The alphabet effect that showed that codified law, alphabetic writing, monotheism, abstract science and deductive logic are interlinked, first proposed by McLuhan and Logan, is revisited. Marshall and Eric McLuhan’s insight that alphabetic writing led to the separation of figure and ground and their interplay, as well as the emergence of visual space, are reviewed and shown to be two additional effects of the alphabet. We then identify more additional new components of the alphabet effect by demonstrating that alphabetic (...) writing also gave rise to Duality, and reductionism or the linear sequential relationship of causes followed by effects. We then review McLuhan’s claim that electrically configured information reversed the dominance of visual space over acoustic space and led to the reversals of cause and effect, and figure and ground. We then demonstrate that General System Theory first formulated by Ludwig von Bertalanffy, which also includes chaos theory, complexity theory and emergence and Jakob von Uexküll’s notion of umwelt also entail the reversal of many aspects of the alphabet effect such as the reversals of cause and effect, and figure and ground. (shrink)
Fern Logan’s collection of photographic portraits documents the emergence of the African American artist into mainstream American art. The Artist Portrait Series captures sixty significant artists from the late twentieth century.
No consensus yet exists on how to handle incidental fnd-ings in human subjects research. Yet empirical studies document IFs in a wide range of research studies, where IFs are fndings beyond the aims of the study that are of potential health or reproductive importance to the individual research participant. This paper reports recommendations of a two-year project group funded by NIH to study how to manage IFs in genetic and genomic research, as well as imaging research. We conclude that researchers (...) have an obligation to address the possibility of discovering IFs in their protocol and communications with the IRB, and in their consent forms and communications with research participants. Researchers should establish a pathway for handling IFs and communicate that to the IRB and research participants. We recommend a pathway and categorize IFs into those that must be disclosed to research participants, those that may be disclosed, and those that should not be disclosed. (shrink)
This paper presents the results of five years of research involving three studies. The first two studies investigated the impact of the value honesty/integrity on the ethical decision choice an individual makes, as moderated by the individual personality traits of self-monitoring and private self-consciousness. The third study, which is the focus of this paper, expanded the two earlier studies by varying the level of moral intensity and including the influence of demographical factors and other workplace values: achievement, fairness, and concern (...) for others on the ethical decision process. These studies were designed using a laboratory format and a decision exercise that attempted to establish realistic business conflict situations through decision scenarios. Support is presented for the influence of gender and achievement on ethical choice. Recommendations for the future direction of this stream of research are given. (shrink)
After 1900, the selective breeding of a few standard animals for research in the life sciences changed the way science was done. Among the pervasive changes was a transformation in scientists' assumptions about relationship between diversity and generality. Examination of the contents of two prominent physiology journals between 1885 and 1900, reveals that scientists used a diverse array of organisms in empirical research. Experimental physiologists gave many reasons for the choice of test animals, some practical and others truly comparative. But, (...) despite strong philosophical differences in the approaches they represented, the view that it was best to incorporate as many species as possible into research on physiological processes was widespread in both periodicals. Authors aimed for generality, but they treated it as a conclusion that would or would not follow from the examination of many species. After 1900, an increasing emphasis on standardization, the growth of the experimental method and the growing industrialization of the life sciences led to a decline in the number of species used in research. In this context, the selective breeding of animals for science facilitated a change in assumptions about the relationship between generality and diversity. As animals were increasingly viewed as things that were assumed to be fundamentally similar, scientific generality became an a priori assumption rather than an empirical conclusion. (shrink)
In America by the 1930s, albino rats had become a kind of generic standard in research on physiology and behavior that de-emphasized diversity across species. However, prior to about 1915, the early work of many of the pioneer rat researchers in America and in central Europe reflected a strong interest in species differences and a deep regard for diversity. These scientists sought broad, often medical, generality, but their quest for generality using a standard animal did not entail a de-emphasis of (...) organic diversity. They chose white rats as test animals for two primary reasons. First, rats develop very slowly. They therefore made features of physiological, neural and psychological development accessible to the experimental method at a time when its application to the phenomena of development remained controversial. Secondly, rats were thought to have unusually strong sex drives. For this reason they became central to the experimental study of sexuality and, in the work of the reproductive physiologist Eugen Steinach, sexual development. Connections among three research institutes that stressed experimental approaches to the study of brain and development demonstrate the importance of the rat's institutional role. As the emphasis on experimentation in the study of development grew, two of these institutes bred rats to provide uniform materials. Eventually, however, their reasons for selecting rats were lost; and the ready availability of a uniform test animal led to a shift in scientists' presumptions about diversity, as the standard rat became a tool for assuring generality. (shrink)
