Epistemic entrenchment, as presented by Gärdenfors and Makinson (1988) and Gärdenfors (1988), is a formalisation of the intuition that, when forced to choose between two beliefs, an agent will giveup the less entrenched one. While their formalisation satisfactorilycaptures the intuitive notion of the entrenchment of beliefs in a number ofaspects, the requirement that all wffs be comparable has drawn criticismfrom various quarters. We define a set of refined versions of theirentrenchment orderings that are not subject to the same criticism, andinvestigate (...) the relationship between the refined entrenched orderings,the entrenchment orderings of Gärdenfors and Makinson, and AGM theorycontraction (Alchourrón et al., 1985). To conclude, we compare refinedentrenchment with two related approaches to epistemic entrenchment. (shrink)
Generalisations of theory change involving operations on arbitrary sets ofwffs instead of on belief sets (i.e., sets closed under a consequencerelation), have become known as base change. In one view, a base should bethought of as providing more structure to its generated belief set, whichmeans that it can be employed to determine the theory contraction operationassociated with a base contraction operation. In this paper we follow suchan approach as the first step in defining infobase change. We think of an infobase (...) as a finite set of wffs consisting of independently obtainedbits of information. Taking AGM theory change (Alchourrón et al. 1985) as the general framework, we present a method that uses the structure of aninfobase B to obtain an AGM theory contraction operation for contractingthe belief set Cn(B). Both the infobase and the obtained theory contraction operation then play a role in constructing a unique infobasecontraction operation. Infobase revision is defined in terms of an analogueof the Levi Identity, and it is shown that the associated theory revisionoperation satisfies the AGM postulates for revision. Because every infobaseis associated with a unique infobase contraction and revision operation, the method also allows for iterated base change. (shrink)
Although AGM theory contraction (Alchourrón et al., 1985; Alchourrón and Makinson, 1985) occupies a central position in the literature on belief change, there is one aspect about it that has created a fair amount of controversy. It involves the inclusion of the postulate known as Recovery. As a result, a number of alternatives to AGM theory contraction have been proposed that do not always satisfy the Recovery postulate (Levi, 1991, 1998; Hansson and Olsson, 1995; Fermé, 1998; Fermé and Rodriguez, 1998; (...) Rott and Pagnucco, 1999). In this paper we present a new addition, systematic withdrawal, to the family of withdrawal operations, as they have become known. We define systematic withdrawal semantically, in terms of a set of preorders, and show that it can be characterised by a set of postulates. In a comparison of withdrawal operations we show that AGM contraction, systematic withdrawal and the severe withdrawal of Rott and Pagnucco (1999) are intimately connected by virtue of their definition in terms of sets of preorders. In a future paper it will be shown that this connection can be extended to include the epistemic entrenchment orderings of Gärdenfors (1988) and Gärdenfors and Makinson (1988) and the refined entrenchment orderings of Meyer et al. (2000). (shrink)
We model three examples of beliefs that agents may have about other agents’ beliefs, and provide motivation for this conceptualization from the theory of mind literature. We assume a modal logical framework for modelling degrees of belief by partially ordered preference relations. In this setting, we describe that agents believe that other agents do not distinguish among their beliefs (‘no preferences’), that agents believe that the beliefs of other agents are in part as their own (‘my preferences’), and the special (...) case that agents believe that the beliefs of other agents are exactly as their own (‘preference refinement’). This multi-agent belief interaction is frame characterizable. We provide examples for introspective agents. We investigate which of these forms of belief interaction are preserved under three common forms of belief revision. (shrink)
We introduce and explore the notion of duality for entailment relations induced by preference orderings on states. We discuss the relationship between these preferential entailment relations from the perspectives of Boolean algebra, inference rules, and modal axiomatisation. Interpreting the preference relations as accessibility relations establishes modular Gödel-Löb logic as a suitable modal framework for rational preferential reasoning.
