The aim of this study was to explore the existence of moral distress among nurses in Lilongwe District of Malawi. Qualitative research was conducted in selected health institutions of Lilongwe District in Malawi to assess knowledge and causes of moral distress among nurses and coping mechanisms and sources of support that are used by morally distressed nurses. Data were collected from a purposive sample of 20 nurses through in-depth interviews using a semi-structured interview guide. Thematic analysis of qualitative data was (...) used. The results show that nurses, irrespective of age, work experience and tribe, experienced moral distress related to patient/nursing care. The major distressing factors were inadequate resources and lack of respect from patients, guardians, peers and bosses. Nurses desire teamwork and ethics committees in their health institutions as a means of controlling and preventing moral distress. There is a need for creation of awareness for nurses to recognize and manage moral distress, thus optimizing their ability to provide quality and uncompromised nursing care. (shrink)
Initial responses to questionnaires used to assess participants' understanding of informed consent for malaria vaccine trials conducted in the United States and Mali were tallied. Total scores were analyzed by age, sex, literacy (if known), and location. Ninety-two percent (92%) of answers by United States participants and 85% of answers by Malian participants were correct. Questions more likely to be answered incorrectly in Mali related to risk, and to the type of vaccine. For adult participants, independent predictors of higher scores (...) were younger age and female sex in the United States, and male sex in Mali. Scores in the United States were higher than in Mali (P = 0.005). Despite this difference participants at both sites were well informed overall. Although interpretation must be qualified because questionnaires were not intended as research tools and were not standardized among sites, these results do not support concerns about systematic low understanding among research participants in developing versus developed countries. (shrink)
Background If trials of therapeutic interventions are to serve society's interests, they must be of high methodological quality and must satisfy moral commitments to human subjects. The authors set out to develop a clinical - trials compendium in which standards for the ethical treatment of human subjects are integrated with standards for research methods. Methods The authors rank-ordered the world's nations and chose the 31 with >700 active trials as of 24 July 2008. Governmental and other authoritative entities of the (...) 31 countries were searched, and 1004 English-language documents containing ethical and/or methodological standards for clinical trials were identified. The authors extracted standards from 144 of those: 50 designated as ‘core’, 39 addressing trials of invasive procedures and a 5% sample of the remainder. As the integrating framework for the standards we developed a coherent taxonomy encompassing all elements of a trial's stages. Findings Review of the 144 documents yielded nearly 15 000 discrete standards. After duplicates were removed, 5903 substantive standards remained, distributed in the taxonomy as follows: initiation, 1401 standards, 8 divisions; design, 1869 standards, 16 divisions; conduct, 1473 standards, 8 divisions; analysing and reporting results, 997 standards, four divisions; and post-trial standards, 168 standards, 5 divisions. Conclusions The overwhelming number of source documents and standards uncovered in this study was not anticipated beforehand and confirms the extraordinary complexity of the clinical trials enterprise. This taxonomy of multinational ethical and methodological standards may help trialists and overseers improve the quality of clinical trials, particularly given the globalisation of clinical research. (shrink)
Le XI.ème Congrès International de Philosophie Médiévale de la Société Internationale pour l’Étude de la Philosophie Médiévale (S.I.E.P.M..) s’est déroulé à Porto (Portugal), du 26 au 30 août 2002, sous le thème général: Intellect et Imagination dans la Philosophie Médiévale. A partir des héritages platonicien, aristotélicien, stoïcien, ou néo-platonicien (dans leurs variantes grecques, latines, arabes, juives), la conceptualisation et la problématisation de l’imagination et de l’intellect, ou même des facultés de l’âme en général, apparaissaient comme une ouverture possible pour aborder (...) les principaux points de la pensée médiévale. Les Actes du congrès montrent que « imagination » et « intellect » sont porteurs d’une richesse philosophique extraordinaire dans l’économie de la philosophie médiévale et de la constitution de ses spécificités historiques. Dans sa signification la plus large, la théorisation de ces deux facultés de l’âme permet de dédoubler le débat en au moins six grands domaines: — la relation avec le sensible, où la fantaisie/l’imagination joue le rôle de médiation dans la perception du monde et dans la constitution de la connaissance ; — la réflexion sur l’acte de connaître et la découverte de soi en tant que sujet de pensée ; — la position dans la nature, dans le cosmos, et dans le temps de celui