What is inequality? In the late 1990s there was an explosion of interest in the subject that yielded a substantial body of formal tools and results for income-distribution analysis. Nearly all of this is founded on a small set of core assumptions - such as the Principle of Transfers, scale independence, the population principle∑ - that are used to give meaning to specific concepts of inequality measurement, inequality ranking and, indeed, to inequality itself. But does the standard axiomatic structure coincide (...) with public perceptions of inequality? Or is the economist's concept of inequality a thing apart, perpetuated through serial brainwashing in the way the subject is studied and taught? In this 1999 book, Amiel and Cowell examine the evidence from a large international questionnaire experiment using student respondents. Along with basic 'cake-sharing' issues, related questions involving social-welfare rankings, the relationship between inequality and overall income growth and the meaning of poverty comparisons are considered. (shrink)
Exposing Fake Logic by Avi Sion is a collection of essays written after publication of his book A Fortiori Logic, in which he critically responds to derivative work by other authors who claim to know better. This is more than just polemics; but allows further clarifications of a fortiori logic and of general logic. This collection includes essays on: a fortiori argument (in general and in Judaism); Luis Duarte D’Almeida; Mahmoud Zeraatpishe; Michael Avraham (et al.); an anonymous reviewer of BDD (...) (a Bar Ilan University journal); and self-publishing. (shrink)
Inductive Logic is a ‘thematic compilation’ by Avi Sion. It collects in one volume many (though not all) of the essays, that he has written on this subject over a period of some 23 years, which all demonstrate the possibility and conditions of validity of human knowledge, the utility and reliability of human cognitive means when properly used, contrary to the skeptical assumptions that are nowadays fashionable.
Logical Criticism of Buddhist Doctrines is a ‘thematic compilation’ by Avi Sion. It collects in one volume the essays that he has written on this subject over a period of some 15 years after the publication of his first book on Buddhism, Buddhist Illogic. It comprises expositions and empirical and logical critiques of many (though not all) Buddhist doctrines, such as impermanence, interdependence, emptiness, the denial of self or soul. It includes his most recent essay, regarding the five skandhas doctrine.
Logic in the Torah is a ‘thematic compilation’ by Avi Sion. It collects in one volume essays that he has written on this subject in Judaic Logic (1995) and A Fortiori Logic (2013), in which traces of logic in the Torah and related religious documents (the Nakh, the Christian Bible, and the Koran and Hadiths) are identified and analyzed.
Logic in the Talmud is a ‘thematic compilation’ by Avi Sion. It collects in one volume essays that he has written on this subject in Judaic Logic (1995) and A Fortiori Logic (2013), in which traces of logic in the Talmud (the Mishna and Gemara) are identified and analyzed. While this book does not constitute an exhaustive study of logic in the Talmud, it is a ground-breaking and extensive study.
