While new generations of implantable brain computer interface devices are being developed, evidence in the literature about their impact on the patient experience is lagging. In this article, we address this knowledge gap by analysing data from the first-in-human clinical trial to study patients with implanted BCI advisory devices. We explored perceptions of self-change across six patients who volunteered to be implanted with artificially intelligent BCI devices. We used qualitative methodological tools grounded in phenomenology to conduct in-depth, semi-structured interviews. Results (...) show that, on the one hand, BCIs can positively increase a sense of the self and control; on the other hand, they can induce radical distress, feelings of loss of control, and a rupture of patient identity. We conclude by offering suggestions for the proactive creation of preparedness protocols specific to intelligent—predictive and advisory—BCI technologies essential to prevent potential iatrogenic harms. (shrink)
The essays in this book demonstrate the breadth and vitality of American intellectual history. Their core theme is the diversity of both American intellectual life and of the frameworks that we must use to make sense of that diversity. The Worlds of American Intellectual History has at its heart studies of American thinkers. Yet it follows these thinkers and their ideas as they have crossed national, institutional, and intellectual boundaries. The volume explores ways in which American ideas have circulated in (...) different cultures. It also examines the multiple sites--from social movements, museums, and courtrooms to popular and scholarly books and periodicals--in which people have articulated and deployed ideas within and beyond the borders of the United States. At these cultural frontiers, the authors demonstrate, multiple interactions have occurred - some friendly and mutually enriching, others laden with tension, misunderstandings, and conflict. The same holds for other kinds of borders, such as those within and between scholarly disciplines, or between American history and the histories of other cultures.The richness of contemporary American intellectual history springs from the variety of worlds with which it must engage. Intellectual historians have always relished being able to move back and forth between close readings of particular texts and efforts to make sense of broader cultural dispositions. That range is on display in this volume, which includes essays by scholars as fully at home in the disciplines of philosophy, literature, economics, sociology, political science, education, science, religion, and law as they are in history. It includes essays by prominent historians of European thought, attuned to the transatlantic conversations in which Europeans and Americans have been engaged since the seventeenth century, and American historians whose work has carried them not only to different regions in North America but across the North Atlantic to Europe, across the South Atlantic to Africa, and across the Pacific to South Asia. (shrink)
Although connectionism is advocated by its proponents as an alternative to the classical computational theory of mind, doubts persist about its _computational_ credentials. Our aim is to dispel these doubts by explaining how connectionist networks compute. We first develop a generic account of computation—no easy task, because computation, like almost every other foundational concept in cognitive science, has resisted canonical definition. We opt for a characterisation that does justice to the explanatory role of computation in cognitive science. Next we examine (...) what might be regarded as the “conventional” account of connectionist computation. We show why this account is inadequate and hence fosters the suspicion that connectionist networks aren’t genuinely computational. Lastly, we turn to the principal task of the paper: the development of a more robust portrait of connectionist computation. The basis of this portrait is an explanation of the representational capacities of connection weights, supported by an analysis of the weight configurations of a series of simulated neural networks. (shrink)
The volume presents essays on the philosophical explanation of the relationship between body and soul in antiquity from the Presocratics to Galen. The title of the volume alludes to a phrase found in Plato, Aristotle and Plotinus, referring to aspects of living behaviour involving both body and soul, and is a commonplace in ancient philosophy, dealt with in very different ways by different authors.
