Employing Searle’s views, I begin by arguing that students of Mathematics behave similarly to machines that manage symbols using a set of rules. I then consider two types of Mathematics, which I call Cognitive Mathematics and Technical Mathematics respectively. The former type relates to concepts and meanings, logic and sense, whilst the latter relates to algorithms, heuristics, rules and application of various techniques. I claim that an upgrade in the school teaching of Cognitive Mathematics is necessary. The aim is to (...) change the current mentality of the stakeholders so as to compensate for the undue value presently attached to Technical Mathematics, due to advances in technology and its applications, and thus render the two sides of Mathematics equal. Furthermore, I suggest a reorganization/systematization of School Mathematics into a cognitive network to facilitate students’ understanding of the subject. The final goal is the transition from mechanical execution of rules to better understanding and in-depth knowledge of Mathematics. (shrink)
Dimitris Vardoulakis asks how it is possible to think of a politics that is not commensurate with sovereignty. For such a politics, he argues, sovereignty is defined not in terms of the exception but as the different ways in which violence is justified. Vardoulakis shows how it is possible to deconstruct the various justifications of violence. Such dejustifications can take place only by presupposing an other to sovereignty, which Vardoulakis identifies with agonistic democracy. In doing so, Sovereignty and Its (...) Other puts forward both a novel critique of sovereignty and an original philosophical theory of democratic practice. (shrink)
Economics has become a monolithic science, variously described as formalistic and autistic with neoclassical orthodoxy reigning supreme. So argue Dimitris Milonakis and Ben Fine in this new major work of critical recollection. The authors show how economics was once rich, diverse, multidimensional and pluralistic, and unravel the processes that lead to orthodoxy’s current predicament. The book details how political economy became economics through the desocialisation and the dehistoricisation of the dismal science, accompanied by the separation of economics from the (...) other social sciences, especially economic history and sociology. It is argued that recent attempts from within economics to address the social and the historical have failed to acknowledge long standing debates amongst economists, historians and other social scientists. This has resulted in an impoverished historical and social content within mainstream economics. The book ranges over the shifting role of the historical and the social in economic theory, the shifting boundaries between the economic and the non-economic, all within a methodological context. Schools of thought and individuals, that have been neglected or marginalised, are treated in full, including classical political economy and Marx, the German and British historical schools, American institutionalism, Weber and Schumpeter and their programme of Socialökonomik, and the Austrian school. At the same time, developments within the mainstream tradition from marginalism through Marshall and Keynes to general equilibrium theory are also scrutinised, and the clashes between the various camps from the famous Methodenstreit to the fierce debates of the 1930s and beyond brought to the fore. The prime rationale underpinning this account drawn from the past is to put the case for political economy back on the agenda. This is done by treating economics as a social science once again, rather than as a positive science, as has been the inclination since the time of Jevons and Walras. It involves transcending the boundaries of the social sciences, but in a particular way that is in exactly the opposite direction now being taken by "economics imperialism". Drawing on the rich traditions of the past, the reintroduction and full incorporation of the social and the historical into the main corpus of political economy will be possible in the future. (shrink)
I examine a major objection to the mechanistic view of concrete computation, stemming from an apparent tension between the abstract nature of computational explanation and the tenets of the mechanistic framework: while computational explanation is medium-independent, the mechanistic framework insists on the importance of providing some degree of structural detail about the systems target of the explanation. I show that a common reply to the objection, i.e. that mechanistic explanation of computational systems involves only weak structural constraints, is not enough (...) to save the standard mechanistic view of computation—it trivialises the appeal to mechanism, and thus makes the account collapse into a purely functional view. I claim, however, that the objection can be put to rest once the account is appropriately amended: computational individuation is indeed functional, while mechanistic explanation plays a role in accounting for computational implementation. Since individuation and implementation are crucial elements in a satisfying account of computation in physical systems, mechanism keeps its central importance in the theory of concrete computation. Finally, I argue that my version of the mechanistic view helps to provide a convincing reply to a powerful objection against non-semantic theories of concrete computation: the argument from the multiplicity of computations. (shrink)
