While Saunders Mac Lane studied for his D.Phil in Göttingen, he heard David Hilbert's weekly lectures on philosophy, talked philosophy with Hermann Weyl, and studied it with Moritz Geiger. Their philosophies and Emmy Noether's algebra all influenced his conception of category theory, which has become the working structure theory of mathematics. His practice has constantly affirmed that a proper large-scale organization for mathematics is the most efficient path to valuable specific results—while he sees that the question of which results are (...) valuable has an ineliminable philosophic aspect. His philosophy relies on the ideas of truth and existence he studied in Göttingen. His career is a case study relating naturalism in philosophy of mathematics to philosophy as it naturally arises in mathematics. Introduction Structures and Morphisms Varieties of Structuralism Göttingen Logic: Mac Lane's Dissertation Emmy Noether Natural Transformations Grothendieck: Toposes and Universes Lawvere and Foundations Truth and Existence Naturalism Austere Forms of Beauty. (shrink)
The popularity of Deleuze and Guattari is an undeniable precedent in current theoretical exchanges, and it could be stated without much contention that one's theoretical positioning must at some point deal with the salient conceptual offerings of Deleuze and Guattari, especially their double-opus, Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus wherein a wealth of critique abounds. However, the significant trends concerning Deleuze and Guattari ‘scholarship’ may be jeopardised by the (ab)use of certain conceptual themes and methods in their work that are distorted (...) and employed by big business looking to secure their legacies of power by means of a control mechanism that looks to subjugate an entire world by means of (to borrow a term from Mihai Spariosu) ‘globalitarianism’. Our aim here will be to use McDonald's Corporation as an example of how the theoretical offerings of Deleuze and Guattari have been indirectly and hastily deployed for corporate ends, how these attempts are counter-Deleuzian, and to answer at least one of Žižek's criticisms against Deleuze. (shrink)
Donald MacKay's description of the embodiment of an efficacious conscious mind is reviewed as a version of non-reductive physicalism. Particular focus is given to MacKay's analysis of the emergence of consciousness in the capacity for self-evaluation which results from informational feedback regarding the results of action. Unique to MacKay's posthumously published Gifford Lectures is his analysis of agents in dialog as a particular form of an environmental feedback loop. His analysis of dialog is reviewed and expanded to encompass concepts (...) of a First and Second Order Theory of Mind. Finally, MacKay's view of the status of the soul is considered, and the particular role of dialogue as critical to the instantiation of soul is suggested. (shrink)
We undertake to bring a phenomenological perspective to bear on a challenge of contemporary law and clinical practice. In a wide variety of contexts, legal and medical professionals are called upon to assess the competence or capacity of an individual to exercise her own judgement in making a decision for herself. We focus on decisions regarding consent to or refusal of medical treatment and contrast a widely recognised clinical instrument, the MacCAT-T, with a more phenomenologically informed approach. While the MacCAT-T (...) focuses attention on individual cognitive performance criteria, an approach oriented by second-person phenomenology brings into view the complex role of time, others and identity in constituting the capacity for individual autonomous judgement. Our phenomenological analysis has consequences both for the practice of capacity assessments and for further research in this arena. Good practice in capacity assessment must attend to decision communities, distributed capacity, and temporal competence, while research on mental capacity will miss the phenomenon if it trains its focus ‘between the ears.’ We illustrate our approach by considering two recent cases of contested capacity: one involving cognitive disability in a dysfunctional decision community, the second presenting the possibility of competent decision-making under conditions of paranoid schizophrenia. (shrink)
Nagle, Cormac M The advent of the social sciences, psychology and sociology, and their development over the past eighty years or so have made us much more aware of the integrated nature of the human person. Today we are less likely to speak about souls and bodies as separate entities or to be dualistic in our thinking. Nevertheless, the influence of the Stoics in their teaching on natural law and its ethical implications, based on what is natural physically, and (...) later the attempt by Descartes to extend his mechanical approach to science to include human beings (he explicitly describes the body as a machine in his work, Description of the Human Body, (La description du corps humain) is an unfinished treatise, (1647) still seem to infect our thinking in the area of moral teaching and practice. (shrink)
Nagle, Cormac The supporters of euthanasia regularly air through the media their arguments for the right to have the freedom to take one's life. The emphasis on personal freedom despite present laws struck me as I read Phillip Nitschke's description of his homemade suicide pill and self-injecting apparatus. The goal, in this situation, is to give people the freedom to end their own life with the assistance of others. I want to look at the end of life period from (...) the other quite factual perspective, namely, that since we are not free not to die, what freedoms do we retain in these circumstances? (shrink)
Nagle, Cormac M Global warming has made us much more aware of the need to respect the physical laws of nature and make responsible decisions. This article examines the nature and role of the concept of natural law in guiding us to choose morally and wisely in face of the responsibilities and especially the conflicting values encountered in daily living.