When it comes to applying computational theory to the problem of phenomenal consciousness, cognitive scientists appear to face a dilemma. The only strategy that seems to be available is one that explains consciousness in terms of special kinds of computational processes. But such theories, while they dominate the field, have counter-intuitive consequences; in particular, they force one to accept that phenomenal experience is composed of information processing effects. For cognitive scientists, therefore, it seems to come down to a choice between (...) a counter-intuitive theory or no theory at all. We offer a way out of this dilemma. We argue that the computational theory of mind doesn't force cognitive scientists to explain consciousness in terms of computational processes, as there is an alternative strategy available: one that focuses on the representational vehicles that encode information in the brain. This alternative approach to consciousness allows us to do justice to the standard intuitions about phenomenal experience, yet remain within the confines of cognitive science. (shrink)
In Connectionism and the Philosophy of Psychology, Horgan and Tienson (1996) argue that cognitive processes, pace classicism, are not governed by exceptionless, representation-level rules; they are instead the work of defeasible cognitive tendencies subserved by the non-linear dynamics of the brains neural networks. Many theorists are sympathetic with the dynamical characterisation of connectionism and the general (re)conception of cognition that it affords. But in all the excitement surrounding the connectionist revolution in cognitive science, it has largely gone unnoticed that connectionism (...) adds to the traditional focus on computational processes, a new focus one on the vehicles of mental representation, on the entities that carry content through the mind. Indeed, if Horgan and Tiensons dynamical characterisation of connectionism is on the right track, then so intimate is the relationship between computational processes and representational vehicles, that connectionist cognitive science is committed to a resemblance theory of mental content. (shrink)
Joshua Knobe's work has marshaled considerable support for the hypothesis that everyday judgments of whether an action is intentional are systematically influenced by evaluations of the action or agent. The main source of evidence for this hypothesis is a series of surveys that involve an agent either helping or harming something as a side effect. Respondents are much more likely to judge the side effect intentional if harm is involved. It is a remarkable feature of the discussion so far that (...) it assumes without scrutiny that the substitution of one act-type for another could not, taken alone, explain the difference in responses that the two scenarios yield. This paper presents evidence, both experimental and conceptual, that it is precisely this difference that explains the asymmetry in responses. Briefly, agents who token the act-type help must fulfill certain psychological conditions that they don't have to fulfill if they are to token the act-type harm. Harming, unlike helping, does not require the ful.. (shrink)
What is special about successful action explanation is that it reveals what the agent saw in her action. Most contemporary philosophers assume that this amounts to explanation in terms of the reason for which the agent acted. They also assume that such explanations conform to a realist picture of explanation. What is disputed is whether the reason is a psychological state or a normative state of affairs . I argue that neither psychological states nor their contents suffice to make actions (...) intelligible in the right way , while Anti-Psychologism can’t explain acting on bad reasons . The alternative that I propose, Proceduralism, has it that explaining an action requires simulating the agent’s practical deliberation. On this view, explanation is not grounded in reasons, and thereby avoids the problems with “bad” reasons that Anti-Psychologism faces. Instead, in simulating to the same conclusion as the agent, the “explainer” comes to see what the agent saw in her action, thereby satisfying the Reasonableness Constraint. Proceduralism requires giving up on the assumption that the reason for which the agent acts explains the action and on the realist picture of action explanation. In addition, it accounts for the incomprehension that explainers experience when they encounter “alien” psychologies – psychologies that are deeply different from their own. (shrink)
The twelve specially written essays in this volume investigate the neglected topic of mental action, and show its importance for the metaphysics, epistemology, and phenomenology of mind. The essays investigate what mental actions are, how we are aware of them, and what is the relationship between mental and physical action.
Lucy O'Brien argues that a satisfactory account of first-person reference and self-knowledge needs to concentrate on our nature as agents. Clearly written, with rigorous discussion of rival views, this book will be of interest to anyone working in the philosophy of mind and action.
