Schulman (Entropy 7(4):221–233, 2005) has argued that Boltzmann’s intuition, that the psychological arrow of time is necessarily aligned with the thermodynamic arrow, is correct. Schulman gives an explicit physical mechanism for this connection, based on the brain being representable as a computer, together with certain thermodynamic properties of computational processes. Hawking (Physical Origins of Time Asymmetry, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1994) presents similar, if briefer, arguments. The purpose of this paper is to critically examine the support for the link between (...) thermodynamics and an arrow of time for computers. The principal arguments put forward by Schulman and Hawking will be shown to fail. It will be shown that any computational process that can take place in an entropy increasing universe, can equally take place in an entropy decreasing universe. This conclusion does not automatically imply a psychological arrow can run counter to the thermodynamic arrow. Some alternative possible explanations for the alignment of the two arrows will be briefly discussed. (shrink)
The celebrated Dreimännerarbeit by Born, Heisenberg and Jordan contains a matrix-mechanical derivation by Jordan of Planck’s formula for blackbody fluctuations. Jordan appears to have considered this to be one of his finest contributions to quantum theory, but the status of his derivation is puzzling. In our Dreimenschenarbeit, we show how to understand what Jordan was doing in the double context of a Boltzmannian approach to statistical mechanics and of the early ‘statistical interpretation’ of matrix mechanics.
La metafísica después de ser ignorada por años ha regresado al centro de la escena en la filosofía contemporánea. Tomás de Aquino ha vivido una historia muy parecida, lo que dio nacimiento al tomismo analítico. A pesar de los trabajos desarrollados en esta línea de investigación, la metafísica del Aquinate ha sido fuertemente ignorada. Sin embargo, la metafísica de Tomás de Aquino tiene una ventaja, poco discutida entre los tomistas y tomasinos, y es la de ser una metafísica esencialista. Así, (...) en armonía con el trabajo del metafísico E. J. Lowe, quien presenta su metafísica como “esencialista seria”, se quiere mostrar que la metafísica del Aquinate tiene las mismas virtudes del “esencialismo serio”, lo que permite postularla como una posición válida y plausible para la metafísica contemporánea. (shrink)
Reasoning es una obra monumental de más de mil páginas editada en estrecha colaboración por el filósofo Jonathan E. Adler y el psicólogo Lance J. Rips para esclarecer el intrincado campo de investigación relacionado con los fundamentos de la inferencia y, en general, del razonamiento humano. En la actualidad, en pocos casos va unido el trabajo de compilar y editar textos científicos con el afán enciclopédico: un proyecto editorial que sobrepasa con razón los objetivos de la mayor parte de los (...) libros editados para la recopilación de artículos en torno a un mismo tema de investigación. Reasoning supone un empeño de características enciclopédicas: ha conseguido convertirse en una referencia obligada desde que saliera a la luz en 2008 para ofrecer al lector especialista artículos científicos de las más reputadas y consolidadas voces en aquellos campos de conocimiento presentes ya en los proyectos enciclopédicos europeos del siglo de las luces, a saber: el significado del racionalismo, los límites imputables a la naturaleza del conocimiento humano, las paradojas presentes en la inducción, etc. (shrink)
Theophrasti Characteres recensuit Hermannus Diels. Oxford Classical Texts. 1909. 3s. 6d. net. Pp. xxviii + .Θεοφρστου Xαρακτxs22EFρες. The Characters of Theophrastus. An English Translation from a Revised Text. With Introduction and Notes by R. C. Jebb, M.A. A new edition. Edited by J. E. Sandys, Litt.D. Macmillan. 1909. 7s. 6d. net. c. 23×14½. Pp. xvi+229.
In his recent article ‘Notes Towards a Critique of Buddhist Karmic Theory’ Paul J. Griffiths makes four criticisms of Buddhist karmic theory: it is empirically false, it is incoherent, it is morally repugnant, and it is vacuous. After listing these four criticisms, Griffiths concludes that ‘all these mean that Buddhist karmic theory as expounded in the major theoretical works devoted to it must be false’.
My critical comments on Part I of P. J. E. Kail's Projection and Realism in Hume's Philosophy are divided into two parts. First, I challenge the exegetical details of Kail's take on Hume's important distinction between natural and philosophical relations. I show that Kail misreads Hume in a subtle fashion. If I am right, then much of the machinery that Kail puts into place for his main argument does different work in Hume than Kail thinks. Second, I offer a brief (...) criticism of Kail's argument for reading Hume "as a realist about the external world". The two parts are tied together because it turns out that Kail and I disagree about how Hume thinks of philosophers' activity generally.One caveat:. (shrink)
(2001). J.E. Malpas's Place and Experience: A Philosophical Topography (Cambridge University Press, 1999) Converging and diverging in/on place. Philosophy & Geography: Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 225-230. doi: 10.1080/10903770123141.
