We propose a method for estimating subjective beliefs, viewed as a subjective probability distribution. The key insight is to characterize beliefs as a parameter to be estimated from observed choices in a well-defined experimental task and to estimate that parameter as a random coefficient. The experimental task consists of a series of standard lottery choices in which the subject is assumed to use conventional risk attitudes to select one lottery or the other and then a series of betting choices in (...) which the subject is presented with a range of bookies offering odds on the outcome of some event that the subject has a belief over. Knowledge of the risk attitudes of subjects conditions the inferences about subjective beliefs. Maximum simulated likelihood methods are used to estimate a structural model in which subjects employ subjective beliefs to make bets. We present evidence that some subjective probabilities are indeed best characterized as probability distributions with non-zero variance. (shrink)
The philosophical background important to Mill’s theory of induction has two major components: Richard Whately’s introduction of the uniformity principle into inductive inference and the loss of the idea of formal cause.
IntroductionApproaches to improve heart rate variability and reduce stress such as breathing retraining are more frequently being integrated into psychotherapy but little research on their effectiveness has been done to date. Specifically, no studies to date have directly compared using a breathing pacer at 6 breaths per minute with compassion focused soothing rhythm breathing.Current StudyIn this randomized controlled experiment, 6 breaths per minute breathing using a pacer was compared with compassion focused soothing rhythm breathing, with a nature video being used (...) as a control group condition.MethodsHeart rate variability measures were assessed via electrocardiogram and respiration belt, and an automated blood pressure machine was used to measure systolic diastolic blood pressure, and heart rate. A total of 96 participants were randomized into the three conditions. Following a 5-min baseline, participants engaged in either 6 breath per minute breathing, soothing rhythm breathing, or watched a nature video for 10 min. To induce a stressful state, participants then wrote for 5 min about a time they felt intensely self-critical. Participants then wrote for 5 min about a time they felt self-compassionate, and the experiment ended with a 10-min recovery period.ResultsConditions did not significantly differ at baseline. Overall, HRV, as measured by standard deviation of NN intervals, low frequency HRV, and LF/HF ratio, increased during the intervention period, decreased during self-critical writing, and then returned to baseline levels during the recovery period. High frequency HRV was not impacted by any of the interventions. The participants in the 6 breath per minute pacer condition were unable to consistently breathe at that rate and averaged about 12 breaths per minute. Time by Condition analyses revealed that both the 6 breaths per minute pacer and soothing breathing rhythm conditions lead to significantly higher SDNN than the nature video condition during breathing practice but there were no significant differences between conditions in response to the self-critical and self-compassionate writing or recovery periods. The 6 breath per minute pacer condition demonstrated a higher LF HRV and LF/HF ratio than the soothing rhythm breathing condition, and both intervention conditions had a higher LF HRV and LF/HF ratio than the nature video.ConclusionsAlthough the 6 breath per minute pacer condition participants were not able to breath consistently at the low pace, both the participants attempting to breathe at 6 breaths per minute as well as those in the soothing rhythm breathing condition effectively increased HR variability as measured by SDNN, and attempting to breathe at 6 breaths per minute led to the highest LF HRV and LF/HF ratio. Both breathing approaches impacted HRV more than watching a relaxing nature video and can potentially be used as key adjuncts in psychotherapy to aid in regulating physiological functioning, although it appears that consistent breathing practice would be needed. (shrink)
John Searle has argued that the aim of strong AI to create a thinking computer is misguided. Searle's "Chinese Room Argument" purports to show that syntax does not suffice for semantics and that computer programs as such must fail to have intrinsic intentionality But we are not mainly interested in the program itself, but rather the implementation of the program in some material. It does not follow by necessity from the fact that computer programs are defined syntactically that the (...) implementation of them cannot suffice for semantics. Perhaps our world is a world in which any implementation of the right computer program will create a system with intrinsic intentionality, in which case Searle's "Chinese Room Scenario" is empirically impossible. But perhaps our world is a world in which Searle's "Chinese Room Scenario" is empirically possible, and the silicon basis of modern-day computers is one kind of material unsuited to give you intrinsic intentionality. The metaphysical question turns out to be a question of what kind of world we are in, and I argue that in this respect we do not know our model address. The "Model Address Argument" does not ensure that strong AI will succeed, but it shows that Searle's challenge to the research program of strong AI fails in its objectives. (shrink)
