We argue that the distinction between framework and interaction theories should be taken carefully into consideration when dealing with the philosophical implications of fundamental theories in physics. In particular, conclusions concerning the nature of reality can only be consistently derived from assessing the ontological and epistemic purport of both types of theories. We put forward an epistemic form of realism regarding framework theories, such as Quantum Field Theory. The latter, indeed, informs us about the general properties of quantum fields, laying (...) the groundwork for interaction theories. Yet, concerning interaction theories, we recommend a robust form of ontological realism regarding the entities whose existence is assumed by these theories. As an application, we refer to the case of the Standard Model, so long as it has proved to successfully inform us about the nature of various sorts of fundamental particles making up reality. In short, although we acknowledge that both framework and interaction theories partake in shaping our science-based view of reality, and that neither would do by itself the work we expect them to accomplish together, our proposal for a coherent ontology of fundamental entities advances a compromise between two forms of realism about theories in each case. (shrink)
Following the proposal of a new kind of selective structural realism that uses as a basis the distinction between framework and interaction theories, this work discusses relevant applications in fundamental physics. An ontology for the different entities and properties of well-known theories is thus consistently built. The case of classical field theories—including general relativity as a classical theory of gravitation—is examined in detail, as well as the implications of the classification scheme for issues of realism in quantum mechanics. These applications (...) also shed light on the different range of applicability of the ontic and epistemic versions of structural realism. (shrink)
In this international and interdisciplinary collection of critical essays, distinguished contributors examine a crucial premise of traditional readings of Plato's dialogues: that Plato's own doctrines and arguments can be read off the statements made in the dialogues by Socrates and other leading characters. The authors argue in general and with reference to specific dialogues, that no character should be taken to be Plato's mouthpiece. This is essential reading for students and scholars of Plato.
Una consideración de las relaciones y mutuas influencias entre cultura y lenguaje en la concepción de Vico, a la luz de tres intérpretes suyos: J. Joyce, I. Berlin y C. Fuentes.A consideration of the relationships and mutual influences between culture and language in Vico's thought, in the light of three of his interpreters: J. Joyce, I. Berlin and C. Fuentes.
This paper corrects the common misconception that Meno's slave (in Plato's dialogue of that name) is a boy. The first part of the paper shows how long-standing and widespread that misconception is. The description of Meno's slave as a "slave-boy" goes back at least to Benjamin Jowett, and the phrase is still commonly seen today in books and journal articles in philosophy and classics generally, even in presses and journals with the highest reputation. The paper then shows that the Greek (...) term pais, often translated as "boy", is when addressed to slaves used to indicate their condition, not their age. When the text of the Meno is examined carefully, it is clear that there is no evidence that Meno's slave is a boy. In fact, it is clear that the expression "boy" is used in relation to his condition, not in relation to his age. It thus demeans us to refer to Meno's slave as a "slave-boy" or just "boy", since it either displays our ignorance about the use of the term pais or, worse, makes us complicit in using a term of condescension. The paper concludes by suggesting that the proposed correction is philosophically significant, since it opens an investigation into Plato's depiction of slaves that is otherwise blocked by supposing the slave to be a boy. (shrink)
In follow-up to a large-scale ethics survey of neuroscientists whose research involves neuroimaging, brain stimulation and imaging genetics, we conducted focus groups and interviews to explore their sense of responsibility about integrating ethics into neuroimaging and readiness to adopt new ethics strategies as part of their research. Safety, trust and virtue were key motivators for incorporating ethics into neuroimaging research. Managing incidental findings emerged as a predominant daily challenge for faculty, while student reports focused on the malleability of neuroimaging data (...) and scientific integrity. The most frequently cited barrier was time and administrative burden associated with the ethics review process. Lack of scholarly training in ethics also emerged as a major barrier. Participants constructively offered remedies to these challenges: development and dissemination of best practices and standardized ethics review for minimally invasive neuroimaging protocols. Students in particular, urged changes to curricula to include early, focused training in ethics. (shrink)
