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 autho r , after pointing out the reasons w h y the debate in the EU and in Spain continue to ignore w hat he calls the radical l y political meaning of the phenomenon of mig ration, tries to a r gue that the conditions and the consequences of the re c o gnition of immigration are a political question ( e v en the political question). He focuses in pa r ticular on the pro b lem of (...) immi g rants ' access to citizenship, to propose, li k e Rubio or Carens, a g radual g ranting (in time and space) but mere l y temporary -based on sta b le residence- of citizenship to immi g rants that is understood as pa r t of a plural multiple and inclus i v e concept of citizenship. (shrink)
Software piracy is a damaging and important moral issue, which is widely believed to be unchecked in particular areas of the globe. This cross-cultural study examines differences in morality and behavior toward software piracy in Singapore versus the United States, and reviews the cultural histories of Asia versus the United States to explore why these differences occur. The paper is based upon pilot data collected in the U.S. and Singapore, using a tradeoff analysis methodology and analysis. The data reveal some (...) fascinating interactions between the level of ethical transgression and the rewards or consequences which they produce. (shrink)
Eric Olsen argues from the fact that we once existed as fetal individuals to the conclusion that the Standard View of personal identity in mistaken. I shall establish that a similar argument focusing upon dead people opposes Olson's favored Biological View of personal identity.
Until fairly recently a common way of doing history of science was to pick up an important strand of contemporary scientific thought and to trace its origin back to the philosophical tangle of the scientific revolution. This approach conveniently by-passed the breakdowns of once useful and pervasive theories, and neglected the long intellectual journeys along devious routes. History of science read like a success story; the pioneers who failed were neither dismissed nor excused; they were simply ignored. The historian knew (...) what he was hunting for and he was careful to limit his search to areas where his quarry was sure to be found. This method, which has been dubbed the precursor-view, stands in contrast—albeit, not in opposition—to the contextual method, which aims at a better understanding of the actual thought-processes of the early scientists. On this second view, history of science must not only account for present theories in the light of past developments, it must also assess old theories in terms of the scientist's conceptual framework, and judge them against the background of the world picture of his age. This may lead the historian down the blind alleys of the past, chasing spurious attempts at explaining the nature of physical reality, but it can clear the ground for a less anachronistic interpretation of the emergence of modern science and the actual process of discovery. History of science acts as a winnowing fork, but we cannot suppose that the discoverer himself always separated the wheat from the chaff, and we must be ever wary of equating the dream with the task. (shrink)
In this paper we examine the study of minerals from the Renaissance to the early nineteenth century in the light of the work of Michel Foucault on the history of systems of thought. In spite of a certain number of theoretical problems, Foucault's enterprise opens up to the historian of science a vast terrain for exploration. But this is the place neither for a general exegesis nor for a general criticism of his position; our aim here is the more modest (...) one of taking certain points from Foucault's study, The order of things, and seeing how far they can be extended into an area not explicitly considered in that work. (shrink)
Two recent papers by Michael Burke bearing upon the persistence of people and commonplace things illustrate the fact that the quest for synchronic ontological economy is likely to encourage a disturbing diachronic proliferation of entities. This discussion argues that Burke's promise of ontological economy is seriously compromised by the fact that his proposed metaphysic does violence to standard intuitions concerning the persistence of people and commonplace things. In effect, Burke would have us achieve synchronic economy (rejection of coincident entities) by (...) postulating strongly counterintuitive transtemporal claims of numerical diversity. The argument is made that the price of Burkean economy is too high. (shrink)
Based on the technique of pressure blinding of the eye, two types of after-image were identified. A physicalist or mind/brain identity explanation was established for a negative a AI produced by moderately intense stimuli. These AI's were shown to be located in the neurons of the retina. An illusory AI of double a grating's spatial frequency was also produced in the same structure and was both prevented from being established and abolished after establishment by pressure blinding, thus showing that the (...) location was not more central. The illusory AI was predicted from the known non-linearity in the retina and this is the first case of a clear cut type-type identity of a sensation and a neural process. Some implications for the concepts of the explanatory gap between neurology and consciousness and multiple neural realizations of conscious states and topic neutrality are discussed. (shrink)
Readers of the Journal may know little of Melchior Palágyi. Even on the Continent his work has been very inadequately recognized. It is not that he has written little: he published some books and many articles during his lifetime, in German as well as in Magyar, and since his death, Barth of Leipzig has issued an edition of his selected works, including his most important contribution, Naturphilosophische Vorlesungen, also the Wahrnehmungslehre and Zur Weltmechanik. He has many enthusiastic admirers, and those (...) who care to look up the Preussische Jahrbücher, March 1926, will find there a most informative and highly appreciative article on his general philosophy by Werner Deubel, who in the same journal, some two years previously, discussed the work of a kindred spirit, Ludwig Klages. It was Deubel's article that first roused my interest in Palágyi and led me to study his more important writings. (shrink)
We are confronted by a metaphysical problem and discover, to our dismay, that standard proposals for its resolution have strongly counterintuitive corollaries. That naturally encourages consideration of previously overlooked or neglected ways out of the problem. As it turns out, one of these unorthodox proposals has a leg up on the various standard ways out of our problem. Metaphysical progress.
There have been a number of criticisms, based on visual processes, of the Australian view that colour is an objective property of the world. These criticisms have led to subjective theories about colour. These visual processes have been examined and it is suggested that they do not carry their supposed critical weight against an objective theory. In particular, it is argued that metamers don't occur in nature and primate colour vision evolved without metamers. Thus normal colour vision occurs without the (...) problem of metamers. This argument, in conjunction with evidence against the critical roles of opponent processes and retinex theory in colour vision, is taken to suggest that colour can be given a photon energy/wavelength realism explanation. This proposal allows an account of the many microstructural bases of colour generation put forward by Nassau. It is argued that neither disjunctive realism of reflectance realism are adequate objective explanations of colour. (shrink)
The precise relationship between Hobbes's political philosophy and his late history of the English Civil War remains something of a puzzle. Given his well known doubts about the epistemological status of history, Behemoth or the Long Parliament is often treated as little more than a procrustean effort at forcing complex historical events into the bed of abstract theory that he had developed earlier. On this view, even Noam Flinker, who offers one of the few studies devoted to a close reading (...) of Behemoth, argues that Hobbes intended the work to be self repudiating, and that the dialogue form and the apparent confusions of one of the participants were meant to point readers to �the less rhetorical logic of the Leviathan�. Others, more impressed by Hobbes�s pragmatic intentions than his methodological pretensions, note that a primary motive for his political arguments was a horror at first of the prospect and then of the reality of civil war. They thus emphasize the significance of Behemoth for Hobbes and his interpreters. Robert Kraynak, for example, argues that it �is a work of primary importance� in completing the �history of civilization which is the logical beginning point of Hobbes's thought�, and that a complete understanding of his political theory is impossible without his analysis of the way in which �doctrinal politics and disputative science� had created political chaos in England. This interpretation correctly emphasizes the role of ideas, as opposed to economic interests, in his explanation of civil conflict. It also rightly notes didactic continuities between Behemoth and his earlier work. However, I argue below that it overestimates the extent to which Hobbes treats the general idea of opinion as an eliminable product of �artificial� historical relations rather than as a permanent feature of human psychology and action. Thus, it discounts the extent to which his understanding of the relationship between opinion and civil war was a product of his philosophy rather than of a 'history of civilization'. (shrink)