Taking a detour to reach a goal is intelligent behavior based on making inferences. The main purpose of the present research is to show how such apparently complex behavior can emerge from basic mechanisms such as contextual categorisation and goal attribution when perceiving people. We presentacacia (Action by Contextually Automated Categorising Interactive Agents), a computer model implemented using StarLogo software, grounded in the principles of Artificial Life (Al), capable of simulating the behavior of a group of agents with a goal (...) (for instance, to find a treasure in a treasure hunt ) in an environment where obstacles mask the goal site. The results of the simulations show that agents reach the goal the fastest when they follow each other and take detours. We argue that these results indicate that intelligent adaptive behavior is based on the contextual categorisation of environmental constrainst (that is, obstacles and other agents). (shrink)
Se busca rastrear la imagen que Platón tiene de Heráclito y articularla con la estructura argumentativa del Cratilo, para comprender las necesidades textuales a las que responde la doctrina del flujo perpetuo, es decir, la discusión sobre la corrección (ὀρθότης) del nombre. Gracias a la inclusión del testimonio heraclíteo, resulta posible rastrear la presunta consolidación de la tesis sobre los nombres primarios y los secundarios como el eje de la separación entre dos planos de realidad (uno estable y uno móvil) (...) y de la teoría de las Ideas -es decir, como la base de la epistemología platónica presente en los diálogos de madurez-. The article seeks to trace the image Plato has of Heraclitus and connect it with the argumentative structure of the Cratylus in order to understand the textual needs that give rise to the doctrine of perpetual flux, that is, the discussion regarding the correctness (ὀρθότης) of names. The inclusion of Heraclitus's testimony makes it possible to trace the alleged consolidation of the thesis regarding primary and secondary names as the axis of separation between two levels of reality (one stable, the other, changing) and the theory of Ideas -that is, as the basis of Plato's epistemology as set forth in the late dialogues-. (shrink)
Multiculturalist theories of recognition consist of explanatory-descriptive social theoretical accounts of the position of the minorities whose predicaments the theories seek to address, together with normative principles generating political implications. Although theories of recognition are often based on illiberal principles or couched in illiberal-sounding language, it is possible to combine proper liberal principles with the kind of social theoretical accounts of minority groups highlighted in multiculturalism. The importance of ‘the social bases of self-respect’ in Rawls’s political liberalism is used to (...) illustrate how a liberal theory of recognition might be constructed, and it is argued that such a theory can capture some, though not all, of the concerns of multiculturalism, even though the resulting ‘politics of recognition’ is neither a ‘politics of difference’ nor a kind of ‘identity politics’. (shrink)
Are concepts stable entities, unchanged from context to context? Or rather are they context-dependent structures, created on the fly? We argue that this does not constitute a genuine dilemma. Our main thesis is that the more a pattern of features is general and shared, the more it qualifies as a concept. Contextualists have not shown that conceptual structures lack a stable, general core, acting as an attractor on idiosyncratic information. What they have done instead is to give a contribution to (...) the comprehension of how conceptual structure organized around such a stable core can produce contextually appropriate representations on demand. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that equal respect-based accounts of the normative basis of tolerance are self-defeating, insofar as they are unable to specify the limits of tolerance in a way that is consistent with their own commitment to the equal treatment of all conceptions of the good. I show how this argument is a variant of the long-standing ‘conflict of freedoms’ objection to Kantian-inspired, freedom-based accounts of the justification of systems of norms. I criticize Thomas Scanlon’s defence of ‘pure (...) tolerance’, Anna Elisabetta Galeotti’s work on the relationship between tolerance, equal respect and recognition, and Arthur Ripstein’s recent response to the ‘conflict of freedoms’ objection. The upshot of my argument is that, while valuing tolerance for its own sake may be an appealing ideal, it is not a feasible way of grounding a system of norms. I close with a thumbnail sketch of two alternative, instrumental (i.e. non-Kantian) approaches to the normative foundations of tolerance. (shrink)
P.T. Geach has maintained (see, e.g., Geach (1967/1968)) that identity (as well as dissimilarity) is always relative to a general term. According to him, the notion of absolute identity has to be abandoned and replaced by a multiplicity of relative identity relations for which Leibniz's Law - which says that if two objects are identical they have the same properties - does not hold. For Geach relative identity is at least as good as Frege's cardinality thesis which he takes to (...) be strictly connected with relative identity - according to which an ascription of cardinality is always relative to a concept which specifies what, in any particular case, counts as a unit. The idea that there is a close connection between relative identity and Frege's cardinality thesis has been issued again quite recently by Alston and Bennett in (1984). In their opinion, Frege's cardinality thesis is not only similar to relative identity - as Geach maintains - but it implies it. Moreover, they agree with Geach in claiming that a commitment to Frege's cardinality thesis forces a parallel commitment to relative identity. Against Geach, Alston and Bennett we will claim that (Tl): "Frege's cardinality thesis is similar to relative identity" is false and that therefore (T2) "Frege's cardinality thesis implies relative identity" is false as well. (shrink)
