Over the last decade the modeling and the storage of biological data has been a topic of wide interest for scientists dealing with biological and biomedical research. Currently most data is still stored in text files which leads to data redundancies and file chaos.In this paper we show how to use relational modeling techniques and relational database technology for modeling and storing biological sequence data, i.e. for data maintained in collections like EMBL or SWISS-PROT to better serve the needs for (...) these application domains. (shrink)
The “paradox of deontology” depends partly upon ignoring the special responsibility each person has for her own actions, and partly upon ignoring the essential differences between refraining from X and persuading another to refrain. But only in part; the paradoxical situations schematized by Shaw can occasionally occur. When they do, his pragmatic defense of deontology is sound.
: New genetic technologies continue to emerge that allow us to control the genetic endowment of future children. Increasingly the claim is made that it is morally "irresponsible" for parents to fail to use such technologies when they know their possible children are at risk for a serious genetic disorder. We believe such charges are often unwarranted. Our goal in this article is to offer a careful conceptual analysis of the language of irresponsibility in an effort to encourage more care (...) in its use. Two of our more important sub-claims are: (1) A fair judgment of genetic irresponsibility necessarily requires a thick background description of the specific reproductive choice; and (2) there is no necessary connection between an act's being morally wrong and its being irresponsible. These are distinct judgments requiring distinct justifications. (shrink)
Government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) and quasi-autonomous non-governmental organizations (quangos) comprise a powerful organizational sector that has been criticized for its lack of accountability to governments and their citizens. These organizations are established to serve the public as a whole by targeting the needs of particular groups or fulfilling specific functions. Often they use practices adopted from the business sector, and sometimes they enter the marketplace as profit-making enterprises. In light of the contribution of GSE Fannie Mae to the 2008 world economic (...) crisis, the impact of this sector on effective democratic government bears further examination. In this article, I present a systems model that suggests how researchers might comprehensively assess the accountability of organizations in this sector, here termed the “gray sector,” with respect to their government missions. I focus on four systems dimensions: mission, organizational design, organizational outcomes, and the information feedback process. Organizational design and the nature of the sector population are cited as emerging issues of particular importance. (shrink)
HOWARD POOLE ARGUES THAT "THERE IS A RATIONAL NECESSITY LINKING NEGATIVE ATTITUDES TO PORNOGRAPHY WITH A READINESS TO IMPOSE CENSORSHIP." HIS ARGUMENT HAS THREE PREMISES: FIRST, THAT TO CALL SOMETHING OBSCENE IS TO EXPRESS STRONG BUT OFTEN NONMORAL DISAPPROVAL; SECOND, THAT THIS STRONG DISAPPROVAL COMMITS ONE TO SEEK LEGISLATION KEEPING THE MATERIAL FROM CHILDREN; THIRD, THAT SUCH LEGISLATION IS A FORM OF CENSORSHIP. I QUESTION EACH PREMISE.
In multicultural situations it is common for people to feel that their usual modes of coping are insufficient. They experience what is here called diversity stress. Today diversity stress is widely experienced in part because key management assumptions involving moral judgments are changing. Understanding diversity stress as a type of morality stress suggests particular patterns of causation, and of productive and counterproductive reactions on the part of individuals and organizations. – Deciding whom to appoint to a challenging new position in (...) Europe, a manager passes over an Asian employee and gives the job to a white male. He worries that there may be some prejudice in his own Judgment. – Because she wants to see more minorities in visible positions, a manager promotes a slightly less qualified minority candidate over a majority candidate, all the while feeling guilty. – A male manager hesitates to hug a longtime employee who has just lost her mother. (shrink)
In recent years the benefit corporation has emerged as a new organizational form dedicated to legitimizing the pursuit of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Eschewing traditional governmental authority, the benefit corporation derives its moral legitimacy from the values of its owners and the oversight of a third party evaluator. This research identifies the benefit corporation as a new type of gray sector organization (GSO) and applies extant theory on GSOs to analyze its design. In particular, it shows how the theory of (...) GSO accountability can be used to assess the potential of benefit corporations for enhancing CSR. This research first examines the statutes that have established benefit corporations in five states in the US, along with bills in other states, to show how legislation defines their specific public benefits and holds them accountable for delivering these benefits. It then compares the accountability of the benefit corporation with that of other corporate - centric GSOs, e.g., GSOs that closely resemble traditional corporations. It concludes with significant design-based concerns about the utility of the benefit corporation as an effective organization for implementing CSR. (shrink)
