On the relation between experiment and thought experiment in the natural sciences. To understand the reciprocal autonomy and complementarity of thought and real experiment, it is necessary to distinguish between a ‘positive’ (empirical or formal) and a transcendental perspective. Empirically and formally, real and thought experiments are indistinguishable. However, from a reflexive-transcendental viewpoint thought experiment is at the same time irreducible and complementary to real experiment. This is due to the fact that the hypothetical-anticipatory moment is in principle irreducible to (...) physical reality—even though it refers to physical reality and is bound with the empirical use of our understanding. The presence of counterfactuals is the condition of the possibility for thought experiments to become in principle real ones, by means of a series of technical realisations that gradually approximate the idealisations that they contain. (shrink)
Hermeneutic and anti-hermeneutic sides in the debate about psychoanalysis are entangled in an epistemological and methodological antinomy, here exemplified by Grünbaum's and Spence's paradigmatic views. Both contain a partial element of truth, which they assert dialectically one against the other (§§ 1 and 2). This antinomy disappears only by reconciling an operationalist approach with man's ability to suspend the effectiveness of the‘laws’ applied to him (§ 3). The hermeneutic way in which the technical-operational criterion of truth works in psychoanalysis demands (...) that clinical and extra-clinical testing methods work synergically, through a fruitful self-correcting strategy, grounded on the very psychoanalytic object: the unconscious (§ 4). (shrink)
Popper's methodological individualism and the social sciences. Popper's philosophy of social sciences poses a dilemma that arises out of the two theses of methodological individualism and situational logic. In order to find a way out of this dilemma, one must raise the question concerning the epistemological and methodological status of the `laws' of the human sciences. There are indeed `rules' from which human actions depart mostly to a negligible extent, but they remain valid or stay in effect without exception only (...) as far as they are not re-evoked or re-emerge in the consciousness of the agents. The element of truth of methodological individualism lies in the person's capacity to revoke, in principle, the validity of the rules concerning oneself. Situational logic and methodological individualism can thus be reconciled. (shrink)
The often-emphasized tension between the singularity of the patient and technicalâscientific reproducibility in medicine cannot be resolved without a discussion of the epistemological and methodological status of the human sciences. On the one hand, the rules concerning human action are analogous to the scientific laws of nature. They are de facto sufficiently stable to allow predictions and explanations similar to those of experimental sciences. From this point of view, it is only a trivial truth, but still a methodological irrelevancy, that (...) the patient and the doctorâpatient relationship represent an ontologically irreproducible reality. On the other hand, however, one can never exclude that one can fail in the application of "laws" of the human sciences to the individual patient, for such laws are by no means wholly separated from a patient's personal-hermeneutic mediation, and can at any time be revoked by becoming aware of them. This requires a synergistic collaboration of clinical and statistical methods, and shows a methodologically relevant sense in which one cannot disregard the singularity of the patient. The reason for the crucial role of the patient's singularity in medicine is every individual patient's capacity to revoke, in principle, routines and quasi-automatisms, even though the personal mediation by the patient's consciousness de facto changes them in such a small degree that predictions and explanations modeled in experimental science remain possible. (shrink)
Operationalism and theoretical entities. The thesis of the“theory ladenness” of observation leads to an antinomy. In order to solve this antinomy a technical operationalism is sketched, according to which theories should in principle not contain anything that cannot be reduced to technical procedures. This implies the rejection of Quine's underdeterminacy thesis and of many views about the theoretical-observational distinction, e.g. neopositivistic views, van Fraassen's view, Sneed-Stegmüller's view. Then I argue for the following theses: 1. All scientific concepts are theory laden (...) in the sense that they allow us to anticipate possible experiences, but they have to be in principle fully observable, i.e. integrally convertible into operational-technical applications. 2. The observation/theory distinction can be maintained as a historical one: what is observable depends on the instruments that are available at any stage of the development of science. 3.In principle theoretical entities are empirically real in Hacking's sense. However, some aspects of Hacking's realism are to be criticized. Theoretical entities are to be resolved into the totality of the interrelated properties accessible to us by means of theoretical points of view embodied in scientific instruments. (shrink)
