While scientific inquiry crucially relies on the extraction of patterns from data, we still have a far from perfect understanding of the metaphysics of patterns—and, in particular, of what makes a pattern real. In this paper we derive a criterion of real-patternhood from the notion of conditional Kolmogorov complexity. The resulting account belongs to the philosophical tradition, initiated by Dennett :27–51, 1991), that links real-patternhood to data compressibility, but is simpler and formally more perspicuous than other proposals previously defended in (...) the literature. It also successfully enforces a non-redundancy principle, suggested by Ladyman and Ross, that aims to exclude from real-patternhood those patterns that can be ignored without loss of information about the target dataset, and which their own account fails to enforce. (shrink)
The debate between the amodal and the grounded views of cognition seems to be stuck. Their only substantial disagreement is about the vehicle or format of concepts. Amodal theorists reject the grounded claim that concepts are couched in the same modality-specific format as representations in sensory systems. The problem is that there is no clear characterization of format or its neural correlate. In order to make the disagreement empirically meaningful and move forward in the discussion we need a neurocognitive criterion (...) for representational format. I argue that efficient coding models in computational neuroscience can be used to characterize modal codes: These are codes which satisfy special informational demands imposed by sensory tasks. Additionally, I examine recent studies on neural coding and argue that although they do not provide conclusive evidence for either the grounded or the amodal views, they can be used to determine what predictions these approaches can make and what experimental and theoretical developments would be required to settle the debate. (shrink)
There is a variety of epistemic roles to which photographs are better suited than non-photographic pictures. Photographs provide more compelling evidence of the existence of the scenes they depict than non-photographic pictures. They are also better sources of information about features of those scenes that are easily overlooked. This chapter examines several different attempts to explain the distinctive epistemic value of photographs, and argues that none is adequate. It then proposes an alternative explanation of their epistemic value. The chapter argues (...) that photographs play the epistemic roles they do because they are typically rich sources of depictively encoded information about the scenes they depict, and reliable depictive representations of those scenes. It then explains why photographs differ from non-photographic pictures in both respects. (shrink)
Although much has been written on Descartes’ thought on animals, not so much has originated in, or has taken full account of, Descartes’ views on emotions. I explore here the extent to which the latter can contribute to the debate on whether he embraced, and to which extent, the doctrine of the bête machine. I first try to show that Descartes’ views on emotions can help offer new support to the skeptical position without necessarily creating new tensions with other central (...) aspects of his philosophy. And second, I sketch the type of theory of animal passions which Descartes could have accepted. The general conclusion I draw is not that Descartes did not hold the view of the bête machine but rather that we can find within his thought a solid stream of ideas, which became stronger towards the end of his life, that points in the opposite direction. (shrink)
John Venn and Charles L. Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) created systems of logic diagrams capable of representing classes (sets) and their relations in the form of propositions. Each is a proof method for syllogisms, and Carroll's is a sound and complete system. For a large number of sets, Carroll diagrams are easier to draw because of their self-similarity and algorithmic construction. This regularity makes it easier to locate and thereby to erase cells corresponding with classes destroyed by the premises of an (...) argument, a particularly difficult task in Venn diagrams for more than four sets. Carroll diagrams can represent existential propositions easily, so they are capable of clearly representing more complex problems than Venn's system can. Finally, both Carroll and Venn diagrams are maximal, in the sense that no additional logic information like inclusive disjunctions is able to be represented by them. Carroll's logic diagrams and logic trees constitute his visual logic system. (shrink)
Dominic McIver Lopes’ Four Arts of Photography and Diarmuid Costello’s On Photography: A Philosophical Inquiry examine the state of the art in analytic philosophy of photography and present a new approach to the study of the medium. As opposed to the orthodox and prevalent view, which emphasizes its epistemic capacities, the new theory reconsiders the nature of photography, and redirects focus towards the aesthetic potential of the medium. This symposium comprises two papers that critically examine central questions addressed in the (...) two books, with responses by the two authors in defence of their respective positions. (shrink)
Although it has been argued that mechanistic explanation is compatible with abstraction, there are still doubts about whether mechanism can account for the explanatory power of significant abstract models in computational neuroscience. Chirimuuta has recently claimed that models describing canonical neural computations must be evaluated using a non-mechanistic framework. I defend two claims regarding these models. First, I argue that their prevailing neurocognitive interpretation is mechanistic. Additionally, a criterion recently proposed by Levy and Bechtel to legitimize mechanistic abstract models, and (...) also a criterion proposed by Chirimuuta herself aimed to distinguish between causal and non-causal explanation, can be employed to show why these models are explanatory only under this interpretation. Second, I argue that mechanism is able to account for the special epistemic achievement implied by CNC models. Canonical neural components contribute to an integrated understanding of different cognitive functions. They make it possible for us to explain these functions by describing different mechanisms constituted by common basic components arranged in different ways. (shrink)
200 years ago, on August 5, 1802, Niels Henrik Abel was born on Finnøy near Stavanger on the Norwegian west coast. During a short life span, Abel contributed to a deep transition in mathematics in which concepts replaced formulae as the basic objects of mathematics. The transformation of mathematics in the 1820s and its manifestation in Abel’s works are the themes of the author’s PhD thesis. After sketching the formative instances in Abel’s well-known biography, this article (...) illustrates two aspects of the transformation which concern the introduction of concept based mathematics and the related shift in standards of mathematical rigor. Furthermore, the article outlines some of the many bicentennial celebrations in Norway and gives a short, thematic introduction to the literature on Abel and his work. (shrink)
Charles L. Dodgson's reputation as a significant figure in nineteenth-century logic was firmly established when the philosopher and historian of philosophy William Warren Bartley, III published Dodgson's ?lost? book of logic, Part II of Symbolic Logic, in 1977. Bartley's commentary and annotations confirm that Dodgson was a superb technical innovator. In this paper, I closely examine Dodgson's methods and their evolution in the two parts of Symbolic Logic to clarify and justify Bartley's claims. Then, using more recent publications and unpublished (...) letters, I argue that Dodgson approached the elimination problem in class logic differently than his contemporaries, and in doing so, anticipated several important concepts and techniques in automated deductive reasoning. These materials also provide additional insight into his reasons for writing this book. (shrink)
The paper explores the concept of a Narrative which is defined as a connected structure on a set of constrained actions and forbearances. Explanation via Narratives is compared with explanation through variable centred methodology and an interpretation of correlations in terms of Narratives is also outlined.
