Many hold that Hume was an atheist, that he despised the church, and that he was a devastating critic of religion. One cannot deny, however, the references to ‘true religion’ in his work, his sometimes seemingly favorable references to Deity, his call for religion in ‘every civilized community’, and his sense of ‘natural belief’. The following essay describes a speculative Humean ‘true religion’ and discusses its potential use-value for contemporary philosophy of religion. It begins, anecdotally, with a description of Hume's (...) happiness in France, which I attribute to the fact that Hume was not taken to be an atheist by the French reading public. The main argument is that while Hume was critical of ‘vulgar’ and ‘popular’ religion, his philosophical position did not deny our habit to accept a genuine theism that could, if informed by the calm passions, serve to ‘purify our hearts’ and bond us more closely together. Reconceiving Hume's ‘true religion’ in this way allows his insi.. (shrink)
In March 2010, Professor Tom Devine, widely acknowledged as the leading academic historian of Scotland, presented a plenary lecture for the Royal Society of Edinburgh's yearly symposium, "Connections between Scotland and Slavery." Publicly advertised as a reply to the question "Did Slavery Make Scotland Great?" Devine's talk was eagerly anticipated by the group of international scholars gathered at the University of Edinburgh. His answer, however, may have been more controversial than the audience anticipated. Devine said that the economic transformation of (...) eighteenth-century Scotland was a direct result of capital produced by slave labor, disproportionately financed and largely managed by Scots. The notion that... (shrink)
Our reasoning evolved not for finding the truth, but for social bonding and convincing. This book highlights the consequences of these facts for scientific practice, and suggests how to correct the mistakes we still make.
Un vínculo necesario entre estética y socialización explica la profundidad sensible que debe construir todo cambio de paradigma y toda re-socialización. La democracia no funciona sin una apropiación individual y colectiva del sentir y de la producción de sentir. Es a partir entonces del trabajo artístico y de la instrospección y exteriorización de la dimensión sensible, que toda transformación puede ser aplicada. Se recorren parcialmente los pensamientos de Alain Badiou y Bernard Stiegler. A required link between aesthetic and socialization explains (...) the sensitive depth that all paradigm and re-socialization must build. Democracy does not work without an individual and collective ownership of feeling and feeling's production. It is from the artwork and the introspection and externalization of the sensitive dimension, that any transformation can be applied. The article covers partially the thoughts of Alain Badiou and Bernard Stiegler. (shrink)
Open peer commentary on the article “Info-computational Constructivism and Cognition” by Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic. Upshot: I propose a mathematical approach to the framework developed in Dodig-Crnkovic’s target article. It points to an important property of natural computation, called the multiplicity principle (MP), which allows the development of increasingly complex cognitive processes and knowledge. While local dynamics are classically computable, a consequence of the MP is that the global dynamics is not, thus raising the problem of developing more elaborate computations, perhaps with (...) the help of Turing oracles. (shrink)
The central point of this essay is to demonstrate the incommensurability of ‘Darwinian fitness’ with the numeric values associated with reproductive rates used in population genetics. While sometimes both are called ‘fitness’, they are distinct concepts coming from distinct explanatory schemes. Further, we try to outline a possible answer to the following question: from the natural properties of organisms and a knowledge of their environment, can we construct an algorithm for a particular kind of organismic life-history pattern that itself will (...) allow us to predict whether a type in the population will increase or decrease relative to other types? Introduction Darwinian fitness Reproductive fitness and genetical models of evolution The models of reproductive fitness 4.1 The Standard Viability Model 4.2 Frequency-dependent selection 4.3 Fertility models 4.4 Overlapping generations Fitness as outcome 5.1 Fitness as actual increase in type 5.2 Fitness as expected increase in type 5.2.1 Expected increase within a generation 5.2.2 Expected increase between generations 5.2.3 Postponed reproductive fitness effects The book-keeping problem Conclusion. (shrink)
Andre Willis argues that although Hume is generally credited with being a “devastating critic” of religion, it is a mistake to view Hume solely in these terms or to present him as an “atheist.” This not only represents a failure to appreciate Hume’s “middle path” between “militant atheists and evangelical theists”, it denies us an opportunity to “enhance” our understanding and appreciation of the positive, constructive value of religion through a close study of Hume’s views. Willis’s study presents Hume as (...) committed to a “bifurcated approach to religion” that rests on the fundamental distinction between “false religion” and “true religion”. False religion, which includes Christianity, is a... (shrink)
We comment on the preceding reviews of our book “ Memory Evolutive Systems ”, discussing the improvements proposed by some of the reviewers and answering to critics of others, in particular on the use of category theory for modeling living systems.
