Designer Genes: A New Era in the Evolution of Man Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s11673-012-9363-1 Authors Sibdas Ghosh, Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Dominican University of California, 50 Acacia Avenue, San Rafael, CA 94901, USA Dian Calkins, Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Dominican University of California, 50 Acacia Avenue, San Rafael, CA 94901, USA Journal Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Online ISSN 1872-4353 Print ISSN 1176-7529.
This paper presents an attempt to bridge the gap between logical and cognitive treatments of strategic reasoning in games. There have been extensive formal debates about the merits of the principle of backward induction among game theorists and logicians. Experimental economists and psychologists have shown that human subjects, perhaps due to their bounded resources, do not always follow the backward induction strategy, leading to unexpected outcomes. Recently, based on an eye-tracking study, it has turned out that even human subjects who (...) produce the outwardly correct ‘backward induction answer’ use a different internal reasoning strategy to achieve it. The paper presents a formal language to represent different strategies on a finer-grained level than was possible before. The language and its semantics help to precisely distinguish different cognitive reasoning strategies, that can then be tested on the basis of computational cognitive models and experiments with human subjects. The syntactic framework of the formal system provides a generic way of constructing computational cognitive models of the participants of the Marble Drop game. (shrink)
This paper arose out of the 2017 international conference on AI and law doctoral consortium. There were five students who presented their Ph.D. work, and each of them has contributed a section to this paper. The paper offers a view of what topics are currently engaging students, and shows the diversity of their interests and influences.
How do people reason about their opponent in turn-taking games? Often, people do not make the decisions that game theory would prescribe. We present a logic that can play a key role in understanding how people make their decisions, by delineating all plausible reasoning strategies in a systematic manner. This in turn makes it possible to construct a corresponding set of computational models in a cognitive architecture. These models can be run and fitted to the participants’ data in terms of (...) decisions, response times, and answers to questions. We validate these claims on the basis of an earlier game-theoretic experiment about the turn-taking game “Marble Drop with Surprising Opponent”, in which the opponent often starts with a seemingly irrational move. We explore two ways of segregating the participants into reasonable “player types”. The first way is based on latent class analysis, which divides the players into three classes according to their first decisions in the game: Random players, Learners, and Expected players, who make decisions consistent with forward induction. The second way is based on participants’ answers to a question about their opponent, classified according to levels of theory of mind: zero-order, first-order and second-order. It turns out that increasing levels of decisions and theory of mind both correspond to increasing success as measured by monetary awards and increasing decision times. Next, we use the logical language to express different kinds of strategies that people apply when reasoning about their opponent and making decisions in turn-taking games, as well as the ‘reasoning types’ reflected in their behavior. Then, we translate the logical formulas into computational cognitive models in the PRIMs architecture. Finally, we run two of the resulting models, corresponding to the strategy of only being interested in one’s own payoff and to the myopic strategy, in which one can only look ahead to a limited number of nodes. It turns out that the participant data fit to the own-payoff strategy, not the myopic one. The article closes the circle from experiments via logic and cognitive modelling back to predictions about new experiments. (shrink)
Philip Pettit's narrative of the eclipse of republican by liberal liberty in late eighteenth-century Britain adds colour and plausibility to his analytical contrast between republican and liberal liberty. The narrative supports his argument that republicanism and liberalism can be helpfully contrasted in terms of non-domination and non- interference conceptions of liberty. While the narrative has not been scrutinized in the literature, it is in fact flawed. The flaws raise new questions about how stringent a value liberty as non-domination is and (...) what motivated the value. The flaws also raise new questions about the significance of liberty as non-interference within the very strand of liberalism that Pettit focuses upon. Finally, the article casts doubt on some aspects of Quentin Skinner's interpretation of republican liberty. (shrink)
An intellectual biography of Max Weber which uses his most famous work, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism as its starting point, with wider reference to the social, political, and religious thought of the time.
