This paper describes a study of the effects of two acts of social intelligence, namely mimicry and social praise, when used by an artificial social agent. An experiment ( N = 50) is described which shows that social praise—positive feedback about the ongoing conversation—increases the perceived friendliness of a chat-robot. Mimicry—displaying matching behavior—enhances the perceived intelligence of the robot. We advice designers to incorporate both mimicry and social praise when their system needs to function as a social actor. Different ways (...) of implementing mimicry and praise by artificial social actors in an ambient persuasive scenario are discussed. (shrink)
This paper reflects on discussions within the Social Intelligence for Tele-healthcare (SIFT) project. The SIFT project aims to establish a model of social intelligence, to support the user-centred design of social intelligence in interactive systems. The conceptual background of social intelligence for the SIFT project is presented. Five challenges identified for the design of socially aware interactions are described, and their implications are discussed.
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)
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.
The content and boundaries of moral education the state may require schools to offer is a matter of contention. This article investigates whether the state may obligate schools to promote the pursuit of moral ideals. Moral ideals refer to (a cluster of) characteristics of a person as well as to situations or states that are believed to be morally excellent or perfect and that are not yet realised. Having an ideal typically means that the person is dedicated to realising the (...) type of situation or person to which the ideal refers. Therefore generating student enthusiasm for moral ideals may be an effective way to realise a morally excellent society. This article defends the position that schools may be required to promote the recognition of ideals that all reasonable citizens endorse. Reasonable citizens will not, however, accept that the state obligates schools to promote the pursuit of moral ideals. (shrink)
In this essay, Doret J. de Ruyter defends the claim that parents as well as professional educators need to impart ideals to children in order to realize their wish that children become happy and flourishing adults. The argument consists of two parts. First, de Ruyter shows how ideals are important to construing the meaning of objective goods. Second, she contends that educating children with ideals is important to motivating them to strive for something higher or better. De (...) class='Hi'>Ruyter’s analysis rests on two key concepts: “ideals,” which refer to things one believes to be superb, excellent, or perfect, but that are as yet unrealized, and “happy flourishing,” which describes the fulfillment of objectively identifiable generic goods and the person’s satisfactory meaningful interpretation of these goods. (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)
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)
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.
In this article we aim to open a new line of debate about religion in public schools by focusing on religious ideals. We begin with an elucidation of the concept ‘religious ideals’ and an explanation of the notion of reasonable pluralism, in order to be able to explore the dangers and positive contributions of religious ideals and their pursuit on a liberal democratic society. We draw our examples of religious ideals from Christianity and Islam, because these religions have most adherents (...) in Western liberal democracies that are the focus of this article. The fifth and most important section ‘‘Reasonable pluralism and the inclusion of religious ideals in public secondary schools’’ provides three arguments for our claim that public schools should include religious ideals, namely that they are important to religious people, that they are conducive for the development of pupils into citizens of a liberal democracy, and that the flourishing of pupils as adults is advanced by encountering religious ideals. We also offer a more practical reason: religious ideals can more easily be included within public education than religious dogmas and rules. (shrink)
There is an increasing interest in publications about the sources of meaning in life; books about the art of living are immensely popular. This article discusses whether one of the ancient predecessors of current 'art of living' theories, the Stoa and more particularly Seneca, can be of interest to educators today. Seneca's explicit writings on education are relatively few, but in his letters to his friend Lucilius we find several ideas as to how educators can assist students to become wise (...) and virtuous adults. The main characteristic of the virtuous sage is his ability to maintain tranquillity of mind. While we disagree with the radicalism of Seneca's view on the extirpation of emotions, we have discovered insights that we believe can be a valuable source for educators and students in their reflections on the meaning of education for the business of life. (shrink)
In this paper, I make a contribution to a naturalistically-minded theory of truthmakers by proposing a solution to the nasty problem of truthmakers for negative truths. After formulating the difficulty, I consider and reject a number of solutions to the problem, including Armstrong's states of affairs of totality, incompatibility accounts, and JC Beall 's polarity view. I then defend the position that absences of truthmakers are real and are responsible for making negative truths true. According to the positive account of (...) absences I offer, absences of contingent states of affairs are causally relevant mind-independent features of the physical world, located within space and time, and capable of being discovered by scientific inquiry. Recognition of the reality of absences strengthens truthmaker theory as a naturalistic metaphysics, as truth and falsity of each and every contingent proposition finds an ontological grounding in some region of the physical universe. (shrink)
Analysing several characteristic mathematical models: natural and real numbers, Euclidean geometry, group theory, and set theory, I argue that a mathematical model in its final form is a junction of a set of axioms and an internal partial interpretation of the corresponding language. It follows from the analysis that (i) mathematical objects do not exist in the external world: they are our internally imagined objects, some of which, at least approximately, we can realize or represent; (ii) mathematical truths are not (...) truths about the external world but specifications (formulations) of mathematical conceptions; (iii) mathematics is first and foremost our imagined tool by which, with certain assumptions about its applicability, we explore nature and synthesize our rational cognition of it. (shrink)
Søren Kierkegaard -- Leo Shestov -- Martin Heidegger -- Jacques Derrida -- Walter Benjamin -- Theodor Lessing -- Ernst Jünger's technologies of immortality -- Three ends of history : Hegel, Solvyov, Kojève -- Nietzsche's influence on the non-official culture of the 1930s -- A genealogy of participatory art -- Lessing, Greenberg, McLuhan.
