On March 14-15, 2006, at the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, MD there took place the first Upper Ontology Summit (UOS). This was a convening of custodians of several prominent upper ontologies, key technology participants, and interested other parties, with the purpose of finding a means to relate the different ontologies to each other. The result is reflected in a joint communiqué, directed to the larger ontology community and the general public, and expressing a joint (...) intent to build bridges among the existing upper ontologies in ways designed to increase and rationalize their utilization and to enhance their semantic interoperability. (shrink)
This paper challenges a recent argument of Bird’s, which involves imagining that Réné Blondlot’s belief in N-rays was true, in favour of the view that scientific progress should be understood in terms of knowledge rather than truth. By considering several variants of Bird’s thought-experiment, it shows that the semantic account of progress cannot be so easily vanquished. A key possibility is that justification is only instrumental in, and not partly constitutive of, progress.
This volume explores on the material, social, and ideological aspects of Asoka's reign in light of advances made in archaeology, epigraphy, and numismatics. Thematically divided into three parts, the first to pillars and rocks, which bear his inscriptions. The second part examines the interconnectedness of the edicts, their monumentality, and the different concept of kingship they conveyed. The third part analyses the making of the cultural memory of Asoka and raises pertinent questions crucial for understanding the relationship between the past (...) and the present. The essays outline the importance of Asoka not only for the Indian nation-state but also for the entire Buddhist world of South and South-east Asia. Moving away from conventional periodization of Indian history, it raises important questions on the beginning of history and archaeology in the modern period. The book examines the extent to which nineteenth century initiatives have affected the study of Asoka and his reign. (shrink)
We are developing the Neurological Disease Ontology (ND) to provide a framework to enable representation of aspects of neurological diseases that are relevant to their treatment and study. ND is a representational tool that addresses the need for unambiguous annotation, storage, and retrieval of data associated with the treatment and study of neurological diseases. ND is being developed in compliance with the Open Biomedical Ontology Foundry principles and builds upon the paradigm established by the Ontology for General Medical Science (OGMS) (...) for the representation of entities in the domain of disease and medical practice. Initial applications of ND will include the annotation and analysis of large data sets and patient records for Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and stroke. (shrink)
This book examines cultural recognition and the struggle for identity in America's schools. In particular, the contributing authors focus on the recognition and misrecognition as antagonistic cultural forces that work to shape, and at times distort identity.
SummaryDuring the 1920s and 1930s, Italian physicists established strong relationships with scientists from other European countries and the United States. The career of Bruno Rossi, a leading personality in the study of cosmic rays and an Italian pioneer of this field of research, provides a prominent example of this kind of international cooperation. Physics underwent major changes during these turbulent years, and the traditional internationalism of physics assumed a more institutionalized character. Against this backdrop, Rossi's early work was crucial in (...) transforming the study of cosmic rays into a branch of modern physics. His friendly relationships with eminent scientists — notably Enrico Fermi, Walther Bothe, Werner Heisenberg, Hans Bethe, and Homi Bhabha — were instrumental both for the exchange of knowledge about experimental practices and theoretical discussions, and for attracting the attention of physicists such as Arthur Compton, Louis Leprince-Ringuet, Pierre Auger and Patrick Blackett to the problem of cosmic rays. Relying on material from different archives in Europe and the United States, this case study aims to provide a glimpse of the intersection between national and international dimensions during the 1930s, at a time when the study of cosmic rays was still very much in its infancy, strongly interlaced with nuclear physics, and full of uncertain, contradictory, and puzzling results. Nevertheless, as a source of high-energy particles it became a proving ground for testing the validity of the laws of quantum electrodynamics, and made a fundamental contribution to the origins of particle physics. (shrink)
Fichte's reputation at the present time is in some respects a curious one. On the one hand, he is by common consent acknowledged to have exercised a dominant influence upon the development of German thought during the opening decades of the nineteenth century. Thus from a specifically philosophical point of view he is regarded as an innovator who played a decisive role in transforming Kant's transcendental idealism into the absolute idealism of his immediate successors, while at a more general level (...) he is customarily seen as having put into currency certain persuasive conceptions which contributed—less directly but no less surely—to the emergence and spread of romanticism in some of its varied and ramifying forms. On the other hand, however, it is noticeable that detailed consideration of his work has not figured prominently in the recent revival of concern with post-Kantian thought as a whole which has been manifested by philosophers of the English-speaking world. Although his name is frequently mentioned in that connection, one suspects that his books may not be so often read. In part this may be due to his particular mode of expounding his views, which at times attains a level of opacity that can make even Hegel's obscurest passages seem comparatively tractable. It is also true that Fichte's principal theoretical works—if not his semipopular writings—are largely devoid of the allusions to scientific, historical, psychological or cultural matters with which his German contemporaries were prone to illustrate their philosophical doctrines and enliven their more abstract discussions: there is a daunting aridity about much of what he wrote which can raise nagging doubts in the modern reader's mind about the actual issues that are in question. Yet the fact remains that by the close of the eighteenth century his ideas had already made a profound impact, capturing the imagination of a host of German thinkers and intellectuals. The problem therefore arises as to what preoccupations, current at the time, they owed their indubitable appeal and to what puzzles they were welcomed as proffering a solution. If these can be identified, it may become at least partially intelligible that Fichte should have been widely regarded as having provided a framework within which certain hitherto intractable difficulties could be satisfactorily reformulated and resolved. Let me accordingly begin by saying something about them. (shrink)
Spanning forty years of Ray's career, these essays, for the first time collected in one volume, present the filmmaker's reflections on the art and craft of the cinematic medium and include his thoughts on sentimentalism, mass culture, ...
