Wilkins & Wakefield fall short of solving the language origin puzzle because they underestimate the cognitive and linguistic capacities of great apes. A focus on ape capacities leads to the recognition of varied levels of cognition and language and to a gradualistic model of language emergence in which early hominid language skills exceed those of the apes but fall far short of those of modern humans or later fossil hominid groups.
Chimpanzee/human technological differences are vast, reflect multiple interacting behavioral processes, and may result from the increased information-processing and hierarchical mental constructional capacities of the human brain. Therefore, advanced social, technical, and communicative capacities probably evolved together in concert with increasing brain size. Interpretations of these evolutionary and species differences as continuities or discontinuities reflect differing scientific perspectives.
Literary fiction is of crucial importance in human life. It is a source of understanding and insight into the nature of the human condition, yet ever since Plato, philosophers have struggled to provide a plausible explanation of how this can be the case. For surely the fictionality - the sheer invented character - of the literary text means that fiction presents not our world, but other worlds? In Fiction and the Weave of Life, John Gibson offers a novel and (...) intriguing account of the relationship between literature and everyday life, and shows how literature can give us an understanding of our world without literally being about our world. (shrink)
The cognitivist/non-cognitivist debate about the nature and value of literary fiction has witnessed a lot of spilled ink amongst philosophers over the past decade. Gibson characterizes this debate as a conflict between two apparently incompatible intuitions: the ‘humanist’ intuition that works of literary fiction have some sort of cognitive value in telling us about the world, and the ‘sceptical’ anti-humanist intuition that such works, and their proper appreciation, are not essentially concerned with the notions of truth and knowledge. The (...) vast majority of recent writers on this issue have defended various versions of cognitivism, but the novelty of Gibson's cognitivist – or as he calls it ‘humanist’ – position consists in attempting to reconcile the two sides of the debate.Gibson thus takes seriously various sceptical arguments, primarily semantic and epistemological, to the effect that works of fiction qua fiction do not or cannot make reference to or represent the ‘real’ world and insofar as they do refer to it, they provide no evidence in themselves for forming justified beliefs about their claims. These arguments, Gibson holds, place a necessary ‘textual constraint’ on any plausible humanism, …. (shrink)
Results from two self-paced reading experiments in English are reported in which subject- and object-extracted relative clauses (SRCs and ORCs, respectively) were presented in contexts that support both types of relative clauses (RCs). Object-extracted versions were read more slowly than subject-extracted versions across both experiments. These results are not consistent with a decay-based working memory account of dependency formation where the amount of decay is a function of the number of new discourse referents that intervene between the dependents (Gibson, (...) 1998; Warren & Gibson, 2002). Rather, these results support interference-based accounts and decay-based accounts where the amount of decay depends on the number of words or on the type of noun phrases that intervene between the dependents. In Experiment 2, presentation in supportive contexts was directly contrasted with presentation in null contexts. Whereas in the null context the extraction effect was only observed during the RC region, in a supportive context the extraction effect was numerically larger and persisted into the following region, thus showing that extraction effects are enhanced in supportive contexts. A sentence completion study demonstrated that the rate of SRCs versus ORCs was similar across null and supportive contexts (with most completions being subject-extractions), ruling out the possibility that an enhanced extraction effect in supportive contexts is due to ORCs being less expected in such contexts. However, the content of the RCs differed between contexts in the completions, such that the RCs produced in supportive contexts were more constrained, reflecting the lexical and semantic content of the preceding context. This effect, which we discuss in terms of expectations/lexico-syntactic priming, suggests that the enhancement of the extraction effect in supportive contexts is due to the facilitation of the subject-extracted condition. (shrink)
In this lively undergraduate textbook, Kevin Gibson explores the relationship between ethics and the world of business, and how we can serve the interests of both. He builds a philosophical groundwork that can be applied to a wide range of issues in ethics and business, and shows readers how to assess dilemmas critically and work to resolve them on a principled basis. Using case studies drawn from around the world, he examines topics including stakeholder responsibilities, sustainability, corporate social responsibility, (...) and women and business. Because business can no longer be isolated from its effects on communities and the environment, these concerns are brought to the forefront. The book also captures the dynamic nature of business ethics in the era of globalization where jobs can be outsourced, products are made of components from scores of countries and sweatshops often provide the cheap goods the public demands. (shrink)
