We have synthesized a 582,970-base pair Mycoplasma genitalium genome. This synthetic genome, named M. genitalium JCVI-1.0, contains all the genes of wild-type M. genitalium G37 except MG408, which was disrupted by an antibiotic marker to block pathogenicity and to allow for selection. To identify the genome as synthetic, we inserted "watermarks" at intergenic sites known to tolerate transposon insertions. Overlapping "cassettes" of 5 to 7 kilobases (kb), assembled from chemically synthesized oligonucleotides, were joined by in vitro recombination to produce intermediate (...) assemblies of approximately 24 kb, 72 kb ("1/8 genome"), and 144 kb ("1/4 genome"), which were all cloned as bacterial artificial chromosomes in Escherichia coli. Most of these intermediate clones were sequenced, and clones of all four 1/4 genomes with the correct sequence were identified. The complete synthetic genome was assembled by transformation-associated recombination cloning in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, then isolated and sequenced. A clone with the correct sequence was identified. The methods described here will be generally useful for constructing large DNA molecules from chemically synthesized pieces and also from combinations of natural and synthetic DNA segments. 10.1126/science.1151721. (shrink)
MEDIEVAL LOGICS LAMBERT MARIE DE RIJK (ed.), Die mittelalterlichen Traktate De mod0 opponendiet respondendi, Einleitung und Ausgabe der einschlagigen Texte. (Beitrage zur Geschichte der Philosophie und Theologie des Mittelalters, Neue Folge Band 17.) Miinster: Aschendorff, 1980. 379 pp. No price stated. THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY MARTA FATTORI, Lessico del Novum Organum di Francesco Bacone. Rome: Edizioni dell'Ateneo 1980. Two volumes, il + 543, 520 pp. Lire 65.000. VIVIAN SALMON, The study of language in 17th century England. (Amsterdam Studies in the Theory (...) and History of Linguistic Science, Series 111: Studies in theHistory of Linguistics, Volume 17.) Amsterdam: John Benjamins B.V., 1979.x + 218 pp. Dfl. 65. Theoria cum Praxi. Zum Verhaltnis von Theorie und Praxis im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert. (Akten des 111. Internationalen Leibnizkongress, Hannover, 12. bis 17.November 1977, Band 111: Logik, Erkenntnistheorie, Wissenschaftstheorie, Metaphysik, Theologie.) Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1980. vii + 269 pp. DM 48. CLASSICAL AND NON-CLASSICAL LOGICS MICHAEL CLARK, The place of syllogistic in logical theory. Nottingham: University of Nottingham Press, 1980. ix + 151 pp. £3.00. A.F. PARKER-RHODES, The theory of indistinguishables. Dordrecht, Boston and London: D. Reidel Publishing Company, 1981. xvii + 216 pp. Dfl.90.00/$39.50. NICHOLAS RESCHER and ROBERT BRANDOM, The logic of inconsistency. Oxford:Basil Blackwell, 1980. x + 174 pp. f 11.50. MISCELLANEOUS J. ZELENY, The logic of Marx. Translated from the German by T. Carver. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1980. xcii + 247 pp. £12.50. FELIX KAUFMANN, The infinite in mathematics. Edited by Brian McGuinness. Introduction by E. Nagel. Translation from the German by Paul Foulkes. Dordrecht: Reidel, 1978. xvii + 235 pp. Dfl 85/$39.50 (cloth); Dfl 45/$19.95 (paper). PAMELA MCCORDUCK, Machines who think. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman and Company, 1979. xiv + 275 pp. $14.95. J. MITTELSTRASS (ed.), Enzyklopadie Philosophie und Wissenschaftstheorie Bd. 1 : A-G. Mannheim, Wien, Ziirich: Bibliographisches Institut, 1980. 835 pp. DM 128. (shrink)
In this contribution to the Common Knowledge symposium “Comparative Relativisim,” Smith argues that relativism is a chimera, half straw man, half red herring. Over the past century, she shows, objections to the supposed position so named have typically involved either crucially improper paraphrases of general observations of the variability and contingency of human perceptions, interpretations, and judgments or dismaying inferences gratuitously drawn from such observations. More recently, the label relativism has been elicited by the display, especially by anthropologists or historians, (...) of attitudes of epistemic tolerance or efforts at explanatory or evaluative symmetry. Objections here commonly involve mistaken, unwarranted universalizing of those attitudes or recommendations. Purported refutations of what is identified as relativism commonly have no force for alleged relativists because relativism-refuters commonly deploy and depend on the very concepts (e.g., truth and reason) and relations (e.g., between what are referred to as facts and evidence) that are at issue. The result is circular argumentation, intellectual nonengagement, and perfect deadlock. Although there are signs that this tragicomic episode of intellectual history has run its course, two contemporary sites of antirelativist energy are worth noting. One is the claim that so-called cultural relativism is refuted by the existence of cognitive universals. The other is the fear that evaluative symmetry leads to ethically or politically debilitating neutrality. Consideration of the nature of cognitive universals indicates that their existence does not contradict observations of the significance of cultural variability. Consideration of anxieties about the supposed quietistic implications of commitments to epistemic tolerance or symmetry indicates that such anxieties are misplaced. (shrink)
