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)
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)
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)
(Series copy) The new Oxford Readings in Feminism series maps the dramatic influence of feminist theory on every branch of academic knowledge. Offering feminist perspectives on disciplines from history to science, each book assembles the most important articles written on its field in the last ten to fifteen years. Old stereotypes are challenged and traditional attitudes upset in these lively-- and sometimes controversial--volumes, all of which are edited by feminists prominent in their particular field. Comprehensive, accessible, and intellectually daring, the (...) Oxford Readings in Feminism series is vital reading for anyone interested in the effects of feminist ideas within the academy. Can science be gender-neutral? In recent years, feminist critics have raised troubling questions about the practice and goals of traditional science, demonstrating the existence of a pervasive bias in the ways in which scientists conduct and discuss their work. This exciting volume gathers seventeen essays--by sociologists, scientists, historians, and philosophers--of seminal significance in the emerging field of feminist science studies. Analyzing topics from the stereotype of the "Man of Reason" to the "romantic" language of reproductive biology, these fascinating essays challenge readers to take a fresh look at the limitations--and possibilities--of scientific knowledge. (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.
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)
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)
"-Barbara Ehrenreich, Mother Jones "This book represents the expression of a particular feminist perspective made all the more compelling by Keller's evident commitment to and understanding of science.
Some authors have called for increased research on various forms of geoengineering as a means to address global climate change. This paper focuses on the question of whether a particular form of geoengineering, namely deploying sulfate aerosols in the stratosphere to counteract some of the effects of increased greenhouse gas concentrations, would be a just response to climate change. In particular, we examine problems sulfate aerosol geoengineering (SAG) faces in meeting the requirements of distributive, intergenerational, and procedural justice. We argue (...) that SAG faces obstacles to meeting the requirements of all three considered kinds of justice, because its impacts can harm some persons and communities much more than others; it poses serious risks to future generations; and SAG is especially prone to unilateral implementation. While we do not claim that SAG ought not to be implemented, we argue that it is the responsibility of proponents of SAG to recognize and address these ethical obstacles before advocating its implementation. (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.
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)
The psycholinguistic literature has identified two syntactic adaptation effects in language production: rapidly decaying short-term priming and long-lasting adaptation. To explain both effects, we present an ACT-R model of syntactic priming based on a wide-coverage, lexicalized syntactic theory that explains priming as facilitation of lexical access. In this model, two well-established ACT-R mechanisms, base-level learning and spreading activation, account for long-term adaptation and short-term priming, respectively. Our model simulates incremental language production and in a series of modeling studies, we show (...) that it accounts for (a) the inverse frequency interaction; (b) the absence of a decay in long-term priming; and (c) the cumulativity of long-term adaptation. The model also explains the lexical boost effect and the fact that it only applies to short-term priming. We also present corpus data that verify a prediction of the model, that is, that the lexical boost affects all lexical material, rather than just heads. (shrink)
Quality-space theory (QST) explains the nature of the mental qualities distinctive of perceptual states by appeal to their role in perceiving. QST is typically described in terms of the mental qualities that pertain to color. Here we apply QST to the olfactory modalities. Olfaction is in various respects more complex than vision, and so provides a useful test case for QST. To determine whether QST can deal with the challenges olfaction presents, we show how a quality space (QS) could be (...) constructed relying on olfactory perceptible properties and the olfactory mental qualities then defined by appeal to that QS of olfactory perceptible properties. We also consider how to delimit the olfactory QS from other modalities. We further apply QST to the role that experience plays in refining our olfactory discriminative abilities and the occurrence of olfactory mental qualities in non-conscious olfactory states. QST is shown to be fully applicable to and useful for understanding the complex domain of olfaction. (shrink)
