Several philosophers claim that the greenhouse gas emissions from actions like a Sunday drive are so miniscule that they will make no difference whatsoever with regard to anthropogenic global climate change (AGCC) and its expected harms. This paper argues that this claim of individual causal inefficacy is false. First, if AGCC is not reducible at least in part to ordinary actions, then the cause would have to be a metaphysically odd emergent entity. Second, a plausible (dis-)utility calculation reveals that (...) such actions have a not-insignificant amount of expected harm. One upshot is that the near-exclusive focus in the literature on AGCC as a collective action problem is too restricted. The paper also provides several moral psychological explanations of why it is so difficult to comprehend individual responsibility with regard to global phenomena, including a reappraisal of Thomas Nagel’s view of the absurd. (shrink)
In the 1960s and 1970s, Hilary Putnam articulated a notion of relativized apriority that was motivated to address the problem of scientific change. This paper examines Putnam’s account in its historical context and in relation to contemporary views. I begin by locating Putnam’s analysis in the historical context of Quine’s rejection of apriority, presenting Putnam as a sympathetic commentator on Quine. Subsequently, I explicate Putnam’s positive account of apriority, focusing on his analysis of the history of physics and geometry. (...) In the remainder of the paper, I explore connections between Putnam’s account of relativized a priori principles and contemporary views. In particular, I situate Putnam’s account in relation to analyses advanced by Michael Friedman, David Stump, and William Wimsatt. From this comparison, I address issues concerning whether a priori scientific principles are appropriately characterized as “constitutive” or “entrenched”. I argue that these two features need to be clearly distinguished, and that only the constitutive function is essential to apriority. By way of conclusion, I explore the relationship between the constitutive function of a priori principles and entrenchment. (shrink)
In recent years the idea of geoengineering climate has begun to attract increasing attention. Although there was some discussion of manipulating regional climates throughout the l970s and l980s. the discussion was largely dormant. What has reawakened the conversation is the possibility that Earth may be undergoing a greenhouse-induced global wamring, and the paucity of serious measures that have been taken to Prevent it. ln this paper Iassess the ethical acceptability of ICC, based on my impressions of the conversation that is (...) now taking place. Rather than offering a dispassionate analysis, I argue for a point of view. I propose a set of conditions that must be satisfied for an ICC project to be morally permissible and conclude that these conditions are not now satisfied. However, research on ICC should go forward.. (shrink)
People often fail to detect large changes to scenes, provided that the changes occur during a visual disruption. This phenomenon, known as ''change blindness,'' occurs both in the laboratory and in real-world situations in which changes occur unexpectedly. The pervasiveness of the inability to detect changes is consistent with the theoretical notion that we internally represent relatively little information from our visual world from one glance at a scene to the next. However, evidence for change blindness does not (...) necessarily imply the absence of such a representation-people could also miss changes if they fail to compare an existing representation of the pre-change scene to the post-change scene. In three experiments, we show that people often do have a representation of some aspects of the pre-change scene even when they fail to report the change. And, in fact, they appear to ''discover'' this memory and can explicitly report details of a changed object in response to probing questions. The results of these real-world change detection studies are discussed in the context of broader claims about change blindness. (shrink)
Time, Change and Freedom is the first introduction to metaphysics that uses the idea of time as a unifying principle. Time is used to relate the many issues involved in the complex study of metaphysics. Sections of the book are written in dialogue form which allows the reader to question the theories while they read and have those queries answered in the text. In addition, the authors provide glossaries of key terms as well as recommendations for further reading at (...) the conclusion of each chapter. Quentin Smith and L. Nathan Oaklander examine the tensions between determinism and freedom, temporality and historical change as well as an array of other issues fundamental to introductory metaphysics. (shrink)
