Computer analysis of biological systems, using approaches such as metabolic control analysis is common. A typical example is a language like Herbert Sauro's SCAMP (Sauro & Fell, 1991), which allows simulations of enzyme systems, and calculation of control coefficients and elasticities. However such systems are motivated by the underlying biochemical theory and often have limitations as programming languages which mean that they can only be applied to particular classes of problems.ABPL (a biochemical programming language) extends these ideas by adding all (...) the facilities of a fully-fledged programming language, together with some of the capabilities of a modern computer algebra system. Syntactically it derives from the programming language LISP, while the underlying functionality is that of iMAP, the successor to SCAMP. (shrink)
Recently, there has been a debate as to whether or not the principle of the identity of indiscernibles (the PII) is compatible with quantum physics. It is also sometimes argued that the answer to this question has implications for the debate over the tenability of ontic structural realism (OSR). The central aim of this paper is to establish what relationship there is (if any) between the PII and OSR. It is argued that one common interpretation of OSR is undermined if (...) the PII turns out to be false, since it is committed to a version of the bundle theory of objects, which implies the PII. However, if OSR is understood as the physical analogue of (sophisticated) mathematical structuralism then OSR does not imply the PII. It is further noted that it is (arguably) a virtue of OSR that it is compatible with a version of the PII for possible worlds. (shrink)
This paper is a review of work on Newman's objection to epistemic structural realism (ESR). In Section 2, a brief statement of ESR is provided. In Section 3, Newman's objection and its recent variants are outlined. In Section 4, two responses that argue that the objection can be evaded by abandoning the Ramsey-sentence approach to ESR are considered. In Section 5, three responses that have been put forward specifically to rescue the Ramsey-sentence approach to ESR from the modern versions of (...) the objection are discussed. Finally, in Section 6, three responses are considered that are neutral with respect to one's approach to ESR and all argue (in different ways) that the objection can be evaded by introducing the notion that some relations/structures are privileged over others. It is concluded that none of these suggestions is an adequate response to Newman's objection, which therefore remains a serious problem for ESRists. Introduction Epistemic Structural Realism 2.1 Ramsey-sentences and ESR 2.2 WESR and SESR The Objection 3.1 Newman's version 3.2 Demopoulos and Friedman's and Ketland's versions Replies that Abandon the Ramsey-Sentence Approach to ESR 4.1 Redhead's reply 4.2 French and Ladyman's reply Replies Designed to Rescue the Ramsey-Sentence Approach 5.1 Zahar's reply 5.2 Cruse's reply 5.3 Melia and Saatsi's reply Replies that Argue that Some Structures/Relations are Privileged 6.1 A Carnapian reply 6.2 Votsis' reply 6.3 The Merrill/Lewis/Psillos reply Summary CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
The past hypothesis is that the entropy of the universe was very low in the distant past. It is put forward to explain the entropic arrow of time but it has been suggested. The emperor’s new mind. London:Vintage Books; Penrose, R.. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 571, 249–264; Price, H.. In S. F. Savitt, Times’s arrows today. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; Price, H.. Time’s arrow and Archimedes’ point. Oxford: Oxford University Press; Price, H.. In C. Hitchcock, Contemporary (...) debates in philosophy of science. Oxford: Blackwell]) that it is itself in need of explanation. It has also been suggested that cosmic inflation could provide the explanation, but Price raises a serious objection to this suggestion, which has otherwise received very little attention in the philosophical literature. Price points out that the standard inflationary explanation involves a double standard: although the evolution of the universe described by the inflationary model seems natural from the standard temporal perspective it looks highly unnatural from the reversed temporal perspective. The main purpose of this paper is to propose a novel form of the inflationary explanation that avoids this objection. It is argued that the inflationary model would not involve a double standard if we construct the model with a global “boundary” condition instead of a conventional boundary condition: if we assume that the universe is as generic as possible overall, rather than as generic as possible at some given point as is assumed in the standard inflationary model. This novel form of the inflationary explanation is then compared with Price’s 1996 preferred explanation, a version of the so-called “Weyl hypothesis”. (shrink)
