The Ontology for Biomedical Investigations (OBI) is an ontology that provides terms with precisely defined meanings to describe all aspects of how investigations in the biological and medical domains are conducted. OBI re-uses ontologies that provide a representation of biomedical knowledge from the Open Biological and Biomedical Ontologies (OBO) project and adds the ability to describe how this knowledge was derived. We here describe the state of OBI and several applications that are using it, such as adding semantic expressivity to (...) existing databases, building data entry forms, and enabling interoperability between knowledge resources. OBI covers all phases of the investigation process, such as planning, execution and reporting. It represents information and material entities that participate in these processes, as well as roles and functions. Prior to OBI, it was not possible to use a single internally consistent resource that could be applied to multiple types of experiments for these applications. OBI has made this possible by creating terms for entities involved in biological and medical investigations and by importing parts of other biomedical ontologies such as GO, Chemical Entities of Biological Interest (ChEBI) and Phenotype Attribute and Trait Ontology (PATO) without altering their meaning. OBI is being used in a wide range of projects covering genomics, multi-omics, immunology, and catalogs of services. OBI has also spawned other ontologies (Information Artifact Ontology) and methods for importing parts of ontologies (Minimum information to reference an external ontology term (MIREOT)). The OBI project is an open cross-disciplinary collaborative effort, encompassing multiple research communities from around the globe. To date, OBI has created 2366 classes and 40 relations along with textual and formal definitions. The OBI Consortium maintains a web resource providing details on the people, policies, and issues being addressed in association with OBI. (shrink)
Background Planning for the next pandemic influenza outbreak is underway in hospitals across the world. The global SARS experience has taught us that ethical frameworks to guide decision-making may help to reduce collateral damage and increase trust and solidarity within and between health care organisations. Good pandemic planning requires reflection on values because science alone cannot tell us how to prepare for a public health crisis. Discussion In this paper, we present an ethical framework for pandemic influenza planning. The ethical (...) framework was developed with expertise from clinical, organisational and public health ethics and validated through a stakeholder engagement process. The ethical framework includes both substantive and procedural elements for ethical pandemic influenza planning. The incorporation of ethics into pandemic planning can be helped by senior hospital administrators sponsoring its use, by having stakeholders vet the framework, and by designing or identifying decision review processes. We discuss the merits and limits of an applied ethical framework for hospital decision-making, as well as the robustness of the framework. Summary The need for reflection on the ethical issues raised by the spectre of a pandemic influenza outbreak is great. Our efforts to address the normative aspects of pandemic planning in hospitals have generated interest from other hospitals and from the governmental sector. The framework will require re-evaluation and refinement and we hope that this paper will generate feedback on how to make it even more robust. (shrink)
Throughout the biological and biomedical sciences there is a growing need for, prescriptive ‘minimum information’ (MI) checklists specifying the key information to include when reporting experimental results are beginning to find favor with experimentalists, analysts, publishers and funders alike. Such checklists aim to ensure that methods, data, analyses and results are described to a level sufficient to support the unambiguous interpretation, sophisticated search, reanalysis and experimental corroboration and reuse of data sets, facilitating the extraction of maximum value from data sets (...) them. However, such ‘minimum information’ MI checklists are usually developed independently by groups working within representatives of particular biologically- or technologically-delineated domains. Consequently, an overview of the full range of checklists can be difficult to establish without intensive searching, and even tracking thetheir individual evolution of single checklists may be a non-trivial exercise. Checklists are also inevitably partially redundant when measured one against another, and where they overlap is far from straightforward. Furthermore, conflicts in scope and arbitrary decisions on wording and sub-structuring make integration difficult. This presents inhibit their use in combination. Overall, these issues present significant difficulties for the users of checklists, especially those in areas such as systems biology, who routinely combine information from multiple biological domains and technology platforms. To address all of the above, we present MIBBI (Minimum Information for Biological and Biomedical Investigations); a web-based communal resource for such checklists, designed to act as a ‘one-stop shop’ for those exploring the range of extant checklist projects, and to foster collaborative, integrative development and ultimately promote gradual integration of checklists. (shrink)
Literary fiction is of crucial importance in human life. It is a source of understanding and insight into the nature of the human condition, yet ever since Plato, philosophers have struggled to provide a plausible explanation of how this can be the case. For surely the fictionality - the sheer invented character - of the literary text means that fiction presents not our world, but other worlds? In Fiction and the Weave of Life, John Gibson offers a novel and (...) intriguing account of the relationship between literature and everyday life, and shows how literature can give us an understanding of our world without literally being about our world. (shrink)
