In this paper a number of oppositions which have haunted mathematics and philosophy are described and analyzed. These include the Continuous and the Discrete, the One and the Many, the Finite and the Infinite, the Whole and the Part, and the Constant and the Variable.
This book presents the framework for a new, comprehensive approach to cognitive science. The proposed paradigm, enaction, offers an alternative to cognitive science's classical, first-generation Computational Theory of Mind. _Enaction_, first articulated by Varela, Thompson, and Rosch in _The Embodied Mind_, breaks from CTM's formalisms of information processing and symbolic representations to view cognition as grounded in the sensorimotor dynamics of the interactions between a living organism and its environment. A living organism enacts the world it lives in; its embodied (...) action in the world constitutes its perception and thereby grounds its cognition. _Enaction_ offers a range of perspectives on this exciting new approach to embodied cognitive science. Some chapters offer manifestos for the enaction paradigm; others address specific areas of research, including artificial intelligence, developmental psychology, neuroscience, language, phenomenology, and culture and cognition. Three themes emerge as testimony to the originality and specificity of enaction as a paradigm: the relation between first-person lived experience and third-person natural science; the ambition to provide an encompassing framework applicable at levels from the cell to society; and the difficulties of reflexivity. Taken together, the chapters offer nothing less than the framework for a far-reaching renewal of cognitive science. Contributors: Renaud Barbaras, Didier Bottineau, Giovanna Colombetti, Diego Cosmelli, Hanne De Jaegher, Ezequiel A. Di Paolo. Andreas K. Engel, Olivier Gapenne, Véronique Havelange, Edwin Hutchins, Michel Le Van Quyen, Rafael E. Núñez, Marieke Rohde, Benny Shanon, Maxine Sheets-Johnstone, Adam Sheya, Linda B. Smith, JohnStewart, Evan Thompson. (shrink)
Recent Developments Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11673-010-9235-5 Authors John Coggon, University of Manchester Centre for Social Ethics and Policy, Institute for Science, Ethics, and Innovation, School of Law Manchester UK Cameron Stewart, University of Sydney Centre for Health Governance, Law and Ethics, Sydney Law School Sydney NSW 2006 Australia Journal Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Online ISSN 1872-4353 Print ISSN 1176-7529 Journal Volume Volume 7 Journal Issue Volume 7, Number 2.
Recent scholarship on John Stuart Mill has illuminated his arguments about the normative legitimacy of imperial rule. However, it has tended to ignore or downplay his extensive writings on settler colonialism: the attempt to create permanent "civilized" communities, mainly in North America and the South Pacific. Mill defended colonization throughout his life, although his arguments about its character and justification shifted over time. While initially he regarded it as a solution to the "social problem" in Britain, he increasingly came (...) to argue that its legitimacy resided in the universal benefits—civilization, peace, and prosperity—it generated for humanity. In the final years of his life Mill seemed to lose faith in the project. Finally recognizing the prevalence of colonial violence and the difficulty of realizing his grand ambitions, yet refusing to give up on colonization altogether, his colonial romance gave way to a form of melancholia. (shrink)
This essay examines the contrasting conceptualizations of reason in the thought of John Henry Newman and Andrew Martin Fairbairn in their articles published in The Contemporary Review in 1885. This essay articulates both Fairbairn’s charge of philosophical scepticism against Newman as well as Newman’s defense of his position and concomitantly details Fairbairn’s and Newman’s competing notions of the efficacy of reason to provide reliable knowledge of God. The positions of Fairbairn and Newman remain two of the most important perspectives (...) on the role of reason in the acquisition of knowledge about God in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Christian theology. (shrink)
This book comprises all of JohnBell's published and unpublished papers in the field of quantum mechanics, including two papers that appeared after the first edition was published. It also contains a preface written for the first edition, and an introduction by Alain Aspect that puts into context Bell's great contribution to the quantum philosophy debate. One of the leading expositors and interpreters of modern quantum theory, JohnBell played a major role in the development (...) of our current understanding of the profound nature of quantum concepts. First edition Hb (1987): 0-521-33495-0 First edition Pb (1988): 0-521-36869-3. (shrink)
Summarya) Bell tries to formulate more explicitly a notion of “local causality”: correlations between physical events in different space‐time regions should be explicable in terms of physical events in the overlap of the backward light cones. It is shown that ordinary relativistic quantum field theory is not locally causal in this sense, and cannot be embedded in a locally causal theory.b) Clauser, Home and Shimony criticize several steps in Bell's argument that any theory of local “beables” is incompatible (...) with quantum mechanics. It is contended that the Clauser‐Horne derivation of a Bell‐type inequality circumvents his weak steps. The Clauser‐Horne derivation must assume that there are no undetected correlations between choices of controllable variables in two space‐like separated regions. Methodological considerations support this assumption.c) In response to criticism by Shimony, Home, and Clauser, Bell tries to clarify the argument of “The theory of local beables”, and to defend as permissible the hypothesis of free variables.d) Bell's reply to an earlier criticism by Shimony, Clauser, and Home is answered. The convergence of Bell's position towards theirs is noted. (shrink)
Presenting significant new research on the moral and religious philosophy of David Hume, this volume illustrates the importance of intellectual context in understanding the work and career of one of the most important thinkers of the eighteenth century. Distinctive in its reappraisal of the influence of John Locke, Francis Hutcheson, and others, it examines how Hume reacted to, and in turn affected, other thinkers whose views, like his own, were bound up with specific philosophical, theological, and scientific traditions and (...) commitments. This volume also publishes for the first time in facsimile form the newly discovered fragment on evil. (shrink)
