Every body cell of an animal or human being contains the same complete set of genes. In theory any of these cells can be used to start a new embryo. The technique has been employed in the case of frogs. The nucleus is taken out of a body cell of a frog and implanted in an enucleated frog's egg. The resulting egg cell is stimulated to develop into a normal frog, and will be an exact copy of that frog which (...) provided the nucleus with all the genetic information. In normal sexual reproduction, two parents each contribute half their genes, but in the case of cloning, one parent passes on all his or her genes. (shrink)
Sainsbury and Tye (2011) propose that, in the case of names and other simple extensional terms, we should substitute for Frege's second level of content—for his senses—a second level of meaning vehicle—words in the language of thought. I agree. They also offer a theory of atomic concept reference—their ‘originalist’ theory—which implies that people knowing the same word have the ‘same concept’. This I reject, arguing for a symmetrical rather than an originalist theory of concept reference, claiming that individual concepts are (...) possessed only by individual people. Concepts are classified rather than identified across different people. (shrink)
Modality, morality and belief are among the most controversial topics in philosophy today, and few philosophers have shaped these debates as deeply as Ruth Barcan Marcus. Inspired by her work, a distinguished group of philosophers explore these issues, refine and sharpen arguments and develop new positions on such topics as possible worlds, moral dilemmas, essentialism, and the explanation of actions by beliefs. This 'state of the art' collection honours one of the most rigorous and iconoclastic of philosophical pioneers.
Wolfgang Pauli (1900-1958) was one of the greatest physicists of the past century. He played a leading role in the development of modern physics and was known for his ruthless intellectual integrity. Pauli first became famed through the publication of his encyclopaedia article on the theory of relativity (Pauli, 1921) when he was still a student of Sommerfeld's. Einstein much admired this article, which remained a classic.
There is hardly another principle in physics with wider scope of applicability and more far-reaching consequences than Pauli's exclusion principle. This book explores the principle's origin in the atomic spectroscopy of the early 1920s, its subsequent embedding into quantum mechanics, and later experimental validation with the development of quantum chromodynamics. The reconstruction of this crucial historic episode provides an excellent foil to reconsider Kuhn's view on incommensurability. The author defends the prospective rationality of the revolutionary transition from the old (...) to the new quantum theory around 1925 by focusing on the way Pauli's principle emerged as a phenomenological rule 'deduced' from some anomalous phenomena and theoretical assumptions of the old quantum theory. The subsequent process of validation is historically reconstructed and analysed within the framework of 'dynamic Kantianism'. (shrink)
This article analyses an episode in the earlyhistory of quantum theory: the controversy betweenPauli and Heisenberg about the anomalous Zeemaneffect, which was a main stumbling block for the oldquantum theory of Bohr. It is argued that theindividual philosophical views of both Pauli andHeisenberg directed their attempts to solve theanomaly and decisively influenced the solutions theyproposed. The results of this case study arecompared with the assertions of four theories ofscientific change, namely those of Kuhn, Lakatos,Laudan and Giere.
