OAI Archive: Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard

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100 entries most recently downloaded from the archive "Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard"

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  1. Adrianna C. Jenkins, David Dodell-Feder, Rebecca Saxe & Joshua Knobe, The Neural Bases of Directed and Spontaneous Mental State Attributions to Group Agents.
    In daily life, perceivers often need to predict and interpret the behavior of group agents, such as corporations and governments. Although research has investigated how perceivers reason about individual members of particular groups, less is known about how perceivers reason about group agents themselves. The present studies investigate how perceivers understand group agents by investigating the extent to which understanding the ‘mind’ of the group as a whole shares important properties and processes with understanding the minds of individuals. Experiment 1 (...)
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  2. James Duncan Gentry, Substance and Sense: Objects of Power in the Life, Writings, and Legacy of the Tibetan Ritual Master Sog Bzlog Pa Blo Gros Rgyal Mtshan.
    This thesis is a reflection upon objects of power and their roles in the lives of people through the lens of a single case example: power objects as they appear throughout the narrative, philosophical, and ritual writings of the Tibetan Buddhist ritual specialist Sog bzlog pa Blo gros rgyal mtshan (1552-1624) and his milieu. This study explores their discourse on power objects specifically for what it reveals about how human interactions with certain kinds of objects encourage the flow of power (...)
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  3. Michelle Chaplin Sanchez, Providence: From Pronoia to Immanent Affirmation in John Calvin's Institutes of 1559.
    Over the twentieth century and into the present, theorists of secularization and political theology have explored ways that theological arguments have shaped the social, ethical, economic, and political imaginaries of the modern West. In many of these studies, the doctrine of providence has come under scrutiny alongside related theological debates over of the nature of divine sovereignty, glory, the will, and the significance of immanent life in relation to divine transcendence. While it is often taken for granted that the Calvinist (...)
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  4. Suheil Ismail Laher, Twisted Threads: Genesis, Development and Application of the Term and Concept of Tawatur in Islamic Thought.
    Tawātur is the concept that if we obtain the same information through a sufficient number of independent channels, we reach certainty about that data. When applied to the transmission of Qur'ān and hadith texts, tawātur can serve as a means by which to assert the truth of a source-text, which in turn has implications for correctness of the religious belief or practice that is conveyed by the text, and hence the orthodoxy of one accepting or rejecting it.
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  5. Elizabeth Louise Miller, No Metaphysics Within Physics?
    This dissertation has three parts. In "Quantum Entanglement, Bohmian Mechanics, and Humean Supervenience," I defend David Lewis's metaphysical doctrine of Humean supervenience, and traditional metaphysical reductionism more generally, against an alleged holistic threat encapsulated in the non-separability argument from quantum entanglement. I argue that, contrary to popular belief, realism about quantum mechanics is compatible with Humean reductionism.
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  6. John Hyong Kim, The Poetics of Diagram.
    This dissertation treats the diagram as a literary object. It explains how the diagram structured the conditions of possibility of a world-literary modernity as it emerged in the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century. Caught between the competing epistemic regimes of scientific and humanistic knowledge, as well as between the clash of cultures, East and West, the diagram's potential as a scientifically neutral, and thus, "universal" language was deployed and redeployed in complex ways: just as the diagram was used to reveal (...)
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  7. Jesse Benjamin Raber, Progressivism's Aesthetic Education: The Bildungsroman and the Struggle for the American School, 1890-1920.
    During the Progressive Era, literary writers such as Abraham Cahan, Willa Cather, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman engaged with ideas emerging from the newly consolidated educational profession about art's capacity to mediate between individual and social development. These ideas varied widely in their philosophical, pedagogical, and political implications, but all reinforced the authority of professional educators at the expense of democratically elected boards of education. Novels working through these ideas can be usefully theorized as Bildungsromane if the definition of the Bildungsroman (...)
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  8. Nicolas Browne Cornell, Wrongs Without Rights.
    How do rights relate to moral complaints? What is the relationship between our moral entitlements---the obligations that are owed to us---and the moral complaints that we can make---our claims to have been wronged?
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  9. Michael Edward Kenneally, Intellectual Property Rights and Institutions: A Pluralist Account.
    Debates over intellectual property's justifications tend to treat natural rights and utilitarian accounts as competitors, but they should be seen as complements instead. Lockean and Kantian theories of intellectual property highlight the strong interests that intellectual property creators have in profiting from and exercising some degree of control over their work, but neither theory gives sufficient justification for the full assortment of rights that intellectual property owners have under current law. Utilitarian accounts provide an essential supplement to these natural rights (...)
