Bio-ontologies are essential tools for accessing and analyzing the rapidly growing pool of plant genomic and phenomic data. Ontologies provide structured vocabularies to support consistent aggregation of data and a semantic framework for automated analyses and reasoning. They are a key component of the Semantic Web. This paper provides background on what bio-ontologies are, why they are relevant to botany, and the principles of ontology development. It includes an overview of ontologies and related resources that are relevant to plant science, (...) with a detailed description of the Plant Ontology (PO). We discuss the challenges of building an ontology that covers all green plants (Viridiplantae). Key results: Ontologies can advance plant science in four keys areas: 1. comparative genetics, genomics, phenomics, and development, 2. taxonomy and systematics, 3. semantic applications and 4. education. Conclusions: Bio-ontologies offer a flexible framework for comparative plant biology, based on common botanical understanding. As genomic and phenomic data become available for more species, we anticipate that the annotation of data with ontology terms will become less centralized, while at the same time, the need for cross-species queries will become more common, causing more researchers in plant science to turn to ontologies. (shrink)
Von 1925 bis 1928 wurden im Berliner J. M. Spaeth-Verlag unter der Leitung von Hans Rosenkranz eine Reihe von Werken seinerzeit eher unbekannter, in der Retrospektive jedoch signifikanter Autoren der Zwischenkriegszeit publiziert. Der Beitrag thematisiert Rosenkranz als jungen Verleger und Bewunderer Stefan Zweigs. Er entwirft auf Grundlage der Archivüberlieferung einen neuen Blick auf die Geschichte des Unternehmens und kommentiert das damit verbundene literarische Programm: Welche wichtigen verlegerischen Projekte wurden in jener kurzen Zeit unternommen? Welche Rolle hatte Stefan Zweig (...) für das Zustandekommen einiger Titel und besonders in den letzten Wochen der Verlagsexistenz? Inwiefern lässt sich Programmgestaltung und ökonomische Entwicklung von J. M. Spaeth als paradigmatisch für jüdische Verlage in der Weimarer Republik verstehen? Dazu wird erstmals das Scheitern des Unternehmens während der „Bücherkrise“ Ende der 1920er Jahre aus den Quellen rekonstruiert. (shrink)
The concept of transliminality (''a hypothesized tendency for psychological material to cross thresholds into or out of consciousness'') was anticipated by William James (1902/1982), but it was only recently given an empirical definition by Thalbourne in terms of a 29-item Transliminality Scale. This article presents the 17-item Revised Transliminality Scale (or RTS) that corrects age and gender biases, is unidimensional by a Rasch criterion, and has a reliability of .82. The scale defines a probabilistic hierarchy of items that address magical (...) ideation, mystical experience, absorption, hyperaesthesia, manic experience, dream interpretation, and fantasy proneness. These findings validate the suggestions by James and Thalbourne that some mental phenomena share a common underlying dimension with selected sensory experiences (such being overwhelmed by smells, bright lights, sights, and sounds). Low scores on transliminality remain correlated with ''tough mindedness'' in on Cattell 16PF test, as well as ''self-control'' and ''rule consciousness,'' whereas high scores are associated with ''abstractedness'' and an ''openness to change'' on that test. An independent validation study confirmed the predictions implied by our definition of transliminality. Implications for test construction are discussed. (shrink)
Equal Justice explores the role of the idea of equality in liberal theories of justice. The title indicates the book’s two-part thesis: first, I claim that justice is the central moral category in the socio-political domain; second, I argue for a specific conceptual and normative connection between the ideas of justice and equality. This pertains to the age-old question concerning the normative significance of equality in a theory of justice. The book develops an independent, systematic, and comprehensive theory of equality (...) and egalitarianism. The principal question is about the importance of equality in a theory of justice. More precisely, we should pose questions in four contracting circles: 1. Is justice the supreme value guiding our setup of the basic structure of society, or are there other, equally important values, such as recognition, care, communal belonging? 2. If justice is the highest guiding principle, which competing ideals—especially equality and freedom—ought to have precedence in a policy oriented toward justice? What status does the ideal of equality have in that framework? 3. If equality is a basic ideal of just policy, how should it be practically realized? What sort of equality (equal opportunity, equality of welfare, resource equality) should be demanded? 