One of the cornerstones of modern medicine is the search for what causes diseases to develop. A conception of multifactorial disease causes has emerged over the years. Theories of disease causation, however, have not quite been developed in accordance with this view. It is the purpose of this paper to provide a fundamental explication of aspects of causation relevant for discussing causes of disease.The first part of the analysis will discuss discrimination between singular and general causality. Singular causality, as in (...) the specific patient, is a relation between a concrete sequence of causally linked events. General causation, e.g. as in disease etiology, means various categories of causal relations between event types. The paper introduces the concept of a reference case serving as a source for causal inference, reaching beyond the concept of general causality. (shrink)
Background: Causal reasoning as a way to make a diagnosis seems convincing. Modern medicine depends on the search for causes of disease and it seems fair to assert that such knowledge is employed in diagnosis. Causal reasoning as it has been presented neglects to some extent the conception of multifactorial disease causes. Goal: The purpose of this paper is to analyze aspects of causation relevant for discussing causal reasoning in a diagnostic context.
Background: The concept of prognosis as a prediction concerning the probable outcome of an attack of disease shows some severe contextual drawbacks in the everyday clinical sense. It is often used to describe possible outcomes of the disease in general, or the progression of a disease course, not the expected course in a particular case. Goal: To render more discriminating uses of the term prognosis, in order to provide the prognosticating physician with a valid tool, comparable to the theoretical basis (...) of diagnostic and therapeutic actions. (shrink)
If is often taken for granted that on a rotating disk it is possible to operate a global 3+1 splitting of spacetime such that both lengths and time intervals are uniquely defined in terms of measurements performed by real rods and real clocks at rest on the platform. This paper shows that this assumption, although widespread and apparently trivial, leads to an anisotropy of the velocity of two light beams traveling in opposite directions along the rim of the disk, which (...) in turn implies some recently pointed out paradoxical consequences undermining the self-consistency of the special theory of relativity (SRT). A correct application of the SRT solves the problem and recovers complete internal consistency for the theory. As an immediate consequence, it is shown that the Sagnac effect only depends on the nonhomogeneity of time of the platform and has nothing to do with any anisotropy of the speed of light along the rim of the disk, contrary to an incorrect but widely held idea. (shrink)
Franco Eugeni remembers Bruno Rizzi: in this brief introduction, I would like to remember an afternoon spent in “ Roma Tre ” with Bruno, since we were both Ordinary Professors at that University. We passed it doing a dense program of work for the next three years. At 6.00 pm, I left for “Roseto degli Abruzzi”. At six o'clock a.m. of the next morning, I still have the voice in my ears. A phone call from the Headmaster Ciro d'Aniello, (...) who told me " The Professor is dead" In that afternoon, Emilio Ambrisi and I went to Rome; we were stunned and desperate. Not many days later, a conference was held at the University of Teramo; it was the conference that we had prepared for Bruno, to celebrate his 60th birthday, but it was his memory. In the opening conference, Prof. Antonino Giambo, also fraternal friend of Bruno, burst into a tearful cry, which expressed in a moment, the senses of friendship and love that we all had for the missing friend! Starting from this work with Fabrizio Maturo, the study of some problems left open by the works of Eugeni and Rizzi will be investigated. Sunto Ricordo di Franco Eugeni su Bruno Rizzi: in questa brevissima introduzione vorrei ricordare un pomeriggio passato a Roma Tre con Bruno, visto che allora eravamo entrambi Professori Ordinari in quella Università. Lo passammo a fare un denso programma di lavoro per i successivi tre anni. Alle 18.00 ripartii per Roseto degli Abruzzi. Alle sei del mattino successivo, ho ancora la voce nelle orecchie, una telefonata del Preside Ciro d’Aniello, che mi diceva “ Il Professore è morto” Nel pomeriggio Emilio Ambrisi ed io ci recammo a Roma, eravamo attoniti e disperati. Non molti giorni dopo si tenne presso l’Università di Teramo un Convegno, era il Convegno che avevamo preparato per Bruno, per festeggiare i suoi 60 anni, fu invece il ricordo. Nella conferenza di apertura il prof. Antonino Giambò, anche lui, come noi, fraterno amico di Bruno, scoppiò in un pianto dirotto, che espresse in un attimo, i sensi dell’amicizia e dell’amore, che tutti noi avevamo per l’amico scomparso! A partire da questo lavoro con Fabrizio Maturo verrà approfondito lo studio di alcune problematiche rimaste aperte dai lavori di Eugeni e Rizzi. (shrink)
ABSTRACT During the current COVID-19 pandemic, we are experiencing physical viruses infecting our bodies, virtual viruses infecting our computers, and symbolic viruses infecting our thinking. This essay takes up each of these interruptions in a collective attempt to better understand how we are rhetorically and where we might go politically from here.
