The paper provides a formal representation of goal systems. The focus is on three properties: consistency, conflict, and coherence. An aim is to attain conceptual clarity of these properties. It is argued that consistency is adequately regarded as a property relative to the decision situation or, more specifically, the set of alternatives that the agent faces. Moreover, as a condition of rationality, consistency is stronger than some writers have claimed. Conflict is adequately regarded as a relation over subsets of a (...) given goal system and should likewise be regarded as relative to the set of alternatives that the agent faces. Coherence is given a probabilistic interpretation, based on a support relation over subsets of goal systems. (shrink)
We construct a model of rational choice under risk with biased risk judgement. On its basis, we argue that sometimes, a regulator aiming at maximising social welfare should affect the environment in such a way that it becomes ‘less safe’ in common perception. More specifically, we introduce a bias into each agent’s choice of optimal risk levels: consequently, in certain environments, agents choose a behaviour that realises higher risks than intended. Individuals incur a welfare loss through this bias. We show (...) that by deteriorating the environment, the regulator can motivate individuals to choose behaviour that is less biased, and hence realises risk levels closer to what individuals intended. We formally investigate the conditions under which such a Beneficial Safety Decrease—i.e. a deteriorating intervention that has a positive welfare effect—exists. Finally, we discuss three applications of our model. (shrink)
Modal logic has been applied in many different areas, as reasoning about time, knowledge and belief, necessity and possibility, to mention only some examples. In the present paper, an attempt is made to use modal logic to account for the semantics of theoretical sentences in scientific language. Theoretical sentences have been studied extensively since the work of Ramsey and Carnap. The present attempt at a modal analysis is motivated by there being several intended interpretations of the theoretical terms once these (...) terms are introduced through the axioms of a theory. (shrink)
In this paper, a new account of empirical claims in structuralism is developed. Its novelty derives from the use that is made of the linguistic approach to scientific theories despite the presumed incompatibility of structuralism with that approach. It is shown how the linguistic approach can be applied to the framework of structuralism if the semantic foundations of that approach are refined to do justice to the doctrine of indirect interpretation of theoretical terms. This doctrine goes back to Carnap but (...) has been advanced until the present day without a proper semantic explanation. (shrink)
According to Woodward’s influential account of explanation, explanations have a counterfactual structure, and explanatory counterfactuals are analysed in terms of causal relations and interventions. In this paper, we provide a formal semantics of explanatory counterfactuals based on a Ramsey Test semantics of conditionals. Like Woodward’s account, our account is guided by causal considerations. Unlike Woodward’s account, it makes no reference to causal graphs and it also covers cases of explanation where interventions are impossible.
This book aims to lay bare the logical foundations of tractable reasoning. It draws on Marvin Minsky's seminal work on frames, which has been highly influential in computer science and, to a lesser extent, in cognitive science. Only very few people have explored ideas about frames in logic, which is why the investigation in this book breaks new ground. The apparent intractability of dynamic, inferential reasoning is an unsolved problem in both cognitive science and logic-oriented artificial intelligence. By means of (...) a logical investigation of frames and frame concepts, Andreas devises a novel logic of tractable reasoning, called frame logic. Moreover, he devises a novel belief revision scheme, which is tractable for frame logic. These tractability results shed new light on our logical and cognitive means to carry out dynamic, inferential reasoning. Modularity remains central for tractability, and so the author sets forth a logical variant of the massive modularity hypothesis in cognitive science. (shrink)
