: Because an influenza pandemic would create the most serious hardships for those who already face most serious hardships, countries should take special measures to mitigate the effect of a pandemic on existing social inequalities. Unfortunately, there is little evidence that anybody is thinking about that.
One of the most influential arguments for realism about mathematical objects is the indispensability argument. Simply put, this is the argument that insofar as we are committed to the existence of the physical objects existentially quantified over in our best scientific theories, we are also committed to the mathematical objects existentially quantified over in these theories. Following the Quine–Putnam formulation of the indispensability argument, some proponents of the indispensability argument have made the mistake of taking confirmational holism to be an (...) essential premise of the argument. In this paper, I consider the reasons philosophers have taken confirmational holism to be essential to the argument and argue that, contrary to the traditional view, confirmational holism is dispensable. (shrink)
Distributive, procedural, and interactional justice are constructs that are increasingly being recognized as important factors that affect individual perceptions in the workplace environment. This paper presents a theoretical perspective that suggests that justice is perceived through a subjective lens that consists of individualized beliefs and proposes that cultural attributes and demographic characteristics play an integral part in determining the perception of justice. The distinctions between these three constructs are presented in context with the core beliefs of individual employees – affected (...) by a multitude of perceptual and demographic factors that we briefly identify herein. Based on the theoretical perspective, an instrument that measures the constructs of justice as perceived by individuals was developed. With a focus on justice within the business setting, hypotheses about attitudes related to justice were tested. Survey results confirm that the three constructs of justice are distinct but correlated. Significant differences were found in the perceptions of African-American respondents with regard to procedural justice. Although the empirical findings do not support all the hypotheses, this research highlights the need for further development of measures to assess the perception of justice in business settings and at an applied level, underscores the importance of recognizing cultural attributes and demographic characteristics in understanding how justice is perceived. (shrink)
Ruth Myrtle Patrick was a pioneering ecologist and taxonomist whose extraordinary career at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia spanned over six decades. In 1947, an opportunity arose for Patrick to lead a new kind of river survey for the Pennsylvania Sanitary Water Board to study the effects of pollution on aquatic organisms. Patrick leveraged her already extensive scientific network, which included ecologist G. Evelyn Hutchinson, to overcome resistance within the Academy, establish a new Department of (...) Limnology, and carry out the survey, which was a resounding success and brought much needed money to the Academy. As demand for her expertise grew among industrial companies, such as the chemical company DuPont, Patrick became more active in the world of applied science. She repurposed data and instruments from her river surveys to run new experiments, test ecological theories, and conduct long-term ecological studies. Through these studies, she advanced an argument that biologist Thomas Lovejoy dubbed the “Patrick principle,” the idea that the ecological health of a body of water could be measured by the relative abundance and diversity of species living there. Patrick was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1970, became a board member of DuPont in 1975, and received two of the most prestigious awards in ecology: the Eminent Ecologist Award from the Ecological Society of America in 1972 and the Tyler Ecology Award in 1975. This article analyzes Patrick’s unusual success in bridging the worlds of science and industry and her unusual ability to cross, and redefine, the perceived boundary between basic and applied fields in biology. It argues that Patrick’s position at the Academy, an institution of natural history that was both willing and able to accept money from industrial corporations, is key to understanding her success in, and influence on, the field of river ecology. (shrink)
Early medieval Irish literature presents several types of voyages into the afterworld: echtrai (various adventures into Mag Mell), immrama (sea travels to the enchanted islands of the Ocean), fisi (ecstatic revelations of Christian eschatology), journeys into Saint Patrick’s Purgatory. In this paper, we seek to contrast the fisi and the descents into the cave of Saint Patrick. From a morphological point of view, both have a great deal of topoï in common, which describe the structure of the Christian (...) other world: the waste land of pains, the infernal pit, the ordeal bridge, the land of the blessed, the celestial Kingdom of God, etc. However, between the two genres appear some major differences, such as the order in which these places are visited. The main distinction lies in the fact that the fisi are mainly ecstatic voyages (i.e. psychanodias ), implying a “ raptus animae ”, while the voyages into Saint Patrick’s Purgatory are physical expeditions (i.e. somanodias ), during the actual life of the adventurers. Although many of the common themes of the two genres derive from the medieval Christian tradition (especially the apocryphal apocalypses and visiones ), we argue that the differences may be due to the input of local Irish Celtic heritage. (shrink)
