Human experts are the source of knowledge required to develop computer systems that perform at an expert level. Human beings are not, however, able to reliably express what they know. As a result, experts often develop non-authentic accounts of their own expertise. These accounts, here termed reconstructed methods of reasoning, lead to computer systems that perform at a high level of proficiency but have the disadvantage that they often do not reflect the heuristics and processing constraints of a system user. (...) Reconstructed methods of reasoning are compared with authentic methods derived from the study of expert human behavior. Tests are proposed to establish the authenticity of reasoning methods and examples from medical diagnosis are used to illustrate how authentic methods of reasoning can be incorporated into an expert computer system. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
The rapid implementation and continuing expansion of forensic DNA databases around the world has been supported by claims about their effectiveness in criminal investigations and challenged by assertions of the resulting intrusiveness into individual privacy. These two competing perspectives provide the basis for ongoing considerations about the categories of persons who should be subject to non-consensual DNA sampling and profile retention as well as the uses to which such profiles should be put. This paper uses the example of the current (...) arrangements for forensic DNA databasing in England and Wales to discuss the ways in which the legislative and operational basis for police DNA databasing is reliant upon continuous deliberations over these and other matters by a range of key stakeholders. We also assess the effects of the recent innovative use of DNA databasing for “familial searching” in this jurisdiction in order to show how agreed understandings about the appropriate uses of DNA can become unsettled and reformulated even where their investigative effectiveness is uncontested. We conclude by making some observations about the future of what is recognized to be the largest forensic DNA database in the world. (shrink)
Current methods of forensic DNA profiling, based on Polymerase Chain Reaction amplifications of a varying number of Short Tandem Repeat loci found at different locations on the human genome, are regularly described as constituting the “gold standard for identification” in contemporary society. At a time when criminal justice systems in Europe and North America increasingly seek to utilize the epistemic authority of a variety of sciences in support of the apprehension and prosecution of suspects and offenders, genetic science and recombinant (...) DNA technology are often singled out for particular approbation. Indeed, the development and application of DNA profiling has been widely described as the “greatest breakthrough in forensic science since fingerprinting.”. (shrink)
"Sure to be controversial and of interest to a wide audience in feminist history" (Judith Grant, University of Southern California), this book draws on a wide range of political and intellectual traditions to demonstrate that, only by ...
Neoliberalism’s project of making the market the model for all modern freedoms means that critique needs to be able to unmask the distortions and to weigh the costs of its cultural appropriations and resignifications. This diagnostic/evaluative task presents a seeming challenge to the sociologist who is also answerable to scientific purposes that demand objectivity and impartiality. This article investigates two very different attempts to grasp this nettle. It contrasts Peter Wagner’s proposal to reclaim critique as ‘an essential feature of the (...) social sciences’ with Axel Honneth’s call for a reinvigoration of the ‘sociologizing dimension’ of a critical theory tradition. It is argued that neither approach is fully adequate to the challenges set by neoliberalism. The final section of the article suggests that to demonstrate the efficacy of sociology’s contribution to a critique of neoliberalism we need to review the relationship between theoretical reflection and everyday thinking and permit the former to do more analytic/evaluative work. (shrink)
The paper reviews the extent to which main formulations in Habermas's recent major work, Between Facts and Norms, make ground against feminist objections to the Habermasian project. Although the later work does not tamper with the core project of Habermas's theory of modernity, the terms in which the procedural norms of democratic interaction are now conceived clarify the sympathetic relevance of Habermas's project to feminism's own vital concerns. There is reason to suppose Habermas's construction of the motivations that prompt and (...) guide struggles to achieve personal autonomy is rather too narrowly conceived to capture the range of impulses that inform contemporary feminism. Despite this, I suggest that there remain good reasons for supposing that the recent conception of the project opens up the possibility for a more positive stage in Habermas's dialogue with feminism. Key Words: aesthetic communication feminism Habermas private/public relations public sphere. (shrink)
