This paper seeks to indicate some connections between a major philosophi- cal project of the seventeenth century, the conception of a mathesis universalis, and the practice of baroque poetry. I shall argue that these connections consist in a peculiar view of language and systems of notation which was particularly common in European baroque culture and which provided the necessary conceptual background for both poetry and the mathesis universalis.
Among others, the term problem plays a major role in the various attempts to characterize interdisciplinarity or transdisciplinarity, as used synonymously in this paper. Interdisciplinarity is regarded as problem solving among science, technology and society and as problem orientation beyond disciplinary constraints. The point of departure of this paper is that the discourse and practice of ID have problems with the problem. The objective here is to shed some light on the vague notion of problem in order to advocate a (...) specific type of interdisciplinarity: problem-oriented interdisciplinarity. The outline is as follows: Taking an ex negativo approach, I will show what problem-oriented ID does not mean. Using references to well-established distinctions in philosophy of science, I will show three other types of ID that should not be placed under the umbrella term problem-oriented ID : object-oriented ID, theory-oriented ID, and method-oriented ID. Different philosophical thought traditions can be related to these distinguishable meanings. I will then clarify the notion of problem by looking at three systematic elements: an undesired state, a desired state, and the barriers in getting from the one to the other. These three elements include three related kinds of knowledge: systems, target, and transformation knowledge. This paper elaborates further methodological and epistemological elements of problem-oriented ID. It concludes by stressing that problem-oriented ID is the most needed as well as the most challenging type of ID. (shrink)
As part of the Dutch national science program “Professional Games for Professional Skills” we developed a stress-exposure biofeedback training in virtual reality for the Dutch police. We aim to reduce the acute negative impact of stress on performance, as well as long-term consequences for mental health by facilitating physiological stress regulation during a demanding decision task. Conventional biofeedback applications mainly train physiological regulation at rest. This might limit the transfer of the regulation skills to stressful situations. In contrast, we provide (...) the user with the opportunity to practice breathing regulation while they carry out a complex task in VR. This setting poses challenges from a technical – as well as from a user-experience perspective. We illustrate how we approach these challenges in our training and hope to contribute a useful reference for researchers and developers in academia or industry who are interested in using biosignals to control elements in a dynamic virtual environment. (shrink)
This paper is an attempt to argue that there existed a very prominent view of signs and signification in late sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe which can help us to understand several puzzling aspects of baroque culture. This view, called here "pansemioticism," constituted a fundamental part of the baroque conception of the world. After sketching the content and importance of pansemioticism, I will show how it can help us to understand the (from a modern perspective) rather puzzling concept of the polymath, (...) or polyhistor, which constituted the ideal of the baroque scientist. In this context I will also discuss a seventeenth century phenomenon essentially connected with polyhistorism, namely that of the early modem polyhistorical collections, the Wunderkamnmern. Since such a study needs a clearly determined focal point, we will concentrate on the last three quarters of the seventeenth century and will mainly discuss works by German authors of the time. (shrink)
Collingridgeâs dilemma is one of the most well-established paradigms presenting a challenge to Technology Assessment (TA). This paper aims to reconstruct the dilemma from an analytic perspective and explicates three assumptions underlying the dilemma: the temporal, knowledge and power/actor assumptions. In the light of the recent transformation of the science, technology and innovation systemâin the age of technoscience âthese underlying assumptions are called into question. The same result is obtained from a normative angle by Collingridge himself; he criticises the dilemma (...) and advances concepts on how to keep a technology controllable. This paper stresses the relevance of the dilemma and of Collingridgeâs own ideas on how to deal with the dilemma. Today, a positive interpretation of technoscience for effective TA is possible. (shrink)
The article expands the traditional system of concepts used in deontic logic, in order to allow the inclusion of supererogatory behaviour. This requires the development of a deontic decagon. In addition, it is shown how this decagon can be used to interpret deontic terms, e.g. in Islamic Law.
