I present two measures of information for both consistentand inconsistent sets of sentences in a finite language ofpropositional logic. The measures of information are based onmeasures of inconsistency developed in Knight (2002).Relative information measures are then provided corresponding to thetwo information measures.
I provide a method of measuring the inconsistency of a set of sentences from 1-consistency, corresponding to complete consistency, to 0-consistency, corresponding to the explicit presence of a contradiction. Using this notion to analyze the lottery paradox, one can see that the set of sentences capturing the paradox has a high degree of consistency (assuming, of course, a sufficiently large lottery). The measure of consistency, however, is not limited to paradoxes. I also provide results for general sets of sentences.
Aristotle is the most influential philosopher of practice, and Knight's new book explores the continuing importance of Aristotelian philosophy. First, it examines the theoretical bases of what Aristotle said about ethical, political and productive activity. It then traces ideas of practice through such figures as St Paul, Luther, Hegel, Heidegger and recent Aristotelian philosophers, and evaluates Alasdair MacIntyre's contribution. Knight argues that, whereas Aristotle's own thought legitimated oppression, MacIntyre's revision of Aristotelianism separates ethical excellence from social elitism and (...) justifies resistance. With MacIntyre, Aristotelianism becomes revolutionary. MacIntyre's case for the Thomistic Aristotelian tradition originates in his attempt to elaborate a Marxist ethics informed by analytic philosophy. He analyses social practices in teleological terms, opposing them to capitalist institutions and arguing for the cooperative defence of our moral agency. In condensing these ideas, Knight advances a theoretical argument for the reformation of Aristotelianism and an ethical argument for social change. (shrink)
Sundry times and sundry places Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s11016-012-9670-5 Authors David Knight, Philosophy Department, Durham University, 50, Old Elvet, Durham, DH1 3HN UK Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Li Da (1890–1966) was one of China’s most important Marxist intellectuals and a founding member of the Chinese Communist Party. He played a major role in the introduction of Marxist philosophy and theory to China and in its dissemination among Chinese revolutionaries. His works are now regarded in China as classics of Marxist philosophy, and he is numbered among the ten most influential Chinese intellectuals of this century. Yet, almost nothing has been written about Li Da in English.In this seminal (...) study, Knight analyzes Li Da’s contribution to the flowering of Marxist philosophy and theory in China, examining Li’s writings and placing them in the context of the Marxist tradition. Knight also explores Li Da’s philosophical relationship with Mao Zedong, who was heavily influenced by Li’s works. Through the lens of Li’s life and thought, this book provides a detailed assessment of the introduction and dissemination of Marxist philosophy and social theory in China. (shrink)
This paper considers issues raised by Elizabeth Anderson's recent critique of the position she terms luck egalitarianism. It is maintained that luck egalitarianism, once clarified and elaborated in certain regards, remains the strongest egalitarian stance. Anderson's arguments that luck egalitarians abandon both the negligent and prudent dependent caretakers fails to account for the moderate positions open to luck egalitarians and overemphasizes their commitment to unregulated market choices. The claim that luck egalitarianism insults citizens by redistributing on the grounds of paternalistic (...) beliefs, pity and envy, and by making intrusive and stigmatizing judgments of responsibility, fails accurately to characterize the luck egalitarians rationale for redistribution and relies upon luck egalitarians being insensitive to the danger of stigmatization (which they need not be). The luck egalitarian position is reinforced by the fact that Anderson's favoured conception of equality, democratic equality, is counterintuitively indifferent to all unchosen inequalities, including intergenerational inequalities, once bare social minima are met. (shrink)
This articles proposes that theories and principles of distributive justice be considered substantively egalitarian iff they satisfy each of three conditions: (1) they consider the bare fact that a person is in certain circumstances to be a conclusive reason for placing another relevantly identically entitled person in the same circumstances, except where this conflicts with other similarly conclusive reasons arising from the circumstances of other persons; (2) they can be stated as 'equality of x for all persons', making no explicit (...) or implicit exclusion of persons or individuals and showing no greater concern and respect for some rather than others; and (3) they pursue equality in a dimension that is valuable to egalitarians. On this construal, prioritarianism and Dworkinian equality of resources, a view often identified as luck egalitarian, are not substantively egalitarian, but equality of opportunity, the standard form of luck egalitarianism, may be. (shrink)
Although naturalistic perspectives are an important component of their accounts of divine action, most participants in the current dialogue between science and theology eschew a purely naturalistic model. They believe that certain events of divine providence require a special mode of divine action, over and above that inherent in naturalistic processes. The analogy of human providential action suggests, however, that a strong theistic naturalism can account for these events. This model does not depend on a particular notion of God's relationship (...) to time and is not inherently implausible from a scientific perspective. Although it can be interpreted deistically, the model also is consonant with a nondeistic theology that may be described as involving a pansacramental or incarnational naturalism. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that the denial of middle knowledge and emphasis on human freedom characteristic of open theism makes the traditional concept of hell even more morally problematic than it would otherwise be. But these same features of open theism present serious difficulties for the view that all will necessarily be saved. I conclude by arguing that the most promising approach for open theists is to adopt a version of contingent, as opposed to necessary, universalism. (Published Online April (...) 7 2006). (shrink)
In spite of its success, Neo-Darwinism is faced with major conceptual barriers to further progress, deriving directly from its metaphysical foundations. Most importantly, neo-Darwinism fails to recognize a fundamental cause of evolutionary change, “niche construction”. This failure restricts the generality of evolutionary theory, and introduces inaccuracies. It also hinders the integration of evolutionary biology with neighbouring disciplines, including ecosystem ecology, developmental biology, and the human sciences. Ecology is forced to become a divided discipline, developmental biology is stubbornly difficult to reconcile (...) with evolutionary theory, and the majority of biologists and social scientists are still unhappy with evolutionary accounts of human behaviour. The incorporation of niche construction as both a cause and a product of evolution removes these disciplinary boundaries while greatly generalizing the explanatory power of evolutionary theory. (shrink)
The changing world of health care finance has led to a paradigm shift in health care with health care being viewed more and more as a commodity. Many have argued that such a paradigm shift is incompatible with the very nature of medicine and health care. But such arguments raise more questions than they answer. There are important assumptions about basic concepts of health care and markets that frame such arguments.
