Digital medicine is a medical treatment that combines technology with drug delivery. The promises of this combination are continuous and remote monitoring, better disease management, self-tracking, self-management of diseases, and improved treatment adherence. These devices pose ethical challenges for patients, providers, and the social practice of medicine. For patients, having both informed consent and a user agreement raises questions of understanding for autonomy and informed consent, therapeutic misconception, external influences on decision making, confidentiality and privacy, and device dependability. For providers, (...) digital medicine changes the relationship where trust can be verified, clinicians can be monitored, expectations must be managed, and new liability risks may be assumed. Other ethical questions include direct third-party monitoring of health treatment, affordability, and planning for adverse events in the case of device malfunction. This article seeks to lay out the ethical landscape for the implementation of such devices in patient care. (shrink)
Michael Bratman''s restricted two-tier approach to rationalizing the stability of intentions contrasts with an alternative view of planning, for which all of the following claims are made: (a) it shares with Bratman''s restricted two-tier approach the virtue of reducing the magnitude of Smart''s problem; (2) it, rather than the unrestricted two-tier approach, is what is argued for in McClennen (1990); (3) there does not appear to be anything in the central analysis that Bratman has provided of plans and intentions (...) (both in his book,Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason, and in the article Planning and the Stability of Intention) that precludes his adopting this alternative approach; and (4) it is an approach that neither requires nor encourages any distinction between the standards appropriate to artificial and to human intelligence. (shrink)
In his recent book The Idea of Justice, Amartya Sen suggests that political philosophy should move beyond the dominant, Rawls-inspired, methodological paradigm – what Sen calls ‘transcendental institutionalism’ – towards a more practically oriented approach to justice: ‘realization-focused comparison’. In this article, I argue that Sen's call for a paradigm shift in thinking about justice is unwarranted. I show that his criticisms of the Rawlsian approach are either based on misunderstandings, or correct but of little consequence, and conclude that the (...) Rawlsian approach already delivers much of what Sen himself wants from a theory of justice. (shrink)
It is a pleasure for me to give this opening address to the Royal Institute of Philosophy Conference on ‘Explanation’ for two reasons. The first is that it is succeeded by exciting symposia and other papers concerned with various special aspects of the topic of explanation. The second is that the conference is being held in my old alma mater , the University of Glasgow, where I did my first degree. Especially due to C. A. Campbell and George Brown there (...) was in the Logic Department a big emphasis on absolute idealism, especially F. H. Bradley. My inclinations were to oppose this line of thought and to espouse the empiricism and realism of Russell, Broad and the like. Empiricism was represented in the department by D. R. Cousin, a modest man who published relatively little, but who was of quite extraordinary philosophical acumen and lucidity, and by Miss M. J. Levett, whose translation of Plato's Theaetetus formed an important part of the philosophy syllabus. (shrink)
It is characteristic of realists to separate ontology from epistemology and of idealists to mix the two things up. By ‘idealists’ here I am mainly referring to the British neo-Hegelians but the charge of mixing up ontology and epistemology can be made against at least one ‘subjective idealist’, namely Bishop Berkeley, as his wellknown dictum ‘esse ispercipi’ testifies. The objective idealists rejected the correspondence theory of truth and on the whole accepted a coherence theory. The qualification is needed here because (...) H. H. Joachim, in The Nature of Truth, found the coherence theory unable to deal with the problem of error. (shrink)
It has frequently been lamented that while the human species has made immense progress in science it is nevertheless ethically backward. This ethical backwardness is all the more dangerous because the advanced state of scientific knowledge has made available a technology with which we are able to destroy ourselves—indeed a technology which may have got so much out of hand that we may not even have the capacity to prevent it from destroying us.
