BackgroundMultiple sclerosis, the most common neurological disease that causes disability in youth, does not only affect physical functions but is also associated with cognitive impairment, fatigue, depression, and anxiety and can significantly impact health-related quality of life. Since MS is generally diagnosed at a young age—a period of great significance for personal, relational, and professional development—adaptation can become highly challenging. Therefore, enhancing the competence of young people to adaptively cope with these potential challenges is of utmost importance in order to (...) promote their potentialities and talents. It has been shown that psychological interventions targeting MS patients can enhance resilience and HRQoL and that regular physical activity and social engagement can improve psychological well-being. However, literature on the development of global interventions based on the bio-psycho-social model of the disease is missing. Even less attention has been paid to interventions dedicated to young adults with MS and to the involvement of patients in the development of such programs.AimsIn collaboration with MS patients, this study aims to develop a bio-psycho-social intervention for YawMS, aiming to improve their HRQoL and to explore its feasibility, acceptability, and effects.MethodsTo tailor the intervention to the specific needs of YawMS, “patient engagement principles” will be adopted in the co-creation phase, performing a web survey and focus groups with patients and healthcare professionals. In the intervention phase, a pilot sample of 60 young adults with MS will be enrolled. The co-created intervention, composed of group sessions over a 12-week period, will cover psycho-social strategies and include physical activities. Adopting a longitudinal, pre–post evaluation design, self-report questionnaires measuring HRQoL and other bio-psycho-social features will be administered, the quantity and quality of PA will be measured, and a questionnaire developed by the authors will be used to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of the ESPRIMO intervention. (shrink)
Over the past few years, there has been a proliferation of artificial intelligence strategies, released by governments around the world, that seek to maximise the benefits of AI and minimise potential harms. This article provides a comparative analysis of the European Union and the United States’ AI strategies and considers the visions of a ‘Good AI Society’ that are forwarded in key policy documents and their opportunity costs, the extent to which the implementation of each vision is living up to (...) stated aims and the consequences that these differing visions of a ‘Good AI Society’ have for transatlantic cooperation. The article concludes by comparing the ethical desirability of each vision and identifies areas where the EU, and especially the US, need to improve in order to achieve ethical outcomes and deepen cooperation. (shrink)
The centrality of argumentation in the judicial process is an age-old acquisition of research on legal discourse. Notwithstanding the deep insights provided by legal theoretical and philosophical works, only recently has judicial argumentation been tackled in its linguistic dimension. This paper aims to contribute to the development of linguistic studies of judicial argumentation, by shedding light on evaluation as a prominent aspect in the construction of the judge’s argumentative position. Evaluation as a deep structure of judicial argumentation is studied from (...) a discursive point of view entailing the analysis of a sample of authentic judicial language. Evaluative lexis is investigated within a single genre of judicial discourse, i.e. judgments, instantiated by a corpus of US Supreme Court judgments. Findings show that judges use diversified strategies to take stance as they organise their argumentative discourse: from easily recognisable verbal and adjectival tools to more finely-grained discourse elements such as the encapsulating pattern ‘this/these/that/those + labelling noun’. (shrink)
Neofregeanism and structuralism are among the most promising recent approaches to the philosophy of mathematics. Yet both have serious costs. We develop a view, structuralist neologicism, which retains the central advantages of each while avoiding their more serious costs. The key to our approach is using arbitrary reference to explicate how mathematical terms, introduced by abstraction principles, refer. Focusing on numerical terms, this allows us to treat abstraction principles as implicit definitions determining all properties of the numbers, achieving a key (...) neofregean advantage, while preserving the key structuralist advantage, which objects play the number role does not matter. (shrink)
The goal of this article is to introduce a philosophical analysis of a widely neglected condition which affects between 3% and 18% of the population. People affected by this condition experience a lower level of wellbeing than the average population and are discriminated against in both their professional and their personal life. I will argue that this form of discrimination should be taken more seriously in philosophical debate and that social, legal and medical measures ought to be taken in order (...) to improve the quality of life of people affected by this condition. (shrink)