qui pense et qui connaît par les sens externes, internes et par l’intellect ; — la recherche d’un fondement pour la connaissance et l’action, par la possibilité du dépassement de la distante proximité du transcendant, de l’absolu, de la vérité et du bien ; — la réalisation de la félicité en tant qu’objectif ultime, de même que la découverte d’une tendance au dépassement actif ou mystique de toutes les limites naturelles et des facultés de l’âme ; — la constitution de théories de l’image, sensible ou intellectuelle, et de ses fonctions. Les 3 volumes d’Actes incluent les 16 leçons plénières et 112 communications, ainsi que les index correspondants (manuscrits ; noms anciens et médiévaux ; noms modernes ; auteurs). Le volume IV des Actes, contenant 39 communications et des index, est publié par la revue " Mediaevalia. Textos e Estudos ", du Gabinete de Filosofia Medieval de l’Universidade do Porto (volume 23, de 2004). Ouvrage publié avec l’appui de l’Universidade do Porto, de la Faculdade de Letras da U.P., du Departamento de Filosofia - F.L.U.P. et de la Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (Portugal). (shrink)
Despite the frequency of stillbirths, the subsequent implications are overlooked and underappreciated. We present findings from comprehensive, systematic literature reviews, and new analyses of published and unpublished data, to establish the effect of stillbirth on parents, families, health-care providers, and societies worldwide. Data for direct costs of this event are sparse but suggest that a stillbirth needs more resources than a livebirth, both in the perinatal period and in additional surveillance during subsequent pregnancies. Indirect and intangible costs of stillbirth are (...) extensive and are usually met by families alone. This issue is particularly onerous for those with few resources. Negative effects, particularly on parental mental health, might be moderated by empathic attitudes of care providers and tailored interventions. The value of the baby, as well as the associated costs for parents, families, care providers, communities, and society, should be considered to prevent stillbirths and reduce associated morbidity. (shrink)
New trends in the economic systems management in the context of modern global challenges: collective monograph / scientific edited by M. Bezpartochnyi, in 2 Vol. // VUZF University of Finance, Business and Entrepreneurship. – Sofia: VUZF Publishing House “St. Grigorii Bogoslov”, 2020. – Vol. 1. – 309 p.
This paper is a study about Philadelphia’s comprehensive user engagement sites (CUESs) as the authors address and examine issues related to the upcoming implementation of a CUES while seeking solutions for its disputed questions and plans. Beginning with the federal drug schedules, the authors visit some of the medical and public health issues vis-à-vis safe injection facilities (SIFs). Insite, a successful Canadian SIF, has been thoroughly researched as it represents a paradigm for which a Philadelphia CUES can expand upon. Also, (...) the existing criticisms against SIFs are revisited while critically unpackaged and responded to in favor of the establishment. In the main section, the authors propose the layout and services of the upcoming CUES, much of which would be in congruent to Vancouver’s Insite. On the other hand, the CUES would be distinct from Insite, as the authors emphasize, in that it will offer an information center run by individuals in recovery and place additional emphasis on early education for young healthcare professionals by providing them a platform to work at the site. The paper will also briefly investigate the implementation of a CUES site under an ethical scope of the Harm Reduction Theory. Lastly, the authors recommend some strategic plans that the Philadelphia City government may consider employing at this crucial stage. (shrink)
We present a computational analysis of de re, de dicto, and de se belief and knowledge reports. Our analysis solves a problem first observed by Hector-Neri Castañeda, namely, that the simple rule -/- `(A knows that P) implies P' -/- apparently does not hold if P contains a quasi-indexical. We present a single rule, in the context of a knowledge-representation and reasoning system, that holds for all P, including those containing quasi-indexicals. In so doing, we explore the difference between reasoning (...) in a public communication language and in a knowledge-representation language, we demonstrate the importance of representing proper names explicitly, and we provide support for the necessity of considering sentences in the context of extended discourse (for example, written narrative) in order to fully capture certain features of their semantics. (shrink)
Patient centred diagnosis is best practised through shared decision making; an iterative dialogue between doctor and patient, whichrespects a patient’s needs, values, preferences, and circumstances. -/- Shared decision making for diagnostic situations differs fundamentally from that for treatment decisions. This has important implications when considering its practical application. -/- The nature of dialogue should be tailored to the specific diagnostic decision; scenarios with higher stakes or uncertainty usually require more detailed conversations.
