Las corrientes filosóficas de inspiración cartesiana tarde o temprano tienen que afrontar el solipsismo como un resultado al menos plausible de su desarrollo. La Fenomenología no podía evitar la misma suerte. Después de un rápido panorama en lo tocante a la fenomenología husserliana y el solipsismo, pasamos a exponer críticamente el texto de las Meditaciones cartesianas de Husserl, específicamente la quinta. Intentaremos señalar la insuficiencia de la exposición husserliana a la hora de superar, desde sus propias bases, la amenaza del (...) solipsismo. (shrink)
BackgroundOrgan transplantation represents the most effective and acceptable therapy for end-stage organ failure. However, its frequent practice often leads to a shortage of organs worldwide. To solve this dilemma, some countries, such as Portugal, have switched from an opt-in to an opt-out system, which has raised concerns about respect for individual autonomy. We aimed to evaluate whether young university students are aware of this opt-out system so that they can make informed, autonomous and conscious decisions, as well as to identify (...) the factors that determine a positive attitude toward post-mortem organ donation.MethodsAn observational, cross-sectional study was developed and a questionnaire was administered to first-year students from six faculties of the University of Porto.ResultsOf the 841 participants, 60% were unaware that Portugal had adopted an opt-out system. Among the informed individuals, their main sources of information included social media, internet, and family. Furthermore, only 48% of all participants agreed with the current opt-out system. Female sex, knowledge of the law and family being the primary source of information were independent factors associated with a positive attitude toward post-mortem organ donation law.ConclusionsThere is a significant lack of knowledge among young university students regarding the presumed post-mortem organ donation law and how it works. Female sex, having family as a primary source of information and being aware of the presumed post-mortem organ donation law are the strongest independent factors that determine a positive attitude toward the opt-out system. (shrink)
How should autonomous vehicles be programmed to behave in the event of an unavoidable accident in which the only choice open is one between causing different damages or losses to different objects or persons? This paper addresses this ethical question starting from the normative principles elaborated in the law to regulate difficult choices in other emergency scenarios. In particular, the paper offers a rational reconstruction of some major principles and norms embedded in the Anglo-American jurisprudence and case law on the (...) “doctrine of necessity”; and assesses which, if any, of these principles and norms can be utilized to find reasonable guidelines for solving the ethical issue of the regulation of the programming of autonomous vehicles in emergency situations. The paper covers the following topics: the distinction between “justification” and “excuse”, the legal prohibition of intentional killing outside self-defence, the incommensurability of goods, and the legal constrains to the use of lethal force set by normative positions: obligations, responsibility, rights, and authority. For each of these principles and constrains the possible application to the programming of autonomous vehicles is discussed. Based on the analysis, some practical suggestions are offered. (shrink)
When should we use care robots? In this paper we endorse the shift from a simple normative approach to care robots ethics to a complex one: we think that one main task of a care robot ethics is that of analysing the different ways in which different care robots may affect the different values at stake in different care practices. We start filling a gap in the literature by showing how the philosophical analysis of the nature of healthcare activities can (...) contribute to robot ethics. We rely on the nature-of-activities approach recently proposed in the debate on human enhancement, and we apply it to the ethics of care robots. The nature-of-activities approach will help us to understand why certain practice-oriented activities in healthcare should arguably be left to humans, but certain goal-directed activities in healthcare can be fulfilled with the assistance of a robot. In relation to the latter, we aim to show that even though all healthcare activities can be considered as practice-oriented, when we understand the activity in terms of different legitimate ‘fine-grained’ descriptions, the same activities or at least certain components of them can be seen as clearly goal-directed. Insofar as it allows us to ethically assess specific functionalities of specific robots to be deployed in well-defined circumstances, we hold the nature-of-activities approach to be particularly helpful also from a design perspective, i.e. to realize the Value Sensitive Design approach. (shrink)
In this paper, in line with the general framework of value-sensitive design, we aim to operationalize the general concept of “Meaningful Human Control” in order to pave the way for its translation into more specific design requirements. In particular, we focus on the operationalization of the first of the two conditions investigated: the so-called ‘tracking’ condition. Our investigation is led in relation to one specific subcase of automated system: dual-mode driving systems. First, we connect and compare meaningful human control with (...) a concept of control very popular in engineering and traffic psychology, and we explain to what extent tracking resembles and differs from it. This will help clarifying the extent to which the idea of meaningful human control is connected to, but also goes beyond, current notions of control in engineering and psychology. Second, we take the systematic analysis of practical reasoning as traditionally presented in the philosophy of human action and we adapt it to offer a general framework where different types of reasons and agents are identified according to their relation to an automated system’s behaviour. This framework is meant to help explaining what reasons and what agents play a role in controlling a given system, thereby enabling policy makers to produce usable guidelines and engineers to design systems that properly respond to selected human reasons. In the final part, we discuss a practical example of how our framework could be employed in designing automated driving systems. (shrink)
