Biomedical ontologies are emerging as critical tools in genomic and proteomic research where complex data in disparate resources need to be integrated. A number of ontologies exist that describe the properties that can be attributed to proteins; for example, protein functions are described by Gene Ontology, while human diseases are described by Disease Ontology. There is, however, a gap in the current set of ontologies—one that describes the protein entities themselves and their relationships. We have designed a PRotein Ontology (PRO) (...) to facilitate protein annotation and to guide new experiments. The components of PRO extend from the classification of proteins on the basis of evolutionary relationships to the representation of the multiple protein forms of a gene (products generated by genetic variation, alternative splicing, proteolytic cleavage, and other post-translational modification). PRO will allow the specification of relationships between PRO, GO and other OBO Foundry ontologies. Here we describe the initial development of PRO, illustrated using human proteins from the TGF-beta signaling pathway (http://pir.georgetown.edu/pro). (shrink)
In this paper, I survey some recent literature produced by the established Chinese philosophers who regularly publish in Chinese philosophy journals and work in Mainland China. Specifically, I review the recent research of these philosophers in two areas: Chinese Philosophy and epistemology. In each area, I focus on two topics that have caught the attention of a lot of Chinese philosophers. I argue that the Chinese philosophers’ research on these topics has two prevalent problems: (i) a lot of arguments they (...) make are weak; (ii) they tend not to critically engage with others. I discuss a metaphilosophical objection that weak argumentation and disengagement are not vices of philosophical research. I also try to make sense of (i) and (ii) in terms of some cultural factors. (shrink)
This paper presents a human-computer interaction model with a three layers learning mechanism in a pervasive environment. We begin with a discussion around a number of important issues related to human-computer interaction followed by a description of the architecture for a multi-agent cooperative design system for pervasive computing environment. We present our proposed three- layer HCI model and introduce the group formation algorithm, which is predicated on a dynamic sharing niche technology. Finally, we explore the cooperative reinforcement learning and fusion (...) algorithms; the paper closes with concluding observations and a summary of the principal work and contributions of this paper. (shrink)
Building on prior research in Confucianism and business, the current study examines the effects of Confucianism on consumer trust of government involvement with products and company brands. Based on three major ideas of Confucianism – meritocracy, loyalty to superior, and separation of responsibilities – it is expected that consumers under the influence of Confucianism would perceive products from government-involved enterprises to have more desirable attributes and show preference for their company brands. Findings from an empirical study in the Chinese automobile (...) market support the hypotheses. The results suggest that small firms doing business in China would especially benefit from some association with the government. These results also provide managerial implications for enterprises in other countries with a Confucian cultural background. (shrink)
This study examined the relations between properties of attentional networks and Mind Wandering across individuals. For the attentional networks, we measured three components of attention, known as alerting, orienting, and executive control, using the Attention Network Test . To investigate MW, we measured thought probes embedded in the Sustained Attention to Response Task . Moreover, four performance characteristics of the SART were calculated as behavioral indices of MW. Three of them showed significant associations with probed MW. Most research regarding MW (...) focused on its relation to executive functions, while the present study revealed that MW, as indexed by self-reports and RT variability, was negatively correlated with orienting, specifically the exogenous orienting system. Furthermore, there was a positive association between RT variability and executive control. Our results suggest that individuals with higher tendency of MW are less sensitive to irrelevant external stimuli, supporting the decoupling hypothesis of MW. (shrink)
Objectives: To investigate the current situation of completing the informed consent for do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders among the competent patients with terminal illness and the ethical dilemmas related to it. Participants: This study enrolled 152 competent patients with terminal cancer, who were involved in the initial consultations for hospice care. Analysis: Comparisons of means, analyses of variance, Student’s t test, χ2 test and multiple logistic regression models. Results: After the consultations, 117 (77.0%) of the 152 patients provided informed consent for hospice (...) care and DNR orders. These included 21 patients (17.9%) who signed the consent by themselves, and 96 (82.1%) whose consent sheet was signed only by family members. The reasons why patients were not involved in the discussions toward the consent (n = 82) included poor physical or psychological condition (44.9%), concerns of the consultant hospice team (37.2%), and the family’s refusal (28.2%). On a multivariate analysis, patients’ awareness of their poor prognosis (odds ratio = 4.07, 95% confidence interval = 2.05 to 8.07) and their understanding of hospice care (2.27, 1.33 to 3.89) were two independent factors (p<0.01) that influenced their participation in the discussions or their personal signature in the informed consent. Conclusion: The family-oriented culture in Asian countries may violate the principles of the Patient Self-Determination Act and the requirements of the Hospice Care Law in Taiwan, which inevitably poses an ethical dilemma. Earlier truth-telling and continuing education of the public by hospice care workers will be helpful in solving such ethical dilemmas. (shrink)
William James makes several major claims about truth: (i) truth means agreement with reality independently of the knower, (ii) truth is made by human beings, (iii) truth can be verified, and (iv) truth is necessarily good. These claims give rise to a few puzzles: (i) and (ii) seem to contradict each other, and each of (ii), (iii), and (iv) has counter-intuitive implications. I argue that Richard Gale's interpretation of James' theory of truth is inadequate in dealing with these puzzles. I (...) propose an alternative interpretation and show how it can solve these puzzles. (shrink)
Veritism claims that only true beliefs are of basic epistemic value. Michael DePaul argues that veritism is false because it entails the implausible view that all true beliefs are of equal epistemic value. In this paper, I discuss two recent replies to DePaul's argument: one offered by Nick Treanor and the other by Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij and Stephen Grimm. I argue that neither of the two replies is successful. I propose a new response to DePaul's argument and defend my response against (...) a possible objection. (shrink)
The State of Nature in Comparative Political Thought addresses non-Western conceptions of the “state of nature”, revealing how basic questions related to political thought are reflected in Chinese, Islamic, Indic, and other cultural contexts. It contributes to the burgeoning field of comparative political theory, and should be of interest to political theorists, regional specialists, students of globalization, as well as anyone interested in non-Western approaches to basic political questions.
