The central problem of social theory is 'structure and agency'. How do the objective features of society influence human agents? Determinism is not the answer, nor is conditioning as currently conceptualised. It accentuates the way structure and culture shape the social context in which individuals operate, but it neglects our personal capacity to define what we care about most and to establish a modus vivendi expressive of our concerns. Through inner dialogue, 'the internal conversation', individuals reflect upon their (...) social situation in the light of current concerns and projects. On the basis of a series of unique, in-depth interviews, Archer identifies three distinctive forms of internal conversation. These govern agents' responses to social conditioning, their individual patterns of social mobility and whether or not they contribute to social stability or change. Thus the internal conversation is seen as being the missing link between society and the individual, structure and agency. (shrink)
Dans cet ouvrage publié en 1942, complété en 1945 par la Phénoménologie de la perception, « s’affirme pour la première fois une philosophie existentielle où le mode d’être ultime du pour-soi ne s’avère pas être, en dépit des intentions et des descriptions contraires, celui d’une conscience-témoin » (A. de Waelhens, préface). La structure du comportement se place au niveau de l’expérience non pas naturelle mais scientifique et s’efforce de prouver que cette expérience, c’est-à-dire l’ensemble des faits qui constituent le (...) comportement, n’est pas compréhensible dans les perspectives ontologiques que la science adopte spontanément. (shrink)
What is attention? How does attention shape consciousness? In an approach that engages with foundational topics in the philosophy of mind, the theory of action, psychology, and the neurosciences this book provides a unified and comprehensive answer to both questions. Sebastian Watzl shows that attention is a central structural feature of the mind. The first half of the book provides an account of the nature of attention. Attention is prioritizing, it consists in regulating priority structures. Attention is not another element (...) of the mind, but constituted by structures that organize, integrate, and coordinate the parts of our mind. Attention thus integrates the perceptual and intellectual, the cognitive and motivational, and the epistemic and practical. The second half of the book concerns the relationship between attention and consciousness. Watzl argues that attentional structure shapes consciousness into what is central and what is peripheral. The center-periphery structure of consciousness cannot be reduced to the structure of how the world appears to the subject. What it is like for us thus goes beyond the way the world appears to us. On this basis, a new view of consciousness is offered. In each conscious experience we actively take a stance on the world we appear to encounter. It is in this sense that our conscious experience is our subjective perspective. (shrink)
Steven French articulates and defends the bold claim that there are no objects in the world. He draws on metaphysics and philosophy of science to argue for structural realism--the position that we live in a world of structures--and defends a form of eliminativism about objects that sets laws and symmetry principles at the heart of ontology.
This paper develops a logical theory that unifies all three standard types of argumentative attack in AI, namely rebutting, undercutting and undermining attacks. We build on default justification logic that already represents undercutting and rebutting attacks, and we add undermining attacks. Intuitively, undermining does not target default inference, as undercutting, or default conclusion, as rebutting, but rather attacks an argument’s premise as a starting point for default reasoning. In default justification logic, reasoning starts from a set of premises, which is (...) then extended by conclusions that hold by default. We argue that modeling undermining defeaters in the view of default theories requires changing the set of premises upon receiving new information. To model changes to premises, we give a dynamic aspect to default justification logic by using the techniques from the logic of belief revision. More specifically, undermining is modeled with belief revision operations that include contracting a set of premises, that is, removing some information from it. The novel combination of default reasoning and belief revision in justification logic enriches both approaches to reasoning under uncertainty. By the end of the paper, we show some important aspects of defeasible argumentation in which our logic compares favorably to structured argumentation frameworks. (shrink)
Structural realism is considered by many realists and antirealists alike as the most defensible form of scientific realism. There are now many forms of structural realism and an extensive literature about them. There are interesting connections with debates in metaphysics, philosophy of physics and philosophy of mathematics. This entry is intended to be a comprehensive survey of the field.
