While Thomas Kuhn's theory of scientific revolutions does not specifically deal with validation, the validation of simulations can be related in various ways to Kuhn's theory: 1) Computer simulations are sometimes depicted as located between experiments and theoretical reasoning, thus potentially blurring the line between theory and empirical research. Does this require a new kind of research logic that is different from the classical paradigm which clearly distinguishes between theory and empirical observation? I argue that this is not the case. (...) 2) Another typical feature of computer simulations is their being ``motley'' (Winsberg 2003) with respect to the various premises that enter into simulations. A possible consequence is that in case of failure it can become difficult to tell which of the premises is to blame. Could this issue be understood as fostering Kuhn's mild relativism with respect to theory choice? I argue that there is no need to worry about relativism with respect to computer simulations, in particular. 3) The field of social simulations, in particular, still lacks a common understanding concerning the requirements of empirical validation of simulations. Does this mean that social simulations are still in a pre-scientific state in the sense of Kuhn? My conclusion is that despite ongoing efforts to promote quality standards in this field, lack of proper validation is still a problem of many published simulation studies and that, at least large parts of social simulations must be considered as pre-scientific. (shrink)
In this paper we investigate with a case study from chemistry under what conditions a simulation can serve as a surrogate for an experiment. The case-study concerns a simulation of H2-formation in outer space. We find that in this case the simulation can act as a surrogate for an experiment, because there exists comprehensive theoretical background knowledge in form of quantum mechanics about the range of phenomena to which the investigated process belongs and because any particular modelling assumptions as can (...) be justified. If these requirements are met then direct empirical validation may even be dispensable. We conjecture that this is not the case in the absence of comprehensive theoretical background knowledge. (shrink)
In a recent Philosophy of Science article Gerhard Schurz proposes meta-inductivistic prediction strategies as a new approach to Hume's. This comment examines the limitations of Schurz's approach. It can be proven that the meta-inductivist approach does not work any more if the meta-inductivists have to face an infinite number of alternative predictors. With his limitation it remains doubtful whether the meta-inductivist can provide a full solution to the problem of induction.
In this paper Kant's "perpetual peace" is being interpreted as a realistic utopia. Kant's "perpetual peace" remains an utopia even today in the sense that the described perpetual world peace is still a long way to go from today's state of world politics. But Kant also tried to show that the utopian scenario is possible under realistic assumptions. Therefore this essay examines the question, if Kant's basic assumptions - such as for example the assumption that democracies are generally non aggressive (...) - are still valid in the light of the political experiences of the two centuries that have elapsed since the publication of the "perpetual peace" and how the realisation of Kant's utopia can best be promoted in today's situation. (shrink)
Employing computer simulations for the study of the evolution of altruism has been popular since Axelrod's book "The Evolution of Cooperation". But have the myriads of simulation studies that followed in Axelrod's footsteps really increased our knowledge about the evolution of altruism or cooperation? This book examines in detail the working mechanisms of simulation based evolutionary explanations of altruism. It shows that the "theoretical insights" that can be derived from simulation studies are often quite arbitrary and of little use for (...) the empirical research. In the final chapter of the book, therefore, a set of epistemological requirements for computer simulations is proposed and recommendations for the proper research design of simulation studies are made. (shrink)
This paper discusses critically what simulation models of the evolution of cooperation can possibly prove by examining Axelrod’s “Evolution of Cooperation” (1984) and the modeling tradition it has inspired. Hardly any of the many simulation models in this tradition have been applicable empirically. Axelrod’s role model suggested a research design that seemingly allowed to draw general conclusions from simulation models even if the mechanisms that drive the simulation could not be identified empirically. But this research design was fundamentally flawed. At (...) best such simulations can claim to prove logical possibilities, i.e. they prove that certain phenomena are possible as the consequence of the modeling assumptions built into the simulation, but not that they are possible or can be expected to occur in reality. I suggest several requirements under which proofs of logical possibilities can nevertheless be considered useful. Sadly, most Axelrod-style simulations do not meet these requirements. It would be better not to use this kind of simulations at all. (shrink)
