Antonio Caso, “La existencia como economía y como caridad” (1916). Translated with Jose G. Rodriguez Jr. as “Existence as Economy and as Charity,” in 20th Century Mexican Philosophy: Essential Readings, eds. Carlos Alberto Sánchez and Robert Eli Sanchez, Jr. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017).
This article explores the philosophies of Heidegger and Wittgenstein to illustrate the thesis that philosophy is a human activity exhibiting a unity of investigative and therapeutic aims. For both philosophers, the purpose of philosophical concepts is to point toward a path of transformation rather than to explain. For both, a first step on this path is the recognition of constraining illusions, whether conventional or metaphysical. For both, such illusions are sedimented in linguistic practices, and for both, philosophical investigation is a (...) way of emancipating thought and life from illusion by bringing what is already prereflectively understood into the light of thematic explicitness. And what both philosophers bring into thematic explicitness are aspects of the context-embeddedness and finitude of human existence. It is hoped that comparing the works of these two philosophers will unveil features of each that are more difficult to discern in the works of either considered in isolation. (shrink)
ABSTRACTFor ten years, General Motors denied that an ignition switch that could easily be turned to ‘Off’ constituted a safety defect. Accidents, deaths and injuries resulted. Despite many, many suits against GM, the problem remained uncorrected. The explanations that have been proffered are interrogated in this article and others are suggested. It concludes that a bureaucratic legal department is partly to blame, and criticises how the legal department evaluated cases by their settlement value. It criticises GM’s culture of blaming drivers (...) for accidents. It concludes that the main problem at GM was not bureaucracy, but poor organisation of team management. GM was not organised for accountability without hierarchy. The article suggests that lawyers can play a key role in improving corporate decision making. (shrink)
Measurement is fundamental to all the sciences, the behavioural and social as well as the physical and in the latter its results provide our paradigms of 'objective fact'. But the basis and justification of measurement is not well understood and is often simply taken for granted. Henry Kyburg Jr proposes here an original, carefully worked out theory of the foundations of measurement, to show how quantities can be defined, why certain mathematical structures are appropriate to them and what meaning attaches (...) to the results generated. Crucial to his approach is the notion of error - it can not be eliminated entirely from its introduction and control, her argues, arises the very possibility of measurement. Professor Kyburg's approach emphasises the empirical process of making measurements. In developing it he discusses vital questions concerning the general connection between a scientific theory and the results which support it. (shrink)
This is a review of the book Cultivating Original Enlightenment: Wŏnhyo's Exposition of the Vajrasamādhi-Sūtra, by Robert E. Buswell, Jr., published by the Univeristy of Hawaii Press. This volume, the first to be published in the Collected Works of Wŏnhyo series, contains the translation of a single text by Wŏnhyo, the Kŭmgang Sammaegyŏng Non.
Putnam and Searle famously argue against computational theories of mind on the skeptical ground that there is no fact of the matter as to what mathematical function a physical system is computing: both conclude that virtually any physical object computes every computable function, implements every program or automaton. There has been considerable discussion of Putnam's and Searle's arguments, though as yet there is little consensus as to what, if anything, is wrong with these arguments. In the present paper we show (...) that an analogous line of reasoning can be raised against the numerical measurement of physical magnitudes, and we argue that this result is a reductio ad absurdum of the challenge to computational skepticism. We then use this reductio to get clearer about both what's wrong with Putnam's and Searle's arguments against computationalism, and what can be learned about both computational implementation and numerical measurement from the shortcomings of both sorts of skeptical argument. (shrink)
The Kennedys embraced a political philosophy rooted in antiquity, one based on a domestic policy of justice and equality and a foreign policy of reason and gentle persuasion rather than force and fear. Imperialism abroad is inconsistent with democracy at home. This appears to be the foundation for John F. Kennedy’s foreign policy which also has a remarkable affinity to the lessons offered by Thucydides in the History of the Peloponnesian War and Plato in the Republic.
The problem of causal inference is to determine if a given probability distribution on observed variables is compatible with some causal structure. The difficult case is when the causal structure includes latent variables. We here introduce the inflation technique for tackling this problem. An inflation of a causal structure is a new causal structure that can contain multiple copies of each of the original variables, but where the ancestry of each copy mirrors that of the original. To every distribution of (...) the observed variables that is compatible with the original causal structure, we assign a family of marginal distributions on certain subsets of the copies that are compatible with the inflated causal structure. It follows that compatibility constraints for the inflation can be translated into compatibility constraints for the original causal structure. Even if the constraints at the level of inflation are weak, such as observable statistical independences implied by disjoint causal ancestry, the translated constraints can be strong. We apply this method to derive new inequalities whose violation by a distribution witnesses that distribution’s incompatibility with the causal structure. We describe an algorithm for deriving all such inequalities for the original causal structure that follow from ancestral independences in the inflation. For three observed binary variables with pairwise common causes, it yields inequalities that are stronger in at least some aspects than those obtainable by existing methods. We also describe an algorithm that derives a weaker set of inequalities but is more efficient. Finally, we discuss which inflations are such that the inequalities one obtains from them remain valid even for quantum generalizations of the notion of a causal model. (shrink)