Though the target article is not without fertile suggestions, at least two problems limit its overall validity: (1) the extended gene-culture coevolutionary framework is not an alternative to standard evolutionary theory; (2) the proposed model does not explain how much time is necessary for selective pressure to determine the stabilization of a new aspect of the genotype.
The paper introduces Vailati’s life and works, investigating Vailati’s education, the relation to Peano and his school, and the interest for pragmatism and modernism. A detailed analysis of Vailati’s scientific and didactic activities, shows that he held, like Peano, a a strong interest for the history of science and a pluralist, anti-dogmatic and anti-foundationalist conception of definitions in mathematics, logic and philosophy of language. Vailati’s understanding of mathematical logic as a form of pragmatism is not a faithful interpretation of Peano’s (...) conception, but it is essential to understand the relations of Peano’s logic with other philosophical traditions and some epistemological aspects of Peano’s perspective, such as the search for a universal language. (shrink)
This article examines the evaluative nature of the folk concepts of weakness and strength of will and hypothesizes that their evaluative nature is strongly connected to the folk concepts of blame and credit. We probed how people apply the concepts of weakness and strength of will to prototypical and non-prototypical scenarios. While regarding prototypical scenarios the great majority applied these concepts according to the predictions following from traditional philosophical analyses. When presented with non-prototypical scenarios, people were divided. Some, against traditional (...) analyses, did not apply these concepts, which we explain in terms of a clash of evaluations involving different sorts of blame and credit. Others applied them according to traditional analyses, which we explain in terms of a disposition to be reflective and clearly set apart the different sorts of blame and credit involved. Still others applied them in an inverse way, seemingly bypassing the traditional components resolution and best judgment, which we explain in terms of a reinterpretation of the scenarios driven by an assumption that everyone knows deep inside that the best thing to do is to act morally. This division notwithstanding, we claim that our results are largely supportive of traditional analyses (qua analyses of folk concepts). (shrink)
In this paper we show how we empirically tested one of the most relevant topics in philosophy of mind through a series of fMRI experiments: the classification of different types of intention. To this aim, firstly we trace a theoretical distinction among private, prospective and communicative intentions. Second, we propose a set of predictions concerning the recognition of these three types of intention in healthy individuals, and we report the experimental results corroborating our theoretical model of intention. Third, we derive (...) from our model predictions relevant for the domain of psychopathological functioning. In particular, we treat the cases of both hyper-intentionality (as in paranoid schizophrenia) and hypo-intentionality (as in autistic spectrum disorders). Our conclusion is that the theoretical model of intention we propose contributes to enlarge our knowledge on the neurobiological bases of intention processing, in both healthy people and in people with impairments to the neurocognitive system that underlies intention recognition. (shrink)
This study conforms an essay, in the terms of an investigation of a faculty subject at University, on the usage of exploratory methods of multivaried analysis. The exercise consists in conforming a regionalisation of subprovincial areas according to their level of social development. In order to ac..
As telenovelas brasileiras, principalmente as transmitidas pela Rede Globo, maior emissora brasileira, representam um produto de grande importância na sociedade de consumo brasileira. O presente artigo pretende explorar esse universo por meio da análise de Solange da telenovela da Rede Globo Fina Estampa, de Aguinaldo Silva. O objetivo é averiguar como o discurso da personagem se relaciona com o consumo.
Recently the complexity of discursive practices has been widely acknowledged by the humanities and social sciences. In fact, to know anything is to know in terms of one or more discourse. The "discursive turn" in psychology may be considered as a new paradigm oriented to a correct study of (wo)man only if it is able to grasp the semiotical ground of psychic experience both as an "effort after meaning" and as a "struggle over meaning." In this sense the notion of (...) "diatext" has been proposed as a contribution in working out a psychosemiotical approach to understand how the discursive practices assign subject-positions to the agents of each interlocution scenario. (shrink)
We investigate how stochastic asset price dynamics with herding and financial constraints in heterogeneous agents’ decisions explain the presence of a period of financial distress (PFD) following the peak and preceding the crash of a bubble, documented by Kindleberger [2000, Appendix B] as common among most major historical speculative bubbles. Simulations show the PFD is due to agents’ wealth distribution dynamics, selling because of financial constraints after the bubble’s peak in relation to switching behavior of agents. An increase in switching (...) tendency increases the length of the PFD and decreases bubble amplitude, while increasing strength of interaction between the agents increases bubble amplitude. (shrink)
