The author defends John R. Searle's Chinese Room argument against a particular objection made by William J. Rapaport called the Korean Room. Foundational issues such as the relationship of strong AI to human mentality and the adequacy of the Turing Test are discussed. Through undertaking a Gedankenexperiment similar to Searle's but which meets new specifications given by Rapaport for an AI system, the author argues that Rapaport's objection to Searle does not stand and that Rapaport's arguments seem convincing only because (...) they assume the foundations of strong AI at the outset. (shrink)
Ruth Ginzberg has proposed a model for a gynocentric science that might constitute a paradigm as described by Kuhn. The author argues that Ginzberg's model lacks certain essential features of paradigms as described by Kuhn. The differences may stem from more fundamental disagreements between them, including the possibility that some essential features of Ginzberg's gynocentric science place it outside the intended scope of Kuhn's analysis.
Rawls?s controversial idea of public reason is often criticized for being exclusionary and unfair. Yet it is possible to read the idea of public reason as being largely innocuous, especially if one attends to all the qualifications and specifications of the idea that Rawls articulated. This essay pursues such a reading, by systematically considering each element of qualification that Rawls built into the idea of public reason. Considered together and in terms of their cumulative effect, they make the innocuous reading (...) possible. My aim is not, however, to try to defend Rawls?s idea of public reason by claiming that it is innocuous, but to help clarify the ambiguous nature of the idea through this reading. (shrink)
Faculty plagiarism and fraud are widely documented occurrences but little analysis has been conducted. This article addresses the question of why faculty plagiarism and fraud occurs and suggests approaches on how to develop an environment where faculty misconduct is socially inappropriate. The authors review relevant literature, primarily in business ethics and student cheating, developing action steps that could be applied to higher education. Based upon research in these areas, the authors posit some actions that would be appropriate in higher education (...) and suggest topics for continued study. (shrink)
Lucas Swaine?s respectful manner of engaging with theocrats is at odds with the more heavy-handed arguments he gives to those who would reject his position. Furthermore, it is not clear that Swaine?s case can reach theocrats whose self-conceptions do not fit within the liberal idiom.
Foucault on Politics, Society and War interrogates Foucault's controversial genealogy of modern biopolitics. By insisting on 'life' as the key referent of power in the modern age, Foucault argues that politics grounds society in war, specifically race war, in ways that come to threaten the very human existence it is pledged to promote. These essays situate Foucault's arguments, clarify the correlation of sovereign- and bio-power and examine the relation of bios, nomos and race in relation to modern war.
At the beginning of the 20s, Russia was devastated by famine and plagues. This paper deals with the life and work of the Leipzig physician Paul Carly Seyfarth (1890â1950), who participated in the Red Cross relief expedition to Russia. In 1922/23, Seyfarth was appointed director of the German Alexander-Hospital in Petersburg, which he reorganized and modernized for the treatment of infectious diseases.
Following the publication of 7 letters from Baer to the Frorieps by H.E. MÃ¼ller-Dietz inNTM N.S. 1 (1993), 2 further letters from Baer and 8 from the Frorieps are published. A curious technical problem in the presentation of the journalNotizen published by Froriep in his Landes-industriecomptoir in Weimar is discussed at length. Froriep recommends his son Robert, to whom Baer sends several enquiries and commissions, which Robert deals with carefully (1831 in Jena, 1849 in Paris). Robert explains in great detail (...) his intention to leave Jena for Berlin in 1831. After his father's death in 1847 he returns to take charge of the Landesindustriecomptoir and begins to cooperate with the newly founded Russian Geographic Society as publisher on behalf of the Society. But about 1850 the cooperation is discontinued by the Russians, and Froriep, who is in economic difficulties, asks Baer (who lives and works in St. Petersburg) urgently (but in vain) to help him with the Society. (shrink)
Seven unknown letters from 1823 to 1831 are published. The famous discoverer of the mammal's egg and founder of the modern embryology Karl Ernst von Baer (1792â1876), born as a German in Estonia and then anatomist and zoologist at KÃ¶nigsberg University, wrote them to his publisher Ludwig F. Froriep in Weimar and his son and successor. Robert F. Baer offered his co-work with a dictionary of natural history (which he criticized), he proposed a map of all research voyages everywhere in (...) the world, and he sent a few small papers about local birds. To Robert F. Baer gave some recommendations concerning his career; he asked for details of a death elephant, and he told that they were awaiting the cholera. (shrink)
Dieser Beitrag diskutiert Oskar Morgensterns These von der Unmöglichkeit von Wirtschaftsprognose. Nach einer kritischen Rekonstruktion Morgensterns Argumente wird diese These in ihrer starken, apriorischen Lesart zurückgewiesen. Demgegenüber gestatten es die Ergebnisse empirischer Prognoseevaluationen, Morgensterns Überlegungen als kontingente Erklärungen des Scheiterns makroökonomischer Vorhersagen umzuinterpretieren. Der Beitrag schließt deshalb mit einer provokanten Konklusion, die bereits Morgenstern zog: der Forderung, Versuche makroökonomischer Vorhersage einzustellen.