4. What patterned distribution of which specific goods does the ideal of equality demand? Which principles of distribution can be justified according to our justice ideal? To conclude and summarize: 5. What is the essential core of an egalitarian theory of justice, as opposed to an inegalitarian theory? These five questions structure the work’s order of argumentation. Part A elaborates the conceptual foundations and basic moral principles of justice and equality. Chapter I sets out to install justice as the central moral category in the socio-political domain. At the beginning of the first chapter, the conceptual foundations of justice are clarified. While not eliminating the classical distinctions between different forms of justice, I argue that the distributive paradigm is of primary importance. The primacy of justice in the socio-political domain is developed out of a confrontation with alternative positions, those which maintain either that justice generally, or distributive justice in particular, are subsidiary virtues. At the end of Chapter I, the first of the questions mentioned above is answered in a way that establishes justice as the guiding normative concept for the foundation and evaluation of any social order. To clarify the role of equality in a theory of justice, Chapter II separates the idea of equality into four different principles. They are organized in a way that begins with the most general and uncontroversial principle of equality, and progresses towards increasingly detailed and contested principles. There are two theses that articulate and defend the significance of equality for justice: First there is a conceptual connection between justice and equality, in that principles of formal and proportional equality are necessary in order to explicate the concept of justice. These two principles establish an unbreakable bond between justice and equality. Justice can only be explained—or so I argue—by reference to these and other (normative) principles of equality. The second thesis posits a normative relationship between justice and equality, which is disclosed by three substantive principles of equality: moral equality, the presumption of equality, and the principle of responsibility. I argue that the normative core of an egalitarian theory of justice is expressed by the latter two principles, which are themselves based on the first principle, that of moral equality. When we view one another as persons, what form of equality or equal treatment is normatively demanded? I argue that the answer to this question is given by the procedural principle of the presumption of equality: regardless of their apparent differences, all persons deserve strictly equal treatment, unless certain kinds of differences have whatever particular relevance would justify, on generally acceptable grounds, unequal treatment or unequal distribution. The justification of the presumption of equality is central to this work and has considerable importance. If the presumption principle’s validity can be justified by enlisting the principle of general justification, then the primacy of equality, and the essential argument for an egalitarian theory of justice, is established. This would likewise provide a procedure for the construction of a material theory of justice. The second question is answered thereby at the end of Chapter II: Equality should have primacy over competing ideals within a justice-oriented policy. The presumption of equality establishes this primacy and, at the same time, offers an appropriate metric and guideline for the construction of a material theory of distributive justice. The presumption of equality in Part B offers an elegant procedure for the development of a theory of distributive justice. Chapter III clearly sets out the necessary prerequisites that a theory of distribution must satisfy in order to determine a liberal-egalitarian distributional framework. We need to specify in which situation the distribution takes place; which goods are and are not to be distributed; in which respect the presumptive equality is to be produced; and by and to whom, and for what period, the relevant goods are to be distributed. The distribution is based on resources understood as general-purpose means. It is necessary to divide goods into different categories, since the justification for unequal treatment in one domain will not carry over into another. This makes presumptive equality necessarily complex. To that end, four spheres of justice are distinguished: (1) the political sphere, which involves allocating rights through the distribution of civil liberties; (2) the democratic sphere, in which political power and the rights of political participation are regulated; (3) the economic sphere, in which income and property are distributed; (4) the social sphere, in which social positions and opportunities are distributed. This framework of distributive justice answers the third of our guiding questions, about the nature of equality, in terms of equality of resources. Chapters IV and V set out the egalitarian distributive criteria for each sphere. I argue that the generally accepted, fundamental rights of classical liberalism are more effectively reconstructed by reference to the equal resource distribution presumptively required in those spheres. Chapter IV shows that when it comes to the first two spheres, those involving basic rights and freedoms and entitlement political participation, there can be no justified exceptions to the equal distribution of the relevant goods. That section argues, contrary to what we commonly find in theories of freedom or popular sovereignty, that the value of freedom and self-determination as the political basis of autonomy is best realized through the presumption of equal distribution. Chapter V deals with the other two spheres, those of economic goods and social positions, and argues for justified exceptions to equal distribution. In the economic sphere we find one principal reason