Molyneux’s question, whether the newly sighted might immediately recognize tactilely familiar shapes by sight alone, has produced an array of answers over three centuries of debate and discussion. I propose the first pluralist response: many different answers, both yes and no, are individually sufficient as an answer to the question as a whole. I argue that this is possible if we take the question to be cluster concept of sub-problems. This response opposes traditional answers that isolate specific perceptual features as (...) uniquely applicable to Molyneux’s question and grant viability to only one reply. Answering Molyneux’s question as a cluster concept may also serve as a methodology for resolving other philosophical problems. (shrink)
This book examines influential conceptions of sport and then analyses the interplay of challenging borderline cases with the standard definitions of sport. It is meant to inspire more thought and debate on just what sport is, how it relates to other activities and human endeavors, and what we can learn about ourselves by studying sport.
Data are never free of philosophical encumbrances. Nevertheless, philosophical issues are often considered peripheral to method and evidence. Historical perspectives likewise are not considered integral to most data-driven disputes in contemporary psychological science. This paper examines the history of the investigation of hypnosis over the last 75 years to illuminate how evidence and method are entangled with epistemology and ontology, how new research directions are forged by changes in the cultural and philosophical landscape, and how unacknowledged philosophical assumptions can result (...) in confusion and empirical cul-de-sacs. Theoretical disputes that appear to be simple empirical matters often entail hidden philosophical issues, and apparent historical continuity at the theoretical level can belie discontinuity at the ontological level. The lesson of hypnosis is that philosophical analysis is as important as methodological rigor. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
According to embodied cognition theory, our physical embodiment influences how we conceptualize entities, whether natural or supernatural. In serving central explanatory roles, supernatural entities (e.g., God) are represented implicitly as having unordinary properties that nevertheless do not violate our sensorimotor interactions with the physical world. We conjecture that other supernatural entities are similarly represented in explanatory contexts.
In the first full-length analysis of Wittgenstein's Remarks on Frazer's Golden Bough, Brian R. Clack presents a fresh and innovative interpretation of Wittgenstein's conception of religion. While previous commentators have tended to sideline the Remarks on Frazer, Clack shows how the key to Wittgenstein's thought on religion lies in these remarks on primitive magico-religious observances. This book shows that Wittgenstein neither embraces expressivism, as it is generally assumed, nor straightforwardly denies instrumentalism. Focusing instead on Wittgenstein's suggestion that magic is (...) somehow akin to metaphysics, a view of ritual as the spontaneous expression of human beings is presented. (shrink)
Molyneux’s Question, also known as Molyneux’s Problem, soon became a fulcrum for early research in the epistemology of concepts, challenging common intuitions about how our concepts originate, whether sensory features differentiate concepts, and how concepts are utilized in novel contexts. It was reprinted and discussed by a wide range of early modern philosophers, including Gottfried Leibniz, George Berkeley, and Adam Smith, and was perhaps the most important problem in the burgeoning discipline of psychology of the 18th Century. The question has (...) since undergone various stages of development, both as a mental exercise and as an experimental paradigm, garnering a variety of both affirmative and negative replies in the next three centuries of debate and deliberation. (shrink)
Trial by jury is a fundamental feature of democratic governance. But what form should jury decision-making take? I argue against the status quo system in which juries are encouraged and even required to engage in group deliberation as a means to reaching a decision. Jury deliberation is problematic for both theoretical and empirical reasons. On the theoretical front, deliberation destroys the independence of jurors’ judgments that is needed for certain attractive theoretical results. On the empirical front, we have evidence from (...) both legal and non-legal contexts that group deliberation often leads to group judgments that are worse in a number of respects than judgments generated by non-interactional methods of judgment aggregation. Finally, I examine some possible alternatives to free-wheeling jury deliberation, including the constrained and structured deliberation embodied in the DELPHI method, voting, and averaging of probabilistic judgments. (shrink)
How does the mind attribute external causes to internal sensory experiences? Adam Smith addresses this question in his little known essay ‘Of the External Senses.’ I closely examine Smith's various formulations of this problem and then argue for an interpretation of his solution: that inborn perceptual mechanisms automatically generate external attributions of internal experiences. I conclude by speculating that these mechanisms are best understood to operate by simulating tactile environments.
