Obesity continues to be a global issue. In recent years, researchers have started to question the role of our novel yet ubiquitous use of digital media in the development of obesity. With the recent COVID-19 outbreak affecting almost all aspects of society, many people have moved their social eating activities into the digital space, making the question as relevant as ever. The bombardment of appetizing food images and photography – colloquially referred to as “food porn” – has become a significant (...) aspect of the digital food experience. This review presents an overview of whether and how the viewing, creating, and online sharing of digital food photography can influence consumer eating behavior. Moreover, this review provides an outlook of future research opportunities, both to close the gaps in our scientific understanding of the physiological and psychological interaction between digital food photography and actual eating behavior, and, from a practical viewpoint, to optimize our digital food media habits to support an obesity-preventive lifestyle. We do not want to rest on the idea that food imagery’s current prevalence is a core negative influence per se. Instead, we offer the view that active participation in food photography, in conjunction with a selective use of food-related digital media, might contribute to healthy body weight management and enhanced meal pleasure. (shrink)
How do Dutch people let each other know that they disagree? What do they say when they want to resolve their difference of opinion by way of an argumentative discussion? In what way do they convey that they are convinced by each other’s argumentation? How do they criticize each other’s argumentative moves? Which words and expressions do they use in these endeavors? By answering these questions this short essay provides a brief inventory of the language of argumentation in Dutch.
Ethical conduct in practice has been increasingly recognised as vital to the accountancy profession following the collapse of Andersen. The foundational principles underpinning accountancy ethics receive relatively uniform recognition worldwide so that this paper concentrates on exploring how to introduce these concepts into established courses at undergraduate level. Historically, the teaching of accounting techniques has been isolated from the personal assimilation of accountancys ethical values by students. Alternative approaches are considered, of a dedicated capstone ethical course or through more (...) progressive integration within existing parts of an established curriculum. An opportunistic example of the latter is then described with the rationale, potential benefits, student reactions and practical difficulties assessed. Overall, the paper explains why, alongside technical skills, their personal development requires undergraduates to develop how to apply for themselves given professional values. It contributes suggestions as to methodologies, content and material for short modules within financial reporting, taxation, auditing and social/ environmental accountancy courses while reflecting on the limitations and potential of their use. (shrink)
William James’ Principles of Psychology, in which he made famous the ‘specious present’ doctrine of temporal experience, and Edmund Husserl’s Zur Phänomenologie des inneren Zeitbewusstseins, were giant strides in the philosophical investigation of the temporality of experience. However, an important set of precursors to these works has not been adequately investigated. In this article, we undertake this investigation. Beginning with Reid’s essay ‘Memory’ in Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man, we trace out a line of development of ideas about (...) the temporality of experience that runs through Dugald Stewart, Thomas Brown, William Hamilton, and finally the work of Shadworth Hodgson and Robert Kelly, both of whom were immediate influences on James (though James pseudonymously cites the latter as ‘E.R. Clay’). Furthermore, we argue that Hodgson, especially his Metaphysic of Experience (1898), was a significant influence on Husserl. (shrink)
Language is infused with materiality and should therefore not be considered as an abstract system that is isolated from socio-material reality. Expressions materialise language in social practices, thus providing the necessary basis for languaging activities. For this reason, it makes sense to challenge proponents of orthodox linguistics and others who hold that language can be studied in isolation from its concrete manifestations. By exploring the relation between materiality and linguistic activity, the article extends Malafouris’ Material Engagement Theory while clarifying the (...) phenomenon of ‘linguistic denotation’. In so doing, it critiques orthodox approaches to language which trace denotation to abstract meanings and/or mental representations. The article shows how the denotative aspects of language can be cashed out in non-representational terms and, furthermore, that the interrelation of denotation and materiality is crucial to human material culture in that it allows for material engagements to transcend localised contexts. These engagements become global in Latour’s sense and, in so doing, denotation ceases to demand descriptions in terms of representations. (shrink)
