This study analyzed the relation between mental time travel (MTT) and the ability to produce a storytelling focusing on global coherence, which is one of the most notable characteristics of narrative discourse. As global coherence is strictly tied to the temporal sequence of the events narrated in a story, we hypothesized that the construction of coherent narratives would rely on the ability to mentally navigate in time. To test such a hypothesis, we investigated the relation between one component of MTT—namely, (...) episodic future thinking (EFT)—and narrative production skills by comparing the narratives uttered by 66 children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with those produced by 66 children with typical development. EFT was assessed by administering a task with minimal narrative demands, whereas storytelling production skills were assessed by administering two narrative production tasks that required children to generate future or past episodes with respect to the target stimuli. The results showed that EFT skills were impaired only in a subgroup of children with ASD and that such subgroup performed significantly worse on the narrative production task than ASD participants with high EFT skills and participants with typical development. The practical and theoretical implications of these findings are discussed. (shrink)
This article presents an overview ofregulations, guidelines and societal debates ineight member states of the EC about a)embryonic and fetal tissue transplantation(EFTT), and b) the use of human embryonic stemcells (hES cells) for research into celltherapy, including `therapeutic' cloning. Thereappears to be a broad acceptance of EFTT inthese countries. In most countries guidance hasbeen developed. There is a `strong' consensusabout some of the central conditions for `goodclinical practice' regarding EFTT.International differences concern, amongstothers, some of the informed consent issuesinvolved, and the (...) questions whether anintermediary organisation is necessary, whetherthe methods of abortion may be influenced bythe possible use of EFT, and whether EFTTshould only be used for the experimentaltreatment of rare disorders. The potential useof hES cells for research into cell therapy hasgiven a new impetus to the debate about (human)embryo research. The therapeutic prospects withregard to the retrieval and research use of hEScells appear to function as a catalyst for theintroduction of less restrictive regulationsconcerning research with spare embryos, atleast in some European countries. It remains tobe seen whether the prospect of treatingpatients suffering from serious disorders withtransplants produced by therapeutic cloningwill decrease the societal and moral resistanceto allowing the generation of embryos for`instrumental' use. (shrink)
Individuals with Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have difficulties in the recollection of past experiences (Episodic Memory). Accumulating evidence suggests that they might have also difficulties in the ability to imagine potential future scenarios (Episodic Future Thinking, EFT) and in narrative generation skills. This investigation aimed to determine 1) whether impairments of EFT can be identified in a large cohort of children with high functioning ASD using a task with minimal narrative demands; and 2) if such impairments are related to the (...) ability to generate a narrative's scenario. 77 children with high-functioning ASD and 77 children with typical development were recruited for the study. The two groups were balanced for age, level of formal education, and IQ. EFT was assessed by administering a task with minimal narrative demands, whereas narrative generation skills were assessed with three tasks requiring children to generate past, middle or future episodes in a narrative discourse. With respect to control participants, a subgroup of children with ASD had impaired EFT skills and also showed significant impairments in the ability to generate adequate narratives. On the contrary, participants with spared EFT had normal performance on the narrative generation task. Interestingly, EFT skills predicted narrative generation abilities in both groups. The results of this study support the hypothesis that EFT may be impaired in some but not all children with ASD and of a relation between difficulties with EFT and impairments in the process of narrative generation. The assessment of EFT should employ tasks that do not require narrative production, as children with impaired EFT may also have reduced narrative skills. (shrink)
Creations of the Mind presents sixteen original essays by theorists from a wide variety of disciplines who have a shared interest in the nature of artifacts and their implications for the human mind. All the papers are written specially for this volume, and they cover a broad range of topics concerned with the metaphysics of artifacts, our concepts of artifacts and the categories that they represent, the emergence of an understanding of artifacts in infants' cognitive development, as well as the (...) evolution of artifacts and the use of tools by non-human animals. This volume will be a fascinating resource for philosophers, cognitive scientists, and psychologists, and the starting point for future research in the study of artifacts and their role in human understanding, development, and behaviour.Contributors: John R. Searle, Richard E. Grandy, Crawford L. Elder, Amie L. Thomasson, Jerrold Levinson, Barbara C. Malt, Steven A. Sloman, Dan Sperber, Hilary Kornblith, Paul Bloom, Bradford Z. Mahon, Alfonso Caramazza, Jean M. Mandler, Deborah Kelemen, Susan Carey, Frank C. Keil, Marissa L. Greif, Rebekkah S. Kerner, James L. Gould, Marc D. Hauser, Laurie R. Santos, Steven Mithen. (shrink)