Cognition is context-sensitive, as the same sensory information is processed differently depending on its context (e.g., on its probabilistic association with goal-directed actions and their outcomes). Despite this, the concept of context in studies of higher-order cognitive processes, like cognitive control, is often simplified to nominal stimulus categories (like a target vs. distractor). Here we propose that quantifying contextual information to model cognitive demands is (1) fruitful as it can provide novel insight into the nature of cognitive control, (2) accessible (...) as simple probability models offer a tool for quantifying context and (3) analytically useful as a fine-grained quantification of context can be entered into more complex models as regressors that allow a direct way of appropriately exploring many of the defining tenants of cognitive control (e.g., rapidly changing trial-by-trial neural dynamics). Here, we briefly describe the logic of using context-sensitive measures of cognitive control and highlight recent studies from this approach using simple information theory metrics. (shrink)
A beneficial effect of gesture on learning has been demonstrated in multiple domains, including mathematics, science, and foreign language vocabulary. However, because gesture is known to co-vary with other non-verbal behaviors, including eye gaze and prosody along with face, lip, and body movements, it is possible the beneficial effect of gesture is instead attributable to these other behaviors. We used a computer-generated animated pedagogical agent to control both verbal and non-verbal behavior. Children viewed lessons on mathematical equivalence in which an (...) avatar either gestured or did not gesture, while eye gaze, head position, and lip movements remained identical across gesture conditions. Children who observed the gesturing avatar learned more, and they solved problems more quickly. Moreover, those children who learned were more likely to transfer and generalize their knowledge. These findings provide converging evidence that gesture facilitates math learning, and they reveal the potential for using technology to study non-verbal behavior in controlled experiments. (shrink)
According to social learning theory, we explored the relation between ethical leadership and knowledge hiding. We developed a moderated mediation model of the psychological safety linking ethical leadership and knowledge hiding. Surveying 436 employees in 78 teams, we found that ethical leadership was negatively related to knowledge hiding, and that this relation was mediated by psychological safety. We further found that the effect of ethical leadership on knowledge hiding was contingent on a mastery climate. Finally, theoretical and practical implications were (...) discussed for leadership and knowledge management. (shrink)
This book uses an incidence approach to look at the economic repercussions of birth defects. The authors investigate eighteen of the most clinically significant birth defects affecting 35,000 newborns each year in our country. Their assessments suggest that the annual cost of these eighteen birth defects, together, is more than eight billion dollars . The authors describe in detail their methodology and data sources while providing thorough accounts of each of the eighteen birth defects. Waitzman, Scheffler, and Romano break new (...) ground by using reports from the California Birth Defects Monitoring Program in order to provide cost estimates. They illustrate to the reader how cost estimates of specific birth defects can be used to justify prevention interventions and strategies. In chapter seven, they provide an important example, showing cost-benefit analysis of a program of folate supplementation of food to prevent neutral tube defects. Contents: List of Tables; Preface; Acknowledgements; Introduction; The Application of Cost-of-Illness Methodology To Birth Defects; The Direct Medical Costs of Birth Defects; Nonmedical Direct Costs of Birth Defects: Developmental Services and Special Education; The Indirect Costs of Birth Defects; Premature Mortality and Heightened Morbidity; An Assessment of Total Costs and Policy Implications; Description of Birth Defects; Description of Major Data Sources; Index. (shrink)
Public health care interventions—regarding vaccination, obesity, and HIV, for example—standardly take the form of information dissemination across a community. But information networks can vary importantly between different ethnic communities, as can levels of trust in information from different sources. We use data from the Greater Pittsburgh Random Household Health Survey to construct models of information networks for White and Black communities--models which reflect the degree of information contact between individuals, with degrees of trust in information from various sources correlated with (...) positions in that social network. With simple assumptions regarding belief change and social reinforcement, we use those modeled networks to build dynamic agent-based models of how information can be expected to flow and how beliefs can be expected to change across each community. With contrasting information from governmental and religious sources, the results show importantly different dynamic patterns of belief polarization within the two communities. (shrink)
Develops new perspectives on Schopenhauer's moral philosophy, addressing the moral status of animals; the moral permissibility of suicide; the possibility of altruistic action; the virtue and asceticism; and how Schopenhauer integrates Western and Indian traditions..
