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Dealing with Free Will in Contemporary Theology: is It Still a Question?

Abstract

Free will is a very hot issue in several theoretical settings, but less in theology, or at least not as much as use to be in former times, when the discussions on sinfulness, grace and freedom were igniting a long season of controversies, especially in the Reformation time. Even in ecumenical dialogue apparently free will does not play a great role, since the reached consensus seems quite peaceful and agreement dominates over discussion. However, some theological insights, especially Karl Rahner reflections, are still worthy to consider and possibly theological anthropology should pay more attention to the current debate and its consequences for the way we understand human nature and its relationship with God.

Open access
How an Advanced Neurocognitive Human Trait for Religious Capacity Fails to Form

Abstract

The authors present an evolutionary model for the biological emergence of religious capacity as an advanced neurocognitive trait. Using their model for the stages leading to the evolutionary emergence of religious capacity in Homo sapiens, they analyze the mechanisms that can fail, leading to unbelief (atheism or agnosticism). The analysis identifies some, but not all types of atheists and agnostics, so they turn their question around and, using the same evolutionary model, ask what keeps religion going. Why does its development not fail in one social group after another, worldwide? Their final analysis searches for reasons in important evolutionary changes in the senses of hearing, vision, and general sensitivity on the hominin line, which together interact with both intellectual and emotional brain networks to achieve, often in human groups, variously altered states of consciousness, especially a numinous state enabled in part by a brain organ, the precuneus. An inability to experience the numinous, consider it important, or believe in its supernatural nature, may cleave the human population into those with belief and those with unbelief.

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Theodore the Studite’s Christology Against Its Logical Background

Abstract

Theodore the Studite resolved the logical problem posed by the second Iconoclasm in an explicitly paraconsistent way, when he applied to Jesus the definition of the human hypostasis while stating that there is no human hypostasis in Jesus. Methodologically he was following, albeit without knowing, Eulogius of Alexandria. He, in turn, was apparently followed by Photius, but in a confused manner.

Open access
Thought Experiments and Novels

Abstract

Novels and thought experiments can be pathways to different kinds of knowledge. We may, however, be hard pressed to say exactly what can be learned from novels but not from thought experiments. Headway on this matter can be made by spelling out their respective conditions for epistemic failure. Thought experiments fail in their epistemic role when they neither yield propositional knowledge nor contribute to an argument. They are largely in the business of ‘knowing that’. Novels, on the other hand can be an epistemic success by yielding ‘knowledge how’. They can help us to improve our competences.

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Application of Bibliometric Analysis in the Research of Scientific Publications on the Quality Management of Medical Services

Abstract

The aim of the article is to present the results of bibliometric analyzes of scientific papers on the quality management of medical services published in 2001–2017 and indexed in the Scopus database. The analysis uses basic techniques of bibliometric analysis with the technical support of VOSviewer software. The publication proposes an original procedure for analyzing the literature on the subject. The results of the study allowed to determine the trends in the number of publications from 2010 to 2017. At the same time, an analysis of areas of science was presented, in which issues related to the management of the quality of medical services were analyzed, as well as citation of main authors and research centers. The whole analysis concerning the topic of quality management of medical services and bibliometric analysis of scientific works on the concepts and interrelations studied has identified the main six clusters that related to the management of quality of medical services ranging from broadly understood changes in healthcare organizations, internal quality management factors, development issues and education, regulation and standardization of the concept of quality improvement, and technological aspects of quality management in medical services. It seems, therefore, that the conducted studies can be considered as a specific guide for those interested in risk and uncertainty, despite the fact that they are not free of restrictions, for example, due to the narrowing of the time or criteria concerning the types of documents examined. In this context, the analyzes carried out give a wide range of opportunities to propose new research ideas on the above issues in contemporary organizations.

Open access
Application of Chosen Data Mining Methods in Predicting Abnormal Blood Pressure in Children and Adolescents

Abstract

Hypertension is a common disease in highly industrialized societies, more often perceived as a health problem in adults rather than children. However, epidemiologists are currently paying more attention to the possibility of idiopathic hypertension during childhood. This article compares three classification models (logistic regression, classification trees and MARSplines) in order to determine the best classification model and distinguish the parameters that are most important in the detection of abnormal blood pressure in children. The study group consisted of 1,378 children aged between 7 and 18. After making comparisons between the methods, it was determined that MARSplines is the model that best assigns subjects to classes and can be an alternative in cases when traditional statistical methods cannot be used due to a lack of fulfillment of conditions. For prediction of abnormal blood pressure in this age group, the most important parameters were the heart rate and selected indicators of body proportions.

