We begin by distinguishing computationalism from a number of other theses that are sometimes conflated with it. We also distinguish between several important kinds of computation: computation in a generic sense, digital computation, and analog computation. Then, we defend a weak version of computationalism—neural processes are computations in the generic sense. After that, we reject on empirical grounds the common assimilation of neural computation to either analog or digital computation, concluding that neural computation is sui generis. Analog computation requires continuous (...) signals; digital computation requires strings of digits. But current neuroscientific evidence indicates that typical neural signals, such as spike trains, are graded like continuous signals but are constituted by discrete functional elements (spikes); thus, typical neural signals are neither continuous signals nor strings of digits. It follows that neural computation is sui generis. Finally, we highlight three important consequences of a proper understanding of neural computation for the theory of cognition. First, understanding neural computation requires a specially designed mathematical theory (or theories) rather than the mathematical theories of analog or digital computation. Second, several popular views about neural computation turn out to be incorrect. Third, computational theories of cognition that rely on non-neural notions of computation ought to be replaced or reinterpreted in terms of neural computation. (shrink)
This paper samples the large body of neuroscientific evidence suggesting that each mental function takes place within specific neural structures. For instance, vision appears to occur in the visual cortex, motor control in the motor cortex, spatial memory in the hippocampus, and cognitive control in the prefrontal cortex. Evidence comes from neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neurochemistry, brain stimulation, neuroimaging, lesion studies, and behavioral genetics. If mental functions take place within neural structures, mental functions cannot survive brain death. Therefore, there is no mental (...) life after brain death. -/- 1. The Neural Localization of Mental Functions - 1.1 Perception and Motor Control - 1.2 Memory - 1.3 Emotion - 1.4 Language - 1.5 Thinking - 1.6 Attention and Consciousness - 1.7 Spirituality -- 2. Objections - 2.1 Linguistic Dualism - 2.2 Mere Correlation - 2.3 Neural Plasticity - 2.4 Intentionality - 2.5 Phenomenal Consciousness - 2.6 Subjectivity - 2.7 Self-Knowledge - 2.8 Free Will - 2.9 Are We Just Indulging in Physicalistic Wishful Thinking? -- 3. Conclusion -- Appendix: Physicalism and the Afterlife. (shrink)
This essay examines why the recent recognition of human rights violations against women, as exemplified by Amnesty International's 1995 report on women, remains bound to the limitations of traditional approaches to human rights. The essay argues that despite Amnesty International's commitment to incorporating violations against women into its activities, it nevertheless upholds questionable assumptions about the gendered subject, gender relations within the family, and the relationship between the family and the state.
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of Islam as a religion and culture on Turkish women’s health. The study included 138 household members residing in the territory of three primary health care centers in Turkey: Güzelbahçe, Fahrettin Altay and Esentepe. Data were collected by means of a questionnaire prepared by a multidisciplinary team that included specialists from the departments of public health, psychiatric nursing and sociology. We found that the women’s health behavior changed from traditional to (...) rational as education levels increased, and that religious and traditional attitudes and behaviors were predominant in the countryside, especially practices related to pregnancy, delivery, the postpartum period, induced abortion and family planning. One of the most important prerequisites for the improvement of women’s health is that nurses should know the religious practices and culture of the society for which they provide care, so that their efforts to protect and improve women’s health will be effective. (shrink)
This paper explores the use of chemical symbolism in works by the new media artist Sonya Rapoport, with a focus on the pivotal Cobalt series from the late 1970s. These works, drawings on computer printouts generated by research at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, respond to experiments in nuclear chemistry. They mark the beginning of three productive decades in which Rapoport produced a variety of images related to chemistry in her work. She states, “I looked for authentic research projects that (...) were interesting to me, preferably with captivating pictorial subject matter. Then came the creative chaotic process of resolving a cohesive product that combined scientific research with art concept.” Rapoport had an unusual degree of access to scientific materials through her husband, organic chemist Henry Rapoport, a faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley. At the time of production, these works were outside mainstream art world interests and they have received little critical attention. This paper examines the development of Rapoport’s images and places her use of chemical references in context in her lifetime of work. (shrink)