The distinction between the syntactic and the semantic approach to scientific theories emerged in formal philosophy of science. The semantic approach is commonly considered more advanced and more successful than the syntactic one, but the transition from the one approach to the other was not brought about without any loss. In essence, it is the formal analysis of atomic propositions and the analysis of deductive reasoning that dropped out of consideration in at least some of the elaborated versions of the (...) semantic approach. In structuralist theory of science, as founded by Sneed and Stegmüller, the focus is on global propositions concerning the question of whether or not certain empirical systems satisfy a set-theoretic predicate that encodes the axioms of a scientific theory. Hence, an analysis of deductive reasoning from atomic premisses with the help of a given theory is missing. The objective of the present paper is to develop a deductive system on the basis of the structuralist framework. This system comes with a novel formulation of empirical propositions in structuralism. (shrink)
Most recent accounts of personal autonomy acknowledge that the social environment a person lives in, and the personal relationships she entertains, have some impact on her autonomy. Two kinds of conceptualizing social conditions are traditionally distinguished in this regard: Causally relational accounts hold that certain relationships and social environments play a causal role for the development and ongoing exercise of autonomy. Constitutively relational accounts, by contrast, claim that autonomy is at least partly constituted by a person’s social environment or standing. (...) The central aim of this paper is to raise the question how causally and constitutively relational approaches relate to the fact that we exercise our autonomy over time. I argue that once the temporal scope of autonomy is opened up, we need not only to think differently about the social dimension of autonomy. We also need to reconsider the very distinction between causally and constitutively relational accounts, because it is itself a synchronic distinction. (shrink)
After decades of neglect philosophers of physics have discovered gauge theories--arguably the paradigm of modern field physics--as a genuine topic for foundational and philosophical research. Incidentally, in the last couple of years interest from the philosophy of physics in structural realism--in the eyes of its proponents the best suited realist position towards modern physics--has also raised. This paper tries to connect both topics and aims to show that structural realism gains further credence from an ontological analysis of gauge theories--in particular (...) U(1) gauge theory. In the first part of the paper the framework of fiber bundle gauge theories is briefly presented and the interpretation of local gauge symmetry will be examined. In the second part, an ontological underdetermination of gauge theories is carved out by considering the various kinds of non-locality involved in such typical effects as the Aharonov-Bohm effect. The analysis shows that the peculiar form of non-separability figuring in gauge theories is a variant of spatiotemporal holism and can be distinguished from quantum theoretic holism. In the last part of the paper the arguments for a gauge theoretic support of structural realism are laid out and discussed. (shrink)
Some scientific theories are inconsistent, yet non-trivial and meaningful. How is that possible? The present paper aims to show that we can analyse the inferential use of such theories in terms of consistent compositions of the applications of universal axioms. This technique will be represented by a preferred models semantics, which allows us to accept the instances of universal axioms selectively. For such a semantics to be developed, the framework of partial structures by da Costa and French will be extended (...) by a few elements of the Sneed formalism, also known as the structuralist approach to science. (shrink)
Whether meaning is compositional has been a major issue in linguistics and formal philosophy of language for the last 2 decades. Semantic holism is widely and plausibly considered as an objection to the principle of semantic compositionality therein. It comes as a surprise that the holistic peculiarities of scientific language have been rarely addressed in formal accounts so far, given that semantic holism has its roots in the philosophy of science. For this reason, a model-theoretic approach to semantic holism in (...) the language of science is presented here. This approach preserves compositionality to a large extent. *Received September 2009; revised February 2010. †To contact the author, please write to: Seminar for Philosophy, Logic, and Theory of Science, Hauspostfach 49, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich 80539, Germany; e-mail: holger[email protected] (shrink)
Structural realism is sometimes said to undermine the theory underdetermination (TUD) argument against realism, since, in usual TUD scenarios, the supposed underdetermination concerns the object-like theoretical content but not the structural content. The paper explores the possibility of structural TUD by considering some special cases from modern physics, but also questions the validity of the TUD argument itself. The upshot is that cases of structural TUD cannot be excluded, but that TUD is perhaps not such a terribly serious anti-realistic argument.