Although the stated purpose of Physics viii 8 is to prove that only circular locomotion is infinitely continuous, it is generally recognized that a major sub-theme of the chapter has to do with the unity of change and centers on Zeno’s dichotomy paradox. According to one influential account of this sub-theme, Aristotle returns to the dichotomy paradox in Physics viii 8, primarily to engage in a defensive maneuver. In Physics vi, while focused on the infinite divisibility of change (...) instead of its identity conditions, Aristotle left open the possibility that occurrences that are ‘one change’ could have infinitely many parts that are also ‘one change’.1 By Physics viii 8, however, Zeno has brought Aristotle to realize that if this possibility is admitted, then what one chooses to call ‘one change’ is to a large extent arbitrary. But this Aristotle cannot countenance, because his entire theory of change is built upon the concept of a change as a thing uniquely definable as the passage from a particular state to a particular state. In Physics viii 8, then, Aristotle seeks to avoid this result by ‘refining’ the definition of ‘one change’ so that ‘one change’ can no longer have parts that are also ‘one change’ and by invoking the metaphysical machinery of the act-potency distinction to give a positive characterization of the difference between change parts and change wholes.2 According to Michael White, Aristotle ‘refines’ his definition of ‘one change’ in Physics viii 8 by strengthening the criteria of Physics v 4; criteria, which, White is correct to point out, do nothing to prevent this result on their own.3 According to White, this ‘refinement’ consists in adding, to the criteria of Physics v 4 (i.e., the criteria that ‘one change’ must be in a continuous time, have a single subject throughout, and proceed throughout from a terminus of the same species to a contrary terminus of the same species), the additional condition that an occurrence that is ‘one change’ must be bracketed by periods of rest and contain no periods of rest.. (shrink)
Evidence from many different paradigms (e.g. change blindness, inattentional blindness, transsaccadic integration) indicate that observers are often very poor at reporting changes to their visual environment. Such evidence has been used to suggest that the spatio-temporal coherence needed to represent change can only occur in the presence of focused attention. In four experiments we use modified change blindness tasks to demonstrate (a) that sensitivity to change does occur in the absence of awareness, and (b) this sensitivity (...) does not rely on the redeploy- ment of attention. We discuss these results in relation to theories of scene percep- tion, and propose a reinterpretatio n of the role of attention in representing change. (shrink)
This paper offers a novel way of reconstructing conceptual change in empirical theories. Changes occur in terms of the structure of the dimensions—that is to say, the conceptual spaces—underlying the conceptual framework within which a given theory is formulated. Five types of changes are identified: (1) addition or deletion of special laws, (2) change in scale or metric, (3) change in the importance of dimensions, (4) change in the separability of dimensions, and (5) addition or deletion (...) of dimensions. Given this classification, the conceptual development of empirical theories becomes more gradual and rationalizable. Only the most extreme type—replacement of dimensions—comes close to a revolution. The five types are exemplified and applied in a case study on the development within physics from the original Newtonian mechanics to special relativity theory. (shrink)
A major theme of recent philosophy of science has been the rejection of the empiricist thesis that, with the exception of terms which play a purely formal role, the language of science derives its meaning from some, possibly quite indirect, correlation with experience. The alternative that has been proposed is that meaning is internal to each conceptual system, that terms derive their meaning from the role they play in a language, and that something akin to "meaning" flows from conceptual framework (...) to experience. Much contemporary debate on the nature of conceptual change is a direct outgrowth of this holistic view of concepts, and much of the inconclusiveness of that debate derives from the lack of any clear understanding of what a conceptual system is, or of how conceptual systems confer meaning on their terms. (shrink)
Two recurrent arguments levelled against the view that enduring objects survive change are examined within the framework of the B-theory of time: the argument from Leibniz's Law and the argument from Instantiation of Incompatible Properties. Both arguments are shown to be question-begging and hence unsuccessful.
The volume is a collection of essays devoted to the analysis of scientific change and stability. It explores the balance and tension that exist between commensurability and continuity on the one hand, and incommensurability and discontinuity on the other. Moreover, it discusses some central epistemological consequences regarding the nature of scientific progress, rationality and realism. In relation to these topics, it investigates a number of new avenues, and revisits some familiar issues, with a focus on the history and philosophy (...) of physics, and an emphasis on developments in cognitive sciences as well as on the claims of “new experimentalists”.The book constitutes fully revised versions of papers which were originally presented at the international colloquium held at the University of Nancy, France, in June 2004. Each paper is followed by a critical commentary. The conference was a striking example of the sort of genuine dialogue that can take place between philosophers of science, historians of science and scientists who come from different traditions and endorse opposing commitments. This is one of the attractions of the volume. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that Kierkegaard's theory of change is motivated by a robust notion of contingency. His view of contingency is sharply juxtaposed with a strong notion of absolute necessity. I show that how he understands these notions explains certain of his claims about causation. I end by suggesting a compatibilist interpretation of Kierkegaard's philosophy.