In this article we present a parameterized model for generating multimodal behavior based on cultural heuristics. To this end, a multimodal corpus analysis of human interactions in two cultures serves as the empirical basis for the modeling endeavor. Integrating the results from this empirical study with a well-established theory of cultural dimensions, it becomes feasible to generate culture-specific multimodal behavior in embodied agents by giving evidence for the cultural background of the agent. Two sample applications are presented that make use (...) of the model and are designed to be applied in the area of coaching intercultural communication. (shrink)
Bioethicists appearing in the media have been accused of "shooting from the hip" (Rachels, 1991). The criticism is sometimes justified. We identify some reasons our interactions with the press can have bad results and suggest remedies. In particular we describe a target (fostering better public dialogue), obstacles to hitting the target (such as intrinsic and accidental defects in our knowledge) and suggest some practical ways to surmont those obstacles (including seeking out ways to write or speak at length, rather than (...) in sound bites). We make use of our own research into the way journalists quote bioethicists. We end by suggesting that the profession as a whole look into this question more fully. (shrink)
[Stephen Yablo] The usual charge against Carnap's internal/external distinction is one of 'guilt by association with analytic/synthetic'. But it can be freed of this association, to become the distinction between statements made within make-believe games and those made outside them-or, rather, a special case of it with some claim to be called the metaphorical/literal distinction. Not even Quine considers figurative speech committal, so this turns the tables somewhat. To determine our ontological commitments, we have to ferret out all traces of (...) nonliterality in our assertions; if there is no sensible project of doing that, there is no sensible project of Quinean ontology. /// [Andre Gallois] I discuss Steve Yablo's defence of Carnap's distinction between internal and external questions. In the first section I set out what I take that distinction, as Carnap draws it, to be, and spell out a central motivation Carnap has for invoking it. In the second section I endorse, and augment, Yablo's response to Quine's arguments against Carnap. In the third section I say why Carnap's application of the distinction between internal and external questions runs into trouble. In the fourth section I spell out what I take to be Yablo's version of Carnap. In the last I say why that version is especially vulnerable to the objection raised in the second. (shrink)
Very little has been written in recent decades about the temporal nature of art. The two principal explanations provided by our Western cultural tradition are that art is timeless (`eternal') or that it belongs within the world of historical change. Neither account offers a plausible explanation of the world of art as we know it today, which contains large numbers of works which are self-evidently not timeless because they have been resurrected after long periods of oblivion with significances quite different (...) from those which they originally held, and which also seem to have escaped history because, though long-forgotten, they have `come alive' again for us today. In his two key works on the theory of art, "Les Voix du silence" and "La Métamorphose des dieux", André Malraux offers an entirely new account of the temporal nature of art based on the concept of metamorphosis. Unlike the traditional explanations, Malraux's account makes sense of the world of art as we now know it. He revolutionizes our understanding of the relationship between art and time. (shrink)
After an initial period of popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, André Malraux’s works on the theory of art, "The Voices of Silence" and "The Metamorphosis of the Gods", lapsed into relative obscurity. A major factor in this fall from grace was the frosty reception given to these works by a number of leading art historians, including E.H. Gombrich, who accused Malraux of an irresponsible approach to art history and of "reckless inaccuracies". This essay examines a representative sample of the (...) art historians' arguments and contends that they reveal serious misreadings of Malraux’s texts and a recurring tendency to confuse matters of interpretation with matters of fact. The article suggests that the charge of irresponsibility might well be levelled at the critics themselves, and that the myth of Malraux as guilty of ‘reckless inaccuracies’ needs to be debunked. (shrink)
André Gallois’s Occasions of Identity injects a refreshing new perspective into an old debate. Actually, what is new is the advocacy of the perspective: Gallois takes up a view that many consider a non-starter, and shows this reaction to be premature. The debate is over the right way to understand the traditional puzzles involving two things being in the same place at the same time; the perspective is that identity can hold temporarily (and contingently). Suppose an amoeba, name it AMOEBA, (...) divides in two. One of the resultant amoebas, POND, lives in a pond; the other, SLIDE, is examined on a slide in a laboratory. Does AMOEBA survive this process, and if so, does it survive as POND or SLIDE? If we stipulate that POND and SLIDE are symmetrically related to AMOEBA then it seems arbitrary to identify AMOEBA with exactly one of POND and SLIDE. But we cannot identify AMOEBA with each, for then by the transitivity and symmetry of identity we would wrongly identify POND and SLIDE. We are left with the conclusion that AMOEBA is identical to neither. But this seems wrong too; surely fission does not result in death. So