The National Center for Biomedical Ontology is a consortium that comprises leading informaticians, biologists, clinicians, and ontologists, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Roadmap, to develop innovative technology and methods that allow scientists to record, manage, and disseminate biomedical information and knowledge in machine-processable form. The goals of the Center are (1) to help unify the divergent and isolated efforts in ontology development by promoting high quality open-source, standards-based tools to create, manage, and use ontologies, (2) to create (...) new software tools so that scientists can use ontologies to annotate and analyze biomedical data, (3) to provide a national resource for the ongoing evaluation, integration, and evolution of biomedical ontologies and associated tools and theories in the context of driving biomedical projects (DBPs), and (4) to disseminate the tools and resources of the Center and to identify, evaluate, and communicate best practices of ontology development to the biomedical community. Through the research activities within the Center, collaborations with the DBPs, and interactions with the biomedical community, our goal is to help scientists to work more effectively in the e-science paradigm, enhancing experiment design, experiment execution, data analysis, information synthesis, hypothesis generation and testing, and understand human disease. (shrink)
The National Center for Biomedical Ontology is now in its seventh year. The goals of this National Center for Biomedical Computing are to: create and maintain a repository of biomedical ontologies and terminologies; build tools and web services to enable the use of ontologies and terminologies in clinical and translational research; educate their trainees and the scientific community broadly about biomedical ontology and ontology-based technology and best practices; and collaborate with a variety of groups who develop and use ontologies and (...) terminologies in biomedicine. The centerpiece of the National Center for Biomedical Ontology is a web-based resource known as BioPortal. BioPortal makes available for research in computationally useful forms more than 270 of the world's biomedical ontologies and terminologies, and supports a wide range of web services that enable investigators to use the ontologies to annotate and retrieve data, to generate value sets and special-purpose lexicons, and to perform advanced analytics on a wide range of biomedical data. (shrink)
One common interpretation of the orthodox Indian prohibition on desire is that it is a prohibition on phenomenologically salient desires. The Nyāyasūtra and Brahmasiddhi seem to support this view. I argue that this interpretation is mistaken. The Vedāntins draw a distinction between counting some fact as a reason for acting and counting one's desire as a reason for acting, and prohibit the latter. The Naiyāyikas draw a distinction between desiring to avoid some state of affairs and believing that some state (...) of affairs is unimportant , and advocate the latter. Both deny that the state to which the English word ‘desire’ refers is a necessary condition of acting. (shrink)
Deutsch and Hayden have proposed an alternative formulation of quantum mechanics which is completely local. We argue that their proposal must be understood as having a form of ‘gauge freedom’ according to which mathematically distinct states are physically equivalent. Once this gauge freedom is taken into account, their formulation is no longer local.
When people want to identify the causes of an event, assign credit or blame, or learn from their mistakes, they often reflect on how things could have gone differently. In this kind of reasoning, one considers a counterfactual world in which some events are different from their real-world counterparts and considers what else would have changed. Researchers have recently proposed several probabilistic models that aim to capture how people do (or should) reason about counterfactuals. We present a new model and (...) show that it accounts better for human inferences than several alternative models. Our model builds on the work of Pearl (2000), and extends his approach in a way that accommodates backtracking inferences and that acknowledges the difference between counterfactual interventions and counterfactual observations. We present six new experiments and analyze data from four experiments carried out by Rips (2010), and the results suggest that the new model provides an accurate account of both mean human judgments and the judgments of individuals. (shrink)
This concluding section applies the results of the previous part to some important thermodynamical systems. Even if time reversibility is allowed, it is shown that the flow vectors used to derive Onsager reciprocity from time translational invariance is of questionable validity. The fundamental fluctuation dissipation theorem of Callen, Welton, Green and Kubo which underpin descriptions of irreversibility, insofar as they are derived from time translational invariance, is also questioned; from Part I, they cannot be derived properly from time reversal symmetry. (...) The common view of entropy as some type of caloric fluid flow is critiqued as not conforming to the Kelvin Clausius Planck definition. An example of developing reciprocal relations to any order in the coupling indices based on the peculiar physical and defining characteristics of conductive heat is given for the steady state whenever a temperature gradient is present, free from time reversible and translation assumptions. A major challenge in the theory is to extend it to isothermal states. It is concluded that other more deterministic views mediated by authentic work anamnesis may be needed for long term coherence. (shrink)
'Correlations without correlata' is an influential way of thinking of quantum entanglement as a form primitive correlation which nonetheless maintains locality of quantum theory. A number of arguments have sought to suggest that such a view leads either to internal inconsistency or to conflict with the empirical predictions of quantum mechanics. Here wew explicate and provide a partial defence of the notion, arguing that these objections import unwarranted conceptions of correlation properties as hidden variables. A more plausible account sees the (...) properties in terms of Everettian relative states. The ontological robustness of entanglement is also defended from recent objections. (shrink)
I argue that there are Leibnizian-style cosmological arguments for the existence of God which start from very mild premises which affirm the mere possibility of a principle of sufficient reason. The utilization of such premises gives a great deal of plausibility to such types of argumentation. I spend the majority of the paper defending three major objections to such mild premises viz., a reductio argument from Peter van Inwagen and William Rowe, which proffers and defends the idea that a necessary (...) proposition cannot explain a contingent one. I, then, turn to an amelioration of the Rowe/van Inwagen argument which attempts to appeal to an entailment relation between explanans and explanandum that is fettered out in terms of relevance logic. Subsequent to dispelling with that worry, I tackle objections to the utilization of weak principles of sufficient reason that depend essentially upon agglomerative accounts of explanation. (shrink)
Environmental Ethics and the Mahābhārata : The Case of the Burning of the Forest Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-20 DOI 10.1007/s11841-011-0264-2 Authors Christopher G. Framarin, Department of Philosophy, University of Calgary, 2500 University Dr. NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada Journal Sophia Online ISSN 1873-930X Print ISSN 0038-1527.
