Letter-position tolerance varies across languages. This observation suggests that the neural code for letter strings may also be subtly different. Although language-specific models remain useful, we should endeavor to develop a universal model of reading acquisition which incorporates crucial neurobiological constraints. Such a model, through a progressive internalization of phonological and lexical regularities, could perhaps converge onto the language-specific properties outlined by Frost.
This essay treats the idea specific to the French republican culture, where the state does not oppose individual freedom, but rather makes it possible. It tries to assess and defend this idea using philosophical and historical arguments on the nature of democracy and the meaning of freedom. If liberty requires some sort of equality that goes beyond equality of rights, the state is a necessary component for freedom whenever equality is not simply given, but gained in opposition to private and (...) non-private domination. (shrink)
L'article traduit ici parut dans le Contemporary Jewish Record, Review of events and digest of opinion, 7 (Juin 1944), pages 115 à 126. Cette revue, l'une des nombreuses publications de l'American Jewish Committee, vit le jour peu avant la guerre, en septembre 1938, et finit avec elle en juin 1945, ne trouvant plus sa raison d'être, à savoir dénoncer les crimes allemands et travailler à la paix. Figurent aussi dans ce volume sept un article de Hannah Arendt : « Concerning (...) Minorities » et la traduction de la communication de Renan à la Société des Études Juives, le 26 mai 1883 : « Judaïsme et Christianisme ». Sur les thèmes évoqués, on se référera aux textes suivants : — « Judaism and the Modem political Myths », Symbol, Myth and Culture, Yale University Press, 1979, p.233-239. Il s'agit du texte, incomplet, d'une épreuve manuscrite (Cassirer Deposit 162 b), restée inachevée, de l'article traduit ici. — « The Myth of the State », Fortune, vol. 26, n° 6, juin 1944. — « Der mythos als politische Waffe », Die Amerikanische Rundschau, Munich, n° 11. — « Philosophy and Politics », in Symbol, Myth and Culture, Essays and Lectures of E. Cassirer, ed. by D.P. Varene, Yale University Press, 1979. Traduction française : « Philosophie et politique », in E. Cassirer, L'idée de l'Histoire, les inédits de Yale et autres écrits d'exil, Paris, Éditions du Cerf, 1989. — « The Technique of our Modem Political Myths », in Symbol, Myth and Culture, Essays and Lectures of E. Cassirer, ed. by D.P. Varene, Yale University Press, 1979. — The Myth of the State, Yale University Press, 1946. — T. Cassirer, Aus meinem Leben mit Ernst Cassirer, New York, Prìvately issued, 1950, notamment p. 291-296. (shrink)
Summary 1. Ecologists and conservation biologists consider many issues when designing a field study, such as the expected value of the data, the interests of the study species, the welfare of individual organisms and the cost of the project. These different issues or values often conflict; however, neither animal ethics nor environmental ethics provides practical guidance on how to assess trade-offs between them. -/- 2. We developed a decision framework for considering trade-offs between values in ecological research, drawing on the (...) field of ecological ethics. We used a case study of the population genetics of three frog species, in which a researcher must choose between four methods of sampling DNA from the study animals. We measured species welfare as the reduction in population growth rate following sampling, and assessed individual welfare using two different definitions: (i) the level of suffering experienced by an animal, and (ii) the level of suffering combined with loss of future life. -/- 3. Tipping the tails of tadpoles ranked as the best sampling method for species welfare, while collecting whole tadpoles and buccal swabbing of adult frogs ranked best for the first and second definitions of individual welfare, respectively. Toe clipping of adult frogs ranked as the worst sampling method for species welfare and the first definition of individual welfare, and equal worst for the second definition of individual welfare. -/- 4. When considering species and individual welfare simultaneously, toe clipping was clearly inferior to the other sampling methods, but no single sampling method was clearly superior to the other three. Buccal swabbing, collecting tadpoles and tail tipping were all preferred options, depending on the definition of individual welfare and the level of precision with which we assessed species welfare. -/- 5.Synthesis and applications. The decision framework we present can be used by ecologists to assess ethical and other trade-offs when planning field studies. A formal decision analysis makes transparent how a researcher might negotiate competing ethical, financial and practical objectives. Defining the components of the decision in this way can help avoid errors associated with human judgement and linguistic uncertainty. (shrink)
