We maximally extend the quantum‐mechanical results of Muller and Saunders ( 2008 ) establishing the ‘weak discernibility’ of an arbitrary number of similar fermions in finite‐dimensional Hilbert spaces. This confutes the currently dominant view that ( A ) the quantum‐mechanical description of similar particles conflicts with Leibniz’s Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles (PII); and that ( B ) the only way to save PII is by adopting some heavy metaphysical notion such as Scotusian haecceitas or Adamsian primitive thisness. (...) We take sides with Muller and Saunders ( 2008 ) against this currently dominant view, which has been expounded and defended by many. *Received July 2008; revised May 2009. †To contact the authors, please write to: F. A. Muller, Faculty of Philosophy, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Burg. Oudlaan 50, H5–16, 3062 PA Rotterdam, The Netherlands; e‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org , and Institute for the History and Foundations of Science, Utrecht University, Budapestlaan 6, IGG–3.08, 3584 CD Utrecht, The Netherlands; e‐mail: email@example.com . M. P. Seevinck, Institute for the History and Foundations of Science, Utrecht University, Budapestlaan 6, IGG–3.08, 3584 CD Utrecht, The Netherlands; e‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
This paper follows Part I of our essay on case-intensional first-order logic (CIFOL; Belnap and Müller (2013)). We introduce a framework of branching histories to take account of indeterminism. Our system BH-CIFOL adds structure to the cases, which in Part I formed just a set: a case in BH-CIFOL is a moment/history pair, specifying both an element of a partial ordering of moments and one of the total courses of events (extending all the way into the future) that that moment (...) is part of. This framework allows us to define the familiar Ockhamist temporal/modal connectives, most notably for past, future, and settledness. The novelty of our framework becomes visible in our discussion of substances in branching histories, i.e., in its first-order part. That discussion shows how the basic idea of tracing an individual thing from case to case via an absolute property is applicable in a branching histories framework. We stress the importance of keeping apart extensionality and moment-definiteness, and give a formal account of how the specification of natural sortals and natural qualities turns out to be a coordination task in BH-CIFOL. We also provide a detailed answer to Lewis’s well-known argument against branching histories, exposing the fallacy in that argument. (shrink)
In this original work of psychoanalytic theory, John Muller explores the formative power of signs and their impact on the mind, the body and subjectivity, giving special attention to work of the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan and the American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce. Muller explores how Lacan's way of understanding experience through three dimensions--the real, the imaginary and the symbolic--can be useful both for thinking about cultural phenomena and for understanding the complexities involved in treating psychotic patients. (...) class='Hi'>Muller develops Lacan's perspective gradually, presenting it as distinctive approaches to data from a variety of sources, such as cognitive, social and developmental psychology, literature, history, art, and psychoanalytic treatment. The book's first four chapters present Muller's reading of selected data from child development research, psychology and linguistics, approximating a semiotic model of "normal" development. The following three chapters examine in a Lacanian framework the structural basis of psychotic stages as indicative of massive semiotic failure in development. The final chapters on human narcissism suggest reasons that "normal" development may be impossible. (shrink)
Alan Musgrave, Michael Friedman, Jeffrey Foss, and Richard Creath raised different objections against the Distinction between observables and unobservables when drawn within the confines of Bas C. van Fraassen's Constructive Empiricism (CE), to the effect that the Distinction cannot be drawn there coherently. Van Fraassen has only responded to Musgrave but Musgrave claimed not to understand van Fraassen's succinct response. I argue that van Fraassen's response is not enough. What remains in the end is an unsolved problem which CE cannot (...) afford to leave unsolved, or so I argue; I then strengthen Musgrave's criticism and indicate that an extension of the epistemic policy of CE is mandatory to solve the problem. I also argue that Friedman's and Foss' objection against the Distinction in CE misses the mark on closer inspection. An objection due to Creath does hit the mark but can be taken care of without too much ado. All these objections seem alive and kicking until the present day; I try (and hope) to put them all to rest. (shrink)
We discuss in some length evidence from the cognitive science suggesting that the representations of objects based on spatiotemporal information and featural information retrieved bottomup from a visual scene precede representations of objects that include conceptual information. We argue that a distinction can be drawn between representations with conceptual and nonconceptual content. The distinction is based on perceptual mechanisms that retrieve information in conceptually unmediated ways. The representational contents of the states induced by these mechanisms that are available to a (...) type of awareness called phenomenal awareness constitute the phenomenal content of experience. The phenomenal content of perception contains the existence of objects as separate things that persist in time and time, spatiotemporal information, and information regarding relative spatial relations, motion, surface properties, shape, size, orientation, color, and their functional properties. (shrink)
