Kwaku Marfo, Danielle Garcia, Saira Khalique, Karen Berger, Amy LuMontefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY, USABackground: Medication errors are a prime concern for all in healthcare. As such the use of information technologies in drug prescribing and administration has received considerable attention in recent years, with the hope of improving patient safety. Because of the complexity of drug regimens in renal transplant patients, occurrence of medication errors is inevitable even with a well adopted computerized physician order entering system. Our objective (...) was to quantify medication error type and frequency in an inpatient renal transplant unit.Methods: Systemic evaluation of all medication errors during an initial 10-day audit and a 28-day follow-up audit in an inpatient renal transplant unit. Each error was concurrently evaluated for potential to result in adverse patient consequences, error type and associated medication class.Results: A total of 103 clinically significant medication errors were detected during the 10-day and 28-day audit time periods. The most common errors were wrong medication dose ordered and wrong time of drug administration. Thirty-six out of 66 prescribing/ordering errors reached the patient.Conclusions: Even with utilization of computerized physician order entry system in an inpatient renal transplant unit, post-kidney transplant patients are at risk for adverse outcomes due to medication errors. The risk factors may be multifactorial and will require both organizational and technical approaches to resolve.Keywords: medication errors, CPOE, inpatient, renal transplant patients. (shrink)
Some commentators have condemned Kant’s moral project from a feminist perspective based on Kant’s apparently dim view of women as being innately morally deﬁcient. Here I will argue that although his remarks concerning women are unsettling at ﬁrst glance, a more detailed and closer examination shows that Kant’s view of women is actually far more complex and less unsettling than that attributed to him by various feminist critics. My argument, then, undercuts the justiﬁcation for the severe feminist critique of Kant’s (...) moral project. (shrink)
We make the case that the Prisoner’s Dilemma, notwithstanding its fame and the quantity of intellectual resources devoted to it, has largely failed to explain any phenomena of social scientific or biological interest. In the heart of the paper we examine in detail a famous purported example of Prisoner’s Dilemma empirical success, namely Axelrod’s analysis of WWI trench warfare, and argue that this success is greatly overstated. Further, we explain why this negative verdict is likely true generally and not just (...) in our case study. We also address some possible defenses of the Prisoner’s Dilemma. (shrink)
How does Aristotle view the production of females? The prevailing view is that Aristotle thinks female births are teleological failures of a process aiming to produce males. However, as I argue, that is not a view Aristotle ever expresses, and it blatantly contradicts what he does explicitly say about female births: Aristotle believes that females are and come to be for the sake of something, namely, reproduction. I argue that an alternative to that prevailing view, according to which the embryo’s (...) sex is determined solely by “non-teleological necessity,” also misrepresents Aristotle’s view. As I show, the explanation Aristotle gives is more sophisticated and less egalitarian than the alternative account allows: There is some sense in which males are, for Aristotle, the “default” result. I offer instead an interpretation that can accommodate the asymmetry between Aristotle’s biological account of the production of males and females, but which does not imply that females are thereby teleological failures. There is no doubt that Aristotle thinks females are inferior to males in many respects. However, if he thinks that inferiority is grounded in biological facts, it is not the fact that females are the results of a failure of form to be realized. (shrink)
In recent years there has been a revitalised interest in non-classical solutions to the semantic paradoxes. In this paper I show that a number of logics are susceptible to a strengthened version of Curry's paradox. This can be adapted to provide a proof theoretic analysis of the omega-inconsistency in Lukasiewicz's continuum valued logic, allowing us to better evaluate which logics are suitable for a naïve truth theory. On this basis I identify two natural subsystems of Lukasiewicz logic which individually, but (...) not jointly, lack the problematic feature. (shrink)
This chapter argues for an interpretation of Kant's psychology of moral evil that accommodates the so-called excluded middle cases and allows for variations in the magnitude of evil. The strategy involves distinguishing Kant's transcendental psychology from his empirical psychology and arguing that Kant's character rigorism is restricted to the transcendental level. The chapter also explains how Kant's theory of moral evil accommodates 'the badass'; someone who does evil for evil's sake.
