Introduction -- John Locke and the problem of personal identity : the principium individuationis, personal immortality, and bodily resurrection -- On separation and immortality : Descartes and the nature of the soul -- On materialism and immortality or Hobbes' rejection of the natural argument for the immortality of the soul -- Henry More and John Locke on the dangers of materialism : immateriality, immortality, immorality, and identity -- Robert Boyle : on seeds, cannibalism, and the resurrection of the body -- (...) Locke's theory of personal identity in its context : a reassessment of classic objections. (shrink)
Overall this book is very good at doing what it claims to do, namely, providing an effective guidebook to Descartes and his Meditations. It should prove quite useful for both graduate and undergraduate students who are reading Descartes and for their teachers. The strengths of the book include a good overview of Descartes and his context, a well developed focus on the main arguments, clear examples highlighting important claims, and good referrals to secondary literature of the type a student or (...) faculty member is likely to find in an adequate academic library. The book is broken into three parts, with part 2 being the most substantive. (shrink)
Perez-Rodriguez and de la Fuente (2017) assume that although human races do not exist in a biological sense (“geneticists and evolutionary biologists generally agree that the division of humans into races/subspecies has no defensible scientific basis,” they exist only as “sociocultural constructions” and because of that maintain an illusory reality, for example, through “racialized” practices in medicine. Agreeing with the main postulates formulated in the article, we believe that the authors treat this problem in a superficial manner and have failed (...) to capture the current state of the field of knowledge in science and the humanities. In our commentary, we want to highlight two main omissions, and to notice three important implications for “a postracial medicine.”. (shrink)
This study examines the conflation of terms such as “knowledge” and “understanding” in peer-reviewed literature, and tests the hypothesis that little current research clearly distinguishes between importantly distinct epistemic states. Two sets of data are presented from papers published in the journal Public Understanding of Science. In the first set, the digital text analysis tool, Voyant, is used to analyze all papers published in 2014 for the use of epistemic success terms. In the second set of data, all papers published (...) in Public Understanding of Science from 2010–2015 are systematically analyzed to identify instances in which epistemic states are empirically measured. The results indicate that epistemic success terms are inconsistently defined, and that measurement of understanding, in particular, is rarely achieved in public understanding of science studies. We suggest that more diligent attention to measuring understanding, as opposed to mere knowledge, will increase efficacy of scientific outreach and communication efforts. (shrink)
The scientific community, we hold, often provides society with knowledge—that the HIV virus causes AIDS, that anthropogenic climate change is underway, that the MMR vaccine is safe. Some deny that we have this knowledge, however, and work to undermine it in others. It has been common to refer to such agents as “denialists”. At first glance, then, denialism appears to be a form of skepticism. But while we know that various denialist strategies for suppressing belief are generally effective, little is (...) known about which strategies are most effective. We see this as an important first step toward their remediation. This paper leverages the approximate comparison to various forms of philosophical skepticism to design an experimental test of the efficacy of four broad strategies of denial at suppressing belief in specific scientific claims. Our results suggest that assertive strategies are more effective at suppressing belief than questioning strategies. (shrink)
Science communication via testimony requires a certain level of trust. But in the context of ideologically-entangled scientific issues, trust is in short supply—particularly when the issues are politically ‘entangled’. In such cases, cultural values are better predictors than scientific literacy for whether agents trust the publicly-directed claims of the scientific community. In this paper, we argue that a common way of thinking about scientific literacy—as knowledge of particular scientific facts or concepts—ought to give way to a second-order understanding of science (...) as a process as a more important notion for the public’s trust of science. (shrink)
The goals and tasks of neuroethics formulated by Farahany and Ramos (2020) link epistemological and methodological issues with ethical and social values. The authors refer simultaneously to the social significance and scientific reliability of the BRAIN Initiative. They openly argue that neuroethics should not only examine neuroscientific research in terms of “a rigorous, reproducible, and representative neuroscience research process” as well as “explore the unique nature of the study of the human brain through accurate and representative models of its function (...) and dysfunction”, but also its responsibilities or social consequences. In our commentary, we would like to concentrate on problem selection, which is shortly noticed by Farahany and Ramos, and by BRAIN Initiative’s Neuroethics Report itself. The document raises an important issue related to problem selection, which is strengthening or perpetuating existing prejudices and biases by choosing a research subject: “scientists are prompted to consider how the questions they choose to study in the laboratory might amplify existing biases.” This leads to several further problems: what constitutes bias?; how biases may be embedded in the selection of research programs?; is it possible to conduct completely unbiased research?; who should be a gatekeeper in the case of research that may amplify biases? We try to notice possible answers to these questions in the context of the research on differences (e.g., cognitive, medical, behavioral) between human populations. (shrink)