The objective of this paper is to contribute to the expanding discourse on conceptual elements of TA. As a point of departure, it takes the recent transformation of the science, technology and innovation system ( technoscience ). We will show that the age of technoscience can be regarded as presenting not only a challenge, but also a chance and opportunity for TA. Embracing this opportunity, however, implies imposing several requirements on TA. In order to specify these requirements and to foster (...) the ongoing discourse on the foundations of TA, this paper suggests a programmatic term: prospective technology assessment (ProTA). This term is intended mainly as a reflection framework, aimed at providing an extension and complementâand not a replacementâof well-established TA concepts. Three requirements for ProTA are sketched: (1) early stage orientationâthe temporal dimension, (2) intention and potential orientationâthe knowledge dimension, (3) shaping orientationâthe power/actor dimension. Examples from fusion and nano research will illustrate the need for ProTA, as well as its specific focus. The paper concedes that ProTA is in its infancy and that there is a clear need for further clarification. (shrink)
The ArgumentThis paper argues that the New Science, which was seen as essentially a public enterprise, was moreover a major constituent of the public sphere in early modern era. In seventeenth-and eighteenth-century Western Europe the sphere of public experimentation, testing, and discussion related to the new science, manifested, itself as a highly diversified, contested, and complex social field.Two general problems arose in constructing this cultural public sphere: the selection of participants in the debate and the inclusion of a heterogenous public (...) in the experimental scene. National authorities employed diverse policies but none denied the necessity of public debate for testing the validity of experimentations. The public sphere had to create its own conditions of existence by imposing manifold regulations in order to make these public meetings possible and enjoyable. These regulations emphasized common interest and the moral code as the most basic condition for rhe sustenance of the public sphere, thus enhancing self-restraint, tolerance, and politeness on the part of both discussants and participants. The more inclusive and heterogenous the public sphere, the more these norms were required. Thus the sphere of public debate constituted by early modern science implied a civilizing process, quite different from and more encompassing than the one analyzed by Norbert Elias. (shrink)
This article explores the association between medical professionalism, revenue enhancement, and self-interest. Utilizing the sociological literature, I begin by characterizing professionalism generally and medical professionalism particularly. I then consider “pay for performance” mechanisms as an example of one way physicians might be incentivized to improve their professionalism and, at the same time, enhance their revenue. I suggest that the concern discussed in much of the medical professionalism literature that physicians might act on the basis of self-interest is over-generalized, and that (...) instead we ought to argue about ways to distinguish permissible and impermissible self-interested actions. Also, I argue that financial incentives for medical professionals ought to be permissible but considered as “by-products” of doing what physicians are expected to do as professionals in any case. Nevertheless, I conclude that, even if a positive association between increasing professionalism and revenue enhancement can be established, in the long term it may not be an unambiguous good for physicians as professionals in that this association may tend to reduce their professional discretion. (shrink)
Während in den achtziger Jahren Hans Jonas' Spätwerk Prinzip Verantwortung. Versuch einer Ethik für die technologische Zivilisation in aller Munde war, wird Jonas heute kaum noch zur Kenntnis genommen. Waren seine Analysen und Argumente tatsächlich so unhaltbar, wie seine Kritiker behaupten? Oder hat Jonas mehr auf den Weg gebracht, als seine Kritiker es wahrhaben wollen? Der Text rekonstruiert die Einwände der Kritiker und nimmt eine Kritik der Kritik vor. So zeigt sich eine ungeahnte Aktualität von Jonas' ethischem Denken – auch (...) für das 21. Jahrhundert. (shrink)
The strength and defects of wave mechanics as a theory of chemistry are critically examined. Without the secondary assumption of wave–particle duality, the seminal equation describes matter waves and leaves the concept of point particles undefined. To bring the formalism into line with the theory of special relativity, it is shown to require reformulation in hypercomplex algebra that imparts a new meaning to electron spin as a holistic spinor, eliminating serious current misconceptions in the process. Reformulation in the curved space–time (...) of general relativity requires the recognition of nonlinear effects that invalidate the practice of linear combination of atomic orbitals, ubiquitous in quantum chemistry, and redefines the electron as a nondispersive wave packet, or soliton. (shrink)
