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)
This book brings together contributions from seventeen of the world's foremost legal and political philosophers to examine the lasting influence of H.L.A. Hart. The essays explore the major subjects of Hart's work: general jurisprudence, criminal responsibility, rights, justice, causation and the foundations of liberalism.
What are species? Are they objective features of the world? If so, what sort of features are they? Do everyday intuitions that species are real stand up to philosophical and scientific scrutiny? Two rival accounts of species' reality have dominated the discussion: that species are natural kinds defined by essential properties and that species are individuals. Unfortunately, neither account fully accommodates biological practice. In Are Species Real?, Slater presents a novel approach to this question aimed at accommodating the attractions to (...) both realism and antirealism about species. (shrink)
The morality of interrogational torture has been the subject of heated debate in recent years. In explaining why torture is morally wrong, Kramer engages in deep philosophical reflections on the nature of morality and on moral conflicts.
In Albert Camus and the Political Philosophy of the Absurd: Ambivalence, Resistance, and Creativity, Matthew H. Bowker takes an interdisciplinary approach to Albert Camus’ political philosophy by reading absurdity itself as a metaphor for the psychosocial dynamics of ambivalence, resistance, integration, and creativity. Decoupling absurdity from its ontological aspirations and focusing instead on its psychological and phenomenal contours, Bowker discovers an absurdist foundation for ethical and political practice.
This book is an uncompromising defense of legal positivism that insists on the separability of law and morality. After distinguishing among three facets of morality, Kramer explores a variety of ways in which law has been perceived as integrally connected to each of those facets. The book concludes with a detailed discussion of the obligation to obey the law--a discussion that highlights the strengths of legal positivism in the domain of political philosophy as much as in the domain of jurisprudence.
This book is the product of a major British Academy Symposium held in 2007 to mark the centenary of the birth of H.L.A. Hart, the most important legal philosopher and one of the most important political philosophers of the twentieth century. -/- The book brings together contributions from seventeen of the world's foremost legal and political philosophers who explore the many subjects in which Hart produced influential work. Each essay engages in an original analysis of philosophical problems that were tackled (...) by Hart, some essays including extended critical discussions of his major works: The Concept of Law, Punishment and Responsibility, Causation in the Law and Law, Liberty and Morality. All the main topics of Hart's philosophical writings are featured: general jurisprudence and legal positivism; criminal responsibility and punishment; theories of rights; toleration and liberty; theories of justice; and causation in the law. (shrink)
In this major new work, Matthew Kramer seeks to establish two main conclusions. On the one hand, moral requirements are strongly objective. On the other hand, the objectivity of ethics is itself an ethical matter that rests primarily on ethical considerations. Moral realism - the doctrine that morality is indeed objective - is a moral doctrine. Major new volume in our new series _New Directions in Ethics_ Takes on the big picture - defending the objectivity of ethics whilst rejecting (...) the grounds of much of the existing debate between realists and anti-realists Cuts across both ethical theory and metaethics Distinguished by the quality of the scholarship and its ambitious range. (shrink)
What is objectivity? What is the rule of law? Are the operations of legal systems objective? If so, in what ways and to what degrees are they objective? Does anything of importance depend on the objectivity of law? These are some of the principal questions addressed by Matthew H. Kramer in this lucid and wide-ranging study that introduces readers to vital areas of philosophical enquiry. As Kramer shows, objectivity and the rule of law are complicated phenomena, each comprising a (...) number of distinct though overlapping dimensions. Although the connections between objectivity and the rule of law are intimate, they are also densely multi-faceted. (shrink)
Critical Legal Theory and the Challenge of Feminism provides both a thorough overview and a refinement of the ideas that underlie critical legal theory. Arguing with the rigor of analytic philosophy and the alertness to paradoxes characteristic of deconstructive philosophy, Matthew Kramer begins by exploring the tangled relations between metaphysics and politics. He then attempts to transform the discourses of the critical legal studies movement by laying out a framework of five general themes: contradictions, contingency, patterning, perspective, and ideology. (...) Kramer calls for a more sophisticated awareness of their paradoxes, explaining why the paradoxes are by no means disabling or demobilizing. Finally, Kramer explores some of feminist theory's major controversies and problems, and argues that feminist theory can profit greatly by giving due attention to inescapable paradoxes. The book is an important contribution to political philosophy, jurisprudence, feminist philosophy and metaphysics, with powerful implications for epistemology and literary theory. (shrink)
John Locke's labor theory of property is one of the seminal ideas of political philosophy and served to establish its author's reputation as one of the leading social and political thinkers of all time. Through it Locke addressed many of his most pressing concerns, and earned a reputation as an outstanding spokesman for political individualism - a reputation that lingers widely despite some partial challenges that have been raised in recent years. In this major new study Matthew Kramer offers (...) an extensive critique of the labor theory and investigates the consequences of its downfall. With incisive analyses of the merits and failings of many aspects of Locke's political thought, Kramer advances a powerful challenge to Locke's image as an individualist. Employing a rigorously philosophical methodology, but remaining aware of the insights generated by historical approaches to Locke, Kramer concludes that Locke's political vision was in fact profoundly communitarian. (shrink)
This book expounds an analytical method that focuses on paradoxes - a method originally associated with deconstructive philosophy, but bearing little resemblance to the interpretive techniques that have come to be designated as 'deconstruction' in literary studies. The book then applies its paradox-focused method as it undertakes a sustained investigation of Thomas Hobbe's political philosophy. Hobbes's theory of the advent and purpose of government turns out to reveal the impossibility of the very developments which it portrays as indispensable.