In this article, moving from being to becoming, we construe the ‘self’ as a dynamic process rather than as a static entity. To this end we draw on dialectics and Bayesian accounts of cognition. The former allows us to holistically consider the ‘self’ as the interplay between internalization and externalization and the latter to operationalize our suggestion formally. Internalization is considered here as the co-construction of bodily hierarchical models of the world and the organism, while externalization is taken as the (...) collective transformation of the world. We do not consider these processes as sequentially linked, but rather as a dialectic between the collective and the individual. This leads us to the suggestion of the self as a historical product of dialectical attunement across multiple time scales, from species evolution and culture to individual development and everyday learning. Subsequently, we describe concrete means for empirically testing our proposal in the form of two-person psychophysiology and multi-level analyses of intersubjectivity. Taken together, we suggest that a fine-grained analysis of social interaction might allow us to reconsider the ‘self’ beyond the static individual, i.e. how it emerges and manifests itself in social relations. Such an approach, we believe, could be relevant in multiple fields, from ethics and psychiatry to pedagogy and artificial intelligence. (shrink)
Neuroenhancement offers the prospect of improving the cognitive, emotional and motivational functions of healthy individuals. Of all the conceivable interventions, psychopharmacology provides the most readily available ones, such as antidepressants which are thought to make people “better than well”. However, up until now, whether they possess such an enhancing ability remains controversial and therefore in this systematic review we will evaluate the effect and safety of modern antidepressants in healthy individuals. A search of MEDLINE and EMBASE databases and cross-references was (...) carried out and the pharmaceutical industry was contacted for suitable data. Trials published in any language through the third week of July 2007 were regarded. Included were single or double blind randomised or quasi-randomised controlled trials that compared a placebo to one or more of the following antidepressants: bupropion, citalopram, duloxetine, escitalopram, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, moclobemide, paroxetine, reboxetine, sertraline or venlafaxine in any dose or dosing schedule. Eligible studies were those involving healthy people of any age and either sex who showed no evidence of a psychiatric disorder, cognitive decline or other disease. One hundred thirty-five articles met our inclusion criteria reporting single dose trials and trials with repeated drug administration. Sixty-five of these articles were eligible for a statistical analysis. Based on a linear mixed model, a meta-analysis and a fixed effects meta-regression were performed. Pooling of results by meta-analysis was stratified by the outcome measures mood, emotional processing, wakefulness, attention, memory, and executive functions. On a significance level of p < 0.05 the following significant results emerged: After a single dose of an antidepressant, a significant effect was shown in two of the analysed outcomes. Firstly, there was a small yet significant negative effect on wakefulness. On memory, a positive effect after several measurements was found, but this result could be traced to the results of the one study out of all included studies, which had that many assessment points. The analysis of trials with repeated drug administration yielded the following effects: on mood, a non-significant positive effect was detected that was continuously increasing and reached significance at the last assessment point. Regarding attention, a fluctuating effect was found, while for memory, the fact that the two groups started with a group difference confounded the results. For wakefulness there was no significant effect in any particular assessment point, while for emotional processing and executive functions, the small number of studies did not allow for any effect to emerge. In summary, no consistent evidence for enhancing effects of antidepressants could be found. There is little evidence so far to support the popular opinion that antidepressants have a positive effect on the mood of healthy individuals after repeated administration. No evidence of a significant adverse event profile could be found. The studies included in this systematic review not only provide insufficient evidence for or against any effect in healthy people, but they are inapt to be used for answering this question. This may be explained by the fact that most of them were not designed to examine neuroenhancement effects. The growing public interest in neuroenhancement stands in stark contrast to the paucity of data on enhancement effects of available psychopharmacological agents. (shrink)
The present article aims at investigating the political aspects of Wittgenstein’s later philosophy, focusing mainly on the Philosophical Investigations. This theme remains rather marginal within Wittgensteinian scholarship, facing the key challenge of the sparsity of explicit discussions of political issues in Wittgenstein’s writings. Based on the broader anthropological and synecdochic character of Wittgenstein’s later philosophy, the main objective of the article is to make explicit the implicit political import of some of the main themes of the Philosophical Investigations. This is (...) done by correlating them with certain political concepts and issues, such as reification, mystification, emancipation, self-institution and the common. In such a way, a new light is shed on Wittgenstein’s influence on and his relevance to contemporary political theory, while at the same time the first steps are taken for the enrichment of the discussion regarding personal and social autonomy and the critique of late capit... (shrink)
By looking at its history, this article emphasizes the importance of practical judgment for materialism. This sense of practical judgment is traced back to the function of phronesis in one of the ancient schools of materialism, namely, the Epicureans.
