This work examines whether the environmentally-induced decoherence approach in quantum mechanics brings us any closer to solving the measurement problem, and whether it contributes to the elimination of subjectivism in quantum theory. A distinction is made between 'collapse' and 'decoherence', so that an explanation for decoherence does not imply an explanation for collapse. After an overview of the measurement problem and of the open-systems paradigm, we argue that taking a partial trace is equivalent to applying the projection postulate. A criticism (...) of Zurek's decoherence approach to measurements is also made, based on the restriction that he must impose on the interaction between apparatus and environment. We then analyze the element of subjectivity involved in establishing the boundary between system and environment, and criticize the incorporation of Everett's branching of memory records into the decoherence research program. Sticking to this program, we end by sketching a proposal for 'environmentally-induced collapse'. (shrink)
This paper presents a method for investigating counterfactual histories of science. A central notion to our theory of science are "advances" (ideas, data, etc.), which are units passed among scientists and which would be conserved in passing from one possible history to another. Advances are connected to each other by nets of causal influence, and we distinguish strong and weak influences. Around sixty types of advances are grouped into ten classes. As our case study, we examine the beginning of the (...) Old Quantum Theory, using a computer to store and process historical information. We describe four plausible possible histories, along with six other implausible ones. (shrink)
This work examines whether the environmentally-induced decoherence approach in quantum mechanics brings us any closer to solving the measurement problem, and whether it contributes to the elimination of subjectivism in quantum theory. A distinction is made between ,collapse, and ,decoherence,, so that an explanation for decoherence does not imply an explanation for collapse. After an overview of the measurement problem and of the open-systems paradigm, we argue that taking a partial trace is equivalent to applying the projection postulate. A criticism (...) of Zurek's decoherence approach to measurements is also made, based on the restriction that he must impose on the interaction between apparatus and environment. We then analyze the element of subjectivity involved in establishing the boundary between system and environment, and criticize the incorporation of Everett's branching of memory records into the decoherence research program. Sticking to this program, we end by sketching a proposal for ‘environmentally-induced collapse’. (shrink)
This paper examines the problem of the interpretation of mixtures in quantum mechanics, presenting a survey of the philosophical debate between the ignorance interpretation (IgI) and the instrumentalist approach. By defining specific procedures for preparing and analyzing mixed beams of polarized light, we show that an important argument in defense of the IgI is not valid: differently prepared but equivalent mixtures cannot be distinguished by measuring particle fluctuations. We present an alternative argument, based on an experiment to test whether the (...) process of mixing is reversible or not. The expected result of this thought-experiment favors a weak version of the IgI. (shrink)
In two studies, we used the Ethics Position Questionnaire (EPQ) to investigate the relationship between individual differences in moral philosophy, involvement in the animal rights movement, and attitudes toward the treatment of animals. In the first, 600 animal rights activists attending a national demonstration and 266 nonactivist college students were given the EPQ. Analysis of the returns from 157 activists and 198 students indicated that the activists were more likely than the students to hold an "absolutist" moral orientation (high idealism, (...) low relativism). In the second study, 169 students were given the EPQ with a scale designed to measure attitudes toward the treatment of animals. Multiple regression showed that gender and the EPQ dimension of idealism were related to attitudes toward animal use. (shrink)
Experiments on scene perception and change blindness suggest that the visual system does not construct detailed internal models of a scene. These experiments therefore call into doubt the traditional view that vision is a process in which detailed representations of the environment must be constructed. The non-existence of such detailed representations, however, does not entail that we do not perceive the detailed environment. The “grand illusion hypothesis” that our visual world is an illusion rests on (1) a problematic “reconstructionist” conception (...) of vision, and (2) a misconception about the character of perceptual experience. (shrink)
The resurgent science of consciousness has been accompanied by a recent emphasis on the problem of measurement. Having dependable measures of consciousness is essential both for mapping experimental evidence to theory and for designing perspicuous experiments. Here, we review a series of behavioural and brain-based measures, assessing their ability to track graded consciousness and clarifying how they relate to each other by showing what theories are presupposed by each. We identify possible and actual conflicts among measures that can stimulate new (...) experiments, and we conclude that measures must prove themselves by iteratively building knowledge in the context of theoretical frameworks. Advances in measuring consciousness have implications for basic cognitive neuroscience, for comparative studies of consciousness and for clinical applications. (shrink)
(1) The main issue with regard to modal and amodal completion is not which phenomena are cognitive, and which perceptual. At the level of the animal, both are visuo-cognitive. At the level of visual processing, however, we need to dissect the different functional effects of these kinds of completion. (2) Resonant binding between distributed cortical areas may play a role in perceptual completion, but evidence is needed.
