These essays by Robert Schwartz on topics in the theory of vision are written from a pragmatic perspective. The issues and arguments will interest both philosophers and psychologists, covering new ground and bridging gaps between these disciplines. Schwartz begins historically, with discussions of problems raised and solutions offered in Bishop Berkeley's writings on vision, presenting Berkeley's views on spatial perception and the qualitative aspects of sensory experience in the context of recent theoretical and empirical work in vision theory. Schwartz then (...) turns to debates in both the philosophical and psychological literature over the view that perception is inferential and thus "indirect." Critically surveying competing characterizations of the idea of "inferential processes" he argues the need either to reframe radically the question or drop the issue. Next, Schwartz discusses pictorial representation and research on picture perception. Drawing on the work of Nelson Goodman, Schwartz explains and defends the advantages of a symbolic approach to both topics. Finally, he examines the quagmires that often develop when metaphysical concerns about the "real" and our ability to perceive it infect discussions and claims in the theory of vision. After analyzing issues arising in current psychological research on "object" perception, Schwartz turns to debates over the supposed essential nature of colors. An appreciation of the empirical and theoretical work on color perception suggests that there is no single or privileged analysis of the notion of "real colors." Schwartz circles back in the end to what he calls "that old chestnut of the philosophy of perception"--controversies over "the objects of perception"--and takes an Austinian look at the topic. (shrink)
A multilevel view of social change is presented in which socially responsible organizations, society, and high-hope individuals interact in support of hopefulness – thereby leveling the playing field. Suggestions are made about future research and the roles of organizations and society in eliciting hope in organizational and societal cultures.
This book examines longstanding problems in the theory of vision. Each section begins by looking at the issues as they were raised and discussed by Berkeley. This work is unique in its blend of philosophical and historical perspectives on contemporary problems of readership.
This paper accepts as given that business students want to get ahead. It criticizes business schools for their failure to reduce the incongruence between doing what is right and doing what it takes to get ahead. Because of this failure business school graduates carry negative ideas, attitudes and behaviors vis-à-vis social responsibility from business schools into the business world. Recommendations are made for increasing the social responsibility of business schools.
Despite a vast philosophical literature on the epistemology of mathematics and much speculation about how, in principle, knowledge of this domain is possible, little attention has been paid to the psychological findings and theories concerning the acquisition, comprehension and use of mathematical knowledge. This contrasts sharply with recent philosophical work on language where comparable issues and problems arise. One topic that is the center of debate in the study of mathematical cognition is the question of innateness. This paper critically examines (...) the controversy. (shrink)
The notion of veridicality has and continues to play a significant role in both the psychology and philosophy of perception. This paper raises questions about the very idea of perceptual veridicality. In particular, it examines the role the veridical/nonveridical distinction plays in our conception of visual illusions and visual constancies.
Most of us find the surgeon's surprise at this patient' request understandable, and it is hard to imagine any surgeon acceding to this patient's demand. On the other hand, the patient is right—the surgeon is denying his technical skill because his values are different from those of the patient, whose values the surgeon does not respect. The autonomy of the patient is being limited by the values of the doctor whose own interests, other than his interest in practicing medicine according (...) to his own ethical values, would remain unaffected by his decision to provide the service. (shrink)
This paper looks at the role of imagery in cognition from the standpoint of treating images as forms of symbolization. It begins by making some basic distinctions about different kinds of symbolic functioning. It then proceeds to examine issues concerning: the variety of types of symbol systems used in cognition, the analog-digital distinction, image picture-percept relations, and propositionality.
Television pictures of starvation and depredation are not the only way that famine and political instability in the horn of Africa have affected the United States. Many people from that region of the world are seeking political or economic refuge here, and they are exposing us to a culture that is in some ways — most notably, in the practice of female circumcision – so radically different from the prevailing American cultures that we have been stunned. They are also forcing (...) hospital ethics committees to face issues that cannot be resolved by the facile application of the settled principles that have guided those institutions for the past several years. Autonomy and multiculturalism, long the foundations of most ethics committee decision making, have started to give way to a list of formally articulated rights and wrongs – perhaps to a restatement and adoption of rules said to be based in natural law. Female circumcision, argues one newspaper letter writer, “is just a sickening display of male power disguised as legitimate dogma. (shrink)
Recently it has been argued that a model of directed perception provides an alternative to both indirect and direct accounts of the nature of vision. An examination of this proposal serves as a basis for challenging the meaningfulness and empirical import of the theoretical and ontological differences said to separate these models. Although focusing on James Cutting's work, the analysis is meant to speak more generally to the supposed significance of the distinctions among indirect, direct, and directed theories of perception.
This paper reexamines an early article by Noam Chomsky and Israel Scheffler concerning the proper formulation and status of Quine's criterion for ontological commitment. ( What is Said to Be,' "Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society", 69, 1958-59; reprinted in Scheffler, "Inquiries".) Somewhat different formulations of the criterion are proposed and their implications explored. It is also argued that Chomsky and Scheffler's views may be seen to foreshadow and lead to some of Quine's later more radical doctrines regarding ontological commitment.
