It is argued that Hellman's arguments purporting to demonstrate that constructive mathematics cannot cope with unbounded operators on a Hilbert space are seriously flawed, and that there is no evidence that his thesis is correct.
One of the chief aims of Donald Davidson's later work was to show that participation in a certain causal nexus involving two creatures and a shared environment–Davidson calls this nexus “triangulation”–is a metaphysically necessary condition for the acquisition of thought. This doctrine, I suggest, is aptly regarded as a form of what I call transcendental externalism. I extract two arguments for the transcendental-externalist doctrine from Davidson's writings, and argue that neither succeeds. A central interpretive claim is that the arguments are (...) primarily funded by a particular conception of the nature of non-human animal life. This conception turns out to be insupportable. The failure of Davidson's arguments presses the question of whether we could ever hope to arrive at far-reaching claims about the conditions for thought if we deny, as does Davidson, the legitimacy of the naturalistic project in the philosophy of mind. (shrink)
To commit Euthyphro’s fallacy is to endorse a pair of incompatible explanations, one constitutive and the other causal. Asked to explain the nature of piety, Euthyphro hazards that being pious consists in being an object of the gods’ love. But asked what causes the gods to love what they do, he holds with the commonsensical thought that the gods love pious people because they are pious. As Socrates points out (and for reasons we shall shortly rehearse), Euthyphro cannot have it (...) both ways. To hold that one’s god-belovedness is constitutive of one’s status as a pious person is to rule out its being one’s piety that prompts the gods’ affection. More generally, we commit the fallacy when we hold of two properties f and g both of the following: possession of f constitutes possession of g, and possession of g causes possession of f. (shrink)
This is an introduction to, and survey of, the constructive approaches to pure mathematics. The authors emphasise the viewpoint of Errett Bishop's school, but intuitionism. Russian constructivism and recursive analysis are also treated, with comparisons between the various approaches included where appropriate. Constructive mathematics is now enjoying a revival, with interest from not only logicans but also category theorists, recursive function theorists and theoretical computer scientists. This account for non-specialists in these and other disciplines.
The first part of the paper introduces the varieties of modern constructive mathematics, concentrating on Bishop's constructive mathematics (BISH). it gives a sketch of both Myhill's axiomatic system for BISH and a constructive axiomatic development of the real line R. The second part of the paper focusses on the relation between constructive mathematics and programming, with emphasis on Martin-L6f 's theory of types as a formal system for BISH.
Ethical mysticism, by S. Coit.--The ethical import of history, by D. S. Muzzey.--The tragic and heroic in life, by W. M. Salter.--Distinctive features of the ethical movement, by A. W. Martin.--Ethical experience as the basis of religious education, by H. Neumann.--"All men are created equal," by G. E. O'Dell.--How far is art an aid to religion? by P. Chubb.--Evolution and the uniqueness of man, by H. J. Bridges.--The spiritual outlook on life, by H. J. Golding.--The ethics of Abu'l Ala (...) al Ma'arri, by N. Schmidt.--Life's unused moral force, by H. Snell.--Is the ideal real? by G. A. Smith.--Some ethical tendencies in the professions, by R. D. Kohn.--On the art of living, by W. Boerner.--The relation of the ethical ideal to social reform, by J. L. Elliott.--Concerning tolerance, by R. F. Dewey.--Ethical culture in Germany after the war, by R. Penzig.--A confession of faith, by S. B. Weston.--"Hearing the witnesses," by J. Gutmann. (shrink)
The existence and uniqueness of a maximum point for a continuous real—valued function on a metric space are investigated constructively. In particular, it is shown, in the spirit of reverse mathematics, that a natural unique existence theorem is equivalent to the fan theorem.
In the constructive theory of uniform spaces there occurs a technique of proof in which the application of a weak form of the law of excluded middle is circumvented by purely analytic means. The essence of this proof-technique is extracted and then applied in several different situations.
A critique of attempts by Charles Travis and others to read contextualism back into Philosophical Investigations. The central interpretive claim is that this reading is not only unsupported; it gets Wittgenstein's intent, in the parts of the text at issue, precisely backwards. The focus of the chapter is on Wittgenstein's treatment of explanation, understanding, proper names, and family-resemblance concepts.
Although in everyday life and thought we take for granted that there are norms of rationality, their existence presents severe philosophical problems. Kolodny (2005) is thus moved to deny that rationality is normative. But this denial is not itself unproblematic, and I argue that Kolodny's defence of it--particularly his Transparency Account, which aims to explain why rationality appears to be normative even though it is not--is unsuccessful.
