Throughout the biological and biomedical sciences there is a growing need for, prescriptive ‘minimum information’ (MI) checklists specifying the key information to include when reporting experimental results are beginning to find favor with experimentalists, analysts, publishers and funders alike. Such checklists aim to ensure that methods, data, analyses and results are described to a level sufficient to support the unambiguous interpretation, sophisticated search, reanalysis and experimental corroboration and reuse of data sets, facilitating the extraction of maximum value from data sets (...) them. However, such ‘minimum information’ MI checklists are usually developed independently by groups working within representatives of particular biologically- or technologically-delineated domains. Consequently, an overview of the full range of checklists can be difficult to establish without intensive searching, and even tracking thetheir individual evolution of single checklists may be a non-trivial exercise. Checklists are also inevitably partially redundant when measured one against another, and where they overlap is far from straightforward. Furthermore, conflicts in scope and arbitrary decisions on wording and sub-structuring make integration difficult. This presents inhibit their use in combination. Overall, these issues present significant difficulties for the users of checklists, especially those in areas such as systems biology, who routinely combine information from multiple biological domains and technology platforms. To address all of the above, we present MIBBI (Minimum Information for Biological and Biomedical Investigations); a web-based communal resource for such checklists, designed to act as a ‘one-stop shop’ for those exploring the range of extant checklist projects, and to foster collaborative, integrative development and ultimately promote gradual integration of checklists. (shrink)
Of all the kinds of arguments that philosophers use to support their conclusions, the one type that I find personally to stick longest and most vividly in my mind is the verbal pictures they occasionally draw. Whether this is a result of the fact that I myself think best in pictorial terms or, as I would rather like to believe, is a tribute to the verbal artistry of the writers themselves, it remains true that, for me, the history of philosophy (...) is punctuated with pictures, some pleasing and others perplexing. I need hardly mention Plato; with the Allegory of the Cave, the Myth of Er, the Charioteer of the Soul, and countless others he is beyond question the supreme master of the art. But other examples easily come to mind. I see Descartes seated in solitude before the fire in his dressing gown, suddenly to be surprised by a malignant demon, who appears at his shoulder to whisper insinuatingly into his ear that 2 plus 2 does not equal 4 at all. Or William James on a camping trip with friends trying to decide whether one of their number who keeps circling a tree on which a squirrel clings - and in turn circles the tree at equal speed, keeping the tree between him and his tormenter and never permitting the latter to get into a position behind his back - does or does not circle the squirrel, as he undoubtedly does circle the tree to which the squirrel clings. Or, I see G. E. Moore - and it is this picture that gives rise to the present paper - carefully contemplating two complete, independent, and quite different worlds, trying to decide which of the two is intrinsically better than the other. (shrink)
More than sixty-five black-and-white photographs as well as explanations on the aesthetic rationale and techniques used in order to produce these artworks, are featured in a representative collection of the author's thirty-eight years of ...
Routledge is now re-issuing this prestigious series of 204 volumes originally published between 1910 and 1965. The titles include works by key figures such asC.G. Jung, Sigmund Freud, Jean Piaget, Otto Rank, James Hillman, Erich Fromm, Karen Horney and Susan Isaacs. Each volume is available on its own, as part of a themed mini-set, or as part of a specially-priced 204-volume set. A brochure listing each title in the "International Library of Psychology" series is available upon request.
