John Searle distinguished between weak and strong artificial intelligence (AI). This essay discusses a third alternative, mild AI, according to which a machine may be capable of possessing a species of mentality. Using James Fetzer's conception of minds as semiotic systems, the possibility of what might be called ``mild AI'' receives consideration. Fetzer argues against strong AI by contending that digital machines lack the ground relationship required of semiotic systems. In this essay, the implementational nature of semiotic processes posited by (...) Charles S. Peirce's triadic sign relation is re-examined in terms of the underlying dispositional processes and the ontological levels they would span in an inanimate machine. This suggests that, if non-human mentality can be replicated rather than merely simulated in a digital machine, the direction to pursue appears to be that of mild AI. (shrink)
The Protein Ontology (PRO) is designed as a formal and principled Open Biomedical Ontologies (OBO) Foundry ontology for proteins. The components of PRO extend from a classification of proteins on the basis of evolutionary relationships at the homeomorphic level to the representation of the multiple protein forms of a gene, including those resulting from alternative splicing, cleavage and/or posttranslational modifications. Focusing specifically on the TGF-beta signaling proteins, we describe the building, curation, usage and dissemination of PRO. PRO provides a framework (...) for the formal representation of protein classes and protein forms in the OBO Foundry. It is designed to enable data retrieval and integration and machine reasoning at the molecular level of proteins, thereby facilitating cross-species comparisons, pathway analysis, disease modeling and the generation of new hypotheses. (shrink)
Contemporary emphasis on creating culturally relevant and context specific knowledge increasingly drives researchers to conduct their work in settings outside their home country. This often requires researchers to build relationships with various stakeholders who may have a vested interest in the research. This case study examines the tension between relationship development with stakeholders and maintaining study integrity, in the context of potential harms, data credibility and cultural sensitivity. We describe an ethical breach in the conduct of global health research by (...) a arising from the ad-hoc participation of a community stakeholder external to the visiting research group. A framework for reflection is developed from a careful examination of underlying factors and presented with a discussion of consequences and mitigation measures. This framework aims to present lessons learned for researchers working abroad who might face similar situations in their work. (shrink)
During the past fifteen years, the relationship between literature and medical ethics has evolved from the occasional use of stories as a substitute for the traditional case study in medical ethics to the emergence of a narrative approach to ethical analysis and decision making. Thus far, literary theory has been more important to narrative medical ethics than have works of literature themselves. Perri Klass's novel Other Women's Children deserves special scrutiny, however, because an analysis of it demonstrates ways that a (...) narrative approach could enhance traditional philosophical and legal approaches to resolving ethical dilemmas in medicine. (shrink)
Recent years have witnessed a renewed interest in utopianism within educational theory. In this essay, Darren Webb explores the utopian pedagogy of Paulo Freire in the context of what one commentator has dubbed “the educational comeback of utopia.” Webb argues that Freire's significance lies in the way he embraced both “utopia as process” and “utopia as system.” This is significant because the contemporary rejuvenation of utopianism has extended only so far, embracing utopia conceived as an open‐ended process of becoming (...) but shying away from utopia conceived as the delineation of a normative vision to be struggled for and won. Webb outlines the pedagogical operation of utopia as process, cognitive‐affective orientation, and system, and he argues that Freire was right in insisting that each is constitutive of effective educational practice. (shrink)
Theological interpretation of the Bible is one of the most significant debates within theology today. Yet what exactly is theological reading? Darren Sarisky proposes that it requires identification of the reader via a theological anthropology; an understanding of the text as a collection of signs; and reading the text with a view toward engaging with what it says of transcendence. Accounts of theological reading do not often give explicit focus to the place of the reader, but this work seeks (...) to redress this neglect. Sarisky examines Augustine's approach to the Bible and how his theological insights into the reader and the text generate an aim for interpretation, which is fulfilled by fitting reading strategies. He also engages with Spinoza, showing that theological exegesis contrasts not with approaches that take history seriously, but with naturalistic approaches to reading. (shrink)
