Efforts to improve patients’ understanding of their own medical treatments or research in which they are involved are progressing, especially with regard to informed consent procedures. We aimed to design a multisource informed consent procedure that is easily adaptable to both clinical and research applications, and to evaluate its effectiveness in terms of understanding and awareness, even in less educated patients.
The nature of space and time is one of the most fascinating and fundamental areas of the philosophy of physics. This study aims to provide a complete account of current debates in the application of spacetime to string theory. String theory has been an important discipline within physics for many years but is only now being applied to the problems faced by philosophers of science. This emerging area of physics is discussed in relation to a number of theories including general (...) relativity, T-duality and moduli space, and set in the context of current and future research. (shrink)
The ability of a group of adults with high functioning autism (HFA) or Asperger Syndrome (AS) to distinguish moral, conventional and disgust transgressions was investigated using a set of six transgression scenarios, each of which was followed by questions about permissibility, seriousness, authority contingency and justification. The results showed that although individuals with HFA or AS (HFA/AS) were able to distinguish affect-backed norms from conventional affect-neutral norms along the dimensions of permissibility, seriousness and authority-dependence, they failed to distinguish moral and (...) disgust transgressions along the seriousness dimension and were unable to provide appropriate welfare-based moral justifications. Moreover, they judged conventional and disgust transgressions to be more serious than did the comparison group, and the correlation analysis revealed that the seriousness rating was related to their ToM impairment. We concluded that difficulties providing appropriate moral justifications and evaluating the seriousness of transgressions in individuals with HFA/AS may be explained by an impaired cognitive appraisal system that, while responsive to rule violations, fails to use relevant information about the agent’s intentions and the affective impact of the action outcome in conscious moral reasoning. (shrink)
In this study, we investigated the relationships between judgments of intentionality and moral evaluation in individuals with High Functioning Autism (HFA) or Asperger Syndrome (AS). HFA or AS are neurodevelopmental disorders characterised by severe deficits in communication and social functioning. Impairments in Theory of Mind (ToM), i.e., the ability to attribute mental states to oneself and to others, are thought to be the core features of autism. Of all mental states, the concept of ‘intentional action’ is particularly important. People normally (...) distinguish between actions that are performed intentionally and those that are performed unintentionally and this distinction plays a crucial role in social understanding and moral judgment. Recently, Knobe (Analysis 63: 190–193, 2003a ), (Philosophical Psychology 16: 309–324, 2003b ) showed that people’s moral evaluations might serve as input to the process by which people intuitively arrive at the intentionality judgments. Here, by using two pairs of vignettes, the Knobe’s Harm/Help cases and Murder/Bull’s-eye cases, we showed that, as already observed in typical population, in individuals with HFA/AS judgment of intentional action is informed by the moral appreciation of the action outcome. However, the two groups differed on praise judgments and moral justifications, suggesting that these processes were poorly influenced by the agent’s psychological states. We concluded that, although under certain circumstances, individuals with HFA/AS and people with typical development have similar intuitive judgments of intentionality, over-assignment of praise judgments and the reduced use of folk-psychological concepts in moral judgment likely reflect difficulties using intentionality information for moral reasoning. (shrink)
The current study provides data about the immediate risk perceptions and psychological effects of the COVID-19 pandemic among Italian participants. A sample of 1034 volunteers answered a web-based survey which aimed to investigate the many facets of risk perceptions connected to COVID-19 (health, work, economy, social and psychological), and risk-related variables such as knowledge, news seeking, perceived control, efficacy of containment measures, and affective states. Socio-demographic characteristics were also collected. Results showed that although levels of general concern are relatively high (...) among Italians, risk perceptions are highest with regards to the economy and work, and lowest concerning health. Cognitive and affective risk-related variables affected the several risk perception domains differently. COVID-19 knowledge did not affect any risk perception while the perceived control decreased health risk likelihood. The other risk-related variables amplified risk perceptions: News seeking increased work-economy risk; efficacy of containment measures increased all perceived risks; negative affective states of fear, anger and sadness increased health and psycho-social risks; anxiety increased only health risk, and uncertainty increased work-economy and psycho-social risk perceptions. Finally, positive affective states increased health risk perception. Socio-psychological implications are discussed. (shrink)
Quando Platão trata das “afecções e as formas que ela [a alma] tem na vida humana”, ele a descreve segundo um esquema tripartite, tal como aparece também na exposição dos seus gêneros na República. No Timeu, ao tomar a via mais longa para expor a natureza da alma, Platão apresenta a Ideia da alma cósmica como uma mistura de três Ideias intermediárias procedentes de um princípio bipolar. Assim como na alma do mundo, também a alma humana possui uma estrutura tripartite (...) hierarquizada segundo o mesmo princípio bipolar que governa a realidade. O artigo pretende mostrar que essas perspectivas não se contradizem, mas se completam na obra platônica. (shrink)