Ethical conduct in practice has been increasingly recognised as vital to the accountancy profession following the collapse of Andersen. The foundational principles underpinning accountancy ethics receive relatively uniform recognition worldwide so that this paper concentrates on exploring how to introduce these concepts into established courses at undergraduate level. Historically, the teaching of accounting techniques has been isolated from the personal assimilation of accountancy's ethical values by students. Alternative approaches are considered, of a dedicated 'capstone' ethical course or through more (...) progressive integration within existing parts of an established curriculum. An opportunistic example of the latter is then described with the rationale, potential benefits, student reactions and practical difficulties assessed. Overall, the paper explains why, alongside technical skills, their personal development requires undergraduates to develop how to apply for themselves given professional values. It contributes suggestions as to methodologies, content and material for short modules within financial reporting, taxation, auditing and social/environmental accountancy courses while reflecting on the limitations and potential of their use. (shrink)
This paper extends Mori’s uncanny valley-hypothesis to include technologies that fail its basic criterion that uncanniness arises when the subject experiences a discrepancy in a machine’s human likeness. In so doing, the paper considers Mori’s hypothesis about the uncanny valley as an instance of what Heidegger calls the ‘challenging revealing’ nature of modern technology. It introduces seeming autonomy and heteronomy as phenomenological categories that ground human being-in-the-world including our experience of things and people. It is suggested that this categorical distinction (...) is more foundational than Heidegger’s existential structures and phenomenological categories. Having introduced this novel phenomenological distinction, the paper considers the limits of Mori’s hypothesis by drawing on an example from science fiction that showcases that uncanniness need not only be caused by machines that resemble human beings. In so doing, it explores how the seeming autonomy-heteronomy distinction clarifies the uncanniness that can arise when humans encounter advanced technology which is irreducible to the anthropocentrism that shapes Mori’s original hypothesis. (shrink)
Scientific Change How do scientific theories, concepts and methods change over time? Answers to this question have historical parts and philosophical parts. There can be descriptive accounts of the recorded differences over time of particular theories, concepts, and methods—what might be called the shape of scientific change. Many stories of scientific change attempt to give […].
In a previous article we have shown that Kuhn's theory of concepts is independently supported by recent research in cognitive psychology. In this paper we propose a cognitive re-reading of Kuhn's cyclical model of scientific revolutions: all of the important features of the model may now be seen as consequences of a more fundamental account of the nature of concepts and their dynamics. We begin by examining incommensurability, the central theme of Kuhn's theory of scientific revolutions, according to two different (...) cognitive models of concept representation. We provide new support for Kuhn 's mature views that incommensurability can be caused by changes in only a few concepts, that even incommensurable conceptual systems can be rationally compared, and that scientific change of the most radical sort—the type labeled revolutionary in earlier studies—does not have to occur holistically and abruptly, but can be achieved by a historically more plausible accumulation of smaller changes. We go on to suggest that the parallel accounts of concepts found in Kuhn and in cognitive science lead to a new understanding of the nature of normal science, of the transition from normal science to crisis, and of scientific revolutions. The same account enables us to understand how scientific communities split to create groups supporting new paradigms, and to resolve various outstanding problems. In particular, we can identify the kind of change needed to create a revolution rather precisely. This new analysis also suggests reasons for the unidirectionality of scientific change. (shrink)
It is a commonly raised argument against the family resemblance account of concepts that, on this account, there is no limit to a concept's extension. An account of family resemblance which attempts to provide a solution to this problem by including both similarity among instances and dissimilarity to non-instances has been developed by the philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn. Similar solutions have been hinted at in the literature on family resemblance concepts, but the solution has never received a detailed investigation. (...) I shall provide a reconstruction of Kuhn's theory and argue that his solution necessitates a developmental perspective with builds on both the transmission of taxonomies between generations and a progressive development through history. (shrink)
