Very large databases are a major opportunity for science and data analytics is a remarkable new field of investigation in computer science. The effectiveness of these tools is used to support a “philosophy” against the scientific method as developed throughout history. According to this view, computer-discovered correlations should replace understanding and guide prediction and action. Consequently, there will be no need to give scientific meaning to phenomena, by proposing, say, causal relations, since regularities in very large databases are enough: “with (...) enough data, the numbers speak for themselves”. The “end of science” is proclaimed. Using classical results from ergodic theory, Ramsey theory and algorithmic information theory, we show that this “philosophy” is wrong. For example, we prove that very large databases have to contain arbitrary correlations. These correlations appear only due to the size, not the nature, of data. They can be found in “randomly” generated, large enough databases, which—as we will prove—implies that most correlations are spurious. Too much information tends to behave like very little information. The scientific method can be enriched by computer mining in immense databases, but not replaced by it. (shrink)
We study some aspects of the emergence of _lógos_ from _xáos_ on a basal model of the universe using methods and techniques from algorithmic information and Ramsey theories. Thereby an intrinsic and unusual mixture of meaningful and spurious, emerging laws surfaces. The spurious, emergent laws abound, they can be found almost everywhere. In accord with the ancient Greek theogony one could say that _lógos_, the Gods and the laws of the universe, originate from “the void,„ or from _xáos_, a picture (...) which supports the unresolvable/irreducible lawless hypothesis. The analysis presented in this paper suggests that the “laws„ discovered in science correspond merely to syntactical correlations, are local and not universal. (shrink)
If is a random sequence, then the sequence is clearly not random; however, seems to be “about half random”. L. Staiger [Kolmogorov complexity and Hausdorff dimension, Inform. and Comput. 103 159–194 and A tight upper bound on Kolmogorov complexity and uniformly optimal prediction, Theory Comput. Syst. 31 215–229] and K. Tadaki [A generalisation of Chaitin’s halting probability Ω and halting self-similar sets, Hokkaido Math. J. 31 219–253] have studied the degree of randomness of sequences or reals by measuring their “degree (...) of compression”. This line of study leads to various definitions of partial randomness. In this paper we explore some relations between these definitions. Among other results we obtain a characterisation of Σ1-dimension in terms of strong Martin-Löf ε-tests , and we show that ε-randomness for ε is different than the classical 1-randomness. (shrink)
Do the partial order and ortholattice operations of a quantum logic correspond to the logical implication and connectives of classical logic? Rephrased, How far might a classical understanding of quantum mechanics be, in principle, possible? A celebrated result of Kochen and Specker answers the above question in the negative. However, this answer is just one among various possible ones, not all negative. It is our aim to discuss the above question in terms of mappings of quantum worlds into classical ones, (...) more specifically, in terms of embeddings of quantum logics into classical logics; depending upon the type of restrictions imposed on embeddings, the question may get negative or positive answers. (shrink)
Gödel's Incompleteness Theorems have the same scientific status as Einstein's principle of relativity, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, and Watson and Crick's double helix model of DNA. Our aim is to discuss some new faces of the incompleteness phenomenon unveiled by an information-theoretic approach to randomness and recent developments in quantum computing.
Turing’s famous 1936 paper “On computable numbers, with an application to the Entscheidungsproblem” deﬁnes a computable real number and uses Cantor’s diagonal argument to exhibit an uncomputable real. Roughly speaking, a computable real is one that one can calculate digit by digit, that there is an algorithm for approximating as closely as one may wish. All the reals one normally encounters in analysis are computable, like π, √2 and e. But they are much scarcer than the uncomputable reals because, as (...) Turing points out, the computable reals are countable, whilst the uncomputable reals have the power of the continuum. Furthermore, any countable set of reals has measure zero, so the computable reals have measure zero. In other words, if one picks a real at random in the unit interval with uniform probability distribution, the probability of obtaining an uncomputable real is unity. One may obtain a computable real, but that is in- ﬁnitely improbable. But how about individual examples of uncomputable reals? We will show two: H and the halting probability Ω, both contained in the unit interval. Their construction was anticipated in.. (shrink)
Recently, G. ASSER has obtained two interesting characterizations of the class of unary primitive recursive string-functions over a fixed alphabet as Robinson algebras. Both characterizations use a somewhat artificial string-function, namely the string-function lexicographically associated with the number-theoretical excess-over-a-square function. Our aim is to offer two new and natural Robinson algebras which are equivalent to ASSER’S algebras.
