A method to identify ontology components is presented in this article. The method relies on Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques to extract concepts and relations among these concepts. This method is applied in the legal field to build an ontology dedicated to information retrieval. Legal texts on which the method is performed are carefully chosen as describing and conceptualizing the legal domain. We suggest that this method can help legal ontology designers and may be used while building ontologies dedicated to (...) other tasks than information retrieval. (shrink)
Angle Grinder Man removes wheel locks from cars in London.1 He is something of a folk hero, saving drivers from enormous parking and towing ﬁ nes, and has succeeded thus far in eluding the authorities. In spite of his cape and lamé tights, he is no ﬁ ction; he’s a real person. By contrast, Pegasus, Zeus and the like are ﬁ ctions. None of them is real. In fact, not only is each of them different from the others, all differ (...) from Angle Grinder Man. After all, Zeus throws thunderbolts but doesn’t remove boots from cars; unlike Superman, Angle Grinder Man couldn’t leap over a parked Mini, and all sightings suggest that he is a human being, not a horse. According to the charmingly austere theory of Direct Reference, a proper name’s meaning is simply its referent.2 Two proper names with.. (shrink)
According to Keith DeRose, the invariantist's attempt to account for the data which inspire contextualism fares no better, in the end, than the "desperate and lame" maneuvers of "the crazed theory of 'bachelor'", whereby S's being unmarried is not among the truth conditions of 'S is a bachelor', but merely an implicature generated by an assertion thereof. Here, I outline the invariantist account I have previously proposed. I then argue that the prospects for sophisticated invariantism — either as a (...) general approach, or in the specific form I have recommended — are not nearly as dim as DeRose suggests. (shrink)
HOME . ABOUT US . CONTACT US HELP . PUBLISH WITH US . LIBRARIANS Search in or Explore Browse Publications A-Z Browse Subjects A-Z Advanced Search University of Cambridge SIGN IN Register | Why Register? | Sign Out | Got a Voucher? prev abstract next Two Approaches to Reading the Historical Descartes A Devout Catholic? Knowledge of The Mental Thought and Language Descartes as A Natural Philosopher Substance Dualism Notes Two Approaches to Reading the Historical Descartes Author: Desmond M. Clarke (...) DOI: 10.1080/09608780902986680 Publication Frequency: 5 issues per year Published in: British Journal for the History of Philosophy, Volume 17, Issue 3 June 2009 , pages 601 - 616 John Cottingham: Cartesian Reflections: Essays on Descartes's Philosophy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008) 40.00 (hb.). ISBN 978-0-19-922697-9 John Cottingham, in a new collection of essays, asks the question: 'what exactly did Descartes himself chiefly take himself to be doing?' (254). 1 While the question is relatively clear, and while it acknowledges implicitly that Descartes was probably doing a range of different things, the answer that is apparently proposed here emerges only on reading the whole collection. Cottingham distinguishes in Chapter 1 - which is a new, synoptic overview of what is discussed in the other chapters, all of which were previously published - between two approaches to reading Descartes. One is to see him as 'a dummy on which to drape various suspect doctrines (such as “Cartesian dualism”)' (3), which contemporary analytic philosophers have shown to be radically mistaken. Another approach is adopted by historians of ideas 'who make it their life's work to pay meticulous scholarly attention to the philosophical works of past ages' (3). Cottingham does not explicitly criticize either of these approaches, but he hints at situating his own as some kind of Aristotelian middle course between the two. Since the two reference points are dangerously close to straw men or what Cottingham calls 'extreme positions', the proposed middle way may simply combine elements of two approaches, each of which is entirely legitimate. I return to this question at the conclusion. In fact, many of these essays were intended to show (rightly!) that Descartes never held the philosophical positions that are often attributed to him. The interpretation of Karol Wojtyla, later Pope John Paul II, provides a good example of how mistaken one can be: The Cogito ergo sum radically changed the way of doing philosophy … After Descartes, philosophy became a science of pure thought: all that is being- the created world, and even the Creator, is situated within the ambit of the Cogito, as contents of human consciousness. Philosophy is concerned with beings as contained in consciousness, and not as existing independently of it. (257) The only way to address such a caricature is to refer back to what Descartes actually wrote. Cottingham does precisely that, often quoting the original Latin or French texts. However, having shown successfully, by a close reading of the texts, that Descartes did not hold many of the views that are attributed to him, it still remains to say what Descartes did hold or teach about various philosophical problems that retain their perennial interest for us. This is how the question arises, intermittently, about what Descartes thought he was 'chiefly' doing, or what was his primary objective, in the course of an intellectual career that spanned three decades. However, the apparently legitimate desire to bring Descartes' intellectual endeavours into sharp focus may be frustrated by the evidence. His life and work manifestly lack the coherence or unity of purpose that one finds, for example, among