Some philosophers hold that rational explanations—explanations of people’s attitudes and actions that cite their reasons for forming these attitudes or performing these actions—are dispositional. The hold that rational explanations do their explanatory work by representing these attitudes and actions as the product of dispositions on the part of the subject. I challenge arguments to this effect by Barry Stroud and Michael Smith. And I argue that human beings do not possess, and could not possess, the dispositions required for the dispositionalist (...) account. I propose an alternative account of rational explanation, one that exploits the connection between rational explanations and rational deliberation to show how such explanations can be simultaneously normative and causal. (shrink)
In education issues to do with insider and outsider understanding arise in debates about religious education and about certain areas of research, and in argument about education for international understanding. Here I challenge the dichotomy between insider and outsider, arguing that a more collectivist view of human identity combined with elements of 'the self which we share with our fellows' means that we always stand in part as an insider and in part as an outsider in relation to others. I (...) argue further that 'understanding' needs always to be thought of in the plural, as a matter of 'understanding s ', since members of any community, and even any one individual, have different understandings at different times. Against what may seem the strong case in favour of the superiority or exclusivity of insider understanding, I note the force of claims in a variety of theoretical traditions (expressed notably in the Marxist tradition in the notion of 'false consciousness' and in psychoanalytic attention to the unconscious) concerning the limitations of the exclusively insider perspective and in contrast the particular authority of the outsider perspective. Finally, I acknowledge the discomfort with which people respond to outsiders' claims to understand them, especially where such understanding fails to support their own self-understanding, and identify ethical considerations, which might shape sensitive negotiation between insider and outsider perspectives. (shrink)
Barry Stroud's work has had a profound impact on a very wide array of philosophical topics, including epistemological skepticism, the nature of logical necessity, the interpretation of Hume, the interpretation of Wittgenstein, the possibility of transcendental arguments, and the metaphysical status of color and value. And yet there has heretofore been no book-length treatment of his work. The current collection aims to redress this gap, with 13 essays on Stroud's work by a diverse group of contributors including some of his (...) most distinguished interlocutors and promising recent students. All but one essay is new to this volume. -/- The essays cover a range of topics, with a particular focus on Stroud's treatments of skepticism and subjectivism. There are also chapters on Stroud's views on meaning and rule-following, on Hume on personal identity, and on the role of desires in the explanation of action. Despite the diversity, the essays are unified by the thematic unity in Stroud's own writings. Stroud approaches every philosophical problem by attempting to get as clear as possible on the nature and source of that problem. He aims to determine what kind of understanding philosophical questions are after, and what the prospects for achieving that understanding might be. This theme--of the nature and possibility of philosophical understanding--is introduced in the opening essay of this volume and recurs in different ways throughout the remaining chapters. -/- In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in the philosophy of philosophy. As these essays show, one important source of insight on this subject is the thought of Barry Stroud, for whom pursuit of the philosophy of philosophy has always been indistinguishable from pursuit of philosophy as such. (shrink)
Although in everyday life and thought we take for granted that there are norms of rationality, their existence presents severe philosophical problems. Kolodny (2005) is thus moved to deny that rationality is normative. But this denial is not itself unproblematic, and I argue that Kolodny’s defense of it—especially his Transparency Account, which aims to explain why rationality appears to be normative even though it isn’t—is unsuccessful. I close with a sketch of an alternative proposal, one that provides for a genuine (...) normative role for rationality while defusing the attendant problems. (shrink)
In this comment, a picture of ERP research is sketched that is slightly different from Hardcastle's account, in that it emphasises the functional characterisation of ERP components rather than the neurophysiological connections. It is suggested that selection pressure of ERP work on cognitive and neurophysiological theories and vice versa is a more apt metaphor for intertheoretical relations in this field than explanatory extension. Secondly, it is argued that the temporal characteristics of ERP components do not support Hardcastle's claim that they (...) may be used to fix timing in phenomenal consciousness. Although I agree that ERP components, cautiously interpreted, can contribute to the identification of substages of information processing, rather than refuting Dennett and Kinsbourne, her ERP data seem compatible with a multiple drafts model. (shrink)
Simone Weil believed that Greece’s vocation was to build bridges between God and man. This paper argues that, in light of Weil’s “tradition of mystical thought,” the Christian vocation is an extension of the Greek. The search for the perfect bridge in Homer, Sophocles and Plato comes to fruition in the Passion of Christ. The Greek thinkers, especially Plato with his Perfectly Just Man, already had implicit knowledge of the Passion’s truth.
This radical reading of Wittgenstein's third and last masterpiece, On Certainty, has major implications for philosophy. It elucidates Wittgenstein's ultimate thoughts on the nature of our basic beliefs and his demystification of scepticism. Our basic certainties are shown to be nonepistemic, nonpropositional attitudes that, as such, have no verbal occurrence but manifest themselves exclusively in our actions. This fundamental certainty is a belief-in, a primitive confidence or ur-trust whose practical nature bridges the hitherto unresolved categorial gap between belief and (...) action. (shrink)
Borgmann's views seem to clarify and elaborate Heidegger's. Both thinkers understand technology as a way of coping with people and things that reveals them, viz. makes them intelligible. Both thinkers also claim that technological coping could devastate not only our environment and communal ties but more importantly the historical, world-opening being that has defined Westerners since the Greeks. Both think that this devastation can be prevented by attending to the practices for coping with simple things like family meals and footbridges. (...) But, contrary to Borgmann, Heidegger claims further that, alongside simple things, we can affirm technological things such as autobahn bridges. For Borgmann, technological coping produces things like central heating that are so dispersed they inhibit skillful interaction with them and therefore prevent our being sensitive to ourselves as world-disclosers. For Heidegger, so long as we can still relate to non-technological things, we can affirm relations with technological things because we can maintain both our technological and the non-technological ways of world-disclosing. So Borgmann sees revealing as primarily directed to things while Heidegger sees it as directed to worlds. If Heidegger is right about us, we have more leeway to save ourselves from technological devastation than Borgmann sees. (shrink)
The Mathematics Education and Neurosciences project is an interdisciplinary research program that bridges mathematics education research with neuroscientific research. The bidirectional collaboration will provide greater insight into young children's (aged four to six years) mathematical abilities. Specifically, by combining qualitative ‘design research’ with quantitative ‘experimental research’, we aim to come to a more thorough understanding of prerequisites that are involved in the development of early spatial and number sense. The mathematics education researchers are concerned with kindergartner's spatial structuring ability, (...) while the neuroscientists are studying kindergartner's automatic quantity processing and its effect on mathematical development. The outcomes of these investigations should contribute to practical ways of fostering and supporting young children's mathematical thinking and learning. (shrink)
In past and modern psychophysics there are several unresolved methodological and philosophical problems of human and animal perception, including the outstanding question of the relational basis of whole psychophysics. Here the main issue is discussed: if, and to what extent, there are viable bridges between the traditional “gestalt” oriented approaches and the modern perceptual-cognitive perspectives in psychophysics. Thereby the key concept of psychological “frame of reference” is presented by pointing to Hermann Ebbinghaus' geometric-optical illusions, on the one hand, and (...) Max Wertheimer's treatment of the traditional transposition phenomenon, on the other hand. A much-needed theoretical reorientation of future research may help to overcome the philosophical narrowness of present-day human and comparative psychophysics. (shrink)
