We describe a knowledge representation and inference formalism, based on an intensional propositional semantic network, in which variables are structures terms consisting of quantifier, type, and other information. This has three important consequences for natural language processing. First, this leads to an extended, more natural formalism whose use and representations are consistent with the use of variables in natural language in two ways: the structure of representations mirrors the structure of the language and allows re-use phenomena such as pronouns and (...) ellipsis. Second, the formalism allows the specification of description subsumption as a partial ordering on related concepts (variable nodes in a semantic network) that relates more general concepts to more specific instances of that concept, as is done in language. Finally, this structured variable representation simplifies the resolution of some representational difficulties with certain classes of natural language sentences, namely, donkey sentences and sentences involving branching quantifiers. The implementation of this formalism is called ANALOG (A NAtural LOGIC) and its utility for natural language processing tasks is illustrated. (shrink)
This essay focuses on a neglected and important text, the Nāgarasarvasva of Padmaśrī, as an index to the changing contours of kāmaśāstra in the early second millennium (1000-1500) CE. Focusing on a number of themes which linked Padmaśrī’s work with contemporary treatises, the essay argues that kāmaśāstra incorporated several new conceptions of the body and related para-technologies as well as elements of material and aesthetic culture which had become prominent in the cosmopolitan, courtly milieu. Rather than seeing this development as (...) an attenuation of the earlier science as constituted by Vātsyāyana’s Kāmasūtra, it is possible to see that kāmaśāstra actually developed closer relations with fields of knowledge that had long developed alongside it. (shrink)
Luck (2009) argues that gamers face a dilemma when it comes to performing certain virtual acts. Most gamers regularly commit acts of virtual murder, and take these acts to be morally permissible. They are permissible because unlike real murder, no one is harmed in performing them; their only victims are computer-controlled characters, and such characters are not moral patients. What Luck points out is that this justification equally applies to virtual pedophelia, but gamers intuitively think that such acts are not (...) morally permissible. The result is a dilemma: either gamers must reject the intuition that virtual pedophelic acts are impermissible and so accept partaking in such acts, or they must reject the intuition that virtual murder acts are permissible, and so abstain from many (if not most) extant games. While the prevailing solution to this dilemma has been to try and find a morally relevant feature to distinguish the two cases, I argue that a different route should be pursued. It is neither the case that all acts of virtual murder are morally permissible, nor are all acts of virtual pedophelia impermissible. Our intuitions falter and produce this dilemma because they are not sensitive to the different contexts in which games present virtual acts. (shrink)
Islam and End-of-Life Practices in Organ Donation for Transplantation: New Questions and Serious Sociocultural Consequences Content Type Journal Article Pages 175-205 DOI 10.1007/s10730-009-9095-8 Authors Mohamed Y. Rady, Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix 5777 East Mayo Boulevard Phoenix Arizona USA 85054 Joseph L. Verheijde, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine 5777 East Mayo Boulevard Phoenix Arizona USA 85054 Muna S. Ali, Arizona State University Phoenix Arizona USA Journal HEC Forum Online ISSN 1572-8498 Print ISSN 0956-2737 Journal Volume Volume 21 Journal Issue Volume (...) 21, Number 2. (shrink)
Introduction The goal of this project was to develop and validate a new tool to evaluate learners' knowledge and skills related to research ethics. Methods A core set of 50 questions from existing computer-based online teaching modules were identified, refined and supplemented to create a set of 74 multiple-choice, true/false and short answer questions. The questions were pilot-tested and item discrimination was calculated for each question. Poorly performing items were eliminated or refined. Two comparable assessment tools were created. These assessment (...) tools were administered as a pre-test and post-test to a cohort of 58 Indian junior health research investigators before and after exposure to a new course on research ethics. Half of the investigators were exposed to the course online, the other half in person. Item discrimination was calculated for each question and Cronbach's α for each assessment tool. A final version of the assessment tool that incorporated the best questions from the pre-/post-test phase was used to assess retention of research ethics knowledge and skills 3 months after course delivery. Results The final version of the REKASA includes 41 items and had a Cronbach's α of 0.837. Conclusion The results illustrate, in one sample of learners, the successful, systematic development and use of a knowledge and skills assessment tool in research ethics capable of not only measuring basic knowledge in research ethics and oversight but also assessing learners' ability to apply ethics knowledge to the analytical task of reasoning through research ethics cases, without reliance on essay or discussion-based examination. These promising preliminary findings should be confirmed with additional groups of learners. (shrink)
