Matriliny has long been debated by anthropologists positing either its primitive or its puzzling nature. More recently, evolutionary anthropologists have attempted to recast matriliny as an adaptive solution to modern social and ecological environments, tying together much of what was known to be associated with matriliny. This paper briefly reviews the major anthropological currents in studies of matriliny and discusses the contribution of evolutionary anthropology to this body of literature. It discusses the utility of an evolutionary framework in the context (...) of the first independent test of Holden et al.’s 2003 model of matriliny as daughter-biased investment. It finds that historical daughter-biased transmission of land among the Mosuo is consistent with the model, whereas current income transmission is not. In both cases, resources had equivalent impacts on male and female reproduction, a result which predicts daughter-biased resource transmission given any nonzero level of paternity uncertainty. However, whereas land was transmitted traditionally to daughters, income today is invested in both sexes. Possible reasons for this discrepancy are discussed. (shrink)
Recent magnetic resonance imaging and pathological studies have indicated that axonal loss is a major contributor to disease progression in multiple sclerosis. 1 H magnetic resonance spectroscopy, through measurement of N -acetyl aspartate, a neuronal marker, provides a unique tool to investigate this. Patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis have few lesions on conventional MRI, suggesting that changes in normal appearing white matter, such as axonal loss, may be particularly relevant to disease progression in this group. To test this hypothesis (...) NAWM was studied with MRS, measuring the concentration of N -acetyl derived groups. Single-voxel MRS using a water-suppressed PRESS sequence was carried out in 24 patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis and in 16 age-matched controls. Ratios of metabolite to creatine concentration were calculated in all subjects, and absolute concentrations were measured in 18 patients and all controls. NA/Cr was significantly lower in NAWM in patients than in controls, as was the absolute concentration of NA. There was no significant difference in the absolute concentration of creatine between the groups. This study supports the hypothesis that axonal loss occurs in NAWM in primary progressive multiple sclerosis and may well be a mechanism for disease progression in this group. (shrink)
Kinship was one of the key areas of research interest among anthropologists in the nineteenth century, one of the most hotly debated areas of theory in the early and mid-twentieth century, and yet an area of waning interest by the end of the twentieth century. Since then, the study of kinship has experienced a revitalization, with concomitant disputes over how best to proceed. This special issue brings together recent studies of kinship by scientific anthropologists employing evolutionary theory and quantitative methods. (...) We argue that the melding of the evolutionary theoretical perspective with quantitative and ethnographic methodologies has strengthened and reinvigorated the study of kinship by synthesizing and extending existing research via rigorous analyses of evidence. (shrink)
The ability to sequence individual genomes is leading to the identification of an increasing number of genetic risk factors for serious diseases. Knowledge of these risk factors can often provide significant medical and psychological benefit, but also raises complex ethical and social issues. This paper focuses on one area of rapid progress: the identification of mutations causing long QT syndrome and other cardiac channel disorders, which can explain some previously unexplained deaths in infants (SIDS) and children and adults (SUDS) and (...) prevent others from occurring. This genetic knowledge, discovered posthumously in many cases, has implications for clinical care for surviving family members who might carry the same mutations. The information obtained from genetic testing, in the context of personal and family history, can guide individually tailored interventions that reduce risk and save lives. At the same time, obtaining and disclosing genetic information raises difficult issues about confidentiality and decision making within families. We draw on the experience of the Montefiore-Einstein Center for Cardiogenetics, which has played a leading role in the genetic diagnosis and clinical management of cardiac channel diseases, to explore some of the challenging ethical questions arising in affected families with adolescent children. We focus on the related issues of (1) family confidentiality, privacy and disclosure and (2) adolescent decision making about genetic risk, and argue for the value of interdisciplinary dialogue with affected families in resolving these issues. (shrink)
