The Ontology for Biomedical Investigations (OBI) is an ontology that provides terms with precisely defined meanings to describe all aspects of how investigations in the biological and medical domains are conducted. OBI re-uses ontologies that provide a representation of biomedical knowledge from the Open Biological and Biomedical Ontologies (OBO) project and adds the ability to describe how this knowledge was derived. We here describe the state of OBI and several applications that are using it, such as adding semantic expressivity to (...) existing databases, building data entry forms, and enabling interoperability between knowledge resources. OBI covers all phases of the investigation process, such as planning, execution and reporting. It represents information and material entities that participate in these processes, as well as roles and functions. Prior to OBI, it was not possible to use a single internally consistent resource that could be applied to multiple types of experiments for these applications. OBI has made this possible by creating terms for entities involved in biological and medical investigations and by importing parts of other biomedical ontologies such as GO, Chemical Entities of Biological Interest (ChEBI) and Phenotype Attribute and Trait Ontology (PATO) without altering their meaning. OBI is being used in a wide range of projects covering genomics, multi-omics, immunology, and catalogs of services. OBI has also spawned other ontologies (Information Artifact Ontology) and methods for importing parts of ontologies (Minimum information to reference an external ontology term (MIREOT)). The OBI project is an open cross-disciplinary collaborative effort, encompassing multiple research communities from around the globe. To date, OBI has created 2366 classes and 40 relations along with textual and formal definitions. The OBI Consortium maintains a web resource providing details on the people, policies, and issues being addressed in association with OBI. (shrink)
Biological ontologies are used to organize, curate, and interpret the vast quantities of data arising from biological experiments. While this works well when using a single ontology, integrating multiple ontologies can be problematic, as they are developed independently, which can lead to incompatibilities. The Open Biological and Biomedical Ontologies Foundry was created to address this by facilitating the development, harmonization, application, and sharing of ontologies, guided by a set of overarching principles. One challenge in reaching these goals was that the (...) OBO principles were not originally encoded in a precise fashion, and interpretation was subjective. Here we show how we have addressed this by formally encoding the OBO principles as operational rules and implementing a suite of automated validation checks and a dashboard for objectively evaluating each ontology’s compliance with each principle. This entailed a substantial effort to curate metadata across all ontologies and to coordinate with individual stakeholders. We have applied these checks across the full OBO suite of ontologies, revealing areas where individual ontologies require changes to conform to our principles. Our work demonstrates how a sizable federated community can be organized and evaluated on objective criteria that help improve overall quality and interoperability, which is vital for the sustenance of the OBO project and towards the overall goals of making data FAIR. Competing Interest StatementThe authors have declared no competing interest. (shrink)
The purpose of this essay is to summarize the contemporary discussion of hermeneutic philosophy and to suggest some possible applications of this discussion to theological studies. To facilitate this summary, we will first clarify the general nature of hermeneutic philosophy and provide the historical background to its theological evaluation.
I. Introduction Two kinds of remedies have traditionally been employed for breach of contract: legal relief and equitable relief. Legal relief normally takes the form of money damages. Equitable relief normally consists either of specific performance or an injunction – that is, the party in breach may be ordered to perform an act or to refrain from performing an act. In this article I will use a “consent theory of contract” to assess the choice between money damages and specific performance. (...) According to such a theory, contractual obligation is dependent on more fundamental entitlements of the parties and arises as a result of the parties' consent to transfer alienable rights. My thesis will be that the normal rule favoring money damages should be replaced with one that presumptively favors specific performance unless the parties have consented to money damages instead. The principal obstacle to such an approach is the reluctance of courts to specifically enforce contracts for personal services. The philosophical distinction between alienable and inalienable rights bolsters this historical reticence, since a right to personal services may be seen as inalienable. I will then explain why, if the subject matter of a contract for personal services is properly confined to an alienable right to money damages for failure to perform, specific enforcement of such contracts is no longer problematic. Finally, I shall consider whether the subject matter of contracts for corporate services is properly confined to money damages like contracts for personal services, or whether performance of corporate services can be made the subject of a valid rights transfer and judicially compelled in the same manner as contracts for external resources. (shrink)
