In this paper we argue that the formalisms for decoherence originally devised to deal just with closed or open systems can be subsumed under a general conceptual framework, in such a way that they cooperate in the understanding of the same physical phenomenon. This new perspective dissolves certain conceptual difficulties of the einselection program but, at the same time, shows that the openness of the quantum system is not the essential ingredient for decoherence. †To contact the authors, please write to: (...) Mario Castagnino, CONICET-IAFE, Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires, Casilla de Correos 67, Sucursal 28, 1428 Buenos Aires, Argentina; Roberto Laura, IFIR-Universidad Nacional de Rosario, Av. Pellegrini 250, 2000 Rosario, Argentina; Olimpia Lombardi, CONICET-Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires, C. Larralde 3440, 6°D, 1430, Buenos Aires; e-mail: email@example.com. (shrink)
The burden of this piece is to draw together into a coherent whole the somewhat diverse strands of Israel Scheffler's thought on the philosophy of religion. Extrapolating from personal discussions with Professor Scheffler, various of his books, articles, and other unpublished materials authored and kindly provided by him, I contend that he adumbrates a post-empiricist rendering of religious belief which masterfully avoids some philosophical problems, while unwittingly giving rise to others. Committed to the view that the methodology of science â (...) in one or other of its more acceptable guises â provides the most reliable measure of the content and structure of reality. Scheffler is bound conceptually to redefine Jewish belief in such a way that the traditional conflict between religion and science never emerges. Consistent with this end, he is concerned to divest traditional Judaism of its metaphysical garb, so that what remains are simply the matters of living to which religion ought properly on his view address itself. The Bible is thus reconceptualized as a piece of rich literature, of no real difference in logical kind to any other piece of rich literature, except that it defines uniquely, along with the Torah and other relevant Jewish literature, the history of the particular community whose perception of human values and meaningfulness forms the core of what it is to be Jewish. (shrink)
This essay is a response to the comments and critique of Laura Purdy to my earlier paper "Re-Fusing Nature/Nurture" (1983, 621-632). In it I re-emphasize that the traditional nature/nurture dichotomy is based upon an unacceptable ontology and briefly note the type of metaphysic that would serve as a more appropriate basis.
This essay is a discussion of the radio talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger. It is an assessment of the moral advice that she dispenses her radio show, and kinds of criticisms to which she has been subjected.
Peter van Inwagen contends that free will is a mystery. Here I present an argument in the spirit of van Inwagen's. According to the Assimilation Argument, libertarians cannot plausibly distinguish causally undetermined actions, the ones they take to be exercises of free will, from overtly randomized outcomes of the sort nobody would count as exercises of free will. I contend that the Assimilation Argument improves on related arguments in locating the crucial issues between van Inwagen and libertarians who hope to (...) demystify free will, while avoiding objections these arguments have faced. (shrink)
In this comprehensive new study of human free agency, Laura Waddell Ekstrom critically surveys contemporary philosophical literature and provides a novel account of the conditions for free action. Ekstrom argues that incompatibilism concerning free will and causal determinism is true and thus the right account of the nature of free action must be indeterminist in nature. She examines a variety of libertarian approaches, ultimately defending an account relying on indeterministic causation among events and appealing to agent causation only in (...) a reducible sense. Written in an engaging style and incorporating recent scholarship, this study is critical reading for scholars and students interested in the topics of motivation, causation, responsibility, and freedom. In broadly covering the important positions of others along with its exposition of the author’s own view, Free Will provides both a significant scholarly contribution and a valuable text for courses in metaphysics and action theory. (shrink)