Between Calculability and Non-Calculability. Issues of Calculability and Predictability in the Physics of Complex Systems. The ability to predict has been a very important qualifier of what constitutes scientific knowledge, ever since the successes of Babylonian and Greek astronomy. More recent is the general appreciation of the fact that in the presence of deterministic chaos, predictability is severely limited : Nearby trajectories diverge during time evolution; small errors typically grow exponentially with time. The system obeys deterministic laws and still is (...) unpredictable, seemingly a paradox for the traditional viewpoint of Laplacian determinisms. With the concept of deterministic chaos the epistemological issue about an adequate understanding of predictability is no longer just a mere philosophical topic. Physicists on the one hand recognize the limits of predictability, computability and even of scientific knowledge, on the other hand they work on concepts for extending the horizon of predictability. It is shown in this paper that physics of complex systems is useful to clarify the jungle of different meanings of the terms ‘predictability’ and ‘computability’ — also with philosophical implications for understanding science and nature. Today, from the physical point of view, the relevance of the concepts of predictability seems to be underestimated by philosophers as a mere methodological topic. In the paper I analyse the importance of predictability and computability in physics of complex systems. I show a way how to cope with problems of unpredictability and noncomputability. Nine different concepts of predictability and computability are presented, compared and evaluated. (shrink)
Artykuł jest efektem krytycznej analizy rozważań Francisco Suareza nt. aktów ludzkich i ich współdziałania w procesie stanowienia prawa. Celem jest uporządkowanie, rozproszonych w różnych dziełach, rozważań jezuity. Tekst inspirowany był brakiem opracowań specjalistycznych w polskojęzycznej literaturze naukowej. Badania prowadzone były na tekstach źródłowych Hiszpana: De legibus ac Deo legislatore, De anima oraz De voluntario et involuntario in genere, deque actibus voluntariis in speciali. Suarez, jako jeden z najwybitniejszych filozofów renesansowych, wywarł olbrzymi wpływ na rozwój etyki i jurysprudencji. Sam temat jest (...) ciekawy i wymagający. Wymaga m.in. zrozumienia zasad i form działania głównych władz człowieka — intelektu i woli. Na kartach De Legibus jezuita rozpatruje czynność stanowienia prawa jako złożony akt ludzki prawodawcy. Hiszpan wyróżnia łącznie 6 aktów intelektu i woli, w następstwie których może powstać prawo oraz wiele aktów pośrednich, które mają wpływ na proces. Zdaniem filozofa tworzenie prawa dokonuje się poprzez wzajemne oddziaływanie na siebie aktów intelektu, który kieruje środki do celu, oraz woli, dążącej ku temu celowi zgodnie z kierownictwem intelektu. (shrink)
This article considers issues concerning cases where the use of placebo is lawful or is not lawful under aspects of German criminal law. It will differentiate between cases of individual therapy and cases of supervised experiments within the scope of medical tests. Thereby, it reveals that a medication of placebo with regard to an individual patient seems to be lawful if there is no alternative possibility of a better treatment using a chemically effective medicine and if the limits of presumed (...) consent are complied with. On the other hand, in the context of the supervised experiment, the assignment of a patient to a group treated with placebo is only lawful if the patient has been fully informed about the possibilities of a treatment and if the patient has given consent to it. (shrink)
It has been argued that ethically correct robots should be able to reason about right and wrong. In order to do so, they must have a set of do’s and don’ts at their disposal. However, such a list may be inconsistent, incomplete or otherwise unsatisfactory, depending on the reasoning principles that one employs. For this reason, it might be desirable if robots were to some extent able to reason about their own reasoning—in other words, if they had some meta-ethical capacities. (...) In this paper, we sketch how one might go about designing robots that have such capacities. We show that the field of computational meta-ethics can profit from the same tools as have been used in computational metaphysics. (shrink)
Kann man Jonas als Technikphilosophen lesen? Obgleich Jonas’ Praktische Philosophie, insbesondere sein Spätwerk Das Prinzip Verantwortung und die sich anschließenden Schriften auf der Diagnose eines ›technologischen Zeitalters‹ und eines durch die Technikentwicklung induzierten Epochenbruchs der Menschheitsentwicklung basiert, bleibt sein Technikverständnis doch merkwürdig implizit. Eine systematisch entwickelte Technikphilosophie hat Jonas nicht vorgelegt.