Paradoxes and their Resolutions is a ‘thematic compilation’ by Avi Sion. It collects in one volume the essays that he has written in the past (over a period of some 27 years) on this subject. It comprises expositions and resolutions of many (though not all) ancient and modern paradoxes, including: the Protagoras-Euathlus paradox (Athens, 5th Cent. BCE), the Liar paradox and the Sorites paradox (both attributed to Eubulides of Miletus, 4th Cent. BCE), Russell’s paradox (UK, 1901) and its derivatives the (...) Barber paradox and the Master Catalogue paradox (also by Russell), Grelling’s paradox (Germany, 1908), Hempel's paradox of confirmation (USA, 1940s), and Goodman’s paradox of prediction (USA, 1955). This volume also presents and comments on some of the antinomic discourse found in some Buddhist texts (namely, in Nagarjuna, India, 2nd Cent. CE; and in the Diamond Sutra, date unknown, but probably in an early century CE). (shrink)
The Infectious Disease Ontology (IDO) is a suite of interoperable ontology modules that aims to provide coverage of all aspects of the infectious disease domain, including biomedical research, clinical care, and public health. IDO Core is designed to be a disease and pathogen neutral ontology, covering just those types of entities and relations that are relevant to infectious diseases generally. IDO Core is then extended by a collection of ontology modules focusing on specific diseases and pathogens. In this paper we (...) present applications of IDO Core within various areas of infectious disease research, together with an overview of all IDO extension ontologies and the methodology on the basis of which they are built. We also survey recent developments involving IDO, including the creation of IDO Virus; the Coronaviruses Infectious Disease Ontology (CIDO); and an extension of CIDO focused on COVID-19 (IDO-CovID-19).We also discuss how these ontologies might assist in information-driven efforts to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, to accelerate data discovery in the early stages of future pandemics, and to promote reproducibility of infectious disease research. (shrink)
Rapidly, accurately and easily interpreting generated data is of fundamental concern. Ontologies – structured controlled vocabularies – support interoperability and prevent the development of data silos which undermine interoperability. The Open Biological and Biomedical Ontologies (OBO) Foundry serves to ensure ontologies remain interoperable through adherence by its members to core ontology design principles. For example, the Infectious Disease Ontology (IDO) Core includes terminological content common to investigations of all infectious diseases. Ontologies covering more specific infectious diseases in turn extend from (...) IDOCore, such as the Coronavirus Infectious Disease Ontology (CIDO). The growing list of virus-specific IDO extensions has motivated construction of a reference ontology covering content common to viral infectious disease investigations: the Virus Infectious Disease Ontology (VIDO). Additionally the present pandemic has motivated construction of a more specific extension of CIDO covering terminological contents specific to the pandemic: the COVID-19 Infectious Disease Ontology (IDO-COVID-19). We report here the development of VIDO and IDO-COVID-19. More specifically we examine newly minted terms for each ontology, showcase reuse of terms from existing OBO ontologies, motivate choicepoints for ontological decisions based on research from relevant life sciences, apply ontology terms to explicate viral pathogenesis, and discuss the annotating power of virus ontologies for use in machine-learning projects. (shrink)
This paper addresses a family of issues surrounding the biological phenomenon of resistance and its representation in realist ontologies. The treatments of resistance terms in various existing ontologies are examined and found to be either overly narrow, internally inconsistent, or otherwise problematic. We propose a more coherent characterization of resistance in terms of what we shall call blocking dispositions, which are collections of mutually coordinated dispositions which are of such a sort that they cannot undergo simultaneous realization within a single (...) bearer. A definition of ‘protective resistance’ is proposed for use in the Infectious Disease Ontology (IDO) and we show how this definition can be used to characterize the antibiotic resistance in Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The ontological relations between entities in our MRSA case study are used alongside a series of logical inference rules to illustrate logical reasoning about resistance. A description logic representation of blocking dispositions is also provided. We demonstrate that our characterization of resistance is sufficiently general to cover two other cases of resistance in the infectious disease domain involving HIV and malaria. (shrink)
Technological developments have resulted in tremendous increases in the volume and diversity of the data and information that must be processed in the course of biomedical and clinical research and practice. Researchers are at the same time under ever greater pressure to share data and to take steps to ensure that data resources are interoperable. The use of ontologies to annotate data has proven successful in supporting these goals and in providing new possibilities for the automated processing of data and (...) information. In this chapter, we describe different types of vocabulary resources and emphasize those features of formal ontologies that make them most useful for computational applications. We describe current uses of ontologies and discuss future goals for ontology-based computing, focusing on its use in the field of infectious diseases. We review the largest and most widely used vocabulary resources relevant to the study of infectious diseases and conclude with a description of the Infectious Disease Ontology (IDO) suite of interoperable ontology modules that together cover the entire infectious disease domain. (shrink)
