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Repeated antigen testing of 12 SARS-CoV-2–positive nursing home residents using Abbott BinaxNOW™ identified 9/9 (100%) culture-positive specimens up to 6 days after initial positive test. Antigen positivity lasted 2–24 days. Antigen positivity might last beyond the infectious period, but was reliable in residents with evidence of early infection.
The material culture of Mayapan (ca. A.D. 1250–1400), the last great capital city of the northern Maya lowlands, has often been described as “decadent.” Such descriptions, however, are highly subjective. In this chapter, we consider poverty and wealth at Mayapan from a perspective based in modern economics. We find that, as in modern societies, wealth (as measured by house size) at Mayapan fits a Pareto distribution. Nevertheless, compared to two Classic-period sites in Mexico—Palenque and Sayil—the distribution of wealth was more equal at Mayapan, suggesting that economic inequality was less extreme at the Postclassic city. One cause for the decadent material culture of Mayapan, therefore, was that the city was impoverished when compared to its Classic predecessors.
In this essay we analyze the magnitude and distribution of wealth at Mayapan and explore the implications of our findings for the general interpretation of the economy, society, and culture of that city. Mayapan, Yucatan, Mexico, is the largest and most important Maya archaeological site dating to the Late Postclassic period, and therefore inspires a lot of curiosity among archaeologists. Their interest is piqued because, founded by the legendary Kukulcan, Mayapan was the political capital of the largest and most powerful Maya state of its period. Because of its size and power, Mayapan also served as the social and cultural capital of the northern lowlands at the same time. Because it was a late prehistoric site, Mayapan was discussed in many historical chronicles from the early colonial period, and so we possess unusually detailed information about it.
This chapter describes a long-term mapping project designed to create a database of all known Maya sites, inspired originally by E. Wyllys Andrews V. To date, more than 5,000 Maya archaeological sites have been located and positioned on a master map, and data suitable for GIS analysis have been recorded in a public-access website. Data have been used by a wide range of scholars, by graduate and undergraduate students, and by primary and secondary school students and their teachers.
One of our early Will Andrews-inspired projects was computer-based—bringing LANDSAT data, first available in 1978, to the PC level for further analysis. We were interested then in a project that fascinated many others, including Tom Sever and Charles Duller: recognition of Maya sites from remote sense data. Over the last 18 years, that interest has evolved into a longlasting project. The project is the Electronic Atlas of Ancient Maya Sites (EAAMS; Brown and Witschey 2000, 2001, 2002, 2010; Witschey and Brown 2001, 2002). It is a compendium of site-location data and other information about published Maya sites. Details of the organization of the site data, our earlier research, and data in a form for use with Google Earth may all be found on our project website (http://MayaGIS.smv.org).
Archaeological research on the ancient Maya has traditionally focused on the site as the unit of study and analysis. Most projects focus on mapping and excavating a single site and, furthermore, they often devote most of their efforts to studying monumental ceremonial and public buildings. The late 1950s and early 1960s witnessed archaeological projects that began to correct the disproportionate attention given to the temples, tombs, and palaces.
Little information exists regarding how accurately emergency physicians (EPs) predict the probability of acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Our objective was to determine if EPs can accurately predict ACS in a prospectively identified cohort of emergency department (ED) patients who met enrolment criteria for a study of coronary computed tomographic angiography (CCTA) and were admitted for a “rule out ACS” protocol.
A prospective observational pilot study in an academic medical centre was carried out. EPs caring for patients with chest pain provided whole-number estimates of the probability of ACS after clinical review. This substudy was part of the now published Rule Out Myocardial Infarction/Ischemia Using Computer Assisted Tomography (ROMICAT) study, a study of CCTA and admission of patients for a rule out ACS protocol after a nondiagnostic evaluation. Predictions were grouped into probability groups based on the validated Goldman criteria. ACS was determined by an adjudication committee using American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology/European Society of Cardiology guidelines.
