Purpose: Commenting on the transcript of a lecture. Findings: The document reconstructs the development of the original 1973 lecture by Heinz von Foerster into his best-known paper, On Constructing a Reality. Many aspects of that paper can be identified as being shaped through interaction with the audience. Implications: The lecture documented here was a forerunner of a central paper in constructivism.
A large body of literature agrees that persons with schizophrenia suffer from a Theory of Mind deficit. However, most empirical studies have focused on third-person, egocentric ToM, underestimating other facets of this complex cognitive skill. Aim of this research is to examine the ToM of schizophrenic persons considering its various aspects, to determine whether some components are more impaired than others. We developed a Theory of Mind Assessment Scale and administered it to 22 persons with a DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia (...) and a matching control group. Th.o.m.a.s. is a semi-structured interview which allows a multi-component measurement of ToM. Both groups were also administered a few existing ToM tasks and the schizophrenic subjects were administered the Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale and the WAIS-R. The schizophrenic persons performed worse than control at all the ToM measurements; however, these deficits appeared to be differently distributed among different components of ToM. Our conclusion is that ToM deficits are not unitary in schizophrenia, which also testifies to the importance of a complete and articulated investigation of ToM. (shrink)
Theophrasti Characteres recensuit Hermannus Diels. Oxford Classical Texts. 1909. 3s. 6d. net. Pp. xxviii + .Θεοφρστου Xαρακτxs22EFρες. The Characters of Theophrastus. An English Translation from a Revised Text. With Introduction and Notes by R. C. Jebb, M.A. A new edition. Edited by J. E. Sandys, Litt.D. Macmillan. 1909. 7s. 6d. net. c. 23×14½. Pp. xvi+229.
The aim of this paper is to assess the relative merits of two accounts of the semantics of proper names. The enterprise is of particular interest because the theories are very similar in fundamental respects. In particular, they can agree on three major features of names: names are rigid designators; different co-extensive names can have different cognitive significance; empty proper names can be meaningful. Neither theory by itself offers complete explanations of all three features. But each theory is consistent with (...) them and goes some way towards explaining them. (shrink)
A Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament, being Grimm's Wilke's Clavis Novi Testamenti. Translated, Revised and Enlarged by Joseph Henry Thayer, D.D., Bussey Professor of New Testament Criticism and Interpretation in the Divinity School of Harvard University. Edinburgh, T. and T. Clark. 1886. 4to. pp. 726. 36s.Biblico Theological Lexicon to New Testament Greek. by Hermann Cremer, D.D., Professor of Theology in the University of Greifswald. Third English Edition. With Supplement. Translated from the latest German Edition by William Uewick, M.A. (...) Edinburgh, T. and T. Clark. 1886. 4to. pp. 943. 38s. (shrink)
(2011). Critical Race Theory Matters: Education and Ideology. By M. Zamudio, C. Russell, M. A. Rios and J. L. Bridgeman. British Journal of Educational Studies: Vol. 59, Research capacity building, pp. 348-350.
The Eton Latin Grammar, For Use in the Higher Forms. By Francis Hay Rawlins, M.A., and William Ralph Inge. London: Murray, 1888. 6s.The Revised Latin Primer. By Benjamin Hall Kennedy, D.D. Longmans, 1888. 2s. 6d.The New Latin Primer. Edited by J. P. Postgate, M.A., and C. H. Vince, M.A. Cassell, 1888. 2s. 6d.The Shorter Latin Primer, by Dr. Kennedy. Longmans, 1888. 1s.
