“Dance” has been associated with many psychophysiological and medical health effects. However, varying definitions of what constitute “dance” have led to a rather heterogenous body of evidence about such potential effects, leaving the picture piecemeal at best. It remains unclear what exact parameters may be driving positive effects. We believe that this heterogeneity of evidence is partly due to a lack of a clear definition of dance for such empirical purposes. A differentiation is needed between the effects on the individual (...) when the activity of “dancing” is enjoyed as a dancer within different dance domains, and what is commonly known as hobby, recreational or social dance), and the effects on the individual within these different domains, as a dancer of the different dance styles. Another separate category of dance engagement is, not as a dancer, but as a spectator of all of the above. “Watching dance” as part of an audience has its own set of psychophysiological and neurocognitive effects on the individual, and depends on the context where dance is witnessed. With the help of dance professionals, we first outline some different dance domains and dance styles, and outline aspects that differentiate them, and that may, therefore, cause differential empirical findings when compared regardless. Then, we outline commonalities between all dance styles. We identify six basic components that are part of any dance practice, as part of a continuum, and review and discuss available research for each of them concerning the possible health and wellbeing effects of each of these components, and how they may relate to the psychophysiological and health effects that are reported for “dancing”: rhythm and music, sociality, technique and fitness, connection and connectedness, flow and mindfulness, aesthetic emotions and imagination. Future research efforts might take into account the important differences between types of dance activities, as well as the six components, for a more targeted assessment of how “dancing” affects the human body. (shrink)
This article proposes a new bi-directional way of understanding the convergence of biology and computing. It argues for a reciprocal interaction in which biology and computing have shaped and are currently reshaping each other. In so doing, we qualify both the view of a natural marriage and of a digital shaping of biology, which are common in the literature written by scientists, STS, and communication scholars. The DNA database is at the center of this interaction. We argue that DNA databases (...) are spaces of convergence for computing and biology that change in form, meaning, and function from the 1960s to the 2000s. The first part of the article shows how, in the 1980s, DNA sequencing shifted from passively incorporating computers to be increasingly modeled in digital coding and decoding. Information retrieval algorithms, reciprocally, were altered according to the peculiarities of DNA in the first sequence-storage databases. The second part of the article investigates the impact of these reciprocal interactions and globalization on the organization of research centers, ways of conducting big science, and scientific values. Through convergence and new technologies such as data mining, biology and computing were transformed technologically, institutionally, and culturally into a new bio-data enterprise called genomics. (shrink)
An important debate in the current literature is whether “all truth-conditional effects of extra-linguistic context can be traced to [a variable at; LM] logical form” (Stanley, ‘Context and Logical Form’, Linguistics and Philosophy, 23 (2000) 391). That is, according to Stanley, the only truth-conditional effects that extra-linguistic context has are localizable in (potentially silent) variable-denoting pronouns or pronoun-like items, which are represented in the syntax/at logical form (pure indexicals like I or today are put aside in this discussion). According to (...) Recanati (‘Unarticulated Constituents’, Linguistics and Philosophy, 25 (2002) 299), extra-linguistic context can have additional truth-conditional effects, in the form of optional pragmatic processes like ‘free enrichment’. This paper shows that Recanati’s position is not warranted, since there is an alternative line of analysis that obviates the need to assume free enrichment. In the alternative analysis, we need Stanley’s variables, but we need to give them the freedom to be or not to be generated in the syntax/present at logical form, a kind of optionality that has nothing to do with the pragmatics-related optionality of free enrichment. (shrink)
Social robotics entertains a particular relationship with anthropomorphism, which it neither sees as a cognitive error, nor as a sign of immaturity. Rather it considers that this common human tendency, which is hypothesized to have evolved because it favored cooperation among early humans, can be used today to facilitate social interactions between humans and a new type of cooperative and interactive agents - social robots. This approach leads social robotics to focus research on the engineering of robots that activate anthropomorphic (...) projections in users. The objective is to give robots "social presence" and "social behaviors" that are sufficiently credible for human users to engage in comfortable and potentially long-lasting relations with these machines. This choice of ’applied anthropomorphism’ as a research methodology exposes the artifacts produced by social robotics to ethical condemnation: social robots are judged to be a "cheating" technology, as they generate in users the illusion of reciprocal social and affective relations. This article takes position in this debate, not only developing a series of arguments relevant to philosophy of mind, cognitive sciences, and robotic AI, but also asking what social robotics can teach us about anthropomorphism. On this basis, we propose a theoretical perspective that characterizes anthropomorphism as a basic mechanism of interaction, and rebuts the ethical reflections that a priori condemns "anthropomorphism-based" social robots. To address the relevant ethical issues, we promote a critical experimentally based ethical approach to social robotics, "synthetic ethics," which aims at allowing humans to use social robots for two main goals: self-knowledge and moral growth. (shrink)
