The Ontology for Biomedical Investigations (OBI) is an ontology that provides terms with precisely defined meanings to describe all aspects of how investigations in the biological and medical domains are conducted. OBI re-uses ontologies that provide a representation of biomedical knowledge from the Open Biological and Biomedical Ontologies (OBO) project and adds the ability to describe how this knowledge was derived. We here describe the state of OBI and several applications that are using it, such as adding semantic expressivity to (...) existing databases, building data entry forms, and enabling interoperability between knowledge resources. OBI covers all phases of the investigation process, such as planning, execution and reporting. It represents information and material entities that participate in these processes, as well as roles and functions. Prior to OBI, it was not possible to use a single internally consistent resource that could be applied to multiple types of experiments for these applications. OBI has made this possible by creating terms for entities involved in biological and medical investigations and by importing parts of other biomedical ontologies such as GO, Chemical Entities of Biological Interest (ChEBI) and Phenotype Attribute and Trait Ontology (PATO) without altering their meaning. OBI is being used in a wide range of projects covering genomics, multi-omics, immunology, and catalogs of services. OBI has also spawned other ontologies (Information Artifact Ontology) and methods for importing parts of ontologies (Minimum information to reference an external ontology term (MIREOT)). The OBI project is an open cross-disciplinary collaborative effort, encompassing multiple research communities from around the globe. To date, OBI has created 2366 classes and 40 relations along with textual and formal definitions. The OBI Consortium maintains a web resource providing details on the people, policies, and issues being addressed in association with OBI. (shrink)
Vaccine research, as well as the development, testing, clinical trials, and commercial uses of vaccines involve complex processes with various biological data that include gene and protein expression, analysis of molecular and cellular interactions, study of tissue and whole body responses, and extensive epidemiological modeling. Although many data resources are available to meet different aspects of vaccine needs, it remains a challenge how we are to standardize vaccine annotation, integrate data about varied vaccine types and resources, and support advanced vaccine (...) data analysis and inference. To address these problems, the community-based Vaccine Ontology (VO) has been developed through collaboration with vaccine researchers and many national and international centers and programs, including the National Center for Biomedical Ontology (NCBO), the Infectious Disease Ontology (IDO) Initiative, and the Ontology for Biomedical Investigations (OBI). VO utilizes the Basic Formal Ontology (BFO) as the top ontology and the Relation Ontology (RO) for definition of term relationships. VO is represented in the Web Ontology Language (OWL) and edited using the Protégé-OWL. Currently VO contains more than 2000 terms and relationships. VO emphasizes on classification of vaccines and vaccine components, vaccine quality and phenotypes, and host immune response to vaccines. These reflect different aspects of vaccine composition and biology and can thus be used to model individual vaccines. More than 200 licensed vaccines and many vaccine candidates in research or clinical trials have been modeled in VO. VO is being used for vaccine literature mining through collaboration with the National Center for Integrative Biomedical Informatics (NCIBI). Multiple VO applications will be presented. (shrink)
Quantification is a topic which brings together linguistics, logic, and philosophy. Quantifiers are the essential tools with which, in language or logic, we refer to quantity of things or amount of stuff. In English they include such expressions as no, some, all, both, many. Peters and Westerstahl present the definitive interdisciplinary exploration of how they work - their syntax, semantics, and inferential role.
