Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Humanities and Social Sciences

Selected Abstracts

THE UNIVERSALITY OF JEWISH ETHICS: A Rejoinder to Secularist Critics

David Novak
ABSTRACT Jewish ethics like Judaism itself has often been charged with being "particularistic," and in modernity it has been unfavorably compared with the universality of secular ethics. This charge has become acute philosophically when the comparison is made with the ethics of Kant. However, at this level, much of the ethical rejection of Jewish particularism, especially its being beholden to a God who is above the universe to whom this God prescribes moral norms and judges according to them, is also a rejection of Christian (or any other monotheistic) ethics, no matter how otherwise universal. Yet this essay argues that Jewish ethics that prescribes norms for all humans, and that is knowable by all humans, actually constitutes a wider moral universe than does Kantian ethics, because it can include non-rational human objects and even non-human objects altogether. This essay also argues that a totally egalitarian moral universe, encompassing all human relations, becomes an infinite, totalizing universe, which can easily become the ideological justification (ratio essendi) of a totalitarian regime. [source]

Human Rights, Universality and the Values of Personhood: Retracing Griffin's Steps

John Tasioulas

Structure, genesis and scale selection of the tropical quasi-biweekly mode

Piyali Chatterjee
Abstract The quasi-biweekly mode (QBM) and the 30,60 day mode are two major intraseasonal oscillations (ISOs) in the tropics. The QBM is known to have a major influence in determining the active and break conditions of the Indian monsoon during the northern summer. A westward-propagating equatorial Rossby wave with quasi-biweekly period influences the Australian monsoon during the northern winter. Universality between the summer and winter QBM is established through analysis of daily circulation and convection data for 10 years. It is shown that the mean spatial structure of the QBM in circulation and convection resembles that of a gravest meridional mode equatorial Rossby wave with wavelength of about 6000 km and westward phase speed of approximately 4.5 m s,1. However, the maximum zonal wind occurs at around 5N (5S) during the northern summer (winter). The wave structure appears to be translated northward (southward) by about 5 during the northern summer (winter). The relationship between outgoing long-wave radiation and circulation data indicates that the mode is driven unstable by coupling with moist convection. Similarity in temporal and spatial characteristics of the mode during the two seasons leads us to propose that the same mechanism governs the genesis and scale selection of the mode in both the seasons. An acceptable mechanism for genesis and scale selection of the QBM has been lacking. In the present study, a mechanism for genesis and scale selection of the observed QBM is proposed. A simple 2-layer model that includes a steady Ekman boundary layer (BL) formulation incorporating effect of entrainment mixing is constructed for the convectively coupled equatorial waves. Without influence of the background mean flow, moist feedback in the presence of frictional BL convergence drives the gravest meridional mode equatorial Rossby wave unstable with observed wavelength and period but with zonal winds symmetric about the equator. Potential temperature perturbation associated with the Rossby wave is in phase with relative vorticity perturbation at low level. The BL drives moisture convergence in phase with the relative vorticity at the top of the BL. Release of latent heat associated with the BL convergence enhances the potential temperature leading to a positive feedback. The mean flow over the Indian Ocean and western Pacific at low levels is such that the zero ambient absolute vorticity or the ,dynamic equator' shifts to around 5N (5S) during summer (winter) and results in a shift of the unstable Rossby waves towards the north (south) by about 5. The resulting structure of the unstable Rossby mode resembles the observed structure of the biweekly mode. It is shown that neither evaporation,wind feedback nor vertical shear of the mean flow is crucial for the existence of the mode. However these processes marginally modify the growth rate and make the structure of the unstable wave more realistic. Copyright 2004 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

Universality and variability in basin outlet spacing: implications for the two-dimensional form of drainage basins

