How do historians, comparative linguists, biblical and textual critics and evolutionary biologists establish beliefs about the past? How do they know the past? This book presents a philosophical analysis of the disciplines that offer scientific knowledge of the past. Using the analytic tools of contemporary epistemology and philosophy of science the book covers such topics as evidence, theory, methodology, explanation, determination and underdetermination, coincidence, contingency and counterfactuals in historiography. Aviezer Tucker's central claim is that historiography as a scientific discipline (...) should be thought of as an effort to explain the evidence of past events. He also emphasizes the similarity between historiographic methodology to Darwinian evolutionary biology. This is an important, fresh new approach to historiography and will be read by philosophers, historians and social scientists interested in the methodological foundations of their disciplines. (shrink)
Abstract It is common to encounter the criticism that Joseph Raz’s service conception of authority is flawed because it appears to justify too much. This essay examines the extent to which the service conception accommodates this critique. Two variants of this critical strategy are considered. The first, exemplified by Kenneth Einar Himma, alleges that the service conception fails to conceptualize substantive limits on the legitimate exercise of authority. This variant fails; Raz has elucidated substantive limits on jurisdiction within the service (...) conception of authority, albeit reluctantly and equivocally. The second, exemplified by Scott Hershovitz, alleges that the service conception fails to conceptualize procedural limits on the legitimate exercise of authority. He objects that the normal justification thesis fails to deny legitimacy to rational and expert dictators. This argument is more potent, but its force is concealed when it is aimed at the normal justification thesis rather than the quite separate jurisdictional limits of Raz’s theory. Clarifying those jurisdictional aspects of the service conception shows why the first argument fails and exposes the real strength of the second. Both variants have important consequences for our understanding of the service conception. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-16 DOI 10.1007/s11158-012-9180-8 Authors Adam Tucker, School of Law, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL UK Journal Res Publica Online ISSN 1572-8692 Print ISSN 1356-4765. (shrink)
Open-minded people should endorse dogmatism because of its explanatory power. Dogmatism holds that, in the absence of defeaters, a seeming that P necessarily provides non-inferential justification for P. I show that dogmatism provides an intuitive explanation of four issues concerning non-inferential justification. It is particularly impressive that dogmatism can explain these issues because prominent epistemologists have argued that it can’t address at least two of them. Prominent epistemologists also object that dogmatism is absurdly permissive because it allows a seeming to (...) provide justification even if the seeming was caused in some apparently inappropriate way. I conclude by disarming this objection. (shrink)
The Neo-Moorean Deduction (I have a hand, so I am not a brain-in-a-vat) and the Zebra Deduction (the creature is a zebra, so isn’t a cleverly disguised mule) are notorious. Crispin Wright, Martin Davies, Fred Dretske, and Brian McLaughlin, among others, argue that these deductions are instances of transmission failure. That is, they argue that these deductions cannot transmit justification to their conclusions. I contend, however, that the notoriety of these deductions is undeserved. My strategy is to clarify, attack, defend, (...) and apply. I clarify what transmission and transmission failure really are, thereby exposing two questionable but quotidian assumptions. I attack existing views of transmission failure, especially those of Crispin Wright. I defend a permissive view of transmission failure, one which holds that deductions of a certain kind fail to transmit only because of premise circularity. Finally, I apply this account to the Neo-Moorean and Zebra Deductions and show that, given my permissive view, these deductions transmit in an intuitively acceptable way—at least if either a certain type of circularity is benign or a certain view of perceptual justification is false. (shrink)
As I use the term, ‘entitlement’ is any warrant one has by default—i.e. without acquiring it. Some philosophers not only affirm the existence of entitlement, but also give it a crucial role in the justification of our perceptual beliefs. These philosophers affirm the Entitlement Thesis: An essential part of what makes our perceptual beliefs justified is our entitlement to the proposition that I am not a brain-in-a-vat. Crispin Wright, Stewart Cohen, and Roger White are among those who endorse this controversial (...) claim. In this paper, I argue that the Entitlement Thesis is false. (shrink)
