We have synthesized a 582,970-base pair Mycoplasma genitalium genome. This synthetic genome, named M. genitalium JCVI-1.0, contains all the genes of wild-type M. genitalium G37 except MG408, which was disrupted by an antibiotic marker to block pathogenicity and to allow for selection. To identify the genome as synthetic, we inserted "watermarks" at intergenic sites known to tolerate transposon insertions. Overlapping "cassettes" of 5 to 7 kilobases (kb), assembled from chemically synthesized oligonucleotides, were joined by in vitro recombination to produce intermediate (...) assemblies of approximately 24 kb, 72 kb ("1/8 genome"), and 144 kb ("1/4 genome"), which were all cloned as bacterial artificial chromosomes in Escherichia coli. Most of these intermediate clones were sequenced, and clones of all four 1/4 genomes with the correct sequence were identified. The complete synthetic genome was assembled by transformation-associated recombination cloning in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, then isolated and sequenced. A clone with the correct sequence was identified. The methods described here will be generally useful for constructing large DNA molecules from chemically synthesized pieces and also from combinations of natural and synthetic DNA segments. 10.1126/science.1151721. (shrink)
A symposium by twelve English thinkers of various Christian backgrounds. The papers investigate the possibility of incorporating traditional metaphysics and the insights of contemporary continental philosophers into the empirical and analytic tradition. The concept of intuition or immediate apprehension is explored in several of the papers as a possible key to the problem. Though the writers often fail to face up to hard problems, the book offers an important, if cautious, effort at integration.--F. W. N.
This article was written as a commentary on a target article by Peter W. Ross entitled "The Location Problem for Color Subjectivism" [Consciousness and Cognition 10(1), 42-58 (2001)], and is published together with it, and with other commentaries and Ross's reply. If you or your library have the necessary subscription you can get PDF versions of the target article, all the commentaries, and Ross's reply to the commentaries here. However, I do not think that it is by any means essential (...) for you to have read Ross's piece in order to understand this one. Ross defends a view called "color physicalism" or color realism that holds (simplifying somewhat) that colors are real physical properties (in typical cases, spectral reflectances of object surfaces). This is in opposition to what is probably a more widely held "subjectivist" view of color, holding that color qualities really exist only in the mind. In my commentary I suggest that a realist view of qualitative properties, such as Ross's, together with a direct, active view of perception, and a concept of "extended mind" (Clark & Chalmers, 1998) may provide the materials for a real solution to the notorious hard problem of consciousness. I sketch this solution in outline. - N.J.T.T. (shrink)
Oesterle's translation of Aquinas's commentary on Aristotle's Peri Hermeneias should fill a great need by presenting an excellent and painstakingly accurate English version of that classic. She has gone to the additional trouble of providing an independent translation of Aristotle's Greek text, taking care that it renders the original accurately as well as complements Aquinas's commentary. Of especial interest are the sections on modal propositions, their negation and the inferences valid from them.--W. G. E.
Without wishing to suggest that professional philosophers would regard the book as philosophy, I can report that this book is definitely philosophical. Most of the book pertains to mathematical invention, but not just the psychology thereof, with many examples of the way in which mathematical advances move from two different and incompatible ways of viewing something to a higher viewpoint on it that makes better sense and better mathematics. A simple example of this is the invention of zero, where the (...) two incompatible viewpoints are that numbers are for counting and that there is nothing to count. The number one exemplified almost the same degree of blockage for the ancient Greeks, for whom the least number was two. It is perhaps unfortunate that the word that the author chose to represent the presence of such resolvable cognitive difficulties is ‘ambiguity’. As ambiguity is severely shunned by mathematicians and as there is none of it—as the word is normally used—in such situations as are described either before, when there are the two viewpoints, or later when there is a higher one, the use of ‘ambiguity’ would be misleading if it were not so adequately explained not to mean ambiguity. The excuse for using the word is claimed to be the genuine ambiguity of one of the simplest examples discussed, 3 + 4, with indifferently the meanings ‘add four to three’ and …. (shrink)
