The author proposes to add another dichotomy to the list of essential tensions proposed by Professor Duda, namely beauty and ugliness. Physicists believe that only beautiful theories describe the world correctly, and that General Relativity is one of the most beautiful physical theories. The author explains why physicists regard this theory as beautiful.
This research examines the extent to which similarities and differences exist in the codes of professional conduct of certified (chartered) accountants across the following countries: the United States, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Ontario (Canada), Australia, India, and Hong Kong. These eight countries exemplify some of the diversity in economic, political, legal, and cultural environments in which public accountants practice. The professional codes of ethics establish the ethical boundary parameters within which professional accountants must operate and they are a function of (...) these environments.The results of the study reveal that commonalities exist on some ethical rules indicating that some rules are indeed "culture free". Cross-country variations, however, exist as to the specificity and elaborateness of the rules. Such variations can be attributed to cultural and legal differences, as well as the length of time each professional organization has been in existence. An understanding of the similarities and differences in the codes is important to individuals who may work in these countries. Professional accountants involved in international business must understand the implications of the decisions they make in light of the ethical codes and moral values of their counterparts in foreign countries. After a discussion of the similarities and differences in the codes, the implications of these comparisons for accounting practice are discussed. (shrink)
Davis argues that Suppe's semantic conception provides a better understanding of the problem of theory?data confrontations. Applying his semantic methodology to the LSE (London School of Economics) approach of econometrics, he concludes that the LSE approach fails to address the issue of bridging the theory?data gap. This paper suggests two other versions of the semantic view of theories in the philosophy of science, due to Suppes and van Fraassen, and argues that the LSE approach can be construed under these two (...) versions of the semantic view in terms of structure and representation. (shrink)
It is claimed in the structural realism in philosophy of science that scientists aim to preserve the true structure, represented by the equations in their models. We reinterpret structural realism as a doctrine involving representation. Proving the existence of a representation theorem secures the problem of lacking independent criteria for identification between structure and non?structure. This paper argues that a similar realist view of structure can be found in the theory of consumption in which the Fisherian framework of intertemporal choices (...) is regarded as the true structure of the consumption function. Unlike the passive strategy of inducing the structure contained in structural realism, economists define structure in terms of invariance under intervention. Such a definition serves as a crucial device to examine and develop models for the adequacy of representing the structure of the consumption functions. JEL Classification: B22, B41, C50, E21. (shrink)
In ancient Chinese thoughts, de is a comparatively complicated idea. Most of the researchers translated it directly into “virtue”, but this translation is not accurate for our understanding of the idea of “de” in pre-Qin times. Generally speaking, in Pre-Qin times, the idea of “de” underwent three developmental periods. The first is the de of Heaven, the de of ancestors; the second the de of system; and the third the de of spirit and moral conducts. In a long period of (...) history, the idea of “de” never cast off the influence of tian Dao (the way of Heaven). It was in Western Zhou Dynasty that the idea of “de” shook off the dense fog of the mandate of Heaven. However, it was the thinkers in Spring and Autumn Period and Warring States who made contributions to bring it deep into people’s mind. The ancient Chinese thoughts were mainly concerned with people’s recognition and development of their own abilities, with people’s seeking harmony and balance between human-beings and nature, and with people’s seeking harmonious and balanced human relations. The development of the idea of “de” played a very important role in this context. (shrink)
The reply by Cook and comment by Chao demonstrate Kuhn's thesis that different scientists place different values on different components of their common discipline. This fact is demonstrated by first succinctly summarizing Cook's and my original points within the framework of a simple choice model. I then respond to Cook and Chao. I close by offering some suggestions on how the Textbook/LSE debate could be moved forward.