This paper investigates the prospects of Rodney Brooks’ proposal for AI without representation. It turns out that the supposedly characteristic features of “new AI” (embodiment, situatedness, absence of reasoning, and absence of representation) are all present in conventional systems: “New AI” is just like old AI. Brooks proposal boils down to the architectural rejection of central control in intelligent agents—Which, however, turns out to be crucial. Some of more recent cognitive science suggests that we might do well to dispose of (...) the image of intelligent agents as central representation processors. If this paradigm shift is achieved, Brooks’ proposal for cognition without representation appears promising for full-blown intelligent agents—Though not for conscious agents. (shrink)
Are we perhaps in the "matrix", or anyway, victims of perfect and permanent computer simulation? No. The most convincing—and shortest—version of Putnam's argument against the possibility of our eternal envattment is due to Crispin Wright (1994). It avoids most of the misunderstandings that have been elicited by Putnam's original presentation of the argument in "Reason, Truth and History" (1981). But it is still open to the charge of question-begging. True enough, the premisses of the argument (disquotation and externalism) can be (...) formulated and defended without presupposing external objects whose existence appears doubtful in the light of the very skeptical scenario which Putnam wants to repudiate. However, the argument is only valid if we add an extra premiss as to the existence of some external objects. In order to avoid circularity, we should run the argument with external objects which must exist even if we are brains in a vat, e.g. with computers rather than with trees. As long as the skeptic is engaged in a discussion of the brain-in-a-vat scenario, she should neither deny the existence of computers nor the existence of causal relations; for if she does, she is in fact denying that we are brains in a vat. (shrink)
This paper investigates the view that digital hypercomputing is a good reason for rejection or re-interpretation of the Church-Turing thesis. After suggestion that such re-interpretation is historically problematic and often involves attack on a straw man (the ‘maximality thesis’), it discusses proposals for digital hypercomputing with Zeno-machines , i.e. computing machines that compute an infinite number of computing steps in finite time, thus performing supertasks. It argues that effective computing with Zeno-machines falls into a dilemma: either they are specified such (...) that they do not have output states, or they are specified such that they do have output states, but involve contradiction. Repairs though non-effective methods or special rules for semi-decidable problems are sought, but not found. The paper concludes that hypercomputing supertasks are impossible in the actual world and thus no reason for rejection of the Church-Turing thesis in its traditional interpretation. (shrink)
When it became uncool to speak of beauty with respect to pieces of art, physicists started claiming that their results are beautiful. They say, for example, that a theory's beauty speaks in favour of its truth, and that they strive to perform beautiful experiments. What does that mean? The notion cannot be defined. (It cannot be defined in the arts either). Therefore, I elucidate it with examples of optical experimentation. Desaguliers' white synthesis, for example, is more beautiful than Newton's, and (...) the many colourful syntheses done by Viennese painter Ingo Nussbaumer exemplify even greater beauty. Here are some criteria (which, of course, do not implement a decision procedure concerning beauty in experiments): cleanliness, simplicity, intellectual clarity, symmetry. Similar criteria are relevant to our aesthetical judgements about some pieces of music. So we can assume that our notion of beauty conserning art is related to the one conserning scientific experiments. (shrink)
The paper argues that the reference of perceptual demonstratives is fixed in a causal nondescriptive way through the nonconceptual content of perception. That content consists first in spatiotemporal information establishing the existence of a separate persistent object retrieved from a visual scene by the perceptual object segmentation processes that open an object-file for that object. Nonconceptual content also consists in other transducable information, that is, information that is retrieved directly in a bottom-up way from the scene (motion, shape, etc). The (...) nonconceptual content of the mental states induced when one uses a perceptual demonstrative constitutes the mode of presentation of the perceptual demonstrative that individuates but does not identify the object of perceptual awareness and allows reference to it. On that account, perceptual demonstratives put us in a de re relationship with objects in the world through the non-conceptual information retrieved directly from the objects in the environment. (shrink)
By focussing on the intentional character of observation in science, we argue that Constructive Empiricism—B.C. van Fraassen’s much debated and explored view of science—is inconsistent. We then argue there are at least two ways out of our Inconsistency Argument, one of which is more easily to square with Constructive Empiricism than the other.
