According to Russo and Williamson :157–170, 2007, Hist Philos Life Sci 33:389–396, 2011a, Philos Sci 1:47–69, 2011b), in order to establish a causal claim of the form, ‘C is a cause of E’, one typically needs evidence that there is an underlying mechanism between C and E as well as evidence that C makes a difference to E. This thesis has been used to argue that hierarchies of evidence, as championed by evidence-based movements, tend to give primacy to evidence (...) of difference making over evidence of mechanisms and are flawed because the two sorts of evidence are required and they should be treated on a par. An alternative approach gives primacy to evidence of mechanism over evidence of difference making. In this paper, we argue that this alternative approach is equally flawed, again because both sorts of evidence need to be treated on a par. As an illustration of this parity, we explain how scientists working in the ‘EnviroGenomarkers’ project constantly make use of the two evidential components in a dynamic and intertwined way. We argue that such an interplay is needed not only for causal assessment but also for policy purposes. (shrink)
Current research in molecular epidemiology uses biomarkers to model the different disease phases from environmental exposure, to early clinical changes, to development of disease. The hope is to get a better understanding of the causal impact of a number of pollutants and chemicals on several diseases, including cancer and allergies. In a recent paper Russo and Williamson address the question of what evidential elements enter the conceptualisation and modelling stages of this type of biomarkers research. Recent research in causality (...) has examined Ned Hall’s distinction between two concepts of causality: production and dependence. In another recent paper, Illari examined the relatively under-explored production approach to causality, arguing that at least one job of an account of causal production is to illuminate our inferential practices concerning causal linking. Illari argued that an informational account solves existing problems with traditional accounts. This paper follows up this previous work by investigating the nature of the causal links established in biomarkers research. We argue that traditional accounts of productive causality are unable to provide a sensible account of the nature of the causal link in biomarkers research, while an informational account is very promising. (shrink)
The main purpose in this article is to give an overwiev and to clarify the thought of Stelio Zeppi, one of the most outstanding scholars at the Trieste State University. Zeppi published extensively on ancient greek political thought, on french modern literature and italian contemporary philosophy and political thought. He started (1960) his career in discussing the main topics of Guido Calogero's Philosophy of Praxis and than his main fields of interests were on the ancient greek philosophy. He became more (...) and more interested in ethics, philosophy and Political Theory For the first time, in this article, Antonio Russo shows that Stelio Zeppi, in just the last decade of his life developed a new point of view, i. d. admitting that the Christian is the best and most complete or perfect ethical point of view and brings the ancient ethics to its highest point. (shrink)
Philosophy of medicine: between clinical trials and mechanisms Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9630-5 Authors Federica Russo, Philosophy-SECL, University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NF UK Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
In _The Future without a Past,_ John Paul Russo goes beyond currently given reasons for the decline of the humanities and searches out its root causes in the technologization of everyday life. His main premise is that we are undergoing a transformation at the hands of technological imperatives such as rationalization, universalism, monism, and autonomy. The relation between ourselves and nature has altered to such a degree that we no longer live in a natural environment but in a technological (...) one. According to Russo, technological values have actually eroded human values instead of being “humanized” by them. What are the implications of this shift for the humanities, traditionally seen as safeguards of the human? Russo addresses this question by situating the decline of the humanities within the larger social and historical panorama. He explores how technological values have infiltrated the humanities to the point of weakening their instruction and undermining their force; at the same time, he shows how the humanities have confronted these trends and can continue to do so. Russo believes that if we understand how technology “works” and the nature of its powers, we will then know in which realms it must be accepted and where it should be resisted. Russo outlines the components of the technological system and examines their impact on the educational system. He also discusses the loss of historical memory, including the so-called loss of the self and the transformation of the library. He studies the parallels between technological and literary values in criticism and theory, concluding with an analysis of the fiction of Don DeLillo, one of the most prominent contemporary novelists. DeLillo’s exploration of technology in American life, matched by a powerful critique of it from a broadly humanistic and religious perspective, serves to summarize the themes of the book as a whole. _The Future without a Past_ will appeal to scholars and students of literary studies, intellectual and cultural history, philosophy, ethics, media studies, and American studies, as well as to general readers who are seeking deeper insights into today’s cultural debates. (shrink)
