Overall, the deregulation of genetically engineered (GE) crops for commercial cultivation in North America has been a success story. In several cases, however, GE crops have sparked concerns and disagreements among the stakeholders and there are incidences of court lawsuits, including a recent one on glyphosate resistant (GR) alfalfa (Medicago sativa, L.). While GE crops can provide operational benefits to farmers, challenges are looming from commercialization of perennial GE crops. The unique ecology and biology of these crops and GE alfalfa (...) in particular can facilitate adventitious presence (AP) of GE traits and it makes more visible that economic risks for conventional growers and food/feed producers have not been adequately addressed by the GE regulatory system in the United States (US). Asynchronous market approvals and the existence of a number of GE sensitive export markets create uncertainties among the exporters. Policy development in these fields may be helpful for ensuring a broader acceptance and market success of GE agriculture in general. The analysis is focusing on the US, although many diagnosed problems are also relevant to other jurisdictions—in particular if no co-existence policy is in place. (shrink)
Phytoremediation is the technology of using plants for decontamination of heavy metals and their accumulation in the different tissues and organs of plants. The contamination resulting from heavy metals is of great significance due to its sustainability in the environment. The absorption of zinc in contaminated soils was studied using one-year Arizona cypress seedlings, which were placed in vases. After the passage of each 55-day time period from the growth of the seedlings, the shoots (leaves and stem), roots and soil (...) of the seedlings were sampled. Results were studied using an analysis of variance (ANOVA) test and Duncan's test. The highest mg/l concentration rate of zinc in Arizona cypress organs in the first time period in the shoots, roots and soil was 61.67 mg/kg, 60.1 mg/kg and 12.45 mg/kg, respectively and in the second time period in the shoots, roots and soil was 142.86 mg/kg, 85.94 mg/kg and 12 mg/kg, respectively. Based on the research, Arizona cypress is appropriate for refining zinc metal polluted soils. (shrink)
We present a model of computation for string functions over single-sorted, total algebraic structures and study some basic features of a general theory of computability within this framework. Our concept generalizes the Blum-Shub-Smale setting of computability over the reals and other rings. By dealing with strings of arbitrary length instead of tuples of fixed length, some suppositions of deeper results within former approaches to generalized recursion theory become superfluous. Moreover, this gives the basis for introducing computational complexity in a BSS-like (...) manner. Relationships both to classical computability and to Friedman's concept of eds computability are established. Two kinds of nondeterminism as well as several variants of recognizability are investigated with respect to interdependencies on each other and on properties of the underlying structures. For structures of finite signatures, there are universal programs with the usual characteristics. For the general case of not necessarily finite signature, this subject will be studied in a separate, forthcoming paper. (shrink)
This book is the first systematic treatment of the philosophy of science underlying evolutionary economics. It does not advocate an evolutionary approach towards economics, but rather assesses the epistemic value of appealing to evolutionary biology in economics more generally. The author divides work in evolutionary economics into three distinct, albeit related, forms: a structural form, an evidential form, and a heuristic form. He then analyzes five examples of work in evolutionary economics falling under these three forms. For the structural form, (...) he examines the parallelism between natural selection and economic decision making, and the parallelism between natural selection and market competition. For the evidential form, he looks at the relationship between animal and human economic decision making, and the evolutionary explanation of diversity in human economic decision making. Finally, for the heuristic form, he focuses on the plausibility of equilibrium modeling in evolutionary ecology and economics. In this way, he shows that linking evolutionary biology and economics can make for a powerful methodological tool that can enable progress in our understanding of various economics questions. Structure, Evidence, and Heuristic will be of interest to scholars and advanced students working in philosophy of science, philosophy of social science, evolutionary biology, and economics. (shrink)
Recent research has detailed the use of neuroscience in several jurisdictions, but Australia remains a notable omission. To fill this substantial void we performed a systematic review of neuroscience in Australian criminal cases. The first section of this article reports the results of our review by detailing the purposes for which neuroscience is admitted into Australian criminal courts. We found that neuroscience is being admitted pre-trial, at trial, and during sentencing. In the second section, we evaluate these applications. We generally (...) found that courts admit neuroscience cautiously, and to supplement more well-established forms of evidence. Still, we found some instances in which the court seemed to misunderstand the neuroscience. These cases ranged from interpreting neuroscience as “objective” evidence to admitting neuroscience when the same non-neuroscientific psychiatric evidence would be inadmissible for being common sense. Furthermore, in some cases, neuroscientific evidence presents a double-edged sword; it may serve to either aggravate or mitigate a sentence. Thus, the decision about whether or not to tender this evidence is risky. (shrink)
The aim of the paper is to present and evaluate Bolzano's theory of grounding, that is, his theory of the concept expressed and the relation brought into play by 'because'. In the first part of the paper (Sections 1-4) the concept of grounding is distinguished from and related to three other concepts: the concept of an epistemic reason}, the concept of causality, and the concept of deducibility (i.e., logical consequence). In its second part (Sections 5-7) Bolzano's positive account of grounding (...) is reconstructed in axiomatic form and critically discussed. (shrink)
I explore some of the ways that assumptions about the nature of substance shape metaphysical debates about the structure of Reality. Assumptions about the priority of substance play a role in an argument for monism, are embedded in certain pluralist metaphysical treatments of laws of nature, and are central to discussions of substantivalism and relationalism. I will then argue that we should reject such assumptions and collapse the categorical distinction between substance and property.