The traditional Square of Opposition consists of four sentence types. Two are universal and two particular; two are affirmative and two negative. Examples, where ‘S’ and ‘P’ designate the subject and the predicate, are: ‘every S is P’, ‘no S is P’, ‘some S is P’ and ‘some S is not P’. Taking the usual sentences of the square of opposition, quantifying over their predicates exhibits non-standard sentence forms. These sentences may be combined into non-standard Squares of Opposition , and (...) they reveal a new relationship not found in the usual Square. Medieval logicians termed ‘disparatae’ pairs of sentences like ‘every S is some P’ and ‘some S is every P’, which are neither subaltern nor contrary, neither contradictory nor subcontrary. Walter Redmond has designed a special language L to express the logical form of these sentences in a precise way. I will use this language to show how Squares of Opposition, standard and non-standard, form a complex network of relations which bring to .. (shrink)
We examine the "Theaetetus" in the light of its juxtaposition of philosophical, mathematical and sophistical approaches to knowledge, which we show to be a prominent feature of the drama. We suggest that clarifying the nature of philosophy supersedes the question of knowledge as the main ambition of the "Theaetetus". Socrates shows Theaetetus that philosophy is not a demonstrative science, like geometry, but it is also not mere word-play, like sophistry. The nature of philosophy is revealed in Socrates' activity of examination (...) and his refusal to deny his ignorance about knowledge. (shrink)
In Republic VI 508e-9b Plato has Socrates claim that the Good is the cause (αίτίαν) of truth and knowledge as well as the very being of the Forms. Consequently, as causes must be distinct from and superior to their effects, the Good is neither truth nor knowledge nor even being, but exceeds them all in beauty (509a), as well as in honour and power (509b). No other passage in Plato has had a more intoxicating effect on its readers. To take (...) just one example, James Adam was moved to quote St. Paul when he remarked about this passage that, 'it is highly characteristic of Plato's whole attitude that he finds the true keystone of the Universe — the ultimate fountain from which both Knowledge and Existence flow — in no cold and colourless ontological abstraction, like Being, but in that for which "all creation groans and labours". (shrink)
The greatest rhetorical display (έπιδείξις) of Plato's Protagoras is apparently not Protagoras's famous myth cum démonstration1 about the teachability of excellence (αρετή),2 but rather the dia logue as a whole. The Protagoras exposes key différences between the methods and presuppositions of Socrates and those of the Sophists - thus defending Socrates against the charge of being a Sophist himself - and in so doing clarifies the conditions and princi ples of ethical argumentation.3 The display of the Protagoras oc curs on (...) two levels. In the drama, Socrates puts the Sophists on exhibit for the benefit of Hippocrates, an Athenian boy who as pires to a sophistic éducation. In reading the dialogue, however, we become spectators to Plato's display. The pervading irony is that Piato uses the Protagoras to critieize the techniques of display and debate - and to contrast them with dialogue. But the Socratic/ Platonic display in the Protagoras is literally a showing forth, a manifestation of what a Sophist is and does, whereas a sophistical display is a showing off, that is not intrinsically related to his beliefs and aims. In order to see thèse thèmes at work in the Protagoras , however, it must first be examined from a rhetorical point of view. (shrink)
This article presents evidence over which we stumbled while investigating a completely different part of the Platonic Corpus. While examining the ordinary working vocabulary of the doubtful dialogues and of those undisputed dialogues most readily compared with them, it seemed essential to have a representative sample of Plato's allegedly 'middle' and 'late' dialogues also. The real surprise came when the Critias was included, showing some frequencies not previously observed in Platonic dialogues. This prompted treatment of the Timaeus also, some of (...) which showed comparable peculiarities. The most distinctive feature was the increase in the rate of the definite article from around 8% of total vocabulary in dialogues assumed to be early, or around 10% in Laws, to some 14% in sizeable parts of the Timaeus-Critias, where Plato seemed no less interested in the literary credentials of his creations than elsewhere. Tests intended for application to our original set of problems were yielding results that appeared to bear on a number of problems central to the interpretation of the Timaeus-Critias. (shrink)
This paper examines one aspect of the relation between philosophy and myth, namely the function myth has, for some philosophers, in narrowing the distance between appearance and reality. I distinguish this function of myth from other common functions, and also show how the approach to reality through myth differs from a more empirical philosophical approach. I argue that myth plays a fundamental role in Plato's approach to the appearance/reality distinction, and that understanding this is important to the interpretation of Plato's (...) frequent use of language suggesting the existence of a world of unchanging ideal objects and a world of transient, variable particulars. All things are an exchange for fire, and fire for all things, as goods for gold, and gold for goods.1 ?Heraclitus DK 22 B 90. (shrink)
