Gers (Biol Philos, 2011) provides a positive and constructive view of the project to generalise Darwinian principles in Geoffrey Hodgson and Thorbjørn Knudsen’s Darwin’s Conjecture. We note considerable overlap with his work and ours, and also with important recent work of Godfrey-Smith ( 2009 ), which Gers cites extensively. But we also note that there are differences in research objectives between Gers and Godfrey-Smith, on the one hand, and ourselves, on the other. Gers and Godfrey-Smith focus on the elucidation (...) of the most general principles possible. Our aim is to derive principles that are sufficiently abstract to span the natural and human social worlds, and then add additional principles to help understand the Darwinian evolution of human society. Furthermore, Gers and Godfrey-Smith critique a replicator concept that is different from ours. Once these points are made apparent, the criticisms are essentially disabled, and we end up in a position with different but complementary and overlapping research projects. (shrink)
Advancing a general Darwinian framework to explain culture is an exciting endeavor. It requires that we face up to the challenge of identifying the specific components that are effective in replication processes in culture. This challenge includes the unsolved problem of explaining cultural inheritance, both at the level of individuals and at the level of social organizations and institutions. (Published Online November 9 2006).
The established definition of replication in terms of the conditions of causality, similarity and information transfer is very broad. We draw inspiration from the literature on self-reproducing automata to strengthen the notion of information transfer in replication processes. To the triple conditions of causality, similarity and information transfer, we add a fourth condition that defines a “generative replicator” as a conditional generative mechanism, which can turn input signals from an environment into developmental (...) instructions. Generative replication must have the potential to enhance complexity, which in turn requires that developmental instructions are part of the information that is transmitted in replication. Demonstrating the usefulness of the generative replicator concept in the social domain, we identify social generative replicators that satisfy all of the four proposed conditions. (shrink)
The purpose of the present article is to strengthen the conceptualisation of the principle of selection in theories of economic evolution and to help clarify a number of unsettled issues regarding the meaning of variety and continuity. In order to achieve this, the emerging general mathematical selection theory is introduced to identify the requirements of a general principle of selection and the specification of variety and continuity that follows from it. It is indicated how general selection theory can help advance (...) evolutionary theories of economic change by clarifying the meaning of selection, and the possible role of habits and routines in economic selection. (shrink)
Hull et al.'s construction of operant learning as an instance of selection gives rise to problems that weaken this application of selection theory beyond acceptable limits. We point out that most fundamental is a disregard for the need to include multiple concurrent replicators in any definition of selection and indicate how this problem may be solved.
Despite growing interest in evolutionary economics since the 1980s, a unified theoretical approach has so far been lacking. Methodological and ontological discussions within evolutionary economics have attempted to understand and help rectify this failure, but have revealed in turn further differences of perspective. One aim of this article is to show how different approaches relate to different levels of abstraction. A second purpose is to show that generalized Darwinism is some way from the most abstract level, and illustrates how it (...) may be used to move towards more specific theoretical applications. Nevertheless, there is a long way to go before these become more evident. (shrink)
A survey of the mathematical tradition of a subcontinent Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9608-3 Authors Toke Knudsen, Department of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Statistics, SUNY Oneonta, Fitzelle Hall 234, Oneonta, NY 13820, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
While a substantial amount of the literature describes corporate benefits of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, the literature is silent concerning why some companies announce CSR initiatives, yet fail to implement them. The article examines company delistings from the UN Global Compact. Delistings are surprising because the CSR agenda is seen as having won the battle of ideas. The analysis proceeds in two parts. I first analyze firm-level characteristics focusing on geography while controlling for sector and size; I find that (...) geography is a significant factor while small firms are more likely to be delisted than large firms and some sector characteristics determine delistings. Next, I proceed to uncover country-level characteristics including the degree of international economic interdependence as well as the quality of governance institutions. Multivariate regression analysis shows that companies are less likely to be delisted from countries where domestic governance institutions are well-functioning. To a lesser extent, I find that firms from countries with international economies are more willing to comply with the UN Global Compact requirements. Countries with a high share of outward FDI/capita have a lower share of delisted firms as do countries that are internationally competitive. (shrink)