This 1994 book develops a way of representing the meanings of linguistic expressions which is independent of any particular language, allowing the expressions to be manipulated in accordance with rules related to their meanings which could be implemented on a computer. It begins with a survey of the contributions of linguistics, logic and computer science to the problem of representation, linking each with a particular type of formal grammar. A system of graphs is then presented, organized by scope relations in (...) which linguistic constituents are sub-graphs whose configuration is determined by their categories. In developing this system, the author extends the notion of scope and argues that anaphoric and relative pronouns are structural signs not linguistic constituents. Certain count nouns are made the basis of this system and an account of proper names relating the count nouns, is given. (shrink)
The Structures of the Life-World is the final focus of twenty-seven years of Alfred Schutz's labor, encompassing the fruits of his work between 1932 and his death in 1959. This book represents Schutz's seminal attempt to achieve a comprehensive grasp of the nature of social reality. Here he integrates his theory of relevance with his analysis of social structures. Thomas Luckmann, a former student of Schutz's, completed the manuscript for publication after Schutz's untimely death.
There is good reason to believe that scientific realism requires a commitment to the objective modal structure of the physical world. Causality, equilibrium, laws of nature, and probability all feature prominently in scientific theory and explanation, and each one is a modal notion. If we are committed to the content of our best scientific theories, we must accept the modal nature of the physical world. But what does the scientific realist’s commitment to physical modality require? We consider whether scientific (...) realism is compatible with Humeanism about the laws of nature, and we conclude that it is not. We specifically identify three major problems for the best-systems account of lawhood: its central concept of strength cannot be formulated non-circularly, it cannot offer a satisfactory account of the laws of the special sciences, and it can offer no explanation of the success of inductive inference. In addition, Humeanism fails to be naturalistically motivated. For these reasons, we conclude that the scientific realist must embrace natural necessity. (shrink)
Structural proof theory is a branch of logic that studies the general structure and properties of logical and mathematical proofs. This book is both a concise introduction to the central results and methods of structural proof theory, and a work of research that will be of interest to specialists. The book is designed to be used by students of philosophy, mathematics and computer science. The book contains a wealth of results on proof-theoretical systems, including extensions of such systems from (...) logic to mathematics, and on the connection between the two main forms of structural proof theory - natural deduction and sequent calculus. The authors emphasize the computational content of logical results. A special feature of the volume is a computerized system for developing proofs interactively, downloadable from the web and regularly updated. (shrink)
William Jaworski shows how hylomorphism can be used to solve mind-body problems--the question of how thought, feeling, perception, and other mental phenomena fit into the physical world. Hylomorphism claims that structure is a basic ontological and explanatory principle, and is responsible for individuals being the kinds of things they are, and having the powers or capacities they have. From a hylomorphic perspective, mind-body problems are byproducts of a worldview that rejects structure, and which lacks a basic principle which (...) distinguishes the parts of the physical universe that can think, feel, and perceive from those that can't. Without such a principle, the existence of those powers in the physical world can start to look inexplicable and mysterious. But if mental phenomena are structural phenomena then they are uncontroversially part of the physical world. Hylomorphism thus provides an elegant way of solving mind-body problems. (shrink)
In 1988, J. Ivlev proposed some (non-normal) modal systems which are semantically characterized by four-valued non-deterministic matrices in the sense of A. Avron and I. Lev. Swap structures are multialgebras (a.k.a. hyperalgebras) of a special kind, which were introduced in 2016 by W. Carnielli and M. Coniglio in order to give a non-deterministic semantical account for several paraconsistent logics known as logics of formal inconsistency, which are not algebraizable by means of the standard techniques. Each swap structure induces naturally (...) a non-deterministic matrix. The aim of this paper is to obtain a swap structures semantics for some Ivlev-like modal systems proposed in 2015 by M. Coniglio, L. Fariñas del Cerro and N. Peron. Completeness results will be stated by means of the notion of Lindenbaum–Tarski swap structures, which constitute a natural generalization to multialgebras of the concept of Lindenbaum–Tarski algebras. (shrink)
The objects we encounter in ordinary life and scientific practice - cars, trees, people, houses, molecules, galaxies, and the like - have long been a fruitful source of perplexity for metaphysicians. The Structure of Objects gives an original analysis of those material objects to which we take ourselves to be committed in our ordinary, scientifically informed discourse. Koslicki focuses on material objects in particular, or, as metaphysicians like to call them "concrete particulars", i.e., objects which occupy a single region (...) of space-time at each time at which they exist and which have a certain range of properties that go along with space-occupancy, such as weight, shape, color, texture, and temperature. The Structure of Objects focuses in particular on the question of how the parts of such objects, assuming that they have parts, are related to the wholes which they compose. (shrink)
