Limitations of antiarrhythmic drugs on cardiac sudden death prevention appeared since the early 80's. The "Cardiac Arrhythmia Suppression Trial"(CAST) showed more recently that mortality was significantly higher inpatients treated with some particular antiarrhythmic drugs than in non-treated patients. In this field, our group recently demonstrated that a bolus of a Class 1B antiarrhythmic drug was able to trigger a ventricular fibrillation due to transient blocks induction. The aim of the present work was to systematically study, by use of the van (...) Capelle and Durrer (VCD) model which allows to simulate ventricular activation wave propagation, the link between arrhythmogenic effects and the ability of transient blocks to possibly degenerate in severe arrhythmias. A fragment of the ventricular wall is represented by an array of 16384elements electrically coupled. Effects of induction of one or several transient blocks, as the effects of their size and duration on possible induction of reentries have been studied. Results obtained show that various combinations between these different parameters may trigger reentries, ventricular tachycardia and/or more complex patterns assimilable to ventricular fibrillation. These results clearly evidence the fact that possible induction of transient blocks may directly be related to risk factor associated to arrhythmogenic effects of antiarrhythmic drugs. (shrink)
Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics rests largely on the concept of the classical. According to Gadamer, the classical stands for the continuity and the truth claim of the tradition, as transmitted by the written word. The normative character of the classical is directed against the neutrality and relativism of historicism: understanding does not occur primarily through distancing or methodological reconstruction but through belongingness to, and participation in, the past. The article shows how, given the central importance of dialogue and otherness in (...) Gadamer's theory, the philosopher does not seem to fully do justice to the critical intention of its own dialogical and philological dimensions. On the other hand, it shows also how Gadamer's hermeneutical practice, notably in his rehabilitation of Plato, stresses the learning from otherness more explicitly than does his own theory, thus correcting, as it were, the latter. The article aims, finally, at demonstrating how, by unduly emphasizing the continuity (and sameness) in the encounter between past and present, Gadamer's theory undermines the importance of reconstructing the otherness and specificity of the classical text. /// A hermenêutica filosófica de Gadamer, entendida como uma defesa das humanidades, assenta essencialmente sobre o conceito de clássico. Segundo Gadamer, o clássico representa a continuidade e a pretensão à verdade da tradição tal como nos é transmitida pela palavra escrita. O carácter normativo do clássico em Gadamer constitui assim uma resposta crítica à neutralidade e ao relativismo do historicismo: a compreensão não acontece primariamente graças a um processo de distanciação ou reconstrução metódica, mas sim pelo facto de, desde logo, reconhecermos que temos pertença activa no passado. O presente artigo demonstra como, dada a importância central do diálogo e da alteridade na teoria de Gadamer, ofilósofo acaba por não fazer inteiramente justiça à intenção crítica inerente à dimensão dialógica e filológica do seu próprio pensamento. Mostra-se também, por outro lado, até que ponto a práctica hermenêutica de Gadamer, nomeadamente no que se refere à sua reabilitação de Platão, acaba por sublinhar a nossa aprendizagem da alteridade de uma forma muito mais explícita do que a sua própria teoria parece capaz de fazer. O artigo mostra ainda como, ao sublinhar de forma indevida a continuidade e, com ela, a identidade no encontro entre opassado e opresente, a teoria de Gadamer parece comprometer a importância que se deve dar ao esforço de reconstrucção da alteridade e especificidade do próprio texto clássico. (shrink)
Numerous grammatical items can only be understood if the context is taken into account. In order to provide a formal treatment of this problem, we introduce the notion of knowledge base into linguistics. After having worked out a hard core system of rules for analysing numerals, definite articles, and indefinite articles, we give a thorough study of the French singular definite article le. This grammatical item has the particularity of not encoding a fixed information stored in the lexicon, but of (...) running a program of information processing We show that the referential computation can be made by a precise algorithm working on a definite stratum of the reader's knowledge base. In this framework, the uniqueness hypothesis of Russell becomes a guideline to retrieve memorized information. The algorithm accounts for deictic as well as anaphonc referential identifications. Our analysis proposes a unitary account for a large part of empirical data and reconciles the logical approach of Russell–Montague with the pragmatic approach of Hawkins. (shrink)
