This book presents a theory of habitat rights for wild animals, positioning animal property rights within the existing institution of property and discussing the practical implications of giving property rights to animals.
This study reports the findings of a survey of television news directors drawn from a Radio?Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) sample. Rationale for the study centers around an apparent trend in television news to extend its ethical boundaries to include high proportions of sensationalism, privacy invasion, deception, unfair reporting, and the like. Five principles of journalism ethics? truth, justice, freedom, humaneness, and stewardship?are used as the framework for discussing results of 34 ethical questions. Results show most news directors clearly favor (...) traditional ethical solutions to ethical questions related to truth, justice, freedom, and stewardship principles. There is more disagreement among news directors in responses related to humaneness. (shrink)
Recent proposals to improve public communication about animal-based biomedical research have been narrowly focused on reforming biomedical journal submission guidelines. My suggestion for communication reform is broader in scope reaching beyond the research community to healthcare communicators and ultimately the general public. The suggestion is for researchers to provide journalists and public relations practitioners with concise summaries of their ‘animal use data’. Animal use data is collected by researchers and intended for the public record but is rarely, if ever, given (...) significant media exposure. By providing healthcare communicators with specific details about their animal use, researchers can play a role informing people about a matter of serious public interest and help to promote a more open and publicly accountable animal research culture. (shrink)
Marcus et al.’s experiment (1999) concerning infant ability to distinguish between differing syntactic structures has prompted connectionists to strive to show that certain types of neural networks can mimic the infants’ results. In this paper we take a closer look at two such attempts: Shultz and Bale [Shultz, T.R. and Bale, A.C. (2001), Infancy 2, pp. 501–536] Altmann and Dienes [Altmann, G.T.M. and Dienes, Z. (1999) Science 248, p. 875a]. We were not only interested in how well these two models (...) matched the infants’ results, but also whether they were genuinely learning the grammars involved in this process. After performing an extensive set of experiments, we found that, at first blush, Shultz and Bale’s model (2001) replicated the infant’s known data, but the model largely failed to learn the grammars. We also found serious problems with Altmann and Dienes’ model (1999), which fell short of matching any of the infant’s results and of learning the syntactic structure of the input patterns. (shrink)
A process-oriented model of belief is presented which permits the representation of nested propositional attitudes within first-order logic. The model (NIM, for nested intensional model) is axiomatized, sense-based (via intensions), and sanctions inferences involving nested epistemic attitudes, with different agents and different times. Because NIM is grounded upon senses, it provides a framework in which agents may reason about the beliefs of another agent while remaining neutral with respect to the syntactic forms used to express the latter agent's beliefs. Moreover, (...) NIM provides agents with a conceptual map, interrelating the concepts of knowledge, belief, truth, and a number of cognate concepts, such as infers, retracts, and questions. The broad scope of NIM arises in part from the fact that its axioms are represented in a novel extension of first-order logic, -FOL (presented herein). -FOL simultaneously permits the representation of truth ascriptions, implicit self-reference, and arbitrarily embedded sentences within a first-order setting. Through the combined use of principles derived from Frege, Montague, and Kripke, together with context-sensitive semantic conventions, -FOL captures the logic of truth inferences, while avoiding the inconsistencies exhibited by Tarski. Applications of -FOL and NIM to interagent reasoning are described and the soundness and completeness of -FOL are established herein. (shrink)
In his discussion of results which I (with Michael Hayward) recently reported in this journal, Kenneth Aizawa takes issue with two of our conclusions, which are: (a) that our connectionist model provides a basis for explaining systematicity within the realm of sentence comprehension, and subject to a limited range of syntax (b) that the model does not employ structure-sensitive processing, and that this is clearly true in the early stages of the network''s training. Ultimately, Aizawa rejects both (a) and (b) (...) for reasons which I think are ill-founded. In what follows, I offer a defense of our position. In particular, I argue (1) that Aizawa adopts a standard of explanation that many accepted scientific explanations could not meet, and (2) that Aizawa misconstrues the relevant meaning of structure-sensitive process. (shrink)
