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Paul Thagard [139]P. Thagard [22]Paul R. Thagard [19]P. R. Thagard [1]
  1. David Croft & Paul Thagard, Dynamic Imagery: A Computational Model of Motion and Visual Analogy.
    This paper describes DIVA (Dynamic Imagery for Visual Analogy), a computational model of visual imagery based on the scene graph, a powerful representational structure widely used in computer graphics. Scene graphs make possible the visual display of complex objects, including the motions of individual objects. Our model combines a semantic-network memory system with computational procedures based on scene graphs. The model can account for people’s ability to produce visual images of moving objects, in particular the ability to use dynamic visual (...)
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  2. Dennis Pozega & Paul Thagard, Neural Synchrony Through Controlled Tracking.
    We present a model for generating a kind of neural synchrony in which the individual spike trains of one neuron or group of neurons closely match the spike trains of another. This kind of neural synchrony has been observed in animals performing auditory, visual and attentional information processing tasks. Our model is realized in a system of functionally identical, refractory spiking neurons. Larger systems with more sophisticated information processing capabilities can be constructed from aggregated instances of the basic network.
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  3. Daniel Saunders & Paul Thagard, Creativity in Computer Science.
    Computer science only became established as a field in the 1950s, growing out of theoretical and practical research begun in the previous two decades. The field has exhibited immense creativity, ranging from innovative hardware such as the early mainframes to software breakthroughs such as programming languages and the Internet. Martin Gardner worried that "it would be a sad day if human beings, adjusting to the Computer Revolution, became so intellectually lazy that they lost their power of creative thinking" (Gardner, 1978, (...)
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  4. P. Thagard, Changing Personalities: Towards Realistic Virtual Characters.
    Computer modelling of personality and behaviour is becoming increasingly important in many fields of computer science and psychology. Personality and emotion-driven Believable Agents are needed in areas like human–machine interfaces, electronic advertising and, most notably, electronic entertainment. Computer models of personality can help explain personality by illustrating its underlying structure and dynamics. This work presents a neural network model of personality and personality change. The goals are to help understand personality and create more realistic and believable characters for (...)
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  5. P. Thagard & S. Findlay, Getting to Darwin: Obstacles to Accepting Evolution by Natural Selection.
    Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection is central to modern biology, but is resisted by many people. This paper discusses the major psychological obstacles to accepting Darwin’s theory. Cognitive obstacles to adopting evolution by natural selection include conceptual difficulties, methodological issues, and coherence problems that derive from the intuitiveness of alternative theories. The main emotional obstacles to accepting evolution are its apparent conflict with valued beliefs about God, souls, and morality. We draw on the philosophy of science and on (...)
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  6. Paul Thagard, Being Interdisciplinary: Trading Zones in Cognitive Science.
    By the early part of the twentieth century, academia in the English-speaking world had stabilized (or ossified!) into a set of scientific and humanistic disciplines that still survives at the century’s end. The natural sciences have such disciplines as physics, chemistry, and biology, and the social sciences include economics, psychology, and sociology. These disciplines provide a convenient organizing principle for university departments and professional organizations, but they often bear little relation to cuttingedge research, which can concern topics that cut across (...)
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  7. Paul Thagard, Conceptual Change in the History of Science: Life, Mind, and Disease.
    Biology is the study of life, psychology is the study of mind, and medicine is the investigation of the causes and treatments of disease. This chapter describes how the central concepts of life, mind, and disease have undergone fundamental changes in the past 150 years or so. There has been a progression from theological, to qualitative, to mechanistic explanations of the nature of life, mind and disease. This progression has involved both theoretical change, as new theories with greater explanatory power (...)
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  8. Paul Thagard, Discovery and Acceptance.
    In 1983, Dr. J. Robin Warren and Dr. Barry Marshall reported finding a new kind of bacteria in the stomachs of people with gastritis. Warren and Marshall were soon led to the hypothesis that peptic ulcers are generally caused, not by excess acidity or stress, but by a bacterial infection. Initially, this hypothesis was viewed as preposterous, and it is still somewhat controversial. In 1994, however, a U. S. National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Panel concluded that infection appears to (...)
