In recent years, language has been shown to play a number of important cognitive roles over and above the communication of thoughts. One hypothesis gaining support is that language facilitates thought about abstract categories, such as democracy or prediction. To test this proposal, a novel set of semantic memory task trials, designed for assessing abstract thought non-linguistically, were normed for levels of abstractness. The trials were rated as more or less abstract to the degree that answering them required the participant (...) to abstract away from both perceptual features and common setting associations corresponding to the target image. The normed materials were then used with a population of people with aphasia to assess the relationship of abstract thought to language. While the language-impaired group with aphasia showed lower overall accuracy and longer response times than controls in general, of special note is that their response times were significantly longer as a function of a trial’s degree of abstractness. Further, the aphasia group’s response times in reporting their degree of confidence (a separate, metacognitive measure) were negatively correlated with their language production abilities, with lower language scores predicting longer metacognitive response times. These results provide some support for the hypothesis that language is an important aid to abstract thought and to metacognition about abstract thought. (shrink)
Despite the ubiquity of inner speech in our mental lives, methods for objectively assessing inner speech capacities remain underdeveloped. The most common means of assessing inner speech is to present participants with tasks requiring them to silently judge whether two words rhyme. We developed a version of this task to assess the inner speech of a population of patients with aphasia and corresponding language production deficits. As expected, patients’ performance on the silent rhyming task was severely impaired relative to controls. (...) More surprisingly, however, patients’ performance on this task did not correlate with their performance on a variety of other standard tests of overt language abilities. In particular, patients who were generally unimpaired in their abilities to overtly name objects during confrontation naming tasks, and who could reliably judge when two words spoken to them rhymed, were still severely impaired (relative to controls) at completing the silent rhyme task. This seems to suggest that inner speech was more severely impaired in these patients than outer speech. However, these results should also cause us to critically reflect on the relation between inner speech and silent rhyme judgments more generally. (shrink)
The maltreatment of animals, usually companion animals, may occur in homes where there is domestic violence, yet we have limited information about the prevalence of such maltreatment. We surveyed the largest shelters for women who are battered in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Shelters were selected if they provided overnight facilities and programs or services for children. Ninety-six percent of the shelters responded. Analysis revealed that it is common for shelters to serve women and children who talk about (...) companion animal abuse. However, only a minority of respondents indicated that they systematically ask about companion animal maltreatment in their intake interview. We discuss the implications of these results for domestic violence programs, animal welfare organizations, and programs serving children of women who are battered by their partners. (shrink)
According to German theorists historicism was the result of a dynamization of the static world-view of the Enlightenment. According to contemporary Anglo-Saxon theorists historicism resulted from a de-rhetoricization of Enlightenment historical writing. It is argued that, contrary to appearances, these two views do not exclude but support each other. This can be explained if the account of change implicit in Enlightenment historical writing is compared to that suggested by historicism and, more specifically, by the historicist notion of the "historical idea." (...) Aspects of the contemporary debate about the nature and the task of historical writing can be clarified from the perspective of the differences between Enlightenment and historicist historical writing. (shrink)
Animal abuse has been an acknowledged problem for centuries, but only within the past few decades has scientific research provided evidence that the maltreatment of animals often overlaps with violence toward people. The perpetrators of such inhumane trea.
Hydrogen fuel cells are likely to begin replacing conventional internal combustion engines as a power generation method for transportation applications in the near future. A life cycle analysis of a hydrogen fuel cell was performed to examine the major environmental impacts of such an engine in comparison with an internal combustion engine. To quantify the emissions, material consumption and energy consumption were identified by carrying out mass and energy balances, respectively. Wherever possible, a “well-to-wheel” approach was adopted to identify all (...) the processes involved. The size of the hydrogen fuel cell engine selected was 60 kW, which would power a small automobile weighing around 800 kg. This report briefly describes the materials and processes involved in assembling such an engine, with their respective environmental impacts. Different technologies to build a hydrogen economy also are discussed because hydrogen is an integral part of most fuel cell engines. The main conclusion is that if an environmentally sustainable system of hydrogen production is found, the use of hydrogen and, in turn, hydrogen fuel cell cars would be highly beneficial. Thus, the theoretical potential of fuel cells is great for environmental benefits, but practical applications might prove otherwise. (shrink)
Up till the 1980s narrativist philosophers of history were mainly interested in the cognitivist dimension of historical narrative. With Hayden White this interest was exchanged for an exclusive preoccupation with the literary aspects of the historian’s narrative representation of the past. However, it may seem that a revival of pre-Whitean narrativist philosophy of history is at hand. Two recent books suggest as much: one by Chiel van den Akker published in 2018 and one more by Paul Roth that came out (...) in 2020. Obviously, a narrativist revival can take two different forms. It may aim at providing pre-Whitean narrativism with a more up-to-date philosophical basis or at guiding it into new directions. It will be argued in this review-essay that the book by Roth mainly does the former, whereas the book by Van den Akker does both. (shrink)