Near-surface geophysical techniques are extensively used in a variety of engineering, environmental, geologic, and hydrologic applications. While many of these applications ask for detailed, quantitative models of selected material properties, geophysical data are increasingly used to estimate such target properties. Typically, this estimation procedure relies on a two-step workflow including the inversion of geophysical data and the petrophysical translation of the inverted parameter models into the target properties. Standard deterministic implementations of such a quantitative interpretation result in a single best-estimate (...) model, often without considering and propagating the uncertainties related to the two steps. We address this problem by using a rather novel, particle-swarm-based global joint strategy for data inversion and by implementing Monte Carlo procedures for petrophysical property estimation. We apply our proposed workflow to crosshole ground-penetrating radar, P-, and S-wave data sets collected at a well-constrained test site for a detailed geotechnical characterization of unconsolidated sands. For joint traveltime inversion, the chosen global approach results in ensembles of acceptable velocity models, which are analyzed to appraise inversion-related uncertainties. Subsequently, the entire ensembles of inverted velocity models are considered to estimate selected petrophysical properties including porosity, bulk density, and elastic moduli via well-established petrophysical relations implemented in a Monte Carlo framework. Our results illustrate the potential benefit of such an advanced interpretation strategy; i.e., the proposed workflow allows to study how uncertainties propagate into the finally estimated property models, while concurrently we are able to study the impact of uncertainties in the used petrophysical relations. We conclude that such statistical approaches for the quantitative interpretation of geophysical data can be easily extended and adapted to other applications and geophysical methods and might be an important step toward increasing the popularity and acceptance of geophysical tools in engineering practice. (shrink)
Smell 'sensations' are among the most mysterious of conscious experiences, and have been cited in defense of the thesis that the character of perceptual experience is independent of the physical events that seem to give rise to it. Here we review the scientific literature on olfaction, and we argue that olfaction has a distinctive profile in relation to the other modalities, on four counts: in the physical nature of the stimulus, in the sensorimotor interactions that characterize its use, in the (...) structure of its intramodal distinctions and in the functional role that it plays in people's behaviour. We present two thought experiments in which we detail what would be involved in transforming sounds into smells, and also smells into colours. Through these thought-experiments, we argue that the experiential character of smell derives precisely from the structural features of olfaction, and that an embodied account of olfactory phenomenology is called for. (shrink)
Alain Badiou is one of the leading philosophers in the world today. His ground-breaking philosophy is based on a creative reading of set theory, offering a new understanding of what it means to be human by promoting an 'intelligence of change'. Badiou's philosophical system makes our capacity for revolution and novelty central to who we are, and develops an ethical position that aims to make us less anxious about this very capacity. This book presents a comprehensive and engaging account of (...) Badiou's philosophy, including an in-depth discussion of _The Theory of the Subject_, _Being and Event_ and _Logics of Worlds_. In a clear and careful analysis, Ed Pluth considers exactly how Badiou's theoretical 'anti-humanism' is linked up to what is, for all intents and purposes, a practical humanism. Central to this is an account of Badiou’s theory of the subject, and his attempt to develop an 'ethic of truths'. The role of set theory, Marxism, and Lacanian psychoanalysis in Badiou's philosophy is also given close attention. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of philosophy, as well as to all those keen to develop a critical understanding of one of the most controversial and important thinkers of the twentieth century. (shrink)
In this paper I propose and defend a semantically based account of the distribution of DPs in existential there-sentences in English in opposition to the pragmatic account proposed in Zucchi (1995). The two analyses share many features, making it possible to study variation along the semantics/pragmatics dimension while holding the rest constant.