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  9. Paul Thagard, Evolution, Creation, and the Philosophy of Science.
    Debates about evolution and creation inevitably raise philosophical issues about the nature of scientific knowledge. What is a theory? What is an explanation? How is science different from non- science? How should theories be evaluated? Does science achieve truth? The aim of this chapter is to give a concise and accessible introduction to the philosophy of science, focusing on questions relevant to understanding evolution by natural selection, creation, and intelligent design. For the questions just listed, I state what I think (...)
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  10. Paul Thagard, Evaluating Explanations in Law, Science, and Everyday Life.
    ��This article reviews a theory of explanatory coherence that provides a psychologically plausible account of how people evaluate competing explanations. The theory is implemented in a computational model that uses simple artificial neural networks to simulate many important cases of scientific and legal reasoning. Current research directions include extensions to emotional thinking and implementation in more biologically realistic neural networks.
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  11. Paul Thagard, Emotional Gestalts: Appraisal, Change, and the Dynamics of Affect.
    This article interprets emotional change as a transition in a complex dynamical sys- tem. We argue that the appropriate kind of dynamical system is one that extends recent work on how neural networks can perform parallel constraint satisfaction. Parallel processes that integrate both cognitive and affective constraints can give rise to states that we call emotional gestalts, and transitions can be understood as emotional ges- talt shifts. We describe computational models that simulate such phenomena in ways that show how dynamical (...)
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  12. Paul Thagard, How Cognition Meets Emotion: Beliefs, Desires, and Feelings as Neural Activity.
    Deep appreciation of the relevance of emotion to epistemology requires a rich account of how emotional mental states such as happiness, sadness and desire interact with cognitive states such as belief and doubt. Analytic philosophy since Gottlob Frege and Bertrand Russell has assumed that such mental states are propositional attitudes, which are relations between a self and a proposition, an abstract entity constituting the meaning of a sentence. This chapter shows the explanatory defects of the doctrine of propositional attitudes, and (...)
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  13. Paul Thagard, How to Make Decisions: Coherence, Emotion, and Practical Inference.
    Students face many important decisions: What college or university should I attend? What should I study? What kind of job should I try to get? Which people should I hang out with? Should I continue or break off a relationship? Should I get married? Should I have a baby? What kind of medical treatment should I use? A theory of practical reasoning should have something to say about how students and other people can improve their decision making.
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  14. Paul Thagard, Legal Decision Making: Explanatory Coherence Vs. Bayesian Networks.
    Reasoning by jurors concerning whether an accused person should be convicted of committing a crime is a kind of casual inference. Jurors need to decide whether the evidence in the case was caused by the accused’s criminal action or by some other cause. This paper compares two computational models of casual inference: explanatory coherence and Bayesian networks. Both models can be applied to legal episodes such as the von Bu¨low trials. There are psychological and computational reasons for preferring the explanatory (...)
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  15. Paul Thagard, Science as Distributed Computing.
    Science is studied in very different ways by historians, philosophers, psychologists, and sociologists. Not only do researchers from different fields apply markedly different methods, they also tend to focus on apparently disparate aspects of science. At the farthest extremes, we find on one side some philosophers attempting logical analyses of scientific knowledge, and on the other some sociologists maintaining that all knowledge is socially constructed. This paper is an attempt to view history, philosophy, psychology, and sociology of science from a (...)
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  16. Paul Thagard, The Emotional Coherence of Religion.
    This paper uses a psychological/computational theory of emotional coherence to explain several aspects of religious belief and practice. After reviewing evidence for the importance of emotion to religious thought and cognition in general, it describes psychological and social mechanisms of emotional cognition. These mechanisms are relevant to explaining the acquisition and maintenance of religious belief, and also shed light on such practices as prayer and other rituals. These psychological explanations are contrasted with ones based on biological evolution.
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  17. Paul Thagard, 4 What is a Medical Theory?