Orta Çağ’da, İslam düşüncesi içerisinde yazılmış olan İbn Sînâ’nın eş-Şifâ: İlahiyat’ı, Gazzâlî’nin Makâsıdu’l-Felâsife’si ve İbn Rüşd’ün, Aristoteles’in eserlerine yazmış olduğu şerhler gibi pek çok felsefî ve teolojik eser Latinceye çevrilmiştir. Söz konusu çeviri eserler vasıtasıyla, İslam düşüncesinde carî olan, Tanrı’nın tikelleri kendi zatlarında bilip bilmediği, Tanrı’nın zatı gereği fiilde bulunup bulunmadığı, din ve felsefenin uzlaşıp uzlaşmayacağı gibi tartışmalı pek çok mesele Batı’ya intikal etmiştir. Bunlara ilaveten Tanrı’nın mutlak kudretinin alanının ne olduğu sorunu da Batı düşüncesinde bilinir hale gelmiştir. Bu çalışmada, (...) “Tanrı mantıksal olarak mümkün olanı yapabilir ve bu durum Tanrı’nın mutlak kudretine halel getirmez” anlayışının Latin Batı dünyasına İbn Sînâ’nın eş-Şifâ’sı ve Gazzâlî’nin Makâsıdu’l-Felâsife’sinin çevrileri vasıtasıyla intikal ettiği ortaya konulmaya çalışılmıştır. Tespit edebildiğimiz kadarıyla, Gazzâlî’nin Makâsıdu’l-Felâsife’de bu konuya ilişkin serdettiği fikirler ile Hristiyan teolog/düşünür Thomas Aquinas’ın fikirleri arasında önemli ölçüde benzerlik söz konusudur. Söz konusu benzerlik temele alınarak, Thomas Aquinas’ın bu hususta İslam düşüncesinden beslendiğini söylemek kuvvetle muhtemeldir. (shrink)
Thomas Nagel’ın “Yarasa Olmak Nasıl bir Şeydir” makalesi ve “Hiçbir Yerden Bakış” adlı kitabı aşırı derecede alıntılanmış iki eserdir. Buradaki argümanlar sıklıkla bilincin öznel boyutunun nesnel-bilimsel bir açıklamasının tümüyle yapılabilmesinin mümkün olmadığını gösteren, veya fizikalizmin sıkıntılarını dile getiren, veya düpedüz fizikalizmin bir reddi olarak algılanmış veya kullanılmışlardır. Bu çalışmamda her üç algının da, değişen oranlarda, hatalı olduğunu savunuyorum. Tezimi savunabilmek için, söylediğim üç ana yorumun, her birini özetliyor ve bunların her birinin neden yanlış olduğunu gösteriyorum. Böylelikle Nagel’ın ana projesi (...) olan nesnel fenomenoloji önerisini öne çıkararak tüm bu hataların bu projenin genelde pek incelenmemesi veya incelendiğinde yanlış algılanmasına dayandığını ortaya koyuyorum. Bunları ikna edici şekilde yapmak için gösterdiğim gerekçeler nihayetinde Nagel’ın nesnel fenomenoloji projesi aracılığıyla “bilincin öznel karakterini nesnel bir şekilde açıklamaya çalıştığı” şeklindeki ikinci tezimi destekleyecektir. (shrink)
With each of our three criminal-law topics—defining offenses, apprehending suspects, and establishing punishments—we feel, I believe, strong moral resistance to the idea that our practices should be settled by a prospective-participant perspective. This becomes quite clear when we look at how the “reforms” suggested by institutional viewing might combine once we consider all three topics together: imagine a more extensive and swifter use of the death penalty in homicide cases coupled with somewhat lower standards of evidence; or think of backing (...) a strict-liability criminal statute with the death penalty. Of course, such “reforms” would increase the execution of innocents; but, their proponents will tell us, any penal system involves the punishment of some innocents, and, if it provides for the death penalty, the execution of some innocents. Moreover, why is it worse for innocents to be punished than for innocents to suffer an equivalent harm in some other way? Formulated from a prospective-participant perspective: Why not run a small risk of being innocently executed in exchange for reducing, much more significantly, the risk of dying prematurely in other ways? (shrink)
The question of what constitutes human flourishing elicits an extraordinary variety of responses, which suggests that there are not merely differences of opinion at work, but also different understandings of the question itself. So it may help to introduce some clarity into the question before starting work on one answer to it.
Celia Wolf‐Devine: Descartes on Seeing: Epistemology and Visual Perception. Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1993, pp. viii + 121. ISBN 0–8093–1838–5. Thomas Hobbes: Leviathan with selected variants front the Latin edition of 1668. Edited, with Introduction and Notes by Edwin Curley. Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., Indianapolis/cambridge 1994, pp. lxxx‐584. ISBN 0–87220–178–3, £27.95, 0–87220–177–5, £6.95. Allison Coudert: Leibniz and the Kabbalah. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1995, pp. 218. £68.00. ISBN 0–7923–3114–1. Richard Price: The Correspondence. [Edited by D. O. (...)Thomas and W. Bernard Peach]. Vol. III. February 1786‐February 1791. Edited by W. Bernard Peach.. ISBN 0–8223–1327–8. Henry Allison: Idealism and Freedom: Essays on Kant's Theoretical and Practical Philosophy. Cambridge University Press, 1996. xxi + 217 pp. £30, £10.95. ISBN 0–521–48295‐X, 0–521–48337–9. Terry Pinkard: Hegel's Phenomenology: The Sociality of Reason. Cambridge University Press, 1994. 4451 pp. £40.00 hb. ISBN 0–521–45300–3. Mary Anne Perkins: Coleridge's Philosophy, The Logos as Unifying Principle. pp. 310. £30.00. ISBN 0–19–824075–9. Elzbieta Ettinger: Hannah Arendt ‐ Martin Heidegger £10.95 ISBN 0–300–06407–1 Dana R. Villa: Arendt and Heidegger ‐ The Fate of the Political ISBN 0–691–04400–7. (shrink)