The relationGM=RC 2 is used as a definition ofG, withM andR defined by integrals of the energy-momentum and Einstein curvature tensors over a particular spacelike surface. Modified field equations then do not admit source-free solutions, in agreement with a strong form of Mach's principle.
The fundamental tenet of contemporary sociobiology, namely the assumption of a single process of evolution involving the selection of genes, is critically examined. An alternative multiple-level, multiple-process model of evolution is presented which posits that the primary process that operates via selection upon the genes cannot account for certain kinds of biological phenomena, especially complex, learned, social behaviours. The primary process has evolved subsidiary evolutionary levels and processes that act to bridge the gap between genes and these complex behaviours. The (...) subsidiary levels are development, individual animal learning, and socioculture itself. It is argued that individual learning is pivotal to the derivation and biological analysis of culture. The differences between cultural and noncultural societies are stressed. It is concluded that such a multiple-level model of evolution can form the basis for reconciling opposing sides in the sociobiology debate. (shrink)
H. C. for Life, That Is to Say... is Derrida's literary critical recollection of his lifelong friendship with Hélène Cixous. The main figure that informs Derrida's reading here is that of "taking sides." While Hélène Cixous in her life and work takes the side of life, "for life," Derrida admits always feeling drawn to the side of death. Rather than being an obvious choice, taking the side of life is an act of faith, by wagering one's life on life. H. (...) C. for Life sets up and explores this interminable "argument" between Derrida and Cixous as to what death has in store deep within life itself, before the end. In addition to being a memoir, it is also a theoretical confrontation—for example about the meaning of "might" and "omnipotence," and a philosophical and philological analysis of the crypts within the vast oeuvre of Hélène Cixous. Finally, the book is Derrida's tribute to the thought of the woman whom he regards as one of the great French poets, writers, and thinkers of our time. (shrink)
What credentials does evolutionary epistemology have as science? A judgement based on past performance, both in terms of advancing an empirical programme and further ng theory construction, is not much. This paper briefly outlines some of the research areas, both theoretical and empirical, that can be developed and that might secure for evolutionary epistemology a future in evolutionary biology.
We argue that two powerful error-theoretic concepts provide a general framework that satisfactorily accounts for key aspects of the explanation of physical patterns. This method gives an objective criterion to determine which mathematical models in a class of neighboring models are just as good as the exact one. The method also emphasizes that abstraction is essential for explanation and provides a precise conceptual framework that determines whether a given abstraction is explanatorily relevant and justified. Hence, it increases our epistemological understanding (...) of how one should go about reconstructing scientific practices by making clear that, at a fundamental level, a key aspect of mathematical modeling consists in exactly solving nearby problems. (shrink)
There are many passages in ancient literature which depict an imaginary existence different from the hardships of real life-an existence blessed with Nature's bounty, untroubled by strife or want. Naturally this happy state is always placed somewhere or sometime outside normal human experience, whether ‘off the map’ in some remote quarter of the world, or in Elysium after death, or in the dim future or the distant past. Such an imaginary time of bliss in the past or the future has (...) become known as the ‘golden age’. This is the name which modern scholars generally give to the ancient belief. The phrase is often echoed by modern poets. The same language has been transferred from the unknown to the known, and it has become a commonplace to describe an outstanding period of history or literature as a ‘golden age’. (shrink)
The extent of the dependence of early Greek cosmogony on mythical conceptions has long been a prolific source of controversy. Views on the subject have varied from Professor Cornford's claim that ‘there is a real continuity between the earliest rational speculation and the religious representation that lay behind it’ to Professor Burnet's extreme statement, ‘it is quite wrong to look for the origins of Ionian science in mythological ideas of any kind.’ The solution of the problem that I wish to (...) suggest is one which should satisfy those who insist on ‘the scientific character of the early Greek cosmology,’ while retaining a direct connection with pre-scientific beliefs—namely, that some, at least, of the earliest philosophers founded their doctrines of the beginning of the universe on a deliberate rationalization of earlier and contemporary mythical ideas. The appearance of notions like the ‘world-egg’ in a number of passages, too well known for quotation, shows that primitive cosmogony assumed an analogy between the generation of the world and the generation of animate creatures. I believe it can be proved that, so far from the ‘renunciation of sexual imagery’ which even Professor Cornford has recently attributed to Anaximander, he and other philosophers retained the habit of regarding cosmogony and anthropogony as parallel phenomena, only substituting for the mythical ‘world-egg’ a more scientific view of the embryo and its development. They looked at the world through the same spectacles as their predecessors, but after wiping from them the rose tint of mythological fancy. (shrink)
