This article is an investigation of parallel themes in Heinrich Hertz's philosophy science and Kant's theory of schemata, symbols and regulative ideas. It is argued that Hertz's "pictures" bears close similarities to Kantian "schemata", that is, they are rules linking concepts to intuitions and provide them with their meaning. Kant's distinction between symbols and schemata is discussed and related to Hertz's three pictures of mechanics. It is argued that Hertz considered his own picture of mechanics (the "hidden mass" picture) as (...) symbolic in a different way than the force and energy pictures. In the final part of the article it is described how Harald Høffding soon after the publication of Hertz's Principles of Mechanics developed a general theory of analogical reasoning, relying on the ideas of Hertz and Kant. (shrink)
This paper tries to combine Peirce’s cosmology and metaphysics with current understanding in physics of the evolution of the universe, regarded as an ongoing semiotic process in a living cosmos. While the basic property of Life is viewed as an unexplainable Firstness inherent in the initial iconic state of the vacuous continuum we shall consider and exemplify two sign developing processes: (a) the transition from icon to index is considered as a symmetry breaking emergence of order actualising one among the (...) possibilities of the iconic vacuum; (b) the transition from index to symbol, regarded as a habit formation — an adaptation of the surroundings to the order that has emerged. While the iconic state is characterized by fractal self-similarity the transitions to index and symbol are modelled by the mean field theory of second order phase transitions. (shrink)
Recent research suggests that language evolution is a process of cultural change, in which linguistic structures are shaped through repeated cycles of learning and use by domain-general mechanisms. This paper draws out the implications of this viewpoint for understanding the problem of language acquisition, which is cast in a new, and much more tractable, form. In essence, the child faces a problem of induction, where the objective is to coordinate with others (C-induction), rather than to model the structure of the (...) natural world (N-induction). We argue that, of the two, C-induction is dramatically easier. More broadly, we argue that understanding the acquisition of any cultural form, whether linguistic or otherwise, during development, requires considering the corresponding question of how that cultural form arose through processes of cultural evolution. This perspective helps resolve the “logical” problem of language acquisition and has far-reaching implications for evolutionary psychology. (shrink)
Previous research on lexical development has aimed to identify the factors that enable accurate initial word-referent mappings based on the assumption that the accuracy of initial word-referent associations is critical for word learning. The present study challenges this assumption. Adult English speakers learned an artificial language within a cross-situational learning paradigm. Visual fixation data were used to assess the direction of visual attention. Participants whose longest fixations in the initial trials fell more often on distracter images performed significantly better at (...) test than participants whose longest fixations fell more often on referent images. Thus, inaccurate initial word-referent mappings may actually benefit learning. (shrink)
Abstract Adapted from the six 2010 Star Island Chapel Talks, the paper introduces the readers to contemporary Catholic Social Teaching and its application and implementation, particularly in the fields of environmental justice and human rights. An opening vignette explains how ideas about the common good contributed to the defeat of “Takings” legislation aimed at undoing environmental regulation in the 104th Congress (1995–1996). The teaching is presented as a vision of society centered on the communion of persons and creation rather than (...) a discrete set of principles, with human rights and charity being the twin pillars of an evolving tradition. The interaction among ideas, historic events, and social movements is stressed throughout. (shrink)
We agree with Caplan & Waters that there are problems with the single-resource theory of sentence comprehension. However, we challenge their dual-resource alternative on theoretical and empirical grounds and point to a more coherent solution that abandons the notion of working memory resources.
