The standardised randomised clinical trial has been exceedingly popular in medical research, economics, and practical policy making. Recently, RCTs have faced criticism. First, it has been argued by John Worrall that we cannot be certain that our sample is not atypical with regard to possible confounding factors. I will argue that at least in the case of medical research, we know enough about the relevant causal mechanisms to be justified to ignore a number of factors we have good reason not (...) to expect to be disruptive. I will also argue against an argument provided by Nancy Cartwright and Eileen Munro that RCTs should not be taken to deductively infer probabilistic causal claims, but ampliatively. The paper will end on a discussion of evidence hierarchies and a defence of the stance of evidence-based medicine that RCTs are the best available method to assess a treatment’s efficacy. (shrink)
This paper examines the origin, range and meaning of the Principle of Action and Reaction in Kant’s mechanics. On the received view, it is a version of Newton’s Third Law. I argue that Kant meant his principle as foundation for a Leibnizian mechanics. To find a ‘Newtonian’ law of action and reaction, we must look to Kant’s ‘dynamics,’ or theory of matter. I begin, in part I, by noting marked differences between Newton’s and Kant’s laws of action and reaction. I (...) argue that these are explainable by Kant’s allegiance to a Leibnizian mechanics. I show (in part II) that Leibniz too had a model of action and reaction, at odds with Newton’s. Then I reconstruct how Jakob Hermann and Christian Wolff received Leibniz’s model. I present (in Part III) Kant’s early law of action and reaction for mechanics. I show that he devised it so as to solve extant problems in the Hermann-Wolff account. I reconstruct Kant’s views on ‘mechanical’ action and reaction in the 1780s, and highlight strong continuities with his earlier, pre-Critical stance. I use these continuities, and Kant’s earlier engagement with post-Leibnizians, to explain the un-Newtonian features of his law of action and reaction. (shrink)
much early modern metaphysics grew with an eye to the new science of its time, but few figures took it as seriously as Emilie du Châtelet. Happily, her oeuvre is now attracting close, renewed attention, and so the time is ripe for looking into her metaphysical foundation for empirical theory. Accordingly, I move here to do just that. I establish two conclusions. First, du Châtelet's basic metaphysics is a robust realism. Idealist strands, while they exist, are confined to non-basic regimes. (...) Second, her substance realism seems internally coherent, so her foundational project appears successful.I have two aims in this paper. Historically, I show that du Châtelet's main source of inspiration was Christian... (shrink)
The aim of our commentary is to strengthen Cowan's proposal for an inherent capacity limitation in STM by suggesting a neurobiological mechanism based on competitive networks and nonlinear oscillations that avoids some of the shortcomings of the scheme discussed in the target article (Lisman & Idiart 1995).
I explain and assess here Huygens’ concept of relative motion. I show that it allows him to ground most of the Law of Inertia, and also to explain rotation. Thereby his concept obviates the need for Newton’s absolute space. Thus his account is a powerful foundation for mechanics, though not without some tension.
Craig Callender, Jonathan Cohen and Markus Schrenk have recently argued for an amended version of the best system account of laws – the better best system account (BBSA). This account of lawhood is supposed to account for laws in the special sciences, among other desiderata. Unlike David Lewis's original best system account of laws, the BBSA does not rely on a privileged class of natural predicates, in terms of which the best system is formulated. According to the BBSA, a contingently (...) true generalization is a law of a special science S iff the generalization is an axiom (or a theorem) of the best system relative to the set of predicates used by special science S. We argue that the BBSA is, at best, an incomplete theory of special science laws, as it does not account for typical features of special science laws, such as attached ceteris paribus conditions and the idealized character of law statements in these disciplines. (shrink)
3 LIBERTARIANISM Now that we have discussed determinism and laws of nature, let us finally turn to libertarianism. Traditionally, libertarianism has been viewed as an incompatibilist theory of free will, as it requires the existence of real ...