As the world's literary, religious, and philosophical traditions attest, deficiency in the world is a matter of perennial human concern. Ontologically speaking deficient existence is a problem that has occupied metaphysical thinking from Heraclitus to Heidegger. What is it to exist deficiently? ;This dissertation addresses the question, first, through a survey of answers given by six ancient philosophers. Parmenides describes deficient existence as changing multiplicity; Plato, as being in an inferior world; Plotinus, as mis-seeing; Augustine, as disorderedness; Gregory of Nyssa, (...) as "nothingification" &parl0;`h e ,xoud e&d12;nwsi v&parr0; ; Dionysius, as failed participation. The dissertation then gives a more systematic answer through close study of the metaphysics of John Scotus Eriugena , who builds on the foundation established by these thinkers. ;The Eriugenian cosmos is a "theophanic" one. To be is to be the showing or expression of God. What exists, then, is divine and good. Furthermore, all deficiencies, such as they are, must be characterized as privations or impoverishments. ;What can deficient existence be in such a world? Eriugena's first answer is that it is existence on an inferior level of reality. This dualistic view must be rejected, however, because it is not consistent with the fundamental metaphysical principles that reality is an ontological unity and every being is divine. ;Two better descriptions of deficient existence can be found in his metaphysics. First, to be deficiently is to see the world deficiently; that is, deficient existence is a misunderstanding of reality. Second, deficient existence is metaphysically incomplete existence. Being as a whole is an ontological work in progress, a creatio ex nihilo that is a creatio ex nihilo hic et illuc et ubique ---here, there, and everywhere. ;Such a creation depends in part on human choice and is subject to the destructive influences of non-being. But rather than a fall from some primordial perfection, creation is a movement towards perfection. Hence the existence that it constitutes is an existence in the theophanic world. Moreover, creation is theophanic to the extent that it does exist, even though, as deficient, it does not yet fully exist. (shrink)
Abstract Drawing upon evolutionary theory and the work of Daniel Dennett and Nicholas Agar, I offer an argument for broadening discussion of the ethics of disenhancement beyond animal welfare concerns to a consideration of animal “biopreferences”. Short of rendering animals completely unconscious or decerebrate, it is reasonable to suggest that disenhanced animals will continue to have some preferences. To the extent that these preferences can be understood as what Agar refers to as “plausible naturalizations” for familiar moral concepts like beliefs (...) and desires, then they can make moral claims on us and provide support for intuitive opposition to disenhancement. Content Type Journal Article Category Original Paper Pages 1-6 DOI 10.1007/s11569-012-0142-6 Authors John Hadley, School of Humanities and Communication Arts, University of Western Sydney, 7.G.10b, Bankstown Campus, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith, NSW 2751, Australia Journal NanoEthics Online ISSN 1871-4765 Print ISSN 1871-4757. (shrink)
Fodor's and Pylyshyn's stand on systematicity in thought and language has been debated and criticized. Van Gelder and Niklasson, among others, have argued that Fodor and Pylyshyn offer no precise definition of systematicity. However, our concern here is with a learning based formulation of that concept. In particular, Hadley has proposed that a network exhibits strong semantic systematicity when, as a result of training, it can assign appropriate meaning representations to novel sentences (both simple and embedded) which contain words (...) in syntactic positions they did not occupy during training. The experience of researchers indicates that strong systematicity in any form is difficult to achieve in connectionist systems.Herein we describe a network which displays strong semantic systematicity in response to Hebbian, connectionist training. During training, two-thirds of all nouns are presented only in a single syntactic position (either as grammatical subject or object). Yet, during testing, the network correctly interprets thousands of sentences containing those nouns in novel positions. In addition, the network generalizes to novel levels of embedding. Successful training requires a, corpus of about 1000 sentences, and network training is quite rapid. The architecture and learning algorithms are purely connectionist, but classical insights are discernible in one respect, viz, that complex semantic representations spatially contain their semantic constituents. However, in other important respects, the architecture is distinctly non-classical. (shrink)
The past decade has witnessed the emergence of a novel stance on semantic representation, and its relationship to context sensitivity. Connectionist-minded philosophers, including Clark and van Gelder, have espoused the merits of viewing hidden-layer, context-sensitive representations as possessing semantic content, where this content is partially revealed via the representations'' position in vector space. In recent work, Bodén and Niklasson have incorporated a variant of this view of semantics within their conception of semantic systematicity. Moreover, Bodén and Niklasson contend that they (...) have produced experimental results which not only satisfy a kind of context-based, semantic systematicity, but which, to the degree that reality permits, effectively deals with challenges posed by Fodor and Pylyshyn (1988), and Hadley (1994a). The latter challenge involved well-defined criteria for strong semantic systematicity. This paper examines the relevant claims and experiments of Bodén and Niklasson. It is argued that their case fatally involves two fallacies of equivocation; one concerning ''semantic content'' and the other concerning ''novel test sentences''. In addition, it is argued that their ultimate construal of context sensitive semantics contains serious confusions. These confusions are also found in certain publications dealing with "latent semantic analysis". Thus, criticisms presented here have relevance beyond the work of Bodén and Niklasson. (shrink)
A review of my undergraduate students' commentaries on two of Bartky's essays serves as the occasion for elaborating on Bartky's analyses of factors that sustain and perpetuate the subjection and disempowerment of women. In my elaboration I draw from John Stuart Mill's statement: "In the case of women, each individual of the subject-class is in a chronic state of bribery and intimidation combined." I conclude by raising the question, How is personal transformation possible?