logic that are solved by dialetheism.
Adam Ferguson has received little of the renewed attention that contemporary philosophers have given to the philosophers of the Scottish Enlightenment, most notably David Hume, Thomas Reid and Adam Smith. There are good reasons for this difference. Yet, the conception of moral philosophy at work in Ferguson's writings can nevertheless be called upon to throw important critical light on the current enthusiasm for philosophical ethics and applied philosophy. Eighteenth century ‘moral science’ took its significance from a context that modern philosophers (...) who seek to be practically ‘relevant’ need, but lack. (shrink)
This complete life story of David Hume, one of Scotland’s greatest thinkers, follows the Enlightenment from its early roots to its full blossoming in 18th-century Edinburgh. Using original sources, many for the first time, this biography details every aspect of the philosopher’s life—from the lukewarm reception of his now pivotal work, Treatise of Human Nature, to the fame and near excommunication brought about by his famous Essays and History. Also detailed are the stories behind his nickname, “The Great Infidel,” the (...) numerous guests seeking an invitation to dine at his table, and his lengthy intellectual involvement with a married aristocrat. This work is a well-rounded picture of the man, the century in which he lived, his famous ideas, and above all, his humanity. (shrink)
My discussion in this lecture is structured as follows. In section 1 I consider the nature of philosophical enquiry and its affinity to liberalism. In section 2 I lay out some of the basic components of liberal theory and explore their interrelations. In section 3 I discuss two challenges to liberalism: one concerning the conception of liberty which it involves and one concerning the way in which it introduces the idea of legitimate political authority. In section 4 I suggest that (...) these problems, to do with the values of liberalism, arise on the basis of a prior conception of individuals which is in need of modification. In a brief concluding section 5 I indicate the need for a post-liberal political theory. (shrink)
This chapter recounts the rise, eminence, and rapid fall in the philosophical standing of Sir William Hamilton. It sets out the philosophical resources that Hamilton called upon to amend and sustain the ‘common sense’ philosophy of Thomas Reid, responding especially to the criticisms of Thomas Brown. It examines in detail the criticisms that were brought against his philosophy from both sympathizers and opponents. Special attention is given to books on Hamilton published in the nineteenth by Henry Calderwood, Hutchison Stirling, and (...) most notably J. S. Mill’s hugely influential ‘Examination’ of Hamilton. The chapter aims to explain both the high regard in which Hamilton was widely held and the reasons for his speedy relegation to the status of a minor philosopher. It also aims at a ‘Re-examination’ by assessing the cogency of Mill’s criticisms. (shrink)
Most academic efforts to understand morality and ideology come from theorists who limit the domain of morality to issues related to harm and fairness. For such theorists, conservative beliefs are puzzles requiring non-moral explanations. In contrast, we present moral foundations theory, which broadens the moral domain to match the anthropological literature on morality. We extend the theory by integrating it with a review of the sociological constructs of community, authority, and sacredness, as formulated by Emile Durkheim and others. We present (...) data supporting the theory, which also shows that liberals misunderstand the explicit moral concerns of conservatives more than conservatives misunderstand liberals. We suggest that what liberals see as a non-moral motivation for system justification may be better described as a moral motivation to protect society, groups, and the structures and constraints that are often (though not always) beneficial for individuals. Finally, we outline the possible benefits of a moral foundations perspective for System Justification Theory, including better understandings of 1) why the system-justifying motive is palliative despite some harmful effects, 2) possible evolutionary origins of the motive, and 3) the values and worldviews of conservatives in general. (shrink)
ABSTRACTGiven the centrality of corporations in distribution of income and wealth studies, discursive constructions of corporate taxation are essential to understanding the production of inequality. The focus of this study is an interview with Apple’s Chief Executive Tim Cook on the Irish state broadcaster, Raidió Teilifís Éireann’s flagship news programme, Morning Ireland, following the ruling by the European Commission on the corporation tax arrangements between Apple Inc. and Ireland. Drawing on a Critical Discourse Analysis approach, a frame analysis is provided. (...) The significance and extent of the EC’s ruling has potential implications for corporation taxation policy, within and beyond the European Union, which provides a timely reflection in the Brexit era and in the context of rising economic nationalism generally. Thus, the discursive construction of this ruling in the media is of importance in understanding how inequality is produced and reproduced, and journalism’s role therein. (shrink)
Hart's will theory of rights has been subjected to at least three significant criticisms. First, it is thought unable to account for the full range of legal rights. Second, it is incoherent, for it values freedom while permitting an agent the option of alienating his or her capacity for choice. Third, any attempt to remedy the first two problems renders the theory reducible to the rival benefit theory. My aim is to address these objections. I argue that will theory has (...) been made vulnerable due to misinterpretation. The theory has been characterized as placing great stress on liberty rights (or claim-protected liberties), whereas it is powers that are central, and hence not choice but control. My argument does, however, depend upon appealing to an extra-legal notion — the hypothetical contract — but I argue that this is consistent with the main aim of a theory of rights. (shrink)
In "Epistemic Norms and the 'Epistemic Game' They Regulate", we advance a general case for the idea that epistemic norms regulating the production of beliefs might usefully be understood as social norms. There, we drew on the influential account of social norms developed by Cristina Bicchieri, and we managed to give a crude recognizable picture of important elements of what are recognizable as central epistemic norms. Here, we consider much needed elaboration, suggesting models that help one think about epistemic communities (...) and, ultimately, the temptations confronted in one's epistemic life. We suggest that once "the epistemic game" is embedded into a wider set of gains and losses, one can understand the epistemic choice situation as a form of mixed-motive game. This allows one to understand epistemic games more straightforwardly using Bicchieri's framework for thinking about social norms. That is, once the choice situation denominated only in terms of classical epistemic gains and losses is embedded in a wider accounting of goods that may compete with the production of true beliefs, one can see how an agent's individual and community epistemic project can be furthered by social norms regulating epistemic practices. We recommend thinking of epistemic norms as analogous to social norms for hygiene. (shrink)