While poverty all over the world is more typical and extreme in rural contexts, interventions to improve cognition in low socioeconomic status children are for the most part based on studies conducted in urban populations. This paper investigate how poverty and rural or urban settings affect child cognitive performance. Executive functions and non-verbal intelligence performance, as well as individual and environmental information was obtained from 131 5-year-old children. For the same level of SES, children in rural settings performed consistently worse (...) than children in urban settings. These differences could be accounted mostly by the months of past preschool attendance and the father’s completed level of education. These results should inform policies and programs for children living in rural poverty worldwide, and specially in Latin America. (shrink)
Word order alternation has been described as one of the most productive information structure markers and discourse organizers across languages. Psycholinguistic evidence has shown that word order is a crucial cue for argument interpretation. Previous studies about Spanish sentence comprehension have shown greater difficulty to parse sentences that present a word order that does not respect the order of participants of the verb's lexico-semantic structure, irrespective to whether the sentences follow the canonical word order of the language or not. This (...) difficulty has been accounted as the cognitive cost related to the miscomputation of prominence status of the argument that precedes the verb. Nonetheless, the authors only analyzed the use of alternative word orders in isolated sentences, leaving aside the pragmatic motivation of word order alternation. By means of an eye-tracking task, the current study provides further evidence about the role of information structure for the comprehension of sentences with alternative word order and verb type, and sheds light on the interaction between syntax, semantics and pragmatics. We analyzed both “early” and “late” eye-movement measures as well as accuracy and response times to comprehension questions. Results showed an overall influence of information structure reflected in a modulation of late eye-movement measures as well as offline measures like total reading time and questions response time. However, effects related to the miscomputation of prominence status did not fade away when sentences were preceded by a context that led to non-canonical word order of constituents, showing that prominence computation is a core mechanism for argument interpretation, even in sentences preceded by context. (shrink)
A standard example of a justified aggressor is the tactical bomber who is about to destroy an ammunitions factory in a proportionate, justified military attack, full well knowing that an innocent civilian bystander will also be killed by his attack (“collateral damage”). Intuitively it seems hard to believe that the innocent bystander threatened by the tactical bomber is morally prohibited from killing him in self-defense. Yet, Stephen R. Shalom indeed endorses such a prohibition. I shall argue that all the (...) examples Shalom offers in support of his view are disanalogous to the case in question, and provide examples that are analogous and strongly suggest that Shalom’s claim leads to counter-intuitive implications. Moreover, I will provide a clear-cut case that demonstrates that Shalom cannot rely on a general principle prohibiting lethal violence against permissible violence. Thus, I conclude that Shalom has failed to provide a convincing argument in support of his case. (shrink)
Suppose that a team of neurosurgeons and bioengineers were able to remove your brain from your body, suspend it in a life-sustaining vat of liquid nutrients, and connect its neurons and nerve terminals by wires to a supercomputer that would stimulate it with electrical impulses exactly like those it normally receives when embodied. According to this brain-in-a-vat thought experiment, your envatted brain and your embodied brain would have subjectively indistinguishable mental lives. For all you know—so one argument goes—you could be (...) such a brain in a vat right now.1 Daniel Dennett calls this sort of philosophical thought experiment an “intuition pump” (Dennett 1995). An intuition pump is designed to elicit certain intuitive convictions, but is not itself a proper argument: “intuition pumps are fine if they’re used correctly, but they can also be misused. They’re not arguments, they’re stories. Instead of having a conclusion, they pump an intuition. They get you to say ‘Aha! Oh, I get it!’ (Dennett 1995, p. 182). Philosophers have used the brain-in-a-vat story mainly to raise the problem of radical skepticism and to elicit various intuitions about meaning and knowledge (Putnam 1981). The basic intuition the story tries to pump is that the envatted brain, though fully conscious, has systematically false beliefs about the world, including itself. Some philosophers reject this intuition. They propose that the envatted brain’s beliefs are really about its artificial environment or that it.. (shrink)