In 2009, Scott S. Reuben was convicted of fabricating data, which lead to 25 of his publications being retracted. Although it is clear that the perpetuation of retracted articles negatively effects the appraisal of evidence, the extent to which retracted literature is cited had not previously been investigated. In this study, to better understand the perpetuation of discredited research, we examine the number of citations of Reuben’s articles within 5 years of their retraction. Citations of Reuben’s retracted articles were assessed (...) using the Web of Science Core Collection. All citing articles were screened to discriminate between articles in which Reuben’s work was quoted as retracted, and articles in which his data was wrongly cited without any note of the retraction status. Twenty of Reuben’s publications had been cited 274 times between 2009 and 1024. In 2014, 45 % of the retracted articles had been cited at least once. In only 25.8 % of citing articles was it clearly stated that Reuben’s work had been retracted. Annual citations decreased from 108 in 2009 to 18 in 2014; however, the percentage of publications correctly indicating the retraction status also declined. The percentage of citations in top-25 %-journals, as well as the percentage of citations in journals from Reuben’s research area, declined sharply after 2009. Our data show that even 5 years after their retraction, nearly half of Reuben’s articles are still being quoted and the retraction status is correctly mentioned in only one quarter of the citations. (shrink)
Pascal’s Wager does not exist in a Platonic world of possible gods, abstract probabilities and arbitrary payoffs. Real decision-makers, such as Pascal’s “man of the world” of 1660, face a range of religious options they take to be serious, with fixed probabilities grounded in their evidence, and with utilities that are fixed quantities in actual minds. The many ingenious objections to the Wager dreamed up by philosophers do not apply in such a real decision matrix. In the situation Pascal addresses, (...) the Wager is a good bet. In the situation of a modern Western intellectual, the reasoning of the Wager is still powerful, though the range of options and the actions indicated are not the same as in Pascal’s day. (shrink)
To vindicate morality against skeptical doubts, Kant must show that agents can be moved to act independently of their sensible desires. Kant must therefore answer a motivational question: how does an agent get from the cognition that she ought to act morally to acting morally? Affectivist interpretations of Kant hold that agents are moved to act by feelings, while intellectualists appeal to cognition alone. To overcome the significant shortcomings of each view, I develop a hybrid theory of motivation. My central (...) interpretive claim is that Kant is a special kind of motivational internalist: on his view, agents are moved to act by a feeling of intellectual pleasure at the prospect of accomplishing a task they have set for themselves, a feeling that originates in free choice. The resulting theory is immune to the challenges facing intellectualism and affectivism, thus strengthening the prospects of Kant’s justification of morality. (shrink)
There are three questions associated with Simpson’s Paradox (SP): (i) Why is SP paradoxical? (ii) What conditions generate SP?, and (iii) What should be done about SP? By developing a logic-based account of SP, it is argued that (i) and (ii) must be divorced from (iii). This account shows that (i) and (ii) have nothing to do with causality, which plays a role only in addressing (iii). A counterexample is also presented against the causal account. Finally, the causal and logic-based (...) approaches are compared by means of an experiment to show that SP is not basically causal. (shrink)
The existence of singularities alerts that one of the highest priorities of a centennial perspective on general relativity should be a careful re-thinking of the validity domain of Einstein’s field equations. We address the problem of constructing distinguishable extensions of the smooth spacetime manifold model, which can incorporate singularities, while retaining the form of the field equations. The sheaf-theoretic formulation of this problem is tantamount to extending the algebra sheaf of smooth functions to a distribution-like algebra sheaf in which the (...) former may be embedded, satisfying the pertinent cohomological conditions required for the coordinatization of all of the tensorial physical quantities, such that the form of the field equations is preserved. We present in detail the construction of these distribution-like algebra sheaves in terms of residue classes of sequences of smooth functions modulo the information of singular loci encoded in suitable ideals. Finally, we consider the application of these distribution-like solution sheaves in geometrodynamics by modeling topologically-circular boundaries of singular loci in three-dimensional space in terms of topological links. It turns out that the Borromean link represents higher order wormhole solutions. (shrink)
This work runs counter to the traditional interpretations of Peirce's philosophy by eliciting an inherent strand of pragmatic pluralism that is embedded in the very core of his thought and that weaves his various doctrines into a systematic ...
