In this paper a dialogue game for critical discussion is developed. The dialogue game is a formalisation of the ideal discussion model that is central to the pragma-dialectical theory of argumentation. The formalisation is intended as a preparatory step to facilitate the development of computational tools to support the pragma-dialectical study of argumentation. An important dimension of the pragma-dialectical discussion model is the role played by speech acts. The central issue addressed in this paper is how the speech act perspective (...) can be accommodated in the formalisation as a dialogue game. The starting point is an existing ‘basic’ dialogue game for critical discussion, in which speech acts are not addressed. The speech act perspective is introduced into the dialogue game by changing the rules that govern the moves that can be made and the commitments that these result in, while the rules for the beginning, for the end, and for the structure of the dialogue game remain unchanged. The revision of the move rules is based on the distribution of speech acts in the pragma-dialectical discussion model. The revision of the commitment rules is based on the felicity conditions that are associated with those speech acts. (shrink)
Argument schemes are abstractions substantiating the inferential connection between premise and conclusion in argumentative communication. Identifying such conventional patterns of reasoning is essential to the interpretation and evaluation of argumentation. Whether studying argumentation from a theory-driven or data-driven perspective, insight into the actual use of argumentation in communicative practice is essential. Large and reliably annotated corpora of argumentative discourse to quantitatively provide such insight are few and far between. This is all the more true for argument scheme corpora, which tend (...) to suffer from a combination of limited size, poor validation, and the use of ad hoc restricted typologies. In the current paper, we describe the annotation of schemes on the basis of two distinct classifications: Walton’s taxonomy of argument schemes, and Wagemans’ Periodic Table of Arguments. We describe the annotation procedure for each, and the quantitative characteristics of the resulting annotated text corpora. In doing so, we extend the annotation of the preexisting US2016 corpus of televised election debates, resulting in, to the best of our knowledge, the two largest consistently annotated corpora of schemes in argumentative dialogue publicly available. Based on evaluation in terms of inter-annotator agreement, we propose further improvements to the guidelines for annotating schemes: the argument scheme key, and the Argument Type Identification Procedure. (shrink)
can be adapted and adopted by developing countries. IFC sees this as being an area where we may be able to benchmark and promote positive change. ● The force of global trade initiatives also influences animal welfare.
This article introduces the symposium “Toward a Philosophy of Blockchain,” which provides a philosophical contemplation of blockchain technology, the digital ledger software underlying cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, for the secure transfer of money, assets, and information via the Internet without needing a third-party intermediary. The symposium offers philosophical scholarship on a new topic, blockchain technology, from a variety of perspectives. The philosophical themes discussed include mathematical models of reality, signification, and the sociopolitical institutions that structure human life and interaction. The (...) symposium also investigates the metaphilosophical theme of how to create a philosophy of anything, specifically a new topic such as blockchain technology. Repeated themes are identified, in all areas of philosophical inquiry, and conceptual resources are elaborated to contribute to a philosophical understanding of blockchain technology. Thus, philosophy as a metaphilosophical approach is shown to be able to provide an understanding of the conceptual, theoretical, and foundational dimensions of novelty and emergence in the world, with a particular focus on blockchain technology. (shrink)
In this paper we address the interrelated questions of why and how certain features of an organism’s environment become meaningful to it. We make the case that knowing the biology is essential to understanding the foundation of meaning-making in organisms. We employ Miguel Nicolelis et al’s seminal research on the mammalian somatosensory system to enrich our own concept of brain-objects as the neurobiological intermediary between the environment and the consequent organismic behavior. In the final section, we explain how brain-objects advance (...) the ongoing discussion of what constitutes a biosemiotic system. In general, this paper acknowledges Marcello Barbieri’s call for biology to make room for meaning, and makes a contribution to that end. (shrink)
The strong continuity thesis postulates that the properties of mind are an enriched version of the properties of life, and thus that life and mind differ in degree and not kind. A philosophical problem for this view is the ostensive discontinuity between humans and other animals in virtue of our use of symbols—particularly the presumption that the symbolic nature of human cognition bears no relation to the basic properties of life. In this paper, we make the case that a genuine (...) account of strong continuity requires the identification of some sort of correlate of symbol-use in basic life properties. Our strategy is three-fold: 1) we argue that examples of proto-symbolism in simple living systems would be consistent with an evolutionary trajectory that ultimately produced symbolic cognition in humans; 2) we introduce Gordon Tomkins’ biological notion of ‘symbol’ as something that represents to the organism a feature of its environment that is significant to its survival; and 3) we employ this biological understanding of symbol-use to suggest that the symbolic nature of human cognition can be understood as an enriched version of the basic symbolic properties of life, thus preserving life-mind continuity in this context. (shrink)
With direct-to-consumer advertisements (DTCA), pharmaceutical companies can market their prescription drugs directly to consumers. In order to properly study the argumentative aspect of these advertisements from a pragma-dialectical perspective, it is necessary to characterize DTCA as an ‘argumentative activity type’. This characterization shows that in DTCA, the advertiser combines two genres of communicative activity: promotion and consultation. The use of promotion stems from the advertiser’s commercial objective of selling products, while the use of consultation is a result of the legal (...) obligation to present a fair balance between arguments for and against the use of a drug. (shrink)
Philosophers attracted to the republican ideal of freedom as nondomination sometimes offer the thought that a state concerned to promote this ideal would be more committed to economic justice than a liberal state pursuing freedom as noninterference. The republican commitment to economic justice is more demanding and its provisions are more substantial. These philosophers overstate republican redistributive commitments. The state need only provide a basic set of capabilities in order to achieve the republican goal, and concerns about domination in society (...) better support a sufficiency aim in redistributive policy. (shrink)
John Hare has proposed “prescriptive realism” in an attempt to stake out a middle-ground position in the twentieth century Anglo-American debates concerning metaethics between substantive moral realists and antirealist-expressivists. The account is supposed to preserve both the normativity and objectivity of moral judgments. Hare defends a version of divine command theory. The proposal succeeds in establishing the middle-ground position Hare intended. However, I argue that prescriptive realism can be strengthened in an interesting way.