This paper discusses critically what simulation models of the evolution ofcooperation can possibly prove by examining Axelrod’s “Evolution of Cooperation” and the modeling tradition it has inspired. Hardly any of the many simulation models of the evolution of cooperation in this tradition have been applicable empirically. Axelrod’s role model suggested a research design that seemingly allowed to draw general conclusions from simulation models even if the mechanisms that drive the simulation could not be identified empirically. But this research design was (...) fundamentally flawed, because it is not possible to draw general empirical conclusions from theoretical simulations. At best such simulations can claim to prove logical possibilities, i.e. they prove that certain phenomena are possible as the consequence of the modeling assumptions built into the simulation, but not that they are possible or can be expected to occur in reality I suggest several requirements under which proofs of logical possibilities can nevertheless be considered useful. Sadly, most Axelrod-style simulations do not meet these requirements. I contrast this with Schelling’s neighborhood segregation model, thecore mechanism of which can be retraced empirically. (shrink)
This paper tries to answer the question why the epistemic value of so many social simulations is questionable. I consider the epistemic value of a social simulation as questionable if it contributes neither directly nor indirectly to the understanding of empirical reality. To examine this question, two classical social simulations are analyzed with respect to their possible epistemic justification: Schelling’s neighborhood segregation model and Axelrod’s reiterated Prisoner’s Dilemma simulations of the evolution of cooperation. It is argued that Schelling’s simulation is (...) useful because it can be related to empirical reality, while Axelrod’s simulations and those of his followers cannot and thus that their scientific value remains doubtful. I relate this findingto the background beliefs of modelers about the superiority of the modeling method as expressed in Joshua Epstein’s keynote address “Why model?”. (shrink)
This paper is intended as a critical examination of the question of when the use of computer simulations is beneficial to scientific explanations. This objective is pursued in two steps: First, I try to establish clear criteria that simulations must meet in order to be explanatory. Basically, a simulation has explanatory power only if it includes all causally relevant factors of a given empirical configuration and if the simulation delivers stable results within the measurement inaccuracies of the input parameters. If (...) a simulation is not explanatory, it can still be meaningful for exploratory purposes, but only under very restricted conditions. In the second step, I examine a few examples of Axelrod-style simulations as they have been used to understand the evolution of cooperation (Axelrod, Schüßler) and the evolution of the social contract (Skyrms). These simulations do not meet the criteria for explanatory validity and it can be shown, as I believe, that they lead us astray from the scientific problems they have been addressed to solve and at the same time bar our imagination against more conventional but still better approaches. (shrink)
Epistemic Responsibility means that scientists are responsible for their research being suitable to contribute to our understanding of the world, or at least some part of the world. As will be shown with the example of computer simulations in social sciences, this is unfortunately far from being understood as a matter of course. Rather, there exist whole research traditions in which the bulk of the contributions is quite free from any tangible purpose of enhancing our knowledge about anything. This essay (...) is concerned with the causes of this phenomenon and pleads for taking epistemic responsibility as a scientific virtue serious. Science should be organized in such a way that it is possible and likely that scientists will assume epistemic responsibility for their research tasks. (shrink)
Mathematical models are a well established tool in most natural sciences. Although models have been neglected by the philosophy of science for a long time, their epistemological status as a link between theory and reality is now fairly well understood. However, regarding the epistemological status of mathematical models in the social sciences, there still exists a considerable unclarity. In my paper I argue that this results from specific challenges that mathematical models and especially computer simulations face in the social sciences. (...) The most important difference between the social sciences and the natural sciences with respect to modeling is that in the social sciences powerful and well confirmed background theories (like Newtonian mechanics, quantum mechanics or the theory of relativity in physics) do not exist in the social sciences. Therefore, an epistemology of models that is formed on the role model of physics may not be appropriate for the social sciences. I discuss the challenges that modeling faces in the social sciences and point out their epistemological consequences. The most important consequences are that greater emphasis must be placed on empirical validation than on theoretical validation and that the relevance of purely theoretical simulations is strongly limited. (shrink)
