Qualitative coalitional games were introduced as abstract formal models of goal-oriented cooperative systems. A QCG is a game in which each agent is assumed to have some goal to achieve, and in which agents must typically cooperate with others in order to satisfy their goals. In this paper, we show how it is possible to reason about QCGs using Coalition Logic, a formalism intended to facilitate reasoning about coalitional powers in game-like multiagent systems. We introduce a correspondence relation between QCGs (...) and interpretations for CL, which defines the circumstances under which a CL interpretation correctly characterises a QCG. The complexity of deciding correspondence between QCGs and interpretations for CL is shown to vary from being tractable up to Πp 2-complete, depending on the representation chosen for the QCG and interpretation. We then show how various properties and solution concepts of QCGs can be characterised as CL formula schemes. The ideas are illustrated via a detailed worked example, in which we demonstrate how a model checker can be deployed to investigate whether a particular system has the properties in question. (shrink)
The analysis of how social conventions emerge and become established is rightly viewed as a significant study of great relevance to models of legal and social systems. Such conventions, however, do not operate in a monotonic fashion, i.e. the fact that a convention is recognised and complied with at some instant is no guarantee it will continue to be so indefinitely. In total rules and protocols may evolve, with or without the consent of individual members of the society, even to (...) the extent that some cease to be observed or effective. In this paper we examine a framework for examining such changes in behavioural conventions that uses a proposed “taxonomy of social conventions” as the basis of a qualitative model deriving from value-based argument systems. (shrink)
The concept of strong admissibility plays an important role in dialectical proof procedures for grounded semantics allowing, as it does, concise proofs that an argument belongs to the grounded extension without having necessarily to construct this extension in full. One consequence of this property is that strong admissibility ceases to be a unique status semantics. In fact it is straightforward to construct examples for which the number of distinct strongly admissible sets is exponential in the number of arguments. We are (...) interested in characterizing properties of collections of strongly admissible sets in the sense that any system describing the strongly admissible sets of an argument framework must satisfy particular criteria. In terms of previous studies, our concern is the signature and with conditions ensuring realizability. The principal result is to demonstrate that a system of sets describes the strongly admissible sets of some framework if and only if that system has the property of being decomposable. (shrink)
Background Since the UK Abortion Act (1967), women have travelled from Ireland to the UK for legal abortion. In 2011 >4000 women did so. Knowledge and attitudes of medical students towards abortion have been published, however, this is the first such report from Ireland. Objective To investigate medical students’ attitudes towards abortion in Ireland. Methods All medical students at the University of Limerick, and physicians who graduated from the university within the previous 12 months, were invited via email to complete (...) an anonymous online survey. The questionnaire comprised 17 questions. Quantitative and qualitative analyses were performed. Results Response rate was 45% (n=169; 55% women; 88.2% <30 years of age; 66.7% Irish; 29.2% North American). Outcomes were: abortion should not be legally available (7.1%), abortion should be allowed in limited circumstances only (35.5%), abortion should be legally available upon request (55%). 72.8% of respondents were moderately/strongly prochoice (74% of women/71% of men/72% and 76% of Irish and North American respondents, respectively). Students aged >30 years were less likely to be prochoice (55%). While 95.2% believed that education on abortion should be offered within medical school curricula, 28.8% stated that they would decline to terminate pregnancies even if legally permitted. While 58.8% indicated that they might perform legal abortions once qualified, 25.7% would do so under limited circumstances only. Conclusions The majority of participants wanted education regarding abortion. Despite being predominantly prochoice, considerably fewer students, irrespective of nationality, indicated that they would perform abortions. (shrink)
In a recent article in this journal, Zachary Ardern criticizes our view that the most promising candidate for a naturalized criterion of disease is the "selected effects" account of biological function and dysfunction. Here we reply to Ardern’s criticisms and, more generally, clarify the relationship between adaptation and dysfunction in the evolution of health and disease.