This paper explores the notion of reciprocity in the context of active pulmonary and laryngeal tuberculosis treatment and related control policies and practices. We seek to do three things: First, we sketch the background to contemporary global TB care and suggest that poverty is a key feature when considering the treatment of TB patients. We use two examples from TB care to explore the role of reciprocity: isolation and the use of novel TB drugs. Second, we explore alternative means of (...) justifying the use of reciprocity through appeal to different moral and political theoretical traditions. We suggest that each theory can be used to provide reasons to take reciprocity seriously as an independent moral concept, despite any other differences. Third, we explore general meanings and uses of the concept of reciprocity, with the primary intention of demonstrating that it cannot be simply reduced to other more frequently invoked moral concepts such as beneficence or justice. We argue that reciprocity can function as a mid-level principle in public health, and generally, captures a core social obligation arising once an individual or group is burdened as a result of acting for the benefit of others. We conclude that while more needs to be explored in relation to the theoretical justification and application of reciprocity, sufficient arguments can be made for it to be taken more seriously as a key principle within public health ethics and bioethics more generally. (shrink)
We formulate a Curry-typed logic with fine-grained intensionality within Turner’s typed predicate logic. This allows for an elegant presentation of a theory that corresponds to Fox and Lappin’s property theory with curry typing, but without the need for a federation of languages. We then consider how the fine-grained intensionality of this theory can be given an operational interpretation. This interpretation suggests itself as expressions in the theory can be viewed as terms in the untyped lambda-calculus, which provides a model of (...) computation. (shrink)
In this paper, we explore the possibility that machine learning approaches to naturallanguage processing being developed in engineering-oriented computational linguistics may be able to provide specific scientific insights into the nature of human language. We argue that, in principle, machine learning results could inform basic debates about language, in one area at least, and that in practice, existing results may offer initial tentative support for this prospect. Further, results from computational learning theory can inform arguments carried on within linguistic theory (...) as well. (shrink)
Accelerated changes to the planet have created novel spaces to re-imagine the boundaries and foci of environmental health research. Climate change, mass species extinction, ocean acidification, biogeochemical disturbance, and other emergent environmental issues have precipitated new population health perspectives, including, but not limited to, one health, ecohealth, and planetary health. These perspectives, while nuanced, all attempt to reconcile broad global challenges with localized health impacts by attending to the reciprocal relationships between the health of ecosystems, animals, and humans. While such (...) innovation is to be encouraged, we argue that a more comprehensive engagement with the ethics of these emerging fields of inquiry will add value in terms of the significance and impact of associated interventions. In this contribution, we highlight how the concept of spatial and temporal scale can be usefully deployed to shed light on a variety of ethical issues common to emerging environmental health perspectives, and that the potential of scalar analysis implicit to van Potter’s conceptualization of bioethics has yet to be fully appreciated. Specifically, we identify how scale interacts with key ethical issues that require consideration and clarification by one health, ecohealth, and planetary health researchers and practitioners to enhance the effectiveness of research and practice, including justice and governance. (shrink)
Skepticism: From Antiquity to the Present is an authoritative and up-to-date survey of the entire history of skepticism. Divided chronologically into ancient, medieval, renaissance, modern, and contemporary periods, and featuring 50 specially-commissioned chapters from leading philosophers, this comprehensive volume is the first of its kind.
Disagreement is a pervasive feature of human life whose skeptical implications have been emphasized particularly by the ancient Pyrrhonists and by contemporary moral skeptics. Although the connection between disagreement and skepticism is also a focus of analysis in the emerging and burgeoning area of epistemology concerned with the significance of controversy, it has arguably not received the full attention it deserves. The present volume explores for the first time the possible skeptical consequences of disagreement in different areas and from different (...) perspectives, with an emphasis in the current debate over the epistemic impact of disagreement. The thirteen new essays collected here examine the Pyrrhonian approach to disagreement and its relevance to the present epistemological discussions of the topic; the relationship between disagreement and moral realism and antirealism; disagreement-based skeptical arguments in contemporary epistemology; and disagreement and the possibility of philosophical knowledge and justified belief. Given the ever-growing interest in both the significance of disagreement and the challenge of skepticism, this volume makes a new contribution by conjugating two important trends in current philosophical research. (shrink)
