The aim of this paper is to investigate the consequences of the bibliometrics-based evaluation system of scientific production on the contents and methods of sciences. The research has been conducted by means of in-depth interviews to a multi-disciplinary panel of Italian researchers. We discuss the implications of bibliometrics-based evaluation on the choice of the research topic, on the experimental practices, on the dissemination habits. We observe that the validation of the bibliometrics-based evaluation practices relies on the acceptance and diffusion within (...) the scientific community, and that these practices are self-sustained through their wide application. We discuss possible evolving scenarios, also considering the recent development of digital archives. (shrink)
Introduction Les femmes n'ont eu véritablement accès au pastorat dans les Églises protestantes françaises qu'en l966. Certes, une femme avait été consacrée en 1948, mais à condition de rester célibataire et sans enfants. Celles qui dans les années suivantes exercèrent exceptionnellement la fonction pastorale ne furent pas consacrées. L'accès des femmes au ministère féminin vient couronner de succès les efforts de plusieurs générations de partisans de l'égalité des sexes au sein du pro..
It has been a longstanding problem to show how the irreversible behaviour of macroscopic systems can be reconciled with the time-reversal invariance of these same systems when considered from a microscopic point of view. A result by Lanford shows that, under certain conditions, the famous Boltzmann equation, describing the irreversible behaviour of a dilute gas, can be obtained from the time-reversal invariant Hamiltonian equations of motion for the hard spheres model. Here, we examine how and in what sense Lanford’s theorem (...) succeeds in deriving this remarkable result. Many authors have expressed different views on the question which of the ingredients in Lanford’s theorem is responsible for the emergence of irreversibility. We claim that these interpretations miss the target. In fact, we argue that there is no time-asymmetric ingredient at all. (shrink)
When addressing the notion of proper time in the theory of relativity, it is usually taken for granted that the time read by an accelerated clock is given by the Minkowski proper time. However, there are authors like Harvey Brown that consider necessary an extra assumption to arrive at this result, the so-called clock hypothesis. In opposition to Brown, Richard TW Arthur takes the clock hypothesis to be already implicit in the theory. In this paper I will present a view (...) different from these authors by taking into account Einstein’s notion of natural clock and showing its relevance to the debate. (shrink)
This paper discusses an argument by Norton to the effect that reversible processes in thermodynamics have paradoxical character, due to the infinite-time limit. For Norton, one can “dispel the fog of paradox” by adopting a distinction between idealizations and approximations, which he himself puts forward. Accordingly, reversible processes ought to be regarded as approximations, rather than idealizations. Here, we critically assess his proposal. In doing so, we offer a resolution of his alleged paradox based on the original work by Tatiana (...) Ehrenfest-Afanassjeva on the foundations of thermodynamics. (shrink)
In this paper, I assess whether indexical attitudes, e.g. beliefs and desires, have any special properties or present any special challenge to theories of propositional attitudes. I being by investigating the claim that allegedly problematic indexical cases are just instances of the familiar phenomenon of referential opacity. Regardless of endorsing that claim, I provide an argument to the effect that indexical attitudes do have a special property. My argument relies on the fact that one cannot account for what is it (...) to share someone else’s indexical attitudes without rejecting some plausible thesis about propositional attitudes. In the end, I assess Herman Cappelen and Josh Dever’s considerations on intentional action and extract an argument from them that could – if successful – neutralize my own. I finish by arguing that their argument has an important flaw, thus failing to convince us that indexical attitudes are just as ordinary as any other. (shrink)
This paper surveys the issue of relativistic causality within the framework of algebraic quantum field theory . In doing so, we distinguish various notions of causality formulated in the literature and study their relationships, and thereby we offer what we hope to be a useful taxonomy. We propose that the most direct expression of relativistic causality in AQFT is captured not by the spectrum condition but rather by the axiom of local primitive causality, in that it entails a form of (...) local determinism for quantum fields which generalizes the constraint of no superluminal propagation of classical field theories to relativistic quantum field theory. We discuss the status of the axiom of micro-causality by locating its place within a large family of separability/independence/locality conditions developed for AQFT and also by relating it to so-called no-signalling theorems. And we also provide a critical survey of attempts to understand the implications for relativistic causality of the distant correlations endemic to the states in models of AQFT satisfying the standard axioms, and we provide an assessment of attempts to employ Reichenbach's common cause principle in AQFT to defuse worries that these distant correlations implicate direct causal connections between relatively spacelike events. (shrink)
