In the 11th chapter of the second book of Samuel, we read how King David saw Bathsheba in the evening: ‘v.2. And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.’.
This essay examines the origin of genotype-environment interaction, or G×E. "Origin" and not "the origin" because the thesis is that there were actually two distinct concepts of G×E at this beginning: a biometric concept, or \[G \times E_B\], and a developmental concept, or \[G \times E_D \]. R. A. Fisher, one of the founders of population genetics and the creator of the statistical analysis of variance, introduced the biometric concept as he attempted to resolve one of the main problems in (...) the biometric tradition of biology - partitioning the relative contributions of nature and nurture responsible for variation in a population. Lancelot Hogben, an experimental embryologist and also a statistician, introduced the developmental concept as he attempted to resolve one of the main problems in the developmental tradition of biology - determining the role that developmental relationships between genotype and environment played in the generation of variation. To argue for this thesis, I outline Fisher and Hogben's separate routes to their respective concepts of G × E; then these separate interpretations of G × E are drawn on to explicate a debate between Fisher and Hogben over the importance of G × E, the first installment of a persistent controversy. Finally, Fisher's \[G \times E_B\] and Hogben's \[G \times E_D \] are traced beyond their own work into mid-2Oth century population and developmental genetics, and then into the infamous IQ Controversy of the 1970s. (shrink)
Marcia Baron has offered an illuminating and fruitful discussion of extra-legal excuses. What is particularly useful, and particularly important, is her focus on our excusatory practices—on the ways and contexts in which we make, offer, accept, bestow and reject excuses: if we are to reach an adequate understanding of excuses, their implications and their grounds, we must attend to the roles that they can play in our human activities and relationships—and to the complexities and particularities of those roles. However, I (...) want to focus my comments less on the details of Baron’s discussions of excuses in extra-legal contexts than on the implications of her discussion for our understanding of excuses in the criminal law. What light (if any, a sceptic might add) can such analyses of our extra-legal concepts and practices throw on legal concepts and doctrines? (shrink)
Three arguments are proposed against the idea that ordinary talk about the mind constitutes a folk psychology, a sort of prescientific theory which explains human behaviour and which is ripe for replacement by a neurological or computational theory with better scientific credentials. First, not all talk of the mind is introduced to explain in the way assumed by those who think that mental talk hypothesizes inner processes to explain behaviour. Second, the individuation of the behaviour which is explained by the (...) inner processes itself requires reference to ?mental? states such as intentions or desires. Consequently the project is circular. Finally, scientific theory is a practice with a history which may be matched in the case of ordinary talk of the mind. Certainly ordinary talk of motives, intentions, and thoughts may be infected by the theorizing of economists and sociologists et al., but it is impossible that all talk of the mind should be theoretical in this way. (shrink)
This article draws on scientific explanations of obesity to motivate the creation of a system of paternalistic public health interventions into the obesity epidemic. Libertarian paternalists argue that paternalism is warranted in light of the cognitive limits of human decision-making abilities. There are further, specific biological limits on our capacity to choose and maintain a healthy diet. These biological facts strengthen the general motivation for libertarian paternalism. As a consequence, the creation of a system of paternalistic public health interventions into (...) the obesity epidemic is warranted. (shrink)
'Most of us are still groping for answers about what makes life worth living, or what confers meaning on individual lives', writes Charles Taylor in Sources of the Self. 'This is an essentially modern predicament.' Charles Taylor's latest book sets out to define the modern identity by tracing its genesis, analysing the writings of such thinkers as Augustine, Descartes, Montaigne, Luther, and many others. This then serves as a starting point for a renewed understanding of modernity. Taylor argues that modern (...) subjectivity has its roots in ideas of human good, and is in fact the result of our long efforts to define and attain the good. The modern turn inwards is far from being a disastrous rejection of rationality, as its critics contend, but has at its heart what Taylor calls the affirmation of ordinary life. He concludes that the modern identity, and its attendant rejection of an objective order of reason, is far richer in moral sources that its detractors allow. Sources of the Self provides a decisive defence of the modern order and a sharp rebuff to its critics. (shrink)
This paper considers recent heated debates led by Jerry A. Coyne andMichael J. Wade on issues stemming from the 1929–1962 R.A. Fisher-Sewall Wrightcontroversy in population genetics. William B. Provine once remarked that theFisher-Wright controversy is central, fundamental, and very influential.Indeed,it is also persistent. The argumentative structure of therecent (1997–2000) debates is analyzed with the aim of eliminating a logicalconflict in them, viz., that the two sides in the debates havedifferent aims and that, as such, they are talking past each other. (...) Given aphilosophical analysis of the argumentative structure of the debates,suggestions supportive of Wade's work on the debate are made that areaimed, modestly, at putting the persistent Fisher-Wright controversy on thecourse to resolution. (shrink)
This book examines responsibility and luck as these issues arise in tort law, criminal law, and distributive justice. The central question is: whose bad luck is a particular piece of misfortune? Arthur Ripstein argues that there is a general set of principles to be found that clarifies responsibility in those cases where luck is most obviously an issue: accidents, mistakes, emergencies, and failed attempts at crime. In revealing how the problems that arise in tort and criminal law as well as (...) distributive justice invite structurally parallel solutions, the author also shows the deep connection between individual responsibility and social equality. This is a challenging and provocative book that will be of special interest to moral and political philosophers, legal theorists, and political scientists. (shrink)
Criminal attempts, it is often said, are crimes of intention. While many complete crimes can be committed recklessly, criminal attempts require “purposive conduct”; in attempts “the intent is the essence of the crime.” But what kind of intention is required; what must be intended, or purposed, by someone who is to be guilty of a criminal attempt?
