Since the 1970s, climate change has dominated the international scientific and political agenda. In particular, the foundation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change at the end of the 1980s played a major role for the further enhancement of efforts in the field of climate change sciences. However, to understand the interaction of the worldwide coordination of climate change sciences as well as the role of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and its consequences, it is worthwhile to take a (...) look at the self-conception of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s tasks and work. This paper gives an idea of the history of international climate change science, its representation in public discourse and the role of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change by comprehensively illustrating its tasks, organization and self-image. Furthermore, the article tries to argue that the hitherto accepted concept of science followed within this body fails to integrate the idea of scientific ethics. It can be concluded that the conception of science represented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has heavily influenced worldwide attention to climate change, its becoming part of the political agenda as well as the ethical consequences. (shrink)
Simon Keller's The Limits of Loyalty makes an important and valuable contribution to a neglected area of moral psychology, both in presenting a clear and subtle account of loyalty in its various manifestations, and in challenging some assumptions about the role of loyalty in a morally decent life. Loyalty's domain is that of special relationships, and for some relationship types, Keller argues that these relationships rightly carry some motivational force, as in his analysis of filial duties. In other (...) cases, such as patriotism, ‘there is always something unfortunate about such loyalties’, for example, that they involve dispositions to ‘fall into bad faith’ or other confusions.Keller begins by examining diverse particular loyalties, then moves to more general questions about loyalty. He considers friendship patriotism, and the obligations of grown children to parents. He argues that loyalty tends to conflict with other values, such as epistemic integrity and draws the conclusion that loyalty as such should not …. (shrink)
William Rapaport, in “How Helen Keller used syntactic semantics to escape from a Chinese Room,” (Rapaport 2006), argues that Helen Keller was in a sort of Chinese Room, and that her subsequent development of natural language fluency illustrates the flaws in Searle’s famous Chinese Room Argument and provides a method for developing computers that have genuine semantics (and intentionality). I contend that his argument fails. In setting the problem, Rapaport uses his own preferred definitions of semantics and syntax, (...) but he does not translate Searle’s Chinese Room argument into that idiom before attacking it. Once the Chinese Room is translated into Rapaport’s idiom (in a manner that preserves the distinction between meaningful representations and uninterpreted symbols), I demonstrate how Rapaport’s argument fails to defeat the CRA. This failure brings a crucial element of the Chinese Room Argument to the fore: the person in the Chinese Room is prevented from connecting the Chinese symbols to his/her own meaningful experiences and memories. This issue must be addressed before any victory over the CRA is announced. (shrink)
Children have special duties to their parents: there are things that we ought to do for our parents, but not for just anyone. Three competing accounts of filial duty appear in the literature: the debt theory, the gratitude theory and the friendship theory. Each is unsatisfactory: each tries to assimilate the moral relationship between parent and child to some independently understood conception of duty, but this relationship is different in structure and content from any that we are likely to share (...) with anyone apart from a parent. A more promising account will concentrate on what is unique about the parent-child relationship. I articulate and defend the 'special goods theory', according to which filial duties arise from the distinctive kinds of goods that healthy parent-child relationships typically involve. (shrink)
Ensemble musicians play in synchrony despite expressively motivated irregularities in timing. We hypothesized that synchrony is achieved by each performer internally simulating the concurrent actions of other ensemble members, relying initially on how they would perform in their stead. Hence, musicians should be better at synchronizing with recordings of their own earlier performances than with others’ recordings. We required pianists to record one part from each of several piano duets, and later to play the complementary part in synchrony with their (...) own or others’ recordings. The pianists were also asked to identify their own recordings. The pianists were better at synchronizing with their own than with others’ performances, and they were able to recognize their own recordings. Furthermore, synchronization accuracy and recognition were correlated: Pianists who were relatively accurate at synchronizing with their own performances were also good at recognizing them. Thus, action simulation may underlie both synchronization and self-recognition. (shrink)
While care ethics has frequently been criticized for lacking an account of autonomy, this paper argues that care ethics' relational model of moral agency provides the basis for criticizing the philosophical tradition's model of autonomy and for rethinking autonomy in relational terms. Using Diana Meyers's account of autonomy competency as a basis, a dialogical model of autonomy is developed that can respond to internal and external critiques of care ethics.
