The existence of God is once again the focus of vivid philosophical discussion. From the point of view of analytic theology, however, people often talk past each other when they debate about the putative existence or nonexistence of God. In the worst case, for instance, atheists deny the existence of a God, which no theists ever claimed to exist. In order to avoid confusions like this we need to be clear about the function of the term 'God' in its different (...) contexts of use. In what follows, I distinguish between the functions of 'God' in philosophical contexts on the one hand and in theological contexts on the other in order to provide a schema, which helps to avoid confusion in the debate on the existence or non-existence of God. (shrink)
Philosophy of mathematics is moving in a new direction: away from a foundationalism in terms of formal logic and traditional ontology, and towards a broader range of approaches that are united by a focus on mathematical practice. The scientific research network PhiMSAMP (Philosophy of Mathematics: Sociological Aspects and Mathematical Practice) consisted of researchers from a variety of backgrounds and fields, brought together by their common interest in the shift of philosophy of mathematics towards mathematical practice. Hosted by the Rheinische Friedrich- (...) Wilhelms-Universitat Bonn and funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) from 2006-2010, the network organized and contributed to a number of workshops and conferences on the topic of mathematical practice. The refereed contributions in this volume represent the research results of the network and consists of contributions of the network members as well as selected paper versions of presentations at the network's mid-term conference, "Is mathematics special?" (PhiMSAMP-3) held in Vienna 2008. (shrink)
In climate science, climate models are one of the main tools for understanding phenomena. Here, we develop a framework to assess the fitness of a climate model for providing understanding. The framework is based on three dimensions: representational accuracy, representational depth, and graspability. We show that this framework does justice to the intuition that classical process-based climate models give understanding of phenomena. While simple climate models are characterized by a larger graspability, state-of-the-art models have a higher representational accuracy and representational (...) depth. We then compare the fitness-for-providing understanding of process-based to data-driven models that are built with machine learning. We show that at first glance, data-driven models seem either unnecessary or inadequate for understanding. However, a case study from atmospheric research demonstrates that this is a false dilemma. Data-driven models can be useful tools for understanding , specifically for phenomena for which scientists can argue from the coherence of the models with background knowledge to their representational accuracy and for which the model complexity can be reduced such that they are graspable to a satisfactory extent. When citing this paper, please use the full journal title Studies in History and Philosophy of Science. (shrink)
There is a variety of concepts of the divine in the eastern and western theological and philosophical traditions. There is, however, not enough reflection on the logic behind concepts of God and their justification. I clarify some necessary and sufficient conditions any attempt to explicate a concept of God has to take into account. I argue that each concept of God is a cypher for a particular worldview and distinguishes three types of justification frequently used to bestow content on particular (...) concepts of God: philosophical, theological, and scientific. I turn to four fundamental models of the God–world relation and argue that the most promising concept of God is panentheistic, on which the universe is essentially divine but is not exhaustive of the divine being. (shrink)
Panentheism seems to be an attractive alternative to classical theism. It is not clear, though, what exactly panentheism asserts and how it relates to classical theism. By way of clarifying the thesis of panentheism, I argue that panentheism and classical theism differ only as regards the modal status of the world. According to panentheism, the world is an intrinsic property of God – necessarily there is a world – and according to classical theism the world is an extrinsic property of (...) God – it is only contingently true that there is a world. Therefore, as long as we do not have an argument showing that necessarily there is a world, panentheism is not an attractive alternative to classical theism. (shrink)
Commercial success of big data has led to speculation that big-data-like reasoning could partly replace theory-based approaches in science. Big data typically has been applied to ‘small problems’, which are well-structured cases characterized by repeated evaluation of predictions. Here, we show that in climate research, intermediate categories exist between classical domain science and big data, and that big-data elements have also been applied without the possibility of repeated evaluation. Big-data elements can be useful for climate research beyond small problems if (...) combined with more traditional approaches based on domain-specific knowledge. The biggest potential for big-data elements, we argue, lies in socioeconomic climate research. (shrink)
The distinction between data and phenomena introduced by Bogen and Woodward (Philosophical Review 97(3):303–352, 1988) was meant to help accounting for scientific practice, especially in relation with scientific theory testing. Their article and the subsequent discussion is primarily viewed as internal to philosophy of science. We shall argue that the data/phenomena distinction can be used much more broadly in modelling processes in philosophy.