In 1897 physicists took the first e/m measurements at electrons, the consequence was a revival of the atomistic ideas in physics. The researches in geophysics also contributed to the construction of the modern physics. Four examples are dealt with this essay. 1) In 1899 J. J. Thomson was able to carry out the first direct determination of elementary electric charge with the help of the conformity with the natural laws at the formation of fog, found by C. T. R. Wilson. (...) 2) The cloud-chamber, called after C. T. R. Wilson, was the result of various constructions of for- or cloud-chambers, in it there were shown for the first time the tracks of Î±- and Î²-particles. 3) At the exploration of the photoelectric effect of the sunlight (especially of the ultraviolet share) Elster and Geitel made essential preliminary studies for the lightquanta-hypothesis of Einstein. 4) Elster and Geitel detected radioactive substances in the atmosphere and in the soil to be the main source of the atmospheric electricity. (shrink)
In this thought-provoking study, Neal Wood challenges the conception of political theory as a lofty discipline remote from the world of real politics. Drawing on the examples of thinkers from Plato to those of the 19th Century, he attempts to define political theory by examining the nature of the state and politics, by identifying the major characteristics that their theories share and by analyzing the conditions that have favored their creation.
It is now often taken for granted that facts are entia non grata, for there exists a powerful argument (dubbed the slingshot), which is backed by such great names as Frege or Gödel or Davidson (and so could hardly be wrong), that discredits their existence. There indeed is such an argument, and it indeed is not wrong on the straightforward sense of wrong. However, in how far it knocks down any conception of facts is another story, a story which is (...) anything but simple and perspicuous. In his book, Stephen Neale takes pains to excavate the origins of the argument and the presuppositions which it needs to be usable for the purpose of exorcising facts. In the introduction of the book, Neale expresses his conviction that his analysis of the slingshot will not only compromise its usability for the purpose of discrediting facts, but also save representationalist conceptions of language and mind from the attacks of the antirepresentationalist philosophers like Davidson and Rorty. „Representational philosophy,“ he claims, „survives the Davidson-Rorty onslaught because non-truth-functional logics and ontologies of facts, states of affairs, situations and propositions survive not only the actual arguments deployed against them, but also the most precise and powerful slingshot arguments that can be constructed.“ However, what he does take his analyses to show is that „the most precise and powerful slingshot arguments demonstrate conclusively that the logical and ontological theories originally targeted must satisfy non-trivial conditions if they are to avoid logical or ontological collapse.“ (P. 12) The book starts with the discussion of the philosophy of Donald Davidson, who appears to have brought the slingshot argument to the current prominence within philosophical discussions. Here we encounter the first variant of the slingshot: Consider two sentences φ and ψ and a proper name d. Consider the definite descriptions ‘the object x such that (x = d and φ)’ and ‘the object x such that (x = d and ψ)’.. (shrink)
I argue in this essay that Edmund Husserl distinguishes three levels within time-consciousness: an absolute time-constituting flow of consciousness, the immanent acts of consciousness the flow constitutes, and the transcendent objects the acts intend. The immediate occasion for this claim is Neal DeRoo’s discussion of Dan Zahavi’s reservations about the notion of an absolute flow and DeRoo’s own efforts to mediate between Zahavi’s view and the position Robert Sokolowski and I have advanced. I argue that the flow and the (...) tripartite distinction it introduces into consciousness is firmly grounded in Husserl’s texts and is philosophically defensible. The absolute flow is distinct but inseparable from what it constitutes. It is intentional in a nonobjectivating way, and accounts for the awareness I have of my individual acts of consciousness and of the unity and continuity of my conscious life. In its absence, consciousness would become an incoherent stream of episodic acts. There is nothing mysterious about the flow. What would be mysterious is consciousness without the flow. (shrink)
There is an intriguing recent effort to develop a valid cosmological argument on the basis of quite minimal assumptions.1 Indeed, the basis of the new cosmological argument is so slight that it is likely to make even a conscientious theist suspicious – to say nothing of our vigilant atheists. In Section 1 we present the background assumptions and central premises of the new cosmological argument. We are sympathetic to the conclusion that there necessarily exists an intelligent and powerful creator of (...) the actual universe, but we show in Section 2 that the new cosmological argument cannot establish this claim. Speciﬁcally, we show by reductio ad absurdum that the new argument is unsound, and that every plausibly modiﬁed version of the argument is also unsound.2 We close our discussion with a diagnosis of what went wrong in the new cosmological argument. Our conclusion is that this intriguing new argument promises considerably more than it can show. (shrink)
