An extraordinary and challenging synthesis of ideas uniting Quantum Theory, and the theories of Computation, Knowledge and Evolution, Deutsch's extraordinary book explores the deep connections between these strands which reveal the fabric ...
Moral leadership matters. As world politics enters a new and dangerous era, judgment, constancy, moral purpose, and a willingness to overcome partisan politicking are essential for America's leaders. Tempered Strength finds the alternative standard of leadership that Americans are seeking in the classical philosophy of prudence. Ethan Fishman's new work brings together leading American political scientists—including Ronald Beiner, Kenneth L. Deutsch, and George Anastaplo—to discuss the evolution of a standard of prudential leadership both reasonable in nature and practical in (...) scope. Section One studies the meaning of prudence and its evolution in the history of political science from Aristotelian phronesis to Xenophon, Thomas Aquinas, Edmund Burke, and Michael Oakeshott. Section Two demonstrates how the theory of prudential leadership can be applied to practical political issues. (shrink)
It is argued on a variety of grounds that recent results in 'experimental philosophy of language', which appear to show that there are significant cross-cultural differences in intuitions about the reference of proper names, do not pose a threat to a more traditional mode of philosophizing about reference. Some of these same grounds justify a complaint about experimental philosophy as a whole.
Practitioners of the new ‘experimental philosophy’ have collected data that appear to show that some philosophical intuitions are culturally variable. Many experimental philosophers take this to pose a problem for a more traditional, ‘armchair’ style of philosophizing. It is argued that this is a mistake that derives from a false assumption about the character of philosophical methods; neither philosophy nor its methods have anything to fear from cultural variability in philosophical intuitions.
The reach of explanations -- Closer to reality -- The spark -- Creation -- The reality of abstractions -- The jump to universality -- Artificial creativity -- A window on infinity -- Optimism -- A dream of Socrates -- The multiverse -- A physicist's history of bad philosophy -- Choices -- Why are flowers beautiful? -- The evolution of culture -- The evolution of creativity -- Unsustainable -- The beginning.
The selection of wanted from unwanted messages requires discriminatory mechanisms of as great a complexity as those in normal perception, as is indicated by behavioral evidence. The results of neurophysiology experiments on selective attention are compatible with this supposition. This presents a difficulty for Filter theory. Another mechanism is proposed, which assumes the existence of a shifting reference standard, which takes up the level of the most important arriving signal. The way such importance is determined in the system is further (...) described. Neurophysiological evidence relative to this postulation is discussed. (shrink)
Constructor theory seeks to express all fundamental scientific theories in terms of a dichotomy between possible and impossible physical transformations–those that can be caused to happen and those that cannot. This is a departure from the prevailing conception of fundamental physics which is to predict what will happen from initial conditions and laws of motion. Several converging motivations for expecting constructor theory to be a fundamental branch of physics are discussed. Some principles of the theory are suggested and its potential (...) for solving various problems and achieving various unifications is explored. These include providing a theory of information underlying classical and quantum information; generalising the theory of computation to include all physical transformations; unifying formal statements of conservation laws with the stronger operational ones (such as the ruling-out of perpetual motion machines); expressing the principles of testability and of the computability of nature (currently deemed methodological and metaphysical respectively) as laws of physics; allowing exact statements of emergent laws (such as the second law of thermodynamics); and expressing certain apparently anthropocentric attributes such as knowledge in physical terms. (shrink)
Solutions to Russell’s paradox of propositions and to Kaplan’s paradox are proposed based on an extension of von Neumann’s method of avoiding paradox. It is shown that Russell’s ‘anti-Cantorian’ mappings can be preserved using this method, but Kaplan’s mapping cannot. In addition, several versions of the Epimenides paradox are discussed in light of von Neumann’s method.