Friedrich Nietzsche has emerged as one of the most important and influential modern philosophers. For several decades, the book series Monographien und Texte zur Nietzsche-Forschung (MTNF) has set the agenda in a rapidly growing and changing field of Nietzsche scholarship. The scope of the series is interdisciplinary and international in orientation reflects the entire spectrum of research on Nietzsche, from philosophy to literary studies and political theory. The series publishes monographs and edited volumes that undergo a strict peer-review process. The (...) book series is led by an international team of editors, whose work represents the full range of current Nietzsche scholarship. (shrink)
Depiction is the form of representation distinctive of figurative paintings, drawings, and photographs. Accounts of depiction attempt to specify the relation something must bear to an object in order to depict it. Resemblance accounts hold that the notion of resemblance is necessary to the specification of this relation. Several difficulties with such analyses have led many philosophers to reject the possibility of an adequate resemblance account of depiction. This essay outlines these difficulties and argues that current resemblance accounts succumb to (...) them. It then develops an alternative resemblance account, drawing on Grice's account of nonnatural meaning and its role in determining sentence meaning to argue that something depicts an object if it bears intention-based resemblances to the object that jointly capture its overall appearance. In addition to solving the metaphysical problem of what it is for something to depict an object, this account also sheds significant light on the epistemological issue of how we are able to work out that something depicts an object. This essay argues that our ability to work out that something depicts an object results from both our more general ability to identify intentions from the products of communicative behavior and our knowledge of stylistic conventions. This account avoids the difficulties that face rival attempts to analyze depiction in terms of resemblance. It also clarifies and explains the features that distinguish depictive from nondepictive representation. (shrink)
This textbook is a flexible and affordable collection of classic and contemporary primary sources in philosophy. The readings cover seven basic topics of Western Philosophy. The selections are long enough to present a self-contained argument but not so lengthy that students lose track of the main point. The book includes a glossary and an appendix on logic and argumentation.
This textbook is a flexible and affordable collection of classic and contemporary primary sources in philosophy. The readings cover seven basic topics of Western Philosophy. The selections are long enough to present a self-contained argument but not so lengthy that students lose track of the main point. Each reading has an outline with study questions, questions for reflection and discussion, and an annotated bibliography. The book includes a glossary and an appendix on logic and argumentation.