Can we conceive of disorder in a positive sense? We organize our desks, we discipline our children, we govern our polities--all with the aim of reducing disorder, of temporarily reversing the entropy that inevitably asserts itself in our lives. Going all the way back to Hesiod, we see chaos as a cosmogonic state of utter confusion inevitably reigned in by laws of regularity, in a transition from fearful unpredictability to calm stability. In contrast to a similar early Chinese notion of (...) chaotic disorder (luan), early Daoists posit a type of chaos that is to be cultivated rather than feared. This chaos is a primal disorder, akin to Hesiod's, but rather than threatening disruption, it is replete with creative potential and through spontaneous action yields orderly processes that proceed from the concretion of things to their dissolution and back, in a complex web of relations. This processional activity, although taken in one sense as cosmogonic, in a more important sense is immanent at every moment of activity. This article identifies terms of chaos, such as dun dun 沌 沌, hundun 渾 沌, and xingming 涬 溟 in Laozi and Zhuangzi and examines the passages in which they occur. Analyzing these passages brings us to a better understanding of "chaos" in a Chinese sense and to a familiarity with related terms in its semantic field, such as xuan 玄 (dark, mysterious), miao 妙 (subtle/profound), wei 微 (minute/inchoate), xiao 小 (small/minute), and pu 樸 (uncarved block). We see that the Daoist ideal is to return to a chaotic inchoateness by melding with the cosmos and there finding a repository of creative potential. This notion of chaos as the inchoate is used a springboard into understanding the origins of Daoist spontaneity. (shrink)
This paper explores the possibility that chaos theory might be helpful in explaining free will. I will argue that chaos has little to offer if we construe its role as to resolve the apparent conflict between determinism and freedom. However, I contend that the fundamental problem of freedom is to find a way to preserve intuitions about rational action in a physical brain. New work on dynamic computation provides a framework for viewing free choice as a process that is sensitive (...) and unpredictable, while at the same time organized and intelligent. I conclude that this vision of a chaotic brain may make a modest contribution to an intuitively acceptable physicalist account of free will. (shrink)
A recent noninterventionist account of divine agency has been proposed that marries the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics to the instability of chaos theory. On this account, God is able to bring about observable effects in the macroscopic world by determining the outcome quantum events. When this determination occurs in the presence of chaos, the ability to influence large systems is multiplied. This paper argues that although the proposal is highly intuitive, current research in dynamics shows that it is far (...) less plausible than previously thought. Chaos coupled to quantum mechanics proves to be a shaky foundation for models of divine agency. (shrink)
In his recent book, Explaining Chaos, Peter Smith presents a new problem in the foundations of chaos theory. Specifically, he argues that the standard ways of justifying idealizations in mathematical models fail when it comes to the infinite intricacy found in strange attractors. I argue that Smith's analysis undermines much of the explanatory power of chaos theory. A better approach is developed by drawing analogies from the models found in continuum mechanics.
An examination of oracles in popular forms of Cuban espiritismo invites a rethinking of the role of “randomness” and “context” in the anthropology of divination. Through an analysis of the ways by which spirit mediums develop as persons, and their implications for the mechanics of divination, I argue that among espiritistas the meaning of particular configurations cannot be separated from the event that brings them about. Relatively simple in their properties (e.g. water), spiritist oracles function to provide impulse to a (...) perceived metaphysical universe that requires the generation of movement in order to achieve instantiation. The argument is that this movement provides a background of chaos essential to the purpose of divination. To demonstrate this, I forward an analogy to the language of electronic voice phenomena in parapsychology, in particular with its concept of “noise.” In both EVP and espiritismo, “noise” is the substance that allows spirits to communicate. (shrink)
By focusing on three different yet correlated disciplines in China in which the Sebeok’s Chinese connection has been found, this article elaborates on his personal contact with the Chinese semiotic community and extant constructive academic responses from Chinese semioticians. It provides a detailed description of the reasons for the uniqueness of Sebeok’s Chinese connection and proceeds to demonstrate the three major Chinese figures that used to know Sebeok and the interactions between them. Against the common belief that influence of Sebeok (...) the semiotician, rather than Sebeok the convener, is quite minimal in China, I have proven that he did have a direct impact upon the Chinese semiotic literati, which is evident not only in the form of the work exclusively on Sebeok the person but also in the form of the writings in recognition of both his contributions to semiotics as a global cause and his status as the mid-wife of contemporary semiotics. As a projection into the future, I put forward a vision in which Sebeok’s work and achievements should be duly appreciated in their full extent by the new Eastern stronghold of semiotics. (shrink)
