The brain is often taken to be a paradigmatic example of a signaling system with semantic and representational properties, in which neurons are senders and receivers of information carried in action potentials. A closer look at this picture shows that it is not as appealing as it might initially seem in explaining the function of the brain. Working from several sender-receiver models within the teleosemantic framework, I will first argue that two requirements must be met for a system to support (...) genuine semantic information: 1. The receiver must be competent —that is, it must be able to extract rewards from its environment on the basis of the signals that it receives. 2. The receiver must have some flexibility of response relative to the signal received. In the second part of the paper, this initial framework will be applied to neural processes, pointing to the surprising conclusion that signaling at the single-neuron level is only weakly semantic at best. Contrary to received views, neurons will have little or no access to semantic information (though their patterns of activity may carry plenty of quantitative, correlational information) about the world outside the organism. Genuine representation of the world requires an organism - level receiver of semantic information, to which any particular set of neurons makes only a small contribution. (shrink)
Usually, people think that Gettier counter-examples challenged the traditional tripartite definition of knowledge and fundamentally changed the characteristic of the contemporary epistemology. This paper argues that regard for Gettier counter-examples is exaggerated, because (i) the JTB definition is neither an important nor a comprehensive one that covers all knowledge. Moreover, the significance of Gettier counter-examples is limited. (ii) The source of Gettier counter-examples lies in one arbitrary judgment, two mix-ups, three false assumptions, and a misunderstanding about the JTB definition.
HR/AL: Professor Taylor, what are you working on these days? CT: Well, several things. One of the things I am working on is something I was lecturing this fall at the New School University, and that I have called ‘modern social imaginaries’. It is an attempt to understand western modernity in terms of the different ways in which people imagine their social existence. These imaginaries are a condition for new kinds of practices that are characteristic of modernity. This research is (...) an internal part of a larger project to understand modern secular civilization, the modern west as a secular civilization. What does that notion exactly mean? What does it amount to? How did it happen? (shrink)
The main purpose of this essay is not to give a full-scale and systematic exploration of the historical process concerning the acceptance of Habermas’ works in the Chinese-spoken world but to examine the historical effect of Habermas in the Chinese-spoken context and try to find a proper way to establish a good relationship between Habermas and the Chinese-spoken world by discussing the introduction, study, and application of Habermas’ most famous work, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, by Chinese scholars (...) in recent years. (shrink)
This paper reflects on quality assessment and performance evaluation in higher education, namely by analysing the insufficient link between those two aspects. We start by reviewing the current state of the art regarding different processes and mechanisms of quality assessment and performance evaluation and discuss some of the major issues regarding the implementation of some of them. In particular, we analyse the current limitations regarding data collected, available and publicised on the performance of HEIs and the problems those limitations bring (...) to a fair evaluation of higher education. Through this analysis we intend to contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms of evaluation in higher education and the way these may lead to the promotion of better quality assessment practices and institutional management. (shrink)
With the rapid development of modern technology, people has stepped into an risky era. Ethical stipulation is the important means to reduce the risks. But in reality, ethical stipulation of technology always face some kind of dilemma which mainly come from two aspects: one is that when we try to regulate the subject oftechnology, we find that it always difficult to distinguish the responsibilities. The other aspect is that when we try to limit the result of technology, we often have (...) to give up because of lacking feasibility, which means we sink into the famous “Collingridge dilemma”. Are we able to get out of the dilemma? What should we doif we want to got out of it? First, in the modern technological system, individual’s action is taken over by group’s action according to the technological criterion. Any part of the modern technology need multiple subjects finish his job during the course. Therefore a new form of responsibility named group responsibility has been formed. Like Johnas said, in this ethics, ‘I’ will be replaced by ‘we’ and decision will be the business of a group. So it is difficult for us to find out that “I” from “us” once the technological risks happened. We lost the object of ethical stipulation as the result of no convinced standard and principals of prescribing the group responsibility. Second, when we try to stimulate some certain results of technology, we find we lack not only the wisdom of precisely judging or assessingtechnology itself, but also the ability of correcting the bad results if it has. Here again do we fall into the dilemma. This make it difficult for us to stipulate technology with ethic. From above discussion we can see, the stipulation, no matter from the aspect of technological responsibility or from aspect of the application of technology, has been sure to meet the dilemma. If the conflicts between a hypothesis and experiment cannot be eliminated, we have to rethink the theoryand come back again to technology itself and pursue the essence of technology again. Technology is a process from inventing, designing to forming material technological products; is a process from invisible technology to visible technology; is a process potential technology to real-life technology or intellective technology to reallife technology. Technology exists in process. The essential and innate characteristic