Unlike older sciences such as physics and biology, sociology has never had a revolution. Modern sociology is still classical-largely psychological, teleological, and individualistic-and even less scientific than classical sociology. But pure sociology is different: It predicts and explains the behavior of social life with its location and direction in social space-its geometry. Here I Illustrate pure sociology with formulations about the behavior of ideas, including a theory of scienticity that predicts and explains the degree to which an idea is likely (...) to be scientific (testable, general, simple, valid, and original). For example: Scienticity is a curvilinear function of social distance from the subject. This formulation explains numerous facts about the history and practice of science, such as why some sciences evolved earlier and faster than others and why so much sociology is so unscientific. Because scientific theory is the most scientific science, the theory of scienticity also implies a theory of theory and a methodology for the development of theory. (shrink)
Terrorism in its purest form is self-help by organized civilians who covertly inflict mass violence on other civilians. Pure sociology explains terrorism with its social geometry-its multidimensional location and direction in social space. Here I build on the work of Senechal de la Roche (1996) and propose the following geometrical model: Pure terrorism arises intercollectively and upwardly across long distances in multidimensional space. Yet because social distance historically corresponded to physical distance, terrorism often lacked the physical geometry necessary for its (...) occurrence: physical closeness to civilians socially distant enough to attract terrorism. New technology has made physical distance increasingly irrelevant, however, and terrorism has proliferated. But technology also shrinks the social universe and sows the seeds of terrorism's destruction. (shrink)
Feminist, critical race, and postcolonial theories have established that social identities such as race and gender are mutually constitutive—i.e., that they “intersect.” I argue that “cultural appropriation” is never merely the appropriation of culture, but also of gender, sexuality, class, etc. For example, “white hipness” is the appropriation of stereotypical black masculinity by white males. Looking at recent videos from black male hip-hop artists, I develop an account of “postmillennial black hipness.” The inverse of white hipness, this (...) practice involves the appropriation, by black men, of stereotypical white gay masculinity and/or non-American, non-white femininity. I also argue that Shephard Fairey’s recent images of (mainly militant) non-Western women of color can be read as a new form of white hipness that revises the traditional logic in two ways: (1) by appropriating non-white femininity rather than masculinity, and (2) by adopting the practice of postmillennial black hipness itself. (shrink)
In his recent article, ‘Lottery puzzles and Jesus’ return’, Donald Smith says that Christians should accept a very robust scepticism about the future because a Christian ought to think that the probability of Jesus’ return happening at any future moment is inscrutable to her. But I think that Smith’s argument lacks the power rationally to persuade Christians who are antecedently uncommitted as to whether or not we can or do have any substantive knowledge about the future. Moreover, I think (...) that Christians who are so antecedently uncommitted have available objections they can reasonably press against Smith’s arguments. In the article, I attempt to bring out these objections. (shrink)
Given W.V. Quine’s and Donald Davidson’s extensive agreement about much of the philosophy of language and mind, and the obvious methodological parallels between Quine’s radical translation and Davidson’s radical interpretation, many—including Quine and Davidson—are puzzled by their occasional disagreements. I argue for the importance of attending to these disagreements, not just because doing so deepens our understanding of these influential thinkers, but because they are in fact the shadows thrown from two distinct conceptions of philosophical inquiry: Quine’s “naturalism” and (...) what I call Davidson’s “humanism.” The clash between Quine and Davidson thus provides valuable insight into the history of analytic naturalism and its malcontents. (shrink)
The work of Donald Davidson (1917-2003) transformed the study of meaning. Ernie Lepore and Kirk Ludwig, two of the world's leading authorities on Davidson's work, present the definitive study of his widely admired and influential program of truth-theoretic semantics for natural languages, giving an exposition and critical examination of its foundations and applications.
Donald Davidson’s epistemology is predicated on, among other things, the rejection of Experiential Foundationalism, which he calls ‘unintelligible’. In this essay, I assess Davidson’s arguments for this conclusion. I conclude that each of them fails on the basis of reasons that foundationalists and antifoundationalists alike can, and should, accept.