favouring unequal distribution of resources, and three restrictions and compensations limiting that inequality. The basic exception to equal economic distribution arises from the unequal consequences of personal responsibility. From a suitably egalitarian standpoint, the principle of responsibility is the normative principle that determines which reasons justify economic inequality. Here the basic idea is that unequal shares of social goods are fair if they result from the choices and deliberate actions of the relevant parties. That individuals have to bear the costs of their own choices is a condition of autonomy. However, benefits or disadvantages arising from arbitrary and unmerited differences in social circumstances or natural endowments is unfair. The unequal consequences of independent decision-making and action must therefore be limited by compensating first for preferences, secondly for disadvantages, and thirdly by redistributing wealth in aid of the worse-off. I situations of emergency, compensating for disadvantages has priority over all other claims, owing to the urgency of the situation. Social inequalities go beyond the permissible limit if it is possible to improve the long-term social or economic situation of the worse-off by redistributing wealth to them. These exceptions lead to a complex system of free economic action within a framework of compensatory tax and transfer mechanisms. Finally, in the social sphere, the distribution of social positions, offices and opportunities must be structured to ensure that equally talented and motivated citizens have roughly equal chances of obtaining those offices or positions, irrespective of their economic or social class backgrounds. This compromise is permissible for reasons of freedom and prudence, and it makes a certain measure of inequality acceptable. The fourth of our guiding questions is answered accordingly. There are five principles of justice for the basic structure of society, and five legal principles that govern the special distribution of goods in the respective spheres—all are ranked according to their most defensible grounds of priority, ensuring that everyone is accorded equal justice. Chapter VI recapitulates the initial question of equality’s value. The conception of equal justice developed in this work postulates five principles of equality and five principles of law; these constitute an egalitarian framework because they support and promote social justice. Equality has value with respect to them, but is not given any independent, intrinsic value. That is why I call the account developed here a form of constitutive egalitarianism: justice is realized through the realization of equality, itself accomplished by applying the five postulates of equality and five distributive principles of law. This is an egalitarianism on two levels. The first level is involves the claim that morality or justice is conceptually connected with equality. The second level gives equality a substantial weight in what is conceptually validated at the first level, namely the presumption of equality, and constructs an appropriate interpretation and conception of distributive justice through principles of distribution for the individual spheres. The weight and importance of equality is shown by the distributive criteria applied to those spheres. This answers our final guiding question about the nature of an egalitarian theory. (shrink)
This imaginative and unusual book explores the moral sensibilities and cultural assumptions that were at the heart of political debate in Victorian and early twentieth-century Britain. It focuses on the role of intellectuals as public moralists, and suggests ways in which their more formal political theory rested upon habits of response and evaluation that were deeply embedded in wider social attitudes and aesthetic judgements. Stefan Collini examines the characteristic idioms and strategies of argument employed in periodical and polemical writing, (...) and reconstructs the sense of identity and of relation to an audience exhibited by social critics from John Stuart Mill and Matthew Arnold to J. M. Keynes and F. R. Leavis. Dr Collini begins by situating the leading intellectuals in the social and political world of the Victorian governing classes. He explores fundamental values like `altruism', `character', and `manliness', which are revealed as the animating dynamic of much of the political thought of the period. The book assesses the impact of increasing academic specialization across a range of disciplines, and offers an illuminating analysis of the public voice of legal theorists like Maine and Dicey. Through a detailed study of J.S. Mill's posthumous reputation Dr Collini uncovers the process by which the genealogy of images of national cultural identity is established; and he concludes with a provocative exploration of the nationalist significance of what he calls `the Whig interpretation of English literature'. Public Moralists is a subtle and illuminating study by a leading intellectual historian which will redirect debate about the distinctive development of modern English culture. (shrink)
Stefan Sienkiewicz analyses five argument forms which are central to Pyrrhonian scepticism, as expressed in the writings of Sextus Empiricus. In particular, Sienkiewicz distinguishes between two different perspectives of the sceptic and his dogmatic opponent, and interprets the five modes of scepticism from both viewpoints.