Fred Sanger, the inventor of the first protein, RNA and DNA sequencing methods, has traditionally been seen as a technical scientist, engaged in laboratory bench work and not interested at all in intellectual debates in biology. In his autobiography and commentaries by fellow researchers, he is portrayed as having a trajectory exclusively dependent on technological progress. The scarce historical scholarship on Sanger partially challenges these accounts by highlighting the importance of professional contacts, institutional and disciplinary moves in his career, spanning (...) from 1940 to 1983. This paper will complement such literature by focusing, for the first time, on the transition of Sanger's sequencing strategies from degrading to copying the target molecule, which occurred in the late 1960s as he was shifting from protein and RNA to DNA sequencing, shortly after his move from the Department of Biochemistry to the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, both based in Cambridge (UK). Through a reinterpretation of Sanger's papers and retrospective accounts and a pioneering investigation of his laboratory notebooks, I will claim that sequencing shifted from the working procedures of organic chemistry to those of the emergent molecular biology. I will also argue that sequencing deserves a history in its own right as a practice and not as a technique subordinated to the development of molecular biology or genomics. My proposed history of sequencing leads to a reappraisal of current STS debates on bioinformatics, biotechnology and biomedicine. (shrink)
The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of communicative intention on action. In Experiment 1 participants were requested to reach towards an object, grasp it, and either simply lift it or lift it with the intent to communicate a meaning to a partner . Movement kinematics were recorded using a three-dimensional motion analysis system. The results indicate that kinematics was sensitive to communicative intention. Although the to-be-grasped object remained the same, movements performed for the ‘communicative’ condition (...) were characterized by a kinematic pattern which differed from those obtained for the ‘individual’ condition. These findings were confirmed in a subsequent experiment in which the communicative condition was compared to a control condition, in which the communicative exchange was prevented. Results are discussed in terms of cognitive pragmatics and current knowledge on how social behavior shapes action kinematics. (shrink)
This paper addresses the 1996 cloning of Dolly the sheep, locating it within a long-standing tradition of animal breeding research in Edinburgh. Far from being an end in itself, the cell-nuclear transfer experiment from which Dolly was born should be seen as a step in an investigative pathway that sought the production of medically relevant transgenic animals. By historicising Dolly, I illustrate how the birth of this sheep captures a dramatic redefinition of the life sciences, when in the 1970s and (...) 1980s the rise of neo-liberal governments and the emergence of the biotechnology market pushed research institutions to show tangible applications of their work. Through this broader interpretative framework, the Dolly story emerges as a case study of the deep transformations of agricultural experimentation during the last third of the twentieth century. The reorganisation of laboratory practice, human resources and institutional settings required by the production of transgenic animals had unanticipated consequences. One of these unanticipated effects was that the boundaries between animal and human health became blurred. As a result of this, new professional spaces emerged and the identity of Dolly the sheep was reconfigured, from an instrument for livestock improvement in the farm to a more universal symbol of the new cloning age. -/- . (shrink)
Fred Sanger, the inventor of the first protein, RNA and DNA sequencing methods, has traditionally been seen as a technical scientist, engaged in laboratory bench work and not interested at all in intellectual debates in biology. In his autobiography and commentaries by fellow researchers, he is portrayed as having a trajectory exclusively dependent on technological progress. The scarce historical scholarship on Sanger partially challenges these accounts by highlighting the importance of professional contacts, institutional and disciplinary moves in his career, spanning (...) from 1940 to 1983. This paper will complement such literature by focusing, for the first time, on the transition of Sanger’s sequencing strategies from degrading to copying the target molecule, which occurred in the late 1960s as he was shifting from protein and RNA to DNA sequencing, shortly after his move from the Department of Biochemistry to the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, both based in Cambridge (UK). Through a reinterpretation of Sanger’s papers and retrospective accounts and a pioneering investigation of his laboratory notebooks, I will claim that sequencing shifted from the working procedures of organic chemistry to those of the emergent molecular biology. I will also argue that sequencing deserves a history in its own right as a practice and not as a technique subordinated to the development of molecular biology or genomics. My proposed history of sequencing leads to a reappraisal of current STS debates on bioinformatics, biotechnology and biomedicine. (shrink)
