The Cell Ontology (CL) is designed to provide a standardized representation of cell types for data annotation. Currently, the CL employs multiple is_a relations, defining cell types in terms of histological, functional, and lineage properties, and the majority of definitions are written with sufficient generality to hold across multiple species. This approach limits the CL’s utility for cross-species data integration. To address this problem, we developed a method for the ontological representation of cells and applied this method to develop a (...) dendritic cell ontology (DC-CL). DC-CL subtypes are delineated on the basis of surface protein expression, systematically including both species-general and species-specific types and optimizing DC-CL for the analysis of flow cytometry data. This approach brings benefits in the form of increased accuracy, support for reasoning, and interoperability with other ontology resources. 104. Barry Smith, “Toward a Realistic Science of Environments”, Ecological Psychology, 2009, 21 (2), April-June, 121-130. Abstract: The perceptual psychologist J. J. Gibson embraces a radically externalistic view of mind and action. We have, for Gibson, not a Cartesian mind or soul, with its interior theater of contents and the consequent problem of explaining how this mind or soul and its psychological environment can succeed in grasping physical objects external to itself. Rather, we have a perceiving, acting organism, whose perceptions and actions are always already tuned to the parts and moments, the things and surfaces, of its external environment. We describe how on this basis Gibson sought to develop a realist science of environments which will be ‘consistent with physics, mechanics, optics, acoustics, and chemistry’. (shrink)
The Plant Ontology (PO) (http://www.plantontology.org) (Jaiswal et al., 2005; Avraham et al., 2008) was designed to facilitate cross-database querying and to foster consistent use of plant-specific terminology in annotation. As new data are generated from the ever-expanding list of plant genome projects, the need for a consistent, cross-taxon vocabulary has grown. To meet this need, the PO is being expanded to represent all plants. This is the first ontology designed to encompass anatomical structures as well as growth and developmental stages (...) across such a broad taxonomic range. While other ontologies such as the Gene Ontology (GO) (The Gene Ontology Consortium, 2010) or Cell Type Ontology (CL) (Bard et al., 2005) cover all living organisms, they are confined to structures at the cellular level and below. The diversity of growth forms and life histories within plants presents a challenge, but also provides unique opportunities to study developmental and evolutionary homology across organisms. (shrink)
To enhance the treatment of relations in biomedical ontologies we advance a methodology for providing consistent and unambiguous formal definitions of the relational expressions used in such ontologies in a way designed to assist developers and users in avoiding errors in coding and annotation. The resulting Relation Ontology can promote interoperability of ontologies and support new types of automated reasoning about the spatial and temporal dimensions of biological and medical phenomena.
A wide variety of ontologies relevant to the biological and medical domains are available through the OBO Foundry portal, and their number is growing rapidly. Integration of these ontologies, while requiring considerable effort, is extremely desirable. However, heterogeneities in format and style pose serious obstacles to such integration. In particular, inconsistencies in naming conventions can impair the readability and navigability of ontology class hierarchies, and hinder their alignment and integration. While other sources of diversity are tremendously complex and challenging, agreeing (...) a set of common naming conventions is an achievable goal, particularly if those conventions are based on lessons drawn from pooled practical experience and surveys of community opinion. We summarize a review of existing naming conventions and highlight certain disadvantages with respect to general applicability in the biological domain. We also present the results of a survey carried out to establish which naming conventions are currently employed by OBO Foundry ontologies and to determine what their special requirements regarding the naming of entities might be. Lastly, we propose an initial set of typographic, syntactic and semantic conventions for labelling classes in OBO Foundry ontologies. Adherence to common naming conventions is more than just a matter of aesthetics. Such conventions provide guidance to ontology creators, help developers avoid flaws and inaccuracies when editing, and especially when interlinking, ontologies. Common naming conventions will also assist consumers of ontologies to more readily understand what meanings were intended by the authors of ontologies used in annotating bodies of data. (shrink)