A total of 334 predictions were obtained for a study population with a mean age of 54 (SD 12) years, 63% of whom were male. There were 35 ACS events. EPs predicted ACS better than by chance, and increasingly higher estimates were associated with a higher incidence of ACS (p = 0.0004). The percentage of patients with ACS was 0%, 6%, 7%, and 17%, respectively, for very low, low, intermediate, and high probability groups. EPs' estimates had a sensitivity of 63% using a > 20% probability of ACS to define a positive test. Lowering this threshold to > 7% to define a test as positive increased the sensitivity of physician estimates to 89% but lowered specificity from 65% to 24%
Our data suggest that for a selected ED cohort meeting eligibility criteria for a study of CCTA, EPs predict ACS better than by chance, with an increasing proportion of patients proving to have ACS with increasing probability estimates. Lowering the estimate threshold does not result in an overall sensitivity level that is sufficient to send patients home from the ED and is associated with a poor specificity.
The questions which at the time most seriously engaged my attention were questions in the philosophy of logic and the philosophy of language. While … lecturing on these matters, I had become deeply concerned with the matter of singular reference and predication, and their objects – a topic which has remained central to my thought throughout my working life.
(Strawson 1998a: 7)
That time and place were the late 1940s in Oxford, at the beginning of the diverse, productive and lengthy career of Peter Strawson, whose accomplishments clearly place him at the forefront of Anglophone philosophers in the latter half of the twentieth century. The questions that engaged him at the outset concern our common use of expressions to refer to particular persons and things as the fundamental objects of reference. That use is fundamental, but since anything whatsoever can be identifyingly referred to, the individuals of our discourse will include not only particular objects, but also all manner of concepts, such as those of species, qualities and relations. This linguistic use is indeed common but, on Strawson's own account, an attentive investigation of what that presupposes leads us straightaway not only to the most fundamental questions of logic, but also to those of ontology and epistemology.
It is remarkable that while the theme of singular reference and predication, and their objects, has been consistently central to his work, that one theme has at the same time given entry to a broad world of descriptive metaphysics, and to a consequent fresh and critical view of contemporary scepticism and naturalism.
Looking back at the course of his career in philosophy, Strawson believed in 1998 that the work by which he continues to be best known remains his first, the article “On Referring”. That judgement is probably correct. It is certainly true that “On Referring” is the root of the whole wide spectrum of developments in his later writings. The article is concerned with one particular aspect of the relation between our ordinary language and formal logic, and the concern with that relation is then broadened in his subsequent first book, Introduction to Logical Theory. The two works are therefore appropriately considered together as foundational.
We commonly use expressions of a certain kind to refer to some individual person, object or event. We use singular demonstrative pronouns (“this” and “that”), proper names (“Peter Strawson”), singular pronouns (“I”, “you”, “it”), and we use the definite article followed by a noun in the singular (“the table”, “the king of France”). The members of the last of those four classes are called definite descriptions, and they constitute the source of a number of questions that are simultaneously grammatical, logical and ontological. Those questions have a long history, going back at least to Aristotle, and contemporary efforts to deal with them are a major source and a continuing central concern among contemporary Anglophone philosophers.
The central question raised by Strawson in Part I of Individuals concerns the ways in which reference to individuals and particulars is obtained in the practices of ordinary language. Anything whatsoever can be identifyingly referred to, can appear as a logical subject, can appear as an individual. Thus particulars such as historical events, material objects and persons are individuals, but so too are such non-particular individuals as qualities, properties, numbers and species. There is the further question of whether our reference to a particular can be secured through the exclusive use of purely universal or general terms, or whether in every case the identification of a particular by a speaker making references rests ultimately on his own environment, and thus on the use of expressions of a demonstrative, or egocentric, or token-reflexive sort. Part II is concerned with the linguistic complements to those metaphysical or ontological questions, and at the end with the perennial question of what things may properly be said to exist.
The distinction between singular reference and predication has also been central to Strawson's entire work. We have already seen how that distinction led him to mark out three parallel distinctions: the formal one between individual and predicative variables, the functional one between referring and describing, and the grammatical one between subject and predicate. To ignore those distinctions and parallels would be to ignore Strawson's root distinction in “On Referring” between sentence and statement.