In this article I explore the ways in which legal language, discourses, and narratives construct new dominant identities for women who kill their children. These identities are those of the ‘bad’, ‘mad’, or ‘sad’ woman. Drawing upon and critiquing statutes, case law, and sentencing remarks from England and Wales, I explore how singular narrative identities emerge for the female defendants concerned. Using examples from selected cases, I highlight how the judiciary interpret legislation, use evidence, and draw upon gender stereotypes in (...) carefully constructing macro-narratives which produce gendered identities for filicidal women, thus nullifying the challenge these women pose to appropriate femininity and the motherhood mandate. Each of the narrative identities discussed deny the agency of the female defendants that they are attached to, albeit in subtly different ways, by denying their ability to make any degree of choice in relation to their filicidal actions. Although such identity construction and agency denial may not always be damaging to these filicidal women per se, its pervasiveness within legal discourse reinforces and reproduces damaging gender stereotypes surrounding women and femininity. (shrink)
ABSTRACT This article focuses on Arne Naess's work in the philosophy of language, which he began in the mid-1930s and continued into the 1960s. This aspect of his work is nowadays relatively neglected, but it deserves to be revisited. Firstly, it is intrinsically interesting to the history of analytic philosophy in the twentieth century, because Naess questioned some of the established philosophical methodologies and assumptions of his day. Secondly, it suggests a compelling but unacknowledged intellectual pedigree for some recent developments (...) in linguistics. Naess's philosophy of language developed from his reaction against logical positivism, in particular against what he saw as its unempirical assumptions about language. He went on to establish ?empirical semantics?, in which the study of language was based on real-life linguistic data, drawn primarily from questionnaires issued to philosophically naïve subjects. He also experimented with methods for ?occurrence analysis?, but concluded that the collection and analysis of sufficiently large bodies of naturally-occurring data was impractical. Empirical semantics was not well received by Naess's philosophical contemporaries. It was also seen as being at odds with contemporary trends in linguistics. However, some present-day branches of linguistics have striking resonances with Naess's work from as much as seventy years ago. In sociolinguistics, questionnaires have become an established means of collecting linguistic data. In corpus linguistics, advances in technology have made Naess's unobtainable ideal of ?occurrence analysis? a viable methodology. Some of the principal conclusions reached as a result of this methodology are strikingly similar to Naess's own findings. (shrink)
Paul Grice (1913-1988) is best known for his psychological account of meaning, and for his theory of conversational implicature. This is the first book to consider Grice's work as a whole. Drawing on the range of his published writing, and also on unpublished manuscripts, lectures and notes, Siobhan Chapman discusses the development of his ideas and relates his work to the major events of his intellectual and professional life.
This book compares attitudes to empiricism in language study from mid-twentieth century philosophy of language and from present-day linguistics. It focuses on responses to the logical positivism of the Vienna Circle, particularly in the work of British philosopher J. L. Austin and the much less well-known work of Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess.
There has been much recent interest in imprecise probabilities, models of belief that allow unsharp or fuzzy credence. There have also been some influential criticisms of this position. Here we argue, chiefly against Elga, that subjective probabilities need not be sharp. The key question is whether the imprecise probabilist can make reasonable sequences of decisions. We argue that she can. We outline Elga's argument and clarify the assumptions he makes and the principles of rationality he is implicitly committed to. We (...) argue that these assumptions are too strong and that rational imprecise choice is possible in the absence of these overly strong conditions. (shrink)
With Wind Wizard, Siobhan Roberts brings us the story of Alan Davenport, the father of modern wind engineering, who investigated how wind navigates the obstacle course of the earth's natural and built environments--and how, when not properly heeded, wind causes buildings and bridges to teeter unduly, sway with abandon, and even collapse. In 1964, Davenport received a confidential telephone call from two engineers requesting tests on a pair of towers that promised to be the tallest in the world. His (...) resulting wind studies on New York's World Trade Center advanced the art and science of wind engineering with one pioneering innovation after another. Establishing the first dedicated "boundary layer" wind tunnel laboratory for civil engineering structures, Davenport enabled the study of the atmospheric region from the earth's surface to three thousand feet, where the air churns with turbulent eddies, the average wind speed increasing with height. The