User participation is a critical ingredient for relevant technology development, whether in agriculture or industry. This has long been recognized in private sector R&D firms. In most public sector agricultural research organizations in developing countries, however, systematic involvement of farmers, especially poor farmers, in research has been weak. These farmers are rarely powerful or well organized enough to bring pressure to bear on government agencies to respond to their needs and priorities. Farmer-responsive research methods, such as on-farm research, farming systems (...) research, and farmer participatory research, have been introduced into research organizations to compensate for the lack of mechanisms for bringing farmers' views into the formulation of research priorities and agendas. The impact of these approaches in achieving this objective, however, has been less than hoped for.Insufficient attention to the political and institutional dimensions of developing client-responsive research is a major reason for this lack of impact. To bring about permanent change, farmer-responsive research methods need to be reinforced by changes in the balance of power between research and its clients and in the constellation of decisionmakers responsible for formulating research agendas. Participatory planning methods applied at the level of research programs provide new opportunities for involving farmers in decision-making about program priorities and for systematically incorporating information about client's needs. Recent experiments with strengthening farmers' associations and linking them with research organizations suggest new opportunities for increasing farmers' ability to express demand, act as an external pressure group, and serve as viable partners with research organizations. (shrink)
'Methinks I am like a man, who having narrowly escap'd shipwreck', David Hume writes in A Treatise of Human Nature, 'has yet the temerity to put out to sea in the same leaky weather-beaten vessel, and even carries his ambition so far as to think of compassing the globe'. With these words, Hume begins a memorable depiction of the crisis of philosophy and his turn to moral and political philosophy as the path forward. In this groundbreaking work, Thomas W. Merrill (...) shows how Hume's turn is the core of his thought, linking Hume's metaphysical and philosophical crisis to the moral-political inquiries of his mature thought. Merrill shows how Hume's comparison of himself to Socrates in the introduction to the Treatise illuminates the dramatic structure and argument of the book as a whole, and he traces Hume's underappreciated argument about the political role of philosophy in the Essays. (shrink)
In this article John Merrill, a long-time observer of the journalistic scene and author/co-author of more than two-dozen books, picks the brain of Niccolo Machiavelli, who, if he had been asked, might have had some interesting observations about the ethics of journalism.
In a series of papers over a period of several years Barry Smith andWerner Ceusters have offered a number of cogent criticisms of historical approaches to creating, maintaining, and applying biomedical terminologies and ontologies. And they have urged the adoption of what they refer to as a “realism-based” approach. Indeed, at times they insist that the realism-based approach not only offers clear advantages and a well-founded methodological basis for ontology development and evaluation, but that such a realist perspective is in (...) fact necessary for understanding and using terminologies and ontologies in science. -/- This paper explores a number of questions surrounding such claims, provides a careful characterization of the type of realism recommended by Smith and Ceusters, and evaluates the role that realism plays in the critiques and recommendations that they offer. The conclusion reached is that while Smith’s and Ceusters’ criticisms of prior practice in the treatment of ontologies and terminologies in medical informatics are often both perceptive and well founded, and while at least some of their own proposals demonstrate obvious merit and promise, none of this either follows from or requires the brand of realism that they propose. (shrink)
Philosophers frequently struggle with the relation of metaphysics to the everyday world, with its practical value, and with its relation to empirical science. This paper distinguishes several different models of the relation between philosophical ontology and applied (scientific) ontology that have been advanced in the history of philosopy. Adoption of a strong participation model for the philosophical ontologist in science is urged, and requirements and consequences of the participation model are explored. This approach provides both a principled view and justification (...) of the role of the philosophical ontologist in contemporary empirical science as well as guidelines for integrating philosophers and philosophical contributions into the practice of science. (shrink)
In "Realism and Reason" Hilary Putnam has offered an apparently strong argument that the position of metaphysical realism provides an incoherent model of the relation of a correct scientific theory to the world. However, although Putnam's attack upon the notion of the "intended" interpretation of a scientific theory is sound, it is shown here that realism may be formulated in such a way that the realist need make no appeal to any "intended" interpretation of such a theory. Consequently, it can (...) be shown that realism is immune to Putnam's criticism and that attempts at reformulating this criticism are not likely to meet with success. (shrink)
The Clinical Ethics Credentialing Project (CECP) was intiated in 2007 in response to the lack of uniform standards for both the training of clinical ethics consultants, and for evaluating their work as consultants. CECP participants, all practicing clinical ethics consultants, met monthly to apply a standard evaluation instrument, the “QI tool”, to their consultation notes. This paper describes, from a qualitative perspective, how participants grappled with applying standards to their work. Although the process was marked by resistance and disagreement, it (...) was also noteworthy for the sustained engagement by participants over the year of the project, and a high level of acceptance by its conclusion. (shrink)
This collection of essays, commissioned by the President’s Council on Bioethics, explores a fundamental concept crucial to today’s discourse in law and ethics in general and in bioethics in particular. Since its formation in 2001, the council has frequently used the term “human dignity” in its discussions and reports. In this volume scholars from the fields of philosophy, medicine and medical ethics, law, political science, and public policy address the issue of what the concept of “human dignity” entails and its (...) proper role in bioethical controversies. __Human Dignity and Bioethics_ _is an attempt to clarify a controversial concept, one that is a critical component in the decisions of policymakers. (shrink)
: Care work straddles the divide between activities performed out of love and those performed for pay. The tensions created for workers by this divide raise questions concerning connections between recognition and redistribution. Through an analysis of mobilization among childcare workers, we argue that care workers can address redistribution and recognition simultaneously through vocabularies of both skill and virtue. We conclude with a discussion of strategies to overcome the false dichotomy between recognition and redistribution.
