Here we question the mechanisms underlying the emergence of the feeling of control that can be modulated even when the feeling of being the author of one’s own action is intact. With a haptic robot, participants made series of vertical pointing actions on a virtual surface, which was sometimes postponed by a small temporal delay (15 or 65 ms). Subjects then evaluated their subjective feeling of control. Results showed that after temporal distortions, the hand-trajectories were adapted effectively but that the (...) feeling of control decreased significantly. This was observed even in the case of subliminal distortions for which subjects did not consciously detect the presence of a distortion. Our findings suggest that both supraliminal and subliminal temporal distortions that occur within a healthy perceptual–motor system impact the conscious experience of the feeling of control of self-initiated motor actions. (shrink)
The language of “participant-driven research,” “crowdsourcing” and “citizen science” is increasingly being used to encourage the public to become involved in research ventures as both subjects and scientists. Originally, these labels were invoked by volunteer research efforts propelled by amateurs outside of traditional research institutions and aimed at appealing to those looking for more “democratic,” “patient-centric,” or “lay” alternatives to the professional science establishment. As mainstream translational biomedical research requires increasingly larger participant pools, however, corporate, academic and governmental research programs (...) are embracing this populist rhetoric to encourage wider public participation. We examine the ethical and social implications of this recruitment strategy. We begin by surveying examples of “citizen science” outside of biomedicine, as paradigmatic of the aspirations this democratizing rhetoric was originally meant to embody. Next, we discuss the ways these aspirations become articulated in the biomedical context, with a view to drawing out the multiple and potentially conflicting meanings of “public engagement” when citizens are also the subjects of the science. We then illustrate two uses of public engagement rhetoric to gain public support for national biomedical research efforts: its post-hoc use in the “care.data” project of the National Health Service in England, and its proactive uses in the “Precision Medicine Initiative” of the United States White House. These examples will serve as the basis for a normative analysis, discussing the potential ethical and social ramifications of this rhetoric. We pay particular attention to the implications of government strategies that cultivate the idea that members of the public have a civic duty to participate in government-sponsored research initiatives. We argue that such initiatives should draw from policy frameworks that support normative analysis of the role of citizenry. And, we conclude it is imperative to make visible and clear the full spectrum of meanings of “citizen science,” the contexts in which it is used, and its demands with respect to participation, engagement, and governance. (shrink)
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, sociology was becoming established as a discipline in the United States and Great Britain. This article looks closely at the lives and work of two prominent sociologists at this time, Patrick Geddes and Lester F. Ward. As sociology was becoming established in academic departments, neither Ward’s nor Geddes’ thought managed to survive intact. A number of factors played into this process, especially the overall broadness of their perspectives, as well as the (...) incompatibility of several of their key concerns, including gender, religion, race and education, with the eventual trajectory of the sociology and the scholars who were involved in consolidating the discipline as such. (shrink)
The language of “participant-driven research,” “crowdsourcing” and “citizen science” is increasingly being used to encourage the public to become involved in research ventures as both subjects and scientists....
This commentary discusses three main requirements for models of vision, namely, translation and scale invariance, scalability, and hierarchy. Edelman's Chorus model falls short of fulfilling these requirements because it ignores the highly dynamic nature of vision. Incorporating an attentional mechanism and assuming geon-like prototype representations may enhance Chorus's plausibility as a model of human object recognition.
While several tests and strategies are recommended for colorectal cancer (CRC) screening, studies suggest that primary care providers often recommend colonoscopy without providing information about its risks or alternatives. These observations raise concerns about the quality of informed consent for screening colonoscopy.
