We describe delusional disorder–jealous type (“morbid jealousy”) with the adaptationist perspective used by Darwinian psychiatrists and evolutionary psychologists to explain the relatively common existence and continued prevalence of mental disorders. We then apply the “harmful dysfunction” analysis to morbid jealousy, including a discussion of this disorder as (1) an end on a continuum of normal jealousy or (2) a discrete entity. (Published Online November 9 2006).
We suggest that morbid jealousy falls on the extreme end of a jealousy continuum. Thus, many features associated with normal jealousy will be present in individuals diagnosed with morbid jealousy. We apply Boyer & Lienard's (B&L's) prediction one (P1; target article, sect. 7.1) to morbid jealousy, suggesting that fitness-related life-cycle dimensions predict sensitivity to cues, and frequency, intensity, and content of intrusive thoughts of partner infidelity. (Published Online February 8 2007).
Algorithms, or rather algorithmic actions, are seen as problematic because they are inscrutable, automatic, and subsumed in the flow of daily practices. Yet, they are also seen to be playing an important role in organizing opportunities, enacting certain categories, and doing what David Lyon calls “social sorting.” Thus, there is a general concern that this increasingly prevalent mode of ordering and organizing should be governed more explicitly. Some have argued for more transparency and openness, others have argued for more democratic (...) or value-centered design of such actors. In this article, we argue that governing practices—of, and through algorithmic actors—are best understood in terms of what Foucault calls governmentality. Governmentality allows us to consider the performative nature of these governing practices. They allow us to show how practice becomes problematized, how calculative practices are enacted as technologies of governance, how such calculative practices produce domains of knowledge and expertise, and finally, how such domains of knowledge become internalized in order to enact self-governing subjects. In other words, it allows us to show the mutually constitutive nature of problems, domains of knowledge, and subjectivities enacted through governing practices. In order to demonstrate this, we present attempts to govern academic writing with a specific focus on the algorithmic action of Turnitin. (shrink)
This paper presents a Heideggerian phenomenological analysis of screens. In a world and an epoch where screens pervade a great many aspects of human experience, we submit that phenomenology, much in a traditional methodological form, can provide an interesting and novel basis for our understanding of screens. We ground our analysis in the ontology of Martin Heidegger's Being and Time [1927/1962], claiming that screens will only show themselves as they are if taken as screens-in-the-world. Thus, the phenomenon of screen is (...) not investigated in its empirical form or conceptually. It is rather taken as a grounding intentional orientation that conditions our engagement with certain surfaces as we comport ourselves towards them “as screens.” In doing this we claim to have opened up the phenomenon of screen in a new and meaningful way. (shrink)
This article is about our relationship with things; about the abundant material geographies that surround us and constitute the very possibility for us to be the beings that we are. More speciﬁcally, it is about the question of the possibility of an ethical encounter with things (qua things). We argue, with the science and technology studies tradition (and Latour in particular), that we are the beings that we are through our entanglements with things, we are thoroughly hybrid beings, cyborgs through (...) and through – we have never been otherwise. With Heidegger we propose that a human-centred ethics of hybrids will fail to open a space for an ethical encounter with things since all beings in the sociomaterial network – humans and non-human alike – end up circulating as objects, enframed as ‘standing reserve’, things-for-the-purposes-of the network. We suggest that what is needed is an ethos beyond ethics, or the overcoming of an ethics – which is based on the will to power – towards an ethos of letting be. We elaborate such a possibility with the help of Heidegger, in particular with reference to the work of Graham Harman and his notion of ‘tool-being’. From this we propose, very tentatively, an ethos that has as its ground a poetic dwelling with things, a way of being that lets being be (Gelassenheit). We show how such a poetic dwelling, or ethos of Gelassenheit, may constitute the impossible possibility of a very otherwise way of being with things – an ethos of a ‘community of those who have nothing in common’ as suggested by Alphonso Lingis. (shrink)
This paper is an attempt to present disclosive ethics as a framework for computer and information ethics – in line with the suggestions by Brey, but also in quite a different manner. The potential of such an approach is demonstrated through a disclosive analysis of facial recognition systems. The paper argues that the politics of information technology is a particularly powerful politics since information technology is an opaque technology – i.e. relatively closed to scrutiny. It presents the design of technology (...) as a process of closure in which design and use decisions become black-boxed and progressively enclosed in increasingly complex socio-technical networks. It further argues for a disclosive ethics that aims to disclose the nondisclosure of politics by claiming a place for ethics in every actual operation of power – as manifested in actual design and use decisions and practices. It also proposes that disclosive ethics would aim to trace and disclose the intentional and emerging enclosure of politics from the very minute technical detail through to social practices and complex social-technical networks. The paper then proceeds to do a disclosive analysis of facial recognition systems. This analysis discloses that seemingly trivial biases in recognition rates of FRSs can emerge as very significant political acts when these systems become used in practice. (shrink)
