We study logical systems for reasoning about equations involving recursive definitions. In particular, we are interested in "propositional" fragments of the functional language of recursion FLR [18, 17], i.e., without the value passing or abstraction allowed in FLR. The "pure," propositional fragment FLR 0 turns out to coincide with the iteration theories of . Our main focus here concerns the sharp contrast between the simple class of valid identities and the very complex consequence relation over several natural classes of models.
All agree that if the Milgram experiments were proposed today they would never receive approval from a research ethics board. However, the results of the Milgram experiments are widely cited across a broad range of academic literature from psychology to moral philosophy. While interpretations of the experiments vary, few commentators, especially philosophers, have expressed doubts about the basic soundness of the results. What I argue in this paper is that this general approach to the experiments might be in error. I (...) will show that the ethical problems that would prevent the experiments from being approved today actually have an effect on the results such that the experiments might show less than many currently suppose. Making this case demonstrates two conclusions. The first is that there are good reasons to think that the conclusions of many of Milgram’s commentators might be too strong. The second conclusion is a more general one. The ethics procedures commonly used by North American research ethics boards serve not only to protect human participants in research but also can sometimes help secure, to an extent, the integrity of results. In other words, good ethics can sometimes mean better science. (shrink)
In this paper I argue against Nancy Cartwright’s claim that we ought to abandon what she calls “fundamentalism” about the laws of nature and adopt instead her “dappled world” hypothesis. According to Cartwright we ought to abandon the notion that fundamental laws (even potentially) apply universally, instead we should consider the law-like statements of science to apply in highly qualified ways within narrow, non-overlapping and ontologically diverse domains, including the laws of fundamental physics. For Cartwright, “laws” are just locally applicable (...) refinements of a more open-ended concept of capacities. By providing a critique of the dappled world approach’s central notion of open ended capacities and substituting this concept with an account of properties drawn from recent writing on the subject of structural realism I show that a form of fundamentalism is viable. I proceed from this conclusion to show that this form of fundamentalism provides a superior reading of case studies, such as the effective field theory program (EFT) in quantum field theory, than the “dappled world” view. The case study of the EFT program demonstrates that ontological variability between theoretical domains can be accounted for without altogether abandoning fundamentalism or adopting Cartwright’s more implausible theses. (shrink)
In this paper I claim that Quinean naturalist accounts of science, that deny that there are any a priori statements in scientific frameworks, cannot account for the foundational role of certain classes of statements in scientific practice. In this I follow Michael Friedman who claims that certain a priori statements must be presupposed in order to formulate empirical hypotheses. I also show that Friedman's account, in spite of his claims to the contrary, is compatible with a type of non-Quinean naturalism (...) that I sketch. Finally I also show that Friedman's account needs amending because it cannot provide a rational account of theory change. I accomplish this by arguing for a structural realist view of theory change. I show how this view fits well with an account like Friedman's and helps it deal with the problem of theory change and in retaining its superiority over Quinean naturalism. (shrink)
David Hume’s legal theory has normally been interpreted as bearing close affinities to the English common law theory of jurisprudence. I argue that this is not accurate. For Hume, it is the nature and functioning of a country’s legal system, not the provenance of that system, that provides the foundation of its authority. He judges government by its ability to protect property in a reliable and equitable way. His positions on the role of equity in the law, on artificial reason (...) and the esoteric nature of the law, and on the role of judges in the legal system are all at odds with those of the common lawyers. (shrink)
In recent years Structural Realism has been revived as a compromise candidate to resolve the long-standing question of scientific realism. Recent debate over structural realism originates with Worrall's (1989) paper "Structural Realism: The best of Both Worlds". However, critics such as Psillos contend that structural realism incorporates an untenable distinction between structure and nature, and is therefore unworkable. In this paper I consider three versions of structural realism that purport to avoid such criticism. The first is Chakravartty's "semirealism" which proceeds (...) by trying to show that structural realism and entity realism entail one another. I demonstrate that this position will not work, but follow Chakravartty's contention that structural realism need not imply that scientific knowledge can only be of mathematical structure. I advance from this conclusion to sketch a version of structural realism that is consistent with recent deflationary approaches to the scientific realism question. Finally, I consider a third approach to structural realism Ladyman's "metaphysical structural realism" which tries to avoid the difficulties of earlier versions by taking structure to be ontologically primary. I show that the deflationary approach to structural realism undermines the rationale behind Ladyman's approach. (shrink)
