We consider several ways in which a good understanding of modern techniques and principles in physics can elucidate ecology. We focus on analogical reasoning between these two branches of science. This style of reasoning requires an understanding of both sciences and an appreciation of the similarities and points of contact between the two. In the current ecological literature on the relationship between ecology and physics, there has been some misunderstanding about the nature of modern physics and its methods. Physics is (...) seen as being much cleaner and tidier than ecology. When ecology is compared to this idealised, fictional version of physics, ecology looks very different, and the prospect of ecology and physics learning from one another is questionable. We argue that physics, once properly appreciated, is more like ecology than ecologists have thus far appreciated. Physicists and ecologists can and do learn from each other, and in this paper we outline how analogical reasoning can facilitate such exchanges. (shrink)
The standard mathematical models in population ecology assume that a population's growth rate is a function of its environment. In this paper we investigate an alternative proposal according to which the rate of change of the growth rate is a function of the environment and of environmental change. We focus on the philosophical issues involved in such a fundamental shift in theoretical assumptions, as well as on the explanations the two theories offer for some of (...) the key data such as cyclic populations. We also discuss the relationship between this move in population ecology and a similar move from first-order to second-order differential equations championed by Galileo and Newton in celestial mechanics. (shrink)
The paper is in two parts. In Part I, a semantics for embedded and query uses of interrogatives is put forward, couched within a situation semantics framework. Unlike many previous analyses,questions are not reductively analysed in terms of their answers. This enables us to provide a notion of ananswer that resolves a question which varies across contexts relative to parameters such as goals and inferential capabilities. In Part II of the paper, extensive motivation is provided for an ontology that distinguishes (...) propositions, questions, and facts, while at the same time the semantics provided captures an important commonality between questions and propositions: factsprove propositions andresolve questions. This commonality is exploited to provide an explanation for why predicates such as know carry presuppositions such as factivity and for a novel account of the behaviour of adverbially modified predicates with interrogative, declarative and fact-nominal arguments. (shrink)
The paper investigates an elliptical construction, Clarification Ellipsis, that occurs in dialogue. We suggest that this provides data that demonstrates that updates resulting from utterances cannot be defined in purely semantic terms, contrary to the prevailing assumptions of existing approaches to dynamic semantics. We offer a computationally oriented analysis of the resolution of ellipsis in certain cases of dialogue clarification. We show that this goes beyond standard techniques used in anaphora and ellipsis resolution and requires operations on highly structured, linguistically (...) heterogeneous representations. We characterize these operations and the representations on which they operate. We offer an analysis couched in a version of Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar combined with a theory of information states (IS) in dialogue. We sketch an algorithm for the process of utterance integration in IS which leads to grounding or clarification. The account proposed here has direct applications to the theory of attitude reports, an issue which is explored briefly in the concluding remarks of the paper. (shrink)
The main focus of the book is the presentation of the 'inertial' view of population growth. This view provides a rather simple model for complex population dynamics, and is achieved at the level of the single species without invoking species interactions. An important part of this account is the maternal effect. Investment of mothers in the quality of their daughters makes the rate of reproduction of the current generation depend not only on the current environment, but also on the environment (...) experienced by the previous generation. (shrink)
We offer a computational analysis of the resolution of ellipsis in certain cases of dialogue clarification. We show that this goes beyond standard techniques used in anaphora and ellipsis resolution and requires operations on highly structured, linguistically heterogeneous representations. We characterize these operations and the representations on which they operate. We offer an analysis couched in a version of Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar combined with a theory of information states (IS).
This study examined the hypothesis that religiosity would be differentially related to six types of adolescent prosocial behaviour, and that these relations would be mediated by the prosocial value of kindness. Self?report data were collected from 142 high school students (63 per cent female; 91 per cent White; M age?=?16.8, S?=?.80). Religiosity was a significant positive predictor of kindness, as well as compliant, anonymous and altruistic prosocial behaviour, but not public, dire and emotional prosocial behaviour. Associations between religiosity and both (...) compliant and altruistic prosocial behaviours were mediated by kindness. Direct and indirect paths were found between religiosity and anonymous prosocial behaviour. Thus, partial support was found for the mediational hypothesis. Discussion focused on the utility of distinguishing among different types of prosocial behaviours and on the role of religion and values in promoting moral education. (shrink)
In this paper we investigate the use of machine learning techniques to classify a wide range of non-sentential utterance types in dialogue, a necessary ﬁrst step in the interpretation of such fragments. We train different learners on a set of contextual features that can be extracted from PoS information. Our results achieve an 87% weighted f-score—a 25% improvement over a simple rule-based algorithm baseline.