This paper discusses a claim by Clifton and Halvorson (2001) that, contrary to non-relativistic quantum mechanics, local operations can never destroy entanglement in relativistic quantum field theory. The impossibility of achieving local disentanglement would raise a threat for the mutual independence between microscopic subsystems. Here, we observe that Clifton and Halvorson no-go result rests on an unnecessarily strong notion of local operations, which we label absolutely local operations, and we argue that a weaker notion, namely that of relatively local operations, (...) is sufficient to guarantee that acting on one subsystem does not have non-local effects on another spacelike separated subsystem. We then show that one can achieve local disentanglement in relativistic quantum field theory by means of relatively local operations. In fact, we prove that, under the split property, there exists a class of disentangling relatively local operations. (shrink)
This paper develops a philosophical investigation of the merits and faults of a theorem by Lanford , Lanford , Lanford for the problem of the approach towards equilibrium in statistical mechanics. Lanford’s result shows that, under precise initial conditions, the Boltzmann equation can be rigorously derived from the Hamiltonian equations of motion for a hard spheres gas in the Boltzmann-Grad limit, thereby proving the existence of a unique solution of the Boltzmann equation, at least for a very short amount of (...) time. We argue that, by establishing a statistical H-theorem, it offers a prospect to complete Boltzmann’s combinatorial argument, without running against the objections which plug other typicality-based approaches. However, we submit that, while recovering the irreversible approach towards equilibrium for positive times, it fails to predict a monotonic increase of entropy for negative times, and hence it yields the wrong retrodictions about the past evolution of a gas. (shrink)
Quantum electrodynamics presents intrinsic limitations in the description of physical processes that make it impossible to recover from it the type of description we have in classical electrodynamics. Hence one cannot consider classical electrodynamics as reducing to quantum electrodynamics and being recovered from it by some sort of limiting procedure. Quantum electrodynamics has to be seen not as a more fundamental theory, but as an upgrade of classical electrodynamics, which permits an extension of classical theory to the description of phenomena (...) that, while being related to the conceptual framework of the classical theory, cannot be addressed from the classical theory. (shrink)
The received view in philosophical studies of quantum field theory is that Feynman diagrams are simply calculational devices. Alongside this view we have the one that takes virtual quanta to be also simply formal tools. This received view was developed and consolidated in philosophy of physics by Mario Bunge, Paul Teller, Michael Redhead, Robert Weingard, Brigitte Falkenburg, and others. In this article I present an alternative to the received view.
This paper presents a report on the first Swiss Master Class in Corporate Social Responsibility, which was held between the 8th and 9th December 2006 at HEC Lausanne in Switzerland. The first section of the report introduces the topic of the master class – ‚Corporations as Political Actors – Facing the Postnational Challenge’ – as well as the concept of the master class. The second section gives an overview of papers written by nine young scholars that were selected to present (...) their research. The brief summary of each paper also includes a summary of comments from the masters, practitioners, and NGO representatives at the event. The third section brings in the perspectives of one master and one NGO representative on the discussed issues. The final section offers a brief wrap-up of the discussed topics and outlines ways to structure future conceptual and empirical research. (shrink)
I discuss a criterion for successful communication between a speaker and a hearer put forward by Buchanan according to which there is communicative success only if the hearer entertains, as a result of interpreting the speaker's utterance, a thought that has the same truth conditions as the thought asserted by the speaker and, furthermore, does so in virtue of recognizing the speaker's communicative intentions. I argue, against Buchanan, that the data on which it is based are compatible with a view (...) involving Fregean modes of presentation. In the second part of the article I critically discuss Unnsteinsson's claim that communicative success depends on the absence of contextually salient false distinctness beliefs about the subject matter of the conversation. I argue that this thesis leads to clearly counterintuitive consequences and that no fundamental role must be given to the presence or absence of false distinctness beliefs in one's account of successful communication. The upshot is that we should stick with Buchanan's criterion. I conclude by employing Strawson and Recanati's concepts of linking and merging to show how the criterion I favour is compatible with the fact that, when subjects hold no relevant false distinctness beliefs, communicative success does not seem to be disrupted by the hearer seemingly failing to recognize the speaker's intentions. (shrink)
While Einstein considered that sub specie astern the correct philosophical position regarding geometry was that of the conventionality of geometry, he felt that provisionally it was necessary to adopt a non-conventional stance that he called practical geometry. here we will make the case that even when adopting Einstein’s views we must conclude that practical geometry is conventional after all. Einstein missed the fact that the conventionality of simultaneity leads to a conventional element in the chrono-geometry, since it corresponds to the (...) possibility of different space-time metrics. (shrink)
ABSTRACT In Einstein’s physical geometry, the geometry of space and the uniformity of time are taken to be non-conventional. However, due to the stipulation of the isotropy of the one-way speed of light in the synchronization of clocks, as it stands, Einstein’s views do not seem to apply to the whole of the Minkowski space-time. In this work we will see how Einstein’s views can be applied to the Minkowski space-time. In this way, when adopting Einstein’s views, chronogeometry is a (...) physical chronogeometry. (shrink)