All the powerful influences exertedby the subjective-interpersonal dimension onthe organic or technical-functional dimensionof sickness and health do not make anintersubjective test concerning medicaltherapeutic results impossible. Theseinfluences are not arbitrary; on the contrary,they obey laws that are de facto sufficientlystable to allow predictions and explanationssimilar to those of experimental sciences.While, in this respect, the rules concerninghuman action are analogous to the scientificlaws of nature, they can at any time be revokedby becoming aware of them. Law-like andreproducible regularities in the sciences ofman (...) are by no means separated from a patient'spersonal-hermeneutic mediation. This makes itpossible for human beings to modify, improve orsometimes even entirely (or better almostentirely) suspend these psychological,sociological, ethnological, medical,regularities. For this reason the sciences ofman including medicine are under the obligationof constantly inspecting the continuingvalidity of the rules on which theirpredictions and explanations are based, namelyby indirect, statistical methods. Thisrequires a synergistic collaboration ofextra-clinical and clinical tests through whichmedicine can obtain a good level ofintersubjective testability. (shrink)
Gould and Lewontin use San Marco, Venice, to criticise the adaptationist program in biology. Following their lead, the architectural term “spandrel” is now widely used in biology to denote a feature that is a necessary byproduct of other aspects of the organism. I review the debate over San Marco and argue that the spandrels are not necessary in the sense originally used by Gould and Lewontin. I conclude that almost all the claims that Gould makes about San (...) class='Hi'>Marco are wrong and that it is reasonable to view the architectural spandrel as an adaptation. The spandrels example has not provided a good illustration of why adaptive explanations should be avoided. In fact, it can be used as an example of how adaptive explanations can be dismissed even when there is evidence in their favour. I also discuss the use of the concept of a spandrel in biology. (shrink)
We construct a modular semantic frameworks for LFIs (logics of formal (in)consistency) which extends the framework developed in [1; 3], but includes Marco’s schema too (and so practically all the axioms considered in  plus a few more). In addition, the paper provides another demonstration of the power of the idea of nondeterministic semantics, especially when it is combined with the idea of using truth-values to encode relevant data concerning propositions.
MarcoBuzzoni has presented a Kantian account of thought experiments in science as a serious rival to the current empiricist and Platonic accounts. This paper takes the first steps of a comprehensive assessment of this account in order to further the more general discussion of the feasibility of a Kantian theory of scientific thought experiments. Such a discussion is overdue. To this effect the broader question is addressed as to what motivates a Kantian approach. Buzzoni's account and (...) the assessment developed in this paper are warranted by the fact that the history of philosophical inquiry into thought experiments is deeply interwoven with Kant's philosophy. This history will be depicted here for the first time in more comprehensive terms to contextualize Buzzoni's account in historical and systematic perspective. (shrink)
Em 2011, celebra-se o centenário de morte de Wilhelm Dilthey (1833-1911). Para esta data, no Brasil e no exterior, editoras e universidades vêm se mobilizando, desde o ano passado, para organizar novas edições e eventos acadêmicos sobre o filósofo alemão. Associados à Fundação Fritz Thyssen em Colônia, Alemanha, tradutores de diversos idiomas vêm vertendo a obra para o inglês, o russo e o japonês. Também traduções para o português estão sendo preparadas no Brasil.
O texto é uma resenha de uma obra do filósofo e psicólogo alemão Wilhelm Dilthey. A resenha aborda uma publicação para o português da obra Introdução às ciências humanas (1883), na data em que se celebra o centenário de morte de Dilthey. A iniciativa dessa análise se justifica por ressaltar esta edição que: apresenta ao público brasileiro este autor relativamente pouco conhecido em nosso país; introduz os termos de sua filosofia. Dilthey é pensador crucial para o século XX por ter (...) contestado a influência que doutrina positivista possuiria sobre as ciências humanas (especialmente as sociais, as históricas e as do psiquismo) com seu método hermenêutico. A influência deste pensador se fez sensivelmente presente na obra de autores como Weber, Spengler, Ortega y Gasset e Gadamer. (shrink)
The article investigates the possibility of justifying animal rights within a contractarian framework of argumentation. According to the thesis developed in this paper, this justification is possible if the underlying contractarian theory is distinguished from the traditional theories and modified in relevant ways. KEY WORDS – animal rights, contractarian theories, impartiality, interest.