Moral philosophy and education, by H. D. Aiken.--The moral sense and contributory values, by C. I. Lewis.--Realms of value, by P. W. Taylor.--The role of value theory in education, by J. D. Butler.--Does ethics make a difference? By K. Price.--Educational value statements, by C. Beck.--Educational values and goals, by W. K. Frankena.--Conflicts in values, by H. S. Broudy.--Levels of valuational discourse in education, by J. F. Perry and P. G. Smith.--Education and some moves toward a value methodology, by A. S. (...) Clayton.--You can't pray a lie, by M. Twain.--Men, machines, and morality, by J. F. Soltis.--Teaching and telling, by I. Scheffler.--Reason and habit, by R. S. Peters.--The two moralists of the child, by J. Piaget.--Causes and morality, by R. S. Peters.--On education and morals, by R. W. Sleeper.--Moral autonomy and reasonableness, by T. D. Perry. (shrink)
We can see from the analysis set out here that the two accounts that were the focus of consideration are complementary to one another. It has been my contention that a problem like specifying a concept such as ‘refrain’ is highly complex. One part of it is the problem of determining the relation between the action (or event) and the result. Another part of the problem is that of describing the event itself; what kind of an event is it? These (...) two projects are related and so it is clear that the results must be consistent. However, it is equally clear that the definition which is useful for one project is not the same as that which is helpful for another. The point is that it should not be assumed that an account that initially looks incompatible with one's own must be refuted. It is sometimes better to consider what is needed for a complete account, and whether many different approaches may contribute pieces to the puzzle.We have here one puzzle piece: an analysis of refraining. It should not be assumed that we have thereby completed the puzzle of omission, but omission can be approached the same way; that is, by coordinating parallel projects.Accordingly, the first benefit of the present analysis is that it sets up an approach which is modular in nature. It allows for parallel projects to be pursued separately and coordinated. This kind of approach is sorely needed in this area to counter unproductive dispute.To see how such an approach can be applied to further problems profitably consider the following persistent controversy. Many philosophers are at odds over the importance of the notion of duty, or more informally, reasonable expectation in the understanding of refraining. A number of them (e.g., Hart and Honore, John Casey, and Phillipa Foot) hold that the determining feature for the ascription of responsibility to an agent for not doing something to prevent a harm (say, a death) is the presence of a duty or reasonable expectation that the agent do something about the situation. For example, John Casey holds, “If a man does not do x, we cannot properly say that his not doing x is the cause of some result y, unless in the normal course of events he could have been expected to do x.” Casey, Actions and Consequences (1978).Other philosophers object that a person can cause a result by refraining from (causally) preventing it, and that such an event can be explained without any reference to duty. These two views appear to conflict, but in fact they are both right (but both incomplete). The reason that the above statements are generally thought to constitute a disagreement is that ‘refrain’ is generally taken as the fundamental term of analysis for omissions. Thus, if Casey says, “If a man does not do x...” he is taken to mean “...if a man refrains from doing x...” But he need not mean that. He may mean to say only that the man failed to do x. See my analysis in “Contemplating Failure,” supra note 10. Failing to do something can be, and ordinarily is, thought of as stronger than simple nonaction. But it is much weaker than refraining. For one thing, it has no awareness requirement. Thus, an account like Casey's can explain the ascription of responsibility and the presence of an omission where Green's account (or the account offered here) cannot, and vice versa. Casey's view can explain why we hold (or at least that we hold) responsible the night watchman who forgets to check one of the windows, the bookkeeper who (accidentally) omits an entry in the accounts, or the private duty nurse who fails to prevent a death by falling asleep on the job. No refraining is present in