The present paper proposes a generalisation of the notion of disjunctive sequence, that is, of an infinite sequence of letters having each finite sequence as a subword. Our aim is to give a reasonable notion of disjunctiveness relative to a given set of sequences F. We show that a definition like “every subword which occurs at infinitely many different positions in sequences in F has to occur infinitely often in the sequence” fulfils properties similar to the original unrelativised notion of (...) disjunctiveness. Finally, we investigate our concept of generalised disjunctiveness in spaces of Cantor expansions of reals. (shrink)
Kitcher has proposed an ideal-theory account—well-ordered science (WOS)— of the collective good that science’s research agenda should promote. Against criticism regarding WOS’s action-guidance, Kitcher has advised critics not to confuse substantive ideals and the ways to arrive at them, and he has defended WOS as a necessary and useful ideal for science policy. I provide a distinction between two types of ideal-theories that helps clarifying WOS’s elusive nature. I use this distinction to argue that the action-guidance problem that WOS faces (...) remains even under the aims/means distinction, because the WOS’s failure is more basic than critics have suggested. (shrink)
In this article, I focus on the problem of body as it is developed in Heidegger’s Zollikon Seminars, in contrast with its enigmatic concealment in Being and Time. In the first part, I emphasize the implicit connection of Heidegger’s approach of body with Husserl’s problematic of Leib and Körper, and with his phenomenological analyses of tactility. In the second part, I focus on Heidegger’s distinction between the limits of the lived body and the limits of the corresponding corporeal thing, opening (...) to an ontological understanding of the ecstatic bodying forth of the body. In the third part, I analyse this ecstatic bodiliness in relation to the problem of spatiality, exploring the tension between the here and the over there in the experience of the embodiment. Heidegger not only refuses to understand the space starting from the here of the body, but he also refuses to understand the body starting from the here of the space. Thus, there are two interconnected inversions that Heidegger operates in relation to Husserl: In the topic of spatiality, he rejects the pre-eminence of the here; in relation to the body, he contests the primacy of tactility. Finally, the conclusion stresses that, even if the bodying forth penetrates almost all behaviour of Dasein in the world, there is however a limit of embodiment, an unreachable frontier beyond any possibility of the bodying forth, namely the understanding of being. This also implies that the problem of body needs be understood in the context of the ontological difference. (shrink)
In this article, I will discuss the Husserlian phenomenology of animality, by focusing on several texts of the 1920s in which the animal is determined as an abnormal variation of the human being. My aim is to address the question of the abnormality of the animal by reintegrating it in its original context, which is Husserl’s theory of normality. I will sketch the general framework of this theory, its articulations and strata, in order to eventually raise some paradoxical issues, specifically (...) in relation to how the question of animality is interpreted through the couple normality/abnormality. (shrink)
In order to grasp the true ethical meaning of Foucault's aesthetics of existence, I begin by explaining in what sense he was an anti-normativist, arguing that the most important thing about the "final" Foucault is his strong emphasis on the idea of human freedom. I go on with a brief discussion about Foucault's sources of inspiration and a criticism of Rorty's kindred plea for "aesthetic life". I strongly reject the interpretation of Foucault's aesthetics of existence in terms of narcissistic individualism, (...) arguing, on the contrary, that it has a definite communitarian dimension. I also claim that it is rooted in the Socratic and Stoic understanding of "care of the self," at the same time allowing new challenging developments fitted for our "post-duty" historical age, by way of analogy with the process of artistic making. I conclude with some short answers to a few questions regarding the status of this aesthetics of living. (shrink)
The purpose of this article is to analyze the significance of the absence of the problem of living body in Heidegger's analytic of Dasein. In order to evaluate the occurrences of the problem of the body in Being and Time, I also refer to the context of some of Heidegger's later work where there is to be found a sketch of an ontological investigation of the living body. I analyze then in detail the scarce occurrences of body in the fundamental (...) ontology, showing finally that the lack of a proper phenomenological examination of living body generates a series of conceptual difficulties for the problem of Dasein's death, precisely when the issue of dead body is at stake. (shrink)
Extreme inequality of opportunity leads to a number of social tensions, inefficiencies and injustices. One issue of increasing concern is the effect inequality is having on people’s fair chances of attaining meaningful work, thus limiting opportunities to make a significant positive contribution to society and reducing the chances of living a flourishing life and developing their potential. On a global scale we can observe an increasingly uneven provision of meaningful work, raising a series of ethical concerns that need detailed examination. (...) The aim of this article is to explore the potential of a normative framework based upon the idea of contributive justice to defend a fairer provision of meaningful work. (shrink)
Two competing accounts of value incomparability have been put forward in the recent literature. According to the standard account, developed most famously by Joseph Raz, ‘incomparability’ means determinate failure of the three classic value relations ( better than , worse than , and equally good ): two value-bearers are incomparable with respect to a value V if and only if (i) it is false that x is better than y with respect to V , (ii) it is false that x (...) is worse than y with respect to V and (iii) it is false that x and y are equally good with respect to V . Most philosophers have followed Raz in adopting this account of incomparability. Recently, however, John Broome has advocated an alternative view, on which value incomparability is explained in terms of vagueness or indeterminacy . In this paper I aim to further Broome’s view in two ways. Firstly, I want to supply independent reasons for thinking that the phenomenon of value incomparability is indeed a matter of the indeterminacy inherent in our comparative predicates. Secondly, I attempt to defend Broome’s account by warding off several objections that worry him, due mainly to Erik Carlson and Ruth Chang. (shrink)