We explore the psychological foundations of Logic and Artificial Intelligence, touching on representation, categorisation, heuristics, consciousness, and emotion. Specifically, we challenge Dennett's view of the brain as a syntactic engine that is limited to processing symbols according to their structural properties. We show that cognitive psychology and neurobiology support a dual-process model in which one form of cognition is essentially semantical and differs in important ways from the operation of a syntactic engine. The dual-process model illuminates two important events in (...) Logic and Artificial Intelligence, namely the emergence of non-monotonicity and of embodiment, events that changed the traditional paradigms of ‘Logic = the study of deductive inference' and ‘Symbolic AI'. S. Afr. J. Philos. Vol.24(2) 2005: 137-151. (shrink)
We model three examples of beliefs that agents may have about other agents' beliefs, and provide motivation for this conceptualization from the theory of mind literature. We assume a modal logical framework for modelling degrees of belief by partially ordered preference relations. In this setting, we describe that agents believe that other agents do not distinguish among their beliefs ('no preferences'), that agents believe that the beliefs of other agents are in part as their own ('my preferences'), and the special (...) case that agents believe that the beliefs of other agents are exactly as their own ('preference refinement'). This multi-agent belief interaction is frame characterizable. We provide examples for introspective agents. We investigate which of these forms of belief interaction are preserved under three common forms of belief revision. (shrink)
The present paper outlines the main points of Heidegger’s philosophical program starting from his early lectures of Freiburg. This program is founded in two fundamental questions. On the one hand, a thematic question: the phenomenon of life and its different forms of manifestation and apprehension. On the other hand, an eminently methodological question, namely the question of how it is possible to access in a correct manner to the primary sphere of life. This last issue conducts the young Heidegger to (...) a first and deep questioning of Husserl’s reflexive phenomenology that ends up in his hermeneutic turn of phenomenology. (shrink)
The chapters in this book offer an in-depth and profound overview of Hegel’s daring, many-faceted philosophical interpretations of the multifarious and dialectically interrelated, historical religions, including the Islam and the ...
In 1967, American biologist Adrian Wenner (1928-) launched an extensive challenge to Karl von Frisch's (1886-1982) theory that bees communicate to each other the direction and distance of food sources by a symbolic dance language. Wenner and various collaborators argued that bees locate foods solely by odors. Although the dispute had largely run its course by 1973 -- von Frisch was awarded a Nobel Prize, while Wenner withdrew from active bee research -- it offers us a rare window into (...) mid-twentieth century discussions about animals, language, and cognition. Historians, sociologists, and scientists have commented on the debate and its outcome, but none has seriously questioned why von Frisch and Wenner pursued such different explanations of the bees' dances. In this paper, I explore von Frisch and Wenner's differing visions of animals and their behaviors and show how these contributed to their respective positions. Von Frisch's early-twentieth-century training in experimental physiology disposed him to focus on individual animals, their abilities, and their behaviors' evolutionary significance. Wenner, by contrast, was trained in mathematics and statistics and the Schneirla school of behavior. He viewed the bees' behaviors probabilistically with an eye toward the entire hive and its surroundings and ultimately explained them in terms of simple stimulus--response conditioning. Finally, while the debate was resolved in von Frisch's favor, he neither waged nor won the battle by himself. Instead, I show that practitioners, whose agendas ranged from the nascent fields of sociobiology to cognitive ethology, took up the cause of the communicating bees. (shrink)
As historian Henning Schmidgen notes, the scientific study of the nervous system would have been “unthinkable” without the industrialization of communication in the 1830s. Historians have investigated extensively the way nerve physiologists have borrowed concepts and tools from the field of communications, particularly regarding the nineteenth-century work of figures like Helmholtz and in the American Cold War Era. The following focuses specifically on the interwar research of the Cambridge physiologist Edgar Douglas Adrian, and on the technology that led to (...) his Nobel-Prize-winning research, the thermionic vacuum tube. Many countries used the vacuum tube during the war for the purpose of amplifying and intercepting coded messages. These events provided a context for Adrian's evolving understanding of the nerve fiber in the 1920s. In particular, they provide the background for Adrian's transition around 1926 to describing the nerve impulse in terms of “information,” “messages,” “signals,” or even “codes,” and for translating the basic principles of the nerve, such as the all-or-none principle and adaptation, into such an “informational” context. The following also places Adrian's research in the broader context of the changing relationship between science and technology, and between physics and physiology, in the first few decades of the twentieth century. (shrink)
I give a response to Adrian Wüthrich’s critical review of my analysis of the Higgs mechanism, in which I try to clarify some possible misunderstandings. I concede that, as Wüthrich points out, many physicists see the Higgs mechanism as the roll-over from a symmetrical potential in the initial Lagrangian to a symmetry-breaking potential, while my former analysis had basically focused on the gauge-invariant transformation of the initial Lagrangian into the intended form. My main contention, however, still is that neither (...) Higgs story has (as yet) much explanatory power. (shrink)
Pyrrhonism: How the Ancient Greeks Reinvented Buddhism, by Adrian Kuzminski, is a short monograph of four chapters in which the author argues that Pyrrho of Elis (ca. 365–270 b.c.e.) developed his form of skepticism after coming into contact with Indian philosophers on his journey with Alexander the Great. Although the subtitle suggests that the primary focus of the study will be to develop this argument for historical diffusion, the book is more of an apology for Pyrrhonism, which Kuzminski thinks (...) can be better understood by emphasizing its striking similarities with Buddhism. While presenting a plausible scenario for historical diffusion, he emphasizes parallels specifically with the Mādhyamaka school of .. (shrink)
This chapter examines the relevance of the thoughts of Gilles Deleuze to the works of Allan Kaprow and Adrian Piper. It argues that Kaprow had made a shift akin to Deleuze's move from expressionism to constructivism and addresses the politics of Kaprow's practice in relation to Deleuze's concept of counter-actualisation. It describes the alternative of Piper's practice as one that creates performance events capable of catalysing new social territories in and as life.
