It is well-established that toddlers can correctly select a novel referent from an ambiguous array in response to a novel label. There is also a growing consensus that robust word learning requires repeated label-object encounters. However, the effect of the context in which a novel object is encountered is less well-understood. We present two embodied neural network replications of recent empirical tasks, which demonstrated that the context in which a target object is encountered is fundamental to referent selection and word (...) learning. Our model offers an explicit account of the bottom-up associative and embodied mechanisms which could support children’s early word learning and emphasises the importance of viewing behaviour as the interaction of learning at multiple timescales. (shrink)
El presente trabajo se divide en dos partes. En la primera parte, se explican las nociones fenomenológicas de temporalidad e historicidad de Maurice Merleau-Ponty, para interpretar la novela sin ficción de Javier Cercas, El Impostor. El personaje de la novela, Enric Marco, crea una identidad falsa como salvavidas a una realidad que no es capaz de ver o en la que no es capaz de existir. Explicaremos como este problema podría ser identificado, como una negación de la existencia. En la (...) segunda parte, ampliamos el análisis existencial hacia una descripción de la sociedad: cuán cerca estamos de ser Enric Marco. Acompañaremos esta segunda parte con textos breves de Merleau-Ponty, publicados al finalizar la Segunda Guerra Mundial, cuyos argumentos permiten describir las respuestas sociales a la violencia, las mismas que son semejantes a las descripciones que hace Cercas de la sociedad española, esto es, la incapacidad social para reincorporarnos o rehacernos frente a un presente confuso. (shrink)
Du Châtelet’s 1740 text Foundations of Physics tackles three of the major foundational issues facing natural philosophy in the early eighteenth century: the problem of bodies, the problem of force, and the question of appropriate methodology. This paper offers an introduction to Du Châtelet’s philosophy of science, as expressed in her Foundations of Physics, primarily through the lens of the problem of bodies.
Learning in educational settings most often emphasizes declarative and procedural knowledge. Studies of expertise, however, point to other, equally important components of learning, especially improvements produced by experience in the extraction of information: Perceptual learning. Here we describe research that combines principles of perceptual learning with computer technology to address persistent difficulties in mathematics learning. We report three experiments in which we developed and tested perceptual learning modules to address issues of structure extraction and fluency in relation to algebra and (...) fractions. PLMs focus students’ learning on recognizing and discriminating, or mapping key structures across different representations or transformations. Results showed significant and persisting learning gains for students using PLMs. PLM technology offers promise for addressing neglected components of learning: Pattern recognition, structural intuition, and fluency. Using PLMs as a complement to other modes of instruction may allow students to overcome chronic problems in learning. (shrink)
We welcome Ballantyne & Schaefer’s discussion of the issues concerning consent and use of health data for research. In response to their acknowledgement of the need for public debate and discussion, we provide evidence from our own public consultation on this topic.
Background Since the UK Abortion Act (1967), women have travelled from Ireland to the UK for legal abortion. In 2011 >4000 women did so. Knowledge and attitudes of medical students towards abortion have been published, however, this is the first such report from Ireland. Objective To investigate medical students’ attitudes towards abortion in Ireland. Methods All medical students at the University of Limerick, and physicians who graduated from the university within the previous 12 months, were invited via email to complete (...) an anonymous online survey. The questionnaire comprised 17 questions. Quantitative and qualitative analyses were performed. Results Response rate was 45% (n=169; 55% women; 88.2% <30 years of age; 66.7% Irish; 29.2% North American). Outcomes were: abortion should not be legally available (7.1%), abortion should be allowed in limited circumstances only (35.5%), abortion should be legally available upon request (55%). 72.8% of respondents were moderately/strongly prochoice (74% of women/71% of men/72% and 76% of Irish and North American respondents, respectively). Students aged >30 years were less likely to be prochoice (55%). While 95.2% believed that education on abortion should be offered within medical school curricula, 28.8% stated that they would decline to terminate pregnancies even if legally permitted. While 58.8% indicated that they might perform legal abortions once qualified, 25.7% would do so under limited circumstances only. Conclusions The majority of participants wanted education regarding abortion. Despite being predominantly prochoice, considerably fewer students, irrespective of nationality, indicated that they would perform abortions. (shrink)
In this article I claim that service-learning experiences, wherein students work directly with individuals in need—individuals from whom studentscan learn what they cannot learn elsewhere—are invaluable, and perhaps necessary, for any curriculum with an aim toward the development of ethical understanding, personal moral character and commitment, and/or conscientious citizenship, both local and global. My argument rests on Emmanuel Levinas’s philosophical ethical theory that re-envisions the ethical relation as arising out of revelation from the unique and precious Other, rather than reason (...) and the rational determinations and conceptions of the ethical agent. (shrink)
