Priority setting in health care is ubiquitous and health authorities are increasingly recognising the need for priority setting guidelines to ensure efficient, fair, and equitable resource allocation. While cost-effectiveness concerns seem to dominate many policies, the tension between utilitarian and deontological concerns is salient to many, and various severity criteria appear to fill this gap. Severity, then, must be subjected to rigorous ethical and philosophical analysis. Here we first give a brief history of the path to today’s severity criteria in (...) Norway and Sweden. The Scandinavian perspective on severity might be conducive to the international discussion, given its long-standing use as a priority setting criterion, despite having reached rather different conclusions so far. We then argue that severity can be viewed as a multidimensional concept, drawing on accounts of need, urgency, fairness, duty to save lives, and human dignity. Such concerns will often be relative to local mores, and the weighting placed on the various dimensions cannot be expected to be fixed. Thirdly, we present what we think are the most pertinent questions to answer about severity in order to facilitate decision making in the coming years of increased scarcity, and to further the understanding of underlying assumptions and values that go into these decisions. We conclude that severity is poorly understood, and that the topic needs substantial further inquiry; thus we hope this article may set a challenging and important research agenda. (shrink)
In the last few decades the role played by models and modeling activities has become a central topic in the scientific enterprise. In particular, it has been highlighted both that the development of models constitutes a crucial step for understanding the world and that the developed models operate as mediators between theories and the world. Such perspective is exploited here to cope with the issue as to whether error-based and uncertainty-based modeling of measurement are incompatible, and thus alternative with one (...) another, as sometimes claimed nowadays. The crucial problem is whether assuming this standpoint implies definitely renouncing to maintain a role for truth and the related concepts, particularly accuracy, in measurement. It is argued here that the well known objections against true values in measurement, which would lead to refuse the concept of accuracy as non-operational, or to maintain it as only qualitative, derive from a not clear distinction between three distinct processes: the metrological characterization of measuring systems, their calibration, and finally measurement. Under the hypotheses that (1) the concept of true value is related to the model of a measurement process, (2) the concept of uncertainty is related to the connection between such model and the world, and (3) accuracy is a property of measuring systems (and not of measurement results) and uncertainty is a property of measurement results (and not of measuring systems), not only the compatibility but actually the conjoint need of error-based and uncertainty-based modeling emerges. (shrink)
Measurement is a process aimed at acquiring and codifying information about properties of empirical entities. In this paper we provide an interpretation of such a process comparing it with what is nowadays considered the standard measurement theory, i.e., representational theory of measurement. It is maintained here that this theory has its own merits but it is incomplete and too abstract, its main weakness being the scant attention reserved to the empirical side of measurement, i.e., to measurement systems and to the (...) ways in which the interactions of such systems with the entities under measurement provide a structure to an empirical domain. In particular it is claimed that (1) it is on the ground of the interaction with a measurement system that a partition can be induced on the domain of entities under measurement and that relations among such entities can be established, and that (2) it is the usage of measurement systems that guarantees a degree of objectivity and intersubjectivity to measurement results. As modeled in this paper, measurement systems link the abstract theory of measuring, as developed in representational terms, and the practice of measuring, as coded in standard documents such as the International Vocabulary of Metrology. (shrink)
We offer an analysis of future morphemes as epistemic operators. The main empirical motivation comes from the fact that future morphemes have systematic purely epistemic readings—not only in Greek and Italian, but also in Dutch, German, and English will. The existence of epistemic readings suggests that the future expressions quantify over epistemic, not metaphysical alternatives. We provide a unified analysis for epistemic and predictive readings as epistemic necessity, and the shift between the two is determined compositionally by the lower tense. (...) Our account thus acknowledges a systematic interaction between modality and tense—but the future itself is a pure modal, not a mixed temporal/modal operator. We show that the modal base of the future is nonveridical, i.e. it includes p and ¬p worlds, parallel to epistemic modals such as must, and present arguments that future morphemes are a category that stands in between epistemic modals and predicates of personal taste. We identify, finally, a subclass of epistemic futures which are ratificational, and argue that will is a member of this class. (shrink)
The common account of the analog vs digital distinction is based on features of physical systems, being related to the usage of continuous vs discrete supports respectively. It is proposed here to alternatively characterize the concepts of analog and digital as related to coding systems, of which a formal definition is given, by suggesting that the distinction refers to the strategy adopted to define the coding function: extensional in digital systems, isomorphic intensional in analog systems. This thesis is supported by (...) examples, in particular of analog systems exploiting discrete supports, and is discussed to explain why digital coding is currently so widespread in technological and social practice. (shrink)
The paper introduces what is deemed as the general epistemological problem of measurement: what characterizes measurement with respect to generic evaluation? It also analyzes the fundamental positions that have been maintained about this issue, thus presenting some sketches for a conceptual history of measurement. This characterization, in which three distinct standpoints are recognized, corresponding to a metaphysical, an anti-metaphysical, and relativistic period, allows us to introduce and briefly discuss some general issues on the current epistemological status of measurement science.