Scholars have puzzled over the fact that Plato’s criticisms of poetry are themselves contained in mimetic works. This paper sheds light on that phenomenon by examining an analogous one. The Symposium contains one fable which is criticised by means of another which is thought to represent Plato’s own view. Diotima’s fable, however, is suspended within a larger narrative that invites us to examine and question it. The Symposium thus affords opportunity to observe Plato’s criticisms of a genre and the qualifications (...) that must be made regarding his own use of it. In particular, the Symposium emphasises that stories have no automatic claim to authority, whether they are told by a poet, or a priest or a philosopher. The upshot for Plato’s dialogues is that they remain always a starting point for philosophy: they are neither specimens of philosophical poetry nor philosophy per se. (shrink)
Plato's Sophist is complex. Its themes are many and ambiguous. The early grammarians gave it the subtitle1tEp1. 'tau ov'to~ ('on being') and assigned it to Plato's logical investigations. The Neoplatonists prized it for a theory of ontological categories they preferred to Aristotle's. Modern scholars sometimes court paradox and refer to the Sophist as Plato's dialogue on not-being (because the question ofthe possibility of not-being occupies much of the dialogue). Whitehead took the Sophist to be primarily about ouvo.~t~ ('power') and found (...) in it many of the central ideas of process theology.2 Heidegger thought it articulated the 'average concept of being in general'.3 In Cornford's view the Sophist is mainly about truth and falsehood. Ackrill, Frede and most analytic philosophers think it is about predication.4 Stanley Rosen treats it as a metaphysico-aesthetic dialogue: in his view it is about the relation of images to originals.5 As far as the title of the dialogue goes, however, opinion is almost universal. Do not be misled: 'the definition of the sophist' observed Archer-Hind 'is simply a piece of pungent satire'6 and he added that 'we may be sure that (Plato] cared little about defining the sophist, but very much about the metaphysical questions to which the process of definition was to give rise'.7 The most spectacular case of agreement with this judgment can be found in Cornford, who omits to translate the sections on the definition of the sophist because, as he says 'the modern reader ... might be wearied'.8. (shrink)
JL his paper calls into question a conventional way of reading the passage concerning knowledge and belief at the end of book 5 of Plato's Republic. On the conventional reading, Plato is committed to arguing on grounds that his philosophical opponents would accept, but this view fails to appreciate the rhetorical context in which the passage is situated. Indeed, it is not usually recognized or considered important that the passage has a rhetorical context at all. Philoso phers typically reduce the (...) questions asked by Socrates and the an swers given by Glaucon in the presence of a large audience, to one continuous argument of Plato's. Unfortunately, this way of reading book 5 ignores two points that are crucial to its interpretation: (1) the Socrates-Glaucon dialectic is directed to hostile (not merely intel lectually opposed) interlocutors, and (2) the relation between Socra tes and his audience (Glaucon excepted) is one of antagonism.1 I shall argue that scholars have for a long time been trying to find more philosophical fruit in the passage than it has to bear, largely because they have misconstrued its role in the argument of the Re public. (shrink)
Presentamos algunas ideas de autores medievales acerca de las oraciones cuyo sujeto carece de referente, y si dichas oraciones. Los autores tratados son nominalistas del siglo xiv: Guillermo de Ockham, Alberto de Sajonia y Juan Buridan; y el realista moderado Vicente Ferrer. Luego abordamos a dos novohispanos, Alonso de la Veracruz y Tomás de Mercado, que están inmersos en la tradición medieval.
En el presente artículo describo un octágono de oposición y equivalencia desarrollado por lógicos del siglo XIV, especialmente por Jean Buridan en su Summulae de dialectica. Dicho �cuadro� de oposición ofrece relaciones lógicas muy complejas, alguna de las cuales no está presente en el cuadrado tradicional de oposición. El octágono nos servirá para expresar tres tipos de oraciones: oraciones modales cuantificadas, oraciones oblicuas y oraciones con cuantificación explícita del predicado. El octágono muestra que la lógica medieval del siglo XIV ofrece (...) ya una lógica de relaciones, una lógica de la identidad y una lógica modal comparable a la lógica de nuestros días. (shrink)
Don Carlos de Sigüenza y sor Juana Inés de la Cruz no solo se encuentran en la encrucijada del paso de la edad media a la moderna, y del viejo al nuevo mundo, sino de la vieja a la nueva vía de reflexión y de la vieja a la nueva ciencia. Es lo que se intenta mostrar en estas páginas.
