A recursive graph is a graph whose vertex and edge sets are recursive. A highly recursive graph is a recursive graph that also has the following property: one can recursively determine the neighbors of a vertex. Both of these have been studied in the literature. We consider an intermediary notion: Let A be a set. An A-recursive graph is a recursive graph that also has the following property: one can recursively-in-A determine the neighbors of a vertex. We show that, if (...) A is r.e. and not recursive, then there exists A-recursive graphs that are 2-colorable but not recursively k-colorable for any k. This is false for highly-recursive graphs but true for recursive graphs. Hence A-recursive graphs are closer in spirit to recursive graphs than to highly recursive graphs. (shrink)
The counseling process involves attention, emotional perception, cognitive appraisal, and decision-making. This study aimed to investigate cognitive appraisal and the associated emotional processes when reading short therapists' statements of motivational interviewing. Thirty participants with work injuries were classified into the pre-contemplation or readiness stage of the change group. The participants viewed MI congruent, MI incongruent, or control phrases during which their electroencephalograms were captured. The results indicated significant Group × Condition effects in the frontally oriented late positive complex. The P600/LPC's (...) amplitudes were more positive-going in the PC than in the RD group for the MI congruent statements. Within the PC group, the amplitudes of the N400 were significantly correlated with the participants' level of negative affect. Our findings suggest that the brief contents of MI statements alone can elicit late cognitive and emotional appraisal processes beyond semantic processing. (shrink)
Objective To study parental attitudes to participating in questionnaire research about perinatal postmortem immediately after late miscarriage, stillbirth and termination for fetal abnormality. Design Prospective self-completion questionnaire. Setting UK fetal medicine and delivery unit. Patients 35 women and their partners after second or third trimester pregnancy loss, making decisions about having a postmortem. Methods Participants were asked to complete a questionnaire about postmortem decision-making which included questions about their attitudes to taking part in research. Prior to giving full approval for (...) the study, the Research Ethics Committee requested feedback after 10 questionnaires had been returned. Results Responses from the first 10 participants were positive about the research and the REC allowed the study to continue. 31 questionnaires were received from parents of 17 babies. Of the 22 participants who answered a question about the impact of participating in this research, 73% stated that completing the questionnaire had helped them feel better about the decision whether or not to consent to postmortem and none reported any adverse effect of completing the questionnaire. Additional comments made by 19 participants supported this finding. Conclusion Research into this sensitive area of perinatal medicine where there is a poor outcome is possible and is indeed well received by many parents. RECs should not automatically take a negative stance towards studies of this type. (shrink)
Cultural ethical dilemmas occur when ethical research practices, as prescribed by the research ethics codes of Western research institutions, conflict with the cultural and social norms of non-Western researchers and their participants. Thus, insider-researchers working with participants from similar cultural backgrounds may experience ethical dilemmas that result in disconcerting cultural estrangement from their communities. Using reflexive narratives, the author identifies moments of cultural ethical dilemmas that necessitate a choice between two competing sets of values. Working out of a Western university, (...) the narratives reflect on cultural ethical dilemmas relating to non-coercion, confidentiality, and beneficence, encountered during interviews in the researcher’s community. Analyzed through the lens of Confucian social and ethical behavior, the paper asks whether there is a need for East–west polarization, or whether research ethics codes based on Western worldviews can be reconciled with Confucian worldviews. The paper suggests the “Middle Way” approach to reconciling and integrating the diverse worldviews of ethics, through the use of an ethical reflexive process that engenders trust in the research process and resolves cultural ethical dilemmas. (shrink)
The effect of uniform lighting on face identity processing is little understood, despite its potential influence on our ability to recognize faces. Here, we investigated how changes in uniform lighting level affected face identification performance during face memory tests. Observers were tasked with learning a series of faces, followed by a memory test where observers judged whether the faces presented were studied before or novel. Face stimuli were presented under uniform bright or dim illuminations, and lighting across the face learning (...) and the memory test sessions could be the same or different. This led to four experimental conditions: Bright/Dim ; Bright/Bright; Dim/Bright; and Dim/Dim. Our results revealed that incongruent lighting levels across sessions significantly reduced sensitivity to faces and introduced conservative biases compared to congruent lighting levels. No significant differences in performance were detected between the congruent lighting conditions and between the incongruent lighting conditions. Thus, incongruent lighting deteriorated performance in face identification. These findings implied that the level of uniform lighting should be considered in an illumination-specific face representation and potential applications such as eyewitness testimony. (shrink)