This paper will address the question of the morality of technology. I believe this is an important question for our contemporary society in which technology, especially information technology, is increasingly becoming the default mode of social ordering. I want to suggest that the conventional manner of conceptualising the morality of technology is inadequate – even dangerous. The conventional view of technology is that technology represents technical means to achieve social ends. Thus, the moral problem of technology, from this perspective, is (...) the way in which the given technical means are applied to particular (good or bad) social ends. In opposition to this I want to suggest that the assumed separation, of this approach, between technical means and social ends are inappropriate. It only serves to hide the most important political and ethical dimensions of technology. I want to suggest that the morality of technology is much more embedded and implicit than such a view would suggest. In order to critique this approach I will draw on phenomenology and the more recent work of Bruno Latour. With these intellectual resources in mind I will propose disclosive ethics as a way to make the morality of technology visible. I will give a brief account of this approach and show how it might guide our␣understanding of the ethics and politics of technology by considering two examples of contemporary information technology: search engines and plagiarism detection systems. (shrink)
This paper is about the phenomenon of encoding, more specifically about the encoded extension of agency. The question of code most often emerges from contemporary concerns about the way digital encoding is seen to be transforming our lives in fundamental ways, yet seems to operate ‘under the surface’ as it were. In this essay I suggest that the performative outcomes of digital encoding are best understood within a more general horizon of the phenomenon of encoding – that is to say (...) as norm- or rule-governed material enactments accepted as the necessary conditions for becoming. Encoded material enactments translate/extend agency, but never exactly. I argue that such encoded extensions are insecure, come at a cost and are performative. To illustrate this I present a brief discussion of some specific historical transitions in the encoding of human agency: from speech to writing, to mechanical writing, and finally to electronic writing. In each of these translations I aim to show that agency is translated/extended in ways that have many unexpected performative outcomes. Specifically, through a discussion of the digital encoding of writing, as reuse, I want to suggest the proposition that all agency is always borrowed – i.e. it is never originally human. As encoded beings we are never authors, we are rather more or less skilful reusers. To extend agency we have to submit to the demands of encoding and kidnap that encoding simultaneously – enabling constraints in Butler’s language. Our originality, if there is any, is in our skill at kidnapping the code and turning it into an extension of our agency, that is to say, our skill at resignification – to be original we need to be skilful ‘parasites’, as suggested by Serres. (shrink)
This paper assumes that the purpose of ethics is to open up a space for the possibility of moral conduct in the flow of everyday life. If this is the case then we can legitimately ask: "How then do we do ethics"? To attempt an answer to this important question, the paper presents some suggestions from the work of Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Derrida. With Levinas, it is argued that ethics happens in the singularity of the face of the Other (...) before me "here and now". Ethics matters in my everyday contact with the Other that disturbs my egological existence and claims my response. But what about all other Others, not here now but nevertheless simultaneously already present? What about their equal claim on me? With Levinas and Derrida, the paper attempts to articulate the notion of singular justice as the simultaneous demand of all others requiring my response. In singular justice, the paper attempts to show how the demands of ethics (the singular) and the demands of justice (all other Others) can become the impossible possibility for a "justice where there is no distinction between those close and those far off, but in which there also remains the impossibility of passing by the closest". Furthermore, the paper attempts to argue that singular justice is our calling - or more precisely my calling - to do the right thing, here and now. Finally, by way of explication, the paper discusses a case of software piracy to try to show how singular justice can help us not to think about ethics, which is important, but to (almost) do it - which is very important. (shrink)
This paper critically describes the mediation of social relations by information technology, drawing on the work of Emmanuel Levinas. In the first of three movements, I discuss ethical relations as primordial sociality based in proximity. In the second movement I discuss the how the self encounters the Other, the ethical contact. How can the self make contact with the Other without turning the Other into a theme, a concept or a category? In the third movement, I discuss the electronic mediation (...) of the social as simulation. I argue that simulation shatters proximity since it transforms expression, the trace, into presentation, an image. I argue that the distance produced by the mediation increases the potential for the Other to become appropriated by the self-certain ego as a theme, according to its categories. In simulation, proximity is shattered and the ego can no longer be disturbed---no longer become a hostage. In a final section, I explore alternative arguments for the possibility of electronic mediation that preserves the trace, that possibility of being disturbed. (shrink)
Sleep strengthens memories by repeatedly reactivating associated neuron ensembles. Our studies show that although long-term memory for a medium number of word-pairs benefits from sleep, a large number does not. This suggests an upper limit to the amount of information that has access to sleep-dependent declarative memory consolidation, which is possibly linked to the availability of reactivation opportunities. Due to competing processes of global forgetting that are active during sleep, we hypothesized that even larger amounts of information would enhance the (...) proportion of information that is actively forgotten during sleep. In the present study, we aimed to induce such forgetting by challenging the sleeping brain with vast amounts of to be remembered information. For this, 78 participants learned a very large number of 640 word-pairs interspersed with periods of quiet awake rest over the course of an entire day and then either slept or stayed awake during the night. Recall was tested after another night of regular sleep. Results revealed comparable retention rates between the sleep and wake groups. Although this null-effect can be reconciled with the concept of limited capacities available for sleep-dependent consolidation, it contradicts our hypothesis that sleep would increase forgetting compared to the wake group. Additional exploratory analyses relying on equivalence testing and Bayesian statistics reveal that there is evidence against sleep having a detrimental effect on the retention of declarative memory at high information loads. We argue that forgetting occurs in both wake and sleep states through different mechanisms, i.e., through increased interference and through global synaptic downscaling, respectively. Both of these processes might scale similarly with information load. (shrink)