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  10. He Bian, Assembling the Cure: Materia Medica and the Culture of Healing in Late Imperial China.
    This dissertation examines the intersection between the culture of knowledge and socio-economic conditions of late Ming and Qing China (1550-1800) through the lens of materia medica. I argue that medicine in China during this time developed new characteristics that emphasized the centrality of drugs as objects of pharmacological knowledge, commodities valued by authenticity and efficacy, and embodiment of medical skills and expertise. My inquiry contributes to a deeper understanding of the materiality of healing as a basic condition in early modern (...)
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  11. Scott Brewer, Logocratic Method and the Analysis of Arguments in Evidence.
    Legal analysis is dominated by legal arguments, and the assessment of any legal claim requires the assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of those arguments. The ‘logocratic’ method is a systematic method for assessing the strengths and weaknesses of arguments. More specifically, it is a method designed to help the analyst determine what degree of warrant the premises of an argument provide for its conclusion. Although the method is applicable to any type of argument, this essay focuses on the logocratic (...)
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  12. Blair Justin Fire Reich, Sergiy O. Nesterko, Daniel Thomas Seaton, Tommy Philip Mullaney, James H. Waldo, Isaac Chuang & Andrew Dean Ho, ER22x: JusticeX: Spring 2013 Course Report.
    ER22x was offered as a HarvardX course in Spring 2013 on edX, a platform for massive open online courses (MOOCs). It was taught by Professor Michael Sandel. The report was prepared by researchers external to the course team, based on an examination of the courseware, analyses of data collected by the edX platform, and interviews with the course faculty and team members.
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  13. Susanna C. Siegel, Precise of The Contents of Visual Experience.
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  14. Don Tontiplaphol, Hunting for Happiness: Aristotle and the Good of Action.
    The starting point of the dissertation is a special kind of intentional action -- Aristotelian praxis, or, in a more metaphysical register, energeia -- a kind whose agent's intention in acting must be expressible as the deliverance of one's prohairesis (``deliberate choice''), action that is the embodiment of one's conception of eupraxia (``acting well''), and, equivalently, of eudaimonia (``happiness''). It is special, since not all that we intentionally do can be intelligibly expressed as the deliverance of our conceptions of acting (...)
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  15. Shankar Ayillath Nair, Philosophy in Any Language: Interaction Between Arabic, Sanskrit, and Persian Intellectual Cultures in Mughal South Asia.
    This dissertation examines three contemporaneous religious philosophers active in early modern South Asia: Muhibb Allah Ilahabadi (d. 1648), Madhusudana Sarasvati (d. 1620-1647), and the Safavid philosopher, Mir Findiriski (d. 1640/1). These figures, two Muslim and one Hindu, were each prominent representatives of religious thought as it occurred in one of the three pan-imperial languages of the Mughal Empire: Arabic, Sanskrit, and Persian. In this study, I re-trace the trans-regional scholarly networks in which each of the figures participated, and then examine (...)
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  16. Adriane Hunsberger Gelpi, Priority Setting for HIV and Mental Health in Mexico: Historical, Quantitative and Ethical Perspectives.
    Mexico's innovative health reforms have attracted scholarly attention beyond its own borders, making it a valuable case to study how countries set priorities. This dissertation examines the multifaceted topic of priority setting through a multidisciplinary approach: each of the three papers of this dissertation employs one of three disciplinary perspectives: historical, quantitative or normative. The dual focus on mental health and HIV--two highly stigmatized diseases with almost opposite histories of prioritization--further underscores the social and historical aspects of health priority setting.
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  17. Sharon Elizabeth Berry, Papers on and Around the Access Problem.
    The three papers which make up this dissertation form part of a larger project, which aims to solve the `access problem' for realism about mathematics by providing a clear and plausible example of what a satisfying explanation of human accuracy about objective mathematical facts could look like. They fit into this project as follows.
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  18. Matthew Benjamin Sussman, Stylistic Virtue in Nineteenth-Century Fiction.
    To many readers, the Victorian novel is synonymous with moral insight and Victorian criticism with moral philistinism. While the novel remains celebrated for its complex treatment of decision-making and sympathy, the evaluative judgments of Victorian critics have been dismissed as thematically reductive and imprecise. However, this study argues that the virtue terms that pervade Victorian discourse--words like "natural," "manly," "lucid," and "sincere"--invest sentence-level stylistic properties with ethical value because they embody aesthetic character. Rather than focus on the novel's action, characters, (...)
