We propose an analysis of the notion of model as crucially related to the notion of point of view. A model in this sense would always suggest a certain way of looking at a real system, a certain way of thinking about it and a certain way of acting upon it. We focus on System Dynamics as a paradigmatic case with respect to many of the features and problems we can find in the field of modelling and simulation. We analyse (...) in detail some of those features. All of them would be present in many other cases of construction and use of models. Furthermore, they would support the thesis that a model can be fruitfully understood as offering a point of view capable of improving our own points of view over a certain system. The point of view offered by the model could include both non-conceptual and conceptual contents, it would have a complex structure and behaviour, and it would have direct consequences on the decisions made by the subjects adopting that point of view. (shrink)
On December 9, 1999, VA Linux issued shares to the public and left over $900 million on the table for investors. In the prospectus, the investment banker Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) stated it would receive a 7% gross spread as its compensation for underwriting the shares. Yet the SEC alleges some investors paid enormous commissions to CSFB in the form of a kick-back immediately after obtaining the IPO shares. Hence, CSFB had an economic interest in the IPO and there (...) was not a full distribution of shares. This apparent violation of NASD Rule 2110 raises questions as to the credibility of the financial markets. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to explore the visual representation of dignity, through the particular example of the seventeenth century Spanish painter Diego Velzquez. Velzquez works at a point in Western history when modern conceptions of dignity are beginning to be formed. It is argued that Velzquez' portraits of royalty and aristocracy articulate a tension between a feudal conception of majesty and a modern conception of the dignity of merit. On this level, modern conceptions of dignity of merit are (...) understood in terms of a struggle to excel in particular activities, and thus to overcome the risk of failure. More radically, Velzquez' portraits of dwarfs and the mentally disabled are argued to be expressive of dignity, not by finding a positive representation of the sitter's dignity, or to find scales of activities by which they can be positively assessed, but rather by grounding their dignity, negatively, in a protest against indignity and humiliation. Drawing on Honneth's analysis of dignity in terms of a theory of recognition, it is argued that the indignity of the court dwarf lies in the fracturing of their communication with the rest of society. The task of repairing that fractured communication is achieved, not by representing a dignified ideal, but rather by drawing attention to the prejudices that serve to exclude the humiliated from full participation in society. In conclusion, it is suggested that the conceptualisation and representation of the elderly today finds effective exemplars in Velzquez' portraits of court dwarfs, rather than in his portraits of the elderly. (shrink)
We present three arguments regarding the limits to rationality, prediction, and control in economics, based on Morgenstern's analysis of the Holmes-Moriarty problem. The first uses a standard metamathematical theorem on computability to indicate logical limits to forecasting the future. The second provides possible nonconvergence for Bayesian forecasting in infinite dimensional space. The third shows the impossibility of a computer perfectly forecasting an economy with agents knowing its forecasting program. Thus, economic order is partly the product of something other than calculative (...) rationality. The joint presentation of these existing results should introduce the reader to implications of these concepts for certain shared concerns of Keynes and Hayek. (shrink)
Camus and James are not often thought to have much in common. But both agree that “Is life worth living?” is a fundamental philosophical question, and an examination of the views of each as to what constitutes a life that is worth living reveals striking similarities. Although James freely uses the language of religion which Camus adamantly avoids, they agree that a life worth living is marked by a sense of intimacy and communion with others and with the world itself—and (...) by a resolve to fight against the evils that threaten well-being. (shrink)
A twofold taxonomy for emergence is presented into which a variety of contemporary accounts of emergence fit. The first taxonomy consists of inferential, conceptual, and ontological emergence; the second of diachronic and synchronic emergence. The adequacy of weak emergence, a computational form of inferential emergence, is then examined and its relationship to conceptual emergence and ontological emergence is detailed. †To contact the author, please write to: Corcoran Department of Philosophy, 120 Cocke Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904‐4780; e‐mail: email@example.com.
(with John Haugeland), in R. L. Gregory, ed., The Oxford Companion to the Mind , Oxford University Press 1987; reprinted in Actes du 3ème Colloque International Cognition et Connaissance: Où va la science cognitive? Toulouse: CNRS/Université Paul Sabatier 1988; reprinted in K. Lehrer and E. Sosa, eds., The Opened Curtain: A U.S.-Soviet Philosophy Summit, Westview Press, 1991, Chapter 3.