Strange inversions occur when things work in ways that turn received wisdom upside down. Hume offered a strangely inverted story about causation, and Darwin, about apparent design. Dennett suggests that a strange inversion also occurs when we project our own reactive complexes outward, painting our world with elusive properties like cuteness, sweetness, blueness, sexiness, funniness, and more. Such properties strike us as experiential causes, but they are really effects—a kind of shorthand for whole sets of reactive dispositions rooted in the (...) nuts and bolts of human information processing. Understanding the nature and origins of that strange inversion, Dennett believes, is thus key to understanding the nature and origins of human experience itself. This paper examines this claim, paying special attention to recent formulations that link that strange inversion to the emerging vision of the brain as a Bayesian estimator, constantly seeking to predict the unfolding sensory barrage. (shrink)
The possibility of extended cognition invites the possibility of extended knowledge. We examine what is minimally required for such forms of technologically extended knowledge to arise and whether existing and future technologies can allow for such forms of epistemic extension. Answering in the positive, we explore some of the ensuing transformations in the ethical obligations and personal rights of the resulting ‘new humans.’.
Extended Cognition examines the way in which features of a subject's cognitive environment can become constituent parts of the cognitive process itself. This volume explores the epistemological ramifications of this idea, bringing together academics from a variety of different areas, to investigate the very idea of an extended epistemology.
First, a theoretical background to the volume’s topic, extended epistemology, is provided by a brief outline of its cross-disciplinary theoretical lineage and some key themes. In particular, it is shown how and why the emergence of recent and more egalitarian thinking in the cognitive sciences about the nature of human cognizing and its bounds—viz., the so-called ‘extended cognition’ program, and the related idea of an ‘extended mind’—has important and interesting ramifications in epistemology. Second, an overview is provided of the papers (...) included as chapters in the volume. The sixteen contributions are divided into two categories: those that engage with foundational issues to do with extended epistemology, and those that pursue applications of extended epistemology to new areas of research. (shrink)
This collection of 30 essays covers living a moral and ethical life as a lawyer and Christian, following the example of J. ReubenClark, Jr. The mission and history of the BYU Law School is also adressed.
This paper considers prevailing environmental policy in the United States with the emphasis on liberty, markets, utilizing information, entrepreneurial discovery, and the economic analysis of political decisions. The general discussion is illustrated by the concern over global warming and policies for addressing this concern. The political incentives to confront environmental problems directly with mandates, restrictions, and subsidies ignore the power of liberty and market incentives to solve problems by fostering an impressive network of information transfer, increasing innovation, and expanding prosperity. (...) Indeed, most environmental policies systematically suppress liberty, censor the communication of information, and retard innovation and prosperity, with the result that they provide less environmental quality at greater cost than is possible. While such flawed policies might be justified in cases where pollution problems pose clear, serious, and immediate threats, we argue this is not true of global warming, and the most effective response to concerns over carbon emissions may be limiting the discretionary power of government to take direct action and rely on the indirect effects of liberty and market incentives to move us beyond the petroleum age more quickly and efficiently than will result from the direct action of government. (shrink)
This is the first of two volumes of essays in commemoration of Alan Turing, whose pioneering work in the theory of artificial intelligence and computer science continues to be widely discussed today. A group of prominent academics from a wide range of disciplines focus on three questions famously raised by Turing: What, if any, are the limits on machine `thinking'? Could a machine be genuinely intelligent? Might we ourselves be biological machines, whose thought consists essentially in nothing more than the (...) interaction of neurons according to strictly determined rules? The discussion of these fascinating issues is accessible to non-specialists and stimulating for all readers. (shrink)
When looking at a scene, observers feel that they see its entire structure in great detail and can immediately notice any changes in it. However, when brief blank fields are placed between alternating displays of an original and a modified scene, a striking failure of perception is induced: identification of changes becomes extremely difficult, even when changes are large and made repeatedly. Identification is much faster when a verbal cue is provided, showing that poor visibility is not the cause of (...) this difficulty. Identification is also faster for objects mentioned in brief verbal descriptions of the scene. These results support the idea that observers never form a complete, detailed representation of their surroundings. In addition, results also indicate that attention is required to perceive change, and that in the absence of localized motion signals it is guided on the basis of high-level interest. (shrink)
This volume explores the epistemology of distributed cognition, the idea that groups of people can generate cognitive systems that consist of all participating members. Can distributed cognitive systems generate knowledge in a similar way to individuals? If so, how does this kind of knowledge differ from normal, individual knowledge?
