The paper examines the ethics of electronic monitoring for advertising purposes and the implications for Internet user privacy using as a backdrop DoubleClick Incs recent controversy over matching previously anonymous user profiles with personally identifiable information. It explores various ethical theories that are applicable to understand privacy issues in electronic monitoring. It is argued that, despite the fact that electronic monitoring always constitutes an invasion of privacy, it can still be ethically justified on both Utilitarian and Kantian grounds. From a (...) Utilitarian perspective the emphasis must be on minimizing potential harms. From a Kantian perspective the emphasis must be on giving users complete information so that they can make informed decisions as to whether they are willing to be monitored. Considering the Internet advertising industrys current actions, computer users and government regulators would be well advised, both practically and ethically, to move to a user control model in electronic monitoring. (shrink)
Many private business relationships are increasingly characterized by claims that certain actions should not be permitted since particular right claims are involved. Such claims should be taken seriously, but are they always ethically legitimate? This paper analyzes one context, the use of age as a rating variable in the pricing of automobile insurance, where such claims are made. By identifying, evaluating and assessing the relevant basis for the differentiation, actuarial equity, it is concluded that there is an ethical basis for (...) such a practice. The analysis also provides an equivalent means for considering other such analogous claims where actuarial equity is involved. (shrink)
Theological interpretation of the Bible is one of the most significant debates within theology today. Yet what exactly is theological reading? Darren Sarisky proposes that it requires identification of the reader via a theological anthropology; an understanding of the text as a collection of signs; and reading the text with a view toward engaging with what it says of transcendence. Accounts of theological reading do not often give explicit focus to the place of the reader, but this work seeks (...) to redress this neglect. Sarisky examines Augustine's approach to the Bible and how his theological insights into the reader and the text generate an aim for interpretation, which is fulfilled by fitting reading strategies. He also engages with Spinoza, showing that theological exegesis contrasts not with approaches that take history seriously, but with naturalistic approaches to reading. (shrink)
The essay reflects on how Hans-Georg Gadamer and Karl Barth view interpretation of the Christian Bible. It proceeds in three main sections. The first contends that Gadamer secularizes Christian theology, and that this has drawbacks for the sort of reading his hermeneutic can give to Christian Scripture. The second part turns to Barth, arguing that the whole structure of his approach to the Bible factors in theological commitment, with benefits for the readings he can deliver. The final part makes a (...) case that contemporary reflection on interpretation can nonetheless glean important insights from Gadamer, especially regarding the readerly reception of texts, because his perspective has a certain sort of richness that Barth’s cannot match. The overall suggestion emerging from the interrogation of these two thinkers is that phenomenology and theology might learn from one another, that they each contribute something valuable to discussions of biblical interpretation. (shrink)
The Protein Ontology (PRO) provides a formal, logically-based classification of specific protein classes including structured representations of protein isoforms, variants and modified forms. Initially focused on proteins found in human, mouse and Escherichia coli, PRO now includes representations of protein complexes. The PRO Consortium works in concert with the developers of other biomedical ontologies and protein knowledge bases to provide the ability to formally organize and integrate representations of precise protein forms so as to enhance accessibility to results of protein (...) research. PRO (http://pir.georgetown.edu/pro) is part of the Open Biomedical Ontologies (OBO) Foundry. (shrink)
Interpreting the world through a social lens is a central characteristic of human cognition. Humans ascribe intentions to the behaviors of other individuals and groups. Humans also make inferences about others’ emotional and mental states. This capacity for social attribution underlies many of the concepts at the core of legal and political systems. The developing scientific understanding of the neural mechanisms used in social attribution may alter many earlier suppositions. However, just as often, these new methods will lead back to (...) old conundrums. Cognitive neuroscience will not dispel the hard problems of social judgment. (shrink)
What does logic tells us how about we ought to reason? If P entails Q, and I believe P, should I believe Q? I will argue that we should embed the issue in an independently motivated contextualist semantics for ‘ought’, with parameters for a standard and set of propositions. With the contextualist machinery in hand, we can defend a strong principle expressing how agents ought to reason while accommodating conflicting intuitions. I then show how our judgments about blame and guidance (...) can be handled by this machinery. (shrink)