Gibson, Robin The concept of dying by euthanasia and indeed physician-assisted suicide is a highly emotive one. Assisted dying arouses intense feelings both in favour and against. The prospect of enduring a long drawn out dying process generates both fear and apprehension in both terminally ill and chronically ill patients. Many of them wish to choose the time and manner of their death. On the other side, passionate, mainly religious groups have campaigned long and hard to deny suffering people (...) assistance to die. As the law currently stands in Australia, there is a complete ban on both euthanasia and assistance in suicide. Even following a request by a patient, a medical practitioner who directly takes the life of his or her patient, can be charged with murder or manslaughter. Despite the repeal of laws that forbade committing or attempting to commit suicide, laws still exist which proscribe the provision of assistance to another to commit or attempt to commit suicide. (shrink)
In an earlier paper, written in reaction to those who argued that the African National Congress (ANC) had no alternative but to implement neoliberal economic policies in the context of the 'Washington Consensus', I discussed the strategic choices and ideological pitfalls of the 'political class' who took over state power in South Africa after the end of apartheid and implemented its own homegrown structural adjustment programme (Gibson 2001). Much of this transition has been scripted by political science 'transition literature' (...) and much of it is proactive, mapping out what should be done to establish a 'pacted', 'elite' democracy overseeing neoliberal economic policies (O'Donnell, Schmitter & Whitehead 1986). From another vantage point, I argued that Frantz Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth is perhaps one of the most perceptive critiques of the transition literature available. This article continues the discussion. (shrink)
John Locke is probably one of the highest-regarded English philosophers, and the first of the British empiricists. His ideas on the mind and consciousness have continued to resonate throughout philosophy and philosophical thought ever since An Essay Concerning Human Understanding first appeared in 1690. James Gibson's Locke's Theory of Knowledge and its Historical Relations was first published in 1917, and saw its fourth reprinting in 1968. Here, it is made available for the first time in paperback. This hugely detailed (...) work is an invaluable collation of Locke's theories, exploring his thoughts on the problems of knowledge, the formation of ideas, causality and the self. Furthermore, Gibson also provides an in-depth historical evaluation of the effects of these theories on contemporary philosophy as a whole, and on thinkers such as Descartes, Kant and Leibniz more specifically. As such, this book is a valuable reference work for any student of philosophy. (shrink)
Metaphysics and Transcendence takes up this story for the future. Arthur Gibson presents a new metaphysics with a genealogy based on counter-intuition and locates counter-intuition and complexity at the foundations of truth. Having devised fresh concepts on the basis of the new frontiers of science and philosophy, the author presents original explanations of transcendence arguing that just as we need revolutionary and original ways of depicting the physical world, so it is with such topics as God, miracles, the resurrection, (...) the source and identity of consciousness and reason itself. (shrink)
Nature of the problem: Testimony from scientists. Reflex action and theism (1881) by W. James. The organization of thought (1916) by A.N. Whitehead. The changing scientific scene 1900-1950 (1952) by J.B. Conant. A note on methods of analysis (1943) by H.J. Muller. The way things are (1959) by P.W. Bridgman. A definition of style (1948) by J.R. Oppenheimer.--Consequences of the problem: Testimony from artists and writers. Existentialism (1947) by J.-P. Sartre. The testimony of modern art (1957) by W. Barrett. Parts (...) of speech and punctuation (1935) by G. Stein. The waves (1931) by V. Woolf. The imperfect paradise, by W. Stevens. A note on style and the limits of language, by W. Gibson. (shrink)
This is a book about how we see: the environment around us (its surfaces, their layout, and their colors and textures); where we are in the environment; whether or not we are moving and, if we are, where we are going; what things are good for; how to do things (to thread a needle or drive an automobile); or why things look as they do.The basic assumption is that vision depends on the eye which is connected to the brain. The (...) author suggests that natural vision depends on the eyes in the head on a body supported by the ground, the brain being only the central organ of a complete visual system. When no constraints are put on the visual system, people look around, walk up to something interesting and move around it so as to see it from all sides, and go from one vista to another. That is natural vision—and what this book is about. (shrink)