A controversial question among contemporary scholars is whether advanced industrial societies are still in modernity, or whether they are on the threshold of, or even have entered, a new postmodern order. In The Consequences of Modernity Anthony Giddens writes: ‘Beyond modernity, we can perceive a new and different order, which is “post-modern”, but this is quite distinct from what is at the moment called by many “post-modernity”’. However, he does recognize that there is something perceptibly different about the present, which (...) he characterizes as ‘late modernity’, an era in which the consequences of modernity are more radicalized and globalized than before. (shrink)
In liberal political theory, meaningful work is conceptualised as a preference in the market. Although this strategy avoids transgressing liberal neutrality, the subsequent constraint upon state intervention aimed at promoting the social and economic conditions for widespread meaningful work is normatively unsatisfactory. Instead, meaningful work can be understood to be a fundamental human need, which all persons require in order to satisfy their inescapable interests in freedom, autonomy, and dignity. To overcome the inadequate treatment of meaningful work by liberal political (...) theory, I situate the good of meaningful work within a liberal perfectionist framework, from which standpoint I develop a normative justification for making meaningful work the object of political action. To understand the content of meaningful work, I make use of Susan Wolf’s distinct value of meaningfulness, in which she brings together the dimensions of objectivity and subjectivity into the ‘bipartite value’ of meaningfulness (BVM) (Wolf, Meaning in life and why it matters, 2010). However, in order to be able to incorporate the BVM into our lives, we must become valuers, that is, co-creators of values and meanings. This demands that we acquire the relevant capabilities and status as co-authorities in the realm of value. I conclude that meaningful work is of first importance because it is a fundamental human need, and that society ought to be arranged to allow as many people as possible to experience their work as meaningful through the development of the relevant capabilities. (shrink)
Ruth Millikan is well known for having developed a strikingly original way for philosophers to seek understanding of mind and language, which she sees as biological phenomena. She now draws together a series of groundbreaking essays which set out her approach to language. Guiding the work of most linguists and philosophers of language today is the assumption that language is governed by prescriptive normative rules. Millikan offers a fundamentally different way of viewing the partial regularities that language displays, comparing (...) them to biological norms that emerge from natural selection. This yields novel and quite radical consequences for our understanding of the nature of public linguistic meaning, the process of language understanding, how children learn language, and the semantics/pragmatics distinction. (shrink)
Ruth Garrett Millikan presents a strikingly original account of how we get to grips with the world in thought. Her question is Kant's 'How is knowledge possible?', answered from a contemporary naturalist standpoint. We begin with an understanding of what the world is like prior to cognition, then develop a theory of cognition within that world.
A visible role in the theoretical discourses on education has been played in the last couple of decades by the constructivist epistemologies, which have questioned the basic assumptions of realist epistemologies. The increased popularity of interpretative approaches especially has put the realist epistemologies on the defensive. Basing itself on critical realism, this article discusses the ontological and epistemological commitments of educational research and its consequences for text interpretation. The article defends ontological realism and the semantic conception of truth against radical (...) constructivist ontology and the epistemic conceptions of truth. (shrink)
Written by one of today's most creative and innovative philosophers, Ruth Garrett Millikan, this book examines basic empirical concepts; how they are acquired, how they function, and how they have been misrepresented in the traditional philosophical literature. Millikan places cognitive psychology in an evolutionary context where human cognition is assumed to be an outgrowth of primitive forms of mentality, and assumed to have 'functions' in the biological sense. Of particular interest are her discussions of the nature of abilities as (...) different from dispositions, her detailed analysis of the psychological act of reidentifying substances, and her critique of the language of thought for mental representation. In a radical departure from current philosophical and psychological theories of concepts, this book provides the first in-depth discussion on the psychological act of reidentification. (shrink)
I defend the suggestion that the rational probability in the Sleeping Beauty paradox is one third. The reasoning in its favour is familiar: for every heads-waking, there are two tails-wakings. To complete the defense, I rebut the reasoning which purports to justify the competing suggestion – that the correct probability is half – by undermining its premise, that no new information has been received.
It is possible that a fair coin tossed infinitely many times will always land heads. So the probability of such a sequence of outcomes should, intuitively, be positive, albeit miniscule: 0 probability ought to be reserved for impossible events. And, furthermore, since the tosses are independent and the probability of heads (and tails) on a single toss is half, all sequences are equiprobable. But Williamson has adduced an argument that purports to show that our intuitions notwithstanding, the probability of an (...) infinite sequence is 0. In this paper, I rebut his argument.No Abstract. (shrink)
In this paper I adduce a new argument in support of the claim that IBE is an autonomous form of inference, based on a familiar, yet surprisingly, under-discussed, problem for Hume’s theory of induction. I then use some insights thereby gleaned to argue for the claim that induction is really IBE, and draw some normative conclusions.