Postmodern claims for the lack of general coherence in social life and therefore in social research are merely a version of recurrent attempts to accept incoherence as adequate in explanations. Incoherence, however, is less sharply distinguished from the synthetic and generalizing theories that it is held to have replaced than its proponents and critics suppose. Generalizing approaches, in fact, were built around contradictions that contributed to their instability and facilitated postmodern fragmentation. In this paper we demonstrate the central contradictions in (...) social theory, showing their common occurrence in apparently opposed positions. Both postmodernism and what it seeks to replace are features of a conservative and unproductive social science. We trace the contradictory continuities through major modern schools of social theory in order to clear the ground for a progressive social science which accepts contradictions as problems that must be solved creatively in the practice of social research. (shrink)
Many believe that the ethical problems of donation after cardiocirculatory death (DCD) have been "worked out" and that it is unclear why DCD should be resisted. In this paper we will argue that DCD donors may not yet be dead, and therefore that organ donation during DCD may violate the dead donor rule. We first present a description of the process of DCD and the standard ethical rationale for the practice. We then present our concerns with DCD, including the following: (...) irreversibility of absent circulation has not occurred and the many attempts to claim it has have all failed; conflicts of interest at all steps in the DCD process, including the decision to withdraw life support before DCD, are simply unavoidable; potentially harmful premortem interventions to preserve organ utility are not justifiable, even with the help of the principle of double effect; claims that DCD conforms with the intent of the law and current accepted medical standards are misleading and inaccurate; and consensus statements by respected medical groups do not change these arguments due to their low quality including being plagued by conflict of interest. Moreover, some arguments in favor of DCD, while likely true, are "straw-man arguments," such as the great benefit of organ donation. The truth is that honesty and trustworthiness require that we face these problems instead of avoiding them. We believe that DCD is not ethically allowable because it abandons the dead donor rule, has unavoidable conflicts of interests, and implements premortem interventions which can hasten death. These important points have not been, but need to be fully disclosed to the public and incorporated into fully informed consent. These are tall orders, and require open public debate. Until this debate occurs, we call for a moratorium on the practice of DCD. (shrink)
The term “social cognition” can be construed in different ways. On the one hand, it can refer to the cognitive faculties involved in social activities, defined simply as situations where two or more individuals interact. On this view, social systems would consist of interactions between autonomous individuals; these interactions form higher-level autonomous domains not reducible to individual actions. A contrasting, alternative view is based on a much stronger theoretical definition of a truly social domain, which is always defined by a (...) set of structural norms; moreover, these social structures are not only a set of constraints, but actually constitute the possibility of enacting worlds that would just not exist without them. This view emphasises the heteronomy of individuals who abide by norms that are impersonal, culturally inherited and to a large extent independent of the individuals. Human beings are socialised through and through; consequently, all human cognition is social cognition. The article argues for this second position. Finally, it appears that fully blown autonomy actually requires heteronomy. It is the acceptance of the constraints of social structures that enables individuals to enter new realms of common meaningfulness. The emergence of social life marks a crucial step in the evolution of cognition; so that at some evolutionary point human cognition cannot but be social cognition. (shrink)
The evolution of life on Earth has produced an organism that is beginning to model and understand its own evolution and the possible future evolution of life in the universe. These models and associated evidence show that evolution on Earth has a trajectory. The scale over which living processes are organized cooperatively has increased progressively, as has its evolvability. Recent theoretical advances raise the possibility that this trajectory is itself part of a wider developmental process. According to these theories, the (...) developmental process has been shaped by a yet larger evolutionary dynamic that involves the reproduction of universes. This evolutionary dynamic has tuned the key parameters of the universe to increase the likelihood that life will emerge and produce outcomes that are successful in the larger process (e.g. a key outcome may be to produce life and intelligence that intentionally reproduces the universe and tunes the parameters of ‘offspring’ universes). Theory suggests that when life emerges on a planet, it moves along this trajectory of its own accord. However, at a particular point evolution will continue to advance only if organisms emerge that decide to advance the developmental process intentionally. The organisms must be prepared to make this commitment even though the ultimate nature and destination of the process is uncertain, and may forever remain unknown. Organisms that complete this transition to intentional evolution will drive the further development of life and intelligence in the universe. Humanity’s increasing understanding of the evolution of life in the universe is rapidly bringing it to the threshold of this major evolutionary transition. (shrink)
Classically, the question of recognizing another subject is posed unilaterally, in terms of the observed behaviour of the other entity. Here, we propose an alternative, based on the emergent patterns of activity resulting from the interaction of both partners. We employ a minimalist device which forces the subjects to externalize their perceptual activity as trajectories which can be observed and recorded; the results show that subjects do identify the situation of perceptual crossing with their partner. The interpretation of the results (...) is guided by comparable evolutionary robotics simulations. There are two components to subjects' recognition capacities: distinguishing mobile and fixed entities; and behaving so as to interact with their partner rather than with a mobile lure. The “Other“ is characterized by the feature that there is sufficient regularity in the interactions to encourage the formation of anticipations; but sufficient indetermination that the actual behaviour is consistently surprising. Keywords: Recognition of other; perceptual crossing; evolutionary robotics. (shrink)
IN THEIR WELL-KNOWN PAPER, Kochen and Specker (1967) introduce the concept of partial Boolean algebra (pBa) and show that certain (finitely generated) partial Boolean algebras arising in quantum theory fail to possess morphisms to any Boolean algebra (we call such pBa's intractable in the sequel). In this note we begin by discussing partial..