Evidence for incubation effects in problem-solving is increasing, but the mechanisms that underlie incubation are unclear. An experiment tested two hypotheses about incubation: Spreading activation and opportunistic assimilation. Participants solved easy or difficult remote associates tasks without incubation period, or with an incubation period filled with high or low cognitive load tasks. A lexical decision task with cue and neutral words was given either before or after a second problem attempt. When solving difficult problems, the low-load incubation group benefitted more (...) from the presence of a cue than the high-load incubation group, and the opposite was found with easy problems. Neither incubation nor an initial problem attempt affected lexical decision times to cue words. The results favour opportunistic assimilation as an explanation of incubation effects. They also suggest a differential role for attentional allocation depending on problem difficulty, easy problems benefitting from focused attent.. (shrink)
Ethics penetrates every aspect of Western education. Many of its dominant narratives — education as salvation, as progress, as panacea, and as liberation, for example — are infused with the ethical. Educators are compelled by ethical callings; in fact, education as the call of the ethical informs the singular and collective identities of educators. In this essay, Aparna Mishra Tarc troubles the role of the ethics in Western education using Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak’s deconstruction of the ethical in philosophy. Spivak’s deconstruction (...) reveals how an ethics based in one’s idea of what the Other is and should be violates the uniqueness of Others. Spivak challenges educators to examine vigilantly the ethico‐political assumptions and discourses underlying ethical acts in the classroom. Drawing on the writings of Emmanuel Levinas, mediated by the thinking of Jacques Derrida, Spivak re‐imagines ethics apart from — and as a part of — its metaphysical heritage. Tarc discusses aspects of Spivak’s vision for an education borne out of ethical singularity as hearing and responding to the Other’s call. Finally, she explores its implications for how one might begin to respond justly to the conditions of others within and alongside of one’s own intellectual and pedagogical engagements. (shrink)
The notion of “responsibility gap” with artificial intelligence was originally introduced in the philosophical debate to indicate the concern that “learning automata” may make more difficult or impossible to attribute moral culpability to persons for untoward events. Building on literature in moral and legal philosophy, and ethics of technology, the paper proposes a broader and more comprehensive analysis of the responsibility gap. The responsibility gap, it is argued, is not one problem but a set of at least four interconnected problems (...) – gaps in culpability, moral and public accountability, active responsibility—caused by different sources, some technical, other organisational, legal, ethical, and societal. Responsibility gaps may also happen with non-learning systems. The paper clarifies which aspect of AI may cause which gap in which form of responsibility, and why each of these gaps matter. It proposes a critical review of partial and non-satisfactory attempts to address the responsibility gap: those which present it as a new and intractable problem, those which dismiss it as a false problem, and those which reduce it to only one of its dimensions or sources and/or present it as a problem that can be solved by simply introducing new technical and/or legal tools. The paper also outlines a more comprehensive approach to address the responsibility gaps with AI in their entirety, based on the idea of designing socio-technical systems for “meaningful human control", that is systems aligned with the relevant human reasons and capacities. (shrink)
This paper explores how educators might intervene in canonized texts of the human subject on which a particular and exclusive kind of humanism rests. In imagining possible interventions educators might make, I turn to and trace Jacques Derrida's on‐going deconstruction of the philosophical texts of subjectivity. In his body of work, Derrida destabilizes fixed notions of the human subject and the institutions it founds . From Derrida's points of destabilization and through a differing but similar deconstructive stance, I also consider (...) Gayatri Spivak's suggestive question ‘Who is not the subject of humanism?’ to provide another possible trajectory for intervention that educators might take. Departing from knowledge‐based conceptions of human subjectivity, Spivak urges educators to respond to their students in meaningful encounter with the ‘Other’ while Derrida suggests human beings might begin the difficult and complex task of re‐envisioning an altered humanism, a humanism founded on the call of the Other in institutional sites like education. By an engaged rereading of the texts of human subjectivity upon which human beings are written and by turning to respond to the face of the human beings in and outside their classrooms as a means of encountering the Other's humanity, I suggest that educators be the catalyst for changing what it means to be human and education the means by which we approach a humanism yet to be. (shrink)
Her heart shared between Iran and Italy, while Asma Mehan makes peace with lockdown in her current home in Porto, Portugal, her thoughts stray to those familiar places. In those distant horizons there is heartache, but also the unexpected promise of different futures.
