In this paper we provide a compact presentation of the verisimilitudinarian approach to scientific progress (VS, for short) and defend it against the sustained attack recently mounted by Alexander Bird (2007). Advocated by such authors as Ilkka Niiniluoto and Theo Kuipers, VS is the view that progress can be explained in terms of the increasing verisimilitude (or, equivalently, truthlikeness, or approximation to the truth) of scientific theories. According to Bird, VS overlooks the central issue of the appropriate grounding of scientific (...) beliefs in the evidence, and it is therefore unable (a) to reconstruct in a satisfactory way some hypothetical cases of scientific progress, and (b) to provide an explanation of the aversion to falsity that characterizes scientific practice. We rebut both of these criticisms and argue that they reveal a misunderstanding of some key concepts underlying VS. (shrink)
O texto possui como proposta trazer a experiência de duas professoras negras da educação básica que possuem como lócus de sua docência a Baixada Fluminense e que através de suas práticas disputam os significados hegemonicamente atribuídos as mulheres negras e brancas. Além de narrar estratégias metodológicas, queremos formar um diálogo com intelectuais que nos ajudem a repensar e refinar nossa prática docente de forma crítica, assim torna-se indispensável à leitura de feministas negras que nos ajudam a nos localizar quanto à (...) organização do mundo a partir do racismo e do machismo estrutural, além de nos fornecer a visão de que a educação, quando problematizadora, pode ser uma prática libertadora. A partir desta idéia torna-se importante o diálogo, também, com Paulo Freire e sua visão da educação enquanto uma ferramenta potente para transformar as pessoas e assim o mundo. As experiências aqui narradas aconteceram em duas escolas públicas, localizadas em São João de Meriti, no primeiro semestre de 2018; em uma turma de educação infantil e a outra de ensino médio. As experiências práticas procuram realizar um exercício crítico do espaço escolar onde seja possível a convivência com a diferença, permitindo que as alunas e alunos possam ter acesso a outras visões de mundo, oportunizando, desta forma, o acesso a outras histórias onde as mulheres negras e brancas sejam protagonistas e sejam reconhecidas, também, como construtores do país em que vivemos. Palavras-chave: Educação. Feminismo. Feminismo Negro. Práticas Pedagógicas. (shrink)
Realçam-se aqui como príncipais traços identificadores das ditas obras "filosóficas" de Francisco Sanches, o facto de elas, em vez de se tratarem simplesmente de escritos de um filósofo que também era médico, constituírem textos em que a preocupação com a ciência da medicina ou a matérìa médica exerce uma função prìmordial e essencial, e aqueloutro de nessas obras se observar o tratamento conjunto e conjugado dos temas do juízo e da incerteza. É este tratamento em particular seguido no itinerárío que (...) cumpre na prìncipal obra filosófica de Sanches, o Quod Nihil Scitur. The aim of this article is to study the interplay of the notions of judgement and incertitude in the main philosophical text by the 16th Century Portuguese philosopher and physician Francisco Sanches, Quod Nihil Scitur. There we see that the developments that interplay of the two notions gives use to form an essential part of a moderate skeptical philosophy. (shrink)
Este artículo reconstruye la génesis de la formulación y redacción de la Pedagogía del Oprimido de Paulo Freire, su obra más importante y conocida. También reconstruye, históricamente, la trayectoria de las ediciones, con énfasis en las primeras, especialmente la realizada en Brasil, por su veda impuesta por la dictadura militar que se había instalado en abril de 1964 y que había expulsado a Paulo Freire del país. Incluso después de su muerte en mayo de 1997, hay personas, afortunadamente pocas y (...) registradas en el universo del neoconservadurismo fascista, que continúan atacando la obra de Paulo Freire, demostrando evidentemente que no la conocen. En las celebraciones del centenario del nacimiento del educador brasileño, ya en 2020, se están produciendo manifestaciones y eventos en todos los continentes, no solo en una clara demostración de reacción al descontento hacia el autor de Pedagogía del Oprimido, sino también revelando la relevancia, por tanto, la importancia del legado Freiriano para la educación contemporánea, en todas sus modalidades y grados. (shrink)
Theory change is a central concern in contemporary epistemology and philosophy of science. In this paper, we investigate the relationships between two ongoing research programs providing formal treatments of theory change: the (post-Popperian) approach to verisimilitude and the AGM theory of belief change. We show that appropriately construed accounts emerging from those two lines of epistemological research do yield convergences relative to a specified kind of theories, here labeled “conjunctive”. In this domain, a set of plausible conditions are identified which (...) demonstrably capture the verisimilitudinarian effectiveness of AGM belief change, i.e., its effectiveness in tracking truth approximation. We conclude by indicating some further developments and open issues arising from our results. (shrink)
