We argue from the Church-Turing thesis (Kleene Mathematical logic. New York: Wiley 1967) that a program can be considered as equivalent to a formal language similar to predicate calculus where predicates can be taken as functions. We can relate such a calculus to Wittgenstein’s first major work, the Tractatus, and use the Tractatus and its theses as a model of the formal classical definition of a computer program. However, Wittgenstein found flaws in his initial great work and he explored these (...) flaws in a new thesis described in his second great work; the Philosophical Investigations. The question we address is “can computer science make the same leap?” We are proposing, because of the flaws identified by Wittgenstein, that computers will never have the possibility of natural communication with people unless they become active participants of human society. The essential difference between formal models used in computing and human communication is that formal models are based upon rational sets whereas people are not so restricted. We introduce irrational sets as a concept that requires the use of an abductive inference system. However, formal models are still considered central to our means of using hypotheses through deduction to make predictions about the world. These formal models are required to continually be updated in response to peoples’ changes in their way of seeing the world. We propose that one mechanism used to keep track of these changes is the Peircian abductive loop. (shrink)
In this paper we describe in some detail a formal computer model of inferential discourse based on a belief system. The key issue is that a logical model in a computer, based on rational sets, can usefully model a human situation based on irrational sets. The background of this work is explained elsewhere, as is the issue of rational and irrational sets (Billinge and Addis, in: Magnani and Dossena (eds.), Computing, philosophy and cognition, 2004; Stepney et al., Journey: Non-classical (...) philosophy—socially sensitive computing in journeys non-classical computation: A grand challenge for computing research, 2004). The model is based on the Belief System (Addis and Gooding, Proceedings of the AISB’99 Symposium on Scientific Creativity, 1999) and it provides a mechanism for choosing queries based on a range of belief. We explain how it provides a way to update the belief based on query results, thus modelling others’ experience by inference. We also demonstrate that for the same internal experience, different models can be built for different actors. (shrink)
The difficulties about other minds are deep and of central philosophical importance. This text explores attempts to apply Wittgenstein's concept of criteria in explaining how we can know other minds and their properties. It is shown that the use of criteria for this purpose is misguided.
One may gather from the arguments of two of the last papers published before his death that J. L. Mackie held the following three theses concerning the mind/body problem : (1) There is a distinct realm of mental properties, so a dualism of properties at least is true and materialism false.
Many believe that the Marxist philosophy of history entails that man is not free in a sense in which it seems obvious that he is. In particular it is held to be (1) materialistic, (2) holistic, (3) economistic, and (4) fatalistic. It is claimed, in short, that since the Marxist philosophy of history has these features, man is not capable of shaping his own (social) destiny if it is true. I show for each of these features either that it does (...) not entail what it is believed to entail or that it is not correctly attributed to the Marxist philosophy of history. (shrink)
Some issues raised by the notion of surveyability and how it is represented mathematically are explored. Wright considers the sense in which the positive integers are surveyable and suggests that their structure will be a weakly finite, but weakly infinite, totality. One way to expose the incoherence of this account is by applying Wittgenstein's distinction between intensional and extensional to it. Criticism of the idea of a surveyable proof shows the notion's lack of clarity. It is suggested that this concept (...) should be replaced by that of a feasible operation, as strict finitism aims to understand the boundaries of legitimate mathematical knowledge. (shrink)
Zusammenfassung Chomsky behauptet, daÃ das BewuÃtsein die Struktur eines grammatischen Ãbersetzungsapparates hat, Freud dagegen betrachtet es als einen unbewuÃten Geisteszustand. Es wird gezeigt, wie sich diese Theorien innerhalb einer Metaphysik des BewuÃtseins vereinbaren lassen, die nur bewuÃte GeisteszustÃ¤nde als grundlegend, Sinneswahrnehmungen, Bilder, Emotionen und dergleichen als sekundÃ¤r, und veranlagungsbedingte (natÃ¼rliche) GeisteszustÃ¤nde als tertiÃ¤r bezeichnet. Hervorzuheben wÃ¤re, daÃ grammatische Ãbersetzungsapparate und unbewuÃte GeisteszustÃ¤nde, wie alle menschlichen Veranlagungen, als Eigenheiten des KÃ¶rpers, welcher gewissen Gesetzen und Prinzipien unterliegt, zu analysieren sind.