Reciprocal sentences display a variety of interpretations, ranging from ‘strong reciprocity’ to ‘inclusive alternative orderings’. In this interpretation, every element in the reference set participates with some other member in the relation provided by the predicate either as the first or second argument. Current reciprocal theories cannot fully explain why some sentences that satisfy these truth conditions are in fact false and unacceptable, such as ‘#the boys are taller than each other’ or ‘#my mother and I procreated each other.’ The (...) core insight of the paper is that reciprocal sentences are true if they describe a relation that is either actually or possibly strong reciprocal over the reference set, insofar as the possibilities are reasonable. A branching time framework is used, in which a notion of reasonability is defined. We focus on permanent relations, for which we provide a new definition in modal terms. We show that whenever the relation is asymmetric and permanent, each other-sentences are unacceptable. We consider cases in which the relation is asymmetric and non-permanent and the each other-sentences are also unacceptable. We introduce a new modal notion of decidedness, and prove that for asymmetric relations, permanency entails decidedness. Showing how (a)symmetry, (non-)decidedness and (non-)permanency interact and proving that the truth of each other-sentences requires the relation to be either non-asymmetric or non-decided, we ensure a large and previously unattained empirical coverage. (shrink)
Against the tradition, which has considered measurement able to produce pure data on physical systems, the unavoidable role played by the modeling activity in measurement is increasingly acknowledged, particularly with respect to the evaluation of measurement uncertainty. This paper characterizes measurement as a knowledge-based process and proposes a framework to understand the function of models in measurement and to systematically analyze their influence in the production of measurement results and their interpretation. To this aim, a general model of measurement is (...) sketched, which gives the context to highlight the unavoidable, although sometimes implicit, presence of models in measurement and, finally, to propose some remarks on the relations between models and measurement uncertainty, complementarily classified as due to the idealization implied in the models and their realization in the experimental setup. (shrink)
The concept system around 'quantity' and 'quantity value' is fundamental for measurement science, but some very basic issues are still open on such concepts and their relation. This paper argues that quantity values are in fact individual quantities, and that a complementarity exists between measurands and quantity values. This proposal is grounded on the analysis of three basic 'equality' relations: (i) between quantities, (ii) between quantity values and (iii) between quantities and quantity values. A consistent characterization of such concepts is (...) obtained, which is then generalized to 'property' and 'property value'. This analysis also throws some light on the elusive concept of magnitude. (shrink)
The paper introduces and formally defines a functional concept of a measuring system, on this basis characterizing the measurement as an evaluation performed by means of a calibrated measuring system. The distinction between exact and uncertain measurement is formalized in terms of the properties of the traceability chain joining the measuring system to the primary standard. The consequence is drawn that uncertain measurements lose the property of relation-preservation, on which the very concept of measurement is founded according to the representational (...) viewpoint. Finally, from the analysis of the inter-relations between calibration and measurement the fundamental reasons of the claimed objectivity and intersubjectivity of measurement are highlighted, a valuable epistemological result to characterize measurement as a particular kind of evaluation. (shrink)
An appropriate characterization of property types is an important topic for measurement science. On the basis of a set-theoretic model of evaluation and measurement processes, the paper introduces the operative concept of property evaluation type, and discusses how property types are related to, and in fact can be derived from, property evaluation types, by finally analyzing the consequences of these distinctions for the concepts of ‘property’ used in the International Vocabulary of Metrology – Basic and General Concepts and Associated Terms (...) (VIM3). (shrink)
Given the common assumption that measurement plays an important role in the foundation of science, the paper analyzes the possibility that Measurement Science, and therefore measurement itself, can be properly founded. The realist and the representational positions are analyzed at this regards: the conclusion, that such positions unavoidably lead to paradoxical situations, opens the discussion for a new epistemology of measurement, whose characteristics and interpretation are sketched here but are still largely matter of investigation.