The rhetoric of the social model of disability is presented, and its basic claims are critiqued. Proponents of the social model use the distinction between impairment and disability to reduce disabilities to a single social dimension—social oppression. They downplay the role of biological and mental conditions in the lives of disabled people. Consequences of denying biological and mental realities involving disabilities are discussed. People will benefit most by recognizing both the biological and the social dimensions of disabilities.
Through accessible analyses of Merleau-Ponty’s views of linguistic expression and understanding, and by tracing the evolution of these views throughout the course of his philosophical career, Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Language offers a comprehensive picture of his engagement with the philosophy of language.
Simultaneous critical editions based on all available evidence, with an introduction, English translations, and commentaries of the Greek text and a medieval Arabic translation of Theophrastus s "On First Principles" ( metaphysics ), ...
I analyze a tension at the core of the mechanistic view of computation generated by its joint commitment to the medium independence of computational vehicles and to computational systems possessing teleological functions to compute. While computation is individuated in medium-independent terms, teleology is sensitive to the constitutive physical properties of vehicles. This tension spells trouble for the mechanistic view, suggesting that there can be no teleological functions to compute. I argue that, once considerations about the relevant function-bestowing factors for computational (...) systems are brought to bear, the tension dissolves: physical systems can have the teleological function to compute. (shrink)
In the literature on the nature and role of cognitive representation, three positions are taken across the conceptual landscape: robust realism, primitivism, and eliminativism. Recently, a fourth alternative that tries to avoid the shortcomings of traditional views has been proposed: content pragmatism. My aim is to defend pragmatism about content against some recent objections moved against the view. According to these objections, content pragmatism fails to capture the role played by representation in the cognitive sciences; and/or is an unstable view (...) that ends up collapsing into one of the traditional alternatives. I argue that those arguments fail. I show that content pragmatism has as much claim to descriptive adequacy as the traditional theories. Moreover, I defend the robustness of the view by arguing that it does not collapse into any of the traditional positions. Content pragmatism therefore offers a valid and coherent account of the nature of representational content. (shrink)
_ _In __The Tenets of Cognitive Existentialism__, Dimitri Ginev draws on devel-opments in hermeneutic phenomenology and other programs in hermeneutic philosophy to inform an interpretative approach to scientific practices. At stake is the question of whether it is possible to integrate forms of reflection upon the ontological difference in the cognitive structure of scientific research. A positive answer would have implied a proof that “science is able to think.” This book is an extended version of such a proof. Against those (...) who claim that modern science is doomed to be exclusively committed to the nexus of objectivism and instrumental rationality, the interpretative theory of scientific practices reveals science’s potentiality of hermeneutic self-reflection. Scientific research that takes into consideration the ontological difference has resources to enter into a dialogue with Nature. Ginev offers a critique of postmodern tendencies in the philosophy of science, and sets out arguments for a feminist hermeneutics of scientific research. (shrink)
The subject of this article is the concept of natural liberation in classical Sāṃkhya. On the basis of the Sāṃkhyakārikā by Īśvarakṛṣṇa and its traditional commentaries, I will attempt to demonstrate that liberation from suffering in Sāṃkhya is not the result of rational inquiry—the prevailing view among contemporary scholars. The Sāṃkhya does not necessarily prescribe yogic practice as argued by other scholars. Instead, I will defend a position expressed by K.C. Bhattacharyya and Frank R. Podgorski, according to which liberation in (...) classical Sāṃkhya is a natural and spontaneous process of suffering transforming into its own cure. I will argue that although traditional authorities may disagree over the form the liberating process takes on the phenomenal level, there is a general agreement that the natural forces are the primary drives and agents of liberation. (shrink)
