The DAMA project is an observatory for rare processes and it is operative deep underground at the Gran Sasso National Laboratory of the I.N.F.N. In particular, the DAMA/LIBRA (Large sodium Iodide Bulk for RAre processes) set-up consists of highly radiopure NaI(Tl) detectors for a total sensitive exposed mass of ≃250 kg. Recent results, obtained by this set-up by exploiting the model independent annual modulation signature of Dark Matter (DM) particles, have confirmed and improved those obtained by the former DAMA/NaI experiment. (...) A model independent evidence for the presence of Dark Matter particles in the galactic halo is cumulatively obtained at 8.2 σ C.L. No systematics or side reactions able to account for the measured modulation amplitude and to contemporaneously satisfy all the many specific requirements of the signature have been found or suggested by anyone over more than a decade. An example of one of the many possible model dependent corollary quests for the candidate particles and for the related astrophysical, nuclear and particle physics scenarios is presented considering the whole cumulative exposure. Future perspectives are shortly addressed. (shrink)
Searches for non-paulian nuclear processes, i.e. processes normally forbidden by the Pauli–Exclusion–Principle (PEP) with highly radiopure NaI(Tl) scintillators allow the test of this fundamental principle with high sensitivity. Status and perspectives are addressed.
In Defense of Utilitarianism, C.L. Sheng provides a more intensive study of the Unified Utilitarian Theory , which he proposed in his previous work A New Approach to Utilitarianism . Sheng defends utilitarianism, particularly UUT, against the objections and attacks raised by nonutilitarians, showing it to be a viable ethical theory.
In general, stimuli that are familiar and recognizable have an advantage of predominance during binocular rivalry. Recent research has demonstrated that familiar and recognizable stimuli such as upright faces and words in a native language could break interocular suppression faster than their matched controls. In this study, a visible word prime was presented binocularly then replaced by a high-contrast dynamic noise pattern presented to one eye and either a semantically related or unrelated word was introduced to the other eye. We (...) measured how long it took for target words to break from suppression. To investigate word-parts priming, a second experiment also included word pairs that had overlapping subword fragments. Results from both experiments consistently show that semantically related words and words that shared subword fragments were faster to gain dominance compared to unrelated words, suggesting that words, even when interocularly suppressed and invisible, can benefit from semantic and subword priming. (shrink)
This study examined the relations between properties of attentional networks and Mind Wandering across individuals. For the attentional networks, we measured three components of attention, known as alerting, orienting, and executive control, using the Attention Network Test . To investigate MW, we measured thought probes embedded in the Sustained Attention to Response Task . Moreover, four performance characteristics of the SART were calculated as behavioral indices of MW. Three of them showed significant associations with probed MW. Most research regarding MW (...) focused on its relation to executive functions, while the present study revealed that MW, as indexed by self-reports and RT variability, was negatively correlated with orienting, specifically the exogenous orienting system. Furthermore, there was a positive association between RT variability and executive control. Our results suggest that individuals with higher tendency of MW are less sensitive to irrelevant external stimuli, supporting the decoupling hypothesis of MW. (shrink)
Chinese liberals have been searching for a just society, one regulated by democratic institutions and rules—a society where the human potential for evil is properly controlled. It is in this context that Chinese liberal intellectuals such as Yan Jiaqi, Hu Ping, and Liao Xun, drawing on their respective experiences of the tragedies in China, have taken the idea that there is always a potential for evil in human nature as a starting-point for a just society and for designing democratic institutions.
