Throughout the biological and biomedical sciences there is a growing need for, prescriptive ‘minimum information’ (MI) checklists specifying the key information to include when reporting experimental results are beginning to find favor with experimentalists, analysts, publishers and funders alike. Such checklists aim to ensure that methods, data, analyses and results are described to a level sufficient to support the unambiguous interpretation, sophisticated search, reanalysis and experimental corroboration and reuse of data sets, facilitating the extraction of maximum value from data sets (...) them. However, such ‘minimum information’ MI checklists are usually developed independently by groups working within representatives of particular biologically- or technologically-delineated domains. Consequently, an overview of the full range of checklists can be difficult to establish without intensive searching, and even tracking thetheir individual evolution of single checklists may be a non-trivial exercise. Checklists are also inevitably partially redundant when measured one against another, and where they overlap is far from straightforward. Furthermore, conflicts in scope and arbitrary decisions on wording and sub-structuring make integration difficult. This presents inhibit their use in combination. Overall, these issues present significant difficulties for the users of checklists, especially those in areas such as systems biology, who routinely combine information from multiple biological domains and technology platforms. To address all of the above, we present MIBBI (Minimum Information for Biological and Biomedical Investigations); a web-based communal resource for such checklists, designed to act as a ‘one-stop shop’ for those exploring the range of extant checklist projects, and to foster collaborative, integrative development and ultimately promote gradual integration of checklists. (shrink)
The development of the Functional Genomics Investigation Ontology (FuGO) is a collaborative, international effort that will provide a resource for annotating functional genomics investigations, including the study design, protocols and instrumentation used, the data generated and the types of analysis performed on the data. FuGO will contain both terms that are universal to all functional genomics investigations and those that are domain specific. In this way, the ontology will serve as the “semantic glue” to provide a common understanding of data (...) from across these disparate data sources. In addition, FuGO will reference out to existing mature ontologies to avoid the need to duplicate these resources, and will do so in such a way as to enable their ease of use in annotation. This project is in the early stages of development; the paper will describe efforts to initiate the project, the scope and organization of the project, the work accomplished to date, and the challenges encountered, as well as future plans. (shrink)
Why is the human imagination to blame for the worst crimes of the twentieth century? Why is progress a pernicious myth? Why is contemporary atheism just a hangover from Christian faith? John Gray, author of Straw Dogsand Black Mass, is one of the most original and iconoclastic thinkers of our time. In this pugnacious and brilliantly readable collection of essays from across his career, he smashes through humanity's most cherished beliefs to overturn our view of the world, and our (...) place in it. 'If humans are different from other animals it is chiefly in being governed by myths, which are not creations of the will but creatures of the imagination.' 'No traditional myth is as untruthful as the modern myth of progress. All prevailing philosophies embody the fiction that human life can be altered at will. Better aim for the impossible, they say, than submit to fate. Invariably, the result is a cult of human self-assertion that soon ends in farce.'. (shrink)
Each time we take a turn in conversation we indicate what we know and what we think others know. However, knowledge is neither static nor absolute. It is shaped by those we interact with and governed by social norms - we monitor one another for whether we are fulfilling our rights and responsibilities with respect to knowledge, and for who has relatively more rights to assert knowledge over some state of affairs. This book brings together an international team of leading (...) linguists, sociologists and anthropologists working across a range of European and Asian languages to document some of the ways in which speakers manage the moral domain of knowledge in conversation. The volume demonstrates that if we are to understand how speakers manage issues of agreement, affiliation and alignment - something clearly at the heart of human sociality - we must understand the social norms surrounding epistemic access, primacy and responsibilities. (shrink)
This intra-view explores a number of productive junctions between contemporary Deleuzoguattarian and new materialist praxes via a series of questions and provocations. Productive tensions are explored via questions of epistemological, ontological, ethical, and political intra-sections as well as notions of difference, transversal contamination, ecosophical practices, diffraction, and, lastly, schizoanalysis. Various irruptions around biophilosophy, transduction, becomology, cartography, power relations, hyperobjects as events, individuation, as well as dyschronia and disorientation, take the discussion further into the wild pedagogical spaces that both praxes have (...) in common. -/- . (shrink)
Lang, B. Philosophy and the manners of art.--Hofstadter, A. Freedom, enownment, and philosophy.--Mehta, J. L. A stranger from Asia.--Fox, D. A. A passage past India.--Rucker, D. Philosophy and the constitution of Emerson's world.--Schneider, H. W. The pragmatic movement in historical perspective.--Barnes, H. E. Reflections on myth and magic.--Cauvel, J. The imperious presence of theater.--Seay, A. Musical conservatism in the fourteenth century.--Hochman, W. R. The enduring fascination of war.--Davenport, M. M. J. Glenn Gray and the promise of wisdom.
