Which factors influence the folk application of the concept of causation? Knobe has argued that causal judgments are primarily influenced by the moral valence of the behavior under consideration. Whereas Driver has pointed out that the data Knobe relies on can also be used to support the claim that it is the atypicality of the agent's behavior that influences our willingness to assign causality to that agent. While Knobe and Fraser have provided a further study to address the cogency of (...) this alternative explanation, we argue that they have not provided a complete analysis. We present a variation on this study that addresses the relation between atypical and moral considerations as they contribute to the application of the concept causation. Our results indicate that atypicality cannot be ignored in an analysis of the folk concept of causation. That is, Knobe and Fraser's response to Driver is inadequate. (shrink)
The current informal practice of pharmacometrics as a combination art and science makes it hard to appreciate the role that informatics can and should play in the future of the discipline and to comprehend the gaps that exist because of its absence. The development of pharmacometric informatics has important implications for expediting decision making and for improving the reliability of decisions made in model-based development. We argue that well-defined informatics for pharmacometrics can lead to much needed improvements in the efficiency, (...) effectiveness, and reliability of the pharmacometrics process. The purpose of this paper is to provide a description of the pervasive yet often poorly appreciated role of informatics in improving the process of data assembly, a critical task in the delivery of pharmacometric analysis results. First, we provide a brief description of the pharmacometric analysis process. Second, we describe the business processes required to create analysis-ready data sets for the pharmacometrician. Third, we describe selected informatic elements required to support the pharmacometrics and data assembly processes. Finally, we offer specific suggestions for performing a systematic analysis of existing challenges as an approach to defi ning the next generation of pharmacometric informatics. (shrink)
In her 2006 book ‘‘My Stroke of Insight” Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor relates her experience of suffering from a left hemispheric stroke caused by a congenital arteriovenous malformation which led to a loss of inner speech. Her phenomenological account strongly suggests that this impairment produced a global self-awareness deficit as well as more specific dysfunctions related to corporeal awareness, sense of individuality, retrieval of autobiographical memories, and self-conscious emotions. These are examined in details and corroborated by numerous excerpts from (...) Taylor’s book. Ó 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. (shrink)
Documentary film, in the words of Bill Nichols, is one of the "discourses of sobriety" that include science, economics, politics, and history-discourses that claim to describe the "real," to tell the truth. Yet documentary film, in more obvious ways than does history, straddles the categories of fact and fiction, art and document, entertainment and knowledge. And the visual languages with which it operates have quite different effects than does the written text. In the following interview conducted during the winter of (...) 1997, historian Ann-Louise Shapiro raises questions about genre-the relationship of form to content and meaning-with documentary filmmaker Jill Godmilow.In order to explore the possibilities and constraints of non-fiction film as a medium for representing history, Godmilow was asked: What are the strategies and techniques by which documentary films make meaning? In representing historical events, how does a non-fiction filmmaker think about accuracy? authenticity? invention? What are the criteria you have in mind when you call a film like The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl "dishonest"? How does the tension between making art and making history affect documentary filmmaking? Should documentary filmmakers think of themselves, in the phrase of Ken Burns, as "tribal storytellers"? What kind of historical consciousness is produced by documentary film? (shrink)
Jack and Jill have both applied for the same entry-level position at a local university. After interviewing the leading candidates, the members of the hiring committee agree that both Jack and Jill have all the necessary qualifications for appointment to the position. Both have the required education and training. Both have strong letters of recommendation from their Ph.D. supervisors and from their current employers. Both are similarly experienced and both are potentially capable of making important future contributions to (...) their chosen discipline. The members of the hiring committee also agree that Jack and Jill are superior to all other applicants for the position. In short, in the judgment of the hiring committee, they are the two best qualified candidates and both meet their potential employer's expectations concerning a successful applicant. Yet neither Jack nor Jill is clearly superior to the other. (shrink)
Jill’s paper contains several distinct threads and arguments. I will focus only on what I see as the main theses of the paper, which involve the justification or grounding of the microcanonical probability distribution of classical statistical mechanics. I’ll begin by telling the “canonical” story of the MCD. Then I will discuss Jill’s proposal. I will describe one worry that I have regarding her proposal, and I will offer a friendly amendment which seems to allay my worry.
The aim of this paper is to explore the proper content of a formal semantic theory in two respects: first, clarifying which uses of expressions a formal theory should seek to accommodate, and, second, how much information the theory should contain. I explore these two questions with respect to occurrences of demonstratives and pronouns – the so- called ‘deferred’ uses – which are often classified as non-standard or figurative. I argue that, contrary to initial impressions, they must be treated as (...) semantically identical to ordinary, perceptual uses of these expression-types, and that this finding has important repercussions for our view of the scope and limits of a semantic theory. (shrink)
This essay is concerned with the problems of justice created by spillovers. After characterizing such spillovers more precisely and relating the concept to the economist's notion of an externality, I shall then consider the moral conclusions concerning spillovers that issue from a natural rights perspective and from the perspective of welfare economics supplemented with theories of distributive justice. I shall argue that these perspectives go badly awry in taking spillovers to be the exception rather than the rule in human interactions.
This paper argues that Article 8 of the ECHR, as applied to the protection of a person’s right to wear a headscarf, is an inappropriate locus for thrashing out arguments about the right to protection of religious freedom, and that Article 9 allows for a broader legal and political analysis of the multiple meanings and impacts of religion in our lives. However, the law should not prohibit women from wearing the headscarf. Legal regulation of the headscarf should be replaced with (...) robust political debate about the many diverse and intersecting ways in which it is possible to experience womanhood, sexuality, culture, religion, race, nationality and economic security in the twenty-first century. (shrink)
There is reason to believe that people of different gender, race or age differ in spectra that are shifted relative to one another. Shifted spectra are not as dramatic as inverted spectra, but they can be used to make some of the same philosophical points.