T. H. Morgan, A. H. Sturtevant, H. J. Muller and C. B. Bridges published their comprehensive treatise "The Mechanism of Mendelian Heredity" in 1915. By 1920 Morgan's "Chromosome Theory of Heredity" was generally accepted by geneticists in the United States, and by British geneticists by 1925. By 1930 it had been incorporated into most general biology, botany, and zoology textbooks as established knowledge. In this paper, I examine the reasons why it was accepted as part of a (...) series of comparative studies of theory-acceptance in the sciences. In this context it is of interest to look at the persuasiveness of confirmed novel predictions, a factor often regarded by philosophers of science as the most important way to justify a theory. Here it turns out to play a role in the decision of some geneticists to accept the theory, but is generally less important than the CTH's ability to explain Mendelian inheritance, sex-linked inheritance, non-disjunction, and the connection between linkage groups and the number of chromosome pairs; in other words, to establish a firm connection between genetics and cytology. It is remarkable that geneticists were willing to accept the CTH as applicable to all organisms at a time when it had been confirmed only for Drosophila. The construction of maps showing the location on the chromosomes of genes for specific characters was especially convincing for non-geneticists. (shrink)
Carnap's ideal of explication has become a key concept in analytic philosophy and the basis of a method of analysis which may be considered as an alternative to various forms of naturalism, including Quine's conception of a naturalized epistemology. More recently, new light has been shed on this aspect of the classical Carnap-Quine debate by contemporary philosophers. Whereas Michael Friedman articulated a notion of relativized a priori which owes much to Carnap's internal/external distinction, André Carus attempted to restate Carnap's ideal (...) of explication in a way that bridges the gap between conceptual engineering and naturalism. On the other hand, Mark Wilson argued that concepts develop in unpredictable ways and cannot be planned in the way classical analytic philosophy has assumed from Frege and Russell onwards. This book consists of a series of defences as well as critiques of Carnap's programme, setting it in its historical context, discussing specific cases of explications, and enriching the on-going debate on conceptual engineering and naturalism in analytic philosophy.Carnap's ideal of explication has become a key concept in analytic philosophy and the basis of a method of analysis which may be considered as an alternative to various forms of naturalism, including Quine's conception of a naturalized epistemology. More recently, new light has been shed on this aspect of the classical Carnap-Quine debate by contemporary philosophers. Whereas Michael Friedman articulated a notion of relativized a priori which owes much to Carnap's internal/external distinction, André Carus attempted to restate Carnap's ideal of explication in a way that bridges the gap between conceptual engineering and naturalism. On the other hand, Mark Wilson argued that concepts develop in unpredictable ways and cannot be planned in the way classical analytic philosophy has assumed from Frege and Russell onwards. This book consists of a series of defences as well as critiques of Carnap's programme, setting it in its historical context, discussing specific cases of explications, and enriching the on-going debate on conceptual engineering and naturalism in analytic philosophy. (shrink)
Alkire examines how Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen's capability approach can be coherently-and practically-put to work in participatory poverty reduction activities. Sen argues that economic development should expand 'valuable' capabilities. Alkire probes how we identify what is valuable. -/- Sen deliberately left the capability approach 'incomplete' in order to ensure its relevance to persons and cultures with different understandings of the good. Part I proposes a framework for identifying valuable capabilities that retains this 'fundamental' incompleteness and space for individual and (...) cultural diversity. Drawing on the work of John Finnis and others, Alkire addresses foundational issues regarding the identification and pursuit of 'valuable' dimensions of human development based in practical reason, then observes that much of the criticism of development arises from negative impacts on social or cultural/religious dimensions that are also deeply valued by the poor. Part I closes with a four-part 'operational definition' of basic capability that bridges 'basic needs', participation, and informed consent. -/- Part II proposes an alternative participatory method for systematically identifying valued changes in participants' capability sets. Three case studies of women's income generation activities in Pakistan---goat-rearing, adult literacy, and rose cultivation---contrast economic cost-benefit analysis of each activity with capability analysis. -/- . (shrink)
Central to Martin Heidegger’s critique of modern technology is the transformation of “things” into “objects.” This article will apply some of the insights gained by Actor-Network-Theory to the several bridges in Budapest, with a special focus on the Széchenyi Chain Bridge, in order to argue that modern technology and the creations of that technology can also be “things” in the Heideggerian sense of the term. The result is a view of bridges that is firmly grounded in the physical (...) and geographic impact that bridges can have on space and place. The use of ANT also reveals that Heidegger and one of his main critics, Bruno Latour, arenot as far apart in their thought as the latter might contend. (shrink)
This book departs from much of the scholarship on Kant by demonstrating the centrality of imagination to Kant's philosophy as a whole. In Kant's works, human experience is simultaneously passive and active, thought and sensed, free and unfree: these dualisms are often thought of as unfortunate byproducts of his system. Gibbons, however, shows that imagination performs a vital function in "bridging gaps" between the different elements of cognition and experience. Thus, the role imagination plays in Kant's works expresses his fundamental (...) insight into the complexity of cognition for finite rational beings such as ourselves. (shrink)
There is a huge chasm between the notion of lawful determination that figures in fundamental physics, and the notion of causal determination that figures in the "folk physics" of everyday objects. In everyday life, we think of the behavior of an ordinary object as being determined by a small set of simple conditions. But in fundamental physics, no such conditions suffice to determine an ordinary object's behavior. What bridges the chasm is that fundamental physical laws make the folk picture (...) of the world approximately true in certain domains. How? In part, by entailing that many objects are approximately isolated from most of their environments. Dynamical laws yield this result only in conjunction with appropriate statistical assumptions about initial conditions. (shrink)
Living in the Borderland addresses the evolution of Western consciousness and describes the emergence of the 'Borderland,' a spectrum of reality that is beyond the rational yet is palpable to an increasing number of individuals. Building on Jungian theory, Jerome Bernstein argues that a greater openness to transrational reality experienced by Borderland personalities allows new possibilities for understanding and healing confounding clinical and developmental enigmas. In three sections, this book charts the evolution of Western consciousness, examines the psychological and clinical (...) implications and looks at how the new Borderland consciousness bridges the mind-body divide. It challenges the standard clinical model, which views normality as an absence of pathology and equates normality with the rational, and abnormality with the transrational. Jerome Bernstein describes how psychotherapy itself often contributes to the alienation of many Borderland personalities by misdiagnosing the difference between the pathological and the sacred and uses case studies to illustrate the potential such misdiagnoses have for causing serious psychic and emotional damage to the patient. This challenge to the orthodoxies and complacencies of Western medicine's concept of pathology will interest Jungian Analysts, Psychoanalysts, Psychotherapists and Psychiatrists. (shrink)
Religions are the largest communities of the global society and claim, at least in the cases of Islam and Christianity, to be universal interpretations of life and orders of existence. With the globalization of the world economy and the unity of the global society in the Internet, they gain unprecedented access to the entire human race through modern means of communication. At the same time, this globalization brings religions into conflict with one another in their claims to universal validity. How (...) can the conflict of religions be defused? The speculative, philosophical method of dealing with a religion is a way to present one's own religious convictions in the medium of philosophy and rational discourse. The philosophical approach to religion can serve as the basis of the conversation of the world religions, without dissolving their truth claims. It can reduce dogmatic claims and contribute to overcoming fundamentalism. Philosophy builds bridges between religions. The series A Discourse of the World Religions presents with this volume the fifth and last of the EXPO-Discourses of the World Religions, which took place near the end of the World Exposition EXPO 2000 in Hannover, Germany. The five EXPO-Discourses were held before and during the World Exposition EXPO 2000 in Hannover with the objective of a philosophical-theological dialogue of religions about central themes of their teachings. The series aims at a deeper understanding of the similarities and differences between Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in their theological and philosophical propositions. It sees in philosophy a bridge between the religions and a means to overcome religious hostility and fundamentalism and to further the dialogue of the religions. (shrink)
Dynamical simulations of male and female mating strategies illustrate how traits such as restrictedness constrain, and are constrained by, local ecology. Such traits cannot be defined solely by genotype or by phenotype, but are better considered as decision rules gauged to ecological inputs. Gangestad & Simpson's work draws attention to the need for additional bridges between evolutionary psychology and dynamical systems theory.