This paper discusses a crisis of accountability that arises when scientific collaborations are massively epistemically distributed. We argue that social models of epistemic collaboration, which are social analogs to what Patrick Suppes called a “model of the experiment,” must play a role in creating accountability in these contexts. We also argue that these social models must accommodate the fact that the various agents in a collaborative project often have ineliminable, messy, and conflicting interests and values; any story about accountability (...) in a massively distributed collaboration must therefore involve models of such interests and values and their methodological and epistemic effects. (shrink)
Paradoxically, abolitionism contained the seeds of empire. If we accept the general outline of Eric Williams’ thesis in Capitalism and Slavery that abolition was not purely altruistic but was as economically conditioned as Britain’s later empire building in Africa, the contradiction between the ideologies of antislavery and imperialism seems more apparent than real. Although the idealism that motivated the great abolitionists such as William Wilberforce and Thomas Clarkson is unquestionable, Williams argues that Britain could afford to legislate against the (...) slave trade only after that trade had helped to provide the surplus capital necessary for industrial “take-off.” Britain had lost much of its slave-owning territory as a result of the American Revolution; as the leading industrial power in the world, Britain found in abolition a way to work against the interests of its rivals who were still heavily involved in colonial slavery and a plantation economy.3The British abolitionist program entailed deeper and deeper involvement in Africa—the creation of Sierra Leone as a haven for freed slaves was just a start—but British abolitionists before the 1840s were neither jingoists nor deliberate expansionists. Humanitarianism applied to Africa, however, did point insistently toward imperialism.4 By mid-century, the success of the antislavery movement, the impact of the great Victorian explorers, and the merger of racist and evolutionary doctrines in the social sciences had combined to give the British public a widely shared view of Africa that demanded imperialization on moral, religious, and scientific grounds. It is this view that I have called the myth of the Dark Continent; by mythology I mean a form of modern, secularized, “depoliticized speech” —discourse which treats its subject as universally accepted. Scientifically established, and therefore no longer open to criticism by a political or theoretical opposition. In The Idea of Race in Science: Great Britain, 1800-1960, Nancy Stepan writes:A fundamental question about the history of racism in the first half of the nineteenth century is why it was that, just as the battle against slavery was being won by abolitionists, the war against racism was being lost. The Negro was legally freed by the Emancipation Act of 1833, but in the British mind he was still mentally, morally and physically a slave.5It is this “fundamental question” which a genealogy of the myth of the Dark Continent can help to answer. Patrick Brantlinger, professor of English at Indiana University, is the editor of Victorian Studies. He has written The Spirit of Reform: British Literature and Politics, 1832-1867 and Bread and Circuses: Theories of Mass Culture and Social Decay. (shrink)
For philosophical readers, a review of biology Nobel laureate Eric R. Kandel’s Age of Insight historical thesis, that today’s ‘neuroaesthetics’ is a continuation of Vienna’s great contributions to modernism from 1900 on, becomes a ‘critical study’, by closely examining Kandel’s valuable account of E.H. Gombrich’s psychology, then, broadly, his own case for the validity of ‘neuroaesthetics’. The article much credits Kandel for recognising and explaining—unlike most philosophers, with their epistemological and metaphysical perspectives—why Gombrich’s Art and Illusion is subtitled ‘Psychology’, (...) since it is about what its author termed throughout ‘convincing’ depiction. But, while holding that Kandel’s case for ‘neuroaesthetics’ is, at least in tone, superior to Ramachandran’s, the study broadens still further into a critical examination of it, with at first standard—since Aristotle—arguments against reductivism, as a materialism that neglects first formal then final causes or purposes. Original to the critique is an additional argument, that so-called ‘neuroaesthetics’ is not only inconsistent with the ‘reductionist’—not reductivist—principles of Kandel’s own science, as explained in his earlier account of them, In Search of Memory, but also contradicts a basic Darwinian principle underlying all modern biology, that genuine novelty can arise from rearrangement of older materials. The conclusion is that although neuroscience may make important contributions to aesthetics and appreciation, there is as yet no basis for holding that it could produce an aesthetics. (shrink)
Predictivism asserts that where evidence E confirms theory T, E provides stronger support for T when E is predicted on the basis of T and then confirmed than when E is known before T's construction and 'used', in some sense, in the construction of T. Among the most interesting attempts to argue that predictivism is a true thesis (under certain conditions) is that of Patrick Maher (1988, 1990, 1993). The purpose of this paper is to investigate the nature of (...) predictivism using Maher's analysis as a starting point. I briefly summarize Maher's primary argument and expand upon it; I explore related issues pertaining to the causal structure of empirical domains and the logic of discovery. (shrink)
