Efforts to improve patients’ understanding of their own medical treatments or research in which they are involved are progressing, especially with regard to informed consent procedures. We aimed to design a multisource informed consent procedure that is easily adaptable to both clinical and research applications, and to evaluate its effectiveness in terms of understanding and awareness, even in less educated patients.
The ability of a group of adults with high functioning autism (HFA) or Asperger Syndrome (AS) to distinguish moral, conventional and disgust transgressions was investigated using a set of six transgression scenarios, each of which was followed by questions about permissibility, seriousness, authority contingency and justification. The results showed that although individuals with HFA or AS (HFA/AS) were able to distinguish affect-backed norms from conventional affect-neutral norms along the dimensions of permissibility, seriousness and authority-dependence, they failed to distinguish moral and (...) disgust transgressions along the seriousness dimension and were unable to provide appropriate welfare-based moral justifications. Moreover, they judged conventional and disgust transgressions to be more serious than did the comparison group, and the correlation analysis revealed that the seriousness rating was related to their ToM impairment. We concluded that difficulties providing appropriate moral justifications and evaluating the seriousness of transgressions in individuals with HFA/AS may be explained by an impaired cognitive appraisal system that, while responsive to rule violations, fails to use relevant information about the agent’s intentions and the affective impact of the action outcome in conscious moral reasoning. (shrink)
In this study, we investigated the relationships between judgments of intentionality and moral evaluation in individuals with High Functioning Autism (HFA) or Asperger Syndrome (AS). HFA or AS are neurodevelopmental disorders characterised by severe deficits in communication and social functioning. Impairments in Theory of Mind (ToM), i.e., the ability to attribute mental states to oneself and to others, are thought to be the core features of autism. Of all mental states, the concept of ‘intentional action’ is particularly important. People normally (...) distinguish between actions that are performed intentionally and those that are performed unintentionally and this distinction plays a crucial role in social understanding and moral judgment. Recently, Knobe (Analysis 63: 190–193, 2003a ), (Philosophical Psychology 16: 309–324, 2003b ) showed that people’s moral evaluations might serve as input to the process by which people intuitively arrive at the intentionality judgments. Here, by using two pairs of vignettes, the Knobe’s Harm/Help cases and Murder/Bull’s-eye cases, we showed that, as already observed in typical population, in individuals with HFA/AS judgment of intentional action is informed by the moral appreciation of the action outcome. However, the two groups differed on praise judgments and moral justifications, suggesting that these processes were poorly influenced by the agent’s psychological states. We concluded that, although under certain circumstances, individuals with HFA/AS and people with typical development have similar intuitive judgments of intentionality, over-assignment of praise judgments and the reduced use of folk-psychological concepts in moral judgment likely reflect difficulties using intentionality information for moral reasoning. (shrink)
The nature of space and time is one of the most fascinating and fundamental areas of the philosophy of physics. This study aims to provide a complete account of current debates in the application of spacetime to string theory. String theory has been an important discipline within physics for many years but is only now being applied to the problems faced by philosophers of science. This emerging area of physics is discussed in relation to a number of theories including general (...) relativity, T-duality and moduli space, and set in the context of current and future research. (shrink)
Did Leibniz exploit infinitesimals and infinities à la rigueur or only as shorthand for quantified propositions that refer to ordinary Archimedean magnitudes? Hidé Ishiguro defends the latter position, which she reformulates in terms of Russellian logical fictions. Ishiguro does not explain how to reconcile this interpretation with Leibniz’s repeated assertions that infinitesimals violate the Archimedean property (i.e., Euclid’s Elements, V.4). We present textual evidence from Leibniz, as well as historical evidence from the early decades of the calculus, to undermine Ishiguro’s (...) interpretation. Leibniz frequently writes that his infinitesimals are useful fictions, and we agree, but we show that it is best not to understand them as logical fictions; instead, they are better understood as pure fictions. (shrink)
Weyl symmetry of the classical bosonic string Lagrangian is broken by quantization, with profound consequences described here. Reimposing symmetry requires that the background space-time satisfy the equations of general relativity: general relativity, hence classical space-time as we know it, arises from string theory. We investigate the logical role of Weyl symmetry in this explanation of general relativity: it is not an independent physical postulate but required in quantum string theory, so from a certain point of view it plays only a (...) formal role in the explanation. (shrink)
