A computably enumerable (c.e.) degree is a maximal contiguous degree if it is contiguous and no c.e. degree strictly above it is contiguous. We show that there are infinitely many maximal contiguous degrees. Since the contiguous degrees are definable, the class of maximal contiguous degrees provides the first example of a definable infinite anti-chain in the c.e. degrees. In addition, we show that the class of maximal contiguous degrees forms an automorphism base for the c.e. degrees and therefore for the (...) Turing degrees in general. Finally we note that the construction of a maximal contiguous degree can be modified to answer a question of Walk about the array computable degrees and a question of Li about isolated formulas. (shrink)
According to Stephen Finlay, ‘A ought to X’ means that X-ing is more conducive to contextually salient ends than relevant alternatives. This in turn is analysed in terms of probability. I show why this theory of ‘ought’ is hard to square with a theory of a reason’s weight which could explain why ‘A ought to X’ logically entails that the balance of reasons favours that A X-es. I develop two theories of weight to illustrate my point. I first look (...) at the prospects of a theory of weight based on expected utility theory. I then suggest a simpler theory. Although neither allows that ‘A ought to X’ logically entails that the balance of reasons favours that A X-es, this price may be accepted. For there remains a strong pragmatic relation between these claims. (shrink)
Wavefunction collapse models modify Schrödinger's equation so that it describes the rapid evolution of a superposition of macroscopically distinguishable states to one of them. This provides a phenomenological basis for a physical resolution to the so-called “measurement problem.” Such models have experimentally testable differences from standard quantum theory. The most well developed such model at present is the Continuous Spontaneous Localization (CSL) model in which a universal fluctuating classical field interacts with particles to cause collapse. One “side effect” of this (...) interaction is that the field imparts energy to the particles: experimental evidence on this has led to restrictions on the parameters of the model, suggesting that the coupling of the classical field to the particles must be mass-proportional. Another “side effect” is that the field imparts momentum to particles, causing a small blob of matter to undergo random walk. Here we explore this in order to supply predictions which could be experimentally tested. We examine the translational diffusion of a sphere and a disc, and the rotational diffusion of a disc, according to CSL. For example, we find that the rms distance an isolated 10−5 cm radius sphere diffuses is ≈(its diameter, 5 cm) in (20 sec, a day), and that a disc of radius 2 ⋅ 10−5 cm and thickness 0.5 ⋅ 10−5 cm diffuses through 2πrad in about 70 sec (this assumes the “standard” CSL parameter values). The comparable rms diffusions of standard quantum theory are smaller than these by a factor 10−3±1. It is shown that the CSL diffusion in air at STP is much reduced and, indeed, is swamped by the ordinary Brownian motion. It is also shown that the sphere's diffusion in a thermal radiation bath at room temperature is comparable to the CSL diffusion, but is utterly negligible at liquid He temperature. Thus, in order to observe CSL diffusion, the pressure and temperature must be low. At the low reported pressure of 5 ⋅ 10−17 Torr, achieved at 4.2°K, the mean time between air molecule collisions with the (sphere, disc) is ≈(80, 45)min. This is ample time for observation of the putative CSL diffusion with the standard parameters and, it is pointed out, with any parameters in the range over which the theory may be considered viable. This encourages consideration of how such an experiment may actually be performed, and the paper closes with some thoughts on this subject. (shrink)
[Stephen Makin] Aristotle draws two sets of distinctions in Metaphysics 9.2, first between non-rational and rational capacities, and second between one way and two way capacities. He then argues for three claims: [A] if a capacity is rational, then it is a two way capacity [B] if a capacity is non-rational, then it is a one way capacity [C] a two way capacity is not indifferently related to the opposed outcomes to which it can give rise I provide explanations (...) of Aristotle's terminology, and of how [A]-[C] should be understood. I then offer a set of arguments which are intended to show that the Aristotelian claims are plausible. \\\ [Nicholas Denyer] In De Caelo 1: 11-12 Aristotle argued that whatever is and always will be true is necessarily true. His argument works, once we grant him the highly plausible principle that if something is true, then it can be false if and only if it can come to be false. For example, assume it true that the sun is and always will be hot. No proposition of this form can ever come to be false. Hence this proposition cannot be false. Hence it is necessarily true, and so too is anything that follows from it. In particular, it is necessarily true that the sun is hot. Moreover, if the sun not only is and always will be hot, but also always has been, then it follows by similar reasoning that the sun not only cannot now fail to be hot, but also never could have failed. Anything everlastingly true is therefore, in the strictest sense of the term, necessarily true. (shrink)
Is there a contradiction in Stephen Colbert’s attitudes towards race? How can he consistently claim to be colorblind and yet hold a national search for a new "black friend"? I argue that Stephen is trying to claim rights and shirk responsibilities on matters of race relations in America, and that his famous notion of "truthiness" is an extension of this attitude to other areas of social and political discourse.