This paper considers definitions of classical dynamical chaos that focus primarily on notions of predictability and computability, sometimes called algorithmic complexity definitions of chaos. I argue that accounts of this type are seriously flawed. They focus on a likely consequence of chaos, namely, randomness in behavior which gets characterized in terms of the unpredictability or uncomputability of final given initial states. In doing so, however, they can overlook the definitive feature of dynamical chaos--the fact that the underlying motion generating the (...) behavior exhibits extreme trajectory instability. I formulate a simple criterion of adequacy for any definition of chaos and show how such accounts fail to satisfy it. (shrink)
Behaviors of chaotic systems are unpredictable. Chaotic systems are deterministic, their evolutions being governed by dynamical equations. Are the two statements contradictory? They are not, because the theory of chaos encompasses two levels of description. On a higher level, unpredictability appears as an emergent property of systems that are predictable on a lower level. In this talk, we examine the structure of dynamical theories to see how they employ multiple descriptive levels to explain chaos, bifurcation, and other complexities of nonlinear (...) systems.. (shrink)
From the beginning of chaos research until today, the unpredictability of chaos has been a central theme. It is widely believed and claimed by philosophers, mathematicians and physicists alike that chaos has a new implication for unpredictability, meaning that chaotic systems are unpredictable in a way that other deterministic systems are not. Hence, one might expect that the question ‘What are the new implications of chaos for unpredictability?’ has already been answered in a satisfactory way. However, this is not the (...) case. I will critically evaluate the existing answers and argue that they do not fit the bill. Then I will approach this question by showing that chaos can be defined via mixing, which has never before been explicitly argued for. Based on this insight, I will propose that the sought-after new implication of chaos for unpredictability is the following: for predicting any event, all sufficiently past events are approximately probabilistically irrelevant. (shrink)
This paper aims at a logico-mathematical analysis of the concept of chaos from the point of view of a constructivist philosophy of physics. The idea of an internal logic of chaos theory is meant as an alternative to a realist conception of chaos. A brief historical overview of the theory of dynamical systems is provided in order to situate the philosophical problem in the context of probability theory. A finitary probabilistic account of chaos amounts to the theory of measurement in (...) the line of a quantum-theoretical foundational perspective and the paper concludes on the non-classical internal logic of chaos theory. Finally, deterministic chaos points to a philosophy which asserts that chaotic systems are no less measurable than other physical systems where predictable and non–predictable phenomena intermingle in a constructive theory of measurement. (shrink)
Given that the mind is the brain, as materialists insist, those who would understand the mind must understand the brain. Assuming that arrays of neural firing frequencies are highly salient aspects of brain information processing (the vector functional account), four hurdles to an understanding of the brain are identified and inspected: indeterminacy, micro-specificity, chaos, and openness.
Summary: Contemporary writers often claim that chaos theory explains the thermodynamic arrow of time. This paper argues that such claims are mistaken, on two levels. First, they underestimate the difficulty of extracting asymmetric conclusions from symmetric theories. More important, however, they misunderstand the nature of the puzzle about the temporal asymmetry of thermodynamics, and simply address the wrong issue. Both of these are old mistakes, but mistakes which are poorly recognised, even today. This paper aims to lay bare the mistakes (...) in their classical (pre-chaos theory) manifestations, in order to make it clear that chaos theory cannot possibly do better. (shrink)
EEG evidence supports the view that each cerebral hemisphere maintains a scale-free network that generates and maintains a global state of chaos. By its own evolution, and under environmental impacts, this hemispheric chaos can rise to heights that may either escape containment and engender incontinent action or be constrained by predictive control and yield creative action of great power and beauty.