Tre studiosi di filosofia interculturale espongono – molto sinteticamente – le loro posizioni su alcuni snodi problematici del loro oggetto di ricerca. Cacciatore si concentra sulla relazione teorica, assai fruttuosa, fra lo storicismo critico-problematico, antiontologico e antimetafisico, della Scuola napoletana e i temi connessi all’interculturalità. D’Anna ritrova in Aristotele – discusso anche attraverso Pietro Piovani e Raul Fornet-Betancourt – un concetto di universale che, distinto da quello di assoluto, è inclusivo della molteplicità e dunque funzionale alla riflessione interculturale. Diana (...) – seguendo un percorso che contamina letteratura e filosofia – mette in luce il carattere storico, plurimo e relazionale dell’identità individuale e chiarisce il senso del cogito autobiografico. (shrink)
Tobacco, divine, rare superexcellent tobacco, which goes far beyond all panaceas, potable gold and philosopher's stones, a sovereign remedy to all diseases.Although most of the toxicity, including cancerogenicity, of tobacco is related to a mix of components other than nicotine present in cigarettes (U.S. Surgeon General 2010), it is indeed nicotine that causes addiction to smoking (Benowitz 2010; Russo et al. 2011).In 1988, the U.S. Surgeon General's Report concluded that cigarettes and other forms of tobacco are addictive as a (...) result of their nicotine content, and that the processes determining tobacco addiction "are similar to those that determine addiction to drugs such as heroin and cocaine." Previously, in .. (shrink)
I. A. Richards ushered the spirit of Cambridge realism into semantics and literary criticism. When he arrived as an undergraduate in 1911, Cambridge was in the midst of its finest philosophical flowering since the Puritanism and Platonism of the seventeenth century. The revolution of G. E. Moore and Bertrand Russell against Hegelian idealism had already occurred; the Age of Principia was under way. There was a reassertion of native empiricism and a new interest in philosophical psychology, and the whole discussion (...) was marked increasingly by a preoccupation with language. Richards, too, would break with the past, with the history of criticism in the previous two generations, gather psychological ideas to establish an empirical semantics and aesthetics, and center his attention on language. Although Romantic and late-Victorian values inform his theories, Richards set down an original criticism on first principles, not on tradition. Many of his books' titles show this rationalist strains: The Foundations of Aesthetics , The Meaning of Meaning , Principles of Literary Criticism , Basic Rules of Reason , and The Philosophy of Rhetoric . The originality and influence of Richards' criticism can be shown by the number of terms he put into circulation, terms which became the currency of debate for almost half a century: close reading, tone, pseudostatement, stock response, tension, equilibrium, tenor and vehicle of metaphor, emotive and referential language.John Paul Russo is a professor and chairman of the English department at the University of Miami. He is the editor of I. A. Richards' Complementarities: Uncollected Essays and the author of Alexander Pope: Tradition and Identity and an annotated bibliography of Richards' works. He is currently completing a critical biography of Richards. "A Study in Influence: The Moore-Richards Paradigm," his previous contribution to Critical Inquiry, appeared in the Summer 1979 issue. (shrink)
"Hard task to analyze a soul. . . ." We would do well to let Wordsworth's comment guide our questioning. Have we avoided "a mystical and idle sense" of an influence? Have we lost our way tracking the "most obvious and particular thought?" Have our conclusions been "in the words of reason deeply weighed?" We might well wonder with such a supreme influence on a life that is firmly stamped by independence and originality, a source of an immense influence in (...) itself. [G. E.] Moore's philosophy provided the young [I. A.] Richards with terms and concepts for his psychological aesthetics and criticism, though Richards was not long in reacting to and passing beyond this influence. More enduring was the influence on the nature of meaning, on modes of comprehending through language analysis—more enduring and pervasive, though less traceable. Then, there is Moore's example of employing multiple hypotheses to which, in his application, Richards would give the name of complementarity. Lastly, Moore's personal influence reached deeply into the student's character, and if the influence did not initiate, it fortified and still fortifies a quest for sincerity, a Socratic quest for which we can scarcely find a "beginning." John Paul Russo is associate professor of English at Camden College, Rutgers University, the editor of I. A. Richards' Complementarities: Uncollected Essays, and the author of Alexander Pope: Tradition and Identity. (shrink)
K. Broda, Dov M. Gabbay, Alessandra Russo (all computing or computer science, Imperial College, London) and LuÍs C. Lamb (Informatics, UFRGS, Brazil) argue that though the many families of logic may seem to differ in their logical nature, it is possible to provide them with a unifying logical framework whenever their semantics is axiomatizable in first-order logic. They provide such a framework based on the labeled deductive system methodology, and demonstrate how it works in such families as normal modal (...) logics, conditional logics of normality, the modal logic of elsewhere, the multiplicative fragment of substructural linear logic, and Lukasiewicz fuzzy logic. (shrink)
Il testo affronta, alla luce delle più recenti pubblicazioni, il tema del rapporto storia e natura in Hegel; e offre una sintesi del corso di Filosofia della storia tenuto da Russo A. nel corrente anno accademico.