Over the last forty years, Donald Davidson has been one of the most influential, but least accessible voices in philosophy. There are several reasons why it is hard to come to grips with his work. First, his language is dense, even by the standards of analytic philosophy; while at the same time his thought is highly organic, so that it is difficult to make sense of one idea without an understanding of his whole program. Davidson never attempted to write (...) a book that would provide an easy entry into the interconnections between his many influential and controversial views. Nor did he attempt to record the evolution of his thought, keeping track of how reconsiderations on one point would affect the tenability of the others. It is perhaps a good thing too, for as the volume to be reviewed here makes clear, such a massive project would have left him with little time for his later contributions to philosophy. (shrink)
Ernest Lepore and Kirk Ludwig present the definitive critical exposition of the philosophical system of Donald Davidson (1917-2003). Davidson's ideas had a deep and broad influence in the central areas of philosophy; he presented them in brilliant essays over four decades, but never set out explicitly the overarching scheme in which they all have their place. Lepore's and Ludwig's book will therefore be the key work, besides Davidson's own, for understanding one of the greatest philosophers of the twentieth century.
This essay brings Critical Whiteness Studies into liberationist Christian ethics in order to analyze white Protestant responses to the 1969 Black Manifesto, which demanded reparations from white churches. The essay's primary argument is that the absence of a sense of white moral agency among white Protestants manifested itself in behaviors and rhetoric that ensured whiteness went unacknowledged, which caused Protestant responses to the Manifesto to fail. A related argument is that white behavior and rhetoric were particularly dramatic because of (...) the call for reparations. Reparations assume that race is a material relationship in which there has been a perpetrator and a victim, rendering the acknowledgment of white agency unavoidable. This essay thus analyzes several ways in which whites can be seen turning away from white selves, turning a scrutinizing gaze instead to Black selves and, in the process, absenting white agency from the work of racial justice. (shrink)
Theorizing Black Feminisms outlines some of the crucial debates going on among Black feminists today. In doing so it brings together a collection of some of the most exciting work by Black women scholars. The book encompasses a wide range of diverse subjects and refuses to be limited by notions of disciplinary boundaries or divisions between theory and practice. Theorizing Black Feminisms combines essays on literature, sociology, history, political science, anthropology, and art. As such it will (...) be vital reading for anyone--activist, student, artist or scholar--interested in exploring the multidisciplinary possibilities for Black feminism. Most importantly, each essay in the volume begins with the assumption that Black women are not simply victims of various oppressions. Rather, they are visionary and pragmatic agents of change. Contributors: Evelyn Barbee, University of Wisconsin; Rose Brewer, University of Minnesota; Cheryl Clarke, Rutgers University; Johnnetta Cole, Spelman College; Cindy Courville, Occidental College; Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Spelman College; Marilyn Little, University of Wisconsin; Nellie McKay, University of Wisconsin; O'molara Ogundipe, Rutgers University; Christine Obbo, Wayne State University; Loretta Ross, Center for Democratic Renewal, Atlanta. (shrink)
The term "metaphor" is rare to the writings of Kant. However, it doesn't imply that he ignored or did not question the ubiquity of metaphors. In the present paper, I want to discuss two cardinal concepts of Kant's aesthetics viz., the aesthetic idea and the symbolic presentation. Behind both are contained structures which can be seen as explications of the function of the metaphor. The problem of metaphor has come to a noteworthy revival and to the subject of many competing (...) studies in analytical philosophy. Among them can be found - formulated surely in very different concepts - the two theories from The Critique of Judgement. Despite a considerable amount of agreement, these theories diverge in the key issue of the usefulness of the notion of the metaphorical meaning. While Max Black's account is based on the idea of the metaphorical meaning, Donald Davidson on the other hand argued that such an idea cannot explain the function of the metaphor. This undecided issue can be transposed back into the aesthetical theory of Kant as the issue, whether the function of aesthetical ideas can be reduced to a symbolic presentation of moral ideas of reason. (shrink)
A Companion to Donald Davidson presents newly commissioned essays by leading figures within contemporary philosophy. Taken together, they provide a comprehensive overview of Davidson’s work across its full range, and an assessment of his many contributions to philosophy.