The implementation of new methods of treating and preventing disease raises many question of both technical and moral character. Currently, many studies focus on developing a screening test for preeclampsia (PE), a disease complicating 2–8% of pregnancies, potentially causing severe consequences for pregnant women and their fetuses. The purpose is to develop a test that can identify pregnancies at high risk for developing PE sufficiently early in pregnancy to allow for prophylaxis. However, the question of implementing a screening test for (...) PE does not only involve an evaluation of technical feasibility and clinical efficacy, it also requires an analysis of how the test influences the conditions and choices for those tested. This study evaluates state-of-the-art techniques for preeclampsia screening in an ethical framework, pointing out the central areas of moral relevance within the context of such screening activity. Furthermore, we propose ethical guidelines that a screening programme for PE should meet in order to become an uncontroversial addition to prenatal health care. (shrink)
Correcting the relationship between tonic and burst firing modes in dopamine neurons may help normalise stimulus-reinforcement gradients and contingent behaviour in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) children. But appropriate evaluations of stimuli for developing adaptive plans and controlling impulsivity will not occur without moderating the gain-like functions of serotonin. The “dynamic theory” correctly highlights the need to account for variability in ADHD. The dysmaturation of pre-executive information processing is proposed as an explanation. At the core of the article by Sagvolden and colleagues (...) there is a set of data that throws light on an aspect of the ADHD phenomenon. But one asks if the authors are a measure too brave to generalise so broadly from the unusually steep reinforcement gradients reported for the human condition and an animal model to the syndrome as a whole. (shrink)
Cognitive developmental disorders cannot be properly understood without due attention to the developmental process, and we commend the authors’simulations in this regard. We note the contribution of these simulations to the nascent field of connectionist modeling of developmental disorders and outline a set of criteria for assessing individual models in the hope of furthering future modeling efforts.
We have earlier shown by construction that a proposition can have a welldefined nonzero probability, even if it is justified by an infinite probabilistic regress. We thought this to be an adequate rebuttal of foundationalist claims that probabilistic regresses must lead either to an indeterminate, or to a determinate but zero probability. In a comment, Frederik Herzberg has argued that our counterexamples are of a special kind, being what he calls ‘solvable’. In the present reaction we investigate what Herzberg (...) means by solvability. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of making solvability a sine qua non , and we ventilate our misgivings about Herzberg’s suggestion that the notion of solvability might help the foundationalist. (shrink)
For moral realists moral judgments will be a kind of factual judgment that involves the basically reliable apprehension of an objective moral reality. I argue that factual judgments display at least some degree of conceptual sensitivity to error, while moral judgments do not. Therefore moral judgments are not a kind of factual judgment.
Abstract: The symmetry argument is an objection to the 'deprivation approach'– the account of badness favored by nearly all philosophers who take death to be bad for the one who dies. Frederik Kaufman's recent response to the symmetry argument is a development of Thomas Nagel's suggestion that we could not have come into existence substantially earlier than we in fact did. In this paper, I aim to show that Kaufman's suggestion fails. I also consider several possible modifications of his (...) theory, and argue that they are unsuccessful as well. (shrink)
It is a well-known fact that Ernst Cassirer was inspired by his colleague, the biologist Jakob von Uexküll at the university of Hamburg. This paper claims this inspiration was double—affecting both Cassirer’s philosophical anthropology and Cassirer’s epistemology of biology, but in two rather different ways. Thus, the paper intends to shed light on a corner of the history of the development of German thought of the interwar period. It may also have an actual interest because both Cassirer and Uexküll enjoy, (...) for the time being and each in their way, a renaissance, e.g. in the recent field of biosemiotics. (shrink)
Genic selectionists (Williams 1966; Dawkins 1976) defend the view that genes are the (unique) units of selection and that all evolutionary events can be adequately represented at the genic level. Pluralistic genic selectionists (Sterelny and Kitcher 1988; Waters 1991; Dawkins 1982) defend the weaker view that in many cases there are multiple equally adequate accounts of evolutionary events, but that always among the set of equally adequate representations will be one at the genic level. We describe a range of cases (...) all involving stable equilibria actively maintained by selection. In these cases genotypic models correctly show that selection is active at the equilibrium point. In contrast, the genic models have selection disappearing at equilibrium. For deterministic models this difference makes no difference. However, once drift is added in, the two sets of models diverge in their predicted evolutionary trajectories. Thus, contrary to received wisdom on this matter, the two sets of models are not empirically equivalent. Moreover, the genic models get the facts wrong. (shrink)
Theses on the semiotic study of life as presented here provide a collectively formulated set of statements on what biology needs to be focused on in order to describe life as a process based on semiosis, or sign action. An aim of the biosemiotic approach is to explain how life evolves through all varieties of forms of communication and signification (including cellular adaptive behavior, animal communication, and human intellect) and to provide tools for grounding sign theories. We introduce the concept (...) of semiotic threshold zone and analyze the concepts of semiosis, function, umwelt, and the like as the basic concepts for theoretical biology. (shrink)
This note employs the recently established consistency theorem for infinite regresses of probabilistic justification (Herzberg in Stud Log 94(3):331–345, 2010) to address some of the better-known objections to epistemological infinitism. In addition, another proof for that consistency theorem is given; the new derivation no longer employs nonstandard analysis, but utilises the Daniell–Kolmogorov theorem.