One position on the interpretation of purposefulness adopted by Neo-Thomists says that the principle of purposefulness has universal significance, because it concerns every entity that can be defined by the term “action”: i.e. every entity which exists and can only be known through some form of action. Entities work to preserve their existence, and their pursuit of survival seems to be the purpose of their actions. So, if entities are already working, then they must also be working purposefully. We can (...) encounter philosophers who hold that every action is purposeful in the representatives of the Lublin School, such as M.A. Krąpiec OP, A. Maryniarczyk, S. Mazierski. All three of these have based their views about purposefulness on Aristotle’s teleological considerations. The present article will examine how the views of the abovementioned scholars on teleology, based on Aristotle’s philosophy of purposefulness from 2000 years ago, explain reality. (shrink)
Critics of Oxbridge take unkindly to our M.A. When I had to fill in one of those innumerable time-wasting forms to show how unqualified I was to hold an academic post, I was specifically instructed to describe myself as a B.A., which I was proud to do, since our B.A. is our best degree (everything in Oxford being the opposite of what it seems). But the real equivalent of a mediaeval M.A. is a modern D.Phil, with every academic wanting to (...) call himself Doctor rather than Master, which is felt to offend our egalitarian age; and now we are going back to the mediaeval trivium followed by a post-grad quadrivium, it might seem that we should tidy up our gradations, and have simply a B.A. for the former, and a D.Phil. for the latter. (shrink)
Ethics of Richard M. Hare is widely considered as a classical example of the strong internalistic theory of motivation: he is thought to believe that having a moral motive is a sufficient condition to act accordingly. However, strong internalism has difficulties with explaining the phenomenon of acrasia and amoralism. For this reason some critics charge him with developing a false theory of moral motivation. In the article I present Hare's answer to these questions by dividing the discussion about motivation into (...) three levels: semantical, epistemological, and ontological. I also explain his concept of internal motivation and argue that his theory, contrary to what his critics assume, may be called a weak motivational internalism. (shrink)
This essay comments on the articles by Loretta M. Kopelman and Anita Silvers. It extends their analyses and concludes that consistency and the total absence of conflict may be unavailable when one interprets and applies the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Typical analyses of belief in conspiracy theories have it that identifying as a conspiracy theorist is irrational. However, given that we know conspiracies occur, and theories about said conspiracies can be warranted, should we really be scared of the locution 'I'm a conspiracy theorist...'?
I present here a modal extension of T called KTLM which is, by several measures, the simplest modal extension of T yet presented. Its axiom uses only one sentence letter and has a modal depth of 2. Furthermore, KTLM can be realized as the logical union of two logics KM and KTL which each have the finite model property (f.m.p.), and so themselves are complete. Each of these two component logics has independent interest as well.
I use some ideas of Keith DeRose's to develop an (invariantist!) account of why sceptical reasoning doesn't show that I don't know that I'm not a brain in a vat. I argue that knowledge is subject to the risk-of-error constraint: a true belief won’t have the status of knowledge if there is a substantial risk of the belief being in error that hasn’t been brought under control. When a substantial risk of error is present (i.e. beliefs in propositions that are (...) false in nearby worlds), satisfying the constraint requires bringing the risk under control. This is achieved either by sensitivity, i.e. you wouldn’t have the belief if it were false, or by identifying evidence for the proposition. However, when the risk of error is not substantial (i.e. beliefs in propositions that are not false in nearby worlds), the constraint is satisfied by default. My belief that I am not a brain in a vat is insensitive and I have no evidence for it, but since it is not false in nearby worlds, it satisfies the constraint by default. (shrink)
Moral theories which, like those of Plato, Aristotle and Aquinas, give a central place to the virtues, tend to assume that as traits of character the virtues are mutually compatible so that it is possible for one and the same person to possess them all. This assumption—let us call it the compatibility thesis—does not deny the existence of painful moral dilemmas: it allows that the virtues may conflict in particular situations when considerations associated with different virtues favour incompatible courses of (...) action, but holds that these conflicts occur only at the level of individual actions. Thus while it may not always be possible to do both what would be just and what would be kind or to act both loyally and honestly, it is possible to be both a kind and a just person and to have both the virtue of loyalty and the virtue of honesty. (shrink)
