Recent advances in wireless data transmission technology have the potential to revolutionize clinical neuroscience. Today sensing-capable electrical stimulators, known as “bidirectional devices”, are used to acquire chronic brain activity from humans in natural environments. However, with wireless transmission come potential failures in data transmission, and not all available devices correctly account for missing data or provide precise timing for when data losses occur. Our inability to precisely reconstruct time-domain neural signals makes it difficult to apply subsequent neural signal processing techniques (...) and analyses. Here, our goal was to accurately reconstruct time-domain neural signals impacted by data loss during wireless transmission. Towards this end, we developed a method termed Periodic Estimation of Lost Packets. PELP leverages the highly periodic nature of stimulation artifacts to precisely determine when data losses occur. Using simulated stimulation waveforms added to human EEG data, we show that PELP is robust to a range of stimulation waveforms and noise characteristics. Then, we applied PELP to local field potential recordings collected using an implantable, bidirectional DBS platform operating at various telemetry bandwidths. By effectively accounting for the timing of missing data, PELP enables the analysis of neural time series data collected via wireless transmission—a prerequisite for better understanding the brain-behavior relationships underlying neurological and psychiatric disorders. (shrink)
Why do we need government? A common view is that government is necessary to constrain people's conduct toward one another, because people are not sufficiently virtuous to exercise the requisite degree of control on their own. This view was expressed perspicuously, and artfully, by liberal thinker James Madison, in The Federalist, number 51, where he wrote: “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” Madison's idea is shared by writers ranging across the political spectrum. It finds clear expression in (...) the Marxist view that the state will gradually wither away after a communist revolution, as unalienated “communist man” emerges. And it is implied by the libertarian view that government's only legitimate function is to control the unfortunate and immoral tendency of some individuals to violate the moral rights of others. (shrink)
In a well-known article, 1 John Hick argues that the proposition ‘God exists' is, in principle, verifiable but is not falsifiable. Essentially, his argument is that while no experience in this life could conclusively disprove the existence of the Christian God, certain experiences one might have in the after-life would conclusively verify the existence of the Christian God. In particular, he argues that post mortem experiences of Christ ruling in the Kingdom of God would constitute a verification of the existence (...) of the Christian God. In this paper, I shall argue that on Hick's own assumptions, the existence of the Christian God turns out to be falsifiable, in principle, as well as verifiable. (shrink)
It is, perhaps, a propitious time to discuss the economic rights of disabled persons. In recent years, the media in the United States have re-ported on such notable events as: students at the nation's only college for the deaf stage a successful protest campaign to have a deaf individual ap-pointed president of their institution; a book by a disabled British physicist on the origins of the universe becomes a best seller; a pitcher with only one arm has a successful rookie (...) season in major league baseball; a motion-picture actor wins an Oscar for his portrayal of a wheelchair-bound person, beating out another nominee playing another wheelchair-bound person; a cancer patient wins an Olympic gold medal in wrestling; a paralyzed mother trains her children to accept discipline by inserting their hands in her mouth to be gently bitten when punishment is due; and a paraplegic rock climber scales the sheer four-thousand-foot wall of Yosemite Valley's El Capitan. Most significantly, in 1990, the United States Congress passed an important bill – the Americans with Disabili-ties Act – extending to disabled people employment and access-related protections afforded to members of other disadvantaged groups by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (shrink)
Contemporary philosophical discourse has deeply problematized the possibility of absolute existence. Hegel’s Foundation Free Metaphysics demonstrates that by reading Hegel’s Doctrine of the Concept in his Science of Logic as a form of Absolute Dialetheism, Hegel’s logic of the concept can account for the possibility of absolute existence. Through a close examination of Hegel’s concept of self-referential universality in his Science of Logic, Moss demonstrates how Hegel’s concept of singularity is designed to solve a host of metaphysical and epistemic paradoxes (...) central to this problematic. He illustrates how Hegel’s revolutionary account of universality, particularity, and singularity offers solutions to six problems that have plagued the history of Western philosophy: the problem of nihilism, the problem of instantiation, the problem of the missing difference, the problem of absolute empiricism, the problem of onto-theology, and the third man regress. Moss shows that Hegel’s affirmation and development of a revised ontological argument for God’s existence is designed to establish the necessity of absolute existence. By adopting a metaphysical reading of Richard Dien Winfield’s foundation free epistemology, Moss critically engages dominant readings and contemporary debates in Hegel scholarship. Hegel’s Foundation Free Metaphysics will appeal to scholars interested in Hegel, German Idealism, 19th- and 20th-century European philosophy, metaphysics, epistemology, and contemporary European thought. (shrink)