Suppose you are on a commercial airplane that is flying at 35,000 feet. Next to you sits a man who appears to be sleeping. In fact, this man has been drugged and put upon the plane without his knowledge or consent. He has never flown on a plane before and, indeed, has no idea what an airplane is. Suddenly the man awakes and looks around him. Terrified by the alien environment in which he finds himself, he searches for a door (...) or window from which to make an escape. As luck would have it, he is seated right next to a window exit and he begins to pull the handle that will open the window. You are aware that opening the window exit at this altitude will cause the cabin to quickly depressurize and that this man, you, and probably several other passengers will be sucked out the window to your deaths. You desperately want to stop him from opening the window. Now assume that for some reason it is impossible to prevent him physically from performing the deadly act. Your only option is to rationally persuade him to leave the window exit alone. You cry out to him and, with both hands on the handles, he turns to face you and waits to hear what you have to say. What sort of argument would you make? (shrink)
The man behind the New York Times Magazine ’s immensely popular column “The Ethicist”–syndicated in newspapers across the United States and Canada as “Everyday Ethics”–casts an eye on today’s manners and mores with a provocative, thematic collection of advice on how to be good in the real world. Every week in his column on ethics, Randy Cohen takes on conundrums presented in letters from perplexed people who want to do the right thing (or hope to get away with doing the (...) wrong thing), and responds with a skillful blend of moral authority and humor. Cohen’s wisdom and witticisms have now been collected in The Good, the Bad & the Difference , a collection of his columns as wise and funny as a combination of “Dear Abby,” Plato, and Mel Brooks. The columns are supplemented with second thoughts on (and sometimes complete reversals of) his original replies, follow-up notes on how his advice affected the actions of various letter writers, reactions from readers both pro and con, and observations from such “guest ethicists” as David Eggers and the author’s mom. Each chapter also features an “Ethics Pop Quiz,” and readers will be invited to post their answers on the book’s Web site. The best of them will appear in a future paperback edition of the book. The Good, the Bad & the Difference is divided into seven sections: •Civic Life (what we do in public) •Family Life (what we do at home) •Social Life (what we do in other people’s homes) •Commercial Life (what we do in situations where money is a factor) •Medical Life (the rights and obligations of patients and caregivers) •Work Life (ethics for the professional sphere) •School Life (moral questions from and about kids) Each section provides a window into how we live today, shedding light on the ways in which a more ethical approach to the decisions we make, and to our daily behavior, can make a big difference in how we feel about ourselves tomorrow. (shrink)
The growing body of whistleblowing literature includes many studies that have attempted to identify the individual level antecedents of whistleblowing behavior. However, cross-cultural differences in perceptions of the ethicality of whistleblowing affect the judgment of whistleblowing intention. This study ascertains how Chinese managers/professionals decide to blow the whistle in terms of their locus of control and subjective judgment regarding the intention of whistleblowing. Hypotheses that are derived from these speculations are tested with data on Chinese managers and professionals. Statistical analysis (...) largely supports the hypotheses, which suggests that an individual''s locus of control does moderate the relationship between ethical judgment and whistleblowing. (shrink)
A caged animal in the heart of the city, thousands of miles from its natural habitat, neurotically pacing in its confinement . . . Zoos offer a convenient way to indulge a cultural appetite for novelty and diversion, and to teach us, albeit superficially, about animals. Yet what, conversely, do they tell us about the people who create, maintain, and patronize them, and about animal captivity in general? Rather than foster an appreciation for the lives and attributes of animals, zoos, (...) in Randy Malamud's view, reinforce the idea that we are, by nature, an imperial species: that our power and ingenuity entitles us to violate the natural order by tearing animals from the fabric of their ecosystems and displaying them in an "order" of our own making. In so doing, he argues, zoos not only contribute to the rapid disintegration of our ecosystems, but also deaden our very sensibilities to constraint, spatial disruption, and physical pain. Invoking an array of literary depictions of animals, from Albee's Zoo Story and Virginia Woolf's diaries to the films of Harold Pinter and the poetry of Marianne Moore, Reading Zoos links culture, literature, and nature in an engaging and accessible introduction to environmental ethics, animal rights, cultural critique, and literary representation. (shrink)