BASIN RESEARCH, Issue 2 2009
Rachel C. Walcott
ABSTRACT It has been observed that the distance between the outlets of transverse basins in orogens is typically half of the distance between the main divide and the range front irrespective of mountain range size or erosional controls. Although it has been suggested that this relationship is the inherent expression of Hack's law, and/or possibly a function of range widening, there are cases of notable deviations from the typical half-width average spacing. Moreover, it has not been demonstrated that this general relationship is also true for basins in morphologically similar nonorogenic settings, or for those that do not extend to the main drainage divide. These issues are explored by investigating the relationship between basin outlet spacing and the 2-dimensional geometric properties of drainage basins (basin length, main valley length and basin area) in order to assess whether the basin outlet spacing-range width ratio is a universal characteristic of fluvial systems. We examined basins spanning two orders of magnitude in area along the southern flank of the Himalayas and the coastal zone of southeast Africa. We found that the spacing between basin outlets (Los) for major transverse basins that drain the main divide (range-scale basins) is approximately half of the basin length (Lb) for all basins, irrespective of size, in southeast Africa. In the Himalayas, while this ratio was observed for eastern Himalayan basins (a region where the maximum elevations coincided with the main drainage divide), it was only observed in basins shorter than ,30 km in the western and central Himalayas. Our analysis indicates that basin outlet spacing is consistent with Hack's law, apparently because the increase in basin width (represented by outlet spacing) with basin area occurs at a rate similar to the increase in main stream length (Lv) with basin area. It is suggested that most river systems tend towards an approximately diamond-shaped packing arrangement, and this applies both to the nonorogenic setting of southeast Africa as well as most orogenic settings. However, in the western Himalayas shortening associated with localised rock uplift appears to have occurred at length scales smaller than most the basins examined. As a result rivers in basins longer than ,30 km have been unable to erode in a direction normal to the range front at a sufficiently high rate to sustain this form and have been forced into an alternative, and possibly unstable, packing arrangement. [source]

Universality in the two-matrix model: a Riemann-Hilbert steepest-descent analysis

Maurice Duits
The eigenvalue statistics of a pair (M1, M2) of n n Hermitian matrices taken randomly with respect to the measure can be described in terms of two families of biorthogonal polynomials. In this paper we give a steepest-descent analysis of a 4 4 matrix-valued Riemann-Hilbert problem characterizing one of the families of biorthogonal polynomials in the special case W(y) = y4/4 and V an even polynomial. As a result, we obtain the limiting behavior of the correlation kernel associated to the eigenvalues of M1 (when averaged over M2) in the global and local regime as n , , in the one-cut regular case. A special feature in the analysis is the introduction of a vector equilibrium problem involving both an external field and an upper constraint. 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [source]

Universality at the edge of the spectrum for unitary, orthogonal, and symplectic ensembles of random matrices

Percy Deift
We prove universality at the edge of the spectrum for unitary (, = 2), orthogonal (, = 1), and symplectic (, = 4) ensembles of random matrices in the scaling limit for a class of weights w(x) = e,V(x) where V is a polynomial, V(x) = ,2mx2m + , ,2m > 0. The precise statement of our results is given in Theorem 1.1 and Corollaries 1.2 and 1.4 below. For the same class of weights, a proof of universality in the bulk of the spectrum is given in [12] for the unitary ensembles and in [9] for the orthogonal and symplectic ensembles. Our starting point in the unitary case is [12], and for the orthogonal and symplectic cases we rely on our recent work [9], which in turn depends on the earlier work of Widom [46] and Tracy and Widom [42]. As in [9], the uniform Plancherel-Rotach-type asymptotics for the orthogonal polynomials found in [12] plays a central role. The formulae in [46] express the correlation kernels for , = 1, 4 as a sum of a Christoffel-Darboux (CD) term, as in the case , = 2, together with a correction term. In the bulk scaling limit [9], the correction term is of lower order and does not contribute to the limiting form of the correlation kernel. By contrast, in the edge scaling limit considered here, the CD term and the correction term contribute to the same order: this leads to additional technical difficulties over and above [49]. 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [source]

Spatial patterns of Indian serial burglars with relevance to geographical profiling

