This article presents results from a multidisciplinary research project on the integration and transfer of language knowledge into robots as an empirical paradigm for the study of language development in both humans and humanoid robots. Within the framework of human linguistic and cognitive development, we focus on how three central types of learning interact and co-develop: individual learning about one's own embodiment and the environment, social learning (learning from others), and learning of linguistic capability. Our primary concern is how these (...) capabilities can scaffold each other's development in a continuous feedback cycle as their interactions yield increasingly sophisticated competencies in the agent's capacity to interact with others and manipulate its world. Experimental results are summarized in relation to milestones in human linguistic and cognitive development and show that the mutual scaffolding of social learning, individual learning, and linguistic capabilities creates the context, conditions, and requisites for learning in each domain. Challenges and insights identified as a result of this research program are discussed with regard to possible and actual contributions to cognitive science and language ontogeny. In conclusion, directions for future work are suggested that continue to develop this approach toward an integrated framework for understanding these mutually scaffolding processes as a basis for language development in humans and robots. (shrink)
Abstract The work of Martin Buber oscillates between talk in which transcendence is experienced and talk in which transcendence is merely postulated. In order to show and mend this incoherence in Buber's thought, this essay attends to the rhetoric of verification ( Bewährung ), primarily but not solely in I and Thou (1923), both in order to show how it is a symptom of this incoherence, and also to show a broad pragmatic strain in Buber's thought. Given this pragmatic (...) strain, the essay argues that a weak notion of Buberian verification, in which taking a dialogic stance with reference to others evinces the right to talk of the real possibility of transcendence (a You-world, or God as the “eternal You“), is all that is necessary to combat despair. Strong notions of encounter are unnecessary, and also sink Buber in a morass of theodicy, in which he interprets historical misfortune and destruction as evidence of history's meaning. (shrink)
There is no adequate understanding of contemporary Jewish and Christian theology without reference to Martin Buber. Buber wrote numerous books during his lifetime (1878-1965) and is best known for I and Thouand Good and Evil. Buber has influenced important Protestant theologians like Karl Barth, Emil Brunner, Paul Tillich, and Reinhold Niebuhr. His appeal is vast--not only is he renowned for his translations of the Hebrew Bible but also for his interpretation of Hasidism, his role in Zionism, and his writings (...) in psychotherapy and political philosophy. In addition to a general introduction, each chapter is individually introduced, illuminating the historical and philosophical context of the readings. Footnotes explain difficult concepts, providing the reader with necessary references, plus a selective bibliography and subject index. (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)
Francesco Guala has developed some novel and radical ideas on the problem of external validity, a topic that has not received much attention in the experimental economics literature. In this paper I argue that his views on external validity are not justified and the conclusions which he draws from these views, if widely adopted, could substantially undermine the experimental economics enterprise. In rejecting the justification of these views, the paper reaffirms the importance of experiments in economics.
It might surprise someone, who knew only On Liberty, to hear J. S. Mill called the father of British socialism. That would sound a careless bid for a respectable pedigree, on a par with hailing King Canute as father of the British seaside holiday. Mill is passionate there about making the individual a protected species, not to be interfered with even for his own good, unless to prevent harm to others. He is so passionate that government seems at times to (...) have no other task than to protect. The Principles of Political Economy, on the other hand, displays clear, if intermittent, socialist leanings. There too ‘there is a circle round every individual human being, which no government… ought to be permitted to overstep’. But, subject to this constraint, government is urged to do all the utilitarian good it can and some nasty worries for democratic socialists surface instructively. They centre on the social aspects of individuality and give rise to problems in what my title calls the Social Liberty Game. British socialism, with its Lib-Lab origins and tolerant respect for individual liberty, embodies a tension between the rights of each and the good of all, which makes the Principles a living part of its intellectual history. (shrink)
The studies of the Czech phenomenologist Jan Patočka has been flourishing recently. Martin Ritter’s book Into the World: The Movement of Patočka’s Phenomenology offers an important contribution to the debate and a long-awaited critical presentation of Patočka’s asubjective phenomenology as well as creative re-reading of Patočka's central doctrine of the movements of existence.