The basic problem of perceptual change is how to account for both variation and constancy in perceiving the world. Is order learned? How deep does plasticity go in that respect? I argue that different kinds of perceptual plasticity have been confused in recent debates, notably between J. Fodor and P. M. Churchland. By focusing on changes in the use of concepts, the issues in the Fodor-Churchland debate can be resolved. Beyond that debate, I propose a generalized encoding approach to (...) perception as a way of accounting for a significant form of perceptual change. (shrink)
Social change is a structural transformation of political, social and economic systems and institutions to create a more equitable and just society and it is a universal phenomenon and it occurs in every society. Technically said that social change refers to an alteration in the social order of a social group or society; a change in the nature, social institutions, social behaviours or social relations of a society. As we know Change is inevitable and it takes (...) place in all fields. The term “social change” is often used to describe variations in, or, modifications of any respect of social process, social patterns, social interaction or social organization. Great thinkers emerged from various societies induce social change in different times. (shrink)
How is hope to be found amid the ethical and political dilemmas of modern life? Writer and philosopher Mary Zournazi brought her questions to some of the most thoughtful intellectuals at work today. She discusses "joyful revolt" with Julia Kristeva, the idea of "the rest of the world" with Gayatri Spivak, the "art of living" with Michel Serres, the "carnival of the senses" with Michael Taussig, the relation of hope to passion and to politics with Chantal Mouffe and Ernesto Laclau. (...) A dozen stimulating minds weigh in with their visions of a better social and political order. The result is a collaboration - of writing, of thinking, and of politics - that demonstrates more clearly than any single-authored project could how ideas encountering one another can produce the vision needed for social change. (shrink)
Whenever a thing changes, however slightly, it becomes in some ways unlike what it was. But how it is possible for anything to be both like and unlike itself? The possibility of change is a typically philosophical puzzle to which naturalistic science has no answer. In this book, Pivcevic examines the conditions that make the idea of change intelligible--in particular the connection between the possibility of change and the existence of selves.
Behind the global climate change debate are views of divine sovereignty. Those who believe that God is in charge of everything believe there is no change in the climate, but those who believe that God's sovereignty entails that we are responsible for working with the divine are willing to admit there is global climate change.
I present a formal ontological theory where the basic building blocks of the world can be either things or events. In any case, the result is a Parmenidean worldview where change is not a global property. What we understand by change manifests as asymmetries in the pattern of the world-lines that constitute 4-dimensional existents. I maintain that such a view is in accord with current scientific knowledge.
This book is concerned with the role of economic philosophy ("ideas") in the processes of belief-formation and social change. Its aim is to further our understanding of the behavior of the individual economic agent by bringing to light and examining the function of non-rational dispositions and motivations ("passions") in the determination of the agent's beliefs and goals. Drawing on the work of David Hume and Adam Smith, the book spells out the particular ways in which the passions come to (...) affect our ordinary understanding and conduct in practical affairs and the intergenerational and interpersonal transmission of ideas through language. Concern with these problems, it is argued, lies at the heart of an important tradition in the British moral philosophy. This emphasis on the non-rational nature of our belief-fixation mechanisms has important implications: it helps to clarify and qualify the misleading claims often made by utilitarian, Marxist, Keynesian, and neo-liberal economic philosophers, all of whom stress the overriding power of ideas to shape conduct, policy, and institutions. (shrink)
State governments have done little or nothing about climate change, and individuals have done little or nothing about their own carbon footprints. Perhaps both parties would do something if the moral demand for action were clear. This paper presents two arguments for the necessity of meaningful state action on climate change. The arguments depend on certain clear facts about emissions as well as two uncontroversial moral principles — one owed to Peter Singer and the other connecting capacities with (...) the demand for action. Arguments are presented for individual action based on a similar set of facts and the consistent application of principles which apply in state cases. The arguments put consistency, not consequences, at the heart of the call for individual action. This is a strategy which might help individuals recognize their obligations to the environment. (shrink)
