Parkinson's Disease (PD) is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that mainly affects the motor system. The symptoms generally come on slowly over time. Early in the disease, the most obvious are shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement, and difficulty with walking. Doctors do not know what causes it and finds difficulty in early diagnosing the presence of Parkinson’s disease. An artificial neural network system with back propagation algorithm is presented in this paper for helping doctors in identifying (...) PD. Previous research with regards to predict the presence of the PD has shown accuracy rates up to 93% ; however, accuracy of prediction for small classes is reduced. The proposed design of the neural network system causes a significant increase of robustness. It is also has shown that networks recognition rates reached 100%. (shrink)
Our study presents an overview of the issues that were brought forward by participants of a moral case deliberation (MCD) project in two elderly care organizations. The overview was inductively derived from all case descriptions (N = 202) provided by participants of seven mixed MCD groups, consisting of care providers from various professional backgrounds, from nursing assistant to physician. The MCD groups were part of a larger MCD project within two care institutions (residential homes and nursing homes). Care providers are (...) confronted with a wide variety of largely everyday ethical issues. We distinguished three main categories: ‘resident’s behavior’, ‘divergent perspectives on good care’ and ‘organizational context’. The overview can be used for agendasetting when institutions wish to stimulate reflection and deliberation. It is important that an agenda is constructed from the bottom-up and open to a variety of issues. In addition, organizing reflection and deliberation requires effort to identify moral questions in practice whilst at the same time maintaining the connection with the organizational context and existing communication structures. Once care providers are used to dealing with divergent perspectives, inviting different perspectives (e.g. family members) to take part in the deliberation, might help to identify and address ethical ‘blind spots’. (shrink)
Rawls offers three arguments for the priority of liberty in Theory, two of which share a common error: the belief that once we have shown the instrumental value of the basic liberties for some essential purpose (e.g., securing self-respect), we have automatically shown the reason for their lexical priority. The third argument, however, does not share this error and can be reconstructed along Kantian lines: beginning with the Kantian conception of autonomy endorsed by Rawls in section 40 of Theory, we (...) can explain our highest-order interest in rationality, justify the lexical priority of all basic liberties, and reinterpret Rawls’ threshold condition for the application of the priority of liberty. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this Kantian reconstruction will not work within the radically different framework of Political Liberalism. (shrink)
Hintikka has criticized psychologists for "hasty epistemologizing," which he takes to be an unwarranted transfer of ideas from psychology (a discipline dealing with questions of fact) into epistemology (a discipline dealing with questions of method and theory). Hamlyn argues, following Hintikka, that Gibson's theory of perception is an example of such an inappropriate transfer, especially insofar as Hamlyn feels Gibson does not answer several important questions. However, Gibson's theory does answer the relevant questions, albeit in a new and radical way, (...) which suggests that the alleged distinction between psychology and epistemology is suspect. In fact, contrary to Hintikka and Hamlyn's claims, Gibson's theory of perception appears to be a valuable source of epistemological as well as psychological ideas. (shrink)
Kyle Stanford’s reformulation of the problem of underdetermination has the potential to highlight the epistemic obligations of scientists. Stanford, however, presents the phenomenon of unconceived alternatives as a problem for realists, despite critics’ insistence that we have contextual explanations for scientists’ failure to conceive of their successors’ theories. I propose that responsibilist epistemology and the concept of “role oughts,” as discussed by Lorraine Code and Richard Feldman, can pacify Stanford’s critics and reveal broader relevance of the “new induction.” The possibility (...) of unconceived alternatives pushes us to question our contemporary expectation for scientists to reason outside of their historical moment. (shrink)
A layman's guide to the mechanics of Gödel's proof together with a lucid discussion of the issues which it raises. Includes an essay discussing the significance of Gödel's work in the light of Wittgenstein's criticisms.