This paper is partly to get rid of some irritation which I have felt at the quite common tendency of philosophers to elucidate ‘is red’ in terms of ‘looks red’. For a relatively recent example see, for example, Frank Jackson and Robert Pargetter, ‘An Objectivist′s Guide to Subjectivism about Colour’. However rather than try to make a long list of references, I would rather say ‘No names, no pack drill’. I have even been disturbed to find the use of the (...) words ‘looks red’ that I am opposing ascribed to me by Keith Campbell in his useful article ‘David Armstrong and Realism about Colour’. I am not saying that such talk is necessarily wrong. Talk of ‘looks red’ may be a way of harmlessly referring to the behavioural discriminations with respect to colour of a human percipient. Where it is dangerous, at least to those of us who wish to argue for a broadly physicalist account of the mind, is that it may have concealed overtones of reference to epiphenomenal and irreducibly psychic properties of experiences. Moreover even if it does not do so it may be fence sitting on this issue and liable to misinterpretation. (shrink)
Two essays on utilitarianism, written from opposite points of view, by J. J. C. Smart and Bernard Williams. In the first part of the book Professor Smart advocates a modern and sophisticated version of classical utilitarianism; he tries to formulate a consistent and persuasive elaboration of the doctrine that the rightness and wrongness of actions is determined solely by their consequences, and in particular their consequences for the sum total of human happiness. In Part II Bernard Williams offers (...) a sustained and vigorous critique of utilitarian assumptions, arguments and ideals. He finds inadequate the theory of action implied by utilitarianism, and he argues that utilitarianism fails to engage at a serious level with the real problems of moral and political philosophy, and fails to make sense of notions such as integrity, or even human happiness itself. This book should be of interest to welfare economists, political scientists and decision-theorists. (shrink)
The ways in which knowledge relates to power have been much discussed in radical education theory. New emphasis on the role of gender and the growing debate about subjectivity have deepened the discussion, while making it more complex. In Getting Smart , Patti Lather makes use of her unique integration of feminism and postmodernism into critical education theory to address some of the most vital questions facing education researchers and teachers.
The emergence of large-scale social media systems, such as Wikipedia, Facebook, and Twitter, has given rise to a new multi-disciplinary effort based around the concept of social machines. For the most part, this research effort has limited its attention to the study of Web-based systems. It has also, perhaps unsurprisingly, tended to highlight the social scientific relevance of such systems. The present paper seeks to expand the scope of the social machine research effort to encompass the Internet of Things. One (...) advantage of this expansion is that it helps to reveal some of the links between the science of social machines and the sciences of the mind. A second advantage is that it furthers our conceptual understanding of social machines and supports the quest to derive a philosophically-robust definition of the term “social machine.” The results of the present analysis suggest that social machines are best conceived as systems in which a combination of social and technological elements play a role in the mechanistic realization of system-level phenomena. The analysis also highlights the relevance of cognitive science and the philosophy of mind to our general understanding of systems that transcend the cyber, physical, and social domains. (shrink)
Originally published in 1963. In an introductory chapter the author argues that philosophy ought to be more than the art of clarifying thought and that it should concern itself with outlining a scientifically plausible world view. Early chapters deal with phenomenalism and the reality of theoretical entities, and with the relation between the physical and biological sciences. Free will, issues of time and space and man’s place in nature are covered in later chapters.
Many theists of a traditional bent have been bothered by the apparent tension between God's essential omnipotence and his essential moral goodness. Nelson Pike draws attention to the conflict between these two attributes in his article ‘Omnipotence and God's Ability to Sin’, and there have been many attempts to respond to it since that time. Most of these responses argue that the essential omnipotence and essential goodness of God are not logically incompatible, so that the traditional conception of God is (...) not incoherent; I think the arguments have been largely successful. However, some theists have found the typical responses to Pike less than convincing, and are tempted to surrender the claim that God has moral perfection essentially in favour of the more modest claim that God is morally perfect in the actual world though in some possible worlds God is morally defective. I argue in this paper that this fall-back position is incoherent. More accurately, I argue that a necessary being who is essentially omniscient and essentially omnipotent cannot be contingently morally perfect or contingently morally defective. Any such being is either essentially good or essentially evil. Since the latter alternative seems unattractive, I argue that theists should embrace the essential moral perfection of God. (shrink)
