This article reviews models of the cerebellum and motor learning, from the landmark papers by Marr and Albus through those of the present time. The unique architecture of the cerebellar cortex is ideally suited for pattern recognition, but how is pattern recognition incorporated into motor control and learning systems? The present analysis begins with a discussion of exactly what the cerebellar cortex needs to regulate through its anatomically defined projections to premotor networks. Next, we examine various models showing how the (...) microcircuitry in the cerebellar cortex could be used to achieve its regulatory functions. Having thus defined what it is that Purkinje cells in the cerebellar cortex must learn, we then evaluate theories of motor learning. We examine current models of synaptic plasticity, credit assignment, and the generation of training information, indicating how they could function cooperatively to guide the processes of motor learning. (shrink)
Male-male competition is involved in inter- and intrasexual selection, with both endocrine and psychological factors presumably contributing to reproductive success in human males. We examined relationships among men’s naturally occurring testosterone, their self-perceived mate value, self-esteem, sociosexuality, and expected likelihood of approaching attractive women versus situations leading to child involvement. We then monitored changes in these measures in male rowers from Cambridge, UK, following a manipulated “win” or “loss” as a result of an indoor rowing contest. Baseline results revealed that (...) men with heightened testosterone and SPMV values typically had greater inclinations toward engaging in casual sexual relationships and a higher likelihood of approaching attractive women in a hypothetical social situation. As anticipated, both testosterone and SPMV increased following a manipulated “victory” and were associated with heightened sociosexuality, and increased expectations toward approaching attractive women versus individuals who would involve them in interacting with children after the race. SPMV and self-esteem appeared to mediate some of the effects of testosterone on post-race values. These findings are considered in the broader context of individual trade-offs between mating and parental effort and a model of the concurrent and dynamic androgenic and psychological influences contributing to male reproductive effort and success. (shrink)
Philosophers of the life sciences have devoted considerably more attention to evolutionary theory and genetics than to the various sub-disciplines of ecology, but recent work in the philosophy of ecology suggests reflects a growing interest in this area (Cooper 2003; Ginzburg and Colyvan 2004). However, philosophers of biology and ecology have focused almost entirely on conceptual and methodological issues in population and community ecology; conspicuously absent are foundational investigations in ecosystem ecology. This situation is regrettable. Ecosystem concepts play a central (...) role in many branches of theoretical and applied ecology, and in environmental literature generally. Indeed, for some historians, the division of ecological theory into population-community and ecosystem research traditions, and the methodological and conceptual debates that have arisen between workers in these respective camps, is the distinguishing feature of 20th century ecological science (Hagen 1992). These include debates over, among others: reductionistic vs. holistic research methodologies; the existence and metaphysics of ecological “kinds”; the relationship between evolutionary mechanisms and ecosystem phenomena; and the nature and scope of ecological science and its relationship to other branches of natural and social science. Philosophers of ecology have written on all these topics, but almost exclusively from the theoretical perspective of population, community or evolutionary ecology. Philosophical attention to these issues from the perspective of ecosystem ecology is long overdue. It would be misleading to assert that philosophers in general have ignored ecosystem ecology. Environmental philosophers, including environmental ethicists so-called “radical” environmental philosophers (deep ecologists, social ecologists, ecofeminists, etc.), and policy theorists, have had a long-standing interest in ecosystem ecology (e.g. Callicott 1986; Cahen 1988; Warren and Cheney 1993; Westra 1994; Sagoff 1997; Fitzsimmons 1999).. (shrink)
T. W. Adorno's and Max Horkheimer's Dialectic of Enlightenment is fifty years old. Its disconcerting darkness now seems so bound to the time of its writing, one may well wonder if we have anything to learn from it. Are its main lines of argument relevant to our social and philosophical world? Are the losses it records losses we can still recognise as our own?