We used computer simulations to study the possible role of the dispersion of cellular coupling, refractoriness or both, in the mechanisms underlying cardiac arrhythmias. Local ischemia was first assumed to induce cell to cell dispersion of the coupling resistance (Case 1), refractory period (Case 2), or both of them (Case 3). Our numerical experiments based on the van Capelle and Durrer model showed that vortices could not be induced by cell to cell variations. With cellular properties dispersed in a patchy (...) way within the ischemic zone, a single activation wave could give rise to abnormal activities. This demonstrates the stability of the wave front under small inhomogeneities. Probabilities of reentry, estimated for the three cases cited above showed that a severe alteration of the coupling resistance may be an important factor in the genesis of reentry. Moreover, use of isochronal maps revealed that vortices were both stable and sustained with an alteration of the coupling alone or combined with a reduction of the action potential duration. Conversely, simulations with reduction of the refractoriness alone, inducing only transient patterns, could exhibit functionally determined reentries. (shrink)
Why should Gordon Kaufman's mid-career theological method be of renewed interest to contemporary theists? Two distinguishing characteristics of the West today are its increasing religious pluralism and the growing numbers of theists who rely on hybrid approaches to construct concepts of God. Kaufman's method is well suited to this current state of affairs because it is open to diverse religious and theological perspectives and to perspectives from science and secular humanism. It also militates against the weaknesses inherent to hybrid approaches—ad (...) hoc constructs of God unable to motivate their holders to overcome human self-centeredness and so to contribute to the well-being and fulfillment of others. It achieves this by providing checks to reduce the risk of producing human-writ-large God-constructs. Lastly, Kaufman's method provides criteria to help theists identify humane and humanizing experiences, relationships, concepts, images, and texts (i.e., the basic material from which God-constructs are fashioned) from the plethora of options available, whether religious, cultural, or secular. (shrink)
The title of Thomas James's 2011 In Face of Reality: The Constructive Theology of Gordon D. Kaufman echoes the title of Gordon Kaufman's 1993 In Face of Mystery: A Constructive Theology. Kaufman's theology evolved over his long career, but mystery became his principal metaphor for God. In substituting reality for mystery, James signals his central project, which is to argue that Kaufman's theology offers an objective God who "really acts in the world" (1).For James, God's providential activity is a touchstone (...) of Christian theology. However, he asserts, contemporary science has left little space for God to act. Most theologians have responded by: 1) limiting interaction with scientific findings to preserve .. (shrink)
Ventricular Fibrillation is responsible for a majority of sudden cardiac death, but little is known about how ventricular tachycardia (VT) degenerates into ventricular fibrillation. Several clinical studies focused only on preventing VT with a class III antiarrhythmic drug resulted in many deaths. Our simulations investigate the interactions between an antiarrhythmic drug likely to suppress a VT and a Figure 8 reentry. A parameter AAR is introduced to increase the action potential duration and therefore simulate various Class III drugs. Simulations are (...) ran under several conditions (phases of the reentry, values of AAR, durations). They show that a VT can be suppressed whatever the phase of the reentry but it strongly depends on the duration of the effect. It confirms that a drug which can suppress a reentry can also worsen it. It also shows a great variety of activation patterns and thus the complexity of antiarrhythmic drugs effects. Simulations also demonstrate that suppressing VT is an increasing function of AAR. (shrink)
Renaud Barbaras wants to show that only the concept of life can help us understand how the subject may be a condition as well as a part of the world. The failures of the former phenomenological theories on this point is due to “the ontology of death” they assume, which leads to separate the conscience and the body. It is thus required to realise an epochè of death so as to think the unity of the subject. Ultimately, Renaud (...) Barbaras is led to define life from desire. (shrink)
Recent work by Renaud Barbaras on the definition of life has shown the fecundity of a phenomenological approach that sees absence as having a positive status. This phenomenon allows Barbaras to identify life with “desire,” the indefinite exploration of the exterior world. It also allows Barbaras to defeat competing definitions of life in the sciences, particularly biology. In this paper, I propose a mutual complementarity between the work of Barbaras and that in contemporary systems science, namely by Stuart Kauffman, (...) suggesting that scientific concepts of subcriticality may allow for more overlap between phenomenological and scientific definitions of life than Barbaras acknowledges. (shrink)
