Hilary Putnam has offered two arguments to show that we cannotbe brains in a vat, and one to show that our cognitive situationcannot be fully analogous to that of brains in a vat. The latterand one of the former are irreparably flawed by misapplicationsof, or mistaken inferences from, his semantic externalism; thethird yields only a simple logical truth. The metaphysical realismthat is Putnams ultimate target is perfectly consistent withsemantic externalism.
Hilary Putnam has offered two arguments to show that we cannotbe brains in a vat, and one to show that our cognitive situationcannot be fully analogous to that of brains in a vat. The latterand one of the former are irreparably flawed by misapplicationsof, or mistaken inferences from, his semantic externalism; thethird yields only a simple logical truth. The metaphysical realismthat is Putnam’s ultimate target is perfectly consistent withsemantic externalism.
This paper concerns the relation between two metaethical theses: moral naturalism and moral skepticism. It is important that we distinguish both from a couple of methodological principles with which they might be confused. Let us give the label “Cartesian skepticism” to the method of subjecting to doubt everything for which it is possible to do so—usually by introducing alternative hypotheses that are consistent with all available evidence (e.g., brains in vats). Let us give the label “global naturalism” to the (...) principle that requires of any item which we admit into our ontology that it “fits” (in some manner or cluster of manners to be specified) with our naturalistic scientific worldview. One might be both a Cartesian skeptic and a global naturalist, if the latter principle is something that has survived the former test procedure. Alternatively, one might have adopted global naturalism for some other reason, while having little patience for the Cartesian method of doubt. Moral naturalism is the metaethical view that moral entities (e.g., properties like goodness and evil) fit within the scientific image of the world. The moral naturalist will probably be a global naturalist, but need not be: It is consistent with allowing non-natural entities into one’s ontology that one happens to think that moral properties are of the natural variety. Moral skepticism denies that moral entities fit within our scientific worldview. One way of denying moral naturalism is to be a moral error theorist: to hold that our moral discourse attempts to make reference to moral properties, but these properties do not exist.1 Another way of denying moral naturalism is to be a noncognitivist: to hold that our moral discourse was never really in the business of referring to moral facts or properties in the first place, and ipso facto such facts or properties are not naturalistic. In this paper, the label “moral skepticism” denotes the disjunction of these two theses. Neither the error theorist nor the noncognitivist must be committed to global naturalism, but usually will be; indeed, this commitment will often be a motivating factor of their metaethical views.. (shrink)
Debates concerning the taxation of prostitution have occurred in taxation law and in feminist literature. This article will integrate the case of Polok v. C.E.C.  E.W.H.C, 156;  S.T.C. 361, within the feminist legal canon. The case is discussed in the context of the argument of the European doctrine of fiscal neutrality, which dictates that, regardless of legality as amongst member states, if an activity is levied to V.A.T. in one member state, V.A.T. should be levied on it in (...) all member states. The doctrine of sovereignty accepts the possibility that the integrity of the V.A.T. system may be compromised by the levying of tax on illegal activities, in terms of the cooperation between tax and other aspects of the U.K.’s legal system. European law, feminist law, commodification and the marketplace are all considered within the context of these principles. The article also considers the place of Polok within standard feminist texts on prostitution. Different paradigms of prostitution define different aspects of prostitution as ‘problems’, and the article considers the implications within a feminist reconstruction of Polok of this. The article suggests that the challenge for a feminist analysis of Polok is to remain within the realm of European tax and competition law, and to render the perspective of the employees of the Polok taxpayers part of the substance of the deliberations of the case. (shrink)
This article investigates the practice of vat en sit to offer solutions to church councils of the mainly Black Reformed Churches in South Africa and also to the couples and families involved in such a relationship. Vat en sit is fast becoming a common phenomenon in South Africa. It should be noted that some of the couples in the vat-en-sit relationships may enter into it with no formal agreement. However, there are partners who may enter into this kind of relationship (...) through a universal partnership agreement whereby the couple plan to live together without marrying one another or a domestic life-partnership agreement whereby the couple opt to regulate their rights and duties in a vat-en-sit relationship. It does not, however, affect only the black members of the Reformed Churches in South Africa but also the family structures of society. The article thus endeavours to determine the reasons why many couples go this route and also how church councils could be assisted in dealing with the issue of vat en sit. This concept will be disseminated under the following headings: The causes of vat en sit relationships Implications of vat en sit The effect of a vat-en-sit relationship in the church The solution to the issue of vat en sit is to assist church councils, couples and their immediate and extended families. (shrink)
