We discuss the justification of Bickle's “ruthless” reductionism. Bickle intends to show that we know enough about neurons to draw conclusions about the “whole” brain and about the mind. However, his reductionism does not take into account the complexity of the nervous system and the fact that new properties emerge at each significant level of integration from the coupled functioning of elementary components. From a methodological point of view, we argue that neuronal and cognitive models have to exert a mutual (...) constraint(MC) on each other. This approach would refuse to award any priority of cognitive approaches over neuroscience, and reciprocally, to refuse any priority of neuroscience over cognitive approaches. MC thus argues against radicalreductionism at the methodological level. (shrink)
FranckGrammont, Dorothée Legrand, and Pierre Livet (eds): Naturalizing Intention in Action Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-6 DOI 10.1007/s10746-012-9217-1 Authors Brian W. Dunst, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA Journal Human Studies Online ISSN 1572-851X Print ISSN 0163-8548.
The Empowered Self: Law and Society in the Age of Individualism examines the gradual emancipation of the individual in national and international law and the changing social attitudes towards personal choice in constituting identity. It demonstrates that this desire of persons for choice is not limited to Western industrial society but a historical development powered by such independent variables as urbanization, the communications revolution, education, and economic development. These factors are changing the way persons affiliate: their attitudes towards nationality, religion, (...) careers, sexuality, and gender roles. In the new climate of personal freedom, individuals increasingly select the components of their identity, choosing one or several from among multiple possible affiliations and questioning---even sometimes rejecting---the imposed or inherited forms of socialization, but despite such resistance, Thomas Franck demonstrates that we are now entering the age of the individual. (shrink)
The abilities to attribute an action to its proper agent and to understand its meaning when it is produced by someone else are basic aspects of human social communication. Several psychiatric syndromes, such as schizophrenia, seem to lead to a dysfunction of the awareness of one’s own action as well as of recognition of actions performed by other. Such syndromes offer a framework for studying the determinants of agency, the ability to correctly attribute actions to their veridical source. Thirty normal (...) subjects and 30 schizophrenic patients with and without hallucinations and/or delusional experiences were required to execute simple finger and wrist movements, without direct visual control of their hand. The image of either their own hand or an alien hand executing the same or a different movement was presented on a TV-screen in real time. The task for the subjects was to discriminate whether the hand presented on the screen was their own or not. Hallucinating and deluded schizophrenic patients were more impaired in discriminating their own hand from the alien one than the non-hallucinating ones, and tended to misattribute the alien hand to themselves. Results are discussed according to a model of action control. A tentative description of the mechanisms leading to action consciousness is proposed. (shrink)
Panpsychism is the doctrine that mind is a fundamental feature of the world existing throughout the universe. One problem with panpsychism is that it is a purely theoretical concept so far. For progress towards an operationalization of the idea, this paper suggests to make use of an ontological difference involved in the mind-matter distinction. The mode in which mental phenomena exist is called presence. The mode in which matter and radiation exist is called reality Physical theory disregards presence in both (...) the form of mental presence and the form of the temporal present In contrast to mental presence the temporal present is objective in the perspective of the third person. This relative kind of objectivity waits to be utilized for a hypothesis of how the mental and the physical are interrelated In order to do so this paper translates the mind-matter distinction into the distinction between mental and physical time and addresses the problem that panpsychism tries to attack head-on in these temporal terms. There are in particular , two issues thus getting involved: discussions about a time observable and the quantum Zeno effect. (shrink)
Pierre Maquet1,2,6, Steven Laureys1,2, Philippe Peigneux1,2,3, Sonia Fuchs1, Christophe Petiau1, Christophe Phillips1,6, Joel Aerts1, Guy Del Fiore1, Christian Degueldre1, Thierry Meulemans3, André Luxen1, Georges Franck1,2, Martial Van Der Linden3, Carlyle Smith4 and Axel Cleeremans5.