The National Center for Biomedical Ontology is a consortium that comprises leading informaticians, biologists, clinicians, and ontologists, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Roadmap, to develop innovative technology and methods that allow scientists to record, manage, and disseminate biomedical information and knowledge in machine-processable form. The goals of the Center are (1) to help unify the divergent and isolated efforts in ontology development by promoting high quality open-source, standards-based tools to create, manage, and use ontologies, (2) to create (...) new software tools so that scientists can use ontologies to annotate and analyze biomedical data, (3) to provide a national resource for the ongoing evaluation, integration, and evolution of biomedical ontologies and associated tools and theories in the context of driving biomedical projects (DBPs), and (4) to disseminate the tools and resources of the Center and to identify, evaluate, and communicate best practices of ontology development to the biomedical community. Through the research activities within the Center, collaborations with the DBPs, and interactions with the biomedical community, our goal is to help scientists to work more effectively in the e-science paradigm, enhancing experiment design, experiment execution, data analysis, information synthesis, hypothesis generation and testing, and understand human disease. (shrink)
The Planteome project provides a suite of reference and species-specific ontologies for plants and annotations to genes and phenotypes. Ontologies serve as common standards for semantic integration of a large and growing corpus of plant genomics, phenomics and genetics data. The reference ontologies include the Plant Ontology, Plant Trait Ontology, and the Plant Experimental Conditions Ontology developed by the Planteome project, along with the Gene Ontology, Chemical Entities of Biological Interest, Phenotype and Attribute Ontology, and others. The project also provides (...) access to species-specific Crop Ontologies developed by various plant breeding and research communities from around the world. We provide integrated data on plant traits, phenotypes, and gene function and expression from 95 plant taxa, annotated with reference ontology terms. (shrink)
Vaccine research, as well as the development, testing, clinical trials, and commercial uses of vaccines involve complex processes with various biological data that include gene and protein expression, analysis of molecular and cellular interactions, study of tissue and whole body responses, and extensive epidemiological modeling. Although many data resources are available to meet different aspects of vaccine needs, it remains a challenge how we are to standardize vaccine annotation, integrate data about varied vaccine types and resources, and support advanced vaccine (...) data analysis and inference. To address these problems, the community-based Vaccine Ontology (VO) has been developed through collaboration with vaccine researchers and many national and international centers and programs, including the National Center for Biomedical Ontology (NCBO), the Infectious Disease Ontology (IDO) Initiative, and the Ontology for Biomedical Investigations (OBI). VO utilizes the Basic Formal Ontology (BFO) as the top ontology and the Relation Ontology (RO) for definition of term relationships. VO is represented in the Web Ontology Language (OWL) and edited using the Protégé-OWL. Currently VO contains more than 2000 terms and relationships. VO emphasizes on classification of vaccines and vaccine components, vaccine quality and phenotypes, and host immune response to vaccines. These reflect different aspects of vaccine composition and biology and can thus be used to model individual vaccines. More than 200 licensed vaccines and many vaccine candidates in research or clinical trials have been modeled in VO. VO is being used for vaccine literature mining through collaboration with the National Center for Integrative Biomedical Informatics (NCIBI). Multiple VO applications will be presented. (shrink)
The Common Anatomy Reference Ontology (CARO) is being developed to facilitate interoperability between existing anatomy ontologies for different species, and will provide a template for building new anatomy ontologies. CARO has a structural axis of classification based on the top-level nodes of the Foundational Model of Anatomy. CARO will complement the developmental process sub-ontology of the GO Biological Process ontology, using it to ensure the coherent treatment of developmental stages, and to provide a common framework for the model organism communities (...) to classify developmental structures. Definitions for the types and relationships are being generated by a consortium of investigators from diverse backgrounds to ensure applicability to all organisms. CARO will support the coordination of cross-species ontologies at all levels of anatomical granularity by cross-referencing types within the cell type ontology (CL) and the Gene Ontology (GO) Cellular Component ontology. A complete cross-species CARO could be utilized in other ontologies for cross-product generation. (shrink)
While recognising the power and fundamental importance of Wickham’s Framing the Early Middle Ages, this essay explores some of the problems associated with the relative silence within the text about the issue of the forces of production and their development. By contrast, Harman suggests that Wickham’s most important contribution to our understanding of the period, his concept of a peasant-mode of production, is best understood against the backdrop of prior developments of the forces of production. Moreover, the peasant-mode’s temporality is (...) itself best understood against the background of further developments of the forces of production. (shrink)
We review Potts’ influential book on the semantics of conventional implicature (CI), offering an explication of his technical apparatus and drawing out the proposal’s implications, focusing on the class of CIs he calls supplements. While we applaud many facets of this work, we argue that careful considerations of the pragmatics of CIs will be required in order to yield an empirically and explanatorily adequate account.