This paper proposes that autonomous vehicles should be designed to reduce light pollution. In support of this specific proposal, a moral assessment of autonomous vehicles more comprehensive than the dilemmatic life-and-death questions of trolley problem-style situations is presented. The paper therefore consists of two interrelated arguments. The first is that autonomous vehicles are currently still a technology in development, and not one that has acquired its definitive shape, meaning the design of both the vehicles and the surrounding infrastructure is open-ended. (...) Design for values is utilized to articulate a path forward, by which engineering ethics should strive to incorporate values into a technology during its development phase. Second, it is argued that nighttime lighting—a critical supporting infrastructure—should be a prima facie consideration for autonomous vehicles during their development phase. It is shown that a reduction in light pollution, and more boldly a better balance of lighting and darkness, can be achieved via the design of future autonomous vehicles. Two case studies are examined through which autonomous vehicles may be designed for “driving in the dark.” Nighttime lighting issues are thus inserted into a broader ethics of autonomous vehicles, while simultaneously introducing questions of autonomous vehicles into debates about light pollution. (shrink)
Autogestão, autoempreendedorismo, infotrabalho, trabalho intermitente, criptomoeda, uberização, proletariado de serviços e servidão digital delineiam uma série de designações indicativas das mudanças das condições de (re)produção do Capital nas suas formas contemporâneas. Grandes corporações como Google, Facebook e Amazon participam desse processo tanto no eixo da infraestrutura econômica, quanto na produção discursiva que sustenta ideologicamente as relações de trabalho determinadas pelo Aparelho Digital. Essa pesquisa elege como material específico de análise uma sequência de cursos oferecidos pelo “YouTube Academy” para a criação, (...) gerenciamento e divulgação de uma empresa associada à plataforma de vídeos do YouTube. O objetivo é investigar os modos de imbricação e/ou separação entre o sujeito e a empresa. Para construir os procedimentos analíticos, delimitamos as seguintes perguntas: Como as formas imaginárias do sujeito (o “eu”, a identidade e a individualidade) estão relacionadas com a criação e o funcionamento de uma empresa no YouTube? Como o trabalho e as relações de trabalho são significados nessa discursividade? O olhar discursivo é ainda guiado por compreensões de pesquisas anteriores: o modo como o “eu” é discursivizado em produto, o funcionamento da “empresa de si” como modelo de identificação e a empresarialidade. As referências passam por Michel Pêcheux, Eni Orlandi, Suzy Lagazzi, Luciana Nogueira, Guilherme Adorno, Joel Bombardelli, Pierre Dardot, Christian Laval e Ricardo Antunes. O conceito de político, compreendido discursivamente como conflito e disputa pelos sentidos - e seus efeitos de deslocamento, assim como o apagamento do político do lugar que lhe seria próprio - e o conceito de exterioridade discursiva são mais enfaticamente mobilizados na pesquisa, além das discussões em torno do discurso neoliberal e da psicologização do sujeito pelos efeitos discursivos de liberdade e autonomia. Um trabalho de análise da constituição da discursividade que tem o “sentido (já) lá” como resultado do efeito de exterioridade. Esperamos mostrar, assim, como, nas condições de produção sócio-históricas de um “Imperialismo Digital”, uma mudança da “economia política do poder-dizer” afeta os modos de circulação não só dos discursos, mas do próprio Capital. (shrink)
Porto Alegre est désormais un symbole politique, un symbole de la résistance à Davos pour un nouvel ordre mondial fondé sur l’ « inclusion sociale ». D’une ville méconnue en dehors des frontières de l’Amérique du Sud, elle est devenue un lieu de résistance contre la mondialisation, contre l’emprise des idées dites « néolibérales », comme si elle incarnait un autre monde..