Newton had a fivefold argument that true motion must be motion in absolute space, not relative to matter. Like Newton, Kant holds that bodies have true motions. Unlike him, though, Kant takes all motion to be relative to matter, not to space itself. Thus, he must respond to Newton’s argument above. I reconstruct here Kant’s answer in detail. I prove that Kant addresses just one part of Newton’s case, namely, his “argument from the effects” of rotation. And, to show that (...) rotation is relative to matter, Kant changes the meaning of ‘relative motion.’ However, that change puts Kant’s doctrine in deep tension with Newton’s science. Based on my construal, I correct earlier readings of Kant by John Earman and Martin Carrier. And, I argue that we need to revise Michael Friedman’s influential view of Kant. Kant’s struggle, I conclude, illustrate the difficulties that early modern relationists faced as they turned down Newtonian absolute space ; and it typifies their selective engagement with Newton’s case for it. (shrink)
This paper examines the young Kant’s claim that all motion is relative, and argues that it is the core of a metaphysical dynamics of impact inspired by Leibniz and Wolff. I start with some background to Kant’s early dynamics, and show that he rejects Newton’s absolute space as a foundation for it. Then I reconstruct the exact meaning of Kant’s relativity, and the model of impact he wants it to support. I detail (in Section II and III) his polemic engagement (...) with Wolffian predecessors, and how he grounds collisions in a priori dynamics. I conclude that, for the young Kant, the philosophical problematic of Newton’s science takes a back seat to an agenda set by the Leibniz-Wolff tradition of rationalist dynamics. This results matters, because Kant’s views on motion survive well into the 1780s. In addition, his doctrine attests to the richness of early modern views of the relativity of motion. (shrink)
I uncover here a conflict in Kant’s natural philosophy. His matter theory and laws of mechanics are in tension. Kant’s laws are fit for particles but are too narrow to handle continuous bodies, which his doctrine of matter demands. To fix this defect, Kant ultimately must ground the Torque Law; that is, the impressed torque equals the change in angular momentum. But that grounding requires a premise—the symmetry of the stress tensor—that Kant denies himself. I argue that his problem would (...) not arise if he had kept his early theory of matter as made of mass points, or “physical monads.”. (shrink)
This chapter looks at Euler’s relation to Newton, and at his role in the rise of ‘Newtonian’ mechanics. It aims to give a sense of Newton’s complicated legacy for Enlightenment science, and to raise awareness that some key ‘Newtonian’ results really come from Euler.
I argue that the key dynamical concepts and laws of Newton's Principia never gained a solid foothold in Germany before Kant in the 1750s. I explain this absence as due to Leibniz. Thus I make a case for a robust Leibnizian legacy for Enlightenment science, and I solve what Jonathan Israel called “a meaningful historical problem on its own,” viz. the slow and hesitant reception of Newton in pre-Kantian Germany.
I examine here if Kant’s metaphysics of matter can support any late-modern versions of classical mechanics. I argue that in principle it can, by two different routes. I assess the interpretive costs of each approach, and recommend the most promising strategy: a mass-point approach.
Marcus et al.’s experiment (1999) concerning infant ability to distinguish between differing syntactic structures has prompted connectionists to strive to show that certain types of neural networks can mimic the infants’ results. In this paper we take a closer look at two such attempts: Shultz and Bale [Shultz, T.R. and Bale, A.C. (2001), Infancy 2, pp. 501–536] Altmann and Dienes [Altmann, G.T.M. and Dienes, Z. (1999) Science 248, p. 875a]. We were not only interested in how well these two models (...) matched the infants’ results, but also whether they were genuinely learning the grammars involved in this process. After performing an extensive set of experiments, we found that, at first blush, Shultz and Bale’s model (2001) replicated the infant’s known data, but the model largely failed to learn the grammars. We also found serious problems with Altmann and Dienes’ model (1999), which fell short of matching any of the infant’s results and of learning the syntactic structure of the input patterns. (shrink)
Language learning requires linguistic input, but several studies have found that knowledge of second language rules does not seem to improve with more language exposure. One reason for this is that previous studies did not factor out variation due to the different rules tested. To examine this issue, we reanalyzed grammaticality judgment scores in Flege, Yeni-Komshian, and Liu's study of L2 learners using rule-related predictors and found that, in addition to the overall drop in performance due to a sensitive period, (...) L2 knowledge increased with years of input. Knowledge of different grammar rules was negatively associated with input frequency of those rules. To better understand these effects, we modeled the results using a connectionist model that was trained using Korean as a first language and then English as an L2. To explain the sensitive period in L2 learning, the model's learning rate was reduced in an age-related manner. By assigning different learning rates for syntax and lexical learning, we were able to model the difference between early and late L2 learners in input sensitivity. The model's learning mechanism allowed transfer between the L1 and L2, and this helped to explain the differences between different rules in the grammaticality judgment task. This work demonstrates that an L1 model of learning and processing can be adapted to provide an explicit account of how the input and the sensitive period interact in L2 learning. (shrink)
Newton rested his theory of mechanics on distinct metaphysical and epistemological foundations. After Leibniz's death in 1716, the Principia ran into sharp philosophical opposition from Christian Wolff and his disciples, who sought to subvert Newton's foundations or replace them with Leibnizian ideas. In what follows, I chronicle some of the Wolffians' reactions to Newton's notion of absolute space, his dynamical laws of motion, and his general theory of gravitation. I also touch on arguments advanced by Newton's Continental followers, such as (...) Leonhard Euler, who made novel attempts to defend his mechanical foundations against the pro-Leibnizian attack. This examination grants us deeper insight into the fate of Newton's mechanics on the Continent during the early eighteenth century and, more specifically, sheds needed light on the conflicts and tensions that characterized the reception of Newton's philosophy of mechanics among the Leibnizians. (shrink)
