Substantial progress has been made in developing treatments that reduce the risk of fractures in osteoporosis. However, available treatments are only partially effective, they are not widely used, and there is need to search for more effective means of fracture prevention. Currently known effective means of reducing fractures were found using randomized placebo-controlled trials. The use of placebo controls in clinical trials has been a subject of significant controversy in recent years. The Declaration of Helsinki revision of October 2000 caused (...) great concern among clinical investigators about the future use of placebo controls if known effective therapeutic agents are available. A working group of ethicists, clinical trial design experts, and clinical investigators examined the current state of knowledge of osteoporosis treatment and trials. They concluded that if placebo controls put subjects at substantial risk of serious outcomes, they are not ethically permissible. Placebo controls in osteoporosis trials with fracture as the measured outcome are permissible only under narrowly defined conditions. Placebo controls may be used if competent, well-informed patients refuse approved therapies for sound reasons, there is a reasonable basis for substantial disagreement or lack of consensus among professionals about whether approved treatments are better than placebos, or subjects are refractory to known effective agents. Active control trials are permissible and desirable if they can be designed and conducted in ways that overcome the interpretive difficulties often associated with such trials. (shrink)
Time-domain astronomy has come of age with astronomers now able to monitor the sky at high cadence, both across the electromagnetic spectrum and using neutrinos and gravitational waves. The advent of new observing facilities permits new science, but the ever-increasing throughput of facilities demands efficient communication of coincident detections and better subsequent coordination among the scientific community so as to turn detections into scientific discoveries. To discuss the revolution occurring in our ability to monitor the Universe and the challenges it (...) brings, on 25–26 April 2012, a group of scientists from observational and theoretical teams studying transients met with representatives of the major international transient observing facilities at the Kavli Royal Society International Centre, UK. This immediately followed the Royal Society Discussion Meeting ‘New windows on transients across the Universe’ held in London. Here, we present a summary of the Kavli meeting at which the participants discussed the science goals common to the transient astronomy community and analysed how to better meet the challenges ahead as ever more powerful observational facilities come on stream. (shrink)
This paper considers four examples of apparent progress in economics, each of which proved illusory. In each case the problem stemmed from factual errors. The cases relate to the treatment by Arrow of the incentives to finance basic research, the obliteration of industrial economics by game theory, Pigou's treatment of the legal background to his exposition of market failure involving externalities, and the macroeconomic disputes leading to Robbin's The Great Depression of 1934. These cases support the view that economists do (...) need the discipline of a well-attested factual basis for their structures. Stylised facts are not merely inadequate; they are almost always not facts at all. (shrink)
Stich begins his paper "What is a Theory of Mental Representation?" (1992) by noting that while there is a dizzying range of theories of mental representation in today's philosophical market place, there is very little self-conscious reflection about what a theory of mental representation is supposed to do. This is quite remarkable, he thinks, because if we bother to engage in such reflection, some very surprising conclusions begin to emerge. The most surprising conclusion of all, according to Stich, is that (...) most of the philosophers in this field are undertaking work that is quite futile:
It is my contention that most of the players in this very crowded field have _no_ coherent project that could possibly be pursued successfully with the methods they are using. (p.244)
Stich readily admits that this is a startling conclusion; so startling, he thinks, that some may even take it as an indication that he has simply "failed to figure out what those who are searching for a theory of mental representation are up to" (p.244). But it is a conclusion that he is willing to stand by, and he sets about it defending it in the body of his paper. (shrink)
Henri J. Renard, S. J.: a sketch, by J. P. Jelinek.--The good as undefinable, by M. Childress.--Gottlieb Söhngen's sacramental doctrine on the mass, by J. F. Clarkson.--Christ's eucharistic action and history, by B. J. Cooke.--Objective reality of human ideas: Descartes and Suarez, by T. J. Cronin.--A medieval commentator on some Aristotelian educational themes, by J. W. Donohue.--God as sole cause of existence, by M. Holloway.--Knowledge, commitment, and the real, by R. O. Johann.--John Locke and sense realism, by H. R. Klocker.--The (...) being of nonbeing in Plato's Sophist, by Q. Lauer.--Ethics and verification, by R. McInerny.--Analogy and the fourth way, by J. J. O'Brien.--Love and being, by W. L. Rossner.--Complexity in human knowledge: its basis in form/matter composition, by E. L. Rousseau.--Toward a more dynamic understanding of substance and relation, by J. M. Somerville.--The origin of participant and of participated perfections in Proclus' Elements of theology, by L. Sweeney. (shrink)
We address two points in this commentary. First, we question the extent to which O'Brien & Opie have established that the classical approach is unable to support a viable vehicle theory of consciousness. Second, assuming that connectionism does have the resources to support a vehicle theory, we explore how the activity of the units of a PDP network might sum together to form phenomenal experience (PE).
We are sympathetic with the broad aims of Perruchet and Vinter’s (P&V’s) “mentalistic” framework. But it is implausible to claim, as they do, that human cognition can be understood without recourse to unconsciously represented information. In our view, this strategy forsakes the only available mechanistic understanding of intelligent behaviour. Our purpose here is to plot a course midway between the classical unconscious, and P&V’s own non-computational associationism.