When subjects view stimulation of a rubber hand while feeling congruent stimulation of their own hand, they may come to feel that the rubber hand is part of their own body. This illusion of body ownership is termed ‘Rubber Hand Illusion’ . We investigated sensitivity of RHI to spatial mismatches between visual and somatic experience. We compared the effects of spatial mismatch between the stimulation of the two hands, and equivalent mismatches between the postures of the two hands. We created (...) the mismatch either by adjusting stimulation or posture of the subject’s hand, or, in a separate group of subjects, by adjusting stimulation or posture of the rubber hand. The matching processes underlying body ownership were asymmetrical. The illusion survived small changes in the subject’s hand posture, but disappeared when the same posture transformations were applied to the rubber hand. Mismatch between the stimulation delivered to the subject’s hand and the rubber hand abolished the illusion. The combination of these two situations is of particular interest. When the subject’s hand posture was slightly different from the rubber hand posture, the RHI remained as long as stimulation of the two hands was congruent in a hand-centred spatial reference frame, even though the altered posture of the subject’s hand meant that stimulation was incongruent in external space. Conversely, the RHI was reduced when the stimulation was incongruent in hand-centred space but congruent in external space. We conclude that the visual–tactile correlation that causes the RHI is computed within a hand-centred frame of reference, which is updated with changes in body posture. Current sensory evidence about what is ‘me’ is interpreted with respect to a prior mental body representation. (shrink)
The discovery and invention of new medical applications may be considered blessings to humankind. However, some applications which might be the only remedy for certain diseases may contain ingredients or involve methods that are not in harmony with certain cultural and religious perspectives. These situations have raised important questions in medical ethics; are these applications completely prohibited according to these perspectives, and is there any room for mitigation? This paper explores the concept of darurah and its deliberation in the formulation (...) of fatwas on medicine issued by the National Fatwa Council of Malaysia. Darurah has explicitly been taken into consideration in the formulation of 14 out of 45 fatwas on medicine thus far, including one of the latest fatwas regarding uterine donation and transplantation. These fatwas are not only limited to the issues regarding the use of unlawful things as remedies. They include issues pertaining to organ transplantation, management of the corpse and treatment of brain dead patients. While deliberation of darurah in medicine may vary from issue to issue, darurah applies in a dire situation in which there are no lawful means to prevent harm that may be inflicted upon human life. Nevertheless, other aspects must also be taken into the deliberation. For example, consent must be obtained from the donor or his next of kin to conduct a cadaveric organ transplantation. (shrink)
With the rapid advancements made in biotechnology, bioethical discourse has become increasingly important. Bioethics is a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary field that goes beyond the realm of natural sciences, and has involved fields in the domain of the social sciences. One of the important areas in bioethical discourse is religion. In a country like Malaysia, where Muslims make up the majority of the population, Islam plays a crucial role in providing the essential guidelines on the permissibility and acceptability of biotechnological applications (...) in various fields such as medicine, agriculture, and food processing. This article looks at the framework of a complementary model of bioethics derived from the perspective of Islam. The framework is based on ‘maqasid al-shariah’ (purposes or objectives of Islamic law) which aims to protect and preserve mankind’s faith, life, intellect, progeny, and property. It is proposed that ‘maqasid al-shariah’ be used as a pragmatic checklist that can be utilized in tackling bioethical issues and dilemmas. (shrink)
The field of bioethics aims to ensure that modern scientific and technological advancements have been primarily developed for the benefits of humankind. This field is deeply rooted in the traditions of Western moral philosophy and socio-political theory. With respect to the view that the practice of bioethics in certain community should incorporate religious and cultural elements, this paper attempts to expound bioethical tradition of the Malay-Muslim community in Malaysia, with shedding light on the mechanism used by the National Fatwa Council (...) to evaluate whether an application of biological sciences is ethical or not. By using the application of the genetically modified food as a case study, this study has found that the council had reviewed the basic guidelines in the main references of shari'ah in order to make decision on the permissibility of the application. The fatwa is made after having consultation with the experts in science field. The council has taken all factors into consideration and given priority to the general aim of shari'ah which to serve the interests of mankind and to save them from harm. (shrink)
Advancement of modern agricultural biotechnology has brought various potential benefits to humankind, but at the same time ethical concerns regarding some applications such as genetically modified foods have been raised among the public. Several questions are being posed; should they utilize such applications to improve quality of their life, or should they refrain in order to save themselves from any associated risk? What are the ethical principles that can be applied to assess these applications? By using GMF as a case (...) study, this paper discusses possible answers to these questions from Islamic perspective. Such answers are based on the understanding of the Islamic concept of maslahah and mafsadah as well as the Islamic principles of priority. There is no specific GMF that has been declared as unlawful by Muslim scholars thus far. Nevertheless, they generally state that any GMF that contains unlawful substance is prohibited in Islam. Such statement can be understood since Islam puts highest priority to preserve shari’ah which prescribes the lawful and unlawful things in human life. Priorities have also been given to preserve human health and environment therefore any GMF that may inflict harm on both entities is also considered as unlawful. (shrink)