Tarski’s conceptual analysis of the notion of logical consequence is one of the pinnacles of the process of defining the metamathematical foundations of mathematics in the tradition of his predecessors Euclid, Frege, Russell and Hilbert, and his contemporaries Carnap, Gödel, Gentzen and Turing. However, he also notes that in defining the concept of consequence “efforts were made to adhere to the common usage of the language of every day life.” This paper addresses the issue of what relationship Tarski’s analysis, and (...) Béziau’s further generalization of it in universal logic, have to reasoning in the everyday lives of ordinary people from the cognitive processes of children through to those of specialists in the empirical and deductive sciences. It surveys a selection of relevant research in a range of disciplines providing theoretical and empirical studies of human reasoning, discusses the value of adopting a universal logic perspective, answers the questions posed in the call for this special issue, and suggests some specific research challenges. (shrink)
While some branches of complexity theory are advancing rapidly, the same cannot be said for our understanding of emergence. Despite a complete knowledge of the rules underlying the interactions between the parts of many systems, we are often baffled by their sudden transitions from simple to complex. Here I propose a solution to this conceptual problem. Given that emergence is often the result of many interactions occurring simultaneously in time and space, an ability to intuitively grasp it would require the (...) ability to consciously think in parallel. A simple exercise is used to demonstrate that we do not possess this ability. Our surprise at the behaviour of cellular automata models, and the natural cases of pattern formation they mimic, is then explained from this perspective. This work suggests that the cognitive limitations of the mind can be as significant a barrier to scientific progress as the limitations of our senses. (shrink)
Might the once-blind recognize shapes familiar to the touch by sight alone? “Not”, replied both Locke and the question’s designer, William Molyneux. Leibniz, by contrast, replied, “yes” to Molyneux’s Question. However, Leibniz’s reason for his affirmative answer has yet to be discussed directly with any depth, a lacuna this paper seeks to address. The main contention of this paper is that Leibniz cannot think that sensory representations based on the sight and touch of shape sufficient for this task, as several (...) commentators have suggested. Rather, I argue that Leibniz’s answer is based on the ability of the once-blind to unconsciously employ “common sensibles,” representations of shape that are independent of sight and touch. (shrink)
The flood of interpretive work regarding Wittgenstein’s thinking on matters religious shows little sign of abating. At the same time, one may feel that little that is new or illuminating is being added to these discussions: what is known as ‘Wittgensteinian philosophy of religion’ may appear to be at a standstill. There is thus a great deal to be said for Thomas Carroll’s contention that it is ‘time for a reassessment of Wittgenstein and philosophy of religion’ , though a reader (...) may ultimately be left with the conclusion that Carroll’s book does not quite provide the reassessment that is required.The first three chapters of the book explore Wittgenstein’s work and its reception within the philosophy of religion. Firstly, Carroll outlines the range of sources drawn upon by those working on Wittgenstein and religion: Wittgenstein’s texts explicitly focused on religious phenomena (such as the ‘Lectures on Religious Belief’ and the ‘Remarks on Frazer’s .. (shrink)
Man and machine are rife with fundamental differences. Formal research in artificial intelligence and robotics has for half a century aimed to cross this divide, whether from the perspective of understanding man by building models, or building machines which could be as intelligent and versatile as humans. Inevitably, our sources of inspiration come from what exists around us, but to what extent should a machine's conception be sourced from such biological references as ourselves? Machines designed to be capable of explicit (...) social interaction with people necessitates employing the human frame of reference to a certain extent. However, there is also a fear that once this man-machine boundary is crossed that machines will cause the extinction of mankind. The following paper briefly discusses a number of fundamental distinctions between humans and machines in the field of social robotics, and situating these issues with a view to understanding how to address them. (shrink)
