La théologie de l'inspiration a sûrement pâti de la tradition critique de l'exégèse depuis le XVIIe siècle. En effet, la perspective critique exige que les " langues de feu " se répartissent sur des intervenants toujours plus nombreux - et également anonymes -, les " auteurs " prenant les traits de rédacteurs successifs, de compilateurs et d'éditeurs, sans parler des traducteurs . Dans un tel contexte, où situer et comment comprendre le phénomène de l'inspiration ? Afin de démêler les choses, (...) il est sans doute intéressant d'interroger le texte inspiré lui-même : de précieuses analogies s'y présentent, qui permettent d'aborder la question de l'inspiration par son biais " poétique " . Dans ces pages, J.-P. Sonnet, tout en se limitant aux leçons de l'Ancien Testament , et en se fondant sur les réflexions du poéticien israélien, MeirSternberg, dans son ouvrage The Poetics of Biblical Narrative, montre que le récit biblique offre une double analogie pour penser l'inspiration des auteurs de la Bible.The theology of inspiration has surely suffered from the critical tradition of exegesis since the 17th century. Indeed, the critical perspective demands that the "tongues of fire" spread themselves on the ever increasing - as well as anonymous - commentators, with the "authors" taking on the characteristics of successive editors, compilers and publishers, not to mention translators . In such a context, where do we situate the phenomenon of inspiration and how should we understand it? In order to sort things out, it is no doubt interesting to question the inspired text itself: precious analogies present themselves, which permit us to approach the question of inspiration from its "poetic" angle , and basing himself on the reflections of the Israeli poetizer MeirSternberg in his work The Poetics of Biblical Narrative, shows that the biblical narrative offers a double analogy for thinking about the inspiration of the biblical authors. (shrink)
The operation of developing a concept is a common procedure in mathematics and in natural science, but has traditionally seemed much less possible to philosophers and, especially, logicians. Meir Buzaglo's innovative study proposes a way of expanding logic to include the stretching of concepts, while modifying the principles which block this possibility. He offers stimulating discussions of the idea of conceptual expansion as a normative process, and of the relation of conceptual expansion to truth, meaning, reference, ontology and paradox, (...) and analyzes the views of Kant, Wittgenstein, Godel, and others, paying especially close attention to Frege. His book will be of interest to a wide range of readers, from philosophers to logicians, mathematicians, linguists, and cognitive scientists. (shrink)
Paul Bond is a lawyer who overheard two other lawyers at his office discussing the proposed purchase of a company by one of their clients. He proceeds to buy shares of this company. Would you rate Bond's behavior completely fair, acceptable, unfair, or very unfair? I posed this vignette to samples of university students in China, Taiwan, and the U. S. Most students in the U. S. and Taiwan samples rated Bond's behavior unfair or very unfair while most students in (...) the China rated Bond's behavior completely fair or acceptable. Perceptions of fairness are part of the culture of a country and culture affects business practices. I discuss culture, perceptions of fairness, and business practices in China, Taiwan, and the U. S. (shrink)
According to influential views the probabilities in classical statistical mechanics and other special sciences are objective chances, although the underlying mechanical theory is deterministic, since the deterministic low level is inadmissible or unavailable from the high level. Here two intuitions pull in opposite directions: One intuition is that if the world is deterministic, probability can only express subjective ignorance. The other intuition is that probability of high-level phenomena, especially thermodynamic ones, is dictated by the state of affairs in the world. (...) We argue in support of this second intuition and we show that in fact there are two different ways in which high-level probability describes matters of fact, even if the underlying microscopic reality is deterministic. Our analysis is novel, but supports approaches by, e.g., Loewer, Albert, Frigg and Hoefer, List and Pivato. In particular, the reductive view we propose here can be seen as a naturalization of the above approaches. We consider consequences of our result for nonreductive physicalist approaches, such as functionalism, that admit multiple realization of the kinds that appear in the special sciences by physical kinds. We show that nonreductive physicalism implies the existence of nonphysical matters of fact. (shrink)
The ethical issues involved in bankruptcy affect the debtor, the creditor and the society in which they operate. Facing the debtor is his responsibility to pay back the loans and credit extended to him while the creditor has to decide whether or not to press his legal rights, irrespective of the consequences to the debtor. Society will have to determine to what extent, if any, it is prepared or obligated to fund the rehabilitation of the debtor and those employees, whose (...) employment is terminated as a result of the bankruptcy. These issues will be determined according to the value structure of the particular souly in which debtor and creditor operate. This paper views the issues in a Jewish perspective. Debtors are considered to always be liable for their debts and there is a moral shame attached to bankruptcy, except in those cases where it is caused by natural disasters. While creditors are taught and encouraged to voluntarily waive their rights, this is considered charity with all its negative overtones. The courts are obligated to review the debtors assets and sell them, if necessary, to meet the creditors loans, leaving only basic necessities for minimal living of the debtor and his family. Society however, including the creditor, a part of the group, are obligated to fund the rehabilitation of the debtor either through its interest-free loan, charity or the provision of alternative employment. These may be funded out of communal taxes. (shrink)