For Aristotle, a just political community has to find similarity in difference and foster habits of reciprocity. Conventionally, speech and law have been seen to fulfill this role. This article reconstructs Aristotle’s conception of currency as a political institution of reciprocal justice. By placing Aristotle’s treatment of reciprocity in the context of the ancient politics of money, currency emerges not merely as a medium of economic exchange but also potentially as a bond of civic reciprocity, a measure of justice, and (...) an institution of ethical deliberation. Reconstructing this account of currency in analogy to law recovers the hopes Aristotle placed in currency as a necessary institution particular to the polis as a self-governing political community striving for justice. If currency was a foundational institution, it was also always insufficient, likely imperfect, and possibly tragic. Turned into a tool for the accumulation of wealth for its own sake, currency becomes unjust and a serious threat to any political community. Aristotelian currency can fail precisely because it contains an important moment of ethical deliberation. This political significance of currency challenges accounts of the ancient world as bifurcated between oikos and polis and encourages contemporary political theorists to think of money as a constitutional project that can play an important role in improving reciprocity across society. (shrink)
I argue that difference-making should be a crucial element for evaluating the quality of evidence for mechanisms, especially with respect to the robustness of mechanisms, and that it should take central stage when it comes to the general role played by mechanisms in establishing causal claims in medicine. The difference- making of mechanisms should provide additional compelling reasons to accept the gist of Russo-Williamson thesis and include mechanisms in the protocols for Evidence- Based Medicine, as the EBM+ research group has (...) been advocating. (shrink)
A vernacular fifteenth-century sermon tells us, in order to warn of the threats to spiritual welfare posed by dance, that cyclic motion and centering of sensory impressions – amongst them intimate conversation – are essential elements of dance. When blending out the parenesis, implicit poetics of medieval dance can be distilled from that sermon. The way how these essential elements of dance are used for generating disruptions within literary plots will be demonstrated in three literary texts dating from the thirteenth (...) to the fifteenth century: Disruptions in connection with dance occur when contrary concepts of motion clash with each other, for example the linearity of the chivalrous way through the Other World with the cyclicity of round dances. ‚Der Württemberger‘, however, collides two contrary concepts of time which can be paraphrased as spatial metaphors, namely the linearity of earthly life which collides with the cyclicity of eternal damnation, a collision symbolized by the expulsion of life out of the dance of the death. Finally in ‚Ritter Sociabilis‘, dance generates a virtual space which subverts the courtly society. The protagonists of all these texts differently manage to resolve disruptions, namely by redemption, by repentance, or by continuing disruptions which they have caused themselves. (shrink)
It is not just rationalist metaphysics, but also Kant’s transcendental philosophy that is teeming with a priori concepts. According to Kant, some of these a priori concepts are “ideas,” and similar to the categories, some of these ideas in turn belong to the nature of human reason, while others can be derived from them. It is therefore part of Kant’s claim in the “Transcendental Dialectic” to be able to explain not only the leading ideas of rational psychology, cosmology, and theology (...) as natural concepts of reason, but the origin of the entire a priori vocabulary of the metaphysica specialis as well. This article outlines how Kant’s derivations of these concepts work. After explaining Kant’s classification of a priori concepts and the derivation of the transcendental ideas, his derivations are explored in more detail using the example of the concepts of the pure doctrine of the soul. This contributes to a better understanding of Kant’s theory of philosophical concepts while also shedding light on the rather rarely treated topic of the “Transcendental Dialectic.”. (shrink)
