The objective of this paper is to balance two major conceptual tendencies in science policy studies, continuity and discontinuity theory. While the latter argue for fundamental and distinct changes in science policy in the late 20th century, continuity theorists show how changes do occur but not as abrupt and fundamental as discontinuity theorists suggests. As a point of departure, we will elaborate a typology of scientific governance developed by Hagendijk and Irwin ( 2006 ) and apply it to (...) new empirical material. This makes possible a contextualization of the governance of science related to the codification of the “third assignment” of the Swedish higher education law of 1977. The law defined the relation between university science and Swedish citizens as a dissemination project, and did so despite that several earlier initiatives actually went well beyond such a narrow conceptualisation. Our material reveals continuous interactive and rival arrangements linking the state, public authorities, the universities and private industrial enterprises. We show how different but coexisting modes of governance of science existed in Sweden during the 20th century, in clear contrast with the picture promoted by discontinuity theorists. A close study of the historical development suggests that there were several periods of layered governance when interactions and dynamics associated with continuity as well as discontinuity theories were prevalent. In addition, we conclude that the typology of governance applied in the present paper is fruitful for carrying out historical analyses of the kind embarked upon in spite of certain methodological shortcomings. (shrink)
: Incommensurability between successive scientific theories—the impossibility of empirical evidence dictating the choice between them—was Thomas Kuhn's most controversial proposal. Toward defending it, he directed much effort over his last 30 years into formulating precise conditions under which two theories would be undeniably incommensurable with one another. His first step, in the late 1960s, was to argue that incommensurability must result when two theories involve incompatible taxonomies. The problem he then struggled with, never obtaining a solution that he found entirely (...) satisfactory, was how to extend this initial line of thought to sciences like physics in which taxonomy is not so transparently dominant as it is, for example, in chemistry. This paper reconsiders incommensurability in the light of examples in which evidence historically did and did not carry over continuously from old laws and theories to new ones. The transition from ray to wave optics early in the nineteenth century, we argue, is especially informative in this regard. The evidence for the theory of polarization within ray optics did not carry over to wave optics, so that this transition can be regarded as a prototypical case of discontinuity of evidence, and hence of incommensurability in the way Kuhn wanted. Yet the evidence for classic geometric optics did carry over to wave optics, notwithstanding the fundamental conceptual readjustment that Fresnel's wave theory required. (shrink)
Contemporary philosophers writing on the issue of personal identity agree that, whatever is disputable about fission cases, there is little doubt that, if there could be fission, there would be psychological continuity between the original person and her offshoot (if the branching is one-one), or between the original personand her offshoots (if the branching is one-many). The belief is one with a long history dating back to John Locke; it has, over time, acquired the status of self-evident truth. This paper (...) is not an attempt to refute this deeply rooted belief, though I think the near universal acceptance of it is rather unfortunate. My main goal in what follows is to make an initial case for three forms of psychological discontinuity that I believe would exist between the fission ancestor and the offshoots. If I am right about the existence of the three forms of psychological discontinuity, contemporary Lockeans on the issue of personal identity will need to rethink their position, or so I will argue in the last section of the paper. (shrink)
According to the discontinuity view, people recognize a deep discontinuity between phenomenal and intentional states, such that they refrain from attributing feelings and experiences to entities that do not have the right kind of body, though they may attribute thoughts to entities that lack a biological body, like corporations, robots, and disembodied souls. We examine some of the research that has been used to motivate the discontinuity view. Specifically, we focus on experiments that examine people's aptness judgments (...) for various mental state ascriptions to groups. These studies seem to reveal that people are more inclined to think of groups as having intentionality than as having phenomenology. Combined with the fact that groups obviously lack a single biological body, this has been taken as evidence that people operate according to the relevant discontinuity. However, these studies support discontinuity only on the assumption that the experimental participants are interpreting the relevant group mental state ascriptions in a specific way. We present evidence that people are not interpreting these ascriptions in a way that supports discontinuity. Instead, we argue that people generally interpret group mental state ascriptions distributively, as attributions of mental states to various group members. (shrink)