Islamic philosophy makes a sharp distinction between different categories of believers. Some, and indeed most, believers follow Islam in an unquestioning and natural manner. They adhere to the legal requirements of the religion, carry out the basic rules concerning worship, pilgrimage, charity and so on, and generally behave as orthodox and devout Muslims. Some are more devout than others, and some occasionally behave in ways reprehensible to the teachings of Islam, but on the whole for the ordinary believer Islam presents (...) no serious theoretical problems. There may well be practical problems in reconciling what they wish to do with what Islam instructs them to do, but this for most people is not something which leads them to question their faith as such. It merely leads them to wonder how to reconcile in a practical way the rival demands of religion and their personal wishes. (shrink)
Substantivalists believe that spacetime and its parts are fundamental constituents of reality. Relationalists deny this, claiming that spacetime enjoys only a derivative existence. I begin by describing how the Galilean symmetries of Newtonian physics tell against both Newton's brand of substantivalism and the most obvious relationalist alternative. I then review the obvious substantivalist response to the problem, which is to ditch substantival space for substantival spacetime. The resulting position has many affinities with what are arguably the most natural interpretations of (...) special and general relativity. I move on to consider and reject two recent antisubstantivalist lines of thought. The interim conclusion is that the best argument for relationalism is an appeal to Ockham's razor. However, for this to be successful there must be genuine relationalist theories that share the theoretical virtues of their substantivalist rivals but without the additional ontological commitment. The bulk of the paper is therefore an investigation of various concrete relationalist proposals. I distinguish three options for the relationalist in the face of the success of Galilean invariant physics and trace how these generalise to relativistic physics. One of the options is particularly promising but, since its basic objects end up being spacetime points, this does not help the prospects of relationalism as traditionally conceived. I end with some reflections on the fate of substantivalism in the aftermath of the Hole Argument, concluding that we have as yet to be given good reasons to abandon the natural, substantivalist interpretation of current physics. (shrink)
"... both an excellent introduction and a thoroughgoing analysis of Kristeva’s writing." —Signs "The book is a brilliant combination of a recuperative and a critical reading of Kristeva’s work." —Changes: An International Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy "... a thorough, detailed, and critical analysis of the writings of Julia Kristeva." —Elizabeth Grosz "... the most involved and engaging study of Julia Kristeva’s work to date..." —The Year’s Work in Critical and Cultural Theory This first full-scale feminist interpretation of Kristeva’s work (...) situates her within the context of French feminism. Oliver guides her readers through Kristeva’s intellectual formation in linguistics, Freud, Lacan, and poetics. This comprehensive introduction to Kristeva makes accessible her important contributions to philosophy, linguistics, and psychoanalytic feminism. (shrink)
We make some remarks on the mathematics and metaphysics of the hole argument, in response to a recent article in this journal by Weatherall (). Broadly speaking, we defend the mainstream philosophical literature from the claim that correct usage of the mathematics of general relativity `blocks' the argument.
In his paper ``What is Structural Realism?'' James Ladyman drew a distinction between epistemological structural realism and metaphysical (or ontic) structural realism. He also drew a suggestive analogy between the perennial debate between substantivalist and relationalist interpretations of spacetime on the one hand, and the debate about whether quantum mechanics treats identical particles as individuals or as `non-individuals' on the other. In both cases, Ladyman's suggestion is that an ontic structural realist interpretation of the physics might be just what is (...) needed to overcome the stalemate. The main thesis of this paper is that, whatever the interpretative difficulties of generally covariant spacetime physics are, they do not support or suggest structural realism. In particular, I hope to show that there is in fact no analogy that supports a similar interpretation of the metaphysics of spacetime points and of quantum particles. (shrink)
Is the objective passage of time compatible with relativistic physics? There are two easy routes to an affirmative answer: (1) provide a deflationary analysis of passage compatible with the block universe, or (2) argue that a privileged global present is compatible with relativity. (1) does not take passage seriously. (2) does not take relativity seriously. This paper is concerned with the viability of views that seek to take both passage and relativity seriously. The investigation proceeds by considering how traditional A-theoretic (...) conceptions of passage might be generalized to relativistic space-times without incorporating a privileged global present. I argue that the most promising position marries the idea that open possibilities for the future are settled as time passes with a ‘non-standard’ interpretation of the relevant formal models. (shrink)