Any great new theoretical framework has an epistemological and an ontological aspect to its philosophy as well as an axiological one, and one needs to understand all three aspects in order to grasp the deep aspiration and idea of the theoretical framework. Presently, there is a widespread effort to understand C. S. Peirce's (1837–1914) pragmaticistic semeiotics, and to develop it by integrating the results of modern science and evolutionary thinking; first, producing a biosemiotics and, second, by integrating it with the (...) progress in cybernetics, information science, and system theory to create a cybersemiotics. In this paper, we focus on the understanding of the evolution of the universe that Peirce produced as an alternative to the mechanistic view underlying classical physics and try to place man in an evolving universe as a creative, aesthetical agent. It is true that modern non-equilibrium physics has made a modern foundation for a profound physical understanding of the basic evolutionary processes in the universe. But science still has not produced a theory that can explain how the creativity of the universe could produce signification, interpretation, and first-person consciousness. To this end, Peirce's thoughts on agapastic evolution coupled with the aesthetically influence of the growth of ideas and reasonableness on man could make a contribution. (shrink)
A surprising fact in the historiography of the Hispanic philosophy of this century is its almost total opacity towards the American philosophy, in spite of the real affinity between the central questions of American pragmatism and the topics addressed by the most relevant Hispanic thinkers of the century: Unamuno, Ortega y Gasset, d'Ors, Vaz Ferreira. In this paper that situation is studied, paying special attention to Charles S. Peirce, his personal connections with the Hispanic world, the reception of his texts (...) in Spanish, and some of the connections that lie almost hidden under the mutual ignorance which divides the two traditions. -/- . (shrink)
In this paper I examine parallels between C.S. Peirce's most mature account of signs and contemporary philosophy of language. I do this by first introducing a summary of Peirce's final account of Signs. I then use that account of signs to reconstruct Peircian answers to two puzzles of reference: The Problem of Cognitive Significance, or Frege's Puzzle; and The Same-Saying Phenomenon for Indexicals. Finally, a comparison of these Peircian answers with both Fregean and Direct Referentialist approaches to the puzzles highlights (...) interesting parallels and important differences between Peirce's final account of signs, and the concepts used in analytic philosophy of language. (shrink)
Fifty years after the publication of Bell's theorem, there remains some controversy regarding what the theorem is telling us about quantum mechanics, and what the experimental violations of Bell inequalities are telling us about the world. This chapter represents my best attempt to be clear about what I think the lessons are. In brief: there is some sort of nonlocality inherent in any quantum theory, and, moreover, in any theory that reproduces, even approximately, the quantum probabilities for the outcomes of (...) experiments. But not all forms of nonlocality are the same; there is a distinction to be made between action at a distance and other forms of nonlocality, and I will argue that the nonlocality required to violate the Bell inequalities need not involve action at a distance. Furthermore, the distinction between forms of nonlocality makes a difference when it comes to compatibility with relativistic causal structure. (shrink)
Wittgenstein’s interpreters are undivided that the method plays a central role in his philosophy. This would be no surprise if we have in mind the Tractarian dictum: “philosophy is not a body of doctrine but an activity” (4.112). After 1929, Wittgenstein’s method evolved further. In its final form, articulated in Philosophical Investigations, it was formulated as different kinds of therapies of specific philosophical problems that torment our life (§§ 133, 255, 593). In this paper we follow the changes in Wittgenstein’s (...) thinking in four subsequent phases and in three dimensions: (i) in logic and ontology; (ii) in method proper; (iii) in style. (shrink)
The article uses Zeno’s metrical paradox of extension, or Zeno’s fundamental paradox, as a thought-model for the mind-body problem. With the help of this model, the distinction contained between mental and physical phenomena can be formulated as sharply as possible. I formulate Zeno’s fundamental paradox and give a sketch of four different solutions to it. Then I construct a mind-body paradox corresponding to the fundamental paradox. Through that, it becomes possible to copy the solutions to the fundamental paradox on the (...) mind-body paradox. Three of them fail. But one of them – the Aristotelian one – gives us an interesting hint. Finally, this hint is pursued somewhat further and through comparison with Zeno’s fundamental paradox, the impossibility of a solution to the mind-body problem is shown again. The main new point of this article is the comparison of the mind-body problem with Zeno’s fundamental paradox. The article is a revised english version of an article published in: Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Philosophie, 23, 1998, p. 61-75. (shrink)
Some contemporary intepreters of Kant maintain that on Kant's view fulfilling duties of virtue require doing so from the motive of duty. I argue that there are interpretive and doctinal reasons for rejecting this interpretation. However, I argue that for Kant motives can be deontically relevant; one's motives can affect the deontic status of actions.