We argue that the health sciences make causal claims on the basis of evidence both of physical mechanisms, and of probabilistic dependencies. Consequently, an analysis of causality solely in terms of physical mechanisms or solely in terms of probabilistic relationships, does not do justice to the causal claims of these sciences. Yet there seems to be a single relation of cause in these sciences - pluralism about causality will not do either. Instead, we maintain, the health sciences require a theory (...) of causality that unifies its mechanistic and probabilistic aspects. We argue that the epistemic theory of causality provides the required unification. (shrink)
The anti-causal prophecies of last century have been disproved. Causality is neither a ‘relic of a bygone’ nor ‘another fetish of modern science’; it still occupies a large part of the current debate in philosophy and the sciences. This investigation into causal modelling presents the rationale of causality, i.e. the notion that guides causal reasoning in causal modelling. It is argued that causal models are regimented by a rationale of variation, nor of regularity neither invariance, thus breaking down the dominant (...) Human paradigm. The notion of variation is shown to be embedded in the scheme of reasoning behind various causal models: e.g. Rubin’s model, contingency tables, and multilevel analysis. It is also shown to be latent – yet fundamental – in many philosophical accounts. Moreover, it has significant consequences for methodological issues: the warranty of the causal interpretation of causal models, the levels of causation, the characterisation of mechanisms, and the interpretation of probability. This book offers a novel philosophical and methodological approach to causal reasoning in causal modelling and provides the reader with the tools to be up to date about various issues causality rises in social science. "Dr. Federica... more on http://springer.com/978-1-4020-8816-2.. (shrink)
This paper deals with causal analysis in the social sciences. We first present a conceptual framework according to which causal analysis is based on a rationale of variation and invariance, and not only on regularity. We then develop a formal framework for causal analysis by means of structural modelling. Within this framework we approach causality in terms of exogeneity in a structural conditional model based which is based on (i) congruence with background knowledge, (ii) invariance under a large variety of (...) environmental changes, and (iii) model fit. We also tackle the issue of confounding and show how latent confounders can play havoc with exogeneity. This framework avoids making untestable metaphysical claims about causal relations and yet remains useful for cognitive and action-oriented goals. (shrink)
Causal analysis in the social sciences takes advantage of a variety of methods and of a multi-fold source of information and evidence. This pluralistic methodology and source of information raises the question of whether we should accordingly have a pluralistic metaphysics and epistemology. This paper focuses on epistemology and argues that a pluralistic methodology and evidence dont entail a pluralistic epistemology. It will be shown that causal models employ a single rationale of testing, based on the notion of variation. Further, (...) I shall argue that this monistic epistemology is also involved in alternative philosophical theories of causation. (shrink)
How should probabilities be interpreted in causal models in the social and health sciences? In this paper we take a step towards answering this question by investigating the case of cancer in epidemiology and arguing that the objective Bayesian interpretation is most appropriate in this domain.
The Agency and the Manipulability theory of causation, in spite of significant differences, share at least three claims. First, that manipulation – roughly, that by manipulating causes we bring about effects – is a central notion for causation; second, that such a notion of manipulation allows a reductive – i.e. general and comprehensive – account of causation; third, that this view has its forefathers in the works of Collingwood, Gasking and von Wright. This paper mainly challenges the third claim and (...) argues that the misreading of those authors leads to a more dangerous consequence: a confusion between epistemological, metaphysical and methodological issues about causation. (shrink)
A careful analysis of Salmon’s Theoretical Realism and van Fraassen’s Constructive Empiricism shows that both share a common origin: the requirement of literal construal of theories inherited by the Standard View. However, despite this common starting point, Salmon and van Fraassen strongly disagree on the existence of unobservable entities. I argue that their different ontological commitment towards the existence of unobservables traces back to their different views on the interpretation of probability via different conceptions of induction. In fact, inferences to (...) statements claiming the existence of unobservable entities are inferences to probabilistic statements, whence the crucial importance of the interpretation of probability. (shrink)
We investigate the semantics of the logical systems obtained by introducing the modalities and into the family of substructural implication logics (including relevant, linear and intuitionistic implication). Then, in the spirit of the LDS (Labelled Deductive Systems) methodology, we "import" this semantics into the classical proof system KE. This leads to the formulation of a uniform labelled refutation system for the new logics which is a natural extension of a system for substructural implication developed by the first two authors in (...) a previous paper. (shrink)
The empirical data do not unequivocally support a consistent fixed capacity of four chunks. We propose an alternative account whereby capacity is limited by the precision of specifying the temporal and spatial context in which items appear, that similar psychophysical constraints limit number estimation, and that short term memory (STM) is continuous with long term memory (LTM).