Should or shouldn’t Christians endorse the transhumanist agenda of changing human nature in ways fitting to one’s needs? To answer this question, we first have to be clear on what precisely the thesis of transhumanism entails that we are going to evaluate. Once this point is clarified, I argue that Christians can in principle fully endorse the transhumanist agenda because there is nothing in Christian faith that is in contradiction to it. In fact, given certain plausible moral assumptions, Christians should (...) endorse a moderate enhancement of human nature. I end with a brief case study that analyses the theological implications of the idea of immortal Christian cyborgs. I argue that the existence of Christian cyborgs who know no natural death has no impact on the Christian hope of immortality in the presence of God. (shrink)
There is a close systematic relationship between panentheism, as a metaphysical theory about the relation between God and the world, and transhumanism, the ethical demand to use the means of the applied sciences to enhance both human nature and the environment. This relationship between panentheism and transhumanism provides a ‘cosmic’ solution to the problem of evil: on panentheistic premises, the history of the world is the one infinite life of God, and we are part of the one infinite divine being. (...) We ourselves are therefore responsible for the future development of the life of the divine being. We should therefore use the means provided by the natural sciences to develop the history of the world in such a way that the existence of evil shall be overcome and shall no longer be part of the divine being in whom we move and live and have our being. The metaphysics of panentheism leads to the ethics of transhumanism. (shrink)
We argue that mathematical knowledge is context dependent. Our main argument is that on pain of distorting mathematical practice, one must analyse the notion of having available a proof, which supplies justification in mathematics, in a context dependent way.
I start by way of clarifying briefly the problem of special divine intervention. Once this is done, I argue that laws of nature are generalizations that derive from the dispositional behaviour of natural kinds. Based on this conception of laws of nature I provide a metaphysical model according to which God can realize acts of special divine providence by way of temporarily changing the dispositions of natural entities. I show that this model does not contradict scientific practice and is consistent (...) with the assumption that the physical realm is causally closed. I then argue that prima facie any putative candidate for an act of God could also be seen as a random event or as indicating that there is something wrong with our formulation of the corresponding law of nature. While there is no sufficient philosophical or scientific reason to prefer one of these models, I argue that there are sufficient and legitimate theological reasons to endorse a framework in which at least the obtaining of some anomic states of affairs is seen as the effect of special divine intervention. Doing so, theology has the hermeneutic resources to uncover a dimension of meaningful reality, which without faith could not be seen. (shrink)
Karl Christian Friedrich Krause war ein bemerkenswerter Denker des Deutschen Idealismus. Seine Schriften können ohne Zweifel mit denen Hegels, Schellings und Fichtes konkurrieren. Gerade im Bereich der theoretischen Philosophie bietet das Krausesche Œuvre eine Fundgrube an Einsichten und Argumenten, die der heutigen, oftmals betont postmodernen oder atheistischen Philosophie eine dringend benötigte Kontrastfolie sein können. Sinn und Zweck der Arbeit ist es, den Panentheismus Krauses zeitgemäß darzustellen und Brückenschläge zur heutigen religionsphilosophischen Debatte aufzuzeigen.
Panentheism is an often-discussed alternative to Classical theism, and almost any discussion of panentheism starts by way of acknowledging Karl Christian Friedrich Krause (1781–1832) as the person who coined the term.1 However, apart from this tribute, Krause's own panentheism is almost completely unknown. In what follows, I first present a brief overview of Krause's life and correct some misconceptions of his work before I turn to the core ideas of Krause's own panentheistic system of philosophy. In brief, Krause elaborates a (...) scientific holism that is anchored in intellectual intuition of the Absolute as the one principle of being and recognition. The task of philosophical speculation consequently is twofold: the analytic-ascending part of philosophy proceeds by way of transcendental reflection and according to Krause enables us to obtain intellectual intuition. The synthetic-descending part of philosophy starts by way of showing that science as a whole is an explication of the original union of the Absolute as apprehended in intellectual intuition. Once this is achieved, Krause argues that the emerging philosophy of science is most adequately referred to as “panentheism” since everything is what it is “in and through” the Absolute, while the Absolute itself is not reducible to anything in particular. I end by showing how to relate Krause's panentheism to recent philosophical discussion. (shrink)
We look at bimodal logics interpreted by cartesian products of topological spaces and discuss the validity of certain bimodal formulae in products of so-called cardinal spaces. This solves an open problem of van Benthem et al.
