The author is primarily concerned with the explanation of behavior in regard to (1) the mecanical model, (2) the effects of physical-organic processes on behavior, (3) the lack of understanding between philosophers and psychologists as to sufficient conditions for predicting a behavioral event, (4) conditions leading to expalantions of behavior that could predict behavior exclusive of any antecedent psychological behavior, and (5) variations of the mechanical-model introducing differing sorts of explanation. (staff).
An instrument to assess 'ethical sensitivity' has been developed. The instrument presents four clinical vignettes and the respondent is asked to list the ethical issues related to each vignette. The responses are classified, post hoc, into the domains of autonomy, beneficence and justice. This instrument was used in 1990 to assess the ethical sensitivity of students in all four medical classes at the University of Toronto. Ethical sensitivity, as measured by this instrument, is not related to age or grade-point average. (...) Sensitivity increases between the 1st and 2nd year and then decreases throughout the rest of undergraduate medical training, such that the 4th-year students identify fewer issues than those entering medical school. Students expressing a career choice of family medicine identify more issues than their peers. Several problems with the use of the instrument and the interpretation of the data were found. Nonetheless, these findings, if reproducible, are important and their meaning needs further discussion. (shrink)
Aim To explore the views in non-Western cultures about ending the lives of damaged newborns.Method 254 university students from India and 150 from Kuwait rated the acceptability of ending the lives of newborns with genetic defects in 54 vignettes consisting of all combinations of four factors: gestational age ; severity of genetic defect ; the parents’ attitude about prolonging care ; and the procedure used .Results Four clusters were identified by cluster analysis and subjected to analysis of variance. Cluster I, (...) labelled ‘Never Acceptable’, included 4% of the Indians and 59% of the Kuwaitis. Cluster II, ‘No Firm Opinion’, had little variation in rating from one scenario to the next; it included 38% of the Indians and 18% of the Kuwaitis. In Cluster III, ‘Parents’ Attitude+Severity+Procedure’, all three factors affected the ratings; it was composed of 18% of the Indians and 16% of the Kuwaitis. Cluster IV was called ‘Severity+Parents’ Attitude’ because these had the strongest impact; it was composed of 40% of the Indians and 7% of the Kuwaitis.Conclusions In accordance with the teachings of Islam versus Hinduism, Kuwaiti students were more likely to oppose ending a newborn's life under all conditions, Indian students more likely to favour it and to judge its acceptability in light of the different circumstances. (shrink)
Sense of agency is a compelling but fragile experience that is augmented or attenuated by internal signals and by external cues. A disruption in SoA may characterise individual symptoms of mental illness such as delusions of control. Indeed, it has been argued that generic SoA disturbances may lie at the heart of delusions and hallucinations that characterise schizophrenia. A clearer understanding of how sensorimotor, perceptual and environmental cues complement, or compete with, each other in engendering SoA may prove valuable in (...) deepening our understanding the agency disruptions that characterise certain focal neurological disorders and mental illnesses. Here we examine the integration of SoA cues in health and illness, describing a simple framework of this integration based on Bayesian principles. We extend this to consider how alterations in cue integration may lead to aberrant experiences of agency. (shrink)
Theoretical commentaries on AI often operate as a metadiscourse on the way in which science represents itself to a wider public. The sciences and humanities do the same kind of work but in different fields that encourage them to talk about their work differently: science refers to a natural world that does not talk back, and the humanities refer continually to a world with communicative people in it. This paper suggests that much AI commentary is misconceived because it models itself (...) on the way that science represents itself, rather than on the actual practice of science.AI theorists have become increasingly worried about the lack of evaluation in AI, the lack of reflexivity, and the lack of contact with society. Frequently these writers turn to concepts of tacit knowledge to work through these worries. In doing so they are recognising the problem of AI's second-order representation of science and trying to deal with it. However, this recognition of a problem with the representations of science simply turns back to the legitimation crisis of Western politics where many commentators use science precisely as a ‘model’ for western political institutions. They