In relation to a thesis put forward by Marx Wartofsky, we seek to show that a historiography of mathematics requires an analysis of the ontology of the part of mathematics under scrutiny. Following Ian Hacking, we point out that in the history of mathematics the amount of contingency is larger than is usually thought. As a case study, we analyze the historians’ approach to interpreting James Gregory’s expression ultimate terms in his paper attempting to prove the irrationality of \. Here (...) Gregory referred to the last or ultimate terms of a series. More broadly, we analyze the following questions: which modern framework is more appropriate for interpreting the procedures at work in texts from the early history of infinitesimal analysis? As well as the related question: what is a logical theory that is close to something early modern mathematicians could have used when studying infinite series and quadrature problems? We argue that what has been routinely viewed from the viewpoint of classical analysis as an example of an “unrigorous” practice, in fact finds close procedural proxies in modern infinitesimal theories. We analyze a mix of social and religious reasons that had led to the suppression of both the religious order of Gregory’s teacher degli Angeli, and Gregory’s books at Venice, in the late 1660s. (shrink)
Quantum gravity--the marriage of quantum physics with general relativity--is bound to contain deep and important lessons for the nature of physical time. Some of these lessons shall be canvassed here, particularly as they arise from quantum general relativity and string theory and related approaches. Of particular interest is the question of which of the intuitive aspects of time will turn out to be fundamental, and which 'emergent' in some sense.
This article advances some considerations on the current production of hegemonic effects, starting with some problems posed by the work of one of the most influential writers in cultural studies – the American Palestinian critic Edward Said. Said's commentary on the coverage of Islam in the US media in the late 1970s allows for some challenging considerations on how hegemonic strategies directed at the formation of publics and public opinion are increasingly integrated within a global noopolitics of communication whose understanding (...) of the public is not derived from the notion of civil society but from the biopolitical element of the population – and the bio-racist segmentation that constitutes it. As outlined in Michel Foucault's analysis of liberal and neoliberal governmentality, such understanding of the public locates the latter straight within a new dispositif of power which is biopolitical and noopolitical at the same time, that is, which addresses itself at the same time to the biological, economic and spiritual life of the population. Such understanding involves a reconsideration of the constitution of publics and public opinion in times of netwars and information warfare as both subjects and objects of power/knowledge. In as much as such noopolitics affects what Maurizio Lazzarato calls a second bios, the life of the brain, it has the potential to give expression to the virtual power of immaterial events of subjectification which materialize in the bodies which actualize them and the possible, shared worlds that they are capable of producing. (shrink)
The article focuses on the relation established by Foucault in the two lecture courses Security, Territory, Population and The Birth of Biopolitics between life, nature and political economy. It explores the ways in which liberalism constructs a notion of economic nature as a phenomenon of circulation of aleatory series of events and poses the latter as an internal limit to sovereign power. It argues that the entwinement of vital and economic processes provides the means of internal redefinition of the raison (...) d’État and uses such an explanation to understand the emergence of the network topos as a technology of regulation of the unstable co-causality of milieus of circulation. The article also follows Foucault’s argument that the neoliberal market is significantly different from the liberal market inasmuch as, unlike the latter, it is not defined as an abstract logic of exchange among equals but as an ideal logic of competition between formal inequalities. Finally it asks whether new theories of social production and sympathetic cooperation, in the work of authors such as Yochai Benkler and Maurizio Lazzarato, can offer an alternative to the neoliberal logic of market-based competition as the basis for the production of new forms of life. (shrink)
The ability to resist distracting stimuli whilst voluntarily focusing on a task is fundamental to our everyday cognitive functioning. Here, we investigated how this ability develops, and thereafter declines, across the lifespan using a single task/experiment. Young children (5–7 years), older children (10–11 years), young adults (20–27 years), and older adults (62–86 years) were presented with complex visual scenes. Endogenous (voluntary) attention was engaged by having the participants search for a visual target presented on either the left or right side (...) of the display. The onset of the visual scenes was preceded – at stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) of 50, 200, or 500 ms – by a task-irrelevant sound (an exogenous crossmodal spatial distractor) delivered either on the same or opposite side as the visual target, or simultaneously on both sides (cued, uncued, or neutral trials, respectively). Age-related differences were revealed, especially in the extreme age-groups, which showed a greater impact of crossmodal spatial distractors. Young children were highly susceptible to exogenous spatial distraction at the shortest SOA (50 ms), whereas older adults were distracted at all SOAs, showing significant exogenous capture effects during the visual search task. By contrast, older children and young adults' search performance was not significantly affected by crossmodal spatial distraction. Overall, these findings present a detailed picture of the developmental trajectory of endogenous resistance to crossmodal spatial distraction from childhood to old age and demonstrate a different efficiency in coping with distraction across the four age-groups studied. (shrink)