This book surveys the leading modern theories of property - Lockean, libertarian, utilitarian/law-and-economics, personhood, Kantian and human flourishing - and then applies those theories to concrete contexts in which property issues have been especially controversial. These include redistribution, the right to exclude, regulatory takings, eminent domain and intellectual property. The book highlights the Aristotelian human flourishing theory of property, providing the most comprehensive and accessible introduction to that theory to date. The book's goal is neither to cover every conceivable theory (...) nor to discuss every possible facet of the theories covered. Instead, it aims to make the major property theories comprehensible to beginners, without sacrificing accuracy or sophistication. The book will be of particular interest to students seeking an accessible introduction to contemporary theories of property, but even specialists will benefit from the book's lucid descriptions of contemporary debates. (shrink)
For centuries, moral philosophers have attempted to clarify the relationship between morality and rational self-interest. They have been especially interested in the possibility that there are situations in which it is perceptibly against one’s interests to act morally, e.g., situations in which it clearly pays to lie, cheat, or steal. Hobbes, who held an egoistic view of human nature, was especially troubled by this possibility. For if psychological egoism is true and this possibility is a real one, there may be (...) situations in which people must act in a way that is either immoral or irrational. To avoid this unpalatable conclusion, Hobbes seeks to show that the aforementioned possibility is illusory, that no real conflict between morality and rational prudence can occur. (shrink)
In relation to a thesis put forward by Marx Wartofsky, we seek to show that a historiography of mathematics requires an analysis of the ontology of the part of mathematics under scrutiny. Following Ian Hacking, we point out that in the history of mathematics the amount of contingency is larger than is usually thought. As a case study, we analyze the historians’ approach to interpreting James Gregory’s expression ultimate terms in his paper attempting to prove the irrationality of \. (...) Here Gregory referred to the last or ultimate terms of a series. More broadly, we analyze the following questions: which modern framework is more appropriate for interpreting the procedures at work in texts from the early history of infinitesimal analysis? As well as the related question: what is a logical theory that is close to something early modern mathematicians could have used when studying infinite series and quadrature problems? We argue that what has been routinely viewed from the viewpoint of classical analysis as an example of an “unrigorous” practice, in fact finds close procedural proxies in modern infinitesimal theories. We analyze a mix of social and religious reasons that had led to the suppression of both the religious order of Gregory’s teacher degli Angeli, and Gregory’s books at Venice, in the late 1660s. (shrink)
On the standard simple foundationalist interpretation of Thomas Reid’s epistemology, his epistemic appeals to God seem problematic. These appeals are generally dismissed as dogmatic, viciously circular, or mere irrelevant pieties. This chapter responds first that, even on the standard foundationalist interpretation, theism can sometimes boost the epistemic justification of first principles. It then argues that Reid’s epistemology is plausibly interpreted as containing coherentist strands. While not generally necessary for knowledge, coherence can boost the justification of our basic beliefs, and this (...) boost in justification can be valuable in certain contexts. Because many of Reid’s epistemic appeals to God—including those that are viciously circular on the standard interpretation—are coherence-generating, this interpretation provides a plausible explanation for how theism can boost the justification of various first principles, including first principles about the reliability of our faculties. (shrink)
The role of theism in Thomas Reid’s epistemology remains an unresolved question. Opinions range from outright denials that theism has any relevance to Reid’s epistemology to claims that Reid’s epistemology depends upon theism in a dogmatic or a viciously circular manner. This dissertation attempts to bring some order to this interpretive fray by answering the following question: What role or roles does theism play in Reid’s epistemology, particularly in relation to the epistemic justification of first principles? Chapters 2-4 lay the (...) foundation for answering this question and clarify some terminology. Chapter 2 distinguishes key senses in which Reid uses the terms “principle” and “first principle.” Chapter 3 argues for a novel interpretation of common sense and the principles of common sense. This interpretation avoids a number of objections to Reid’s principles of common sense. Chapter 4 considers the initial externalist justification of Reid’s first principles. It shows Reid has a surprisingly well-developed proper-functionalism and brings to light several overlooked elements of his epistemology. Chapters 5-8 argue theism can and does play various important and philosophically respectable roles in Reid’s epistemology, particularly in relation to the justification of first principles. Chapter 5 argues that even on the standard foundationalist interpretation of Reid’s epistemology, theism can and does boost the justification of first principles. Chapter 6 shows Reid’s epistemology is not a form of simple foundationalism but contains coherentist elements. This enables theism further to boost the justification of first principles. Chapter 7 reveals that Reid’s epistemology contains different kinds or levels of knowledge, and shows that theism enables the highest form of knowledge, which I call scientia. Chapter 8 argues that within Reid’s epistemology theism helps protect and preserve the justification of first principles. (shrink)
Gregory S. Moss examines the central arguments in Ernst Cassirer’s first volume of the Philosophy of Symbolic Forms to show how Cassirer defends language as an autonomous cultural form, and how he borrows the concept of the “concrete universal” from G. W. F. Hegel in order to develop a concept of cultural autonomy.
