By studying several cases of expert systems' use, a variety of difficulties were identified as directly depending on specific characteristics of experts and their tasks. This concerns more than the questions: “May experts be replaced by machines?” or “Is experts' knowledge explicable?”. The organisational structure of their work as well as the cyclic, non-plannable way of their task performing have further relevance. The paper introduces the concept of experts' systems to deal with diversities of their expertise and complexities of their (...) work. It draws a distinction between non-monotonic problem solving, exploration, medium and modification, and argues that these modes are not reducible to yet another improved input/output strategy or dialogue style but introduce additional functions supporting the human-computer interaction according to experts' needs. In the first few sections, the paper covers the theoretical and empirical results of our research, whereas Section 4 introduces our design suggestions for experts' systems. (shrink)
Sound can be listened to in various ways and with different intentions. Multiple factors influence how and what we perceive when listening to sound. Sonification, the acoustic representation of data, is in essence just sound. It functions as sonification only if we make sure to listen attentively in order to access the abstract information it contains. This is difficult to accomplish since sound always calls the listener’s attention to concrete—whether natural or musical—points of references. Important aspects determining how we listen (...) to sonification are discussed in this paper: elicited sounds, repeated sounds, conceptual sounds, technologically mediated sounds, melodic sounds, familiar sounds, multimodal sounds and vocal sounds. We discuss how these aspects help the listener engage with the sound, but also how they can become points of reference in and of themselves. The various sonic qualities employed in sonification can potentially open but also risk closing doors to the accessibility and perceptibility of the sonified data. (shrink)
In the first systematic study of the philosophy of Thomas Nagel, Alan Thomas discusses Nagel's contrast between the "subjective" and the "objective" points of view throughout the various areas of his wide ranging philosophy. Nagel's original and distinctive contrast between the subjective view and our aspiration to a "view from nowhere" within metaphysics structures the chapters of the book. A "new Humean" in epistemology, Nagel takes philosophical scepticism to be both irrefutable and yet to indicate a profound truth (...) about our capacity for self-transcendence. The contrast between subjective and objective views is then considered in the case of the mind, where consciousness proves to be the central aspect of mind that contemporary theorising fails to acknowledge adequately. The second half of the book analyses Nagel's work on moral and political philosophy where he has been most deeply influential. Topics covered include the contrast between agent-relative and agent-neutral reasons and values, Nagel's distinctive version of a hybrid ethical theory, his discussion of life's meaningfulness and finally his sceptical arguments about whether a liberal society can reconcile the conflicting moral demands of self and other. (shrink)
On the day before Christmas, 1170, Robert de Broc, member of a family of royal servants that had taken up King Henry II's fierce opposition to Thomas Becket, seized a horse bringing goods to the archbishop and cut off its tail. The next day, Archbishop Thomas noted this incident after his Christmas sermon when renewing his excommunication of Robert and several others, and he discussed it again four days later in his initial meeting with the men who would (...) shortly murder him. The excision of the horse's tail appears in five of the biographies of the martyr and subsequently in the national chronicles of Roger of Howden and Ralph of Diceto. Why did a minor act of cruelty inflicted on a horse seem so noteworthy to contemporaries? The sources recording it resound with the rich Latin vocabulary of shame: “dedecus, contemptus, ignominia, dehonestatio, opprobrium.” Robert's highly symbolic act, part of a pattern of harassment by the Brocs, was designed not just to threaten Becket but also to humiliate him. (shrink)
In the range of his intellectual interests and the profundity of his mathematical thought Hermann Weyl towered above his contemporaries, many of whom viewed him with awe. This volume, the most ambitious study to date of Weyl's singular contributions to mathematics, physics, and philosophy, looks at the man and his work from a variety of perspectives, though its gaze remains fairly steadily fixed on Weyl the geometer and space‐time theorist. Structurally, the book falls into two parts, described in the (...) general introduction by the editor: Part 1 contains four essays on particular aspects of Weyl's work, highlighting ideas he developed in various editions of his classic Raum‐Zeit‐Materie. Part 2 presents a lengthy study by Robert Coleman and Herbert Korté covering nearly the whole gamut of Weyl's mathematical research, an impressive feat. Both in the introduction as well as in footnotes to the articles Erhard Scholz's editorial voice chimes in discreetly, helping tie all five studies together.Coleman and Korté begin chronologically with Weyl's early work in analysis and the modern theory of Riemann surfaces before turning to differential geometry, unified field theory, and the space problem, a topic they use as a springboard for a discussion of their own recent work on the foundations of space‐time. They then take up Weyl's shift to group representation theory and its applications to quantum mechanics, ending with his much earlier research on the structure of the continuum. All of these topics are well handled, but the authors' own agendas coupled with their penchant for overlooking chronology in order to package Weyl's work into neat little bundles leave one feeling rather stranded and far removed from the sources of Weyl's inspiration. Moreover, the narrative style makes this part of the volume read like a technical appendix, albeit a most informative one. Readers who tackle Scholz's far more contextualized essay will be amply rewarded by comparing his views with the opinions set forth by Coleman and Korté in Part 2.Scholz gives a masterful account of Weyl's intellectual journeys from 1917 to 1925 in a study that serves as a fulcrum for the entire volume. Drawing on a number of recently published studies, including his own, on the interplay between mathematics and physics inspired by Einstein's theory of general relativity, Scholz describes how Weyl responded to this challenge by developing a truly infinitesimal space‐time geometry that generalized classical Riemannian geometry. Although unconvinced by Einstein's critique of his unified field theory, Weyl shifted his focus from this realm to the classical space problem, analyzed