Many philosophers accept both of the following claims: (1) consciousness matters morally, and (2) species membership doesn’t matter morally. In other words, many reject speciesism but accept what we might call 'sentientism'. But do the reasons against speciesism yield analogous reasons against sentientism, just as the reasons against racism and sexism are thought to yield analogous reasons against speciesism? This paper argues that speciesism is disanalogous to sentientism (as well as racism and sexism). I make a case for the following (...) asymmetry: (a) some non-humans clearly have interests, but (b) no non-conscious entities clearly have interests. This asymmetry, I argue, renders sentientism resistant to the standard argument against speciesism. (shrink)
This paper develops a theory of analog representation. We first argue that the mark of the analog is to be found in the nature of a representational system’s interpretation function, rather than in its vehicles or contents alone. We then develop the rulebound structure theory of analog representation, according to which analog systems are those that use interpretive rules to map syntactic structural features onto semantic structural features. The theory involves three degree-theoretic measures that capture three independent ways in which (...) a system can be more or less analog. We explain how our theory improves upon prior accounts of analog representation, provides plausible diagnoses for novel challenge cases, extends to hybrid systems that are partially analog and partially symbolic, and accounts for some of the advantages and disadvantages of representing analogically versus symbolically. (shrink)
Conscious experiences are characterized by mental qualities, such as those involved in seeing red, feeling pain, or smelling cinnamon. The standard framework for modeling mental qualities represents them via points in geometrical spaces, where distances between points inversely correspond to degrees of phenomenal similarity. This paper argues that the standard framework is structurally inadequate and develops a new framework that is more powerful and flexible. The core problem for the standard framework is that it cannot capture precision structure: for example, (...) consider the phenomenal contrast between seeing an object as crimson in foveal vision versus merely as red in peripheral vision. The solution I favor is to model mental qualities using regions, rather than points. I explain how this seemingly simple formal innovation not only provides a natural way of modeling precision, but also yields a variety of further theoretical fruits: it enables us to formulate novel hypotheses about the space and structures of mental qualities, formally differentiate two dimensions of phenomenal similarity, generate a quantitative model of the phenomenal sorites, and define a measure of discriminatory grain. A noteworthy consequence is that the structure of the mental qualities of conscious experiences is fundamentally different from the structure of the perceptible qualities of external objects. (shrink)
Some think that life is worth living not merely because of the goods and the bads within it, but also because life itself is good. I explain how this idea can be formalized by associating each version of the view with a function from length of life to the value generated by life itself. Then I argue that every version of the view that life itself is good faces some version of the following dilemma: either (1) good human lives are (...) worse than very long lives wholly devoid of pleasure, desire-satisfaction, knowledge, or any other goods, or (2) very short lives containing nothing but suffering are worth living. Since neither result is plausible, we ought to reject the view that life itself is good. On the view I favor, any given life may be worth living because of the goods that it contains, but life itself is neutral. (shrink)
Is a human more conscious than an octopus? In the science of consciousness, it’s oftentimes assumed that some creatures (or mental states) are more conscious than others. But in recent years, a number of philosophers have argued that the notion of degrees of consciousness is conceptually confused. This paper (1) argues that the most prominent objections to degrees of consciousness are unsustainable, (2) examines the semantics of ‘more conscious than’ expressions, (3) develops an analysis of what it is for a (...) degreed property to count as degrees of consciousness, and (4) applies the analysis to various theories of consciousness. I argue that whether consciousness comes in degrees ultimately depends on which theory of consciousness turns out to be correct. But I also argue that most theories of consciousness entail that consciousness comes in degrees. (shrink)
Artificial intelligence shares many generalizability challenges with psychology. But the fields publish differently. AI publishes fast, through rapid preprint sharing and conference publications. Psychology publishes more slowly, but creates integrative reviews and meta-analyses. We discuss the complementary advantages of each strategy, and suggest that incorporating both types of strategies could lead to more generalizable research in both fields.