Using 94 published empirical articles in academic journals as a data base, this paper provides a critical review of the methodology employed in the study of ethical beliefs and behavior of organizational members. The review revealed that full methodological detail was provided in less than one half of the articles. Further, the majority of empirical research articles expressed no concern for the reliability or validity of measures, were characterized by low response rates, used convenience samples, and did not offer a (...) theoretic framework, hypotheses, or a definition of ethics. Several recommendations, including a reviewer rating form addressing methodological decisions and inclusion of methodologists on the review panel, are offered to improve methodological rigor in published ethics research. (shrink)
Both the psychology of perception and the philosophy of perception seem to show a new face when the process is considered at its own level, distinct from that of sensation. Unfamiliar conceptions in physics, anatomy, physiology, psychology, and phenomenology are required to clarify the separation and make it plausible. But there have been so many dead ends in the effort to solve the theoretical problems of perception that radical proposals may now be acceptable. Scientists are often more conservative than philosophers (...) of science. I end, therefore, as I began, with a plea for help. (shrink)
Cognitivism in respect to the arts refers to a constellation of positions that share in common the idea that artworks often bear, in addition to aesthetic value, a significant kind of cognitive value. In this paper I concentrate on three things: (i) the challenge of understanding exactly what one must do if one wishes to defend a cognitivist view of the arts; (ii) common anti-cognitivist arguments; and (iii) promising recent attempts to defend cognitivism.
We have synthesized a 582,970-base pair Mycoplasma genitalium genome. This synthetic genome, named M. genitalium JCVI-1.0, contains all the genes of wild-type M. genitalium G37 except MG408, which was disrupted by an antibiotic marker to block pathogenicity and to allow for selection. To identify the genome as synthetic, we inserted "watermarks" at intergenic sites known to tolerate transposon insertions. Overlapping "cassettes" of 5 to 7 kilobases (kb), assembled from chemically synthesized oligonucleotides, were joined by in vitro recombination to produce intermediate (...) assemblies of approximately 24 kb, 72 kb ("1/8 genome"), and 144 kb ("1/4 genome"), which were all cloned as bacterial artificial chromosomes in Escherichia coli. Most of these intermediate clones were sequenced, and clones of all four 1/4 genomes with the correct sequence were identified. The complete synthetic genome was assembled by transformation-associated recombination cloning in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, then isolated and sequenced. A clone with the correct sequence was identified. The methods described here will be generally useful for constructing large DNA molecules from chemically synthesized pieces and also from combinations of natural and synthetic DNA segments. 10.1126/science.1151721. (shrink)
We have two aims in this paper. The first is to provide the reader with a critical guide to recent work on relativity and persistence by Balashov, Gilmore and others. Much of this work investigates whether endurantism can be sustained in the context of relativity. Several arguments have been advanced that aim to show that it cannot. We find these unpersuasive, and will add our own criticisms to those we review. Our second aim, which complements the first, is to demarcate (...) the most defensible form of relativistic endurantism. A recurring theme of this paper is that even those philosophers who do worry about relativity have not taken it seriously enough. (shrink)
In this article, we describe the influence of violations of community standards of fairness (Kahneman, Knetsch, and Thaler, 1986a) on subsequent ethical decision-making and emotions. Across two studies, we manipulated explanations for a common action, and we find that explanations that violate community standards of fairness (e.g., by taking advantage of an in crease in market power) lead to greater intentions to behave unethically than explanations that are consistent with community standards of fairness (e.g., by passing along a price increase). (...) We find that perceptions of justifiability mediate this relationship. We also find that individuals derive significant psychological benefits (greater satisfaction, greater happiness, and reduced anger) from engaging in unethical behavior following perceived violations of fairness. (shrink)
A viable theory of literary humanism must do justice to the idea that literature offers cognitive rewards to the careful reader. There are, however, powerful arguments to the effect that literature is at best only capable of offering idle visions of a world already well known. In this essay I argue that there is a form of cognitive awareness left unmentioned in the traditional vocabulary of knowledge acquisition, a form of awareness literature is particularly capable of offering. Thus even if (...) it is the case that literature has nothing interesting to give us in the way of knowledge, the literary humanist can consistently maintain that literary experience is thoroughly cognitive. (shrink)
