Archive for March, 2015

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“Is victim blaming ever permissible” (3/19/2015)

March 17, 2015

Michal De-Medonsa

Abstract: When we accuse someone of asking for it, I take it to mean that we are accusing them of being morally responsible, and therefore blameworthy, to some degree for their predicament (harassment or bullying, for example). I give an account of responsibility and blame in social situations such that the victims are not, in any moral sense, responsible or blameworthy for the harmful events.

Although unfortunate, it is still a common reaction to blame victims of social injustice. Misattribution of blame has come up in several waves in history. For example, race segregation, inequality between genders, marriage law inequality for different sexualities, etc. For all of those cases, it was hard for society to blame the social norms for the injustice. When a social norm is accepted by society, it becomes easy to blame to oppressed as opposed to condemning the social norm itself. My project suggests the abandonment of certain norms to eliminate victim blaming.

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“Human Brain Mapping: Networks to the Rescue?” (3/5/2015)

March 3, 2015

Joseph McCaffrey

Abstract: Human brain mapping is one of the central goals of cognitive neuroimaging. In this WIP, I examine whether adopting a network perspective can resolve problems with standard mapping designs in fMRI. I argue that network-oriented analyses do not provide an easy fix for the problems associated with regional mapping. First, I highlight a number of difficulties for mapping functions onto networks—for example, the same structural networks can support different functions. Second, I argue that networks are not a privileged structural unit in the brain. This means that mapping functions onto sets of areas rather than individual regions is unlikely to resolve foundational issues with fMRI mapping. Instead, the same problems will recur at multiple spatial scales.