Multinational corporations (MNCs) have come under pressure to adopt private regulatory initiatives such as supplier codes of conduct in order to address poor working conditions in global supply chain factories. While a well-known literature explores drivers and outcomes of such monitoring schemes, this literature focuses mainly on large firms and has ignored the growing integration of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) into global supply chains. Furthermore, the literature on corporate social responsibility (CSR) in SMEs primarily emphasizes domestic initiatives and not (...) global challenges. Focusing on the Business for Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI), this article examines the positions of private actors, who demand and supply private regulation as well as the positions of those firms, who are the targets of such schemes. As the BSCI has grown its membership, MNCs increasingly request that SMEs meet BSCI requirements in global supply chains even though compliance is a “mission impossible” for many smaller firms. As a result of this development, the private regulatory system is facing growing strain. (shrink)
This is the second of two articles in which I reflect on “generalized Darwinism” as currently discussed in evolutionary economics. In the companion article (Callebaut, Biol Theory 6. doi:10.1007/s13752-013-0086-2, 2011, this issue) I approached evolutionary economics from the naturalistic perspectives of evolutionary epistemology and the philosophy of biology, contrasted evolutionary economists’ cautious generalizations of Darwinism with “imperialistic” proposals to unify the behavioral sciences, and discussed the continued resistance to biological ideas in the social sciences. Here I assess Generalized Darwinism as (...) propounded by Geoffrey Hodgson, Thorbjørn Knudsen, and others, concentrating on the roles of theory and model building in science (and the roles of analogy and metaphor therein), generative replication, and the relation between selection and self-organization. I then point to advances in current biology that promise to be more fruitful as sources of inspiration for evolutionary economics than the project to generalize Darwinism in its current, “hardened Modern Synthesis” form; and I draw some conclusions. (shrink)
We show that the velocity distribution in rarefied (i.e., Knudsen) gases is spontaneously weighted in favor of small speeds away from the Maxwellian distribution corresponding to the temperature of the container walls—despite thermodynamic equilibrium with the walls. The consequent paradox concerning the second law of thermodynamics is discussed.
Some have suggested that certain classical physical systems have undecidable long-term behavior, without specifying an appropriate notion of decidability over the reals. We introduce such a notion, decidability in (or d- ) for any measure , which is particularly appropriate for physics and in some ways more intuitive than Ko's (1991) recursive approximability (r.a.). For Lebesgue measure , d- implies r.a. Sets with positive -measure that are sufficiently "riddled" with holes are never d- but are often r.a. This explicates Sommerer (...) and Ott's (1996) claim of uncomputable behavior in a system with riddled basins of attraction. Furthermore, it clarifies speculations that the stability of the solar system (and similar systems) may be undecidable, for the invariant tori established by KAM theory form sets that are not d-. (shrink)
Categorical-theoretic semantics for the relevance logic is proposed which is based on the construction of the topos of functors from a relevant algebra (considered as a preorder category endowed with the special endofunctors) in the category of sets Set. The completeness of the relevant system R of entailment is proved in respect to the semantic considered.
A popular account of epistemic justification holds that justification, in essence, aims at truth. An influential objection against this account points out that it is committed to holding that only true beliefs could be justified, which most epistemologists regard as sufficient reason to reject the account. In this paper I defend the view that epistemic justification aims at truth, not by denying that it is committed to epistemic justification being factive, but by showing that, when we focus on the relevant (...) sense of ‘justification’, it isn’t in fact possible for a belief to be at once justified and false. To this end, I consider and reject three popular intuitions speaking in favor of the possibility of justified false beliefs, and show that a factive account of epistemic justification is less detrimental to our normal belief forming practices than often supposed. (shrink)
In a recent article, I criticized Kathrin Glüer and Åsa Wikforss's so-called “no guidance argument” against the truth norm for belief, for conflating the conditions under which that norm recommends belief with the psychological state one must be in to apply the norm. In response, Glüer and Wikforss have offered a new formulation of the no guidance argument, which makes it apparent that no such conflation is made. However, their new formulation of the argument presupposes a much too narrow understanding (...) of what it takes for a norm to influence behaviour, and betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the point of the truth norm. Once this is taken into account, it becomes clear that the no guidance argument fails. (shrink)
Does transparency in doxastic deliberation entail a constitutive norm of correctness governing belief, as Shah and Velleman argue? No, because this presupposes an implausibly strong relation between normative judgements and motivation from such judgements, ignores our interest in truth, and cannot explain why we pay different attention to how much justification we have for our beliefs in different contexts. An alternative account of transparency is available: transparency can be explained by the aim one necessarily adopts in deliberating about whether to (...) believe that p. To show this, I reconsider the role of the concept of belief in doxastic deliberation, and I defuse 'the teleologian's dilemma'. (shrink)
