In this paper we describe in some detail a formal computer model of inferential discourse based on a belief system. The key issue is that a logical model in a computer, based on rational sets, can usefully model a human situation based on irrational sets. The background of this work is explained elsewhere, as is the issue of rational and irrational sets (Billinge and Addis, in: Magnani and Dossena (eds.), Computing, philosophy and cognition, 2004; Stepney et al., Journey: Non-classical (...) philosophy—socially sensitive computing in journeys non-classical computation: A grand challenge for computing research, 2004). The model is based on the Belief System (Addis and Gooding, Proceedings of the AISB’99 Symposium on Scientific Creativity, 1999) and it provides a mechanism for choosing queries based on a range of belief. We explain how it provides a way to update the belief based on query results, thus modelling others’ experience by inference. We also demonstrate that for the same internal experience, different models can be built for different actors. (shrink)
Continuous recordings of brain electrical activity were obtained from a group of 176 patients throughout surgical procedures using general anesthesia. Artifact-free data from the 19 electrodes of the International 10/20 System were subjected to quantitative analysis of the electroencephalogram (QEEG). Induction was variously accomplished with etomidate, propofol or thiopental. Anesthesia was maintained throughout the procedures by isoflurane, desflurane or sevoflurane (N = 68), total intravenous anesthesia using propofol (N = 49), or nitrous oxide plus narcotics (N = 59). A set (...) of QEEG measures were found which reversibly displayed high heterogeneity of variance between four states as follows: (1) during induction; (2) just after loss of consciousness (LOC); (3) just before return of consciousness (ROC); (4) just after ROC. Homogeneity of variance across all agents within states was found. Topographic statistical probability images were compared between states. At LOC, power increased in all frequency bands in the power spectrum with the exception of a decrease in gamma activity, and there was a marked anteriorization of power. Additionally, a significant change occurred in hemispheric relationships, with prefrontal and frontal regions of each hemisphere becoming more closely coupled, and anterior and posterior regions on each hemisphere, as well as homologous regions between the two hemispheres, uncoupling. All of these changes reversed upon ROC. Variable resolution electromagnetic tomography (VARETA) was performed to localize salient features of power anteriorization in three dimensions. A common set of neuroanatomical regions appeared to be the locus of the most probable generators of the observed EEG changes. (shrink)
We consider the relation between past and future events from the perspective of the constructive episodic simulation hypothesis, which holds that episodic simulation of future events requires a memory system that allows the flexible recombination of details from past events into novel scenarios. We discuss recent neuroimaging and behavioral evidence that support this hypothesis in relation to the theater production metaphor.
We argue from the Church-Turing thesis (Kleene Mathematical logic. New York: Wiley 1967) that a program can be considered as equivalent to a formal language similar to predicate calculus where predicates can be taken as functions. We can relate such a calculus to Wittgenstein’s first major work, the Tractatus, and use the Tractatus and its theses as a model of the formal classical definition of a computer program. However, Wittgenstein found flaws in his initial great work and he explored these (...) flaws in a new thesis described in his second great work; the Philosophical Investigations. The question we address is “can computer science make the same leap?” We are proposing, because of the flaws identified by Wittgenstein, that computers will never have the possibility of natural communication with people unless they become active participants of human society. The essential difference between formal models used in computing and human communication is that formal models are based upon rational sets whereas people are not so restricted. We introduce irrational sets as a concept that requires the use of an abductive inference system. However, formal models are still considered central to our means of using hypotheses through deduction to make predictions about the world. These formal models are required to continually be updated in response to peoples’ changes in their way of seeing the world. We propose that one mechanism used to keep track of these changes is the Peircian abductive loop. (shrink)
Philosophers who hold that the correct ontological analysis of things includes both properties and particulars have often been pressed to "show" the particular. If we are not acquainted with them, it is argued, then we should not suppose that they exist. I argue that, while we do have good and sufficient reasons for supposing there to be particulars, we are not acquainted with them. To suppose that we are acquainted with them is to treat particulars as if they were properties (...) and to fail to realize how radically different particulars are from properties. The relevance of these matters to some considerations of "simplicity" and the principles of empiricism is explored. (shrink)
One may gather from the arguments of two of the last papers published before his death that J. L. Mackie held the following three theses concerning the mind/body problem : (1) There is a distinct realm of mental properties, so a dualism of properties at least is true and materialism false.