Barnes (2014) has argued in this journal for the following conditional: If there is any metaphysical indeterminacy, this must be at the most fundamental level of reality. To argue for this claim, Barnes relies on two principles that I shall call bivalent completeness and determinate link. According to the former, a complete description is a bivalent assignment of truth values to every sentence. The determinate link, instead, establishes that the determination relation between levels of reality preserves determinacy from one level (...) to another. In response to Barnes’ conclusion, Eva (2018) has recently pointed out that bivalent completeness is question begging. In this paper, I will first show why Eva's line of reasoning can be resisted. My aim will then be to present a stronger case against Barnes’ argument by challenging the determinate link. In the presence of metaphysical indeterminacy, the link between fundamental and derivative facts might itself be the locus of indeterminacy. I will conclude by showing that Barnes and Eva make many unwarranted assumptions regarding both indeterminacy and fundamentality. The logical space around the connection between these two notions appears to be much wider than what they seem to be aware of, or so I will argue. (shrink)
We reply to Artiga and Martinez’s claim according to which the organizational account of cross-generation functions implies a backward looking interpretation of etiology, just as standard etiological theories of function do. We argue that Artiga and Martinez’s claim stems from a fundamental misunderstanding about the notion of “closure”, on which the organizational account relies. In particular, they incorrectly assume that the system, which is relevant for ascribing cross-generation organizational function, is the lineage. In contrast, we recall that organizational closure refers (...) to a relational description of a network of mutual dependencies, abstracted from time, in which production relations are irrelevant. From an organizational perspective, ascribing a function to an entity means locating it in the abstract system that realizes closure. In particular, the position of each entity within the relational system conveys an etiological explanation of its existence, because of its dependence on the effects exerted by other entities subject to closure. Because of the abstract relational nature of closure, we maintain that the organizational account of functions does not endorse a backward looking interpretation of etiology. As a consequence, it does not fall prey of epiphenomenalism. (shrink)
Agroecology has been criticized for being more labor-intensive than other more industrialized forms of agriculture. We challenge the assertion that labor input in agriculture has to be generally minimized and argue that besides quantity of work one should also consider the quality of work involved in farming. Early assessments on work quality condemned the deskilling of the rural workforce, whereas later criticisms have concentrated around issues related to fair trade and food sovereignty. We bring into the discussion the concept of (...) contributive justice to welcome the added labor-intensity of agroecological farming. Contributive justice demands a work environment where people are stimulated to develop skills and learn to be productive. It also suggests a fairer distribution of meaningful work and tedious tasks. Building on the notion of contributive justice we explore which capabilities and types of social relationships are sustainably promoted and reinforced by agroecological farming practices. We argue that agroecological principles encourage a reconceptualization of farm work. Farmers are continuously stimulated to develop skills and acquire valuable experiential knowledge on local ecosystems and agricultural techniques. Further, generalized ecological studies recognize the significance of the farmer’s observations on natural resources management. This contributes to the development of a number of capabilities and leads to more bargaining power, facilitating self-determination. Hereby farm work is made more attractive to a younger generation, which is an essential factor for safeguarding the continuity of family farms. (shrink)
A continuing challenge for researchers and practitioners alike is the lack of data on the effectiveness of corporate–community investment programmes. The focus of this article is on the minerals industry, where companies currently face the challenge of matching corporate drivers for strategic partnership with community needs for programmes that contribute to local and regional sustainability. While many global mining companies advocate a strategic approach to partnerships, there is no evidence currently available that suggests companies are monitoring these partnerships to see (...) if they do, in fact, represent ‘strategic’ investments. This article argues that applying the management concept of ‘investment performance’ to corporate–community partnerships requires questioning traditional evaluation methods that focus on the results of programmes or activities. We adopt a case study approach to introduce an evaluation framework that considers performance from both corporate and community perspectives and that conceptualises partnership performance as comprising four aspects: (1) the contribution of the partnership to the overall portfolio of a company’s community investment programmes, (2) the appropriateness of the partnership model, (3) the effectiveness of the partnering relationship and (4) the ability of the partners to achieve programme goals. The application of this evaluation framework to an established corporate–community partnership programme provided some useful insights as to how partnership performance can be improved. (shrink)
O envelhecimento populacional é uma preocupação mundial e exige medidas de prevenção de saúde a serem adotadas com a maior brevidade possível. Esse processo é, muitas vezes, acompanhado pelo declínio das habilidades cognitivas, como a memória e as funções executivas. O objetivo do presente estudo é ..
