In this position paper, we describe a number of methodological and philosophical challenges that arose within our interdisciplinary Digital Humanities project CatVis, which is a collaboration between applied geometric algorithms and visualization researchers, data scientists working at OCLC, and philosophers who have a strong interest in the methodological foundations of visualization research. The challenges we describe concern aspects of one single epistemic need: that of methodologically securing (an increase in) trust in visualizations. We discuss the lack of ground truths in (...) the (digital) humanities and argue that trust in visualizations requires that we evaluate visualizations on the basis of ground truths that humanities scholars themselves create. We further argue that trust in visualizations requires that a visualization provides provable guarantees on the faithfulness of the visual representation and that we must clearly communicate to the users which part of the visualization can be trusted and how much. Finally, we discuss transparency and accessibility in visualization research and provide measures for securing transparency and accessibility. (shrink)
Aggleton & Brown propose that familiarity-based recognition depends on a perirhinal-medial dorsal thalamic system. However, connections between these structures are sparse or absent. In contrast, the perirhinal cortex is connected to midline/intralaminar nuclei. In a human, a lesion in this thalamic domain, sparing the medial dorsal nucleus, impaired familiarity-based recognition while sparing recollective-based recognition. It is thus more likely that the intralaminar/midline nuclei are involved in recognition.
The article explores the relationship between Baukunst and Zeitwille in the practice and pedagogy of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and the significance of the notions of civilization and culture for his philosophy of education and design practice. Focusing on the negation of metropolitan life and mise en scene of architectural space as its starting point, it examines how Georg Simmel’s notion of objectivity could be related to Mies’s understanding of civilization. Its key insight is to recognize that Mie’s practice (...) and pedagogy was directed by the idea that architecture should capture the driving force of civilization. The paper also summarizes the foundational concepts of Mies’s curriculum in Chicago. It aims to highlight the importance of the notions of Zeitwille and impersonality in Mies van der Rohe’s thought and to tease apart the tension between the impersonality and the role of the autonomous individual during the modernist era. (shrink)
This is a review of Quantifiers, Logic, and Language, edited by Jaap van der Does and Jan van Eijk, published by CSLI (Center for the Study of Language and Information) Publications, Stanford, CA, in 1996.
To understand pre-Fregean theories of judgment and proposition, such as those found in Locke and the Port-Royal logic, it is important to distinguish between propositions in the modern sense and propositions in the pre-Fregean sense. By making this distinction it becomes clear that these pre-Fregean theories cannot be meant to solve the propositional attitude problem. Notwithstanding this fact, Locke and Arnauld are able to make a distinction between asserted and unasserted propositions (in their sense). The way Locke makes this distinction (...) turns out to be very different from the way it is made by Arnauld. (shrink)
Over the past decades, both wild and domesticated insect pollinators are in dramatic decline, which puts at stake the existence of species, ecosystem resilience and global food security. Globally, 87 of major food crops depend on animal pollination. Together these account for 35 % of the world food production volume. Pollinator mediated crops are indispensable for essential micronutrients in the human diet. Many ornamental plants as well as crops for fibre, fodder, biofuels, timber and phytopharmaceuticals also depend on insect pollinators. (...) This article aims to map the current situation of pollinators worldwide, with a focus on the critical role of pollinators in the human food chain and ecosystem sustainability, their intrinsic and extrinsic value, as well as the causes of their declines and the interventions needed to conserve them, in order to develop an argument for the importance of conserving and restoring pollinator populations and diversity. The present pollinator crisis threatens global and local food security, can worsen the problems of hidden hunger, erodes ecosystem resilience, and can destabilise ecosystems that form our life support system. An integrated approach that simultaneously addresses the key drivers is needed. This includes creation and restoration of floral and nesting resources, a global phase out of prophylactic use of neonicotinoids and fipronil, improvement of test protocols in authorisation of agrochemicals, and restoration and maintenance of independence in regulatory science. The authors argue that an international treaty for global pollinator stewardship and pollinator ecosystem restoration should be initiated in order to systemically counteract the current crisis. (shrink)
Human cognition is unique in the way in which it relies on combinatorial (or compositional) structures. Language provides ample evidence for the existence of combinatorial structures, but they can also be found in visual cognition. To understand the neural basis of human cognition, it is therefore essential to understand how combinatorial structures can be instantiated in neural terms. In his recent book on the foundations of language, Jackendoff described four fundamental problems for a neural instantiation of combinatorial structures: the massiveness (...) of the binding problem, the problem of 2, the problem of variables, and the transformation of combinatorial structures from working memory to long-term memory. This paper aims to show that these problems can be solved by means of neural “blackboard” architectures. For this purpose, a neural blackboard architecture for sentence structure is presented. In this architecture, neural structures that encode for words are temporarily bound in a manner that preserves the structure of the sentence. It is shown that the architecture solves the four problems presented by Jackendoff. The ability of the architecture to instantiate sentence structures is illustrated with examples of sentence complexity observed in human language performance. Similarities exist between the architecture for sentence structure and blackboard architectures for combinatorial structures in visual cognition, derived from the structure of the visual cortex. These architectures are briefly discussed, together with an example of a combinatorial structure in which the blackboard architectures for language and vision are combined. In this way, the architecture for language is grounded in perception. Perspectives and potential developments of the architectures are discussed. Key Words: binding; blackboard architectures; combinatorial structure; compositionality; language; dynamic system; neurocognition; sentence complexity; sentence structure; working memory; variables; vision. (shrink)
