Emotion processing is known to be impaired in psychopathy, but less is known about the cognitive mechanisms that drive this. Our study examined experiencing and suppression of emotion processing in psychopathy. Participants, violent offenders with varying levels of psychopathy, viewed positive and negative images under conditions of passive viewing, experiencing and suppressing. Higher scoring psychopathics were more cardiovascularly responsive when processing negative information than positive, possibly reflecting an anomalously rewarding aspect of processing normally unpleasant material. When required to experience emotional (...) response, by ‘getting into the feeling’ of the emotion conveyed by a negative image, higher factor 1 psychopathic individuals showed reduced responsiveness, suggesting that they were less able to do this. These data, together with the absence of corresponding differences in subjective self-report might be used to inform clinical strategies for normalising emotion processing in psychopathic offenders to improve treatment outcome, and reduce risk amongst this client group. (shrink)
We estimate that 208,000 deep brain stimulation devices have been implanted to address neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders worldwide. DBS Think Tank presenters pooled data and determined that DBS expanded in its scope and has been applied to multiple brain disorders in an effort to modulate neural circuitry. The DBS Think Tank was founded in 2012 providing a space where clinicians, engineers, researchers from industry and academia discuss current and emerging DBS technologies and logistical and ethical issues facing the field. The (...) emphasis is on cutting edge research and collaboration aimed to advance the DBS field. The Eighth Annual DBS Think Tank was held virtually on September 1 and 2, 2020 due to restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting focused on advances in: optogenetics as a tool for comprehending neurobiology of diseases and on optogenetically-inspired DBS, cutting edge of emerging DBS technologies, ethical issues affecting DBS research and access to care, neuromodulatory approaches for depression, advancing novel hardware, software and imaging methodologies, use of neurophysiological signals in adaptive neurostimulation, and use of more advanced technologies to improve DBS clinical outcomes. There were 178 attendees who participated in a DBS Think Tank survey, which revealed the expansion of DBS into several indications such as obesity, post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction and Alzheimer’s disease. This proceedings summarizes the advances discussed at the Eighth Annual DBS Think Tank. (shrink)
I have been asked to consider two questions: How Christian ‘oughts’ are related to Christian ‘is-es’, and, What does Christianity take flourishing to be? The background to these questions is that Christian ethics have traditionally been taken, both by supporters and opponents, as au ethic of creature-hood, sometimes quite crudely conceived. It is a sketch, but by no means a caricature, of a great deal of standard Christian thinking, to depict it as answering the two questions as follows: God is (...) your Creator: therefore you ought to obey him. The end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him for ever. (shrink)
This article examines the place of human and animal subjectivity in two autobiographically informed texts by Hélène Cixous. It takes her view on the word ‘human’ and the figure of Fips, the dog of the Cixous family, as a point of departure. By thinking through this figure, I argue, Cixous analyses the dehumanizing logic of colonialism and anti-Semitism in Algeria and develops her own response to such kinds of political evils, arguing for human relationality and animal corporeality. The article shows (...) that Cixous’ meeting with Fips creates a stigma that, belatedly, breaks through the barrier between herself and the dog; the reopening of the wound takes place in a poetical writing that reveals an intense ‘animal humanity’ formed by communal suffering, finiteness, and love. The lesson Cixous learns from the memory of Fips the dog is how to become ‘better human’. This becoming is also an assault on the false humanism of the colonial project and on racialized social exclusion. (shrink)
Helen Steward argues that determinism is incompatible with agency itself--not only the special human variety of agency, but also powers which can be accorded to animal agents. She offers a distinctive, non-dualistic version of libertarianism, rooted in a conception of what biological forms of organisation might make possible in the way of freedom.
Barz contends that there is no specification of the phenomenon of first-person authority that avoids falsity or triviality. This paper offers one. When a subject self-ascribes a current conscious mental state in speech, there is a presumption that what she says is true. To defeat this presumption, one must be able to explain how she has been led astray.
In a recent paper (Bird 2001), Alexander Bird argues that the law that common salt dissolves in water is metaphysically necessary - and he does so without presupposing dispositionalism about properties. If his argument were sound, it would thus show that at least one law of nature is meta- physically necessary, and it would do so without illicitly presupposing a position (dispositionalism) that is already committed to a necessitarian view of laws. I shall argue that Bird's argument is unsuccesful.