In this paper, we discuss the macroscopic quantum behavior of simple superconducting circuits. Starting from a Lagrangian for electromagnetic field with broken gauge symmetry, we construct a quantum circuit model for a superconducting weak link (SQUID) ring, together with the appropriate canonical commutation relations. We demonstrate that this model can be used to describe macroscopic excitations of the superconducting condensate and the localized charge states found in some ultrasmall-capacitance weak-link devices.
The statistical properties of a single quantum object and an ensemble of independent such objects are considered in detail for two-level systems. Computer simulations of dynamic zero-point quantum fluctuations for a single quantum object are reported and compared with analytic solutions for the ensemble case.
This paper describes the application of eight statistical and machine-learning methods to derive computer models for predicting mortality of hospital patients with pneumonia from their findings at initial presentation. The eight models were each constructed based on 9847 patient cases and they were each evaluated on 4352 additional cases. The primary evaluation metric was the error in predicted survival as a function of the fraction of patients predicted to survive. This metric is useful in assessing a model’s potential to assist (...) a clinician in deciding whether to treat a given patient in the hospital or at home. We examined the error rates of the models when predicting that a given fraction of patients will survive. We examined survival fractions between 0.1 and 0.6. Over this range, each model’s predictive error rate was within 1% of the error rate of every other model. When predicting that approximately 30°K of the patients will survive, all the models have an error rate of less than 1.5%. The models are distinguished more by the number of variables and parameters that they contain than by their error rates; these differences suggest which models may be the most amenable to future implementation as paper-based guidelines. (shrink)
Reviewed Works:Reuben Hersh, Proving is Convincing and Explaining.Philip J. Davis, Visual Theorems.Gila Hanna, H. Niels Jahnke, Proof and Application.Daniel Chazan, High School Geometry Students' Justification for Their Views of Empirical Evidence and Mathematical Proof.
Contrary to stockholder theories that place the interests of profit-seeking owners above all else, stakeholder theorists argue that corporate executives have moral and ethical obligations to consider equally the interests of a wide range of stakeholders affected by the actions of a corporation. This paper argues that the stakeholder approach is particularly appropriate for the governance of news media companies and outlines an ethical framework to guide news company executives.
[opening paragraph] -- Clark: The `astonishing hypothesis' which you put forward in your book, and which you obviously feel is very controversial, is that `You, your joys and sorrows, your memories and ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will are, in fact, no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells. As Lewis Carroll's Alice might have phrased it: `You're nothing but a pack of neurons'.' But it seems to me that this is not (...) so astonishing a statement for a scientist to make. Isn't this what reductionist science has always believed? (shrink)
This paper is a study about Philadelphia’s comprehensive user engagement sites (CUESs) as the authors address and examine issues related to the upcoming implementation of a CUES while seeking solutions for its disputed questions and plans. Beginning with the federal drug schedules, the authors visit some of the medical and public health issues vis-à-vis safe injection facilities (SIFs). Insite, a successful Canadian SIF, has been thoroughly researched as it represents a paradigm for which a Philadelphia CUES can expand upon. Also, (...) the existing criticisms against SIFs are revisited while critically unpackaged and responded to in favor of the establishment. In the main section, the authors propose the layout and services of the upcoming CUES, much of which would be in congruent to Vancouver’s Insite. On the other hand, the CUES would be distinct from Insite, as the authors emphasize, in that it will offer an information center run by individuals in recovery and place additional emphasis on early education for young healthcare professionals by providing them a platform to work at the site. The paper will also briefly investigate the implementation of a CUES site under an ethical scope of the Harm Reduction Theory. Lastly, the authors recommend some strategic plans that the Philadelphia City government may consider employing at this crucial stage. (shrink)