The INBIOSA project brings together a group of experts across many disciplines who believe that science requires a revolutionary transformative step in order to address many of the vexing challenges presented by the world. It is INBIOSA’s purpose to enable the focused collaboration of an interdisciplinary community of original thinkers. This paper sets out the case for support for this effort. The focus of the transformative research program proposal is biology-centric. We admit that biology to date has been more fact-oriented (...) and less theoretical than physics. However, the key leverageable idea is that careful extension of the science of living systems can be more effectively applied to some of our most vexing modern problems than the prevailing scheme, derived from abstractions in physics. While these have some universal application and demonstrate computational advantages, they are not theoretically mandated for the living. A new set of mathematical abstractions derived from biology can now be similarly extended. This is made possible by leveraging new formal tools to understand abstraction and enable computability. [The latter has a much expanded meaning in our context from the one known and used in computer science and biology today, that is "by rote algorithmic means", since it is not known if a living system is computable in this sense (Mossio et al., 2009).] Two major challenges constitute the effort. The first challenge is to design an original general system of abstractions within the biological domain. The initial issue is descriptive leading to the explanatory. There has not yet been a serious formal examination of the abstractions of the biological domain. What is used today is an amalgam; much is inherited from physics (via the bridging abstractions of chemistry) and there are many new abstractions from advances in mathematics (incentivized by the need for more capable computational analyses). Interspersed are abstractions, concepts and underlying assumptions “native” to biology and distinct from the mechanical language of physics and computation as we know them. A pressing agenda should be to single out the most concrete and at the same time the most fundamental process-units in biology and to recruit them into the descriptive domain. Therefore, the first challenge is to build a coherent formal system of abstractions and operations that is truly native to living systems. Nothing will be thrown away, but many common methods will be philosophically recast, just as in physics relativity subsumed and reinterpreted Newtonian mechanics. -/- This step is required because we need a comprehensible, formal system to apply in many domains. Emphasis should be placed on the distinction between multi-perspective analysis and synthesis and on what could be the basic terms or tools needed. The second challenge is relatively simple: the actual application of this set of biology-centric ways and means to cross-disciplinary problems. In its early stages, this will seem to be a “new science”. This White Paper sets out the case of continuing support of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for transformative research in biology and information processing centered on paradigm changes in the epistemological, ontological, mathematical and computational bases of the science of living systems. Today, curiously, living systems cannot be said to be anything more than dissipative structures organized internally by genetic information. There is not anything substantially different from abiotic systems other than the empirical nature of their robustness. We believe that there are other new and unique properties and patterns comprehensible at this bio-logical level. The report lays out a fundamental set of approaches to articulate these properties and patterns, and is composed as follows. -/- Sections 1 through 4 (preamble, introduction, motivation and major biomathematical problems) are incipient. Section 5 describes the issues affecting Integral Biomathics and Section 6 -- the aspects of the Grand Challenge we face with this project. Section 7 contemplates the effort to formalize a General Theory of Living Systems (GTLS) from what we have today. The goal is to have a formal system, equivalent to that which exists in the physics community. Here we define how to perceive the role of time in biology. Section 8 describes the initial efforts to apply this general theory of living systems in many domains, with special emphasis on crossdisciplinary problems and multiple domains spanning both “hard” and “soft” sciences. The expected result is a coherent collection of integrated mathematical techniques. Section 9 discusses the first two test cases, project proposals, of our approach. They are designed to demonstrate the ability of our approach to address “wicked problems” which span across physics, chemistry, biology, societies and societal dynamics. The solutions require integrated measurable results at multiple levels known as “grand challenges” to existing methods. Finally, Section 10 adheres to an appeal for action, advocating the necessity for further long-term support of the INBIOSA program. -/- The report is concluded with preliminary non-exclusive list of challenging research themes to address, as well as required administrative actions. The efforts described in the ten sections of this White Paper will proceed concurrently. Collectively, they describe a program that can be managed and measured as it progresses. (shrink)
La profundización del análisis de la relación entre el yo y la afección, propia de los estudios tardíos de Husserl sobre el campo de la pasividad, implica el abandono del esquema estático según el cual el sentido resulta de la acción del yo sobre una materia inerte. El giro genético de la fenomenología pone a la luz los procesos de constitución de la materia y su incidencia sobre el acto de donación de sentido.