This chapter provides empirical evidence about everyday attitudes concerning euthanasia. These attitudes have important implications for some ethical arguments about euthanasia. Two experiments suggested that some different descriptions of euthanasia have modest effects on people’s moral permissibility judgments regarding euthanasia. Experiment 1 (N = 422) used two different types of materials (scenarios and scales) and found that describing euthanasia differently (‘euthanasia’, ‘aid in dying’, and ‘physician assisted suicide’) had modest effects (≈3 % of the total variance) on permissibility judgments. These (...) effects were largely replicated in Experiment 2 (N = 409). However, in Experiment 2, judgments about euthanasia’s moral permissibility were best predicted by the voluntariness of the treatment. Voluntariness was a stronger predictor than some demographic factors and some domain general elements of moral judgments. These results help inform some debates about the moral permissibility of euthanasia (e.g., the slippery slope argument) suggesting that some of the key premises of those arguments are unwarranted. (shrink)
The rubric autoimmunity currently encompasses sixty to seventy diverse illnesses which affect many of the tissues of the human body. Western medical practice asserts that the crisis known as autoimmune disease arises when a biological organism compromises its own integrity by misrecognising parts of itself as other than itself and then seeks to eliminate these unrecognised and hence antagonistic aspects of itself. That is, autoimmune illnesses seem to manifest the contradictory and sometimes deadly proposition that the “identity”: body/self both is (...) and is not “itself”. Based on the assumption that under normal circumstances “the self” ought to coincide naturally with “the body”—or at the very least the self ought to inhabit the living location of the body more or less unproblematically—this scientific paradigm depicts autoimmune illness as a vital paradox. Yet for those of us who have lived through the experience of an autoimmune crisis, the living paradox that we embody may also lead us to question the basis upon which these medical assumptions rest. This essay raises some of these questions. (shrink)
Novel varieties of interplay between humans, robots and software agents are on the rise. Computer-based artefacts are no longer mere tools but have become interaction partners. Distributed problem solving and social agency may be modelled by social computing systems based on multi-agent systems. MAS and agent-based modelling approaches focus on the simulation of complex interactions and relationships of human and/or non-human agents. MAS may be deployed both in virtual environments and cyber-physical systems. With regard to their impact on the physical (...) environment, such systems possess a virtual actuality in a testbed. They have a real actuality when they are employed in real time in order to govern processes in the natural world. Constellations of inter-agency and distributed agency materialize. This paper presents a multidimensional, gradual classification framework for individual and joint agency. Activity level, adaptivity, interaction and personification of others are essential dimensions. The framework allows constellations of distributed and collective agency in socio-technical systems to be analysed in detail. Scenarios where solely humans act can be compared to testbed simulations based on this classification scheme. (shrink)
In this paper, I explore the question of how the costs of undertaking an important type of climate change mitigation should be shared amongst states seeking an environmentally effective and equitable response to global climate change. While much of the normative literature on climate mitigation has focused on burden sharing within the context of reductions in emissions of greenhouse gas, I explore the question of how the costs of protecting tropical forests in order to harness their climate mitigation potential should (...) be distributed amongst developing and developed states. In response to this question, I outline and defend a ‘beneficiary pays’ account of forestry mitigation burden sharing that requires affluent states to finance measures supporting avoided deforestation while less affluent states, within whose territory these forests tend to be located, implement these measures. The normative basis for this account, I argue, is a principle of ‘unjust enrichment’ according to which developed states must bear much of the cost of avoided deforestation for its climate mitigation potential because of the huge economic benefits their citizens have accumulated from productive activities that have contributed to climate change. (shrink)
This article tells the story of Ed Fredkin, a pilot, programmer, engineer, hardware designer and entrepreneur, whose work inside and outside academia has influenced major developments in computer science and in the foundations of theoretical physics for the past fifty years.
It is argued that the existence of a fluent time with a past, a present, and a future is linked to the existence of experiential points of view with non-conceptual contents. There cannot be a fluent time without points of view with non-conceptual contents, and there cannot be such points of view without a fluent time. The main components and consequences of these ideas are analysed. The non-conceptual contents of our experience are tensed entities capable of making true some tensed (...) truths. A crucial distinction is assumed among being external to all points of view, being internal to some points of view, and being internal to the subjects having those points of view. Fluent time would be internal to some points of view without being internal to the subjects. That way, even if fluent time cannot be placed in the physical world, such as that physical world is conceptualised by our physical sciences, it could not be said to be merely subjective either. The notion of a fluent time, always internal to our experiential points of view, is also distinguished from the notion of having a temporal point of view. Temporal points of view are a peculiar kind of, in a certain sense reflective, points of view. It is by adopting some temporal points of view that we come both to identify a fluent time and to be able to postulate a physical time. (shrink)
For courses in the Philosophy of Religion, taught in either Philosophy or Religious Studies departments. This book provides a concise introduction to the main ideas and issues in philosophical theology. While covering a wide range of classic and contemporary perspectives, the text stresses a historical approach, focussing primarily on the development of philosophical theology in the Judeo-Christian tradition.
