Our understanding of communication and its evolution has advanced significantly through the study of simple models of interacting senders and receivers of signals. Many theorists have thought that the resources of mathematical information theory are all that is needed to capture the meaning or content that is being communicated in these systems. However, the way theorists routinely talk about the models implicitly draws on a conception of content that is richer than bare informational content, especially in contexts where false content (...) is important. This paper shows that this concept can be made precise by defining a notion of functional content that captures the degree to which different states of the world are involved in stabilizing senders’ and receivers’ use of a signal at equilibrium. A series of case studies is used to contrast functional content with informational content, and to illustrate the explanatory role and limitations of this definition of functional content. (shrink)
The brain is often taken to be a paradigmatic example of a signaling system with semantic and representational properties, in which neurons are senders and receivers of information carried in action potentials. A closer look at this picture shows that it is not as appealing as it might initially seem in explaining the function of the brain. Working from several sender-receiver models within the teleosemantic framework, I will first argue that two requirements must be met for a system to support (...) genuine semantic information: 1. The receiver must be competent —that is, it must be able to extract rewards from its environment on the basis of the signals that it receives. 2. The receiver must have some flexibility of response relative to the signal received. In the second part of the paper, this initial framework will be applied to neural processes, pointing to the surprising conclusion that signaling at the single-neuron level is only weakly semantic at best. Contrary to received views, neurons will have little or no access to semantic information (though their patterns of activity may carry plenty of quantitative, correlational information) about the world outside the organism. Genuine representation of the world requires an organism - level receiver of semantic information, to which any particular set of neurons makes only a small contribution. (shrink)
In the literature, different axiomatizations of Public Announcement Logic (PAL) have been proposed. Most of these axiomatizations share a “core set” of the so-called “reduction axioms”. In this paper, by designing non-standard Kripke semantics for the language of PAL, we show that the proof system based on this core set of axioms does not completely axiomatize PAL without additional axioms and rules. In fact, many of the intuitive axioms and rules we took for granted could not be derived from the (...) core set. Moreover, we also propose and advocate an alternative yet meaningful axiomatization of PAL without the reduction axioms. The completeness is proved directly by a detour method using the canonical model where announcements are treated as merely labels for modalities as in normal modal logics. This new axiomatization and its completeness proof may sharpen our understanding of PAL and can be adapted to other dynamic epistemic logics. (shrink)
Usually, people think that Gettier counter-examples challenged the traditional tripartite definition of knowledge and fundamentally changed the characteristic of the contemporary epistemology. This paper argues that regard for Gettier counter-examples is exaggerated, because (i) the JTB definition is neither an important nor a comprehensive one that covers all knowledge. Moreover, the significance of Gettier counter-examples is limited. (ii) The source of Gettier counter-examples lies in one arbitrary judgment, two mix-ups, three false assumptions, and a misunderstanding about the JTB definition.
This study examines the personal values and value types of Chinese accounting practitioners and students, using the values survey questionnaire developed and validated by Schwartz (1992, Advances in Experimental Social Psychology 25, 1–65). A total of 454 accounting practitioners and 126 graduate accounting students participated in the study. The results show that Healthy, Family Security, Self-Respect, and Honoring of Parents and Elders are the top four values for both accounting practitioners and accounting students, although these values are not ranked in (...) the same order. Social Power, An Exciting Life, Devout, and Accepting My Portion in Life are the lowest rated four values for the accounting practitioners whereas Devout, An Exciting Life, Detachment, and Accepting My Portion in Life form the bottom four values for the accounting students. Both accounting practitioners and students ranked Security as the highest value type and Tradition as the lowest one, and the students rated Self-Direction as significantly more important than the practitioners. With respect to gender differences, both the male accounting practitioners and students rated the value type Achievement significantly higher than their female counterparts and there were several significant gender differences in personal values for both accounting practitioners and students. In addition, the perceived values are linked to social and cultural factors as well as to the influence of Western values. (shrink)
What are the functional units of the brain? If the function of the brain is to process information-carrying signals, then the functional units will be the senders and receivers of those signals. Neurons have been the default candidate, with action potentials as the signals. But there are alternatives: synapses fit the action potential picture more cleanly, and glial activities (e.g., in astrocytes) might also be characterized as signaling. Are synapses or nonneuronal cells better candidates to play the role of functional (...) units? Will informational signaling still be the best model for brain function if we move beyond the neuron doctrine? (shrink)
Recently implemented Chinese health insurance schemes have failed to achieve a Chinese health care system that is family-oriented, family-based, family-friendly, or even financially sustainable. With this diagnosis in hand, the authors argue that a financially and morally sustainable Chinese health care system should have as its core family health savings accounts supplemented by appropriate health insurance plans. This essay’s arguments are set in the context of Confucian moral commitments that still shape the background culture of contemporary China.
