Concepts and methods originating in one discipline can distort the structure of another when they are applied to the latter. I exemplify this mostly with reference to systematic biology, especially problems which have arisen in relation to the nature of species. Thus the received views of classes, individuals (which term I suggest be replaced by units to avoid misunderstandings), and sets are all inapplicable, but each can be suitably modified. The concept of fuzzy set was developed to deal with species (...) and I defend its applicability. Taxa at all levels are real and participate in biological processes. Analysis of cause and pattern provides the deep structure in which metabiology is grounded; violation of this principle has led to diverse errors in biology. (shrink)
Using as a springboard a three-way debate between theoretical physicist Lee Smolin, philosopher of science Nancy Cartwright and myself, I address in layman’s terms the issues of why we need a unified theory of the fundamental interactions and why, in my opinion, string and M-theory currently offer the best hope. The focus will be on responding more generally to the various criticisms. I also describe the diverse application of string/M-theory techniques to other branches of physics and mathematics which render the (...) whole enterprise worthwhile whether or not “a theory of everything” is forthcoming. (shrink)
Robert Rosen’s (M,R)-systems are a class of relational models that define organisms. The realization of relational models plays a central role in his study of life, itself. Biology becomes identified with the class of material realizations of a certain kind of relational organization, exhibited in (M,R)-systems. In this paper I describe several realizations of (M,R)-systems, and in particular alternate realizations of the replication component.
Ethics of Richard M. Hare is widely considered as a classical example of the strong internalistic theory of motivation: he is thought to believe that having a moral motive is a sufficient condition to act accordingly. However, strong internalism has difficulties with explaining the phenomenon of acrasia and amoralism. For this reason some critics charge him with developing a false theory of moral motivation. In the article I present Hare's answer to these questions by dividing the discussion about motivation into (...) three levels: semantical, epistemological, and ontological. I also explain his concept of internal motivation and argue that his theory, contrary to what his critics assume, may be called a weak motivational internalism. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to discuss the “Framework for M&S with Agents” (FMSA) proposed by Zeigler et al. [2000, 2009] in regard to the diverse epistemological aims of agent simulations in social sciences. We first show that there surely are great similitudes, hence that the aim to emulate a universal “automated modeler agent” opens new ways of interactions between these two domains of M&S with agents. E.g., it can be shown that the multi-level conception at the core of (...) the FMSA is similar in both contexts: notions of “levels of system specifi cation”, “behavior of models”, “simulator”and “endomorphic agents” can be partially translated in the terms linked to the “denotational hierarchy” (DH) and recently introduced in a multi-level centered epistemology of M&S. Second, we suggest considering the question of “credibility” of agent M&S in social sciences when we do not try to emulate but only to simulate target systems. Whereas a stringent and standardized treatment of the heterogeneous internal relations (in the DH) between systems of formalisms is the key problem and the essential challenge in the scope of Agent M&S driven engineering, it is urgent too to address the problem of the external relations (and of the external validity, hence of the epistemic power and credibility) of such levels of formalisms in the specific domains of agent M&S in social sciences, especially when we intend to introduce the concepts of activity tracking. (shrink)
The “representation problem” in abstract algebraic logic is that of finding necessary and sufficient conditions for a structure, on a well defined abstract framework, to have the following property: that for every structural closure operator on it, every structural embedding of the expanded lattice of its closed sets into that of the closed sets of another structural closure operator on another similar structure is induced by a structural transformer between the base structures. This question arose from Blok and Jónsson abstract (...) analysis of one of Blok and Pigozzis’s characterizations of algebraizable logics. The problem, which was later on reformulated independently by Gil-Férez and by Galatos and Tsinakis, was solved by Galatos and Tsinakis in the more abstract framework of the category of modules over a complete residuated lattice, and by Galatos and Gil-Férez in the even more abstract setting of modules over a quantaloid. We solve the representation problem in Blok and Jónsson’s original context of M-sets, where M is a monoid, and characterise the corresponding M-sets both in categorical terms and in terms of their inner structure, using the notions of a graded M-set and a generalized variable introduced by Gil-Férez. (shrink)
It is important to distinguish adaptation per se (adaptedness, or being adapted) from the more specific concept of adaptation for some function. Commonly used criteria for adaptation in either sense have limited applicability. There are, however, a number of widely applicable criteria for adaptation per se, such as several kinds of cost, low variation, the maintenance of integration, and the fitness distribution of mutations. Application of these criteria leads to the conclusion that adaptation is overwhelmingly prevalent for features of organisms. (...) Neither the presence nor the absence of adaptation has a privileged status in inference. Effectively neutral evolution can occur on adaptive buttes while maintaining the same degree of adaptation, but it is likely to be relatively minor. (shrink)
The opening argument in the Metaphysics M.2 series targeting separate mathematical objects has been dismissed as flawed and half-hearted. Yet it makes a strong case for a point that is central to Aristotle’s broader critique of Platonist views: if we posit distinct substances to explain the properties of sensible objects, we become committed to an embarrassingly prodigious ontology. There is also something to be learned from the argument about Aristotle’s own criteria for a theory of mathematical objects. I hope to (...) persuade readers of Metaphysics M.2 that Aristotle is a more thoughtful critic than he is often taken to be. (shrink)