It has been observed that whereas painters and musicians are likely to be embarrassed by references to the beauty in their work, mathematicians instead like to engage in discussions of the beauty of mathematics. Professional artists are more likely to stress the technical rather than the aesthetic aspects of their work. Mathematicians, instead, are fond of passing judgment on the beauty of their favored pieces of mathematics. Even a cursory observation shows that the characteristics of mathematical beauty are at variance (...) with those of artistic beauty. For example, courses in art appreciation are fairly common; it is however unthinkable to find any mathematical beauty appreciation courses taught anywhere. The purpose of the present paper is to try to uncover the sense of the term beauty as it is currently used by mathematicians. (shrink)
In the paper it is argued that bridging the digital divide may cause a new ethical and social dilemma. Using Hardin's Tragedy of the Commons, we show that an improper opening and enlargement of the digital environment (Infosphere) is likely to produce a Tragedy of the Digital Commons (TDC). In the course of the analysis, we explain why Adar and Huberman's previous use of Hardin's Tragedy to interpret certain recent phenomena in the Infosphere (especially peer-to-peer communication) may not be entirely (...) satisfactory. We then seek to provide an improved version of the TDC that avoids the possible shortcomings of their model. Next, we analyse some problems encountered by the application of classical ethics in the resolution of the TDC. In the conclusion, we outline the kind of work that will be required to develop an ethical approach that may bridge the digital divide but avoid the TDC. (shrink)
This article reports on the development of the managerial ethical profile (MEP) scale. The MEP scale is a multilevel, self-reporting scale measuring the perceived influence that different dimensions of common ethical frameworks have on managerial decision making. The MEP scale measures on eight subscales: economic egoism, reputational egoism, act utilitarianism, rule utilitarianism, self-virtue of self, virtue of others, act deontology, and rule deontology. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to provide evidence of scale validity. Future research needs and the value (...) of this measure for business ethics are discussed. (shrink)
In this paper we show that the Gupta-Belnap systems S# and S* are П12. Since Kremer has independently established that they are П12-hard, this completely settles the problem of their complexity. The above-mentioned upper bound is established through a reduction to countable revision sequences that is inspired by, and makes use of a construction of McGee.
We shall argue that the attempt carried out by certain philosophers in this century to parrot the language, the method, and the results of mathematics has harmed philosophy. Such an attempt results from a misunderstanding of both mathematics and philosophy, and has harmed both subjects.
We present an axiomatic approach for a class of finite, extensive form games of perfect information that makes use of notions like “rationality at a node” and “knowledge at a node.” We distinguish between the game theorist's and the players' own “theory of the game.” The latter is a theory that is sufficient for each player to infer a certain sequence of moves, whereas the former is intended as a justification of such a sequence of moves. While in general the (...) game theorist's theory of the game is not and need not be axiomatized, the players' theory must be an axiomatic one, since we model players as analogous to automatic theorem provers that play the game by inferring (or computing) a sequence of moves. We provide the players with an axiomatic theory sufficient to infer a solution for the game (in our case, the backwards induction equilibrium), and prove its consistency. We then inquire what happens when the theory of the game is augmented with information that a move outside the inferred solution has occurred. We show that a theory that is sufficient for the players to infer a solution and still remains consistent in the face of deviations must be modular. By this we mean that players have distributed knowledge of it. Finally, we show that whenever the theory of the game is group-knowledge (or common knowledge) among the players (i.e., it is the same at each node), a deviation from the solution gives rise to inconsistencies and therefore forces a revision of the theory at later nodes. On the contrary, whenever a theory of the game is modular, a deviation from equilibrium play does not induce a revision of the theory. (shrink)
In this paper we introduce three methods to approach philosophical problems informationally: Minimalism, the Method of Abstraction and Constructionism. Minimalism considers the specifications of the starting problems and systems that are tractable for a philosophical analysis. The Method of Abstraction describes the process of making explicit the level of abstraction at which a system is observed and investigated. Constructionism provides a series of principles that the investigation of the problem must fulfil once it has been fully characterised by the previous (...) two methods. For each method, we also provide an application: the problem of visual perception, functionalism, and the Turing Test, respectively. (shrink)
Husserl’s Third Logical Investigation, ostensibly dealing with the phenomenology of whole and parts, is actually meant to introduce the notion of Fundierung. This term is frequently used in the phenomenological literature, although little has been written about Fundierung itself since Husserl introduced it. Husserl himself, although he used it extensively, never again felt the need to reopen the discussion.