In the present paper I argue that luck attributions are structured by points of view. In particular, whether one is prepared to say that an event or a person is lucky is partly determined by one’s temporal perspective. If an event is seen in isolation, at a moment in time, it might not be a matter of luck at all, but when the same event is considered as an element in a temporal series, then it becomes either lucky or unlucky. (...) Since neither temporal point of view enjoys any kind of logical priority or metaphysical privilege, it is not possible to make consistent assignments of luck without first assuming a synchronic or a diachronic point of view. Since no extant theory of luck acknowledges or incorporates such points of view, all fall short of adequacy. This failure matters broadly in philosophy, because understanding luck underwrites a number of philosophical projects. (shrink)
This book seeks to arrive at a better understanding of the relationships between the objective and subjective aspects of time. It discusses the existence of fluent time, a controversial concept in many areas, from philosophy to physics. Fluent time is understood as directional time with a past, a present and a future. We experience fluent time in our lives and we adopt a temporal perspective in our ways of knowing and acting. Nevertheless, the existence of fluent time has been debated (...) for both philosophical and scientific reasons, thus creating a rift between the subjective and objective aspects of time. Starting from the basic notion of points of view, or perspectives, this book explores the relationships between objective or external time, as it has been conceptualized by science, and subjective or internal time, which is involved in our lived experiences. It establishes a general framework encompassing the nature, structure and mode of existence of points of view, in which the objective and subjective aspects of time can be integrated. The book mainly addresses researchers and postgraduates in philosophy and logic. Additionally, it offers inspiration for physicists and computer scientists involved in the modeling and simulation of complex behaviors for which the representation of internal time should be considered together with the notion of objective, external time. (shrink)
This book draws together the latest work from scholars around the world using subjective well-being data to understand and compare well-being across countries and cultures. Starting from many different vantage points, the authors reached a consensus that many measures of subjective well-being, ranging from life evaluations through emotional states, based on memories and current evaluations, merit broader collection and analysis. Using data from the Gallup World Poll, the World Values Survey, and other internationally comparable surveys, the authors document wide divergences (...) among countries in all measures of subjective well-being, The international differences are greater for life evaluations than for emotions. Despite the well-documented differences in the ways in which subjective evaluations change through time and across cultures, the bulk of the very large international differences in life evaluations are due to differences in life circumstances rather than differences in the way these differences are evaluated. (shrink)
This chapter argues for a notion of time that allows time travel. In order to time traveling to happen, in contrast to Presentism, the chapter demonstrates that we can change the past and we have some place where to travel. It shows the advantages of a non-presentist ontology that advocates for indeterminacy of future facts based not on its absence of truth-value, but on the overdetermination of future facts. The conclusion is that to break the causal chain is impossible in (...) we are placed in the same causal line. But if we rethink the time traveling as a trans-world traveling, it is possible to open a new causal line anytime that someone travel in time, to the past as well as to the future. (shrink)
This paper describes how the entire universe might be considered an eigenstate determined by classical limiting conditions within it. This description is in the context of an approach in which the path of each relativistic particle in spacetime represents a fine-grained history for that particle, and a path integral represents a coarse-grained history as a superposition of paths meeting some criteria. Since spacetime paths are parametrized by an invariant parameter, not time, histories based on such paths do not evolve in (...) time but are rather histories of all spacetime. Measurements can then be represented by orthogonal states that correlate with specific points in such coarse-grained histories, causing them to decohere, allowing a consistent probability interpretation. This conception is applied here to the analysis of the two slit experiment, scattering and, ultimately, the universe as a whole. The decoherence of cosmological states of the universe then provides the eigenstates from which our “real” universe can be selected by the measurements carried out within it. (shrink)
Philosophical accounts of joint action are often prefaced by the observation that there are two different senses in which several agents can intentionally perform an action Φ, such as go for a walk or capture the prey. The agents might intentionally Φ together, as a collective, or they might intentionally Φ in parallel, where Φ is distributively assigned to the agents, considered as a set of individuals. The accounts are supposed to characterise what is distinctive about activities in which several (...) agents intentionally Φ collectively rather than distributively. This dualism between joint and parallel action also crops up outside philosophy. For instance, it has been imported into a debate about whether or not group hunting among chimpanzees is a form of joint cooperative hunting. I offer an account of a form of joint action that falls short of what most philosophers take to be required for genuine joint action, but which is not merely parallel activity. This shows that the dualism between the genuinely joint and the merely parallel is false. I offer my account as an explication of an influential definition of “cooperative behaviour” given by the primatologists Christophe and Hedwig Boesch. (shrink)
For a minority of children managed in the NICU, there is a need for more complex technologic assistance in order to sustain life, mitigate a more chronic debilitation from a pervasive life-limiting condition, or provide a bridge from life-sustaining therapy to a more semi-permanent treatment such as organ transplantation. This chapter will address two major types of technology assistance for infants and children—tracheostomy and assisted home ventilation, and dialysis—and the myriad complications and considerations that they raise. Some attention to why (...) clinicians may be so inclined to impose technology as a solution to life-limiting conditions will be noted, as well as why some parents may seem to insist on pursuing technology. (shrink)
Under the normal assumptions of quantum field theory, Haag’s theorem states that any field unitarily equivalent to a free field must itself be a free field. Unfortunately, the derivation of the Dyson series perturbation expansion relies on the use of the interaction picture, in which the interacting field is unitarily equivalent to the free field but must still account for interactions. Thus, the traditional perturbative derivation of the scattering matrix in quantum field theory is mathematically ill defined. Nevertheless, perturbative quantum (...) field theory is currently the only practical approach for addressing scattering for realistic interactions, and it has been spectacularly successful in making empirical predictions. This paper explains this success by showing that Haag’s Theorem can be avoided when quantum field theory is formulated using an invariant, fifth path parameter in addition to the usual four position parameters, such that the Dyson perturbation expansion for the scattering matrix can still be reproduced. As a result, the parameterized formalism provides a consistent foundation for the interpretation of quantum field theory as used in practice and, perhaps, for better dealing with other mathematical issues. (shrink)
Biotechnologies are transforming human existence and their potential ever increasing. The discovery of the DNA double helix in 1953 paved the way for genetic medicine and even the possibility to alter the genetic makeup of human beings. Since then, the capacity of the human being to learn about and intervene in his own biological makeup has not ceased to grow.