In this chapter, we analyze the relationships between the Internet and its users in terms of situated cognition theory. We first argue that the Internet is a new kind of cognitive ecology, providing almost constant access to a vast amount of digital information that is increasingly more integrated into our cognitive routines. We then briefly introduce situated cognition theory and its species of embedded, embodied, extended, distributed and collective cognition. Having thus set the stage, we begin by taking an embedded (...) cognition view and analyze how the Internet aids certain cognitive tasks. After that, we conceptualize how the Internet enables new kinds of embodied interaction, extends certain aspects of our embodiment, and examine how wearable technologies that monitor physiological, behavioral and contextual states transform the embodied self. On the basis of the degree of cognitive integration between a user and Internet resource, we then look at how and when the Internet extends our cognitive processes. We end this chapter with a discussion of distributed and collective cognition as facilitated by the Internet. (shrink)
Influential work on reasoning and decision-making has popularised the idea that sound reasoning requires correction of fast, intuitive thought processes by slower and more demanding deliberation. We present seven studies that question this corrective view of human thinking. We focused on the very problem that has been widely featured as the paradigmatic illustration of the corrective view, the well-known bat-and-ball problem. A two-response paradigm in which people were required to give an initial response under time pressure and cognitive load allowed (...) us to identify the presumed intuitive response that preceded the final response given after deliberation. Across our studies, we observe that correct final responses are often non-corrective in nature. Many reasoners who manage to answer the bat-and-ball problem correctly after deliberation already solved it correctly when they reasoned under conditions that minimised deliberation in the initial response phase. This suggests that sound bat-and-ball... (shrink)
Reports in the popular press suggest that smart drugs or “nootropics” such as methylphenidate, modafinil and piracetam are increasingly being used by the healthy to augment cognitive ability. Although current nootropics offer only modest improvements in cognitive performance, it appears likely that more effective compounds will be developed in the future and that their off-label use will increase. One sphere in which the use of these drugs may be commonplace is by healthy students within academia. This article reviews the (...) ethical and pragmatic implications of nootropic use in academia by drawing parallels with issues relevant to the drugs in sport debate. It is often argued that performance-enhancing drugs should be prohibited because they create an uneven playing field. However, this appears dubious given that “unfair” advantages are already ubiquitous and generally tolerated by society. There are concerns that widespread use will indirectly coerce non-users also to employ nootropics in order to remain competitive. However, to restrict the autonomy of all people for fear that it may influence the actions of some is untenable. The use of potentially harmful drugs for the purposes of enhancement rather than treatment is often seen as unjustified, and libertarian approaches generally champion the rights of the individual in deciding if these risks are acceptable. Finally, whether the prohibition of nootropics can be effectively enforced is doubtful. As nootropics use becomes widespread among students in the future, discussion of this issue will become more pressing in the years to come. (shrink)
In this article I try to refute the so-called "libertarian" theory of free will, and to examine how our conclusion ought to modify our common attitudes of praise and blame. In attacking the libertarian view, I shall try to show that it cannot be consistently stated. That is, my dscussion will be an "analytic-philosophic" one. I shall neglect what I think is in practice an equally powerful method of attack on the libertarian: a challenge to state his theory in such (...) a way that it will fit in the modern biology and psychology, which are becoming increasingly physicalistic. (shrink)
Philosophers of quantum mechanics have generally addressed exceedingly simple systems. Laura Ruetsche offers a much-needed study of the interpretation of more complicated systems, and an underexplored family of physical theories, such as quantum field theory and quantum statistical mechanics, showing why they repay philosophical attention. She guides those familiar with the philosophy of ordinary QM into the philosophy of 'QM infinity', by presenting accessible introductions to relevant technical notions and the foundational questions they frame--and then develops and defends answers (...) to some of those questions. Finally, Ruetsche highlights ties between the foundational investigation of QM infinity and philosophy more broadly construed, in particular by using the interpretive problems discussed to motivate new ways to think about the nature of physical possibility and the problem of scientific realism. (shrink)
The identity theory of mind holds that states and processes of the mind are identical to states and processes of the brain. Strictly speaking, it need not hold that the mind is identical to the brain. Idiomatically we do use ‘She has a good mind’ and ‘She has a good brain’ interchangeably but we would hardly say ‘Her mind weighs fifty ounces’. Here I take identifying mind and brain as being a matter of identifying processes and perhaps states of the (...) mind and brain. Consider an experience of pain, or of seeing something, or of having a mental image. The identity theory of mind is to the effect that these experiences just are brain processes, not merely correlated with brain processes. (shrink)