boundary layer wind tunnel mimics these windy marbled striations in order to test models of buildings and bridges that inevitably face the wind when built. Over the years, Davenport's revolutionary lab investigated and improved the wind-worthiness of the world's greatest structures, including the Sears Tower, the John Hancock Tower, Shanghai's World Financial Center, the CN Tower, the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, the Sunshine Skyway, and the proposed crossing for the Strait of Messina, linking Sicily with mainland Italy. Chronicling Davenport's innovations by analyzing select projects, this popular-science book gives an illuminating behind-the-scenes view into the practice of wind engineering, and insight into Davenport's steadfast belief that there is neither a structure too tall nor too long, as long as it is supported by sound wind science. (shrink)
Using as a springboard a three-way debate between theoretical physicist Lee Smolin, philosopher of science Nancy Cartwright and myself, I address in layman’s terms the issues of why we need a unified theory of the fundamental interactions and why, in my opinion, string and M-theory currently offer the best hope. The focus will be on responding more generally to the various criticisms. I also describe the diverse application of string/M-theory techniques to other branches of physics and mathematics which render the (...) whole enterprise worthwhile whether or not “a theory of everything” is forthcoming. (shrink)
Memory has long been a subject of fascination for poets, artists, philosophers and historians. The volume examines how past events are remembered, contested, forgotten, learned from and shared with others. Each author in The Ashgate Research Companion to Memory Studies has been asked to reflect on his or her research companions as a scholar, who studies memory. The original studies presented in the volume are written by leading experts, who emphasize both the continuity of heritage and tradition, as well as (...) the memory of hostilities, traumas and painful events. Comprised of four thematic sections, The Ashgate Research Companion to Memory Studies provides a comprehensive overview of the latest research within the discipline. The principal themes include: ¢ Memory, History and Time ¢ Social, Psychological and Cultural Frameworks of Memory ¢ Acts and Places of Memory ¢ Politics of Memory, Forgetting and Democracy. (shrink)
ABSTRACTExperimental philosophy often draws its data from questionnaire-based surveys of ordinary intuitions. Its proponents are keen to identify antecedents in the work of philosophers who have referred to intuition and everyday understanding [e.g. Knobe, Joshua, and Shaun Nichols, ‘An Experimental Philosophy Manifesto’. In Experimental Philosophy, edited by Joshua Knobe and Shaun Nichols, 3–14. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007]. In this context, ‘Empirical Semantics’, pioneered by Arne Naess early in the twentieth century, offers striking parallels. Naess believed that much contemporary philosophy (...) was unempirical because it made no reference to ordinary understanding or use of language. In response, he attempted large-scale studies of ordinary understanding of philosophically significant terms [e.g. Naess, Arne. ‘Truth’ as Conceived by Those Who Are Not Professional Philosophers. Oslo: Jacob Dybwad, 1938]. This article will compare Empirical Semantics and experimental philosophy, and assess what su... (shrink)
Donald Coxeter died in 2003, at a ripe old age of 96. Though I had regularly seen him at mathematics talks in Toronto for over twenty years, I never felt rushed to seek him out. It seemed he would go on forever. His death left me regretting my missed opportunity and Siobhan Robert's excellent book makes me regret it even more. Like any good biography of an intellectual, King of Infinite Space contains personal details and mathematical achievements in some (...) detail. Thus, we learn of the traumatic effects on Coxeter of his parents' divorce, his search for a spouse, his vegetarianism, and his progressive politics. We also learn a fair bit about the kaleidoscopes he made while in Cambridge during his student days in order to study the symmetry properties of polyhedra. These involved mirrors that Coxeter had specially constructed for this purpose. Along the way we are treated to interesting tidbits, such as G.H. Hardy's detestation of mirrors . There are brief accounts of the brilliant notation Coxeter invented, known as Coxeter diagrams, and of course, the now famous Coxeter groups. Short appendices fill in a bit more detail. It is all very well done and thoroughly engrossing.Wittgenstein befriended Coxeter, who was part of the very small group to whom …. (shrink)
Imprecise probabilism—which holds that rational belief/credence is permissibly represented by a set of probability functions—apparently suffers from a problem known as dilation. We explore whether this problem can be avoided or mitigated by one of the following strategies: (a) modifying the rule by which the credal state is updated, (b) restricting the domain of reasonable credal states to those that preclude dilation.
