Gödel’s incompleteness applies to any system with recursively enumerable axioms and rules of inference. Chaitin’s approach to Gödel’s incompleteness relates the incompleteness to the amount of information contained in the axioms. Zurek’s quantum Darwinism attempts the physical description of the universe using information as one of its major components. The capacity of quantum Darwinism to describe quantum measurement in great detail without requiring ad-hoc non-unitary evolution makes it a good candidate for describing the transition from quantum to classical. A baby-universe (...) diffusion model of cosmic inflation is analyzed using quantum Darwinism. In this model cosmic inflation can be approximated as Brownian motion of a quantum field, and quantum Darwinism implies that molecular interaction during Brownian motion will make the quantum field decohere. The quantum Darwinism approach to decoherence in the baby-universe cosmic-inflation model yields the decoherence times of the baby-universes. The result is the equation relating the baby-universe’s decoherence time with the Hubble parameter, and that the decoherence time is considerably shorter than the cosmic inflation period. (shrink)
Commodity chain analysis (Bair and Ramsay, 2003 Multinational Companies and Global Human Resource Strategies) is used to explore where economic pressure (from consumers) or socio-political pressure (from governments and NGOs) can be applied to reduce worker exploitation. Six paths are illustrated with examples of successful and unsuccessful application of pressure. Three conclusions are reached :Economic pressure on companies and brand owners is more likely to lead to improved workplace conditions than socio-political pressure; Brand owners are more likely to implement improved (...) workplace conditions than retailers; and Retailers who are under extreme consumer price pressure will resist improving workplace conditions. (shrink)
During the refereeing procedure of Anthropomorphic Quantum Darwinism by Thomas Durt, it became apparent in the dialogue between him and me that the definition of information in Physics is something about which not all authors agreed. This text aims at describing the concepts associated to information that are accepted as the standard in the Physics world community.
One of the major criticisms of contemporary capitalist society which the bishops' pastoral letter raises is the increasing economic, political and social marginalization resulting from the concentration of wealth and power in the form of monopoly capital. The bishops condemn these contemporary inequalities as unjust, undemocratic and antithetical to the teachings of the Church and Catholic humanism. Given this criticism, we can better understand the bishops' policy prescriptions as intended to show how monopoly capital can be reconciled with the common (...) good, the problem as explicitly posed in section 281 of their pastoral. Hence, their proposal for economic democracy and economic planning can be seen as one possible solution to this general problem of monopoly concentration and marginalization.However, as I criticize in my paper, the bishops' policy prescriptions are undermined by contradictions in their position as well as questionable assumptions implicit to their model for economic democracy. On the one hand and as motivated by the bishops' desire to promote greater democracy and social justice for marginalized groups, the bishops' propose greater state intervention in the economy, particularly in areas concerning the planning and control over investment decisions. On the other hand and on behalf of the rights and liberties of private property owners, the bishops' want to preserve a measure of laissez-faire and private initiative in the marketplace. In short, the bishops' seem undecided about which of their social sentiments should have priority — their egalitarian or libertarian sentiments. Apparently, and as I demonstrate in my paper, the bishops fear more the imagined threats of social democracy to the status quo of private property than the actual marginalizing effects of private monopoly capital. (shrink)
Since the publication of Self Experiences in Groupin 1998-the first book to apply self psychology and intersubjectivity to group work-there have been tremendous advancements in the areas of affect, attachment, infant research, ...
Malcolm Pines (2012). Afterword. In Irene N. H. Harwood, Walter Stone & Malcolm Pines (eds.), Self Experiences in Group, Revisited: Affective Attachments, Intersubjective Regulations, and Human Understanding. Routledge.score: 30.0
: Because an influenza pandemic would create the most serious hardships for those who already face most serious hardships, countries should take special measures to mitigate the effect of a pandemic on existing social inequalities. Unfortunately, there is little evidence that anybody is thinking about that.
: Quite rightly, philosophers of physics examine the theories of physics, theories like Quantum Mechanics, Quantum Field Theory, the Special and General Theories of Relativity, and Statistical Mechanics. Far fewer, however, examine how these theories are put to use; that is to say, little attention is paid to the practices of theoretical physicists. In the early 1950s David Bohm and David Pines published a sequence of four papers, collectively entitled, 'A Collective Description of Electron Interaction.' This essay uses that quartet (...) as a case study in theoretical practice. In Part One of the essay, each of the Bohm-Pines papers is summarized, and within each summary an overview is given, framing a more detailed account. In Part Two theoretical practice is broken into six elements: (a) the use of models, (b) the use of theory, (c) modes of description and narrative, (d) the use of approximations, (e) experiment and theory, (f) the varied steps employed in a deduction. The last element is the largest, drawing as it does from the earlier ones. Part Three enlarges on the concept of 'theoretical practice,' and briefly outlines the subsequent theoretical advances which rendered the practices of Bohm and Pines obsolete, if still respected. (shrink)
Justin D'Arms says that moral disapproval is more closely tied to anger than to the “empathic chill” effect I emphasized in Moral Sentimentalism, but I argue that anger is in several ways inappropriate or unsatisfactory as a basis for understanding disapproval. I go on to explain briefly why I think we need not share D'Arms's worries about the possibility of nonveridical empathy but then focus on what he says about the reference-fixing theory of moral terminology defended in Moral Sentimentalism. I (...) explain why I think his interpretations of my view—both at the Spindel Conference and subsequently—misunderstand the (Kripkean) character of that view. My reply to Lori Watson questions whether her criticisms of Moral Sentimentalism's account of morality are sufficiently sensitive to the self−other asymmetry that typifies so much of ordinary moral thinking. (shrink)