Postphenomenologists and performativists criticize classical approaches to phenomenology for isolating human subjects from their socio-material relations. The purpose of this essay is to repudiate their criticism by presenting a nuanced account of phenomenology thus making it evident that phenomenological theories have the potential for meshing with the performative idiom of contemporary science and technology studies. However, phenomenology retains an apparent shortcoming in that its proponents typically focus on human–nonhuman relations that arise in localized contexts. For this reason, it seems to (...) contrast with one of the core assumptions behind practical ontologies: that socio-practical significance extends beyond an agent’s immediate situatedness in a localized context. Turning to Heidegger’s phenomenology and his notion of ‘de-distancing’, the essay explores how localized phenomena that pertain to human experience connect with global practices and, thus, the possibility of consilience between phenomenological research and present-day STS. (shrink)
Hegel’s conception of Spirit does not subordinate difference to sameness, in a way that would make it unusable for a genuinely intersubjective idealism directed to a comprehensive account of the contemporary world. A close analysis of the logic of recognition and the dialectic of conscience in the Phenomenology of Spirit demonstrates that the unity of Spirit emerges in and through conflict, and is forged in the process whereby particular encounters between differently situated individuals reveal and establish the emerging character and (...) significance of the stances they uniquely occupy. (shrink)
In this field guide, I distinguish five separate senses with which the term ‘mechanism’ is used in contemporary philosophy of science. Many of these senses have overlapping areas of application but involve distinct philosophical claims and characterize the target mechanisms in relevantly different ways. This field guide will clarify the key features of each sense and introduce some main debates, distinguishing those that transpire within a given sense from those that are best understood as concerning distinct senses. The ‘new mechanisms’ (...) sense is at the center of most of these contemporary debates and will be treated at greater length; subsequent senses of mechanism will be primarily distinguished from this one. In part I of this paper, I distinguish two senses of the term ‘mechanism’, both of which are explicitly hierarchical and nested in character, such that any given mechanism is comprised of smaller sub-mechanisms, in turn comprised of yet smaller sub-sub-mechanisms and so on. While both of the senses discussed here are anti-reductive, they differ in their focus on scientific practice versus metaphysics, in the degree of regularity they attribute to mechanisms, and in terms of their relationships to the discussions of mechanisms in the history of philosophy and science. (shrink)
The book deals with the notion of Downward Causation from a wide array of perspectives, including physics, biology, psychology, social science, communication studies, text theory, and philosophy. The book includes proponents as well as opponents discussing the validity of the notion.
A finer-grained delineation of a given explanandum reveals a nexus of closely related causal and non- causal explanations, complementing one another in ways that yield further explanatory traction on the phenomenon in question. By taking a narrower construal of what counts as a causal explanation, a new class of distinctively mathematical explanations pops into focus; Lange’s characterization of distinctively mathematical explanations can be extended to cover these. This new class of distinctively mathematical explanations is illustrated with the Lotka-Volterra equations. There (...) are at least two distinct ways those equations might hold of a system, one of which yields straightforwardly causal explanations, but the other of which yields explanations that are distinctively mathematical in terms of nomological strength. In the first, one first picks out a system or class of systems, finds that the equations hold in a causal -explanatory way; in the second, one starts with the equations and explanations that must apply to any system of which the equations hold, and only then turns to the world to see of what, if any, systems it does in fact hold. Using this new way in which a model might hold of a system, I highlight four specific avenues by which causal and non- causal explanations can complement one another. (shrink)
Over the last decades, science has grown increasingly collaborative and interdisciplinary and has come to depart in important ways from the classical analyses of the development of science that were developed by historically inclined philosophers of science half a century ago. In this paper, I shall provide a new account of the structure and development of contemporary science based on analyses of, first, cognitive resources and their relations to domains, and second of the distribution of cognitive resources among collaborators and (...) the epistemic dependence that this distribution implies. On this background I shall describe different ideal types of research activities and analyze how they differ. Finally, analyzing values that drive science towards different kinds of research activities, I shall sketch the main mechanisms underlying the perceived tension between disciplines and interdisciplinarity and argue for a redefinition of accountability and quality control for interdisciplinary and collaborative science. (shrink)
