Machine generated contents note: 1. Introduction: does information matter?; Paul Davies and Niels Henrik Gregersen; Part I. History: 2. From matter to materialism ... and (almost) back Ernan McMullin; 3. Unsolved dilemmas: the concept of matter in the history of philosophy and in contemporary physics Philip Clayton; Part II. Physics: 4. Universe from bit Paul Davies; 5. The computational universe Seth Lloyd; 6. Minds and values in the quantum universe Henry Pierce Stapp; Part III. Biology: 7. The concept of information (...) in biology John Maynard Smith; 8. Levels of information: Shannon-Bolzmann-Darwin Terrence W. Deacon; 9. Information and communication in living matter Bernd-Olaf Küppers; 10. Semiotic freedom: an emerging force Jesper Hoffmeyer; 11. Care on earth: generating informed concern Holmes Rolston; Part IV. Philosophy and Theology: 12. The sciences of complexity - a new theological resource? Arthur Peacocke; 13. God as the ultimate informational principle Keith Ward; 14. Information, theology and the universe John F. Haught; 15. God, matter, and information: towards a Stoicizing Logos christology Niels Henrik Gregersen; 16. What is the 'spiritual body'? Michael Welker; Index. (shrink)
The author is primarily concerned with the explanation of behavior in regard to (1) the mecanical model, (2) the effects of physical-organic processes on behavior, (3) the lack of understanding between philosophers and psychologists as to sufficient conditions for predicting a behavioral event, (4) conditions leading to expalantions of behavior that could predict behavior exclusive of any antecedent psychological behavior, and (5) variations of the mechanical-model introducing differing sorts of explanation. (staff).
An instrument to assess 'ethical sensitivity' has been developed. The instrument presents four clinical vignettes and the respondent is asked to list the ethical issues related to each vignette. The responses are classified, post hoc, into the domains of autonomy, beneficence and justice. This instrument was used in 1990 to assess the ethical sensitivity of students in all four medical classes at the University of Toronto. Ethical sensitivity, as measured by this instrument, is not related to age or grade-point average. (...) Sensitivity increases between the 1st and 2nd year and then decreases throughout the rest of undergraduate medical training, such that the 4th-year students identify fewer issues than those entering medical school. Students expressing a career choice of family medicine identify more issues than their peers. Several problems with the use of the instrument and the interpretation of the data were found. Nonetheless, these findings, if reproducible, are important and their meaning needs further discussion. (shrink)
Aim To explore the views in non-Western cultures about ending the lives of damaged newborns.Method 254 university students from India and 150 from Kuwait rated the acceptability of ending the lives of newborns with genetic defects in 54 vignettes consisting of all combinations of four factors: gestational age ; severity of genetic defect ; the parents’ attitude about prolonging care ; and the procedure used .Results Four clusters were identified by cluster analysis and subjected to analysis of variance. Cluster I, (...) labelled ‘Never Acceptable’, included 4% of the Indians and 59% of the Kuwaitis. Cluster II, ‘No Firm Opinion’, had little variation in rating from one scenario to the next; it included 38% of the Indians and 18% of the Kuwaitis. In Cluster III, ‘Parents’ Attitude+Severity+Procedure’, all three factors affected the ratings; it was composed of 18% of the Indians and 16% of the Kuwaitis. Cluster IV was called ‘Severity+Parents’ Attitude’ because these had the strongest impact; it was composed of 40% of the Indians and 7% of the Kuwaitis.Conclusions In accordance with the teachings of Islam versus Hinduism, Kuwaiti students were more likely to oppose ending a newborn's life under all conditions, Indian students more likely to favour it and to judge its acceptability in light of the different circumstances. (shrink)
Sense of agency is a compelling but fragile experience that is augmented or attenuated by internal signals and by external cues. A disruption in SoA may characterise individual symptoms of mental illness such as delusions of control. Indeed, it has been argued that generic SoA disturbances may lie at the heart of delusions and hallucinations that characterise schizophrenia. A clearer understanding of how sensorimotor, perceptual and environmental cues complement, or compete with, each other in engendering SoA may prove valuable in (...) deepening our understanding the agency disruptions that characterise certain focal neurological disorders and mental illnesses. Here we examine the integration of SoA cues in health and illness, describing a simple framework of this integration based on Bayesian principles. We extend this to consider how alterations in cue integration may lead to aberrant experiences of agency. (shrink)
Two crucial topics in the philosophy of medicine are the philosophy of nature and philosophical anthropology. In this essay I engage the philosophy of nature by exploring Anne Fagot-Largeault's study of norms in nature as a way of articulating a Confucian philosophy of medicine. I defend the Confucian position as a moderate naturalism.