Beginning in 1968 and continuing until 1987, Strawson gave almost yearly at Oxford a series of introductory lectures in philosophy. In the course of those years, his account of the foundations of logical theory, his effort to provide a metaphysics that would be descriptive rather than revisionary, and his critical accounts of the philosophies of Hume and Kant were all in hand. We have seen how these works are closely and progressively related in their pursuit of certain common themes. Those lectures were gathered together and form the content of Analysis and Metaphysics, published towards the end of his career in philosophy. They are both introductory and comprehensive in two senses: (a) they do not presuppose any earlier familiarity with the subject; and (b) they are concerned for the most part with the general nature of philosophy rather than with a close analysis of particular problems. The book is introductory, but it is not elementary since, as Strawson puts it, there is no shallow end to the philosophical pool. It is comprehensive not in the sense that it is a summation in detail of his points of view, but in the sense that it shows the ways in which Strawson, in common with other writers in the analytic tradition, attempts to practise philosophy in its approach to resolving certain major issues arising in the connected fields of metaphysics, epistemology and the philosophy of language.
The British philosopher, Peter (P. F.) Strawson (19192006) helped shape the development of philosophy for over fifty years. His work radically altered the philosophical concept of analysis, returned metaphysics to centre stage in Anglo-American philosophy, and transformed the framework for subsequent interpretations of Kantian philosophy. In this introduction to Strawsons ideas, Clifford Brown examines Strawsons most important texts, focusing on the arguments and contributions to debates that have done most to establish Strawsons formidable reputation. Each chapter provides clear exposition of a central work, close and detailed examination of its main arguments, and an exploration of the ways in which other philosophers have responded to Strawsons initiatives. Brown shows how Strawsons philosophical approach has been to seek better understanding of particular concepts or concept-groups and to draw out an awareness of parallels and connections among them that sheds new light over apparently familiar landscapes. The central thoughts in logic and language with which Strawson began his career are shown to have remained constant throughout it while manifesting their applications across an even broader range of philosophical topics.
The Bounds of Sense: An Essay on Kant's Critique of Pure Reason (1966a) builds on the questions and the answers that are central to Strawson's Individuals. In Individuals, Strawson had attempted to establish the conditions that are presupposed by the knowledge and experience we plainly do have. As we have seen, Individuals has its roots in the earlier Introduction of Logical Theory and “On Referring”. In “On Referring”, the use of the sentence “The king of France is wise” as a statement at this present time is neither true nor false, since its presupposition that there is a present king of France is false. Presupposition is thus carefully distinguished from both assertion and entailment, and in this way the critically misleading trichotomy framework of Russell's theory of definite descriptions is avoided. Taking into account the notion of presupposition in this way is a key to any properly descriptive account of our human experience; it is useless to argue for a point which is presupposed by the argument itself. This attention to the use of presupposition underlies all three of Kant's critiques, and so it was altogether natural that in Strawson's continuing reflection on the issues that he raises in Individuals, he found it rewarding to reconsider the major lines of the Critique of Pure Reason, and to offer an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of Kant's work in the light of our contemporary analytic tradition.
Skepticism, Naturalism and Transcendental Arguments
Strawson's interest in Kant did not end with the publication of The Bounds of Sense in 1966. He continued to give regular graduate seminars on Kant for the following twenty years, and, in a series of articles, he both amended and developed the views he had established in that book.
Kant had said that it was Hume who had awakened him from his “dogmatic slumber” and set him on the path to his critical philosophy. While Strawson continued to see Kant as the greatest of the moderns, he has also been prepared to see Hume as his hero on particular issues of continuing interest. He can view Hume as both a naturalist and a sceptic, with a tension between those two outlooks that in some ways is reminiscent of the tension he finds between Kant's empirical realism and his transcendental idealism. Strawson gave form to his reflections on Hume in the Woodbridge Lectures at Columbia University, subsequently published under the title Skepticism and Naturalism: Some Varieties (1985). As the theme of this work, Strawson appropriately takes a quotation from Gibbon: “The satirist may laugh, the philosopher may preach; but reason herself will respect the prejudices and habits, which have been consecrated by the experience of mankind”.