In this essay, I reconstruct tolerance as a moral virtue, by critically analysing its definition, circumstances, justification and limits. I argues that, despite its paradoxical appearance, tolerance qualifies as a virtue, by means of a restriction of its proper object to differences that are chosen. Since this excludes the most important and divisive differences of contemporary pluralism from the scope of the virtue of tolerance, the moral model of toleration cannot constitute the micro-foundation of the corresponding political practice. However, if (...) the political ideal of toleration must be founded on independent political reasons of justice, the moral model can bridge the gap between private morality and public reason, providing citizens with moral motives to supplement the political obligation to neutrality. (shrink)
The ?traditional? conception of toleration, understood as the putting up with beliefs and practices by those who disapprove of them, has come under increasing attack in recent years for being negative, condescending and judgemental. Instead, its critics argue for a more positive, affirmative conception, perhaps best captured by Anna Elisabetta Galeotti?s idea of ?toleration as recognition?. In this article, without denying that it is not always the most appropriate form of response to differences, I defend the traditional conception of (...) toleration against its critics. Two principal arguments are advanced in defence of it: the first articulates its role as part of a viable and realistic political theory of modus vivendi, while the second argues that it is only the traditional conception of toleration that makes possible the mutual accommodation of some values that are genuinely antithetical and hostlie to each other. Thus, there remains an important place for the traditional conception of toleration in both political theory and practice. (shrink)
This paper explores the possibility of resisting meaning scepticism – the thesis that there are many alternative incompatible assignments of reference to each of our terms - by appealing to the idea that the nature of reference is to maximize knowledge. If the reference relation is a knowledge maximizing-relation, then some candidate referents are privileged among the others - i.e., those referents we are in a position to know about – and a positive reason against meaning scepticism is thus individuated. (...) A knowledge-maximizing principle on the nature of reference was proposed by Williamson in a recent paper (Williamson 2005). According to Williamson, such a principle would count as a defeasible reason for thinking that most of our beliefs tend to be true. My paper reverses Williamson’s dialectic, and argues that reference is knowledge-maximizing from the premise that most of our beliefs tend to be true. (shrink)
According to Frege a proposition—or, in his terms, a thought—is an abstract structured entity constituted by senses which satisfies, at least, the three following properties: it can be semantically assessed as true or as false, it is the object of so called propositional attitudes and it can be grasped. What Frege meant by 'grasping' is the peculiar way in which we can have epistemic access to propositions. The possibility for propositions to be grasped is put by Frege as a warrant (...) for their existence: to challenge their graspability would amount to jeopardise their ontological reality. But is it true, as Frege uncritically maintained, that the "graspability requirement" is satisfied as far as propositions (as he conceived them) are concerned? This is the topic of the present work. A negative answer to the above mentioned question has been given in recent time by the representatives of what has come to be labelled the "cognitive turn" in analytical philosophy. People such as Fodor and Johnson-Laird patently denied the possibility for propositions, conceived à la Frege, to be accessed by the grasping relation. What grounds their position is, to put it roughly, the following train of thought: in order for something to be the target of the grasping relation it must enter the mind. Nothing which is different from a mental entity can enter the mind. Therefore, what can be grasped must be mental. The upshot of this move implies, among other things, the rejection of that radical anti-psychologism which was characteristic of the forefathers of the analytical tradition. In our work we shall try to resist their conclusion by showing that it is not necessary to zero the distinction between propositions and mental entities in order to provide an adequate account of the grasping relation. What one has to give up, instead, is only Frege's late Platonism of the "third realm" which, in our view, is a wholly unnecessary and dispensable accretion of his picture. For, as we shall show, if Platonism is in place it is difficult to provide an account of the grasping relation which makes no use of the "representationalist hypothesis" — i.e. of the hypothesis that ideas mediate our access to whatever can be given to us. But representationalism, once in place, makes the theoretical role of the notion of sense dispensable or purely additional. (shrink)
I argue that a concept is applied correctly when it is applied to the kind of things it is the concept of. Correctness as successful kind-tracking is fulfilling an externally and naturalistically individuated standard. And the normative aspect of concept-application so characterized depends on the relational (non-individualistic) feature of conceptual content. I defend this view against two objections. The first is that norms should provide justifications for action, and the second involves a version of the thesis of indeterminacy of reference.
