In this article we analyse the problem of emergence in its diachronic dimension. In other words, we intend to deal with the generation of novelties in natural processes. Our approach aims at integrating some insights coming from Whitehead’s Philosophy of the Process with the epistemological framework developed by the “autopoietic” tradition. Our thesis is that the emergence of new entities and rules of interaction (new “fields of relatedness”) requires the development of discontinuous models of change. From this standpoint natural evolution (...) can be conceived as a succession of emergences — each one realizing a novel “extended” present, described by distinct models — rather than as a single and continuous dynamics. This theoretical and epistemological framework is particularly suitable to the investigation of the origin of life, an emblematic example of this kind of processes. (shrink)
Alternative agricultural systems, like organic and local agriculture, are becoming increasingly important in Europe to the detriment of conventional methods. As a matter of fact, sustainable agriculture, which started as a niche sector, has been able to conquer a significant share of the European agro-food market. Institutional promotion along with increasing consumer demand has allowed for the development of different agricultural models, from the farm to the fork, with an increasing focus on the ethical issues associated with the agro-food production (...) system. For instance, the organic agriculture agro-food chain is based on four principles, namely health, ecology, fairness and care with the goal of competing in the global agro-food market while respecting the environment, livestock, producers, and consumers. Within these themes, the seed market represents an extremely complex part of the whole picture. The present paper analyses the historical evolution of the seed sector by identifying the main issues related to sustainable agricultural systems and protection of biodiversity. It follows the identification of different seed markets based on different farm types. The two aspects are then discussed and matched in order to identify the main issues characterizing the sector. A review of possible solutions to those problems, taking into account their ethics, is also provided. (shrink)
The monographic volume develops a reflection on the relationship between ?contexts? and ?different forms of knowledge production.? It involves researchers working on the production of knowledge in different contexts, such as scientific laboratories, as well as academic, business, organizational and health care contexts, learning environments (formative agencies), theaters, and so on. This special issue investigates how each context can lead to the production of new and unique forms of knowledge. New reflections and new points of interests are put in evidence (...) in the following articles: from the boundaries between different kinds of knowledge, including the scientific one, to the relevance of ?context,? which not only proves to be essential for any form of knowledge construction but also takes many and multifaceted meanings. A particular focus is devoted to the idea of creativity as an essential way to construct and improve various forms of knowledge in different kinds of contexts. All these aspects help us to reflect upon our contemporary age in a different way, emphasizing controversies and contradictions that characterize it and promoting a growing awareness of our knowing processes in its subtlety and complexity. In that way we could understand more and more the main problems of our contemporary age and the constrains we live with in new possibilities for a creative evolution of ideas and knowledge. (shrink)
Après des siècles de développement parallèle, l’histoire des communautés humaines a connu un tournant majeur en 1492, l’expansion vers d’autres continents rendant les sociétés de plus en plus interdépendantes. Parvenue à l’ère planétaire, l’humanité mondialisée doit opérer une nouvelle évolution en instaurant une relation non destructrice avec la nature, afin de garantir sa propre survie.After centuries of parallel development, the history of human communities was a major turning point in 1492, expanding to other continents making companies increasingly interdependent. Reached in (...) the global era, humanity must make a global change by introducing a new non-destructive relationship with nature to ensure its own survival. (shrink)
Philosophers have claimed that education aims at fostering disparate epistemic goals. In this paper we focus on an important segment of this debate involving conversation between Alvin Goldman and Harvey Siegel. Goldman claims that education is essentially aimed at producing true beliefs. Siegel contends that education is essentially aimed at fostering both true beliefs and, independently, critical thinking and rational belief. Although we find Siegel’s position intuitively more plausible than Goldman’s, we also find Siegel’s defence of it wanting. We suggest (...) novel argumentative strategies that draw on Siegel’s own arguments but look to us more promising. (shrink)
We focus on issues of learning assessment from the point of view of an investigation of philosophical elements in teaching. We contend that assessment of concept possession at school based on ordinary multiple-choice tests might be ineffective because it overlooks aspects of human rationality illuminated by Robert Brandom’s inferentialism––the view that conceptual content largely coincides with the inferential role of linguistic expressions used in public discourse. More particularly, we argue that multiple-choice tests at schools might fail to accurately assess the (...) possession of a concept or the lack of it, for they only check the written outputs of the pupils who take them, without detecting the inferences actually endorsed or used by them. We suggest that school tests would acquire reliability if they enabled pupils to make the reasons of their answers or the inferences they use explicit, so as to contribute to what Brandom calls the game of giving and asking for reasons. We explore the possibility to put this suggestion into practice by deploying two-tier multiple-choice tests. (shrink)