The physics and metaphysics of identity and individuality Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9463-7 Authors Don Howard, Department of Philosophy and Graduate Program in History and Philosophy of Science, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA Bas C. van Fraassen, Philosophy Department, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132, USA Otávio Bueno, Department of Philosophy, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 33124, USA Elena Castellani, Department of Philosophy, University of Florence, Via Bolognese 52, 50139 (...) Florence, Italy Laura Crosilla, Department of Pure Mathematics, School of Mathematics, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT UK Steven French, Department of Philosophy, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK Décio Krause, Department of Philosophy, Federal University of Santa Catarina, 88040-900 Campus Trindade, Florianópolis, SC Brazil Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796. (shrink)
A philosophically and historically sensitive account of the engagement of the major protagonists of Victorian British philosophy, Reforming Philosophy considers the controversies between William Whewell and John Stuart Mill on the topics of science, morality, politics, and economics. By situating their debate within the larger context of Victorian society and its concerns, Laura Snyder shows how two very different men—Whewell, an educator, Anglican priest, and critic of science; and Mill, a philosopher, political economist, and parliamentarian—reacted to the challenges of (...) their times, each seeking to reform science as a means of reforming society as a whole. The first book-length examination of the dispute between Mill and Whewell in its entirety, Reforming Philosophy provides a rich and nuanced understanding of the intellectual spirit of Victorian Britain and will be welcomed by philosophers and historians of science, scholars of Victorian studies, and students of the history of philosophy and political economy. (shrink)
While the lives of millions of people are overshadowed by poverty and destitution, a relatively small subset of the world's population enjoys an unprecedented level of wealth. No doubt the world's rich have duties to address the plight of the global poor. But should we think of these as duties of egalitarian justice much like those applying domestically, or as weaker duties of humanitarian assistance? In this book, Laura Valentini offers an in-depth critique of the two most prominent answers (...) to this question, cosmopolitanism and statism, and develops a novel normative framework for addressing it. Central to this framework is the idea that, unlike duties of assistance - which bind us to help the needy - duties of justice place constraints on the ways we may legitimately coerce one another. Since coercion exists domestically as well as internationally, duties of justice apply to both realms. The forms of coercion characterizing these two realms, however, differ, and so the content of duties of justice varies across them. Valentini concludes that given the nature of existing international coercion, global justice requires more than statist assistance, yet less than full cosmopolitan equality. (shrink)
. Part C of this three part series is the presentation from the Oxford style debate held at the Tenth Annual International Conference Promoting Business Ethics between Laura Hartman, J.D., and Dr. Moses Pava on topics related to the EverQuest® v. EverCrack case (Part B). In a traditional Oxford style debate, two debaters take opposing viewpoints and the third debater argues the neutral position. At the Conference, the modified format featured the two debaters presenting diametrically opposing views – (...) corporate responsibility versus personal responsibility. This modified format was also used during the Ethics Awareness Week (Part A), with University professors presenting the debate before the student body. Ms. Hartman’s position focused on the personal responsibility by Mr Woolley while Dr. Pava opined that Sony Online Entertainment had corporate responsibility toward Mr. Woolley and all other individuals similarly situated. (shrink)
Be it fair trade coffee or foreign oil, our choices as consumers affect the well-being of humans around the globe, not to mention the natural world and of course ourselves. Consumption is a serious ethical issue, and Christian writers throughout history have weighed in, discussing topics such as affluence and poverty, greed and gluttony, and proper stewardship of resources. These voices are often at odds, however. In this book, Laura M. Hartman formulates a coherent Christian ethic of consumption, imposing (...) order on the debate by dividing it into four imperatives: Christians are to consume in ways that avoid sin, embrace creation, love one's neighbor, and envision the future. An adequate ethics of consumption, she argues, must include all four considerations as tools for discernment, even when they seem to contradict one another. The book includes discussions of Christian practices such as fasting, gratitude, solidarity, gift-giving, Sabbath-keeping, and the Eucharist. Using exemplars from the Christian tradition and practical examples from everyday life, The Christian Consumer offers a thoughtful guide to ethical consumption. (shrink)