any of these cases. Consequently, any thesis based on refraining alone cannot explain them. But in many cases refraining is precisely what is important, and Green (and others of the same persuasion) are correct to point out that no reference to duty is necessarily required to account for these cases. Analysis based on refraining best explains intentional or conscious omission. Analysis based on duty or reasonable expectation is the only way to explain unconscious omission. More often than not, both elements are present. A complete account of omission needs both. So here again, the better way to view these putatively competing accounts is as parallel projects which work toward a common, but complex end. The approach taken here allows for this kind of much needed coordination. The second benefit of the present analysis is that it clarifies and focuses on the significance of the mental element of refraining. Refraining is conscious omission. Consciousness and omission are its distinguishing features. The effects of seeing the concept this way are pervasive. Here is one example. If I refrain from reporting my full income to the IRS, I have committed fraud, and punitive or even criminal sanctions may be reasonable. If I fail to report my full income through ignorance or mistake (say, I misunderstood the instructions) correcting the error and requiring payment is reasonable, but certainly criminal sanction is not. This oversimplifies the distinction, but it illustrates the focus of my pursuit.With regard to positive actions, law and philosophy have long recognized this important distinction as manifested in the difference between negligence and intentional tort, or manslaughter and murder. Due (I think) to the extraordinary flexibility of language and the weakness and variability of social conventions regarding omissions, this distinction has not been clearly articulated. I think such an analysis is worth pursuing. The present account is one step in that pursuit. (shrink)
This introduction to the Common Knowledge symposium titled “Comparative Relativism” outlines a variety of intellectual contexts where placing the unlikely companion terms comparison and relativism in conjunction offers analytical purchase. If comparison, in the most general sense, involves the investigation of discrete contexts in order to elucidate their similarities and differences, then relativism, as a tendency, stance, or working method, usually involves the assumption that contexts exhibit, or may exhibit, radically different, incomparable, or incommensurable traits. Comparative studies are required to (...) treat their objects as alike, at least in some crucial respects; relativism indicates the limits of this practice. Jensen argues that this seeming paradox is productive, as he moves across contexts, from Lévi-Strauss's analysis of comparison as an anthropological method to Peter Galison's history of physics, and on to the anthropological, philosophical, and historical examples offered in symposium contributions by Barbara Herrnstein Smith, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, Marilyn Strathern, and Isabelle Stengers. Comparative relativism is understood by some to imply that relativism comes in various kinds and that these have multiple uses, functions, and effects, varying widely in different personal, historical, and institutional contexts that can be compared and contrasted. Comparative relativism is taken by others to encourage a “comparison of comparisons,” in order to relativize what different peoples—say, Western academics and Amerindian shamans—compare things “for.” Jensen concludes that what is compared and relativized in this symposium are the methods of comparison and relativization themselves. He ventures that the contributors all hope that treating these terms in juxtaposition may allow for new configurations of inquiry. (shrink)
In this response to comments on “The Chimera of Relativism,” her article in the same Common Knowledge issue, by cognitive neuroscientist Andreas Roepstorff, classicist G. E. R. Lloyd, and anthropologist Martin Holbraad, Smith begins by describing her experiences visiting China in 1983 as a scholar of comparative literature. This account is meant to illustrate and reinforce Lloyd's cautions regarding the hazards of intercultural—here, Chinese-Western—comparisons in studies of culture and cognition. Examination of a foundational study in East-West cultural/cognitive differences by psychologists (...) Hazel Markus and Shinobu Kitayama, cited by Roepstorff, indicates extensive conceptual and methodological problems in that tradition of research. It also indicates that, contrary to Roepstorff's description of the new field of cultural neuroscience as a site of cultural-relativist energy, researchers in the field appear committed to the uncovering of psychological/cognitive universals. Although Smith writes that Holbraad champions a more radical relativism than that offered in her own work, she argues that the moves he urges have either been present in her work from the beginning or are, from her perspective, both dubiously radical and otherwise undesirable. She points out that the vulnerable positions, arguments, and views that Holbraad attributes to her are spuriously derived from the texts he cites and that, for this reason, his evident effort to duplicate certain philosophically creative intellectual acts by Gilles Deleuze fail of their desired effects and yield only “a litter of baby chimeras.”. (shrink)