The conference entitled ‘Best Practices in Clinical Ethics Consultation and Decision-Making’, held in London 8–9 July 2010, was the first of its kind dedicated to identifying best practices in clinical ethics consultation and decision-making. Academics, health and social care professionals, clinical ethics committee members, lawyers, service users and carers from the UK, USA, Europe, Canada, Australia and Asia attended lectures, workshops, parallel paper sessions and clinical ethics case discussions across adult, maternity, children's, older persons, mental health and learning disabilities settings. (...) Seventy-eight best-practice points impacting on the quality of clinical ethics consultations and subsequent decisions were identified and grouped into eight themes: who tells the story; how the story is told; how the analysis, discussion and subsequent decisions are made; how values are weighted and balanced against one another; who decides; how the decision is made; how group dynamics and conflict are handled; how decisions are recorded. (shrink)
There exists a considerable body of work on epistemic logics for resource-bounded reasoners. In this paper, we concentrate on a less studied aspect of resource-bounded reasoning, namely, on the ascription of beliefs and inference rules by the agents to each other. We present a formal model of a system of bounded reasoners which reason about each other’s beliefs, and investigate the problem of belief ascription in a resource-bounded setting. We show that for agents whose computational resources and memory are bounded, (...) correct ascription of beliefs cannot be guaranteed, even in the limit. We propose a solution to the problem of correct belief ascription for feasible agents which involves ascribing reasoning strategies , or preferences on formulas, to other agents, and show that if a resource-bounded agent knows the reasoning strategy of another agent, then its ascription of beliefs to the other agent is correct in the limit. (shrink)
In 1920, Eugen Steinach and Paul Kammerer reported experiments showing that exposure to high temperatures altered the structure of the gonad and produced hyper-sexuality in "heat rats," presumably as a result of the increased production of sex hormones. Using Steinach's evidence that the gonad is a double gland with distinct sexual and generative functions, they used their findings to explain "racial" differences in the sexuality of indigenous tropical peoples and Europeans. The authors also reported that heat induced anatomical changes in (...) the interstitial cells of the gonad were inherited by the heat rats' descendants. Kammerer used this finding to link endocrinology to his long-standing interest in the inheritance of acquired characteristics. The heat rats supported his hypothesis that the interstitial cells of the double gland were the mechanism of somatic induction in the inheritance of acquired characteristics. The Steinach-Kammerer collaboration, Kammerer's use of Steinach's "puberty gland" to explain somatic induction, and his endocrine analysis of symbiosis reveal Paul Kammerer's late career attempt to integrate endocrinology and genetics with the political ideals of Austrian socialism. With them he developed a bioethics that challenged the growing reliance on race in eugenics and instead promoted cooperation over competition in evolution. I relate his attempt to the controversies surrounding the interstitial cells, to the status of extra-nuclear theories of heredity, and to Kammerer's commitment to Austromarxist social reforms during the interwar period. (shrink)
In the formation of epistemically justified beliefs, what is the role of attention, and what is the role (if any) of non-attentional aspects of cognition? We will here argue that there is an essential role for certain nonattentional aspects. These involve epistemically relevant background information that is implicit in the standing structure of an epistemic agent’s cognitive architecture and that does not get explicitly represented during belief-forming cognitive processing. Since such “morphological content” (as we call it) does not become explicit (...) during belief formation, it cannot be information that is within the scope of attention. Nevertheless,it does exert a subtle influence on the character of conscious experience, rather than operating in a purely unconscious way. (shrink)
We propose a framework for modelling situated resource-bounded agents. The framework is based on an objective ascription of intentional modalities and can be easily tailored to the system we want to model and the properties we wish to specify. As an elaboration of the framework, we introduce a logic, OBA, for describing the observations, beliefs, goals and actions of simple agents, and show that OBA is complete, decidable and has an efficient model checking procedure, allowing properties of agents specified in (...) OBA to be verified using standard theorem proving or model checking techniques. (shrink)
Practical reasoners are resource-bounded—in particular they require time to derive consequences of their knowledge. Building on the Timed Reasoning Logics (TRL) framework introduced in , we show how to represent the time required by an agent to reach a given conclusion. TRL allows us to model the kinds of rule application and conflict resolution strategies commonly found in rule-based agents, and we show how the choice of strategy can influence the information an agent can take into account when making decisions (...) at a particular point in time. We prove general completeness and decidability results for TRL, and analyse the impact of communication in an example system consisting of two agents which use different conflict resolution strategies. (shrink)
Introduction -- The pre-text : the dialectical origins of Anselm's argument -- The text -- Proslogion -- Pro insipiente -- Responsio -- Commentary on the Proslogion -- Anselm's defence and the Unum argumentum -- The medieval reception -- The modern reception -- Anselm's argument today -- Conclusion: The significance of Anselm's argument.