Phenomenal conservatism holds, roughly, that if it seems to S that P, then S has evidence for P. I argue for two main conclusions. The first is that phenomenal conservatism is better suited than is proper functionalism to explain how a particular type of religious belief formation can lead to non-inferentially justified religious beliefs. The second is that phenomenal conservatism makes evidence so easy to obtain that the truth of evidentialism would not be a significant obstacle to justified religious belief. (...) A natural objection to phenomenal conservatism is that it makes evidence too easy to obtain, but I argue this objection is mistaken. (shrink)
Necessity holds that, if a proposition A supports another B, then it must support B. John Greco contends that one can resolve Hume's Problem of Induction only if she rejects Necessity in favor of reliabilism. If Greco's contention is correct, we would have good reason to reject Necessity and endorse reliabilism about inferential justification. Unfortunately, Greco's contention is mistaken. I argue that there is a plausible reply to Hume's Problem that both endorses Necessity and is at least as good as (...) Greco's alternative. Hence, Greco provides a good reason for neither rejecting Necessity nor endorsing inferential reliabilism. (shrink)
Galen Strawson has claimed that “the impossibility of free will and ultimate moral responsibility can be proved with complete certainty.” Strawson, I take it, thinks that this conclusion can be established by one argument which he has developed. In this argument, he claims that rational free actions would require an infinite regress of rational choices, which is, of course, impossible for human beings. In my paper, I argue that agent causation theorists need not be worried by Strawson’s argument. For agent (...) causation theorists are able to deny a key principle which drives the regress. Oversimplifying things a bit, the principle states that if one is responsible for her rational actions, then she was antecedently responsible for the reasons on which she acted. (shrink)
Does inferential justification require the subject to be aware that her premises support her conclusion? Externalists tend to answer “no” and internalists tend to answer “yes”. In fact, internalists often hold the strong higher-level requirement that an argument justifies its conclusion only if the subject justifiably believes that her premises support her conclusion. I argue for a middle ground. Against most externalists, I argue that inferential justification requires that one be aware that her premises support her conclusion. Against many internalists, (...) I argue that this higher-level awareness needn’t be doxastic or justified. I also argue that the required higher-level awareness needn’t be caused in some appropriate way, e.g. by a reliable or properly functioning faculty. I suspect that this weaker higher-level requirement is overlooked because, at first glance, it seems absurd to allow nondoxastic, unjustified, and unreliably-caused higher-level awareness to contribute to inferential justification. One of the central goals of this paper is to explain how such weak awareness can make an essential contribution to inferential justification. (shrink)
We identify a class of paradoxes that are neither set-theoretical or semantical, but that seem to depend on intensionality. In particular, these paradoxes arise out of plausible properties of propositional attitudes and their objects. We try to explain why logicians have neglected these paradoxes, and to show that, like the Russell Paradox and the direct discourse Liar Paradox, these intensional paradoxes are recalcitrant and challenge logical analysis. Indeed, when we take these paradoxes seriously, we may need to rethink the commonly (...) accepted methods for dealing with the logical paradoxes. (shrink)
Apparently, relationships between God (if He exists) and His creatures would be very valuable. Appreciating this value raises the question of whether it can motivate a certain premise in John Schellenberg’s argument from divine hiddenness, a premise which claims, roughly, that if some capable, non-resistant subject fails to believe in God, then God does not exist. In this paper, I argue that the value of divine–creature relationships can justify this premise only if we have reason to believe that the counterfactuals (...) of freedom work out in certain ways. Unfortunately, we can’t acquire such a reason, at least not without relying on other successful arguments (if there are any) for the relevant premise of Schellenberg’s hiddenness argument. (shrink)