do so because science is one of the few areas of knowledge where it has been legitimate to use plausible methodology for representation that allows for arbitrary designations of authority as well as parallel systems of different authority. However, the plausible rejects any control on reflexivity, assumes an ethnocentric club culture and does not address social context.It is in this sense that the problems of legitimation in political liberalism are similar to those of legitimation in sciences, both are rooted in their uses of representation. AI's link with the representation of science places it in the heart of this debate about legitimacy. This paper suggests that AI does need to learn about reflexivity and that it might well do so by looking at the recent work on experimentation and representation by historians of science, and by looking to the debates about representation by historians of science, and by looking to the debates about representation within the humanities. However, reflexivity may not be enough. Devising rules of thumb for the appropriate halting of reflexivity, is also needed to address social context and take action. (shrink)
Recent advances in string theory and inﬂationary cosmology have led to a surge of interest in the possible existence of an ensemble of cosmic regions, or “universes”, among the members of which key physical parameters, such as the masses of elementary particles and the coupling constants, might assume diﬀerent values. The observed values in our cosmic region are then attributed to an observer selection eﬀect (the so-called anthropic principle). The assemblage of universes has been dubbed “the multiverse”. In this paper (...) we review the multiverse concept and the criticisms that have been advanced against it on both scientiﬁc and philosophical grounds. (shrink)
In this sweeping survey, acclaimed science writers Paul Davies and John Gribbin provide a complete overview of advances in the study of physics that have revolutionized modern science. From the weird world of quarks and the theory of relativity to the latest ideas about the birth of the cosmos, the authors find evidence for a massive paradigm shift. Developments in the studies of black holes, cosmic strings, solitons, and chaos theory challenge commonsense concepts of space, time, and matter, and demand (...) a radically altered and more fully unified view of the universe. (shrink)
Two crucial topics in the philosophy of medicine are the philosophy of nature and philosophical anthropology. In this essay I engage the philosophy of nature by exploring Anne Fagot-Largeault's study of norms in nature as a way of articulating a Confucian philosophy of medicine. I defend the Confucian position as a moderate naturalism.
Given a physical system, one knows that there is a logical duality between its properties and its states. In this paper, we choose its states as the undefined notions of our axiomatic construction. In fact, by means of well-motivated assumptions expressed in terms of a transition probability function defined on the set of all pure states of the system, we construct a system of elementary propositions, i.e., a complete orthomodular atomic lattice satisfying the covering law. We also study in this (...) framework the important notion of compatibility of propositions, and we define the superpositions and the mixtures of the states of the physical system. (shrink)
The author proposes to delineate the basic outlines of an entirely new religio-metaphysical foundation for the religious, moral, and social convictions of modern Western man—an admittedly ambitious undertaking. More specifically, he wishes to nail the lid on the coffin of "the so-called Aristotelian substantialism," by means of an "interpretational synthesis" of the thought of Whitehead and that of Heidegger. Accordingly, he argues for an organismic view of history, according to which the event of the life-death-resurrection of Christ reveals the structure (...) and hence the meaning of history and of being. Man's appropriation of this meaning is characterized in roughly Bultmannian terms, though with somewhat more stress on the role of the Church qua social institution and on the empirically factual character of the crucial events comprising the over-all Christ-event than Bultmann lays. This essay is best regarded as another instance of the current phenomenon most notably instanced by Bishop Robinson's Honest to God and the debate it has initiated.—P. C. M. (shrink)
Paul Davies explains the significance of the amazing quantum universe, where fact is stranger than any science fiction. He takes us into a world where commonsense notions of space, time, and causality must be left behind as the realm of solid matter dissolves into vibrating patterns of ghostly energy, and where mind and matter are interwoven in a subtle and holistic manner. An Australian physicist and author of GOD AND THE NEW PHYSICS, Davies writes for the lay reader in simple (...) language. (shrink)