There are several important criticisms against the unificationist model of scientific explanation: Unification is a broad and heterogeneous notion and it is hard to see how a model of explanation based exclusively on unification can make a distinction between genuine explanatory unification from cases of ordering or classification. Unification alone cannot solve the asymmetry and irrelevance problems. Unification and explanation pull in different directions and should be decoupled, because for good scientific explanation extra ad explanandum information is often required. I (...) am presenting a possible solution to those problems, by focusing on an often overlooked but important element of how theoretic unification is achieved—the conceptual frameworks of theories. The core conceptual assumptions behind theories are decisive for discriminating between explanatory and non-explanatory unification. The conceptual framework is also flexible enough to balance the tension between informativeness and maximum systematization in constructing explanatory inferences. A short case study of orthogenetic and Darwinian explanations in paleontology is presented as an illustration of how my addition to the unificationist model is applicable to a historical debate between rival explanations. (shrink)
In the past few decades, a growth in ethical consumerism has led brands to increasingly develop conscientiousness and depict ethical image at a corporate level. However, most of the research studying business ethics in the field of corporate brand management is either conceptual or has been empirically conducted in relation to goods/products contexts. This is surprising because corporate brands are more relevant in services contexts, because of the distinct nature of services and the key role that employees have in the (...) services sector. Accordingly, this article aims at empirically examining the effects of customer perceived ethicality in the context of corporate services brands. Based on data collected for eight service categories using a panel of 2179 customers, the hypothesized structural model is tested using path analysis. The results show that, in addition to a direct effect, customer perceived ethicality has a positive and indirect effect on customer loyalty, through the mediators of customer affective commitment and customer perceived quality. Further, employee empathy positively influences the impact of customer perceived ethicality on customer affective commitment, and customer loyalty positively impacts customer positive word-of-mouth. The first implication of these results is that corporate brand strategy needs to be aligned with human resources policies and practices if brands want to turn ethical strategies into employee behavior. Second, corporate brands should build more authentic communications grounded in their ethical beliefs and supported by evidence from actual employees. (shrink)
This article considers the prospects of inference to the best explanation as a method of confirming causal claims vis-à-vis the medical evidence of mechanisms. I show that IBE is actually descriptive of how scientists reason when choosing among hypotheses, that it is amenable to the balance/weight distinction, a pivotal pair of concepts in the philosophy of evidence, and that it can do justice to interesting features of the interplay between mechanistic and population level assessments.
In their paper Nothing but the Truth Andreas Pietz and Umberto Rivieccio present Exactly True Logic, an interesting variation upon the four-valued logic for first-degree entailment FDE that was given by Belnap and Dunn in the 1970s. Pietz & Rivieccio provide this logic with a Hilbert-style axiomatisation and write that finding a nice sequent calculus for the logic will presumably not be easy. But a sequent calculus can be given and in this paper we will show that a calculus for (...) the Belnap-Dunn logic we have defined earlier can in fact be reused for the purpose of characterising ETL, provided a small alteration is made—initial assignments of signs to the sentences of a sequent to be proved must be different from those used for characterising FDE. While Pietz & Rivieccio define ETL on the language of classical propositional logic we also study its consequence relation on an extension of this language that is functionally complete for the underlying four truth values. On this extension the calculus gets a multiple-tree character—two proof trees may be needed to establish one proof. (shrink)
Ştefan Aug. Doinaş and Basarab Nicolescu, two great spirits related through the generosity of the humanist vision, met, held an epistolary dialogue and had common projects. Doinaş commented upon a few of the innovative concepts proposed by Basarab Nicolescu and he also aesthetically transfigured, in literary pages, certain concepts of transdisciplinarity.
