Several cognitive accounts of human communication argue for a language-independent, prelinguistic basis of human communication and language. The current study provides evidence for the universality of a prelinguistic gestural basis for human communication. We used a standardized, semi-natural elicitation procedure in seven very different cultures around the world to test for the existence of preverbal pointing in infants and their caregivers. Results were that by 10–14 months of age, infants and their caregivers pointed in all cultures in the same basic (...) situation with similar frequencies and the same proto-typical morphology of the extended index finger. Infants’ pointing was best predicted by age and caregiver pointing, but not by cultural group. Further analyses revealed a strong relation between the temporal unfolding of caregivers’ and infants’ pointing events, uncovering a structure of early prelinguistic gestural conversation. Findings support the existence of a gestural, language-independent universal of human communication that forms a culturally shared, prelinguistic basis for diversified linguistic communication. (shrink)
A new type of layered Li?Mn oxide has been synthesized through flocculation of delaminated MnO2 nanosheets with Li ions. X-ray powder diffraction patterns show remarkable broadening of reflections. Diffuse scattering was simulated using the matrix method, taking into account the probability of stacking with different shift vectors. A satisfactorily good fit of the simulated pattern to the observed one was obtained assuming a layer sequence with (1/3)a?+?(2/3)b, which produces trigonal prismatic sites for guest species; this had a probability around 24% (...) and the other stacking modes were random. (shrink)
Neutron powder diffraction patterns of deuterated sodium cobaltate, which shows superconductivity with T c of about 4.5?K, show conspicuous diffuse maxima presumed to originate from the deuterated sodium part in addition to sharp reflections due to the CoO2 part. The structure is treated as an interpenetration of two layered subsystem structures, the CoO2 part (a 1?=?2.83?Å) and the deuterated sodium part (a 2?=?3.26?Å). A model of the short-range-order stacking of the deuterated sodium part is expressed using four possible configurations. The (...) sequences in which neighbouring sheets have the same configuration do not occur, and the other sequences occur with the same probability. Diffuse scattering intensities simulated using the matrix method satisfactorily explain the neutron diffraction patterns. (shrink)
According to a renowned left-libertarian, Michael Otsuka, a libertarian right of self-ownership can be so robust that one need not sacrifice the use of one's mind and body to help others. In this article, I demonstrate that Otsuka's way of reconciling this robust conception of self-ownership with equality is not appealing and, at best, would provide limited guidance in the face of real-life uncertainty.
Informed consent, decision-making styles and the role of patient-physician relationships are imperative aspects of clinical medicine worldwide. We present the case of a 74-year-old woman afflicted with advanced liver cancer whose attending physician, per request of the family, did not inform her of her true diagnosis. In our analysis, we explore the differences in informed-consent styles between patients who hold an "independent" and "interdependent" construal of the self and then highlight the possible implications maintained by this position in the context (...) of international clinical ethics. Finally, we discuss the need to reassess informed-consent styles suitable to the needs of each patient regardless of whether he or she resides in the United States or in Japan. (shrink)
This paper aims to specify the precise conditions under which an agent is responsible for inequalities. Admittedly, the careful examination of the conditions in question has been the main focus of contemporary egalitarianism. As a matter of fact, contemporary political philosophers take responsibility to be a core conception which in principle justifies inequalities. In particular, they tend to flesh out the conception of responsibility in terms of choice, in such a way that we should hold individuals responsible for chosen inequalities (...) but not for unchosen inequalities. This core idea is intuitively appealing because, on the one hand, alleviation of inequalities that people do not choose would thereby be encouraged, and on the other hand, it avoids an egalitarian ‘moral hazard’: the situation in which people need care nothing for the consequences (economic or otherwise) of their own choice. G. A. Cohen thus goes so far as to say that egalitarianism successfully incorporates “within it the most powerful idea in the arsenal of the anti-egalitarian right: the idea of choice and responsibility.”. (shrink)
Background In Japan, discussion concerning advance directives (ADs) has been on the rise during the past decade. ADs are one method proposed to facilitate the process of communication among patients, families and health care providers regarding the plan of care of a patient who is no longer capable of communicating. In this paper, we report the results of the first in-depth survey on the general population concerning the preferences and use of ADs in Japan. Method A self-administered questionnaire was sent (...) via mail to a stratified random sampling of 560 residents listed in the residential registry of one district of Tokyo, Japan (n = 165,567). Association between correlating factors and specific preferences toward ADs was assessed using contingency table bivariate analysis and multivariate regression model to estimate independent contribution. Results Of the 560 questionnaires sent out, a total of 425 participants took part in the survey yielding a response rate of 75.9 %. The results of the present study indicate that: 1) the most important components to be addressed are the specifics of medical treatment at the end of life stage and disclosure of diagnosis and prognosis; 2) the majority of participants found it suitable to express