Previous accounting ethics research berates auditors for ethical lapses that contribute to the failure of Andersen (e.g., Duska, R.: 2005, Journal of Business Ethics 57, 17–29; Staubus, G.: 2005, Journal of Business Ethics 57, 5–15; however, some of the blame must also fall on regulatory and professional bodies that exist to mitigate auditors’ ethical lapses. In this paper, we consider the ethical and economic context that existed and facilitated Andersen’s failure. Our analysis is grounded in Akerlof’s (1970, Quarterly (...) Journal of Economics August, 488–500) Theory of the Market for Lemons and we characterize the market for audit reports as a market for lemons. Consistent with Akerlof’s model, we consider the appropriateness of the countervailing mechanisms that existed at the time of Andersen’s demise that appeared to have effectively failed in counteracting Andersen’s ethical shortcomings. Finally, we assess the appropriateness of the remedies proposed by the Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002 (SOA) to ensure that similar ethical lapses will not occur in the future. Our analysis indicates that the SOA regulatory reforms should counteract some of the necessary conditions of the Lemons Model, and thereby mitigate the likelihood of audit failures. However, we contend that the effectiveness of the SOA critically depends upon the focus and attention of the␣Public Companies Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) towards assessing the ethical climates of public accounting firms. Assessments by the PCAOB of public accounting firm’s ethical climate are needed to sufficiently ensure that public accounting firms effectively promote and maintain audit quality in situations where unconscious bias or economic incentives may erode the public accounting firm’s independence. (shrink)
Corporate social responsibility is a complex discipline that not only demands responsible behavior in production processes but also includes the concepts of communicative transparency and dialogue. Stakeholder dialogue is therefore expected to be an integrated part of the CSR strategy :323–338, 2006). However, only few studies have addressed the practice of CSR stakeholder dialogue and the challenges related hereto. This article adopts a postmodern perspective on CSR stakeholder dialogue. Based on a comprehensive single case study on stakeholder dialogue in a (...) global dairy company, we focus on the complexity of CSR dialogue with multiple stakeholders. Drawing on a critical reflexive methodology :1265–1281, 2007), we develop the research question: How is CSR multi-stakeholder dialogue practiced, experienced, and articulated in an empirical context? The purpose is to understand the underlying assumptions, expectations, and principles guiding CSR multi-stakeholder dialogue in an empirical setting, as we focus on how key stakeholders articulate and anticipate the values of stakeholder dialogue and how the actual stakeholder dialogues are enacted. The findings of the study differ significantly from the ideals of transparent and agenda-free stakeholder dialogue. Rather, the study shows an overall tension between ideal and practice, supporting the progressive importance of the dialogue process in itself as an essential part of the end goal. The implication of this is a growing pressure on creating transparency about the positioning and negotiation of roles throughout the dialogue process. (shrink)
A finer-grained delineation of a given explanandum reveals a nexus of closely related causal and non-causal explanations, complementing one another in ways that yield further explanatory traction on the phenomenon in question. By taking a narrower construal of what counts as a causal explanation, a new class of distinctively mathematical explanations pops into focus; Lange’s characterization of distinctively mathematical explanations can be extended to cover these. This new class of distinctively mathematical explanations is illustrated with the Lotka–Volterra equations. There are (...) at least two distinct ways those equations might hold of a system, one of which yields straightforwardly causal explanations, and another that yields explanations that are distinctively mathematical in terms of nomological strength. In the first case, one first picks out a system or class of systems, and finds that the equations hold in a causal–explanatory way. In the second case, one starts with the equations and explanations that must apply to any system of which the equations hold, and only then turns to the world to see of what, if any, systems it does in fact hold. Using this new way in which a model might hold of a system, I highlight four specific avenues by which causal and non-causal explanations can complement one another. _1_. Introduction _2._ Delineating the Boundaries of Causal Explanation _2.1._ Why construe causal explanation narrowly? The land of explanation versus grain-focusing _2.2._ Reasons to narrow the scope of causal explanation _3._ Broadening the Scope of Mathematical Explanation _4._ Lotka–Volterra: Same Model, Different Explanation Types _4.1._ General biocide in the Lotka–Volterra model _4.2._ Two ways a model can hold, yielding causal versus mathematical explanations _5._ Four Complementary Relationships between Mathematical and Causal Explanation _5.1._ Slight reformulations of explananda _5.2._ Causal distortion of idealized mathematical models _5.3._ Partial explanations requiring supplementation _5.4._ Explanatory dimensionality _6._ Conclusion. (shrink)