In this paper we document the developmental trajectory of the complementizer system in Italian by looking at the earliest spontaneous production of eleven young children, whose transcriptions are available on CHILDES. We conducted a novel corpus analysis, tracking down a number of constructions in which the clausal left-periphery is activated. First, we considered the appearance of the different complementizer particles in the CP-system, which overtly realize the three distinct functional projections ForceP, IntP, and FinP. The analysis revealed that children acquiring (...) Italian correctly use these complementizer particles already in the third year of life. Second, we looked for the simultaneous activation of different functional projections within the CP-system. We went through our corpus searching for complex sentences in which more than one constituent was moved to the left periphery. This option is allowed by the adult grammar of Italian and, as our search revealed, it is also attested in the grammar of young children. Soon after their second birthday, sequences in which a left-dislocated Topic and a Wh- element co-occur are attested, directly supporting the existence of a Topic position above FocusP. Moreover, movement in general conforms to the constraints of the adult grammar, with no attested violation of obligatory inversion. Importantly, “why-questions” did not require inversion, much as in the adult grammar of Italian. Taken together, children's use of complementizer particles and their activation of multiple landing sites for movement show that 2-year-olds already possess a richly articulated functional structure of the CP-system, aligned to the layered adult structure. In concluding the paper, we also discuss some temporal differences between constructions activating high and low portions of the CP-system. In particular, we detect a temporal precedence for wh-questions over why-questions. Since the former activate a lower projection, this is consistent with the recently proposed Growing Trees hypothesis, according to which the development of the CP-system proceeds stepwise. (shrink)
The PBR theorem gives insight into how quantum mechanics describes a physical system. This paper explores PBRs’ general result and shows that it does not disallow the ensemble interpretation of quantum mechanics and maintains, as it must, the fundamentally statistical character of quantum mechanics. This is illustrated by drawing an analogy with an ideal gas. An ensemble interpretation of the Schrödinger cat experiment that does not violate the PBR conclusion is also given. The ramifications, limits, and weaknesses of the PBR (...) assumptions, especially in light of lessons learned from Bell’s theorem, are elucidated. It is shown that, if valid, PBRs’ conclusion specifies what type of ensemble interpretations are possible. The PBR conclusion would require a more direct correspondence between the quantum state ) and the reality it describes than might otherwise be expected. A simple terminology is introduced to clarify this greater correspondence. (shrink)
F.M. Scherer has not effectively rebutted my subjectivist criticism of the standard microeconomic welfare model; Scherer's historical reference to what Congress believed is irrelevant to the theoretical concerns raised by subjectivism. Nor does my?principal? criticism of antitrust policy rests on?philosophical foundations?; my principal criticism rests on conventional economic analysis and a detailed economic history of the classic antitrust cases. My conclusion that the electrical equipment conspiracy of the late 1950s had no significant effect on market prices is supported by Ralph (...) Sultan 's findings; indeed, it is Scherer who brutally ignores the context and misrepresents the general thrust of Sultan 's research. Scherer's comments on OPEC confuse the distinction that I made between private and governmental cartels. Finally, the economic welfare model that Scherer embraces so enthusiastically at the start of his review cannot be so suddenly discarded when I show something inconvenient: namely, that the?dominant firms? in the classic antitrust cases did not reduce market output and did not raise market prices. Scherer has not come to grips with my central thesis that antitrust regulation has generally been employed to restrain the competitive market process. (shrink)
The US 1992 Torture Victims Protection Act (TVPA) strengthens the reach of the 1789 Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) to US citizens alleging claims of torture and/or extrajudicial killings that occur abroad, but only if the plaintiffs were US citizens at the time of the criminal acts. Should the later-in-time statute, which gives effect to the United Nations Convention against Torture and extends remedies under the ATCA, be amended to apply to those given political asylum in this country from the (...) moment of their entry? Is not the limbo status of victims given haven in the USA but not automatic citizenship, victims who rightly need resolution of brutal facts which occasioned rupture with their country of origin, a situation that cries for more precise remedy? This note explores this issue as raised by the case of Myroslava Gongadze, the widow of slain political journalist Georghy Gongadze in the Ukraine in September 2000. Only three of the perpetrators, policemen who say they followed orders, were put on trial in 2007–2008. Those who allegedly gave the orders for the killing continue to evade justice. (shrink)