Is consciousness intrinsically valuable? Some theorists favor the positive view, according to which consciousness itself accrues intrinsic value, independent of the particular kind of experience instantiated. In contrast, I favor the neutral view, according to which consciousness is neither intrinsically valuable nor disvaluable. The primary purpose of this paper is to clarify what is at stake when we ask whether consciousness is intrinsically valuable, to carve out the theoretical space, and to evaluate the question rigorously. Along the way, I also (...) show why the neutral view is attractive and why certain arguments for the positive view do not work. (shrink)
David Lewis—famously—never tasted vegemite. Did he have any knowledge of what it's like to taste vegemite? Most say 'no'; I say 'yes'. I argue that knowledge of what it’s like varies along a spectrum from more exact to more approximate, and that phenomenal concepts vary along a spectrum in how precisely they characterize what it’s like to undergo their target experiences. This degreed picture contrasts with the standard all-or-nothing picture, where phenomenal concepts and phenomenal knowledge lack any such degreed structure. (...) I motivate the degreed picture by appeal to (1) limits in epistemic abilities such as recognition, imagination, and inference, and (2) the semantics of ‘knows what it’s like’ expressions. I argue that approximate phenomenal knowledge cannot be explained merely via determinable or vague phenomenal concepts. I develop a framework for systematizing approximate knowledge of phenomenal character. And I explain how my view challenges some standard assumptions about the acquisition conditions, requirements for mastery, and referential mechanisms of phenomenal concepts. (shrink)
I argue that experiences can have microphenomenal structures, where the macrophenomenal properties we introspect are realized by non-introspectible microphenomenal properties. After explaining what it means to ascribe a microstructure to experience, I defend the thesis against its principal philosophical challenge, discuss how the thesis interacts with other philosophical issues about experience, and consider our prospects for investigating the microphenomenal realm.
The study of the relationship between religion and health has grown substantially in the past decade. There is little doubt that religion plays an important role in many people's lives and that this has an impact on their health. The question is how researchers and clinicians can best evaluate the available information and how we can improve upon the current findings. In this essay we review the current knowledge regarding religion and health and also critically review issues pertaining to methodology, (...) findings, and interpretation of these studies. It is important to maintain a rigorous perspective with regard to such studies and also to recognize inherent limitations and suggest constructive ways in which to advance this field of study. In the end, such an approach can provide new information that will improve our understanding of the overall relationship between religion and health. (shrink)
The intent of ethics is to establish a set of standards that will provide a framework to modify, regulate, and possibly enhance moral behaviour. Eleven focus groups were conducted with physicians from six culturally distinct countries to explore their perception of formalized, written ethical guidelines (i.e., codes of ethics, credos, value and mission statements) that attempt to direct their ethical practice. Six themes emerged from the data: lack of awareness, no impact, marginal impact, other codes or value statements supersede, personal (...) codes or values dictate, and ethical guidelines are useful. Overall, codes were valued only when they were congruent with existing personal morality. The findings suggest the need to re-evaluate the purpose, content, and delivery of codes for them to improve their function in promoting ethical conduct. (shrink)
This editorial introduces the Journal of Consciousness Studies special issue on "Animal Consciousness". The 15 contributors and co-editors answer the question "How should we study animal consciousness scientifically?" in 500 words or fewer.
Nurses die by suicide at a higher rate than the general population. Previous studies have observed mental health problems, including substance use, as a prominent antecedent before death. The purpose of this study was to explore the characteristics of nurses who died by suicide documented in the death investigation narratives from the National Violent Death Reporting System from 2003 to 2017 using thematic analysis and natural language processing. One thousand three hundred and fifty-eight subjects met these inclusion criteria. Narratives from (...) 601 subjects were thematically analyzed and 2544 individual narratives were analyzed using natural language processing. The analyses revealed five themes: “mental health treatment,” “poor general health and chronic pain,” “substance use,” “worsening mental health after bereavement,” and “repeating a family member's suicide.” Mental health/substance use, chronic illness, and chronic pain were seen to coexist in a complex, interdependent manner that appeared to be entangled in the nurses' narratives before death. These findings echo the need for reducing the stigmatization of mental health problems in nursing and removing barriers to help-seeking behaviors as early preventative interventions. Future research is needed to determine if a comprehensive healthcare integration approach to address these entangled problems would reduce suicide vulnerability in nurses and improve their quality of life. (shrink)