Abstract Flax seedlings grown in the absence of environmental stimuli, stresses and injuries do not form epidermal meristems in their hypocotyls. Such meristems do form when the stimuli are combined with a transient depletion of calcium. These stimuli include the “manipulation stimulus” resulting from transferring the seedlings from germination to growth conditions. If, after a stimulus, calcium depletion is delayed, meristem production is also delayed; in other words, the meristem-production instruction can be memorised. Memorisation includes both storage and recall of (...) information. Here, we focus on information recall. We show that if the first transient calcium depletion is followed by a second transient depletion there is a new round of meristem production. We also show that if an excess of calcium follows calcium depletion, meristem production is blocked; but if the excess of calcium is in turn followed by another calcium depletion, again there is a new round of meristem production. The same stored information can thus be recalled repeatedly (at least twice). We describe a conceptual model that takes into account these findings. Content Type Journal Article Category Regular Article Pages 1-15 DOI 10.1007/s10441-012-9145-5 Authors Marie-Claire Verdus, Laboratoire AMMIS (Assemblages Moléculaires, Modélisation et Imagerie SIMS), CNRS (GDR DYCOEC), Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Université de Rouen, 76821 Mont-Saint-Aignan Cedex, France Camille Ripoll, Laboratoire AMMIS (Assemblages Moléculaires, Modélisation et Imagerie SIMS), CNRS (GDR DYCOEC), Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Université de Rouen, 76821 Mont-Saint-Aignan Cedex, France Vic Norris, Laboratoire AMMIS (Assemblages Moléculaires, Modélisation et Imagerie SIMS), CNRS (GDR DYCOEC), Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Université de Rouen, 76821 Mont-Saint-Aignan Cedex, France Michel Thellier, Laboratoire AMMIS (Assemblages Moléculaires, Modélisation et Imagerie SIMS), CNRS (GDR DYCOEC), Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Université de Rouen, 76821 Mont-Saint-Aignan Cedex, France Journal Acta Biotheoretica Online ISSN 1572-8358 Print ISSN 0001-5342. (shrink)
Introduction Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-17 DOI 10.1007/s10503-011-9238-3 Authors Ana Laura Nettel, Law Department, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana—Azcapotzalco (UAM-A), Amsterdam 180-403 Colonia Hipódromo Condesa, 06100 Mexico, DF, Mexico Georges Roque, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), CRAL, EHESS/CNRS, 96 Bd. Raspail, 75006 Paris, France Journal Argumentation Online ISSN 1572-8374 Print ISSN 0920-427X.
It would be nice if good old a priori conceptual analysis were possible. For many years conceptual analysis was out of fashion, in large part because of the excessive ambitions of verificationist theories of meaning._ _However, those days are over._ _A priori conceptual analysis is once again part of the philosophical mainstream._ _This renewed popularity, moreover, is well-founded. Modern philosophical analysts have exploited developments in philosophical semantics to formulate analyses which avoid the counterintuitive consequences of verificationism, while vindicating our ability (...) to know a priori precisely what it is our words and thoughts represent._ _Despite its apparent promise, however, I. (shrink)
The Queen's College, Oxford, UK In his article `Facts and Principles', G.A. Cohen attempts to refute constructivist approaches to justification by showing that, contrary to what their proponents claim, fundamental normative principles are fact- in sensitive. We argue that Cohen's `fact-insensitivity thesis' does not provide a successful refutation of constructivism because it pertains to an area of meta-ethics which differs from the one tackled by constructivists. While Cohen's thesis concerns the logical structure of normative principles, constructivists ask how normative principles (...) should be justified . In particular, their claim that justified fundamental normative principles are fact-sensitive follows from a commitment to agnosticism about the existence of objective moral facts. We therefore conclude that, in order to refute constructivism, Cohen would have to address questions of justification, and take a stand on those long-standing meta-ethical debates about the ontological status of moral notions (for example, realism versus anti-realism) with respect to which he himself wants to remain agnostic. Key Words: John Rawls normative justification realism versus anti-realism methodological versus substantive principles. (shrink)
This paper proposes a reconciliation between libertarian freedomand causal indeterminism, without relying on agent-causation asa primitive notion. I closely examine Peter van Inwagen''s recentcase for free will mysterianism, which is based in part on thewidespread worry that undetermined acts are too chancy to befree. I distinguish three senses of the term chance I thenargue that van Inwagen''s case for free will mystrianism fails,since there is no single construal of the term change on whichall of the premises of his argument for (...) free will–causalindeterminism incompatibilism are true. By use of a particularevent-causal indeterminist account of free action, I support thecase for free will–indeterminism compatibilism. (shrink)