just what does happen to AMOEBA? How to respond to this and related cases (involving statues and their constituting hunks of matter, cats and their undetached parts, and so on) has been much discussed.1 There are many proposals, each with distinctive strengths and weaknesses. To these Gallois adds his own, which runs as follows. After division, there are two amoebas, POND and SLIDE, each of which existed before division. But it does not follow that there were two amoebas before division. Though POND and SLIDE are numerically distinct after division, they were numerically identical before division. The identity relation can hold temporarily, or occasionally, as Gallois puts it. My sense is that this sort of claim is regarded by most metaphysicians as downright wacky. And yet there is something very natural about it. Why distinguish POND and SLIDE today because they will differ tomorrow? I suspect the “wackiness” reaction has two sources, one based on Leibniz’s Law.. (shrink)
Choderlos de Laclos’s novel 'Les Liaisons dangereuses', first published in 1782, is regarded as one of the outstanding works of French literature. This article concerns a well known commentary by the twentieth-century writer André Malraux which, though often mentioned by critics, has seldom been studied in detail. The article argues that, while Malraux endorses the favourable modern assessments of 'Les Liaisons dangereuses', his analysis diverges in important respects from prevailing critical opinion. In particular, he regards the work as the commencement (...) of an important new stage in the French novel rather than, as often argued, the culmination of the existing libertine tradition. (shrink)
This review essay critically discusses Andre Kukla's Methods of theoretical psychology. It is argued that Kukla mistakenly tries to build his case for theorizing in psychology as a separate discipline on a dubious distinction between theory and observation. He then argues that the demise of empiricism implies a return of some form of rationalism, which entails an autonomous role for theorizing in psychology. Having shown how this theory-observation dichotomy goes back to traditional and largely abandoned ideas in epistemology, an (...) alternative is presented in the guise of the pragmatist or functionalist tradition, where the interdependence of theory, observation and action is emphasized and the positivist dichotomy of pure observations and pure theory is rejected. Furthermore, we show how recent work on "active" perception supports the functionalist approach. Although the authors agree with Kukla that theory has a legitimate place in psychology, it is suggested that he needlessly limits its scope to autonomous domain-neutral theorizing, and that broadening its perspective to analyzing the presuppositions and implications of empirical work is a more fruitful approach. In fact, the attempt to find the epistemological and philosophical implications of empirical work in perception that is sketched in this review essay is, in the authors' view, a case of theorizing in psychology. (shrink)
Andre Gorz is one of the most important contemporary socialist thinkers, acquiring the reputation of an iconoclastic theorist who poses radical questions about the future of the Left. This full length assessment of his work is the first to critically evaluate all of his writings from the 1950s to the '90s. Highlighting the eclectic nature of Gorz's intellectual heritage beginning with his existentialist-Marxist roots in post-war France, Adrian Little creates a unique perspective, arguing that Gorz is primarily a theorist (...) of individual freedom and autonomy. In this context he can be regarded not only as a post-Marxist thinker but as a unique purveyor of individualistic socialism. This view offers a challenge to all on the Left who are concerned with the reproduction of welfare capitalism and the future of democratic socialism. (shrink)
: The Newman programs established at secular colleges and universities provided an opportunity for intellectual, spiritual, and social growth among the Catholic student population. As a young physician and junior medical faculty member, André Hellegers took part in the early organization and ongoing work of Carroll House, the Newman Center at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Hellegers's experience at Carroll House enabled him to develop a clear blueprint of an academic center of excellence for the scientific, theological, and philosophical exploration (...) of the many problems that he had seen and foresaw in medicine. That center would become Georgetown's Kennedy Institute of Ethics. (shrink)
A comprehensive and scholarly exploration of the personal and philosophical origins of André Gorz's work, this book includes a unique analysis of his early untranslated texts, as well as critical discussions of his relationship to the work of Husserl, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Marx, and Habermas. Reassessing pivotal notions such as the "lifeworld" and the "subject," it argues that Gorz has pioneered a person-centred social theory in which the motive and the meaning of social critique is firmly rooted in people's lived experience.
Jean Dominique Bauby, former editor of Elle, suffereda stroke to his brain stem that left him with locked-in syndrome. Subsequently, through blinking his left eye, he writes his memoirof this experience, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Thispaper explores the meaning of embodiment, especially as one'sbody bears upon one's personal identity. It explores the variouschallenges and threats to selfhood that result from Bauby'sexperience and recounts how Bauby rises to the challenge throughhis memory and imagination.