What if you could, like a diamond forged through heat and pressure, transform every painful, scary, and stressful experience in your life into one that is meaningful, courageous, and inspiring? What if you were provided with the tools that allow you to tap and manifest the true power that exists within you--the power to shine? Are you ready to discover your path to peace? In this fascinating book, Dr. Darren Weissman shares ancient spiritual wisdom fused with a modern-day understanding (...) of the mind's relationship to biology and behavior that has implications not only for your health, but for the well-being of the entire planet. You'll learn how to use The LifeLine Technique Ô --a philosophy and technology for awakening your infinite potential for healing and wholeness--and share the experiences of scores of people whose lives have been forever changed as a result. Conscious visionaries pronounced more than 40 years ago that the road to peace is paved with the power of love. Dr. Weissman's book provides the steps you can use to learn to walk that path, and it will help you understand why it is your moral imperative to choose love over fear. (shrink)
What if your peers tell you that you should disregard your perceptions? Worse, what if your peers tell you to disregard the testimony of your peers? How should we respond if we get evidence that seems to undermine our epistemic rules? Several philosophers have argued that some epistemic rules are indefeasible. I will argue that all epistemic rules are defeasible. The result is a kind of epistemic particularism, according to which there are no simple rules connecting descriptive and normative facts. (...) I will argue that this type of particularism is more plausible in epistemology than in ethics. The result is an unwieldy and possibly infinitely long epistemic rule — an Uber-rule. I will argue that the Uber-rule applies to all agents, but is still defeasible — one may get misleading evidence against it and rationally lower one’s credence in it. (shrink)
How do temporal and eternal beliefs interact? I argue that acquiring a temporal belief should have no effect on eternal beliefs for an important range of cases. Thus, I oppose the popular view that new norms of belief change must be introduced for cases where the only change is the passing of time. I defend this position from the purported counter-examples of the Prisoner and Sleeping Beauty. I distinguish two importantly different ways in which temporal beliefs can be acquired and (...) draw some general conclusions about their impact on eternal beliefs. (shrink)
If an agent believes that the probability of E being true is 1/2, should she accept a bet on E at even odds or better? Yes, but only given certain conditions. This paper is about what those conditions are. In particular, we think that there is a condition that has been overlooked so far in the literature. We discovered it in response to a paper by Hitchcock (2004) in which he argues for the 1/3 answer to the Sleeping Beauty problem. (...) Hitchcock argues that this credence follows from calculating her fair betting odds, plus the assumption that Sleeping Beauty’s credences should track her fair betting odds. We will show that this last assumption is false. Sleeping Beauty’s credences should not follow her fair betting odds due to a peculiar feature of her epistemic situation. (shrink)
Sometimes we learn what the world is like, and sometimes we learn where in the world we are. Are there any interesting differences between the two kinds of cases? The main aim of this article is to argue that learning where we are in the world brings into view the same kind of observation selection effects that operate when sampling from a population. I will first explain what observation selection effects are ( Section 1 ) and how they are relevant (...) to learning where we are in the world ( Section 2 ). I will show how measurements in the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics can be understood as learning where you are in the world via some observation selection effect ( Section 3 ). I will apply a similar argument to the Sleeping Beauty Problem ( Section 4 ) and explain what I take the significance of the analogy to be ( Section 5 ). Finally, I will defend the Restricted Principle of Indifference on which some of my arguments depend ( Section 6 ). (shrink)