In discussing the operationalization of sustainability as a concept two tendencies can, at present, be observed: the dependence of sustainability maxims on their presumed or actual acceptance and their relationship to integrative modeling based on empirical research. In contrast, this contribution is based on the assumption that the problems of implementing sustainability are (at least or also) caused by divergent normative conceptions in society and by the problems of legitimization that arise out of them. Coping with these conflicts requires explicit (...) normative reflection and the appropriate decision-making procedures, which can, in fact, be supported and advised – but not replaced – by empirical research. (shrink)
In the wake of the emergence and rapid development of nanoethics there swiftly followed fundamental criticism: nanoethics was said to have become much too involved with speculative developments and was concerning itself too little with actually pending questions of nanotechnology design and applications. If this diagnosis is true, then large parts of nanoethics are misguided. Such fundamental criticism must surely either result in a radical reorientation of nanoethics or be refuted for good reasons. In this paper, I will examine the (...) critics’ central arguments and, building on this scrutiny, formulate an answer to these alternatives. The results lead to conclusions which allow explaining and unfolding the thesis of this paper that instead of speculative nanoethics we should better speak of and develop explorative philosophy of nanotechnology. (shrink)
The pressures that led to the evolution of episodic memory have recently seen much discussion, but a fully satisfactory account of them is still lacking. We seek to make progress in this debate by taking a step backward, identifying four possible ways that episodic memory could evolve in relation to simulationist future planning—a similar and seemingly related ability. After distinguishing each of these possibilities, the paper critically discusses existing accounts of the evolution of episodic memory. It then presents a novel (...) argument in favor of the view that episodic memory is a by-product of the evolution of simulationist future planning. The paper ends by showing that this position allows for the maintenance of the traditional view that episodic memory operates on stored memory traces, as well as explaining a number of key features of episodic memory: its being subject to frequent and systematic errors, its neural co-location with the capacity for simulationist future planning, and the potential existence of non-human episodic memory. (shrink)
May discovered Diderot's copiously annotated copy of this anti-materialist tract by Hemsterhuis, known to many contemporaries as "the Dutch Plato"; this edition contains May's interesting introduction, a facsimile of the original text, and a transcription of all of Diderot's comments. The comments bear on infelicities of style as well as of thought, though the latter preponderate: the Lettre is not, alas, the product of a first-rate philosophical intellect. Diderot's strong objections to Hemsterhuis' crude theory of a moral organ can be (...) taken as complementing his Refutation of Helvetius, which dates from the same period.—W. L. M. (shrink)
Admitting to some departure from the Aristotelian classification, Jolivet divides human activities into three sorts: labor, play, and contemplation. He warns against the naturalizing effect of the Marxist notion of labor, defends play as the essentially superfluous, and argues for including art in his third category. A proper conception of human wisdom involves all three activities, although the speculative remains the highest, and the love of God is wisdom's fullest perfection. Based on a lecture series, the book is a clear, (...) rather non-technical, and contemporary re-working of some venerable ideas.--W. L. M. (shrink)
For Brun, the separation of men from existence, which expresses itself in various forms of anxiety, is the central concern of philosophy. While the separation of men from one another can be partly overcome by language and by modern technology's "conquests," the ontological separation cannot, the philosophic attitude of wonder can never be entirely replaced by nihil mirari. He takes issue with the philosophies of praxis which regard human action as the potential remedy for all separation. The thesis is defended (...) capably and passionately.--W. L. M. (shrink)
Parallel to the public discussion on the benefits and risks of nanotechnology, a debate on the ethics of nanotechnology has begun. It has been postulated that a new “nano-ethics” is necessary. In this debate, the — positive as well as negative — visionary and speculative innovations which are brought into connection with nanotechnology stand in the foreground. In this contribution, an attempt is made to discover new ethical aspects of nanotechnology in a more systematic manner than has been the case. (...) It turns out that there are hardly any completely new ethical aspects raised by nanotechnology. It is much rather primarily a case of gradual shifts of emphasis and of relevance in questions which, in principle, are already known and which give reason for ethical discussions on nanotechnology. In a certain manner, structurally novel ethical aspects arise through the important role played by visions in the public discourse. New questions are also posed by the fact that previously separate lines of ethical reflection converge in the field of nanotechnology. The proposal of an independent “nano-ethics”, however, seems exaggerated. (shrink)
Dynamic stability of the knee and weakness of the extensor muscles are considered to be the most important functional limitations after anterior cruciate ligament injury, probably due to changes at the central level of motor control rather than at the peripheral level. Despite general technological advances, fewer contraindicative surgical procedures, and extensive postoperative rehabilitation, up to 65% of patients fail to return to their preinjury level of sports, and only half were able to return to competitive sport. Later, it becomes (...) clear that current rehabilitation after knee surgery is not sufficient to address the functional limitations after ACL reconstruction even years after surgery. Therefore, new therapeutic tools targeting the central neural system, i.e., the higher centers of motor control, should be investigated and integrated into current rehabilitation practice. To improve motor performance when overt movement cannot be fully performed, several techniques have been developed to increase physical and mental activation without the need to perform overt movements. Among the most popular cognitive techniques used to increase physical performance are motor imagery and action observation practices. This review, which examines the available evidence, presents the underlying mechanisms of the efficacy of cognitive interventions and provides guidelines for their use at home. (shrink)
Pucelle tries to show how the idea of personal liberty is central to Green's ethics. Green's criticisms of other philosophers and the historical context of his philosophy are especially well handled. --W. L. M.