Where much contemporary philosophy seeks to stave off the "threat" of nihilism by safeguarding the experience of meaning--characterized as the defining feature of human existence--from the Enlightenment logic of disenchantment, this book attempts to push nihilism to its ultimate conclusion by forging a link between revisionary naturalism in Anglo-American philosophy and anti-phenomenological realism in recent French philosophy. Contrary to an emerging "post-analytic" consensus which would bridge the analytic-continental divide by uniting Heidegger and Wittgenstein against the twin perils of scientism and (...) skepticism, this book short-circuits both traditions by plugging eliminative materialism directly into speculative realism. (shrink)
“What is it that agitates you, my dear Victor? What is it you fear?” -/- “The monster now becomes more vengeful. He murders Victor’s friend Henry Clerval and his wife Elizabeth on the night of her wedding to Victor, and Victor sets out in pursuit of the friend across the icy Artic regions. The monster is always ahead of him, leaving tell tale marks behind and tantalizing his creator. Victor meets with his death in the pursuit of the monster he (...) had created with a noble objective.” [ http://philpapers.org/profile/112741] . (shrink)
The science of linguistics is made accessible by the author of Consciousness and the Computational Mind, who demonstrates evidence for an innate Universal Grammar that provides the building blocks for all human languages.
This book is a major contribution to decision theory, focusing on the question of when it is rational to accept scientific theories. The author examines both Bayesian decision theory and confirmation theory, refining and elaborating the views of Ramsey and Savage. He argues that the most solid foundation for confirmation theory is to be found in decision theory, and he provides a decision-theoretic derivation of principles for how many probabilities should be revised over time. Professor Maher defines a notion of (...) accepting a hypothesis, and then shows that it is not reducible to probability and that it is needed to deal with some important questions in the philosophy of science. A Bayesian decision-theoretic account of rational acceptance is provided together with a proof of the foundations for this theory. A final chapter shows how this account can be used to cast light on such vexed issues as verisimilitude and scientific realism. (shrink)
Throughout his life, Kant was concerned with questions about empirical psychology. He aimed to develop an empirical account of human beings, and his lectures and writings on the topic are recognizable today as properly 'psychological' treatments of human thought and behavior. In this book Patrick R. Frierson uses close analysis of relevant texts, including unpublished lectures and notes, to study Kant's account. He shows in detail how Kant explains human action, choice, and thought in empirical terms, and how a (...) better understanding of Kant's psychology can shed light on major concepts in his philosophy, including the moral law, moral responsibility, weakness of will, and cognitive error. Frierson also applies Kant's accounts of mental illness to contemporary philosophical issues. His book will interest students and scholars of Kant, the history of psychology, philosophy of psychology, and philosophy of action. (shrink)
A profoundly arresting integration of the faculties of the mind - of how we think, speak, and see the world. Written with an informality that belies the originality of its insights and the radical nature of its conclusions this is the author's most important book since his groundbreaking Foundations of Language in 2002.