Malament (Noûs 11:293–300, 1977) proved a certain uniqueness theorem about standard synchrony, also known as Poincaré-Einstein simultaneity, which has generated many commentaries over the years, some of them contradictory. We think that the situation called for some clarification. After reviewing and discussing some of the literature involved, we prove two results which, hopefully, will help clarifying this debate by filling the gap between the uniquess of Malament’s theorem, which allows the observer to use very few tools, and the complete arbitrariness (...) of a time coordinate in full-fledged Relativity theory. In the spirit of Malament’s theorem, and in opposition to most of its commentators, we emphasize explicit definability of simultaneity relations, and give only constructive proofs. We also explore what happens when we reduce to “purely local” data with respect to an observer. (shrink)
If it is well known that knowledge facilitates higher cognitive functions, such as visual and auditory word recognition, little is known about the influence of knowledge on detection, particularly in the auditory modality. Our study tested the influence of phonological and lexical knowledge on auditory detection. Words, pseudo words and complex non phonological sounds, energetically matched as closely as possible, were presented at a range of presentation levels from sub threshold to clearly audible. The participants performed a detection task (Experiments (...) 1 and 2) that was followed by a two alternative forced choice recognition task in Experiment 2. The results of this second task in Experiment 2 suggest a correct recognition of words in the absence of detection with a subjective threshold approach. In the detection task of both experiments, phonological stimuli (words and pseudo words) were better detected than non phonological stimuli (complex sounds), presented close to the auditory threshold. This finding suggests an advantage of speech for signal detection. An additional advantage of words over pseudo words was observed in Experiment 2, suggesting that lexical knowledge could also improve auditory detection when listeners had to recognize the stimulus in a subsequent task. Two simulations of detection performance performed on the sound signals confirmed that the advantage of speech over non speech processing could not be attributed to energetic differences in the stimuli. (shrink)
Building a meaningful model of biological regulatory network is usually done by specifying the components (e.g. the genes) and their interactions, by guessing the values of parameters, by comparing the predicted behaviors to the observed ones, and by modifying in a trial-error process both architecture and parameters in order to reach an optimal fitness. We propose here a different approach to construct and analyze biological models avoiding the trial-error part, where structure and dynamics are represented as formal constraints. We apply (...) the method to Hopfield-like networks, a formalism often used in both neural and regulatory networks modeling. The aim is to characterize automatically the set of all models consistent with all the available knowledge (about structure and behavior). The available knowledge is formalized into formal constraints. The latter are compiled into Boolean formula in conjunctive normal form and then submitted to a Boolean satisfiability solver. This approach allows to formulate a wide range of queries, expressed in a high level language, and possibly integrating formalized intuitions. In order to explore its potential, we use it to find cycles for 3-nodes networks and to determine the flower morphogenesis regulatory network of Arabidopsis thaliana . Applications of this technique are numerous and concern the building of models from data as well as the design of biological networks possessing specified behaviors. (shrink)
In this article the author tries to answer the difficult question of the roots of the welfare state. The study of the French example shows that if some roots are ideological, at the same time they are sociological, too. In the article the main streams of ideological roots are described and conclusion is drawn that nowadays sociological issues are very important. The popularity of the welfare state shows that dismantlement is impossible in the democratic States. Yet, its crisis due to (...) its cost in a globalized world asks the question of the balance point between the fight against assistantship and maintenance of the redistributive nature of the welfare state. The answer to that question still remains the key challenge for European politicians. (shrink)
Quels furent les relations de Christiaan Huygens avec les chimistes qu'il eut l'occasion de fréquenter pendant son séjour parisien? A l'examen, elles furent moins distantes que ne le laissent supposer les quelques déclarations fracassantes qui parsèment sa correspondance. Néanmoins, il est difficile d'affirmer qu'il y eut, entre Huygens et la pensée chimique en général, une sympathie qui aurait pu aller au-delà des rencontres individuelles.