Two obvious trends in corporate governance include broadening board accountability beyond shareholders’ interests and paying outside directors with equity compensation (stock and stock options). By integrating common agency and instrumental stakeholder theories, we examine the effect of stock compensation on secondary stakeholders and a firm’s participation in social issues, two areas where interests are less aligned with shareholder value. Consistent with our predictions, we found that while stock compensation may be an effective way to align directors’ goals to those of (...) shareholders, it has adverse effects on important non-shareholder constituencies in the company’s operating environment. (shrink)
In this article we describe two core ontologies of law that specify knowledge that is common to all domains of law. The first one, FOLaw describes and explains dependencies between types of knowledge in legal reasoning; the second one, LRI-Core ontology, captures the main concepts in legal information processing. Although FOLaw has shown to be of high practical value in various applied European ICT projects, its reuse is rather limited as it is rather concerned with the structure of legal reasoning (...) than with legal knowledge itself: as many other “legal core ontologies”, FOLaw is therefore rather an epistemological framework than an ontology. Therefore, we also developed LRI-Core. As we argue here that legal knowledge is based to a large extend on common-sense knowledge, LRI-Core is particularly inspired by research on abstract common-sense concepts. The main categories of LRI-Core are: physical, mental and abstract concepts. Roles cover in particular social worlds. Another special category are occurrences; terms that denote events and situations. We illustrate the use of LRI-Core with an ontology for Dutch criminal law, developed in the e-Court European project. (shrink)
The clock hypothesis is taken to be an assumption independent of special relativity necessary to describe accelerated clocks. This enables to equate the time read off by a clock to the proper time. Here, it is considered a physical system–the light clock–proposed by Marzke and Wheeler. Recently, Fletcher proved a theorem that shows that a sufficiently small light clock has a time reading that approximates to an arbitrary degree the proper time. The clock hypothesis is not necessary to arrive at (...) this result. Here, one explores the consequences of this regarding the status of the clock hypothesis. (shrink)
This article investigates the nature of entangled correlations in algebraic quantum field theory (AQFT). We define a notion of local disentanglement, expressing the possibility of destroying entanglement by means of local operations. Contrary to the case of ordinary quantum mechanics, local disentanglement cannot be achieved in general in relativistic quantum field theory. However, we show that if the split property holds, there exists a local operation that can destroy entanglement between spacelike-separated quantum field systems.
This paper surveys John von Neumann's work on the mathematical foundations of quantum theories in the light of Hilbert's Sixth Problem concerning the geometrical axiomatization of physics. We argue that in von Neumann's view geometry was so tied to logic that he ultimately developed a logical interpretation of quantum probabilities. That motivated his abandonment of Hilbert space in favor of von Neumann algebras, specifically the type II1II1 factors, as the proper limit of quantum mechanics in infinite dimensions. Finally, we present (...) the reasons why his axiomatic program remained an “unsolved problem” in mathematical physics. A recent unpublished result by Huzimiro Araki, proving that no algebra with a tracial state defined on it, such as the type II1II1 factors, can support any (regular) representation of the canonical commutation relations, is also reviewed and its consequences for von Neumann's projects are discussed. (shrink)
Since the 1909 work of Carathéodory, formulations of thermodynamics have gained ground which highlight the role of the the binary relation of adiabatic accessibility between equilibrium states. A feature of Carathéodory's system is that the version therein of the second law contains an ambiguity about the nature of irreversible adiabatic processes, making it weaker than the traditional Kelvin-Planck statement of the law. This paper attempts first to clarify the nature of this ambiguity, by defining the arrow of time in thermodynamics (...) by way of the Equilibrium Principle. It then argues that the ambiguity reappears in the important 1999 axiomatisation due to Lieb and Yngvason. (shrink)
Einstein's gravitational redshift derivation in his famous 1916 paper on general relativity seems to be problematic, being mired in what looks like conceptual difficulties or at least contradictions or gaps in his exposition. Was this derivation a blunder? To answer this question, we will consider Einstein’s redshift derivations from his first one in 1907 to the 1921 derivation made in his Princeton lectures on relativity. This will enable to see the unfolding of an interdependent network of concepts and heuristic derivations (...) in which previous ideas inform and condition later developments. The resulting derivations and views on coordinates and clocks are in fact not without inconsistencies. However, we can see these difficulties as an aspect of an evolving network understood as a “work in progress”. (shrink)
Stéphane Michaud, après une longue et minutieuse enquête dans des fonds enfin délivrées de la censure des descendants et dans les archives freudiennes récemment disponibles, nous invite à découvrir ou à re découvrir Lou Andreas-Salomé (1861-1937). Celle que, trop souvent, on ne connaît qu'à travers les hommes célèbres dont elle a croisé le chemin Nietzsche, Rilke, Freud est ici « objet » d'histoire à part entière. Sans bouder l'érudition pure on découvre avec étonnement les très ..