Whoever paid the bill at the restaurant last night, will clearly remember doing it. Independently from the type of action, it is a common experience that being the agent provides a special strength to our memories. Even if it is generally agreed that personal memories (episodic memory) rely on separate neural substrates with respect to general knowledge (semantic memory), little is known on the nature of the link between memory and the sense of agency. In the present paper, we review (...) results from two experiments investigating the effects of agency on both explicit and implicit memory traces. Performance of normal subjects is compared to that of schizophrenic patients in order to explore the role of awareness of action on memory. It is proposed that reliable first-person information is necessary to create a stable and coherent motor memory trace. (shrink)
This study aimed at evaluating the role of proprioception in the process of matching the final position of one's limbs with an intentional movement. Two experiments were realised with the same paradigm of conscious recognition of one's own limb position from a distorted position. In the first experiment, 22 healthy subjects performed the task in an active and in a passive condition. In the latter condition, proprioception was the only available information since the central signals related to the motor command (...) were likely to be absent. The second experiment was realised with a deafferented patient who suffers from a complete haptic deafferentation, including loss of proprioception. The results first argue in favour of a dominant role of proprioception in action recognition, but they also stress the possible role of central signals. The process of matching the final position of one's limbs with an intended movement and thus of action recognition would be achieved through a comparison process between the predicted sensory consequences of the action, which are stored in its internal model, and the actual sensory consequences of that action. (shrink)
Summary. It is proposed to translate the mind-matter distinction into terms of mental and physical time. In the spirit of this idea, we hypothesize a relation between the intensity of mental presence and a crucial time scale (some seconds) often referred to as a measure for the duration of nowness. This duration is experimentally accessible and might, thus, offer a suitable way to characterize the intensity of mental presence. Interesting consequences with respect to the idea of a generalized notion of (...) mental presence, with human consciousness as a special case, are outlined. Our approach includes some features consistent with other, related ideas which are indicated. (shrink)
European animal disease policy seems to find its justification in a “harm to other” principle. Limiting the freedom of animal keepers—e.g., by culling their animals—is justified by the aim to prevent harm, i.e., the spreading of the disease. The picture, however, is more complicated. Both during the control of outbreaks and in the prevention of notifiable, animal diseases the government is confronted with conflicting claims of stakeholders who anticipate running a risk to be harmed by each other, and who ask (...) for government intervention. In this paper, we first argue that in a policy that aims to prevent animal diseases, the focus shifts from limiting “harm” to weighing conflicting claims with respect to “risks of harm.” Therefore, we claim that the harm principle is no longer a sufficient justification for governmental intervention in animal disease prevention. A policy that has to deal with and distribute conflicting risks of harm needs additional value assumptions that guide this process of assessment and distribution. We show that currently, policies are based on assumptions that are mainly economic considerations. In order to show the limitations of these considerations, we use the interests and position of keepers of backyard animals as an example. Based on the problems they faced during and after the recent outbreaks, we defend the thesis that in order to develop a sustainable animal disease policy other than economic assumptions need to be taken into account. (shrink)
From the resurrection of body to eternal recurrence -- The shadow of God -- The guiding thread -- The logic of the body -- The system of identical cases -- From eternal recurrence to the resurrection of body.
Rosmini’s philosophy is a comprehensive effort toward the renovation of Christian thought in modern times. An intense discussion of the problem of knowledge led him to reformulate Augustine’s theory of illumination in terms of the ideal presence of universal being to the mind. Universal being is the lumen intellectus and our mind’s first object: it is implied in all our thoughts and makes them possible. Although devoid of reality, it shows remarkable features, such as infinity, necessity, and eternity. Without being (...) God, it may be called “divine,” and confers a special value to intelligent creatures, whose dignity comes from their being enlightened by universal being. The “divine” is also the seal of God’s presence in nature. The present article supports the logic of this argument. (shrink)
In an inspirational act of faith and hope, nearly one hundred contributors--social activists, thinkers, artists and spiritual leaders--reflect with poignant candor on our shared human condition and attempt to define a core set of human values in our rapidly changing socity. Contributors include: * The Dalai Lama * Wilma Mankiller * Oscar Arias * Jimmy Carter * Cornel West * Jack Miles * Mother Teresa * Nancy Willard * Elie Wiesel * James Earl Jones * Joan Chittister * Mary Evelyn (...) Tucker * Vaclav Havel * Archbishop Desmund Tutu What Does It Mean To Be Human? is a vital meditation on the endless possibilities of our humanity. (shrink)
Franck L. B. Meijboom: Problems of Trust: A Question of Trustworthiness Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s10806-010-9300-4 Authors Martha L. Henderson, Master of Environmental Studies Program, The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA 98505, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.