According to what I call the ‘Discontinuity Thesis’, literature can never count as genuine philosophizing: there is an impermeable barrier separating it from philosophy. While philosophy presents logically valid arguments in favor of or against precisely formulated statements, literature gives neither precisely formulated theses nor arguments in favor of or against them. Hence, philosophers don’t lose out on anything if they don’t read literature. There are two obvious ways of questioning the Discontinuity Thesis. First, arguing that literature can (...) indeed do what philosophy is generally taken to do. Second, arguing that philosophy is not, in fact, the presentation of logically valid arguments in favor or against precisely formulated statements – what it does is closer to what literature is generally taken to do. I use a combination of these two strategies and argue that philosophy is not as intellectually straightforward as it is advertized to be and literature is not as intellectually impoverished as it is generally taken to be. (shrink)
The question whether quantum discontinuity can or cannot provide an answer to Zeno’s Paradoxes is reopened. It is observed that what is usually understood by the term “discontinuity”, namely, Einstein’s conception of the photon as described by himself and all others, is unsuitable to the task because, essentially, it reduces to the trivial ‘discontinuity’ of objects scattered in space. By contrast, quantization of energy levels, which are not in space but can only alternate in time, provide the (...) right sort of discontinuity required. Discrete quantized orbits, corresponding to eigen-frequencies, are irreducible, and nothing is allowed to stand in-between them in satisfaction of the quantum postulate, furnishing the requisite, and so far missing, immediate nextness of a point to a certain other. ln this way, Zeno’s Runner need not postpone his first step indefinitely, always waiting upon an infinity of preceding steps, before it can be taken. There is now a point that is next to a point and so a step on that point, which is the first step. It follows that, if one kind of discontinuity, Einstein’s, is incapable of offerring an answer to Zeno, while another kind can, the two are discrepant. One of them, the former, is not a kind of discontinuity properly so called at all, though evidently the consequence of one. (shrink)
Parsing according to the principles of modern linguistic theory is only now becoming a computationally interesting task. We contribute to these developments by illustrating how the account of movement introduced by Chomsky inBarriers can be incorporated into a Static Discontinuity Grammar (SDG). We are concerned with A''-movement as reflected inwh movement of arguments and adjuncts. The resulting SDG can be processed by an SDG parser to recover the thematic information and constitutency structure associated with a natural language sentence.
A comparison is made between the frequency of local minima in the analytic power of intracranial EEG (ECoG) from waking and unconscious human subjects and the frequency of putative frames of consciousness reported in earlier psychological literature. In ECoG from unconscious subjects, the frequency of deep minima in analytic power is found to be a linear function of bandwidth. In contrast, in ECoG from conscious subjects, the bandwidth/minima-frequency curve saturates or plateaus at minima frequencies similar to the frequencies of previously (...) reported frames of consicousness. This result is consistent with the hypothesis that local minima in analytic power may act as the shutter in a cinematographic model of consciousness. The fact that artificially generated samples of black noise with power spectra similar to ECoG data give similar results in the analyses above suggests that the discontinuous nature of consciousness is not due to some specifically biological factor, but is simply a consequence of the physical properties of the 1/f (aka power law) oscillations that are widely found in nature. (shrink)
The thesis that observation necessarily fails to determine theory is false in the sense that observation can provide overwhelming evidence for a particular theory or even a hypothesis within the theory. The saga of quantum discontinuity illustrates the power of evidence to determine theory and shows how that power can be underestimated by inadequate caricatures of the evidential case. That quantum discontinuity can save the phenomena of black body radiation is the widely known result, but it leaves open (...) the possibilities of other accounts. That these phenomena, with the aid of minimal assumptions, entail quantum discontinuity is the crucial but now largely forgotten result. It was first demonstrated by Ehrenfest and Poincaré in 1911 and 1912. (shrink)
We argue that cognitive penetration in non-early vision extends beyond the special situations considered by Pylyshyn. Many situations which do not involve difficult stimuli or require expert skills nevertheless load on high-level cognitive processes. School learning effects illustrate this point: they provide a way to observe task dissociations which support the discontinuity hypothesis, but they show that the scope of visual cognition in our visual experience is often underestimated.