Lucretius claimed we should be as indifferent to the time of our death as we are toward the time of our birth. Thomas Nagel, Frederik Kaufman, and Christopher Belshaw have each rejected Lucretius' claim. Their arguments depend upon an appeal to a psychological notion of the self. This appeal, I contend, is problematic. I present four reasons for thinking that their response to Lucretius is inadequate.
A basic form of iconicity in literature is the correspondence between basic conceptual schemata in literary semantics on the one hand and in factual treatments on the other. The semantics of a subject like espionage is argued to be dependent on the ontology of the field in question, with reference to the English philosopher Barry Smith’s “fallibilistic apriorism”. This article outlines such an ontology, on the basis of A. J. Greimas’s semiotics and Carl Schmitt’s philosophy of state, claiming that the (...) semantics of espionage involves politology and narratology on an equal footing. The spy’s “positional” character is analyzed on this basis. A structural difference between police and military espionage is outlined with reference to Georges Dumézil’s theory of the three functions in Indo-European thought. A number of ontological socalled “insecurities” inherent in espionage and its literary representation are outlined. Finally, some hypotheses are stated concerning the connection between espionage and literature, and some central allegorical objects — love, theology — of the spy novel are sketched, and a conclusion on the iconicity of literature is made. (shrink)
In a recent paper, Jeanne Peijnenburg and David Atkinson [ Studia Logica , 89(3):333-341 (2008)] have challenged the foundationalist rejection of infinitism by giving an example of an infinite, yet explicitly solvable regress of probabilistic justification. So far, however, there has been no criterion for the consistency of infinite probabilistic regresses, and in particular, foundationalists might still question the consistency of the solvable regress proposed by Peijnenburg and Atkinson.
Lucretius famously argued that if we think death is bad because it deprives us of time we could have had by living longer than we do, then when we are born must be bad too, since we could have been born earlier than we were, and so be deprived of that time as well. John Martin Fischer thinks Lucretius’s symmetry argument fails because we have a bias toward the future. I argue that Fischer’s approach does not answer Lucretius. In contrast (...) to Fischer, I think that we can show an objective difference between the time before our birth and the time after our death, which means that we are justified in adopting different attitudes towards them. I revise a point made by Thomas Nagel that while we might live longer than we do, we cannot exist earlier than we did and remain the same people throughout. (shrink)
According to the “deprivation approach,” a person’s death is bad for her to the extent that it deprives her of goods. This approach faces the Lucretian problem that prenatal non-existence deprives us of goods just as much as death does, but does not seem bad at all. The two most prominent responses to this challenge—one of which is provided by Frederik Kaufman (inspired by Thomas Nagel) and the other by Anthony Brueckner and John Martin Fischer—claim that prenatal non-existence is (...) relevantly different from death. This paper criticizes these responses. (shrink)