Am 14. Juli 1995 berichteten die angesehene Wissenschaftszeitschrift Science sowie die berühmte amerikanische Tageszeitung New York Times – auf dem Titelblatt – gleichzeitig über die erstmalige experimentelle Erzeugung eines Bose-Einstein-Kondensates aus einem Gas schwach wechselwirkender Alkaliatome am Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophy- sics (JILA) in Boulder/Colorado (USA). Was war an dieser Leistung so bedeutsam, dass man sich entschloss, sie auf jene Weise bekannt zu geben?
I have argued that to say qualia are epiphenomenal is to say a world without qualia would be physically identical to a world with qualia. Dan Cavedon-Taylor has offered an alternative interpretation of the commitments of qualia epiphenomenalism according to which qualia cause beliefs and those beliefs can and do cause changes to the physical world. I argue that neither of these options works for the qualia epiphenomenalist and thus that theory faces far more serious difficulties than has previously been (...) recognized. (shrink)
Can we conceive of a mind without body? Does, for example, the idea of the soul's immortality make sense? Certain versions of materialism deny such questions; I shall try to prove that these versions of materialism cannot be right. They fail because they cannot account for the mental vocabulary from the language of brains in the vat. Envatted expressions such as "I think", "I believe", etc., do not have to be reinterpreted when we translate them to our language; they are (...) semantically stable. By contrast, physical expressions from the vat language are semantically instable; due to Putnam's externalism they cannot be transported to our language without change. This contrast opens the way to a new understanding of what the immortality of the soul might be like: A brain in a vat (and its mental life) might survive what the brain calls "my physical body's death". (shrink)
The term body integrity identity disorder (BIID) describes the extremely rare phenomenon of persons who desire the amputation of one or more healthy limbs or who desire a paralysis. Some of these persons mutilate themselves; others ask surgeons for an amputation or for the transection of their spinal cord. Psychologists and physicians explain this phenomenon in quite different ways; but a successful psychotherapeutic or pharmaceutical therapy is not known. Lobbies of persons suffering from BIID explain the desire for amputation in (...) analogy to the desire of transsexuals for surgical sex reassignment. Medical ethicists discuss the controversy about elective amputations of healthy limbs: on the one hand the principle of autonomy is used to deduce the right for body modifications; on the other hand the autonomy of BIID patients is doubted. Neurological results suggest that BIID is a brain disorder producing a disruption of the body image, for which parallels for stroke patients are known. If BIID were a neuropsychological disturbance, which includes missing insight into the illness and a specific lack of autonomy, then amputations would be contraindicated and must be evaluated as bodily injuries of mentally disordered patients. Instead of only curing the symptom, a causal therapy should be developed to integrate the alien limb into the body image. (shrink)
In the context of discussions about the nature of ‘identical particles’ and the status of Leibniz’s Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles in Quantum Mechanics, a novel kind of physical discernibility has recently been proposed, which we call witness-discernibility. We inquire into how witness-discernibility relates to known kinds of discernibility. Our conclusion will be that for a wide variety of cases, including the intended quantum-mechanical ones, witness-discernibility collapses extensionally to absolute discernibility, that is, to discernibility by properties.