We provide a 'verisimilitudinarian' analysis of the well-known Linda paradox or conjunction fallacy, i.e., the fact that most people judge the probability of the conjunctive statement "Linda is a bank teller and is active in the feminist movement" (B & F) as more probable than the isolated statement "Linda is a bank teller" (B), contrary to an uncontroversial principle of probability theory. The basic idea is that experimental participants may judge B & F a better hypothesis about Linda as compared (...) to B because they evaluate B & F as more verisimilar than B. In fact, the hypothesis "feminist bank teller", while less likely to be true than "bank teller", may well be a better approximation to the truth about Linda. (shrink)
I present a discussion of some issues in the ontology of spacetime. After a characterisation of the controversies among relationists, substantivalists, eternalists, and presentists, I offer a new argument for rejecting presentism, the doctrine that only present objects exist. Then, I outline and defend a form of spacetime realism that I call event substantivalism. I propose an ontological theory for the emergence of spacetime from more basic entities. Finally, I argue that a relational theory of pre-geometric entities can give rise (...) to substantival spacetime in such a way that relationism and substantivalism are not necessarily opposed positions, but rather complementary. In an appendix I give axiomatic formulations of my ontological views. (shrink)
In this paper, we address the problem of truth approximation through theory change, asking whether revising our theories by newly acquired data leads us closer to the truth about a given domain. More particularly, we focus on “nomic conjunctive theories”, i.e., theories expressed as conjunctions of logically independent statements concerning the physical or, more generally, nomic possibilities and impossibilities of the domain under inquiry. We define both a comparative and a quantitative notion of the verisimilitude of such theories, and identify (...) suitable conditions concerning the (partial) correctness of acquired data, under which revising our theories by data leads us closer to “the nomic truth”, construed as the target of scientific inquiry. We conclude by indicating some further developments, generalizations, and open issues arising from our results. (shrink)
The so-called Preface Paradox seems to show that one can rationally believe two logically incompatible propositions. We address this puzzle, relying on the notions of truthlikeness and approximate truth as studied within the post-Popperian research programme on verisimilitude. In particular, we show that adequately combining probability, approximate truth, and truthlikeness leads to an explanation of how rational belief is possible in the face of the Preface Paradox. We argue that our account is superior to other solutions of the paradox, including (...) a recent one advanced by Hannes Leitgeb (Analysis 74.1). (shrink)
There are communities in which disadvantaged groups experience severe inequality. For instance, poor and indigent families face many difficulties accessing their social rights. Their condition is largely the consequence of the wrong choices of those in power, either historical or more recent choices. The lack of opportunities of these deprived citizens is due to state omissions. In such communities, it is not unusual for homeless members of these particular groups to occupy abandoned lands and build their shelters there. However, almost (...) everywhere, these actions constitute a crime. The typical response to this situation is prosecution and punishment. In this paper, I will defend the occupation of public places as a consequence of the failure of governments to solve the problem of housing, and I will argue that we must distinguish a social claim from a crime and avoid the use of criminal law in these “occupation cases”. I will also argue that our right—as a community—to blame and punish these “squatters” is eroded by the fact that we perpetrated their situation of injustice. (shrink)
I present a formal ontological theory where the basic building blocks of the world can be either things or events. In any case, the result is a Parmenidean worldview where change is not a global property. What we understand by change manifests as asymmetries in the pattern of the world-lines that constitute 4-dimensional existents. I maintain that such a view is in accord with current scientific knowledge.