Hackl, Koster-Hale & Varvoutis provide data that suggest that in a null context, antecedent-contained deletion relative clause structures modifying a quantified object noun phrase are easier to process than those modifying a definite object NP. HKV argue that this pattern of results supports a quantifier-raising analysis of both ACD structures and quantified NPs in object position: under the account they advocate, both ACD resolution and quantified NPs in object position require movement of the object NP to a higher syntactic position. (...) The processing advantage for quantified object NPs in ACD is hypothesized to derive from the fact that—at the point where ACD resolution must take place—the quantified NP has already undergone QR, whereas this is not the case for definite NPs. Here, we question these conclusions. In particular, our analyses of HKV’s reading time data reveal several unreported choice points, errors and concerns regarding multiple comparisons in the original HKV data analysis. Importantly, most other plausible ways to analyze these data that we describe here result in the crucial interaction being non-significant. Putting this observation together with the failure to observe the crucial interaction in Gibson & Levy, we conclude that the experiments reported by HKV should not be viewed as providing evidence for the ACD quantifier-raising processing effect. (shrink)
In this lively undergraduate textbook, Kevin Gibson explores the relationship between ethics and the world of business, and how we can serve the interests of both. He builds a philosophical groundwork that can be applied to a wide range of issues in ethics and business, and shows readers how to assess dilemmas critically and work to resolve them on a principled basis. Using case studies drawn from around the world, he examines topics including stakeholder responsibilities, sustainability, corporate social responsibility, (...) and women and business. Because business can no longer be isolated from its effects on communities and the environment, these concerns are brought to the forefront. The book also captures the dynamic nature of business ethics in the era of globalization where jobs can be outsourced, products are made of components from scores of countries and sweatshops often provide the cheap goods the public demands. (shrink)
John Locke is probably one of the highest-regarded English philosophers, and the first of the British empiricists. His ideas on the mind and consciousness have continued to resonate throughout philosophy and philosophical thought ever since An Essay Concerning Human Understanding first appeared in 1690. James Gibson's Locke's Theory of Knowledge and its Historical Relations was first published in 1917, and saw its fourth reprinting in 1968. Here, it is made available for the first time in paperback. This hugely detailed (...) work is an invaluable collation of Locke's theories, exploring his thoughts on the problems of knowledge, the formation of ideas, causality and the self. Furthermore, Gibson also provides an in-depth historical evaluation of the effects of these theories on contemporary philosophy as a whole, and on thinkers such as Descartes, Kant and Leibniz more specifically. As such, this book is a valuable reference work for any student of philosophy. (shrink)
Results from two self-paced reading experiments in English are reported in which subject- and object-extracted relative clauses (SRCs and ORCs, respectively) were presented in contexts that support both types of relative clauses (RCs). Object-extracted versions were read more slowly than subject-extracted versions across both experiments. These results are not consistent with a decay-based working memory account of dependency formation where the amount of decay is a function of the number of new discourse referents that intervene between the dependents (Gibson, (...) 1998; Warren & Gibson, 2002). Rather, these results support interference-based accounts and decay-based accounts where the amount of decay depends on the number of words or on the type of noun phrases that intervene between the dependents. In Experiment 2, presentation in supportive contexts was directly contrasted with presentation in null contexts. Whereas in the null context the extraction effect was only observed during the RC region, in a supportive context the extraction effect was numerically larger and persisted into the following region, thus showing that extraction effects are enhanced in supportive contexts. A sentence completion study demonstrated that the rate of SRCs versus ORCs was similar across null and supportive contexts (with most completions being subject-extractions), ruling out the possibility that an enhanced extraction effect in supportive contexts is due to ORCs being less expected in such contexts. However, the content of the RCs differed between contexts in the completions, such that the RCs produced in supportive contexts were more constrained, reflecting the lexical and semantic content of the preceding context. This effect, which we discuss in terms of expectations/lexico-syntactic priming, suggests that the enhancement of the extraction effect in supportive contexts is due to the facilitation of the subject-extracted condition. (shrink)
Gibson, Robin The concept of dying by euthanasia and indeed physician-assisted suicide is a highly emotive one. Assisted dying arouses intense feelings both in favour and against. The prospect of enduring a long drawn out dying process generates both fear and apprehension in both terminally ill and chronically ill patients. Many of them wish to choose the time and manner of their death. On the other side, passionate, mainly religious groups have campaigned long and hard to deny suffering people (...) assistance to die. As the law currently stands in Australia, there is a complete ban on both euthanasia and assistance in suicide. Even following a request by a patient, a medical practitioner who directly takes the life of his or her patient, can be charged with murder or manslaughter. Despite the repeal of laws that forbade committing or attempting to commit suicide, laws still exist which proscribe the provision of assistance to another to commit or attempt to commit suicide. (shrink)