Indirect speech reports can be true even if they attribute to the speaker the saying of something weaker than what she in fact expressed, yet not all weakenings of what the speaker expressed yield true reports. For example, if Anna utters ‘Bob and Carla passed the exam’, we can accurately report her as having said that Carla passed the exam, but we can not accurately report her as having said that either it rains or it does not, (...) or that either Carla passed the exam or pandas are cute. This paper offers an analysis of speech reports that distinguishes weakenings of what the speaker expressed that yield true reports from weakenings that do not. According to this analysis, speech reports are not only sensitive to the informational content of what the speaker expressed, but also to the possibilities a speaker raises in making an utterance. As I argue, this analysis has significant advantages over its most promising competitors, including views based on work by Barwise and Perry : 668–691, 1981), views appealing to recent work on the notion of content parthood by Fine :199–226, 2016) and Yablo, and Richard’s : 605–616, 1998) proposal appealing to structured propositions. (shrink)
In this paper I offer an anti-Humean critique to Williamson and Russo’s approach to medical mechanisms. I focus on one of the specific claims made by Williamson and Russo, namely the claim that micro-structural ‘mechanisms’ provide evidence for the stability across populations of causal relationships ascertained at the (macro-) level of (test) populations. This claim is grounded in the epistemic account of causality developed by Williamson, an account which—while not relying exclusively on mechanistic evidence for justifying causal judgements—appeals (...) nevertheless to mechanisms, and rejects their anti-Humean interpretation in terms of capacities, powers, potencies, etc. By using (and expanding on) Cartwright’s basic critique against Humean mechanisms, I suggest that, in order to move beyond the level of plausibility, Williamson and Russo’s position is in need of a clarification as to the occurent reading of the components, functioning and interferences of mechanisms. Relatedly, as concerns Williamson’s epistemic account of causation, I argue that this account is in need of a more straightforward answer as to what truth-makers its causal claims should have. (shrink)
John Campbell proposed a so-called simple view of colours according to which colours are categorical properties of the surfaces of objects just as they normally appear to be. I raised an invertion problem for Campbell's view according to which the senses of colour terms fail to match their references, thus rendering those terms meaningless—or so I claimed. Gabriele de Anna defended Campbell's view against my example by contesting two points in particular. Firstly, de Anna claimed that there is (...) no special problem here for the simple view of colours, a similar invertion story could apply to primary qualities terms for shapes. Secondly, de Anna purported to give an account of the senses and references of colour terms in my invertion story which renders the senses and references of those terms mutually consistent. In this paper I contested both of de Anna's claims. Regarding the first, I argue that his imagined invertion of apparent shapes is not epistemically stable, in contrast to the invertion of apparent shapes is not epistemically stable, in contrast to the invertion of apparent colours. Hence the victims of apparently inverted shapes would be able to discover the mismatch of senses and refences of their shape terms, in contrast to the victims of apparent invertions of colours. Regarding the second, I argue that de Anna's account of the victim's colour terms itself uses and not merely mentions so-called colours terms. Hence de Anna' account of them is itself meaningless due to a mismatch of sense and reference. So I conclude that my objection to Campbell's simple view of colours stands. (shrink)
Summary Sister and brother Anna Letitia Barbauld (née Aikin; 1743?1825) and John Aikin (1747?1822) are two famous Rational Dissenting writers who strategically appropriated republican discourse to advance the Dissenting cause. Both make the case that, far from being subversive, Rational Dissent actually granted its adherents the independence that, from a republican perspective, was considered essential to true patriotism. In a fresh formulation of republican discourse, they present the strength of the Rational Dissenting commitment to ?free inquiry? as security for (...) continuing independence, enabling liberal Dissenters to act as patriotic guardians of British virtue and liberty against the dangerous effects of luxury, even as they continued to contribute towards the development of the British commercial economy and to promote the benefits of commerce, traditionally regarded with hostility by classical republicans. Effectively exploiting the classical republican belief in the central role of education, Barbauld and Aikin particularly sought to publicize the role that the Dissenting academies had played in producing patriots by making ?free inquiry? the basis of their pedagogical philosophy and practice. (shrink)
Dans cet article, le philosophe Jonathan Glover illustre sa conviction selon laquelle les grandes œuvres littéraires peuvent nous donner autant à penser que les ouvrages philosophiques. Anna Karénine de Tolstoï permet d’abord à Glover de se demander dans quelle mesure nos émotions peuvent à elles seules constituer une boussole morale. Puis, quel que soit le jugement moral que l’on porte sur Anna Karénine, la question se pose de savoir si elle aurait pu agir autrement, ce qui met en (...) jeu la question traditionnelle de la liberté humaine. Enfin, Glover trouve dans le roman de Tolstoï l’occasion de s’intéresser à une notion peu envisagée par les philosophes, mais très valorisée par le romancier russe, à savoir le « sérieux ». (shrink)
How many hairs must a person lose before they become bald? There doesn’t seem to be an easy way of answering this. This is because “bald”, along with a large number of other words, is vague. This vagueness causes problems and Anna Mahtani specialises in thinking very precisely about these problems….