This paper aims to set forth Carnapian structuralism, i.e., a syntactic view of the structuralist approach which is deeply inspired by Carnap’s dual level conception of scientific theories. At its core is the axiomatisation of a metatheoretical concept AE(T) which characterises those extensions of an intended application that are admissible in the sense of being models of the theory-element T and that satisfy all links, constraints and specialisations. The union of axiom systems of AE(T) (where T is an element of (...) the theory-net N) will allow us to present scientific theories in an axiomatic fashion so that deductive reasoning in science can be formalised. Thereupon defeasible and paraconsistent means of reasoning will be introduced. The logical study of scientific reasoning is the key motivation of Carnapian structuralism. A further motivation is to help overcome the syntactic-semantic split in the philosophy of science. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to scrutinize active externalism and its repercussions for externalism about mental content. I start from the claim that active externalism is a version of content externalism that follows from the extended cognition thesis as a thesis about cognitive vehicles. Various features of active content externalism are explored by comparison with the known forms of passive externalism – in particular with respect to the multiple realizability of the relevant external content-determining components and with respect to (...) mental causation. A crucial result is that social externalism is already a version of active externalism. I conclude with a first sketch of a general account of meaning inspired by extended cognition: a use theory supplemented by a functional-role account. (shrink)
A simple explanation of theoreticity says that a term is theoretical if and only if it refers to nonobservational entities. Paradigmatic examples of such entities are electrons, neutrinos, gravitational forces, genes etc. There is yet another explanation of theoreticity: a theoretical term is one whose meaning becomes determined through the axioms of a scientific theory. The meaning of the term ‘force’, for example, is seen to be determined by Newton’s laws of motion and further laws about special forces, such as (...) the law of gravitation. Theoreticity is a property that is commonly applied to both expressions in the language of science, and referents and concepts of such expressions. Objects, relations and functions as well as concepts thereof may thus qualify as theoretical in a derived sense. (shrink)
The desideratum of semantic interoperability has been intensively discussed in medical informatics circles in recent years. Originally, experts assumed that this issue could be sufficiently addressed by insisting simply on the application of shared clinical terminologies or clinical information models. However, the use of the term ‘ontology’ has been steadily increasing more recently. We discuss criteria for distinguishing clinical ontologies from clinical terminologies and information models. Then, we briefly present the role clinical ontologies play in two multicentric research projects. Finally, (...) we discuss the interactions between these different kinds of knowledge representation artifacts and the stakeholders involved in developing interoperational real-world clinical applications. We provide ontology engineering examples from two EU-funded projects. (shrink)
In this paper, we analyse actual causation in terms of production. The latter concept is made precise by a strengthened Ramsey Test semantics of conditionals: \ iff, after suspending judgement about A and C, C is believed in the course of assuming A. This test allows us to verify or falsify that an event brings about another event. Complementing the concept of production by a weak condition of difference-making gives rise to a full-fledged analysis of causation.
The well-known formal semantics of conditionals due to Stalnaker Studies in logical theory, Blackwell, Oxford, 1968), Lewis, and Gärdenfors The logic and 1140 epistemology of scientific change, North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1978, Knowledge in flux, MIT Press, Cambridge, 1988) all fail to distinguish between trivially and nontrivially true indicative conditionals. This problem has been addressed by Rott :345–370, 1986) in terms of a strengthened Ramsey Test. In this paper, we refine Rott’s strengthened Ramsey Test and the corresponding analysis of explanatory relations. We (...) show that our final analysis captures the presumed asymmetry between explanans and explanandum much better than Rott’s original analysis. (shrink)
This paper explores the argument structure of the concept of spontaneous symmetry breaking in the electroweak gauge theory of the Standard Model: the so-called Higgs mechanism. As commonly understood, the Higgs argument is designed to introduce the masses of the gauge bosons by a spontaneous breaking of the gauge symmetry of an additional field, the Higgs field. The technical derivation of the Higgs mechanism, however, consists in a mere reshuffling of degrees of freedom by transforming the Higgs Lagrangian in a (...) gauge-invariant manner. This already raises serious doubts about the adequacy of the entire manoeuvre. It will be shown that no straightforward ontic interpretation of the Higgs mechanism is tenable, since gauge transformations possess no real instantiations. In addition, the explanatory value of the Higgs argument will be critically examined. (shrink)
The article recently published in this journal by Dr B A Rix, a member of the Danish Council of Ethics (DCE), was heavily criticised by Dr David Lamb and Mr Christopher Pallis in subsequent commentaries. The editorial column by Professor Raanan Gillon also criticised the position put forward by Rix. In this article I contend that the definition of death put forward by Pallis and Lamb suffers certain philosophical shortcomings, that the position put forward by Rix deserves fuller consideration, and (...) that Rix is not to be dismissed easily. (shrink)
The paper is a kind of opinionated review paper on current issues in the debate about Structural Realism, roughly the view that we should be committed in the structural rather than object-like content of our best current scientific theories. The major thesis in the first part of the paper is that Structural Realism has to take structurally derived intrinsic properties into account, while in the second part key elements of aligning Structural Realism with a Humean framework are outlined.