: Nisk?makarma is generally understood nonliterally as action done without desire of a certain sort. It is argued here that all desires are prohibited by nisk?makarma. Two objections are considered: (1) desire is a necessary condition of action, and (2) the Indian tradition as a whole accepts desire as a necessary condition of action. A distinction is drawn here between a goal and a desire, and it is argued that goals.
How should our beliefs change over time? The standard answer to this question is the Bayesian one. But while the Bayesian account works well with respect to beliefs about the world, it breaks down when applied to self-locating or de se beliefs. In this work I explore ways to extend Bayesianism in order to accommodate de se beliefs. I begin by assessing, and ultimately rejecting, attempts to resolve these issues by appealing to Dutch books and chance-credence principles. I then propose (...) and examine several accounts of the dynamics of de se beliefs. These examinations suggest that an extension of Bayesianism to de se beliefs will require some uncomfortable choices. I conclude by laying out the options available, and assessing the prospects of each. (shrink)
Many authors claim that certain Indian (Hindu) texts and traditions deny that nature has intrinsic value. If nature has value at all, it has value only as a means to mokṡa (liberation). This view is implausible as an interpretation of any Indian tradition that accepts the doctrines of ahiṁsā (non-harm) and karma. The proponent must explain the connection between ahiṁsā and merit by citing the connection between ahiṁsā and mokṡa: ahiṁsā is valuable, and therefore produces merit, because ahiṁsā is instrumentally (...) valuable as a means to mokṡa. Ahiṁsā is a means to mokṡa, however, because it produces merit. Hence the explanation is circular. Additionally, this view entails that morality is strictly arbitrary – it might just as well be that hiṁsā (harm) produces merit, and ahiṁsā produces demerit. An alternative interpretation that avoids these problems states that the value of ahiṁsā derives from the intrinsic value of the unharmed entities. (shrink)
The Saṃnyāsa Upaniṣads characterize the life of the saṃnyāsin as devoid of earthly pleasures. At the same time, these and other texts record confusion and suspicion toward those who would pursue such a life, and disbelief that such severe austerity could be required. To many, the saṃnyāsin seems to forsake the good life in forsaking earthly pleasures. I call this the ‘Precluded Pleasures Objection’ to the saṃnyāsin ideal. A number of replies to the Precluded Pleasures Objection might be drawn from (...) the Saṃnyāsa Upaniṣads themselves. The first points out that the saṃnyāsin ideal is typically reserved for members of the twice-born classes, and perhaps only brāhmaṇa men, who have reached relative... (shrink)
... the Earth, San Francisco, CA: Sierra Club Books. Hill Jr., T. (2006)aFinding Value inNature«, Environmental Values 15(3): 331¥41. ¦¦(1983) aIdeals of Human Excellence and Preserving Natural Environments«, Environmental Ethics 5(3): ...
Recently, Brukner and Zeilinger have presented a number of arguments suggesting that the Shannon information is not well defined as a measure of information in quantum mechanics. If established, this result would be highly significant, as the Shannon information is fundamental to the way we think about information not only in classical but also in quantum information theory. On consideration, however, these arguments are found unsuccessful; I go on to suggest how they might be arising as a consequence of Zeilinger`s (...) proposed foundational principle for quantum mechanics. (shrink)
In Pyth. 2.52-5 Pindar describes Archilochus as 'growing fat on dire words of hatred'. This article argues that Pindar portrays Archilochus as a glutton in the manner of iambic invective. A glutton is seen as a person who grows fat at the expense of others, and so fails in the matter of "kháris". In this light, Archilochus, the poet of blame, stands with Ixion in the poem as a negative paradigm, serving as a foil to Pindar's praise of Hieron. Praise (...) is thus placed in a setting that recognizes its opposite: praise is only meaningful when seen in relation to blame. Pindar's poetry is not the product of gluttony; it is a return that offers a necessary recognition of excellence. (shrink)
The essay discusses how biblical interpreters employ the concept of trauma reflected in the Old Testament and theories of symbolic representation that can help foster recovery from trauma. The book of Jeremiah, as a test case, demonstrates the healing capacity of the metaphor of suffering as divine punishment.