In this first English publication of a well-known and widely respected Italian scholar, readers will encounter the preeminent interpreter of the works of Maurice Merleau-Ponty engaged in a dialogue of critical concern to contemporary philosophy. In subtle and sensitive language eminently suited to the style and substance of Merleau-Ponty's own writings, Mauro Carbone fashions four essays around a central theme-the relations of the sensible and the intelligible, and of philosophy and non-philosophy-that occupied Merleau-Ponty in his later work. An original (...) and innovative interpretation of the ontology of Merleau-Ponty--and themselves a significant contribution to the field of Continental thought--these essays constitute a sustained exploration of what Merleau-Ponty detected, and greeted, as a "mutation within the relations of man and Being," which would provide him with the basis for a new idea of philosophy or "a-philosophy." In lucid, often elegant terms, Carbone analyzes key elements of Merleau-Ponty's thought in relation to Proust's Recherche, Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit , the new biology of Von Uexkull, Rimbaud's Lettre du voyant , and Heidegger's conception of "letting-be." His work clearly demonstrates the vitality of Merleau-Ponty's late revolutionary philosophy by following its most salient, previously unexplored paths. This is essential reading for any scholar with an interest in Merleau-Ponty, in the questions of embodiment, temporality and Nature, or in the possibility of philosophy today. (shrink)
This paper offers a critical assessment of the current state of the debate about the identity and individuality of material objects. Its main aim, in particular, is to show that, in a sense to be carefully specified, the opposition between the Leibnizian ‘reductionist’ tradition, based on discernibility, and the sort of ‘primitivism’ that denies that facts of identity and individuality must be analysable has become outdated. In particular, it is argued that—contrary to a widespread consensus—‘naturalised’ metaphysics supports both the acceptability (...) of non-qualitatively grounded (both ‘contextual’ and intrinsic) identity and a pluralistic approach to individuality and individuation. A case study is offered that focuses on non-relativistic quantum mechanics, in the context of which primitivism about identity and individuality, rather than being regarded as unscientific, is on the contrary suggested to be preferable to the complicated forms of reductionism that have recently been proposed. More generally, by assuming a plausible form of anti-reductionism about scientific theories and domains, it is claimed that science can be regarded as compatible with, or even as suggesting, the existence of a series of equally plausible grades of individuality. The kind of individuality that prevails in a certain context and at a given level can be ascertained only on the basis of the specific scientific theory at hand. (shrink)
After a brief but necessary characterization of the notion of determinism, I discuss and critically evaluate four views on the relationship between determinism and free will by taking into account both (i) what matters most to us in terms of a free will worth-wanting and (ii) which capacities can be legitimately attributed to human beings without contradicting what we currently know from natural sciences. The main point of the paper is to argue that the libertarian faces a dilemma: on the (...) one hand, the possibility of ?doing otherwise? ? a necessary condition of a free will according to the libertarian ? requires indeterminism or chance, but any kind of indeterminism has the undesirable consequence of separating our actions from our character and our past. On the other hand, if our character has to be fully expressed by our actions, determinism becomes necessary and we seem to be metaphysically unfree. I conclude by showing that the dispute between compatibilists and libertarians possesses an important but hitherto very neglected pragmatic component as well, dependent on two different ethical attitudes toward a meaningful life. (shrink)
The main claim that I want to defend in this paper is that the there are logical equivalences between eternalism and perdurantism on the one hand and presentism and endurantism on the other. By “logical equivalence” I mean that one position is entailed and entails the other. As a consequence of this equivalence, it becomes important to inquire into the question whether the dispute between endurantists and perdurantists is authentic, given that Savitt (2006) Dolev (2006) and Dorato (2006) have cast (...) doubts on the fact that the debate between presentism and eternalism is about “what there is”. In this respect, I will conclude that also the debate about persistence in time has no ontological consequences, in the sense that there is no real ontological disagreement between the two allegedly opposite positions: as in the case of the presentism/eternalism debate, one can be both a perdurantist and an endurantist, depending on which linguistic framework is preferred. (shrink)
In recent times, there have been notable attempts to introduce an objective present in Minkowski spacetime, a structure that, however, should also be capable to explain some aspects of our experience of time. I claim that the “interactive present” introduced by Arthur and Savitt for such purposes is inadequate, since it turns out to be neither a physically relevant property nor a good explanans of our temporal experience. In its conclusive part, and after having proposed a more adequate model for (...) the time of our experience, I draw some general morals about the relationship between physical time and experiential time. (shrink)
In the first part of this paper, I try to clear the ground from frequent misconceptions about the relationship between fact and value by examining some uses of the adjective “natural” in ethical controversies. Such uses bear evidence to our “natural” tendency to regard nature (considered in a descriptive sense, as the complex of physical and biological regularities) as the source of ethical norms. I then try to account for the origin of this tendency by offering three related explanations, the (...) most important of which regards it as the outcome of an adaptation: if any behaviour that favours our equilibrium with the environment is potentially adaptive, nothing can be more effective for this goal than developing an attitude toward the natural world that regards it as a dispenser of sacred norms that must be invariably respected. By referring to the Aristotelian notion of human flourishing illustrated in the first part of the paper, in the second I discuss some ethical problems raised by mini-chips implantable under in our bodies. I conclude by defending the potential beneficial effects of such new technological instruments. (shrink)