Philosophers have often noted that science displays an uncommon degree of consensus on beliefs among its practitioners. Yet consensus in the sciences is not a goal in itself. I consider cases of consensus on beliefs as concrete events. Consensus on beliefs is neither a sufficient nor a necessary condition for presuming that these beliefs constitute knowledge. A concrete consensus on a set of beliefs by a group of people at a given historical period may be explained by different factors according (...) to various hypotheses. A particularly interesting hypothesis from an epistemic perspective is the knowledge hypothesis: shared knowledge explains a consensus on beliefs. If all the alternative hypotheses to the knowledge hypotheses are false or are not as good in explaining a concrete consensus on beliefs, the knowledge hypothesis is the best explanation of the consensus. If the knowledge hypothesis is best, a consensus becomes a plausible, though fallible, indicator of knowledge. I argue that if a consensus on beliefs is uncoerced, uniquely heterogeneous and large, the gap between the likelihood of the consensus given the knowledge hypothesis and its likelihoods given competing hypotheses tends to increase significantly. Consensus is a better indicator of knowledge than "success" or "human flourishing". (shrink)
The most common charge against sceptical theism is that it is too sceptical, i.e. it committed to some undesirable form of scepticism or another. I contend that Michael Bergmann’s sceptical theism isn’t sceptical enough. I argue that, if true, the sceptical theses secure a genuine victory: they prevent, for some people, a prominent argument from evil from providing any justification whatsoever to doubt the existence of God. On the other hand, even if true, the sceptical theses fail to prevent even (...) the atheist from justifiably accepting it. (shrink)
It is commonly assumed, at least by continental philosophers, that epistemological hermeneutics and foundationalism are incompatible. I argue that this assumption is mistaken. If I am correct, the analytic and continental traditions may be closer than is commonly supposed. Hermeneutics, as I will argue, is a descriptive claim about human cognition, and foundationalism is a normative claim about how beliefs ought to be related to one another. Once the positions are stated in this way, their putative incompatibility vanishes. Also, to (...) inspire further research I include an appendix which contains an unfinished prototype of a hermeneutic foundationalism. (shrink)
The topic and methods of David Hume’s "Of Miracles" resemble his historiographical more than his philosophical works. Unfortunately, Hume and his critics and apologists have shared the prescientific, indeed ahistorical, limitations of Hume’s original historical investigations. I demonstrate the advantages of the critical methodological approach to testimonies, developed initially by German biblical critics in the late eighteenth century, to a priori discussions of miracles. Any future discussion of miracles and Hume must use the critical method to improve the quality and (...) relevance of the debate. (edited). (shrink)
It is natural to think that many of our beliefs are rational because they are based on seemings, or on the way things seem. This is especially clear in the case of perception. Many of our mathematical, moral, and memory beliefs also appear to be based on seemings. In each of these cases, it is natural to think that our beliefs are not only based on a seeming, but also that they are rationally based on these seemings—at least assuming there (...) is no relevant counterevidence. This piece is an introduction to a volume dedicated to the question of what the connection is between seemings and justified belief: under what conditions, if any, can a seeming justify its content? (shrink)
Explanations of descriptions of events are undivided, holistic, units of analysis for the purpose of justification. Their justifications are based on the transmission of information about the past and its interpretation and analysis. Further analysis of explanations of descriptions of events is redundant. The “holistic” model of explanations fits better the actual practices of scientists, historians and ordinary people who utter explanatory propositions than competing models. I consider the “inference to the best explanation” model and argue that under one interpretation, (...) it cannot account for all the paradigmatic cases of explanation of description of events that I present, though under another interpretation it fits comfortably with my holistic model. Finally, I argue that there is nothing intrinsic or structural to distinguish holistic explanations of descriptions of events from other hypothetical propositions because the pragmatic context of inquiry may well determine exclusively whether a proposition is considered explanatory. (shrink)
Century has requested me to answer for his readers. I comply; but, to be frank, I find it a difficult task. If the editor or one of his contributors had only suggested a reason why I should be anything other than an Anarchist, I am sure I should have no difficulty in disputing the argument. And does not this very fact, after all, furnish in itself the best of all reasons why I should be an Anarchist – namely, the impossibility (...) of discovering any good reason for being anything else? To show the invalidity of the claims of State Socialism, Nationalism, Communism, Single taxism, the prevailing capitalism, and all the numerous forms of Archism existing or proposed, is at the same blow to show the validity of the claims of Anarchism. Archism once denied, only Anarchism can be affirmed. That is a matter of logic. (shrink)