Isaiah Berlin was the greatest intellectual historian of the twentieth century. But his work also made an original and important contribution to moral and political philosophy and to liberal theory. In 1921, at the age of eleven, Isaiah Berlin arrived in England from Riga, Latvia. By the time he was thirty he was at the heart of British intellectual life. He has remained its commanding presence ever since, and few would dispute that he was one of Britain's greatest thinkers. His (...) reputation extends worldwide--as a great conversationalist, intellectual historian, and man of letters. He has been called the century's most inspired reader. Yet Berlin's contributions to thought--in particular to moral and political philosophy, and to liberal theory--are little understood, and surprisingly neglected by the academic world. In this book, they are shown to be animated by a single, powerful, subversive idea: value-pluralism which affirms the reality of a deep conflict between ultimate human values that reason cannot resolve. Though bracingly clear-headed, humane and realist, Berlin's value-pluralism runs against the dominant Western traditions, secular and religious, which avow an ultimate harmony of values. It supports a highly distinctive restatement of liberalism in Berlin's work--an agnostic liberalism, which is founded not on rational choice but on the radical choices we make when faced with intractable dilemmas. It is this new statement of liberalism, the central subject of John Gray's lively and lucid book, which gives the liberal intellectual tradition a new lease on life, a new source of life, and which comprises Berlin's central and enduring legacy. In a new introduction, Gray argues that, in a world in which human freedom has spread more slowly than democracy, Berlin's account of liberty and basic decency is more instructive and useful than ever. (shrink)
The nature/nurture debate is not dead. Dichotomous views of development still underlie many fundamental debates in the biological and social sciences. Developmental systems theory offers a new conceptual framework with which to resolve such debates. DST views ontogeny as contingent cycles of interaction among a varied set of developmental resources, no one of which controls the process. These factors include DNA, cellular and organismic structure, and social and ecological interactions. DST has excited interest from a wide range of researchers, from (...) molecular biologists to anthropologists, because of its ability to integrate evolutionary theory and other disciplines without falling into traditional oppositions. The book provides historical background to DST, recent theoretical findings on the mechanisms of heredity, applications of the DST framework to behavioral development, implications of DST for the philosophy of biology, and critical reactions to DST. (shrink)
"Gray Matters is a thorough examination of the main topics in recent philosophy of mind. It aims at surveying a broad range of issues, not all of which can be subsumed under one position or one philosopher's theory. In this way, the authors avoid neglecting interesting issues out of allegiance to a given theory of mind." --Book Jacket.
What way forward for the contemporary university? Critical University traverses fields in critical theory, psychoanalysis, phenomenology, and the philosophy of education to focus and provoke further discussion of the university in crisis.
This study compares 20 subjects, in each of three different settings, with serious psychotic disorder who hear voices, and compares their voice-hearing experience. We find that while there is much that is similar, there are notable differences in the kinds of voices that people seem to experience. In a California sample, people were more likely to describe their voices as intrusive unreal thoughts; in the South Indian sample, they were more likely to describe them as providing useful guidance; and in (...) our West African sample, they were more likely to describe them as morally good and causally powerful. What we think we may be observing is that people who fall ill with serious psychotic disorder pay selective attention to a constant stream of many different auditory and quasi-auditory events because of different “cultural invitations”—variations in ways of thinking about minds, persons, spirits and so forth. Such a process is consistent with processes described in the cognitive psychology and psychiatric anthropology literature, but not yet described or understood with respect to cultural variations in auditory hallucinations. We call this process “social kindling.”. (shrink)
We examine the opportunities children have for interacting with others and the extent to which they are the focus of others’ visual attention in five societies where extended family communities are the norm. We compiled six video-recorded datasets collected by a team of anthropologists and psychologists conducting long-term research in each society. The six datasets include video observations of children among the Yasawas, Tanna, Tsimane, Huatasani, and Aka. Each dataset consists of a series of videos of children ranging in age (...) from 2 months to 12 years in their everyday contexts. We coded 998 videos and identified with whom children had opportunities to interact as well as the number of individuals and the proportion of observed time that children spent with these individuals. We also examined the proportion of time children received direct visual gaze. Our results indicate that children less than 5 years old spend the majority of their observed time in the presence of one female adult. This is the case across the five societies. In the three societies from which we have older children, we find a clear shift around 5 years of age, with children spending the majority of their time with other children. We also coded the presence or absence of a primary caregiver and found that caregivers remained within 2 ft of target children until 7 years of age. When they were in the company of a primary caregiver, children older than seven spent the majority of their time more than 2 ft from the caregiver. We found a consistent trend across societies with decreasing focal attention on the child with increasing child age. These findings show remarkable consistency across these societies in children’s interaction opportunities and that a developmental approach is needed to fully understand human development because the social context is dynamic across the lifespan. These data can serve as a springboard for future research examining social development in everyday contexts. (shrink)