The aim of the study was to identify the organizational structure and its relation to the prevailing pattern of communication in the Palestinian universities. The researchers used the analytical descriptive method through a questionnaire randomly distributed among Palestinian university workers in the Gaza Strip. The study was conducted on a sample of (274) administrative staff from the three universities, and the response rate was (81.87%). The study found that there is a high satisfaction with the nature of the organizational (...)structure in the Palestinian universities from the point of view of the administrative staff, which reached 68.05%. And that there is a high level of communication pattern prevailing from the point of view of administrative staff, where the percentage (71.32%), there is a direct correlation between the nature of the organizational structure and the prevailing pattern of communication, the absence of differences between the sample according to the gender variable in their perception of the nature of the organizational structure and the prevailing pattern of communication, the absence of differences in the perception of employees of the nature of the organizational structure and the pattern of communication prevailing according to the variable age. There are differences of statistical significance in the perception of the nature of the organizational structure and the pattern of communication depending on the variable of scientific qualification in the organizational structure, and the pattern of communication. Differences were in favor of diploma holders compared to other practical qualifications. There is an absence of differences in the perception of employees of the nature of the organizational structure and the pattern of communication depending on the variable years of service. There is absence of differences in the perception of employees of the nature of the organizational structure and the pattern of communication depending on the variable level of career (Director, Head of Department, and Administrative Officer). There is absence of differences in the perception of employees of the nature of the organizational structure and the pattern of communication depending on the variable of the workplace. And the existence of differences in the perception of the employees of the nature of the organizational structure and pattern of communication depending on the university in which they work. And that there are statistically significant differences between the Islamic University and Al-Azhar University, the nature of the organizational structure and the pattern of communication in favor of the Islamic University. And that there are statistically significant differences between Al-Azhar University and Al-Aqsa University in the prevailing pattern of communication in favor of Al-Azhar University. The study reached a number of recommendations, the most important of which is that the departments of the Palestinian universities in the Gaza Strip in general, Al-Aqsa University and Al-Azhar Universities should be given greater attention to the prevailing organizational structure and the staff, the need to improve the pattern of communication prevalent in universities. Solving workers' problems and giving them the opportunity to contribute to solving their own problems. Strengthening the democratic leadership style and empowering university staff. (shrink)
Linguistic structures have recently started to attract attention from economists as determinants of economic phenomena. This paper provides the first comprehensive review of this nascent literature and its achievements so far. First, we explore the complex connections between language, culture, thought and behaviour. Then, we summarize the empirical evidence on the relationship between linguistic structures and economic and social outcomes. We follow up with a discussion of data, empirical design and identification. The paper concludes by discussing implications for future research (...) and policy. (shrink)
Structural Injustice advances a theory of what structural injustice is and how it works. Powers and Faden present both a philosophically powerful, integrated theory about human rights violations and structural unfairness, alongside practical insights into how to improve them.
Structures for Semantics offers an advanced course in logical and mathematical techniques and structures that are used in semantics, in relation to their semantic applications. The book helps students with a background in semantics to develop their skills of formalization and it makes research in semantics accessible. Workers in other disciplines will use it to discover more about the role of formal modelling in current semantic research, and about semantics itself. Following a chapter on logic and set theory there are (...) three parts of chapters: two pairs of chapters on partial order and equivalence relations in relation to semantic analyses of tense, partial information and vagueness; two chapters on methods for creating ordered structures in relation to intervals, events, and the semantics of change; two chapters on lattices and Boolean algebras in relation to types for noun phrases and verbs, and the semantics of plurals and mass nouns. For upper-level undergraduate students and graduate students in semantics: theoretical linguists, logicians, philosophers of language, computer scientists interested in natural language semantics. (shrink)
This Element explores what it means for two theories in physics to be equivalent, and what lessons can be drawn about their structure as a result. It does so through a twofold approach. On the one hand, it provides a synoptic overview of the logical tools that have been employed in recent philosophy of physics to explore these topics: definition, translation, Ramsey sentences, and category theory. On the other, it provides a detailed case study of how these ideas may (...) be applied to understand the dynamical and spatiotemporal structure of Newtonian mechanics - in particular, in light of the symmetries of Newtonian theory. In so doing, it brings together a great deal of exciting recent work in the literature, and is sure to be a valuable companion for all those interested in these topics. (shrink)
Sally Haslanger has recently argued that philosophical focus on implicit bias is overly individualist, since social inequalities are best explained in terms of social structures rather than the actions and attitudes of individuals. I argue that questions of individual responsibility and implicit bias, properly understood, do constitute an important part of addressing structural injustice, and I propose an alternative conception of social structure according to which implicit biases are themselves best understood as a special type of structure.