Medical-legal partnerships (MLPs) — collaborative endeavors between health care clinicians and lawyers to more effectively address issues impacting health care — have proliferated over the past decade. The goal of this interdisciplinary approach is to improve the health outcomes and quality of life of patients and families, recognizing the many non-medical influences on health care and thus the value of an interdisciplinary team to enhance health. This article examines the unique, interrelated ethical issues that confront the clinical and legal partners (...) involved in MLPs. We contend that the ethical precepts of the clinical and legal professions should be seen as opportunities, not barriers, to further the interdisciplinary nature of MLPs. The commonalities in ethical approaches represent a potential bridge between legal and health care advocacy for patient/client well-being. Bioethics has a role to play in building and analyzing this bridge: bioethics may serve as a discourse and method to enhance collaboration by highlighting common ethical foundations and refocusing legal and clinical partners on their similar goals of service for patients/clients. This article explores this bridging role of bioethics, through a series of case studies. It concludes with recommendations to strengthen the collaborations. (shrink)
Medical-legal partnerships — collaborative endeavors between health care clinicians and lawyers to more effectively address issues impacting health care — have proliferated over the past decade. The goal of this interdisciplinary approach is to improve the health outcomes and quality of life of patients and families, recognizing the many non-medical influences on health care and thus the value of an interdisciplinary team to enhance health. There are currently over 180 MLPs at over 200 hospitals and health centers in the United (...) States, with increasing federal interest and potential legislative support of this model.This article examines the unique, interrelated, and often similar ethical issues that confront the clinical and legal partners involved in MLPs. We contend that the ethical precepts of the clinical and legal professions should be seen as opportunities, not barriers, to further the interdisciplinary nature of MLPs. (shrink)
Finnigan, in the course of a careful and astute discussion of the difficulties facing a Buddhist account of the moral agency of a buddha, develops a challenging critique of a proposal I made in Garfield. Much of what she says is dead on target, and I have learned much from her paper. But I have serious reservations about the central thrust both of her critique of my own thought and about her proposal for a positive account of a buddha’s enlightened (...) action. Curiously, in another fine paper, Finnigan and her co-author have anticipated much of what I will say in reply. I will rely in part on that second paper in my reply to the essay that appears in this volume. (shrink)
We hypothesize that black women experience accelerated biological aging in response to repeated or prolonged adaptation to subjective and objective stressors. Drawing on stress physiology and ethnographic, social science, and public health literature, we lay out the rationale for this hypothesis. We also perform a first population-based test of its plausibility, focusing on telomere length, a biomeasure of aging that may be shortened by stressors. Analyzing data from the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN), we estimate that at (...) ages 49–55, black women are 7.5 years biologically “older” than white women. Indicators of perceived stress and poverty account for 27% of this difference. Data limitations preclude assessing objective stressors and also result in imprecise estimates, limiting our ability to draw firm inferences. Further investigation of black-white differences in telomere length using large-population-based samples of broad age range and with detailed measures of environmental stressors is merited. (shrink)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's rationale for supporting the development and approval of BiDil for heart failure specifically in black patients was based on under-powered, post hoc subgroup analyses of two relatively old trials , which were further complicated by substantial covariate imbalances between racial groups. Indeed, the only statistically significant difference observed between black and white patients was found without any adjustment for potential confounders in samples that were unlikely to have been adequately randomized. Meanwhile, because the accepted (...) baseline therapy for heart failure has substantially improved since these trials took place, their results cannot be combined with data from the more recent trial amongst black patients alone. There is therefore little scientific evidence to support the approval of BiDil only for use in black patients, and the FDA's rationale fails to consider the ethical consequences of recognizing racial categories as valid markers of innate biological difference, and permitting the development of group-specific therapies that are subject to commercial incentives rather than scientific evidence or therapeutic imperatives. This paper reviews the limitations in the scientific evidence used to support the approval of BiDil only for use in black patients; calls for further analysis of the V-HeFT I and II data which might clarify whether responses to H-I vary by race; and evaluates the consequences of commercial incentives to develop racialized medicines. We recommend that the FDA revise the procedures they use to examine applications for race-based therapies to ensure that these are based on robust scientific claims and do not undermine the aims of the 1992 Revitalization Act. (shrink)
In the course of a careful and astute discussion of the difficulties facing a Buddhist account of the moral agency of a buddha, Bronwyn Finnigan develops a challenging critique of a proposal I made in a recent article (Garfield 2006). Much of what she says is dead on target, and I have learned much from her comment. But I have serious reservations about both the central thrust of her critique of my own thought and her proposal for a positive account (...) of a buddha’s enlightened action. Curiously, in another fine essay (Finnigan andTanaka forthcoming), Finnigan and her co-author have anticipated much of what I will say in reply. I will rely in part on that second essay in my reply to the critique that appears in this .. (shrink)
An 'anatomy' is a literary work that treats a particul.1r topic at great length and in minute detail. Viewed as a contribution to that genre, this massive and prolix tome may be read with patience and also with sympathy for its author. Gould diccl around the time that it was published, and the book is a fitting monument to his life's work. Because he goes into so much detail, providing an immense amount..