In The Excessive Subject: A New Theory of Social Change, Molly Anne Rothenberg uncovers an innovative theory of social change implicit in the writings of radical social theorists, such as Pierre Bourdieu, Michel de Certeau, Judith Butler, Ernesto Laclau, and Slavoj ?i?ek. Through case studies of these writers' work, Rothenberg illuminates how this new theory calls into question currently accepted views of social practices, subject formation, democratic interaction, hegemony, political solidarity, revolutionary acts, and the ethics of alterity. Finding (...) a common dissatisfaction with the dominant paradigms of social structures in the authors she discusses, Rothenberg goes on to show that each of these thinkers makes use of Lacan's investigations of the causality of subjectivity in an effort to find an alternative paradigm. Labeling this paradigm 'extimate causality', Rothenberg demonstrates how it produces a nondeterminacy, so that every subject bears some excess; paradoxically, this excess is what structures the social field itself. Whilst other theories of social change, subject formation, and political alliance invariably conceive of the elimination of this excess as necessary to their projects, the theory of extimate causality makes clear that it is ineradicable. To imagine otherwise is to be held hostage to a politics of fantasy. As she examines the importance as well as the limitations of theories that put extimate causality to work, Rothenberg reveals how the excess of the subject promises a new theory of social change. By bringing these prominent thinkers together for the first time in one volume, this landmark text will be sure to ignite debate among scholars in the field, as well as being an indispensable tool for students. (shrink)
We investigate the logical and conceptual connections between abductive reasoning construed as a process of belief change, on the one hand, and truth approximation, construed as increasing (estimated) verisimilitude, on the other. We introduce the notion of â(verisimilitude-guided) abductive belief changeâ and discuss under what conditions abductively changing our theories or beliefs does lead them closer to the truth, and hence tracks truth approximation conceived as the main aim of inquiry. The consequences of our analysis for some recent discussions (...) concerning belief revision aiming at truth approximation and inference to the best explanation are also highlighted. (shrink)
There is currently a gap between assessment and intervention in the literature concerned with climate change and food. While intervention is local and context dependent, current assessments are usually global and abstract. Available assessments are useful for understanding the scale of the effects of climate change and they are ideal for motivating arguments in favor of mitigation and adaptation. However, adaptation projects need assessments that can provide data to support their efforts. This requires the adoption of a more (...) local and context-sensitive approach to assessments. I suggest that Community-Based Participatory Research has the potential to be a tool for such an approach. (shrink)
This volume brings together a distinguished, international list of scholars to explore the role of the learner's intention in knowledge change. Traditional views of knowledge reconstruction placed the impetus for thought change outside the learner's control. The teacher, instructional methods, materials, and activities were identified as the seat of change. Recent perspectives on learning, however, suggest that the learner can play an active, indeed, intentional role in the process of knowledge restructuring. This volume explores this new, innovative (...) view of conceptual change learning using original contributions drawn from renowned scholars in a variety of disciplines. The volume is intended for scholars or advanced students studying knowledge acquisition and change, including educational psychology, developmental psychology, science education, cognitive science, learning science, instructional psychology, and instructional and curriculum studies. (shrink)
In Quodlibet XV q.13, Henry of Ghent considers whether the Virgin Mary was immaculately conceived. He argues that she was not, but rather possessed sin only at the first instant of her existence. Because Henry’s defense of this position involves an elaborate discussion of motion and mutation, his discussion marks an important contribution to medieval discussions of Aristotelian natural philosophy. In fact, a number of scholars have identified Henry’s discussion as the source of an unusual fourteenth-century theory of change (...) referred to as “quasi-Aristotelianism” (so-called because the account purports to be Aristotelian but is not). My aim in the paper is two-fold: first, to show that Henry's position is not quasi-Aristotelian in the sense that scholars have supposed; second, to show that, even so, his discussion in q. 13 does involve a novel interpretation of Aristotle’s account of instantaneous change. (shrink)
In this paper, we address the problem of truth approximation through theory change, asking whether revising our theories by newly acquired data leads us closer to the truth about a given domain. More particularly, we focus on “nomic conjunctive theories”, i.e., theories expressed as conjunctions of logically independent statements concerning the physical or, more generally, nomic possibilities and impossibilities of the domain under inquiry. We define both a comparative and a quantitative notion of the verisimilitude of such theories, and (...) identify suitable conditions concerning the (partial) correctness of acquired data, under which revising our theories by data leads us closer to “the nomic truth”, construed as the target of scientific inquiry. We conclude by indicating some further developments, generalizations, and open issues arising from our results. (shrink)