Montaigne said it in the sixteenth century, and Plato's Ion said it long before: we are but interpreters of interpretations. Jorge J. E. Gracia's Painting Borges: Philosophy Interpreting Art Interpreting Literature rests upon the assumption that this somewhat plaintive verdict on the inescapability of interpretation is in fact an occasion for celebration. For various reasons—some of which I will discuss below—Painting Borges is a welcome addition to the field of interpretation theory and will be of interest not only to philosophers (...) and hermeneuts, but also to scholars of Latin American art and literature.The book's central theme, announced in the subtitle, is the philosophical interpretation of the artistic .. (shrink)
Although Professor of Philosophy at Calvin College, Alvin Plantinga has developed a theodicy that is fundamentally Arminian rather than Calvinistic. Anthony Flew, although the son of an Arminian Christian minister, regards the Arminian view of ‘free will’ to be both unacceptable on its own terms and incompatible with classical Christian theism. In this paper I hope to disentangle some of the involved controversy regarding theodicy which has developed between Plantinga and Flew, and between Flew and myself. The major portion of (...) this paper is devoted to showing that Plantinga's theodicy contains some serious flaws and undesirable implications. (shrink)
The philosopher Jorge J. E. Gracia engages fifteen prominent scholars on race, ethnicity, nationality, and Hispanic/Latino identity in the United States. Their discussion joins two distinct traditions: the philosophy of race begun by African Americans in the nineteenth century, and the search for an understanding of identity initiated by Latin American philosophers in the sixteenth century. Participants include Linda M. Alcoff, K. Anthony Appiah, Richard J. Bernstein, Lawrence Blum, Robert Gooding-Williams, Eduardo Mendieta, and Lucius T. Outlaw Jr., and their dialogue (...) reflects the analytic, Aristotelian, Continental, literary, Marxist, and pragmatic schools of thought. These intellectuals start with the philosophy of Hispanics/Latinos in the United States and then move to the philosophy of African Americans and Anglo Americans in the United States and the philosophy of Latin Americans in Latin America. Gracia and his interlocutors debate the nature of race and ethnicity and their relation to nationality, linguistic rights, matters of identity, and Affirmative Action, binding the concepts of race and ethnicity together in ways that open new paths of inquiry. Gracia's Familial-Historical View of ethnic and Hispanic/Latino identity operates at the center of each of these discussions, providing vivid access to the philosopher's provocative arguments while adding unique depth to issues that each of us struggles to understand. (shrink)
Traditionally Hume is seen as offering an ‘empiricist’ critique of ‘rationalism’. This view is often illustrated – or rejected – by comparing Hume's views with those of Descartes'. However the textual evidence shows that Hume's most sustained engagement with a canonical ‘rationalist’ is with Nicolas Malebranche. The author shows that the fundamental differences between the two on the self and causal power do indeed rest on a principled distinction between ‘rationalism’ and ‘empiricism’, and that there is some truth in the (...) traditional story. This, however, is very far from saying that Hume's general orientation is an attack on something called ‘rationalism’. (shrink)
How could the self be a substance? There are various ways in which it could be, some familiar from the history of philosophy. I shall be rejecting these more familiar substantivalist approaches, but also the non-substantival theories traditionally opposed to them. I believe that the self is indeed a substance—in fact, that it is a simple or noncomposite substance—and, perhaps more remarkably still, that selves are, in a sense, self-creating substances. Of course, if one thinks of the notion of substance (...) as an outmoded relic of prescientific metaphysics—as the notion of some kind of basic and perhaps ineffable stuff —then the suggestion that the self is a substance may appear derisory. Even what we ordinarily call ‘stuffs’—gold and water and butter and the like—are, it seems, more properly conceived of as aggregates of molecules or atoms, while the latter are not appropriately to be thought of as being ‘made’ of any kind of ‘stuff’ at all. But this only goes to show that we need to think in terms of a more sophisticated notion of substance—one which may ultimately be traced back to Aristotle's conception of a ‘primary substance’ in the Categories , and whose heir in modern times is W. E. Johnson's notion of the ‘continuant’. It is the notion, that is, of a concrete individual capable of persisting identically through qualitative change, a subject of alterable predicates that is not itself predicable of any further subject. (shrink)
D. Compaeetti, Leggi antiche delta città di Gortyna, Firenze, 1885 F. Bücheler and E. Zitelmann, Rheinisches Museum N. F. Bd. 40 J. and T. Baunack, Die Inschrift von Gortyn, Stuttgart, 1886H. Lewy, Stadtrecht von Gortyn, Berlin, 1885Museo Italiano di Antickità classiche, edited by D. Comparetti, Florence, 1885 sqq. Vols. i, ii.