Contributors: Maria Aloni, Berit Brogaard, Paul Egré, Pascal Engel, Stephen Hetherington, Christopher Hookway, Franck Lihoreau, Martin Montminy, Duncan Pritchard, Ian Rumfitt, Daniele Sgaravatti, Claudine Tiercelin, Elia Zardini.
Ethics and Sustainability: Guest or Guide? On Sustainability as a Moral Ideal Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-5 DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9322-6 Authors Franck L. B. Meijboom, Ethics Institute, Utrecht University, Janskerkhof 13a, 3512 BL Utrecht, The Netherlands Frans W. A. Brom, Ethics Institute, Utrecht University, Janskerkhof 13a, 3512 BL Utrecht, The Netherlands Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.
The essays collected in this volume are all concerned with the connection between fiction and truth. This question is of utmost importance to metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophical logic and epistemology, raising in each of these areas and at their intersections a large number of issues related to creation, existence, reference, identity, modality, belief, assertion, imagination, pretense, etc. All these topics and many more are addressed in this collection, which brings together original essays written from various points of view by (...) philosophers of diverse trends. These essays constitute major contributions to the current debates that the connection between truth and fiction continually enlivens, and give a sense of the directions in which research on this question is heading. Contributors: Fred Adams, Frederick Kroon, Robert Howell, Brendan Murday, Terence Parsons, Graham Priest, Erich Rast, Manuel Rebuschi, Marion Renauld, R.M. Sainsbury, Grant Tavinor, Alberto Voltolini. (shrink)
A knowledge-how attributing sentence of the form ' S knows how to F ' may yield an 'ability-entailing' reading as well as an 'ability-neutral' reading. The present paper offers an epistemological account of the availability of both readings, based on two conceptual distinctions: first, a distinction between a 'practical' and a 'theoretical' kind of knowledge of how to do something; second, a distinction between an 'intrinsic' and an 'extrinsic' kind of ability to do something. The first part of the paper (...) presents the double distinction that constitutes the proposed account; the second part presents a number of theoretical, mainly epistemological motivations for accepting the account. (shrink)
In a series of recent papers Stephen Kearns and Daniel Star argue that normative reasons to ϕ simply are evidence that one ought to ϕ, and suggest that “evidence” in this context is best understood in standard Bayesian terms. I contest this suggestion.
The many well-publicized food scandals in recent years have resulted in a general state of vulnerable trust. As a result, building consumer trust has become an important goal in agri-food policy. In their efforts to protect trust in the agricultural and food sector, governments and industries have tended to consider the problem of trust as merely a matter of informing consumers on risks. In this article, we argue that the food sector better addresses the problem of trust from the perspective (...) of the trustworthiness of the food sector itself. This broad idea for changing the focus of trust is the assumption that if you want to be trusted, you should be trustworthy. To provide a clear understanding of what being trustworthy means within the food sector, we elaborate on both the concept of trust and of responsibility. In this way we show that policy focused on enhancing transparency and providing information to consumers is crucial, but not sufficient for dealing with the problem of consumer trust in the current agri-food context. (shrink)
Using the philosophy of Jean-Luc Nancy as an anchoring point, Jacques Derrida in this book conducts a profound review of the philosophy of the sense of touch, from Plato and Aristotle to Jean-Luc Nancy, whose ground-breaking book Corpus he discusses in detail. Emmanuel Levinas, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Edmund Husserl, Didier Franck, Martin Heidegger, Francoise Dastur, and Jean-Louis Chre;tien are discussed, as are Rene; Descartes, Diderot, Maine de Biran, Fe;lix Ravaisson, Immanuel Kant, Sigmund Freud, and others. The scope of Derrida’s deliberations (...) makes this book a virtual encyclopedia of the philosophy of touch (and the body). Derrida gives special consideration to the thinking of touch in Christianity and, in discussing Jean-Luc Nancy’s essay “Deconstruction of Christianity,” devotes a section of the book to the sense of touch in the Gospels. Another section concentrates on “the flesh,” as treated by Merleau-Ponty and others in his wake. Derrida’s critique of intuitionism, notably in the phenomenological tradition, is one of the guiding threads of the book. On Touching includes a wealth of notes that provide an extremely useful bibliographical resource. Personal and detached all at once, this book, one of the first published in English translation after Jacques Derrida’s death, serves as a useful and poignant retrospective on the work of the philosopher. A tribute by Jean-Luc Nancy, written a day after Jacques Derrida’s death, is an added feature. (shrink)
