We propose a revision operator on a stratified belief base, i.e., a belief base that stores beliefs in different strata corresponding to the value an agent assigns to these beliefs. Furthermore, the operator will be defined as to perform the revision in such a way that information is never lost upon revision but stored in a stratum or layer containing information perceived as having a lower value. In this manner, if the revision of one layer leads to the rejection of (...) some information to maintain consistency, instead of being withdrawn it will be kept and introduced in a different layer with lower value. Throughout this development we will follow the principle of minimal change, being one of the important principles proposed in belief change theory, particularly emphasized in the AGM model. Regarding the reasoning part from the stratified belief base, the agent will obtain the inferences using an argumentative formalism. Thus, the argumentation framework will decide which information prevails when sentences of different layers are used for entailing conflicting beliefs. We will also illustrate how inferences are changed and how the status of arguments can be modified after a revision process. (shrink)
Five types of constructions are introduced for non-prioritized belief revision, i.e., belief revision in which the input sentence is not always accepted. These constructions include generalizations of entrenchment-based and sphere-based revision. Axiomatic characterizations are provided, and close interconnections are shown to hold between the different constructions.
In this article we explore multiple change operators, i.e., operators in which the epistemic input is a set of sentences instead of a single sentence. We propose two types of change: prioritized change, in which the input set is fully accepted, and symmetric change, where both the epistemic state and the epistemic input are equally treated. In both kinds of operators we propose a set of postulates and we present different constructions: kernel changes and partial meet changes.
The idea of fairness lies at the heart of the concept of justice proposed by political philosopher John Rawls, a concept that liberals have often invoked to defend the welfare state. In The Limits of Rawlsian Justice political theorist Roberto Alejandro challenges the assumptions that Rawls set out to defend his position. While other opponents of Rawls have attempted to offer an alternative to his concept of justice as fairness, Alejandro instead examines Rawls from within his own writings, (...) testing Rawls's assumptions on the basis of those assumptions themselves. As a result, Alejandro shows that Rawls's idea of justice as fairness is fraught with inner tensions, exposed to utilitarian dangers, and far from being the coherent model Rawls promised. Alejandro concludes that Rawls's notion of justice-as-fairness preserves the status quo, overlooks the realities of inequalities in today's society, and is inherently conservative. As a theoretical paradigm, it is exhausted. He urges that we acknowledge the limits of Rawlsian justice both as a defense of the welfare state and as the basis of a just society. (shrink)
After a brief promenade on the several notions of translations that appear in the literature, we concentrate on three paradigms of translations between logics: ( conservative ) translations , transfers and contextual translations . Though independent, such approaches are here compared and assessed against questions about the meaning of a translation and about comparative strength and extensibility of a logic with respect to another.
In dialogue with his interlocutor, Axel Honneth summarizes the way his work on recognition has unfolded over the past two decades. While he has retained his principal insights, some important parts of his theory have changed. He comments that if he were to rewrite The Struggle for Recognition today, he would focus more on institutions and the historicization of recognition patterns. He clarifies his stance on some contemporary controversial issues, including the crisis of capitalism, gay marriage, and his quarrel with (...) Peter Sloterdijk. Finally, he sheds some light on topics much discussed within Critical Theory, such as the relation between theory and praxis and the possibility of politicizing recognition, and on lesser-known aspects of his theory, namely, the relationship between his work and literature. (shrink)
Este trabajo discute la interpretación de Marcelo Boeri sobre el compatibilismo estoico; esto es, la tesis de que es compatible con el determinismo que rige al mundo natural el que podamos ser genuinamente responsables de nuestras acciones. Según Boeri, los estoicos intentaron conciliar las dos cosas abriendo un margen de indeterminación gracias al cual nuestras acciones no están sujetas a la necesidad que domina los demás fenómenos naturales. La discusión que se ofrece aquí se basa en un análisis del (...) concepto antiguo de lo que depende de nosotros y de los conceptos estoicos de determinismo y modalidad. /// This paper discusses Marcelo Boeri's interpretation of Stoic compatibilism, the thesis that natural determinism does not rule out that we can genuinely be responsible for our actions. According to Boeri, the Stoic hold that this is so because our actions are to a great extent free from determination. The discussion of this interpretation is based on an analysis of the ancient concept of what depends on us and of Stoic concepts of determinism and modality. (shrink)
The term “Cartesianism” is commonly applied to a wide range of philosophical and scientific doctrines. The question of what constitutes the spirit or essence of Cartesianism – providing a common core for the works of Descartes, Arnauld, Rohault, La Forge, Régis, Spinoza, Le Grand or Malebranche, among others – has elicited a great variety of answers. Without attempting a comprehensive response to the question, I begin by presenting some main presuppositions and goals commonly attributed to Descartes and other Cartesian doctrines (...) – both by their proponents and opponents. A fundamental Cartesian postulate concerns the metaphysical dualism of body and mind. Thoughts (e.g., ideas, volitions and judgments) are regarded by Descartes as modifications of the mind, whereas extension, size, shape, motion or rest are modifications of matter. According to the Cartesian “way of ideas,” the mind is directly acquainted only with its own modifications, and the objects external to the mind are known only through the mediation of ideas. External reality is viewed as given independently of any individual subjective consciousness. Although Descartes was not the first to posit this view, he invested it with a new meaning in his novel conception of the human mind. Within this framework, the Cartesian subject has been viewed mainly as an observer – one who can only represent independent reality rather than constitute it. Some indication of this view may be found in the third part of the.. (shrink)
This work discusses a number of issues concerning mental contents. Its main purpose is to account for our thinking about extra-mental reality. I wish, in other words, to answer the question what makes it the case that mental states have the specific contents that they do. I try to present a theory that answers this question without using any semantic/intentional terms. Yet, the theory is neutral regarding the ontological status of the intentional and of the mental generally.