We are used to talking about the “structure” posited by a given theory of physics, such as the spacetime structure of relativity. What is “structure”? What does the mathematical structure used to formulate a theory tell us about the physical world according to the theory? What if there are different mathematical formulations of a given theory? Do different formulations posit different structures, or are they merely notational variants? I consider the case of Lagrangian and Hamiltonian classical (...) mechanics. I argue that, contrary to standard wisdom, these are not genuinely equivalent theories: they differ in statespace structure. I suggest that we should be realists about statespace structure. (shrink)
Reflection on the historical injustice suffered by many formerly colonized groups has left us with a peculiar account of their claims to material objects. One important upshot of that account, relevant to present day justice, is that many people seem to think that members of indigenous groups have special claims to the use of particular external objects by virtue of their attachment to them. In the first part of this paper I argue against that attachment-based claim. In the second part (...) I suggest that, to provide a normatively defensible account of why sometimes agents who are attached to certain external objects might also have special claims over them, the most important consideration is whether the agents making such claims suffer from structural injustice in the present. In the third part I try to explain why structural injustice matters, in what way attachment-based claims relate to it and when they count. (shrink)
In this paper we argue that structural explanations are an effective way of explaining well known relativistic phenomena like length contraction and time dilation, and then try to understand how this can be possible by looking at the literature on scientific models. In particular, we ask whether and how a model like that provided by Minkowski spacetime can be said to represent the physical world, in such a way that it can successfully explain physical phenomena structurally. We conclude by claiming (...) that a partial isomorphic approach to scientific representation can supply an answer only if supplemented by a robust injection of pragmatic factors. (shrink)
Structural representations are increasingly popular in philosophy of cognitive science. A key virtue they seemingly boast is that of meeting Ramsey's job description challenge. For this reason, structural representations appear tailored to play a clear representational role within cognitive architectures. Here, however, I claim that structural representations do not meet the job description challenge. This is because even our most demanding account of their functional profile is satisfied by at least some receptors, which paradigmatically fail the job description challenge. Hence, (...) the functional profile typically associated with structural representations does not identify representational posits. After a brief introduction, I present, in the second section of the paper, the job description challenge. I clarify why receptors fail to meet it and highlight why, as a result, they should not be considered representations. In the third section I introduce what I take to be the most demanding account of structural representations at our disposal, namely Gładziejewski's account. Provided the necessary background, I turn from exposition to criticism. In the first half of the fourth section, I equate the functional profile of structural representations and receptors. To do so, I show that some receptors boast, as a matter of fact, all the functional features associated with structural representations. Since receptors function merely as causal mediators, I conclude structural representations are mere causal mediators too. In the second half of the fourth section I make this conclusion intuitive with a toy example. I then conclude the paper, anticipating some objections my argument invites. (shrink)
The paper spells out five different accounts of the relationship between objects and relations three of which are versions of ontic structural realism. We argue that the distinction between objects and properties, including relations, is merely a conceptual one by contrast to an ontological one: properties, including relations, are modes, that is the concrete, particular ways in which objects exist. We then set out moderate OSR as the view according to which irreducible relations are central ways in which the fundamental (...) physical objects exist. Physical structures thus consist in objects for whom it is essential that they are related in certain ways. There hence are objects, but they do not possess an intrinsic identity. This view can also admit intrinsic properties as ways in which objects exist provided that these do not amount to identity conditions for the objects. Finally, we indicate how this view can take objective modality into account. (shrink)
This major work retraces the emergence and development of the Bourgeois public sphere - that is, a sphere which was distinct from the state and in which citizens could discuss issues of general interest. In analysing the historical transformations of this sphere, Habermas recovers a concept which is of crucial significance for current debates in social and political theory. Habermas focuses on the liberal notion of the bourgeois public sphere as it emerged in Europe in the early modern period. He (...) examines both the writings of political theorists, including Marx, Mill and de Tocqueville, and the specific institutions and social forms in which the public sphere was realized. This brilliant and influential work has been widely recognized for many years as a classic of contemporary social and political thought, of interest to students and scholars throughout the social sciences and humanities. (shrink)
Jill North offers answers to questions at the heart of the project of interpreting physics. How do we figure out the nature of the world from a mathematically formulated theory? What do we infer about the world when a physical theory can be mathematically formulated in different ways? The notion of structure is crucial to North's answers.