Alan Cottrell was among the first to recognize the potential of field ion microscopy for the atomic-scale study of crystal defects. The study of atomic configurations at the core of dislocations by this method proved to be unexpectedly difficult, because of the mechanical stresses imposed on the specimen by the high electric field. The development of atom probe tomography revitalized such studies. In particular, the atom probe technique permitted the first direct observations of solute atom distributions in the region of (...) dislocations and confirmed the existence of so-called ?Cottrell Atmospheres? which are of great importance in the understanding of phenomena such as strain ageing. Atom probe studies of dislocation?solute interactions in a diverse range of alloy systems are outlined. (shrink)
This short review highlights some of the exciting new experimental and theoretical developments in the field of photoactivatable metal complexes and their applications in biotechnology and medicine. The examples chosen are based on some of the presentations at the Royal Society Discussion Meeting in June 2012, many of which are featured in more detail in other articles in this issue. This is a young field. Even the photochemistry of well-known systems such as metal–carbonyl complexes is still being elucidated. Striking are (...) the recent developments in theory and computation (e.g. time-dependent density functional theory) and in ultrafast-pulsed radiation techniques which allow photochemical reactions to be followed and their mechanisms to be revealed on picosecond/nanosecond time scales. Not only do some metal complexes (e.g. those of Ru and Ir) possess favourable emission properties which allow functional imaging of cells and tissues (e.g. DNA interactions), but metal complexes can also provide spatially controlled photorelease of bioactive small molecules (e.g. CO and NO)—a novel strategy for site-directed therapy. This extends to cancer therapy, where metal-based precursors offer the prospect of generating excited-state drugs with new mechanisms of action that complement and augment those of current organic photosensitizers. (shrink)
I think that virtually all contemporary theists, agnostics and atheists believe this is logically possible. Indeed, the main philosophical tradition from Plato to the present has assumed that the sentence, "God is the originating cause of the universe", does not express a logical contradiction, even though many philosophers have argued that this sentence either is synthetic and meaningless (e.g., the logical positivists) or states a synthetic and a priori falsehood (e.g., Kant and Moore), or states a synthetic and a posteriori (...) falsehood (e.g., contemporary defenders of the probabilistic argument from evil). (shrink)
This paper examines the issue of global child labor. The treatment is grounded in the classical economics of Adam smith and the more recent writings of human capital theorists. Using this framework, the universal problem of child labor in newly industrializing countries is investigated. Child labor is placed in its historical context with a brief review of practices in the United States and Great Britain at the time those countries were industrializing. Then, child labor is examined in its contemporary global (...) context. We argue that, as countries industrialize, they tend to follow predictable patterns of development – including use of and eventual abandonment of child labor. We argue that this convergence under the logic of industrial capitalism supports a universalist approach to human rights (that would condemn child labor) over a more tolerant cultural relativist approach. (shrink)
Here’s one version G¨ odel’s 1931 First Incompleteness Theorem: If T is a nice, sound theory of arithmetic, then it is incomplete, i.e. there are arithmetical sentences ϕ such that T proves neither ϕ nor ¬ϕ. There are three things here to explain straight away.
There is a familiar derivation of G¨ odel’s Theorem from the proof by diagonalization of the unsolvability of the Halting Problem. That proof, though, still involves a kind of self-referential trick, as we in effect construct a sentence that says ‘the algorithm searching for a proof of me doesn’t halt’. It is worth showing, then, that some core results in the theory of partial recursive functions directly entail G¨ odel’s First Incompleteness Theorem without any further self-referential trick.