Two-dimensional (2D) semantics is a formal framework that is used to characterize the meaning of certain linguistic expressions and the entailment relations among sentences containing them. 2D semantics has also been applied to thought contents. In contrast with standard possible worlds semantics, 2D semantics assigns extensions and truth-values to expressions relative to two possible world parameters, rather than just one. So a 2D semantic framework provides finer-grained semantic values than those available within standard possible world semantics, while using the same (...) basic model-theoretic resources. The 2D framework itself is just a formal tool. To develop a semantic theory for someone’s language, a proponent of 2D semantics must do three things: (i) explain what exactly the two possible world parameters represent, (ii) explain the rules for assigning 2D semantic values to a person’s words and sentences, and (iii) explain how 2D semantic values help in understanding the meanings of the person’s words and sentences. (shrink)
There are both externalist and internalist theories of the phenomenal content of conscious experiences. Externalists like Dretske and Tye treat the phenomenal content of conscious states as representations of external properties (and events). Internalists think that phenomenal conscious states are reducible to electrochemical states of the brain in the style of the type-type identity theory. In this paper, we side with the representationalists and visit a dispute between them over the test case of Swampman. Does Swampman have conscious phenomenal (...) states or not? Dretske and Tye disagree on this issue. We try to settle the dispute in favor of Dretske's theory (to our own surprise). (shrink)
From Plato down to the logical empiricists, philosophers assumed that all empirical knowledge must rest on apriori semantic foundations. According to this philosophical tradition, empirical knowledge is possible only if the subject has an implicit apriori understanding of what it is her words and concepts refer to. You can.
Almost thirty years ago, in an attempt to undermine what he termed "the principle of alternate possibilities" (the thesis that people are morally responsible for what they have done only if they could have done otherwise), Harry Frankfurt offered an ingenious thought-experiment that has played a major role in subsequent work on moral responsibility and free will. Several philosophers, including David Widerker and Robert Kane, argued recently that this thought-experiment and others like it are fundamentally flawed. This paper develops a (...) new Frankfurt-style example that is immune to their objections. [Reprinted in Laura Waddell Ekstrom, ed., Agency and Responsibility: Essays on the Metaphysics of Freedom (Westview Press, 2001), pp. 241-54; and in John Martin Fischer, ed., Free Will, Vol. III (Routledge, 2005), pp. 330-42.]. (shrink)
In this article, I develop a new account of the liberal view that principles of justice (in general) are meant to justify state coercion, and consider its implications for the question of global socioeconomic justice (in particular). Although contemporary proponents of this view deny that principles of socioeconomic justice apply globally, on my newly developed account this conclusion is mistaken. I distinguish between two types of coercion, systemic and interactional, and argue that a plausible theory of global justice should contain (...) principles justifying both. The justification of interactional coercion requires principles regulating interstate interference; that of systemic coercion requires principles of global socioeconomic justice. I argue that the proposed view not only helps us make progress in the debate on global justice, but also offers an independently compelling and systematic account of the function and conditions of applicability of justice. -/- . (shrink)
In Epistemic Two-Dimensional Semantics, David Chalmers seeks to develop a version of 2-D semantics which can vindicate the rationalist claim that there are constitutive connections between meaning, possibility and a priority. Chalmers lays out different ways of filling in his preferred epistemic approach to 2-D semantics so as to avoid controversial philosophical assumptions. In these comments, however, I argue that there are some distinctively rationalist commitments in Chalmers's epistemic approach to 2-D semantics. I start by explaining why Chalmers's approach requires (...) a canonical language that affords subjects accurate a priori access to the space of possibility. I then argue that traditional worries about rationalism will simply re-emerge as worries about whether there can be a canonical vocabulary and how we could come to recognize one if there were. The moral is that Chalmers's 2-D semantic framework builds in substantive metaphysical and epistemological commitments which stand in need of further defense. (shrink)