Sober and Wilson have recently claimed that evolutionary theory can do what neither philosophy nor experimental psychology have been able to, namely, "break the deadlock" in the egoism vs. altruism debate with an argument based on the reliability of altruistic motivation. I analyze both their reliability argument and the experimental evidence of social psychology in favor of altruism in terms of the folk-psychological "laws" and inference patterns underlying them, and conclude that they both rely on the same patterns. I expose (...) the confusions that have led Sober and Wilson to defend a reliability argument while rejecting the experimental evidence of social psychology. (shrink)
Whereas the most visible forms of political colonialism have for the most part disappeared from the planet by the end of the millennium, several of its consequences remain with us. Criticism of colonialism, accordingly, has shifted its focus to its more subtle and lasting manifestations. Prominent among these are the varieties of what came to be known as the ‘colonization of the mind’. This is one of the forms of ‘epistemic violence’ that it is certainly the task of philosophers to (...) contribute to identify and struggle against. ‘Postcolonial’ thinkers have undertaken not only to analyze this phenomenon, but also to devise strategies for effectively combating and hopefully eradicating colonialism’s most damaging aspect – the taking possession and control of its victims’ minds. My purpose in this paper is to contribute, qua philosopher, to both of these undertakings. I begin by trying to clarify the nature of the colonization of the mind and its epistemic underpinnings and the typical reactions to it. Next, I examine examples of these reactions with their corresponding analyses and strategies. The assumptions underlying them reveal certain inherent paradoxes, which call into question the possibility of a full decolonization of mind. I conclude by suggesting an alternative strategy and a series of means to implement it. (shrink)
This book appears as the eighth installment of the series Controversies, which is edited by Marcelo Dascal at Tel Aviv University. The series has as its stated goal publishing "studies in the theory of controversy, . . . studies in the history of controversy forms and their evolution, case studies of particular or current controversies, . . . and other controversy focused books". Senderowicz is a Kantian scholar, having also written The Coherence of Kant's Transcendental Idealism and several papers (...) interpreting Kant. Both of these themes are evident in Controversies and the Metaphysics of Mind. The book offers a decidedly neo-Kantian interpretation of the role that controversies play in metaphysical theorizing and applies this interpretation to two recent debates in the metaphysics of mind. The first is the debate about physicalism and the second is the debate about personal identity. The issues that are addressed include the relation of metaphysics to science and whether or not metaphysics deals with a distinctive subject matter or uses a distinctive method. This puts the book amongst the growing number of works in metametaphysics. (shrink)
Almost all admit that there is beauty in the natural world. Many suspect that such beauty is more than an adornment of nature. Few in our contemporary world suggest that this beauty is an empirical principle of the natural world itself and instead relegate beauty to the eye and mind of the beholder. Guided by theological and scientific insight, the authors propose that such exclusion is no longer tenable, at least in the data of modern biology and in our view (...) of the natural world in general. More important, we believe an empirical aesthetics exists that can help guide experimental design and development of computational models in biology. Moreover, because theology and science can both contribute toward and equally profit from such an aesthetics, we propose that this empirical aesthetics provides the foundation for a living synergy between theology and science. (shrink)
Dichotomies are ubiquitous in deliberative thinking, in decision making and in arguing in all spheres of life.[i] Sticking uncompromisingly to a dichotomy may lead to sharp disagreement and paradox, but it can also sharpen the issues at stake and help to find a solution. Dichotomies are particularly in evidence in debates, i.e., in argumentative dialogical exchanges characterized by their agonistic nature. The protagonists in a debate worth its name hold positions that are or that they take to be opposed; they (...) argue against each other’s positions; and they defend their positions from the adversary’s attacks. In some cases, this may lead to a polarization of the debate through treating it as grounded on one or more dichotomies. In others, the contenders may construe the opposition as non-dichotomous and therefore less irreconcilable. Whereas the former attitude, which leads to ‘dichotomization’, is likely to radicalize a debate, rendering it difficult – sometimes impossible – to resolve, the latter, which leads to ‘de-dichotomization’, opens possibilities of solution of the debate other than all out victory of one side and defeat of the other. In addition to its effect on the outcome of a debate, the contenders’ attitude(s) towards dichotomies in the debate’s management has further, important implications. It is intrinsically connected with the typology of debates and their typical argumentative moves. For the appropriateness of one or the other of these attitudes for best capturing the nature of the antagonism that underlies a debate is in fact an indicator of the kind of debate it actually is or is perceived by the contenders to be. Furthermore, such ‘attitudes’ are expressed by the contenders’ preferred choices of argumentative moves; and these, in turn, can be recognized, in a given debate context, as subservient either to a dichotomizing or to a de-dichotomizing strategy vis-à-vis a dichotomy (or ‘family of dichotomies’) taken to be at the root of the divergence.. (shrink)
For years theists have claimed that the constants of physics had to be finely tuned by God to the values that have for life in the universe to be possible. In my column of June, 2009 I showed that many of these claims are based on an improper analysis of the data. Even some of the competent scientists who write on this subject commit the fallacy of holding all the parameters constant and varying just one. When you allow all to (...) vary, you find that changes to one parameter can be easily compensated for by changes to another, leaving the ingredients for life in place. This point is also made nicely in a recent Scientific American cover story by Alejandro Jenkins and Gilad Perez. In this column I will discuss perhaps the most cited example of claimed fine-tuning, the Hoyle resonance. In 1953 the famous astronomer Fred Hoyle calculated that the production of carbon would not occur with sufficient probability unless that probability was boosted by the presence of an excited nuclear state of C12 at a very specific energy. In what appeared to be a remarkable victory for anthropic reasoning, Hoyle proposed that this previously unknown state must exist at about 7.7 MeV. (shrink)