We are partial to people with whom we share special relationships--if someone is your child, parent, or friend, you wouldn't treat them as you would a stranger. But is partiality justified, and if so, why? Partiality presents a theory of the reasons supporting special treatment within special relationships and explores the vexing problem of how we might reconcile the moral value of these relationships with competing claims of impartial morality. Simon Keller explains that in order to understand why we (...) give special treatment to our family and friends, we need to understand how people come to matter in their own rights. Keller first presents two main accounts of partiality: the projects view, on which reasons of partiality arise from the place that people take within our lives and our commitments, and the relationships view, on which relationships themselves contain fundamental value or reason-giving force. Keller then argues that neither view is satisfactory because neither captures the experience of acting well within special relationships. Instead, Keller defends the individuals view, on which reasons of partiality arise from the value of the individuals with whom our relationships are shared. He defends this view by saying that we must accept that two people, whether friend or stranger, can have the same value, even as their value makes different demands upon people with whom they share different relationships. Keller explores the implications of this claim within a wider understanding of morality and our relationships with groups, institutions, and countries. (shrink)
Body/Politics demonstrates how many of the controversies in modern science involve or invoke the feminine body as their battleground. This groundbreaking collection addresses such scientific issues as artificial fertilization, the "crisis" in childbirth management,and the medical invention of "female" maladies and the debates surrounding them. In the process it makes an important attempt to remedy the traditional division between science and non-science by focusing on the interconnection of literary, social, and scientific discourses concerning the female body. The editors have brought (...) together noted feminist scholars and critics from various fields. Contributers include Susan Bordo, Mary Ann Doane, Donna Haraway, Emily Martin, Mary Poovey and Paula A. Treichler. (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)
What do biologists want? If, unlike their counterparts in physics, biologists are generally wary of a grand, overarching theory, at what kinds of explanation do biologists aim? A history of the diverse and changing nature of biological explanation in a particularly charged field, "Making Sense of Life" draws our attention to the temporal, disciplinary, and cultural components of what biologists mean, and what they understand, when they propose to explain life.
Most everyday tasks involve multiple modalities, which raises the question of how the processing of these modalities is coordinated by the cognitive system. In this paper, we focus on the coordination of visual attention and linguistic processing during speaking. Previous research has shown that objects in a visual scene are fixated before they are mentioned, leading us to hypothesize that the scan pattern of a participant can be used to predict what he or she will say. We test this hypothesis (...) using a data set of cued scene descriptions of photo-realistic scenes. We demonstrate that similar scan patterns are correlated with similar sentences, within and between visual scenes; and that this correlation holds for three phases of the language production process (target identification, sentence planning, and speaking). We also present a simple algorithm that uses scan patterns to accurately predict associated sentences by utilizing similarity-based retrieval. (shrink)
This collection breaks new ground in four key areas of feminist social thought: the sex/gender debates; challenges to liberalism/equality; feminist ethics; and feminist perspectives on global ethics and politics in the 21st century. Altogether, the essays provide an innovative look at feminist philosophy while making substantive contributions to current debates in gender theory, ethics, and political thought.
The Doctrine of the Trinity says that there is one God, that there are three divine Persons, and that each divine Person is God. The Logical Problem of the Trinity is that these claims seem logically inconsistent. We argue that any coherent and orthodox solution to the Logical Problem must use the technique of paraphrase: a logically or metaphysically more perspicuous reformulation. If so, discussions of paraphrase deserve more prominence in the literature on the Doctrine of the Trinity. We also (...) show that such explicit discussion has important implications for theorizing about the Trinity. (shrink)
Health-care professionals in end-of-life care are frequently confronted with patients who seem to be ‘ambivalent’ about treatment decisions, especially if they express a wish to die. This article investigates this phenomenon by analysing two case stories based on narrative interviews with two patients and their caregivers. First, we argue that a respectful approach to patients requires acknowledging that coexistence of opposing wishes can be part of authentic, multi-layered experiences and moral understandings at the end of life. Second, caregivers need to (...) understand when contradictory statements point to tensions in a patient’s moral experience that require support. Third, caregivers should be careful not to negatively label or even pathologize seemingly contradictory patient statements. (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)
In Kant and the Demands of Self-Consciousness, Pierre Keller examines Kant's theory of self-consciousness and argues that it succeeds in explaining how both subjective and objective experience are possible. Previous interpretations of Kant's theory have held that he treats all self-consciousness as knowledge of objective states of affairs, and also that self-consciousness can be interpreted as knowledge of personal identity. By developing this striking new interpretation Keller is able to argue that transcendental self-consciousness underwrites a general theory of (...) objectivity and subjectivity at the same time. (shrink)