many of his French or Dutch contemporaries. It is comparatively easy to 'read' the life of Gisbertus Voetius as that of an unwavering Calvinist theologian, to see Antoine Arnauld as a staunch and consistent theological defender of Port Royal, and even to interpret the obviously fragmentary contents of Pascal's unpublished notebooks (subsequently, the Penses) as an extended search for authentic religious faith, in opposition to what he perceived as the corruption of ecclesial structures. In contrast, Descartes' life reveals features that are difficult to integrate into a coherent pattern. He lived and published during a critical juncture in the Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth century. Although baptized into the Catholic Church soon after his birth in the Loire district of France, he chose to live most of his life in the aggressively Calvinist United Provinces, in which other religious practices were officially (though often ineffectively) banned. Descartes may have adopted the motto from Ovid, at least early in his career: 'bene vixit qui bene latuit' (he lives well who conceals himself well), and he seems genuinely to have wished to avoid theological controversies. However, he engaged in very public controversies with so many of his contemporaries - including Hobbes, Gassendi, the French Jesuits (collectively) and Father Dinet (in particular), Voetius and the University of Utrecht, Regius, Fermat, Roberval, Revius and other theologians at Leiden - that one might conclude that his claimed preference for a quiet life was a disingenuous mask. 2 Descartes published four books during his lifetime, and wrote at least one other that he had intended to publish. The latter was his first major composition, Le Monde, which he suppressed when he heard about Galileo's condemnation by Rome in 1633. This was followed, in 1637, by Descartes' first book (also written in French), which he tried to publish anonymously by withholding his name from the title page: the Discours de la methode pour bien conduire sa raison, & chercher la verit dans les sciences. Plus la dioptrique, les meteors, et la geometrie, qui sont des essais de cete methode. Four years later Descartes published the first edition (in Latin) of Meditationes de prima philosophia, in quibus Dei existentia et animae immortalitas demonstrator, which also included six sets of objections and replies. The Principia philosophiae appeared (in Latin) in Amsterdam in 1644, and was followed five years later by Les Passions de l'Ame (in French). 3 In parallel with these publications, Descartes carried on a very extensive correspondence over a thirty-year period (in both Latin and French), and preserved copies or drafts of his letters with a view to future publication. Given the range and variety of his interests, and the sheer volume of writings, published or otherwise, that have survived from his pen, one may be tempted to engage in a comparative evaluation, as Cottingham does, by selecting one of Descartes' books as his primary contribution to philosophy. Cottingham claims that the Meditations was Descartes''masterpiece' (44), 'the definitive statement of Descartes's philosophy' (45) and the 'definitive statement of his metaphysics' (68). He also describes the Meditations more narrowly as 'his metaphysical masterpiece' (259, 303) and, more broadly, as 'his philosophical masterpiece' (289), and he lists it with the Discours as one of Descartes' two 'masterworks' (280). The Principia offers some competition in this comparative judgement when it is described as 'the canonical presentation of his metaphysical views' (114), while 'the construction of a moral system … was the crowning aim of his philosophy' (231). Having pitched repeatedly for the Meditations as Descartes' primary text, Cottingham claims that its author was 'a devout Catholic' (215), that he was 'a devoutly religious philosopher' (256), and that he could not free himself 'from the influence of the long years of theological study he had dutifully completed at La Flche' (62). Accordingly, the Meditations should be read as 'in essence a work of theodicy' (220); 'what has pride of place in the construction of his philosophical system is … an appeal to God … the nature and existence of the Deity is something that lies at the very heart of his entire philosophical system' (255). Without quite saying so, there are hints here that Descartes was a devout Christian whose primary intellectual contribution was to write a work of metaphysics, in which God is central and in the course of which the author alternates between proving God's existence and contemplating God - the latter a seventeenth-century version of Bonaventure's Journey of the Soul to God. 'Descartes's attraction to a contemplative mode of philosophizing' (305) is reflected, in the Meditations, in 'the language of the soul's coming to rest in adoring contemplation of the light' (306). Cottingham also accepts the overwhelming evidence from Descartes' correspondence that he 'devoted most of his career not to metaphysics but to science' (108), although he quibbles elsewhere with those who adopt the shorthand term 'science' to describe part of what was called 'natural philosophy' in the seventeenth century (282). He also refers to the '(notoriously lame) argument for the essential incorporeality of the thinking self' in one of Descartes' masterworks (60), and he describes the 'strange, seemingly isolated world of his metaphysical meditations' (139), with its 'creaking ontology' (147), when read in isolation from the rest of his work as a natural philosopher. How should we read him, then, in the twenty-first century? A Devout Catholic? That Descartes was a devout Catholic is possible, unlikely and undecidable. He seems not to have studied theology at all while at school at La Flche, although he completed the pre-theology college cycle in the company of Jesuit students who then continued their studies in theology. Descartes consistently attempted to avoid public entanglement with religious and theological controversies, and said so frequently. 4 Given the alignments that prevailed at the time, both in France. (shrink)