In a famous passage in her book, Intention , Professor G. E. M. Anscombe argues that we can only render intelligible the idea of someone wanting a thing if we know under what aspect the person sees the thing as desirable. The wanted thing must be characterized by the wanter as desirable in some respect. ‘[What] is required for our concept of “wanting”’, she says, ‘is that a man should see what he wants under the aspect of some good’ . (...) And furthermore, ‘the good conceived by the agent to characterize the thing must really be one of the many forms of good’ . Thus, while the object of desire need only be conceived as good by the wanter, and need not be really good, this can only be because the object does not have the desirable character the wanter believes it to have, not because the character supposed to be desirable is not really so. Desire cannot but be for one of the real forms of good. (shrink)
The central topic of this book is the relationship between persons or selves who think, feel, and act and their physical bodies. While this is a familiar topic, the position taken by E. J. Lowe is decidedly unfamiliar. Unlike most contemporary philosophers, Lowe rejects all versions of physicalism in favour of the dualist view that selves are irreducible psychological substances. As just stated, this view might well strike one as all too familiar. However, despite his commitment both to dualism and (...) to the idea that selves are substances, Lowe is as much concerned with distancing himself from Descartes as he is with aligning himself with him. Thus, the earlier chapters are devoted to an attempt first to explicate and then to defend a version of substance dualism that is distinctly non-Cartesian. (shrink)
While it is generally accepted that we need to use our intelligence in order to get what we want, it is thought to be a cardinal error to imagine that by reasoning we can discover what we ought to want. Reason can in no way constrain the choice of ends, it can only constrain the choice of means once an end has been adopted. In Plato's philosophy we find a view strongly opposed to this attitude towards reason. It is widely (...) held, however, that to arrive at a position which is plainly opposed to common sense, Plato must have grossly confused reasoning about means with reasoning about ends. Evidence of this confusion is found in Plato's use of analogies between statecraft and navigation, and between virtue and skill. But the diagnosis of confusion rests on a misunderstanding of how Plato wanted to use the word translated ‘skill’, i.e. ‘ technē ’, and this misunderstanding is shared even by those who see Plato as rejecting the virtue/skill analogy. (shrink)
Computers may help us to better understand (not just verify) arguments. In this article we defend this claim by showcasing the application of a new, computer-assisted interpretive method to an exemplary natural-language ar- gument with strong ties to metaphysics and religion: E. J. Lowe’s modern variant of St. Anselm’s ontological argument for the existence of God. Our new method, which we call computational hermeneutics, has been particularly conceived for use in interactive-automated proof assistants. It aims at shedding light on the (...) meanings of words and sentences by framing their inferential role in a given argument. By employing automated theorem reasoning technology within interactive proof assistants, we are able to drastically reduce (by several orders of magnitude) the time needed to test the logical validity of an argu- ment’s formalization. As a result, a new approach to logical analysis, inspired by Donald Davidson’s account of radical interpretation, has been enabled. In computational hermeneutics, the utilization of automated reasoning tools ef- fectively boosts our capacity to expose the assumptions we indirectly commit ourselves to every time we engage in rational argumentation and it fosters the explicitation and revision of our concepts and commitments. (shrink)
We present a new English translation of L.E.J. Brouwer's paper ‘De onbetrouwbaarheid der logische principes’ of 1908, together with a philosophical and historical introduction. In this paper Brouwer for the first time objected to the idea that the Principle of the Excluded Middle is valid. We discuss the circumstances under which the manuscript was submitted and accepted, Brouwer's ideas on the principle of the excluded middle, its consistency and partial validity, and his argument against the possibility of absolutely undecidable propositions. (...) We note that principled objections to the general excluded middle similar to Brouwer's had been advanced in print by Jules Molk two years before. Finally, we discuss the influence on George Griss' negationless mathematics. (shrink)
O texto propõe uma leitura da temática da justiça na obra de J. Derrida a partir não somente da interpretação dos textos em si mas também dos contextos de seu surgimento num determinado momento histórico-filosófico de reconsideração do estatuto da racionalidade e das consequências desta reconsideração para a filosofia em geral.