This paper attempts to shed light on Kant’s notion of autonomy in his moral philosophy by considering Kant’s critique of the rationalist theories of morality that Kant discussed in his lectures on practical philosophy from the 1760s to the time of the Groundwork. The paper first explains Kant’s taxonomy of moral theories. Second, it considers Kant's arguments against the two main variants of ‘rationalism’ as he construes it, that is, perfectionism and theological voluntarism, pointing out the similarities to previous criticisms. (...) Third, the paper argues that Kant’s discussion of the 'rationalist' views does not amount to an unqualified dismissal, but to an attempt at working out a novel rationalist position. Kant’s criticisms of rationalist views suggest that his project emerges from the failures of previous rationalism, with the aim to work out a rationalist view that can account for moral obligation by integrating insights from the theological conception. The combination of perfectionism and theological views yields the basic outline of the idea of autonomy, consisting in the lawgiving function of a rational will as a key to the legislation of a necessary law. (shrink)
Where has the Western attraction to the study and practice of shamanic techniques brought us? Where might it take us? In what ways have our Western biases and philosophical underpinnings influenced and changed how shamanism is practiced, both in the West and in the traditional cultures out of which they emerged? Is it time to stop using the umbrella term “shamanism” to refer to such diverse cross-cultural practices? What are our responsibilities, both as researchers and as spiritual seekers? In this (...) conversation, researcher-authors Stephan Beyer, Stanley Krippner, and Hillary S. Webb discuss their work in field and consider some of the ramifications of the Western world's intellectual and spiritual fascination with shamanic practices. Special attention is paid to the language used to describe these techniques and their practitioners, the developing relationship between researchers and cultural participants, and the ethical implications of merging what are often very distinct worldviews. (shrink)
This paper examines the complexity and fluidity of maternal identity through an examination of narratives about "real motherhood" found in children's literature. Focusing on the multiplicity of mothers in adoption, I question standard views of maternity in which gestational, genetic and social mothering all coincide in a single person. The shortcomings of traditional notions of motherhood are overcome by developing a fluid and inclusive conception of maternal reality as authored by a child's own perceptions.
After qualifying in which sense ‘realism’ can be applied to eighteenth- century views about morality, I argue that while Kant shares with traditional moral realists several fundamental claims about morality, he holds that those claims must be argued for in a radically different way. Drawing on his diagnosis of the serious weaknesses of traditional moral realism, Kant proposes a novel approach that revolves around a hybrid view about moral obligation. Since his solution to that central issue combines elements of realism (...) with elements of voluntarist assent, Kant’s position can be characterized as an idealist version of moral realism or, more specifically, as the combination of a strong realism about the moral law with an idealist account of moral obligation. (shrink)
(Also titled "A Place for Peirce's Categories?"in Meaning without Analyticity.) This book arose from the author’s recent dissertation written under the Gerhard Schönrich at Munich. It focuses on Peirce’s theory of categories and his epistemology. According to Baltzer, what is distinctive in Peirce’s theory of knowledge is that he reconstrues objects as “knots in networks of relations.” The phrase may ring a bell. It suggests a structuralist interpretation of Peirce, influenced by the Munich environs. The study aims to shows how (...) Peirce’s theory of categories supports his theory of knowledge and how “question concerning a priori structures of knowledge” are transformed within this relational framework. A chief critical target is David Savan’s semiotics, specifically the idea that “the multiplicity of development of the categories” is “conditioned by nothing but the indefiniteness of the categories.” But in contrast with this, if there is any indefiniteness in the categories, they cannot fully direct their own application, and this is to say regarding them “that our knowledge is never absolute but always swims, as it were, in a continuum...” If the doctrine of continuity applies to the categories, they also have a continuum to swim in. (shrink)
Research is a global enterprise requiring participation of both genders for generalizable knowledge; advancement of science and evidence based medical treatment. Participation of women in research is necessary to reduce the current bias that most empirical evidence is obtained from studies with men to inform health care and related policy interventions. Various factors are assumed to limit autonomy amongst the Yoruba women of western Nigeria. This paper seeks to explore the experience and understanding of autonomy by the Yoruba women in (...) relation to research participation. Focus is on factors that affect women's autonomous decision making in research participation. An exploratory qualitative approach comprising four focus group discussions, 42 in-depth interviews and 14 key informant interviews was used. The study permits a significant amount of triangulation, as opinions of husbands and religious leaders are also explored. Interviews and discussions were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. Content analysis was employed for data analysis. Findings show that concepts of autonomy varied amongst the Yoruba women. Patriarchy, religion and culture are conceived to have negative impact on the autonomy of women in respect to research participation. Among the important findings are: 1) male dominance is strongly emphasized by religious leaders who should teach equality, 2) while men feel that by making decisions for women, they are protecting them, the women on the other hand see this protection as a way of limiting their autonomy. We recommend further studies to develop culturally appropriate and workable recruitment methods to increase women's participation in research. (shrink)
Nugayev’s book is one of the first Soviet monographs treating the theory change problem. The gist of epistemological model consists in consequent account of intertheoretical relations. His book is based on the works of Soviet authors, as well as on Western studies (K.R. Popper, T.S. Kuhn, I. Lakatos, P. Feyerabend et al.) Key words: epistemological model, Soviet philosophy, Western studies .
