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)
Thomas L. Kane, a crusader for antislavery, women's rights, and the downtrodden, rose to prominence in his day as the most ardent and persuasive defender of Mormons' religious liberty. Though not a Mormon, Kane sought to defend the much-reviled group from the "Holy War" waged against them by evangelical America. His courageous personal intervention averted a potentially catastrophic bloody conflict between federal troops and Mormon settlers in the now nearly forgotten Utah War of 1857-58. Drawing on extensive, newly (...) available archives, this book is the first to tell the full story of Kane's extraordinary life. The book illuminates his powerful Philadelphia family, his personal life and eccentricities, his reform achievements, his place in Mormon history, and his career as a Civil War general. Further, the book revises previous understandings of nineteenth-century reform, showing how Kane and likeminded others fused Democratic Party ideology, anti-evangelicalism, and romanticism. (shrink)
I distinguish two ways of explaining our capacity for ‘transparent’ knowledge of our own present beliefs, perceptions, and intentions: an inferential and a reflective approach. Alex Byrne (2011) has defended an inferential approach, but I argue that this approach faces a basic difficulty, and that a reflective approach avoids the difficulty. I conclude with a brief sketch and defence of a reflective approach to our transparent self-knowledge, and I show how this approach is connected with the thesis that we must (...) distinguish between a kind of self-knowledge that is of oneself as agent and another kind that is of oneself as patient. (shrink)
Matthew Arnold was born at Laleham-on-Thames on 24 December 1822 as the eldest son of Dr Thomas Arnold and his wife Mary. He was educated at Winchester College, his father's old school; Rugby, where his father was headmaster; and Oxford. In 1851 he was appointed Inspector of Schools, pursuing this taxing career to support his wife and family until his retirement in 1886. He published his first volume of verse, The Strayed Reveller, and other Poems, in 1849 followed by (...) Empedocles on Etna, and other Poems and five further collections which appeared, with a diminishing number of new poems in each, between 1853 and 1867, after which his creative gift appeared to dwindle still further and he published little poetry. His career as a writer of prose began to take over after his election to the Professorship of Poetry at Oxford in 1857. Stimulated by preparing his lectures, many of the earliest published in 1865 as Essays in Criticism, he turned increasingly to the vigorous and widely ranging polemical commentaries on culture, religion, and society which were to make him known at home and abroad as the foremost critic of his day. He died suddenly of heart failure on 15 April 1888 while awaiting at Liverpool the arrival of his married daughter from America. (shrink)
It is argued that instrumentalizing the value of art does an injustice to artistic appreciation and provides a hostage to fortune. Whilst aestheticism offers an intellectual bulwark against such an approach, it focuses on what is distinctive of art at the expense of broader artistic values. It is argued that artistic appreciation and creativity involve not just skills but excellences of character. The nature of particular artistic or appreciative virtues and vices are briefly explored, such as snobbery, aestheticism and creativity, (...) in order to motivate a virtue theoretic approach. Artistic virtues are intrinsically valuable excellences of character that enable us to create or appreciate all sorts of things from everyday recipes to the finest achievements of humankind. Such an approach offers a new way to resist the age old temptation to instrumentalize the values of art. (shrink)
This paper raises a pair of objections to the novel libertarian position advanced in Robert Kane's recent book, The Significance of Free Will.The first objection's target is a central element in Kane's intriguing response to what he calls the "Intelligibility" and "Existence" questions about free will. It is argued that this response is undermined by considerations of luck.The second objection is directed at a portion of Kane's answer to what he calls "The Significance Question" about free will: (...) "Why do we, or should we, want to possess a free will that is incompatible with determinism? Is it a kind of freedom 'worth wanting'... and, if so, why?" A desire for "objective worth" has a featured role in his answer. However, a compatibilist can have that desire. (shrink)
In a recent article, Meghan Griffith (American Philosophical Quarterly 47:43–56, 2010) argues that agent-causal libertarian theories are immune to the problem of luck but that event-causal theories succumb to this problem. In making her case against the event-causal theories, she focuses on Robert Kane’s event-causal theory. I provide a brief account of the central elements of Kane’s theory and I explain Griffith’s critique of it. I argue that Griffith’s criticisms fail. In doing so, I note some important respects (...) in which Kane’s view is unclear and I suggest a plausible way of reading Kane that makes his theory immune to Griffith’s objections. (shrink)
I will argue that the Kane-Widerker objection to Frankfurt examples is much weaker than is generally recognized. The Kane-Widerker objection holds that proponents of Frankfurt examples beg the question against incompatibilist accounts of free and responsible action by constructing examples that tacitly assume a compatibilist account of moral responsibility; that is, they assume that one can have non-derivative responsibility for choices that were not undetermined prior to their occurrence. The notion of an event, E, being ‘undetermined prior to (...) its occurrence’ is ambiguous. It can mean either (1) with respect to each time t prior to E’s occurrence, it is not the case that at t E’s occurrence is determined to take place, or it can mean (2) with respect to the whole collection of times prior to E’s occurrence, E’s occurrence is not determined to take place. Kane’s argument shows that (under certain constraints) if a choice is to be undetermined (in the second sense) prior to its occurrence, then a prior-sign Frankfurt example cannot be successful. But he fails to show that prior-sign Frankfurt examples cannot be constructed in which the choice is undetermined (in the first sense) prior to its occurrence, and he would need to do so in order to sustain his charge that those using Frankfurt examples beg the question against traditional incompatibilist accounts of responsibility. Widerker’s argument avoids the above problem, but at the cost of only applying to a rather restricted set of Frankfurt examples. (shrink)
Robert Kane provides a critical overview of debates about free will of the past half century, relating this recent inquiry to the broader history of the free will issue and to vital currents of twentieth century thought. Kane also defends a traditional libertarian or incompatibilist view of free will, employing arguments that are both new to philosophy and that respond to contemporary developments in physics and biology, neuro science, and the cognitive and behavioral sciences.