In this work we will consider gauge interpretations of the conventionality of simultaneity as developed initially by Anderson and Stedman, and later by Rynasiewicz. We will make a critical reassessment of these interpretations in relation to the “tradition” as developed in particular by Reichenbach, Grünbaum, and Edwards. This paper will address different issues, including: the relation between these two gauge interpretations; what advantages or defects these gauge approaches might have; how “new” Rynasiewicz’s approach in relation to the previous ones is; (...) how much of the gauge interpretation Rynasiewicz actually applies to deal with objections to the conventionality of simultaneity thesis. The conclusion is that the gauge interpretations, in their current formulation, do not provide a better “rationale” of the conventionality of simultaneity thesis that supersedes the “tradition”. (shrink)
This paper discusses an outstanding issue in philosophy of physics concerning the relation between quantum symmetries and the notion of physical equivalence. Specifically, it deals with a dilemma arising for quantum symmetry breaking that was posed by Baker, who claimed that if two ground states are connected by a symmetry, even when it is broken, they must be physically equivalent. However, I argue that the dilemma is just apparent. In fact, I object to Baker’s conclusion by showing that the two (...) thermodynamical phases of a ferromagnet, which are connected by the so-called flip-flop symmetry, are physically inequivalent, thereby providing a counter-example to his claim. (shrink)
The article investigates how the problem of (linguistic) reference is treated in Gilbert of Poitiers' Commentaries on Boethius' Opuscula sacra. In this text the terms supponere, suppositus,-a,-um , and suppositio mainly concern the act of a speaker (or of the author of a written text) that consists of referring—by choosing a name as subject term in a proposition—to one or more subsistent things as what the speech act (or the written text) is about. Supposition is for Gilbert an action performed (...) by a speaker, not a property of terms, and his `contextual approach' has a pragmatic touch: “we do not predicate in order to supposit as much as we supposit in order to predicate“. Language is considered by Gilbert as a system for communication between human beings, key notions are the `sense in the author's mind' ( sensus mentis eius qui loquitur ) and the `interpreter's understanding' ( intelligentia lectoris ). The phenomenon of `disciplinal' discourse (“man is a species of individuals“) is treated by means of these hermeneutic notions and not by means of a special kind of supposition. (shrink)
In a way similar to classical mechanics where we have the concept of inertial time as expressed in the motions of bodies, in the theory of relativity we can regard the inertial time as the only notion of time at play. The inertial time is expressed also in the propagation of light. This gives rise to a notion of clock—the light clock, which we can regard as a notion derived from the inertial time. The light clock can be seen as (...) a solution of the theory, which complies with the requirement that a clock to be so must have a rate that is independent from its past history. Contrary to Einstein’s view, we do not need the concept of “clock” as an independent concept. This implies, in particular, that we do not need to rely on the notions of atomic clock or atomic time in the theory of relativity. (shrink)
RATIONALE, AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: This paper deals with the problem of surgical waiting lists and is aimed, in particular, at comparing two different prioritization approaches: (1) the clinical assessment of treatment urgency aimed at categorizing patients into urgency-related groups (URGs) with a given recommended maximum waiting time for treatment; and (2) the implementation of an original prioritization scoring algorithm aimed at determining the relative priority of each patient in the waiting list and the corresponding order of admission. METHODS: A modelling (...) exercise based on a cohort of 236 patients enrolled on the waiting list of a surgical department in an Italian public university hospital, from 1 January to 30 June 2004, is presented. The comparison is based on a measure called need-adjusted-waiting-days, which allows to take into proper account both urgency and priority. RESULTS: The results show that both methods should be implemented simultaneously for increasing the department's performance in terms of both efficiency--outcome gained from a given amount of resources--and equity--how patients are admitted according to their need. CONCLUSIONS: Waiting list prioritization should not be limited to classifying patients into URGs, but to using a scoring system as well, in order to schedule patient admissions in an explicit and transparent way. (shrink)
ABSTRACT We review the book About Oneself: De Se Thought and Communication, a compilation of papers on de se thought and its implications for a theory of communication. We critically examine the main themes put forward by the papers and try to show how, when put together, they point the way for future discussions about the issue of indexical thought and communication.
