Many statistical problems, including some of the most important for physical applications, have long been regarded as underdetermined from the standpoint of a strict frequency definition of probability; yet they may appear wellposed or even overdetermined by the principles of maximum entropy and transformation groups. Furthermore, the distributions found by these methods turn out to have a definite frequency correspondence; the distribution obtained by invariance under a transformation group is by far the most likely to be observed experimentally, in the (...) sense that it requires by far the least “skill.” These properties are illustrated by analyzing the famous Bertrand paradox. On the viewpoint advocated here, Bertrand's problem turns out to be well posed after all, and the unique solution has been verified experimentally. We conclude that probability theory has a wider range of useful applications than would be supposed from the standpoint of the usual frequency definitions. (shrink)
The earliest Analects yet discovered, this work provides us with a new perspective on the central canonical text that has defined Chinese culture--and clearly illuminates the spirit and values of Confucius.
We present the opinion of some authors who believe there is no force between a stationary charge and a stationary resistive wire carrying a constant current. We show that this force is different from zero and present its main components: the force due to the charges induced in the wire by the test charge and a force proportional to the current in the resistive wire. We also discuss briefly a component of the force proportional to the square of the current (...) which should exist according to some models and another component due to the acceleration of the conduction electrons in a curved wire carrying a dc current (centripetal acceleration). Finally, we analyze experiments showing the existence of the electric field proportional to the current in resistive wires. (shrink)
The pioneering work of Edwin T. Jaynes in the field of statistical physics, quantum optics, and probability theory has had a significant and lasting effect on the study of many physical problems, ranging from fundamental theoretical questions through to practical applications such as optical image restoration. Physics and Probability is a collection of papers in these areas by some of his many colleagues and former students, based largely on lectures given at a symposium celebrating Jaynes' contributions, on the occasion (...) of his seventieth birthday and retirement as Wayman Crow Professor of Physics at Washington University. The collection contains several authoritative overviews of current research on maximum entropy and quantum optics, where Jaynes' work has been particularly influential, as well as reports on a number of related topics. In the concluding paper, Jaynes looks back over his career, and gives encouragement and sound advice to young scientists. All those engaged in research on any of the topics discussed in these papers will find this a useful and fascinating collection, and a fitting tribute to an outstanding and innovative scientist. (shrink)
This article retraces progression of Engelhardt’s work so as to place After God in broader context. In The Foundations of Bioethics, Engelhardt argues that given the moral pluralism that is at the core of postmodernity, only a merely formal morality of permission can bind moral strangers in peaceful coexistence. In The Foundations of Christian Bioethics, Engelhardt presents a bioethics that binds Orthodox Christian moral friends. After God shows itself more pessimistic about the possibility of a merely formal morality of moral (...) friends and calls traditional Christians to wage a culture war. These reflections close with some criticisms of Engelhardt’s philosophical-theological project. (shrink)
This paper develops a framework for examining decision making about ethical issues and tests the applicability of a social contract perspective. Using two separate sampIes of students and salespeople, we determine that community members tend to judge a potentially unethical act to constitute a violation of an implicit social contract and non-communitymembers do not. Also, consistent with the emphasis on context specificity of integrative social contracts theory, situational variables influence perceptions of ethicality for the community members, but do not affect (...) the perceptions of individuals outside the community. The study finds considerable support for the use of a social contractarian perspective in the study of decision-making processes about ethical issues. (shrink)
One of the most dominant approaches to semantics for relevant (and many paraconsistent) logics is the Routley-Meyer semantics involving a ternary relation on points. To some (many?), this ternary relation has seemed like a technical trick devoid of an intuitively appealing philosophical story that connects it up with conditionality in general. In this paper, we respond to this worry by providing three different philosophical accounts of the ternary relation that correspond to three conceptions of conditionality. We close by briefly discussing (...) a general conception of conditionality that may unify the three given conceptions. (shrink)