An approach to argument macrostructure -- The dialectical nature of argument -- Toulmin's problematic notion of warrant -- The linked-convergent distinction, a first approximation -- Argument structure and disciplinary perspective : the linked-convergent versus multiple-co-ordinatively compound distinctions -- The linked-convergent distinction, refining the criterion -- Argument structure and enthymemes -- From analysis to evaluation.
Causal set theory and the theory of linear structures (which has recently been developed by Tim Maudlin as an alternative to standard topology) share some of their main motivations. In view of that, I raise and answer the question how these two theories are related to each other and to standard topology. I show that causal set theory can be embedded into Maudlin’s more general framework and I characterise what Maudlin’s topological concepts boil down to when applied to discrete linear (...) structures that correspond to causal sets. Moreover, I show that all topological aspects of causal sets that can be described in Maudlin’s theory can also be described in the framework of standard topology. Finally, I discuss why these results are relevant for evaluating Maudlin’s theory. The value of this theory depends crucially on whether it is true that (a) its conceptual framework is as expressive as that of standard topology when it comes to describing well-known continuous as well as discrete models of spacetime and (b) it is even more expressive or fruitful when it comes to analysing topological aspects of discrete structures that are intended as models of spacetime. On the one hand, my theorems support (a): the theory is rich enough to incorporate causal set theory and its definitions of topological notions yield a plausible outcome in the case of causal sets. On the other hand, the results undermine (b): standard topology, too, has the conceptual resources to capture those topological aspects of causal sets that are analysable within Maudlin’s framework. This fact poses a challenge for the proponents of Maudlin’s theory to prove it fruitful. (shrink)
Structural realists of nearly all stripes endorse the structural continuity claim. Roughly speaking, this is the claim that the structure of successful scientific theories survives theory change because it has latched on to the structure of the world. In this paper I elaborate, elucidate and modify the structural continuity claim and its associated argument. I do so without presupposing a particular conception of structure that favours this or that kind of structural realism. Instead I focus on how (...) structural realists can best account for the neutrally formulated historical facts. The result, I hope, crystallises some of the shared commitments, desiderata and limits of structural realists. (shrink)
The no-miracles argument for realism and the pessimistic meta-induction for anti-realism pull in opposite directions. Structural Realism---the position that the mathematical structure of mature science reflects reality---relieves this tension.