On Sept 15, 2008, ‘‘Dark Monday,’’ the world witnessed a radical reshaping of Wall Street. Lehman Brothers fell toward bankruptcy; Merrill Lynch was sold to its rival, Bank of America; and AIG pleaded for $40 billion in government relief. Those calamities marched in step with a dismal parade including the US government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the bailout of Bear Stearns, and the entire subprime debacle. We rightly blame Wall Street leaders for bungling business decisions, for misestimating (...) risk and overloading banks with single-strategy investments. We now are living with the aftermath of these business mistakes. But how about ethical mistakes? Were they, too, part of the crisis? (shrink)
I don’t propose to harp on the question of whether MacFarlane has the data right. Let us just assume, for the sake of argument, that he does. Let us further assume that his interpretation of the data is correct—i.e., that these judgments are assessments of the the whole clause and not simply of the prejacent. Granting all this—maybe a lot—we need a semantics for epistemic modals that will make sense of the judgments in this case, and in relevantly similar cases. (...) Mac- Farlane argues that contextualism about epistemic modals cannot make sense of the judgments. His central worry is that it can only get the truth-value judgments of speakers right by making the truth-conditions of epistemic modal claims outrageously strong—too strong to be assertable in cases where they are, in fact, assertable. We might call it the contextualist’s dilemma: either our semantics systematically fails to capture the truth-value judgments that people actually make, or it captures these judgments but turns users of epistemic modal sentences into irrational asserters. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that maximizing act-consequentialism (MAC)—the theory that holds that agents ought always to act so as to produce the best available state of affairs—can accommodate both agent-centered options and supererogatory acts. Thus I will show that MAC can accommodate the view that agents often have the moral option of either pursuing their own personal interests or sacrificing those interests for the sake of the impersonal good. And I will show that MAC can accommodate the idea that (...) certain acts are supererogatory in the sense of not being morally required even though they are what the agent has most moral reason to do. These two theses are surprising in themselves, but even more surprising is how I arrive at them. I argue that anyone generally concerned to accommodate, in some coherent fashion, our pre-theoretical moral intuitions at both the normative and meta-ethical levels will have to give a certain account of agent-centered options and supererogatory acts and that this account is the very one that allows for the maximizing act-consequentialist to accommodate both. So my paper will not only be of interest to those concerned with the tenability of consequentialism, but also to anyone interested in giving a coherent account of our pre-theoretical moral intuitions. (shrink)
I argue that when empty space is seen in mirrors—that is, when perceptual specular experience is veridical—specular empty space is, like pictorial empty space, seen-in. I explain how the phenomenal expansiveness of specular reflections can nonetheless be reconciled with the see-through look of specular space.