Sudhanshu Sarangi
Abstract Earlier studies in Western countries have shown remarkably consistent spatial patterns in serial offenders, mainly for serious crimes notably serial killing and rape, but also (although with less clear patterns) for burglary. The universality of such spatial patterns are of theoretical interest in contributing to our understanding of criminal spatial behaviour and have practical significance for the possibility of using geographic profiling in developing countries. As such, burglars in India provide a particularly interesting test of the generality of the observed spatial consistencies. Information was therefore obtained on the offence location choices of 30 burglars, committing 150 offences in the Rourkela and Keonjhar districts of India. The home to crime distances were compared with those from developed countries, revealing similar but slightly shorter distances. In addition, the domocentricity of criminal spatial activity, reflected in the ,marauder' model (Canter & Gregory 1994) was tested through examination of the Canter Circle hypothesis, the mean interpoint distances (as they related to average distances from home), and the home base ,search costs' using a geographical profiling system (Dragnet). Overall the study found that the spatial patterns of the sample of Indian Burglars were not very different from their counterparts in the UK, North America and Australia, showing that the areas in which an offender is active tend to be shaped by, and, relatedly, close to, where he or she lives, irrespective of the part of the world in which this is. These results suggest that geographical profiling systems such as Dragnet would be productively used on the Indian sub-continent. The results also contribute to our understanding of possible universalities in offender spatial behaviour. Copyright 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Darwinian aesthetics: sexual selection and the biology of beauty

ABSTRACT Current theoretical and empirical findings suggest that mate preferences are mainly cued on visual, vocal and chemical cues that reveal health including developmental health. Beautiful and irresistible features have evolved numerous times in plants and animals due to sexual selection, and such preferences and beauty standards provide evidence for the claim that human beauty and obsession with bodily beauty are mirrored in analogous traits and tendencies throughout the plant and animal kingdoms. Human beauty standards reflect our evolutionary distant and recent past and emphasize the role of health assessment in mate choice as reflected by analyses of the attractiveness of visual characters of the face and the body, but also of vocal and olfactory signals. Although beauty standards may vary between cultures and between times, we show in this review that the underlying selection pressures, which shaped the standards, are the same. Moreover we show that it is not the content of the standards that show evidence of convergence - it is the rules or how we construct beauty ideals that have universalities across cultures. These findings have implications for medical, social and biological sciences. [source]

Oscillations in growth of multicellular tumour spheroids: a revisited quantitative analysis

A. S. Gliozzi
Objectives:, Multicellular tumour spheroids (MTS) provide an important tool for study of the microscopic properties of solid tumours and their responses to therapy. Thus, observation of large-scale volume oscillations in MTS, reported several years ago by two independent groups (1,2), in our opinion represent a remarkable discovery, particularly if this could promote careful investigation of the possible occurrence of volume oscillations of tumours ,in vivo'. Materials and methods:, Because of high background noise, quantitative analysis of properties of observed oscillations has not been possible in previous studies. Such an analysis can be now performed, thanks to a recently proposed approach, based on formalism of phenomenological universalities (PUN). Results:, Results have provided unambiguous confirmation of the existence of MTS volume oscillations, and quantitative evaluation of their properties, for two tumour cell lines. Proof is based not only on quality of fitting of the experimental datasets, but also on determination of well-defined values of frequency and amplitude of the oscillations for each line investigated, which would not be consistent with random fluctuation. Conclusions:, Biological mechanisms, which can be directly responsible for observed oscillations, are proposed, which relates also to recent work on related topics. Further investigations, both at experimental and at modelling levels, are also suggested. Finally, from a methodological point of view, results obtained represent further confirmation of applicability and usefulness of the PUN approach. [source]

Disparate Scale Nonlinear Interactions in Edge Turbulence

M. Yagi
Abstract In this topical review, we explain the recent achievement in the study of nonlinear interactions, putting an emphasis on the relevance to edge turbulence. First, we start from the survey of the essence in the nonlinear theory of drift wave -zonal flows systems, and visit the experimental observations of the nonlinear interactions of tokamak edge turbulence. Secondly, the universality of intermittent convective transport in the SOL of different magnetic devices are shown. Then, we discuss evolution of collisional drift wave instability in the linear plasma configuration, which is bounded by end plates having analogy to SOL plasmas. By introducing the Numerical Linear Device, the intermittent evolution of large-amplitude instabilities, generation mechanism of the poloidal flow and other nonlinear process are examined. ( 2008 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]

