We study the appearance of genetic information starting from a system where self-reproductive and enzymatic functions are supported by the same sort of molecules. In a first phase, the information must have arisen in the form of rate independent sequences as records of enzymatic functions. Although this stage must have played an important role in evolution, it will be shown how its evolutive capacities were blocked by the impossibility of appearance of geno/phenotype duality. Finally, a logical scheme is proposed for (...) a transition process toward a system with a code offering a simplification of the conditions required from the assumption of a maximum use of the double RNA capacity, both reproductive and enzymatic. (shrink)
Firstly we consider the new results about enzymatic capabilities in the RNA. In this framework we analyse the sequence-folding duality as a precursor of the genotype/phenotype duality. We discuss then which are the evolutive potentialities and limitations for a system with the absence and the presence of a nucleic acid to proteins translator code. We study the arise of the code in the living systems as a form of deep interlooking between the logic of the machinery and its hardware, discussing (...) some problems that abstract modelization of this process implies. Finaly we propose to redefine the informational vocabulary usually employed in Molecular Biology. (shrink)
El presente artículo aborda la reconstrucción de los conflictos que enfrentaron a la burguesía agraria argentina con el gobierno nacional encabezado por Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, entre marzo y julio de 2008. Estos enfrentamientos interburgueses son comparados con su antecesor inmediato, los “paros agrarios” de 1975, con los que las corporaciones rurales iniciaron una ofensiva destinada a impulsar el golpe de estado de marzo de 1976, cuyo programa consistía en eliminar la amenaza revolucionaria y relanzar la acumulación de (...) capital. Nos ocuparemos de reconstruir las alianzas sociales enfrentadas en ambas coyunturas, sus componentes, su programa y sus acciones, prestando especial atención a la acción política emprendida por la burguesía agraria. Buscamos desentrañar, de esta manera, la naturaleza de ambas crisis, sus semejanzas y diferencias. (shrink)
The purpose of this chapter is to determine what is to remember something, as opposed to imagining it, perceiving it, or introspecting it. What does it take for a mental state to qualify as remembering, or having a memory of, something? The main issue to be addressed is therefore a metaphysical one. It is the issue of determining which features those mental states which qualify as memories typically enjoy, and those states which do not qualify as such typically lack. In (...) sections 2 and 3, I will discuss the two main existing conceptions of the conditions that a mental state must satisfy to count as an episode of remembering. The first of these approaches is backward-looking. It puts forward conditions that strictly concern the aetiology of the mental state. I will argue that the conditions offered by the backward-looking approach are both too strong and too weak: They rule out mental states which, intuitively, count as memories while including mental states which, intuitively, do not qualify as memories. The second approach is forward-looking. It puts forward conditions that only concern the use that the subject makes of the mental state while forming beliefs about their own life. I will argue that the conditions proposed by the forward-looking approach are both too weak and too strong as well. However, the discussion of the two approaches will allow us to extract some helpful lessons on the constraints that any proposal about the nature of remembering should respect. An alternative approach aimed at incorporating those lessons will be offered in section 4 by drawing on the literature on functionalism. In section 5, I will argue that this approach can, on the one hand, accommodate as memories those mental states which indicate that the backward-looking approach and the forward-looking approach are too strict while, on the other hand, excluding those mental states which suggest that the two alternative approaches are too permissive. Accordingly, I will conclude that construing memory along functionalist lines is a satisfactory approach to the nature of remembering. (shrink)
Does memory only preserve epistemic justification over time, or can memory also generate it? I argue that memory can generate justification based on a certain conception of mnemonic content. According to it, our memories represent themselves as originating on past perceptions of objective facts. If this conception of mnemonic content is correct, what we may believe on the basis of memory always includes something that we were not in a position to believe before we utilised that capacity. For that reason, (...) memory can produce justification for belief through the process of remembering. This is why a subject may be justified in believing a proposition on the basis of memory even if, in the past, she was not justified in believing it through any other source. The resulting picture of memory is a picture wherein the epistemically generative role of memory turns out to be grounded on its intentionally generative role. (shrink)
Previous research suggests a strong association of health indicators with self-report ability emotional intelligence and self-report mixed EI, but a weak or moderate association with performance-based ability EI measures. The size of the association for ability EI may be inaccurately estimated, because there has not been enough research on the relationship of ability EI to health outcomes to allow moderator analyses in meta-analyses. Therefore the present review aimed to synthesize results specifically from studies on the relationship of performance-based ability EI (...) with depression and well-being across adult populations in different settings. We found that maximum-performance measures of ability EI are associated negatively with depression and positively with well-being, and that these associations are moderated and mediated by several factors, including gender and self-report EI. Our analysis highlights limitations in the evidence base and leads to recommendations for future research and for ability EI-based training programs. (shrink)
