This year marks the 50th anniversary of the birth of the celebrated Wigner distribution function. Many advances made in various areas of science during the 50 year period can be attributed to the physical insights that the Wigner distribution function provides when applied to specific problems. In this paper the usefulness of the Wigner distribution function in collision theory is described.
Trajectories along which phase-space points of the Wigner distribution function move are computed for a Gaussian wave packet moving under the influence of a weak perturbative potential. The potentials considered are a potential step, a potential barrier, and a periodic potential. Trajectories computed exhibit the complex, nonlocal nature of quantum dynamics. It is seen that quantum interference, which takes place in the time development of the wave packet, is taken care of in a simple way by the Wigner trajectory method (...) presented here. (shrink)
We clarify different definitions of the density matrix by proposing the use of different names, the full density matrix for a single-closed quantum system, the compressed density matrix for the averaged single molecule state from an ensemble of molecules, and the reduced density matrix for a part of an entangled quantum system, respectively. We show that ensembles with the same compressed density matrix can be physically distinguished by observing fluctuations of various observables. This is in contrast to a general belief (...) that ensembles with the same compressed density matrix are identical. Explicit expression for the fluctuation of an observable in a specified ensemble is given. We have discussed the nature of nuclear magnetic resonance quantum computing. We show that the conclusion that there is no quantum entanglement in the current nuclear magnetic resonance quantum computing experiment is based on the unjustified belief that ensembles having the same compressed density matrix are identical physically. Related issues in quantum communication are also discussed. (shrink)
Neste artigo, interrogamos os funcionamentos do conceito de platô em "Mil Platôs" (1980), a obra-prima de Deleuze e Guattari. Essa pesquisa esclarece, de forma concreta, duas linhas de pensamento, que são a epistemológica, por um lado, e a ética, por outro, enfocando os parágrafos nos quais Deleuze e Guattari usam efetivamente esse conceito. Do ponto de vista epistemológico, o conceito de platô permite praticar uma maneira de escrita rizomática e a explicação antiteleológica. Do ponto de vista ético, esse conceito, tirado (...) de Gregory Bateson, nos convida a formar a alegria contínua e global, ou a gaieté em termos espinosistas. In this paper, we question the workings of the concept of plateau in "A Thousand Plateaus" (1980), Deleuze and Guattari's chef-d'oeuvre. This research specifically clarifies two lines of thought, which are epistemological on the one hand, and ethics on the other hand, focusing on the paragraphs where Deleuze and Guattari actually employ this concept. From the epistemological point of view, the concept of plateau allows practicing a way of rhizomatic writing and anti-teleological explanation. From the point of view of ethics, this concept borrowed from Gregory Bateson invites us to form the continuous and global joy, or gaiety in Spinoza's terms. (shrink)
User intent classification is a vital component of a question-answering system or a task-based dialogue system. In order to understand the goals of users’ questions or discourses, the system categorizes user text into a set of pre-defined user intent categories. User questions or discourses are usually short in length and lack sufficient context; thus, it is difficult to extract deep semantic information from these types of text and the accuracy of user intent classification may be affected. To better identify user (...) intents, this paper proposes a BERT-Cap hybrid neural network model with focal loss for user intent classification to capture user intents in dialogue. The model uses multiple transformer encoder blocks to encode user utterances and initializes encoder parameters with a pre-trained BERT. Then, it extracts essential features using a capsule network with dynamic routing after utterances encoding. Experiment results on four publicly available datasets show that our model BERT-Cap achieves a F1 score of 0.967 and an accuracy of 0.967, outperforming a number of baseline methods, indicating its effectiveness in user intent classification. (shrink)
This study addressed the questions of perceived importance of social responsibility information (SRI) characteristics in a decision context, as well as the attitudes of institutional investors toward social responsibility involvement. The results showed that SRI presently disclosed in company annual reports did not have any significant impact on institutional investors' decisions. However, if SRI were presented in quantified, financial form, and were focused on product improvement and fair business practices, such information would be perceived as more important for investment decisions. (...) Attitudes toward corporate social responsibility also suggested that institutional investors were not totally opposed to company involvement in social activities. (shrink)
