In this dissertation on Hilary Putnam's philosophy, I investigate his development regarding meaning and necessity, in particular mathematical necessity. Putnam has been a leading American philosopher since the end of the 1950s, becoming famous in the 1960s within the school of analytic philosophy, associated in particular with the philosophy of science and the philosophy of language. Under the influence of W.V. Quine, Putnam challenged the logical positivism/empiricism that had become strong in America after World War II, with influential exponents such (...) as Rudolf Carnap and Hans Reichenbach. Putnam agreed with Quine that there are no absolute a priori truths. In particular, he was critical of the notion of truth by convention. Instead he developed a notion of relative a priori truth, that is, a notion of necessary truth with respect to a body of knowledge, or a conceptual scheme. Putnam's position on necessity has developed over the years and has always been connected to his important contributions to the philosophy of meaning. I study Hilary Putnam's development through an early phase of scientific realism, a middle phase of internal realism, and his later position of a natural or commonsense realism. I challenge some of Putnam’s ideas on mathematical necessity, although I have largely defended his views against some other contemporary major philosophers; for instance, I defend his conceptual relativism, his conceptual pluralism, as well as his analysis of the realism/anti-realism debate. (shrink)
In the twenty-second series of The Logic of Sense, Gilles Deleuze references a remarkable essay by Günther (Stern) Anders. Anders’ essay, translated here as ‘The Pathology of Freedom’, addresses the sickness and health of our negotiation with the negative anthropological condition of ‘not being cut out for the world’.
Many religiously minded materialist philosophers have attempted to understand the doctrine of the survival of death from within a physicalist approach. Their goal is not to show the doctrine false, but to explain how it can be true. One such approach has been developed by Peter van Inwagen. After explaining what I call the duplication objection, I present van Inwagen’s proposal and show how a proponent might attempt to solve the problem of duplication. I argue that the very features of (...) the view that aid the proponent in responding to the duplication objection entails the possibility of an impossible state of affairs—that two distinct persons can at the same time be identical with the same bundle of material simples. The religiously minded materialist is caught between the horns of a dilemma. One’s view regarding human persons must be robust enough to account for personal identity over time, and so not fall to the duplication objection. At the same time, the view must not entail the possibility of two persons temporarily having complete coincident existence. (shrink)
In modern technical applications various multiphase mixtures are used to meet demanding mechanical, chemical and electrical requirements. To understand their structural properties as continuous macroscopic materials, it is important to capture the microstructure of these mixtures. Due to their vast range of applications multicomponent systems are subjected to microstructural changes such as phase separation and coarsening. Therefore the ultimate microstructural arrangement depends on the system's configuration and on exterior driving forces. In addition to this, random physical imperfections within the material (...) and random noise in the exterior thermodynamic fields influence in essence the microstructural evolution. Since all physical processes are subjected to a certain degree of random inhomogeneity under realistic conditions, the influence of random phenomena cannot be neglected in modern physical models. An advanced mathematical description and an implementation of these stochastic processes are required to adapt simulation results based on deterministic mathematical models to experimental observations. In our contribution we will present an operator-scaling anisotropic random field embedded in the Cahn?Hilliard phase-field model to describe the phase evolution in a binary mixture. The arising nonlinear diffusion equation will be solved numerically in the innovative framework of the isogeometric finite element method. To illustrate the flexibility and versatility of our approach, numerical and experimental results for a eutectic Sn-Pb alloy are contraposed. This is the first time that the microstructural evolution in a multicomponent system has been associated with operator-scaling anisotropic random fields. Due to its enormous potential as an essential ingredient in stochastic mathematical and physical modeling it is only a matter of time until these processes will become prevalent in engineering applications. (shrink)
In this paper we consider the effect of unitarity bounds sb⩾s≡(E1+E2) cms 2 for the recently proposed types of nonderivative 4-fermion contact interactions. To this purpose we decompose the helicity amplitudes at c.m.s. into partial waves. The bounds are defined to hold for all reaction channels due to the same type of contact interaction. We find sb=τ4π/κ. Here κ is the coupling constant. The factor τ depends on the type of coupling and on the different cases to identify the fermions. (...) It ranges from 1/3 to 4. (shrink)
In this paper we argue that one-way quantum computation can be seen as a form of phase transition with the available information about the solution of the computation being the order parameter. We draw a number of striking analogies between standard thermodynamical quantities such as energy, temperature, work, and corresponding computational quantities such as the amount of entanglement, time, potential capacity for computation, respectively. Aside from being intuitively pleasing, this picture allows us to make novel conjectures, such as an estimate (...) of the necessary critical time to finish a computation and a proposal of suitable architectures for universal one-way computation in 1D. (shrink)