While there has been significant discussion in the health sciences and ethics literatures about problems associated with publication practices (e.g., ghost- and gift-authorship, conflicts of interest), there has been relatively little practical guidance developed to help researchers determine how they should fairly allocate credit for multi-authored publications. Fair allocation of credit requires that participating authors be acknowledged for their contribution and responsibilities, but it is not obvious what contributions should warrant authorship, nor who should be responsible for the quality and (...) content of the scientific research findings presented in a publication. In this paper, we review arguments presented in the ethics and health science literatures, and the policies or guidelines proposed by learned societies and journals, in order to explore the link between author contribution and responsibility in multi-author multidisciplinary health science publications. We then critically examine the various procedures used in the field to help researchers fairly allocate authorship. (shrink)
Recently, Fred Gifford attempted to explicate the meaning of the term genetic as applied to phenotypic traits. He takes as his primary goal the explication of how the term is used and tries to avoid conclusions about how it should be used. He proposes two independent criteria (DF and PI) which together capture much of what biologists mean when they describe traits as genetic. Although Gifford's approach is extremely insightful in many ways, I argue that his analysis is not sufficiently (...) critical concerning the adequacy of common usage.In particular, while DF is a perfectly legitimate and useful measure of heritability in populations, it is not necessarily a genetic one and should not be labeled as such. PI on the other hand, although very intuitive, depends on an extremely problematic distinction between causes and mere conditions (e.g., genes and epigenetic factors). Both criteria will be highly relative and both, via what I term the new problem of genetics, will inspire contradictory analyses based on the same data. (shrink)
Between 1993 and 1998 I served as magazine editor and then publications officer for the Christian Socialist Movement. The article reflects on this experience and in particular the attempt to relate theological ideas to political activity. It is argued that theological ideas were less important than political allegiances. This said, theological ideas did help motivate people to become involved in politics and offer general ideological direction especially through the notion of an eschatological vision. This type of theological reflection tended to (...) support those who were critical of the New Labour project. What seemed to be lacking was a theology of governance and so in the final section some consideration is given to the issues for this type of theology. (shrink)
What makes a leader ethical? This paper critically examines the answer given by developmental theory, which argues that individuals can develop through cumulative stages of ethical orientation and behavior (e.g. Hobbesian, Kantian, Rawlsian), such that leaders at later developmental stages (of whom there are empirically very few today) are more ethical. By contrast to a simple progressive model of ethical development, this paper shows that each developmental stage has both positive (light) and negative (shadow) aspects, which affect the ethical behaviors (...) of leaders at that stage. It also explores an unexpected result: later stage leaders can have more significantly negative effects than earlier stage leadership. (shrink)
The paper discusses regularisation of dualities. A given duality between (concrete) categories, e.g. a variety of algebras and a category of representation spaces, is lifted to a duality between the respective categories of semilattice representations in the category of algebras and the category of spaces. In particular, this gives duality for the regularisation of an irregular variety that has a duality. If the type of the variety includes constants, then the regularisation depends critically on the location or absence of constants (...) within the defining identities. The role of schizophrenic objects is discussed, and a number of applications are given. Among these applications are different forms of regularisation of Priestley, Stone and Pontryagin dualities. (shrink)
The embodied simulation of smiles involves motor activity that often changes the perceivers' own emotional experience (e.g., smiling can make us feel happy). Although Niedenthal et al. mention this possibility, the psychological processes by which embodiment changes emotions and their consequences for processing other emotions are not discussed in the target article's review. We argue that understanding the processes initiated by embodiment is important for a complete understanding of the effects of embodiment on emotion perception.
Mediation services arise in contexts where the notions of community cohesion, relationship integrity and social order are valued over their opposites (disorder, dissent, conflict etc). Yet it is not at all clear whether and how the mediation of conflict works to re-establish harmony or consensus. Indeed it is not at all clear that mediation is always effective or just. It has even been suggested that some conflicts (e.g. work-place, commercial and sexual assault) are either not resolved or not resolved justly (...) by mediation. On the other hand, advocates maintain that mediation can bring resolution and repair to ongoing relationships, promote community harmony, and empower people to be self-determining in the construction and maintenance of their resolutions. Whether mediation is adjudged positively or not, all mediation is instantiated in, indeed performed through, talk. In this paper I examine mediations from an Australian mediation program, and use Conversation Analysis to expose the practical methods by which mediators achieve consensus between disputants. I then examine a case in which mediation has failed to produce the sought-after consensus, and explore one way of understanding the failure of mediation in that case. (shrink)