MacDonald and Kreitman (1991) propose a test of the neutral mutationrandom drift (NM-RD) hypothesis, the central claim of the neutral theory of molecular evolution. The test involves generating predictions from the NM-RD hypothesis about patterns of molecular substitutions. Alternative selection hypotheses predict that the data will deviate from the predictions of the NM-RD hypothesis in specifiable ways. To conduct the test Mac- Donald and Kreitman examine the evolutionary dynamics of the alcohol dehydrogenase (Adh) gene in three species of Drosophila. The (...) test compares the number of DNA sequence changes between species and within species. The number of DNA differences is an indicator of the evolutionary rate of the Adh gene. Based on the test they conclude that there is strong evidence for adaptive protein evolution at particular sites in the gene. Understanding the test requires some basic knowledge about molecular terms and the predictions of neutral theory. The two important terms are fixed differences and polymorphisms. These are determined by comparing DNA sequences made up of thousands of individual nucleotide sites. A site that is unchanged within a species but different from a related species counts as a fixed difference. These are mutations that occur in some common ancestor of the lineage such that all descendants inherit the change. A site that differs within a species counts as a polymorphism. Determining the number of fixed differences and polymorphisms requires placing 1 each individual gene sequence onto a phylogenetic tree. A coalescent tree charts the ancestral relationships for a set of individual gene sequences. Sequences sampled from within a species form a within-species tree. The common ancestors of each within-species tree form a between-species tree. A detected difference counts as a polymorphism or a fixed difference depending on where it occurs in the phylogenetic tree (cf. Table 1). The test uses the numbers of polymorphisms and fixed differences as indicators of evolutionary rates.. (shrink)
Evolutionary applications of game theory present one of the most pedagogically accessible varieties of genuine, contemporary theoretical biology. We present here Oyun (OY-oon, http://charlespence.net/oyun), a program designed to run iterated prisoner’s dilemma tournaments, competitions between prisoner’s dilemma strategies developed by the students themselves. Using this software, students are able to readily design and tweak their own strategies, and to see how they fare both in round-robin tournaments and in “evolutionary” tournaments, where the scores in a given “generation” directly determine contribution (...) to the population in the next generation. Oyun is freely available, runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers, and the process of creating new prisoner’s dilemma strategies is both easy to teach and easy for students to grasp. We illustrate with two interesting examples taken from actual use of Oyun in the classroom. (shrink)
At the heart of MacIntyre's critique of modernity is the problem of moral truth. He argues that the 'Enlightenment project' of justifying morality has failed due to the breakdown of a concep tual scheme inherited from Aristotle, in which the idea of an essen tial human nature or function played a crucial part. Where modernity trades on moral fictions such as 'utility' and 'natural rights', Aris totle's scheme allows moral judgements to be matters of fact. Mac Intyre's denigration of modernity (...) draws attention to his own positive account of moral justification, which I examine from a position of scepticism about moral knowledge. I argue that, while there is much of value in his work - his critique of modern moral philosophy is remarkably cogent and helps clarify what is at stake in discussion of modernity - his account of the good life seems to be circular and his notion of rational progress is unpersuasive. Key Words: Aristotle ethics MacIntyre modernity truth. (shrink)
: This article draws upon the Roman Catholic distinction between "ordinary" and "extraordinary" means of medical treatment to analyze the case of "Jodie" and "Mary," the Maltese conjoined twins whose surgical separation was ordered by the English courts over the objection of their Roman Catholic parents and Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the Roman Catholic Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster. It attempts to shed light on the use of that distinction by surrogate decision makers with respect to incompetent patients. In addition, it critically (...) analyzes various components of the distinction by comparing the reasoning used by Catholic moralists in this case with the reasoning used in other cases that raise similar issues, including women facing crisis pregnancies who prefer abortion to adoption and the Indiana "Baby Doe" case. (shrink)
The representation of events, in primates at any rate, is a separate process from their emotional evaluation. The same holds for cognitive evaluation. Here too representation and evaluation are separate operations. Acknowledging the symmetry leads to the notion of free representation.
Its relentless pursuit of the good provides act-consequentialism with one sort of intuitive ethical rationale. But more indirect forms of consequentialism promise more intuitive normative implications, for instance the evil of even beneficent murders. I favor a middle way which combines the intuitive rationale of act-consequentialism and the intuitive normative implications of the best indirect forms. Multiple-Act Consequentialism or ‘MAC’ requires direct consequentialist evaluation of the options of group agents. It holds that one should only defect from a group act (...) with good consequences if one can achieve better consequences by the defecting act alone than the entire group act achieves, and that when different beneficent group acts of which one is part specify roles which conflict, one should follow the role in the group act with better consequences. This paper develops MAC as a solution to the Trolley Problem. Section 1 concerns the relative advantages of direct and indirect consequentialisms. Section 2 develops MAC by a focus on competing conceptions of group agency. Section 3 applies MAC to the Trolley Problem. (shrink)
Byrne & Russon's account of program imitation in primates involves propositional attitudes (expectations and goals), which limits its falsifiability. Yet their account of priming shows exactly how imitation without attitudes would look. The challenge is to upgrade the notion of priming to give an account of low-level program imitation without invoking propositional attitudes.
O'Brien & Opie's connectionist interpretation of “vehicle,” “process,” and “explicit representation” depends heavily on the notions of “information” and “information processing” that underlie the classic account. When the “cognitivist” assumptions, shared by both accounts, are removed, the connectionist versus classic contrast appears to be between behavioral and linguistic accounts.
