The Leibniz Center for Law is involved in the project Digitale Uitwisseling Ruimtelijke Plannen [DURP (http://www.vrom.nl/durp); digital exchange of spatial plans] which develops a XML-based digital exchange format for spatial regulations. Involvement in the DURP project offers new possibilities to study a legal area that hasn’t yet been studied to the extent it deserves in the field of Computer Science & Law. We studied and criticised the work of the DURP project and the Dutch Ministry of internal affairs on metadata (...) for regulatory documents, and made an inventory of issues related to legal knowledge representation that it felt were not sufficiently covered by current initiatives in the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) field. This inventory was an input to the DURP standardisation effort. In a second phase of the project we extended the METALex XML schema (cf. Boer et al. 2002; Boer et al. 2003) for ‚regular’ legal sources that we developed in the past for geospatial regulatory information, in order to support exchange of spatial regulations, including the associated geospatial information in the form of maps. We developed a prototype application and demonstrated how the spatial planning information in GML can be combined with XML with only minimal changes, using the Web Ontology Language (OWL). This paper describes our experiences. (shrink)
This book provides a formal ontology of senses and the belief-relation that grounds the distinction between de dicto, de re, and de se beliefs as well as the opacity of belief reports. According to this ontology, the relata of the belief-relation are an agent and a special sort of object-dependent sense (a "thought-content"), the latter being an "abstract" property encoding various syntactic and semantic constraints on sentences of a language of thought. One bears the belief-relation to a thought-content T just (...) in case one (is disposed as one who) inwardly affirms a certain sentence S of one’s language of thought that satisfies what T encodes, which in turn requires that S’s non-logical parts stand in appropriate semantical relations to items specified by T. Since these items may include other senses as well as ordinary objects, beliefs of arbitrary complexity are automatically accommodated. Within the framework of the formal ontology, a context-dependent compositional semantics is then provided for a fragment of regimented English capable of formulating ascriptions of belief—a semantics that treats substitutional opacity as a genuine semantic datum. Finally, the resulting picture of belief and its attribution is defended by showing how it solves standard puzzles, avoids objections to rival accounts, and satisfies certain adequacy conditions not fulfilled by traditional theories. Along the way, clarification and defense is offered for the ingredient conception of object-dependent senses, and it is shown how adoption of the language of thought hypothesis permits Bertrand Russell’s obscure doctrine of logical forms to be understood in a way that not only vindicates his Multiple Relation theory of de re belief but also reveals the connection between these logical forms and thought-contents. (shrink)
The Substitution Anomaly is the failure of intuitively coreferential expressions of the corresponding forms “that S” and “the proposition that S” to be intersubstitutable salva veritate under certain ‘selective’ attitudinal verbs that grammatically accept both sorts of terms as complements. The Substitution Anomaly poses a direct threat to the basic assumptions of Millianism, which predict the interchangeability of “that S” and “the proposition that S”. Jeffrey King has argued persuasively that the most plausible Millian solution is to treat the selective (...) attitudinal verbs as lexically ambiguous , having distinct meanings associated with the different sorts of complement terms. In opposition this approach, I argue that there are independent reasons for maintaining the univocality of these verbs and that this can be done while accommodating the Substitution Anomaly and without sacrificing the transparency of the relevant attitude ascriptions. In particular, I show how, by employing an extended version of Edward Zalta’s system of intensional logic for abstract objects, one can construct for a regimented fragment ℜ of English containing the relevant vocabulary a semantical theory ℑ which (a) treats ℜ’s selective attitudinal verbs as univocal, (b) regards genuine terms as occurring transparently under such verbs in sentences of ℜ, and yet (c) predicts the occurrence of the Substitution Anomaly in ℜ. (shrink)
This paper develops — within an axiomatic theory of properties, relations, and propositions which accords them well-defined existence and identity conditions — a sententialist-functionalist account of belief as a symbolically mediated relation to a special kind of propositional entity, theproxy-encoding abstract proposition. It is then shown how, in terms of this account, the truth conditions of English belief reports may be captured in a formally precise and empirically adequate way that accords genuinely semantic status to familiar opacity data.
An argument is developed at some length to show that any semantical theory which treats superficially nonperformative sentences as being governed by performative prefaces at some level of underlying structure must either leave those sentences semantically uninterpreted or assign them the wrong truth-conditions. Several possible escapes from this dilemma are examined; it is tentatively concluded that such hypotheses as the Ross-Lakoff-Sadock Performative Analysis should be rejected despite their attractions.
