A precise fomulation of the strong Equivalence Principle is essential to the understanding of the relationship between gravitation and quantum mechanics. The relevant aspects are reviewed in a context including General Relativity but allowing for the presence of torsion. For the sake of brevity, a concise statement is proposed for the Principle: An ideal observer immersed in a gravitational field can choose a reference frame in which gravitation goes unnoticed. This statement is given a clear mathematical meaning through an accurate (...) discussion of its terms. It holds for ideal observers (time-like smooth non-intersecting curves), but not for real, spatially extended observers. Analogous results hold for gauge fields. The difference between gravitation and the other fundamental interactions comes from their distinct roles in the equation of force. (shrink)
Imperatives cannot be true, but they can be obeyed or binding: `Surrender!' is obeyed if you surrender and is binding if you have a reason to surrender. A pure declarative argument — whose premisses and conclusion are declaratives — is valid exactly if, necessarily, its conclusion is true if the conjunction of its premisses is true; similarly, I suggest, a pure imperative argument — whose premisses and conclusion are imperatives — is obedience-valid (alternatively: bindingness-valid) exactly if, necessarily, its conclusion is (...) obeyed (alternatively: binding) if the conjunction of its premisses is. I argue that there are two kinds of bindingness, and that a vacillation between two corresponding variants of bindingness-validity largely explains conflicting intuitions concerning the validity of some pure imperative arguments. I prove that for each of those two variants of bindingness-validity there is an equivalent variant of obedience-validity. Finally, I address alternative accounts of pure imperative inference. (shrink)
Central to Thomas Sprat's History of the Royal Society was the description and justification of the method adopted and advocated by the Fellows of the Society, for it was thought that it was their method which distinguished them from ancients, dogmatists, sceptics, and contemporary natural philosophers such as Descartes. The Fellows saw themselves as furthering primarily a novel method, rather than a system, of philosophy, and the History gave expression to this corporate self-perception. However, the History's description of their method (...) was not necessarily accurate. Rather, as will be argued below, by a combination of subtle misrepresentation and selective exposition, Sprat portrayed a method which would further the aims of social and ecclesiastical stability and material prosperity, essential for the Royal Society since its continued existence depended upon the creation of a social basis for the institutionalized pursuit of natural philosophy. Some link had to be forged between the activities of the Society and the intellectual and social aspirations of the Restoration. To understand the intent and meaning of Sprat's History and the method there portrayed, we must therefore look to the institutional needs which it fulfilled. (shrink)
The reception of Buffon's Histoire Naturelle in the Enlightenment has not received the historical attention it deserves. Drawing primarily on archival sources, this paper examines Aberdeen reactions to the Histoire during the period c. 1750–1800. As pedagogues, the Aberdonians endeavoured to maintain intellectual orthodoxy, and hence they attacked Buffon for his apparent materialism and atheism. Moreover, the Aberdonians rejected Buffon's critique of taxonomy because they based their natural history courses on classifications of the three kingdoms of nature, and because they (...) attempted to use classification systems in nosology and the study of the human mind. Finally, in the 1790s Aberdeen readings of the Histoire were profoundly affected by the fears aroused by the French Revolution. (shrink)
Psychoanalytic self-psychology as outlined by such depth psychologists as Jung, Fordham, Winnicott and Kohut provide a framework for conceptualizing a relationship of complementarity between psychic and immune defence as well as loss of bodily and self integration in disease. Physicist Erwin Schrödinger’s thesis that the so-called “arrow of time” does not necessarily deal a mortal blow to its creator is reminiscent of the concept of timeless dimensions of the unconscious mind and the Self in Analytical Psychology, manifest for instance, in (...) dream content and archetypal symbols. These notions are not only consistent with the concepts of timelessness and meaningful coincidence (synchronicity) in psychoanalysis. They are also implicitly spiritual with intimations of a numinous dimension of the evolutionary process in which humanity participates. This includes the idea that an evolving God becomes conscious through and is completed by humankind in a process (Incarnational) theology which regards the numinous as both immanent and transcendent. And concepts of mind which transcend the individual in a transpersonal sense. The treatment of the psychophysical problem by depth psychologist Carl Jung and physicist Wolfgang Pauli with their notion of the unconscious archetypes as timeless, cosmic ordering and regulating principles creating a bridge between mind and matter in a relationship of complementarity is compatible with such a perspective on the numinous which might in turn be useful for contemporary theology and spirituality. (shrink)
Originally published in 1969. This book explains what is wrong with the traditional methodology of "inductive" reasoning and shows that the alternative scheme of reasoning associated with Whewell, Pierce and Popper can give the scientist a useful insight into the way he thinks.
