The dynamics of the 2D Potts ferromagnet, when quenched below the transition temperature, is investigated in the case of a discontinuous phase transition. This is useful for understanding the non-equilibrium dynamics of systems with many competing equivalent low-temperature phases, which appears not to have been explored much. After briefly reviewing some recent findings, we focus on the numerical study of quenches just below the transition temperature on square lattices. We show that, up to a certain time, metastable states can be (...) observed, for which energy stays constant above the equilibrium energy and the self-correlation function displays a fast decay. (shrink)
Wansing’s extended intuitionistic linear logic with strong negation, called WILL, is regarded as a resource-conscious refinment of Nelson’s constructive logics with strong negation. In this paper, (1) the completeness theorem with respect to phase semantics is proved for WILL using a method that simultaneously derives the cut-elimination theorem, (2) a simple correspondence between the class of Petri nets with inhibitor arcs and a fragment of WILL is obtained using a Kripke semantics, (3) a cut-free sequent calculus for WILL, called (...) twist calculus, is presented, (4) a strongly normalizable typed λ-calculus is obtained for a fragment of WILL, and (5) new applications of WILL in medical diagnosis and electric circuit theory are proposed. Strong negation in WILL is found to be expressible as a resource-conscious refutability, and is shown to correspond to inhibitor arcs in Petri net theory. (shrink)
Data from experiments on Erica × darleyensis and from related observations (Viémont and Beaujard, 1983) are taken for a critical analysis of the proposed model of morphogenetic phenomena. The criteria for judging the coherence of the constructions proposed in plant morphology are based on mathematical constructions deduced from Petri nets, especially elementary nets.
Petrus Thomae was a fourteenth-century Spanish philosopher who taught in Barcelona. Although he did not hear John Duns Scotus lecture personally, he was familiar with Scotus’ autograph material and thus is a useful source in reconstructing his thought. This article collects and supplements the available information on the life of Petrus Thomae, and presents an inventory of the surviving manuscripts of his works.
Comparisons of rival explanations or theories often involve vague appeals to explanatory power. In this paper, we dissect this metaphor by distinguishing between different dimensions of the goodness of an explanation: non-sensitivity, cognitive salience, precision, factual accuracy and degree of integration. These dimensions are partially independent and often come into conflict. Our main contribution is to go beyond simple stipulation or description by explicating why these factors are taken to be explanatory virtues. We accomplish this by using the contrastive-counterfactual approach (...) to explanation and the view of understanding as an inferential ability. By combining these perspectives, we show how the explanatory power of an explanation in a given dimension can be assessed by showing the range of answers it provides to what-if-things-had-been-different questions and the theoretical and pragmatic importance of these questions. Our account also explains intuitions linking explanation to unification or to exhibition of a mechanism. (shrink)
In an article published in Prolegomena 2006, Christoph Schmidt-Petri has defended his interpretation and attacked mine of Mill’s idea that higher kinds of pleasure are superior in quality to lower kinds, regardless of quantity. Millian qualitative superiorities as I understand them are infinite superiorities. In this paper, I clarify my interpretation and show how Schmidt-Petri has misrepresented it and ignored the obvious textual support for it. As a result, he fails to understand how genuine Millian qualitative superiorities determine (...) the novel structure of Mill’s pluralistic utilitarianism, in which a social code of justice that distributes equal rights and duties takes absolute priority over competing considerations. Schmidt-Petri’s own interpretation is a non-starter, because it does noteven recognize that Mill is talking about different kinds of pleasant feelings, such that the higher kinds are intrinsically more valuable than the lower. I conclude by outlining why my interpretation is free of any metaphysical commitment to the “essence” of pleasure. (shrink)
This paper is a reply to Jonathan Riley’s criticism of my reading of Mill (both published in the Philosophical Quarterly 2003). I show that Riley’s interpretation has no textual support in Mill’s writing by putting the supposedly supporting quotations in their proper context. Secondly it is demonstrated how my reading is not incompatible with hedonism. Mill’s use of the concepts of ‘quality’, ‘quantity’, and ‘pleasure’ are explained and illustrated. I conclude by considering whether the possible redundancy of Mill’s quality/quantity discussion (...) would be problematic. (shrink)
As we move into a new millennium fraught with terror and danger, a global postmodern cosmopolis is unfolding in the midst of rapid evolutionary and social changes co-constructed by science, technology, and the restructuring of global capital. We are quickly morphing into a new biological and social existence that is ever-more mediated and shaped by computers, mass media, and biotechnology, all driven by the logic of capital and a powerful emergent technoscience. In this global context, science is no longer merely (...) an interpretation of the natural and social worlds, rather it has become an active force in changing them and the very nature of life. In an era where life can be created and redesigned in a petri dish, and genetic codes can be edited like a digital text, the distinction between “natural” and “artificial” has become greatly complexified. The new techniques of manipulation call into question existing definitions of life and death, demand a rethinking of fundamental notions of ethics and moral value, and pose unique challenges for democracy. (shrink)
