The nature of quantum computation is discussed. It is argued that, in terms of the amount of information manipulated in a given time, quantum and classical computation are equally efficient. Quantum superposition does not permit quantum computers to ''perform many computations simultaneously'' except in a highly qualified and to some extent misleading sense. Quantum computation is therefore not well described by interpretations of quantum mechanics which invoke the concept of vast numbers of parallel universes. Rather, entanglement makes available types of (...) computation processes which, while not exponentially larger than classical ones, are unavailable to classical systems. The essence of quantum computation is that it uses entanglement to generate and manipulate a physical representation of the correlations between logical entities, without the need to completely represent the logical entities themselves. (shrink)
The understanding of decision-making systems has come together in recent years to form a unified theory of decision-making in the mammalian brain as arising from multiple, interacting systems (a planning system, a habit system, and a situation-recognition system). This unified decision-making system has multiple potential access points through which it can be driven to make maladaptive choices, particularly choices that entail seeking of certain drugs or behaviors. We identify 10 key vulnerabilities in the system: (1) moving away from homeostasis, (2) (...) changing allostatic set points, (3) euphorigenic signals, (4) overvaluation in the planning system, (5) incorrect search of situation-action-outcome relationships, (6) misclassification of situations, (7) overvaluation in the habit system, (8) a mismatch in the balance of the two decision systems, (9) over-fast discounting processes, and (10) changed learning rates. These vulnerabilities provide a taxonomy of potential problems with decision-making systems. Although each vulnerability can drive an agent to return to the addictive choice, each vulnerability also implies a characteristic symptomology. Different drugs, different behaviors, and different individuals are likely to access different vulnerabilities. This has implications for an individual's susceptibility to addiction and the transition to addiction, for the potential for relapse, and for the potential for treatment. (shrink)
Ethical attitudes and behaviour are complex. This complexity extends to the influencers operating at different levels both outside and within the organisation, and in different combinations for different individuals. There is hence a growing need to understand the proximal and distal influencers of ethical attitudes, and how these operate in concert at the individual, organisational, and societal levels. Few studies have attempted to combine these main research streams and systematically examine their combined impact. The minority of studies that have taken (...) a combined approach have often done so using conventional statistical and analytical techniques which imply linearity between variables—a situation that rarely exists in business settings and is likely to lead to simplistic or even erroneous conclusions. Applying a fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis approach, this paper reports on the mutual and simultaneous influence of individual demographic factors, as well as proximal and distal factors stemming from within and outside the work environment to understand individuals’ ethical views within the workplace. The multiple configurations that emerged reveal the complex nature of influencers of ethical attitudes, and reinforce the view that “one size does not fit all”. We discuss these implications together with managerial recommendations and future research directions. (shrink)
These two small works are a good supplement to Rescher’s recent trilogy. Whereas the systems-theoretic approach is employed in Methodological Pragmatism in dealing with the problem of the legitimation of claims to factual knowledge or cognitive rationality, Dialectics deals with the argumentation aspect of thesis-introduction rather than the logical aspect of thesis-derivation. Although some key notions such as the idea of burden of proof and presumption have been stated in the former work, what is offered here is a systematic discussion (...) of a disputational model of inquiry. The principal aims are "to exhibit the sociocommunal roots of the foundations of rationality, to provide an instrument for the critique of scepticism implicit in the cognitive solipsism of the Cartesian approach, and to illuminate the communal and controversy-oriented aspects of rational argumentation and inquiry—scientific inquiry in particular." Again, Rescher limits his discussion to "the probative mechanism in the factual domain." This book, if it were not for its price, should be a good supplement to a course in "informal" logic which focuses on argumentation rather than on mere evaluation of arguments. Plausible Reasoning provides the mechanism for evaluation of plausibility claims as distinct from probabilistic ones. The basic differences between these two types of claims are clearly discussed. "Plausibility is essentially a classificatory concept which ranks theses in terms of the standing and solidity of their cognitive basis. Plausibility grades theses by an external or extrinsic standard of the hierarchical nature of their supporting bases. It classifies propositions by the status of the evidential sources or validating principles that vouch for them. Probability weighs alternatives and evaluates theses by this relative contentual weight of the supporting considerations."—A.S.C. (shrink)
A bi-lingual edition of poems and a "free philosophical treatise" by a poet-logician who is now imprisoned somewhere in Russia. In this choppy and compressed treatise, written hours before he was arrested, the writer discusses some pseudo-problems of philosophy, argues against the principle of excluded middle, and states the real problem of philosophy as being the relationship between the subconscious and consciousness.--A. B. D.