Taking people’s longevity as a measure of good life, humankind can proudly say that the average person is living a much longer life than ever before. The AIDS epidemic has however for the first time in decades stalled and in some cases even reverted this trend in a number of countries. Climate change is increasingly becoming a major challenge for food security and we can anticipate that hunger caused by crop damages will become much more common. -/- Since many of (...) the challenges humanity faced in the past were overcome by inventive solutions coming from the life sciences, we are compelled to reconsider how we incentivize science and technology development so that those in need can benefit more broadly from scientific research. There is a huge portion of the world population that is in urgent need for medicines to combat diseases that are currently neglected by the scientific community and could immensely benefit from agricultural research that specifically targets their environmental conditions. At the same time efforts have to be made to make the fruits of current and future research more widely accessible. These changes would have to be backed by a range of moral arguments to attract people with diverging notions of global justice. This article explores the main ethical theories used to demand a greater share in the benefits from scientific progress for the poor. Since life sciences bring about a number of special concerns, a short list of conflictive issues is also offered. (shrink)
This paper intends to examine a tension within Kant's theory of respect for the moral law. Originally, in the Groundwork, respect is conceived by Kant as a mere effect or by-product of the immediate determination of the will by the moral law. However, in the Second Critique, Kant seems to confer to respect a more positive role by assigning to it the task to weaken the influence exercised by the inclinations, thereby promoting the influence of the moral law on the (...) will. We show that this shift in Kant's theory of respect is entirely due to a concession to a widespread model of determination of the will by inclinations, which is of Humean inspiration. Besides, we show that that Humean model must be completely abandoned because it is at odds both with Kant's considered view of moral motivation and of the determination of the will by inclinations.Este artigo tem por objetivo examinar uma tensão existente no interior da teoria kantiana do respeito pela lei moral. Originalmente, na Fundamentação, o respeito é concebido por Kant como um mero efeito ou subproduto da imediata determinação da vontade pela lei moral. Na segunda Crítica, contudo, Kant parece conceder um papel mais positivo ao respeito, dando a ele a tarefa de enfraquecer a influência exercida pelas inclinações, o que contaria como uma promoção da influência da lei moral sobre a vontade. Buscaremos mostrar que essa alteração na teoria kantiana do respeito é inteiramente devida a uma concessão a um difundido modelo de determinação da vontade que é de inspiração humiana. Além disso, buscaremos mostrar que esse modelo humiano tem de ser completamente abandonado, porque ele se choca tanto com a concepção refletida de Kant sobre motivação moral quanto com sua concepção refletida sobre a determinação da vontade pelas inclinações. (shrink)
Mercier and Sperber (2011a, 2011b; Mercier, 2011a, 2011b, 2011c, and 2011d) have presented a stimulating and provocative new theory of reasoning: the argumentative theory of reasoning. They maintain that argumentation is a meta-representational module. In their evolutionary view of argumentation, the function of this module would be to regulate the flow of information between interlocutors through persuasiveness on the side of the communicator and epistemic vigilance on the side of the audience. The aim of this paper is to discuss the (...) perspective of the authors in which they conceive this competence as the natural scenario of reflective reasoning. (shrink)
En este artículo se discute la visión de la teoría de la argumentación como una forma de epistemología aplicada. El punto de partida es la descripción de cuatro perspectivas que se consideran fundadoras de la teoría moderna de la argumentación, para desde allí observar si en ellas hubo un concepto s..