This article probes the advisability of regulating U.S. food and drug safety according to the precautionary principle. To do so, a precautionary regulatory regime is formulated on the basis of the beliefs that motivate most proponents of this initiative. That hypothetical regime is critically analyzed on the basis of an actual instantiation of a similarly stylized initiative. It will be argued that the precautionary principle entails regulatory constraints that are apt to violate basis tenets of political legitimacy. The modifications that (...) would change this finding would also change precautionary regulation to the point that it would be indistinguishable from orthodox safety protocols. It is concluded on the basis of its impoverished content that the precautionary principle should not be taken seriously as a formal approach to the regulation of U.S. food and drug safety. (shrink)
This study is a careful and logical analysis of the concept “free will.” Its aim is to retrieve and defend the idea that the agent has some genuine power of self-determination, that is, that “the agent, as free, is the ultimate creator of her own purposes”. It carefully looks into the mystery of free will without an uncritical jump into speculation. It is logical in that it steadfastly raises arguments on both sides of the issue as it works its way (...) to its thesis. It is a helpful summary of the debate of the last 25 years on free will. In addition to this, the book is a significant advancement. (shrink)
Public debates on reality television often address the display of emotion and immoral conduct. Television scholars have recently proposed that while reality television offers its audience an opportunity to learn valuable lessons, they rarely address the issue of the morality of the genre. In this contribution, we analyze the display of emotion and immoral conduct in the Dutch reality show The Golden Cage. Reality television is viewed as constituting a ‘moral laboratory’. The question guiding our research revolved around the kind (...) of exercise this moral laboratory provides for. A dramaturgical study of the display of actions and emotions as part of participant “projects” was used to answer this question. Results indicate that moral issues and emotions were continuously at stake, and immoral conduct appeared to be coupled with pleasurable emotions. It is concluded that the laboratory of The Golden Cage is at least equally suited for exercising autonomy and identity performance under competitive pressure as it is for the simulation of moral conflicts. (shrink)
If, as the title of this book suggests, the state of Tractatus commentary has at times recently resembled something close to a state of war, then it has most of all resembled a war of attrition. Against this background, Roger White's "Throwing the Baby Out with the Ladder" makes for refreshing reading. To be sure, White repeats some of the familiar misconceptions of what resolute readers do or must claim that have marred the debate over the adequacies or inadequacies of (...) such an approach to the Tractatus (TLP). But he also introduces some novel and interesting lines of criticism that merit serious attention. Foremost among the latter is White's treatment (in Section III of his paper) of three engaging examples that he sees as making trouble for resolute readers, and for their opposition to the standard idea that the lesson of the Tractatrrs could consist in its communicating, and our grasping, ineffable insights by way of its nonsense-sentences. (shrink)
As we rapidly approach the 50th year of the much‐celebrated ‘cognitive revolution’, it is worth reflecting on its widespread impact on individual disciplines and areas of multidisciplinary endeavour. Of specific concern in this paper is the example of the influence of cognitivism's equation of mind and computer in education. Within education, this paper focuses on a particular area of concern to which both mind and computer are simultaneously central: educational technology. It examines the profound and lasting effect of cognitive science (...) on our understandings of the educational potential of information and communication technologies, and further argues that recent and multiple ‘signs of discontent’, ‘crises’ and even ‘failures’ in cognitive science and psychology should result in changes in these understandings. It concludes by suggesting new directions that educational technology research might take in the light of this crisis of cognitivsm. (shrink)