My purpose in this article is to revisit an issue concerning the state of undisturbedness or tranquility (ἀταραξία) in ancient Pyrrhonism as this skeptical stance is depicted in Sextus Empiricus’s extant works. The issue in question is whether both the pursuit and the attainment of undisturbedness in matters of opinion should be regarded as defining features of Pyrrhonism not merely from a systematic standpoint that examines Pyrrhonism as a kind of philosophy, but mainly according to Sextus’s own account of that (...) skeptical stance. In exploring this issue, I will develop an interpretation defended in previous work, responding to some objections, discussing alternative interpretations, offering further textual support, and putting forward new arguments. It is my contention that examining whether both the pursuit and the attainment of undisturbedness in matters of opinion are essential to Pyrrhonism will make it possible to gain a more accurate understanding of this brand of skepticism. (shrink)
The human self model suggests that the construct of self involves functions such as agency, body-centered spatial perspectivity, and long-term unity. Vogeley, Kurthen, Falkai, and Maieret (1999) suggest that agency is subserved by the prefrontal cortex and other association areas of the cortex, spatial perspectivity by the prefrontal cortex and the parietal lobes, and long-term unity by the prefrontal cortex and the temporal lobes and that all of these functions are impaired in schizophrenia. Exploring the connections between the prefrontal cortex (...) and the construct of self, the present article extends the application of the self model to autism. It suggests that in contrast to schizophrenia, agency and spatial perspectivity are probably preserved in autism, but that, similarly to schizophrenia, long-term unity is probably impaired. This hypothesis is compatible with a model of neuropsychological dysfunction in autism in a neural network including parts of the prefrontal cortex, the temporal lobes, and the cerebellum. (shrink)
cal basis of consciousness. We continue by discussing the relation between spatiotem- One of the outstanding problems in the cog- poral patterns of brain activity and con- nitive sciences is to understand how ongo- sciousness, with particular attention to pro- ing conscious experience is related to the cesses in the gamma frequency band. We workings of the brain and nervous system. then adopt a critical perspective and high-.
This paper argues for the following three claims. First, the Agrippan mode from disagreement does not play a secondary role in inducing suspension of judgment. Second, the Pyrrhonist is not committed to the criteria of justification underlying the Five Modes of Agrippa, which nonetheless does not prevent him from non-doxastically assenting to them. And third, some recent objections to Agrippan Pyrrhonism raised by analytic epistemologists and experimental philosophers fail to appreciate the Pyrrhonist's ad hominem style of argumentation and the real (...) challenge posed by the mode from disagreement. (shrink)
An objection that has been raised to the conciliatory stance on the epistemic significance of peer disagreement known as the Equal Weight View is that it is self-defeating, self-undermining, or self-refuting. The proponent of that view claims that equal weight should be given to all the parties to a peer dispute. Hence, if one of his epistemic peers defends the opposite view, he is required to give equal weight to the two rival views, thereby undermining his confidence in the correctness (...) of the Equal Weight View. It seems that the same objection could be leveled against those who claim to suspend judgment in the face of pervasive unresolvable disagreements, as do the Pyrrhonian skeptics. In this paper, I explore the kind of response to the objection that could be offered from a neo-Pyrrhonian perspective, with the aim of better understanding the intriguing character of Pyrrhonian skepticism. (shrink)
In his account of Pyrrhonism, Sextus Empiricus talks about the disturbance concerning matters of opinion that afflicts his dogmatic rivals and that he himself was afflicted by before his conversion to Pyrrhonism. The aim of the present paper is to identify the distinct sources of doxastic disturbance that can be found in that account, and to determine whether and, if so, how they are related. The thesis to be defended is that it is possible to discern three sources of doxastic (...) disturbance and that two of them are to be explained by reference to the third, which is the real cause of mental distress. The paper also considers whether the thesis in question entails that there is no reason for the Pyrrhonist to suspend judgment across the board, but only to suspend judgment about evaluative matters. (shrink)
La présente étude a deux objectifs. Le premier est d’examiner les différentes formulations de l’objection de l’ἀπραξία telle qu’elle fut soulevée contre le scepticisme académicien et le pyrrhonisme, ainsi que les réponses à cette objection proposées par Arcésilas et Sextus Empiricus. Le second objectif consiste à évaluer la force de la version de l’objection de l’ἀπραξία selon laquelle le sceptique ne peut réaliser les actions rationnelles propres à l’être humain.