Recent increases in the volume and diversity of life science data and information and an increasing emphasis on data sharing and interoperability have resulted in the creation of a large number of biological ontologies, including the Cell Ontology (CL), designed to provide a standardized representation of cell types for data annotation. Ontologies have been shown to have significant benefits for computational analyses of large data sets and for automated reasoning applications, leading to organized attempts to improve the structure and formal (...) rigor of ontologies to better support computation. Currently, the CL employs multiple is_a relations, defining cell types in terms of histological, functional, and lineage properties, and the majority of definitions are written with sufficient generality to hold across multiple species. This approach limits the CL's utility for computation and for cross-species data integration. Results: To enhance the CL's utility for computational analyses, we developed a method for the ontological representation of cells and applied this method to develop a dendritic cell ontology (DC-CL). DC-CL subtypes are delineated on the basis of surface protein expression, systematically including both species-general and species-specific types and optimizing DC-CL for the analysis of flow cytometry data. We avoid multiple uses of is_a by linking DC-CL terms to terms in other ontologies via additional, formally defined relations such as has_function. This approach brings benefits in the form of increased accuracy, support for reasoning, and interoperability with other ontology resources. Accordingly, we propose our method as a general strategy for the ontological representation of cells. DC-CL is available from http://www.obofoundry.org. (shrink)
An accurate classification of bacteria is essential for the proper identification of patient infections and subsequent treatment decisions. Multi-Locus Sequence Typing (MLST) is a genetic technique for bacterial classification. MLST classifications are used to cluster bacteria into clonal complexes. Importantly, clonal complexes can serve as a biological species concept for bacteria, facilitating an otherwise difficult taxonomic classification. In this paper, we argue for the inclusion of terms relating to clonal complexes in biomedical ontologies.
This paper addresses the use of dispositions in the Infectious Disease Ontology (IDO). IDO is an ontology constructed according to the principles of the Open Biomedical Ontology (OBO) Foundry and uses the Basic Formal Ontology (BFO) as an upper ontology. After providing a brief introduction to disposition types in BFO and IDO, we discuss three general techniques for representing combinations of dispositions under the headings blocking dispositions, complementary dispositions, and collective dispositions. Motivating examples for each combination of dispositions is given (...) along with a specific use case in IDO. Description logic restrictions are used to formalize statements relating to these combinations. (shrink)
A repository of clinically associated Staphylococcus aureus (Sa) isolates is used to semi‐automatically generate a set of application ontologies for specific subfamilies of Sa‐related disease. Each such application ontology is compatible with the Infectious Disease Ontology (IDO) and uses resources from the Open Biomedical Ontology (OBO) Foundry. The set of application ontologies forms a lattice structure beneath the IDO‐Core and IDO‐extension reference ontologies. We show how this lattice can be used to define a strategy for the construction of a new (...) taxonomy of infectious disease incorporating genetic, molecular, and clinical data. We also outline how faceted browsing and query of annotated data is supported using a lattice application ontology. (shrink)
Vaccine research, as well as the development, testing, clinical trials, and commercial uses of vaccines involve complex processes with various biological data that include gene and protein expression, analysis of molecular and cellular interactions, study of tissue and whole body responses, and extensive epidemiological modeling. Although many data resources are available to meet different aspects of vaccine needs, it remains a challenge how we are to standardize vaccine annotation, integrate data about varied vaccine types and resources, and support advanced vaccine (...) data analysis and inference. To address these problems, the community-based Vaccine Ontology (VO) has been developed through collaboration with vaccine researchers and many national and international centers and programs, including the National Center for Biomedical Ontology (NCBO), the Infectious Disease Ontology (IDO) Initiative, and the Ontology for Biomedical Investigations (OBI). VO utilizes the Basic Formal Ontology (BFO) as the top ontology and the Relation Ontology (RO) for definition of term relationships. VO is represented in the Web Ontology Language (OWL) and edited using the Protégé-OWL. Currently VO contains more than 2000 terms and relationships. VO emphasizes on classification of vaccines and vaccine components, vaccine quality and phenotypes, and host immune response to vaccines. These reflect different aspects of vaccine composition and biology and can thus be used to model individual vaccines. More than 200 licensed vaccines and many vaccine candidates in research or clinical trials have been modeled in VO. VO is being used for vaccine literature mining through collaboration with the National Center for Integrative Biomedical Informatics (NCIBI). Multiple VO applications will be presented. (shrink)
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Active Bacterial Core Surveillance (CDC ABCs) Program is a collaborative effort betweeen the CDC, state health departments, laboratories, and universities to track invasive bacterial pathogens of particular importance to public health . The year-end surveillance reports produced by this program help to shape public policy and coordinate responses to emerging infectious diseases over time. The ABCs case report form (CRF) data represents an excellent opportunity for data reuse beyond the original surveillance purposes.