We make a proposal for formalizing simultaneous games at the abstraction level of player’s powers, combining ideas from dynamic logic of sequential games and concurrent dynamic logic. We prove completeness for a new system of ‘concurrent game logic’ CDGL with respect to finite non-determined games. We also show how this system raises new mathematical issues, and throws light on branching quantifiers and independence-friendly evaluation games for first-order logic.
The literature on the democratic legitimacy of judicial review and also on institutionalizing deliberative democracy neglects the possibility of employing juries rather than judges to determine bill-of-rights matters. This neglect is unfortunate, for there are findings emerging especially from deliberative polling that support the feasibility of such juries. Such feasibility would raise a new countermajoritarian concern with judicial review. The argument supporting this new concern also casts fresh light on the traditional countermajoritarian concern.
When formal literacy instruction begins, around the age of 5 or 6, children from families low in socioeconomic status tend to be less prepared than children from families of higher SES. The goal of our study is to explore one route through which SES may influence children's early literacy skills: informal conversations about letters. The study builds on previous studies of parent–child conversations that show how U. S. parents and their young children talk about writing and provide preliminary evidence about (...) similarities and differences in parent–child conversations as a function of SES. Focusing on parents and children aged three to five, we conducted five separate analyses of these conversations, asking whether and how family SES influences the previously established patterns. Although we found talk about letters in both upper and lower SES families, there were differences in the nature of these conversations. The proportion of letter talk utterances that were questions was lower in lower SES families and, of all the letter names that lower SES families talked about, more of them were uttered in isolation rather than in sequences. Lower SES families were especially likely to associate letters with the child's name, and they placed more emphasis on sequences in alphabetic order. We found no SES differences in the factors that influenced use of particular letter names, but there were SES differences in two-letter sequences. Focusing on the alphabet and on associations between the child's name and the letters within it may help to interest the child in literacy activities, but they many not be very informative about the relationship between letters and words in general. Understanding the patterns in parent–child conversations about letters is an important first step for exploring their contribution to children's early literacy skills and school readiness. (shrink)
Prior research has investigated the influence of decision maker characteristics on decision choice. This research examines the effect two personality traits of taxpayers, attitude towards risk and ethical standards, on intentional noncompliance. A taxpayer who is more (less) ethical will have lower (greater) intentional noncompliance, while a taxpayer who is more (less) risk averse will have lower (greater) intentional noncompliance. However, this study also found significant correlation between risk attitudes and ethical standards. This is because tax evasion is not just (...) a gamble which can be explained by merely considering the risk variable. To understand tax evasive behavior better requires incorporation of noneconomic factors in the analysis, such as ethical standards, although risk attitudes may be an important explanatory factor. The current research suggests that individuals with lower ethical standards will have more intentional noncompliance. However, since ethical standards are correlated with attitude toward risk, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can partially overcome the influence of ethics by making the tax audit environment more uncertain. Thus, the research results justify the decision of the IRS not to release all its audit parameters because it makes the audit environment less uncertain. (shrink)
When Matthew Arnold's wandering scholar-gipsy encounters former colleagues in a country lane who "of his way of life enquired," he replies thatHe spends the rest of his days in this lonely pursuit, "waiting for the spark from heaven to fall." If literature is compared to the scholar gipsy, what would be the politics and dynamics of the "spark"? Both have their presences, but in trying to understand their character—via the normative, aesthetic and cultural ways of understanding how they both matter (...) —have we forgotten the absences that circumscribe their existences? Is knowing the scholar-gipsy and literature as significant as knowing that both are also elusive? How can they be known outside their established and .. (shrink)