Theory suggests that stimulus evaluations automatically evoke approach–avoidance behavior. However, the extent to which approach–avoidance behavior is triggered automatically is not yet clear. Furthermore, the nature of automatically triggered approach–avoidance behavior is controversial. We review research on two views on the type of approach–avoidance behavior that is triggered automatically (arm flexion/extension, distance change). Present evidence supports the distance-change view and corroborates the notion of an automatic pathway from evaluation to distance-change behavior. We discuss underlying mechanisms (direct stimulus–response links, outcome anticipations, (...) goals) as well as implications regarding the flexibility of the evaluation–behavior link. (shrink)
Using panel data of 4,244 company years, we examine whether and how corporate social performance (CSP) affects a firm’s capacity to achieve profitable sales in foreign markets. Based on our extension of instrumental stakeholder theory into the international arena, we hypothesized a U-shaped relationship between CSP and multinationality. Results supported our contention that multinational enterprises (MNEs) need to be substantially committed to social performance objectives if they are to recoup the cost of their CSP investments, and improve their capacity to (...) compete in foreign markets. MNEs engaged in intermediate levels of CSP achieve lower levels of multinationality than firms operating at either anchor of the social performance continuum. In addition, this study demonstrates that CSP moderates a well-established relationship in international business literature – the relationship between R&D investment and a firm’s multinationality. Implications for research and practice are discussed. (shrink)
I argue in this paper that the existence of sorites series of color patches – series of color patches arranged so that the patches on each end look different in color though no two adjacent patches do – shows that the relation of same phenomenal character as is not a transitive relation. I then argue that the intransitivity of same phenomenal character as conflicts with certain versions of intentionalism, the view that an experiences phenomenal character is exhausted, or fully determined (...) by its intentional content. Lastly, I consider various objections to the arguments and reply to them. (shrink)
One of the logical problems with which Arthur Prior struggled is the problem of finding, in Prior’s own phrase, a “logic for contingent beings.” The difficulty is that from minimal modal principles and classical quantification theory, it appears to follow immediately that every possible object is a necessary existent. The historical development of quantified modal logic (QML) can be viewed as a series of attempts---due variously to Kripke, Prior, Montague, and the fee-logicians---to solve this problem. In this paper, I review (...) the extant solutions, finding them all wanting. Then I suggest a new solution inspired by Kripke’s theory of rigid designation and Kaplan’s logic of demonstratives, the latter in particular. It turns out that the basic mechanism of Kaplan’s logic can be exploited to yield a version of QML that will serve as a viable logic for contingent beings. This result, as I show, sheds new light on the problems of singular negative existential propositions, the question of actualism, the question of the existence of the contingent a priori, the relation between logical truth and necessity, and various modal problems and paradoxes going back to Chrysippus, Ramsey, and Moore. (shrink)
Quantum theory and the classical theory of computation were perfected in the 1930s, and fifty years later they were unified to form the quantum theory of computation. Here I want to tell you about a speculation — I can’t call it more than a “speculation” even though I know it’s true — about the kind of theory that might, in another fifty years’ time, supersede or transcend the quantum theory of computation. There are branches of science — in fact most (...) of them are branches of physics — that we expect, by their nature, to have philosophical implications. An obvious example is cosmology. There are other sciences, such as, say, aerodynamics, in which, no matter how startling or important our discoveries may become, we do not expect fundamental philosophical implications. So, various sciences fall at different places on a scale (Fig. 1) ranging from the most fundamental on the left to the least fundamental, the most derivative, on the right. (shrink)
Two obvious trends in corporate governance include broadening board accountability beyond shareholders’ interests and paying outside directors with equity compensation (stock and stock options). By integrating common agency and instrumental stakeholder theories, we examine the effect of stock compensation on secondary stakeholders and a firm’s participation in social issues, two areas where interests are less aligned with shareholder value. Consistent with our predictions, we found that while stock compensation may be an effective way to align directors’ goals to those of (...) shareholders, it has adverse effects on important non-shareholder constituencies in the company’s operating environment. (shrink)
Of John Wheeler’s ‘Really Big Questions’, the one on which the most progress has been made is It From Bit? – does information play a significant role at the foundations of physics? It is perhaps less ambitious than some of the other Questions, such as How Come Existence?, because it does not necessarily require a metaphysical answer. And unlike, say, Why The Quantum?, it does not require the discovery of new laws of nature: there was room for hope that it (...) might be answered through a better understanding of the laws as we currently know them, particularly those of quantum physics. And this is what has happened: the better understanding is the quantum theory of information and computation. (shrink)