In this paper, we tell the story of efforts currently underway, on diverse fronts, to build digital knowledge repositories to support research in the life sciences. If successful, knowledge bases will be part of a new knowledge infrastructure—capable of facilitating ever-more comprehensive, computational models of biological systems. Such an infrastructure would, however, represent a sea-change in the technological management and manipulation of complex data, inducing a generational shift in how questions are asked and answered and results published and circulated. Integrating (...) such knowledge bases into the daily workflow of the lab thus destabilizes a number of well-established habits which biologists rely on to ensure the quality of the knowledge they produce, evaluate, communicate and exploit. As the story we tell here shows, such destabilization introduces a situation of unfamiliarity, one that carries with it epistemic risks. It should elicit—to use Niklas Luhmann’s terms—the question of trust: a shared recognition that the reliability of research practices is being risked, but that such a risk is worth taking in view of what may be gained. And yet, the problem of trust is being unexpectedly silenced. How that silencing has come about, why it matters, and what might yet be done forms the heart of this paper. (shrink)
These essays take up contemporary debates concerning the rationality of legal and political institutions. Roberto Unger proposes a "politics of modernism"--a politics appropriate to the historical experience that Nietzsche calls "nihilism" and identifies as the re-grounding of all values in human will. Unger's aim is to heighten the artificiality, plasticity or revisability of all social arrangements, so that the self may perpetually overcome its context. But such an attempt to give the idea of self-overcoming a political translation threatens to be (...) devoid of any content beyond the reiterated assertion of the will. Wittgenstein's remarks on rule-following give voice to an anxiety that recurs in contemporary legal culture: Can a rule--in words that H. L. A. Hart once used--"step forward to claim its own instances"? Wittgenstein does not deny that it can, but he wishes to call attention to our captivation by a picture of a "rule by itself," according to which this "stepping forward" seems queer in light of an otherwise unbridgeable gap between a rule and its application. In the grip of such a picture, it becomes tempting to think that the normative demand of a rule must be activated by an interpretation. Such a thought leads not only to philosophical perplexity, but to failures of justification in the court-room. To make sense of Aristotle's notion of corrective justice, we need the idea that a judgment can be genuinely in accord with a universal even though the content of the universal cannot be completely spelled out in detachment from the concrete situations to which it is applied. It is plausible to see much of contemporary tort law as a specification of corrective justice. But attempts to supply corrective justice with a consequentialist foundation are unable to account for the significance of wrongful agency in tort law, while attempts to supply it with a deontological foundation are unable to account for the significance of the tort victim's loss. (shrink)
Fichte’s early review of C. A. L. Creuzer’s neglected and idiosyncratic skeptical book on free will posed a serious challenge to what at the time was emerging as a consensus Kantian position on the role of free choice in the generation of imputable action. Fichte’s review was directed as much against Reinhold’s important letter on freedom of the will as it was against Creuzer himself. In the course of his brief review, Fichte suggests an important recasting of the strategy of (...) the Kantian postulates of rational faith; he poses a dilemma for the Reinholdian understanding of the relationship among an autonomous practical will, a free power of choice, and the actions of natural human organisms; and he hints at a radical reappropriation of the rationalist doctrine of pre-established harmony in re-orienting the search for a defensible reconstruction of a broadly Kantian position on the problem of free will. (shrink)
Martin Mees | : Cet article propose une réévaluation de la notion d’« événement » en matière d’esthétique, ce qui nécessite de s’interroger plus spécifiquement sur la temporalité propre au concept de « sublime », associé traditionnellement à une fulgurance, un instant sidérant qui ferait justement événement. Le développement s’appuie sur l’Analytique kantienne du sublime qui, en diverses occasions, met en avant le caractère paradoxal d’un sublime qui ne semble pouvoir se déployer qu’au prix d’une temporalité double, qualifiée ultimement (...) de régressive. Je défendrai ici la thèse que le sublime renvoie en réalité à une expérience esthétique de l’événement comme tel, à même de nous faire penser une certaine « Idée esthétique » du temps. Une telle expérience semble d’ailleurs pouvoir trouver forme dans différentes productions poétiques de notre modernité. | : This article proposes a re-evaluation of the notion of “event” in the field of aesthetics, which requires to question the specific temporality of the concept of “sublime”, traditionally associated with a flash, a staggering moment, which precisely constitutes an event. The development leans on the Kantian Analytic of the sublime which, on diverse occasions, highlights the paradoxical character of a sublime that only seems able to fulfil itself at the price of a double temporality, ultimately named regressive. I shall defend here the thesis that the sublime refers actually to an aesthetic experience of the event per se, allowing us to conceptualise a certain “aesthetic idea” of time. Such an experience, as a matter of fact, seems to be embodied in different poetic productions of our modernity. (shrink)
