The paper argues against the widely accepted assumption that the causal laws of (completed) physics, in contrast to those of the special sciences, are essentially strict. This claim played an important role already in debates about the anomalousness of the mental, and it currently experiences a renaissance in various discussions about mental causation, projectability of special science laws, and the nature of physical laws. By illustrating the distinction with some paradigmatic physical laws, the paper demonstrates that only law schemata (...) are strict whereas causal laws are generally non-strict. Several potential replies to this argument are discussed and rejected as unsound. (shrink)
The notion of schema has been given a major role by Recanati within his conception of primary pragmatic processes, conceived as a type of associative process. I intend to show that Recanati’s considerations on schemata may challenge the relevance theorist’s argument against associative explanations in pragmatics, and support an argument in favor of associative (versus inferential) explanations. More generally, associative relations can be shown to be schematic, that is, they have enough structure to license inferential effects without any appeal (...) to genuine inferential processes. Associative processes are thus able to explain a number of pragmatic and linguistic phenomena which have instead been thought to require specialized inferential processes. (shrink)
This paper introduces the notion of knowledge structuring by schemata. A schema is a chunk of knowledge which generalizes the idea of functional dependence between pertinent concepts (objects). The rules are closely related to the schemata. Moreover the schemata are organized in a hierarchical network which takes into account the relative importance of the concepts. Examples are given in the financial field and the consequences with regards to knowledge engineering are discussed.
The syllogistic figures and moods can be taken to be argument schemata as can the rules of the Stoic propositional logic. Sentence schemata have been used in axiomatizations of logic only since the landmark 1927 von Neumann paper . Modern philosophers know the role of schemata in explications of the semantic conception of truth through Tarski’s 1933 Convention T . Mathematical logicians recognize the role of schemata in first-order number theory where Peano’s second-order Induction Axiom is (...) approximated by Herbrand’s Induction-Axiom Schema . Similarly, in first-order set theory, Zermelo’s second-order Separation Axiom is approximated by Fraenkel’s first-order Separation Schema . In some of several closely related senses, a schema is a complex system having multiple components one of which is a template-text or scheme-template, a syntactic string composed of one or more “blanks” and also possibly significant words and/or symbols. In accordance with a side condition the template-text of a schema is used as a “template” to specify a multitude, often infinite, of linguistic expressions such as phrases, sentences, or argument-texts, called instances of the schema. The side condition is a second component. The collection of instances may but need not be regarded as a third component. The instances are almost always considered to come from a previously identified language (whether formal or natural), which is often considered to be another component. This article reviews the often-conflicting uses of the expressions ‘schema’ and ‘scheme’ in the literature of logic. It discusses the different definitions presupposed by those uses. And it examines the ontological and epistemic presuppositions circumvented or mooted by the use of schemata, as well as the ontological and epistemic presuppositions engendered by their use. In short, this paper is an introduction to the history and philosophy of schemata. (shrink)
Tarski avoids the liar paradox by relativizing truth and falsehood to particular languages and forbidding the predication to sentences in a language of truth or falsehood by any sentences belonging to the same language. The Tarski truth-schemata stratify an object-language and indefinitely ascending hierarchy of meta-languages in which the truth or falsehood of sentences in a language can only be asserted or denied in a higher-order meta-language. However, Tarski’s statement of the truth-schemata themselves involve general truth functions, and (...) in particular the biconditional, defined in terms of truth conditions involving truth values standardly displayed in a truth table. Consistently with his semantic program, all such truth values should also be relativized to particular languages for Tarski. The objection thus points toward the more interesting problem of Tarski’s concept of the exact status of truth predications in a general logic of sentential connectives. Tarski’s three-part solution to the circularity objection which he anticipates is discussed and refuted in detail. (shrink)
Paul Horwich (1998), following a number of others, proposes a schematic compositional format for the specification of the meanings of complex expressions. The format is schematic in the sense that it identifies grammatical schemata that do not presuppose any particular account of primitive word meanings: whatever the nature of meanings, the application of the schemata to them will serve to explain compositionality. This signals, for Horwich, that compositionality is a non-substantive constraint on theories of meaning. Drawing on a (...) range of linguistic data, the present paper argues that while the bare idea of compositionality indeed does not presuppose any account of meaning, Horwich's format is empirically inadequate. The argument here goes back to Chomsky's early position on the descriptive inadequacy of rewrite grammars and the consequent need for transformations. It will also be seen that the data militates for a general claim that meaning relevant structure is projected from words rather than imposed on them schematically. Finally, it will be indicated how this reasoning from syntactic considerations is flush with a more traditional philosophical understanding of compositionality. (shrink)
The schema, or theoretical framework, holism, is concerned with the essence of society as a whole. Though undermined by Popper, it cannot be refuted ? nor proved. The extreme alternative is individualism. Several forms, due to Freud, Wittgenstein, and phenomenology, make presuppositions that require the individualist interpretation of society to be reopened at a new point. Popper's ? or Weber's ? is the sturdiest; its units being individual actions plus their unintended by?products. The Weber?Popper schema can provide a framework for (...) many satisfactory societal explanations. But individualism misses the holistic possibility of dynamic societal forces; the individualist fails to produce any dynamic laws. A dynamic bipolar schema could put both schemata to work without prescribing which would predominate. Empirical investigation would determine the more fruitful for a given problem. This schema would be ?justified? by fostering a satisfactory empirical social theory. The present investigation also reveals where the real controversies about schemata lie. (shrink)