Popper’s original definition of truthlikeness relied on a central insight: that truthlikeness combines truth and information, in the sense that a proposition is closer to the truth the more true consequences and the less false consequences it entails. As intuitively compelling as this definition may be, it is untenable, as proved long ago; still, one can arguably rely on Popper’s intuition to provide an adequate account of truthlikeness. To this aim, we mobilize some classical work on partial entailment in defining (...) a new measure of truthlikeness which satisfies a number of desiderata. The resulting account has some interesting and surprising connections with other accounts on the market, thus shedding new light on current attempts of systematizing different approaches to verisimilitude. (shrink)
Starting from the sixties of the past century theory change has become a main concern of philosophy of science. Two of the best known formal accounts of theory change are the post-Popperian theories of verisimilitude (PPV for short) and the AGM theory of belief change (AGM for short). In this paper, we will investigate the conceptual relations between PPV and AGM and, in particular, we will ask whether the AGM rules for theory change are effective means for approaching the truth, (...) i.e., for achieving the cognitive aim of science pointed out by PPV. First, the key ideas of PPV and AGM and their application to a particular kind of propositional theories - the so called "conjunctive propositions" - will be illustrated. Afterwards, we will prove that, as far as conjunctive propositions are concerned, AGM belief change is an effective tool for approaching the truth. (shrink)
Admitiendo la distinción propuesta por Mayr entre biología funcional y biología evolutiva, sugerimos que estos dos dominios de investigación siguen dos distintos modos de considerar lo viviente que pueden ser entendidos, pero en dos sentidos diferentes, como teleológicos. Para distinguir esas dos formas de teleología hacemos una comparación entre la explicación funcional típica de la biología funcional y la explicación seleccional propia de la biología evolutiva. Cada uno de estos tipos de explicación obedece a una regla metodológica especial: la explicación (...) funcional sigue al principio de adecuación autopoiética; y la explicación seleccional sigue al principio de adecuación adaptativa. Pero, mientras el primero será presentado como estando subordinado a un principio general da causación; el segundo será presentado como siendo independiente de él. Finalmente, en el contexto de una breve discusión relativa al concepto de symmorphosis, sostenemos que, en la biología contemporánea, la noción de adecuación adaptiva es preeminente sobre la noción de adecuación funcional: esta encuentra su fundamento en aquella.Admitting Mayrs distinction between functional and evolutionary biology we suggest that these two dominions of inquiry follow two different modes of onsider the living that can be considered, but in two different senses, as being teleological. To distinguish these two forms of teleology we make a comparison between the functional explanation, typical of functional biology, and the selective explanation, proper of evolutionary biology. Each one of this kind of explanation obeys an special methodological rule: the functional explanation follows the principle of autopoietic adequacy; and the selective explanation follows the principle of adaptive adequacy. But, while the former principle will be presented as being subordinated to a general principle of causation; the later will be presented as being independent of it. Finally, in the context of a brief discussion concerning the concept of symmorphosis, we argue that, in contemporary biology, the notion of adaptive adequacy is preeminent over the notion of functional adequacy: the later find its fundament in the former. (shrink)
A supertask consists in the performance of an infinite number of actions in a finite time. I show that any attempt to carry out a supertask will produce a divergence of the curvature of spacetime, resulting in the formation of a black hole. I maintain that supertaks, contrarily to a popular view among philosophers, are physically impossible. Supertasks, literally, collapse under their own weight.
The idea of a moving present or ‘now’ seems to form part of our most basic beliefs about reality. Such a present, however, is not reflected in any of our theories of the physical world. I show in this article that presentism, the doctrine that only what is present exists, is in conflict with modern relativistic cosmology and recent advances in neurosciences. I argue for a tenseless view of time, where what we call ‘the present’ is just an emergent secondary (...) quality arising from the interaction of perceiving self-conscious individuals with their environment. I maintain that there is no flow of time, but just an ordered system of events. (shrink)
In this paper, we investigate the problem of truth approximation via belief merging, i.e., we ask whether, and under what conditions, a group of inquirers merging together their beliefs makes progress toward the truth about the underlying domain. We answer this question by proving some formal results on how belief merging operators perform with respect to the task of truth approximation, construed as increasing verisimilitude or truthlikeness. Our results shed new light on the issue of how rational (dis)agreement affects the (...) inquirers’ quest for truth. In particular, they vindicate the intuition that scientific inquiry, and rational discussion in general, benefits from some heterogeneity in opinion and interaction among different viewpoints. The links between our approach and related analyses of truth tracking, judgment aggregation, and opinion dynamics, are also highlighted. (shrink)
I argue that there are no physical singularities in space–time. Singular space–time models do not belong to the ontology of the world, because of a simple reason: they are concepts, defective solutions of Einstein’s field equations. I discuss the actual implication of the so-called singularity theorems. In remarking the confusion and fog that emerge from the reification of singularities I hope to contribute to a better understanding of the possibilities and limits of the theory of general relativity.