Episodic memory has a distinctive phenomenology. One way to capture what is distinctive about it is by using the notion of mental time travel: When we remember some fact episodically, we mentally travel to the moment at which we experienced it in the past. This way of distinguishing episodic memory from semantic memory calls for an explanation of what the experience of mental time travel is. In this paper, I suggest that a certain view about the content of memories can (...) shed some light on the experience of mental time travel. This is the view that, when a subject remembers some fact episodically, their memory represents itself as coming from a perception of that fact. I propose that the experience of mental time travel in memory is the experience of representing one of the elements in this complex content, namely, the past perceptual experience of the remembered fact. In defence of this proposal, I offer two considerations. Firstly, the proposal is consistent with the idea that memories enjoy a temporal phenomenology (specifically, a feeling of pastness). Secondly, the proposal is consistent with the possibility that some of our other cognitive capacities might yield an experience of mental time travel which can be oriented towards the future. I argue that the received conception of mental time travel is in tension with those two ideas. (shrink)
In this paper, I propose an account of self-knowledge for desires. According to this account, we form beliefs about our own desires on the basis of our grounds for those desires. First, I distinguish several types of desires and their corresponding grounds. Next, I make the case that we usually believe that we have a certain desire on the basis of our grounds for it. Then, I argue that a belief formed thus is epistemically privileged. Finally, I compare this account (...) to two other similar accounts of self-knowledge. (shrink)
In the last 30 years, the key issue in developmental Theory of Mind has been if and when children are capable of representing false beliefs. Moving away from this research question, the aim of this study was to investigate the role of attentional processes in false-belief tasks. We focused on the design of the test phase and investigated two factors that may be critical for 3-year-old children’s success: the form of the wh-question and the salience of the target object. The (...) results of two experiments confirmed that 3-year olds are able to explicitly choose the correct answer in a false-belief task provided that they are allowed to focus on the protagonist throughout the task. The salience of the target object, however, was a critical factor in the design of the test phase, as increasing it had a negative effect on children’s performance. These results suggest that the experimental record of the last 30 years may be skewed since standard false-belief tasks do not control for the relative salience of the wrong response, potentially hindering the performance of children under 4. We conclude that a careful investigation of performance factors in false-belief tasks has the potential to reveal deep insights into the development of Theory of Mind skills, even if not directly focused on children’s representation of beliefs. (shrink)
Drawing from extensions of existing ideas in the logic of ground, a novel account of the grounds of necessity is presented, the core of which states that necessary truths are necessary because they stand in specific grounding connections.
The intersection of ELSI and science forms a complicated nexus yet their integration is an important goal both for society and for the successful advancement of science. In what follows, I present a heuristic that makes boundary identification and crossing an important tool in the discovery of potential areas of ethical, legal, and social concern in science. A dynamic and iterative application of the heuristic can lead towards a fuller integration and appreciation of the concerns of ELSI and of science (...) from both sides of the divide. (shrink)
This paper explores the ethical dilemma of conflicting loyalties found in whistleblowing. Central to this dilemma is the internal/external disclosure dichotomy; disclosure of organisational wrongdoing to an external recipient is seen as disloyal, whilst disclosure to an internal recipient is seen as loyal. Understanding how the organisation and society have dealt with these problems over the last 30 years is undertaken through an analysis of Vandekerckhove’s project, which seeks to place the normative legitimisations of whistleblowing legislation and organisational whistleblowing policies (...) within a globalisation semantic able to contain this conflict between society and the organisation. This project fails, it is argued, because of Vandekerckhove’s particular understanding of the organisation as an autopoietic system, i.e. an operationally closed system. A case is made to understand organisations as complex systems, i.e. operationally open systems. Critical Complexity theory sees the identities of systems and components as coterminous. In the context of the organisation, this means that the identities of the corporation and its corporate members arise and die together. The whistleblower’s disclosure reconfigures the organisation by forcing the organisation to open up and make its boundaries flexible, making the designation ‘internal’ or ‘external’ to the organisation, and, therefore, who qualifies as a recipient of a disclosure of wrongdoing, flexible. The organisation is restrained from retailing against the whistleblower, because its identities are coterminous. Furthermore, as the disclosure cannot be categorically defined as either internal or external, the question of whether an external disclosure can qualify as an act of organisational loyalty becomes moot. (shrink)
How do we know our current states of mind--what we want, and believe in? Jordi Fernández proposes a new theory of self-knowledge, challenging the traditional view that it is a matter of introspection. He argues that we know what we believe and desire by 'looking outward', towards the states of affairs which those beliefs and desires are about.