Kalam cosmological arguments have recently been the subject of criticisms, at least inter alia, by physicists---Paul Davies, Stephen Hawking---and philosophers of science---Adolf Grunbaum. In a series of recent articles, William Craig has attempted to show that these criticisms are “superficial, iII-conceived, and based on misunderstanding.” I argue that, while some of the discussion of Davies and Hawking is not philosophically sophisticated, the points raised by Davies, Hawking and Grunbaum do suffice to undermine the dialectical efficacy of kalam cosmological arguments.
[This is a nearly final review of Stephen Davies The Artful Species, for the British Journal of Aesthetics.] In this review, I outline the evolved roles of (a) emotions/drives/appetites, and (b) "telic" pleasure, which results from getting something beneficial. I argue that, contrary to Davies, aesthetic appreciation does not fall into either of the above categories (as normally understood). That is, aesthetic appreciation can neither be a drive to possess its object, nor pleasure in possessing that object. Rather, it (...) is pleasure in contemplating that object. Evolutionary accounts fail, therefore, if they rely on the benefits provided by aesthetic objects. They must rather demonstrate the benefits of contemplating these objects. (shrink)
I would like to thank the editors of Philosophy East and West for courteously asking me if I would like to respond to Matthew Dasti and Stephen Phillips' very thoughtful remarks about the review I wrote of Phillips' translation and commentary on the pratyakṣa chapter of Gaṅgeśa's Tattvacintāmaṇi, prepared in collaboration with N. S. Ramanuja Tatacharya (Phillips and Tatacharya 2004). Let me begin by reaffirming what I said at the beginning of my review, that the book is "a monumental (...) and momentous achievement, one whose importance cannot be understated." I have indeed enormous admiration for the magnitude of their achievement and respect for the contribution they have made through this translation to the field of .. (shrink)
This article presents a stakeholder-based example of corporate social responsibility (CSR) within a university context. The first section provides a literature review that builds the case for CSR efforts by educational institutions. The next section details aspects of the focal corporate social responsibility program at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg (USFSP) from its early conception to its implementation. The Talking the Talk section describes the overarching mission of the larger university and its influence on the mission of the (...) newly formed College of Business which undertook an ambitious community outreach program in a downtown neighborhood. The execution of the program is discussed subsequently in the Walking the Walk section, with an emphasis on formation of advisory boards, development of appropriate coursework, relevant interactions with external constituencies, and plans for assessment and continuous improvement. The article closes with recommendations for universities considering similar endeavors. (shrink)
I argue that Stephen Houlgate misstates an element in the Kantian background to my reading of “Lordship and Bondage” (§2). He misreads my remarks about the need to see Hegel’s moves there in the context of the progression towards absolute knowing (§3), and, partly consequently, he fails to engage with the motivation for my reading (§4). And he does not understand the way my reading exploits the concept of allegory (§5).