Open access
The Application of Lean Management in the Management of the Psychiatric Care System in the Regional Model of Psychiatric Care in Denmark (the Region of Zealand)

Abstract

The aim of the article is to present the application of the lean management method as appropriate for the management of the organizational system of psychiatric care in the Zealand region of Denmark. The organizational solutions of the Danish psychiatric care system presented in this paper are individualized and adapted to the regional needs of the residents. In Denmark, there are five administrative regions, in which each independently organizes its own system of medical (psychiatric) care. This means that the regions have considerable independence in choosing the acceptable and necessary methods of management, including – as is clear from the conducted research – the use of methods put-upon other areas of economy. Although the national laws in Denmark define certain conditions and guidelines for the functioning of psychiatric care (e.g. regarding the use of direct coercion/restrains for patients treated in the centres), there is a distinct separation of structures and methods of functioning throughout the whole country, which constitutes unique observation material – from the cognitive point of view. The authors of this paper conduct extensive research and analyse the systems of psychiatric care organizations in various countries (including Spain, Italy and Japan) and, as a result, the obtained results may lead to the selection of the best models from other systems (good organizational practices and management, the management methods in use), which can be applied in the currently reorganised system of the Polish psychiatric care. The choice of Denmark for the observational study is not accidental and is related not only to the fact that there is a large degree of systemic identity within the country and between the regions, but also because the country applies solutions addressed to patients with very different cultural conditions and needs, resulting from their descent, religion, and (world)-views. Denmark is one of those European countries that express a significant acceptance of diversity and tolerance, which is why communities with very different imponderables, denominations, and worldviews co-exist. In the area related to the organization of the psychiatric system, these conditions are of key importance. In the period from January 2015 to December 2017 the authors participated in study visits in Denmark, conducting research aimed at identifying the key success factors of the psychiatric care organization system in the country. The conducted analysis is also based on the analysis of literature and own and participant observations. The conclusions concerning this subject are also the result of interviews conducted with employees of the visited hospitals and system users, both professionals and patients. As the search for an optimal organizational model of psychiatric care is currently an ongoing concern in Poland, it seems justified to review the existing solutions in Europe and perform their critical analysis. A comparison of the adopted solutions was performed, in the context of, above all, the improvement of the quality of these services, their availability, and the satisfaction of patients and their families from the proposed organizational changes. The economic benefits of these solutions are also significant.

Open access
Application of Normalized Compression Distance and Lempel-Ziv Jaccard Distance in Micro-electrode Signal Stream Classification for the Surgical Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease

Abstract

Parkinson’s Disease can be treated with the use of microelectrode recording and stimulation. This paper presents a data stream classifier that analyses raw data from micro-electrodes and decides whether the measurements were taken from the subthalamic nucleus (STN) or not. The novelty of the proposed approach is based on the fact that distances based on raw data are used. Two distances are investigated in this paper, i.e. Normalized Compression Distance (NCD) and Lempel-Ziv Jaccard Distance (LZJD). No new features needed to be extracted due to the fact that in the case of high-dimensional data the process is extremely time-consuming. The k-nearest neighbour (k-NN) was chosen as the classifier due to its simplicity, which is essential in data stream classification. Results obtained from classifiers based on k-NN: k-NN, k-NN were compared with Probabilistic Approximate Window (k-NN with PAW); k-NN with Probabilistic Approximate Window and Adaptive Windowing (k-NN with PAW and ADWIN); and Self Adjusting Memory k-NN (SAM k-NN), which use the proposed distances, with the performance of the same classifiers but using standard Euclidean distance. Prequential accuracy was chosen as the performance measure. The results of the experiments performed with the described approach are in most cases better, i.e. the performance measures for kNN classifiers that use NCD and LZJD distances are better by up to 8.5 per cent and 14 per cent, respectively. Moreover, the proposed approach performs better when compared with other stream classification algorithms, i.e. Hoeffding Tree, Naive Bayes, and Leveraging Bagging. In the discussed case, an improvement of classification rate of up to 17.9 per cent when using Lempel-Ziv Jaccard Distance instead of the Euclidean was noted.

Open access
Automatic Generation of Regular Expressions for Extracting Attribute Values of Medical Products

Abstract

Resources of professional companies operating on the medical services market contain data from a huge number of transactional documents. This allows them to collect and process, among other actions, information about medical products. Organized data is obviously more valuable. In this paper, the possibility of supporting the process of organizing information is considered, with the goal to extract values of attributes of medical products from brief descriptions in transactional documents. This helps to build a structured product specification and makes it possible to make comparisons between products. For this purpose, an approach based on regular expressions and their generation with the use of the genetic algorithm is proposed. The results presented in the paper show a great potential of the presented method.

Open access