In psychological science, mindfulness and compassion are thought to promote physical health, mental well-being and even virtuous character. Yet in Buddhist philosophy, mindfulness and compassion can cause suffering when the two are not balanced. One key mechanism of mindfulness is ‘dereification,’ which amounts to experiencing one’s thoughts just as thoughts and not as real representations of the world. If one focuses solely on thoughts as unreal representations, one can simply dismiss all such activity, leading to apathy. Compassion can be problematic (...) if one gets caught up in other-cherishing and if others’ aspirations and needs fail to align with those that one has imposed upon others. In this article, we review how the integration of mindfulness and compassion yields a novel framework to examine flourishing. As a case study, we apply these insights to the science of relationships, which leads to a re-conceptualization of ‘individual’ flourishing. (shrink)
This paper provides new tools for philosophical argument analysis and fresh empirical foundations for ‘critical’ ordinary language philosophy. Language comprehension routinely involves stereotypical inferences with contextual defeaters. J.L. Austin’s Sense and Sensibilia first mooted the idea that contextually inappropriate stereotypical inferences from verbal case-descriptions drive some philosophical paradoxes; these engender philosophical problems that can be resolved by exposing the underlying fallacies. We build on psycholinguistic research on salience effects to explain when and why even perfectly competent speakers cannot help making (...) stereotypical inferences which are contextually inappropriate. We analyse a classical paradox about perception, suggest it relies on contextually inappropriate stereotypical inferences from appearance-verbs, and show that the conditions we identified as leading to contextually inappropriate stereotypical inferences are met in formulations of the paradox. Three experiments use a forced-choice plausibility-ranking task to document the predicted inappropriate inferences, in English, German, and Japanese. The cross-linguistic study allows us to assess the wider relevance of the proposed analysis. Our findings open up new perspectives for ‘evidential’ experimental philosophy. (shrink)
Ever since Darwin people have worried about the sceptical implications of evolution. If our minds are products of evolution like those of other animals, why suppose that the beliefs they produce are true, rather than merely useful? We consider this problem for beliefs in three different domains: religion, morality, and commonsense and scientific claims about matters of empirical fact. We identify replies to evolutionary scepticism that work in some domains but not in others. One reply is that evolution can be (...) expected to design systems that produce true beliefs in some domain. This reply works for commonsense beliefs and can be extended to scientific beliefs. But it does not work for moral or religious beliefs. An alternative reply which has been used defend moral beliefs is that their truth does not consist in their tracking some external state of affairs. Whether or not it is successful in the case of moral beliefs, this reply is less plausible for religious beliefs. So religious beliefs emerge as particularly vulnerable to evolutionary debunking. (shrink)
The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC)has been identified as part of a supervisoryattentional network for selecting alternativemotor programs in response to top-down corticalprocessing, particularly in situationsinvolving conflicting cognitive tasks.Bilateral lesions to the ACC may be causallyassociated with akinetic mutism, where patientsare unable to voluntarily initiate responses.The clinical and neuroanatomical evidence forthis presumed causal association is examined atlength. However, given the many reciprocalprojections between cerebral, motor, limbic andparalimbic structures within the executivesupervisory network, the association ofvoluntary behavior with a particular structure(the ACC) is (...) highly controversial and thereforepremature at this time. Also considered is theclaim that our subjective sense of voluntarycontrol and free will is simply due toour not having conscious access to theunderlying neural computations that precede our decisions and actions. On thecontrary, the distinction between voluntary and involuntary thoughts and actions mayrather be a matter of temporal and directionallag between parallel computations in differentneural areas. Finally, with reference toDennett, there is an extended discussion ofwhether patients with akinetic mutism are (i) conscious automata, (ii) non-intentional systems, and (iii) in azombie-like state. The relevance of (i)–(iii) for the cognitive neuroscientificliterature is then briefly addressed. (shrink)
The etiological approach to ‘proper functions’ in biology can be strengthened by relating it to Robert Cummins' general treatment of function ascription. The proper functions of a biological trait are the functions it is assigned in a Cummins-style functional explanation of the fitness of ancestors. These functions figure in selective explanations of the trait. It is also argued that some recent etiological theories include inaccurate accounts of selective explanation in biology. Finally, a generalization of the notion of selective explanation allows (...) an analysis of the proper functions of human artifacts. (shrink)
In behavioral ecology some authors regard the innateness concept as irretrievably confused whilst others take it to refer to adaptations. In cognitive psychology, however, whether traits are 'innate' is regarded as a significant question and is often the subject of heated debate. Several philosophers have tried to define innateness with the intention of making sense of its use in cognitive psychology. In contrast, I argue that the concept is irretrievably confused. The vernacular innateness concept represents a key aspect of 'folkbiology', (...) namely, the explanatory strategy that psychologists and cognitive anthropologists have labeled 'folk essentialism'. Folk essentialism is inimical to Darwinism, and both Darwin and the founders of the modern synthesis struggled to overcome this way of thinking about living systems. Because the vernacular concept of innateness is part of folkbiology, attempts to define it more adequately are unlikely to succeed, making it preferable to introduce new, neutral terms for the various, related notions that are needed to understand cognitive development. (shrink)
