Endothelial cells, when cultured on gelled basement membrane matrix exert forces of tension through which they deform the matrix and at the same time they aggregate into clusters. The cells eventually form a network of cord-like structures connecting cell aggregates. In this network, almost all of the matrix has been pulled underneath the cell cords and cell clusters. This phenomenon has been proposed as a possible model for the growth and development of planar vascular systems in vitro. Our hypothesis is (...) that the matrix is reorganized and the cellular networks form as a result of traction forces exerted by the cells on the matrix and the latter's elasticity. We construct and analyze a mathematical model based on this hypothesis and examine conditions necessary for the formation of the pattern. We show cell migration is not necessary for pattern formation and that isotropic, strain-stimulated traction is sufficient to form the observed patterns. (shrink)
This volume is a collection of original essays by eminent philosophers written for R. B. Braithwaite's eightieth birthday to celebrate his work and teaching. In one way or another, all the essays reflect his central concern with the impact of science on our beliefs about the world and the responses appropriate to that. Together they testify to the signal importance of his contributions in areas of philosophy bearing on this concern: the philosophy of science, especially of the statistical sciences, theories (...) of belief and of probability, decision theory and games theory. This book, which includes a full bibliography of Professor Braithwaite's work, will interest advanced students and professionals in the fields of philosophy and psychology. (shrink)
The concept of intrinsic value is often invoked to articulate objections to the genetic engineering of animals, particularly those objections that are not directed at the negative effects the technique might have on the health and welfare of the modified animals. However, this concept was not developed in the context of genetic engineering. Given this external origin, this paper critically examines the assumption that the concept of intrinsic value is suitable to articulate and justify moral objections more specifically directed at (...) the genetic engineering of animals. I discuss four different theories of intrinsic value, two of which defend a moral concept of intrinsic value and two a non-moral one. I conclude that only a particular non-moral concept of intrinsic value is suitable to express specific objections to genetic engineering, because these objections can only be defended in the form of indirect duties regarding animals. (shrink)
As Rutherford acknowledges, there remains much disagreement on basic methodologies for the study of Plato. Briefly put, the dominant view has been that the dialogues present and argue for a range of doctrines, that is, offer us extensive and reliable evidence regarding theories espoused by Plato. Although there are numerous versions of what commentators have labeled the "doctrinal" approach, most generally put they emphasize either development or overall unity. While a second group of interpreters grants that Plato embraced theories, it (...) contends that his views were not promulgated in writing but instead transmitted orally. A third methodology, deeply opposed to the doctrinal stance, emphasizes that the dialogues pose a host of questions. On this view, the primary value of Plato's writings lies here, and in their prompting us to search for answers, rather than in any answers that they themselves allegedly provide. In the process of raising issues Plato may evince some general philosophical commitments, but this is to be distinguished sharply from the presentation of arguments, often interrelated, for philosophical views about the nature of reality, knowledge, and so on. (shrink)
In their 2008 paper, Persson and Savulescu suggest that for moral bioenhancement to be effective at eliminating the danger of ‘ultimate harm’ the intervention would need to be compulsory. This is because those most in need of MBE would be least likely to undergo the intervention voluntarily. By drawing on concepts and theories from epidemiology, this paper will suggest that MBE may not need to be universal and compulsory to be effective at significantly improving the collective moral standing of a (...) human populace and reducing the threat of ultimate harm. It will identify similarities between the mechanisms that allow biological contagions and behaviours to develop, spread, and be reinforced within a population. It will then go onto suggest that, just as with the epidemiological principle of herd immunity, if enough people underwent MBE to reach a minimum threshold then the incidence and spread of immoral behaviours could be significantly reduced, even in those who have not received MBE. (shrink)
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Republicans hold that freedom is non-domination rather than non-interference. This entails that any instance of interference that does not involve domination is not freedom-lessening. The case for thinking of freedom as non-domination proceeds mostly by way of a handful of highly compelling cases in which it seems intuitive to say of some person that he or she is unfree despite being in fact free from interference. In this essay, I call attention to a kind of case which directs attention to (...) what seems to me to be a highly counterintuitive element of the republican conception of freedom. (shrink)
E.R. Dodds’ 1959 edition of Plato’s Gorgias is a conventional treatment of this dialogue, aimed at audiences interested in close study of the text. Dodds himself regretted this outcome. He felt he had lost sight of an earlier goal, formulated at a time of political turmoil on the eve of WorldWar II, of using the Gorgias to bring out ‘both the resemblance and the difference between Plato’s situation and that of the intellectual today’. The present paper attempts to reconstruct that (...) goal, as it survives residually in his edition, surfaces in his The Greeks and the Irrational, and appears in some writings from the 1930s, particularly in unpublished lectures. Dodds did frequently juxtapose ancient and modern conceptions of the intellectual, and in a way that cast Plato in a positive light, as someone politically engaged and self-critical, and acutely sensitive, as Dodds himself was, to the political implications of social psychology. (shrink)
The question of whether or not children may be used as subjects in non-therapeutic research projects has generated a great deal of debate and received answers varying from 'no, never' to 'yes, if societal interests are served'. It has been claimed that a Kantian, deontological ethics would necessarily rule out such research, since valid consent would be impossible. The present paper gives a deontological argument for allowing children to be subjects in certain types of research.