In interdisciplinary research scientists have to share and integrate knowledge between people and across disciplinary boundaries. An important issue for philosophy of science is to understand how scientists who work in these kinds of environments exchange knowledge and develop new concepts and theories across diverging fields. There is a substantial literature within social epistemology that discusses the social aspects of scientific knowledge, but so far few attempts have been made to apply these resources to the analysis of interdisciplinary science. Further, (...) much of the existing work either ignores the issue of differences in background knowledge, or it focuses explicitly on conflicting background knowledge. In this paper we provide an analysis of the interplay between epistemic dependence between individual experts with different areas of expertise. We analyze the cooperative activity they engage in when participating in interdisciplinary research in a group, and we compare our findings with those of other studies in interdisciplinary research. (shrink)
1. Overview and organizing themes 2. Historical Review: Aristotle to Mill 3. Logic of method and critical responses 3.1 Logical constructionism and Operationalism 3.2. H-D as a logic of confirmation 3.3. Popper and falsificationism 3.4 Meta-methodology and the end of method 4. Statistical methods for hypothesis testing 5. Method in Practice 5.1 Creative and exploratory practices 5.2 Computer methods and the ‘third way’ of doing science 6. Discourse on scientific method 6.1 “The scientific method” in science education and as seen (...) by scientists 6.2 Privileged methods and ‘gold standards’ 6.3 Scientific method in the court room 6.4 Deviating practices 7. Conclusion Bibliography Academic Tools Other Internet Resources Related Entries . (shrink)
Mathematicians often intentionally leave gaps in their proofs. Based on interviews with mathematicians about their refereeing practices, this paper examines the character of intentional gaps in published proofs. We observe that mathematicians’ refereeing practices limit the number of certain intentional gaps in published proofs. The results provide some new perspectives on the traditional philosophical questions of the nature of proof and of what grounds mathematical knowledge.
Individual differences in ethical ideology are believed to play a key role in ethical decision making. Forsyths (1980) Ethics Position Questionnaire (EPQ) is designed to measure ethical ideology along two dimensions, relativism and idealism. This study extends the work of Forsyth by examining the construct validity of the EPQ. Confirmatory factor analyses conducted with independent samples indicated three factors – idealism, relativism, and veracity – account for the relationships among EPQ items. In order to provide further evidence of the instruments (...) nomological and convergent validity, correlations among the EPQ subscales, dogmatism, empathy, and individual differences in the use of moral rationales were examined. The relationship between EPQ measures of idealism and moral judgments demonstrated modest predictive validity, but the appreciably weaker influence of relativism and the emergence of a veracity factor raise questions about the utility of the EPQ typology. (shrink)
In this field guide, I distinguish five separate senses with which the term ‘mechanism’ is used in contemporary philosophy of science. Many of these senses have overlapping areas of application but involve distinct philosophical claims and characterize the target mechanisms in relevantly different ways. This field guide will clarify the key features of each sense and introduce some main debates, distinguishing those that transpire within a given sense from those that are best understood as concerning two distinct senses. The ‘new (...) mechanisms’ sense is the primary sense from which other senses will be distinguished. In part II of this field guide, I consider three further senses of the term that are ontologically ‘flat’ or at least not explicitly hierarchical in character: equations in structural equation models of causation, causal-physical processes, and information-theoretic constraints on states available to systems. After characterizing each sense, I clarify its ontological commitments, its methodological implications, how it figures in explanations, its implications for reduction, and the key manners in which it differs from other senses of mechanism. I conclude that there is no substantive core meaning shared by all senses, and that debates in contemporary philosophy of science can benefit from clarification regarding precisely which sense of mechanism is at stake. (shrink)
In this article, we explore the relationship between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and earnings management (EM). Our CSR index, using KLD data, incorporates information from the following issue areas: the community, corporate governance, diversity, the product, employee relations, the environment, and human rights. Results show that more socially responsible firms have higher quality accruals and less activity-based EM, both of which impact financial reporting quality.