In this paper recent work that attempts to link quantum entanglement to (i) thermodynamic energy, (ii) thermodynamic entropy and (iii) information is reviewed. With respect to the first two links the paper is essentially expository. The final link is elaborated on: it is argued that the value of the entanglement of a bipartite system in a pure state is equal to the value of the irreducible uncertainty (i.e. irreducibly missing information) about its subsystems and that this suggests that entanglement gives (...) rise to irreducible uncertainty. (The exact meaning of the phrase “irreducible uncertainty”, as used here, is explained in the body of the paper. Roughly speaking, it is the uncertainty about the post-measurement state of a system that cannot be removed at the pre-measurement stage.) This analysis is used to make a further connection between entanglement and statistical mechanical entropy: it is argued that these properties are indirectly linked, in so far as both give rise to forms of uncertainty (albeit rather different forms of uncertainty about rather different things). (shrink)
Orbell and Dawes develop a non-game theoretic heuristic that yields a âcooperator's advantageâ by allowing players to project their own âcooperate-defectâ choices onto potential partners (1991, p. 515). With appropriate parameter values their heuristic yields a cooperative environment, but the cooperation depends, simply, on optimism about others' behavior (1991, p. 526). In earlier work, Dawes (1989) established a statistical foundation for such optimism. In this paper, I adapt some of the concerns of Dawes (1989) and develop a game theoretic model (...) based on a modification of the Harsanyi structure of games with incomplete information (1967â1968). I show that the commonly made conjecture that strategic play is incompatible with cooperation and the cooperator's advantage is false. (shrink)
Any evolved disposition for fairness and cooperation would not replace but merely compete with selfish and other antisocial impulses. Therefore, we propose that human cooperation and fairness depend on self-regulation. Evidence shows reductions in fairness and other prosocial tendencies when self-regulation fails.
Four studies measured or manipulated beliefs in free will to illuminate how such beliefs are linked to other aspects of personality. Study 1 showed that stronger belief in free will was correlated with more gratitude, greater life satisfaction, lower levels of perceived life stress, a greater sense of self-efficacy, greater perceived meaning in life, higher commitment in relationships, and more willingness to forgive relationship partners. Study 2 showed that the belief in free will was a stronger predictor of life satisfaction, (...) meaning in life, gratitude, and self-efficacy than either locus of control or implicit person theory. Study 3 showed that experimentally manipulating disbelief in free will caused a reduction in the perceived meaningfulness of life. Study 4 found that inducing a stronger belief in free will caused people to set more meaningful goals for themselves. The possible concern that believers in free will simply claim all manner of positive traits was contradicted by predicted null finding.. (shrink)
Neonatal extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a technology for the treatment of respiratory failure in newborns, is used as a case study to examine statistical and ethical aspects of clinical trials and to illustrate a proposed 'ethics of evidence', an approach to medical uncertainty within the context of contemporary biomedical ethics. Discussion includes the twofold aim of the ethics of evidence: to clarify the role of uncertainty and scientific evidence in medical decision-making, and to call attention to the need to confront (...) the irreducible nature of uncertainty. (shrink)
Van de Vliert's findings fit nicely with our recent arguments implying that (1) differentiated selfhood is partly motivated by requirements of cultural groups, and (2) free will mainly exists within culture. Some cultural groups promote individual freedom, whereas others constrict it so as to maintain elites' power and privilege. Thus, freedom is, to a great extent, a creation of culture.
In response to concern over the numeracy skills deficit displayed by student nurses, an online computer programme, ?Authentic World??, which aims to simulate a real-life clinical environment and improve the medication dosage calculation skills of users, was developed (Founded in 2004 Authentic World Ltd is a spin out company of Glarmorgan and Cardiff Universities, Cardiff, Wales UK.). Two randomised controlled trials were conducted, each at a UK University, in order to investigate the impact of Authentic World? on student nurses? general (...) numeracy abilities. All first year nursing students who gave consent were randomised equally into an intervention or control group. The intervention group were given access to Authentic World?. The primary outcome measure was the students? scores on a general numeracy test. The Intention to Treat (ITT) analysis in both trials revealed a small negative effect of Authentic World? on general numeracy, which was statistically significant in one trial. However, compliance with the intervention was very low in both trials, with only 24 and 12% of students allocated to the intervention groups spending more than 15 minutes using the programme. Providing nursing students with access to Authentic World? is not an effective use of resources since use of the programme appears to be very low. (shrink)