This volume gathers together for the first time are all the key texts in a crucial debate in modern philosophy, centered on Leibniz's famous 1695 essay, the "New System of the Nature of Substances and their Communication," in which he introduced his strikingly original theory of metaphysics. His "system" became increasingly famous and drew him into discussion and development of these ideas, both in public and in private, with a variety of thinkers, most notably the great French philosopher Pierre Bayle. (...) Woolhouse's and Francks's new English edition gives the only full representation of this debate, and will therefore be essential reading for anyone who wishes to gain a proper understanding of Leibniz's philosophy and its intelletual context. All the texts are newly translated and extensively annotated; many appear in English for the first time. (shrink)
Originally conceived as a forty-page conclusion to Hacker’s twenty years of work on the monumental four-volume Analytical Commentary on the Philosophical Investigations, this book “rapidly assumed a life of its own”. A major contribution to the history of analytic philosophy, this substantial volume delivers even more than the title promises. The eight chapters are best approached as a six-chapter book, itself some 220 pages long, on Wittgenstein’s contribution to twentieth-century philosophy, followed by a two-chapter, 120-page epilogue about how and why (...) his influence has waned. The first six chapters provide an encyclopedic summary of the fruits of Hacker’s research on Wittgenstein’s writing, an immensely learned account of British philosophy from the turn of the century to the 1970s, and a detailed account of Wittgenstein’s reception by Oxford, Cambridge, and the Vienna Circle. The book’s closing chapters, “Post-positivism in the United States and Quine’s Apostasy” and “The Decline of Analytic Philosophy,” polemically argue that Quine’s philosophy, and the post-Quinean naturalism prevalent in Anglo-American philosophy today, amount to such a decisive break with the analytic tradition, as Hacker conceives of it, that they should not be counted as “analytic.”. (shrink)
This paper argues that Immanuel Kant’s practical philosophy contains a coherent, albeit implicit, defense of the legitimacy of capital punishment, one that refutes the most important objections leveled against it. I first show that Kant is consistent in his application of the ius talionis. I then explain how Kant can respond to the claim that death penalty violates the inviolable right to life. To address the most significant objection – the claim that execution violates human dignity – I argue that (...) motives of honor, as Kant conceives it, require a rational person to will her own execution, were she to commit murder. (shrink)
The purpose of Pope John Paul''s encyclicalCentesimus Annus (CA) is to propound the foundations of a just economic order and to sketch its essential characteristics. As such he essentially provides an orientation or moral compass for the political economy rather than a precise road map. This article first reviews the principal components of CA and then analyzes and evaluates its central contentions on both cultural and economic grounds.
C.H. Waddington is today remembered chiefly as a Drosophila developmental geneticist who developed the concepts of “canalization” and “the epigenetic landscape.” In his lifetime, however, he was widely perceived primarily as a critic of Neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory. His criticisms of Neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory were focused on what he saw as unrealistic, “atomistic” models of both gene selection and trait evolution. In particular, he felt that the Neo-Darwinians badly neglected the phenomenon of extensive gene interactions and that the “randomness” of mutational (...) effects, posited in the theory, was a false postulate. This last criticism dealt with the phenomenon known today as “developmental constraints.” Although population genetics itself has evolved considerably from its form at mid-20th century, much of Waddington’s critique, it is argued here, retains cogency. Yet, he did not attempt to develop a full-fledged alternative theory himself. Perhaps most surprisingly, in retrospect, is that he did not try to marry his work on gene interactions in development with his evolutionary interests, to create a theory of “genetic networks” and their evolution. Whether evolutionary genetics today will incorporate “network thinking” as a central element or whether there will be a general retreat to the more atomistic approach offered by genomics, remains an open question. (shrink)
Two groups of scientists have just announced what is being described as a leap forward in human stem cell research.1–3 Both have found ways of producing what are being called “induced pluripotent cells” , stem cells that they hope will demonstrate the same key properties of regeneration and unrestricted differentiation that human embryonic stem cells possess, but which are derived from skin cells not from embryos. In simple terms, these scientists have succeeded in reprogramming skin cells to behave like hESCs.Stem (...) cell research has been hailed as one of the most important and exciting areas of science, because it is believed that these types of cells will not only play an important part in regenerative medicine, but also yield valuable scientific information. These latest developments in cell reprogramming represent a milestone for stem cell science. No longer does the paradigm of irreversible cell specialisation hold true; instead, almost any type of cell might have the potential to become any other.The advent of techniques for producing these iPCs has also been hailed as an ethical breakthrough. Up until now, the production of hESCs has required a process which involves the destruction of embryos. Many of these embryos are available as by-products of IVF; but in addition, the process of somatic cell nuclear transfer to produce cloned embryonic stem cells requires a supply of human oocytes, which must currently be harvested from female donors at no insignificant cost. In a nutshell, iPCs seem to enable us to produce “embryo-free” human pluripotent stem cells, and in a “gender-neutral” way—that is, without the need for human oocytes.The response from the scientific community, ethical commentators and the public has, however, reflected an inherent confusion over the ethical significance of this research. The anti-embryo …. (shrink)
