In multicellular organisms, cells are frequently programmed to die. This makes good sense: cells that fail to, or are no longer playing important roles are eliminated. From the cell’s perspective, this also makes sense, since somatic cells in multicellular organisms require the cooperation of clonal relatives. In unicellular organisms, however, programmed cell death poses a difficult and unresolved evolutionary problem. The empirical evidence for PCD in diverse microbial taxa has spurred debates about what precisely PCD means in the case of (...) unicellular organisms. In this article, we survey the concepts of PCD in the literature and the selective pressures associated with its evolution. We show that definitions of PCD have been almost entirely mechanistic and fail to separate questions concerning what PCD fundamentally is from questions about the kinds of mechanisms that realize PCD. We conclude that an evolutionary definition is best able to distinguish PCD from closely related phenomena. Specifically, we define “true” PCD as an adaptation for death triggered by abiotic or biotic environmental stresses. True PCD is thus not only an evolutionary product but must also have been a target of selection. Apparent PCD resulting from pleiotropy, genetic drift, or trade-offs is not true PCD. We call this “ersatz PCD.”. (shrink)
Introduction Les femmes n'ont eu véritablement accès au pastorat dans les Églises protestantes françaises qu'en l966. Certes, une femme avait été consacrée en 1948, mais à condition de rester célibataire et sans enfants. Celles qui dans les années suivantes exercèrent exceptionnellement la fonction pastorale ne furent pas consacrées. L'accès des femmes au ministère féminin vient couronner de succès les efforts de plusieurs générations de partisans de l'égalité des sexes au sein du pro..
We are affected by the world: when I place my hand next to the fire, it becomes hot, and when I plunge it into the bucket of ice water, it becomes cold. What goes for physical changes also goes for at least some mental changes: when Felix the Cat leaps upon my lap, my lap not only becomes warm, but I also feel this warmth, and when he purrs, I hear his purr. It seems obvious, in other words, that perception (...) (at least, and at least under ordinary conditions) is a matter of being affected by the agency of perceptible objects. Call this doctrine affectionism. Durand of St.-Pourçain rejects affectionism. The paper has three parts. In the first part, I sketch, briefly, what motivates Durand to reject affectionism. In the second part, I will take up the affectionist doctrine as defended by Durand's older contemporary at Paris, Godfrey of Fontaines, who holds that the object of all our mental acts (not just perceptions, but also thoughts and desires) is the efficient cause of those acts, or, in other words, all mental acts (not just perception) come about owing to the affection of the relevant mental faculty by the agency of the object. As it turns out, Godfrey develops a celebrated argument against the thesis that the object is not the efficient cause but a mere sine qua non cause. Hence his position offers a challenge to Durand's position, a challenge, I argue in the third part, Durand meets. (shrink)
Although informed consent models for prescribing hormone replacement therapy are becoming increasingly prevalent, many physicians continue to require an assessment and referral letter from a mental health professional prior to prescription. Drawing on personal and communal experience, the author argues that assessment and referral requirements are dehumanising and unethical, foregrounding the ways in which these requirements evidence a mistrust of trans people, suppress the diversity of their experiences and sustain an unjustified double standard in contrast to other forms of clinical (...) care. Physicians should abandon this unethical requirement in favour of an informed consent approach to transgender care. (shrink)
In 1952, Heinrich Scholz published a question in The Journal of Symbolic Logic asking for a characterization of spectra, i.e., sets of natural numbers that are the cardinalities of finite models of first order sentences. Günter Asser in turn asked whether the complement of a spectrum is always a spectrum. These innocent questions turned out to be seminal for the development of finite model theory and descriptive complexity. In this paper we survey developments over the last 50-odd years pertaining to (...) the spectrum problem. Our presentation follows conceptual developments rather than the chronological order. Originally a number theoretic problem, it has been approached by means of recursion theory, resource bounded complexity theory, classification by complexity of the defining sentences, and finally by means of structural graph theory. Although Scholz' question was answered in various ways, Asser's question remains open. (shrink)
