In my master's thesis for physics and philosophy, I take a long and hard look at the debates surrounding Maxwell's Demon and the status of the second law of thermodynamics. I try to clarify the use of Maxwell's thought experiment in understanding the second law; to prove that the second law is contingent, given only classical mechanics and time asymmetry; to argue that the law only holds because of facts about the kinds of particles that exist in our universe; to (...) show that and why the attempts to banish the demon using fluctuations, measurements or information or erasure have been unsuccessful; and I conclude that Maxwell's Demon is alive and kicking. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that unification is neither necessary nor sufficient for explanation. Focusing on the versions of the unificationist theory of explanation of Kitcher and of Schurz and Lambert, I establish three theses. First, Kitcher’s criterion of unification is vitiated by the fact that it entails that every proposition can be explained by itself, a flaw that it is unable to overcome. Second, because neither Kitcher’s theory nor that of Schurz and Lambert can solve the problems of asymmetry (...) and accidental generalizations, it follows that unification is not sufficient to ground explanation. Third, some good explanations are disunifying, which entails that unification is not necessary for explanation either. (shrink)
Woodward’s interventionist theory of causation is beset by a problem of circularity: the analysis of causes is in terms of interventions, and the analysis of interventions is in terms of causes. This is not in itself an argument against the correctness of the analysis. But by requiring us to have causal knowledge prior to making any judgements about causation, Woodward’s theory does make it mysterious how we can ever start acquiring causal knowledge. We present a solution to this problem by (...) showing how the interventionist notion of causation can be rationally generated from a more primitive agency notion of causation. The agency notion is easily and non-circularly applicable, but fails when we attempt to capture causal relations between non-actions. We show that the interventionist notion of causation serves as an appropriate generalisation of the agency notion. Furthermore, the causal judgements based on the latter generally remain true when rephrased in terms of the former, which allows one to use the causal knowledge gained by applying the agency notion as a basis for applying Woodward’s interventionist theory. We then present an overview of relevant empirical evidence from developmental psychology which shows that our proposed rational reconstruction lines up neatly with the actual development of causal reasoning in children. This gives additional plausibility to our proposal. The article thus provides a solution to one of the main problems of interventionism while keeping Woodward’s analysis intact. (shrink)
Le programme de publication des historiens ecclésiastiques, commencé dès les premiers volumes de la collection Sources Chrétiennes avec l’œuvre d’Eusèbe de Césarée, s’enrichit d’un nouveau titre (deux volumes prévus, pour les livres I-II, puis pour les livres III à V). Théodoret de Cyr, au 5e siècle, se présente d’emblée, comme Socrate de Constantinople, en continuateur de l’Histoire ecclésiastique d’Eusèbe de Césarée. Les 5 livres de son Histoire, dont la rédaction est achevée à la fin des a..