A plurality of axiomatic systems can be interpreted as referring to one and the same mathematical object. In this paper we examine the relationship between axiomatic systems and their models, the relationships among the various axiomatic systems that refer to the same model, and the role of an intelligent user of an axiomatic system. We ask whether these relationships and this role can themselves be formalized.
LIKE ARTISTS WHO FAIL TO GIVE an accurate description of how they work, like scientists who believe in unrealistic philosophies of science, mathematicians subscribe to a concept of mathematical truth that runs contrary to the truth.
We propose a nonmonotonic Description Logic of typicality able to account for the phenomenon of combining prototypical concepts, an open problem in the fields of AI and cognitive modelling. Our logic extends the logic of typicality ALC + TR, based on the notion of rational closure, by inclusions p :: T(C) v D (“we have probability p that typical Cs are Ds”), coming from the distributed semantics of probabilistic Description Logics. Additionally, it embeds a set of cognitive heuristics for concept (...) combination. We show that the complexity of reasoning in our logic is EXPTIME-complete as in ALC. (shrink)
The paper is concerned with negation in artificial and natural languages. "Negation" is an ambiguous word. It can mean three different things: An operation(negating), an operator (a sign of negation), the result of an operation. The threethings, however, are intimately linked. An operation such as negation, is realizedthrough an operator of negation, i.e. consists in adding a symbol of negation to an entity to obtain an entity of the same type; and which operation it is dependson what it applies to (...) and on what results from its application.I argue that negation is not an operation on linguistic acts but rather anoperation on the objects of linguistic acts, namely sentences. And I assume that the negation of a sentence is a sentence that contradicts it. If so, the negation of a sentence may be obtained, in case the sentence is molecular, by applying the operation of negation not to the sentence itself but to a constituent sentence. To put it in a succinct and paradoxically sounding way we could say that in order to negate a sentence it is sufficient but not necessary to negate it.However that negation applies to sentences is true only for artificial languages, in which the sign of negation is a monadic sentential connective. In natural language, negation applies to expressions other than sentences, namely word sand non-sentential phrases. Still words and not sentential phrases are interesting and valuable only as ultimate or immediate constituents of sentences, as a means of saying (something that can be true or false) and the concern with negation is ultimately the concern with the negation of sentences. So the problem is what sub-sentential and non sentential expressions negation should apply to in order to obtain the negation of the containing sentence. The standard answer is that the negation of a natural language sentence is equivalent to the negation of its predicate. Yet, I argue, predicate negation is necessary but not sufficient, due to the existence of molecular sentences.Finally I notice that if to apply negation to an artificial sentence is to put the negation sign in front of it, to negate the predicate of a natural language sentencemay or may not be to put the negation sign in front of it. (shrink)
In this paper we argue that Revision Rules, introduced by Anil Gupta and Nuel Belnap as a tool for the analysis of the concept of truth, also provide a useful tool for defining computable functions. This also makes good on Gupta's and Belnap's claim that Revision Rules provide a general theory of definition, a claim for which they supply only the example of truth. In particular we show how Revision Rules arise naturally from relaxing and generalizing a classical construction due (...) to Kleene, and indicate how they can be employed to reconstruct the class of the general recursive functions. We also point at how Revision Rules can be employed to access non-minimal fixed points of partially defined computing procedures. (shrink)