The representation of reality is a fundamental concept in the perception of theworld. Its historical consideration leads to an understanding of historical andcontemporary culture. In this paper we specifically investigate theanthropometric stage of cultural development as a historical world view. Wedefine this stage on the basis of René Girard's hypotheses on the origin ofculture, and we isolate its principles. Next, we consider the function of art asthe representation of cultural values. We investigate the three major motivesof artistic representation in the (...) anthropometric stage, i.e. beauty, dramatizationand mimesis. We show how and why these motives play an essential partin the obfuscation and explanation of the origin of culture. Finally, we showhow these developments are dealt with in the aesthetics of Plato and Aristotle. (shrink)
This paper articulates a formal theory of belief incorporating three key theses: (1) belief is a dyadic relation between an agent and a property; (2) this property is not the belief's truth condition (i.e., the intuitively self-ascribed property which the agent must exemplify for the belief to be true) but is instead a certain abstract property (a thought-content) which contains a way of thinking of that truth condition; (3) for an agent a to have a belief about such-and-such items it (...) is necessary that a possesses a language of thought, M a , and that a (is disposed as one who) inwardly affirms a sentence of M a in which there are terms that denote those objects.Employing an extended version of E. Zalta's system ILAO, the proffered theory locates thought-contents within a typed hierarchy of senses and their modes of presentation, the provisional definitions of which (suppressing complications added later to accommodate the contents of beliefs about beliefs) are as follows. A mode of presentation of e is a ternary relation of the sort [xyz z is a name in M y that denotes x, and D e yz] in which D e is an e-determiner – a relation between agents and their mental expressions imposing a syntactico-semantic condition sufficient for such an expression to denote e therein. A sense of an entity e is an abstract property that contains a mode of presentation R e of e by dint of encoding its property-reduct [x(y)(z)R e xyz]. In particular, a thought-content is a sense T of an ordinary first-order property P containing a mode of presentation whose P-determiner D P is such that, for any y and z, D P yz entails that z is a -abstract [ v S] of M y in which S is a sentence whose non-logical parts stand in appropriate semantic relations to the constituents of T's (some of which may themselves be senses). (shrink)
This paper shows in detail how the formal semiotic of M. J. Cresswell  may be extended to provide an account of indirect question clauses in English. The resulting account is compared at various points with the theory recently propounded by Karttunen  and is argued to have two major advantages over the latter in that (i) it accommodates the manifest teleological relativity of who-clauses, and (ii) it avoids the need for categorial segregation of sentence-taking verbs from wh-clause-taking verbs while (...) offering a uniform explanation of various apparent semantic differences between them. (shrink)
During the last decade neurotransplantation has developed into a technique with the possible potential to repair damaged or degenerating human brain. Effective neurotransplantation has so far been based on the use of fetal brain tissue derived from aborted embryos or fetuses. The ethical issues related to this new therapeutic approach therefore not only concern the possible adverse side effects for a neural graft-receiving patient, but also the relationship between the requirements for fetal tissue and the decision-making process for induced abortion. (...) Although for decades human embryos and fetuses have been the subject of biomedical studies, and, in principle, their use has therefore not been seen as ethically objectionable, the above points made it necessary to reconsider the moral issues. The present paper points out several of these issues, both from the donor and acceptor (patient) point of view. The conclusion is that under a series of restrictions intended to prevent the use of grafts from encouraging induced abortions and to maintain high standards of respect for life and human dignity, neurotransplantation using embryonic or fetal brain tissue parts cannot be rejected on moral grounds. (shrink)
In the debate between simple inference heuristics and complex decision mechanisms, we take a position squarely in the middle. A decision making process that extends to both naturalistic and novel settings should extend beyond the confines of this debate; both simple heuristics and complex mechanisms are cognitive skills adapted to and appropriate for some circumstances but not for others. Rather than ask `Which skill is better?'' it is often more important to ask `When is a skill justified?'' The selection and (...) application of an appropriate cognitive skill for a particular problem has both costs and benefits, and therefore requires the resolution of a tradeoff. In revisiting satisficing, we observe that the essence of satisficing is tradeoff. Unlike heuristics, which derive their justification from empirical phenomena, and unlike optimal solutions, which derive their justification by an evaluation of alternatives, satisficing decision-making derives its justification by an evaluation of consequences. We formulate and present a satisficing decision paradigm that has its motivation in Herbert Simon''s work on bounded rationality. We characterize satisficing using a cost–benefit tradeoff, and generate a decision rule applicable to both designing intelligent machines as well as describing human behavior. (shrink)
