Some scientists believe that although evolutionary theory is explanatory, it does not have, in contrast to the theories of physics, any predictive power. This raises the question of its testability. The analysis given shows that there are good reasons to claim the unpredictability of evolutionary events; nevertheless, the evolutionary theory has potential predictive power. It is argued that the difference between biology and physics lies not in the predictive power of the theories involved, but in the different weight which is (...) lent to the forecasting of particular events in these sciences. A second source of confusion derives from the ambiguity of the term 'prediction'. In order to define 'prediction' for cases in which the term is used to refer to a part of testing procedure, the reference to the time-point "now" is quite irrelevant. Prediction of unknown observational data is sufficient for testing a hypothesis, but such prediction may or may not be identical with forecasting of future events. Different factors that may cause particular difficulties met by biologists in forecasting future events are analyzed subsequently in the second part of the paper. The conclusion is drawn that although particular cognitive situations limiting the ability of forecasting are very frequent in biological sciences, the claim about the peculiar logical status of biological theories is not thereby justified. (shrink)
Citation: Kochanski, G., Coleman, J., Orphanidou, C., Alvey, C., McIntyre, A. & Golding, S.. Experimental tests of Features and Partial Specification. Talk presented by G. Kochanski, 17 December 2010, at the Laboratoire Parole et Langage, Université de Provence, Aix-en-Provence, France.
The paper investigates Jan Srzednicki’s epistemological conception with its main Kantian problem on the very possibility of cognition. Investigating Srzednicki’s conception the paper refers to its interpretation elaborated by Grażyna Żurkowska.
Moral inversion, the fusion of skepticism and utopianism, is a preoccupying theme in Polanyi’s work from 1946 onward. In part 1, the author analyzes Polanyi’s complex account of the intellectual developments that are implicated in a cascade of inversions in which the good is lost through complicated, misguided, and unrealistic dedication to the good. Parts 2 and 3 then address two of the most basic of the objections to Polanyi’s theory voiced by Zdzislaw Najder. To Najder’s complaint that Polanyi (...) is not clear in his use of the term “moral,” the author replies that the pivotal distinction in Polanyi’s moral theory is not the moral against the intellectual, but the passions against the appetites. In considering Najder’s complaint that Polanyi’s argument represents a naive instance of ethnocentric absolutism, the author undertakes to show Polanyi’s consistency and perspectival self-awareness by focusing on Polanyi’s account of authority and dissent within a tradition, as well as on Polanyi’s treatment of persuasion as a heuristic passion. (shrink)
A logical-philosophical approach to the meaning-carriers or meaning-processes is juxtaposed with the anthropological-biological concepts of subjective significance uniting both for the semiotics of culture and the semiotics of nature. It is assumed that certain objects, which are identifiable in the universe of man and in the world surrounding all living organisms as significant from the perspective of meaning-receivers, meaning-creators and meaning-utilizers, can be determined as signs when they represent other objects, perform certain tasks or satisfy certain needs of subjects. Hence, (...) the meaning of signifying objects may be found in the relation between the expression of a signifier and (I) a signified content, or (2) a signified function, or (3) a signified value of the cultural and natural objects subsumed by the interpreting subjects under the semiotic ones. (shrink)
The question concerning the ontic nature of space-time points and of space-time itself - is the question: are these objects set-theoretic sets or individuals, i.e. nonsets? Two classifications of the standpoints concerning the nature of these objects are formulated and then they are intersected. In concequence three standpoints appear: mereological substantivalism, set-theoretic substantivalism and set-theoretical relationism; it is showed that mereological relationism is not real. It is proved that set-theoretic standpoints logically imply so called set-theoretic realism which accepts the existence (...) of sets (if Quine's conception of existence is assumed). (shrink)