How a human observer perceives duration depends on the amount of events taking place during the timed interval, but also on psychological dimensions, such as emotional-wellbeing, mindfulness, impulsivity, and rumination. Here we aimed at exploring these influences on duration estimation and passage of time judgments. One hundred and seventeen healthy individuals filled out mindfulness (FFMQ), impulsivity (BIS-11), rumination (RRS), and depression (BDI-sf) questionnaires. Participants also conducted verbal estimation and production tasks in the multiple seconds range. During these timing tasks, subjects (...) were asked to read digits aloud that were presented on a computer screen. Each condition of the timing tasks differed in terms of the interval between the presentation of the digits, i.e., either short (4-s) or long (16-s). Our findings suggest that long empty intervals (16-s) are associated with a relative underestimation of duration, and to a feeling that the time passes slowly, a seemingly paradoxical result. Also, regarding more mindful individuals, such a dissociation between duration estimation and passage of time judgments was found, but only when empty intervals were short (4-s). Relatively speaking, more mindful subjects showed an increased overestimation of durations, but felt that time passed more quickly. These results provide further evidence for the dissociation between duration estimation and the feeling of the passage of time. We discuss these results in terms of an alerting effect when empty intervals are short and events are more numerous, which could mediate the effect of dispositional mindfulness. (shrink)
This paper investigates young children's knowledge of scalar implicatures and downward entailment. In previous experimental work, we have shown that young children access the full range of truth-conditions associated with logical words in classical logic, including the disjunction operator, as well as the indefinite article. The present study extends this research in three ways, taking disjunction as a case study. Experiment 1 draws upon the observation that scalar implicatures (SIs) are cancelled (or reversed) in downward entailing (DE) linguistic environments, e.g., (...) in the scope of negation (Chierchia, 2000). Experiment 2 was designed to determine if scalar implicatures are used by children, like adults, to influence the interpretation of disjunction in non-DE contexts, yielding an implicature of exclusivity for disjunction. Whereas adult controls always rejected assertions of the form A or B in positive (non-DE) contexts in which assertions of the form A and B were also true, many children accepted assertions with disjunction in such contexts. To provide an interpretation to the findings from Experiment 2, a new experimental technique was devised and used in Experiment 3. The new technique presents pairs of assertions to children, who are asked to judge which assertion is a ‘better’ description of the context. The findings from Experiment 3 demonstrated children's awareness that A and B is more informative than A or B in positive contexts, where both statements are true. Taken together, the findings of Experiments 2 and 3 are compatible with the view that some children lack the computational resources to apply scalar implicatures when a single assertion is presented alone (see Reinhart, 1999). (shrink)
This paper examines folk theories of algorithmic recommendations on Spotify in order to make visible the cultural specificities of data assemblages in the global South. The study was conducted in Costa Rica and draws on triangulated data from 30 interviews, 4 focus groups with 22 users, and the study of “rich pictures” made by individuals to graphically represent their understanding of algorithmic recommendations. We found two main folk theories: one that personifies Spotify and another one that envisions it as a (...) system full of resources. Whereas the first theory emphasizes local conceptions of social relations to make sense of algorithms, the second one stresses the role of algorithms in providing a global experience of music and technology. We analyze why people espouse either one of these theories and how these theories provide users with resources to enact different modalities of power and resistance in relation to recommendation algorithms. We argue that folk theories thus offer a productive way to broaden understanding of what agency means in relation to algorithms. (shrink)
This article shows part of the results of a research project: The Impact of Social Change in Higher Education Staff Professional Life and Work (Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, SEJ2006-01876). The main aim of this project was to explore and understand how scholars establish a dialogue, resist, adapt themselves or adopt changes, in the process of constructing their professional identities. As the members of the research team were scholars ourselves, teaching and carrying out research in Spanish universities, we started (...) this research by writing our own autoethnographies. As a result, we developed nine autoethnographies which give a complex and in-depth account of senior and junior scholars' journeys into their process of constructing their professional identity and working lives in a rapidly changing world. This article starts by giving a context to the research project and arguing the need for conducting autoethnographies. It goes on to discuss the process itself of writing autoethnographies in the context of a given research project. We then refer to the topics which have a bearing on how we have learnt to become scholars: our experience as university students, the beginning of the academic career, relationships with others, and the consequences of the mark of gender. We conclude with the lessons learnt around the dilemmas on writing autoethnographies. (shrink)
I argue that the debate on the division of labor between grammar and pragmatics, at least as it pertains to pragmatic free enrichment, needs to be better grounded empirically. Often, only a reduced set of facts from English is used to substantiate claims regarding pragmatic free enrichment. But considering a reduced set of facts from a single language can only afford limited results, because we can merely see whatever this one language chooses to express. Two cases studies are presented: adjectival (...) fragments, and implicit indefinite objects. A grammatical analysis is defended for them. (shrink)