The course on nature coincides with the re-working of Merleau-Ponty's breakthrough towards an ontology and therefore plays a primordial role. The appearance of an interrogation of nature is inscribed in the movement of thought that comes after the Phenomenology of Perception. What is at issue is to show that the ontological mode of the perceived object - not the unity of a positive sense but the unity of a style that shows through in filigree in the sensible aspects - has (...) a universal meaning, that the description of the perceived world can give way to a philosophy of perception and therefore to a theory of truth. The analysis of linguistic expression to which the philosophy of perception leads opens out onto a definition of meaning as institution, understood as what inaugurates an open series of expressive appropriations. It is this theory of institution that turns the analysis of the perceived in the direction of a reflection on nature: the perceived is no longer the originary in its difference from the derived but the natural in its difference from the instituted. Nature is the "non-constructed, non-instituted," and thereby, the source of expression: "nature is what has a sense without this sense having been posited by thought." The first part of the course, which consists in a historical overview, must not be considered as a mere introduction. In fact, the problem of nature is brought out into the open by means of the history of Western metaphysics, in which Descartes is the emblematic figure. The problem consists in the duality - at once unsatisfactory and unsurpassable - between two approaches to nature: the one which accentuates its determinability and therefore its transparency to the understanding; the other which emphasizes the irreducible facticity of nature and tends therefore to valorize the view-point of the senses. To conceive nature is to constitute a concept of it that allows us to "take possession" of this duality, that is, to found the duality. The second part of the course attempts to develop this concept of nature by drawing upon the results of contemporary science. Thus a philosophy of nature is sketched that can be summarized in four propositions: 1) the totality is no less real than the parts; 2) there is a reality of the negative and therefore no alternative between being and nothingmess; 3) a natural event is not assigned to a unique spatio-temporal localization; and 4) there is generality only as generativity. (shrink)
In French, the verb "to live" designates both being alive and the experience of something. This ambiguity has a philosophical meaning. The task of a phenomenology of life is to describe an originary sense of living from which the very distinction between life in the intransitive sense and life in the transitive, or intentional, sense proceeds. Hans Jonas is one of those rare authors who has tried to give an account of the specificity of life instead of reducing life to (...) categories that are foreign to it. However, the concept of metabolism, by which Jonas characterizes vital activity, attests to a presupposition as to life: life is conceived as self-preservation, that is, as negation of death, in such a way that life is, in the end, not thought on the basis of itself. The aim of this article is to show that life as such must be understood as movement in a radicalized sense, in which the living being is no more the subject than the product. All living beings are in effect characterized by a movement, which nothing can cause to cease, a movement that largely exceeds what is required by the satisfaction of needs and that, because of this, bears witness to an essential incompleteness. This incompleteness reveals that life is originarily bound to a world. Because the world to which the living being relates is essentially non-totalizable and unpresentable, living movement can not essentially complete itself. Thus, in the final analysis, life must be defined as desire, and in virtue of this view, life does not tend toward self-preservation, as we have almost always thought, but toward the manifestation of the world. (shrink)
Connections among Varela's theory of enactive cognition , his evolutionary theory of natural drift, and his concept of autopoiesis are made clear. Two questions are posed in relation to Varela's conception of perception, and the tension that exists in his thought between the formal level of organization and the Jonasian notion of the organism.
Desire and Distance constitutes an important new departure in contemporary phenomenological thought, a rethinking and critique of basic philosophical positions concerning the concept of perception presented by Husserl and Merleau-Ponty, though it departs in significant and original ways from their work. Barbaras’s overall goal is to develop a philosophy of what “life” is—one that would do justice to the question of embodiment and its role in perception and the formation of the human subject. Barbaras posits that desire and distance inform (...) the concept of “life.” Levinas identified a similar structure in Descartes’s notion of the infinite. For Barbaras, desire and distance are anchored not in meaning, but in a rethinking of the philosophy of biology and, in consequence, cosmology. Barbaras elaborates and extends the formal structure of desire and distance by drawing on motifs as yet unexplored in the French phenomenological tradition, especially the notions of “life” and the “life-world,” which are prominent in the later Husserl but also appear in non-phenomenological thinkers such as Bergson. Barbaras then filters these notions (especially “life”) through Merleau-Ponty. (shrink)
In this article, I seek to make sense of the oft-invoked idea of 'public emergency' and of some of its (supposedly) radical moral implications. I challenge controversial claims by Tom Sorell, Michael Walzer, and Giorgio Agamben, and argue for a more discriminating understanding of the category and its moral force.