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  19. Patricio A. Fernandez, The Power of a Practical Conclusion and Essays in the Economic Analysis of Legal Systems.
    Part One defends the thesis, first advanced by Aristotle, that the conclusion of practical reasoning is an action, and argues for its philosophical significance. Opposition to the thesis rests on a contestable way of distinguishing between acts and contents of reasoning and on a picture of normative principles as external to the actions that fall under them. The resulting view forces us to choose between the efficacious, world-changing character of practical thought and its subjection to objective rational standards. This is (...)
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  20. Craig Takeshi Nishimoto, Duties of Rescue: A Moderate Account.
    This dissertation clarifies a challenge present in Peter Singer's famine-relief argument and offers a new account of our moral duties of rescue. The challenge, in essence, is to differentiate two classes of idealized rescue scenarios where one faces the opportunity to rescue someone from serious peril, and to differentiate them in way that both avoids a shockingly demanding conclusion and effectively counteracts the suspicion that one is maintaining and merely rationalizing a self-serving position. To meet this challenge I provide an (...)
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  21. Allison Sara Kuklok, Conceptualism and Objectivity in Locke's Account of Natural Kinds.
    Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding is considered by many to be the locus classicus of a number of influential arguments for conventionalism, according to which there are no objective, privileged ways of classifying things in the natural world. In the dissertation I argue that Locke never meant to reject natural kinds. Still, the challenge is to explain how, within a metaphysics that explicitly denies mind-independent essences, we can make sense of a privileged, objective sorting of substances. I argue that we (...)
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  22. Marie E. Newhouse, Kant's Typo, and the Limits of the Law.
    This dissertation develops a Kantian philosophical framework for understanding our individual obligations under public law. Because we have a right to do anything that is not wrong, the best interpretation of Immanuel Kant's Universal Principle of Right tracks the two ways--material and formal--in which actions can be wrong. This interpretation yields surprising insights, most notably a novel formulation of Kant's standard for formal wrongdoing. Because the wrong-making property of a formally wrong action does not depend on whether or not the (...)
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  23. Aslihan Akisik, Self and Other in the Renaissance: Laonikos Chalkokondyles and Late Byzantine Intellectuals.
    The capture of Constantinople by the Ottoman armies of Mehmed II in 1453 was a cataclysmic event that reverberated throughout Renaissance Europe. This event intensified the exodus of Byzantines to Italy and beyond and they brought along with them the heritage of Greek antiquity. Laonikos Chalkokondyles contributed to the Renaissance with his detailed application of Herodotos to the fifteenth century, Apodeixis Historion, and made sense of the rise of the Ottomans with the lens of ancient history. The Apodeixis was printed (...)
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  24. Kristin Alise Jones, Revitalizing Romanticism: Novalis' Fichte Studien and the Philosophy of Organic Nonclosure.
    This dissertation offers a re-interpretation of Novalis' Fichte Studien. I argue that several recent scholarly readings of this text unnecessarily exclude "organicism," or a panentheistic notion of the Absolute, in favor of "nonclosure," or the endless, because impossibly completed search for knowledge of the Absolute. My reading instead shows that, in his earliest philosophical text, Novalis makes the case for a Kantian discursive consciousness that can know itself, on Jacobian grounds, to be the byproduct (or accident) of a self-conditioning being (...)
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  25. Paul C. Schofield, The Commonwealth as Agent: Group Action, the Common Good, and the General Will.
    In this dissertation, I argue for a Rousseauvian vision of an ideal society: one in which the people constitute a group agent, unified under a collective will, willing action that constitutes the common good. Most have tended to believe that the contrasts between an individual agent and an entire people are stark, and so accounts of the commonwealth that appeal to group agency at all usually emphasize the differences between them. I will argue, however, that members of a society collectively (...)
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  26. Lisa Crystal, Quantum Times: Physics, Philosophy, and Time in the Postwar United States.
    The concept of time in physics underwent significant changes in the decades following World War II. This dissertation considers several ways in which American physicists grappled with these changes, analyzing the extent to which philosophical methods and questions played a role in physicists' engagement with time. Two lines of questioning run through the dissertation. The first asks about the professional identities of postwar American physicists in relation to philosophy, as exemplified by their engagement with the concept of time. The second (...)
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  27. Lesley Anne Goodman, Indignant Reading.
    In 1871, R. H. Hutton criticized George Eliot for "unfairly running down one of her own characters": Middlemarch's Rosamond Vincy. Hutton blamed Eliot for being cruel to her own creation and used his role as a reader and a critic to lodge a public complaint on Rosamond's behalf. Indignant Reading identifies this response--dissatisfaction and even anger with an author for his/her perceived mistreatment of a fictional character--as a common occasion for literary criticism in the nineteenth century. The indignant readings found (...)