The goal of this paper is to propose a unified approach to the split scope readings of negative indefinites, comparative quantifiers, and numerals. There are two main observations that justify this approach. First, split scope shows the same kinds of restrictions across these different quantifiers. Second, split scope always involves low existential force. In our approach, following Sauerland, natural language determiner quantifiers are quantifiers over choice functions, of type <<,t>,t>. In split readings, the quantifier over choice functions scopes above other (...) operators (such as intensional verbs like must or can). Determiner quantifiers leave a choice-function trace when they move and this trace combines with the noun restriction, which is interpreted low. That split scope always involves low existential force is derived, without stipulation, from Kratzer’s idea that low existential force can be achieved via binding (into the noun restriction). (shrink)
It is widely assumed that the scope of indefinites is island insensitive, i.e., that, generally, an indefinite inside of a syntactic island, such as an adjunct clause, is capable of taking scope outside of that island. This paper challenges this assumption by studying the scope behaviour of the Spanish plural indefinite algunos ’). It presents an experimental study that shows that the scope of algunos is not free and depends on its syntactic environment, at least in the dialect of Spanish (...) studied here. The paper discusses some of the implications of the study for current theories of indefinite scope: it points out the problems that choice functions and singleton indefinites have with the Spanish data, and it also discusses the implications for Schwarzschild's solution to the so-called ‘Donald Duck’ problem. (shrink)
This article addresses the problem of emergence through a distinction, often neglected in the literature, between two different aspects of this issue: (1) the theoretical problem of providing modelizations able to explain the expression of emergent properties; (2) the epistemological problem of warranting the scientific value of the emergentist descriptions of nature. This paper considers this double issue with regard to the biological domain, and proposes a double solution (theoretical and epistemological) originally developed in early studies on self-organization. The underlying (...) hypothesis is that this solution offers the current biological emergentism the opportunity of developing a coherent structure: matching consistently the theoretical and the epistemological frames of the research, that is, coupling the emergentist conception of life with an emergentist conception of science. (shrink)
This paper investigates scalar implicatures and downward entailment in child English. In previous experimental work we have shown that adults’ computation of scalar implicatures is sensitive to entailment relations. For instance, when the disjunction operator or occurs in positive contexts, an implicature of exclusivity arises. By contrast when the disjunction operator occurs within the scope of a downward entailing linguistic expression, no implicature of exclusivity is computed. Investigations on children’s computation of scalar implicatures in the same contexts have led to (...) a slightly different picture. In particular it has proven difficult to demonstrate that children compute scalar implicatures (in non- downward entailing contexts) using the Truth Value Judgment task, a technique that has been used successfully in showing children’s sensitivity to other semantic phenomena. Adopting a different experimental technique called the Felicity Judgment task, however, we demonstrated children’s knowledge of the prerequisites to the computation of scalar implicatures (Chierchia, Crain, Guasti, Gualmini and Meroni, 2001). (shrink)
Este artigo aborda o tratamento dado por Platão, no diálogo Crátilo, a certos temas heraclíticos. A partir de uma análise da refutação da personagem Crátilo por Sócrates, que ocorre ao final do diálogo, pretende-se mostrar o jogo explícito e implícito com o chamado ‘fluxo heraclítico’ e a ‘unidade dos contrários’ que o autor Platão é capaz de forjar. Jogo que faz com que, por fim, Sócrates capture Crátilo com a ajuda da armadilha criada por seus próprios argumentos.
Este artículo expone la crítica de Ortega y Gasset al naturalismo y el fracaso de la razón naturalista, y muestra su nueva concepción de la razón vital, histórica y narrativa, como un paradigma alternativo, basándose en la dialéctica de las experiencias, la imaginación creativa del «animal fantástico» y en una nueva visión de la vida que proviene de Nietzsche, Dilthey y Goethe, que puede contribuir a afrontar el reto de los nuevos naturalismos en el contexto del pensamiento actual.
In this paper I provide a decompositional analysis of three kinds of plural indefinites in two related languages, European Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese. The three indefinites studied are bare plurals, the unos (Spanish)/uns (Portuguese) type, and the algunos (Spanish)/alguns (Portuguese) type. The paper concentrates on four properties: semantic plurality, positive polarity, partitivity, and event distribution. The logic underlying the analysis is that of compositionality, applied at the subword level: as items become bigger in form (with the addition of morphemes), they (...) also acquire more semantic properties. The paper proposes the “indefinite hierarchy", which establishes a set of components for languages to build their indefinites with, in a particular order. (shrink)
ABSTRACT What are the sources of political myths? Useful starting points for answering this question can be found in the fiction of Cervantes and the political philosophies of Machiavelli, Erasmus, and Leo Strauss. These writers, who sought to defuse clashes of custom and of religion, emphasized the need to pay attention to the consequences of false belief, without lapsing into cynicism. In this, they were the ultimate idealists, whose insights might temper the dogmas of the modern ideologue.