Job as a speech act and the end of conventional work Ethics According to the author, the work that takes place in the Cyber Physical System has the nature of the «performative speech act». This change determines the end of the conventional ethics of work as duty, task, destiny, etc. which the author analyzes in Christianity as the most important conventional ethics for the Western world. If work is a "s act" then the ethics that constitutes its conditions and meaning (...) will be a form of ethics of communication of which the author establishes the "norms" by integrating the proposal of K.-O. Apel. (shrink)
We defend the view of epistemic `must' as weak and claim that `must p' is used when the speaker does not know p. Novel arguments for this well-known account are provided. The theory is extended to epistemic future.
Epistemic modal verbs and adverbs of necessity are claimed to be positive polarity items. We study their behavior by examining modal spread, a phenomenon that appears redundant or even anomalous, since it involves two apparent modal operators being interpreted as a single modality. We propose an analysis in which the modal adverb is an argument of the MUST modal, providing a meta-evaluation \ which ranks the Ideal, stereotypical worlds in the modal base as better possibilities than the Non-Ideal worlds in (...) it. MUST and possibility modals differ in that the latter have an empty \, a default that can be negotiated. Languages vary in the malleability of this parameter. Positive polarity is derived as a conflict between the ranking imposed by \—which requires that the Ideal worlds be better possibilities than Non-Ideal worlds—and the effect of higher negation which renders the Ideal set non-homogenous. Applying the ordering over such a non-homogeneous set would express preference towards both p and \ worlds thus rendering the sentence uninformative. Negative polarity MUST and possibility modals, on the other hand, contain an empty \, application of higher negation therefore poses no problem. This account is the first to connect modal spread to positive polarity of necessity modals, and captures the properties of both in a unified analysis. (shrink)
We show that actuality entailments arise with goal-oriented modality only and endorse Belnap’s view of that goal-oriented modals use historical accessibility with a fixed past and an open future. This modal-theoretic assumption allows us to spell out the precise modal-temporal configuration in which the actuality entailment arises and our predictions are borne out by the data, cross-linguistically. We also show that, when any assumption about the identity of worlds at branching point is leveled - which appears to be the case (...) with generic deontic and opportunity modals, the actuality entailments disappear. We also predict that the entailment disappears with prospectivity. Finally, we argue that modal sentences giving rise to actuality entailments are informative, insofar as the contribution of the modality survives as a presupposition that the modal base is non-homogeneous. (shrink)
This paper discusses a relational modeling of measurement which is complementary to the standard representational point of view: by focusing on the experimental character of the measurand-related comparison between objects, this modeling emphasizes the role of the measuring systems as the devices which operatively perform such a comparison. The non-idealities of the operation are formalized in terms of non-transitivity of the substitutability relation between measured objects, due to the uncertainty on the measurand value remaining after the measurement. The metrological structure (...) of traceability is shown to be an effective solution to cope with the problem of the general non-transitivity of measurement results. A preliminary theory is introduced as a possible formalization for the presented model. (shrink)
The concept system around ‘quantity’ and ‘quantity value’ is fundamental for measurement science, but some very basic issues are still open on such concepts and their relations. This paper proposes a duality between quantities and quantity values, a proposal that simplifies their characterization and makes it consistent.