This paper studies the relationship between personal stock donation by top executives and board of directors (insiders) of publicly traded corporations and their personal tax, shareholders' returns, and social responsibility. The study finds evidence that the timing of stock donations is driven by personal tax gain. The study further shows, comparing stock gift corporations relative to their non-stock gift cohorts, that personal stock gifts are associated with lower short-term and long-term stock returns to shareholders. This implies that stock donation driven (...) by insiders' personal gain adversely affects shareholder wealth. However, the likelihood and intensity of insiders to make personal stock donation is reduced when firms have strong corporate social responsibility (CSR). Agency theory explains insiders' opportunistic behavior, stakeholder theory is also supported by evidence that stock donation is negatively related to CSR, and stewardship theory offers a different view to explain the rationale behind insiders' stock donation and shareholders' reactions to stock gifts. (shrink)
This paper on friendship starts with noticing the cultural specificities of the words, “friend” and “friendship”: how they possess rich nuances and meanings in some cultures not available in others. It has then delved into Aristotle’s treatment of friendship in his three ethical treatises with special reference to the relationship between friendship and morality and that between friendship and self-knowledge. Some comments are made on whether friendship is possible between persons of unequal virtues and whether they are capable of attaining (...) self-knowledge. This paper also discusses certain challenges to Aristotle’s claims that friendship is an unalloyed good. The point of these challenges is that friendship can also be a great bad. The paper concludes with the observation how rare has friendship become in the modern world resulting in loneliness, depression and alienation. (shrink)
The article examines the construction of ‘Puritanism’ in Max Weber's famous essays on the Protestant Ethic, and finds that the principal, empirical source for this lies in a set of neglected writings deriving from the religious margins of Britain: Scotland, Ireland and English Unitarianism. However, the impulse to construct “Puritanism” was not simply empirical, but conceptual. Historical ‘Puritanism’ would never have aroused so much of Weber's attention except as a close approximation to ‘ascetic Protestantism’—the avowed subject of the Protestant Ethic (...) and an undeniably new and modern idea. The nature of Weberian asceticism and its relationship to Puritanism is thus the article's second major concern. Besides exploring the intellectual world of Max Weber, the article also offers a more general, theoretical finding: that “empirical sources” are not tablets of stone, eternally available to the truth-seeking historian; rather they have a history of their own. They rise into prominence in much the same way as “secondary” literature, because they can hardly be understood independently of organizing concepts, and so seldom are. (shrink)
An important goal in causal inference is to achieve balance in the covariates among the treatment groups. In this article, we introduce the concept of distributional balance preserving which requires the distribution of the covariates to be the same in different treatment groups. We also introduce a new balance measure called kernel distance, which is the empirical estimate of the probability metric defined in the reproducing kernel Hilbert spaces. Compared to the traditional balance metrics, the kernel distance measures the difference (...) in the two multivariate distributions instead of the difference in the finite moments of the distributions. Simulation results show that the kernel distance is the best indicator of bias in the estimated casual effect compared to several commonly used balance measures. We then incorporate kernel distance into genetic matching, the state-of-the-art matching procedure and apply the proposed approach to analyze the Early Dieting in Girls study. The study indicates that mothers’ overall weight concern increases the likelihood of daughters’ early dieting behavior, but the causal effect is not significant. (shrink)
India’s energy demand is predicted to rise by 135% within a span of 20 years. Coping up with surging energy demands requires several reforms in both renewable and non-renewable sectors. Factors such as rising population, reduction in the cost of renewable energy technology and their effect on the nation’s GDP, can make policy making a herculean task and the justification for such policies, quite opaque to the public. Artificial Intelligence technology can help decision makers to quickly draw conclusions from voluminous (...) datasets under different heads. However, AI results need to be post-processed so that they are easily understood by the layperson. This paper focuses on using Sankey diagrams as a post-processing tool for AI systems. Policy formulation often requires an overall assessment of energy sources, production pathways, end used destinations and wastage encountered—these can be easily visualized with a Sankey diagram. For this work, a Sankey protocol was written out in a form where a prompt asks the user to supply information through a spreadsheet interfaced with a customized mobile app—a first anywhere in the subcontinent. India’s mobile sector is vibrant, and the paper presents a enabling the user to have a handle on the dynamics of energy distribution locally. The app gives an instant feel of the apportioned energy across grids, the projected changes for the next decade, the efficiency and feasibility of each sector and lastly a telling visual representation showing the main strengths and weaknesses in the energy sector. (shrink)
