Comparing technical notions of communication and computation leads to a surprising result, these notions are often not conceptually distinguishable. This paper will show how the two notions may fail to be clearly distinguished from each other. The most famous models of computation and communication, Turing Machines and (Shannon-style) information sources, are considered. The most significant difference lies in the types of state-transitions allowed in each sort of model. This difference does not correspond to the difference that would be expected after (...) considering the ordinary usage of these terms. However, the natural usage of these terms are surprisingly difficult to distinguish from each other. The two notions may be kept distinct if computation is limited to actions within a system and communications is an interaction between a system and its environment. Unfortunately, this decision requires giving up much of the nuance associated with natural language versions of these important terms. (shrink)
Noam Chomsky and Frances Egan argue that David Marr’s computational theory of vision is not intentional, claiming that the formal scientific theory does not include description of visual content. They also argue that the theory is internalist in the sense of not describing things physically external to the perceiver. They argue that these claims hold for computational theories of vision in general. Beyond theories of vision, they argue that representational content does not figure as a topic within formal computational theories (...) in cognitive science. I demonstrate that Chomsky’s and Egan’s claims about Marr’s theory are false. Marr’s computational theory contains a mathematical theory of visual content, based on empirical psychophysical evidence. It also contains mathematical descriptions of distal physical surfaces and objects, and of their optic projection to the perceiver. Much computational research on vision contains these types of intentional and externalist components within the formal, mathematical, theories. Chomsky’s and Egan’s claims demonstrate inadequate study and understanding of Marr’s work and other research in this area. Computational theories of vision, by containing empirically based mathematical theories of visual content, to this extent present naturalizations of semantics. (shrink)
Psience Fiction: The Paranormal in Science Fiction Literature is a book that really needed to be written. In an abundance of hubris I once played with the idea myself. But now Damien Broderick has done it, and much better than I could have even approximated. Given his background as a science fiction literary critic and author himself, no other writer could be better-equipped. Psience Fiction is exactly the right title to encapsulate Broderick’s chosen topic. As he notes in (...) one passage, his purpose here is to explore “the varied representations of the paranormal in science fiction” –though by paranormal he refers neither to ghosts nor mediumship nor UFO-related phenomena, but strictly to “paranormal” as it relates to putative mental powers that transcend the scientifically-presumed, neuro-physical limits of our minds and brains. He refines that still further in noting that what he wants to consider is “...the give and take between the science fiction paranormal and the real-world kind, tested and tallied by psi researchers”. This book is probably most easily described as a book of book reviews. Authors covered run the gamut from Olaf Stapledon, E.E. “Doc” Smith, James Blish and Theodore Sturgeon to Zenna Henderson, John Wyndham, Robert Heinlein, Ann McCaffery, Octavia Butler, and John Brunner, plus many more. For a literary work to be included, it must incorporate some aspect of psi as an integral plot element; a mere mention of extrasensory perception or psychokinesis does not suffice. (shrink)
_Intelligence Unbound_ explores the prospects, promises, and potential dangers of machine intelligence and uploaded minds in a collection of state-of-the-art essays from internationally recognized philosophers, AI researchers, science fiction authors, and theorists. Compelling and intellectually sophisticated exploration of the latest thinking on Artificial Intelligence and machine minds Features contributions from an international cast of philosophers, Artificial Intelligence researchers, science fiction authors, and more Offers current, diverse perspectives on machine intelligence and uploaded minds, emerging topics of tremendous interest Illuminates the nature (...) and ethics of tomorrow’s machine minds—and of the convergence of humans and machines—to consider the pros and cons of a variety of intriguing possibilities Considers classic philosophical puzzles as well as the latest topics debated by scholars Covers a wide range of viewpoints and arguments regarding the prospects of uploading and machine intelligence, including proponents and skeptics, pros and cons. (shrink)
This major volume assembles leading scholars to address and explain the significance of Paul Ricoeur's extraordinary body of work. Ricoeur's work is of seminal importance to the development of hermeneutics, phenomenology, and ideology critique in the human sciences. Opening with three key essays from Ricoeur himself--on Europe, fragility and responsibility, and love and justice--this fascinating volume offers a tour of his work ranging across topics such as the hermeneutics of action, narrative force, and the other and deconstruction, while discussing (...) his work in the context of such contemporary thinkers as Heidegger, Levinas, Arendt, and Gadamer. Offering a very useful overview of Paul Ricoeur's enormous contribution to modern thought, Paul Ricoeur will be invaluable for students and academics across the social and human sciences and philosophy. (shrink)
I explore some of the ways that assumptions about the nature of substance shape metaphysical debates about the structure of Reality. Assumptions about the priority of substance play a role in an argument for monism, are embedded in certain pluralist metaphysical treatments of laws of nature, and are central to discussions of substantivalism and relationalism. I will then argue that we should reject such assumptions and collapse the categorical distinction between substance and property.
Jean-Paul Sartre is one of the most famous philosophers of the twentieth century. The principal founder of existentialism, a political thinker and famous novelist and dramatist, his work has exerted enormous influence in philosophy, literature, politics and cultural studies. Jean-Paul Sartre: Basic Writings is the first collection of Sartre's key philosophical writings and provides an indispensable resource for readers of his work. Stephen Priest's clear and helpful introductions make the volume an ideal companion to those coming to Sartre's (...) writing for the first time. (shrink)
The paper discusses some aspects of the relationship between Feyerabend and Kuhn. First, some biographical remarks concerning their connections are made. Second, four characteristics of Feyerabend and Kuhn's concept of incommensurability are discussed. Third, Feyerabend's general criticism of Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions is reconstructed. Forth and more specifically, Feyerabend's criticism of Kuhn's evaluation of normal science is critically investigated. Finally, Feyerabend's re-evaluation of Kuhn's philosophy towards the end of his life is presented.