: The dual perspective model of agency and communion predicts that observers tend to interpret a target’s behavior more in terms of communion than agency, whereas actors interpret their behavior more in terms of agency. The present research for the first time tests this model in real interactions. Previously unacquainted participants had a short conversation and afterwards rated their own behavior and their interaction partner’s behavior in terms of agency and communion. Supporting the dual perspective model, observers rated the actor’s (...) behavior higher on communion than on agency, and higher on communion than actors themselves did. Findings for actors were more complex: Actors rated their own behavior as more agentic than observers did. However, they also rated their behavior high on communion. We discuss implications for the dual perspective model as well as for understandings in social interactions. (shrink)
Surgical Informed Consent has long been recognized as an important component of modern medicine. The ultimate goals of SIC are to improve clients’ understanding of the intended procedure, increase client satisfaction, maintain trust between clients and health providers, and ultimately minimize litigation issues related to surgical procedures. The purpose of the current study is to assess the comprehensiveness of the SIC process for women undergoing obstetric and gynecologic surgeries. A hospital-based cross-sectional study was undertaken at Hawassa University Comprehensive Specialized Hospital (...) in November and December, 2016. A total of 230 women who underwent obstetric and/or gynecologic surgeries were interviewed immediately after their hospital discharge to assess their experience of the SIC process. Thirteen components of SIC were used based on international recommendations, including the Royal College of Surgeon’s standards of informed consent practices for surgical procedures. Descriptive summaries are presented in tables and figures. Forty percent of respondents were aged between 25 and 29 years. Nearly a quarter had no formal education. More than half of respondents had undergone an emergency surgical procedure. Only 18.4% of respondents reported that the surgeon performing the operation had offered SIC, while 36.6% of respondents could not recall who had offered SIC. All except one respondent provided written consent to undergo a surgical procedure. However, 8.3% of respondents received SIC service while already on the operation table for their procedure. Only 73.9% of respondents were informed about the availability of alternative treatment options. Additionally, a majority of respondents were not informed about the type of anesthesia to be used and related complications. Only 54.2% of respondents reported that they had been offered at least six of the 13 SIC components used by the investigators. There is gap in the provision of comprehensive and standardized pre-operative counseling for obstetric and gynecologic surgeries in the study hospital. This has a detrimental effect on the overall quality of care clients receive, specifically in terms of client expectations and information needs. (shrink)
The genre to which an artwork belongs affects how it is to be interpreted and evaluated. An account of genre and of the criteria for genre membership should explain these interpretative and evaluative effects. Contrary to conceptions of genres as categories distinguished by the features of the works that belong to them, I argue that these effects are to be explained by conceiving of genres as categories distinguished by certain of the purposes that the works belonging to them are intended (...) to serve. (shrink)
In this paper, I provide a descriptive definition of art that is able to accommodate the existence of bad art, while illuminating the value of good art. This, I argue, is something that existing definitions of art fail to do. I approach this task by providing an account according to which what makes something an artwork is the institutional process by which it is made. I argue that Searle’s account of institutions and institutional facts shows that the existence of all (...) institutions is due to their being perceived by their participants to perform some humanly valuable function. I then identify the functions to which the existence of art institutions is due. I then use these functions to provide a reductive institutional definition of art. Finally, in section seven, I examine the account’s consequences for the value of good art. (shrink)
The goal of this paper is to propose a unified approach to the split scope readings of negative indefinites, comparative quantifiers, and numerals. There are two main observations that justify this approach. First, split scope shows the same kinds of restrictions across these different quantifiers. Second, split scope always involves low existential force. In our approach, following Sauerland, natural language determiner quantifiers are quantifiers over choice functions, of type <<,t>,t>. In split readings, the quantifier over choice functions scopes above other (...) operators (such as intensional verbs like must or can). Determiner quantifiers leave a choice-function trace when they move and this trace combines with the noun restriction, which is interpreted low. That split scope always involves low existential force is derived, without stipulation, from Kratzer’s idea that low existential force can be achieved via binding (into the noun restriction). (shrink)
This paper analyzes the theory of area developed by Euclid in the Elements and its modern reinterpretation in Hilbert’s influential monograph Foundations of Geometry. Particular attention is bestowed upon the role that two specific principles play in these theories, namely the famous common notion 5 and the geometrical proposition known as De Zolt’s postulate. On the one hand, we argue that an adequate elucidation of how these two principles are conceptually related in the theories of Euclid and Hilbert is highly (...) relevant for a better understanding of the respective geometrical practices. On the other hand, we claim that these conceptual relations unveil interesting issues between the two main contemporary approaches to the study of area of plane rectilinear figures, i.e., the geometrical approach consisting in the geometrical theory of equivalence and the metrical approach based on the notion of measure of area. Finally, in an appendix logical relations among equivalence, comparison and addition of magnitudes are examined schematically in an abstract setting. (shrink)
It is generally recognised that an adequate resemblance-based account of depiction must specify some standard of correctness which explains how a picture’s content differs from the content we would attribute to it purely on the basis of resemblance. For example, an adequate standard should explain why stick figure drawings do not depict emaciated beings with gargantuan heads. Most attempts to specify a standard of correctness appeal to the intentions of the picture’s maker. However, I argue that the most detailed such (...) attempt to date is incomplete. I argue that an adequate standard can be given only if one construes a picture’s content as being pictorially implicated, in a way analogous to that in which Grice explains an utterance’s meaning as being conversationally implicated. I propose a theory of pictorial implicature and use it as the basis for an intention-based standard of correctness. I show how this standard is able to explain both the ways in which the content of pictures differs from the content we would attribute to them solely on the basis of resemblance, and how we are able to apply an intention-based standard of correctness even though we lack any independent knowledge of the intentions of pictures’ makers. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to show that the French philosopher and historian of science Abel Rey played a more influential role in the formative phase of the Vienna Circle than hitherto supposed. On the whole, it will be argued that Rey's contribution had political impact. His interpretation of "modern physics" in 1907 in the face of the alleged "bankruptcy of science" should be appreciated as a masterpiece of applied enlightenment thought. As such, it was especially paradigmatic for (...) Philipp Frank's "positivist" defense of the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics against the irrationalist tendencies of the 1920s and 1930s. (shrink)
In this paper, I develop a unified account of cinematic representation as primary depiction. On this account, cinematic representation is a distinctive form of depiction, unique in its capacity to depict temporal properties. I then explore the consequences of this account for the much-contested question of whether cinema is an independent representational art form. I show that it is, and that Scruton’s argument to the contrary relies on an erroneous conception of cinematic representation. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?
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