The research study presented in this article was conducted because of the surprising paucity of research findings on the effect of significant absence from primary school on peer relationships. Participants in the study were Year 6 pupils, 140 of whom had attendance records of 80% or less in both Years 2 and 6. Of the 140, 133 were matched with those with better attendance records in the same class, of the same gender and born in the same season of the (...) year. As revealed by sociometry conducted in 89 classes, the poor attenders were found to make and to receive fewer friendship choices than those with better attendance records. The question as to whether poor attendance is a result or a cause of having fewer friends is discussed and consideration is given to intervention issues. (shrink)
Background: Due to recent legislations on euthanasia and its current practice in the Netherlands and Belgium, issues of end-of-life medicine have become very vital in many European countries. In 2002, the Ethics Working Group of the German Association for Palliative Medicine has conducted a survey among its physician members in order to evaluate their attitudes towards different end-of-life medical practices, such as euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, and terminal sedation. Methods: An anonymous questionnaire was sent to the 411 DGP physicians, consisting of (...) 14 multiple choice questions on positions that might be adopted in different hypothetical scenarios on situations of “intolerable suffering” in end-of-life care. For the sake of clarification, several definitions and legal judgements of different terms used in the German debate on premature termination of life were included. For statistical analysis t-tests and Pearson-correlations were used. Results: The response rate was 61%. The proportions of the respondents who were opposed to legalizing different forms of premature termination of life were: 90% opposed to EUT, 75% to PAS, 94% to PAS for psychiatric patients. Terminal sedation was accepted by 94% of the members. The main decisional bases drawn on for the answers were personal ethical values, professional experience with palliative care, knowledge of alternative approaches, knowledge of ethical guidelines and of the national legal frame. Conclusions: In sharp contrast to similar surveys conducted in other countries, only a minority of 9.6% of the DGP physicians supported the legalization of EUT. The misuse of medical knowledge for inhumane killing in the Nazi period did not play a relevant role for the respondents’ negative attitude towards EUT. Palliative care needs to be stronger established and promoted within the German health care system in order to improve the quality of end-of-life situations which subsequently is expected to lead to decreasing requests for EUT by terminally ill patients. (shrink)
This article focuses on maternal-fetal surgery (MFS) and on the concept of clinical equipoise that is a widely accepted requirement for conducting randomized controlled trials (RCT). There are at least three reasons why equipoise is unsuitable for MFS. First, the concept is based on a misconception about the nature of clinical research and the status of research subjects. Second, given that it is not clear who the research subject/s in MFS is/are, if clinical equipoise is to be used as a (...) criterion to test the ethical appropriateness of RCT, its meaning should be unambiguous. Third, because of the multidisciplinary character of MFS, it is not clear who should be in equipoise. As a result, we lack an adequate criterion for the ethical review of MFS protocols. In our account, which is based on Chervenak and McCullough's seminal work in the field of obstetric ethics, equipoise is abandoned. and RCT involving MFS can be ethically initiated when a multidisciplinary ethics review board (ERB), having an evidence-based assessment of the risks involved, is convinced that the value of answering the research hypothesis, for the sake of the health interests of future pregnant women carrying fetuses with certain congenital birth defects, justifies the actual risks research participants might suffer within a set limit of low/manageable. (shrink)
In describing the account of the εδη in the Phaedo, Burnet says, ‘they are explained in a peculiar vocabulary which is represented as that of a school. The technical terms are introduced by such formulas as “we say”’. Similarly Taylor has written of the ‘characteristic technical nomenclature’ used in the dialogues, of the ‘technicalities’ of the theory of εδη, of ‘the technical phrases of the Phaedo’ The validity of such language has been taken for granted by both these and many (...) other Platonic scholars. But the assumption which it represents—that Plato employed certain words in a significance peculiar to his use of them—carries such wide implications for the history and interpretation of his philosophy that it can hardly be accepted without further investigation. In this article I shall examine the evidence in fifth- and early fourth-century literature about these words which Plato or Socrates is alleged to have transformed into ‘technicalities’: first, εδος and δσ, which I shall assume to be more or less synonymous; second, the various terms used to describe the relation between εδη and particulars—,μετέχειν, κοινωνεν,παρεναι, νεναι,μιμησις,μοιωαις, and so on. (shrink)
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