La notion de transition énergétique est aujourd’hui l’une des figures de proue du concept plus général de développement durable. Elle est marquée par la double temporalité de l’urgence de sa mise en œuvre et du temps long dont elle se réclame. La mise en politique de cette transition génère des conflits – notamment autour des grands projets d’infrastructures – que cet article analyse en cherchant à croiser les temporalités et les échelles d’action des différents acteurs impliqués. Il met en évidence (...) un certain nombre de tensions qui existent entre urgence climatique et durabilité dans la mise en politique de la transition énergétique, mais aussi la complexité des temporalités dont se réclament les acteurs, qui s’emboîtent, se contredisent parfois et peuvent être source de conflit. Le propos s’articule en trois temps, organisés autour des échelles européennes, nationales et locales de la transition énergétique. Trois terrains viennent étayer les analyses proposées : une enquête auprès du réseau européen des gestionnaires de réseaux d’électricité chargé du plan d’investissement dans les réseaux de transports d’électricité, l’étude des conflits liés à l’implantation des énergies marines renouvelables en France et un cas d’étude grec sur les conflits liés à des projets de parcs éoliens en Crête. (shrink)
In this paper we argue that the formalisms for decoherence originally devised to deal just with closed or open systems can be subsumed under a general conceptual framework, in such a way that they cooperate in the understanding of the same physical phenomenon. This new perspective dissolves certain conceptual difficulties of the einselection program but, at the same time, shows that the openness of the quantum system is not the essential ingredient for decoherence. †To contact the authors, please write to: (...) Mario Castagnino, CONICET-IAFE, Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires, Casilla de Correos 67, Sucursal 28, 1428 Buenos Aires, Argentina; Roberto Laura, IFIR-Universidad Nacional de Rosario, Av. Pellegrini 250, 2000 Rosario, Argentina; Olimpia Lombardi, CONICET-Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires, C. Larralde 3440, 6°D, 1430, Buenos Aires; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
In 1952, Heinrich Scholz published a question in The Journal of Symbolic Logic asking for a characterization of spectra, i.e., sets of natural numbers that are the cardinalities of finite models of first order sentences. Günter Asser in turn asked whether the complement of a spectrum is always a spectrum. These innocent questions turned out to be seminal for the development of finite model theory and descriptive complexity. In this paper we survey developments over the last 50-odd years pertaining to (...) the spectrum problem. Our presentation follows conceptual developments rather than the chronological order. Originally a number theoretic problem, it has been approached by means of recursion theory, resource bounded complexity theory, classification by complexity of the defining sentences, and finally by means of structural graph theory. Although Scholz' question was answered in various ways, Asser's question remains open. (shrink)
In their book Spare Parts, published in 1992, Fox and Swazey criticized various aspects of organ transplantation, including the routinization of the procedure, ignorance regarding its inherent uncertainties, and the ethos of transplant professionals. Using this work as a frame of reference, we analyzed articles on organ transplantation published in internal medicine and transplantation journals between 1995 and 2008 to see whether Fox and Swazey’s critiques of organ transplantation were still relevant.