Angle Grinder Man removes wheel locks from cars in London.1 He is something of a folk hero, saving drivers from enormous parking and towing ﬁ nes, and has succeeded thus far in eluding the authorities. In spite of his cape and lamé tights, he is no ﬁ ction; he’s a real person. By contrast, Pegasus, Zeus and the like are ﬁ ctions. None of them is real. In fact, not only is each of them different from the others, all differ (...) from Angle Grinder Man. After all, Zeus throws thunderbolts but doesn’t remove boots from cars; unlike Superman, Angle Grinder Man couldn’t leap over a parked Mini, and all sightings suggest that he is a human being, not a horse. (shrink)
The cause of poor welfare in broilers is multifactorial, but genotype is a major contributor. Modern broilers have been bred for rapid growth, and this leads to increases in lameness and ascites as the legs and hearts of the heavier birds find it difficult to cope with the extra demands placed on them. Visible lameness indicative of pain is more common in New Zealand than in Europe. The government, however, insists that New Zealand welfare standards are higher than Europe. The (...) government also appears to have a strong antipathy to those demanding better welfare for broilers. Reasons for this antipathy and disparities between government statements and research results are discussed. Government publications reveal that animal welfare is seen as a question of image for market access and that there is little concern with animal welfare as an ethical imperative for its own sake. The Animal Welfare Act in theory makes it an offence to ill treat an animal, but in practice allows exemptions for industrial agriculture. The interests of animals may be better protected by an independent animal welfare advisory service. (shrink)
dim light from the corridor without, a narrow window, barred and sunken in the stone, a grated door! Beyond its hideous iron latticework, within the ghastly walls, Â– a man! An old man, gray-haired and wrinkled, lame and suffering. There he sits, in his great loneliness, shut in front all the earth. There he walks, to and fro, within his measured space, apart from all he loves! There, for every night in five long years to come, he will walk (...) alone, while the white age-flakes drop upon his head, while the last years of the winter of life gather and pass, and his body draws near the ashes. Every night, for five long years to come, he will sit alone, this chattel slave, whose hard toll is taken by the State, Â– and without recompense save that the Southern planter gave his Negroes, Â– every night he will sit there so within those four white walls. Every night, for five long years to come, a suffering woman will lie upon her bed, longing, longing for the end of those three thousand days; longing for the kind face, the patient hand, that in so many years had never failed her. Every night, for five long years to come, the proud spirit must rebel, the loving heart must bleed, the broken home must he desecrated. As I am speaking now, as you are listening, there within the cell of that accursed penitentiary whose stones have soaked up the sufferings of so many victims, murdered, as truly as any outside their walls, by that slow rot which eats away existence, inch-meal, Â– as I am speaking now, as you are listening, there sits Moses Harman! (shrink)
The main feature of Whitebook's reply is that he does not give an inch and, more convinced than ever, keeps charging the windmills of redemption and revolution with the same lame theoretical weapons he had previously deployed. Only this time, he seeks reinforcements by appealing to the “heavies”: Habermas, Castoriadis and Heller. Since multiplying zero by any figure still yields zero, no substantive progress has been made. It would be futile to reiterate the same objections once again. Rather, to (...) move the debate beyond dead center it may be helpful to pose new questions, e.g., in terms of the status of the concepts employed and the political consequences they entail. (shrink)
There is an alarming trend in the field of medicine, whose portents are ominous but do not seem to shake the complacency and merry making doing the rounds. The wants of the medical man have multiplied beyond imagination. The cost of organizing conferences is no longer possible on delegate fees. The bottom-line is: Crores for a Conference, Millions for a Mid-Term. However, the problem is that sponsors keep a discreet but careful tab on docs. All in all, costs of medicines escalate, (...) and quality medical care becomes a luxury. The whole brunt of this movement is borne by the patient. Companies like GlaxoSmithKline, Bayer, Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, AstraZeneca, Schering-Plough, Abbott Labs, TAP Pharmaceuticals, Wyeth and Merck have paid millions of dollars each as compensation in the last few years. The financial condition of many pharmaceutical majors is not buoyant either. Price deflation, increased Rand D spending, and litigation costs are the main reasons. In the future, the messy lawsuits situation would no longer be restricted to industry. It would involve academia and practising doctors as well. Indian pharma industry captains, who were busy raking in the profits at present, would also come under the scanner. If nothing else, it means industry and docs will have to sit