In this article we investigate the value and utility of Machiavelli’s work for Community-Based Natural Resource Management. We made a selection of five topics derived from literature on NRM and CBNRM: Law and Policy, Justice, Participation, Transparency, and Leadership and management. We use Machiavelli’s work to analyze these topics and embed the results in a narrative intended to lead into the final conclusions, where the overarching theme of natural resource management for the common good is considered. Machiavelli’s focus on practical (...) realities produces new, sometimes unsettling, insights. We conclude that this focus helps to understand the development and performance of management regimes and their consequences and that institutional design should be seen as an ongoing process, which requires a constant adaptation of these institutions. (shrink)
In a 2008 paper, Walmsley argued that the explanations employed in the dynamical approach to cognitive science, as exemplified by the Haken, Kelso and Bunz model of rhythmic finger movement, and the model of infant preservative reaching developed by Esther Thelen and her colleagues, conform to Carl Hempel and Paul Oppenheim’s deductive-nomological model of explanation (also known as the covering law model). Although we think Walmsley’s approach is methodologically sound in that it starts with an analysis of scientific practice rather (...) than a general philosophical framework, we nevertheless feel that there are two problems with his paper. First, he focuses only on the deductivenomological model and so neglects the important fact that explanations are causal. Second, the explanations offered by the dynamical approach do not take the deductive-nomological format, because they do not deduce the explananda from exceptionless laws. Because of these two points, Walmsley makes the dynamical explanations in cognitive science appear problematic, while in fact they are not. (shrink)
In the literature on dynamical models in cognitive science, two issues have recently caused controversy. First, what is the relation between dynamical and mechanistic models? I will argue that dynamical models can be upgraded to be mechanistic as well, and that there are mechanistic and non-mechanistic dynamical models. Second, there is the issue of explanatory power. Since it is uncontested the mechanistic models can explain, I will focus on the non-mechanistic variety of dynamical models. It is often claimed by proponents (...) of mechanistic explanations that such models do not really explain cognitive phenomena . I will argue against this view. Although I agree that the three arguments usually offered to vindicate the explanatory power of non-mechanistic dynamical models are not enough, I consider a fourth argument, namely that such models provide understanding. The Voss strong anticipation model is used to illustrate this. (shrink)
In this paper we argue that in recent literature on mechanistic explanations, authors tend to conflate two distinct features that mechanistic models can have or fail to have: plausibility and richness. By plausibility, we mean the probability that a model is correct in the assertions it makes regarding the parts and operations of the mechanism, i.e., that the model is correct as a description of the actual mechanism. By richness, we mean the amount of detail the model gives about the (...) actual mechanism. First, we argue that there is at least a conceptual reason to keep these two features distinct, since they can vary independently from each other: models can be highly plausible while providing almost no details, while they can also be highly detailed but plainly wrong. Next, focusing on Craver's continuum of ?how-possibly,? to ?how-plausibly,? to ?how-actually? models, we argue that the conflation of plausibility and richness is harmful to the discussion because it leads to the view that both are necessary for a model to have explanatory power, while in fact, richness is only so with respect to a mechanism's activities, not its entities. This point is illustrated with two examples of functional models. (shrink)
Published posthumously in 1908, Ecce Homo was written in 1888 and completed just a few weeks before Nietzsche’s complete mental collapse. Its outrageously egotistical review of the philosopher’s life and works—featuring chapters called Why I Am So Wise and Why I Write Such Good Books—are redeemed from mere arrogance by masterful language and ever-relevant ideas. In addition to settling scores with his many personal and philosophical enemies, Nietzsche emphasizes the importance of questioning traditional morality, establishing autonomy, and making a commitment (...) to creativity. Essential reading for students of philosophy, this unique memoir is crucial to an understanding of Nietzsche’s other works. (shrink)
In the debate about values in science, it is a time-honored tradition to distinguish between the normative question of whether non-cognitive values should play a role in science and the descriptive question of whether they in fact do so or not.1 Among philosophers of science, it is now an accepted view that the descriptive question has been settled. That is, it is no longer disputed that non-cognitive values play a role in science. Hence, all that is left to do on (...) the descriptive front is to describe these values and their roles in more detail. In the words of Longino: “We should stop asking whether social values play a role in science and ask which values and whose values play a role and how” (2004, p. .. (shrink)
In this paper, I explicate and discuss performance-similarity reasoning as a strategy for mechanism schema evaluation, understood in Lindley Darden’s sense. This strategy involves inferring hypotheses about the mechanism responsible for cognitive capacities from premises describing the performance of those capacities; performance-similarity reasoning is a type of Inference to the Best Explanation, or IBE. Two types of such inferences are distinguished: one in which the performance of two systems is compared, and another when the performance of two systems under intervention (...) is compared. Both types of inferences are illustrated with examples taken from cognitive science. I conclude that performance-similarity reasoning is an important strategy for evaluating mechanistic hypotheses. (shrink)
In this book, Moati systematically replays the historical encounter between Austin, Derrida, and Searle and the disruption that caused the lasting break between Anglo-American language philosophy and continental traditions of phenomenology ...
