Computer simulation and philosophy of science Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9567-8 Authors Wendy S. Parker, Department of Philosophy, Ellis Hall 202, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
At the International Legal Ethics Conference IV held at Stanford Law School between 15 and 17 July 2010, one of the two opening plenary sessions consisted of a panel who debated the proposition that legal ethics should be mandatory in legal education. The panel included leading legal ethics academics from jurisdictions around the world—both those where legal ethics is a compulsory part of the law degree and those where it is not. It comprised Professors Andrew Boon, Brent Cotter, Christine (...) class='Hi'>Parker, Stephen L Pepper and Richard Wu, and was organised and chaired by Professor Kim Economides. This is an edited version of the panel's discussion. It provides a useful summary of the state of legal ethics teaching in the jurisdictions represented as well as a marshalling of the arguments for and against legal ethics as a required course in the university law degree. (shrink)
What follows is a dialogue, in the Platonic sense, concerning the justifications for "business ethics" as a vehicle for asking questions about the values of modern business organisations. The protagonists are the authors, Gordon Pearson – a pragmatist and sceptic where business ethics is concerned – and Martin Parker – a sociologist and idealist who wishes to be able to ask ethical questions of business. By the end of the dialogue we come to no agreement on the necessity or (...) justification for business ethics, but on the way discuss the uses of philosophy, the meanings of integrity and trust, McDonald''s, a hypothetical torture manufacturer and various other matters. (shrink)
A comprehensive and systematic reconstruction of the philosophy of Charles S. Peirce, perhaps America's most far-ranging and original philosopher, which reveals the unity of his complex and influential body of thought. We are still in the early stages of understanding the thought of C. S. Peirce (1839-1914). Although much good work has been done in isolated areas, relatively little considers the Peircean system as a whole. Peirce made it his life's work to construct a scientifically sophisticated and logically rigorous philosophical (...) system, culminating in a realist epistemology and a metaphysical theory ("synechism") that postulates the connectedness of all things in a universal evolutionary process. In The Continuity of Peirce's Thought, Kelly Parker shows how the principle of continuity functions in phenomenology and semeiotics, the two most novel and important of Peirce's philosophical sciences, which mediate between mathematics and metaphysics. Parker argues that Peirce's concept of continuity is the central organizing theme of the entire Peircean philosophical corpus. He explains how Peirce's unique conception of the mathematical continuum shapes the broad sweep of his thought, extending from mathematics to metaphysics and in religion. He thus provides a convenient and useful overview of Peirce's philosophical system, situating it within the history of ideas and mapping interconnections among the diverse areas of Peirce's work. This challenging yet helpful book adopts an innovative approach to achieve the ambitious goal of more fully understanding the interrelationship of all the elements in the entire corpus of Peirce's writings. Given Peirce's importance in fields ranging from philosophy to mathematics to literary and cultural studies, this new book should appeal to all who seek a fuller, unified understanding of the career and overarching contributions of Peirce, one of the key figures in the American philosophical tradition. (shrink)
In that Case Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11673-010-9261-3 Authors Malcolm Parker, School of Medicine, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia Journal Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Online ISSN 1872-4353 Print ISSN 1176-7529.
In this article, Walter Parker brings structure and agency to the foreground of the current tumult of public schooling in the United States. He focuses on three structures that are serving as rules and resources for creative agency. These are a discourse of derision about failing schools, a broad mobilization of multiculturalism, and an enduring nationalism. Drawing on Anthony Giddens's structuration theory, Parker examines how these discourses figure in redefining school reform, redefining school curricula, and requiring schools once (...) again to serve nationalistic purposes. (shrink)
Republication: In That Case Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11673-010-9264-0 Authors Malcolm Parker, School of Medicine, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia Journal Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Online ISSN 1872-4353 Print ISSN 1176-7529.