Simulation models of the Reiterated Prisoner's Dilemma (in the following: RPD-models) are since 30 years considered as one of the standard tools to study the evolution of cooperation (Rangoni 2013; Hoffmann 2000). A considerable number of such simulation models has been produced by scientists. Unfortunately, though, none of these models has empirically been verified and there exists no example of empirical research where any of the RPD-models has successfully been employed to a particular instance of cooperation. Surprisingly, this has not (...) kept scientists from continuing to produce simulation models in the same tradition and from writing their own history as a history of success. In a recent simulation study -- which does not make use of the RPD but otherwise follows the same pattern of research -- Robert Axelrod's (1984) original role model for this kind of simulation studies is praised as ``an extremely effective means for investigating the evolution of cooperation'' and considered as ``widely credited with invigorating that field'' (Rendell et al. 2010). (shrink)
In this commentary I criticise Doris Gerber's intentionalistic reading of history. While an intentionalistic philosophy of history has some plausibility, a *purely* intentionalistic view is often irreconcilable with the most elementary common sense. For example, that history ought to be considered exclusively as the history of human action and not of things that simply happen to humans as well - like the outbreak of the volcano Vesuv in the year 79 which lead to the destructions of Pompeii. Or that historical (...) value judgments should always be judgments about the reasons for human action, which raises the questions if and how the unintended consequences of human action are to be judged. (shrink)
Eric Voegelin believed that a morally acceptable and in the long run successful political order (which meant for the emigrant Voegelin primarily an order that is resistant to totalitarianism) can only be built on the foundation of a healthy religiosity of the citizens and the political leaders. The question of what a healthy religiosity is was examined by Voegelin by recurring to intellectual history and to the philosophy of consciousness. In my book I offer a detailed criticism Voegelin's philosophy of (...) consciousness and of his concept of political order. (shrink)
This article is a commentary on another article by Burkhard Stephan in "Erwägen Wissen Ethik" (16/2005 Issue 3). The question is examined, whether there exist analogies between (Darwinian) biological evolution cultural development processes. The topics discussed are: 1. Analogies to biological evolution on the cultural level. 2. Analogies to cultural processes on the biological level. 3. Features of the biological evolution of human nature that have direct consequences on the cultural level. 4. Ethical questions raised by the previous three points.
In this paper the ethical problem is discussed how moral judgments of foreign cultures and bygone epochs can be justified. After ruling out the extremes of moral absolutism (judging without any reservations by the standards of one's own culture and epoch) and moral relativism (judging only by the respective standards of the time and culture in question) the following solution to the dilemma is sought: A distinction has to be made between judging the norms and institutions in power at a (...) certain place and time and judging people acting within the social institutions of their time and culture. While the former may be judged rigorously, only taking into account the objective possibilities for having other institutions at a certain development stage, the latter should be judged against the background of the common sense morals of the respective time and culture. (shrink)
This is a comment on Hans Kelsen's Review of Voegelin's "New Science of Politics". After locating Kelsens review in the historical and biographical context, I examine the main points of Kelsen's criticism of Voegelin: 1. Voegelin's misunderstanding of Weber's idea of value free science 2. Voegelin's anti-democratic "theory of representation" 3. Voegelins polemical characterization of modernity as Gnosticism. My conclusion is that most of Kelsen's criticism really hits the mark and that Voegelin's New Science of Politics is a political theory (...) very close in spirit - though based on a different religion - as the theocratic regime in Iran. (shrink)
This is a series of lectures on formal decision theory held at the University of Bayreuth during the summer terms 2008 and 2009. It largely follows the book from Michael D. Resnik: Choices. An Introduction to Decision Theory, 5th ed. Minneapolis London 2000 and covers the topics: -/- Decisions under ignorance and risk Probability calculus (Kolmogoroff Axioms, Bayes' Theorem) Philosophical interpretations of probability (R. v. Mises, Ramsey-De Finetti) Neuman-Morgenstern Utility Theory Introductory Game Theory Social Choice Theory (Sen's Paradox of Liberalism, (...) Arrow's Theorem) . (shrink)
In this volume, scientists, historians, and philosophers join to examine computer simulations in scientific practice. One central aim of the volume is to provide a multiperspective view on the topic. Therefore, the text includes philosophical studies on computer simulations, as well as case studies from simulation practice, and historical studies of the evolution of simulations as a research method.
