We study mathematical and algorithmic properties of Lambek's pregroups and illustrate them by the French noun phrase. An algorithm of complexity n3 to solve the reduction problem in an arbitrary free pregroup as well as recognition by a pregroup grammar is presented. This algorithm is then specified to run in linear time. A sufficient condition for a language fragment that makes the linear algorithm complete is given.
Is the nature of explanation a metaphysical issue? Or has it more to do with psychology and pragmatics? To put things in a different way: what are primary relata in an explanation? What sorts of thing explain what other sorts of thing? David Lewis identiﬁes two senses of ‘explanation’ (Lewis 1986, 217–218). In the ﬁrst sense, an explanation is an act of explaining. I shall call this the subjectivist sense, since its existence depends on some subject doing the explaining. Hence (...) it is people who, in this sense, explain things. In the second of his two senses, Lewis says, quoting Sylvain Bromberger, that one may properly ask of an explanation “Does anyone know it? Who thought of it ﬁrst? Is it very complicated?” (Lewis 1986, 218; Bromberger 1965). In this second sense, no subject is needed, the explanation can remain unknown, perhaps for ever. So I call this the objectivist sense. (shrink)
The Analytic/Synthetic distinction did not originate in Kant, but in Port-Royal's logical theory. The key for the doctrine is the explicite recognition of two different kinds of relative clauses, e.g. explicative and determinative. In the middle eighteenth century the distinction becomes a topic within the grammars. Although we can find by grammarians different criteria for the distinction, these criteria (for which we can find medieval sources) are for the main predictable from the original theory of ideas, which was presented in (...) Port-Royal's logical writings. The topic of the two relative clauses (somewhat broader than the analytic/synthetic distinction) can be used to give empirical criteria for analyticity and also for revisiting Quine's criticism of the topic. Analyticity yet appears as a master piece of classical linguistic philosophy and not as being the empty dogma of modern empiricism. (shrink)
Descartes's claim that the eternal truths were freely created by God is fraught with interpretive difficulties. The main arguments in the literature are classified as concerning the ontological status or the modalities of possibility and necessity of the eternal truths. The views of the principal defenders of the Creation Doctrine – Robert Desgabets, Pierre Sylvain Régis, and Antoine Le Grand are contrasted with those of Nicolas Malebranche. In clarifying the theological, ontological, and logical terms of the debate we can (...) see that what was at stake was the objectivity and certainty of the truths of mathematics and physics. I conclude by suggesting that this issue might fruitfully be used to clarify the disparate discussions in the contemporary literature. (shrink)
There is considerable debate among scholars over whether Descartes allowed for genuine body-body interaction. I begin by considering Michael Della Rocca's recent claim that Descartes accepted such interaction, and that his doctrine of the creation of the eternal truths indicates how this interaction could be acceptable to him. Though I agree that Descartes was inclined to accept real bodily causes of motion, I differ from Della Rocca in emphasizing that his ontology ultimately does not allow for them. This is not (...) the end of the story however, since two of Descartes's successors offered incompatible ways of developing his conflicted account of motion. I contrast the occasionalist view of Nicolas Malebranche that changes in motion derive directly from divine volitions with the non-occasionalist claim of Pierre-Sylvain Regis that such changes derive from a nature distinct from God. In light of Della Rocca's interpretation, it is noteworthy that the issue of eternal truths is relevant to both alternative accounts. Indeed, Regis took the doctrine that such truths are created to provide crucial support for his alternative to an occasionalist account of body-body interaction. What does not help Della Rocca, however, is that Regis's view of motion requires a fundamental revision of Descartes's ontology. (shrink)
Using the matching bias example, the aim of the present studies was to show that adults' reasoning biases are due to faulty executive inhibition programming. In the first study, the subjects were trained on Wason's classical card selection task; half were given training in how to inhibit the perceptual matching bias (experimental group) and half in logic without the inhibition component (control group). On the pre- and post-tests, their performance was assessed on the Evans conditional rule falsification task (with a (...) negation in the antecedent of the rule), a task that also involves matching bias. In addition, subjects were tested for perceptual field dependence/independence using the Embedded Figures Test. The results brought out a specific inhibition training effect, as well as a clear-cut relationship in the experimental group between receptiveness to training and perceptual field independence. In the second study, the training paradigm was the same except that on the pre- and post-tests, the negation was in the consequent of the conditional rule (in this case, the perceptual matching response corresponds to the logical response). The subjects succeeded on the pre-test, and the matching-bias inhibition training had a negative effect on post-test performance. This specific negative priming effect confirms the inhibitory impact of our experimental training and outlines the dissociation of inhibition and logical components. (shrink)
Unlike many of Descartes’s other followers, Pierre-Sylvain Re´gis resists the temptations of occasionalism. By marrying the ontology of mechanism with the causal structure of concurrentism, Re´gis arrives at a novel view that both acknowledges God’s role in natural events and preserves the causal powers of bodies. I set out Re´gis’s position, focusing on his arguments against occasionalism and his responses to Malebranche’s ‘no necessary connection’ and divine concursus arguments.