The mental representation of one’s own body does not necessarily correspond to the physical body. For instance, a dissociation between perceived and actual reach-ability has been shown, that is, individuals perceive that they can reach objects that are out of grasp. We presented participants with 3D pictures of objects located at four different distances, namely near-reaching space, actual-reaching space, perceived-reaching space and non-reaching space. Immediately after they were presented with function, manipulation, observation or pointing verbs and were required to judge (...) if the verb was compatible with the object.Participants were faster with function and manipulation verbs than with observation and pointing verbs. Strikingly, with both function and manipulation verbs participants were faster when objects were presented in actual than the perceived reaching space. These findings suggest that our knowledge of the world is implicitly built online through behaviour, and is not necessarily reflected in explicit estimates or conscious representations. (shrink)
The recent development of CRISPR/Cas9 technology has rekindled the ethical debate concerning human germline modification that has begun decades ago. This inexpensive technology shows tremendous promise in disease prevention strategies, while raising complex ethical concerns about safety and efficacy of the technology, human dignity, tampering with God’s creation, and human genetic enhancement. Germline gene editing may result in heritable changes in the human genome, therefore the question of whether it should be allowed requires deep and careful discussion from various perspectives. (...) This paper explores Islamic perspectives on the concerns raised and highlights the ethical principles in Islam that should be taken into consideration when assessing the permissibility of CRISPR/ Cas9-mediated human germline gene editing. As argued in this paper, human germline gene editing would be considered lawful for medical purpose under certain conditions. It should not be applied on humans until the safety and efficacy issues are resolved. Robust ethical guidelines and strict regulations are necessary to preserve human dignity and to prevent premature and misuse of the technology. Maqasid al-shariah’s principles of preservation of human life, lineage, and dignity and ‘preventing harm takes precedence over securing benefit’ are among the guiding principles in assessing the permissibility of CRISPR/Cas9-mediated human germline editing from an Islamic perspective. Further discussions are important to address the controversies as well as to explore the related ethical principles. (shrink)
Advancements in science and technology have not only brought hope to humankind to produce disease-free offspring, but also offer possibilities to genetically enhance the next generation’s traits and capacities. Human genetic enhancement, however, raises complex ethical questions, such as to what extent should it be allowed? It has been a great challenge for humankind to develop robust ethical guidelines for human genetic enhancement that address both public concerns and needs. We believe that research about public concerns is necessary prior to (...) developing such guidelines, yet the issues have not been thoroughly investigated in many countries, including Malaysia. Since the novel often functions as a medium for the public to express their concerns, this paper explores ethical concerns about human genetic enhancement expressed in four Malay science fiction novels namely Klon, Leksikon Ledang, Transgenesis Bisikan Rimba and Transgenik Sifar. Religion has a strong influence on the worldview of the Malays therefore some concerns such as playing God are obviously religious. Association of the negative image of scientists as well as the private research companies with the research on human genetic enhancement reflects the authors’ concerns about the main motivations for conducting such research and the extent to which such research will benefit society. (shrink)
The long history of ergodic and quasi-ergodic hypotheses provides the best example of the attempt to supply non-probabilistic justifications for the use of statistical mechanics in describing mechanical systems. In this paper we reverse the terms of the problem. We aim to show that accepting a probabilistic foundation of elementary particle statistics dispenses with the need to resort to ambiguous non-probabilistic notions like that of (in)distinguishability. In the quantum case, starting from suitable probability conditions, it is possible to deduce elementary (...) particle statistics in a unified way. Following our approach Maxwell-Boltzmann statistics can also be deduced, and this deduction clarifies its status.Thus our primary aim in this paper is to give a mathematically rigorous deduction of the probability of a state with given energy for a perfect gas in statistical equilibrium; that is, a deduction of the equilibrium distribution for a perfect gas. A crucial step in this deduction is the statement of a unified statistical theory based on clearly formulated probability conditions from which the particle statistics follows. We believe that such a deduction represents an important improvement in elementary particle statistics, and a step towards a probabilistic foundation of statistical mechanics.In this Part I we first present some history: we recall some results of Boltzmann and Brillouin that go in the direction we will follow. Then we present a number of probability results we shall use in Part II. Finally, we state a notion of entropy referring to probability distributions, and give a natural solution to Gibbs' paradox. (shrink)
A pure probabilistic approach to Gibbs' distributions is given, starting from the notion of “finite exchangeable random process.” The differences between bosons, fermions, and classical particles are ascribed to different values of correlation. The relationship between exchangeability and constraints on the energy distribution is investigated.
We show: (1) It is possible to produce the three familiar statistics without referring to the problem of distinguishability; (2) what really distinguishes elementary particles is the correlation existing among them; (3) correlations existing among quantum particles, positive for bosons and negative form fermions, are completely different in character.