Ce recueil de treize articles portant sur l’histoire ouvrière européenne depuis le XVIIIe siècle illustre bien les approches récentes. La diversité des sujets traités – de l’industrie de la laine en Irlande au début du XIXe siècle, au prolétariat féminin, en URSS, dans les années vingt – et la sophistication avec laquelle ils sont analysés les rendent difficiles à résumer dans leur globalité. Un point commun à tous les auteurs est la place centrale qu’ils donnent au gender dans la vie (...) politiq.. (shrink)
I argue that the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), as an organization and through its individual members, can and should be a far greater ally in the prevention of violence against women. Specifically, I argue that we need to pay attention to obstetrical practices that inadvertently contribute to the problem of violence against women. While intimate partner violence is a complex phenomenon, I focus on the coercive control of women and adherence to oppressive gender norms. Using physician response (...) to alcohol use during pregnancy and court-ordered medical treatment as examples, I show how some obstetrical practices mirror the attitudes of abusive men insofar as they try to coercively control women's behavior through manipulation and violence. To be greater allies in the prevention of violence against women, obstetricians should stop participating in practices that inadvertently perpetuate violence against women. (shrink)
In “Autonomy and the Feminist Intuition,” Natalie Stoljar asks whether a procedural or a substantive approach to autonomy is best for addressing feminist concerns. In this paper, I build on Stoljar’s argument that feminists should adopt a strong substantive approach to autonomy. After briefly reviewing the problems with a purely procedural approach, I begin to articulate my own strong substantive theory by focusing specifically on the problem of internalized oppression. In the final section, I briefly address some of the concerns (...) raised by procedural theorists who are leery of a substantive approach. (shrink)
In recent years, issues of childhood obesity, unsafe toys, and child labor have raised the question of corporate responsibilities to children. However, business impacts on children are complex, multi-faceted, and frequently overlooked by senior managers. This article reports on a systematic analysis of the reputational landscape constructed by the media, corporations, and non-government organizations around business responsibilities to children. A content analysis methodology is applied to a sample of more than 350 relevant accounts during a 5-year period. We identify seven (...) core responsibilities that are then used to provide a framework for enabling businesses to map their range of impacts on children. We set out guidelines for how to identify and manage the firm’s strategic responsibilities in this arena, and identify the␣constraints that corporations face in meeting such responsibilities. (shrink)
This volume of essays, all but one previously unpublished, investigates the question of Levinas’s relationship to feminist thought. Levinas, known as the philosopher of the Other, was famously portrayed by Simone de Beauvoir as a patriarchal thinker who denigrated women by viewing them as the paradigmatic Other. Reconsideration of the validity of this interpretation of Levinas and exploration of what more positively can be derived from his thought for feminism are two of this volume’s primary aims. Levinas breaks with Heidegger’s (...) phenomenology by understanding the ethical relation to the Other, the face-to-face, as exceeding the language of ontology. The ethical orientation of Levinas’s philosophy assumes a subject who lives in a world of enjoyment, a world that is made accessible through the dwelling. The feminine presence presides over this dwelling, and the feminine face represents the first welcome. How is this feminine face to be understood? Does it provide a model for the infinite obligation to the Other, or is it a proto-ethical relation? The essays in this volume investigate this dilemma. Contributors are Alison Ainley, Diane Brody, Catherine Chalier, Luce Irigaray, Claire Katz, Kelly Oliver, Diane Perpich, Stella Sandford, Sonya Sikka, and Ewa Ziarek. (shrink)
An increasing number of philosophers have promoted the idea that mechanism provides a fruitful framework for thinking about the explanatory contributions of computational approaches in cognitive neuroscience. For instance, Piccinini and Bahar :453–488, 2013) have recently argued that neural computation constitutes a sui generis category of physical computation which can play a genuine explanatory role in the context of investigating neural and cognitive processes. The core of their proposal is to conceive of computational explanations in cognitive neuroscience as a (...) subspecies of mechanistic explanations. This paper identifies several challenges facing their mechanistic account and sketches an alternative way of thinking about the epistemic roles of computational approaches used in the study of brain and cognition. Drawing on examples from both low-level and systems-level computational neuroscience, I argue that at least some computational explanations of neural and cognitive processes are partially independent from mechanistic constraints. (shrink)
Community-based interventions built on theory and informed by community members produce potent, sustainable change. This intervention model mobilizes inherent community assets and pinpoints specific needs. Advancing community-based research to address obesity will require training of future leaders in this methodology, funding to conduct rigorous trials, and scientific acceptance of this model.
