Recently, a research program has emerged that aims to show that animals have a memory capacity that is similar to the human episodic memory capacity. Researchers within this program argue that nonhuman animals have episodic-like memory of personally experienced past events. In this paper, I specify and evaluate the goals of this research program and the progress it has made in achieving them. I will examine some of the data that the research program has produced, as well as the operational (...) definitions and assumptions that have gone into producing that data, in order to call into question the ultimate value of the episodic-like memory research program. I argue that there is a gap between the claims that the research program makes and the data it uses to support these claims, and that bridging this gap is essential if we want to claim that human episodic memory has a meaningful analog in animals. I end with some suggestions of how to potentially fix these problems. (shrink)
Until recently, the problem of traumatic brain injury in sports and the problem of performance enhancement via hormone replacement have not been seen as related issues. However, recent evidence suggests that these two problems may actually interact in complex and previously underappreciated ways. A body of recent research has shown that traumatic brain injuries, at all ranges of severity, have a negative effect upon pituitary function, which results in diminished levels of several endogenous hormones, such as growth hormone and gonadotropin. (...) This is a cause for concern for many popular sports that have high rates of concussion, a mild form of TBI. Emerging research suggests that hormone replacement therapy is an effective treatment for TBI-related hormone deficiency. However, many athletic organizations ban or severely limit the use of hormone replacing substances because many athletes seek to use them solely for the purposes of performance enhancement. Nevertheless, in the light of the research linking traumatic brain injury to hypopituitarism, this paper argues that athletic organizations’ policies and attitudes towards hormone replacement therapy should change. We defend two claims. First, because of the connection between TBI and pituitary function, it is likely many more athletes than previously acknowledged suffer from hormone deficiency and thus could benefit from hormone replacement therapy. Second, athletes’ hormone levels should be tested more rigorously and frequently with an emphasis on monitoring TBI and TBI-related issues, rather than simply monitoring policy violations. (shrink)
Presented here is the German translation of Jan Patočka’s fragment Nitro a svět which was written in the 1940s and belongs to the so called „Strahov Papers“. The fragment reflects Patočka’s early attempts towards a thinking of subjectivity and the world. Thereby Patočka’s approach is phenomenological, but also integrates motives of German Idealism. The critical impact of the fragment lies in its orientation against the scientific biologism of its times.
The subject of this essay is political, and therefore social, philosophy; and therefore, ethics. We want to know whether the right thing for a society to do is to incorporate in its structure requirements that we bring about equality, or liberty, or both if they are compatible, and if incompatible then which if either, or what sort of mix if they can to some degree be mixed. But this fairly succinct statement of the issue before us requires considerable clarification, even (...) as a statment of the issue. For it is widely, and in my view correctly, held that some sort of equality is utterly fundamental in these matters. We seek a principle, or principles, that apply to all, are the same for all. In that sense, certainly, equality is fundamental and inescapable. But this is a very thin sort of “equality.” It will almost equally widely be agreed that the principles in question should in some more interesting sense “treat” people equally, e.g., by allotting to all the same set of rights, and moreover, rights that are – again we have to say “in some sense” – nonarbitrary, so that whatever they are, persons of all races, sexes, and so on will have the same fundamental rights assigned to them. Taking this to be, again, essentially uncontroversial, though not without potentially worrisome points of unclarity, it needs, now, to be pointed out that this characterization does not settle the issue that this essay is concerned with. That issue is about economic matters in particular. (shrink)
Jan Sprenger and Stephan Hartmann offer a fresh approach to central topics in philosophy of science, including causation, explanation, evidence, and scientific models. Their Bayesian approach uses the concept of degrees of belief to explain and to elucidate manifold aspects of scientific reasoning.
This paper describes the work of the Polish logician Jan Kalicki (1922?1953). After a biographical introduction, his work on logical matrices and equational logic is appraised. A bibliography of his papers and reviews is also included.