In a fascinating recent article, Michael Otsuka seeks to bypass the debates about the Principle of Alternative Possibilities by presenting and defending a different, but related, principle, which he calls the “Principle of Avoidable Blame.” According to this principle, one is blameworthy for performing an act only if one could instead have behaved in an entirely blameless manner. Otsuka claims that although Frankfurt-cases do undermine the Principle of Alternative Possibilities, they do not undermine the Principle of Avoidable Blame. In this (...) brief paper, we offer a critical discussion of the core of Otsuka’s argument, especially the claim that his favored principle cannot be refuted by Frankfurt-cases. We do not believe that Otsuka has offered good reason to suppose that the Principle of Avoidable Blame—and the related incompatibilism—fares any better than the original Principle of Alternative Possibilities. (shrink)
Central to Fischer and Ravizza's theory of moral responsibility is the concept of guidance control, which involves two conditions: (1) moderate reasons-responsiveness, and (2) mechanism ownership. We raise a worry for Fischer and Ravizza's account of (1). If an agent acts contrary to reasons which he could not recognize, this should lead us to conclude that he is not morally responsible for his behaviour; but according to Fischer and Ravizza's account, he satisfies the conditions for guidance control and is therefore (...) morally responsible. We consider ways in which the account of guidance control might be mended. (shrink)
In 1999, Dan Zahavi’s Self Awareness and Alterity: A Phenomenological Investigation initiated a critique of the standard interpretation of the distinction between the second and third levels of Husserl’s analysis of time-constituting consciousness. At stake was the possibility of a coherent account of self-awareness (Zahavi’s concern), but also the possibility of prereflectively distinguishing the acts of consciousness (Brough and Sokolowski’s rebuttal of Zahavi’s critique). Using insights gained from Husserl’s Analyses Concerning Passive Synthesis rather than the work on time-consciousness, this paper (...) provides a new, more precise vocabulary in which to carry on the debate, in the hopes of bringing it to a mutually satisfactory resolution. After briefly laying out the terms of the Zahavi–Brough/Sokolowski debate (Sect. 2), I then elaborate a three-fold distinction in consciousness from the Analyses (Sect. 3) and relate that back to the issue of objectivity in the debate (Sect. 4). I end by suggesting how this three-fold model from the Analyses helps us preserve the essentially tripartite structure (as Brough and Sokolowski insist we do) while not making one of these levels the object of another (in keeping with Zahavi’s critique) (Sect. 5). (shrink)
There is an intriguing recent effort to develop a valid cosmological argument on the basis of quite minimal assumptions.1 Indeed, the basis of the new cosmological argument is so slight that it is likely to make even a conscientious theist suspicious – to say nothing of our vigilant atheists. In Section 1 we present the background assumptions and central premises of the new cosmological argument. We are sympathetic to the conclusion that there necessarily exists an intelligent and powerful creator of (...) the actual universe, but we show in Section 2 that the new cosmological argument cannot establish this claim. Specifically, we show by reductio ad absurdum that the new argument is unsound, and that every plausibly modified version of the argument is also unsound.2 We close our discussion with a diagnosis of what went wrong in the new cosmological argument. Our conclusion is that this intriguing new argument promises considerably more than it can show. (shrink)
Recent discussions of physicalism have focused on the question how the physical ought to be characterized. Many have argued that any characterization of the physical should include the stipulation that the physical is non-mental, and others have claimed that a systematic substitution of ‘non-mental’ for ‘physical’ is all that is needed for philosophical purposes. I argue here that both claims are incorrect: substituting ‘non-mental’ for ‘physical’ in the causal argument for physicalism does not deliver the physicalist conclusion, and the specification (...) that the physical is non-mental is irrelevant to the task of formulating physicalism as a substantive, controversial thesis. (shrink)