This remarkable work shows Meister Eckhart the thirteenth-century western mystic, as the great teacher of the birth of God in the soul, who shatters the dualism between God and the world, and the self and God.
David Schweickart has challenged a number of claims that are central to my argument that market socialism would probably degenerate into something only nominally distinguishable from capitalism. Chief among these is the claim that competitive pressures would force the workers in a worker-controlled firm to create pay and authority differentials that would make such firms structurally homologous to capitalist firms. Schweickart challenges this on two fronts: He argues that there is no good reason to believe that market forces under market (...) socialism would create the pay and authority differentials characteristic of capitalism. He further argues that certain structural features of market socialism would insure that competition would not be as intense as it is under capitalism. Consequently, even if capitalistically structured firms were more efficient, it would not make much difference, since no sword of Damocles would hang over the heads of those firms whose workers prefer more collectivist methods of control. Let us consider each of these points in turn. (shrink)
"These sixteen essays by Arnold Isenberg "bring wide-ranging connoiseurship, intricate analysis, and epigrammatic literacy to bear on a number of glib and fuzzy oppositions between form and content, description and interpretation, ...
This article explores the tension between Meister Eckhart's frequent claim that the human soul is an image of the divine and his equally frequent claim that God is beyond description and language. Through a reading of German Sermon 16b, I argue that Eckhart emphasizes the image's immediate ontological relationship to its source and downplays the image's similarity to this source. The soul as an image of God reveals God not through its nature as a soul but through the (...) contingency of its being. The same is true of the sermon as well. (shrink)
An English translation of the essay and an extended introduction are included in the download. In diesem Essay geht es um ein religionsfreundliches Selbst- und Weltverständnis, das die Reichweite der menschlichen Vernunft ebenso wie deren intrinsische Grenzen achtet. In dem weiten Feld wählen wir hier Betrachtungen des mittelalterlichen Philosophen und Theologen Meister Eckhart aus. Eckhart (ca.1260-1338) gilt vielen als Mystiker, anderen als Philosophen des Christentums. Er war wohl Beides. Philosophisch ist seine Lehre, die einzelne menschliche Seele habe einen (...) göttlichen, unvergänglichen Urgrund; eher mystisch die These, dieser Urgrund bedarf einer „Gottesgeburt“ in der Seele, ein Loslassen von allen Bestrebungen, einschließlich dem Bestreben, sich gottgefällig zu verhalten. Mir geht es hier nur um den philosophischen Aspekt mit Betonung auf Erkenntnis. (shrink)
To date, critical engagement with Arnold Hauser’s sociology of art has been confined to the field of art history. This perspective has ignored Hauser’s interest in literary history, which I argue is essential to his project. Hauser’s dialectical model, composed of conflicting realist and formalist tendencies, extends to the literary sphere. In The Social History of Art, these two traditions are epitomised by the Russian social novel and German idealism. Anti-enlightenment tendencies in German intellectual culture provide Hauser with evidence (...) of idealism’s propensity for escapism and reaction. Conversely, he extols the Russian social novel as the naturalistic art form par excellence. Because the intelligentsia is central to Hauser’s understanding of the formation of literary culture, this paper provides an outline of his sociology of intellectuals. Through a comparison of the German and Russian literary intelligentsia, this paper shows that Hauser’s analysis of literature is often more complex than his sociological interpretations of the visual arts. (shrink)