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  28. Jiewuh Song, Global Institutions and Relations Among Non-Co-Citizens.
    A common criticism of global institutions is that their rules disproportionately favor the political and economic interests of powerful states over those of weaker states. This dissertation consists of three essays that each deal with a specific application of the criticism. In the first essay, I examine the question of whether international human rights law should include a human right to democracy. Joshua Cohen and Charles Beitz offer two kinds of argument for thinking that it should not. First, protecting a (...)
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  29. Eylem Ozaltun, Knowledge in Action.
    It is widely acknowledged that an agent is doing A intentionally only if she knows she is doing A. It has proved difficult, however, to reconcile two natural thoughts about this knowledge. On the one hand, the agent seems to know what she is doing immediately, simply by doing it. Her knowledge seems to rely upon no evidence, and indeed to rest upon no specifiable epistemic basis at all. On the other hand, the agent can be wrong about what she (...)
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  30. Scarlet Jacquelyn Marquette, Ubi Cogito, Ibi Sum: Paranoid Epistemology in Russian Fiction 1833-1907.
    This dissertation addresses two questions fundamental to Russian nineteenth-century intellectual history: 1) Why does literature about paranoid psychosis figure so centrally in the nineteenth-century canon? and 2) How did the absence of an epistemological tradition of reflexive self-consciousness influence the development of Russian ideas of subjectivity? I propose that the presence of paranoia in Russian fiction extends beyond the medical or psychoanalytic aspects of character traits or themes. I argue that literary representations of paranoia perform fundamental philosophical gestures and function (...)
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  31. Daniela Louise Cammack, Rethinking Athenian Democracy.
    Conventional accounts of classical Athenian democracy represent the assembly as the primary democratic institution in the Athenian political system. This looks reasonable in the light of modern democracy, which has typically developed through the democratization of legislative assemblies. Yet it conflicts with the evidence at our disposal. Our ancient sources suggest that the most significant and distinctively democratic institution in Athens was the courts, where decisions were made by large panels of randomly selected ordinary citizens with no possibility of appeal. (...)
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  32. Lucas Stanczyk, From Each: Essays in the Theory of Productive Justice.
    A just society must provide a range of goods: police protection, education, medical care, legal representation, to name only a few. But how should a just society organize production of these goods? To ask this question is to broach the topic of productive justice. We need a theory of this topic in order to explain the content of the ideal of social justice. A certain theory of productive justice is now widely taken for granted. It has the following commitments. Every (...)
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  33. Bryan Wagoner, The Subject of Emancipation: Critique, Reason and Religion in the Thought of Theodor W. Adorno, Max Horkheimer and Paul Tillich.
    Through a focus on four rubrics: emancipatory rationality, anthropology, metaphysics and religion, the dissertation demonstrates clearly that with similar resources yet different emphases, Paul Tillich, Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno uniquely structure what are largely complementary critical interpretations of a modernity which they see to be diseased, and whose subjects are unable to realize the promises of enlightenment. They shine similar lights on the 'steel-hard cage' of a modernity which they hope to overcome, and possibly to redeem, in largely (...)
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  34. Anders Engberg-Pedersen, The Empire of Chance: War, Literature, and the Epistemic Order of Modernity.
    The dissertation charts the momentous shift in the thinking of war that takes place in Europe around 1800. Against the background of the Napoleonic Wars, it examines the discourse on war in literature, military theory, philosophy, cartography, mathematics, and pedagogy. It argues that across these fields and disciplines, war is constituted as a world in itself, but a destabilized world governed by chance and contingency. As one theorist states, the complexity of warfare has risen to such a degree that war (...)
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  35. Daniela Helbig, The Known and the Lived. Studies in Techno-Scientific 'Experience'.
    There are few doubts about the significance of science and technology for modern human culture and society. But as historians, we are still struggling to find appropriate descriptive terms to capture the broad processes of transformation brought about by “techno-science,” the merging of technical production and modern institutionalized science. This dissertation argues that the term “experience” may serve as such an analytic lens in the specific historical setting of German aviation research from the 1920s through 1945. I reconstruct, on the (...)
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  36. Adrian Kwek, Three Studies in the Theory of Function.