Potter et al.’s (1999) response to my ‘Against Relativism in Psychology, on Balance’ (Parker, 1999) neatly summarizes what they take a ‘critical realist’ position to be and how ‘relativists’ should defend themselves. Their response also illustrates why the version of critical realism I elaborated is more thoroughly critically relativist than Potter et al. assume and how their version of relativism actually rests on a rather uncritical subscription to realism.
There is no uniquely standard concept of an effectively decidable set of real numbers or real n-tuples. Here we consider three notions: decidability up to measure zero [M.W. Parker, Undecidability in Rn: Riddled basins, the KAM tori, and the stability of the solar system, Phil. Sci. 70(2) (2003) 359–382], which we abbreviate d.m.z.; recursive approximability [or r.a.; K.-I. Ko, Complexity Theory of Real Functions, Birkhäuser, Boston, 1991]; and decidability ignoring boundaries [d.i.b.; W.C. Myrvold, The decision problem for entanglement, in: (...) R.S. Cohen et al. (Eds.), Potentiality, Entanglement, and Passion-at-a-Distance: Quantum Mechanical Studies fo Abner Shimony, Vol. 2, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Great Britain, 1997, pp. 177–190]. Unlike some others in the literature, these notions apply not only to certain nice sets, but to general sets in Rn and other appropriate spaces. We consider some motivations for these concepts and the logical relations between them. It has been argued that d.m.z. is especially appropriate for physical applications, and on Rn with the standard measure, it is strictly stronger than r.a. [M.W. Parker, Undecidability in Rn: Riddled basins, the KAM tori, and the stability of the solar system, Phil. Sci. 70(2) (2003) 359–382]. Here we show that this is the only implication that holds among our three decidabilities in that setting. Under arbitrary measures, even this implication fails. Yet for intervals of non-zero length, and more generally, convex sets of non-zero measure, the three concepts are equivalent. (shrink)
Psychology is meant to help people cope with the afflictions of modern society. But how useful is it? Ian Parker argues that current psychological practice has become part of the problem rather than the solution. Ideal for undergraduates, this book unravels the discipline to reveal the conformist assumptions that underlie its theory and practice. Psychology focuses on the happiness of "the individual." Yet it neglects the fact that personal experience depends on social and political surroundings. Parker argues that (...) a new approach to psychology is needed. He offers an alternative vision, outlining how debates in the discipline can be linked to political practice and how it can become part of a wider progressive agenda. Parker's groundbreaking book is at the cutting edge of current thinking on the discipline and should be required reading in all psychology courses. (shrink)
'The more we enquire, the less we can resolve,' wrote Johnson. Scepticism-a reasoned emphasis on the severe limitations of rationality-would seem to undermine the grounds of belief and action. But in some of the best eighteenth-century literature, a theoretically paralysing critique of the pretensions of reason, precept, and language went hand in hand with a vigorous intellectual, moral, and linguistic confidence. To realise philosophical scepticism as literature was effectively to transform it. Dr Parker traces the presence of this life-giving (...) irony in works by Pope, Hume, Sterne, and Johnson, relates it more broadly to the social self-consciousness of eighteenth-century culture, and discusses its source in Locke and its inspiration in Montaigne. The argument serves as a reminder that radical scepticism is not the invention of the late twentieth century, and that its strategies and implications have never been more interestingly explored than in the eighteenth. (shrink)
Shanachie and Norm Content Type Journal Article Category Case Studies Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s11673-012-9356-0 Authors Malcolm Parker, School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, 288 Herston Road, Herston, QLD 4006, Australia Journal Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Online ISSN 1872-4353 Print ISSN 1176-7529.