We give a description of the effect of the gravitational field by using the geodesic equation of motion with respect to a first order Finslerian approximation of the Minkowski metric. This motivates linking the physical force of gravity to the non flat nature of space in the Finslerian setting and leads to an anisotropic version of the red shift formula. We solve the linearized Finslerian field equations proposed by S.F. Rutz (Gen. Relativ. Gravit. 25(11):1139–1158, 1993).
Anna Elisabetta Galeotti?s theory of ?toleration as recognition? has been criticised by Peter Jones for being conceptually incoherent, since liberal toleration presupposes a negative attitude to differences, whereas multicultural recognition requires positive affirmation hereof. The paper spells out Galeotti?s justification for recognition as a requirement of liberal justice in detail and asks in what sense the policies supported by Galeotti are policies of recognition. It is argued that Jones misrepresents Galeotti?s theory, insofar as this sense of recognition actually is (...) compatible with liberal toleration. This does not prove Jones?s criticism to be wrong, since the justification may have implications unacknowledged by Galeotti, which might be liberally problematic. The paper considers this problem and possible ways of responding to it, but concludes that Galeotti?s theory is incomplete in respects that need to be filled out in order to secure compatibility with liberalism, and that this may prove problematic. (shrink)
This paper focuses on one of the original moments of the development of the “phenomenological” current of psychiatry, namely, the psychopathological research of Ludwig Binswanger. By means of the clinical and conceptual problem of schizophrenia as it was conceived and developed at the beginning of the twentieth century, I will try to outline and analyze Binswanger’s perspective from a both historical and epistemological point of view. Binswanger’s own way means of approaching and conceiving schizophrenia within the scientific, medical, and psychiatric (...) context of that time will lead us to grasp the epistemological stakes at the origins of his project of reforming psychiatry by means of phenomenology. I will finally attempt to upgrade and update Binswanger’s project in light of the current reappraisal of phenomenology within the ongoing debate on psychopathology engaged by studies in the field of science and philosophy of mind. (shrink)
We aim to show that far-related primates like humans and the capuchin monkeys show interesting correspondences in terms of artifact characterization and categorization. We investigate this issue by using a philosophically-inspired definition of physical artifact which, developed for human artifacts, turns out to be applicable for cross-species comparison. In this approach an artifact is created when an entity is intentionally selected and some capacities attributed to it (often characterizing a purpose). Behavioral studies suggest that this notion of artifact is not (...) specific to the human kind. On the basis of the results of a series of field observations and experiments on wild capuchin monkeys that routinely use stone hammers and anvils, we show that the notions of intentional selection and attributed capacity appear to be at play in capuchins as well. The study also suggests that functional criteria and contextualization play a fundamental role in terms of artifact recognition and categorization in nonhuman primates. (shrink)
In this paper I focus on the emergence of the concept of the “historical a priori” at the origin of Foucault’s archeology. I emphasize the methodological function of this concept within Foucault’s archaeology, and I maintain that despite the different thesis it entails as compared to its philosophical sources, it pertains to one of the main issues of phenomenology, that is, the problematization of the relation between reality as it appears in its historicity, and transcendentality. I start from the interest (...) of the young Foucault in existential psychiatry, and I focus on the French philosophical context in which Foucault’s Introduction to Ludwig Binswanger’s “Dream and Existence” (1954) was conceived. My aim is to show that the first “phenomenological” phase of Foucault’s work is coherent, from a methodological point of view, with the development of archaeology intended as “historical epistemology.” I conclude by arguing that Foucault’s archaeology is methodologically linked to Canguilhem’s epistemology, in that the latter presents itself as an important attempt at linking together historicity and transcendentality. (shrink)
Cet ouvrage constitue la réédition du deuxième volume du Nouvel Atlas Linguistique de la Corse (NALC) publié en 1999 par les éditions du CNRS et désormais épuisé, comme le premier volume daté de 1995. Les Éditions du Comité des Travaux Historiques et Scientifiques de Paris, avec les Éditions Alain Piazzola d’Ajaccio, ont pu acheter les droits des Éditions du CNRS et relancer ainsi la publication de cette collection que le Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique n’a plus poursuivie (il en..
