We present an experimental test of the validity of the Pauli Exclusion Principle for electrons based on the concept put forward a few years ago by Ramberg and Snow. In this experiment we perform a very accurate search of X-rays from the Pauli-forbidden atomic transitions of electrons in the already filled 1S shells of copper atoms. Although the experiment has a simple structure, it poses deep conceptual and interpretational problems. Here we describe the experimental method and recent experimental results, which (...) we interpret as an upper limit for the probability to violate the Pauli Exclusion Principle. We present also future plans to upgrade the experimental apparatus using Silicon Drift Detectors. (shrink)
In this paper we describe an experimental test of the validity of the Pauli Exclusion Principle (for electrons) which is based on a straightforward idea put forward a few years ago by Ramberg and Snow (Phys. Lett. B 238:438, 1990). We perform a very accurate search of X-rays from the Pauli-forbidden atomic transitions of electrons in the already filled 1S shells of copper atoms. Although the experiment has a very simple structure, it poses deep conceptual and interpretational problems. Here we (...) describe the experimental method and recent experimental results, which we interpret in the framework of quon theory. We also present future plans to upgrade the experimental apparatus using Silicon Drift Detectors. (shrink)
We present the idea of searching for X-rays as a signature of the mechanism inducing the spontaneous collapse of the wave function. Such a signal is predicted by the continuous spontaneous localization theories, which are solving the “measurement problem” by modifying the Schrödinger equation. We will show some encouraging preliminary results and discuss future plans and strategy.
E. J. Lowe, a prominent figure in contemporary metaphysics, sets out and defends his theory of what there is. His four-category ontology is a metaphysical system which recognizes four fundamental categories of beings: substantial and non-substantial particulars and substantial and non-substantial universals. Lowe argues that this system has an explanatory power which is unrivalled by more parsimonious theories and that this counts decisively in its favour. He shows that it provides a powerful explanatory framework for a unified account of causation, (...) dispositions, natural laws, natural necessity and many other related matters, thus constituting a full metaphysical foundation for natural science. (shrink)
O presente artigo examina o projecto ético-politico de Richard Rorty nas suas vertentes teórica (enquanto projecto ideal de sociedade - a democracia liberal) e prática (enquanto tentativa de efectivação dessa Utopia). Porém, uma análise atenta permite concluir que ele redunda no seguinte paradoxo: por um lado, Rorty argumenta que a democracia liberal é o 'melhor regime político', mas, por outro, admite que ele não é realizável na prática. O autor do artigo vai mais longe: se fosse realizável, tornar-se-ia num dos (...) 'piores regimes políticos'. Sugere-se que as diflculdades no pensamento rortyano não estão tanto nos pressupostos, mas antes no modo como deriva as suas conclusões porque: algumas vezes as conclusões não são deriváveis das premissas; noutras são simplesmente contraditórias. /// This article examines Richard Rorty s ethical and political project both in its theoretical (as an ideal social project - a liberal democracy) and practical (as an attempt to implement this Utopia) aspects. However, a closer analysis permits us to conclude that it falls into the following paradox: on the one hand, Rorty argues that liberal democracy is the 'best political regime', but, on the other, he admits that it cannot be put into practice. The author of the article goes further: if it could be realized, it would be one of the 'worst political regimes'. It is suggested that the difficulties in Rorty's thought are not so much at the level of the presuppositions but rather in the way it derives its conclusions because: sometimes the conclusions are not derivable from the premises; at other times they are simply contradictory. (shrink)
Taking into account significant developments in the metaphysical thinking of E. J. Lowe over the past 20 years, _More Kinds of Being:A Further Study of Individuation, Identity, and the Logic of Sortal Terms_ presents a thorough reworking and expansion of the 1989 edition of _Kinds of Being_ Brings many of the original ideas and arguments put forth in _Kinds of Being_ thoroughly up to date in light of new developments Features a thorough reworking and expansion of the earlier work, rather (...) than just a new edition Reflects the author's conversion to what he calls 'the four-category ontology,' a metaphysical system that takes its inspiration from Aristotle Provides a unified discussion of individuation and identity that should prove to be essential reading for philosophers working in metaphysics. (shrink)
Jonathan Lowe argues that metaphysics should be restored to a central position in philosophy, as the most fundamental form of inquiry, whose findings underpin those of all other disciplines. He portrays metaphysics as charting the possibilities of existence, by identifying the categories of being and the relations between them. He sets out his own original metaphysical system, within which he seeks to answer many of the deepest questions in philosophy. 'a very rich book... deserves to be read carefully by anyone (...) interested in any of the many subjects he discusses.' Katherine Hawley, British Journal of the Philosophy of Science. (shrink)
Rosenberg argues that economists have embraced the methodology of scientific research programs, and the writings of Imre Lakatos, at the same time that philosophers have been abandoning that approach. According to Rosenberg, the methodology of scientific research programs appears to allow some work in economics, which is neither tested nor testable, to be “scientific” nonetheless. That is, MSRP justifies some current practices which look hard to justify on strict falsificationist, or dogmatic positivist, grounds.