Sciabarra replies to the seven respondents to his Fall 2002 essay on Rand, Rush, and progressive rock music. He defends the view that Rand's dialectical orientation underlies a fundamentally radical perspective. Rand shared with the counterculture—especially its libertarian progressive rock representatives—a repudiation of authoritarianism, while embracing the "unknown ideal" of capitalism. Her ability to trace the interrelationships among personal, cultural, and structural factors in social analysis and her repudiation of false alternatives is at the heart of that ideal vision, which (...) transcends left and right. (shrink)
BackgroundVulnerability is a key concept in traditional and contemporary bioethics. In the philosophical literature, vulnerability is understood not only to be an ontological condition of humanity, but also to be a consequence of contingent factors. Within bioethics debates, vulnerable populations are defined in relation to compromised capacity to consent, increased susceptibility to harm, and/or exploitation. Although vulnerability has historically been associated with older adults, to date, no comprehensive or systematic work exists on the meaning of their vulnerability. To fill this (...) gap, we analysed the literature on aged care for the meaning, foundations, and uses of vulnerability as an ethical concept.MethodsUsing PRISMA guidelines, we conducted a systematic review of argument-based ethics literature in four major databases: PubMed, Embase®, Web of Science™, and Philosopher’s Index. These covered biomedical, philosophy, bioethical, and anthropological literature. Titles, abstracts, and full texts of identified papers were screened for relevance. The snowball technique and citation tracking were used to identify relevant publications. Data analysis and synthesis followed the preparatory steps of the coding process detailed in the QUAGOL methodology.ResultsThirty-eight publications met our criteria and were included. Publication dates ranged from 1984 to 2020, with 17 publications appearing between 2015 and 2020. Publications originated from all five major continents, as indicated by the affiliation of the first author. Our analyses revealed that the concept of vulnerability could be distinguished in terms of basic human and situational vulnerability. Six dimensions of older adults’ vulnerability were identified: physical; psychological; relational/interpersonal; moral; sociocultural, political, and economic; and existential/spiritual. This analysis suggested three ways to relate to older adults’ vulnerability: understanding older adults’ vulnerability, taking care of vulnerable older adults, and intervening through socio-political-economic measures.ConclusionsThe way in which vulnerability was conceptualised in the included publications overlaps with distinctions used within contemporary bioethics literature. Dimensions of aged care vulnerability map onto defining features of humans, giving weight to the claim that vulnerability represents an inherent characteristic of humans. Vulnerability is mostly a value-laden concept, endowed with positive and negative connotations. Most publications focused on and promoted aged care, strengthening the idea that care is a defining practice of being human. (shrink)
Online communication can often seem different to offline talk. Structural features of social media sites can shape the things we do with words. In this paper, I argue that the practice of ‘quote-tweeting’ can cause a single utterance that originally performed just one speech act to later perform several different speech acts. This describes a new type of illocutionary pluralism—the view that a single utterance can perform multiple illocutionary acts. Not only is this type more plural than others (if one (...) utterance can acquire many kinds of illocutionary force), but it also shows how illocutionary forces can be accumulated over time. This is not limited to online utterances—some offline contexts are similarly structured, and so offline utterances can also come to perform many different speech acts. (shrink)
Typically, case histories are used to illustrate assertions or arguments or to stimulate debate about an issue within business ethics. This volume examines that role, illustrating the link between case histories and more general theoretical approaches to business ethics.