According to Brandom’s conceptual role semantics, to grasp a concept involves a commitment to drawing certain inferences. This is a consequence of the inferentialist thesis that the meaning of a term is given by its justification through assertibility conditions. Inferential commitments come out from a material notion of inference which underwrites human rational discourse and activity. In this paper I discuss a problem of Brandom’s semantics allegedly exposed in an argument by Paul Boghossian against Dummett’s and Brandom’s substantive conception of (...) meaning. I contend that Boghossian’s analysis is dubious because it overlooks an important difference between Dummett’s and Brandom’s positions related respectively to a monotonic and a non-monotonic view of the norm underwriting meaning. (shrink)
La rinascita negli ultimi decenni di un nutrito dibattito intorno alla nozione di analiticità dopo le critiche a suo tempo mosse da Quine alla batteria di nozioni utilizzate da Rudolf Carnap (ad esempio, postulati di significato, regole semantiche, definizioni implicite, convenzioni e stipulazioni esplicite) prende le mosse da una riflessione critica sulle argomentazioni di Quine e tenta, da un lato, di approfondire meglio il legame fra analiticità e conoscenza a priori, e, dall’altro, di capire meglio il ruolo che la definizione (...) può svolgere nella costituzione del significato e nella formulazione di verità concettuali. Questa nuova concezione è detta “epistemica” ed ha fra i suoi più autorevoli fautori Crispin Wright, Bob Hale e Paul Boghossian. Boghossian, al pari di molti filosofi critici della nuova concezione epistemica, come Timothy Williamson, convegono però con Quine nel sostenere che gli enunciati analitici hanno portata fattuale e vertono anch’essi sul mondo, oltre che sul linguaggio. Anche per questa ragione essi possono rendere possibile una genuina estensione delle nostre conoscenze. Tuttavia una seconda linea di obiezioni facenti capo dapprima a Paul Horwich, e in seguito agli stessi Wright e Hale, mette in evidenza rispettivamente due difficoltà corrispondenti alle questioni dell'arroganza e dell'accettazione. In questa discussione una parte importante è svolta dalla ripresa e della discussione del condizionale di Carnap, impiegato per rendere conto del ruolo che i termini teorici svolgono nel quadro dell’intera teoria cui appartengono, senza con ciò sposare le conseguenze dell’olismo quineano. La tesi centrale che questo lavoro cerca di rendere plausibile è che una lettura attenta degli ultimi scritti di Carnap mostri come il carattere aperto che egli attribuisce ai termini teorici in ragione, sia dello loro intrinseca indeterminatezza, sia delle revisioni imposte dalle scoperte scientifiche, è perfettamente compatibile con la fattorizzazione del contenuto di una teoria scientifica data in una parte linguistica, il condizionale di Carnap, riguardante la costituzione del significato di un certo termine teorico, e nella sua controparte empirica, che consentono di registrare l’impatto dell’esperienza sulla teoria in questione. Se praticabile, questa concezione può a buon diritto entrare nel novero delle teorie epistemiche dell’analiticità, senza accampare alcuna pretesa di far rivivere i fasti della conoscenza a priori classica. (shrink)
Within his overarching program aiming to defend an epistemic conception of analyticity, Boghossian (1996 and 1997) has offered a clear-cut explanation of how we can acquire a priori knowledge of logical truths and logical rules through implicit definition. The explanation is based on a special template or general form of argument. Ebert (2005) has argued that an enhanced version of this template is flawed because a segment of it is unable to transmit warrant from its premises to the conclusion. This (...) article aims to defend the template from this objection. We provide an accurate description of the type of non-transmissivity that Ebert attributes to the template and clarify why this is a novel type of non-transmissivity. Then, we argue that Jenkins (2008)’s response to Ebert fails because it focuses on doxastic rather than propositional warrant. Finally, we rebut Ebert’s objection on Boghossian’s behalf by showing that it rests on an unwarranted assumption and is internally incoherent. (shrink)
On the one hand, it is often assumed that the Rubber Hand Illusion (RHI) is constrained by a structural body model so that one cannot implement supernumerary limbs. On the other hand, several recent studies reported illusory duplication of the right hand in subjects exposed to two adjacent rubber hands. The present study tested whether spatial constraints may affect the possibility of inducing the sense of ownership to two rubber hands located side by side to the left of the subject's (...) hand. We found that only the closest rubber hand appeared both objectively (proprioceptive drift) and subjectively (ownership rating) embodied. Crucially, synchronous touch of a second, but farther, rubber hand disrupted the objective measure of the RHI, but not the subjective one. We concluded that, in order to elicit a genuine RHI for multiple rubber hands, the two rubber hands must be at the same distance from the subject's hand/body. (shrink)
Boghossian (1996) has put forward an interesting explanation of how we can acquire logical knowledge via implicit definitions that makes use of a special template. Ebert (2005) has argued that the template is unserviceable, as it doesn't transmit warrant. In this paper, we defend the template. We first suggest that Jenkins (2008)’s response to Ebert fails because it focuses on doxastic rather than propositional warrant. We then reject Ebert’s objection by showing that it depends on an implausible and incoherent assumption.