Background: Informed consent in clinical research is mandated throughout the world. Both patient subjects and investigators are required to understand and accept the distinction between research and treatment.Aim: To document the extent and to identify factors associated with therapeutic misconception in a population of patient subjects or parent proxies recruited from a variety of multicentre trials .Patients and methods: The study comprised two phases: the development of a questionnaire to assess the quality of informed consent and a survey of patient (...) subjects based on this questionnaire.Results: A total of 303 patient subjects or parent proxies were contacted and 279 questionnaires were analysed. The median age was 49.5 years, sex ratio was 1 and 61% of respondents were professionally active. Overall memorisation of the oral or written communication of informed consent was good , and satisfaction with the process was around 70%. Therapeutic misconception was present in 70% of respondents, who expected to receive better care and ignored the consequence of randomisation and treatment comparisons. This was positively associated with the acuteness and severity of the disease.Conclusion: The authors suggest that the risk of therapeutic misconception be specifically addressed in consent forms as an educational tool for both patients and investigators. (shrink)
As global warming continues to attract growing levels of attention, various stakeholders have put climate change on corporate agendas and expect firms to disclose relevant greenhouse gas information. In this paper, we investigate the consistency of the GHG information voluntarily disclosed by French listed firms through two different communication channels: corporate reports and the Carbon Disclosure Project. More precisely, we contrast the amounts of GHG emissions reported and the methodological explanations provided in each channel. Consistent with a stakeholder theory perspective, (...) we find that GHG amounts are significantly lower in the CR than in the CDP. We also find that firms increase the CR figures’ traceability when there is a discrepancy between disclosures in the two channels. We suggest that the aim of this greater traceability is to enhance information credibility across the different channels used. (shrink)
We study the extension of dependence logic \ by a majority quantifier \ over finite structures. We show that the resulting logic is equi-expressive with the extension of second-order logic by second-order majority quantifiers of all arities. Our results imply that, from the point of view of descriptive complexity theory, \\) captures the complexity class counting hierarchy. We also obtain characterizations of the individual levels of the counting hierarchy by fragments of \\).
The article argues the need to rehabilitate the concept of alienation within the post-Fordist model of production, insofar as it is the concept which – if we leave aside the general analysis of wage-labour within capitalist social structures – is best able to explain how the newly devised tools for the management of labour and, most importantly, for the mobilisation of the subjectivities of salaried workers, lead to a reduction both of their autonomy in work and of their opportunities for (...) escape from the stipulated behavioural norms. Finally, it is argued that the procedures for the organisation of production and labour, along with the mechanisms intrinsic to the mobilisation of labour, establish, to an unprecedented degree, the conditions for a denegation of alienation, thus consolidating it. (shrink)
In 2010, the Eurozone became the epicentre of the world crisis. The vulnerability of Europe appears to be linked to the specific institutional arrangement which organises monetary, financial and budgetary policies within the Eurozone. This article tries to understand the evolution of theeuduring a short but decisive historical sequence in a theoretical framework that puts elements of Gramsci’s reflections on the theme of crisis, and especially his notion of ‘Caesarism’, at its centre. It addresses the current debate concerning the relationships (...) between democratic politics and neoliberalism, while focusing on how the radicalisation of the crisis put at stake the co-construction of capitalism and representative democracy in the Western world sincewwii. (shrink)
Conflicts of interest held by researchers remain a focus of attention in clinical research. Biases related to these relationships have the potential to directly impact the quality of healthcare by influencing decision-making, yet conflicts of interest remain underreported, inconsistently described, and difficult to access. Initiatives aimed at improving the disclosure of researcher conflicts of interest are still in their infancy but represent a vital reform that must be addressed before potential biases associated with conflicts of interest can be mitigated and (...) trust in the impartiality of clinical evidence restored. In this review, we examine the prevalence of conflicts of interest, evidence of the effects that disclosed and undisclosed conflicts of interest have had on the reporting of clinical evidence, and the emerging approaches for improving the completeness and consistency of disclosures. Through this review of emerging technologies, we recognize a growing interest in publicly accessible registries for researcher conflicts of interest and propose five desiderata aimed at maximizing the value of such registries: mandates for ensuring that researchers keep their records up to date; transparent records that are made available to the public; interoperability to allow researchers, bibliographic databases, and institutions to interact with the registry; a consistent taxonomy for describing different classes of conflicts of interest; and the ability to automatically generate conflicts of interest statements for use in published articles. (shrink)