The book draws heavily on unparalleled access to the archives of Astrid Kirchherr and includes photographs of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Kirchherr's former fiance, Stuart Sutcliffe, as well as other key protagonists in ...
During the past several decades, political philosophers have frequently clashed with one another over the question whether governments are morally required to remain neutral among reasonable conceptions of excellence and human flourishing. Whereas the numerous followers of John Rawls have maintained that a requirement of neutrality is indeed incumbent on every system of governance, other philosophers -- often designated as 'perfectionists' -- have argued against the existence of such a requirement. Liberalism with Excellence enters these debates not by plighting itself (...) unequivocally to one side or the other, but instead by reconceiving each of the sides and thus by redirecting the debates that have occurred between them. On the one hand, the book rejects the requirement of neutrality by contending that certain subsidies for the promotion of excellence in sundry areas of human endeavour can be proper and vital uses of resources by governments. Advocating such departures from the constraint of neutrality, the book presents a version of liberalism that can rightly be classified as 'perfectionist'. On the other hand, the species of perfectionism espoused in Liberalism with Excellence diverges markedly from the theories that have usually been so classified. Indeed, much of the book assails various aspects of those theories. What is more, the aspirational perfectionism elaborated in the closing chapters of the volume is reconcilable in most key respects with a suitably amplified version of Rawlsianism. Hence, by reconceiving both the perfectionist side and the neutralist side of the prevailing disputation, Liberalism with Excellence combines and transforms their respective insights. (shrink)
The authors of this book engage in essay form in a lively debate over the fundamental characteristics of legal and moral rights. They examine whether rights fundamentally protect individuals' interests or whether they instead fundamentally enable individuals to make choices. In the course of this debate the authors address many questions through which they clarify, though not finally resolve, a number of controversial present-day political debates, including those over abortion, euthanasia, and animal rights.
This collection of essays forms a lively debate over the fundamental characteristics of legal and moral rights. The essays examine whether rights fundamentally protect individuals' interests or whether they instead fundamentally enable individuals to make choices.
How are law and morality connected, how do they interact, and in what ways are they distinct? In Part I of this book, Matthew Kramer argues that moral principles can enter into the law of any jurisdiction. He contends that legal officials can invoke moral principles as laws for resolving disputes, and that they can also invoke them as threshold tests which ordinary laws must satisfy. In opposition to many other theorists, Kramer argues that these functions of moral principles (...) are consistent with all the essential characteristics of any legal system. Part II reaffirms the legal positivist argument that law and morality are separable, arguing against the position of natural-law theory, which portrays legal requirements as a species of moral requirements. Kramer contends that even though the existence of a legal system in any sizeable society is essential for the realization of fundamental moral values, law is not inherently moral either in its effects or in its motivational underpinnings. In the final part, Kramer contests the widespread view that people whose conduct is meticulously careful cannot be held morally responsible for harmful effects of their actions. Through this argument, he reveals that fault-independent liability is present even more prominently in morality than in the law. Through a variety of arguments, Where Law and Morality Meet highlights both some surprising affinities and some striking divergences between morality and law. (shrink)
In this wide-ranging investigation of many prominent issues in contemporary legal, political, and moral philosophy, Matthew Kramer combines penetrating critiques with original theorizing as he examines the writings of numerous major theorists (including Ronald Dworkin, H. L. A. Hart, Alan Gewirth, David Lyons, Ronald Coase, John Finnis, Jules Coleman, Anthony Kronman, and Richard Posner). While Kramer argues with the rigor that is the hallmark of the tradition of analytic philosophy, his inquiries extend not only to that tradition but also (...) to such other traditions as Aristotelianism and Continental philosophy and Legal Realism. (shrink)
Taking a fresh look at a central controversy in criminal law theory, The Ethics of Capital Punishment presents a rationale for the death penalty grounded in a theory of the nature of evil and the nature of defilement. Original, unsettling, and deeply controversial, it will be an essential reference point for future debates on the subject.
