We question the usefulness of Pylyshyn's dichotomy between cognitively penetrable and cognitively impenetrable mechanisms as the basis for his distinction between cognition and early vision. This dichotomy is comparable to others that have been proposed in psychology prompting disputes that by their very nature could not be resolved. This fate is inevitable for Pylyshyn's thesis because of its reliance on internal representations and their interpretation. What is more fruitful in relation to this issue is not a difficult dichotomy, but a (...) different look at perception such as proposed by Gibson (1979). (shrink)
Department of Philosophy of Religion The Department of Religious Studies of IF NASU during 2006-2008 carried out the specified planned theme. Below we present its sections in the summary. The full study material will be published in the monograph under the same title, which will be published by the end of 2009. The book can be used as a textbook on religious studies.
Modern epistemology adopted the idea of historicism, of the historicity of knowledge and the self-consciousness of the cognizer. The research, undertaken within cultural–historical epistemology, also spread in the context of the prevailing tendencies in the sphere of modern epistemology. The specificity of this type of epistemology is related to a special interpretation of the history of cognition. On this interpretation knowledge represents a cultural phenomenon that has an existentially-symbolical meaning for the cognizer. Therefore this type of epistemology returns us to (...) the dimension of knowledge, which has in fact been lost today. It returns us to the original antique notion of knowledge as “good,” as something that changes the person who acquires it. And here in this context comes forth such a feature of knowledge as its integrity. At the turn of the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries, Russian philosophers turned to the problem field of “integral knowledge,” the core of which lies in the unity of the integral and cognitive, which is reflected in the concreteness of knowledge. Such an understanding of knowledge enabled the articulation of a number of ideas that enriched European traditions of socio-humanitarian research and influenced the development of semiotics and structuralism both in Europe and in Russia. The ideas of R. Jakobson that stimulated the structure-semiotic research in the first half of the twentieth century are very well-known to world humanity science. Yet their epistemological potential is related to the idea of the integral knowledge. The epistemological turn towards historicism in semiotics in Russia was accomplished by G. Shpet. Jakobson communicated with Shpet at the Moscow linguistic circle in the 1920s. They both referred to the ideas of Husserl, and, as Jakobson acknowledged himself, he borrowed many ideas from Shpet—in particular, the idea of semiotics. Shpet’s helped implement the idea of “integral knowledge” that opened a perspective of the analysis of knowledge as an open symbolic sign system. This methodological approach appears to be especially topical nowadays in the sphere of humanities, which scientific character does not exclude historicism. The ideas of Russian philosophers, then, provide a productive context immediately as well as long-term prospects for developing the methodology of the humanities. The concepts that prevail in modern methodology accentuate the historical relativity and the outer social determinacy of scientific knowledge. Meanwhile the problem of the cultural–historical status of the humanities and the problem of addressing the idea of “integral knowledge” become increasingly topical and allow the transfer of the epistemological search for the conditions and the landmarks of scientificity. (shrink)
Columella invites his readers to plant different flowers, including violets—which will be the main focus of the following discussion :uerum ubi iam puro discrimine pectita tellusdeposito squalore nitens sua semina poscet, 95pangite tunc uarios, terrestria sidera, flores:candida leucoia et flauentia lumina caltae,narcissique comas et hiantis saeua leonisora feri, calathisque uirentia lilia canis,necnon uel niueos uel caeruleos hyacinthos. 100tum quae pallet humi, quae frondes purpurat auro,ponatur uiola, et nimium rosa plena pudoris.96 pangite Heinsius: pingite SAR || 99 nitentia Gesner || 101 (...) frondes SA: frondens R | purpurat auro ϛ: purpura tabo SAR: purpura et auro Ursinus: purpurat albo HeinsiusThis is the text of Rodgers's recent OCT, but with a somewhat modified apparatus criticus. For the purposes of my argument, it will be useful also to quote from the outset a related catalogue of melliferous flowers from another book of Columella's treatise : mille praeterea semina uel crudo caespite uirentia uel subacto sulco flores amicissimos apibus creant, ut sunt in uirgineo solo […] gladiolus narcissi. at in hortensi lira consita nitent candida lilia nec his sordidiora leucoia, tum Punicae rosae luteolaeque et Sarranae uiolae, nec minus caelestis luminis hyacinthus.There are a number of more general similarities, but the relevant point is that the two catalogues list many of the same flowers and describe them in similar ways, which means that one catalogue can serve as an interpretative guide to the other. The first two items in the prose list of garden flowers correspond to candida leucoia and calathisque uirentia lilia canis, similarly listed in the first half of the verse catalogue; nitent can thus support Gesner's emendation nitentia for uirentia, unduly neglected by recent editors. The metaphoric periphrasis gladiolus narcissi can be compared with narcissique comas. Both texts describe the hyacinth as sky-blue, which seems to be otherwise unparalleled. Finally, just like the prose list, Columella's poem groups roses with two varieties of violet :tum quae pallet humi, quae frondes purpurat auro,ponatur uiola, et nimium rosa plena pudoris.The prose version makes it all but certain that the poem should likewise refer to a yellow and a purple varieties of violet. While Columella's verse description of the former variety is fairly unambiguous, that of the latter raises questions. (shrink)
When Putin became president at the beginning of the 21st century, Russia was in shambles. Putin saw his task to be two fold. First, to recreate the Russian state – that had been seriously weakened by Boris Yeltsin. Second, he set out to reestablish Russia as an important international actor. His approach to dealing with those two tasks was heavily influenced by his approach to dealing with political problems. He is determined, but non ideological. He believes that Russia is (...) unique and that only "Russian" solutions will resolve the country’s problems. Most of all, Putin sees himself as a "problem solver," something that comes from his years in the KGB. And while much remains to be done, he did a lot to solve Russia’s problems. The power of the state has been restored, and Russia is taken far more seriously on the international stage than it was in 2000. What is amazing, given all of the criticism he has received in the West for his "undemocratic" actions, his standings in the polls for the eight years he was in office remained above 70%, something a Western politician can only dream of. (shrink)
Boris Kment takes a new approach to the study of modality that emphasises the origin of modal notions in everyday thought. He argues that the concepts of necessity and possibility originate in counterfactual reasoning, which allows us to investigate explanatory connections. Contrary to accepted views, explanation is more fundamental than modality.