Culturally different connotations of basic concepts challenge the comparative study of religion. Do persons in Germany or in the United States refer to the same concepts when talking about ‘spirituality’ and ‘religion’? Does it make a difference how they identify themselves? The Bielefeld-Chattanooga Cross-Cultural Study on ‘Spirituality’ includes a semantic differential approach for the comparison of self-identified “neither religious nor spiritual”, “religious”, and “spiritual” persons regarding semantic attributes attached to the concepts ‘religion’ and ‘spirituality’ in each research context. Results show (...) that ‘spirituality’ is used as a broader concept than ‘religion’. Regarding religion, semantics attributed by self-identified religious persons differ significantly from those of the spiritual persons. The ‘spiritual’ and the ‘religious’ groups agree on semantics attributed to spirituality but differ from the ‘neither spiritual nor religious’ group. Qualifications of differences and agreements become visible from the comparison between the United States and Germany. It is argued for the semantically sensitive study of culturally situated ‘spiritualities’. (shrink)
I argue that although in “The Gender/Science System,” Keller intends to formulate a middle ground position in order to open science to feminist criticisms without forcing it into relativism, she steps back into objectivism. While she endorses the dynamic-object model for science, she endorses the static-object model for philosophy of science. I suggest that by modeling her methodology for philosophy on her methodology for science her philosophy would better serve her feminist goals.
Through a series of multidisciplinary readings, Environmental Ethics: The Big Questions contextualizes environmental ethics within the history of Western intellectual tradition and traces the development of theory since the 1970s. Includes an extended introduction that provides an historical and thematic introduction to the field of environmental ethics Features a selection of brief original essays on why to study environmental ethics by leaders in the field Contextualizes environmental ethics within the history of the Western intellectual tradition by exploring anthropocentric (human–centered) and (...) nonanthropocentric precedents Offers an interdisciplinary approach to the field by featuring seminal work from eminent philosophers, biologists, ecologists, historians, economists, sociologists, anthropologists, nature writers, business writers, and others Designed to be used with a web–site which contains a continuously updated archive of case studies: http://environmentalethics.info/. (shrink)
Nature's experiments in isolation—the wild boy of Aveyron, Genie, their name is hardly legion—are by their nature illusive. Helen Keller, blind and deaf from her 18th month and isolated from language until well into her sixth year, presents a unique case in that every stage in her development was carefully recorded and she herself, graduate of Radcliffe College and author of 14 books, gave several careful and insightful accounts of her linguistic development and her cognitive and sensory situation. Perhaps (...) because she is masked, and enshrined, in William Gibson's mythic and false Miracle worker, cognitive scientists have yet to come to terms with this richly enlightening, albeit anecdotal, resource. (shrink)
In his Critique of Pure Reason, Kant makes the interesting, but obscure claim that the normative constraints that constitute the objectivity of our representations have their source ultimately in transcendental apperception. Keller focuses on this claim. He interprets Kant’s condition of transcendental apperception as the claim that I must represent myself in an impersonal way, and he argues that impersonal self-consciousness is a necessary condition under which I can distinguish my particular take on things from the way things are (...) independently of my own perspective on them. He elaborates his interpretation and defense of the condition of transcendental self-consciousness by discussing its role in each of the central arguments in the Critique in which the notion importantly figures: the transcendental deduction in both the first edition and in the second, the Analogies of Experience, the Paralogisms, and the second-edition refutation of idealism. (shrink)
A computer can come to understand natural language the same way Helen Keller did: by using “syntactic semantics”—a theory of how syntax can suffice for semantics, i.e., how semantics for natural language can be provided by means of computational symbol manipulation. This essay considers real-life approximations of Chinese Rooms, focusing on Helen Keller’s experiences growing up deaf and blind, locked in a sort of Chinese Room yet learning how to communicate with the outside world. Using the SNePS computational (...) knowledge-representation system, the essay analyzes Keller’s belief that learning that “everything has a name” was the key to her success, enabling her to “partition” her mental concepts into mental representations of: words, objects, and the naming relations between them. It next looks at Herbert Terrace’s theory of naming, which is akin to Keller’s, and which only humans are supposed to be capable of. The essay suggests that computers at least, and perhaps non-human primates, are also capable of this kind of naming. (shrink)
Molday and Hsu review results from in vitro experiments, which indicate that Ca-bound calmodulin reduces the cGMP sensitivity of the cyclic nucleotide-gated channel of photoreceptor cells, and speculate about the role they might play in the recovery of the light response. We discuss results from in vivo experiments that argue against the participation of Ca-calmodulin in photorecovery.