The assumption that the onset of puberty is a context-sensitive marker of a reproductive strategy is tested by comparing parental and filial childhood context and somatic development in West and East Germany. Sixty-eight mother-daughter dyads and 35 father-son dyads were taken from two samples of families from Osnabrück in West Germany and Halle in East Germany. According to the observed context discontinuity between the generations in the male dyads, linear regression models show that no indicator of male sexual maturation (...) was influenced significantly by the somatic development of the father. Instead of an inherited timing of maturation, antecedent distal factors like socioeconomic childhood context variables and critical life events lead to an acceleration of male sexual maturation. Finally we test the effect of two different conditions of childhood context continuity on daughter’s age at menarche with maternal age at menarche controlled. Linear regression models show that mother’s age at menarche predicts daughter’s age at menarche only under the condition of contextual continuity between generations, which was the case in the West German sample only. In East Germany, where mother’s age at menarche had no significant effect, the amount of variance explained by childhood context variables was almost the same. These results indicate the context sensitivity of somatic development which seems to follow an evolutionary rationale. (shrink)
Discontinuity refers to the character of many natural language constructions wherein signs differ markedly in their prosodic and semantic forms. As such it presents interesting demands on monostratal computational formalisms which aspire to descriptive adequacy. Pied piping, in particular, is argued by Pollard (1988) to motivate phrase structure-style feature percolation. In the context of categorial grammar, Bach (1981, 1984), Moortgat (1988, 1990, 1991) and others have sought to provide categorial operators suited to discontinuity. These attempts encounter certain difficulties (...) with respect to model theory and/or proof theory, difficulties which the current proposals are intended to resolve.Lambek calculus is complete for interpretation byresiduation with respect to the adjunction operation of groupoid algebras (Buszkowski 1986). In Moortgat and Morrill (1991) it is shown how to give calculi for families of categorial operators, each defined by residuation with respect to an operation of prosodic adjunction (associative, non-associative, or with interactive axioms). The present paper treats discontinuity in this way, by residuation with respect to three adjunctions: + (associative), (.,.) (split-point marking), andW (wrapping) related by the equations 1+s 2+s 3=(s 1,s 3)Ws 2. We show how the resulting methods apply to discontinuous functors, quantifier scope and quantifier scope ambiguity, pied piping, and subject and object antecedent reflexivisation. (shrink)
The doctrine of natural machines, of organisms, of composite substances, assumes a marked consistency in Leibniz starting from his mature years (let us say, from the publishing of New System in 1965 onwards). There is no doubt, therefore, that for a full explanation of the conceptual content of the reflection of Leibniz on the nature of living substances we must turn to the “classic” places in which it took form: from the letters to De Volder and Lady Masham of the (...) early 1700s, to the Nouveaux Essais, to Animadversiones contra Stahl and, naturally to Princìpes de la Nature et de la Grace and to the Monadologie. We can in any case ask what are the elements of specific difference are that emerge in this vast doctrinal corpus regarding those elements of the theory of the living being that had already appeared with a certain frequency in the texts of the early 1780s. Put in other words: what link of continuity subsists between the proto-theory of the living being of the ‘80s and that of the mature years (let us say from New System on)? Or, overturning the formulation of the problem: what elements of discontinuity suddenly break into Leibniz’s reflections from the second half of the ‘90s compared to the immediately preceding phases of his thought? Certainly, the monads, the machines of nature. But is it possibile to focus even more clearly the lens of our observations? I mean: after a decade of intense theoretical debate on the nature of corporeal substances, on organisms, on machines of nature, is it possibile to sketch a historical picture that accounts in a coherent manner for the development of Leibniz's thought in relation to the questions raised here? (shrink)
William Bateson (1861-1926) has long occupied a controversial role in the history of biology at the turn of the twentieth century. For the most part, Bateson has been situated as the British translator of Mendel or as the outspoken antagonist of W. F. R. Weldon and Karl Pearson's biometrics program. Less has been made of Bateson's transition from embryologist to advocate for discontinuous variation, and the precise role of British and American influences in that transition, in the years leading up (...) to the publication of his massive Materials for the Study of Variation (1894). In this paper, I first attempt to trace Bateson's development in his early career before turning to search for the development of the moniker "anti-Darwinist" that has been attached to Bateson in well-known histories of the neo-Darwinian Synthesis. (shrink)
Relational complexity theory has important virtues, but the present model omits key aspects and evidence. In contrast, skill theory specifies (1) a detailed series of developmental changes in relational complexity from birth to age 30, (2) processes of interaction of content and structure that produce variability in complexity, (3) the role of cortical development, and (4) empirical criteria for complexity levels, including developmental discontinuities. Many findings support these specifications.
