We re-examine the problem of existential import by using classical predicate logic. Our problem is: How to distribute the existential import among the quantified propositions in order for all the relations of the logical square to be valid? After defining existential import and scrutinizing the available solutions, we distinguish between three possible cases: explicit import, implicit non-import, explicit negative import and formalize the propositions accordingly. Then, we examine the 16 combinations between the 8 propositions having the first two kinds of (...) import, the third one being trivial and rule out the squares where at least one relation does not hold. This leads to the following results: (1) three squares are valid when the domain is non-empty; (2) one of them is valid even in the empty domain: the square can thus be saved in arbitrary domains and (3) the aforementioned eight propositions give rise to a cube, which contains two more (non-classical) valid squares and several hexagons. A classical solution to the problem of existential import is thus possible, without resorting to deviant systems and merely relying upon the symbolism of First-order Logic (FOL). Aristotle’s system appears then as a fragment of a broader system which can be developed by using FOL. (shrink)
The clinical and para-clinical examination of residual self-consciousness in non-communicative severely brain damaged patients remains exceptionally challenging. Passive presentation of the patient’s own name and own face are known to be effective attention-grabbing stimuli when clinically assessing consciousness at the patient’s bedside. Event-related potential and functional neuroimaging studies using such self-referential stimuli are currently being used to disentangle the cognitive hierarchy of self-processing. We here review neuropsychological, neuropathological, electrophysiological and neuroimaging studies using the own name and own face paradigm obtained (...) in conscious waking, sleep, pharmacological coma, pathological coma and related disorders of consciousness. Based on these results we discuss what we currently do and do not know about the functional significance of the neural network involved in “automatic” and “conscious” self-referential processing. (shrink)
The paper proposes two logical analyses of (the norms of) justification. In a first, realist-minded case, truth is logically independent from justification and leads to a pragmatic logic LP including two epistemic and pragmatic operators, namely, assertion and hypothesis. In a second, antirealist-minded case, truth is not logically independent from justification and results in two logical systems of information and justification: AR4 and AR4¢, respectively, provided with a question-answer semantics. The latter proposes many more epistemic agents, each corresponding to a (...) wide variety of epistemic norms. After comparing the different norms of justification involved in these logical systems, two hexagons expressing Aristotelian relations of opposition will be gathered in order to clarify how (a fragment of) pragmatic formulas can be interpreted in a fuzzy-based question-answer semantics. (shrink)
Building a meaningful model of biological regulatory network is usually done by specifying the components and their interactions, by guessing the values of parameters, by comparing the predicted behaviors to the observed ones, and by modifying in a trial-error process both architecture and parameters in order to reach an optimal fitness. We propose here a different approach to construct and analyze biological models avoiding the trial-error part, where structure and dynamics are represented as formal constraints. We apply the method to (...) Hopfield-like networks, a formalism often used in both neural and regulatory networks modeling. The aim is to characterize automatically the set of all models consistent with all the available knowledge . The available knowledge is formalized into formal constraints. The latter are compiled into Boolean formula in conjunctive normal form and then submitted to a Boolean satisfiability solver. This approach allows to formulate a wide range of queries, expressed in a high level language, and possibly integrating formalized intuitions. In order to explore its potential, we use it to find cycles for 3-nodes networks and to determine the flower morphogenesis regulatory network of Arabidopsis thaliana. Applications of this technique are numerous and concern the building of models from data as well as the design of biological networks possessing specified behaviors. (shrink)
A general theory of logical oppositions is proposed by abstracting these from the Aristotelian background of quantified sentences. Opposition is a relation that goes beyond incompatibility (not being true together), and a question-answer semantics is devised to investigate the features of oppositions and opposites within a functional calculus. Finally, several theoretical problems about its applicability are considered.
This concise and accessible book is the perfect introduction to Badiou’s thought. Responding to Tarby’s questions, Badiou takes us on a journey that interrogates and explores the four conditions of philosophy: politics, love, art and science. In all these domains, events occur that bring to light possibilities that were invisible or even unthinkable; they propose something to us. Everything then depends on how the possibility opened up by the event is grasped, elaborated and embedded in the world – this is (...) what Badiou calls a ‘truth procedure’. The event creates a possibility but there then has to be an effort – a group effort in the case of politics, an individual effort in the case of love or art – for this possibility to become real and inscribed in the world. As he explains his thinking on politics, love, art and science, Badiou takes stock of his major works, reflects on their central themes and arguments and looks forward to the questions he plans to address in his future writings. The book concludes with a short introduction to Badiou’s philosophy by Fabien Tarby. For anyone wishing to understand the work of one of the most widely read and influential philosophers writing today, this small book will be an indispensable guide. (shrink)
Epistemic injustice occurs when someone is wronged in their capacity as a knower. More and more attention is being paid to the epistemic injustices that exist in our scientific practices. In a recent paper, Fabien Medvecky argues that science communication is fundamentally epistemically unjust. In what follows we briefly explain his argument before raising several challenges to it.