The present study applied Ajzen's (1985) theory of planned behavior to the explanation of ethical decision making. Nurses in three hospitals were provided with scenarios that depicted inadequate patient care and asked if they would report health professionals responsible for the situation. Study results suggest that the theory of planned behavior can explain a significant amount of variation in the intent to report a colleague. Attitude toward performing the behavior explained a large portion of the variance; subjective norms explained a (...) moderate amount of the variance; and, perceived behavioral control added little to the explanation of variance. Implications for research and practice are discussed. (shrink)
It is often assumed that literary meaning is essentially linguistic in nature and that literary interpretation is therefore a purely linguistic affair. This essay identifies a variety of literary meaning that cannot be reduced to linguistic meaning. Meaning of this sort is generated not by a communicative act so much as through a creative one: the construction of a fictional world. The way in which a fictional world can bear meaning turns out to be strikingly unlike the way a sentence (...) can, and this, I argue, has important implications for the theory of interpretation. (shrink)
This study applies a theoretical framework, the theory of reasoned action, to the examination of unethical decision making in job-related situations encountered by CPAs. A survey methodology was employed in which respondents were asked to use both self-reported and randomized response techniques for reporting unethical behavior. The results indicate that individuals are unwilling to accurately report either unethical behavior or intention, particularly in situations where there is no question as to the unacceptability of the action or the potential penalty as (...) presented in the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct. Implications for the accounting profession and research are discussed. (shrink)
The so-called "Prisoner''s Dilemma" is often referred to in business ethics, but probably not well understood. This article has three parts: (1) I claim that models derived from game theory are significant in the field for discussions of prudential ethics and the practical decisions managers make; (2) I discuss using them as a practical pedagogical exercise and some of the lessons generated; (3) more speculatively, I suggest that they are useful in discussions of corporate personhood.
The case method approach to introducing ethical issues is a traditional tool for applying critical thinking skills to a specific dilemma. It allows for personal reflection and clarification of an individual's conceptual framework for deciding what is and is not ethical behavior. However, it also affords the student distance from the story line and may, through providing a retrospective critique, prevent sufficient challenge to the student to articulate and defend personal value assessments in addressing the ethical dynamics reflected in the (...) case. Providing teaching exercises that encourage the creation of language to form that conceptual framework and a comfort in using that language allows the student to not only identify ethical issues but also recognize and more effectively communicate the struggles with molding a personal values portrait to apply to such cases. (shrink)
This paper traces out the sense and the source of quine's naturalism. Quine's usage of the term 'naturalism' has two senses: his negative usage amounts to a denial of first philosophy; his affirmative usage amounts to an affirmation of scientism. He argues the former largely on the grounds of holism. He argues the latter on the grounds of unregenerate realism. As quine's holism and unregenerate realism are themselves well grounded, So therefore is his naturalization of epistemology.
Quine has long maintained in connection with his theses of under-determination of physical theory and indeterminacy of translation that there is a fact of the matter to physics but no fact of the matter to translation. In this paper, I investigate Quine's reasoning for this claim. I show that Quine's thinking about under-determination over the last twenty-five years has landed him in a contradiction: he says of two global physical theories that are empirically equivalent but logically incompatible that only one (...) is trueand that they are both true. In accord with the former position, I explain Quine'ssemantical argument for the claim that there is a fact of the matter to physics but not to translation. However, Quine has apparently come to regard this position as inconsistent with his empiricistic scruples: if both theories imply all and only true observation categoricals, then in what sense could one of them be false? Quine'strivial expedient argument construes such pairs of theories as merely two true descriptions of the same world in different terms. In accord with this latter position, I suggest that Quine is left without a way to differentiate under-determination and indeterminacy. In short, Quine's contradiction poses a serious dilemma: either only one such theory is true and his empiricism is sacrificed, or both theories are true and his distinction between under-determination and indeterminacy is sacrificed. (shrink)