Panpsychism has become a highly attractive position in the philosophy of mind. On panpsychism, both the physical and the mental are inseparable and fundamental features of reality. Panentheism has also become immensely popular in the philosophy of religion. Panentheism strives for a higher reconciliation of an atheistic pantheism, on which the universe itself is causa sui, and the ontological dualism of necessarily existing, eternal creator and contingent, finite creation. Historically and systematically, panpsychism and panentheism often went together as essential parts (...) of an all-embracing metaphysical theory of Being. The present collection of essays analyses the relation between panpsychism and panentheism and provides critical reflections on the significance of panpsychistic and panentheistic thinking for recent debates in philosophy and theology. (shrink)
An important task of philosophy is to provide substantial arguments concerning the basic structure of reality and its relation to the ultimate source of everything. Sometimes, philosophers are convinced that there is an absolutely certain starting point within philosophy. More often, however, they suppose that we start with certain intuitions about empirical reality and its source. Based on these intuitions, philosophers try to develop sound arguments with an intelligible logical structure. By this very fact, they place themselves in the realm (...) of public discussion and criticism. There are, though, different kinds of criticism. Good criticism shows that at least one premise in an argument is not true—which is to say that the argument is not sound—or it shows that the premises could be true while the conclusion is false—which is to say that the argument is not valid. Then, there is criticism that is beside the point. It seems to me that the reply to my paper by Latester belongs to the ki .. (shrink)
In this introduction we discuss the motivation behind the workshop “Towards a New Epistemology of Mathematics” of which this special issue constitutes the proceedings. We elaborate on historical and empirical aspects of the desired new epistemology, connect it to the public image of mathematics, and give a summary and an introduction to the contributions to this issue.
We attempt to identify and evaluate the association between key characteristics of not-for-profit hospitals and market concentration, as measured by the Herfindahl–Hirschman Index, using data available from the American Hospital Association, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Internal Revenue Service Form 990. Our goal is to provide decision support to policy makers on factors that contribute to market competitiveness, which has been linked to improvements in efficiency, costs, and access to health care. We find that contributions are (...) positively associated with market concentration. This could indicate that well-run NP hospitals are rewarded both financially as well as with increased market share. We also find that a higher percentage of Medicare patients is positively correlated with market concentration. This could be explained by the fact that Medicare reimbursement rates are generally lower than those paid by private insurers ; thus, hospitals might not necessarily choose to operate in areas with high Medicare populations. Further, median income is negatively associated with market concentration. One explanation for this effect could be the fact that a population with a higher median income is in a better position to pay for services, making them attractive to hospitals as a potential market. Finally, we find that the presence of managers with voting rights on the boards of directors has no significant impact. (shrink)
Maddy gave a semi-formal account of restrictiveness by defining a formal notion based on a class of interpretations and explaining how to handle false positives and false negatives. Recently, Hamkins pointed out some structural issues with Maddy's definition. We look at Maddy's formal definitions from the point of view of an abstract interpretation relation. We consider various candidates for this interpretation relation, including one that is close to Maddy's original notion, but fixes the issues raised by Hamkins. Our work brings (...) to light additional structural issues that we also discuss. (shrink)
Although physicalism has been the dominant position in recent work in the philosophy of mind, this dominance has not prevented a small but growing number of philosophers from arguing that physicalism is untenable for several reasons: both ontologically and epistemologically it cannot reduce mentality to the realm of the physical, and its attempts to reduce subjectivity to objectivity have thoroughly failed. The contributors to After Physicalism provide powerful alternatives to the physicalist account of the human mind from a dualistic point (...) of view and argue that the reductive and naturalistic paradigm in philosophy has lost its force. The essays in this collection all firmly engage in a priori metaphysics. Those by Uwe Meixner, E. J. Lowe, John Foster, Alvin Plantinga, and Richard Swinburne are concerned with ways to establish the truth of dualism. Essays by William Hasker, A. D. Smith, and Howard Robinson deal with the relation between physicalism and dualism. Benedikt Paul Göcke argues that the “I” is not a particular and Stephen Priest that “I have to understand myself not as a thing but as no-thing-ness.” In the final essay, Thomas Schärtl argues that there are limits to dualism as indicated by the concept of resurrection. By including two classical essays by Plantinga and Swinburne, the volume conveniently brings together some of the best and the newest thinking in making the philosophical case for dualism. "Seven of these essays are by eminent philosophers: Lowe, Foster, Plantinga, Swinburne, Hasker, Smith, and Robinson, each recapitulating his well-known position in the debate. To have these seven essayists together under one cover constitutes a remarkable book, which can be used as a textbook in philosophy of mind as well as in philosophy of religion courses, and which also opens up the debate in an original way among colleagues at an advanced level." —Fergus Kerr, University of Edinburgh. (shrink)
Lataster has published another reply to my article on panentheism and classical theism. I should like to respond, first, by way of pointing out some problems in Lataster’s understanding of my argument before; second, I show that Lataster’s panentheistic counterexamples to my distinction to distinguish between classical theism and panentheism presuppose the very distinction he seeks to refute.