Drawing upon rational choice and investor attention theories, we examine how accusations of corporate bribery and subsequent investigations shape market reactions. Using event study methodology to measure loss in firm value for public firms facing bribery investigations from 1978 to 2010, we found that total market penalties amounted to $60.61 billion. We ran moderated multiple regression analysis to examine further the degree to which the unique characteristics of bribery explain variations in market penalties. Companies committing bribery in less corrupt host (...) countries and with the involvement of compromised executives experienced greater market penalties than did other companies. After partitioning share value losses into components for regulatory penalties, class action settlements, and loss to reputation, we found that reputational penalties account for 81.8¢ of every dollar of share value loss. Omission of reputational penalties in rational choice calculus underestimates bribery costs by 4.5 times. The results suggest that firms should not underestimate the importance of market-imposed reputational penalties by merely considering regulator-imposed fines and sanctions. (shrink)
Scholars have long debated the relationship between Kant’s doctrine of right and his doctrine of virtue (including his moral religion or ethico-theology), which are the two branches of his moral philosophy. This article will examine the intimate connection in his practical philosophy between perpetual peace and the highest good, between political and ethico-religious communities, and between the types of transparency peculiar to each. It will show how domestic and international right provides a framework for the development of ethical communities, including (...) a kingdom of ends and even the noumenal ethical community of an afterlife, and how the transparency and trust achieved in these communities is anticipated in rightful political society by publicity and the mutual confidence among citizens that it engenders. Finally, it will explore the implications of this synthesis of Kant’s political and religious philosophies for contemporary Kantian political theories, especially those of Jürgen Habermas and John Rawls. (shrink)
In this study, I surveyed students' evaluative perceptions of instructor behavior and their possible influence on academic dishonesty. Slightly over 20% of 1,369 student respondents admitted to academic dishonesty in at least 1 class during 1 term at college. Students who admitted to acts of academic dishonesty had lower overall evaluations of instructor behavior than students who reported not committing academic dishonesty. Implications for student learning and the enhancement of academic integrity in the classroom are discussed.
Analyzes the origin, structure and resolution of Kant's antinomies of reason from a systematic rather than a historical perspective, exploring the relationship between the theoretical antinomies and the practical antinomy in order to indicate their similarities and differences and to suggest the dependence of the latter on the former.
The debate over financial incentives and market models for organ procurement represents a key trend in recent bioethics. In this paper, we wish to reassess one of its central premises—the idea of organ shortage. While the problem is often presented as an objective statistical fact that can be taken for granted, we will take a closer look at the underlying framework expressed in the common rhetoric of “scarcity”, “shortage” or “unfulfilled demand”. On the basis of theoretical considerations as well as (...) a socioempirical examination of public attitudes, we will argue that this rhetoric has an economic subtext that imbues the debate with normative premises that have far-reaching social and ethical consequences and need to be made explicit and discussed. (shrink)
This study investigates the variations in the quality and comprehensiveness of 104 corporate social responsibility reports published by the world’s largest financial institutions in 2012. Using a novel measure of CSR report quality, we examine the impact of certain national, legal, and firm-level factors that might explain differences in the overall quality and extent of coverage of various issues in these reports. Our findings show that legal factors and CSR environment in a firm’s country of headquarters play an important role (...) in firms’ CSR reporting quality. Common law countries exhibit systematically higher overall CSR reporting quality than code law countries. Countries with higher CSR standards, policies, and regulations in place also produce significantly higher quality CSR reports. Firm size, on the other hand, has no major impact on the overall quality of CSR reports. In further analysis of the individual aspects of CSR disclosures, namely environment, philanthropy, bribery and corruption, and integrity assurance, we document that larger firms report at a higher quality on philanthropy and bribery and corruption. Bribery and corruption is reported at a higher quality in countries with common law tradition, high-quality legal regimes, and high CSR standards and regulations in place. We also observe higher quality integrity assurance in common law countries. CSR-minded countries and countries with low-quality legal environment also report on philanthropy at a higher quality. Finally, we offer guidelines for companies toward improving the quality of their reports, and suggestions for scholars and researchers for further avenues of research. (shrink)