Computational perspectivalism has been recently proposed as an alternative to mainstream accounts of physical computation, and especially to the teleologically-based mechanistic view. It takes physical computation to be partly dependent on explanatory perspectives and eschews appeal to teleology in helping individuate computational systems. I assess several varieties of computational perspectivalism, showing that they either collapse into existing non-perspectival views or end up with unsatisfactory or implausible accounts of physical computation. Computational perspectivalism fails, therefore, to be a compelling alternative to perspective-independent (...) theories of computation in physical systems. I conclude that a teleologically-based, non-perspectival mechanistic account of physical computation is to be preferred. 1Introduction 2The Mechanistic View of Computation 2.1Teleological functions and meeting the desiderata 3Varieties of Perspectivalism 4Computational Perspectivalism 4.1Computational perspectivalism and pancomputationalism 4.2Computational perspectivalism and miscomputation 5The Varieties of Computational Perspectivalism Assessed 5.1Innocuous computational perspectivalism 5.2Non-innocuous computational perspectivalism 5.2.1Computational instrumentalism 5.2.2Ontic perspectivalism 6Concluding Remarks. (shrink)
Scholarly discussions of Merleau-Ponty’s aesthetics tend to focus on his philosophy of painting. By contrast, comparatively little attention has been paid to his philosophy of literature. However, he also draws significant conclusions from his work on literary expression. As I will argue, these reflections inform at least two important positions of his later thought. First, Merleau-Ponty’s account of “indirect” literary language led him to develop a hybrid view of phenomenological expression, on which expression is both creative and descriptive. Second, a (...) study of literature furnished him with the resources to develop a novel account of phenomenological “essences”, which holds that essences are revisable explanations of first-order experience. Both results have been overlooked by commentators. They demonstrate the systematic import of Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy of literature and language, and amount to a qualified extension of a basic Husserlian position. (shrink)
As a prolegomenon to understanding the sense in which dualities are theoretical equivalences, we investigate the intuitive `equivalence' of hyper-regular Lagrangian and Hamiltonian classical mechanics. We show that the symplectification of these theories provides a sense in which they are isomorphic, and mutually and canonically definable through an analog of `common definitional extension'.
We introduce a bimodal epistemic logic intended to capture knowledge as truth in all epistemically alternative states and belief as a generalised ‘majority’ quantifier, interpreted as truth in most of the epistemically alternative states. This doxastic interpretation is of interest in knowledge-representation applications and it also holds an independent philosophical and technical appeal. The logic comprises an epistemic modal operator, a doxastic modal operator of consistent and complete belief and ‘bridge’ axioms which relate knowledge to belief. To capture the notion (...) of a ‘majority’ we use the ‘large sets’ introduced independently by K. Schlechta and V. Jauregui, augmented with a requirement of completeness, which furnishes a ‘weak ultrafilter’ concept. We provide semantics in the form of possible-worlds frames, properly blending relational semantics with a version of general Scott–Montague frames and we obtain soundness and completeness results. We examine the validity of certain epistemic principles discussed in the literature, in particular some of the ‘bridge’ axioms discussed by W. Lenzen and R. Stalnaker, as well as the ‘paradox of the perfect believer’, which is not a theorem of. (shrink)
We discuss ways in which category theory might be useful in philosophy of science, in particular for articulating the structure of scientific theories. We argue, moreover, that a categorical approach transcends the syntax-semantics dichotomy in 20th century analytic philosophy of science.
