SummaryExtremism in the environment‐versus innateness controversy in the behavioural sciences and in human sociobiology is being examined. Genetic effects can be severely modified or overruled by environmental factors, but may, nevertheless, be important. Dawkins' view that we are survival machines programmed to subserve selfish genes seems untenable and is a root of racialism. It is also argued that morality is compatible with mixed genetic and environmental control of brains via existing biological machinery.
MATERIALISTS claim that in principle mentality could be accounted for entirely by properties of matter. They must, of course, clarify, as far as possible, the precise scope of the concept "properties of matter." According to materialists there exists only one type of "substance" in the universe, namely matter. Sophisticated experimental and theoretical analyses have led contemporary physicists to interpret known material entities as being composed of two classes of elementary particles, namely quarks and leptons and constituents of interaction fields that (...) mediate interactions between some or all of the elementary particles and which comprise photons, gluons, intermediate bosons and gravitons. For instance, protons and neutrons are composed--by hypothesis--of quarks, while electrons are probably the most familiar leptons. Whether any analyzed and postulated elementary particles and constituents of interaction fields are "ultimate" components of matter can never be known. It remains always possible that more basic subcomponents of known components will be discovered. This has happened repeatedly throughout the history of physics. Hence, what physicists understand by the "physical properties" of the basic components of matter must always remain expressed in terms of usually intricate hypothetico-deductive theories which are tentative and fallible. Contemporary relativistic quantum mechanics of elementary particles and of interaction fields provide typical examples of such hypothetico-deductive theories relating to present known basic components of matter. (shrink)
We comment on the previous paper by L. Basano. In particular, we show that its Section 2 is kinematically incorrect (the dynamics of a two-body interaction through tachyon exchange, incidentally, has already been thoroughly expounded in one paper of ours). Its Section 1 is simply a rather subjective introduction. As to its Section 3, containing indeed interesting problems, we again briefly refer to our earlier work. Our conclusions are still in favor of “au revoir to tachyons!,” even if it is (...) known that inside our cosmos tachyons are more likely to have a role in physics (e.g., in elementary particle and black-hole physics) as “exchanged objects” rather than as “asymptotically free” objects. (shrink)
Relatively congruence regular quasivarieties and quasivarieties of logic have noticeable similarities. The paper provides a unifying framework for them which extends the Blok-Pigozzi theory of elementarily algebraizable (and protoalgebraic) deductive systems. In this extension there are two parameters: a set of terms and a variable. When the former is empty or consists of theorems, the Blok-Pigozzi theory is recovered, and the variable is redundant. On the other hand, a class of membership logics is obtained when the variable is the only (...) element of the set of terms. For these systems the appropriate variant of equivalent algebraic semantics encompasses the relatively congruence regular quasivarieties. (shrink)
The present chapter describes a probabilistic framework of human reasoning. It is based on probability logic. While there are several approaches to probability logic, we adopt the coherence based approach.