The existence of spacetime singularities is one of the biggest problems of nowadays physics. According to Penrose, each physical singularity should be covered by a “cosmic censor” which prevents any external observer from perceiving their existence. However, classical models describing the gravitational collapse usually results in strong curvature singularities, which can also remain “naked” for a finite amount of advanced time. This proceedings studies the modifications induced by asymptotically safe gravity on the gravitational collapse of generic Vaidya spacetimes. It will (...) be shown that, for any possible choice of the mass function, quantum gravity makes the internal singularity gravitationally weak, thus allowing a continuous extension of the spacetime beyond the singularity. (shrink)
The author describes and sociocognitive skills that he argues as being necessary for tool use. We propose that those skills could be based on simpler detection systems humans could share with other animal tool users. More specifically, we discuss the impact of object affordances on the understanding and the social learning of tool use.
We revisit the construction of the gravitational functional renormalization group equation tailored to the Arnowitt–Deser–Misner formulation emphasizing its connection to the covariant formulation. The results obtained from projecting the renormalization group flow onto the Einstein–Hilbert action are reviewed in detail and we provide a novel example illustrating how the formalism may be connected to the causal dynamical triangulations approach to quantum gravity.
The Youth Report 2014 recognizes the possibility to take positive action towards the others as an element that contributes to let young people achieve a sense of happiness. Despite this, we can observe in schools the presence of individualistic and competitive educational models affirming the predominance of fixed cognitive standards. That can bring to a situation of marginalization of those who are hegemonically located outside of a pre-established definition of norm. Considering these assumptions, the authors have developed an inclusive and (...) prosocial teaching model, based on the Cooperative Learning approach, aimed to encourage prosocial skills among students. The research, that used qualiquantitative data, has involved a sample of 42 students and 12 teachers of the Middle School. The comparison between pre and post test highlights a higher increase in helping dimension and in the subsample of males students, joint to general improvements within teaching-learning processes and relationships. (shrink)
Our commentary addresses two issues that are not developed enough in the target article. First, the model does not clearly address the distinction among external objects, external body parts, and internal bodies. Second, the authors could have discussed further the role of body schema with regard to its dynamic character, and its role in perspective and in imitation.
The aim of this paper is to emphasize the theoretical and aesthetical meanings of Plessner’s aesthesiology. His theory on the unity of the senses allows to legitimate the normative sense of sensibility and his pregnancy to understand the organization of experience. Such an aesthetical perspective has also relevant implications for Plessner’s philosophical anthropology and his theory of eccentric positionality of human being, which is mainly a theory on the body-mind philosophical conjunction.
John Tradescant the Elder was probably born in England in the 1570s. The earliest known historical record of his life documents his marriage to Elizabeth Day, at Meopham on 18 June 1607.1 A long career working as gardener in the service of England’s nobility—among his employers were Robert and William Cecil, Edward Wotton, and George Villiers —provided numerous opportunities for travel abroad in pursuit of the exotic species for which his eminent employers clamored. As a result of his voyages, Tradescant (...) not only imported hundreds of plant varieties for his clients, but also amassed thousands of artefacts and other.. (shrink)