This essay examines the response of Habermas and Giddens to postmodern criticisms of modernity. Although Giddens and Habermas recognize that the "totalizing critique" of poststructuralism lacks a convincing analysis of social interaction, neither of their perspectives adequately addresses the postmodern themes of aesthetics, play, and cultural memory. Giddens and Habermas believe that these dimensions of social life are important; yet they remain underdeveloped in their approaches. This essay explores the theoretical consequences of aesthetics, play, and cultural traditions for social theory, (...) drawing on the pragmatists, the psychoanalyst Winnicott, and early critical theory. The aesthetic and playful moments of experience must be recast in terms of social theory to avoid the solipsism so often characteristic of postmodernism. The essay ends by suggesting how the theories of Habermas and Giddens could benefit by a closer consideration of these issues. (shrink)
The paper explicates unique events and investigates their epistemology. Explications of unique events as individuated, different, and emergent are philosophically uninteresting. Unique events are topics of why-questions that radically underdetermine all their potential explanations. Uniqueness that is relative to a level of scientific development is differentiated from absolute uniqueness. Science eliminates relative uniqueness by discovery of recurrence of events and properties, falsification of assumptions of why-questions, and methodological simplification e.g. by explanatory methodological reduction. Finally, an overview of contemporary philosophical disputes (...) that hinge on issues of uniqueness emphasizes its philosophical significance. (shrink)
The epistemology of the historical sciences has been debated recently. Cleland argued that the effects of the past overdetermine it. Turner argued that the past is underdetermined by its effects because of the decay of information from the past. I argue that the extent of over- and underdetermination cannot be approximated by philosophical inquiry. It is an empirical question that each historical science attempts to answer. Philosophers should examine how paradigmatic cases of historical science handled underdetermination or utilized overdetermination. I (...) analyze such a paradigmatic case, Darwin’s phylogenetic inferences. Darwin proceeded in three consecutive stages. The initial inference that there was some common cause of homologies was usually overdetermined. The final inference of the character traits of ancestor species was usually underdetermined. The second stage inference of the causal net that connected the species that share some common cause was inbetween. A comparison with Comparative Historical Linguistics demonstrates similar three stages of inference that move from the over- to the underdetermined. (shrink)
Earlier, we have studied computations possible by physical systems and by algorithms combined with physical systems. In particular, we have analysed the idea of using an experiment as an oracle to an abstract computational device, such as the Turing machine. The theory of composite machines of this kind can be used to understand (a) a Turing machine receiving extra computational power from a physical process, or (b) an experimenter modelled as a Turing machine performing a test of a known (...) physical theory T. (shrink)
The scarcity of resources required to produce justice is manifested in the relation between the accuracy, depth, and scope of materially possible forms of justice. Ceteris paribus , increases in the accuracy of justice must come at the expense of its depth and scope, and vice versa, though they are not linearly proportioned. The accuracy of justice is the degree of agreement between the possible results of attempts to implement a theory or principles of justice and the desired result according (...) to that theory or those principles of justice. The scope of justice measures how broadly the principle or theory of justice is intended to apply. The depth of justice measures the gap between existing social norms and the theory or principles of justice we examine within the specified scope. This three-dimensional model explains public policies, laws, and regulations that increase the scope or depth of justice at the cost of a decrease in its accuracy – rough forms of justice such as measures of transitional justice, affirmative action, mandatory sentencing, simplified tax codes, collective guilt and victimhood, and general amnesties. The scarcity of resources necessary for justice can contract or expand. The normative choice between principles of justice that prefer accuracy and those that favor scope or depth usually corresponds, respectively, with rights-based deontological theories and consequentialist ethics. (shrink)