The major portion of this important work is the "Summary of the Republic." Coordinated with Grube’s translation, it proceeds book by book, first summarizing a chunk of text anywhere from a couple of Stephanus sections to several pages, then commenting in lettered notes of from two lines to four and a half pages. More technical material, aimed at advanced students and scholars, appears occasionally in smaller type. There is a fine bibliography. The format is successful: the book is easy to (...) use and attractive in appearance. (shrink)
This is a critical edition of the work published in 1681, two years after Hobbes' death. The dialogue contains mature reflections of Hobbes on the doctrine of sovereignty. It deals with the relation between law and reason, sovereign power, crimes, heresies and punishments. The editor's introduction sets forth arguments for regarding the text as a complete work, contrary to the views of L. Stephen, Tönnies, and Robertson. A critical analysis of the argument in the dialogue is also provided indicating the (...) relation of the dialogue to Hobbes' political philosophy. The dialogue is interesting in portraying the more "liberal" side of Hobbes. It is an invaluable aid to the study of Hobbes.--A. S. C. (shrink)
Not being satisfied with the interpretation offered by Sankara and his followers, or some other teachers the author has attempted in the following pages to present to the readers his own interpretation of the work as he has understood it. But in no way does he claim that his interpretation is the interpretation, i.e., the interpretation intended by Gaudapada himself. In the present volume the author has given a new edition of the text of the Agamasastra based on a number (...) of MSS and different editions, followed by an English translation. After this comes his annotation. At the end there are Appendixes including the text and English translation of the Mandukya Upanisad, VAriants of the MSS used for the edition of the text of the Agamasastra, and different indexes. (shrink)
Background: The magnitude of bullying and harassment among psychiatrists is reportedly high, yet no peer-review published studies addressing this issue could be found. Therefore, it was decided to conduct a pilot study to assess the degree of the problem, the types of bullying/harassment and to provide some insights into the situation.Methods and Principal Findings: Following multiple focus group meetings, a yes/no response type questionnaire was developed to assess the degree and type of bullying and harassment experienced by psychiatrists. Over a (...) 3-month period the questionnaire was administered to a random sample of 60 psychiatrists. 57 out of the 60 psychiatrists reported harassment and bullying. Frequencies of the following response variables are presented in descending order: rumours 40% ; defamation 20% ; passing remarks 20% ; false accusations 15% ; threats 13.3% ; verbal abuse 13.3% ; unjustified complaints 13.3% ; promotion blocked 13.3% ; humiliation 13% ; bad reference given 10% ; credentials questioned 8.3% ; physical attacks 5% ; termination 5% ; derogatory remarks 1.7% and 1.7% were subjected to personal work. As a result of being subjected to harassment, 66.7% of the psychiatrists did not take any action, whereas 33.3% confronted the person they believed responsible. Asked whether the bullying and harassment caused distress, 18.3% of the psychiatrists did not report any effect, 30% reported mild distress, 40% moderate distress and severe distress was reported by 11.7%.Conclusions: It was concluded that the magnitude of bullying and harassment among psychiatrists may be quite high, as evidenced by this pilot study. There is a need for extensive systematic studies on this subject and to establish strategies to prevent and address this issue at a national and regulatory level. (shrink)
The fourth volume of Professor Guthrie’s History, dealing with Plato’s life and with eighteen of his dialogues, is as welcome as its three predecessors. In keeping with the nature of a history of this sort, the picture of Plato’s life and thought presented here is judicious and non-controversial in its outlines. There are many helpful references both to the ancient and to the modern literature, and a vast amount of information is transmitted with surprising painlessness. For the facts of Plato’s (...) life, Guthrie relies on the traditional sources, especially on Epistle VII, the authenticity of which he accepts. His reconstruction is, therefore, itself quite traditional; little direct attention is given to Ryle’s attempt to undermine that view. The volume covers the following dialogues, listed here in the order of their presentation: Apology, Crito, Euthyphro, Laches, Lysis, Charmides, Hippias Major, Hippias Minor, Ion, Protagoras, Meno, Euthydemus, Gorgias, Menexenus, Phaedo, Symposium, Phaedrus, and Republic. No section is devoted in this volume to the first Alcibiades; Guthrie is noncommittal on its authenticity. The Cratylus and the Timaeus are also passed over because of difficulties in dating them. Somewhat questionable is the inclusion of the Phaedrus: Guthrie argues that it belongs among the middle dialogues, mainly on account of his view that the method of collection and division does not constitute a major discontinuity in Plato’s way of doing dialectic. On the question of Plato’s development, Guthrie follows most contemporary scholars in rejecting the unitarian view, according to which Plato held the theory of Forms, essentially unrevised, throughout his life. Rather, he leans towards the idea that the theory of Forms emerged out of Socrates’ concern with definition, bloomed in the middle dialogues, and came to be more critically examined in Plato’s later works. Guthrie deals with each dialogue separately: he examines each dialogue’s date, characters, and setting, presents a useful summary, and discusses a number of philosophically interesting questions. The section devoted to the Republic is a monograph in its own right and combines summary and discussion. The great virtues of this book are its level tone, its painstaking presentation of alternative views, and its scope. Though not always conclusive in its discussions of specific philosophical issues, it is a true labor of love, and unlikely to be superceded, as a reference work, in the near future.—A.N. (shrink)