Die Entscheidung für oder gegen lebensverlängernde Behandlungsmaßnahmen geht inzwischen der Hälfte aller Todesfälle in Europa voraus. Sie wird im klinischen Alltag häufig als ethische Herausforderung wahrgenommen, zudem sind unter Klinikern juristische Unsicherheiten und Fragen der korrekten Vorgehensweise verbreitet. Die hier vorgestellte Münchner Leitlinie zu Entscheidungen am Lebensende soll rechtliche Unsicherheit reduzieren, Klinikumsmitarbeiter für die ethische Dimension von Therapieentscheidungen am Lebensende sensibilisieren und ethisch begründete Entscheidungen fördern. Aus organisationsethischer Perspektive soll mit der Leitlinie eine Reflexion und Meinungsbildung zu einem ethisch relevanten (...) Themenbereich erfolgen und ein Beitrag zur Qualitätssicherung der Patientenversorgung und damit auch zur Patientenzufriedenheit geleistet werden. Die Prozesse der Leitlinienentwicklung, -aktualisierung und -implementierung werden vorgestellt. Die wesentlichen inhaltlichen Elemente der Leitlinie mit Darstellung der Rechtslage, der Definition zentraler Begriffe und Klärung medizinischer Entscheidungskriterien werden an Hand eines Entscheidungsalgorithmus dargestellt. Inhalt und Prozess der Leitlinienentwicklung werden auf die folgenden organisationsethischen Qualitätskriterien hin überprüft: deliberativer Prozess, inhaltliche Transparenz, repräsentative Zusammensetzung der Arbeitsgruppe, Implementierung und Evaluation der Leitlinie. Institutionen, die diese Leitlinie übernehmen wollen, sollten diese von einem autorisierten Gremium überprüfen lassen und auf die spezifischen Bedürfnisse ihrer Institution adaptieren. Hierfür ist eine vorgeschaltete Bedarfserhebung hilfreich. In dem Gremium sollten all diejenigen vertreten sein, die in der Folge mit der Leitlinie arbeiten werden. (shrink)
We propose a nonmonotonic Description Logic of typicality able to account for the phenomenon of the combination of prototypical concepts. The proposed logic relies on the logic of typicality ALC + TR, whose semantics is based on the notion of rational closure, as well as on the distributed semantics of probabilistic Description Logics, and is equipped with a cognitive heuristic used by humans for concept composition. We first extend the logic of typicality ALC + TR by typicality inclusions of the (...) form p :: T(C) v D, whose intuitive meaning is that “we believe with degree p about the fact that typical Cs are Ds”. As in the distributed semantics, we define different scenarios containing only some typicality inclusions, each one having a suitable probability. We then exploit such scenarios in order to ascribe typical properties to a concept C obtained as the combination of two prototypical concepts. We also show that reasoning in the proposed Description Logic is EXPTIME-complete as for the underlying standard Description Logic ALC. (shrink)
Background Decisions on limiting life-sustaining treatment for patients in the vegetative state (VS) are emotionally and morally challenging. In Germany, doctors have to discuss, together with the legal surrogate (often a family member), whether the proposed treatment is in accordance with the patient's will. However, it is unknown whether family members of the patient in the VS actually base their decisions on the patient's wishes. Objective To examine the role of advance directives, orally expressed wishes, or the presumed will of (...) patients in a VS for family caregivers' decisions on life-sustaining treatment. Methods and sample A qualitative interview study with 14 next of kin of patients in a VS in a long-term care setting was conducted; 13 participants were the patient's legal surrogates. Interviews were analysed according to qualitative content analysis. Results The majority of family caregivers said that they were aware of aforementioned wishes of the patient that could be applied to the VS condition, but did not base their decisions primarily on these wishes. They gave three reasons for this: (a) the expectation of clinical improvement, (b) the caregivers' definition of life-sustaining treatments and (c) the moral obligation not to harm the patient. If the patient's wishes were not known or not revealed, the caregivers interpreted a will to live into the patient's survival and non-verbal behaviour. Conclusions Whether or not prior treatment wishes of patients in a VS are respected depends on their applicability, and also on the medical assumptions and moral attitudes of the surrogates. We recommend repeated communication, support for the caregivers and advance care planning. (shrink)