In two shocking articles that appeared in 1968 and 1974, Garrett Hardin argued that the population explosion was producing a “tragedy of the commons.” Since we lack an effective method of sharing common resources, the strong incentive for individuals to appropriate them selfishly would soon lead to their collapse. To mitigate this danger, Hardin proposed a “lifeboat ethic”: less populated and -polluted Western countries should deny food aid to developing nations, where it would save lives only to increase population pressure, (...) and they should close their borders to immigration to prevent their lifeboats from becoming overcrowded and going down with the rest. This paper challenges and complicates Hardin’s account of the tragedy. While there is something right about his view, its vulnerability to a series of empirical challenges reflects its conceptual limitations. I argue that we need to develop a broadly ethical and arguably religious solution to the twin challenges of population growth and pollution. If the liberal commitment to negative freedom is, ironically, largely responsible for our current ecological bind, our only hope of escape is to build bridges between traditions in search of a thicker sense of ethicopolitical obligation. (shrink)
This paper critically examines traditional rule-based and externalist approaches to the teaching of business ethics. The review materializes in a framework of seven pitfalls associated with the traditional approach, and bridges to overcome these perils are offered. Care is taken to avoid submitting the implausible positions of moral relativism. A perspective of methodological pluralism and normative internalism is developed and presented as a fruitful avenue for effective teaching in business ethics, and possible avenues for empirical exploration are offered.
Herr Royce ist doch ein bedeutender Denker und darf nur als solcher behandelt werden.("Royce is an important thinker, and may only be treated as such.")Scholars of pragmatism and of phenomenology have observed striking similarities between Josiah Royce and Edmund Husserl, foundational thinkers at the origins of two major philosophical movements whose effects are still strongly felt in the present day—Royce being considered a central founder of American pragmatic idealism, and Husserl of modern German phenomenology. Other scholars have noted striking similarities (...) between Royce's thought and that of the broader circle of phenomenology.2Can we discover in these relations definitive historical influences, rather than .. (shrink)
The vocation was there and one could see its imprint on every page, regardless of Musil’s lingering misgivings about his own talent and regardless of how bored he might have been with his life as a mechanical engineering. After all, he had meanwhile gone to Berlin to study philosophy and psychology and would soon complete his doctorate, but when Meinong offered him an attractive research assistant-ship at the University of Graz, at the end of 1908, Musil decided to turn it (...) down to focus on his literary projects: “My love for artistic literature is no less than my love for science”, he explained politely. (shrink)
Missing from Quartz & Sejnowski's (Q&S's) unique and valuable effort to relate cognitive development to neural constructivism is an examination of the global emergent properties of adding new neural circuits. Such emergent properties can be studied with computational models. Modeling with generative connectionist networks shows that synaptogenic mechanisms can account for progressive increases in children's representational power.
Joseph Gabel's theoretical synthesis of psychiatry, political sociology, the sociology of knowledge, and Marxism is examined, partly by evaluating the use he makes of ideas common to the works of Lukacs, Mannheim, Minkowski, Binswanger, Dupreel, Lalo, Meyerson, and others. Gabel's major contention-that false consciousness and schizophrenia are mutually illuminating phenomena at analytic and empirical levels-is considered, principally by hermeneutic analysis of his key concepts: "de-dialecticization," "reified consciousness," "socio-pathological parallelism," and so on. His work is contextualized among competing theories of ideological (...) expressiveness and collectively significant cognitive distortions of reality. (shrink)
Northoff provides a compelling argument supporting a kind of “double dissociation” of Parkinson's disease and catatonia. We discuss a related form of akinetic mutism linked to mesodiencephalic injuries and suggest an alternative to the proposed “horizontal” versus “vertical” modulation distinction. Rather than a “directional” difference in patterned neuronal activity, we propose that both disorders reflect hypersynchrony within typically interdependent but segregated networks facilitated by a common thalamic gating mechanism.