In 1991 this author published a book entitled, From Catastrophe to Chaos: A General Theory of Economic Discontinuities with Kluwer Academic Publishers. Due to the con troversial and unusual nature of this book’s content, there was considerable difficulty in getting publishers to agree to publish it prior to its being accepted by Kluwer. Initially conceived as a heterodox challenge to established economic thinking, this book became viewed by many readers as a reference volume on applications of nonlinear dynamics in general (...) to many fields of economics. Now, in 2000 Volume 1 of the second edition has appeared from Kluwer also, subtitled, Mathematics, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and Finance. It covers in expanded form the material contained in the first eight chapters of the first edition. What is this book about and how does the new edition differ from the first one? The underlying philosophy presented is that discontinuities are important objects of study in economics, indeed in many disciplines beyond economics as well. Although discontinuities may arise dynamically due to random exogenous shocks, the more truly interesting ones are those that arise endogenously from dynamical economic systems. In dynamical systems discontinuities can arise endogenously in the presence of nonlinearities in the systems. Thus, the more general topic of nonlinear dynamics in.. (shrink)
Theories about the evolution of consciousness relate in an intimate way to theories about the distribution of consciousness, which range from the view that only human beings are conscious to the view that all matter is in some sense conscious. Broadly speaking, such theories can be classified into discontinuity theories and continuity theories. Discontinuity theories propose that consciousness emerged only when material forms reached a given stage of evolution, but propose different criteria for the stage at which this (...) occurred. Continuity theories argue that in some primal form, consciousness always accompanies matter and as matter evolved in form and complexity consciousness co-evolved, for example into the forms that we now recognise in human beings. Given our limited knowledge of the necessary and sufficient conditions for the presence of human consciousness in human brains, all options remain open. On balance however continuity theory appears to be more elegant than discontinuity theory. (shrink)
According to the discontinuity view we can have a (lower) pleasure which, no matter how often a certain unit of it is added to itself, cannot become greater in value than a unit of another (higher) pleasure. All recent adherents of this view seem to rely basically on the same sort of reasoning which is referred to here as the preference test. This article presents three arguments, each of which indicates that the inference from the preference test to the (...)discontinuity view is not conclusive. (shrink)
The classical response to Zeno’s paradoxes goes like this: ‘Motion cannot properly be defined within an instant. Only over a period’ (Vlastos.) I show that this ob-jection is exactly what it takes for Zeno to be right. If motion cannot be defined at an instant, even though the object is always moving at that instant, motion cannot be defined at all, for any longer period of time identical in content to that instant. The nonclassical response introduces discontinuity, to evade (...) the paradox of infinite proximity of any point of a distance with any ‘next’. But it introduces the wrong sort of discontinuity because, rather than assuming the discontinuity of motion, as Quantum Theory does, it assumes the discontinuity of space. Due then to the resulting spacetime disorder, though all else is certainly lost, the Tortoise now turns up at least as fast as Achilles and hence not even this much is rescued. Zeno rejects motion because he shows that a moving object must be where it is not. Hence motion, if to occur, must violate the Law of Contradiction (LNC). Applying the concept of quantum discontinuity, I produce an alternative. If an object is to move discontinuously between two boundary points, A and B, what actually obtains is, rather, that it is nowhere at all in-between A and B. And cannot therefore be at two places in-between A and B. And cannot therefore be where it is not. Thus, LNC is conserved. However, in these conditions, the Law of the Excluded Middle (LEM) fails. To mitigate the undesirability of this effect, I show that LEM fails because LNC holds. Thus, the resulting nonbivalent logic, which is also appropriate for quantized transitions of all kinds, will always turn up nonbivalent, because consistent. And this is not too bad, considering. (shrink)