Coronavirus is a viral irresistible sickness brought about by SARS- COV2. Its clinical signs and side effects are on an expansive range going from asymptomatic to serious confusions like multi-organ disappointment, thromboembolism, and extreme pneumonia with respiratory disappointment. More awful results and higher death rates have been accounted for in the old, individuals with co-morbidities, and malnourished people. Sustenance is central to acceptable wellbeing and safe capacity. It frames an essential segment of therapy modalities for different intense and persistent infections, (...) particularly where a causative therapy isn't yet perceived. Despite the fact that reviews tending to the part of explicit supplements in COVID-19 are still at a beginning phase, accessible proof recommends that addressing the necessities of a variety of large scale and miniature supplements (energy, proteins, fats, nutrients A, D, E, C, B nutrients, iron, selenium, zinc, and so forth) Additionally, supplements are Immune System Might Promote Recovery for Mild COVID-19 Patients Impact of Coronavirus on Education in India Review 466 determinants of the sythesis of the gut microbiota that thusly impacts the attributes of safe reactions in the body. (shrink)
In the 20th century among the greatest philosophers and literates there was an ample, ideal, wide ranging forum on the question of Europe to which, following a run already started by F. Nietzsche, M. Heidegger, E. Husserl, P. Valéry, Ortega y Gasset, Nikolaj Berdjaev, and after the second world war G. Gadamer, J. Habermas, J. Derrida and others offered meaningful contributions. The questions were: What will be of the spirit of Europe? What will be of Europe? Europe: quo vadis? The (...) aim of this paper is to articulate the meaningful stages of this historical forum through some essays of mentioned philosophers and literates. The first essay is the conference "Europa und die deutsche Philosophie”, delivered by Heidegger in Rome 1936 at the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut, the same year of the publication of Husserl’s Krisis. Thereafter, with the purpose of marking a clear discontinuity between the debate of the first half of the century and the second, I comment on Gadamer’s essay “Europa und die oikoumene”, published half a century after the conference of Heidegger, then the Gadamer’s essay "Das Erbe Europas”, 1989, in which Gadamer deduces on the existential condition of Europeans, today. At the end, I analyze Derrida’s pamphlet "L'autre cap suivi de la démocratie ajournie", English version “The Other Heading: Reflection on Today’s Europe”, that opens with the provocative and heretical Derridean gesture: To which concept, to what real individual, to what entity can we confer today the name of Europe? (shrink)
This article is part of a For-Discussion-Section of Methods of Information in Medicine about the paper "Biomedical Informatics: We Are What We Publish", written by Peter L. Elkin, Steven H. Brown, and Graham Wright. It is introduced by an editorial. This article contains the combined commentaries invited to independently comment on the Elkin et al. paper. In subsequent issues the discussion can continue through letters to the editor.
