The role of the gods in the classical world's epic tradition has long been the subject of controversy. In the first book to discuss the problem of the gods across the entire classical literary tradition, rather than in a few individual works, Professor Feeney draws upon the writings of the ancient critics, and looks in detail at the work of the poets themselves.
In 2012, a new and promising gene manipulation technique, CRISPR-Cas9, was announced that seems likely to be a foundational technique in health care and agriculture. However, patents have been granted. As with other technological developments, there are concerns of social justice regarding inequalities in access. Given the technologies’ “foundational” nature and societal impact, it is vital for such concerns to be translated into workable recommendations for policymakers and legislators. Colin Farrelly has proposed a moral justification for the use of patents (...) to speed up the arrival of technology by encouraging innovation and investment. While sympathetic to his argument, this article highlights a number of problems. By examining the role of patents in CRISPR and in two previous foundational technologies, we make some recommendations for realistic and workable guidelines for patenting and licensing. (shrink)
According to the PubMed resource from the U.S. National Library of Medicine, over 750,000 scientific articles have been published in the ~5000 biomedical journals worldwide in the year 2007 alone. The vast majority of these publications include results from hypothesis-driven experimentation in overlapping biomedical research domains. Unfortunately, the sheer volume of information being generated by the biomedical research enterprise has made it virtually impossible for investigators to stay aware of the latest findings in their domain of interest, let alone to (...) be able to assimilate and mine data from related investigations for purposes of meta-analysis. While computers have the potential for assisting investigators in the extraction, management and analysis of these data, information contained in the traditional journal publication is still largely unstructured, free-text descriptions of study design, experimental application and results interpretation, making it difficult for computers to gain access to the content of what is being conveyed without significant manual intervention. In order to circumvent these roadblocks and make the most of the output from the biomedical research enterprise, a variety of related standards in knowledge representation are being developed, proposed and adopted in the biomedical community. In this chapter, we will explore the current status of efforts to develop minimum information standards for the representation of a biomedical experiment, ontologies composed of shared vocabularies assembled into subsumption hierarchical structures, and extensible relational data models that link the information components together in a machine-readable and human-useable framework for data mining purposes. (shrink)
Without inductive reasoning, we couldn't generalize from one instance to another, derive scientific hypotheses, or predict that the sun will rise again tomorrow morning. Despite the widespread nature of inductive reasoning, books on this topic are rare. Indeed, this is the first book on the psychology of inductive reasoning in twenty years. The chapters survey recent advances in the study of inductive reasoning and address questions about how it develops, the role of knowledge in induction, how best to model people's (...) reasoning, and how induction relates to other forms of thinking. Written by experts in philosophy, developmental science, cognitive psychology, and computational modeling, the contributions here will be of interest to a general cognitive science audience as well as to those with a more specialized interest in the study of thinking. (shrink)
Four experiments investigated how people judge the plausibility of category-based arguments, focusing on the diversity effect, in which arguments with diverse premise categories are considered particularly strong. In Experiment 1 we show that priming people as to the nature of the blank property determines whether sensitivity to diversity is observed. In Experiment 2 we find that people's hypotheses about the nature of the blank property predict judgements of argument strength. In Experiment 3 we examine the effect of our priming methodology (...) on people's tendency to bring knowledge about causality or similarity to bear when evaluating arguments, and in Experiment 4 we show that whether people's hypotheses about the nature of the blank property were causal predicted ratings of argument strength. Together these results suggest that diversity effects occur because diverse premises lead people to bring general features of the premise categories to mind. Although our findings are broadly consistent with Bayesian and Relevance-based approaches to category-based inductive reasoning, neither approach captures all of our findings. (shrink)