Social and political scientists, historians and others, have put forward a number of widely differing views concerning the ‘character’ of Islamic millenarian and/or Mahdist movements in Africa. The same is true of course with regard to the opinions ofscholars concerning the transformative capacity of Islam as an ideology. In this paper I want to look at one aspect only of Islamic millenarianism in the West African context, viz. its allegedly revolutionary character.
In those twenty or so pages of section xi of Part Two of the Philosophical Investigations in which Wittgenstein discusses the concept of noticing an aspect and its place among the concepts of experience, there are three passages which are explicitly concerned with the relations between seeing and interpreting in the experience of noticing an aspect.
The book deals with the notion of Downward Causation from a wide array of perspectives, including physics, biology, psychology, social science, communication studies, text theory, and philosophy. The book includes proponents as well as opponents discussing the validity of the notion.
This introduction to mathematical logic starts with propositional calculus and first-order logic. Topics covered include syntax, semantics, soundness, completeness, independence, normal forms, vertical paths through negation normal formulas, compactness, Smullyan's Unifying Principle, natural deduction, cut-elimination, semantic tableaux, Skolemization, Herbrand's Theorem, unification, duality, interpolation, and definability. The last three chapters of the book provide an introduction to type theory (higher-order logic). It is shown how various mathematical concepts can be formalized in this very expressive formal language. This expressive notation facilitates proofs (...) of the classical incompleteness and undecidability theorems which are very elegant and easy to understand. The discussion of semantics makes clear the important distinction between standard and nonstandard models which is so important in understanding puzzling phenomena such as the incompleteness theorems and Skolem's Paradox about countable models of set theory. Some of the numerous exercises require giving formal proofs. A computer program called ETPS which is available from the web facilitates doing and checking such exercises. Audience: This volume will be of interest to mathematicians, computer scientists, and philosophers in universities, as well as to computer scientists in industry who wish to use higher-order logic for hardware and software specification and verification. (shrink)
The existing EELS literature has usefully identified the scope of ethical issues posed by pharmacogenetic and pharmacogenomic research. The time has come for in-depth examination of particular ethical issues. The involvement of racial and ethnic communities in pharmacogenetic and pharmacogenomic research is contentious precisely because it touches upon the science and politics of studying racial and ethnic difference. To date, the ethics literature has not seriously taken account of the fact that such research impinges upon the interests of communities, and (...) that taking such interests seriously requires that we both protect and empower communities in research. We propose a framework that rests upon the recognition that communities are heterogeneous human associations and differing policies are appropriate for differing communities. Community consent and consultation and community consultation alone are neither appropriate nor required for all pharmacogenetic and pharmacogenomic research. Rather, application of these policy protections must take into account particulars of both planned research and the communities involved. (shrink)
Much modern science and ethics debate is on high-profile problems such as animal organ transplantation, genetic engineering and fetal tissue research, in discourse that assumes technical tones. Other work, such as narrative ethics, expresses the failed promise of technology in the vivid detail of human experience. However, the essential nature of contemporary technology remains largely opaque to our present ethical lens on health care and on society. The limited controversies of modern science and ethics perpetuate ‘technics’, a technical, problem-solving mindset (...) that fails to grapple successfully with the complexity of technology. A critical dialectic between practice and scholarship widens the ethical conversation in nursing to consider technology as an ongoing set of daily and fundamental moral choices on how we live. Critical text on technology recovers ethics from the limits of technics, and assists nurses to develop an inherent knowedge of technology that is needed to provide ethical care in a technological world. (shrink)
Greek ontology eventually developed a notion variously described as ‘timeless’, ‘atemporal’, or ‘non-durational’ eternity. In Proclus and Simplicius it is already a school-commonplace, with a stable vocabulary in which aiōn is sharply distinguished from what is merely aïdios. Plotinus had perfected this notion beforehand, believing not only that he found it in Plato, but that Plato had developed it on Parmenidean grounds.