New concepts may prove necessary to profit from the avalanche of sequence data on the genome, transcriptome, proteome and interactome and to relate this information to cell physiology. Here, we focus on the concept of large activity-based structures, or hyperstructures, in which a variety of types of molecules are brought together to perform a function. We review the evidence for the existence of hyperstructures responsible for the initiation of DNA replication, the sequestration of newly replicated origins of replication, cell division (...) and for metabolism. The processes responsible for hyperstructure formation include changes in enzyme affinities due to metabolite-induction, lipid-protein affinities, elevated local concentrations of proteins and their binding sites on DNA and RNA, and transertion. Experimental techniques exist that can be used to study hyperstructures and we review some of the ones less familiar to biologists. Finally, we speculate on how a variety of in silico approaches involving cellular automata and multi-agent systems could be combined to develop new concepts in the form of an Integrated cell (I-cell) which would undergo selection for growth and survival in a world of artificial microbiology. (shrink)
The Empowered Self: Law and Society in the Age of Individualism examines the gradual emancipation of the individual in national and international law and the changing social attitudes towards personal choice in constituting identity. It demonstrates that this desire of persons for choice is not limited to Western industrial society but a historical development powered by such independent variables as urbanization, the communications revolution, education, and economic development. These factors are changing the way persons affiliate: their attitudes towards nationality, religion, (...) careers, sexuality, and gender roles. In the new climate of personal freedom, individuals increasingly select the components of their identity, choosing one or several from among multiple possible affiliations and questioning---even sometimes rejecting---the imposed or inherited forms of socialization, but despite such resistance, Thomas Franck demonstrates that we are now entering the age of the individual. (shrink)
The abilities to attribute an action to its proper agent and to understand its meaning when it is produced by someone else are basic aspects of human social communication. Several psychiatric syndromes, such as schizophrenia, seem to lead to a dysfunction of the awareness of one’s own action as well as of recognition of actions performed by other. Such syndromes offer a framework for studying the determinants of agency, the ability to correctly attribute actions to their veridical source. Thirty normal (...) subjects and 30 schizophrenic patients with and without hallucinations and/or delusional experiences were required to execute simple finger and wrist movements, without direct visual control of their hand. The image of either their own hand or an alien hand executing the same or a different movement was presented on a TV-screen in real time. The task for the subjects was to discriminate whether the hand presented on the screen was their own or not. Hallucinating and deluded schizophrenic patients were more impaired in discriminating their own hand from the alien one than the non-hallucinating ones, and tended to misattribute the alien hand to themselves. Results are discussed according to a model of action control. A tentative description of the mechanisms leading to action consciousness is proposed. (shrink)
Panpsychism is the doctrine that mind is a fundamental feature of the world existing throughout the universe. One problem with panpsychism is that it is a purely theoretical concept so far. For progress towards an operationalization of the idea, this paper suggests to make use of an ontological difference involved in the mind-matter distinction. The mode in which mental phenomena exist is called presence. The mode in which matter and radiation exist is called reality Physical theory disregards presence in both (...) the form of mental presence and the form of the temporal present In contrast to mental presence the temporal present is objective in the perspective of the third person. This relative kind of objectivity waits to be utilized for a hypothesis of how the mental and the physical are interrelated In order to do so this paper translates the mind-matter distinction into the distinction between mental and physical time and addresses the problem that panpsychism tries to attack head-on in these temporal terms. There are in particular , two issues thus getting involved: discussions about a time observable and the quantum Zeno effect. (shrink)
Pierre Maquet1,2,6, Steven Laureys1,2, Philippe Peigneux1,2,3, Sonia Fuchs1, Christophe Petiau1, Christophe Phillips1,6, Joel Aerts1, Guy Del Fiore1, Christian Degueldre1, Thierry Meulemans3, André Luxen1, Georges Franck1,2, Martial Van Der Linden3, Carlyle Smith4 and Axel Cleeremans5.