Reconstructing some of the experiences of people living with tuberculosis in Argentina in the first half of the twentieth century, as reflected not only in written and oral accounts but also in individual and collective actions, this article explores the ways in which patients came to grips with medical expertise in times of biomedical uncertainty. These negotiations, which inevitably included adaptations as well as confrontations, highlight a much less passive and submissive patient–physician relationship than is often assumed. Though patients were (...) certainly subordinate to medical doctors’ knowledge and practices, that subordination, far from absolute, was limited and often overthrown. The article focuses on patients’ demands to gain access to a vaccine not approved by the medical establishment. By engaging with media organizations, the sick invoked their “right to health” in order to obtain access to experimental treatments when biomedicine was unable to deliver efficient therapies. (shrink)
Learning theory has frequently been applied to language acquisition, but discussion has largely focused on information theoretic problems—in particular on the absence of direct negative evidence. Such arguments typically neglect the probabilistic nature of cognition and learning in general. We argue first that these arguments, and analyses based on them, suffer from a major flaw: they systematically conflate the hypothesis class and the learnable concept class. As a result, they do not allow one to draw significant conclusions about the learner. (...) Second, we claim that the real problem for language learning is the computational complexity of constructing a hypothesis from input data. Studying this problem allows for a more direct approach to the object of study—the language acquisition device—rather than the learnable class of languages, which is epiphenomenal and possibly hard to characterize. The learnability results informed by complexity studies are much more insightful. They strongly suggest that target grammars need to be objective, in the sense that the primitive elements of these grammars are based on objectively definable properties of the language itself. These considerations support the view that language acquisition proceeds primarily through data-driven learning of some form. (shrink)
In his Pyrrhonian Outlines , Sextus Empiricus employs an argument based upon the possibility of disagreement in order to show that one should not assent to a Dogmatic claim to which at present one cannot oppose a rival claim. The use of this argument seems to be at variance with the Pyrrhonian stance, both because it does not seem to accord with the definition of Skepticism and because the argument appears to entail that the search for truth is doomed to (...) failure. In the present paper, I examine the passages in which Sextus utilizes the argument from possible disagreement and offer an interpretation that makes the use of this argument compatible with the Pyrrhonian outlook. (shrink)
My purpose in this paper is to examine whether Pyrrhonian skepticism, as this stance is described in Sextus Empiricus’s extant works, has practical or epistemic value. More precisely, I would like to consider whether the Pyrrhonist’s suspension of judgment (ἐποχή) and undisturbedness (ἀταραξία) can be deemed to be of practical or epistemic value. By ‘practical’ value I mean both moral value and prudential value. Moral value refers to moral rightness and wrongness; prudential value to the value of well-being, personal or (...) social. Hence, when I ask whether the Pyrrhonist’s suspension and undisturbedness have practical value, I mean whether they make us behave in a manner that is morally right or wrong, and whether they allow us to attain those goals that would make it possible to live well. As for ‘epistemic’ value, it refers basically to the values of attaining truth and avoiding error. Hence, when I ask whether the Pyrrhonist’s suspension has epistemic value, I mean whether it allows us to attain truth and avoid error. My main focus will be the practical value of both suspension and undisturbedness because this is the value on which ancient philosophy scholars critical of Pyrrhonism have laid emphasis. The reason for examining the epistemic value of suspension is that doing so will enable a fuller assessment of the significance of Pyrrhonism as a kind of philosophy, which is my primary concern. (shrink)
As an instrument for participatory technology development, Scenario-Based Design offers significant potential for an early inclusion of future users. Over the course of a 3-year research project, this method was examined as a procedure for participatory technology development. Methods and instruments aimed at achieving a potential user’s participation, and the resulting cooperation of heterogeneous social groups can be seen as translation tools. Their purpose is to act as translators between different social fields and the specific knowledge associated with them. These (...) translation capabilities and participatory methods should result in the best possible convergence of different orientations and purposes. In this paper, attempting to achieve the best possible convergence is described as a dilemma of alignment. Several approaches will be used to describe the dynamic of the alignment dilemma within the above-mentioned project. The reconstruction follows one question that is proposed as a heuristic pattern to meet the requirements of an accurate analysis of holistic participatory methods: Who or what has to adjust to whom or what, why, when, and in which way? The main conclusions include the finding that the alignment dilemma is not equally balanced, that the agency of epistemic objects within the process has to be captured, and that it is easy for translation—provided primarily by core instruments of the participatory method used—to begin to overwrite the needs and purposes of one social group with the interests and orientations of another. (shrink)
In this paper, I will argue that Logics of Formal Inconsistency $$ can be used as very sophisticated and powerful methods of classical recapture. I will compare $LFIs$ with the well-known non-monotonic logics by Batens and Priest and the ‘shrieking’ rules of Beall. I will show that these proposals can be represented in $LFIs$ and that $LFIs$ give room to more complex and varied recapturing strategies.
In this introductory chapter, I first offer an overview of the two themes addressed in the present collection - namely, disagreement and skepticism - and their connection, then present the purpose and content of the volume.