The mind-body problem arises because all theories about mind-brain connections are too deeply obscure to gain general acceptance. This essay suggests a clear, simple, mind-brain solution that avoids all these perennial obscurities. (1) It does so, first of all, by reworking Strawson and Stoljar’s views. They argue that while minds differ from observable brains, minds can still be what brains are physically like behind the appearances created by our outer senses. This could avoid many obscurities. But to clearly do so, (...) it must first clear up its own deep obscurity about what brains are like behind appearances, and how they create the mind’s privacy, unity and qualia – all of which observable brains lack. (2) This can ultimately be done with a clear, simple assumption: our consciousness is the physical substance that certain brain events consist of beyond appearances. For example, the distinctive electrochemistry in nociceptor ion channels wholly consists of pain. This rejects that pain is a brain property: instead it’s a brain substance that occupies space in brains, and exerts forces by which it’s indirectly detectable via EEGs. (3) This assumption is justified because treating pains as physical substances avoids the perennial obscurities in mind-body theories. For example, this ‘clear physicalism’ avoids the obscure nonphysical pain of dualism and its spinoffs. Pain is instead an electrochemical substance. It isn’t private because it’s hidden in nonphysical minds, but instead because it’s just indirectly detected in the physical world in ways that leave its real nature hidden. (4) Clear physicalism also avoids puzzling reductions of private pains into more fundamental terms of observable brain activity. Instead pain is a hidden, private substance underlying this observable activity. Also, pain is fundamental in itself, for it’s what some brain activity fundamentally consists of. This also avoids reductive idealist claims that the world just exists in the mind. They yield obscure views on why we see a world that isn’t really out there. (5) Clear physicalism also avoids obscure claims that pain is information processing which is realizable in multiple hardwares (not just in electrochemistry). Molecular neuroscience now casts doubt on multiple realization. Also, it’s puzzling how abstract information gets ‘realized’ in brains and affects brains (compare ancient quandries on how universals get embodied in matter). A related idea is that of supervenient properties in nonreductive physicalism. They involve obscure overdetermination and emergent consciousness. Clear physicalism avoids all this. Pain isn’t an abstract property obscurely related to brains – it’s simply a substance in brains. (6) Clear physicalism also avoids problems in neuroscience. Neuroscience explains the mind’s unity in problematic ways using synchrony, attention, etc.. Clear physicalism explains unity in terms of intense neuroelectrical activity reaching continually along brain circuits as a conscious whole. This fits evidence that just highly active, highly connected circuits are fully conscious. Neuroscience also has problems explaining how qualia are actually encoded by brains, and how to get from these abstract codes to actual pain, fear, etc.. Clear physicalism explains qualia electrochemically, using growing evidence that both sensory and emotional qualia correlate with very specific electrical channels in neural receptors. Multiple-realization advocates overlook this important evidence. (7) Clear physicalism thus bridges the mind-brain gulf by showing how brains can possess the mind’s qualia, unity and privacy – and how minds can possess features of brain activity like occupying space and exerting forces. This unorthodox nonreductive physicalism may be where physicalism leads to when stripped of all its reductive and nonreductive obscurities. It offers a clear, simple mind-body solution by just filling in what neuroscience is silent about, namely, what brain matter is like behind perceptions of it. (shrink)
This book is a rebuttal of the common charge that the moral doctrine of utilitarianism permits horrible acts, justifies unfair distribution of wealth and other social goods, and demands too much of moral agents. Bailey defends utilitarianism by applying central insights of game theory regarding feasible equilibria and evolutionary stability of norms to elaborate an account of institutions that real-world utilitarians would want to foster. With such an account he shows that utilitarianism, while still a useful doctrine for criticizing existing (...) institutions, is far more congruent with ordinary moral common sense than has been generally recognized. A controversial attempt to support the practical use of utilitarian ethics in a world of conflicting interests and competing moral agents, Bailey's work uniquely bridges the abstract debate of philosophers and the practical, consequence-based debates of political scientists. (shrink)
In his well-known 1952 dialogue Max Black describes a counterexample to the Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles (PII). The counterexample is a world containing nothing but two purportedly indiscernible iron spheres. Reflecting on Black's example, Robert Adams uses the possibility of a world containing two almost indiscernible spheres to argue for the possibility of the indiscernible spheres world. One of Adams's almost indiscernible spheres has a small impurity, and, Adams writes, "Surely... the absence of the impurity would not make (...) such a universe impossible." The appeal to "surely" constitutes a gap in Adams's argument. This paper bridges the gap with a premise that exploits the counterfactual conditional and the related notion of causal independence. The paper then argues that causal independence bears in a similar way on an issue Nathan Salmon raises concerning Kripke's argument for the Essentiality of Origins. (shrink)
The concept of volition has a long history in Western thought, but is looked upon unfavorably in contemporary philosophy and psychology. This paper proposes and elaborates a unifying conception of volition, which views volition as a mediating executive mental process that bridges the gaps between an agent's deliberation, decision and voluntary bodily action. Then the paper critically examines three major skeptical arguments against volition: volition is a mystery, volition is an illusion, and volition is a fundamentally flawed conception that (...) leads to infinite regress. It is shown that all these charges are untenable and the arguments are far from decisive to dismiss the concept of volition. In addition, it is suggested that a naturalistic approach, which takes philosophical inquiry as continuous with the scientific study of volition, is a promising way to demystify volition. (shrink)
An illustrious line-up of seventeen philosophers from the USA, the UK, and Australia present new essays on themes from the work of Frank Jackson, which bridges mind, language, logic, metaphysics, and ethics. Central to Jackson's work is an approach to metaphysical issues built on the twin foundations of supervenience and conceptual analysis. In the first part of the book six essays examine this approach and its application to philosophy of mind and philosophy of color. The second part focuses on (...) Jackson's highly influential work on phenomenal consciousness. The third part is devoted to Jackson's work in ethics, both normative ethics and metaethics. The last three papers discuss Jackson's ground-breaking work on conditionals. The final section of the book comprises a substantial essay by Jackson in reply to his critics: this offers some of the clearest expressions of the ideas which Jackson has brought to the fore in philosophy. (shrink)