Twentieth century philosophers introduced the distinction between “objective rightness” and “subjective rightness” to achieve two primary goals. The first goal is to reduce the paradoxical tension between our judgments of what is best for an agent to do in light of the actual circumstances in which she acts and what is wisest for her to do in light of her mistaken or uncertain beliefs about her circumstances. The second goal is to provide moral guidance to an agent who may be (...) uncertain about the circumstances in which she acts, and hence is unable to use her standard moral principle directly in deciding what to do. This paper distinguishes two important senses of “moral guidance”; proposes criteria of adequacy for accounts of subjective rightness; canvasses existing definitions for “subjective rightness”; finds them all deficient; and proposes a new and more successful account. It argues that each comprehensive moral theory must include multiple principles of subjective rightness to address the epistemic situations of the full range of moral decision-makers, and shows that accounts of subjective rightness formulated in terms of what it would reasonable for the agent to believe cannot provide that guidance. (shrink)
There are at least two plausible generalisations of subjective expected utility (SEU) theory: cumulative prospect theory (which relaxes the independence axiom) and Levi’s decision theory (which relaxes at least ordering). These theories call for a re-assessment of the minimal requirements of rational choice. Here, I consider how an analysis of sequential decision making contributes to this assessment. I criticise Hammond’s (Economica 44(176):337–350, 1977; Econ Philos 4:292–297, 1988a; Risk, decision and rationality, 1988b; Theory Decis 25:25–78, 1988c) ‘consequentialist’ argument for the SEU (...) preference axioms, but go on to formulate a related diachronic-Dutch-book-style’ argument that better achieves Hammond’s aims. Some deny the importance of Dutch-book sure losses, however, in which case, Seidenfeld’s (Econ Philos 4:267–290, 1988a) argument that distinguishes between theories that relax independence and those that relax ordering is relevant. I unravel Seidenfeld’s argument in light of the various criticisms of it and show that the crux of the argument is somewhat different and much more persuasive than what others have taken it to be; the critical issue is the modelling of future choices between ‘indifferent’ decision-tree branches in the sequential setting. Finally, I consider how Seidenfeld’s conclusions might nonetheless be resisted. (shrink)
Debates in India following on from the Shah Bano case highlight the extent to which gender equality may be compromised by yielding to the dominant voices within a particular religion or cultural tradition. As the Indian Supreme Court noted in Danial Latifi & Anr v Union of India, the pursuit of gender justice raises questions of a universal magnitude. Responding to those questions requires an appeal to norms that claim a universal legitimacy. Liberal feminist demands for a uniform civil code, (...) however, have pitted feminist movements against proponents of minority rights and claims for greater autonomy for minority groups. Against the background of growing communal tensions, many feminists have argued for more complex strategies—strategies that encompass the diversity of women's lives and create a sense of belonging amongst women with diverse religious-cultural affiliations. Liberal theories of rights that abstract from the concrete realities of women's daily lives have not always addressed the institutions and procedures necessary to build that sense of belonging. This article examines the contribution made by discourse ethics theorists to debates on models of multicultural arrangements. It argues that deliberative models of democracy recognize the need for ‘difference-sensitive’ processes of inclusion, potentially assisting feminism in resolving the apparent conflict between the politics of multiculturalism and the pursuit of gender equality. (shrink)
This article is a study of the response of two heterodox schools of economic thought to ?new? philosophical ideas. Specifically, it considers the response within Post Keynesian and feminist economics to Tony Lawson's recent call for economists to pay greater attention to ontology and for economists to adopt research methods consistent with critical realism. Lawson's arguments were formally introduced to these schools over the space of a few years and continue to generate considerable discussion within their ranks. The focus of (...) analysis in this article is on the debate about Lawson's ideas published in the leading journals associated with two schools of thought: The Journal of Post Keynesian Economics and Feminist Economics. The article contrasts the reception Lawson's ideas received in each of the two journals and suggests some reasons for these differences. It argues that some barriers to the adoption of new ideas exist in each school of thought and that this has implications for the direction and content of economic thought in heterodox schools. (shrink)