The moral enhancement of humans by biological or genetic means has recently been urged as a response to the pressing concerns facing human civilization. In this paper, I argue that proponents of biological moral enhancement have misrepresented the facts of human moral psychology. As a result, the likely effectiveness of traditional methods of moral enhancement has been underestimated, relative to biological or genetic means. I review arguments in favor of biological moral enhancement and argue that the complexity of moral psychology (...) raises serious problems for such interventions. I offer a programmatic sketch of the ways in which our improved understanding of moral psychology can help facilitate more traditional methods of moral enhancement. I conclude that the best response to the dangers faced by human civilization is the continued use of traditional methods of moral enhancement and the use of our improved understanding of moral psychology to further refine and develop these methods. (shrink)
The second edition of Doing Ethics in Media continues its mission of providing an accessible but comprehensive introduction to media ethics, with a theoretical grounding in moral philosophy, to help students think clearly and systematically about dilemmas in the rapidly changing media environment. Each chapter highlights specific considerations, cases, and practical applications for the fields of journalism, advertising, digital media, entertainment, public relations, and social media. Six fundamental decision-making questions - the "5Ws and H" around which the book is organized (...) - provide a path for students to articulate the issues; understand applicable law and ethics codes; consider the needs of stakeholders; work through conflicting values; integrate philosophic principles; and pose a "test of publicity." Students are challenged to be active ethical thinkers through the authors' reader-friendly style and use of critical early-career examples. While most people will change careers several times during their lives, all of us are life-long media consumers, and Doing Ethics in Media prepares readers for that task. Doing Ethics in Media is aimed at undergraduate and graduate students studying media ethics in mass media, journalism, and media studies. It also serves students in rhetoric, popular culture, communication studies, and interdisciplinary social sciences. The book's companion website-doingethicsin.media, or www.doingmediaethics.com-provides continuously updated real-world media ethics examples and collections of essays from experts and students. The site also hosts ancillary materials for students and for instructors, including a test bank and instructor's manual. (shrink)
The Spirit and the Screen explores pertinent pneumatological issues that arise in film and asks how Christian convictions and experiences of the Spirit might shape the way one thinks about films and film-making.
Heart and Soul is a collection of essays which examine those concepts and questions which are at the heart of both psychotherapy and philosophy. Topics discussed include the nature of the self, motivation and subjectivity, the limits of certainty and subjectivity in interpersonal situations, and the scope of narrative, dialogue and therapy itself. Looking at the work of key figures such as Wittgenstein, Socrates, Kierkegaard, Foucault, Lacan and Klein, contributors draw on a wide range of philosophical approaches and examine how (...) they can deepen our understanding of the processes involved in different types of psychotherapy in a wide range of clinical settings. Each chapter includes a summary of the implications to clinical practice of the ideas discussed. Contributors: Joady Brennan, John M. Heaton, Jeremy Holmes, Joan Hurd, Paul Sepping, Geraldine Shipton, Paul Sturdee, Digby Tantam, Myra Thomas, Emmy van Deurzen, Werdie van Staaden, John Wheway, and Catherine Wieder. (shrink)