Cross-sector social partnerships (CSSPs) can produce benefits at individual, organizational, sectoral and societal levels. In this article, we argue that the distribution of benefits depends in part on the cognitive frames held by partnership participants. Based on Selsky and Parker's (J Manage 31(6):849-873, 2005) review of CSSPs, we identify three analytic "platforms" for social partnerships — the resource-dependence platform, the social-issue platform, and the societal-sector platform. We situate platforms as prospective sensemaking devices that help project managers make sense of (...) partnerships by calling attention to certain desired features or downplaying other features. We describe the three platforms and contrast them on factors that influence social benefit, including orientation, learning, and power. We provide illustrations of each platform and demonstrate how the choice of platform is consequential for practice, such as how a partnership project gets started, evolves and produces social benefits. (shrink)
Insight, by F. H. Parker.--Why be uncritical about the life-world? By H. B. Veatch.--Homage to Saint Anselm, by R. Jordan.--Art and philosophy, by J. M. Anderson.--The phenomenon of world, by R. R. Ehman.--The life-world and its historical horizon, by C. O. Schrag.--The Lebenswelt as ground and as Leib in Husserl: somatology, psychology, sociology, by E. Paci.--Life-world and structures, by C. A. van Peursen.--The miser, by E. W. Straus.--Monetary value and personal value, by G. Schrader.--Individualisms, by W. L. McBride.--Sartre the (...) individualist, by W. Desan.--The nature of social man, by M. Natanson.--The problem of the will and philosophical discourse, by P. Ricoeur.--Structuralism and humanism, by M. Dufrenne.--The illusion of monolinear time, by N. Lawrence.--Can grammar be thought? By J. M. Edie.--The existentialist critique of objectivity, by S. J. Todes and H. L. Dreyfus.--Bibliography (p. 391-400). (shrink)
Recent work has defended “Euclidean” theories of set size, in which Cantor’s Principle (two sets have equally many elements if and only if there is a one-to-one correspondence between them) is abandoned in favor of the Part-Whole Principle (if A is a proper subset of B then A is smaller than B). It has also been suggested that Gödel’s argument for the unique correctness of Cantor’s Principle is inadequate. Here we see from simple examples, not that Euclidean theories of set (...) size are wrong, but that they must be either very weak and narrow or largely arbitrary and misleading. (shrink)
A number of recent discussions comparing computer simulation and traditional experimentation have focused on the significance of “materiality.” I challenge several claims emerging from this work and suggest that computer simulation studies are material experiments in a straightforward sense. After discussing some of the implications of this material status for the epistemology of computer simulation, I consider the extent to which materiality (in a particular sense) is important when it comes to making justified inferences about target systems on the basis (...) of experimental results. (shrink)
This article identifies conditions under which robust predictive modeling results have special epistemic significance---related to truth, confidence, and security---and considers whether those conditions hold in the context of present-day climate modeling. The findings are disappointing. When today’s climate models agree that an interesting hypothesis about future climate change is true, it cannot be inferred---via the arguments considered here anyway---that the hypothesis is likely to be true or that scientists’ confidence in the hypothesis should be significantly increased or that a claim (...) to have evidence for the hypothesis is now more secure. (shrink)
Lloyd (2009) contends that climate models are confirmed by various instances of fit between their output and observational data. The present paper argues that what these instances of fit might confirm are not climate models themselves, but rather hypotheses about the adequacy of climate models for particular purposes. This required shift in thinking—from confirming climate models to confirming their adequacy-for-purpose—may sound trivial, but it is shown to complicate the evaluation of climate models considerably, both in principle and in practice.