First published in 1966, this book was written to serve as an introductory textbook in the philosophy of education, focusing on ethics and social philosophy. It presents a distinctive point of view both about education and ethical theory and arrived at a time when education was a matter of great public concern. It looks at questions such as ‘What do we actually mean by education?’ and provides a proper ethical foundation for education in a democratic society. The book will appeal (...) to both teachers and students of philosophy as well as education. (shrink)
Members of the field of philosophy have, just as other people, political convictions or, as psychologists call them, ideologies. How are different ideologies distributed and perceived in the field? Using the familiar distinction between the political left and right, we surveyed an international sample of 794 subjects in philosophy. We found that survey participants clearly leaned left (75%), while right-leaning individuals (14%) and moderates (11%) were underrepresented. Moreover, and strikingly, across the political spectrum, from very left-leaning individuals and moderates to (...) very right-leaning individuals, participants reported experiencing ideological hostility in the field, occasionally even from those from their own side of the political spectrum. Finally, while about half of the subjects believed that discrimination against left- or right-leaning individuals in the field is not justified, a significant minority displayed an explicit willingness to discriminate against colleagues with the opposite ideology. Our findings are both surprising and important, because a commitment to tolerance and equality is widespread in philosophy, and there is reason to think that ideological similarity, hostility, and discrimination undermine reliable belief formation in many areas of the discipline. (shrink)
Demographic diversity might often be present in a group without group members noticing it. What are the epistemic effects if they do? Several philosophers and social scientists have recently argued that when individuals detect demographic diversity in their group, this can result in epistemic benefits even if that diversity doesn’t involve cognitive differences. Here I critically discuss research advocating this proposal, introduce a distinction between two types of detection of demographic diversity, and apply this distinction to the theorizing on diversity (...) in science. Focusing on ‘invisible’ diversity, I argue that in one common kind of group in science, if group members have full insight into their group’s diversity, this is likely to create epistemic costs. These costs can be avoided and epistemic benefits gained if group members only partly detect their group’s diversity. There is thus an epistemic reason for context-dependent limitations on scientists’ insight into the diversity of their group. (shrink)
Martin Heidegger is, perhaps, the most controversial philosopher of the twentieth-century. Little has been written on him or about his work and its significance for educational thought. This unique collection by a group of international scholars reexamines Heidegger's work and its legacy for educational thought.
A growing interest in and concern about the adequacy and fairness of modern peer-review practices in publication and funding are apparent across a wide range of scientific disciplines. Although questions about reliability, accountability, reviewer bias, and competence have been raised, there has been very little direct research on these variables.
First published in 1974, this book presents a coherent collection of major articles by Richard Stanley Peters. It displays his work on psychology and philosophy, with special attention given to the areas of ethical development and human understanding. The book is split into four parts. The first combines a critique of psychological theories, especially those of Freud, Piaget and the Behaviourists, with some articles on the nature and development of reason and the emotions. The second looks in historical order (...) at ethical development. The third part combines a novel approach to the problem of understanding other people, whilst the fourth part is biographical in an unusual way. The volume can be viewed as a companion to the author’s _Ethics and Education _and will appeal to students and teachers of education, philosophy and psychology, as well as to the interested non-specialist reader. (shrink)
It has been argued that implicit biases are operative in philosophy and lead to significant epistemic costs in the field. Philosophers working on this issue have focussed mainly on implicit gender and race biases. They have overlooked ideological bias, which targets political orientations. Psychologists have found ideological bias in their field and have argued that it has negative epistemic effects on scientific research. I relate this debate to the field of philosophy and argue that if, as some studies suggest, the (...) same bias also exists in philosophy then it will lead to hitherto unrecognised epistemic hazards in the field. Furthermore, the bias is epistemically different from the more familiar biases in respects that are important for epistemology, ethics, and metaphilosophy. (shrink)
When scientists or science reporters communicate research results to the public, this often involves ethical and epistemic risks. One such a risk arises when scientific claims cause cognitive or behavioral changes in the audience that contribute to the self-fulfillment of these claims. Focusing on such effects, I argue that the ethical and epistemic problem that they pose is likely to be much broader than hitherto appreciated. Moreover, it is often due to a psychological phenomenon that has been neglected in the (...) research on science communication, namely that many people tend to conform to descriptive norms, that is, norms capturing (perceptions of) what others commonly do, think, or feel. Because of this tendency, science communication can produce significant social harm. I contend that scientists have a responsibility to assess the risk of this potential harm and consider adopting strategies to mitigate it. I introduce one such a strategy and argue that its implementation is independently well motivated by the fact that it helps improve scientific accuracy. (shrink)