Views on the evolution of altruism based upon multilevel selection on structured populations pay little attention to the difference between fortuitous and deliberate processes leading to assortative grouping. Altruism may evolve when assortative grouping is fortuitously produced by forces external to the organism. But when it is deliberately produced by the same proximate mechanism that controls altruistic responses, as in humans, exploitation of altruists by selfish individuals is unlikely and altruism evolves as an individually advantageous trait. Groups formed with altruists (...) of this sort are special, because they are not affected by subversion from within. A synergistic process where altruism is selected both at the individual and at the group level can take place. (shrink)
From the early to mid-1970s, Michel Foucault posited that power consists of a relation rather than a substance and that this relation is comprised of unequal forces engaged in a warlike struggle against each other, resulting invariably in the domination of some forces over others. This understanding of power, which he retrospectively dubbed `Nietzsche's hypothesis' and `the model of war', underpinned his well-known analyses of disciplinary power. Yet, Foucault in his Collège de France course from the academic year 1975-6, (...) `Society Must Be Defended', suddenly began to call into question this understanding and his doubts about it did not abate well into the late 1970s. In this article, we suggest that his militant politics in the early 1970s sustained his adherence to the war model and that his more cautious political attitude later in the decade underpinned his suspicions about this model. Key Words: biopolitics Henri de Boulainvilliers Michel Foucault Thomas Hobbes militancy F. W. Nietzsche politics power race war. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to show that it’s not a good idea to have a theory of truth that is consistent but ω -inconsistent. In order to bring out this point, it is useful to consider a particular case: Yablo’s Paradox. In theories of truth without standard models, the introduction of the truth-predicate to a first order theory does not maintain the standard ontology. Firstly, I exhibit some conceptual problems that follow from so introducing it. Secondly, I show (...) that in second order theories with standard semantics the same procedure yields a theory that doesn’t have models. So, while having an ω - inconsistent theory is a bad thing, having an unsatisfiable theory of truth is actually worse. This casts doubts on whether the predicate in question is, after all, a truthpredicate for that language. Finally, I present some alternatives to prove an inconsistency adding plausible principles to certain theories of truth. (shrink)
Economic theory has tended to reduce all social bonds and relations to forms of contract, whereas social theory has seen contracts as opposed to, and destructive of, genuine social bonds. Bruni sees these contrapositions as ideological (‘left’ against ‘right’, p. xi). His main goal is to overcome them; to show that three forms of reciprocity, covering the ideological spectrum from left to right, are complementary and simultaneously required in a healthy society. These three forms are, in his words: ‘(1) the (...) reciprocity of contract or ‘cautious’; (2) the reciprocity of friendship or philia and (3) the ‘unconditional’ reciprocity, the one more controversial . . .’ (p. x). (shrink)
We first state a few previously obtained results that lead to general undecidability and incompleteness theorems in axiomatized theories that range from the theory of finite sets to classical elementary analysis. Out of those results we prove several incompleteness theorems for axiomatic versions of the theory of noncooperative games with Nash equilibria; in particular, we show the existence of finite games whose equilibria cannot be proven to be computable.
_Ever since Descartes singled out the ability to use natural language appropriately in any given circumstance as the proof_ _that humans – unlike animals and machines – have minds, an idea that Turing transformed into his well-known test to_ _determine whether machines have intelligence, the close connection between language and cognition has been widely_ _acknowledged, although it was accounted for in quite different ways. Recent advances in natural language processing, as_ _well as attempts to create “embodied conversational agents” which couple (...) language processing with that of its natural_ _bodily correlates (gestures, facial expression and gaze direction), in the hope of developing human-computer interfaces_ _based on natural – rather than formal – language, have again brought to the fore the question of how far we can hope_ _machines to be able to master the cognitive abilities required for language use. In this paper, I approach this issue from a_ _different angle, inquiring whether language can be viewed as a “cognitive technology”, employed by humans as a tool_ _for the performance of certain cognitive tasks. I propose a definition of “cognitive technology” that encompasses both_ _external (or “prosthetic”) and internal cognitive devices. A number of parameters in terms of which a typology of_ _cognitive technologies of both kinds can be sketched is also set forth. It is then argued that inquiring about language’s_ _role in cognition allows us to re-frame the traditional debate about the relationship between language and thought, by_ _examining how specific aspects of language actually influence cognition – as an environment, a resource, or a tool. This_ _perspective helps bring together the contributions of the philosophical “linguistic turn” in epistemology and the incipient_ _“epistemology of cognitive technology” It also permits a more precise and fruitful discussion of the question whether, to_ _what extent, and which of the language-based cognitive technologies we naturally use can be emulated by the kinds of_ _technologies presently or in the foreseeable future available.shrink)
Recent developments in evolutionary game theory argue the superiority of punishment over reciprocity as accounts of large-scale human cooperation. I introduce a distinction between a behavioral and a psychological perspective on reciprocity and punishment to question this view. I examine a narrow and a wide version of a psychological mechanism for reciprocity and conclude that a narrow version is clearly distinguishable from punishment, but inadequate for humans; whereas a wide version is applicable to humans but indistinguishable from punishment. The mechanism (...) for reciprocity in humans emerges as a meta-norm that governs both retaliation and punishment. I make predictions open to empirical investigation to confirm or disconfirm this view. (shrink)
s to the Cognitive Sciences, in their excessively brief historical surveys, usually attribute to Thomas Hobbes the merit of having been the first thinker to propose the computational theory of the mind. What they overlook is (a) the fact that Hobbes explicitly assigned to..
