We present the idea of searching for X-rays as a signature of the mechanism inducing the spontaneous collapse of the wave function. Such a signal is predicted by the continuous spontaneous localization theories, which are solving the “measurement problem” by modifying the Schrödinger equation. We will show some encouraging preliminary results and discuss future plans and strategy.
Thomas Hobbes is recognized as one of the fathers of modern philosophy and political theory. In his own time he was as famous for his work in physics, geometry, and religion. He associated with some of the greatest writers, scientists, and politicians of his age. Martinich has written a complete and accessible biography of Hobbes. The book takes full account of the historical and cultural context in which Hobbes lived, drawing on both published and unpublished sources. It will be a (...) great resource for philosophers, political theorists and historians of ideas. The clear, crisp prose style will also ensure that the book appeals to general readers with an interest in the history of philosophy, the rise of modern science and the English Civil War. (shrink)
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)
S. Kierkegaard argued that our highest task as humans is to realize an “intensified” or “developed” form of subjectivity—his name for self-responsible agency. A self-responsible agent is not only responsible for her actions. She also bears responsibility for the individual that she is. In this paper, I review Kierkegaard’s account of the role that our capacity for reflective self-evaluation plays in making us responsible for ourselves. It is in the exercise of this capacity that we can go from being subjective (...) in a degraded sense—merely being an idiosyncratic jumble of accidental and arbitrary attitudes and affects—to being a subject in the ideal or eminent sense. The latter requires the exercise of my capacity for reflective self-evaluation, since it involves recognizing, identifying with, and reinforcing those aspects of my overall make-up that allow me to express successfully a coherent way of being in the world. Kierkegaard argues that taking immortality seriously is one way to achieve the right kind of reflective stance on one’s own character or personality. Thus, Kierkegaard argues that immortality as a theoretical posit can contribute to one’s effort to own or assume responsibility for being the person one is. (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)
In this paper I ask how educational researchers can believe the subjective perceptions of qualitative participant-observers given the concern for objectivity and generalisability of experimental research in the behavioural and social sciences. I critique the most common answer to this question within the educational research community, which posits the existence of two (or more) equally legitimate epistemological paradigms—positivism and constructivism—and offer an alternative that places a priority in educational research on understanding the purposes and meanings humans attribute to educational practices. (...) Only within the context of what I call a transcendent view from somewhere—higher ideals that govern human activities—can we make sense of quantitative as well as qualitative research findings. (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)
Extensively updated to include clinical findings over the last two decades, this third edition of A Practitioner's Guide to Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy reviews the philosophy, theory, and clinical practice of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. This model is based on the work of Albert Ellis, who had an enormous influence on the field of psychotherapy over his 50 years of practice and scholarly writing. Designed for both therapists-in-training and seasoned professionals, this practical treatment manual and guide introduces the basic principles of (...) rational-emotive behavior therapy, explains general therapeutic strategies, and offers many illustrative dialogues between therapist and patient. The volume breaks down each stage of therapy to present the exact procedures and skills therapists need, and numerous case studies illustrate how to use these skills. The authors describe both technical and specific strategic interventions, and they stress taking an integrative approach. The importance of building a therapeutic alliance and the use of cognitive, emotive, evocative, imaginal, and behavioral interventions serves as the unifying theme of the approach. Intervention models are presented for the treatment of anxiety, depression, trauma, anger, personality disorders, and addictions. Psychologists, clinical social workers, mental health counselors, psychotherapists, and students and trainees in these areas will find this book useful in learning to apply rational-emotive behavior therapy in practice. (shrink)
Following a previous article published in Biological Theory, in this study we present a mathematical theory for a science of qualities as directly perceived by living organisms, and based on morphological patterns. We address a range of qualitative phenomena as observables of a psychological system seen as an impredicative system. The starting point of our study is the notion that perceptual phenomena are projections of underlying invariants, objects that remain unchanged when transformations of a certain class under consideration are applied. (...) The study develops with the observables, the entailed total order and metric, whence the algebra and the geometry of such a science, presenting a formal phenomenological model for phenomena that are not rigidly Euclidean. We show how non-Euclidean perception can have many useful Euclidean formalizations, as well as locally-homeomorphic-to-Euclidean-space models. The mathematical models we provide are tested on the basis of results from experimental psychology, in particular from the field of color, time, and space perception. (shrink)