El estudio parte de la discusión de De anima, III, 11, 434a7-10: a diferencia de las interpretaciones más difundidas del pasaje, que dependen considerablemente del comentario de Filopón, aquí se busca reconstruir la actividad de medición, planteada en relación de analogía con la “imaginación deliberativa”, a la luz de procedimientos de descomposición y recomposición de figuras geométricas, muy difundidos en los siglos V-IV a.C., de los cuales se presentan también ilustraciones numismáticas. En la misma línea se puede situar tanto la (...) referencia de Ética Nicomáquea, III, 5, 1112b20-21 al “análisis” de las figuras, como el de Ética Nicomáquea, VI, 9, 1142a23-29 al triángulo como “extremo”. A este modelo metrético-espacial de la phantasia bouleutikē se añade uno de tipo logístico-temporal, que es mencionado en De anima, III, 7, 431b7-8 y en De memoria, 2, 453a15-16, con una interesante confirmación en Tucídides, I, 138, 3, donde Temístocles es comparado con un “habilísimo gnōmōn”. En ambos casos, los modelos matemáticos en los que se inspira el hombre que imagina mientras trata de comprender qué es obrar bien, aquí y ahora, no son productos refinados de ciencia teórica, sino que pertenecen a aquellas “matemáticas de los mercaderes”, que Platón desaconsejaba practicar para alcanzar la visión del verdadero bien La reseña no presenta resumen. (shrink)
A partir de un caso presentado en el Eutifrón (2a-5d), se analiza la contraposición, latente ya en la época de Platón, entre, de un lado, un orden de justicia ideal y universal, válido para todo hombre en cuanto hombre, y, de otro lado, las leyes positivas propias de una determinada comunidad o las acciones particulares de sus miembros. Esta contraposición es concebida en una perspectiva que se orienta tanto al futuro como al pasado: en el primer caso, se reconoce en (...) ella un estadío muy antiguo de la reflexión filosófica y jurídica, que lleva hasta la definición de los “derechos humanos”; en el segundo caso, se analizan los modos en que Platón sugiere, particularmente en algunos pasajes de las Leyes, la posibilidad de efectuar una mediación entre lo “justo en sí” y la justicia de las leyes positivas particulares o de las acciones de los individuos. --- “Is it just to accuse one’s own father of homicide for having let a dependant die? Ref lect ions on human r ights in Plato” . From a case presented in Euthyphro (2a-5d), the paper analyzes the contraposition, already latent in Plato’s time, between, on the one hand, an ideal and universal order of justice, valid for any human as such and, on the other, the positive laws of a specific community or the particular actions of its members. This contraposition is conceived from a perspective oriented as much towards the future as towards the past: in the first case, a very old stage of philosophical and juridical reflections is recognized in it that leads to the definition of “human rights”; in the second case, the paper analyzes the ways in which Plato suggests the possibility, particularly in some passages of the Laws, of performing a mediation between “the just in itself” and the justice of particular positive laws or the actions of individuals. (shrink)
En este artículo se señalan algunas condiciones que son necesarias para el desarrollo y estabilidad de la democracia contemporánea, las cuales están vinculadas tanto al problema de la limitación de su poder como al de la justicia social. El texto está estructurado en tres partes: en la primera, se presenta un breve panorama de los niveles de apoyo que tiene la democracia en América Latina, destacando en especial las condiciones de desigualdad que hay en México; en la segunda, se analiza (...) la propuesta de Norberto Bobbio, para quien la democracia se caracteriza por ser representativa, política y formal; en la tercera, se recuperan algunos elementos de uno de sus principales discípulos, Luigi Ferrajoli, quien ha señalado la necesidad de la democracia sustancial y los derechos fundamentales para limitar el poder de la democracia formal. Palabras clave: Democracia; derechos fundamentales; desigualdad social Limits of Democracy and Social JusticeIn this article I point out some necessary conditions for the development and stability of contemporary democracy; conditions which are linked to both, the problem of the limitation of its power and social justice. The text is structured into three parts. In the first I present a brief overview of the levels of support that democracy has in Latin America, focusing especially on the inequality conditions existing in Mexico. In the second part I analyze the proposal of Norberto Bobbio´s, for whom democracy is characterized by being representative, political and formal. In the third part, I recall some points dealt with by one of his disciples, Luigi Ferrajoli, who has pointed to the need for substantial democracy and fundamental rights to limit the power of formal democracy. Keywords: Democracy; fundamental rights; social inequality. (shrink)