In this paper, I wish to present and defend the thesis that the impasse at which the philosophy and history of science find themselves in the last couple of decades is due, to a large extent, either to the complete neglect or to a misguided treatment of t he role of scientific controversies in the evolution of science.
This research analyses the influence of the perception of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR image) on consumer–company identification (C–C identification). This analysis involves an examination of the influence of CSR image on brand identity characteristics which provide consumers with an instrument to satisfy their self-definitional needs, thereby perceiving the brand as more attractive. Also, the direct and mediated influences (through their effect on brand attitude), of CSR-based C–C identification on purchase intention are analysed. The results offer empirical evidence that CSR generates (...) more C–C identification because it improves brand prestige and distinctiveness; brand coherence is also a powerful antecedent of brand attractiveness in the context of CSR communication. Finally, CSR-based C–C identification is able to generate directly better attitude towards the brand and greater purchase intention. (shrink)
Controversy is a ubiquitous phenomenon in human theoretical and practical life. It manifests itself in various forms, ranging from virulent polemics to polite and well-ordered discussion. It expresses dissent, and may either lead to irreconcilable conflict or pave the way to conflict resolution. It occurs in private and everyday social life, in the courtroom and in politics, as well as in science, the arts, philosophy, and theology. Wherever it occurs, controversy sharpens critical thinking and prevents mental and social stagnation. Rather (...) than a peripheral phenomenon, controversy is the engine of intellectual and practical progress. (shrink)
In this study I discuss G. W. Leibniz's (1646-1716) views on rational decision-making from the standpoint of both God and man. The Divine decision takes place within creation, as God freely chooses the best from an infinite number of possible worlds. While God's choice is based on absolutely certain knowledge, human decisions on practical matters are mostly based on uncertain knowledge. However, in many respects they could be regarded as analogous in more complicated situations. In addition to giving an overview (...) of the divine decision-making and discussing critically the criteria God favours in his choice, I provide an account of Leibniz's views on human deliberation, which includes some new ideas. One of these concerns is the importance of estimating probabilities – in making decisions one estimates both the goodness of the act itself and its consequences as far as the desired good is concerned. Another idea is related to the plurality of goods in complicated decisions and the competition this may provoke. Thirdly, heuristic models are used to sketch situations under deliberation in order to help in making the decision. Combining the views of Marcelo Dascal, Jaakko Hintikka and Simo Knuuttila, I argue that Leibniz applied two kinds of models of rational decision-making to practical controversies, often without explicating the details. The more simple, traditional pair of scales model is best suited to cases in which one has to decide for or against some option, or to distribute goods among parties and strive for a compromise. What may be of more help in more complicated deliberations is the novel vectorial model, which is an instance of the general mathematical doctrine of the calculus of variations. To illustrate this distinction, I discuss some cases in which he apparently applied these models in different kinds of situation. These examples support the view that the models had a systematic value in his theory of practical rationality. (shrink)
Altruism is a central concept in evolutionary biology. Evolutionary biologists still disagree about its meaning (E.O. Wilson 2005; Fletcher et al. 2006; D.S. Wilson 2008; Foster et al. 2006a, b; West et al. 2007a, 2008). Semantic disagreement appears to be quite robust and not easily overcome by attempts at clarification, suggesting that substantive conceptual issues lurk in the background. Briefly, group selection theorists define altruism as any trait that makes altruists losers to selfish traits within groups, and makes groups of (...) altruists fitter than groups of non-altruists. Inclusive fitness theorists reject a definition based on within- and between-group fitness. Traits are altruistic only if they cause a direct and absolute fitness loss to the donor. The latter definition is more restrictive and rejects as cases of altruism behaviors that are accepted by the former. Fletcher and Doebeli (2009) recently proposed a simple, direct and individually based fitness approach, which they claim returns to first principles: carriers of the genotype of interest “must, on average, end up with more net direct fitness benefits than average population members.” This seductively simple proposal uses the concept of assortment to explain how diverse kinds of altruists end up on average with more net fitness than their non-altruistic rivals. In this paper I shall argue that their approach implies a new concept of altruism that contrasts with and improves on the concept of the inclusive fitness approach. (shrink)
Suszko's Thesis maintains that many-valued logics do not exist at all. In order to support it, R. Suszko offered a method for providing any structural abstract logic with a complete set of bivaluations. G. Malinowski challenged Suszko's Thesis by constructing a new class of logics (called q-logics by him) for which Suszko's method fails. He argued that the key for logical two-valuedness was the "bivalent" partition of the Lindenbaum bundle associated with all structural abstract logics, while his q-logics were generated (...) by "trivalent" matrices. This paper will show that contrary to these intuitions, logical two-valuedness has more to do with the geometrical properties of the deduction relation of a logical structure than with the algebraic properties embedded on it. (shrink)
Urban development is seen in this paper as the process of achieving more social justice in the city through changes both in social relations and in spatiality. Autonomy, in the sense used by Cornelius Castoriadis, is here regarded as the main parameter for the evaluation of processes and strategies for positive social change. Nevertheless, the Castoriadian philosophical notion of autonomy must first be made operational before it can be reasonably applied in empirical research or policy evaluations. The aim of the (...) paper is to contribute to this operationalisation, specifically considering the role of urban planning and management in the realisation of urban development. (shrink)