Handling Religious Diversity: The Case of "Holy/Rest Days" in Italy The accommodation of a plurality of values within the same institutional framework is one of the main challenges with which contemporary democracies have been persistently confronted. This challenge has recently gained strength even in such traditionally homogeneous countries as Italy, as a consequence of an increase in the number of residents committed to diverse religious beliefs. Against this backdrop, this paper focuses on the case of requests for the legal recognition (...) of religion-specific holy/rest days in Italy. The analysis of such a case will disclose—or so we believe—some valuable pointers as to how democratic societies could try to accommodate religious diversity in a way that is both respectful of the specificities of each religious group and compatible with the typically liberal commitment to the safeguard of individual freedom. (shrink)
It has been argued within some philosophy of quantum gravity circles that endorsing Lewisian modal metaphysics is incompatible with endorsing the fundamental physical ontology of any quantum gravity theory. Speaking concisely, the unsolvable tension would be between Lewis' metaphysical commitment to the fundamentality of space and time, and the physical lesson of quantum gravity about the disappearance of space and time from the fundamental structure of the world. In this essay I argue against the idea that the tension is unsolvable. (...) The analysis does not apply to quantum gravity in general, but only to the specific perspective delivered by quantum string theory. In the first two sections I describe what I think is the general formal payoff of Lewisian possible worlds semantics, and more importantly the general metaphysical payoff generated by some Lewisian metaphysical applications of that formal framework. Lewisian possible worlds semantics is not among the topics of this essay, still a concise presentation of its basic features is required for a more accurate description of the type of modal metaphysics Lewis delivers by applying that formal machinery. The moral of the story in the first two sections is that an attempt of preserving crucial features of Lewisian modal metaphysics, although endorsing the quantum string theory lesson on spacetime non fundamentality, would be not only possible, but also philosophically worthy in a general sense. Then, section three is divided in three parts. In the first part I summarize some formal tools of the methodology used elsewhere - (Vistarini, Routledge, 2019, chapter 6)- to argue for string theory background independence. More precisely, I briefly re-describe some crucial features of a topological-vector bundle structure there defined on a "space" associated to the theory. Such structure is there shown to carry physical and dynamical information about quantum strings systems supporting the thesis of background independence of quantum strings laws (string theory background independence is not a topic of this essay, and the construction of the full formal structure as well as the full argumentative line can be found in the work cited above). The rationale behind the choice of including these formal tools is explained in the second and third parts of section three: that very same topological-fiber bundle structure associated to string theory, if read differently, is shown to also carry structural properties of the Lewisian metaphysical scheme. More precisely, in the second part of section three I attempt to show that such topological-fiber bundle structure owns a topology which qualifies as a plausible accessibility structure extending the Lewisian similarity accessibility. To avoid confusion, I will denote the extended similarity order with S*, or S*-similarity. The latter has some interesting properties. It is quantitatively describable, and even more interestingly its spectrum of variation is a countable one. Then, insofar Lewisian similarity order can be regained from the S*-similarity, one might say that the latter is a metaphysical accessibility relation underlying the former because "more fundamental". As we will see, the explanation of what "more fundamental" means in this metaphysical context mainly involves the idea that the formal nature of S*-similarity, in particular its property of having a countable spectrum of variation, calibrates a metaphysical similarity that reflects the discreteness of the fundamental quantum nature of reality. The extended modal metaphysics with accessibility structure S*-similarity is informed by quantum string physics. Within the extended scheme, the Lewisian claim "things could have been different in countless ways" (Lewis 1973) is an approximate one because only permitted by ordinary language. As soon as one refines the accessibility structure by using the formal language of quantum string theory, it appears things could have been different in countable ways. But the Lewisian variety of alternative states of affairs can be regained from the underlying countable variety via a specific interpretation of the Humean supervenience thesis, one that changes the metaphysical status of the thesis' content and restricts the thesis' domain of application. Finally, in the third part of section three I attempt to show that the same topological-fiber bundle structure used to extend Lewisian similarity has a bundle component producing the formal scheme for a tentative extension of Lewisian nomological accessibility through the lens of string dualities. This will prove to be a non trivial task, and the Lewisian accessibility structure will be regained from the extended one only partially. Finally, the essay contains two short appendices summarizing two argumentative lines outside the main topic of the essay. They briefly describe different ways in which the non fundamentality of spatiotemporal structures can be found in quantum string theory. These sections can be skipped. Nevertheless, they might contribute to understand more robustly the general view endorsed by this essay, i.e. that there isn't any unsolvable tension between Lewis' commitment to the fundamentality of spatiotemporal relations and quantum gravity's lesson about their non fundamentality. -/- . (shrink)
Quantum gravity--the marriage of quantum physics with general relativity--is bound to contain deep and important lessons for the nature of physical time. Some of these lessons shall be canvassed here, particularly as they arise from quantum general relativity and string theory and related approaches. Of particular interest is the question of which of the intuitive aspects of time will turn out to be fundamental, and which 'emergent' in some sense.
