Vigorous debate over the moral propriety of cognitive enhancement exists, but the views of the public have been largely absent from the discussion. To address this gap in our knowledge, four experiments were carried out with contrastive vignettes in order to obtain quantitative data on public attitudes towards cognitive enhancement. The data collected suggest that the public is sensitive to and capable of understanding the four cardinal concerns identified by neuroethicists, and tend to cautiously accept cognitive enhancement even as they (...) recognize its potential perils. The public is biopolitically moderate, endorses both meritocratic principles and the intrinsic value of hard work, and appears to be sensitive to the salient moral issues raised in the debate. Taken together, these data suggest that public attitudes toward enhancement are sufficiently sophisticated to merit inclusion in policy deliberations, especially if we seek to align public sentiment and policy. (shrink)
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a simple means of brain stimulation, possesses a trifecta of appealing features: it is relatively safe, relatively inexpensive and relatively effective. It is also relatively easy to obtain a device and the do-it-yourself (DIY) community has become galvanised by reports that tDCS can be used as an all-purpose cognitive enhancer. We provide practical recommendations designed to guide balanced discourse, propagate norms of safe use and stimulate dialogue between the DIY community and regulatory authorities. We call (...) on all stakeholders—regulators, scientists and the DIY community—to share in crafting policy proposals that ensure public safety while supporting DIY innovation. (shrink)
The debate over the propriety of cognitive enhancement evokes both enthusiasm and worry. To gain further insight into the reasons that people may have for endorsing or eschewing pharmacological enhancement, we used empirical tools to explore public attitudes towards PE of twelve cognitive, affective, and social domains. Participants from Canada and the United States were recruited using Mechanical Turk and were randomly assigned to read one vignette that described an individual who uses a pill to enhance a single domain. After (...) reading the vignette, participants were asked how comfortable they were with the individual using the enhancement. People were significantly more comfortable when they read about enhancement of certain CAS domains than others. We found a modest negative correlation between comfort level and the degree to which the PE was perceived as changing core features of the person. We also found a modest correlation between comfort level and the degree to which the PE was perceived as improving success in life. Finally, using a sequential mixed method technique, we found that participants who felt uncomfortable about PE use overwhelmingly focused on a lack of need and, to a lesser degree, expressed concerns about safety; those who felt comfortable about PE use most frequently mentioned the safety of the pill and its ability to provide a positive outcome. The data provide novel insights into public enthusiasms and concerns over the use of PE. (shrink)
The federal system for allocating donated livers in the United States is often criticized for allowing geographic disparities in access to livers. Critics argue that such disparities are unfair on the grounds that where one lives is morally arbitrary and so should not influence one's access to donated livers. They argue instead that livers should be allocated in accordance with the equal opportunity principle, according to which US residents who are equally sick should have the same opportunity to receive a (...) liver, regardless of where they live. In this paper, we examine a central premise of the argument for the equal opportunity principle, namely, that geographic location is a morally arbitrary basis for allocating livers. We raise some serious doubts regarding the truth of this premise, arguing that under certain conditions, factors closely associated with geographic location are relevant to the allocation of livers, and so that candidates' geographic location is sometimes a morally non-arbitrary basis for allocating livers. Geographic location is morally non-arbitrary, we suggest, since by taking it into account, the UNOS may better fulfill its central goals of facilitating the effective and efficient placement of organs for transplantation and increasing organ donation. (shrink)
Lexicalized theories of syntax often assume that verb-structure regularities are mediated by lemmas, which abstract over variation in verb tense and aspect. German syntax seems to challenge this assumption, because verb position depends on tense and aspect. To examine how German speakers link these elements, a structural priming study was performed which varied syntactic structure, verb position, and verb overlap.structural priming was found, both within and across verb position, but priming was larger when the verb position was the same between (...) prime and target. Priming was boosted by verb overlap, but there was no interaction with verb position. The results can be explained by a lemma model where tense and aspect are linked to structural choices in German. Since the architecture of this lemma model is not consistent with results from English, a connectionist model was developed which could explain the cross-linguistic variation in the production system. Together, these findings support the view that language learning plays an important role in determining the nature of structural priming in different languages. (shrink)
HMI and Ofsted modes of school inpection are described and compared. The links between these modes are stressed. The information gathering capacity of Ofsted enables it to formulate specific and authoritative advice on good curriculum and pedagogic practice and thus to influence the direction of education policy and steer the system generally.