During the past decade, social mechanisms and mechanism-based ex- planations have received considerable attention in the social sciences as well as in the philosophy of science. This article critically reviews the most important philosophical and social science contributions to the mechanism approach. The first part discusses the idea of mechanism- based explanation from the point of view of philosophy of science and relates it to causation and to the covering-law account of explanation. The second part focuses on how the idea (...) of mechanisms has been used in the social sciences. The final part discusses recent developments in analytical sociology, covering the nature of sociological explananda, the role of theory of action in mechanism-based explanations, Merton’s idea of middle-range theory, and the role of agent-based simulations in the development of mechanism-based explanations. (shrink)
This paper is an attempt to further our understanding of mechanisms conceived of as ontologically separable from laws. What opportunities are there for a mechanistic perspective to be independent of, or even more fundamental than, a law perspective? Advocates of the mechanistic view often play with the possibility of internal and external reliability, or with the paralleling possibilities of enforcing, counteracting, redirecting, etc., the mechanisms’ power to produce To further this discussion I adopt a trope ontology. It is independent of (...) the notion of law, and can easily be adapted to account for such characteristics of mechanisms. The idea of tropes as mechanisms is worked out in some detail. According to the resulting picture, there is still an opportunity to link mechanisms and laws. But while the predominant law view conceives of mechanistic approaches as special kinds of law accounts, this study indicates that the converse may be true. Law accounts are special cases of mechanistic accounts, and they work only in those worlds where the mechanisms are of the right kind. (shrink)
Against Schmidt-Petri's claim, I argue that John Stuart Mill is committed to the view that one pleasure is higher in quality than another if and only if at least a majority of those people who are competently acquainted with both always prefer the one no matter how much of the other is offered. I support my reading with solid textual evidence; none such is provided by Schmidt-Petri in support of his contrary interpretation that qualitative superiority exists whenever the (...) experienced prefer less of one pleasure to more of another. The decisive objection to this is its incompatibility with the hedonistic requirement that more pleasure ought to be preferred to less, a requirement so fundamental that it would be uncharitable to suppose that Mill lost sight of it in his doctrine of higher pleasures. (shrink)
A well known paragraph in Mill’s ‘Utilitarianism’ has standardly been misread. Mill does not claim that if some pleasure is of ‘higher quality’, then it will be (or ought to be) chosen over the pleasure of lower quality regardless of their respective quantities. Instead he says that if some pleasure will be chosen over another available in larger quantity, then we are justified in saying that the pleasure so chosen is of higher quality than the other. This assertion is unproblematic.
This paper examines the relation between Cartwright's concept of 'capacities' and Mill's concept of 'tendencies' and argues that they are not equivalent. Cartwright's concept of 'capacities' and her motivation to adopt it as a central notion in her philosophy of science are described. It is argued that the Millian concept of 'tendencies' is distinct because Mill restricts its use to a set of special cases. These are the cases in which causes combine 'mechanically'. Hence for Mill 'tendencies' do not merely (...) describe the operation of causes, but also and perhaps even primarily how they combine. This does not hold of Cartwrightian capacities which are meant to have unlimited applicability. Mill also explicitly denies the realism of 'capacities' in a sense which overlaps with Cartwright's. Her attempt to derive empirist credentials for her notion of capacity from Mill is therefore unsuccessful. (shrink)
Realism in Action is a selection of essays written by leading representatives in the fields of action theory and philosophy of mind, philosophy of the social sciences and especially the nature of social action, and of epistemology and philosophy of science. Practical reason, reasons and causes in action theory, intending and trying, and folk-psychological explanation are some of the topics discussed by these leading participants. A particular emphasis is laid on trust, commitments and social institutions, on the possibility of grounding (...) social notions in individual social attitudes, on the nature of social groups, institutions and collective intentionality, and on common belief and common knowledge. Applications to the social sciences include, e.g., a look at the Erklären-Verstehen controversy in economics, and at constructivist and realist views on archeological reconstructions of the past. (shrink)
