We generalize two classical results on cylindric algebra to certain expansions of cylindric algebras where the extra operations are defined via first order formulas. The first result is the Neat Embedding Theorem of Henkin and the second is Monk's classical non-finitizability result of the class of representable algebras. As a corollary we obtain known classical results of Johnson and Biro published in the Journal of Symbolic logic.
I discuss two subjects in Samir Okasha’s excellent book, Evolution and the Levels of Selection. In consonance with Okasha’s critique of the conventionalist view of the units of selection problem, I argue that conventionalists have not attended to what realists mean by group, individual, and genic selection. In connection with Okasha’s discussion of the Price equation and contextual analysis, I discuss whether the existence of these two quantitative frameworks is a challenge to realism.
Evolution and Rationality marks the end of a three-year project, ‘Evolution, Cooperation, and Rationality’, directed at the University of Bristol by the book’s editors, Samir Okasha and Ken Binmore. The collection draws together the editors’ pick of the papers delivered at the conferences the project hosted, and covers a wide range of topics at the intersection of evolutionary theory and the social sciences. It is a splendid anthology: timely, interdisciplinary, thematically cohesive, and full of substantive and interesting disagreements between (...) the contributors. (shrink)
After a thorough examination of the claim that "the underdetermination of theory by evidence forces us to seek sociological explanations of scientists' cognitive choices", Samir Okasha concludes that the only significant problem with this argument is that the thesis of underdetermination is not adequately supported. Against Okasha, I argue (1) that there is a very good reason to question the inference from the underdetermination of a theory to a sociological account of that theory's acceptance, and (2) that Okasha's own (...) objection to the argument is too weak. (shrink)
In this article I revisit the ideas of Antonio Gramsci and Nikolai Bukharin from a contextual perspective to argue for a revision in the way current scholarship on Gramsci interprets his thought as fundamentally at odds with that of Bukharin. I show in particular that if we resist the temptation to reduce Bukharin to the level of his 1921 book, Historical Materialism, and concentrate instead on his more sophisticated NEP writings of the mid-1920s a series of symmetries in the advanced (...) thought of these two key thinkers of early 20th century Marxism emerges that have been poorly recognised in the literature on Gramsci to date. (shrink)
This paper attempts to deepen the already rich exchange between Caribbean scholars and the distinguished African scholar Samir Amin. In particular, it attempts to expand the exchanges on the relations between philosophy, economics and culture. The expansion uncovers hidden but significant complementary relations between the contributions of Caribbean scholars, such as C.L.R. James, Lloyd Best, and Sylvia Wynter, and the work of Amin on philosophy economics and culture.
The use of networks as an explanatory framework is widespread in the literature that surrounds technology and information society. The three books reviewed here — The Wealth of Networks by Yochai Benkler, Decoding Liberation: The Promise of Free and Open Source Software by Samir Chopra and Scott Dexter, and The Exploit: A Theory of Networks by Alexander Galloway and Eugene Thacker — all make a claim to the novelty that networks provide to their subject matter. By looking closely at (...) the way in which the network is utilized in each of the texts, this review attempts to question the extent to which a network analysis can ground a claim about a discontinuity in technology, society or economics. (shrink)
This paper studies Bukharin’s Theory and Practice from the Standpoint of Dialectical Materialism presented at the 2nd International Congress of the History of Science in London, June 29–July 3, 1931. Bukharin’s paper has not received the attention it deserves despite the fact that it provides the theoretical framework for the paper mostly highlighted in this Congress, Boris Hessen’s The Social and Economic Roots of Newton’s Principia. In this work, I try to show that Bukharin’s main achievement is a theory of (...) science based on the concept of practice and at the same time present the internal coherence and the logical structure of Bukharin’s schema. Finally, I discuss what, in my opinion, is a drawback in Bukharin’s paper: his failure to discuss the possibility for scientific objectivity. (shrink)
The replacement, under totalitarian regimes, of multiple sources of information with a single information monopoly confers an indeterminacy on the concepts of truth, fact, objectivity, and reality. From a pragmatist perspective, these words can then no longer mean exactly what they mean to speakers accustomed to freedom of discussion and inquiry. This corruption of discourse is detailed, e.g., in Arthur Koestler's Darkness at Noon, where criteria for belief?formation are ultimately completely divorced from the objects of belief. Like George Orwell, Koestler (...) postulates a coherent totalitarian perspective, in which the objects of belief are no longer relevant to belief?formation. The present article argues that, once the connection between belief?formation and the object of belief is severed, one can no longer have a coherent body of belief. There is also no evidence that this connection was ever severed in the mind of Koestler's historical protagonist Bukharin, who thus differs from his counterpart Rubashov in Koestler's novel. On the other hand, Koestler's critics are at fault for exaggerating the contrast between Rubashov and the historical Bukharin. The latter's confession at the Moscow Trials can be best understood as a testimony to the epistemically and linguistically corruptive process detailed in Koestler's novel. (shrink)