Crane envisions the speculative conjecture that intelligent civilizations might want and be able to produce black holes in the very far future. He implicitly suggests two main purposes of this enterprise: (i) energy production and (ii) universe production. We discuss those two options. The commentary is obviously highly speculative and should be read accordingly.
We investigate quantum entanglement of gravitational configurations in 3D AdS gravity using the AdS/CFT correspondence. We derive explicit formulas for the holographic entanglement entropy (EE) of the BTZ black hole, conical singularities and regularized AdS3. The leading term in the large temperature expansion of the holographic EE of the BTZ black hole reproduces exactly its Bekenstein-Hawking entropy S BH , whereas the subleading term behaves as ln S BH . We also show that the leading term of the (...) holographic EE for the BTZ black hole can be obtained from the large temperature expansion of the partition function of a broad class of 2D CFTs on the torus. This result indicates that black hole EE is not a fundamental feature of the underlying theory of quantum gravity but emerges when the semiclassical notion of spacetime geometry is used to describe the black hole. (shrink)
We model a black hole spacetime as a causal set and count, with a certain definition, the number of causal links crossing the horizon in proximity to a spacelike or null hypersurface Σ. We find that this number is proportional to the horizon's area on Σ, thus supporting the interpretation of the links as the “horizon atoms” that account for its entropy. The cases studied include not only equilibrium black holes but ones far from equilibrium.
The structure of the thermal equilibrium state of a weakly interacting Bose gas is of current interest. We calculate the density matrix of that state in two ways. The most effective method, in terms of yielding a simple, explicit answer, is to construct a generating function within the traditional framework of quantum statistical mechanics. The alternative method, arguably more interesting, is to construct the thermal state as a vector state in an artificial system with twice as many degrees of freedom. (...) It is well known that this construction has an actual physical realization in the quantum thermodynamics of black holes, where the added degrees of freedom correspond to the second sheet of the Kruskal manifold and the thermal vector state is a state of the Unruh or the Hartle–Hawking type. What is unusual about the present work is that the Bogolubov transformation used to construct the thermal state combines in a rather symmetrical way with Bogolubov's original transformation of the same form, used to implement the interaction of the nonideal gas in linear approximation. In addition to providing a density matrix, the method makes it possible to calculate efficiently certain expectation values directly in terms of the thermal vector state of the doubled system. (shrink)
We analyze the rather unusual properties of some exact solutions in 2D dilaton gravity for which infinite quantum stresses on the Killing horizon can be compatible with regularity of the geometry. In particular, the Boulware state can support a regular horizon. We show that such solutions are contained in some well-known exactly solvable models (for example, RST). Formally, they appear to account for an additional coefficient B in the solutions (for the same Lagrangian which contains also “traditional” solutions) that gives (...) rise to the deviation of temperature T from its Hawking value T H . The Lorentzian geometry, which is a self-consistent solution of the semiclassical field equations, in such models, is smooth even at B≠0 and there is no need to put B=0 (T=T H ) to smooth it out. We show how the presence of B≠0 affects the structure of spacetime. In contrast to “usual” black holes, full fledged thermodynamic interpretation, including definite value of entropy, can be ascribed (for a rather wide class of models) to extremal horizons, not to nonextreme ones. We find also new exact solutions for “usual” black holes (with T=T H ). The properties under discussion arise in the weak-coupling regime of the effective constant of dilaton-gravity interaction. Extension of features, traced in 2D models, to 4D dilaton gravity leads, for some special models, to exceptional nonextreme black holes having no own thermal properties. (shrink)
Physical arguments stemming from the theory of black-hole thermodynamics are used to put constraints on the dynamics of closed-string tachyon condensation in Scherk–Schwarz compactifications. A geometrical interpretation of the tachyon condensation involves an effective capping of a noncontractible cycle, thus removing the very topology that supports the tachyons. A semiclassical regime is identified in which the matching between the tachyon condensation and the black-hole instability flow is possible. We formulate a generalized correspondence principle and illustrate it in several (...) different circumstances: an Euclidean interpretation of the transition from strings to black holes across the Hagedorn temperature and instabilities in the brane-antibrane system. (shrink)
