The notion that our society, its education system and its intellectual life, is characterised by a split between two cultures – the arts or humanities on one hand, and the sciences on the other – has a long history. But it was C. P. Snow's Rede lecture of 1959 that brought it to prominence and began a public debate that is still raging in the media today. This 50th anniversary printing of The Two Cultures and its successor piece, A Second (...) Look features an introduction by Stefan Collini, charting the history and context of the debate, its implications and its afterlife. The importance of science and technology in policy run largely by non-scientists, the future for education and research, and the problem of fragmentation threatening hopes for a common culture are just some of the subjects discussed. (shrink)
The notion that our society, its education system and its intellectual life, is characterised by a split between two cultures – the arts or humanities on one hand and the sciences on the other – has a long history. But it was C. P. Snow's Rede lecture of 1959 that brought it to prominence and began a public debate that is still raging in the media today. This fiftieth anniversary printing of The Two Cultures and its successor piece, A Second (...) Look features an introduction by Stefan Collini, charting the history and context of the debate, its implications and its afterlife. The importance of science and technology in policy run largely by non-scientists, the future for education and research, and the problem of fragmentation threatening hopes for a common culture are just some of the subjects discussed. (shrink)
Within evolutionary biology, life-history theory is used to explain cross-species differences in allocation strategies regarding reproduction, maturation, and survival. Behavioral scientists have recently begun to conceptualize such strategies as a within-species individual characteristic that is predictive of behavior. Although life history theory provides an important framework for behavioral scientists, the psychometric approach to life-history strategy measurement—as operationalized by K-factors—involves conceptual entanglements. We argue that current psychometric approaches attempting to identify K-factors are based on an unwarranted conflation of functional descriptions and (...) proximate mechanisms—a conceptual mix-up that may generate unviable hypotheses and invites misinterpretation of empirical findings. The assumptions underlying generic psychometric methodology do not allow measurement of functionally defined variables; rather these methods are confined to Mayr’s proximate causal realm. We therefore conclude that K-factor scales lack validity, and that life history strategy cannot be identified with psychometrics as usual. To align theory with methodology, suggestions for alternative methods and new avenues are proposed. (shrink)
We comment on and translate Gustav Kirchhoff's important paper of 1857 entitled On the motion of electricity in conductors. The significance of this paper is that Kirchhoff proved with action at a distance that electric disturbances travel along wires of negligible resistance with the velocity of light. He accomplished this with the laws of Newtonian electrodynamics (Coulomb, Ampere, F. Neumann and Weber) before Maxwell had formulated his equations.
Normative economics and a hermeneutic approach to interpretation of legal norms are only compatible if - and this is the exception – such legal norms have the goal of accomplishing economic efficiency. But economic analysis of law as a positive approach may be used in the legal interpretation process in order to evaluate different options of norm inter-pretations. In fields of law where economic issues are at stake such a methodological evaluation of interpretative variants are superior to common sense analysis (...) and should be applied. But even in fields where non-economic issues play a major role an economic analysis is a helpful tool in order to get aware of the opportunity costs of economically sub-optimal solutions. Economic analysis of law thus becomes an integral part of the norm interpretation process without colliding with the autonomy of the legal decision enhancing the rationality of the endeavour. (shrink)
Ray splitting is a universal phenomenon that occurs with appreciable amplitude in all wave systems when the properties of the system change on a scale smaller than the wave length. We study the quantum implications of ray splitting theoretically and experimentally with the help of ray-splitting billiards in one and two dimensions. We show that Gutzwiller's trace formula works even in the context of ray-splitting systems provided reflection and transmission of waves at ray-splitting boundaries is properly included.
The target article misrepresents the foundations of integrated information theory and ignores many essential publications. It, thus, falls to this lead commentary to outline the axioms and postulates of IIT and correct major misconceptions. The commentary also explains why IIT starts from phenomenology and why it predicts that only select physical substrates can support consciousness. Finally, it highlights that IIT's account of experience – a cause–effect structure quantified by integrated information – has nothing to do with “information transfer.”.