The aim of this article is to literally explore the declinations of the status of the “monstruous thing”, investigating if and when monsters are abnormal phenomena, not of nature but of culture. Which features, of both expression and content, must a non-living artificial subject present in order to be perceived and judged as a “monster”? In the West, the image of the monster is traditionally associated with an abominable creature belonging to the universe of nature whose touchstone is a standard (...) unit of measurement associated with a human or animal body. Here, we are interested in seeing what happens when these value judgments about monsters are applied to non-organic entities. Our case study of the large cruise ships, starting with ocean liners and moving toward the modern behemoths that now enter our historic cities, discloses a new semiosis of monstrosity caused by the war of movement produced by globalization. (shrink)
Weyl symmetry of the classical bosonic string Lagrangian is broken by quantization, with profound consequences described here. Reimposing symmetry requires that the background space-time satisfy the equations of general relativity: general relativity, hence classical space-time as we know it, arises from string theory. We investigate the logical role of Weyl symmetry in this explanation of general relativity: it is not an independent physical postulate but required in quantum string theory, so from a certain point of view it plays only a (...) formal role in the explanation. (shrink)
The ability to resist distracting stimuli whilst voluntarily focusing on a task is fundamental to our everyday cognitive functioning. Here, we investigated how this ability develops, and thereafter declines, across the lifespan using a single task/experiment. Young children (5–7 years), older children (10–11 years), young adults (20–27 years), and older adults (62–86 years) were presented with complex visual scenes. Endogenous (voluntary) attention was engaged by having the participants search for a visual target presented on either the left or right side (...) of the display. The onset of the visual scenes was preceded – at stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) of 50, 200, or 500 ms – by a task-irrelevant sound (an exogenous crossmodal spatial distractor) delivered either on the same or opposite side as the visual target, or simultaneously on both sides (cued, uncued, or neutral trials, respectively). Age-related differences were revealed, especially in the extreme age-groups, which showed a greater impact of crossmodal spatial distractors. Young children were highly susceptible to exogenous spatial distraction at the shortest SOA (50 ms), whereas older adults were distracted at all SOAs, showing significant exogenous capture effects during the visual search task. By contrast, older children and young adults' search performance was not significantly affected by crossmodal spatial distraction. Overall, these findings present a detailed picture of the developmental trajectory of endogenous resistance to crossmodal spatial distraction from childhood to old age and demonstrate a different efficiency in coping with distraction across the four age-groups studied. (shrink)
This paper aims at presenting the work of Dutch architecture Hans van der Laan through a comparison with the Renaissance architect Leon Battista Alberti by stating the similarity of the role assigned to proportion in architectural design by both architects. In particular, the study will show how both Van der Laan and Alberti understood proportion and the perceptive and aesthetic values of proportioned forms as the result of an intellectual appreciation.
In Feeling of Knowing cases, subjects have a form of consciousness about the presence of a content without having access to it. If this phenomenon can be correctly interpreted as having to do with consciousness, then there would be a P-conscious mental experience which is dissociated from access.
Norman in 1969 emphasised a linguistic difference between the Vedic compound yogakṣema- interpreted as a dvandva and the widely distributed Early Buddhist compound yogakkhema-, analysed as a tatpuruṣa “rest from exertion”. On the basis of our analysis of the relevant Pali sources and of the more ancient Vedic occurrences—some of which are quite far from the earliest denotation of the two cyclic phases of the assumed semi-nomadic Indo-Āryan life—we have undertaken a classification of the several meanings of this compound, in (...) order to distinguish their different facets and to enable us to easily bring about the comparison proposed by Norman in 1969 and in 1993 . Unlike Norman, we eventually postulated a common reading of this compound as a tatpuruṣa originally denoting an almost material target of welfare, from which both the Brāhmaṇic and the Buddhist usages, whose meaning is predominantly immaterial, might have developed. (shrink)