their directives by word to family and/or physician and not by written documentation; 3) there is no strong need for legal measures in setting up an AD; 4) it is permissible for family and physician to loosely interpret one's directives; 5) the most suitable proxy is considered to be a family member, relative, or spouse. Multivariate analysis found the following five factors as significantly associated with preferences: 1) awareness regarding living wills, 2) experience with the use of ADs, 3) preferences for end-of-life treatment, 4) preferences for information disclosure, and 5) intentions of creating a will. Conclusions Written ADs might be useful in the Japanese setting when the individual either wishes: 1) to not provide a lot of leeway to surrogates and/or caregivers, and/or 2) to ensure his or her directives in the cases of terminal illness, brain death, and pain treatment, as well as regarding information disclosure. (shrink)
In his doctoral dissertation, Harold Garfinkel critically examined Talcott Parsons' classical formulation of the problem of order referred to as the Hobbesian problem. Garfinkel's criticism can be summarized under the following three headings: (1) common sense rationality replaces scientific rationality; (2) the level of the premises of conduct replaces the level of de facto action; (3) congruence theory replaces the correspondence theory. The aim of this paper is to make some observations on the structure of the problem of order which (...) Garfinkel discovered through this criticism. I propose to call it the Rashomon problem after Akira Kurosawa's film Rashomon. Ethnomethodology can be regarded as an attempt to solve the Rashomon problem. (shrink)
Background Ethics committees and their system of research protocol peer-review are currently used worldwide. To ensure an international standard for research ethics and safety, however, data is needed on the quality and function of each nation's ethics committees. The purpose of this study was to describe the characteristics and developments of ethics committees established at medical schools and general hospitals in Japan. Methods This study consisted of four national surveys sent twice over a period of eight years to two separate (...) samples. The first target was the ethics committees of all 80 medical schools and the second target was all general hospitals with over 300 beds in Japan (n = 1457 in 1996 and n = 1491 in 2002). Instruments contained four sections: (1) committee structure, (2) frequency of annual meetings, (3) committee function, and (4) existence of a set of guidelines for the refusal of blood transfusion by Jehovah's Witnesses. Results Committee structure was overall interdisciplinary. Frequency of annual meetings increased significantly for both medical school and hospital ethics committees over the eight years. The primary activities for medical school and hospital ethics committees were research protocol reviews and policy making. Results also showed a significant increase in the use of ethical guidelines, particularly those related to the refusal of blood transfusion by Jehovah's Witnesses, among both medical school and hospital ethics committees. Conclusion Overall findings indicated a greater recognized degree of responsibilities and an increase in workload for Japanese ethics committees. (shrink)
Recent metaphor research has revealed that metaphor comprehension involves both categorization and comparison processes. This finding has triggered the following central question: Which property determines the choice between these two processes for metaphor comprehension? Three competing views have been proposed to answer this question: the conventionality view (Bowdle & Gentner, 2005), aptness view (Glucksberg & Haught, 2006b), and interpretive diversity view (Utsumi, 2007); these views, respectively, argue that vehicle conventionality, metaphor aptness, and interpretive diversity determine the choice between the categorization (...) and comparison processes. This article attempts to answer the question regarding which views are plausible by using cognitive modeling and computer simulation based on a semantic space model. In the simulation experiment, categorization and comparison processes are modeled in a semantic space constructed by latent semantic analysis. These two models receive word vectors for the constituent words of a metaphor and compute a vector for the metaphorical meaning. The resulting vectors can be evaluated according to the degree to which they mimic the human interpretation of the same metaphor; the maximum likelihood estimation determines which of the two models better explains the human interpretation. The result of the model selection is then predicted by three metaphor properties (i.e., vehicle conventionality, aptness, and interpretive diversity) to test the three views. The simulation experiment for Japanese metaphors demonstrates that both interpretive diversity and vehicle conventionality affect the choice between the two processes. On the other hand, it is found that metaphor aptness does not affect this choice. This result can be treated as computational evidence supporting the interpretive diversity and conventionality views. (shrink)
Today Asia is attracting attention in the area of bioethics. In fact, the potential of bioethics is beginning to be discussed seriously at academic centers across Asia. In Japan, this discussion began a decade ago with the publication The book is one of the principal explorations of biomedical ethics involving Japan to date. Tom Beauchamp, an author of one of the book's chapters, compares Japanese and American standards of informed consent and refutes relativistic positions, concluding that.
We revisit via a path-integral approach the magnetic top proposed recently by Barut, Božić, and Marić. We point out that the magnetic top has the SU(2) symmetry and that it can be viewed as a free top seen from a rotating frame. We present an alternative path-integral quantization of the magnetic top on the basis of the symmetry, and show that the magnetic coupling does not participate in altering the spin quantum numbers.