One of the very few matters of nearly universal agreement with respect to Nietzsche interpretation, one that bridges the great analytic/continental divide, is that Nietzsche was offering some sort of account of freedom, in contradistinction to the ‘ascetic’ or ‘slavish’ ways of the past. What remains in dispute is the character of this account. In this paper I present Nietzsche’s account of freedom and his arguments for the superior cogency of that account relative to other accounts of freedom, including (...) irony about the possibility of freedom. (shrink)
Epistemic logic begins with the recognition that our everyday talk about knowing and believing has some systematic features that we can track and re‡ect upon. Epistemic logicians have studied and extended these glints of systematic structure in fascinating and important ways since the early 1960s. However, for one reason or another, mainstream epistemologists have shown little interest. It is striking to contrast the marginal role of epistemic logic in contemporary epistemology with the centrality of modal logic for metaphysicians. This article (...) is intended to help in correcting this oversight by presenting some important developments in epistemic logic and suggesting ways to understand their applicability to traditional epistemological problems. Obviously, by itself, tweaking the formal apparatus of epistemic logic does not solve traditional epistemological problems. Epistemic logic can help us to navigate through problems in a systematic fashion by unpacking the logic of the problematic concepts, it can also lead us to recognize problems that we had not anticipated. This is basically analogous to the role that modal logic has played in contemporary metaphysics. (shrink)
Epistemic logic begins with the recognition that our everyday talk about knowing and believing has some systematic features that we can track and reflect upon. Epistemic logicians have studied and extended these glints of systematic structure in fascinating and important ways since the early 1960s. However, for one reason or another, mainstream epistemologists have shown little interest. It is striking to contrast the marginal role of epistemic logic in contemporary epistemology with the centrality of modal logic for metaphysicians. This article (...) is intended to help in correcting this oversight by presenting some important developments in epistemic logic and suggesting ways to understand their applicability to traditional epistemological problems. Obviously, by itself, tweaking the formal apparatus of epistemic logic does not solve traditional epistemological problems. Epistemic logic can help us to navigate through problems in a systematic fashion by unpacking the logic of the problematic concepts, it can also lead us to recognize problems that we had not anticipated. This is basically analogous to the role that modal logic has played in contemporary metaphysics. (shrink)
In this paper I investigate the relation between physics and metaphysics in Plato’s participation theory. I show that the logic shoring up Plato’s metaphysics in paraconsistent, as had been suggested already by Graham Priest. The transformation of the paradoxical One-and-Many of the pre-Socratics into a paraconsistent Great-and-Small bridges the abyss between archaic rationality and the world of classical logic based ultimately on the principle of contradiction. Indeed, language is an organ of perception, not simply a means of communication. J. (...) Jaynes, Origin of Consciousness. (shrink)
We discuss the foundations of constructive mathematics, including recursive mathematics and intuitionism, in relation to classical mathematics. There are connections with the foundations of physics, due to the way in which the different branches of mathematics reflect reality. Many different axioms and their interrelationship are discussed. We show that there is a fundamental problem in BISH (Bishop’s school of constructive mathematics) with regard to its current definition of ‘continuous function’. This problem is closely related to the definition in BISH of (...) ‘locally compact’. Possible approaches to this problem are discussed. Topology seems to be a key to understanding many issues. We offer several new simplifying axioms, which can form bridges between the various branches of constructive mathematics and classical mathematics (‘reuniting the antipodes’). We give a simplification of basic intuitionistic theory, especially with regard to so-called ‘bar induction’. We then plead for a limited number of axiomatic systems, which differentiate between the various branches of mathematics. Finally, in the appendix we offer BISH an elegant topological definition of ‘locally compact’, which unlike the current definition is equivalent to the usual classical and/or intuitionistic definition in classical and intuitionistic mathematics, respectively. (shrink)
Belief revision theory concerns methods for reformulating an agent's epistemic state when the agent's beliefs are refuted by new information. The usual guiding principle in the design of such methods is to preserve as much of the agent's epistemic state as possible when the state is revised. Learning theoretic research focuses, instead, on a learning method's reliability or ability to converge to true, informative beliefs over a wide range of possible environments. This paper bridges the two perspectives by assessing (...) the reliability of several proposed belief revision operators. Stringent conceptions of minimal change are shown to occasion a limitation called inductive amnesia: they can predict the future only if they cannot remember the past. Avoidance of inductive amnesia can therefore function as a plausible and hitherto unrecognized constraint on the design of belief revision operators. (shrink)
In God and Phenomenal Consciousness, Yujin Nagasawa bridges debates in two distinct areas of philosophy: the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of religion. First, he introduces some of the most powerful arguments against the existence of God and provides new objections to them. He then presents a hitherto unrecognised parallel structure between these arguments and influential arguments offered by Thomas Nagel and Frank Jackson against the physicalist approach to phenomenal consciousness. By appealing to this structure, Nagasawa constructs novel (...) objections to Jackson’s and Nagel’s arguments. Finally, he derives, from the failure of these arguments, a unique metaphysical thesis, which he calls ‘non-theoretical physicalism’. Through this thesis, he shows that although this world is entirely physical, there are physical facts that cannot be captured even by complete theories of the physical sciences. (shrink)
Cowan's analysis of human short-term memory (STM) and attention in terms of processing limits in the range of 4 items (or “chunks”) is discussed from the point of view of cognitive neuroscience. Although, Cowan already provides many important theoretical insights, we need to learn more about how to build further bridges between cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience.