In this paper I consider two accounts of scientific discovery, Robert Hudson's and Peter Achinstein's. I assess their relative success and I show that while both approaches are similar in promising ways, and address experimental discoveries well, they could address the concerns of the discovery sceptic more explicitly than they do. I also explore the implications of their inability to address purely theoretical discoveries, such as those often made in mathematical physics. I do so by showing that extending Hudson's or (...) Achinstein's account to such cases can sometimes provide a misleading analysis about who ought to be credited as a discoverer. In the final sections of the paper I work out some revisions to the Hudson/Achinstein account by drawing from a so-called structural realist view of theory change. Finally, I show how such a modified account of discovery can answer sceptical critics such as Musgrave or Woolgar without producing misleading analyses about who ought to receive credit as a discoverer in cases from the mathematical sciences. I illustrate the usefulness of this approach by providing an analysis of the case of the discovery of the Casimir effect. (shrink)
Use of the concept of `areasonable person and his or her expectations'is widely found in legal reasoning. This legalconstruct is employed in the present article toexamine privacy questions associated withcontemporary information technology, especiallythe internet. In particular, reasonableexpectations of privacy while browsing theworld-wide-web and while sending and receivinge-mail are analyzed.
The Precautionary Principle is a guide to coping with scientific uncertainties in the assessment and management of risks. In recent years, it has moved to the forefront of debates in policy and applied ethics, becoming a key normative tool in policy discussions in such diverse areas as medical and scientific research, health and safety regulation, environmental regulation, product development, international trade, and even judicial review. The principle has attracted critics who claim that it is fundamentally incoherent, too vague to guide (...) policy, and makes demands that are logically and scientifically impossible. In this paper we will answer these criticisms by formulating guidelines for its application that ensure its coherence as a useful normative guide in applied and policy ethics debates. We will also provide analyses of cases that demonstrate how our version of the principle functions in practice. (shrink)
In recent years a general consensus has been developing in the philosophy of science to the effect that strong social constructivist accounts are unable to adequately account for scientific practice. Recently, however, a number of commentators have formulated an attenuated version of constructivism that purports to avoid the difficulties that plague the stronger claims of its predecessors. Interestingly this attenuated form of constructivism finds philosophical support from a relatively recent turn in the literature concerning scientific realism. Arthur Fine and a (...) number of other commentators have argued that the realism debate ought to be abandoned. The rationale for this argument is that the debate is sterile for it has, it is claimed, no consequence for actual scientific practice, and therefore does not advance our understanding of science or its practice. Recent “softer” accounts of social constructivism also hold a similar agnostic stance to the realism question. I provide a survey of these various agnostic stances and show how they form a general position that I shall refer to as “the anti-philosophical stance”. I then demonstrate that the anti-philosophical stance fails by identifying difficulties that attend its proposal to ban philosophical interpretation. I also provide examples of instances where philosophical stances to the realism question affect scientific practice. (shrink)
Book reviews in this journal usually proceed by considering the value of the book in question for Dewey scholarship. In this case I would rather say that this book is of interest to Dewey scholars. Jackson’s general project is heavily informed by Dewey’s pluralistic brand of pragmatism. As Jackson notes “Dewey’s Logic . . . stand[s] firmly in the tradition leading to this book” (216). Dewey scholars will greet Jackson’s extension of this approach to the study of international relations warmly. (...) Over the last thirty years, international relations specialists have debated the merits of a variety of methodological and philosophical options while at the same time a dominant theme has been to make the field .. (shrink)