The aim of this paper is to show that Shaftesbury’s thinking about liberty is best understood in terms of self-mastery. To examine his understanding of liberty, I turn to a painting that he commissioned on the ancient theme of the choice of Hercules and the notes that he prepared for the artist. Questions of human choice are also present in the so-called story of an amour, which addresses the difficulties of controlling human passions. Jaffro distinguishes three notions of self-control that (...) are present in the story of an amour. Although I agree with many aspects of Jaffro’s interpretation, I question his conclusion that self- control in the Stoic sense is best reserved for ‘moral heroes.’ I propose an alternative developmental interpretation, according to which all human beings are on an intellectual journey aimed at personal and moral improvement. My interpretation takes seriously that for Shaftesbury philosophy is meant to be practical and help improve our lives. I end by arguing that rather than trying to situate Shaftesbury’s concept of liberty within debates among compatibilists and incompatibilists it is more promising to understand it in terms of self- mastery and thus regard it as a version of positive liberty. (shrink)
Despite its importance to Chemistry, the Pauli Exclusion Principle appears as a rather ad hoc addition to quantum mechanics. In this paper a description of its origin is given together with a critical discussion of its use and significance in Chemistry and Quantum Physics.
According to conciliatory views about peer disagreement, both peers must accord their disagreeing peer some weight, and move towards him. Non‐conciliatory views allow one peer, the one who responded correctly to the evidence, to remain steadfast. In this paper, I consider the suggestion that it may be rational for both disagreeing peers to hold steadfastly to their opinion. To this end, I contend with arguments adduced against the permissiveness the supposition involves, and identify some ways in which different responses for (...) different agents to the evidence might be reasonable. (shrink)
I defend the historical definition of "function" originally given in my Language, Thought and Other Biological Categories (1984a). The definition was not offered in the spirit of conceptual analysis but is more akin to a theoretical definition of "function". A major theme is that nonhistorical analyses of "function" fail to deal adequately with items that are not capable of performing their functions.
Descartes argued that productivity, namely our ability to generate an unlimited number of new thoughts or ideas from previous ones, derives from a single undividable source in the human soul. Cognitive scientists, in contrast, have viewed productivity as a modular phenomenon. According to this latter view, syntactic, semantic, musical or visual productivity emerges each from their own generative engines in the human brain. Recent evidence has, however, led some authors to revitalize the Cartesian theory. According to this view, a single (...) source or a single mechanism in the human brain produces productivity in every cognitive domain, whether in the domain of music, semantics or syntax. In this article, we will address recent evidence concerning the single source hypothesis from brain-imaging studies, linguistics, cognitive theories of music perception, biology of cognition and cognitive development, along with several objections that have been presented against this hypothesis. We formulate two versions of the Cartesian theory which combine the more recent computational theory of cognition with Descartes' view on productivity. (shrink)
In two curiously neglected papers, David Lewis claims to reduce to absurdity the supposition (commonly labeled DAB) that (some) desires are belief-like. My aim in this paper is to explain the significance of this claim and rebut the proof.
The objective of this paper is to understand from a sociological perspective how the moral question of euthanasia, framed as the “right to die”, emerges and is dealt with in society. It takes France and Germany as case studies, two countries in which euthanasia is prohibited and which have similar legislation on the issue. I presuppose that, and explore how, each society has its own specificities in terms of practical, social and political norms that affect the ways in which they (...) deal with these issues. The paper thus seeks to understand how requests for the “right to die” emerge in each society, through both the debate (analysis of daily newspapers, medical and philosophical literature, legal texts) and the practices (ethnographic work in three French and two German hospitals) that elucidate the phenomenon. It does so, however, without attempting to solve the moral question of euthanasia. In spite of the differences observed between these two countries, the central issue at stake in their respective debates is the question of the individual’s autonomy to choose the conditions in which he or she wishes to die; these conditions depend, amongst others, on the doctor-patient relationship, the organisation of end-of-life care in hospital settings, and more generally, on the way autonomy is defined and handled in the public debate. (shrink)