Specification of an appropriate relationship, or division of labor, between sociology and philosophy, remains a sensitive issue. Anthony Giddens offers a distinctive variant in his concern, in structuration theory, to develop an ontology of the social without participating in epistemological debate and without articulating and justifying a normative theory (whether a philosophical anthropology or a political philosophy). Both omissions impair the wider reception of structuration theory. The second is the more serious, however, insofar as the postempiricist community of inquirers may (...) make a virtue of the ethical and political factors that inform social science, but it does not yet have any settled means of assessing different, and contesting, values; even if it did, it could not invent Giddens's position for him. There are signs that Giddens now recognizes the need to formulate and justify models of the good society and of the actualized self. (shrink)
One common interpretation of the orthodox Indian prohibition on desire is that it is a prohibition on phenomenologically salient desires. The Nyāyasūtra and Brahmasiddhi seem to support this view. I argue that this interpretation is mistaken. The Vedāntins draw a distinction between counting some fact as a reason for acting (icchā) and counting one's desire (rāga) as a reason for acting, and prohibit the latter. The Naiyāyikas draw a distinction between desiring to avoid some state of affairs (dveṣa) and believing (...) that some state of affairs is unimportant (vairāgya), and advocate the latter. Both deny that the state to which the English word 'desire' refers is a necessary condition of acting. (shrink)
Conditionalization is a widely endorsed rule for updating one’s beliefs. But a sea of complaints have been raised about it, including worries regarding how the rule handles error correction, changing desiderata of theory choice, evidence loss, self-locating beliefs, learning about new theories, and confirmation. In light of such worries, a number of authors have suggested replacing Conditionalization with a different rule — one that appeals to what I’ll call “ur-priors”. But different authors have understood the rule in different ways, and (...) these different understandings solve different problems. In this paper, I aim to map out the terrain regarding these issues. I survey the different problems that might motivate the adoption of such a rule, flesh out the different understandings of the rule that have been proposed, and assess their pros and cons. I conclude by suggesting that one particular batch of proposals, proposals that appeal to what I’ll call “loaded evidential standards”, are especially promising. (shrink)
In a comparison of the principles of special relativity and of quantum mechanics, the former theory is marked by its relative economy and apparent explanatory simplicity. A number of theorists have thus been led to search for a small number of postulates - essentially information theoretic in nature - that would play the role in quantum mechanics that the relativity principle and the light postulate jointly play in Einstein's 1905 special relativity theory. The purpose of the present paper is to (...) resist this idea, at least in so far as it is supposed to reveal the fundamental form of the theory. It is argued that the methodology of Einstein's 1905 theory represents a victory of pragmatism over explanatory depth; and that its adoption only made sense in the context of the chaotic state state of physics at the start of the 20th century - as Einstein well knew. (shrink)
In Frogs Aristophanes presents the comic katabasis of Dionysus, whose quest is to bring back the recently deceased Euripides and restore him to the Athenian literary scene. In the prologue Dionysus and his slave, Xanthias, seek out Heracles and ask his advice about the journey below. After some comic play, as they consider various short-cuts, Heracles finally gives Dionysus a serious lesson in Underworld geography . The various items on this itinerary – Charon, terrifying beasts, filth and excrement, sinners, μσται (...) – are all encountered on Dionysus' journey, each transformed for humorous effect. Dionysus crosses the lake on Charon's barque, but is forced to row . At this point we have the introduction of the off-stage chorus that gives the play its name. In what appears to be a kind of false parodos Dionysus engages in a metrical tug-of-war with the frogs that finally spoils his rowing rhythm. After disembarking, he is joined by Xanthias, who was forced to walk around the lake, and they find themselves in the place of σκτος κα βρβορος , where they see the miscreants . In place of εις and θηρα μυρα δειτατα , our heroes are terrified by the figure of Empousa, who is seen by Xanthias alone . When Empousa is gone, there appears the chorus of initiates, whose song constitutes the parodos. (shrink)
I argue that the theory of chance proposed by David Lewis has three problems: (i) it is time asymmetric in a manner incompatible with some of the chance theories of physics, (ii) it is incompatible with statistical mechanical chances, and (iii) the content of Lewis's Principal Principle depends on how admissibility is cashed out, but there is no agreement as to what admissible evidence should be. I proposes two modifications of Lewis's theory which resolve these difficulties. I conclude by tentatively (...) proposing a third modification of Lewis's theory, one which explains many of the common features shared by the chance theories of physics. (shrink)
