Lately, philosophers of mathematics have been exploring the notion of mathematical explanation within mathematics. This project is supposed to be analogous to the search for the correct analysis of scientific explanation. I argue here that given the way philosophers have been using “ explanation,” the term is not applicable to mathematics as it is in science.
We state the defining characteristic of mathematics as a type of symmetry where one can change the connotation of a mathematical statement in a certain way when the statement's truth value remains the same. This view of mathematics as satisfying such symmetry places mathematics as comparable with modern views of physics and science where, over the past century, symmetry also plays a defining role. We explore the very nature of mathematics and its relationship with natural science from this perspective. This (...) point of view helps clarify some standard problems in the philosophy of mathematics. (shrink)
This essay argues that a military's reserve force occupies an important and overlooked ethical position. It shows that, among other things, reservists pose special challenges to virtue ethics accounts of military personnel, an understanding of the relationship between a government and its military, as well as standard questions about jus in bello.
Plato’s political philosophy is usually seen in the context of domestic politics, justice within a polis. This essay argues that Plato had views on international relations theory as well. We show that Plato had a theory of the causes of international conflict, and that his theory can be seen as a response to Thucydides’ theory as well as theories espoused by other Greek thinkers. Plato’s theory can be generalized to a theory of causation in the social sciences. He also had (...) clear views on what international relations theorists now call “hegemonic stability theory,” “transition theory,” and the nature of political sovereignty. (shrink)
Over the past few decades the notion of symmetry has played a major role in physics and in the philosophy of physics. Philosophers have used symmetry to discuss the ontology and seeming objectivity of the laws of physics. We introduce several notions of symmetry in mathematics and explain how they can also be used in resolving different problems in the philosophy of mathematics. We use symmetry to discuss the objectivity of mathematics, the role of mathematical objects, the unreasonable effectiveness of (...) mathematics and the relationship of mathematics to physics. (shrink)
Typical approaches to resolving the sorites paradox attempt to show, in one way or another, that the sorites argument is not paradoxical after all. However, if one can show that the sorites is not really paradoxical, the task remains of explaining why it appears to be a paradox. Our approach begins by addressing the appearance of paradox and then explores what this means for the paradox itself. We examine the sorites from the perspective of the various brain systems that are (...) intuitively comfortable with the key features of the premises of the sorites argument. We suggest that the explicit and implicit cognitive systems are separately responsible for the initial plausibility of the categorical and inductive premises. The appearance of paradox is a function of our brain’s architecture and arises from the conflicting interactions of neurologically distinct systems. (shrink)
Military Psychological Operations: Ethics and Policy Considerations.Mark Zelcer, Garrett VanPelt & Devin Casey - 2018 - In David Boonin, Katrina L. Sifferd, Tyler K. Fagan, Valerie Gray Hardcastle, Michael Huemer, Daniel Wodak, Derk Pereboom, Stephen J. Morse, Sarah Tyson, Mark Zelcer, Garrett VanPelt, Devin Casey, Philip E. Devine, David K. Chan, Maarten Boudry, Christopher Freiman, Hrishikesh Joshi, Shelley Wilcox, Jason Brennan, Eric Wiland, Ryan Muldoon, Mark Alfano, Philip Robichaud, Kevin Timpe, David Livingstone Smith, Francis J. Beckwith, Dan Hooley, Russell Blackford, John Corvino, Corey McCall, Dan Demetriou, Ajume Wingo, Michael Shermer, Ole Martin Moen, Aksel Braanen Sterri, Teresa Blankmeyer Burke, Jeppe von Platz, John Thrasher, Mary Hawkesworth, William MacAskill, Daniel Halliday, Janine O’Flynn, Yoaav Isaacs, Jason Iuliano, Claire Pickard, Arvin M. Gouw, Tina Rulli, Justin Caouette, Allen Habib, Brian D. Earp, Andrew Vierra, Subrena E. Smith, Danielle M. Wenner, Lisa Diependaele, Sigrid Sterckx, G. Owen Schaefer, Markus K. Labude, Harisan Unais Nasir, Udo Schuklenk, Benjamin Zolf & Woolwine (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Philosophy and Public Policy. Springer Verlag. pp. 111-122.details
This chapter addresses some basic ethical questions about psychological operations. It defines PSYOP, then compares and contrasts it with both conventional military activities and contemporary information warfare. Then it briefly clarifies emerging public policy problems, outlines relevant legal particularities, and offers general policy considerations with regard to ethical considerations in its employment.