Starting with Popper, philosophers and logicians have proposed different accounts of verisimilitude or truthlikeness. One way of classifying such accounts is to distinguish between “conjunctive” and “disjunctive” ones. In this paper, we focus on our own “basic feature” approach to verisimilitude, which naturally belongs to the conjunctive family. We start by surveying the landscape of conjunctive accounts; then, we introduce two new measures of verisimilitude and discuss their properties; finally, we conclude by hinting at some surprising relations between our conjunctive (...) approach and a disjunctive account of verisimilitude widely discussed in the literature. (shrink)
I argue for a four dimensional, non-dynamical view of space-time, where becoming is not an intrinsic property of reality. This view has many features in common with the Parmenidean conception of the universe. I discuss some recent objections to this position and I offer a comparison of the Parmenidean space-time with an interpretation of Heraclitus’ thought that presents no major antagonism.
Contrariando la concepción etiológica de las funciones biológicas, se pretende mostrar que las explicaciones por selección natural, lejos de justificar atribuciones funcionales, las presuponen; y que estas atribuciones pueden ser entendidas apelando a una especificación particular de la concepción s..
The aim of this research is to ascertain whether a firm’s environmental motivations may help to predict how complete or incomplete its environmental management will be, understanding incomplete management to be that which neglects one or more of the three keys aspects of such management, namely, monitoring, action and results. We specifically posit that while motivations based on the search for legitimation lead to more incomplete styles of environmental management, competitive motivations entail a more complete management. The analyses conducted with (...) a sample of 1,902 plants provide empirical evidence in favour of such reasoning. The contribution this research makes, therefore, is not restricted solely to showing the effect motivations have on the environmental performance of organisations, as it also introduces a new dimension of environmental management—the degree of completeness, which needs to be considered when understanding and evaluating this effect. (shrink)
I offer a theory of art that is based on science. I maintain that, as any other human activity, art can be studied with the tools of science. This does not mean that art is scientific, but aesthetics, the theory of art, can be formulated in accord with our scientific knowledge. I present elucidations of the concepts of aesthetic experience, art, work of art, artistic movement, and I discuss the ontological status of artworks from the point of view of scientific (...) philosophy. (shrink)
La distinción propuesta por Ernst Mayr y François Jacob entre biología funcionaly biología evolutiva es una clave fundamental para un tratamiento claro y concluyente de dos problemas que, recurrentemente, se colocan en el ámbito de la Filosofía de la Biología: aquel que atañe al posible carácter teleológico de las explicaciones biológicas y aquel relativo a la autonomía de la Biología en relación a la Física y a la Química. Sin sostener una alternativa de solución para ninguno de estos problemas, presentamos (...) esa oposición mostrando su relevancia para el tratamiento de tales cuestiones. Nuestra idea es que las mismas no deberían plantearse sin especificar a cual de los dos dominios de la ciencias de la vida nos estamos refiriendo.Mayr’s and Jacob’s distinction between functional biology and evolutionary biology is a fundamental key for a clearer and more conclusive treatment of two problems that, currently, are discussed in Philosophy of Biology: that which matter to the teleological character of biological explanations and that which matter to the autonomy of Biology from Physic and Chemistry. Without hold any alternative solution for none of these problems, we present that opposition showing its relevance for the treatment of both questions. Our idea is that these problems shouldn’t be posed without a specification of the domain of Biology that is being considered. (shrink)
The starting point of this paper is the idea that linguistic representation is the result of a global process: a process of interaction of a community of cognitive-linguistic agents, with one another and with the environment. I maintain that the study of truth, meaning and related notions should be addressed without losing perspective of this process, and I oppose the ‘static’ or ‘analytic’ approach, which is fundamentally based on our own knowledge of the conventional meaning of words and sentences, and (...) the ability of using them that we have as competent speakers. I argue that the analytic perspective is responsible for five recurring difficulties in truthmaker theory: (1) the lack of attention to the difference of explanatory role between the distinct notions proposed as primary truthbearer; (2) the adscription of purely extra-linguistic truthmakers to ‘synthetic truths’, ignoring the contribution of the linguistic factor; (3) the adscription of purely linguistic truthmakers to ‘logical’ and ‘analytic truths’, ignoring the contribution of the worldly factor; (4) the difficulties in the search for minimal truthmakers; (5) the problems in the treatment of ‘negative facts’ and of other ‘logically complex facts’. I do not provide an account of how to solve these difficulties, but I do show how the ‘process model’ helps to clear up confusion regarding them. (shrink)