Research on legal discourse has developed according to a variety of perspectives. As for descriptive accounts, two approaches are noteworthy. Firstly, Anglophone scholars have dealt with legal language from a genre-based viewpoint. Secondly, French studies have focused on argumentation in judicial texts, by considering the forms of reasoning involved in it and, albeit more rarely, its linguistic constituents. This paper aims at reinforcing the linguistic component of the analysis of legal discourse, by carrying out a corpus-based genre analysis on a (...) sample of 40 judgments. First of all, the results of the investigation of the genre structure of judgments will be presented. The comparative approach adopted will show that the differences between European and English/Irish judgments mainly concern the generic move Arguing the case. Secondly, analysis will concentrate in more detail on one of the most frequent tools used in the discursive construction of argumentation within the aforementioned move, i.e. the widely spread reporting verb HOLD. A study of its concordances suggests that it is used in all types of judgments as a meta-argumentative operator signalling either an authoritative stance taken by the Court or an equally authoritative reported argumentation of another judge or court. (shrink)
This paper is a critical response to Andreas Bartels’ sophisticated defense of a structural account of scientific representation. We show that, contrary to Bartels’ claim, homomorphism fails to account for the phenomenon of misrepresentation. Bartels claims that homomorphism is adequate in two respects. First, it is conceptually adequate, in the sense that it shows how representation differs from misrepresentation and non-representation. Second, if properly weakened, homomorphism is formally adequate to accommodate misrepresentation. We question both claims. First, we show that homomorphism (...) is not the right condition to distinguish representation from misrepresentation and non-representation: a “representational mechanism” actually does all the work, and it is independent of homomorphism – as of any structural condition. Second, we test the claim of formal adequacy against three typical kinds of inaccurate representation in science which, by reference to a discussion of the notorious billiard ball model, we define as abstraction, pretence, and simulation. We first point out that Bartels equivocates between homomorphism and the stronger condition of epimorphism, and that the weakened form of homomorphism that Bartels puts forward is not a morphism at all. After providing a formal setting for abstraction, pretence and simulation, we show that for each morphism there is at least one form of inaccurate representation which is not accommodated. We conclude that Bartels’ theory – while logically laying down the weakest structural requirements – is nonetheless formally inadequate in its own terms. This should shed serious doubts on the plausibility of any structural account of representation more generally. (shrink)
It is well known that Felix Klein took a decisive step in investigating the invariants of transformation groups. However, less attention has been given to Klein’s considerations on the epistemological implications of his work on geometry. This paper proposes an interpretation of Klein’s view as a form of mathematical structuralism, according to which the study of mathematical structures provides the basis for a better understanding of how mathematical research and practice develop.
In this article we discuss the moral and legal aspects of causing the death of a terminal patient in the hope of extending their life in the future. We call this theoretical procedure cryothanasia. We argue that administering cryothanasia is ethically different from administering euthanasia. Consequently, objections to euthanasia should not apply to cryothanasia, and cryothanasia could also be considered a legal option where euthanasia is illegal.
One central tenet of the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis , and the consensus view among biologists until now, is that all genetic mutations occur by “chance” or at “random” with respect to adaptation. However, the discovery of some molecular mechanisms enhancing mutation rate in response to environmental conditions has given rise to discussions among biologists, historians and philosophers of biology about the “chance” vs “directed” character of mutations . In fact, some argue that mutations due to a particular kind of mutator (...) mechanisms challenge the Modern Synthesis because they are produced when and where needed by the organisms concerned. This paper provides a defense of the Modern Synthesis’ consensus view about the chance nature of all genetic mutations by reacting to Jablonka and Lamb’s analysis of genetic mutations and the explicit Lamarckian flavor of their arguments. I argue that biologists can continue to talk about chance mutations according to what I call and define as the notion of “evolutionary chance,” which I claim is the Modern Synthesis’ consensus view and a reformulation of Darwin’s most influential idea of “chance” variation. Advances in molecular genetics are therefore significant but not revolutionary with respect to the Modern Synthesis’ paradigm. (shrink)
Metaphor has been considered as a cognitive process, independent of the verbal versus visual mode, through which an unknown conceptual domain is understood in terms of another known conceptual domain. Metaphor might instead be viewed as a cognitive process, dependent on the mode, which leads to genuinely new knowledge via ignorance. First, I argue that there are two main senses of ignorance at stake when we understand a metaphor: we ignore some existing properties of the known domain in the sense (...) that we disregard or neglect them; we ignore some “non-existing” properties of the known domain in the sense that they are not a piece of information belonging to the known domain, but emerge in metaphor interpretation. Secondly, I consider a metaphor as a reasoning device, guiding the interpreters along a path of inferences to a conclusion, which attributes to the target some properties of the source. In this path, interpreters might discover the ignored existing properties of the known domain and/or recover the “non-existing” properties, inferring or imagining the missing piece of information. Finally, I argue that, especially in visual metaphors, this process is guided by a “sentiment of rationality”, tracking a disruption of existing familiar conceptualisations of objects and/or actions and a recovery of ignored properties. (shrink)
