This paper is part of an attempt to clarify the relationship between explanatory reasons and justificatory reasons for actions of various kinds. It draws on a distinction between two notions of rationalization, viz., ex ante and ex post rationalization, to recast the akratic case on the one hand and to explicate an adequate sense in which an explanatory but non-justificatory reason for an action rationalizes the latter on the other hand. The explication is helped by analysis of a hypothetical example, (...) and the name "quasi-rational" is legitimated for the type of actions this example represents. Last, but not least, the paper demonstrates that an implication of the argument is the falsity of one well-known principle in Davidson's action theory, i.e., the principle claiming that the (primary) reason for an action is also its cause. (shrink)
This paper contrasts a picoeconomic approach to theexplanation of akrasia with Davidson's divided-mind approach and defends theformer in a wider context. The distinctive merits of a picoeconomic model of mindlie in the following aspects: First, it relies on a scientifically well-groundeddiscovery about motivational dynamics of animals for its explanation of preference change,which elucidates or materializes some philosophers' speculations both about thepossible mismatch between valuation and motivation and about the relevance of temporalfactors to akrasia. Second, it grounds the necessity of endogenous (...) higher-order constraints,expressible in forms of judgment, in an intrapersonal dynamic process of interactivefirst-order temporary preferences. Thus the motivational basis for the normativeconstruction of the rationality of `best judgment' can also be illuminated with this model. (shrink)
The importance of the connotation theory in Ockham’s semantics and metaphysics can hardly be overstated---it is the main mechanism that brings forth Ockham’s famous ontological elimination. Yet none of the extant interpretations can satisfactorily accommodate three widely accepted theses: (1) there is no synonym in mental language; (2) a connotative term has a semantically equivalent nominal definition; and (3) there are simple connotative terms in Ockham’s mental language. In this paper I offer an interpretation that I argue can accommodate all.
This study describes the results of experiments motivated by an attempt to understand spectral processing in the cerebral cortex (DeValois and DeValois, 1988; Pribram, 1971, 1991). This level of inquiry concerns processing within a restricted cortical area rather than that by which spatially separate circuits become synchronized during certain behavioral and experiential processes. We recorded neural responses for 55 locations in the somatosensory (barrel) cortex of the rat to various combinations of spatial frequency (texture) and temporal frequency stimulation of their (...) vibrissae. The recordings obtained from single and multi-unit bursts of spikes were mapped as surface distributions of local dendritic potentials. The distributions showed a variety of patterns that are asymmetric with respect to the spatial and temporal parameters of stimulation, and were, therefore, not simply reflecting whisker flick rate. Next, a simulation of our results showed that these surface distributions of local dendritic potentials can be described by Gabor-like functions much as in the visual system. The results provide support for a model of distributed cortical processing that imposes a physiologically derived frame (the limited extent of a dendritic patch) and an anatomically derived (axonal) sampling of the distributed process. This combination provides a complex Gabor wavelet that encodes phase, which is necessary to processing such details as edges and texture in a scene. The synchronization across cortical areas that make the Gabor wavelet processes within restricted cortical areas available to one another (the binding problem) proceed at a ''higher order'' level of integration. Both levels of distributed processing accomplish computation in the conjoint spacetime and spectral domain. (shrink)
The discovery of Hengxian and the formation of the category of hengxian are an important recapitulation and creative integration of the theory of the ontological Dao (Tao) in the Pre-Qin period. The cosmology of “self-creating and self-functioning” in Hengxian and the theory of “self-creating and self-evolving” in Liezi and Zhuangzi can be mutually interpreted. It indicates that the theory of transformation of qi entered a quite mature state in the Warring States Period.
By examining the propositions “waiting for the proper time to act”, “keeping up with the time”, “accommodating oneself to timeliness”, and “the meaning of a timely mean”, this paper examines the relationship between the idea of time conceived of in Yizhuan 易传 (Commentaries to the Book of Changes ), Zuozhuan 左传 (Annals of Spring and Autumn with Zuo Qiuming’s Commentaries) and Guoyu 国语 (Comments on State Affairs) as well as the related thoughts of Confucianism, Daoism and the Yin-Yang School. It (...) holds that on the foundation established by its predecessors, Yizhuan elevated time to its own category and made the first steps in establishing a theoretical system for time, making an important contribution to the enrichment and deepening of philosophical thought in the pre-Qin period. (shrink)
Dynamic interaction is said to occur when two significanrly different fields A and B come into relation, and their interaction is dynamic in the sense that at first the flow of ideas is principally from A to B, but later ideas from B come to influence A. Two examples are given of dynamic interactions with the philosophy of mathematics. The first is with philosophy of scicnce, and thc sccond with computer science. Theanalysis cnables Lakatos to be charactcrised as thc first (...) to devclop the philosophy of mathematics using ideas taken from thc philosophy of science. (shrink)
Dynamic interaction is said to occur when two significanrly different fields A and B come into relation, and their interaction is dynamic in the sense that at first the flow of ideas is principally from A to B, but later ideas from B come to influence A. Two examples are given of dynamic interactions with the philosophy of mathematics. The first is with philosophy of scicnce, and the sccond with computer science. The analysis enables Lakatos to be charactcrised as the (...) first to develop the philosophy of mathematics using ideas taken from the philosophy of science. (shrink)
Over the last two hundred years, there have been many occasions where the name of a newly-discovered element has provoked controversy and dissent but in modern times, the naming of elements after scientists has proved to be particularly contentious. Here we recount the threads of this story, predominantly through discourses in the popular scientific journals, the first major discussion on naming an element after a scientist (Moseley); the first definitive naming after a scientist (Curie); and the first naming after (...) a living scientist (Seaborg). (shrink)