In this paper we offer an exegesis of Hilary Putnam’s classic argument against the brain-in-a-vat hypothesis offered in his Reason, truth and history. In it, Putnam argues that we cannot be brains in a vat because the semantics of the situation make it incoherent for anyone to wonder whether they are a brain in a vat. Putnam’s argument is that in order for ‘I am a brain in a vat’ to be true, the person uttering it would have to be (...) able to refer successfully to those things: the vat, and the envatted brain. Putnam thinks that reference can’t be secured without relevant kinds of causal relations, which, if envatted, the brain would lack, and so, it fails to be able to meaningfully utter ‘I am a brain in a vat’. We consider the implications of Putnam’s arguments for Cartesian scepticism and suggest that there may yet be some ways out of Putnam’s arguments for the traditional sceptic. In conclusion, we discuss the role of Putnam’s arguments against the brain in a vat hypothesis in his larger defense of his own internal realism against metaphysical realism. (shrink)
Dogmatists often exploit the skeptical argument based on the brains-in-a-vat scenario as a test case for their epistemological enterprises. I argue that this ‘argument’ does not deserve our attention, so it should not be used as a test case. I first show that the possibilities of empirical knowledge and of skeptical scenarios are inconsistent. If so, the BIV-skeptic must make the case for preferring such scenarios over the possibility of empirical knowledge. The central argument of my paper is that the (...) BIV-skeptic can neither rely on any selection principle for this purpose, nor can she claim that she needs no such principle. Then I will show that we can even dispense with the Inconsistency Thesis: if the skeptic wishes, she may allow for the possibility of empirical knowledge. The essay concludes with considering the morals of the above argument for the dogmatist endeavor. (shrink)
This paper consists of four parts. Part 1 is an introduction. Part 2 evaluates arguments for the claim that there are no strict empirical laws in biology. I argue that there are two types of arguments for this claim and they are as follows: (1) Biological properties are multiply realized and they require complex processes. For this reason, it is almost impossible to formulate strict empirical laws in biology. (2) Generalizations in biology hold contingently but laws go beyond describing contingencies, (...) so there cannot be strict laws in biology. I argue that both types of arguments fail. Part 3 considers some examples of biological laws in recent biological research and argues that they exemplify strict laws in biology. Part 4 considers the objection that the examples in part 3 may be strict laws but they are not distinctively biological laws. I argue that given a plausible account of what distinctively biological means, such laws are distinctively biological. (shrink)
Edgington has proposed a solution to the sorites paradox in terms of ‘verities’, which she defines as degrees of closeness to clear truth. Central to her solution is the assumption that verities are formally probabilities. She is silent on what verities might derive from and on why they should be probabilities. This paper places Edgington’s solution in the framework of a spatial approach to conceptualization, arguing that verities may be conceived of as deriving from how our concepts relate to each (...) other. Building on work by Kamp and Partee, this paper further shows how verities, thus conceived of, may plausibly be assumed to have probabilistic structure. The new interpretation of verities is argued to also help answer the question of what the verities of indicative conditionals are, a question which Edgington leaves open. Finally, the question of how to accommodate higher-order vagueness, given this interpretation, is addressed. (shrink)
Patients living with chronic pain require appropriate access to opioid therapy along with improved access to pain care and additional therapeutic options. It's both medically reasonable and ethical to consider opioid therapy as a treatment option in the management of chronic, non-cancer pain for a subset of patients with severe pain that is unresponsive to other therapies, negatively impacts function or quality of life, and will likely outweigh the potential harms. This paper will examine opioid therapy in the setting of (...) the opioid epidemic, why critics feel that the CDC guideline has resulted in harsh consequences for patients and their physicians, and the rationale for opioid therapy as a means of providing ethical and compassionate pain care. (shrink)
Engaging some of the most recent and more urgent issues in the philosophy of religion today, in this lively book Richard Kearney proposes that instead of thinking of God as "actual," God might best be thought of as the possibility of the ...