This paper will argue for a conception of intrinsic value which, it is hoped, will do justice to the following issues: that Nature need not and should not be understood to refer only to what exists on this planet, Earth; that an environmental ethics informed by features unique to Earth may be misleading and prove inadequate as technology increasingly threatens to invade and colonize other planets in the solar system; that a comprehensive environmental ethics must encompass not only our attitude (...) to Earth, but to other planets as well—in other words, it must not simply be an Earthbound but virtually an astronomically bounded ethics. (shrink)
The following brief memoir of Wittgenstein needs a few preliminary words of explanation. Among those who attended his lectures and discussions in the years it covers was D. G. James, who later became Professor of English at Bristol University and then Vice-Chancellor of Southampton University. I met him both in Bristol and Southampton, and on one occasion suggested to him that some of us who had known Wittgenstein, but who had not become professional philosophers, might write down our recollections of (...) him, and that he and I should start. What prompted the suggestion was, I think, the publication of Norman Malcolm's book, and a feeling that the non-professionals might have something to contribute to the assessment of Wittgenstein, particularly as a person. I wrote a preliminary draft and sent it to James; but he never responded, there was much else to do, I let the matter rest, and now James is dead. I wrote in about the year 1960 on holiday and away from any books of reference and from my own notes of Wittgenstein's lectures and conversations. I have shown the typescript to a few interested people, but because of its preliminary and unfinished nature have not previously thought of publication. It has recently been suggested to me that it might be of more general interest, and I publish it now as it was written, with one or two trifling alterations. I am well aware of its limitations. It was intended to give an impression of Wittgenstein as a person rather than as a philosopher, and the rather miscellaneous collection of remarks in section 3 have that in view rather than any more strictly ‘philosophical’ intention. Others may well question some of the detail and disagree with some of the opinions expressed. And there are some things which I might put rather differently today. But if the memoir has any interest it is best left as it was written. (shrink)
Are a material object, such as a statue, and its constituting matter, the clay, parts of one another? One wouldn't have thought so, and yet a number of philosophers have argued that they are. I review the arguments for this surprising claim showing how they all fail. I then consider two arguments against the view concluding that there are both pre-theoretical and theoretical considerations for denying that the statue and the clay are mutual parts.
I sketch here an intuitive picture of repeatable artworks as created types, which are individuated in part by historical paths (re)production. Although attractive, this view has been rejected by a number of authors on the basis of general claims about abstract objects. On consideration, however, these general claims are overgeneralizations, which whilst true of some abstracta, are not true of all abstract objects, and in particular, are not true of created types. The intuitive picture of repeatable artworks as created types (...) is, then, left in place. (shrink)
Are counterfactuals with true antecedents and consequents automatically true? That is, is Conjunction Conditionalization: if (X & Y), then (X > Y) valid? Stalnaker and Lewis think so, but many others disagree. We note here that the extant arguments for Conjunction Conditionalization are unpersuasive, before presenting a family of more compelling arguments. These arguments rely on some standard theorems of the logic of counterfactuals as well as a plausible and popular semantic claim about certain semifactuals. Denying Conjunction Conditionalization, then, requires (...) rejecting other aspects of the standard logic of counterfactuals, or else our intuitive picture of semifactuals. (shrink)
Is A & C sufficient for the truth of ‘if A were the case, C would be the case’? Jonathan Bennett thinks not, although the counterexample he gives is inconsistent with his own account of counterfactuals. In any case, I argue that anyone who accepts the case of Morgenbesser's coin, as Bennett does, should reject Bennett’s counterexample. Moreover, I show that the principle underlying his counterexample is unmotivated and indeed false. More generally, I argue that Morgenbesser’s coin commits us to (...) the sufficiency of A & C for the truth of the corresponding counterfactual. (shrink)
I present and discuss a counterexample to Kendall Walton's necessary condition for fictionality that arises from considering serial fictions. I argue that although Walton has not in fact provided a necessary condition for fictionality, a more complex version of Walton's condition is immune from the counterexample.