The problem of the irreversibility’s origin in thermodynamic processes occupies a distinguished place among many and lasting attempts by researchers to derive irreversibility from molecular-mechanical principles. However, this problem is still open and no universally accepted solution may be given during any course. In this paper, I shall try to show that the examining of Maxwell’s demon thought experiment may provide insight into the difficulties that emerge, looking for this origin because: (i) it is connected with the notion of irreversibility, (...) and (ii) one of its functions is that of the “reversibility objection.” In order to illustrate this point, I study Boltzmann’s approach to the problem of a molecular-mechanical interpretation of irreversibility and I show that an auxiliary assumption (the selected direction of time) is responsible for producing irreversibility. But this result is accordant with the predictions of Maxwell’s demon thought experiment: the assumptions of this kind are not dictated by molecular-mechanical principles but are separate input in the model-systems used. (shrink)
Intensive professional testing of children with disabilities is becoming increasingly prominent within the field of children’s rehabilitation. In this paper we question the high quality ascribed to standardized assessment procedures. We explore testing practices using a hermeneutic-phenomenological approach analyzing data from interviews and participant observations among 20 children with disabilities and their parents. All the participating children have extensive experience from being tested. This study reveals that the practices of testing have certain limitations when confronted with the lived experience of (...) those who are being tested. Testing seems to transmit the experts’ view of what is important, correct and admirable, and the way in which an individual child fulfills such requirements and fits in with the predetermined standard. Regular testing may result in insecurity on the part of the tested individual, and possibly to a lack of confidence in their body and the way it functions. For the individual being tested the meaning of testing is primarily related to passing or not passing the test requirements. Given the meaning of testing, children with disabilities may experience repeated testing as an ordeal that they are expected to put up with. By illuminating the experiences of the ones exposed to testing, this paper offers new insight for professionals to gauge more accurately the quality of contemporary testing practice. (shrink)
In this chapter I suggest how Casey’s work opens some radical implications for phenomenology. Casey does this by showing that place is what first of all grants room for the appearance of things—but only in virtue of a non givenness. That is, place undergirds determinate things only in being something “less” than fully delimited or determinate, something less than space would be as an already given dimension. Place thus echoes Bergson’s durée as openly generative becoming, in contrast to time as (...) already fixed dimension. In showing us how determinate phenomena are conditioned by place as less than given, and in complementary work on “periphenomena” (see, e.g., WG 438-448), such as glances and edges, Casey reveals what I call a subliminal dimension of phenomena: a way in which periphenomena and thence phenomena appear as delimited only by edging out into what is less than delimitable. This subliminal dimension is phenomenologically paradoxical. It cannot appear as such, precisely because it is less than delimitable, vagrant with respect to classical conditions of appearance. Yet this vagrant “less than” precisely appears as subliminal within and to delimited appearances, versus being something ideal or behind appearances. (shrink)
This study asserts that W.V.O. Quine’s eliminative philosophical gaze into mereological composition affects inevitably his interpretations of composition theories of ontology. To investigate Quine’s property monism from the account of modal eliminativism, I applied to his solution for the paradoxes of de re modalities’ . Because of its vital role to figure out how dispositions are encountered by Quine, it was significantly noted that the realm of de re modalities doesn’t include contingent and impossible inferences about things. Therefore, for him, (...) all the intrinsic forces and elements of entities such as powers and causal or teleological dispositions for ontology demand to be seen necessarily as bound variables from a monist perspective. Although his denial of analyticity and the elimination of dispositional field of ontology, S. Mumford criticizes the monist perspective of Quine’s paradoxical approach to superveniences. Because superveniences create problems while determining type-type identities from a monist mereological perspective. It is observed that Quine faces with a reduction again in terms of his dispositional monism despite his critiques to repulse vagueness from the ontology in his well-known article Two Dogmas of Empiricism. -/- . (shrink)
This is a proposal for rethinking the main lines of Plato’s philosophy, including some of the conceptual tools he uses for building and maintaining it. Drawing on a new interpretive paradigm for Plato’s overall vision, the central focus is on the so-called Forms. Regarding the guiding paradigm, we propose replacing the dualism of a world of Forms separated from a world of particulars, with the monistic model of a hierarchically structured universe comprising interdependent levels of reality. Regarding the tools of (...) the trade, we distinguish between three constructs that have come, one and all, and largely indiscriminately, to be regarded as Forms: Ideal Forms, Conceptual Forms, and Relational Forms. This recalibration of what we know of Plato’s outlook, tools, and methods, together with a realignment of these with his general aims, will also help restore the philosopher’s emphasis on that which is good, a perspective often blurred in the structure of two worlds. (shrink)