Historians tend to present what they do in terms of prevailing epistemic values that have little to do with their actual practices. Practical knowledge of how does not generate necessarily abstract theoretical knowledge of what . Mark Bevir's The Logic of the History of Ideas attempts to integrate his normative philosophy of historiography with contemporary philosophy of language and epistemology, intentionalist theory of meaning, and coherentist epistemology, on a sophisticated and well-informed level. Yet it is written from the perspective of (...) a particular school and set to normatively defend its research program and assumptions. Sewell's Logics of History is innocent of contemporary epistemology and the philosophies of science and the social sciences, and it shows, mostly in conceptual confusions. Katz's God's Last Words is completely innocent of philosophy, but is still excellent precisely because it makes no theoretical assumption and unreflectively carries on with making sense of the evidence. Key Words: philosophy of historiography philosophy of history intentionalism understanding. (shrink)
us, I go at once to the heart of the subject, taking my stand on these propositions: That the right to cooperate is as unquestionable as the right to compete; that the right to compete involves the right to refrain from competition; that co operation is often a method of competition, and that competition is always, in the larger view, a method of co operation; that each is a legitimate, orderly, non invasive exercise of the individual will under the social (...) law of equal liberty; and that any man or institution attempting to prohibit or restrict either, by legislative enactment or by any form of invasive force, is, in so far as such man or institution may fairly be judged by such attempt, an enemy of liberty, an enemy of progress, an enemy of society, and an enemy of the human race. (shrink)
This empirical investigation showed that contrary to the popular notion that apologies signify weakness, the victims of mistakes made by leaders consistently perceived leaders who apologized as more transformational than those who did not apologize. In a field experiment (Study 1), male referees who were perceived as having apologized for mistakes made officiating hockey games were rated by male coaches (n = 93) as more transformational than when no apology was made. Studies 2 (n = 50) and 3 (n = (...) 224) replicated this effect in two vignette studies to enhance internal and ecological validity. Contrary to expectations in Study 3, there were no apology×leader gender interactions. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed. (shrink)
This article develops a multidimensional approach for the investigation of the ethical codes of professional associations. The authors: (a) examine various ethical frameworks to identify ethical constructs, (b) select ethical constructs to apply to the assessment of professional codes of ethics, (c) content analyze conceptual and descriptive similarities and differences across a large sample of professional codes of ethics, (d) address organizational variables that affect the development of ethical codes, and (e) investigate through survey research the beliefs and attitudes of (...) association leadership toward ethical code issues. The content analysis and survey research results have implications for association leadership, its membership, public policy makers, the general public and for future research. (shrink)
: Most discussions of Yamaga Soko's philosophical development as a Confucian scholar in Tokugawa Japan suggest that in his later years he moved away from Confucianism and toward a religio-philosophical celebration of Japan's supposed uniqueness. It is shown here, however, that Soko's nativism, set forth in his Chucho jijitsu, was later eclipsed by his final philosophical work, the Gengen hakki, wherein he articulated a kind of naturalistic numerology, based vaguely on the Yijing. This shift in Soko's thought can be viewed (...) as a return to Neo-Confucianism, the earliest philosophical paradigm that he had embraced. Moreover, the successive shifts in his thinking can be understood in terms of the vicissitudes of his life, first in his exile to the Kansai area, near the ancient imperial capital of Kyoto, and then later in his pardon and return to Edo, the shogun's capital. Perhaps most importantly, this final shift in Soko's thought reveals that this prominent early modern thinker did reach his philosophical climax not in defiant opposition to Neo-Confucianism, nor in a sustained celebration of Japan's political traditions and their superlative nature, but instead in a return to modes of metaphysics akin to those typically deployed by Neo- Confucians themselves in their attempts to understand the changing nature of the cosmos and their political place within its flux. (shrink)
The moral development of advertising educators is important to an understanding of how they teach ethics. This article describes a survey that explores how advertising educators define and think about ethics. It examines the theoretical foundations of moral development in relation to teaching advertising ethics and provides a summary describing advertising educators' ideas about the nature of ethics. We conclude by predicting today's advertising students' ability to identify and resolve ethical dilemmas.