We further investigate a divisibility relation on the set of BN ultrafilters on the set of natural numbers. We single out prime ultrafilters (divisible only by 1 and themselves) and establish a hierarchy in which a position of every ultrafilter depends on the set of prime ultrafilters it is divisible by. We also construct ultrafilters with many immediate successors in this hierarchy and find positions of products of ultrafilters.
In this paper, we reflect on the connection between the notions of organism and organisation, with a specific interest in how this bears upon the issue of the reality of the organism. We do this by presenting the case of Buffon, who developed complex views about the relation between the notions of “organised” and “organic” matter. We argue that, contrary to what some interpreters have suggested, these notions are not orthogonal in his thought. Also, we argue that Buffon has a (...) view in which organisation is not just ubiquitous, but basic and fundamental in nature, and hence also fully natural. We suggest that he can hold this view because of his anti-mathematicism. Buffon’s case is interesting, in our view, because he can regard organisation, and organisms, as perfectly natural, and can admit their reality without invoking problematic supernaturalist views, and because he allows organisation and the organismal to come in kinds and degrees. Thus, his view tries to do justice to two cautionary notes for the debate on the reality of the organism: the need for a commitment to a broadly naturalist perspective, and the need to acknowledge the interesting features of organisms through which we make sense of them. (shrink)
In many countries publications in Web of Knowledge journals are dominant in the evaluation of educational research. For various purposes comparisons are made between the output of philosophers of education in these journals and the publications of their colleagues in educational research generally, sometimes also including psychologists and/or social scientists. Taking its starting-point from Hayden’s article in this journal , this paper discusses the situation of educational research in three countries: The Netherlands, South Africa and Norway. In this paper an (...) alternative for comparing research output is offered by invoking comparisons with colleagues at the international level from within the same sub-discipline. It is argued that if one would do so a different picture would emerge, even if one were to limit oneself to particular kinds of publications. The case is then made that if comparisons are regarded as a necessary part of the evaluation of an individual scholar , it would be more fair to use a proxy system which is sub-discipline specific, or minimally contains some kind of correction factor in relation to the over-all quality assessment device. Debates about the relevance or irrelevance of philosophy of education in the context of educational sciences are now obscured, even poisoned by focusing almost exclusively on a particular kind of publication output. As the ‘reward’ system that is developed accordingly is possibly the most important driver of educational research, it puts the sub-discipline unduly under pressure to the extent that it possibly cannot survive. (shrink)
On the received view, counterfactuals are analysed using the concept of closeness between possible worlds: the counterfactual 'If it had been the case that p, then it would have been the case that q' is true at a world w just in case q is true at all the possible p-worlds closest to w. The degree of closeness between two worlds is usually thought to be determined by weighting different respects of similarity between them. The question I consider in the (...) paper is which weights attach to different respects of similarity. I start by considering Lewis's answer to the question and argue against it by presenting several counterexamples. I use the same examples to motivate a general principle about closeness: if a fact obtains in both of two worlds, then this similarity is relevant to the closeness between them if and only if the fact has the same explanation in the two worlds. I use this principle and some ideas of Lewis's to formulate a general account of counterfactuals, and I argue that this account can explain the asymmetry of counterfactual dependence. The paper concludes with a discussion of some examples that cannot be accommodated by the present version of the account and therefore necessitate further work on the details. (shrink)
In this paper we provide a defence of cosmopolitanism from a liberal perspective, examining its moral underpinnings, including moral obligations predicated on a belief in common humanity and the fundamental dignity of human people, cultural capacities that include an embrace of pluralism and a fallibilist disposition, and pragmatist resolve in finding humanitarian solutions to real problems that people face. We also scrutinise the ideal of cosmopolitanism by considering the ‘deeply religious’ as the sort of people about whom it may be (...) said that irreconcilable tensions exist between certain types of commitment and/or belonging and what the demands of cosmopolitanism involve. (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)
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)
In this article we defend a moral conception of cosmopolitanism and its relevance for moral education. Our moral conception of cosmopolitanism presumes that persons possess an inherent dignity in the Kantian sense and therefore they should be recognised as ends?in?themselves. We argue that cosmopolitan ideals can inspire moral educators to awaken and cultivate in their pupils an orientation and inclination to struggle against injustice. Moral cosmopolitanism, in other words, should more explicitly inform the work that moral educators do. Real?world constraints (...) on moral action and the need to prioritise one?s sometimes conflicting responsibilities will often qualify cosmopolitan justice as supererogatory. This fact does not absolve persons from aspiring to see themselves as having the moral obligation to help others in need, while recognising that their factual obligations are more modest in being bound by what they are actually able to do. (shrink)