In a previous article, I argued that assessment requirements for transgender hormone replacement therapy are unethical and dehumanising. A recent response published by the Journal of Medical Ethics criticises this proposal. In this reply, I advance that their response misunderstood core parts of my argument and fails to provide independent support for assessment requirements. Though transition-related care may have similarities with cosmetic surgeries, this does not suffice to establish a need for assessments, and nor do the high rates of depression (...) and anxiety justify assessments, especially given the protective role HRT plays towards mental well-being. (shrink)
The experiments reported herein probe the visual cortical mechanisms that control near–far percepts in response to two-dimensional stimuli. Figural contrast is found to be a principal factor for the emergence of percepts of near versus far in pictorial stimuli, especially when stimulus duration is brief. Pictorial factors such as interposition (Experiment 1) and partial occlusion Experiments 2 and 3) may cooperate, as generally predicted by cue combination models, or compete with contrast factors in the manner predicted by the FACADE model. (...) In particular, if the geometrical con guration of an image favors activation of cortical bipole grouping cells, as at the top of a T-junction, then this advantage can cooperate with the contrast of the con guration to facilitate a near–far percept at a lower contrast than at an X-junction. Varying the exposure duration of the stimuli shows that the more balanced bipole competition in the X-junction case takes longer exposure times to resolve than the bipole competition in the T-junction case (Experiment 3). (shrink)
Marie Durand n’est pas très connue en dehors du monde protestant. Elle a passé 38 ans emprisonnée dans la Tour de Constance à Aigues-Mortes parce que son frère était un pasteur clandestin du xviiie siècle. Elle est surtout connue depuis le livre de Benoît en 1884. Mais c’est au début du xxe siècle qu’elle devient une personnification de la résistance pacifique au nom des droits de la conscience et de la tolérance et qu'elle accède à un statut d'héroïne. Cela (...) permet aussi à la Réforme un renouveau moral et spirituel. La référence à Marie Durand s'accentue en 1945 et culmine lors des cérémonies de 1968. Elle symbolise ainsi le protestantisme toujours persécuté, mais luttant de manière non-violente pour maintenir la foi. (shrink)
Of the many ethical corporate marketing practices, many firms use corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication to enhance their corporate image. Yet, consumers, overwhelmed by these more or less well-founded CSR claims, often have trouble identifying truly responsible firms. This confusion encourages ‘greenwashing’ and may make CSR initiatives less effective. On the basis of attribution theory, this study investigates the role of independent sustainability ratings on consumers’ responses to companies’ CSR communication. Experimental results indicate the negative effect of a poor sustainability (...) rating for corporate brand evaluations in the case of CSR communication, because consumers infer less intrinsic motives by the brand. Sustainability ratings thus could act to deter ‘greenwashing’ and encourage virtuous firms to persevere in their CSR practices. (shrink)
The question of the imperatives induced by the Gandhian concept of non-violence towards animals is an issue that has been neglected by specialists on the thinking of the Mahatma. The aim of this article is to highlight the systematic – and significant – character of this particular aspect of his views on non-violence. The first part introduces the theoretical foundations of the duty of non-violence towards animals in general. Gandhi's critical interpretation of cow-protection, advocated by Hinduism, leads to a general (...) reflection on the duty of non-violence towards animals, the cow being transformed into the representative of all dumb creation. The approach adopted by Gandhi to solving the problem of cow-protection focuses on its practical dimensions and is based primarily on reforming animal husbandry. What limits should be imposed on the exploitation of farm animals within the framework of non-violence? Gandhi devoted nearly 30 years to elaborating an animal husbandry system that would be both economically