For Plotinus, the human face is that part of the body where the light of intelligibility can be shown through in the best way. It is why the face is beautiful, and, for this reason, it can be compared to the most beautiful things of the world. The stars, for example. But an issue raises immediately: when the face is compared to things of beauty, is not the actual meaning of the human face that could be lost? This question can (...) be thought again in the Christian world, and also, thanks to Emmanuel Levinas, in the contemporary philosophy. (shrink)
Les derniers théorèmes des Éléments de Théologie de Proclus portent sur les âmes. La question que nous posons peut se dire ainsi : comment Proclus a-t-il pu, contrairement aux indications platoniciennes, insérer dans un écrit inspiré par la méthode mathématique, un développement sur les âmes? À quel prix cette méthode peut-elle être compatible avec l’espace du divin? On s’interrogera aussi bien sur les traits de l’essence des âmes qui peuvent être posés que sur ceux qui ne peuvent être atteints. Ce (...) sont les limites de toute démarche processive qui seront ainsi soulignées. (shrink)
It is argued that multiscale approaches are necessary for an explanatory modeling of biological systems. A first step, besides common to the multiscale modeling of physical and living systems, is a bottom-up integration based on the notions of effective parameters and minimal models. Top-down effects can be accounted for in terms of effective constraints and inputs. Biological systems are essentially characterized by an entanglement of bottom-up and top-down influences following from their evolutionary history. A self-consistent multiscale scheme is proposed to (...) capture the ensuing circular causality. Its differences with standard mean-field self-consistent equations and slow-fast decompositions are discussed. As such, this scheme offers a way to unravel the multilevel architecture of living systems and their regulation. Two examples, genome functions and biofilms, are detailed. (shrink)
The vast majority of empirical research on stakeholder management has traditionally focused on multinational corporations. Only in recent years, scholars have begun to pay attention to the stakeholder management concept in relation to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The few existing studies in this area, however, discuss SMEs as a context free category or remain focused on single country analysis. This cross-national empirical research investigates SME owner–managers’ perceptions of stakeholder management in six European countries. The comparative analysis is followed by (...) a discussion of how institutional, cultural and linguistic contexts can influence owner–managers’ sensemaking of stakeholder management. Our study questions the universality of specific management terms and proposes that more attention should be paid to the institutional, cultural and linguistic environments that shape economic activity in different parts of Europe. (shrink)
Avec le développement de la psychiatrie périnatale, les prises en charge précoces des familles se sont diversifiées. Au fil du temps, des équipes se sont efforcées de faciliter l'accès aux soins à des familles peu enclines à y adhérer d'elles-mêmes. Des institutions se sont organisées pour aider des familles à haut risque psychique, dans le but de lutter contre les processus inter-générationnels qui induisent maltraitance et placements. D'autres ont créé des lieux de parole et d'échange initiant des stratégies de rencontre (...) permettant aux familles de rompre peu à peu avec l'exclusion. (shrink)
Recent academic articles point to an increased vagueness and overlapping of the concepts around business ethics and corporate responsibility. However, the perception of these notions in the entrepreneurial world can differ from the original academic definitions. The aim of this exploratory study is to uncover how the small business entrepreneur understands these various concepts. For this analysis, the Repertory Grid Technique (RGT) is used, a method with limited applications in the business and society field. Our findings partially reject the confusion (...) in terminology in academic literature. Entrepreneurs, pragmatically and rather clearly differentiate the various corporate responsibility and business ethics related concepts. (shrink)
This paper connects two notions: Hart and Mas-Colell’s ‘potential’, related to the value of coalitional games, and Coleman’s earlier notion of ‘power of a collectivity to act’, related to the easiness to make decisions by means of a voting rule.
Domestic animals are highly capable of detecting human cues, while wild relatives tend to perform less well (e.g. responding to pointing gestures). It is suggested that domestication may have led to the development of such cognitive skills. Here, we hypothesized that because domestic animals are so attentive and dependant to humans’ actions for resources, the counter effect may be a decline of self sufficiency, such as individual task solving. Here we show a negative correlation between the performance in a learning (...) task (opening a chest) and the interest shown by horses towards humans, despite high motivation expressed by investigative behaviours directed at the chest. If human-directed attention reflects the development of particular skills in domestic animals, this is to our knowledge the first study highlighting a link between human-directed behaviours and impaired individual solving task skills (ability to solve a task by themselves) in horses. (shrink)
The vast majority of empirical research on stakeholder management has traditionally focused on multinational corporations. Only in recent years, scholars have begun to pay attention to the stakeholder management concept in relation to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The few existing studies in this area, however, discuss SMEs as a context free category or remain focused on single country analysis. This cross-national empirical research investigates SME owner-managers' perceptions of stakeholder management in six European countries. The comparative analysis is followed by (...) a discussion of how institutional, cultural and linguistic contexts can influence owner-managers' sensemaking of stakeholder management. Our study questions the universality of specific management terms and proposes that more attention should be paid to the institutional, cultural and linguistic environments that shape economic activity in different parts of Europe. (shrink)