This paper provides a roadmap for engaging in cross-cultural, developmental research in practical, ethical, and community-engaged ways. To cultivate the flexibility necessary for conducting cross-cultural research, we structure our roadmap as a series of questions that each research program might consider prior to embarking on cross-cultural examinations in developmental science. Within each topic, we focus on the challenges and opportunities inherent to different types of study designs, fieldwork, and collaborations because our collective experience in conducting research in multiple cultural contexts (...) has taught us that there can be no single “best practice”. Here we identify the challenges that are unique to cross-cultural research as well as present a series of recommendations and guidelines. We also bring to the forefront ethical considerations which are rarely encountered in the laboratory context, but which researchers face daily while conducting research in a cultural context which one is not a member. As each research context requires unique solutions to these recurring challenges, we urge researchers to use this set of questions as a starting point, and to expand and tailor the questions and potential solutions with community members to support their own research design or cultural context. This will allow us to move the field towards more inclusive and ethical research practices. (shrink)
_Liberalisms_, a work first published in 1989, provides a coherent and comprehensive analytical guide to liberal thinking over the past century and considers the dominance of liberal thought in Anglo-American political philosophy over the past 20 years. John Gray assesses the work of all the major liberal political philosophers including J. S. Mill, Herbert Spencer, Karl Popper, F. A Hayek, John Rawls and Robert Nozick, and explores their mutual connections and differences.
Participants compared the mental capacities of various human and nonhuman characters via online surveys. Factor analysis revealed two dimensions of mind perception, Experience and Agency. The dimensions predicted different moral judgments but were both related to valuing of mind.
How does conscious experience arise out of the functioning of the human brain? How is it related to the behaviour that it accompanies? How does the perceived world relate to the real world? Between them, these three questions constitute what is commonly known as the Hard Problem of consciousness. Despite vast knowledge of the relationship between brain and behaviour, and rapid advances in our knowledge of how brain activity correlates with conscious experience, the answers to all three questions remain controversial, (...) even mysterious. This important book analyses these core issues and reviews the evidence from both introspection and experiment. To many its conclusions will be surprising and even unsettling: * The entire perceived world is constructed by the brain. The relationship between the world we perceive and the underlying physical reality is not as close as we might think * Much of our behaviour is accomplished with little or no participation from conscious experience. * Our conscious experience of our behaviour lags the behaviour itself by around a fifth of a second - we become aware of what we do only after we have done it. * The lag in conscious experience applies also to the decision to act - we only become aware of our decisions after they have been formed. * The self is as much a creation of the brain as is the rest of the perceived world. Written by a leading scientist, this accessible and compelling analysis of how conscious experience relates to brain and behaviour will have major implications for our understanding of human nature. (shrink)
Analysis of two 3D surveys, available well data, published outcrop data and subsurface information, as well as production data available from the state of Pennsylvania, demonstrates that wide-azimuth seismic is sensitive to variations in fracturing at the scale of individual pads or even individual wells. These variations in fracturing begin to explain why production varies significantly, even locally, within the Marcellus Shale gas play. Rose diagrams from quantitative fracture analysis using azimuthal seismic velocity volumes were compared with published data from (...) Appalachian black shale outcrops and subsurface fracture models proposed in various papers to validate the results from subsurface data. These analyses provided insight into the rock fabric and the presence of systematic joints that likely affect production. There was a strong correlation between the low anisotropy and low heterogeneity of anisotropy and high estimated ultimate recovery. Additionally, interpreted fracture trend azimuths differed between areas of larger gas EUR and areas of smaller gas EUR as defined by decline curve analysis. Some perforations were likely to perform much better than others along the borehole, based on observed heterogeneity in the seismic profiles and map view. (shrink)
