Rhythm should be regarded as a perceptional category rather than as a property of the work of art. Rhythm might be classified according to three principles, serial rhythm, sequential rhythm and dynamic rhythm, three basic sets of gestalt qualities that lay the foundation for versification systems.Two schemas decide the rhythm of a poem: direction and balance. ‘Direction’ refers to rising and falling movements in the line. ‘Balance’ refers to repetitions in a play between symmetry and asymmetry as well as a (...) moment of rest.Rhythms produce meaning, probably due to the fact that rhythms activate internalized bodily experiences as well as conventional meaning patterns. This is demonstrated on the basis of a poem by Sylvia Plath. (shrink)
Traditional approaches to computer ethics regard computers as tools, andfocus, therefore, on the ethics of their use. Alternatively, computer ethicsmight instead be understood as a study of the ethics of computationalagents, exploring, for example, the different characteristics and behaviorsthat might benefit such an agent in accomplishing its goals. In this paper,I identify a list of characteristics of computational agents that facilitatetheir pursuit of their end, and claim that these characteristics can beunderstood as virtues within a framework of virtue ethics. This (...) frameworkincludes four broad categories – agentive, social, environmental, and moral– each of which can be understood as a spectrum of virtues rangingbetween two extreme subcategories. Although the use of a virtue frameworkis metaphorical rather than literal, I argue that by providing a frameworkfor identifying and critiquing assumptions about what a `good' computer is,a study of android arete provides focus and direction to the developmentof future computational agents. (shrink)
In this essay, I argue that the deflationary view of truth is inconsistent with Davidson's theory of meaning. I take deflationism to consist of two basic theses: the linguistic thesis that truth talk is always expressive and never explanatory, and the metaphysical thesis that truth is not a property. Since Davidson construes meaning in terms of truth-conditions, it appears that Davidson regards truth talk as explanatory, and truth as a property. Michael Williams argues otherwise, suggesting that Davidson's theory of meaning (...) can be understood in terms of his theory of radical interpretation, and that radical interpretation does not require a notion of truth richer than the deflationist allows. I argue that at the level of the T-sentences Davidson's theory of meaning entails (T-sentences yielded through the practice of radical interpretation), a non-deflationary notion of truth is indeed required. This is because, first, for Davidson, to grasp the meaning of a sentence is to grasp the T-sentence associated with it, and the T-sentence predicates the property truth of that sentencesecond, because it does so, in T-sentences "true" is explanatory, not merely expressive. I then consider the objection that T-sentences can be understood in terms of a norm of assertion, rather in terms of "true" as predicating a property of sentences, and I respond that the objection confuses pragmatic issues with semantic issues. (shrink)
Julkaisematta jääneessä muistiossaan Mietteitä oikeuden yleiskäsitteestä (1702-1703?) G. W. Leibniz muotoilee uudelleen Platonin Euthyfron-dialogissa esitetyn kuuluisan kysymyksen. Hän kirjoittaa: ”Myönnetään, että kaikki mitä Jumala tahtoo, on hyvää ja oikein. Sen sijaan kysytään, onko se hyvää ja oikein siksi että Jumala niin tahtoo, vai tahtooko Jumala sitä koska se on hyvää ja oikein. Eli kysytään, onko hyvyys tai oikeus jotakin mielivaltaista, vai koostuvatko ne asioiden luonnetta koskevista välttämättömistä ja ikuisista totuuksista, kuten luvut ja suhteet.” Universaaleja, ikuisia totuuksia puolustava filosofi ei voi (...) hyväksyä ensin mainittua vaihtoehtoa. Hänen mukaansa ”Se toden totta tuhoaisi Jumalan oikeudenmukaisuuden. Sillä miksi ylistäisimme häntä oikeudenmukaisista teoista, jos oikeudenmukaisuuden käsite ei hänen tapauksessaan lisää mitään teon käsitteeseen? Ja sanonta stat pro ratione voluntas, minun tahtoni käyköön perusteesta, on todella tyrannin motto.” Leibnizin kritiikki on suunnattu erityisesti hänen aikalaisiaan René Descartesia, Thomas Hobbesia ja Samuel Pufendorfia vastaan. Hän ei voi hyväksyä näkemystä, jonka mukaan oikeudenmukaisuuden mitta on vain Jumalan tahto. Perustan on löydyttävä ikuisista totuuksista, jotka ovat myös Jumalan oikeudenmukaisuuden standardi. Erityisen kuuluisaksi tuli Leibnizin kritiikki Pufendorfin näkemyksiä kohtaan, sillä Pufendorfin laajalle levinneen teoksen De officio hominis et civis ranskalaisen laitoksen neljännen painoksen toimittaja Barbeyrac liitti siihen