In this paper we argue that it is often adaptive to use one's background beliefs when interpreting information that, from a normative point of view, is incomplete. In both of the experiments reported here participants were presented with an item possessing two features and were asked to judge, in the light of some evidence concerning the features, to which of two categories it was more likely that the item belonged. It was found that when participants received evidence relevant to just (...) one of these hypothesised categories they used their background beliefs to interpret this information. In Experiment 2, on the other hand, participants behaved in a broadly Bayesian manner when the evidence they received constituted a completed likelihood ratio. We discuss the circumstances under which participants, when making their judgements, consider the alternative hypothesis. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of our results for an understanding of hypothesis testing, belief revision, and categorisation. (shrink)
Leibniz claims that God acts in the best possible way, and that this includes creating exactly one world. But worlds are aggregates, and aggregates have a low degree of reality or metaphysical perfection, perhaps none at all. This is Leibniz’s tendency toward acosmism, or the view that there this no such thing as creation-as-a-whole. Many interpreters reconcile Leibniz’s acosmist tendency with the high value of worlds by proposing that God sums the value of each substance created, so that the best (...) world is just the world with the most substances. I call this way of determining the value of a world the Additive Theory of Value (ATV), and argue that it leads to the current and insoluble form of the problem of incompossibility. To avoid the problem, I read “possible worlds” in “God chooses the best of all possible worlds” as referring to God’s ideas of worlds. These ideas, though built up from essences, are themselves unities and so well suited to be the value bearers that Leibniz’s theodicy requires. They have their own value, thanks to their unity, and that unity is not preserved when more essences are added. (shrink)
Three experiments investigated the effect of rarity on people's selection and interpretation of data in a variant of the pseudodiagnosticity task. For familiar (Experiment 1) but not for arbitrary (Experiment 3) materials, participants were more likely to select evidence so as to complete a likelihood ratio when the initial evidence they received was a single likelihood concerning a rare feature. This rarity effect with familiar materials was replicated in Experiment 2 where it was shown that participants were relatively insensitive to (...) explicit manipulations of the likely diagnosticity of rare evidence. In contrast to the effects for data selection, there was an effect of rarity on confidence ratings after receipt of a single likelihood for arbitrary but not for familiar materials. It is suggested that selecting diagnostic evidence necessitates explicit consideration of the alternative hypothesis and that consideration of the possible consequences of the evidence for the alternative weakens the rarity effect in confidence ratings. Paradoxically, although rarity effects in evidence selection and confidence ratings are in the spirit of Bayesian reasoning, the effect on confidence ratings appears to rely on participants thinking less about the alternative hypothesis. (shrink)
Rawls’ principle of fair equality of opportunity has been regularly discussed and criticized for being inadequate regarding natural inequalities. In so far as this egalitarian goal is sound, the purpose of the paper is to see how the prospect of radical genetic intervention might affect this particular inadequacy. I propose that, in a post-genetic setting, an appropriate response would be to extend the same rules regulating societal inequalities to a regulation of comparable genetic inequalities. I defend this stance against recent (...) arguments from the authors of From Chance to Choice and from Colin Farrelly’s alternative of the genetic difference principle. (shrink)
On average, women make up half of introductory-level philosophy courses, but only one-third of upper-division courses. We contribute to the growing literature on this problem by reporting the striking results of our study at the University of Oklahoma. We found that two attitudes are especially strong predictors of whether women are likely to continue in philosophy: feeling similar to the kinds of people who become philosophers, and enjoying philosophical puzzles and issues. In a regression analysis, they account for 63% of (...) variance. Importantly, women are significantly less likely to hold these attitudes than men. Thus, instructors who care about improving the retention of women undergraduates should find ways to improve these attitudes – for instance, by demonstrating the ways in which professional philosophers are like them. We will discuss some tentative but intuitively plausible suggestions for interventions, though further research is required to establish the effectiveness of those interventions. (shrink)
The reconciliation between Juno and Jupiter at the end of the Aeneid forms the cap to the divine action of the poem. The scene is conventionally regarded as the resolution of the heavenly discord that has prevailed since the first book; in particular, it is normal to see here a definitive transformation of Juno, as she abandons, her enmity once and for all, committing herself wholeheartedly to the Roman cause. So G. Lieberg, for example: ‘I due emisferi di Giove e (...) di Giunone alia fine del poema si ricongiungono nella totalita del mondo divino, garante del glorioso futuro di Roma’ or W. Kiihn: ‘In einem strahlenden, vollen Schlussakkord endet das Gottergesprach.’. (shrink)