The food supply is complicated and consumers are increasingly calling for labeling on food to be more informative. In particular, consumers are asking for the labeling of food derived from genetically modified organisms based on health, safety, and environmental concerns. At issue is whether the labels that are sought would accurately provide the information desired. The present study examined consumer perceptions of health, safety and the environment for foods labeled organic, natural, fat free or low fat, GMO, or non-GMO. Findings (...) indicated that respondents consistently believed that foods labeled GMO are less healthy, safe and environmentally-friendly compared to all other labels. These results suggest that labels mean something to consumers, but that a disconnect may exist between the meaning associated with the label and the scientific consensus for GMO food. These findings may provide insight for the development of labels that provide information that consumers seek. (shrink)
Given that empathy allows people to form and maintain satisfying social relationships with other subjects, it is no surprise that this is one of the most studied phenomena in the area of human–robot interaction. But the fact that the term ‘empathy’ has strong social connotations raises a question: can it be applied to robots? Can we actually use social terms and explanations in relation to these inanimate machines? In this article, I analyse the range of uses of the term empathy (...) in the field of HRI studies and social robotics, and consider the substantial, functional and relational positions on this issue. I focus on the relational perspective presented by Luisa Damiano and Paul Dumouchel, who interpret emotions as being the result of affective coordination. I also reflect on the criteria that should be used to determine when, in such relations, we are dealing with actual empathy. (shrink)
Kohlberg's theory of moral development explores the roles of cognition and emotion but focuses primarily on cognition. Contemporary post?formal theories lead to the conclusion that skills resulting from cognitive?affective integration facilitate consistency between moral judgement and moral behaviour. Rest's four?component model of moral development delineates these skills specifically. The components, moral motivation, moral sensitivity, moral reasoning and moral character, operate as multidimensional processes that facilitate moral development and subsequently promote moral behaviour. The relationships between these components have been relatively unexplored, (...) thereby missing the opportunity to unpack the processes underlying moral growth and development. In this study, moral motivation (spirituality), moral sensitivity (post?formal skills) and moral reasoning are operationalized to examine the mediational effects of moral sensitivity of medical students. In the complex moral environment of medical students opportunities arise to question values and develop cognitive?affective skills, among them spirituality and post?formal thinking which are linked to increases in post?conventional moral reasoning. The models tested indicate that moral sensitivity mediates the relationship between moral motivation and moral reasoning. (shrink)
In recent years, countries have begun to establish ministries of transitional justice as part of political transitions from authoritarianism to democracy or from conflict to peace. This may reflect a broader historical trend in the administration of TJ, which has evolved from isolated offices within a particular ministry to ad hoc cross-ministry coordinating bodies to the establishment of dedicated ministries. The reasons for the establishment of specific ministries to pursue TJ, what we call ministerialization, have not attracted scholarly attention. This (...) article explores the causes and likely consequences of this development. In particular, it applies international relations, comparative politics, and public policy theories to explain the phenomenon. Contrary to some TJ literature that is concerned about hegemonic transnational discourse, international actors have played little to no role in shaping how TJ is bureaucratically managed. Rather, based upon fieldwork in Solomon Islands and Tunisia, the article concludes that ministerialization has been the result of domestic policy entrepreneurship. For TJ ministries to become a norm, however, more transnational actors will need to be convinced of the benefits of such an institutional arrangement. (shrink)
The present study is the first to measure event-related potentials associated with the processing of the emotional Stroop task with the use of an orthogonal factorial manipulation for emotional valence, arousal, and subjective significance. The current study aimed to investigate concurrently the role of the three dimensions describing the emotion-laden words for interference control measured in the classical version of the EST paradigm. The results showed that reaction times were affected by the emotional valence of presented words and the interactive (...) effect of valence and arousal. The expected emotional arousal effect was only found in behavioral results for neutrally valenced words. Electrophysiological results showed valence and subjective significance correlated with the amplitude differences in the P2 component. Moreover, the amplitude of the N450 component varied with the level of subjective significance. This study also demonstrated that exploratory event-related potential analysis provides additional information beyond the classical component-based analysis. The obtained results show that cognitive control effects in the EST may be altered by manipulation in the subjective significance dimension. (shrink)
We present a dual tableau system, RLK, which is itself a deterministic decision procedure verifying validity of K-formulas. The system is constructed in the framework of the original methodology of relational proof systems, determined only by axioms and inference rules, without any external techniques. Furthermore, we describe an implementation of the system RLK in Prolog, and we show some of its advantages.
We present a dual tableau system, RLK, which is itself a deterministic decision procedure verifying validity of K-formulas. The system is constructed in the framework of the original methodology of relational proof systems, determined only by axioms and inference rules, without any external techniques. Furthermore, we describe an implementation of the system in Prolog, and we show some of its advantages.