Did you know that insects could be tried for criminal acts in pre-industrial Europe, that the dead could be executed, that statues could be subjected to public humiliation, or that it was widely accepted that corpses could return to life? What made reasonable, educated men and women behave in ways that seem utterly nonsensical to us today? Strange Histories presents for the first time a serious account of some of the most extraordinary occurrences of European history. Throughout the ages, people (...) have held ideas and events have taken place which have baffled later societies. Religious disbelievers were thought deserving of death, insects were occasionally excommunicated, studying the biology of angels was a legitimate activity, and the pursuit of personal happiness was considered rather misguided as a life strategy. Using case studies from the Middle Ages and the early modern period with some from the more recent past, this book provides fascinating insights into the world-view through the ages, and shows how such goings-on fitted in quite naturally with the "common sense" of the time. Explanations of these phenomena, riveting and ultimately rational, encourage further reflection on what really shapes our beliefs. In the light of history, can we be sure of the validity of our own ideas? How many of our own beliefs might no longer "make sense" a few centuries from now? (shrink)
In this paper I argue that whether or not a computer can be built that passes the Turing test is a central question in the philosophy of mind. Then I show that the possibility of building such a computer depends on open questions in the philosophy of computer science: the physical Church-Turing thesis and the extended Church-Turing thesis. I use the link between the issues identified in philosophy of mind and philosophy of computer science to respond to a prominent argument (...) against the possibility of building a machine that passes the Turing test. Finally, I respond to objections against the proposed link between questions in the philosophy of mind and philosophy of computer science. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that Turing’s responses to the mathematical objection are straightforward, despite recent claims to the contrary. I then go on to show that by understanding the importance of learning machines for Turing as related not to the mathematical objection, but to Lady Lovelace’s objection, we can better understand Turing’s response to Lady Lovelace’s objection. Finally, I argue that by understanding Turing’s responses to these objections more clearly, we discover a hitherto unrecognized, substantive thesis in his philosophical (...) thinking about the nature of mind. (shrink)
The increasing use of pharmacotherapy raises specific ethical concerns for psychologists working with vulnerable populations. Due to a shortage of trained specialists, professionals without training in mental health, such as primary care providers, are increasingly prescribing and monitoring psychotropic medications. Vulnerable populations face additional barriers to mental health treatment and are at heightened risk when these factors intersect. Hence, these patients experience unique barriers to receiving optimal psychopharmacological care and are differentially vulnerable to deleterious outcomes associated with misdiagnosis and overmedication. (...) Taken together, these factors fuel inequities in the access, quality, and utilization of mental health care. Psychologists working with these patients are ethically mandated to protect patients from harm and ensure equitable care across patient populations. Specifically, psychologists must respond to the dilemma of how to effectively treat patients within these vulnerable populations who have been misdiagnosed or poorly medicated while remaining within the bounds of their competence. This article recommends pathways to address these dilemmas through education, training, research, and advocacy. (shrink)
Biomedical ontologies are emerging as critical tools in genomic and proteomic research where complex data in disparate resources need to be integrated. A number of ontologies exist that describe the properties that can be attributed to proteins; for example, protein functions are described by Gene Ontology, while human diseases are described by Disease Ontology. There is, however, a gap in the current set of ontologies—one that describes the protein entities themselves and their relationships. We have designed a PRotein Ontology (PRO) (...) to facilitate protein annotation and to guide new experiments. The components of PRO extend from the classification of proteins on the basis of evolutionary relationships to the representation of the multiple protein forms of a gene (products generated by genetic variation, alternative splicing, proteolytic cleavage, and other post-translational modification). PRO will allow the specification of relationships between PRO, GO and other OBO Foundry ontologies. Here we describe the initial development of PRO, illustrated using human proteins from the TGF-beta signaling pathway. (shrink)
Daniel Bensaïd’s theoretical and political framework deserves to be habitually known in the English-speaking world. His philosophical work has a universal dimension, but because it was also the product of particular political upsurges and downturns, it is necessary to understand these particular political moments to thoroughly understand the universal scope and significance of his work. This paper will look at these political developments and pay particular attention to the crisis of the workers’ movement, strategy and Marxism.