The revolutionary potential of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technique has created a resurgence in enthusiasm and concern in genetic research perhaps not seen since the mapping of the human genome at the turn of the century. Some such concerns and anxieties revolve around crossing lines between somatic and germline interventions as well as treatment and enhancement applications. Underpinning these concerns, there are familiar concepts of safety, unintended consequences and damage to genetic identity and the creation of designer children through pursuing (...) human enhancement and eugenics. In the policy realm, these morally laden distinctions and anxieties are emerging as the basis for making important and applied measures to respond to the fast-evolving scientific developments. This paper argues that the dominant normative framing for such responses is insufficient for this task. This paper illustrates this insufficiency as arising from a continued reliance on misleading genetic essentialist assumptions that generate groundless speculation and over-reactionary normative responses. This phenomenon is explicit with regard to prospective human genetic enhancements. While many normative theorists and state-of-the-art reports continue to gesture toward the influence of environmental and social influences on a person and their traits and capacities, this recognition does not extend to the substance of the arguments themselves which tend to revert to the debunked genetic determinist framework. Given the above, this paper argues that there is a pressing need for a more central role for sociological input into particular aspects of this “enhancement myth” in order to give added weight, detail and substance to these environmental influences and influence from social structures. (shrink)
In most discussions of the social justice implications of new genetic technologies, enhancements are considered to be highly contentious. This is particularly so when we speak of enhancements that benefit the recipient in positional terms and enhancements that are germ-line and which can be passed on to future generations. I argue that the egalitarian reluctance, as displayed by Max Mehlman, to permitting enhancements is overblown. Recent writings from Buchanan and Farrelly highlight a more positive, context-dependent, role for permitting the socio-economically (...) advantaged the freedom to gain access to enhancements, including enhancements of traits associated with positional or competitive advantage. I argue that this reasoning also applies to germ-line enhancements or, at least, to 'effective germ-line enhancements.' In other words, I argue that such enhancements should be more seriously considered in terms of this positive context-dependent role. Nevertheless, this support is not unqualified. I critically re-examine concerns regarding the notion of the genetic underclass and I raise some worries about the possible adverse consequence of such a regulatory framework on sustaining the required egalitarian ethos. Importantly, such worries will be focused on the adverse effects of inequalities, rather than germ-line enhancements themselves. (shrink)
Given the constraints of human partiality and the possible social benefits of widespread genetic technology, allowing for incentive-based inequalities in access in order to boost innovation and diffusion may be the only feasible option available to the post-genomics egalitarian planner. In light of the prevailing ethos that exists in the non-ideal circumstances of society, an initial post-genomics egalitarian goal for all to have equivalent access to comparable genetic interventions seems very unlikely to succeed.While I outline how the initial egalitarian goal (...) can entail either overly prohibitive or overly idealistic prescriptions, I argue that the more recent non-ideal focus has not given adequate attention to how different distributions in genetic access may not only be constrained by, but may also affect the prevailing ethos for better or worse, in turn affecting the range of feasible options into the future. I analyse Farrelly’s Lax Genetic Difference Principle , as an exemplar of a non-ideal post-genomics theorising, and evaluate it in terms of its anticipated effects on the egalitarian ethos. I argue that achieving a more just distribution of access to genetic technologies, by principles that take into account genuine non-ideal considerations, requires a greater awareness of such effects.Finally, I briefly sketch a framework for ‘ethos-proofing’ non-ideal principles, in terms of access to genetic technologies, particularly enhancements, with regard to maintaining and fostering such an egalitarian ethos. (shrink)
This book examines the transition from the perspective of adult attachment theory. It reviews previous studies of the transition to parenthood and of adult attachments, and presents the results of a comprehensive new study of parenthood. In this study, the researchers followed the experiences of approximately 100 couples who were becoming parents for the first time, together with a comparison sample of couples who were not planning to have a child at this stage. Couples were assessed on four occasions: during (...) the second trimester of pregnancy, and 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months post-birth. The book addresses such key issues as the division of domestic labor, the changing nature of couples' marital relationships, changes in new parents' attachment networks, postnatal depression, and factors predicting the ease of the transition. (shrink)