We examine individuals’ distributional orderings in a number of contexts. This is done by using a questionnaire-experiment that is presented to respondents in any one of seven “flavors” or interpretations of the basic distributional problem. The flavors include inequality, risk, social welfare and justice.
Restoration ecology has recently emerged as a branch of scientific ecology that challenges many of the traditional tenets of environmentalism. Because the restoration of ecosystems, “applied ecology,” has the potential to advance theoretical understanding to such an extent that scientists can extensively manipulate the environment, it encourages increasingly active human participation within ecosystemsand could inhibit the preservation of areas from human influences. Despite the environmentally dangerous possibilities that this form of science and technology present, restoration offers an attractive alternative for (...) human interaction with the environment. I outline the primary claims that have been made for ecological restoration, examine inconsistencies with restorationists’ philosophical position,and propose a reassessment of the definition of restoration that may aid in the clarification and development of a system of environmental ethics that recognizes human relationships with the environment as potentially symbiotic and positive. (shrink)
Abstract Arguments about whether stress should be laid on content or on method in moral education are shown to be misguided: both are inextricably interlocked since morality is a complete form of life, partly concerned with action and partly with feeling. Proper motivation for moral education must display this form in the daily lives of the pupils, who will come to be morally educated only in so far as they share the form with those who love them and whom they (...) love. Schools have to be structured into genuine communities in order to make this possible. In these respects morality is parallel to other forms of life and thought in the school curriculum. (shrink)
Economic inequality has become a focus of prime interest for economic analysts and policy makers. This book provides an integrated approach to the topics of inequality and personal income distribution. It covers the practical and theoretical bases for inequality analysis, applications to real world problems and the foundations of theoretical approaches to income distribution. It also analyses models of the distribution of labour earnings and of income from wealth. The long-run development of income - and wealth - distribution over many (...) generations is also examined. Special attention is given to an assessment of the merits and weaknesses of standard economic models, to illustrating the implications of distributional mechanisms using real data and illustrative examples, and to providing graphical interpretation of formal arguments. Examples are drawn from US, UK and international sources. (shrink)
Judaic Logic is an original inquiry into the forms of thought determining Jewish law and belief, from the impartial perspective of a logician. Judaic Logic attempts to honestly estimate the extent to which the logic employed within Judaism fits into the general norms, and whether it has any contributions to make to them. The author ranges far and wide in Jewish lore, finding clear evidence of both inductive and deductive reasoning in the Torah and other books of the Bible, and (...) analyzing the methodology of the Talmud and other Rabbinic literature by means of formal tools which make possible its objective evaluation with reference to scientific logic. The result is a highly innovative work – incisive and open, free of clichés or manipulation. Judaic Logic succeeds in translating vague and confusing interpretative principles and examples into formulas with the clarity and precision of Aristotelean syllogism. Among the positive outcomes, for logic in general, are a thorough listing, analysis and validation of the various forms of a-fortiori argument, as well as a clarification of dialectic logic. However, on the negative side, this demystification of Talmudic/Rabbinic modes of thought (hermeneutic and heuristic) reveals most of them to be, contrary to the boasts of orthodox commentators, far from deductive and certain. They are often, legitimately enough, inductive. But they are also often unnatural and arbitrary constructs, supported by unverifiable claims and fallacious techniques. Many other thought-processes, used but not noticed or discussed by the Rabbis, are identified in this treatise, and subjected to logical review. Various more or less explicit Rabbinic doctrines, which have logical significance, are also examined in it. In particular, this work includes a formal study of the ethical logic (deontology) found in Jewish law, to elicit both its universal aspects and its peculiarities. With