In der Debatte um den wissenschaftlichen Realismus gewinnt zunehmend der Strukturenrealismus - dessen Auffassung zufolge der Realgehalt wissenschaftlicher Theorien in deren mathematisch-logischer Struktur liegt - an Bedeutung. Die vorliegende Arbeit untersucht diese These anhand der in unserer fundamentalen Physik bedeutsamsten Klasse von Theorien, den Eichtheorien, die durch spezielle lokale Symmetriestrukturen gekennzeichnet sind. Die Arbeit bietet dem Leser in ihren ersten Kapiteln einen Einstieg in die zentralen Themen Symmetrien, wissenschaftlicher Realismus und Eichtheorien. In den im Mittelteil durchgeführten Analysen werden Quanten- und (...) Gravitations-Eichtheorien in konzeptioneller Hinsicht - vor allem bezüglich der zugrundeliegenden Prinzipien - und ontologischer Hinsicht - mit Blick auf die Unterbestimmtheit der Entitäten und verschiedener Lokalitätsannahmen - im Detail untersucht. Resultierend ergibt sich eine Stützung des Strukturenrealismus, jedoch nicht in dessen radikaler ontischer Variante, sondern in der moderateren epistemischen oder allenfalls intermediären Spielart, bei der sowohl Strukturen als auch deren Träger existieren, wobei letzterer jedoch amorph und und mithin epistemisch unverfügbar ist. (shrink)
The present paper aims at a synthesis of belief revision theory with the Sneed formalism known as the structuralist theory of science. This synthesis is brought about by a dynamisation of classical structuralism, with an abductive inference rule and base generated revisions in the style of Rott (2001). The formalism of prioritised default logic (PDL) serves as the medium of the synthesis. Why seek to integrate the Sneed formalism into belief revision theory? With the hybrid system of the present investigation, (...) a substantial simplification of the ranking information that is necessary to define revisions and contractions uniquely is achieved. This system is, furthermore, expressive enough to capture complex and non-trivial scientific examples. It is thus closely related to a novel research area within belief revision theory which addresses the dynamics of scientific knowledge. (shrink)
We aim to devise a Ramsey test analysis of actual causation. Our method is to define a strengthened Ramsey test for causal models. Unlike the accounts of Halpern and Pearl () and Halpern (), the resulting analysis deals satisfactorily with both over- determination and conjunctive scenarios.
Als Wissenschaftslogik bezeichnet Carnap jene Disziplin, welche die Nachfolge der traditionellen Philosophie im 20. Jahrhundert antreten sollte. Den zentralen Bezugspunkt von Carnaps wissenschaftslogischen Arbeiten bildet die von Frege und Russell entwickelte mathematische Logik. Dies gilt auch für die Zweistufenkonzeption, mit der Carnap ein allgemeines Schema zur Analyse der Bedeutung von Begriffen nichtmathematischer Theorien entwirft. Dabei wird die Abhängigkeit der begrifflichen Bedeutung von den Aussagen der jeweiligen Theorie explizit anerkannt, was eine Überwindung der Dogmen des Empirismus innerhalb des Logischen Empirismus einschlieβt. (...) Allerdings geht Carnap in seinen Arbeiten zur Semantik formaler Sprachen auf die spezifischen Eigenschaften von theoretischen Termen nicht ein, so daβ die Überwindung der Dogmen des Empirismus unvollständig bleibt. Darauf gründet sich die wesentliche Aufgabe der vorliegenden Untersuchung, welche darin besteht, die Deutung von theoretischen Termen durch Postulate im Rahmen der mathematischen Logik exakt zu beschreiben. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is twofold: First, to present an examination of the principles underlying gauge field theories. I shall argue that there are two principles directly connected to the two well-known theorems of Emmy Noether concerning global and local symmetries of the free matter-field Lagrangian, in the following referred to as "conservation principle" and "gauge principle". Since both these express nothing but certain symmetry features of the free field theory, they are not sufficient to derive a true interaction (...) coupling to a new gauge field. For this purpose it is necessary to advocate a third, truly empirical principle which may be understood as a generalization of the equivalence principle. The second task of the paper is to deal with the ontological question concerning the reality status of gauge potentials in the light of the proposed logical structure of gauge theories. A nonlocal interpretation of topological effects in gauge theories and, thus, the non-reality of gauge potentials in accordance with the generalized equivalence principle will be favoured. (shrink)