This paper examines the discussion about false pleasures in the "Philebus" (36 c3-44 a11). After stressing the crucial importance of this discussion in the economy of the dialogue, it attempts to identify the problematic locus of the possibility of true or false pleasures. Socrates points to it by means of an analogy between pleasure and doxa. Against traditional interpretations, which reduce the distinction drawn in this passage to a distinction between doxa and pleasure on the one hand and their object (...) on the other, it is argued that, rather, Socrates distinguishes between the mere fact of having a doxa or a pleasure, on the one hand, and the content of these acts, on the other hand. Consequently, the possibility for a pleasure to be false does not concern its relation to an object, but the affective content which defines it. In order to show how the affective content of a pleasure can be false, it is necessary to examine the three species of false pleasures described by Socrates in their relation to appearance and imagination. Appearance is not identical with perception for Plato: it consists in a mixture of perception and doxa. As for imagination, it consists in "illustrating" a doxa present in the soul by means of a "quasi-perception". It is the presence of a doxa in each of these processes which makes it possible for them to be true or false, while mere perception cannot be either true or false. It is then argued that according to the "Philebus" pleasure can be false precisely because its affective content is not a mere perception, but either an appearance or an imagination. (shrink)
We give in this paper indications about the dynamical impact (as phenotypic changes) coming from the main sources of perturbation in biological regulatory networks. First, we define the boundary of the interaction graph expressing the regulations between the main elements of the network (genes, proteins, metabolites, ...). Then, we search what changes in the state values on the boundary could cause some changes of states in the core of the system (robustness to boundary conditions). After, we analyse the role of (...) the mode of updating (sequential, block sequential or parallel) on the asymptotics of the network, essentially on the occurrence of limit cycles (robustness to updating methods). Finally, we show the influence of some topological changes (e.g. suppression or addition of interactions) on the dynamical behaviour of the system (robustness to topology perturbations). (shrink)
This essay returns to the origins of the phenomenology of religion, offering an introduction to and a discussion of seminal contributions to the field. Three figures are examined: Max Scheler, Adolf Reinach and the early Martin Heidegger, who are presented as the ‘German Fathers’ of the phenomenology of religion. Each conducted a radical foray into the religious life-world, sometimes in accord with the project of their Master Edmund Husserl, sometimes opposing or radically revising his project, but typically developing new methods (...) and proposing radical insights. They attempted to define the proper attitude a phenomenologist – who might possibly also be a religious person – should adopt in the face of phenomena and lived experiences clearly beyond the ordinary. This enterprise led to heated debates and a rich analysis described here. (shrink)
This is the first book-length study of two of Descartes's most innovative successors, Robert Desgabets and Pierre-Sylvain Regis, and of their highly original contributions to Cartesianism. The focus of the book is an analysis of radical doctrines in the work of these thinkers that derive from arguments in Descartes: on the creation of eternal truths, on the intentionality of ideas, and on the soul-body union. As well as relating their work to that of fellow Cartesians such as Malebranche and (...) Arnauld, the book also establishes the important though neglected role played by Desgabets and Regis in the theologically and politically charged reception of Descartes in early-modern France. This is a major contribution to the history of Cartesianism that will be of special interest to historians of early-modern philosophy and historians of ideas. (shrink)