Philosophers and historians of biology have argued that genes are conceptualized differently in different fields of biology and that these differences influence both the conduct of research and the interpretation of research by audiences outside the field in which the research was conducted. In this paper we report the results of a questionnaire study of how genes are conceptualized by biological scientists at the University of Sydney, Australia. The results provide tentative support for some hypotheses about conceptual differences between different (...) fields of biological research. (shrink)
This book examines the introduction of Marxist philosophy to China from the early 1920s to the mid 1940s. It does this through an examination of the philosophical activities and writings of four Chinese Marxist philosophers central to this process. These are Qu Qiubai, Ai Siqi, Li Da and Mao Zedong. The book sets the philosophical writings of these philosophers in the context of the development of Marxist philosophy internationally, and examines particularly the influence on these philosophers of Soviet Marxist philosophy. (...) It argues that these Chinese Marxist philosophers’ interpretations of Marxist philosophy were quite orthodox when judged by the standards of contemporary Soviet Marxism. The book explores core themes in Marxist philosophy in China, including the dilemma of determinism, and investigates the way in which these Chinese Marxist philosophers sought a formula for the ‘Sinification’ of Marxist philosophy that both retained the universal dimensions of Marxism and allowed its application to the Chinese context. The book concludes with analysis of the role of the Yanan New Philosophy Association in developing from Soviet Marxist philosophy the philosophical dimension of Mao Zedong Thought, the official ideology of the Chinese Communist Party after 1945. (shrink)
Transfer of information between senders and receivers, of one kind or another, is essential to all life. David Lewis introduced a game theoretic model of the simplest case, where one sender and one receiver have pure common interest. How hard or easy is it for evolution to achieve information transfer in Lewis signaling?. The answers involve surprising subtleties. We discuss some if these in terms of evolutionary dynamics in both finite and infinite populations, with and without mutation.
Aggleton & Brown argue that a hippocampal-anterior thalamic system supports the “recollection” of contextual information about previous events, and that a separate perirhinal-medial dorsal thalamic system supports detection of stimulus “familiarity.” Although there is a growing body of human literature that is in agreement with these claims, when recollection and familiarity have been examined in amnesics using the process dissociation or the remember/know procedures, the results do not seem to provide consistent support. We reexamine these studies and describe the results (...) of an additional experiment using a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) technique. The results of the reanalysis and the ROC experiment are consistent with Aggleton & Brown's proposal. Patients with damage to both regions exhibit severe deficits in recollection and smaller, but consistent, deficits in familiarity. (shrink)
Although students bring to medical school a fairly well established value system, the potential for moral growth through the medical school environment and experience is substantial. The educational environment poses a succession of developmental and adaptive tasks to be accomplished. Several of these tasks are discussed here, tasks that are value-laden and involve, directly or indirectly, the interplay of ethical theory and practice. During the past quarter century, the two influences that have had the greatest impact on the moral growth (...) and moral reasoning capacity of medical students have been the incorporation into the medical school curriculum of courses in medical humanities and the admission to medical school of an increasing number of female students. The female students have brought to medical school a level or dimension of moral reasoning (morality as care or responsibility for others) to augment the male students' focus on rights and justice considerations. (shrink)
Attention research with prefrontal patients supports Merker's argument regarding the crucial role for the midbrain in higher cognition, through largely overlooked and misunderstood prefrontotectal connectivity. However, information theoretic analyses reveal that both exogenous (i.e., collicular) and endogenous (prefrontal) sources of information are responsible for large-scale context-sensitive brain dynamics, with prefrontal cortex being at the top of the hierarchy for cognitive control. (Published Online May 1 2007).