McQueen and Vaidman argue that the Many Worlds Interpretation (MWI) of quantum mechanics provides local causal explanations of the outcomes of experiments in our experience that is due to the total effect of all the worlds together. We show that although the explanation is local in one world, it requires a causal influence that travels across different worlds. We further argue that in the MWI the local nature of our experience is not derivable from the Hilbert space structure, but has (...) to be added to it as an independent postulate. This is due to what we call the factorisation-symmetry and basis-symmetry of Hilbert space. (shrink)
This paper proves that Maxwell's Demon is compatible with classical mechanics. In particular it shows how the cycle of operation - including measurement and erasure - can be carried out with no entropy cost, contrary to the Landauer-Bennett thesis (according to which memory erasure costs kln2 of entropy increase per bit). The Landauer-Bennet thesis is thus proven to be mistaken.
We discuss the meaning of probabilities in the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. We start by presenting very briefly the many worlds theory, how the problem of probability arises, and some unsuccessful attempts to solve it in the past. Then we criticize a recent attempt by Deutsch to derive the quantum mechanical probabilities from the nonprobabilistic parts of quantum mechanics and classical decision theory. We further argue that the Born probability does not make sense even as an additional probability (...) rule in the many worlds theory. Our conclusion is that the many worlds theory fails to account for the probabilistic statements of standard (collapse) quantum mechanics. (shrink)
In this paper we analyze the relation between the notion of typicality and the notion of probability and the related question of how the choice of measure in deterministic theories in physics may be justified. Recently it has been argued that although the notion of typicality is not a probabilistic notion, it plays a crucial role in underwriting probabilistic statements in classical statistical mechanics and in Bohm’s theory. We argue that even in theories with deterministic dynamics, like classical statistical mechanics (...) and Bohm’s theory, the notion of probability can be understood as fundamentally objective, and that it is the notion of probability rather than typicality that may have an explanatory value. (shrink)
According to a common view, belief in God cannot be proved and is an issue that must be left to faith. Kant went even further and argued that he can prove this unprovability. But any argument implying that a certain sentence is not provable is challenged by Gödel’s second theorem. Indeed, one trivial consequence of GST is that for any formal system F that satisfies certain conditions and for every sentence K that is formulated in F it is impossible to (...) prove, from F, that K is not provable. In the article, I explore the general issue of proving the unprovability of the existence of God. Of special interest is the question of the relation between the existence of God and the conditions that F must satisfy in order to allow for its subjection to GST. (shrink)
Special sciences (such as biology, psychology, economics) describe various regularities holding at some high macroscopic level. One of the central questions concerning these macroscopic regularities is how they are related to the laws of physics governing the underlying microscopic physical reality. In this paper we show how a macroscopic regularity may emerge from an underlying micro- scopic structure, and how the appearance of multiple realizability of the special sciences by physics comes about in a reductionist-physicalist framework. On this basis we (...) explain how complexity at the high level can arise due to a sort of harmony between the microscopic dynamics and observer-dependent macroscopic properties. We show that observer-dependent properties, which underlie the emergence of macroscopic properties and of macroscopic complexity, are objective physical facts. We argue that such physical properties remove the mystery from the multiple realizability of special sciences’ kinds, since the latter are grounded in shared physical properties. Finally we explain how and in what sense in our reductive physicalist approach the special sciences are still autonomous after all. (shrink)
Jewish business ethics in Israel addresses two major sources of economic immorality—unbounded desire and fear of economic uncertainty—through enforcement and spiritual education. Business is seen as a path to sanctity, when time is set apart for religious study, wealth is seen as originating from God, the vulnerable are protected against fraud and theft, charity is seen as an obligation, and mercy towards debtors is tempered by justice.