At first glance, the first informed consent case to be decided by the High Court of Australia appears to be little more than a clear and simple description of the substantive law accepted in most American jurisdictions - although that is no small accomplishment in and of itself. In Rogers v. Whitaker, the highest court in Australia succinctly and persuasively rejected informed consent as a species of battery law, accepted it as a form, of ordinary professional negligence law, and adopted (...) the “American” patient-oriented standard for measuring the breach of a healthcare professional's duty to her or his patients. On second look, however, the opinion is an even more significant one because it reveals that the law of informed consent is now based on principles broad enough to create a duty on the part of healthcare providers to offer adequate health education to all of their patients. In Implicitly recognizing the physician's duty to educate her or his patients, the High Court's judgment is consistent with a view increasingly held In the medical and ethical communities that teaching patients about how to maintain their health is just as much a part of the doctor's function as diagnosing and treating disease. It may have taken 2,500 years for medicine to progress from, the Hippocratic notion that physicians should apply treatment to patients who are kept in blissful Ignorance of their condition and Its remedy, but there Is little doubt that medicine finally has entered a post-Hippocratic era. (shrink)
No one need deny the importance of language to thought and cognition. At the same time, there is a tendency in studies of mind and mental functioning to assume that properties and principles of linguistic, or language-like, forms of representation must hold of forms of thought and representation in general. Consideration of a wider range of symbol systems shows that this is not so. In turn, various claims and arguments in cognitive theory that depend on assumptions applicable only to linguistic (...) systems, do not go through or become difficult to state in a manner that makes them both interesting and plausible. (shrink)
In this paper I show that Goodman's theory of projectibility, although partly successful, is inadequate since it fails to take into consideration the "approximate" nature of certain scientific hypotheses.
It should come as no surprise that we will get three different answers to the same question since we have three lawyers on the panel. The law is a matter of policy, and there is usually no single “right” answer to these questions. Each lawyer will come to a question from a very different perspective and bring a different approach to the answer.
The following description is based upon an actual case in which a patient initiated legal action after suffering a complication subsequent to an invasive diagnostic procedure performed by a senior fellow. Named as codefendants were the senior fellow, attending physician, and the hospital. Because any hospital with house staff is potentially vulnerable to similar litigation, Ethics Committees at Work is addressing the questions raised by this dilemma.
The ethics research community has all but ignored issues of oversight ethics – the vices and virtues of overseers. This study develops a conceptual framework for exploring the ethics of oversight and provides insights into the design of codes of ethics for oversight institutions and for overseers. Analysis of business licensing in Israel reveals prospective and retrospective oversight ethics problems at the levels of national and local policy and implementation: Overseers failed to act on knowledge of breaches of business licensing (...) stipulations and took action known to be slow and ineffective; policymakers neglected their duty to enact significant policy change in an oversight system that was clearly not working. Partially as a result of these oversight failures, over one third of Israeli businesses are unlicensed, 23 people were killed in the collapse of an unlicensed banquet hall, 2 major fires erupted in the same shopping mall, and a fire in a fertilizer warehouse very nearly became a mega-disaster. (shrink)
As ethics committees become involved in discussing the propriety of euthanasia and assisted suicide, and as healthcare providers begin to seriously consider whether they might ever have a role in hastening the dying process, many have looked to The Netherlands as the only real example of a nation that permits euthanasia in limited circumstances. Unfortunately, partisans in the Dutch debate have often written about the Dutch experience as advocates rather than as neutral observers. Some have argued that euthanasia, which, they (...) claim, is rarely actually practiced, is universally accepted within The Netherlands; others have reported that the Dutch social fabric has been rended irreparably by what they claim, is a practice far more widespread than is generally understood. The debate in the United States has also been colored by a misunderstanding of the legal regulation of euthanasia in The Netherlands. (shrink)
In many countries the debate over the role that physicians may play in ending life has been limited to the judiciary and other law making institutions, professional medical organizations; and academics. Because of their multidisciplinary and diverse membership, ethics committees may be a particularly appropriate venue through which these discussions can be expanded to include a much larger community. In addition, ethics committees generally act in only advisory capacities because they do not actually make decisions, so they may provide a (...) forum for open discussions in ways that the court and the medical boards cannot. (shrink)
Roger Shepard's proposals and supporting experiments concerning evolutionary internalized regularities have been very influential in the study of vision and in other areas of psychology and cognitive science. This paper examines issues concerning the need, nature, explanatory role, and justification for postulating such internalized constraints. In particular, I seek further clarification from Shepard on how best to understand his claim that principles of kinematic geometry underlie phenomena of motion perception. My primary focus is on the ecological validity of Shepard's kinematic (...) constraint in the context of ordinary motion perception. First, I explore the analogy Shepard draws between internalized circadian rhythms and the supposed internalization of kinematic geometry. Next, questions are raised about how to interpret and justify applying results from his own and others' experimental studies of apparent motion to more everyday cases of motion perception in richer environments. Finally, some difficulties with Shepard's account of the evolutionary development of his kinematic constraint are considered. Key Words: apparent motion; circadian rhythms; constraints; ecological validity; evolution; internalizated regularities; kinematic principle. (shrink)
A theory of Goodman and Elgin concerning the individuation of literary works is examined and criticized. An alternative account is offered to meet various of the difficulties in their proposal. In addition, it is suggested that there may not be asingle account of the notion of a literary work that can best do all the jobs we expect of it.