down and do some soul searching. Both short and long-term measures will have to be put into place. Short-term measures involve reduction in i) pharma spending over junkets and trinkets; ii) hype over 'me too' drugs; iii) manipulation of drug trials; iv) getting pliant researchers into drug trials; iv) manipulation of Journal Editors to publish positive findings about their drug trials and launches; v) and for Indian Pharma, to conduct their own unbiased clinical trial of the latest drug projected as a blockbuster in the West, before pumping in their millions. The long-term measures are related to the way biomedical advance is to be charted. We have to decide whether medicine is to become a corporate enterprise or remain a patient welfare centered profession. A third approach involves an eclectic resolution of the two. Such amount of patient welfare as also ensures profit, and such amount of profit as also ensures patient welfare is to be forwarded. For, profit, without patient welfare, is blind. And patient welfare, without profit, is lame. According to this approach, medicine becomes a patient welfare centered professional enterprise. The various ramifications of each of these approaches are discussed in this monograph. (shrink)
The Paleolithic art interpretation is still a polemical subject. Nearly 300 caves covered with Paleolithic paintings have been discovered and more than 90% are located in Spain and in France. Surprisingly, more than half the painted illustrations are abstract patterns such as dots and lines. The high realism of naturalist figures also stands out. We will present the four groups of theories that have been formulated since the end of the XIXth century in order to interpret the Paleolithic art: the (...) artistic theory from Lartet and Piette; the magical hunting theory from anthropologists such as Tylor and Frazer and archeologists like Breuil; the structuralist theory from Raphael, Leroi- Gourhan and Laming-Emperaire; and lastly the shamanist theory from Lewis-Williams and Clottes. We will also refer to the agglutinative theory gathering all of these from Ucko and Rosefeld. Afterwards I will offer my own thought. Paleolithic paintings are the expression the life led by every generation of the clan. The panels or the set of animals as much as the painted signs are their own History collection. (shrink)
In current dairy farming it is possible to run a profitable farm without having to adapt the system to the needs of dairy cows. In such systems the interests of the farmer and animals often diverge. Consequently, specific animal welfare problems occur. Foot disorders in dairy cattle are an illustrative example resulting from the specific methods of housing and management in current dairy farming. Foot disorders and the resulting lameness are considered the most important welfare problem in dairy farming. However, (...) these foot disorders not only typify welfare problems related to certain housing systems, but they also lead to the premature culling of cows. The assessment of the impact of foot disorders on the welfare of dairy cows raised the question of whether premature culling affects animal welfare since it affects the longevity of a cow. We argue that this aspect of longevity is morally relevant as an animal welfare issue. In this paper we aim to explore whether longevity is both (a) a morally relevant aspect in the discussion on killing animals and (b) a constitutive element of animal welfare. In other words, we aim to explore whether longevity is an independent moral argument in an animal welfare discussion. We claim that longevity is not merely important as an indicator of animal welfare, but is also a constitutive element of animal welfare. We argue that we need a more integrated approach to animal welfare and that an assessment that includes the aspect of time is necessary. This view involves a shift from views on animal welfare in terms of functioning or feeling well to a view on animal welfare that includes the aspect of natural living in which species-specific development is important. To show the impact of these points of view, we look at the practical implications for choices concerning the management of foot disorders in dairy cattle. (shrink)
Examples of terror generated by an aircraft disaster, of human courtship behaviour, and of the application of laboratory techniques to the commercial training of animals suggest (1) that emotion is simply the subjective counterpart of (objective) motivation (so that separate brain mechanisms would be an embarrassment) and (2) the apparent involvement of reward and punishment is a consequence of the excessively narrow range of experimental procedures used and has no foundation in the design of the brain.
An experimenter studies “sensorimotor contingencies”; the stimulus is primary and the subject's response consequential. But the subject, looking at the world from his or her distinctive viewpoint, is occupied with “motorsensory contingencies”; the response is now primary and the sensory consequential. These two categories are gathered together under the one term in the target article. This commentary disambiguates the confusion.
“Psychological relativity” means that “an observation is a relationship between the observer and the event observed.” It implies a profound distinction between “the internal first-person as opposed to the external third-person perspective.” That distinction, followed through, turns Lehar's discourse inside-out. This commentary elaborates the notion of “psychological relativity,” shows that whereas there is already a natural science of perceptual report, there cannot also be a science of perception per se, and draws out some implications for our understanding of phenomenal consciousness.