Over the past dozen years numerous overseas based businesses with dominant shareholders have become quoted on the London Stock Exchange, prominent examples of which have joined the ‘blue chip’ FTSE 100 stock market index. While this trend has generated concerns about the ‘undermining’ of UK corporate governance and has fostered reform proposals by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) it has thus far escaped academic attention. This article explains why companies with dominant shareholders have been migrating to London and discusses the (...) policy implications. In so doing it shows that the FSA’s proposals mostly cover familiar ground rather than being innovative but maintains that the case for radical reform has in fact not yet been made out. (shrink)
Semantic networks were developed in cognitive science and artificial intelligence studies as graphical knowledge representation and inference tools emulating human thought processes. Formal analysis of the representation and inference capabilities of the networks modeled them as subsets of standard first-order logic (FOL), restricted in the operations allowed in order to ensure the tractability that seemed to characterize human reasoning capabilities. The graphical network representations were modeled as providing a visual language for the logic. Sub-sets of FOL targeted on knowledge representation (...) came to be called description logics, and research on these logics has focused on issues of tractability of subsets with differing representation capabilities, and on the implementation of practical inference systems achieving the best possible performance. Semantic network research has kept pace with these developments, providing visual languages for knowledge entry, editing, and presenting the results of inference, that translate unambiguously to the underlying description logics. This paper discusses the design issues for such semantic network formalisms, and illustrates them through detailed examples of significant generic knowledge structures analyzed in the literature, including determinables, contrast sets, genus/differentiae, taxonomies, faceted taxonomies, cluster concepts, family resemblances, graded concepts, frames, definitions, rules, rules with exceptions, essence and state assertions, opposites and contraries, relevance, and so on. Such examples provide important test material for any visual language formalism for logic. (shrink)
In this response to D. Z. Phillips's critique of my interpretation of Wittgenstein's view of magic and ritual, I counter Phillips's claim that I have misrepresented the Wittgensteinian view of ritual, consider the instrumentalist dimension of the Remarks on Frazer's Golden Bough, offer some objections to Phillips's expressivist view that a ritual ‘says itself’, and detect obscurantism in his approach to the study of religion.
The study of perception and the role of the senses have recently risen to prominence in philosophy and are now a major area of study and research. However, the philosophical history of the senses remains a relatively neglected subject. Moving beyond the current philosophical canon, this outstanding collection offers a wide-ranging and diverse philosophical exploration of the senses, from the classical period to the present day. Written by a team of international contributors, it is divided into six parts: -/- Perception (...) from Non-Western Perspectives Perception in the Ancient Period Perception in the Medieval Latin/Arabic Period Perception in the Early Modern Period Perception in the Post-Kantian Period Perception in the Contemporary Period. The volume challenges conventional philosophical study of perception by covering a wide range of significant, as well as hitherto overlooked, topics, such as perceptual judgment, temporal and motion illusions, mirror and picture perception, animal senses and cross-modal integration. By investigating the history of the senses in thinkers such as Plotinus, Auriol, Berkeley and Cavendish; and considering the history of the senses in diverse philosophical traditions, including Chinese, Indian, Byzantine, Greek and Latin it brings a fresh approach to studying the history of philosophy itself. -/- Including a thorough introduction as well as introductions to each section by the editors, The Senses and the History of Philosophy is essential reading for students and researchers in the history of philosophy, perception, philosophy of mind, philosophical psychology, aesthetics and eastern and non-western philosophy. It will also be extremely useful for those in related disciplines such as psychology, religion, sociology, intellectual history and cognitive sciences. (shrink)
R. M. Cook has recently pointed out that the transport of warships across the Isthmus of Corinth was not the normal use of the diolkos since there was no regular need for such transport. Rather, the diolkos from its inception served a commercial function and its use provided the Corinthian state with a source of revenue.
