The fairy tale The Three Princes of Serendip can be taken to be allegorical of not only chance discovery (serendipity) but of other aspects of scientific discovery as well. Just as Horace Walpole coined serendipity, so can the term bahramdipity be derived from the tale and defined as the cruel suppression of a serendipitous discovery. Suppressed, unpublished discoveries are designated nulltiples. Several examples are presented to make the case that bahramdipity is an existent aspect of scientific discovery. Other examples of (...) non-ideal scientific research and discovery are provided in order to contrast and clarify the meaning and use of bahramdipity. Additional allegories of scientific discovery are taken from the tale and a hope for the strengthening of scientific integrity is expressed. (shrink)
We argue that probability effects on P300 amplitude are the product of an automatic frequency detector not subject to voluntary control and relatively inaccessible to consciousness. related to P300 therefore appear to be passive, perceptual ones. If probability-based expectancies do become conscious, they are inversely related to P300, supporting the view of Donchin & Coles (1988).
The fact that Greek ζ = Indo-European j in the words ζειαί, ζέω, ζxs22EFλος, ζόρξ, ζυγόν, S0009838800022941_inline1, and ζωρός may be regarded as fairly well established , despite the counter-arguments of Sommer.
The fact that Greek ζ = Indo-European j in the words ζειαί, ζέω, ζxs22EFλος, ζόρξ, ζυγόν, S0009838800022941_inline1, and ζωρός may be regarded as fairly well established, despite the counter-arguments of Sommer.
Concerns about the risks of unmitigated greenhouse gas emissions are growing. At the same time, confidence that international policy agreements will succeed in considerably lowering anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions is declining. Perhaps as a result, various geoengineering solutions are gaining attention and credibility as a way to manage climate change. Serious consideration is currently being given to proposals to cool the planet through solar-radiation management. Here we analyze how the unique and nontrivial risks of geoengineering strategies pose fundamental questions at (...) the interface between science and ethics. To illustrate the importance of integrated ethical and scientific analysis, we define key open questions and outline a coupled scientific-ethical research agenda to analyze solar-radiation management geoengineering proposals. We identify nine key fields of coupled research including whether solar-radiation management can be tested, how quickly learning could occur, normative decisions embedded in how different climate trajectories are valued, and justice issues regarding distribution of the harms and benefits of geoengineering. To ensure that ethical analyses are coupled with scientific analyses of this form of geoengineering, we advocate that funding agencies recognize the essential nature of this coupled research by establishing an Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications program for solar-radiation management. (shrink)
J. L. Schellenberg’s Philosophy of Religion argues for a specific brand of sceptical religion that takes ‘Ultimism’ – the proposition that there is a metaphysically, axiologically, and soteriologically ultimate reality – to be the object to which the sceptical religionist should assent. In this article I shall argue that Ietsism – the proposition that there is merely something transcendental worth committing ourselves to religiously – is a preferable object of assent. This is for two primary reasons. First, Ietsism is far (...) more modest than Ultimism; Ietsism, in fact, is open to the truth of Ultimism, while the converse does not hold. Second, Ietsism can fulfil the same criteria that compel Schellenberg to argue for Ultimism. (shrink)
In Heidegger’s Being and Time certain concepts are discussed which are central to the ontological constitution of Dasein. This paper demonstrates the interesting manner in which some of these concepts can be used in a reading of T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. A comparative analysis is performed, explicating the relevant Heideggerian terms and then relating them to Eliot’s poem. In this way strong parallels are revealed between the two men’s respective thoughts and distinct modernist sensibilities. Prufrock, (...) the protagonist of the poem, and the world he inhabits illustrate poetically concepts such as authenticity, inauthenticity, the ‘they’, idle talk and angst, which Heidegger develops in Being and Time. (shrink)