Occasions of Identity is an exploration of timeless philosophical issues about persistence, change, time, and sameness. Andre Gallois offers a critical survey of various rival views about the nature of identity and change, and puts forward his own original theory. He supports the idea of occasional identities, arguing that it is coherent and helpful to suppose that things can be identical at one time but distinct at another. Gallois defends this view, demonstrating how it can solve puzzles about (...) persistence dating back to the Ancient Greeks, and investigates the metaphysical consequences of rejecting the necessity and eternity of identities. (shrink)
We offer a critical analysis of the science and politics of global climate change from a feminist pragmatist perspective, with special attention to the interactions between science and policy. We find the current state of play in all three areas (science, policy, and the space of interaction between them) to be lacking. We attribute mutual responsibility for the current impasse in addressing the climate crisis. What is called for is an alternative framework for thinking about science and policy interactions, (...) which we sketch in general and in application to the increasingly serious problem of global climate change. (shrink)
The millennial vision quest -- Who are the changers? -- The great name debate -- How to read this book -- Magicians, manipulators, and muses -- The trouble with generalization -- History speaks -- The world of men and everyday affairs -- First things first -- Coming to your senses -- Hearing -- Smell -- Taste -- Sight -- Touch -- Emotion -- What to do with all of this information -- Activities -- Allies -- The importance of support -- (...) The ally relationship -- Who are the allies? -- Who allies are not! -- Ally-inviting conversations -- A note to you allies out there -- Strength : a warning label -- Ambivalence -- The trouble with change -- Safety first -- Building a net -- Walking against traffic -- Among other things -- Confidence and doubt -- A word about cultural ambivalence -- Structure and routine -- Morning, noon, and night -- Realistic routines -- Breaking it down -- When the heart is hurting -- When nothing seems to work -- The forest for the trees -- Living the daily life -- Stages of growth -- The stages of change -- Identifying your stage -- The stuff of myth and legend -- Haunted by the past -- The way-back-when time -- Rituals, ceremonies, and celebrations -- Setting goals -- Rules for successful goals -- Rewarding growth -- Inviting witnesses -- Obstacles to goals and growth -- Failure -- Boredom -- Giving away credit -- Reaffirming vows -- The final chapter. (shrink)
This work explores the conceptual and empirical issues of the concept of knowledge and its relation to the pattern of our belief change, from formal and experimental perspectives. Part I gives an analysis of knowledge (called Sustainability) that is formally represented and naturalistically plausible at the same time, which is claimed to be a synthesized view of knowledge, covering not only empirical knowledge, but also knowledge of future, practical knowledge, mathematical knowledge, knowledge of general facts. Part II tries to (...) formalize the natural pattern of belief change assumed in Sustainability in terms of a specific formal theory of belief change, after carefully examining the notions of belief, belief change, and Information, from which the cognitive function F in Chapter 3 is actually constructed, which is later implemented by a computer program and its behavior against random input is demonstrated. In Part III we proceed to examine the analysis empirically. In particular, we will investigate Sustainability from the developmental point of view. We first justify experimental approach in philosophy as a legitimate method of philosophical investigation, and then developmental approach in particular. The specific proposal of experiment here is what we call the Gettier Task, an analogue of the famous false-belief task in developmental psychology, which has been much discussed in philosophy of mind. Two versions of the Gettier Task were tested on children aged from 6 to 12, and we claim that the data obtained empirically supports our analysis of knowledge, or Sustainability. (shrink)
Following the spirit of Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project, this volume acts as a kaleidoscope of change in the 21st century, tracing its different reflections in the international contemporary while seeking to understand both individual and collective reactions and adjustments to change through a series of questions: Is there something significantly different about the way in which ‘change’ occurs in the 21st century?; Is change mainly reflected in the material and visual environment surrounding us or someplace else?; (...) What are the sensibilities through which we perceive change, and more importantly, have those sensibilities been increased or dulled by modern technology? (shrink)