In Reasons and Persons, Parfit (1984) posed a challenge: provide a satisfying normative account that solves the Non-Identity Problem, avoids the Repugnant and Absurd Conclusions, and solves the Mere-Addition Paradox. In response, some have suggested that we look toward person-affecting views of morality for a solution. But the person-affecting views that have been offered so far have been unable to satisfy Parfit's four requirements, and these views have been subject to a number of independent complaints. This paper describes a person-affecting (...) account which meets Parfit's challenge. The account satisfies Parfit's four requirements, and avoids many of the criticisms that have been raised against person-affecting views. (shrink)
A number of cases involving self-locating beliefs have been discussed in the Bayesian literature. I suggest that many of these cases, such as the sleeping beauty case, are entangled with issues that are independent of self-locating beliefs per se. In light of this, I propose a division of labor: we should address each of these issues separately before we try to provide a comprehensive account of belief updating. By way of example, I sketch some ways of extending Bayesianism in order (...) to accommodate these issues. Then, putting these other issues aside, I sketch some ways of extending Bayesianism in order to accommodate self-locating beliefs. Finally, I propose a constraint on updating rules, the "Learning Principle", which rules out certain kinds of troubling belief changes, and I use this principle to assess some of the available options. (shrink)
This essay argues that unlike many contemporary christological anthropologies that begin with protology or eschatology, T. F. Torrance’s christological anthropology begins with the incarnate Christ as he confronts us in the midst of God’s redemptive act. This approach is labeled Soteriological-Christological Anthropology. Torrance himself does not develop this anthropological method in a sustained manner, therefore, this essay attempts to develop Torrance’s method by examining his doctrine of Christ’s fallen human nature and his epistemology. After developing Torrance’s Soteriological-Christological Anthropology the challenges (...) and prospects of this view are addressed. (shrink)
This pair of articles provides a critical commentary on contemporary approaches to statistical mechanical probabilities. These articles focus on the two ways of understanding these probabilities that have received the most attention in the recent literature: the epistemic indifference approach, and the Lewis-style regularity approach. These articles describe these approaches, highlight the main points of contention, and make some attempts to advance the discussion. The first of these articles provides a brief sketch of statistical mechanics, and discusses the indifference approach (...) to statistical mechanical probabilities. (shrink)
Some of the most interesting recent work in formal epistemology has focused on developing accuracy-based approaches to justifying Bayesian norms. These approaches are interesting not only because they offer new ways to justify these norms, but because they potentially offer a way to justify all of these norms by appeal to a single, attractive epistemic goal: having accurate beliefs. Recently, Easwaran & Fitelson (2012) have raised worries regarding whether such “all-accuracy” or “purely alethic” approaches can accommodate and justify evidential Bayesian (...) norms. In response, proponents of purely alethic approaches, such as Pettigrew (2013b) and Joyce (2016), have argued that scoring rule arguments provide us with compatible and purely alethic justifications for the traditional Bayesian norms, including evidential norms. In this paper I raise several challenges to this claim. First, I argue that many of the justifications these scoring rule arguments provide are not compatible. Second, I raise worries for the claim that these scoring rule arguments provide purely alethic justifications. Third, I turn to assess the more general question of whether purely alethic justifications for evidential norms are even possible, and argue that, without making some contentious assumptions, they are not. Fourth, I raise some further worries for the possibility of providing purely alethic justifications for content-sensitive evidential norms, like the Principal Principle. (shrink)
Medhātithi reduces Manu’s descriptions of the householder as support and source of the āśramas to his performance of the five great sacrifices. Patrick Olivelle characterizes Medhātithi’s interpretation as “radical,” but a strong preliminary case might be made in its favor. Nonetheless, there are a number of reasons to resist Medhātithi’s interpretation. The more plausible interpretation of these passages is also the most straightforward. The householder is the support of the other three āśramas because he is economically productive. He is the (...) source of the āśramas because he has children. The householder is the best of the āśrama, in turn, because the broad benefits that he produces by these means, in particular, are so essentially important. Descriptions of the householder as source and support of the āśramas appear in a wide range of texts. In most of these contexts, they play a central role in justifying the status of the householder. At the same time, these claims often betray the same kind of ambiguity that Medhātithi notes. The fact that Manu counts these descriptions as distinct reasons for the householder’s superiority does not imply that other texts say the same thing. His precedent, however, is worth keeping in mind when interpreting parallel passages in other contexts. (shrink)
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