Transplantation continues to push the frontiers of medicine into domains that summon forth troublesome ethical questions. Looming on the frontier today is human facial transplantation. We develop criteria that, we maintain, must be satisfied in order to ethically undertake this as-yet-untried transplant procedure. We draw on the criteria advanced by Dr. Francis Moore in the late 1980s for introducing innovative procedures in transplant surgery. In addition to these we also insist that human face transplantation must meet all the ethical requirements (...) usually applied to health care research. We summarize the achievements of transplant surgery to date, focusing in particular on the safety and efficacy of immunosuppressive medications. We also emphasize the importance of risk/benefit assessments that take into account the physical, aesthetic, psychological, and social dimensions of facial disfiguration, reconstruction, and transplantation. Finally, we maintain that the time has come to move facial transplantation research into the clinical phase. (shrink)
Recent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and pathological studies have indicated that axonal loss is a major contributor to disease progression in multiple sclerosis. 1 H magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), through measurement of N -acetyl aspartate (NAA), a neuronal marker, provides a unique tool to investigate this. Patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis have few lesions on conventional MRI, suggesting that changes in normal appearing white matter (NAWM), such (...) as axonal loss, may be particularly relevant to disease progression in this group. To test this hypothesis NAWM was studied with MRS, measuring the concentration of N -acetyl derived groups (NA, the sum of NAA and N -acetyl aspartyl glutamate). Single-voxel MRS using a water-suppressed PRESS sequence was carried out in 24 patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis and in 16 age-matched controls. Ratios of metabolite to creatine concentration (Cr) were calculated in all subjects, and absolute concentrations were measured in 18 patients and all controls. NA/Cr (median 1.40, range 0.86–1.91) was significantly lower in NAWM in patients than in controls (median 1.70, range 1.27–2.14; P = 0.006), as was the absolute concentration of NA (patients, median 6.90 mM, range 4.62–10.38 mM; controls, median 7.77 mM, range 6.60–9.71 mM; P = 0.032). There was no significant difference in the absolute concentration of creatine between the groups. This study supports the hypothesis that axonal loss occurs in NAWM in primary progressive multiple sclerosis and may well be a mechanism for disease progression in this group. (shrink)
In this paper I respond to Jacquette’s criticisms, in (Jacquette, 2008), of my (Barker, 2008). In so doing, I argue that the Liar paradox is in fact a problem about the disquotational schema, and that nothing in Jacquette’s paper undermines this diagnosis.
Biomedical ontologies are emerging as critical tools in genomic and proteomic research where complex data in disparate resources need to be integrated. A number of ontologies exist that describe the properties that can be attributed to proteins; for example, protein functions are described by Gene Ontology, while human diseases are described by Disease Ontology. There is, however, a gap in the current set of ontologies—one that describes the protein entities themselves and their relationships. We have designed a PRotein Ontology (PRO) (...) to facilitate protein annotation and to guide new experiments. The components of PRO extend from the classification of proteins on the basis of evolutionary relationships to the representation of the multiple protein forms of a gene (products generated by genetic variation, alternative splicing, proteolytic cleavage, and other post-translational modification). PRO will allow the specification of relationships between PRO, GO and other OBO Foundry ontologies. Here we describe the initial development of PRO, illustrated using human proteins from the TGF-beta signaling pathway (http://pir.georgetown.edu/pro). (shrink)
In this paper we provide a reflexive account of fieldwork in out of school clubs in a range of localities across England and Wales. By reflecting upon our personal experiences of researching with children aged between 5 and 12 years, we examine the impact of the positionality of the researcher on the research encounter, and highlight the ways in which relationships between adult researchers and child subjects are gendered. Finally, we identify a number of issues for researchers to consider when (...) working with children in the field. (shrink)
Given the increasing need for solid organ and tissue transplants and the decreasing supply of suitable allographic organs and tissue to meet this need, it is understandable that the hope for successful xenotransplantation has resurfaced in recent years. The biomedical obstacles to xenotransplantation encountered in previous attempts could be mitigated or overcome by developments in immunosuppression and especially by genetic manipulation of organ source animals. In this essay we consider the history of xenotransplantation, discuss the biomedical obstacles to success, explore (...) recent developments in transgenic sourcing of organs and tissues, and analyze the problem of infectious disease resulting from xenotransplantation (xenosis). We then apply a model of risk analysis to these risks. The conclusions of this risk analysis are used in an ethical evaluation of informed consent in xenotransplantation, with an ethical foundation in Kantian autonomy and Levinasian heteronomic alterity. Our conclusion is that individual and collective informed consent to the infectious disease risks of xenotransplantation requires an open, participatory and dialogical public policy process not yet seen in the United States and Europe. Until that process is created, we propose caution in xenotransplantation in general and a postponement of solid organ xenotransplants in particular. (shrink)
