The idea that gauge theory has `surplus' structure poses a puzzle: in one much discussed sense, this structure is redundant; but on the other hand, it is also widely held to play an essential role in the theory. In this paper, we employ category-theoretic tools to illuminate an aspect of this puzzle. We precisify what is meant by `surplus' structure by means of functorial comparisons with equivalence classes of gauge fields, and then show that such structure is essential for any (...) theory that represents a rich collection of physically relevant fields which are `local' in nature. (shrink)
In this paper we present an informal review of our recent work whose goal is to develop a mathematical theory of the physical phenomenon of emission and absorption of radiation by systems of nonrelativistic matter such as atoms and molecules.
The 19th-century philosopher John Stuart Mill is widely regarded as one of history’s leading proponents of inductive science and of political liberty. Yet, oddly, philosophers working in his train have been remarkably unsuccessful in saying exactly what is wrong with the scientific skepticism or the political tyrannies of the past one hundred and fifty years. Is it possible that Mr. Mill was not such a good guy after all? … I recommend the book to anyone interested in a scholarly treatment (...) of Victorian England, of 19th-century science, of the history of scientific method, of the philosophy of induction, or of the underappreciated historian and philosopher William Whewell. For anyone who thinks John Stuart Mill was a champion of commonsense realism, inductive science, or individual liberty, the book is a must-read. (shrink)
El ámbito de los estudios kantianos y, más concretamente, la evaluación del lugar que la antropología ocupa en la arquitectónica del criticismo se verá decididamente beneficiado por esta nueva aportación que la investigadora italiana Laura Anna Macor, investigadora de la Universidad de Padua, dedica al estudio de la influencia ejercida por la filosofía crítica de Kant en el primer Idealismo alemán. El lector interesado en el volumen que reseñamos encontrará ulteriores fuentes de esclarecimiento sobre el objeto de investigación, a (...) saber, la compleja y ambigua relación entre antropología y moral en la primera recepción del criticismo, en otros trabajos de la misma Autora2, que contribuyen a definir una figura, que aquí se propone identificar con una elipse (2010, p. 17 y 163), cuyos focos estarían ocupados respectivamente por la fundamentación kantiana de la moral y por el discurso antropológico revitalizado por J. G. Sulzer y sus discípulos en Württemberg y, posteriormente, por F. Schiller en Turingia, elipse cuyo contorno termina de dibujar este volumen publicado en 2011. (shrink)
Upshot: Gabriele Chiari and the late Maria Laura Nuzzo’s new book, Constructivist Psychotherapy: A Narrative Hermeneutic Approach, is a?densely packed little tome that marks the most fully developed effort so far to present a model of personal construct psychotherapy that theoretically incorporates aspects of radical constructivism, narrative psychology, and social constructionism. The theoretically inclined will not be disappointed.
A transatlantic Alice in Wonderland americanized to the point of gigantism, this conceptual romp through the widest range of topics proceeds alternately by way of heavy-handed dialogues—featuring indeed Achilles and the Tortoise not to mention the Crab, the Magnificrab, the Anteater, etc.—and extended expositions of Bach’s Musical Offering, Escher, Zen, DNA, Gödel, Turing, and artificial intelligence. The central theme is self-reference, and at no point does the author fall below the standards of basic philosophic competence that obtain today in (...) professional philosophy. Most successful perhaps as an exercise in haute vulgarisation, this hefty tome whose author is himself a professor of computer science will interest the philosopher largely as a highly redundant message, transmitted through a screen of noise, from a computer culture of a logico-materialistic orientation. (shrink)
Can poetry tell the truth? This question has embarrassed and challenged writers for a long time. While the question may be addressed at both an ethical and an epistemological level, its resonance is strongest when the ethico-political issues become paramount—as they were for both Socrates and Plato.Today the question appears most pressing not among poets but among their custodians, the critics and academicians.1 Whether or not poetry can tell the truth—whether or not it can establish an identity between thought and (...) its object—has become an acute problem for those who are asked to bring critical judgment to the matter. To the extent that a consensus has been reached, the judgment has been negative. That poetry develops only a metaphorical and nonidentical relation between thought and its object is the current general view. 1. This crisis has been widely debated; my own contribution to the discussion may be found in Social Values and Poetics Acts: The Historical Judgment of Literary Work . The critique of Plato in the early sections of this work is particularly relevant to the question of poetry’s truth-functions. The same subject is pursued further in the sequel, Toward a Literature of Knowledge . Jerome J. McGann is Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia. The Textual Condition is his most recent critical work, and he is the editor of the New Oxford Book of Romantic Period Verse. (shrink)