Is morality biologically altruistic? Does it imply a disadvantage in the struggle for existence? A positive answer puts morality at odds with natural selection, unless natural selection operates at the level of groups. In this case, a trait that is good for groups though bad (reproductively) for individuals can evolve. Sociobiologists reject group selection and have adopted one of two horns of a dilemma. Either morality is based on an egoistic calculus, compatible with natural selection; or morality continues tied to (...) psychological and biological altruism but not as a product of natural selection. The dilemma denies a third possibility—that psychological altruism evolves as a biologically selfish trait. I discuss the classical treatments of the paradox by Charles Darwin ( 1989) and Robert Trivers (1971), focusing on the role they attribute to social emotions. The upshot is that both Darwin and Trivers sketch a natural-selection process relying on innate emotional mechanisms that render morality adaptive for individuals as well as for groups. I give additional reasons for viewing it as a form of natural, instead of only cultural, selection. (shrink)
In Tsuji 1997 the concept of Jeffrey-Keynes algebras was introduced in order to construct a paraconsistent theory of decision under uncertainty. In the present paper we show that these algebras can be used to develop a theory of decision under uncertainty that measures the degree of belief on the quasi (or partial) truth of the propositions. As applications of this new theory of decision, we use it to analyze Popper's paradox of ideal evidence and to indicate a possible way of (...) formalizing Keynes' theory of economic action. (shrink)
After a brief promenade on the several notions of translations that appear in the literature, we concentrate on three paradigms of translations between logics: ( conservative ) translations , transfers and contextual translations . Though independent, such approaches are here compared and assessed against questions about the meaning of a translation and about comparative strength and extensibility of a logic with respect to another.
In a number of papers,[i] I have argued that, in addition to the ‘hard’ rationality through which Leibniz’s rationalism is most familiar, it is imperative to acknowledge the existence and centrality in his thought of another form of rationality, which I proposed to dub ‘soft’. Several prominent Leibniz researchers – some of them present in the meeting from which the present book originates – have contested, on a variety of grounds, my suggestion, giving rise to an interesting and productive debate.[ii] (...) The purpose of this chapter is not to respond directly to these criticisms. Its contribution to our ongoing discussion consists rather in scrutinizing an important instance of the hard-soft distinction in Leibniz’s work. Focusing on this instance will permit not only a better understanding of its seeming paradoxical nature but also, at the meta-level, to realize the rational power of softness as an argumentative strategy. I believe these two results will sharpen and deepen the debate and lead us together, if not to its solution, at least to clarifying the issues at stake. The central, and prima facie most problematic case, of Leibniz’s conception and use of rationality I will examine is his sui generis ‘dialectic’, which comprises what may be properly called his ‘art of controversies’. In the vast territory of rationality, Leibniz’s ‘art of controversies’ occupies a peculiar position. He conceives it sometimes as a calculus that decides rigorously and unquestionably which of the opposed positions is true and which is false, and sometimes as a negotiation strategy leading to a conciliation of the adversaries’ positions, which cannot therefore be logically contradictory. While the former is a typical ‘hard’ rationality approach, the latter is typically ‘soft’ in nature. A question that immediately arises is why, instead of treating these two forms of handling controversies as two fundamentally different Leibnizian approaches to quite distinct kinds of debate-generating opposition, should one insist in subsuming them under one label.. (shrink)
In spite of the widespread belief that there is (or at least there was) a clearcut and deep opposition between two forms of philosophizing vaguely characterized as 'continental' and 'analytic', it is not easy to find actual examples of debates between philosophers that clearly belong to the opposed camps. Perhaps the reason is that, on the assumption that the alleged 'divide' is so deep, each side feels that there is no point in arguing against the other, for argumentation would quickly (...) be replaced by invective. In this paper I analyse one of the few recent examples of an across-divide debate -the Searle -Derrida polemic. Using a threefold typology of debates, I try to show that, in spite of the violent and sarcastic tone employed by both contenders, there is enough common ground, questioning of not-argued-for assumptions, and serious argumentation (on both sides) to consider this debate more than just an irrational dispute. (shrink)
Leibniz frequently argued that reasons are to be weighed against each other as in a pair of scales, as Professor Marcelo Dascal has shown in his article "The Balance of Reason." In this kind of weighing it is not necessary to reach demonstrative certainty – one need only judge whether the reasons weigh more on behalf of one or the other option However, a different kind of account about rational decision-making can be found in some of Leibniz's writings. In (...) his article "Was Leibniz's Deity an Akrates?" Professor Jaakko Hintikka has argued that Leibniz developed a new vectorial model for rational decisions which is better suited to complicated decisions, where values are complementary to each other. This model, related closely to his work in metaphysics and the philosophy of mind, is a heuristic device which helps in finding rational combinations - and in an ideal case an optimum - between plural inclinations to the good. I shall argue that Leibniz applies more or less implicitly both of these models in his practical rationality. In simple situations he applied the pair of scales model and in more complicated situations he applied the vectorial model. (shrink)
If we had a balance of reasons, where the arguments presented in favor and against the case were weighed precisely and the verdict could be pronounced in favor of the most inclined scale ... [we would have] a more valuable art than that miraculous science of producing gold.
