Humans have long wondered whether they can survive the death of their physical bodies. Some people now look to technology as a means by which this might occur, using terms such 'whole brain emulation', 'mind uploading', and 'substrate independent minds' to describe a set of hypothetical procedures for transferring or emulating the functioning of a human mind on a synthetic substrate. There has been much debate about the philosophical implications of such procedures for personal survival. Most participants to that debate (...) assume that the continuation of identity is an objective fact that can be revealed by scientific enquiry or rational debate. We bring into this debate a perspective that has so far been neglected: that personal identities are in large part social constructs. Consequently, to enable a particular identity to survive the transference process, it is not sufficient to settle age-old philosophical questions about the nature of identity. It is also necessary to maintain certain networks of interaction between the synthetic person and its social environment, and sustain a collective belief in the persistence of identity. We defend this position by using the example of the Dalai Lama in Tibetan Buddhist tradition and identify technological procedures that could increase the credibility of personal continuity between biological and artificial substrates. (shrink)
Aristotle and Confucius are pivotal figures in world history; nevertheless, Western and Eastern cultures have in modern times largely abandoned the insights of these masters. Remastering Morals provides a book-length scholarly comparison of the ethics of Aristotle and Confucius. May Sim's comparisons offer fresh interpretations of the central teachings of both men. More than a catalog of similarities and differences, her study brings two great traditions into dialog so that each is able to learn from the other. This is essential (...) reading for anyone interested in virtue-oriented ethics. (shrink)
Scholars of classical philosophy have long disputed whether Aristotle was a dialectical thinker. Most agree that Aristotle contrasts dialectical reasoning with demonstrative reasoning, where the former reasons from generally accepted opinions and the latter reasons from the true and primary. Starting with a grasp on truth, demonstration never relinquishes it. Starting with opinion, how could dialectical reasoning ever reach truth, much less the truth about first principles? Is dialectic then an exercise that reiterates the prejudices of one's times and at (...) best allows one to persuade others by appealing to these prejudices, or is it the royal road to first principles and philosophical wisdom? In From Puzzles to Principles? May Sim gathers experts to argue both these positions and offer a variety of interpretive possibilities. The contributors' thoughtful reflections on the nature and limits of dialectic should play a crucial role in Aristotelian scholarship. (shrink)
Although data sharing platforms host diverse data types the features of these platforms are well-suited to facilitating biomarker research. Given the current state of biomarker discovery, an innovative paradigm to accelerate biomarker discovery is to utilize platforms such as Vivli to leverage researchers' abilities to integrate certain classes of biomarkers.
The two principal models of design in methodological circles in architecture—analysis/synthesis and conjecture/analysis—have their roots in philosophy of science, in different conceptions of scientific method. This paper explores the philosophical origins of these models and the reasons for rejecting analysis/synthesis in favour of conjecture/analysis, the latter being derived from Karl Popper’s view of scientific method. I discuss a fundamental problem with Popper’s view, however, and indicate a framework for conjecture/analysis to avoid this problem.
The National Center for Biomedical Ontology is a consortium that comprises leading informaticians, biologists, clinicians, and ontologists, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Roadmap, to develop innovative technology and methods that allow scientists to record, manage, and disseminate biomedical information and knowledge in machine-processable form. The goals of the Center are (1) to help unify the divergent and isolated efforts in ontology development by promoting high quality open-source, standards-based tools to create, manage, and use ontologies, (2) to create (...) new software tools so that scientists can use ontologies to annotate and analyze biomedical data, (3) to provide a national resource for the ongoing evaluation, integration, and evolution of biomedical ontologies and associated tools and theories in the context of driving biomedical projects (DBPs), and (4) to disseminate the tools and resources of the Center and to identify, evaluate, and communicate best practices of ontology development to the biomedical community. Through the research activities within the Center, collaborations with the DBPs, and interactions with the biomedical community, our goal is to help scientists to work more effectively in the e-science paradigm, enhancing experiment design, experiment execution, data analysis, information synthesis, hypothesis generation and testing, and understand human disease. (shrink)
Two studies investigated the development of infants' visual preferences for the human body shape. In Study 1, infants of 12,15 and 18 months were tested in a standard preferential looking experiment, in which they were shown paired line drawings of typical and scrambled bodies. Results indicated that the 18-month-olds had a reliable preference for the scrambled body shapes over typical body shapes, while the younger infants did not show differential responding. In Study 2, 12- and 18-month-olds were tested with the (...) same procedure, except that the typical and scrambled body stimuli were photographic images. The results of Study 2 again indicated that only the 18-month-olds had a reliable preference for the scrambled body shapes. This finding contrasts sharply with infants' precocious preferences for human faces, suggesting that infants' learning about human faces and human bodies follow different developmental trajectories. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved. (shrink)
Philosophers expend considerable effort on the analysis of concepts, but the value of such work is not widely appreciated. This paper principally analyses some arguments, beliefs, and presuppositions about the nature of design and the relations between design and science common in the literature to illustrate this point, and to contribute to the foundations of design theory.