Computing ethics is a complex area of study that is of significant importance to the computing community and global society. However, research and education in computing ethics are difficult due to the diverse meanings of ethics. This paper presents details of a content analysis study that analyzed definitions of computer ethics. The purpose of this study was to educe and present the meaning of computing ethics, resulting in a thematic definition of computing ethics for use in education and research. This (...) paper presents definition themes that emerged: interdisciplinary, collaboration, scholars and professionals, methodically study, practically affect, contributions and costs, computing artifacts, and global society. The results of this study can assist computing ethicists with research, aid computing educators with curriculum development, and provide a theoretical frame for relating ethics to computing. This exploration demonstrates that groups within the computing community can find common ground, even on such a difficult and complex matter as ethics. (shrink)
In online social networks, the audience size commanded by an organization or an individual is a critical measure of that entity’s popularity and this measure has important economic and/or political implications. Such efforts to measure popularity of users or exploit knowledge about their audience are complicated by the presence of fake profiles on these networks. In this study, analysis of 62 million publicly available Twitter user profiles was conducted and a strategy to identify automatically generated fake profiles was established. Using (...) a combination of a pattern-matching algorithm on screen-names and an analysis of update times, a reasonable number of highly reliable fake user accounts were identified. Analysis of profile creation times and URLs of these fake accounts revealed their distinct behavior relative to a ground truth data set. The characteristics of friends and followers of users in the two data sets further revealed the very different nature of the two groups. The ratio of number of followers-to-friends for ground truth users was ∼1, consistent with past observations, while the fake profiles had a median ratio ∼30, indicating that the fake users we identified were primarily focused on gathering friends. An analysis of the temporal evolution of accounts over 2 years showed that the friends-to-followers ratio increased over time for fake profiles while they decreased for ground truth users. Our results, thus, suggest that a profile-based approach can be used for identifying a core set of fake online social network users in a time-efficient manner. (shrink)
Company Law: Theory, Structure and Operation is the first United Kingdom law text to use economic theory to provide insights into corporate law, an approach widely adopted in the United States. In this book, Brian Cheffins discusses the inner workings of companies, examines the impact of the legal system on corporate activities, and evaluates the merits of governmental regulatory strategies. The book covers core areas of the undergraduate company law syllabus in a stimulating and theoretically enlightening fashion and addresses (...) important company law topics such as: * limited liability of shareholders * shareholders' remedies * corporate governance * executive pay * the role of self-regulation in United Kingdom securities markets * the impact of European Union Directives on company law in the UK Brian Cheffins also examines in detail a number of questions which have not been fully explored elsewhere. These include: * What are the justifications for legal regulation of company affairs? * What are the drawbacks associated with government intervention? * How can one ascertain the optimal format for company law rules? (shrink)
In the field of comparative corporate governance, a thesis that is currently influential is that the ‘law matters’. The thinking is that laws which allow investors to feel confident about owning a tiny percentage of shares in a firm constitute the crucial ‘bedrock’ that underpins a US‐style economy where widely held public companies dominate. The paper outlines the normative implications which the ‘law matters’ thesis has for countries where diffuse share ownership is not the norm. It also draws upon the (...) historical experience in the US and the UK to cast doubt on whether law is as pivotal as the thesis implies. Finally, the paper considers the dynamics that are likely to affect the pace of legislative change when reforms designed to foster the confidence of minority shareholders are on the agenda. (shrink)
This Article discusses why a “corporate governance movement” that commenced in the United States in the 1970s became an entrenched feature of American capitalism and describes how the chronology differed in a potentially crucial way for banks. The Article explains corporate governance’s emergence and staying power by reference to changing market conditions and a deregulation trend that provided executives with unprecedented managerial discretion as the twentieth century drew to a close. With banking the historical pattern paralleled general trends in large (...) measure. Still, while the “imperial” CEO who achieved prominence in the 1980s became outmoded for the most part after corporate scandals at the start of the 2000s, this was not the case with large financial companies. The continued boldness of “star” CEOs in the financial services industry plausibly contributed to the market turmoil of 2008, but the financial crisis emphatically ended the corporate governance “free pass” banks had enjoyed. (shrink)