I present a game-theoretic way to understand the situation describing Newcomb’s Problem (NP) which helps to explain the intuition of both one-boxers and two-boxers. David Lewis has shown that the NP may be modelled as a Prisoners Dilemma game (PD) in which ‘cooperating’ corresponds to ‘taking one box’. Adopting relevant results from game theory, this means that one should take just one box if the NP is repeated an indefinite number of times, but both boxes if it is a one-shot (...) game. Causal decision theorists thus give the right answer for the one-shot situation, whereas the one-boxers’ solution applies to the indefinitely iterated case. Because Nozick’s set-up of the NP is ambiguous between a one-shot and a repeated game, both of these solutions may appear plausible – depending on whether one conceives of the situation as one-off or repeated. If the players’ aim is to maximize their payoffs, the symmetric structure of the PD implies that the two players will behave alike both when the game is one-shot and when it is played repeatedly. Therefore neither the observed outcome of both players selecting the same strategy (in the PD) nor, correspondingly, the predictor’s accurate prediction of this outcome (in the NP) is at all surprising. There is no need for a supernatural predictor to explain the NP phenomena. (shrink)
Modeling is a relatively new topic in biblical and related subjects—it was first introduced in the 1970s—and it is controversial because the application of social-scientific models raises the difficult question of the cultural gap between the present societies, where the models are usually developed, and the ancient cultural context to which the models are applied.Because biblical and related studies may not belong to the most familiar scholarly fields of the readers of this journal, I first sketch an overall picture of (...) the development of the discipline and its main methods (Section 2). The subsequent sections summarize the arguments presented for and against modeling in biblical studies (Section 3), and discuss .. (shrink)
This paper considers philosophical approaches that are relevant to the intertwinement of logic, metaphysics, and psychology proposed by the Aquinas commentator Tommaso de Vio Cardinal Cajetan, the humanist Petrus Ramus, the pure Aristotelian Cornelius Martini, the Semi-Ramist Bartholomaeus Keckermann, and the lexicographer Rudolf Goclenius. Mostly, however, it is about Ramus and his followers, the Ramists, because of the role they played in exacerbating a discussion on the constitution of objectivity during the Renaissance that was to have an impact on Cartesian (...) andpost-Cartesian theories of subjectivity. Finally, keeping in mind that Kant was familiar with the secunda Petri, i.e., with the second part of Ramus's logic, namely the theory of judgment, some common ground is recognizable between Ramus and Kant as well. (shrink)
This paper challenges the first Gettier counterexample to the tripartite account of knowledge. Noting that 'the man who will get the job' is a description and invoking Donnellan's distinction between their 'referential' and 'attributive' uses, I argue that Smith does not actually believe that the man who will get the job has ten coins in his pocket. Smith's ignorance about who will get the job shows that the belief cannot be understood referentially, his ignorance of the coins in his pocket (...) shows that it cannot be understood attributively. An explanation for why Smith appeared to have justified true belief is given by distinguishing between 'belief' and 'belief in truth'. Smith believes the sentence 'the man who will get the job has ten coins in his pocket' to be true (he mistakenly believes that Jones will get the job, of whom he knows that he has ten coins in his pocket) (hence his 'belief'), the sentence is true (hence 'truth'), and he has sufficient reason to assent to it (hence his 'justification'). But he does not believe the proposition expressed. Hence he does not know it either. (shrink)
This paper discusses (in German) an idea enshrined in the recent (2012) revision of the German transplantation law. The law allows family members to make claims about what the deceased would have wanted to happen to his/her organs/tissue even though he/she never has voiced any relevant opinions. I argue that this is illegitimate.
This paper provides a conceptual analysis of the notion of interests as it is used in the social studies of science. After describing the theoretical background behind the Strong Program's adoption of the concept of interest, the paper outlines a reconstruction of the everyday notion of interest and argues that this same notion is used also by the sociologists of scientific knowledge. However, there are a couple of important differences between the everyday use of this notion and the way in (...) which it used by the sociologists. The sociologists do not use the term in evaluative context and they do not regard interests as purely non-epistemic factors. Finally, it is argued that most of the usual critiques of interest explanations, by both philosophers and fellow sociologists, are misguided. (shrink)
This paper challenges (in a shorter version than the also listed 2002 LSE discussion paper) the first Gettier counterexample to the tripartite account of knowledge. Noting that 'the man who will get the job' is a description and invoking Donnellan's distinction between their 'referential' and 'attributive' uses, I argue that Smith does not actually believe that the man who will get the job has ten coins in his pocket. Smith's ignorance about who will get the job shows that the belief (...) cannot be understood referentially, his ignorance of the coins in his pocket shows that it cannot be understood attributively. An explanation for why Smith appeared to have justified true belief is given by distinguishing between 'belief' and 'belief in truth'. Smith believes the sentence 'the man who will get the job has ten coins in his pocket' to be true (he mistakenly believes that Jones will get the job, of whom he knows that he has ten coins in his pocket) (hence his 'belief'), the sentence is true (hence 'truth'), and he has sufficient reason to assent to it (hence his 'justification'). But he does not believe the proposition expressed. Hence he does not know it either. (shrink)