Peter van Inwagen defines a successful argument in philosophy as one that can be used to convert an audience of ideal agnostics in an ideal debate. Sarah McGrath and Thomas Kelly recently argue that van Inwagen’s definition cannot be correct since the idea of ideal agnostics is incoherent with regard to an absolute paradigm of a successful philosophical argument. This paper defends van Inwagen’s definition against McGrath and Kelly’s objection.
Why Be Moral? Learning from the Neo-Confucian Cheng Brothers, by Yong Huang, is a book written for Western philosophers. Professor Huang claims that there are two ways of introducing a Chinese philosopher to Western audiences: first, by showing them that the Chinese philosopher’s ideas are ridiculous or inferior compared to the corresponding Western ideas, and second, by showing them that the Chinese philosopher has better answers to some Western philosophical questions than great Western philosophers. Huang thinks the first way is (...) pointless and adopts the second way in this book, which “attempts to show that the Cheng brothers’ neo-Confucian position is superior to the representative views [such as Aristotle’s... (shrink)
We present a framework for analyzing black hole backreaction from the point of view of quantum open systems using influence functional formalism. We focus on the model of a black hole described by a radially perturbed quasi-static metric and Hawking radiation by a conformally coupled massless quantum scalar field. It is shown that the closed-time-path (CTP) effective action yields a non-local dissipation term as well as a stochastic noise term in the equation of motion, the Einstein–Langevin equation. Once the thermal (...) Green's function in a Schwarzschild background becomes available to the required accuracy, the strategy described here can be applied to obtain concrete results on backreaction. We also present an alternative derivation of the CTP effective action in terms of the Bogolyubov coefficients, thus making a connection with the interpretation of the noise term as measuring the difference in particle production in alternative histories. (shrink)
There are three widely held beliefs among epistemologists: (1) the goal of inquiry is truth or something that entails truth; (2) epistemology aims for a reflectively stable theory via reflective equilibrium; (3) epistemology is a kind of inquiry. I argue that accepting (1) and (2) entails denying (3). This is a problem especially for the philosophers (e.g. Duncan Pritchard and Alvin Goldman) who accept both (1) and (2), for in order to be consistent, they must reject (3). The tension is (...) not restricted to epistemology. A similar tension also exists in the area of moral philosophy. The tension can be generalized. If one believes that the goal of inquiry is truth or something that entails truth and that philosophy aims for a reflectively stable theory via reflective equilibrium, she must deny that philosophy is a kind of inquiry. (shrink)
Stewart Shapiro has objected to the epistemicist theory of vagueness on grounds that it gives counterintuitive predictions about cases involving conditional obligation. This paper details a response on the epistemicist’s behalf. I first argue that Shapiro’s own presentation of the objection is unsuccessful as an argument against epistemicism. I then reconstruct and offer two alternative arguments inspired by Shapiro’s considerations, and argue that these fail too, given the information-sensitive nature of conditional obligations.