A closer examination of scientific practice has cast doubt recently on the thesis that observation necessarily fails to determine theory. In some cases scientists derive fundamental hypotheses from phenomena and general background knowledge by means of demonstrative induction. This note argues that it is wrong to interpret such an argument as providing inductive support for the conclusion, e.g. by eliminating rival hypotheses. The examination of the deduction of the inverse square law of gravitation due to J. Bertrand, and R. Fowler's (...) deduction of the quantization of the linear harmonic oscillator's energy spectrum from Planck's radiation law illustrates this point. It is suggested that demonstrative induction is a computational step in fitting a theoretical model and a set of phenomena, with little direct confirmational impact. The thesis of underdetermination, whatever one may think of it, is not threatened by demonstrative induction. (shrink)
“On the plane of philosophy properly speaking, of metaphysics, catastrophe theory cannot, to be sure, supply any answer to the great problems which torment mankind. But it favors a dialectical, Heraclitean view of the universe, of a world which is the continual theatre of the battle between >logoi,’ between archetypes.”.
We examine the time discontinuity in rotating space–times for which the topology of time is S1. A kinematic restriction is enforced that requires the discontinuity to be an integral number of the periodicity of time. Quantized radii emerge for which the associated tangential velocities are less than the speed of light. Using the de Broglie relationship, we show that quantum theory may determine the periodicity of time. A rotating Kerr–Newman black hole and a rigidly rotating disk of dust (...) are also considered; we find that the quantized radii do not lie in the regions that possess CTCs. (shrink)
This paper will discuss the origin of the human mind, and the qualitative discontinuity between human and animal cognition. We locate the source of this discontinuity within the language faculty, and thus take the origin of the mind to depend on the origin of the language faculty. We will look at one such proposal put forward by Hauser et al. (Science 298:1569-1579, 2002), which takes the evolution of a Merge trait (recursion) to solely explain the differences between human (...) and animal cognition. We argue that the Merge-only hypothesis fails to account for various aspects of the human mind. Instead we propose that the process of lexicalisation is also unique to humans, and that this process is key to explaining the vast qualitative differences. We will argue that lexicalisation is a process through which concepts are reformatted to be able to take on semantic features and to take part in grammatical relations. These are both necessary conditions for a grammatical mind and the increased ability to express conceptual content. We therefore propose a possible explanans for the discontinuity between humans and animals, namely that merge with lexicalisation (and consequently semantic features and grammatical relations) is a minimal requirement for the human mind. (shrink)
In arguing for a rules-similarity continuum, Pothos should demonstrate that a single process or mechanism (a neural network model, for example) can handle the entire continuum. Pothos deliberately avoids this exercise as beyond the scope of the current research. In this context, I will present simulation, neuropsychological, neurophysiological, and experimental psychological results, arguing against the continuity hypothesis.
Abstract Daniel H. H. Ingalls referred to Gaudap?da's M?nd?kya K?rik?, a very early Advaita text, as ? ... the most puzzling perhaps, of all Sanskrit philosophical texts?. This article shows that some of the philosophical quandaries associated with this text are the result of inappropriately imposing a graphic and prose model of textuality upon a text composed in the k?rik? (memorial verse) genre and in an oral cultural context. Developing a model of textuality consistent with the literary genre and cultural (...) context, the article is not only able to resolve some of the philosophical problems associated with the text, but also raises the possibility that this inappropriate hermeneutical process has contributed to mislabelling Gaudap?da as an idealist. (shrink)