Les textes dans lesquels Descartes tente de donner une analyse mécaniste du vivant forment l’une des contributions majeures à l’histoire des sciences naturelles. Mais, annexée à la physique cartésienne, elle a été jugée réductrice et insuffisante, voire dangereuse, par de nombreux courants historiographiques ou philosophiques qui préfèrent au système cartésien l’empirisme des Lumières. Mais c’est donner une image bien pauvre de la science cartésienne du vivant que de la considérer comme un discours visant à construire une catégorie éthique et ontologique (...) de l’animalité. En analysant les éléments qui font de la pensée cartésienne du vivant une science, cet article tente de montrer que c’est sur le terrain du seul savoir que le statut du corps vivant peut être compris pour ce qu’il est : une hypothèse ouverte. Les interprétations morales de la doctrine de l’animal-machine, qui feignent de ne pas voir ce fondement épistémologique, ne peuvent se prévaloir d’aucun fondement historique ou philosophique pour donner sens à leur lecture biaisée. (shrink)
Current research in affective neuroscience suggests that the emotional content of visual stimuli activates brain–body responses that could be critical to general health and physical disease. The aim of this study was to develop an integrated neurophysiological approach linking central and peripheral markers of nervous activity during the presentation of natural scenes in order to determine the temporal stages of brain processing related to the bodily impact of emotions. More specifically, whole head magnetoencephalogram (MEG) data and skin conductance response (SCR), (...) a reliable autonomic marker of central activation, were recorded in healthy volunteers during the presentation of emotional (unpleasant and pleasant) and neutral pictures selected from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS). Analyses of event-related magnetic fields (ERFs) revealed greater activity at 180 ms in an occipitotemporal component for emotional pictures than for neutral counterparts. More importantly, these early effects of emotional arousal on cerebral activity were significantly correlated with later increases in SCR magnitude. For the first time, a neuromagnetic cortical component linked to a well-documented marker of bodily arousal expression of emotion, namely, the skin conductance response, was identified and located. This finding sheds light on the time course of the brain–body interaction with emotional arousal and provides new insights into the neural bases of complex and reciprocal mind–body links. (shrink)
Last paragraphe: Finally, we need to take on board the strange and disturbing fact that the modern destruction of environments has occurred not as if nature counted for nothing but, on the contrary, has occurred in a world of longstanding climatic theories that have earmarked environmental objects as the very things that produce humankind. Modern man, oblivious of the impact of his actions and blinded by his faith in progress and polarized vision of the world? Our postmodernity also has its (...) own mythologies. (shrink)
Cet ouvrage collectif constitue la première étude, en France, consacrée exclusivement à la théorie psychophysique de Herbert Feigl, membre historique du Cercle de Vienne, élève de Moritz Schlick, puis émigré aux États-Unis dans l’entre-deux-guerres. Publié sous la direction de Bernard Andrieu, à qui l’on doit déjà la traduction française (avec Christine Lafon et Fabien Schang) de l’essai de Feigl de 1958 intitulé The « Mental » and the « Physical » (Le « mental » et le « physique », (...) Paris, L’.. (shrink)
The risk posed by anthropogenic climate change is generally accepted, and the challenge we face to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to a tolerable limit cannot be underestimated. Reducing GHG emissions can be achieved either by producing less GHG to begin with or by emitting less GHG into the atmosphere. One carbon mitigation technology with large potential for capturing carbon dioxide at the point source of emissions is carbon capture and storage (CCS). However, the merits of CCS have been questioned, (...) both on practical and ethical grounds. While the practical concerns have already received substantial attention, the ethical concerns still demand further consideration. This article aims to respond to this deficit by reviewing the critical ethical challenges raised by CCS as a possible tool in a climate mitigation strategy and argues that the urgency stemming from climate change underpins many of the concerns raised by CCS. (shrink)
A central point of debate over environmental policies concerns how future costs and benefits should be assessed. The most commonly used method for assessing the value of future costs and benefits is economic discounting. One often-cited justification for discounting is uncertainty. More specifically, it is risk aversion coupled with the expectation that future prospects are more risky. In this paper I argue that there are at least two reasons for disputing the use of risk aversion as a justification for discounting (...) when dealing with longterm decisions, one technical and one ethical. Firstly, I argue that technically, it implies an inconsistency between theory and practice. And secondly, I argue that discounting for uncertainty relies on a form of individualism which, while reasonable in standard microeconomic theory where an agent chooses how to spread her own consumption over her own lifetime, is inappropriate in the context of intergenerational social decisions. (shrink)
A general theory of logical oppositions is proposed by abstracting these from the Aristotelian background of quantified sentences. Opposition is a relation that goes beyond incompatibility (not being true together), and a question-answer semantics is devised to investigate the features of oppositions and opposites within a functional calculus. Finally, several theoretical problems about its applicability are considered.