Legal decision-support systems have the potential to improve access to justice, administrative efficiency, and judicial consistency, but broad adoption of such systems is contingent on development of technologies with low knowledge-engineering, validation, and maintenance costs. This paper describes two approaches to an important form of legal decision support—explainable outcome prediction—that obviate both annotation of an entire decision corpus and manual processing of new cases. The first approach, which uses an attention network for prediction and attention weights to highlight salient case (...) text, was shown to be capable of predicting decisions, but attention-weight-based text highlighting did not demonstrably improve human decision speed or accuracy in an evaluation with 61 human subjects. The second approach, termed semi-supervised case annotation for legal explanations, exploits structural and semantic regularities in case corpora to identify textual patterns that have both predictable relationships to case decisions and explanatory value. (shrink)
Infinite in All Directions is a popularized science at its best. In Dyson's view, science and religion are two windows through which we can look out at the world around us. The book is a revised version of a series of the Gifford Lectures under the title "In Praise of Diversity" given at Aberdeen, Scotland. They allowed Dyson the license to express everything in the universe, which he divided into two parts in polished prose: focusing on the diversity of (...) the natural world as the first, and the diversity of human reactions as the second half. Chapter 1 is a brief explanation of Dyson's attitudes toward religion and science. Chapter 2 is a one-hour tour of the universe that emphasizes the diversity of viewpoints from which the universe can be encountered as well as the diversity of objects which it contains. Chapter 3 is concerned with the history of science and describes two contrasting styles in science: one welcoming diversity and the other deploring it. He uses the cities of Manchester and Athens as symbols of these two ways of approaching science. Chapter 4, concerned with the origin of life, describes the ideas of six illustrious scientists who have struggled to understand the nature of life from various points of view. Chapter 5 continues the discussion of the nature and evolution of life. The question of why life characteristically tends toward extremes of diversity remains central in all attempts to understand life's place in the universe. Chapter 6 is an exercise in eschatology, trying to define possible futures for life and for the universe, from here to infinity. In this chapter, Dyson crosses the border between science and science fiction and he frames his speculations in a slightly theological context. (shrink)
In the 1860s, Dr. Louis Thomas Jérôme Auzoux introduced a set of papier-mâché teaching models intended for use in the botanical classroom. These botanical models quickly made their way into the educational curricula of institutions around the world. Within these institutions, Auzoux’s models were principally used to fulfil educational goals, but their incorporation into diverse curricula also suggests they were used to implement agendas beyond botanical instruction. This essay examines the various uses and meanings of Dr. Auzoux’s botanical teaching models (...) at the universities of Glasgow and Aberdeen in the nineteenth century. The two main conclusions of this analysis are: investing in prestigious scientific collections was a way for these universities to attract fee-paying students so that better medical accommodation could be provided and models were used to transmit different kinds of botanical knowledge at both universities. The style of botany at the University of Glasgow was offensive and the department there actively embraced and incorporated ideas of the emerging new botany. At Aberdeen, the style of botany was defensive and there was some hesitancy when confronting new botanical ideas. (shrink)
The reception of Buffon's Histoire Naturelle in the Enlightenment has not received the historical attention it deserves. Drawing primarily on archival sources, this paper examines Aberdeen reactions to the Histoire during the period c. 1750–1800. As pedagogues, the Aberdonians endeavoured to maintain intellectual orthodoxy, and hence they attacked Buffon for his apparent materialism and atheism. Moreover, the Aberdonians rejected Buffon's critique of taxonomy because they based their natural history courses on classifications of the three kingdoms of nature, and because (...) they attempted to use classification systems in nosology and the study of the human mind. Finally, in the 1790s Aberdeen readings of the Histoire were profoundly affected by the fears aroused by the French Revolution. (shrink)