The debate over Hypothetical Syllogism is locked in stalemate. Although putative natural language counterexamples to Hypothetical Syllogism abound, many philosophers defend Hypothetical Syllogism, arguing that the alleged counterexamples involve an illicit shift in context. The proper lesson to draw from the putative counterexamples, they argue, is that natural language conditionals are context-sensitive conditionals which obey Hypothetical Syllogism. In order to make progress on the issue, I consider and improve upon Morreau’s proof of the invalidity of Hypothetical Syllogism. The improved proof (...) relies upon the semantic claim that conditionals with antecedents irrelevant to the obtaining of an already true consequent are themselves true. Moreover, this semantic insight allows us to provide compelling counterexamples to Hypothetical Syllogism that are resistant to the usual contextualist response. (shrink)
The standard semantics for counterfactuals ensures that any counterfactual with a true antecedent and true consequent is itself true. There have been many recent attempts to amend the standard semantics to avoid this result. I show that these proposals invalidate a number of further principles of the standard logic of counterfactuals. The case against the automatic truth of counterfactuals with true components does not extend to these further principles, however, so it is not clear that rejecting the latter should be (...) a consequence of rejecting the former. Instead I consider how one might defuse putative counterexamples to the truth of true-true counterfactuals. (shrink)
The recent rapid development of information technology, such as sensing technology, communications technology, and database, allows us to use simulation experiments for analyzing serious accidents caused by hazardous chemicals. Due to the toxicity and diffusion of hazardous chemicals, these accidents often lead to not only severe consequences and economic losses, but also traffic jams at the same time. Emergency evacuation after hazardous chemical accidents is an effective means to reduce the loss of life and property and to smoothly resume the (...) transport network as soon as possible. This paper considers the dynamic changes of the hazardous chemicals’ concentration after their leakage and simulates the diffusion process. Based on the characteristics of emergency evacuation of hazardous chemical accidents, we build a mixed-integer programming model and design a heuristic algorithm using network optimization and diffusion simulation. We then verify the validity and feasibility of the algorithm using Jinan, China, as a computational example. In the end, we compare the results from different scenarios to explore the key factors affecting the effectiveness of the evacuation process. (shrink)
Many moral theories are committed to the idea that some kinds of moral considerations should be respected, whatever the cost to ‘lesser’ types of considerations. A person's life, for instance, should not be sacrificed for the trivial pleasures of others, no matter how many would benefit. However, according to the decision-theoretic critique of lexical priority theories, accepting lexical priorities inevitably leads us to make unacceptable decisions in risky situations. It seems that to operate in a risky world, we must reject (...) lexical priorities altogether. This paper argues that lexical priority theories can, in fact, offer satisfactory guidance in risky situations. It does so by equipping lexical priority theories with overlooked resources from decision theory. (shrink)
Profoundly important ethical and political controversies turn on the question of whether biological life is an essential aspect of a human person, or only an extrinsic instrument. Lee and George argue that human beings are physical, animal organisms - albeit essentially rational and free - and examine the implications of this understanding of human beings for some of the most controversial issues in contemporary ethics and politics. The authors argue that human beings are animal organisms and that their personal identity (...) across time consists in the persistence of the animal organisms they are; they also argue that human beings are essentially rational and free and that there is a radical difference between human beings and other animals; criticize hedonism and hedonistic drug-taking; present detailed defenses of the prolife positions on abortion and euthanasia; and defend the traditional moral position on marriage and sexual acts. (shrink)
This study is concerned with the moral dilemma that stems from the digital manipulation of magazine ads to render models thinner. Exposure to the "thin ideal" has been linked to such damaging psychological responses as body dissatisfaction, loss of self-esteem, and ultimately to disordered eating behaviors. However, the artistic freedom of photo editors is a cherished value that conflicts with the concern for public health. Findings suggest that, although aware of the prevalence of digital editing, readers disapprove of its use (...) in rendering models thinner, and judge it to be unethical and unfair. Findings are discussed with regard to the role of education in helping readers discount manipulated images. (shrink)
Moti Mizrahi (2013) presents some novel counterexamples to Hypothetical Syllogism (HS) for indicative conditionals. I show that they are not compelling as they neglect the complicated ways in which conditionals and modals interact. I then briefly outline why HS should nevertheless be rejected.