Breathing fresh air into the philosophy of mathematics Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9470-8 Authors Marco Panza, IHPST, 13, rue du Four, 75006 Paris, France Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Abstract Internet communication technology has been said to affect our sense of self by altering the way we construct “personal identity,” understood as identificatory valuative narratives about the self; in addition, some authors have warned that internet communication creates special conditions for moral agency that might gradually change our moral intuitions. Both of these effects are attributed to the fact that internet communication is “disembodied.” Our aim in this paper is to establish a link between this complex of claims and (...) past and ongoing research in phenomenology, empirical psychology and cognitive science, in order to formulate an empirical hypothesis that can assist development and evaluation of recent technology for embodied telecommunication. We first suggest that for the purposes of interdisciplinary exchange, personal identity is formally best represented by a selection function that (for temporal intervals of variable length) “bundles” capacity ascriptions into identificatory narratives. Based on this model, we discuss which cultural changes engendered by the internet affect the construction of personal identity in ways that diminish our ethical sensitivies. In a second step, working from phenomenological claims by Martin Buber, we argue that disembodied communication severs two modes of cognitive function, preconceptual and conceptual, which tie together moral motivation, self-experience, and identity construction. We translate Buber’s claims into the theoretical idiom of the “theory of cognitive orientation,” a psychological theory of motivation that links up with recent research in embodied cognition. In a third step, we investigate whether the embodiment of the internet with communication robots (e.g., telenoids) holds out the prospect of reverting this structural change at least partially. We conclude by formulating an empirical hypothesis (for researchers in cognitive science) that has direct import, we submit, on the question whether embodied telecommunication promises a new form of ethically sensitive self-constituting encounter. Content Type Journal Article Category Special Issue Pages 1-23 DOI 10.1007/s13347-012-0064-9 Authors Johanna Seibt, Department for Philosophy and the History of Ideas, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark Marco Nørskov, Department for Philosophy and the History of Ideas, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark Journal Philosophy & Technology Online ISSN 2210-5441 Print ISSN 2210-5433. (shrink)
Abstract We provide a mathematical study of a model of energy metabolism and hemodynamics of glioma allowing a better understanding of metabolic modifications leading to anaplastic transformation from low grade glioma.This mathematical analysis allows ultimately to unveil the solution to a viability problem which seems quite pertinent for applications to medecine. Content Type Journal Article Category Regular Article Pages 1-9 DOI 10.1007/s10441-012-9157-1 Authors R. Costalat, UPMC, UMI 209, UMMISCO, University of Paris-6, 75005 Paris, France J.-P. Francoise, Laboratoire Jacques–Louis Lions, UMR (...) 7598 CNRS, Université P.-M. Curie, Paris 6, 4 Pl. Jussieu, 16-26, 75252 Paris, France C. Menuel, Inserm U678, Functional Imaging Laboratory, Department of Neuroradiology, Pitiè-Sapêtrière Hospital, Université P.-M. Curie, Paris 6, 4783, boulevard de l’Hôpital, 75651 Paris Cedex 13, France M. Lahutte, Hopital des Armées, Val-de-Grâce, Service de Radiologie, 74 Bd de Port-Royal, 75005 Paris, France J.-N. Vallée, Department of Neuroradiology, Amiens University Medical Center, University of Picardie-Jules Vernes, chemin du Thil, 80025 Amiens, France G. de Marco, Laboratoire contrôle moteur et mouvement, UFR STAPS, Paris X, 200, avenue de la République, 92001 Nanterre, France J. Chiras, Inserm U678, Functional Imaging Laboratory, Department of Neuroradiology, Pitiè-Sapêtrière Hospital, Université P.-M. Curie, Paris 6, 4783, boulevard de l’Hôpital, 75651 Paris Cedex 13, France R. Guillevin, Inserm U678, Functional Imaging Laboratory, Department of Neuroradiology, Pitiè-Sapêtrière Hospital, Université P.-M. Curie, Paris 6, 4783, boulevard de l’Hôpital, 75651 Paris Cedex 13, France Journal Acta Biotheoretica Online ISSN 1572-8358 Print ISSN 0001-5342. (shrink)
According to Dr. Clare Graves, mankind has developed eight core value systems,1 as responses to prevailing circumstances. Given different contexts and value systems, a one-solution-fits-all concept of corporate sustainability is not reasonable. Therefore, this paper presents various definitions and forms of sustainability, each linked to specific (societal) circumstances and related value systems. A sustainability matrix– an essential element of the overall European Corporate Sustainability Framework – is described showing six types of organizations at different developmental stages, with different forms of (...) corporate sustainability, each supported by specific institutional arrangements. (shrink)