This article focuses on the welfare state, which includes social protection, health, education and training, housing, and social services, but can also be conceived more broadly to include policies that affect earnings capacity and the structure of the labour market. It discusses the difficulties of capturing the impact of the welfare state on income inequality, given that one does not observe what the distribution would be in the absence of the welfare state or specific aspects of it. Theories of welfare (...) state redistribution are reviewed, and the conventional categorization into welfare ‘regimes’ discussed. The empirical evidence about the extent and nature of redistribution by the welfare state is described, including noncash services as well as cash transfers, and the impact on poverty in particular is discussed. Economic inequality is also strongly affected by the political process, and vice versa. (shrink)
The book examines the emerging approach of using qualitative methods, such as interviews and field observations, in the philosophy of science. Qualitative methods are gaining popularity among philosophers of science as more and more scholars are resorting to empirical work in their study of scientific practices. At the same time, the results produced through empirical work are quite different from those gained through the kind of introspective conceptual analysis more typical of philosophy. This volume explores the benefits and challenges of (...) an empirical philosophy of science and addresses questions such as: What do philosophers gain from empirical work? How can empirical research help to develop philosophical concepts? How do we integrate philosophical frameworks and empirical research? What constraints do we accept when choosing an empirical approach? What constraints does a pronounced theoretical focus impose on empirical work? Nine experts discuss their thoughts and empirical results in the chapters of this book with the aim of providing readers with an answer to these questions. (shrink)
Thomas Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions became the most widely read book about science in the twentieth century. His terms 'paradigm' and 'scientific revolution' entered everyday speech, but they remain controversial. In the second half of the twentieth century, the new field of cognitive science combined empirical psychology, computer science, and neuroscience. In this book, the theories of concepts developed by cognitive scientists are used to evaluate and extend Kuhn's most influential ideas. Based on case studies of the Copernican revolution, (...) the discovery of nuclear fission, and an elaboration of Kuhn's famous 'ducks and geese' example of concept learning, this volume, first published in 2006, offers accounts of the nature of normal and revolutionary science, the function of anomalies, and the nature of incommensurability. (shrink)
In contemporary philosophy of science, the consensus view seems to be that scientific explanations describe mechanisms responsible for the phenomena to be explained. Two kinds of explanatory relevance figure in mechanistic accounts of explanation: causal and constitutive. Following prominent accounts, it seems natural to analyze both these relations in terms of systematic interventions into some factor X with respect to another factor Y. However, such interventions are tailored to uncover causal relations only. Construing the constitutive relationship between parts and wholes (...) in terms of interventions thus raises metaphysical, conceptual, and epistemological questions. We here review the barriers that intervention-based inquiry into mechanisms encounters and consider some solutions. (shrink)
This study asks how Sartre’s version of the dialectic of recognition is present in Kierkegaard’s works. For Sartre, the dialectic begins with an awareness that the other sees me and judges me. I experience this as a threat to my autonomy, and I fight back with a variety of strategies designed to mitigate the effects. Inter-subjective relationships are grounded in conflict from which there is no exit. Similarly, Kierkegaard characterizes the natural, self-centered way of seeing the other as inherently self-centered (...) and contentious. And yet some of Kierkegaard’s texts lay the ground for a way out. Unlike Sartre, he is sensitive to modifications to the structure of the dialectic of recognition that depend on a change in the basic mode of looking. That is, how I see, evaluate, and judge the other can alter the foundation of the interaction from something mutually contentious to something mutually edifying. (shrink)
Even though the evidence‐based medicine movement (EBM) labels mechanisms a low quality form of evidence, consideration of the mechanisms on which medicine relies, and the distinct roles that mechanisms might play in clinical practice, offers a number of insights into EBM itself. In this paper, I examine the connections between EBM and mechanisms from several angles. I diagnose what went wrong in two examples where mechanistic reasoning failed to generate accurate predictions for how a dysfunctional mechanism would respond to intervention. (...) I then use these examples to explain why we should expect this kind of mechanistic reasoning to fail in systematic ways, by situating these failures in terms of evolved complexity of the causal system(s) in question. I argue that there is still a different role in which mechanisms continue to figure as evidence in EBM: namely, in guiding the application of population‐level recommendations to individual patients. Thus, even though the evidence‐based movement rejects one role in which mechanistic reasoning serves as evidence, there are other evidentiary roles for mechanistic reasoning. This renders plausible the claims of some critics of evidencebased medicine who point to the ineliminable role of clinical experience. Clearly specifying the ways in which mechanisms and mechanistic reasoning can be involved in clinical practice frames the discussion about EBM and clinical experience in more fruitful terms. (shrink)
