Roman Darowski. Philosophical Anthropology: Outline of Fundamental Problems. Translated from Polish by Łukasz Darowski SDS. Wydawnictwo Ignatianum [Editions of Ignatianum, The Jesuit University of Cracow, Wydawnictwo WAM: Cracow, 2014.—Author’s summary The translation of this book into English we are dealing with here is a somewhat changed and revised version of the 4th edition of Filozofia człowieka in Polish. The last section has been expanded, while the “History of Philosophical Anthropology” chapter and the Anthology of Texts section have both been (...) omitted. (shrink)
The article summarizes the book Filozofia Jezuitów na ziemiach dawnej Rzeczypospolitej w XIX wieku [The Philosophy of the Jesuit in the Terriroties of the Former Commonwealth: Poland, Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine in the 19th Century], by Roman Darowski.
Everything you always wanted to know about structural realism but were afraid to ask Content Type Journal Article Pages 227-276 DOI 10.1007/s13194-011-0025-7 Authors Roman Frigg, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE UK Ioannis Votsis, Philosophisches Institut, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Universitätsstraße 1, Geb. 23.21/04.86, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany Journal European Journal for Philosophy of Science Online ISSN 1879-4920 Print ISSN 1879-4912 Journal Volume Volume 1 Journal Issue Volume 1, Number (...) 2. (shrink)
Models are of central importance in many scientific contexts. The centrality of models such as the billiard ball model of a gas, the Bohr model of the atom, the MIT bag model of the nucleon, the Gaussian-chain model of a polymer, the Lorenz model of the atmosphere, the Lotka-Volterra model of predator-prey interaction, the double helix model of DNA, agent-based and evolutionary models in the social sciences, or general equilibrium models of markets in their respective domains are cases in point. (...) Scientists spend a great deal of time building, testing, comparing and revising models, and much journal space is dedicated to introducing, applying and interpreting these valuable tools. In short, models are one of the principal instruments of modern science. (shrink)
It is now part and parcel of the official philosophical wisdom that models are essential to the acquisition and organisation of scientific knowledge. It is also generally accepted that most models represent their target systems in one way or another. But what does it mean for a model to represent its target system? I begin by introducing three conundrums that a theory of scientific representation has to come to terms with and then address the question of whether the semantic view (...) of theories, which is the currently most widely accepted account of theories and models, provides us with adequate answers to these questions. After having argued in some detail that it does not, I conclude by pointing out in what direction a tenable account of scientific representation might be sought. (shrink)
Classical statistical mechanics posits probabilities for various events to occur, and these probabilities seem to be objective chances. This does not seem to sit well with the fact that the theory’s time evolution is deterministic. We argue that the tension between the two is only apparent. We present a theory of Humean objective chance and show that chances thus understood are compatible with underlying determinism and provide an interpretation of the probabilities we find in Boltzmannian statistical mechanics.
Though it is inter-disciplinary in scope, situated as it is on the borderlines of ontology and logic, philosophy of literature and theory of language, Ingarden's work has a deliberately narrow focus: the literary work, its structure and ...
On the face of it ‘deterministic chance’ is an oxymoron: either an event is chancy or deterministic, but not both. Nevertheless, the world is rife with events that seem to be exactly that: chancy and deterministic at once. Simple gambling devices like coins and dice are cases in point. On the one hand they are governed by deterministic laws – the laws of classical mechanics – and hence given the initial condition of, say, a coin toss it is determined whether (...) it will land heads or tails.2 On the other hand, we commonly assign probabilities to the different outcomes a coin toss, and doing so has proven successful in guiding our actions. The same dilemma also emerges in less mundane contexts. Classical statistical mechanics (which is still an important part of modern physics) assigns probabilities to the occurrence of certain events – for instance to the spreading of a gas that is originally confined to the left half of a container – but at the same time assumes that the relevant systems are deterministic. How can this apparent conflict be resolved? (shrink)
The sensitive dependence on initial conditions associated with nonlinear models imposes limitations on the models’ predictive power. We draw attention to an additional limitation than has been underappreciated, namely, structural model error. A model has SME if the model dynamics differ from the dynamics in the target system. If a nonlinear model has only the slightest SME, then its ability to generate decision-relevant predictions is compromised. Given a perfect model, we can take the effects of SDIC into account by substituting (...) probabilistic predictions for point predictions. This route is foreclosed in the case of SME, which puts us in a worse epistemic situation than SDIC. (shrink)