In recent years the idea that an adequate semantics of ordinary language calls for some theory of events has sparked considerable debate among linguists and philosophers. Speaking of Events offers a vivid and up-to-date indication of this debate, with emphasis precisely on the interplay between linguistic applications and philosophical implications. Each chapter has been written expressly for this volume by leading authors in the field, including Nicholas Asher, Pier Marco Bertinetto, Johannes Brandl, Denis Delfitto, Regine Eckardt, James Higginbotham, Alessandro (...) Lenci, Terence Parsons, Alice ter Meulen, and Henk Verkuyl. (shrink)
In this paper I argue indirectly for Frege's semantics, in particular for his conception of propositions, by reviewing some difficulties faced by one of the main contemporary alternative approaches, i.e., the direct reference theory. While Frege's semantics can yield an explanation of cognitive value and belief-preservation, the alternative approach seems to run into trouble here. I shall also briefly consider the question of whether epistemic issues should be of any concern for semantics, i.e., whether the feature mentioned above should really (...) be regarded as an advantage of Frege's theory. (shrink)
R.M. Sainsbury's account of reference has many compelling and attractive features. But it has the undesirable consequence that sentences of the form "x is thinking about y" can never be true when y is replaced by a non-referring term. Of the two obvious ways to deal with this problem within Sainsbury's framework, I reject one (the analysis of thinking about as a propositional attitude) and endorse the other (treating "thinks about" as akin to an intensional transitive verb). This endorsement is (...) also within the spirit of Sainsbury's account of reference. /// La explicación que ofrece R.M. Sainsbury de la referencia tiene muchas características convincentes y atractivas, pero tiene la consecuencia indeseable de que oraciones de la forma "x está pensando acerca de y" nunca pueden ser verdaderas cuando se reemplaza y con un término no referencial. De las dos maneras obvias de tratar este problema dentro del marco teórico de Sainsbury, rechazo una (el análisis de pensar acerca de como una actitud proposicional) y acepto la otra (que trata "pensar acerca de" como semejante a un verbo intensional transitivo). Aceptar esta última también cae dentro del espíritu de la explicación de la referencia ofrecida por Sainsbury. (shrink)
Are concepts stable entities, unchanged from context to context? Or rather are they context-dependent structures, created on the fly? We argue that this does not constitute a genuine dilemma. Our main thesis is that the more a pattern of features is general and shared, the more it qualifies as a concept. Contextualists have not shown that conceptual structures lack a stable, general core, acting as an attractor on idiosyncratic information. What they have done instead is to give a contribution to (...) the comprehension of how conceptual structure organized around such a stable core can produce contextually appropriate representations on demand. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction Rudy Rucker; Part I. Perspectives on Infinity from History: 1. Infinity as a transformative concept in science and theology Wolfgang Achtner; Part II. Perspectives on Infinity from Mathematics: 2. The mathematical infinity Enrico Bombieri; 3. Warning signs of a possible collapse of contemporary mathematics Edward Nelson; Part III. Technical Perspectives on Infinity from Advanced Mathematics: 4. The realm of the infinite W. Hugh Woodin; 5. A potential subtlety concerning the distinction between determinism and nondeterminism W. (...) Hugh Woodin; 6. Concept calculus: much better than Harvey M. Friedman; Part IV. Perspectives on Infinity from Physics and Cosmology: 7. Some considerations on infinity in physics Carlo Rovelli; 8. Cosmological intimations of infinity Anthony Aguirre; 9. Infinity and the nostalgia of the stars Marco Bersanelli; 10. Infinities in cosmology Michael Heller; Part V. Perspectives on Infinity from Philosophy and Theology: 11. God and infinity: directions for future research Graham Oppy; 12. Notes on the concept of the infinite in the history of Western metaphysics David Bentley Hart; 13. God and infinity: theological insights from Cantor's mathematics Robert J. Russell; 14. A partially skeptical response to Hart and Russell Denys A. Turner. (shrink)
This article gives a practice-based overview of the implementation aspects of Corporate Responsibility. After discussing the success factors for implementing Corporate Responsibility, the article describes a model for implementing Corporate Responsibility. Special attention is given to the success factors in the subsequent phases of implementation (sensitivity to the organizational environment, awareness of core values and clear leadership), to ensure that the most optimal results attainable for the organization can be reached. The implementation-model is clarified by looking at experiences in implementing (...) Corporate Responsibility at Chiquita. (shrink)