_ Source: _Volume 54, Issue 2-3, pp 125 - 145 Maimonides’s _Guide for the Perplexed_ had a significant influence on both Jewish and Christian philosophy, although the vast majority of Jewish and Christian readers in the Middle Ages could not read the original Judeo-Arabic text. Instead, they had access to the text through Hebrew and Latin translations. The article focuses on words derived from the root _sh-h-r_ in the original text of Maimonides, first on the understanding of Maimonides himself, where (...) they take on two meanings; the first sense of these words is an adjective that refers to things well-known to the larger public; the second sense is that in which the opinions held by the public are opposed to the intelligibles. Second, while one of Maimonides’ Hebrew translators, Ibn Tibbon, did understand the original meaning of the words in the _Guide_, the other, Alharizi did not; he missed the distinction between rational understanding and generally admitted opinions. This misunderstanding changed the meaning of three important passages of the _Guide_. Finally the mistranslation of Alharizi influenced the medieval philosophers that either read his translation, such as Rabbi Aaron ben Elijah of Nicomedia, or a Latin translation based upon it, such as Meister Eckhart. (shrink)
A proper understanding of the Sufi doctrine of the unity of existence is essential for following the later developments of Islamic philosophy. The doctrine of the unity of existence is divided into introversive and extroversive aspects, the former dealing with the unity of the soul of the mystic with God, and the latter with the unity of the cosmos with God. Here this latter aspect of the doctrine is explained through a comparison of the views of Ibn ‘Arabi and Meister (...)Eckhart, both of whom are profoundly influenced by Ibn Sina at precisely the same crucial points, although Meister Eckhart makes explicit reference to Ibn Sina, while Ibn ‘Arabi generally avoids naming him. The theory of the extroversive unity of existence consists of four parts, or rather, it is the product of four steps, each of which is logically based on the previous one: (1) God is the only being or the absolute existence. (2) Everything other than God (i. e., human beings and the cosmos) is nothing or nonexistence. (3) The existence of all things is God’s existence (All are He). (4) The cosmos does not have existence but manifests existence. In other words, it is God’s self-disclosure. (shrink)
Arnold J. Toynbee was not only a controversial historian, but also a beguiling internationalist. This article analyses Toynbee as an observer of international politics. In particular, it examines both his understanding of contemporary foreign politics and his constant search of a stable world order. From the idealism of his youth to the utopianism of religious origin that marked his final years, passing through his partial and temporary disenchantment with regard to his youthful expectations, this essay will follow Toynbee’s path (...) in the study of the international affairs of the Twentieth century. (shrink)
Arnold Clapmarius’ ‘Traineeship in politics’. Practical Experience and the Semblance of Practical Experience as a Qualification in the Field of Political Science around the Year 1600. In 1600, Arnold Clapmarius was appointed the first professor for Public Law and Political Science in the Holy Roman Empire by the University of Altdorf. He received this professorship though he had not yet published anything because he was a protégé of Landgrave Maurice the Learned of Hesse-Kassel. Two newly discovered letters which (...) were written by Clapmarius to Maurice show that the young scholar did a traineeship at the Landgrave's court to gather practical experience in politics. This was probably the reason for his appointment in Altdorf. Nevertheless, he hushed up this traineeship because it did not comply to the kind of experience that were expected from a ‘politicus’ at that time, id est military service, educational journeys, foreign languages and regional studies. Thus, this paper fills a gap of Arnold Clapmarius’ biography, and provides a new perspective on the value of practical experience in the field of political science in the Early Modern Period. (shrink)
According to most Eckhart scholars, this famous sermon on spiritual poverty demands a radical break with ordinary life to make possible a union with God that generally lies beyond the limits of creatures. In my view, on the contrary, Eckhart uses the idea of spiritual poverty to proclaim the eternal identity of God and the soul. Eckhart vividly shows that the soul, involved in this identity, must paradoxically be both divine and created, both eternal and temporal.