In this paper, we provide a logical formalization of the emotion triggering process and of its relationship with mental attitudes, as described in Ortony, Clore, and Collins’s theory. We argue that modal logics are particularly adapted to represent agents’ mental attitudes and to reason about them, and use a specific modal logic that we call Logic of Emotions in order to provide logical definitions of all but two of their 22 emotions. While these definitions may be subject to debate, we (...) show that they allow to reason about emotions and to draw interesting conclusions from the theory. (shrink)
An original contribution to fundamental metaphysics. It offers a theory of possible individuals and possible worlds. It endeavors to show how its theory of possibility is adequate to various philosophical demands, such as those of modal logic. It employs its theory of possibility to clarify and resolve issues concerning such topics as disposition concepts and counterfactual conditionals. And it deals fruitfully with related metaphysical problems, such as essentialism, the doctrine of internal relations, and so on. The theory of possibility, spelled (...) out formally and with considerable detail, is a development of the approach to possibility suggested by Rescher in his earlier book, Conceptual Idealism. (shrink)
Can we respond to injustices in the world in ways that do more than just address their consequences? In this book, Brooke A. Ackerly argues that what to do about injustice is not just an ethical or moral question, but a political question about assuming responsibility for injustice. Ultimately, Just Responsibility offers a theory of global injustice and political responsibility that can guide action.
I would like to begin with the role of philosophy in solving ecological problems, emphasizing two aspects of its role: the struggle against hostile ideology and the organizing and guiding of activity in the sphere of the development of science and the shaping of its problems. This role of Marxist-Leninist philosophy clearly appears in the complex interdisciplinary problem of the interaction between nature and society.
This provocative but persuasive book is essentially a radical attack upon the Humean conception of causality and the presentation and defense of a counter-theory, closer to everyday experience and pre-Humean traditional views. As formulated by empiricist philosophers, the Humean approach depends on two basic postulates. The philosophical analysis of any non-empirical concept must be a formal explication; any residue elements have to be accounted for in terms of their psychological origins. The world as experienced can be conceived adequately as a (...) logically independent system of things or flux of events, without the unwarranted assumption that individuals persist diachronically. As the grounds for undermining these assumptions, the authors develop a conception of causes as "powerful particulars," i.e., things which have both a nature and powers. So long as the nature remains unchanged the agent in question will continue to behave in this fashion with a natural necessity, stemming from the individual’s nature and specific powers. The opening chapter discusses the problem of conceptual and natural necessity—as distinct from logical necessity which alone is allowed by the Humean empiricists. Natural necessity is the mark of the relationship between real causes and their respective effects, whereas conceptual necessity characterizes the way our statements about such are themselves related. Later the irreducibility of natural necessity is emphasized and its differences from logical entailment spelled out. Chapter two takes up the subject of the "regularity theory and its allies." Characteristic of such are two claims: the empirical content of a causal-relationship statement is exhausted by the actual or hypothetical regularity between independent entities, and the necessity ordinarily attributed to causal production is an illusion, to be accounted for in various ways. Subsequent chapters are devoted to assaulting the pillars of the Humean notion either directly or indirectly through an illuminating and attractive account of their own theory of nature, causal powers, and natural necessity. The final chapter, entitled "Fields of Potential," indulges in speculation about the nature of ultimate entities on the basis of an extended generalization of the notion of the powerful individual, and concludes with a brief account of the historical antecedents of Faraday’s modern field theory and the metaphysical implications of a generalized field theory.—A.B.W. (shrink)
Background: Increasing collaboration between industrialised and developing countries in human research studies has led to concerns regarding the potential exploitation of resource deprived countries. This study, commissioned by the former National Bioethics Advisory Commission of the United States, surveyed developing country researchers about their concerns and opinions regarding ethical review processes and the performance of developing country and US international review boards .Methods: Contact lists from four international organisations were used to identify and survey 670 health researchers in developing countries. (...) A questionnaire with 169 questions explored issues of IRB review, informed consent, and recommendations.Results: The majority of the developing country researchers were middle aged males who were physicians and were employed by educational institutions, carrying out research on part time basis. Forty four percent of the respondents reported that their studies were not reviewed by a developing country IRB or Ministry of Health and one third of these studies were funded by the US. During the review process issues such as the need for local language consent forms and letters for approval, and confidentiality protection of participants were raised by US IRBs in significantly higher proportions than by host country IRBs.Conclusion: This survey indicates the need for the ethical review of collaborative research in both US and host countries. It also reflects a desire for focused capacity development in supporting ethical review of research. (shrink)