According to the Ramsey Test, conditionals reflect changes of beliefs: α > β is accepted in a belief state iff β is accepted in the minimal revision of it that is necessary to accommodate α. Since Gärdenfors’s seminal paper of 1986, a series of impossibility theorems (“triviality theorems”) has seemed to show that the Ramsey test is not a viable analysis of conditionals if it is combined with AGM-type belief revision models. I argue that it is possible to endorse that (...) Ramsey test for conditionals while staying true to the spirit of AGM. A main focus lies on AGM’s condition of Preservation according to which the original belief set should be fully retained after a revision by information that is consistent with it. I use concrete representations of belief states and (iterated) revisions of belief states as semantic models for (nested) conditionals. Among the four most natural qualitative models for iterated belief change, two are identified that indeed allow us to combine the Ramsey test with Preservation in the language containing only flat conditionals of the form α > β. It is shown, however, that Preservation for this simple language enforces a violation of Preservation for nested conditionals of the form α > (β > γ). In such languages, no two belief sets are ordered by strict subset inclusion. I argue that it has been wrong right from the start to expect that Preservation holds in languages containing nested conditionals. (shrink)
Perceptual illusions have often served as an important tool in the study of perceptual experience. In this paper I argue that a recently discovered set of visual illusions sheds new light on the nature of time consciousness. I suggest the study of these silencing illusions as a tool kit for any philosopher interested in the experience of time and show how to better understand time consciousness by combining detailed empirical investigations with a detailed philosophical analysis. In addition, and more speciﬁcally, (...) I argue against an initially plausible range of views that assume a close match between the temporal content of visual experience and the temporal layout of experience itself. Against such a widely held structural matching thesis I argue that which temporal changes we are experiencing bears no close relation to how our experience itself is changing over time. Explanations of the silencing illusions that are compatible with the structural matching thesis fail. (shrink)
Introduction and acknowledgments -- What is happening to us? and why? -- So much information is changing how we think -- Communication, entertainment, and over-stimulation -- Work : how it changes and how it changes us -- New behaviors and changes in manners -- Faster and faster time -- Families, women, and sex -- Making sense of contradictory social trends -- Conclusion.
Does humanity have a moral obligation toward the estimated millions of individuals who will be displaced from their homes over the course of this century primarily due to sea-level rise as the Earth’s climate warms? If there are indeed sound reasons for the world to act on their behalf, what form should these actions take? -/- This paper argues that migration and permanent resettlement would be the only possible “adaptation” strategy available to millions. While existing international law provides no solution (...) for these individuals, the only just remedy is in the form of special rights of free global movement and resettlement in regions and countries on higher ground in advance of disaster. (shrink)
The emergence of queer theory represents a huge leap in our understanding of lesbian and gay peoples. It embodies a context for treating these people as worthy of consideration in their own rights and not as an appendage to general cultural theory. Max Kirsch argues that the current development of this area is in danger of repeating past mistakes in the construction of analyses, and ultimately, social movements. In this way, the book presents an alternative to the current fascination with (...) the abstract categories of identity, culture and difference, and emphasizes the need for a discussion of the importance of communities and role of globalization on queer movements. (shrink)
In cognitive science, the dynamical systems theory (DST) has recently been advocated as an approach to cognitive modeling that is better suited to the dynamics of cognitive processes than the symbolic/computational approaches are. Often, the differences between DST and the symbolic/computational approach are emphasized. However, alternatively their commonalities can be analyzed and a unifying framework can be sought. In this paper, the possibility of such a unifying perspective on dynamics is analyzed. The analysis covers dynamics in cognitive disciplines, as well (...) as in physics, mathematics and computer science. The unifying perspective warrants the development of integrated approaches covering both DST aspects and symbolic/computational aspects. The concept of a state-determined system, which is based on the assumption that properties of a given state fully determine the properties of future states, lies at the heart of DST. Taking this assumption as a premise, the explanatory problem of dynamics is analyzed in more detail. The analysis of four cases within different disciplines (cognitive science, physics, mathematics, computer science) shows how in history this perspective led to numerous often used concepts within them. In cognitive science, the concepts desire and intention were introduced, and in classical mechanics the concepts momentum, energy and force. Similarly, in mathematics a number of concepts have been developed to formalize