Leibnizin kiistakirjoituksen, joka tunnetaan lyhyellä nimellä Monita (Epistola viri excellentissimi ad amicum qua monita quaedam ad principia Pufendorfiani operis de officio hominis et civis continentur, 1706) ja puolusti Pufendorfia Leibnizia vastaan. Leibnizin onnistui kuitenkin ilmeisesti osoittaa eräs heikkous Pufendorfin näkemyksissä, jota Barbeyrac ei pystynyt sivuuttamaan: tämän mukaan Jumala on saman aikaan sekä ylin tuomari että lakien laatija. Siten Leibnizin näkökulmasta Jumala on tyranni – hänen tahtonsa on oikeuden ja etiikan mitta ja koska hän on kaikkivaltias, hän voi pakottaa ihmiset noudattamaan sellaista oikeudenmukaisuutta, joka on hänen mieleistään. Koska Jumalan yläpuolella ei ole Pufendorfin mukaan mitään, hän voi toimia aivan mielivaltaisesti. Leibnizin kritiikki kiteytyy Pufendorfin epäselvään erotteluun ulkoisen ja sisäisen velvollisuuden välillä, joka jättää hänen näkemyksensä arvoitukselliseksi. Tutkiskelen tässä esitelmässä oliko Leibnzin kritiikki johdonmukainen ja oikeutettu. Onko Pufendorfin näkemyksissä heikkous, jota hän ei itse huomannut? Vertailen myös asiaa koskevia eri kommentaareja (mm. Kari Saastamoinen, Petter Korkman, Fiametta Palladini) ja arvioin Leibnizin kritiikin reseptiota Pufendorf-tutkimuksessa. (shrink)
This collection of essays on the social history of disciplinary practices in education in North America, Northern Europe, and Colonial Bengal coverage upon an understanding that schools regulate the behavior of beliefs of students, teachers, and parents by enforcing certain disciplinary social norms.
We raise the possibility that the roles words typically play in sentence context, rather than their motor or visual associations, determine the organization of language in the brain. We also discuss time-sensitive functional imaging approaches that allow experimentation both on isolated words and connected language.
The analogy between biological and cultural evolution is not perfect. Yet, as Mesoudi et al. show, many of the vaunted differences between cultural and genetic evolution (for example, an absence of discrete particles of cultural inheritance, and the blurred distinction between cultural replicators and cultural phenotypes) are, on closer inspection, either illusory or peripheral to the validity of the analogy. But what about horizontal transmission? We strongly agree with the authors that the potential for horizontal transmission of cultural traits does (...) not invalidate an evolutionary approach to culture. We suggest, however, that it does require a different evolutionary treatment. (Published Online November 9 2006). (shrink)
We argue that broad, simplegeneralizations, not specifically linked tocontingencies, will rarely approach truth in ecologyand evolutionary biology. This is because mostinteresting phenomena have multiple, interactingcauses. Instead of looking for single universaltheories to explain the great diversity of naturalsystems, we suggest that it would be profitable todevelop general explanatory frameworks. A frameworkshould clearly specify focal levels. The process orpattern that we wish to study defines our level offocus. The set of potential and actual states at thefocal level interacts with conditions at (...) thecontiguous lower and upper levels of organization,through sets of many-to-one and one-to-manyconnections. The number of initiating conditions andtheir permutations at the lower level define thepotential states at the focal level, whereas theactual state is constrained by the upper-levelboundary conditions. The most useful generalizationsare explanatory frameworks, which are road maps tosolutions, rather than solutions themselves. Suchframeworks outline what is understood about boundaryconditions and initiating conditions so that aninvestigator can pick and choose what is required toeffectively understand a specific event or situation. We discuss these relationships in terms of examplesinvolving sex ratio and mating behavior, competitivehierarchies, insect life-histories and the evolutionof sex. (shrink)
Von der offenen Ablehnung Bertrand Russells bis zur positiven Einschätzung durch Arthur Danto hat Nietzsche emen schlechten Ruf als Phüosoph in der Analytischen Tradition gehabt. Im Wiener Kreis, der eine nicht wegzudenkende Rolle in der Geschichte der Analytischen Phüosophie spielt, wurde Nietzsche jedoch schon immer zutiefst respektiert als jemand,durch dessen Werk Rolle und Funktion der Analyse historisch verständlich wird. Dies güt vor allem für Moritz Schlick und Rudolf Carnap, aber auch für Ludwig Wittgenstein und für Otto Neurath, Ludwig von Mises (...) und Kari Popper. Sie alle nehmen Nietzsche als Denker ernst, ohne sich ihm mit analytischem Begriffsinventar zu nähern. (shrink)