Proponents of mechanistic explanations have recently proclaimed that all explanations in the neurosciences appeal to mechanisms. The purpose of the paper is to critically assess this statement and to develop an integrative account that connects a large range of both mechanistic and dynamical explanations. I develop and defend four theses about the relationship between dynamical and mechanistic explanations: that dynamical explanations are structurally grounded, that they are multiply realizable, possess realizing mechanisms and provide a powerful top-down heuristic. Four examples shall (...) support my points: the harmonic oscillator, the Haken–Kelso–Bunz model of bimanual coordination, the Watt governor and the Gierer–Meinhardt model of biological pattern formation. I also develop the picture of “horizontal” and “vertical” directions of explanations to illustrate the different perspectives of the dynamical and mechanistic approach as well as their potential integration by means of intersection points. (shrink)
The present paper aims to complement causal model approaches to causal explanation by Woodward , Halpern and Pearl , and Strevens . It centres on a strengthened Ramsey Test of conditionals: α ≫ γ iff, after sus- pending judgment about α and γ, an agent can infer γ from the supposition of α. It has been shown by Andreas and Gu ̈nther  that such a conditional can be used as starting point of an analysis of ‘because’ in natural language. (...) In what follows, we shall refine this analysis so as to yield a fully fledged account of causal explanation. (shrink)
The German philosopher Robert Spaemann provides an important contribution to a number of contemporary debates in philosophy and theology, opening up possibilities for conversation between these disciplines. He engages in a dialogue with classical and contemporary positions and often formulates important and original insights which lie beyond common alternatives. In this study Holger Zaborowski provides an analysis of the most important features of Spaemann's philosophy and shows the unity of his thought. The question 'Who is a person?' is of (...) increasing significance: Are all human beings persons? Are there animals that can be considered persons? What does it mean to speak of personal identity and of the dignity of the person? Spaemann provides an answer to these questions: Every human being, he argues, is a person and, therefore, 'has' his nature in freedom. In order to understand the person, Spaemann explains, we have to think about the relation between nature and freedom and avoid the reductive accounts of this relation prevalent in important strands of modern thought. Spaemann develops a challenging critique of modernity, incorporating analysis of modern anti-modernisms and showing that these are also subject to a dialectical development, perpetuating the problematic shortcomings of many features of modern reasoning. If we do not want to abolish ourselves as persons, Spaemann reasons, we need to find a way of understanding ourselves that evades the dialectic of modernity. Thus, he reminds his readers of 'self-evident' knowledge: insights that we have once already known, but tend to forget. (shrink)
Gegenstand dieses Beitrags ist eine Auseinandersetzung mit der Wissenschaftlichkeit der Medizin. Den Leitfaden der Analyse bildet dabei ein jüngerer Ansatz in der analytischen Wissenschaftstheorie, wonach Systematizität als zentrales Kriterium von Wissenschaft anzusehen ist (Hoyningen-Huene 2013). Ich werde im Detail zeigen, dass die Medizin dieses mehrdimensionale Kriterium insgesamt erfüllt, dass aus der Wissenschaftlichkeit der Medizin aber gleichwohl normative Konsequenzen folgen, die beispielsweise zur Abgrenzung von der Homöopathie und einer kritischen Bewertung des biopsychosozialen Modells führen. Zudem resultieren der Anwendungscharakter der Medizin und (...) die zentrale Bedeutung des Arzt-Patienten-Verhältnisses nicht in einer Schwächung des Anspruchs der Medizin als Wissenschaft. (shrink)