This paper investigates the regulation of ethical behavior of professionals. Ethical perceptions of South African professionals operating in the business community (specifically accountants, lawyers and engineers) concerning their need for and awareness of professional codes, and the frequency and acceptability of peer contravention of such codes were sought. The existence of conflict between corporate codes and professional codes was also investigated. Results, based on 217 replies, indicated that the professionals believe that codes are necessary and are relatively aware of the (...) contents of such codes. Despite these ethical tendencies, respondents (particularly lawyers) believe that their peers contravene their professional codes relatively often. No significant differences in ethical tendencies between professionals consulting to and those working in business were found. Many respondents were regulated by more than one code of ethics, but few experienced conflict between such codes. In the events of conflict occurring professionals chose to adhere to their professional code above others. (shrink)
In this paper, I attempt to sketch a dialectical approach on scientific representations and their role in scientific cognition. In my understanding, scientific representations can be construed as ‘tools’ mediating scientific cognition. These ‘tools’ are products of our cognitive activity, by which we signify which features of certain objects or states of affairs should be embodied in abstractive representations of them. In such a context, I explore the merits of bringing some ideas of thinkers whose work is underestimated in the (...) relevant discussion nowadays (such as K. Marx, E.V. Ilyenkov, L.S. Vygotsky, M. Wartofsky) in dialogue with currently discussed approaches. (shrink)
In a stimulating paper, Piccione and Rubinstein (1997) argued how a decision maker could undertake dynamically inconsistent choices when, in an extensive form decision problem, she has a particular type of imperfect recall named absentmindedness. Such memory limitation obtains whenever information sets include decision histories along the same decision path. Starting from work focusing on the absentminded driver example, and independently developed by Segal (2000) and Dimitri (1999), the main theorem of this article provides a general result of dynamically consistent (...) choices, valid for a large class of finite extensive form decision problems without nature. (shrink)
While Orthodox Christianity does not find explicit statements about the morality of prolonging life in the usual doctrinal sources, the Scriptures and the Fathers of the Church, there are elements in Tradition which bear upon the issue. These include Orthodox spirituality's emphasis on the “wholeness” of the human person, its liturgical and synergistic view of human life, and its understanding of our moral ambiguity as fallen human beings in a fallen world. This last point, in particular, means that we do (...) not usually have a clear choice between right and wrong, and that we cannot always trust ourselves to know which choice is the right, or even the better one. Therefore, we must always approach decisions about death and dying with humility and in a spirit of repentance, aware of the imperfection of all we do and trusting in the mercy of God. (shrink)
In the Univalent Foundations of mathematics spatial notions like “point” and “path” are primitive, rather than derived, and all of mathematics is encoded in terms of them. A Homotopy Type Theory is any formal system which realizes this idea. In this paper I will focus on the question of whether a Homotopy Type Theory can be justified intuitively as a theory of shapes in the same way that ZFC can be justified intuitively as a theory of collections. I first clarify (...) what such an “intuitive justification” should be by distinguishing between formal and pre-formal “meaning explanations” in the vein of Martin-Löf. I then go on to develop a pre-formal meaning explanation for HoTT in terms of primitive spatial notions like “shape”, “path” etc. (shrink)
The Univalent Foundations of Mathematics provide not only an entirely non-Cantorian conception of the basic objects of mathematics but also a novel account of how foundations ought to relate to mathematical practice. In this paper, I intend to answer the question: In what way is UF a new foundation of mathematics? I will begin by connecting UF to a pragmatist reading of the structuralist thesis in the philosophy of mathematics, which I will use to define a criterion that a formal (...) system must satisfy if it is to be regarded as a “structuralist foundation.” I will then explain why both set-theoretic foundations like ZFC and category-theoretic foundations like ETCS satisfy this criterion only to a very limited extent. Then I will argue that UF is better-able to live up to the proposed criterion for a structuralist foundation than any currently available foundational proposal. First, by showing that most criteria of identity in the practice of mathematics can be formalized in terms of the preferred criterion of identity between the basic objects of UF. Second, by countering several objections that have been raised against UF’s capacity to serve as a foundation for the whole of mathematics. (shrink)
