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In this paper I discuss Plato's conception of expertise as a part of the Platonic theory of a good, successful life (eudaimonia). In various Platonic dialogues, Socrates argues that the good life requires a certain kind of knowledge that guides all our good, beneficial actions: the “knowledge of the good and bad”, which is to be acquired by “questioning ourselves and examining our and others’ beliefs”. This knowledge encompasses the particular knowledge of how to recognize experts in a given technical (...) domain. The central element in Socrates’ account of an expert is what I call the truth-and-caring criterion: an expert has to make seeking the truth and avoiding (avoidable) error her supreme epistemic goal and she has to make caring for common goods the supreme goal of practising her expertise. (shrink)
In this paper I present three problems for Simmons singularity theory of truth as he presents it in Universality and the Liar. I begin with a brief overview of the theory and then present the three problems I see for it.The first problem shows that the singularity theory is in conflict with our ordinary notion of truth. I present a set of sentences that the singularity theory evaluates differently than does our pretheoretic concept of truth.
Classical and medieval writers had no term for consciousness in anything like the modern sense, and their philosophy seems not to have been troubled by the mind-body problem. Contemporary eliminativists find strong support in this fact for their claim that consciousness does not exist, or, at least, is not an appropriate scientific explanandum. They typically hold that contemporary conceptions of consciousness are artefacts of Descartes' (now outmoded) views about matter and his unrealistic craving for epistemological certainty. Essentially, they say, our (...) belief in consciousness is a residue of once pressing, but now irrelevant, intellectual tensions between religion and the rising new science of the Early Modern period. With the attempts of Descartes and his successors to resolve these tensions, Western thought began down a track toward the conceptual cul-de-sac of the "hard problem". Plausibly, the problem will only be (dis)solved, and the onward march of science assured, when we are able to shake off the pervasive influence of the Cartesian tradition in a way that goes far beyond the mere rejection of dualism. But when we do so, eliminativists contend, the distinctively Cartesian notion of consciousness will simply drop out of our world-picture, like phlogiston or the vital entelechy. (shrink)
Proponents of modal versions of the ontological argument have traditionally defended the prernise that God possibly exists by arguing that such a premise is more plausible than its negation. In this paper I argue that such a defense is insufficient to justify acceptance of the premise within the scope of a modal proof, and that this insufficiency accounts for the lack of probative force of these versions of the ontological argument. Rather, I claim that what is needed is a defense (...) of the claim of God’s possibility against the claim that He possibly does not exist. I give reasons for suspecting that no such defense is possible within the scope of modal ontological arguments. (shrink)
We consider probability theories in general. In the first part of the paper, various constraints are imposed and classical probability and quantum theory are recovered as special cases. Quantum theory follows from a set of five reasonable axioms. The key axiom which gives us quantum theory rather than classical probability theory is the continuity axiom, which demands that there exists a continuous reversible transformation between any pair of pure states. In the second part of this paper, we consider in detail (...) how the measurement process works in both the classical and the quantum case. The key differences and similarities are elucidated. It is shown how measurement in the classical case can be given a simple ontological interpretation which is not open to us in the quantum case. On the other hand, it is shown that the measurement process can be treated mathematically in the same way in both theories even to the extent that the equations governing the state update after measurement are identical. The difference between the two cases is seen to be due not to something intrinsic to the measurement process itself but, rather, to the nature of the set of allowed states and, therefore, ultimately to the continuity axiom. (shrink)