Behaviorism and the philosophy of the act are widely believed to be inconsistent with one another. I argue that both are true, Fulfilling the requirements of scientific psychology and the phenomenology of mind, Respectively. The key to understanding their mutual consistency lies in the idea of parallelism and its corresponding requirement that all descriptive features of mental states be analyzed as properties, None as relations (to anything physical). So the intentional link itself must be a 'logical' and not a descriptive (...) connection. More broadly, It is required to free the act from its origins in the metaphysical notion of 'activity' and the substance ontology from which that motion derives. (shrink)
Many believe that the Marxist philosophy of history entails that man is not free in a sense in which it seems obvious that he is. In particular it is held to be (1) materialistic, (2) holistic, (3) economistic, and (4) fatalistic. It is claimed, in short, that since the Marxist philosophy of history has these features, man is not capable of shaping his own (social) destiny if it is true. I show for each of these features either that it does (...) not entail what it is believed to entail or that it is not correctly attributed to the Marxist philosophy of history. (shrink)
Some issues raised by the notion of surveyability and how it is represented mathematically are explored. Wright considers the sense in which the positive integers are surveyable and suggests that their structure will be a weakly finite, but weakly infinite, totality. One way to expose the incoherence of this account is by applying Wittgenstein's distinction between intensional and extensional to it. Criticism of the idea of a surveyable proof shows the notion's lack of clarity. It is suggested that this concept (...) should be replaced by that of a feasible operation, as strict finitism aims to understand the boundaries of legitimate mathematical knowledge. (shrink)
Chomsky behauptet, daß das Bewußtsein die Struktur eines grammatischen Übersetzungsapparates hat, Freud dagegen betrachtet es als einen unbewußten Geisteszustand. Es wird gezeigt, wie sich diese Theorien innerhalb einer Metaphysik des Bewußtseins vereinbaren lassen, die nur bewußte Geisteszustände als grundlegend, Sinneswahrnehmungen, Bilder, Emotionen und dergleichen als sekundär, und veranlagungsbedingte Geisteszustände als tertiär bezeichnet. Hervorzuheben wäre, daß grammatische Übersetzungsapparate und unbewußte Geisteszustände, wie alle menschlichen Veranlagungen, als Eigenheiten des Körpers, welcher gewissen Gesetzen und Prinzipien unterliegt, zu analysieren sind.
The difficulties about other minds are deep and of central philosophical importance. This text explores attempts to apply Wittgenstein's concept of criteria in explaining how we can know other minds and their properties. It is shown that the use of criteria for this purpose is misguided.
For the past thirty years, the late Tom Regan bucked the trend among secular animal rights philosophers and spoke patiently and persistently to the best angels of religious ethics in a stream of publications that enjoins religious scholars, clergy, and lay people alike to rediscover the resources within their traditions for articulating and living out an animal ethics that is more consistent with their professed values of love, mercy, and justice. My aim in this article is to showcase some of (...) the wealth of insight offered in this important but under-utilized archive of Regan’s work to those of us, religious or otherwise, who wish to challenge audiences of faith to think and do better by animals. (shrink)
Tom Regan argues that human beings and some non-human animals have moral rights because they are “subjects of lives,” that is, roughly, conscious, sentient beings with an experiential welfare. A prominent critic, Carl Cohen, objects: he argues that only moral agents have rights and so animals, since they are not moral agents, lack rights. An objection to Cohen’s argument is that his theory of rights seems to imply that human beings who are not moral agents have no moral rights, but (...) since these human beings have rights, his theory of rights is false, and so he fails to show that animals lack rights. Cohen responds that this objection fails because human beings who are not moral agents nevertheless are the “kind” of beings who are moral agents and so have rights, but animals are not that “kind” of being and so lack rights. Regan argues that Cohen’s “kind” arguments fail: they fail to explain why human beings who are not moral agents have rights and they fail to show that animals lack rights. Since Cohen’s “kind” arguments are influential, I review and critique Regan’s objections . I offer suggestions for stronger responses to arguments like Cohen’s. (shrink)