Culture and Enlightenment are the two words that best characterise the essence of György Markus's career, in whose honour this book is published. Markus devoted the last twenty years of research towards a theory of cultural objectivations and their pragmatics, and the great depth of his knowledge of the history of culture and philosophy informs all his teaching and writing. The pursuit of Enlightenment ideals attains reflective self-consciousness in Markus' works; forged in the knowledge of its own historicity, of the (...) embeddedness of rationalities in culture and in an awareness of the paradoxes that cling to the conscious affirmation of ideals which are no longer self evident or beyond questioning. In taking up the challenge of these paradoxes, Markus spans the whole history of modern philosophy and culture with a matchless authority.This book draws together contributions from leading figures in contemporary philosophy, who are also friends, colleagues and former students of György Markus. The book is divided into two sections: the first presents critical assessments of various aspects of Markus' wide-ranging works; the second presents contributions in celebration of his influence and his wide interests. In their critical assessment of Markus' work and in the demonstration of his influence, the contributors hope to convey something of the breadth and something of the excitement of doing philosophy in the company of György Markus. (shrink)
In a letter to his friend Drury, Wittgenstein claims to have been working on the same problems that Plato was working on in the Theaetetus. In this paper I try to say what that problem might have been. In the alternative reading of the dialogue that I construct here, attention is drawn to Socrates' frequent appeal in the course of discussion to the ordinary ways of speaking that he, and Theaetetus, and everyone else in Athens at the time engaged in. (...) The more abstruse theories of Heraclitus and Protagoras which Socrates and Theaetetus are discussing are found to do violence to these ordinary ways of talking, and found seriously wanting as a result. A case is made that the conventions and presuppositions of ordinary conversational speech are inherently normative, and constitute a valid standard against which philosophical theories may be measured. Lines of affinity are drawn between these claims advanced by Plato and the recent work of contemporary neo-pragmatists, and Robert Brandom's work in particular. (shrink)
Neoliberalism, we are told, has “seduced” feminism. What is meant is that the libertarian and democratic hopes that have scoped this radical social movement have been reconfigured and re-energised by neoliberal project that models all our freedoms upon the market. Misgivings about “seductions” and “betrayals” require that feminist theory adopts the role of the arbiter on goals and meanings and this puts strains upon its deep commitment to democratic epistemologies. The following paper finds that the leading theorist of feminism as (...) critique in a neoliberal age has failed to fully grasp the normative tension that is involved. Nancy Fraser fails to rethink the tasks of critique in terms that is sufficient to its role as arbiter on meanings. I suggest that this rethinking might be done without betraying the demands of a democratic epistemology if we reconstruct the emancipatory idealisations that underpin Fraser’s account of a democratic epistemology. While this rendering of feminism as critique retrieves a representation of feminist ideals that might unmask neoliberal distortions, it does so without betraying the responsiveness to self-interpreted needs that is also claimed by a critical and democratic feminist theory. (shrink)
The following discussion explores dimensions of feminism’s ongoing efforts to negotiate split normative claims. It attempts to push through a stalled debate within contemporary feminism by describing it as a mis-recognition of feminism’s double-sided normativity. It suggests that an ‘either/or’ construction of what feminism is about obscures the contribution that each can make to a clarification of the limitations and concealed entailments of the other. This investigation into the normative tensions within contemporary feminism will be illuminated in the second part (...) of the article with reference to Maria Markus’s reflections in her major essay ‘Decent Society and/or Civil Society?’ on the intertwined normativities that form the ‘utopian horizon’ of modern democracies. (shrink)
Completed shortly before her death in 2019, _Tragedy and Philosophy. A Parallel History_ is the sum of Agnes Heller’s reflections on European history and culture, seen through the prism of Europe’s two unique literary creations: tragedy and philosophy.
Paul C. Johnson begins his new work, Automatic Religion, with the observation that two of the capacities commonly taken to distinguish humans from nonhumans-free will and religion-are fundamentally opposed. Free will enjoys a central place in our ideas of spontaneity, authorship, and the conscious weighing of alternatives. Meanwhile, religion is less a quest for agency than a series of practices--possession rituals being the most spectacular though by no means the only examples--that temporarily relieve individuals of their will. What, then, is (...) agency and why has it occupied such a central place in theories of the human? Based on a dozen years of archival and ethnographic research in Brazil and France, this book tests the boundaries between humans and non-humans in an unlikely series of episodes from the closing decades of the nineteenth century, when ideas related to automatism lurched into motion on multiple tracks and, not incidentally, "religion" as a topic of study was being born. Brazil provided a particularly fertile place for reflection as the nearest site of what Europeans and Euro-Americans too often, too naïvely, and too imperially saw as raw nature, and thus also a laboratory of the human. In this context, the French would call Brazil's people monkeys; its slaves were called automatons; and Afro-Brazilian spirit possession priests were classed in the terms of French psychiatry's newly minted terms, dissociation and hysteria. Johnson shows not just how automatons can take on unexpectedly human-like lives when animated but also traces how certain groups have been excluded as less-than-human. In so doing, Johnson reanimates one of the most mysterious and yet foundational questions of trans-Atlantic thought-what is agency? (shrink)