regard to Biblical studies, one notable finding is an explicit formulation (which, however, the Rabbis failed to take note of and stress) of the principles of adduction in the Torah, written long before the acknowledgement of these principles in Western philosophy and their assimilation in a developed theory of knowledge. Another surprise is that, in contrast to Midrashic claims, the Tanakh (Jewish Bible) contains a lot more than ten instances of qal vachomer (a-fortiori) reasoning. In sum, Judaic Logic elucidates and evaluates the epistemological assumptions which have generated the Halakhah (Jewish religious jurisprudence) and allied doctrines. Traditional justifications, or rationalizations, concerning Judaic law and belief, are carefully dissected and weighed at the level of logical process and structure, without concern for content. This foundational approach, devoid of any critical or supportive bias, clears the way for a timely reassessment of orthodox Judaism (and incidentally, other religious systems, by means of analogies or contrasts). Judaic Logic ought, therefore, to be read by all Halakhists, as well as Bible and Talmud scholars and students; and also by everyone interested in the theory, practise and history of logic. (shrink)
This study builds on a long-established tradition within the psychology of religion concerned with the analysis and interpretation of prayer. Drawing on 917 prayer-cards le in one rural church over a sixteenth-month period, the analysis distinguishes between three aspects of intercessory and supplicatory prayer defined as reference, intention, and objective. Results of the analysis showed that only 4% of prayer requests had the prayer author as a key focus, and that there was a preference to pray for other people and (...) for world or global issues . Specific concrete issues were not included in 29% of prayer requests, but in the 71% of requests where concrete contexts were provided, 76% of these were concerned with illness, death, and conflict or disaster. Overall, there were more examples of secondary control than primary control , and primary control was found more often in requests which had the prayer author as a key focus and in the categories of illness, growth, work, relationships, and general requests. These results give rise to a number of hypotheses regarding prayers authors' perceptions of prayer and its purpose. (shrink)
Abstract This paper considers the notion of ?social skills? from the viewpoint of analytic philosophy. The authors note first prejudices for and against an approach to human problems in terms of identificable ?skills?. They then stipulate a definition of ?social skills? in terms of techniques ('knowing how'), and point to other essential aspects of change and treatment which fall outside this definition (in particular, the aspects of attitude or desire and judgement). Some generalisations are attempted relevant to the question of (...) what problems are likely to yield to a ?social skills? approach, and what problems are likely to go deeper than such an approach can cure. Attention is drawn to the necessity of defining what is to count as success in such training, and the logical limits of ?social skills? training are clarified. (shrink)
Abstract All sectarian organizations in a pluralistic society must be uncertain about their role in religious and moral education. Christianity is used as an example to illustrate the dilemma in which such groups find themselves. It is argued that, besides joining in a collective search for public criteria of reason and truth in this area, Christianity has a number of more positive roles unique to itself: to put its particular case forcefully and not ashamedly to pupils, to offer the contexts (...) of education which religion has successfully used over nearly two thousand years (e.g. the confessional), and to bring out the accumulated insight and wisdom which have validity quite apart from their doctrinal setting. Christians should not resign their role to modern sociologists and psychologists, but should emphasize their unique contributions more strongly. (shrink)
A sample of 2,359 sixth-form pupils in Northern Ireland responded in 1998 to Greer's classic question 'Have you ever had an experience of God, for example, his presence or his help or anything else?' Religious experience was reported by 29% of Protestant males, 29% of Catholic males, 39% of Protestant females and 38% of Catholic females. Compared with earlier data these figures reveal a particularly marked decline in reported religious experience among Catholic females . The content of the reported religious (...) experience is analysed and illustrated within nine descriptive categories characterised as: help and guidance, exams, God's presence, answered prayer, death, sickness, conversion, difficulty in describing, and miscellaneous. (shrink)