In On Local Motion in the Two New Sciences, Galileo distinguishes between ‘time’ and ‘quanto time’ to justify why a variation in speed has the same properties as an interval of time. In this essay, I trace the occurrences of the word quanto to define its role and specific meaning. The analysis shows that quanto is essential to Galileo’s mathematical study of infinitesimal quantities and that it is technically defined. In the light of this interpretation of the word quanto, Evangelista (...) Torricelli’s theory of indivisibles can be regarded as a natural development of Galileo’s insights about infinitesimal magnitudes, transformed into a geometrical method for calculating the area of unlimited plane figures. (shrink)
Cauchy's sum theorem is a prototype of what is today a basic result on the convergence of a series of functions in undergraduate analysis. We seek to interpret Cauchy’s proof, and discuss the related epistemological questions involved in comparing distinct interpretive paradigms. Cauchy’s proof is often interpreted in the modern framework of a Weierstrassian paradigm. We analyze Cauchy’s proof closely and show that it finds closer proxies in a different modern framework.
This work focuses on corporate social responsibility disclosure practices of multinational corporations. Based on a longitudinal study of CSR reports of companies operating in the automotive industry, the paper offers a detailed study of how disclosure practices are changing and which principles and approaches influence and drive the development of such disclosure. Based on a four-year report-based study, the findings enable us to identify three main trends in the CSR disclosure strategy of automotive firms. First, in line with the mainstream (...) CSR literature, the present study confirms the trend towards the increasing environmental and social accountability. Second, it adds evidence to the emerging debate regarding the harmonization and standardization of reporting and discusses this aspect by mentioning the standards as exerting some normative pressures within the sector. Finally, it provides evidence on specific links emerging between issues and actors. The implications of this evidence contribute to opening up the debate on CSR disclosure to the possibility of combining the institutional lens with a strategic approach that captures the materiality considerations of CSR disclosure. (shrink)
Brazilian women rely on sterilization as the main source of birth control. Sterilization has been one of the causes of the steep decline in fertility in Brazil, at least since the second half of 1970. It is hypothesized that understanding couples’ relationships might be key to explaining this high rate of female sterilizations. Possible reasons for the higher level of fertility among women in unstable unions than among women in stable ones could be the less effective use of contraceptive methods, (...) or that women in unstable unions tend to use less effective or reversible contraceptive methods. In this paper discrete time modelling of the timing of sterilization according to union histories is presented. The analysis uses the calendar data of the 1996 Brazilian DHS. It is shown that women in second or higher order unions have a lower risk of sterilization. This result should be taken into account in the analysis of the determinants of female sterilization in Brazil. (shrink)
In Feeling of Knowing cases, subjects have a form of consciousness about the presence of a content without having access to it. If this phenomenon can be correctly interpreted as having to do with consciousness, then there would be a P-conscious mental experience which is dissociated from access.
This paper aims at presenting the work of Dutch architecture Hans van der Laan through a comparison with the Renaissance architect Leon Battista Alberti by stating the similarity of the role assigned to proportion in architectural design by both architects. In particular, the study will show how both Van der Laan and Alberti understood proportion and the perceptive and aesthetic values of proportioned forms as the result of an intellectual appreciation.
This introduction frames the articles collected in the special section as the outcome of a process of ‘self-education’ taking place in the Italian free university network UniNomade 2.0 between 2010 and 2013. The open seminars and conferences organized by UniNomade 2.0 took as their object of inquiry the concept of the Common, while the articles selected focus in particular on the sovereign debt crisis of the European Union following the global financial crisis of 2008. The introduction thus summarizes the overall (...) approach of contemporary ‘post-operaist’ authors such as Toni Negri, Christian Marazzi, Maurizio Lazzarato, Andrea Fumagalli and Stefano Lucarelli, and Carlo Vercellone to the new role of financial capital, the transformation of money, the material constitution of Europe, the role played by the relationship between debtors and creditors, and the possibilities opened by the concept of Commonfare for struggles against austerity. (shrink)