In this groundbreaking new study, Lowell Nissen explores the use of teleological language in the study of subjects such as behaviorism, negative feedback, and natural selection. He argues that all existing analyses fail to explain how teleological language can be used legitimately, and provides his own analysis in terms of intentionality.
In this new study, Lowell Nissen explores the use of teleological language in the study of subjects such as behaviorism, negative feedback, and natural selection. He argues that all existing analyses fail to explain how teleological language can be used legitimately, and he provides his own analysis in terms of intentionality. Philosophers and scientists alike will find this book of greatest interest and value.
We examine the influence of word choices on mathematical practice, i.e. in developing definitions, theorems, and proofs. As a case study, we consider Euclid’s and Euler’s word choices in their influential developments of geometry and, in particular, their use of the term ‘polyhedron’. Then, jumping to the twentieth century, we look at word choices surrounding the use of the term ‘polyhedron’ in the work of Coxeter and of Grünbaum. We also consider a recent and explicit conflict of approach between Grünbaum (...) and Shephard on the one hand and that of Hilton and Pedersen on the other, elucidating that the conflict was engendered by disagreement over the proper conceptualization, and so also the appropriate word choices, in the study of polyhedra. (shrink)
Though several editions of Locke's Letter of Toleration art available, the unique value of this volume lies in the fact that it conbines both the text of the Letter and interpretative, critical essays. Several essays are reprints of the most important articles on the Letter , but there is also new material , specially commissioned for the volume and published here for the first time. Given the importance of Locke's Letter on Toleration , this volume will be welcomed by both (...) students and teachers of political philosophy, the history of political thought, as well as philosophy and politics generally. (shrink)
The content of dreams and changes to the self were investigated in students moving to University. In study 1, 20 participants completed dream diaries and memory tasks before and after they had left home and moved to university, and generated self images, “I am…” statements , reflective of their current self. Changes in “I ams” were observed, indicating a newly-formed ‘university’ self. These self, images and related autobiographical knowledge were found to be incorporated into recent dreams but not into dreams (...) from other periods. Study 2 replicated these findings in a different sample . We suggest that these data reflect a period of self-consolidation in which new experiences and self images are incorporated into autobiographical memory knowledge structures representing personal goals during sleep. (shrink)
This article discusses the implications of moral dissonance for managers, and how dissonance induced self justification can create an amplifying feedback loop and downward spiral of immoral behaviour. After addressing the nature of moral dissonance, including the difference between moral and hedonistic dissonance, the writer then focuses on dissonance reduction strategies available to managers such as rationalization, self affirmation, self justification, etc. It is noted that there is a considerable literature which views the organization as a potentially corrupting institution and (...) a source of acute levels of moral dissonance. A simplified process model linking immoral behaviour, dissonance and rationalization is mooted, and some recent theories which question traditional dissonance models, including the free choice paradigm (FCP), are considered. The writer concludes that in the light of the above mentioned critical theories, it may be assumed that the levels of moral dissonance, and the extent of rationalization/self justification amongst managers, are more a function of personality and situational factors than previously assumed. (shrink)
This article is the first in a series that looks at the technological transformation of Des Moines Public Schools. It concentrates on the costs, some financial but mostly human and organizational, that are emerging as the district begins to implement its plans for dramatically increasing computer technology use. The conclusion reached here is that not only ave the costs been greatly underestimated, they may even force a gradual shift of control over the learning environment.
There are compelling medical, ethical, and legal arguments that support mandating use of a central institutional review board for the review of clinical trials performed at multiple institutional sites. Progress against serious diseases depends on this.