We inquire into the question whether the Aristotelian or classical ideal of science has been realised by the Model Revolution, initiated at Stanford University during the 1950s and spread all around the world of philosophy of scienceâ€” salute Suppes. The guiding principle of the Model Revolution is: a scientific theory is a set of structures in the domain of discourse of axiomatic set-theory , characterised by a set-theoretical predicate. We expound some critical reflections on the Model Revolution; the conclusions will (...) be that the philosophical problem of what a scientific theory is has not been solved yetâ€” pace Suppes. While reflecting critically on the Model Revolution, we also explore a proposal of how to complete the Revolution and briefly address the intertwined subject of scientific representation , which has come to occupy center stage in philosophy of science over the past decade. (shrink)
One of the reasons provided for the shift away from an ontology for physical reality of material objects & properties towards one of physical structures & relations (Ontological Structural Realism: OntSR) is that the quantum-mechanical description of composite physical systems of similar elementary particles entails they are indiscernible. As material objects, they 'whither away', and when they wither away, structures emerge in their stead. We inquire into the question whether recent results establishing the weak discernibility of elementary particles pose a (...) threat for this quantum-mechanical reason for OntSR, because precisely their newly discovered discernibility prevents them from 'whithering away'. We argue there is a straightforward manner to consider the recent results as a reason in favour of OntSR rather than against it. (shrink)
Pacifists and their opponents disagree not only about moral questions, but most often about factual questions as well. For example, they came to divergent descriptions of the crisis in Kosovo. According to my reconstruction of pacifism, this is not a surprise because the pacifist, legitimately, looks at the facts in the light of her system of value. Her opponent, in turn, looks at the facts in the light of alternative systems of value, and the quarrel between the two parties about (...) supposedly descriptive matters does not come to an end as there is no objective reality about the war in question that could settle the issue. If I am right, the pacifist's value-laden way of looking at reality can be reconstructed as an obedience to three epistemic imperatives. First, the Epistemic Imperative concerning Human Nature ("Resist against demonizing the other side; always try to understand the case from their point of view"). Second, the Epistemic Imperative concerning Non-Violent Alternatives ("Always search for non-violent alternatives to projected military action"). Third, the Epistemic Imperative concerning Uncontrolled Escalation ("Sharpen your attention for uncontrolled, irreversible side effects of military action, particularly for the danger of escalation to another world war"). Objective reality does not decide how far one should go in following these imperatives. Rather, the decision about this is our's—similarly as in case of the scientist who decides to search for common deep structure behind the chaos of the manifold. So the pacifist's epistemic imperatives can be compared to Kant's regulative principles that are necessary for guiding the scientific scrutiny of reality. (shrink)
We use quotation marks when we wish to refer to an expression. We can and do so refer even when this expression is composed of characters that do not occur in our alphabet. That's why Tarski, Quine, and Geach's theories of quotation don't work. The proposals of Davidson, Frege, and C. Washington, however, do not provide a plausible account of quotation either. (Section I). The problem is to construct a Tarskian theory of truth for an object language that contains quotation (...) marks, without appealing to quotation marks in the metalanguage. I propose to supply Tarski's truth definition with one axiom that determines the denotation of all expressions containing quotation marks. According to this axiom, quotation marks create a non-extensional context. Since admitting such contexts does not lead to any difficulties in the recursive truth characterization, we may indeed dispense with extensionalism. (Section II). Finally, I argue that we classify and denote expressions in the very same way that we classify and denote extralinguistic entities. Both tokens and types of written signs can be easily incorporated into the naturalist's worldview. (Section III). (shrink)
This paper, accessible for a general philosophical audience having only some fleeting acquaintance with set-theory and category-theory, concerns the philosophy of mathematics, specifically the bearing of category-theory on the foundations of mathematics. We argue for six claims. (I) A founding theory for category-theory based on the primitive concept of a set or a class is worthwile to pursue. (II) The extant set-theoretical founding theories for category-theory are conceptually flawed. (III) The conceptual distinction between a set and a class can be (...) seen to be formally codified in Ackermann's axiomatisation of set-theory. (IV) A slight but significant deductive extension of Ackermann's theory of sets and classes founds Cantorian set-theory as well as category-theory, and therefore can pass as a founding theory of the whole of mathematics. (V) The extended theory does not suffer from the conceptual flaws of the extant set-theoretical founding theories. (VI) The extended theory is not only conceptually but also logically superior to the competing set-theories because its consistency can be proved on the basis of weaker assumptions than the consistency of the competition. (shrink)
