We prove the following results: every recursively enumerable set approximated by finite sets of some set M of recursively enumerable sets with index set in π 2 is an element of M , provided that the finite sets in M are canonically enumerable. If both the finite sets in M and in M̄ are canonically enumerable, then the index set of M is in σ 2 ∩ π 2 if and only if M consists exactly of the sets approximated by (...) finite sets of M and the complement M̄ consists exactly of the sets approximated by finite sets of M̄ . Under the same condition M or M̄ has a non-empty subset with recursively enumerable index set, if the index set of M is in σ 2 ∩ π 2 . If the finite sets in M are canonically enumerable, then the following three statements are equivalent: the index set of M is in σ 2 \ π 2 , the index set of M is σ 2 -complete, the index set of M is in σ 2 and some sequence of finite sets in M approximate a set in M̄ . Finally, for every n ⩾ 2, an index set in σ n \ π n is presented which is not σ n -complete. (shrink)
Ethics, in the sense of a recognized branch of inquiry, reputedly began with Socrates and the Sophists, at least for the western world. Ethics, understood as a set of moral standards, traditionalized by maxims and admonitions, has existed in human cultures from so early a time that it would be hazardous indeed to conjecture the date of its probable origin. The "Hopi Ethics" which Mr. Brandt has studied is obviously that of this second sense, whereas his own study, at (...) least insofar as it is a "theoretical analysis" and goes beyond mere description, is "ethics" in the first sense. That the Hopi Indians were somewhat astonished and perplexed by Mr. Brandt's line of inquiry is indicated by some of their quoted remarks, such as their mention of the "hard questions" being put to them, and their amazement at the suggestion of the possibility that "there is no right answer to ethical questions." One gathers, thus, that while the problem of ethical relativism was of high concern to Mr. Brandt, such an idea was nigh unthinkable to the Hopi. (shrink)
This paper aims to provide a fresh historical perspective on the debates on vitalism and holism in Germany by analyzing the work of the zoologist Hans Spemann (1869–1941) in the interwar period. Following up previous historical studies, it takes the controversial question about Spemann’s affinity to vitalistic approaches as a starting point. The focus is on Spemann’s holistic research style, and on the shifting meanings of Spemann’s concept of an organizer. It is argued that the organizer concept unfolded multiple layers (...) of meanings (biological, philosophical, and popular) during the 1920s and early 1930s. A detailed analysis of the metaphorical dynamics in Spemann’s writings sheds light on the subtle vitalistic connotations of his experimental work. How Spemann’s work was received by contemporary scientists and philosophers is analyzed briefly, and Spemann’s holism is explored in the broader historical context of the various issues about reductionism and holism and related methodological questions that were so prominently discussed not only in Germany in the 1920s. (shrink)
Rooted in Assyriology with a strong interdisciplinary outlook, this book offers the first comprehensive study of ancient Mesopotamian notions of the human person, including semantic analyses of Akkadian terms for body parts and multiple ...
The growing field of evo-devo is increasingly demonstrating the complexity of steps involved in genetic, intracellular regulatory, and extracellular environmental control of the development of phenotypes. A key result of such work is an account for the remarkable plasticity of organismal form in many species based on relatively minor changes in regulation of highly conserved genes and genetic processes. Accounting for behavioral plasticity is of similar potential interest but has received far less attention. Of particular interest is plasticity in communication (...) systems, where human language represents an ultimate target for research. The present paper considers plasticity of language capabilities in a comparative framework, focusing attention on examples of a remarkable fact: Whereas there exist design features of mature human language that have never been observed to occur in non-humans in the wild, many of these features can be developed to notable extents when non-humans are enculturated through human training. These examples of enculturated developmental plasticity across extremely diverse taxa suggest, consistent with the evo-devo theme of highly conserved processes in evolution, that human language is founded in part on cognitive capabilities that are indeed ancient and that even modern humans show self-organized emergence of many language capabilities in the context of rich enculturation, built on the special social/ecological history of the hominin line. Human culture can thus be seen as a regulatory system encouraging language development in the context of a cognitive background with many highly conserved features. (shrink)
Philosophers, psychiatrists, and social scientists would welcome clarification of the distinction between rational and irrational desires. It may be proper to say that rational desires are those which manifest rationality. But since this seems a rather unilluminating characterization, philosophers sometimes offer definitions of what constitute such manifestations of rationality. I shall consider definitions provided by John Rawls and Richard Brandt. Their definitions are unsatisfactory mainly because they include subjunctive conditionals. An alternative approach, which avoids conditionals, is attractive. But it (...) encounters so many additional problems that I shall conclude that we are not now in a position to define rationality in this area and must treat it as a state or disposition which to date has only been partially characterized. Thus, if we want a definition of the difference between rational and irrational desires, we must at present settle for the rather unexciting one mentioned above. (shrink)
Most people interested in the problems of ethics aspire to two kinds of knowledge, one systematic, the other historical. They wish a systematic understanding of the field: knowledge of what are the various problems and their interrelations and knowledge of what has been done toward the solution of these problems. They also wish to learn what the great historical philosophers -- particularly those who have had the most important ideas about values and conduct -- have said about the subject. This (...) book is intended to enable the reader to approximate the achievement of these twin goals at once. (shrink)
In this chapter, we outline the range of argument forms involving causation that can be found in everyday discourse. We also survey empirical work concerned with the generation and evaluation of such arguments. This survey makes clear that there is presently no unified body of research concerned with causal argument. We highlight the benefits of a unified treatment both for those interested in causal cognition and those interested in argumentation, and identify the key challenges that must be met for a (...) full understanding of causal argumentation. (shrink)