Whoever paid the bill at the restaurant last night, will clearly remember doing it. Independently from the type of action, it is a common experience that being the agent provides a special strength to our memories. Even if it is generally agreed that personal memories (episodic memory) rely on separate neural substrates with respect to general knowledge (semantic memory), little is known on the nature of the link between memory and the sense of agency. In the present paper, we review (...) results from two experiments investigating the effects of agency on both explicit and implicit memory traces. Performance of normal subjects is compared to that of schizophrenic patients in order to explore the role of awareness of action on memory. It is proposed that reliable first-person information is necessary to create a stable and coherent motor memory trace. (shrink)
This study aimed at evaluating the role of proprioception in the process of matching the final position of one's limbs with an intentional movement. Two experiments were realised with the same paradigm of conscious recognition of one's own limb position from a distorted position. In the first experiment, 22 healthy subjects performed the task in an active and in a passive condition. In the latter condition, proprioception was the only available information since the central signals related to the motor command (...) were likely to be absent. The second experiment was realised with a deafferented patient who suffers from a complete haptic deafferentation, including loss of proprioception. The results first argue in favour of a dominant role of proprioception in action recognition, but they also stress the possible role of central signals. The process of matching the final position of one's limbs with an intended movement and thus of action recognition would be achieved through a comparison process between the predicted sensory consequences of the action, which are stored in its internal model, and the actual sensory consequences of that action. (shrink)
Summary. It is proposed to translate the mind-matter distinction into terms of mental and physical time. In the spirit of this idea, we hypothesize a relation between the intensity of mental presence and a crucial time scale (some seconds) often referred to as a measure for the duration of nowness. This duration is experimentally accessible and might, thus, offer a suitable way to characterize the intensity of mental presence. Interesting consequences with respect to the idea of a generalized notion of (...) mental presence, with human consciousness as a special case, are outlined. Our approach includes some features consistent with other, related ideas which are indicated. (shrink)
European animal disease policy seems to find its justification in a “harm to other” principle. Limiting the freedom of animal keepers—e.g., by culling their animals—is justified by the aim to prevent harm, i.e., the spreading of the disease. The picture, however, is more complicated. Both during the control of outbreaks and in the prevention of notifiable, animal diseases the government is confronted with conflicting claims of stakeholders who anticipate running a risk to be harmed by each other, and who ask (...) for government intervention. In this paper, we first argue that in a policy that aims to prevent animal diseases, the focus shifts from limiting “harm” to weighing conflicting claims with respect to “risks of harm.” Therefore, we claim that the harm principle is no longer a sufficient justification for governmental intervention in animal disease prevention. A policy that has to deal with and distribute conflicting risks of harm needs additional value assumptions that guide this process of assessment and distribution. We show that currently, policies are based on assumptions that are mainly economic considerations. In order to show the limitations of these considerations, we use the interests and position of keepers of backyard animals as an example. Based on the problems they faced during and after the recent outbreaks, we defend the thesis that in order to develop a sustainable animal disease policy other than economic assumptions need to be taken into account. (shrink)
From the resurrection of body to eternal recurrence -- The shadow of God -- The guiding thread -- The logic of the body -- The system of identical cases -- From eternal recurrence to the resurrection of body.
Rosmini’s philosophy is a comprehensive effort toward the renovation of Christian thought in modern times. An intense discussion of the problem of knowledge led him to reformulate Augustine’s theory of illumination in terms of the ideal presence of universal being to the mind. Universal being is the lumen intellectus and our mind’s first object: it is implied in all our thoughts and makes them possible. Although devoid of reality, it shows remarkable features, such as infinity, necessity, and eternity. Without being (...) God, it may be called “divine,” and confers a special value to intelligent creatures, whose dignity comes from their being enlightened by universal being. The “divine” is also the seal of God’s presence in nature. The present article supports the logic of this argument. (shrink)
In an inspirational act of faith and hope, nearly one hundred contributors--social activists, thinkers, artists and spiritual leaders--reflect with poignant candor on our shared human condition and attempt to define a core set of human values in our rapidly changing socity. Contributors include: * The Dalai Lama * Wilma Mankiller * Oscar Arias * Jimmy Carter * Cornel West * Jack Miles * Mother Teresa * Nancy Willard * Elie Wiesel * James Earl Jones * Joan Chittister * Mary Evelyn (...) Tucker * Vaclav Havel * Archbishop Desmund Tutu What Does It Mean To Be Human? is a vital meditation on the endless possibilities of our humanity. (shrink)
This paper reports the results of a workshop held in January 2013 to begin the process of establishing standards for e-learning programmes in the ethics of research involving human participants that could serve as the basis of their evaluation by individuals and groups who want to use, recommend or accredit such programmes. The standards that were drafted at the workshop cover the following topics: designer/provider qualifications, learning goals, learning objectives, content, methods, assessment of participants and assessment of the course. The (...) authors invite comments on the draft standards and eventual endorsement of a final version by all stakeholders. (shrink)
Franck Grammont, Dorothée Legrand, and Pierre Livet (eds): Naturalizing Intention in Action Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-6 DOI 10.1007/s10746-012-9217-1 Authors Brian W. Dunst, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA Journal Human Studies Online ISSN 1572-851X Print ISSN 0163-8548.
Franck L. B. Meijboom: Problems of Trust: A Question of Trustworthiness Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s10806-010-9300-4 Authors Martha L. Henderson, Master of Environmental Studies Program, The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA 98505, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.