: Science Studies, as developed initially in France attempt to overcome the distinctions between science and society, and correspondingly between the philosophy of science and political and social theory. Science Studies considers the theories and beliefs of scientists political rather than direct reflections of an objective natural world. I consider here Science Studies as a political theory that emerged and has developed in reaction to a particular social and political context, a crisis of technocratic politics in France. Some of the (...) leading contemporary French exponents Science Studies, a group around the journal. (shrink)
Several research groups have identified a network of regions of the adult cortex that are activated during social perception and cognition tasks. In this paper we focus on the development of components of this social brain network during early childhood and test aspects of a particular viewpoint on human functional brain development: “interactive specialization.” Specifically, we apply new data analysis techniques to a previously published data set of event-related potential ~ERP! studies involving 3-, 4-, and 12-month-old infants viewing faces of (...) different orientation and direction of eye gaze. Using source separation and localization methods, several likely generators of scalp recorded ERP are identified, and we describe how they are modulated by stimulus characteristics. We then review the results of a series of experiments concerned with perceiving and acting on eye gaze, before reporting on a new experiment involving young children with autism. Finally, we discuss predictions based on the atypical emergence of the social brain network. (shrink)
Depue & Collins propose that extraversion should be separated from the impulsivity-constraint dimension of personality, and that the VTA dopamine system is the primary engine of extraversion. Although their focus is on personality traits, it may be useful to consider the evidence on psychological state changes, related both to affective arousal and to drug effects. This evidence shows that there are inherent relations between extraversion and impulsivity-constraint, and that there are influences of dopamine on impulsivity-constraint that are not consistent with (...) the Depue & Collins model. Increased positive affect leads to increased extraversion, and this is associated with more impulsivity and less constraint. The evidence on drug effects shows that greater dopaminergic control is associated with more constraint, and with anxiety and vigilance rather than positive affect. (shrink)
The neural structures of the brain exist to construct information. They do this by creating concepts that relate internal, personal need to external, environmental reality. Meaning is formed in the brain by neural network patterns that traverse these two structures of experience: the visceral nervous system (representing personal need) and the somatic nervous system (interfacing with external reality). How exactly does the brain get from constructing information to creating meaning, and what can this process tell us about the nature of (...) experience? This book addresses both of these questions, making an important contribution to both neuroscience and philosophy. (shrink)
Metaphors, particularly the implicit ones, constrain imagination. If we think of the brain as a collection of centers of cognitive activations, lighting up on demand, then this becomes all we can imagine. By thinking of the cortex as propagating its functional work through physical waves, Nunez offers us a new, rich model for distributed representation. Now let's add real anatomy.
recruits or the area of its influence, which has been attained by Modern Socialism, and at the same time been so little understood and so misunderstood, not only by the hostile and the indifferent, but by the friendly, and even by the great mass of its adherents themselves. This unfortunate and highly dangerous state of things is due partly to the fact that the human relationships which this movement Â– if anything so chaotic can be called a movement Â– aims (...) to transform, involve no special class or classes, but literally all mankind; partly to the fact that these relationships are infinitely more varied and complex in their nature than those with which any special reform has ever been called upon to deal; and partly to the fact that the great moulding forces of society, the channels of information and enlightenment, are well-nigh exclusively under the control of those whose immediate pecuniary interests are antagonistic to the bottom claim of Socialism that labor should be put in possession of its own. (shrink)
Read Jus, 17 June 1887): The voluntary taxation proposal really means the dissolution of the State into its constituent atoms, and leaving them to recombine in some way or no way, just as it may happen. There would be nothing to prevent the existence of five or six "States" in England, and members of all these "States" might be living in the same house! The proposal is, it appears to me, the outcome of an idea in the minds of those (...) who propound it that the State is, or ought to be, founded on contract, just as a joint stock company is. ... The explanation of the whole matter, I believe, is that ... the State is a social organism, evolved as every other organism is evolved, and not requiring any more than other organisms to be based upon a contract ... (shrink)
Experimental and theoretical studios are reported of the current-voltage characteristics and Josephson radiations from granular Y1Ba2Cu3Oy (YBCO) bridges. We show that the granular structure of bridges can be understood as a series connected independent and inhomogeneous resistively shunted junction (RSJ) army. When we take typical values of junction critical parameters, the experimental results are well understood quantitatively.