We argue that current constructive approaches to the special theory of relativity do not derive the geometrical Minkowski structure from the dynamics but rather assume it. We further argue that in current physics there can be no dynamical derivation of primitive geometrical notions such as length. By this we believe we continue an argument initiated by Einstein.
It is commonly maintained that neuroplastic mechanisms in the brain provide empirical support for the hypothesis of multiple realizability. We show in various case studies that neuroplasticity stems from preexisting mechanisms and processes inherent in the neural structure of the brain. We argue that not only does neuroplasticity fail to provide empirical evidence of multiple realization, its inability to do so strengthens the mind-body identity theory. Finally, we argue that a recently proposed identity theory called Flat Physicalism can be enlisted (...) to explain the current state of the mind-body problem more adequately. (shrink)
We discuss a recent proposal by Albert (1994a; 1994b; 2000, ch. 7) to recover thermodynamics on a purely dynamical basis, using the quantum theory of the collapse of the wave function by Ghirardi, Rimini, and Weber (1986). We propose an alternative way to explain thermodynamics within no-collapse interpretations of quantum mechanics. Our approach relies on the standard quantum mechanical models of environmental decoherence of open systems (e.g., Joos and Zeh 1985; Zurek and Paz 1994). This paper presents the two approaches (...) and discusses their advantages. The problems faced by both approaches will be discussed in a sequel (Hemmo and Shenker 2003). (shrink)
Can we explain the laws of thermodynamics, in particular the irreversible increase of entropy, from the underlying quantum mechanical dynamics? Attempts based on classical dynamics have all failed. Albert (1994a,b; 2000) proposed a way to recover thermodynamics on a purely dynamical basis, using the quantum theory of the collapse of the wavefunction of Ghirardi, Rimini and Weber (1986). In this paper we propose an alternative way to explain thermodynamics within no-collapse interpretations of quantum mechanics. Our approach relies on the standard (...) quantum mechanical models of environmental decoherence of open systems, e.g. Joos and Zeh (1985) and Zurek and Paz (1994). (shrink)
Proponents of corporate environmental responsibility argue that corporations shortchange shareholders by investing too little in environmental responsibility. They claim that corporations can improve their financial performance by increasing their investment in environmental responsibility. Opponents of corporate social responsibility argue that corporations shortchange shareholders by investing too much in environmental responsibility. They claim that corporations can improve their financial performance by reducing their investment in environmental responsibility. Yet, others claim that corporations serve their shareholders well by investing just enough in social (...) responsibility, not too little and not too much. If so, corporations increase their investment in environmental responsibility when an increase improves financial performance and reduce their investment in environmental responsibility when a decrease improves financial performance. Our evidence is consistent with this last claim. We find that the behavior of corporations is consistent with the claim that they act in the interest of shareholders, increasing or decreasing their investment in environmental responsibility as necessary to improve their financial performance. (shrink)
This paper makes a novel linkage between the multiple-computations theorem in philosophy of mind and Landauer’s principle in physics. The multiple-computations theorem implies that certain physical systems implement simultaneously more than one computation. Landauer’s principle implies that the physical implementation of “logically irreversible” functions is accompanied by minimal entropy increase. We show that the multiple-computations theorem is incompatible with, or at least challenges, the universal validity of Landauer’s principle. To this end we provide accounts of both ideas in terms of (...) low-level fundamental concepts in statistical mechanics, thus providing a deeper understanding of these ideas than their standard formulations given in the high-level terms of thermodynamics and cognitive science. Since Landauer’s principle is pivotal in the attempts to derive the universal validity of the second law of thermodynamics in statistical mechanics, our result entails that the multiple-computations theorem has crucial implications with respect to the second law. Finally, our analysis contributes to the understanding of notions, such as “logical irreversibility,” “entropy increase,” “implementing a computation,” in terms of fundamental physics, and to resolving open questions in the literature of both fields, such as: what could it possibly mean that a certain physical process implements a certain computation. (shrink)
We argue that certain types of many minds (and many worlds) interpretations of quantum mechanics, e.g. Lockwood ([1996a]), Deutsch () do not provide a coherent interpretation of the quantum mechanical probabilistic algorithm. By contrast, in Albert and Loewer's () version of the many minds interpretation, there is a coherent interpretation of the quantum mechanical probabilities. We consider Albert and Loewer's probability interpretation in the context of Bell-type and GHZ-type states and argue that it implies a certain (weak) form of nonlocality. (...) 1 Introduction 2 Albert and Loewer's interpretation 3 Probabilities in Lockwood's interpretation 4 Sets of minds and their correlations 5 Many minds and GHZ. (shrink)