Recent clinical trials show that psychedelics such as LSD and psilocybin can be given safely in controlled conditions, and can cause lasting psychological benefits with one or two administrations. Supervised psychedelic sessions can reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and addiction, and improve well-being in healthy volunteers, for months or even years. But these benefits seem to be mediated by "mystical" experiences of cosmic consciousness, which prompts a philosophical concern: do psychedelics cause psychological benefits by inducing false or implausible beliefs about (...) the metaphysical nature of reality? This book is the first scholarly monograph in English devoted to the philosophical analysis of psychedelic drugs. Its central focus is the apparent conflict between the growing use of psychedelics in psychiatry and the philosophical worldview of naturalism. Within the book, Letheby integrates empirical evidence and philosophical considerations in the service of a simple conclusion: this "Comforting Delusion Objection" to psychedelic therapy fails. While exotic metaphysical ideas do sometimes come up, they are not, on closer inspection, the central driver of change in psychedelic therapy. Psychedelics lead to lasting benefits by altering the sense of self, and changing how people relate to their own minds and lives-not by changing their beliefs about the ultimate nature of reality. The upshot is that a traditional conception of psychedelics as agents of insight and spirituality can be reconciled with naturalism (the philosophical position that the natural world is all there is). Controlled psychedelic use can lead to genuine forms of knowledge gain and spiritual growth-even if no Cosmic Consciousness or transcendent divine Reality exists. Philosophy of Psychedelics is an indispensable guide to the literature for researchers already engaged in the field of psychedelic psychiatry, and for researchers-especially philosophers-who want to become acquainted with this increasingly topical field. (shrink)
In their recent article “A Hierarchy of Classical and Paraconsistent Logics”, Eduardo Barrio, Federico Pailos and Damien Szmuc present novel and striking results about meta-inferential validity in various three valued logics. In the process, they have thrown open the door to a hitherto unrecognized domain of non-classical logics with surprising intrinsic properties, as well as subtle and interesting relations to various familiar logics, including classical logic. One such result is that, for each natural number n, there is a logic which (...) agrees with classical logic on tautologies, inferences, meta-inferences, meta-meta-inferences, meta-meta-...-meta-inferences, but that disagrees with classical logic on n + 1-meta-inferences. They suggest that this shows that classical logic can only be characterized by defining its valid inferences at all orders. In this article, I invoke some simple symmetric generalizations of BPS’s results to show that the problem is worse than they suggest, since in fact there are logics that agree with classical logic on inferential validity to all orders but still intuitively differ from it. I then discuss the relevance of these results for truth theory and the classification problem. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the relationship between national culture and ethical decision making. Established theories of ethics and moral development are reviewed and a culture-based model of ethical decision making in organizations is derived. Although the body of knowledge in both cross-cultural management and ethics is well documented, researchers have failed to integrate the influence of cultural values into the ethical decision-making paradigm. A conceptual understanding of how managers from different nations make decisions about highly ethical (...) issues will provide business ethics researchers with a sound theoretical foundation upon which future empirical inquiry can be based. (shrink)
> Wealthy nations must step up support for Africa and vulnerable countries in addressing past, present and future impacts of climate change The 2022 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change paints a dark picture of the future of life on earth, characterised by ecosystem collapse, species extinction and climate hazards such as heatwaves and floods.1 These are all linked to physical and mental health problems, with direct and indirect consequences of increased morbidity and mortality. To avoid these catastrophic (...) health effects across all regions of the globe, there is broad agreement—as 231 health journals argued together in 2021—that the rise in global temperature must be limited to <1.5°C compared with pre-industrial levels. While the Paris Agreement of 2015 outlines a global action framework that incorporates providing climate finance to low-income and middle-income countries, this support has yet to materialise.2 COP27 is the fifth Conference of the Parties (COP) to be organised in Africa since its inception in 1995. Ahead of this meeting, we—as health journal