In Direct Belief I argue for the Theory of Direct Belief, which treats having a belief about an individual as an unmediated relation between the believer and the individual the belief is about. After a critical review of alternative positions, I use Grice’s theory of conversational implicature to provide a detailed pragmatic account of substitution failure in belief ascriptions and go on to defend this view against objections, including those based on an unwarranted “Inner Speech” Picture of Thought. The work (...) serves as a case study in pragmatic explanation, dealing also with methodological issues about context-sensitivity in language and the relation between semantics and pragmatics. (shrink)
Jonathan Berg argues for the Theory of Direct Belief, which treats having a belief about an individual as an unmediated relation between the believer and the individual the belief is about. After a critical review of alternative positions, Berg uses Grice's theory of conversational implicature to provide a detailed pragmatic account of substitution failure in belief ascriptions and goes on to defend this view against objections, including those based on an unwarranted "Inner Speech" Picture of Thought. The work (...) serves as a case study in pragmatic explanation, dealing also with methodological issues about context-sensitivity in language and the relation between semantics and pragmatics. (shrink)
Contents: Preface. Johannes BRANDL: Semantic Holism Is Here To Stay. Michael DEVITT: A Critique of the Case for Semantic Holism. Georges REY: The Unavailability of What We Mean: A Reply to Quine, Fodor and LePore. Joseph LEVINE: Intentional Chemistry. Louise ANTHONY: Conceptual Connection and the Observation/Theory Distinction. Gilbert HARMAN: Meaning Holism Defended. Kirk A. LUDWIG: Is Content Holism Incoherent? Anne BEZUIDENHOUT: The Impossibility of Punctate Mental Representations. Takashi YAGISAWA: The Cost of Meaning Solipsism. Alberto PERUZZI: Holism: The Polarized Spectrum. Jonathan (...)BERG: Inferential Roles, Quine, and Mad Holism. Jerry FODOR & Ernest LEPORE: Replies. (shrink)
Geoffrey Berg finds a previously undiscovered 'black hole' at the very core of Philosophy. This must cause extensive 'universal uncertainty' that is insurmountable by any human or any intelligence.This book strips away common human delusions about 'goodness', God and the ultimate knowability of the Universe. It focuses on the logical limitations to knowledge for humans, aliens and even artificial intelligences.The book is original and radical, yet entirely logical in its approach. It presents and justifies in quite simple language an (...) entirely different view on philosophical questions to any of the great philosophers. (shrink)
The computer revolution has had an enormous effect on all aspects of the practice of medicine, yet little thought has been given to the role of social media in identifying treatment choices for incompetent patients. We are currently living in the ?Internet age? and many people have integrated social media into all aspects of their lives. As use becomes more prevalent, and as users age, social media are more likely to be viewed as a source of information regarding medical care (...) preferences. This article explores the ethical and legal issues raised by the use of social media in surrogate decision making. (shrink)
The protection of human subjects in biomedical research relies on two principal mechanisms: assessing and comparing the risks and potential benefits of proposed research, and obtaining potential subjects' informed consent. While these have been discussed extensively in the literature, no attention has been paid to whether the processes should be different when the objective of an experimental biomedical intervention is to improve individual appearance, performance, or capability rather than to prevent, cure, or mitigate disease . This essay examines this question (...) in order to ensure that subjects in biomedical enhancement research receive adequate protection. (shrink)
Genetic database initiatives have given rise to considerable debate about their potential harms and benefits. The question arises as to whether existing ethical frameworks are sufficient to mediate between the competing interests at stake. One approach is to strengthen mechanisms for obtaining informed consent and for protecting confidentiality. However, there is increasing interest in other ethical frameworks, involving solidarity — participation in research for the common good — and the sharing of the benefits of research.
