New perspectives on Pierre Duhem’s The aim and structure of physical theory Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9467-3 Authors Anastasios Brenner, Department of Philosophy, Paul Valéry University-Montpellier III, Route De Mende, 34199 Montpellier cedex 5, France Paul Needham, Department of Philosophy, University of Stockholm, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden David J. Stump, Department of Philosophy, University of San Francisco, 2130 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA Robert Deltete, Department of Philosophy, Seattle University, 901 12th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122-1090, USA Journal (...) Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796 Journal Volume Volume 20 Journal Issue Volume 20, Number 1. (shrink)
This anthology is the first devoted exclusively to On Certainty. The essays are grouped under four headings: the Framework, Transcendental, Epistemic and Therapeutic readings, and an introduction helps explain why these readings need not be seen as antagonistic. Contributions from W.H. Brenner, Alice Crary, Michael Kober, Edward Minar, Howard Mounce, Daniele Moyal-Sharrock, Thomas Morawetz, D.Z. Phillips, Duncan Pritchard, Rupert Read, Anthony Rudd, Joachim Schulte, Avrum Stroll, Michael Williams.
The work of Luciano Floridi lies at the interface of philosophy, information science and technology, and ethics, an intersection whose existence and significance he was one of the first to establish. His closely related concepts of a philosophy of information (PI), informational structural realism, information logic (IL), and information ethics (IE) provide a new ontological perspective from which moral concerns can be addressed, especially but not limited to those arising in connection with the new information and communication technologies. In this (...) paper, I relate Floridi's approach to another novel perspective, namely, that of an extension of logic to complex real processes, including those of information production and transfer. This non-propositional, non-truth-functional logic (logic in reality (LIR)) is grounded in the fundamental dualism (dynamic opposition) inherent in energy and accordingly present at all levels of reality. The LIR description of the dynamics of processes and their evolution is relevant to what Floridi refers to as the possible non-linguistic aspects of information. It suggests answers to some of Floridi's “outstanding problems” in PI related to the ontological status of information and how it is used in cognition. Floridi's IL retains the formal structure of the doxastic and epistemic logics from which he correctly distinguishes it and is the basis for his conceptual PI. However, LIR fulfills Floridi's implied requirement that logic be regarded as a natural phenomenon dealing with other natural phenomena, recovering its original philosophical function. LIR provides a logical foundation for discussion of ethical questions based on kinds of information that complements IL. Both are reconsiderations of logic that, as Marijuan suggests, may be necessary for the advancement of information technology in an ethical direction (cf. also Brenner). IE focuses on entities as constituted by information in an overall strategy that generalizes the concept of moral agents. LIR and its related ontology naturalize critical aspects of Floridi's theses, especially, the moral value of being as such and a non-separable joint responsibility of individuals and groups. I compare IE to other current approaches to ethics and information technology (e.g., phenomenological and social constructivist). Ethical information is defined “ecologically” in process terms as reality in a physical space (cf. Floridi), with an intentional “valence,” positive and negative, in the morally valued interaction between producer and receiver. LIR is neither topic-neutral nor context independent and can support an ethics involving apparently contradictory perspectives (e.g., internalist and externalist). Ethics involves practical reasoning, and unlike standard logics, LIR supports Magnani's approach to abductive reasoning in rational moral decision making. The basis of moral responsibility and the consequent behavior of individuals involved in information and communications technologies is the same logical–metaphysical principle of dynamic opposition instantiated at other levels of reality. The way moral responsibilities are actively accepted (or not) by individuals supervenes on their primitive psychological structure, which in turn reflects an evolutionary development grounded in the fundamental dualism of the physical world. The paper concludes with some suggestions of areas of philosophical research, such as causality, identity, and the ontological turn, where convergence of the Floridi and LIR approaches might be envisaged. Their overall motivation is the same, namely, the development of strategies for reinforcing and increasing ethical sensitivity wherever possible. The ethical information concept outlined in the paper supports the function of IE, assigned to it by Floridi, of potentially determining what is right and what is wrong. (shrink)
The advent of quantum mechanics in the early 20 th Century had profound consequences for science and mathematics, for philosophy (Schrödinger), and for logic (von Neumann). In 1968, Putnam wrote that quantum mechanics required a revolution in our understanding of logic per se. However, applications of quantum logics have been little explored outside the quantum domain. Dummett saw some implications of quantum logic for truth, but few philosophers applied similar intuitions to epistemology or ontology. Logic remained a truth-functional ’science’ of (...) correct propositional reasoning. Starting in 1935, the Franco-Romanian thinker Stéphane Lupasco described a logical system based on the inherent dialectics of energy and accordingly expressed in and applicable to complex real processes at higher levels of reality. Unfortunately, Lupasco’s fifteen major publications in French went unrecognized by mainstream logic and philosophy, and unnoticed outside a Francophone intellectual community, albeit with some translations into other Romance languages. In English, summaries of Lupasco’s logic appeared ca. 2000, but the first major treatment and extension of his system was published in 2008 (see Brenner 2008). This paper is a further attempt to establish Lupasco’s concepts as significant contributions to the history and philosophy of logic, in line with the work of Gödel, general relativity, and the ontological turn in philosophy. (shrink)
To better understand what information is and to explain information-related issues has become an essential philosophical task. General concepts from science, ethics and sociology are insufficient. As noted by Floridi, a new philosophy, a Philosophy of Information (PI), is needed. In the 80’s, Wu Kun proposed a “The Basic Theory of the Philosophy of Information”, which became available in English only in 2010. Wu and Joseph Brenner then found that the latter’s non-standard “Logic in Reality” provided critical logical support (...) for Wu’s theory. In Part I of our paper, we outline the two basic theories as a metaphilosophy and metalogic for information. We offer our two theories as a further contribution to an informational paradigm. In Part II [WuB14], we develop the relation between information and social value as a basis for the ethical development of the emerging Information Society. (shrink)
All organizations have ethics programs which consist of both explicit and implicit parts. This paper defines corporate ethics programs and identifies a number of their components. Corporate ethics programs'' structural and behavioral dimensions are proposed which may allow further examination of such program components and their impacts. Finally, fifteen propositions are suggested which describe the influence of founder values, competitive pressures, leadership, and organizational problems on corporate ethics programs and the manageability of such programs.