What is artificial life? Much has been said about this interesting collection of efforts to artificially simulate and synthesize lifelike behavior and processes, yet we are far from having a robust philosophical understanding of just what Alifers are doing and why it ought to interest philosophers of science, and philosophers of biology in particular. In this paper, I first provide three introductory examples from the particular subset of artificial life I focus on, known as ‘soft Alife’ (s-Alife), and follow up (...) with a more in-depth review of the Avida program, which serves as my case study of s-Alife. Next, I review three well-known accounts of thought experiments, and then offer my own synthesized account, to make the argument that s-Alife functions as thought experimentation in biology. I draw a comparison between the methodology of the thought-experimental world that yields real-world results, and the s-Alife research that informs our understanding of natural life. I conclude that the insights provided by s-Alife research have the potential to fundamentally alter our understanding of the nature of organic life and thus deserve the attention of both philosophers and natural scientists. (shrink)
Jaakko Hintikka (1998) has argued that clarifying the notion of abduction is the fundamental problem of contemporary epistemology. One traditional interpretation of Peirce on abduction sees it as a recipe for generating new theoretical discoveries . A second standard view sees abduction as a mode of reasoning that justifies beliefs about the probable truth of theories. While each reading has some grounding in Peirce's writings, each leaves out features that are crucial to Peirce's distinctive understanding of abduction. I develop and (...) defend a third interpretation, according to which Peirce takes abductive reasoning to lead to judgments about the relative pursuitworthiness of theories; conclusions that can be thoroughly disconnected from assessments of truth-value. Even if Peirce's use of "abduction" slides around among each of these three importantly different though potentially compatible senses, this neglected third understanding makes sense of a large number of Peirce's remarks and directs our attention to the cognitive structure of judgments that scientists face after the initial proposal of explanatory hypotheses but prior to their experimental testing; a topic which should be of interest to contemporary philosophers of science. (shrink)
Linda Zagzebski’s recent account of the role of emotion in the structure of moral judgments aims to reconcile the role of affect in these judgments with moral cognitivism. The account is implausible because it is based on a problematic analysis of what it is to express a moral attitude and because it makes making a moral judgment unduly difficult. I suggest a way to reconcile Zagzebski’s intuitions about moral judgments that does not encounter these two problems.
Despite the increasing amount of literature on the legal and political questions triggered by a commitment to liberty of conscience, an explanation of the normative significance of conscience remains elusive. We argue that the few attempts to address this fail to capture the reasons people have to respect the consciences of others. We offer an alternative account that utilizes the resources of the contractualist tradition in moral philosophy to explain why conscience matters.
In addition to recognizing the connection between aesthetic judgment and mindfulness to better understand the continuity between humans and nonhuman animals, a shift of the discussion of the origins of mind to the origins of mindfulness ...
John Hare has proposed "prescriptive realism" in an attempt to stake out a middle-ground position in the twentieth century Anglo-American debates concerning metaethics between substantive moral realists and antirealist-expressivists. The account is supposed to preserve both the normativity and objectivity of moral judgments. Hare defends a version of divine command theory. The proposal succeeds in establishing the middle-ground position Hare intended. However, I argue that prescriptive realism can be strengthened in an interesting way.
As an introduction to our work, we emphasize the parallel interpretation of abstract tools and the concepts of undetermined and vague information. Imprecision, uncertainty and their relationships are inspected. Suitable interpretations of the fuzzy sets theory are applied to legal phenomena in an attempt to clearly circumscribe the possible applications of the theory. The fundamental notion of reference sets is examined in detail, hence highlighting their importance. A systematic and combinatorial classification of the relevant subsets of the legal field is (...) supplied for practical application. Although the use of the fuzzy sets theory is sometimes suggested as a palliative measure (no competition exists), it can also be complementary (serve as a building block to improve modelisation). An Appendix gives a brief recall of the key-concepts of the axiomatic theory of fuzziness and its developments: fuzzy sets, fuzzy logic, fuzzy control and theory of possibility. (shrink)
A good Christian can be a good liberal, and perhaps should be, because liberalism is the political theory most consistent with the biblical mandate concerning the role of the state and its officers. The argument for this is made in terms that any good Christian should find acceptable, and then two policy implications are briefly discussed.