Human flourishing is the topic of an increasing number of books and articles in educational philosophy. Flourishing should be regarded as an ideal aim of education. If this is defended, the first step should be to elucidate what is meant by flourishing, and what exactly the concept entails. Listing formal criteria can facilitate reflection on the ideal of flourishing as an aim of education. We took Aristotelian eudaimonia as a prototype to construct two criteria for the concept of human flourishing: (...) human flourishing is regarded as intrinsically worthwhile and flourishing means ‘actualisation of human potential’. The second criterion has three sub-criteria: flourishing is about a whole life, it is a ‘dynamic state’ and flourishing presupposes there being objective goods. (shrink)
If definitive evidence concerning treatment effectiveness becomes available from an ongoing randomized clinical trial, then the trial could be stopped early, with the public release of results benefiting current and future patients. However, stopping an ongoing trial based on accruing outcome data requires methodological rigor to preserve validity of the trial conclusions. This has led to the use of formal interim monitoring procedures, which include inefficacy monitoring that will stop a trial early when the experimental treatment appears not to be (...) working. For participants, inefficacy monitoring is especially important as it ensures that they are not being treated worse than if they had not enrolled on the trial. We discuss the importance of reporting with trial results the formal interim inefficacy monitoring guidelines that were utilized, and, if none were used, the reasons for their absence. A survey of two leading medical journals suggests that this is not current practice. (shrink)
In this article, logical concepts are defined using the internal syntactic and semantic structure of language. For a first-order language, it has been shown that its logical constants are connectives and a certain type of quantifiers for which the universal and existential quantifiers form a functionally complete set of quantifiers. Neither equality nor cardinal quantifiers belong to the logical constants of a first-order language.
The article aims to provide a justification for the claim that optimal development and becoming an optimiser are educational ideals that parents should pursue in raising their children. Optimal development is conceptualised as enabling children to grow into flourishing persons, that is persons who have developed their given possibilities to the full and optimally fulfil the domains that can be said to be objectively good for all people. This also comprises the development of children into persons who want to become (...) optimisers and pursue excellent aims in life, i.e. who pursue ideals. Optimal development is not only an ideal, it requires ideals too. With excellent examples of the objective goods that are good for all people, children are given examples of what it means to strive for the best and are thereby enabled to develop themselves to the full. Two main points of critique, namely that it leads to elitism and to neurotic perfectionism are discussed and rebutted. This leads to a defence of a form of realistic perfectionism. The article ends with a description of the way in which parents could aspire towards the ideal aim of realistic perfectionism. (shrink)
This paper analyzes the historical context and systematic importance of Kant's hypothetical use of reason. It does so by investigating the role of hypotheses in Kant's philosophy of science. We first situate Kant’s account of hypotheses in the context of eighteenth-century German philosophy of science, focusing on the works of Wolff, Meier, and Crusius. We contrast different conceptions of hypotheses of these authors and elucidate the different theories of probability informing them. We then adopt a more systematic perspective to discuss (...) Kant's idea that scientific hypotheses must articulate real possibilities. We argue that Kant's views on the intelligibility of scientific hypotheses constitute a valuable perspective on scientific understanding and the constraints it imposes on scientific rationality. (shrink)
In this article Doret J. de Ruyter and Anders Schinkel argue that parents' ideals can enhance children's autonomy, but that they may also have a detrimental effect on the development of children's autonomy. After describing the concept of ideals and elucidating a systems theoretical conception of autonomy, de Ruyter and Schinkel explore the ways in which the ideals of parents may play a role in the development of their children's autonomy. They show that abstract and complex ideals of (...) parents (be it ideals for their children, ideals with regard to their parenthood, or their personal ideals) are most likely to enhance their children's autonomy. They also explain that an authoritative parenting style is most conducive to autonomy, although whether or not it does benefit children's autonomy also depends on the types of ideals pursued by parents. (shrink)
I will argue that Aristotle’s fourfold division of four causes naturally arises from a combination of two distinctions (a) between things and changes, and (b) between that which potentially is something and what it potentially is. Within this scheme, what is usually called the “efficient cause” is something that potentially is a certain natural change, and the “final cause” is, at least in a basic sense, what the efficient cause potentially is. I will further argue that the essences of things (...) and changes are not features or attributes of them, but paradigms that set the standards according to which these things and changes may be judged to be natural or typical. The “formal cause” of a natural thing will be shown to be its essence in this sense: it sets the standards of typicality that apply to instances of its kind. The final cause will be shown to set the standard of typicality for natural changes. When we understand Aristotle’s doctrine of the four causes in this way, it becomes clear on what basis he could convincingly argue that final causality is operative in the whole of nature. (shrink)