Biological ontologies are used to organize, curate, and interpret the vast quantities of data arising from biological experiments. While this works well when using a single ontology, integrating multiple ontologies can be problematic, as they are developed independently, which can lead to incompatibilities. The Open Biological and Biomedical Ontologies Foundry was created to address this by facilitating the development, harmonization, application, and sharing of ontologies, guided by a set of overarching principles. One challenge in reaching these goals was that the (...) OBO principles were not originally encoded in a precise fashion, and interpretation was subjective. Here we show how we have addressed this by formally encoding the OBO principles as operational rules and implementing a suite of automated validation checks and a dashboard for objectively evaluating each ontology’s compliance with each principle. This entailed a substantial effort to curate metadata across all ontologies and to coordinate with individual stakeholders. We have applied these checks across the full OBO suite of ontologies, revealing areas where individual ontologies require changes to conform to our principles. Our work demonstrates how a sizable federated community can be organized and evaluated on objective criteria that help improve overall quality and interoperability, which is vital for the sustenance of the OBO project and towards the overall goals of making data FAIR. Competing Interest StatementThe authors have declared no competing interest. (shrink)
Abstract: Murunga (Moringa oleifera) is an underutilized plant in Sri Lanka with food, nutritional and medicinal value. This study was carried out to evaluate the food preservative characteristics of dehydrated Murunga leaf powder. Soya meat (textured soy protein) and Dhal curries (cooked) and boiled rice (Suwandel variety and red rice) treated with different levels of Murunga leaf powder (1.5, 2.5, 4.5 and 6%) were selected for this experiment. Sensory evaluation was conducted with the help of 30 untrained panelists using a (...) five point hedonic scale in order to identify the acceptable level of Murunga leaf powder in these foods. Protein content (Kjeldahl method) and pH (using a pH meter) of these food samples in each experiment were determined just after cooking and after 24 hours. Microbial counts and sensory acceptability of the product were determined in eight hours interval in ambient conditions. Significant differences (P<0.05) were observed in the reduction of protein content and increase of pH of above cooked meals with Murunga leaf powder when compared with the control at the end of storage period. There were significant differences (P<0.05) in the total plate counts in all cooked food samples with Murunga leaf powder when compared to the control. However, no coliform counts were reported for any of the food samples. After 16 hours, colour, flavour, odor and overall acceptability of Murunga leaf powder treated food samples were significantly different (P<0.05) compared to the control samples. This study revealed that the dehydrated Murunga leaf powder could be potentially used to extent the shelf life of cooked food products such as rice and curry. (shrink)
Requirements of rationality, like the following, have recently been the focus of much discussion: (1) Rationality requires of S that, if S intends that e and believes that e will not be so unless S intends that m, then S intends that m. (2) Rationality requires of S that S not both believe p and believe not-p.1 How many requirements there are and how precisely to state them is a matter of controversy, but I will focus on a different kind (...) of controversy, namely, how to conceive of such requirements in general.2 I will start by sketching a picture of their general nature and role that I find compelling and attractive. My picture is not, however, consistent with many of the recent approaches to rational requirements in the literature. 3 As I will try to show, the arguments that are often made about rational requirements assume, mostly implicitly, that my picture is flawed. These arguments do not, however, or so I will claim, actually give us reason to reject my picture of rational requirements. Indeed, many of the puzzles about rational requirements taken up by others turn out not to really be puzzles once we realize that this alternative picture.. (shrink)
B. Plawgo, A. Grabska, M. Klimczuk-Kochańska, A. Klimczuk, J. Kierklo, J. Żynel-Etel, Startery podlaskiej gospodarki. Analiza gospodarczych obszarów wzrostu i innowacji województwa podlaskiego: sektor produkcji oprogramowania komputerowego, Wojewódzki Urz¸ad Pracy w Białymstoku, Białystok 2011.