In this paper, I try to uncover the role played by Wittgenstein's context principle in his criticism of Russell's theory of types. There is evidence in Wittgenstein's writings that a syntactical version of the context principle in connection with the theory of symbolism functions as a good reason for his dispensing with the theory of types.
In this paper, I seek to clarify an aspect of Frege's thought that has been only insufficiently explained in the literature, namely, his notion of logical objects. I adduce some elements of Frege's philosophy that elucidate why he saw extensions as natural candidates for paradigmatic cases of logical objects. Moreover, I argue (against the suggestion of some contemporary scholars, in particular, Wright and Boolos) that Frege could not have taken Hume's Principle instead of Axiom V as a fundamental law of (...) arithmetic. This would be inconsistent with his views on logical objects. Finally, I shall argue that there is a connection between Frege's view on this topic and the famous thesis first formulated in ‘Über Begriff und Gegenstand’ that ‘the concept horse is not a concept’. As far as I know, no due attention has been given to this connection in the scholarly literature so far. (shrink)
Grice in pragmatics and Levelt in psycholinguistics have proposed models of human communication where the starting point of communicative action is an individual intention. This assumption, though, has to face serious objections with regard to the alleged existence of explicit representations of the communicative goals to be pursued. Here evidence is surveyed which shows that in fact speaking may ordinarily be a quite automatic activity prompted by contextual cues and driven by behavioural schemata abstracted away from social regularities. On the (...) one hand, this means that there could exist no intentions in the sense of explicit representations of communicative goals, following from deliberate reasoning and triggering the communicative action. On the other hand, however, there are reasons to allow for a weaker notion of intention than this, according to which communication is an intentional affair, after all. Communicative action is said to be intentional in this weaker sense to the extent that it is subject to a double mechanism of control, with respect both to present-directed and future-directed intentions. (shrink)
Young children interpret some acts performed by adults as normatively governed, that is, as capable of being performed either rightly or wrongly. In previous experiments, children have made this interpretation when adults introduced them to novel acts with normative language (e.g. ‘this is the way it goes’), along with pedagogical cues signaling culturally important information, and with social-pragmatic marking that this action is a token of a familiar type. In the current experiment, we exposed children to novel actions with no (...) normative language, and we systematically varied pedagogical and social-pragmatic cues in an attempt to identify which of them, if either, would lead children to normative interpretations. We found that young 3-year-old children inferred normativity without any normative language and without any pedagogical cues. The only cue they used was adult socialpragmatic marking of the action as familiar, as if it were a token of a well-known type (as opposed to performing it, as if inventing it on the spot). These results suggest that – in the absence of explicit normative language – young children interpret adult actions as normatively governed based mainly on the intentionality (perhaps signaling conventionality) with which they are performed. (shrink)
Russell's philosophy is rightly described as a programme of reduction of mathematics to logic. Now the theory of geometry developed in 1903 does not fit this picture well, since it is deeply rooted in the purely synthetic projective approach, which conflicts with all the endeavours to reduce geometry to analytical geometry. The first goal of this paper is to present an overview of this conception. The second aim is more far-reaching. The fact that such a theory of geometry was sustained (...) by Russell compels us to question the meaning of logicism: how is it possible to reconcile Russell's global reductionist standpoint with his local defence of the specificities of geometry? * This paper was first presented at the conference ‘Qu'est ce que la géométrie aux époques modernes et contemporaines?’ (16–20 April 2007), organized by the Universität Köln and the Archives Poincaré. I would like to thank Philippe Nabonnand for having enlightened me about the issues relative to projective geometry. I would like also to thank Nicholas Griffin, Brice Halimi, Bernard Linsky, Marco Panza, Ivahn Smadja for their helpful discussions. Many thanks also to the two anonymous referees for their useful suggestions. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