First published in 1903, this volume revolutionized philosophy and forever altered the direction of ethical studies. A philosopher’s philosopher, G. E. Moore was the idol of the Bloomsbury group, and Lytton Strachey declared that Principia Ethica marked the rebirth of the Age of Reason. This work clarifies some of moral philosophy’s most common confusions and redefines the science’s terminology. Six chapters explore: the subject matter of ethics, naturalistic ethics, hedonism, metaphysical ethics, ethics in relation to conduct, and the ideal. Moore's (...) simplicity of style and precise use of everyday language exercised an enormous influence on the development of analytic philosophy, and they contribute to the continuing resonance of his compelling arguments. (shrink)
In this innovative study of the relationship between persons and their bodies, E. J. Lowe demonstrates the inadequacy of physicalism, even in its mildest, non-reductionist guises, as a basis for a scientifically and philosophically acceptable account of human beings as subjects of experience, thought and action. He defends a substantival theory of the self as an enduring and irreducible entity - a theory which is unashamedly committed to a distinctly non-Cartesian dualism of self and body. Taking up the physicalist challenge (...) to any robust form of psychophysical interactionism, he shows how an attribution of independent causal powers to the mental states of human subjects is perfectly consistent with a thoroughly naturalistic world view. He concludes his study by examining in detail the role which conscious mental states play in the human subject's exercise of its most central capacities for perception, action, thought and self-knowledge. (shrink)
The science underlying global warming, climate change, and the connections between these phenomena are reviewed. Projected future climate changes under various plausible scenarios of future human behavior are explored, as are the potential impacts of projected climate changes on society, ecosystems, and our environment. The economic, security, and ethical considerations relevant to determining the threat posed by climate change are subsequently assessed. The article then discusses the various means available for climate change mitigation, focusing on the relative strengths and weaknesses (...) of various societal alternatives including ‘geoengineering’ and transitioning to less carbon intensive energy sources. The article concludes with the author's views as to what steps might most profitably be taken to avert dangerous anthropogenic interference with Earth's climate, and the ramifications if such steps are not taken. (shrink)
A systematic overview of modern metaphysics, A Survey of Metaphysics covers all of the most important topics in the field. It adopts the fairly traditional conception of metaphysics as a subject that deals with the deepest questions that can be raised concerning the fundamental structure of reality as a whole. The book is divided into six main sections that address the following themes: identity and change, necessity and essence, causation, agency and events, space and time, and universals and particulars. It (...) focuses on contemporary views and issues throughout, rather than on the history of metaphysics. (shrink)
This chapter introduces W.E.B. Du Bois’s original political thought and his strategies for political advocacy. It is limited to explaining the pressure he puts on the liberal social contract tradition, which prioritizes the public values of freedom and equality for establishing fair and inclusive terms of political membership. However, unlike most liberal theorists, Du Bois’s political thought concentrates on the politics of race, colonialism, gender, and labor, among other themes, in order to redefine how political theorists and activists should build (...) a democratic polity that is truly free and equal for all. Additionally, this chapter defines some key concepts Du Bois developed to scrutinize a white-controlled world that does not welcome black and brown persons as moral equals. These trailblazing concepts include: the doctrine of racialism, double consciousness, and Pan-Africanism. Finally, this chapter defends Du Bois’s contributions to black feminist thought and American labor politics, which inspired major social justice movements in the twentieth century, in which he played a notable role. (shrink)
In the first half of the 1970s, two books appeared which have subsequently been regarded as major works in political philosophy: John Rawls's A Theory of Justice, and Robert Nozick's Anarchy, State, and Utopia. Economists have devoted a considerable amount of ink to commentary, pro and con, on A Theory of Justice ; and it is getting to be a rare public finance textbook that does not, in its discussion of governmental redistribution, describe the Kantian contract made behind the veil (...) of ignorance. On the other hand, while Nozick has not exactly been ignored, economists have not joined the debate over Anarchy, State, and Utopia with the same gusto. When economists have joined the debate, their concern has been, more often than not, with Nozick's entitlement theory of distributive justice, as is the case with Varian and Sen. What is largely missing, then, is any economic analysis of the processes that give rise to Nozick's morally legitimate state, which he calls the minimal state, and the characteristics and likely activities of the minimal state within the moral boundaries set by Nozick, his assertions to the contrary notwithstanding. (shrink)