    Modern medicine has produced many successful theories concerning the causes of diseases. For example, we know that tuberculosis is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and that scurvy is caused by a deficiency of vitamin C. This chapter discusses the nature of medical theories from the perspective of the philosophy, history, and psychology of science. I will review prominent philosophical accounts of what constitutes a scientific theory, and develop a new account of medical theories as representations of mechanisms that explain (...)
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  18. Paul Thagard & Craig Beam, Metaphilosophy.
    analogies that epistemologists have used to discuss the structure and validity of knowledge. After reviewing foundational, coherentist, and other metaphors for knowledge, we discuss the metaphilosophical significance of the prevalence of such metaphors. We argue that they support a view of philosophy as akin to science rather than poetry or rhetoric.
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  19. Paul Thagard & David Croft, Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 3G.
    Whereas scientists formulate laws and theories to account for observations, inventors create new technology to accomplish practical goals. Scientific discovery and technological innovation are among the most important accomplishments of the creative human mind. The aim of this paper is to compare how scientists produce discoveries with how inventors produce new technology. After briefly reviewing an account of the recent discovery of the bacterial theory of ulcers, we show that a similar account applies to the discovery that dinosaurs became extinct (...)
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  20. Paul Thagard & Elijah Millgram, A Coherence Theory of Decision.
    In their introduction to this volume, Ram and Leake usefully distinguish between task goals and learning goals. Task goals are desired results or states in an external world, while learning goals are desired mental states that a learner seeks to acquire as part of the accomplishment of task goals. We agree with the fundamental claim that learning is an active and strategic process that takes place in the context of tasks and goals (see also Holland, Holyoak, Nisbett, and Thagard, 1986). (...)
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  21. Paul Thagard & Cameron Shelley, Emotional Analogies and Analogical Inference.
    Despite the growing appreciation of the relevance of affect to cognition, analogy researchers have paid remarkably little attention to emotion. This paper discusses three general classes of analogy that involve emotions. The most straightforward are analogies and metaphors about emotions, for example "Love is a rose and you better not pick it." Much more interesting are analogies that involve the transfer of emotions, for example in empathy in which people understand the emotions of others by imagining their own emotional reactions (...)
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  22. Paul Thagard & Ethan Toombs, Atoms, Categorization and Conceptual Change.
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  23. Paul Thagard & Brandon M. Wagar, Spiking Phineas Gage: A Neurocomputational Theory of Cognitive–Affective Integration in Decision Making.
    The authors present a neurological theory of how cognitive information and emotional information are integrated in the nucleus accumbens during effective decision making. They describe how the nucleus accumbens acts as a gateway to integrate cognitive information from the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus with emotional information from the amygdala. The authors have modeled this integration by a network of spiking artificial neurons organized into separate areas and used this computational model to simulate 2 kinds of cognitive–affective integration. The (...)
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  24. Paul Thagard & Jing Zhu, Acupuncture, Incommensurability, and Conceptual Change.
    This paper is an investigation of the degree of incommensurability between Western scientific medicine and traditional Chinese medicine, focusing on the practice and theory of acupuncture. We describe the structure of traditional Chinese medicine, oriented around such concepts as yin, yang, qi, and xing, and discuss how the conceptual and explanatory differences between Western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine generate impediments to their comparison and evaluation. We argue that the linguistic, conceptual, ontological, and explanatory impediments can to a large extent (...)
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  25. Paul Thagard, Coherence and Analogy Articles.
    Barnes, A. and P. Thagard (1997) Empathy and analogy . Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review , 36: 705-720. HTML Croft, D., & Thagard, P. (2002). Dynamic imagery: A computational model of motion and visual analogy. In L. Magnani and N. Nersessian (Eds.), Model-based reasoning: Science, technology, values . New York: Kluwer/Plenum, 259-274. PDF only. HTML description of program and code for DIVA.
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  26. G. Nowak & P. Thagard (forthcoming). Copernicus, Newton, and Explanatory Coherence. Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
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  27. Paul Thagard (forthcoming). Value Maps in Applied Ethics in Advance. Teaching Ethics.
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  28. Tobias Schröder, Terrence C. Stewart & Paul Thagard (2014). Intention, Emotion, and Action: A Neural Theory Based on Semantic Pointers. Cognitive Science 38 (5):851-880.
