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)
An edited version of a semi-autobiographical piece that Terence Hutchison wrote in 2001?2003, shortly before his death, in which he reflected on the methodological developments in which he had been involved, centred on the London School of Economics, in the 1930s. It explains very clearly the context out of which his own work arose. Particular attention is paid to the work of Lionel Robbins, Frank Knight and the philosopher Felix Kaufmann.
Discussions of the Tylenol and Exxon Valdez cases found in textbooks, public relations scholarship, and news coverage are assessed to understand the meanings that practitioners, educators, critics, and journalists have attributed to those events. The essay objects to a central claim made by critics who say these cases set standards for ethical behavior in public relations. This claim, according to us, mistakes moral drama for ethical deliberation.
This paper rejects a traditional epistemic interpretation of conditional probability. Suppose some chance process produces outcomes X, Y,..., with probabilities P(X), P(Y),... If later observation reveals that outcome Y has in fact been achieved, then the probability of outcome X cannot normally be revised to P(X|Y) ['P&Y)/P(Y)]. This can only be done in exceptional circumstances - when more than just knowledge of Y-ness has been attained. The primary reason for this is that the weight of a piece of evidence varies (...) with the means by which it is provided, so knowledge of Y-ness does not have uniform impact on the probability of X. A better updating of the probability of X is provided by P(X|Y*), where Y* is not an outcome of the chance process being observed, but the sentence 'the outcome Y has been observed', an 'outcome' of the subsequent observation process. This alternative formula is widely endorsed in practice, but not well recognized in theory, where the oversight has generated some unsatisfactory consequences. (shrink)
This paper argues against a standard view that all deterministic and conservative classical mechanical systems are time-reversible, by asking how the temporal evolution of a system modulates parametric imprecision (either ontological or epistemic). It notes that well-behaved systems (e.g. inertial motion) can possess a dynamics which is unstable enough to fail at reversing uncertainties—even though exact values are reliably reversed. A limited (but significant) source of irreversibility is thus displayed in classical mechanics, closely analogous the lack of predictability revealed by (...) unstable chaotic systems. (shrink)
For over two centuries since the first emergence of modern political economy, right down to the early decade of the 20th century, there were leading or important economists, who were also leading or important philosophers: Locke, Hume, Smith, J.S. Mill, Jevons, and Sidgwick and the Keynes's are a few obvious examples. The essential philosophical and methodological problems of the subject could be, and were, authoritatively addressed. And inspite of profound and lasting methodological disagreements, a relatively broad, workable, mainstream consensus, particularly (...) in the Anglophone world, was more or less adequately maintained among the comparatively very small number cultivating the subject. The state of affairs has been profoundly shattered, roughly in the last two-thirds of this century.The huge increase in numbers has brought the rise of departmental barriers, accompanied by a narrow ?professionalism? among mainstream economists, which rejects philosophical and methodological clarity as outside their intellectual responsibilities. A second part of this paper will discuss what kinds of philosophical-methodological problems economists should address. (shrink)
The paper is a reminiscence of T.W. Hutchison by way of a retrospective view of our debate over the relationship between the ideas of Karl Popper, F. A. Hayek, and Ludwig von Mises on methodology. Our dispute was part of a larger debate over the relevance of Popper's thought for economic methodology. Its place within the larger debate is also explored.
An introduction to the last article on which TerenceHutchison worked, now published under the title, ?A formative decade: methodological controversy in the 1930s?, explaining what is known about its writing, and a brief summary of such biographical information and information about his work as is necessary to understand its significance.
The methodological debate between Frank Knight and Terence Hutchison is usually framed in terms of the philosophical debates between positivism and intuitionism, or between empirical knowledge and theoretical knowledge. Hutchison's argument was, after all, a defense of the need for empirically-based economic knowledge, using the justificatory framework provided by logical positivism, and Knight was widely known for his defense of the understanding of economic theory often associated with Lionel Robbins. But the dispute between Knight and Hutchison was (...) much more than a battle over the epistemological status of economics' basic postulates. For Knight, Hutchison's positivism posed risks for the discussion at the heart of liberal democracy. Hutchison, also, aimed his methodological criticism of economic theory at a similar target: the economic objectives of all societies would be achieved sooner if planners were guided by an empirical economic science. (shrink)
TerenceHutchison's 1938 essay has been variously interpreted as introducing positivism, ultra?empiricism and Popperian falsificationism into economics. This paper argues that such interpretations are unfair and inaccurate. Moreover, they distract from his central message. The paper is divided into three main sections. The first seeks to demonstrate the extent to which Hutchison's essay differs from these previous interpretations. The second argues that Hutchison's central concern was to highlight and demonstrate the inadequacies of the traditional deductive method (...) of ?classical? economics. The third contends that Hutchison is best interpreted as following in a long line of British empiricists and outlines some features of the ?empirical?inductive? approach that he supports. (shrink)
