In our attempts to track changes in geological practice over time and to isolate the source of these changes, we have found that they are largely connected with the germination of new geologic subdisciplines. We use keyword and title data from articles in 68 geology journals to track the changes in influence of each subdiscipline on geology over all. Geological research has shifted emphasis over the study period, moving away from economic geology and petroleum geology, towards physics- and chemistry-based topics. (...) The Apollo lunar landings had as much influence on the topics and practice of geological research as the much-cited plate-tectonics revolution. These results reflect the barely-tangible effects of the changes in vocabulary and habit of thought that have pervaded the substance of geology. Geological literature has increased in volume and specialization, resulting in a highly fragmentary literature. However, we infer that "big science," characterized by large amounts of funding, collaboration, and large logistical investments, makes use of this specialization and turns "twigging" into a phenomenon that enhances, rather than inhibits, the progress of science. (shrink)
Riassunto: Nel suo contributo Rosalba Morese si occupa di tre fenomeni di particolare interesse per comprendere il modo in cui gli esseri umani di fatto si comportano nei confronti dei loro simili quando sono coinvolte le loro identità di gruppo, ovvero l’altruismo parrocchiale, la punizione antisociale e la punizione altruistica. Scopo di questo lavoro è indagare se e in quale misura i dati comportamentali e di risonanza magnetica funzionale riportati da Morese possano informare le nostre teorie morali normative. Se, cioè, (...) esse possano non solo informarci circa il modo in cui di fatto gli esseri umani si comportano, ma se possano influire sulla nostra comprensione di come essi dovrebbero comportarsi; se dicano qualcosa del “dover essere” oltre che dell’“essere”. Parole chiave: Altruismo parrocchiale; Punizione antisociale; Punizione altruistica; Etica descrittiva; Etica normativa Parochial Altruism, Antisocial Punishment, and Altruistic Punishment: What Contribution Can Empirical Data Make to the Understanding of Ethics?: In her contribution, Morese takes into account three phenomena that are particularly interesting for understanding how human beings actually behave towards others when their group identities are involved – i.e. parochial altruism, antisocial punishment, and altruistic punishment. The aim of this commentary is to understand if and to what extent the behavioral and fMRI data reported by Morese can also inform our moral normative theories. That is, if they can inform us not only about how human beings actually behave, but also influence our understanding of how they should behave; if they tell us something about the “ought” as well as the “is”. Keywords: Parochial Altruism; Antisocial Punishment; Altruistic Punishment; Ethics; Normative Ethics. (shrink)
In her review of my book How we remember: Brain mechanisms of episodic memory, Sarah Robins highlights my example of the problem of interference between memories accessed by content-addressable memory. However, she points out the difficulty of solving this problem with index-addressable representations such as time cells or arc length cells. Namely, the index-addressable memory requires knowing the unique index in advance in order to perform effective retrieval. This is a difficult problem, but should be solvable by forming bi-directional (...) associations between an index-addressable sequence of time cells and an array of content-addressable features in the environment. (shrink)
This commentary focuses on two aspects of eye movement behaviour that E-Z Reader 7 currently makes no attempt to explain: the influence of higher order psycholinguistic processes on fixation durations, and orthographic influences on initial and refixation locations on words. From our understanding of the current version of the model, it is not clear how it may be readily modified to account for existing empirical data.