An important field of probability logic is the investigation of inference rules that propagate point probabilities or, more generally, interval probabilities from premises to conclusions. Conditional probability logic (CPL) interprets the common sense expressions of the form “if . . . , then . . . ” by conditional probabilities and not by the probability of the material implication. An inference rule is probabilistically informative if the coherent probability interval of its conclusion is not necessarily equal to the unit interval (...) [0, 1]. Not all logically valid inference rules are probabilistically informative and vice versa. The relationship between logically valid and probabilistically informative inference rules is discussed and illustrated by examples such as the modus ponens or the affirming the consequent. We propose a method to evaluate the strength of CPL inference. (shrink)
Probabilistic models have started to replace classical logic as the standard reference paradigm in human deductive reasoning. Mental probability logic emphasizes general principles where human reasoning deviates from classical logic, but agrees with a probabilistic approach (like nonmonotonicity or the conditional event interpretation of conditionals). -/- This contribution consists of two parts. In the ﬁrst part we discuss general features of reasoning systems including consequence relations, how uncertainty may enter argument forms, probability intervals, and probabilistic informativeness. These concepts are of (...) central importance for the psychological task analysis. In the second part we report new experimental data on the paradoxes of the material conditional, the probabilistic modus ponens, the complement task, and data on the probabilistic truth table task. The results of the experiments provide evidence for the hypothesis that people represent indicative conditionals by conditional probability assertions. (shrink)
The purpose of this qualitative study was to analyse nurses’ professional dignity in their everyday working lives. We explored the factors that affect nursing professional dignity in practice that emerge in relationships with health professionals, among clinical nurses working in hospitals and in community settings in central Italy. The main themes identified were: (i) nursing professional dignity perceived as an achievement; (ii) recognition of dignity beyond professional roles. These two concepts are interconnected. This study provides insights into professional dignity in (...) nursing being perceived as an achievement linked to the intrinsic dignity of every human being. The ‘nursing professional dignity perceived as an achievement’ was perceived as having declined in different social factors. Some factors of nursing professional dignity perceived as an achievement were attained more easily in community settings. ‘Recognition of dignity beyond professional roles’ underpins the intrinsic dignity as an expression of humanity, embedded in persons regardless of any profession, and values, such as: respect, moral integrity, humility, working conscientiously and kindness. (shrink)
We propose probability logic as an appropriate standard of reference for evaluating human inferences. Probability logical accounts of nonmonotonic reasoning with system p, and conditional syllogisms (modus ponens, etc.) are explored. Furthermore, we present categorical syllogisms with intermediate quantifiers, like the “most . . . ” quantifier. While most of the paper is theoretical and intended to stimulate psychological studies, we summarize our empirical studies on human nonmonotonic reasoning.
We revisit the introduction of the Superluminal Lorentz transformations which carry from “bradyonic” inertial frames to “tachyonic” inertial frames, i.e., which transform time-like objects into space-like objects, andvice versa. It has long been known that special relativity can be extended to Superluminal observers only by increasing the number of dimensions of the space-time or—which is in a sense equivalent—by releasing the reality condition (i.e., introducing also imaginary quantities). In the past we always adopted the latter procedure. Here we show the (...) connection between that procedure and the former one. In other words, in order to clarify the physical meaning of the imaginary units entering the classical theory of tachyons, we have temporarily to call into play anauxiliary six-dimensional space-time M(3, 3); however, we are eventually able to go back to the four-dimensional Minkowski space-time. We revisit the introduction of the Superluminal Lorentz transformations also under another aspect. In fact, the generalized Lorentz transformations had been previously written down in a form suited only for the simple case of collinear boosts (e.g., they formed a group just for collinear boosts). We express now the Superluminal Lorentz transformations in a more general form, so that they constitute a group together with the ordinary—orthochronousand antichronous—Lorentz transformations, and reduce to the previous form in the case of collinear boosts. Our approach introduces either real or imaginary quantities, with exclusion of (generic) complex quantities. In the present context, a procedure—in two steps—for interpreting the imaginary quantities is put forth and discussed. In the case of a chain of generalized Lorentz transformations, such a procedure (when necessary) is to be applied only at the end of the chain. Finally, we justify why we call “transformations” also the Superluminal ones. (shrink)