Shareholding Versus Stakeholding: a critical review of corporate governance

Steve Letza
The current debate and theorising on corporate governance has been polarised between a shareholder perspective and a stakeholder perspective. While advocates and supporters of each camp attempt to justify the superiority, rationality and universality of each model in theory, they rarely pay attention to the age-old conceptions, assumptions and presuppositions underpinning their perspectives which are less credible and valid in matching the continually changing practice of corporate governance. This paper serves as a survey and critical review of major current theories on corporate governance. In so doing, it reveals the inadequacy of conventional approaches employed in corporate governance theorising. It calls for a new mode of thinking in analysing corporate governance and concludes by outlining a new direction of research in this field. [source]

Resettlement, Rights to Development and the Ilisu Dam, Turkey

Behrooz Morvaridi
A cursory attempt to measure the extent of displacement over the past two decades indicates significant increases in conflict-induced displacement and displacement resulting from development projects. At the same time a growing opposition to the latter form of displacement has raised questions over its legitimacy through a variety of media, including public campaigns and protests. This article focuses on some of the challenges that this presents to the displacement and resettlement discourse. In particular it considers the influences of the rights to development agenda on the spatial context of displacement and its associated economic and political changes. There appears to be a disjuncture between the practices of mainstream development, which tend to interpret development policy as it is defined and applied by a nation state and to assess inequalities within clear geographical definitions, and the universality of a rights based approach to development. This article examines these tensions in the context of displacement and resettlement management, drawing on evidence from a case study of the Ilisu dam in South East Anatolia, Turkey. [source]

The Grace of God and the Equality of Human Persons

DIALOG, Issue 1 2003
Monica Jyotsna Melanchthon
The central concept in Reformation Theology,grace,finds resonance with notions of grace in Indian culture. The challenge of grace in India today is to bring equality to persons victimized by caste and genter discrimination. This article discusses (1) the biblical and theological meaning of "the grace of God"; (2) the universality of the grace experience; (3) the experience of society's excluded peoples; (4) sin; and (5) the graced community as a community of equals. [source]

Impacts of Dreissena invasions on benthic macroinvertebrate communities: a meta-analysis

Jessica M. Ward
ABSTRACT Dreissenid mussels (the zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha and the quagga mussel Dreissena bugensis) have invaded lakes and rivers throughout North America and Europe, where they have been linked to dramatic changes in benthic invertebrate community diversity and abundance. Through a meta-analysis of published data from 47 sites, we developed statistical models of Dreissena impact on benthic macroinvertebrates across a broad range of habitats and environmental conditions. The introduction of Dreissena was generally associated with increased benthic macroinvertebrate density and taxonomic richness, and with decreased community evenness (of taxa excluding Dreissena). However, the strength of these effects varied with sediment particle size across sites. The effects of Dreissena differed among taxonomic and functional groups of macroinvertebrates, with positive effects on the densities of scrapers and predators, particularly leeches (Hirudinea), flatworms (Turbellaria), and mayflies (Ephemeroptera). Gastropod densities increased in the presence of Dreissena, but large-bodied snail taxa tended to decline. Dreissena was associated with declines in the densities sphaeriid clams and other large filter-feeding taxa, as well as burrowing amphipods (Diporeia spp.), but had strong positive effects on gammarid amphipods. These patterns are robust to variation in the methodology of primary studies. The effects of Dreissena are remarkably concordant with those of ecologically similar species, suggesting universality in the interactions between introduced byssally attached mussels and other macroinvertebrates. [source]

Field theory for biogeography: a spatially explicit model for predicting patterns of biodiversity

James P. O'Dwyer
Abstract Predicting the variation of biodiversity across the surface of the Earth is a fundamental issue in ecology, and in this article we focus on one of the most widely studied spatial biodiversity patterns: the species,area relationship (SAR). The SAR is a central tool in conservation, being used to predict species loss following global climate change, and is striking in its universality throughout different geographical regions and across the tree of life. In this article we draw upon the methods of quantum field theory and the foundation of neutral community ecology to derive the first spatially explicit neutral prediction for the SAR. We find that the SAR has three phases, with a power law increase at intermediate scales, consistent with decades of documented empirical patterns. Our model also provides a building block for incorporating non-neutral biological variation, with the potential to bridge the gap between neutral and niche-based approaches to community assembly. Ecology Letters (2010) 13: 87,95 [source]

