2,609 research outputs found

    Minds, Brains and Programs

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    This article can be viewed as an attempt to explore the consequences of two propositions. (1) Intentionality in human beings (and animals) is a product of causal features of the brain I assume this is an empirical fact about the actual causal relations between mental processes and brains It says simply that certain brain processes are sufficient for intentionality. (2) Instantiating a computer program is never by itself a sufficient condition of intentionality The main argument of this paper is directed at establishing this claim The form of the argument is to show how a human agent could instantiate the program and still not have the relevant intentionality. These two propositions have the following consequences (3) The explanation of how the brain produces intentionality cannot be that it does it by instantiating a computer program. This is a strict logical consequence of 1 and 2. (4) Any mechanism capable of producing intentionality must have causal powers equal to those of the brain. This is meant to be a trivial consequence of 1. (5) Any attempt literally to create intentionality artificially (strong AI) could not succeed just by designing programs but would have to duplicate the causal powers of the human brain. This follows from 2 and 4

    Business ethics: boardroom pressures in an age of moral relativism

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    Company law requires boardroom decision making to be parochial but boardrooms are pluralist by nature. It is argued that the way business is done, business contexts and strategic decision making do change over time. Factors bearing upon boardroom behaviour include inter alia preferences for the firm to act or to be seen to be acting in a socially and environmentally responsible manner: that is, to act ethically. It is argued that conditions are favourable for the emergence of a more widespread pursuit of social and responsible business within a safe and civil society. Forces driving this emergence are discussed and barriers to its progress are outlined. Challenges for the theory of the firm are raised also

    Social Ontology : some Basic Principles

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    The aim of this article is to explore the problem of social ontology, by developing the argument presented in The Construction of Social Reality (1995). After some preliminary distinctions (section 1), the article describes the logical structure of society using three concepts: collective intentionality, the assignment of function, and constitutive rules and procedures (section 2). Some further developments of this approach are presented: the analysis of status indicators, and the case of institutions where there is a status function but no physical object on which it is imposed (section 3). Some remarks are also made about the taxonomy of institutional facts (section 4), about the relationship between conceptual analysis and empirical data (section 5), and, finally, about the concept of institutional facts (section 6).El objetivo de este art铆culo es explorar el problema de la ontolog铆a social, desarrollando el argumento presentado en La construcci贸n de la realidad social (1995). Despu茅s de hacer algunas distinciones preliminares (secci贸n 1), el art铆culo describe la estructura l贸gica de la sociedad usando tres conceptos: intencionalidad colectiva, asignaci贸n de funci贸n, y reglas y procedimientos constitutivos (secci贸n 2). Se presentan algunos desarrollos posteriores de este enfoque: el an谩lisis de indicadores de status, y el caso de las instituciones donde existe una funci贸n de status pero no un objeto f铆sico sobre el que la misma se impone (secci贸n 3). Se hacen tambi茅n algunas observaciones sobre la taxonom铆a de los hechos institucionales (secci贸n 4), sobre la relaci贸n entre el an谩lisis conceptual y los datos emp铆ricos (secci贸n 5), y, finalmente, sobre el concepto de hechos institucionales (secci贸n 6)

    What is Language? Some Preliminary Remarks

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    There are three essential I want to get across in this article in addition to the analysis of relations of nonlinguistic to linguistic intentionality. First I want to emphasize how the structure of prelinguistic intentionality enables us to solve the problems of the relation of reference and predication and the problem of the unity of the proposition. The second point is about deontology. The basic intellectual motivation that drives this second part of his argument is the following: there is something left out of the standard textbook accounts of language as consisting of syntax, semantics and phonology with an extra-linguistic pragmatics thrown in. Basically what is left out is the essential element of commitment involved in having a set of conventional devices that encode the imposition of conditions of satisfaction on conditions of satisfaction. The third part of the article is about the creation of a social and institutional ontology by linguistically representing certain facts as existing, thus creating the facts. When we understand this third point we will get a deeper insight into the constitutive role of language in the construction of society and social institutions

    Death Rode the Rails: American Railroad Accidents and Safety, 1828鈥1965

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    Review of: Death Rode the Rails: American Railroad Accidents and Safety, 1828鈥1965, by Mark Aldrich

    Good, Reliable, White Men: Railroad Brotherhoods, 1877鈥1917

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    Review of: "Good, Reliable, White Men: Railroad Brotherhoods, 1877鈥1917," by Paul Michel Taillon, a part of the "Working Class in American History Series.

    The Manufacture of Marine Propellers in Moulded Anisotropic Polymer Composites

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    This thesis examines the feasibility of manufacturing small marine propellers from continuous fibre reinforced polymer composite materials. An appraisal of some current applications of composite materials in the marine industry is given, together with the moves shown towards the use of composites in the area of propeller design. It has been shown that manufacturing propellers in composite materials is theoretically more cost effective than traditional materials. The manufacturing route investigated is Resin Transfer Moulding, where some detailed investigations have highlighted some of the critical processing parameters necessary for successful production of laminates suitable for propellers and other high performance marine structures. A thorough testing programme of 4 novel designs of composite propeller is reported. Trials at sea on university run vessels has enabled many hours use to be logged, which has shown the fitness for purpose of propellers made from glass reinforced, epoxy composite. Experimental tank testing has helped to shape the remainder of the research by identifying the possibility of using hydroelastic tailoring to improve the efficiency of the propeller when a variety of operating conditions are required from the propulsion system. Further experience is required with respect to the the tooling construction and the life assessment of the propeller. To facilitate appropriate modelling of the propeller, spreadsheet based load prediction models have been used. Finite element analysis (FEA) was used to model the elastic characteristics of one particular design of novel composite propeller. This indicated that traditional geometries may be too stiff to allow significant performance advantages from the anisotropy of the material. However the potential does exist for modified propeller geometries made from composite to give some performance benefit. For specific applications, small marine propellers made from continuous glass fibre reinforced epoxy composite are likely to yield cost savings over traditional propeller materials