Psychology has benefited from an enormous wealth of knowledge about processes of cognition in relation to how the brain organizes information. Within the categorization literature, this behavior is often explained through theories of memory construction called exemplar theory and prototype theory which are typically based on similarity or rule functions as explanations of how categories emerge. Although these theories work well at modeling highly controlled stimuli in laboratory settings, they often perform less well outside of these settings, such as explaining (...) the emergence of background knowledge processes. In order to explain background knowledge, we present a non-similarity-based post-Skinnerian theory of human language called Relational Frame Theory which is rooted in a philosophical world view called functional contextualism. This theory offers a very different interpretation of how categories emerge through the functions of behavior and through contextual cues, which may be of some benefit to existing categorization theories. Specifically, RFT may be able to offer a novel explanation of how background knowledge arises, and we provide some mathematical considerations in order to identify a formal model. Finally, we discuss much of this work within the broader context of general semantic knowledge and artificial intelligence research. (shrink)
Paul Ricoeur's philosophy, including notably the Lectures on Ideology and Utopia, has been rather underappreciated in the contemporary critical theory literature. This is in spite of some excellent attempts to highlight the value of his contribution to the field. In the Lectures on Ideology and Utopia Ricoeur brings two traditionally opposed concepts of ideology and utopia together in a dialectic, a move that is both innovative and radical. While the lectures were first delivered in Chicago back in 1975, they still (...) have something to offer contemporary scholarship in critical theory. Some forty years on, the collection edited by Stephanie Arel and Dan Stiver... (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that the notion of ‘reasonableness’ that is, for many, at the heart of the Philosophy for Children approach particularly and education for democratic citizenship more broadly, is constituted within the epistemology of ‘white ignorance’ and operates in such a way that it is unlikely to transgress the boundaries of white ignorance so as to view it from without. Drawing on scholarship in critical legal studies and social epistemology, I highlight how notions of reasonableness often include (...) consensus, ‘racialised common sense’ and the ‘typical’ view. In addition the promotion of particular dispositions on the grounds of ‘reasonableness’ both promotes stability and limits how one may think otherwise. Thus, P4C practices that fail to historicise, examine and challenge prevailing notions of reasonableness establish an epistemically ‘gated’ community of inquiry. (shrink)
ABSTRACT Hegel gave the bureaucracy a distinctively corporatist and collegiate structure and insulated it from legislative control. The close match between these features of the Philosophy or Right and the structure of the Prussian bureaucracy, which had been used by reformers to insulate progressive decisions from Junker resistance, suggests that Hegel, too, wanted the bureaucracy to spearhead reform within a hostile environment.
Large prospective biobanks are being established containing DNA, lifestyle and health information in order to study the relationship between diseases, genes and environment. Informed consent is a central component of research ethics protection. Disclosure of information about the research is an essential element of seeking informed consent. Within biobanks, it is not possible at recruitment to describe in detail the information that will subsequently be collected because people will not know which disease they will develop. It will also be difficult (...) to describe the specific research that will be performed using the biobank, other than to stipulate categories of research or diseases that are not included. Potential subjects can only be given information about the sorts of research that will be performed and by whom. Organisations responsible for biobanks usually argue that this disclosure of information is adequate when seeking informed consent, especially if coupled with a right to withdraw, as it would not be feasible or it would be too expensive to seek consent renewal on a regular basis. However, there are concerns about this ‘blanket consent’ approach’. Consent waivers have also been proposed in which research subjects entrust their consent with an independent third party to decide whether subsequent research using the biobank is consistent with the original consent provided by the subject. (shrink)
Hoping is an integral part of what it is to be human, and its significance for education has been widely noted. Hope is, however, a contested category of human experience and getting to grips with its characteristics and dynamics is a difficult task. The paper argues that hope is not a singular undifferentiated experience and is best understood as a socially mediated human capacity with varying affective, cognitive and behavioural dimensions. Drawing on the philosophy, theology and psychology of hope, five (...) modes of hoping are outlined: patient, critical, sound, resolute and transformative. The key aim of the paper is to illustrate how different modes of hoping are associated with different pedagogical strategies. Phrased differently, the paper seeks to delineate a range of pedagogies of hope. The phrase ‘pedagogy of hope’ is very much associated with critical theory—one thinks instantly of, for example, Paulo Freire, Henry Giroux or bell hooks. There are many pedagogies of hope, however, and an explicitly conservative text such as William Bennett’s Book of Virtues has as strong a claim to the title as Freire’s radical and utopian ideas. A broader argument, therefore, is that there is nothing inherently radical or subversive about a pedagogy of hope. Pedagogies of hope can serve to reproduce social relations as well as to transform them. (shrink)
Criticism of orthodox models of prejudice reduction is particularly relevant for lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals, particularly when considering stage models of coming-out. If social change is to be effected regarding endemic homonegativity and heterosexism, then it is argued that a radical rethink is needed to the understandable but misinformed desire to get us to like each other more.