Philosophers and theologians from around the world and throughout history have grappled with such fundamental issues as the nature of the world and man's relation to it, as well as the optimal forms of human perception, language and behaviour. Yet it has always been difficult to compare the works of thinkers from different eras and cultures. In this work of systematic philosophy, David Dilworth places the major texts of ancient and modern, and Western and Oriental philosphy and religion into one (...) comparative framework. His study reveals affinities between thinkers who lived centuries and continents apart and produces numerous insights by bringing together the greatest philosophical texts into a single scheme. (shrink)
Despite hundreds of definitions, no consensus exists on a definition of life or on the closely related and problematic definitions of the organism and death. These problems retard practical and theoretical development in, for example, exobiology, artificial life, biology and evolution. This paper suggests improving this situation by basing definitions on a theory of a generalized particle hierarchy. This theory uses the common denominator of the “operator” for a unified ranking of both particles and organisms, from elementary particles to animals (...) with brains. Accordingly, this ranking is called “the operator hierarchy”. This hierarchy allows life to be defined as: matter with the configuration of an operator, and that possesses a complexity equal to, or even higher than the cellular operator. Living is then synonymous with the dynamics of such operators and the word organism refers to a select group of operators that fit the definition of life. The minimum condition defining an organism is its existence as an operator, construction thus being more essential than metabolism, growth or reproduction. In the operator hierarchy, every organism is associated with a specific closure, for example, the nucleus in eukaryotes. This allows death to be defined as: the state in which an organism has lost its closure following irreversible deterioration of its organization. The generality of the operator hierarchy also offers a context to discuss “life as we do not know it”. The paper ends with testing the definition’s practical value with a range of examples. (shrink)
An interesting study of Croce's political philosophy, its relation to his ethics and metaphysics, as well as its place in the political milieu of pre-war Europe. The author argues that Croce's political philosophy, unlike Hegel's, is both humanistic and liberal. --A. R.
The philosophy of Epictetus, a freed slave in the Roman Empire, has been profoundly influential on Western thought: it offers not only stimulating ideas but practical guidance in living one's life. A. A. Long, a leading scholar of later ancient philosophy, gives the definitive presentation of the thought of Epictetus for a broad readership. Long's fresh and vivid translations of a selection of the best of Epictetus' discourses show that his ideas are as valuable and striking today as they were (...) amost two thousand years ago. This is a book for anyone interested in what we can learn from ancient philosophy about how to live our lives. (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)
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)
Scholars of epistemology have identified two conceptions of epistemic injustice: discriminatory epistemic injustice and distributive epistemic injustice. The former refers to wrongs to one’s capacity as a knower that are the result of identity prejudice. The latter refers to violations of one’s right to know what one is entitled to know. This essay advances a third conception, formative epistemic injustice, which refers to wrongs to one’s capacity as a knower that are the result of or result in malformation—the undue restriction (...) of one’s formative capacities. The author argues that formative epistemic injustice is a distinctly educational wrong and that it brings to light important epistemic injustices that standard accounts of epistemic injustice either downplay or are unable to capture. This third conception of epistemic injustice is an important analytic tool for theorizing both epistemic injustice and educational justice. (shrink)
What role does the wild duck play in Ibsen's famous drama? I argue that, besides mirroring the fate of the human cast members, the duck is acting as animal subject in a quasi-experiment, conducted in a private setting. Analysed from this perspective, the play allows us to discern the epistemological and ethical dimensions of the new scientific animal practice emerging precesely at that time. Ibsen's play stages the clash between a scientific and a romantic understanding of animals that still constitutes (...) the backdrop of most contemporary debates over animals in research. Whereas the scientific understanding reduces the animal's behaviour, as well as its environment, to discrete and modifiable elements, the romantic view regards animals as being at one with their natural surroundings. (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)
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)
The proto-code of ethics and conduct for European nurse directors was developed as a strategic and dynamic document for nurse managers in Europe. It invites critical dialogue, reflective thinking about different situations, and the development of specific codes of ethics and conduct by nursing associations in different countries. The term proto-code is used for this document so that specifically country-orientated or organization-based and practical codes can be developed from it to guide professionals in more particular or situation-explicit reflection and values. (...) The proto-code of ethics and conduct for European nurse directors was designed and developed by the European Nurse Directors Association’s (ENDA) advisory team. This article gives short explanations of the code’ s preamble and two main parts: Nurse directors' ethical basis, and Principles of professional practice, which is divided into six specific points: competence, care, safety, staff, life-long learning and multi-sectorial working. (shrink)