This paper examines a recent attempt by Evan Jobe to account for the asymmetric character of many scientific explanations. It is argued that a purported counterexample to Jobe's account, from Clark Glymour, is inconclusive, but that the account faces independent objections. It is also suggested, contrary to Jobe, that the explanatory relation is not always asymmetric. Sometimes a singular sentence C can figure in a DN derivation of another singular sentence E and E can also figure in a DN derivation (...) of C. Yet while we are inclined to regard the first derivation as an explanation of E, we are not inclined to regard the second derivation as an explanation of C. As Sylvain Bromberger pointed out in a now classic article (1966), one can explain the period of a pendulum by reference to its length and yet, although one can give a DN derivation of the length of a pendulum by reference to its period, this derivation does not seem to represent an explanation. Evan Jobe has recently offered an interesting account of such explanatory asymmetries and Clark Glymour has in turn proposed a counterexample which seems to show that Jobe's account is defective. The aim of this paper is two-fold. I shall attempt to show that (a) Glymour's proposed counterexample can be rejected on the grounds that it violates an independently plausible restriction on the role that equalities may play in DN explanation, and that (b) although Glymour's counterexample can be avoided in this way, Jobe's account is defective in several other respects. (shrink)
We show how to encode context-free string grammars, linear context-free tree grammars, and linear context-free rewriting systems as Abstract Categorial Grammars. These three encodings share the same constructs, the only difference being the interpretation of the composition of the production rules. It is interpreted as a first-order operation in the case of context-free string grammars, as a second-order operation in the case of linear context-free tree grammars, and as a third-order operation in the case of linear context-free rewriting systems. This (...) suggest the possibility of defining an Abstract Categorial Hierarchy. (shrink)
It has been agreed upon, according to critical perspective, to distinguish the problems raised by scientific issues on the one hand and the problems raised by moral issues on the other. This distinction, at the genesis of theoretical ideology, postulates that experimental science is mere knowledge which, since it has nothing to do with action, cannot raise a moral problem. Yet the use of experimental techniques turns out to be a necessary means, although an insufficient one, to put to the (...) test and to confirm the theoretical hypothesis of science. Thus, those techniques produce perceptible effects which can be assimilated to genuine transformation and are consequently capable of raising moral problems. It follows that the technical imperative of science can be conditioned by a moral imperative of technique, which leads to modification of the object of the research and dubs it, a dialectical object. It is, however, advisable to effect a demarcation between that which, within the frame work of research in experimental science, can pose a moral problem and which cannot. The criterion of refusability of practical projects, by analogy with Popper’s criterion of refutability of theoretical conjectures, allows for this demarcation to be implemented. It postulates that only the technical projects of science, apart from scientific theories, can pose a moral problem or can be recognized as moral, providing that the conditions of a possible ethical refusal can be expressed. From the analysis and the synthesis of heterogeneous possibilities, dialectical perspective thus outlined represents an endeavour to go beyond critical perspective, while trying to seek an intermediary channel between the “progressist dogmatism” of science and the “obscurantist scepticism” of morals. (shrink)
Increasing interest has been paid to applications of fluorescence measurements to analyze physiological mechanisms in living cells. However, few studies have taken advantage of DNA quantification by fluorometry for dynamic assessment of chromatin organization as well as cell motion during the cell cycle. This approach involves both optimal conditions for DNA staining and cell tracking methods. In this context, this report describes a stoichiometric method for nuclear DNA specific staining, using the bisbenzimidazole dye Hoechst 33342 associated with verapamil, a calcium (...) membrane channel blocker. This method makes it possible to correlate variations of nuclear DNA content with cell motion in cells that are maintained alive. Motion measurement is the second goal of this paper and it explains the snake-spline method, and the associated cell following method. (shrink)