Introducing Applied Ethics Edited by Brenda Almond, Blackwell, 1995. Pp. 375. ISBN 0-631-19389-8. 45.00 (hbk), 14.99 (pbk). Environmental Ethics Edited by Robert Elliot, Oxford University Press, 1995. Pp. 255. ISBN 9-19-875144-3. 9.95 (pbk) Medicine and Moral Reasoning Edited by K.W.M. Fulford, Grant Gillett and Janet Martin Soskice Cambridge University Press, 1994. Pp. 207. ISBN 0-521-45325-9 37.50 (hbk), 12.95 (pbk). Enlightenment and Religion. Rational Dissent in Eighteenth-century Britain Edited by Knud Haakonssen, Cambridge University Press, 1996. Pp. xii + 348. ISBN 0-521-56060-8. (...) 40.00. Dialettica, Arte e Societ : Saggio su Theodor W. Adorno By Giacomo Rinaldi, Quattroventi, Urbino, 1994. Pp. 205. L. 30,000. Relevance: Communication and Cognition, new revised edition, By Dan Sperber and Deirdre Wilson, Blackwell, 1995. Pp. 326. ISBN 0-631-19878-4. 15.99. Autobiographical Reflections By Eric Voegelin (Edited, with Introduction, by Ellis Sandoz), Louisiana State University Press, 1996. Pp. 131. ISBN 0807120766 $10.95. (shrink)
One controversy about the existence of so called evolutionary forces such as natural selection and random genetic drift concerns the sense in which such “forces” can be said to interact. In this paper I explain how natural selection and random drift can interact. In particular, I show how population-level probabilities can be derived from individual-level probabilities, and explain the sense in which natural selection and drift are embodied in these population-level probabilities. I argue that whatever causal character the individual-level probabilities (...) have is then shared by the population-level probabilities, and that natural selection and random drift then have that same causal character. Moreover, natural selection and drift can then be viewed as two aspects of probability distributions over frequencies in populations of organisms. My characterization of population-level probabilities is largely neutral about what interpretation of probability is required, allowing my approach to support various positions on biological probabilities, including those which give biological probabilities one or another sort of causal character. ‡This paper has benefited from feedback on and discussions of this and earlier work. I want to thank André Ariew, Matt Barker, Lindley Darden, Patrick Forber, Nancy Hall, Mohan Matthen, Samir Okasha, Jeremy Pober, Robert Richardson, Alex Rosenberg, Eric Seidel, Denis Walsh, and Bill Wimsatt. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, University of Alabama at Birmingham, HB 414A, 900 13th Street South, Birmingham, AL 35294-1260; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
In 1813, J.-V. Poncelet discovered that if there exists a polygon of n-sides, which is inscribed in a given conic and circumscribed about another conic, then infinitely many such polygons exist. This theorem became known as Poncelet’s porism, and the related polygons were called Poncelet’s polygons. In this article, we trace the history of the research about the existence of such polygons, from the “prehistorical” work of W. Chapple, of the middle of the eighteenth century, to the (...) modern approach of P. Griffiths in the late 1970s, and beyond. For reasons of space, the article has been divided into two parts, the second of which will appear in the next issue of this journal. (shrink)
In this essay I propose to explicate and defend a new and improved version of a Lockean proviso—the self-ownership proviso . I shall presume here that individuals possess robust rights of self-ownership. I shall take it that each individual has strong moral claims over the elements which constitute her person, e.g., her body parts, her talents, and her energies. However, in the course of the essay, I shall be challenging what I take to be the standard conception of self-ownership and (...) proposing an enrichment of that conception. The SOP is presented and in part justified as an implication of the right of self-ownership as it is more richly conceived—hence its designation as the self-ownership proviso. As an implication of the right of self-ownership which is also compatible, in theory and practice, with extensive and robust private property rights, the SOP is offered as an integral element of classical-liberal political theory. (shrink)
Fichte's reputation at the present time is in some respects a curious one. On the one hand, he is by common consent acknowledged to have exercised a dominant influence upon the development of German thought during the opening decades of the nineteenth century. Thus from a specifically philosophical point of view he is regarded as an innovator who played a decisive role in transforming Kant's transcendental idealism into the absolute idealism of his immediate successors, while at a more general level (...) he is customarily seen as having put into currency certain persuasive conceptions which contributed—less directly but no less surely—to the emergence and spread of romanticism in some of its varied and ramifying forms. On the other hand, however, it is noticeable that detailed consideration of his work has not figured prominently in the recent revival of concern with post-Kantian thought as a whole which has been manifested by philosophers of the English-speaking world. Although his name is frequently mentioned in that connection, one suspects that his books may not be so often read. In part this may be due to his particular mode of expounding his views, which at times attains a level of opacity that can make even Hegel's obscurest passages seem comparatively tractable. It is also true that Fichte's principal theoretical works—if not his semipopular writings—are largely devoid of the allusions to scientific, historical, psychological or cultural matters with which his German contemporaries were prone to illustrate their philosophical doctrines and enliven their more abstract discussions: there is a daunting aridity about much of what he wrote which can raise nagging doubts in the modern reader's mind about the actual issues that are in question. Yet the fact remains that by the close of the eighteenth century his ideas had already made a profound impact, capturing the imagination of a host of German thinkers and intellectuals. The problem therefore arises as to what preoccupations, current at the time, they owed their indubitable appeal and to what puzzles they were welcomed as proffering a solution. If these can be identified, it may become at least partially intelligible that Fichte should have been widely regarded as having provided a framework within which certain hitherto intractable difficulties could be satisfactorily reformulated and resolved. Let me accordingly begin by saying something about them. (shrink)
