The two authors of this paper have diametrically opposed views of the prevalence and strength of adaptation in nature. Hendry believes that adaptation can be seen almost everywhere and that evidence for it is overwhelming and ubiquitous. Gonzalez believes that adaptation is uncommon and that evidence for it is ambiguous at best. Neither author is certifiable to the knowledge of the other, leaving each to wonder where the other has his head buried. Extensive argument has revealed that each author (...) thinks his own view is amply supported by both theory and empirical evidence. Further reflection has revealed that the differences in opinion may start with the different disciplines in which we work: evolutionary ecology for Hendry and community ecology for Gonzalez. In the present paper, we each present devastating evidence supporting our own position and thus refuting that of the other. We then identify the critical differences that led to such opposing views. We close by combining our two perspectives into a common framework based on the adaptive landscape, and thereby suggest means by which to assess the prevalence and strength of adaptation. (shrink)
We argue that the inference from dispositional essentialism about a property (in the broadest sense) to the metaphysical necessity of laws involving it is invalid. Let strict dispositional essentialism be any view according to which any given property’s dispositional character is precisely the same across all possible worlds. Clearly, any version of strict dispositional essentialism rules out worlds with different laws involving that property. Permissive dispositional essentialism is committed to a property’s identity being tied to its dispositional profile or causal (...) role, yet is compatible with moderate interworld variation in a property’s dispositional profile. We provide such a model of dispositional essentialism about a property and metaphysical contingency of the laws involving it. (shrink)
In this article we critically evaluate Robin Le Poidevin's recent attempt to set out an argument for the ontological reduction of chemistry independently of intertheoretic reduction. We argue, firstly, that the argument he envisages applies only to a small part of chemistry, and that there is no obvious way to extend it. We argue, secondly, that the argument cannot establish the reduction of chemistry, properly so called.
This book taps the best American thinkers to answer the essential American question: How do we sustain our experiment in government of, by, and for the people? Authored by an extraordinary and politically diverse roster of public officials, scholars, and educators, these chapters describe our nation's civic education problem, assess its causes, offer an agenda for reform, and explain the high stakes at risk if we fail.
For as long as realists and instrumentalists have disagreed, partisans of both sides have pointed in argument to the actions and sayings of scientists. Realists in particular have often drawn comfort from the literal understanding given even to very theoretical propositions by many of those who are paid to deploy them. The scientists' realism, according to the realist, is not an idle commitment: a literal understanding of past and present theories and concepts underwrites their employment in the construction of new (...) theories. The theme of this book is philosophy and technology, and here's the connection: new theories point out—and explain— new phenomena. So realism, claim the realists, is at the heart of science's achievement of what Bacon, that early philosopher of technology, identified as science's aim: new knowledge offering new powers. (shrink)
The purpose of this review is to bring to the attention to a wider, specialised audience a special issue of the UK journal, Ethnographic Studies. The special issue, compiled and edited by Andrew Carlin and Roger Slack, is a Festschrift in honour of Egon Bittner (1921–2011). The readership of Human Studies might be aware of Egon Bittner as one of the circle surrounding Harold Garfinkel and Harvey Sacks in the early and preparatory days of ethnomethodology between 1955 and 1965.This (...) collection of papers can be divided into three sets. The introduction, biographical, and “contribution pieces,” give an account of parts of Bittner’s life, his work with others and the contribution he made within the various collaborations and seminars which he attended and where his contributions were recorded. The second set, probably most valuable to the ethnomethodological reader, are the papers which could be described as Bittner’s contributions to sociological method and methodology. Contained within th .. (shrink)
In (Noûs, 47), I defend a version of the Refutation, pioneered by Paul Guyer in Kant and the Claims of Knowledge, whose core idea is that the only way that one can know the order of one's own past experiences, except in certain rare cases, is by correlating them with the successive states of perceived external objects that caused the experiences. Andrew Chignell has offered a probing critique of my reconstruction of Kant's argument (Philosophical Quarterly, 60), and I have (...) responded (Philosophical Quarterly, 61). In a rebuttal of my response, Chignell raises three new objections (Philosophical Quarterly, 61). My purpose in this paper is to reply to these. (shrink)
Post-war argumentation theorists have tended to regard argumentation as one thing and mathematical proof as another. Perelman (1958, 1969), for example, defined the word ‘argumentation’ stipulatively as a contrast term to ‘demonstration’: whereas mathematical reasoning as theorized by modern formal logic, he writes, is a matter of deducing theorems from axioms in accordance with stipulated rules of transformation, argumentation aims at gaining the adherence of minds (Perelman 1969, pp. 1–2). Toulmin (1958) contrasted his “jurisprudential model” of argument, according to which (...) the validity of an argument is a matter of its following proper procedure, with a “geometrical model” according to which validity is a matter of its having a proper shape comparable to the shape of a triangle (Toulmin 1958, p. 95). Johnson (2000, pp. 231–232) argues explicitly that a mathematical proof is not an argument.In the collection under review, Andrew Aberdein and Ian Dove have assembled a number of recent. (shrink)
For cases in which to remember that p is to have (strict) nonbasic, unmixed memory knowledge that p; in which there is at most one prior time, t, from which one remembers; in which one knew at t that p; and in which there can arise a sensible question whether one remembers that p from t — a person, B, remembers that p from t if and only if: (1) There is a set of grounds a subset of which consists (...) of (i) only those grounds B has at both t and the present for B to be sure that p, and (ii) enough such grounds to make it reasonable at both t and the present for B to be sure that p (I call any such subset a set of “adequate original grounds dating from t”), and (2) there is no time prior to t such that B has a set of adequate original grounds dating from that time. The way in which the crucial terms in this explication are being used is explained. And the explication is defended by showing how it can deal with cases that are counterexamples to explications recently offered by Malcolm and by Munsat. (shrink)
Most of our memories are inferential, so says Sven Bernecker in Memory: A Philosophical Study. I show that his account of inferentially remembering that p is too strong. A revision of the account that avoids the difficulty is proposed. Since inferential memory that p is memory that q (a proposition distinct from p) with an admixture of inference from one’s memory that q and a true thought one has that r, its analysis presupposes an adequate account of the (presumably non-inferential) (...) memory that q. Bernecker’s account of non-inferentially remembering that is shown to be inadequate. A remedy lies in strengthening the account by requiring the rememberer to have had prima facie justification to believe that q, any defeaters of which were misleading. (shrink)
In this paper we consider possibilities for applying p-adic valued logic BL to the task of designing an unconventional computer based on the medium of slime mould, the giant amoebozoa that looks for attractants and reaches them by means of propagating complex networks. If it is assumed that at any time step t of propagation the slime mould can discover and reach not more than attractants, then this behaviour can be coded in terms of p-adic numbers. As a result, this (...) behaviour implements some p-adic valued arithmetic circuits and can verify p-adic valued logical propositions. (shrink)