For ages, natural disasters, war and disease have been part of life, sharing themes of not only adversity, fear and death, but also hope. The year 2020 brought a new threat in the form of coronavirus disease 2019, which challenged what humankind understood of all they knew and believed. The significant difference today is the role of the media in sharing news and opinions on this disease that threatens not only lives, but also spiritual well-being. In this study, we focus (...) on people’s religious views on the origin and meaning of this invisible threat to establish how this pandemic impacts on people’s belief systems. The 20th century was marked by a shift whereby actions and events are intellectualised to rationalise cause and effect, and the philosophical theodicies are regarded to limit our critical reasoning. This study, however, shows that COVID-19 reactivates this debate in that it surpasses logic and rational thinking. Data are collected by means of comments, discussions and opinions shared on numerous social media platforms. During times of adversity, the same rhetorical ‘who’ and ‘why’ questions are asked and in this regard, theodicy as a philosophical framework informs this study. Applying a narrative inquiry, data are interpreted and three themes are identified, namely COVID-19 is an act God, COVID-19 has nothing to do with God and God remains in control amidst a devastating pandemic. The sample for this study is random and the medium used allows for representativity in terms of age group, gender, race, religious affiliation of South Africa, but not limited to this country.Contribution: This article provides insight into renewed debates on religious views on pandemics and suffering in the context of COVID-19. It contributes to an understanding of different perceptions on the origin of this disease, how people make sense and find meaning in being part of a global discourse. (shrink)
We offer an interpretation of the mental files framework that eliminates the metaphor of files, information being contained in files, etc. The guiding question is whether, once we move beyond the metaphors, there is any theoretical role for files. We claim not. We replace the file-metaphor with two theses: the semantic thesis that there are irreducibly relational representational facts (viz. facts about the coordination of representations); and the metasemantic thesis that processes tied to information-relations ground those facts. In its canonical (...) statement, the ‘file’-theory makes reference to a certain kind of relational representational feature, and a certain kind of mental activity. Mental files need not come into it. In short, we posit mental filing without mental files. Our interpretation avoids awkward problems that arise on the standard interpretation and clarifies the explanatory commitments of the theory. (shrink)
In the framework of the minimalist program, the assumption that wh-in-situ move covertly to be assigned wide scope is infeasible. Rather, it is assumed that they must be interpretable in situ, and that syntactic conditions like ‘superiority’ are effects of economy, which restricts overt rather than covert movement of a wh-element. The remaining syntactic problem for this line of reasoning is the putative ECP effects of adverbial wh-adjuncts, which were the strongest evidence for covert movement. A serious semantic problem is (...) that the interpretative procedures which have been proposed for wh-in-situ – unselective binding or absorption – fail to capture correctly their interpretation. I will argue first that both problems are solved if the interpretation in situ employs choice functions, and it is the function variable, rather than an individual variable, which is long-distance bound by the question existential operator. Adverbial adjuncts, which cannot be interpreted via choice functions, cannot, therefore, be interpreted in situ. However, the concept of economy underlying the account of overt superiority effects requires both theoretical and empirical clarification (as it leaves some empirical problems unaddressed). I argue, following a proposal by Golan (1993), that in this case the economy considerations apply at the interface (‘interface economy’) and that they consider not only different derivations out of the same numeration, but also their semantic representation. (shrink)
In Oscar Wilde’s famous novel, Dorian Gray is tempted by Henry Wotton to sell his soul in order to hold on to beauty and youth. Dorian succumbs and murders the portrait painter Basil Haliward, who stands between him and his goal. Though in the end vice is punished and virtue rewarded, the novel remains one of the most important expressions of fin de siècle decadence. It is in the preface to the expanded edition of The Picture of Dorian (...) class='Hi'>Gray that Wilde coined the most famous expression of his aesthetic: “There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well-written or badly-written. That is all.” Like other Broadview Editions, this edition includes a wide range of materials from the period that help to set the text in context. In particular, the editor locates the text both in relation to elements in the mainstream culture of the day ; and in relation to the gay subculture. (shrink)