No matter what the national context, the question of how to understand the impact of government programmes, particularly in terms of value for money, has emerged as a complex problem to be solved by social scientific management. This article engages with these trends in two ways. It focuses on the UK to understand how these tools and technologies are used for valuing objects and practices. By showing the rationality for using these techniques for understanding culture, it creates a link between (...) studies of cultural policy and broader questions facing the arts and humanities. The article’s second contribution is to our understanding of the role and function of arts and humanities by showing, in the British example, how a true understanding of the value of culture is impossible without the disciplines and fields that are currently peripheral to both government social science and, more broadly, higher education in the UK. (shrink)
In this article I consider and reflect upon the aesthetic significance of Simon Hailwood's conception of nature as articulated in an earlier volume of this journal in his paper 'The Value of Nature's Otherness'. I provide a brief elucidation of Hailwood's conception of nature as other and I maintain that recognition of the value of nature's otherness and respect for nature's otherness requires as a necessary condition that one know and perceive that nature is other. I then go on to (...) consider Hailwood's concerns over the possibility of locating nature's value as other in aesthetic responses to nature. I argue that such reservations are warranted insofar as they focus on an inadequate 'subjectivist' account of aesthetic experience but are not warranted for all accounts of aesthetic experience, in particular, I will argue that such reservations do not apply to the 'cognitive' model of aesthetic appreciation proposed by Allen Carlson as the 'environmental model' and developed in the work of Yuriko Saito. I conclude this paper by claiming that aesthetic value is a necessary component of otherness as a ground of nature's value and that this needs to be conceded if we are to be able to acknowledge the reality of something other than ourselves, to treat it appropriately and with respect. (shrink)
In their target article, Hutto and Satne eloquently articulate the failings of most current attempts to naturalize mental content. Furthermore, we think they are correct in their insistence that the only way forward is by drawing a distinction between two kinds of intentionality, one of which is considerably weaker than—and should be deployed to explain—the propositional variety most philosophers take for granted. The problem is that their own rendering of this weaker form of intentionality—contentless intentionality—is too weak. What’s needed is (...) a species of intentionality distinct from both the industrial-strength version beloved by philosophers and the intentionality lite recommended by Hutto and Satne. We briefly motivate and sketch this alternative, and say a few words about the account of cognition that it spawns. (shrink)
_An Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge_ guides the reader through the key issues and debates in contemporary epistemology. Lucid, comprehensive and accessible, it is an ideal textbook for students who are new to the subject and for university undergraduates. The book is divided into five parts. Part I discusses the concept of knowledge and distinguishes between different types of knowledge. Part II surveys the sources of knowledge, considering both _a priori_ and _a posteriori_ knowledge. Parts III and IV provide (...) an in-depth discussion of justification and scepticism. The final part of the book examines our alleged knowledge of the past, other minds, morality and God. O'Brien uses engaging examples throughout the book, taking many from literature and the cinema. He explains complex issues, such as those concerning the private language argument, non-conceptual content, and the new riddle of induction, in a clear and accessible way. This textbook is an invaluable guide to contemporary epistemology. (shrink)
Most models of corporate social responsibility revolve around the controversy as to whether business is a single dimensional entity of profit maximization or a multi-dimensional entity serving greater societal interests. Furthermore, the models are mostly descriptive in nature and are based on the experiences of western countries. There has been little attempt to develop a model that accounts for corporate social responsibility in diverse environments with differing socio-cultural and market settings. In this paper an attempt has been made to fill (...) this gap by developing a two-dimensional model of corporate social responsibility and empirically testing its validity in the context of two dissimilar cultures – Australia and Bangladesh. The two dimensions are the span of corporate responsibility and the range of outcomes of social commitments of businesses. The test results confirm the validity of the two-dimensional model in the two environments. The Factor analysis revealed two leading dimensions. Cluster analysis pointed to two distinctive clusters of managers in both Australia and Bangladesh, one consisting of managers with a broad contemporary concept of social responsibility, and the other with a limited narrow view. The paper concludes that corporate social responsibility is two-dimensional and universal in nature and that differing cultural and market settings in which managers operate may have little impact on the ethical perceptions of corporate managers. (shrink)