This paper proposes an extensionalist analysis of computer simulations (CSs). It puts the emphasis not on languages nor on models, but on symbols, on their extensions, and on their various ways of referring. It shows that chains of reference of symbols in CSs are multiple and of different kinds. As they are distinct and diverse, these chains enable different kinds of remoteness of reference and different kinds of validation for CSs. Although some methodological papers have already underlined the role of (...) these various relationships of reference in CSs and of cross-validations, this diversity is still overlooked in the epistemological literature on CSs. As a consequence, a particular outcome of this analytical view is an ability to classify existing epistemological theses on CSs according to what their authors choose to select and put at the forefront: either the extensions of symbols, or the symbol-types, or the symbol-tokens, or the internal denotational hierarchies of the CS or the reference of these hierarchies to external denotational hierarchies. Through the adoption of this extensionalist view, it also becomes possible to explain more precisely the reasons why some complete reduction of CSs to classical epistemic paradigms such as “experiment” or “theoretical argument” remains doubtful. On this last point, in particular, this paper is in agreement with what many epistemologists already have acknowledged. (shrink)
ThomasFranck believes that the strict constraints imposed by the UN Charter on military intervention in other countries have become too constraining and that, so long as the Charter text remains unrevised, we should condone violations of these rules as legitimated by a jurying process. The relevant UN Charter constraints he seeks to subvert are two in particular. First, the Charter suggests that, outside the UN system, military force may be used across national borders only in “individual or (...) collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security” (Article 51). Apart from this, “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations” (Article 2(4)). Second, regarding the use of force by the UN itself, the Charter proclaims that “Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter; but this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter VII” (Article 2(7)).1.. (shrink)
Thomas & Karmiloff-Smith (T&K-S) claim that “Residual Normality” is a priori unlikely, that is, that specific cognitive deficits should not exist in developmental disorders. Here I review evidence that a specific cognitive deficit is at the core of developmental dyslexia and I provide a possible neurological account thereof.
The aim of this paper is to discuss the “Framework for M&S with Agents” (FMSA) proposed by Zeigler et al. [2000, 2009] in regard to the diverse epistemological aims of agent simulations in social sciences. We first show that there surely are great similitudes, hence that the aim to emulate a universal “automated modeler agent” opens new ways of interactions between these two domains of M&S with agents. E.g., it can be shown that the multi-level conception at the core of (...) the FMSA is similar in both contexts: notions of “levels of system specifi cation”, “behavior of models”, “simulator”and “endomorphic agents” can be partially translated in the terms linked to the “denotational hierarchy” (DH) and recently introduced in a multi-level centered epistemology of M&S. Second, we suggest considering the question of “credibility” of agent M&S in social sciences when we do not try to emulate but only to simulate target systems. Whereas a stringent and standardized treatment of the heterogeneous internal relations (in the DH) between systems of formalisms is the key problem and the essential challenge in the scope of Agent M&S driven engineering, it is urgent too to address the problem of the external relations (and of the external validity, hence of the epistemic power and credibility) of such levels of formalisms in the specific domains of agent M&S in social sciences, especially when we intend to introduce the concepts of activity tracking. (shrink)
Cet article ne se veut pas un commentaire suivi de la réflexion de Wittgenstein sur les règles. Ce ne sera pas non plus un commentaire de l’interprétation que Kripke fait du « suivi de la règle » chez Wittgenstein. Il ne sera pas davantage une application des thèses de Wittgenstein ni une tentative d’application directe d’une interprétation de ces thèses à l’épistémologie de la simulation du vivant ; ce qui serait, en soi, d’ailleurs contestable. Ce travail vise seulement à approfondir (...) la réflexion sur le statut cognitif de la simulation informatique du vivant. À ce titre, qui est donc essentiellement épistémologique et ciblé, il se veut une suggestion d’interprétation conceptuelle de certaines formes de simulation informatique du vivant, suggestion elle-même adossée à une prolongation de certaines distinctions déjà effectuées par Wittgenstein et ses commentateurs au sujet des règles et de leur suivi. L’objectif est de chercher à voir si, par ce moyen, la simulation informatique du vivant, par contraste avec les pratiques plus traditionnelles de modélisation, ne pourrait pas être plus précisément expliquée et légitimée, dans ses apports épistémologiques, comme dans ses limites aussi. (shrink)
Surging from the ontopoietic vital timing of life, human self-consciousness prompts the innermost desire to rise above its brute facts. Imaginatio creatrix inspires us to fabulate these facts into events and plots with personal significance attempting to delineate a life-course in life-stories within the ever-flowing stream – existence. Seeking their deep motivations, causes and concatenations, we fabulate relatively stabilized networks of interconnecting meaning – history. But to understand the meaning and sense of these networks’ reconfigurations call for the purpose and (...) telos of our endless undertaking; they remain always incomplete, carried onwards with the current of life, while fluctuating with personal experience in the play of memory. Facts and life stories, subjective desires and propensities, the circumambient world in its historical moves, creative logos and mythos, personal freedom and inward stirrings thrown in an enigmatic interplay, prompt our imperative thirst for the meaning of this course, its purpose and its fulfillment – the sense of it all. To disentangle all this animates the passions of the literary genius. The focus of this collection is to isolate the main arteries running through the intermingled forces prompting our quest to endow life with meaning. Papers by: Jadwiga Smith, Lawrence Kimmel, Alira Ashvo-Munoz, William D. Melaney, Imafedia Okhamafe, Michel Dion, Franck Dalmas, Ludmila Molodkina, Victor Gerald Rivas, Rebecca M. Painter, Matti Itkonen, Raymond J. Wilson III, Christopher S. Schreiner, Bruce Ross, Bernadette Prochaska, Tsung-I Dow, Jerre Collins, Cezary Jozef Olbromski, Victor Kocay, Roberto Verolini. (shrink)