There are two observations about the history of Marxism as a theory, and of the movements informed by that theory, which command wide assent. The first is an indisputable empirical observation: socialist movements proved more successful in the relatively �backward� parts of the world than in the heartlands of capitalism, where Marx expected his ideas to take root and his prophecies to be fulfilled. Marxist ideas and Marxist inspired movements once registered important successes in Eastern and Central Europe (distant as (...) that now seems!), but not in Western Europe and North America. They also -- what concerns us in this essay -- occasionally triumphed, and frequently achieved some measure of influence even where they did not triumph, in �Third World� countries. The second observation is that the phenomena of nationhood and of nationalism were never adequately theorized within Marxism; nor, in most cases, were they dealt with satisfactorily in �practical� terms. This theoretical shortcoming was frequently pointed out by non-Marxists. In more recent times Marxists have been at the forefront in pointing to this lacunae or limitation. Nicos Poulantzas urges an imputedly reluctant audience, �we have to recognize that there is no Marxist theory of the nation�. Similarly Tom Nairn adjudges, in portentious tones: �The theory of nationalism represents Marxism's great historical failure.� Both these observations are indisputably true, but a paradox becomes apparent when they are juxtaposed. It would appear that Marxism proved more influential and successful in the former colonial and semi-colonial countries of the �East� than in the bourgeois societies of Western Europe, despite the fact that in the former region the national question, one of Marxism's great theoretical failings, was an issue of pressing political importance. How can one explain this paradox? This essay argues that a major part of the answer lies in the manner in which Lenin developed and reformulated Marx's theory. It suggests that the seeds both of the successful extension of Marxism to the underdeveloped parts of the world, and of its failure to develop a theory of the nation, lay in the reformulation of Marx's thought undertaken with the theory of imperialism. In order fully to understand how Lenin developed Marx's thought, it is first necessary to consider Marx's writings on the non-Western world and what would later come to be known as the 'colonial question'. (shrink)
The stock market’s reaction to information disclosure of environmental violation events (EVEs) is investigated multi-dimensionally for Chinese listed companies, including variables such as pollution types, information disclosure sources, information disclosure levels, modernization levels of the region where the company locates, ultimate ownership of the company, and ownership held by the largest shareholder. Using the method of event study, daily abnormal return (AR) and accumulative abnormal return (CAR) are calculated under different event window for examining the extent to which the stock (...) market responds to the EVEs. Furthermore, statistical significance of the difference in stock market reaction is compared between event firms with different characteristics. The relationship between CAR and its impact factors is examined by multivariate analysis. The findings reveal that the average reduction in market value is estimated to be much lower than the estimated changes in market value for similar events in other countries, demonstrating that the negative environmental events of Chinese listed companies currently have weak impact on the stock market. (shrink)
Upshot: The work that scientists do, particularly social scientists, is currently constrained by their conception of science. Expanding the conception of science would lead to more innovative work and more rapid social progress.
As I read Paula Casal's excellent paper, ‘Sexual Dimorphism and Human Enhancement,’1 three thoughts kept circulating through my mind. First, I found myself largely in agreement with virtually everything she wrote. In particular, if Casal was being accurate and fair in writing that ‘Robert Sparrow alleges that those who…advocate biomedical welfare enhancements are committed to selecting only female embryos because women live longer than men,’1 then she has given compelling reasons for believing that that claim is, on reflection, as ludicrous (...) as it first sounds! In fact, I can think of many additional reasons to those which Casal forcefully adduced for rejecting the view in question, but I do not see the need to present them here, given the abundance of sufficiently compelling reasons Casal already presented.Second, I confess that as I read Casal's article a strong feeling of shame washed over me in virtue of my being a man! Indeed, I found myself thinking that Jonathan Glover's important and chilling book Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century2 was misleadingly, and somewhat unfairly, titled. Heretofore, when I have read Glover's powerful book, which details many of the twentieth century's worst instances of large-scale crimes against humanity, I have often been overcome by a sense of shame of the actions of my species, homo sapiens; but Casal's article suggests that perhaps the scope of my shame has been too wide, and grossly unfair to the distaff members of our species! In the well-worked expression ‘man's inhumanity to man,’ the second use of the word ‘man’ undoubtedly extends to all humans, but the first use overwhelming picks out men insofar as it denotes the actual flesh and blood perpetrators of the horrific actions in question . Accordingly, perhaps a …. (shrink)
G. E. Moore famously observed that to assert ‘I went to the pictures last Tuesday but I do not believe that I did’ would be ‘absurd’. Moore calls it a ‘paradox’ that this absurdity persists despite the fact that what I say about myself might be true. Krista Lawlor and John Perry have proposed an explanation of the absurdity that confines itself to semantic notions while eschewing pragmatic ones. We argue that this explanation faces four objections. We give a better (...) explanation of the absurdity both in assertion and in belief that avoids our four objections. (shrink)