We develop a modified system of standard logic, Augmented Standard Logic (ASL), and we employ ASL in an effort to show that, contrary to prevailing opinion, both Aristotle and Diodorus presented impressive arguments, having valid structures and highly plausible premisses, in their famous fatalism debate. We argue that ASL, which contains standard logic and a full system of modal and temporal logic emanating from a modicum of primitives, should not only enable one to appreciate the sophisticated philosophizing which characterized this (...) ancient debate, but should prove to be quite useful in application to contemporary issues. (shrink)
This paper addresses the application of the ethical concept of trust and the legal and political concept of public trust to population genomics projects in Iceland, Estonia, and Tonga. Focusing on trust and public trust, the paper explores analogies between the genomics projects and the treatment of other common-pool resources, making use of the notion of trust as an ethical demand, derived from the works of Emmanuel Levinas and Knud Eljer Lgstrup. The paper discusses the degree to which the ethical (...) demands for trust and public trust have been established and maintained in the three national population genomics projects. (shrink)
I propose the first strictly compositional semantic account of same. New data, including especially NP-internal uses such as two men with the same name, suggests that same in its basic use is a quantificational element taking scope over nominals. Given type-lifting as a generally available mechanism, I show that this follows naturally from the fact that same is an adjective. Independently-motivated assumptions extend the analysis to standard examples such as Anna and Bill read the same book via a mechanism I (...) call PARASITIC SCOPE, in which the scope of same depends on the scope of some other scopetaking element in the sentence. Although I will initially discuss the analysis in terms of a familiar Quantifier Raising framework, I go on to implement the analysis within an innovative continuation-based Type-Logical Grammar. The empirical payoff for dealing in continuations is that a simple generalization of the basic analysis gives the first ever formal account of cases in which same distributes over objects other than NP denotations, as in the relevant interpretation of John hit and killed the same man. (shrink)
With this understanding, children are better able to anticipate the behavior of others and to attune their own behavior accordingly. In mentally retarded children with Down's syndrome, attainment of such competence is delayed, but it is generally acquired by the time they reach the mental age of 4, as measured by tests of nonverbal intelligence. Thus from a developmental perspective, attainment of the mental age of 4 appears to be of profound significance for acquisition of what we shall call psychological (...) competence : possession of the skills and resources people routinely call on in the.. (shrink)
According to John A Barker, whether an argument begs the question is purely a matter of logical form (Dialogue, 1976). According to me, it is also a matter of epistemic conditions; some arguments which beg the question in some contexts need not beg the question in every context (Analysis, 1972). I point out difficulties in Barker's treatment and defend my own views against some of his criticisms. In the concluding section, "Alleged difficulties with disjunctive syllogism," I defend (...) the validity of disjunctive syllogism against the views of Alan Ross Anderson and Nuel D Belnap, Jr., ask pointed questions about the notion of intensional disjunction, and suggest how my treatment of begging the question can be extended to deal with the so-called paradoxes of strict implication. (shrink)
Myles Brand and Marshall Swain advocate the principle that if A is the set of conditions individually necessary and jointly sufficient for the occurrence of B, then if C is a set of conditions individually necessary for the occurrence of B, every member of C is a member of A. I agree with JohnBarker and Risto Hilpinen who each argue that this principle is not true for causal necessity and sufficiency, but I disagree with their claim that (...) it is true for logical necessity and sufficiency. The original appeal of the principle may be due to confusing two kinds of totality: to say that when every member of set A obtains, then every condition necessary for E obtains is not to say that every condition necessary for E is a member of A. All the authors mentioned believe that causal necessity precludes logical necessity. I deny this on the basis of an example from kinematics. Hume has not refuted definitions of causation in terms of logically necessary and sufficient conditions, nor have Brand and Swain. (shrink)
Books reviewed in this essay:Fred d'Agostino, Naturalizing Epistemology: Thomas Kuhn and the Essential Tension (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)Edwin H.-C. Hung, Beyond Kuhn: Scientific Explanation, Theory Structure, Incommensurability and Physical Necessity (Hants: Ashgate, 2006)Hanne Andersen, Peter Barker, and Xiang Chen, The Cognitive Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006)Forty-eight years after the publication of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, fourteen since the death of its author, Thomas S. Kuhn, and ten since the publication of the posthumous Road Since (...) Structure (2000), the Kuhn cottage industry continues to produce. In preparing this essay review I .. (shrink)
JohnBarker’s beautiful paper was full of elegant arguments against my view that mathematical proofs cannot really be beautiful or elegant, except in a metaphorical sense. The same is true of Barker’s impressive paper if I am right! On first and second readings, I was almost ready to wave a white flat of surrenderhis arguments, positive and negative, seemed unassailable. I contemplated a brief, if unsporting, “I agree” response. Nevertheless, I think I can offer something in reply.