After establishing its roots in basic forms of sensorimotor coupling between an organism and its environment, the new wave in cognitive science known as “enactivism” has turned to higher-level cognition, in an attempt to prove that even socioculturally mediated meaning-making processes can be accounted for in enactivist terms. My article tries to bolster this case by focusing on how the production and interpretation of stories can shape the value landscape of those who engage with them. First, it builds on the (...) idea that narrative plays a key role in expressing the values held by a society, in order to argue that the interpretation of stories cannot be understood in abstraction from the background of storytelling in which we are always already involved. Second, it presents interpretation as an example of what Di Paolo et al. ( 2010 ) have called in their recent enactivist manifesto a “joint process of sensemaking”: just like in face-to-face interaction, the recipient of the story collaborates with the authorial point of view, generating meaning. Third, it traces the meaning brought into the world by interpretation to the activation and, potentially, the restructuring of the background of the recipients of the story. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction Andrew Janiak and Eric Schliesser; Part I. Newton and his Contemporaries: 1. Newton's law-constitutive approach to bodies: a response to Descartes Katherine Brading; 2. Leibniz, Newton and force Daniel Garber; 3. Locke's qualified embrace of Newton's Principia Mary Domski; 4. What geometry postulates: Newton and Barrow on the relationship of mathematics to nature Katherine Dunlop; Part II. Philosophical Themes in Newton: 5. Cotes' queries: Newton's Empiricism and Conceptions of Matter Zvi Biener and Chris Smeenk; 6. (...) Newton's Scientific Method and the Universal Law of Gravitation Ori Belkind; 7. Measurement and method: some remarks on Newton, Huygens and Euler on natural philosophy William Harper; 8. What did Newton mean by 'Absolute Motion'? Nick Huggett; 9. From velocities to fluxions Marco Panza; Part III. The Reception of Newton: 10. Newton, Locke, and Hume Graciela de Pierris; 11. Maupertuis on attraction as an inherent property of matter Lisa Downing; 12. The Newtonian refutation of Spinoza: Newton's Challenge and the Socratic Problem Eric Schliesser; 13. Dispositional explanations: Boyle's problem, Newton's solution, Hume's response Lynn Joy; 14. Newton and Kant on Absolute Space: from theology to transcendental philosophy Michael Friedman; 15. How Newton's Principia changed physics George Smith; Bibliography. (shrink)
The standard view of classical cognitive science stated that cognition consists in the manipulation of language-like structures according to formal rules. Since cognition is ‘linguistic’ in itself, according to this view language is just a complex communication system and does not influence cognitive processes in any substantial way. This view has been criticized from several perspectives and a new framework (Embodied Cognition) has emerged that considers cognitive processes as non-symbolic and heavily dependent on the dynamical interactions between the cognitive system (...) and its environment. But notwithstanding the successes of the embodied cognitive science in explaining low-level cognitive behaviors, it is still not clear whether and how it can scale up for explaining high-level cognition. In this paper we argue that this can be done by considering the role of language as a cognitive tool: i.e. how language transforms basic cognitive functions in the high-level functions that are characteristic of human cognition. In order to do that, we review some computational models that substantiate this view with respect to categorization and memory. Since these models are based on a very rudimentary form of non-syntactic ‘language’ we argue that the use of language as a cognitive tool might have been an early discovery in hominid evolution, and might have played a substantial role in the evolution of language itself. (shrink)
Although the notion of logical object plays a key role in Frege's foundational project, it has hardly been analyzed in depth so far. I argue that Marco Ruffino's attempt to fill this gap by establishing a close link between Frege's treatment of expressions of the form ‘the concept F’ and the privileged status Frege assigns to extensions of concepts as logical objects is bound to fail. I argue, in particular, that Frege's principal motive for introducing extensions into his logical (...) theory is not to be able to make in-direct statements about concepts, but rather to define all numbers as logical objects of a fundamental kind in order to ensure that we have the right cognitive access to them qua logical objects via Axiom V. Contrary to what Ruffino claims, reducibility to extensions cannot be the ‘ultimate criterion’ for Frege of what is to be regarded as a logical object. (shrink)
Diagrams are ubiquitous in mathematics. From the most elementary class to the most advanced seminar, in both introductory textbooks and professional journals, diagrams are present, to introduce concepts, increase understanding, and prove results. They thus fulfill a variety of important roles in mathematical practice. Long overlooked by philosophers focused on foundational and ontological issues, these roles have come to receive attention in the past two decades, a trend in line with the growing philosophical interest in actual mathematical practice.