The article deals with `The Symbolic Force of Human Rights'. First, it restricts the meaning of the term `symbolic' and of the expression `symbolic force'. Second, it discusses the concept of human rights. Having established the conceptual framework, the author goes to the core of his argument, characterizing the symbolic force of human rights as ambivalent: on one hand, it serves for their generalized affirmation and accomplishment; on the other hand, it acts as a manner of political manipulation. In this (...) regard, the article focuses, first, on the symbolic force of human rights at the level of national states, and then within the international and worldwide context, on criticizing finally the rhetorical use of human rights by nowadays' only superpower, the USA. Key Words: human rights interventionism supranational and national legal orders symbolic force. (shrink)
Although a very recent topic in contemporary logic, the subject of combinations of logics has already shown its deep possibilities. Besides the pure philosophical interest offered by the possibility of defining mixed logic systems in which distinct operators obey logics of different nature, there are also several pragmatical and methodological reasons for considering combined logics. We survey methods for combining logics (integration of several logic systems into a homogeneous environment) as well as methods for decomposing logics, showing their interesting properties (...) and applications. (shrink)
We introduce a methodology whereby an arbitrary logic system L can be enriched with temporal features to create a new system T(L). The new system is constructed by combining L with a pure propositional temporal logic T (such as linear temporal logic with Since and Until) in a special way. We refer to this method as adding a temporal dimension to L or just temporalising L. We show that the logic system T(L) preserves several properties of the original temporal logic (...) like soundness, completeness, decidability, conservativeness and separation over linear flows of time. We then focus on the temporalisation of first-order logic, and a comparison is make with other first-order approaches to the handling of time. (shrink)
Los sociobiólogos han defendido una posición "calvinista" que se resume en la siguiente fórmula: si la selección natural explica las actitudes morales, no hay altruismo genuino en la moral; si la moral es altruista, entonces la selección natural no puede explicarla. En este ensayo desenmascaro los presupuestos erróneos de esta posición y defiendo que el altruismo como equidad no es incompatible con la selección natural. Rechazo una concepción hobbesiana de la moral, pero sugiero su empleo en la interpretación de la (...) psicología de los primates no humanos y en un modelo de progresión evolutiva que habría llevado a la moralidad como adaptación pasando por la razón instrumental. /// Sociobiologists have endorsed a "Calvinist" position captured in the following formula: if natural selection explains moral attitudes, morality is not genuinely altruistic; if morality is altruistic, then natural selection cannot explain it. I expose the false presuppositions behind this claim and argüe that altruism as fairness is not incompatible with natural selection. I reject a Hobbesian view of morality as an instrumental endorsement of fairness norms, but suggest its use to interpret primate psychology and to model an evolutionary progression ending in moral capacities as adaptations. (shrink)
Classical evolutionary explanations of social behavior classify behaviors from their effects, not from their underlying mechanisms. Here lies a potential objection against the view that morality can be explained by such models, e.g. Trivers’reciprocal altruism. However, evolutionary theory reveals a growing interest in the evolution of psychological mechanisms and factors them in as selective forces. This opens up perspectives for evolutionary approaches to problems that have traditionally worried moral philosophers. Once the ability to mind-read is factored-in among the relevant variables (...) in the evolution of moral abilities and counted among the selection pressures that have plausibly shaped our nature as moral agents, an evolutionary approach can contribute, so I will argue, to the solution of a long-standing debate in moral philosophy and psychology concerning the basic motivation for moral behavior. (shrink)
Adam Smith’s lasting fame certainly does not come from his work on language. He published very little on this topic and he is not usually mentioned in standard histories of linguistics or the philosophy of language. His most elaborate publication on the subject is a 1761 monograph on the origin and development of languages (FoL). Smith’s monograph joins a long list of speculative work on this then fashionable topic (cf. Hewes 1975, 1996). The fact that he later included it as (...) an appendix to his successful.. (shrink)
It was shown in  (see also ) that there is a duality between the category of bounded distributive lattices endowed with a join-homomorphism and the category of Priestley spaces endowed with a Priestley relation. In this paper, bounded distributive lattices endowed with a join-homomorphism, are considered as algebras and we characterize the congruences of these algebras in terms of the mentioned duality and certain closed subsets of Priestley spaces. This enable us to characterize the simple and subdirectly irreducible algebras. (...) In particular, Priestley relations enable us to characterize the congruence lattice of the Q-distributive lattices considered in . Moreover, these results give us an effective method to characterize the simple and subdirectly irreducible monadic De Morgan algebras .The duality considered in , was obtained in terms of the range of the quantifiers, and such a duality was enough to obtain the simple and subdirectly irreducible algebras, but not to characterize the congruences. (shrink)