In the years 1878 and 1879 the American physicist Alfred Marshall Mayer published his experiments with floating magnets as a didactic illustration of molecular actions and forms. A number of physicists made use of this analogy of molecular structure. For William Thomson they were a mechanical illustration of the kinetic equilibrium of groups of columnar vortices revolving in circles round their common centre of gravity . A number of modifications of Mayer's experiments were described, which gave configurations which were more (...) or less analogous to Mayer's arrangements. It was Joseph John Thomson who, in publications between 1897 and 1907, used Mayer's results to obtain a good deal of insight into the general laws which govern the configuration of the electrons in his atomic model. This article is mainly concerned with Mayer's experiments with floating magnets and their use by a number of physicists. Through his experiments Mayer made a significant, although small, contribution to the theory of atomic structure. (shrink)
CQ: The Baby Bas Ross case stirred much public debate in The Netherlands since 1988 -a newborn infant with Down's syndrome whose parents refused to consent to a surgery that would have repaired an otherwise fatal congenital anomaly. Can you share your thoughts with us on this case?HD: I was the first ethicist to comment on this case because I was a friend of Dr. Molenaar, who was the final surgical decision maker for Baby Bas. A physician and I supported (...) his decision throughout the prosecution that followed. We also summarized the case in the N.T.V.G., the Dutch Magazine of Medicine. We argued In the article that parents should have the option to make nontreatment decisions. Moreover, In cases where the physician has to perform aggressive medical interventions, there certainly must be thorough and sound justification to ensure that the decision to Intervene Is in the best interest of the child.Heleen M. Dupuis, Ph.D., is Professor of Bioethics at the Leiden University School of Medicine, where she heads the Department of Metamedica and teaches in the Department of Philosophy. She is also a member of the Institutional Review Board/Ethics Committee of the Leiden University Hospital and a member of the Ethics Committee of the Royal Dutch Society of Medicine. (shrink)
In 2011 the English Court of Protection ruled that it would be unlawful to withdraw artificial nutrition and hydration from a woman, M, who had been in a minimally conscious state for 8 years. It was reported as the first English legal case concerning withdrawal of artificial nutrition and hydration from a patient in a minimally conscious state who was otherwise stable. In the absence of a valid and applicable advance decision refusing treatment, of other life-limiting pathology or excessively burdensome (...) suffering, the judgement makes it clear that the obligation on health professionals falls strongly in favour of preserving life. Although the Court sought to limit the judgement as closely as possible to the facts of the case, it is likely to have a significant impact on life-sustaining treatment decisions for people in states of low awareness. This paper outlines the main legal features of the judgement. (shrink)
w a y s h a v e b e e n . W e a l l r e m e m b e r M a r x ' s p o l e m i c a g a i n s t P r o u d h o n , t h e Manifesto's critique of "historical action [yielding] to personal inventive action, historically created conditions of emancipation to fantastic ones, and the gradual spontaneous class (...) organizations of the proletariat to an organization of society specially contrived by these inventors" (Marx and Engels, 1986, 64), and the numerous other occasions when the fathers of "scientific socialism" went a f t e r t h e " u t o p i a n s . " I n general this Marxian aversion to drawing up blueprints has been healthy, fueled at least in part by a respect for the concrete specificity of the revolutionary situation and for the agents engaged in revolutionary activity: it is not the business of Marxist intellectuals to tell the agents of revolution how they are to construct their postrevolutionary economy. (shrink)
The article responds to the objections M.D. Ashfield has raised to my recent attempt at saving epistemic contextualism from the knowability problem. First, it shows that Ashfield’s criticisms of my minimal conception of epistemic contextualism, even if correct, cannot reinstate the knowability problem. Second, it argues that these criticisms are based on a misunderstanding of the commitments of my minimal conception. I conclude that there is still no reason to maintain that epistemic contextualism has the knowability problem.
This article examines recent developments in the regulation of the medical profession in England, with particular reference to doctors working in the National Health Service (NHS). It is argued that the Health Act 1999 and associated government policies are bringing about a shift from a «light touch», self-regulatory paradigm to a government-driven, interventionist approach. It is suggested that the reason for the change is not simply a governmental concern with the quality and nature of care provided by doctors, but more (...) significantly, a concern with the cost of that care. The article offers a critique of the new regime, drawing on the socio-legal literature on regulation. Some aspects of the reforms ignore the need to persuade doctors to comply, and may therefore result in cheating or «creative compliance»; other aspects of the reforms provide doctors with opportunities to «neutralize» their impact. It concludes with an examination of the wider significance of the change in regulatory paradigm, and of the agenda for future research in this field. (shrink)
This is a longer critical notice of T.M. Scanlon's book Moral Dimensions. The main crux of the article is to investigate how Scanlon's claims about the moral significance of intentions and reactive attitudes in this book fit with the earlier contractualist ethical theory which he presented in What We Owe to Each Other.