This article is a critical review of Stephen Schiffers monograph The Things We Mean . The text discusses some novel contributions made by Schiffer to the philosophy of meaning, in particular, Schiffers proposal for the reification of certain abstract entities and the application of his argument to the philosophical problem of vagueness in natural language. Special attention is paid both to Schiffers ingenious use of the notion of conservative extension , here employed as a criterion for distinguishing legitimate from (...) illegitimate reifications and to Schiffers notion of vague partial belief and its relation to standard partial belief. Schiffers particular understanding of vagueness and its relation to the sorites paradox is also considered, with some remarks made concerning the relationship between these related philosophical problems and human perception. Key Words: meaning vagueness sorites perception conservative extension fictional entities. (shrink)
After Meaning, 1972, and The Remnants of Meaning , 1987, The Things We Mean is Stephen Schiffer's third major work on the foundations of the theory of linguistic meaning. In simplest possible outline, the development started with a positive attempt to base a meaning theory on a modified Gricean account of utterance meaning, but took a negative turn, with the problems of belief sentences as a major reason for thinking that a systematic (compositional) semantic theory for natural language was (...) not possible at all. In the recent book, things have again taken a more positive turn, but now constructive and destructive elements are mixed in complex ways in a complex account, rich in ideas and in detail, and a great challenge to the reader. It is not always obviously free of inner conflict. Nor can one always easily see how things hang together. I shall here try to accurately present the main ideas. Where my comments are not relegated to separate paragraphs, I mark the transition with a dash ( -). (shrink)
In The Crane's Walk, Jeremy Barris seeks to show that we can conceive and live with a pluralism of standpoints with conflicting standards for truth--with the truth of each being entirely unaffected by the truth of the others. He argues that Plato's work expresses this kind of pluralism, and that this pluralism is important in its own right, whether or not we agree about what Plato's standpoint is.The longest tradition of Plato scholarship identifies crucial faults in Plato's theory of (...) Ideas. Barris argues that Plato deliberately displayed those faults, because he wanted to demonstrate that basic kinds of error or illogic have dimensions that are crucial to the establishing of truth. These dimensions legitimate a paradoxical coordination of logically incompatible conceptions of truth. Connecting this idea with emerging currents of Plato scholarship, he emphasizes, in addition to the dialogues' arguments, the importance of their nonargumentative features, including drama, myths, fictions, anecdotes, and humor. These unanalyzed nonargumentative features function rigorously, as a lever with which to examine the enterprise of rational argument itself, without presupposing its standards or illegitimately assimilating any position to the standards of another.Today, communities are torn apart by conflicts within and between a host of different pluralist and absolutist commitments. The possibility developed in this book-a coordination of absolute and relative truth that allows an understanding of some relativist and some absolutist positions as being fully legitimate and as capable of existing in a relation to their opposites-may contribute to perspectives for resolving these conflicts. (shrink)
Note: The Simpson's, television's popular prime-time cartoon known for its satirical commentary on various social issues, recently took a shot at the creation-evolution debate by featuring Stephen Jay Gould prominently in one of its episodes. Here is Bill Dembski's review and observations of that episode.
