Mitchell et al. contend that there is no need to posit a contribution based on the formation of associative links to human learning. In order to sustain this argument, they have ignored evidence which is difficult to explain with propositional accounts; and they have mischaracterised the evidence they do cite by neglecting features of these experiments that contradict a propositional account.
Contemporary liberal thinkers commonly suppose that there is something in principle unjust about the legal prohibition of putatively victimless crimes. Here Robert P. George defends the traditional justification of morals legislation against criticisms advanced by leading liberal theorists. He argues that such legislation can play a legitimate role in maintaining a moral environment conducive to virtue and inhospitable to at least some forms of vice. Among the liberal critics of morals legislation whose views George considers are Ronald Dworkin, (...) Jeremy Waldron, David A.J. Richards, and Joseph Raz. He also considers the influential modern justification for morals legislation offered by Patrick Devlin as an alternative to the traditional approach. George closes with a sketch of a "pluralistic perfectionist" theory of civil liberties and public morality, showing that it is fully compatible with a defense of morals legislation. Making Men Moral will interest legal scholars and political theorists as well as theologians and philosophers focusing on questions of social justice and political morality. (shrink)
The sense of agency is a central aspect of human self-consciousness and refers to the experience of oneself as the agent of one’s own actions. Several different cognitive theories on the sense of agency have been proposed implying divergent empirical approaches and results, especially with respect to neural correlates. A multifactorial and multilevel model of the sense of agency may provide the most constructive framework for integrating divergent theories and findings, meeting the complex nature of this intriguing phenomenon.
A startling amount of intelligent activity can be controlled without reasoning or thought. By tuning the perceptual system to task relevant properties a creature can cope with relatively sophisticated environments without concepts. There is a limit, however, to how far a creature without concepts can go. Rod Brooks, like many ecologically oriented scientists, argues that the vast majority of intelligent behaviour is concept-free. To evaluate this position I consider what special benefits accrue to concept-using creatures. Concepts are either necessary for (...) certain types of perception, learning, and control, or they make those processes computationally simpler. Once a creature has concepts its capacities are vastly multiplied. (shrink)
Graphical displays of simple moving geometrical figures have been repeatedly used to study the attribution of animacy in human observers. Yet little is known about the relevant movement characteristics responsible for this experience. The present study introduces a novel parametric research paradigm, which allows for the experimental control of specific motion parameters and a predictable influence on the attribution of animacy. Two experiments were conducted using 3D computer animations of one or two objects systematically introducing variations in the following aspects (...) of motion: directionality, discontinuity and responsiveness. Both experiments further varied temporal kinematics. Results showed that animacy experience increased with the time a moving object paused in the vicinity of a second object and with increasing complexity of interaction between the objects . The experience of animacy could be successfully modulated in a parametric fashion by the systematic variation of comparably simple differential movement characteristics. (shrink)
The authors describe the ethical considerations underlying the inclusion of mental health services into a prioritizedhealth care system. The Oregon Health Plan is a process for defining and delivering basic health services to an entire state. As the plan was developed, the mental health community needed to decide whether or not to participate in the process and, if so, how. Lengthy discussions among mental health consumers, family members, and providers led to a strategy that emphasized the integration of mental health (...) and chemical dependency services into a comprehensive and universal health care program. This approach appears to have achieved relative parity for mental health. (shrink)
In an influential article, A. I. Sabra identified an intellectual trend from twelfth and thirteenth-century Andalusia which he described as the ‘‘Andalusian revolt against Ptolemaic astronomy.” Philosophers such as Ibn Rushd , Ibn Tufayl , and Maimonides objected to Ptolemy’s theories on philosophic grounds, not because of shortcomings in the theories' predictive accuracy. Sabra showed how al-Bitrūjī's Kitāb al-Hay'a attempted to account for observed planetary motions in a way that met the philosophic standards of those philosophers and others. In Nūr (...) al-‘ālam , the subject of this article, Joseph ibn Joseph ibn Nahmias endeavoured to improve upon al-Bitrūjī’s models. Levi Ben Gerson's Hebrew writings on astronomy criticized al-Bitrūjī, but Ibn Nahmias did not mention them. Nūr al-‘ālam deserves attention, too, because it is the first Arabic text on theoretical astronomy by a Jewish author to come to light. In the body of this article, I will describe and analyze Ibn Nahmias’ theory, from Nūr al-‘ālam , for the motion of the sun. (shrink)
According to Anselm, all Divine qualities are tightly interrelated: they are implied by the unique central property of being absolutely perfect. In the second chapter of the Proslogium , Anselm claims that it is the essence of our concept of God that He is a being greater than which nothing can be conceived. From this, he argues, it is possible to infer that He is eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, and so on. In other words, given an absolutely perfect being we (...) can derive all the attributes commonly ascribed to Him. (shrink)
In recent years a number of arguments have been advanced to show that there are conceptual difficulties with a variety of divine attributes. Some have claimed that there is an inherent inconsistency in the notion of omnipotence, others that omnipotence was logically incompatible with omniscience or omnibenevolence, and yet others that omniscience is irreconcilable with immutuability.