At Phaedo 59b Echecrates asks Phaedo who was present on the day when Socrates drank the hemlock in prison. Various Athenians are named , then various foreigners , but when Echecrates subsequently asks if two other foreigners, Aristippus and Cleombrotus, were present, Phaedo replies that they were said to be in Aegina . After this fleeting reference to Cleombrotus, Plato does not mention him again in the Phaedo or any other dialogue; and yet in later antiquity a certain Cleombrotus of (...) Ambracia rose to fame in connection with the Phaedo. Callimachus is our earliest source for the anecdote which immortalized the Ambracian : Επας ‘Ἥλιε αρε’ Κλεμβρτος μβρακιτης λατ' φ' Ψηλο τεεος ες δην, ζιον οδν δν θαντου κακν, λλ Πλτωνος ν τ περ Ψυς γρμμ' ναλεζμενος. (shrink)
Peer review of grant applications, it has been suggested, might be distorted by what is popularly termed old boyism, cronyism, or particularism. We argue that the existing debate emphasizes the more uninteresting aspects of the peer review system and that the operation of old boyism, as currently understood would have little effect on the overall direction of science. We identify a phenomenon of cognitive particularism, which we consider to be more important than the institutional cronyism analyzed in previous studies. We (...) illustrate with material drawn from observation of grant-awarding commit tees of the Science and Engineering Research CounciL In the concluding discussion, we explore some of the possible implications for the peer review system. (shrink)
The modus ponens (A -> B, A :. B) is, along with modus tollens and the two logically not valid counterparts denying the antecedent (A -> B, ¬A :. ¬B) and affirming the consequent, the argument form that was most often investigated in the psychology of human reasoning. The present contribution reports the results of three experiments on the probabilistic versions of modus ponens and denying the antecedent. In probability logic these arguments lead to conclusions with imprecise probabilities. In the (...) modus ponens tasks the participants inferred probabilities that agreed much better with the coherent normative values than in the denying the antecedent tasks, a result that mirrors results found with the classical argument versions. For modus ponens a surprisingly high number of lower and upper probabilities agreed perfectly with the conjugacy property (upper probabilities equal one complements of the lower probabilities). When the probabilities of the premises are imprecise the participants do not ignore irrelevant (“silent”) boundary probabilities. The results show that human mental probability logic is close to predictions derived from probability logic for the most elementary argument form, but has considerable difficulties with the more complex forms involving negations. (shrink)
Each volume of this series of Companions to major philosophers contains specially-commissioned essays by an international team of scholars, together with a substantial bibliography, and will serve as a reference work for students and non-specialists. The contributors to this Companion probe the full depth of Kierkegaard's thought revealing its distinctive subtlety. The topics covered include Kierkegaard's views on art and religion, ethics and psychology, theology and politics, and knowledge and virtue. Much attention is devoted to the pervasive influence of Kierkegaard (...) in twentieth-century philosophy. New readers will find this the a convenient and accessible guide to Kierkegaard. Advanced students and specialists will find a conspectus of recent developments in the interpretation of Kierkegaard. (shrink)
The proto-code of ethics and conduct for European nurse directors was developed as a strategic and dynamic document for nurse managers in Europe. It invites critical dialogue, reflective thinking about different situations, and the development of specific codes of ethics and conduct by nursing associations in different countries. The term proto-code is used for this document so that specifically country-orientated or organization-based and practical codes can be developed from it to guide professionals in more particular or situation-explicit reflection and values. (...) The proto-code of ethics and conduct for European nurse directors was designed and developed by the European Nurse Directors Association’s (ENDA) advisory team. This article gives short explanations of the code’ s preamble and two main parts: Nurse directors' ethical basis, and Principles of professional practice, which is divided into six specific points: competence, care, safety, staff, life-long learning and multi-sectorial working. (shrink)
Nonmonotonic logics allow—contrary to classical (monotone) logics— for withdrawing conclusions in the light of new evidence. Nonmonotonic reasoning is often claimed to mimic human common sense reasoning. Only a few studies, though, have investigated this claim empirically. system p is a central, broadly accepted nonmonotonic reasoning system that proposes basic rationality postulates. We previously investigated empirically a probabilistic interpretation of three selected rules of system p. We found a relatively good agreement of human reasoning and principles of nonmonotonic reasoning according (...) to the coherence interpretation of system p. This study reports an experiment on the cautious monotonicity Rule and its “incautious” counterpart that is not contained in system p, namely the monotonicity Rule. In accordance with our previous results, the data suggest that people reason nonmonotonically: the subjects in the cautious monotonicity condition infer significantly tighter intervals close to the coherence interpretation of system p compared with the subjects in the incautious monotonicity condition where rather wide (and hence non-informative) intervals are inferred. (shrink)