In 1714, the Dutch scholar Willem Jacob's Gravesande published a theoretical essay on how to optimize the air-pump. Although his paper did not attract much attention, there was one important supplier of air-pumps who knew about it: the Leiden instrument maker Jan van Musschenbroek. 's Gravesande and he cooperated intensively between 1717 and 1742. Among other things, this cooperation resulted in two new air-pump designs to replace Musschenbroek's own models. A closer analysis of's Gravesande's influence on Musschenbroek's repertoire reveals (...) that the various changes were not inspired by the theory of the air-pump. Commercial and practical considerations were much more important than theoretical reflections, even though both approaches aimed at the same goal: a fast and handy air-pump. (shrink)
Adrian Johnston is well known for his work at the intersection of Lacanian psychoanalysis, German idealism, contemporary French philosophy and most recently cognitive neuroscience. In the context of the current issue, Johnston represents the most complete development of a contemporary theory of Transcendental Materialism. In the following interview we explore both the implications of Johnston’s previous work, as well as the directions his most recent projects are taking.
In this paper, I respond critically but sympathetically to Adrian Moore’s treatment of the early and the later Wittgenstein in his book The Evolution of Modern Metaphysics. With respect to the later work, I utilize Cavell’s reading of the status of the first-person plural in Wittgenstein to undermine Bernard Williams’s interpretation of it, and thereby to question Moore’s skepticism that the later Wittgenstein can accommodate the possibility of radical conceptual innovation. With respect to the early work, I utilize a (...) resolute reading of the Tractarian treatment of value to contest Moore’s understanding of the way in which transcendental idealism is woven into that treatment, and so into the book’s more general treatment of sense-making. (shrink)
: Only the rise of science allowed us to identify scriptural ontologies as fantastic conceits, as anthropomorphizations of an indifferent universe. Now that science is beginning to genuinely disenchant the human soul, history suggests that traditional humanistic discourses are about to be rendered fantastic as well. Via a critical reading of Adrian Johnston’s ‘transcendental materialism,’ I attempt to show both the shape and the dimensions of the sociocognitive dilemma presently facing Continental philosophers as they appear to their outgroup detractors. (...) Trusting speculative a priori claims regarding the nature of processes and entities under scientific investigation already excludes Continental philosophers from serious discussion. Using such claims, as Johnston does, to assert the fundamentally intentional nature of the universe amounts to anthropomorphism. Continental philosophy needs to honestly appraise the nature of its relation to the scientific civilization it purports to decode and guide, lest it become mere fantasy, or worse yet, conceptual religion. (shrink)
Adrian Moore develops a helpful distinction between good and bad metaphysics. Employing this distinction, I argue, first, that some contemporary metaphysical theories might be ‘bad’, insofar as they employ, unreflectively, concepts akin to Kant’s Ideas of reason. Second, I investigate the difficulty Kant himself has with explaining our craving for bad metaphysics. Third, I raise some problems for Kant’s doctrine of ‘transcendental cognition’, which rests on the difficult assumption that Ideas have objective reality. I conclude that, while Kant has (...) given us means to combat certain bad metaphysics, his own philosophy is not entirely free of it either. (shrink)
In this commentary on Adrian Johnston's paper, “Drive Between Brain and Subject: An Immanent Critique of Lacanian Neuropsychoanalysis,” I consider whether his attempt to develop a materialist ground for psychoanalysis can avoid versions of reductionism and verificationism that would threaten any autonomy psychoanalysis might have as a science.