Some twenty different background approaches, or schemata, permeate the social sciences. Most of their exponents regard their choice as excluding the rest. This paper is concerned to show that all such conflict is merely disputatious since virtually all the schemata require one another. Taking the individual's need to act as starting-point, certain restrictions limiting his freedom of action are identified as factors of the overt societal situation. These, however, fail to explain all aspects of his powerlessness, to account (...) for which he then seeks such deeper constraints as unseen powers or human conspiracies. Social scientists for their part develop theories or interpretations of the societal situation. The paper turns to the first of three groups of interpretations, concentrating on one constituent of the group, functionalism, which is a mirror-image of another constituent, 'conflict theory'. The complementarity of these two is claimed to apply to virtually all the schemata considered. (The second and third groups are deferred to the sequel.) The Appendix deals with the way in which explanatory factors can be combined. Having removed the unreal contentions associated with various schemata, the way is clear to treatment of the one substantive issue among them - to do with holism - in the sequel. (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)
The paper considers a commonly used axiomatization of the classical propositional logic and studies how different axiom schemata in this system contribute to proof complexity of the logic. The existence of a polynomial bound on proof complexity of every statement provable in this logic is a well-known open question.The axiomatization consists of three schemata. We show that any statement provable using unrestricted number of axioms from the first of the three schemata and polynomially-bounded in size set of (...) axioms from the other schemata, has a polynomially-bounded proof complexity. In addition, it is also established, that any statement, provable using unrestricted number of axioms from the remaining two schemata and polynomially-bounded in size set of axioms from the first scheme, also has a polynomially-bounded proof complexity. (shrink)
The claim that there are nonpurposive functional statements is critically examined by looking at nine translation schemata, several of which are drawn from recent literature. All but one or two fail, suggesting that all functional statements (a) are causal (and not about probabilities or necessary conditions), and (b) have implicit reference to goals. If so, then the possibility of nonpurposive functional statements rests squarely on the possibility of nonpurposive goals.
Schematic conflict occurs when evidence is interpreted in different ways (for example, by different people, who have learned to approach the given evidence with different schemata). Such conflicts are resolved either by weighting some schemata more heavily than others, or by finding common-ground inferences for several schemata, or by a combination of these two processes. Belief functions, interpreted as representations of evidence strength, provide a natural model for weighting schemata, and can be utilized in several distinct (...) ways to compute common-ground inferences. In two examples, different computations seem to be required for reasonable common-ground inference. In the first, competing scientific theories produce distinct, logically independent inferences based on the same data. In this example, the simple product of the competing belief functions is a plausible evaluation of common ground. In the second example (sensitivity analysis), the conflict is among alternative statistical assumptions. Here, a product of belief functions will not do, but the upper envelope of normalized likelihood functions provides a reasonable definition of common ground. Different inference contexts thus seem to require different methods of conflict resolution. A class of such methods is described, and one characteristic property of this class is proved. (shrink)
This paper discusses the prospect of the "new social history" guided by the recent work of Charles Tilly on the methodology of social and historical explanation. Tilly advocates explanation by mechanisms as the alternative to the covering law explanation. Tilly's proposals are considered to be the attempt to reshape the practices of social and historical explanation following the example set by the explanatory practices of molecular biology, neurobiology, and other recent "success stories" in the life sciences. Recent work in the (...) philosophy of science on these practices by Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden, Carl Craver and others is used as the foil to disclose the difficulties of Tilly's project. Most important among them is the dilemma of specification: if diagrams (standard forms of the representation of mechanisms) are intended as representations of robust causal processes, they cannot be specific enough to provide complete mechanism schemata, and are bound to remain mechanism sketches. If mechanism sketches are elaborated in detail by tracing particular causal processes, they provide representations of fragile causal processes, which cannot be considered as mechanisms comparable to those in advanced life and other special sciences. Tilly's work on the explanation of mechanisms can be considered as symptomatic for the recent trend to visualize the forms of historical representation. As far as diagrams seem to be able to communicate stories in a direct way (without narrative discourse), this trend is a challenge for the theory of historical representation. The new theories of scientific explanation focusing on the explanatory practices of the life sciences can provide examples and be the source of inspiration for the work on the theory of historical and social explanation, going beyond the confines of the received framework of the covering law model of explanation. (shrink)
The contrast Rips et al. draw between and approaches to understanding the origin of the capacity for representing natural number is a false dichotomy. Its plausibility depends upon the sketchiness of the authors' own proposal. At least some of the proposals they characterize as bottom-up are worked-out versions of the very top-down position they advocate. Finally, they deny that the structures that these putative bottom-up proposals consider to be sources of natural number are even precursors of concepts of natural number. (...) This denial depends upon an idiosyncratic, and mistaken, idea of what a precursor is. (shrink)
In his Kant interpretations of the late 1920s and in Being and Time, Heidegger develops two distinct, yet related, derivations of the possibility of judgment from temporal conditions. This paper presents each derivation, establishes the strict analogy between the two, and uses it to explain the structure and shortcoming of the interpretation of ecstatic temporality as the unitary ground of objective experience.
Arbib, Érdi, and Szentágothai's book seeks to present a multidisciplinary, multistrategied approach to the study of the mind-brain, encompassing structural, functional, and dynamic perspectives. However, the articulated framework is somewhat underspecified at the cognitive level. The representational level of analysis will need to be fleshed out if the explanatory potential of Arbib et al.'s framework is to be fulfilled.