An -ever free relative is felicitous only when the speaker doesn’t know, or doesn’t care about, the identity of the entity denoted. In this paper we investigate what it means to identify an entity by examining the non-identification condition on -ever free relatives. Following Dayal (In A. Lawson (Ed.), Proceedings of SALT VII, 1997 ), we analyze -ever free relatives as definites with a modal dimension. We show that the variation in the identity of the entity across the possible worlds (...) in the modal dimension cannot be captured in a model where transworld identity is expressed using a single trivial principle of identity, and present an analysis within a model where transworld identity is relativized to noun meanings, which has been proposed in the philosophical literature for other reasons (Geach 1968 ; Gupta, The logic of common nouns: an investigation in quantified modal logic, 1980 ). The analysis thus shows that natural language semantics is sensitive to relative identity in the sense of Geach and Gupta; furthermore, it sets the stage for a new typology of referring expressions based on which expression types contribute principles of transworld identity. (shrink)
The notion of common ground is important for the production of referring expressions: In order for a referring expression to be felicitous, it has to be based on shared information. But determining what information is shared and what information is privileged may require gathering information from multiple sources, and constantly coordinating and updating them, which might be computationally too intensive to affect the earliest moments of production. Previous work has found that speakers produce overinformative referring expressions, which include privileged names, (...) violating Grice’s Maxims, and concluded that this is because they do not mark the distinction between shared and privileged information. We demonstrate that speakers are in fact quite effective in marking this distinction in the form of their utterances. Nonetheless, under certain circumstances, speakers choose to overspecify privileged names. (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 provocative new book attempts to resolve traditional problems of identity over time. It seeks to answer such questions as "How is it that an object can survive change?" and "How much change can an object undergo without being destroyed?" To answer these questions Professor Heller presents a completely new theory about the nature of physical objects and about the relationship between our language and the physical world. According to his theory, the only actually existing physical entities are what (...) the author calls "hunks," four dimensional objects extending across time and space. This is a major new contribution to ontological debate and will be essential reading for all philosophers concerned with metaphysics. (shrink)
In this book, one of the most distinguished scholars of German culture collects his essays on a figure who has long been one of his chief preoccupations. Erich Heller's lifelong study of modern European literature necessarily returns again and again to Friedrich Nietzsche. Nietzsche prided himself on having broken with all traditional ways of thinking and feeling, and once even claimed that he would someday be recognized for having ushered in a new millennium. While acknowledging Nietzsche's radicalism, Heller (...) also insists on the continuity of the story in which he does indeed occupy a central place. By considering Nietzsche in relation to Goethe, Rilke, Wittgenstein, Yeats, and others, Heller shows the philosopher's ambivalence toward the tradition he inherited as well as his profound effect on the thought and sensibility of those who followed him. It is hardly an exaggeration to say, as Heller does in his first essay, that Nietzsche is to many modern writers and thinkers--including Mann, Musil, Kafka, Freud, Heidegger, Jaspers, Gide, and Sartre--what St. Thomas Aquinas was to Dante: the categorical interpreter of a world, which they contemplate imaginatively and theoretically without ever much upsetting its Nietzschean structure. Thus it is Nietzsche's thought, so pervasively present in the themes of modernity, that gives coherence and unity to Heller's essays. What emerges from them is that, despite his iconoclastic declarations and unorthodox philosophical practices, Nietzsche deals with the human spirit's persistent concerns. His questions remain urgent, and even the answers, in all their contradictoriness, possess the commanding force of his inquiry. An example is the incompatibility of the famous extremes, the teaching of the U;bermensch and the Eternal Recurrence of All Things. These cancel each other out and yet grow from the same intellectual and spiritual roots, as is shown lucidly and cogently by one of Heller's most forceful essays, "Nietzsche's Terrors: Time and the Inarticulate." In fathoming the depth of this contradiction, Heller at the same time reveals the importance of Nietzsche for those who seek to understand the wellsprings of the epoch's disquiet, turmoil, and creativity. (shrink)
The Donkey Problem (as I am calling it) concerns the relationship between more and less fundamental ontologies. I will claim that the moral to draw from the Donkey Problem is that the less fundamental objects are merely conventional. This conventionalism has consequences for the 3D/4D debate. Four-dimensionalism is motivated by a desire to avoid coinciding objects, but once we accept that the non-fundamental ontology is conventional there is no longer any reason to reject coincidence. I therefore encourage 4Dists to become (...) even more radical—embrace the Donkey Problem’s conventionalism and deflate the debate between 3Dists and 4Dists. (shrink)
While Shakespeare's historical and political imagination mainly centres on the traditional character of the stranger or exile, The Merchant of Venice and Othello stand out as dramas about a new figure, the absolute stranger. The absolute stranger belongs to a new situation Shakespeare found in cosmopolitan Venice. Through Shylock and Othello, Shakespeare encounters the drama of the outsider's failed assimilation into cosmopolitan life. For Shakespeare, the figure of the absolute stranger is a representative illusion, and these two plays are dramas (...) about the modern world. (shrink)
In this essay I want to show that while the concept of autonomy can hardly make a meaningful contribution to the understanding of contemporary artworks, the concept of the dignity of artwork can make such a contribution.