H. Jay Dinshah, the father of the modern vegan movement in America and founder of American Vegan Society, eloquently explains ethical reasons for veganism. His daughter Anne updates and edits his pioneering writings. Over forty vegan luminaries tell how they were influenced and inspired by Jay. Together they encourage readers to explore ways to promote positive action in the world towards veganism through “dynamic harmlessness.”.
Why you don’t have a self—and why that’s a good thing In Losing Ourselves, Jay Garfield, a leading expert on Buddhist philosophy, offers a brief and radically clear account of an idea that at first might seem frightening but that promises to liberate us and improve our lives, our relationships, and the world. Drawing on Indian and East Asian Buddhism, Daoism, Western philosophy, and cognitive neuroscience, Garfield shows why it is perfectly natural to think you have a self—and why it (...) actually makes no sense at all and is even dangerous. Most importantly, he explains why shedding the illusion that you have a self can make you a better person. Examining a wide range of arguments for and against the existence of the self, Losing Ourselves makes the case that there are not only good philosophical and scientific reasons to deny the reality of the self, but that we can lead healthier social and moral lives if we understand that we are selfless persons. The book describes why the Buddhist idea of no-self is so powerful and why it has immense practical benefits, helping us to abandon egoism, act more morally and ethically, be more spontaneous, perform more expertly, and navigate ordinary life more skillfully. Getting over the self-illusion also means escaping the isolation of self-identity and becoming a person who participates with others in the shared enterprise of life. The result is a transformative book about why we have nothing to lose—and everything to gain—by losing our selves. (shrink)
For close to forty years now T.M. Scanlon has been one of the most important contributors to moral and political philosophy in the Anglo-American world. Through both his writing and his teaching, he has played a central role in shaping the questions with which research in moral and political philosophy now grapples. Reasons and Recognition brings together fourteen new papers on an array of topics from the many areas to which Scanlon has made path-breaking contributions, each of which develops a (...) distinctive and independent position while critically engaging with central themes from Scanlon's own work in the area. Contributors include well-known senior figures in moral and political philosophy as well as important younger scholars whose work is just beginning to gain wider recognition. Taken together, these papers make evident the scope and lasting interest of Scanlon's contributions to moral and political philosophy while contributing to a deeper understanding of the issues addressed in his work. (shrink)
From 2000 to 2007, Jay Wolke photographed in the south of Italy to capture the complexity of a region that is colloquially known as Il mezzogiorno. What he found in this historic and often troubled landscape was an elaborate set of physical, social, and political forces manifested in an extraordinary tapestry of visual information. Both referential and suggestive, Wolke's pictures reveal the marks of a long line of invaders, conquerors, and occupiers from the Greeks to the Spanish to the Camorra. (...) Architectural and structural adaptations and “resignations” are evident in every scene and serve as the photographer's focus. Although the landscape is marred by layers of dysfunction and greed, we can't help but view it through the lens of the timeless belief in the bel paese—the beautiful country. (shrink)
Listening and responding to patients’ stories for over 20 years as an emergency physician has strengthened my appreciation for the many ways that the skills and principles drawn from writing fiction double as necessary clinical skills. The best medicine doesn’t work on the wrong story, and the stories patients tell sometimes feel like first drafts—vital and fragile works-in-progress. Increasingly complex health challenges compounded by social, financial, and psychological burdens make for stories that are difficult to articulate and comprehend. In this (...) essay, I argue that healthcare providers need to think like creative writers and the skills and sensitivities necessary to story construction deserve a vital space in medical education. A thorough understanding of story anatomy and the imaginative flexibility to work stories into open spaces serve as antidotes to the reductive nature of clinical decision making and have implications as patient safety and risk management strategies. The examples that I have selected demonstrate how thinking like a creative writer functions at the bedside, providing tools for clinical excellence and empathy. This approach asks that we re-imagine the importance of story in clinical care: from a vehicle to a diagnosis to its place as a critical destination. (shrink)