O artigo tenciona, primeiramente, enriquecer o estudo da função que o conceito de tom desempenha na ideia kantiana de razão, ao estendê-lo à análise da música como arte dos sons que a Crítica do Juízo contém. Em segundo lugar, propõe-se determinar os motivos pelos quais a matemática se revela incapaz, devido à especificidade do método filosófico e à corporalidade da ecepção musical, respectivamente, de expressar o modo de proceder da razão e da arte dos sons. Finalmente, aponta-se para uma semelhança (...) entre música e razão, no que diz respeito à rejeição que compartilham da queda na Schwärmerei, apesar da distância que se estabelece entre ambas enquanto duas maneiras contrárias de exercitar e fomentar a vida e o sentimento dela. (shrink)
The principal thesis in this book is that bioethics emerged—in the 1960s through the 1980s—under the influence of philosophers who claimed to have universally valid principles that could steer medicine and research to the solution of ethical problems, including even those arising at the bedside of patients. Tom Koch contends that these philosophers and their allied bioethicists “stole medicine” and its traditional values, substituting a philosophical discourse generally inaccessible to the average person. Philosophers thereby refashioned medical ethics in accordance with (...) their vision of a morally and intellectually robust new field. Koch maintains that philosophers have failed to deliver on their promises and that .. (shrink)
In his article in this issue, " 'How do Mādhyamikas Think?' Revisited," Tom Tillemans reflects on his earlier article "How do Mādhyamikas Think?" (2009), itself a response to earlier work of ours (Deguchi et al. 2008; Garfield and Priest 2003). There is much we agree with in these non-dogmatic and open-minded essays. Still, we have some disagreements. We begin with a response to Tillemans' first thoughts, and then turn to his second thoughts.Tillemans (2009) maintains that it is wrong to attribute (...) to Nāgārjuna or to his Mādhyamika followers a strong dialetheism, according to which some contradictions of the form p ∧ ¬p are to be accepted. He argues that, nonetheless, a weak dialetheism may be implicit in the .. (shrink)
Tom Kelly argues that instrumentalist aeeounts of epistemie rationality fail beeause what a person has reason to believe does not depend upon the eontent of his or her goals. However, his argument fails to distinguish questions about what the evidence supports from questions about what a person ought to believe. Once these are distinguished, the instrumentalist ean avoid Kelly’s objeetions. The paperconcludes by sketehing what I take to be the most defensible version of the instrumentalist view.
Review Essay: A Review of Tom Nairn and Paul James, Global Matrix: Nationalism, Globalism and State-Terrorism ; Jan Nederveen Pieterse, Globalization or Empire? ; Patrick Hayden and Chamsy el-Ojeili , Confronting Globalization: Humanity, Justice and the Renewal of Politics.
Interpretation always takes place in the present tense. It is worth reminding ourselves of this, because few philosophical texts or treatises have suffered the rise and fall of the vagaries of their own contemporary Weltanschauung as Fichte's Addresses to the German Nation. Few texts in history have been simultaneously so overestimated and underestimated in their impact and importance as Fichte's Addresses; and therefore few texts can be said to be so misunderstood—and so need in of reassessment. This collection, Fichte's Addresses (...) to the German Nation Reconsidered, edited by Daniel Breazeale and Tom Rockmore, precisely seeks to fill this lacuna. The interpretative fate of the Addresses has always hinged on the... (shrink)
Kant's claim that modality is a 'category' provides an approach to modality to be contrasted with Lewis's reductive analysis. Lewis's position is unsatisfactory, since it depends on an inherently modal conception of a world. This suggests that modality is 'primitive'; and the Kantian position is a prima facie plausible position of this kind, which is filled out by considering the relationship between modality and inference. This provides a context for comparing the Kantian position with Wright's non-cognitivist 'conventionalism'. Wright's position is (...) vulnerable to the type of argument used against ethical non-cognitivism, and the Kantian position is further confirmed by Blackburn's acknowledgment that modality is 'antinaturalistic to its core'. The position is further elaborated to show that it can accommodate the famous Kripkean categories of the empirically necessary and the contingent a priori, and finally defended against the criticisms used by Quine against Carnap. (shrink)
Voyeurism seems creepy. This paper considers whether these feelings are well-founded. It identifies a variety of ethically troubling features, including harmful consequences, deceit, and the violation of various religious, legal, and conventional norms. Voyeurism is something of a moral misdemeanor that seems worrisome when associated with these other failings. However, because voyeurism remains troubling even in the absence of harm or deceit, we must pay special attention to the ways complex social conventions can be used to show disrespect for others. (...) The discussion centers on the famous case of Lady Godiva and Peeping Tom, but much of the analysis applies to voyeurism more generally. (shrink)
