This paper investigates the emotional import of literary devices deployed in fiction. Reflecting on the often-favored approach in the analytic tradition that locates fictional characters, events, and narratives as sources of readers’ emotions, I attempt to broaden the scope of analysis by accounting for how literary devices trigger non-cognitive emotions. I argue that giving more expansive consideration to literary devices by which authors present content facilitates a better understanding of how fiction engages emotion. In doing so, I also explore the (...) somatic dimension of reading fiction. (shrink)
本文旨在初步探索「限肉令」作為應對傳染病大流行和由工廠化畜牧業帶來的其他威脅的預防措施的正當性。「限肉令」並非指全面禁肉，而是以法律限制市民的人均肉品消耗量在滿足基本營養需求的範圍內。本文採用的進路是 緩解一些可能阻礙對此提案進行更宏觀、理性的思考的潛在心理拘繫。此進路參考了傅柯「日常經驗」(everyday experience) 的分析，和佛家倫理學回應全球環境倫理問題的策略。我們先以香港社會為主要案例研究，檢視形成「肉是必需的」一想法和嗜肉情結的社會模式。接著我們引入葷食心理學研究，討論嗜肉情結如何成為正面考慮「限肉令」的障 礙。我們也嘗試回應一些反對此提案的理由，包括來自自由主義 (Liberalism)的批評。 -/- This article explores the preliminary justifiability of meat restriction order as a preventive measure to the risks of pandemic and other forms of harm posed by factory farming. A meat restriction order seeks to limit citizens’ meat consumption at the level of meeting individuals’ basic nutrient needs. This article aims to loosen some potential psychological hooks that prevent a more expansive, rational deliberation of the proposal. Inspired by Michel Foucault’s analysis of “everyday experience” and the (...) Buddhist responses to global environmental issues, we investigate the social patterns that account for the formation of people’s meat commitment, using Hong Kong society as a major case study. With reference to scientific studies of meat-eaters’ psychology, we discuss how the meat commitment becomes a barrier for society to positively consider the justifiability of the proposal. We will also address a number of objections to our proposal, including those from liberalism. (shrink)
Mark Coeckelbergh (Int J Soc Robot 1:217–221, 2009) argues that robot ethics should investigate what interaction with robots can do to humans rather than focusing on the robot’s moral status. We should ask what robots do to our sociality and whether human–robot interaction can contribute to the human good and human flourishing. This paper extends Coeckelbergh’s call and investigate what it means to live with disembodied AI-powered agents. We address the following question: Can the human–AI interaction contribute to our moral (...) development? We present an empirically informed philosophical analysis of how the AI personal assistant Siri changes its users’ way of life, based on the responses obtained from 20 semi-directive individual interviews with Siri users. We identify changes in the users’ social interaction associated with the adoption of Siri. These changes include: (1) the indirect effect of reducing opportunities of human interaction, (2) the second-order effect of diminished expectations toward each other in a community, and (3) the acquired preference to obtain hassle-free interaction with Siri over human interaction. We examine them in relation to concerns that are voiced in the current debates over the rise of AI, namely the suspicion that humans could become overly reliant on AI (Danaher 2019) and the worry that social AI could impede on moral development (Fröding and Peterson, Ethics Inf Technol 23:207–214, 2012; Li, Ethics Inf Technol 23:543–550, 2021). We analyze the ethical costs that come from these changes in light of virtue ethics and address potential objections along the way. We end by offering directions for thinking about how to live with AI personal assistant while preserving favorable conditions for moral development. (shrink)
The Black Mirror episode “Arkangel” tells a disturbing story of over-parenting driven by technology. The single mother Marie’s adoption of the Arkangel system has invited overwhelmingly negative moral evaluation from philosophers. But what accounts for the moral failure of a loving and concerned parent? Is it all about her flawed character, or are there situational factors at work? In the article, I first foreground the slipperiness of technology implicated in Albert Borgmann’s notion of the “device paradigm” and Hans Jonas’s analysis (...) of modern technology. Then I analyze the character of the Arkangel system in the light of the two philosophers’ works and show how the technology turns Marie into a failing parent. In the end, I offer tentative answers to the two questions; the answers shall also shed light on the problem of under-parenting driven by digital technology. (shrink)
Facing a recent surge in anti-natalist arguments saying that human procreation is immoral, some defend human procreation by saying that procreative parenting adds meaning to parents’ life. This article examines one such defence, and argues that it does not suffice to rescue human procreation from the challenges to procreation.