At a time when the analytic/continental split dominates contemporary philosophy, this ambitious work offers a careful and clear-minded way to bridge that divide. Combining conceptual rigor and clarity of prose with historical erudition, A Thing of This World shows how one of the standard issues of analytic philosophy—realism and anti-realism—has also been at the heart of continental philosophy. Using a framework derived from prominent analytic thinkers, Lee Braver traces the roots of anti-realism to Kant's idea that the mind actively organizes (...) experience. He then shows in depth and in detail how this idea evolves through the works of Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, and Derrida. This narrative presents an illuminating account of the history of continental philosophy by explaining how these thinkers build on each other's attempts to develop new concepts of reality and truth in the wake of the rejection of realism. Braver demonstrates that the analytic and continental traditions have been discussing the same issues, albeit with different vocabularies, interests, and approaches. By developing a commensurate vocabulary, his book promotes a dialogue between the two branches of philosophy in which each can begin to learn from the other. (shrink)
In recent years, the ‘mechanistic view’ has developed as a popular alternative to the ‘semantic view’ concerning the identity of physical computation. However, semanticists have provided powerful arguments that suggest the mechanistic view fails to deliver essential distinctions between paradigmatic computational operations. This article reviews responses on behalf of the mechanist and uses this opportunity to propose a type of pluralism about computational identity. This pluralism contends that there are multiple ‘levels’ of properties and relations pertaining to computation that can (...) inform different kinds of individuation. As such, for the pluralist, there are multiple legitimate ways of classifying computation, depending on the nature of the system in question, and one’s own epistemic priorities. (shrink)
Moral luck, until recently, has been understood either explicitly or implicitly through using a lack of control account of luck. For example, a case of resultant moral luck is a case where an agent is morally blameworthy or more morally blameworthy or praiseworthy for an outcome despite that outcome being significantly beyond that agent's control . Due to a shift in understanding the concept of luck itself in terms of modal robustness, however, other accounts of moral luck have surfaced. Both (...) Duncan Pritchard and Julia Driver have offered an alternative way of understanding moral luck by employing versions of a modal account of luck. This essay considers some problems with these accounts and attempts to resolve them. (shrink)
The Moral Media provides readers with preliminary answers to questions about ethical thinking in a professional environment. Representing one of the first publications of journalists' and advertising practitioners' response to the Defining Issues Test (DIT), this book compares thinking about ethics by these two groups with the thinking of other professionals. This text is divided into three parts: *Part I includes chapters that explain the DIT and place it within the larger history of three fields: psychology, philosophy, and mass communication. (...) It also provides both a statistical (quantitative) and narrative (qualitative) analysis of journalists' responses to the DIT. *Part II adds to scholarship theory building in these three disciplines and makes changes in the DIT that adds an element of visual information processing to the test. *Part III explores the larger meaning of this effort overall and links the results to theory and practice in these three fields. The Moral Media pursues connections among various intellectual disciplines, between the academy and the profession of journalism, and among those who believe that what journalists do is essential. As a result, this book is appropriate for aspiring journalists; scholars in journalism and mass communication; psychologists, particularly those interested in human development and behavior; and philosophers. (shrink)
Ludwig Wittgenstein and Martin Heidegger are two of the most important--and two of the most difficult--philosophers of the twentieth century, indelibly influencing the course of continental and analytic philosophy, respectively. In _ Groundless Grounds_, Lee Braver argues that the views of both thinkers emerge from a fundamental attempt to create a philosophy that has dispensed with everything transcendent so that we may be satisfied with the human. Examining the central topics of their thought in detail, Braver finds that Wittgenstein and (...) Heidegger construct a philosophy based on _original_ _finitude_--finitude without the contrast of the infinite. In Braver's elegant analysis, these two difficult bodies of work offer mutual illumination rather than compounded obscurity. Moreover, bringing the most influential thinkers in continental and analytic philosophy into dialogue with each other may enable broader conversations between these two divergent branches of philosophy. Braver's meticulously researched and strongly argued account shows that both Wittgenstein and Heidegger strive to construct a new conception of reason, free of the illusions of the past and appropriate to the kind of beings that we are. Readers interested in either philosopher, or concerned more generally with the history of twentieth-century philosophy as well as questions of the nature of reason, will find _Groundless Grounds _of interest. (shrink)
In 2011 the Journal of Moral Education (JME) celebrated its 40th anniversary of publication. It seemed appropriate to examine and reflect on the JME?s achievements by reviewing its evolution and contribution to the emerging field of moral education and development. Moral education trends, as reflected in the 945 articles published in JME from 1971 to 2011, were investigated by content analysis. The research objectives were: to discover the trends in moral education as represented by published articles and special issues (by (...) analysis of disciplinary approaches, key topics, research methodologies and age-related educational levels) and to examine the international and gender-related development of the journal and the influence of its contributors (by analysis of first authors and editorial board members). The findings identify important concerns, key research topics and neglected areas in moral education and development. Analysis offers an insight into the contribution of JME as the main international interdisciplinary journal in this field, to the history of moral education, to theory and practice and in the changing socio-cultural contexts of the past 40 years. Discussion of the findings is offered, limitations are acknowledged and implications for future directions for the journal considered. (shrink)
According to the truth-conduciveness problem of coherentism, the coherence theory of justification can hardly show that coherentist justification is truth-conducive. This problem is generally conceived as the most recalcitrant problem with the coherence theory. The purpose of this paper is to show that it does not pose a serious problem for a certain version of coherentism, namely a Sellarsian explanatory coherence theory of justification combined with the deflationary theory of truth. On this version of coherentism, our epistemic goal is to (...) gradually improve our conceptual framework so as to maximize its explanatory coherence, and there is no substantial norm of truth independent of the norms of justification, so that we cannot evaluate the truth-conduciveness of a belief independently of the norms of justification. I argue that this version of coherentism can cope with the truth-conduciveness problem. (shrink)