Starting from the idea that functions are formally similar to actions in that they are described and explained in a similar way, so that both admit of an accordion effect, I turn to Anscombe’s insight that the point of practical reasoning is to render explicit the relation between the different descriptions of an action generated by the accordion effect. The upshot is, roughly, that an item has a function if what it does can be accounted for by functional reasoning. Put (...) differently, a part of a system has a function if what it does is a functional part of what the system does. (shrink)
We argue that thoughts are structures of concepts, and that concepts should be individuated by their origins, rather than in terms of their semantic or epistemic properties. Many features of cognition turn on the vehicles of content, thoughts, rather than on the nature of the contents they express. Originalism makes concepts available to explain, with no threat of circularity, puzzling cases concerning thought. In this paper, we mention Hesperus/Phosphorus puzzles, the Evans-Perry example of the ship seen through different windows, and (...) Mates cases, and we believe that there are many additional applications. (shrink)
During the last quarter of a century, a number of philosophers have become attracted to the idea that necessity can be analyzed in terms of a hyperintensional notion of essence. One challenge for proponents of this view is to give a plausible explanation of our modal knowledge. The goal of this paper is to develop a strategy for meeting this challenge. My approach rests on an account of modality that I developed in previous work, and which analyzes modal properties in (...) terms of the notion of a metaphysical law. I discuss what information about the metaphysical laws is required for modal knowledge. Moreover, I describe two ways in which we might be able to acquire this information. The first way employs inference to the best explanation. The metaphysical laws, including the essential truths, play a crucial role in causal and grounding explanations and we can gain knowledge of these laws by abductive inferences from facts of which we have perceptual or a priori knowledge. The second way of gaining information about the metaphysical laws rests on knowledge that is partly constitutive of competence with the concepts that are needed to express the relevant information. Finally, I consider how knowledge of the metaphysical laws can be used to establish modal claims, paying special attention to the much-discussed connection between conceiving and possibility. (shrink)
Présentation En novembre 1958, le poète surréaliste égyptien Georges Henein publiait dans la revue de Boris Souvarine, Le Contrat social, une étude intitulée, « Bruno R. et la “nouvelle classe” ». Ainsi, presque vingt ans après la publication à compte d’auteur de La Bureaucratisation du monde, un périodique aussi bien informé que celui-là continuait à ignorer le nom de l’auteur de cette étude. Elle avait pourtant résolu, dès 1939, un des principaux problèmes que ce siècle a rencontré : « (...) la nature de la nouvelle société russe », selon les mots de Guy Debord. Mais elle avait aussi posé des jalons essentiels pour comprendre la place de la bureaucratie dans ce pays ainsi que dans les autres grandes formations sociales capitalistes sous le nom de « collectivisme bureaucratique », bien que son auteur demeurât dans une obscurité propice à toutes les récupérations et sans qu’aucune revue française prît le soin de le traduire. Po... (shrink)
I propose a general alethic theory of epistemic risk according to which the riskiness of an agent’s credence function encodes her relative sensitivity to different types of graded error. After motivating and mathematically developing this approach, I show that the epistemic risk function is a scaled reflection of expected inaccuracy. This duality between risk and information enables us to explore the relationship between attitudes to epistemic risk, the choice of scoring rules in epistemic utility theory, and the selection of priors (...) in Bayesian epistemology more generally. (shrink)
Recalling the banishment of Russian philosophers in 1921, Boris Zaitsev remarked "only Shpet is forgotten." But Gustav Gustavovich Shpet was not "forgotten" and he was not the only one who succeeded in avoiding expulsion at that time. Among the humanists of prerevolutionary-stamp who continued to work in Soviet Russia after 1922, we can list P.P. Blonskii, A. A. Bogdanov, A.N. Giliarov, S.A. Zhebelev , A.F. Losev, V.N. Ivanovskii, R.V. Ivanov-Razumnik, N.I. Kareev, A.O. Makovel'skii, V.N. Murav'ev, E.L. Radlov, B.G. Stolpner, (...) P.A. Florenskii, B.A. Fokht, G.I. Chelpanov, PS. Iushkevich: almost all of them were philosophers. (shrink)
Businesses that rely heavily on cash transactions have been found to be particularly susceptible to low tax ethics. Recent research indicates that cash is a highly powerful and tempting reward, which elicits a strong emotional response. In this article, we investigate how emotions affect tax ethics in a series of experimental studies. Specifically, we show that affective priming and the ease with which tax information is retrieved moderate tax ethics. We also show that the relative effectiveness of deterrence, such as (...) audit probabilities and tax fines, is moderated by affect. These results point toward a complex picture of tax ethics, requiring a multifaceted policy approach that emphasizes not only enforcement, but also cognitive and affective aspects of human behavior. (shrink)
