In this paper, we present a (propositionaI) modal-Iogic approximation to Quantum Mechanics from a reduced and characteristic number of “crucial experiments” and so independently of the lattice of subspaces of Hilbert space. Kripke’s semantics, which determinates this system, allows to define, from a new point of view, the notions of “measurement process” and “virtual world” and admits a natural interpretation which in turn can help us to understand the measurement problem. In this way, we can attempt a “many-worlds” interpretation of (...) Quantum Mechanics, in the way of Everett. (shrink)
In PérezLaraudogoitia (1996), I introduced a simple example of a supertask that involved the possibility of spontaneous self-excitation and, therefore, of a particularly interesting form of indeterminism in classical dynamics. Alper and Bridger (1998) criticised (among other things) this result. In the present article, I answer their criticisms. In what follows I assume familiarity both with PérezLaraudogoitia (1996) and Alper and Bridger’s subsequent article.
Bridger and Alper (1999) maintain that the nonphysical featuresof the supertasks described by PérezLaraudogoitia (1996) involving a system containing an infinite number of particles may be avoided by introducing, in a specific way, Hilbert space in classical dynamics. I argue that it is possible to interpret their proposal in two ways, neither of which is acceptable for the purpose for which it was introduced.
The first aim of this paper is to introduce a new way of looking at supertasks in the light of special relativity which makes use of the elementary dynamics of relativistic point particles subjected to elastic binary collisions and constrained to move unidimensionally. In addition, this will enable us to draw new physical consequences from the possibility of supertasks whose ordinal type is higher than the usual ω or ω * considered so far in the literature. Thus, the paper shows (...) how an entire collection of infinitely many particles may place itself spontaneously in motion (mechanical self-acceleration) or even reach the speed of light in a way compatible with special relativity. Interesting implications for classical mechanics are also derived, particularly the possibility of a system of particles disappearing spontaneously in spatial infinity even under the condition of the non-existence of non-collision singularities. (shrink)
This paper proves that certain supertasks constitute counterexamples to countable additivity even in the frame of an objective (not subjective, à la de Finetti) conception of probability. The argument requires taking conditional probability as a primitive notion.
In “Action without interaction” (2005) I showed that one might act on a physical system (there, a particle), without interacting with it, by the procedure of making it disappear. This paper presents further extensions and a critique of that result. These extensions show why physical actions without interaction are possible, while underscoring the philosophical fertility of a characteristic approach to the actual infinite inaugurated by Benardete.
In this paper, an example is presented for a dynamic system analysable in the framework of the mechanics of rigid bodies. Interest in the model lies in three fundamental features. First, it leads to a paradox in classical mechanics which does not seem to be explainable with the conceptual resources currently available. Second, it is possible to find a solution to it by extending in a natural way the idea of global interaction in the context of what is called interaction (...) by impenetrability. Third, the solution presented throws light on a problem posed and discussed in the recent literature in connection with the mass conservation principle. (shrink)
In this paper a simple model in particle dynamics of a well-known supertask is constructed (the supertask was introduced by Max Black some years ago). As a consequence, a new and simple result about creation ex nihilo of particles can be proved compatible with classical dynamics. This result cannot be avoided by imposing boundary conditions at spatial infinity, and therefore is really new in the literature. It follows that there is no reason why even a world of rigid spheres should (...) be eternal, as has been erroneously assumed, especially since the time of Newton. (shrink)
Norton’s very simple case of indeterminism in classical mechanics has given rise to a literature critical of his result. I am interested here in posing a new objection different from the ones made to date. The first section of the paper expounds the essence of Norton’s model and my criticism of it. I then propose a specific modification in the absence of gravitational interaction. The final section takes into consideration a surprising consequence for classical mechanics from the new model introduced (...) here. (shrink)
Although the current literature on supertasks concentrates largely on their supposed physical implications (extending the tradition of Zeno’s classical paradoxes of movement), in this study I propose a new model of supertask that explores for the first time some of their information-related consequences and I defend these consequences from a possible criticism.