The rejection of an infinitesimal solution to the zero-fit problem by A. Elga () does not seem to appreciate the opportunities provided by the use of internal finitely-additive probability measures. Indeed, internal laws of probability can be used to find a satisfactory infinitesimal answer to many zero-fit problems, not only to the one suggested by Elga, but also to the Markov chain (that is, discrete and memory-less) models of reality. Moreover, the generalization of likelihoods that Elga has in mind is (...) not as hopeless as it appears to be in his article. In fact, for many practically important examples, through the use of likelihoods one can succeed in circumventing the zero-fit problem. 1 The Zero-fit Problem on Infinite State Spaces 2 Elga's Critique of the Infinitesimal Approach to the Zero-fit Problem 3 Two Examples for Infinitesimal Solutions to the Zero-fit Problem 4 Mathematical Modelling in Nonstandard Universes? 5 Are Nonstandard Models Unnatural? 6 Likelihoods and Densities A Internal Probability Measures and the Loeb Measure Construction B The (Countable) Coin Tossing Sequence Revisited C Solution to the Zero-fit Problem for a Finite-state Model without Memory D An Additional Note on ‘Integrating over Densities’ E Well-defined Continuous Versions of Density Functions. (shrink)
Environmental philosophers are often concerned to show that non-sentient things, such as plants or ecosystems, have interests and therefore are appropriate objects of moral concern. They deny that mentality is a necessary condition for having interests. Yet they also deny that they are committed to recognizing interests in things like machines. I argue that either machines have interests (and hence moral standing) too or mentality is a necessary condition for inclusion within the purview of morality. I go on to argue (...) that the aspect of mentality necessary for having interests is more complicated than mere sentience. (shrink)
On the basis of the Suppes–Sneed structuralview of scientific theories, we take a freshlook at the concept of refutability,which was famously proposed by K.R. Popper in 1934 as a criterion for the demarcation of scientific theories from non-scientific ones, e.g., pseudo-scientificand metaphysical theories. By way of an introduction we argue that a clash between Popper and his critics on whether scientific theories are, in fact, refutablecan be partly explained by the fact Popper and his criticsascribed different meanings to the term (...) theoryThen we narrow our attention to one particular theory,namely quantum mechanics, in order to elucidate general matters discussed. We prove that quantum mechanics is irrefutable in a rather straightforward sense, but argue that it is refutable in a more sophisticated sense, which incorporates someobservations obtained by looking closely at the practiceof physics. We shall locate exactly where non-rigourous elements enter the evaluation of a scientific theory – thismakes us see clearly how fruitful mathematics isfor the philosophy of science. (shrink)
The focus of this article is to explain why there is still no qualified digital signature in Denmark as defined by the EU eSignatures Directive nor any other nationwide eID even though Denmark had an early start in eGovernment, and a high level of e-readiness compared to other nations. Laying out the technological, organizational and legal dimensions of eID in Denmark, and comparing these with a number of other European countries made it possible to explain this paradox. Thus, the three (...) main reasons for the special route development has taken in Denmark seems to be concerns over privacy, lack of intergovernmental coordination and lack of cooperation between public and private sector. However, with the recent tender on digital signatures won by the PBS and the roll-out of the NemID it seems that Denmark will finally—after twenty years of delay—have an eID which can be widely used in the public as well as the private sector. (shrink)
Following Lauwers and Van Liedekerke (1995), this paper explores in a model-theoretic framework the relation between Arrovian aggregation rules and ultraproducts, in order to investigate a source of impossibility results for the case of an infinite number of individuals and an aggregation rule based on a free ultrafilter of decisive coalitions.