When should humans enhance themselves? We try to answer this question by engaging in a conceptual analysis of the nature of different activities. We think that cognitive enhancement is morally impermissible in some practice-oriented activities, such as some educational activities, when it is the case both that cognitive enhancement would negatively affect the point of those activities and that we have good reasons to value that point. We then argue that cognitive enhancement should be allowed in two groups of cases, (...) namely in practice-oriented activities, such as recreational activities on which little moral value or social import hangs, and in some prominently goal-directed activities, such as high-responsibility professions, the goal of which has significant moral or social value. Finally, we argue that the use of efficacious and relatively safe cognitive enhancers may even be obligatory in those high-responsibility professions under certain special circumstances. (shrink)
Humans have developed the capacity to approve or disapprove of the behavior of their children and of unrelated individuals. The ability to approve or disapprove transformed social learning into a system of cumulative cultural inheritance, because it increased the reliability of cultural transmission. Moreover, people can transmit their behavioral experiences (regarding what can and cannot be done) to their offspring, thereby avoiding the costs of a laborious, and sometimes dangerous, evaluation of different cultural alternatives. Our thesis is that, during ontogeny, (...) the evaluative communication (approval/disapproval) between parents and offspring is substituted by other evaluative communications among peers, like individuals of the same generation. Each person belongs to a reference social group with individuals that interact more intensively. Humans have developed psychological mechanisms that enable cultural transmission by being receptive to parental advice as well as their reference social group. The selective pressure that promoted these new evaluative interactions arose to facilitate the establishment of efficient cooperative relationships. In short, the social control of behavior is essential to understand human cultural transmission. (shrink)
In front of deterritorialisation / reterritorialisation process one which characterize the globalization, we try to dread the elements of continuance and break which connect among them the Forums of Porto Alegre and Genoa; these two big mobilizations of citizens of world constitute, indeed, the most relevant repository in a debate on the city. By tempting these comparisons, we build an approach of the new cycle of internationalist fights which puts production and constitution of urbanterritories as main stakes in the (...) future developments of the movement. (shrink)
The philosophy and the magnitude of the Greek civilization perpetuated by History might mislead us by its strength and beauty. Conversely, when we carry on an in-depth analysis of the studies about this civilization we may grasp that alongside this alleged world of light and brightness a world of shadows and violence subsisted – predominantly in Athens, where the first democratic state emerged. The Athenian government failed to establish a reliable political administration of the City. The remedy for that situation (...) was to relegate trust only on those who detained awareness, which have the true knowledge: for Plato, wisdom is the crucial measure for recognizing whether one has the decision-making ability. (shrink)
David Shoemaker has claimed that a binary approach to moral responsibility leaves out something important, namely instances of marginal agency, cases where agents seem to be eligible for some responsibility responses but not others. In this paper we endorse and extend Shoemaker’s approach by presenting and discussing one more case of marginal agency not yet covered by Shoemaker or in the other literature on moral responsibility. Our case is that of Kenneth Parks, a Canadian man who drove a long way (...) to his mother-in-law’s and killed her in a state of somnambulism. We support our claim about Parks’ marginal responsibility in three steps: we first deny that Parks acts involuntarily as traditionally claimed in the legal literature; we then propose to extend Shoemaker’s analysis of marginal responsibility based on quality of will so as to include two other dimensions: the moral status of the agent and the actual causal effects of their actions; finally, we distinguish Parks’ marginal responsibility from four other existing concepts: “tracing”, diminished responsibility, causal responsibility, and moral disapproval without responsibility. (shrink)