The Preface Paradox apparently shows that it is sometimes rational to believe logically incompatible propositions. In this paper, I propose a way out of the paradox based on the ideas of fallibilism and verisimilitude. More precisely, I defend the view that a rational inquirer can fallibly believe or accept a proposition which is false, or likely false, but verisimilar; and I argue that this view makes the Preface Paradox disappear. Some possible objections to my proposal, and an alternative view of (...) fallible belief, are briefly discussed in the final part of the paper. (shrink)
This article provides a comparative and interpretative analysis of the emerging projects in Latin America after the crisis of the neoliberal modernity project. It offers a critical interpretation of the current tendencies in Latin American politics at the national level, while suggesting some hints to understand the current neoliberal crisis in Western countries after Trump’s electoral triumph. The purpose is to figure out the collective meanings behind the new national projects in Latin America that are constructing a new regional order. (...) The work examines how the neoliberal modernity project came to be dominant in the late 1980s, only to enter into a period of crisis in the current century. That crisis, in turn, provides the basis for exploring four different alternative projects of modernity, based on the kind of rationality and agency promoted by them. (shrink)
Theories of truthlikeness (or verisimilitude) are currently being classified according to two independent distinctions: that between ‘content’ and ‘likeness’ accounts, and that between ‘conjunctive’ and ‘disjunctive’ ones. In this article, I present and discuss a new definition of truthlikeness, which employs Carnap’s notion of the content elements entailed by a theory or proposition, and is then labelled ‘Carnapian’. After studying in detail the properties and shortcomings of this definition, I argue that it occupies a unique position in the landscape of (...) different approaches to truthlikeness. More precisely, I show that it provides the only explication of truthlikeness which is both ‘conjunctive’ and ‘content-based’ in a suitably defined sense. (shrink)
We investigate the logical and conceptual connections between abductive reasoning construed as a process of belief change, on the one hand, and truth approximation, construed as increasing (estimated) verisimilitude, on the other. We introduce the notion of â(verisimilitude-guided) abductive belief changeâ and discuss under what conditions abductively changing our theories or beliefs does lead them closer to the truth, and hence tracks truth approximation conceived as the main aim of inquiry. The consequences of our analysis for some recent discussions concerning (...) belief revision aiming at truth approximation and inference to the best explanation are also highlighted. (shrink)
El gran malentendido que está por detrás de la concepción etiológicadel concepto de función es haber confundido este último con el concepto de adaptación. Las explicaciones por selección natural no justifican imputaciones funcionales: ellas explican la configuración de determinada estructura orgánic..
The present paper aims at examining the characteristics that determine the essential nature of the homogeneous bodies in Aristotle, from an analysis of Meteorology IV.12, which would at the same time establish a certain relationship with other treatises of natural philosophy and also in particular with books VII and VIII of Metaphysics. With this investigation, I will delineate a certain line of argument that goes against a reading perspective considered as traditional, with certain interpretive variants, according to which Aristotle would (...) have adopted the idea of a universal teleology, in the general sense that all natural bodies would be generated for a specific goal, or for a natural purpose. According to a certain view, linked to this perspective, the teleological character of functional type of vital activities, notably expressed by the compositional arrangement of the non-homogeneous parts in the living being's complexion, would be somehow involved in the constitution of the homogeneous bodies considered in themselves and for themselves. In contrast to such a view, I will examine, in a precise way, to what extent the homogeneous bodies would comprise a certain formal factor directly involved in the characterization of their constitutional particularities, taking into account a comparative examination with other kinds of natural compositions, namely, elemental aggregates and living organisms. Thus, through this examination, I will explore the question of whether, in function of this formal factor, such bodies could present some teleological character trait, distinct from the functional type, characteristic of organic-animate constitutions. (shrink)
Las presiones selectivas no son factores ambientales que existan independientemente de los linajes por ellas afectados. Su existencia y su configuración siempre dependen de las alternativas de evolución que el propio linaje genera y acepta; y dicha configuración, necesariamente, se va alterando conforme el propio linaje evoluciona. Aclarar eso es muy importante para desestimar algunas reticencias generadas por la dicotomía próximo-remoto. Esta polaridad continúa siendo un recurso conceptual válido e insustituible para entender la especificidad de la Biología Evolucionaria. Enmendar algunos (...) equívocos generados por Mayr en su caracterización del concepto de causa remota es una alternativa mejor que la de pensar en abandonar o en relativizar esa distinción. (shrink)