We propose that people typically reason about realistic situations using neither content-free syntactic inference rules nor representations of specific experiences. Rather, people reason using knowledge structures that we term pragmatic reasoning schemas, which are generalized sets of rules defined in relation to classes of goals. Three experiments examined the impact of a “permission schema” on deductive reasoning. Experiment 1 demonstrated that by evoking the permission schema it is possible to facilitate performance in Wason's selection paradigm for subjects who have had (...) no experience with the specific content of the problems. Experiment 2 showed that a selection problem worded in terms of an abstract permission elicited better performance than one worded in terms of a concrete but arbitrary situation, providing evidence for an abstract permission schema that is free of domain-specific content. Experiment 3 provided evidence that evocation of a permission schema affects not only tasks requiring procedural knowledge, but also a linguistic rephrasing task requiring declarative knowledge. In particular, statements in the form if p then q were rephrased into the form p only if q with greater frequency for permission than for arbitrary statements, and rephrasings of permission statements produced a pattern of introduction of modals totally unlike that observed for arbitrary conditional statements. Other pragmatic schemas, such as “causal” and “evidence” schemas can account for both linguistic and reasoning phenomena that alternative hypotheses fail to explain. (shrink)
The discovery of conjunctive causes--factors that act in concert to produce or prevent an effect--has been explained by purely covariational theories. Such theories assume that concomitant variations in observable events directly license causal inferences, without postulating the existence of unobservable causal relations. This article discusses problems with these theories, proposes a causal-power theory that overcomes the problems, and reports empirical evidence favoring the new theory. Unlike earlier models, the new theory derives (a) the conditions under which covariation implies conjunctive causation (...) and (b) functions relating observable events to unobservable conjunctive causal strength. This psychological theory, which concerns simple cases involving 2 binary candidate causes and a binary effect, raises questions about normative statistics for testing causal hypotheses regarding categorical data resulting from discrete variables. (shrink)
Numerous evaluations of the Bean/Cowpea Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP) have documented CRSP contributions to food production and availability with impacts valued in the millions of dollars in developing countries as well as in the US. These reports emphasized collaboration as a critical factor in the success that emanated from CRSP research and training. Real collaboration among males and females across disciplinary, national, ethnic, cultural, and language differences is not easy. This review of CRSP experiences in building productive collaborations gives (...) actual case studies, including some failures, and discusses lessons learned in the process. The importance of wide participation, shared resources, and facilitated interpersonal relations to back up the dedication and commitment of the participants in emphasized. The program represents an investment of the US Agency for International Development with contributions in excess of 25 percent from participating US and Host Country institutions. (shrink)
Circumscribed delusional beliefs can follow brain injury. We suggest that these involve anomalous perceptual experiences created by a deficit to the person's perceptual system, and misinterpretation of these experiences due to biased reasoning. We use the Capgras delusion (the claim that one or more of one's close relatives has been replaced by an exact replica or impostor) to illustrate this argument. Our account maintains that people voicing this delusion suffer an impairment that leads to faces being perceived as drained of (...) their normal affective significance, and an additional reasoning bias that leads them to put greater weight on forming beliefs that are observationally adequate rather than beliefs that are a conservative extension of their existing stock. We show how this position can integrate issues involved in the philosophy and psychology of belief, and examine the scope for mutually beneficial interaction. (shrink)
We are big fans of propositions. But we are not big fans of the proposed by Mitchell et al. The authors ignore the critical role played by implicit, non-inferential processes in biological cognition, overestimate the work that propositions alone can do, and gloss over substantial differences in how different kinds of animals and different kinds of cognitive processes approximate propositional representations.
Applied Christian Ethics addresses selected themes in Christian social ethics. Part one shows the roots of contributors in the realist school; part two focuses on different levels of the significance of economics for social justice; and part three deals with both existential experience and government policy in war and peace issues.
What is the proper relation between the scientific worldview and other parts or aspects of human knowledge and experience? Can any science aim at "complete coverage" of the world, and if it does, will it undermine--in principle or by tendency--other attempts to describe or understand the world? Should morality, theology and other areas resist or be protected from scientific treatment? Questions of this sort have been of pressing philosophical concern since antiquity. The Proper Ambition of Science presents ten particular case (...) studies written by prominent philosophers, looking at how this problem has been approached from the ancient world right up to the present day. Contributors: Bob Sharples, M.W.F. Stone, G.A.J. Rogers, J.R. Milton, Aaron Ridley, Christopher Hookway, Dermot Moran, Thomas E. Uebel, David Papineau, and Nancy Cartwright. (shrink)
An alternative to objectifying approaches to understanding Post-traumatic Stress Disorder grounded in hermeneutic phenomenology is presented. Nurses who provided care for soldiers injured in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and sixty-seven wounded male servicemen in the rehabilitation phase of their recovery were interviewed. PTSD is the one major psychiatric diagnosis where social causation is established, yet PTSD is predominantly viewed in terms of the usual neuro-physiological causal models with traumatic social events viewed as pathogens with dose related effects. Biologic models (...) of causation are applied reductively to both predisposing personal vulnerabilities and strengths that prevent PTSD, such as resiliency. However, framing PTSD as an objective disease state separates it from narrative historical details of the trauma. Personal stories and cultural meanings of the traumatic events are seen as epiphenomenal, unrelated to the understanding of, and ultimately, the therapeutic treatment of PTSD. Most wounded service members described classic symptoms of PTSD: flashbacks, insomnia, anxiety etc. All experienced disturbance in their sense of time and place. Rather than see the occurrence of these symptoms as decontextualized mechanistic reverberations of war, we consider how these symptoms meaningfully reflect actual war experiences and sense of displacement experienced by service members. (shrink)