Adrian Stokes , long admired by a small, highly distinguished, mostly English circle, was the natural successor to Pater and Ruskin. But though his place in cultural history is important, what is of particular interest now to art historians is his theory of the presentness of painting, a theory which offers a challenging critique of the practice of artwriting. From Vasari to the present, the most familiar rhetorical strategy of the art historian is the narrative of “the form, prophet-saviour-apostles,” (...) in which the first artist poses some problem that his successors develop and their successors solve.1 Such very different books as Art and Illusion and Art and Culture deploy that plan. The three periods of naturalism in E. H. Gombrich’s narrative—antiquity, Renaissance religious narrative, nineteenth-century landscape—function like Clement Greenberg’s sequence—old master art, early French modernism, American abstract expressionism. Gombrich and Greenberg disagree about how to narrate art’s history and about which works to include in that narrative—Gombrich asserts that cubism closes the canon while for Greenberg analytical cubism anticipates Jackson Pollock—but in each case, the art historian aims, as the novelist does, to tell a satisfying story and achieve narrative closure, and so how we think of the artworks the historian discusses depends in part upon the structure of the narrative. In a certain mood, we may find this fact intolerable. Why should a mere text tell us how to see the painting we may stand before?Stokes’ attempt to respond to this mood belongs to a tradition of early twentieth-century antihistorical thinking. For Rainer Maria Rilke, Rodin’s sculpture aimed to “refer to nothing that lay beyond it.” For Ezra Pound, an image “is real because we know it directly”; Henri Gaudier-Brzeska could read Chinese ideograms without knowing that language because those ideograms are transparently meaningful images. For Wyndham Lewis, a musical piece is inferior to a statue, “always there in its entirety before you.”2 Such an artwork need not be interpreted because it contains “within itself all that is relevant to itself.”3 All art is accessible to the gifted observer, and time is, in an interesting double sense, irrelevant. We see directly the meaning of works even from distant cultures; the visual artwork is experienced all at once, outside of time. If these claims are correct, what is the artwriter to do? Speaking of the Tempio Malatestiana, Hugh Kenner points to this issue:There is no description of the Tempio in accordance with good Vorticist logic: one art does not attempt what another can do better, and the meaning of the Tempio has been fully explicated on the spot by Agostino di Duccio with his chisel.4 1. Michael Baxandall, Giotto and the Orators: Humanist Observers of Painting in Italy and the Discovery of Pictorial Composition 1350-1450 , p. 75.2. Rainer Maria Rilke, Rodin, trans. Jessie Lemont and Hans Trausil , p. 19; Ezra Pound, Gaudier-Brzeska: A Memoir , p. 86; Wyndham Lewis, Time and Western Man , p. 174.3. Frank Kermode, Romantic Image , p. 107.4. Hugh Kenner, The Pound Era , p. 428. David Carrier, associate professor of philosophy at Carnegie-Mellon University, is coauthor, with Mark Roskill, of Truth and Falsehood in Visual Images and author of the forthcoming Artwriting, a study of recent American art criticism. He is working on a history of art history. (shrink)
Willem II van Haecht?s panel of the Cabinet of Cornelis van der Geest (1628), introduces the viewer to the theme of the Five Senses by including five prominently displayed paintings, each corresponding to one of the senses, in the foreground. The paper offers a new reading of the panel, suggesting that this image may be read as an allegory of the Five Senses, proposing this theme as a key to the rhetorical performance the collector, van der Geest, is shown (...) undertaking, and connecting the senses to the picture?s punning motto: Vive l?Esprit. (shrink)
Jonathan Rosenbaum _Essential Cinema: On the Necessity of Film Canons_ Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004 ISBN 0-8018-7840-3 hb xxi + 445 pp. _Movie Mutations: The Changing Face of World Cinephilia_ Edited by Jonathan Rosenbaum and Adrian Martin London: British Film Institute, 2003 ISBN 0851709834 hb; 0851709842 pb 224 pp. Jonathan Rosenbaum _Movie Wars: How Hollywood and the Media Limit What Films We Can See_ London: Wallflower Press, 2002 ISBN 1-903364-23-X pb 192 pp.
Defining sustainability is a tricky endeavor. While Adrian Parr’s Hijacking Sustainability does not contribute a clear definition of the term, it does provide a series of interesting and useful examples to illustrate some of the difficulties and inconsistencies of applying so-called sustainable ideals to a capitalist infrastructure. While the concept behind Parr’s work is intriguing, the book itself, which focuses on the nature, construction, and impact of sustainability culture, is verbose, convoluted, and difficult.