Hutchison's 1938 essay has been variously interpreted as introducing positivism, ultra-empiricism and Popperian falsificationism to economics. Yet his apparent inconsistency in maintaining all of these positions seems to have gone unnoticed in the literature. Previously I have criticized attempts to characterize Hutchison as a positivist or ultra-empiricist. In this article I argue that Klappholz and Agassi failed to support their claim that Hutchison introduced Popper's criterion to economics. That is, this paper deals with this specific question, rather (...) than the wider one of whether or not Hutchison introduced Popperian falsificationism to economics. Yet the two issues are closely connected and so the latter question is briefly discussed. To the extent that the paper succeeds, it may help to resolve the inconsistency problem. For now it is possible that Hutchison in 1938 developed his own original and consistent position. The task of substantiating such a view by providing a positive account of his methodology is one for the future. (shrink)
The pigeonholing of Hutchison's methodology as positivist, ultra-empiricist or Popperian has militated against a full appreciation of his more complex position. In this as-verbatim-as-possible account of an afternoon's discussion with Hutchison, it is the directly personal manner in which we gain insights, rather than simply the insights themselves, that we hope will help towards a re-assessment. We learn of his non-positivist view that economics is an empirical-historical discipline distinct from the natural sciences; and his rejection of Popper's view (...) that prediction in economics can and should be based on laws like the law of gravity. We hear of his wariness of relying on the hypothetico-deductivist methods of Popper and later positivists in a subject such as economics, and his support instead for the methodological views of Jacob Viner and the inductive methods associated with the historically and institutionally detailed approaches of Cliffe Leslie, Wesley Clair Mitchell and Henry Phelps Brown. (shrink)
Hutchison's 1938 essay has been mainly interpreted as introducing positivism and ultra-empiricism into economics. Such interpretations misrepresent his position. While he clearly drew on logical positivism, his methodology stems from a more moderate form of empiricism. However the issue at stake is not the exact degree of Hutchison's empiricism, but rather the extent to which such negative labelling has trivialised his position and distracted attention from the main concern of his 1938 essay. This was to mount a sustained (...) and systematic criticism of the traditional abstract-deductive method in economics. In its place Hutchison sought to promote a more empirical, inductive approach. The paper is concerned with demonstrating the extent to which Machlup failed to provide evidence of Hutchison's ultra-empiricism. It thereby seeks to clear the way towards a reappraisal of Hutchison's methodology and towards a reappraisal of its relevance in our post-positivist era. (shrink)
The person arguably most responsible for the view of Hutchison as the positivist who introduced positivism into economics was Frank Knight. I argue that Knight in 1940 failed to demonstrate that Hutchison was a positivist, at least in the narrow logical positivist sense of the term. By questioning Knight's charge, I aim to challenge the conventional wisdom that identifies ?Hutchison? with ?positivism?. The paper is then a first step in the argument that positivism, even in 1938, (...) played only an inessential role in a consistent methodological position that Hutchison developed alongside his work in the history of economic thought. (shrink)
___ (i) There is a difference between hearing Clyde play the piano and seeing him play the piano. ___ (ii) A perceptual belief that he is playing the piano must also be distinguished from a perceptual experience of this same event.
I argue that the explanatory gap is generated by factors consistent with the view that qualia are physical properties. I begin by considering the most plausible current approach to this issue based on recent work by Valerie Hardcastle and Clyde Hardin. Although their account of the source of the explanatory gap and our potential to close it is attractive, I argue that it is too speculative and philosophically problematic. I then argue that the explanatory gap should not concern physicalists (...) because it makes excessive demands on physical theory. (shrink)
Many realists have maintained that the success of scientific theories can be explained only if they may be regarded as approximately true. Laurens Laudan has in turn contended that a necessary condition for a theory's being approximately true is that its central terms refer, and since many successful theories of the past have employed central terms which we now understand to be non-referential, realism cannot explain their success. The present paper argues that a realist can adopt a view of reference (...) according to which a theory might plausibly be said to be approximately true even though its central terms do not refer, or alternatively, he may construe reference in such a way as to assign reference to a range of successful older theories which includes Laudan's purported counterexamples. (shrink)
There has recently been a considerable amount of research into the influence of 18th century British philosophy--particularly into the thinking of David Hume on Continental philosophy and Kant. The aim of this collection is to provide some of the key texts which illustrate the impact of Kant's thought together with two important 20th century monographs on aspects of Kant's early reception and his influence on philosophical thought. Contents: Immanuel Kant in England 1793-1838  Rene Wellek 328 pp The Early Reception (...) of Kant's Thought in England 1785-1805  Giuseppe Micheli 114 pp A General and Introductory view of Professor Kant's Principles  F. A. Nitsch 234 pp Text-Book to Kant  (with a biographical sketch) James Hutchison Stirling 576 pp The Development from Kant to Hegel  Andrew Seth 178 pp Lectures on the Philosophy of Kant  Thomas Hill Green 155 pp On the Philosophy of Kant  Robert Adamson 270pp A Sketch of Kant's Life and Writings  H. G. Henderson 80 pp Inquisitio Philosophica , An Examination on the Principles of Kant and Hamilton M. P. W. Bolton 286 pp Philosophy of the Unconditioned  William Hamilton 38 pp On the Philosophy of Kant  Henry L. Mansel 45 pp The aim of this collection is to provide some of the key texts which illustrate the impact of Kant's thought together with two important 20th century monographs on aspects of Kant's early reception and his influence on philosophical thought. (shrink)