Defined are gravitational formulas in terms of Planck units and units of $\hbar c$. Mass is not assigned as a constant property but is instead treated as a discrete event defined by units of Planck mass with gravity as an interaction between these units, the gravitational orbit as the sum of these mass-mass interactions and the gravitational coupling constant as a measure of the frequency of these interactions and not the magnitude of the gravitational force itself. Each particle that is (...) in the mass-state (defined by a unit of Planck mass) per unit of Planck time is directly linked to every other particle also in the mass-state by a discrete unit of $m_P v^2 r = \hbar c$, the velocity of a gravitational orbit is summed from these individual $v^2$. As this approach presumes a digital time, it is suitable for use in programming Simulation Hypothesis models. As this link is responsible for the particle-particle interaction it is analogous to the graviton. Orbital angular momentum of the planetary orbits derives from the sum of the planet-sun particle-particle orbital angular momentum irrespective of the angular momentum of the sun itself and the rotational angular momentum of a planet includes particle-particle rotational angular momentum. (shrink)
On a few occasions F.A. Hayek made reference to the famous Gödel theorems in mathematical logic in the context of expounding his cognitive and social theory. The exact meaning of the supposed relationship between Gödel's theorems and the essential proposition of Hayek's theory of mind remains subject to interpretation, however. The author of this article argues that the relationship between Hayek's thesis that the human brain can never fully explain itself and the essential insight provided by Gödel's theorems in mathematical (...) logic has the character of an analogy, or a metaphor. Furthermore the anti-mechanistic interpretation of Hayek's theory of mind is revealed as highly questionable. Implications for the Socialist Calculation Debate are highlighted. It is in particular concluded that Hayek's arguments for methodological dualism, when compared with those of Ludwig von Mises, actually amount to a strengthening of the case for methodological dualism. (shrink)
In this paper I discuss Kant’s theory of conscience. In particular, I explicate the following two claims that Kant makes in the Metaphysics of Morals: (1) an erring conscience is an absurdity and (2) if an agent has acted according to his/her conscience, then s/he has done all that can be required of him/her. I argue that (1) is a very specific claim that does not bear on the problem of moral knowledge. I argue that (2) rests on a strongly (...) internalist line of argument. (shrink)
Physicalism is the thesis that everything is physical, including the mind. One argument against physicalism appeals to neardeath experiences, conscious experiences during episodes, such as cardiac arrest, when one's normal brain functions are severely impaired. The core contention is that NDEs cannot be physically explained, and so we have reason to appeal to the non-physical in explaining them. In this paper, we consider in detail a recent article by Pim van Lommel in which he appeals to NDEs in arguing against (...) physicalism and in favour of an alternative conception of the mind as non-localized and immaterial. Our main contentions are, first, that it is not clear that physicalism cannot accommodate the phenomena of NDEs and, second, that it is not obvious how the conception of the mind as non-localized and immaterial is supposed to help. (shrink)
Modern rationalism transformed the modern homeland to a discursive space and time by means of institutes governing the modern society in all its walks. Based on the Newtonian and Kantian conception of space and time the discursive field is just a scene wherein any human individual adopts stewardship to create progress by reducing landscape and non-human life to auxiliary items for human’s benefit. In contrast, Aldo Leopold considered humans, non human life and the landscape as mutually influencing participants and enlarged (...) ethical care to all living participants and the landscape, called ´the land´. Integrity and autonomy of the homeland are the central topics of Leopold’s land ethics. Baird Callicott suggested to complete it with new metaphysical conceptions of space and time. -/- We formulated a metaphysical background for Leopold’s land ethics by phenomenology of space and time based on the Leibnizian conception of space-time. The latter is constructed by particular places and events called ´ecotopois´ embracing all human participants, locals and foreigners in a varying symbolic temporal and spatial field of dynamic process of identification and self consciousness. Adopting Warwick Fox´ transpersonal identification idea non-human life and landscape enriches these processes. Finally, it is not a matter of conquering the land, it is matter of making a community. -/- Though landscape and participants are particular, integrity and autonomy of the homeland claim the universal status of the land. Adopting Gadamer hermeneutical way of understanding, we reject mutual and equally understanding. Only acceptance of mutual prejudice makes room for asymmetric praxis between locals and foreigners as well as between humans and non-humans. What is more, Gadamer´s hermeneutics makes an ontological status of the foreigner possible and recognizes the interest of homeland’s particularity. This universal status is guaranteed as a priori space-time that links subject’s tradition and that of the land to actual contact with the foreigner. Transpersonal identification is a consequence of converging hermeneutical understanding of foreigner’s particularity and that of the landscape. Ethics of the land evolves from the ethical status of any foreigner in the own homeland. -/- . (shrink)