A number of health care professionals assert a right to be exempt from performing some actions currently designated as part of their standard professional responsibilities. Most advocates claim that they should be excused from these duties simply by averring that they are conscientiously opposed to performing them. They believe that they need not explain or justify their decisions to anyone; nor should they suffer any undesirable consequences of such refusal. Those who claim this right err by blurring or conflating three (...) issues about the nature and role of conscience, and its significance in determining what other people should permit them to do (or not do). Many who criticize those asserting an exemption conflate the same questions and blur the same distinctions, if not expressly, by failing to acknowledge that sometimes a morally serious agent should not do what she might otherwise be expected to do. Neither side seems to acknowledge that in some cases both claims are true: a conscientious professional should not do her professional duty AND others need not permit or excuse her refusal. I identify these conflations and specify conditions in which a professional might reasonably refuse to do what she is required to do. Then I identify conditions in which the public should exempt a professional from some of her responsibilities. I argue that professionals should refuse far less often than most advocates do . . . and that they should be even less frequently exempt for that failure. Finally, there are compelling reasons why we could not implement a consistent moral policy giving advocates what they want, likely not even in qualified form. (shrink)
It has traditionally been assumed that organ donation must be altruistic, though the necessity of altruistic motivations has recently been questioned. Few, however, have questioned whether altruism is always a good motive. This paper considers the possibility that excessive altruism, or self-abnegation, may be intrinsically bad. How this may be so is illustrated with reference to Tom Hurka’s account of the value of attitudes, which suggests that disproportionate love of one’s own good—either excessive or deficient—is intrinsically bad. Whether or not (...) we accept the details of this account, recognising that altruistic motivations may be intrinsically bad has important implications for organ procurement. One possible response is to say that we should take further measures to ensure that donors have good motives—that they are altruistic is no longer enough. An alternative is to say that, since altruistic donation need not be intrinsically good, we have less reason to object to other motivations. (shrink)
This paper is an attempt to clear some philosophical questions about the nature of logic by setting up a mathematical framework. The notion of congruence in logic is defined. A logical structure in which there is no non-trivial congruence relation, like some paraconsistent logics, is called simple. The relations between simplicity, the replacement theorem and algebraization of logic are studied (including MacLane-Curry’s theorem and a discussion about Curry’s algebras). We also examine how these concepts are related to such notions as (...) semantics, truth-functionality and bivalence. We argue that a logic, which is simple, can deserve the name logic and that the opposite view is connected with a reductionist perspective (reduction of logic to algebra). (shrink)
According to epistemic two-dimensionalism, every expression is associated with two kinds of meaning: a primary intension (a “Fregean” component) and a secondary intension (a “Russellian” component). While the rst kind of meaning lines up with the speaker’s abilities to pick out referents of correctly employed expressions in hypothetical scenarios, the second kind of meaning is a version of what standard semanticists call “semantic content”—a kind of content which does not pivot on speaker abilities. Despite its conciliatory temperament, epistemic two-dimensionalism has (...) come under recent attack. It has been alleged that it is bound to attribute to speakers a priori identifying knowledge of the referents of correctly employed terms, and bound also to reject valid rules of inference such as exportation: P(a) → λx[P(x)](a) (see, e.g., Soames 2005. (shrink)
Chase Wrenn argues that there are no epistemic duties. When it appears that we have an epistemic duty to believe, disbelieve or suspend judgement about some proposition P, we are really under a moral obligation to adopt the attitude towards P that our evidence favours. The argument appeals to theoretical parsimony: our conceptual scheme will be simpler without epistemic duties and we should therefore drop them. I argue that Wrenn’s strategy is flawed. There may well be things that we ought (...) to do on epistemic grounds alone. (shrink)
Let T be the standard Veblen 1908 ordinal notation system for Γ0 as defined, for example, in Schütte's 1977 textbook  on Proof Theory. We define a slight modification of the standard assignment of fundamental sequences for the limit ordinals in T and prove that Γ0 is subrecursively inaccessible for this assignment, i.e. the induced slow and fast growing hierarchy match up at Γ0 for the first time.The results of this paper also indicate that φε00 may be considered as a (...) new slow growing ordinal of PA in the sense that the induced slow growing hierarchy up to φε00 classifies the PA-provablyrecursive functions.We show how the results of this paper can be used to bui d a subrecursive hierarchyover the predicative ordinals in the spirit of Wainer's 1970 abstract [16 ]. (shrink)