earlier with more primitive techniques by Hermann Helmholtz and Sophus Lie. In this connection, it should be mentioned that Thomas Hawkins has given a probing analysis of Weyl's related work on the representation of Lie groups in his tour‐de‐force work, Emergence of the Theory of Lie Groups . Scholz argues that Weyl's struggle to tame his modernized version of the space problem stemmed from a deep‐seated belief in his geometrical ideas, which in turn were nourished by philosophical musings. By demonstrating the closely related conceptual links that motivated Weyl's research in infinitesimal geometry, space‐time physics, and the foundations of mathematics, Scholz nicely illuminates the underlying fabric of epistemological concerns that occupied Weyl's attention during this fertile period.The three remaining essays in Part 1 focus on other aspects of Weyl's work in mathematical physics and cosmology. Skuli Sigurdsson's “Journeys in Spacetime” offers a broad interpretation of Weyl's career, one that emphasizes Weyl's sensitivity to cultural tensions as reflected in his philosophical roots, which combined phenomenology with facets of German idealism. Shaken by the annihilation of cultural values in Nazi Germany, Weyl became deeply aware of the gulf that separated his earlier life in Göttingen and Zurich from the one he took up at Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study in 1933. He tried to adapt, but felt out of place in an Anglo‐American scientific culture openly hostile toward metaphysics and speculative philosophy. Sigurdsson stresses these tensions, contrasting the introspective, creative individual against the backdrop of the collective in the age of the machine, but without spelling out which collective were most important for him. Wolfgang Pauli thought he knew and, like Einstein before him, he had no compunction about bluntly telling Weyl he was a mathematician, not a physicist.Pauli's opinions notwithstanding, Weyl did far more than just dabble around the mathematical edges of the new physics. If Coleman and Korté perhaps press their case for his visionary accomplishments too far, Norbert Straumann's essay “Ursprünge der Eichtheorien” suggests why Weyl's reputation among physicists has risen steadily ever since the advent of Yang‐Mills theory in the 1950s. In the course of describing Weyl's adaptation of his gauge transformation formalism to Dirac's electron theory, Straumann sheds considerable light on Pauli's role as self‐appointed watchman guarding the disciplinary boundary that separated theoretical physics from physical mathematics . He further suggests that disciplinary jealousy was a major reason why Pauli dismissed Weyl's two‐component formalism for spinors out of hand.In the realm of cosmology, on the other hand, Weyl's work has long since passed into the dustbins of history, as Hubert Goenner remarks in recounting a fascinating chapter in the infancy of space‐time physics. While doing so, Goenner shows how initially Weyl almost slavishly adopted what Einstein called Mach's principle, which asserts that the metric structure of space‐time is solely determined by the distribution of matter in the universe. This notion was quickly challenged by Willem De Sitter, who showed that Einstein's matter‐free field equations admitted a global solution with non‐zero constant curvature. Both Einstein and Weyl tried to argue that invisible masses must be present just over the “spatial horizon” of De Sitter's world in order to account for its curvature. Goenner meticulously analyzes the physical and mathematical issues at stake in this debate, stressing how Weyl gradually moved away from a strong physical interpretation to one in which mathematics models rather than physics models simply reveal natural phenomena. He argues further that Weyl's cosmological principle arose as the final expression of his search for a deeper physical meaning.Given the quality of these essays, it is regrettable that this book contains so little about Weyl's professional career, a weakness the editor could have redressed at least partially in his general introduction. This omission is all the more unfortunate given the dearth of readily accessible information about Weyl's life available elsewhere. For however mundane his outward existence may have been, the reader cannot be expected to appreciate the interplay between the world Weyl knew and his creative responses to it without fairly detailed knowledge of his biography. Shorn from these contexts, it becomes difficult to form a flesh‐and‐blood image of Weyl beyond the cliché‐ridden stereotype that sees him as a “heroic thinker in the grand German tradition.” While none of the authors falls into this trap, the collective impression they leave suggests a most enigmatic figure. Either Weyl the man tends to get lost in the shadows of his collected scientific output or he appears as a mystic loner, an outcast who abhorred the machine age in which he lived. Closer attention to the people in his life would no doubt produce a very different picture of the man and his interests. This major lacuna notwithstanding, the present volume will surely remain an indispensable resource for any future investigations of Weyl's staggering intellectual achievements. (shrink)
The aim of this lucid translation from the Latin text of the Leonine edition of St Thomas’s commentary upon Aristotle’s Peri Hermeneias is to situate the traditional formal logic in relation to modern logic. The old logic of terms is still of importance, as illustrated by Hermann Weyl.
Einleitung -- Die Restauration der Scholastik im Spiegel lehramtlicher Dokumente und zeitgenösssischer Diskussionen -- Historisch-genetische Sicht des Thomas von Aquin : Martin Grabmann -- Wendepunkt historischer Forschung : Marie-Dominique Chenu in seiner Bedeutung für Martin Grabmann und Otto Hermann Pesch -- Thomas-Deutung in ökumenischer Perspektive : Otto Hermann Pesch -- Im diachronen und synchronen Dialog : Historiographie und Zeitgenossenschaft.
Drawing on work done by Helmholtz, I argue that Reid was in no position to infer that objects appear as if projected on the inner surface of a sphere, or that they have the geometric properties of such projections even though they do not look concave towards the eye. A careful consideration of the phenomena of visual experience, as further illuminated by the practice of visual artists, should have led him to conclude that the sides of visible appearances either look (...) straight, in which case their angles appear to approximate Euclidean measures, or their angles do not appear to approximate Euclidean measures for straight line figures, in which case their sides do not look straight. (shrink)
This book is an introduction to philosophy of sex. The history of philosophy of sex is depicted (from Plato to Herman Schmitz) to set up the background against which the philosophy of sex by Herman Schmitz is analyzed. This leads to the discussion of topics like masturbation, the ontology of the sexed human body, and same-sex marriage.