Why do speakers of all languages use different grammatical structures under different communicative circumstances to express the same idea? In this comprehensive study, Professor Lambrecht explores the relationship between the structure of sentences and the linguistic and extra-linguistic contexts in which they are used. His analysis is based on the observation that the structure of a sentence reflects a speaker's assumptions about the hearer's state of knowledge and consciousness at the time of the utterance. This relationship between speaker (...) assumptions and formal sentence structure is governed by rules and conventions of grammar, in a component called 'information structure'. Four independent but interrelated categories are analysed: presupposition and assertion, identifiability and activation, topic, and focus. (shrink)
This book provides a comprehensive guide to the conceptual methodological, and epistemological problems of biology, and treats in depth the major developments in molecular biology and evolutionary theory that have transformed both biology and its philosophy in recent decades. At the same time the work is a sustained argument for a particular philosophy of biology that unifies disparate issues and offers a framework for expectations about the future directions of the life sciences. The argument explores differences between autonomist and anti-autonomist (...) views of biology. The result is a vindication of reductionism, but one that is unexpectedly hollow. For it leaves the exponents of the autonomy of biology from physical science with as much as their view of biology really requires - and rather more than the reductionist might comfortably concede. Professor Rosenberg shows how the problems of the philosophy of biology are interconnected and how their solutions are interdependent, However, this book focuses more on the direct concerns of biologists, rather than the traditional agenda of philosophers' problems about biology. This departure from earlier books on the subject results both in greater understanding and relevance of the philosophy of science to biology as a whole. (shrink)
I argue that the ability to compute phrase structure grammars is indicative of a particular kind of thought. This type of thought that is only available to cognitive systems that have access to the computations that allow the generation and interpretation of the structural descriptions of phrase structure grammars. The study of phrase structure grammars, and formal language theory in general, is thus indispensable to studies of human cognition, for it makes explicit both the unique type of (...) human thought and the underlying mechanisms in virtue of which this thought is made possible. (shrink)
What does it look like when a group of scientists set out to re-envision an entire field of biology in symbolic and formal terms? I analyze the founding and articulation of Numerical Taxonomy between 1950 and 1970, the period when it set out a radical new approach to classification and founded a tradition of mathematics in systematic biology. I argue that introducing mathematics in a comprehensive way also requires re-organizing the daily work of scientists in the field. Numerical taxonomists sought (...) to establish a mathematical method for classification that was universal to every type of organism, and I argue this intrinsically implicated them in a qualitative re-organization of the work of all systematists. I also discuss how Numerical Taxonomy’s re-organization of practice became entrenched across systematic biology even as opposing schools produced their own competing mathematical methods. In this way, the structure of the work process became more fundamental than the methodological theories that motivated it. (shrink)
The agent-structure problem is a much discussed issue in the field of international relations. In his comprehensive analysis of this problem, Colin Wight deconstructs the accounts of structure and agency embedded within differing IR theories and, on the basis of this analysis, explores the implications of ontology - the metaphysical study of existence and reality. Wight argues that there are many gaps in IR theory that can only be understood by focusing on the ontological differences that construct the (...) theoretical landscape. By integrating the treatment of the agent-structure problem in IR theory with that in social theory, Wight makes a positive contribution to the problem as an issue of concern to the wider human sciences. At the most fundamental level politics is concerned with competing visions of how the world is and how it should be, thus politics is ontology. (shrink)
Formal representations of values and norms are employed in several academic disciplines and specialties, such as economics, jurisprudence, decision theory and social choice theory. Sven Ove Hansson closely examines such foundational issues as the values of wholes and the values of their parts, the connections between values and norms, how values can be decision-guiding and the structure of normative codes with formal precision. Models of change in both preferences and norms are offered, as well as a method to base (...) the logic of norms on that of preferences. Hansson has developed a unified formal representation of values and norms that reflects both their static and their dynamic properties. This formalized treatment, carried out in terms of both informal value theory and precise logical detail, will contribute to the clarification of certain issues in the basic philosophical theory of values and norms. (shrink)
Scientific inquiry has led to immense explanatory and technological successes, partly as a result of the pervasiveness of scientific theories. Relativity theory, evolutionary theory, and plate tectonics were, and continue to be, wildly successful families of theories within physics, biology, and geology. Other powerful theory clusters inhabit comparatively recent disciplines such as cognitive science, climate science, molecular biology, microeconomics, and Geographic Information Science (GIS). Effective scientific theories magnify understanding, help supply legitimate explanations, and assist in formulating predictions. Moving from their (...) knowledge-producing representational functions to their interventional roles (Hacking 1983), theories are integral to building technologies used within consumer, industrial, and scientific milieus. -/- This entry explores the structure of scientific theories from the perspective of the Syntactic, Semantic, and Pragmatic Views. Each of these views answers questions such as the following in unique ways. What is the best characterization of the composition and function of scientific theory? How is theory linked with world? Which philosophical tools can and should be employed in describing and reconstructing scientific theory? Is an understanding of practice and application necessary for a comprehension of the core structure of a scientific theory? How are these three views ultimately related? (shrink)
Expressions in a language, whether words, phrases, or sentences, have meanings. So it seems reasonable to suppose that there are meanings that expressions have. Of course, it is fashionable in some philosophical circles to deny this.
This is Jürgen Habermas's most concrete historical-sociological book and one of the key contributions to political thought in the postwar period. It will be a revelation to those who have known Habermas only through his theoretical writing to find his later interests in problems of legitimation and communication foreshadowed in this lucid study of the origins, nature, and evolution of public opinion in democratic societies.