The concepts and powerful mathematical tools of Dynamical Systems Theory (DST) yield illuminating methods of studying cognitive processes, and are even claimed by some to enable us to bridge the notorious explanatory gap separating mind and matter. This article includes an analysis of some of the conceptual and empirical progress Dynamical Systems Theory is claimed to accomodate. While sympathetic to the dynamicist program in principle, this article will attempt to formulate a series of problems the proponents of the approach in (...) question will need to face if they wish to prolong their optimism. The main points to be addressed involve the reductive tendencies inherent in Dynamical Systems Theory, its somewhat muddled position relative to connectionism, the metaphorical nature DST-C exhibits which hinders its explanatory potential, and DST-C's problematic account of causality. Brief discussions of the mathematical and philosophical backgrounds of DST, seminal experimental work and possible adaptations of the theory or alternative suggestions (dynamicist connectionism, neurophenomenology, R&D theory) are included. (shrink)
The paper analyses the significance of the modern concept of „symmetry“ for the understanding of the concept of „intuition“ in Kant's philosophy of geometry. A symmetry transformation or automorphism is a structure preserving mapping of the space into itself that leaves all relevant structure intact so that the result is always like the original, in all relevant respects. Hermann Weyl was the first to show that this idea can be drawn on Leibniz's definition of similarity: two figures are similar if (...) they are only distinguishable through the simultaneous perception of them ( comperceptio ): „an automorphism carries a figure into one that in Leibniz's words is ‚indiscernible from it if each of the two figures is considered by itself‘“. The author argues that, under the light of this definition, Leibniz's notion of „comperceptio“ turns out to play a similar role for the notion of „intuition“ in Kant's philosophy of space and time. Both cases are about the „difference between conceptual definition and intuitive exhibition“, as Weyl puts it. This result has on the one hand an exegetical significance: it frees Kant's notion of „intuition“ from every vague reference to the „visualisation“ of geometrical figures; on the other hand a theoretical one: it makes easy to compare Kant's philosophy of space and time with modern developments of sciences, in which as Weyl first showed, the concept of symmetry plays a fundamental role. (shrink)
Proposition I.1 is, by far, the most popular example used to justify the thesis that many of Euclid’s geometric arguments are diagram-based. Many scholars have recently articulated this thesis in different ways and argued for it. My purpose is to reformulate it in a quite general way, by describing what I take to be the twofold role that diagrams play in Euclid’s plane geometry (EPG). Euclid’s arguments are object-dependent. They are about geometric objects. Hence, they cannot be diagram-based unless diagrams (...) are supposed to have an appropriate relation with these objects. I take this relation to be a quite peculiar sort of representation. Its peculiarity depends on the two following claims that I shall argue for: ( i ) The identity conditions of EPG objects are provided by the identity conditions of the diagrams that represent them; ( ii ) EPG objects inherit some properties and relations from these diagrams. (shrink)
Understanding the role of ‘‘representations’’ in cognitive science is a fundamental problem facing the emerging framework of embodied, situated, dynamical cognition. To make progress, I follow the approach proposed by an influential representational skeptic, Randall Beer: building artificial agents capable of minimally cognitive behaviors and assessing whether their internal states can be considered to involve representations. Hence, I operationalize the concept of representing as ‘‘standing in,’’ and I look for representations in embodied agents involved in simple categorization tasks. In a (...) first experiment, no representation can be found, but the relevance of the task is undermined by the fact that agents with no internal states can reach high performance. A simple modification makes the task more “representationally hungry,” and in this case, agents’ internal states are found to qualify as representations. I conclude by discussing the benefits of reconciling the embodied-dynamical approach with the notion of representation. (shrink)
As it is known, there is no rule satisfying Additivity in the complete domain of bankruptcy problems. This paper proposes a notion of partial Additivity in this context, to be called µ-additivity. We find that µ-additivity, together with two quite compelling axioms, anonymity and continuity, identify the Minimal Overlap rule, introduced by Neill (1982).