Political philosophy presents a static conception of childhood as a state of lack, a condition where intellectual, physical, and moral capacities are undeveloped. This view, referred to by David Kennedy as the deficit view of childhood, is problematic because it systematically disparages certain universal features of humanity—dependency and growth—and incorrectly characterizes them as features of childhood only. Thus there is a strict separation between childhood and adulthood because adults are characterized as fully autonomous agents who have reached the end of (...) their moral and cognitive development. I argue that this view is mistaken, and limits both the developmental abilities of adults and ongoing moral development within an organized state. I propose that we view dependency as a human condition. By doing so, children and adults form the kind of relationship with one another that encourages the growth and development of our moral sense in both childhood and adulthood. (shrink)
A selection from Arnold's writing on education, other than Culture and Anarchy. All the pieces stem from his work as Inspector of Schools: they illustrate his concern both with the principles that must be established as a basis for the education of an industrial democracy and his practical concern with the day-to-day running of schools. 'Democracy' was first published as the introduction to The Popular Education of France. It faces the fundamental political problems and outlines the general objectives of a (...) state educational system. 'A French Eton' was the result of the same examination of French education to see what the British could learn from it; here he considers private education for the middle-classes. 'The twice-revised code' criticises the national Revised Code of 1862: a system founded on gross utilitarianism. Extracts from Arnold's reports as an inspector show the man of principle at work in particular circumstances and relating what he sees to what he would wish to see. The speech on his retirement comments on his lifetime of active involvement in education. (shrink)
In recent years, many non-consequentialists such as Frances Kamm and Thomas Scanlon have been puzzling over what has come to be known as the Number Problem, which is how to show that the greater number in a rescue situation should be saved without aggregating the claims of the many, a typical kind of consequentialist move that seems to violate the separateness of persons. In this article, I argue that these non-consequentialists may be making the task more difficult than necessary, because (...) allowing aggregation does not prevent one from being a non-consequentialist. I shall explain how a non-consequentialist can still respect the separateness of persons while allowing for aggregation. (shrink)
This paper provides a brief review of some of the central elements of Robert Kane’s event-causal libertarian theory of free will. It then goes on to consider four of the central criticisms Derk Pereboom has made of Kane’s view and it shows how each of these criticisms can be reasonably answered. These criticisms are the no further power/control objection, the disappearing agent/luck objection, the randomizing manipulator objection, and the problem of responsibility for efforts of will.
From Plato through Aquinas to Kant and beyond beauty has traditionally been considered the paradigmatic aesthetic quality. Thus, quite naturally following Socrates' strategy in The Meno, we are tempted to generalize from our analysis of the nature and value of beauty, a particular aesthetic value, to an account of aesthetic value generally. When we look at that which is beautiful, the object gives rise to a certain kind of pleasure within us. Thus aesthetic value is characterized in terms of that (...) which affords us pleasure. Of course, the relation cannot be merely instrumental. Many activities may lead to consequent pleasures that we would not consider to be aesthetic in any way. For example, playing tennis, going swimming or finishing a book. (shrink)
Matthew Soteriou provides an original philosophical account of sensory and cognitive aspects of consciousness. He explores distinctions of temporal character in our mental lives--especially in relation to the exercise of agency--and illuminates the more general issue of the place and role of mental action in the metaphysics of mind.