The Casimir force between two neutral metallic plates is often considered conclusive evidence for the reality of electromagnetic zero-point fluctuations in ‘empty space’. However, it is not well known that the Casimir force can be derived from many different points of view. The purpose of this note is to supply a conceptually oriented introduction to a representative set of these different interpretations. The different accounts suggest that the Casimir effect reveals nothing conclusive about the nature of the vacuum.
Discussions of name during the pre-Qin and Qin-Han period of Chinese history were very active. The concept ming at that time can be divided into two categories, one is the ethical-political meaning of the term and the other is the linguistic-logical understanding. The former far exceeds the latter in terms of overall influence on the development of Chinese intellectual history. But it is the latter that has received the most attention in the 20th century, due to the influence of Western (...) logic. This has led to the result of a bias in the contemporary studies of ming. Changing course by returning to the correct path of intellectual history can providing an objective and thorough ordering of the pre-Qin discourse on ming. (shrink)
Various theories of referent are critically but briefly surveyed from the perspective of structural realism; a constructivist version of structural realist account of referent is outlined, and its implications for history of science and for descriptive metaphysics are briefly indicated.
China does not seem to believe the existence of universally acknowledged values in science and fails to promote the observation of such values that also should be applied to every member of the scientific community and at all times. Or, there is a separation between the practice of science in China and the values represented by modern science. In this context, science, including the pursuit of the Nobel Prize, is more a pragmatic means to achieve the end of the political (...) leadership – the national pride in this case – than an institution laden with values that govern its practices. However, it is the recognition and respect of the latter that could lead to achievement of the former, rather than the other way around. (shrink)
With the rapid development of modern technology, people has stepped into an risky era. Ethical stipulation is the important means to reduce the risks. But in reality, ethical stipulation of technology always face some kind of dilemma which mainly come from two aspects: one is that when we try to regulate the subject oftechnology, we find that it always difficult to distinguish the responsibilities. The other aspect is that when we try to limit the result of technology, we often have (...) to give up because of lacking feasibility, which means we sink into the famous “Collingridge dilemma”. Are we able to get out of the dilemma? What should we doif we want to got out of it? First, in the modern technological system, individual’s action is taken over by group’s action according to the technological criterion. Any part of the modern technology need multiple subjects finish his job during the course. Therefore a new form of responsibility named group responsibility has been formed. Like Johnas said, in this ethics, ‘I’ will be replaced by ‘we’ and decision will be the business of a group. So it is difficult for us to find out that “I” from “us” once the technological risks happened. We lost the object of ethical stipulation as the result of no convinced standard and principals of prescribing the group responsibility. Second, when we try to stimulate some certain results of technology, we find we lack not only the wisdom of precisely judging or assessingtechnology itself, but also the ability of correcting the bad results if it has. Here again do we fall into the dilemma. This make it difficult for us to stipulate technology with ethic. From above discussion we can see, the stipulation, no matter from the aspect of technological responsibility or from aspect of the application of technology, has been sure to meet the dilemma. If the conflicts between a hypothesis and experiment cannot be eliminated, we have to rethink the theoryand come back again to technology itself and pursue the essence of technology again. Technology is a process from inventing, designing to forming material technological products; is a process from invisible technology to visible technology; is a process potential technology to real-life technology or intellective technology to reallife technology. Technology exists in process. The essential and innate characteristic is it’s process and dynamics. The transition oftechnological form involves many factors of economic, social, historical, constitutional and cultural. Technological creation of intellectual form is the duty of inventor or technologist. And it is entrepreneur’s job to use the technology or invention, and make them in large quantity, apply them in reality or get economic or other profit. Although there need be interaction, understanding, cooperation, support, coordination among scientist, technologist and enterpriser, they have different responsibility and delimitation. Technology exists in process, no doubt, so does modern technology. This decides that the ethical stipulation of modern technology should be a process stipulation . The essence of modern technological is not only the limitation of subject of technology either not only controlthe object of technology. It is the ethical stipulation in the unity of subject and object of technological dynamic process. This is basic point of understanding ethical stipulation of modern technology. Responsibility