The Schwarzschild solution has played a fundamental conceptual role in general relativity, and beyond, for instance, regarding event horizons, spacetime singularities and aspects of quantum field theory in curved spacetimes. However, one still encounters the existence of misconceptions and a certain ambiguity inherent in the Schwarzschild solution in the literature. By taking into account the point of view of an observer in the interior of the event horizon, one verifies that new conceptual difficulties arise. In this work, besides providing a (...) very brief pedagogical review, we further analyze the interior Schwarzschild black hole solution. Firstly, by deducing the interior metric by considering time-dependent metric coefficients, the interior region is analyzed without the prejudices inherited from the exterior geometry. We also pay close attention to several respective cosmological interpretations, and briefly address some of the difficulties associated to spacetime singularities. Secondly, we deduce the conserved quantities of null and timelike geodesics, and discuss several particular cases in some detail. Thirdly, we examine the Eddington–Finkelstein and Kruskal coordinates directly from the interior solution. In concluding, it is important to emphasize that the interior structure of realistic black holes has not been satisfactorily determined, and is still open to considerable debate. (shrink)
Recent developments point to a breakdown in the generalized second law of thermodynamics for theories with Lorentz symmetry violation. It appears possible to construct a perpetual motion machine of the second kind in such theories, using a black hole to catalyze the conversion of heat to work. Here we describe and extend the arguments leading to that conclusion. We suggest the inference that local Lorentz symmetry may be an emergent property of the macroscopic world with origins in a microscopic (...) second law of causal horizon thermodynamics. (shrink)
An extended scale relativity theory, actively developed by one of the authors, incorporates Nottale's scale relativity principle where the Planck scale is the minimum impassible invariant scale in Nature, and the use of polyvector-valued coordinates in C-spaces (Clifford manifolds) where all lengths, areas, volumes⋅ are treated on equal footing. We study the generalization of the ordinary point-particle quantum mechanical oscillator to the p-loop (a closed p-brane) case in C-spaces. Its solution exhibits some novel features: an emergence of two explicit scales (...) delineating the asymptotic regimes (Planck scale region and a smooth region of a quantum point oscillator). In the most interesting Planck scale regime, the solution recovers in an elementary fashion some basic relations of string theory (including string tension quantization and string uncertainty relation). It is shown that the degeneracy of the first collective excited state of the p-loop oscillator yields not only the well-known Bekenstein–Hawking area-entropy linear relation but also the logarithmic corrections therein. In addition we obtain for any number of dimensions the Hawking temperature, the Schwarschild radius, and the inequalities governing the area of a black hole formed in a fusion of two black holes. One of the interesting results is a demonstration that the evaporation of a black hole is limited by the upper bound on its temperature, the Planck temperature. (shrink)
According to prevailing theory, relativistic degenerate stars with masses beyond the Chandrasekhar and Oppenheimer–Volkoff (OV) limits cannot achieve hydrostatic equilibrium through either electron or neutron degeneracy pressure and must collapse to form stellar black holes. In such end states, all matter and energy within the Schwarzschild horizon descend into a central singularity. Avoidance of this fate is a hoped-for outcome of the quantization of gravity, an as-yet incomplete undertaking. Recent studies, however, suggest the possibility that known quantum processes may (...) intervene to arrest complete collapse, thereby leading to equilibrium states of macroscopic size and finite density. I describe here one such process which entails pairing (or other even-numbered association) of neutrons (or constituent quarks in the event of nucleon disruption) to form a condensate of composite bosons in equilibrium with a core of degenerate fermions. This process is analogous to, but not identical with, the formation of hadron Cooper pairs that give rise to neutron superfluidity and proton superconductivity in neutron stars. Fermion condensation to composite bosons in a star otherwise destined to collapse to a black hole facilitates hydrostatic equilibrium in at least two ways: (1) removal of fermions results in a decrease in the Fermi level which stiffens the dependence of degeneracy pressure on fermion density, and (2) phase separation into a fermionic core surrounded by a self-gravitating condensate diminishes the weight which must be balanced by fermion degeneracy pressure. The outcome is neither a black hole nor a neutron star, but a novel end state, a “fermicon star,” with unusual physical properties. (shrink)
A naive introduction of a dependency of the mass of a black hole on the Schwarzschild time coordinate results in singular behavior of curvature invariants at the horizon, violating expectations from complementarity. If instead a temporal dependence is introduced in terms of a coordinate akin to the river time representation, the Ricci scalar is nowhere singular away from the origin. It is found that for a shrinking mass scale due to evaporation, the null radial geodesics that generate the horizon (...) are slightly displaced from the coordinate singularity. In addition, a changing horizon scale significantly alters the form of the coordinate singularity in diagonal (orthogonal) metric coordinates representing the space-time. A Penrose diagram describing the growth and evaporation of an example black hole is constructed to examine the evolution of the coordinate singularity. (shrink)
A simple statistical interpretation of the origin of black hole entropy is presented. It is shown that this entropy can be understood as emerging as a result of missing information about the exact state of the matter from which the black hole was formed.