That emotions are especially valuable for our well-being has become a widely agreed upon claim. In this article, we argue that many of the ways in which the emotions are commonly considered to be prudentially valuable – hedonically, experientially, and adaptively – are not specific to the emotions: they are in fact shared by other affective reactions such as drives and sensory affects. This may suggest that emotions are not prudentially valuable in any distinctive manner. We challenge this suggestion by (...) arguing that, unlike other affective reactions, emotions provide unique contexts in which to refine our general sensibility to a wide variety of evaluative pro- perties – and that in this sense they are prudentially valuable in a distinctive way. (shrink)
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:Reviewed by:Ecological Ethics: An IntroductionDavid Keller (bio)Patrick Curry, Ecological Ethics: An Introduction. Malden, Massachusetts: Polity Press, 2007, 173pages.Were I in Bath having drinks with Patrick Curry, we would have much to agree about. Explaining his choice of title of his book, Ecological Ethics, he rightly points out that the more common descriptor "environmental ethics" presupposes a dualism between human beings and the nonhuman environment—an assumption which is itself (...) anthropocentric (p. 4). For philosophers interested in studying the human/ nonhuman dynamic, the legitimacy of anthropocentrism is itself an open question. Because the word 'ecology' treats humans, as biota, as integral parts of ecological systems, the phrase "ecological ethics" is less presumptuous and hence more accurate. The word 'ecological' also has the benefit of conveying the message that the subject is notgoing to involve extending moral considerability from humans out into the "environment." Instead, ecological systems as the locus of value provide the starting point for the elaboration of ethics (p. 2). For Curry, as for Leopold (1960) and Callicott (1989), "ecological community" is coextensive with the ethical community.To correlate the ethical community with the biotic community within the rubric of "ecological ethics" is nothing novel. Curry's claim that "there is something ancient about an ecological ethic" (p. 7) got me thinking: [End Page 153]prior to Abrahamic monotheism and Greek rationalism, ancient peoples, particularly nomadic hunter-gatherers, probably considered themselves as integral parts of what encompassed them, moving with herds, in concert with meteorological and seasonal changes, seeing themselves as one amongst other living beings. They probably did not see themselves apart from the "environment" as we have learned to do. Then with the advent of agriculture, linear furrows and controlled inundations must have fostered an addictive sense of security from flood and famine. Later, the innovations of industrial civilization further distanced us from the caprice of nature's wild vicissitudes. Yet that comfort comes at the expense of lost awareness of our responsibilities as bioticcitizens. Therefore, Curry says, following Sylvan (1973), we need a new ecological ethic since traditional Western morality "is no longer up to the job" (ibid.).Curry remarks that ethics, cast in this light, is not something "optional," something to be addressed after one's belly is full, debts settled, and lodging secured. Rather, ethics cuts directly to the core of human action, of all human activity (p. 5)—a claim reminiscent of Socrates' exhortation to Thrasymachus that it is no small matter that they are discussing, nothing of less importance than the right way to live one's life (Plato 2005, p. 603).Over the first sips of ale, I would praise him for giving his book a simple and straightforward structure that makes a challenging subject accessible, especially to students. After laying down the groundwork of basic concepts in moral philosophy (chapter 3)—objectivism versus relativism, the problem of the is/ought gap, religious morality and environmental philosophy (domination, stewardship, and managerialism), and virtue