This article explores the notion of the Web-extended mind, which is the idea that the technological and informational elements of the Web can sometimes serve as part of the mechanistic substrate that realizes human mental states and processes. It is argued that while current forms of the Web may not be particularly suited to the realization of Web-extended minds, new forms of user interaction technology as well as new approaches to information representation do provide promising new opportunities for Web-based forms (...) of cognitive extension. In addition, it is suggested that extended cognitive systems often rely on the emergence of social practices and conventions that shape how a technology is used. Web-extended minds may thus depend on forms of socio-technical co-evolution in which social forces and factors play just as important a role as do the processes of technology design and development. (shrink)
In this comprehensive new study of human free agency, Laura Waddell Ekstrom critically surveys contemporary philosophical literature and provides a novel account of the conditions for free action. Ekstrom argues that incompatibilism concerning free will and causal determinism is true and thus the right account of the nature of free action must be indeterminist in nature. She examines a variety of libertarian approaches, ultimately defending an account relying on indeterministic causation among events and appealing to agent causation only in (...) a reducible sense. Written in an engaging style and incorporating recent scholarship, this study is critical reading for scholars and students interested in the topics of motivation, causation, responsibility, and freedom. In broadly covering the important positions of others along with its exposition of the author’s own view, Free Will provides both a significant scholarly contribution and a valuable text for courses in metaphysics and action theory. (shrink)
Актуальность исследования smart-философии рассматривается в плоскости эволюции общества от индустриального к постиндустриальному, и от информационного к smart-обществу. Представлено концептуализацию измерений smart-общества как разумного, инновационного, интеллектуального, высокотехнологического. В основе smart-общества востребованным есть smart-человек, который работает в высоко инновационной среде, детерминированной информационно-коммуникационными технологиями. Центральная проблема данного исследования - анализ smart-общества, smart-управления, smart-бизнеса, smart-государства, в основе которых новое взаимодействие человека и общества. Главная задача – обосновать концептуализацию smart-общества в контексте измерений, в основе которых (...) человек как объект и предмет познания; исследовать понятийно-категориальный аппарат темы и эволюцию основных категорий в измерении «smart», а также востребованность человека как креатора инновационной среды. Методологической основой исследования является синергетический подход, в контексте которого новые реалии «smart», которые трансформируют социальные аспекты бытия человека и общества. Информационный подход к анализу социума исходит из синергетического, нелинейного видения путей разрешения общецивилизационных проблем. Методы - аантропологический и социоаксиологический методы и подходы позволяют раскрыть измерения smart-общества, в основе которого человек, образование, движение к «обществу инноваций» и знаний. Научная новизна исследования, что в нем впервые представлена концептуализация smart-общества в философском контексте и разработан ее поятийно-категориальный аппарат. Делается вывод, что прорыв в системе ИКТ определил глубинные содержательные изменения во всех сферах общественной и профессиональной деятельности, которые привели к появлению нового феномена smart-общества и smart-человека. Результаты исследования – формирование концепции smart-общества как высшей стадии цивилизационного развития человечества. Выводы – концепция smart-общества требует своего внедрения на всех уровнях развития человеческой жизнедеятельности, что свидетельствует о высоком рейтинге страны по инновационному развитию. (shrink)
Mandevillian intelligence is a specific form of collective intelligence in which individual cognitive vices are seen to play a positive functional role in yielding collective forms of cognitive success. The present paper introduces the concept of mandevillian intelligence and reviews a number of strands of empirical research that help to shed light on the phenomenon. The paper also attempts to highlight the value of the concept of mandevillian intelligence from a philosophical, scientific and engineering perspective. Inasmuch as we accept the (...) notion of mandevillian intelligence, then it seems that the cognitive and epistemic value of a specific social or technological intervention will vary according to whether our attention is focused at the individual or collective level of analysis. This has a number of important implications for how we think about the design and evaluation of collective cognitive systems. For example, the notion of mandevillian intelligence forces us to take seriously the idea that the exploitation of individual cognitive shortcomings could, in some situations, provide a productive route to collective forms of cognitive and epistemic success. (shrink)
Alongside existing research into the social, political and economic impacts of the Web, there is a need to study the Web from a cognitive and epistemic perspective. This is particularly so as new and emerging technologies alter the nature of our interactive engagements with the Web, transforming the extent to which our thoughts and actions are shaped by the online environment. Situated and ecological approaches to cognition are relevant to understanding the cognitive significance of the Web because of the emphasis (...) they place on forces and factors that reside at the level of agent–world interactions. In particular, by adopting a situated or ecological approach to cognition, we are able to assess the significance of the Web from the perspective of research into embodied, extended, embedded, social and collective cognition. The results of this analysis help to reshape the interdisciplinary configuration of Web Science, expanding its theoretical and empirical remit to include the disciplines of both cognitive science and the philosophy of mind. (shrink)