Recent advances in string theory and inﬂationary cosmology have led to a surge of interest in the possible existence of an ensemble of cosmic regions, or “universes”, among the members of which key physical parameters, such as the masses of elementary particles and the coupling constants, might assume diﬀerent values. The observed values in our cosmic region are then attributed to an observer selection eﬀect (the so-called anthropic principle). The assemblage of universes has been dubbed “the multiverse”. In this paper (...) we review the multiverse concept and the criticisms that have been advanced against it on both scientiﬁc and philosophical grounds. (shrink)
In this sweeping survey, acclaimed science writers Paul Davies and John Gribbin provide a complete overview of advances in the study of physics that have revolutionized modern science. From the weird world of quarks and the theory of relativity to the latest ideas about the birth of the cosmos, the authors find evidence for a massive paradigm shift. Developments in the studies of black holes, cosmic strings, solitons, and chaos theory challenge commonsense concepts of space, time, and matter, and demand (...) a radically altered and more fully unified view of the universe. (shrink)
It is widely accepted that EinstcinRi7;s general theory of relativity is an satisfactory description of gravity 0nly in the macroscopic limit, where quantum eiTcc1;s may be neglected. Presumably this theory is inapplicable at the Planck length, but recently much attention has been devoted to gravitational theory at intermediate length scales where quantum affects 0f matter are inescapable, but where there is an general assumption that the gravitational Held may bc treated as a classical background, augmented if necessary by quamtizcd linearized (...) pertur-. (shrink)
The Unruh-Wald scenario for mining quantum black holes is applied to de Sitter space. The following questions are addressed: Will the generalized second law of thermodynamics be maintained for de Sitter horizons? Does the mining process allow the recovery of unlimited energy from the cosmological gravitational field? The evaporation of a black hole in de Sitter space is also investigated in the context of the second law.
An analogue of Hawking's black hole area theorem is proved for Friedmann-type cosmological models with event horizons. The generalised second law of thermodynamics is investigated in cases where the horizon shrinks.
This paper presents a minimal formulation of nonrelativistic quantum mechanics, by which is meant a formulation which describes the theory in a succinct, self-contained, clear, unambiguous and of course correct manner. The bulk of the presentation is the so-called “microscopic theory”, applicable to any closed system S of arbitrary size N, using concepts referring to S alone, without resort to external apparatus or external agents. An example of a similar minimal microscopic theory is the standard formulation of classical mechanics, which (...) serves as the template for a minimal quantum theory. The only substantive assumption required is the replacement of the classical Euclidean phase space by Hilbert space in the quantum case, with the attendant all-important phenomenon of quantum incompatibility. Two fundamental theorems of Hilbert space, the Kochen–Specker–Bell theorem and Gleason’s theorem, then lead inevitably to the well-known Born probability rule. For both classical and quantum mechanics, questions of physical implementation and experimental verification of the predictions of the theories are the domain of the macroscopic theory, which is argued to be a special case or application of the more general microscopic theory. (shrink)
Given a physical system, one knows that there is a logical duality between its properties and its states. In this paper, we choose its states as the undefined notions of our axiomatic construction. In fact, by means of well-motivated assumptions expressed in terms of a transition probability function defined on the set of all pure states of the system, we construct a system of elementary propositions, i.e., a complete orthomodular atomic lattice satisfying the covering law. We also study in this (...) framework the important notion of compatibility of propositions, and we define the superpositions and the mixtures of the states of the physical system. (shrink)
Aim To study the views of people in a largely Muslim country, Kuwait, of the acceptability of a life-ending action such as physician-assisted suicide (PAS). Method 330 Kuwaiti university students judged the acceptability of PAS in 36 scenarios composed of all combinations of four factors: the patient's age (35, 60 or 85 years); the level of incurability of the illness (completely incurable vs extremely difficult to cure); the type of suffering (extreme physical pain or complete dependence) and the extent to (...) which the patient requests a life-ending procedure, euthanasia or PAS (no request, some form of request, repeated requests). In all scenarios, the patients were women who were receiving the best possible care. The ratings were subjected to cluster analysis and analyses of variance. Results Five clusters were found. For 44%, PAS was always very unacceptable, no matter what the circumstances. For 23%, it was unacceptable, but less so if the patient was older or requested it repeatedly. For 16%, it was unacceptable if the patient was young but was acceptable if the patient was elderly. For 5%, it was unacceptable if the patient had extreme pain but was acceptable if completely dependent. For 11%, it was unacceptable if the patient did not request it but acceptable if she did. Conclusion The majority of the Kuwaiti university students opposed PAS either categorically or with a slight variation according to circumstances. Nonetheless, a minority approved of PAS in some cases, particularly when the patient was elderly. (shrink)
Response strategy is a key for preventing widespread corruption vulnerabilities in the public construction sector. Although several studies have been devoted to this area, the effectiveness of response strategies has seldom been evaluated in China. This study aims to fill this gap by investigating the effectiveness of response strategies for corruption vulnerabilities through a survey in the Chinese public construction sector. Survey data obtained from selected experts involved in the Chinese public construction sector were analyzed by factor analysis and partial (...) least squares-structural equation modeling. Analysis results showed that four response strategies of leadership, rules and regulations, training, and sanctions, only achieved an acceptable level in preventing corruption vulnerabilities in the Chinese public construction sector. This study contributes to knowledge by improving the understanding of the effectiveness of response strategies for corruption vulnerabilities in the public construction sector of developing countries. (shrink)