For Aristotle, man is part of nature, a “political animal” with the faculty of reason. In this sense, Aristotelian virtue ethics can be said to relate virtues to nature. On the one hand, virtues lean on the natural dispositions of man as a social animal. On the other hand, virtues are connected to praxis, that is, with man’s active realization of his inherent biological, social and cultural potential. Recently, the material value ethics of Max Scheler and Nicolai Hartmann developed the (...) Aristotelian tradition in a naturalistic direction, posing the problem of the value of life and connecting this question to the question of virtue. Virtues sensitize us to values and are, therefore, especially important for ethical praxis. I claim that precisely because of its historical and cultural concreteness, virtue ethics can besuccessfully applied to environmental issues. In critical connection with common mentalities, naturalistic virtue ethics can be a politically effective way of ethical thinking. Furthermore, we can avoid the trap of relativism by suggesting strong environmental values and virtues. An example would be the health of ecosystems and of humans. (shrink)
This article investigates how students reason and argue to make sense of fictional literature. Excerpts from students’ talk are analysed using the concepts categorisation, particularisation and recontextualisation, and interpreted from a socio-cultural, dialogical perspective. The analyses show that the students’ arguments oscillate between personal experience and the novel, and between categorising and particularising perspectives. The subject relevance of talk that lies between everyday and scientific talk, and between personal and analytic readings, is revealed. The bridging of different readings, different language (...) practices, and different learning contexts is discussed. (shrink)
Recently, some mechanists have embraced reductionism and some reductionists have endorsed mechanism. However, the two camps disagree sharply about the extent to which mechanistic explanation is a reductionistic enterprise. Reductionists maintain that cellular and molecular mechanisms can explain mental phenomena without necessary appeal to higher-level mechanisms. Mechanists deny this claim. I argue that this dispute turns on whether reduction is a transitive relation. I show that it is. Therefore, mechanistic explanations at the cellular and molecular level explain mental phenomena. I (...) make my case in part by noting that mechanisms at higher levels are composed of mechanisms at lower levels. Compositional relations are transitive. In addition, they are explanatory. I conclude that there are explanatory linkages from cellular and molecular mechanisms to mental phenomena within a hierarchy of nested mechanisms. (shrink)
Patients and physicians often perceive the current health care system to be unfair, in part because of the ways in which coverage decisions appear to be made. To address this problem the Ethical Force Program, a collaborative effort to create quality improvement tools for ethics in health care, has developed five content areas specifying ethical criteria for fair health care benefits design and administration. Each content area includes concrete recommendations and measurable expectations for performance improvement, which can be used by (...) those organizations involved in the design and administration of health benefits packages, such as purchasers, health plans, benefits consultants, and practitioner groups. (shrink)
In a recent Article Carla Kary (1980) attempts to show that there should be a significant moral difference between instances of killing and letting die. I shall maintain in Section I that Kary's argument is somewhat weakened by the failure to note an important ambiguity in the notion of killing a person. I shall also argue in Section II that a similar ambiguity affects the notion of letting someone die, and that the failure to note this latter ambiguity also weakens (...) the position developed by Robert Coburn (1980) with regard to defective newborns. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
We confront the following popular views: that mind or life are algorithms; that thinking, or more generally any process other than computation, is computation; that anything other than a working brain can have thoughts; that anything other than a biological organism can be alive; that form and function are independent of matter; that sufficiently accurate simulations are just as genuine as the real things they imitate; and that the Turing test is either a necessary or sufficient or scientific procedure (...) for evaluating whether or not an entity is intelligent. Drawing on the distinction between activities and tasks, and the fundamental scientific principles of ontological lawfulness, epistemological realism, and methodological skepticism, we argue for traditional scientific materialism of the emergentist kind in opposition to the functionalism, behaviourism, tacit idealism, and merely decorative materialism of the artificial intelligence and artificial life communities. (shrink)