We argue that the concepts of `human equality' and `inequality' play an important role in the structure of science and philosophy. When the value of `human inequality' predominates, scientific categories are formed in accordance with the principle of `hierarchical differentiation' and concepts remain closely tied to the objects they are referring to. Following Mirowski we define this as the `anthropometric stage' of human thought and development. Contrary, Mirowski's `syndetic stage' refers to societies where the value of `human equality' prevails. Here (...) concepts appear that are universally applicable. However, because of their conventional nature these concepts cannot be `grasped' any longer by human intuition. Between the `anthropometric' and `syndetic' stages, a `lineamentric stage' appears, a period of transition from `human equality' to `human inequality'. Being both a bridge and gap between the two other stages, the `lineamentric' stage contains many contradictions between an `abstract attitude' and `concrete categories'. In this paper we examine the anthropometric, lineamentric and syndetic stages and discuss several examples taken from philosophy, logic, mathematics and physics. (shrink)
This article presents an overview ofregulations, guidelines and societal debates ineight member states of the EC about a)embryonic and fetal tissue transplantation(EFTT), and b) the use of human embryonic stemcells (hES cells) for research into celltherapy, including `therapeutic' cloning. Thereappears to be a broad acceptance of EFTT inthese countries. In most countries guidance hasbeen developed. There is a `strong' consensusabout some of the central conditions for `goodclinical practice' regarding EFTT.International differences concern, amongstothers, some of the informed consent issuesinvolved, and the (...) questions whether anintermediary organisation is necessary, whetherthe methods of abortion may be influenced bythe possible use of EFT, and whether EFTTshould only be used for the experimentaltreatment of rare disorders. The potential useof hES cells for research into cell therapy hasgiven a new impetus to the debate about (human)embryo research. The therapeutic prospects withregard to the retrieval and research use of hEScells appear to function as a catalyst for theintroduction of less restrictive regulationsconcerning research with spare embryos, atleast in some European countries. It remains tobe seen whether the prospect of treatingpatients suffering from serious disorders withtransplants produced by therapeutic cloningwill decrease the societal and moral resistanceto allowing the generation of embryos for`instrumental' use. (shrink)
What a sublime and, at the same time, sordid vocation this theological discipline has. My major concern is an unfamiliar Antonio Negri, one who engages in some biblical criticism in his recently translated The Labor of Job (2009), a detailed philosophical exegesis of the “marvelous” biblical book of Job.1 Two features of Negri’s analysis stand out: the oppositions of kairós and ákairos, and measure and immeasure. However, before I explore those oppositions in some detail, two preliminary comments are needed. At (...) the heart of the book is what I would like to call a radical homiletics. A discipline much neglected these days, homiletics is really the art of connecting a text like the Bible with the realities .. (shrink)
Some worry that semantic externalism is incompatible with knowing by introspection what content your thoughts have. In this paper, I examine one primary argument for this incompatibilist worry, the slow-switch argument. Following Goldberg (2006), I construe the argument as attacking the conjunction of externalism and skeptic-proof knowledge of content, where such knowledge would be immune to skeptical doubt. Goldberg, following Burge (1988), attempts to reclaim such knowledge for the externalist; however, I contend that all Burge-style accounts (at best) vindicate that (...) a subject can introspectively know that she is thinking that “water is wet.” They do not yet show how a subject can introspectively know what she is thinking—which is the distinctive type of knowing at issue in the slow-switch argument. Nonetheless, I subsequently amend the Burge-style view to illustrate how an externalist can introspectively “know what” content her thought has, and know it in a skeptic-proof manner, despite what the slow-switch argument may suggest. For one, I emphasize that “knowing what” is intensional (one can know what a water-thought is sans familiarity with H2O-thoughts). Second, I exploit the fact that such knowledge can be ontologically non-committal (so that knowing your thought is about water does not require knowing that water exists). Finally, following Boër and Lycan (1986), I point out that “knowing what” is purpose-relative—and for at least some purposes, I suggest it is possible for the externalist to “know what” content her thought has, even when skeptical hypotheses about XYZ are entertained. (shrink)