viable and in conformity with the universal ethical principles he drew from religions (especially Hinduism). The interdiction to kill is absolute, since Gandhi not only rejects the breeding of farm animals for the purposes of butchery but also the slaughtering of animals that are no longer capable of providing the services required of them. He therefore concentrated his efforts on drawing up a scheme to reorganize this activity on a national scale while taking into consideration these constraints, which are less contradictory than they may seem to be at first sight. Reviewing the age-old activity of animal husbandry in the light of non-violence is clearly based on the specific nature of Hindu traditions. However, it goes far beyond cultural or religious relativism, since it is also founded on universal ethical principles. (shrink)
The present dissertation concerns cognitive psychology—theories about the nature and mechanism of perception and thought—during the High Middle Ages (1250–1350). Many of the issues at the heart of philosophy of mind today—intentionality, mental representation, the active/passive nature of perception—were also the subject of intense investigation during this period. I provide an analysis of these debates with a special focus on Durand of St.-Pourcain, a contemporary of John Duns Scotus and William of Ockham. Durand was widely recognized as a (...) leading philosopher until the advent of the early modern period, yet his views have been largely neglected in the last century. The aim of my dissertation, then, is to provide a new understanding of Durand’s cognitive psychology and to establish a better picture of developments in cognitive psychology during the period. Most philosophers in the High Middle Ages held, in one form or another, the thesis that most forms of cognition (thought, perception) involve the reception of the form of the object into the mind. Such forms in the mind explain what a given episode of cognition is about, its content. According to what has been called the conformality theory of content, the content of our mental states is fixed by this form in the mind. Durand rejects this thesis, and one of the primary theses that I pursue is that Durand replaces the conformality theory of content with a causal theory of content, according to which the content of our mental states is fixed by its cause. When I think about Felix and not Graycat, this is to be explained not by the fact that I have in my mind the form of Felix and not Graycat, but rather by the fact that Felix and not Graycat caused my thought. This is both a controversial interpretation and, indeed, a controversial theory. It is a controversial interpretation because Durand seems to reject the thesis that objects are the causes of our mental states. In the first half of the present dissertation, I argue that Durand does not reject this thesis but he rejects another nearby thesis: that objects as causes give to us ‘forms’. On Durand’s view, an object causes a mental state even though it does not give to us a new ‘form’. In the second half of the dissertation I defend Durand’s causal theory of content against salient objections to it. (shrink)
This essay is a literature review journey of ancient Chinese texts, including Confucius' Analects, Sima Qian's Records of the Grand Historians of China, Pan Ku's The History of the Former Han Dynasty, and official historical texts of subsequent dynasties. Confucius is not against the accumulation of wealth as long as it is acquired through moral means. Sima Qian, the greatest Chinese historian, appreciates the contribution of successful private enterprises towards the betterment of economy by its efficient usage of resources and (...) his opinion is strikingly similar to modern economic theories such as F. A. Hakey's ideas on free market economy. Their standpoints are, however, rejected by all later official view which emphasizes "All land and resources belong to the King." Starting from Pan Ku' proposal on the classification of social hierarchy, businessmen belong to the bottom stratum of the social ladder. The money-making businessmen of the common people is portrayed as "immoral" or even "illegal," but when the profit goes to the King or when the business is state-owned, it is taken as reasonable and highly acceptable. The Chinese King is the controller of most profitable and important businesses in major industries and mining as well as the distributor of most valuable resources. All official view emphasizes the stability of the state, for then the control of the country can be ensured and the power of the King can be consolidated. (shrink)
Cet article montre que le Livre du Chevalier errant de Thomas iii de Saluces est un miroir familial visant, à travers la combinaison du souvenir historique et de la fiction légendaire, à sublimer le souvenir des aïeux. Dans cette stratégie d’exaltation généalogique, le rôle des femmes est loin d’être négligeable. Deux cas remarquables d’héroïsme féminin sont analysés, ceux de Richarde de Saluces, la guerrière, et de Grisilidis, l’épouse vertueuse.
