The temporal granularity of consciousness may be far less fine than the real-time information processing mechanisms that underlie our sensitivity to small temporal differences. It is suggested that conscious time perception, like space perception, is subject to errors that belie a unitary underlying representation. E. R. Clay's concept of the “specious present,” an extended moment represented in consciousness, is suggested as an alternative to the more common notion of instantaneous experience that underlies much reasoning based on the “time of arrival” (...) in consciousness. (shrink)
Increasing complexities facing physicians negotiating the bedside decision continue to fuel the debate over who is the appropriate party to offer ethics consults, should one be needed, during the decision-making process. Some very good arguments have been put forth on behalf of clinical ethicists as being the proper and best party to engage in ethics consultations. However, serious questions remain about the role of the clinical ethicist and his ability to provide the necessary level of objectivity called for in an (...) ethics consult.I argue that the clinician's professional psyche, or mode of thinking as a professional, leaves him little room to maneuver as an objective and detached third party ethics consultant. Several factors are cited and discussed that greatly influence the analyses applied to a case problem by physicians. The most formidable of these factors are habits and the practice of defensive medicine. I conclude that clinical ethicists are less suited for the overall tasks required of an objective consultant in medical cases that appear to involve insurmountable ethical issues. (shrink)
A new motion illusion is discussed in relation to the idea of vision as a Grand Illusion. An experiment shows that this 'Tinkerbell effect' is a good example of a visual illusion supported by low-level stimulus information, but resulting from integration principles probably necessary for normal perception.
There are problems with both the theoretical logic and the interpretation of data in Christie and Barresi's interesting article. The general pattern of results is easily incorporated into an information-processing framework compatible with Dennett's analysis. In particular, different aspects of the illusory motion event are queried at different times and these aspects are not in conflict, so no revision of conscious content is necessary. Second, too much interpretive weight is placed on an anomalous pair of data points that do not (...) seem fully interpretable within the author's framework and are probably susceptible to one of several alternative interpretations proposed here, though further investigation is necessary. (shrink)
Medicine and Money explores the role of beneficence and cost control in health-care systems. The book's primary concern of morally improving medicine is achieved by dividing the argument into two parts. The first defines the crisis in health-care and justifies beneficence. The second part offers practical suggestions on implementing beneficence into the system. Medicine and Money is one of the few books to provide concrete suggestions on improving the health-care system from the micro level for addressing cost concerns in a (...) morally acceptable manner. (shrink)
Although Pessoa et al. imply that many aspects of the filling-in debate may be displaced by a regard for active vision, they remain loyal to naive neural reductionist explanations of certain pieces of psychophysical evidence. Alternative interpretations are provided for two specific examples and a new category of filling-in (of visual detail) is proposed.
Corporate social policy can be viewed as three legs of a tripod: efficient production, stable employment, and a social and political environment that promotes high performance of both workers and managers.Social policy process consists of achieving a balance of corporate interest with other interests in the society. Each policy position taken by the firm alters its relationships with all other interests and creates a new balance. This entails the risk of creating unfriendly interests and losing the support of others, depending (...) on the issue and shift in power. (shrink)