During the period of the Wushu "Hundred-Days" Reform, modern Chinese philosophy stepped into the stage of development characterized by the growth and spread of the theory of evolution and of humanism. Kang Youwei, Yan Fu, Tan Sitong, and Liang Qichao were the representative figures of this stage. At the time, with a tremendous flair for vivid and persuasive writing, the young Liang Qichao broke through the bonds of feudal autocracy with the ideas of humanism, used "liberty" to oppose "slavishness," and, (...) by approaching the exploration of the meaning of "the freedom of self from the angle of new epistemology and new ethics, Liang played a major role and exerted a widespread influence on his countrymen in their intellectual emancipation. As he himself once said: "It can be said of Liang Qichao that he was the Chen She in the new intellectual circles." [Chen She, alias Chen Sheng, the famous rebel who started the peasant uprising against the Qin dynasty.—Trans.] Indeed, we may say that such a moniker would be quite appropriate for the Liang Qichao before 1903 ; it would be a title that the young Liang richly deserved. As we review the liberal ideas and teachings of the young Liang Qichao even today, as we reacquaint ourselves with his writings of this early period, such as Lun ziyou shu and Xin min shuo , we would still find among the words of these works a rich and overflowing sense of vitality and freshness, a feeling that there is much here for our enlightenment. (shrink)
One of the interpretive devices that Ch'eng-kuan (澄 觀) is famous for having employed to distill the essence of the vast Mahāvaipulya Buddhāvataṃsaka Sūtra (Tafang-kuang fo-hua-yen ching 《大方廣佛華嚴經》 was a series of variations on the contemplative theme (kuan-men 觀門) of the complete interfusion (yüan-jung 圓融) of the scripture's three chief protagonists (san-sheng 三聖) ── the Buddha Vairocana (Pi-lu-che-na 毘盧遮那) and the bodhisattvas Mañjuśrī (Wen-shu-shih-li 文殊師利) and Samantabhadra (P'u-hsien 普賢). By aligning these three powerful sacred persons with a number of (...) philosophical categories that he believed to be central to the sūtra ── categories like "cause" (yin 因 ), "fruition" (kuo 果 ), "faith" (hsin 信 ), "understanding" (chieh 解), "insight" (chih 智), "practice" (hsing 行), "principle" (li 理), etc. ── he provided a focal point at which the rich and vivid meditative and liturgical lives of Hua-yen devotees could be made to converge with their philosophical reflections. -/- Although Ch'eng-kuan invoked this device in several of his writings, his most concerted development of it is a short essay entitled San-sheng yüan-jung kuan-men, which appears to have been written relatively late in his long career. Like many important Hua-yen texts, this essay seems to have been lost in China not long after its author's death. However, it was preserved in Korea and Japan and from the latter country was reintroduced to China in the last years of nineteenth century. Neither in China nor in the West has it yet been adequately studied. -/- The core of the present article is a critical edition of the Chinese text of the essay based on a careful comparison of all available versions and presented together with a copiously annotated English translation. The edition translation are preceded by a brief interpretive introduction and followed by an appendix in which are given: a detailed discussion of the work's textual history, detailed accounts of its various editions, and descriptions of its several surviving paraphrases and commentaries. (shrink)
The text Jié tuō dào lùn, or Chinese translation of *Vimuttimagga mentions the Avīci Hell all of a sudden in the section on the cognitive process. The problematic phrase wújiān shēng Āpídìyù has been interpreted in different ways by several scholars. Japanese scholars tend to skip the phrase, or regard the term Āpídìyù as a typographic error. Given that we do not have an original text, however, the phrase needs to be understood as it is. In contrast, the English translation (...) interprets the term wújiān as a name of hell, and considers it as a synonym of Āpídìyù, namely the Avīci Hell. Even though the Chinese term wújiān itself is usually understood as the Avīci Hell, namely, Wújiāndìyù or Āpídìyù, of which the corresponding Pāli is Avīci-niraya, it is not the case here since a hell as such has nothing to do with the cognitive process. Assuming that the term Āpídìyù is not a typographic error, I propose to understand this problematic phrase as the simile in the sentence ‘seven mind-moments [immediately proceed just as one who has performed] the Five Sins is reborn into the Avīci Hell [as soon as he dies]’. The term wújiān meaning ‘no-gap’ in the cognitive process section conveys that there is not any intermission between the successive mind-moments. In Pāli perspectives, it implies that the successive mind-moments are in the proximity condition. The Jié tuō dào lùn was likely to use a metaphor in order to set a rule for governing the cognitive process rather than making a specific technical term. (shrink)
In an English article (‘On Expressions’) Professor Shen Youding writes, ‘the meaning of a name is not the object which is mentioned by means of it’ (Shen 1992: 11). This remark touches on a big issue that has divided contemporary philosophers of language. On the one side is the Millian (after J.S. Mill), who maintains that the semantic value of a name is the object which it designates, denotes, or refers to (as I use them here, these three terms are (...) interchangeable).  On the other side is the Fregean (after Gottlob Frege), who thinks that a name has a sense in addition to a reference.  Though Professor Sheng’s remark is too brief for us to claim that he would have been prepared to endorse the Fregean idea, it is clear that he was not a Millian. (shrink)