With the question “What is 'discourse?' “ as the starting point, this paper addresses ways of identifying particular discourses, and attends to how these discourses should be distinguished from texts. The emergence of discourse analysis within psychology, and the continuing influence of linguistic and post-structuralist ideas on practitioners, provide the basis on which discourse-analytic research can be developed fruitfully. This paper discusses the descriptive, analytic and educative functions of discourse analysis, and addresses the cultural and political (...) questions which arise when discourse analysts reflect on their activity. Suggestions for an adequate definition of discourse are proposed and supported by seven criteria which should be adopted to identify discourses, and which attend to contradictions between and within them. Three additional criteria are then suggested to relate discourse analysis to wider political issues. (shrink)
In standard probability theory, probability zero is not the same as impossibility. But many have suggested that only impossible events should have probability zero. This can be arranged if we allow infinitesimal probabilities, but infinitesimals do not solve all of the problems. We will see that regular probabilities are not invariant over rigid transformations, even for simple, bounded, countable, constructive, and disjoint sets. Hence, regular chances cannot be determined by space-time invariant physical laws, and regular credences cannot satisfy seemingly reasonable (...) symmetry principles. Moreover, the examples here are immune to the objections against Williamson’s infinite coin flips. (shrink)
Allan Franklin has identified a number of strategies that scientists use to build confidence in experimental results. This paper shows that Franklin's strategies have direct analogues in the context of computer simulation and then suggests that one of his strategies—the so-called 'Sherlock Holmes' strategy—deserves a privileged place within the epistemologies of experiment and simulation. In particular, it is argued that while the successful application of even several of Franklin's other strategies (or their analogues in simulation) may not be sufficient for (...) justified belief in results, the successful application of a slightly elaborated version of the Sherlock Holmes strategy is sufficient. (shrink)
We consider an approach to some philosophical problems that I call the Method of Conceptual Articulation: to recognize that a question may lack any determinate answer, and to re-engineer concepts so that the question acquires a definite answer in such a way as to serve the epistemic motivations behind the question. As a case study we examine “Galileo’s Paradox”, that the perfect square numbers seem to be at once as numerous as the whole numbers, by one-to-one correspondence, and yet less (...) numerous, being a proper subset. I argue that Cantor resolved this paradox by a method at least close to that proposed—not by discovering the true nature of cardinal number, but by articulating several useful and appealing extensions of number to the infinite. Galileo was right to suggest that the concept of relative size did not apply to the infinite, for the concept he possessed did not. Nor was Bolzano simply wrong to reject Hume’s Principle (that one-to-one correspondence implies equal number) in the infinitary case, in favor of Euclid’s Common Notion 5 (that the whole is greater than the part), for the concept of cardinal number (in the sense of “number of elements”) was not clearly defined for infinite collections. Order extension theorems now suggest that a theory of cardinality upholding Euclid’s principle instead of Hume’s is possible. Cantor’s refinements of number are not the only ones possible, and they appear to have been shaped by motivations and fruitfulness, for they evolved in discernible stages correlated with emerging applications and results. Galileo, Bolzano, and Cantor shared interests in the particulate analysis of the continuum and in physical applications. Cantor’s concepts proved fruitful for those pursuits. Finally, Gödel was mistaken to claim that Cantor’s concept of cardinality is forced on us; though Gödel gives an intuitively compelling argument, he ignores the fact that Euclid’s Common Notion is also intuitively compelling, and we are therefore forced to make a choice. The success of Cantor’s concept of cardinality lies not in its truth (for concepts are not true or false), nor its uniqueness (for it is not the only extension of number possible), but in its intuitive appeal, and most of all, its usefulness to the understanding. (shrink)
The influence of direct-to-consumer advertising and physician promotions are examined in this study. We further examine some of the ethical issues which may arise when physicians accept promotional products from pharmaceutical companies. The data revealed that direct-to-consumer advertising is likely to increase the request rates of both the drug category and the drug brand choices, as well as the likelihood that those drugs will be prescribed by physicians. The data further revealed that the majority of responding physicians were either neutral (...) or did not feel that accepting some types of gifts from pharmaceutical companies affected their ethical behaviors. (shrink)
After showing how Deborah Mayo’s error-statistical philosophy of science might be applied to address important questions about the evidential status of computer simulation results, I argue that an error-statistical perspective offers an interesting new way of thinking about computer simulation models and has the potential to significantly improve the practice of simulation model evaluation. Though intended primarily as a contribution to the epistemology of simulation, the analysis also serves to fill in details of Mayo’s epistemology of experiment.