    We propose a unified theory of intentions as neural processes that integrate representations of states of affairs, actions, and emotional evaluation. We show how this theory provides answers to philosophical questions about the concept of intention, psychological questions about human behavior, computational questions about the relations between belief and action, and neuroscientific questions about how the brain produces actions. Our theory of intention ties together biologically plausible mechanisms for belief, planning, and motor control. The computational feasibility of these mechanisms is (...)
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  29. Paul Thagard (2013). Rescher, Nicholas., Pragmatism: The Restoration of its Scientific Roots. Review of Metaphysics 66 (3):594-596.
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  30. Paul Thagard (2013). Thought Experiments Considered Harmful. Perspectives on Science 22 (2):122-139.
    Thought experiments have been influential in philosophy at least since Plato, and they have contributed to science at least since Galileo. Some of this influence is appropriate, because thought experiments can have legitimate roles in generating and clarifying hypotheses, as well as in identifying problems in competing hypotheses. I will argue, however, that philosophers have often overestimated the significance of thought experiments by supposing that they can provide evidence that supports the acceptance of beliefs. Accepting hypotheses merely on the basis (...)
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  31. Paul Thagard (2013). The Role of Psychology in Science Studies. Metascience 22 (1):125-128.
    The role of psychology in science studies Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-012-9666-1 Authors Paul Thagard, Philosophy Department, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
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  32. Uskali Mäki, Dov M. Gabbay, Paul Thagard & John Woods (eds.) (2012). Philosophy of Economics. North Holland.
    This volume serves as a detailed introduction for those new to the field as well as a rich source of new insights and potential research agendas for those already engaged with the philosophy of economics.
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  33. Paul Thagard (2012). Cognitive Architectures. In Keith Frankish & William Ramsey (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Cognitive Science. Cambridge University Press. 50--70.
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  34. Paul Thagard (2012). Coherence: The Price is Right. Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (1):42-49.
    This article is a response to Elijah Millgram's argument that my characterization of coherence as constraint satisfaction is inadequate for philosophical purposes because it provides no guarantee that the most coherent theory available will be true. I argue that the constraint satisfaction account of coherence satisfies the philosophical, computational, and psychological prerequisites for the development of epistemological and ethical theories.
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  35. Paul Thagard (2012). Nihilism, Skepticism, and Philosophical Method: A Response to Landau on Coherence and the Meaning of Life. Philosophical Psychology 26 (4):619-621.
  36. Paul Thagard (2012). The Self as a System of Multilevel Interacting Mechanisms. Philosophical Psychology (2):1-19.
    This paper proposes an account of the self as a multilevel system consisting of social, individual, neural, and molecular mechanisms. It argues that the functioning of the self depends on causal relations between mechanisms operating at different levels. In place of reductionist and holistic approaches to cognitive science, I advocate a method of multilevel interacting mechanisms. This method is illustrated by showing how self-concepts operate at several different levels.
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  37. Paul Thagard (2011). Critical Thinking and Informal Logic: Neuropsychological Perspectives. Informal Logic 31 (3):152-170.
    This article challenges the common view that improvements in critical thinking are best pursued by investigations in informal logic. From the perspective of research in psychology and neuroscience, hu-man inference is a process that is multimodal, parallel, and often emo-tional, which makes it unlike the linguistic, serial, and narrowly cog-nitive structure of arguments. At-tempts to improve inferential prac-tice need to consider psychological error tendencies, which are patterns of thinking that are natural for peo-ple but frequently lead to mistakes in judgment. (...)
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  38. Paul Thagard (2011). Patterns of Medical Discovery. In Fred Gifford (ed.), Philosophy of Medicine. Elsevier.
    Here are some of the most important discoveries in the history of medicine: blood circulation (1620s), vaccination, (1790s), anesthesia (1840s), germ theory (1860s), X- rays (1895), vitamins (early 1900s), antibiotics (1920s-1930s), insulin (1920s), and oncogenes (1970s). This list is highly varied, as it includes basic medical knowledge such has Harvey’s account of how the heart pumps blood, hypotheses about the causes of disease such as the germ theory, ideas about the treatments of diseases such as antibiotics, and medical instruments such (...)