Kadri Vihvelin, in "What time travelers cannot do" (Philos Stud 81: 315-330, 1996), argued that "no time traveler can kill the baby who in fact is her younger self, because (V1) "if someone would fail to do something, no matter how hard or how many times she tried, then she cannot do it", and (V2) if a time traveler tried to kill her baby self, she would always fail. Theodore Sider (Philos Stud 110: 115-138, 2002) criticized Vihvelin's argument, and Ira (...) Kiourti (Philos Stud 139: 343-352, 2008) criticized both Vihvelin's argument and Sider's critique. I present a critique of Vihvelin's argument different from both Sider's and Kiourti's critiques: I argue in a novel way that both V1 and V2 are false. Since Vihvelin's argument might be understood as providing a challenge to the possibility of time travel, if my critique succeeds then time travel survives such a challenge unscathed. (shrink)
The present study was motivated by the hypothesis that inputs from internal states in obsessive–compulsive individuals are attenuated, which could be one source of the pervasive doubting and checking in OCD. Participants who were high or low in OC tendencies were asked to produce specific levels of muscle tension with and without biofeedback, and their accuracy in producing the required muscle tension levels was assessed. As predicted, high OC participants performed more poorly than low OC participants on this task when (...) biofeedback was not available. When biofeedback was provided, the difference between the groups was eliminated, and withdrawing the monitor again reversed this effect. Finally, when given the opportunity, high OC participants were more likely than low OC participants to request biofeedback. These results suggest that doubt in OCD may be grounded in a real and general deficiency in accessing internal states. (shrink)
Much of the current imaging literature either denies the existence of wakeful non-mental imagers, views non-imagers motivationally as 'repressors' or 'neurotic', or acknowledges them but does not fully incorporate them into their models. Neurobiologists testing for imaging loss seem to assume that visual recognition, describing objects, and free-hand drawing require the forming of conscious images. The intuition that 'the psyche never thinks without an image.... the reasoning mind thinks its ideas in the form of images' (Aristotle) has a long tradition (...) in philosophical psychology, from Aristotle through the British empiricists to the British-empiricist-inspired introspection paradigm of Titchener. The massive shift in early experimental psychology to the introspective-antagonistic paradigm of Watson's behaviourism, may have sprung from the contrary intuition that no one thinks in mental images. In both cases, people seemed to assume that what is in one's own mind is in everybody's mind. A third, mediating, intuition - that some people do not think with conscious mental imagery -- seems to be confirmed by empirical studies on many levels. From the early imagery interviews of Francis Galton through many modern surveys, including my own, a consistent diversity of self-reports on ones own mental imagery abilities suggests that some 2-5% of people are very poor- or non-visual- imagers who, yet, maintain normal visual recognition abilities. Comparable estimates have been made in auditory and other imagery modalities. (shrink)
There has been much argument over whether procreative selection is obligatory or wrong. Rebecca Bennett has recently challenged the assumption that procreative choices are properly moral choices, arguing that these views express mere preferences. This article challenges Bennett's view on two fronts. First, I argue that the Non-Identity Problem does not show that there cannot be harmless wrongs – though this would require us to abandon the intuitively attractive ‘person-affecting principle’, that may be a lesser cost than abandoning some more (...) firmly-held intuition. But, even if we accept Bennett's claim that these choices are not moral, that does not show them to be mere personal preferences. I argue that there is a class of non-moral ‘categorical preferences’ that have much the same implications as moral preferences. If a moral preference for able-bodied children is problematic, then so is a non-moral categorical preference. Thus, showing that these preferences are not moral does not show that they are not problematic, since they may still be categorical. (shrink)
Short-term or working memory provides temporary storage of information in the brain after an experience and is associated with conscious awareness. Neurons sensitive to the multiple stimulus attributes comprising an experience are distributed within many brain regions. Such distributed cell assemblies, activated by an event, are the most plausible system to represent the WM of that event. Studies with a variety of imaging technologies have implicated widespread brain regions in the mediation of WM for different categories of information. Each kind (...) of WM may thus be expected to involve many brain regions rather than a local, uniquely dedicated set of cells. Neurons in a distributed “cell assembly” may be self-selected by their temporally coherent activations. The process by which this fragmented representation of the recent past is reassembled to accomplish essentially automatic and reliable recognition of a recurrent event constitutes an important problem. One plausible mechanism to achieve the identification of past with previous events would require that the representational system mediating WM must coexist in spatial extent and somehow overlap in temporal activation with cell ensembles registering input from subsequent events. The detection of such a postulated mechanism required an experimental approach which would focus upon spatial patterns of coherent activation while information about different events was stored in WM and retrieved, rather than focusing upon the temporal sequences of activation in localized regions of interest. For this purpose, the familiar delayed matching from sample task was modified. A series of information-free flashes, or “noncontingent probes,” was presented before an initial series of visual information items, the Priming Sample, which were to be held in WM during a Delay Period. A second series of visual information items were then presented, the