There is a growing consensus that the mental lexicon contains both abstract and word-specific acoustic information. To investigate their relative importance for word recognition, we tested to what extent perceptual learning is word specific or generalizable to other words. In an exposure phase, participants were divided into two groups; each group was semantically biased to interpret an ambiguous Mandarin tone contour as either tone1 or tone2. In a subsequent test phase, the perception of ambiguous contours was dependent on the exposure (...) phase: Participants who heard ambiguous contours as tone1 during exposure were more likely to perceive ambiguous contours as tone1 than participants who heard ambiguous contours as tone2 during exposure. This learning effect was only slightly larger for previously encountered than for not previously encountered words. The results speak for an architecture with prelexical analysis of phonological categories to achieve both lexical access and episodic storage of exemplars. (shrink)
Four empirically equivalent versions of general relativity, namely standard GR, Lorentz-invariant gravitational theory,and the gravitational gauge theories of the Lorentz and translation groups, are investigated in the form of a case study for theory underdetermination. The various ontological indeterminacies (both underdetermination and inscrutability of reference) inherent in gravitational theories are analyzed in a detailed comparative study. The concept of practical underdetermination is proposed, followed by a discussion of its adequacy to describe scientific progress.
The goal of the paper is to develop and propose a general model of the state space of AI. Given the breathtaking progress in AI research and technologies in recent years, such conceptual work is of substantial theoretical interest. The present AI hype is mainly driven by the triumph of deep learning neural networks. As the distinguishing feature of such networks is the ability to self-learn, self-learning is identified as one important dimension of the AI state space. Another dimension is (...) recognized as generalization, the possibility to go over from specific to more general types of problems. A third dimension is semantic grounding. Our overall analysis connects to a number of known foundational issues in the philosophy of mind and cognition: the blockhead objection, the Turing test, the symbol grounding problem, the Chinese room argument, and use theories of meaning. It shall finally be argued that the dimension of grounding decomposes into three sub-dimensions. And the dimension of self-learning turns out as only one of a whole range of “self-x-capacities” that span the self-x-subspace of the full AI state space. (shrink)
The paper has three parts. In the first part ExtOSR, an extended version of Ontic Structural Realism, will be introduced. ExtOSR considers structural properties as ontological primitives, where structural properties are understood as comprising both relational and structurally derived intrinsic properties or structure invariants. It is argued that ExtOSR is best suited to accommodate gauge symmetry invariants and zero value properties. In the second part, ExtOSR will be given a Humean shape by considering structures as categorical and global. It will (...) be laid out how such structures serve to reconstruct non-essential structural kinds and laws. In the third part Humean structural realism will be defended against the threat of quidditism. (shrink)
Recent developments under the keywords dynamicism, embodiment and situated cognition suggest the view that cognitive systems are not confined to the neural sys‐tem but leak into the world beyond the traditional system boundaries. This is the thesis of extended cognition. Such an extension of the cognitive vehicles leads to a new kind of content externalism, known as active externalism. The essay pursues three objectives: firstly, to distinguish the theses of extended cognitive and active externalism. Secondly, to delineate active externalism from (...) its various passive-externalist precursors in the form of physical, historical and social externalism and to scrutinize its special position, which amounts to a comprehensive discussion and analysis of all variants of mental externalism. And thirdly, to show that social externalism as opposed to physical and historical externalism allows for a gradual transition from passive to active mental externalism. (shrink)
In this paper, a solution to the problem of theoretical terms is developed that is based on Carnap’s doctrine of indirect interpretation of theoretical terms. This doctrine will be given a semantic, model-theoretic explanation that is not given by Carnap himself as he remains content with a syntactic explanation. From that semantic explanation, rules for the truth-value assignment to postulates, i.e. sentences that determine the meaning of theoretical terms, are derived. The logical status of postulates will be clarified thereby in (...) such a way that the problem of theoretical terms disappears. (shrink)