Communication plays a vital and unique role in society-often blamed for problems when it breaks down and at the same time heralded as a panacea for human relations. A sweeping history of communication, _Speaking Into the Air_ illuminates our expectations of communication as both historically specific and a fundamental knot in Western thought. "This is a most interesting and thought-provoking book.... Peters maintains that communication is ultimately unthinkable apart from the task of establishing a kingdom in which people can (...) live together peacefully. Given our condition as mortals, communication remains not primarily a problem of technology, but of power, ethics and art." —Antony Anderson, _New Scientist_ "Guaranteed to alter your thinking about communication.... Original, erudite, and beautifully written, this book is a gem." —_Kirkus Reviews_ "Peters writes to reclaim the notion of authenticity in a media-saturated world. It's this ultimate concern that renders his book a brave, colorful exploration of the hydra-headed problems presented by a rapid-fire popular culture." —_Publishers Weekly_ What we have here is a failure-to-communicate book. Funny thing is, it communicates beautifully.... _Speaking Into the Air_ delivers what superb serious books always do-hours of intellectual challenge as one absorbs the gradually unfolding vision of an erudite, creative author." —Carlin Romano, _Philadelphia Inquirer_. (shrink)
Since the original publication of _Playing God?_ in 1996, three developments in genetic technology have moved to the center of the public conversation about the ethics of human bioengineering. Cloning, the completion of the human genome project, and, most recently, the controversy over stem cell research have all sparked lively debates among religious thinkers and the makers of public policy. In this updated edition, Ted Peters illuminates the key issues in these debates and continues to make deft connections between (...) our questions about God and our efforts to manage technological innovations with wisdom. (shrink)
Introduction: education, philosophy and politics -- Writing the self: Wittgenstein, confession and pedagogy -- Nietzsche, nihilism and the critique of modernity: post-Nietzschean philosophy of education -- Heidegger, education and modernity -- Truth-telling as an educational practice of the self: Foucault and the ethics of subjectivity -- Neoliberal governmentality: Foucault on the birth of biopolitics -- Lyotard, nihilism and education -- Gilles Deleuze's 'societies of control': from disciplinary pedagogy to perpetual training -- Geophilosophy, education and the pedagogy of the concept - (...) Humanism, Derrida and the new humanities -- Politics and deconstruction: Derrida, neoliberalism and democracy -- Neopragmatism, ethnocentrism and the politics of the ethnos: Rorty's 'postmodernist bourgeois liberalism' -- Achieving America: postmodernism and Rorty's critique of the cultural left -- Deranging the investigations: Cavell on the philosophy of the child -- White philosophy in/of America. (shrink)
I Once gave a series of talks to a group of psychoanalysts who had trained together and was rather struck by the statement made by one of them that, psychologically speaking, ‘reason’ means saying ‘No’ to oneself. Plato, of course, introduced the concept of ‘reason’ in a similar way in The Republic with the case of the thirsty man who is checked in the satisfaction of his thirst by reflection on the outcome of drinking. But Plato was also so impressed (...) by man's ability to construct mathematical systems by reasoning that he called it the divine element of the soul. And what has this ability to do with that of saying ‘No’ to oneself? And what have either of these abilities to do with the disposition to be impartial which is intimately connected with our notion of a reasonable man, or with what David Hume called a ‘wonderful and unintelligible instinct’ in our souls by means of which men are able to make inferences from past to future? It must readily be admitted that there are few surface similarities between the uses of ‘reason’ in these contexts. No obvious features protrude which might be fastened on as logically necessary conditions for the use of the term ‘reason’. But beneath the surface there may be lurking common notions that are, or can be, of importance in our lives. To make them explicit is to give structure and substance to what is often called ‘the life of reason’ and to show that this is not inconsistent with a life of passion as is often thought. This seems eminently worth attempting at a time when many people seem hostile to reason. For those who demand instant gratification, who adopt some existentialist stance, who cultivate violence or mystical experience, or who merely do what others do, are all, in various ways, resisting the claims of reason on them. And what they are resisting is not just the demand that they should reflect and calculate; it is also the influence of passions and sentiments that underlie a form of life. (shrink)
Selective scientific realists disagree on which theoretical posits should be regarded as essential to the empirical success of a scientific theory. A satisfactory account of essentialness will show that the (approximate) truth of the selected posits adequately explains the success of the theory. Therefore, (a) the essential elements must be discernible prospectively; (b) there cannot be a priori criteria regarding which type of posit is essential; and (c) the overall success of a theory, or ‘cluster’ of propositions, not only individual (...) derivations, should be explicable. Given these desiderata, I propose a “unification criterion” for identifying essential elements. (shrink)