It is a common complaint against moral philosophers that their abstract theorising bears little relation to the practical problems of everyday life. Professor Braithwaite believes that this criticism need not be inevitable. With the help of the Theory of Games he shows how arbitration is possible between two neighbours, a jazz trumpeter and a classical pianist, whose performances are a source of mutual discord. The solution of the problem in the lecture is geometrical, and is based on the formal analogy (...) between the logic of the situation and the geometry of a parabola. But an appendix provides the alternative algebraic treatment of a general two-person collaboration situation. (shrink)
Virtually all philosophers now agree that human beings - and possibly the higher animals - have moral rights in some sense, both special rights against individuals to whom they stand in a special relation, and general rights, against everybody or against the government, just in virtue of their human nature. Some philosophers also think, however, that anyone who is a utilitarian ought not to share this view: there is a fundamental incompatibility between utilitarinism and human rights. Most utilitarians, of course, (...) have not thought there is such an incompatibility. John Stuart Mill, for instance, espoused utilitarianism at the same time that he defended rights to free speech and freedom of action except where it injures others. In what follows I wish to explore some reasons recently put forward to show that the utilitarian who wishes to affirm that there are moral rights faces a serious logical problem; and I shall argue that further analysis shows the alleged difficulty is unreal. (shrink)
The concept of energy, the premier concept of physics and indeed of all science, is here investigated from the standpoint of its early historical origin and the philosophical implications thereof. The fundamental assumption is made that the root of the concept is the notion of invariance or constancy in the midst of change. Salient points in the development of this idea are presented from ancient times up to the publication of Lagrange'sMécanique Analytique (1788).
Many social scientists and philosophers have counted themselves moral relativists in some sense or other. We cannot deal with all the various views which are properly called forms of “moral relativism”; so I propose to explain a form of moral relativism which seems to me an interesting, and somewhat plausible theory. This theory comprises the following three affirmations: The basic moral principles of different individuals or groups sometimes are, or can be, in some important sense conflicting. When there is such (...) fundamental conflict of basic principles or standards, there is either always, or at least sometimes, no way to show that one view is better justified even in the presence of ideally complete factual information; in that sense the principles are equally justified or “valid.” But there is a sense in which a particular moral belief may be mistaken or unjustified, if it is a misapplication of the basic principles of the individual or group, e.g., if the basic principles plus statements of known or knowable facts entail a moral proposition incompatible with it. As stated, moral relativism could be true even though in fact, accidentally, all individuals agree in their basic moral principles. (shrink)
Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor from 161 to 180 A.D., is renowned for his just rule and long frontier wars. But his lasting fame rests on his Meditations, a bedside book of reflections and self-admonitions written during his last years, that provide unique insights into the mind of an ancient ruler and contain many passages of pungent epigram and poetic imagery. This study is designed to make the Meditations more accessible to the modern reader. Rutherford carefully explains the historical and philosophical (...) background, charts the main themes and tendencies of Marcus's thought, and relates stylistic detail to the intellectual and moral outlook of the author. His goal is to define Marcus's aims, attitudes, and styles more precisely and restore his work to the position it held in the past, that of a spiritual classic which can be read and enjoyed by people who are not professional scholars. (shrink)