This paper explores the notion of sensing (Empfinden) as developed by Erwin Straus. It argues that the notion of sensing is at the center of Strauss's thought about animal and human experience. Straus's originality consists in approaching sensory experience from an existential point of view. Sensing is not a mode of knowing. Sensing is distinguished from perceiving but is still a mode of relation to exteriority, and is situated on the side of what is usually called affectivity. At the same (...) time Strauss redefines the field of that which is commonly characterized as affectivity. Sensing designates a stratum that lies deeper than the division between perceiving and feeling (s'éprouver), a self-affection that is not an alternative to the opening upon exteriority. It corresponds to a mode of immediate communication, to a sympathy with the world that does not entail any thematic dimension, but does not fall back into a blind fusion. Rather, sensing is something in the living being's mode of moving that is irreducible, and that includes a tending toward something. (shrink)
In this article, I ask whether the state, as opposed to its individual members, can intelligibly and legitimately be criminalized, with a focus on the possibility of its domestic criminalization. I proceed by identifying what I take to be the core objections to such criminalization, and then investigate ways in which they can be challenged. First, I address the claim that the state is not a kind of entity that can intelligibly perpetrate domestic criminal wrongs. I argue against it by (...) building upon an account of the modern state as a moral agent proper, capable of both culpable moral and legal wrongdoing. I then consider objections to the intelligibility and legitimacy of subjecting states to domestic criminal processes, which primarily find their source in the assumption that such subjection would necessarily involve the state prosecuting, judging, and punishing itself. I argue that whether this (questionable) assumption is sound or not, it does not create the kinds of unsolvable quandaries its exponents think it does. I then move on to reject the distinct, yet related, objection that, at least in aspiring liberal jurisdictions, treating the state as a criminal objectionably involves extending to it various substantive and procedural guarantees that, given its nature and raison d’être, it should not have. Finally, I discuss three central objections to punishing the state. First, that organizations like states do not have the phenomenal consciousness required to suffer punishment. Second, that the constant possibility of dispersion of state punishment amongst individual members stands in the way of its justification. Lastly, that whatever justification there may be for making things harder for the state in response to its culpable wrongdoing, such treatment need not be understood as punishment. While partially conceding the strength of these objections, I strive to loosen their grip in ways that show that justified punishment of the state, meaningfully understood as such, remains a distinct possibility. I conclude by contrasting supposed alternatives to the criminalization of states, and by contending that my analysis leaves us with enough to keep the possibility of state criminalization on the table as a justifiable response to state wrongdoing. (shrink)
Can the state, as opposed to its individual human members in their personal capacity, intelligibly seek to avoid blame for unjustified wrongdoing by invoking excuses (as opposed to justifications)? Insofar as it can, should such claims ever be given moral and legal recognition? While a number of theorists have denied it in passing, the question remains radically underexplored. -/- In this article (in its penultimate draft version), I seek to identify the main metaphysical and moral objections to state excuses, and (...) begin to investigate their strength. I work from the ecumenical assumption that general understandings of modern states as group moral agents proper or as mere fictional points of imputation for individual behaviour are both plausible, and that the question of state excuses should be asked in terms of both paradigms. Issues addressed include: the lack of state consciousness/affect, the nature and relevance of developmental and executive defects in group agents, the value of state interests and how interests relate to plausible claims of excuses, the shortfall of responsibility argument for group responsibility and its interface with state excuses, the symbolic and consequential (dis)value that state excuses may have, as well as concerns that states are entities that should live up to outstandingly high virtuous standards of impartiality and equanimity. -/- I conclude that even if the range of excuses available to states does not overlap neatly with excuses available to ordinary individuals, some excuses may still be morally available to states. More generally, I emphasize the need for a systematic discussion of group excuses writ large, and of their relationship with the wider question of when group entities may legitimately be singled out to bear adverse normative consequences for wrongdoing. (shrink)
Some legal theorists deny that states can conceivably act extra-legally, in the sense of acting contrary to domestic law. This position finds its most robust articulation in the writings of Hans Kelsen, and has more recently been taken up by David Dyzenhaus in the context of his work on emergencies and legality. This paper seeks to demystify their arguments and, ultimately, contend that we can intelligibly speak of the state as a legal wrongdoer or a legally unauthorized actor.