In the last decade, reading research has seen a paradigmatic shift. A new wave of computational models of orthographic processing that offer various forms of noisy position or context-sensitive coding have revolutionized the field of visual word recognition. The influx of such models stems mainly from consistent findings, coming mostly from European languages, regarding an apparent insensitivity of skilled readers to letter order. Underlying the current revolution is the theoretical assumption that the insensitivity of readers to letter order reflects the (...) special way in which the human brain encodes the position of letters in printed words. The present article discusses the theoretical shortcomings and misconceptions of this approach to visual word recognition. A systematic review of data obtained from a variety of languages demonstrates that letter-order insensitivity is neither a general property of the cognitive system nor a property of the brain in encoding letters. Rather, it is a variant and idiosyncratic characteristic of some languages, mostly European, reflecting a strategy of optimizing encoding resources, given the specific structure of words. Since the main goal of reading research is to develop theories that describe the fundamental and invariant phenomena of reading across orthographies, an alternative approach to model visual word recognition is offered. The dimensions of a possible universal model of reading, which outlines the common cognitive operations involved in orthographic processing in all writing systems, are discussed. (shrink)
Children acquiring languages with noun classes have ample statistical information available that characterizes the distribution of nouns into these classes, but their use of this information to classify novel nouns differs from the predictions made by an optimal Bayesian classifier. We use rational analysis to investigate the hypothesis that children are classifying nouns optimally with respect to a distribution that does not match the surface distribution of statistical features in their input. We propose three ways in which children's apparent statistical (...) insensitivity might arise, and find that all three provide ways to account for the difference between children's behavior and the optimal classifier. A fourth model combines two of these proposals and finds that children's insensitivity is best modeled as a bias to ignore certain features during classification, rather than an inability to encode those features during learning. These results provide insight into children's developing knowledge of noun classes and highlight the complex ways in which statistical information from the input interacts with children's learning processes. (shrink)
The FDA's new table of surrogate endpoints used for drug approvals is an important step forward for overseeing the use of biomarkers in clinical trials. Nevertheless, we present several ways in which the table can be improved.
We focus on the recent non-causal theory of reasons explanationsof free action proffered by a proponent of the agency theory, Timothy O'Connor. We argue that the conditions O'Connor offersare neither necessary nor sufficient for a person to act for a reason. Finally, we note that the role O'Connor assigns toreasons in the etiology of actions results in further conceptual difficulties for agent-causalism.
Several debates in contemporary metaphysics provoke us to ask what an event is. One theory, Pioneered by chisholm, Develops the analogy between the occurrence of events and the truth of corresponding propositions. I call these propositional analyses. It is unclear whether their adherents wish to jettison our event-Concepts, And replace them with concepts from another category, Such as semantics. The other theory of what events are that I scrutinize, Namely kim's and goldman's property-Exemplification analysis, Seems reductive. My suspicion is that (...) if you attempt to boil down the occurrence of an event to the "obtaining" or "taking place" of a proposition-Like "state of affairs"--Or to the "exemplification" of a property by an "object"--At some "time", We have a residual event: a mysterious episode of "obtaining" or "exemplifying" in which either states of affairs or properties and objects participate. Reduction is unlikely. (shrink)
Many different analyses of the concept of de re belief have been proposed in recent years. Most of these analyses may be called ‘reductionist’ since they attempt to “reduce” de re belief to de dicta belief or to analyze de re belief in terms of de dicta belief. Some reductionist analyses are extremely liberal in their attribution of de re beliefs — they imply that people have de re beliefs in a variety of situations in which more restrictive analyses have (...) no such implication. In this paper I will show that the most liberal of the reductionist theories, those Roderick Chisholm calls “latitudinarian theories”, are unacceptable.Latitudinarian analyses have been proposed by many philosophers, including Ernest Sosa, Mark Pastin, and also, perhaps, W. V. Quine and Wilfrid Sellars. (shrink)
In a recent note, D. Braund has challenged my identification of the Pollio at whose home in Rome Herod's sons Alexander and Aristobulus stayed in 22 b.c. as Gaius Asinius Pollio, the famous consul of 40 b.c., who was a close friend of Julius Caesar and to whom Virgil dedicated his Fourth Eclogue. Braund's argument rests upon five grounds. If this Pollio were a man of the stature of Asinius Pollio, we would expect Josephus to make his identity clear and (...) not to describe him solely as one of Herod's most devoted friends . Josephus' reference to Pollio here is different from the definite references to Asinius Pollio elsewhere in Josephus, where he is referred to as Asinius or Gaius Asinius Pollio . In the latter passage his name is spelled Πωλίωνος, whereas the name of the host of Herod's sons is spelled Πολλίωνος. When Herod sent two other sons to Rome, they stayed ‘with a certain Jew’ , and hence it seems likely that the two other sons likewise stayed with a Jew. Asinius' role in the elevation by the Roman Senate of Herod to the kingship of Judaea was no greater than that of any other magistrate. (shrink)