In his “Spinoza’s TTP , Maimonides, and Kant” (1968), Pines compared Spinoza’s dogmas of universal faith ( TTP , 14) with Kant’s postulates of practical reason ( Critique of Practical Reason , part 1). According to him, Spinoza’s dogmas, like Maimonides’ “necessary beliefs” ( Guide 3:28), are postulates necessary for political welfare, and do not fall under the jurisdiction of theoretical reason. They define the faith of the common person, not that of the philosopher. Kant, in his remarks about Spinoza (...) as an “upright skeptic,” mistakenly thought his dogmas were true beliefs, not necessary ones; and his notion of postulates of practical reason seems to have been in part influenced by his mistaken view of Spinoza’s dogmas. The transformation of Maimonides’ “necessary beliefs” into Kant’s “postulates of practical reason,” as narrated by Pines, recalls the similar transformation of “Averroism” into “Christian Averroism” in the thirteenth century. In essays written from the late 1970s until his death in 1990, Pines returned to the theme of Maimonides and Kant, and argued convincingly that Maimonides’ epistemology was “critical” in the Kantian sense. However, his related argument that Maimonides’ religious sensibility was similar to Kant’s is less convincing. Unlike Kant, Maimonides did not think that critical epistemology made room for faith, but held that it caused one to tremble in awe. Like Spinoza, he identified true faith with intellectual knowledge, not something beyond it. His distinctiveness as a philosopher is that he was a God-intoxicated Knower like Spinoza, but a critical epistemologist like Kant. (shrink)
I have been teaching an undergraduate course called “Ethics and Animals” for almost a decade now. It counts as a core course for the ethics certificate at my university, and is housed in my home department, Women’s Studies, so there is some presumption of feminist or progressive content. I have the syllabi from all these years laid out in front of me on my desk. What strikes me immediately is that the turnover of the reading list is at least 75 (...) percent, and sometimes even 100 percent, from year to year. Early on, I see Singer (1975) and Regan (1983), Adams (1990), DeGrazi (2002), Francione (1996), Singer and Regan again, Linzey (1987), Haraway (1989), Francione again, Wolfe (2003), Derrida (2008), Waldau (2006) .. (shrink)
In this fresh and comprehensive introduction to animal ethics, Lori Gruen weaves together poignant and provocative case studies with discussions of ethical theory, urging readers to engage critically and empathetically reflect on our treatment of other animals. In clear and accessible language, Gruen provides a survey of the issues central to human-animal relations and a reasoned new perspective on current key debates in the field. She analyses and explains a range of theoretical positions and poses challenging questions that directly (...) encourage readers to hone their ethical reasoning skills and to develop a defensible position about their own practices. Her book will be an invaluable resource for students in a wide range of disciplines including ethics, environmental studies, veterinary science, women's studies, and the emerging field of animal studies and is an engaging account of the subject for general readers with no prior background in philosophy. (shrink)
This article provides an overview of the key philosophical themes and debates in discussions of pornography. In particular, I consider the major positions on how pornography ought to be defined, when (and if ) it should be regulated, whether it is best understood as speech (or action), whether there is evidence that is it harmful. I argue in favor of what is known as the civil rights approach to pornography, as reflected in the work of Catharine MacKinnon.
Biology is seen not merely as a privileged oppressor of women but as a co-victim of masculinist social assumptions. We see feminist critique as one of the normative controls that any scientist must perform whenever analyzing data, and we seek to demonstrate what has happened when this control has not been utilized. Narratives of fertilization and sex determination traditionally have been modeled on the cultural patterns of male/female interaction, leading to gender associations being placed on cells and their components. We (...) also find that when gender biases are controlled, new perceptions of these intracellular and extracellular relationships emerge. (shrink)
Can and should political liberals recognize and otherwise support legal marriage as a matter of basic justice? In this article, we offer a general account of how political liberals should evaluate the issue of whether the legal recognition of marriage is a matter of basic justice. And, we develop and examine some public reason arguments that, given the fundamental interests of citizens, could justify various forms of legal marriage in some contexts. In particular, in certain conditions, the recognition of some (...) form of legal marriage may be the best way to protect the fundamental interests of women as citizens in freely chosen associations. Or, it may be that, in certain conditions, to secure the social conditions necessary for gays, lesbians and bisexuals to be free and equal citizens, some form of legal marriage can or should be recognized. (shrink)
The idea of public reason is central to political liberalism's aim to provide an account of the possibility of a just and stable democratic society comprised of free and equal citizens who nonetheless are deeply divided over fundamental values. This commitment to the idea of public reason reflects the normative core of political liberalism which is rooted in the principle of democratic legitimacy and the idea of reciprocity among citizens. Yet both critics and defenders of political liberalism disagree over whether (...) or not the idea of public reason permits citizens to appeal to their comprehensive conceptions of the good in public deliberation over matters of basic justice. Our aim in this paper is to provide a defense of an exclusive idea of public reason, and at the same time we aim to dispel the underlying concerns of two prominent criticisms of the idea of public reason—the concern of alienation from the political process, as expressed by religiously oriented critics, and the concern over women's equality, as expressed by feminist critics. We argue that inclusive accounts of the idea of public reason are not consistent with political liberalism's core commitments. Further, we claim, inclusive accounts of the idea of public reason deepen feminist concerns. We think that, properly understood, an exclusive account of the idea of public reason can address feminist concerns about political liberalism and avoid alienating (reasonable) religious persons in an unacceptable way. Thus, we conclude that an exclusive account of the idea of public reason is our best hope for reconciliation. (shrink)