Based on architectural projects which interpret literature as program we discuss design reasoning when no routine models of problem solving apply. We address three aspects of formulation: defining the design charge so that it can be retrospectively stated independent of the actual proposal; defining a language of formal operations; and defining the intrinsic aims of design that are only intimated through the proposal itself. The coherence of the project is a function of the way in which formal properties interact, and (...) the way in which they sustain analogical or metaphorical relationships to text: how the patterns of subdivision, connection, differentiation, positioning, movement or perception associated with built space relate to textual figures, concepts, structure, or narrative. The possibility of constructing architectural meaning in this way implies an underlying model of space as a morphic language which works primarily through the constitution of generic and significant relationships rather than the combination of previously objectified elements. The gradual articulation of the design charge is mediated by a process of diagramming. Diagrams express as spatial constructions the conditions and concepts abstracted from text; also, they act as notations of constructive operations which are themselves spatial. Diagrams can be abstractive or pictorial, dense or discrete. They document two aspects of an integral process of reasoning: First, an exploration of how concepts, whether directly, analogically or metaphorically transferred from text to shape, may relate to produce a more complex idea; second, how formal properties co-vary and how an emergent design proposal engages and activates a field of formal possibility. (shrink)
The transformations that have affected the character of paid work for at least the last three decades under the impact of the “third industrial revolution,” along with the associated processes of globalization, demand that we rethink both the idea of work and the idea of leisure. It is necessary to move beyond the specific opposition between work time and time “free” of work as it was defined and established by the character of work in the twentieth century. The post-Fordist form (...) of work allows us to glimpse a previously unsuspected degree of freedom, responsability, and personal creativity that can be related in a positive and reciprocal manner with the notion of leisure, here understood in terms of intellectual and cultural enhancement rather than simply in terms of diversion, entertainment or mass consumption. In this sense, leisure can become one of the purposes of work and not merely a flight from the sphere of work. (shrink)
An appropriate characterization of property types is an important topic for measurement science. This paper proposes to derive them from evaluation types, and analyzes the consequences of this position for the VIM3.
Measurement in soft systems generally cannot exploit physical sensors as data acquisition devices. The emphasis in this case is instead on how to choose the appropriate indicators and to combine their values so to obtain an overall result, interpreted as the value of a property, i.e., the measurand, for the system under analysis. This paper aims at discussing the epistemological conditions of the claim that such a process is a measurement, and performance evaluation is the case introduced to support the (...) analysis, performed in systematic comparison with the paradigm of measurement of physical quantities. Some background questions arising here are: – Are the chosen indicators appropriate performance indicators? – Do such indicators convey complete and non-redundant information on performance? – Does the chosen combination rule generate results suitably interpretable as performance values? And enlarging the focus: – Does the obtained value specifically convey information on the system under analysis, instead of some different entity (typically including the subject who is evaluating)? Operatively: would different subjects evaluate the same system in the same way? i.e., is the obtained information objective? – Does the obtained value convey information that is interpretable in the same way by different subjects? Operatively: would different subjects who have agreed on a decision procedure make the same decision from the same performance information? i.e., is the obtained information intersubjective? Any well founded positive answers to these questions significantly support a structural interpretation of measurement encompassing both physical and soft measurement. (shrink)
La Iglesia ha dado por zanjado el caso Galileo en más de una ocasion. No obstante, la polémica ha continuado. Aquí se argumenta que las distintas iniciativas de la Iglesia respecto al caso Galileo -la revision de la condena dei copernicanismo a partir de 1820; la utilización de los documentos dei dossier inquisitorial de Galileo a partir de 1850 y la polémica suscitada; el caso Paschini (1942-1965); y las conclusiones de Juan Pablo II en 1992-1993- ponen de manifiesto la misma (...) actitud de la Iglesia y la persistencia de los intereses básicos de partida, que hacen muy improbable que el “caso de Galileo”, al margen de los problemas genuinamente históricos, pueda cerrarse.Althoght the Catholic Church has setlled “Galileo’s case” several times, the controverse goes on. I argue that Church’s initatives on this matter -the revision of the condenmation of copernicanism from 1820; the use of documents coming from Galileo’s inquisitorial dossier from 1850 on and the controversy raised by this use; Paschini case (1942-1965); and the conclusions drawn by pope John Paul II in 1992-1993- make evident the identical actitude of the Church as well as the persistence of his basic interests, which make very unlikely that Galileo’s case, regardless of genuine historical problems, call be considered as closed. (shrink)