Philosophy of ecology has been slow to become established as an area of philosophical interest, but it is now receiving considerable attention. This area holds great promise for the advancement of both ecology and the philosophy of science. Insights from the philosophy of science can advance ecology in a number of ways. For example, philosophy can assist with the development of improved models of ecological hypothesis testing and theory choice. Philosophy can also help ecologists understand the role and limitations of (...) mathematical models in ecology. On the other side, philosophy of science will be advanced by having ecological case studies as part of the stock of examples. Ecological case studies can shed light on old philosophical topics as well as raise novel issues for the philosophy of science. For example, understanding theoretical terms such as “biodiversity” is important for scientific reasons, but such terms also carry political importance. Formulating appropriate definitions for such terms is thus not a purely scientific matter, and this may prompt a reevaluation of philosophical accounts of defining theoretical terms. We consider some of the topics currently receiving attention in the philosophy of ecology and other topics in need of attention. Our aim is to prompt further exchange between ecology and philosophy of science and to help set the agenda for future work in the philosophy of ecology. The topics covered include: the role of mathematical models, environmental problem formulation, biodiversity, and environmental ethics. (shrink)
This paper aims to contribute to recent critical work on the current parenting culture. It does so by a critical reading of the individual words/parts of the sentence ?Parents need to become independent problem solvers? ? a characteristic phrase of ?Triple P?, a parenting programme that has recently been implemented as a form of parenting support in a number of countries. The paper aims (1) to bring out and expose some of the worrying features of the current parenting culture, (2) (...) criticise its narrow conceptions of what a parent is and what childrearing is, (3) by doing so give a sense of the oddness of implementing Triple P as a form of parenting support and, finally, (4) tentatively suggest alternative routes of thinking for and about childrearing as well as ?grafting points? to start reconstructing parenting support practices. (shrink)
Rationale At the request of a Dutch governmental organization, a multidisciplinary group of osteoporosis experts in the Netherlands published in 2002 a guideline on case finding, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. These guidelines were evaluated for their validity and applicability. Methods Analysis by 5 external osteoporosis experts using the 'Appraisal of Guidelines for Research & Evaluation' ('AGREE') instrument. Results The score for the 6 domains of AGREE was 88% for the scope and purpose domain, 76% for stakeholder involvement, 81% (...) for rigour of development, 84% for clarity and presentation, 77% for applicability and 73% for editorial independence. For single components of the domains of AGREE, highest scores were found for systematic methods used to search for evidence (100%), inclusion of individuals from all the relevant professional groups (95%) and ease of identifying key recommendations (95%). Lowest scores to single components of the several domains were given for piloting among target users (44%). All experts recommended the guidelines for use in practice. Conclusions The AGREE instrument scored high for development, clarity and presentation but low for piloting among target users and implementation. Based on the guideline, algorithms from case finding to treatment were constructed that could be tested for piloting among target users and for implementation of the guideline. (shrink)
We have estimated the seismic attenuation in gas hydrate and free-gas-bearing sediments from high-resolution P-cable 3D seismic data from the Vestnesa Ridge on the Arctic continental margin of Svalbard. P-cable data have a broad bandwidth, which is extremely advantageous in estimating seismic attenuation in a medium. The seismic quality factor, the inverse of seismic attenuation, is estimated from the seismic data set using the centroid frequency shift and spectral ratio methods. The centroid frequency shift method establishes a relationship between the (...) change in the centroid frequency of an amplitude spectrum and the Q value of a medium. The SR method estimates the Q value of a medium by studying the differential decay of different frequencies. The broad bandwidth and short offset characteristics of the P-cable data set are useful to continuously map the Q for different layers throughout the 3D seismic volume. The centroid frequency shift method is found to be relatively more stable than the SR method. Q values estimated using these two methods are in concordance with each other. The Q data document attenuation anomalies in the layers in the gas hydrate stability zone above the bottom-simulating reflection and in the free gas zone below. Changes in the attenuation anomalies correlate with small-scale fault systems in the Vestnesa Ridge suggesting a strong structural control on the distribution of free gas and gas hydrates in the region. We argued that high and spatially limited Q anomalies in the layer above the BSR indicate the presence of gas hydrates in marine sediments in this setting. Hence, our workflow to analyze Q using high-resolution P-cable 3D seismic data with a large bandwidth could be a potential technique to detect and directly map the distribution of gas hydrates in marine sediments. (shrink)
Objective: Illness perceptions are important predictors of emotional and behavioral responses in many diseases. The current study aims to investigate the COVID-19-related IP throughout Europe. The specific goals are to understand the temporal development, identify predictors and examine the impacts of IP on perceived stress and preventive behaviors.Methods: This was a time-series-cross-section study of 7,032 participants from 16 European countries using multilevel modeling from April to June 2020. IP were measured with the Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire. Temporal patterns were observed (...) considering the date of participation and the date recoded to account the epidemiological evolution of each country. The outcomes considered were perceived stress and COVID-19 preventive behaviors.Results: There were significant trends, over time, for several IP, suggesting a small decrease in negativity in the perception of COVID-19 in the community. Age, gender, and education level related to some, but not all, IP. Considering the self-regulation model, perceptions consistently predicted general stress and were less consistently related to preventive behaviors. Country showed no effect in the predictive model, suggesting that national differences may have little relevance for IP, in this context.Conclusion: The present study provides a comprehensive picture of COVID-19 IP in Europe in an early stage of the pandemic. The results shed light on the process of IP formation with implications for health-related outcomes and their evolution. (shrink)
In this paper, I enquire whether there are Kuhnian paradigms in medicine, by way of analysing a case study from the history of medicine—the discovery of the germ theory of disease in the nineteenth century. I investigate the Kuhnian aspects of this event by comparing the work of the famous school of microbiology founded by Robert Koch with a rival school, powerful in the nineteenth century, but now almost forgotten, founded by Carl Nageli. Through my case study, I show (...) that medical science possesses some Kuhnian features. Within each school, scientists used similar exemplars and shared the same assumptions. Moreover, their research was resistant to novelty, and the results of one party were disregarded by the other. In other words, in a moderate sense, the Koch and Nageli groups worked within distinct paradigms. However, I reject the stronger Kuhnian claim that the terms used within the two paradigms were mutually unintelligible. Focusing on the semantic aspects, I argue that no account of incommensurability of reference can be given in this case, although, for sociological reasons, the two parties talked past each other. I suggest in addition that the rival scientists could have understood each other more easily if their theoretical commitments had not been so deeply ingrained, and I use the example of Pasteur to indicate that the causal account of meaning might have avoided the communication breakdown. (shrink)