In this paper a model in particle dynamics of a well-known supertask is constructed. As a consequence, a new and simple result about the failure of determinism of classical particle dynamics can be proved which is related to the non-existence of boundary conditions at spatial infinity. This result is much more accessible to the non-technical reader than similar ones in the scientific literature.
Until the present, the Newtonian theory of gravitation has only been studied in any detail through the usual, presupposed ontology of point particles. This paper shows that changing our ontology into one which makes use of continuous bodies (non-point particles) allows us to obtain in a simple way two important results relevant to the theory: (a) The Newtonian theory of gravitation is indeterministic in a way apparently unparalleled when non-point particle models of it are used. (b) In the Newtonian theory (...) of gravitation it is possible to find non-collision singularities qualitatively different from the ones presented in point particle models. (shrink)
In a recent volume of this journal, L. Angel () proposed a collision mechanics leading to such strange results as the possibility that a particle may be in several places at the same time, or the existence of unprepared spatially-separated correlations. I will here show that neither of these results follows from his theory or, if it does, the theory, contrary to what Angel claims, is not a plausible extension of Newtonian collision dynamics. No bilocation No quantum leap No unprepared (...) spatially-separated correlations. (shrink)
In this paper I will put forward a simple case of a dynamical system which can exhibit both the indeterminism linked to escape to infinity and that linked to self-excitation. The case depends neither on the gravitational interaction between particles nor on their mutual collisions, and thus reveals the existence of a new kind of constraint that Newton's laws lay on the predictive power of classical dynamics.
A detailed consideration of the Trojan fly supertask reveals certain unsuspected characteristics relating to determinism and causation. I propose here a solution to the new difficulty in terms of bare dispositions.
In “The Train Paradox”(Philosophia (2006) 34: 437–438) Gwiazda proposes the use of the relativity of simultaneity to formulate a new paradox. My purpose here is to show that there is no Train Paradox in Gwiazda’s sense.
In a recent article, L. Angel () argues that if we do not implement Newtonian physics adding to it a certain usual type of boundary condition, then this leads to the rejection of what he calls the P principle: ‘the composition of contact interactions does not create a noncontact interaction.’ Here I shall demonstrate that this conclusion does not follow. However, as will be made clear, this in no way diminishes the interest or importance of the model introduced by Angel (...) in his paper. 1 Introduction 2 The ‘impact without contact’ argument 3 Taking self-excitations seriously 4 Some interesting implications. (shrink)
Recently, Alper, Bridger, Earman and Norton have all proposed examples of dynamic systems that, in their view, are incompatible with classical (Newtonian) mechanics. In the first section of the present paper I shall show that their arguments are all undermined by the same fallacy. The second section proves that their conclusions of incompatibility are indeed false, and that what we are really looking at are new forms of indeterminist evolution of the same kind as that found recently in the literature (...) on supertasks. In the third section of the paper, I argue that one of these new forms of evolution is particularly interesting, and that analysis of it leads to a new vision of the relation between interaction by contact and impenetrability. (shrink)
In “Nonconservation of Energy and loss of Determinism II. Colliding with an Open Set” (2010) Atkinson and Johnson argue in favour of the idea that an actual infinity should be excluded from physics, at least in the sense that physical systems involving an actual infinity of component elements should not be admitted. In this paper I show that the argument Atkinson and Johnson use is erroneous and that an analysis of the situation considered by them is possible without requiring any (...) type of rejection of the idea of infinity. (shrink)
Continuing the conversation between Achilles and the tortoise begun by Carroll, this paper proves that, in a supertask context, there are free actions (in general, contingent states of affairs) that can be predicted by means of purely logical reasons.