Several authors have argued that causes differ in the degree to which they are ‘specific’ to their effects. Woodward has used this idea to enrich his influential interventionist theory of causal explanation. Here we propose a way to measure causal specificity using tools from information theory. We show that the specificity of a causal variable is not well-defined without a probability distribution over the states of that variable. We demonstrate the tractability and interest of our proposed measure by measuring the (...) specificity of coding DNA and other factors in a simple model of the production of mRNA. (shrink)
Some ‘naturalist’ accounts of disease employ a biostatistical account of dysfunction, whilst others use a ‘selected effect’ account. Several recent authors have argued that the biostatistical account offers the best hope for a naturalist account of disease. We show that the selected effect account survives the criticisms levelled by these authors relatively unscathed, and has significant advantages over the BST. Moreover, unlike the BST, it has a strong theoretical rationale and can provide substantive reasons to decide difficult cases. This is (...) illustrated by showing how life-history theory clarifies the status of so-called diseases of old age. The selected effect account of function deserves a more prominent place in the philosophy of medicine than it currently occupies. _1_ Introduction _2_ Biostatistical and Selected Effect Accounts of Function _3_ Objections to the Selected Effect Account _3.1_ Boorse _3.2_ Kingma _3.3_ Hausman _3.4_ Murphy and Woolfolk _4_ Problems for the Biostatistical Account _4.1_ Schwartz _5_ Analysis versus Explication _6_ Explicating Dysfunction: Life History Theory and Senescence _7_ Conclusion. (shrink)
We outline three very different concepts of the gene—instrumental, nominal, and postgenomic. The instrumental gene has a critical role in the construction and interpretation of experiments in which the relationship between genotype and phenotype is explored via hybridization between organisms or directly between nucleic acid molecules. It also plays an important theoretical role in the foundations of disciplines such as quantitative genetics and population genetics. The nominal gene is a critical practical tool, allowing stable communication between bioscientists in a wide (...) range of fields grounded in well-defined sequences of nucleotides, but this concept does not embody major theoretical insights into genome structure or function. The post-genomic gene embodies the continuing project of understanding how genome structure supports genome function, but with a deflationary picture of the gene as a structural unit. This final concept of the gene poses a significant challenge to conventional assumptions about the relationship between genome structure and function, and between genotype and phenotype. (shrink)
According to the distinguished philosopher Richard Wollheim, an emotion is an extended mental episode that originates when events in the world frustrate or satisfy a pre-existing desire. This leads the subject to form an attitude to the world which colours their future experience, leading them to attend to one aspect of things rather than another, and to view the things they attend to in one light rather than another. The idea that emotions arise from the satisfaction or frustration of desires—the (...) ‘match-mismatch’ view of emotion aetiology—has had several earlier incarnations in the psychology of emotion. Early versions of this proposal were associated with the attempt to replace the typology of emotion found in ordinary language with a simpler theory of drives and to define new emotion types in terms of general properties such as the frustration of a drive. The match-mismatch view survived the demise of that revisionist project and is found today in theories that accept a folk-psychological-style taxonomy of emotion types based on the meaning ascribed by the subject to the stimulus situation. For example, the match-mismatch view forms part of the subtle and complex model of emotion episodes developed over many years by Nico Frijda. According to Frijda, information about the ‘situational antecedents’ of an emotion—the stimulus in its context, including the ongoing goals of the organism—is evaluated for its relevance to the multiple concerns of the organism. Evaluation of match-mismatch—the degree of compatibility between the situation and the subject's goals—forms part of this process. (shrink)
I defend the view that many biological categories are defined by homology against a series of arguments designed to show that all biological categories are defined, at least in part, by selected function. I show that categories of homology are `abnormality inclusive'—something often alleged to be unique to selected function categories. I show that classifications by selected function are logically dependent on classifications by homology, but not vice-versa. Finally, I reject the view that biologists must use considerations of selected function (...) to abstract away from variation and pathology to form a canonical description of a class of biological systems. (shrink)
It is unreasonable to assume that our pre-scientific emotion vocabulary embodies all and only those distinctions required for a scientific psychology of emotion. The psychoevolutionary approach to emotion yields an alternative classification of certain emotion phenomena. The new categories are based on a set of evolved adaptive responses, or affect-programs, which are found in all cultures. The triggering of these responses involves a modular system of stimulus appraisal, whose evoluations may conflict with those of higher-level cognitive processes. Whilst the structure (...) of the adaptive responses is innate, the contents of the system which triggers them are largely learnt. The circuits subserving the adaptive responses are probably located in the limbic system. This theory of emotion is directly applicable only to a small sub-domain of the traditional realm of emotion. It can be used, however, to explain the grouping of various other phenomena under the heading of emotion, and to explain various characteristic failings of the pre-scientific conception of emotion. (shrink)
In earlier work I have claimed that emotion and some emotions are not `natural kinds'. Here I clarify what I mean by `natural kind', suggest a new and more accurate term, and discuss the objection that emotion and emotions are not descriptive categories at all, but fundamentally normative categories.