L’attitude réaliste constitue de prime abord la posture du sens commun vis-à-vis de la science. Elle consiste à attribuer à la science l’objectif de décrire littéralement la réalité tout en lui reconnaissant la capacité, en vertu de ses méthodes, d’atteindre ce but. Si le réalisme scientifique apparait comme représentant le sens commun, il a dû, au courant du siècle dernier, s’ériger en véritable posture philosophique argumentée devant l’influence grandissante des différentes formes d’antiréalismes. Dans la mesure où la posture qu’un philosophe (...) adopte concernant la prétention des théories scientifiques à décrire le réel a un impact sur son traitement d’à peu près toutes les questions pertinentes de son champ de recherche, on peut dire que l’examen de la question du réalisme scientifique est recommandable à quiconque souhaite mener une réflexion philosophique à propos de l’entreprise scientifique. Cet article débute sur la présentation des thèses fondamentales du réalisme scientifique pour ensuite le distinguer des autres postures réalistes et antiréalistes qui s’y sont opposées. Une fois les contours de la notion de réalisme scientifique précisés, il sera question des principales considérations qui ont été mises de l’avant en sa faveur et en sa défaveur. Le principal argument positif pour le réalisme scientifique est l’argument dit de l’absence de miracle. Au-delà de cet argument, tous les arguments du réalisme scientifique sont issus de répliques aux différents défis antiréalistes qui lui ont été lancés depuis la seconde moitié du 20e siècle. Il s’agira donc, par la suite, de présenter ces différents défis en identifiant les postures qui s’en réclament ainsi que les principales stratégies employées par les réalistes pour tenter de les relever. À la lumière de ce qui aura été présenté, l’article se conclut en interrogeant la distance qui sépare véritablement le réalisme scientifique de l’antiréalisme dans leurs formes contemporaines. (shrink)
In an article published in 2003, Klaus Jacobi—using texts partially edited in De Rijk's _Logica Modernorum_—demonstrated that twelfth-century logic contains a tradition of reflecting about some of the transcendental names. In addition to reinforcing Jacobi's thesis with other texts, this contribution aims to demonstrate two points: 1) That twelfth-century logical reflection about transcendental terms has its origin in the _logica vetus_, and especially in a passage from Porphyry _Isagoge_ and in Boethius's commentary on it. In spite of the loss of (...) the major part of the Aristotelian corpus, the twelfth-century masters in logic still received some Aristotelian theses concerning the notions of one and being via Porphyry and Boethius; on the basis of such theses, they were able to elaborate a sort of proto-theory of the transcendentals as trans-categorical terms. 2) That this theory is centred on the idea that there exists a particular group of names which have the property that they can be said of everything; this group includes "being", "one", "thing" and "something". Twelfth-century masters in logic try to question the thesis that these terms are equivocal, although they do not deny it completely. (shrink)
A re-evaluation of the notion of vacuum in quantum electrodynamics is presented, focusing on the vacuum of the quantized electromagnetic field. In contrast to the ‘nothingness’ associated to the idea of classical vacuum, subtle aspects are found in relation to the vacuum of the quantized electromagnetic field both at theoretical and experimental levels. These are not the usually called vacuum effects. The view defended here is that the so-called vacuum effects are not due to the ground state of the quantized (...) electromagnetic field. Nevertheless it is possible to maintain an empirically demonstrable notion of vacuum state that is consistent with the interpretation of the formalism of the theory. (shrink)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey and The Devil in Silver by Victor LaValle are two novels that focus on mental hospitalization as a medical and social practice. Published fifty years apart, however, the books possess important differences in setting, method, and message reflecting the times that spawned them. The purpose of this paper is to examine the changing documentary and metaphorical uses of the asylum novel by comparing an iconic work in the genre with a respectful, (...) but divergent, successor. What emerges from this comparison is an appreciation of the literary conventions shared by Kesey and LaValle but also the ingredients that separate their work. Whereas Kesey produced an enduring tribute to the virtue of nonconformity, LaValle's social criticism expresses itself as a disturbing portrayal of class-based disparities and administrative dysfunction inside the contemporary American mental health system. (shrink)