(Forthcoming in Religious Studies) Abstract I argue that the Free Will Defence need not presuppose a libertarian conception of freedom and therefore need not beg the question against compatibilists. I present three versions of theological determinism, each of which is inconsistent with freedom on compatibilist-friendly principles, and then argue that what generates the inconsistency – viz., that (i) God intentionally necessitates all human actions and (ii) no human has it within their power to causally influence God’s will – is entailed (...) by any version of theological determinism. Contrary to widespread opinion, therefore, the viability of the Free Will Defence does not depend upon the viability of libertarianism per se but on the falsity of theological determinism. (shrink)
John Martin Fischer and Mark Ravizza have constructed a theory of moral responsibility according to which agents are responsible only if they take responsibility in a particular way. Crucial to taking responsibility is coming to adopt a certain set of beliefs about oneself, such as the belief that one is a legitimate target of attitudes like gratitude and resentment, praise and blame. Moreover, agents must come to adopt this belief in a way that is 'appropriately based' upon their evidence, if (...) they are to be genuinely responsible for what they do. In this paper I argue that agents need not meet these conditions in order to be morally responsible. I offer a case in which the agent thinks of himself as responsible, appears to be responsible, but fails to take responsibility in Fischer and Ravizza's sense. I then argue that Fischer and Ravizza's account of responsibility for consequences is in conflict with their contention that individuals who reject the justifiability of responsibility ascriptions fail, thereby, to be morally responsible agents. (shrink)
Egal was der heutige Tag auch bringen mag, der 1. April 2063 wird zumindest als der Tag in die Geschichte des Wissenschaftsjournalismus eingehen, der die bisher aufwändigste Berichterstattung erfahren hat. So viele Kamerateams, wie hier vor den Toren der Australian National University in Canberra, hat bisher kein wissenschaftliches Experiment anziehen können. Selbst der Knüller des Vorjahres, als es einer 48jährigen Hausfrau in einem Vorort von London gelang, mit einfachsten Küchenutensilien einen kleinen Kalte-Fusion-Reaktor herzustellen, der den Staubsauger und die Mikrowelle zuverlässig (...) mit sauberer Energie versorgte, hatte bei weitem nicht ein solches Echo in der Wissenschaftspresse erfahren. Es war zwar noch nichts über den Experimentausgang zu erfahren, trotzdem wurde freilich seit drei Tagen ununterbrochen live auf fast allen Kanälen aus Canberra darüber berichtet, dass nun zwar noch nichts zu erfahren sei, dass es aber ja sehr bald soweit sein müsse. Das Experiment, dessen Ausgang man hier so gespannt erwartete, war schon im Vorfeld hitzig diskutiert worden und überhaupt nur durch einen Sonderbeschluss der Vereinten Nationen zustande gekommen. Immerhin läuft die Vorbereitung bereits seit fast 30 Jahren, als sich mehrere Philosophen und Bürgerinitiativen zusammenschlossen, die UNO um eine endgültige Klärung einer der ältesten Fragen der Menschheit zu bitten: Was ist Bewusstsein? Und insbesondere: Ist Bewusstsein etwas anderes als physikalisch beschreibbare Zustände unseres Gehirns, oder sind alle Tatsachen letztlich physikalische Tatsachen? Dass diese Fragen trotz ihres Ehrfurcht einflößenden Alters zunehmend auf den Nägeln brannten, hatte nicht zuletzt die jüngste Entwicklung der Computertechnologie befördert. Nachdem die KI in den letzten Jahrzehnten einen großen Schritt vorwärts gemacht hatte, war man in Sorge, dass ohne endgültige begriffliche Klärung dieser Fragen unser zukünftiger Umgang mit unseren elektronischen Helfern auf moralisch unsicherem Boden stehen könne. Man hatte sich daher nach langer Abwägung der ethischen Aspekte dieses Experiments dazu entschieden, ein gerade neugeborenes Waisenkind in einem völlig schwarz-weiß-grauen Raum groß werden zu lassen, sorgsam darum bemüht, dass die kleine Mary (so hatte man das Mädchen in Anlehnung an die Protagonistin einer fiktiven philosophischen Geschichte genannt) keine Farben zu Gesicht bekommt.. (shrink)
Zu Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts war die Frage, ob Leben rein mechanisch erklärt werden könne, noch genau so heiß umstritten wie das Leib-Seele- Problem heute. Zwei Parteien standen sich unversöhnlich gegenüber. Auf der einen Seite die Biologischen Mechanisten mit der Auffassung, daß die für Lebewesen charakteristischen Eigenschaften (Stoffwechsel, Fortpflan- zung, Wahrnehmung, zielgerichtetes Verhalten, Morphogenese) genauso mechanisch erklärt werden können wie das Verhalten einer Uhr, das sich mit physikalischer Zwangsläufigkeit aus den Eigenschaften und der Anord- nung ihrer Zahnräder, Federn und Gewichte (...) ergibt. Auf der anderen Seite die Substanz-Vitalisten, die die entgegengesetzte Meinung vertraten, Leben könne nur durch die Annahme einer nichtphysischen Substanz erklärt wer- den – einer Entelechie oder eines élan vital. Als Broad in den frühen zwan- ziger Jahren seine Überlegungen zum Begriff der Emergenz entwickelte, verfolgte er unter anderem das Ziel, Raum für eine dritte Position zwischen diesen beiden Extremen zu schaffen – eine Position, die er Emergenten Vi- talismus nannte. (shrink)
