Advance Praise: "A distillation of the wisdom accumulated over a lifetime by one of our leading thinkers in psychiatry. . . .It should interest. . .anyone who has thought seriously about the brain, the mind and the meaning of illness." --Albert J. Stunkard, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania.
The debate between the “Transcendental” and “Neo-” Thomists is an ongoing concern. Specifically, Jeremy Wilkins and John F.X. Knasas differ sharply over the correct interpretation of St. Thomas, Bernard Lonergan, and the very nature of cognition itself (ACPQ 78 ). This debate is clouded, however, due to a lack of appreciation for key terms, specifically, “sensation” and Lonergan’s own phrase “the notion of being.” Using the distinction between precisive and non-precisive abstraction, the author clarifies the relevant sense of “sensation” and (...) its related concepts. The clarification reveals that Wilkins and Knasas use such terms in markedly different, though compatible ways. Second, the notion of being as it is presented in various texts of Lonergan is examined. Contrary to what is supposed by Knasas, the notion of being, for Lonergan, contributes no formal or constitutive element to human knowing, and is in fact a pure potency with respect to intelligibility. Accordingly, any concerns or charges of crypto-Kantianism with respect to Lonergan are unfounded. (shrink)
We consider various curious features of general relativity, and relativistic field theory, in two spacetime dimensions. In particular, we discuss: the vanishing of the Einstein tensor; the failure of an initial-value formulation for vacuum spacetimes; the status of singularity theorems; the non-existence of a Newtonian limit; the status of the cosmological constant; and the character of matter fields, including perfect fluids and electromagnetic fields. We conclude with a discussion of what constrains our understanding of physics in different dimensions.
Knowledge of mechanisms is critical for causal reasoning. We contrasted two possible organizations of causal knowledge—an interconnected causal network, where events are causally connected without any boundaries delineating discrete mechanisms; or a set of disparate mechanisms—causal islands—such that events in different mechanisms are not thought to be related even when they belong to the same causal chain. To distinguish these possibilities, we tested whether people make transitive judgments about causal chains by inferring, given A causes B and B causes C, (...) that A causes C. Specifically, causal chains schematized as one chunk or mechanism in semantic memory led to transitive causal judgments. On the other hand, chains schematized as multiple chunks led to intransitive judgments despite strong intermediate links. Normative accounts of causal intransitivity could not explain these intransitive judgments. (shrink)
Public health and service delivery programmes, interventions and policies are typically developed and implemented for the primary purpose of effecting change rather than generating knowledge. Nonetheless, evaluations of these programmes may produce valuable learning that helps determine effectiveness and costs as well as informing design and implementation of future programmes. Such studies might be termed ‘opportunistic evaluations’, since they are responsive to emergent opportunities rather than being studies of interventions that are initiated or designed by researchers. However, current ethical guidance (...) and registration procedures make little allowance for scenarios where researchers have played no role in the development or implementation of a programme, but nevertheless plan to conduct a prospective evaluation. We explore the limitations of the guidance and procedures with respect to opportunistic evaluations, providing a number of examples. We propose that one key missing distinction in current guidance is moral responsibility: researchers can only be held accountable for those aspects of a study over which they have control. We argue that requiring researchers to justify an intervention, programme or policy that would occur regardless of their involvement prevents or hinders research in the public interest without providing any further protections to research participants. We recommend that trial consent and ethics procedures allow for a clear separation of responsibilities for the intervention and the evaluation. (shrink)
Research on destructive leadership has largely focused on leader characteristics thought to be responsible for harmful organizational outcomes. Recent findings, however, demonstrate the need to examine important contextual factors underlying such processes. Thus, the present study sought to determine the effects of an organization's climate and financial performance, as well as the leader's gender, on subordinate perceptions of and reactions (i.e., whistle-blowing intentions) to aversive leadership, a form of destructive leadership based on coercive power. 302 undergraduate participants read through a (...) series of vignettes describing a fictional organization, its employees, and an aversive leader in charge of the company's sales department. They were then asked to envision themselves as subordinates of the leader and respond to several quantitative measures and open-ended questions. Consistent with Padilla and colleagues' (2007) toxic triangle theory, results suggest that both perceptions and reactions to aversive leadership depend on the three aforementioned factors. Specifically, aversive leaders were perceived more aversively and elicited greater whistle-blowing intentions in financially unstable organizations possessing climates intolerant of negative leader behavior. Moreover, female aversive leaders were perceived more aversively than their male counterparts under such conditions. Theoretical and practical implications as well as future research directions are also discussed. (shrink)