Compared to institutional and area-based ethics committees, little is known about the structure and activities performed by ethics committees at national medical organizations and societies. This five year follow-up study aimed to determine (1) the creation and function of ethics committees at medical organizations in Japan, and (2) their general strategies to deal with ethical problems. The study sample included the member societies of the Japanese Association of Medical Sciences (n=92 in 1998, n=96 in 2003). Instruments consisted of two sections: (...) (1) the structure, function and activities of ethics committees, and (2) the strategies for dealing with ethical problems. Response rates were 84.4% in 1998 and 64.4% in 2003. Findings showed a significant increase of ethics committees at medical organizations between 1998 (25.6%) and 2003 (50.0%). Members were mostly male, medical doctors in clinical or basic medicine, and members of the organization. The major functions of ethics committees were ethical reviews of research protocols, policy making and ethical reviews of manuscripts submitted for journal publication. Among organizations that did not have an ethics committee, a significant decrease was found in organizations that replied that they had never experienced an ethical problem which needed further investigation (p<0.01). Findings suggested an overall rise in awareness of the importance of ethical issues and also highlighted an increase in recognition of responsibility regarding ethical problems. (shrink)
The year 2010 marked the centenary of the birth of Akira Kurosawa (1910–1998), whose works have been reassessed favourably in the last couple of years in Japan. During his lifetime, Kurosawa directed and produced three films whose chief characters are medical doctors: Drunken Angel (1948), The Quiet Duel (1949) and Red Beard (1965). This paper discusses these three films and examines the thoughts and lives of the three protagonists from the perspective of modern medical ethics. The films depict contemporary (...) ethical and social problems, and deal with paternalism, a healthy professional life and the proper place for human reason in medicine, all of which still give rise to debate in modern medical settings. They are very impressive in their portrayal of extreme paternalism, excessively professional lives and disproportionate reliance on rationality. The doctors are role models in certain situations and are examples of how not to behave in other situations. On the one hand, they are devoted to helping their patients, with their self-sacrifice firmly based on humanity and medical ethics. On the other hand, they perform unwelcome favours and are unhealthy role models who might harm others through narrow-minded attitudes about human beings, a fixed view of life and inflexible ideas about medicine. In this sense, they can be regarded as a rather mixed blessing. These films provide us with an opportunity to simultaneously recognise the importance of modern ethical principles and the significance of ‘old’ ethical values. (shrink)
BackgroundFew comparative studies of clinical ethics consultation practices have been reported. The objective of this study was to explore how American and Japanese experts analyze an Alzheimer's case regarding ethics consultation.MethodsWe presented the case to physicians and ethicists from the US and Japan (one expert from each field from both countries; total = 4) and obtained their responses through a questionnaire and in-depth interviews.ResultsEstablishing a consensus was a common goal among American and Japanese participants. In attempting to achieve consensus, the (...) most significant similarity between Japanese and American ethics consultants was that they both appeared to adopt an "ethics facilitation" approach. Differences were found in recommendation and assessment between the American and Japanese participants. In selecting a surrogate, the American participants chose to contact the grandson before designating the daughter-in-law as the surrogate decision-maker. Conversely the Japanese experts assumed that the daughter-in-law was the surrogate.ConclusionOur findings suggest that consensus building through an "ethics facilitation" approach may be a commonality to the practice of ethics consultation in the US and Japan, while differences emerged in terms of recommendations, surrogate assessment, and assessing treatments. Further research is needed to appreciate differences not only among different nations including, but not limited to, countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas, but also within each country. (shrink)
The unified treatment of the Dirac monopole, the Schwinger monopole, and the Aharonov-Bohm problem by Barut and Wilson is revisited via a path integral approach. The Kustaanheimo-Stiefel transformation of space and time is utilized to calculate the path integral for a charged particle in the singular vector potential. In the process of dimensional reduction, a topological charge quantization rule is derived, which contains Dirac's quantization condition as a special case. “Everything that is made beautiful and fair and lovely is made (...) for the eye of one who sees.” Jelaluddin Rumi,Mathnawi [I, 2383]. (shrink)
In the C case, the turnaround at SBM has been effected. Most significant is the company’s realization that it exists to serve the consumer and, through that service, the broader society. This brief case outlines the successes Hiwasa pushed SBM management to accomplish and introduces the challenges the company faced in 2009: primarily, continuing to build its corporate social responsibility approach and addressing environmental and social issues.
Caplan & Waters's arguments for separate working memory subsystems for “interpretive” and “post-interpretive” comprehension processes do not have a solid empirical basis. The likely involvement of a separate phonological loop makes their memory-load data irrelevant to theory evaluation, and the lack of statistical power from nonoptimal experimental designs and analyses unfairly reduces the chances of detecting the relevant interactions.