Une invitation, reçue au début de l’automne 2011, à intervenir dans la séance du 7 mars 2012 d’un séminaire tenu à l’EHESS sur l’islamophobie, a été l’occasion de traiter de « l’affaire Gouguenheim » plus de trois ans après son irruption dans la sphère médiatique. Cette nouvelle lecture d’Aristote au Mont Saint-Michel a permis de mettre en évidence l’importance que Sylvain Gouguenheim attribue à un texte du haut Moyen Age pour suivre la diffusion de l’hellénisme dans l’Europe latine. Il (...) s’agit d’une lettre adressée par le pape Paul 1er à Pépin le Bref. Ce document, le plus souvent négligé par les latinistes en raison de ses obscurités, a excité la sagacité des hellénistes, qui ont très majoritairement montré la difficulté d’en tirer des informations positives. La situation est singulière, si l’on se souvient que, pour l’essentiel, ce sont des latinistes et des arabisants qui ont mené la charge contre les impostures gouguenheimiennes. À la faveur de ce cas d’espèce, « l’affaire Gouguenheim » jette une lumière crue sur la place dérisoire que, pour des raisons historiques, l’enseignement supérieur accorde en France à la philosophie médiévale. Le scandale repose, certes, sur les manipulations d’un agrégé d’histoire ; mais il dévoile aussi l’une des lacunes de l’institution universitaire hexagonale dans l’enseignement de la philosophie médiévale. (shrink)
Intuitive predictions and judgements under uncertainty are often mediated by judgemental heuristics that sometimes lead to biases. Our micro-developmental study suggests that a presumption of rationality is justified for adult subjects, in so far as their systematic judgemental biases appear to be due to a specific executive-inhibition failure in working memory, and not necessarily to a lack of understanding of the fundamental principles of probability. This hypothesis was tested using an experimental procedure in which 60 adult subjects were trained to (...) inhibit the classical conjunction bias on a frequency judgement task derived from Tversky and Kahneman's work. Pre- and post-test performance was assessed via a probability judgement task. The data indicated a training effect, suggesting that subjects traditionally labelled as "irrational" with respect to the classical rules of inductive reasoning are in fact "inefficient inhibitors". These findings are discussed in terms of a polymorphous view of rationality. (shrink)
In the history of philosophy, Jacques Rohault and Pierre-Sylvain Régis bear a twofold burden. They are professed followers, epigones. Worse yet, the natural philosophy they teach has been consigned to the Tartarus of fable: not a theory that failed, but something that failed even to be a theory. In the years in which they were turning Cartesianism into a system, Newton and Huygens were preparing its demise. Its empirical claims were refuted, its mathematics was rendered obsolete by the calculus, (...) its vortices and channelled magnetic particles met with the same rough justice Descartes meted out to Scholastic forms and qualities. Canonical history has little use for such ﬁgures. It prefers originals. Yet if ideas and arguments are not to seem to pass magically from one great mind to the next, we must have some account of the channels through which what was once novel and unique sediments into cliché and common ground. Those channels are not without bias and noise. Inevitably, currents from different streams meet and mix more or less coherently in the works of secondary ﬁgures, especially in the competitive intellectual world of the later seventeenth century, with its sometimes ferocious polemics fuelled by religious and political opposition. Cartesianism became a movement and—to use Leibniz’s word—a sect, divided within by disputes over the legacy of its founder, and facing opposition without from steadfast Aristotelians, pious theologians, and the avant garde of the new science. In Régis and Rohault Descartes’ legacy took the outward form of “system”. They present themselves as reworking Cartesian concepts and arguments into something coherent and comprehensive. Rohault, the more modest of the two, aims to reform the teaching of physics, still weighed down by the dead hand of Aristotle. He retains for the old philosophy only what is true and conjoin it with the new physics of Descartes, in whom France is no less fortunate than Greece once was in Aristotle (Rohault 1718, “Præfatio”).. (shrink)
This paper solves a natural but still open question: can abstract categorial grammars (ACGs) respresent usual categorial grammars? Despite their name and their claim to be a unifying framework, up to now there was no faithful representation of usual categorial grammars in ACGs. This paper shows that Non-Associative Lambek grammars as well as their derivations can be defined using ACGs of order two. To conclude, the outcome of such a representation are discussed.
