In recent years, sequencing technologies have enabled the identification of a wide range of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). Unfortunately, annotation and integration of ncRNA data has lagged behind their identification. Given the large quantity of information being obtained in this area, there emerges an urgent need to integrate what is being discovered by a broad range of relevant communities. To this end, the Non-Coding RNA Ontology (NCRO) is being developed to provide a systematically structured and precisely defined controlled vocabulary for the (...) domain of ncRNAs, thereby facilitating the discovery, curation, analysis, exchange, and reasoning of data about structures of ncRNAs, their molecular and cellular functions, and their impacts upon phenotypes. The goal of NCRO is to serve as a common resource for annotations of diverse research in a way that will significantly enhance integrative and comparative analysis of the myriad resources currently housed in disparate sources. It is our belief that the NCRO ontology can perform an important role in the comprehensive unification of ncRNA biology and, indeed, fill a critical gap in both the Open Biological and Biomedical Ontologies (OBO) Library and the National Center for Biomedical Ontology (NCBO) BioPortal. Our initial focus is on the ontological representation of small regulatory ncRNAs, which we see as the first step in providing a resource for the annotation of data about all forms of ncRNAs. (shrink)
Identification of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) has been significantly improved over the past decade. On the other hand, semantic annotation of ncRNA data is facing critical challenges due to the lack of a comprehensive ontology to serve as common data elements and data exchange standards in the field. We developed the Non-Coding RNA Ontology (NCRO) to handle this situation. By providing a formally defined ncRNA controlled vocabulary, the NCRO aims to fill a specific and highly needed niche in semantic annotation of (...) large amounts of ncRNA biological and clinical data. (shrink)
Peter Harrison's Gifford Lectures demonstrate that the modern concepts of “religion” and “science” do not correspond to any fixed sphere of life in the pre-modern world. Because these terms are incommensurate and ideological, they misconstrue the past. I examine the influence and affinities of Ludwig Wittgenstein's philosophy on Harrison's study in order to argue that Harrison's project approaches Wittgenstein's. Harrison's book is a therapeutic history, untying a knot in scholarly language. I encourage Harrison, however, to (...) clarify how future scholars can progress in their study of phenomena once termed “scientific” or “religious” without succumbing to these same mistakes. (shrink)
Critical and theoretical essays by a long-time participant in the Art & Language movement. In Conceptual Art and Painting, a companion to his Essays on Art & Language, Charles Harrison reconsiders Conceptual Art in light of renewed interest in the original movement and of the various forms of "neo-Conceptual" art. He discusses developments in the Art & Language movement since 1991, during which time there have been major retrospectives of its work at the Musee du Jeu de Paume in (...) Paris, the Antonio Tapies Foundation in Barcelona, and PS1 in New York. Harrison also addresses larger issues of painting as an art, the representation of the female body, and the relation of art to its audience. (shrink)
Eastern Philosophy: The Basics is an essential introduction to major Indian and Chinese philosophies, both past and present. Exploring familiar metaphysical and ethical questions from the perspectives of different Eastern philosophies, including Confucianism, Daoism, and strands of Buddhism and Hinduism, this book covers key figures, issues, methods and concepts. Questions discussed include: What is the ‘self’? Is human nature inherently good or bad? How is the mind related to the world? How can you live an authentic life? What is the (...) fundamental nature of reality? Throughout the book the relationships between Eastern Philosophy, Western Philosophy and the questions reflective people ask within the contemporary world are brought to the fore. With timelines highlighting key figures and their contributions, a list of useful websites and further reading suggestions for each topic, this engaging overview of fundamental ideas in Eastern Philosophy is valuable reading for all students of philosophy and religion, especially those seeking to understand Eastern perspectives. (shrink)
This volume consists of papers given to the Royal Institute of Philos ophy Conference on 'Philosophy and the Visual Arts: Seeing and Abstracting' given at the University of Bristol in September 1985. The contributors here come about equally from the disciplines of Philosophy and Art History and for that reason the Conference was hosted jointly by the Bristol University Departments of Philosophy and History of Art. Other conferences sponsored by the Royal Institute of Philosophy have been concerned with links between (...) Philosophy and related disciplines, but here, with the generous support of South West Arts and with the enthusiastic co-operation of the staff of the Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol we were able to attempt even more in the way of bridge building; not only were we able to hold some of our meetings in as possible to the general the Gallery, thus making them as accessible public, but we were also privileged in having our discussions supported by two exhibitions of contemporary painting that together presented contrasting aspects of the abstracting enterprise. One, featuring works by Ian McKeever, and drawings and painting by Frank Auerbach, some of which are discussed and illustrated in the present volume, was about the painterly exploration of 'abstracting from' images in nature and in painting itself. The other, curated by Waldemar Januszczak, while showing some figurative works, was concerned with the 'pure' power of colour perceived 'abstractly, in its own right. (shrink)
Being morally responsible means being blameworthy and deserving of punishment if we do wrong and praiseworthy and deserving reward if we do right. In what follows I shall argue that in all likelihood we're not morally responsible. None of us. Ever.