Many international courts have developed into institutions of public authority; this begs the question of their legitimation. This Article addresses their democratic legitimation and argues that Articles 9-12 of the E.U. Treaty provide a promising blueprint for its conceptualization, fusing theories focused on representation, participation and deliberation. This fusion points the way towards conceiving and developing the democratic credentials of institutions beyond the state in general. Soft law used by international judges, their election, procedure and reasoning will appear in a (...) new light. (shrink)
Robert Stern has argued that Levinas is a kind of command theorist and that, for this reason, Løgstrup can be understood to have provided an argument against Levinas. In this paper, I discuss Levinas’s use of the vocabulary of demand, order, and command in the light of Jewish philosophical accounts of such notions in the work of Martin Buber, Franz Rosenzweig, and Emil Fackenheim. These accounts revise the traditional Jewish idea of command and I show that Levinas’s use of this (...) vocabulary is also revisionary. I show that in light of this tradition of discussion, Levinas’s use is not susceptible to the interpretation Stern proposes and thus that the Løgstrup-style argument cannot be used against Levinas. (shrink)
Tropes are not only rhetorical means, which are used as a creative and / or persuasive linguistic means in poetry and public speech. They are also a cognitive tool which helps people to understand the world and to express their world. As they are the basis on which our worldview and even our everyday speech is founded, the question must be posed as to whether utterances containing tropes can be said to be true. This has been an epistemological problem since (...) Nietzsche expressed his doubts about the possibility that figurative language could give access to truth. However, since then research has paid little attention to this question. 18 papers by linguists, philosophers, psychologists and literary scholars have been collected in this volume. Their 21 authors use various approaches or paradigms in order to define metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, irony, euphemism, antonomasia and hyperbole and find an answer to the crucial epistemological questions, namely whether and to what extent utterances containing tropes can be said to be true or false. (shrink)
Moral Sanctuary is used in this paper as a metaphor for any theory which makes actions immune from moral criticism. Three arguments favoring moral sanctuaries for business activities are countered. Two of the arguments rest on faulty analogies. One compares business activities to games, another to the behavior of machines. The third rests on the claim that business is a unique activity. This position is rejected by a reductio ad absurdum argument; it entails the immunity of all professional activities from (...) moral judgment. I argue that business managers are accountable to the combined requirements of professionalism and democratic citizenship, notions which are briefly described at the conclusion of the paper. (shrink)
The role of ethics in technology development has been often questioned, especially in the early days of societal reflection of technology. However, the situation has changed dramatically. Ethical consideration now is generally declared to be indispensable in shaping technology in a socially acceptable and sustainable way. The expectations of ethics are large; often even a kind of “New Ethics” is postulated. In the present paper an over-estimation of the role of ethics for technology development is rejected. It is argued that (...) ethical reflection is, indeed, indispensable in certain problem areas and situation types; but there is, on the other hand, space for technology development free from the requirement for ethical reflection. The absence of a requirement for ethical reflection, however, always has to be considered relative to some “morale provisoire” (provisional morality) as an accepted normative framework within which technology development may occur without explicit ethical reflection. If this framework, however, is doubted or is shown to be insufficient the situation changes completely. Ethical reflection in this case becomes necessary, to consider this normative framework in order to offer modifications or supplements. (shrink)
Confabulations are memories of events and experiences that have never actually happened. Such false memories have fascinated scientists for over a century, and in recent years been the subject of much debate. This is the first book to provide an in-depth analysis of an extraordinary and controversial subject.