Cet article étudie le rapport particulier établi par Plotin entre deux notions, l’antilêpsis et la phantasia, pour penser la prise de conscience par l’âme de certains «objets» et de certaines activités. Car celle-ci pose un problème que Plotin a formulé clairement, à la fin du traité 10 (V, 1), sans lui trouver encore de solution absolument satisfaisante. Si l’antilêpsis a besoin de la phantasia pour s’exercer, peut-il en être de même pour les activités supérieures de l’âme dont elle voudrait prendre (...) conscience, puisque la phantasia se rattache à la sensation dont elle est issue ? La question est alors de savoir si les réalités supérieures échappent à toute conscience ou si cette dernière peut les saisir, au moins sous la forme qui lui est propre. On cherchera ici à exposer les aspects principaux de ce problème, mais surtout, à partir de textes tirés des traités 27 (IV, 3) et 46 (I, 4), à saisir la solution que Plotin lui apporte. (shrink)
The Newell Test is an ambitious and promising project, but not without pitfalls. Some of the current criteria are not theoretically neutral, whereas others are unhelpful. To improve the test, the learning and development criteria are reviewed and revised, which suggests adding a maturation criterion as well. Such changes should make the Newell Test more general and useful.
What are the processes, from conception to adulthood, that enable a single cell to grow into a sentient adult? The processes that occur along the way are so complex that any attempt to understand development necessitates a multi-disciplinary approach, integrating data from cognitive studies, computational work, and neuroimaging - an approach till now seldom taken in the study of child development. -/- Neuroconstructivism is a major new 2 volume publication that seeks to redress this balance, presenting an integrative new framework (...) for considering development. Computer and robotic models provide concrete tools for investigating the processes and mechanisms involved in learning and development. Volume 2 illustrates the principles of Neuroconstructivist development, with contributions from 9 different labs across the world. Each of the contributions illustrates how models play a central role in understanding development. The models presented include standard connectionist neural network models as well as multi-agent models. Also included are robotic models emphasizing the need to take embodiment and brain-system interactions seriously. A model of Autism and one of Specific Language Impairment also illustrate how atypical development can be understood in terms of the typical processes of development but operating under restricted conditions. This volume complements Volume 1 by providing concrete examples of how the Neuroconstructivist principles can be grounded within a diverse range of domains, thereby shaping the research agenda in those domains. (shrink)
What are the processes, from conception to adulthood, that enable a single cell to grow into a sentient adult? The processes that occur along the way are so complex that any attempt to understand development necessitates a multi-disciplinary approach, integrating data from cognitive studies, computational work, and neuroimaging - an approach till now seldom taken in the study of child development. -/- Neuroconstructivism is a major new 2 volume publication that seeks to redress this balance, presenting an integrative new framework (...) for considering development. In the first volume, the authors review up-to-to date findings from neurobiology, brain imaging, child development, computer and robotic modelling to consider why children's thinking develops the way it does. They propose a new synthesis of development that is based on 5 key principles found to operate at many levels of descriptions. They use these principles to explain what causes a number of key developmental phenomena, including infants' interacting with objects, early social cognitive interactions, and the causes of dyslexia. The "neuroconstructivist" framework also shows how developmental disorders do not arise from selective damage to the normal cognitive system, but instead arise from developmental processes that operate under atypical constraints. How these principles work is illustrated in several case studies ranging from perceptual to social and reading development. Finally, the authors use neuroimaging, behavioural analyses, computational simulations and robotic models to provide a way of understanding the mechanisms and processes that cause development to occur. (shrink)