John Locke’s distinction between primary and secondary qualities of objects has meet resistance. In this paper I bypass the traditional critiques of the distinction and instead concentrate on two specific counterexamples to the distinction: Killer yellow and the puzzle of multiple dispositions. One can accommodate these puzzles, I argue, by adopting Thomas Reid’s version of the primary/secondary quality distinction, where the distinction is founded upon conceptual grounds. The primary/secondary quality distinction is epistemic rather than metaphysical. A consequence of Reid’s (...) primary/ secondary quality distinction is that one must deny the original version of Molyneux’s question, while one must affirm an amended version of it. I show that these two answers to Molyneux’s question are not at odds with current empirical research. (shrink)
John Searle has argued that the aim of strong AI of creating a thinking computer is misguided. Searle’s Chinese Room Argument purports to show that syntax does not suffice for semantics and that computer programs as such must fail to have intrinsic intentionality. But we are not mainly interested in the program itself but rather the implementation of the program in some material. It does not follow by necessity from the fact that computer programs are defined syntactically that the (...) implementation of them cannot suffice for semantics. Perhaps our world is a world in which any implementation of the right computer program will create a system with intrinsic intentionality, in which case Searle’s Chinese Room Scenario is empirically (nomically) impossible. But, indeed, perhaps our world is a world in which Searle’s Chinese Room Scenario is empirically (nomically) possible and that the silicon basis of modern day computers are one kind of material unsuited to give you intrinsic intentionality. The metaphysical question turns out to be a question of what kind of world we are in and I argue that in this respect we do not know our modal address. The Modal Address Argument does not ensure that strong AI will succeed, but it shows that Searle’s challenge on the research program of strong AI fails in its objectives. (shrink)
Regular musical activity as a complex multimodal lifestyle activity is proposed to be protective against age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. This cross-sectional study investigated the association and interplay between musical instrument playing during life, multi-domain cognitive abilities and brain morphology in older adults from the DZNE-Longitudinal Cognitive Impairment and Dementia Study study. Participants reporting having played a musical instrument across three life periods were compared to controls without a history of musical instrument playing, well-matched for reserve proxies of education, (...) intelligence, socioeconomic status and physical activity. Participants with musical activity outperformed controls in global cognition, working memory, executive functions, language, and visuospatial abilities, with no effects seen for learning and memory. The musically active group had greater gray matter volume in the somatosensory area, but did not differ from controls in higher-order frontal, temporal, or hippocampal volumes. However, the association between gray matter volume in distributed frontal-to-temporal regions and cognitive abilities was enhanced in participants with musical activity compared to controls. We show that playing a musical instrument during life relates to better late-life cognitive abilities and greater brain capacities in OA. Musical activity may serve as a multimodal enrichment strategy that could help preserve cognitive and brain health in late life. Longitudinal and interventional studies are needed to support this notion. (shrink)
In this essay, I take the role as friendly commentator and call attention to three potential worries for John D. Norton’s material theory of induction. I attempt to show that his “principle argument” is based on a false dichotomy, that the idea that facts ultimately derive their license from matters of fact is debatable, and that one of the core implications of his theory is untenable for historical and fundamental reasons.
In this discussion paper, I seek to challenge Hylarie Kochiras’ recent claims on Newton’s attitude towards action at a distance, which will be presented in Section 1. In doing so, I shall include the positions of Andrew Janiak and John Henry in my discussion and present my own tackle on the matter . Additionally, I seek to strengthen Kochiras’ argument that Newton sought to explain the cause of gravity in terms of secondary causation . I also provide some specification (...) on what Kochiras calls ‘Newton’s substance counting problem’ . In conclusion, I suggest a historical correction .Keywords: Isaac Newton ; Action at a distance; Cause of gravity; Fourth letter to Bentley. (shrink)
Some Thoughts concerning Education, originally published in 1693, is one of John Locke's major works, a classic text in the philosophy of education; this is the definitive scholarly edition. The work mainly concerns moral education and its role in creating a responsible adult, and the importance of virtue as a transmitter of culture; but Locke ranges also over a wide range of practical topics.
This is the second volume, following the well-received edition of Mill's writing essential to understanding the liberal tradition. His commentary on a full spectrum of issues gives further insight into the strengths and vulnerabilities of liberal democratic theory in practice. Rare and difficult to locate material is here brought to attention and made available. The contribution of Mill's most authoritative biographer, Nicholas Capaldi, is a singular and unmatched highlight. The tenor of St. Augustine's Press volumed on Mill is distinct in (...) its intention to place his work in the framework of political philosophy and the conversation of the viability of liberalism as a tradition of thought. (shrink)