The difficulty in historical research is to develop an exchange with the "other" that is both sensitive to transferential displacement and open to the challenge of the "other's" voice. Contemporary sociocultural history has often tended simply to reverse the assumptions of an abstracted history of ideas and replicate its documentary treatment of artifacts as symptoms of society and economy rather than of mind. Its populism replicates the scapegoating propensities of populism in society. Even the best historians, Carl Schorske and Robert (...) Darnton, have tended to deny the contestatory dimensions of high culture and the challenge of forging new links between it and popular culture. Everyone is a mentalito~ case, but certain artifacts are exceptional products of cultural activity with critical power and an uncanny ability to play uncommon variations on commonplace things. (shrink)
Burnout is a well-documented entity in Care Workers population, affecting up to 50% of physicians, just as it is equally well established that managing an infectious disease outbreaks, such as confirmed in the COVID-19 pandemic, increases Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and the psychological burden. Mental health support, in the form of formal or remote sessions, has been shown to be helpful to health care staff, despite the organizational difficulties in an emergency. During the first emergence of COVID-19 in Italy, the Scientific (...) Institute for Research, Hospitalization and Health Care Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico Policlinico San Matteo Foundation, the Italian hospital that treated “patient 1,” has activated an agreement with the Soleterre Foundation, an international Non-Governmental Organization that manages health emergency projects, to provide psychological support. A task force of psychologists was created with the aim of designing and administering a Therapeutic Mental Health Assessment for COVID-19 Care Workers to evaluate and support health care workers’ mental health. The assessment battery was developed to evaluate symptoms and behaviors associated with trauma and the corresponding maladaptive behaviors. Once the TMHA COVID-19 CWs had been developed, the team of psychologists regularly visited healthcare staff in the ward to administer it. One hundred seven care workers across Intensive Care Units, the emergency room and medical ward were administered the TMHA COVID-19 CWs. PTSD symptoms were reported as severe by 13% of the population. Depressive symptoms as severe for 7% and Anxiety symptoms as severe for 14%. Severe psychotic symptoms were experienced by 2% and severe suicidal thoughts by 1% of the population. The possibility of acting upon the results of the TMHA COVID-19 CWs allowed an early intervention through individual session beyond the cut-off level for PTSD in NSESSS. In fact, 280 individual support sessions were offered. Therefore, we considered our project a protective and support factor for healthcare workers’ mental well-being and we recommend implementing a mental health screening program in ward involved in COVID-19 patients’ care. (shrink)
Food allergy represents an increasing public health issue, and a large number of food control authorities have provided regulations aimed to minimize the risk of allergic reaction for sensitized consumers. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations together with the World Health Organization established the Codex Alimentarius Commission whose main goal is to protect the consumers’ health. To purse this task the Commission listed the foods and ingredients causing the most severe allergic reactions that should be labelled. It (...) has been reported that some cases of specific foods hypersensitivity display a different prevalence among different Countries. Thus, the European Union drew up a list of mandatory allergens longer than that provided by Codex Alimentarius. As a consequence of the complexity of the legal phraseology of the European Union and/or European Community the Regulations and/or Directives were differently translated in all EC/EU official languages determining possible misinterpretations of the legislation. Moreover, food labelling regulations were also established with the goal to promote the consumers’ conscious choice about what they eat. Starting from the case of the fermented beverages, we analysed the European legislative scenario concerning the allergen labelling of the last fifteen years, highlighting that mistranslations, misinterpretations and lack of information in the EU Regulations might lead to health and ethical issues. (shrink)