This chapter will examine two puzzles that percolate Husserl’s On the Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time (PITC). They concern: (1) whether or not memory is pictorial and (2) whether or not the temporal determinations (past, now, future, etc.) are categories. Considering these aporetic discussions helps us to understand the time diagrams Husserl uses, as well as some of the motivation behind Husserl’s talk of the two intentionalities of retention and his talk of the time-constituting flow. Moreover, this approach (...) to PITC helps to highlight the role that aporetic considerations play in phenomenological investigation more generally. (shrink)
Research on the neural mechanisms underlying human facial emotion recognition has long focussed on genetically determined neural algorithms and often neglected the question of how these algorithms might be tuned by social learning. Here we show that facial emotion decoding skills can be significantly and sustainably improved by practise without an external teaching signal. Participants saw video clips of dynamic facial expressions of five women and were asked to decide which of four possible emotions (anger, disgust, fear and sadness) was (...) shown in each clip. Although no external information about the correctness of the participant’s response or the sender’s true affective state was provided, participants showed a significant increase of facial emotion recognition accuracy both within and across two training sessions two days to several weeks apart. We discuss several factors that might have a critical or modulating effect on such unsupervised learning of facial emotion decoding skills. (shrink)
In the present paper the issue of using violence in protests to garner political gain is considered against the background of the Occupy movement and the varied responses to it. Although some may now feel, and certainly many did while the movement was at its peak, that the Occupy protestors should alter their tactics and embrace violence as an efficacious means to sought ends, it is argued here that such a move would be counterproductive and delegitimizing. Moral and psychological impacts (...) on the non-demonstrating public that protestors’ tactics can have are weighed against traditional arguments in favor of using violence. Sources of political legitimacy are also examined, and it is put forward that changes achieved by nonviolence are more likely to be accepted by society at large. Finally, contemporary thinkers and scholars of the left are encouraged to fill the roles open to them that have emerged with Occupy and related movements. (shrink)
Increasing the number of Aboriginal students graduating from university is a goal of many Canadian universities. Realizing this goal may present challenges to the orientation and methodology of university curricula that have been developed without consideration of the traditional epistemologies of Aboriginal peoples. In this article, three scholars in the Faculty of Education at the University of Victoria take up this issue by dialoguing with each other about the possibilities of incorporating Aboriginal perspectives into their courses. These conversations are woven (...) together into the narrative form of a four-act play in which the authors caricature their personalities to highlight their initial resistances and eventual reconsiderations. As non-Aboriginal instructors from different cultural backgrounds, the authors confront issues of respect, responsibility, and (mis)representation as they struggle with the dilemmas involved in cross-cultural understanding. Through this journey they come to imagine a world where cultural differences, including the traditional epistemologies of Aboriginal peoples, present possibilities for greater understanding of each other and more authentic expressions of our humanity. (shrink)
This Article is a short response to Anders Tolland's "Iterated Non-Refutation: Robert Lockie on Relativism", International Journal of Philosophical Studies Vol. 14, no. 2, 245-254, 2006. Tolland's article was itself a response to Lockie, R (2003) "Relativism and Reflexivity", International Journal of Philosophical Studies Vol. 11, no. 3, 319-339.
The ?beyond method? approach is pivotal to the Norwegian philosopher Anders Lindseth, who pioneered philosophical counseling in Norway, and has been a mentor to other counselors. Being himself influenced by Gerd Achenbach, Lindseth has a distaste for method and therapy, advocating instead the principle of ?touched not-knowing.? During a seminar in Oslo last year Lindseth discussed these concepts with students of philosophical counseling, and had a demonstration session to be assessed. Based on the seminary, this article presents the Lindseth (...) position, and looks critically into the notion of ?beyond method.? Instead of eschewing method altogether, the author claims that philosophical counselors might employ method in a limited sense without succumbing to ?therapy? in the professional, pejatorive sense of the word. (shrink)
The classical formulations given to the problem of free will and determinism in analytical philosophy can be split into two groups according to a double function of the element : „to be able to act otherwise”. In the first case we speak of „the problem of autonomy” and in the second of „the problem of justifying punishment”. Both formulations are inadequate. „The problem of autonomy” is wrongly formulated, since determinism does not threaten our possibilities. „The problem of justifying punishment” is (...) likewise a wrong formulation, since the question of „being able to act otherwise” merely has a secondary role in the attribution of guilt. Nevertheless certain elements can be found in both formulations to provide us with a new formulation and it is in this direction that we should like to move. (shrink)