Can the second law of thermodynamics explain our mental experience of the direction of time? According to an influential approach, the past hypothesis of universal low entropy also explains how the psychological arrow comes about. We argue that although this approach has many attractive features, it cannot explain the psychological arrow after all. In particular, we show that the past hypothesis is neither necessary nor sufficient to explain the psychological arrow on the basis of current physics. We propose two necessary (...) conditions on the workings of the brain that any account of the psychological arrow of time must satisfy. And we propose a new reductive physical account of the psychological arrow of time compatible with time-symmetric physics, according to which these two conditions are also sufficient. Our proposal has some radical implications, for example, that the psychological arrow of time is fundamental, whereas the temporal direction of entropy increase in the second law of thermodynamics and the past hypothesis is derived from it, rather than the other way around. 1Introduction2A Physical Account of the Psychological Arrow of Time3Necessary Conditions for the Psychological Arrow of Time4The Psychological Arrow of Time via the Second Law of Thermodynamics and the Past Hypothesis5Why the Past Hypothesis Is Insufficient for the Psychological Arrow of Time5.1Stage 1, Version 1: From the past hypothesis to the psychological arrow via typicality5.2Stage 1, Version 2: From the past hypothesis to the psychological arrow via dynamical or causal considerations5.3Stage 2: From entropy gradient in the brain to the psychological arrow of time6Why the Past Hypothesis Is Unnecessary for the Psychological Arrow of Time7A New Reductive Account of the Psychological Arrow of Time. (shrink)
In a previous article, we have demonstrated by a general phase space argument that a Maxwellian Demon is compatible with statistical mechanics. In this article, we show how this idea can be put to work in the prevalent model of the Demon, namely, a particle-in-a-box, used, for example, by Szilard and Bennett. In the literature, this model is used in order to show that a Demon is incompatible with statistical mechanics, either classical or quantum. However, we show that a detailed (...) phase space analysis of this model illustrates that a Maxwellian Demon is compatible with statistical mechanics. (shrink)
Discusses how theory knitting, as proposed by D. A. Kalmar and R. J. Sternberg , can be used to provide a basis for the construction of theory in unified psychology. This article opens first with a brief description of the goals of unified psychology, which is the multiparadigmatic, multidisciplinary, and integrated study of psychological phenomena through converging operations. Second, it briefly provides background on some of the major attempts to unify psychology. Third, the article describes the precepts of unified (...) psychology in more detail. Fourth and most importantly, the article discusses the role of theory knitting in unified psychology. Finally, the article summarizes the main points that have been made and their implications for future theory and research. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
Maxwell’s Demon is a thought experiment devised by J. C. Maxwell in 1867 in order to show that the Second Law of thermodynamics is not universal, since it has a counter-example. Since the Second Law is taken by many to provide an arrow of time, the threat to its universality threatens the account of temporal directionality as well. Various attempts to “exorcise” the Demon, by proving that it is impossible for one reason or another, have been made throughout the years, (...) but none of them were successful. We have shown (in a number of publications) by a general state-space argument that Maxwell’s Demon is compatible with classical mechanics, and that the most recent solutions, based on Landauer’s thesis, are not general. In this paper we demonstrate that Maxwell’s Demon is also compatible with quantum mechanics. We do so by analyzing a particular (but highly idealized) experimental setup and proving that it violates the Second Law. Our discussion is in the framework of standard quantum mechanics; we give two separate arguments in the framework of quantum mechanics with and without the projection postulate. We address in our analysis the connection between measurement and erasure interactions and we show how these notions are applicable in the microscopic quantum mechanical structure. We discuss what might be the quantum mechanical counterpart of the classical notion of “macrostates”, thus explaining why our Quantum Demon setup works not only at the micro level but also at the macro level, properly understood. One implication of our analysis is that the Second Law cannot provide a universal lawlike basis for an account of the arrow of time; this account has to be sought elsewhere. (shrink)
Emch, G.G., Liu, C.: The Logic of Thermostatistical Physics. Springer, Berlin/ Heidelberg (2002) 11. Frigg, R., Werndl, C.: Entropy – a guide for the perplexed. Forthcoming in: Beisbart, C., Hartmann, S. (eds.) Probabilities in Physics. Oxford ...