Recapturing the Universal in the University

Ronald Barnett
Abstract The idea of ,the university' has stood for universal themes,of knowing, of truthfulness, of learning, of human development, and of critical reason. Through its affirming and sustaining of such themes, the university came itself to stand for universality in at least two senses: the university was neither partial (in its truth criteria) nor local in its significance (at least, the university was an institution of the nation state and even had global significance). Now, this universalism has been shot down: on the one hand, universal themes have been impugned as pass in a postmodern age; in the ,knowledge society', knowledge with a capital ,K' is giving way to multiple and even local knowledges (plural). On the other hand, the very process of globalization has been accused of being a new process of colonization. Global universities, accordingly, may be seen as a vehicle for the imposition of Western modes of reason (often suspected in turn of being no more than Western economic reason at that). Diversity is the new watchword, a term that,we may note,has come to be part of the framing of the contemporary policy agenda for higher education. Accordingly, in such a situation of multiple meanings, both within and across institutions, the university becomes an institutional means for developing the capacities,at both the personal and the societal levels,to live with ,strangeness': perhaps here lies a new universal for the university? But, then, if that is the case, if strangeness is the new universal for the university, some large challenges await those who would claim to lead and manage universities. [source]

Biochemical universality of living matter and its metabolic implications

Summary 1Recent discussions of metabolic scaling laws focus on the model of West, Brown & Enquist (WBE). The core assumptions of the WBE model are the size-invariance of terminal units at which energy is consumed by living matter and the size-invariance of the rate of energy supply to these units. Both assumptions are direct consequences of the biochemical universality of living matter. However, the second assumption contradicts the central prediction of the WBE model that mass-specific metabolic rate q should decrease with body mass with a scaling exponent = ,1/4, thus making the model logically inconsistent. 2Examination of evidence interpreted by WBE and colleagues in favour of a universal = ,1/4 across 15 and more orders of magnitude range in body mass reveals that this value resulted from methodological errors in data assortment and analysis. 3Instead, the available evidence is shown to be consistent with the existence of a size-independent mean value of mass-specific metabolic rate common to most taxa. Plotted together, q -values of non-growing unicells, insects and mammals in the basal state yield , 0. Estimated field metabolic rates of bacteria and vertebrates are also size-independent. 4Standard mass-specific metabolic rates of most unicells, insects and mammals studied are confined between 1 and 10 W kg,1. Plant leaves respire at similar rates. This suggests the existence of a metabolic optimum for living matter. With growing body size and diminishing surface-to-volume ratio organisms have to change their physiology and perfect their distribution networks to keep their q in the vicinity of the optimum. [source]

Infrastructure Financing and Operation in the Contemporary City

Abstract The provision of large economic infrastructure in Australian cities is widely seen to be in crisis. This paper examines the reasons why crisis has arisen in the urban infrastructure sector and what might be done to redress this. The analysis and the argument are based on a resuscitation of the ideas and ideals of infrastructure provision and how these have been eroded. The paper shows how these ideas/ideals once underpinned the formulation of state role, governance and regulation systems, financial arrangements, and even community need and expectation. Critical to this was an acceptance of the ideals of universality, access, bundling and free positive externalities, and the belief that these should be assembled necessarily as part of any urban infrastructure roll-out. This package became instinctive in post-war economic and urban management. Yet this instinct has been lost as governments shift from models of infrastructure provision to infrastructure procurement where a major role for the private sector is now common. While such an involvement has its benefits, there are concerns for the urban condition when privatisation of infrastructure construction, delivery and operation becomes dominant. Citing Graham and Marvin (2001), the paper argues that, where once infrastructure was the key device for integrating the elements of the city and its people, the way it is now being delivered produces a splintered urbanism. There is an urgent need, then, to re-think what infrastructure means in today's urban context and thereafter to re-assess the criteria for deciding what infrastructure is to be provided, in what form it should be provided, who should provide it, who should pay, and who should operate it. [source]