editors from across the continent—call for urgent action to ensure it is the COP that finally delivers climate justice for Africa and vulnerable countries. This is essential for the health of those countries, and for the health of the whole world. The climate crisis has had an impact on the environmental and social determinants of health across Africa, leading to devastating health effects.3 Impacts on health can result directly from environmental shocks and indirectly through socially mediated effects.4 Climate change-related risks in Africa include flooding, drought, heatwaves, reduced food production and reduced labour productivity.5 Droughts in sub-Saharan Africa …. (shrink)
Users of psychedelic drugs often report that their sense of being a self or ‘I’ distinct from the rest of the world has diminished or altogether dissolved. Neuroscientific study of such ‘ego dissolution’ experiences offers a window onto the nature of self-awareness. We argue that ego dissolution is best explained by an account that explains self-awareness as resulting from the integrated functioning of hierarchical predictive models which posit the existence of a stable and unchanging entity to which representations are bound. (...) Combining recent work on the ‘integrative self' and the phenomenon of self-binding with predictive processing principles yields an explanation of ego dissolution according to which self-representation is a useful Cartesian fiction: an ultimately false representation of a simple and enduring substance to which attributes are bound which serves to integrate and unify cognitive processing across levels and domains. The self-model is not a mere narrative posit, as some have suggested; it has a more robust and ubiquitous cognitive function than that. But this does not mean, as others have claimed, that the self-model has the right attributes to qualify as a self. It performs some of the right kinds of functions, but it is not the right kind of entity. Ego dissolution experiences reveal that the self-model plays an important binding function in cognitive processing, but the self does not exist. (shrink)
Psychedelic ingestion and meditative practice are both ancient methods for altering consciousness that became widely known in Western society in the second half of the 20th century. Do the similarities begin and end there, or do these methods – as many have claimed over the years – share some deeper common elements? In this chapter I take a neurophilosophical approach to this question and argue that there are, indeed, deeper commonalities. Recent empirical studies show that psychedelics and meditation modulate overlapping (...) brain networks involved in the sense of self, salience, and attention; moreover, psychedelics can occasion lasting increases in “mindfulness-related capacities” for taking a non-reactive stance on one’s inner experience (e.g. Sampedro et al. 2017). The self-binding theory of psychedelic ego dissolution (Letheby and Gerrans 2017) offers a plausible explanation of these findings: by disrupting self-related beliefs implemented in high-level cortical networks, both psychedelics and meditation can “unbind” mental contents from one’s self-model, moving these contents along the continuum from phenomenal transparency to opacity (cf. Metzinger 2003). In other words, both psychedelics and meditation can expose and weaken our foundational beliefs about our own identity, allowing us to disidentify with these beliefs and see them as “just thoughts”. There are connections between these ideas and recent arguments suggesting that psychedelic use may have epistemic benefits consistent with philosophical naturalism (Letheby 2015, 2016, 2019). I conclude with a proposal: these connections may help in thinking about the putative epistemic benefits of meditation practice from a naturalistic perspective. (shrink)
This book takes concepts developed by researchers in theoretical computer science and adapts and applies them to the study of natural language meaning. Summarizing over a decade of research, Chris Barker and Chung-chieh Shan put forward the Continuation Hypothesis: that the meaning of a natural language expression can depend on its own continuation.
Wayne Norman and Chris MacDonald launch a strong attack against Triple Bottom Line or 3BL accounting in their article “Gettingto the Bottom of ‘Triple Bottom Line’” (2004). This response suggests that, while limitations to 3BL accounting do exist, the critique of Norman and MacDonald is deeply flawed.
