Epidemiological methods, which combine population thinking and group comparisons, can primarily identify causes of disease in populations. There is therefore a tension between our intuitive notion of a cause, which we want to be deterministic and invariant at the individual level, and the epidemiological notion of causes, which are invariant only at the population level. Epidemiologists have given heretofore a pragmatic solution to this tension. Causal inference in epidemiology consists in checking the logical coherence of a causality statement and determining (...) whether what has been found grossly contradicts what we think we already know: how strong is the association? Is there a dose-response relationship? Does the cause precede the effect? Is the effect biologically plausible? Etc. This approach to causal inference can be traced back to the English philosophers David Hume and John Stuart Mill. On the other hand, the mode of establishing causality, devised by Jakob Henle and Robert Koch, which has been fruitful in bacteriology, requires that in every instance the effect invariably follows the cause (e.g., inoculation of Koch bacillus and tuberculosis). This is incompatible with epidemiological causality which has to deal with probabilistic effects (e.g., smoking and lung cancer), and is therefore invariant only for the population. (shrink)
Research misconduct has been thoroughly discussed in the literature, but mainly in terms of definitions and prescriptions for proper conduct. Even when case studies are cited, they are generally used as a repository of “lessons learned.” What has been lacking from this conversation is how the lessons of responsible conduct of research are imparted in the first place to graduate students, especially those in technical fields such as engineering. Nor has there been much conversation about who is responsible for what (...) in training students in Responsible Conduct of Research or in allocating blame in cases of misconduct. This paper explores three seemingly disparate cases of misconduct—the 2004 plagiarism scandal at Ohio University; the famous Robert Millikan article of 1913, in which his reported data selection did not match his notebooks; and the 1990 fabrication scandal in Dr. Leroy Hood’s research lab. Comparing these cases provides a way to look at the relationship between the graduate student (or trainee) and his/her advisor (a relationship that has been shown to be the most influential one for the student) as well as at possibly differential treatment for established researchers and researchers-in-training, in cases of misconduct. This paper reflects on the rights and responsibilities of research advisers and their students and offers suggestions for clarifying both those responsibilities and the particularly murky areas of research-conduct guidelines. (shrink)
The paper discusses some recent suggestions offered by the so-called sensorimotor (or enactivist) theorists as to the problem of the explanatory gap, that is, the alleged impossibility of accounting for phenomenal consciousness in any scientific theory. We argue in the paper that, although some enactivist theorists’ suggestions appear fresh and eye-opening, the claim that the explanatory gap is (dis)solved is much overstated.
Objective: To evaluate the effect of an intervention on the understanding and use of DNR orders by physicians; to assess the impact of understanding the importance of involving competent patients in DNR decisions.Design: Prospective clinical interventional study.Setting: Internal medicine department of the hospital of La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.Participants: Nine junior physicians in postgraduate training.Intervention: Information on the ethics of DNR and implementation of new DNR orders.Measurements and main results: Accurate understanding, interpretation, and use of DNR orders, especially with respect to the (...) patients’ involvement in the decision were measured. Junior doctors writing DNR orders had an extremely poor understanding of what DNR orders mean. The correct understanding of the definition of a DNR order increased from 31 to 93% after the intervention and the patients’ involvement went from 17% to 48% . Physicians estimated that 75% of their DNR patients were mentally competent at the time of the decision.Conclusion: An intervention aimed at explaining the ethical principles and the definition of DNR orders improves understanding of them, and their implementation, as well as patient participation. Specific efforts are needed to increase the involvement of mentally competent patients in the decision. (shrink)
If the cultural variations concerning knowledge and research on ordinary reasoning are part of cultural history, what kind of historiographical method is needed in order to present the history of its evolution? This paper proposes to introduce the study of theories of reasoning into a historiographic perspective because we assume that the answer to the previous question does not only depend of internal controversies about how reasoning performance is explained by current theories of reasoning. [...].