James Tabery Helen Longino’s Studying Human Behavior is an overdue effort at a nonpartisan evaluation of the many scientific disciplines that study the nature and nurture of human behavior, arguing for the acceptance of the strengths and weaknesses of all approaches. After years of conflict, Longino makes the pluralist case for peaceful coexistence. Her analysis of the approaches raises the following question: how are we to understand the pluralistic relationship among the peacefully coexisting approaches? Longino is ironically rather unpluralistic (...) about her pluralism, forcing a choice between integrative pluralism and her preferred ineliminative pluralism. I hope to show that the analysis of approaches she offers actually accommodates a pluralism that is both integrative and ineliminative.Approaches to studying human behaviorPhilosophy of biology took shape as a discipline in the 1970s. This disciplinary formation over. (shrink)
We can try to imagine a people who in circumstances of hardship and danger—in hunting and warfare, for instance—show endurance, persistence, indifference to pain, and an unflinching readiness to accept death. Yet it may be that these qualities do not have any important place in their picture of themselves. Their courage is simply something they take for granted and it does not go with any practice of praise and blame. They are not proud of themselves when they act bravely, nor (...) ashamed of themselves if they fail to do so. This would be a courage that would be independent of the social practices of praise and blame, admiration and contempt, pride and shame. It would be a courage that did not fit into a scheme of values. This raises the question whether it could properly be regarded as an ethical quality, as a virtue. (shrink)
Through extensive training, experts acquire specialized knowledge and abilities. In this paper, I argue that experts also acquire specialized visual experiences. Specifically, I articulate and defend the account that experts enjoy visual experiences that represent gestalt properties through perceptual learning. I survey an array of empirical studies on face perception and perceptual expertise that support this account. I also look at studies on perceptual adaptation that some might argue present a problem for my account. I show how the data are (...) subject to an interpretation that is friendly to it. Last, I address two theoretical objections to the claim that visual experiences represent gestalt properties. (shrink)
Innovative research on decision making under ‘deep uncertainty’ is underway in applied fields such as engineering and operational research, largely outside the view of normative theorists grounded in decision theory. Applied methods and tools for decision support under deep uncertainty go beyond standard decision theory in the attention that they give to the structuring of decisions. Decision structuring is an important part of a broader philosophy of managing uncertainty in decision making, and normative decision theorists can both learn from, and (...) contribute to, the growing deep uncertainty decision support literature. (shrink)
Helen Steward puts forward a radical critique of the foundations of contemporary philosophy of mind, arguing that it relies too heavily on insecure assumptions about the sorts of things there are in the mind--events, processes, and states. She offers a fresh investigation of these three categories, clarifying the distinctions between them, and argues that the category of state has been very widely and seriously misunderstood.
Kriegel has recently developed an adverbial account of intentionality, in part to solve the problem of how we can think of non-existents. The view has real virtues: it endorses a non-relational conception of intentionality and is ontologically conservative. Alas, the view ultimately cannot replace the act-object model of intentionality that it seeks to, because it depends on the act-object model for its intelligibility at key points. It thus fails as a revisionistic theory. I argue that the virtues of adverbialism can (...) be had from within the act-object framework, provided we understand intentional objects correctly. I use Crane as a guide here, and build on his work on intentional objects. In the end, we can provide a suitable solution to the problem of thinking of non-existents within the act-object framework without adopting implausible ontological or metaphysical views. So, adverbialism is neither a possible stand-alone revisionary option nor a needed modif... (shrink)
This book analyses the straw man fallacy and its deployment in philosophical reasoning. While commonly invoked in both academic dialogue and public discourse, it has not until now received the attention it deserves as a rhetorical device. Scott Aikin and John Casey propose that straw manning essentially consists in expressing distorted representations of one's critical interlocutor. To this end, the straw man comprises three dialectical forms, and not only the one that is usually suggested: the straw man, the weak (...) man and the hollow man. Moreover, they demonstrate that straw manning is unique among fallacies as it has no particular logical form in itself, because it is an instance of inappropriate meta-argument, or argument about arguments. They discuss the importance of the onlooking audience to the successful deployment of the straw man, reasoning that the existence of an audience complicates the dialectical boundaries of argument. Providing a lively, provocative and thorough analysis of the straw man fallacy, this book will appeal to postgraduates and researchers alike, working in a range of fields including fallacies, rhetoric, argumentation theory and informal logic. (shrink)