It is hypothesized that human faces judged to be attractive by people possess two features—averageness and symmetry—that promoted adaptive mate selection in human evolutionary history by way of production of offspring with parasite resistance. Facial composites made by combining individual faces are judged to be attractive, and more attractive than the majority of individual faces. The composites possess both symmetry and averageness of features. Facial averageness may reflect high individual protein heterozygosity and thus an array of proteins to which parasites (...) must adapt. Heterozygosity may be an important defense of long-lived hosts against parasites when it occurs in portions of the genome that do not code for the essential features of complex adaptations. In this case heterozygosity can create a hostile microenvironment for parasites without disrupting adaptation. Facial bilateral symmetry is hypothesized to affect positive beauty judgments because symmetry is a certification of overall phenotypic quality and developmental health, which may be importantly influenced by parasites. Certain secondary sexual traits are influenced by testosterone, a hormone that reduces immunocompetence. Symmetry and size of the secondary sexual traits of the face (e.g., cheek bones) are expected to correlate positively and advertise immunocompetence honestly and therefore to affect positive beauty judgments. Facial attractiveness is predicted to correlate with attractive, nonfacial secondary sexual traits; other predictions from the view that parasite-driven selection led to the evolution of psychological adaptations of human beauty perception are discussed. The view that human physical attractiveness and judgments about human physical attractiveness evolved in the context of parasite-driven selection leads to the hypothesis that both adults and children have a species-typical adaptation to the problem of identifying and favoring healthy individuals and avoiding parasite-susceptible individuals. It is proposed that this adaptation guides human decisions about nepotism and reciprocity in relation to physical attractiveness. (shrink)
COVID-19 pandemic has claimed thousands of lives around the world. Among the casualties are doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals. Those who defy the danger of death and continue to render their services have to deal with psychological and mental stress due to the lack of protective measures and equipment, the overwhelming number of patients, and the experience of discrimination. In fact, some left their job. In this paper, I will argue that the motivation of health care professionals and (...) the outcome of their sacrifices, as against assuring personal safety, can be explained by the principle of the common good. First, they are faithful to their oath as health care professionals since it is their commitment as part of an institution that assumes the responsibility of providing health care to people in need. Second, restoring the patients’ condition goes beyond health issues since the recovery of each COVID-19 patient diminishes the spread of the virus, which, if not for the care of HCPs, could worsen the situation with snowballing consequences to society as a whole. While it is expected for any health care professional as a frontliner in times of pandemic, their motivation to serve exemplifies the greater value for the common good. (shrink)
Nel mio articolo propongo una lettura dei §§ 79-84 della Critica del Giudizio, parte della sezione Metodologia del Giudizio teleologico. Dapprima mi interrogo sul significato di una Methodenlehre del Giudizio teleologico, che rintraccio in un’attività metariflessiva del Giudizio; procedo poi ad una lettura analitica del testo nelle sue varie articolazioni, nella quale passo in rassegna le questioni attinenti alla specificità dello statuto epistemologico della teleologia, alla possibile convivenza tra finalismo e meccanicismo nella scienza della natura, all’origine della vita, allo (...) scopo ultimo della natura e allo scopo finale della creazione; approdo, infine, ad un’interpretazione per cui l’intera teleologia rationis humanae, che si estende dalla teleologia naturale alla teleologia morale passando per l’antropologia e per la filosofia della storia, viene in questa sezione riarticolata intorno ad un nuovo fulcro concettuale di livello trascendentale, che può garantire l’effettivo collegamento tra queste diverse parti della filosofia proprio perché esso non si esercita in forma di dominio legislativo, ma in forma di riflessione sul molteplice empirico e sulla causalità teleologica propria dell’uomo. (shrink)
The increasing corporatization of education has served to expose the university as a business—and one with a highly stratified division of labor. In _Chalk Lines_ editor Randy Martin presents twelve essays that confront current challenges facing the academic workforce in U.S. colleges and universities and demonstrate how, like chalk lines, divisions between employees may be creatively redrawn. While tracing the socioeconomic conditions that have led to the present labor situation on campuses, the contributors consider such topics as the political implications (...) of managerialism and the conceptual status of academic labor. They examine the trend toward restructuring and downsizing, the particular plight of the adjunct professor, the growing emphasis on vocational training in the classroom, and union organizing among university faculty, staff, and graduate students. Placing such issues within the context of the history of labor movements as well as governmental initiatives to train a workforce capable of competing in the global economy, _Chalk Lines_ explores how universities have attempted to remake themselves in the image of the corporate sector. Originally published as an issue of _Social Text_, this expanded volume, which includes four new essays, offers a broad view of academic labor in the United States. With its important, timely contribution to debates concerning the future of higher education, _Chalk Lines_ will interest a wide array of academics, administrators, policymakers, and others invested in the state—and fate—of academia. _ Contributors._ Stanley Aronowitz, Jan Currie, Zelda F. Gamson, Emily Hacker, Stefano Harney, Randy Martin, Bart Meyers, David Montgomery, Frederick Moten, Christopher Newfield, Gary Rhoades, Sheila Slaughter, Jeremy Smith, Vincent Tirelli, William Vaughn, Lesley Vidovich, Ira Yankwitt. (shrink)