Behaviors of chaotic systems are unpredictable. Chaotic systems are deterministic, their evolutions being governed by dynamical equations. Are the two statements contradictory? They are not, because the theory of chaos encompasses two levels of description. On a higher level, unpredictability appears as an emergent property of systems that are predictable on a lower level. In this talk, we examine the structure of dynamical theories to see how they employ multiple descriptive levels to explain chaos, bifurcation, and other complexities of nonlinear (...) systems. (shrink)
This paper explores a line of argument against the classical paradigm in cognitive science that is based upon properties of non-linear dynamical systems, especially in their chaotic and near-chaotic behavior. Systems of this kind are capable of generating information-rich macro behavior that could be useful to cognition. I argue that a brain operating at the edge of chaos could generate high-complexity cognition in this way. If this hypothesis is correct, then the symbolic processing methodology in cognitive science faces serious obstacles. (...) A symbolic description of the mind will be extremely difficult, and even if it is achieved to some approximation, there will still be reasons for rejecting the hypothesis that the brain is in fact a symbolic processor. (shrink)
The notion of (deterministic) chaos is frequently used in an increasing number of scientific (as well as non-scientific) contexts, ranging from mathematics and the physics of dynamical systems to all sorts of complicated time evolutions, e.g., in chemistry, biology, physiology, economy, sociology, and even psychology. Despite (or just because of) these widespread applications, however, there seem to fluctuate around several misunderstandings about the actual impact of deterministic chaos on several problems of philosophical interest, e.g., on matters of prediction and computability, (...) and determinism and the free will. In order to clarify these points a survey of the meaning variance of the concept(s) of deterministic chaos, or the various contexts in which it is applied, is given, and its actual epistemological implications are extracted. In summary, it turns out that the various concepts of deterministic chaos do not constitute a “new science”, or a “revolutionary” change of the “scientific world picture”. Instead, chaos research provides a sort of toolbox of methods which are certainly useful for a more detailed analysis and understanding of such dynamical systems which are, roughly speaking, endowed with the property of exponential sensitivity on initial conditions. Such a property, then, implies merely one, but quantitatively strong type of limitation of long-time computability and predictability, respectively. (shrink)
Chaos is often explained in terms of random behaviour; and having positive Kolmogorov–Sinai entropy (KSE) is taken to be indicative of randomness. Although seemly plausible, the association of positive KSE with random behaviour needs justification since the definition of the KSE does not make reference to any notion that is connected to randomness. A common way of justifying this use of the KSE is to draw parallels between the KSE and ShannonÕs information theoretic entropy. However, as it stands this no (...) more than a heuristic point, because no rigorous connection between the KSE and ShannonÕs entropy has been established yet. This paper fills this gap by proving that the KSE of a Hamiltonian dynamical system is equivalent to a generalized version of ShannonÕs information theoretic entropy under certain plausible assumptions. Ó 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. (shrink)
The scientific study of chaotic dynamics, popularly known as chaos theory, has been described by several writers as a revolution in the sense of Kuhn. I provide a definition of chaos theory and offer a brief description of this field of research. I then take up the question of whether or not chaos theory should be described as "revolutionary," in light of the fact that no well-developed science of nonlinear dynamics preceded it. In some respects, chaos theory may be fruitfully (...) described as an "immature science," and the semantic view of theories helps to bring out some of its important features. Many aspects of this emerging field make it most appropriate to consider it a new style of scientific reasoning, analogous to statistical thinking as interpreted by Ian Hacking. (shrink)
Some problems rarely discussed in traditional philosophy of science are mentioned: The empirical sciences using mathematico-quantitative theoretical models are frequently confronted with several types of computational problems posing primarily methodological limitations on explanatory and prognostic matters. Such limitations may arise from the appearances of deterministic chaos and (too) high computational complexity in general. In many cases, however, scientists circumvent such limitations by utilizing reductional approximations or complexity reductions for intractable problem formulations, thus constructing new models which are computationally tractable. (...) Such activities are compared with reduction types (more) established in philosophy of science. (shrink)
The ubiquity of chaos in classical mechanics (CM), as opposed to the situation in standard quantum mechanics (QM), might be taken as speaking against QM being the fundamental theory of physical phenomena. Bohmian mechanics (BM), as a formulation of quantum theory, may clarify both the existence of chaos in the quantum domain and the nature of the classical limit. Two interesting possibilities are (i) that CM and classical chaos are included in and underwritten by quantum mechanics (BM) or (ii) that (...) BM and CM simply possess a common region of (noninclusive) overlap. In the latter case, neither CM nor QM alone would be sufficient, even in principle, to account for all of the physical phenomena we encounter. In this talk I shall summarize and discuss the implications of some recent work on chaos and on the classical limit within the framework of BM. (shrink)