and rule-based ethics (chapter 4)—Curry addresses axiology (chapter 5). Are humans the sole locus of value (anthropocentrism), or are there other entities worthy of some sort of moral consideration who themselves do not carry the burden of moral responsibility (zoocentrism, biocentrism, ecocentrism)? Curry answers the latter in the affirmative, arguing that ontological interconnectedness of humans with other living beings within ecological systems discloses that something greater than humanity is the locus of value (p. 46).The most useful part of the book for my students out in Utah would be the middle chapters (6–8) in which Curry casts degrees of nonanthropocentrism [End Page 154]in shades of green. These shades range from light green or "shallow" anthropocentric ethics such Bookchin's Social Ecology (p. 50), Hardin's Lifeboat Ethics (pp. 52–54), and mainstream environmentalism (p. 51), through medium green ethics based on the extension of traditional human-oriented moral philosophy to nonhumans such as Singer's Animal Liberation (pp. 56–59), Regan's Animal Rights (pp. 59–60), and Taylor's Biocentrism (pp. 60–62). Curry proceeds to the dark green ethics of ecocentrism, such as Land Ethics (pp. 65–68), the Gaia Hypothesis (pp. 68–71... (shrink)
The Getty Museum owns 171 pictures by Ulmann, 55 of which are presented in the Museum's In Focus series. Judith Keller, associate curator of photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum, wrote the extensive accompanying captions and participated, along with William Clift, David Featherstone, Charles Hagen, Weston Naef, Ron Pen, and Susan Millar Williams, in a 1994 colloquium on Ulmann and her work.
A mesure que le XIXe siècle a donné la priorité à l'économie, on a cessé collectivement de vouloir rendre "l'homme meilleur". Mais avec la post-modernité, nouvel avatar d'une domination qui ne supporte plus qu'on lui apporte la contradiction, c'est en nuisant au "meilleur de l'homme" que l'économie poursuit sa conquête mondialisée. Pour ce qui est de cette nuisance particulièrement inconséquente, reconnaissons à la présente époque une efficacité inégalée dans l'Histoire. Quelque chose comme une volonté de mettre effectivement fin à l'Histoire.
The Internet appears to offer psychologists doing research unrestricted access to infinite amounts and types of data. However, the ethical issues surrounding the use of data and data collection methods are challenging research review boards at many institutions. This article illuminates some of the obstacles facing researchers who wish to take advantage of the Internet's flexibility. The applications of the APA ethical codes for conducting research on human participants on the Internet are reviewed. The principle of beneficence, as well as (...) privacy and confidentiality, informed consent, deception, and avoiding harm are all illustrated through the use of a hypothetical online study. (shrink)
In stressing the beauty of ignorance, of not knowing in the usual manner, Catherine Keller's Cloud of the Impossible evokes the death of a metaphysical uthorial presence and the dissolution of closed systems of meaning. In this article, I view her text as part of a crisis of modernity that challenges dominant theological pathways, on which certain problematic views of the human have been constructed. In my reading, Keller's Cloud enriches humanistic thinking in the West and I explore (...) the themes it shares with my own work in religious naturalism: there is no escape from the radical relationality and the irreducible materiality that structure human existence. I also emphasize that textual strategies are mere seductive, disembodied abstractions without acknowledging the force of materiality. Materiality matters; and I explore ways in which religious naturalism demonstrates how it does. In light of Keller's rich analysis, I focus on a “learned ignorance” that accompanies all of our limited interpretations emerging from the shifting, precarious positionalities as we rethink our relationality to each other and to all that it is. (shrink)