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)
Problems emerge in practical medicine because the binary ethics of the classic patient/doctor relationship has been replaced by multiagent interaction between those engaged in the process of diagnosis and treatment. New methods are required to deal with complex problems in every patient. Where and why the current practice can fail is illustrated with an example of an unspectacular routine case of cancer. The failure may result from basing the procedure on mechanistic methods or from the deficit and difficulty in communication. (...) Whether rule based algorithms could have improved the treatment in the patient with cancer is discussed. How discourse ethics may fit better with the course of the case is described. Clinical Medicine follows a similar logic to that modelled by discursive ethics, ethics thinking should essentially contribute to the procedural logic of medical practice. Discourse ethics can be used as a procedural model that copes with the complexity and temporality of practical medicine. Applied discourse ethics can turn out to be both instrumental in mediating inherent conflicts and constitutive for value based problem solving in modern medical practice. (shrink)
In this paper, I criticize Structured Propositionalism, the most widely held theory of the nature of propositions according to which they are structured entities with constituents. I argue that the proponents of Structured Propositionalism have paid insufficient attention to the metaphysical presuppositions of the view – most egregiously, to the notion of propositional constituency. This is somewhat ironic, since the friends of structured propositions tend to argue as if the appeal to constituency gives their view a dialectical advantage. I criticize (...) four different approaches to providing a metaphysics of propositional constituency: set-theoretic, mereological, hylomorphic, and structure-making. Finally, I consider the option of taking constituency in a deflationary, metaphysically ‘lightweight’ sense. I argue that, though invoking constituency in a lightweight sense may be useful for avoiding the ontological problems that plague the ‘heavyweight’ conception, it no longer proffers a dialectical advantage to Structured Propositionalism. (shrink)
Traditionally, transitional justice has referred to that field of theoretical scholarship that proffers recuperative strategies for political societies divided by a history of violence. Through the establishment of truth commissions, public confessionals and reparative measures, transitional justice regimes have sought to establish restorative conditions that might help reconcile historical antagonists both to each other and to the trauma of their shared past. Because of some of the theoretical lapses in this scholarship some have turned recently to the field of radical (...) democratic and ‘new pluralist’ thought – and especially to agonistic literature – to foreground a theory of post-conflict reconciliation based not on the principles of the sublimation of difference, but rather the perpetual deferral of accord. This essay works both to underscore that effort, as well as to problematize it. Through unorthodox readings of Giorgio Agamben, Jean Améry and Sheldon Wolin, the essay argues that an emphasis on messianicity as the temporal mode of political repair is ultimately less productive for what I call an agonistics of reconciliation than a more nuanced approach to what Wolin calls ‘fugitive democracy’. Where the former is allied with a problematic politics of mutual respect, the latter affirms a more germane politics of abiding resentment. In the end, a startling conclusion is drawn from reading agonistic reconciliation through Wolin: democracy may be a political experience reserved for scenes of transitional justice alone. (shrink)
Self–other discrimination was investigated with point-light displays in which actions were presented with or without additional auditory information. Participants first executed different actions in time with music. In two subsequent experiments, they watched point-light displays of their own or another participant’s recorded actions, and were asked to identify the agent . Manipulations were applied to the visual information and to the auditory information . Results indicate that self-recognition was better than chance in all conditions and was highest when observing relatively (...) unconstrained patterns of movement. Auditory information did not increase accuracy even with the most ambiguous visual displays, suggesting that judgments of agent identity depend much more on motor cues than on auditory or audiovisual information. (shrink)
We prize loyalty in our friends, lovers and colleagues, but loyalty raises difficult questions. What is the point of loyalty? Should we be loyal to country, just as we are loyal to friends and family? Can the requirements of loyalty conflict with the requirements of morality? In this book, originally published in 2007, Simon Keller explores the varieties of loyalty and their psychological and ethical differences, and concludes that loyalty is an essential but fallible part of human life. He (...) argues that grown children can be obliged to be loyal to their parents, that good friendship can sometimes conflict with moral and epistemic standards, and that patriotism is intimately linked with certain dangers and delusions. He goes on to build an approach to the ethics of loyalty that differs from standard communitarian and universalist accounts. His book will interest a wide range of readers in ethics and political philosophy. (shrink)