The self-portrait of an intellectual reveals his childhood in Vienna, wounds at the Russian front in the German army, encounters with the famous, innumerable love affairs, four marriages, and refusal to accept a "petrified and tyrannical ...
This collection of essays by philosophers and educationalists of international reputation, all published here for the first time, celebrates Paul Hirst's professional career. The introductory essay by Robin Barrow and Patricia White outlines Paul Hirst's career and maps the shifts in his thought about education, showing how his views on teacher education, the curriculum and educational aims are interrelated. Contributions from leading names in British and American philosophy of education cover themes ranging from the nature of good teaching (...) to Wittgensteinian aesthetics. The collection concludes with a paper in which Paul Hirst sets out his latest views on the nature of education and its aims. The book also includes a complete bibliography of works by Hirst and a substantial set of references to his writing. (shrink)
This dialogue between Paul Ricoeur and Sorin Antohi took place in Budapest on March 10, 2003 at Pasts, Inc., Center for Historical Studies, which is affiliated with Central European University . Ricoeur was the honorary president of Pasts, Inc., and its spiritus rector. On March 8, he had given a lecture on “History, Memory, and Forgetting” in the context of an international conference entitled “Haunting Memories? History in Europe after Authoritarianism,” and organized by Pasts Inc. and the Körber Foundation. (...) On March 9, Ricoeur had received the first Honoris Causa doctorate ever granted by CEU. Ricoeur had already visited Hungary in 1933. At the time, he was participating in a Boy Scouts European jamboree at Gödöllö . After WWII, he went back to Hungary to meet with Lukács. Mona Antohi has transcribed and edited the recording of the dialogue. The two interlocutors have then made some minor revisions. The original text, in French, is available on the website of Pasts, Inc. . This English version, translated and annotated by Gil Anidjar, will be included in Sorin Antohili’s book, Talking History. Making Sense of Pasts, forthcoming in 2006 from CEU Press. His own Romanian translation of the dialogue was published in the Iasi-based journal, Xenopoliana , as was the Hungarian translation by Réka Toth, which appeared in the Budapest-based journal, 2000. (shrink)
The paper contains two yet unknown letters that Feyerabend wrote to Kuhn in 1960 or 1961 on a draft of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. In these letters, Feyerabend criticises both details of Kuhn's book and its general direction. The letters anticipate many of the arguments that were put forward in the public controversy against Kuhn's position, including some of the (numerous) misunderstandings. Feyerabend's assertions and arguments are very characteristic of his position in the early sixties.
The Dalai Lama is fond of quoting a statement in which the Buddha is said to have asserted that no one should accept his word out of respect for the Buddha himself, but only after testing it, analysing it ‘ as a goldsmith analyses gold, through cutting, melting, scraping and rubbing it’. The Dalai Lama is often referred to as the temporal and spiritual leader of Tibet, but in truth as a spiritual figure His Holiness, while respected, indeed revered by (...) almost all Tibetans, usually speaks from within the perspective of one particular tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, that of the dGe lugs . Founded in the late fourteenth century by Tsong kha pa, the dGe lugs has always stressed the importance of reasoning, analytic rationality, on the spiritual path. This dGe lugs perspective is by no means shared by all Buddhists, at least not in the form it there takes. Nevertheless it does represent an important direction in Buddhist thinking on reasoning and the spiritual path which can be traced back in Indian Buddhism a very long way indeed, and it is in the light of dGe lugs thought that I want to contemplate two points which seem to be crucial in Raimundo Panikkar's approach to interreligious dialogue and understanding: first, that Reality, Being, transcends the intelligible, the range of consciousness, and second, that understanding this is the only basis for tolerance, not seeking in one way or another to overcome the other. (shrink)
In recent years the doctrine that God exists in a timeless eternity has achieved something of the status of philosophical heterodoxy, if not of downright heresy. The arguments against the idea of God's timeless eternity come from two sources. The first of these is Professor Kneale's paper ‘Time and Eternity in Theology’ in which, alluding to the famous definition of eternity by Boethius as ‘the complete possession of eternal life at once’ Professor Kneale confesses ‘I can attach no meaning to (...) the word “life” unless I am allowed to suppose that what has life acts… life must at least involve some incidents in time and if, like Boethius, we suppose the life in question to be intelligent, then it must involve also awareness of the passage of time’. (shrink)
We think recent work in linguistics tells against the traditional claim that a string of words like (1) Every girl pushed some truck has two readings, indicated by the following formal language sentences (with restricted quantifiers): (1a) [!x:Gx]["y:Ty]Pxy (1b) ["y:Ty][!x:Gx]Pxy. In our view, (1) does not have any b-reading in which ‘some truck’ has widest scope.1 The issue turns on details concerning syntactic transformations and terms like ‘every’. This illustrates an important point for the study of natural language: ambiguity hypotheses (...) are indeed hypotheses—i.e., theoretical claims to be justified in light of various considerations, not theses whose truth can be directly observed by speakers. (shrink)