The cosmological theory of the author, discussed in (Greben in Found Sci 15(2):153–176, 2010 ), has a number of implications for the interpretation of initial conditions and the fine-tuning problem as discussed by Vidal (Found Sci 15(4):375–393, 2010a ).
We discuss a new theory of the universe in which the vacuum energy is of classical origin and dominates the energy content of the universe. As usual, the Einstein equations determine the metric of the universe. However, the scale factor is controlled by total energy conservation in contrast to the practice in the Robertson–Walker formulation. This theory naturally leads to an explanation for the Big Bang and is not plagued by the horizon and cosmological constant problem. It naturally accommodates the (...) notion of dark energy and proposes a possible explanation for dark matter. It leads to a dual description of the universe, which is reminiscent of the dual theory proposed by Milne in 1937. On the one hand one can describe the universe in terms of the original Einstein coordinates in which the universe is expanding, on the other hand one can describe it in terms of co-moving coordinates which feature in measurements. In the latter representation the universe looks stationary and the age of the universe appears constant. The paper describes the evolution of this universe. It starts out in a classical state with perfect symmetry and zero entropy. Due to the vacuum metric the effective energy density is infinite at the beginning, but diminishes rapidly. Once it reaches the Planck energy density of elementary particles, the formation of particles can commence. Because of the quantum nature of creation and annihilation processes spatial and temporal inhomogeneities appear in the matter distributions, resulting in residual proton (neutron) and electron densities. Hence, quantum uncertainty plays an essential role in the creation of a diversified complex universe with increasing entropy. It thus seems that quantum fluctuations play a role in cosmology similar to that of random mutations in biology. Other analogies to biological principles, such as recapitulation, are also discussed. (shrink)
This paper studies intentional action in stit logic. The formal logic study of intentional action appears to be new, since most logical studies of intention concern intention as a static mental state. In the formalization we distinguish three modes of acting: the objective level concerning the choices an agent objectively exercises, the subjective level concerning the choices an agent knows or believes to be exercising, and finally, the intentional level concerning the choices an agent intentionally exercises. Several axioms constraining the (...) relations between these different modes of acting will be considered and discussed. The side effect problem will be analyzed as an interaction between knowingly doing and intentionally doing. Non-successful action will be analyzed as a weakening of the epistemic attitude towards action. Finally, the notion of ‘attempt’ will be briefly considered as a further weakening in this direction. (shrink)
This article examines the political perspective of corporate social responsibility from the standpoint of normative Islam. We argue that large firms within Muslim majority countries have the moral obligation to assist governments in addressing challenges related to sustainable socioeconomic development and in advancing human rights. In substantiating our argument, we draw upon the Islamic business ethics, stakeholder theory, and corporate governance literatures, as well as the concepts of Maqasid al Shariah and fard al ‘ayn versus fard al kifayah to introduce (...) a normative model elucidating critical Islamic precepts. Finally, we propose an Islamic “political” corporate governance framework, which democratizes firm decision making by embedding “core” stakeholders, nongovernmental organizations, and Shariah scholars in the corporate board, thereby enhancing the ability of businesses to respond to stakeholder concerns and priorities, while mitigating interstakeholder and intraboard power asymmetries. (shrink)
New computer systems of discovery create a research program for logic and philosophy of science. These systems consist of inference rules and control knowledge that guide the discovery process. Their paths of discovery are influenced by the available data and the discovery steps coincide with the justification of results. The discovery process can be described in terms of fundamental concepts of artificial intelligence such as heuristic search, and can also be interpreted in terms of logic. The traditional distinction that places (...) studies of scientific discovery outside the philosophy of science, in psychology, sociology, or history, is no longer valid in view of the existence of computer systems of discovery. It becomes both reasonable and attractive to study the schemes of discovery in the same way as the criteria of justification were studied: empirically as facts, and logically as norms. (shrink)