There are many cases in which, by making some great sacrifice, you could bring about either a good outcome or a very good outcome. In some of these cases, it seems wrong for you to bring about the good outcome, since you could bring about the very good outcome with no additional sacrifice. It also seems permissible for you not to make the sacrifice, and bring about neither outcome. But together, these claims seem to imply that you ought to bring (...) about neither outcome rather than the good outcome. And that seems very counterintuitive. In this paper, I develop this problem, propose a solution, and then draw out some implications both for how we should understand supererogation and for how we should approach charitable giving. (shrink)
Despite the recent advances in information and communication technology that have increased our ability to store and circulate information, the task of ensuring that the right sorts of information gets to the right sorts of people remains. We argue that the many efforts underway to develop efficient means for sharing information across healthcare systems and organizations would benefit from a careful analysis of human action in healthcare organizations. This in turn requires that the management of information and knowledge within healthcare (...) organizations be combined with models of resources and processes of patient care that are based on a general ontology of social interaction. The Health Level 7 (HL7) is one of several ANSI-accredited Standards Developing Organizations operating in the healthcare arena. HL7 has advanced a widely used messaging standard that enables healthcare applications to exchange clinical and administrative data in digital form. HL7 focuses on the interface requirements of the entire healthcare system and not exclusively on the requirements of one area of healthcare such as pharmacy, medical devices, imaging or insurance transactions. This has inspired the development of a powerful abstract model of patient care called the Reference Information Model (RIM). The present paper begins with an overview of the core classes of the HL7 (Version 3) RIM and a brief discussion of its “actcentered” view of healthcare. Central to this account is what is called the life cycle of events. A clinical action may progress from defined, through planned and ordered, to executed. These modalities of an action are represented as the mood of the act. We then outline the basis of an ontology of organizations, starting from the theory of speech Acts, and apply this ontology to the HL7 RIM. Special attention is given to the sorts of preconditions that must be satisfied for the successful performance of a speech act and to the sorts of entities to which speech acts give rise (e.g. obligations, claims, commitments, etc.). Finally we draw conclusions for the efficient communication and management of medical information and knowledge within and between healthcare organizations, paying special attention to the role that medical documents play in such organizations. (shrink)
Despite the recent advances in information and communication technology that have increased our ability to store and circulate information, the task remains of ensuring that the right sorts of information reach the right sorts of people. In what follows we defend the thesis that efforts to develop efficient means for sharing information across healthcare systems and organizations would benefit from a careful analysis of human action in healthcare organizations, and that the communication of healthcare information and knowledge needs to rest (...) on a sound ontology of social interaction. We illustrate this thesis in relation to the HL7 RIM, which is one centrally important tool for communication in the healthcare domain. (shrink)
The founding of the Lowell Observatory has been neglected by historians in favour of Lowell's Martian research. Important in its own right, the founding must be understood in the scientific and cultural context of the 1890s. The cultural institutions of Boston, especially Harvard College, facilitated the collaboration between Lowell and W. H. Pickering which was necessary to launch the new observatory. While Lowell turned to Harvard and the Pickering brothers for expertise, he also struggled to protect (...) his observatory's autonomy against the imperial ambitions of the larger institution. Without Lowell's determination, the Lowell Observatory might very well have become, like Arequipa, another station in Harvard network. (shrink)
Abstract One of the distinctive developments of the postwar era in the United States has been the relative decline in the economic significance of labor unions. Melvyn Dubofsky offers the hypothesis that this has resulted from a shift in public policy that represents a return to pre?New Deal notions of the proper relationship between government and unions. But a much more likely explanation lies in the changing nature of American life. Increases in education and advances in transportation and communications have (...) weakened greatly the traditional worker?versus?capitalist paradigm that is at the core of Dubofsky's thinking. As this has happened, labor unions have increasingly become relics of a previous age. (shrink)
This classic text in American Philosophy by one of the foremost figures in American philosophy offers a concise analysis of the various factors in human nature which go toward forming a religion, to exhibit the inevitable transformation of religion with the transformation of knowledge and to direct attention to the foundation of religion on our apprehension of those permanent elements by reason of which there is a stable order in the world, permanent elements apart from which there could be no (...) changing world. (shrink)
