Andrews et al. effectively argue that, despite prominent criticism, adaptationism can be a viable research strategy. We agree. In our complementary commentary, we discuss the neglected method of inference to the best explanation and argue that it is a valuable addition to the adaptationist's methodological practice.
In recent times evolutionary psychologists have offered adaptation explanations for a wide range of human psychological characteristics. Critics, however, have argued that such endeavors are problematic because the appropriate evidence required to demonstrate adaptation is unlikely to be forthcoming, therefore severely limiting the role of the adaptationist program in psychology. More specifically, doubts have been raised over both the methodology employed by evolutionary psychologists for studying adaptations and about the possibility of ever developing acceptably rigorous evolutionary explanations of human psychological (...) phenomena. We argue that by employing a wide range of methods for inferring adaptation and by adopting an inference to the best explanation strategy for evaluating adaptation explanations, these two doubts can be adequately addressed. We illustrate how this approach can be fruitfully employed in evaluating claims about the evolutionary origins of language, and conclude with a brief discussion of the future of evolutionary psychology. (shrink)
Quine may be taken to use the phrase ‘Plato's Beard’ to denote a solution to the following problem: How is it possible to speak of that which does not exist, of non-being or as Read has it, to denote a solution to the problem: ‘How can a sentence with empty names have meaning?’. Quine writes: Nonbeing must in some sense be, otherwise what is that there is not? This tangled doctrine might be nicknamed Plato's beard; historically it has proved tough, (...) frequently dulling the edge of Occam's razor. To expand. If nonbeing in no sense is, then we cannot ever assert that it is not; yet if it in some sense is, then how can it remain nonbeing? Let us fill out with an example (coined from Quine). If Pegasus in no sense exists, then how can we ever assert that Pegasus does not exist?—yet we may clearly want to assert that Pegasus does not exist and affirm the proposition that it is false that Pegasus exists. If, on the other hand, Pegasus in some sense exists, how may we affirm that he does not? We shall be contradicting ourselves or be guilty of equivocation. (shrink)
This review starts with a brief overview of the technological potential of molecular-based solar cell technologies. It then goes on to focus on the core scientific challenge associated with using molecular light-absorbing materials for solar energy conversion, namely the separation of short-lived, molecular-excited states into sufficiently long-lived, energetic, separated charges capable of generating an external photocurrent. Comparisons are made between different molecular-based solar cell technologies, with particular focus on the function of dye-sensitized photoelectrochemical solar cells as well as parallels with (...) the function of photosynthetic reaction centres. The core theme of this review is that generating charge carriers with sufficient lifetime and a high quantum yield from molecular-excited states comes at a significant energetic cost—such that the energy stored in these charge-separated states is typically substantially less than the energy of the initially generated excited state. The role of this energetic loss in limiting the efficiency of solar energy conversion by such devices is emphasized, and strategies to minimize this energy loss are compared and contrasted. (shrink)
THE PURPOSE OF THE PAPER IS TO CRITICALLY EXAMINE TWO METAPHYSICAL PRINCIPLES ADVOCATED BY PROFESSOR MORRIS IN HIS BOOK "THE LOGIC OF GOD INCARNATE", NAMELY (I) THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN "COMMON" HUMAN PROPERTIES AND "ESSENTIAL" HUMAN PROPERTIES; (II) THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN BEING "MERELY" X AND "FULLY" X. THE FIRST DISTINCTION IS BOTH DEFENDED AND EXPANDED ON; THE SECOND IS REJECTED ON THE GROUNDS THAT IT INVOKES AN IMPOSSIBLE COMPARISON; A COMPARISON BETWEEN A QUANTITATIVE ASSESSMENT ON THE ONE HAND AND THE QUALITATIVE (...) ASSESSMENT ON THE OTHER. IN THE LIGHT OF THIS IT IS CLAIMED THAT MORRIS’S DEFENCE OF THE ORTHODOX DOCTRINE OF THE INCARNATION FAILS. (shrink)
I subscribe to and defend frege's view that concepts are essentially predicative such that they can never occur as subjects of predication, Arguing against recent contentions of geach and strawson to the effect that (a) some general terms can so occur; (b) that 'anything whatever' can be a subject of predication. I discuss in detail frege's treatment of universally quantified propositions, Particular propositions, And unquantified propositions arguing that his thesis can be defended in each type of case.
This paper is exploratory. It raises the questions: 1) How is it possible that that which is of its "nature" transcendent should become immanent or incarnate?; 2) How is it possible for one and the same individual to be both "fully" God and "fully" man? As concerns 1) an answer is offered by appeal to Geach’s account of Aquinas’s doctrine of "Form"; as concerns 2) a sketch answer is supplied on the basis of 1) It is held that a paradox (...) only arises if it were required that God the Son took on the "non-formal" predicates expressing the essence of the Godhead in the "very same sense" as they apply to God himself. (shrink)
Sleep enhances integration across multiple stimuli, abstraction of general rules, insight into hidden solutions and false memory formation. Newly learned information is better assimilated if compatible with an existing cognitive framework or schema. This article proposes a mechanism by which the reactivation of newly learned memories during sleep could actively underpin both schema formation and the addition of new knowledge to existing schemata. Under this model, the overlapping replay of related memories selectively strengthens shared elements. Repeated reactivation of memories in (...) different combinations progressively builds schematic representations of the relationships between stimuli. We argue that this selective strengthening forms the basis of cognitive abstraction, and explain how it facilitates insight and false memory formation. (shrink)