Bertrand’s paradox ) can be considered as a cautionary memento, to practitioners and students of probability calculus alike, of the possible ambiguous meaning of the term ‘at random’ when the sample space of events is continuous. It deals with the existence of different possible answers to the following question: what is the probability that a chord, drawn at random in a circle of radius R, is longer than the side of an inscribed equilateral triangle? Physics can help to remove the (...) ambiguity by identifying an actual experiment, whose outcome is obviously unique and prescribes the physical variables to which the term ‘random’ can be correctly applied. In this paper, after briefly describing Bertrand’s paradox, we associate it with an experiment, which is basically a variation of the famous Buffon’s needle experiment for estimating the value of π. Its outcome is compared with the analytic predictions of probability calculus, that is with the probability distribution of variables whose uniform distribution can be considered a sound implementation of complete randomness. (shrink)
According to the dual inheritance theory, cultural learning in our species is a biased and highly efficient process of transmitting cultural traits. Here we define a model of cultural learning where social learning is integrated as a complementary element that facilitates the discovery of a specific behavior by an apprentice, and not as a mechanism that works in opposition to individual learning. In that context, we propose that the emergence of the ability to approve or disapprove of offspring behavior, orienting (...) their learning, transformed primate social learning into a cultural transmission system, like that which characterizes our species. Assessor teaching facilitates the replication and/or reconstruction of behaviors that are difficult to imitate and helps to determine which behaviors should be imitated. We also explore the form in which assessor teaching has conditioned the evolution of our abilities to develop cultures in the hominin line, converting us into individuals equipped with what we call a suadens psychology. Our main point is to defend the hypothesis that suadens psychology determines the stability and dynamics that affect the trajectories of many cultural characters. We compare our proposal with other theories about cultural evolution, specifically with dual inheritance theory and cultural attraction theory. (shrink)
This article offers an explanation of perhaps Wittgenstein’s strangest and least intuitive thesis – the semantical mutation thesis – according to which one can never answer a mathematical conjecture because the new proof alters the very meanings of the terms involved in the original question. Instead of basing our justification on the distinction between mere calculation and proofs of isolated propositions, characteristic of Wittgenstein’s intermediary period, we generalize it to include conjectures involving effective procedures as well.
In many experimental sciences, like particle physics or molecular biology, the proper place for establishing facts is the laboratory. In the sciences of population biology, however, the laboratory is often seen as a poor approximation of what occurs in nature. Results obtained in the field are usually more convincing. This raises special problems: it is much more difficult to obtain stable, repeatable results in the field, where environmental conditions vary out of the experimenter’s control, than in the laboratory. We examine (...) here how this problem affected an influential experimental research tradition in community ecology, the study of the ecology of the rocky seashores. In the 1960s, a handful of North-American ecologists, most notably Joseph Connell, Robert Paine and Paul Dayton, made the rocky seashores a model study system for experimenting in the field. Their experiments were deceptively simple: they removed species living on the seashore and described the resulting effects on the local ecology. These experiments exerted a deep influence on community ecology. They provided evidence for speculative developments concerning the theory of interspecific competition, the factors responsible for species richness and the ecology of food webs. They also stimulated novel conceptual developments. In particular, Paine developed the predation hypothesis, which states that the presence of predators can favour species richness, before introducing the keystone species concept, according to which some species exert disproportionate effects on ecological systems. More broadly, these experiments gave support to a methodological trend in favour of field experimentation. Only controlled perturbations in the field, it seemed, provided a reliable method to get insights into the structure of ecological communities. However, as experiments were continued in time and repeated in different sites, divergent results appeared. We analyse here how intertidal researchers coped with the variability of environmental conditions and tried to stabilize their results. In the process, they reconsidered not only their early conclusions, but also the exclusive status given to field experiments. Expanding on this case study, we discuss some significant differences between laboratory and field experiments. (shrink)