Abstract A unique aspect of human communication is the utilization of sets of well- delineated entities, the morphology of which is used to encode the letters of the alphabet. In this paper, we focus on Braille as an exemplar of this phenomenon. We take a Braille cell to be a physical artifact of the human environment, into the structure of which is encoded a representation of a letter of the alphabet. The specific issue we address in this paper concerns an (...) examination of how the code that is embedded in the structure of a Braille cell is transferred with fidelity from the environment through the body and into the Braille reader’s brain. We describe four distinct encoding steps that enable this transfer to occur. (shrink)
What constitutes a Black Swan? And under what conditions may a Black Swan be expected to arise? As Nassim Taleb describes it, a Black Swan is an event that displays three key properties, the two most important of which are that: it is not even imagined as a possibility prior to its occurrence; and it is in some way significant in its impact. It follows that whether or not an event counts as a Black Swan depends (...) on the subjective imaginings of contemporaneous observers and their criteria regarding what counts as a “significant impact.” Since there is nothing in determinism that precludes and, Black Swans may occur even in a perfectly deterministic world. Nevertheless, if the world is indeed characterised by randomness, free will, emergence, and the like, then it is arguably more likely to throw forth events that display the above‐mentioned properties. The same goes for various specific features of an increasingly interconnected global economy, which allowed Taleb to forecast what was, for most of us at least, the great Black Swan of 2008. (shrink)
ABSTRACTJohn Hare has proposed “prescriptive realism” in an attempt to stake out a middle‐ground position in the twentieth century Anglo‐American debates concerning metaethics between substantive moral realists and antirealist‐expressivists. The account is supposed to preserve both the normativity and objectivity of moral judgments. Hare defends a version of divine command theory. The proposal succeeds in establishing the middle‐ground position Hare intended. However, I argue that prescriptive realism can be strengthened in an interesting way.
ABSTRACT What constitutes a Black Swan? And under what conditions may a Black Swan be expected to arise? As Nassim Taleb describes it, a Black Swan is an event that displays three key properties, the two most important of which are that: (1) it is not even imagined as a possibility prior to its occurrence; and (2) it is in some way significant in its impact. It follows that whether or not an event counts as a Black (...)Swan depends on the subjective imaginings of contemporaneous observers and their (usually implicit) criteria regarding what counts as a ?significant impact.? Since there is nothing in determinism that precludes (1) and (2), Black Swans may occur even in a perfectly deterministic world. Nevertheless, if the world is indeed characterised by randomness, free will, emergence, and the like, then it is arguably more likely to throw forth events that display the above?mentioned properties. The same goes for various specific features of an increasingly interconnected global economy, which allowed Taleb (paradoxically) to forecast what was, for most of us at least, the great Black Swan of 2008. (shrink)
The three commentaries of Van Orden, Spivey and Anderson, and Dietrich (with Markman’s as a backdrop) form a tableau that reminds me of a fable by Ivan Andreevich Krylov (1769 - 1844), in which a swan, a pike, and a crawﬁsh undertake jointly to move a cart laden with goods. What transpires then is not unexpected: the swan strives skyward, the pike pulls toward the river, and the crawﬁsh scrambles backward. The call for papers for the present ecumenically (...) minded special issue of JETAI was designed to minimize this kind of discord, by charging the authors to examine the possibility of epistemological pluralism in cognitive science — a ﬁeld whose very diversity makes fundamental disagreement more likely than in other sciences. No doubt, the road mapped out by the editor had been conceived with good intentions in mind, but where did it lead us? It has been said that no good intention must go unpunished. To celebrate this venerable academic tradition (and also because I have a reputation to maintain), the following remarks will therefore be mostly other than conciliatory; caveat lector. (shrink)
ABSTRACT Nassim Taleb rightly points out that although people may acknowledge in the abstract that the world is uncertain, they still behave as if a large enough sample size is all that is needed to predict, and model, the future. He also rightly notes that ever?increasing quantities of information are relevant only in simple situations, such as in predicting the range of human height, but are misleading in more random arenas, such as financial markets. However, while Taleb decries the use (...) of narratives for falsely forcing the facts to fit a given story, we need narratives in order to make sense of a complex world. Further, Taleb fails to take sufficient heed of the fact that human narratives themselves become objects that act on subjects in an ever?increasing web of complexity. (shrink)
Methuselah, it is said, lived 969 years. His state of health at death is not revealed. It can only be surmised that he was surely not robust and, no doubt, was subject to all of the infirmities of old age and the tragic indignities associated with senility.Jonathan Swift captured well the “curse” of immortality when, in Gulliver's Travels, he created a group of individuals, the Struldbrugs, who, when encountered, dulled what had heretofore been an appetite for perpetual life. The Struldbrugs (...) were allowed to be born totally exempt from the “calamity of human Nature,” in that their minds were free “and disingaged, without the Weight and De pression of Spirits caused by the continued Apprehension of Death.” They were thus condemned “to a perpetual continuance in the World.” In his travels, Gulliver found some Struldbrugs well over 1,000 years old. (shrink)