The capacity to self-generate mental content that is unrelated to the current environment is a fundamental characteristic of the mind, and the current experiment explored how this experience is related to the decisions that people make in daily life. We examined how task-unrelated thought varies with the length of time participants are willing to wait for an economic reward, as measured using an inter-temporal discounting task. When participants performed a task requiring minimal attention, the greater the amount of time spent (...) engaged in TUT the longer the individual was prepared to wait for an economic reward. These data indicate that self-generated thought engages processes associated with the successful management of long-term goals. Although immersion in the here and now is undeniably advantageous, under appropriate conditions the capacity to let go of the present and consider more pertinent personal goals may have its own rewards. (shrink)
Control over food supply was advanced in the kingdom of France in the Eighteenth century by Physiocrat economists under the seemingly advantageous label of 'freedom of grain trade'. In 1764 these reforms brought about a rise in grain prices and generated an artificial dearth that ruined the poor, some of whom died from malnutrition. The King halted the reform and re-established the old regime of regulated prices; in order to maintain the delicate balance between prices and wages, the monarchy tried (...) to limit speculation in subsistence goods and achieved some success in regulating the provisioning of public markets. Le Mercier de la Riviere concluded that executing these reforms required more effective political control. After 1774 the new king gave the Physiocratic reforms a second chance, reforming property rights and establishing an aristocracy of the landed rich. Again, this led to price hikes and as a result so-called 'popular emotions' erupted. Turgot ordered military intervention to dispel the protesters, marking a first rupture between the monarchy and the people over speculation on subsistence. Turgot's experiment failed and he was dismissed, but the Physiocracy had discovered that the market in subsistence offered new opportunities for economic power under the misleading legitimacy of 'economic laws'. Turgot's followers, Dupont de Nemours and Condorcet, continued to develop this 'theory' that was later translated into a 'scientific language' that ultimately asserted the autonomy of the economic sphere and its alleged independence from ethics and politics. The paper examines the continuity of events through the six great jacqueries and the French Revolution, including the all- important agrarian reform that ensued after 1792. Robespierre's concept of 'popular political economy' is analysed and compared with the notion of unfettered private property rights that lies at the heart of neoliberalism. (shrink)
This paper analyzes resource utilization of the Sundarbans in terms of the contradictory issues and pressures generated by foreign assistance and commercial interests in Bangladesh. In the paper, the historical legacy of resource definition and use that shaped the development of forest policy under the British is considered. In addition, the critical role of the state and the interests and pressures on the Government are explored as these shape the larger context in which current natural resource policy is generated and (...) maintained. Three areas of potential conflict between current devlopment policy and resource management control are noted. They are 1) the privatization of production and resource exploitation in contrast to common property resource use, 2) the need to meet foreign exchange requirements versus local user interests, and 3) commercial versus local user interests.The paper argues that national and international fiscal and economic constraints operate to favor commercial interests and natural resource exports at the cost of policies that emphasize an active approach to the generation and preservation of renewable resources such as the Sundarbans. (shrink)
Neuroplasticity research marks a considerable shift in focus from localization theories of the brain to more holistic, or systemsoriented, theories of the body-brain-environment interrelation. In What Should We Do with Our Brain?, philosopher Catherine Malabou calls attention to the political significance of neuroplasticity for engaging questions of agency and accountability. This paper addressesMalabou's ethical concerns by way of anthropologist Gregory Bateson's ecological view of human agency. By redefining the individual mind as an ecological 'tangle', Bateson's perspectives offer an important provocation, (...) namely, a re-examination of the conventional parameters that bound the mind or the brain as a localized entity or that bound the mind or the brain as a property of an individual entity. This paper brings together Malabou and Bateson's views on agency and consciousness. (shrink)
Jonathan Durand Folco | : Cet article présente une analyse critique de l’institutionnalisation de la participation citoyenne, à différentes échelles, à Montréal. Nous prendrons l’exemple de la consultation publique de la Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal et du budget interactif du Plateau-Mont-Royal pour illustrer les modèles de la gouvernance métropolitaine et de la gestion de proximité, pour ensuite montrer en quoi ces deux types de dispositifs participatifs soulèvent le problème de la trivialité. Nous soutiendrons enfin qu’une application systématique d’une conception (...) forte de la participation citoyenne, basée sur l’idéal de la démocratie participative, permettrait de surmonter le problème de la trivialité et d’opérer une véritable démocratisation des institutions municipales. | : This paper presents a critical analysis of the institutionalization of participation in Montreal at different levels. I will use the examples of the Montreal Metropolitan Com-munity’s public consultation and the Plateau Mont-Royal’s interactive budget to illustrate the models of metropolitan governance and local management, and demonstrate that these two forms of participatory mechanisms face the problem of triviality. I maintain that a systematic application of a strong conception of citizen participation, based on the ideal of participatory democracy, can overcome the challenge of triviality and effect a real democratization of municipal institutions. (shrink)
Durand of Saint-Pourçain's earliest treatment of cognitive habits is contained in his Sentences Commentary, Book 3, Distinction 23. In the first two questions, he discusses the ontological status of habits and their causal role, establishing his own unique view alongside the views of Godfrey of Fontaines and Hervaeus Natalis. What follows is the Latin text and an English translation of Durand's Sentences (A/B) III, d. 23, qq. 1-2.