Mass vaccination has been a successful public health strategy for many contagious diseases. The immunity of the vaccinated also protects others who cannot be safely or effectively vaccinated—including infants and the immunosuppressed. When vaccination rates fall, diseases like measles can rapidly resurge in a population. Those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons are at the highest risk of severe disease and death. They thus may bear the burden of others' freedom to opt out of vaccination. It is often asked (...) whether it is legitimate for states to adopt and enforce mandatory universal vaccination. Yet this neglects a related question: are those who opt out, where it is permitted, morally responsible when others are harmed or die as a result of their decision? In this article, we argue that individuals who opt out of vaccination are morally responsible for resultant harms to others. Using measles as our main example, we demonstrate the ways in which opting out of vaccination can result in a significant risk of harm and death to others, especially infants and the immunosuppressed. We argue that imposing these risks without good justification is blameworthy and examine ways of reaching a coherent understanding of individual moral responsibility for harms in the context of the collective action required for disease transmission. Finally, we consider several objections to this view, provide counterarguments and suggest morally permissible alternatives to mandatory universal vaccination including controlled infection, self-imposed social isolation and financial penalties for refusal to vaccinate. (shrink)
In his new book, "The Romantic Conception of Life: Science and Philosophy in the Age of Goethe," Robert J. Richards argues that Charles Darwin's true evolutionary roots lie in the German Romantic biology that flourished around the beginning of the nineteenth century. It is argued that Richards is quite wrong in this claim and that Darwin's roots are in the British society within which he was born, educated, and lived.
This paper is a detailed examination of some parts of J. P. Moreland's book on "the argument from consciousness". (There is a companion article that discusses the parts of the book not taken up in this critical notice.).
This paper seeks to reinterpret the life and work of J. B. S. Haldane by focusing on an illuminating but largely ignored essay he published in 1927, "The Last Judgment" -- the sequel to his better known work, "Daedalus" (1924). This astonishing essay expresses a vision of the human future over the next 40,000,000 years, one that revises and updates Wellsian futurism with the long range implications of the "new biology" for human destiny. That vision served as a kind of (...) lifelong credo, one that infused and informed his diverse scientific work, political activities, and popular writing, and that gave unity and coherence to his remarkable career. (shrink)
In the same year, 1961, Peter D. Mitchell and Robert R.J.P. Williams both put forward hypotheses for the mechanism of oxidative phosphorylation in mitochondria and photophosphorylation in chloroplasts. Mitchell's proposal was ultimately adopted and became known as the chemiosmotic theory. Both hypotheses were based on protons and differed markedly from the then prevailing chemical theory originally proposed by E.C. Slater in 1953, which by 1961 was failing to account for a number of experimental observations. Immediately following the publication of Williams (...) 's hypothesis and before his own was published, Mitchell initiated a correspondence. Examination of the letters shows the development of a dispute based on the validity of the proposals, who should have priority and particularly whether Mitchell had drawn on Williams 's work without acknowledgement. We have concluded that Mitchell's proposals were original although it is evident that prior to the correspondence Williams had considered and rejected a proposition similar to Mitchell's theory. However, a major cause of the dispute was the difference in disciplinary backgrounds of Mitchell, a microbial biochemist and Williams, a chemist. (shrink)
While geoengineering may counteract negative effects of anthropogenic climate change, it is clear that most geoengineering options could also have some harmful effects. Moreover, it is predicted that the benefits and harms of geoengineering will be distributed unevenly in different parts of the world and to future generations, which raises serious questions of justice. It has been suggested that a compensation scheme to redress geoengineering harms is needed for geoengineering to be ethically and politically acceptable. Discussions of compensation for geoengineering (...) harms, however, sometimes presume geoengineering has presented new and unique challenges to compensation that cannot be readily accommodated by existing compensation practices. The most explicit formulation of this view was recently presented by Toby Svoboda and Peter J. Irvine, who argued that two forms of uncertainty in geoengineering — namely, ethical uncertainty and scientific uncertainty — make it immensely difficult to devise an ethically and politically satisfactory compensation scheme for geoengineering harms. -/- In this paper, we argue against the view that geoengineering presents new and unique challenges relating to compensation. More specifically, we show that placing these challenges within the broader context of anthropogenic climate change reveals them to be less serious and less specific to geoengineering than some appear to believe. (shrink)