In their essay 'Living Well', Steven M. Cahn and Christine Vitrano argue that to live a meaningful life all we must do is find personal satisfaction and enjoyment. They argue against other philosophers who claim that 'objectively valuable' activities are what make a life meaningful. There are two problems with what they argue in the essay. The first relates to a particular criticism they make of some of those philosophers taking the contrary view, in regards to the difficulty those philosophers (...) have in deeming what is and is not of objective value. The second is more specifically to do with Cahn's and Vitrano's rejection of the idea that objectively valuable activities are what make a life meaningful, worthwhile. But both problems result from their introducing morality as relevant to what makes a life meaningful or not. (shrink)
Since his death in 1979, Herbert M arcuse's influence has been steadily waning. The extent to which his work is ignored in progressive circles is curious, as M arcuse was one of the most influential radical theorists of the day during the 1960s and his work continued to be a topic of interest and controversy during the 1970s. While the waning of the revolutionary movements with which he was involved helps explain M arcuse's eclipse in popularity, the lack of new (...) texts and publications has also contributed. For while there have been a large number of new translations of works by Benjamin, Adorno, and Habermas during the past decade, few new publications of untranslated or uncollected material by M arcuse have appeared, although there have been a steady stream of books on M arcuse.1 In addition, while there has been great interest in the writings of Foucault, Derrida, Baudrillard, Lyotard, and other French "postmodern," or "poststructuralist," theorists, M arcuse did not fit into the fashionable debates concerning modern and postmodern thought.2 Unlike Adorno, M arcuse did not anticipate the postmodern attacks on reason and his dialectics were not "negative." Rather he subscribed to the project of reconstructing reason and of positing utopian alternatives to the existing society -- a dialectical imagination that has fallen out of favor in an era that rejects totalizing thought and grand visions of liberation and social reconstruction. (shrink)
: C.M. Concepcion's review of "Pornography: An Uncivil Liberty?" (Carse 1995) fundamentally misconstrues the position defended in that article. This paper examines possible sources of this misconstrual, focusing critical attention on the narrowly crafted, morally loaded notion of "pornography" that figures centrally in the original argument under review. Pornography is not a category of speech that can be characterized as having one crucial meaning or message, nor is the message of pornography easily identifiable in instances of pornographic speech. This raises (...) the problem of interpretive privilege, which haunts many of the antipornography arguments being offered in the contemporary debate, including the author's own earlier argument. (shrink)
The development of reflex theory in its Pavlovian interpretation had significant resonance in a wide range of academic research areas. Its impact on the so-called humanities was, perhaps, no less than the effect it had in medical science. The idea of the conditioned reflex suggesting a physiological explanation of behaviour patterns received a particularly warm welcome in philosophy and psychology as it provided a scientifically-based tool for a conceptual u-turn towards objectivism. This article looks into the ways these ideas contributed (...) to the formation of the Soviet language theory, namely, to the sociological interpretation of language development and speech production presented in the pioneering works of Sergej M. Dobrogaev (1873–1952). (shrink)
Perhaps no other novel has received as much attention from moral philosophers as South African writer J. M. Coetzee’s Disgrace . The novel is ethically compelling and yet no moral theory explains its force. Despite clear Kantian moments, neither rationalism nor self-respect can account for the strange ethical task that the protagonist sets for himself. Calling himself the dog man, like the ancient Cynics, this shamelessly cynical protagonist takes his cues for ethics not from humans but from animals. He does (...) not however claim much in the way of empathy or understanding of animals, and his own odd motives remain a puzzle throughout the stages of his ethical transformation. Many scholars approach Coetzee’s text through an ethics of alterity, and even argue that Disgrace is exemplary in this regard. Kristeva’s rendition of alterity ethics brings us close to the novel’s vision, and yet the novel points towards a more primordial basis for ethics in the search for meaning through the human encounter with other animal species. (shrink)