Many think that Pascal’s Wager is a hopeless failure. A primary reason for this is because a number of challenging objections have been raised to the wager, including the “many gods” objection and the “mixed strategy” objection. We argue that both objections are formal, but not substantive, problems for the wager, and that they both fail for the same reason. We then respond to additional objections to the wager. We show how a version of Pascalian reasoning succeeds, giving us a (...) reason to pay special attention to the infinite consequences of our actions. (shrink)
In response to recent work on the aggregation of individual judgments on logically connected propositions into collective judgments, it is often asked whether judgment aggregation is a special case of Arrowian preference aggregation. We argue for the converse claim. After proving two impossibility theorems on judgment aggregation (using "systematicity" and "independence" conditions, respectively), we construct an embedding of preference aggregation into judgment aggregation and prove Arrow’s theorem (stated for strict preferences) as a corollary of our second result. Although we thereby (...) provide a new proof of Arrow’s theorem, our main aim is to identify the analogue of Arrow’s theorem in judgment aggregation, to clarify the relation between judgment and preference aggregation, and to illustrate the generality of the judgment aggregation model. JEL Classi…cation: D70, D71.. (shrink)
Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions has been enduringly influential in philosophy of science, challenging many common presuppositions about the nature of science and the growth of scientific knowledge. However, philosophers have misunderstood Kuhn's view, treating him as a relativist or social constructionist. In this book, Brad Wray argues that Kuhn provides a useful framework for developing an epistemology of science that takes account of the constructive role that social factors play in scientific inquiry. He examines the core concepts of Structure (...) and explains the main characteristics of both Kuhn's evolutionary epistemology and his social epistemology, relating Structure to Kuhn's developed view presented in his later writings. The discussion includes analyses of the Copernican revolution in astronomy and the plate tectonics revolution in geology. The book will be useful for scholars working in science studies, sociologists and historians of science as well as philosophers of science. (shrink)
There is a difference between the conditions in which one can felicitously assert a ‘must’-claim versus those in which one can use the corresponding non-modal claim. But it is difficult to pin down just what this difference amounts to. And it is even harder to account for this difference, since assertions of 'Must ϕ' and assertions of ϕ alone seem to have the same basic goal: namely, coming to agreement that [[ϕ]] is true. In this paper I take on this (...) puzzle, known as Karttunen’s Problem. I begin by arguing that a ‘must’-claim is felicitous only if there is a shared argument for its prejacent. I then argue that this generalization, which I call Support, can explain the more familiar generalization that ‘must’-claims are felicitous only if the speaker’s evidence for them is in some sense indirect. Finally, I sketch a pragmatic derivation of Support. (shrink)
In a quantum universe with a strong arrow of time, it is standard to postulate that the initial wave function started in a particular macrostate---the special low-entropy macrostate selected by the Past Hypothesis. Moreover, there is an additional postulate about statistical mechanical probabilities according to which the initial wave function is a ''typical'' choice in the macrostate. Together, they support a probabilistic version of the Second Law of Thermodynamics: typical initial wave functions will increase in entropy. Hence, there are two (...) sources of randomness in such a universe: the quantum-mechanical probabilities of the Born rule and the statistical mechanical probabilities of the Statistical Postulate. I propose a new way to understand time's arrow in a quantum universe. It is based on what I call the Thermodynamic Theories of Quantum Mechanics. According to this perspective, there is a natural choice for the initial quantum state of the universe, which is given by not a wave function but by a density matrix. The density matrix plays a microscopic role: it appears in the fundamental dynamical equations of those theories. The density matrix also plays a macroscopic / thermodynamic role: it is exactly the projection operator onto the Past Hypothesis subspace. Thus, given an initial subspace, we obtain a unique choice of the initial density matrix. I call this property "the conditional uniqueness" of the initial quantum state. The conditional uniqueness provides a new and general strategy to eliminate statistical mechanical probabilities in the fundamental physical theories, by which we can reduce the two sources of randomness to only the quantum mechanical one. I also explore the idea of an absolutely unique initial quantum state, in a way that might realize Penrose's idea of a strongly deterministic universe. (shrink)
In ‘Putnam’s Paradox’, Lewis defended global descriptivism and reference magnetism. According to Schwarz , Lewis didn’t mean what he said there, and really held neither position. We present evidence from Lewis’s correspondence and publications which shows conclusively that Lewis endorsed both.