I can get away with it because no one is in a position to call me on it. Professor Robinson cannot consistently complain that (A) begs the question against his thesis that there is no such fallacy. He would discourage anyone from "helping" him by accusing me of committing the fallacy against him. With advocates like that, who needs adversaries? I. EMBEDDING PERSPECTIVES After all, Robinson has a viable reply to my argument. He should simply deny my premise. Later I (...) will show how (A) might rationally persuade Robinson. But my immediate goal is not to convert the skeptic about the existence of the fallacy but rather to use his extreme position to make a point about the nature of question-begging. Those who object that argument (A) begs the question against Robinson must do so on behalf of Robinson. This assistance requires that one launch the accusation from Robinson's perspective and with his dialectical interests at heart. (shrink)
We present an account of processing capacity in the ACT-R theory. At the symbolic level, the number of chunks in the current goal provides a measure of relational complexity. At the subsymbolic level, limits on spreading activation, measured by the attentional parameter W, provide a theory of processing capacity, which has been applied to performance, learning, and individual differences data.
After distinguishing different species of Legal Moralism I outline and defend a modest, positive Legal Moralism, according to which we have good reason to criminalize some type of conduct if it constitutes a public wrong. Some of the central elements of the argument will be: the need to remember that the criminal law is a political, not a moral practice, and therefore that in asking what kinds of conduct we have good reason to criminalize, we must begin not with the (...) entire realm of wrongdoing, but with conduct falling within the public realm of our civic life; the need to look at the different processes of criminalization, and to ask what kinds of consideration can properly figure in those processes; the need to attend to the relationship, and the essential differences, between criminal law and other modes of legal regulation. (shrink)
A categorical structure suitable for interpreting polymorphic lambda calculus (PLC) is defined, providing an algebraic semantics for PLC which is sound and complete. In fact, there is an equivalence between the theories and the categories. Also presented is a definitional extension of PLC including "subtypes", for example, equality subtypes, together with a construction providing models of the extended language, and a context for Girard's extension of the Dialectica interpretation.
Part of the Studies in Crime and Public Policy series, this book, written by one of the top philosophers of punishment, examines the main trends in penal theorizing over the past three decades. Duff asks what can justify criminal punishment, and then explores the legitimacy of actual practices by examining what would count as adequate justification for them. Duff argues that a "communicative conception of punishment," which he presents as a third way between consequentialist and retributive theories, offers the most (...) fruitful way of understanding punishment's meaning and justification. Duff addresses such questions as how much sentences should be constrained by proportionality requirements; what modalities of punishment best communicate their intended meaning; and what decisionmaking procedures he envisions. This book will appeal to criminologists, philosophers, and others interested in theories of punishment. (shrink)
We construct a nonlow2 r.e. degree d such that every positive extension of embeddings property that holds below every low2 degree holds below d. Indeed, we can also guarantee the converse so that there is a low r.e. degree c such that that the extension of embeddings properties true below c are exactly the ones true belowd.Moreover, we can also guarantee that no b ≤ d is the base of a nonsplitting pair.