The problem of pursuing and achieving justice in a free society involves three different areas of analysis. First, the types of acts that are to be proscribed must be specified. Part of this analysis is methodological, requiring us to settle on the way in which such questions are to be decided. Second, once an offense has been defined, the remedy for its commission must be determined in a manner that is consistent with the theory of justice that defined the criminal (...) act. Finally, the structure of the legal order that will efficiently enforce these principles and at the same time not violate them must be explored. (shrink)
BackgroundThis paper discusses the contentious issue of reuse of stored biological samples and data obtained from research participants in past clinical research to answer future ethical and scientifically valid research questions. Many countries have regulations and guidelines that guide the use and exportation of stored biological samples and data. However, there are variations in regulations and guidelines governing the reuse of stored biological samples and data in Sub-Saharan Africa including Malawi.DiscussionThe current research ethics regulations and guidelines in Malawi do not (...) allow indefinite storage and reuse of biological samples and data for future unspecified research. This comes even though the country has managed to answer pertinent research questions using stored biological samples and data. We acknowledge the limited technical expertise and equipment unavailable in Malawi that necessitates exportation of biological samples and data and the genuine concern raised by the regulatory authorities about the possible exploitation of biological samples and data by researchers. We also acknowledge that Malawi does not have bio-banks for storing biological samples and data for future research purposes. This creates room for possible exploitation of biological samples and data collected from research participants in primary research projects in Malawi. However, research ethics committees require completion and approval of material transfer agreements and data transfer agreements for biological samples and data collected for research purposes respectively and this requirement may partly address the concern raised by the regulatory authorities. Our concern though is that there is no such requirement for biological samples and data collected from patients for clinical or diagnostic purposes.SummaryIn conclusion, we propose developing a medical data and material transfer agreement for biological samples and data collected from patients for clinical or diagnostic purposes in both public and private health facilities that may end up in research centers outside Malawi. We also propose revision of the current research ethics regulations and guidelines in Malawi in order to allow secondary use of biological samples and data collected from primary research projects as a way of maximizing the use of collected samples and data. Finally, we call for consultation of all stakeholders within the Malawi research community when regulatory authorities are developing policies that govern research in Malawi. (shrink)
Research on the nature of science and science education enjoys a longhistory, with its origins in Ernst Mach's work in the late nineteenthcentury and John Dewey's at the beginning of the twentieth century.As early as 1909 the Central Association for Science and MathematicsTeachers published an article – ‘A Consideration of the Principles thatShould Determine the Courses in Biology in Secondary Schools’ – inSchool Science and Mathematics that reflected foundational concernsabout science and how school curricula should be informed by them. Sincethen (...) a large body of literature has developed related to the teaching andlearning about nature of science – see, for example, the Lederman and Meichtry reviews cited below. As well there has been intensephilosophical, historical and philosophical debate about the nature of scienceitself, culminating in the much-publicised ‘Science Wars’ of recent time. Thereferences listed here primarily focus on the empirical research related to thenature of science as an educational goal; along with a few influential philosophicalworks by such authors as Kuhn, Popper, Laudan, Lakatos, and others. Whilenot exhaustive, the list should prove useful to educators, and scholars in otherfields, interested in the nature of science and how its understanding can berealised as a goal of science instruction. The authors welcome correspondenceregarding omissions from the list, and on-going additions that can be made to it. (shrink)