According to Kant, if an agent acts according to his/her conscience, then s/he has done all that s/he ought as far as morality is concerned. But Kant thinks that agents can be mistaken in their subjective determinations of their duties. That is, Kant thinks it is possible for an agent to believe that some action X is right even though it is an objective truth that X is not right; according to Kant, agents do not have infallible knowledge of right (...) and wrong. In this paper, I explore this doctrine in order to determine whether it is defensible. In particular, I confront the blameworthiness of acting contrary to fallible knowledge and the blamelessness of acting according to fallible judgment. (shrink)
The Chinese Room Argument purports to show that‘ syntax is not sufficient for semantics’; an argument which led John Searle to conclude that ‘programs are not minds’ and hence that no computational device can ever exhibit true understanding. Yet, although this controversial argument has received a series of criticisms, it has withstood all attempts at decisive rebuttal so far. One of the classical responses to CRA has been based on equipping a purely computational device with a physical robot body. This (...) response, although partially addressed in one of Searle’s original contra arguments - the ‘robot reply’ - more recently gained friction with the development of embodiment and enactivism1, two novel approaches to cognitive science that have been exciting roboticists and philosophers alike. Furthermore, recent technological advances - blending biological beings with computational systems - have started to be developed which superficially suggest that mind may be instantiated in computing devices after all. This paper will argue that (a) embodiment alone does not provide any leverage for cognitive robotics wrt the CRA, when based on a weak form of embodiment and that (b) unless they take the body into account seriously, hybrid bio-computer devices will also share the fate of their disembodied or robotic predecessors in failing to escape from Searle’s Chinese room. (shrink)
In the last few decades, the historiographical categories rationalism and empiricism have been criticized for their limitations to explain the complex positions and the links held by the philosophers tradiotnally attached to them. This narrative was firstly conceived by Kantian German historians and began to become standard at the turn of the twentieh century. Nonetheless, nineteenth-century French historiography developed other narratives by which early modern philosophers were classified according to alternative criteria. In the first edition of Histoire comparée des systémes (...) de philosophie (1804), Joseph-Marie Degérando distinguishes three first-order early modern schools founded by Bacon, Descartes and Leibniz, respectively. Degérando introduces the empiricism and rationalism distinction as one among others, and not as the fundamental one. In addition, he separates empiricism from experimental philosophy. The last one, along with speculative philosophy, is said to conciliate senses and reason. As a result, this account offers philosophical groupings different from those constructed by the standard narrative. Furthermore, it draws on labels and classification criteria which were part of the early modern philosophical discourse. (shrink)
The central hypothesis of the collaboration between Language and Computing (L&C) and the Institute for Formal Ontology and Medical Information Science (IFOMIS) is that the methodology and conceptual rigor of a philosophically inspired formal ontology will greatly benefit software application ontologies. To this end LinKBase®, L&C’s ontology, which is designed to integrate and reason across various external databases simultaneously, has been submitted to the conceptual demands of IFOMIS’s Basic Formal Ontology (BFO). With this, we aim to move beyond the level (...) of controlled vocabularies to yield an ontology with the ability to support reasoning applications. (shrink)