In the famous opening sentence of The Eighteenth Brumaire, Marx notes that somewhere Hegel had written that great world-historical phenomena occur twice, neglecting to add, however, the first time as tragedy, the second as farce. Given what we now know of the heretofore hidden side of Bruno Rizzi, still another revision seems in order: sometimes such phenomena make yet a third appearance, this time as embarrassment, rank embarrassment. Indeed, Rizzi's name surfaced in three such sequential contexts. The first (...) was in the late 1930s when non-stalinist Marxists, primarily Trotskyists, were debating whether or not a “new class” had emerged in the Soviet Union. (shrink)
In this paper I defend a reading of eikasia as the viewing of an image as an image; this condition need not involve any confusion of image and original. The “standard reading” of eikasia, on which experiencing this state involves mistaking images for originals, is unsatisfactory, despite the fact that it offers an attractive account of the relation of the line and the cave. The initial description of eikasia makes the suggestion that Socrates believes that anyone consistently mistakes images for (...) originals implausible. Furthermore, the similarity later described between eikasia and dianoia, the third highest state on the line, supports the claim that eikasia can sometimes involve the successful study of an object through its image. After outlining my view of eikasia and explaining these arguments against the “standard” view, I return to the cave and attempt a pairing of the line and the cave that accords with my account of eikasia. (shrink)
This book takes a global approach to one of today's most controversial topics in business: Dollarization. With the collapse of the former Soviet Union, and the formation of the Euro in Europe, many countries are debating whether or not a common currency is in their best interest. This intriguing volume brings together the leading participants in the current dollarization debates.
In Minimal Morality, Michael Moehler justifies what he calls the weak principle of universalization as a principle of pure instrumental morality. This article addresses the application of this principle and problems associated with it. Specifically, the article focuses on the principle’s ability to protect the interests of the most vulnerable members of society: agents without primary moral standing, specifically non-human animals; and the weakest members of society, either as a result of their diminished relative bargaining power in certain cases of (...) conflict, or because of their present standing in society, made worse off by historical injustices. To this end, the article considers, respectively, the problems of moral standing, indivisible goods and historical injustice. (shrink)
In On Nature and Language Noam Chomsky develops his thinking on the relation between language, mind and brain, integrating current research in linguistics into the burgeoning field of neuroscience. This 2002 volume begins with a lucid introduction by the editors Adriana Belletti and Luigi Rizzi. This is followed by some of Chomsky's writings on these themes, together with a penetrating interview in which Chomsky provides the clearest and most elegant introduction to current theory available. It should make his Minimalist (...) Program accessible to all. The volume concludes with an essay on the role of intellectuals in society and government. Nature and Language is a significant landmark in the development of linguistic theory. It will be welcomed by students and researchers in theoretical linguistics, neurolinguistics, cognitive science and politics, as well as anyone interested in the development of Chomsky's thought. (shrink)
A recent no-go theorem gives an extension of the Wigner’s Friend argument that purports to prove the “Quantum theory cannot consistently describe the use of itself.” The argument is complex and thought provoking, but fails in a straightforward way if one treats QM as a statistical theory in the most fundamental sense, i.e. if one applies the so-called ensemble interpretation. This explanation is given here at an undergraduate level, which can be edifying for experts and students alike. A recent paper (...) has already shown that the no-go theorem is incorrect with regard to the de Broglie Bohm theory and misguided in some of its general claims. This paper’s contribution is three fold. It shows how the extended Wigner’s Friend argument fails in the ensemble interpretation. It also makes more evident how natural a consistent statistical treatment of the wave function is. In this way, the refutation of the argument is useful for bringing out the core statistical nature of QM. It, in addition, manifests the unnecessary complications and problems introduced by the collapse mechanism that is part of the Copenhagen interpretation. The paper uses the straightforwardness of the ensemble interpretation to make the no-go argument and its refutation more accessible. (shrink)