In her paper, Sue Teper outlines the various methods of contraception or fertility control and their relationship to sterilisation. She also considers a particular group of women in Aberdeen as a mini case-study. From these two aspects of sterilization develops a third--that of broader medical and economic issues. Sterilisation usually concerns patients who are free from illness, therefore the attitudes of medical personnel are much more relevant to whether or not the operation is performed on request purely as a (...) means of fertility control, rather than for medical reasons where the patient may be at risk were a pregnancy to occur. Ms Teper calls for medical staff in this instance to clarify their own attitudes in decisions which involve surgical skills and healthy patients. (shrink)
This paper reports the social and medical characteristics of women resident in Aberdeen city who were sterilized in 195162 and 197152 women were offered sterilization, the majority being lower social class mothers with five or more children who were sterilized concurrently with abortion; the small number of upper social class women had one or two children and were sterilized for medical or obstetric reasons. By 196172, women themselves requested sterilization, the two–three child family was the norm, the proportion of (...) upper social class women continued to increase, and interval sterilization was gaining ground. (shrink)
After the First World War mathematics and the organisation of ballistic computations at Aberdeen Proving Ground changed considerably. This was the basis for the development of a number of computing aids that were constructed and used during the years 1920 to 1950. This article looks how the computational organisation forms and changes the instruments of calculation. After the differential analyzer relay-based machines were built by Bell Labs and, finally, the ENIAC, one of the first electronic computers, was built, to (...) satisfy the need for computational power in ballistics during the second World War. (shrink)
I DO not think that it is at all generally known that among the Egyptian antiquities given by Grant Bey to the Museum at Aberdeen there are a considerable number of papyrus fragments, Greek, Coptic,1 Hieratic, Demotic, and even Latin and Arabic, which except for an inspection by Prof. Sayce and a passing visit of Dr. Grenfell have up till now been left unexamined. That indeed is my only reason for trespassing in a branch of Palaeography with which I (...) am quite unfamiliar; and it is in the hope of inciting some experienced papyrologist to turn his attention to them that I publish the following fragments. In the case of the Greek fragments lack of time combined with a mistrust of my powers of deciphering the more illegible non-literary hands forbade me do more than select the most promising literary fragments. Among these Homer naturally predominates; but the gem of the collection is a lyric fragment, which may fairly certainly be ascribed to Alcaeus, though Dr. Grenfell who first noticed it attributed it to Sappho. A fragment of Demosthenes, a fragment of Dioscorides, and a vellum fragment of a Latin Bible, were the only others which I succeeded in identifying; but these, with the few tragic, comic, and medical fragments which I also reproduce, are, I think, first-fruits sufficient to show that the crop would not be barren, if it found a competent gleaner. (shrink)
This paper investigates aspects of the philosophy curriculum that Thomas Reid studied during his student years in Aberdeen. In order to assess the nature of philosophy teaching in early eighteenth-century Aberdeen, the graduation theses of the Scottish universities must be read with an eye to the long tradition of university teaching, which reaches back into the seventeenth century. I will seek to show how seventeenth-century Scottish Reformed scholasticism is the backdrop of the Scottish Enlightenment.
First published in 1918 and originally delivered as the Gifford Lectures in the University of Aberdeen in 1914 and 1915, this book is concerned with the relation between the true foundation of ethics and the true knowledge of God. Sorley explores the limits of morality and the problem of the divergence between the order of existence and the moral order, as well as the question of freedom and the very idea of God. This book will be of value to (...) anyone with an interest in ethics or in the theistic grounding of morality. (shrink)
Thomas Reid, contemporary and philosophical foe of David Hume, was the chief figure in the group of philosophers constituting the Scottish school of common sense. Between 1753 and 1762, Reid delivered four "Philosophical Orations" at graduation ceremonies at King’s College, Aberdeen. This is the first English translation of those Latin orations, which reveal Reid’s philosophical opinions during his formative years. Reid’s influence was strong in America until the middle of the 19th century. Thomas Jefferson was a convert to the (...) commonsense philosophy of Reid and his school, and for the first dozen academic generations after the revolutionary war, American students were steeped in the thought of Reid and his associates. Thus Reid profoundly influenced American political, literary, and philosophical culture. His philosophy served as a cornerstone of American education. (shrink)
Oxford Scholarly Classics brings together a number of great academic works from the archives of Oxford University Press. Reissued in a uniform series design, they will enable libraries, scholars, and students to gain fresh access to some of the finest scholarship of the last century.