Is the societal-level of analysis sufficient today to understand the values of those in the global workforce? Or are individual-level analyses more appropriate for assessing the influence of values on ethical behaviors across country workforces? Using multi-level analyses for a 48-society sample, we test the utility of both the societal-level and individual-level dimensions of collectivism and individualism values for predicting ethical behaviors of business professionals. Our values-based behavioral analysis indicates that values at the individual-level make a more significant contribution to (...) explaining variance in ethical behaviors than do values at the societal-level. Implicitly, our findings question the soundness of using societal-level values measures. Implications for international business research are discussed. (shrink)
Nous republions cette présentation de la « théorie harmonique » d'André Lamouche à titre de document sur l'histoire de la rythmologie. Lamouche rejette le matérialisme, l'évolutionnisme et l'art moderne, promeut une vision chrétienne et plus généralement spiritualiste, et en appelle, pour faire bonne mesure, à un gouvernement des « consciences fortes ». Cela fait beaucoup pour un seul homme... mais sa conception du rythme, née dans les années 1920-30 d'une culture scientifique et technique considérable, - Philosophie – Nouvel article.
Portugal has one of the highest rates of childhood overweight and obesity in Europe. However, little is known about the health of ethnic minorities living in its capital city, Lisbon. The Cape Verdean community in Lisbon tend to have low educational levels, material deprivation and struggle with discrimination and racism, factors that would probably be associated with a higher prevalence of overweight and obesity. Data for the Cape Verdean population were collected in three different time periods by three different research (...) teams in 1993, 2009 and 2013 and included children aged 6–12 years living in the Cova da Moura neighbourhood of the Greater Lisbon Metro Area. The Portuguese national survey was conducted between 2009 and 2010 at public and private schools in mainland Portugal and included height, weight, skinfolds and arm and waist circumferences. From these survey data body mass index and prevalence of stunting and underweight were calculated according to reference values proposed by Frisancho. Overweight and obesity prevalence values were defined based on the references established by the International Obesity Task Force. The results show significant differences in height between Cape Verdean and Portuguese boys and girls. Generally, Cape Verdeans’ growth falls within the healthy range of international growth references across all of the survey data collected. Cape Verdean rates for combined overnutrition in 2013 were lower than those of the Portuguese. Logistic regression models showed that Cape Verdean children had a lower risk of being overweight or obese when accounting for breast-feeding, birth weight, maternal education and occupation. Despite living in a deprived neighbourhood these Cape Verdean children seemed to have grown more healthily than Portuguese ancestry children. The challenge for policymakers will be to support improvement of the poverty-related living conditions of this community without creating a risky environment for increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity. (shrink)
Lorenz proposed in his (1935) articulation of a theory of behavioral instincts that the objective of ethology is to distinguish behaviors that are innate from behaviors that are learned (or acquired). Lorenzs motive was to open the investigation of certain adaptive behaviors to evolutionary theorizing. Accordingly, since innate behaviors are genetic, they are open to such investigation. By Lorenzs light an innate/acquired or learned dichotomy rested on a familiar Darwinian distinction between genes and environments. Ever since Lorenz, ascriptions of innateness (...) have become widespread in the cognitive, behavioral, and biological sciences. The trend continues despite decades of strong arguments that show, in particular, the dichotomy that Lorenz invoked in his theory of behavioral instincts is literally false: no biological trait is the product of genes alone. Some critics suggest that the failure of Lorenzs account shows that innateness is not well-defined in biology and the practice of ascribing innateness to various biological traits should be dropped from respectable science. Elsewhere (Ariew 1996) I argued