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  39. Paul Thagard & Scott Findlay (2011). Changing Minds About Climate Change: Belief Revision, Coherence, and Emotion. In Erik J. Olson Sebastian Enqvist (ed.), Belief Revision Meets Philosophy of Science. Springer. 329--345.
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  40. Paul Thagard & Tracy Finn (2011). What is Moral Intuition? In Carla Bagnoli (ed.), Morality and the Emotions. Oxford University Press. 150.
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  41. Paul Thagard & Terrence C. Stewart (2011). The AHA! Experience: Creativity Through Emergent Binding in Neural Networks. Cognitive Science 35 (1):1-33.
    Many kinds of creativity result from combination of mental representations. This paper provides a computational account of how creative thinking can arise from combining neural patterns into ones that are potentially novel and useful. We defend the hypothesis that such combinations arise from mechanisms that bind together neural activity by a process of convolution, a mathematical operation that interweaves structures. We describe computer simulations that show the feasibility of using convolution to produce emergent patterns of neural activity that can support (...)
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  42. Paul Thagard (2010). Explaining Economic Crises: Are There Collective Representations? Episteme 7 (3):266-283.
    This paper uses the economic crisis of 2008 as a case study to examine the explanatory validity of collective mental representations. Distinguished economists such as Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz attribute collective beliefs, desires, intentions, and emotions to organizations such as banks and governments. I argue that the most plausible interpretation of these attributions is that they are metaphorical pointers to a complex of multilevel social, psychological, and neural mechanisms. This interpretation also applies to collective knowledge in science: scientific communities (...)
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  43. Paul Thagard (2010). How Brains Make Mental Models. In W. Carnielli L. Magnani (ed.), Model-Based Reasoning in Science and Technology. 447--461.
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  44. Paul Thagard (2010). L. Magnani: Abductive Cognition: The Epistemological and Eco-Cognitive Dimensions of Hypothetical Reasoning. Mind and Society 9 (1):111-112.
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  45. Paul Thagard (2010). The Brain and the Meaning of Life. Princeton University Press.
    The book integrates decades of multidisciplinary research, but its clear explanations and humor make it accessible to the general reader.
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  46. Paul Thagard (2010). Why Wasn't O.J. Convicted? Emotional Coherence in Legal Inference. Cognition and Emotion 17 (3):361-383.
  47. Paul Thagard, Marcos Rodrigues da Silva & Miriam Giro (2010). A estrutura conceitual da revolução quí­mica. Princípios 14 (22):265-303.
    Este artigo investiga as mudanças conceituais revolucionárias que ocorreram quando a teoria do flogisto de Stahl foi substituída pela teoria do oxigênio de Lavoisier. Utilizando técnicas extraídas da inteligência artificial, o artigo descreve os estágios cruciais no desenvolvimento conceitual de Lavoisier, de 1772 até 1789. Em seguida, é esboçada uma teoria computacional da mudança conceitual de modo a explicar a descoberta de Lavoisier da teoria do oxigênio e a substituiçáo da teoria do flogisto. Este artigo é uma traduçáo de “The (...)
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  48. Paul Thagard (2009). Hanne Andersen, Peter Barker and Xian Chen the Cognitive Structure of Scientific Revolutions. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (4):843-847.
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  49. Paul Thagard (2009). Inference to the Best Inductive Practices. Abstracta 5 (3):18-26.
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  50. Paul Thagard (2009). Why Cognitive Science Needs Philosophy and Vice Versa. Topics in Cognitive Science 1 (2):237-254.
    Contrary to common views that philosophy is extraneous to cognitive science, this paper argues that philosophy has a crucial role to play in cognitive science with respect to generality and normativity. General questions include the nature of theories and explanations, the role of computer simulation in cognitive theorizing, and the relations among the different fields of cognitive science. Normative questions include whether human thinking should be Bayesian, whether decision making should maximize expected utility, and how norms should be established. These (...)
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