November 9, 2009 will mark 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the monumental event that signaled the beginning of the end of Communism in the former Soviet Union. Yet, why was this collapse of Communism considered final, but the many failures of capitalism are considered temporary and episodic? In _The Idea of Communism_, Tariq Ali addresses this very question. The idea of Communism, argues Ali, was simple and noble. _The Communist Manifesto_, which advocated the creation of a (...) society based on the principle of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” rather than a system based on greed and profit, appealed to millions all over the globe. However, Ali argues that the vision of society adumbrated by the founders of Communism was a far cry from what became known as actually existing socialism in the Soviet Union and China. The Communist system that developed ignored Engels’s belief that a workers’ movement and its victory were inconceivable without freedom of the press and assembly. This freedom, Engels insisted, “is the air it needs to breathe. Here, in a thought-provoking re-evaluation, Ali argues that a new form of socialism and global planning is vital to save the planet from capitalist and environmental degradation. (shrink)
Baruch Spinoza is considered one of the great rationalist thinkers of the seventeenth century. His magnum opus, _Ethics_, in which he criticized the dualism of Descartes, solidified his reputation and greatly influenced the Enlightenment thinkers who would build from his work. Born in Amsterdam into a family of Sephardic Jews who had to take refuge there after they were expelled from Portugal, the precocious young scholar imbibed skepticism at an early age. By the time he was twenty-four, he had challenged (...) what he called the “fairy tales” of the Old Testament and was excommunicated by the Synagogue. In this biographical play, Tariq Ali contextualizes Spinoza’s philosophy by linking it to the turbulent politics of the period, in which Spinoza was deeply involved. Ali originally wrote _The Trials of Spinoza_ as part of a series on philosophy for British Channel Four television, and this publication also includes a DVD of that original television production. This work will be welcomed as a testament to the continuing interest in and relevance of Spinoza’s work and as an example of Ali’s eloquent and always politically engaged writing. (shrink)
In Coercion and Responsibility in Islam, Mairaj Syed explores how classical Muslim theologians and jurists from four intellectual traditions argue about the thorny issues that coercion raises about responsibility for one's action. This is done by assessing four ethical problems: whether the absence of coercion or compulsion is a condition for moral agency; how the law ought to define what is coercive; coercion's effect on the legal validity of speech acts; and its effects on moral and legal responsibility in (...) the cases of rape and murder.Through a comparative and historical examination of these ethical problems, the book demonstrates the usefulness of a new model for analyzing ethical thought produced by intellectuals working within traditions in a competitive pluralistic environment. The book compares classical Muslim thought on coercion with that of modern Western thinkers on these issues and finds significant parallels between them. The finding suggests that a fruitful starting point for comparative ethical inquiry, especially inquiry aimed at the discovery of common ground for ethical action, may be found in an examination of how ethicists from different traditions considered concrete problems. (shrink)
In this paper we review some properties of fuzzy observables, mainly as realized by commutative positive operator valued measures. In this context we discuss two representation theorems for commutative positive operator valued measures in terms of projection valued measures and describe, in some detail, the general notion of fuzzification. We also make some related observations on joint measurements.
This paper presents a unifying framework for the study of artificial life, intelIigence and reality. By providing this framework we can give a clear and concise introduction to the fundamental arguments of all three artificial sciences and facilitate the translation of arguments from any one domain to the other two. The framework is based on a variant of functionalism that does not exclude the role of the observer.