Approximate coherentism suggests that imperfectly rational agents should hold approximately coherent credences. This norm is intended as a generalization of ordinary coherence. I argue that it may be unable to play this role by considering its application under learning experiences. While it is unclear how imperfect agents should revise their beliefs, I suggest a plausible route is through Bayesian updating. However, Bayesian updating can take an incoherent agent from relatively more coherent credences to relatively less coherent credences, depending on the (...) data observed. Thus, comparative rationality judgments among incoherent agents are unduly sensitive to luck. (shrink)
This paper first shows that some versions of the logic R of Relevance do not satisfy the relevance principle introduced by Anderson and Belnap, the principle of which is generally accepted as the principle for relevance. After considering several possible (but defective) improvements of the relevance principle, this paper presents a new relevance principle for (three versions of) R, and explains why this principle is better than the original and others.
We construct and study structures imitating the field of complex numbers with exponentiation. We give a natural, albeit non first-order, axiomatisation for the corresponding class of structures and prove that the class has a unique model in every uncountable cardinality. This gives grounds to conjecture that the unique model of cardinality continuum is isomorphic to the field of complex numbers with exponentiation.
If I say “we are now living in England” or “grass is green in summer’ or ‘the cat is on the mat’ what I say will normally be true or false—the statements are true if they correctly report how things are, or correspond to the facts; and if they do not do these things, they are false. Such a statement will only fail to have a truth-value if its referring expressions fail to refer ; or if the statement lies on (...) the border between truth and falsity so that it is as true to say that the statement is true as to say that it is false. Are moral judgments normally true or false in the way in which the above statements are true or false? I will term the view that they are objectivism and the view that they are not subjectivism. The objectivist maintains that it is as much a fact about an action that it is right or wrong as that it causes pain or takes a long time to perform. The subjectivist maintains that saying than an action is right or wrong is not stating a fact about it but merely expressing approval of it or commending it or doing some such similar thing. I wish in this paper, first, to show that all arguments for subjectivism manifestly fail, and secondly to produce a strong argument for objectivism. But, to start with, some preliminaries. (shrink)
This essay present a critical analysis of Hare's article 'Contrasting Methods in Environmental Planning' . It argues that Hare has drawn an important distinction between two 'methods' used in both urban and environmental planning, and that Hare is correct in the conclusion of his argument that one of these methods, 'the trial-design method', is superior to the other, 'the means-end method'. However, this paper presents a new argument in support of that conclusion. This new argument is important for two reasons. (...) First, it points to the existence of at least two different kinds of preference schedule. Second, it supports a type of decision making procedure to be used in 'multiple-client situations' different from the one envisioned by Hare. This procedure, oddly enough, resembles the procedures outlined by both Habermas and Rawls. However, it can be defended on recognisably utilitarian grounds. (shrink)
In late January of 1987, the State Treasurer of Pennsylvania, R. Budd Dwyer, shot himself to death in front of a dozen reporters and camera crews during a news conference in his office. Much was subsequently made in the popular press, and within the profession, about the difficult ethical decision television journalists were faced with in determining how much of the very graphic suicide tape to air. A review of the literature in this area suggests, however, that journalists have established (...) a set of relatively detailed conventions for dealing with events involving graphic depictions of death. Analysis of the Dwyer tape and interviews conducted with Pennsylvania television news directors show that eighteen of the twenty stations in the state that carry news used basically the same type and amount of footage in their evening newscasts. One decided to use no tape. One showed the moment of death. When the story broke around noon, two additional stations showed the moment of suicide, but they revised their story for the evening program. In addition, the wide majority of news directors interviewed said they had little difficulty in deciding how to edit the tape. The processing of the Dwyer story suggests that any ethical dilemmas faced by journalists during decision making were put aside for later consideration. The material was edited quickly and according to similar patterns, or conventions, around the state. The study suggests greater attention be given to the definition and interaction of personal professional values, in the ethical sense, and norms of news processing, in the sociological sense. (shrink)
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