This study examined the hypothesis that religiosity would be differentially related to six types of adolescent prosocial behaviour, and that these relations would be mediated by the prosocial value of kindness. Self?report data were collected from 142 high school students (63 per cent female; 91 per cent White; M age?=?16.8, S?=?.80). Religiosity was a significant positive predictor of kindness, as well as compliant, anonymous and altruistic prosocial behaviour, but not public, dire and emotional prosocial behaviour. Associations between religiosity and both (...) compliant and altruistic prosocial behaviours were mediated by kindness. Direct and indirect paths were found between religiosity and anonymous prosocial behaviour. Thus, partial support was found for the mediational hypothesis. Discussion focused on the utility of distinguishing among different types of prosocial behaviours and on the role of religion and values in promoting moral education. (shrink)
In Brazil, every study involving human beings is required to produce an informed consent form that must be signed by study participants: this is stated in Resolution 196/96. 1 Consent must be obtained through a specific structured process. Objective: To present the opinions of women regarding how the process of obtaining informed consent should be conducted when women are invited to participate in studies on contraceptive methods. Subjects and Methods: Eight focus groups were conducted, involving a total of 51 women (...) living in the metropolitan region of Campinas. The women involved in the study were either participating in a clinical trial in the area of women's health or had participated in such a trial in the previous 12 months. A thematic guide was used to conduct the focus group discussions; the discussions were recorded, transcribed and a thematic analysis performed. Results: In general, the person who invites a woman to participate in a study should be a member of the research team but not the principal investigator. Information relating to the study should be given orally and in writing, both individually and in the group setting. Study volunteers should be informed about, among other things, the risks, possible side effects and discomforts, including long-term effects. The use of audiovisual aids to provide information was suggested. Conclusion: The process for obtaining informed consent was seen as a means of establishing a relationship between the volunteers and the investigator/research team. The information that the study participants expected to be given coincides with the requirements established under Resolution 196/96. The use of audiovisual aids would improve understanding of the information provided. (shrink)
En philosophie du droit, on a coutume d’opposer juspositivisme et jusnaturalisme et de placer Jeremy Bentham dans la première catégorie. Plusieurs auteurs tiennent même Bentham pour le père du juspositivisme. Je prétends pour ma part que cette façon de classer Bentham est inadéquate et nécessite une importante mise au point. S’il est vrai que Bentham était un adversaire des doctrines du droit naturel, il ne s’ensuit pas pour autant qu’il appartient au positivisme juridique; et les raisons qui pourraient justifier le (...) classement de Bentham parmi les juspositivistes militent aussi pour son association au jusnaturalisme. Que faut-il entendre exactement par « positivisme juridique », et en quel sens Bentham y adhère-t-il? C’est à cette double question que le présent article est consacré. (shrink)
Disc 1. Life's great questions: Asian perspectives ; The Vedas and Upanishads: the beginning -- Disc 2. Mahavira and Jainism: extreme nonviolence ; The Buddha: the middle way -- Disc 3. The Bhagavad Gita: the way of action ; Confucius: in praise of sage-kings -- Disc 4. Laozi and Daoism: the way of nature ; The Hundred Schools of preimperial China -- Disc 5. Mencius and Xunzi: Confucius's successors ; Sunzi and Han Feizi: strategy and legalism -- Disc 6. Zarathustra (...) and Mani: dualistic religion ; Kautilya and Ashoka: Buddhism and empire -- Disc 7. Ishvarakrishna and Patanjali: Yoga ; Nagarjuna and Vasubandhu: Buddhist theories -- Disc 8. Sima Qian and Ban Zhao: history and women ; Dong Zhongshu and Ge Hong: eclecticism -- Disc 9. Xuanzang and Chinese Buddhism ; Prince Shotoku, Lady Murasaki, Sei Shonagon -- Disc 10. Saicho to Nichiren: Japanese Buddhism ; Shankara, Ramanuja, Madhva: Hindu Vedanta -- Disc 11. Al-Biruni: Islam in India ; Nanak and Sirhindi: Sikhism and Sufism -- Disc 12. Han Yu to Zhu Xi: Neo-Confucianism ; Wang Yangming: The study of heart-mind -- Disc 13. Dogen and Hakuin: Zen Buddhism ; Zeami and Sen no Rikyu: Japanese aesthetics -- Disc 14. Wonhyo to King Sejong: Korean philosophy ; Padmasambhava to Tsongkhapa: Tibetan ideas -- Disc 15. Science and technology in premodern Asia ; Muhammad Iqbal and Rabindranath Tagore -- Disc 16. Mohandas Gandhi: Satyagraha, or soul-force ; Fukuzawa Yukichi and Han Yongun -- Disc 17. Kang Youwei and Hu Shi ; Sun Yat-sen and Mao Zedong -- Disc 18. Modern legacies ; East and West. (shrink)
Rather than providing a list of "how-tos" and "must dos," this volume is premised on the understanding that by learning more about the current conditions under which teachers and other educators work and learn, it is possible to understand, ...