Russo and Williamson claim that establishing causal claims requires mechanistic and difference-making evidence. In this article, I will argue that Russo and Williamson's formulation of their thesis is multiply ambiguous. I will make three distinctions: mechanistic evidence as type vs object of evidence; what mechanism or mechanisms we want evidence of; and how much evidence of a mechanism we require. I will feed these more precise meanings back into the Russo?Williamson thesis and argue that it is both (...) true and false: two weaker versions of the thesis are worth supporting, while the stronger versions are not. Further, my distinctions are of wider concern because they allow us to make more precise claims about what kinds of evidence are required in particular cases. (shrink)
The Anna Karenina Theory says: all conscious states are alike; each unconscious state is unconscious in its own way. This note argues that many components have to function properly to produce consciousness, but failure in any one of many different ones can yield an unconscious state in different ways. In that sense the Anna Karenina theory is true. But in another respect it is false: kinds of unconsciousness depend on kinds of consciousness.
Anna Julia Cooper's 1892 A Voice from the South is a hybrid text that speaks provocatively to contemporary feminist philosophy. Negotiating exclusionary categories of being and knowing and writing herself into intellectual traditions meant to exclude her, Cooper's narrative methods are politically tactical and epistemologically significant. Cooper inserts subjectivity into objective analysis and underscores knowledge as located and embodied. By speaking from spaces of exclusion, Cooper fully articulates the promise of intersectional approaches to liberation.
According to the Russo-Williamson Thesis, causal claims in the health sciences need to be supported by both difference-making and mechanistic evidence. In this article, we attempt to determine whether Evidence-based Medicine can be improved through the consideration of mechanistic evidence. We discuss the practical composition and function of each RWT evidence type and propose that exposure-outcome evidence provides associations that can be explained through a hypothesis of causation, while mechanistic evidence provides finer-grained associations and knowledge of entities that ultimately (...) explains a causal hypothesis. We suggest that mechanistic evidence holds untapped potential to add value to the assessment of evidence quality in EBM and propose initial recommendations for the integration of mechanistic and exposure-outcome evidence to improve EBM by robustly leveraging available evidence in support of good medical decisions. (shrink)
This article examines two theses formulated by Russo and Williamson in their study of causal inference in the health sciences. The two theses are assessed against evidence from a specific case in the social sciences, i.e., research on the institutional determinants of the aggregate unemployment rate. The first Russo–Williamson Thesis is that a causal claim can only be established when it is jointly supported by difference-making and mechanistic evidence. This thesis is shown not to hold. While researchers in (...) my case study draw extensively on both types of evidence, one causal claim out of the three analyzed is established even though it is exclusively supported by mechanistic evidence. The second Russo–Williamson Thesis is that standard accounts of causality fail to handle the dualist epistemology highlighted in the first Thesis. I argue that a counterfactual-manipulationist account of causality—which is endorsed by many philosophers as well as many social scientists—can perfectly make sense of the typical strategy in my case study to draw on both difference-making and mechanistic evidence; it is just an instance of the common strategy of increasing evidential variety. (shrink)
In this paper we investigate composition models of incarnation, according to which Christ is a compound of qualitatively and numerically different constituents. We focus on three-part models, according to which Christ is composed of a divine mind, a human mind, and a human body. We consider four possible relational structures that the three components could form. We argue that a ‘hierarchy of natures’ model, in which the human mind and body are united to each other in the normal way, and (...) in which they are jointly related to the divine mind by the relation of co-action, is the most metaphysically plausible model. Finally, we consider the problem of how Christ can be a single person even when his components may be considered persons. We argue that an Aristotelian metaphysics, according to which identity is a matter of function, offers a plausible solution: Christ's components may acquire a radically new identity through being parts of the whole, which enables them to be reidentified as parts, not persons. (shrink)