the state-determined system assumption [e.g. derivatives (of different orders) of a function, Taylor approximations]. Furthermore, transition systems - a currently popular format for specification of dynamical systems within computer science - can also be interpreted from this perspective. One of the main contributions of the paper is that the case studies provide a unified view on the explanation of dynamics across the chosen disciplines. All approaches to dynamics analyzed in this paper share the state-determined system assumption and the (explicit or implicit) use of anticipatory state properties. Within cognitive science, realism is one of the problems identified for the symbolic/computational approach - i.e. how do internal states described by symbols relate to the real world in a natural manner. As DST is proposed as an alternative to the symbolic/computational approach, a natural question is whether, for DST, realism of the states can be better guaranteed. As a second main contribution, the paper provides an evaluation of DST compared to the symbolic/computational approach, which shows that, in this respect (i.e. for the realism problem), DST does not provide a better solution than the other approaches. This shows that DST and the symbolic/computational approach not only have the state-determined system assumption and the use of anticipatory state properties in common, but also the realism problem. (shrink)
Is drastic action against global warming essential to avoid impoverishing our descendants? Or does it mean robbing the poor to give to the rich? We do not yet know. Yet most of us can agree on the importance of minimising expected deprivation. Because of the vast number of future generations, if there is any significant risk of catastrophe, this implies drastic and expensive carbon abatement unless we discount the future. I argue that we should not discount. Instead, the rich countries (...) should stump up the funds to support abatement both for themselves and the poor states of the world. Yet to ask the present generation to assume all the costs of drastic mitigation.is unfair.Worse still, it is politically unrealistic.We can square the circle by shifting part of the burden to our descendants. Even if we divert investment from other parts of the economy or increase public debt, future people should be richer, so long as we avert catastrophe. If so, it is fair for them to assume much of the cost of abatement.What we must not do is to expose them to the threat of disaster by not doing enough. (shrink)
This study examined the performance and future predictions for the Middle East produced by 18 global climate models participating in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report. Under the Special Report on Emission Scenarios A2 emissions scenario the models predict an overall temperature increase of ~1.4 K by mid-century, increasing to almost 4 K by late-century for the Middle East. In terms of precipitation the southernmost portion of the domain experiences a small increase in precipitation due to (...) the Northward movement of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone. The largest change however is a decrease in precipitation that occurs in an area covering the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey, Syria, Northern Iraq, Northeastern Iran and the Caucasus caused by a decrease in storm track activity over the Eastern Mediterranean. Other changes likely to impact the region include a decrease of over 170,000 km 2 in viable rainfed agriculture land by late-century, increases in the length of the dry season that reduces the length of time that the rangelands can be grazed, and changes in the timing of the maximum precipitation in Northern Iran that will impact the growing season, forcing changes in cropping strategy or even crop types. (shrink)
Distinguished researchers from across the globe assess, in a rare example of successful cross-disciplinary engagement, the explanatory power of chaos theory, new evolutionary theory, path dependency, neo-institutional economics, multiple modernities and historical institutionalism. The book provides an exciting panorama of state of the art thinking and new avenues to combining the power of various traditions of thought.
Part 1. Introduction -- Introduction: Navigating the Perfect Moral Storm in Light of a Thirty-Five Year Debate -- Thirty-Five Year Climate Change Policy Debate -- Part 2. Priority Ethical Issues -- Ethical Problems with Cost Arguments -- Ethics and Scientific Uncertainty Arguments -- Atmospheric Targets -- Allocating National Emissions Targets -- Climate Change Damages and Adaptation Costs -- Obligations of Sub-national Governments, Organizations, Businesses, and Individuals -- Independent Responsibility to Act -- Part 3. The Crucial Role of Ethics (...) in Climate Change Policy Making -- Why Has Ethics Failed to Achieve Traction? -- Conclusion: Navigating the Perfect Moral Storm. (shrink)
Globalization -- Globalization and the environment -- Climate change and the crisis of philosophy -- Social conscience and global market -- Categories, environmental indicators, and the enlightenment market -- Environmentalism -- Pessimistic realism and optimistic total management -- Population statistics and modern governmentality -- Pragmatism -- Technological enframing -- Heidegger, the origin and the finitude of civilization -- Technology and the kultur of late modernity -- Embodied subjectivity and the critique of modernity.