To study Earth’s climate, scientists now use a variety of computer simulation models. These models disagree in some of their assumptions about the climate system, yet they are used together as complementary resources for investigating future climatic change. This paper examines and defends this use of incompatible models. I argue that climate model pluralism results both from uncertainty concerning how to best represent the climate system and from difficulties faced in evaluating the relative merits of complex models. I describe how (...) incompatible climate models are used together in ‘multi-model ensembles’ and explain why this practice is reasonable, given scientists’ inability to identify a ‘best’ model for predicting future climate. Finally, I characterize climate model pluralism as involving both an ontic competitive pluralism and a pragmatic integrative pluralism. (shrink)
This article distinguishes two different senses of information-theoretic approaches to statistical mechanics that are often conflated in the literature: those relating to the thermodynamic cost of computational processes and those that offer an interpretation of statistical mechanics where the probabilities are treated as epistemic. This distinction is then investigated through Earman and Norton’s () ‘sound’ and ‘profound’ dilemma for information-theoretic exorcisms of Maxwell’s demon. It is argued that Earman and Norton fail to countenance a ‘sound’ information-theoretic interpretation and this paper (...) describes how the latter inferential interpretations can escape the criticisms of Earman and Norton () and Norton () by adopting this ‘sound’ horn. This article considers a standard model of Maxwell’s demon to illustrate how one might adopt an information-theoretic approach to statistical mechanics without a reliance on Landauer’s principle, where the incompressibility of the probability distribution due to Liouville’s theorem is taken as the central feature of such an interpretation. (shrink)
We examine a case in which non-computable behavior in a model is revealed by computer simulation. This is possible due to differing notions of computability for sets in a continuous space. The argument originally given for the validity of the simulation involves a simpler simulation of the simulation , still further simulations thereof, and a universality conjecture. There are difficulties with that argument, but there are other, heuristic arguments supporting the qualitative results. It is urged, using this example, that absolute (...) validation, while highly desirable, is overvalued. Simulations also provide valuable insights that we cannot yet (if ever) prove. (shrink)
The turn to empirical ethics answers two calls. The first is for a richer account of morality than that afforded by bioethical principlism, which is cast as excessively abstract and thin on the facts. The second is for the facts in question to be those of human experience and not some other, unworldly realm. Empirical ethics therefore promises a richer naturalistic ethics, but in fulfilling the second call it often fails to heed the metaethical requirements related to the first. Empirical (...) ethics risks losing the normative edge which necessarily characterizes the ethical, by failing to account for the nature and the logic of moral norms. I sketch a naturalistic theory, teleological expressivism (TE), which negotiates the naturalistic fallacy by providing a more satisfactory means of taking into account facts and research data with ethical implications. The examples of informed consent and the euthanasia debate are used to illustrate the superiority of this approach, and the problems consequent on including the facts in the wrong kind of way. (shrink)
This paper examines Boltzmann’s responses to the Loschmidt reversibility objection to the H-theorem, as presented in his Lectures on Gas Theory. I describe and evaluate two distinct conceptions of the assumption of molecular disorder found in this work, and contrast these notions with the Stosszahlansatz, as well as with the predominant contemporary conception of molecular disorder. Both these conceptions are assessed with respect to the reversibility objection. Finally, I interpret Boltzmann as claiming that a state of molecular disorder serves as (...) a necessary condition for the application of probabilistic arguments. This in turn offers a way to bridge the conceptual gap between the H-theorem and his combinatorial argument. (shrink)
