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    Cognitive penetrability and ethical perception

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    In recent years there has been renewed philosophical interest in the thesis that perceptual experience is cognitively penetrable, i.e., roughly, the view that the contents and/or character of a subject's perceptual experience can be modified by what a subject believes and desires. As has been widely noted, it is plausible that cognitive penetration has implications for perception's epistemic role. On the one hand, penetration could make agents insensitive to the world in a way which epistemically 'downgrades' their experience. On the other hand, cognitive penetration may sometimes be epistemically beneficial by making agents more sensitive to the way the world is, i.e., by enabling them to see things that others cannot. For example, penetration could ground a 'high-level' view of perceptual content, according to which agents can have experiences as of 'complex' properties, e.g., natural kind and aesthetic properties. Relatedly, it could elucidate the view that agents can gain perceptual expertise by learning. A type of sophisticated perception (and associated 'perceptual expertise') which has hitherto received little attention in relation to cognitive penetration is ethical perception. In this paper I examine the significance of cognitive penetration for 'Perceptualist' views in ethics which appeal to a notion of 'ethical perception'. Although cognitive penetration could ground a literalist model of Ethical Perception according to which agents can have perceptual experiences of the instantiation of ethical properties, the results are otherwise somewhat mixed: cognitive penetrability does not support Perceptual Intuitionism, although it may provide some limited support for Virtue Ethics and Cornell Realism. However, as I stress, the significance of cognitive penetration for Perceptualism should not be overstated

    Microfabrication of Laser-Driven Accelerator Structures

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    We discuss the potential for using microfabrication techniques for laser-driven accelerator construction. We introduce microfabrication processes in general, and then describe our investigation of a particular trial process. We conclude by considering the issues microfabrication raises for possible future structures.Comment: 7 pages, 3 figures; Submitted to Tenth Advanced Accelerator Concepts Workshop (AAC 2002), June 23--28, 2002, Mandalay Beach, California (AIP Conference Proceedings

    Probe design

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    Outer planetary probe designs consider mission characteristics, structural configuration, delivery mode, scientific payload, environmental extremes, mass properties, and the launch vehicle and spacecraft interface

    Statistical Models with Uncertain Error Parameters

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    In a statistical analysis in Particle Physics, nuisance parameters can be introduced to take into account various types of systematic uncertainties. The best estimate of such a parameter is often modeled as a Gaussian distributed variable with a given standard deviation (the corresponding "systematic error"). Although the assigned systematic errors are usually treated as constants, in general they are themselves uncertain. A type of model is presented where the uncertainty in the assigned systematic errors is taken into account. Estimates of the systematic variances are modeled as gamma distributed random variables. The resulting confidence intervals show interesting and useful properties. For example, when averaging measurements to estimate their mean, the size of the confidence interval increases for decreasing goodness-of-fit, and averages have reduced sensitivity to outliers. The basic properties of the model are presented and several examples relevant for Particle Physics are explored.Comment: 26 pages, 27 figure

    Reasonable ecstasies: Shaftesbury and the languages of libertinism

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