It is now often taken for granted that facts are entia non grata, for there exists a powerful argument (dubbed the slingshot), which is backed by such great names as Frege or Gödel or Davidson (and so could hardly be wrong), that discredits their existence. There indeed is such an argument, and it indeed is not wrong on the straightforward sense of wrong. However, in how far it knocks down any conception of facts is another story, a story which is (...) anything but simple and perspicuous. In his book, Stephen Neale takes pains to excavate the origins of the argument and the presuppositions which it needs to be usable for the purpose of exorcising facts. In the introduction of the book, Neale expresses his conviction that his analysis of the slingshot will not only compromise its usability for the purpose of discrediting facts, but also save representationalist conceptions of language and mind from the attacks of the antirepresentationalist philosophers like Davidson and Rorty. „Representational philosophy,“ he claims, „survives the Davidson-Rorty onslaught because non-truth-functional logics and ontologies of facts, states of affairs, situations and propositions survive not only the actual arguments deployed against them, but also the most precise and powerful slingshot arguments that can be constructed.“ However, what he does take his analyses to show is that „the most precise and powerful slingshot arguments demonstrate conclusively that the logical and ontological theories originally targeted must satisfy non-trivial conditions if they are to avoid logical or ontological collapse.“ (P. 12) The book starts with the discussion of the philosophy of Donald Davidson, who appears to have brought the slingshot argument to the current prominence within philosophical discussions. Here we encounter the first variant of the slingshot: Consider two sentences φ and ψ and a proper name d. Consider the definite descriptions ‘the object x such that (x = d and φ)’ and ‘the object x such that (x = d and ψ)’.. (shrink)
A standard method for refuting a set of claims is to show that it implies a contradiction. Stephen Clark questions this method on the grounds that the Law of Non-Contradiction, together with the other fundamental laws of logic do not accord with everyday reality. He accounts for vagueness by suggesting that, for any vague predicate 'F', an ordinary object is typically to some extent both F and not-F, and that objects do not change abruptly from being F to being (...) not-F. I challenge Clark's 'deconstruction' of logic, and show that, in characterizing vagueness and dealing with the associated Sorites paradox, we can accommodate his observation that change from being F to being not-F is ineradically continuous without tampering with any fundamental logical laws. (shrink)
I have argued previously that the art of absolute music, unlike, for example, the art of literature, is not capable of profundity, which I characterized as treating a profound subject matter, at the highest artistic level, in a manner appropriate to its profundity. Stephen Davies has recently argued that there is another way of being profound, which he calls non-propositional profundity, and for which chess provides his principal example. He argues, further, that absolute music also exhibits this non-propositional profundity. (...) I argue in the present paper that Davies's attempt to rescue profundity for absolute music will not work, because it does not allow what I take to be the crucial distinction between great works of absolute music that are profound and great works of absolute music that are not. In other words, it has the unwelcome implication that all great works of absolute music are profound works. (shrink)
This paper explores the significance of the concept of power/knowledge in educational theory. The argument proceeds in two main parts. In the first, I consider aspects of Stephen J. Ball's highly influential work in educational theory. I examine his reception of Foucault's concept of power/knowledge and suggest that there are problems in his adoption of Foucault's thought. These problems arise from the way that he settles interpretations into received ideas. Foucault's thought, I try to show, is not to be (...) seen in a confined way. In the second part, I seek a different reading of Foucault's notion of power/knowledge in order to break with this tendency to confine, referring to the work of Gilles Deleuze. I draw particularly on Deleuze's thought of the outside as a means of manifesting the significance of power/knowledge in relation to processes of subjectification. At the end of the paper, I suggest how educational theory might be reconceived in the light of potencies of power/knowledge that the paper has demonstrated. (shrink)
Stephen Mumford's Dispositions1 is an interesting and thought-provoking addition to a recent surge of publications on the topic.2 Dispositions have not been such a hot topic since the heyday of behaviourism. But as Mumford argues in his first chapter, the importance of dispositions to contemporary philosophy can hardly be underestimated. Dispositions are fundamental to causal role functionalism in the philosophy of mind, response-dependent truth conditional accounts of moral and other concepts,3 capacity accounts of concepts more generally,4 theories of belief, (...) the compatibilist conception of free will, the philosophy of matter, probability (propensities) and more. So it is natural that conceptual and ontological issues about dispositions have come again to the fore. The only surprise is that it's taken so long. (shrink)
Stephen Jay Gould’s monumental The Structure of Evolutionary Theory ‘‘attempts to expand and alter the premises of Darwinism, in order to build an enlarged and distinctive evolutionary theory . . . while remaining within the tradition, and under the logic, of Darwinian argument.’’ The three branches or ‘‘fundamental principles of Darwinian logic’’ are, according to Gould: agency (natural selection acting on individual organisms), efﬁcacy (producing new species adapted to their environments), and scope (accumulation of changes that through geological time (...) yield the living world’s panoply of diversity and morphological complexity). Gould’s efforts to contribute something important to each of these three fundamental components of Darwinian Theory are far from successful. (shrink)
Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow: The Grand Design Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s10806-010-9298-7 Authors Amitrajeet A. Batabyal, Department of Economics, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY 14623-5604, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.