A training physician has his first interaction with a pharmaceutical representative during medical school. Medical students are often provided with small gifts such as pens, calendars and books, as well as free lunches as part of drug promotion offers. Ethical impact of these transactions as perceived by young medical students has not been investigated in Pakistan before. This study aimed to assess the association of socio-demographic variables with the attitudes of medical students towards pharmaceutical companies and their incentives.
In African metaphysics, with special reference to Yoruba thought, human destiny, reincarnation, and personal identity constitute some of the major philosophical concerns. Given that man is trimorphously considered a composite of body , soul and inner-head , the last is the metaphysical symbol of human destiny which externally is represented by the physical head. The three elements are classifiable into physical and metaphysical entities with êmi and ori taken to be immortal. Do these metaphysical entities reincarnate and in what way? (...) This paper tries to show that the problem of personal identity and reincarnation are inconclusively resolved in Yoruba thought. (shrink)
v. 1. Introduction to the study of Qurʼan -- v. 2. Surat ul-Faateha to Surat-ul-Baqarah (sections 1-21) -- v. 3. Surat-ul-Baqarah (sections 22 to 37) -- v. 4. Surat-ul-Baqarah (sections 38-40), Surat Aal-e-Imran, Surat-un-Nisa (sections 1 and 2) -- v. 5. Surat-un-Nisa (sections 3 to 24), Surat Al-Maaʼidah (complete), Surat Al-Anʼaam (sections 1-5) -- v. 6. Surat Al-Anʼaam (sections 6-20) -- v. 7. Surat Yunus to Surat Ibrahim -- v. 8. Surat al-Hijr to Surat al-kahf -- v. 9. Surat Maryam (...) to Surat-ul-Moʼminoon -- v. 10. Surat-un-Noor to Surat-ul-Qasas -- v. 11. Suratul Ankaboot to Surat Faatir -- v. 12. Surat Yaaseen to Surat-ush-Shoora -- v. 13. Surat Zukhruf to Surat Toor -- v. 14. Surat-un-Najm to Surat-ul-Munafiqoon -- v. 15. Surat-at-Taghaabun to Surat-al-Infitaar -- v. 16. Surat-at-Tateef to surat-an-Naas. (shrink)
Mullā ‘Alī Nūrī was an indispensable link in the transmission ofMullā Sadrā’s teachings and an important commentator of his works.In my article, I’ll focus on one of them – a short treatise, entitled“Basīt al-haqīqa wa wahdat al-wujūd,” which deals with the modes ofthingness and existence in general, and the socalled“illuminative relation” in particular.The most significant statements Nūrī makes in this brief work consistin the identification of thingness with existence and the “breath of theMerciful” with the “illuminative relation”. I intendto examine (...) these two important points and the employedargumentation in detail, showing how Nūrī exploited some ideas,current in the Kalām and theoretical Sufism, to the benefit of thedoctrine of Mullā Sadrā. (shrink)
Islamic sociologist Ali Shariati is a leading figure of the reconstruction of religious thought in the Islamic world known especially for his anti-capitalist stance and leftist reading of Islamic history. In the philosophy of history that he developed, he classified religions as religions of tawheed and religions of shirk. According to this new reading of history, the main struggle is not between religion and secularism but between religions of tawheed and of sheerk. The issue of the gaining and the distribution (...) of the property is central to his classification. Shariati argued that followers of tawheed and of sheerk can be found in all religions including Islam. To support his argument Shariati explored how capitalistic understanding of Islam has been developed and legalised while anti-capitalist messages and orders of Islam were marginalised and illegalised just after the death of the Prophet Mohammed. He analysed the rivalry between his close companions over the content of a proper Islamic economic order and how this rivalry gave way to two contradicting understanding of Islam, marks of which can be seen today in the contemporary Muslim world. He coined the term ‘abluted capitalism’ to define the economic policies of Muslim sovereigns to make Islam compatible with capitalist economic principles. (shrink)