The aim of this paper is to set out some of the ontologies amongst which some forms of anti-realism must select. This provides the appropriate setting for presenting an alternative realist ontology. The argument is that the choice between the varieties of anti-realism and realism is inevitably a choice between ontologies.
This paper deals with three topics: types of rights, the development of the terminology of rights, and the question of the primacy of welfare rights. Because these topics are interrelated, my exposition does not observe rigid boundaries among them. There is no pretence at all that any of these subjects is fully covered here; nor is it proposed, except for one writer, to touch upon the contemporary literature on rights, as noteworthy as some of that literature is. In order to (...) gain entrance into the field, on which the writing has grown to massive proportions, I shall begin with an interesting historical phenomenon, some of whose philosophical import I want to explore. I should say at the outset, however, that the general motivation of this paper is the problem of the significance of the language of “rights.” Does it really make a difference, for instance, to speak of the “rights of man” rather than the “common duties of humanity”? Does the term “rights” add anything of special significance or is its only significance rhetorical and ideological? Can we dispense with the language of rights and still say everything we need to say about our moral relations? I confess to a moderate skepticism about the necessity of the language of rights in the last analysis. At any rate, this paper is intended as a contribution, however small, to this problem. The historical phenomenon with which I am going to begin will enable us to bring into focus the issue of the meaning of “rights.”. (shrink)
This English translation of Vom Wesen der Sprache, volume 85 of Martin Heidegger's Gesamtausgabe, contains fascinating discussions of language that are important both for those interested in Heidegger's thought and for those who wish to ...
Martin Buber appartient à plusieurs mondes : celui de la Vienne fin de siècle dans laquelle il naît en 1878, du sionisme culturel, de la République de Weimar et de la renaissance juive, celui de la lutte contre le nazisme, de l'exil dans la Palestine du Mandat où il débarque en 1938, enfin celui de la naissance du jeune État d'Israël. Philosophe, historien des religions, interprète de la mystique juive, il a correspondu avec tous les grands esprits de son (...) temps. À sa mort à Jérusalem en 1965, c'est une conscience de l'humanisme hébreu qui disparaît. Pour la première fois en français, un choix de lettres traduites de plusieurs langues permet de restituer un itinéraire intellectuel à nul autre pareil, quelques époques à jamais disparues, et la réalisation d'une utopie, le retour des juifs en Terre sainte. Professeur à Francfort et à l'Université hébraïque, traducteur de la Bible, penseur du dialogue, militant de l'entente avec les Arabes et exégète inspiré des Hassidim, ses lettres sont une pièce capitale de la pensée allemande et européenne. Y apparaissent les figures de Kafka, de Benjamin, d'Einstein, de Scholem, de Rosenzweig, mais aussi de Gandhi, de Jung, de Barth ou de Georg, de Rang, de Dibelius, de Lou Andreas-Salomé et de tant d'autres, juives ou non, qui trouvèrent en Buber un interlocuteur privilégié. (shrink)
The disjunctive theory of perception claims that we should understand statements about how things appear to a perceiver to be equivalent to statements of a disjunction that either one is perceiving such and such or one is suffering an illusion (or hallucination); and that such statements are not to be viewed as introducing a report of a distinctive mental event or state common to these various disjoint situations. When Michael Hinton ﬁrst introduced the idea, he suggested that the burden of (...) proof or disproof lay with his opponent, that what was needed was to show that our talk of how things look or appear to one.. (shrink)
Martin Kusch puts forth two controversial ideas: that knowledge is a social status and that knowledge is primarily the possession of groups rather than individuals. He defends the radical implications of his views: that knowledge is political, and that it varies with communities. This bold approach to epistemology is a challenge to philosophy and the wider academic world.