Liberal democracies deal poorly with states of emergency because they underestimate the corrosive effect of arbitrary coercion on established liberal democratic values. Far from protecting the rights of citizens, arbitrary emergency measures undermine citizens’ rights.
An attempt to re-think, within and for the tradition of Husserl and Heidegger, certain central contributions of Greek thought. Interpretations of the Philebus and of other Platonic and Aristotelian texts concerned with problems arising therefrom are carried out; they culminate in an analysis of the fruitful union of intellectual power and impotence in philosophy. The existentialist framework often provides suggestions for the interpretation of difficult transitions in the classical works; conversely, the adherence to the arguments of the Greek texts strengthens (...) the existentialist position with respect to such concepts as world and rationality.--C. B. (shrink)
This essay critically comments on Contingent Future Persons (1997), an anthology of thirteen papers on the same topic as Obligations to Future Generations (1978), namely, the morality of decisions affecting the existence, number and identity of future persons. In my discussion, I identify the basic point of dispute between R. M. Hare and Michael Lockwood on potentiality; I criticize Nick Fotion's thesis that the Repugnant Conclusion is too far-fetched to be philosophically valuable; I object to Clark Wolf's "Impure Consequentialist (...) Theory of Obligation"; and I discuss the Non-Identity Problem in connection with essays by Robert Elliot and Ingmar Persson. (shrink)
[This is the short version of: Müller, Vincent C. and Bostrom, Nick (forthcoming 2016), ‘Future progress in artificial intelligence: A survey of expert opinion’, in Vincent C. Müller (ed.), Fundamental Issues of Artificial Intelligence (Synthese Library 377; Berlin: Springer).] - - - In some quarters, there is intense concern about high–level machine intelligence and superintelligent AI coming up in a few dec- ades, bringing with it significant risks for human- ity; in other quarters, these issues are ignored or considered (...) science fiction. We wanted to clarify what the distribution of opinions actually is, what probability the best experts currently assign to high–level machine intelligence coming up within a particular time–frame, which risks they see with that development and how fast they see these developing. We thus designed a brief questionnaire and distributed it to four groups of experts. Overall, the results show an agreement among experts that AI systems will probably reach overall human ability around 2040-2050 and move on to superintelligence in less than 30 years thereafter. The experts say the probability is about one in three that this development turns out to be ‘bad’ or ‘extremely bad’ for humanity. (shrink)
In this article John Merrill, a long-time observer of the journalistic scene and author/co-author of more than two-dozen books, picks the brain of Niccolo Machiavelli, who, if he had been asked, might have had some interesting observations about the ethics of journalism.
Invited papers from PT-AI 2011. - Vincent C. Müller: Introduction: Theory and Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence - Nick Bostrom: The Superintelligent Will: Motivation and Instrumental Rationality in Advanced Artificial Agents - Hubert L. Dreyfus: A History of First Step Fallacies - Antoni Gomila, David Travieso and Lorena Lobo: Wherein is Human Cognition Systematic - J. Kevin O'Regan: How to Build a Robot that Is Conscious and Feels - Oron Shagrir: Computation, Implementation, Cognition.
The publication of _Reading Capital_—by Louis Althusser, Étienne Balibar, Roger Establet, Pierre Macherey, and Jacques Rancière—in 1965 marked a key intervention in Marxist philosophy and critical theory, bringing forth a stunning array of concepts that continue to inspire philosophical reflection of the highest magnitude. _The Concept in Crisis_ reconsiders the volume’s reading of Marx and renews its call for a critique of capitalism and culture for the twenty-first century. The contributors—who include Alain Badiou, Étienne Balibar, and Fernanda Navarro—interrogate Althusser's contributions (...) in particular within the context of what is surely the most famous collective reading of Marx ever undertaken. Among other topics, they offer a symptomatic critique of Althusser; consider his writing as a materialist production of knowledge; analyze the volume’s conceptualization of value and crisis; examine how leftist Latin American leaders like Che Guevara and Subcomandante Marcos engaged with Althusser and _Reading Capital_; and draw out the volume's implications and use for feminist theory and praxis. Retrieving the inspiration that drove Althusser's reinterpretation of Marx, _The Concept in Crisis_ explains why _Reading Capital_'s revolutionary inflection retains its critical appeal, prompting readers to reconsider Marx's relevance in an era of neoliberal capitalism. Contributors. Emily Apter, Alain Badiou, Étienne Balibar, Bruno Bosteels, Adrian Johnston, Warren Montag, Fernanda Navarro, Nick Nesbitt, Knox Peden, Nina Power, Robert J. C. Young. (shrink)
There is, in some quarters, concern about high–level machine intelligence and superintelligent AI coming up in a few decades, bringing with it significant risks for humanity. In other quarters, these issues are ignored or considered science fiction. We wanted to clarify what the distribution of opinions actually is, what probability the best experts currently assign to high–level machine intelligence coming up within a particular time–frame, which risks they see with that development, and how fast they see these developing. We thus (...) designed a brief questionnaire and distributed it to four groups of experts in 2012/2013. The median estimate of respondents was for a one in two chance that high-level machine intelligence will be developed around 2040-2050, rising to a nine in ten chance by 2075. Experts expect that systems will move on to superintelligence in less than 30 years thereafter. They estimate the chance is about one in three that this development turns out to be ‘bad’ or ‘extremely bad’ for humanity. (shrink)