ethics consider that the group responsibility as the premise of technological stipulation .It noticed the static structure of modern technological system, but neglect the dynamic linkage between factors. And it only analysed the special construction, neglected the evolution of system of technological responsibility and the inter relationship between space dimension and time dimension. If we unfold the group responsibility along with the process of technology, we will see the different responsibility belong to different subject in different stage of the process. We can also see that different actors obey different norm or criteria according to their task. In this case, we can distinct the distribution of the group responsibility. Collingridge fixed the effective control on the two points of “before ”and ”after” the process of the technological action, namely, the stipulation for the staring point and stipulation of terminal point. But the whole process was neglected. According to the point of view of process stipulation .it is not the sudden occurrence for technology from “nothing ”to “having”. There are time and space during the process. From middle experiment to industrial experiment, the most characters of the result of technology will havebeen shown gradually, so will the social results. So we can give the small quantity an ethical evaluation and ethical choice which is possible and feasible. Over all, if we confirm the ethical stipulation of modern technology is a process regulation, we can delimitate the responsibility of the subjects of technology and also settle the prestipulation of the application of technology. At the end, we can eliminate the dilemma of ethical regulation of modern technology. (shrink)
The paper is an investigation offazhi (rule of law) in China. The studyproposes a tentative semiotic framework for theinterpretation of the rule of law as a legalconcept to be applied to China in the light ofits recent incorporation into the ChineseConstitution. The paper argues that legalconcepts such as the rule of law are triadic innature and their constituents are relative,relational and contextual in the semioticinterpretative process. The study examines howthe concept can be explicated with the thin orformal theory of the (...) rule of law as a frame ofreference, and how the semiotic model maycontribute to the understanding of the Chineserule of law or the lack thereof. This approachalso attempts to account for the gap betweenthe legal ideal and reality in China andcanvasses cross-cultural considerations. In thefirst part of the paper, a semiotic frameworkfor legal concepts is postulated forconstructing the meaning of the rule of law,followed by its application to contemporaryChina. (shrink)
Adults increase the certainty of their inductive inferences by observing more diverse instances. However, most young children fail to do so. The present study tested the hypothesis that children's sensitivity to instance diversity is determined by three variables: ability to discriminate among instances ( Discrimination ); an intuition that large numbers of instances increase the strength of conclusion ( Monotonicity ); ability to detect subcategories and evaluate numerical differences between the subcategories, or Extraction . A total of 219 Chinese children (...) aged 6 to 11 were tested for sensitivity to diversity by means of Discrimination, Monotonicity, and Extraction. The results indicated that children at all ages were able to discriminate instances and attend to set size. However, only 9- and 11-year-olds demonstrated Extraction and sensitivity to diversity. Furthermore, among all children diversity scores increased linearly with the level of Extraction. These results suggest that the law of large numbers plays a role in children's diversity-based reasoning. (shrink)
As symbols of adaptability and transformation, together with qualities of vigilance and intelligence, we argue the relevance of dragons for spatial planning in China. We develop a metaphorical concept – the green dragon – for grasping the condition of contemporary Chinese societies and for facilitating the development of theories and practices of spatial planning which are able to face the challenges of rapid change. We ask Chinese scholars and spatial planners to liberate Deleuzian potential for strategic spatial planning in a (...) ‘becoming-between, coming-together’ of concepts which can effectively make a difference in the world. Having outlined what we regard as key transversals or diagonals between our reading of Gilles Deleuze and aspects of Chinese philosophy, we then offer the metaphor of strategic spatial planning as Chinese literati landscape painting. This is a form of painting which rejects the idea of the world being supremely organised from a particular point of view, preferring to paint immanence and transformation. Chinese literati landscape paintings, like philosophy and strategic spatial planning, ‘look only at the movements’. We conclude that connections between what concepts of Chinese philosophy and those of Gilles Deleuze can do, suggest that in China, a conception of strategic spatial planning as metaphorical green dragon may offer academics and planning practitioners a transverse way to relate the legacies of past philosophies and current thinking. (shrink)
In this essay, I argue that the basic entities in the causally organized hierarchy of entities that quantum field theory describes are not particles but fields. Then I move to discuss, from the perspective of a structural realist, in what sense and to what degree this theoretical construction of fields can be taken as an objective representation of physical reality.