This article shows how activists in the open data movement re-articulate notions of democracy, participation, and journalism by applying practices and values from open source culture to the creation and use of data. Focusing on the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany and drawing from a combination of interviews and content analysis, it argues that this process leads activists to develop new rationalities around datafication that can support the agency of datafied publics. Three modulations of open source are identified: First, by regarding (...) data as a prerequisite for generating knowledge, activists transform the sharing of source code to include the sharing of raw data. Sharing raw data should break the interpretative monopoly of governments and would allow people to make their own interpretation of data about public issues. Second, activists connect this idea to an open and flexible form of representative democracy by applying the open source model of participation to political participation. Third, activists acknowledge that intermediaries are necessary to make raw data accessible to the public. This leads them to an interest in transforming journalism to become an intermediary in this sense. At the same time, they try to act as intermediaries themselves and develop civic technologies to put their ideas into practice. The article concludes with suggesting that the practices and ideas of open data activists are relevant because they illustrate the connection between datafication and open source culture and help to understand how datafication might support the agency of publics and actors outside big government and big business. (shrink)
The entropy-reduction hypothesis claims that the cognitive processing difficulty on a word in sentence context is determined by the word's effect on the uncertainty about the sentence. Here, this hypothesis is tested more thoroughly than has been done before, using a recurrent neural network for estimating entropy and self-paced reading for obtaining measures of cognitive processing load. Results show a positive relation between reading time on a word and the reduction in entropy due to processing that word, supporting the entropy-reduction (...) hypothesis. Although this effect is independent from the effect of word surprisal, we find no evidence that these two measures correspond to cognitively distinct processes. (shrink)
An English double-embedded relative clause from which the middle verb is omitted can often be processed more easily than its grammatical counterpart, a phenomenon known as the grammaticality illusion. This effect has been found to be reversed in German, suggesting that the illusion is language specific rather than a consequence of universal working memory constraints. We present results from three self-paced reading experiments which show that Dutch native speakers also do not show the grammaticality illusion in Dutch, whereas both German (...) and Dutch native speakers do show the illusion when reading English sentences. These findings provide evidence against working memory constraints as an explanation for the observed effect in English. We propose an alternative account based on the statistical patterns of the languages involved. In support of this alternative, a single recurrent neural network model that is trained on both Dutch and English sentences is shown to predict the cross-linguistic difference in the grammaticality effect. (shrink)
It is widely recognized that the innate versus acquired distinction is a false dichotomy. Yet many scientists continue to describe certain traits as “innate” and take this to imply that those traits are not acquired, or “unlearned.” This article asks what cognitive role, if any, the concept of innateness should play in the psychological and behavioural sciences. I consider three arguments for eliminating innateness from scientific discourse. First, the classification of a trait as innate is thought to discourage empirical research (...) into its developmental origin. Second, this concept lumps together a number of different biological properties that ought to be treated as distinct. Third, innateness is associated with the outmoded folk biological theory of essentialism. In response to these objections, I consider two attempts to revise the concept of innateness which aim to make it more suitable for scientific explanation and research. One proposal is that innateness can be defined in terms of the biological property of environmental canalization. On this view, a trait is innate to the extent that it is developmentally buffered against a range of different environments. Another proposal is that innateness serves as an explanatory primitive for cognitive science. This view holds that there exist a sharp boundary between psychological and biological explanations and that to identify a trait as innate means that it falls into the latter explanatory domain. This essay ends with some questions for future research. (shrink)
By using the notions of exact truth and exact falsity, one can give 16 distinct definitions of classical consequence. This paper studies the class of relations that results from these definitions in settings that are paracomplete, paraconsistent or both and that are governed by the Strong Kleene schema. Besides familiar logics such as Strong Kleene logic, the Logic of Paradox and First Degree Entailment, the resulting class of all Strong Kleene generalizations of classical logic also contains a host of unfamiliar (...) logics. We first study the members of our class semantically, after which we present a uniform sequent calculus that is sound and complete with respect to all of them. Two further sequent calculi and \ calculus) will be considered, which serve the same purpose and which are obtained by applying general methods to construct sequent calculi for many-valued logics. Rules and proofs in the SK calculus are much simpler and shorter than those of the \ and the \ calculus, which is one of the reasons to prefer the SK calculus over the latter two. Besides favourably comparing the SK calculus to both the \ and the \ calculus, we also hint at its philosophical significance. (shrink)
This volume is the second installment in Stefan Jonsson’s epic study of the crowd and the mass in modern Europe, building on his work in A Brief History of the Masses, which focused on monumental artworks produced in 1789, 1889, and 1989.