What are the necessary and jointly sufficient conditions for an object's being a simple (an object without proper parts)? According to one prominent view, The Pointy View of Simples, an object is a simple if and only if the region occupied by that object contains exactly one point in space. According to another prominent view, MaxCon, an object is a simple if and only if it is maximally continuous. In this paper, I argue that both of these views are inconsistent (...) with the possibility of discrete space. I then go on to formulate analogues to these two views that are consistent with this possibility, and argue that if we are willing to grant the possibility of discrete space, we should endorse the analogue to The Pointy View of Simples over the analogue to MaxCon. (shrink)
Blame is usually discussed in the context of the free will problem, but recently moral philosophers have begun to examine it on its own terms. If, as many suppose, free will is to be understood as the control relevant to moral responsibility, and moral responsibility is to be understood in terms of whether blame is appropriate, then an independent inquiry into the nature and ethics of blame will be essential to solving (and, perhaps, even fully understanding) the free will problem. (...) In this article we first survey and categorize recent accounts of the nature of blame – is it action, belief, emotion, desire, or something else? – and then we look at several proposed requirements on appropriate blame that look beyond the transgressor himself, considerations that will form part of a full account of the ethics of blame. (shrink)
This paper defends a model of the internalism requirement against Michael Smith's recent criticisms of it. On this "example model", what we have reason to do is what we would be motivated to do were we rational. After criticizing the example model, Smith argues that his "advice model", that what we have reason to do is what we would advise ourselves to do were we rational, is obviously preferable. The author argues that Smith's criticisms can quite easily be accommodated by (...) the example model. Moreover, to the extent that his model connects reasons to advice, it is not a model of the internalism requirement at all. Yet, to the extent that it connects reasons to motivation, his model collapses into the example model. The author ends by arguing that Smith's view simply proposes an unambitious conception of practical rationality, not an alternative construal of the internalism requirement. (shrink)
This paper seeks to examine the significance of Derrida's work for an understanding of the basic tenets of phenomenology. Specifically, via an analysis of his understanding of the subject's relation to the future, we will see that Derrida enhances the phenomenological understanding of temporality and intentionality, thereby moving the project of phenomenology forward in a unique way. This, in turn, suggests that future phenomenological research will have to account for an essential (rather than merely a secondary) role for both linguistic (...) mediation and cultural and political factors within the phenomenological subject itself. (shrink)
Peter Milne and Neal Grossman have argued against Popper's propensity interpretation of quantum mechanics, by appeal to the two-slit experiment and to the distinction between mixtures and superpositions, respectively. In this paper I show that a different propensity interpretation successfully meets their objections. According to this interpretation, the possession of a quantum propensity by a quantum system is independent of the experimental set-ups designed to test it, even though its manifestations are not.
This paper launches a new criticism of Michael Smith's advice model of internalism. Whereas Robert Neal Johnson argues that Smith's advice model collapses into the example model of internalism, the author contends that taking advice seriously pushes us instead toward some version of externalism. The advice model of internalism misportrays the logic of accepting advice. Agents do not have epistemic access to what their fully rational selves would advise them to do, and so it is necessary for a model (...) of practical reason based upon advice to reflect the fact that agents take advice only from other people. This fact may or may not support internalism. Whether it does depends upon the content of the good adviser's advice, something we cannot know unless we ourselves are fully rational. We see in a new way, then, how the internalism/externalism debate depends upon the content of practical reason. (shrink)
In his recent book on the problem of evil, Peter van Inwagen argues that both the global and local arguments from evil are failures. In this paper, we engagevan Inwagen’s book at two main points. First, we consider his understanding of what it takes for a philosophical argument to succeed. We argue that whilehis criterion for success is interesting and helpful, there is good reason to think it is too stringent. Second, we consider his responses to the global andlocal arguments (...) from evil. We argue that although van Inwagen may have adequately responded to each of these arguments, his discussion points us toa third argument from evil to which he has yet to provide a response. (shrink)