It was a tie; the heavenly vote was split right down the middle -- two in favor; two against. At issue -- "Should man be created?" The ministering angels formed parties: Love said, "Yes, let him be created, because he will dispense acts of love"; while Truth argued, "No, let him not be created, for he is a complete fake". Righteousness countered, "Yes, let him be created, because he will do righteous deeds; and Peace demurred, "Let him not be created, (...) for he is one mass of contention". The score was even. Love and Righteousness in favor, Truth and Peace against. What did the Lord do? He took Truth and hurled it to the ground, smashing it into thousands of jagged pieces. Thus he broke the tie. Now, two to one in favor, man was created. The ministering angels dared to ask the Master of the Universe, "Why do You break Your emblem, Truth?" for indeed Truth was His seal and emblem. He answered, "Let truth spring from the earth". (shrink)
I was in Bucharest for a few days, not long before the fall of Ceaucescu’s regime. The fear, both of the authorities and of the people, which reigned in the city was vividly felt everywhere. To be sure, the communist regime was based on a doctrine that called itself ‘dialectic’. Unfortunately, it was a ‘dialectic’ that had nothing to do with dialogue, with listening to the other, respecting the other, and learning from the other. It assumed that ‘truth’ and ‘justice’ (...) were the absolute monopoly of one side – the side which enforced its monopoly by the sheer force of power. The atmosphere couldn’t but be of repression, since there was no room for alternative ideas, which for the dominant ‘dialectic’ were necessarily wrong. There was no room for argument, debate and persuasion other than brainwashing and the passive acceptance of the ideas in power. The reigning doctrine was the nemesis of dialectic, for it denied its sine qua non: tolerance. Sorin grew up in this atmosphere, where in spite of its oppressive character, he developed a concern for truth, a tolerant and gentle character, and a sense for the fundamental value of rational persuasion. No wonder that he was attracted by dialogue and argumentation, and devoted his research to them – not merely as an object of study, but also as a method of research and a form of life. It is an honor for me, as a member of IADA, the association devoted to the study of dialogue founded by Sorin, of ISSA, the society whose object of study is argumentation, of IASC, the association that recognizes and investigates the essential role of controversy in the growth of knowledge and in the improvement of society, and as a friend, to pay a well deserved tribute to Sorin Stati’s memory and to his achievements. He was one of the pioneers in the contemporary study of argumentation. Although his research in this field focused on the linguistic analysis of argumentative discourse, he did not neglect other approaches. His role in leading to the organization, in July 2002 in Lugano, of a memorable conference where the above mentioned three international associations joined forces with the Università della Svizzera Italiana in an interdisciplinary, cooperative as well as contrastive drive for increasing our understanding of the multi-faceted phenomenon of argumentation, was decisive.. (shrink)
This chapter is about three distinguished representatives of three traditions of controversy – Jewish, Muslim, and Christian – and about one resilient conflict – the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. My purpose is to single out in the thought and practice of the selected three representatives approaches to controversy and conflict that might perhaps offer innovative ideas as to how to increase the chances of solving the conflict in question. In a conflict like this, where two different traditions and cultures confront each other, (...) and the tendency of the contenders is to highlight their differences, it is important to try to single out those elements of similarity or at least of sufficient closeness in order to allow for the overcoming of the differences and, eventually for reconciliation. To be sure, both the thinkers considered and the circumstances in which they operated are extremely different. Yet, one of the purposes of this chapter is to show that it makes sense to compare their approaches and even to try to combine them into a set of complementary models capable to help us to overcome the deadlock in which the attempts to solve a current conflict by lack of new ideas – as analysts and politicians claim. Relevant new ideas, I contend, may come not only from our present creativity, but also from that of great thinkers of the past; not only from one’s own tradition of controversy, but also from that of other traditions. The methodological innovation I want to introduce here is thus simply the idea of “fishing for good ideas in the past”. Old ideas that remained unnoticed or unapplied may prove to be useful for reframing our current dilemmas. We will seek their help by examing three quite different models of conflict resolution, drawn from King Solomon, Ibn Rushd, and Leibniz. (shrink)
The man who is seeking to convert another in the proper manner should do so in a dialectical and not in a contentious way ... he who asks questions in a contentious spirit and he who in replying refuses to admit what is apparent ... are both of them bad dialecticians.