Recently, there has been increasing theoretical and experimental interest in Popper's gedanken experiment. We calculate in this paper, using the path integral approach, the diffraction patterns predicted by quantum mechanics for this arrangement. The calculations confirm the narrowing of the width of the pattern in absence of the slit obtained experimentally by Kim and Shih (Y. Kim and Y. Shih, Found. Phys. 29, 1849 (1999)).
SummaryDuring the 1920s and 1930s, Italian physicists established strong relationships with scientists from other European countries and the United States. The career of Bruno Rossi, a leading personality in the study of cosmic rays and an Italian pioneer of this field of research, provides a prominent example of this kind of international cooperation. Physics underwent major changes during these turbulent years, and the traditional internationalism of physics assumed a more institutionalized character. Against this backdrop, Rossi's early work was crucial in (...) transforming the study of cosmic rays into a branch of modern physics. His friendly relationships with eminent scientists — notably Enrico Fermi, Walther Bothe, Werner Heisenberg, Hans Bethe, and Homi Bhabha — were instrumental both for the exchange of knowledge about experimental practices and theoretical discussions, and for attracting the attention of physicists such as Arthur Compton, Louis Leprince-Ringuet, Pierre Auger and Patrick Blackett to the problem of cosmic rays. Relying on material from different archives in Europe and the United States, this case study aims to provide a glimpse of the intersection between national and international dimensions during the 1930s, at a time when the study of cosmic rays was still very much in its infancy, strongly interlaced with nuclear physics, and full of uncertain, contradictory, and puzzling results. Nevertheless, as a source of high-energy particles it became a proving ground for testing the validity of the laws of quantum electrodynamics, and made a fundamental contribution to the origins of particle physics. (shrink)
Estudio de la noción «voz de la conciencia» en la obra de Xavier Zubiri, tras una contextualización histórica del tema, mostrando su importancia en las obras más tardías, así como su conexión con las fuentes más relevantes en el pensamiento contemporáneo, en especial, la Fenomenología y la Analítica existencial de Heidegger. Se destaca la aportación zubiriana del análisis noológico de la voz de la conciencia, que distingue la experiencia moral y la religiosa, pero que descubre, a su vez, una peculiar (...) conexión entre lo moral y lo religioso. (shrink)
This article focuses on the frontier between the technological domain of production of artefacts and the naturalistic domain of the sciences of life and cognition. It shows that, since the 1940s, this frontier has become the place of production of an innovative kind of scientific knowledge??synthetic knowledge.? The article describes the methodology and the main characteristics of synthetic knowledge, and formulates a hypothesis on its epistemological genealogy. Accordingly, it characterizes synthetic knowledge as one of the most advanced expressions of a (...) heterodox tradition of research which, since the 1930s, has been promoting the development of a ?non-representationalist???constructivist??science. (shrink)
In this paper the notion of sensus communis, as articulated by Kant in the Critique of the Power of Judgment, is discussed from the vantage point of the author's project of exporting the model of exemplary universalism underlying reflective and, specifically, aesthetic judgment beyond the realm of aesthetics. In the first section, the relevance of such a project relative to an appraisal of the new and unsuperseded philosophical context opened by the Linguistic Turn is elucidated. Then the centrality of sensus (...) communis, for making sense of the specific universalism inherent in reflective judgment, is highlighted. In the second section, the limitations inherent in two opposite strategies for conceptualizing sensus communis are discussed: namely, the hermeneutic idea of a `horizon' and the phenomenological notion of a life-world on one hand, and the Kantian minimalist, naturalized concept of sensus communis on the other. The former is argued to become entangled in relativism, the latter to run against our intuitions concerning the inter-subjective constitution of the subject. In the final section, a third notion of sensus communis is offered, still compatible with the Kantian conception, different from the Gadamerian concept of a tradition or to the phenomenological notion of Lebenswelt, yet still capable of offering a plausible ground for the exemplary universalism of aesthetic judgment. Expanding on Kant's view of aesthetic pleasure, sensus communis is understood as consisting of a universal capacity, on the part of every human being, to sense from within a plurality of coordinates the flourishing of human life and what favours it. (shrink)