The author focuses on the tension "realism - idealism" in the philosophy of mathematics, but he does that from the perspective of a theoretical physicist. It is not only that one's standpoint in the philosophy of mathematics determines our understanding of the effectiveness of mathematics in physics, but also the fact that mathematics is so effective in physical sciences tells us something about the nature of mathematics.
The author discusses two questions, the relation between liberalism and democracy, and the relation between ethics, morality and law. As to the first question, she argues that neither liberalism nor democracy are merely formal. Roughly spoken, it can be said that liberalism stands for negative liberties, whereas democracy stands for positive ones. She observes a non-contingent tension between the ethos of liberalism (personal freedom) and the ethos of democracy (equality; majority rule). It is the task of morality to maintain and (...) restore the balance between these two kinds of ethos. As to the second question, she is worried about the balance between law (legal regulation), ethics, and morality. On the one hand, abolishing legal regulations would amount to abolishing the freedom of the moderns. On the other hand, the substitution of legal regulations for ethical regulations would lead to a similar result: the end of the freedom of the moderns through the homogenisation of life. In the former case, personal support, charity, magnanimity, and caring would get lost, while in the latter there would be no escape from community pressure towards uniformity. (shrink)
Shahn Majids philosophy of physics is critically presented. In his view the postulate that the universe should be self-explaining implies that no fundamental theory of physics is complete unless it is self-dual. Majid shows that bicrossproduct Hopf algebras have this property. His philosophy is compared with other approaches to the ultimate explanation and briefly analyzed.
The essence of the method of physics is inseparably connected with the problem of interplay between local and global properties of the universe. In the present paper we discuss this interplay as it is present in three major departments of contemporary physics: general relativity, quantum mechanics and some attempts at quantizing gravity (especially geometrodynamics and its recent successors in the form of various pregeometry conceptions). It turns out that all big interpretative issues involved in this problem point towards the necessity (...) of changing from the standard space-time geometry to some radically new, most probably non-local, generalization. We argue that the recent noncommutative geometry offers attractive possibilities, and gives us a conceptual insight into its algebraic foundations. Noncommutative spaces are, in general, non-local, and their applications to physics, known at present, seem very promising. One would expect that beneath the Planck threshold there reigns a "noncommutative pregeometry", and only when crossing this threshold does the usual space-time geometry emerges. (shrink)
This essay argues that Popper's work, seen from the vantage point of increasing historical distance, can be viewed as the first attempt to understand the grand narrative as the adjustment of metaphysics to the modern world. When viewed from such a distance enduring questions regarding holism, identity, essentialism, and truth can once again be thrown into relief, together with the pressing issues of the paradox of freedom and sovereignty.
The neurobiological mechanisms associated with affiliation, that Depue & Collins argue are a central component of extraversion are not specified in their model. In addition, only the involvement of the prefrontal cortex in extraversion is discussed, although recent evidence suggests that activity associated with additional cortical regions may be related to this trait. Finally, the assumption that neurobiological mechanisms underlie or play a causal, and therefore, more fundamental role than psychological constructs in the trait is challenged.
This article explores the association between medical professionalism, revenue enhancement, and self-interest. Utilizing the sociological literature, I begin by characterizing professionalism generally and medical professionalism particularly. I then consider “pay for performance” mechanisms as an example of one way physicians might be incentivized to improve their professionalism and, at the same time, enhance their revenue. I suggest that the concern discussed in much of the medical professionalism literature that physicians might act on the basis of self-interest is over-generalized, and that (...) instead we ought to argue about ways to distinguish permissible and impermissible self-interested actions. Also, I argue that financial incentives for medical professionals ought to be permissible but considered as “by-products” of doing what physicians are expected to do as professionals in any case. Nevertheless, I conclude that, even if a positive association between increasing professionalism and revenue enhancement can be established, in the long term it may not be an unambiguous good for physicians as professionals in that this association may tend to reduce their professional discretion. (shrink)
General Ontological Language (GOL) is a formal framework for representing and building ontologies. The purpose of GOL is to provide a system of top-level ontologies which can be used as a basis for building domain-specific ontologies. The present paper gives an overview about the basic categories of the GOL-ontology. GOL is part of the work of the research group Ontologies in Medicine (Onto-Med) at the University of Leipzig which is based on the collaborative work of the Institute of Medical Informatics (...) (IMISE) and the Institute for Computer Science (IfI). It represents work in progress toward a proposal for an integrated family of top-level ontologies and will be applied to several fields of medicine, in particular to the field of Clinical Trials. (shrink)
Our recapitulation of the work by Howe et al. is a clear approval of the passages in which the talent concept is critically questioned. On the other hand, Howe et al. must themselves come to terms with most of the accusations they place at the door of talent researchers. The evidence they present to support the experience concept is lacking with respect to current theoretical and methodological standards.
The first task of the philosophy of nature -- The problem of elementarity -- The philosophical myth of creation : the Platonic philosophy of nature -- Aristotle's Physics -- Aristotle's method of cosmological speculation -- Descartes' mechanism -- Isaac Newton and the mathematical principles of natural philosophy -- The world of Leibniz : the best of all possible worlds -- Immanuel Kant : the a priori conditions of the sciences -- The romantic philosophy of nature -- The cosmology of Whitehead: (...) the universe as process -- Popper's open universe -- Science as philosophy -- Problems and methods of the philosophy of nature. (shrink)