is it’s process and dynamics. The transition oftechnological form involves many factors of economic, social, historical, constitutional and cultural. Technological creation of intellectual form is the duty of inventor or technologist. And it is entrepreneur’s job to use the technology or invention, and make them in large quantity, apply them in reality or get economic or other profit. Although there need be interaction, understanding, cooperation, support, coordination among scientist, technologist and enterpriser, they have different responsibility and delimitation. Technology exists in process, no doubt, so does modern technology. This decides that the ethical stipulation of modern technology should be a process stipulation . The essence of modern technological is not only the limitation of subject of technology either not only controlthe object of technology. It is the ethical stipulation in the unity of subject and object of technological dynamic process. This is basic point of understanding ethical stipulation of modern technology. Responsibility ethics consider that the group responsibility as the premise of technological stipulation .It noticed the static structure of modern technological system, but neglect the dynamic linkage between factors. And it only analysed the special construction, neglected the evolution of system of technological responsibility and the inter relationship between space dimension and time dimension. If we unfold the group responsibility along with the process of technology, we will see the different responsibility belong to different subject in different stage of the process. We can also see that different actors obey different norm or criteria according to their task. In this case, we can distinct the distribution of the group responsibility. Collingridge fixed the effective control on the two points of “before ”and ”after” the process of the technological action, namely, the stipulation for the staring point and stipulation of terminal point. But the whole process was neglected. According to the point of view of process stipulation .it is not the sudden occurrence for technology from “nothing ”to “having”. There are time and space during the process. From middle experiment to industrial experiment, the most characters of the result of technology will havebeen shown gradually, so will the social results. So we can give the small quantity an ethical evaluation and ethical choice which is possible and feasible. Over all, if we confirm the ethical stipulation of modern technology is a process regulation, we can delimitate the responsibility of the subjects of technology and also settle the prestipulation of the application of technology. At the end, we can eliminate the dilemma of ethical regulation of modern technology. (shrink)
Natura 2000 is a network of natural sites whose aim is to preserve species and habitats of relevance in the European Union. The policy underlying Natura 2000 has faced widespread opposition from land users and received extensive support from environmentalists. This paper addresses the ethical framework for Natura 2000 and the probable moral assumptions of its main stakeholders. Arguments for and against Natura 2000 were analyzed and classified according to “strong” or “weak” versions of the three main theories of environmental (...) ethics – anthropocentrism, biocentrism, and ecocentrism. Weak (intergenerational) anthropocentrism was found to underlie the Natura 2000 network itself and the positions of environmentalists, while strong (traditional) anthropocentrism pervaded the positions of economic developers. Land users seemed to fall somewhere between weak and strong anthropocentrism. The paper discusses the relation between ethics and different attitudes towards Natura 2000, highlighting some of the implications for the network’s ongoing implementation. It is shown that Natura 2000 achieves a strong reversal of the burden of proof from conservation to economic development and land use change under anthropocentrism. It is argued that the alleged theoretical divide between anthropocentrism and non-anthropocentrism in relation to the burden of proof does not seem to hold in practice. Finally, it is predicted that the weak versions of anthropocentrism, biocentrism, and ecocentrism, are likely to converge extensively in respect to nature conservation policy measures. (shrink)
This study examines the personal values and value types of Chinese accounting practitioners and students, using the values survey questionnaire developed and validated by Schwartz (1992, Advances in Experimental Social Psychology 25, 1–65). A total of 454 accounting practitioners and 126 graduate accounting students participated in the study. The results show that Healthy, Family Security, Self-Respect, and Honoring of Parents and Elders are the top four values for both accounting practitioners and accounting students, although these values are not ranked in (...) the same order. Social Power, An Exciting Life, Devout, and Accepting My Portion in Life are the lowest rated four values for the accounting practitioners whereas Devout, An Exciting Life, Detachment, and Accepting My Portion in Life form the bottom four values for the accounting students. Both accounting practitioners and students ranked Security as the highest value type and Tradition as the lowest one, and the students rated Self-Direction as significantly more important than the practitioners. With respect to gender differences, both the male accounting practitioners and students rated the value type Achievement significantly higher than their female counterparts and there were several significant gender differences in personal values for both accounting practitioners and students. In addition, the perceived values are linked to social and cultural factors as well as to the influence of Western values. (shrink)
Recently implemented Chinese health insurance schemes have failed to achieve a Chinese health care system that is family-oriented, family-based, family-friendly, or even financially sustainable. With this diagnosis in hand, the authors argue that a financially and morally sustainable Chinese health care system should have as its core family health savings accounts supplemented by appropriate health insurance plans. This essay’s arguments are set in the context of Confucian moral commitments that still shape the background culture of contemporary China.