Analytic skill can contribute to a theology of the Bible and a theological hermeneutic in two ways, by refining the formulation of a doctrine of Scripture and a correlative hermeneutic, and by illuminating how problematic hermeneutical presuppositions have in some cases become part of exegetical practice. The contribution that the analytic style of reflection can make to the theological enterprise need not be vitiated by a common criticism of analytic modes of engaging with texts, namely, that they tend toward being (...) ahistorical, though the objection deserves to be considered carefully. (shrink)
In this article, I examine the textual underpinnings of participatory Confucian democracy and Confucian meritocracy and propose realist Confucian democracy as an alternative following a balanced reading of classic Confucianism. I argue that Confucian plebeian values do not square with the political meritocrats’ advocacy for meritocratic rule while Confucian elitist values undermine participatory democrats’ ardor for justifications of active democratic participation. A shared difficulty with both groups is that they tend to overuse one aspect of Confucianism while leaving the status (...) of other elements in limbo. The discussion of participatory democracy and meritocracy is followed by the introduction of an eclectic reading that strikes a dynamic balance between elitist and plebeian values in Confucianism, and which points to the wide gamut of realist democracy that combines democratic election with strong leadership. (shrink)
Background: Alexithymia is a personality trait which is characterized by an inability to identify and describe conscious emotions of oneself and others.Aim: The present study aimed to determine whether various measures of mental health, interoception, psychological flexibility, and self-as-context, predicted through linear associations alexithymia as an outcome. This also included relevant mediators and non-linear predictors identified for particular sub-groups of participants through cluster analyses of an Artificial Neural Network output.Methodology: Two hundred and thirty participants completed an online survey which included (...) the following questionnaires: Toronto alexithymia scale; Acceptance and Action Questionnaire 2 ; Positive and Negative Affect Scale, Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale 21 ; Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness ; and the Self-as-Context scale. A stepwise backwards linear regression and mediation analysis were performed, as well as a cluster analysis of the non-linear ANN upper hidden layer output.Results: Higher levels of alexithymia were associated with increased psychological inflexibility, lower positive affect scores, and lower interoception for the subscales of “not distracting” and “attention regulation.” SAC mediated the relation between emotional regulation and total alexithymia. The ANNs accounted for more of the variance than the linear regressions, and were able to identify complex and varied patterns within the participant subgroupings.Conclusion: The findings were discussed within the context of developing a SAC processed-based therapeutic model for alexithymia, where it is suggested that alexithymia is a complex and multi-faceted condition, which requires a similarly complex, and process-based approach to accurately diagnose and treat this condition. (shrink)
Whilst continuing racism is often invoked as evidence of the urgent need for Philosophy for Children, there is little in the current literature that addresses the topic. Drawing on Critical Race Theory and the related field of Critical Whiteness Studies , I argue that racism is deeply ingrained culturally in society, and best understood in the context of ‘Whiteness’. Following a CRT-informed analysis of two picturebooks that have been recommended as starting points for philosophical enquiry into multiculturalism, racism and diversity (...) – ‘Elmer’ and ‘Tusk Tusk’ by David McKee, I argue that whilst the use of stories with animals is commonly regarded as offering children the comfort of distance from emotionally challenging topics, this has the effect of separating racism from its temporal and spatial realities, which limits rather than enhances opportunities for engaging philosophically with it. I argue in favour of the practice of ‘reading against the text’ and consider the epistemological and practical obstacles to this practice drawing on my own experiences discussing race with P4C practitioners in the UK. I attempt to illustrate how the selection of recommended materials, combined with commonly held principles of P4C, make for a climate where a philosophical engagement with race and racism that considers the discourse of ‘Whiteness’ is highly unlikely to occur. This leads me to posit the idea of The Gated Community of Enquiry. (shrink)
What if your peers tell you that you should disregard your perceptions? Worse, what if your peers tell you to disregard the testimony of your peers? How should we respond if we get evidence that seems to undermine our epistemic rules? Several philosophers have argued that some epistemic rules are indefeasible. I will argue that all epistemic rules are defeasible. The result is a kind of epistemic particularism, according to which there are no simple rules connecting descriptive and normative facts. (...) I will argue that this type of particularism is more plausible in epistemology than in ethics. The result is an unwieldy and possibly infinitely long epistemic rule — an Uber-rule. I will argue that the Uber-rule applies to all agents, but is still defeasible — one may get misleading evidence against it and rationally lower one’s credence in it. (shrink)
Many epistemological problems can be solved by the objective Bayesian view that there are rationality constraints on priors, that is, inductive probabilities. But attempts to work out these constraints have run into such serious problems that many have rejected objective Bayesianism altogether. I argue that the epistemologist should borrow the metaphysician’s concept of naturalness and assign higher priors to more natural hypotheses.