"Tough, smart, superbly engaging, The Material Ghost is a terrific book." -- Edward W. Said In The Material Ghost , Gilberto Perez draws on his lifelong love of the movies as well as his work as a film scholar to write a lively, wide-ranging, penetrating study of films and filmmakers and the nature of the art form. For Perez, film is complex and richly contradictory, lifelike and dreamlike at once, a peculiar mix of reality and imagination. "The images on the (...) screen," he writes, "carry in them something of the world itself, something material, and yet something transposed, transformed into another world: the material ghost." "Dazzling... The sheer intelligence at work in these lucid pages is exhilarating." -- Alfred Guzzetti, Boston Book Review "A pleasure. Gilberto Perez is one of the smartest film critics writing anywhere." -- Jonathan Rosenbaum "Strikes an ideal balance between insightful analysis and graceful writing... A model of thoughtful criticism." -- David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor "Brilliantly polemical in his critique of cynical reason ('the official philosophy of late capitalism'), no less passionate in defending the truth-value of cinema, Perez seems to be the clearest heir to the great humanist critic André Bazin." -- Sight & amp Sound "The chapters on Keaton and Renoir are stunning, full of perceptive remarks the chapter on Godard is a persuasive rehabilitation none of the chapters is without memorable insights." -- Michael Wood, London Review of Books "Gilberto Perez's ambitious, abundant, and cultivated book--the fruit of decades of thinking and teaching -- accompanies readers on a journey of discovery into the wonder of film." -- Stanley Cavell "Few books of film criticism in the past twenty-five years have been so enjoyable or instructive... [Perez] has excellent things to say about authorship, about documentaries, about popular genres, about cinematic point of view and narrative technique, about actors, and above all about camera style... He makes us want to look once more at the remarkable pictures he discusses." -- James Naremore, Cineaste. (shrink)
In this paper I consider recent discussions within the representationalist theories of phenomenal consciousness, in particular, the discussions between first order representationalism (FOR) and higher order representationalism (HOR). I aim to show that either there is only a terminological dispute between them or, if the discussion is not simply terminological, then HOR is based on a misunderstanding of the phenomena that a theory of phenomenal consciousness should explain. First, I argue that we can defend first order representationalism from Carruthers' attacks (...) and ignore higher order thoughts in our account of phenomenal consciousness. Then I offer a diagnostic of Carruthers' misunderstanding. In the last section I consider further reasons to include mindreading abilities in an explanation of phenomenal consciousness. (shrink)
The paper shows a new example of nonuniqueness of the solutionto Newtonian equations of motion for infinite gravitational systems. Unlike otherexamples, the gravitational field presents no singularity, nor are the non-gravitational forcesintroduced in the model singular (in particular, there are no collisions). The result is also ofinterest because it points to an interesting limitation of the elementary (Newtonian) formulationof classical mechanics.
We present a formal analysis of the Cosmological Argument in its two main forms: that due to Aquinas, and the revised version of the Kalam Cosmological Argument more recently advocated by William Lane Craig. We formulate these two arguments in such a way that each conclusion follows in first-order logic from the corresponding assumptions. Our analysis shows that the conclusion which follows for Aquinas is considerably weaker than what his aims demand. With formalizations that are logically valid in hand, we (...) reinterpret the natural language versions of the premises and conclusions in terms of concepts of causality consistent with (and used in) recent work in cosmology done by physicists. In brief: the Kalam argument commits the fallacy of equivocation in a way that seems beyond repair; two of the premises adopted by Aquinas seem dubious when the terms ‘cause’ and ‘causality’ are interpreted in the context of contemporary empirical science. Thus, while there are no problems with whether the conclusions follow logically from their assumptions, the Kalam argument is not viable, and the Aquinas argument does not imply a caused origination of the universe. The assumptions of the latter are at best less than obvious relative to recent work in the sciences. We conclude with mention of a new argument that makes some positive modifications to an alternative variation on Aquinas by Le Poidevin, which nonetheless seems rather weak. (shrink)
A partir de la reivindicación de Adorno del poder crítico del arte, este trabajo confronta la posición de este pensador con las de Kant y Hegel a propósito de la cuestión de la autonomía del ámbito estético. Explica por qué Adorno considera que ni Kant, quien afirma esa autonomía, ni Hegel, quien, por el contrario, asume su heteronomía, logran reconocer (el poder de) la obra de arte y de la experiencia estética. Muestra luego que Adorno tomó conciencia de que ello (...) proviene del compromiso de ambos autores con la pretensión de plena autonomía del sujeto moderno, y explica finalmente que Adorno sí reconoce la función crítica del arte y del pensamiento que le corresponde gracias a que rechaza tal pretenciosa subjetividad. Taking Adorno's vindication of the critical power of art as a starting point and focussing on the question of the autonomy of the aesthetic field, this paper confronts Adorno's position with those of Kant and Hegel. I explain why Adorno considers that neither Kant-affirming its autonomy- nor Hegel -assuming its heteronomy- succeeded in recognising (the power of) the work of art and the aesthetic experience. I show that Adorno saw that this was due to their common commitment to the modern subject's claim to full autonomy, and finally argue that Adorno, on the contrary, can do that because he abandons such a pretentious subjectivity. (shrink)