Because of the increasing number of “man-made” hazards in contemporary life, as well as the growing number of disastrous industrial accidents, interest in risk communication has burgeoned. Consequently, scholars and practitioners need to understand two of the more common responses to risk situations, the technical and democratic. This paper describes these two responses, identifies types of individuals likely to prefer each, and explains why, historically and sociologically, they are so intuitively compelling for many people. Arguing that both responses to risk (...) situations are ultimately unconducive to rational discourse, the paper identifies problematic assumptions about communication that underlie both. The paper then sketches an alternative model of risk communication that recognizes the distinct features of communication in risk-ridden situations, describes ways in which communicators can identify characteristic tensions and goals in these situations, and specifies how to use research-supported heuristics for diagnosing the principal obstacles to their communicative goals and selecting the best strategies to address these obstacles. (shrink)
The editors of this collection set out with the intention of extending the debate in the ethics of belief beyond its traditional topics, such as whether it is ever permissible to form beliefs on insufficient evidence, and if pragmatic concerns should play a role in responsible belief formation. The result is that this collection covers an expansive range of material.Some of the topics that are covered are in keeping with the traditional bounds of the literature, such as whether direct doxastic (...) control is possible , and whether normativity in epistemology is properly thought of as epistemic or ethical .Somewhat less orthodox, but still in keeping with traditional subject matter, is Battaly’s chapter, in which she usefully clarifies various ways of thinking about virtue and vice in both ethics and epistemology. Battaly’s chapter is slightly outside of th .. (shrink)
We have identified a sample of 53 societies outside of the classical Himalayan and Marquesean area that permit polyandrous unions. Our goal is to broadly describe the demographic, social, marital, and economic characteristics of these societies and to evaluate some hypotheses of the causes of polyandry. We demonstrate that although polyandry is rare it is not as rare as commonly believed, is found worldwide, and is most common in egalitarian societies. We also argue that polyandry likely existed during early human (...) history and should be examined from an evolutionary perspective. Our analysis reveals that it may be a predictable response to a high operational sex ratio favoring males and may also be a response to high rates of male mortality and, possibly, male absenteeism. Other factors may contribute, but our within-polyandry sample limits analysis. (shrink)
In defending Levinas’s ethical theory against Ricoeur’s objections in Oneself as Another, I make a two-fold argument in regard to heroic action and the ordinary ethical relation. First, I suggest a definition of the hero as she who does what is right—that is, what is ethically necessary or obligatory—even when it requires extreme sacrifice. Second, I argue that the development of virtuous character, out of which such heroic action comes, is dependent upon the asymmetrical relation between an alterior Other and (...) a self who is willing to sacrifice to do what is right. Re-orienting oneself toward the ethical relation is, itself, a sacrifice, requiring that one adopt a non-reciprocal, asymmetrical devotion to the Other. Thus, ethics, including both heroic and ordinary ethical behavior, ought not be founded on notions of friendship, symmetry, or mutuality, but rather on absolute difference, asymmetry, and self-sacrifice. (shrink)
A key dividing line in the literature on post-national citizenship concerns the role of collective identity. While some hold that a post-national form of identity is desirable in developing citizenship in contexts such as the European Union (EU), others question the defensibility of a collective identity at this supra-national level. The aim of this article is to intervene in this debate, drawing on qualitative research to consider the extent to which post-national citizenship should be accompanied by a form of post-national (...) identity. The article takes the UK as a case study, and explores tensions between the immigration policies and rhetoric of the Coalition Government since 2010 and the post-national citizenship rights of EU citizens migrating into British local communities. It draws on independently collected qualitative data from the county of Herefordshire, UK, to argue that the persistent reinforcement of national identity reproduces national lines of difference which further problematise the full realisation of European citizenship. At a theoretical level, this highlights the need for the development of post-national citizenship rights to be accompanied by a paradigmatic shift in the way that collective identity is constituted in post-national contexts. (shrink)
The world is suffering from a dearth of health care workers, and sub-Saharan Africa, an area of great need, is experiencing the worst shortage. Developed countries are making the problem worse by luring health care workers away from the countries that need them most, while developing countries do not have the resources to stem the flow or even replace those lost. Postmodern philosopher Emmanuel Levinas offers a unique ethical framework that is helpful in assessing both the irresponsibility inherent in the (...) current global health care situation and the responsibility and obligation held by the stakeholders involved in this global crisis. Drawing on Levinas’ exploration of individual freedom and self-pursuit, infinite responsibility for the Other, and the potential emergence of a just community, we demonstrate its effectiveness in explaining the health care worker crisis, and we argue in favor of a variety of policy and development assistance measures that are grounded in an orientation of non-indifference toward Others. (shrink)