What does "postmodernism" mean? Why is it so important? Now in its second edition, The Routledge Companion to Postmodernism combines a series of in-depth background chapters with a body of A-Z entries to create an authoritative, yet readable guide to the complex world of postmodernism. Following full-length articles on postmodernism and philosophy, politics, feminism, religion, post-colonialis, lifestyles television, and other postmodern essentials, readers will find a wide range of alphabetically-organized entries on the people, terms and theories connected with postmodernism, including: (...) Peter Ackroyd; Jean Baudrillard; Chaos Theory; Death of the Author; Desire; Fractals; Michel Foucault; Frankfurt School; Generation X; Minimalism; Poststructuralism; Retro; Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak ; and Trans-avant-garde; Students interested in any aspect of postmodernist thought will find this an indispensable resource. (shrink)
Watkins proposes a neo-Popperian solution to the pragmatic problem of induction. He asserts that evidence can be used non-inductively to prefer the principle that corroboration is more successful over all human history than that, say, counter-corroboration is more successful either over this same period or in the future. Watkins's argument for rejecting the first counter-corroborationist alternative is beside the point. However, as whatever is the best strategy over all human history is irrelevant to the pragmatic problem of induction since we (...) are not required to act in the past, and his argument for rejecting the second presupposes induction. (shrink)
Background For a variety of sociological reasons, different types of centredness have become important in health and social care. In trying to characterize one type of centredness, we were led to consider, at a conceptual level, the importance of the notion of centredness in general and the reasons for there being different types of centeredness. Method We searched the literature for papers on client-, family-, patient-, person- and relationship- centred care. We identified reviews or papers that defined or discussed the (...) notions at a conceptual level. The reviews and papers were analyzed as text transcripts. Results We identified 10 themes that were common to all the types of centredness. At a conceptual level we could not identify thematic differences between the types of centredness. These findings were subjected to a philosophical critique using ideas derived from Wittgenstein. Conclusion Different types of centredness are required in different contexts. The differences are justified by their practical utility. The unifying themes of centredness, however, reflect a movement in favour of increasing the social, psychological, cultural and ethical sensitivity of our human encounters. (shrink)
Knowledge of residual perturbations in the orbit of Uranus in the early 1840s did not lead to the refutation of Newton's law of gravitation but instead to the discovery of Neptune in 1846. Karl Popper asserts that this case is atypical of science and that the law of gravitation was at least prima facie falsified by these perturbations. I argue that these assertions are the product of a false, a priori methodological position I call, 'Weak Popperian Falsificationism'. Further, on the (...) evidence the law was not prima facie false and was not generally considered so by astronomers at the time. Many of Popper's commentators presuppose WPF and their views on this case and its implications for scientific rationality and method suffer from this same defect. (shrink)
Confucius and Aristotle share the conviction that the virtuous deserves honor. While Aristotle thinks that the completely virtuous person should make claims to the honor he rightly deserves, Confucius maintains that he should be humble and disregard such claims. This radical opposition between Aristotle and Confucius about the good man’s attitude toward honor provides a case for examining the exemplary person for them. The author considers the reasons for their differences by focusing on the following questions: Who accords the honor? (...) Does honor have any effect on the good man’s actions, attitudes, virtues and self-knowledge? Whose account is superior? And to which criteria should we appeal for adjudicating Aristotle’s and Confucius’ contradictory claims? Focusing on ‘pride’, the author examines if the virtue of honor which gives rise to these rival claims in Aristotle and Confucius can provide the resources for resolving their conflicts. (shrink)
Here I argue that aspects of Nietzsche's thought may be productively compared with the role played by the concept of ubuntu in talk of cultural renaissance in South Africa. I show that Nietzsche respects and writes for humanity conceived of in a vital sense, thereby imagining a sense of authenticity that may prove significant to talk of cultural renaissance in South Africa. I question the view that Nietzsche is an individualist, drawing on debate between Conway (1990) and Gooding-Williams (2001), concerning (...) the interpretation of ‘The Dance-Song' in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, as well as on the notion of reciprocity intrinsic to the concept of ubuntu (Shutte, 1993). South African Journal of Philosophy Vol. 26 (1) 2007: pp. 85-97. (shrink)
The received view of an ad hochypothesis is that it accounts for only the observation(s) it was designed to account for, and so non-ad hocness is generally held to be necessary or important for an introduced hypothesis or modification to a theory. Attempts by Popper and several others to convincingly explicate this view, however, prove to be unsuccessful or of doubtful value, and familiar and firmer criteria for evaluating the hypotheses or modified theories so classified are characteristically available. These points (...) are obscured largely because the received view fails to adequately separate psychology from methodology or to recognise ambiguities in the use of ''ad hoc''. (shrink)
My purpose is to argue the following theses: (1) Habituation into virtue, social relations, and paradigmatic persons are central for both Aristotle and Confucius. Both therefore need a notion of self to support them. (2) Aristotle’s individualistic metaphysics cannot account for the thick relations that this requires. (3) The Confucian self, if entirely relationistic, cannot function as a locus of choice and agency; if fully ritualistic, it cannot function as a source of moral norms that might help assess existing social (...) proprieties. I shall suggest that each offers some corrective for the other and urge further dialogue between the friends of Confucius and Aristotle. (shrink)
Karl Popper defines an ad hoc hypothesis as one that is introduced to immunize a theory from some (or all) refutation but which cannot be tested independently. He has also attempted to explicate ad hocness in terms of certain other allegedly undesirable properties of hypotheses or of the explanations they would provide, but his account is confused and mistaken. The first such property is circularity, which is undesirable; the second such property is reduction in empirical content, which need not be. (...) In the former case, I argue that non-circularity is in any event preferable to non-ad hocness as a necessary condition for a satisfactory explanation or an explanans, as the case may be, and I try to sort out various persistent errors surrounding this comparison. In the latter case, I suggest that Popper is barking up the wrong tree, that important scientific progress sometimes does consist in just such reductions in empirical content as he proscribes. This provides a further reason for not taking ad hoc hypotheses as Popper conceives them to pose the danger for science he believes they do. (shrink)
Postmodernism is an important part of the cultural landscape which continues to evolve, yet the ideas and theories surrounding the subject can be diverse and difficult to understand. Fifty Postmodern Thinkers critically examines the work of fifty of the most important theorists within the postmodern movement who have defined and shaped the field, bringing together their key ideas in an accessible format.