Diffeomorphism invariance is sometimes taken to be a criterion of background independence. This claim is commonly accompanied by a second, that the genuine physical magnitudes (the ``observables'') of background-independent theories and those of background-dependent (non-diffeomorphism-invariant) theories are essentially different in nature. I argue against both claims. Background-dependent theories can be formulated in a diffeomorphism-invariant manner. This suggests that the nature of the physical magnitudes of relevantly analogous theories (one background free, the other background dependent) is essentially the same. The temptation (...) to think otherwise stems from a misunderstanding of the meaning of spacetime coordinates in background-dependent theories. (shrink)
The implications for the substantivalist–relationalist controversy of Barbour and Bertotti's successful implementation of a Machian approach to dynamics are investigated. It is argued that in the context of Newtonian mechanics, the Machian framework provides a genuinely relational interpretation of dynamics and that it is more explanatory than the conventional, substantival interpretation. In a companion paper (Pooley [2002a]), the viability of the Machian framework as an interpretation of relativistic physics is explored. 1 Introduction 2 Newton versus Leibniz 3 Absolute space versus (...) an affine connection 4 Anti-relationalist arguments 5 Rehabilitating relationalism 6 Dynamics on the relative configuration space 7 Intrinsic particle dynamics 8 Conclusion. (shrink)
In the first part of this paper a relational account of incongruent counterparts is defended against an argument due to Kant. I then consider a more recent attack on such an account, due to John Earman, which alleges that the relationalist cannot account for the lawlike left--right asymmetry manifested in parity-violating phenomena. I review Hoefer's, Huggett's and Saunders' responses to Earman's argument and argue that, while a relationalist account of parity-violating laws is possible, it comes at the cost of non-locality.
There are strong indications that many consumers are switching towards more socially and environmentally responsible products and services, reflecting a shift in consumer values indicated in several countries. However, little is known about the motives that drive some toward, or deter others from, higher levels of ethical concern and action in their purchasing decisions. Following a qualitative investigation using ZMET and focus group discussions, a questionnaire was developed and administered to a representative sample of consumers; nearly 1,000 usable questionnaires were (...) collected. The degree of awareness, concern and action regarding 16 ethical issues was quantified, using a measure developed from the Stages of Change concept within the Transtheoretical model. Motivations for ethical behaviour, in relation to each individual’s most salient ethical issue, were investigated using initially 22 motive statements within the framework of the Decisional Balance Scale (DBS). The findings suggest that the DBS and Stages model have an explanatory value within the ethical decision-making context, and that the motives identified do reflect the Decisional Balance Constructs. Indeed the study suggests that respondents’ motivational attitudes are a function of their stage of ethical awareness, concern and action. Therefore, the Decisional Balance Scale may well prove useful for designing appropriate interventions and communications to facilitate movement towards more ethical decision-making. These findings yield strategic insight for communicating messages to ethical consumers and for better understanding their purchasing decisions. (shrink)
Philosophy in the English-speaking world is dominated by analytic approaches to its problems and projects; but theology has been dominated by alternative approaches. Many would say that the current state in theology is not mere historical accident, but is, rather, how things ought to be. On the other hand, many others would say precisely the opposite: that theology as a discipline has been beguiled and taken captive by 'continental' approaches, and that the effects on the discipline have been largely deleterious. (...) The methodological divide between systematic theologians and analytic philosophers of religion is ripe for exploration. The present volume represents an attempt to begin a much-needed interdisciplinary conversation about the value of analytic philosophical approaches to theological topics. Most of the essays herein are sympathetic toward the enterprise the editors are calling analytic theology; but, with an eye toward balance, the volume also includes essays and an introduction that try to offer more critical perspectives on analytic theology. (shrink)
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)
In this paper I offer an argument against one important version of panentheism, that is, mereological panentheism. Although panentheism has proven difficult to define, I provide a working definition of the view, and proceed to argue that given this way of thinking about the doctrine, mereological accounts of panentheism have serious theological drawbacks. I then explore some of these theological drawbacks. In a concluding section I give some reasons for thinking that the classical theistic alternative to panentheism is preferable, all (...) things considered. (shrink)
John Earman's recent proposal that a substantive version of general covariance consists in the requirement that diffeomorphism invariance be a gauge symmetry is critically assessed. I argue that such a principle does not serve to differentiate general relativity from pre-relativistic theories. A model-theoretic characterization of two formulations of specially-relativistic theories is suggested. Diffeomorphisms are symmetries of only one such style of formulation and, I argue, Earman's proposal does not provide a reason to deny diffeomorphisms the status of gauge transformations relative (...) to this formulation. Carlo Rovelli's distinction between "passive" and "active" diffeomorphism invariance is also clarified. (shrink)