Usage-based approaches to language hold that we learn multiword expressions as patterns of language from language usage, and that knowledge of these patterns underlies fluent language processing. This paper explores these claims by focusing upon verb–argument constructions such as “V about n.” These are productive constructions that bind syntax, lexis, and semantics. It presents analyses of usage patterns of English VACs in terms of their grammatical form, semantics, lexical constituency, and distribution patterns in large corpora; patterns of VAC usage in (...) child-directed speech and child language acquisition; and investigations of VAC free-association and psycholinguistic studies of online processing. We conclude that VACs are highly patterned in usage, that this patterning drives language acquisition, and that language processing is sensitive to the forms of the syntagmatic construction and their distributional statistics, the contingency of their association with meaning, and spreading activation and prototypicality effects in semantic reference. Language users have rich implicit knowledge of the statistics of multiword sequences. (shrink)
Previous research has demonstrated that hormones, relationship goals, and social context influence interest in the opposite sex. It has not been previously reported, however, whether having a current sexual partner also influences interest in members of the opposite sex. To test this, we obtained explicit and implicit measures of interest by measuring men’s and women’s subjective ratings and response times while they evaluated photos of opposite-sex faces. Fifty-nine men and 56 women rated 510 photos of opposite-sex faces for realism, masculinity, (...) attractiveness, or affect. We found that these subjective ratings were not influenced by partner status in either men or women. However, women who did not report having a current sexual partner spent more time evaluating the photos than women who did have partners, demonstrating greater interest in the photos. Sexual partner status did not predict men’s response times. These findings may reveal that relationship commitment in women suppresses interest in alternative partners. (shrink)
The Abolition of Man, C. S. Lewis's masterpiece in ethics and the philosophy of science,warns of the danger of combining modern moral skepticism with the technological pursuit of human desires. The end result is the final destruction of human nature. From Brave New World to Star Trek, from Steampunk to starships, science fiction film has considered from nearly every conceivable angle the same nexus of morality, technology, and humanity of which C. S. Lewis wrote. As a result,science fiction film has (...) unintentionally given us stunning depictions of Lewis's terrifying vision of the future. In Science Fiction and the Abolition of Man: Finding C. S. Lewis in Sci-Fi Film and Television, scholars of religion, philosophy, literature, and film explore the connections between sci-fi film and the three parts of Lewis's book:how sci-fi portrays "Men Without Chests" incapable of responding properly to moral good, how it teaches the Tao or "The Way," and how it portrays "The Abolition of Man.". (shrink)
El artículo propone una interpretación de la obra literaria "Las Crónicas de Narnia" del autor ingles C. S Lewis. Tal interpretación posibilita considerar la alegoría religiosa que esta obra literaria realiza sobre la experiencia de la divinidad a través de la figura del León.
For each natural number n, let C (n) be the closed and unbounded proper class of ordinals α such that V α is a Σ n elementary substructure of V. We say that κ is a C (n) -cardinal if it is the critical point of an elementary embedding j : V → M, M transitive, with j(κ) in C (n). By analyzing the notion of C (n)-cardinal at various levels of the usual hierarchy of large cardinal principles we show (...) that, starting at the level of superstrong cardinals and up to the level of rank-into-rank embeddings, C (n)-cardinals form a much finer hierarchy. The naturalness of the notion of C (n)-cardinal is exemplified by showing that the existence of C (n)-extendible cardinals is equivalent to simple reflection principles for classes of structures, which generalize the notions of supercompact and extendible cardinals. Moreover, building on results of Bagaria et al. (2010), we give new characterizations of Vopeňka’s Principle in terms of C (n)-extendible cardinals. (shrink)