Pickering & Garrod's (P&G's) claim that conversationalists do not explicitly keep track of their interlocuters' information states is important. Nonetheless, via alignment, they seem to create a virtually symmetrical view of the information states of speaker and addressee – a key component of their accounts of collaborative utterances and of self-monitoring. As I show, there is significant evidence for intrinsic contextual misalignment between conversationalists that can persist across turns.
There are three concerns regarding Rachlin's altruism model. First, proximal causal mechanisms such as those identified by cognitive neuroscientists and behavioral neuropharmacologists are not emphasized. Second, there is a lack of clear testable hypotheses. And third, extreme forms of altruism are emphasized rather than common forms. We focus on an overarching theme – proximal mechanisms of individual differences in altruism.
I never met Gian-Carlo Rota but I have often made references to his writings on the philosophy of mathematics, sometimes agreeing, sometimes disagreeing. In this paper I will discuss his views concerning four questions: the existence of mathematical objects, definition in mathematics, the notion of proof, the relation of philosophy of mathematics to mathematics.
Are indices a purely linguistic, textual phenomenon or are linguistic indices a special case of a more general type of indexical signs? In comparing CarloGinzburg's restrictive view of indices and traces in particular with Peirce's general approach to indexical signs, this paper argues that Peirce's account of indexicality makes it possible to connect the sciences and the humanities by a flexible relational concept of the epistemic function of an identification that indexical experiences allows for. In this way (...) Peirce's flexible concept of indexicality allows us to connect e.g. the experience of a condensation trace of an electron in a cloud chamber with that of the trace of a deer in the snow. (shrink)
All research has limitations, for example, from paradigm, concept, theory, tradition, and discipline. In this article Lynda Stone describes three exemplars that are variations on limitation and are “extraordinary” in that they change what constitutes future research in each domain. Malcolm Gladwell's present day study of outliers makes a statistical term into a sociological concept. CarloGinzburg's study of a sixteenth-century miller who challenges Church doctrine initiates the field of microhistory. Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari's philosophy of the (...) rhizome offers a poststructuralist study of the doing of philosophy and the form of philosophical text. Although Gladwell's study is the only one specifically on the topic of outliers, the other two investigations are outliers as well. Overall the three studies demonstrate what can be revealed and learned when limitation is transgressed. This is an important lesson for educational research—wherein heretofore unimagined societal possibility and reform of education might result. (shrink)
Biologists, historians, lawyers, art historians, and literary critics all voice arguments in the critical dialogue about what constitutes evidence in research and scholarship. They examine not only the constitution and "blurring" of disciplinary boundaries, but also the configuration of the fact-evidence distinctions made in different disciplines and historical moments the relative function of such concepts as "self-evidence," "experience," "test," "testimony," and "textuality" in varied academic discourses and the way "rules of evidence" are themselves products of historical developments. The essays and (...) rejoinders are by Terry Castle, Lorraine Daston, CarloGinzburg, Ian Hacking, Mark Kelman, R. C. Lewontin, Pierre Vidal-Naquet, Mary Poovey, Donald Preziosi, Simon Schaffer, Joan W. Scott, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and Barbara Herrnstein Smith. The critical responses are by Lauren Berlant, James Chandler, Jean Comaroff, Arnold I. Davidson, Harry D. harootunian, Elizabeth Helsinger, Thomas C. Holt, Francoise Meltzer, Robert J. Richards, Lawrence Rothfield, Joel Snyder, Cass R. Sunstein, and William Wimsatt. (shrink)
Our main goal in this paper is to study one Hieronymus Bosch’s iconographic motif, an owl, considering the iconography, production of meaning andconnotations. Pursuant to the comparative analysis of the variants of the formal model we intend to ascertain the meaning of Bosch’s “owl” motif. We supplementits pure visual legend throughout European art history with mythological and symbolic (mainly verbal) legend. Methodologically, we base the vast range ofinterpretations on the school of history of ideas (Aby Warburg, Ernst Gombrich, Erwin Panofsky, (...) Francis Yates, CarloGinzburg) and the Tartu-Moscow school ofsemiotics of culture and text analysis. The article concludes that the “owl” motif, including in the works of Bosch, conveys the semantic aura of the “blind sight”(“blind foresight”). This ideological concept is in turn included into the archaic concept of mutual communication between the worlds carried out by a mythological observer — shaman, trickster. (shrink)
