Recent scientific findings about human decision making would seem to threaten the traditional concept of the individual conscious will. The will is threatened from "below" by the discovery that our apparently spontaneous actions are actually controlled and initiated from below the level of our conscious awareness, and from "above" by the recognition that we adapt our actions according to social dynamics of which we are seldom aware. In Distributed Cognition and the Will, leading philosophers and behavioral scientists consider how much, (...) if anything, of the traditional concept of the individual conscious will survives these discoveries, and they assess the implications for our sense of freedom and responsibility. The contributors all take science seriously, and they are inspired by the idea that apparent threats to the cogency of the idea of will might instead become the basis of its reemergence as a scientific subject. They consider macro-scale issues of society and culture, the micro-scale dynamics of the mind/brain, and connections between macro-scale and micro-scale phenomena in the self-guidance and self-regulation of personal behavior. Contributors: George Ainslie, Wayne Christensen, Andy Clark, Paul Sheldon Davies, Daniel C. Dennett, Lawrence A. Lengbeyer, Dan Lloyd, Philip Pettit, Don Ross, Tamler Sommers, Betsy Sparrow, Mariam Thalos, Jeffrey B. Vancouver, Daniel M. Wegner, Tadeusz W. ZawidzkiDon Ross is Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Finance, Economics, and Quantitative Methods at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Professor of Economics at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. David Spurrett is Professor of Philosophy at the Howard College Campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Harold Kincaid is Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Director of the Center for Ethics and Values in the Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. G. Lynn Stephens is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. (shrink)
In 1941 Norman Kemp Smith argued that Hume was not a sceptic but a proponent of a doctrine of natural belief. He supported this thesis by saying that Hume embraced Hutcheson's doctrine of the the subordination of reason to passion in the area of morals and extended it to all matters of belief. Against this unified interpretation Norton contends that there are in effect two Humes: a sceptic in matters of belief but not a sceptic in moral matters. Norton develops (...) his interpretation through historical research on the problems to which Hume was responding in his philosophical writings. The first Hume opposed the Hobbesian negation of real moral standards with his positive, commonsense based moral theory; the second Hume opposed the dogmatisms of his day with a thoroughgoing philosophical scepticism. (shrink)
In the field of computability and algorithmicity, there have recently been two essays that are of great interest: Peter Slezak's "Descartes's Diagonal Deduction," and David Deutsch's "Quantum Theory, the Church-Turing Principle and the Universal Quantum Computer." In brief, the former shows that Descartes' Cogito argument is structurally similar to Godel's proof that there are statements true but cannot be proven within a formal system such as Principia Mathematica, while Deutsch provides strong arguments for believing that the universe can be (...) represented as a Turing machine. King contends that the conjoining of Slezak's analysis with Deutsch's provides a perspective from which it is possible to argue that a scientific theology can be taken a little more seriously at present than in the past. , , , , In the field of computability and algorithmicity, there have recently been two essays that are of great interest: Peter Slezak's "Descartes's Diagonal Deduction," and David Deutsch's "Quantum Theory, the Church-Turing Principle and the Universal Quantum Computer." In brief, the former shows that Descartes' Cogito argument is structurally similar to Godel's proof that there are statements true but cannot be proven within a formal system such as Principia Mathematica, while Deutsch provides strong arguments for believing that the universe can be represented as a Turing machine. King contends that the conjoining of Slezak's analysis with Deutsch's provides a perspective from which it is possible to argue that a scientific theology can be taken a little more seriously at present than in the past. (shrink)
Astrolabes serving all latitudes are very rare. This recently rediscovered sixteenth-century Spanish example raises a host of questions which can only be addressed by considering all other such instruments and the few available textual sources. The instruments can all be traced back, not always directly, to an invention of the eleventh-century Andalusian astronomer Ali ibn Khalaf, preserved in the Old Castillian Libros del Saber de Astronomía of King Alfonso X. The design of this particular astrolabe and the engraving on it (...) are investigated in detail, and the as yet unidentified maker is associated with the circle around Juan de Herrera, architect of the palace-monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. (shrink)