Hegel's Philosophy is notorious for its alleged claim that all things are contradictory. Whereas Marxists took this claim to support their view that the social-political world exhibits "real" contradictions, non-Hegelian philosophers of various breeds have used it to argue that Hegelian dialectic annihilates the very principle of scientific reasoning.1 Yet, even if it is granted that Hegel did not intend to violate the law of non-contradiction, the stakes of Hegel's account of contradiction in the Science of Logic are far from (...) clear. According to Robert Pippin, Hegel's claim that all things are contradictory is "one of the most important, even if most obscure things said in the Logic."2 In what follows, I hope to .. (shrink)
Abstract: This article contends that the relation of early logical empiricism to Kant was more complex than is often assumed. It argues that Reichenbach's early work on Kant and Einstein, entitled The Theory of Relativity and A Priori Knowledge (1920) aimed to transform rather than to oppose Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. One the one hand, I argue that Reichenbach's conception of coordinating principles, derived from Kant's conception of synthetic a priori principles, offers a valuable way of accounting for the (...) historicity of scientific paradigms. On the other hand, I show that even Reichenbach, in line with Neo-Kantianism, associated Kant's view of synthetic a priori principles too closely with Newtonian physics and, consequently, overestimated the difference between Kant's philosophy and his own. This is even more so, I point out, in the retrospective account logical empiricism presented of its own history. Whereas contemporary reconstructions of this history, including Michael Friedman's, tend to endorse this account, I offer an interpretation of Kant's conception of a priori principles that contrasts with the one put forward by both Neo-Kantianism and logical empiricism. On this basis, I re-examine the early Reichenbach's effort to accommodate these principles to the paradigm forged by Einstein. (shrink)
This article reviews the Dutch societal debate on euthanasia/assisted suicide in dementia cases, specifically Alzheimer's disease. It discusses the ethical and practical dilemmas created by euthanasia requests in advance directives and the related inconsistencies in the Dutch legal regulations regarding euthanasia/assisted suicide. After an initial focus on euthanasia in advanced dementia, the actual debate concentrates on making euthanasia/assisted suicide possible in the very early stages of dementia. A review of the few known cases of assisted suicide of people with so-called (...) early dementia raises the question why requests for euthanasia/assisted suicide from patients in the early stage of (late onset) Alzheimer's disease are virtually non-existent. In response to this question two explanations are offered. It is concluded that, in addition to a moral discussion on the limits of anticipatory choices, there is an urgent need to develop research into the patient's perspective with regard to medical treatment and care-giving in dementia, including end-of-life care. (shrink)
Our closest relative the chimpanzee seems to display proto-moral behavior. Some scholars emphasize the similarities between humans and chimpanzees, others some key differences. This paper aims is to formulate a set of intermediate conditions between a sometimes helpful chimpanzee and moral man. I specify these intermediate conditions as requirements for the chimpanzees, and for each requirement I take on a verificationist stance and ask what the empirical conditions that satisfy it would be. I ask what would plausibly count as the (...) behavioral correlate of each requirement, when implemented. I take a philosophical look at morality using the chimpanzees as a prism. We will talk of propositional attitudes, rationality and reason in relation to the chimps. By means of the chimps I intend to arrive at a notion of objective morality as conceived from a first person point of view in terms of propositional attitudes and reasons. (shrink)
Jackendoff's scenario of the evolution of language is a major contribution towards a more rigorous theory of the origins of language, because it is theoretically constrained by a testable theory of modern language. However, the theoretical constraints from evolutionary theory are not really recognized in his work. We hope that Jackendoff's lead will be followed by intensive cooperation between linguistic theorists and evolutionary modellers.
This essay re-examines Hegel's account of Greek culture in the section of the _Phenomenology of Spirit_ devoted to “ethical action”. The thrust of this section cannot be adequately grasped, it is argued, by focusing on Hegel's references to either Sophocles' _Antigone_ or Greek tragedy as a whole. Taking into account Hegel's complex use of literary sources, the essay shows in particular that Hegel draws on Aristophanes' comedies to comprehend the collapse of Greek culture, a collapse he considered to result from (...) the tragic conflict constitutive of Greek culture as a whole. The essay thus aims to shed light on Hegel's abstruse remarks on womanhood and, more generally, to demonstrate that Hegel's peculiar employment of literary sources constitutes an essential element of the method he employs throughout the _Phenomenology of Spirit_. (shrink)