Over the last 60 years the idea of human dignity has become increasingly prominent in the political discourse on human rights. In United Nations documents, for instance, human dignity is currently presented as the justification for human rights. In this paper I shall argue that the contemporary way in which human dignity is thought to ground human rights is very different from the way human dignity has been understood traditionally. My aim is to contrast the contemporary paradigm of dignity to (...) a different one that has been prominent historically from Cicero onwards. My conclusion is that if one wants to use the contemporary conception of dignity, one cannot refer to the history of philosophy for support of this conception, and if one wants to use this history in support, one would have to employ a different conception of dignity that uses a different pattern of thought. (shrink)
ABSTRACT I argue against both neuropsychological and cognitive accounts of our grasp of numbers. I show that despite the points of divergence between these two accounts, they face analogous problems. Both presuppose too much about what they purport to explain to be informative, and also characterize our grasp of numbers in a way that is absurd in the light of what we already know from the point of view of mathematical practice. Then I offer a positive methodological proposal about the (...) role that cognitive science should play in the philosophy of mathematics. (shrink)
One of postmodernism's toughest challenges to Christian thought is its wholesale rejection of metaphysics. This profound book meets the challenge squarely, offering a surer foundation for the idea of being and a new theological perspective of supreme relevance to today's world. In a brilliant turn of postmodern thought itself, Oliver Davies argues for a renewal of metaphysics based on a dynamic new understanding of ontology as narrative and performance. His repairing of the Western metaphysical tradition is grounded both in (...) the divine self-naming in Exodus -- which, for the rabbis, identified God's presence in the world with God's compassionate acts -- and in the compassionate resistance of Etty Hillesum and Edith Stein to the violence of the Holocaust. Building on a new metaphysics of compassion that is attentive to the deepest histories of the contemporary world, Davies offers a renewed systematic theology focused on divine speech and God's compassionate relation to human culture. (shrink)
The synthetization of voices, or speech synthesis, has been an object of interest for centuries. It is mostly realized with a text-to-speech system, an automaton that interprets and reads aloud. This system refers to text available for instance on a website or in a book, or entered via popup menu on the website. Today, just a few minutes of samples are enough to be able to imitate a speaker convincingly in all kinds of statements. This article abstracts from actual products (...) and actual technological realization. Rather, after a short historical outline of the synthetization of voices, exemplary applications of this kind of technology are gathered for promoting the development, and potential applications are discussed critically to be able to limit them if necessary. The ethical and legal challenges should not be underestimated, in particular with regard to informational and personal autonomy and the trustworthiness of media. (shrink)
A familiar slogan in the literature on temporal experience is that ‘a succession of appearances, in and of itself, does not amount to an experience of succession’. I show that we can distinguish between a strong and a weak sense of this slogan. I diagnose the strong interpretation of the slogan as requiring the support of an assumption I call the ‘Seems→Seemed’ claim. I then show that commitment to this assumption comes at a price: if we accept it, we either (...) have to reject the extremely plausible idea that experience is as it seems, or we are forced to provide an account of temporal experience that isn’t compatible with the phenomenology. I conclude by noting that the only plausible interpretation of the slogan is the weak interpretation, and outline a positive account of temporal experience, according to which an appearance of succession requires a succession of appearances. (shrink)
In a companion paper (Pooley & Brown 2001) it is argued that Julian Barbour's Machian approach to dynamics provides a genuinely relational interpretation of Newtonian dynamics and that it is more explanatory than the conventional, substantival interpretation. In this paper the extension of the approach to relativistic physics is considered. General relativity, it turns out, can be reinterpreted as a perfectly Machian theory. However, there are difficulties with viewing the Machian interpretation as more fundamental than the conventional, spacetime interpretation. Moreover, (...) this state of affairs provides little solace for the relationist for, even when interpreted along Machian lines, general relativity is a substantival theory although the basic entity is space, not spacetime. (shrink)
Formal learning theory is the mathematical embodiment of a normative epistemology. It deals with the question of how an agent should use observations about her environment to arrive at correct and informative conclusions. Philosophers such as Putnam, Glymour and Kelly have developed learning theory as a normative framework for scientific reasoning and inductive inference.