The discussion about relations between research and design has a number of strands, and presumably motivations. Putting aside the question whether or not design or “creative endeavour” should be counted as research, for reasons to do with institutional recognition or reward, the question remains how, if at all, is design research? This question is unlikely to have attracted much interest but for matters external to Architecture within the modern university. But Architecture as a discipline now needs to understand research much (...) better than in the past when ‘research’ was whatever went on in building science, history or people/environment studies. In this paper, I begin with some common assumptions about design, considered in relation to research, and suggest how the former can constitute or be a mode of the latter. Central to this consideration is an understanding of research as the production of publicly available knowledge. (shrink)
States commonly employ education policy to build a strong sense of citizenship within young people and to create types of citizens appropriate to the country. In Singapore the government created a policy to build citizenship through both policy statements and social studies in the school curriculum. In the context of a tightly controlled state regulating schooling through a highly controlled educational system, the government expected teachers to obey these policy documents, political statements and the prescribed curriculum. What do teachers understand (...) about citizenship in this context? In schools do teachers demonstrate independence of thought on citizenship education or do they acquiesce to government policy? This article reports on a small group of social studies teachers' understandings of citizenship and explores the nature of these understandings in the context of government policy. The study showed an unexpected diversity of conceptualization amongst Singaporean teachers with their understandings of citizenship located in four themes, namely a sense of identity, rights and responsibilities, participation, and national history. This response was unintended by government and reflects an independence of citizenship education landscape in schools, despite the tight policy and bureaucratic controls over teachers by the Singapore state. (shrink)
Comparing Aristotle's and Confucius' ethics, where each represents an ethics of virtue, I show that they are not susceptible to some of the frequent charges against them when compared to non-virtue ethical theories like utilitarianism and deontology. These charges are that virtue ethics: (1) lack universal laws; they cannot (a) provide content for actions, and (b) they do not consider actions in the evaluation of morality. (2) Virtue ethics cannot provide the resources for dealing with social justice and human rights (...) practices. Contrary to these charges, I show how these thinkers' ethics can account for the first generation civil and political rights, and the second generation economic, social and cultural rights. (shrink)
ABSTRACTTeachers in Asia are often perceived to occupy passive roles as citizens, subject to collectivist goals which take precedence over the interests of the individual. This assessment typically stems from a liberal-democratic perspective, which prioritises the individual as autonomous and self-responsible. While many endeavours have been undertaken by scholars outside education research to debunk the simplistic understanding of Asian thinking as passive, there remains a lack of attention to the distinctive features of Asian cultures and thought within the field of (...) citizenship education. This article aims to provide a more nuanced understanding of citizenship education in Singapore, and challenge the perceived passivity of teachers in Asia by exploring—particularly from a Confucian perspective—how a group of social studies teachers made sense of citizenship. We identify three emergent themes from the interview samples: Relationality, Harmony and Criticality and discuss them accordingly. (shrink)
Bernard Reginster has argued that in "Nietzsche's terminology, 'experimentation [Versuch]' is a paradigmatic exercise of curiosity."1 According to Reginster, the kind of curiosity in question, as far as Nietzsche's concept of the free spirit is concerned, is not the state of knowing or of being certain of the truth of some proposition, but is rather a matter of the activity or process of truth seeking and of inquiry.2 My own view is very similar: I have argued that experimentalism is a (...) form of virtue for Nietzsche.3 Specifically, as I have suggested, Nietzsche employs experimentalism in two main ways: as a strategy for philosophical engagement, for example through his use of diverse writing styles and authorial... (shrink)