Recent evidence from our lab indicates that LTP shares an important property with memory consolidation: it is consolidated by natural reinforcement. Nevertheless, the hypothesis, that LTP-like mechanisms or other forms of enhanced synaptic efficacy are basic elements in learning is not unequivocally supported. Skepticism aside, LTP is an accessible experimental model that is optimally equipped for the investigation of the cellular and molecular machinery involved in synaptic weight changes.
This is my review of the Festschrift for the German philosopher Klaus Oehler, who was the first German President of the C.S. Peirce Society. The contributions are concerned with Oehler's work, his influence in German and in international philosophy and particularly with his studies of C.S. Peirce and William James.
Pragmata: Festschrift für Klaus Oehler Chiefly in German, this handsomely produced volume, occasioned by the 80th birthday of Hamburg philosopher Klaus Oehler, assembles 31 papers, divided among 4 sections, successively devoted to ancient philosophy, semiotics, pragmatism and topics in modernity. One of the papers appears in French, “La philosophie de la musique dans l’ancien stoicisme,” by Evanghelos Moutsopoulos of the University of Athens. The book also contains 5 papers in English, concentrated in the sections on semiotics and pragmatism, (...) including authors familiar in these pages, such as Richard Robin “Charles Sanders Peirce Then and Now,” and Sandra Rosenthal writing on Peirce’s “neglected argument.” Several of the authors writing in German are also familiar to readers of these pages, including Helmut Pape, Hans Joas and Ludwig Nagl. The book is filled out with a short preface by the editors, a catalogue of the writings of Klaus Oehler from 1989 to 2008 (including mention of recent attention to William James), a comprehensive index of names and information on the contributing authors. The overall design of the book gives the impression of Peircean semiotics and pragmatism mediating between the ancients and modern problems.<br> The editors note some of Oehler’s honors: He received an honorary doctorate from the University of Athens (1993), was the first German President of the C.S. Peirce Society (1982) and in 1998 was awarded the International Prize of the Antonio Iannone Foundation in Rome. The title “Pragmata” is understood to stand for thought’s needed reference to facts and reality, and it expresses concern with relevance (Sachbezug). It is indicative of Oehler’s rejection of “all idealistic speculation,” and his “radical critique of idealism and utopian thinking” (Hingst and Liatsi, p. 9). One may sense Peirce-inspired echoes of the nineteenth century, neo-Kantian flight from Hegel: “Zu der Sache.”<br>. (shrink)
These remarks deal with the attempt of G. Klaus to establish a theory of knowledge by combining basic ideas of cybernetics and information theory with the position of dialectical materialism. Klaus underlines the materialistic approach and the importance of science, rather than Hegelian dialectics. Irrespective of the ideological issues, the following of Klaus' suggestions are debatable: The connection between brain structure and logical reasoning. Treating information and information processing as basic notions, although this does not account for (...) the capacity of the human mind to inquire into any object whatever. Regarding the evolution of mankind as a selection process, determined by the way in which signals from the environment are selected and elaborated. Explaining creative thinking by the trial and error method. Giving a naturalistic derivation of the goals and optimation criteria of the cybernetic system 'man' exclusively from its relation to environment. (shrink)
In many countries consumers have shown an increasing interest to the way in which food products are being produced. This study investigates Chinese consumers’ attitudes towards different pig production systems by means of a conjoint analysis. While there has been a range of studies on Western consumers’ attitudes to various forms of food production, little is known about the level of Chinese consumers’ attitudes. A cross-sectional survey was carried out with 472 participants in 6 Chinese cities. Results indicate that Chinese (...) consumers prefer industrial pig production systems, where traditional pig breeds are raised, over large-scale and small family farms. Farms with maximum attention to food safety, which furthermore can provide lean meat with consistent quality, are also preferred. Imported pig breeds and tasty but variable meat were rejected. A 3-cluster solution found that consumers from cluster 1 focus almost exclusively on the food safety aspect (food safety focused). Consumers from cluster 2 (indifferent) show weak overall attitudes to pig production systems in general. Cluster 3 (industrial production oriented) stands out by being very positive about industrial, large-size farms and consistent quality. From a Chinese consumer’s perspective, the industrial approach seems to represent values such as achievement and evolution, as well as quality and safety, since pig production is moving away from low-cost, low-quality, and low-safety family-scale systems. A complex set of rural and environmental development, quality aspects, and food safety measures are challenges that must be met by the stakeholders of pig production systems in China. (shrink)
This paper deals with EMIL-S, a software tool box which was designed during the EMIL project for the simulation of processes during which norms emerged in an agent society. This tool box implements the cognitive architecture of normative agents which was designed during the EMIL project which is also discussed in other papers in this issue. This implementation is described in necessary detail, and two examples of its application to several different scenarios are given, namely a scenario in which persons (...) involved in micro finance are simulated and learn how to sanction free riders and how to learn from these sanctions, and a scenario in which simulated persons move through a simulated airport where they more often than not have to wait in queues and learn how to behave properly in queues. (shrink)