We present the idea of searching for X-rays as a signature of the mechanism inducing the spontaneous collapse of the wave function. Such a signal is predicted by the continuous spontaneous localization theories, which are solving the “measurement problem” by modifying the Schrödinger equation. We will show some encouraging preliminary results and discuss future plans and strategy.
The failure of philosophy -- A new political philosophy -- Radical democracy -- Politics of freedom -- The future of democracy -- Decentralization of power -- A Humanist approach to elections -- A new approach to political and economic problems -- Human nature and humanist practice -- Humanist politics -- Integral humanism -- The way out -- New humanism -- The principles of radical democracy.
This is a study of a crucial and controversial topic in metaphysics and the philosophy of science: the status of the laws of nature. D. M. Armstrong works out clearly and in comprehensive detail a largely original view that laws are relations between properties or universals. The theory is continuous with the views on universals and more generally with the scientific realism that Professor Armstrong has advanced in earlier publications. He begins here by mounting an attack on the orthodox and (...) sceptical view deriving from Hume that laws assert no more than a regularity of coincidence between instances of properties. In doing so he presents what may become the definitive statement of the case against this position. Professor Armstrong then goes on to establish his own theory in a systematic manner defending it against the most likely objections, and extending both it and the related theory of universals to cover functional and statistical laws. This treatment of the subject is refreshingly concise and vivid: it will both stimulate vigorous professional debate and make an excellent student text. (shrink)
This study attempts to show the role of translation in giving meaning to conflicts whether by reproducing the dominant political beliefs of a particular media society or by resisting counter-ideologies that come from foreign sources of information. It utilizes Critical Discourse Analysis as an effective method for the analysis of power relations behind news reporting. The research uses a corpus from international media and their equivalent texts into Arabic between 2013 and 2017. The data covers events on conflicts in Syria, (...) Iraq, Bahrain and Yemen, each article reporting issues about conflict and its impact on arenas of struggle. Through this case study of transediting, I will explore how textual analysis can unravel power relations and hegemonic orders of discourse. The study shows that translation is a site of conflict and has much to say about reasons for conflict and the complex relationship between language and power. The proposed tools of analysis in this study are based on functional language analysis and will show how language structuring, in particular transitivity analysis, articulates the logic created by the media outlet regarding reasons for conflict. The case study concludes that different media structure the current wars in the Middle East in different chains of causal dependence that can impact the reading positions of the readers. (shrink)
En este trabajo pretendemos comparar y contrastar las concepciones explícitas e implícitas de la historicidad de Merleau-Ponty y Arendt. Comenzaremos trazando su filiación fenomenológica, que tiene como hilo conductor su común búsqueda del sentido de la experiencia incluso en el sinsentido, abriéndose a él desde sus situaciones y compromisos, adentrándose con el pensamiento en la fragilidad y en la contingencia que jamás excluyeron del filosofar. Mostraremos que el desarrollo merleau-pontiano de la fenomenología genética, particularmente su interpretación del concepto husserliano de (...) la Stiftung, posibilita una concepción de la historia que podría ser aceptada por Arendt, de la misma manera que lo fue su ontología indirecta y su interrogación filosófica. Aunque su resistencia a la reversibilidad de la chair limitará la concepción arendtiana de la acción y del pensar, la interrelación de ambos pensamientos revelará la necesidad de una nueva filosofía de la historia. (shrink)
Truths are determined not by what we believe, but by the way the world is. Or so realists about truth believe. Philosophers call such theories correspondence theories of truth. Truthmaking theory, which now has many adherents among contemporary philosophers, is the most recent development of a realist theory of truth, and in this book D. M. Armstrong offers the first full-length study of this theory. He examines its applications to different sorts of truth, including contingent truths, modal truths, truths about (...) the past and the future, and mathematical truths. In a clear, even-handed and non-technical discussion he makes a compelling case for truthmaking and its importance in philosophy. His book marks a significant contribution to the debate and will be of interest to a wide range of readers working in analytical philosophy. (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)