My first and main claim is that physics cannot provide empirical evidence for the objectivity (mind-independence) of absolute becoming, for the simple reason that it must presuppose it, at least to the extent that classical (i.e., non-quantum) spacetime theories presuppose an ontology of events. However, the fact that a theory of absolute becoming must be situated in the a priori realm of metaphysics does not make becoming completely irrelevant for physics, since my second claim will consist in showing that relational (...) becoming, once appropriately defined and understood, properly belongs to the tangled set of issues usually referred to with the label “the arrow of time”. In this respect it is argued that the arrow of becoming is more fundamental both than the causal arrow and of other well-known physical processes that are temporally asymmetric. (shrink)
In the first section of the chapter, I scrutinize Howard Stein’s 1991 definition of a transitive becoming relation that is Lorentz invariant. I argue first that Stein’s analysis gives few clues regarding the required characteristics of the relation complementary to his becoming—i.e. the relation of indefiniteness. It turns out that this relation cannot satisfy the condition of transitivity, and this fact can force us to reconsider the transitivity requirement as applied to the relation of becoming. I argue that the relation (...) of becoming need not be transitive, as long as it satisfies the weaker condition of “cumulativity”: for a given observer the area of the events that have become real should not diminish as time progresses. I show that there are actually two relations of becoming that meet this weakened condition: Stein’s (transitive) relation of causal past connectibility and the (non-transitive) relation that is the logical complement of the future causal connectibility. In the second part of the chapter I defend Stein’s notion of temporal becoming against the attack that appeals to quantum-mechanical non-locality. I critically evaluate the argument given by Mauro Dorato (1996) that purports to show that space-like separated measurements done on the EPR system have to be mutually determinate. Finally, in order to account for the truth of counterfactual statements that link the space-like separated outcomes, I propose a dynamic conception of becoming, according to which the sphere of determinate events as of a given point may depend on the physical phenomena transpiring at this point. (shrink)
In the literature on the compatibility between the time of our experience and the time of physics, the special theory of relativity has enjoyed central stage. By bringing into the discussion the general theory of relativity, I suggest a new analysis of the misunderstood notion of becoming, developed from hints in Gödel’s published and unpublished arguments for the ideality of time. I claim that recent endorsements of such arguments, based on Gödel’s own “rotating” solution to Einstein’s field equation, fail: once (...) understood in the right way, becoming can be shown to be both mind-independent and compatible with spacetime physics. Being a needed tertium quid between views of time traditionally regarded as in conflict, such a new approach to becoming should also help to dissolve a crucial aspect of the century-old debate between the so-called A and B theories of time. (shrink)
An influential position in the philosophy of biology claims that there are no biological laws, since any apparently biological generalization is either too accidental, fact-like or contingent to be named a law, or is simply reducible to physical laws that regulate electrical and chemical interactions taking place between merely physical systems. In the following I will stress a neglected aspect of the debate that emerges directly from the growing importance of mathematical models of biological phenomena. My main aim is to (...) defend, as well as reinforce, the view that there are indeed laws also in biology, and that their difference in stability, contingency or resilience with respect to physical laws is one of degrees, and not of kind . (shrink)
In this paper we argue that structural explanations are an effective way of explaining well known relativistic phenomena like length contraction and time dilation, and then try to understand how this can be possible by looking at the literature on scientific models. In particular, we ask whether and how a model like that provided by Minkowski spacetime can be said to represent the physical world, in such a way that it can successfully explain physical phenomena structurally. We conclude by claiming (...) that a partial isomorphic approach to scientific representation can supply an answer only if supplemented by a robust injection of pragmatic factors. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that the debate between the so-called “presentists” – according to whom only the present is real – and the “eternalists”, according to whom past present and future are equally real, has no ontological significance. In particular, once we carefully distinguish between a tensed and a tenseless sense of existence, it is difficult to find a single ontological claim on which the two parties could disagree. Since the choice of using a tense or a tenseless language (...) is dictated by purely pragmatic reasons, we should abstain from bringing to bear pseudo-debates generated by the “tensed” or the “tenseless theories” of time on the question of understanding the philosophical implications of contemporary spacetime theories, or notions like becoming, change and persistence in time. (shrink)
The paper argues that the formulation of quantum mechanics proposed by Ghirardi, Rimini and Weber (GRW) is a serious candidate for being a fundamental physical theory and explores its ontological commitments from this perspective. In particular, we propose to conceive of spatial superpositions of non-massless microsystems as dispositions or powers, more precisely propensities, to generate spontaneous localizations. We set out five reasons for this view, namely that (1) it provides for a clear sense in which quantum systems in entangled states (...) possess properties even in the absence of definite values; (2) it vindicates objective, single-case probabilities; (3) it yields a clear transition from quantum to classical properties; (4) it enables to draw a clear distinction between purely mathematical and physical structures, and (5) it grounds the arrow of time in the time-irreversible manifestation of the propensities to localize. (shrink)