The goal of this study is to explore the cultural worldview of the prominent contemporary Arab poet and critic, Adonis (b. 1935). Adonis was one of the first thinkers to question the notion of tura>th (cultural heritage) and to consider it the main cause behind the backwardness of the Arab people of today. Better known as a poet, Adonis’s role as a cultural critic deserves to be highlighted. The present study aims to remedy this by analyzing and criticizing his position (...) on tura>th which was based on a deconstructive reading of foundational texts. His goal was to prove that tura>th was illogical and a hindrance to modernity or creativity. To better understand Adonis’s view on tura>th , this study investigates it against his intellectual and ideological background, and analyzes it in the light of primary texts. It concludes that, as a secular deconstructionist, Adonis sees inherited tura>th as a “text” retaining a static/dynamic dualism, and tries to show that the static elements of tura>th , which always appear stable, logical and capable of achieving progress, actually make it otherwise. He argues that divine revelation is responsible for the predominance of the static aspect of tura>th and hence represents an obstacle to human creativity and progress. For this reason, it must be deconstructed, paving the way for replacement of the static, i.e., religious elements, with dynamic or secular elements, which alone can enable the reconstruction of civilization. But, in the process, Adonis may, by replacing the religious with the secular, merely be setting in place a new static dimension. (shrink)
This study, drawing upon contemporary theories in the field of migration, postcolonialism, and translation, offers an analysis of literary works by Monica Ali and Jhumpa Lahiri. Ali and Lahiri epitomize second-generation immigrant literature, play with the linguistic concept of translating and interpreting as forms of hybrid connections, and are significant examples of how a text may become a space where multi-faceted identities co-habit in a process of deconstructing and reconstructing their own sense of emplacement in non-native places. Each immigrant text (...) becomes a hybrid site, where second- and third generations of immigrant subjects move as mobile, fluctuating and impermanent identities, caught up in the act of transmitting their bicultural and bilingual experience through the use of the English language as their instrument of communication in a universe which tends to marginalize them. This investigation seeks to demonstrate how Ali and Lahiri represent two different migrant experiences, Muslim and Indian, each of which functioning within a multicultural Anglo-American context. Each text is transformed into the lieu where identities become both identities-intranslation and translated identities and each text itself may be looked at as the site of preservation of native identities but also of the assimilation of identity. Second-generation immigrant women writers become the interpreters of the old and new cultures, the translators of their own local cultures in a space of transition. (shrink)
The goal of this study is to explore the cultural worldview of the prominent contemporary Arab poet and critic, Adonis. Adonis was one of the first thinkers to question the notion of tura>th and to consider it the main cause behind the backwardness of the Arab people of today. Better known as a poet, Adonis’s role as a cultural critic deserves to be highlighted. The present study aims to remedy this by analyzing and criticizing his position on tura>th which was (...) based on a deconstructive reading of foundational texts. His goal was to prove that tura>th was illogical and a hindrance to modernity or creativity. To better understand Adonis’s view on tura>th, this study investigates it against his intellectual and ideological background, and analyzes it in the light of primary texts. It concludes that, as a secular deconstructionist, Adonis sees inherited tura>th as a “text” retaining a static/dynamic dualism, and tries to show that the static elements of tura>th, which always appear stable, logical and capable of achieving progress, actually make it otherwise. He argues that divine revelation is responsible for the predominance of the static aspect of tura>th and hence represents an obstacle to human creativity and progress. For this reason, it must be deconstructed, paving the way for replacement of the static, i.e., religious elements, with dynamic or secular elements, which alone can enable the reconstruction of civilization. But, in the process, Adonis may, by replacing the religious with the secular, merely be setting in place a new static dimension. (shrink)