We defend the view that belief is a psychological category against a recent attempt to recast it as a normative one. Tamar Gendler has argued that to properly understand how beliefs function in the regulation and production of action, we need to contrast beliefs with a class of psychological states and processes she calls “aliefs.” We agree with Gendler that affective states as well as habits and instincts deserve more attention than they receive in the contemporary philosophical psychology literature. But (...) we argue that it is a serious error to align beliefs with the norm of rationality, while building a contrasting category whose members are characterized primarily by their failure to measure up to that normative standard, since these latter ones cannot constitute a distinct psychological category. First, we demonstrate that Gendler gets unwarranted conclusions about the existence of aliefs from belief-discordant cases. Next, we argue that the concept of alief is insufficiently clear. Aliefs cannot be distinguished from other types of states, such as beliefs. Also, when grouping many states under the category of aliefs, Gendler overlooks important differences between phenomena that are clearly distinct, such as habits and instincts. Aliefs simply do not constitute a legitimate psychological category. (shrink)
Since the origins of the notion of emergence in attempts to recover the content of vitalistic anti-reductionism without its questionable metaphysics, emergence has been treated in terms of logical properties. This approach was doomed to failure, because logical properties are either sui generis or they are constructions from other logical properties. If the former, they do not explain on their own and are inevitably somewhat arbitrary (the problem with the related concept of supervenience, Collier, 1988a), but if the latter, reducibility (...) is assured because logical constructs are reducible, by definition, to their logical components. A satisfactory account of emergence must recognise that it is a dynamical, not a logical property of property of natural systems, and that its basis is dynamical rather than logical composition. Collier (1988a) introduced the concept of cohesion as the closure of the causal relations among the dynamical parts of a dynamical particular that determine its resistance to external and internal fluctuations that might disrupt its integrity. Cohesion is an equivalence relation that partitions a set of dynamical particulars into unified and distinct entities, providing the identity conditions for such particulars. Cohesion blocks reduction of dynamical particulars, and is necessary for dynamical emergence. We will give reasons for thinking that cohesion might be sufficient for emergence as well. (shrink)
Crispin Wright hat die bislang beste Rekonstruktion von Putnams Beweis gegen die skeptische Hypothese vom Gehirn im Tank vorgelegt. Aber selbst in Wrights Fassung hat der Beweis einen Mangel: Er wird mithilfe eines Prädikates wie z.B. "Tiger" geführt und funktioniert nur, wenn man sich darauf verlassen kann, dass es Tiger wirklich gibt. Aber die Skeptikerin bestreitet, über die Existenz von Tigern bescheid zu wissen. Das Problem lässt sich dadurch beheben, dass man den Beweis – statt mit dem extensionalen Begriff der (...) Referenz (wie bei Wright) – mit Intensionen führt. Zudem sollte der Beweis transzendental laufen, also einzig und allein auf den sprachlichen Voraussetzungen beruhen, die auch die Skeptikerin zur Formulierung ihrer Tank-Hypothese benötigt. -/- The best reconstruction of Putnam's brain-in-a-vat argument is due to Crispin Wright. But even Wright's version of the argument is not convincing. It employs predicates such as 'tiger' and reaches the conclusion only if we can rely upon the existence of tigers; and the skeptic disputes our knowledge regarding tigers. The problem is not insuperable: The argument must be run, not with the extensionalistic notion of reference (as in Wright's version), but with intensions. Furthermore, the argument should have a transcendental form; it should exclusively rely on conditions that are needed by the skeptic for formulating her own position. (shrink)
In its reaction on the terroristic attacks of September 9th, 2001, the US-government threatened Afghanistan's Taleban with war in order to force them to extradite terrorist leader Bin Laden; the Taleban said that they would not surrender to this kind of blackmail – and so, they were removed from Kabul by means of military force. The rivalling versions of this story depend crucially on notions such as "terrorism" and "blackmail". Obviously you'll gain public support for your preferrend version of the (...) story if you are able to determine how those notions are to be used. So we had better reflect about their very meaning and about the moral implications of their proper usage. To gain a deeper understanding of our notions of "blackmail" and "terrorism" I shall propose an extreme thought experiment: Cassandra's plan. Cassandra foresees that sooner or later one of the nuclear powers might take the liberty to use atomic bombs. From fright she founds an NGO for blackmailing the statesmen who are in charge of nuclear weapons; she announces in public that all ministers and leaders of any government shall be hunted down, and executed, whose soldiers drop but one atomic bomb. (Cassandra's NGO keeps killer teams in constant training so as to increase the effect of the threat; this is being financiated from private donations). In my paper I shall raise two questions (without claiming to provide definite answers). First, would we have to say that Cassandra's NGO was a terrorist organisation? Second, would it be morally wrong if Cassandra blackmailed statesmen in the way indicated? (shrink)