Rescued in 1972 from a storeroom in which rats and seeping water had severely damaged the fifty-year-old manuscript, this text is the earliest major work (1919-1921) of the great Russian philosopher M. M. Bakhtin. Toward a Philosophy of the Act contains the first occurrences of themes that occupied Bakhtin throughout his long career. The topics of authoring, responsibility, self and other, the moral significance of "outsideness," participatory thinking, the implications for the individual subject of having "no-alibi in existence," the difference (...) between the world as experienced in actions and the world as represented in discourse--all are broached here in the heat of discovery. This is the "heart of the heart" of Bakhtin, the center of the dialogue between being and language, the world and mind, "the given" and "the created" that forms the core of Bakhtin's distinctive dialogism. A special feature of this work is Bakhtin's struggle with the philosophy of Immanuel Kant. Put very simply, this text is an attempt to go beyond Kant's formulation of the ethical imperative. Toward a Philosophy of the Act will be important for scholars across the humanities as they grapple with the increasingly vexed relationship between aesthetics and ethics. (shrink)
Twentieth century philosophers introduced the distinction between “objective rightness” and “subjective rightness” to achieve two primary goals. The first goal is to reduce the paradoxical tension between our judgments of what is best for an agent to do in light of the actual circumstances in which she acts and what is wisest for her to do in light of her mistaken or uncertain beliefs about her circumstances. The second goal is to provide moral guidance to an agent who may be (...) uncertain about the circumstances in which she acts, and hence is unable to use her standard moral principle directly in deciding what to do. This paper distinguishes two important senses of “moral guidance”; proposes criteria of adequacy for accounts of subjective rightness; canvasses existing definitions for “subjective rightness”; finds them all deficient; and proposes a new and more successful account. It argues that each comprehensive moral theory must include multiple principles of subjective rightness to address the epistemic situations of the full range of moral decision-makers, and shows that accounts of subjective rightness formulated in terms of what it would reasonable for the agent to believe cannot provide that guidance. (shrink)
Merab Konstantinovich [Mamardashvili] met with me immediately, as soon as I requested it, although he forewarned me that he could only dimly remember much of that distant past in which I was most interested. But evidently that past still perturbed him as well, since he agreed to speak with me even though he had not yet completely recovered from his illness, and hence his voice was feeble, at times subsiding to a whisper; he would pronounce his words indistinctly, constantly sticking (...) one onto another; on top of that, for technical reasons the dictaphone was situated a bit away from him. It was therefore very difficult to transcribe the text, and I raised many questions with the idea of asking Merab Konstantinovich about them at our next meeting and clearing up some things. But alas, there was no next meeting … Hence I am permitting myself now to publish only some of the most clearly enunciated fragments of my conversation with him, one of the four "forefathers" of the Moscow Methodological Circle, whose name for us, today's participants (and hence neophytes) in the methodological movement, is enveloped by legends handed down by word of mouth. I kept my questions to a minimum. Mamardashvili's reminiscences, arguments, and reflections will seem contentious to many. But no matter, one can dispute points of substance even with those who have passed on. (shrink)
Listening to someone from some distance in a crowded room you may experience the following phenomenon: when looking at them speak, you may both hear and see where the source of the sounds is; but when your eyes are turned elsewhere, you may no longer be able to detect exactly where the voice must be coming from. With your eyes again fixed on the speaker, and the movement of her lips a clear sense of the source of the sound will (...) return. This ‘ventriloquist’ effect reflects the ways in which visual cognition can dominate auditory perception. And this phenomenological observation is one what you can verify or disconfirm in your own case just by the slightest reflection on what it is like for you to listen to someone with or without visual contact with them. (shrink)
A large body of literature agrees that persons with schizophrenia suffer from a Theory of Mind deficit. However, most empirical studies have focused on third-person, egocentric ToM, underestimating other facets of this complex cognitive skill. Aim of this research is to examine the ToM of schizophrenic persons considering its various aspects, to determine whether some components are more impaired than others. We developed a Theory of Mind Assessment Scale and administered it to 22 persons with a DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia (...) and a matching control group. Th.o.m.a.s. is a semi-structured interview which allows a multi-component measurement of ToM. Both groups were also administered a few existing ToM tasks and the schizophrenic subjects were administered the Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale and the WAIS-R. The schizophrenic persons performed worse than control at all the ToM measurements; however, these deficits appeared to be differently distributed among different components of ToM. Our conclusion is that ToM deficits are not unitary in schizophrenia, which also testifies to the importance of a complete and articulated investigation of ToM. (shrink)
Dispositions are essential to our understanding of the world. IDispositions: A Debate is an extended dialogue between three distinguished philosophers - D.M. Armstrong, C.B. Martin and U.T. Place - on the many problems associated with dispositions, which reveals their own distinctive accounts of the nature of dispositions. These are then linked to other issues such as the nature of mind, matter, universals, existence, laws of nature and causation.