Can we directly experience change? Although some philosophers have denied it, the phenomenological evidence is unambiguous: we can, and do. But how is this possible? What structures or features of consciousness render such experience possible? A variety of very different answers to this question have been proposed, answers which have very different implications for the nature of consciousness itself. In this brief survey no attempt is made to engage with the often complex (and sometimes obscure) literature on this topic. (...) Instead, a largely schematic examination of the main options is conducted, with a view to determining the most promising avenues for further investigation. (shrink)
In this paper I make the following claims. In order to see anthropogenic climate change as clearly involving moral wrongs and global injustices, we will have to revise some central concepts in these domains. Moreover, climate change threatens another value (“respect for nature”) that cannot easily be taken up by concerns of global justice or moral responsibility.
This paper examines explore the issues of intergenerational equity raised by climate change. A number of different reasons have been suggested as to why current generations may legitimately favor devoting resources to contemporaries rather than to future generations. These - either individually or jointly - challenge the case for combating climate change. In this paper, I distinguish between three different kinds of reason for favoring contemporaries. I argue that none of these arguments is persuasive. My answer in each (...) case appeals to the concept of human rights. It maintains that a human rights-centered perspective to climate change enables us to address each of these reasons. (shrink)
It is widely accepted by the scientific community and beyond that human beings are primarily responsible for climate change and that climate change has brought with it a number of real problems. These problems include, but are not limited to, greater threats to coastal communities, greater risk of famine, and greater risk that tropical diseases may spread to new territory. In keeping with J. S. Mill's 'Harm Principle', green political theorists often respond that if we are contributing a (...) harm to others in contributing to climate change and its negative effects, we then have a negative duty to assist those we have harmed and to reduce our carbon emissions. In this paper, I will take seriously negative duties stemming from a contribution to climate change and demonstrate that our negative duties do not demand that we necessarily end our contribution to climate change if we were able to compensate those who may be affected by climate change. Thus, the conclusion of many green political theorists - that we must reduce our carbon emissions - does not necessarily follow from the view that humans are primarily responsible for climate change and its attended ill effects. (shrink)
The problem of change plays a central role in the metaphysics of time and material objects, and whoever does best in solving this problem has a leg up when it comes to choosing a metaphysics of time and material objects. But whether this central role of the problem of change in metaphysics is legitimate is not at all clear. This is so in part since it is not clear what the problem of change is, and why it (...) is a problem in metaphysics. We will investigate what metaphysical problem the problem of change might be, and how it relates to various other problems related to change that are studied in the empirical sciences. The problem of change can thus be a case study of what makes a problem a metaphysical one and how metaphysics relates to other parts of inquiry. We conclude that the central role the problem of change is given in the contemporary metaphysics of time is not justified. (shrink)
Normally, when we notice a change taking place, our conscious experience has a corresponding quality of phenomenal change . Here it is argued that one’s experience can have this quality at or during a time when there is no change in which phenomenal properties one instantiates. This undermines a number of otherwise forceful arguments against leading metaphysical theories of change, but also requires these theories to construe change as a secondary quality, akin to color.
The present education does riot yield required results mainly because it is divorced from the real social content and social goals. We as the citizens of the republic are constitutionally committed to democracy, social justice, equality of opportunity, secularism and above all to a welfare state. Educational policy and educational programmes should not merely equip an individual to adjust with society to its customs and conventions, but it should enable him to bring desirable changes in the society. Every educational institute (...) from secondary school to University College should be developed to become an agency of change, it is the dream of Dr. B.R .Ambedkar. (shrink)
Over the past few years, a number of authors in the new field of neuroethics have claimed that there is an ethical challenge presented by the likelihood that the findings of neuroscience will undermine many common assumptions about human agency and selfhood. These authors claim that neuroscience shows that human agents have no free will, and that our sense of being a “self” is an illusory construction of our brains. Furthermore, some commentators predict that our ethical practices of assigning moral (...) blame, or of recognizing others as persons rather than as objects, will change as a result of neuroscientific discoveries that debunk free will and the concept of the self. I contest suggestions that neuroscience’s conclusions about the illusory nature of free will and the self will cause significant change in our practices. I argue that we have self-interested reasons to resist allowing neuroscience to determine core beliefs about ourselves. (shrink)
The theory of concepts advanced in the present discussion aims at accounting for a) how a concept makes successful practice possible, and b) how a scientific concept can be subject to rational change in the course of history. To this end, I suggest that each scientific concept consists of three components of content: 1) the concept.