Computer simulations are an exciting tool that plays important roles in many scientific disciplines. This has attracted the attention of a number of philosophers of science. The main tenor in this literature is that computer simulations not only constitute interesting and powerful new science, but that they also raise a host of new philosophical issues. The protagonists in this debate claim no less than that simulations call into question our philosophical understanding of scientific ontology, the epistemology and semantics of models (...) and theories, and the relation between experimentation and theorising, and submit that simulations demand a fundamentally new philosophy of science in many respects. The aim of this paper is to critically evaluate these claims. Our conclusion will be sober. We argue that these claims are overblown and that simulations, far from demanding a new metaphysics, epistemology, semantics and methodology, raise few if any new philosophical problems. The philosophical problems that do come up in connection with simulations are not specific to simulations and most of them are variants of problems that have been discussed in other contexts before. (shrink)
An important contemporary version of Boltzmannian statistical mechanics explains the approach to equilibrium in terms of typicality. The problem with this approach is that it comes in different versions, which are, however, not recognized as such and not clearly distinguished. This article identifies three different versions of typicality‐based explanations of thermodynamic‐like behavior and evaluates their respective successes. The conclusion is that the first two are unsuccessful because they fail to take the system's dynamics into account. The third, however, is promising. (...) I give a precise formulation of the proposal and present an argument in support of its central contention. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, Logic, and Scientific Method, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE, England; e‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
This study examines whether corporate social responsibility performance is associated with corporate tax avoidance. Employing a matched sample of 434 firm-year observations from the Kinder, Lydenberg, and Domini database over the period 2003–2009, our logit regression results show that the higher the level of CSR performance of a firm, the lower the likelihood of tax avoidance. Our results indicate that more socially responsible firms are likely to display less tax avoidance. Finally, the results from our additional analysis show that the (...) CSR categories community relations and diversity represent particularly important elements of CSR performance that reduce tax avoidance. (shrink)
Gases reach equilibrium when left to themselves. Why do they behave in this way? The canonical answer to this question, originally proffered by Boltzmann, is that the systems have to be ergodic. This answer has been criticised on different grounds and is now widely regarded as flawed. In this paper we argue that some of the main arguments against Boltzmann's answer, in particular, arguments based on the KAM-theorem and the Markus-Meyer theorem, are beside the point. We then argue that something (...) close to Boltzmann's original proposal is true for gases: gases behave thermodynamic-like if they are epsilon-ergodic, i.e., ergodic on the entire accessible phase space except for a small region of measure epsilon. This answer is promising because there are good reasons to believe that relevant systems in statistical mechanics are epsilon-ergodic. (shrink)
The United Kingdom Climate Impacts Program’s UKCP09 project makes high-resolution forecasts of climate during the 21st century using state of the art global climate models. The aim of this paper is to introduce and analyze the methodology used and then urge some caution. Given the acknowledged systematic errors in all current climate models, treating model outputs as decision relevant probabilistic forecasts can be seriously misleading. This casts doubt on our ability, today, to make trustworthy, high-resolution predictions out to the end (...) of this century. (shrink)
Entropy is ubiquitous in physics, and it plays important roles in numerous other disciplines ranging from logic and statistics to biology and economics. However, a closer look reveals a complicated picture: entropy is defined differently in different contexts, and even within the same domain different notions of entropy are at work. Some of these are defined in terms of probabilities, others are not. The aim of this chapter is to arrive at an understanding of some of the most important notions (...) of entropy and to clarify the relations between them, After setting the stage by introducing the thermodynamic entropy, we discuss notions of entropy in information theory, statistical mechanics, dynamical systems theory and fractal geometry. (shrink)
The United Kingdom Climate Impacts Programme’s UKCP09 project makes high-resolution projections of the climate out to 2100 by post-processing the outputs of a large-scale global climate model. The aim of this paper is to describe and analyse the methodology used and then urge some caution. Given the acknowledged systematic, shared errors of all current climate models, treating model outputs as decision-relevant projections can be significantly misleading. In extrapolatory situations, such as projections of future climate change, there is little reason to (...) expect that post-processing of model outputs can correct for the consequences of such errors. This casts doubt on our ability, today, to make trustworthy probabilistic projections at high resolution out to the end of the century. (shrink)
Determinism and chance seem to be irreconcilable opposites: either something is chancy or it is deterministic but not both. Yet there are processes which appear to square the circle by being chancy and deterministic at once, and the appearance is backed by well-confirmed scientific theories such as statistical mechanics which also seem to provide us with chances for deterministic processes. Is this possible, and if so how? In this essay I discuss this question for probabilities as they occur in the (...) empirical sciences, setting aside metaphysical questions in connection with free will, divine intervention and determinism in history. (shrink)
It is my hope that the book will be widely read and debated."--Axel Leijonhufvud, UCLA and the University of Trento "This is a major and controversial contribution to macroeconomics that cannot fail to make an impact in several areas.