The existence of evil is compatible with the existence of God, most theists would claim, because evil either results from the activities of free agents, or it contributes in some way toward their moral development. According to the ‘free-will defence’, evil and suffering are necessary consequences of free-will. Proponents of the ‘soul-making argument’—a theodicy with a different emphasis—argue that a universe which is imperfect will nurture a whole range of virtues in a way impossible either in a perfect world, or (...) in a totally evil one. The pain of animals is widely thought to constitute a major difficulty for both of these accounts, for if we ask whether the only evils present in the world result directly from the free actions of created agents, or contribute in some way to ‘soul-making’ of such agents, we are bound to admit that, on the face of it, much animal pain does not. (shrink)
In a recent essay in this journal, Tom O’Shea defends socialist republicanism, marrying the value of freedom as nondomination to public ownership of the means of production. In this reply, I argue that the efficiency costs that often attach to public ownership may undercut the ability of the socialist republic to combat domination by public agents. I provide two reasons in support of this claim. First, the economic gains provided by efficiency can insulate individuals from the discretionary power of other (...) agents. Put briefly, the more wealth you have, the less the discretionary power threatens your basic interests. Second, the efficiency costs of public ownership also make it more difficult to hold accountable the managers of economic organizations. This shortcoming of O’Shea’s argument reveals a point hitherto neglected in the republican literature—caring about nondomination implies caring about efficiency. (shrink)
An old conservative criticism of egalitarianism is that it is nothing but the expression of envy. Egalitarians respond by saying envy has nothing to do with it. I present an alternative way of thinking about the relation of envy to distributive justice, and to Rawlsian justice in particular. I argue that while ideals of justice rightly distance themselves from envy, envy plays a role in facing injustice. Under nonideal circumstances, less attractive features of human nature may play a role in (...) motivating the action necessary to push an unjust society in a more just direction. (shrink)
:A common justification offered for unequal pay is that it encourages socially beneficial productivity. G. A. Cohen famously criticizes this argument for not questioning the behaviour and attitudes that make those incentives necessary. I defend the communal status of incentives against Cohen's challenge. I argue that Cohen's criticism fails to appreciate two different contexts in which we might grant incentives. We might grant unequal payment to someone because they demand it. However, unequal payment might be an offer instead. I claim (...) that incentives as offers promote the ideal of society as a cooperative venture for mutual advantage. (shrink)
I argue social and political freedom is not primarily about the absence of constraints, whether those constraints be in the form of interference or domination. Instead, social freedom is centrally about what makes us free. That is, the question of social freedom is first and foremost about determining the positive preconditions of being a free person within society. Social freedom is about what I call the social bases of freedom, or those features of our social world that we have a (...) reason to rely on in making plans or going about our business. (shrink)
Untangling the relationship of law and liberty is among the core problems of political theory. One prominent position is that there is no freedom without law. This article challenges the argument that, because law is constitutive of freedom, there is no freedom without law. I suggest that, once properly understood, the argument that law is constitutive of freedom does not uniquely apply to law. It also applies to social norms. What law does for freedom, social norms can do too. Thus, (...) I claim the question facing us is not the easy one of either law or social norms. Respecting this draws attention to the unique risks to our freedom introduced by both sets of norms. (shrink)
Critical-thinking skills are essential for life in the 21st century. In this follow-up to his introductory guide Think, and continuing his trademark of hopeful skepticism, Guy Harrison demonstrates in a detailed fashion how to sort through bad ideas, unfounded claims, and bogus information to drill down to the most salient facts. By explaining how the human brain works, and outing its most irrational processes, this book provides the thinking tools that will help you make better decisions, ask the right (...) questions (at the right time), know what to look for when evaluating information, and understand how your own brain subconsciously clouds your judgment. Think you're too smart to be easily misled? Harrison summarizes scientific research showing how easily even intelligent and well-educated people can be fooled. We all suffer from cognitive biases, embellished memories, and the tendency to kowtow to authority figures or be duped by dubious 'truths' packaged in appealing stories. And as primates we are naturally status seekers, so we are prone to irrational beliefs that seem to enhance our sense of belonging and ranking. Emotional impulses and stress also all too often lead us into traps of misperception and bad judgment. Understanding what science has discovered about the brain makes you better equipped to cope with its built-in pitfalls. Good Thinking--the book and the practice-- makes clear that with knowledge and the right thinking skills, anyone can lead a safer, wiser, more efficient, and productive life. (shrink)
In his discussion of the ethics of suicide Plato alludes to more than one traditional injunction against it:indicates a fairly general acceptance of its wickedness. Cebes has heard the Pythagorean Philolaus, among others, saying that suicide was immoral, but has gathered no satisfactory explanation as to why this should be so. One reason, impressive, but, Socrates admits, difficult is to be found.
Mr. Harrison's critique of my article in JRS 63 is conducted with characteristic learning and subtlety. He has pointed out much that I ought to have observed. But I remain altogether unconvinced: Harrison objects to my preferring a close local sense for his , hinc , repetit and revehis because in comparison with the distance from Troy, even the 100-odd miles from Cortona to the scene of action—let alone the 50-odd miles from Tarquinii—count as ‘loca’.
This is my (Subhasis Chattopadhyay's) draft of PhD pre-submission. Dr. Scriver has (had) put it up online in her blog and I found it today, that is 1:06 pm, 28th May, 2017. I am grateful to her since intellectual ideas can otherwise be hijacked. She has done a wonderful editorial job.