The metaphor of a branching tree of future possibilities has a number of important philosophical and logical uses. In this paper we trace this metaphor through some of its uses and argue that the metaphor works the same way in physics as in philosophy. We then give an overview of formal systems for branching possibilities, viz., branching time and (briefly) branching space-times. In a next step we describe a number of different notions of possibility, thereby sketching a landscape of possibilities. (...) In the final section of the paper we look at the place of branching-based possibilities in that larger landscape of possibilities. Our main message is that far from being an outlandish metaphysical extravagancy, branching-based possibilities are epistemically as well as metaphysically basic. (shrink)
Over the past years, in books and journals (this journal included), N. Maxwell launched a ferocious attack on B. C. van Fraassen’s view of science called Constructive Empiricism (CE). This attack has been totally ignored. Must we conclude from this silence that no defence is possible and that a fortiori Maxwell has buried CE once and for all? Or is the attack too obviously flawed as not to merit exposure? A careful dissection of Maxwell’s reasoning will make it clear that (...) neither is the case. This dissection includes an analysis of Maxwell’s ‘aberrance–argument’ (omnipresent in his many writings) for the claim that science implicitly and permanently accepts a substantial, metaphysical thesis about the universe, which then paves the way for his own metaphysical-realist hierarchy-view of science. This aberrance-claim, which Maxwell directs against a widely shared and harmful ideology of science called ‘Standard Empiricism’, generally has been ignored too, for more than a quarter of a century. Our conclusions will be that (i) Maxwell’s attacks on CE can be beaten off, and (ii) his ‘aberrance–arguments’ do not establish what Maxwell believes they establish, but (iii) we can draw a number of valuable lessons from these attacks about the nature of science and of the libertarian nature of CE. (shrink)
Branching space-times (BST; Belnap, Synthese 92:385–434, 1992 ) is the most advanced formal framework for representing indeterminism. BST is however based on continuous partial orderings, while our natural way of describing indeterministic scenarios may be called discrete. This paper establishes a theorem providing a discrete data format for BST: it is proved that a discrete representation of indeterministic scenarios leading to BST models is possible in an important subclass of cases. This result enables the representation of limited indeterminism in BST (...) and hopefully paves the way for the representation of substances with capacities in that framework. (shrink)
In this introduction we discuss the motivation behind the workshop “Towards a New Epistemology of Mathematics” of which this special issue constitutes the proceedings. We elaborate on historical and empirical aspects of the desired new epistemology, connect it to the public image of mathematics, and give a summary and an introduction to the contributions to this issue.
The paper presents a paradoxical feature of computational systems that suggests that computationalism cannot explain symbol grounding. If the mind is a digital computer, as computationalism claims, then it can be computing either over meaningful symbols or over meaningless symbols. If it is computing over meaningful symbols its functioning presupposes the existence of meaningful symbols in the system, i.e. it implies semantic nativism. If the mind is computing over meaningless symbols, no intentional cognitive processes are available prior to symbol grounding. (...) In this case, no symbol grounding could take place since any grounding presupposes intentional cognitive processes. So, whether computing in the mind is over meaningless or over meaningful symbols, computationalism implies semantic nativism. (shrink)
The analytic/synthetic distinction can be conceived from two points of view: from within or from without; from the perspective of one's own language or from the perspective of the language of others. From without, the central question is which sentences of a foreign language are to be classified as analytic. From within, by contrast, the question concerning the synthetic and the analytic acquires a normative dimension: which sentences am I not permitted to reject—if I want to avoid talking nonsense? Both (...) perspectives on analytic sentences do not mutually exclude but supplement and illuminate each other. In "Two Dogmas", Quine's criticism of the analytic/synthetic distinction comes from within, whereas in Word and Object, Quine repeats his earlier criticism from without. His criticism is directed against Carnap's views on our understanding of theoretical terms. I challenge Quine's criticism in both of its versions and provide two definitions for analyticity that are immune to Quine's arguments. Using the first of these definitions (the one from without) I try to show how it is possible to distinguish (genuine) belief revision from linguistic change—even in case of a scientific revolution. (shrink)