BackgroundThere is increasing need for peer reviewers as the scientific literature grows. Formal education in biostatistics and research methodology during residency training is lacking. In this pilot study, we addressed these issues by evaluating a novel method of teaching residents about biostatistics and research methodology using peer review of standardized manuscripts. We hypothesized that mentored peer review would improve resident knowledge and perception of these concepts more than non-mentored peer review, while improving review quality.MethodsA partially blinded, randomized, controlled multi-center study (...) was performed. Seventy-eight neurology residents from nine US neurology programs were randomized to receive mentoring from a local faculty member or not. Within a year, residents reviewed a baseline manuscript and four subsequent manuscripts, all with introduced errors designed to teach fundamental review concepts. In the mentored group, mentors discussed completed reviews with residents. Primary outcome measure was change in knowledge score between pre- and post-tests, measuring epidemiology and biostatistics knowledge. Secondary outcome measures included level of confidence in the use and interpretation of statistical concepts before and after intervention, and RQI score for baseline and final manuscripts.ResultsSixty-four residents completed initial review with gradual decline in completion on subsequent reviews. Change in primary outcome, the difference between pre- and post-test knowledge scores, did not differ between mentored and non-mentored residents. Significant differences in secondary outcomes included mentored residents reporting enhanced understanding of research methodology, understanding of manuscripts, and application of study results to clinical practice compared to non-mentored residents. There was no difference between groups in level of interest in peer review or the quality of manuscript review assessed by the Review Quality Instrument.ConclusionsWe used mentored peer review of standardized manuscripts to teach biostatistics and research methodology and introduce the peer review process to residents. Though knowledge level did not change, mentored residents had enhanced perception in their abilities to understand research methodology and manuscripts and apply study results to clinical practice. (shrink)
This essay clarifies Patrick Riley’s account of G. W. Leibniz by placing Leibniz’s moral and political doctrines in historical perspective. By understanding Leibniz’s practical philosophy as a solution to the same problems confronted by Thomas Hobbes, one can appreciate the originality and appeal of Riley’s Leibniz — with its emphasis on benevolence and Platonic ideas. By drawing attention to Leibniz’s practical works, Riley has resurrected an important voice in the history of political thought that had been long neglected. The (...) essay concludes with some personal remarks about Riley’s own Leibnizian charity. (shrink)
In this paper I argue for an association between impurity and explanatory power in contemporary mathematics. This proposal is defended against the ancient and influential idea that purity and explanation go hand-in-hand (Aristotle, Bolzano) and recent suggestions that purity/impurity ascriptions and explanatory power are more or less distinct (Section 1). This is done by analyzing a central and deep result of additive number theory, Szemerédi’s theorem, and various of its proofs (Section 2). In particular, I focus upon the radically impure (...) (ergodic) proof due to Furstenberg (Section 3). Furstenberg’s ergodic proof is striking because it utilizes intuitively foreign and infinitary resources to prove a finitary combinatorial result and does so in a perspicuous fashion. I claim that Furstenberg’s proof is explanatory in light of its clear expression of a crucial structural result, which provides the “reason why” Szemerédi’s theorem is true. This is, however, rather surprising: how can such intuitively different conceptual resources “get a grip on” the theorem to be proved? I account for this phenomenon by articulating a new construal of the content of a mathematical statement, which I call structural content (Section 4). I argue that the availability of structural content saves intuitive epistemic distinctions made in mathematical practice and simultaneously explicates the intervention of surprising and explanatorily rich conceptual resources. Structural content also disarms general arguments for thinking that impurity and explanatory power might come apart. Finally, I sketch a proposal that, once structural content is in hand, impure resources lead to explanatory proofs via suitably understood varieties of simplification and unification (Section 5). (shrink)
Although Machiavelli is usually considered a pioneer among modern political philosophers, he read deeply in and was greatly influenced by the works of classical Roman thinkers such as Livy. There is thus a fundamental tension between the modern and the ancient within Machiavelli's philosophy; he is both a precursor to the Enlightenment and a throwback to republican Rome. This is the main thesis behind Patrick Coby's innovative study of the neglected Machiavellian classic Discourses on Livy. Coby argues that scholars (...) have been too quick to dismiss the ancient antecedents of Machiavelli's thought, particularly with regard to the modes and orders of the Roman republic. The book seeks to resolve the central paradox of the Discourses, that Machiavelli recommends adoption of Roman modes and orders even though those modes and orders destroyed the virt?, the strength, which Machiavelli would have moderns resuscitate by imitating Rome. A sophisticated, highly engaging book, Machiavelli's Romans will be of special interest to political theorists, Renaissance scholars, and classicists. (shrink)
This paper explores Kierkegaard's encounter with the work of Arthur Schopenhauer, as recorded in a series of journal entries from mid-1854. Kierkegaard finds in Schopenhauer both an uncannily similar authorial voice to his own, and a cautionary picture of the failure of authorial integrity. By critiquing Schopenhauer's failure to inhabit his own philosophical categories, Kierkegaard reflexively sharpens his own conception of what his authorial project demands.