This essay [by Boone and Smith] brings into sharp relief a ubiquitous confusion that has dogged discussions of cultural evolution, deriving, I suspect, from a subtle misreading of Darwin's original use of artificial selection (deliberate animal breeding) and "unconscious" selection (the unwitting promotion of favored offspring of domesticated animals) as bridges to his concept of natural selection. While it is true that Darwin wished to contrast the utter lack of foresight or intention in natural selection with the deliberate goal-seeking (...) of the artificial selectors, in order to show how the natural process could in principle proceed without any mentality at all, he did not thereby establish (as many seem to have supposed) that deliberate, goal-directed, intentional selection is not a subvariety of natural selection! The short legs of dachshunds, and the huge udders of Holsteins are just as much products of natural selection as the wings of the eagle; they just evolved in an environment that included a particularly well-focussed selective pressure consisting of human agents. These phenotypes fall under the same laws of transmission genetics, the same replicator dynamics, as any others--as special and extreme cases in which the default "randomness" or noisiness of selective pressure has been greatly reduced. (shrink)
Over the Last Three Decades or so, Thomas Reid has been a source of inspiration for a number of epistemologists with a broadly externalist orientation.1 For them, Reid broke the spell of internalism, roughly the thesis that justification (or whatever it is that bridges the gap between mere true belief and knowledge) exclusively requires the occurrence of factors that are somehow “internal” to the subject. As will appear in due course, many lines of thought in Reid merit the externalist’s (...) enthusiasm. At the same time this should not make us oblivious to the fact that in Reid’s work we also find lines of thought that unmistakably have an “internalist” ring. The aim of this paper is to identify these strands .. (shrink)
Gendlin proposes experiential concepts as bridges between phenomenology and logical formulation. His method moves back and forth, aiming to increase both natural understanding and logical formulation. On thesubjective side, the concepts requiredirect reference tofelt orimplicit meaning. There is no equivalence between this and the logical side. Rather, in logical explication, the implicit iscarried forward, a relation shown by many functions. The subjective is no inner parallel. It performsspecific functions in language. Once these are located, they also lead to developments (...) on the formulated side.To show some of this, Gendlin modifies Lakoff and Johnson''s theory of metaphor, and expands it into a theory of all language use. He denies that a metaphor consists of a pattern or image, shared by two situations. There is only one situation — the metaphoric one. The original situation is actually a family of many uses (in the Wittgensteinian sense). As in all speech, a word makes sense only as its use-family crosses with an actual situation in the actual spot in a sentence. Subjectively, a metaphor means this crossing. From it, long chains of new similarities and differences can be generated. Ways to study the functions and features of thiscrossing are proposed. (shrink)
In spite (or because) of the infinity of (the) voice, of the boundless mystery it carries and exhales, of its disembodied traversing and joining, sayings follow barely traced courses. They travel along fragile lines of memory, often discontinuous bridges, transpositions into notational forms. They travel alone, exposed to corruption, consuming friction, repetition - their beginning and final destination often lost to those who listen to them and send them past. In spite of the power of memory and its arts, (...) there are sayings and stories handed down to us in fragments, like decapitated Níke and disfigured Diónysos. There are poems reaching us, race of diggers and preservers, through somebody else's reminiscence, recovery, or loving quotation. In turn, our receiving and sending (stretching) forth, our being thus traversed, shares something with the destiny of these sayings and sculpted deities - being sent, crossing and (un)covering distances, in the fragmented continuity of dialogues, or what remains of them. The present essay is devoted to a meditation on the question of temporality and history in its epistemologico-metaphysical implications. It is developed mainly by reference to Aristotle, after Heidegger. (shrink)
In this article I review two contrasting approaches to Muslim women’s rights: those that want Muslims to secularize the Qur’an as the precondition for getting rights and those that emphasize the importance of a liberatory Qur’anic hermeneutics to Muslim women’s struggles for rights and equality. As examples of the former, I take the works of Nasr Abu Zayd and Raja Rhouni and, of the latter, my own. In addition to joining the debates on Muslim women’s rights, this exercise is meant (...) to illustrate that secular attempts to undermine Islam also undermine the prospects for rights and democracy in Muslim societies. In fact, I see the secular project in Muslim societies as a form of self-harm. Lastly, I revisit Antonio Gramsci’s critique of democracy as a way to query the title of the İstanbul Seminars, ‘The Promises of Democracy’. (shrink)
This two-volume work bridges the gap between introductory expositions of logic or set theory on one hand, and the research literature on the other. It can be used as a text in an advanced undergraduate or beginning graduate course in mathematics, computer science, or philosophy. The volumes are written in a user-friendly conversational lecture style that makes them equally effective for self-study or class use. Volume II, on formal (ZFC) set theory, incorporates a self-contained 'chapter 0' on proof techniques (...) so that it is based on formal logic, in the style of Bourbaki. The emphasis on basic techniques will provide the reader with a solid foundation in set theory and provides a context for the presentation of advanced topics such as absoluteness, relative consistency results, two expositions of Godel's constructible universe, numerous ways of viewing recursion, and a chapter on Cohen forcing. (shrink)
As an informational technology, the World Wide Web has enjoyed spectacular success. In just ten years it has transformed the way information is produced, stored, and shared in arenas as diverse as shopping, family photo albums, and high-level academic research. The “Semantic Web” was touted by its developers as equally revolutionary but has not yet achieved anything like the Web’s exponential uptake. This 17 000 word survey article explores why this might be so, from a perspective that bridges both (...) philosophy and IT. (*Also translated into Croatian and republished in Vjesnik bibliotekara Hrvatske 53, 1(2010), 155-206: See external link #2). (shrink)
As humanity becomes increasingly interconnected through globalization, the question of whether community is possible within culturally diverse societies has returned as a principal concern for contemporary thought. Lorenzo Simpson charges that the current discussion is stuck at an impasse--between postmodernism's notions of fragmented cultural difference and what some see as humanism's homogeneous versions of community. Simpson proposes an alternative--one that bridges cultural differences without erasing them. He argues that we must establish common languages for articulating aesthetic and ethical (...) standards that incorporate a sensitivity to difference if we are to achieve cross-cultural understanding. (shrink)
Work on a computer program called SMILE + IBP (SMart Index Learner Plus Issue-Based Prediction) bridges case-based reasoning and extracting information from texts. The program addresses a technologically challenging task that is also very relevant from a legal viewpoint: to extract information from textual descriptions of the facts of decided cases and apply that information to predict the outcomes of new cases. The program attempts to automatically classify textual descriptions of the facts of legal problems in terms of Factors, (...) a set of classification concepts that capture stereotypical fact patterns that effect the strength of a legal claim, here trade secret misappropriation. Using these classifications, the program can evaluate and explain predictions about a problem’s outcome given a database of previously classified cases. This paper provides an extended example illustrating both functions, prediction by IBP and text classification by SMILE, and reports empirical evaluations of each. While IBP’s results are quite strong, and SMILE’s much weaker, SMILE + IBP still has some success predicting and explaining the outcomes of case scenarios input as texts. It marks the first time to our knowledge that a program can reason automatically about legal case texts. (shrink)