This paper introduces a hybrid model that unifies connectionist, symbolic, and reinforcement learning into an integrated architecture for bottom-up skill learning in reactive sequential decision tasks. The model is designed for an agent to learn continuously from on-going experience in the world, without the use of preconceived concepts and knowledge. Both procedural skills and high-level knowledge are acquired through an agent’s experience interacting with the world. Computational experiments with the model in two domains are reported.
In “Ontological realism: Methodology or misdirection?” I offered a detailed critique of the position referred to as “realism” taken by Barry Smith and Werner Ceusters. This position is claimed to serve as the basis for a “realist methodology” that they seek to impose on the development of scientific ontologies, particularly within the biomedical sciences. Here, in part responding to a reply to those criticisms by Smith and Ceusters, I return the focus to an examination of fundamental incoherencies in this realist (...) approach and propose an alternative that is amenable to much of what Smith and Ceusters hope to accomplish. And I sketch what I believe is needed to advance ontology theory and practice in the sciences. (shrink)
We present a skill learning model CLARION. Different from existing models of high-level skill learning that use a topdown approach (that is, turning declarative knowledge into procedural knowledge), we adopt a bottom-up approach toward low-level skill learning, where procedural knowledge develops first and declarative knowledge develops later. CLAR- ION is formed by integrating connectionist, reinforcement, and symbolic learning methods to perform on-line learning. We compare the model with human data in a minefield navigation task. A match between the model and (...) human data is found in several respects. (shrink)
This paper advances a detailed exploration of the complex relationships among terms, concepts, and synonymy in the UMLS Metathesaurus, and proposes the study and understanding of the Metathesaurus from a model-theoretic perspective. Initial sections provide the background and motivation for such an approach, and a careful informal treatment of these notions is offered as a context and basis for the formal analysis. What emerges from this is a set of puzzles and confusions in the Metathesaurus and its literature pertaining to (...) synonymy and its relation to terms and concepts. A model theory for a segment of the Metathesaurus is then constructed, and its adequacy relative to the informal treatment is demonstrated. Finally, it is shown how this approach clarifies and addresses the puzzles educed from the informal discussion, and how the model-theoretic perspective may be employed to evaluate some fundamental criticisms of the Metathesaurus. (shrink)
MedDRA (the Medical Dictionary for Regulatory Activities Terminology) is a controlled vocabulary widely used as a medical coding scheme. However, MedDRA’s characterization of its structural hierarchy exhibits some confusing and paradoxical features. The goal of this paper is to examine these features, determine whether there is a coherent view of the MedDRA hierarchy that emerges, and explore what lessons are to be learned from this for using MedDRA and similar terminologies in a broad medical informatics context that includes relations among (...) multiple disparate terminologies, thesauri, and ontologies. (shrink)
Babylon Knowledge Explorer (BKE) is an integrated suite of tools and information sources developed in GlaxoSmithKline's Analysis, Applications, and Research Technologies Department to support the prototyping and implementation of ontology-driven information systems and ontology-enhanced knowledge applications. In this paper we describe the current state of BKE development and focus on some of its distinctive or novel approaches, highlighting -/- * How BKE makes use of multiple large pre-existing ontologies in support of text and data mining. * The methodology employed for (...) importing an ontology and making it immediately accessible to BKE's tools, interfaces, and API. * A formal description of BKE's ontology-based fact model and how this is employed in implementing information retrieval and data mining capabilities. * A sample application built on BKE that illustrates an ontologyenhanced machine learning tool. (shrink)
The most important thesis of "Of Miracles" has no special connection with miracles: I mean the perfectly general thesis that testimonial evidence should be evaluated by the method of balancing likelihoods, which is a relatively informal version of the calculus of changes (or of probabilities). C. S. Peirce argues that the method is radically unsuited to the assessment of historical testimony. In this paper, I do essentially two things: (1) set out both an informal and a formal account of Hume’s (...) method; and (2) collect, systematize, and discuss Peirce’s somewhat scattered animadversions upon Hume’s use of this method. As part of (2), I explore some lines of thought that Peirce suggests but does not develop. (shrink)
Journalism is viewed here as being in danger of becoming a profession, thereby changing the field into a narrow, monolithic, self?centered fellowship of true believers devoid of outward?looking and service orientations.