The dramatic increase in the number of overseas students studying in the United Kingdom and other Western countries has required academics to reevaluate many aspects of their own, and their institutions', practices. This article considers differing cultural values among overseas students toward plagiarism and the implications this may have for postgraduate education in a Western context. Based on focus-group interviews, questionnaires, and informal discussions, we report the views of plagiarism among students in 2 postgraduate management programs, both of which had (...) a high constituency of overseas students. We show that plagiarist practices are often the outcome of many complex and culturally situated influences. We suggest that educators need to appreciate these differing cultural assumptions if they are to act in an ethical manner when responding to issues of plagiarism among international students. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue for the impossible possibility of an ethical dwelling with technology. In arguing for an ethical comportment in our dealing with technology, I am not only arguing for the consideration of the ethical implications of technology (which we already do) but also, and more importantly, for an ethics of technological artefacts qua technology. Thus, I attempt to argue for a decentering (or rather overcoming) of anthropocentric ethics, urging us to move beyond any centre, whatever it may (...) beâanthropological, biological, etc. I argue that if we take ethics seriously we must admit that our measure cannot be that of man. To develop the argument, I use an episode in Star Trek where the fate of the highly sophisticated android Commander Data is to be decided. I show how the moral reasoning about Data remains anthropocentric but hints to other possibilities. I proceed to use the work of Derrida and Levinas (with some help from Heidegger) to suggest a possible way to think (and do) an ethos beyond traditional ethicsâan ethics of hospitality in which we dwell in a community of those that have nothing in common. (shrink)
Does it make sense to talk about cyberspace as an alternative social reality? Is cyberspace the new frontier for the realization of the postmodern self? For philosophers Taylor and Saarinen, and the psychologist Turkle, cyberspace is the practical manifestation of a postmodern reality, or rather hyperreality. In hyperreal cyberspace, they argue, identity becomes plastic, “I can change my self as easily as I change my clothes.” I will argue using Martin Heidegger that our being is being-in-the-world. To be-in-the-world means to (...) be involved in the world; to have an involvement whole that is the always already present significance of what I do. Furthermore, that the making or choosing of self is only existentially meaningful in a horizon of significance, an involvement whole. I will argue that identity is tied to community, and community involves accepting some level of already there thrownness. Every cyber-traveler will eventually have to deal with the fact of being, always already, in-the-world. (shrink)
Modern technologies are providing unprecedented opportunities for surveillance. In the workplace surveillance technology is being built into the very infrastructure of work. Can the employee legitimately resist this increasingly pervasive net of surveillance? The employers argue that workplace surveillance is essential for security, safety, and productivity in increasingly competitive markets. They argue that they have a right to ensure that they 'get what they pay for', furthermore, that the workplace is a place of 'work' which by its very definition excludes (...) the 'personal' dimension at the core of all privacy claims. Legal developments, especially in the USA, seem to favour such an interpretation. The individual's call for workplace privacy seems illegitimate in a context where the 'personal' is almost excluded by default. In this paper I want to argue that the private/public distinction is not useful in the context of workplace surveillance since it always seems possible to argue that the workplace is always and only 'public'---thereby leaving the employee without resources to defend their claim. Such a position belies the fact that the fundamental claim of workplace privacy is not a claim for some personal space as such but rather a claim for the protection against the inherently political interests in the 'gaze' of the employer. Furthermore, that it is probably impossible, in practice, to separate the public from the private in the flow of everyday work. Thus, it seems that one needs to develop another approach to think through the issues at stake. I will argue that the distribution of privacy rights and transparency rights is rather a matter of organisational justice. I will suggest that we may use theories of justice---in particular the work of Rawls---to develop a framework of distributive justice for distributing privacy and transparency between the collective and the individual in a way that is fair. I will contend that such an approach will provide the employee with resources to defend their legitimate claim to workplace privacy. (shrink)
It is a truism that the design and deployment of information and communication technologies is vital to everyday life, the conduct of work and to social order. But how are individual, organisational and societal choices made? What might it mean to invoke a politics and an ethics of information technology design and use? This editorial paper situates these questions within the trajectory of preoccupations and approaches to the design and deployment of information technology since computerisation began in the 1940s. Focusing (...) upon the dominant concerns over the last three decades, the paper delineates an interest in design and use in relation to socio-technical theories, situated practices and actor-network theory. It is argued that each of these approaches is concerned with a particular form of politics that does not explicitly engage with ethics. In order to introduce ethics into contemporary debates about information technology, and to frame the papers in the special issue, it is argued that Levinas’ ethics is particularly valuable in problematising the relationship between politics and ethics. Levinas provides a critique of modernity’s emphasis on politics and the egocentric self. It is from a Levinasian concern with the Other and the primacy of the ethical that a general rethinking of the relationship between politics, ethics and justice in relation to information and communication technologies can be invoked. (shrink)