To provide the three-way comparisons needed to test existing theories, we compared (1) most-stressful memories to other memories and (2) involuntary to voluntary memories (3) in 75 community dwelling adults with and 42 without a current diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Each rated their three most-stressful, three most-positive, seven most-important and 15 word-cued autobiographical memories, and completed tests of personality and mood. Involuntary memories were then recorded and rated as they occurred for 2 weeks. Standard mechanisms of cognition and (...) affect applied to extreme events accounted for the properties of stressful memories. Involuntary memories had greater emotional intensity than voluntary memories, but were not more frequently related to traumatic events. The emotional intensity, rehearsal, and centrality to the life story of both voluntary and involuntary memories, rather than incoherence of voluntary traumatic memories and enhanced availability of involuntary traumatic memories, were the properties of autobiographical memories associated with PTSD. (shrink)
Internalism about moral responsibility is the view that moral responsibility is determined primarily by an agent's mental states; externalism is the view that moral responsibility is determined primarily by an agent's overt behaviour and by circumstances external to the agent. In a series of papers, Michelle Ciurria has argued that most if not all current accounts of moral responsibility, including Strawsonian ones, are internalist. Ciurria defends externalism against these accounts, and she argues that, in contrast to his contemporary followers, (...) P.F. Strawson himself was an externalist. I believe that Ciurria's reading of Strawson is problematic. The aim of this paper is to elucidate Strawson's position with regard to the internalism-externalism issue against the background of Ciurria's reading of him. I conclude that Strawson was neither an internalist nor an externalist about moral responsibility. I draw extensively upon the whole body of Strawson's work, much of which is sadly neglected in discussions of ‘Freedom and Resentment’, although it illuminates many of the issues discussed there. (shrink)
...Witherspoon's Course in Political Theory, as Taken by James Madison Dennis F. Thompson Princeton University [523...Witherspoon's Course in Political Theory, as Taken by James Madison. James Madison was an unusually wen-prepared student when, at eighteen...
Dennis Gabor devised a new concept for optical imaging in 1947 that went by a variety of names over the following decade: holoscopy, wavefront reconstruction, interference microscopy, diffraction microscopy and Gaboroscopy. A well-connected and creative research engineer, Gabor worked actively to publicize and exploit his concept, but the scheme failed to capture the interest of many researchers. Gabor’s theory was repeatedly deemed unintuitive and baffling; the technique was appraised by his contemporaries to be of dubious practicality and, at best, (...) constrained to a narrow branch of science. By the late 1950s, Gabor’s subject had been assessed by its handful of practitioners to be a white elephant. Nevertheless, the concept was later rehabilitated by the research of Emmett Leith and Juris Upatnieks at the University of Michigan, and Yury Denisyuk at the Vavilov Institute in Leningrad. What had been judged a failure was recast as a success: evaluations of Gabor’s work were transformed during the 1960s, when it was represented as the foundation on which to construct the new and distinctly different subject of holography, a re-evaluation that gained the Nobel Prize for Physics for Gabor alone in 1971. This paper focuses on the difficulties experienced in constructing a meaningful subject, a practical application and a viable technical community from Gabor’s ideas during the decade 1947-1957. (shrink)
In this important collection of essays Dennis Thompson argues for a more robust conception of responsibility in public life than prevails in contemporary democracies. He suggests that we should stop thinking so much about public ethics in terms of individual vices and start thinking about it more in terms of institutional vices. Combining theory and practice with many concrete examples and proposals for reform, these essays could be used in courses in applied ethics or political theory and will be (...) read by professionals and graduate students in schools of political science, public policy, law, public health, journalism and business. (shrink)