In the 1960s molecular population geneticists used Monte Carlo experiments to evaluate particular diffusion equation models. In this paper I examine the nature of this comparative evaluation and argue for three claims: first, Monte Carlo experiments are genuine experiments: second, Monte Carlo experiments can provide an important meansfor evaluating the adequacy of highly idealized theoretical models; and, third, the evaluation of the computational adequacy of a diffusion model with Monte Carlo experiments is significantlydifferent from the evaluation (...) of the emperical adequacy of the same diffusion model. (shrink)
The essay examines both the dances and the dance notation of renowned nineteenth century choreographer Carlo Blasis. It looks in detail at Blasis major treatise The Code of Terpsichore in an effort to evaluate how Blasis linked a science of movement to a conception of the body oriented around the prevailing aesthetics informing all of the fine arts. Identifying Blasis as both a philosopher and a mechanist, this essay analyzes his approach to teaching basic ballet vocabulary, and in particular (...) the arabesque. Whereas Kleist, with his Marionettentheater, proposes the puppet as a figure of grace, located somewhere between animal and doll, Blasis brings together the movement science of mechanics and the descriptive theory of grace (as mimesis) in a poetics of the arabesque, a synthesis of elevation and evanescence, which we see when we conjure up pictures of nineteenth century Romantic ballet. (shrink)
Exploring how people represent natural categories is a key step toward developing a better understanding of how people learn, form memories, and make decisions. Much research on categorization has focused on artificial categories that are created in the laboratory, since studying natural categories defined on high-dimensional stimuli such as images is methodologically challenging. Recent work has produced methods for identifying these representations from observed behavior, such as reverse correlation (RC). We compare RC against an alternative method for inferring the structure (...) of natural categories called Markov chain Monte Carlo with People (MCMCP). Based on an algorithm used in computer science and statistics, MCMCP provides a way to sample from the set of stimuli associated with a natural category. We apply MCMCP and RC to the problem of recovering natural categories that correspond to two kinds of facial affect (happy and sad) from realistic images of faces. Our results show that MCMCP requires fewer trials to obtain a higher quality estimate of people’s mental representations of these two categories. (shrink)
Carlo Rovelli's relational interpretation of quantum mechanics holds that a system's states or the values of its physical quantities as normally conceived only exist relative to a cut between a system and an observer or measuring instrument. Furthermore, on Rovelli's account, the appearance of determinate observations from pure quantum superpositions happens only relative to the interaction of the system and observer. Jeffrey Barrett () has pointed out that certain relational interpretations suffer from what we might call the ‘determinacy problem', (...) but Barrett misclassifies Rovelli's interpretation by lumping it in with Mermin's view, as Rovelli's view is quite different and has resources to escape the particular criticisms that Barrett makes of Mermin's view. Rovelli's interpretation still leaves us with a paradox having to do with the determinacy of measurement outcomes, which can be accepted only if we are willing to give up on certain elements of the ‘absolute’ view of the world. (shrink)
clusions are only probably correct. On the other hand, algorithmic information theory provides a precise mathematical definition of the notion of random or patternless sequence. In this paper we shall describe conditions under which if the sequence of coin tosses in the Solovay– Strassen and Miller–Rabin algorithms is replaced by a sequence of heads and tails that is of maximal algorithmic information content, i.e., has maximal algorithmic randomness, then one obtains an error-free test for primality. These results are only of (...) theoretical interest, since it is a manifestation of the G¨ odel incompleteness phenomenon that it is impossible to “certify” a sequence to be random by means of a proof, even though most sequences have this property. Thus by using certified random sequences one can in principle, but not in practice, convert probabilistic tests for primality into deterministic ones. (shrink)