Alienation theory has acted as the stimulus for a great deal of research and writing in the history of sociology. It has formed the basis of many sociological ‘classics’ focused on the workplace and the experiences of workers, and has also been mobilized to chart wider social malaise and individual troubles. Alienation theory usage has, however, declined significantly since its heyday of the 1960s and 1970s. Here, the reasons why alienation theory was ‘forgotten’ and what can be gained by ‘remembering’ (...) alienation theory are explored. To realize this ambition this article proceeds by (1) briefly visiting differing definitions of alienation theory, before charting its high point, and the various debates and tensions of the time, during the 1960s and 1970s; (2) analysing the reasons why alienation theory fell from grace from the 1980s onwards; (3) elaborating how and why alienation theory is still relevant for sociology and the wider social sciences today. (shrink)
By making plausible the Diversity Thesis (different people have systematically different and incompatible packages of epistemic intuitions), experimental epistemology raises the specter of the shifting-sands problem: the evidence base for epistemology contains systematic inconsistencies. In response to this problem, some philosophers deny the Diversity Thesis, while others flirt with denying the Evidence Thesis (in normal circumstances, the epistemic intuition that p is prima facie evidence that p is true). We propose to accept both theses. The trick to living with the (...) shifting-sands problem is to expand epistemology’s evidential base so as to include scientific evidence. This evidence can provide principled grounds on which to decide between incompatible intuitions. The idea of resolving inconsistencies in an evidential base by adding more independent lines of evidence is commonplace in science. And in philosophy, it is simplyWide Reflective Equilibrium.We contend that the idea that epistemology would depend crucially on scientific evidence seems radical because many traditional epistemologists practice reflective equilibrium that is WINO, Wide In Name Only. We suggest five different lines of scientific evidence that can be, and have been, used in support of non-WINO epistemological theories. (shrink)
The chapter introduces and characterizes the notion of fittingness. It charts the history of the relation and its relevance to contemporary debates in normative and metanormative philosophy and proceeds to survey issues to do with fittingness covered in the volume’s chapters, including the nature and epistemology of fittingness, the relations between fittingness and reasons, the normativity of fittingness, fittingness and value theory, and the role of fittingness in theorizing about responsibility. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of issues to (...) do with fittingness that aren’t covered extensively by the volume’s chapters in order to indicate avenues for further research. (shrink)
Conflicting accounts of the role of mathematics in our physical theories can be traced to two principles. Mathematics appears to be both (1) theoretically indispensable, as we have no acceptable non-mathematical versions of our theories, and (2) metaphysically dispensable, as mathematical entities, if they existed, would lack a relevant causal role in the physical world. I offer a new account of a role for mathematics in the physical sciences that emphasizes the epistemic benefits of having mathematics around when we do (...) science. This account successfully reconciles theoretical indispensability and metaphysical dispensability and has important consequences for both advocates and critics of indispensability arguments for platonism about mathematics. (shrink)
In Barrio et al. Barrio Pailos and Szmuc prove that there are systems of logic that agree with classical logic up to any finite meta-inferential level, and disagree with it thereafter. This article presents a generalized sense of meta-inference that extends into the transfinite, and proves analogous results to all transfinite orders.
Can there be phenomenal consciousness without self-consciousness? Strong intuitions and prominent theories of consciousness say “no”: experience requires minimal self-awareness, or “subjectivity”. This “subjectivity principle” faces apparent counterexamples in the form of anomalous mental states claimed to lack self-consciousness entirely, such as “inserted thoughts” in schizophrenia and certain mental states in depersonalization disorder. However, Billon & Kriegel have defended SP by arguing that while some of these mental states may be totally selfless, those states are not phenomenally conscious and thus (...) do not constitute genuine counterexamples to SP. I argue that this defence cannot work in relation to certain experiences of ego dissolution induced by potent fast-acting serotonergic psychedelics. These mental states jointly instantiate the two features whose co-instantiation by a single mental state SP prohibits: phenomenal consciousness and total lack of self-consciousness. One possible objection is that these mental states may lack “me-ness” and “mineness” but cannot lack “for-me-ness”, a special inner awareness of mental states by the self. In response I propose a dilemma. For-me-ness can be defined either as containing a genuinely experiential component or as not. On the first horn, for-me-ness is clearly absent from my counterexamples. On the second horn, for-me-ness has been defined in a way that conflicts with the claims and methods of its proponents, and the claim that phenomenally conscious mental states can totally lack self-consciousness has been conceded. I conclude with some reflections on the intuitive plausibility of SP in light of evidence from altered states. (shrink)