In an earlier paper, written in reaction to those who argued that the African National Congress (ANC) had no alternative but to implement neoliberal economic policies in the context of the 'Washington Consensus', I discussed the strategic choices and ideological pitfalls of the 'political class' who took over state power in South Africa after the end of apartheid and implemented its own homegrown structural adjustment programme (Gibson 2001). Much of this transition has been scripted by political science 'transition literature' (...) and much of it is proactive, mapping out what should be done to establish a 'pacted', 'elite' democracy overseeing neoliberal economic policies (O'Donnell, Schmitter & Whitehead 1986). From another vantage point, I argued that Frantz Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth is perhaps one of the most perceptive critiques of the transition literature available. This article continues the discussion. (shrink)
Metaphysics and Transcendence takes up this story for the future. Arthur Gibson presents a new metaphysics with a genealogy based on counter-intuition and locates counter-intuition and complexity at the foundations of truth. Having devised fresh concepts on the basis of the new frontiers of science and philosophy, the author presents original explanations of transcendence arguing that just as we need revolutionary and original ways of depicting the physical world, so it is with such topics as God, miracles, the resurrection, (...) the source and identity of consciousness and reason itself. (shrink)
Nearly forty years after his death, social philosopher Frantz Fanon remains a towering intellectual figure. Born in Guadeloupe and trained as a psychologist in France, Fanon rejected his French citizenship to join the Algerian liberation movement in the 1950s. A brilliant scholar who developed the theory that some neuroses are socially generated, Fanon's revolutionary works—The Wretched of the Earth, Toward the African Revolution, and Black Skin, White Masks—spurred an African intellectual awakening. The rebirth of Fanonism today in universities and the (...) English-speaking world is a testament to his relevance. Edited by distinguished African-studies professor Nigel C. Gibson, Rethinking Fanon opens with an authoritative biography which corrects fallacious assertions about Fanon's life, situating him in Marxism, Negritude, Pan-Africanism, and the historical context of postwar decolonization, specifically the Algerian revolution. Section one is highlighted by extended discussions of Marx, Fanon's theories on sophisticated forms of cultural racism, and "true liberation." The next section examines Fanon's humanist philosophy, his philosophical and geographical journeys, and his attitude toward the necessity of revolution. Also included is Homi Bhabha's well-known essay "Remembering Fanon," which contemplates the seeming rejection of Fanon in Britain in the 1970s, in contrast to his major following in America and the influence of Fanon on South African writer Steven Biko. Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Edward Said discuss the importance of the 1980s' and 1990s' cultural and literary debates on Fanon. Gates notes that Fanon has been reinstated -not as a global theorist of "third world" revolution, but instead as a critic of English writers and British romanticists. Benita Parry reexamines African nationalism and liberation, and sheds new light on Fanon's questions of identity and agency. This excellent collection reflects the continuing impact of Fanon's thought on African-American and African studies, feminism, postcolonialism, and cultural studies. (shrink)
Nature of the problem: Testimony from scientists. Reflex action and theism (1881) by W. James. The organization of thought (1916) by A.N. Whitehead. The changing scientific scene 1900-1950 (1952) by J.B. Conant. A note on methods of analysis (1943) by H.J. Muller. The way things are (1959) by P.W. Bridgman. A definition of style (1948) by J.R. Oppenheimer.--Consequences of the problem: Testimony from artists and writers. Existentialism (1947) by J.-P. Sartre. The testimony of modern art (1957) by W. Barrett. Parts (...) of speech and punctuation (1935) by G. Stein. The waves (1931) by V. Woolf. The imperfect paradise, by W. Stevens. A note on style and the limits of language, by W. Gibson. (shrink)
This is a book about how we see: the environment around us (its surfaces, their layout, and their colors and textures); where we are in the environment; whether or not we are moving and, if we are, where we are going; what things are good for; how to do things (to thread a needle or drive an automobile); or why things look as they do.The basic assumption is that vision depends on the eye which is connected to the brain. The (...) author suggests that natural vision depends on the eyes in the head on a body supported by the ground, the brain being only the central organ of a complete visual system. When no constraints are put on the visual system, people look around, walk up to something interesting and move around it so as to see it from all sides, and go from one vista to another. That is natural vision—and what this book is about. (shrink)
Using 94 published empirical articles in academic journals as a data base, this paper provides a critical review of the methodology employed in the study of ethical beliefs and behavior of organizational members. The review revealed that full methodological detail was provided in less than one half of the articles. Further, the majority of empirical research articles expressed no concern for the reliability or validity of measures, were characterized by low response rates, used convenience samples, and did not offer a (...) theoretic framework, hypotheses, or a definition of ethics. Several recommendations, including a reviewer rating form addressing methodological decisions and inclusion of methodologists on the review panel, are offered to improve methodological rigor in published ethics research. (shrink)