This article draws out the subtle connections among the various sorts of categories— sheng 生 (reproduction), qin 亲 (familiarity), ai 爱 (love), and ren 仁 (humaneness) —focusing on the following: Confucius found the original significance of reproduction to be sympathy between males and females, and upon further study he found it extended to the.affinity of blood relations, namely familiarity. From familiarity he came to understand love that one generates and has for people and things beyond one’s blood relations, in (...) other words, the empathic heart or the feeling of empathy itself. From here he anticipated rende 仁德 (the humane and virtuous) level of fan’ai zhong 泛爱众 (universal love for all people) or fan’ai wanwu 泛爱万物 (universal love for all creatures). The article further makes the point that in order to meet the conditions for the perfection of humaneness which has neither any excesses nor any deficiencies, Confucius ultimately developed a means, that is, the golden mean, which indicates that his ancient understanding of life and growth produced in Confucius a profound shift in the focus of human concern from ming 命 (fate) to Dao 道 (the Way). (shrink)
"Now we have heard that, as for those sages before Confucius, if it had not been for Confucius, there would have been no way for them to be known, and as for those sages after Confucius, if not for him, there would have been no one for them to emulate. He is called the one who transmitted Yao and Shun as if they were his own ancestors, who took as his model Wen and Wu, patterned himself after the hundred kings, (...) and served as the pattern to be imitated for ten thousand generations." This is an important passage of an edict issued in the eleventh year of the Ta-te Emperor of the Yuan dynasty which bestowed upon Confucius the exclusive title of Fully Perfected Great Sage [ta-ch'eng chih-sheng]. Obviously, in terms of human attainment, Confucius was truly a great person of great learning, character, and usefulness. For two thousand years, his doctrines and his behavior as a man have had a great role and influence in China's cultural and material systems, scholarly thought, social morality, and even her order or disorder, prosperity or decay. If we were to remove his role and influence, then could two thousand years of China's history and culture have developed as it has, with a tradition still present? This is a good question. From this it is clear that Confucius' relationship to Chinese culture was most important. (shrink)
In this paper, we defend two main claims. The first is a moderate claim: we have a negative duty to not use binary gender-specific pronouns he or she to refer to genderqueer individuals. We defend this with an argument by analogy. It was gravely wrong for Mark Latham to refer to Catherine McGregor, a transgender woman, using the pronoun he; we argue that such cases of misgendering are morally analogous to referring to Angel Haze, who identifies as genderqueer, as he (...) or she. The second is a radical claim: we have a negative duty to not use any gender-specific pronouns to refer to anyone, regardless of their gender identity. We offer three arguments in favor of this claim (which appeal to concerns about inegalitarianism and risk, invasions of privacy, and reinforcing essentialist ideologies). We also show why the radical claim is compatible with the moderate claim. Before concluding, we examine common concerns about incorporating either they or a neologism such as ze as a third-person singular gender-neutral pronoun. These concerns, we argue, do not provide sufficient reason to reject either the moderate or radical claim. (shrink)
Many different arguments have been put forward in order to assign the best place for a given element within Mendeleev's Table: its spectroscopy, its chemical activity, the crystalline structure of its solid state, etc. We here propose another criterion; the nature of the few body corrections to the pairwise additive energy. This argument is used here to address a question often brought forward by Eric Scerri in Foundations of Chemistry, namely the rightful place of helium; either above the column of (...) the alkaline earths (beryllium, etc.) or rather above the noble gas elements. (shrink)
As a representative of the papacy Bellarmine was an extremely moderate one. In fact Sixtus V in 1590 had the first volume of his Disputations placed on the Index because it contained so cautious a theory of papal power, denying the Pope temporal hegemony. Bellarmine did not represent all that Hobbes required of him either. On the contrary, he proved the argument of those who championed the temporal powers of the Pope faulty. As a Jesuit he tended to maintain the (...) relative autonomy of the state, denying the temporal powers ascribed by radical papalists and Augustinians. Their argument was generally framed as a syllogism: Christ, who possessed direct temporal power as both God and man, exercised it on earth; the Pope is the vicar of Christ; therefore the Pope possesses and may exercise direct temporal jurisdiction. Bellarmine simply denied that Christ had exercised the temporal power, which as God, it is true, he possessed. Moreover, he drew up and circulated a list of patristic passages collected under the title De Regno Christi quale sit, to prove to the Pope the orthodoxy of his position. (shrink)