Sociopolitical attitudes are often the root cause of conflicts between individuals, groups, and even nations, but little is known about the origin of individual differences in sociopolitical orientation. We test a combination of economic and evolutionary ideas about the degree to which the mating market, sex, age, and income affect sociopolitical orientation. We collected data online through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk from 1108 US participants who were between 18 and 60, fluent in English, and single. While ostensibly testing a new online (...) dating website, participants created an online dating profile and described people they would like to date. We manipulated the participants’ popularity in the mating market and the size of the market and then measured participants’ sociopolitical attitudes. The sociopolitical attitudes were reduced to five dimensions via Principal Components Analysis. Both manipulations affected attitudes toward wealth redistribution but were largely not significant predictors of the other dimensions. Men reported more unrestricted sociosexual attitudes, and more support for benevolent sexism and traditional family values, than women did, and women supported wealth redistribution more than men did. There was no sex difference in accepting nonconforming behaviors. Younger people and people with lower incomes were more liberal than older people and people with higher incomes, respectively, regardless of sex. Overall, effects were largely not interactive, suggesting that individual differences in sociopolitical orientation may reflect strategic self-interest and be more straightforward than previously predicted. (shrink)
This book offers a reconstruction of the debate on non-Euclidean geometry in neo-Kantianism between the second half of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth century. Kant famously characterized space and time as a priori forms of intuitions, which lie at the foundation of mathematical knowledge. The success of his philosophical account of space was due not least to the fact that Euclidean geometry was widely considered to be a model of certainty at his time. However, such (...) later scientific developments as non-Euclidean geometries and Einstein’s general theory of relativity called into question the certainty of Euclidean geometry and posed the problem of reconsidering space as an open question for empirical research. The transformation of the concept of space from a source of knowledge to an object of research can be traced back to a tradition, which includes such mathematicians as Carl Friedrich Gauss, Bernhard Riemann, Richard Dedekind, Felix Klein, and Henri Poincaré, and which finds one of its clearest expressions in Hermann von Helmholtz’s epistemological works. Although Helmholtz formulated compelling objections to Kant, the author reconsiders different strategies for a philosophical account of the same transformation from a neo-Kantian perspective, and especially Hermann Cohen’s account of the aprioricity of mathematics in terms of applicability and Ernst Cassirer’s reformulation of the a priori of space in terms of a system of hypotheses. This book is ideal for students, scholars and researchers who wish to broaden their knowledge of non-Euclidean geometry or neo-Kantianism. (shrink)
At Columbia University in 1906, William James gave a highly confrontational speech to the American Philosophical Association (APA). He ignored the technical philosophical questions the audience had gathered to discuss and instead addressed the topic of human energy. Tramping on the rules of academic decorum, James invoked the work of amateurs, read testimonials on the benefits of yoga and alcohol, and concluded by urging his listeners to take up this psychological and physiological problem. What was the goal of this unusual (...) speech? Rather than an oddity, Francesca Bordogna asserts that the APA address was emblematic—it was just one of many gestures that James employed as he plowed through the barriers between academic, popular, and pseudoscience, as well as the newly emergent borders between the study of philosophy, psychology, and the “science of man.” Bordogna reveals that James’s trespassing of boundaries was an essential element of a broader intellectual and social project. By crisscrossing divides, she argues, James imagined a new social configuration of knowledge, a better society, and a new vision of the human self. As the academy moves toward an increasingly interdisciplinary future, William James at the Boundaries reintroduces readers to a seminal influence on the way knowledge is pursued. (shrink)
Using a specific case as an example, the article argues that the Internet allows dissemination of academic ideas to the general public in ways that can sometimes pose a threat to academic freedom. Since academic freedom is a fundamental element of academia and since it benefits society at large, it is important to safeguard it. Among measures that can be taken in order to achieve this goal, the publication of anonymous research seems to be a good option.
The aim of this paper is to provide a definition of the the notion of complete and immediate formal grounding through the concepts of derivability and complexity. It will be shown that this definition yields a subtle and precise analysis of the concept of grounding in several paradigmatic cases.
In Poggiolesi we have introduced a rigorous definition of the notion of complete and immediate formal grounding; in the present paper our aim is to construct a logic for the notion of complete and immediate formal grounding based on that definition. Our logic will have the form of a calculus of natural deduction, will be proved to be sound and complete and will allow us to have fine-grained grounding principles.