Louis Pojman and Robert Westmorland have compiled the best material on the subject of equality, ranging from classical works by Aristotle, Hobbes and Rousseau to contemporary works by John Rawls, Thomas Nagel, Michael Walzer, Harry Frankfurt, Bernard Williams and Robert Nozick; and including such topics as: the concept of equality; equal opportunity; Welfare egalitarianism; resources; equal human rights and complex equality. -/- CONTENTS: Introduction: The Nature and Value of Equality I. Classical Readings: 1. Aristotle: Justice and Equality 2. Thomas Hobbes: (...) Equality in the State of Nature 3. Jean-Jacques Rousseau: On the Origins of Inequality 4. David Hume: On Justice and Equality 5. Francis-Noel Babeuf and Sylvain Marechal: The Manifesto of Equality II. On the concept of Equality Itself 6. Felix E. Oppenheim: Egalitarianism as a Descriptive Concept 7. Dennis McKerlie: Equality and Time 8. Larry Temkin: Inequality III. General Considerations 9. Immanuel Kant: Groundwork for a Metaphysic of Morals 10. Robert Nozick: Justice Does Not Imply Equality 11. J.R. Lucas: Against Equality 12. Stanley I. Benn: Egalitarianism and the Equal Consideration of Interests 13. Gregory Vlastos: Justice and Equality IV. Equal Opportunity 14. John Schaar: Equality of Opportunity and Beyond 15. James Fishkin: Liberty versus Equal Opportunity 16. Peter Westen: the concept of Equal Opportunity 17. Robert Nozick: Life is not a Race 18. William Galston: A Liberal Defense of Equal Opportunity V. The Contemporary Debate on the Nature and Value of Equality 19. John Rawls: Equality and Desert 20. Wallace Matson: Justice: A Funeral Oration 21. Kai Nielson: Radical Welfare Egalitarianism 22. R.M. Hare: A Utilitarian Defense of Equality 23. Richard Arneson: Equality and Equal Opportunity for Welfare 24. Eric Rakowski: A Critique of Welfare Egalitarianism 25. Thomas Nagel: Equality and Partiality 26. Harry Frankfurt: Equality as a Moral Ideal 27. Eric Rakowski: A Defense of Resource Equality 28. Louis Pojman: On Equal Human Worth: A Critique of Contemporary Egalitarianism 29. Michael Walzer: Complex Equality Appendix 30. Kurt Vonnegut: Harrison Bergeron Bibliography. (shrink)
In this paper we show that the membership problem for second order non-linear Abstract Categorial Grammars is decidable. A consequence of that result is that Montague-like semantics yield to a decidable text generation problem. Furthermore the proof we propose is based on a new tool, Higher Order Intersection Signatures, which grasps statically dynamic properties of λ-terms and presents an interest in its own.
Misunderstanding of the dynamical behavior of the ventilatory system, especially under assisted ventilation, may explain the problems encountered in ventilatory support monitoring. Proportional assist ventilation (PAV) that theoretically gives a breath by breath assistance presents instability with high levels of assistance. We have constructed a mathematical model of interactions between three objects: the central respiratory pattern generator modelled by a modified Van der Pol oscillator, the mechanical respiratory system which is the passive part of the system and a controlled ventilator (...) that follows its own law. The dynamical study of our model shows the existence of two crucial behaviors, i.e. oscillations and damping, depending on only two parameters, namely the time constant of the mechanical respiratory system and a cumulative interaction index. The same result is observed in simulations of spontaneous breathing as well as of PAV. In this last case, increasing assistance leads first to an increase of the tidal volume (VT), a further increase in assistance inducing a decrease in VT, ending in damping of the whole system to an attractive fixed point. We conclude that instabilities observed in PAV may be explained by the different possible dynamical behaviors of the system rather than changes in mechanical characteristics of the respiratory system. (shrink)