Multi-modal versions of propositional logics S5 or S4—commonly accepted as logics of knowledge—are capable of describing static states of knowledge but they do not reflect how the knowledge changes after communications among agents. In the present paper (part of broader research on logics of knowledge and communications) we define extensions of the logic S5 which can deal with public communications. The logics have natural semantics. We prove some completeness, decidability and interpretability results and formulate a general method that solves certain (...) kind of problems involving public communications—among them well known puzzles of Muddy Children and Mr. Sum & Mr. Product. As the paper gives a formal logical treatment of the operation of restriction of the universe of a Kripke model, it contributes also to investigations of semantics for modal logics. (shrink)
The article focuses on the report of the International Workshop on “17th Century Polish Jesuits in China: Michal Boym, Jan Mikolaj Smogulecki, and Andrzej Rudomina” held at the University School of Philosophy and Education in Poland organized by the Monumenta Serica Institute. The author focuses on the Chinese philosophy lecture by Professor Shi Yunli about the influence of Smogulecki on Xue Fengzou, Chinese culture and science and their work on astrology and astronomy.
A unifying framework of probabilistic reasoning Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9573-x Authors Jan Sprenger, Tilburg Center for Logic and Philosophy of Science, Tilburg University, P.O. Box 90153, 5000 LE Tilburg, The Netherlands Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Nagarjuna's Vigrahavyavartani is one of the most important Madhyamaka Buddhist philosophical texts. Jan Westerhoff offers a new translation, reflecting the best current philological research and all available editions, and adds his own philosophical commentary on the text. His nuanced, philosophically sophisticated commentary explains Nagarjuna's arguments in a way that is both grounded in historical and textual scholarship and connected explicitly to contemporary philosophical concerns.
The Indian philosopher Acarya Nagarjuna (c. 150-250 CE) was the founder of the Madhyamaka (Middle Path) school of Mahayana Buddhism and arguably the most influential Buddhist thinker after Buddha himself. Indeed, in the Tibetan and East Asian traditions, Nagarjuna is often referred to as the "second Buddha." This book presents a survey of the whole of Nagarjuna's philosophy based on his key philosophical writings. His primary contribution to Buddhist thought lies in the further development of the concept of sunyata or (...) "emptiness." For Nagarjuna, all phenomena are without any svabhava, literally "own-nature" or "self-nature," and thus without any underlying substance. Particular emphasis is put on discussing Nagarjuna's thinking as philosophy. The present discussion shows how his thoughts on metaphysics, epistemology, the self, language, and truth present a unified theory of reality with considerable systematic appeal. The book offers a systematic account of Nagarjuna's philosophical position. It reads Nagarjuna in his own philosophical context, but also shows that the issues of Indian and Tibetan Buddhist philosophy have at least family resemblances to issues in European philosophy. (shrink)
Aggregation in moral philosophy calls for the summing or averaging of values or utilities as a guide to individual behavior. But morality, it is argued, needs to be individualistic, in view of the evident separateness of persons, especially given the great disparities among individuals who nevertheless interact with each other in social life. The most plausible general moral program is the classical liberal one calling for mutual noninterference rather than treating others as equal to oneself in point of demands on (...) our action. Why, then, would we ever aggregate? The reason is that we are affected by behavior that has general effects, especially unintended side effects, on all sorts of people among whom we ourselves are often to be found. When we are randomly situated among such groups—as we sometimes are and often are not—minimizing aggregate harm is the plausible strategy, and sometimes promoting aggregate benefit as well. (shrink)
Jan Westerhoff unfolds the story of one of the richest episodes in the history of Indian thought, the development of Buddhist philosophy during the first millennium CE. He aims to offer the reader a systematic grasp of key Buddhist concepts such as non-self, suffering, reincarnation, karma, and nirvana.