Using the terms "cosmology" and "cultivation," the religious nature of Confucianism is explored, beginning with a discussion of the ambiguity surrounding Confucianism and its political uses, which often obscure its religious dimensions. It is also assumed that categories of Western theology such as immanence and transcendence are not adequate to describe Confucianism as religious. In this spirit, it is suggested that beyond political distortions or theoretical interpretations, Confucianism has religious dimensions that need to be explored further. The interaction of the (...) microcosm of the self with the macrocosm of the universe is a central dialectic for establishing inner and outer harmony. Thus, cultivating oneself, responding morally to the social and political order, and resonating with the patterns in nature are at the heart of Confucian religiosity. This is illustrated by two examplars of the Japanese Neo-Confucian tradition: Yamazaki Ansai (1618-1682) and Kaibara Ekken (1630-1714). (shrink)
At the request of the Midwest Bioethics Center (MBC), we surveyed nurses' and physicians' attitudes and needs regarding Hospital Ethics Committees (HECs). The primary objective of this research project was to inform the practices and policies of the Ethics Committee Consortium of the Bioethics Center.Four thousand eight hundred and twenty-nine surveys were distributed to the medical and nursing staff of eight Kansas City metropolitan area hospitals. One thousand and fifty-five surveys were returned, representing a response rate of 21%.
We analyse the connection between the computability and continuity of functions in the case of homomorphisms between topological algebraic structures. Inspired by the Pour-El and Richards equivalence theorem between computability and boundedness for closed linear operators on Banach spaces, we study the rather general situation of partial homomorphisms between metric partial universal algebras. First, we develop a set of basic notions and results that reveal some of the delicate algebraic, topological and effective properties of partial algebras. Our main computability concepts (...) are based on numerations and include those of effective metric partial algebras and effective partial homomorphisms. We prove a general equivalence theorem that includes a version of the Pour-El and Richards Theorem, and has other applications. Finally, the Pour-El and Richards axioms for computable sequence structures on Banach spaces are generalised to computable partial sequence structures on metric algebras, and we prove their equivalence with our computability model based on numerations. (shrink)
It is somewhat popular to claim that an argument justifies its conclusion only if the subject has a justified belief that the premise supports the conclusion. Andrew Cling gives a novel argument for this requirement, which he calls “(JCC).” He claims that any otherwise plausible theory that rejects (JCC) is committed to distinguishing arbitrarily between arguments that provide doxastic justification for their conclusions and those that don’t. In this paper, I show that Cling’s argument fails, and I explain how the (...) opponent of (JCC) can justify her apparently arbitrary distinctions. (shrink)
Many epistemologists hold that the Zebra Deduction (the animals are zebras, so they aren't cleverly disguised mules) fails to transmit knowledge to its conclusion, but there is little agreement concerning why it has this defect. A natural idea is, roughly, that it fails to transmit because it fails to improve the safety of its conclusion. In his , Martin Smith defends a transmission principle which is supposed to underwrite this natural idea. There are two problems with Smith's account. First, Smith's (...) argument for his transmission principle relies on a dubious premise (2). I suspect that the failures of Smith's account will be instructive for anyone who wants to connect transmission failure with a failure to enhance the safety, reliability or probability of one's conclusion. (shrink)
While there are alternative accounts, many virtue theories are character based, that is, they assert that the primary loci if moral evaluation are a person's character traits. According to these theories, any individual human being is good insogar as she possesses certain character traits, the virtues, and does not possess their antipodes, the vices. Gilbert Harman has attacked this view by citing evidence in empirical psychology that human behaviour is explained by situational factors to the exclusion of stable dispositions of (...) character. In this paper I argue that Harman's attack fails, firstly because his target is too wide, meaning that the traits tested for are not of the type most relevant to virtue theory, and secondly because he cannot dispense with character traits for explaining behaviour. (shrink)
Considered in relation to the component brain systems of appraisal-emotion interactions, dynamical systems theory blurs the divisions that seem obvious in a psychological analysis, such as between arousal, emotion, and appraisal. At the same time, the component brain mechanisms can themselves be seen to be incomplete as units of analysis, making sense only in the context of the whole organism.