Raw (pragmatic) and potential (theoretical) power is seen as the key to press freedom in various global settings. Because the locus of power determines the locus of freedom, the authors suggest a model to understand where the raw and potential power resides within a matrix consisting of the State, the Media Elite, the Journalists, or the People. Numerous questions concerning accountability and ethics are raised concerning the practical application of a model that purports to overcome cultural biases inherent in traditional (...) theories of press and society. (shrink)
In The Just Family, Richard Dien Winfield presents an ethics specific to the family. His aim is to show that the family is an “integrated sphere of right, wherein individuals exercise rights and duties as autonomous family members that are nowhere else possible”. His account of the just family is explicitly set out in the context of the other spheres of right, namely, property, family, civil society and state. The philosophy of right is presented in a manner that conforms to (...) the tenets of immanently developing, systematic philosophy. The work builds upon Hegel’s philosophy of the family. At the heart of the conception of the just family is the notion of the ethical community. The book can be divided in terms of this concept. The first part of the work seeks to establish the validity of this concept and its appropriateness for the family. The rest concerns working out the concept’s ramifications for the particulars of the normatively conceived family. (shrink)
356 nonquit O, oinquit Q, linquit Q corr., oinquid G, noscit Lachmann. 359 adsittens OQ, adsistens Q corr. In the summer of 1919, in the high Sierra of California, I chanced to talk with a cattleman who had driven his herd from the lower valleys to the highlands for summer pasture. When he had arrived at his destination he found a cow missing. He retraced his route, and forty miles below he found the cow by the roadside.Her calf, by reason (...) of its weakness, had been picked up by a waggoner and brought on, and the cow was found at the identical spot where the calf had been taken from the ground; the cow had found the place and had remained there for five days. The occurrence gave rise to a general discussion by the cattlemen present concerning the habits of these animals. When a cow misses her calf she will go by memory to the place where the calf was last seen by her, and will stay there for days; but she will graze and not go hungry herself. The cow will also search by smell; she can smell a herd or the odour left on bushes or that attached to footsteps for hours certainly, possibly for days. The calf also will stay for days where the mother left it. The bereaved cow will try to find her calf first by sight, then by memory, and lastly by smell. (shrink)
It is argued that Hempel's original rejection of the prediction criterion of confirmation in  (on the grounds that it leads to a circular definition of confirmation) was ill-conceived, and that his own approach exhibits undesirable consequences to the degree that it deviates from this criterion. A version of the prediction criterion is formulated which, in addition to being-non circular, escapes the criticisms advanced against Hempel's satisfaction criterion, offers certain clear advantages over alternative approaches, and may serve as the basis (...) for a theory of qualitative confirmation. The definition of confirmation developed here violates two of Hempel's three criteria of adequacy, and in showing why it should do so some light is shed on various issues in the debate concerning the acceptability of these criteria. (shrink)
Unlike the radical historicist and the radical logicist, the moderate historicist in the philosophy of science adopts the position that neither purely a priori (i.e., logical or philosophical) nor purely historical considerations alone determine the acceptability of a philosophical analysis of science. A dilemma arising from the nature of this position is first described and then it is argued that what is perhaps the most plausible way of avoiding this dilemma is doomed to failure. A particular example of this attempt (...) at escaping the dilemma is considered in some detail, and along the way evidence is amassed in support of the view that no non-trivial statement of moderate historicism will be coherent. (shrink)