In addition to the infant cry being a signal for attention, it may also be a critical component of the early formation of attachments with caregivers. We consider the complex development of that attachment, which involves reciprocal interactive signaling and a host of evolutionarily conserved caregiver factors.
In addition to endogenously produced opiates, which are part of normal affiliative neurocircuitry and attachment formation, exogenous opiates – such as drugs of addiction and abuse – may affect affiliation. We consider possible modulatory effects of such exogenous opiates on the development of early parent–infant attachment from both parents' and infants' perspectives.
Butler refused to be satisfied with just one leading principle, or rational basis for human action, but in the end settled for three: self-love, to provide for our ‘own private good’; benevolence, to consider ‘the good of our fellow creatures’ ; and conscience, ‘to preside and govern’ over our lives as a whole . By so doing he hoped to ensure a completeness to our ethical scheme, so that nothing would be omitted from our moral deliberations. Yet by so doing (...) he also exposed himself to severe criticism. For any such appeal to a plurality of principles, as Green remarked, is ‘repugnant both to the philosophic craving for unity, and to that ideal of “singleness of heart” which we have been accustomed to associate with the highest virtue’. More specifically, by appealing to a plurality of principles Butler faced the charges of circularity, where the principles come to define and defend each other; inconsistency, where the principles ‘take turns’ at being primary and hence render each other superfluous; and incompleteness, where the ‘primary principle’ is itself undefined or undefended. As the tale has been told Butler stands accused of all three of these errors. (shrink)
The nature of children's early environment has profound long-term consequences. We are beginning to understand the underlying molecular programming of the stress-response system, which may mediate the destructive long-term effects of cruelty to children, explain the evolutionary stability of cruelty, and provide opportunities for its reversal of early trauma.
David Lewis's Principal Principle states that our credence in a single case follows from the general probability of all such cases. Against this stands the Challenge Argument – to show that the inference is justified. Recent law-to-chance, Bayesian, and propensity theories of probability take up the challenge – but, I argue, fall short. Rather, we should understand propensity via Aristotle's analysis of spontaneity and probabilistic reasoning via the Anti-PP and the practice of bundling one offs, where forced bad-odds one offs (...) illuminate how extensive a role luck plays in our lives. (shrink)
The consideration of humans going through sensitive periods of life, such as childhood and the early postpartum, may be helpful in understanding the cognitive and evolutionary puzzle of human rituals. During such periods, certain brain systems may mediate an increased susceptibility to learn new behaviors, rational or irrational. (Published Online February 8 2007).
Conscience plays a crucial role in identifying, applying, and initiating actions chosen as right or wrong. In this paper, we pursue an answer to the question, Can bad conscience, as Nietzsche defines it, be overcome to form the ground for the creation of good conscience? Nietzsche identifies Christianity as the source of that which has to be overcome to help re-define human existence--overcoming self-destructive, bad conscience. To understand whether someone could (or even should) overcome and redefine his or her existence, (...) that is create good conscience like Nietzsche's Ubermensch, it is useful to consider the struggles of Allie Fox, the hero in Peter Weir's movie Mosquito Coast (1986). (shrink)
The author examines the history of pragmatism and maintains that a thematic continuity runs through the classical pragmatists, neopragmatitsts and contemporary pragmatists. This continuity can be vaguely characterized as an integration of theory and practice, but experience gives theory its content such that action is always guiding the formation of knowledge. There are four implications of this continuity. Pragmatists are centrally concerned with the human relationship to a process-oriented and evolving conception of nature. For pragmatists, our beliefs are regarded not (...) as propositions that map onto a separate and fixed reality, but instead their truth emerges out of the habits beliefs generate. Pragmatism emphasizes an openness to possibility since our access to the world of experience is mediated by a variety of selective interests, intellectual histories, varying linguistic and discursive practices. Pragmatists are deeply concerned with the social and political problems that confront us on a daily basis. The author also examines the manner in which James understands the term “metaphysics” given that pragmatism is a method for settling “metaphysical disputes.” Jamesian existential pluralism implies to maximize all possibilities that can satisfy everyone as much as possible without impeding and harming another's capacity to experience a rich and novel world. The author analyzes Todd May’s approach to the analytic-continental divide and concludes that if settlement embraces James’s thick conception of experience, then the resulting ontological pluralism is the best settlement possible, and this commitment to pluralism requires dissolving the exclusionary practices the analytic-continental divide suggests philosophically. (shrink)
The questions suggested by the term "multiculturalism" range far and wide, embracing: questions of inclusion; questions of criteria; questions of self-identity; and questions of the meaning of multiculturalism. In this essay I provide a framework: that allows us to begin a discussion that might answer such questions; that illuminates why it is that such a modest aim is the most we can hope for at this time; and that provides an understanding of what we can do in a multicultural world (...) in order to illuminate what we should do. This framework will reject both the idea of toleration as found in Berlin’s conception of human choice and will speak of as maximal multiculturalism, an orientation that is found in John Milton’s idea of truth as variegated and that sees multiculturalism as a great good. These views are plagued by at least three paradoxes that are really inconsistencies. In their place I develop the idea of a mitigated multiculturalism based on fear rather than on any ideal or vision, and with this a distinction between positive and negative toleration. Negative toleration proves to parallel a classic Hobbesianism, which while an unwelcome result, paradoxically, provides further direction and reason for hope that mitigated multiculturalism can and must be surpassed. (shrink)
(1) Rupert Read charges that Rawls culpably overlooks the politicized Euthyphro: Do we accept our political perspective because it is right or is it right because we accept it? (2) This charge brings up the question of the deficiency dilemma: Do others disagree with us because of our failures or theirs? —where the two dilemmas appear to be independent of each other and lead to the questions of the logic of deficiency, moral epistemic deficiency, epistemic peers, and the hardness of (...) philosophy. (3) In reply, on an expanded principle of charity Rawls does not overlook the Euthyphro but rather offers ground-breaking solutions to it, (4) that nonetheless trip on the independent bootstrap (5)—as also do Dreben and Nussbaum. (6) Furthermore, Rawls's ' burdens of judgment' seek to bypass the necessity of moral epistemic deficiency and (7) suggest a wider framework for understanding disagreement that sees disagreement as arising from inquiry being in development, unpredictable and uncertain. (8) This wider framework entails that disagreement does not mean moral epistemic deficiency and (9) that our responses to the Euthyphro are 'too soon to say'. (shrink)
Butler refused to be satisfied with just one leading principle, or rational basis for human action, but in the end settled for three: self-love, to provide for our ‘own private good’; benevolence, to consider ‘the good of our fellow creatures’ ; and conscience, ‘to preside and govern’ over our lives as a whole. By so doing he hoped to ensure a completeness to our ethical scheme, so that nothing would be omitted from our moral deliberations. Yet by so doing he (...) also exposed himself to severe criticism. For any such appeal to a plurality of principles, as Green remarked, is ‘repugnant both to the philosophic craving for unity, and to that ideal of “singleness of heart” which we have been accustomed to associate with the highest virtue’. More specifically, by appealing to a plurality of principles Butler faced the charges of circularity, where the principles come to define and defend each other; inconsistency, where the principles ‘take turns’ at being primary and hence render each other superfluous; and incompleteness, where the ‘primary principle’ is itself undefined or undefended. As the tale has been told Butler stands accused of all three of these errors. (shrink)
If connectionist computational models explain the acquisition of complex cognitive skills, errors in such models would also help explain unusual brain activity such as in creativity – as well as in mental illness, including childhood onset problems with social behaviors in autism, the inability to maintain focus in attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and the lack of motivation of depression disorders.