I argue that the debates over which norm constitutes assertion can be abandoned by challenging the three main motivations for a constitutive norm. The first motivation is the alleged analogy between language and games. The second motivation is the intuition that some assertions are worthy of criticism. The third is the discursive responsibilities incurred by asserting. I demonstrate that none of these offer good reasons to believe in a constitutive norm of assertion, as such a norm is understood in the (...) literature. Others who have made similar arguments conclude that assertion does not exist at all—that there is no such thing as assertion. I disagree: we do not have to relinquish the category of assertion just because it is not normatively constituted. There are alternative ways to understand and individuate assertion that do not rely on a constitutive norm. (shrink)
This edited collection is the first of its kind to explore the view called perspectivism in philosophy of science. The book brings together an array of essays that reflect on the methodological promises and scientific challenges of perspectivism in a variety of fields such as physics, biology, cognitive neuroscience, and cancer research, just as a few examples. What are the advantages of using a plurality of perspectives in a given scientific field and for interdisciplinary research? Can different perspectives be integrated? (...) What is the relation between perspectivism, pluralism, and pragmatism? These ten new essays by top scholars in the field offer a polyphonic journey towards understanding the view called ‘perspectivism’ and its relevance to science. (shrink)
Suppose I make an utterance, intending it to be a command. You don’t take it to be one. Must one of us be wrong? In other words, must each utterance have, at most, one illocutionary force? Current debates over the constitutive norm of assertion and over illocutionary silencing, tend to assume that the answer is yes—that each utterance must be either an assertion, or a command, or a question, but not more than one of these. While I think that this (...) assumption is intuitive, I will argue in this paper that it is not sustainable. I’ll argue that this assumption makes it hard to explain what determines illocutionary force in a consistent and non-ad hoc way. I will demonstrate this is not fatal for the notion of illocutionary force writ large by offering some alternatives. (shrink)
In Studying Human Behavior, Helen E. Longino enters into the complexities of human behavioral research, a domain still dominated by the age-old debate of “nature versus nurture.” Rather than supporting one side or another or attempting..
This essay explores various ethical dimensions of the important concept of fihavanana and its role in Malagasy ethics. As a first pass, we can say that fihavanana is a state of peace or harmony that people can achieve with others within their communities; it is modeled on the peace, harmony, solidarity, love, and closeness that is often seen in family ties. Understanding the role that fihavanana plays in the traditional ethics of the people of Madagascar does not come close to (...) providing a complete picture of Malagasy ethics, but fihavanana is arguably the most crucial ethical concept for Malagasy. After using Malagasy proverbs (ohabolana) to sketch various ethical dimensions of fihavanana, these dimensions are compared to certain themes from Western ethics. The essay also comments on the state of fihavanana today in Madagascar and draws some lessons to be learned from this important ethical ideal. Directions for further research are sketched throughout the essay. (shrink)
Since the development of assisted reproductive technologies, infertile individuals have crossed borders to obtain treatments unavailable or unaffordable in their own country. Recent media coverage has focused on the outsourcing of surrogacy to developing countries, where the cost for surrogacy is significantly less than the equivalent cost in a more developed country. This paper discusses the ethical arguments against international surrogacy. The major opposition viewpoints can be broadly divided into arguments about welfare, commodification and exploitation. It is argued that the (...) only valid objection to international surrogacy is that surrogate mothers may be exploited by being given too little compensation. However, the possibility of exploitation is a weak argument for prohibition, as employment alternatives for potential surrogate mothers may be more exploitative or more harmful than surrogacy. It is concluded that international surrogacy must be regulated, and the proposed regulatory mechanism is termed Fair Trade Surrogacy. The guidelines of Fair Trade Surrogacy focus on minimizing potential harms to all parties and ensuring fair compensation for surrogate mothers. (shrink)
Most people believe that it is sometimes morally permissible for a person to use force to defend herself or others against harm. In Defensive Killing, Helen Frowe offers a detailed exploration of when and why the use of such force is permissible. She begins by considering the use of force between individuals, investigating both the circumstances under which an attacker forfeits her right not to be harmed, and the distinct question of when it is all-things-considered permissible to use force (...) against an attacker. Frowe then extends this enquiry to war, defending the view that we should judge the ethics of killing in war by the moral rules that govern killing between individuals. She argues that this requires us to significantly revise our understanding of the moral status of non-combatants in war. Non-combatants who intentionally contribute to an unjust war forfeit their rights not to be harmed, such that they are morally liable to attack by combatants fighting a just war. (shrink)
In his Aesthetic Croce makes some remarks upon the subject of sincerity: Artists protest vainly: ‘Lasciva est nobis pagina, vita proba’. They are merely taxed with lying and hypocrisy. How far more prudent you were, poor women of Verona, when you founded your belief that Dante had really descended to Hell upon his blackened countenance. Yours was at any rate an historical conjecture.