Unethical and dishonest behavior has increasingly attracted the attention of scholars from various disciplines. Recent work has begun to focus on a previous overlooked factor predicting dishonest behavior: the beneficiary or victim of dishonest acts. In two laboratory experiments, we manipulate the level of resources allocated to our participants (their "wealth") and investigate whether perceived inequity from wealth that is randomly or subjectively assigned leads individuals to cross ethical boundaries through helping or hurting others. The results show that dishonest behavior (...) is influenced by positive and negative inequity that motivates helping and hurting acts. Furthermore, a third experiment shows that people tend to discount the wrongness of crossing ethical boundaries to hurt or help others when the action restores equity. (shrink)
Cryonics—also known as cryopreservation or cryosuspension—is the preservation of legally dead individuals at ultra-low temperatures. Those who undergo this procedure hope that future technology will not only succeed in reviving them, but also cure them of the condition that led to their demise. In this sense, some hope that cryopreservation will allow people to continue living indefinitely. This book discusses the moral concerns of cryonics, both as a medical procedure and as an intermediate step toward life extension. In particular, Minerva (...) analyses the moral issues surrounding cryonics-related techniques by focusing on how they might impact the individuals who undergo cryosuspension, as well as society at large. (shrink)
The contradictions between food poverty affecting a large section of the global population and the everyday wastage of food, particularly in high income countries, have raised significant academic and public attention. All actors in the food chain have a role to play in food waste prevention and reduction, including farmers, food manufacturers and processors, caterers and retailers and ultimately consumers. Food surplus redistribution is considered by many as a partial solution to food waste reduction and food poverty mitigation, while others (...) criticize charitable initiatives as inadequate responses, that inhibit governments from responsibly protecting the citizens right to food. This paper frames food assistance as “hybrid systems”, situating at the intersection of territorial food, public welfare and third sector voluntary systems. Based on available literature and reflections on previous research examining food banks in Italy, we develop a system dynamics conceptual mapping. The aim is to model a set of relations and dynamic mechanisms associated with variables relevant to food waste generation, food recovery for social purposes and food poverty alleviation. The analysis of feedback interactions highlights the vulnerabilities of food assistance systems that occur when addressing food poverty by reducing food surplus. In summary, as the awareness on food poverty and food surplus arises, incentives to food recovery and redistribution strengthen the role of food assistance actors, increasing their exposure to drivers of change, such as retailers’ standards for food surplus prevention. This paper contributes to the current academic debate on charitable food assistance, with insights for policy makers and other systems’ actors. (shrink)
Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus' health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion (...) is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled. (shrink)
Our perception of where touch occurs on our skin shapes our interactions with the world. Most accounts of cutaneous localisation emphasise spatial transformations from a skin-based reference frame into body-centred and external egocentric coordinates. We investigated another possible method of tactile localisation based on an intrinsic perception of ‘skin space’. The arrangement of cutaneous receptive fields (RFs) could allow one to track a stimulus as it moves across the skin, similarly to the way animals navigate using path integration. We applied (...) curved tactile motions to the hands of human volunteers. Participants identified the location midway between the start and end points of each motion path. Their bisection judgements were systematically biased towards the integrated motion path, consistent with the characteristic inward error that occurs in navigation by path integration. We thus showed that integration of continuous sensory inputs across several tactile RFs provides an intrinsic mechanism for spatial perception. (shrink)
In the context of climate change, the adoption of pro-environment behaviour is favoured by the understanding of causal passages within climate science. The understanding of the causes of climate change is necessary in order to be able to take mitigation actions (the subject needs to be aware of its role as a causalagent). Conversely, the understanding of the consequences of climate change is essential for rationally managing the risks, especially in cases where adaptation is needed rather than simple mitigation. The (...) case of ozone depletion confirms this view: the understanding of its causal dynamics played a major role in people’sbehavioural response.Para afrontar el cambio climático, la adopción de un comportamiento en favor del medio ambiente se verá favorecida por la comprensión de los argumentos causales de la climatología. La comprensión de las causas del cambio climático es necesario para que seamos capaces de mitigarlo (cada individuo debe ser consciente de su papel como agente causal). La comprensión de las consecuencias del cambio climático es esencial para gestionar racionalmente los riesgos, especialmente en casos en los que más que mitigarlo, debemos intentar adaptarnos. El caso del agujero de la capa de ozono confirma este punto de vista: la comprensión de la dinámica causal desempeñó un papel principal en el cambio de conductas de la gente. (shrink)
Grammar as a discipline devoted to the study of language was greatly advanced by the Alexandrian philologists, and especially by Aristarchus, as demonstrated by Stephanos Matthaios. In order to edit Homer and other literary authors, whose texts were often written in archaic Greek and presented many linguistic problems, the Alexandrians had to recognize linguistic grammatical categories and declensional patterns. In particular, to determine the correct orthography or accentuation of debated morphological forms they often employed analogy, which is generally defined as (...) the doctrine that grammatical forms must follow strict rules of declension. Modern scholars have often opposed the Alexandrian doctrine of analogy to the Pergamene doctrine of ‘anomaly’, which favoured spoken usage to determine debated forms. Detlev Fehling and David Blank, however, have shown that this strong opposition never really existed and it is mostly due to Varro. More correctly, ancient grammarians identified inflectional rules as well as forms derived from spoken usage or otherwise aberrant forms—however, respect for spoken usage in the latter case was not labelled ‘anomaly’, which was never a technical term of ancient grammar. Rather, and especially in the Roman period, grammarians used the term ‘pathology’ to account for and explain irregular forms. (shrink)