Aeneas' speech of defence before Dido is the longest and most controversial he delivers. Although by no means typical, it can open up some revealing perspectives over the rest of the poem. The exchange between the two, having as its kernel a dispute over obligations and responsibilities, requires some words of context. The early part of the book describes the establishment of a liaison between the refugee leaders, while revealing amongst the poem's characters a wide discrepancy of opinion over the (...) nature of that liaison. Juno announces that she will arrange the marriage of the couple ; after the ensuing marriage-parody of the cave-scene , Dido also calls what now exists a ‘marriage’: coniugium uocat, hocpraetexit nomine culpam . Fama too, moving around Libya, speaks as if Dido has taken Aeneas for husband . But the local King Iarbas regards Aeneas as a pirate who has carried off a successful job of plunder , while Jupiter looks down from heaven and sees ‘lovers’, amantis . Mercury is able to address Aeneas as uxorius. (shrink)
At the age of twenty-five, Gn. Pompeius acquired the spectacular cognomen of Magnus. According to Plutarch, the name came either from the acclamation of his army in Africa, or at the instigation of Sulla. According to Livy, the practice began from the toadying of Pompeius' circle. The cognomen invited play. At the Ludi Apollinares of July 59, Cicero tells us, the actor Diphilus won ‘a dozen encores’ when he pronounced, from a lost tragedy, the line ‘nostra miseria tu es magnus’. (...) Four or five years later Catullus scored a fine hit, filching Pompeius' cognomen and giving it to his zealously competitive father-in-law: ‘Caesaris uisens monimenta magni’. In Lucan's Bellum Civile such plays on the cognomen are elevated into something of considerable power, testifying to a consistent controlling design, of the sort which many still deny the poem. When Pompeius first appears he is compared with Caesar, to his detriment: ‘nec coiere pares’. So much for Pompeius' vaunted intolerance of an equal, of which we have just been reminded: ‘nec quemquam iam ferre potest Caesarue priorem | Pompeiusue parem’. Many of the images in this introductory section have a programmatic power, and will recur. With ‘nec coiere pares’ Lucan presents the two as an ill-matched pair of gladiators. The metaphor is ubiquitous. Note, in particular, 5.1–3, and 6.3, ‘parque suum uidere dei’. We are further told that Pompeius seeks ‘fama’, is a ‘popularis’, indulges the people, basks in the applause he receives from the mob in his theatre: ‘famaeque petitor | multa dare in uolgus, totus popularibus auris | impelli plausuque sui gaudere theatri’. We will return later to this complex of ideas. (shrink)
Gigerenzer, Todd, and the ABC Research Group argue that optimisation under constraints leads to an infinite regress due to decisions about how much information to consider when deciding. In certain cases, however, their fast and frugal heuristics lead instead to an endless series of decisions about how best to decide.
At the age of twenty-five, Gn. Pompeius acquired the spectacular cognomen of Magnus. According to Plutarch , the name came either from the acclamation of his army in Africa, or at the instigation of Sulla. According to Livy, the practice began from the toadying of Pompeius' circle . The cognomen invited play. At the Ludi Apollinares of July 59, Cicero tells us, the actor Diphilus won ‘a dozen encores’ when he pronounced, from a lost tragedy, the line ‘nostra miseria tu (...) es magnus’. Four or five years later Catullus scored a fine hit, filching Pompeius' cognomen and giving it to his zealously competitive father-in-law: ‘Caesaris uisens monimenta magni’ . In Lucan's Bellum Civile such plays on the cognomen are elevated into something of considerable power, testifying to a consistent controlling design, of the sort which many still deny the poem. When Pompeius first appears he is compared with Caesar, to his detriment: ‘nec coiere pares’ . So much for Pompeius' vaunted intolerance of an equal, of which we have just been reminded: ‘nec quemquam iam ferre potest Caesarue priorem | Pompeiusue parem’ . Many of the images in this introductory section have a programmatic power, and will recur. With ‘nec coiere pares’ Lucan presents the two as an ill-matched pair of gladiators. The metaphor is ubiquitous. Note, in particular, 5.1–3, and 6.3, ‘parque suum uidere dei’. We are further told that Pompeius seeks ‘fama’, is a ‘popularis’, indulges the people, basks in the applause he receives from the mob in his theatre: ‘famaeque petitor | multa dare in uolgus, totus popularibus auris | impelli plausuque sui gaudere theatri’ . We will return later to this complex of ideas. (shrink)
We describe evidence that certain inductive phenomena are associated with IQ, that different inductive phenomena emerge at different ages, and that the effects of causal knowledge on induction are decreased under conditions of memory load. On the basis of this evidence we argue that there is more to inductive reasoning than semantic cognition.