This article advances an account of the nonhedonic values of horror fiction (including film). It is motivated by cases in which consuming horror fosters what theorists of education call "transformative learning" in adult students, which is a more shocking and disturbing experience than pleasurable. I first present two cases in which Polanski's Repulsion (1968) and Browning's Freaks (1932) disrupted and modified two students' experience of madness and abnormality respectively. Then I draw on Dewey's "aesthetic experience", Foucault's "experience book" and O'Leary's (...) approach to the value of fiction to give the transformative experience in question a philosophical underpinning. In the second half of the paper, I offer a close reading of Bloch's Psycho (1959), with the aim of demonstrating that it has the potential to transform the everyday experience of madness in readers. (shrink)
Humphreys and Forde argue that semantic memory is divided into separate substores for different kinds of information. However, the neuro-imaging results cited in support of this view are inconsistent and often methodologically and statistically unreliable. Our own data indicate no regional specialisation as a function of semantic category or domain and support instead a distributed unitary account.
Responding to serious environmental problems, requires urgent and fundamental shifts in our day-to-day lifestyles. This paper employs a qualitative, cross-cultural approach to explore people’s subjective self-reflections on their experiences of pro-environmental behavioral spillover in three countries; Brazil, China, and Denmark. Behavioral spillover is an appealing yet elusive phenomenon, but offers a potential way of encouraging wider, voluntary lifestyle shifts beyond the scope of single behavior change interventions. Behavioral spillover theory proposes that engaging in one pro-environmental action can catalyze the performance (...) of others. To date, evidence for the phenomenon has been mixed, and the causal processes governing relationships between behaviors appear complex, inconsistent and only partly understood. This paper addresses a gap in the literature by investigating accounts of behavioral spillover in three diverse cultural settings using qualitative semi-structured interviews. The analysis shows that while around half of participants overall who were questioned recalled spillover effects, the other half had not consciously experienced spillover. There were few significant differences across cultures, though some forms of spillover effects were reported more in some cultures than others. More environmentally-engaged participants across all three countries were significantly more likely to experience spillover than those who were less engaged. Accounts of within-domain spillovers were most commonly reported, mainly comprising waste, resource conservation and consumption-related actions. Accounts of between-domain spillover were very rare. Recollection of contextual and interpersonal spillover effects also emerged from the interviews. Our findings suggest that more conscious behavioral spillover pathways may be limited to those with pre-existing environmental values. Behavioral spillover may comprise multiple pathways incorporating conscious and unconscious processes. We conclude that targeting behavioral catalysts that generate more socially diffuse spillover effects could offer more potential than conventional spillover involving a single individual. (shrink)
Replication protein A (RPA) is the main eukaryotic single‐stranded DNA (ssDNA) binding protein, having essential roles in all DNA metabolic reactions involving ssDNA. RPA binds ssDNA with high affinity, thereby preventing the formation of secondary structures and protecting ssDNA from the action of nucleases, and directly interacts with other DNA processing proteins. Here, we discuss recent results supporting the idea that one function of RPA is to prevent annealing between short repeats that can lead to chromosome rearrangements by microhomology‐mediated end (...) joining or the formation of hairpin structures that are substrates for structure‐selective nucleases. We suggest that replication fork catastrophe caused by depletion of RPA could result from cleavage of secondary structures by nucleases, and that failure to cleave hairpin structures formed at DNA ends could lead to gene amplification. These studies highlight the important role RPA plays in maintaining genome integrity. (shrink)
Understanding spoken words involves a rapid mapping from speech to conceptual representations. One distributed feature-based conceptual account assumes that the statistical characteristics of concepts’ features—the number of concepts they occur in and likelihood of co-occurrence —determine conceptual activation. To test these claims, we investigated the role of distinctiveness/sharedness and correlational strength in speech-to-meaning mapping, using a lexical decision task and computational simulations. Responses were faster for concepts with higher sharedness, suggesting that shared features are facilitatory in tasks like lexical decision (...) that require access to them. Correlational strength facilitated responses for slower participants, suggesting a time-sensitive co-occurrence-driven settling mechanism. The computational simulation showed similar effects, with early effects of shared features and later effects of correlational strength. These results support a general-to-specific account of conceptual processing, whereby early activation of shared features is followed by the gradual emergence of a specific target representation. (shrink)
Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions has been attacked for many reasons. Key analytic terms, most importantly “paradigm,” were widely regarded as poorly defined. To many readers Structure seemed to suggest that the process of theory change is irrational, or at least non-rational. And even his characterization of normal science seemed to some readers to paint a very unflattering picture of scientists as excessively dogmatic and uncritical. More recently, Lorraine Daston has argued that the notion of “structure” that figures in (...) the title of the book, as well as in the analysis of the history of science discussed throughout the book, is “dusty and dated”. Historians of science tend to focus on the particular, in recognition that the sorts of events they study are unique. My aim in this paper is to defend Kuhn’s appeal to the notion of structure. First, I argue that Structure of Scientific Revolutions is not primarily a contribution to the history of science, despite the fact that it cites many historical sources and articles in the history of science. Consequently, it is a mistake to regard Kuhn’s appeal to the notion of structure as a case of badly written history of science. Second, I argue that insofar as the book is a contribution to philosophy, the sort of thing Kuhn means by “structure” is perfectly respectable, and is often presupposed in many philosophical studies, especially in general philosophy of science. Third, I defend Kuhn’s analysis of science, especially the enterprise of identifying the structure of scientific revolutions. (shrink)
It is safe to say that in recent years there has been no dearth of publications on well-being, happiness, and human flourishing. That is true even if we disregard the psychological literature, and focus on philosophy. In 2014 alone, at least two other books have appeared with a similar purpose and purview as Badhwar’s: Paul Bloomfield’s The Virtues of Happiness and Lorraine Besser-Jones’ Eudaimonic Ethics: The Philosophy and Psychology of Living Well . The renaissance of virtue ethics, in particular (...) the rise of neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics, has greatly stimulated renewed reflection on the concepts of happiness and well-being, on the relations between prudential value and moral goodness, the instrumental and intrinsic value of the virtues, and so on. In this context, it is not easy to come up with something that is both original and convincing. Neera Badhwar’s tightly argued Well-Being: Happiness in a Worthwhile Life goes a fair way towards being both, although I am n .. (shrink)
The debate over the central issue confronted in Closing--the role of the university and the liberal arts in the United States--has become increasingly urgent and contentious. The goal of this collection of essays is to consider what we can learn about the dilemmas confronting American culture through a consideration of both The Closing of the American Mind and the debate it has aroused. The contributors differ among themselves as to the validity of both the diagnoses and the solutions Bloom offers, (...) yet they do not engage in "Bloom-bashing" or hero-worship. The goal of the book is to place the debate over Closing into the larger context than can be achieved in a book review format. To provide the historical perspective that has been missing in the controversy over Bloom, included in this volume is Christopher Lasch's "The Great Experiment: Where Did it Go Wrong?" Also included are essays by other leading critics: John K. Roth, Frank Caucci, William K. Buckley, Milton R. Stern, Susan Bourgeois, Margaret C. Jones, Daniel Zins, Kenneth Alan Hovey, Bonnie A. Hain, John Peacock, Patricia L. Lundberg, Peter Siedlecki, Mark W. Roche, William Thickstun, Lorraine Clark, and Gerald Graff. This volume of essays does much to illuminate the issue surrounding The Closing of the American Mind. (shrink)
In “ReImagining the Quality of Life,” Lorraine Besser challenges the frameworks typically used for evaluating the quality of people’s lives, especially those with Alzheimer’s disease or those in minimally conscious states (MCS). These frameworks rely on two standards: agency and sentience. The first assumes that the absence of agency makes a life prudentially worthless (worthless to the individual whose life it is), because cognitive activity is prudentially valuable “only when it reflects agency;” whereas the second assumes that the absence (...) of pleasure makes a life prudentially worthless, because pleasure is the only experiential value. Besser argues, however, that cognitive engagement with an activity or experience that a patient finds interesting is also prudentially valuable, even if it doesn’t reflect agency, and even if it isn’t pleasurable. The interesting “describes a qualitative aspect of our experience of a robust form of cognitive engagement, which resonates with us in a fashion similar to pleasure.” Besser’s view is an important contribution to the literature on the quality of life, and to the lives of patients with Alzheimer’s or MCS. However, I challenge Besser’s view that interesting experiences need not have a positive resonance to such patients, even though they are similar to pleasure. (shrink)
