Abstract As Paul B. Thompson suggests in his recent seminal paper, “‘There’s an App for That’: Technical Standards and Commodification by Technological Means,” technical standards restructure property (and other social) relations. He concludes with the claim that the development of technical standards of commodification can serve purposes with bad effects such as “the rise of the factory system and the deskilling of work” or progressive effects such as how “technical standards for animal welfare… discipline the unwanted consequences of market forces.” (...) In this reply, we want to append several points to his argument and suggest that he rightly points out that standards can promote various goods; however, there are peculiar powers wielded by standardization processes that might profitably be unpacked more systematically than Thompson's article seems to suggest. First, the concealment of the technopolitics around standards is largely due to their peculiar ontological status as recipes for reality. Second, technical standards can and do commit violence against persons, but such violence is often suffered not in the formation of class consciousness, as Marx might have put it, but as a failure to conform to the laws of nature . Content Type Journal Article Category Commentary Pages 1-6 DOI 10.1007/s13347-011-0048-1 Authors Lawrence Busch, Department of Sociology, Michigan State University, 429A Berkey Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA Kyle Powys Whyte, Department of Philosophy, Michigan State University, 503 S. Kedzie Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA Journal Philosophy & Technology Online ISSN 2210-5441 Print ISSN 2210-5433. (shrink)
The underdetermination of theory by data argument (UD) is traditionally construed as an argument that tells us that we ought to favour an anti-realist position over a realist position. I argue that when UD is constructed as an argument saying that theory choice is to proceed between theories that are empirically equivalent and adequate to the phenomena up until now, the argument will not favour constructive empiricism over realism. A constructive empiricist cannot account for why scientists are reasonable in expecting (...) one theory to be empirically adequate rather than another, given the criteria he suggests for theory choice. (shrink)
Abstract: Laudan (1984) distinguishes between two senses of success for scientific theories: (i) that a particular theory is successful, and (ii) that the methods for picking out approximately true theories are successful. These two senses of success are reflected in two different ways that the no miracles argument for scientific realism (NMA) may be set out. First, I set out a (traditional) version of NMA that considers the success of particular theories. I then consider a more recent formulation of NMA (...) (Psillos, 1999). This version of NMA is aimed at making us believe that our methods for picking out approximately true theories are reliable. I shall argue that the success of the latter argument is dependent on the success of the first. Therefore, even though Psillos presents a new formulation of NMA, the evidential support for it is no stronger than the evidential support for the original version. (shrink)
Heisenberg's uncertainty principle is usually taken to express a limitation of operational possibilities imposed by quantum mechanics. Here we demonstrate that the full content of this principle also includes its positive role as a condition ensuring that mutually exclusive experimental options can be reconciled if an appropriate trade-off is accepted. The uncertainty principle is shown to appear in three manifestations, in the form of uncertainty relations: for the widths of the position and momentum distributions in any quantum state; for the (...) inaccuracies of any joint measurement of these quantities; and for the inaccuracy of a measurement of one of the quantities and the ensuing disturbance in the distribution of the other quantity. Whilst conceptually distinct, these three kinds of uncertainty relations are shown to be closely related formally. Finally, we survey models and experimental implementations of joint measurements of position and momentum and comment briefly on the status of experimental tests of the uncertainty principle. (shrink)
The aim of the present paper is to show that Hegel’s concept of personal respect is of great interest to contemporary Critical Theory. The author first analyzes this notion as it appears in the Philosophy of Right and then offers a new interpretation of the conceptual relation between personal respect and the institutions of (private) property and (capitalist) markets. In doing so, he shows why Hegel’s concept of personal respect allows us to understand markets as possible institutionalizations of this kind (...) of recognition, and why it is compatible with a critique of neoliberal capitalism. He argues that due to these features Hegel’s notion of personal respect is of great interest to theoreticians within the tradition of critical theory. (shrink)
James Ladyman has recently proposed a view according to which all that exists on the level of microphysics are structures "all the way down". By means of a comparative reading of structuralism in philosophy of mathematics as proposed by Stewart Shapiro, I shall present what I believe structures could not be. I shall argue that, if Ladyman is indeed proposing something as strong as suggested here, then he is committed to solving problems that proponents of structuralism in philosophy of mathematics (...) such as Shapiro are trying to solve. Attempting to do so, however, brings out a tacit tension in Ladyman's position. I shall argue that the upshot of this is that the ontological import that Ladyman attributes to structures is rather epistemological import properly understood. (shrink)
A coherent account of the connections and contrasts between the principles of complementarity and uncertainty is developed starting from a survey of the various formalizations of these principles. The conceptual analysis is illustrated by means of a set of experimental schemes based on Mach-Zehnder interferometry. In particular, path detection via entanglement with a probe system and (quantitative) quantum erasure are exhibited to constitute instances of joint unsharp measurements of complementary pairs of physical quantities, path and interference observables. The analysis uses (...) the representation of observables as positive-operator-valued measures (POVMs). The reconciliation of complementary experimental options in the sense of simultaneous unsharp preparations and measurements is expressed in terms of uncertainty relations of different kinds. The feature of complementarity, manifest in the present examples in the mutual exclusivity of path detection and interference observation, is recovered as a limit case from the appropriate uncertainty relation. It is noted that the complementarity and uncertainty principles are neither completely logically independent nor logical consequences of one another. Since entanglement is an instance of the uncertainty of quantum properties (of compound systems), it is moot to play out uncertainty and entanglement against each other as possible mechanisms enforcing complementarity. (shrink)
As debate continues1 we hope to shed some light on the development of Sartre's thought by returning to his philosophical beginnings, to his phenomenology, confident that it is here, in its origins, that we will find what has always been the very center of his thought.