This paper advances a version of physicalism which reconciles the “a priori entailment thesis” (APET) with the analytic independence of our phenomenal and physical vocabularies. The APET is the claim that, if physicalism is true, the complete truths of physics imply every other truth a priori. If so, “cosmic hermeneutics” is possible: a demon having only complete knowledge of physics could deduce every truth about the world. Analytic independence is a popular physicalist explanation for the apparent “epistemic gaps” between phenomenal (...) and physical truths. The two are generally seen as incompatible, since the demon’s deductions seem to presuppose analytic connections between physical and phenomenal terms. I begin by arguing, in support of the APET, that implications from the complete truths of physics to phenomenal truths cannot be a posteriori. Such implications are (according to the physicalist) necessarily true. But they cannot be Kripke-style a posteriori necessities, since (according to the physicalist) the complete truths of physics fix any relevant a posteriori facts about the reference of terms. I then show how the physicalist can turn the tables: the demon can exploit the physical fixing of reference to bridge the gap between the vocabularies, by deducing when phenomenal and physical terms co-refer. This opens the way for a “type-C” physicalism, which accepts in-principle deducibility while still appealing to analytic independence to explain why we (who are not demons) find it impossible to see phenomenal-physical connections a priori. (shrink)
The C (n)-cardinals were introduced recently by Bagaria and are strong forms of the usual large cardinals. For a wide range of large cardinal notions, Bagaria has shown that the consistency of the corresponding C (n)-versions follows from the existence of rank-into-rank elementary embeddings. In this article, we further study the C (n)-hierarchies of tall, strong, superstrong, supercompact, and extendible cardinals, giving some improved consistency bounds while, at the same time, addressing questions which had been left open. In addition, we (...) consider two cases which were not dealt with by Bagaria; namely, C (n)-Woodin and C (n)-strongly compact cardinals, for which we provide characterizations in terms of their ordinary counterparts. Finally, we give a brief account on the interaction of C (n)-cardinals with the forcing machinery. (shrink)
Recent work in the history of philosophy of science details the Kantianism of philosophers often thought opposed to one another, e.g., Hans Reichenbach, C.I. Lewis, Rudolf Carnap, and Thomas Kuhn. Historians of philosophy of science in the last two decades have been particularly interested in the Kantianism of Reichenbach, Carnap, and Kuhn, and more recently, of Lewis. While recent historical work focuses on recovering the threatened-to-be-forgotten Kantian themes of early twentieth-century philosophy of science, we should not elide the differences between (...) the Kantian strands running throughout this work. In this paper, I disentangle a few of these strands in the work of Reichenbach and Lewis focusing especially on their theories of relativized, constitutive a priori principles in empirical knowledge. In particular, I highlight three related differences between Reichenbach and Lewis concerning their motivations in analyzing scientific knowledge and scientific practice, their differing conceptions of constitutivity, and their relativization of constitutive a priori principles. In light of these differences, I argue Lewis’s Kantianism is more similar to Kuhn’s Kantianism than Reichenbach’s, and so might be of more contemporary relevance to social and practice-based approaches to the philosophy of science. (shrink)
It is often argued that the great quantity of evil in our world makes God’s existence less likely than a lesser quantity would, and this, presumably, because the probability that some evils are gratuitous increases as the overall quantity of evil increases. Often, an additive approach to quantifying evil is employed in such arguments. In this paper, we examine C. S. Lewis’ objection to the additive approach, arguing that although he is correct to reject this approach, there is a sense (...) in which he underestimates the quantity of pain. However, the quantity of pain in that sense does not significantly increase the probability that some pain is gratuitous. Therefore, the quantitative argument likely fails. (shrink)
Section 1 of this essay distinguishes between four interpretations of Socratic intellectualism, which are, very roughly: a version in which on any given occasion desire, and then action, is determined by what we think will turn out best for us, that being what we all, always, really desire; a version in which on any given occasion action is determined by what we think will best satisfy our permanent desire for what is really best for us; a version formed by the (...) assimilation of to, labelled the ‘standard’ version’ by Thomas C. Brickhouse and Nicholas D. Smith, and treated by them as a single alternative to their own interpretation; and Brickhouse and Smith’s own version. Section 2 considers, in particular, Brickhouse and Smith’s handling of the ‘appetites and passions’, which is the most distinctive feature of interpretation. Section 3 discusses Brickhouse and Smith’s defence of ‘Socratic studies’ in its historical context, and assesses the contribution made by their distinctive interpretation of ‘the philosophy of Socrates’. One question raised in this section, and one that is clearly fundamental to the existence of ‘Socratic studies’, is how different Brickhouse and Smith’s Socrates turns out to be from Plato himself, i.e., the Plato of the post-‘Socratic’ dialogues; to which the answer offered is that on Brickhouse and Smith’s interpretation Socratic moral psychology becomes rather less distinguishable from its ‘Platonic’ counterpart—as that is currently understood—than it is on the interpretation they oppose. (shrink)
The strong weak truth table (sw) reducibility was suggested by Downey, Hirschfeldt, and LaForte as a measure of relative randomness, alternative to the Solovay reducibility. It also occurs naturally in proofs in classical computability theory as well as in the recent work of Soare, Nabutovsky, and Weinberger on applications of computability to differential geometry. We study the sw-degrees of c.e. reals and construct a c.e. real which has no random c.e. real (i.e., Ω number) sw-above it.