We argue that thoughts are structures of concepts, and that concepts should be individuated by their origins, rather than in terms of their semantic or epistemic properties. Many features of cognition turn on the vehicles of content, thoughts, rather than on the nature of the contents they express. Originalism makes concepts available to explain, with no threat of circularity, puzzling cases concerning thought. In this paper, we mention Hesperus/Phosphorus puzzles, the Evans-Perry example of the ship seen through different windows, and (...) Mates cases, and we believe that there are many additional applications. (shrink)
Education, Religion and Society celebrates the career of Professor John Hull of the University of Birmingham, UK, the internationally renowned religious educationist who has also achieved worldwide fame for his brilliant writings on his experience, mid-career, of total blindness. In his outstanding career he has been a leading figure in the transformation of religious education in English and Welsh state schools from Christian instruction to multi-faith religious education and was the co-founder of the International Seminar on Religious Education and values. (...) John Hull has also made major contributions to the theology of disability and the theological critique of the "money culture." This volume brings together leading international scholars to honour John Hull's contribution, with a focus on furthering scholarship in the areas where he has been active as a thinker. The book offers a critical appreciation of his contribution to religious education and practical theology, and goes on to explore the continuing debate about the role of religious education in promoting international understanding, intercultural education and human rights education. A possible basis for integrating Islamic education into Western education is suggested and the contribution of the philosophy of religion to pluralistic religious education is outlined. The contributors also deal with issues relating to indoctrination, racism and relationship in Christian religious aspects, and examines aspects of the the theology of social exclusion and disability. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to provide a conceptual framework that will help in understanding and evaluating, along social and ethical lines, the issue of killing day-old male chicks and two alternative directions of responsible innovations to solve this issue. The following research questions are addressed: Why is the killing of day-old chicks morally problematic? Are the proposed alternatives morally sound? To what extent do the alternatives lead to responsible innovation? The conceptual framework demonstrates clearly that there is a (...) moral “lock-in”, and why the killing of day-old chicks is indeed an issue. Furthermore, it is shown that both alternative directions address some important objections with regard to the killing of day-old chicks, but that they also raise new dilemmas. It also becomes clear that the framework enables and secures anticipation, reflection, deliberation with and responsiveness to stakeholders, the four dimensions of responsible innovation, in a structured way. (shrink)
Recently two distinct forms of rule-utilitarianism have been introduced that differ on how to measure the consequences of rules. Brad Hooker advocates fixed-rate rule-utilitarianism, while Michael Ridge advocates variable-rate rule-utilitarianism. I argue that both of these are inferior to a new proposal, optimum-rate rule-utilitarianism. According to optimum-rate rule-utilitarianism, an ideal code is the code whose optimum acceptance level is no lower than that of any alternative code. I then argue that all three forms of rule-utilitarianism fall prey to two fatal (...) problems that leave us without any viable form of rule-utilitarianism. (shrink)
In his article ‘Saints and Heroes’, Urmson argues that traditional moral theories allow at most for a threefold classification of actions in terms of their worth, and that they are therefore unsatisfactory. Since the conclusion of his argument has led to the widespread use of the term ‘acts of supererogation’, and since I do not believe that such acts exist, I propose to argue that the actions with which he is concerned not only can, but should, be contained within the (...) traditional classification. (shrink)
Existing economic models of prosociality have been rather silent in terms of proximate psychological mechanisms. We nevertheless identify the psychologically most informed accounts and offer a critical discussion of their hypotheses for the proximate psychological explanations. Based on convergent evidence from several fields of research, we argue that there nevertheless is a more plausible alternative proximate account available: the social motivation hypothesis. The hypothesis represents a more basic explanation of the appeal of prosocial behavior, which is in terms of anticipated (...) social rewards. We also argue in favor of our own social motivation hypothesis over Robert Sugden’s fellow-feeling account (due originally to Adam Smith). We suggest that social motivation not only stands as a proximate account in its own right but also provides a plausible scaffold for other more sophisticated motivations (e.g., fellow-feelings). We conclude by discussing some possible implications of the social motivation hypothesis on existing modeling practice. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Part I. Meaning and the Lexicon: 1. The lexicon - some preliminaries; 2. What do we mean by meaning?; 3. Components and prototypes; 4. Modern componential approaches - and some alternatives; Part II. Relations Among Words and Senses: 5. Meaning variation: polysemy, homonymy and vagueness; 6. Lexical and semantic relations; Part III. Word Classes and Semantic Types: 7. Ontological categories and word classes; 8. Nouns and countability; 9. Predication: verbs, events, and states; 10. Verbs and time; (...) 11. Adjectives and properties. (shrink)