What, if anything, gives us the right to ask the victim of our wrongdoing for forgiveness? After some conceptual clarifications, I attempt to lay open a paradoxical structure in apologies. Apologies are made in a spirit of humility: if the offender recognizes his guilt, he will see the victim᾽s negative emotions towards him as proper and justified. Nevertheless, by begging for forgiveness, he tries to change the victim᾽s negative feelings towards him. Thus, by apologizing, the offender tries to bring about (...) a state of affairs which, if genuinely repentant and remorseful, he has no reason to want to bring about. In what follows, I examine various attempts to dissolve this paradox. These include offering reasons for apologies that are independent of our wish to alter the victim᾽s feeling of resentment and construing apologies as expressive or as mixed speech acts. All of these attempts, or so I argue, fail. Some of them fail to provide justificatory reasons for asking for forgiveness, others fall short of explaining why apologies can be accepted or rejected, still others cannot give a convincing account of the relation between remorse and asking for forgiveness or fail to distinguish between redressing a harm and redressing a moral wrong. The upshot of the argument is that an offender who recognizes his own guilt has no rational reason for asking for forgiveness. In many cases, not offering one᾽s apologies is a sign of taking guilt seriously. (shrink)
The UN Global Compact is a voluntary initiative designed to help fashion a more humane world by enlisting business to follow ten principles concerning human rights, labor, the environment, and corruption. Although the four-year-old Compact is a relatively successful initiative, having signed up over eleven hundred companies and more than two hundred of the large multinationals, and having begun some important projects on globalization issues, there is a serious problem in that very few of the major U.S. companies have joined. (...) While the premier U.S. companies are interested in meeting the legitimate expectations of society, there is concerncentering around accountability issues. The accountability issues are in four major areas: 1. Accountability showing that the globalization of the economy actually helps the poor. 2. Accountability showing the corporate performance matches rhetoric. 3. Accountability that provides legitimacy to a two-tier pricing system and other measures that are designed to assist the poor in developing countries. 4. Accountability in the human rights area; what societal expectations are multinational companies accountablefor? The article outlines the problems that the Compact brings to the fore and offers some insight from the ethical literature that may address U.S. company concerns or provide new ways of thinking about the issues. It further argues that the forum provided by the Compact may be the most effective means to gain consensus of the role of business in society. (shrink)
The “paradox of forgiveness” can be described as follows: Forgiving, unlike forgetting, is tied to reasons. It is a response to considerations that lead us to think that we ought to forgive. On the other hand, acts of forgiveness, unlike excuses, are responses to instances of culpable wrongdoing. If, however, the wrongdoing is culpable, there is (or seems to be) no reason to forgive it. So two mutually exclusive theses about forgiveness both seem to be equally warranted: Forgiveness is related (...) to reasons, but there can be no reasons for forgiveness. In this paper, I attempt to dissolve this paradox. I argue that the paradox arises as a result of a too narrow conception of “reason” and that it can be dissolved if we acknowledge different kinds of reasons for forgiveness. More specifically, I examine three kinds of reasons for forgiving an act of wrongdoing: (1) Moral reasons that make forgiveness morally mandatory. (2) Prudential reasons for forgiveness. (3) Moral reasons that pertain to the character of the forgiver and that favor forgiveness without making it morally mandatory. I show that while the paradox of forgiveness arises when we consider reasons of the first kind, it can be dissolved with recourse to reasons of the second and third kind. The upshot of the argument is that we can be rational in deciding to overcome our feelings of resentment towards an act of unjustified and unexcused wrongdoing—and this is a strong point in favor of forgiveness. (shrink)
Albert Camus is one of the best known philosophers of the twentieth century, as well as a widely read novelist. This book contextualises Camus in his troubled and conflicted times, and analyses the enduring popularity of his major philosophical and literary works in connection with contemporary political, social, and cultural issues.