In Sein und Zeit, Heidegger claims that (1) das Man is an 'existential' i.e. a necessary feature of Dasein's Being; and (2) Dasein need not always exist in the mode of the Man-self, but can also be eigentlich, which I translate as 'self-owningly'. These apparently contradictory statements have prompted a debate between Hubert Dreyfus, who recommends abandoning (2), and Frederick Olafson, who favors jettisoning (1). I offer an interpretation of the structure of Dasein's Being compatible with both (1) and (2), (...) thus resolving the Dreyfus-Olafson debate. Central to this resolution is the distinction between das Man and the Man-self. Das Man is one of three existential 'horizons', or fields of possibilities; the other two horizons are the world and death. At any time, Dasein encounters entities in one of two basic modes: either by 'expressly seizing' possibilities of the horizon, or by occluding these possibilities. These modes are 'existentiell', i.e. features of Dasein's Being that are possible, but not essential. Self-ownership and the Man-self are the two basic existentiell modes of being oneself, i.e. projecting everyday possibilities of oneself appropriated from the horizon of das Man. What differentiates these two modes is the stance one takes to the possibility of death, the existential horizon of being oneself. (shrink)
To understand better why evidence of student cheating is often ignored, a national sample of psychology instructors was sampled for their opinions. The 127 respondents overwhelmingly agreed that dealing with instances of academic dishonesty was among the most onerous aspects of their profession. Respondents cited insufficient evidence that cheating has occurred as the most frequent reason for overlooking student behavior or writing that might be dishonest. A factor analysis revealed 4 other clusters of reasons as to why cheating may be (...) ignored. Emotional reasons included stress and lack of courage. Difficult reasons included the extensive time and effort required to deal with cheating students. Fear reasons included concern about retaliation or a legal challenge. Denial reasons included beliefs that cheating students would fail anyway and that the worst offenders do not get caught. The reasons why instances of academic dishonesty should be proactively confronted are presented. (shrink)
Whitehead does not provide us with a systematic account of the various types of experience to which the word “memory” is applied. Nevertheless, he does provide us with a way of understanding the world, and living creatures who inhabit it, that places the discussion in a different context from the usual one: the diverse features of human experience that we call memory are developed forms of basic patterns of relationship that characterize all actual entities. I will first review the relevant (...) features of Whitehead's conceptuality, then contrast the resulting view with its usual formulation, and then speculate about some forms of memory in Whiteheadian categories. (shrink)
This work examines whether the environmentally-induced decoherence approach in quantum mechanics brings us any closer to solving the measurement problem, and whether it contributes to the elimination of subjectivism in quantum theory. A distinction is made between ,collapse, and ,decoherence,, so that an explanation for decoherence does not imply an explanation for collapse. After an overview of the measurement problem and of the open-systems paradigm, we argue that taking a partial trace is equivalent to applying the projection postulate. A criticism (...) of Zurek's decoherence approach to measurements is also made, based on the restriction that he must impose on the interaction between apparatus and environment. We then analyze the element of subjectivity involved in establishing the boundary between system and environment, and criticize the incorporation of Everett's branching of memory records into the decoherence research program. Sticking to this program, we end by sketching a proposal for âenvironmentally-induced collapseâ. (shrink)
The investigation of a method for postulating counterfactual histories of science has led to the development of a theory of science based on general units of knowledge, which are called “advances”. Advances are passed on from scientist to scientist, and may be seen as “causing” the appearance of other advances. This results in networks which may be analyzed in terms of probabilistic causal models, which are readily encodable in computer language. The probability for a set of advances to give rise (...) to another advance is taken to be invariant through history, but depends on a typical time span which is an inverse function of the degree of development of science. Examples are given from the early science of magnetism and from the 19th century physics. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to investigate the ascription of probabilities in a causal model of an episode in the history of science. The aim of such a quantitative approach is to allow the implementation of the causal model in a computer, to run simulations. As an example, we look at the beginning of the science of magnetism, “explaining” — in a probabilistic way, in terms of a single causal model — why the field advanced in China but not (...) in Europe (the difference is due to different prior probabilities of certain cultural manifestations). Given the number of years between the occurrences of two causally connected advances X and Y, one proposes a criterion for stipulating the value pY/X of the conditional probability of an advance Y occurring, given X. Next, one must assume a specific form for the cumulative probability function pY/X(t), which we take to be the time integral of an exponential distribution function, as is done in physics of radioactive decay. Rules for calculating the cumulative functions for more than two events are mentioned, involving composition, disjunction and conjunction of causes. We also consider the problems involved in supposing that the appearance of events in time follows an exponential distribution, which are a consequence of the fact that a composition of causes does not follow an exponential distribution, but a “hypoexponential” one. We suggest that a gamma distribution function might more adequately represent the appearance of advances. (shrink)
A Filosofia do Direito de Hegel trata da Ideia da Liberdade e suas formas de concretização. É a expressão do exercício efetivo da autonomia da “pessoa do direito” enquanto capacidade jurídica. Isso inclui o direito de propriedade e do contrato; o direito da vontade moral, enquanto trata das condições da responsabilidade subjetiva; e as mediações da eticidade, enquanto desenvolve o exercício da autonomia nas instituições sociais: a família, as corporações e o Estado.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841-1935) is, arguably, the most important American jurist of the 20th century, and his essay The Path of the Law, first published in 1898, is the seminal work in American legal theory. In it, Holmes detailed his radical break with legal formalism and created the foundation for the leading contemporary schools of American legal thought. He was the dominant source of inspiration for the school of legal realism, and his insistence on a practical approach to law (...) and legal analysis laid the basis for the realists' later concentration upon the pragmatic and empirical aspects of law and legal procedures. This volume brings together some of the most distinguished legal scholars from the United States and Canada to examine competing understandings of The Path of the Law and its implications for contemporary American jurisprudence. For the reader's convenience, the essay is republished in an Appendix. (shrink)
This is a review of the book Cultivating Original Enlightenment: Wŏnhyo's Exposition of the Vajrasamādhi-Sūtra , by Robert E. Buswell, Jr., published by the Univeristy of Hawaii Press (2008). This volume, the first to be published in the Collected Works of Wŏnhyo series, contains the translation of a single text by Wŏnhyo, the Kŭmgang Sammaegyŏng Non.
This essay focuses on one aspect of the social thought of Martin Luther King, Jr.: his social ethics. Specifically, it poses the question whether, in what sense, and from what time it is correct to consider King a democratic socialist. The essay argues that King was in fact a democratic socialist and, contrary to the implications of some recent interpreters who have focused on transformation and radicalization in King's thought, that King's democratic socialism was rooted in his formative experience (...) of the black religious tradition and was manifested from his student days at Crozer Theological Seminary forward. The change that may be discerned in King's later years was only a refinement, not a transformation, of his basic orientation. (shrink)
Much attention has been devoted in recent years to the personal idealism of Martin Luther King, Jr. Among the major contributors to the scholarship in this area is Rufus Burrow, Jr., who places King firmly in the tradition of personal idealism, or personalism, while also uncovering the intellectual unease that made King both a deep and creative thinker and a committed and effective social activist.1 Clearly, Burrow's own sense of his role as a personalist informs his approach to the life (...) and thought of King. Although philosophical personalism figures prominently in Burrow's treatment of King in his writings, ethical and social personalism provides the primary theoretical framework for both Burrow's exploration of .. (shrink)