This study investigates the extent to which South African listed corporations voluntarily disclose information on black economic empowerment (BEE) in their annual and sustainability reports using a sample of 75 listed corporations from 2003 to 2009. BEE is a form of socio-economic affirmative action championed by the African National Congress (ANC)-led government to address historical imbalances in business participation and ownership in South Africa. We find that block ownership and institutional ownership are negatively associated with the extent of BEE (...) disclosures, whereas government ownership, board diversity (age, education, ethnicity, nationality and occupation), board size and non-executive directors are positively related to the extent of BEE disclosures. By contrast, dual board leadership structure and gender diversity are not significantly associated with BEE disclosures. Our results are robust when controlling for firm-level characteristics, fixed-effects and alternative disclosure proxies. Our results are largely consistent with the predictions of agency, legitimacy, resource dependence and stakeholder theories. (shrink)
Using quantum liquids one can simulate the behavior of the quantum vacuum in the presence of the event horizon. The condensed matter analogs demonstrate that in most cases the quantum vacuum resists formation of the horizon, and even if the horizon is formed different types of the vacuum instability develop, which are faster than the process of Hawking radiation. Nevertheless, it is possible to create the horizon on the quantum-liquid analog of the brane, where the vacuum life-time is long enough (...) to consider the horizon as the quasistationary object. Using this analogy we calculate the Bekenstein entropy of the near-extremal and extremal black holes, which comes from the fermionic microstates in the region of the horizon—the fermion zero modes. We also discuss how the cancellation of the large cosmological constant follows from the thermodynamics of the vacuum. (shrink)
This paper summarizes the findings of a three-year exploratory qualitative study of teenage childbearing in 20 low-income multigeneration black families. Teenage childbearing in these families is part of an alternative life-course strategy created in response to socioenvironmental constraints. This alternative life-course strategy is characterized by an accelerated family timetable; the separation of reproduction and marriage; an age-condensed generational family structure; and a grandparental child-rearing system. The implications of these patterns for intergenerational family roles are discussed.
Previous perceptual research with black-capped and mountain chickadees has demonstrated that these species treat each other’s namesake chick-a-dee calls as belonging to separate, open-ended categories. Further, the terminal dee portion of the call has been implicated as the most prominent species marker. However, statistical classification using acoustic summary features suggests that all note-types contained within the chick-a-dee call should be sufficient for species classification. The current study seeks to better understand the note-type based mechanisms underlying species-based classification of the (...) chick-a-dee call by black-capped and mountain chickadees. In two, complimentary, operant discrimination experiments, both species were trained to discriminate the species of the signaller using either entire chick-a-dee calls, or individual note-types from chick-a-dee calls. In agreement with previous perceptual work we find that the D note had significant stimulus control over species based discrimination. However, in line with statistical classifications, we find that all note-types carry species information. We discuss reasons why the most easily discriminated note-types are likely candidates to carry species based cues. (shrink)