The burden of this piece is to draw together into a coherent whole the somewhat diverse strands of Israel Scheffler's thought on the philosophy of religion. Extrapolating from personal discussions with Professor Scheffler, various of his books, articles, and other unpublished materials authored and kindly provided by him, I contend that he adumbrates a post-empiricist rendering of religious belief which masterfully avoids some philosophical problems, while unwittingly giving rise to others. Committed to the view that the methodology of science â (...) in one or other of its more acceptable guises â provides the most reliable measure of the content and structure of reality. Scheffler is bound conceptually to redefine Jewish belief in such a way that the traditional conflict between religion and science never emerges. Consistent with this end, he is concerned to divest traditional Judaism of its metaphysical garb, so that what remains are simply the matters of living to which religion ought properly on his view address itself. The Bible is thus reconceptualized as a piece of rich literature, of no real difference in logical kind to any other piece of rich literature, except that it defines uniquely, along with the Torah and other relevant Jewish literature, the history of the particular community whose perception of human values and meaningfulness forms the core of what it is to be Jewish. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with the description of the process of measurement within the context of a quantum theory of the physical world. It is noted that quantum mechanics permits a quasi-classical description (classical in the limited sense implied by the correspondence principle of Bohr) of those macroscopic phenomena in terms of which the observer forms his perceptions. Thus, the process of measurement in quantum mechanics can be understood on the quasi-classical level by transcribing from the strictly classical observables of (...) Newtonian physics to their quasi-classical counterparts the known rules for the measurement of the former. The remaining physical problem is the delineation of the circumstances in which the correlation of a peculiarly quantum mechanical observable A with a classically measurable observable B can result in a significant measurement of A. This is undertaken within the context of quantum theory. The resulting clarification of the process of measurement has important implications relative to the philosophic interpretation of quantum mechanics. (shrink)
In the roots of political culture in the USA, Tocqueville long ago noted with concern an individualism that could undercut needed structures of shared community. This individualism, argues the author, is one key feature of American culture that tends to empower military interventionism by empowering American elites to go their own way and pursue their own interests, without too much worry that they will be held accountable to more communitarian standards. Yet, American culture is not one-sided, and the author encourages (...) public appeals to another, balancing cultural value, that of republicanism. The author also touches briefly on the cultural tradition of American messianism and its value to globe-conquering elites. (shrink)
The paper describes the conceptual models used to understand the processes determining plant growth rates in response to environmental changes. A series of experiments and growth models were used at three organizational levels: the specific plant organs, the whole plant and the plant canopy. The energy conversion efficiency and the total plant carbon balance were first examined. The carbon partitioning amongst the plant parts was then studied. The energy conversion efficiency is generally understood. In modelling carbon partitioning it was first (...) necessary to establish the carbon demand for each plant organ. The carbon partitioned amongst plant organs was then calculated in two ways. The first one based on empirical data consisted in defining which organ received the carbon prior to other organs. The second one was based on the relationship between the carbon mass of specific organs and their trophic activity. This hypothesis allowed the optimization of the carbon partitioning in order to maximize the whole plant growth rate. The opportunities to use these theoretical approaches in plant growth modelling are discussed. (shrink)
The authors of this book show that the failure of public health arises, not from a failure of contemporary medicine, but from a failure of the philosophical assumptions upon which it rests. They suggest an alternative approach to health care that derives from a ecological and holistic philosophy of nature.
We are affected by the world: when I place my hand next to the fire, it becomes hot, and when I plunge it into the bucket of ice water, it becomes cold. What goes for physical changes also goes for at least some mental changes: when Felix the Cat leaps upon my lap, my lap not only becomes warm, but I also feel this warmth, and when he purrs, I hear his purr. It seems obvious, in other words, that perception (...) (at least, and at least under ordinary conditions) is a matter of being affected by the agency of perceptible objects. Call this doctrine affectionism. Durand of St.-Pourçain rejects affectionism. The paper has three parts. In the first part, I sketch, briefly, what motivates Durand to reject affectionism. In the second part, I will take up the affectionist doctrine as defended by Durand's older contemporary at Paris, Godfrey of Fontaines, who holds that the object of all our mental acts (not just perceptions, but also thoughts and desires) is the efficient cause of those acts, or, in other words, all mental acts (not just perception) come about owing to the affection of the relevant mental faculty by the agency of the object. As it turns out, Godfrey develops a celebrated argument against the thesis that the object is not the efficient cause but a mere sine qua non cause. Hence his position offers a challenge to Durand's position, a challenge, I argue in the third part, Durand meets. (shrink)
As we now know, most, if not all, philosophers in the High Middle Ages agreed that what we immediately perceive are external objects and that the immediate object of perception must not be some image present to the mind. Yet most — but not all — philosophers in the High Middle Ages also held, following Aristotle, that perception is a process wherein the percipient takes on the likeness of the external object. This likeness — called a species — is a (...) representation (of some sort) by means of which we immediately perceive external objects. But how can perception be at once direct — or immediate — and at the same time by way of representations? The usual answer here was that the species represents the external object to some percipient even though the species itself is not at all perceived: the species is that by which I perceive and not that which I perceive. John Buridan defends this traditional view — call it direct realism with representations. However, just a couple of decades before Buridan, one of the more important philosophers at Paris, Durand of St.-Pourçain, had already rejected direct realism with representation. Durand defends what I will call direct realism without representations. On his view, a species is not at all necessary during overtly direct forms of perception, neither as cause nor as representation. This paper has two parts. In the first part, I will discuss some of the more interesting arguments that Durand makes against direct realism with representations. In the second part, I will look at Buridan's defense of the view. -/- . (shrink)