This is an extremely thorough revision of the leading textbook of bioethics. The authors have made many improvements in style, organization, argument and content. These changes reflect advances in the bioethics literature over the past five years. The most dramatic expansions of the text are in the comprehensiveness with which the authors treat different currents in ethical theory and the greater breadth and depth of their discussion of public policy and public health issues. In every chapter, readers will find new (...) material and refinements of old discussions. This is evident in the many new sections on topics like communitarianism, ethics of care, relationship-based accounts, casuistry, case-based reasoning, principle-based common-morality theories, the justification of assistance in dying, rationing through priorities in the health care budget, and virtues in professional roles. The most extensive revisions are in chapters 1, 2 and 8. (shrink)
Addis (1981) has criticized a proposal of ours (Wilson [1969b]) for analysing disposition predications in terns of the horseshoe of material implication, and has proposed a related but significantly different analysis. This paper restates the original proposal, and defends it against Addis's criticisms. It is further argued that his proposal will not do as a general account of disposition predications; that, however, if it is suitably qualified, then it does account for certain special sorts of disposition predication; but (...) that so understood, it can be seen to be but a special case of ours. (shrink)
T. Mels (ed.), Reanimating Places : a Geography of Rhythms, Aldershot : Ashgate, 2004, 278 p. Quelques pages sont accessibles ici. For geographers, rhythm is one of the most seductive and elusive of concepts. And, as Tom Mels's expansive introductory essay to this collection demonstrates, it is possible to trace the 'lineage of a geography of rhythms' through various theoretical and empirical trajectories. The content and tone of this volume is, however, dominated by one particular (...) - Recensions.
The concept of rights is now so dominant in the language of politics that it is becoming difficult to identify its use with any particular approach to the solution of social problems or to gain a clear picture of its significance, its advantages and its disadvantages as a way of conceptualizing and resolving contentious political issues. None the less there is a perceptible shift towards an emphasis on rights in contemporary politics which many welcome and encourage and others question and (...) even reject, a shift which is matched in jurisprudence by the renewed stress which many theorists place on rights as a basic legal concept despite recurrent problems associated with the concept as a tool for legal analysis and moral justification. Conflicting theories of legal rights are canvassed and this in turn feeds into the debate concerning the reality or significance of non-legal rights, for the process of law reform is often presented as a matter of giving legal embodiment to the rights which various interested categories of people are asserted to possess already. (shrink)
There are many questions we can ask about time, but perhaps the most fundamental is whether there are metaphysically interesting differences between past, present and future events. An eternalist believes in a block universe: past, present and future events are all on an equal footing. A gradualist believes in a growing block: he agrees with the eternalist about the past and the present but not about the future. A presentist believes that what is present has a special status. My first (...) claim is that the familiar ways of articulating these views result in there being no substantive disagreement at all between the three parties. I then show that if we accept the controversial truthmaking principle, we can articulate a substantive disagreement. Finally, I apply this way of formulating the debate to related questions such as the open future and determinism, showing that these do not always line up in quite the way one would expect. (shrink)
Tom Regan (this issue) criticizes my thesis that obligation toward the environment is grounded in a world view and thereby has a moral overridingness which mere interests and desires do not have. He holds that my approach is too subjectivistic. I counter, first, by explaining that phenomenology, which I use in my analysis of moral obligation, is not subjectivistic in the way emotivism or prescriptivism inethics is subjectivistic. Second, I argue that world views are products of learning and experience of (...) one shared world, that most world views share large areas of agreement, and that they can be argued for and criticized. (shrink)