ABSTRACT In this paper, I propose a variant of a Humean account of laws called "Open Future Humeanism", which holds that since the laws supervene partly on future events, there are at any instant infinitely many possible future courses of events. I argue that if one wants to take the openness of the future that OFH proposes ontologically serious, then OFH is best represented within a growing block view of time. I further discuss some of OFH's problems which stem from (...) the fact that in this view, there are no laws as long as time progresses. These problems can be solved by adding a temporal operator to the laws, so that at any instant, we get a set of tensed laws which held up to and including that instant. (shrink)
This paper studies definability within the theory of institutions, a version of abstract model theory that emerged in computing science studies of software specification and semantics. We generalise the concept of definability to arbitrary logics, formalised as institutions, and we develop three general definability results. One generalises the classical Beth theorem by relying on the interpolation properties of the institution. Another relies on a meta Birkhoff axiomatizability property of the institution and constitutes a source for many new actual definability results, (...) including definability in (fragments of) classical model theory. The third one gives a set of sufficient conditions for 'borrowing' definability properties from another institution via an 'adequate' encoding between institutions. The power of our general definability results is illustrated with several applications to (many-sorted) classical model theory and partial algebra, leading for example to definability results for (quasi-)varieties of models or partial algebras. Many other applications are expected for the multitude of logical systems formalised as institutions from computing science and logic. (shrink)
Companies are faced with a choice of which type of power to use in their efforts to persuade their first-tier suppliers to adopt socially responsible procurement practices with key second-tier suppliers. However, we know little about how first-tier suppliers will react to different types of power and which are most effective in encouraging the adoption of socially responsible procurement practices. We are also ignorant of the impact of these practices on first-tier suppliers’ performance. This paper uses bases of power theory (...) to examine the impact of buyer companies’ power usage on first-tier suppliers’ adoption of socially responsible procurement practices with their own suppliers. We surveyed managers responsible for sustainable supply chain management in 156 firms and analyzed the results using structural equation modeling. Our findings show that non-mediated power use influences the adoption of process-based and market-based practices, while mediated power use has no significant impact on the adoption of either type of practice. Additionally, we find that the adoption of market-based socially responsible procurement practices leads to enhanced performance for first-tier suppliers who adopt these practices with their second-tier suppliers. (shrink)
In the present article, we argue that the constant pressure that leaders face may limit the willpower required to behave according to ethical norms and standards and may therefore lead to unethical behavior. Drawing upon the ego depletion and moral self-regulation literatures, we examined whether self-regulatory depletion that is contingent upon the moral identity of leaders may promote unethical leadership behavior. A laboratory experiment and a multisource field study revealed that regulatory resource depletion promotes unethical leader behaviors among leaders who (...) are low in moral identity. No such effect was found among leaders with a high moral identity. This study extends our knowledge on why organizational leaders do not always conform to organizational goals. Specifically, we argue that the hectic and fragmented workdays of leaders may increase the likelihood that they violate ethical norms. This highlights the necessity to carefully schedule tasks that may have ethical implications. Similarly, organizations should be aware that overloading their managers with work may increase the likelihood of their leaders transgressing ethical norms. (shrink)
Studies in the behavioral ethics and moral psychology traditions have begun to reveal the important roles of self-related processes that underlie moral behavior. Unfortunately, this research has resulted in two distinct and opposing streams of findings that are usually referred to as moral consistency and moral compensation. Moral consistency research shows that a salient self-concept as a moral person promotes moral behavior. Conversely, moral compensation research reveals that a salient self-concept as an immoral person promotes moral behavior. This study’s aim (...) was to integrate these two literatures. We argued that compensation forms a reactive, “damage control” response in social situations, whereas consistency derives from a more proactive approach to reputation building and maintenance. Two experiments supported this prediction in showing that cognitive depletion (i.e., resulting in a reactive approach) results in moral compensation whereas consistency results when cognitive resources are available (i.e., resulting in a proactive approach). Experiment 2 revealed that these processes originate from reputational (rather than moral) considerations by showing that they emerge only under conditions of accountability. It can thus be concluded that reputational concerns are important for both moral compensation and moral consistency processes, and that which of these two prevails depends on the perspective that people take: a reactive or a proactive approach. (shrink)
Review of Kristina Stoeckl, Ingeborg Gabriel, Aristotle Papanikolau, eds., Political Theologies in Orthodox Christianity. Common Challenges – Divergent Positions,, Edinburgh: T&T Clark and Bloomberg, 2017.
In this article, I examine the discourse around evil from the perspective of philosophical anthropology. Through an analysis of the religious symbolism of evil and an associated quest for a complete study of being, I intend in this article to explore fresh ways of establishing the relation between our rhetorical practices of evil and moral responsibility. I draw on Ricoeur’s work on the primary symbols of evil, which can be seen as a means for clarifying and extending our understanding of (...) evil and moral responsibility. I employ the concept of “the double intentionality of symbol” to advance an expressive-performative model of speaking about the full shape of moral responsibility. At stake in my paper is the possibility of recognizing the need to valorise subordinate resources of knowledge that might prevent us from studying and responding to the elusive reality of evil in intellectual abstraction. (shrink)