"Margaret L. King has put together a highly representative selection of readings from most of the more significant—but by no means the most obvious—texts by the authors who made up the movement we have come to call the 'Enlightenment.' They range across much of Europe and the Americas, and from the early seventeenth century until the end of the eighteenth. In the originality of the choice of texts, in its range and depth, this collection offers both wide coverage and striking (...) insights into the intellectual transformation which has done more than any other to shape the world in which we live today. It is _simply the best introduction to the subject now available_."_ —Anthony Pagden, UCLA, and author of _The Enlightenment and Why It Still Matters_ Contents:_ Chronology, Introduction _Chapter One - Casting Out Idols: 1620–1697_ _Idols, or false notions: _Francis Bacon, _The New Instrument_ _I think, therefore I am: _René Descartes, Discourse on Method _God, or Nature: _Baruch Spinoza, _Ethics_ _The system of the world: _Isaac Newton, _Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy_ _He searched for truth throughout his life: _Pierre Bayle, _Historical and Critical Dictionary_ _Chapter Two - _The Learned Maid: 1638–1740 _A face raised toward heaven:_ Anna Maria van Schurman, _Whether the Study of Letters Befits a Christian Woman_ _The worlds I have made:_ Margaret Cavendish, _The Blazing World_ _A finer sort of cattle:_ Bathsua Makin, _An Essay to Revive the Ancient Education of Gentlewomen_ _I warn you of the world:_ Madame de Maintenon, _Letter: On the Education of the Demoiselles of Saint-Cyr_, and _Instruction: On the World_ _The daybreak of your reason:_ Émilie Du Châtelet, _Fundamentals of Physics_ _Chapter Three - _A State of Perfect Freedom: 1689–1695 _The chief criterion of the True Church:_ John Locke, _Letter on Toleration_ _Freedom from any superior power on earth:_ John Locke, _Second Treatise on Civil Government_ _A white paper, with nothing written on it:_ John Locke, _Essay Concerning Human Understanding_ _Let your rules be as few as possible:_ John Locke, _Some Thoughts Concerning Education_ _From death, Jesus Christ restores all to life:_ John Locke, _The Reasonableness of Christianity, as Delivered in the Scriptures_ _Chapter Four - All Things Made New: 1725–1784_ _In the wilderness, they are reborn:_ Giambattista Vico, _The New Science_ _Without these Names, nothing can be known,_ Carl Linnaeus, _System of Nature_ _All the clouds at last are lifted:_ Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, _The Successive Advancement of the Human Mind_ _A genealogical or encyclopedic tree of knowledge:_ Jean le Rond d’Alembert, _Preliminary Discourse_ _Dare to know! :_ Immanuel Kant, _What Is Enlightenment?_ _Chapter Five - Mind, Soul, and God: 1740–1779_ _The narrow limits of human understanding:_ David Hume, _Anof a Book Lately Published_ _The soul is but an empty word:_ Julien Offray de La Mettrie, _Man a Machine_ _All is reduced to sensation:_ Claude Adrien Helvétius, _On the Mind_ _An endless web of fantasies and falsehoods:_ Paul-Henri Thiry, baron d’Holbach, _Common Sense_ _Let each believe that his own ring is real:_ Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, _Nathan the Wise_ _Chapter Six - Crush That Infamous Thing: 1733–1764_ _This is the country of sects:_ Voltaire, _Philosophical Letters_ _Disfigured by myth, until enlightenment comes:_ Voltaire, _The Culture and Spirit of Nations_ _The best of all possible worlds:_ Voltaire, _Candide_ _Are we not all children of the same God?:_ Voltaire, _Treatise on Tolerance_ _If a book displeases you, refute it! :_ Voltaire, _Philosophical Dictionary_ _Chapter Seven - Toward the Greater Good: 1748–1776_ _Things must be so ordered that power checks power,_ Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu, _The Spirit of the Laws_ _Complete freedom of trade must be ensured:_ François Quesnay, _General Maxims for the Economic Management of an Agricultural Kingdom_ _The nation's war against the citizen: Cesare_ Beccaria, _On Crimes and Punishments_ _There is no peace in the absence of justice:_ Adam Ferguson, _An Essay on the History of Civil Society_ _Led by an invisible hand:_ Adam Smith, _An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations_ _Chapter Eight - Encountering Others: 1688–1785_ _Thus died this great man:_ Aphra Behn, _Oroonoko: or The Royal Slave_ _Not one sins the less for not being Christian: _Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, _Embassy Letters_ _Do you not restore to them their liberty?:_ Guillaume-Thomas Raynal, _Philosophical and Political History of European Colonies and Commerce in the Two Indies_ _Some things which are rather interesting:_ Captain James Cook, _Voyage towards the South Pole, and Round the World_ _The inner genius of my being:_ Johann Gottfried von Herder, _Ideas for a Philosophy of the History of Humankind_ _Chapter - Nine Citizen of Geneva: 1755–1782_ _The most cunning project ever to enter the human mind: _Jean-Jacques Rousseau, _Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Human Inequality_ _The supreme direction of the General Will:_ Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract _Two lovers from a small town at the foot of the Alps,_ Jean-Jacques Rousseau, _Julie, or the New Heloise_ _Build a fence around your child’s soul:_ Jean-Jacques Rousseau, _Emile, or On Education_ _This man will be myself:_ Jean-Jacques Rousseau, _Confessions_ _Chapter Ten - Vindications of Women: 1685–1792_ _No higher design than to get her a husband:_ Mary Astell, _Reflections on Marriage_ _The days of my bondage begin:_ Anna Stanisławska, _Orphan Girl_ _A dying victim dragged to the altar:_ Denis Diderot, _The Nun_ _Created to be the toy of man:_ Mary Wollstonecraft, _Vindication of the Rights of Woman_ _Man, are you capable of being just?:_ Olympe de Gouges, _Declaration of the Rights of Woman as Citizen_ _Chapter Eleven - American Reverberations: 1771–1792_ _I took upon me to assert my freedom:_ Benjamin Franklin, _Autobiography_ _Freedom has been hunted round the globe:_ Thomas Paine, _Common Sense_ _Endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights:_ Thomas Jefferson and Others, _Declaration of Independence_ _A safeguard against faction and insurrection:_ James Madison, _Federalist No. 10_ _An end to government by force and fraud:_ Thomas Paine, _The Rights of Man_ _Chapter Twelve - Enlightenment's End: 1790–1794_ _A partnership of the living, the dead, and those unborn:_ Edmund Burke, _Reflections on the Revolution in France_ _The future destiny of the human species:_ Nicolas de Condorcet, _A Sketch of a Historical Portrait of the Progress of the Human Mind_ Texts and Studies, Index. 