In this paper, we investigate the use of event models for automated planning. Event models are the action defining structures used to define a semantics for dynamic epistemic logic. Using event models, two issues in planning can be addressed: Partial observability of the environment and knowledge. In planning, partial observability gives rise to an uncertainty about the world. For single-agent domains, this uncertainty can come from incomplete knowledge of the starting situation and from the nondeterminism of actions. In multi-agent domains, (...) an additional uncertainty arises from the fact that other agents can act in the world, causing changes that are not instigated by the agent itself. For an agent to successfully construct and execute plans in an uncertain environment, the most widely used formalism in the literature on automated planning is “belief states”: sets of different alternatives for the current state of the world. Epistemic logic is a significantly more expressive and theoretically better founded method for representing knowledge and ignorance about the world. Further, epistemic logic allows for planning according to the knowledge of other agents, allowing the specification of a more complex class of planning domains, than those simply concerned with simple facts about the world. We show how to model multi-agent planning problems using Kripke-models for representing world states, and event models for representing actions. Our mechanism makes use of slight modifications to these concepts, in order to model the internal view of agents, rather than that of an external observer. We define a type of planning domain called epistemic planning domains, a generalisation of classical planning domains, and show how epistemic planning can successfully deal with partial observability, nondeterminism, knowledge and multiple agents. Finally, we show epistemic planning to be decidable in the single-agent case, but only semi-decidable in the multi-agent case. (shrink)
In the work of both Ludwik Fleck and Thomas Kuhn the scientific literature plays important roles for stability and change of scientific phenomenal worlds. In this article we shall introduce the analyses of scientific literature provided by Fleck and Kuhn, respectively. From this background we shall discuss the problem of how divergent thinking can emerge in a dogmatic atmosphere. We shall argue that in their accounts of the factors inducing changes of scientific phenomenal worlds Fleck and Kuhn offer substantially different (...) approaches, and we shall discuss in which respects their approaches may be compatible. (shrink)
This paper articulates an account of causation as a collection of information-theoretic relationships between patterns instantiated in the causal nexus. I draw on Dennett’s account of real patterns to characterize potential causal relata as patterns with specific identification criteria and noise tolerance levels, and actual causal relata as those patterns instantiated at some spatiotemporal location in the rich causal nexus as originally developed by Salmon. I develop a representation framework using phase space to precisely characterize causal relata, including their degree (...) of counterfactual robustness, causal profiles, causal connectivity, and privileged grain size. By doing so, I show how the philosophical notion of causation can be rendered in a format that is amenable for direct application of mathematical techniques from information theory such that the resulting informational measures are causal informational measures. This account provides a metaphysics of causation that supports interventionist semantics and causal modeling and discovery techniques. (shrink)
How regular do mechanisms need to be, in order to count as mechanisms? This paper addresses two arguments for dropping the requirement of regularity from the definition of a mechanism, one motivated by examples from the sciences and the other motivated by metaphysical considerations regarding causation. I defend a broadened regularity requirement on mechanisms that takes the form of a taxonomy of kinds of regularity that mechanisms may exhibit. This taxonomy allows precise explication of the degree and location of regular (...) operation within a mechanism, and highlights the role that various kinds of regularity play in scientific explanation. I defend this regularity requirement in terms of regularity’s role in individuating mechanisms against a background of other causal processes, and by prioritizing mechanisms’ ability to serve as a model of scientific explanation, rather than as a metaphysical account of causation. It is because mechanisms are regular, in the expanded sense described here, that they are capable of supporting the kinds of generalizations that figure prominently in scientific explanations. (shrink)
Recently, several scholars have argued that scientists can accept scientific claims in a collective process, and that the capacity of scientific groups to form joint acceptances is linked to a functional division of labor between the group members. However, these accounts reveal little about how the cognitive content of the jointly accepted claim is formed, and how group members depend on each other in this process. In this paper, I shall therefore argue that we need to link analyses of joint (...) acceptance with analyses of distributed cognition. To sketch how this can be done, I shall present a detailed case study, and on the basis of the case, analyze the process through which a group of scientists jointly accept a new scientific claim and at a later stage jointly accept to revise previously accepted claims. I shall argue that joint acceptance in science can be established in situations where an overall conceptual structure is jointly accepted by a group of scientists while detailed parts of it are distributed among group members with different areas of expertise, a condition that I shall call a heterogeneous conceptual consensus. Finally, I shall show how a heterogeneous conceptual consensus can work as a constraint against scientific change and address the question how changes may nevertheless occur. (shrink)