I review this fine collection of articles on ancient ethics ranging from the Presocratics to Sextus Empiricus. Eight of the nine chapters are published here for the first time. Contributors include Charles H. Kahn on "Pre-Platonic Ethics," C. C. W. Taylor on "Platonic Ethics," Stephen Everson on "Aristotle on Nature and Value," John McDowell on "Some Issues in Aristotle's Moral Psychology," David Sedley on "The Inferential Foundations of Epicurean Ethics," T. H. Irwin on "Socratic Paradox and Stoic Theory," Julia (...) Annas on "Doing Without Objective Values: Ancient and Modern Strategies," and Susan Sauvé Meyer on "Moral Responsibility: Aristotle and After." There is also an introductory essay by the editor, Stephen Everson. I summarize and then critique each chapter in this rather lengthy review. (shrink)
I offer an interpretation of the connection between judging and intuiting in Kant (§2). Next I try to clarify how the movement in the self-consciousness chapter, as I read it, fits in the Phenomenology’s progression towards absolute knowing (§3). In some detailed responses to Stephen Houlgate, I reiterate how my reading is motivated by the wish not to discard, or ignore, Hegel’s first formulation of what is to be achieved by the movement in the self-consciousness chapter, and I object (...) to Houlgate’s equation of thinking consciousness with Stoicism (§4). Finally, I try to clarify the point of my invocation of allegory (§5). (shrink)
Mumford and Anjum’s Getting Causes from Powers is an ambitious and original contribution to the literature on causation, a welcome departure from Humean approaches which reductively analyze causation in terms of regularities or counterfactual conditionals. The authors develop an account of causation as the exercising of powers, a view they call “causal dispositionalism.” This critique of Getting Causes from Powers is organized around its central heuristic—the vector model of causation. On this model, vectors represent the exercising of powers, those that (...) are operating upon a quality space. A quality space is a background against which events can occur, where two or more general properties are considered as possible for instantiation. A central line represents a starting point of a causal process, and vectors represent the powers in play. A vector is apt for representing a power because it has intensity and a direction, indicated by its length and the property term at which it points (24). A resultant vector R is also depicted, indicating the extent to which all of the powers in play collectively dispose toward one of the properties in the quality space. A threshold may also be depicted, representing a point on the quality space that may be of particular pragmatic interest, the passing of which would count as disposing toward an effect in question. Mumford and Anjum make the bold claim that all things can be represented by vectors (45–46). This claim is supported by the following theses: everything has properties; properties are clusters of powers; powers have intensity and direction; vectors represent intensity and direction. Even granting these theses, there is still much that the vectors do not represent. I discuss three things that are not represented by the vector model, in increasing order of significance for the account generally. (shrink)
“Walk on the Sun” is an interactive experience of image as music. As explorers move across images that are data projected onto the floor, their movements are visually tracked and used to select pixels in the images which they immediately hear as musical pitches played by various instruments. The sonification design maps color to one of 9 instruments, brightness to one of 50 pitches, and location in the image to panning position, creating 57,600 differentiable musical events. This high resolution (...) and interactive auditory presentation of pixel data enables the blind to explore images of the Sun from the STEREO space mission, nebula and galactic images from Hubble, as well as art masterpieces. Specifically, the blind can hear when hot spots cross the center of the Sun or the solar winds and corona are changing by sonifying virtual geometric structures, such as lines and circles, to create chords of music reflecting the changing content of the selected pixels within that structure as images are played as movies. Originally funded by a NASA/STSCI Ideas grant, the exhibit has toured to more than 12 cities in the US, visiting blind and science centers in the process and receiving enthusiastic response throughout. Plans for additional work furthering NASA wide image sonification standards are in process. (shrink)
Disagreements about the success of any given argument often arise because the suppositions of the critic differ from the suppositions of the author of the argument. In maintaining the plausibility of a metaethical argument for theism against the objections articulated by Stephen J. Sullivan, I will probe our differing suppositions with regard to the relation of theological to naturalistic metaethical theories, the starting point for the metaethical argument for theism, and the relation of the qualities of God's will to (...) our obligation to obey God. (shrink)
Abstract Stephen Schiffer, in his recent book, Remnants of Meaning, argues against the possibility of any compositional theory of meaning for natural language. Because the argument depends on the premise that there is no possible naturalistic reduction of the intentional to the physical, Schiffer's attack on theories of meaning is of central importance for theorists of mind. I respond to Schiffer's argument by showing that there is at least one reductive account of the mental that he has neglected to (...) consider?the computationalist account known as the Representational Theory of Mind. Not only is this view immune from the criticisms Schiffer mounts against other reductivist theories, but it solves problems that arise on Schiffer's own non?reductive account of the relation between the intentional and the physical. (shrink)
Digges, Matthew Review(s) of: Take off your shoes, walk on the ground: The journey towards reconciliation in Australia, by Lyn Henderson-Yates, Brian McCoy SJ, Melissa Brickell, Catholic Social Justice Series No 71, Alexandria NSW: Australian Catholic Social Justice Council, 2012, pp.32, $6.60.