In Justice as Impartiality Brian Barry seeks to present ‘a universally valid case in favour of liberal egalitarian principles’. It is an ambitious enterprise undertaken with originality, vigour, and wit; and containing a wealth of interesting argumentation. If, ultimately, Barry fails in the task he sets himself, as I shall argue he does, the attempt is none the less highly instructive; not only because of the many local successes in his arguments with proponents of alternative theories and his often illuminating (...) discussions of particular issues, but also because of the lessons to be learnt from his failure. For if even Barry's formidable defence of a contractualist, neutralist liberalism does not succeed then there may be good reason to think that none will. While this larger claim will not be fully justified here, and the case against justice as impartiality does not depend upon it, one of my deeper motivating concerns is to try to show that the most important failures in Barry's argument are inextricably bound up with the nature of his undertaking. We are concerned, I believe, not just with some inevitable imperfections of execution but with a flawed project. (shrink)
This article sets out some of the key features of a realist critique of liberal moralism, identifying descriptive inadequacy and normative irrelevance as the two fundamental lines of criticism. It then sketches an outline of a political theory of modus vivendi as an alternative, realist approach to political theory. On this account a modus vivendi should be understood as any political settlement that involves the preservation of peace and security and is generally acceptable to those who are party to it. (...) In conclusion, some problems with this conception of modus vivendi and with a realist political theory more generally are discussed. In particular, the question is raised of whether a realist political theory should be understood as an alternative to liberal moralism or only a better way of doing basically the same kind of thing. (shrink)
In recent decades there has been a great expansion in the number, size and influence of International Non-Governmental Organisations involved in international relief and development. These changes have led to increased scrutiny of such organisations, and this scrutiny, together with increasing reflection by INGOs themselves and their staff on their own practice, has helped to highlight a number of pressing ethical questions such organisations face, such as: should INGOs attempt to provide emergency assistance even when doing so risks helping to (...) fuel further conflict? How should INGOs manage any differences between their values and those of the people they seek to benefit? How open and honest should INGOs be about their own uncertainties and failures? This book consists of sustained reflections on such questions. It derives from a workshop held at Melbourne University in July 2007 that brought together a group of people – for the most part, reflective practitioners and moral and political philosophers – to discuss such questions. It explores honestly some of the current challenges and dilemmas that INGOs face, and also suggests some new ideas for meeting these challenges. Our hope is that the kind of explicit reflection on the ethical issues INGOs face exemplified in this publication will help to promote a wider debate about these issues, a debate that in turn will help INGO managers and others to make better, wiser, more ethically informed decisions. (shrink)
This study investigated the differences in responses of undergraduate business students to an ethical dilemma. Demographic characteristics were collected on the respondents and profiled as a means of examining common bases for decision. The authors found that certain demographic characteristics appear to be predictors of ethical decision behavior of future businessmen.
Is there any number of people you should save from paralysis rather than saving one person from death? Is there any number of people you should save from a headache rather than saving one person from death? Many people answer ‘yes’ and ‘no’, respectively. They therefore accept a partially aggregative moral view. Patrick Tomlin has recently argued that the most promising partially aggregative views in the literature have implausible implications in certain cases in which there are additions or subtractions to (...) the groups of people that we can save. Several philosophers have begun responding to this argument by developing partially aggregative views that avoid the relevant implications. In this paper, I extend Tomlin’s argument to create a dilemma that no partially aggregative view can avoid. I conclude that we should accept a fully aggregative moral view. (shrink)
In their paper Horton et al argue that it is acceptable to contact an anonymous egg-donor to facilitate diagnostic genetic testing for the donor conceived child, despite the donor, ‘indicating on a historical consent form that she did not wish to take part in future research, and that she did not wish to be informed if she was found to be a carrier of a “harmful inherited condition”’. There are a number of claims embedded in Horton et al’s (...) position that it is acceptable to contact the donor and request that she at least think about participating in genetic testing. In this response. I will go through their main claims and argue that the area of genomic medicine does not justify exceptions to general consent conditions as the authors suppose and conclude that the donor should not be contacted. I will then go on to suggest a policy change that would address Horton et al’s concerns but would not involve over-riding any previously expressed wishes. (shrink)
Horton and Gerrig outlined a memory-based processing model of conversational common ground that provided a description of how speakers could both strategically and automatically gain access to information about others through domain-general memory processes acting over ordinary memory traces. In this article, we revisit this account, reviewing empirical findings that address aspects of this memory-based model. In doing so, we also take the opportunity to clarify what we believe this approach implies about the cognitive psychology of common ground, and (...) just as important, what it does not imply. We also highlight related areas of research demonstrating how general cognitive processes can constrain access to relevant knowledge in ways that shape both language production and comprehension. (shrink)