The following is an essay review of Paul Needham's translation of Pierre Duhem's Lemixte et la combinaison chimique and a numberof other essays. In this review we describe theintent and general features of Le mixte and try to place it in the larger context of Duhem'sprogram for energetics. The long essay (Essay3) opposing Marcellin Berthelot'sthermochemistry is singled out for detailedcommentary, since it gives Duhem's reasons forendorsing Josiah Willard Gibbs's chemicalstatics. We argue that a chemical mechanics ofa Gibbsian sort, defended in (...) Le mixte and otheressays in this volume, was the inspiration for,and basis of, Duhem's energetics. Needham'swelcome translations help an English-languageaudience to better understand the basiccontours of Duhem's important, if ultimatelymisguided, project. We conclude with somecomments on the difficulties in translatingDuhem and on the quality of the translationsNeedham has provided. (shrink)
Duhem first expounds the holistic thesis, according to which an experimental test always involves several hypotheses, in articles dating from the 1890s. Poincaré's analysis of a recent experiment in optics provides the incentive, but Duhem generalizes this analysis and develops a highly original methodological position. He is led to reject inductivism. I will endeavor to show the crucial role history of science comes to play in the development of Duhem's holism.
Norman tries to link the ecological and constructivist approaches to the dorsal and ventral pathways of the visual system. Such a link implies that the distinction is not only one of approach, but that different issues are studied. Norman identifies these issues as perception and action. The influence of contextual illusions is critical for Norman's arguments. We point out that fast (dorsal) actions can be fooled by contextual illusions while (ventral) perceptual judgements can be insensitive to them. We conclude that (...) both approaches can, in principle, be used to study visual information processing in both pathways. (shrink)
Manipulations that draw attention to extensional or set-based considerations are neither sufficient nor necessary for enhanced use of base rates in intuitive judgments. Frequency formats are only one part of the puzzle of base-rate use and neglect. The conditions under which these and other manipulations promote base-rate use may be more parsimoniously organized under the broader notion of case-based judgment.
We argue that one can explain why the influence of illusions decreases during a movement without assuming that different visual representations are used for planning and control. The basis for this is that movements are guided by a combination of correctly perceived information about certain attributes (such as a target's position) and illusory information about other attributes (such as the direction of motion). We explain how this can automatically lead to a decreasing effect of illusions when hitting discs that move (...) in an illusory direction, and when grasping objects of which the apparent size or orientation has been changed by an illusion. (shrink)
In Part I of our joint paper [WuB13], we outlined our respective theories, The Basic Theory of the Philosophy of Information (BTPI) and Logic in Reality (LIR) and showed their synergy for the understanding of complex informational processes. In this part, we develop Wu’s fundamental philosophical insight of the origin of the values of information in the interactions of complex information processing. A key concept in our work is that of a logical isomorphism between human individual and social value and (...) the natural laws of the physical world. On the basis of Wu’s concept of Informational Thinking, we propose an Informational Stance, a philosophical stance that is most appropriate for, and not separated nor isolated from, the emerging unified theory of information. We propose our metaphilosophy and metalogic of information as further support for the ethical development of the Information Society. (shrink)
In their target article, O'Regan & Noë (O&N) give convincing arguments for there being no elaborate internal representation of the outside world. We show two more categories of empirical results that can easily be understood within the view that the world serves as an outside memory that is probed only when specific information is needed.
In this short study, the Scroll of Ruth, and especially Ruth's undisclosed motives for following her mother-in-law, are read alongside the situation of foreign, female migrant workers in contemporary Israel—and vice versa. This allows a bi-directional reading that supplies a possible context both for the biblical text and for the evaluation of today's issues.