This collection of seminal essays on Kant's Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics provides the student of philosophy with an invaluable overview of the issues and problems raised by Kant. Starting with the Carus translation of Kant's work, the edition offers a substantive introduction, six papers never before published together, and a comprehensive bibliography. Special attention is paid to the relationship between Kant and David Hume, whose philosophical investigations, according to Kant's famous quote, first interrupted Kant's "dogmatic slumber.".
This case study explores the ethical dimensions of the South Korean news media's coverage of the Dr. Woo Suk Hwang scandal and the extant journalism criticism. The study discusses the ethical issues associated with claims that Korean journalists acted too humanely, overemphasized scientific evidence, and were too culturally sensitive in their coverage of the Hwang scandal, and notes the broader implications for journalism ethical theory and criticism suggested by the study's findings. The case explores the differences in the ethical foundations (...) that underlay the press' efforts and the Korean-based criticism of the news media. Among other conclusions, the Hwang scandal illustrates the challenges of universalizing ethical standards in international journalism criticism. (shrink)
Agents which perform inferences on the basis of unreliable information need an ability to revise their beliefs if they discover an inconsistency. Such a belief revision algorithm ideally should be rational, should respect any preference ordering over the agent’s beliefs (removing less preferred beliefs where possible) and should be fast. However, while standard approaches to rational belief revision for classical reasoners allow preferences to be taken into account, they typically have quite high complexity. In this paper, we consider belief revision (...) for agents which reason in a simpler logic than full first-order logic, namely rule-based reasoners. We show that it is possible to define a contraction operation for rule-based reasoners, which we call McAllester contraction, which satisfies all the basic Alchourrón, Gärdenfors and Makinson (AGM) postulates for contraction (apart from the recovery postulate) and at the same time can be computed in polynomial time. We prove a representation theorem for McAllester contraction with respect to the basic AGM postulates (minus recovery), and two additional postulates. We then show that our contraction operation removes a set of beliefs which is least preferred, with respect to a natural interpretation of preference. Finally, we show how McAllester contraction can be used to define a revision operation which is also polynomial time, and prove a representation theorem for the revision operation. (shrink)
The effective reasoning capability of an agent can be defined as its capability to infer, within a given space and time bound, facts that are logical consequences of its knowledge base. In this paper we show how to determine the effective reasoning capability of an agent with limited memory by encoding the agent as a transition system and automatically verifying whether a state where the agent believes a certain conclusion is reachable from the start state. We present experimental results using (...) the Model Based Planner (MBP) which illustrates how the length of the deduction varies for different memory sizes. (shrink)
Theorists at the interface of medicine and the humanities have recently suggested that interpretation as a literary activity can be applied to the practice of clinical medicine. This article reviews such theories and their literary metaphors and methods. In pushing these ideas further, it is proposed that a number of guidelines can be applied to interpretation as a practical activity for clinical medicine.
Resource allocation decisions are often made on the basis of clinical and cost effectiveness at the expense of ethical inquiry into what is acceptable. This paper proposes that a more compassionate model of resource allocation would be achieved through integrating ethical awareness with clinical, financial and legal input. Where a publicly-funded healthcare system is involved, it is suggested that having an agency that focuses solely on cost-effectiveness leaving medical, legal and ethical considerations to others would help depoliticise rationing decisions and (...) command greater public acceptance. (shrink)
Medical narrative is normally assumed to be a past tense narrative. Patients’ and students’ past tense narratives should be supplemented by future tense narratives, and in particular by what we call hypothetical narratives—narratives such as those offered by a medical student in response to the instruction “Tell me a story about when you are a doctor”. These narratives are suggested to be especially useful in clinical and educational contexts because they offer greater insight into the narrator’s hopes and expectations than (...) past tense narratives, which can be helpful in planning management and teaching. The narrator’s ethical principles are also exposed more clearly than when using the past tense narrative. Some ethical concerns raised by analysing narratives offered by patients or students, as if they were literary narratives, are avoided by hypothetical narratives. This suggestion is based on Ricoeur’s account of the ethical importance of veracity in narrative, or “attestation of what has occurred”. The patient/doctor or student/teacher relationship is found to have an implicit concern for the narrator’s intention that makes the assumptions underlying literary analysis untenable. (shrink)
In this paper, I will focus on two sections of otherwise extensively studied Humean texts that have received little or no attention in the scholarly literature. A substantial part of Part 12 of the Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion and Section XI of An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding—also written in dialogue form—are concerned with similar doctrines: that the prospect of a future state, or afterlife, acts as the motivating influence on our earthly moral behaviour.