In this paper I defend the traditional interpretations of Kant’s Formula of a Law of Nature from recent attacks leveled by Faviola Rivera-Castro, James Furner, Ido Geiger, Pauline Kleingeld and Sven Nyholm. After a short introduction, the paper is divided into four main sections. In the first, I set out the basics of the three traditional interpretations, the Logical Contradiction Interpretation, the Practical Contradiction Interpretation and the Teleological Contradiction Interpretation. In the second, I examine the work of Geiger, Kleingeld and (...) Nyholm: these three commentators reject the traditional interpretations entirely, but I argue that this rejection is ill-founded. In the third and fourth, I take a detailed look at Furner’s work, work in which he seeks to revise (rather than reject) the traditional interpretations. I argue that, despite his more modest aims, Furner’s revision is also ill-founded. (shrink)
Hume's Dictum (HD) says, roughly and typically, that there are no metaphysically necessary connections between distinct, intrinsically typed, entities. HD plays an influential role in metaphysical debate, both in constructing theories and in assessing them. One should ask of such an influential thesis: why believe it? Proponents do not accept Hume's arguments for his dictum, nor do they provide their own; however, some have suggested either that HD is analytic or that it is synthetic a priori (that is: motivated by (...) intuitions we have no good reason to question). Here I explore whether belief in HD is directly justified on either grounds. I motivate and present more formal characterizations of HD; I show that there are good prima facie cases to be made for HD's being analytic and for its being synthetic a priori; I argue that each of the prima facie cases fails, some things considered. I close by offering two suggestions for how belief in HD might be indirectly justified on argumentative grounds. (shrink)
Frege's logicist program requires that arithmetic be reduced to logic. Such a program has recently been revamped by the "neologicist" approach of Hale and Wright. Less attention has been given to Frege's extensionalist program, according to which arithmetic is to be reconstructed in terms of a theory of extensions of concepts. This paper deals just with such a theory. We present a system of second-order logic augmented with a predicate representing the fact that an object x is the extension of (...) a concept C, together with extra-logical axioms governing such a predicate, and show that arithmetic can be obtained in such a framework. As a philosophical payoff, we investigate the status of the so-called Hume's Principle and its connections to the root of the contradiction in Frege's system. (shrink)
In an incendiary 2010 Nature article, M. A. Nowak, C. E. Tarnita, and E. O. Wilson present a savage critique of the best-known and most widely used framework for the study of social evolution, W. D. Hamilton’s theory of kin selection. More than a hundred biologists have since rallied to the theory’s defence, but Nowak et al. maintain that their arguments ‘stand unrefuted’. Here I consider the most contentious claim Nowak et al. defend: that Hamilton’s rule, the core explanatory principle (...) of kin selection theory, ‘almost never holds’. I first distinguish two versions of Hamilton’s rule in contemporary theory: a special version (HRS) that requires restrictive assumptions, and a general version (HRG) that does not. I then show that Nowak et al. are most charitably construed as arguing that HRS almost never holds, while HRG buys its generality at the expense of explanatory power. While their arguments against HRS are fairly uncontroversial, their arguments against HRG are more contentious, yet these have been largely overlooked in the ensuing furore. I consider the arguments for and against the explanatory value of HRG, with a view to assessing what exactly is at stake in the debate. I suggest that the debate hinges on issues concerning the causal interpretability of regression coefficients, and concerning the explanatory function Hamilton’s rule is intended to serve. (shrink)
Dirac’s relativistic theory of electron generally results in two possible solutions, one with positive energy and other with negative energy. Although positive energy solutions accurately represented particles such as electrons, interpretation of negative energy solution became very much controversial in the last century. By assuming the vacuum to be completely filled with a sea of negative energy electrons, Dirac tried to avoid natural transition of electron from positive to negative energy state using Pauli’s exclusion principle. However, many scientists like Bohr (...) objected to the idea of sea of electrons as it indicates infinite density of charge and electric field and consequently infinite energy. In addition, till date, there is no experimental evidence of a particle whose total energy (kinetic plus rest) is negative. In an alternative approach, Feynman, in quantum field theory, proposed that particles with negative energy are actually positive energy particles running backwards in time. This was mathematically consistent since quantum mechanical energy operator contains time in denominator and the negative sign of energy can be absorbed in it. However, concept of negative time is logically inconsistent since in this case, effect happens before the cause. To avoid above contradictions, in this paper, we try to reformulate the Dirac’s theory of electron so that neither energy needs to be negative nor the time is required to be negative. Still, in this new formulation, two different possible solutions exist for particles and antiparticles (electrons and positrons). (shrink)