Matching Sample. The task required detection of any item in the second series which had beenabsentfrom the initial series. Thirty such trials with a particular category of visual information constituted a single task. Several DMS tasks with this standardized design, but with different categories of visual information, were presented within each test session. The information categories included letters of the alphabet, single digit numbers, or faces from a school yearbook. Event-related potentials , were computed from 21 standardized electrode placements, separately for information-free probes and for information items in each interval of the trials within a task. Because each electrode is particularly sensitive to coherent activation of neurons in the immediately underlying brain regions, topographic maps were constructed and interpolated across the surface of the scalp. The momentary fluctuations of the resulting voltage “landscapes” throughout the task were then subjected to quantitative analysis. Distinctive landscapes sometimes persisted for prolonged periods, implying sustained engagement of very large populations of neurons. “Difference landscapes” were constructed by subtraction of topographic maps evoked by noncontingent probes during the Delay Period from maps of probe ERPs before the presentation of the initial information in the Priming Sample. Such probe difference landscapes displayed recurrent high similarity to momentary landscapes elicited during subsequent presentation of the information items in the Matching Sample. It seemed as if the distributed cell assembly continuously engaged by mediation of WM of the diverse attributes of the initial stimuli was being dynamically compared to the ensembles engaged by registration of the subsequent stimuli. Spatial Principal Component Analysis was applied to the sequences of momentary voltage landscapes observed throughout trials of each task. This method sought a small number of spatial patterns with which these large sets of inhomogeneous spatial distributions of voltage could be reconstructed. This is the spatial analog of the reconstruction of local ERPs by temporal principal components, as often described previously. Five Spatial Principal Components were found which accounted for about 90% of the total variance of voltage across the surface of the scalp throughout every task. Theloadings,or distinguishing topographic features, of these SPCs, were highly similar during every cognitive task for every subject. However,factor scores,or relative average contribution to the overall voltage distributions, of the different SPCs varied substantially among subjects between the tasks and momentarily within successive intervals of each task. These five SPCs may reflect coherent activation of huge distributed ensembles of neurons which comprise independent but interacting functional brain subsystems. These subsystems may correspond to basic resources available to individuals for allocation to mediate conscious evaluation of information during cognitive activity, providing a filter to bind together fractionated representations of the past to evaluate the present. (shrink)
Increasing numbers of decisions about everyday life are made using algorithms. By algorithms we mean predictive models captured from historical data using data mining. Such models often decide prices we pay, select ads we see and news we read online, match job descriptions and candidate CVs, decide who gets a loan, who goes through an extra airport security check, or who gets released on parole. Yet growing evidence suggests that decision making by algorithms may discriminate people, even if the computing (...) process is fair and well-intentioned. This happens due to biased or non-representative learning data in combination with inadvertent modeling procedures. From the regulatory perspective there are two tendencies in relation to this issue: to ensure that data-driven decision making is not discriminatory, and to restrict overall collecting and storing of private data to a necessary minimum. This paper shows that from the computing perspective these two goals are contradictory. We demonstrate empirically and theoretically with standard regression models that in order to make sure that decision models are non-discriminatory, for instance, with respect to race, the sensitive racial information needs to be used in the model building process. Of course, after the model is ready, race should not be required as an input variable for decision making. From the regulatory perspective this has an important implication: collecting sensitive personal data is necessary in order to guarantee fairness of algorithms, and law making needs to find sensible ways to allow using such data in the modeling process. (shrink)
We show that in the models of u < ∂ from  there are infinitely many near-coherence classes of ultrafilters, thus answering Banakh's and Blass' Question 30 of  negatively. By an unpublished result of Canjar, there are at least two classes in these models.
In the target article, we presented the hypothesis that parasite-stress variation was a causal factor in the variation of in-group assortative sociality, cross-nationally and across the United States, which we indexed with variables that measured different aspects of the strength of family ties and religiosity. We presented evidence supportive of our hypothesis in the form of analyses that controlled for variation in freedom, wealth resources, and wealth inequality across nations and the states of the USA. Here, we respond to criticisms (...) from commentators and attempt to clarify and expand the parasite-stress theory of sociality used to fuel our research presented in the target article. (shrink)
Recent data show that human children (up to 8 years old) perform poorly when required to innovate tools. Our tool-rich culture may be more reliant on social learning and more limited by domain-general constraints such as ill-structured problem solving than otherwise thought.