More powerful methods for studying and integrating the historical track record of scientific episodes and scientific judgment, or what Faust and Meehl describe as a program of meta‐science and meta‐scientific studies, can supplement and extend more commonly used case study methods. We describe the basic premises of meta‐science, overview methodological considerations, and provide examples of meta‐scientific studies. Meta‐science can help to clarify or resolve long‐standing questions in the history and philosophy of science and provide practical help to the working scientist.
In this paper, the authors show that there is a reading of St. Anselm's ontological argument in Proslogium II that is logically valid (the premises entail the conclusion). This reading takes Anselm's use of the definite description "that than which nothing greater can be conceived" seriously. Consider a first-order language and logic in which definite descriptions are genuine terms, and in which the quantified sentence "there is an x such that..." does not imply "x exists". Then, using an ordinary logic (...) of descriptions and a connected greater-than relation, God's existence logically follows from the claims: (a) there is a conceivable thing than which nothing greater is conceivable, and (b) if <em>x</em> doesn't exist, something greater than x can be conceived. To deny the conclusion, one must deny one of the premises. However, the argument involves no modal inferences and, interestingly, Descartes' ontological argument can be derived from it. (shrink)
A number of philosophers and ‘evolutionary psychologists’ have argued that attacks on adaptationism in contemporary biology are misguided. These thinkers identify anti-adaptationism with advocacy of non-adaptive modes of explanation. They overlook the influence of anti-adaptationism in the development of more rigorous forms of adaptive explanation. Many biologists who reject adaptationism do not reject Darwinism. Instead, they have pioneered the contemporary historical turn in the study of adaptation. One real issue which remains unresolved amongst these methodological advances is the nature of (...) ‘phylogenetic inertia’. To what extent is an adaptive explanation needed for the persistence of a trait as well as its origin? (shrink)
Many of the most important properties of human groups – including properties that may give one group an evolutionary advantage over another – are properly defined only at the level of group organization. Yet at present, most work on the evolution of culture has focused solely on the transmission of individual-level traits. I propose a conceptual extension of the theory of cultural evolution, particularly related to the evolutionary competition between cultural groups. The key concept in this extension is the emergent (...) group-level trait. This type of trait is characterized by the structured organization of differentiated individuals and constitutes a unit of selection that is qualitatively different from selection on groups as defined by traditional multilevel selection theory. As a corollary, I argue that the traditional focus on cooperation as the defining feature of human societies has missed an essential feature of cooperative groups. Traditional models of cooperation assume that interacting with one cooperator is equivalent to interacting with any other. However, human groups involve differential roles, meaning that receiving aid from one individual is often preferred to receiving aid from another. In this target article, I discuss the emergence and evolution of group-level traits and the implications for the theory of cultural evolution, including ramifications for the evolution of human cooperation, technology, and cultural institutions, and for the equivalency of multilevel selection and inclusive fitness approaches. (shrink)
Ever since Darwin people have worried about the sceptical implications of evolution. If our minds are products of evolution like those of other animals, why suppose that the beliefs they produce are true, rather than merely useful? In this chapter we apply this argument to beliefs in three different domains: morality, religion, and science. We identify replies to evolutionary scepticism that work in some domains but not in others. The simplest reply to evolutionary scepticism is that the truth of beliefs (...) in a certain domain is, in fact, connected to evolutionary success, so that evolution can be expected to design systems that produce true beliefs in that domain. We call a connection between truth and evolutionary success a ‘Milvian bridge’, after the tradition which ascribes the triumph of Christianity at the battle of the Milvian bridge to the truth of Christianity. We argue that a Milvian bridge can be constructed for commonsense beliefs, and extended to scientific beliefs, but not to moral and religious beliefs. An alternative reply to evolutionary scepticism, which has been used defend moral beliefs, is to argue that their truth does not depend on their tracking some external state of affairs. We ask if this reply could be used to defend religious beliefs. (shrink)