The purpose of the present paper is twofold. First, to examine what beliefs, if any, underlie (a) the Pyrrhonist’s desire for ataraxia and his account of how this state may be attained, and (b) his philanthropic therapy, which seeks to induce, by argument, ejpochv and ataraxia in the Dogmatists. Second, to determine whether the Pyrrhonist’s philanthropy and his search for and attainment of ataraxia are, as scholars have generally believed, essential aspects of his stance.
Society increasingly demands corporations to be accountable for their past misbehaviours. Some corporations engage in forgetting work with the aim of avoiding responsibility for their wrongdoings. We argue that whenever social actors have their past actions called into question and engage in forgetting work, an ethics of remembering takes place. A collective project of social forgetting is contingent on the emergence of coordinated actions among players of an industry. Similarly, sustained efforts of forgetting work depend on the continuity of the (...) project through various generations of employees, which presumes the existence of frameworks of remembering in place. We analysed this paradox through a historical case study of the U.S. tobacco industry. We conclude that forgetting work may be a double-edged sword. It might be beneficial in the short run, to the extent that corporations can successfully maintain the public ignorance about their deceitful pasts. In the long run, however, it creates additional layers of historical irresponsibility and may turn into a compounded liability in the event the memory of the collective strategy of social forgetting becomes public. (shrink)
In this paper, I critically engage with Casey Perin's interpretation of Sextan Pyrrhonism in his book, The Demands of Reason: An Essay on Pyrrhonian Scepticism. From an approach that is both exegetical and systematic, I explore a number of issues concerning the Pyrrhonist's inquiry into truth, his alleged commitment to the canons of rationality, and his response to the apraxia objection.
The question of whether the Pyrrhonist adheres to certain logical principles, criteria of justification, and inference rules is of central importance for the study of Pyrrhonism. Its significance lies in that, whereas the Pyrrhonist describes his philosophical stance and argues against the Dogmatists by means of what may be considered a rational discourse, adherence to any such principles, criteria, and rules does not seem compatible with the radical character of his skepticism. Hence, if the Pyrrhonist does endorse them, one must (...) conclude that he is inconsistent in his outlook. Despite its import, the question under consideration has not received, in the vast literature on Pyrrhonism of the past three decades, all the attention it deserves. In the present paper, I do not propose to provide a full examination of the Pyrrhonist’s attitude towards rationality, but to focus on the question of whether he endorses the law of non-contradiction (LNC). However, I will also briefly tackle the question of the Pyrrhonist’s outlook on both the canons of rational justification at work in the so-called Five Modes of Agrippa and the logical rules of inference. In addition, given that the LNC is deemed a fundamental principle of rationality, determining the Pyrrhonist’s attitude towards it will allow us to understand his general attitude towards rationality. (shrink)
The burdens of mental illnesses and substance use disorders do not lie merely with the individuals who suffer from these conditions but affect, and are affected by, their families, communities, cities and countries. The ethical and political challenges that arise in the treatment of mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders are, therefore, challenges that affect both individuals and communities.
Absence of health, that is, sickness in Africa is viewed in personalistic terms. A disease is explained as effected by 'the active purposeful intervention of an agent, who may be human', non-human (a ghost, an ancestor, an 'evil spirit), or supernatural (a deity or other very powerful being)' (Foster). Illness is thus attributed to breaking of taboos, offending God and/ or ancestral spirits; witchcraft, sorcery, the evil eye, passion by an evil spirit and a curse from parents or from an (...) offended neighbour. In view of these personalistic theories of ill health, treatment is through ritual purification, exorcism or sacrifices. For an appropriate diagnosis and intervention, it is imperative to determine 'who' caused the illness and then 'why' it was caused, to which answers are offered through divination by a healer. This interpretive framework, is applicable to all types of sickness, facilitates co-existence of African traditional healing and biomedical treatment, that is, plurality of health seeking practices. The approach fails to offer a constructive approach and contradicts the biblical healing framework whereby one may not have explanatory causes to a situation of ill health. This article engaged the biblical concept of shalōm as a relevant constructive framework. The Hebrew concept of shalōm, though distinctly salvific, is inclusive of holistic and personalistic healing aspects. The concept encompasses constructive aspects of completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquillity, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony and the absence of agitation or discord, which provides a useful holistic healing theological framework. It therefore provides a health and well-being framework that is relational, sensitive and applicable to healing patterns in Africa. Using the case study of the Abaluyia people of East Africa, this article discussed bereavement as a state that requires healing and how the biblical framework of shalōm could be applied in fostering bereavement healing. (shrink)