In this paper I argue against the received view that the anti-nativist arguments of Book I of Locke's Essay conclusively challenge nativism. I begin by reconstructing the chief argument of Book I and its corollary arguments. I call attention to their dependence on (what I label) "the Awareness Principle", viz., the view that there are no ideas in the mind of which the mind either isn't currently aware or hasn't been aware in the past. I then argue that the arguments' (...) dependence on this principle is question begging on two counts. Unless this principle is defended, Locke's arguments beg the question against Descartes and Leibniz because their nativism implies the denial of the Awareness Principle. And even when Locke defended the principle, his arguments remain question begging because they presuppose the empiricism they aim to prove. The disclosure of the question-begging status of these arguments debunks a seemingly powerful way of attacking nativism. (shrink)
Compared with another founder of philosophical anthropology Max Scheler, Plessner is desolated by Chinese academe. His works have not been translated into Chinese systematically, and there are few articles about his life and thoughts. The reasons for this are complicated, but the most important point of these is that Plessner has paid most of his attention to the German problems. However, Plessner’s thought, especially his critique of social radicalism, enlightens us a lot. Plessner’s critique of modernity stimulates us to think (...) about the controversy which broke out between New Left-wingers and Liberalists in the late 20th century and to discern the common ground between the two parties: Radicalism. (shrink)
In this essay, I argue that the basic entities in the causally organized hierarchy of entities that quantum field theory describes are not particles but fields. Then I move to discuss, from the perspective of a structural realist, in what sense and to what degree this theoretical construction of fields can be taken as an objective representation of physical reality.
Discussions of name (ming, ?) during the pre-Qin and Qin-Han period of Chinese history were very active. The concept ming at that time can be divided into two categories, one is the ethical-political meaning of the term and the other is the linguistic-logical understanding. The former far exceeds the latter in terms of overall influence on the development of Chinese intellectual history. But it is the latter that has received the most attention in the 20th century, due to the influence (...) of Western logic. This has led to the result of a bias in the contemporary studies of ming. Changing course by returning to the correct path of intellectual history can providing an objective and thorough ordering of the pre-Qin discourse on ming. (shrink)
Adults increase the certainty of their inductive inferences by observing more diverse instances. However, most young children fail to do so. The present study tested the hypothesis that children's sensitivity to instance diversity is determined by three variables: ability to discriminate among instances ( Discrimination ); an intuition that large numbers of instances increase the strength of conclusion ( Monotonicity ); ability to detect subcategories and evaluate numerical differences between the subcategories, or Extraction . A total of 219 Chinese children (...) aged 6 to 11 were tested for sensitivity to diversity by means of Discrimination, Monotonicity, and Extraction. The results indicated that children at all ages were able to discriminate instances and attend to set size. However, only 9- and 11-year-olds demonstrated Extraction and sensitivity to diversity. Furthermore, among all children diversity scores increased linearly with the level of Extraction. These results suggest that the law of large numbers plays a role in children's diversity-based reasoning. (shrink)
Jesse Prinz has argued that a proxytype theory of concepts provides what he calls the 'intentionality' and 'cognitive content' desiderata better than any current competitor, and that the hybrid nature of proxytypes allows his theory to combine the informational component of informational atomism with the view that concepts are semantically structured entities. In response, I argue that the hybrid character of proxytypes, far from delivering the advantages Prinz claims, generates a threatening dilemma: either his theory is novel but fails to (...) deliver the intentionality and cognitive content desiderata, or it delivers these desiderata but is not novel. (shrink)