This is a collection of published and unpublished essays by distinguished philosopher Michael E. Bratman of Stanford University. They revolve around his influential theory, know as the "planning theory of intention and agency." Bratman's primary concern is with what he calls "strong" forms of human agency--including forms of human agency that are the target of our talk about self-determination, self-government, and autonomy. These essays are unified and cohesive in theme, and will be of interest to philosophers in ethics and metaphysics.
Recent debates over the nature of causation, casual inference, and the uses of causal models in counterfactual analysis, involving inter alia Nancy Cartwright (Hunting Causes and Using Them), James Woodward (Making Things Happen), and Judea Pearl (Causation), hinge on how causality is represented in models. Economists’ indigenous approach to causal representation goes back to the work of Herbert Simon with the Cowles Commission in the early 1950s. The paper explicates a scheme for the representation of causal structure, inspired by (...) Simon, and shows how this representation sheds light on some important debates in the philosophy of causation. This structural account is compared to Woodward’s manipulability account. It is used to evaluate the recent debates – particularly, with respect to the nature of causal structure, the identity of causes, causal independence, and modularity. Special attention is given to modeling issues that arise in empirical economics. (shrink)
As a graduate student in Linguistics at UMass/Amherst in the 1980s, I was fortunate to be exposed to a number of new developments bearing on the relationship between formal semantics and pragmatics. In the 1970s under the influence of Cresswell, Lewis, Montague, and Partee, enormous progress in semantics was made possible by narrowing the focus of the field mainly to the consideration of the conventional, truth conditional content of an indicative utterance, calculated compositionally as a function of the semantic contributions (...) of its parts and its syntactic structure. Context was typically relegated to the background, in the form of indices of evaluation, though occasionally popping out for more serious consideration, as in the work of Kaplan, Karttunen, and Stalnaker. But eventually the nature of the rigorous formal enterprise itself, confronted with phenomena like Geach’s donkey sentences, presupposition projection, and the context-dependence of tense and aspect, forced the field into a more careful, thorough reconsideration of the relationship between context and content. Hence were born the dynamic theories of interpretation, beginning with Hans Kamp (1981) and Irene Heim (1982), who were both at UMass during my stay there, Heim completing her dissertation and Kamp on the faculty in Philosophy. Such frameworks posit a dynamic interchange between content and context, each dependent on the other, even in the course of interpreting a single utterance. Mats Rooth was also a graduate student at UMass at that time, and wrote his influential dissertation (1985) proposing an alternative semantics for the interpretation of prosodic focus, inter alia shedding light on how focus contributes to the contextual domain restriction of various operators. (shrink)
This paper addresses the phenomenological experience of precarity and vulnerability in racialized gender-based violence from a structural perspective. Informed by Indigenous social theory and anti-colonial approaches to intergenerational trauma that link settler colonial violence to the modalities of stress-inducing social, institutional, and cultural violences in marginalized women’s lives, I argue that philosophical failures to understand trauma as a functional, organizational tool of settler colonial violence amplify the impact of traumatic experience on specific populations. It is trauma by design. I explore (...) this through the history of the concept of trauma and its connection to tragedy. I give a brief overview of prominent theories of trauma and contrast these with the work of Indigenous feminist scholar Dian Million (2013), who highlights functional complicity of settler colonial institutions in shaping accounts of trauma in the west. I begin the piece with an important illustration of the kinds of lives and experiences that call for a politicized understanding of trauma in anti-colonial feminist theory. I end by offering an expansive notion of structural trauma that is a methodological pivot for conducting trauma-based gender-based violence research in a decolonial context, which calls for an end to narratives of trauma that are severed from the settler colonial project of Native land dispossession and genocide. (shrink)
Research on interdisciplinarity has been concentrated on the methodological and educational aspects of this complex phenomenon and less on its theoretical nature. Within a theoretical framework specific to the philosophy of science, I propose a structural scheme of how interdisciplinary processes go, focusing on the concepts of availability of the methods, concept linking, and theoretical modeling. In this model, the challenges interdisciplinarity is claimed to pose to its practitioners are of the same nature as the challenges scientists encounter within the (...) evolution of their own disciplines. (shrink)