This article focuses on Jacques Rancière’s reflections on Alfredo Jaar’s The Rwanda Project in the context of wider discussions of the politics of naming the dead. Against the claim that his reflections reveal a depoliticizing, universalist commitment to naming all the dead, it contends that foregrounding the relation between naming and counting in this discussion shows Rancière’s focus to be the policing and politics of naming. In an original argument, it focuses specifically on how, for Rancière, in this context, (...) individualized proper names function politically and dissensually. To do so it explores Rancière’s analysis of the role of the mainstream media during the Rwandan genocide in perpetuating the police order which divided nameable individuals from anonymous masses, thereby constituting living and dead Rwandans as of little or no account, and his account of how Jaar’s art is able to disrupt the ‘partition of the sensible’ underpinning this count. The article concludes by considering how Rancière’s ideas about the relationship between naming and counting and between politics and police serve as a useful supplement to and extension of existing discussions of grievability. (shrink)
Maurizio Ferraris’ Goodbye Kant! Cosa resta oggi della Critica della ragion pura has been a notable success in the field of popular philosophical writing in Italy. With refreshing irreverence and wit, the book mounts a sustained attack on the supposed confusions of Kant’s first Critique, and bemoans their influence on later philosophy. In particular, Ferraris argues that by attempting to found the necessary features of experience on physics, Kant confuses experience and ontology with science and epistemology and arrives at the (...) implausible conclusion that our experience and knowledge, and perhaps even the existence, of things depend on how our minds are structured. Unsurprisingly, Goodbye Kant! has provoked strong reactions from Kant scholars. Alfredo Ferrarin’s Congedarsi da Kant? collects four particularly considered responses, along with a reply from Ferraris himself. (shrink)
In its discussion of Gil Courtemanche’s Un dimanche à la piscine à Kigali and Alfredo Jaar’s installation of “Real Pictures,” both of which are representations of the Rwandan Genocide, this analysis contributes to a larger discussion on ethical representations of violence. Generally the discussion of the ethics of representation analyzes the ways in which the author or artist portrays the violent events. It focuses on the importance of the historical and political context when describing the events, as well as (...) on the ways in which the author or artist avoids the potential objectifying or dehumanizing effects of representations on the victims, as well as, the perpetrators. This article highlights another important element to be considered in the study of ethical representations- that of how the reader is engaged in the representation and as a result may or may not contribute to stereotypes, objectification, and other negative consequences possible when representing violence. Those who represent violence must not only consider ethical implications with their own interactions with the event and text or image, but also how they encourage their audience to interact with them. (shrink)
Pereira’s “The Projective Theory of Consciousness” is an experimental statement, drawing on many diverse sources, exploring how consciousness might be produced by a projective mechanism that results both in private selves and an experienced world. Unfortunately, pulling together so many unrelated sources and methods means none gets full attention. Furthermore, it seems to me that the uncomfortable breadth of this paper unnecessarily complicates his project; in fact it may hide what it seeks to reveal. If this conglomeration of diverse sources (...) and methods were compared to trees, the reader may feel like the explorer who cannot see the forest for the trees. Then again, it may be the author who is so preoccupied with foreground figures that the everpresent background is ultimately obscured. (shrink)
The author presents a critical edition of the Latin treatise De mineralibus, which was generally attributed to Aristotle in the Middle Ages, but is in fact an abridgement of two chapters from Avicenna’s Kitāb al-Šifā’ compiled and translated from Arabic by Alfred of Sareshill, who put them at the end of the Liber metheororum, the first Latin version of Aristotle’s Meteorology. De mineralibus is transmitted by more than a hundred manuscripts. The edition is based on the complete collation of ten (...) witnesses of the text, selected according the stemma codicum proposed in vol. X.1 of Aristoteles Latinus, in which part IV of the Liber metheororum has been published. In addition to the editorial criteria, the author presents and discusses some peculiarities of Alfred’s Arabic-Latin translation. The edition is accompanied by Latin-Arabic and Arabic-Latin glossaries. (shrink)
RESUMEN El artículo responde algunas críticas planteadas por Ignacio Ávila a mi interpretación de la epistemología davidsoniana. Presento argumentos en contra de: a) que sea necesario distinguir entre representaciones epistemológicamente “peligrosas”e “inofensivas”; b) que el empirismo mínimo sea un tipo de realismo directo; c) que mi uso de la expresión “evidencia distal” y el interés por la teoría de la correspondencia sean asuntos ajenos a Davidson. Finalmente, sostengo que la triangulación es un elemento fundamental de la epistemología davidsoniana, pues permite (...) sortear la ansiedad realista manteniéndose en una postura no representacionalista. ABSTRACT In this article, I respond to some of Ignacio Ávila's criticisms of my interpretation of Davidson’s epistemology. I argue against: a) the need to distinguish between epistemologically “dangerous” and “harmless” representations; b) the idea that minimal empiricism is a kind of direct realism; and c) the claim that my usage of the expression “distal evidence” and interest in the theory of correspondence are issues that do not pertain to Davidson. Finally, I claim that triangulation is a key element in Davidsonian epistemology since it allows us to deal with the realist anxiety while maintaining a non-representationalist viewpoint. (shrink)
El De dogmatibus ecclesiasticis de Genadio de Marsella se encuentra próximo a la tradición de los símbolos, compilaciones doctrinarias de consulta ágil, por su estructura interna y contenidos. El examen del tratado genadiano contribuye a delimitar su contexto de composición, así como las preferencias dogmáticas de su autor. The De dogmatibus ecclesiasticis of Gennadius of Massilia is close to the tradition of symbols, easy to read doctrinal compilations, because of its structure and contents. The exam of Gennadius’ book contributes to (...) define its composition context and its author’s dogmatic choices. (shrink)
In 2000 “Literatura e Utopia”, a research group led by Ildney Cavalcanti, started working at the Federal University of Alagoas, including members from three other institutions. Despite its namesake, the group focuses extensively on cultural as well as literary aspects of utopian thinking, with special regard for the colonial and postcolonial viewpoints of Latin America. The group has been responsible for two issues of the university’s language and literature journal Leitura. They also penned the 2006 volume Fábulas da Iminência. Ensaios (...) sobre literatura e... (shrink)