Comparative philosophers, theologians, and practitioners of Asian intellectual history will surely find much of interest in this provocative, controversial, and undeniably ambitious, titan-like monograph. Simply put, Spiritual Titanism argues that Â‘Â‘Jainism, Samkhya, Yoga, and later Hindu textsÂ’Â’ endorse what Heinrich Zimmer, in his 1956 study Philosophies of India ,(1) characterized as Â‘Â‘the heresy of TitanismÂ’Â’ or the Â‘Â‘preemption of divine prerogatives and confusion of human and divine attributesÂ’Â’ (p. 2). Author Nicholas Gier adds that Â‘Â‘TitanismÂ’Â’is Â‘Â‘a philosophical mistakeÂ’Â’ (p. 16), (...) Â‘Â‘humanism gone berserk; it is anthropocentrism and anthropomorphism taken to their limits.Â’Â’ Defining Â‘Â‘deityÂ’Â’ in culturally biased, distinctly Christian terms as Â‘Â‘any being who is omniscient, omnipotent, infinite, and omnipresent,Â’Â’ Gier asserts that Â‘Â‘humans obviously delude themselves if they believe that they can become divine in the sense of these attributes.Â’Â’Although the monograph concedes that Â‘Â‘Indian Titanism,Â’Â’ as it refers to this supposed tendency of Jainism, Samkhya, Yoga, and later Hinduism, is Â‘Â‘a rather benign form of extreme humanism,Â’Â’ its author warns, quite apocalyptically, that Â‘Â‘a Titanistic spirit can be said to inspire militarism, environmental pollution and degradation, and the possible misuse of genetic engineering. If left unchecked,Titanism might destroy or radically change life as we know it on earthÂ’Â’ (p. 3). Such hyperbole undermines the credibility of Spiritual Titanism, and will likely prompt readers to question whether it should be considered reliable scholarship or an exercise in learned yet partial religio-philosophical polemic. Specialists in Indian philosophy will most probably find the assessments of Jainism, Samkhya, and Yoga in Spiritual Titanism, which consume most of the monograph, rather dated, reliant as they are, for example, on the writings of Zimmer and Karl PotterÂ’s 1963 study, Presuppositions of IndiaÂ’s Philosophies .(2) Spiritual Titanism allows that early Buddhism, although humanistic, avoids Titanism, but adds that later Buddhism endorses a Hindu-like version of Titanism, one mitigated only by its premodern search for a return to a Â‘Â‘primordial unity and totality.Â’Â’ Rather than premodernism, however, the monograph advocates a Â‘Â‘postmodern reconstruction of the self Â’Â’ as Â‘Â‘relational and socialÂ’Â’ (p.. (shrink)
The important Hebbian architecture for language may not be the phonological networks of perisylvian cortex, but rather the semantic networks of limbic cortex. Although the high-frequency EEG findings are intriguing, the results may not yet warrant a confident theory of neural assemblies. Nonetheless, Pulvermüller succeeds in framing a comprehensive theory of language function in the literal terms of neuroanatomy and neurophysiology.