From an ethical point of view, shared decision-making is preferable to either physician paternalism or patient sovereignty. The traditional model of doctor-patient communication is too directive and too unconcerned with the patient's values to support truly shared decision-making. The traditional distinction between rhetoric and sophistic can provide the basis for a new model of mutual persuasion that does not limit communication to information, and that avoids the spectre of manipulation.
Although research has found that long-term mindfulness meditation practice promotes executive functioning and the ability to sustain attention, the effects of brief mindfulness meditation training have not been fully explored. We examined whether brief meditation training affects cognition and mood when compared to an active control group. After four sessions of either meditation training or listening to a recorded book, participants with no prior meditation experience were assessed with measures of mood, verbal fluency, visual coding, and working memory. Both interventions (...) were effective at improving mood but only brief meditation training reduced fatigue, anxiety, and increased mindfulness. Moreover, brief mindfulness training significantly improved visuo-spatial processing, working memory, and executive functioning. Our findings suggest that 4 days of meditation training can enhance the ability to sustain attention; benefits that have previously been reported with long-term meditators. (shrink)
• Aggregates of previously isolated cells of Hydra are capable, under suitable solvant conditions, of regeneration forming complete animals. In a first stage, ecto- and endodermal cells sort out, producing the bilayered hollow structure characteristic of Hydra tissue; thereafter, heads are formed (even if the original cell preparation contained no head cells), eventually leading to the separation of normal animals with head, body column and foot. Hydra appears to be the highest type of organism that allows for regeneration of the (...) entire structure from random cell aggregates. The system is particularly useful for studying cell interactions, tissue polarity, pattern formation, and cell differentiation. (shrink)
Quasi al termine della seconda guerra mondiale, alcuni ufficiali tedeschi diedero l’ordine di abbattere le storiche torri di San Gimignano; tutto pareva ormai deciso, quando un gruppo di civili riuscì con successo a ritardare l’esecuzione fino all’arrivo delle truppe alleate. Grazie a quei civili, le torri di San Gimignano sono ancora ben visibili a tutti, meta ogni anno di numerosi turisti; ma che cosa dire della possibilità che oggi esistessero soltanto le loro macerie? Esse rientrano in quella classe di cose (...) che chiamerò oggetti possibili, ovvero sono oggetti che avrebbero potuto esistere, ma per un qualche motivo non sono esistiti. Proprio di essi parlerò nelle prossime pagine, cercando di capire quale sia il loro statuto ontologico e in quale modo possiamo parlarne usando le espressioni del nostro linguaggio.1 Come vedremo, ci sono varie teorie che spiegano cos’è un oggetto possibile, tra loro anche molto diverse. Compito di ciascuna è quello di motivare e, se necessario, rendere plausibile una scelta filosofica. Quindi, ogni teoria degli oggetti possibili, attribuirà loro un preciso statuto ontologico e provvederà una semantica delle espressioni del linguaggio naturale sulla possibilità. Nelle poche pagine che seguono però, non scenderò nei dettagli di tutte le teorie della possibilità; piuttosto, ne considererò una particolarmente controversa e singolare: quella sostenuta da David K. Lewis. (shrink)
David K. Chan wants to save the DDE from the considerable criticism levelled against it, by making the moral distinction it refers to rest on a difference in desire instead of in intention. I argue that the revised version, too, is counter-intuitive and confuses the blameworthiness of an actor with the wrongness of the act. It also invites abuse instead of preventing it. Besides, Chan's DDE omits three of the four criteria of the traditional DDE, and it is couched (...) in terms of lesser objectionability, while the traditional DDE is couched in terms of permission. Therefore, Chan's DDE has so little in common with the traditional DDE that it should not even count as a revised version of it. (shrink)
David Lewis's untimely death on 14 October 2001 deprived the philosophical community of one of the outstanding philosophers of the 20th century. As many obituaries remarked, Lewis has an undeniable place in the history of analytical philosophy. His work defines much of the current agenda in metaphysics, philosophical logic, and the philosophy of mind and language. This volume, an expanded edition of a special issue of the Australasian Journal of Philosophy, covers many of the topics for which Lewis was (...) well known, including possible worlds, counterpart theory, vagueness, knowledge, probability, essence, fiction, laws, conditionals, desire and belief, and truth. Many of the papers are by very established philosophers; others are by younger scholars including many he taught. The volume also includes Lewis's Jack Smart Lecture at the Australian National University, "How Many Lives has Schrodinger's Cat?," published here for the first time. Lewisian Themes will be an invaluable resource for anyone studying Lewis's work and a major contribution to the many topics that he mastered. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to make a comparison between two philosophical theories on convention, totally independent from each other, and produced by two thinkers of this century yet totally unknown to each other, in order to assess to what extent both theories meet the same facts or are verified by the same features. The result of this inquiry is that each theory is autonomous, but that both theories are quite compatible with each other, that they even fairly coincide (...) with each other, and that there where they emphasize different aspects of a convention they are complementary to each other. In a general introductory paragraph we lay stress upon the distinction between something conventional and something arbitrary and assign a place to conventionalism between rationalism and relativism. In the second part of the paper we examine D. K. Lewis's conception and analysis of the notion of a convention, which he defines in terms of the theory of games of pure coordination, in terms of coordination equilibrium, of orders of mutual expectations, of preferences and of regularities. In the third part of the paper we show that Dupréel's sociological concept of 'being of one mind' is the analogue of Lewis's definition. We also compare Lewis's remarks on the phenomenon of the imitation with Dupréel's theory of the consolidation and endorse the latter's view that a convention has a creative function so that it cannot be reduced to being a pure sign of something else. In the fourth part of our paper we analyze the relation between value and convention and claim that in Dupréel's philosophy the main values may not be identified with conventions. Lastly we justify our conclusion as already stated at the beginning of this summary. (shrink)
Note on the tables: The agents represented by the rows and by the columns are choosing simultaneously and independently; each square represents the outcome of such a pair of choices. Column-chooser's payoff is shown in the top-right portion of a square; Row-chooser's payoff is shown in the bottom-left portion of a square. Each chooser knows what the payoffs would be for each set of concurrent choices and knows that the other chooser also knows. Because an outcome depends upon the combination (...) of choices, each chooser must anticipate what the other will choose given that other person's likely anticipation of what the first chooser will do. (shrink)