Uncertainty relations and complementarity of canonically conjugate position and momentum observables in quantum theory are discussed with respect to some general coupling properties of a function and its Fourier transform. The question of joint localization of a particle on bounded position and momentum value sets and the relevance of this question to the interpretation of position-momentum uncertainty relations is surveyed. In particular, it is argued that the Heisenberg interpretation of the uncertainty relations can consistently be carried through in a natural (...) extension of the usual Hilbert space frame of the quantum theory. (shrink)
The role of uncertainty within an organization’s environment features prominently in the business ethics and management literature, but how corporate investment decisions should proceed in the face of uncertainties relating to the natural environment is less discussed. From the perspective of ecological economics, the salience of ecology-induced issues challenges management to address new types of uncertainties. These pertain to constraints within the natural environment as well as to institutional action aimed at conserving the natural environment. We derive six areas of (...) ecology-induced uncertainties and propose ecology-driven real options as a conceptual approach for systematically incorporating these uncertainties into strategic management. We combine our results in an integrative investment framework and illustrate its application with the case of carbon constraints. (shrink)
The positive operator (valued) measures (POMs) allow one to generalize the notion of observable beyond the traditional one based on projection valued measures (PVMs). Here, we argue that this generalized conception of observable enables a consistent notion of unsharp reality and with it an adequate concept of joint properties. A sharp or unsharp property manifests itself as an element of sharp or unsharp reality by its tendency to become actual or to actualize a specific measurement outcome. This actualization tendency—or potentiality—of (...) a property is quantified by the associated quantum probability. The resulting single-case interpretation of probability as a degree of reality will be explained in detail and its role in addressing the tensions between quantum and classical accounts of the physical world will be elucidated. It will be shown that potentiality can be viewed as a causal agency that evolves in a well-defined way. (shrink)
A recent Supreme Court decision, Kumho Tire Co., Ltd. v. Carmichael (March 23, 1999), may have substantial impact on psychological expert testimony. Previous criteria for admissibility of scientific expert testimony now apply broadly to expert testimony, not just testimony narrowly grounded in scientific evidence. Judges will determine the relevance and reliability of all expert testimony, including that based on clinical experience or training. Admissible testimony will either satisfy the criteria established in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (1993) or (...) meet similarly rigorous standards judged appropriate to the particular field involved. Because psychological testimony has varied in its evidentiary basis, sometimes relying on science and otherwise on clinical training or experience, court decisions will gradually determine the precedent for its admissibility. We also discuss long-term consequences for the credibility of psychological expert testimony and the relation between psychology and law. (shrink)
Some 2000 years ago, Virgil wroteThe Georgics, a political tract on Romanagriculture in the form of a poem. Today, as aresult of rising global trade in food andagricultural products, growing economicconcentration, the merging of food andpharmacy, chronic obesity in the midst ofhunger, and new disease and pest vectors, weare in need of a new Georgics that addressesthe two key issues of our time: vigilance andvoice. On the one hand, vigilance must becentral to a new Georgics. Enforceablestandards for food safety, food (...) quality,environmental protection, worker health andsafety, sanitary and phytosanitaryrequirements, animal welfare, and appellationsmust be addressed. On the other hand, a newGeorgics must increase the range of persons whohave voice in the democratic governance of anew global agrifood system. New organizationsand institutions will be needed to accomplishthis task. (shrink)
The aim of the present study is (1) to show, on the basis of a number of unpublished documents, how Heinrich Scholz supported his Warsaw colleague Jan ?ukasiewicz, the Polish logician, during World War II, and (2) to discuss the efforts he made in order to enable Jan ?ukasiewicz and his wife Regina to move from Warsaw to Münster under life-threatening circumstances. In the first section, we explain how Scholz provided financial help to ?ukasiewicz, and we also adduce evidence of (...) the risks incurred by German scholars who offered assistance to their Polish colleagues. In the second section, we discuss the dramatic circumstances surrounding the ?ukasiewiczes' move to Münster in the summer of 1944. (shrink)
Today there is considerable disagreement between the US and the EU with respect to food safety standards. Issues include GMOs, beef hormones, unpasteurized cheese, etc. In general, it is usually asserted that Europeans argue for the precautionary principle (with exceptions such as the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement where ``substantial equivalence,'' a form of familiarity, is used) while Americans defend risk analysis or what is sometimes described as the familiarityprinciple. This is not to suggest that EUmember countries agree on how the (...) precautionaryprinciple should be applied; considerabledifferences exist among nations as will benoted below.In this paper I review both positionsarguing that they are best understood asvariants of the homiletics of risk rather thanas differing scientific positions. I concludethat while science must necessarily enter intothe formulation of food and agriculturalstandards, state policy, private economicinterests, and the interface between the two(e.g., when democratic states are successfullylobbied to support particular privateinterests), play important roles in determininghow particular risks will be treated. Moreover,I argue that the role of science mustnecessarily be limited if its credibility is tobe preserved. (shrink)