It is always possible to construct a real function f, given random quantities X and Y with continuous distribution functions F and G, respectively, in such a way that f(X) and f(Y), also random quantities, have both the same distribution function, say H. This result of De Finetti introduces an alternative way to somehow describe the `opinion' of a group of experts about a continuous random quantity by the construction of Fields of coincidence of opinions (FCO). A Field of coincidence (...) of opinions is a finite union of intervals where the opinions of the experts coincide with respect to that quantity of interest. We speculate on (dis)advantages of Fields of Opinion compared to usual `probability' measures of a group and on their relation with a continuous version of the well-known Allais' paradox. (shrink)
Beta integrals for several non-integer values of the exponents were calculated by Leonhard Euler in 1730, when he was trying to find the general term for the factorial function by means of an algebraic expression. Nevertheless, 70 years before, Pietro Mengoli had computed such integrals for natural and half-integer exponents in his Geometriae Speciosae Elementa and Circolo and displayed the results in triangular tables. In particular, his new arithmetic–algebraic method allowed him to compute the quadrature of the circle. The aim (...) of this article is to show how Mengoli calculated the values of these integrals as well as how he analysed the relation between these values and the exponents inside the integrals. This analysis provides new insights into Mengoli’s view of his algorithmic computation of quadratures. (shrink)
In order to enlarge the pool of knowledge available in the public domain, temporary exclusive rights are granted to innovators who are willing to fully disclose the information needed to reproduce their invention. After the 20-year patent protection period elapses, society should be able to make free use of the publicly available knowledge described in the patent document, which is deemed useful. Resistance to pesticides destroys however the usefulness of information listed in patent documents over time. The invention, here pesticides, (...) will have a decreased effectiveness once it enters the public domain. In some cases pesticides lose most of their efficacy shortly after temporary exclusive rights expire. Society’s share of the patent bargain—having new useful knowledge available in the public domain—is lost. Resistance can be slowed down, if pesticide use is limited by optimal compliance. Stimulating proper use is generally not compatible with existing market incentives for patent holders, since these have to be able to maximize profits in order to recoup research and development costs and satisfy obligations to the company’s stakeholders. Another incentive system is needed to ensure longevity of pesticides, which at the same time does not hamper future research. (shrink)
One of the most attractive, but nevertheless highly controversial proposals to alleviate the negative effects of today’s international patent regime is the Health Impact Fund (HIF). Although the HIF has been drafted to facilitate access to medicines and boost pharmaceutical research, we have analysed the burdens for the global poor a similar proposal designed to promote the use and development of climate-friendly technologies would have. Drawing parallels from the access to medicines debate, we suspect that an analogous “Climate Impact Fund” (...) will increase the already very high scientific and technological supremacy of the developed world over the Global South. We advocate countering this dominance on the ground that countries with scarce research and development capacities will be in a difficult position to reject technologies and will not have a say on how such technologies should look like. Further, addressing global hazards should be an inclusive endeavour and not only a privilege reserved for the developed world. Incentivizing grassroots innovation would be a major step to promote scientific and technological inclusion. (shrink)
Morphological EvoDevo is a field of biological inquiry in which explicit relations between evolutionary patterns and growth or morphogenetic processes are made. Historically, morphological EvoDevo results from the coming together of several traditions, notably Naturphilosophie, embryology, the study of heterochrony, and developmental constraints. A special feature binding different approaches to morphological EvoDevo is the use of formalisms and mathematical models. Here we will introduce anatomical network analysis, a new approach centered on connectivity patterns formed by anatomical parts, with its own (...) concepts and tools specifically designed for the study of morphological EvoDevo questions. Riedl’s concept of burden is tightly related to the use of anatomical networks, providing a nexus between the evolutionary patterns and the structural constraints that shape them. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to explore the emotional dimensions involved in the phenomenon of interpersonal violence, identifying various modalizations of affectivity occurring in the architectonics of this phenomenon. I will first concentrate on symmetrical violence, namely, on the emergence of irritation, annoyance, anger, and fury leading to fierce confrontation. Next I will explore asymmetrical violence, where the passive pole experiences the imminence of the other’s violence in fear and in being terrified. I will then focus on the experience (...) of the third in the face of violence, showing that here the affectivity is differently constituted each time, depending on the various situations of symmetrical and asymmetrical violence that the third witnesses. Finally, I will contrast the experience of real violence with the experience of violence-as-image, and I will pose several questions regarding the modifications of the affective experience of the third in the face of depicted violence. (shrink)