Prospect Theory (PT) is widely regarded as the most promising descriptive model for decision making under uncertainty. Various tests have corroborated the validity of the characteristic fourfold pattern of risk attitudes implied by the combination of probability weighting and value transformation. But is it also safe to assume stable PT preferences at the individual level? This is not only an empirical but also a conceptual question. Measuring the stability of preferences in a multi-parameter decision model such as PT is far (...) more complex than evaluating single-parameter models such as Expected Utility Theory under the assumption of constant relative risk aversion. There exist considerable interdependencies among parameters such that allegedly diverging parameter combinations could in fact produce very similar preference structures. In this paper, we provide a theoretic framework for measuring the (temporal) stability of PT parameters. To illustrate our methodology, we further apply our approach to 86 subjects for whom we elicit PT parameters twice, with a time lag of 1 month. While documenting remarkable stability of parameter estimates at the aggregate level, we find that a third of the subjects show significant instability across sessions. (shrink)
In this paper I offer an anti-Humean critique to Williamson and Russo’s approach to medical mechanisms. I focus on one of the specific claims made by Williamson and Russo, namely the claim that micro-structural ‘mechanisms’ provide evidence for the stability across populations of causal relationships ascertained at the (macro-) level of (test) populations. This claim is grounded in the epistemic account of causality developed by Williamson, an account which—while not relying exclusively on mechanistic evidence for justifying causal judgements—appeals nevertheless to (...) mechanisms, and rejects their anti-Humean interpretation in terms of capacities, powers, potencies, etc. By using (and expanding on) Cartwright’s basic critique against Humean mechanisms, I suggest that, in order to move beyond the level of plausibility, Williamson and Russo’s position is in need of a clarification as to the occurent reading of the components, functioning and interferences of mechanisms. Relatedly, as concerns Williamson’s epistemic account of causation, I argue that this account is in need of a more straightforward answer as to what truth-makers its causal claims should have. (shrink)
In recent years combinations of tense and modality have moved intothe focus of logical research. From a philosophical point of view, logical systems combining tense and modality are of interest because these logics have a wide field of application in original philosophical issues, for example in the theory of causation, of action, etc. But until now only methods yielding completeness results for propositional languages have been developed. In view of philosophical applications, analogous results with respect to languages of predicate logic (...) are desirable, and in this paper I present two such results. The main developments in this area can be split into two directions, differing in the question whether the ordering of time is world-independent or not. Semantically, this difference appears in the discussion whether T x W-frames or Kamp-frames (resp. Ockham-frames) provide a suitable semantics for combinations of tense and modality. Here, two calculi are presented, the first adequate with respect to Kamp-semantics, the second to T x Wsemantics. (Both calculi contain an appropriate version of Gabbay's irreflexivity rule.) Furthermore, the proposed constructions of canonical frames simplify some of those which have hitherto been discussed. (shrink)
Integrating the study of human diversity into the human evolutionary sciences requires substantial revision of traditional conceptions of a shared human nature. This process may be made more difficult by entrenched, 'folkbiological' modes of thought. Earlier work by the authors suggests that biologically naive subjects hold an implicit theory according to which some traits are expressions of an animal's inner nature while others are imposed by its environment. In this paper, we report further studies that extend and refine our account (...) of this aspect of folkbiology. We examine biologically naive subjects' judgments about whether traits of an animal are 'innate', 'in its DNA' or 'part of its nature'. Subjects do not understand these three descriptions to be equivalent. Both innate and in its DNA have the connotation that the trait is species-typical. This poses an obstacle to the assimilation of the biology of polymorphic and plastic traits by biologically naive audiences. Researchers themselves may not be immune to the continuing pull of folkbiological modes of thought. (shrink)
