There is little empirical evidence showing a direct link between a capacity for statistical learning (SL) and proficiency with natural language. Moreover, discussion of the role of SL in language acquisition has seldom focused on literacy development. Our study addressed these issues by investigating the relationship between SL and reading ability in typically developing children and healthy adults. We tested SL using visually presented stimuli within a triplet learning paradigm and examined reading ability by administering the Wide Range Achievement Test (...) (WRAT-4; Wilkinson & Robertson, 2006). A total of 38 typically developing children (mean age of 9;5 years, range 6;4–12;5) and 37 healthy adults (mean age of 21 years, range 18–34) were assessed. In children, SL was significantly related to reading ability. Importantly, this relationship was independent of grade and also age. The adult data, too, revealed that SL was significantly related to reading ability. A regression analysis of the combined child and adult data revealed that SL accounted for a unique amount of variance in reading ability, after age and attention had been taken into consideration. For the first time, this study provides empirical evidence that a capacity for more effective SL is related to higher reading ability in the general population. (shrink)
This is the short version, in French translation by Anne Querrien, of the originally jointly authored paper: Müller, Vincent C., ‘Autonomous killer robots are probably good news’, in Ezio Di Nucci and Filippo Santoni de Sio, Drones and responsibility: Legal, philosophical and socio-technical perspectives on the use of remotely controlled weapons. - - - L’article qui suit présente un nouveau système d’armes fondé sur des robots qui risque d’être prochainement utilisé. À la différence des drones qui sont manoeuvrés à distance (...) mais comportent une part importante de discernement humain, il s’agit de machines programmées pour défendre, attaquer, ou tuer de manière autonome. Les auteurs, philosophes, préfèrent prévenir de leur prochaine diffusion et obtenir des Nations Unies leur régulation. Une campagne internationale propose plutôt leur interdiction. (shrink)
____Technology, Time, and the Conversations of Modernity__ takes as its impetus the idea that technology is an embodiment of our uneasiness with finitude. Lorenzo Simpson argues that technology has succeeded in granting our wish to domesticate time. He shows how this attitude affects our understanding of the meaning of action and our ability to discern meaning in our lives.
As humanity becomes increasingly interconnected through globalization, the question of whether community is possible within culturally diverse societies has returned as a principal concern for contemporary thought. Lorenzo Simpson charges that the current discussion is stuck at an impasse-between postmodernism's fragmented notions of cultural difference and humanism's homogeneous versions of community. Simpson proposes an alternative-one that bridges cultural differences without erasing them. He argues that we must establish common aesthetic and ethical standards incorporating sensitivity to difference if we (...) are to achieve cross-cultural understanding. (shrink)
Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems are here. Technological development will see them become widespread in the near future. This is in a matter of years rather than decades. When the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons meets on 10-14th November 2014, well-considered guidance for a decision on the general policy direction for LAWS is clearly needed. While there is widespread opposition to LAWS—or ‘killer robots’, as they are popularly called—and a growing campaign advocates banning them outright, we argue the opposite. LAWS (...) may very well reduce suffering and death in war. Rather than banning them, they should be regulated, to ensure both compliance with international humanitarian law, and that this positive outcome occurs. This policy memo sets out the basic structure and content of the regulation required. (shrink)
May lethal autonomous weapons systems—‘killer robots ’—be used in war? The majority of writers argue against their use, and those who have argued in favour have done so on a consequentialist basis. We defend the moral permissibility of killer robots, but on the basis of the non-aggregative structure of right assumed by Just War theory. This is necessary because the most important argument against killer robots, the responsibility trilemma proposed by Rob Sparrow, makes the same assumptions. We show that the (...) crucial moral question is not one of responsibility. Rather, it is whether the technology can satisfy the requirements of fairness in the re-distribution of risk. Not only is this possible in principle, but some killer robots will actually satisfy these requirements. An implication of our argument is that there is a public responsibility to regulate killer robots ’ design and manufacture. (shrink)
The fourteen authors in this collection used phenomenology and hermeneutics to conduct deep inquiry into perplexing and wondrous events in their work and personal lives. These seasoned scholar-practitioners gained remarkable insight into areas such as health care and illness, organ donation, intercultural communications, high-performance teams, artistic production, jazz improvisation, and the integration of Tai Chi into education. All authors were transformed by phenomenology's expanded ways of seeing and being.
Several themes can be identified in the commentaries. The first is that the climbing fibers may have more than one function; the second is that the climbing fibers provide sensory rather than motor signals. We accept the possibility that climbing fibers may have more than one function consequence(s)’ in the title. Until we know more about the function of the inhibitory input to the inferior olive from the cerebellar nuclei, which are motor structures, we have to keep open the possibility (...) that the climbing fiber signals can be a combination of sensory and motor signals. (shrink)
An examination of British and French weights exchanged between the Royal Society and the Académie royale des sciences in the 1730s has led to a re‐assessment of the Elizabethan troy standards from the Exchequer and the suggestion that the mass of the troy pound has been revised upwards. In turn this is used to support the idea of an evolutionary relationship between the early bullion ounces of England, France, and the Low Countries.
In this thoughtful essay Wallulis argues that a rethinking of Gadamer's seminal claims about our historical situatedness is necessary if we are to have an adequate account of personal achievement. He argues that in stressing that we are the effect of tradition, Gadamer does not allow personal initiative its due. Wallulis wants to oppose a consciousness of "having been enabled" to what he sees as Gadamer's exclusive emphasis on a consciousness of being affected by history, as well as to Habermas's (...) notion of a consciousness oriented towards emancipation, that is, towards overcoming pseudo-natural constraints and attaining complete self-transparency. While sympathetic to Gadamer's hermeneutic critique of Habermas, Wallulis wants to offer a corrective to Gadamer's one-sided focus and thereby to elaborate a "hermeneutic of life history" that does justice to personal achievement. (shrink)