Cognitivism in respect to the arts refers to a constellation of positions that share in common the idea that artworks often bear, in addition to aesthetic value, a significant kind of cognitive value. In this paper I concentrate on three things: (i) the challenge of understanding exactly what one must do if one wishes to defend a cognitivist view of the arts; (ii) common anti-cognitivist arguments; and (iii) promising recent attempts to defend cognitivism.
Both the psychology of perception and the philosophy of perception seem to show a new face when the process is considered at its own level, distinct from that of sensation. Unfamiliar conceptions in physics, anatomy, physiology, psychology, and phenomenology are required to clarify the separation and make it plausible. But there have been so many dead ends in the effort to solve the theoretical problems of perception that radical proposals may now be acceptable. Scientists are often more conservative than philosophers (...) of science. I end, therefore, as I began, with a plea for help. (shrink)
We have two aims in this paper. The first is to provide the reader with a critical guide to recent work on relativity and persistence by Balashov, Gilmore and others. Much of this work investigates whether endurantism can be sustained in the context of relativity. Several arguments have been advanced that aim to show that it cannot. We find these unpersuasive, and will add our own criticisms to those we review. Our second aim, which complements the first, is to demarcate (...) the most defensible form of relativistic endurantism. A recurring theme of this paper is that even those philosophers who do worry about relativity have not taken it seriously enough. (shrink)
In this article, we describe the influence of violations of community standards of fairness (Kahneman, Knetsch, and Thaler, 1986a) on subsequent ethical decision-making and emotions. Across two studies, we manipulated explanations for a common action, and we find that explanations that violate community standards of fairness (e.g., by taking advantage of an in crease in market power) lead to greater intentions to behave unethically than explanations that are consistent with community standards of fairness (e.g., by passing along a price increase). (...) We find that perceptions of justifiability mediate this relationship. We also find that individuals derive significant psychological benefits (greater satisfaction, greater happiness, and reduced anger) from engaging in unethical behavior following perceived violations of fairness. (shrink)
A viable theory of literary humanism must do justice to the idea that literature offers cognitive rewards to the careful reader. There are, however, powerful arguments to the effect that literature is at best only capable of offering idle visions of a world already well known. In this essay I argue that there is a form of cognitive awareness left unmentioned in the traditional vocabulary of knowledge acquisition, a form of awareness literature is particularly capable of offering. Thus even if (...) it is the case that literature has nothing interesting to give us in the way of knowledge, the literary humanist can consistently maintain that literary experience is thoroughly cognitive. (shrink)
It is often assumed that literary meaning is essentially linguistic in nature and that literary interpretation is therefore a purely linguistic affair. This essay identifies a variety of literary meaning that cannot be reduced to linguistic meaning. Meaning of this sort is generated not by a communicative act so much as through a creative one: the construction of a fictional world. The way in which a fictional world can bear meaning turns out to be strikingly unlike the way a sentence (...) can, and this, I argue, has important implications for the theory of interpretation. (shrink)
The present study applied Ajzen's (1985) theory of planned behavior to the explanation of ethical decision making. Nurses in three hospitals were provided with scenarios that depicted inadequate patient care and asked if they would report health professionals responsible for the situation. Study results suggest that the theory of planned behavior can explain a significant amount of variation in the intent to report a colleague. Attitude toward performing the behavior explained a large portion of the variance; subjective norms explained a (...) moderate amount of the variance; and, perceived behavioral control added little to the explanation of variance. Implications for research and practice are discussed. (shrink)
This study applies a theoretical framework, the theory of reasoned action, to the examination of unethical decision making in job-related situations encountered by CPAs. A survey methodology was employed in which respondents were asked to use both self-reported and randomized response techniques for reporting unethical behavior. The results indicate that individuals are unwilling to accurately report either unethical behavior or intention, particularly in situations where there is no question as to the unacceptability of the action or the potential penalty as (...) presented in the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct. Implications for the accounting profession and research are discussed. (shrink)
The so-called "Prisoner''s Dilemma" is often referred to in business ethics, but probably not well understood. This article has three parts: (1) I claim that models derived from game theory are significant in the field for discussions of prudential ethics and the practical decisions managers make; (2) I discuss using them as a practical pedagogical exercise and some of the lessons generated; (3) more speculatively, I suggest that they are useful in discussions of corporate personhood.