In Dependent Rational Animals, Alasdair MacIntyre attempts to ground the virtues in a biological account of humans. Drawing from this attempt, he also tries to answer the question of why we should care for the severely disabled. MacIntyre’s difficulty in answering this question begins with the fact that his communities of practices do not naturally include the severely disabled within their membership and care. In response to this difficulty, he provides four reasons for why we should care for the severely (...) disabled. I argue that three of these reasons are inadequate, and that the fourth is incomplete although it does point in a promising direction. I conclude that a more satisfactory answer requires a further extension of the central development from After Virtue to Dependent Rational Animals, and I draw from Wendell Berry, whose work MacIntyre admires, to provide an illuminating illustration of what such an answer might look like. (shrink)
This volume examines the complex and vitally important ethical questions connected with the deployment of nuclear weapons and their use as a deterrent. A number of the essays contained here have already established themselves as penetrating and significant contributions to the debate on nuclear ethics. They have been revised to bring out their unity and coherence, and are integrated with new essays. The books exceptional rigor and clarity make it valuable whether the reader's concern with nuclear ethics is professional or (...) personal. Part I explores the morality of nuclear deterrrence from each of the two dominant traditions in moral philosophy, deontology and consequentialism, and points out a number of interesting ethical dilemmas. Part II criticizes a variety of alternatives to deterrence - unilateral nuclear disarmament, world government, strategic defense against ballistic missiles, and nuclear coercion - and argues for mutual nuclear disarmament as a realistic and desirable long-run alternative. (shrink)
In this paper I systematically reconstruct Hegel’s concept of “free mechanism” as developed in the Science of Logic. The term “free mechanism” appears absurd since each of the terms constituting it appears mutually exclusive. I argue that we may grasp it only on (1) the assumption of self-reference and (2) via a triad of syllogisms, which altogether constitute a process of alternating middle terms. On the whole, I employ Hegel’s account of “free mechanism” to illuminate the activity of objectivity, whereby (...) the self-determining concept resurrects itself from its dormancy in an indifferent totality. (shrink)
In fact, it requires two major social institutions--morality and government--working in a coordinated fashion to do so. This is one of the main themes of Hobbes's philosophy that will be developed in this book.
Extensively utilizing Brownson's lesser-known writings, Butler examines, in chronological order, the phases of Brownson's personal and spiritual development, thereby assessing the importance and contemporary relevance of his thought.
Under the human flourishing theory of property, owners have obligations, positive as well as negative, that they owe to members of the various communities to which they belong. But are the members of those communities limited to living persons, or do they include non-living persons as well, i.e., future persons and the dead? This Article argues that owners owe two sorts of obligation to non-living members of our generational communities, one general, the other specific. The general obligation is to provide (...) future generations with the basic material background conditions that are necessary for them to be able to carry out what I call life-transcending projects that their forebears have transmitted to them. The specific obligation is project-specific; that is, its purpose is to enable successive generational community members to whom particular life-transcending projects have been forwarded to be carried out in their way. The future generational members to whom the project is transferred must also be given whatever resources or goods are necessary to carry the project forward in its intended way. I argue further that each generational community owes its predecessors the obligation to accept life-transcending projects transmitted to them by their forebears and make reasonable efforts to carry those projects forward into the future. The obligation is based on the past generational community members’ dependency on their successors for the projects to continue into the future, a matter that is constitutive of the project creators’ flourishing. This obligation is defeasible, rather than absolute, however. (shrink)
Among major contractarian theorists, David Gauthier has the most ambitious philosophical aims. John Rawls has recently made clear that his theory of justice is not intended to provide a timeless and culturally invariant account of justice derived from the theory of rational choice. Yet Gauthier, in his rightly acclaimed and widely influential writings, attempts to provide just such an account of morality and distributive justice. With this new publication of a collection of his most important articles from the past two (...) decades following, by four years, the appearance of his systematic treatise on ethics we are now in a good position to assess Gauthier's moral theory. (shrink)