This text addresses a problem that is not sufficiently dealt with in most of the recent literature on emotion and feeling. The problem is a general underestimation of the extent to which affective intentionality is essentially bodily. Affective intentionality is the sui generis type of world-directedness that most affective states – most clearly the emotions – display. Many theorists of emotion overlook the extent to which intentional feelings are essentially bodily feelings. The important but quite often overlooked fact is that (...) the bodily feelings in question are not the regularly treated, non-intentional bodily sensations (known from Jamesian accounts of emotion), but rather crucial carriers of world-directed intentionality. Consequently, most theories of human emotions and feelings recently advocated are deficient in terms of phenomenological adequacy. This text tries to make up for this deficit and develops a catalogue of five central features of intentional bodily feelings. In addition, Jesse Prinz’s embodied appraisal theory is criticized as an exemplary case of the misconstrual of the bodily nature of affective experience in naturalistic philosophy of mind. (shrink)
The concept of an ontological category is central to metaphysics. Metaphysicians argue about which category of existence an object should be assigned to, whether one category can be reduced to another one, or whether there might be different equally adequate systems of categorization. Answers to these questions presuppose a clear understanding of what precisely an ontological category is, and Jan Westerhoff now provides the first in-depth analysis. After examining a variety of attempted definitions, he proceeds to argue for a new (...) understanding of ontological categories, according to which they are systematizations of our knowledge of the world rather than essential characteristics of the world itself. Metaphysicians will find his work highly stimulating. (shrink)
To get distracted, to enclose and to give oneself. The Gesture of Transcendence in Jan Patočka The problem of transcendence can be traced throughout the whole work of Jan Patočka. The appeal to transcend our bonds to mere objectivity is a constant issue of his thought. It finds a new substantiation in the 1960s in his studies focusing on the meaning of the other as human being. The relation to the other person offers a special "occasion" or "place" of transcendence (...) and poses the challenge to transcend one's own particular setting. While in the mid-1960s Patočka maintains his earlier dramatic vocabulary to describe the process of transcendence, in the late 1960s his idiom becomes less vehement. Yet, it is precisely within this more "sober" framework that he symbolizes the process of transcendence with an emphatic turn to a "myth of the divine man" and its key metaphor of resurrection. To transcend means, for Patočka, always to liberate oneself from a state of self-distraction between things. However, in his late lectures, he briefly refers to a deeper layer, suggesting that this self-distraction has its "roots" in a self-enclosure or self-isolation, in the exclusive concentration on our own interests and in the illusion of our self-sufficiency. Transcendence, then, means to overcome this self-enclosure by means of a self-forgetting love. Are these rarely mentioned "roots" perhaps implicitly present in all Patočka's accounts of transcendence? (shrink)
The basic bearer of responsibility is individuals, because that isall there are – nothing else can literally be the bearer of fullresponsibility. Claims about group responsibility therefore needanalysis. This would be impossible if all actions must be understoodas ones that could be performed whether or not anyone else exists.Individuals often act by virtue of membership in certain groups;often such membership bears a causal role in our behavior, andsometimes people act deliberately in order to promote the prospectsof members of a given (...) group. Nevertheless, it is rational to awardproportionally to individual contributions to those actions andindividual shares in the production of the consequences of thoseactions. (shrink)
Evaluation of clinical ethics support services (CESS) has attracted considerable interest in recent decades. However, few evaluation studies are explicit about normative presuppositions which underlie the goals and the research design of CESS evaluation. In this paper, we provide an account of normative premises of different approaches to CESS evaluation and argue that normativity should be a focus of considerations when designing and conducting evaluation research of CESS. In a first step, we present three different approaches to CESS evaluation from (...) published literature. Next to a brief sketch of the well-established approaches of ‘descriptive evaluation’ and ‘evaluation of outcomes’, we will give a more detailed description of a third approach to evaluation—‘reconstructing quality norms of CESS’—which is explicit about the normative presuppositions of its research (design). In the subsequent section, we will analyse the normative premises of each of the three approaches to CESS evaluation. We will conclude with a brief argument for more sensitivity towards the normativity of CESS and its evaluation research. (shrink)
The Czech philosopher Jan Patocka (1907-1977), who studied with Husserl and Heidegger, is widely recognized as the most influential thinker to come from postwar Eastern Europe. Refusing to join the Communist party after World War II, he was banned from academia and publication for the rest of his life, except for a brief time following the liberalizations of the Prague spring of 1968. Joining Vaclav Havel and Jiri Hajek as a spokesman for the Chart 77 human-rights declaration of 1977, Patocka (...) was harassed by authorities, arrested, and finally died of a heart attack during prolonged interrogation. Plato and Europe, arguably Patocka’s most important book, consists of a series of lectures delivered in the homes of friends after his last banishment from the academy just three years before his death. Here, he presents his most mature ideas about the history of Western philosophy, arguing that the idea of the care of the soul is fundamental to the philosophical tradition beginning with the Greeks. Explaining how the care of the soul is elaborated as the problem of how human beings may make their world one of truth and justice, Patocka develops this thesis through a treatment of Plato, Democritus, and Aristotle, showing how considerations about the soul are of central importance in their writings. He demonstrates in vivid fashion how this idea forms the spiritual heritage of Europe. (shrink)