This work is for those who want to be better informed about the major turning points in the history of human thought. Arranged thematically, the book looks at key questions, such as: how and what can we know; does God exist; why do we exist; anything goes; and what are the boundaries of reality?
There is a common misconception across the lntelligence Community (IC) to the effect that information trapped within multiple heterogeneous data silos can be semantically integrated by the sorts of meaning-blind statistical methods employed in much of artificial intelligence (Al) and natural language processlng (NLP). This leads to the misconception that incoming data can be analysed coherently by relying exclusively on the use of statistical algorithms and thus without any shared framework for classifying what the data are about. Unfortunately, such approaches (...) do not yield sustainable results where we are dealing with widely distributed, highly heterogeneous and often changing bodies of data. We argue here that the needed integration requires the use of what we call an lntegrating Semantic Framework (ISF), which provldes a consistent set of categories and relationships that can be reused over and over again to tag successive bodies of data in ways which foster more coherent representation and reasoning. (shrink)
Einstein, Relativity and Absolute Simultaneity is an anthology of original essays by an international team of leading philosophers and physicists who have come together to reassess the contemporary paradigm of the relativistic concept of time. A great deal has changed since 1905 when Einstein proposed his Special Theory of Relativity, and this book offers a fresh reassessment of Special Relativity’s relativistic concept of time in terms of epistemology, metaphysics, and physics.
A fascinating discussion of the discordant elements that divide society into fragments, Convictions includes a practical, helpful proposal as to what is necessary to bring such discordant elements together.
The Declaration of Independence states that all men are created equal in the United States, but that statement does not hold true for words. Some words carry more weight than others--they seem to work harder, get more done, and demand more respect. Political Keywords: Using Language that Uses Us looks at eight dominant words that are crucial to American political discourse, and how they have been employed during the last fifty years. Based on an analysis of eleven separate studies of (...) political language, Political Keywords helps readers to understand what these terms mean and how they are used. For example, the book tracks what politics now means to modern commentators, how schoolteacher impress certain values upon the nation's children by invoking the office of the president, and why an innocent word like government sometimes makes people so upset. It details how the people are referenced in political talk and how the media portray themselves. The book also considers the work done by political parties, political promises, and political consultants because, together, they shed special light on modern elections. Combining social science with subtle forms of cultural interpretation, Political Keywords: Using Language that Uses Us provides a fresh look at both American politics and American language. It is an ideal text for undergraduate and graduate courses in political communication, political language, political campaigns, media and politics, political psychology, public opinion, rhetorical criticism, contemporary public address, and presidential rhetoric. (shrink)
In a series of important and influential books, Wilfred Cantwell Smith has convincingly argued that religious traditions are misunderstood if one does not grasp the faith which they express, that these traditions are not static but fluid, and that as a result of greater knowledge and increased contact between members of different traditions, we have entered a period in which it is no longer possible for the traditions to develop in relative isolation. This paper is devoted to an important (...) aspect of Smith's thought – his distinction between faith and propositional belief. (shrink)
In this chapter we explain what the no-difference challenge is, focusing in particular on act consequentialism. We talk about how different theories of causation affect the no-difference challenge; how the challenge shows up in real-world cases including voting, global labour injustice, global poverty, and climate change; and we work through a number of the solutions to the challenge that have been offered, arguing that many fail to actually meet it. We defend and extend one solution that does, and present a (...) further solution of our own. (shrink)
Contemporary science presents us with the remarkable theory that the universe began to exist about fifteen billion years ago with a cataclysmic explosion called "the Big Bang." The question of whether Big Bang cosmology supports theism or atheism has long been a matter of discussion among the general public and in popular science books, but has received scant attention from philosophers. This book sets out to fill this gap by means of a sustained debate between two philosophers, William Lane (...) Craig and Quentin Smith, who defend opposing positions. Craig argues that the Big Bang that began the universe was created by God, while Smith argues that the Big Bang has no cause. Alternating chapters by the two philosophers criticize and attempt to refute preceding arguments. Their arguments are based on Einstein's theory of relativity and include a discussion of the new quantum cosmology recently developed by Stephen Hawking and popularized in A Brief History of Time. (shrink)
The Hermopolis letters showcase the personal concerns of those writing Aramaic letters in the era of Persian Egypt. One individual named Nabuša is particularly interesting because of his familial correspondence and emotional tone. This study will examine what can be known about this writer and his complaints about an unwanted tunic and a snakebite. There have been several notable disagreements about the Aramaic translation of Nabuša’s concerns, whose discussion will help heighten our understanding of his passion.
The value of any kind of data is greatly enhanced when it exists in a form that allows it to be integrated with other data. One approach to integration is through the annotation of multiple bodies of data using common controlled vocabularies or ‘ontologies’. Unfortunately, the very success of this approach has led to a proliferation of ontologies which itself creates obstacles to integration. The Open Biomedical Ontologies (OBO) consortium has set in train a strategy to overcome this problem. Existing (...) OBO ontologies, including the Gene Ontology, are undergoing a process of coordinated reform and new ontologies being created on the basis of an evolving set of shared principles governing ontology development. The result is an expanding family of ontologies designed to be interoperable, logically well-formed, and to incorporate accurate representations of biological reality. We describe the OBO Foundry initiative, and provide guidelines for those who might wish to become involved. (shrink)
This is a comprehensive and practical guide to the ethical issues raised by different kinds of medical research, and is the first such book to be written with the needs of the researcher in mind. Clearly structured and written in a plain and accessible style, the book covers every significant ethical issue likely to be faced by researchers and research ethics committees. The author outlines and clarifies official guidelines, gives practical advice on how to adhere to these, and suggests procedures (...) in areas where official recommendations are vague or absent. This invaluable handbook will help researchers identify and address the ethical issues at an early stage in the design of their studies, to avoid unnecessary delay and to safeguard the wellbeing of patients and healthy volunteers. It will also be extremely useful to members of research ethics committees. (shrink)