This paper traces out the sense and the source of quine's naturalism. Quine's usage of the term 'naturalism' has two senses: his negative usage amounts to a denial of first philosophy; his affirmative usage amounts to an affirmation of scientism. He argues the former largely on the grounds of holism. He argues the latter on the grounds of unregenerate realism. As quine's holism and unregenerate realism are themselves well grounded, So therefore is his naturalization of epistemology.
Quine has long maintained in connection with his theses of under-determination of physical theory and indeterminacy of translation that there is a fact of the matter to physics but no fact of the matter to translation. In this paper, I investigate Quine's reasoning for this claim. I show that Quine's thinking about under-determination over the last twenty-five years has landed him in a contradiction: he says of two global physical theories that are empirically equivalent but logically incompatible that only one (...) is trueand that they are both true. In accord with the former position, I explain Quine'ssemantical argument for the claim that there is a fact of the matter to physics but not to translation. However, Quine has apparently come to regard this position as inconsistent with his empiricistic scruples: if both theories imply all and only true observation categoricals, then in what sense could one of them be false? Quine'strivial expedient argument construes such pairs of theories as merely two true descriptions of the same world in different terms. In accord with this latter position, I suggest that Quine is left without a way to differentiate under-determination and indeterminacy. In short, Quine's contradiction poses a serious dilemma: either only one such theory is true and his empiricism is sacrificed, or both theories are true and his distinction between under-determination and indeterminacy is sacrificed. (shrink)
This paper attempts a solution to the classical problem of predication, "the unity of the sentence": how, instead of merely listing the several things they designate, the parts of the sentence combine to represent something as being the case. While this capacity of a sequence of terms to "say some single thing" is standardly attributed to the distinct function of `subject' and `predicate' terms, these functional differences need explaining. Here, they are traced to the distinctive, asymmetrical causal explanation of the (...) tokening of the expressions serving one role or another in the speech act: the unity of the sentence is explained by the interconnection and interdependence of the cause of the predicate on that of the subject. Thus the account adverts to the pragmatic character of the expressions rather than the ontology of what they denote. This causal context explains several central semantic features of predication. (shrink)
I believe that corporations should be held responsible for their actions. Traditional discussions about the moral responsibility of an organization have relied on a model of criminal intent. Demonstrating intent demands that we find a moral agent capable of intending, and this has led to problems. Here I replace the analysis based on criminal law by one based on tort law. Under this framework I suggest that corporations can be held responsible for the harms caused by their activities even if (...) no person or persons in their decision making structure had formed malicious intent, since the sheer fact that the corporate environment encouraged or allowed negligence will be sufficient. (shrink)
: Before women could become visible as philosophers, they had first to become visible as rational autonomous thinkers. A social and ethical position holding that chastity was the most important virtue for women, and that rationality and chastity were incompatible, was a significant impediment to accepting women's capacity for philosophical thought. Thus one of the first tasks for women was to confront this belief and argue for their rationality in the face of a self-referential dilemma.
To claim that respect is one of the cornerstones of professional ethics is uncontroversial. However, it has become commonplace in the philosophical literature to distinguish between different kinds of respect. This paper considers the distinction between ‘recognition respect,’ said to be owed to persons as such, and ‘appraisal respect,’ said to be owed to those persons whom merit it, in the context of the professional–client relationship. Using the practice of counselling as an example, it is argued that both kinds of (...) respect have a place in the professional–client relationship, which is in turn articulated as a relationship between equally fallible moral agents. (shrink)