This article describes the racial integration of Emory University and the subsequent creation of Pre-Start, an affirmative action program at Emory Law School from 1966 to 1972. It focuses on the initiative of the Dean of Emory Law School at the time, Ben F. Johnson, Jr. (1914-2006). Johnson played a number of leadership roles throughout his life, including successfully arguing a case before the United States Supreme Court while he was an Assistant Attorney General of Georgia, promoting legislation to create (...)Atlanta's subway system as a state senator, and representing Emory in its lawsuit to strike down the state statute that would have rescinded its tax exemption if it admitted African American students (Emory v. Nash, 218 Ga. 317 (Ga. 1962)). This account supplements my related article on Pre-Start, "'A Bulwark against Anarchy': Affirmative Action, Emory Law School, and Southern Self-Help" (SSRN abstract 1007006), providing more information about historical context generally, and particularly about Emory v. Nash. Johnson was ambitious for Emory as a whole, and particularly for the Law School, and he saw in segregation the single largest impediment to making Emory a nationally prominent research university. The story of Emory's integration, and Johnson's leadership, requires revision of the prevailing story of integration generally, and especially of universities. Integration at Emory came about because of the pressure that African Americans and their supporters created through the civil rights movement, but Emory administrators responded to such pressure more constructively than most (e.g., Universities of Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Vanderbilt). Their actions provide an interesting case study in effective leadership during a period of significant moral and political conflict. (shrink)
Why should philosophy, or even thinking, get in the way of seeing? In attempting to address this question, this paper identifies post-Romanticism as a phenomenologically inflected response to the failure of both pre-Romantic Reflexionsphilosophie and Hegelian speculative overcoming, one that seeks to express our relation to the world in a way that does not rely on a reflection model of consciousness and gives no support to the notion of a cognitively inaccessible absolute. It will be suggested that the poetry of (...) Fernando Pessoa offers lessons in such a post-Romanticism, showing how a phenomenological attentiveness to the world-disclosive power of poetry and to the everyday mereness of things constitutes a more coherent way of relating to the world. With reference to Heidegger and Jean-Luc Nancy, it will be argued that Pessoa’s poetry shows us that it is by reining in the reflection model of consciousness that we achieve a greater sense of the world and our position in it. (shrink)
The question of the relation of my work to that of Martin Luther King Jr. cannot be resolved with the theoretical tools Christopher Beem brings to the task. Stanley Fish has written that "those who detach King's words from the history that produced them erase the fact of that history from the slate, and they do so, paradoxically, in order to prevent that history from being truly and deeply altered." The vice of liberalism is not selfishness so much as (...) a forgetfulness that spreads like a blight from the habit of abstraction. Martin Luther King Jr. remembered his people, his savior, and his church, and he called the rest of us to share those memories. Therein lay his strength. (shrink)
This review essay examines H. TristramEngelhardt, Jr.'s The Foundations of Bioethics, a contemporary nonfeminist text in mainstream biomedical ethics. It focuses upon a central concept, Engelhardt's idea of the moral community and argues that the most serious problem in the book is its failure to take account of the political and social structures of moral communities, structures which deeply affect issues in biomedical ethics.
Alguns filósofos materialistas pensam, contra o dualismo de substância, que uma mente incorporada é apenas uma mente que depende de um corpo para existir, isto é, que a mente náo existe independentemente de um corpo. Tomarei como representativas deste ponto de vista muito limitado sobre incorporaçáo as idéias de Lynne Baker e sua Teoria da Constituiçáo de Propriedades. Baker diz que prefere enfrentar o problema da relaçáo pessoa e corpo em vez da relaçáo mente e corpo porque esta última (...) formulaçáo implica a idéia de uma mente distinta e separada do corpo enquanto que a primeira está mais de acordo com sua concepçáo de uma mente incorporada e situada. O problema é que Baker esquece isso quando define pessoa em termos de perspectiva de primeira pessoa ou autoconsciência. Embora Baker diga que a autoconsciência depende de condições estruturais – um corpo – e ambientais – a situaçáo -, o que torna a pessoa humana autoconsciente uma entidade ontologicamente distinta do corpo que a constitui e de outros animais sáo suas realizações tais como arte, filosofia, ciência, moral, etc. Parece que, para Baker, a autoconsciência é náo apenas uma condiçáo necessária mas também uma condiçáo suficiente para aquelas realizações humanas, enquanto que o corpo desempenha apenas um papel indireto. Contra tais idéias nós podemos perguntar: as grandes realizações que distinguem pessoas humanas de outros animais seriam possíveis independentemente da constituiçáo biológica de nosso corpo e de suas necessidades? (shrink)
Martin Luther King, Jr.'s cosmopolitanism -- Communal-political ethics I : vision and norms -- Communal-political ethics II : virtues and practice -- Martin Luther King, Jr., and glocality -- Constructive Kingian global ethics -- Kingian global ethics and world religions -- Kingian global ethics and neoliberal capitalism -- Kingian global ethics and the United States -- Conclusion: March toard the great world house.