While Maimonides reread his sources to reconcile biblical and rabbinic texts with the demands of reason, Hermann Cohen, in his construction of a “religion of reason,” rereads Maimonides' rereadings of those very same texts. Maimonides' Judaism often bridges the sources toward Cohen's religion of reason by providing a philological anchor that nudges a term or verse now viewed through a more modern historical and evolutionary lens toward its ultimate reason-infused meaning. This paper will explore a hitherto neglected feature of (...) their oeuvres that unites Maimonides and Cohen as much as it distinguishes them: the “Jewishness” shared by both, as evident in the most Jewish of all exercises that suffuses both their works, biblical and midrashic exegesis. Their exegetical nets are systematically cast widely throughout the breadth of the Hebrew Bible, but more often than not they offer highly discrepant readings of the same passage or prooftext. Cohen's referencing of many of the same sources appeals to their Maimonidean rationalist refurbishment, but at the same time often places them in combative discourse in order to subvert and reorient Maimonides' exegesis. The notions of divine names, the “image” ( tselem ) of God, “nearness” to God, and divine “glory” ( kavod ) are closely examined to demonstrate this intertextual relationship between these two seminal Jewish thinkers. While Cohen may be misreading Maimonides' rereading of scripture, he remains a true hermeneutical disciple in his exegetical restructuring and realignment of scripture. Cohen's programmatic exegetical idealization of Maimonidean prooftexts to reconstruct a new Kantianized God forms a common ground of discourse with Maimonides that traverses seven centuries of a quintessential Jewish enterprise. (shrink)
This paper falls under the rubric of the sociology of knowledge, which bridges the gap between phenomenological philosophy and the human sciences (Berger et al., 1969). It presents an empirical investigation of the communicative construction of psychotherapeutic reality. I examine therapeutic talk and psychotherapists' reconstructions of the transition from state socialism in Germany in 1989. In both instances I show how psychotherapists' commonly shared interpretative conventions and rules of reasoning produce typical accounts. The first part of the paper shows (...) how certain interpretative conventions and rules of reasoning organize therapeutic talk and interaction in general. The second part focuses on how the interpretative conventions typical of therapy also inform psychotherapists' interpretations of the transition from state socialism. (shrink)
En este trabajo se postula que se pueden establecer relaciones entre las diversas ‘visiones dei mundo’ (en sentido vulgar) y las teorías economicas, a través de las epistemologías subyacentes a las mismas. Se ilustra con las siguientes relaciones: entre la cosmovisión propia dei sistema de Aristóteles y su noción de economía, entre la matriz racionalista moderna y la economía clásica y neoclásica, a través del uso de analogías físicas y biologicas, y entre algunas posturas recientes y una vision post-moderna del (...) mundo. Se busca fomentar una actitud crítica frente a las teorías e insistir en la necesidadde buscar siempre el camino epistemológico y metodológico adecuado al objeto de estudio.This paper tries to show the bridges between world visions (in a broad sense) and economic theories, through their underlying epistemological positions. The following relations are brought up: between Aristotle’s world vision and his concept of economics, between the modern rationalist frame and classical and neoclassical economics by the postulation of analogies from physics and biology, and finally between post-modern world vision and some current perspectives. The aim of the paper is to stress on the need of maintaining a critical position toward theories and also always looking for an adequate epistemological and methodological way. (shrink)
On a general level, this paper proposes a critical analysis of one of the attempts to make bridges between economics and moral and political philosophy. A priori, we may expect that formal methods may lead to clearer and more rigorous arguments, and may facilitate practical applications. However, this paper illustrates how precision is bought at the price of becoming tautological. Therefore, the statement that "it is already widely recognized that formal methods derived from economics can contribute to ethics" (Broome (...) 1989: ix) seems hasty. The paper is organized as follows: Section 2 discusses some philosophical background assumptions which underlie a decision theoretic argument in favour of utilitarianism. Section 3 recalls briefly John Harsanyi's decision theoretic arguments in favour of utilitarianism. It then focuses on the crucial assumption of separability in order to show that separability can always be saved as an assumption if one applies the strategy of dispersion. Section 4, finally, shows how the theorem may indeed reconcile the concern for equality and utilitarianism, at the price of becoming futile. (shrink)
One of the core problems with engineering ethics education is perceptual. Although ethics is meant to be a central component of today’s engineering curriculum, it is often perceived as a marginal requirement that must be fulfilled. In addition, there is a mismatch between faculty and student perceptions of ethics. While faculty aim to communicate the nuances and complexity of engineering ethics, students perceive ethics as laws, rules, and codes that must be memorized. This paper provides some historical context to better (...) understand these perceptual differences, and suggests that curriculum constraints are important contributing factors. Drawing on the growing scholarship of student engagement approaches to pedagogy, the paper explores how students can be empowered to effect change in the broader engineering curriculum through engineering ethics. The paper describes a student engagement approach to pedagogy that includes students as active participants in curriculum design—a role that enables them to critically reflect about why ethics is a requirement. Including students in the process of curriculum design leads students to reframe ethics as an integrative tool with the capacity to bring together different engineering departments and build bridges to non-engineering fields. This paper argues that students can and should play an active and important role in relocating ethics from the periphery to the core of the engineering curriculum. (shrink)
"I think this is an outstanding book. The coverage is comprehensive, the lines of thought and exposition are clear, and the level of discussion is very high yet remarkably lively and accessible. It has an underlying intellectual seriousness and engagement which shines out through the individual chapters, and the author's unwillingness to make do with secondary analyses and received ideas gives it a strength and freshness of approach which is extremely welcome." -- Professor William Outhwaite, University of Sussex Social Theory (...) in the Twentieth Century offers an easy-to-read but provocative account of the development of social theory. Patrick Baert covers a wide range of key figures and schools of thought, including Giddens, Foucault and Habermas. Written in a lively style and avoiding jargon, this book is aimed at students who wish to understand the main debates and dilemmas driving social theory. Rather than providing a neutral summary of the different thinkers and theories, Baert challenges the conventional readings of social theory with new and original interpretations. In effect, he bridges the gap between philosophy and social theory by placing the theoretical views within wider historical traditions. Social Theory in the Twentieth Century will undoubtedly become the standard introduction to social theory for students in sociology, politics, and anthropology. (shrink)
This book is an encounter between Deleuze the philosopher, Proust the novelist, and Beckett the writer creating interdisciplinary and inter-aesthetic bridges between them, covering textual, visual, sonic and performative phenomena, including provocative speculation about how Proust might have responded to Deleuze and Beckett.