Alison Simmons, in Simmons (1999), argues that Descartes in Meditation Six offered a teleological account of sensory representation. According to Simmons, Descartes' view is that the biological function of sensations explains both why sensations represent what they do (i.e., their referential content) and why they represent their objects the way they do (i.e., their presentational content). Moreover, Simmons claims that her account has several advantages over other currently available interpretations of Cartesian sensations. In this paper, I argue that Simmons' teleological (...) account cannot be sustained for both theoretical and textual reasons and that it does not have the advantages it is claimed to have. (shrink)
Este artigo tem como objetivo mostrar o erro de Rosa Luxemburg em sua crítica aos esquemas de reprodução de Marx em O Capital. Em sua obra, O Capital, Marx demonstrava que a reprodução econômica da sociedade capitalista era um processo exclusivamente endógeno, conduzido inteiramente pela classe trabalhadora e pela classe capitalista. Segundo ele, a sociedade capitalista produzia e reproduzia os seus próprios fundamentos sem a necessidade de uma terceira classe social externa ao sistema. Rosa Luxemburg considerava que essa (...) concepção de Marx era uma abstrata e separada da economia real. De acordo com ela, a acumulação de capital é impossível sem a existência de uma terceira classe de consumidores externa ao sistema, a qual funcionaria como classe compradora da mais-valia destinada à acumulação. Este artigo mostrará que essa concepção tem origem na falta de compreensão sobre a natureza dialética do método de exposição de O Capital por parte de Rosa Luxemburg. (shrink)
: Freedom, understood as active participation in public life, connects the thinking of Rosa Luxemburg with that of Hannah Arendt. Biographically separated through the rise and victory of the totalitarian movements, they both developed a concept of the political that is oriented toward freedom and that demonstrates—in spite of their different historical experiences—essential common features: both authors emphasize the recognition of difference as a presupposition for a critical discussion of norms, traditions, and authorities, for the capacity to make unconstrained (...) judgments, and for the ability to take personal responsibility. (shrink)
Tian Yu Cao has written a serious and scholarly book covering a great deal of physics. He ranges from classical relativity theory, both special and general, to relativistic quantum …eld theory, including non-Abelian gauge theory, renormalization theory, and symmetry-breaking, presenting a detailed and very rich picture of the mainstream developments in quantum physics; a remarkable feat. It has, moreover, a philosophical message: according to Cao, the development of these theories is inconsistent with a Kuhnian view of theory change, and supports (...) better a quali…ed realism. (shrink)
Cao makes two claims of particular philosophical interest, in his book "The Conceptual Development of 20th Century Field Theories". (i) The history of these developments refutes Kuhn's relativistic epistemology, and (tacitly) (2) the question of realism in quantum field theory can be addressed independent of one's views on the probem of measurement. I argue that Cao is right on the first score, although for reasons different from the ones he cites, but wrong on the second. In support of the first (...) of these claims, I review in detail the correspondence between the treatment of critical phenomena in condensed matter physics, and of scaling in the renormalization group of RQFT. (shrink)
The following paper attempts to explore, criticizeand develop Thomas Kuhn's mostmature – and surprisingly neglected – view ofincommensurability. More specifically, itfocuses on (1) undermining an influential picture ofscientific kinds that lies at the heartof Kuhn's understanding of taxonomic incommensurability;(2) sketching an alternativepicture of scientific kinds that takes advantage ofKuhn's partially developed theory ofdisciplinary matrices; and (3) using these two resultsto motivate revisions to Kuhn'stheory of taxonomic incompatibility, as well as, tothe purported bridge betweentaxonomic incompatibility and some of the traditionalproblems associated (...) withincommensurability. (shrink)