http://dx.doi.org/10.5007/1808-1711.2008v12n2p121 O objetivo deste trabalho é discutir e desenvolver o diagnóstico que efetua van Fraassen (1987, p. 110) da lei de Hardy-Weinberg, de acordo coo qual esta: 1) não pode ser considerada uma lei a ser utilizada como un axioma da teoria genética de populações, pois é uma lei de equilíbrio que só vale sob certas condições especiais, 2) só determina uma subclasse de modelos, 3) sua generalização resulta vácua e 4) variantes complexas da lei podem ser deduzidas para (...) pressupostos mais realistas. A discussão e desenvolvimento deste diagnóstico será levada a cabo tomando como base noções propostas por outra das concepções semânticas afim daquela desenvolvida por van Fraassen, a saber: a concepção estruturalista das teorias, e uma reconstrução da genética clássica de populações no marco de uma tal metateoria, também apresentada neste trabalho. (shrink)
This issue of Jurisprudence features a symposium on Nigel Simmonds's Law as a Moral Idea (Oxford, 2007). There are essays by John Finnis, John Gardner, Timothy Endicott and a Reply by Nigel Simmonds. The papers are based on presentations given at a panel discussion in Oxford in December 2009. In this 'Introduction' Pavlos Eleftheriadis outlines the main themes of the book, namely that (a) the idea of law is intrinsically moral, (b) the distinction between analytical and normative jurisprudence (...) is false and (c) law is not a list of rules or a chain of authorisation, but a system of thought that follows the basic principles of practical reason. (shrink)
Thomas Hardy is notorious for persecuting his characters mercilessly with coincidences and untimely chance and luck. I suggest that this idiosyncrasy is his exploration of the problem of "moral luck" to confront the reader with such fundamental ethical questions as how to make moral judgments and attribute moral responsibility.Making moral judgments is an essential part in our life, and our moral thoughts and beliefs invariably find expression mainly in the form of judgments. When we make moral judgments we are (...) applying moral concepts to ourselves and others to make sense of our lives, to provide a common ground for interpersonal moral communication and to enable our moral growth. Making such judgments is also an .. (shrink)
A Special Issue of the Journal of Philosophy of Education, 2005, issue 2, contains an interesting ‘Philosophy of the Teacher’ by Nigel Tubbs. It rejects attempts in pedagogical traditions to ignore or avoid the contradiction between the teacher as master and as servant, and ends with an interpretation of ‘upbuilding’, a central concept in Søren Kierkegaard's writings. According to Tubbs’ reading, the teacher's patient struggle with herself in doubt is the basic condition for upbuilding, whereby the eternal's perfect gift (...) of love is given to the students. I maintain that the original Danish text does not fully support this interpretation and defend an alternative reading. The text says that the condition for receiving the perfect gift is itself a gift of God. Doubt is necessary, but if our doubt were sufficient, we could manage our lives without God, the condition for receiving the gift would not be a gift, and the possibility for receiving the gift would be spoiled both for teachers and students. (shrink)
In the paper we will employ set theory to study the formal aspects of quantum mechanics without explicitly making use of space-time. It is demonstrated that von Neuman and Zermelo numeral sets, previously efectively used in the explanation of Hardy’s paradox, follow a Heisenberg quantum form. Here monadic union plays the role of time derivative. The logical counterpart of monadic union plays the part of the Hamiltonian in the commutator. The use of numerals and monadic union in the classical (...) probability resolution of Hardy’s paradox  is supported with the present derivation of a commutator for sets. (shrink)
Although existentialism and evolutionary biology might appear to be polar opposites, with the former denying a role for “human nature” and the latter emphasizing it, there are some unrecognized parallels. One in particular is that both disciplines assume that human life is not inherently meaningful, such that any attribution of meaning must arise from human actions. The present article traces some of this intellectual correspondence in the realm of literature.
This is an extended critique of comments made by Abner Shimony and Howard Stein on Henry Stapp’s proof of the non-locality of quantum mechanics. Although I claim that ultimately Stapp’s proof does not establish its purported conclusion, yet Shimony and Stein’s criticism contains a number of weak points, which need to be clarified.