Syntactic and structural models specify relationships between their constituents but cannot show what outcomes their interaction would produce over time in the world. Simulation consists in iterating the states of a model, so as to produce behaviour over a period of simulated time. Iteration enables us to trace the implications and outcomes of inference rules and other assumptions implemented in the models that make up a theory. We apply this method to experiments which we treat as models of the particular (...) aspects of reality they are designed to investigate. Scientific experiments are constantly designed and re-designed in the context of implementation and use. They mediate between theoretical understanding and the practicalities of engaging with the empirical and social world. In order to model experiments we need to identify and represent features that all experiments have in common. We treat these features as parameters of a general model of experiment so that by varying these parameters different types of experiment can be modelled. (shrink)
Philosophers who hold that the correct ontological analysis of things includes both properties and particulars have often been pressed to "show" the particular. If we are not acquainted with them, it is argued, then we should not suppose that they exist. I argue that, while we do have good and sufficient reasons for supposing there to be particulars, we are not acquainted with them. To suppose that we are acquainted with them is to treat particulars as if they were properties (...) and to fail to realize how radically different particulars are from properties. The relevance of these matters to some considerations of "simplicity" and the principles of empiricism is explored. (shrink)
We argue from the Church-Turing thesis (Kleene Mathematical logic . New York: Wiley 1967) that a program can be considered as equivalent to a formal language similar to predicate calculus where predicates can be taken as functions. We can relate such a calculus to Wittgenstein’s first major work, the Tractatus , and use the Tractatus and its theses as a model of the formal classical definition of a computer program. However, Wittgenstein found flaws in his initial great work (...) and he explored these flaws in a new thesis described in his second great work; the Philosophical Investigations . The question we address is “can computer science make the same leap?” We are proposing, because of the flaws identified by Wittgenstein, that computers will never have the possibility of natural communication with people unless they become active participants of human society. The essential difference between formal models used in computing and human communication is that formal models are based upon rational sets whereas people are not so restricted. We introduce irrational sets as a concept that requires the use of an abductive inference system. However, formal models are still considered central to our means of using hypotheses through deduction to make predictions about the world. These formal models are required to continually be updated in response to peoples’ changes in their way of seeing the world. We propose that one mechanism used to keep track of these changes is the Peircian abductive loop. (shrink)
This commentary argues that Ted Cohen's claim that Kant confuses logical and aesthetic judgements (in ‘Three Problems in Kant's Aesthetics’, British Journal of Aesthetics, vol. 42 , pp. 1–12) can be countered by a somewhat different reading of Kant's argument in 8 of the Critique of Judgement. Cohen construes Kant's argument as an inductive generalization based on common properties. I suggest, instead, that Kant distinguishes between judgements of taste, which do not require concepts, and logical generalizations that are based directly (...) on experience and that do allow concepts. ‘Beauty’ is used equivocally, but that frees Kant from the charge of logical error or self-contradiction. (shrink)
We argue that abduction does not work in isolation from other inference mechanisms and illustrate this through an inference scheme designed to evaluate multiple hypotheses. We use game theory to relate the abductive system to actions that produce new information. To enable evaluation of the implications of this approach we have implemented the procedures used to calculate the impact of new information in a computer model. Experiments with this model display a number of features of collective belief-revision leading to consensus-formation, (...) such as the influence of bias and prejudice. The scheme of inferential calculations invokes a Peircian concept of ‘belief’ as the propensity to choose a particular course of action. (shrink)
Men's interest in sex partners' status traits and commitment (investment thoughts) declines with number of sex partners and permissiveness of attitudes; women's investment thoughts do not seem to decline. Testosterone, dominance, sexual attractiveness, and number of sex partners are correlated in men but not in women. It is plausible that these sex differences are part of sexually dimorphic feedback systems. This type of feedback is consistent with both reciprocal and basal models of testosterone.
Behaviorism and the philosophy of the act are widely believed to be inconsistent with one another. I argue that both are true, Fulfilling the requirements of scientific psychology and the phenomenology of mind, Respectively. The key to understanding their mutual consistency lies in the idea of parallelism and its corresponding requirement that all descriptive features of mental states be analyzed as properties, None as relations (to anything physical). So the intentional link itself must be a 'logical' and not a descriptive (...) connection. More broadly, It is required to free the act from its origins in the metaphysical notion of 'activity' and the substance ontology from which that motion derives. (shrink)
We consider the relation between past and future events from the perspective of the constructive episodic simulation hypothesis, which holds that episodic simulation of future events requires a memory system that allows the flexible recombination of details from past events into novel scenarios. We discuss recent neuroimaging and behavioral evidence that support this hypothesis in relation to the theater production metaphor.
In their competition for higher-status men, women with higher socioeconomic status use indirect forms of aggression (ridicule and gossip) to derogate lower-status female competitors and the men who date them. Women's greater tendency to excuse their aggression is arguably a cultural enhancement of an evolutionarily based sex difference and not solely a cultural construction imposed by patriarchy.
Women with high sociosexual orientation inventory (SOI) scores may trade signs of willingness to invest for signs of ability to invest, instead of, or in addition to, genetic benefits. The target person's status traits affect women's judgments of sexual/physical attractiveness more than men's. An objective measure of a physical trait such as FA is therefore crucial in untangling the factors affecting women's judgments of attractiveness.
Sex differences in motivation and emotional reactions to casual sex suggest that the links to extraversion, constraint, impulsivity-sensation seeking, and sexual behavior differ for men and women. Because both testosterone and dominance, and dominance and number of sex partners appear to correlate in men but not in women, it is plausible that testosterone is involved in the creation and maintenance of these sex differences in linkage among the behavioral subsystems involved in sexuality and extraversion.
Popper and Miller (1983) have presented an argument purporting to establish the impossibility of inductive probability. Here I discuss critically their characterization of a deductive part of nondeductive support, a point that has not figured centrally in previous responses.
The Sociosexual Orientation Inventory (SOI) was not designed to illuminate the sexually dimorphic mental mechanisms posited by evolutionary theories. Its results are therefore open to competing interpretations. Measures designed to tap the thought processes surrounding sexual experience generate findings that are more compatible with evolutionary than with social structural theory.
Inclusion of cultural variables in the study of human evolution is essential but introduces problems of vagueness, nonspecificity, and overgeneralization. Recognition of intracultural variation and conflict, and inclusion of ontogenetic processes such as individual learning are antidotal.