Biologists, historians, lawyers, art historians, and literary critics all voice arguments in the critical dialogue about what constitutes evidence in research and scholarship. They examine not only the constitution and "blurring" of disciplinary boundaries, but also the configuration of the fact-evidence distinctions made in different disciplines and historical moments the relative function of such concepts as "self-evidence," "experience," "test," "testimony," and "textuality" in varied academic discourses and the way "rules of evidence" are themselves products of historical developments. The essays and (...) rejoinders are by Terry Castle, Lorraine Daston, Carlo Ginzburg, Ian Hacking, Mark Kelman, R. C. Lewontin, Pierre Vidal-Naquet, Mary Poovey, Donald Preziosi, Simon Schaffer, Joan W. Scott, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and Barbara Herrnstein Smith. The critical responses are by Lauren Berlant, James Chandler, Jean Comaroff, Arnold I. Davidson, Harry D. harootunian, Elizabeth Helsinger, Thomas C. Holt, Francoise Meltzer, Robert J. Richards, Lawrence Rothfield, Joel Snyder, Cass R. Sunstein, and William Wimsatt. (shrink)
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:April 3, 2010 (11:17 am) C:\Users\Milt\Desktop\backup copy of Ken's G\WPData\TYPE2902\russell 29,2 050 red.wpd 188 Reviews 1 A.yW. Brown, The Metaphysical Society (New York: Octagon, 1973), pp. 180–1. THE ETHICS OF BELIEF Sylvia Nickerson History & Philosophy of Science & Technology / U. of Toronto Toronto, on, Canada m5s 1k1 [email protected] Timothy J. Madigan. W.yK. CliVord and “The Ethics of Beliefz”. Newcastle, uk: CambridgeScholars Publishing, 2009. Pp. [x], 202. isbn (...) 1-84718-503-7. £29.99; us$44.99 (hb). The mathematician William Kingdon CliTord (1845–1879) is generally remembered as a potentially great man whose life was cut short before his genius was fully realized. During his lifetime CliTord was well known in London as a public intellectual and noted authority on science. He was also an iconoclast, a leader in the application of Darwinian principles to areas beyond biology, and a proponent of non-Euclidean geometry. Unlike other agnostics, CliTord did not mourn the loss of his religious belief, nor did he worry that a secularized society would bring about general social decay. While other scientiWc naturalists worried that a collapse of religion would destroy morality and lead to social disintegration, CliTord willingly ceded the universal truths religion oTered, embracing the uncertainty that scientiWc knowledge actually entailed. He even dared to call himself an atheist. However, CliTord’s death at age 34 curtailed the trace of his thought. What remains is consigned to his scant private notebooks and collected works. Perhaps it was the brevity of his life that has led to his neglect within the history of science; no comprehensive appraisal of his mathematical work has been written. CliTord’sbest-knownnon-mathematical statementisthat“itiswrongalways, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insuUcient evidence.” This was the statement he defended in his lecture “The Ethics of Beliefz”, which he delivered to London’s Metaphysical Society in 1876. The Metaphysical Society, founded in 1869 to promote discussion between religious believers and scientiWc rationalists, ceased operation in 1880 after members could not Wnd enough common ground to begin debate. The rationalist position CliTord argues in “The Ethics of Beliefz” stands on the far side of the spectrum within this discourse. CliTord’s immoderate stance, along with his use of biblical rhetoric to argue a secularist position, was calculated to provoke conservative intellectuals and institutions.1 When his essay appeared in the January 1877 issue April 3, 2010 (11:17 am) C:\Users\Milt\Desktop\backup copy of Ken's G\WPData\TYPE2902\russell 29,2 050 red.wpd Reviews 189 of Contemporary Review, it proved antagonistic enough that it led in part to the dismissal of James Knowles as editor. Timothy Madigan’s book W.yK. CliVord and “The Ethics of Beliefz”z provides an introduction to and analysis of CliTord’s ethical philosophy. His goal is to outline the historical context from which CliTord’s most famous essay arose, and to analyze the merits and demerits of its argument through the viewpoints of critics and freethinkers from the nineteenth century to the present. Madigan gives a brief history of the Victorian crisis of faith, CliTord’s mathematical work, and the biographical details of his life. He presents the argument CliTord makes within “The Ethics of Beliefz”, and outlines the critical response from his contemporaries, including founding members of the Metaphysical Society William George Ward and Richard H. Hutton, poet Matthew Arnold, physiologist George John Romanes, and American psychologist and philosopher William James. Madigan also discusses the positions argued by other rationalists in the 1870s,1880sandlater(Leslie Stephen, Karl Pearson, FriedrichNietzsche, Charles Peirce and Bertrand Russell) and by modern philosophers who have contributed to the rationalist/religionist debate (C.yS. Lewis, J.yL. Mackie, Michael Martin, Peter van Inwagen, Susan Haack, Anthony Quinton, and Lorraine Code). In Chapter 6 Madigan presents his own defence of CliTord’s ethics of belief. While early sections of the book provide a helpful summary of previously published work, I found Madigan’s discussion of CliTord’s writings on psychology and theory of mind particularly valuable (pp. 58–65). Madigan notes positively that CliTord’s contribution helped steer the early development... (shrink)