Van den Belt recently examined the notion that synthetic biology and the creation of ‘artificial’ organisms are examples of scientists ‘playing God’. Here I respond to some of the issues he raises, including some of his comments on my previous discussions of the value of the term ‘life’ as a scientific concept.
Klaus Ruthenberg and Jaap van Brakel (eds): Stuff. The nature of chemical substances Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 183-186 DOI 10.1007/s10698-009-9077-6 Authors Martín Labarca, CONICET, Universidad Nacional de Quilmes Buenos Aires Argentina Olimpia Lombardi, CONICET, Universidad de Buenos Aires Buenos Aires Argentina Journal Foundations of Chemistry Online ISSN 1572-8463 Print ISSN 1386-4238 Journal Volume Volume 11 Journal Issue Volume 11, Number 3.
The present discussion of sociobiological approaches to ethnic nepotism takes Pierre van den Berghe ʼs theory as a starting point. Two points, which have not been addressed in former analyses, are considered to be of particular importance. It is argued that the behavioral mechanism of ethnic nepotism—as understood by van den Berghe—cannot explain ethnic boundaries and attitudes. In addition, I show that van den Bergheʼs central premise concerning ethnic nepotism is in contradiction to Hamiltonʼs formula, the essential principle of kin (...) selection theory. It is further discussed how other approaches that make reference to ethnic nepotism are related to van den Bergheʼs account and its problems. I conclude with remarks on the evolutionary explanation of ethnic phenomena. (shrink)
After a brief biography of Jaap van Brakel we set out his appropriation and use of the distinction between the manifest image and the scientific image of the world. In a certain sense van Brakel gives priority to the manifest image as the ultimate source of meaning in chemical discourses. He does not take sides in the debate about nominal and real essences, twin earths and so, but presents a compromise. As an active practitioner of the chemical arts he (...) emphasises the indispensability of models as a main tool for chemical thinking. We then turn to van Brakel’s interest in forging an intercultural point of view in which philosophy of chemistry plays an important part. (shrink)
We revisit the characterization of the Shapley value by van den Brink (Int J Game Theory, 2001, 30:309–319) via efficiency, the Null player axiom, and some fairness axiom. In particular, we show that this characterization also works within certain classes of TU games, including the classes of superadditive and of convex games. Further, we advocate some differential version of the marginality axiom (Young, Int J Game Theory, 1985, 14: 65–72), which turns out to be equivalent to the van den Brink (...) fairness axiom on large classes of games. (shrink)
We use a new construction of an o-minimal structure, due to Lipshitz and Robinson, to answer a question of van den Dries regarding the relationship between arbitrary o-minimal expansions of real closed fields and structures over the real numbers. We write a first order sentence which is true in the Lipshitz-Robinson structure but fails in any possible interpretation over the field of real numbers.
In the law, it is generally acknowledged that there are intuitive differences between reasoning with rules and reasoning with principles. For instance, a rule seems to lead directly to its conclusion if its condition is satisfied, while a principle seems to lead merely to a reason for its conclusion. However, the implications of these intuitive differences for the logical status of rules and principles remain controversial.A radical opinion has been put forward by Dworkin (1978). The intuitive differences led him to (...) argue for a strict logical distinction between rules and principles. Ever since, there has been a controversy whether the intuitive differences between rules and principles require a strict logical distinction between the two. For instance, Soeteman (1991) disagrees with Dworkin's opinion, and argues that rules and principles cannot be strictly distinguished, and do not have a different logical structure. (shrink)
There has been much talk of the need to build intermediate models of the expertise required preparatory to constructing a knowledge-based system in the legal domain. Such models offer advantages for verification, validation, maintenance and reuse. As yet, however, few such models have been reported at a useful level of detail. In this paper we describe a method for conceptualising legal domains as well as its application to a substantial fragment of the Dutch Unemployment Benefits Act (DUBA).We first discuss the (...) intermediate models (called expertise models), then present a three-stage method for their construction, drawing on the CommonKADS work in knowledge acquisition, conceptual models of statute law, and the KANT method of knowledge analysis. Subsequently, we describe how these techniques were applied to the DUBA, and provide detailed examples of the resulting model. Finally, conclusions on the framework and guidelines are given as well as means of recording and presenting the various design choices. (shrink)
This commentary discusses three main requirements for models of vision, namely, translation and scale invariance, scalability, and hierarchy. Edelman's Chorus model falls short of fulfilling these requirements because it ignores the highly dynamic nature of vision. Incorporating an attentional mechanism and assuming geon-like prototype representations may enhance Chorus's plausibility as a model of human object recognition.
L. van den Dries proved that the theory of n-valued rings has a model companion. We show here that this result is still true when the valuation rings are required to satisfy given inclusion relations (we restrict ourselves to the case of residual characteristic zero).