Lawyers write, blog and are otherwise producers of words; they structure public life through legal discourse and integrate all issues that reinforce legal reasoning. Even if one is inclined not to justify the power of their words in the context of a democratic theory, one is hardly able to challenge its public acceptance. But semiotic analyses harden the question whether these emperors wear nothing but robes. That attitude intensifies where medicine becomes increasingly relevant for legal discourse, as becomes clear where (...) for instance US political viewpoints bring bioethical issues to the Courts. One major theme in today’s medicine pertains to identity in its psychological, philosophical and social dimensions. Identity thus becomes a groundbreaking semiotic issue in law and medicine; both discourses are particular important to the otherness of the other. A US criminal law case interests here (Harrington v. State of Iowa, 2003; cited as: 659N.W.2d 509). The case is decided with “information about what the person has stored in his brain”. A chain of signs is involved: from “brain-function” to “brain-storage” via “brain-scan” to “brain-fingerprint”, for which the case became famous. A long series of signs and meanings belong here to intertwined discourses. Central is a particular sign in each discourse: “brain” means brain scan, and “fingerprint” means law! The two display trading mechanisms, which determine the otherness of the other and the self! The chain of signs in the Harrington case shows inter-disciplinarity in law and inter-discursivity among law and medicine. The trading itself underlines the semiotic dimensions in cyberspace, in particular the semiotics of the virtual (Hayles, Kurzweil) and their effects on legal discourse. (shrink)
Taking the letter of the law literally would equal the death of our hopeand expectation that law and its practices of justice will createimproved social realities. This insight is, however, seldom formulatedin legal discourse. A more profound analysis shows how ``the literal'',taken as a legal expression, covers the management of law's semanticsrather than delivering the precise description of a state of affairs inlaw. This pertains in particular to the ``well informed citizen'' (A.Schutz). Can legal meanings that should enter and perhaps (...) change thecitizen's life sphere for the better, transcend the boundaries of legaldiscourse by means of appealing to a literal meaning? (shrink)
Scholars have long noticed a similarity of motifs between Catullus’ Carmen 63 and the fifth book of the Odyssey, where the story of Odysseus’ captivity on Ogygia is narrated. A detailed analysis of the poems shows that Catullus wanted the reader to see in this Homeric episode a kind of matrix for the interpretation of Attis’ sojourn at Cybele. The discovery of this dependence casts a light on some of the hitherto proposed interpretations of Carmen 63.
One vivid description of folktale research, still applicable although more than a half century old, reads, “Folktale study is like a desert journey, where the only landmarks are the bleached bones of earlier theories.” Because theories have proven to be so ephemeral in comparison with the tales themselves , it might seem prudent to place more stock in the tales and less in the theories or at least to take an eclectic approach toward theorizing so as to hedge bets; but (...) not all scholars of folktales exercise more circumspection now than their predecessors did fifty years ago. For example, in Little Red Riding Hood: A Casebook Alan Dundes — one of the most prominent American folklorists of our day — adduces no material dated from before 1697 that is related to the tale “Little Red Riding Hood” but manages nonetheless to question sharply the very notion of valuing early written evidence. By scrutinizing a short Latin poem written in the first quarter of the eleventh century, I hope to refute Dundes's dismissal of literary evidence and to underscore the pertinence of studying medieval literature in coming to grips with that beautiful and elusive phenomenon to which English-speakers give the name “fairy tale.”. (shrink)
Is the European Union a new Walden? Although a contrast in form and format, the Union is surprisingly close to the latter's underlying philosophy. One can read this proximity in the Treaties or the many facets of the European idea which mirrors in the Union's emerging legal system. Today there is no longer a Union of a limited number of Nation States desiring to end divisions among themselves, to acquire mutual respect and prosperity or a higher standard of living and (...) working conditions for its members. European citizenship shows a global orientation and is in continuous competition with the discourse of a globalizing economy and its Internet democracy. Analyses of concepts such as political geography, global, (supra)national and regional citizenship, democracy, learning society, native tongue and market lead to the insight that the Union's legal system wishes to ensure its citizens a legally engendered, formatted and protected global position for action. Walden's philosophy has a new face. (shrink)
This engaging book examines the origins and first effects of the concept ‘legal semiotics’, focusing on the inventor of the term, Roberta Kevelson. It highlights the importance of her ideas and works which have contributed to legal theory, legal interpretation and philosophy of language. Kevelson’s work is particularly relevant today, in our world of global electronic communication networks which rely so much on language, signs, signals and shortcuts. Kevelson could not have foreseen the 21st century, yet the story of her (...) work and influence deserves more attention as it is key to our understanding of modern legal discourse and why law fascinates and is accepted in modern society. The authors draw on Kevelson’s hitherto unknown Office Papers and Notes, and a biographical examination points to key influences in her work such as the early feminist movements of the US East Coast, the philosophy of Charles Sanders Peirce and the semiotics of Thomas Sebeok. This forms the basis for a more encompassing research of Kevelson’s position, work and philosophical background, which the authors call for. A quick and enlightening read, this book interests a wide range of readers with an interest in legal history and the fields which Kevelson both drew on and influenced, including lawyers, students and scholars. (shrink)