Yli-Vakkuri offers a deductive argument for Content Externalism that primarily appeals to two main principles he says should be adopted by all parties to the debate. Sawyer criticizes this argument on the grounds that there are internalist theories that are not consistent with the two principles he offers, although she takes no issue with the derivation itself. While Sawyer’s critique is insightful and largely correct, there is a more fundamental problem with the original argument. The formal proof given in the (...) original paper begs the question. The informal argument is enthymematic, and all the possible valid reconstructions require assumptions that can be legitimately rejected by content internalists. This is significant to point out as someone might think that the internalist views that Sawyer says are not consistent with the two principles that drive Yli-Vakkuri’s argument can be successfully challenged and thereby the original argument defended. (shrink)
Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) employ an evolving framework of calibrated language for assessing and communicating degrees of certainty in findings. A persistent challenge for this framework has been ambiguity in the relationship between multiple degree-of-certainty metrics. We aim to clarify the relationship between the likelihood and confidence metrics used in the Fifth Assessment Report (2013), with benefits for mathematical consistency among multiple findings and for usability in downstream modeling and decision analysis. We discuss how our (...) proposal meshes with current and proposed practice in IPCC uncertainty assessment. (shrink)
ABSTRACT ‘Modus Darwin’ is the name given by Elliott Sober to a form of argument that he attributes to Darwin in the Origin of Species, and to subsequent evolutionary biologists who have reasoned in the same way. In short, the argument form goes: similarity, ergo common ancestry. In this article, I review and critique Sober’s analysis of Darwin’s reasoning. I argue that modus Darwin has serious limitations that make the argument form unsuitable for supporting Darwin’s conclusions, and that Darwin did (...) not reason in this way. (shrink)
This essay addresses the question how we know our conscious thinking. Conscious thinking typically takes the form of a series of discrete episodes that constitute a complex cognitive activity. We must distinguish the discrete episodes of thinking in which a particular content is represented in phenomenal consciousness and is present “before the mind’s eye” from the extended activities of which these episodes form a part. The extended activities are themselves contentful and we have first-person access to them. But because their (...) content is not represented in phenomenal consciousness, this access cannot be broadly observational. Instead, I argue, it is agential. Furthermore, that extended activities are intentional explains the possibility of a nonobservational form of introspective access to the discrete episodes in consciousness. (shrink)
: This essay offers an account of the diverse range of rich insights Professor Finnis’s work offers for several perennial questions of constitutional theory: such as what valuable moral ends constitutional law serves, how best to approach the design of constitutional arrangements and institutions, and how to best approach constitutional interpretation. I proceed in four parts. The first two parts begin by looking at Finnis’s treatment of the purpose of law as a social practice and then, more specifically, the point (...) or purpose of channeling political power through constitutional law. Having outlined the point or purpose of constitutional law and constitutional institutions, I then probe what Finnis has to say about questions of constitutional design. Finally, I give an account of how Finnis’s work approaches constitutional interpretation. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue against Michael Gorman’s objection to Tim Crane’s view of intentional objects. Gorman (“Talking about Intentional Objects,” 2006), following Searle (Intentionality, 1983), argues that intentional content can be cashed out solely in terms of conditions of satisfaction. For Gorman, we have reason to prefer his more minimal satisfaction-condition approach to Crane’s be- cause we cannot understand Crane’s notion of an intentional object when applied to non-existent objects. I argue that Gorman’s criticism rests on a misunderstanding of (...) Crane’s position. I also discuss the importance of keeping track of the distinction between the intentional objects of intentional states and the referents of such states. I do agree with Gorman that conditions of satisfaction are needed to cash out propositional intentional content, but we cannot get these conditions of satisfaction right if we do not capture how the subject takes the world to be. And we cannot properly capture how the subject takes the world to be without commitment to intentional objects. I argue that Crane’s notion of an intentional object is one that avoids questionable ontological commitments. So, in the end we have a view of intentional objects with a respectable metaphysics and ontology that can properly capture the intentional content of subjects’ intentional states. (shrink)
It is uncontroversial that we sometimes have moral obligations to voice our disagreements, when, for example, the stakes are high and a wrong course of action will be pursued. But might we sometimes also have epistemic obligations to voice disagreements? In this paper, I will argue that we sometimes do. In other words, sometimes, to be behaving as we ought, qua epistemic agents, we must not only disagree with an interlocutor who has voiced some disagreed-with content but must also testify (...) to this disagreement. This is surprising given that norms on testimony are generally taken to be permissive, and epistemic obligations are usually taken to be negative. In this paper I will discuss some occasions in which epistemic obligations to testify may arise, and I will attempt to investigate the nature of these obligations. I'll briefly discuss the relationship between epistemic and moral norms. I'll offer an account of what it takes to discharge epistemic obligations to testify. Finally, I'll look at some accounts of epistemic obligation that might explain these obligations. (shrink)