A new deduction system for deciding validity for the minimal decidable normal modal logic K is presented in this article. Modal logics could be very helpful in modelling dynamic and reactive systems such as bio-inspired systems and process algebras. In fact, recently the Connectionist Modal Logics has been presented, which combines the strengths of modal logics and neural networks. Thus, modal logic K is the basis for these approaches. Soundness, completeness and the fact that the system itself is a decision (...) procedure are proved in this article. The main advantages of this approach are: first, the system is deterministic, i.e. it generates one proof tree for a given formula; second, the system is a validity-checker, hence it generates a proof of a formula ; and third, the language of deduction and the language of a logic coincide. Some of these advantages are compared with other classical approaches. (shrink)
An automatic theorem prover for a proof system in the style of dual tableaux for the relational logic associated with modal logic K has been introduced. Although there are many well-known implementations of provers for modal logic, as far as we know, it is the first implementation of a specific relational prover for a standard modal logic. There are two main contributions in this paper. First, the implementation of new rules, called (k1) and (k2), which substitute the classical relational rules (...) for composition and negation of composition in order to guarantee not only that every proof tree is finite but also to decrease the number of applied rules in dual tableaux. Second, the implementation of an order of application of the rules which ensures that the proof tree obtained is unique.As a consequence, we have implemented a decision procedure for modal logic K. Moreover, this work would be the basis for successive extensions of this logic, such as T, B and S4. (shrink)
Supervaluation is a method which has been invented to deal with the reference failure. In his 1975 paper K. Fine suggested that it might be applied to the analysis of the phenomenon of vagueness as well. The paper tries to assess the pros and cons of the supervaluation theory of vagueness. Supervaluation provides us with the means for analysing vagueness without eliminating it from the language, and allows to solve the main paradox connected with vagueness; i.e. the sorities paradox. The (...) preservation of classical logic was thought to be one of its main virtues. The solution to sorities which supervaluationism proposes is a very counterintuitive one, however. Moreover, it seems that it does not preserve classical logic after all. Besides, the theory of supervaluation is not able to handle the higher-order vagueness. Nevertheless it remains one of most attractive semantic theories of vagueness available. In conection with the objections raised against supervaluationism arises the problem concerning the interpretation of the meaning of the supervaluationism's key notion, namely the notion of supertruth. The paper offers one such interpretation. (shrink)
"Examines ethical, religious, and aesthetic dimensions of the environment from several different disciplines related to the humanities including anthropology, literature, philosophy, religious studies, and history, with examples drawn from Confucianism, aboriginal Australia, Moby-Dick, liberal democracies, Ken Wilber, Joanna Macy, and Gary Snyder"--Provided by publisher.
The question of whether AI systems such as robots can or should be afforded moral agency or patiency is not one amenable either to discovery or simple reasoning, because we as societies constantly reconstruct our artefacts, including our ethical systems. Consequently, the place of AI systems in society is a matter of normative, not descriptive ethics. Here I start from a functionalist assumption, that ethics is the set of behaviour that maintains a society. This assumption allows me to exploit the (...) theoretical biology of sociality and autonomy to explain our moral intuitions. From this grounding I extend to consider possible ethics for maintaining either human- or of artefact-centred societies. I conclude that while constructing AI systems as either moral agents or patients is possible, neither is desirable. In particular, I argue that we are unlikely to construct a coherent ethics in which it it is ethical to afford AI moral subjectivity. We are therefore obliged not to build AI we are obliged to. (shrink)
A CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title 2012! Contemporary picturebooks open up spaces for philosophical dialogues between people of all ages. As works of art, picturebooks offer unique opportunities to explore ideas and to create meaning collaboratively. This book considers censorship of certain well-known picturebooks, challenging the assumptions on which this censorship is based. Through a lively exploration of children's responses to these same picturebooks the authors paint a way of working philosophically based on respectful listening and creative and authentic interactions, rather (...) than scripted lessons. This dialogical process challenges much current practice in education. The authors propose that a courageous and critical practice of listening is central to the facilitation of mutually educative dialogue. This book will be of interest to scholars and students of education studies, philosophy of education, literacy teaching and learning, children's literature, childhood and pedagogy. (shrink)
SummaryIt has been argued that clinical medicine should be regarded as a relatively autonomous science. While it draws upon other sciences which variously contribute to medical knowledge, it is not just an “application” of any of these, alone or in combination. Its contributions to medical knowledge are made within the context of patient care (the term “clinical medicine” is used here to emphasize this matter). It is distinct from other sciences in its domain of inquiry and its approach to this (...) domain, studying relationships between events and processes of many kinds and levels as they occur in the human organism. To the fullest extent possible (and to an extent not possible elsewhere) these relationships are investigated as they occur within the living organism. Arguments providing logical justification for this approach have been offered. The practical justification of its approach, and of clinical medicine itself, rests in its accomplishments. Various possible objections to the scientific status of clinical medicine have been discussed and found lacking in force. I have no doubt that there might be other objections. However, these would also, I believe, be found on examination to result from too restrictive definitions of “science,” unacceptable in their exclusion also of other recognized sciences, or from lack of familiarity with modern clinical medicine. (shrink)
Conferring legal personhood on purely synthetic entities is a very real legal possibility, one under consideration presently by the European Union. We show here that such legislative action would be morally unnecessary and legally troublesome. While AI legal personhood may have some emotional or economic appeal, so do many superficially desirable hazards against which the law protects us. We review the utility and history of legal fictions of personhood, discussing salient precedents where such fictions resulted in abuse or incoherence. We (...) conclude that difficulties in holding “electronic persons” accountable when they violate the rights of others outweigh the highly precarious moral interests that AI legal personhood might protect. (shrink)