Existentialism has come to be identified as a critical, reactionary way of thinking, celebrating the individual, freedom, embodiment, and the limits of rationality and systematic theorizing. For the most part this assessment is true of the early and, by now, “classical” works of existentialism, those that first burst upon the philosophical and cultural scene. Circulating Being centers on the later works of several well-known French existentialists (Camus, Marcel, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty) to trace out the development of their existential thinking about language, (...) communicative life, ethics, and politics. This development “from embodiment to incorporation” carries existentialism beyond identification with the mere reactionary and reveals how, while prefiguring postmodernism in important ways, the existential thinkers dealt with here reveal themselves to be reconstructive of the Western tradition. This is apparent in the growing appreciation of difference in their late works along with a reluctance to surrender the ideal of unity, and in their reappropriation of truth and justice while repudiating a totalizing metaphysics. (shrink)
The case of Fred Hoyle’s prediction of a resonance state in carbon-12, unknown in 1953 when it was predicted, is often mentioned as an example of anthropic prediction. An investigation of the historical circumstances of the prediction and its subsequent experimental confirmation shows that Hoyle and his contemporaries did not associate the level in the carbon nucleus with life at all. Only in the 1980s, after the emergence of the anthropic principle, did it become common to see Hoyle’s prediction (...) as anthropically significant. At about the same time mythical accounts of the prediction and its history began to abound. Not only has the anthropic myth no basis in historical fact, it is also doubtful if the excited levels in carbon-12 and other atomic nuclei can be used as an argument for the predictive power of the anthropic principle, such as has been done by several physicists and philosophers. (shrink)
Reply to Alex Byrne and Fred Dretske Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-9 DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9814-2 Authors Christopher S. Hill, Department of Philosophy, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
Fred Dretske asserts that the conscious or phenomenal experiences associated with our perceptual states—e.g. the qualitative or subjective features involved in visual or auditory states—are identical to properties that things have according to our representations of them. This is Dretske's version of the currently popular representational theory of consciousness . After explicating the core of Dretske's representational thesis, I offer two criticisms. I suggest that Dretske's view fails to apply to a broad range of mental phenomena that have rather (...) distinctive subjective or qualitative features. I also suggest that Dretske's view, in identifying conscious experiences with features of our perceptual states, casts its aim too low. It deflates further than it should and, in consequence, fails to capture what are arguably some of the most important phenomena associated with our conscious lives. (shrink)
Fred Adams (Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9(4): 619–628, 2010) criticizes the theory of embodied cognition (EC) which holds that conceptual and linguistic thought is grounded in the brain’s perceptual and sensorimotor systems. Among other things, Adams claims that: (1) EC is potentially committed to an implausible criterion of sentence meaningfulness; (2) EC lacks claimed advantages over rival accounts of conceptual thought; (3) relevant experimental data do not show constitutive, but only causal, involvement of perception in conception; and (4) (...) EC cannot account for the comprehension of abstract concepts. I respond to Adams that: (1) EC is not committed to an implausible criterion of meaningfulness, though it may be committed to holding that comprehension admits of degrees; (2) EC does have its claimed advantages over rival views; (3) the data do make a strong case for constitutive involvement and (4) a broad and comprehensive EC approach probably can account for the comprehension of abstract concepts. (shrink)
Fred Dallmayr: Integral Pluralism: Beyond Culture Wars Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-8 DOI 10.1007/s10746-011-9190-0 Authors Megan Altman, Department of Philosophy, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA Journal Human Studies Online ISSN 1572-851X Print ISSN 0163-8548.
This is a response by the author of Ethical Intuitionism to criticisms raised by Fred Seddon (Jars, Spring 2007). Among other things, Huemer observes that his attack on ethical reductionism does not depend upon excluding relational properties from consideration at the start; that he does not claim that all philosophers are intuitionists; and that Objectivism is susceptible to the general arguments he discusses against the possibility of deriving an "ought" from an "is".
Rosa Parks was arrested in 1955 for refusing to submit to Alabama law requiring racially segregated transport. Her arrest triggered the Montgomery bus boycott. Fred Gray, barely a year out of law school, represented her ? and for nearly half a century thereafter played a prominent role in almost every major civil rights case in the state. Gray?s key moral and legal commitment was grounded in opposition to segregation of every kind, based on the law in principle and the (...) US Constitution in particular. The early Gray was an idealist who advocated integration as the best means to break down segregation. The elder Gray, by contrast ? even while rejecting black?nationalist calls for separatism ? reflects an ideological shift away from untrammelled support for integration as such, to a more explicit focus on protecting the interests of the black community through the preservation of its institutions. (shrink)