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 ...
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)
Already by the mid-1980s, Habermas supposed that our utopian energies had been used up. Today, when a neo-liberal 'realism' seems to be a virtually dominant ideology, the climate appears, if anything, yet more hostile to radical hopes. Even while he recognises the obstacles and is clear that we might never succeed in breaking through the 'Gordian knot', Habermas is not prepared to surrender to a proclaimed 'end of politics'. This paper traces some of the ways in which his recent works (...) theorise and attempt to balance twin legacies of a critical theory tradition. Habermas wants to mediate the radicalness of vision required by a critical theory with the perceived reasonableness of its standpoint that is also necessary if theory is to engage concrete actors. Many of his critics suppose that Habermas has not achieved the right balance and that his interest in the self-reforming potentials of liberal democracies weights reasonableness too highly. The following paper sets out to defend Habermas from some of these charges. However, ultimately it finds that his theory has identified the needs for autonomy that it seeks to critically connect up with too narrowly. This means that, to some extent, Habermas' critical theory continues to 'miss its mark'. (shrink)
The following paper considers the extent to which discourse ethics can adequately respond to Habermas' own call for normative justification for the expectation of tolerance. It concludes that discourse ethics is able to lend its services to the flagging fortunes of the idea of toleration, not by seeking to underscore this idea with rationally compelling argumentation,but by offering insights into the possibilities opened up to a life which accepts this principle.
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.
This article starts off by giving Habermas the opportunity to defend the ‘remnants of utopianism’ in his thinking that might seem to fly in the face of grim sociological realities. He wants to cut the ground from under a fashionable scepticism about our capacity to use a description of the unrealized potentials of the present as the basis for orienting ourselves to a desired future. This is to be done by persuading us that we have been looking in the wrong (...) place for an account of the utopian significance of modernizing achievements. The defeat of utopian energies thesis rests on a one-sided description of modernization processes that neglects their complex and ambiguous achievements and, in particular, ignores the legacy of democratic Enlightenment. Yet Habermas’s own estimation of the ambiguous legacies of cultural modernization also appears to be one-sided. The last part of the article finds that his argument with the end of utopian energies thesis rests on a narrow appreciation of the range of ways in which the potentials of cultural modernization have been described. There is, after all, a residual totalizing description of the role of the theorist in Habermas’s inability to concede the irreducible integrity of Romantic hopes for emancipated futures. (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)
Neo-liberalism is not working but carries on regardless. A society and all of its institutions modelled on market logics and imperatives has produced system crisis and has lost widespread popular support. To account for neo-liberalism’s continuing grip, we must submit this project to ideology critique. Max Horkheimer offers some relevant insights into what this requires. Ideology critique needs to come up with a competing measure of progress, it has to demonstrate why this ought to be the standard and it needs (...) to expose the means by which this alternative is blocked. This article suggests that the normativity that underpins a social democratic project is best placed to prosecute these key tasks in a neo-liberal and historicizing age. It draws upon two major accounts of the ideological battlefield that has been staked out between neo-liberal and social democratic projects, looking to Wolfgang Streeck and Michel Foucault to identify the cultural resources that are available to, and the blocking strategies that have to be negotiated by, ideology critique in neo-liberal times. Finally it, turns to György Markus’s fine-grained and critical reading of the tasks of ideology critique outlined by Karl Marx. This section puts ideology critique into dialogue with a social democratic normativity in order to better consider the traction of ideology critique in a neo-liberal age. (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)