Family Changes in the Context of Lowest-Low Fertility: The Case of Japan

Makoto Atoh
Abstract: Japan has currently one of the lowest-low fertility rates in the world. Low fertility in Japan is due to the extreme postponement of marriage and childbearing, and their weak recuperation in women in their 30s, as well as very low levels of cohabitation and extra-marital fertility. Both changing and unchanged aspects of families are related to lowest-low fertility in Japan. Although premarital sexual activities have increased, women's contraceptive initiative is very weak: they may be connected with weak partnership formation. "Parasite singles", "freeters", or "NEETs", probably related to weak family formation, have increased, but they may be connected with strong filial bondage derived from the traditional family system, i.e. Women have been normatively, educationally, and occupationally emancipated, but gender norms are currently divided in half among Japanese people, which may deter the revising of working conditions for women with children, leading to delaying family formation among working women. Lowest-low fertility conversely brings about family changes. Its direct effect is the increase of lifetime celibacy and childless couples, which may jeopardize the universality of families. Its indirect effect is through policy response to low fertility as well as labor shortages and population aging: recently, both family and labor policies have been strengthened to make it easier for working women to continue their jobs after marriage and childbirth, which might in turn promote family formation in Japan. [source]

Education and Social Mobility in Postwar Japan: Trends and Some Institutional Aspects

Hiroyuki Kondo
Abstract, This paper examines the trend in social mobility in postwar Japan, especially focusing on the mediating role of education. The data set is derived from the SSM (Social Stratification and Social Mobility) surveys. Applying log-linear models to the data of five periods, we analyze the trend of the relationship among origin, education, and destination. Occupations are classified according to type of job, and son's first job is used for the analysis. The result reveals that the unmediating transmission of position has declined, and education is becoming a more significant mediator between origin and destination. These changes proceed in the form of reduction in the random sphere of ,movers' as well as replacement of ,stayers' with ,movers'. However, the association between origin and destination has hardly changed for several decades. This stablity results from the inequality in educational resources available to families and the specificities, not universality, of relations surviving into the higher level of education. [source]

Universal age pensions in developing countries: The example of Mauritius

Larry Willmore
Mauritius, a small developing country located in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar, has provided older residents with non-contributory age pensions since 1950. The scheme became universal in 1958. Mild income tests were reintroduced in 1965 and again in 2004. Targeting proved to be unpopular, and universality each time was restored. Government added a mandatory, contributory tier in 1978 that does not replace the flat, non-contributory pension. Instead, it promises participants (approximately half the labour force) an income-related benefit to top up the universal pension. The author examines Mauritius's long experience, drawing lessons from it for other developing countries. [source]

Economic Development, Income Inequality, and Preferences for Redistribution,

Michelle L. Dion
Adopting a cross-regional and global perspective, this article critically evaluates one of the core assertions of political economy approaches to welfare,that support for redistribution is inversely related to income. We hypothesize that economic self-interest gives way to more uniform support for redistribution in the interest of ensuring that basic or relative needs are met in less developed and highly unequal societies. To test this hypothesis, we analyze individual-level surveys combined with country-level indicators for more than 50 countries between 1984 and 2004. Our analysis shows that individual-level income does not systematically explain support for redistribution in countries with low levels of economic development or high levels of income inequality. These findings challenge the universality of the assumption of economic self-interest in shaping preferences for redistribution that has been so pervasive in the literature. [source]

Porcine induced pluripotent stem cells may bridge the gap between mouse and human iPS

IUBMB LIFE, Issue 4 2010
Miguel A. Esteban
Abstract Recently, three independent laboratories reported the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from pig (Sus scrofa). This finding sums to the growing list of species (mouse, human, monkey, and rat, in this order) for which successful reprogramming using exogenous factors has been achieved, and multiple others are possibly forthcoming. But apart from demonstrating the universality of the network identified by Shinya Yamanaka, what makes the porcine model so special? On one side, pigs are an agricultural commodity and have an easy and affordable maintenance compared with nonhuman primates that normally need to be imported. On the other side, resemblance (for example, size of organs) of porcine and human physiology is striking and because pigs are a regular source of food the ethical concerns that still remain in monkeys are not applicable. Besides, the prolonged lifespan of pigs compared with other domestic species can allow exhaustive follow up of side effects after transplantation. Porcine iPSCs may thus fill the gap between the mouse model, which due to its ease is preferred for mechanistic studies, and the first clinical trials using iPSCs in humans. However, although these studies are relevant and have created significant interest they face analogous problems that we discuss herein together with potential new directions. 2010 IUBMB IUBMB Life, 62(4): 277,282, 2010 [source]