In science as in mathematics, it is popular to know little and resent much about category theory. Less well known is how common it is to know little and like much about set theory. The set theory of almost all scientists, and even the average mathematician, is fundamentally different from the formal set theory that is contrasted against category theory. The latter two are often opposed by saying one emphasizes Substance, the other Form. However, in all known systems of mathematics (...) throughout history, mathematicians have moved fluidly between ideas conceived of as thing-like, property-like, and process-like. On the other hand one way to advance science is to better distinguish between thing, property, and process. All this constitutes a distracting background for those interested in, or distressed by, the possible application of category theory to science, and to mathematics as well. (shrink)
Kary (1990) defends the view that evolution by natural selection can be adequately explained in terms of a theory incorporating only a single level of selection. Here I point out some of the inherent inadequacies of such a theory.
The theory of evolution is supported by the theory of genetics, which provides a single causal mechanism to explain the activities of replicators and interactors. A common misrepresentation of the theory of evolution, however, is that interaction (involving interactors), and transmission (involving replicators), are distinct causal processes. Sandra Mitchell (1987) is misled by this. I discuss why only a single causal mechanism is working in evolution and why it is sufficient. Further, I argue that Mitchell's mistaken view of the causal (...) mechanism in evolution prevents her from resolving the conflict between Dawkins and Brandon. I conclude that the unit-of-selection question remains very much alive. (shrink)
In their Minds and Machines essay How would you know if you synthesized a Thinking Thing? (Kary & Mahner, Minds and Machines, 12(1), 61–86, 2002), Kary and Mahner have chosen to occupy a high ground of materialism and empiricism from which to attack the philosophical and methodological positions of believers in artificial intelligence (AI) and artificial life (AL). In this review I discuss some of their main arguments as well as their philosophical foundations. Their central argument: ‘AI is Platonism’, which (...) is based on a particular interpretation of the notion of ‘definition’ and used as a critique against AI, can be counter criticized from two directions: first, Anti-Platonism is not a necessary precondition for criticizing AI, because outspoken Platonist criticism against AI is already known (Penrose, The emperor’s new mind (with a foreword by M. Gardner), 1989). Second, even in case that AI would essentially be ‘Platonism’ this would not be a sufficient argument for proving AI wrong. In my counter criticism I assume a more or less Popperian position by emphasizing the openness of the future: Not by quasi-Scholastic arguments (like Kary and Mahner’s), but only after being confronted with a novel ‘thinking thing’ by future AI engineers we can start to analyze its particular properties (Let me use a history analogon to illustrate my position: In the 19th century, mechanized aviation was widely regarded impossible—only natural organisms (such as birds or bees) could fly, and any science of aerodynamics or aviation did not exist. Only after some non-scientific technicians had confronted their astonished fellows with the first (obviously) flying machine the science of ‘Artificial Aviation’ came into existence, motivated by the need for understanding and mastering that challenging and puzzling new phenomenon). (shrink)
An attempt is made to answer this question by first analyzing the structure of Darwinian inheritance as it is exemplified in the current biological theory of evolution. Based on this analysis a generalized framework for Darwinian inheritance containing conditions which must be met by all proper Darwinian evolutionary theories is developed. Subsequently this framework is employed to assess, in part, the adequacy of Toulmin's evolutionary epistemology. Although Toulmin asserts that Darwinian inheritance operates in conceptual development, the framework is used to (...) show that the structure of concepts which he presents is unable to support the requirements for this kind of inheritance. It is concluded that Toulmin's evolutionary theory is not truly Darwinian. (shrink)