We present a stochastic theory for the nonequilibriurn dynamics of charges moving in a quantum scalar field based on the worldline influence functional and the close-time-path (CTP or in-in) coarse-grained effective action method. We summarize (1) the steps leading to a derivation of a modified Abraham-Lorentz-Dirac equation whose solutions describe a causal semiclassical theory free of runaway solutions and without pre-acceleration patholigies, and (2) the transformation to a stochastic effective action, which generates Abraham-Lorentz-Dirac-Langevin equations depicting the fluctuations of a particle’s (...) worldline around its semiclassical trajectory. We point out the misconceptions in trying to directly relate radiation reaction to vacuum fluctuations, and discuss how, in the framework that we have developed, an array of phenomena, from classical radiation and radiation reaction to the Unruh effect, are interrelated to each other as manifestations at the classical, stochastic and quantum levels. Using this method we give a derivation of the Unruh effect for the spacetime worldline coordinates of an accelerating charge. Our stochastic particle-field model, which was inspired by earlier work in cosmological backreaction, can be used as an analog to the black hole backreaction problem describing the stochastic dynamics of a black hole event horizon. (shrink)
We obtained an exact solution for a uniformly accelerated Unruh–DeWitt detector interacting with a massless scalar field in (3 + 1) dimensions which enables us to study the entire evolution of the total system, from the initial transient to late-time steady state. We find that the conventional transition probability of the detector from its initial ground state to excited states, as derived from time-dependent perturbation theory over an infinitely long duration of interaction, is valid only in the transient stage and (...) is invalid for cases with proper acceleration smaller than the damping constant. We also found that, unlike in (1 + 1)D results, the (3 + 1)D uniformly accelerated Unruh– DeWitt detector in a steady state does emit a positive radiated power of quantum nature at late-times, but it is not connected to the thermal radiance experienced by the detector in the Unruh effect proper. (shrink)
Despite claims to the contrary, the curious statistical properties of pre- and post-selected ensembles are neither impossible nor surprising. The properties of weak measurements on such ensembles are examined and shown to be in complete accord with ordinary quantum mechanics.
In this paper, we analyze the impact of interaction between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and corporate social capital on corporate competitiveadvantage in a transitional context. Using survey data of Chinese companies, we examine the theoretical relationship empirically. Results show that CSR has no direct association with corporate financial performance or organizational reputation. However, corporate social capital can very much magnify the impact of CSR in a transitional context. Specifically, the social responsibility of a firm with higher social capital is more (...) positively related to organizational reputation than that of a firm with lower social capital, and this expands the theory of CSR. We present the strategic implication that the interaction between CSR and social capital improves corporate sustainable advantage. (shrink)
The formulation of “putting people first” as core values in contemporary China had its profound realistic context, witnessed a zigzag historical course, and cherished a Marxist theoretical origin. Against the background of developing market economy, the looming large of “putting money first”, “putting property first”, or “putting officials first” etc., it came into being by meeting China’s actual social demand, deriving yet elevated from the viewpoints of administrative science. It gained powerful impetus in the reflection of “cultural revolution”, and through (...) the practice of reform and opening up. Meanwhile, it is also a spiraling process ofideological emancipation. Its formulation rested upon a unification of theory and practice, benefited not just from a continuously deepened understanding of Marxist theory about humanity, but from an innovative application of that theory in face of a new situation and practice. (shrink)
As a social and political thought, communitarian ideas appeared in the Pre-Qin Confucianism. By the Song Dynasty, it had become a systematic theory, namely, the learning of the “four books.” As a social and political theory, not only can Confucian communitarianism contribute to Western liberalism, but it can also be an intellectual resource for the development of democracy in East Asian countries and regions. The future of the Confucian communitarianism lies in its critique of itself and its discourse with Western (...) liberalism, by which Confucianism evolves from communitarianism into liberalism. (shrink)
Next SectionRisk and uncertainty are unavoidable in clinical medicine. In the case of childhood food allergy, the dysphoric experience of uncertainty is heightened by the perception of unpredictable danger to young children. Medicine has tended to respond to uncertainty with forms of rational decision making. Rationality cannot, however, resolve uncertainty and provides an insufficient account of risk. This paper compares the medical and parental accounts of two peanut allergic toddlers to highlight the value of emotions in decision making. One emotion (...) in particular, regret, assists in explaining the actions taken to prevent allergic reactions, given the diffuse nature of responsibility for children. In this light, the assumption that doctors make rational judgments while patients have emotion led preferences is a false dichotomy. Reconciling medical and lay accounts requires acknowledgement of the interrelationship between the rational and the emotional, and may lead to more appropriate clinical decision making under conditions of uncertainty. (shrink)
Research is increasingly recognised as a key component of medical curricula, offering a range of benefits including development of skills in evidence-based medicine. The literature indicates that experienced academic supervision or mentoring is important in any research activity and positively influences research output. The aim of this project was to investigate the human research ethics experiences and knowledge of three groups: medical students, and university academic staff and clinicians eligible to supervise medical student research projects; at two Australian universities. Training (...) in research ethics was low amongst academic staff and clinicians eligible to supervise medical student research. Only two-thirds of academic staff and students and less than half of clinicians surveyed indicated that specific patient consent was required for a doctor to include patient medical records within a research publication. There was limited awareness of requirements for participant information and consent forms amongst all groups. In the case of clinical trials, fewer clinicians and students than academics indicated there was a requirement to obtain consent. Awareness of the ethics committee focus on respect was low across all groups. This project has identified significant gaps in human research ethics understanding among medical students, and university academic staff and clinicians. The incorporation of research within medical curricula provides the impetus for medical schools and their institutions to ensure that academic staff and clinicians who are eligible and qualified to supervise students’ research projects are appropriately trained in human research ethics. (shrink)