An important discussion in contemporary ethics concerns the relevance of empirical research for ethics. Specifically, two crucial questions pertain, respectively, to the possibility of inferring normative statements from descriptive statements, and to the danger of a loss of normativity if normative statements should be based on empirical research. Here we take part in the debate and defend integrated empirical ethical research: research in which normative guidelines are established on the basis of empirical research and in which the guidelines are empirically (...) evaluated by focusing on observable consequences. We argue that in our concrete example normative statements are not derived from descriptive statements, but are developed within a process of reflection and dialogue that goes on within a specific praxis. Moreover, we show that the distinction in experience between the desirable and the undesirable precludes relativism. The normative guidelines so developed are both critical and normative: they help in choosing the right action and in evaluating that action. Finally, following Aristotle, we plead for a return to the view that morality and ethics are inherently related to one another, and for an acknowledgment of the fact that moral judgments have their origin in experience which is always related to historical and cultural circumstances. (shrink)
Ernest Mandel theorised the capitalist world economy as an articulated system of capitalist, semi-capitalist and precapitalist relations of production, linked to each other by capitalist relations of exchange and domination by the capitalist world market. This seems to be an interesting starting point for an historically well-founded theory, building on and going beyond Marx's work, of the worldwide expansion of the capitalist mode of production from its origins to the present. In his attempt to formulate his theory, Mandel did not (...) succeed in resolving all difficulties, however. His main works – Marxist Economic Theory and Late Capitalism – show a number of dangling loose ends. The central question is whether these loose ends are merely technical difficulties or whether they reveal fatal flaws in the theory as a whole. In order to come a step closer to answering this question, a conference was organised in Amsterdam, November 2003. This introduction formulates the five, closely interrelated issues that were highlighted at this conference. (shrink)
Background Notwithstanding the need to produce evidence-based knowledge on medications for pregnant women, they remain underrepresented in clinical research. Sometimes they are excluded because of their supposed vulnerability, but there are no universally accepted criteria for considering pregnant women as vulnerable. Our aim was to explore whether and if so to what extent pregnant women are vulnerable as research subjects. Method We performed a conceptual and empirical analysis of vulnerability applied to pregnant women. Analysis A conceptual analysis supports Hurst's definition (...) of vulnerability. Consequently, we argue that pregnant women are vulnerable if they encounter an identifiably increased likelihood of incurring additional or greater wrong. According to the literature, this increased likelihood could exist of four alleged features for pregnant women's vulnerability: informed consent, susceptibility to coercion, higher exposure to risk due to lack of knowledge, vulnerability of the fetus. Discussion Testing the features against Hurst's definition demonstrates that they all concern the same issue: pregnant women are only vulnerable because a higher exposure to risk due to lack of scientific knowledge comprises an increased wrong. Research Ethics Committees have a responsibility to protect the vulnerable, but a higher exposure to risk due to lack of scientific knowledge is a much broader issue and also needs to be addressed by other stakeholders. Conclusions The only reason why pregnant women are potentially vulnerable is to the extent that they are increasingly exposed to higher risks due to a lack of scientific knowledge. Accordingly, the discussion can advance to the development of practical strategies to promote fair inclusion of pregnant women in clinical research. (shrink)
Theoretical models for physician-patient communication in clinical practice are described in literature, but none of them seems adequate for solving the communication problem in clinical practice that emerges in case of factitious disorder. Theoretical models generally imply open communication and respect for the autonomy of the patient. In factitious disorder, the physician is confronted by lies and (self)destructive behaviour of the patient, who in one way or another tries to involve the physician in this behaviour. It is no longer controversial (...) that the physician should communicate his consideration of a factitious disorder without insistence that the patient accepts this diagnosis. However, the balance between patient autonomy and open communication on the one hand, and the preservation of the patient's health, physician integrity and of a constructive physician-patient relationship on the other is easily disrupted. In this article, an epistemological model is described to facilitate a positive outcome of confrontation in treatment of factitious disorder. Analysing the problem in terms of systems theory will help the physician to assess what information is appropriate to use in which phase of the patient's treatment, while preserving the physician-patient relationship. (shrink)