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Morriss-Kay G.,University of Oxford | Morriss-Kay G.,Balliol College
Journal of Anatomy | Year: 2016

The Journal of Anatomy was launched 150 years ago as the Journal of Anatomy and Physiology, in an age when anatomy and physiology were not regarded as separate disciplines. European science in general was advancing rapidly at the time (it was 7 years after publication of Darwin's Origin of Species), and the recent demise of the Natural History Review meant that there was no English language publication covering these subjects. The founding editors were George Murray Humphry of Cambridge and William Turner of Edinburgh, together with Alfred Newton of Cambridge and Edward Perceval Wright of Dublin (the last two served only for a year). The pivotal event leading to the Journal's foundation was the 1866 meeting of the British Association, at which Humphry delivered the ‘Address in Physiology’ (printed in the first issue). Turner, who was also present at the 1866 British Association meeting, remained as a member of the editorial team for 50 years and was a major contributor of Journal articles. The title was changed to Journal of Anatomy in October 1916, when it was taken under the wing, in terms of both management and ownership, by the Anatomical Society. This article reviews the early years of the Journal’s publication in more detail than later years because of the historical interest of this less familiar material. The subject matter, which has remained surprisingly consistent over the years, is illustrated by examples from some notable contributions. The evolution of illustration techniques is surveyed from 1866 to the present day; the final section provides brief summaries of all of the chief editors. © 2016 Anatomical Society Source


Douglas T.,Balliol College | Douglas T.,University of Oxford
Neuroethics | Year: 2014

It is plausible that we have moral reasons to become better at conforming to our moral reasons. However, it is not always clear what means to greater moral conformity we should adopt. John Harris has recently argued that we have reason to adopt traditional, deliberative means in preference to means that alter our affective or conative states directly-that is, without engaging our deliberative faculties. One of Harris' concerns about direct means is that they would produce only a superficial kind of moral improvement. Though they might increase our moral conformity, there is some deeper kind of moral improvement that they would fail to produce, or would produce to a lesser degree than more traditional means. I consider whether this concern might be justified by appeal to the concept of moral worth. I assess three attempts to show that, even where they were equally effective at increasing one's moral conformity, direct interventions would be less conducive to moral worth than typical deliberative alternatives. Each of these attempts is inspired by Kant's views on moral worth. Each, I argue, fails. © 2013 The Author(s). Source


Schroeren D.P.B.,Balliol College
Foundations of Physics | Year: 2013

The decoherent histories formalism, developed by Griffiths, Gell-Mann, and Hartle (in Phys. Rev. A 76:022104, 2007; arXiv:1106. 0767v3 [quant-ph], 2011; Consistent Quantum Theory, Cambridge University Press, 2003; arXiv:gr-qc/9304006v2, 1992) is a general framework in which to formulate a timeless, 'generalised' quantum theory and extract predictions from it. Recent advances in spin foam models allow for loop gravity to be cast in this framework. In this paper, I propose a decoherence functional for loop gravity and interpret existing results (Bianchi et al. in Phys. Rev. D 83:104015, 2011; Phys. Rev. D 82:084035, 2010) as showing that coarse grained histories follow quasiclassical trajectories in the appropriate limit. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York. Source


Wallace D.,Balliol College
Entropy | Year: 2014

I explore the reduction of thermodynamics to statistical mechanics by treating the former as a control theory: A theory of which transitions between states can be induced on a system (assumed to obey some known underlying dynamics) by means of operations from a fixed list. I recover the results of standard thermodynamics in this framework on the assumption that the available operations do not include measurements which affect subsequent choices of operations. I then relax this assumption and use the framework to consider the vexed questions of Maxwell's demon and Landauer's principle. Throughout, I assume rather than prove the basic irreversibility features of statistical mechanics, taking care to distinguish them from the conceptually distinct assumptions of thermodynamics proper. © 2014 by the authors. Source


Wallace D.,Balliol College | Wallace D.,University of Oxford
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics | Year: 2011

I argue against the currently prevalent view that algebraic quantum field theory (AQFT) is the correct framework for philosophy of quantum field theory and that "conventional" quantum field theory (CQFT), of the sort used in mainstream particle physics, is not suitable for foundational study. In doing so, I defend that position that AQFT and CQFT should be understood as rival programs to resolve the mathematical and physical pathologies of renormalization theory, and that CQFT has succeeded in this task and AQFT has failed. I also defend CQFT from recent criticisms made by Doreen Fraser. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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