Background. The events of 9/11 and the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq's Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction precipitated fundamental changes within the US Intelligence Community. As part of the reform, analytic tradecraft standards were revised and codified into a policy document – Intelligence Community Directive (ICD) 203 – and an analytic ombudsman was appointed in the newly created Office for the Director of National Intelligence to ensure compliance across the intelligence community. In this paper we investigate (...) the untested assumption that the ICD203 criteria can facilitate reliable evaluations of analytic products. Method. Fifteen independent raters used a rubric based on the ICD203 criteria to assess the quality of reasoning of 64 analytical reports generated in response to hypothetical intelligence problems. We calculated the intra-class correlation coefficients for single and group-aggregated assessments. Results. Despite general training and rater calibration, the reliability of individual assessments was poor. However, aggregate ratings showed good to excellent reliability. Conclusions. Given that real problems will be more difficult and complex than our hypothetical case studies, we advise that groups of at least three raters are required to obtain reliable quality control procedures for intelligence products. Our study sets limits on assessment reliability and provides a basis for further evaluation of the predictive validity of intelligence reports generated in compliance with the tradecraft standards. (shrink)
This study examines discrimination in the overseas recruitment print ads of Multinational National Corporations (MNCs) in a lax regulatory environment, Singapore. Institutionalization theory suggests that in a weakly regulated environment, MNC affiliates would tend to adopt the less stringent requirements. With the lack of a strong legal framework in the host country, the home country's legal and cultural imperatives would be more salient, suggesting differences in discrimination as a function of home country imperatives. Some 1122 recruitment print ads of U.S., (...) U.K., and Japanese affiliates of MNCs were examined. While discrimination was found in the print ads of all organizations, U.S. affiliates were least discriminatory, followed by Japan and U.K. affiliates. When Singapore firms were included, they were found to be least discriminatory. However, Singapore firms became more discriminatory when the request for a recent photograph was considered in the discrimination index. Implications of the findings are discussed and suggestions for future research advanced. (shrink)
In this paper, we elucidate an alternative conception of the “end of human life” that Germain Grisez considers but never develops. We then defend this conception against two key objections. We conclude by explaining a few ways that this alternative conception of the “end of human life” is particularly important both theologically and philosophically.
Many publicly-funded health systems apply cost-benefit frameworks in response to the moral dilemma of how best to allocate scarce healthcare resources. However, implementation of recommendations based on costs and benefit calculations and subsequent challenges have led to ‘special cases’ with certain types of health benefits considered more valuable than others. Recent debate and research has focused on the relative value of life extensions for people with terminal illnesses. This research investigates societal perspectives in relation to this issue, in the UK.
Of all the themes treated by the mimes, perhaps the one that gave the most delight to their audiences throughout the centuries was that of adultery. References to it, from various parts of the ancient world, are found from the first century before Christ to the sixth century of the Christian era, and in many cases it is spoken of as a theme typical of the mime as a whole. There does not seem to be satisfactory evidence of its existence (...) in a genuinely dramatic form at an earner date. It is reported that the μαγδoί, among other impersonations, mimicked the behaviour of μoιχoί, but their performance, so far as can be discovered, was purely a piece of imitative buffoonery. When the theme of adultery was treated by Greek mimes of a later date, the approach seems to have been rather a psychological study of the adulteress than an attempt to bring out the dramatic possibilities inherent in the situation. This is certainly the case with Herondas' fifth mime, which portrays a lady jealously in love with a slave. Evidence from sources bearing a close relationship to the mime is equally negative. Thus a well-known Egyptian papyrus contains a song, written perhaps in the third or second century B.C., in which Helen complains of Menelaus' indifference to her after bringing her back from Troy; but this is far from constituting a variant on the adultery theme. The wall-song in Marissa, which was composed in the middle of the second century B.C., does indicate a situation in which a woman is trying to keep her lover's presence outside the house from the knowledge of another man with whom she is consorting inside. (shrink)
While acknowledging the psychological experience of intimacy, evolutionary theory postulates proliferation as the underlying grounds for human relationships. Intimacy, according to evolutionary theory, is merely a psychological mechanism whereby sexual selection and parental investment are facilitated. Unfortunately, the assumption of an underlying evolutionary mechanism which governs human relationships including romantic love, jealousy, and parent–child bonds is fraught with problematic consequences. Unlike the evolutionary understanding of intimacy, the philosophy of E. Levinas offers an alternative conceptualization in which human relationships themselves constitute (...) the grounds of intimacy. This alternative conceptualization escapes the problematic consequences of evolutionary theory. Intimacy from this grounding is inextricably tied to the infinite obligation we take on in relation to others. Implications of this conceptualization are explored. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)