New concepts may prove necessary to profit from the avalanche of sequence data on the genome, transcriptome, proteome and interactome and to relate this information to cell physiology. Here, we focus on the concept of large activity-based structures, or hyperstructures, in which a variety of types of molecules are brought together to perform a function. We review the evidence for the existence of hyperstructures responsible for the initiation of DNA replication, the sequestration of newly replicated origins of replication, cell division (...) and for metabolism. The processes responsible for hyperstructure formation include changes in enzyme affinities due to metabolite-induction, lipid-protein affinities, elevated local concentrations of proteins and their binding sites on DNA and RNA, and transertion. Experimental techniques exist that can be used to study hyperstructures and we review some of the ones less familiar to biologists. Finally, we speculate on how a variety of in silico approaches involving cellular automata and multi-agent systems could be combined to develop new concepts in the form of an Integrated cell (I-cell) which would undergo selection for growth and survival in a world of artificial microbiology. (shrink)
The problems of the social responsibility of the scientist became a subject of public debate after the World War II in Japan, thanks to the activities and publications of Yukawa and Tomonaga. And such authors as J. Karaki, M.Taketani, Y. Murakami, and S. Fujinaga continued discussion in their books. However, many people seem to be still unaware of the most important source of these problems. As I see it, one of the most important treatments of these problems was the (...) class='Hi'>Franck Report (June 11, 1945) submitted to the US government by James Franck (chairman) toward the end of the war. This Report contains many important ideas and suggestions as regards the responsibility of the scientist, the morality of the use of atomic bombs, the prospective nuclear armaments race, and the possibility of international control of nuclear power. However, I should like to concentrate only on the first topic in this paper. Why did Franck and his committee at Metallurgical Laboratory of the University of Chicago feel the urgent need for writing and submitting this Report? According to the Report, "in the past, scientists could disclaim direct responsibility for the use to which mankind had put their disinterested discoveries. We cannot take the same attitude now because the success which we have achieved in the development of nuclear power is fraught with infinitely greater dangers than were all the inventions of the past." (I. Preamble) This passage seems to contain the crux of our problem: These scientists clearly recognize the "new" responsibility for them, and the ground of this responsibility is also clear enough; i.e., when a new scientific discovery or invention turns out to have grave bearings on human interests, the scientists who became aware of that are responsible for notifying people of this and advise to look for suitable means for avoiding prospective dangers. In the rest of the paper, I elaborate the reasoning behind the preceding passage, and confirm that basically the same idea and reasoning has been repeated and developed in Russell-Einstein Manifesto (1955), by Pugwash Conferences (first in 1957), by Tomogana, and by Rotblat (the long-time Secretary of Pugwash, who received the Nobel Peace Prize together with the Conference in 1995). (shrink)
Since the 1990’s, social sciences are living their computational turn. This paper aims to clarify the epistemological meaning of this turn. To do this, we have to discriminate between different epistemic functions of computation among the diverse uses of computers for modeling and simulating in the social sciences. Because of the introduction of a new – and often more user-friendly – way of formalizing and computing, the question of realism of formalisms and of proof value of computational treatments reemerges. Facing (...) the spreading of computational simulations in all disciplines, some enthusiastic observers are claiming that we are entering a new era of unity for social sciences. Finally, the article shows that the conceptual and epistemological distinctions presented in the first sections lead to a more mitigated position: the transdisciplinary computational turn is a great one, but it is of a methodological nature. (shrink)
Par un procédé d'objections/réponses, nous passons d'abord en revue certains des arguments en faveur ou en défaveur du caractère empirique de la simulation informatique. A l'issue de ce chemin clarificateur, nous proposons des arguments en faveur du caractère concret des objets simulés en science, ce qui légitime le fait que l'on parle à leur sujet d'une expérience, plus spécifiquement d'une expérience concrète du second genre.
