This article presents a new interpretation of Marx's dialectical method. Marx conceived dialectics as a method for constructing a model of society. The way this model is developed is analogous to the way organisms develop according to the German embryologist Karl Ernst von Baer, and, indeed, Marx's theory of capitalism hinges on the same concept of Organisation that is found in teleomechanical biology. The strong analogy between pre-Darwinian biology and Marx's structure of argument shows that the analogy often supposed to (...) exist between Darwin and Marx is not relevant to Marx's theory of capitalism. (shrink)
Two approaches toward the arrow of time for scattering processes have been proposed in rigged Hilbert space quantum mechanics. One, due to Arno Bohm, involves preparations and registrations in laboratory operations and results in two semigroups oriented in the forward direction of time. The other, employed by the Brussels-Austin group, is more general, involving excitations and de-excitations of systems, and apparently results in two semigroups oriented in opposite directions of time. It turns out that these two time arrows can (...) be related to each other via Wigner's extensions of the spacetime symmetry group. Furthermore, their are subtle differences in causality as well as the possibilities for the existence and creation of time-reversed states depending on which time arrow is chosen. (shrink)
Arno Bohm and Ilya Prigogine's Brussels-Austin Group have been working on the quantum mechanical arrow of time and irreversibility in rigged Hilbert space quantum mechanics. A crucial notion in Bohm's approach is the so-called preparation/registration arrow. An analysis of this arrow and its role in Bohm's theory of scattering is given. Similarly, the Brussels-Austin Group uses an excitation/de-excitation arrow for ordering events, which is also analyzed. The relationship between the two approaches is discussed focusing on their semi-group operators and (...) time arrows. Finally a possible realist interpretation of the rigged Hilbert space formulation of quantum mechanics is considered. (shrink)
A more and more important role is played by new directions in historical research that study long-term dynamic processes and quantitative changes. This kind of history can hardly develop without the application of mathematical methods. The history is studied more and more as a system of various processes, within which one can detect waves and cycles of different lengths – from a few years to several centuries, or even millennia. This issue is the third collective monograph in the series of (...) History & Mathematics almanacs and it is subtitled Processes and Models of Global Dynamics. The contributions to the almanac present a qualitative and quantitative analysis of global historical, political, economic and demographic processes, as well as their mathematical models. This issue of the almanac consists of two main sections: (I) Analyses of the World Systems and Global Processes, and (II) Models of Economic and Demographic Processes. We hope that this issue of the almanac will be interesting and useful both for historians and mathematicians, as well as for all those dealing with various social and natural sciences. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with reasonings that purport to explain why certain organisms have certain traits by showing that their actual design is better than contrasting designs. Biologists call such reasonings ‘functional explanations’. To avoid confusion with other uses of that phrase, I call them ‘design explanations’. This paper discusses the structure of design explanations and how they contribute to scientific understanding. Design explanations are contrastive and often compare real organisms to hypothetical organisms that cannot possibly exist. They are not (...) causal but appeal to functional dependencies between an organism’s different traits. These explanations point out that because an organism has certain traits (e.g., it lives on land), it cannot be alive if the trait to be explained (e.g., having lungs) were replaced by a specified alternative (e.g., having gills). They can be understood from a mechanistic point of view as revealing the constraints on what mechanisms can be alive. (shrink)
Nietzsche's model of eternal return triggers a drama of affirmation, the overcoming of a simple miming of our ancestors in favour of an active participation in the counter-actualisation of hidden potentials in recurrent events. Based on a close study of Zarathustra's struggle to free himself from a suffocating nihilism, the paper focuses on the revelatory caesura that ushers in what Deleuze calls the third synthesis of time, a time of ‘doing’ rather than reflection.
Within corporate social responsibility (CSR), the exploration of the political role of firms (political CSR) has recently experienced a revival. We review three key periods of political CSR literature—classic, instrumental, and new political CSR—and use the Rawlsian conceptualization of division of moral labor within political systems to describe each period’s background political theories. The three main arguments of the paper are as follows. First, classic CSR literature was more pluralistic in terms of background political theories than many later texts. Second, (...) instrumental CSR adopted classical liberalism and libertarian laissez-faire as its structural logic. Third, new political CSR, based on a strong globalist transition of responsibilities and tasks from governments to companies, lacks a conceptualization of division of moral labor that is needed to fully depart from a classical liberalist position. We end by providing a set of recommendations to develop pluralism in political CSR. (shrink)