In two recent papers Barry Loewer (2001, 2004) has suggested to interpret probabilities in statistical mechanics as Humean chances in David Lewis’ (1994) sense. I first give a precise formulation of this proposal, then raise two fundamental objections, and finally conclude that these can be overcome only at the price of interpreting these probabilities epistemically.
A gas prepared in a non-equilibrium state will approach equilibrium and stay there. An influential contemporary approach to Statistical Mechanics explains this behaviour in terms of typicality. However, this explanation has been criticised as mysterious as long as no connection with the dynamics of the system is established. We take this criticism as our point of departure. Our central claim is that Hamiltonians of gases which are epsilon-ergodic are typical with respect to the Whitney topology. Because equilibrium states are typical, (...) we argue that there follows the desired conclusion that typical initial conditions approach equilibrium and stay there. (shrink)
Roman Stoic thinkers in the imperial period adapted Greek doctrine to create a model of the self that served to connect philosophical ideals with traditional societal values. The Roman Stoics-the most prominent being Marcus Aurelius-engaged in rigorous self-examination that enabled them to integrate philosophy into the practice of living. Gretchen Reydams-Schils's innovative new book shows how these Romans applied their distinct brand of social ethics to everyday relations and responsibilities. The Roman Stoics reexamines the philosophical basis that (...) instructed social practice in friendship, marriage, parenting, and community. From this analysis emerge Stoics who were neither cold nor detached, as the stereotype has it, but all too aware of their human weaknesses. In a valuable contribution to current discussions in the humanities on identity, autonomy, and altruism, Reydams-Schils ultimately conveys the wisdom of Stoics to the citizens of modern society. (shrink)
Why do systems prepared in a non-equilibrium state approach, and eventually reach, equilibrium? An important contemporary version of the Boltzmannian approach to statistical mechanics answers this question by an appeal to the notion of typicality. The problem with this approach is that it comes in different versions, which are, however, not recognised as such, much less clearly distinguished, and we often find different arguments pursued side by side. The aim of this paper is to disentangle different versions of typicality-based explanations (...) of thermodynamic behaviour and evaluate their respective success. My conclusion will be that the boldest version fails for technical reasons, while more prudent versions leave unanswered essential questions. (shrink)
The so-called ergodic hierarchy (EH) is a central part of ergodic theory. It is a hierarchy of properties that dynamical systems can possess. Its five levels are egrodicity, weak mixing, strong mixing, Kolomogorov, and Bernoulli. Although EH is a mathematical theory, its concepts have been widely used in the foundations of statistical physics, accounts of randomness, and discussions about the nature of chaos. We introduce EH and discuss how its applications in these fields.
Consider a gas that is adiabatically isolated from its environment and conﬁned to the left half of a container. Then remove the wall separating the two parts. The gas will immediately start spreading and soon be evenly distributed over the entire available space. The gas has approached equilibrium. Thermodynamics (TD) characterizes this process in terms of an increase of thermodynamic entropy, which attains its maximum value at equilibrium. The second law of thermodynamics captures the irreversibility of this process by positing (...) that in an isolated system such as the gas entropy cannot decrease. The aim of statistical mechanics (SM) is to explain the behavior of the gas and, in particular, its conformity with the second law in terms of the dynamical laws governing the individual molecules of which the gas is made up. In what follows these laws are assumed to be the ones of Hamiltonian classical mechanics. We should not, however, ask for an explanation of the second law literally construed. This law is a universal law and as such cannot be explained by a statistical theory. But this is not a problem because we.. (shrink)
At first blush, the idea that fictions play a role in science seems to be off the mark. Realists and antirealists alike believe that science instructs us about how the world is. Fiction not only seems to play no role in such an endeavour; it seems to detract from it. The aims of science and fiction seem to be diametrically opposed and a view amalgamating the two rightly seems to be the cause of discomfort and concern.