This paper offers a critique of recent attempts, by George Sher and others to justify compensation to be paid to descendants of deceased victims of past wrongs. This recent attempt (the ‘continuing injustice argument’) is important as it endeavours to avoid some well-known critiques of previous attempts, such as the non-identity problem. Furthermore, this new attempt is grounded in individual rights, without invoking a more controversial collectivist assumption. The first step in this critique is to differentiate between compensation and restitution. (...) Once this important distinction is clear, an examination of several factors follows: the importance of the passage of time vis-à-vis claims for compensation and/or restitution (and especially the passing away of the original victims and wrongdoers), the responsibility of the would be payers, the responsibility of the descendants of the victims, the welfare level of the descendants of the victims, information-related issues, and several additional factors. The conclusion is that once we take into account the distinction between compensation and restitution, and the additional factors mentioned, the case for compensation and/or restitution under the ‘continuing injustice argument’, is highly limited. (shrink)
This research extends previous findings related to the positive influence of company credibility on a social Cause–Brand Alliance’s (CBA) persuasion mechanism. This study analyzes the mediating role of two dimensions of company credibility (trustworthiness and expertise) with regard to the influence of altruistic attributions and two types of brand–cause fit (functional and image fit) on corporate social responsibility image. A structural equation model tests the proposed framework with a sample of 299 consumers, and the results suggest that (1) image fit (...) and altruistic attribution are cues that consumers use to evaluate company trustworthiness when linking to a social cause; (2) functional fit significantly influences perceived company expertise but not trustworthiness; and (3) trustworthiness has more weight than expertise in judgments about corporate social responsibility. (shrink)
Traditionally, liberals have confined religion to the sphere of the ‘private’ or ‘non-political’. However, recent debates over the place of religious symbols in public spaces, state financing of faith schools, and tax relief for religious organisations suggest that this distinction is not particularly useful in easing the tension between liberal commitments to equality on the one hand, and freedom of religion on the other. This article deals with one aspect of this debate, which concerns whether members of religious communities should (...) receive exemptions from regulations that place a distinctively heavy burden on them. Drawing on Habermas’ understanding of churches as ‘communities of interpretation’, we explore possible alternatives to both the ‘rule-and-exemption’ approach and the ‘neutralist’ approach. Our proposal rests on the idea of mutual learning between secular and religious perspectives. On this interpretation, what is required is (i) the generation and maintenance of public spaces in which there could be discussion and dialogue about particular cases, and (ii) evaluation of whether the basic conditions of moral discourse are present in these spaces. Thus deliberation becomes a touchstone for the building of a shared democratic ethos. (shrink)
In two experiments, we demonstrate that intentional action intuitions vary as a function of whether one brings about or observes an event. In experiment 1a (N?=?38), participants were less likely to judge that they intended (M?=?2.53, 7 point scale) or intentionally (M?=?2.67) brought about a harmful event compared to intention (M?=?4.16) and intentionality (M?=?4.11) judgments made about somebody else. Experiments 1b and 1c confirmed and extended this pattern of actor-observer differences. Experiment 2 suggested that these actor-observer differences are not likely (...) to occur when participants are asked to ?imagine? being an actor. We argue that these results challenge the substantial philosophical and empirical reliance on hypothetical thought examples about intentional action. Our data offer new and necessary methodological avenues for understanding folk intentional action intuitions. (shrink)
It is a remarkable fact that all processes occurring in the observable universe are irre- versible, whereas the equations through which the fundamental laws of physics are formu- lated are invariant under time reversal. The emergence of irreversibility from the funda- mental laws has been a topic of consideration by physicists, astronomers and philosophers since Boltzmann's formulation of his famous \H" theorem. In this paper we shall discuss some aspects of this problem and its connection with the dynamics of space-time, (...) within the framework of modern cosmology. We conclude that the existence of cosmological horizons allows a coupling of the global state of the universe with the local events deter- mined through electromagnetic processes. (shrink)
In this article I propose what I call the inverse spaceship paradox. The article's interest lies in the fact that, contrary to what appears to be an implicit agreement in the literature on indeterminism, it shows that coming from infinity can be a perfectly predictable and therefore deterministic process in a classical universe.