This study drew on three theoretical perspectives – attribution theory, power, and role identity theory – to compare the job-related outcomes of sexual harassment from organizational insiders (i.e., supervisors and co-workers) and organizational outsiders (i.e., offend- ers and members of the public) in a sample ( n = 482) of UK police officers and police support staff. Results showed that sexual harassment from insiders was related (...) to higher intentions to quit, over-performance demands, and lower job satisfaction, whereas sexual harassment from outsiders was not significantly related to any of the outcome variables investigated. We also examined two moderator variables: equal opportunity support and confidence in grievance procedures. Consistent with our hypotheses, equal oppor- tunity support mitigated the effects of sexual harassment from supervisors on intent to quit and over-performance demands. Confidence in grievance procedures moderated the relationship between sexual harassment from supervisors and all outcome variables. Implications for theory and practice are discussed. (shrink)
Peter Hare's writings on civil disobedience suggest that he was not a "quiet man," though he was indeed soft-spoken. He was certainly earnest about matters of conscience, about doing the right thing and doing things right. He was a model of intellectual integrity for several generations of American philosophers. Moreover, when he saw a need he seldom hesitated to take it on himself: sitting on many, many dissertation committees, editing a major philosophical journal, helping found new professional associations. Time after (...) time, he generously committed himself to make things happen. He was an engaged intellectual, tuned in and ready to act in his soft-spoken, earnest, and effective way.The depth of Peter Hare's .. (shrink)
In 1951 Henrietta Lacks felt a lump in her cervix, entered Johns Hopkins Hospital, and was examined in a colored-only exam room by a physician who biopsied the lump. Called back to Hopkins for treatment of diagnosed carcinoma of the cervix, Henrietta signed a one-line “Operation Permit,” and under general anesthesia received her first round of radium treatment. Before sewing a tube of radium into her cervix, the surgeon on duty took samples of tumor and healthy tissue, and as with (...) many other samples taken from charity patients at Hopkins, handed the samples to researchers trying to develop an immortal human cell line (an important research tool, an immortal cell line is a population of cells from a multicellular .. (shrink)
Julian Savulescu argues for two principles of reproductive ethics: reproductive autonomy and procreative beneficence, where the principle of procreative beneficence is conceptualised in terms of a duty to have the child, of the possible children that could be had, who will have the best opportunity of the best life. Were it to be accepted, this principle would have significant implications for the ethics of reproductive choice and, in particular, for the use of prenatal testing and other reproductive technologies for the (...) avoidance of disability, and for enhancement. In this paper, it is argued that this principle should be rejected, and it is concluded that while potential parents do have important obligations in relation to the foreseeable lives of their future children, these obligations are not best captured in terms of a duty to have the child with the best opportunity of the best life. (shrink)
Over the last 300 years science has been quite successful at revealing the nature of physical reality. In so doing it has provided an epistemological basis for scientific discovery and technological innovation. But science has been decidedly less successful at guiding political debate. How do we conceive of the science-society relation in the 21st century? How does scientific research hook onto the world in a multi-faceted, pluralistic, and global age? This essay seeks to reframe our thinking about the broader impacts (...) of science by awakening an appreciation of the inescapably political and (and as a consequence, philosophical) dimension of all knowledge, scientific or otherwise. (shrink)
Study of “theory of mind” in nonhuman primates is hampered both by the lack of rigorous methodology that Heyes stresses and by our lack of knowledge of the cognitive neuroscience of nonhuman primate conceptual structure. Recent advances in this field indicate that progress can be made by first asking simpler research questions.
Many companies are now implementing ethics and regulatory compliance programs. The growth of employment of both lawyers and specialist "compliance professionals" to advise on and facilitate implementation of these programs has expanded concomitantly. This paper examines the ethical role that should be played by these advisors. Traditional ways of conceptualising corporate lawyers' ethics are shown to be inadequate because they see the legal advisor as an autonomous adversarial advocate or an independent and aloof counsellor. Instead interviews with compliance practitioners are (...) used to show that a superior conceptualisation of the compliance advisor's role is emerging. Compliance practitioners identify explicitly with business and, at the same time, identify with a broader ethical community of other compliance professionals, regulators and stakeholders in order to play a transformative role within the organisation. This conception recognises the interdependence between compliance advisor and corporate client. (shrink)