Singularity Hypotheses: A Scientific and Philosophical Assessment offers authoritative, jargon-free essays and critical commentaries on accelerating technological progress and the notion of technological singularity. It focuses on conjectures about the intelligence explosion, transhumanism, and whole brain emulation. Recent years have seen a plethora of forecasts about the profound, disruptive impact that is likely to result from further progress in these areas. Many commentators however doubt the scientific rigor of these forecasts, rejecting them as speculative and unfounded. We therefore invited prominent (...) computer scientists, physicists, philosophers, biologists, economists and other thinkers to assess the singularity hypotheses. Their contributions go beyond speculation, providing deep insights into the main issues and a balanced picture of the debate. (shrink)
We examine the philosophical disputes among computer scientists concerning methodological, ontological, and epistemological questions: Is computer science a branch of mathematics, an engineering discipline, or a natural science? Should knowledge about the behaviour of programs proceed deductively or empirically? Are computer programs on a par with mathematical objects, with mere data, or with mental processes? We conclude that distinct positions taken in regard to these questions emanate from distinct sets of received beliefs or paradigms within the discipline: – The rationalist (...) paradigm, which was common among theoretical computer scientists, defines computer science as a branch of mathematics, treats programs on a par with mathematical objects, and seeks certain, a priori knowledge about their ‘correctness’ by means of deductive reasoning. – The technocratic paradigm, promulgated mainly by software engineers and has come to dominate much of the discipline, defines computer science as an engineering discipline, treats programs as mere data, and seeks probable, a posteriori knowledge about their reliability empirically using testing suites. – The scientific paradigm, prevalent in the branches of artificial intelligence, defines computer science as a natural (empirical) science, takes programs to be entities on a par with mental processes, and seeks a priori and a posteriori knowledge about them by combining formal deduction and scientific experimentation. We demonstrate evidence corroborating the tenets of the scientific paradigm, in particular the claim that program-processes are on a par with mental processes. We conclude with a discussion in the influence that the technocratic paradigm has been having over computer science. (shrink)
Research studies on Corporate Social Responsibility often focus on revealing corporate leaders’ attitudes toward various issues of CSR. The position of the present paper is that to understand CSR, we must grasp the collaborative perspective of CSR, and discern the attitudes of community leaders as well as corporate leaders. To this end, the study compares attitudes of community leaders with those of corporate leaders in three localities in Israel. The study examines various issues of CSR, highlighting the benefits to both (...) community and corporation of reciprocal relations. Results from t‐tests confirmed significant differences between the groups. Some important implications for CSR particularly in terms of collaboration between community and corporation are discussed. (shrink)
Recent studies based on next‐generation DNA sequencing have revealed that the female inactive X chromosome is replicated in a rapid, unorganized manner, and undergoes increased rates of mutation. These observations link the organization of DNA replication timing to gene regulation on one hand, and to the generation of mutations on the other hand. More generally, the exceptional biology of the inactive X chromosome highlights general principles of genome replication. Cells may control replication timing by a combination of intrinsic replication origin (...) properties, local chromatin states and global levels of replication factors, leading to a functional separation between the activity of genes and their mutation. (shrink)
This study examines the sources of human divergence as arise from Wilhelm Dilthey’s writings. While Dilthey assigns a central role to the human subject, he never synthesizes his major ideas on subjectivity into a unified theory of subjective uniqueness. I will show that such a theory can be derived from his writings through the combination of three ideas that appear in them. These ideas are: (1) the thesis that human understanding is possible because of psychological content that is shared by (...) both the creator and the interpreter; (2) the belief that this shared content is the only content that exists within human beings, meaning that there is no unique psychological content; and (3) the perception of this inner universal content as an accumulation of life-possibilities. When joined together, these ideas create an inspiring theory of human divergence, according to which the uniqueness of an individual is determined through partial realization of universal possibilities. (shrink)
This study seeks to provide a new resolution to an old controversy regarding Wilhelm Dilthey's methodological writings, written from 1880 to 1911. This controversy concentrates on the relations of Dilthey's early psychology and his late hermeneutics. On one side of this controversy stand interpreters who claim that the appearance of the late hermeneutics marks a dramatic change in Dilthey's thought, and even creates an internal paradox in his thinking. On the other side, stand interpreters who view his thought as a (...) unified whole, by claiming that these methods were meant to work in tandem and complement each other. I largely agree with the latter group of interpreters regarding the unity of Dilthey's writings; however, instead of basing my view on the methodological level of Dilthey’s writings, I will concentrate on the object of these two methods. According to my new answer to the question of the continuity of Dilthey’s thought, Dilthey did intend to replace his early psychology with his late hermeneutics; even so, his thought should still be viewed as consistent and stable because he continued to apply both different methods to the same object: inner-universal content, that is, the inner psychological source of outer human reality. In this way, I will try show that the consistency of Dilthey's thought is derived from the stable destination he aspired to reach with the help of the different methods. (shrink)
As our knowledge of the genetic constitution of human beings expands, testing to determine an individual's disposition toward a given disease will also increase. Since genes are a family affair, to know that an individual is genetically disposed toward a specific disease is an indicator that members of this individual's family may also be so disposed.