" Biosemantics " was the title of a paper on mental representation originally printed in The Journal of Philosophy in 1989. It contained a much abbreviated version of the work on mental representation in Language Thought and Other Biological Categories. There I had presented a naturalist theory of intentional signs generally, including linguistic representations, graphs, charts and diagrams, road sign symbols, animal communications, the "chemical signals" that regulate the function of glands, and so forth. But the term " biosemantics " (...) has usually been applied only to the theory of mental representation. Let me first characterize a more general class of theories called "teleological theories of mental content" of which biosemantics is an example. Then I will discuss the details that distinguish biosemantics from other naturalistic teleological theories. (shrink)
This article presents a Pauli-Dirac matrix approach to Clifford Algebras. It is shown that the algebra C2 is generated by two Pauli matrices iσ2 and iσ3; C3 is generated by the three Pauli matrices σ1, σ2, σ3; C4 is generated by four Dirac matrices γ0, γ1, γ2, γ3 and C5 is generated by five Dirac matrices iγ0, iγ1, iγ2, iγ3, iγ5. The higher dimensional anticommuting matrices which generate arbitrarily high order Clifford algebras are given in closed form. (...) The results obtained with this Clifford algebra approach are compared with the vector product method which was described in a recent article [Found. Phys. 10, 531–553 (1980) by Poole, Farach and Aharonov] and with the Dirac, Rashevskii and Ramakrishnan methods of matrix generation. (shrink)
Do we really know the things we think we know? Are any of our beliefs reasonable? Scepticism gives a pessimistic reply to these important epistemological questions - we don't know anything; none of our beliefs are reasonable. But can such a seemingly paradoxical claim be more than an intellectual curiousity? And if it is, can it be refuted? Ruth Weintraub answers yes to both these questions. The sceptical challenge is a formidable one, and should be confronted, not dismissed. The (...) theoretical and practical difficulties it presents - in that the sceptical life cannot be lived, and the doctrine seems self-defeating - are in fact superficial, according to Ruth Weintraub. Her study looks at the sceptical arguments of Descartes, Hume and the ancient Greek sceptic, Sextus Empiricus. The author argues that by drawing on philosophy, rather than science, the sceptical challenge can be answered. _The Sceptical Challenge_ is a bold and original response to scepticism; it represents a new way of looking at the field for philosophers of epistemology. (shrink)
In this paper, we discuss various aspects of Heisenberg’s thought on hidden variables in the period 1927–1935. We also compare Heisenberg’s approach to others current at the time, specifically that embodied by von Neumann’s impossibility proof, but also views expressed mainly in correspondence by Pauli and by Schroedinger. We shall base ourselves mostly on published and unpublished materials that are known but little-studied, among others Heisenberg’s own draft response to the EPR paper. Our aim will be not only to (...) clarify Heisenberg’s thought on the hidden-variables question, but in part also to clarify how this question was understood more generally at the time. (shrink)
Recently, some of the leading proponents of the view that there is widespread incommensurability among goods have suggested that the incommensurability of some goods is a constitutive feature of the goods themselves. So, for example, a friendship and a million dollars are incommensurable because it is part of what it is to be a friendship that it be incommensurable with money. According to these ‘constitutive incommensurabilists’ incommensurability follows from the very nature of certain goods. In this paper, I examine this (...) idea and argue that constitutive incommensurabilists have mistaken for constitutive incommensurability a particular emphatic kind of comparability. This examination involves an account of ‘higher’ and ‘lower’ goods and an explanation of how goods of different ‘types’ figure in practical conflict. (shrink)
ZusammenfassungOhne einen speziellen philosophischen 〈ismus〉 zu akzeptieren und zu bevorzugen, werden die Begriffe 〈Phänomen〉 und 〈Realität〉 vom Stand‐punkt der täglichen Praxis des Physikers analysiert. Die logische Struktur der physikalischen Theorien, einschliesslich ihre charakteristischen Bezie‐hungen zu Beobachtung und Experiment, wird kurz aufgezeigt an Hand der klassischen Mechanik, der klassischen relativistischen Feldtheorie und Quantenmechanik als Beispiele. Es wird nachdrücklich betont, dass die Physiker ihre Wissenschaft als in Entwicklung begriffen ansehen. Das Problem stellt sich deshalb nie so, ob die gegenwärtigen Theorien gleich bleiben (...) werden, wie sie jetzt sind oder nicht, sondern vielmehr, in welcher Richtung sie sich ändern werden. (shrink)