In the years 1878 and 1879 the American physicist Alfred Marshall Mayer published his experiments with floating magnets as a didactic illustration of molecular actions and forms. A number of physicists made use of this analogy of molecular structure. For William Thomson they were a mechanical illustration of the kinetic equilibrium of groups of columnar vortices revolving in circles round their common centre of gravity . A number of modifications of Mayer's experiments were described, which gave configurations which were more (...) or less analogous to Mayer's arrangements. It was Joseph John Thomson who, in publications between 1897 and 1907, used Mayer's results to obtain a good deal of insight into the general laws which govern the configuration of the electrons in his atomic model. This article is mainly concerned with Mayer's experiments with floating magnets and their use by a number of physicists. Through his experiments Mayer made a significant, although small, contribution to the theory of atomic structure. (shrink)
R. M. Adams’s essay, “Must God Create the Best?” can be interpreted as offering a theodicy for God’s creating morally less perfect beings than he could have created. By creating these morally less perfect beings, God is bestowing grace upon them, which is an unmerited or undeserved benefit. He does so, however, in advance of the free moral misdeeds that render them undeserving. This requires that God have middle knowledge, pace Adams’s version of the Free Will Theodicy, of what would (...) result from his actualization of possible free persons. It is argued that God’s possession of such middle knowledge negates the freedom of created beings, since God completely determines every action of every created person. And since they are not free, they cannot qualify as morally unmeritorious or undeserving. And, with that, Adams’s theodicy of grace-in-advance collapses. (shrink)
Theaetetus, asked what knowledge is, replies that geometry and the other mathematical disciplines are knowledge, and so are crafts like cobbling. Socrates points out that it does not help him to be told how many kinds of knowledge there are when his problem is to know what knowledge itself is, what it means to call geometry or a craft knowledge in the first place—he insists on the generality of his question in the way he often does when his interlocutor, asked (...) for a definition, cites instead cases of the concept to be defined. (shrink)
This article discusses the role of moment-to-moment affect dynamics in mental disorder and aims to integrate recent literature on this topic in the context of complex dynamical system theory. First, we will review the relevance of temporal and contextual aspects of affect dynamics in relation to psychopathology. Related to this, we will discuss recent insights resulting from a network view on affect dynamics in psychopathology. Next, we explore how we can reconcile literature findings from a perspective of complex dynamical system (...) theory. Finally, future directions with regard to personalized assessment of risk and diagnostic use are discussed. (shrink)
The environment has often been thought to consist of resources that are unowned, and hence subject to the well-known tragedy of the commons. But in recent years, property ideas have been increasingly recruited for environmental protection, in a manner that appears to vindicate the view that property rights evolve along with the needs for resource management. Nevertheless, property regimes have some pitfalls for environmental resources: the relevant parties may not be able to come to agreement; property regimes may be weak (...) or ineffective; they may be aimed at purposes inconsistent with environmental protection; property rights definitions may not work well for environmental resources; modern property regimes may promote monoculture rather than diverse environments. This essay describes these problems and asks to what degree they apply to a new effort to use property rights approaches, namely cap-and-trade programs to control greenhouse gases. It concludes that property rights, while imperfect and something of a retreat from a regime of complete liberty, may offer gains for environmental protection. But success will depend on close attention to the accountability and effectiveness of the governmental institutions necessary to support environmental property regimes. (shrink)
The use of genetic testing and neuroscientific evidence in legal trials raises several issues. Often their interpretation is controversial: the same evidence can be used to sustain both the prosecution’s and defense’s argument. A recent Italian case confirms such concerns and stresses other relevant related questions.
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