This article is concerned with developing a philosophical approach to a number of significant changes to academic publishing, and specifically the global journal knowledge system wrought by a range of new digital technologies that herald the third age of the journal as an electronic, interactive and mixed-media form of scientific communication. The paper emerges from an Editors' Collective, a small New Zealand-based organisation comprised of editors and reviewers of academic journals mostly in the fields of education and philosophy. The paper (...) is the result of a collective writing process. (shrink)
It has recently been suggested that politically motivated cognition leads progressive individuals to form beliefs that underestimate real differences between social groups and to process information selectively to support these beliefs and an egalitarian outlook. I contend that this tendency, which I shall call ‘egalitarian confirmation bias’, is often ‘Mandevillian’ in nature. That is, while it is epistemically problematic in one’s own cognition, it often has effects that significantly improve other people’s truth tracking, especially that of stigmatized individuals in academia. (...) Due to its Mandevillian character, egalitarian confirmation bias isn’t only epistemically but also ethically beneficial, as it helps decrease social injustice. Moreover, since egalitarian confirmation bias has Mandevillian effects especially in academia, and since progressives are particularly likely to display the bias, there is an epistemic reason for maintaining the often-noted political majority of progressives in academia. That is, while many researchers hold that diversity in academia is epistemically beneficial because it helps reduce bias, I argue that precisely because political diversity would help reduce egalitarian confirmation bias, it would in fact in one important sense be epistemically costly. (shrink)
This paper reviews two main historical approaches to creativity: the Romanticist approach, based on the culture of the irrational, and the Enlightenment approach, based on the culture of the objective. It defends a paradigm of creativity as a sum of rich semiotic systems that form the basis of distributed knowledge and learning, reviews historical ideas of the university, and identifies two conflicting mainstream models in regards to understanding of the university as a public good: the ‘Public’ University circa 1960–1980, and (...) the ‘post-historical’ university. Based on practical experiences, and on previous works by Peters and Jandrić, it develops the new model of ‘the creative university as digital public university’, and argues that it provides a useful philosophical goal for directing present and future practices of the contemporary university. (shrink)
Richard Peters pioneered a form of philosophical analysis in relation to educational discourse that was criticised by some at the time and is today somewhat out of fashion. This paper argues that much of the objection to Peters' methodology is based on a misunderstanding of what it does and does not involve, that consequently philosophical analysis is often wrongly seen as one of a number of comparable alternative traditions or approaches to philosophy of education between which one needs (...) to choose, and that, partly consequentially, there is a relative lack of philosophical expertise among today's ‘philosophers of education’. Furthermore, his methodology vindicated, it can be said that Peters was indeed ‘nearly right about education’, perhaps more so than he has subsequently come to believe himself. (shrink)
Confirmation bias is one of the most widely discussed epistemically problematic cognitions, challenging reliable belief formation and the correction of inaccurate views. Given its problematic nature, it remains unclear why the bias evolved and is still with us today. To offer an explanation, several philosophers and scientists have argued that the bias is in fact adaptive. I critically discuss three recent proposals of this kind before developing a novel alternative, what I call the ‘reality-matching account’. According to the account, confirmation (...) bias evolved because it helps us influence people and social structures so that they come to match our beliefs about them. This can result in significant developmental and epistemic benefits for us and other people, ensuring that over time we don’t become epistemically disconnected from social reality but can navigate it more easily. While that might not be the only evolved function of confirmation bias, it is an important one that has so far been neglected in the theorizing on the bias. (shrink)
Why do we engage in folk psychology, that is, why do we think about and ascribe propositional attitudes such as beliefs, desires, intentions etc. to people? On the standard view, folk psychology is primarily for mindreading, for detecting mental states and explaining and/or predicting people’s behaviour in terms of them. In contrast, McGeer (1996, 2007, 2015), and Zawidzki (2008, 2013) maintain that folk psychology is not primarily for mindreading but for mindshaping, that is, for moulding people’s behavior and minds (e.g., (...) via the imposition of social norms) so that coordination becomes easier. Mindreading is derived from and only as effective as it is because of mindshaping, not vice versa. I critically assess McGeer’s, and Zawidzki’s proposal and contend that three common motivations for the mindshaping view do not provide sufficient support for their particular version of it. I argue furthermore that their proposal underestimates the role that epistemic processing plays for mindshaping. And I provide reasons for favouring an alternative according to which, in social cognition involving ascriptions of propositional attitudes, neither mindshaping nor mindreading is primary but both are complementary in that effective mindshaping depends as much on mindreading as effective mindreading depends on mindshaping. (shrink)