This paper explores family formation and dissolution in the Aegean island of Paros over the period 1894Mediterranean’ marriage pattern, such as low age at marriage for females, high for males and large age gap between spouses, were present in the study population up until the 1980s. The feature of the family cycle that has changed most dramatically over the examined period is age at widowhood, which has increased spectacularly owing to the impressive progress in adult, and especially maternal, mortality that (...) took place in Greece in the post-war years. (shrink)
What is luxury? The concept has never received proper attention in social theory. It seemed as if luxury was a highly economic concept that did not need any further investigation. Primary and secondary needs are considered to form the basis of the luxury concept. Luxury has been viewed as useless and superfluous because it belongs to the realm of desires instead of elementary needs. This definition has often been used to stigmatize the use and demonstration of luxury. The needs-wants dichotomy (...) was severely criticized a few decades ago. Luxury touches more than the question of necessity in society. This article attempts to outline the formulation of a definition of luxury. We leave the classic concept of luxury in favor of a more socio-semiotic approach of the concept. The bounds between luxury and some specific product property will be cut through. There is no such thing as a luxury good comparable to categories like ‘cars,’ or ‘clothes.’ Luxury is defined as a specific kind of sign value, produced in specific narratives and used in processes of stratification. As a sign, it becomes apparent that luxury is a relative concept. Every social group can be said to have its own luxury. Every social group has in fact a different kind of luxury, which means that a Cartier is no luxury in some cases where a television is highly exclusive in other cases. (shrink)
The ability to access and share data is key to optimizing and streamlining any industrial production process. Unfortunately, the manufacturing industry is stymied by a lack of interoperability among the systems by which data are produced and managed, and this is true both within and across organizations. In this paper, we describe our work to address this problem through the creation of a suite of modular ontologies representing the product life cycle and its successive phases, from design to end of (...) life. We call this suite the Product Life Cycle (PLC) Ontologies. The suite extends proximately from The Common Core Ontologies (CCO) used widely in defense and intelligence circles, and ultimately from the Basic Formal Ontology (BFO), which serves as top level ontology for the CCO and for some 300 further ontologies. The PLC Ontologies were developed together, but they have been factored to cover particular domains such as design, manufacturing processes, and tools. We argue that these ontologies, when used together with standard public domain alignment and browsing tools created within the context of the Semantic Web, may offer a low-cost approach to solving increasingly costly problems of data management in the manufacturing industry. (shrink)
Structuralist foundations of mathematics aim for an ‘invariant’ conception of mathematics. But what should be their basic objects? Two leading answers emerge: higher groupoids or higher categories. I argue in favor of the former over the latter. First, I explain why to choose between them we need to ask the question of what is the correct ‘categorified’ version of a set. Second, I argue in favor of groupoids over categories as ‘categorified’ sets by introducing a pre-formal understanding of groupoids as (...) abstract shapes. This conclusion lends further support to the perspective taken by the Univalent Foundations of mathematics. (shrink)
How can the fine-grained phenomenology of conscious experience arise from neural processes in the brain? How does a set of action potentials (nerve impulses) become like the feeling of pain in one's experience? Contemporary neuroscience is teaching us that our mental states correlate with neural processes in the brain. However, although we know that experience arises from a physical basis, we don't have a good explanation of why and how it so arises. The problem of how physical processes give rise (...) to experience is called the 'hard problem' of consciousness and it is the contemporary manifestation of the mind-body problem. This book explains the key concepts that surround the issue as well as the nature of the hard problem and the several approaches to it. It gives a comprehensive treatment of the phenomenon incorporating its main metaphysical and epistemic aspects, as well as recent empirical findings, such as the phenomenon of blindsight, change blindness, visual-form agnosia and optic ataraxia, mirror recognition in other primates, split-brain cases and synaesthesia. (shrink)