Niche construction is the process whereby organisms, through their activities and choices, modify their own and each other’s niches. By transforming natural-selection pressures, niche construction generates feedback in evolution at various different levels. Niche-constructing species play important ecological roles by creating habitats and resources used by other species and thereby affecting the flow of energy and matter through ecosystems—a process often referred to as “ecosystem engineering.” An important emphasis of niche construction theory is that acquired characters play an evolutionary role (...) through transforming selective environments. This is particularly relevant to human evolution, where our species has engaged in extensive environmental modification through cultural practices. Humans can construct developmental environments that feed back to affect how individuals learn and develop and the diseases to which they are exposed. Here we provide an introduction to NCT and illustrate some of its more important implications for the human sciences. (shrink)
In this paper I want to propose that we see solipsism as arising from certain problems we have about identifying ourselves as subjects in an objective world. The discussion will centre on Wittgenstein’s treatment of solipsism in his Tractatus Logico- Philosophicus. In that work Wittgenstein can be seen to express an unusually profound understanding of the problems faced in trying to give an account of how we, who are subjects, identify ourselves as objects in the world. We have in his (...) compressed remarks, the kernels of a number of arguments which all come together to form what can be called the problem of self-identification. I want to argue that the solipsism of the Tractatus arises at least in part as a solution to, or – to put it less optimistically – as a symptom or articulation of this problem. In approaching Wittgenstein’s early discussion of solipsism in this way I will obviously be in disagreement with some other interpretations of the work. For example, there are those who think that there is no ‘solipsism of the Tractatus’.1 In fact, the Tractarian arguments presented below as motivating solipsism have been seen as fulfilling the quite opposite function of refuting it. I do not intend in this piece to engage with alternative interpretations. Let me say a little bit about why I have granted myself the licence not to do so. First, the focus of my concern with solipsism is on how it connects with what I have called the problem of self-identification. While it is a concern that emerged in an attempt to make sense of Wittgenstein’s remarks in. (shrink)
The cosmic cycle described in the surviving fragments of Empedocles' poem is the alternation, in endless succession, of Love and Strife. Dr O'Brien's book is primarily an analysis of this elaborate system. It seeks to determine the positions which Love and Strife occupy in the world at different times.
Heidegger?s accounts of Dasein?s dual nature as both individual and social in Being and Time have been a longstanding source of confusion and controversy in the literature. Many critics have been keen to identify contradictions between Heidegger?s positive account of the social nature of everyday Dasein and the putatively solipsistic account of authentic Dasein which comes later. This paper focuses on Heidegger?s brief attempts to sketch the outlines for the notion of something like authentic intersubjectivity. In doing so we will (...) see where the temptation arises to read Heidegger as having failed to remain consistent but also how Heidegger himself is responsible for some of the confusion here. (shrink)
This paper looks at the languages of empowerment and control as they are expressed by authors writing about “indigenous knowledge.” We performed a content analysis on CIKARD News, a newsletter dealing with the concept of indigenous knowledge. This concept has become increasingly prominent in the discourse of alternative development, addressing issues of ecological sustainability and the empowerment of the rural poor. However, mediated by institutions that perpetuate global and local power asymmetries, the empowering potential of indigenous knowledge may be bypassed. (...) Instead, officials, researchers, and practitioners may utilize this knowledge for their own perceived ends, however good their intentions. In addition, there is already evidence that an indigenous knowledge approach is seen by major agencies as beneficial for integrating poorer populations into the global economy. Our analysis suggests that tensions persist among and within the writings of these authors between the desire to empower and the tendency for development to control rural populations. (shrink)
Doctors have an ethical and legal duty to respect patient confidentiality. We consider the basis for this duty, looking particularly at the meaning and value of autonomy in health care. Enabling patients to decide how information about them is disclosed is an important element in autonomy and helps patients engage as active partners in their care.Good quality data is, however, essential for research, education, public health monitoring, and for many other activities essential to provision of health care. We discuss whether (...) it is necessary to choose between individual rights and the wider public interest and conclude that this should only rarely be necessary. The paper makes some recommendations on practical steps which could help ensure that good quality information is available for work which benefits society and the public health, while still enabling patients’ autonomy to be respected. (shrink)
Hume is usually taken to have an evidentialist account of testimonial belief: one is justified in believing what someone says if one has empincal evidence that they have been reliable in the past. This account is impartialist: such evidence is required no matter who the person is, or what refotions she may have to you. I, however, argue that Hume has another account of testimony, one grounded in sympathy. This account is partialist, in that empincal evidence is not required in (...) order for one to be justified in believing some of the assertions of one's friends. (shrink)
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