Adam Smith was born in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, in 1723 (Source on Smith's life: E G West, Adam Smith ). He entered Glasgow University in 1737, aged 14. This university still followed some practices of the medieval universities, for example in admitting students at age 14. Its professors still took fees directly from students: that had been the original practice in medieval universities, but in more famous universities rich people had endowed colleges within the university, which paid lecturers' salaries. The Glasgow (...) timetable was still medieval. The main lecture took place at 7.30 am in the cold and dark, at 11 the students were quizzed on the mornings lecture, at 12 there was a lecture on an optional topic. This was the typical student's day in the thirteenth century. But the curriculum was modern: besides philosophy (the main medieval subject) students took Greek and Mathematics. The philosophy was modern. At Glasgow Adam Smith studied under Francis Hutcheson (see extracts from his works in Raphael British Moralists vol.1, p.261ff.)). Hutchison taught in English (not Latin) and was a vivid lecturer. Moral philosophy, or ethics, was a flourishing subject at the time. The main division was between two schools of 'intuitionists' (as they would now be called). To remind you: Ethics is concerned with what is good and bad, better and worse, in human conduct - in the ends we seek, in the actions in which we seek our ends. Intuitionism is the doctrine that in the last analysis we simply 'see' that some way of acting is good or right, or the opposite: that basic ethical assessments cannot be justified by argument, and do not need to be. 'See' of course is a metaphor. Many 18C moral philosophers held that it is reason that 'sees' what is good and right. Hutchison said that it is a moral sense: not reason, and not the bodily senses of vision, hearing etc., but something more like a bodily sense than like reason. On Hutchison's analysis, ethical judgement is a specific kind of emotional reaction to a comtemplated act.. (shrink)
Most people are familiar with Justice Stewart's now classic statement that while he cannot describe pornography, he certainly knows it when he sees it. We instantly identify with Justice Stewart. Pornography is not difficult to recognize, but it does elude description. This is because traditional attempts at description are attempts that seek to explain at either an abstract or empirical level rather than at the level that accounts for experience in its totality. Justice Stewart's lament represents the need to understand (...) the subjective experience of pornography and cease trying to explain it in purely objective terms. Much feminist literature in general and Catharine MacKinnon's work in particular seeks to do just this. MacKinnon argues that pornography should not be explained in familiar First Amendment freedom-of-expression terms, but rather in terms of the actual sexual abuse it constitutes in experience. Then, and only then, are we able to select the appropriate legal remedy. This essay suggests that MacKinnon's position not only needs the support of a non-traditional philosophical approach, but has one readily available in the phenomenology of philosopher Edmund Husserl. (shrink)
Chinese negotiators are known to have a negotiation emphasis that differs from their Western counterparts, especially in issues of face and conflict. These values, however, are not monolithic, and can change depending on the negotiation circumstance. This research examines how negotiation tactics changes when Chinese negotiators are faced with counterparts from near and distant cultures. An online conjoint simulation drew 351 respondents in Taiwan to test subjective perceptions of counterparts from the USA and Japan. Chinese respondents exhibited increased cultural accommodation (...) when the counterpart's culture was more distant – paying more attention to sacrificing self-interest and saving face for the other side. Integration in the negotiation was emphasized across both near and distant cultures above that observed for negotiation with Chinese counterparts. Saving face, ignoring conflict, and domination tactics were consistently valued, irrelevant of culture. Masculinity among Chinese respondents was exhibited in a preference for integration with male counterparts, especially for Chinese male negotiators. Results indicate practical considerations when preparing for negotiation with a Chinese counterpart by considering inconsistencies in preferences while also considering consistent values. (shrink)
Medical decision making often utilizes subjective observations to arrive at concrete judgments. The decisions frequently affect who receives scarce medical treatments and, thus, who lives or dies. In this paper, a model health status index is described. It is specific for the problem of choosing patients for hemodialysis or transplantation. Such a health status index may be designed for any medical decision involving such issues as drug treatment priorities, identification of salvageable patients, and selection of patients for scarce medical treatment. (...) This index (1) incorporates a physician''s own medical criteria and values, (2) can be modified as the data base improves, (3) assures consistency from decision to decision, and (4) can be developed and used without the help of a mathematician or computer. (shrink)
Common sense realism, by E. G. Bewkes.--Theology and religious experience, by Vergilius Ferm.--A reasoned faith, by G. F. Thomas.--Can religion become empirical? By J. S. Bixler.--Value theory and theology, by H. R. Niebuhr.--The truth in myths, by Reinhold Niebuhr.--Is subjectivism in value theory compatible with realism and meliorism? By Cornelius Krusé.--The semi-detached knower: a note on radical empiricism, by R. L. Calhoun.--The new scientific and metaphysical basis for epistemological theory, by F. S. C. Northrop.--A psychological approach to reality, by Hugh (...) Hartshorne.--A definition of religious liberalism, by D. S. Robinson. (shrink)