In a reflective and richly entertaining piece from 1979, Doug Hofstadter playfully imagined a conversation between ‘Achilles’ and an anthill (the eponymous ‘Aunt Hillary’), in which he famously explored many ideas and themes related to cognition and consciousness. For Hofstadter, the anthill is able to carry on a conversation because the ants that compose it play roughly the same role that neurons play in human languaging; unfortunately, Hofstadter’s work is notably short on detail suggesting how this magic might be achieved1. (...) Conversely in this paper - finally reifying Hofstadter’s imagination - we demonstrate how populations of simple ant-like creatures can be organised to solve complex problems; problems that involve the use of forward planning and strategy. Specifically we will demonstrate that populations of such creatures can be configured to play a strategically strong - though tactically weak - game of HeX (a complex strategic game).We subsequently demonstrate how tactical play can be improved by introducing a form of forward planning instantiated via multiple populations of agents; a technique that can be compared to the dynamics of interacting populations of social insects via the concept of meta-population. In this way although, pace Hofstadter, we do not establish that a meta-population of ants could actually hold a conversation with Achilles, we do successfully introduce Aunt Hillary to the complex, seductive charms of HeX. (shrink)
Viewed in the light of the remarkable performance of ‘Watson’ - IBMs proprietary artificial intelligence computer system capable of answering questions posed in natural language - on the US general knowledge quiz show ‘Jeopardy’, we review two experiments on formal systems - one in the domain of quantum physics, the other involving a pictographic languaging game - whereby behaviour seemingly characteristic of domain understanding is generated by the mere mechanical application of simple rules. By re-examining both experiments in the context (...) of Searle’s Chinese Room Argument, we suggest their results merely endorse Searle’s core intuition: that ‘syntactical manipulation of symbols is not sufficient for semantics’. Although, pace Watson, some artificial intelligence practitioners have suggested that more complex, higher-level operations on formal symbols are required to instantiate understanding in computational systems, we show that even high-level calls to Google translate would not enable a computer qua ‘formal symbol processor’ to understand the language it processes. We thus conclude that even the most recent developments in ‘quantum linguistics’ will not enable computational systems to genuinely understand natural language. (shrink)
This work will focus on Józef Maria Bocheński’s inclination towards seeing the world and its logical structure from the point of view of ontology. In section 2, we shall discuss the perception of the world deriving from Bocheński, while in the third section – issues of its logical structure will be dealt with. In section 4, we will present a formal framework of the structure of the world.
J.M. Coetzee’s book, 'Elizabeth Costello' is one of the stranger works to appear in recent years. Yet if we focus our attention on the book’s two chapters dealing with animals, two preoccupations emerge. The first sees Coetzee use animals to evoke a particular conception of ethics, one similar to that of the philosopher Mary Midgley. Coetzee’s second theme connects animals to the phenomena of scapegoating, as it has been characterized by the philosophical anthropologist René Girard. While both themes involve human (...) interactions with animals, each transcends application to that particular issue and raises deeper questions, respectively concerning the foundations of morality and the therapeutic allure of political violence. Making explicit these two preoccupations enhances our understanding of Coetzee’s fiction, particularly Disgrace. However, when Coetzee’s two philosophical strands are analyzed in their own terms, the ethics of sympathy is shown to be a more coherent notion than the understanding of politics he takes over from Girard. (shrink)
Perhaps no other novel has received as much attention from moral philosophers as South African writer J. M. Coetzee’s Disgrace . The novel is ethically compelling and yet no moral theory explains its force. Despite clear Kantian moments, neither rationalism nor self-respect can account for the strange ethical task that the protagonist sets for himself. Calling himself the dog man, like the ancient Cynics, this shamelessly cynical protagonist takes his cues for ethics not from humans but from animals. He does (...) not however claim much in the way of empathy or understanding of animals, and his own odd motives remain a puzzle throughout the stages of his ethical transformation. Many scholars approach Coetzee’s text through an ethics of alterity, and even argue that Disgrace is exemplary in this regard. Kristeva’s rendition of alterity ethics brings us close to the novel’s vision, and yet the novel points towards a more primordial basis for ethics in the search for meaning through the human encounter with other animal species. (shrink)