It is interesting to explore the effects of second language acquisition on anatomical change in brain at different stages for the neural structural adaptations are dynamic. Short-term Chinese training effects on brain anatomical structures in alphabetic language speakers have been already studied. However, little is known about the adaptations of the gray matter induced by acquiring Chinese language for a relatively long learning period in adult alphabetic language speakers. To explore this issue, we recruited 38 Indian overseas students in (...) China as our subjects. The learned group included 17 participants who had learned Mandarin Chinese for an average of 3.24 years and achieved intermediate Chinese language proficiency. The control group included 21 subjects who had no knowledge about Chinese. None of the participants had any experience in learning logographic and tonal language before Chinese learning. We found that the learned group had significantly greater gray matter volume in the left lingual gyrus compared with the control group; the Chinese characters’ reading accuracy was significantly and positively correlated to the GMV in the left LG and fusiform gyrus across the two groups; and in the learned group, the duration of Chinese learning was significantly and positively correlated with the GMV in the left inferior frontal gyrus after correction for multiple comparisons with small volume corrections. Our structural imaging findings are in line with the functional imaging studies reporting increased brain activation induced by Chinese acquisition in alphabetic language speakers. The regional gray matter changes reflected the additional requirements imposed by the more difficult processing of Chinese characters and tones. The present study also show that the biological bases of the adaptations induced by a relatively long period of Chinese learning were limited in the common areas for first and foreign language processing. (shrink)
Research Ethics, Volume 18, Issue 1, Page 24-38, January 2022. Are social science, cross-border research projects, where recruitment and data collection are carried out remotely, required to follow similar ethical and data-sharing procedures as ‘on-the-ground’ studies that use traditional means of recruitment and participant engagement? This article reflects on our experience of dealing with this question when we had to switch to online data collection due to the restrictions posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the inability to travel or (...) work in person with local communities and collaborators. Using social media platforms and online data collection when conducting research brings many advantages, such as being able to communicate remotely but directly with gatekeepers and collaborators, and in reaching potential participants on a global scale. However, neither the guidelines and advice for conducting ethically sound internet-based research, nor the academic literature focussed on building equitable research partnerships between the Global North and the Global South, offer much information regarding the ethical concerns, or address the grey areas, posed by this type of digital and distanced transnational research. In our experience, conducting research remotely made negotiations of access very challenging due to the politics of positionality between Global North and South researchers, lack of clarity on ethical processes and perceptions of gatekeepers who we could not meet in person. We hope the reflections on, and discussion of, our experience encourage deliberation on the present ethical challenges posed by online and social-media-disseminated data collection, particularly in cross-border circumstances. (shrink)
The British bestseller Straw Dogs is an exciting, radical work of philosophy, which sets out to challenge our most cherished assumptions about what it means to be human. From Plato to Christianity, from the Enlightenment to Nietzsche and Marx, the Western tradition has been based on arrogant and erroneous beliefs about human beings and their place in the world. Philosophies such as liberalism and Marxism think of humankind as a species whose destiny is to transcend natural limits and conquer the (...) Earth. John Gray argues that this belief in human difference is a dangerous illusion and explores how the world and human life look once humanism has been finally abandoned. The result is an exhilarating, sometimes disturbing book that leads the reader to question our deepest-held beliefs. Will Self, in the New Statesman , called Straw Dogs his book of the year: “I read it once, I read it twice and took notes . . . I thought it that good.” “Nothing will get you thinking as much as this brilliant book” ( Sunday Telegraph ). (shrink)
American liberals believe that both civil liberties and civil rights are harmonious aspects of a basic commitment to human rights. But recently these two clusters of values have seemed increasingly to conflict – as, for example, with the feminist claim that the legal toleration of pornography, long a goal sought by civil libertarians, actually violates civil rights as a form of sex discrimination. Here I propose an interpretation of the conflict of civil rights and civil liberties in its latest manifestation: (...) the controversy over how to treat discriminatory verbal harassment on American campuses. I was involved with the controversy in a practical way at Stanford, where I helped draft a harassment regulation that was recently adopted by the university. Like the pornography issue, the harassment problem illustrates the element of paradox in the conflict of civil-liberties and civil-rights perspectives or mentalities. This problem does not simply trigger familiar disagreements between liberals of a classical or libertarian orientation as against those of a welfare state or social democratic one – though it does sometimes do that. In my experience, the issue also has the power to appear to a single person in different shapes and suggest different solutions as it oscillates between being framed in civil-liberties and in civil-rights terms. At the same time, however, it remains recognizably the same problem. It is thus a very practical and political example of the kind of tension noted by Wittgenstein in the aphorism that heads this essay – a puzzle of interpretive framing, of “seeing-as.”. (shrink)