What does it take to count as competent with the meaning of a thin evaluative predicate like 'is the right thing to do'? According to minimalists like Allan Gibbard and Ralph Wedgwood, competent speakers must simply use the predicate to express their own motivational states. According to analytic descriptivists like Frank Jackson, Philip Pettit and Christopher Peacocke, competent speakers must grasp a particular criterion for identifying the property picked out by the term. Both approaches face serious difficulties. We suggest that (...) these difficulties derive from a shared background assumption that competence conditions must be explained in terms of a determinate conceptual role. We propose a new way of characterizing competence with evaluative terms: what's required for competence is participation in a shared epistemic practice with a term. Our approach, we argue, better explains the nature of evaluative inquiry and the extent of disagreement about evaluative questions. (shrink)
This article explores the proposal offered by Ian Hacking for the distinction between natural and social sciences—a proposal that he has defined from the outset as complex and different from the traditional ones. Our objective is not only to present the path followed by Hacking's distinction, but also to determine if it constitutes a novelty or not. For this purpose, we deemed it necessary to briefly introduce the core notions Hacking uses to establish his strategic approach to (...) social sciences, under the assumption that they are less well known that the ones corresponding to his treatment of natural sciences. Key Words: Ian Hacking • natural sciences • social sciences • distinction. (shrink)
This volume brings together a range of influential essays by distinguished philosophers and political theorists on the issue of global justice. Global justice concerns the search for ethical norms that should govern interactions between people, states, corporations and other agents acting in the global arena, as well as the design of social institutions that link them together. The volume includes articles that engage with major theoretical questions such as the applicability of the ideals of social and economic equality to the (...) global sphere, the degree of justified partiality to compatriots, and the nature and extent of the responsibilities of the affluent to address global poverty and other hardships abroad. It also features articles that bring the theoretical insights of global justice thinkers to bear on matters of practical concern to contemporary societies, such policies associated with immigration, international trade, and climate change. -/- Contents: Introduction; Part I Standards of Global Justice: (i) Assistance-Based Responsibilities to the Global Poor: Famine, affluence and mortality, Peter Singer; We don't owe them a thing! A tough-minded but soft-hearted view of aid to the faraway needy, Jan Narveson; Does distance matter morally to the duty to rescue? Frances Myrna Kamm. (ii) Contribution-Based Responsibilities to the Global Poor: 'Assisting' the global poor, Thomas Pogge; Should we stop thinking about poverty in terms of helping the poor?, Alan Patten; Poverty and the moral significance of contribution, Gerhard Øverland. (iii)Cosmopolitans, Global Egalitarians, and its Critics: The one and the many faces of cosmopolitanism, Catherine Lu; Cosmopolitan justice and equalizing opportunities, Simon Caney; The problem of global justice, Thomas Nagel; Against global egalitarianism, David Miller; Egalitarian challenges to global egalitarianism: a critique, Christian Barry and Laura Valentini. Part II Pressing Global Socioeconomic Issues: (i) Governing the Flow of People: Immigration and freedom of association, Christopher Wellman; Democratic theory and border coercion: no right to unilaterally control your own borders, Arash Abizadeh; Justice in migration: a closed borders utopia?, Lea Ypi. (ii) Climate Change: Global environment and international inequality, Henry Shue; Valuing policies in response to climate change: some ethical issues, John Broome; Saved by disaster? Abrupt climate change, political inertia, and the possibility of an intergenerational arms race, Stephen M. Gardiner; Polycentric systems for coping with collective action and global environmental change, Elinor Ostrom. (iii) International Trade: Responsibility and global labor justice, Iris Marion Young; Property rights and the resource curse, Leif Wenar; Fairness in trade I: obligations arising from trading and the pauper-labor argument, Mathias Risse; Name index. -/- See: www.ashgate.com/default.aspx?page=637&calctitle=1&pageSubject=483&sort=pubdate&forthcoming=1&title_i d=9958&edition_id=13385. (shrink)