Grasping at the routes of biological invasions: a framework for integrating pathways into policy

P. E. Hulme
Summary 1Pathways describe the processes that result in the introduction of alien species from one location to another. A framework is proposed to facilitate the comparative analysis of invasion pathways by a wide range of taxa in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Comparisons with a range of data helped identify existing gaps in current knowledge of pathways and highlight the limitations of existing legislation to manage introductions of alien species. The scheme aims for universality but uses the European Union as a case study for the regulatory perspectives. 2Alien species may arrive and enter a new region through three broad mechanisms: importation of a commodity, arrival of a transport vector, and/or natural spread from a neighbouring region where the species is itself alien. These three mechanisms result in six principal pathways: release, escape, contaminant, stowaway, corridor and unaided. 3Alien species transported as commodities may be introduced as a deliberate release or as an escape from captivity. Many species are not intentionally transported but arrive as a contaminant of a commodity, for example pathogens and pests. Stowaways are directly associated with human transport but arrive independently of a specific commodity, for example organisms transported in ballast water, cargo and airfreight. The corridor pathway highlights the role transport infrastructures play in the introduction of alien species. The unaided pathway describes situations where natural spread results in alien species arriving into a new region from a donor region where it is also alien. 4Vertebrate pathways tend to be characterized as deliberate releases, invertebrates as contaminants and plants as escapes. Pathogenic micro-organisms and fungi are generally introduced as contaminants of their hosts. The corridor and unaided pathways are often ignored in pathway assessments but warrant further detailed consideration. 5Synthesis and applications. Intentional releases and escapes should be straightforward to monitor and regulate but, in practice, developing legislation has proved difficult. New introductions continue to occur through contaminant, stowaway, corridor and unaided pathways. These pathways represent special challenges for management and legislation. The present framework should enable these trends to be monitored more clearly and hopefully lead to the development of appropriate regulations or codes of practice to stem the number of future introductions. [source]

Application of the multiensemble sampling to the hydration free energy

Kyu-Kwang Han
Abstract We demonstrate the feasibility of using multiensemble sampling method (MESM) to determine the free energy difference between two far states for which the configurational distributions do not overlap at all. The MESM is a recently developed non-Boltzmann sampling technique. The free energy of charging a sodium ion in water is accurately calculated in a single simulation, introducing nine intermediate ionic states. This is due to the ability of the method to explore the relevant parts of configuration space equally for every state, and this ability comes from the universality of weighting function W and the simplicity in adjusting its parameters. Detailed procedures of adjusting the parameters are presented. The comparison with a free energy perturbation method (FEPM) shows that the MESM is more reliable and efficient. 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Comput Chem 22: 1004,1009, 2001 [source]

Yl Dnye and the Theory of Basic Color Terms

Stephen C. Levinson
The theory of basic color terms was a crucial factor in the demise of linguistic relativity. The theory is now once again under scrutiny and fundamental revision. This article details a case study that undermines one of the central claims of the classical theory, namely that languages universally treat color as a unitary domain, to be exhaustively named. Taken together with other cases, the study suggests that a number of languages have only an incipient color terminology, raising doubts about the linguistic universality of such terminology. [source]

The Factor Structure of Chinese Personality Terms

Xinyue Zhou
ABSTRACT From the Contemporary Chinese Dictionary, 3,159 personality descriptors were selected and then ranked by the frequency of use. Among those, the top 413 terms with the highest frequency were administered to two independent large samples in China for self-ratings and peer ratings to explore the emic Chinese personality structure as well as to test the universality of other models. One- and two-factor structures found in previous studies of other languages were well replicated. Previous structures with more than two factors were not well replicated, but six- and seven-factor models were at least as well supported as the Big Five. Emic analysis indicated that a seven-factor structure was the most informative structure relatively salient across subsamples of self-ratings and peer ratings, across original and ipsatized data, and across differences in variable selections. These factors can be called Extraversion, Conscientiousness/Diligence, Unselfishness, Negative Valence, Emotional Volatility, Intellect/Positive Valence, and Dependency/Fragility. [source]