ZusammenfassungDie Entscheidung für oder gegen lebensverlängernde Behandlungsmaßnahmen geht inzwischen der Hälfte aller Todesfälle in Europa voraus. Sie wird im klinischen Alltag häufig als ethische Herausforderung wahrgenommen, zudem sind unter Klinikern juristische Unsicherheiten und Fragen der korrekten Vorgehensweise verbreitet. Die hier vorgestellte Münchner Leitlinie zu Entscheidungen am Lebensende soll rechtliche Unsicherheit reduzieren, Klinikumsmitarbeiter für die ethische Dimension von Therapieentscheidungen am Lebensende sensibilisieren und ethisch begründete Entscheidungen fördern. Aus organisationsethischer Perspektive soll mit der Leitlinie eine Reflexion und Meinungsbildung zu einem ethisch relevanten (...) Themenbereich erfolgen und ein Beitrag zur Qualitätssicherung der Patientenversorgung und damit auch zur Patientenzufriedenheit geleistet werden. Die Prozesse der Leitlinienentwicklung, -aktualisierung und -implementierung werden vorgestellt. Die wesentlichen inhaltlichen Elemente der Leitlinie mit Darstellung der Rechtslage, der Definition zentraler Begriffe und Klärung medizinischer Entscheidungskriterien werden an Hand eines Entscheidungsalgorithmus dargestellt. Inhalt und Prozess der Leitlinienentwicklung werden auf die folgenden organisationsethischen Qualitätskriterien hin überprüft: deliberativer Prozess, inhaltliche Transparenz, repräsentative Zusammensetzung der Arbeitsgruppe, Implementierung und Evaluation der Leitlinie. Institutionen, die diese Leitlinie übernehmen wollen, sollten diese von einem autorisierten Gremium überprüfen lassen und auf die spezifischen Bedürfnisse ihrer Institution adaptieren. Hierfür ist eine vorgeschaltete Bedarfserhebung hilfreich. In dem Gremium sollten all diejenigen vertreten sein, die in der Folge mit der Leitlinie arbeiten werden. (shrink)
The present PhD thesis is concerned with the question whether good reasoning requires that the subject has some cognitive grip on the relation between premises and conclusion. One consideration in favor of such a requirement goes as follows: In order for my belief-formation to be an instance of reasoning, and not merely a causally related sequence of beliefs, the process must be guided by my endorsement of a rule of reasoning. Therefore I must have justified beliefs about the relation between (...) my premises and my conclusion. -/- The rationality of a belief often depends on whether it is rightly connected to other beliefs, or more generally to other mental states —the states capable of providing a reason to holding the belief in question. For instance, some rational beliefs are connected to other beliefs by being inferred from them. It is often accepted that the connection implies that the subject in some sense ‘takes the mental states in question to be reason-providing’. But views on how exactly this is to be understood differ widely. They range from interpretations according to which ‘taking a mental state to be reason-providing’ imposes a mere causal sustaining relation between belief and reason-providing state to interpretations according to which one ‘takes a mental state to be reason-providing’ only if one believes that the state is reason-providing. The most common worry about the latter view is that it faces a vicious regress. In this thesis a different but in some respects similar interpretation of ‘taking something as reason-providing’ is given. It is argued to consist of a disposition to react in certain ways to information that challenges the reason-providing capacity of the allegedly reason-providing state. For instance, that one has inferred A from B partly consists in being disposed to suspend judgment about A if one obtains a reason to believe that B does not render A probable. The account is defended against regress-objections and the suspicion of explanatory circularity. (shrink)