Philosophers and cognitive scientists alike often emphasize the role of the brain or cognitive processes “in the head” when trying to understand the mind – in contrast to considering cognition as involving the organism as a whole. This is evident in some contemporary theory of mind approaches that require the ability to make mental attributions to others either via inferences from folk psychology or via simulation. But there are numerous problems with adopting such theories of mind. In contrast, we should (...) consider the 4-E approach – that the mind is enactive (facilitating action via both practice and social affordances), embedded (in a particular environment), extended (such that we rely on the use of tools outside of our own brains or bodies to perform equivalent or complementary cognitive functions), and embodied (acknowledging that the individual’s body shapes the way in which her mind perceives and understands the world). From this approach, an alternative theory of mind emerges: interaction theory, which holds that we can directly perceive another’s intentions and emotions via sensory-motor processes. Here, I argue that by adopting the 4-E approach and interaction theory we can consider the more broadly biological foundations of cognition (i.e., outside of the brain) and then challenge paradigmatic views of human and non-human social cognition. (shrink)
Many languages grammatically mark evidentiality, i.e., the source of information. In assertions, evidentials indicate the source of information of the speaker while in questions they indicate the expected source of information of the addressee. This dissertation examines the semantics and pragmatics of evidentiality and illocutionary mood, set within formal theories of meaning and discourse. The empirical focus is the evidential system of Cheyenne (Algonquian: Montana), which is analyzed based on several years of fieldwork by the author.
On one view, the point of an assertion is to update the common ground (Stalnaker 1978, Karttunen 1974). On another, the point of an assertion is to propose an update to the com- mon ground (Groenendijk 2009, Mascarenhas 2009, and related work on the structure of discourse, e.g., Ginzburg 1996, Roberts 1996, Gunlogson 2001). In Murray (to appear), I merge these two views. I argue based on evidence from declarative sentences with eviden- tials that assertion has two components: what is (...) at-issue and what is not. The not-at-issue component of assertion is added directly to the common ground while the at-issue compo- nent is proposed to be added to the common ground. Here, I extend this analysis to yes/no questions in Cheyenne and their interaction with evidentials. I propose that the distinction between what is at-issue and what is not is also present in questions, and that it can be modeled in the same way. Specifically, both declarative and interrogative sentences make two contributions: they restrict and structure the common ground. The restriction is based on the not-at-issue component while the structuring relation is based on the at-issue component. (shrink)
Sarah E. Wilson, University of Central LancashireThis paper's account of the core issues at stake in relation to genetic enhancement is presented as an alternative to mainstream liberal defenses of enhancement. The mainstream arguments are identified as being associated with reproductive autonomy, individual choice, and a `neutral', passive interpretation of technology. The alternative account is associated with the perspective of `woman' or child-bearer, with a fundamental concern for social justice, and an understanding of society in both a global and (...) a contextual sense. This paper adopts a theoretical framework informed by feminist ethics, particularly a feminist ethic of care. The paper begins by outlining some of the key points of the care perspective, highlighting how this contrasts with a mainstream `justice' perspective, and illustrating how this is reflected in arguments relating to genetic enhancement. The paper then turns to a consideration of how a care perspective might be applied to questions of genetic enhancement, and how this may bring forward new issues. This includes in particular a consideration of IVF technologies and how applying understandings from research into this area brings forward usually unaddressed concerns in considering genetic enhancement. The final section of the paper covers some of the questions that there is space to ask once the narrow focus on individual rights is overcome. (shrink)
The aim of unpaid volunteer classroom assistants is to give extra support to children learning to read. The impact of using volunteers to improve children's acquisition of reading skills is unknown. To assess whether volunteers are effective in improving children's reading, we undertook a systematic review of all relevant randomised controlled trials (RCTs). An exhaustive search of all the main electronic databases was carried out (i.e. BEI, PsycInfo, ASSIA, PAIS, SSCI, ERIC, SPECTR, SIGLE). We identified eight experimental studies, of which (...) seven were RCTs. One of the RCTs was excluded because it did not meet the inclusion criteria. One RCT randomised intact classes and the other six studies randomised individual children and could therefore be included in a meta-analysis. All of the trials were fairly small, with the largest including 99 pupils. Four of the trials showed a positive outcome, while three showed a negative effect and the remaining study was equivocal. We pooled the four most homogeneous trials. The pooled data indicated an effect size of 0.19, which was not statistically significant ( p = 0.54, 95% confidence interval = -0.31 to 0.68). Overall, volunteering appeared to have a small effect on reading outcomes. However, the confidence intervals were wide, which could conceal a potentially large benefit or a harmful effect. Thus, more good quality RCTs are required in order to provide more conclusive evidence. (shrink)