The distinction between redistribution and predistribution is now embraced by many political philosophers, like Jacob Hacker or Martin O’Neill. This distinction, we could think, is particularly important for the question of how we react to crises, like the current coronavirus pandemic. If the policies take the form of taxes and transfers, like cash-flow assistance, it is redistribution, one could argue. If the policies are meant to alter pretax incomes, as policies changing the conditions for bankruptcy are, it is predistribution. (...) This paper shows why that is not so. Re- and predistribution are only techniques of presentation. They are meant to put the emphasis on different ways we can depict the consequences of policies. Both the “pre-” of predistribution and the “re-” of redistribution are misnomers. This paper argues that we cannot establish a strong distinction between policies that are re- and those that are predistributive, as the case of the basic income will show. Given that classical liberals endorsed egalitarian policies, moreover, the idea of predistribution cannot be used by progressives who want to differentiate their social justice platforms from the classical liberal program. (shrink)
The well-established finding that siblings growing up in the same family turn out to be very different from one another has puzzled psychologists and behavior geneticists alike. In this theoretical note we describe the possible ontogeny and phylogeny of a sibling differentiation mechanism. We suggest that sibling competition for parental investment results in sibling differentiation on a number of characteristics, producing different developmental trajectories within families. Variations in developmental trajectories within families may have had fitness advantages in ancestral environments because(a) (...) sibling competition for extrafamilial resources would be reduced and(b) these variations would be suited to environments containing a variety of niches or to changing environments. Predictions derived from this model and an example of an application to attachment theory are presented. (shrink)
There has been much interest in group judgment and the so-called 'wisdom of crowds'. In many real world contexts, members of groups not only share a dependence on external sources of information, but they also communicate with one another, thus introducing correlations among their responses that can diminish collective accuracy. This has long been known, but it has-to date-not been examined to what extent different kinds of communication networks may give rise to systematically different effects on accuracy. We argue that (...) equations that relate group accuracy, individual accuracy, and group diversity are useful theoretical tools for understanding group performance in the context of research on group structure. In particular, these equations may serve to identify the kind of group structures that improve individual accuracy without thereby excessively diminishing diversity so that the net positive effect is an improvement even on the level of collective accuracy. Two experiments are reported where two structures are investigated from this perspective. It is demonstrated that the more constrained network outperforms the network with a free flow of information. (shrink)
High mating effort and antisocial and delinquent behaviors are closely linked. Some delinquent behaviors may honestly signal genetic quality. Men who exhibit high mating effort and who have high genetic quality would be expected to engage in more sexual coercion than other men because its costs to them are lowered by female preferences for them as sexual partners.
Rhetoric, Composition, Life is written for teacher-scholars of rhetoric and composition who grapple with the following question: Can my teaching not only make a positive difference in the lives of my students but also, in so doing, contribute to making the world a better place? This dissertation argues that in order to be able to answer this question in the affirmative with a greater sense of possibility for the future, that a re-understanding of how the world and its populations or (...) multiplicities of "actors" co-exist is necessary. Such conceptual work is needed because, under the influence of critical pedagogy, teacher-scholars in rhetoric and composition have placed too much emphasis on consciousness and its role in the dynamics of subjectivity, agency, and social transformation. In an effort to open a new space for thought and pedagogy in rhetoric and composition, Rhetoric, Composition, Life engages in a protracted performance of encounter and response with the work of Martin Heidegger. The dissertation argues that Heidegger's thought not only invites us to think of the aforementioned issues in more ecological and existential-affective terms, but does so in a way that is rooted in and extends a concept at the heart of Aristotle's ethics and politics: phronesis. What emerges from the project is an ethos of pedagogy and politics rooted in the phronetic dynamics of "question-ability" and "response-ability," one that attends to and works with-in dynamics and rhythms of power, life, temporality, agency, and social change from a non-representational, ecological, and existential-affective perspective. (shrink)
In recruitment, promotion, admission, and other forms of wealth and power apportion, an evaluator typically ranks a set of candidates in terms of their perceived competence. If the evaluator is prejudiced, the resulting ranking will misrepresent the candidates’ actual ranking. This constitutes not only a moral and a practical problem, but also an epistemological one, which begs the question of what we should do – epistemologically – to mitigate it. The article is an attempt to begin to answer this question. (...) I first explore the presuppositions that must obtain for individual interventions to likely yield positive epistemological effects in ranking situations. I then compare these with the corresponding presuppositions of a novel, ‘post hoc’ approach to deprejudicing due to Jönsson and Sjödahl :499–517, 2017), which does not attempt to change evaluators but attempts to increase the veracity of the rankings they produce after the fact using statistical methods. With these two sets of presuppositions in place, I describe the limitations imposed by each presupposition on its intervention, compare presuppositions across the two kinds of interventions, and conclude that the two kinds of interventions importantly complement each other by having fairly disjoint, but non–conflicting, presuppositions. The post hoc intervention can thus complement an individual intervention in situations where both are applicable, but also by applying to situations where that intervention is not applicable. (shrink)