The credibility of digital computer simulations has always been a problem. Today, through the debate on verification and validation, it has become a key issue. I will review the existing theses on that question. I will show that, due to the role of epistemological beliefs in science, no general agreement can be found on this matter. Hence, the complexity of the construction of sciences must be acknowledged. I illustrate these claims with a recent historical example. Finally I temperate this diversity (...) by insisting on recent trends in environmental sciences and in industrial sciences. (shrink)
Aquaculture is the fastest growing animal-production sector in the world. This leads to the question how we should guarantee fish welfare. Implementing welfare standards presupposes that we know how to weigh, define, and measure welfare. While at first glance these seem empirical questions, they cannot be answered without ethical reflection. Normative assumptions are made when weighing, defining, and measuring welfare. Moreover, the focus on welfare presupposes that welfare is a morally important concept. This in turn presupposes that we can define (...) the capacities of fish, which is an empirical undertaking that informs and is informed by ethical theories about the moral status of animals. In this article we want to illustrate the need for a constant interaction between empirical scientific research and ethics, in which both fields of research make their own contribution. This is not a novel claim. However, the case of fish sheds new light on this claim, because regarding fish there is still much empirical uncertainty and there is a plurality of moral views on all levels. Therefore, we do not only want to show the necessity of this interaction, but also the added value of a cooperation between ethicists and empirical scientists, such as biologists, physiologists, and ethologists. We demonstrate this by considering the different steps in the process of reflection about and implementation of fish welfare. (shrink)
The food sector and health sector become more and more intertwined. This raises many possibilities, but also questions. One of them is the question of what the implication is for public trust in food and health issues. In this article, I argue that the products on the interface between food and health entails some serious questions of trust. Trust in food products and medical products is often based upon a long history of rather clear patterns of mutual expectations, yet these (...) expectations are not similar in both sectors. As long as the food sector and health sector remain distinct, these differences will not lead to problems of trust, yet when new products are introduced, like functional foods or personalized dietary advices, trust can be threatened. To prevent this, we need clarity with regard to what we can expect of these new products and of whom to expect what in this situation. This requires not␣only adequate information on operating procedures, but also a profound debate␣on responsibilities and the explication and interpretation of moral values and norms. (shrink)
Currently, the widely used notion of activity is increasingly present in computer science. However, because this notion is used in specific contexts, it becomes vague. Here, the notion of activity is scrutinized in various contexts and, accordingly, put in perspective. It is discussed through four scientific disciplines: computer science, biology, economics, and epistemology. The definition of activity usually used in simulation is extended to new qualitative and quantitative definitions. In computer science, biology and economics disciplines, the new simulation activity definition (...) is first applied critically. Then, activity is discussed generally. In epistemology, activity is discussed, in a prospective way, as a possible framework in models of human beliefs and knowledge. (shrink)
A recent evolution of computer simulations has led to the emergence of complex computer simulations. In particular, the need to formalize composite objects (those objects that are composed of other objects) has led to what the author suggests to call pluriformalizations, i.e. formalizations that are based on distinct sub-models which are expressed in a variety of heterogeneous symbolic languages. With the help of four case-studies, he shows that such pluriformalizations enable to formalize distinctly but simultaneously either different aspects or different (...) parts or different scales of the same object or system. From an epistemological standpoint, he suggests that this kind of computer-aided complex formalization of composite objects renew the traditional relations between computer simulations, theoretical models and operational models. (shrink)
The statistical interpretation introduced by Born in mid-1926 is not the interpretation now associated with his name. Born's own understanding of that interpretation is revealed by looking at some of its roots in Born's earlier work with Franck on collisions (fall, 1924), his collaboration with Jordan on that topic (early 1925), his contributions to matrix mechanics (last half of 1925), his attempt in collaboration with Wiener at an operator formulation of quantum mechanics (early 1926), and at the exposition (...) of the interpretation in Born's first papers on a wave mechanical treatment of collisions (mid-1926). (shrink)