Listening to someone from some distance in a crowded room you may experience the following phenomenon: when looking at them speak, you may both hear and see where the source of the sounds is; but when your eyes are turned elsewhere, you may no longer be able to detect exactly where the voice must be coming from. With your eyes again fixed on the speaker, and the movement of her lips a clear sense of the source of the sound will (...) return. This ‘ventriloquist’ effect reflects the ways in which visual cognition can dominate auditory perception. And this phenomenological observation is one what you can verify or disconfirm in your own case just by the slightest reflection on what it is like for you to listen to someone with or without visual contact with them. (shrink)
We argue that thoughts are structures of concepts, and that concepts should be individuated by their origins, rather than in terms of their semantic or epistemic properties. Many features of cognition turn on the vehicles of content, thoughts, rather than on the nature of the contents they express. Originalism makes concepts available to explain, with no threat of circularity, puzzling cases concerning thought. In this paper, we mention Hesperus/Phosphorus puzzles, the Evans-Perry example of the ship seen through different windows, and (...) Mates cases, and we believe that there are many additional applications. (shrink)
A large body of literature agrees that persons with schizophrenia suffer from a Theory of Mind deficit. However, most empirical studies have focused on third-person, egocentric ToM, underestimating other facets of this complex cognitive skill. Aim of this research is to examine the ToM of schizophrenic persons considering its various aspects, to determine whether some components are more impaired than others. We developed a Theory of Mind Assessment Scale and administered it to 22 persons with a DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia (...) and a matching control group. Th.o.m.a.s. is a semi-structured interview which allows a multi-component measurement of ToM. Both groups were also administered a few existing ToM tasks and the schizophrenic subjects were administered the Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale and the WAIS-R. The schizophrenic persons performed worse than control at all the ToM measurements; however, these deficits appeared to be differently distributed among different components of ToM. Our conclusion is that ToM deficits are not unitary in schizophrenia, which also testifies to the importance of a complete and articulated investigation of ToM. (shrink)
In his 1622 work The Assayer, Galileo commented on the necessity of mathematics for understanding the natural world. "Philosophy is written in this very great book. . . . It is written in mathematical language and the characters are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures." More than 300 years later, debating math education at the 1958 International Congress of Mathematicians, French mathematician Jean Dieudonné interjected: "Down with Euclid! Death to triangles!".
Our research is based on a rather large "library" of various works by M. Drahomanov, which contains his views on religion. Among them: Paradise and Progress, From the History of Relations Between Church and State in Western Europe, Faith and Public Affairs, Fight for Spiritual Power and Freedom of Conscience in the 16th - 17th Centuries,, "Church and State in the Roman Empire", "The Status and Tasks of the Science of Ancient History," "Evangelical Faith in Old England," "Populism and Popular (...) Progress in Austrian Rus, Austrian-Russian Remembrance," "Pious The Legend of the Bulgarians "," The Issues of Religious Freedom in Russia, "" On the Brotherhood of the Baptist or the Baptist in Ukraine, "" The Foreword, " Shevchenko, Ukrainianophiles and Socialism "," Wonderful thoughts about the Ukrainian national affair "," Zazdri gods "," Slavic variants of one Gospel legend "," Resurrection of Christ ", etc. (shrink)
Since the first lockdown in March 2020, time seems to have slowed to a continuous present tense. The Greek language has three words to express different experiences of time: aion, chronos and kairos. If aion is the boundless and limbo-like time of eternity, chronos represents chronological, sequential, and linear time. Kairos, however, signifies the rupture of ordinary time with the opportune moment, epiphany and redemption, revolution, and most broadly, crisis and emergency. This paper argues that the pandemic is impacting how (...) individuals perceive time in two ways: first, as a distortion of time in which individuals are caught between linear time (chronos) and rupture (kairos) invoking the state of emergency and second, as an extended present that blurs the passing of chronological time with its seeming eternity (aion). As a result of the perceived suspension of ordinary time, temporal understandings of the future are postponed, while the past hovers like a ghost over the present. (shrink)