Increasingly the business environment is tending toward a global economy. The current study compares the results of the Attitudes Towards Business Ethics Questionnaire (ATBEQ) reported in the literature for samples from the United States of America, Israel, Western Australia, and South Africa to a new sample (n = 125) from Turkey. The results indicate that while there are some shared views towards business ethics across countries, significant differences do exist between Turkey and each of the other countries in the study. (...) Similarities and differences are discussed in terms of the countries' ratings on the Corruption Perceptions Index (as reported by the Internet Center for Corruption Research) and Hofstede's Theory of International Cultures. Recommendations for managers interacting with employees from differing countries are provided. (shrink)
Beginning with Emerson's turn from his pulpit, many argue that American philosophy has rigorously held forth against supernaturalism and metaphysics. While most read self-reliance as a call for individualism, I argue that self-reliance is the application of the moral sentiment to the source of existence Emerson calls the Over-soul. Figures like George Kateb, Stanley Cavell, and Jeffrey Stout have presented a very different picture of American pragmatism. Stout, in particular, is responsible for building up what I call "the myth of (...) the Emersonian democrat." We find that a few philosophical positions generally constitute this myth. The Emersonian democrat is secular, sceptical, relativist, anti-realist, and anti-metaphysical. In fact, on my reading of the strand of pragmatism running from Emerson through James to Dewey, the pluralism of the Emersonian democrat depends on certain metaphysical commitments. The traditional reading of Emerson as anti-religion, and by extension, anti-religious, impedes a better understanding of self-reliance and obfuscates some of the Emersonian inheritances in James and Dewey. (shrink)
Research on whistleblowing has not yet provided a finite set of variables which have been shown to influence an employee's decision to report wrongdoing. Prior research on business ethics suggests that ethical business decisions are influenced by both organizational as well as intrapersonal variables. As such, this paper attempts to predict the decision to whistleblow using organizational and intrapersonal variables. External whistleblowing was found to be significantly related to supervisor support, informal policies, gender, and ideal values. External whistleblowing was not (...) found to be significantly predicted by formal policies, organizational tenure, age, education, satisfaction, or commitment. (shrink)
This study examines the influence of ethical fit on employee attitudes and intentions to turnover. The results of this investigation provides support for the conjecture that ethical work climate is an important variable in the study of person-organization fit. Ethical fit was found to be significantly related to turnover intentions, continuance commitment, and affective commitment, but not to job satisfaction. Results are discussed in regard to some of the affective and cognitive distinctions among satisfaction, commitment, and behavioral intentions.
This study attempts to help explain the ethical decision making of individual employees by determining how the perceived organizational environment is related to that decision. A self- administered questionnaire design was used for gathering data in this study with a sample size of 245 full-time employees. Perceived supervisor expectation, formal policies, and informal policies were used to assess the expressed ethical decision of the respondents. The findings indicate that the perceived organizational environment is significantly related to the ethical decision of (...) the respondent. (shrink)
This book calls scholars to avoid the temptation to reduce philosophy into a normative discipline. The author argues that philosophy's main responsibility does not reside in changing the world, but in safeguarding sense and intelligibility against unfounded forms of skepticism.
Whether refusal is an act of civil disobedience meant to challenge the state politically as a form of protest, or an action which reflects a deep moral objection to the policies of the state, selective conscientious objection presents the state and its citizens with a number of difficult legal and moral challenges. Appeals to authority outside of the state, whether religious or secular, influence both citizenship and the behavior of the government itself. As Israel raises funds to defend IDF officers (...) from charges of human rights violations in the United Kingdom, it may find itself in need of a better defense against those citizens hesitant to be placed in harm's way, militarily and legally. At some point in the future it may find itself unable to field soldiers for whom service in the Occupied Territories is prohibited by inviolable secular or religious law. And for those who will continue to argue that they cannot abide service in an army of occupation, an expression sounded in 1968 by Yeshayahu Leibowitz, the moral crisis of an individual conscience rent between obligations to the state and obligations to self, will linger along with the pain of a conscience nurtured and then rejected by this democratic society. (shrink)
& The functional equivalence of overt movements and dynamic imagery is of fundamental importance in neuroscience. Here, we investigated the participation of the neocortical motor areas in a classic task of dynamic imagery, Shepard and Metzler's mental rotation task, by time-resolved single-trial functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). The subjects performed the mental-rotation task 16 times, each time with different object pairs. Functional images were acquired for each pair separately, and the onset times and..