This article studies institutional investor allocations to the socially responsible asset class. We propose two elements influence socially responsible institutional investment in private equity: internal organizational structure, and internationalization. We study socially responsible investments from Dutch institutional investments into private equity funds, and compare socially responsible investment across different asset classes and different types of institutional investors (banks, insurance companies, and pension funds). The data indicate socially responsible investment in private equity is 40–50% more common when the decision to implement (...) such an investment plan is centralised with a single chief investment officer. Socially responsible investment in private equity is also more common among institutional investors with a greater international investment focus, and less common among fund-of-fund private equity investments. (shrink)
Beauchamp and Childress have performed a great service by strengthening the principle of respect for the patient's autonomy against the paternalism that dominated medicine until at least the 1970s. Nevertheless, we think that the concept of autonomy should be elaborated further. We suggest such an elaboration built on recent developments within the neurosciences and the free will debate. The reason for this suggestion is at least twofold: First, Beauchamp and Childress neglect some important elements of autonomy. Second, neuroscience itself needs (...) a conceptual apparatus to deal with the neural basis of autonomy for diagnostic purposes. This desideratum is actually increasing because modern therapy options can considerably influence the neural basis of autonomy itself.Sabine MNeuroScienceAndNorms: Ethical and Legal Aspects of Norms in Neuroimaging at Bonn University Hospital, Germany. Her main research interests are in neuroethics. She is coauthor of three German books about neuroethics and bioethics.Henrik Walter, M.D., Ph.D., is Full Professor of Medical Psychology at the University of Bonn, Germany, and vice-director of the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the University Clinic of Bonn. He is author of Neurophilosophy of Free Will (MIT Press, 2001) and editor (together with Stephan Schleim and Tade Spranger) of the book From Neuroethics to Neurolaw? (Vandenhoeck & Rupprect, 2009, in German). His research fields are biological psychiatry, cognitive neuroscience, neuroimaging, neurophilosophy, and neuroethics. (shrink)
We demonstrate that the quantum-mechanical description of composite physical systems of an arbitrary number of similar fermions in all their admissible states, mixed or pure, for all finite-dimensional Hilbert spaces, is not in conflict with Leibniz's Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles (PII). We discern the fermions by means of physically meaningful, permutation-invariant categorical relations, i.e. relations independent of the quantum-mechanical probabilities. If, indeed, probabilistic relations are permitted as well, we argue that similar bosons can also be discerned in all (...) their admissible states; but their categorical discernibility turns out to be a state-dependent matter. In all demonstrated cases of discernibility, the fermions and the bosons are discerned (i) with only minimal assumptions on the interpretation of quantum mechanics; (ii) without appealing to metaphysical notions, such as Scotusian haecceitas, Lockean substrata, Postian transcendental individuality or Adamsian primitive thisness; and (iii) without revising the general framework of classical elementary predicate logic and standard set theory, thus without revising standard mathematics. This confutes: (a) the currently dominant view that, provided (i) and (ii), the quantum-mechanical description of such composite physical systems always conflicts with PII; and (b) that if PII can be saved at all, the only way to do it is by adopting one or other of the thick metaphysical notions mentioned above. Among the most general and influential arguments for the currently dominant view are those due to Schrödinger, Margenau, Cortes, Dalla Chiara, Di Francia, Redhead, French, Teller, Butterfield, Giuntini, Mittelstaedt, Castellani, Krause and Huggett. We review them succinctly and critically as well as related arguments by van Fraassen and Massimi. Introduction: The Currently Dominant View 1.1 Weyl on Leibniz's principle 1.2 Intermezzo: Terminology and Leibnizian principles 1.3 The rise of the currently dominant view 1.4 Overview Elements of Quantum Mechanics 2.1 Physical states and physical magnitudes 2.2 Composite physical systems of similar particles 2.3 Fermions and bosons 2.4 Physical properties 2.5 Varieties of quantum mechanics Analysis of Arguments 3.1 Analysis of the Standard Argument 3.2 Van Fraassen's analysis 3.3 Massimi's analysis The Logic of Identity and Discernibility 4.1 The language of quantum mechanics 4.2 Identity of physical systems 4.3 Indiscernibility of physical systems 4.4 Some kinds of discernibility Discerning Elementary Particles 5.1 Preamble 5.2 Fermions 5.3 Bosons Concluding Discussion CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
A defence of constructive empiricism against an attack of N. Maxwell by means of his pet-thesis that science implicitly and permanently accepts a metaphysical thesis about the nature of the universe. We argue that Maxwell's attack can be beaten off; that his arguments do not establish what Maxwell believes they establish; and that we can draw a number of valuable lessons from these attacks about the nature of science and of the libertatian nature of constructive empiricism.