This paper responds to recent criticism from Alejandro Agafonow. In section I, I argue that the dilemma that Agafonow points to – while real – is in no way unique to liberal peacebuilding. Rather, it arises with respect to any foreign involvement in post-conflict reconstruction. I argue further that Agafonow’s proposal for handling this dilemma suffers from several shortcomings: first, it provides no sense of the magnitude and severity of the “oppressive practices” that peacebuilders should be willing to institutionalize. (...) Second, it provides no sense of a time frame within which we can hope that endogenous liberalization should emerge in the local political culture. Finally, it provides no suggestion for what the international community should do if the desired liberalization should fail to materialize within that time frame. In section II, I show that Agafonow’s argument resonates poorly with the concepts and ideas that he claims to adopt from Rawls’s Political Liberalism. Instead, his argument evokes the guiding ideas behind Rawls’s later work The Law of Peoples. I offer a critical perspective on these ideas, focusing specifically on Rawls’s treatment of women’s rights. Section III applies this critical perspective to Agafonow’s arguments, before closing with an example of a more constructive and empirically informed approach that critical studies of post-conflict reconstruction could take. (shrink)
Activism is defined in this paper as involving local instigations of new series of elements intersecting the actual, generating new collective enunciations, experimentations and investigations, which erode good and common sense and cause structures to swing away from their sedimented identities. By appealing to Spinozism, the paper describes the microphysics of the activist encounter with stable structures and the ways in which activism imposes new regimes of succession of ideas and affective variations in the power of action. Rather than understanding (...) activism as supporting or leading social struggles, the definition of activism pursued here conceives it as an open-ended process and stresses the role of investigation in relation to practices within the social situations to which activism addresses itself. (shrink)
My brief contribution to this volume is not, strictly speaking, historical. No careful analysis of documents will be offered, no critical apparatus will be supplied, and some measure of descriptive inadequacy is likely to lurk behind it. Yet, it is historical in a broader sense. For it is a reflection – to some extent speculative, I admit – on the rather mysterious paths that connect personal, social, political, and other historical circumstances, on the one hand, to the emergence of new (...) ideas in a particular human mind, on the other. In a sense, this is a reflection on the singularity of the.. (shrink)
Three main types of debates have been identified by our research on historical cases of intellectual confrontations in philosophy, science, and theology: discussions, disputes, and controversies. Summary presentation of this trichotomy. The three categories are ideal types.
In this paper the general notion of Bourbaki structures, interpreted in terms of Suppes predicates, will be used to axiomatize a system of meta-rankings in the sense introduced by A. K. Sen. It will be argued that this axiomatization must take place in a Kantian-ruled world in order to provide a link between meta-rankings and individual actions.Dedicated to Prof. Francisco A. Doria on his 50th birthday.
Dynamic mental images are co-constitutive of the determinations of reality and possibility under which our senses of life open and unfold. Ultimately, this dynamic sense of images introduces the difficulty of thinking in light of their role in the configuration of human knowledge and their power over interpretations and determinations of the many senses of beings. This relationship between images and philosophical knowledge is further complicated when one looks at it from the perspective of a colonized consciousness. In such cases (...) self-knowledge and the very possibility of philosophical knowledge depend on images that are not one's own. This makes the articulation of the senses of distinct existences an impossible project. By looking at the work of Fanon, Anibal Quijano, and Alfredo Jaar, this article discusses how such pernicious images occur in spite of one's distinct sense of existence, and how the distorted displacement of existence may be challenged and overcome. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to analyze Leibniz and Newton’s conception of space, and to point out where their agreements and disagreements lie with respect to its mode of existence. I shall offer a definite characterization of Leibniz and Newton’s conceptions of space. I will show that, according to their own concepts of substance, both Newtonian and Leibnizian spaces are not substantiva!. The reason of that consists in the fact that space is not capable of action. Moreover, there is (...) a sense in which space is relational, because their parts are individuated only by means of their mutual relations. (shrink)
I am grateful to my friend, Professor Heinrich Schepers, editor of volume VI.4 of Leibniz’s Sämtliche Schriften und Briefe, for the time and critical attention he devotes to my lengthy review of this volume,1 in a detailed reply included in the present issue of this journal.2 Since I believe that criticism and discussion are the master key to intellectual progress, I consider myself to be extremely lucky that my painstaking work has been the object of criticism by the scholar who (...) is most familiar with the texts published in VI.4. I am also grateful to Professor Glenn Hartz, editor of The Leibniz Review, for granting me the opportunity to publish a rejoinder, generously stretching the deadline for its submission, so that it could appear along with Professor Schepers’ reply. I hope this critical exchange will foster further discussion of the issues it touches upon, particularly the reassessment of the nature of Leibniz’s rationalism, and that Leibniz scholarship will be thereby rewarded. (shrink)
Communication is a crucial component of scientific activity (as of virtually any other domain of human activity, especially in this "communication age" in which we live). As researchers and as citizens, we should all be concerned with the communication of science as well as with communication within science. In this paper, I will deal with one of the key aspects of this topic ג€“ the question whether scientific communication is or should be ג€�transparentג€�. The view that this is or should (...) be the case is often taken for granted both by scientists and the general public. I will challenge this view and suggest that we should learn to live without the illusion that scientific communication is or should be transparent. This idea is closely related, if not derived from, the traditional epistemological conception according to which scientific method is the privileged tool we have for penetrating beyond appearances and discovering the true ג€�nature of thingsג€�, in terms of which all observable phenomena should be ultimately explained. Applying the scientific method should, thus, yield a fully intelligible representation of the world, which in its turn should be transparently communicable. The trouble with this enticing ideal is that it does not correspond to actual practice. Again and again we experience the fact that the ג€�true picture of the worldג€� remains veiled for everyone but a small group of initiated experts in a narrow domain. Is this only a technical problem having to do with the phenomenon of specialization and with the inevitable complexity of the language(s) of science, as it is often suggested? (shrink)