As the world population is growing and government directives tell us to consume more fatty acids, the demand for fish is increasing. Due to declines in wild fish populations, we have come to rely more and more on aquaculture. Despite rapid expansion of aquaculture, this sector is still in a relatively early developmental stage. This means that this sector can still be steered in a favorable direction, which requires discussion about sustainability. If we want to avoid similar problems to the (...) ones we have experienced with livestock farming, we need to generate knowledge of the biology, profitability, environmental aspects, consumer awareness, and product appreciation of particular fish species. However, the discussion about a sustainable aquaculture also raises the question how we should treat fish. This moral question is regularly addressed as a problem of applied ethics with a focus on tailoring ethical principles to practical questions. In this article we do not deny the importance of the practical accounts, but we start from the fundamental question whether and why fish matter in our moral deliberations, i.e., from the discussion on moral status. We elaborate the distinction between moral considerability and moral significance in order to show both the importance and the limitations of the discussion about moral status for practical problems in aquaculture. We illustrate these points with a case-study about the farming of a specific fish species, the African catfish. (shrink)
This book focuses on the political thought of American statesmen. These statesmen have had consistent and comprehensive views of the good of the country and their actions have been informed by those views. The editors argue that political life in America has been punctuated by three great crises in its history-the crisis of the Founding, the crisis of the House Divided, and the crisis of the Great Depression. The Second World War was a crisis not just for America but for (...) the whole of Western Civiliation and, in the wake of that war, a new crisis arose which came to be called the "Cold War." Just when that gave the appearance of being resolved, the world reached a new juncture, a new crisis, which Samuel P. Huntington dubbed the "clash of civiliations." The statesmen having political responsibility in confronting the first three crises in America's history came as close to philosophic grasp of the problems of liberal democracy as one could demand from those embroiled in the active resolution of events. Their reflection of political philosophy in the full sense informed their actions. Since we cannot confidently explain the future, Aristotle warned us to call no man happy while he still lives. Thus the book, in its third edition, keeps to its settled pattern of dealing with settled matters. The preface to the third edition confronts the three later crises and, to the extent consistent with truth, attempts to relate them to the first three. Morton J. Frisch was professor emeritus of political science at Northern Illinois University. He was the author or editor of several books, including Selected Writings and Speeches of Alexander Hamilton; Alexander Hamilton and the Political Order; and Franklin D. Roosevelt: The Contribution of the New Deal to American Political Thought and Practice. Richard G. Stevens retired from National Defense University as professor of political science in 1994. Since then he has taught as an adjunct professor of government at American University. He is co-editor with Matthew J. Franck of Sober as a Judge: The Supreme Court and Republican Liberty, and the author of The American Constitution and Its Provenance; Reason and History in Judicial Judgment: Felix Frankfurter and Due Process; and Political Philosophy: An Introduction. (shrink)
Now that complex Agent-Based Models and computer simulations spread over economics and social sciences - as in most sciences of complex systems -, epistemological puzzles (re)emerge. We introduce new epistemological concepts so as to show to what extent authors are right when they focus on some empirical, instrumental or conceptual significance of their model or simulation. By distinguishing between models and simulations, between types of models, between types of computer simulations and between types of empiricity obtained through a simulation, section (...) 2 gives the possibility to understand more precisely - and then to justify - the diversity of the epistemological positions presented in section 1. Our final claim is that careful attention to the multiplicity of the denotational powers of symbols at stake in complex models and computer simulations is necessary to determine, in each case, their proper epistemic status and credibility. (shrink)
It is known that in differentially closed fields of characteristic zero, the ranks of stability RU, RM and the topological rank RH need not to be equal. Pillay and Pong have just shown however that the ranks RU and RM coincide in a group definable in this theory. At the opposite, we will show in this paper that the ranks RM and RH of a definable group can also be different, and even lead to non-equivalent notions of generic type.