This article proposes a retrospective analysis of a compassionate use, using a case study of request for Avelumab for a patient suffering from Merkel Cell Carcinoma. The study is the result of a discussion within a Provincial Ethics Committee following the finding of a high number of requests for CU program. The primary objective of the study is to illustrate the specific ethical and clinical profiles that emerge from the compassionate use program issue. The secondary goals are: a) to promote (...) a moral reflection among physicians who require approval for the CUP and b) provide the basis for recommendations on how to request CUP. The instruments for carrying out the analysis of the case study and the discussion are as follows: Analysis of the audio-recording of the EC meeting regarding the selected Case study. In-depth discussion of topics that emerged during the meeting by means of administration of 5 semi-structured interviews with 2 doctors involved in the case and with 3 components of the EC who played a major role in the EC internal discussion. In an exploration of emerging clinical and ethical issues, four primary themes arise: 1. efficacy, safety of the treatment and patient’s quality of life; 2. clear, realistic, adequate communication; 3. right to hope; 4. simultaneous Palliative Care approach. The results of ethical analysis carried out concern two areas: 1) ethical profiles relating to the use of CUP; 2) the role of the EC concerning the compassionate use of drugs and the need to provide recommendations on how to request CUP. With the aim of implementing these conclusions, the provincial EC of Reggio Emilia chose to steer the request for drugs for compassionate use through recommendations for good clinical and ethical practice based on the following assumptions: 1) the “simultaneous care” approach must be preferred. Secondly, 2) the EC’s assessment must be part of the decision-making process that the care team conducts before proposing compassionate use to the patient. (shrink)
In this paper we discuss a view of the Machine Learning technique called Explanation-Based Learning (EBL) or Explanation-Based Generalization (EBG) as a process for the interpretation of vague concepts in logic-based models of law.The open-textured nature of legal terms is a well-known open problem in the building of knowledge-based legal systems. EBG is a technique which creates generalizations of given examples on the basis of background domain knowledge. We relate these two topics by considering EBG''s domain knowledge as corresponding to (...) statute law rules, and EBG''s training example as corresponding to a precedent case. (shrink)
The aim of the present paper is to give a purely probabilistic account for the approach to equilibrium of classical and quantum gas. The probability function used is classical. The probabilistic dynamics describes the evolution of the state of the gas due to unary and binary collisions. A state change amounts to a destruction in a state and the creation in another state. Transitions probabilities are splittled into destructions terms, denoting the random choice of the colliding particle(s), and creation terms, (...) describing the allocation of the same particle(s) on the final state(s). While the destruction term is the same for all types of particles, the creation one depends upon a parameter bound to the interpraticle correlation. The transition probabilities give rise to a homogeneous Markov chain. The equilibrium distributions satisfy the principle of detailed balance. Relaxation times depend upon the interparticle correlation. Relationships with the Ehrenfest urn model, Brillouin unified method, ensemble interpretation, and quantum H-theorem are considered too. (shrink)
We describe a novel affect-inspired mechanism to improve the performance of computational systems operating in dynamic environments. In particular, we designed a mechanism that is based on aspects of the fear response in humans to dynamically reallocate operating system-level central processing unit (CPU) resources to processes as they are needed to deal with time-critical events. We evaluated this system in the MINIX® and Linux® operating systems and in three different testing environments (two simulated, one live). We found the affect-based system (...) was not only able to react more rapidly to time-critical events as intended, but since the dynamic processes for handling these events did not need to use significant CPU when they were not in time-critical situations, our simulated unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was able to perform even non-emergency tasks at a higher level of efficiency and reactivity than was possible in the standard implementation. (shrink)
Research generally concludes that small businesses contribute to economic development. In Malaysia, small firm’s particularly Chinese small firms have played a very important role for economic growth in this country. Chinese firms have managed to survive, grow and succeed either in Malaysia or anywhere else in the world. Most prior research found that the success factor was related to their socio-cultural context. However, previous studies have found the similarities on the cultural values of the Malays and Chinese which derived from (...) ‘Budi Complex’ and ‘Confucianism’ respectively. It was particularly on certain selected values related to self, time and epistemology. Therefore, this paper tries to identify other reasons behind the success factor of the Chinese as compared to the Malay small firms. Thus, looking at the perspective of Knowledge Base View theory, this paper proposed that cultural values are not a mere factor that affect the way Chinese small firms market their operation. The current study thus proposed that how Chinese and Malays acquire and share knowledge, have significant contribution to their success or their failures. (shrink)
A generalization of Ehrenfest''s urn model is suggested. This will allow usto treat a wide class of stochastic processes describing the changes ofmicroscopic objects. These processes are homogeneous Markov chains. Thegeneralization proposed is presented as an abstract conditional (relative)probability theory. The probability axioms of such a theory and some simpleadditional conditions, yield both transition probabilities and equilibriumdistributions. The resulting theory interpreted in terms of particles andsingle-particle states, leads to the usual formulae of quantum and classicalstatistical mechanics; in terms of chromosomes (...) and allelic types, it allowsthe deduction of many genetical models including the Ewens sampling formula;in terms of agents'' strategies, it gives a justification of the ``herdbehaviour'''' typical of a population of heterogeneous economic agents. (shrink)
In the present paper we face the problem of estimating cell probabilities in the case of a two-dimensional contingency table from a predictive point of view. The solution is given by a double stochastic process. The first subprocess, the unobservable one, is supposed to be exchangeable and invariant. For the second subprocess, the observable one, we suppose it is independent conditional on the first one.