How do temporal and eternal beliefs interact? I argue that acquiring a temporal belief should have no effect on eternal beliefs for an important range of cases. Thus, I oppose the popular view that new norms of belief change must be introduced for cases where the only change is the passing of time. I defend this position from the purported counter-examples of the Prisoner and Sleeping Beauty. I distinguish two importantly different ways in which temporal beliefs can be acquired and (...) draw some general conclusions about their impact on eternal beliefs. (shrink)
As COVID-19 drags on and new vaccines promise widespread immunity, the world's attention has turned to predicting how the present pandemic will end. How do societies know when an epidemic is over and normal life can resume? What criteria and markers indicate such an end? Who has the insight, authority, and credibility to decipher these signs? Detailed research on past epidemics has demonstrated that they do not end suddenly; indeed, only rarely do the diseases in question actually end. This article (...) examines the ways in which scholars have identified and described the end stages of previous epidemics, pointing out that significantly less attention has been paid to these periods than to origins and climaxes. Analysis of the ends of epidemics illustrates that epidemics are as much social, political, and economic events as they are biological; the “end,” therefore, is as much a process of social and political negotiation as it is biomedical. Equally important, epidemics end at different times for different groups, both within one society and across regions. Multidisciplinary research into how epidemics end reveals how the end of an epidemic shifts according to perspective, whether temporal, geographic, or methodological. A multidisciplinary analysis of how epidemics end suggests that epidemics should therefore be framed not as linear narratives—from outbreak to intervention to termination—but within cycles of disease and with a multiplicity of endings. (shrink)
If an agent believes that the probability of E being true is 1/2, should she accept a bet on E at even odds or better? Yes, but only given certain conditions. This paper is about what those conditions are. In particular, we think that there is a condition that has been overlooked so far in the literature. We discovered it in response to a paper by Hitchcock (2004) in which he argues for the 1/3 answer to the Sleeping Beauty problem. (...) Hitchcock argues that this credence follows from calculating her fair betting odds, plus the assumption that Sleeping Beauty’s credences should track her fair betting odds. We will show that this last assumption is false. Sleeping Beauty’s credences should not follow her fair betting odds due to a peculiar feature of her epistemic situation. (shrink)
In this title the author explores the time-tested practice and philosophy using modern examples from more than a decade of experience with this ancient practice. He brings the principles of yoga into focus and makes them user-friendly for yogis living in the post modern era.
Using files declassified and released to Great Britain's National Archives, this article shows how Britain's domestic spy agency, MI5, recruited Louis de Wohl (1903-61), a flashy Hungarian astrologer and Christian writer to create horoscopes for Adolf Hitler during World War II. De Wohl was a controversial figure. His origin story does not check out. His MI5 handlers found him showy. And recent journalists dismiss him as a ‘persuasive fake’. Yet his pre-war fictions were adapted for cinema, his later theological novels (...) remain bestsellers, and his personal story deserves greater attention if we are to better understand Christian historical fiction's popularity. (shrink)
Should philosophers prefer simpler theories? Huemer (Philos Q 59:216–236, 2009) argues that the reasons to prefer simpler theories in science do not apply in philosophy. I will argue that Huemer is mistaken—the arguments he marshals for preferring simpler theories in science can also be applied in philosophy. Like Huemer, I will focus on the philosophy of mind and the nominalism/Platonism debate. But I want to engage with the broader issue of whether simplicity is relevant to philosophy.
Sometimes we learn what the world is like, and sometimes we learn where in the world we are. Are there any interesting differences between the two kinds of cases? The main aim of this article is to argue that learning where we are in the world brings into view the same kind of observation selection effects that operate when sampling from a population. I will first explain what observation selection effects are ( Section 1 ) and how they are relevant (...) to learning where we are in the world ( Section 2 ). I will show how measurements in the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics can be understood as learning where you are in the world via some observation selection effect ( Section 3 ). I will apply a similar argument to the Sleeping Beauty Problem ( Section 4 ) and explain what I take the significance of the analogy to be ( Section 5 ). Finally, I will defend the Restricted Principle of Indifference on which some of my arguments depend ( Section 6 ). (shrink)