The development of synthetic biology calls for accurate understanding of the critical functions that allow construction and operation of a living cell. Besides coding for ubiquitous structures, minimal genomes encode a wealth of functions that dissipate energy in an unanticipated way. Analysis of these functions shows that they are meant to manage information under conditions when discrimination of substrates in a noisy background is preferred over a simple recognition process. We show here that many of these functions, including transporters and (...) the ribosome construction machinery, behave as would behave a material implementation of the informationmanaging agent theorized by Maxwell almost 150 years ago and commonly known as Maxwell’s demon (MxD). A core gene set encoding these functions belongs to the minimal genome required to allow the construction of an autonomous cell. These MxDs allow the cell to perform computations in an energy-efficient way that is vastly better than our contemporary computers. (shrink)
This chapter explores how our understanding of Molyneux’s question, and of the possibility of an experimental resolution to it, should be affected by recognizing the complexity that is involved in reidentifying shapes and other spatial properties across differing sensory manifestations of them. I will argue that while philosophers today usually treat the question as concerning ‘the relations between perceptions of shape in different sensory modalities’ (Campbell 1995, 301), in fact this is only part of the question’s real interest, and that (...) the answer to the question also turns on how shape is perceived within each of sight and touch individually. (shrink)
In this paper I present a precise version of Stalnaker's thesis and show that it is both consistent and predicts our intuitive judgments about the probabilities of conditionals. The thesis states that someone whose total evidence is E should have the same credence in the proposition expressed by 'if A then B' in a context where E is salient as they have conditional credence in the proposition B expresses given the proposition A expresses in that context. The thesis is formalised (...) rigorously and two models are provided that demonstrate that the new thesis is indeed tenable within a standard possible world semantics based on selection functions. Unlike the Stalnaker-Lewis semantics the selection functions cannot be understood in terms of similarity. A probabilistic account of selection is defended in its place. -/- I end the paper by suggesting that this approach overcomes some of the objections often leveled at accounts of indicatives based on the notion of similarity. (shrink)
We investigate the extent to which perceptions of the authenticity of supervisor’s personal integrity and character (ASPIRE) moderate the relationship between people’s love of money (LOM) and propensity to engage in unethical behavior (PUB) among 266 part-time employees who were also business students in a five-wave panel study. We found that a high level of ASPIRE perceptions was related to high love-of-money orientation, high self-esteem, but low unethical behavior intention (PUB). Unethical behavior intention (PUB) was significantly correlated with their high (...) Machiavellianism, low self-esteem, and low intrinsic religiosity. Our counterintuitive results revealed that the main effect of LOM on PUB was not significant, but the main effect of ASPIRE on PUB was significant. Further, the significant interaction effect between LOM and ASPIRE on unethical behavior intention provided profoundly interesting findings: High LOM was related to high unethical behavior intention for people with low ASPIRE, but was related to low unethical intention for those with high ASPIRE. People with high LOM and low ASPIRE had the highest unethical behavior intention; whereas those with high LOM and high ASPIRE had the lowest. We discuss results in light of individual differences, ethical environment, and perceived demand characteristics. (shrink)
Appealing to reason rather than religious belief, this book is the most comprehensive case against the choice of abortion yet published. _The Ethics of Abortion_ critically evaluates all the major grounds for denying fetal personhood, including the views of those who defend not only abortion but also infanticide. It also provides several justifications for the conclusion that all human beings, including those in utero, should be respected as persons. This book also critiques the view that abortion is not wrong even (...) if the human fetus is a person. _The Ethics of Abortion_ examines hard cases for those who are prolife, such as abortion in cases of rape or in order to save the mother’s life, as well as hard cases for defenders of abortion, such as sex selection abortion and the rationale for being “personally opposed” but publically supportive of abortion. It concludes with a discussion of whether artificial wombs might end the abortion debate. Answering the arguments of defenders of abortion, this book provides reasoned justification for the view that all intentional abortions are morally wrong and that doctors and nurses who object to abortion should not be forced to act against their consciences. (shrink)
Organizations that believe they should "give something back" to the society have embraced the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Although the theoretical underpinnings of CSR have been frequently debated, empirical studies often involve only limited aspects, implying that theory may not be congruent with actual practices and may impede understanding and further development of CSR. The authors investigate actual CSR practices related to five different stakeholder groups, develop an instrument to measure those CSR practices, and apply it to a (...) survey of 401 U.S. organizations. Four different clusters of organizations emerge, depending on the CSR practice focus. The distinctive features of each cluster relate to organizational demographics, perceived influence of stakeholders, managers' perceptions of the influence of CSR on performance, and organizational performance. (shrink)