HOWTO get Mac-On-Linux (MOL) running under Debian when using a BenH kernel. In the Debian way, grasshopper. The good news is that getting a basic MOL running takes about 6 commands. The bad news is that to get everything working under MOL will almost certainly involve a recompile, some extra packages, some script editing, and a bunch of MOL reboots. But hopefully this makes all that easier.
It is shown that coherence conditions for monoidal categories concerning associativity are analogous to coherence conditions for symmetric strictly monoidal categories, where associativity arrows are identities. Mac Lane's pentagonal coherence condition for associativity is decomposed into conditions concerning commutativity, among which we have a condition analogous to naturality and a degenerate case of Mac Lane's hexagonal condition for commutativity. This decomposition is analogous to the derivation of the Yang-Baxter equation from Mac Lane's hexagon and the naturality of commutativity. The pentagon (...) is reduced to an inductive definition of a kind of commutativity. (shrink)
Ralph Ellis discusses inspiration in important philosophical and psychological ways, and this response to his essay both appreciates and amplifies his discussion and its conclusions by framing them in terms of sublimation and speech, using insights from the work of Jacques Lacan, Jacques Derrida, and Gilles Deleuze. Inspiration is not derived from another plane of existence, but refers to tbe creation of human meaning and value. Inspiration as a form of sublimation conceives sublimation as a process of substitution that avoids (...) elevating a phenomenon from a lower material to a higher spiritual level, and speech can be seen as a complex form of inspiration that forms along what Deleuze calls a plateau. Speech as inspiration is both physiological breath and productive of cognitive and emotional significance. I conclude with abrief consideration of inspiration as speech in Cormac McCarthey’s novel The Road. (shrink)
Anthills and aardvarks -- The illusion of independence -- The myth of the master species -- Why law and jurisprudence matter -- The conceit of law -- Respecting the great law -- Remembering who we are -- The question of rights -- Elements of Earth governance -- Seeking Earth jurisprudence -- The rhythms of life -- The law of the land -- A communion of communities -- Transforming law and governance -- The mountain path.
There is a whole discussion around the genuine/non genuine appurtenance of the Fractal Art to the Art (Ken Keller, Tad Boniecki, Noel Huntley a.o.). Fractal Art is a new way to manipulate shapes, colors and light. It is a subclass of the visual digital art that could describe as that art form produced using a computer (PC, Mac), fractal and graphical software and output devices (monitors, plotters, printers etc.) or using fractal rules and traditional painting techniques (example: Pollock) as essential (...) tools in the creative process. It is crucial to understand that the use of a computer is not a sine qua non condition, even most of the fractal artworks were digitally realized. Fractal Art is an experimental art, engaging in a new way the relations between Creator and Work. Fractal Art has a genuine equilibrium between “pragmatic” and “theoretic”. It is rather about “discovering” than “manufacturing”, rather “evocation” than “mimesis”. The conclusion has to be: Fractal Art is a genuine art form. (shrink)
The people and the value of their experience, by N. T. Pratt.--From kingship to democracy, by J. P. Harland.--Democracy at Athens, by G. M. Harper.--Athens and the Delian League, by B. D. Meritt.--Socialism at Sparta, by P. R. Coleman-Norton.--Tyranny, by M. Mac Laren.--Federal unions, by C. A. Robinson.--Alexander and the world state, by O. W. Reinmuth.--The Antigonids, by J. V. A. Fine.--Ptolemaic Egypt: a planned economy, by S. L. Wallace.--The Seleucids: the theory of monarchy, by G. Downey.--The political status of (...) the independent cities of Asia Minor in the Hellenistic period, by D. Magie.--The ideal states of Plato and Aristotle, by W. J. Oates.--Epilogue, by A. C. Johnson.--Bibliography (p. 225-233).--Index, by H. V. M. Dennis, III. (shrink)
This conceptual paper addresses Management Accounting and Control Systems (MACS) from a communication process perspective as opposed to a functionaldesign perspective. Its arguments originate from a social-constructionist perspective on the organization. Its line of argument is that building a social theoryof a social phenomenon such as MACS, demands that attention be paid to the characteristics of the communication process. An existing theoretical frameworkthat does the same is Giddens’ structuration theory, but it is only partly satisfactory because it refuses to consider (...) communication-as-interaction from a dynamiccontextual perspective, instead falling back on an argument related to the behavioural aspects of agency. An alternative is a semiotic-based communicationperspective that includes context as well as addresses the epistemological level of a MACS theory based on communication. The semiotic model of Jakobson is provided and developed as a specific alternative. (shrink)