Practical reasoning is reasoning about what to do. Practical wisdom is the traditional ideal of practical reasoning associated with virtue ethics. Practical wisdom requires the knowledge and skills necessary to act rightly across a wide range of situations. Critics allege that this notion does not cohere well with what contemporary cognitive science tells us about the production of human behavior. After briefly discussing these criticisms, I sketch an alternative account of these cognitive processes that I call affective engine theory. I (...) then discuss a normative conception of practical reasoning that complements this account. Finally, adopting an approach according to which the virtues are those character traits necessary for excellence in practical reasoning, I argue that these accounts can provide the basis for a nontraditional theory of virtue. I discuss three traits that are plausible candidates for virtues on such an account. (shrink)
In this précis I summarise the main ideas of my book Philosophy of Psychedelics. The book discusses philosophical issues arising from the therapeutic use of “classic” psychedelic drugs such as psilocybin and LSD. The book is organised around what I call the Comforting Delusion Objection to psychedelic therapy: the concern that this novel and promising treatment relies essentially on the induction of non-naturalistic metaphysical beliefs, rendering it epistemically objectionable. I begin the précis by summarizing material from chapters two and three (...) of the book, which review evidence for the therapeutic efficacy of psychedelics, and the facts about their clinical use that prompt the Comforting Delusion Objection. I then summarize materials from chapters four and five of the book, which argue that psychedelic therapy works neither by experience-independent processes of neuroplasticity, nor by inducing non-naturalistic metaphysical ideations, but by altering mental representations of the self. Next, I summarise the specific, speculative account of how this might work that is developed in chapters six and seven of the book. This account is based on the predictive processing theory of brain function and the self-binding theory of self-representation. Chapters eight and nine of the book argue, on the basis of this account, that psychedelic therapy can have significant epistemic and spiritual benefits that are compatible with a naturalistic worldview. I summarize this material, and then, finally, the overall conclusions about psychedelic therapy drawn in the tenth and final chapter of the book. (shrink)
The consensus is that musical works and other ‘multiple’ artworks are abstract objects of some sort. According to the standard objections to musical materialism, multiple artworks cannot be identified with any concrete manifestation since concrete manifestations are many, and one thing cannot be identical to many. Multiple artworks are particularly good, while particular concrete manifestations are particularly bad, at surviving the destruction of particular concrete manifestations. Finally, multiple artworks cannot be identified with a particular sum of concrete manifestations since sums (...) and works differ modally. This paper aims to show that by appealing to recent work on the metaphysics of material objects, musical materialists avoid the standard objections. (shrink)
This paper is an enquiry into the logical, metaphysical, and physical possibility of time travel understood in the sense of the existence of closed worldlines that can be traced out by physical objects. We argue that none of the purported paradoxes rule out time travel either on grounds of logic or metaphysics. More relevantly, modern spacetime theories such as general relativity seem to permit models that feature closed worldlines. We discuss, in the context of Gödel's infamous argument for the ideality (...) of time based on his eponymous spacetime, what this apparent physical possibility of time travel means. Furthermore, we review the recent literature on so-called time machines, i.e., of devices that produce closed worldlines where none would have existed otherwise. Finally, we investigate what the implications of the quantum behaviour of matter for the possibility of time travel might be and explicate in what sense time travel might be possible according to leading contenders for full quantum theories of gravity such as string theory and loop quantum gravity. (shrink)
Among their uses, mass media codes of ethics declare the values of groups of media practitioners. This paper uses Schwartz's social psychology typology to identify and compare 216 values stated or implied in 15 codes of ethics for associations of journalists, bloggers, advertising/marketing practitioners, and public relations practitioners. Despite differences in their communication goals, codes generally share many of the same general values types yet often use similar words to describe different values and loyalties.