The essays included in the special issue dedicated to the philosophy of computer science examine new philosophical questions that arise from reflection upon conceptual issues in computer science and the insights such an enquiry provides into ongoing philosophical debates.
The Principle of Double Effect has been with us since the Middle Ages and has sanctified actions that might otherwise be viewed as morally wrong. What I wish to show in this brief perspective is that an overlooked element in the discussions of this principle raises a serious question about its applicability.
O artigo explora a relação do ser humano com o inefável e quais os caminhos para a presença de Deus na consciência religiosa, de acordo com Abraham Heschel, através da visão bíblica de mundo, nas seguintes categorias: sublime, maravilhoso, mistério, temor e glória. O resgate desses sentimentos dentro da religião é fundamental para a experiência da fé.
In 1985, after a long university career teaching philosophy and humanities, in which my only serious worries over the years were centered on such things as getting promoted, course preparations, and faculty affairs, I found myself confronted, as a medical ethics committee member, with a life and death issue. It concerned the care of an infant suffering from posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus, for which there appeared to be no permanently effective treatment. The parents refused to consider the discontinuing of aggressive care even (...) though this prolonged the suffering of their child. This standoff continued for 5 months, until the parents decided that it was God’s wish that aggressive treatment cease. (shrink)
This paper will focus on two textual articulations that emerged in the Immanuel “Beis-Yaakov” school segregation case. The first is a declaration of the Admor from Slonim that was published when the ultra-Orthodox fathers who refused to send their daughters to an integrated school were imprisoned. The second is a letter to the Supreme Court that was written by an Ashkenazi mother whose daughter attended the “Beis Yaakov” school. A semiotic reading of the articulations reveals several opposing characteristics. The Admor’s (...) audience is determined by his choices of medium and rhetoric, which guarantee hegemonic reading, corresponding with the textual code of his interpretive community. The letter, on the other hand, represents an attempt to break through communal borders, and therefore its writer cannot expect hegemonic reading. Yet, she makes a considerable effort to employ signifiers denoting her ultra-Orthodox affiliation. In light of the hindrances that usually prevent ultra-Orthodox women from contesting the authority of the community, the letter presents a rare feminine voice, which is vigorous enough to attempt subverting under the authoriality of the Admor, and might have a long run affect on the quest for equality. (shrink)
Informed consent began as a way of protecting physicians against legal liability. It did so by requiring physicians to provide their patients with sufficient information so that the patients could assent to or withhold consent from a proffered medical treatment. It was also intended to be an accurate expression of the patient's wishes. As such, it established the conditions by which a patient could be held responsible for his decisions concerning medical treatment.
Unlike the compassionate conservatism of George Bush, Compassionate Utilitarianism is not a confusing concept. Nor is it a newly minted version of Utilitarianism given that it is embedded in the writings of Jeremy Bentham, writings that have come to light only with the Oxford University Press publication of his Deontology in 1983 as edited by me. Bentham's An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation expresses the standard interpretation of Hedonistic Utilitarianism. What he said in Deontology serves as the (...) basis of Compassionate Utilitarianism. (shrink)