Genetic testing is currently subject to little oversight, despite the significant ethical issues involved. Repeated recommendations for increased regulation of the genetic testing market have led to little progress in the policy arena. A 2005 Internet search identified 13 websites offering health-related genetic testing for direct purchase by the consumer. Further examination of these sites showed that overall, biotech companies are not providing enough information for consumers to make well-informed decisions; they are not consistently offering genetic counseling services; and some (...) sites even offer tests with little evidence of clinical value. This article aims to raise company and consumer awareness about the ethical concerns surrounding the direct-to-consumer marketing of health-related genetic tests. It also suggests ways that biotech companies can bring their services to the public in an ethically responsible manner, without increased regulatory oversight. (shrink)
The physician-patient relationship has changed over the last several decades, requiring a systematic reevaluation of the competing demands of patients, physicians, and families. In the era of genetic testing, using a model of patient care known as the family covenant may prove effective in accounting for these demands. The family covenant articulates the roles of the physician, patient, and the family prior to genetic testing, as the participants consensually define them. The initial agreement defines the boundaries of autonomy and benefit (...) for all participating family members. The physician may then serve as a facilitator in the relationship, working with all parties in resolving potential conflicts regarding genetic information. The family covenant promotes a fuller discussion of the competing ethical claims that may come to bear after genetic test results are received. (shrink)
How ethical praxis is shaped by different contexts and situations has not been widely studied. We performed a follow-up study on stroke team members’ experiences of ethical problems and how the teams managed the situation when caring for patients faced with sudden and unexpected death from stroke. A number of ways for handling ethical problems emerged, which we have now explored further. Data were collected through a three-part form used as base for individual interviews with 15 stroke team members and (...) analyzed using both quantitative and qualitative content analysis. In the analysis, the approaches in the form were condensed into strategies, and the two different ways those strategies were preferred and used by the team members were shown. Hindrances perceived by the team members to impede them from working the preferred way were also revealed and grouped into eight categories. (shrink)
In this paper the importance of public affairs management in multinational corporations in India will be examined. After briefly discussing the state of the art in international business and society literature, a conceptual framework for public affairs management in multinational corporations will be developed. This framework serves as the theoretical basis for an empirical study among German multinational corporations in India. In the main part of this paper the results of this study will be presented and discussed. The paper ends (...) with a critical assessment and some major implications for future studies. (shrink)
This is a presentation of Bolzano's ideas on logic, logical semantics, ontology, proof theory, the foundations of mathematics, and certain aspects of the philosophy of nature. Bolzano's world view was a universal one in the sense that philosophy, mathematics, physics, and metaphysics should build upon the same logical foundation. In the pursuit of this encyclopaedic point of view he already recognized many of the essential things to come in logic and the foundations of mathematics.
Given free information and unlimited processing power, should decision algorithms use as much information as possible? A formal model of the decision-making environment is developed to address this question and provide conditions under which informationally frugal algorithms, without any information or processing costs whatsoever, are optimal. One cause of compression that allows optimal algorithms to rationally ignore information is inverse movement of payoffs and probabilities (e.g., high payoffs occur with low probably and low payoffs occur with high probability). If inversely (...) related payoffs and probabilities cancel out, then predictors that correlate with payoffs and consequently condition the probabilities associated with different payoffs will drop out of the expected-payoff objective function, severing the link between information and optimal action rules. Stochastic payoff processes in which rational ignoring occurs are referred to as compressed environments, because optimal action depends on a reduced-dimension subset of the environmental parameters. This paper considers benefits and limitations of economic models versus other methods for studying links between environmental structure and the real-world success of simple decision procedures. Different methods converge on the normative proposition of ecological rationality, as opposed to axiomatic rationality based on informational efficiency and internal consistency axioms, as a superior framework for comparing the effectiveness of decision strategies and prescribing decision algorithms in application. (shrink)
We argue that an adequate treatment of verb phrase anaphora must depart in two major respects from the standard approaches. First of all, VP anaphors cannot be resolved by simply identifying the anaphoric VP with an antecedent VP. The resolution process must establish a syntactic/semantic parallelism between larger units that the VPs occur in. Secondly, discourse structure has a significant influence on the reference possibilities of VPA. This influence must be accounted for.We propose a treatment which meets these requirements. It (...) builds on a discourse grammar which characterizes discourse cohesion by means of a syntactic/semantic matching procedure which recognizes parallel structures in discourse. It turns out that this independently motivated procedure yields the resolution of VPA as a side effect. (shrink)
This essay considers the potential role of bioethics in disaster response planning and preparedness. Bioethicists can make substantial contributions, by ensuring that decision-making and distribution of resources during crises is carried out in a fair and just manner, as well as by examining the assumptions upon which disaster planning are based. Bioethicists should also be aware of potential pitfalls of overly-hasty engagement with this new field.
Jerry Fodor and Ernie LePore argue against inferential role semantics on the grounds that either it relies on an analytic/synthetic distinction vulnerable to Quinean objections, or else it leads to a variety of meaning holism frought with absurd consequences. However, the slide from semantic atomism to meaning holism might be prevented by distinctions not affected by Quine's arguments against analyticity; and the absurd consequences Fodor and LePore attribute to meaning holism obtain only on an implausible construal of inferential roles.
Kant is well known for his restrictive conception of proper science. In the present paper I will try to explain why Kant adopted this conception. I will identify three core conditions which Kant thinks a proper science must satisfy: systematicity, objective grounding, and apodictic certainty. These conditions conform to conditions codified in the Classical Model of Science. Kant’s infamous claim that any proper natural science must be mathematical should be understood on the basis of these conditions. In order to substantiate (...) this reading, I will show that only in this way it can be explained why Kant thought (1) that mathematics has a particular foundational function with respect to the natural sciences and (2) as such secures their scientific status. (shrink)
We agree with Barsalou's claim about the importance of perceptual symbols in a theory of abstract concepts. Yet we maintain that the richness of many abstract concepts arises from the metaphorical mapping of recurring patterns of perceptual, embodied experience to provide essential structure to these abstract ideas.