Abstract: This article addresses a foundational issue in Kant's moral philosophy, the question of the relation of the Categorical Imperative to value. There is an important movement in current Kant scholarship that argues that there is a value underlying the Categorical Imperative. However, some scholars have raised doubts as to whether Kant has a conception of value that could ground the Categorical Imperative. In this paper I seek to add to these doubts by arguing, first, that value would have to (...) be of a particular kind in order to be the foundation of Kant's moral philosophy. Second, I argue that Kant does not have such a conception of value, and that his arguments rule out that value could ground his moral philosophy. I then outline an alternative reading of how Kant uses ‘inner value’. My conclusion will be that Kant does not derive the Categorical Imperative from an underlying value. While some of his passages could also be read as if value were foundational for Kant, a close look at these passages and his arguments point away from this conclusion. (shrink)
This paper uses a schema for infinite regress arguments to provide a solution to the problem of the infinite regress of justification. The solution turns on the falsity of two claims: that a belief is justified only if some belief is a reason for it, and that the reason relation is transitive.
Wittgenstein did not claim that the ordinary language concept ‘game’ cannot be defined: he claimed that there are multiple definitions that can be adopted for special purposes, but no single definition applicable to all games. I will defend this interpretation of Wittgenstein’s position by showing its compatibility with a pragmatic argumentative view of definitions, and how this view accounts for the diversity of disagreeing game definitions in definitional disputes.
This article considers how the new finds have affected one's view of Empedocles, and suggests how interpretation of that material might help solve some longstanding problems about the structure and content of Empedocles' writings. A basic account of the teachings of Empedocles would distinguish between two main components. On the one hand, there is a “Presocratic” physics, including a theory of principles, a cosmology, and a biology. On the other hand, there is a mythical law, clearly inspired by Orphic or (...) Pythagorean legends, which imposes on guilty gods a punishment consisting in their transmigration through a series of mortal beings. The purpose of this article is to show that Empedocles has the habit of referring to divine entities of his physical system both in a physical and in a mythological way and that his uses of the word daimon form part of this twofold language. (shrink)
The use of broad consent for genomics research raises important ethical questions for the conduct of genomics research, including relating to its acceptability to research participants and comprehension of difficult scientific concepts. To explore these and other challenges, we conducted a study using qualitative methods with participants enrolled in an H3Africa Rheumatic Heart Disease genomics study in Zambia to explore their views on broad consent, sample and data sharing and secondary use. In-depth interviews were conducted with RHDGen participants, study staff (...) and with individuals who refused to participate. In general, broad consent was seen to be reasonable if reasons for storing the samples for future research use were disclosed. Some felt that broad consent should be restricted by specifying planned future studies and that secondary research should ideally relate to original disease for which samples were collected. A few participants felt that broad consent would delay the return of research results to participants. This study echoes findings in other similar studies in other parts of the continent that suggested that broad consent could be an acceptable consent model in Africa if careful thought is given to restrictions on re-use. (shrink)