The neural basis of human memory is incredibly complex. We argue that the diversity of neural systems underlying various forms of memory suggests that any discussion of enhancing ‘memory’ per se is too broad, thus obfuscating the biopolitical debate about human enhancement. Memory can be differentiated into at least four major systems with largely dissociable neural substrates. We outline each system, and discuss both the practical and the ethical implications of these diverse neural substrates. In practice, distinct neural bases imply (...) the possibility, and likely the necessity, of specific approaches for the safe and effective enhancement of various memory systems. In the debate over the ethical and social implications of enhancement technologies, this fine-grained perspective clarifies—and may partially mitigate—certain common concerns in enhancement debates, including issues related to safety, fairness, coercion, and authenticity. While many researchers certainly appreciate the neurobiological complexity of memory, the political debate tends to revolve around a monolithic one-size-fits-all conception. The overall project—exploring how human enhancement technologies affect society – stands to benefit from a deeper appreciation of memory’s neurobiological diversity. (shrink)
The ambiguity regarding whether a given intervention is perceived as enhancement or as therapy might contribute to the angst that the public expresses with respect to endorsement of enhancement. We set out to develop empirical data that explored this. We used Amazon Mechanical Turk to recruit participants from Canada and the United States. Each individual was randomly assigned to read one vignette describing the use of a pill to enhance one of 12 cognitive, affective or social domains. The vignettes described (...) a situation in which an individual was using a pill to enhance the relevant domain under one of two possible enhancement conditions, one perceived as enhancing above the norm, what most people recognize as a clear case of enhancement, whereas the other perceived as enhancing towards the norm, with the individual using the enhancement having a modest, but subclinical deficit. Participants were asked how comfortable they were with the individual using the enhancement and about the impact the enhancement might have had in the individuals’ success in life. We found that irrespective of the domain to be enhanced, participants felt significantly more comfortable with ETN than with EAN, and they regarded the enhancement intervention as contributing to greater success in life with ETN rather than EAN. These data demonstrate that the therapy enhancement distinction is morally salient to the public, and that this distinction contributes to the angst that people feel when considering the propriety of CAS enhancement. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that, for Nietzsche, the will to power is a kind of élan vital, i.e., vital impulse, force or drive. In living creatures, it is a drive to express their natures. In human beings, it is complex and must be developed in stages. The initial stages include becoming independent and striving for freedom of spirit and expression. Of the few that achieve the last stage, some will become the Übermensch or superior persons who will achieve great (...) creative acts and in so doing enhance the capabilities of all humans. Nietzsche spoke as if he were one of the free spirits, but implicit in his writings is the idea that he is an exemplar of the Übermensch. (shrink)
This paper offers a brief guide to implementation research and some of the conceptual and methodological issues it raises. In the course of reviewing investigations of the import of aspects of the 1988 Education Reform Act, it also considers the issues posed for education policy studies in a context where the 'centre' is connected to a dispersed and differentiated periphery.
In this paper, I give examples of the similarities in thought which I have found in the works of philosophers and thinkers of ancient Greece and ancient India. Being a comparative philosopher, I have worked with both traditions for many years. In fact, the more I do research in both traditions, the more similarities I have found in various views or perspectives, beliefs and values.After briefly explaining some of the similarities, I argue that an ongoing exploration and comparison of these (...) two great traditions can help humans to understand the origins of knowledge, especially philosophical knowledge, and that because the study involves both Western and non-Western traditions, it will require comparative philosophers to undertake the study. Furthermore, since the study will involve research concerning the two cultures, anthropologists, linguists, and some historians will also be needed in this undertaking. (shrink)
We argue that van der Velde's & de Kamps's model does not solve the binding problem but merely shifts the burden of constructing appropriate neural representations of sentence structure to unexplained preprocessing of the linguistic input. As a consequence, their model is not able to explain how various neural representations can be assigned to sentences that are structurally ambiguous.