The path of those who would approach the study of Bentham's writings on Evidence has been considerably smoothed by the recent publication of William Twining's work on the evidence theories of Bentham and Wigmore. The material on evidence is now being tackled by the Bentham Project. It presents no easy task. The central core, The Rationale of Judicial Evidence, edited and published by John Stuart Mill in 1827, exists only in the printed version, the MSS from which Mill worked having (...) disappeared. But a substantial body of related material which survives has yet to be thoroughly investigated, though William Twining has made a gallant start. A new edition of the work hitherto known as ‘An Introductory View of the Rationale of Evidence’, first printed in full in the Bowring edition of the Works of Jeremy Bentham is in preparation. The first fruits of this endeavour is that the title of that work as it should appear in due course in the new Collected Works will be Introduction to the Rationale of Evidence: An Introductory View for the Use of Lawyers as well as Non-lawyers, the title in fact given to the work by Bentham. It is intended that what follows should similarly be of use to non-lawyers as well as lawyers. (shrink)
In 1954 H. L. A. Hart wrote that Austin's work has ‘never, since his death … been ignored’. If it never has been completely ignored, interest in it has periodically waxed and waned. The interest definitely waxed in the 1980s. More books were published about Austin in this period than in any other decade since his death in 1859. Although this literature contains discussions of some of the nineteenth-century responses to his work, they are not the focus of it. Certain (...) of the responses remain completely in the dark, while there is more light to shed on at least some of the others. In short, our knowledge of nineteenth-century interpretations of Austin's legal philosophy is very incomplete. (shrink)
The idea of a constitutional freedom of association was embraced by the U.S. Supreme Court in the mid-twentieth century as implicit in the First Amendment. Although initially endorsed by the Court as a fundamental freedom that was necessarily entwined with the freedom of speech when confronted with cases in the 1930s and 1940s of local government officials cracking down on speakers and assemblies discussing strikes and labor unions, the justices were far more divided and skeptical of freedom of association claims (...) in cases from the mid-1940s through the early 1960s when state and national government officials were pursuing a variety of anticommunist measures. This article examines the early jurisprudential development of the constitutional freedom of association and its grounding in the First Amendment, and suggests some of the limits that the notion always carried with it. Politics and jurisprudence combined to limit its applicability in the anticommunism cases. (shrink)
English philosopher George Edward Moore (1873-1958) developed the chief modern theory of ethics, Ideal Utilitarianism. A Defense of Realism examines Moore's conception of philosophy and his views on the importance of metaphysics, presenting and evaluating the Principia Ethica author's criticisms and refutations of certain philosophical positions, especially idealism, naive realism, phenomenalism, and pragmatism. Klemke gives a detailed analysis and an appraisal of Moore's defense of common sense, and concentrates on Moore's realism, beginning with the reality of entities in the natural (...) universe, and proofs of the external world. Finally, Klemke analyzes and enhances through personal argument Moore's views on the reality of various nonnatural entities crucial to Moore's defense of philosophical realism. (shrink)
As Sir Thomas Browne solemnly observed in his Religio Medici, “Heresies perish not with their authors but, like the river Arethusa, though they have lost their currents in one place, they rise up in another.” So too with the economist's valuation of life, the heresy being that–without seriously challenging the current concept of subjective valuation of changes in risk–economists have regressed to the once-persistent belief that it bears some quantitative relation, if not to expected earnings, at least to the utility (...) of expected earnings or capital or consumption. This old-tyme recipe for estimating the value of a human life – notwithstanding the ornate convolutions and occasional intellectual effronteries to be found in the more recent versions–is much like that for calculating the value of a two-week honeymoon for a loving couple by reference to their anticipated outlays plus perhaps an allowance for the probability of non-consummation owing to frigidity in either. (shrink)
I discuss the exact meaning of the thesis according to which the object of scientific knowledge is necessary. The thesis is expressed by Aristotle in the Posterior Analytics, in his definition of scientific knowledge. The traditional interpretation understands this definition as depending on two parallel and independent requirements, the causality requirement and the necessity requirement. Against this interpretation, I try to show, through the examination of several passages that refer to the definition of scientific knowledge, that the necessity requirement specifies (...) more exactly the causality requirement: what cannot be otherwise is the explanatory relation between the explanandum and the cause by which it is what it is. (shrink)
In this book Jonathan Lowe offers a lucid and wide-ranging introduction to the philosophy of mind. Using a problem-centred approach designed to stimulate as well as instruct, he begins with a general examination of the mind-body problem and moves on to detailed examination of more specific philosophical issues concerning sensation, perception, thought and language, rationality, artificial intelligence, action, personal identity and self-knowledge. His discussion is notably broad in scope, and distinctive in giving equal attention to deep metaphysical questions concerning the (...) mind and to the discoveries and theories of modern scientific psychology. It will be of interest to any reader with a basic grounding in modern philosophy. (shrink)
Grosz gives a critical overview of Lacan's work from a feminist perspective. Discussing previous attempts to give a feminist reading of his work, she argues for women's autonomy based on an indifference to the Lacanian phallus.