Matthew H. Bowker offers a novel analysis of "experience": the vast and influential concept that has shaped Western social theory and political practice for the past half-millennium. While it is difficult to find a branch of modern thought, science, industry, or art that has not relied in some way on the notion of "experience" in defining its assumptions or aims, no study has yet applied a politically-conscious and psychologically-sensitive critique to the construct of experience. Doing so reveals that most (...) of the qualities that have been attributed to experience over the centuries — particularly its unthinkability, its correspondence with suffering, and its occlusion of the self — are part of unlikely fantasies or ideologies. By analyzing a series of related cases, including the experiential education movement, the ascendency of trauma theory, the philosophy of the social contract, and the psychological study of social isolation, the book builds a convincing case that ideologies of experience are invoked not to keep us close to lived realities and ‘things-in-themselves,’ but, rather, to distort and destroy true knowledge of ourselves and others. In spite of enduring admiration for those who may be called champions of experience, such as Michel de Montaigne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and others treated throughout the work, the ideologies of experience ultimately discourage individuals and groups from creating, resisting, and changing our experience, urging us instead to embrace trauma, failure, deprivation, and self-abandonment. (shrink)
Michael Ghiselin and David Hull’s individuality thesis is that biological species are individuals. Philosophers often treat the term “individual” as synonymous with “mereological sum” and characterize it in terms of mereology. It is easy to see how the biological project has been interpreted as a mereological one. This chapter argues that this is a mistake, that biological part/whole relations often violate the axioms of mereology. Conflating these projects confuses the central issues at stake in both, and makes the job of (...) evaluating either unnecessarily burdensome. Clarifying this helps identify the genuine metaphysical implications of the individuality thesis, which serves as an exemplar of scientifically informed metaphysics. (shrink)
In this wide-ranging investigation of leading issues in contemporary legal and political philosophy, distinguished philosophers and legal theorists tackle issues such as the rights of animals, the role of public-policy considerations in legal reasoning, the appropriateness of compensation as a means of rectifying mishaps and misdeeds, the extent of individuals' responsibility for the consequences of their choices, and the culpability of failed attempts to commit crimes.
Philosophers have long been interested in a series of interrelated questions about natural kinds. What are they? What role do they play in science and metaphysics? How do they contribute to our epistemic projects? What categories count as natural kinds? And so on. Owing, perhaps, to different starting points and emphases, we now have at hand a variety of conceptions of natural kinds—some apparently better suited than others to accommodate a particular sort of inquiry. Even if coherent, this situation isn’t (...) ideal. My goal in this article is to begin to articulate a more general account of ‘natural kind phenomena’. While I do not claim that this account should satisfy everyone—it is built around a certain conception of the epistemic role of kinds and has an obvious pragmatic flavour—I believe that it has the resources to go further than extant alternatives, in particular the homeostatic property cluster view of kinds. (shrink)
This volume analyzes the biological and philosophical disagreements in evolutionary ethics and points out difficulties with the interpretations. The book is divided into four sections. The first is an historical introduction to the origin of evolutionary ethics, showing how different evolutionary ethics was a hundred years ago, and how distant Huxley is from most of us now. The second section argues for a sociobiological interpretation of evolutionary ethics. The third section presents the view opposite to that of the second section (...) and rejects the sociobiological interpretation. The fourth section deals objectively with many complex and fundamental issues from diverse perspectives. (shrink)
We often knowingly teach false science. Such a practice conflicts with a prima facie pedagogical value placed on teaching only what’s true. I argue that only a partial dissolution of the conflict is possible: the proper aim of instruction in science is not to provide an armory of facts about what things the world contains, how they interact, and so on, but rather to contribute to an understanding of how science as a human endeavor works and what sorts of facts (...) about the world science aims to provide. Such an aim legislates for an increased prominence of history and philosophy in even secondary science education. (shrink)
This volume of new essays, written by leading philosophers of science, explores a broadly methodological question: what role should metaphysics play in our philosophizing about science? The essays address this question both through ground-level investigations of particular issues in the metaphysics of science and by more general methodological investigations.
In this volume, the work of British psychoanalyst D.W. Winnicott is set in conversation with some of today’s most talented psychodynamically-sensitive political thinkers. The editors and contributors demonstrate that Winnicott’s thought contains underappreciated political insights, discoverable in his reflections on the nature of the maturational process, and useful in working through difficult impasses confronting contemporary political theorists. Specifically, Winnicott’s psychoanalytic theory and practice offer a framework by which the political subject, destabilized and disrupted in much postmodern and contemporary thinking, may (...) be recentered. Each chapter in this volume, in its own way, grapples with this central theme: the potential for authentic subjectivity and inter-subjectivity to arise within a nexus of autonomy and dependence, aggression and civility, destructiveness and care. This volume is unique in its contribution to the growing field of object-relations-oriented political and social theory. It will be of interest to political scientists, psychologists, and scholars of related subjects in the humanities and social sciences. (shrink)
Defines learning and shows how the learning process is studied. Clearly written and user-friendly, _Introduction to the Theories of Learning_ places learning in its historical perspective and provides appreciation for the figures and theories that have shaped 100 years of learning theory research. The 9th edition has been updated with the most current research in the field. Learning Goals Upon completing this book, readers should be able to: Define learning and show how the learning process is studied Place learning theory (...) in historical perspective Present essential features of the major theories of learning with implications for educational practice. (shrink)