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In the causal adjustment setting, variable selection techniques based only on the outcome or only on the treatment allocation model can result in the omission of confounders and hence may lead to bias, or the inclusion of spurious variables and hence cause variance inflation, in estimation of the treatment effect. We propose a variable selection method using a penalized objective function that is based on both the outcome and treatment assignment models. The proposed method facilitates confounder selection in high-dimensional settings. (...) We show that under some mild conditions our method attains the oracle property. The selected variables are used to form a doubly robust regression estimator of the treatment effect. Using the proposed method we analyze a set of data on economic growth and study the effect of life expectancy as a measure of population health on the average growth rate of gross domestic product per capita. (shrink)
If stem cell-based therapies are developed, we will likely confront a difficult problem of justice: for biological reasons alone, the new therapies might benefit only a limited range of patients. In fact, they might benefit primarily white Americans, thereby exacerbating long-standing differences in health and health care.
Philosophers and behavioral scientists discuss what, if anything, of the traditionalconcept of individual conscious will can survive recent scientific discoveries that humandecision-making is distributed across different brain processes and ...
A four-factor model of spiritual intelligence is first proposed. Supportive evidence is reviewed for the capacities of critical existential thinking, personal meaning production, transcendental awareness, and conscious state expansion. Based on this model, a 24-item self-report measure was developed and modified across two consecutive studies . The final version of the scale, the Spiritual Intelligence Self-Report Inventory , displayed excellent internal reliability and good fit to the proposed model. Correlational analyses with additional measures of meaning, metapersonal self-construal, mysticism, religiosity, and (...) social desirability offer support for construct and criterion-related validity. According to both intelligence criteria and current psychometric standards, findings validate the proposed model and measure of spiritual intelligence. Future directions are discussed. (shrink)
Farm to School (FTS) programs are increasingly popular as methods to teach students about food, nutrition, and agriculture by connecting students with the sources of the food that they eat. They may also provide opportunity for farmers seeking to diversify market channels. Food service buyers in FTS programs often choose to procure food for school meals directly from farmers. The distribution practices required for such direct procurement often bring significant transaction costs for both school food service professionals and farmers. Analysis (...) of data from a survey of Vermont farmers who sell directly to school food services explores farmers’ motivations and distribution practices in these partnerships. A two-step cluster analysis procedure characterizes farmers’ motivations along a continuum between market-based and socially embedded values. Further bivariate analysis shows that farmers who are motivated most by market-based values are significantly associated with distribution practices that facilitate sales to school food services. Implications for technical assistance to facilitate these sales are discussed. (shrink)
We report on the deliberations of an interdisciplinary group of experts in science, law, and philosophy who convened to discuss novel ethical and policy challenges in stem cell research. In this report we discuss the ethical and policy implications of safety concerns in the transition from basic laboratory research to clinical applications of cell-based therapies derived from stem cells. Although many features of this transition from lab to clinic are common to other therapies, three aspects of stem cell biology pose (...) unique challenges. First, tension regarding the use of human embryos may complicate the scientific development of safe and effective cell lines. Second, because human stem cells were not developed in the laboratory until 1998, few safety questions relating to human applications have been addressed in animal research. Third, preclinical and clinical testing of biologic agents, particularly those as inherently complex as mammalian cells, present formidable challenges, such as the need to develop suitable standardized assays and the difficulty of selecting appropriate patient populations for early phase trials. We recommend that scientists, policy makers, and the public discuss these issues responsibly, and further, that a national advisory committee to oversee human trials of cell therapies be established. **NB we did not reccommend a NAC, we think it might be appropriate**. (shrink)
Although most of us know that human beings cannot and should not be replaced by computers, we have great difficulties saying why this is so. This paradox is largely the result of institutionalizing several fundamental misconceptions as to the nature of both trustworthy objective and moral knowledge. Unless we transcend this paradox, we run the increasing risks of becoming very good at counting without being able to say what is worth counting and why. The degree to which this is occurring (...) is the degree to which the computer revolution is already over — and the degree to which we human beings have lost. (shrink)