The goal of this article is to show that formal analysis and reconstructions may be useful to discuss and shed light on substantive meta-theoretical issues. We proceed here by exemplification, analysing and reconstructing as a case study a paradigmatic biochemical theory, the Monod-Wyman-Changeux theory of allosterism, and applying the reconstruction to the discussion of some issues raised by prominent representatives of the new mechanist philosophy. We conclude that our study shows that at least in this case mechanicism and more traditional (...) accounts are not rivals but complementary approaches. (shrink)
Background: The research community has a mandate to discover effective treatments for neurodegenerative disorders. The ethics landscape surrounding this mandate is in a constant state of flux, and ongoing challenges place ever greater demands on investigators to be accountable to the public and to answer questions about the implications of their work for health care, society, and policy. Methods: We surveyed US-based investigators involved in neurodegenerative diseases research about how they value ethics-related issues, what motivates them to give consideration to (...) those issues, and the barriers to doing so. Using the NIH CRISP database we identified 1,034 researchers with relevant, active grants and invited them to complete an online questionnaire. We received 193 responses. We used exploratory factor analysis to transform individual survey questions into a smaller set of factors, and linear regression to understand the effect of key variables of interest on the factor scores. Results: Ethics-related issues clustered into two groups: research ethics and external influences. Heads of research groups viewed issues of research ethics to be more important than the other respondents. Concern about external influences was related to overall interest in ethics. Motivators clustered into five groups: ensuring public understanding, external forces, requirements, values, and press and public. Heads of research groups were more motivated to ensure public understanding of research than the other respondents. Barriers clustered into four groups: lack of resources, administrative burden, relevance to the research, and lack of interest. Perceived lack of ethics resources was a particular barrier for investigators working in drug discovery. Conclusions: The data suggest that senior level neuroscientists working in the field of neurodegeneration (ND), and drug discovery specifically, are motivated to consider ethics issues related to their work, but the perceived lack of ethics resources thwarts their efforts. With bioethics centres at more than 50% of the institutions at which these respondents reside, the neuroscience and bioethics communities appear to be disconnected. Dedicated ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI) programs, such as those fully integrated into genetics and regenerative medicine, provide models for achieving meaningful partnerships not yet adequately realized for scholars and trainees interested in drug discovery for ND. (shrink)
Most readers of Plato’s dialogues would probably think of him as likely to approve more of the old masters than of new art. The old masters were on the whole far more realistic than modern painters—compare, say, Velázquez Innocent X (1650) with Matisse The Snail (1953)2—and Plato often seems to take issue with an artist if he departs even slightly from realism. A long section of the Ion, for example, is dedicated to showing that experts in charioteering, medicine, and other (...) areas make the best judges about what poets say on those subjects, ostensibly because only experts can tell how realistically the poet represents chariots, medical treatments and the like.3 Even more telling is the view, famously expressed in the Republic, which suggests that painters should paint things according to what they actually look like:. (shrink)
En esta nota crítica (i) se hace una breve descripción de cada uno de los artículos que componen Orayen: de la forma lógica al significado, (ii) se señalan algunas cuestiones que no están claras en ellos o en las réplicas de Orayen y, (iii) en la medida de lo posible, se indica si los autores desarrollan ulteriormente los problemas abordados en sus artículos. The aim of this critical note is threefold: (i) it briefly describes and comments on each of the (...) articles of Orayen: de la forma lógica al significado; (ii) identifies some issues that may not be clear enough or not fully developed whether in the articles or even in Orayen's replies; (iii) as far as possible, it refers to further studies made by the authors themselves on the same, or quite related, subjects addressed by them in their papers. (shrink)
Con ocasión de la refutación de una interpretación reciente del pensamiento de Anthony Collins, fundada en presupuestos metodológicos erráticos y tributarios, en definitiva, de la concepción propia de los apologistas en tiempos de las Luces, este trabajo denuncia los abusos en la historiografía de los tiempos modernos de una mal llamada lectura entre líneas, que implica no el examen detenido del texto en su complejidad, sino el menosprecio de la letra, y propone criterios que faciliten un tratamiento en clave propiamente (...) histórica de categorías como deísmo, panteísmo y ateísmo, lejos de la pretensión de una determinada filosofía de trabajar sobre «conceptos rigurosos y perfectamente definidos», portadores de esencias. (shrink)
Deliberation is the intellectual activity of rational agents in their capacity as rational agents, and good deliberation is the mark of those who have practical wisdom. That is Aristotle's general view,2 one we may safely attribute to Plato as well. Some philosophers, however, have tried to specifiy Plato's view in ways that accentuate the differences between him and Aristotle. They align Plato's views about deliberation and virtue closely with views the fifth-century sophists, and suppose that Plato borrows from the sophists (...) certain suppositions that Aristotle would reject. In the Protagoras, for example, when Protagoras asserts that he teaches virtue, he claims to teach it as the expertise. (shrink)
Los científicos suelen diferenciar entre teorías científicas explicativas y descriptivas. Para poder dar cuenta de esta diferencia es necesario contar con un análisis riguroso de las teorías científicas y la concepción estructuralista es una herramienta metateórica de análisis capaz de brindar los elementos metateóricos requeridos para abordar este tipo de estudios. El objetivo del presente trabajo es analizar una teoría que trata de dar cuenta de la actividad cooperativa de las proteínas, la teoría de Hill (tanto la originalmente publicada como (...) la presentada en los libros de texto) con el fin de elucidar el concepto de explicación utilizado en este caso. Usually, scientists differentiate between explanatory and descriptive scientific theories. To be able to analyze this difference is necessary to provide a rigorous analysis of scientific theories - the structuralist point of view is a metatheoretic tool capable of offering the metatheoretic elements needed for this. The aim of the present work is to analyze Hill's theory (both as originally published and as presented in textbooks), a theory about the cooperative activity of the proteins, in order to elucidate the concept of explanation used in it. (shrink)