To properly understand behavior, we must obtain both ultimate and proximate explanations. Put briefly, ultimate explanations are concerned with why a behavior exists, and proximate explanations are concerned with how it works. These two types of explanation are complementary and the distinction is critical to evolutionary explanation. We are concerned that they have become conflated in some areas of the evolutionary literature on human behavior. This article brings attention to these issues. We focus on three specific areas: the evolution of (...) cooperation, transmitted culture, and epigenetics. We do this to avoid confusion and wasted effort—dangers that are particularly acute in interdisciplinary research. Throughout this article, we suggest ways in which misunderstanding may be avoided in the future. (shrink)
0. Philippe Huneman and Charles T. Wolfe: Introduction 1. Tobias Cheung, “What is an ‘organism’? On the occurrence of a new term and its conceptual transformations 1680-1850” 2. Charles T. Wolfe, “Do organisms have an ontological status?” 3. John Symons, “The individuality of artifacts and organisms” 4. Thomas Pradeu, “What is an organism? An immunological answer” 5. Matteo Mossio & Alvaro Moreno, “Organisational closure in biological organisms” 6. Laura Nuño de la Rosa, “Becoming organisms. The organisation of development and the (...) development of organisation” 7. Denis Walsh, “Two Neo-Darwinisms” 8. Philippe Huneman, “Assessing the prospects for a return of organisms in evolutionary biology” 9. Johannes Martens, “Organisms in evolution” 10. Susan Oyama, “Biologists behaving badly: Vitalism and the language of language” . (shrink)
In the second edition of this groundbreaking text in non-Western philosophy, sixteen experts introduce some of the great philosophical traditions in the world. The essays unveil exciting, sophisticated philosophical traditions that are too often neglected in the western world. The contributors include the leading scholars in their fields, but they write for students coming to these concepts for the first time. Building on revisions and updates to the original, this new edition also considers three philosophical traditions for the first time—Jewish, (...) Buddhist, and South Pacific philosophy. (shrink)
How far does a researcher’s responsibility extend when an incidental finding is identified? Balancing pertinent ethical principles such as beneficence, respect for persons, and duty to rescue is not always straightforward, particularly in neuroimaging research where empirical data that might help guide decision making are lacking. We conducted a systematic survey of perceptions and preferences of 396 investigators, research participants, and Institutional Review Board members at our institution. Using the partial entrustment model as described by Richardson, we argue that our (...) data supports universal reading by a neuroradiologist of all research MRI scans for incidental findings and providing full disclosure to all participants. (shrink)
Future-bias is preferring some lesser future good to a greater past good because it is in the future, or preferring some greater past pain to some lesser future pain because it is in the past. Most of us think that this bias is rational. I argue that no agents have future-biased preferences that are rationally evaluable—that is, evaluable as rational or irrational. Given certain plausible assumptions about rational evaluability, either we must find a new conception of future-bias that avoids the (...) difficulties I raise, or we must conclude that future-biased preferences are not subject to rational evaluation. (shrink)
Preventing exploitation in human subjects research requires a benchmark of fairness against which to judge the distribution of the benefits and burdens of a trial. This paper proposes the ideal market and its fair market price as a criterion of fairness. The ideal market approach is not new to discussions about exploitation, so this paper reviews Wertheimer's inchoate presentation of the ideal market as a principle of fairness, attempt of Emanuel and colleagues to apply the ideal market to human subjects (...) research, and Ballantyne's criticisms of both the ideal market and the resulting benchmark of fairness. It argues that the criticism of this particular benchmark is on point, but the rejection of the ideal market is mistaken. After presenting a complete account of the ideal market, this paper proposes a new method for applying the ideal market to human subjects research and illustrates the proposal by considering a sample case. (shrink)
Philosophers have lately seized upon Sperling's partial report technique and subsequent work on iconic memory in support of controversial claims about perceptual experience, in particular that phenomenology overflows cognitive access. Drawing on mounting evidence concerning postdictive perception, I offer an interpretation of Sperling's data in terms of cue-sensitive experience which fails to support any such claims. Arguments for overflow based on change-detection paradigms (e.g. Landman et al., 2003; Sligte et al., 2008) cannot be blocked in this way. However, such paradigms (...) are fundamentally different from Sperling's and, for rather different reasons, equally fail to establish controversial claims about perceptual experience. (shrink)
Historically, treatment for pain relief has varied according to the social status of the sufferer. A similar tendency to make arbitrary distinctions affecting pain relief was found in an ethnographic study of animal research laboratories. The administration of pain-relieving drugs for animals in laboratories differed from standard practice for humans and, perhaps, for companion animals. Although anesthesia was used routinely for surgical procedures, its administration was sometimes haphazard. Analgesics, however, were rarely used. Most researchers had never thought about using analgesics (...) and did not consider the subject worthy of serious attention. Scientists interviewed for this study agreed readily that animals are capable offeeling pain, but such assertions were muted by an overriding view of lab animals as creatures existing solely for the purposes of research. As a result, it was the exceptional scientist who was able to focus on anything about the animal's subjective experience that might lie outside the boundaries of the research protocol. (shrink)
Phillip Johnson claims that Creationism is a better explanation of the existence and characteristics of biological species than is evolutionary theory. He argues that the only reason biologists do not recognize that Creationist's negative arguments against Darwinism have proven this is that they are wedded to a biased ideological philosophy —Naturalism — which dogmatically denies the possibility of an intervening creative god. However,Johnson fails to distinguish Ontological Naturalism from Methodological Naturalism. Science makes use of the latter and I show how (...) it is not dogmatic but follows from sound requirements for empirical evidential testing. Furthermore, Johnson has no serious alternative type of positive evidence to offer for Creationism, and purely negative argumentation, despite his attempt to legitimate it, will not suffice. (shrink)
Yarkoni argues that researchers making broad inferences often use impoverished statistical models that fail to include important sources of variation as random effects. We argue, however, that for many common study designs, random effects are inappropriate and insufficient to draw general inferences, as the source of variation is not random, but systematic.
For Aristotle, some wrongdoers do not deserve blame, and the virtuous judge should extend sungnōmē, a correct judgment about what is equitable, under the appropriate excusing circumstances. Aristotle’s virtuous judge, however, does not forgive; the wrongdoer is excused from blame in the first place, rather than being forgiven precisely because she is blameworthy. Additionally, the judge does not fail to blame because she wishes to be merciful or from natural feeling, but instead, because that is the equitable action to take (...) under the circumstances. Moreover, while Aristotle does claim in his discussions of the virtues of megalopsychia and praotēs that the virtuous person will sometimes fail to become angry at blameworthy wrongdoers, Aristotle’s reasons for repudiating anger or forestalling blame have little to do with the sorts of reasons that one would or could be forgiving for. Although an Aristotelian virtuous agent does let go of anger for her own reasons, she does not forgive. As a result, I argue that since Aristotle’s account of equity entails that forgiveness is positively vicious, forgivingness is not merely a virtue left out of Aristotle’s account, but is in fact incompatible with his account. (shrink)
Competency to be executed evaluations are conducted with a clear understanding that no physician-patient relationship exists. Treatment however, is not so neatly re-categorized in large measure because it involves the physician's active provision of the healing arts. A natural tension exists between what practices may be legally permissible and what are ethically acceptable. We present an overview of the existing positions on this matter in the process of framing our argument.