The article begins from Stephen Hawking's well-known claim that philosophy is dead, and considers several other quotations in which philosophy is either belittled or subordinated outright to the natural sciences. This subordination requires a downward reductionism that is paralleled by the upward reductionism of the linguistic turn and social constructionist theories. Rather than undermining or overmining mid-sized individual entities, philosophy must deal with objects on their own terms. This suggests a possible tactical alliance between philosophy and the arts.
These papers are based on a Symposium at the COGSCI Conference in 2010. 1. Naturalizing the Mammalian Mind (Jaak Panksepp) 2. Modularity in Cognitive Psychology and Affective Neuroscience (Rami Gabriel) 3. Affective Neuroscience and the Philosophy of Self (Stephen Asma and Tom Greif) 4. Affective Neuroscience and Law (Glennon Curran and Rami Gabriel).
In his 2010 work, The Grand Design, Stephen Hawking, argues that ‘… philosophy is dead’ (2010: 5). While not a Philosopher, Hawking provides strong argument for his thesis, principally that philosophers have not taken science sufficiently seriously and so Philosophy is no longer relevant to knowledge claims. In this paper, Hawking’s claim is appraised and critiqued, becoming a meta-philosophical discussion. It is argued that Philosophy is dead, in some sense, due to particular philosophers having embarked on an intellectual path (...) no longer in keeping with the ancient definition of Philosophy. Philosophy as the seeking of wisdom necessarily includes the consideration of findings of other intellectual pursuits, including physical and natural science. While Philosophy has justifiably evolved through its long history, is it unrecognisable in the terms by which it historically defined itself? Seeking consistency, Hawking is critiqued for appearing to practise ‘dead’ Philosophy. Indeed, Hawking’s appeal to multiverse theory and his core discussion of the metaphysical problem of being are philosophical. The question of the death of Philosophy has contemporary relevance for the discipline which is particularly under threat for its survival in the academy, oftentimes assumed to be irrelevant. (shrink)
This paper explores some of the benefits informal logic may have for the analysis of mathematical inference. It shows how Stephen Toulmin’s pioneering treatment of defeasible argumentation may be extended to cover the more complex structure of mathematical proof. Several common proof techniques are represented, including induction, proof by cases, and proof by contradiction. Affinities between the resulting system and Imre Lakatos’s discussion of mathematical proof are then explored.
To walk or not to walk: Should a batsman acknowledge his own dismissal by leaving the wicket without even waiting for the umpire's decision? David Coady and Samir Chopra examine this flashpoint ethical debate in cricket.
This is a response to issues raised by Stephen Houlgate in his article “Hegel, Desmond, and the Problem of God’s Transcendence,” dealing with Hegel’s God: A Counterfeit Double? The response focuses especially on the hermeneutical finesse we need in reading Hegel on religion, on the nature of “release” in Hegel, on the need for an agapeic God, and on the differences between Hegel’s speculative philosophy and Desmond’s metaxological approach to the practice of philosophy.