An effective and enriching discourse on comparative historiography invests itself in understanding the distinctness and identity that have created various civilizations. Very often, infected by bias, ideology, and cultural one-upmanship, we encounter a presumptuousness that is redolent of impatience with the cultural other and of an ingrained refusal to acknowledge what one’s own history and culture fail to provide. This “failure” need not be the inspiration to subsume the other within one’s own understanding of the world and history and, thereby, (...) neuter the possibilities of knowledge-sharing and cultural interface. It is a realization of the “lack” that provokes and generates encounters among civilizations. It should goad us to move away from what we have universalized and, hence, normalized into an axis of dialogue and mutuality. What Indians would claim as itihasa need not be rudely frowned upon because it does not chime perfectly with what the West or the Chinese know as history. Accepting the truth that our ways of understanding the past, the sense of the past, and historical sense-generation vary with different cultures and civilizations will enable us to consider itihasa from a perspective different from the Hegelian modes of doing history and hence preclude its subsumption under the totalitarian rubric of world history. How have Indians “done” their history differently? What distinctiveness have they been able to weave into their discourses and understanding of the past? Does the fact of their proceeding differently from how the West or the Chinese conceptualize history delegitimize and render inferior the subcontinental consciousness of “encounters with past” and its ways of being “moved by the past”? This article expatiates on the distinctiveness of itihasa and argues in favor of relocating its epistemological and ideological persuasions within a comparative historiographical discourse. (shrink)
We show that within the class of ontological models due to Harrigan and Spekkens, those satisfying preparation-measurement reciprocity must allow indeterminism comparable to that in quantum theory. Our result implies that one can design quantum random number generator, for which it is impossible, even in principle, to construct a reciprocal deterministic model.
The latter half of nineteenth-century England was rife with the evolution question. As English imperialism also reached its pinnacle during this time, racial gradations and superiority of the white race in the newly formed human chain loomed large culturally. In 1849, Thomas Carlyle anonymously published his anti-emancipationist perspective in “The Occasional Discourse on the Negro Question,” followed by John Stuart Mill’s divergent response to him in 1850 titled, “The Negro Question.” In 1878, The Westminster Review also published a woman’s perspective, (...) “The Importance of Race and Its Bearing on the Negro Question” by Alice Bodington, which resembled the Carlyle essay in various ways. Although Mill’s essay was a direct attack on Carlyle’s explosive article and is overtly against Carlyle and Bodington’s ideas, this paper argues that an imperialist agenda underlies Mill’s views and in fact poses the same theories of Carlyle and Bodington. The paper first proceeds to interrogate Mill’s hegemonic subtext through a comparison of these three essays by situating them within the scientific discourse of the era, arguing that science, especially phrenology and evolution theories, didn’t exist in a vacuum, but was used to perpetrate the normative racial ideologies of the period. The paper also uses Edward Said’s theory of ‘Othering the Orient’ in Culture and Imperialism to show that while Mill seemingly diverges from Carlyle’s stance, this ‘othering’ is in fact present in all three writers’ works. (shrink)
The Transforming growth factor beta (TGF‐β) family of secreted proteins regulates a variety of key events in normal development and physiology. In mammals, this family, represented by 33 ligands, including TGF‐β, activins, nodal, bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), and growth and differentiation factors (GDFs), regulate biological processes as diverse as cell proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, metabolism, homeostasis, immune response, wound repair, and endocrine functions. In Drosophila, only 7 members of this family are present, with 4 TGF‐β/BMP and 3 TGF‐β/activin ligands. Studies in (...) the fly have illustrated the role of TGF‐β/BMP ligands during embryogenesis and organ patterning, while the TGF‐β/activin ligands have been implicated in the control of wing growth and neuronal functions. In this review, we focus on the emerging roles of Drosophila TGF‐β/activins in inter‐organ communication via long‐distance regulation, especially in systemic lipid and carbohydrate homeostasis, and discuss findings relevant to metabolic diseases in humans. -/- . (shrink)