Many degree programs in science and engineering aim at enabling their students to perform interdisciplinary problem solving. In this paper we present three types of expertise that are involved in different ways in interdisciplinary problem solving. In doing so we shall first characterise two important epistemological challenges commonly faced in interdisciplinary problem solving, namely the communication challenge that arises from the use of different concepts within different scientific domains, and the integration challenge that arises from the differences between domain-specific epistemological (...) standards. Next, drawing on recent work on expertise developed within science studies, we characterize the interactional expertise that is a precondition for scientists to communicate across scientific domains, and the integrational expertise that is a precondition for scientists to be able to integrate cognitive resources originating in different domains. Finally, we shall analyse how different types of interdisciplinary problem solving sets different requirements for interactional and integrational expertise and discuss the implications for science and engineering programs in higher education. (shrink)
Leuridan (2010) argued that mechanisms cannot provide a genuine alternative to laws of nature as a model of explanation in the sciences, and advocates Mitchell’s (1997) pragmatic account of laws. I first demonstrate that Leuridan gets the order of priority wrong between mechanisms, regularity, and laws, and then make some clarifying remarks about how laws and mechanisms relate to regularities. Mechanisms are not an explanatory alternative to regularities; they are an alternative to laws. The existence of stable regularities in nature (...) is necessary for either model of explanation: regularities are what laws describe and what mechanisms explain. (shrink)
Plausibility models are Kripke models that agents use to reason about knowledge and belief, both of themselves and of each other. Such models are used to interpret the notions of conditional belief, degrees of belief, and safe belief. The logic of conditional belief contains that modality and also the knowledge modality, and similarly for the logic of degrees of belief and the logic of safe belief. With respect to these logics, plausibility models may contain too much information. A proper notion (...) of bisimulation is required that characterises them. We define that notion of bisimulation and prove the required characterisations: on the class of image-finite and preimage-finite models, two pointed Kripke models are modally equivalent in either of the three logics, if and only if they are bisimilar. As a result, the information content of such a model can be similarly expressed in the logic of conditional belief, or the logic of degrees of belief, or that of safe belief. This, we found a surprising result. Still, that does not mean that the logics are equally expressive: the logics of conditional and degrees of belief are incomparable, the logics of degrees of belief and safe belief are incomparable, while the logic of safe belief is more expressive than the logic of conditional belief. In view of the result on bisimulation characterisation, this is an equally surprising result. We hope our insights may contribute to the growing community of formal epistemology and on the relation between qualitative and quantitative modelling. (shrink)
In his analysis of “the essential tension between tradition and innovation” Thomas S. Kuhn focused on the apparent paradox that, on the one hand, normal research is a highly convergent activity based upon a settled consensus, but, on the other hand, the ultimate effect of this tradition-bound work has invariably been to change the tradition. Kuhn argued that, on the one hand, without the possibility of divergent thought, fundamental innovation would be precluded. On the other hand, without a strong emphasis (...) on convergent thought, science would become a mess created by continuous theory changes and scientific progress would again be precluded. On Kuhn’s view, both convergent and divergent thought are therefore equally necessary for the progress of science. In this paper, I shall argue that a similar fundamental tension exists between the demands we see for novel insights of an interdisciplinary nature and the need for established intellectual doctrines founded in the classical disciplines. First, I shall revisit Kuhn’s analysis of the essential tension between tradition and innovation. Next, I shall argue that the tension inherent in interdisciplinary research between, on the one hand, intellectual independence and critical scrutiny and, on the other hand, epistemic dependence and trust is a complement to Kuhn’s essential tension within mono-disciplinary science between convergent and divergent thought. (shrink)
We present a taxonomy of errors in the scientific literature and an account of how the errors are distributed over the categories. We have developed the taxonomy by studying substantial errors in the scientific literature as described in retraction notices published in the journal Science over the past 35 years. We then examine how the sorts of errors that lead to retracted papers can be prevented and detected, considering the perspective of collaborating scientists, journal editors and referees, and readers of (...) the published articles. (shrink)