This is a collection of published and unpublished essays by distinguished philosopher Michael E. Bratman of Stanford University. They revolve around his influential theory, know as the "planning theory of intention and agency." Bratman's primary concern is with what he calls "strong" forms of human agency--including forms of human agency that are the target of our talk about self-determination, self-government, and autonomy. These essays are unified and cohesive in theme, and will be of interest to philosophers in ethics and metaphysics.
This paper examines Aristotle’s notion of priority with the specific aim of capturing the sort of priority that characterizes the primacy of substances in his metaphysics. I reject the traditional interpretation, which understands the ontological priority of substances in terms of independent existence. But there are rather two sorts of priority: the ontological priority of substances should be understood in terms of completeness, whereas the ontological priority of “substances-of-something” (the essences) is a causal-explanatory priority. Furthermore, an important piece of Aristotle’s (...) argument against Platonism is that these two sorts of priority – namely, the completeness priority and the causal-explanatory priority – should be kept distinct. (shrink)
Este artigo começa por proceder à caracterização do Estado soberano, perspectivando-o como forma concreta e historicamente situada de organização política e inserindo-o no contexto dos demais modelos que o precederam. De seguida, constata a profunda crise que sobre ele se abateu, manifesta na incapacidade que apresenta, seja para explicar os fenómenos políticos com que nos deparamos diariamente, seja para constituir matriz adequada para a compreensão e explicação do mundo em que vivemos. Por último, lembra os direitos do homem desenvolvidos na (...) sequência da II Guerra Mundial do último século, explorando, por um lado, o carácter profundamente inovador que assumem e, por outro, a revolução que vêm introduzindo no sistema estatal de organização política. Tudo isto em apoio do principal argumento que se apresenta: quebrando o monopólio sobre o direito e o poder político que a modernidade havia consignado aos Estados, os direitos do homem emergem como uma das exigências mais eloquentes de um modelo novo de organização social e política, capaz de corresponder às necessidades que se fazem sentir, de universalidade, de solidariedade e de integração, também em termos jurídicos e políticos. /// This article opens with a characterization of the sovereign State, understood as a material and historically situated form of political organization and inserted in the context of the models that preceded it. In a second moment, it witnesses the profound crisis that has befallen it, evident in its incapacity, either to explain the political phenomenon we face daily, or to constitute an adequate framework for the under-standing and the explanation of the world we live in. Finally, it looks at human rights, as developed after the Second World War of the last century, exploring, on the one hand, their profoundly innovative character and, on the other, the revolution they are introducing in the State system of political organization. All of this in support of the main argument presented: breaking the monopoly over the law and political power that modernity had attributed to the States, human rights emerge as an eloquent demand for a new model of political organization, capable of corresponding to the demands of universality, solidarity and juridical and political integration that are felt in the contemporary world. (shrink)
This is the first collected edition of the writings of the poet, critic, and philosopher T.E. Hulme (1883-1917). Hulme wrote some of the first "modernist" poems in English, helped introduce the philosophy of Henri Bergson to Britain and the U.S., and was one of the first English critics to write about modern art. This edition contains extensive notes to Hulme's writings, together with a substantial biographical and critical introduction.