This study examines the use of a video news release in a specific story. Press coverage and editorial criticism in the case showed that journalists do not articulate sufficiently how the news owners' sway, through institutional controls, can lead to a hegemony of expedient action in the newsroom. Critical self-reflection by news workers will better enable journalists to ethically deliberate news choices that balance their responsibilities to owners, peers, and the public.
The philosophy of Wittgenstein is both novel and enigmatic. What is his new revolutionizing methodology? What is his aim, his purpose, his intention? What does he mean by the puzzling terms ‘forms of life’, ‘language-games’, ‘seeing as’? The key to the answers, according to the thesis of this paper, lies in Wittgenstein’s conception of the ‘Weltanschauung’. By the explanation of the use of this term, the entire philosophy of Wittgenstein may become illuminated with new meaning and interpretation. In understanding the (...) meaning of the word ‘Weltanschauung’ we shall come to understand why Wittgenstein used his new method, just what that method was, and what the impact of the concept and method had on the terms ‘Language-game’, ‘forms of life’ and ‘seeing as’. (shrink)
I am John's brain. In the flesh, I am just a rather undistinguished looking grey/white mass of cells. My surface is heavily convoluted and I am possessed of a fairly differentiated internal structure. John and I are on rather close and intimate terms; indeed, sometimes it is hard to tell us apart. But at times, John takes this intimacy a little too far. When that happens, he gets very confused about my role and functioning. He imagines that (...) I organize and process information in ways which echo his own perspective on the world. In short, he thinks that his thoughts are, in a rather direct sense, my thoughts. There is some truth to this of course. But things are really rather more complicated than John suspects, as I shall try to show. (shrink)
John Maynard Smith was the founder of evolutionary game theory. He has also been the major influence on the direction of this field, which now pervades behavioural ecology and evolutionary biology. In its original formulation the theory had three components: a set of strategies, a payoff structure, and a concept of evolutionary stability. These three key components are still the basis of the theory, but what is assumed about each component is often different to the original assumptions. We review (...) modern approaches to these components. We emphasis that if a game is considered in isolation, and arbitrary payoffs are assumed, then the payoffs may not be consistent with other components of the system which are not modelled. Modelling the whole system, including not only the focal game, but also the future behaviour of the players and the behaviour of other population members, allows a consistent model to be constructed. We illustrate this in the case of two models of parental care, showing how linking a focal game to other aspects of the system alters what is predicted. (shrink)
We present a general framework for analyzing the contribution to reproductive success of a behavioural action. An action may make a direct contribution to reproductive success, but even in the absence of a direct contribution it may make an indirect contribution by changing the animal's state. We consider actions over a period of time, and define a reward function that characterizes the relationship between the animal's state at the end of the period and its future reproductive success. Working back from (...) the end of the period using dynamic programming, the optimal action as a function of state and time can be found. The procedure also yields a measure of the cost, in terms of future reproductive success, of a suboptimal action. These costs provide us with a common currency for comparing activities such as eating and drinking, or eating and hiding from predators. The costs also give an indication of the robustness of the conclusions that can be drawn from a model. We review how our framework can be used to analyze optimal foraging decisions in a stochastic environment. We also discuss the modelling of optimal daily routines and provide an illustration based on singing to attract a mate. We use the model to investigate the features that can produce a dawn song burst in birds. State is defined very broadly so that it includes the information an animal has about its environment. Thus, exploration and learning can be included within the framework. (shrink)
We present a model for several early stages of the sensorimotor transformations involved in targeted arm movement. In psychophysical experiments, human subjects pointed to the remembered locations of randomly placed targets in three-dimensional space. They made consistent errors in distance, and from these errors stages in the sensorimotor transformation were deduced. When subjects attempted to move the right index finger to a virtual target they consistently undershot the distance of the more distal targets. Other experiments indicated that the error was (...) in the sensorimotor transformation rather than in the perception of distance. The error was most consistent when evaluated using a spherical coordinate system based at the right shoulder, indicating that the neural representation of target parameters is transformed from a retinocentric representation to a shoulder-centered representation. According to the model, the error in distance results from the neural implementation of a linear approximation in the algorithm to transform shoulder-centered target parameters into a set of arm orientations appropriate for placing the finger on the target. The transformation to final arm orientations places visually derived information into a frame of reference where it can readily be combined with kinesthetically derived information about initial arm orientations. The combination of these representations of initial and final arm orientations could give rise to the representation of movement direction recorded in the motor cortex by Georgopoulos and his colleagues. Later stages, such as the transformation from kinematic to dynamic parameters, or to levels of muscle activation, are beyond the scope of the present model. (shrink)
This collection of previously unpublished essays on Spinoza provides a representative sample of new and interesting research on the philosopher. Spinoza's philosophy still has an underserved reputation for being obscure and incomprehensible. In these chapters, Spinoza is seen mostly as a metaphysician who tried to pave the way for the new science. The essays investigate several themes, notably Spinoza's monism, the nature of the individual, the relation between mind and body, and his place in 17th century philosophy including his relation (...) to Descartes and Leibniz. The top scholars working on Spinoza today are all represented, including John Carriero, Michael Della Rocca, and Don Garrett. (shrink)
To what extent do moral judgments depend on conscious reasoning from explicitly understood principles? We address this question by investigating one particular moral principle, the principle of the double effect. Using web-based technology, we collected a large data set on individuals' responses to a series of moral dilemmas, asking when harm to innocent others is permissible. Each moral dilemma presented a choice between action and inaction, both resulting in lives saved and lives lost. Results showed that: (1) patterns of moral (...) judgments were consistent with the principle of double effect and showed little variation across differences in gender, age, educational level, ethnicity, religion or national affiliation (within the limited range of our sample population) and (2) a majority of subjects failed to provide justifications that could account for their judgments. These results indicate that the principle of the double effect may be operative in our moral judgments but not open to conscious introspection. We discuss these results in light of current psychological theories of moral cognition, emphasizing the need to consider the unconscious appraisal system that mentally represents the causal and intentional properties of human action. (shrink)
Economics is privileged in contemporary government policy such that all human transactions are seen as economic forms of exchange. Education has been discursively restructured according to the logic of the market, with education policy being increasingly colonised by economic policy imperatives. This paper explores some of the consequences of this reframing which draws upon metaphors from industrial and business domains. This paper examines a significant dimension of teaching that currently has marginal presence in official discourse: social contingency. We argue that (...) social contingency is characterised by a variety of distinctive features that include unpredictability, relationality and ethical demands. The significance of social contingency is highlighted by a comparison with industrial production, which is organisationally contingent, and craft production, which is characterised as materially contingent. We argue that the different nature of contingency in these domains makes them inappropriate as metaphors for teaching. We explore the nature of social contingency and some of the practical and ethical consequences of the failure to articulate this in official discourse. Its absence in such discourse is illustrated by consideration of competence statements in the Initial Teacher Education context. We argue that the neglect of social contingency is founded on assumptions of teacher sovereignty that are both philosophically and ethically unsustainable. (shrink)
Keller & Miller (K&M) briefly mention and promptly dismiss the idea that genes for harmful mental disorders may confer certain advantages to affected individuals. However, the authors fail to consider that the same genes (in low doses or reduced penetrance) may be adaptive for relatives, and that this may in part explain why they are retained in the gene pool. (Published Online November 9 2006).