that despite the arguments of critics, there really is a biological phenomenon underlying the concept of innateness. On my view, innateness is best understood in terms of C.H. Waddingtons concept of canalization, i.e. the degree to which a trait is innate is the degree to which its developmental outcome is canalized. The degree to which a developmental outcome is canalized is the degree to which the developmental process is bound to produce a particular endstate despite environmental fluctuations both in the developments initial state and during the course of development. The canalization account differs in many ways to the traditional ways that ethologists such as Konrad Lorenz originally understood the concept of innateness. Most importantly, on the canalization account the distinction between innate and acquired is not a dichotomy, as Konrad Lorenz had it, but rather a matter of degree difference that lies along a spectrum with highly canalized development outcomes on the one end and highly environmentally sensitive development outcomes on the other end. Nevertheless, I justified the canalization account on the basis of a set of desiderata or criteria that I suggested falls-out of what seemed uncontroversial about Lorenzs account of innateness (briefly): innateness is a property of a developing individual, innateness denotes environmental stability, and innate-ascriptions are useful in certain natural selection explanations (more below). From that same set of desiderata I argued (in my 1996) that neither the concept of heritability nor of norms of reactionstwo concepts from population geneticssuffice to ground innateness. In this essay, I wish to provide further support of the canalization account in two ways. First, I wish to better motivate the desiderata by revisiting a debate between Konrad Lorenz and Daniel Lehrman over the meaning and explanatory usefulness of innate ascriptions in ethology. Second, I wish to compare my canalization account of innateness with accounts proposed by contemporary philosophers, one by Stephen Stich (1975), another by Elliott Sober (forthcoming), and a third by William Wimsatt (1986). (shrink)
We compare various notions of algorithmic randomness. First we consider relativized randomness. A set is n-random if it is Martin-Löf random relative to ∅. We show that a set is 2-random if and only if there is a constant c such that infinitely many initial segments x of the set are c-incompressible: C ≥ |x|-c. The ‘only if' direction was obtained independently by Joseph Miller. This characterization can be extended to the case of time-bounded C-complexity. Next we prove some results (...) on lowness. Among other things, we characterize the 2-random sets as those 1-random sets that are low for Chaitin's Ω. Also, 2-random sets form minimal pairs with 2-generic sets. The r.e. low for Ω sets coincide with the r.e. K-trivial ones. Finally we show that the notions of Martin-Löf randomness, recursive randomness, and Schnorr randomness can be separated in every high degree while the same notions coincide in every non-high degree. We make some remarks about hyperimmune-free and PA-complete degrees. (shrink)
This book seeks to work out which commitments are minimally sufficient to obtain an ontology of the natural world that matches all of today’s well-established physical theories. We propose an ontology of the natural world that is defined only by two axioms: (1) There are distance relations that individuate simple objects, namely matter points. (2) The matter points are permanent, with the distances between them changing. Everything else comes in as a means to represent the change in the distance relations (...) in a manner that is both as simple and as informative as possible. The book works this minimalist ontology out in philosophical as well as mathematical terms and shows how one can understand classical mechanics, quantum field theory and relativistic physics on the basis of this ontology. Along the way, we seek to achieve four subsidiary aims: (a) to make a case for a holistic individuation of the basic objects (ontic structural realism); (b) to work out a new version of Humeanism, dubbed Super-Humeanism, that does without natural properties; (c) to set out an ontology of quantum physics that is an alternative to quantum state realism and that avoids any ontological dualism of particles and fields; (d) to vindicate a relationalist ontology based on point objects also in the domain of relativistic physics. (shrink)
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