There is a widely shared belief that the higher level sciences can provide better explanations than lower level sciences. But there is little agreement about exactly why this is so. It is often suggested that higher level explanations are better because they omit details. I will argue instead that the preference for higher level explanations is just a special case of our general preference for informative, logically strong, beliefs. I argue that our preference for informative beliefs entirely accounts for why (...) higher level explanations are sometimes better – and sometimes worse – than lower level explanations. The result is a step in the direction of the unity of science hypothesis. (shrink)
We used social network analysis to examine a theoretical model exploring why, and under what circumstances, the perpetrators’ ostracizing behaviors are accurately perceived by the target employees. In turn, these perceptions of ostracism lead to the target employees’ counterproductive work behaviors. Adopting perspectives from both perpetrators and targets, we directly measured the ostracizing behaviors by all potential perpetrators and perceived workplace ostracism by target employees. We integrate Social information processing theory and conservation of resource theory to propose a moderated mediation (...) model, and found that employees who have a high level of need to belong are more likely to capture coworkers’ ostracizing behaviors, and those with low political skill are more likely to engage in counterproductive work behavior as their reaction to perceived workplace ostracism. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed. (shrink)
The fine-tuning argument can be used to support the Many Universe hypothesis. The Inverse Gambler’s Fallacy objection seeks to undercut the support for the Many Universe hypothesis. The objection is that although the evidence that there is life somewhere confirms Many Universes, the specific evidence that there is life in this universe does not. I will argue that the Inverse Gambler’s Fallacy is not committed by the fine-tuning argument. The key issue is the procedure by which the universe with life (...) is selected for observation. Once we take account of the procedure, we find that the support for the Many Universe hypothesis remains. (shrink)
The independence problems for functionalism stem from the worry that if functional properties are defined in terms of their causes and effects then such functional properties seem to be too intimately connected to these purported causes and effects. I distinguish three different ways the independence problems can be filled out – in terms of necessary connections, analytic connections and vacuous explanations. I argue that none of these present serious problems. Instead, they bring out some important and over-looked features of functionalism.
Beliefs that locate you in space or time are self-locating beliefs. These cause a problem for Bayesian models of belief. Miriam Schoenfield (2016) offers a solution – that on learning x, agents should update on the fact that they learned x. I will argue that Schoenfield’s suggestion does not solve the problem.
Should philosophers prefer simpler theories? Huemer (Philos Q 59:216–236, 2009) argues that the reasons to prefer simpler theories in science do not apply in philosophy. I will argue that Huemer is mistaken—the arguments he marshals for preferring simpler theories in science can also be applied in philosophy. Like Huemer, I will focus on the philosophy of mind and the nominalism/Platonism debate. But I want to engage with the broader issue of whether simplicity is relevant to philosophy.
We give an analysis of the Monty Hall problem purely in terms of confirmation, without making any lottery assumptions about priors. Along the way, we show the Monty Hall problem is structurally identical to the Doomsday Argument.
The privacy concerns discussed in the 1990s in relation to the New Genetics failed to anticipate the relevant issues for individuals, families, geneticists and society. Consumers, for example, can now buy their personal genetic information and share it online. The challenges facing genetic privacy have evolved as new biotechnologies have developed, and personal privacy is increasingly challenged by the irrepressible flow of electronic data between the personal and public spheres and by surveillance for terrorism and security risks. This book considers (...) the right to know and the right not to know about your own and others’ genomes. It discusses new privacy concerns and developments in ethical thinking, with the greater emphasis on solidarity and equity. The multidisciplinary approach covers current topics such as biobanks and forensic databases, DIY testing, group rights and accountability, the food we eat and the role of the press and the new digital media. (shrink)
In Bradley, I offered an analysis of Sleeping Beauty and the Everettian interpretation of quantum mechanics. I argued that one can avoid a kind of easy confirmation of EQM by paying attention to observation selection effects, that halfers are right about Sleeping Beauty, and that thirders cannot avoid easy confirmation for the truth of EQM. Wilson agrees with my analysis of observation selection effects in EQM, but goes on to, first, defend Elga’s thirder argument on Sleeping Beauty and, second, argue (...) that the analogy I draw between Sleeping Beauty and EQM fails. I will argue that neither point succeeds. 1 Introduction2 Background3 Wilson’s Argument for ⅓ in Sleeping Beauty4 Reply: Explaining Away the Crazy5 Wilson's Argument for the Breakdown of the Analogy6 Reply: The Irrelevance of Chance7 Conclusion. (shrink)