ABSTRACTThis article draws a parallel between the Zhuangzi’s discussions of having no sense of “oneself” or “I,” on the one hand, and its critique of institutionalized order and visions of the unification of society, on the other. Highlighting the way the text distances itself from rituals and tradition, this article identifies the source of the shift in its view on personhood not simply in the situating of humans in the wider world or in acknowledgment of natural processes of change, but (...) in the character of one’s relation to the wider world and change. Although special attention is given here to the socially and politically disengaged tone of the text, I reject the view that the Zhuangzi’s goal is to help shed the “external,” “social,” or “constructed” layers of one’s person in order to unearth a “natural” or “authentic” core. (shrink)
Two studies examined human perceptions of dog personality attributes based upon exposure to pictures of dogs of select breeds. The proposed hypotheses evaluated the validity of “big, black dog syndrome”—whereby large, black dog breeds are reportedly spurned for adoption due to negatively perceived personality attributes—by assessing each dog’s relative trait dominance and affiliation based upon a taxonomy drawn from the eight-factor interpersonal circumplex. Results of two separate studies indicated that among participants’ ratings, breed-specific differences were more powerful predictors of interpersonal (...) trait attributions than the color or size of the dog. In general, with the exception of the golden retriever, black labs were perceived as consistently less dominant and less hostile than other large breeds, contrary to the assumption that large, black dogs are viewed negatively. (shrink)
Research ethicists have recently declared a new ethical imperative: that researchers should communicate the results of research to participants. For some analysts, the obligation is restricted to the communication of the general findings or conclusions of the study. However, other analysts extend the obligation to the disclosure of individual research results, especially where these results are perceived to have clinical relevance. Several scholars have advanced cogent critiques of the putative obligation to disclose individual research results. They question whether ethical goals (...) are served by disclosure or violated by non-disclosure, and whether the communication of research results respects ethically salient differences between research practices and clinical care. Empirical data on these questions are limited. Available evidence suggests, on the one hand, growing support for disclosure, and on the other, the potential for significant harm. (shrink)
Fraudulent analysis and reporting of psychological data have the potential to contaminate the scientific knowledge base and eventuate in the unjustified expenditure of public money and scientific effort (Koocher & Keith-Spiegel, 1998). Traditionally, the field has relied on quantitative methodologists to educate researchers in proper analysis and reporting practices, and to examine these via peer review. The field has also relied on psychologists with training or board service in ethics to establish standards and implement strategies to discourage misconduct. However, this (...) division of responsibility for examination, standard setting, and deterrence is shown to compromise the effectiveness of methodologists' and ethicists' respective gatekeeping efforts. Methodologically and ethically trained specialists instead need to coordinate efforts to safeguard analysis and reporting procedures. Researchers also need to increase self-monitoring. Potential obstacles to achieving these ends are considered, and three tactics are proposed to overcome them. (shrink)
Background Genuine uncertainty on superiority of one intervention over the other is called equipoise. Physician-investigators in randomized controlled trials need equipoise at least in studies with more than minimal risks. Ideally, this equipoise is also present in patient-participants. In pediatrics, data on equipoise are lacking. We hypothesize that 1) lack of equipoise at enrolment among parents may reduce recruitment; 2) lack of equipoise during participation may reduce retention in patients assigned to a less favoured treatment-strategy. Methods We compared preferences of (...) parents/patients at enrolment, documented by a questionnaire, with preferences developed during follow-up by an interview-study to investigate equipoise of child-participants and parents in the BeSt-for-Kids-study. This trial in new-onset Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis-patients consists of three strategies. One strategy comprises initial treatment with a biological disease-modifying-antirheumatic-drug, currently not standard-of-care. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 23 parents and 7 patients, median 11 months after enrolment. Results Initially most parents and children were not in equipoise. Parents/patients who refused participation, regularly declined due to specific preferences. Many participating families preferred the biological-first-strategy. They participated to have a chance for this initial treatment, and would even consider stopping trial-participation when not randomized for it. Their conviction of superiority of the biological-first strategy was based on knowledge from internet and close relations. According to four parents, the physician-investigator preferred the biological-first-strategy, but the majority stated that she had no preferred strategy. In phase 2, preferences tended to change to the treatment actually received. Conclusions Lack of equipoise during enrolment did not reduce study recruitment, mainly due to the fact that preferred treatment was only available within the study. Still, when developing a trial it is important to evaluate whether the physicians’ research question is in line with preferences of the patient-group. By exploring so-called ‘informed patient-group’-equipoise, successful recruitment may be enhanced and bias avoided. In our study, lack of equipoise during trial-participation did not reduce retention in those assigned to a less favoured option. We observed a change for preference towards treatment actually received, possibly explained by comparable outcomes in all three arms. (shrink)
Philodemus of Gadara Philodemus of Gadara was a poet and Epicurean philosopher who, after leaving Gadara, studied in Athens under Zeno of Sidon before moving to Italy. Once in Italy, he lived in the area around the Bay of Naples, where he belonged to a circle of Epicureans that included Siro as well … Continue reading Philodemus of Gadara →.
Although mutually advantageous cooperative strategies might be an apt account of some societies, other moral systems might be needed among certain groups and contexts. In particular, in a duty-based moral system, people do not behave morally with an expectation for proportional reward, but rather, as a fulfillment of debt owed to others. In such systems, mutualistic motivations are not necessarily a key component of morality.
Despite the fact that the requirement to obtain informed consent for medical procedures is deeply enshrined in both U.S. moral and legal doctrine, empirical studies and anecdotal accounts show that women's rights to informed consent and refusal of treatment are routinely undermined and ignored during childbirth. For example, citing the most recent Listening to Mothers survey, Marianne Nieuwenhuijze and Lisa Kane Low state that "a significant number of women said they felt pressure from a caregiver to agree to having an (...) intervention that they did not want during birth". Specifically, Nieuwenhuijze and Low cite that "19% of women who did not have epidural analgesia felt... (shrink)
In this article, we present a newly developed undergraduate module that is taught in the Humanities Department of the University of Roehampton. Campus and university themselves are the topics of the module. The module provides an opportunity for the students to engage academically with their environment. They study not only many interesting stories related to the campus, its buildings and artworks and the history of the university and its constituent colleges, they also explore their historical contexts. They have the rare (...) chance to engage with original artefacts and archival materials directly unmediated by editorial and scholarly work. For their assignments, the students conduct research projects that are based on the resources of campus and university. They are required to present the results of their research in a public forum to provide them, early in their university studies, with experience of public engagement. (shrink)