In this paper I offer three main challenges to James (2011). All three turn on the nature of philosophy and secure knowledge in Spinoza. First, I criticize James's account of the epistemic role that experience plays in securing adequate ideas for Spinoza. In doing so I criticize her treatment of what is known as the ‘conatus doctrine’ in Spinoza in order to challenge her picture of the relationship between true religion and philosophy. Second, this leads me into a criticism of (...) her account of the nature of philosophy in Spinoza. I argue it is less piecemeal and less akin to what we would recognize as ‘science’ than she suggests. Third, I argue against James's core commitment that Spinoza's three kinds of knowledge differ in degree; I claim they differ in kind. My argument will offer a new interpretation of Spinoza's conception of ‘common notions’. Moreover, I argue that Spinozistic adequate knowledge involves something akin to angelic disembodiment. (shrink)
''There is no doubt that postgraduate students and researchers in cognitive neuroscience will find this book to be a useful tool and I would not hesitate to recommend it... The relatively short length of the essays and their overview of current research, make them ideal reading material for more advanced researchers... The book therefore serves as an ideal starting place for cognitive psychologists who want to know more about cognitive neuroscience.'' -Applied Cognitive Psychology, 16Cognitive neuroscience has been the most productive, (...) and arguably the most exciting area of growth in psychology and neuroscience over recent years, with remarkable insights into the brain mechanisms of cognitive abilities being gained from studies of both animals and humans. Johan Bolhuis has brought together a stellar list of contributors, including, amongst others, Patrick Bateson, Lawrence Weiskrantz, Robert Hinde, Eric Kandel, Mark Johnson, and James McGaugh to provide a truly authoritative and comprehensive overview of our current knowledge of the essential neural mechanisms of perception, learning, and memory. Written to be accessible to advanced undergraduates, and postgraduates, the book describes the latest advances in the most important fields of cognitive neuroscience. Brain, Perception, Memory will be an invaluable reference work and textbook for advanced students and researchers in cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and animal behaviour. (shrink)
My goal in this essay is to say something helpful about the philosophical foundations of deontic restraints, i.e., moral restraints on actions that are, roughly speaking, grounded in the wrongful character of the actions themselves and not merely in the disvalue of their results. An account of deontic restraints will be formulated and offered against the backdrop of three related, but broader, contrasts or puzzles within moral theory. The plausibility of this account of deontic restraints rests in part on how (...) well this account resolves the puzzles or illuminates the contrasts which make up this theoretical backdrop. (shrink)
On October 1, 1988, thirty-five years after co-discovering the structure of the DNA molecule, Dr. James Watson launched an unprecedented experiment in American science policy. In response to a reporter's question at a press conference, he unilaterally set aside 3 to 5 percent of the budget of the newly launched Human Genome Project to support studies of the ethical, legal, and social implications of new advances in human genetics. The Human Genome Project, by providing geneticists with the molecular maps of (...) the human chromosomes that they use to identify specific human genes, will speed the proliferation of a class of DNA-based diagnostic and risk-assessment tests that already create professional ethical and health-policy challenges for clinicians. “The problems are with us now, independent of the genome program, but they will be associated with it,” Watson said. “We should devote real money to discussing these issues.” By 1994, the “ELSI program” had spent almost $20 million in pursuit of its mission, and gained both praise and criticism for its accomplishments. (shrink)
ArgumentA plagiarism charge in 1827 sparked a public controversy centered between Jean-Victor Poncelet and Joseph-Diez Gergonne over the origin and applications of the principle of duality in geometry. Over the next three years and through the pages of various journals, monographs, letters, reviews, reports, and footnotes, vitriol between the antagonists increased as their potential publicity grew. While the historical literature offers valuable resources toward understanding the development, content, and applications of geometric duality, the hostile nature of the exchange seems (...) to have deterred an in-depth textual study of the explicitly polemical writings. We argue that the necessary collective endeavor of beginning and ending this controversy constitutes a case study in the circulation of geometry. In particular, we consider how the duality controversy functioned as a medium of communicating new fundamental principles to a wider audience of practitioners. (shrink)
Most philosophers writing about personal identity in recent years claim that what it takes for us to persist through time is a matter of psychology. In this groundbreaking new book, Eric Olson argues that such approaches face daunting problems, and he defends in their place a radically non-psychological account of personal identity. He defines human beings as biological organisms, and claims that no psychological relation is either sufficient or necessary for an organism to persist. Olson rejects several famous thought-experiments (...) dealing with personal identity. He argues, instead, that one could survive the destruction of all of one's psychological contents and capabilities as long as the human organism remains alive--as long as its vital functions, such as breathing, circulation, and metabolism, continue. (shrink)