Stefan Jonsson uses three monumental works of art to build a provocative history of popular revolt: Jacques-Louis David's _The Tennis Court Oath_, James Ensor's _Christ's Entry into Brussels in 1889_, and Alfredo Jaar's _They Loved It So Much, the Revolution_. Addressing, respectively, the French Revolution of 1789, Belgium's proletarian messianism in the 1880s, and the worldwide rebellions and revolutions of 1968, these canonical images not only depict an alternative view of history but offer a new understanding of the relationship (...) between art and politics and the revolutionary nature of true democracy. Drawing on examples from literature, politics, philosophy, and other works of art, Jonsson carefully constructs his portrait, revealing surprising parallels between the political representation of "the people" in government and their aesthetic representation in painting. Both essentially "frame" the people, Jonsson argues, defining them as elites or masses, responsible citizens or angry mobs. Yet in the aesthetic fantasies of David, Ensor, and Jaar, Jonsson finds a different understanding of democracy-one in which human collectives break the frame and enter the picture. Connecting the achievements and failures of past revolutions to current political issues, Jonsson then situates our present moment in a long historical drama of popular unrest, making his book both a cultural history and a contemporary discussion about the fate of democracy in our globalized world. (shrink)
The number of legal and nonlegal ethical regulations in the biomedical field has increased tremendously, leaving present-day practitioners and researchers in a virtual crossfire of legislations and guidelines. Judging by the production and by the way these regulations are motivated and presented, they are held to be of great importance to ethical practice. This view is shared by many commentators. For instance, Commons and Baldwin write that, within the nursing profession, patient care can be performed unethically or ethically depending on (...) the professional standards the nurses have set for themselves. They also hold that such standards are set when nurses become aware of the ethical codes available. As nurses are often not familiar with the codes, they do not all conform to them. Commons and Baldwin argue that nurses' ability to deal with ethical dilemmas is effectively secured with education on guidelines, creating a “barrier” between personal and professional values. (shrink)
The culture of honour hypothesis offers a compelling example of how human psychology differentially adapts to pastoral and horticultural environments. However, there is disagreement over whether this pattern is best explained by a memetic, evolutionary psychological, dual inheritance, or niche construction model. I argue that this disagreement stems from two shortcomings: lack of clarity about the theoretical commitments of these models and inadequate comparative data for testing them. To resolve the first problem, I offer a theoretical framework for deriving competing (...) predictions from each of the four models. In particular, this involves a novel interpretation of the difference between dual inheritance theory and cultural niche construction. I then illustrate a strategy for testing their predictions using data from the Human Relations Area File. Empirical results suggest that the aggressive psychological phenotype typically associated with honour culture is more common among pastoral societies than among horticultural societies. Theoretical considerations suggest that this pattern is best explained as a case of cultural niche construction. (shrink)
In this paper, I focus on life-threatening medical conditions and argue that from the point of view of natural properties, induction(s), and participation in laws, at least some of the ill organisms dealt with in somatic medicine form natural kinds in the same sense in which the kinds in the exact sciences are thought of as natural. By way of comparing two ‘divisions of nature’, viz., a ‘classical’ exact science kind (gold) and a kind of disease (Graves disease), I show (...) that there is no justifiable ‘ontological gap’ between disease kinds and exact sciences kinds. We have instead a difference of degree. (shrink)