Conceptual congruency effects are biases induced by an irrelevant conceptual dimension of a task (e.g., location in vertical space) on the processing of another, relevant dimension (e.g., judging words’ emotional evaluation). Such effects are a central empirical pillar for recent views about how the mind/brain represents concepts. In the present paper, we show how attentional cueing (both exogenous and endogenous) to each conceptual dimension succeeds in modifying both the manifestation and the symmetry of the effect. The theoretical implications of this (...) finding are discussed. (shrink)
In this article, we discuss some issues concerning magical thinking—forms of thought and association mechanisms characteristic of early stages of mental development. We also examine good reasons for having an ambivalent attitude concerning the later permanence in life of these archaic forms of association, and the coexistence of such intuitive but informal thinking with logical and rigorous reasoning. At the one hand, magical thinking seems to serve the creative mind, working as a natural vehicle for new ideas and innovative insights, (...) and giving form to heuristic arguments. At the other hand, it is inherently difficult to control, lacking effective mechanisms needed for rigorous manipulation. Our discussion is illustrated with many examples from the Hebrew Bible, and some final examples from modern science. (shrink)
Biological boundaries are important because of what they reveal about the evolution of a lineage, the relationship between organisms of different lineages, the structure and function of particular subsystems of the organism, the interconnection between an organism and its environment, and a myriad of other important issues related to individuality, development, and evolution. Since there is no single unifying theory for all biological sciences, there are various possible theoretical characterizations of what counts as a biological boundary. Theoretical specificity is crucial (...) for the full characterization of a boundary; to this end, it is useful to begin with general properties and then to compare these to those properties specific to a particular biological boundary. This dual heuristic approach—top-down and bottom-up—can then be repeated to increase the robustness of the boundary characterization. In what follows, I explore both the general structural and functional aspects of biological boundaries and those specific to a biological subsystem, which itself is critical to boundary formation, maintenance, and evolution—the vertebrate immune system. It is a remarkable and sobering regularity of nature that organisms remain whole because their parts are constantly being built up and broken down, and this is no less true of their boundaries. The vertebrate immune system is at the center of this process of biological boundary maintenance and breakdown. (shrink)
Expanding on recent philosophical contributions to the conceptual and normative framework of scientific imperialism, I examine whether the economics approach to social epistemology can be considered a case of economics imperialism and determine whether economics’ explanatory expansionism appropriately contributes to this philosophical subfield or not. I argue first that the economics approach to social epistemology counts as a case of economics imperialism under a broad conception of the term, and second that we have good reasons to doubt the appropriateness of (...) the incursion of economics into social epistemology, insofar as economics’ attempt at explanatory unification fails to express significant human interests. (shrink)
Although logical consistency is desirable in scientific research, standard statistical hypothesis tests are typically logically inconsistent. To address this issue, previous work introduced agnostic hypothesis tests and proved that they can be logically consistent while retaining statistical optimality properties. This article characterizes the credal modalities in agnostic hypothesis tests and uses the hexagon of oppositions to explain the logical relations between these modalities. Geometric solids that are composed of hexagons of oppositions illustrate the conditions for these modalities to be logically (...) consistent. Prisms composed of hexagons of oppositions show how the credal modalities obtained from two agnostic tests vary according to their threshold values. Nested hexagons of oppositions summarize logical relations between the credal modalities in these tests and prove new relations. (shrink)
The purpose of this essay is to account for privileged access or, more precisely, the special kind of epistemic right that we have to some beliefs about our own mental states. My account will have the following two main virtues. First of all, it will only appeal to those conceptual elements that, arguably, we already use in order to account for perceptual knowledge. Secondly, it will constitute a naturalizing account of privileged access in that it does not posit any mysterious (...) faculty of introspection or "inner perception" mechanism. (shrink)
Genomic research may uncover results that have direct actionable benefit to the individual. An emerging debate is the degree to which researchers may have responsibility to offer results to the biological relatives of the research participant. In a companion study to one carried out in the United States, we describe the attitudes of Canadian Research Ethics Board chairs to this issue and their opinions as to the role of the REB in developing related policy.