Objective: The present work aims to conduct the first naturalistic empirical investigation of the process and outcome assessment of functional psychotherapy treatment. The FP model of psychotherapy is rooted in psychoanalysis and integrates the verbal communication approach founded on transference and countertransference dynamics with the analysis of bodily processes.Method: The study sample included ten patients recruited on a voluntary basis and treated by clinicians in their private practices. Each patient received FP with an average duration of 40 h. Therapies had (...) weekly sessions, were audio-recorded with the patient’s written consent, and lasted for an average of 10 months. Outcome and process tools included the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 and the Luborsky’s the Core Conflictual Relationship Theme, used to assess therapeutic benefit, and the Metacognition Assessment Scale and the Italian Discourse Attributes Analysis Program system, used to evaluate therapeutic benefit and process. The MMPI-2 was used also in the follow-up assessment.Results: Results show that FP had a positive therapeutic outcome on the patients assessed in this study, and that the therapeutic benefits were maintained over time. Some specific features of the FP approach were found to contribute more than others to the observed therapeutic benefits.Conclusion: The current investigation constitutes a first step toward assessment of the therapeutic effectiveness of FP. Future developments should apply the methodology to a larger sample, possibly introducing different methodologies to enable detection of specific bodily oriented processes and techniques. (shrink)
Aristotle's account of virtue faces two dangers: the account appears circular, and the text seems to suggest that virtue is relative. Virtue sets the ends for practical wisdom. Without practical wisdom, though, one lacks 'real virtue.' Virtue and practical wisdom appear to depend upon each other. Further, habituation is the source of virtue. Virtue appears to depend upon one's training; virtue looks relative. The concept of 'natural virtue' offers an escape from these difficulties. Virtue and practical wisdom, though related, are (...) not related in a vicious circle. Further, 'natural virtue' guarantees that Aristotle's virtue is not relativistic. (shrink)
In this paper, I begin with an account of the initial distinction between likenesses and appearances, a distinction which may resemble the difference between sophists and philosophers. That distinction first arises immediately after the puzzling appearance of the noble sophist, who seems to occupy an odd space in between sophist and philosopher. In the second section, I look more closely at the noble sophist, and on what that figure might tell us about images and the use of images. I also (...) attempt to use the insights provided by the noble sophist in an investigation of the kind of images that Plato the author produces. This raises the question of the general notion of image as it appears in the Sophist, and especially of the dual nature of all images, which in turn invites reflection on certain features of the examination of being and non-being late in the dialogue. Finally, I return to the deception inherent in images, and I argue that this dialogue does not present the possibility of completely honest images. Nevertheless, I hope to show that some uses of deceptions and images are better than others. (shrink)
Besides the pure pleasure of watching a dance performance, dance as a whole-body movement is becoming increasingly popular for health-related interventions. However, the science-based evidence for improvements in health or well-being through dance is still ambiguous and little is known about the underlying neurophysiological mechanisms. This may be partly related to the fact that previous studies mostly examined the neurophysiological effects of imagination and observation of dance rather than the physical execution itself. The objective of this pilot study was to (...) investigate acute effects of a physically executed dance with its different components on the electrical brain activity and its functional connectivity using electroencephalographic analysis. Eleven dance-inexperienced female participants first learned a Modern Jazz Dance choreography over three weeks. Afterwards, the acute effects on the EEG brain activity were compared between four different test conditions: physically executing the MJD choreography with music, physically executing the choreography without music, imaging the choreography with music, and imaging the choreography without music. Every participant passed each test condition in a randomized order within a single day. EEG rest-measurements were conducted before and after each test condition. Considering time effects the physically executed dance without music revealed in brain activity analysis most increases in alpha frequency and in functional connectivity analysis in all frequency bands. In comparison, physically executed dance with music as well as imagined dance with music led to fewer increases and imagined dance without music provoked noteworthy brain activity and connectivity decreases at all frequency bands. Differences between the test conditions were found in alpha and beta frequency between the physically executed dance and the imagined dance without music as well as between the physically executed dance with and without music in the alpha frequency. The study highlights different effects of a physically executed dance compared to an imagined dance on many brain areas for all measured frequency bands. These findings provide first insights into the still widely unexplored field of neurological effects of dance and encourages further research in this direction. (shrink)