In a seminal and distinguished lecture published a little over thirty years ago, Sir Richard Southern examined the exercise of patronage as a means of government and as an instrument of social change in England in the reign of King Henry I. Focusing on the careers of some of the king's servants who rose in wealth and status by working in his administration, Southern elucidated their opportunities and methods of advancement, their rewards, and their manipulation of power and position to (...) bolster their local authority. In the years since Southern wrote, the important themes he opened up about these servants have been reexamined and developed by a number of scholars. These themes are further illuminated by the career of one of the most important of Henry's servants, Eustace Fitz John, lord of Malton and Alnwick, who rose from relatively obscure origins to a position of considerable prominence in the government of northern England. Eustace's career also tells us much about the means used by Henry I to complete and consolidate the Norman conquest of the north, integrate the region within the Norman system of government, and provide for its security and about the cross-border relationships of his northern administrators. A study of Eustace's career is additionally valuable because it throws light on many important aspects of the history of King Stephen's reign and the reign of Henry II. (shrink)
Fitz-Herbert, John; Kelly, Gerard The 'pastoral care of the sick' is one of the important responses to the gospel that occurs in almost every parish. Faithful Sunday parishioners visit other parishioners week-in and week-out. They put into deed the concern of the believing community for the one who is unable to gather with the Sunday community for eucharist. They bring holy communion as well as friendship and their pastoral concern to the person being visited. Sometimes it happens that this (...) may be the only visitor the one who is housebound welcomes into their home during the week. A truly terrifying thought in this age that proclaims to value connectedness and being linked into one or more networks! (shrink)
IN the recently published Life by I.eslie Stephen of his brother, Fitz- James, there is an account of a school to which the latter went when he was a boy. The teacher, a certain Mr. Guest, used to converse with his pupils in this wise: "Gurney, what is the difference between justification and sanctification?- Stephen, prove the omnipotence of God " etc. In the midst of our Harvard freethinking and indifference we are prone to imagine that here at your (...) good old orthodox College conversation continues to be somewhat upon this order; and to show you that we at Harvard have not lost all interest in these vital subjects, I have brought with me tonight something like a sermon on justification by faith to read to you, --I mean an essay in justification of faith, a defence of our right to adopt a believing attitude in religious matters, in spite of the fact that our merely logical intellect may not have been coerced. 'The Will to Believe,' accordingly, is the title of my paper. (shrink)
Legal responses to battered women who kill have long animated scholarly debate and law reform activity. In September 2012 after 47 years of alleged abuse, Frenchwoman Jacqueline Sauvage fatally shot her abusive husband three times in the back. The subsequent contested trial, conviction for murder, unsuccessful appeal and later presidential pardon of Sauvage thrust the French law of self-defence into the spotlight. The Sauvage case raises important questions surrounding the adequacy of the French criminal law in this area, the ongoing (...) proliferation of gendered stereotypes in law and the need for reform. In the wake of the Sauvage case, this article provides a timely analysis of the gendered law of self-defence in France. Drawing from an in-depth analysis of the judgments imposed in the Sauvage case, this article examines the adequacy of French legal responses to battered women who kill and ignites an argument for further law reform. (shrink)
We explore the understanding of conscious states in terms of spatio-temporal dynamics through modelling a mobile agent. Conscious states are associated with an agent's spontaneous and deterministic fluctuation between attachment to and detachment from the surroundings. It is because of this fluctuating nature, we argue, that an agent can perceive structure in the world. Perception requires a conscious state in physical devices. This is a central concern of this paper, and we examine it by simulating a mobile agent equipped with (...) an interconnected Fitz-Hugh-Nagumo (FHN) neuron network with delayed signal transmissions. The agent can move around a space by sensing the environment pattern through the input neurons and computing the motor outputs via the FHN network. The agent shows a variety of motion styles and a spontaneous selection of motion styles responding to the surroundings. Such a phenomenon is named embodied chaotic itinerancy (ECI), as an extension of chaotic itinerant dynamics, which is known to be a typical dynamic with a high degree of freedom. We take this selective mode of response to be significant, particularly those interacting with spatial pattern, as an inevitable property of conscious states. (shrink)
Legal judgment writing mobilises a process of story-telling, drawing on existing judicial discourses, precedents and practices to create a narrative relevant to the specific case that is articulated by the presiding judge. In the Feminist Judgments projects feminist scholars and activists have sought to challenge and reinterpret legal judgments that have disadvantaged, discriminated against or denied women’s experiences. This paper reflects on the process of writing as a feminist judge in the Australian Project, in an intimate homicide case, R v (...) Middendorp. Drawing on the work of Judith Butler on intelligibility, iterability and the communality of violence and vulnerability, this article argues that feminist judgments necessarily require some uncomfortable compromises with unjust gendered institutions. While ‘donning the robes’ may be an uncomfortable process, a feminist re-articulation of the law’s carceral power serves to unsettle and challenge some aspects of gendered oppression, even though it cannot unsettle the operation of the institution. The article concludes that effective feminist interventions by members of the judiciary may require donning robes that are not entirely comfortable in order to persuade and advocate for change. (shrink)
The book has three main parts. Part 1, “Painting the Land”, opens by considering the emergence of landscape painting in the West from decorative pictures and then displays the possibilities for the sublime which were opened up when landscape painting per se had finally emerged. The painters who receive the most detailed discussion are Fitz Hugh Lane, Thomas Cole, and John Constable. Casey notes that the recent appearance of landscape painting in Western culture is a local phenomenon, and accordingly (...) ends part 1 with a comparatively brief—but necessary and illuminating—treatment of Northern Sung landscape works from the tenth to twelfth centuries A.D.. The main philosophical concern of part 1 is to make clear what it is that representations of landscapes do, and how the task of relocating the all-encompassing landscape in a restricted representational space navigates among the decorative, the painterly, and the topographic. (shrink)