Edited by Marthe Chandler and Ronnie Littlejohn, this work is a collection of expository and critical essays on the work of Henry Rosemont, Jr., a prominent and influential contemporary philosopher, activist, translator, and educator in the field of Asian and Comparative Philosophy. The essays in this collection take up three major themes in Rosemont's work: his work in Chinese linguistics, his contribution to the theory of human rights, and his interest in East Asian religion. Contributions include works by the leading (...) scholars in Chinese philosophy in the Western world and Rosemont's close associates: Roger T. Ames, Bao Zhiming, Mary Bockover, Marthe Chandler, Ewing Y. Chinn, Erin M. Cline, Fred Dallmayr, Jeffrey Dippmann, Herbert Fingarette, Harrison Huang, Eric Hutton, Philip J. Ivanhoe, David Jones, William La Fleur, Ronnie Littlejohn, Ni Peimin, Michael Nylan, Harold Roth, Sumner Twiss, Tu Weiming, David Wong, with responses from Henry Rosemont, Jr. and a brief Reminiscence by Noam Chomsky. (shrink)
This paper explores the special problems encountered by the biographer of a living scientific subject. In particular, it explores the complex of problems that emerges from the intense interpersonal dynamic involving issues of distance, privacy and trust. It also explores methodological problems having to do with oral history interviews and other supporting documentation. It draws on the personal experience of the author and the biographical subject of G. Ledyard Stebbins Jr., the botanist, geneticist and evolutionist. It also offers prescriptives and (...) recommendations for future research. (shrink)
A proposta deste artigo é iniciar uma discussão sobre o respeito à dignidade humana no atendimento socioeducativo para pessoas com autismo sob o viés dos familiares, visando compreender em que medida a não-efetivação de um direito garantido por lei desrespeita a dignidade da pessoa com autismo. O tema da dignidade humana será pautado pela Declaração Universal dos Direitos Humanos e a Constituição Brasileira de 1988 que garantem a todas as pessoas, sem distinção, o direito à dignidade e pela Teologia (...) da Libertação que busca estar com as pessoas que são excluídas e marginalizadas. (shrink)
This is a expository and critical review of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. 's last book, War and the American Presidency. The book collects and focuses recent writings of Arthur Schlesinger on the themes of its title. In its short Foreword and seven concise essays, the book aims to explore, in some contrast with the genre of “instant history,” the relationship between President George W. Bush’s Iraq adventure and the national past. This aim and the present work are deserving of wide attention, (...) both because of the contemporary need to deal with the extended war in Iraq and because Americans, in particular, need to attend to their own history, if we are to avoid past mistakes and make the best use of our ongoing political traditions and institutions. In order to know better where we might go in the future, we need an adequate picture of where we have been in the past. Schlesinger invites us to debate the war, the Presidency, and their relation to the American past. (shrink)
Following a lengthy period in which they were glorified and worshiped, several illustrious personages led a seemingly miserable and almost forgotten existence for two thousand years until they appeared sporadically in nineteenth and twentieth-century literature, philosophy, and poetry. Apart from a brief moment during the Renaissance, the ancient Greek gods only managed to emerge from their existential shadows at the time of Romanticism, when few poets failed to provide these gods with a fleeting haven in some of their verse, even (...) if this favor was often nothing more than a form of tautological self-identification as their being poets (Calasso 11-12). Subsequently, the gods generally played a merely more or less .. (shrink)