Father Lonergan, Professor at the Gregorian University in Rome, writes from the conviction that by thoroughly understanding what it is to understand, one will understand the structure of all that is and can be understood. Focussing on insight, the very essence of understanding, Father Lonergan examines illustrations of insight in mathematics, science, common sense, etc., in order to bring the reader to an insight into insight. The sometimes annoyingly prolix discussion is intended to enable the reader to grasp within his (...) own self-consciousness the structure or invariant pattern of all understanding. The advance from lower to higher standpoints of understanding is traced, and a plurality of patterns appropriate to diverse domains, each standpoint of insight exhibiting a structure of understanding correlative to an intelligibility immanent in its subject matter, is acknowledged. Yet Father Lonergan pursues insight until at last he claims to discover the unifying, universal, invariant pattern and hence the ultimate metaphysical intelligibility. This structure or pattern proves to be essentially scholastic in conception, in particular Thomistic; yet the scholasticism Father Lonergan advances contains important revisions in matters of method and content. A carefully argued book, Insight is a remarkable combination of orthodoxy and originality.--A. J. R. (shrink)
The twenty volumes of the Robinet edition of the Oeuvres complètes de Malebranche contain a breadth, depth, and complexity of systemic metaphysical thinking that rivals that of any of the Modern philosophers. Yet there is no readily available translation in English of any of the works of Malebranche. This situation is a scandal of linguistic parochialism and textbook conservatism. Besides that, Malebranche is hard. Only four booklength studies have been attempted in English on the Malebranchean system in recent times: Ralph (...) Withington Church’s A Study in the Philosophy of Malebranche, Beatrice K. Rome’s The Philosophy of Malebranche, Craig Walton’s De la recherche de bien: A Study of Malebranche’s Science of Ethics, and now Daisie Radner’s historical/analytical study, Malebranche. In my estimation, this last is the best. Radner places Malebranche firmly in "The Cartesian Framework" and then provides comprehensive and concise expositions and interpretations in her six remaining chapters on the major Malebranchean themes: "Causality: The Doctrine of Occasionalism," "Vision in God," "Four Ways of Knowing," "Intelligible Extension," "The Polemic Concerning Ideas," "Will and Method." Her text is clean, and some of the arguments are elegantly expressed. Large amounts of Malebranchean metaphysics are distilled into detailed expositions compactly conveyed in a few pages. The substance of Malebranche’s critics and previous interpreters is chiseled down unmercifully, but is always fair. What remains is a solid, balanced précis of the essential content and structure of Malebranche’s highly original metaphysical system. (shrink)
I begin by discussing the ways in which a would-be blamer's own prior conduct towards the person he seeks to blame can undermine his standing to blame her. This provides the basis for an examination of a particular kind of 'bar to trial' in the criminal law – of ways in which a state or a polity's right to put a defendant on trial can be undermined by the prior misconduct of the state or its officials. The examination of this (...) often neglected legal phenomenon illuminates some central features of the criminal law and the criminal process, and some of the preconditions for the legitimacy of the criminal law in a liberal republic. (shrink)
It is argued that the Tractatus Project of Logical Atomism, in which the world is conceived of as the totality of independent atomic facts, can usefully be understood by conceiving of each fact as a bit in logical space. Wittgenstein himself thinks in terms of logical space. His elementary propositions, which express atomic facts, are interpreted as tuples of co-ordinates which specify the location of a bit in logical space. He says that signs for elementary propositions are arrangements of names. (...) Here, the names are understood as numerical symbols specifying coordinates. It is argued that, using this approach, the so-called colour-exclusion problem, which was Wittgensteins reason for abandoning the Tractatus, is in fact soluble. However, if logical space is a continuum then some coordinates will need to be expressed by numerical symbols that are infinite in size. How is this to be understood in Tractatus terms? It is shown that, in the Tractatus, Wittgenstein did recognise the possibility of infinite propositions and sentences expressing them. At first sight his approach to infinite sentences, and the approach of the present paper, seem to differ, but it is argued that the difference is superficial. Finally, we address the question of whether Logical Atomism is viable and this raises issues concerning its relationship to natural science. (shrink)
After reviewing some of the difficulties caused by spam and summarizing the arguments of its defenders, this paper will focus on its present legal status. It will then dwell on spam from a moral point of view and address some of the ethical implications associated with transmitting this unsolicited commercial e-mail. It will attempt to sort out the conflicting rights involved and develop a viable case that even if we prescind from its social costs, spam is ethically questionable under certain (...) conditions. Moreover, given the current volume of spam and its negative impact on the Internet environment, the transmission of spam can also be characterized as an asocial act primarily because of the significant externalities which it generates. As a result, spam cannot be justified from the perspective of duty-based moral philosophies that emphasize the need to conform to the legitimate norms of the community. (shrink)
Epistemicists say there is a last positive instance in a sorites sequence-we just cannot know which is the last. Timothy Williamson explains that knowledge requires a margin for error and this ensures that the last heap will not be knowable as a heap. However, there is a class of disjunctive predicates for which knowledge at the thresholds is possible. They generate sorites paradoxes that cannot be diagnosed with the margin for error principle.