    My dissertation studies three problems that threaten our functional explanatory practices. The first study, The Normativity Problem and Theories of Biological Function, attempts to explain how it is that biological tokens can perform their functions better or worse, and can retain their functions even when not currently performing them. Etiological theories can try to account for the normativity of functions by cumulative selection or by their contributions to fitness. I argue that neither strategy succeeds. Systemic theories hold that functions are (...)
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  37. Sean Ingham, Instrumental Justifications of Popular Rule.
    Ordinary citizens are rarely charged with making consequential decisions in representative democracies. Almost all consequential decisions are delegated to elected representatives or political appointees. On what basis should we judge whether decisions should be placed in the hands of ordinary citizens or delegated to political elites? I argue that decision-making authority should be allocated in whatever way an assembly of randomly selected citizens would choose, given reasonable beliefs about the consequences of their possible choices. The standard I defend is a (...)
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  38. Jan Vihan, Language, Likeness, and the Han Phenomenon of Convergence.
    Although in the classical Chinese outlook the world can only be made sense of through the means devised by the ancient sages and handed down by the tradition, the art of exegesis has long been a neglected subject. Scholars have been all too eager to dispute what their chosen text says than to pay attention to the nuanced ways in which it hones its tools. This dissertation aims to somewhat redirect the discipline's attention by focusing on Xu Shen's Shuowen Jiezi. (...)
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  39. Peter Geller, Making Blackness, Making Policy.
    Too often the acknowledgment that race is a social construction ignores exactly how this construction occurs. By illuminating the way in which the category of blackness and black individuals are made, we can better see how race matters in America. Antidiscrimination policy, social science research, and the state's support of its citizens can all be improved by an accurate and concrete definition of blackness. Making Blackness, Making Policy argues that blackness and black people are literally made rather than discovered. The (...)
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  40. Jon Litland, Topics in Philosophical Logic.
    In “Proof-Theoretic Justification of Logic”, building on work by Dummett and Prawitz, I show how to construct use-based meaning-theories for the logical constants. The assertability-conditional meaning-theory takes the meaning of the logical constants to be given by their introduction rules; the consequence-conditional meaning-theory takes the meaning of the logical constants to be given by their elimination rules. I then consider the question: given a set of introduction (elimination) rules \(\mathcal{R}\), what are the strongest elimination (introduction) rules that are validated by (...)
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  41. Madeleine Blot, The Right to Stay Alive?
    While standing by my belief that FDA "can't help" infringing on the right of terminally-ill individuals, I will argue that the matter should be removed from FDA's jurisdiction altogether, and evaluated in a constitutional setting where it more properly belongs. Before I move on to a discussion of why I believe that the question of whether the terminally-ill should have access to unapproved but potentially life-saving drugs should be dealt with as a constitutional matter, I will briefly discuss why I (...)
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  42. Carmel Shachar, Ending the Charade: Revisiting the Ban on Political Influence in FDA Decision Making in Light of Tummino V. Torti.
    The wide scope of discovery and judicial review in Tummino v. Torti is directly traced to the prohibition against political motivations in agency decision-making. The FDA in evaluating the OTC switch application for Plan B was most likely influenced by the Bush White House political agenda. As the case law stands, Tummino was decided correctly because political influence in agency decision-making is seen as bad faith and not as sufficient rationale for decisions. However, within in the past thirty years Presidents (...)
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  43. Kelley Coleman, In the Interest of Public Health: A Strategic Approach to Defining the FDA's Role in Eliminating Health Disparities.
    In October of 1985, the Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS’) Secretary’s Task Force on Black and Minority Health released a report documenting inequities in the health status of African Americans and other minority groups. Since the report’s release, numerous federal agencies have implemented programming to address the issue, and Congress has passed legislation in efforts to eliminate the inequities. The Food and Drug Administration, however, has remained largely silent on the issue. This paper identifies and defines racial and (...)
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  44. Amin Zollanvari, Edward R. Dougherty & Ulisses M. Braga-Neto, The Illusion of Distribution-Free Small-Sample Classification in Genomics.
    Classification has emerged as a major area of investigation in bioinformatics owing to the desire to discriminate phenotypes, in particular, disease conditions, using high-throughput genomic data. While many classification rules have been posed, there is a paucity of error estimation rules and an even greater paucity of theory concerning error estimation accuracy. This is problematic because the worth of a classifier depends mainly on its error rate. It is common place in bioinformatics papers to have a classification rule applied to (...)
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  45. James Hankins, Kristeller and Ancient Philosophy.
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  46. Steven Shapin (1995). Here and Everywhere - Sociology of Scientific Knowledge. Annual Review of Sociology 21:289-321.
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