Just Business provides the first comprehensive, reasoned framework for resolving questions of business ethics and corporate governance. Innovative, accessible, and global in scope, its powerful Ethical Decision Model can be used to manage the ethical problems of business as they arise in all their complexity and variety. Just Business combines business realism with philosophical rigor, and demonstrates that it is not necessary to emasculate or to adulterate business for business to be ethical. The book benefits from Elaine Sternberg's extensive (...) experience as an academic philosopher, an international investment banker, and head of successful businesses. She is now Principal of a London-headquartered consultancy firm, and Research Fellow in Philosophy at the University of Leeds. (shrink)
We discuss a recent proposal by Albert to recover thermodynamics on a purely dynamical basis, using the quantum theory of the collapse of the wave function of Ghirardi, Rimini and Weber. We propose an alternative way to explain thermodynamics within no-collapse interpretations of quantum mechanics. Our approach relies on the standard quantum mechanical models of environmental decoherence of open systems, \eg Joos and Zeh and Zurek and Paz. This paper presents the two approaches and discusses their advantages. The problems they (...) face will be discussed in a sequel. (shrink)
In our book The Road to Maxwell’s Demon (RMD) (Cambridge University Press 2012) we proposed a new outline for a reductive account of statistical mechanics in which thermodynamics is reduced to classical mechanics. In a recent review Valia Allori says that we misunderstood Boltzmann’s account of statistical mechanics with respect to two issues: (1) the nature of typicality considerations in Boltzmann’s explanation of the Second Law - and here she provides no argument whatsoever; and (2) Boltzmann’s notion of probability. As (...) to the second issue, unfortunately, there are flaws in her presentation of Boltzmann’s work as well as of ours. In this paper we briefly explain the difference between Boltzmann’s notion of probability and our notion, how the latter in fact complements Boltzmann’s ideas, and Allori’s flaws on these issues. (shrink)
The temporal granularity of consciousness may be far less fine than the real-time information processing mechanisms that underlie our sensitivity to small temporal differences. It is suggested that conscious time perception, like space perception, is subject to errors that belie a unitary underlying representation. E. R. Clay's concept of the “specious present,” an extended moment represented in consciousness, is suggested as an alternative to the more common notion of instantaneous experience that underlies much reasoning based on the “time of arrival” (...) in consciousness. (shrink)
In this paper we address two problems in Boltzmann's approach to statistical mechanics. The first is the justification of the probabilistic predictions of the theory. And the second is the inadequacy of the theory's retrodictions.
Von Neumann argued by means of a thought experiment involving measurements of spin observables that the quantum mechanical quantity is conceptually equivalent to thermodynamic entropy. We analyze Von Neumann's thought experiment and show that his argument fails. Over the past few years there has been a dispute in the literature regarding the Von Neumann entropy. It turns out that each contribution to this dispute addressed a different special case. In this paper we generalize the discussion and examine the full matrix (...) of possibilities that are relevant for the evaluation and understanding of Von Neumann’s argument. (shrink)