Having children is probably as old as the first successful organism. It is often done thoughtlessly. This book is an argument for giving procreating some serious thought, and a theory of how, when, and why procreation may be permissible.Rivka Weinberg begins with an analysis of the kind of act procreativity is and why we might be justifiably motivated to engage in it. She then proceeds to argue that, by virtue of our ownership and control of the hazardous material that is (...) our gametes, we are parentally responsible for the risks we take with our gametes and for the persons that develop when we engage in activity that allows our gametes to unite with others and develop into persons. Further argument establishes that when done respectfully, and in cases where the child's chances of leading a life of human flourishing are high, procreation may be permissible. Along the way, Weinberg argues that the non-identity problem is a curiously common mistake. Arguments intending to show that procreation is impermissible because life is bad for people and imposed on them without their consent are shown to have serious flaws. Yet because they leave us with lingering concerns, Weinberg argues that although procreation is permissible under certain conditions, it is not only a welfare risk but also a moral risk. Still, it is a risk that is often permissible for us to take and impose, given our high level of legitimate interest in procreativity. In order to ascertain when the procreative risk is permissible to impose, contractualist principles are proposed to fairly attend to the interests prospective parents have in procreating and the interests future people have in a life of human flourishing. The principles are assessed on their own merits and in comparison with rival principles. They are then applied to a wide variety of procreative cases. (shrink)
In focusing their view on Kuhn, Robert Veatch and William Stempsey ignore alternative sources of insight from other voices that could help move us beyond incommensurability. Richard Rorty and Helen Longino, for example, offer another view of science and objectivity with constructive insight for the practice of science and medicine. Keywords: positivism, relativism, scientific knowledge, incommensurability, Kuhn, Rorty, Longino CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?
Philosophy and science employ abstract hypothetical scenarios- thought experiments - to illustrate, defend, and dispute theoretical claims. Since thought experiments furnish no new empirical observations, the method prompts two epistemological questions: whether anything may be learnt from the merely hypothetical, and, if so, how. Various sceptical arguments against the use of thought experiments in philosophy are discussed and criticized. The thesis that thought experiments in science provide a priori knowledge through non-sensory grasping of abstract entities is discussed and rejected. The (...) thesis that thought experimentation consists in manipulations of mental models is examined and found to be of limited epistemological relevance. It is argued that thought experiments are associated with characteristic arguments in a manner similar to ordinary experiments. It is further argued that thought experiments function in the same way as experiments in general: by providing premises for their associated arguments. Like other experiments, a thought experiment is successful when the premises it provides are true. This holds both for philosophical and scientific thought experiments. An argument schema is proposed and shown to be a formal analogue to that associated with ordinary experiments; similar in being subject to epistemological holism; but differing in being modal: in employing statements about possibility and necessity. The evaluation of thought experiments thus depends on how modal statements may be justified. Intuition and conceivability are discussed as sources of modal justification and found problematic. Instead it is suggested that evaluation proceed by accommodation of the statements describing the experiment's hypothetical scenario. The method of accommodation is developed and applied to five influential thought experiments in philosophy: the brain in a vat; Putnam's Twin Earth; Burge's arthritis example; Searle's Chinese Room; and Newcomb's problem. Its application shows some of these to be failed, others to be successful only relative to controversial philosophical doctrines. (shrink)
Environmentalists do not appear to walk their walk as consistently as animal liberationists and anti-abortionists. Are we therefore more hypocritical? Maybe; but there's another explanation. Unlike concern for individual animals or individual fetuses, environmental concerns are holistic —air and waterpollution, species extinction, diminished ecological health and integrity. One pro-life pregnant woman may preserve the life of one unborn baby, the one in her uterus; and one animal liberationist can save the life of one animal, the one he didn't eat. But (...) one environmentalist who refuses to own and operate an automobile has no measurable effect on air pollution. Only collective, social change—universal banning of automobiles, mandatory recycling, etc.—will effectively redress environmental insults. Thus, the best way to put environmental ethics into practice is not to try to do one's bit—retire one's own car, recycle one's own waste—and leave it to every other person to do his or her bit and hope that all such individual environmental ethical acts will aggregate into significance. The best way to put environmental ethics into practice is to work to instill environmental values in society as the foundation for coercive environmental policies, regulations, and laws. The mechanistic-materialistic worldview and its associated consumerist value system trickled down into the collective consciousness via its technological manifestation in a plethora of machines. The systemic worldview in which environmental values are embedded may be communicated to the general public less by means of discursive discourse than by a new generation of systemic-electronic technologies. (shrink)