Philosophers and Cognitive Scientists have become accustomed to distinguishing the first person perspective from the third person perspective on reality or experience. This is sometimes meant to mark the distinction between the “objective” or “intersubjective” attitude towards things and the “subjective” or “personal” attitude. Sometimes, it is meant to mark the distinction between knowledge and mere opinion. Sometimes it is meant to mark the distinction between an essentially private and privileged access to an inner world and a merely inferential or (...) speculative access to that world. No doubt there are other uses as well. But I don't care about this dichotomy here, or indeed any of these putative distinctions it is alleged to mark. Instead, I want to call attention to the central role of the less often acknowledged grammatical and phenomenological category, that of the second person. This category is essential not only for understanding the development of self-understanding, but also for the development of the moral sense that allows us to participate in the societies that constitute us as persons. The task of moral education is the cultivation of care for second persons. But we do so by extending not self-regard, but by extending the spontaneous caring response we have for those with whom we immediately interact—second persons. Our moral lives, I will argue, like our cognitive lives, cannot be understood without understanding the special nature of second person relationships. In short, I will argue that the second person perspective is in fact essential to the constitution of human subjectivity, and that it permeates all forms of interpersonal consciousness and even self-consciousness. (shrink)
T. M. Scanlon's magisterial book What We Owe to Each Other is surely one of the most sophisticated and important works of moral philosophy to have appeared for many years. It raises fundamental questions about all the main aspects of the subject, and I hope and expect that it will have a decisive influence on the shape and direction of moral philosophy in the years to come. In this essay I shall focus on four sets of issues raised by Scanlon's (...) systematic argument, with the aim of clarifying some of Scanlon's central assumptions and presenting alternatives at several key points. The perspective from which I offer these comments is that of a reader who is sympathetic to Scanlon's general approach but not yet convinced on various points of detail. (shrink)
According to T. M. Scanlon's buck‐passing account, the normative realm of reasons is in some sense prior to the domain of value. Intrinsic value is not itself a property that provides us with reasons; rather, to be good is to have some other reason‐giving property, so that facts about intrinsic value amount to facts about how we have reason to act and to respond. The paper offers an interpretation and defense of this approach to the relation between reasons and values. (...) I start by acknowledging the role that substantive values play in specifications of our reasons, noting that this poses an apparent challenge to the buck‐passing account. The challenge can be met, however, if we adopt a deliberative understanding of substantive value, an interpretation that I proceed to develop and defend. In conclusion I consider recent attempts to capture the agent‐relativity of reasons within a teleological framework for thinking about the relation between reasons and values. I argue that these approaches rest on a deliberative understanding of value; the teleological framework thus turns out to illustrate the basic insight of the buck‐passing approach, rather than offering an alternative to it. (shrink)
Topics at a Poynter Institute privacy conference in December 1992 ranged from the role and obligations of the journalist to the rights of victims. Journalists' responsibility to fulfill a dual role of truthtelling and minimizing harm to vulnerable people in society framed the discussion. The public' s curiosity and media obsessions with information about victims of sex crimes are the first topics to be explored. Bob Steele of the Poynter Institute sets the stage for the delicate balance. Helen Benedict, author (...) of Virgin or Vamp: How the Press Covers Sex Crimes, suggests some reforms regarding this area of news. Patricia Bowman, a victim's advocate, talks about her experience as the victim of the media and of a celebrated sex crime case. Elinor Brecher of the Miami Herald discusses a particularly vexing assignment she recently faced, and Tom French of the St. Petersburg Times expresses concern for the subjects of sensitive personal stories and recommends trying to inform them about the story and help them cope with the intrusion into their private life. In separate articles, J. T. Johnson of Sartor Associates in San Francisco and Nora Paul of the Poynter Institute offer insights into the paradox of individual privacy and public right/desire to know, particularly as the issues arise in today's information society. Finally, Robert Ellis Smith, publisher of Privacy Journal, outlines ways media can approach privacy issues and still feel they are on safe ground; he recommends self-restraint in place of government restrictions. The general theme of the Poynter Conference is restraint and concern for others' responsible usage of information that has the possibility to harm others. (shrink)