In this paper I address some shortcomings in Larry Laudan's normative naturalism. I make it clear that Laudan's rejection of the "meta-methodology thesis", or MMT is unnecessary, and that a reformulated version MMT can be sustained. I contend that a major difficulty that attends Laudan's account is his contention that a naturalistic philosophy of science cannot accommodate any a priori justification of methodological rules, and consider what sort of naturalism might best replace Laudan's. To do this, I discuss Michael Friedman's (...) account of a relativised a priori and show that it is consistent with naturalistic philosophy of science and that it can help form the basis of a plausible normative naturalism. In particular, this Discussion shows that Laudan's rejection of any a priori justification of methodological rules is unjustified and inconsistent with scientific practice. Finally, I point the way to a version of normative naturalism that includes MMT and accounts for the role of constitutive a priori principles within science. (shrink)
In recent years several philosophers have sought a defense for scientific realism in Bachelard's work. Two notable examples are Garry Gutting and Mary Tuiattas. This paper shows that such views are based on systematic miss-readings of some of Bachelard's main concepts. The main realist approach has been to show that Bachelard's idea of "phenomeno techniques" corresponds with Nacting's experimental realism. This paper corrects that thesis. In addition to correcting some readings of Bachelard, if this paper is correct, that approach to (...) defending scientific realism is ruled out. (shrink)
This paper critically contrasts Laudan’s normative naturalism with Friedman’s arguments about the importance of a priori concepts in scientific methodology. I do not take issue with Laudan’s claim that taking philosophy and science to be continuous does not preclude a normative role for the philosophy of science. The main focus of criticism instead is Laudan’s assertion that if normative philosophy employs the methods found in the sciences themselves, then this precludes any a priori or philosophical justification of methodological rules. I (...) make the case that not only are such justifications possible, they are central to any proper philosophical understanding of scientific methodology, and must figure prominently in any plausible version of normative naturalism. To make this case I sketch Laudan’s position and his reasons for the ban on a priori justification. I then contrast Laudan’s position with Friedman’s recent studies on the prominence ofrelativised constitutive a priori principles within science and show that this view can serve as the basis of a contrasting variation of naturalised philosophy of science. I elucidate Friedman’s position in order to identify some prima facie difficulties with Laudan’s ban on the a priori in our understanding of science but also to provide an example of a competing variation of philosophical naturalism. Finally, I further highlight the difficulties that attend Laudan’s position through a case study, the central methodological role of renormalisation in quantum field theory. (shrink)
For the smallest social unit is not the single person but two people.Our bodies should always be better than the societies we currently have.I am getting ready for bed with my dad's help and he speaks this statement quickly while breathing through his mouth......... I sit in my wheelchair, taller than he stands bent in half, reaching for my feet. He lifts and guides my left and right legs into each corresponding hollow column of flannel pajama pant. I look down (...) at his rounded back. He is fifty-four. I am twenty-six, his daughter. My feet stink. The oily funk of accumulated days smells strong.My dad and I share this routine most weeknights. If I want to shower, my dad transfers me from wheelchair to shower chair as .. (shrink)
Hume’s writings, taken as a whole, address a dazzlingly broad range of topics. I argue that they do so as part of a coherent and interesting philosophical programme. While Hume’s doctrine of the general point of view provides an attractive way of understanding the process of moral judgement, it raises the threat of parochialism – that is, it potentially makes us prey to the limitations and prejudices of our society. I show that Hume endorses what I call “engaged cosmopolitanism”, which (...) provides the resources to explain how we can, under certain circumstances, escape such parochialism. Engaged cosmopolitanism is the product of a particular sort of society – one that is open and commercial, and that governed by a system of equitable laws. Like Mandeville, Hume rejects the suspicion of commerce and “luxury” that was prevalent during his time. But he provides supporters of commercial society with a justification that does not, in contrast to Mandeville’s writings, abandon notions of morality altogether. On the contrary, he makes commerce a precondition to a society’s moral development. And he further links this development to a certain type of liberal political institutions, thus giving such institutions a moral basis. (shrink)
To date no comprehensive treatment of Enlightenment cosmopolitanism has yet appeared. However, we are beginning to see the regular publication of more specialised studies, and Frederick Whelan’s interesting book is a noteworthy entry in this genre.
Radical form criticism has raised a roadblock on the way from the Jesus of history to the church's Christology. Are there alternative approaches to the problem? Or does historical criticism in itself bring an end to the direct relation between Jesus and the church's faith?