Two solutions are offered to the problem of distinguishing "historical" from "functional" associations in cross-cultural surveys. The underlying logic of the mathematical model is discussed and three kinds of association distinguished: hyperdiffusional or purely "historical" association, undiffusional or purely "functional" association, and semidiffusional or mixed "historical-functional" association. Two overland diffusion arcs constitute the test sample; the relationship of social stratification to political complexity constitutes the test problem. A sifting test establishes a bimodal distribution of interval lengths between like types and (...) sifts out repetitions with a lesser interval length than the second mode. A cluster test shows that for the test problem, the "hits" cluster more than the "misses". (shrink)
The purpose is to analyse the concept of Intentionality in Lacan's theory, and to insist in the difference of intentional modality between "desire" and "drive". Following Zizek, Lacanian drive, as death drive, realizes the curve of the Intentionality of desire, the "goal" of drive must be thought as a topological incurvation of the "aim" of desire. In this difference between Intentionality of desire and pulsionality of drive as death drive the link to the agalmic object/goal of desire is transformed into (...) an obstacle to the fullfilment of desire. By analysing passages in Lacan seminar about Husserl's concept of Intentionality, the author wants to show how it can open a new theory of Freedom beyond Symbolico-Imaginary identifications, against the phenomenological reduction of psychical life to the only intentional perspective of desire . The author wants to show that beyond this kind of identifications and intentionality, symbolic destitution is possible from desire to drive by which the Subject of Freedom can occur. (shrink)
This paper provides a relational analysis of James Fowler's Faith Development Theory and Heinz Streib's Religious Styles Perspective in light of a recent study of apostasy from religious fundamentalisms. Empirical support is provided for both theories. RSP is endorsed as a more encompassing theory of religious development which accounts for more contingencies than FDT. However, FDT is subsumed rather than superseded by RSP as a powerful lens through which to observe cognitive dimensions of religious development. The paper introduces an integrative (...) paradigm, phenomenological empiricism, to conceptualise a complementary relationship between FDT and RSP as key theories in the future study of religious development. (shrink)
Among philosophers of science, there is now a widespread agreement that the DN model of explanation is poorly equipped to account for explanations in biology. Rather than identifying laws, so the consensus goes, researchers explain biological capacities by constructing a model of the underlying mechanism.We think that the dichotomy between DN explanations and mechanistic explanations is misleading. In this article, we argue that there are cases in which biological capacities are explained without constructing a model of the underlying mechanism. Although (...) these explanations do not conform to Hempel’s DN model, they do invoke more or less stable generalisations. Because they invoke generalisations and have the form of an argument, we call them inferential explanations. We support this claim by considering two examples of explanations of biological capacities: pigeon navigation and photoperiodism. Next, we will argue that these non-mechanistic explanations are crucial to biology in three ways: sometimes, they are the only thing we have, they are heuristically useful, and they provide genuine understanding and so are interesting in their own right.In the last sections we discuss the relation between types of explanations and types of experiments and situate our views within some relevant debates on explanatory power and explanatory virtues. (shrink)
This article provides a critical survey of the debate on intertheoretic relations, with particular emphasis on the cognitive sciences. I begin by distinguishing two opposing sides, reductionism and antireductionism, and proceed by tracking the changes these positions underwent in the twentieth century. It appears that these changes consist to a significant degree in smoothing out the rough edges of both, so that the original positions can be understood as crude extremes. The monistic accounts of intertheoretic relations were traded in for (...) more tolerant and nuanced approaches, a tendency that is chiefly inspired by an increasing focus on actual scientific practice. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that explaining cognitive behavior can be achieved through what I call hybrid explanatory inferences: inferences that posit mechanisms, but also draw on observed regularities. Moreover, these inferences can be used to achieve unification, in the sense developed by Allen Newel in his work on cognitive architectures. Thus, it seems that explanatory pluralism and unification do not rule out each other in cognitive science, but rather that the former represents a way to achieve the latter.