The examples of dynamic supertasks analyzed to date in the philosophical literature, in which both determinism and the classical laws of conservation of energy and momentum are violated, all share the important limitation of requiring material systems of infinite mass. This paper demonstrates that this limitation is not necessary. This has important consequences for the scope and meaning of such violations.
International business enterprises face a number of ethical issues when conducting business in unfamiliar parts of the world, especially in places wherecorruption is deeply rooted. This is the situation in Latin America - a highly heterogeneous region characterized by cultural complexity, inconsistencies, andcontradictions at multiple levels of society, with implications for business ethics that are potentially as troubling to outsiders as they are opaque.We briefly indicate the relevant academic literature on this subject, noting that studies of business ethics in Latin (...) America are surprisingly sparse, fragmented, and uneven in comparison with the abundance of published research on business ethics and values in other world regions. Given the importance of Latin American markets, production capacity, raw materials, and economic growth, we identify this situation as a challenge and opportunity for business ethics researchers. Examination of these issues contributes new information and insight into the realities of doing business in emerging market countries and is critical on a theoretical as well as a practical level. (shrink)
This paper considers a recent criticism of the physical possibility of supertasks which involves Achilles’s staccato run. It is held that the criticism fails and that the underlying fallacy can be linked with interesting developments in the modern literature on physical supertasks.
We present evidence indicating new individual differences with people's intuitions about the relation of determinism to freedom and moral responsibility. We analysed participants' written explanations of why a person acted. Participants offered one of either 'decision' or 'causal' based explanations of behaviours in some paradigmatic cases. Those who gave causal explanations tended to have more incompatibilist intuitions than those who gave decision explanations. Importantly, the affective content of a scenario influenced the type of explanation given. Scenarios containing highly affective actions (...) (e.g. murder) tended to generate more decision explanations than scenarios with low affective content (e.g. cheating on taxes). These results give important clues about the proximal processes generating some intuitions about free will and moral responsibility. (shrink)
This essay investigates how a liberal state should treat violations of human rights within minority cultures. It is argued that the best approach gives due weight to the following three features: the free exercise of culture, protection of human rights and the balance of power between the majority and minority communities in a given polity. This balanced approach is contrasted with the theories of Kukathas, Okin and Spinner-Halev, who are criticised for concentrating on only the first, second and third of (...) these features respectively. The Arab Israeli Plonit case and the Indian Muslim Shah Bano case are used to illustrate this argument. The Israeli treatment of Plonit shows the virtues of the author's preferred approach, while the Indian treatment of Shah Bano indicates the dangers of concentrating on the second feature alone, as many liberals advocate, and neglecting the other two. (shrink)
In this paper I shall discuss McGinn's transcendental naturalism (TN) and the reasons he gives in order to show that philosophy will always be just a cluster of mysteries without answers. I shall show that the three main arguments he gives for TN are inconclusive and that a modular architecture of the mind he presupposes is not committed to the epistemic thesis of TN, the idea that we are "cognitively closed" to answering some questions about consciousness, meaning, knowledge and the (...) like. /// En este trabajo discutiré el naturalismo trascendental (NT) que defiende McGinn y las razones que ofrece para mostrar que la filosofía será por siempre un cúmulo de misterios sin respuesta. Mostraré que ninguno de los tres argumentos principales que McGinn propone en favor de su positión es concluyente y que la estructura modular de la mente que presupone no está comprometida con la tesis epistémica del NT, esto es, con la idea de que estamos "cognitivamente cerrados" para responder preguntas acerca de la conciencia, el significado, la libertad, el conocimiento, etc. (shrink)