Special divine action is an integral part of the Christian worldview. In fact, the plausibility of the Christian worldview depends on and is grounded in the putative reality, and therefore possibility, of special divine action. Without special divine action, Scripture does not make sense, and without Scripture, Christianity neither. However, the possibility of special divine action is highly contested in almost every field of human enquiry. In what follows, I briefly suggest a minimal definition of special divine action and show (...) its indispensability for the internal plausibility of Christian faith. I then argue against the very possibility of special divine action. I end by way of identifying ways in which Christian theologians can respond to the arguments in order to justify the possibility of special divine action. It turns out that special divine action neither contradicts science nor metaphysics. (shrink)
Although 'most contemporary analytic philosophers [endorse] a physicalist picture of the world' (A. Newen; V. Hoffmann; M. Esfeld, 'Preface to Mental Causation, Externalism and Self-Knowledge', Erkenntnis , 67 (2007), p. 147), it is unclear what exactly the physicalist thesis states. The response that physicalism is the thesis that everything is physical does not solve the problem but is a precise statement of the problem because 'the claim is hopelessly vague' (G. Hellman; F. Thompson, 'Physicalism: Ontology, Determination, and Reduction', Journal of (...) Philosophy , 72 (1975), p. 552). I argue that physicalism in fact should be the thesis that every existing particular essentially exemplifies properties the exemplification of which does not conceptually entail the existence of conscious beings. Physicalism thus is a purely philosophical thesis with no intrinsic relation to physics. 1. (shrink)
We do not believe that logic is the sole answer to deep and intriguing questions about human behaviour, but we think that it might be a useful tool in simulating and understanding it to a certain degree and in specifically restricted areas of application. We do not aim to resolve the question of what rational behaviour in games with mistaken and changing beliefs is. Rather, we develop a formal and abstract framework that allows us to reason about behaviour in games (...) with mistaken and changing beliefs leaving aside normative questions concerning whether the agents are behaving “rationally”; we focus on what agents do in a game. In this paper, we are not concerned with the reasoning process of the economic agent; rather, our intended application is artificial agents, e.g., autonomous agents interacting with a human user or with each other as part of a computer game or in a virtual world. We give a story of mistaken beliefs that is a typical example of the situation in which we should want our formal setting to be applied. Then we give the definitions for our formal system and how to use this setting to get a backward induction solution. We then apply our semantics to the story related earlier and give an analysis of it. Our final section contains a discussion of related work and future projects. We discuss the advantages of our approach over existing approaches and indicate how it can be connected to the existing literature. (shrink)
Maddy's notion of restrictiveness has many problematic aspects, one of them being that it is almost impossible to show that a theory is not restrictive. In this note the author addresses a crucial question of Martin Goldstern (Vienna) and points to some directions of future research.
We give characterizations for the sentences "Every $\Sigma^1_2$-set is measurable" and "Every $\Delta^1_2$-set is measurable" for various notions of measurability derived from well-known forcing partial orderings.
We generalize Solovay's unfolding technique for infinite games and use an Unfolding Theorem to give a uniform method to prove that all analytic sets are in the $\sigma$ -algebras of measurability connected with well-known forcing notions.