This thesis articulates the resonances between J. M. Coetzee's lifelong engagement with mathematics and his practice as a novelist, critic, and poet. Though the critical discourse surrounding Coetzee's literary work continues to flourish, and though the basic details of his background in mathematics are now widely acknowledged, his inheritance from that background has not yet been the subject of a comprehensive and mathematically- literate account. In providing such an account, I propose that these two strands of his intellectual trajectory not (...) only developed in parallel, but together engendered several of the characteristic qualities of his finest work. The structure of the thesis is essentially thematic, but is also broadly chronological. Chapter 1 focuses on Coetzee's poetry, charting the increasing involvement of mathematical concepts and methods in his practice and poetics between 1958 and 1979. Chapter 2 situates his master's thesis alongside archival materials from the early stages of his academic career, and thus traces the development of his philosophical interest in the migration of quantificatory metaphors into other conceptual domains. Concentrating on his doctoral thesis and a series of contemporaneous reviews, essays, and lecture notes, Chapter 3 details the calculated ambivalence with which he therein articulates, adopts, and challenges various statistical methods designed to disclose objective truth. Chapter 4 explores the thematisation of several mathematical concepts in Dusklands and In the Heart of the Country. Chapter Five considers Waiting for the Barbarians and Foe in the context provided by Coetzee's interest in the attempts of Isaac Newton to bridge the gap between natural language and the supposedly transparent language of mathematics. Finally, Chapter 6 locates in Elizabeth Costello and Diary of a Bad Year a cognitive approach to the use of mathematical concepts in ethics, politics, and aesthetics, and, by analogy, a central aspect of the challenge Coetzee's late fiction poses to the contemporary literary landscape. (shrink)
Much problem solving and learning research in math and science has focused on formal representations. Recently researchers have documented the use of unschooled strategies for solving daily problems -- informal strategies which can be as effective, and sometimes as sophisticated, as school-taught formalisms. Our research focuses on how formal and informal strategies interact in the process of doing and learning mathematics. We found that combining informal and formal strategies is more effective than single strategies. We provide a theoretical account of (...) this multiple strategy effect and have begun to formulate this theory in an ACT-R computer model. We show why students may reach common impasses in the use of written algebra, and how subsequent or concurrent use of informal strategies leads to better problem-solving performance. Formal strategies facilitate computation because of their abstract and syntactic nature; however, abstraction can lead to nonsensical interpretations and conceptual errors. Reapplying the formal strategy will not repair such errors; switching to an informal one may. We explain the multiple strategy effect as a complementary relationship between the computational efficiency of formal strategies and the sense-making function of informal strategies. (shrink)
Imperatives cannot be true, but they can be obeyed or binding: `Surrender!' is obeyed if you surrender and is binding if you have a reason to surrender. A pure declarative argument — whose premisses and conclusion are declaratives — is valid exactly if, necessarily, its conclusion is true if the conjunction of its premisses is true; similarly, I suggest, a pure imperative argument — whose premisses and conclusion are imperatives — is obedience-valid (alternatively: bindingness-valid) exactly if, necessarily, its conclusion is (...) obeyed (alternatively: binding) if the conjunction of its premisses is. I argue that there are two kinds of bindingness, and that a vacillation between two corresponding variants of bindingness-validity largely explains conflicting intuitions concerning the validity of some pure imperative arguments. I prove that for each of those two variants of bindingness-validity there is an equivalent variant of obedience-validity. Finally, I address alternative accounts of pure imperative inference. (shrink)
In this paper we focus on what is referred to as the ‘mineness’ of experience, that is, the intimate familiarity we have with our own thoughts, perceptions, and emotions. Most accounts characterize mineness in terms of an experiential dimension, the first-person givenness of experience, that is subsumed under the notion of minimal self-consciousness or a ‘minimal self’. We argue that this account faces problems and develop an alternative account of mineness in terms of the coherence of experiences with what we (...) label an ‘embodied biography’. Building on a near consensus among consciousness researchers over the function of consciousness as integrating infor- mation, we argue that the phenomenology of mineness consists in the absence of any further thought on top of the experience itself. Finally we argue that this non-phenomenological account of mineness fits well with existing data on pathologies of mineness such as delusions of thought insertion. (shrink)