I defend the assumption that an expression like “for Anna,” as it occurs in a sentence like “Whale meat is tasty for Anna,” is a sentential operator, against two related, albeit opposite worries. The first is that in some cases the putative operator might not be selective enough. The second is that in other cases it might on the contrary be too selective. I argue that these worries have no tendency to cast doubt on the assumption of sententiality for the (...) relevant expressions. (shrink)
According to David Lewis’s contextualist analysis of knowledge, there can be contexts in which a subject counts as knowing a proposition just because every possibility that this proposition might be false is irrelevant in those contexts. In this paper I argue that, in some cases at least, Lewis’ analysis results in granting people non-evidentially based knowledge of ordinary contingent truths which, intuitively, cannot be known but on the basis of appropriate evidence.
The paper deals with an intellectual and historical approach to the changing meanings of the term “model” in life sciences. The author 1st tries to understand how modeling has gradually spread over life sciences then he particularly focus on the birth of mathematical modeling in this field. This quite new practice offers new insights on the old debate concerning the mathematization of life sciences. Nowadays, through computers, mathematics not only analyze or quantify but model things: what does it mean? The (...) question turns out to be dramatic as far as digital simulation is concerned. That is the reason why he choosed to study a particular case: the history of the individual plant mathematical modeling. On this case, one may discern various epistemological standpoints that caused various reactions to the emergence of computer simulation, from the 50s to the 90s. The author shows that philosophical views often play a role in the history of sciences, especially in the choice of supposed proper mathematical formalisms. This will indicate that contemporary discourses tend to echo each other. That is the reason why he feels authorized to address the Foucault’s concept—épistémè—to denote these convergences between the scientific and the philosophical discourses. Finally, it is suggested that this épistémè gradually is changing because one can currently observe the emergence of a “graphical” thought through these simulation experiments, which tends to replace a more functionalist thought. (shrink)
Thanks to developments in genomics,dietary recommendations adapted to genetic riskprofiles of individual persons are no longerscience fiction. But what are the consequencesof these diets? An examination of possibleimpacts of genetically tailor-made diets raisesmorally relevant concerns that are analogous to(medical-ethical) considerations aboutscreening and testing. These concerns oftengive rise to applying norms for informedconsent and for the weighing of burdens andbenefits. These diets also have a broaderimpact, especially because food patterns arefull of personal, social and cultural meanings.Diets will change one's food patterns (...) and one'sattitude towards food, and this may implychanges in one's identity. We argue that suchan impact does not necessarily raise moralproblems. Moral concerns are, however, relevantif collective values and shared meanings infood practices are at issue. Therefore, thedevelopment of genetically tailor-made dietsdoes not merely require emphasis on weighingpersonal benefits and burdens and on informedconsent. It also asks for attention to andmoral reflection on the collective valuesinvolved in food practices. (shrink)
As brightly shown by Mainzer , the science of complexity has many distinct origins in many disciplines. Those various origins has led to “an interdisciplinary methodology to explain the emergence of certain macroscopic phenomena via the nonlinear interactions of microscopic elements” (ibid.). This paper suggests that the parallel and strong expansion of modeling and simulation - especially after the Second World War and the subsequent development of computers - is a rationale which also can be counted as an explanation of (...) this emergence. With the benefit of hindsight, one can find three periods in the methodologies of modeling in the empirical sciences: 1st the simple modeling of the simple, 2nd the simple modeling of the complex, 3rd the complex modeling and simulation of the complex. Our main thesis is that the current spreading (since the 90’s) of complex computer simulations of systems of models (where a simulation is no more a step by step calculus of a unique logico-mathematical model) is another promising dimension of the science of complexity. Following this claim, we propose to distinguish three different types of computer simulations in the context of complex systems’ modeling. Finally, we show that these types of simulations lead to three different types of weak emergence, too. (shrink)