We examine the question of which aspects of language are uniquely human and uniquely linguistic in light of recent suggestions by Hauser, Chomsky, and Fitch that the only such aspect is syntactic recursion, the rest of language being either speciﬁc to humans but not to language (e.g. words and concepts) or not speciﬁc to humans (e.g. speech perception). We ﬁnd the hypothesis problematic. It ignores the many aspects of grammar that are not recursive, such as phonology, morphology, case, agreement, and (...) many properties of words. It is inconsistent with the anatomy and neural control of the human vocal tract. And it is weakened by experiments suggesting that speech perception cannot be reduced to primate audition, that word learning cannot be reduced to fact learning, and that at least one gene involved in speech and language was evolutionarily selected in the human lineage but is not speciﬁc to recursion. The recursion-only claim, we suggest, is motivated by Chomsky’s recent approach to syntax, the Minimalist Program, which de-emphasizes the same aspects of language. The approach, however, is sufﬁciently problematic that it cannot be used to support claims about evolution. We contest related arguments that language is not an adaptation, namely that it is “perfect,” non-redundant, unusable in any partial form, and badly designed for.. (shrink)
In "Logical consequence: A defense of Tarski" (Journal of Philosophical Logic, vol. 25, 1996, pp. 617-677), Greg Ray defends Tarski's account of logical consequence against the criticisms of John Etchemendy. While Ray's defense of Tarski is largely successful, his attempt to give a general proof that Tarskian consequence preserves truth fails. Analysis of this failure shows that de facto truth preservation is a very weak criterion of adequacy for a theory of logical consequence and should be replaced by a stronger (...) absence-of-counterexamples criterion. It is argued that the latter criterion reflects the modal character of our intuitive concept of logical consequence, and it is shown that Tarskian consequence can be proved to satisfy this criterion for certain choices of logical constants. Finally, an apparent inconsistency in Ray's interpretation of Tarski's position on the modal status of the consequence relation is noted. (shrink)
According to proponents of the face-value account, a beliefreport of the form ‘S believes that p’ is true just in case the agentbelieves a proposition referred to by the that-clause. As againstthis familiar view, I argue that there are cases of true beliefreports of the relevant form in which there is no proposition that thethat-clause, or the speaker using the that-clause, can plausibly betaken as referring to. Moreover, I argue that given the distinctiveway in which the face-value theory of belief-reports (...) fails, there ispressure to give up the metaphysical thesis that belief is apropositional attitude. I conclude by suggesting that we allownon-propositional entities to be amongst the relata of thebelief-relation, and make some speculative remarks concerning whatsuch entities might be like. (shrink)
This volume reveals the wisdom we can learn from sailing, a sport that pits human skills against the elements, tests the mettle and is a rich source of valuable lessons in life. Unravels the philosophical mysteries behind one of the oldest organized human activities Features contributions from philosophers and academics as well as from sailors themselves Enriches appreciation of the sport by probing its meaning and value Brings to life the many applications of philosophy to sailing and the profound lessons (...) it can teach us A thought-provoking read for sailors and philosophers alike. (shrink)
If one investigates a process that has several causes but assumes that it has only one cause, one risks ruling out important causal factors. Three mechanisms account for this mistake: either the significance of the single cause under test is masked by noise contributed by the unsuspected and uncontrolled factors, or the process appears only when two or more causes interact, or the process appears when there are present any of a number of sufficient causes which are not mutally exclusive. (...) In ecology and evolutionary biology, experiments usually test single factor hypotheses, and many scientists apparently believe that hypotheses incorporating several factors are so much more difficult to test that to do so would not be practical. We discuss several areas in ecology and evolutionary biology in which the presupposition of simple causation has apparently impeded progress. We also examine a more mature field, the study of atherosclerosis, in which single factor studies did significantly delay progress towards understanding what now appears to be a multifactor process. The problem has three solutions: either factorial experiments, dynamic models that make quantitative predictions, response-surface methods, or all three. In choosing a definition for ‘cause’, we make a presupposition that profoundly influences subsequent observations and experimental designs. Alternative definitions of causation should be considered as contributing to potential cures for research problems. (shrink)
_"One of the most important political books of 2018."—Rod Dreher, ___American Conservative__ Of the three dominant ideologies of the twentieth century—fascism, communism, and liberalism—only the last remains. This has created a peculiar situation in which liberalism’s proponents tend to forget that it _is _an ideology and not the natural end-state of human political evolution. As Patrick Deneen argues in this provocative book, liberalism is built on a foundation of contradictions: it trumpets equal rights while fostering incomparable material inequality; its (...) legitimacy rests on consent, yet it discourages civic commitments in favor of privatism; and in its pursuit of individual autonomy, it has given rise to the most far-reaching, comprehensive state system in human history. Here, Deneen offers an astringent warning that the centripetal forces now at work on our political culture are not superficial flaws but inherent features of a system whose success is generating its own failure. (shrink)
Greg Ray (2014) believes he has discovered a crucial oversight in Donald Davidson’s semantic programme, recognition of which paves the way for a novel approach to Davidsonian semantics. We disagree: Ray’s novel approach involves a tacit appeal to pre-existing semantic knowledge which vitiates its interest as a development of the Davidsonian programme.
Robots today serve in many roles, from entertainer to educator to executioner. As robotics technology advances, ethical concerns become more pressing: Should robots be programmed to follow a code of ethics, if this is even possible? Are there risks in forming emotional bonds with robots? How might society--and ethics--change with robotics? This volume is the first book to bring together prominent scholars and experts from both science and the humanities to explore these and other questions in this emerging field. Starting (...) with an overview of the issues and relevant ethical theories, the topics flow naturally from the possibility of programming robot ethics to the ethical use of military robots in war to legal and policy questions, including liability and privacy concerns. The contributors then turn to human-robot emotional relationships, examining the ethical implications of robots as sexual partners, caregivers, and servants. Finally, they explore the possibility that robots, whether biological-computational hybrids or pure machines, should be given rights or moral consideration. Ethics is often slow to catch up with technological developments. This authoritative and accessible volume fills a gap in both scholarly literature and policy discussion, offering an impressive collection of expert analyses of the most crucial topics in this increasingly important field. (shrink)