This paper formally explores the common ground between mild versions of epistemological coherentism and infinitism; it proposes—and argues for—a hybrid, coherentist–infinitist account of epistemic justification. First, the epistemological regress argument and its relation to the classical taxonomy regarding epistemic justification—of foundationalism, infinitism and coherentism—is reviewed. We then recall recent results proving that an influential argument against infinite regresses of justification, which alleges their incoherence on account of probabilistic inconsistency, cannot be maintained. Furthermore, we prove that the Principle of Inferential Justification (...) has rather unwelcome consequences—formally resembling the Sorites paradox—as soon as it is iterated and combined with a natural Bayesian perspective on probabilistic inferences. We conclude that strong versions of foundationalism and infinitism should be abandoned. Positively, we provide a rough sketch for a graded formal coherence notion, according to which infinite regresses of epistemic justification will often have more than a minimal degree of coherence. (shrink)
In this article we explore the state of current ESCM practices in U.K. companies. We develop a conceptual framework that draws upon the stakeholder,resource-based, and power-dependence perspectives and examine this framework in light of empirical evidence concerning ESCM in 166 UK companies. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, our evidence suggests that around 50% of sample companies engage in some form of ESCM activity and that experiencing significant external pressure from customers is an important driver of ESCM.
Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that firms are responding differently to the mounting concerns over environmental degradation and climate change. While a few studies at individual firm level do exist, relatively little is known about the longitudinal development of corporate environmental strategy at the population level of firms. Employing KLD data we explore the evolution of environmental strategy among a sample of S&P500 corporations over the period 1997 to 2006. We theoretically ground our study in Burgelman’s (1991) autonomous and induced (...) perspectives of strategy-making. Our findings suggest widespread inertia among firms to adjust to the changing socio-institutional environment. (shrink)
Abduction of generalizations is the process in which explanatory hypotheses are formed for generalizations such as “pineapples taste sweet” or “rainbows appear when the sun breaks through the rain”. This phenomenon has received little attention in formal logic and philosophy of science. The current paper remedies this lacuna by first giving an overview of some general characteristics of this process, elaborating on its ubiquity in scientific and everyday reasoning. Second, the adaptive logic LA∀ is presented to explicate this process formally.La (...) abducción de generalizaciones es el proceso en el que se forman hipótesis explicativas para generalizaciones tales como "las piñas saben dulce" o "el arcoiris aparece cuando el sol sale a través de la lluvia". Este fenómeno ha recibido poca atención tanto en lógica formal como en filosofía de la ciencia. Este artículo viene a llenar este hueco. En primer lugar, ofrecemos una panorámica de algunas características generales de este proceso, analizando su ubicuidad en el razonamiento científico y cotidiano. En segundo lugar, se presenta la lógica adaptativa LA∀ para dar una explicación formal de este proceso. (shrink)
We argue and demonstrate that an emphasis on outperforming others may lead to perverse effects. Four studies show that assigning other-referenced performance goals, relative to self-referenced mastery goals, may lead to more interpersonally harmful behavior in an information exchange context. Results of Study 1 indicate that assigned performance goals lead to stronger thwarting behavior and less accurate information giving to an exchange partner than assigned mastery goals. Similarly, in Study 2 performance goal individuals more subtly deceived highly competent opponents relative (...) to lowly competent opponents, who received more blatant treatment. Finally, Studies 3 and 4 show in methodologically complementary ways that tactical deception considerations may account for the interpersonally harmful behavior of performance goal individuals. (shrink)
This paper gives a fIrst overview over the role of mereology the theory of parts and wholes - in semiotics. The mereology of four major semioticians - Husserl, Jakobson, Hjelmslev, and Peirce is presented briefly and its role in the overall architecture of each of their theories is outlined - with Brentano tradition as reference. Finally, an evaluation of the strength and weaknesses of the four is undertaken, and some guidelines for further research is proposed.
To determine whether fish welfare matters morally, we need to know what characteristics or capacities beings need to have in order to be morally considerable, and whether fish have such characteristics. In this paper I discuss a group of theories, Kantian practical reasoning theories, in which agency (or practical rationality) is traditionally thought to be a necessary condition for moral considerability. An individual must have quite sophisticated capacities to be a (moral) agent in such theories: she must be able to (...) act on rational principles. It seems unlikely that nonhuman animals such as fish have such capacities. I argue, however, that on the basis of certain Kantian arguments, moral agents have reason to accept duties to nonrational animals if they are agents in a much less demanding sense: if they are motivated to pursue the objects of their desires. If fish have this capacity, their welfare matters morally. (shrink)