We investigate the performance and risk of Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) equity funds in the Australian market and find no significant difference between the returns of SRI and conventional funds. In an extension to prior literature, we examine the impact of the number of positive, negative and total screens funds impose on performance and risk. We find little evidence of positive or negative screening impacting total return, but find weak evidence that funds with more screens overall provide better risk-adjusted performance. (...) Positive screening significantly reduces funds’ risk. However, negative screening significantly increases risk and reduces funds’ abilities to form diversified portfolios. (shrink)
Whilst continuing racism is often invoked as evidence of the urgent need for Philosophy for Children, there is little in the current literature that addresses the topic. Drawing on Critical Race Theory and the related field of Critical Whiteness Studies , I argue that racism is deeply ingrained culturally in society, and best understood in the context of ‘Whiteness’. Following a CRT-informed analysis of two picturebooks that have been recommended as starting points for philosophical enquiry into multiculturalism, racism and diversity (...) – ‘Elmer’ and ‘Tusk Tusk’ by David McKee, I argue that whilst the use of stories with animals is commonly regarded as offering children the comfort of distance from emotionally challenging topics, this has the effect of separating racism from its temporal and spatial realities, which limits rather than enhances opportunities for engaging philosophically with it. I argue in favour of the practice of ‘reading against the text’ and consider the epistemological and practical obstacles to this practice drawing on my own experiences discussing race with P4C practitioners in the UK. I attempt to illustrate how the selection of recommended materials, combined with commonly held principles of P4C, make for a climate where a philosophical engagement with race and racism that considers the discourse of ‘Whiteness’ is highly unlikely to occur. This leads me to posit the idea of The Gated Community of Enquiry. (shrink)
Jonathan Weisberg (2010 ) argues that, given that life exists, the fact that the universe is fine-tuned for life does not confirm the design hypothesis. And if the fact that life exists confirms the design hypothesis, fine-tuning is irrelevant. So either way, fine-tuning has nothing to do with it. I will defend a design argument that survives Weisberg’s critique — the fact that life exists supports the design hypothesis, but it only does so given fine-tuning.
Darren Bradley has recently appealed to observation selection effects to argue that conditionalization presents no special problem for Everettian quantum mechanics, and to defend the ‘halfer’ answer to the puzzle of Sleeping Beauty. I assess Bradley’s arguments and conclude that while he is right about confirmation in Everettian quantum mechanics, he is wrong about Sleeping Beauty. This result is doubly good news for Everettians: they can endorse Bayesian confirmation theory without qualification, but they are not thereby compelled to adopt (...) the unpopular ‘halfer’ answer in Sleeping Beauty. These considerations suggest that objective chance is playing an important and under-appreciated role in Sleeping Beauty. 1 Introduction2 Confirmation in Everettian Quantum Mechanics3 Sleeping Beauty4 The Selection Model5 Bradley’s Argument6 The Right Route to ⅓7 The Breakdown of the Analogy8 Alternative Diagnoses9 God’s Gambling Game10 Non-chancy Sleeping Beauty Cases11 Conclusion. (shrink)
The dream-lag effect refers to there being, after the frequent incorporation of memory elements from the previous day into dreams , a lower incorporation of memory elements from 2 to 4 days before the dream, but then an increased incorporation of memory elements from 5 to 7 days before the dream. Participants kept a daily diary and a dream diary for 14 days and then rated the level of matching between every dream report and every daily diary record. Baseline matching (...) was assessed by comparing all dream reports to all diary records for days that occurred after the dream. A significant dream-lag effect for the 5–7 day period, compared to baseline and compared to the 2–4 day period, was found. This may indicate a memory processing function for sleep, which the dream content may reflect. Participants’ and three independent judges’ mean ratings also confirmed a significant day-residue effect. (shrink)