Neurophysiological studies in monkeys and neuroimaging studies in humans support a model of empathy according to which there exists a shared code between perception and production of emotion. The neural circuitry critical to this mechanism is composed of frontal and parietal areas matching the observation and execution of action, and interacting heavily with the superior temporal cortex. Further, this cortical system is linked to the limbic system by means of an anterior sector of the human insular lobe.
One goal of normative multi-agent system theory is to formulate principles for normative system change that maintain the rule-like structure of norms and preserve links between norms and individual agent obligations. A central question raised by this problem is whether there is a framework for norm change that is at once specific enough to capture this rule-like behavior of norms, yet general enough to support a full battery of norm and obligation change operators. In this paper we propose an answer (...) to this question by developing a bimodal logic for norms and obligations called NO. A key to our approach is that norms are treated as propositional formulas, and we provide some independent reasons for adopting this stance. Then we define norm change operations for a wide class of modal systems, including the class of NO systems, by constructing a class of modal revision operators that satisfy all the AGM postulates for revision, and constructing a class of modal contraction operators that satisfy all the AGM postulates for contraction. More generally, our approach yields an easily extendable framework within which to work out principles for a theory of normative system change. (shrink)
The age at which children acquire the concept of belief is a subject of debate. Many scholars claim that children master beliefs when they are able to pass the false belief test, around their fourth year of life. However, recent experiments show that children implicitly attribute beliefs even earlier. The dispute does not only concern the empirical issue of discovering children’s early cognitive abilities. It also depends on the kind of capacities that we associate to the very concept. I claim (...) that concept possession must be understood in terms of the gradual development of the abilities that underlie the concept in question. I also claim that the last step to possess the concept of belief requires children to understand how beliefs and desires are used in everyday explanations of people’s actions. Thus, I suggest that understanding folk psychology as an explanatory theory is what children lack when they fail the false belief test. (shrink)
I try to reconstruct how Frege thought to reconcile the cognitive value of arithmetic with its analytical nature. There is evidence in Frege's texts that the epistemological formulation of the context principle plays a decisive role; it provides a way of obtaining concepts which are truly fruitful and whose contents cannot be grasped beforehand. Taking the definitions presented in the Begriffsschrift,I shall illustrate how this schema is intended to work.
The importance of intention reading for communication has already been emphasized many<br>years ago by Paul Grice. More recently, the rich debate on “theory of mind” has convinced many<br>that intention reading may in fact play a key role also in current, cognitively oriented theories of<br>pragmatics: Relevance Th eory is a case in point. On a close analysis, however, it is far from clear<br>that RT may really accommodate the idea that intention reading drives comprehension. Here<br>I examine RT’s diffi culties with that idea, (...) and propose a framework where intention reading is<br>actually assigned a signifi cant role. Th is framework is compatible with RT’s account of a unifi ed,<br>automatic mechanism of interpretation in lexical pragmatics, to the extent that the account<br>shares many features of associative and constraint-based explanations of other linguistic phenomena.<br>In fact, my suggestion is that our sensitivity to others’ intentions depends crucially on the<br>availability of specifi c patterns of intentional behaviour grounded in social regularities. In other<br>words, intention reading would be just a case, though a very special one, of pattern recognition. (shrink)