In recruitment, promotion, admission, and other forms of wealth and power apportion, an evaluator typically ranks a set of candidates in terms of their competence. If the evaluator is prejudiced, the resulting ranking will misrepresent the candidates’ actual rankings. This constitutes not only a moral and a practical problem, but also an epistemological one, which begs the question of what we should do—epistemologically—to mitigate it. In a recent paper, Jönsson and Sjödahl in [Episteme 14:499–517, 2017], argue that the epistemic problem (...) can be fruitfully addressed by way of a novel statistical method that changes the products of biased behaviour, i.e. the rankings themselves, rather than the biased persons. Jönsson and Sjödahl’s pioneering proposal is a both a welcome addition to the literature on implicit bias, due the problems with existing implicit bias interventions [see e.g. Lai et al. in J Exp Psychol Gen 143:1765–1785; J Exp Psychol Gen 145:1001–1016, 2014; 2016; Forscher et al. in J Person Soc Psychol 117:522–559, 2019] but also to the literature on prejudice more generally, where many proposed prejudice-reduction strategies enjoy less than adequate empirical support [Paluck and Green in Ann Rev Psychol 60:339–367, 2009]. Their proposal, however, needs supplementation in two ways: the circumstances that must hold in order for it to work needs to be refined, and their claim that it works as intended in these circumstances needs to be validated. We argue that four of Jönsson and Sjödahl’s method’s presumed presuppositions can be weakened, but needs to be supplemented by two additional assumptions, overlooked by Jönsson and Sjödahl. Moreover, we demonstrate that the method does work as intended by way of a statistical simulation. (shrink)
In their invocations of the Muses the early epic poets use indifferently verbs meaning ‘tell’, ‘speak of’ and the verb which we normally translate as ‘sing’ When they refer directly to their own performance they may use the non-committalμνήσομαι, or ἐρέω, ἐνισπεῖνbut more often it isάείδω, ἄρχομ ἀείδεινor something of the sort; and they will pray for goodἀοιδήor hope for reward from it. We cannot make a distinction between two styles of performance, one characterized asἀείδειν the other as ἐνέπεινthe Iliad (...) beginsμῆνιν ἄειδε θεάbut later hasἔσπετε νῦν μοι Μοῦσαι;Hesiod moves straight fromχαίρετε τέκνα Διός, δότε δ᾿ ἱμερόεσσαν ἀοιδήνtoεἴπατε δ᾿ ὡς... ταῦτά μοι ἔσπετε Μοῦσαι... καὶ εἴπατε; the author of the Hymn to Pan beginsἔννεπε Μοῦσαand endsἴλαμαι δέ σ᾿ ἀοιδῇ... καὶ σεῖο καὶ ἄλλης μνήσομ᾿ ἀοιδῆς. (shrink)
Although military personnel are required to follow all legal orders, morally the traditional contract between soldier and state rests on shared assumptions about the purposes for which national militaries will and will not be used.
Cet ouvrage est une étude sur les influences que la pensée de John Stuart Mill a subies, sur la causalité des phénomènes sociaux et sur le caractère pluridisciplinaire des phénomènes économiques qu’il décrit ainsi que la façon dont il analyse une réalité économique complexe avec un arrière-plan philosophique.
Inferential Role Semantics is often criticized for being incompatible with the platitude that words of different speakers can mean the same thing. While many assume that this platitude can be accommodated by understanding sameness of meaning in terms of similarity of meaning, no worked out proposal has ever been produced for Inferential Role Semantics. I rectify this important omission by giving a detailed structural account of meaning similarity in terms of graph theory. I go on to argue that this account (...) has a number of attractive features, prominent among them that it makes sameness of meaning probabilistically determine co-reference. (shrink)
I must begin by confessing that I owe to the deficiencies of voice-mail a valuable occasion to re-think the purpose of this lecture. For I left on the voice-mail of Professor Martin the title of the lecture: “Augustine and a Crisis of Wealth in Late Antiquity.” I received—again by voice-mail—a delighted reply. He fully approved of my title: “Augustine and a Crisis of Wills in Late Antiquity.” I realized, to my shame, that I had awoken false expectations in the (...) heart of a great Augustinian scholar. Of course, “Wills” is what a St Augustine Lecture should be about. It was on the Will that Augustine wrote with greatest passion and tenacity, and with the gravest long-term consequences. And I had offered, for the occasion of a St. Augustine Lecture, not “Will” but merely “Wealth.”. (shrink)
As noted in earlier work , the continuity of consciousness is a reality, provided by the blending of the combination of both conscious aware states with conscious, but unaware ones, and where the frequencies governing the interleaving of the two states prevent us from ever directly deciphering the nature of their discrete properties. As a consequence, we cannot experience any discontinuity within the global phases of consciousness itself. The impact of this continuous cycling has major implications towards the purpose and (...) mechanics of the aware cycle within the conscious process, as well as the role of attention. A model is presented wherein these cycles are mirrored in ocular motion, and both are related to autonomic mechanisms. Concepts are presented that argue for the aware state function to be largely centered on the management of attention, while providing feedback to the unaware cycle. The empirical concept developed is then tested against both current experimental data and several longstanding consciousness processing conundrums, with favorable results. (shrink)