Metaphysics: 5 Questions is a collection of short interviews based on 5 questions presented to some of the most influential and prominent philosophers in the field. We hear their views on metaphysics, the aim, the scope, the future direction of research and how their work fits in these respects. Interviews with Lynne Rudder Baker, Helen Beebee, Thomas Hofweber, Hugh Mellor, Peter Menzies, Stephen Mumford, Daniel Nolan, Eric T.Olson, L. A. Paul, Lorenz B. Puntel, Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra, Gideon Rosen, Jonathan Schaffer, Peter (...) Simons, Barry Smith, Michael Tooley, Peter van Inwagen, Dean Zimmerman. (shrink)
In this paper I propose a teleological account of epistemic reasons. In recent years, the main challenge for any such account has been to explicate a sense in which epistemic reasons depend on the value of epistemic properties. I argue that while epistemic reasons do not directly depend on the value of epistemic properties, they depend on a different class of reasons which are value based in a direct sense, namely reasons to form beliefs about certain propositions or subject matters. (...) In short, S has an epistemic reason to believe that p if and only if S is such that if S has reason to form a belief about p, then S ought to believe that p. I then propose a teleological explanation of this relationship. It is also shown how the proposal can avoid various subsidiary objections commonly thought to riddle the teleological account. (shrink)
Philosophers have long been concerned about what we know and how we know it. Increasingly, however, a related question has gained prominence in philosophical discussion: what should we believe and why? This volume brings together twelve new essays that address different aspects of this question. The essays examine foundational questions about reasons for belief, and use new research on reasons for belief to address traditional epistemological concerns such as knowledge, justification and perceptually acquired beliefs. This book will be of interest (...) to philosophers working on epistemology, theoretical reason, rationality, perception and ethics. It will also be of interest to cognitive scientists and psychologists who wish to gain deeper insight into normative questions about belief and knowledge. (shrink)
For at least three decades, philosophers have argued that general causation and causal explanation are contrastive in nature. When we seek a causal explanation of some particular event, we are usually interested in knowing why that event happened rather than some other specified event. And general causal claims, which state that certain event types cause certain other event types, seem to make sense only if appropriate contrasts to the types of events acting as cause and effect are specified. In recent (...) years, philosophers have extended the contrastive theory of causation to encompass singular causation as well. In this article, I argue that this extension of the theory was a mistake. Although general causation and causal explanation may well be contrastive in nature, singular causation is not. (shrink)
Kathrin Glüer and Åsa Wikforss (2009) argue that any truth norm for belief, linking the correctness of believing p with the truth of p, is bound to be uninformative, since applying the norm to determine the correctness of a belief as to whether p, would itself require forming such a belief. I argue that this conflates the condition under which the norm deems beliefs correct, with the psychological state an agent must be in to apply the norm. I also show (...) that since the truth norm conflicts with other possible norms that clearly are informative, the truth norm must itself be informative. (shrink)
Many philosophers have argued that an event is lucky for an agent only if it was suitably improbable, but there is considerable disagreement about how to understand this improbability condition. This paper argues for a hitherto overlooked construal of the improbability condition in terms of the lucky agent’s epistemic situation. According to the proposed account, an event is lucky for an agent only if the agent was not in a position to know that the event would occur. It is also (...) explored whether this new account threatens the anti-luck program in epistemology. It is argued that although not detrimental to the anti-luck program, the epistemic account of luck sets certain important limits to its scope and feasibility. (shrink)
Causation is of undeniable importance to our understanding of, and interaction with our surroundings. Despite this, the correct understanding of causation remains subject to considerable philosophical controversy. In this article, I introduce the most influential philosophical theories of causation, and provide an overview of the main difficulties that has led to the currently most popular versions of these theories.
The theory of belief, according to which believing that p essentially involves having as an aim or purpose to believe that p truly, has recently been criticised on the grounds that the putative aim of belief does not interact with the wider aims of believers in the ways we should expect of genuine aims. I argue that this objection to the aim theory fails. When we consider a wider range of deliberative contexts concerning beliefs, it becomes obvious that the aim (...) of belief can interact with and be weighed against the wider aims of agents in the ways required for it to be a genuine aim. (shrink)