The mental model theory postulates that reasoners build models of the situations described in premises. A conclusion is possible if it holds in at least one model of the premises; it is probable if it holds in most of the models; and it is necessary if it holds in all of the models. The theory also postulates that reasoners represent as little information as possible in explicit models and, in particular, that they represent only information about what is true. One (...) unexpected consequence of this assumption is that there should be a category of illusory inferences: they will have conclusions that seem obvious, but that are wholly erroneous. Experiment 1 established the existence of such illusory inferences about probabilities. Overall, 88% of the intelligent adult subjects chose as more probable an outcome that was impossible for at least one of the illusory problems. Experiment 2 corroborated the phenomenon and showed that illusory inferences include a wide variety of problems. Finally, the paper argues that current theories based on formal rules of inference are unlikely to be able to explain the illusions. (shrink)
One of the most prominent myths in analytic philosophy is the so- called “Fregean Axiom”, according to which the reference of a sentence is a truth value. In contrast to this referential semantics, a use-based formal semantics will be constructed in which the logical value of a sentence is not its putative referent but the information it conveys. Let us call by “Question Answer Semantics” (thereafter: QAS) the corresponding formal semantics: a non-Fregean many-valued logic, where the meaning of any sentence (...) is an ordered n-tupled of yes-no answers to corresponding questions. A sample of philosophical problems will be approached in order to justify the relevance of QAS. These include: (1) illocutionary forces, and the logical analysis of speech-acts; (2) the variety of logical negations, and their characterization in terms of restricted ranges of logical values; (3) change in meaning, and the use of dynamic oppositions for belief sets. (shrink)
Science communication, as a field and as a practice, is fundamentally about knowledge distribution; it is about the access to, and the sharing of knowledge. All distribution brings with it issues of ethics and justice. Indeed, whether science communicators acknowledge it or not, they get to decide both which knowledge is shared, and who gets access to this knowledge. As a result, the decisions of science communicators have important implications for epistemic justice: how knowledge is distributed fairly and equitably. This (...) paper presents an overview of issues related to epistemic justice for science communication, and argues that there are two quite distinct ways in which science communicators can be just in the way they distribute knowledge. Both of these paths will be considered before concluding that, at least on one of these accounts, science communication as a field and as a practice is fundamentally epistemically unjust. Possible ways to redress this injustice are suggested. (shrink)
The way metrologists conceive of measurement has undergone a major shift in the last two decades. This shift can in great part be traced to a change in the statistical methods used to deal with the expression of measurement results, and, more particularly, with the calculation of measurement uncertainties. Indeed, as we show, the incapacity of the frequentist approach to the calculus of uncertainty to deal with sys- tematic errors has prompted the replacement of the customary frequentist methods by fully (...) Bayesian procedures. The epistemological ramifications of the Bayesian approach merge with a deep empiricist mood tantamount to an “epistemic turn”: measurement results are analysed in terms of degrees of belief, and central concepts such as error and accuracy are called into question. We challenge the perspective entailed by this epistemic turn: we insist on the centrality of the concepts of error and accuracy by underlining the intentional character of measurement that is intimately linked to the process of correction of experimental data. We further circumvent the difficulties posed by the classical analysis of measurement by stressing the social rather than the epistemic dimension of measurement activities. (shrink)
Last paragraphe: Finally, we need to take on board the strange and disturbing fact that the modern destruction of environments has occurred not as if nature counted for nothing but, on the contrary, has occurred in a world of longstanding climatic theories that have earmarked environmental objects as the very things that produce humankind. Modern man, oblivious of the impact of his actions and blinded by his faith in progress and polarized vision of the world? Our postmodernity also has its (...) own mythologies. (shrink)
Letter-position tolerance varies across languages. This observation suggests that the neural code for letter strings may also be subtly different. Although language-specific models remain useful, we should endeavor to develop a universal model of reading acquisition which incorporates crucial neurobiological constraints. Such a model, through a progressive internalization of phonological and lexical regularities, could perhaps converge onto the language-specific properties outlined by Frost.