El presente artículo busca reconstituir e interpretar históricamente la percepción del cambio histórico al interior del pensamiento católico chileno durante la primera mitad de la década de 1960. Apoyados en fuentes destinadas al debate público así como en investigaciones sociológicas elaboradas en el periodo, se plantean las siguientes conclusiones: entre los factores del cambio histórico se anotaban el proceso de secularización y la articulación de una sociedad plural en Chile; la actitud frente a estos cambios no fue homogénea, conviviendo al (...) interior de la opinión católica posturas que apoyaban los cambios y otras que los percibían con temor; como forma coherente de asumir los desafíos del cambio histórico, se formularon al interior de la Iglesia Católica chilena juicios y acciones orientadas a fortalecer su presencia en la opinión pública, así como a transformar sus propias estructuras y procedimientos. (shrink)
According to the orthodox or humanist conception of human rights, individuals have a moral duty to promote the universal realization of human rights. However, advocates of this account express the implications of this duty in extremely vague terms. What does it mean when we say that we must promote human rights satisfaction? Does it mean that we must devote a considerable amount of our time and resources to this task? Does it mean, instead, that we must make occasional donations to (...) charities working to advance human rights realization? In this essay, I argue that this duty can only be constructed as imperfect. This means that it confers agent-relative discretion on us to decide when, how, and to what extent to advance the human rights of others. It also means that it is neither correlative with rights nor enforceable. As I will explain, the main reason for this is that any attempt to construct it as a perfect duty would infringe the dignity of the potential duty bearers and thereby undermine the very values that human rights practice aspires to serve. Finally, I will conclude by providing some guidelines for those who wish to comply with their imperfect duties to improve the situation of those whose human rights are in peril. (shrink)
Kant is not typically considered a major figure in the just war tradition's canon, although his work has informed recent discussions about international justice and just war theory. More specifically, philosophers have suggested that Kant's work may provide a coherent, normatively practical just war theory, basing this claim, in the main, on his views on the goal of peace and its purpose of establishing a cosmopolitan civil society.1 Such discussions are mostly concerned with jus ad bellum and jus in bello (...) constraints on nations and how Kant's writings can guide deliberation and, perhaps, the considered policy and practices of governments. Yet, the fact remains that it is embodied men and women and not the metaphysical ?nation? who actually conduct war. Hence, this paper seeks to determine the extent to which Kant's thought might contribute to the moral deliberation of those individuals who a fortiori will be bound to jus in bello constraints. To this end, the idea of moral learning will be explored, emphasizing the Kantian idea of autonomy. The ultimate goal of this paper is to demonstrate how some aspects of Kant's thought would contribute to ethics education in a military academy. (shrink)
Do basic emotions produce their predicted facial expressions in nonlaboratory settings? Available studies in naturalistic settings rarely test causation, but do show a surprisingly weak correlation between emotions and their predicted facial expressions. This evidence from field studies is more consistent with facial behavior having many causes, functions, and meanings, as opposed to their being fixed signals of basic emotion.
The purpose of this essay is to determine how we should construe the content of memories or, in other words, to determine what the intentional objects of memory are.1 The issue that will concern us is, then, analogous to the traditional philosophical question of whether perception directly puts us in cognitive contact with entities in the world or with entities in our own minds. As we shall see, there are some interesting aspects of the phenomenology and the epistemology of memory, (...) and I shall aim at a specification of the content of memories that is in accordance with those aspects of them. (shrink)
Evidence from many different paradigms (e.g. change blindness, inattentional blindness, transsaccadic integration) indicate that observers are often very poor at reporting changes to their visual environment. Such evidence has been used to suggest that the spatio-temporal coherence needed to represent change can only occur in the presence of focused attention. In four experiments we use modified change blindness tasks to demonstrate (a) that sensitivity to change does occur in the absence of awareness, and (b) this sensitivity does not rely on (...) the redeploy- ment of attention. We discuss these results in relation to theories of scene percep- tion, and propose a reinterpretatio n of the role of attention in representing change. (shrink)