Philosophy of Education and the Gigantic Affront of Universalism

Universalism in philosophy, argue Penny Enslin and Mary Tjiattas, tends to be regarded as an affront to particular affiliations, an act of injustice by misrecognition. While agreeing with criticisms of some expressions of universalism, they take the view that anti-universalism has become an orthodoxy that deflects attention from pressing issues of global injustice in education. In different ways, recent reformulations of universalism accommodate particularity and claims for recognition. Defending a qualified universalism, they argue, through a discussion of the Education for All campaign, that the present focus on recognition should be widened to address redistribution and representation as elements of global justice in education. In her response to Enslin and Tjiattas, Sharon Todd expresses sympathy for their aspiration towards a ,qualified universalism', but she seeks to go beyond the dichotomy of universalism versus anti-universalism by way of a discussion of aspects of the work of Judith Butler. Butler's emphasis on cultural translation offers a way, it is claimed, to think about the universal that transcends the oppositional relation between culture and commitment to universals. In the light of this she advocates an approach that involves neither universalism nor anti-universalism but ,critique of universality'. Thus, the task of translation, on Butler's account, prevents universality from being a standard or home-base from which we can judge the world and turns it instead into an ongoing struggle for intelligibility. In their rejoinder, Enslin and Tjiattas reject any charge that their own account has fallen into a simple dichotomisation of universalism and anti-universalism, and reaffirm their commitment to a form of universalism in which (a) partial or contextual considerations count in ethical deliberations, and (b) values and principles are subject to reflexive renegotiation in democratic deliberations, which provides the means of their justification and the source of their legitimacy. This yields, they claim, a non-standard form of contractualism that is both culturally sensitive and open-ended. They suggest in conclusion that the debate between themselves and Todd raises questions about whether the analytical and continental traditions can concede one another's place in the philosophy of education. [source]

THE UNIVERSALITY OF JEWISH ETHICS: A Rejoinder to Secularist Critics

David Novak
ABSTRACT Jewish ethics like Judaism itself has often been charged with being "particularistic," and in modernity it has been unfavorably compared with the universality of secular ethics. This charge has become acute philosophically when the comparison is made with the ethics of Kant. However, at this level, much of the ethical rejection of Jewish particularism, especially its being beholden to a God who is above the universe to whom this God prescribes moral norms and judges according to them, is also a rejection of Christian (or any other monotheistic) ethics, no matter how otherwise universal. Yet this essay argues that Jewish ethics that prescribes norms for all humans, and that is knowable by all humans, actually constitutes a wider moral universe than does Kantian ethics, because it can include non-rational human objects and even non-human objects altogether. This essay also argues that a totally egalitarian moral universe, encompassing all human relations, becomes an infinite, totalizing universe, which can easily become the ideological justification (ratio essendi) of a totalitarian regime. [source]

Evaluation of 10 plant barcodes in Bryophyta (Mosses)

Abstract DNA barcoding is a molecular tool that uses a standardized DNA region to identify species. Our preliminary study reported here is the first attempt to specifically focus on universality and attributes of candidate barcodes across a wide systematic range of mosses. We tested eight previously proposed plant barcoding regions (atpF-atpH, ITS2, matK, psbK-psbI, rbcL, rpoB, rpoC1, and trnH-psbA) and two popular phylogenetic markers (rps4 and trnL-trnF of cpDNA) in 49 moss species and 9 liverwort species, representing half of the orders in moss lineages. The ITS2, rbcL, rpoC1, rps4, trnH-psbA and trnL-trnF regions showed good universality, and therefore the efficacy of these loci as DNA barcodes was further evaluated in 36 mosses and 2 liverworts, each of which included two to three individuals per taxa. The five loci, viz. rbcL, rpoC1, rps4, trnH-psbA and trnL-trnF, were easy to amplify and sequence and showed significant inter-specific genetic variability, making them potentially useful DNA barcodes for mosses. The best performing single loci were the rbcL and rpoC1 coding regions. Several loci showed equivalent performance and combinations of them did not greatly increase their discrimination capacity. In addition, phylogenies generated from each of the separate regions and multi-locus combinations by using best-fit and Kimura 2-parameter models were compared, but no significant difference was found. [source]