Color-vision defects constitute a spectrum of disorders with varying degrees and types of departure from normal human color vision. One form of color-vision defect is dichromacy; by mixing together only two lights, the dichromat can match any light, unlike normal trichromatic humans, who need to mix three. In a philosophical context, our titular question may be taken in two ways. First, it can be taken at face value as a question about visible properties of external objects, and second, it may (...) be interpreted as the more intangible question of “what it’s like” to be color-blind. (shrink)
This paper critically examines color relationalism and color relativism, two theories of color that are allegedly supported by variation in normal human color vision. We mostly discuss color relationalism, defended at length in Jonathan Cohen's The Red and the Real, and argue that the theory has insuperable problems.
The strongest arguments for the permissibility of geoengineering (also known as climate engineering) rely implicitly on non-ideal theory—roughly, the theory of justice as applied to situations of partial compliance with principles of ideal justice. In an ideally just world, such arguments acknowledge, humanity should not deploy geoengineering; but in our imperfect world, society may need to complement mitigation and adaptation with geoengineering to reduce injustices associated with anthropogenic climate change. We interpret research proponents’ arguments as an application of a particular (...) branch of non-ideal theory known as “clinical theory.” Clinical theory aims to identify politically feasible institutions or policies that would address existing (or impending) injustice without violating certain kinds of moral permissibility constraints. We argue for three implications of clinical theory: First, conditional on falling costs and feasibility, clinical theory provides strong support for some geoengineering techniques that aim to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Second, if some kinds of carbon dioxide removal technologies are supported by clinical theory, then clinical theory further supports using those technologies to enable “overshoot” scenarios in which developing countries exceed the cumulative emissions caps that would apply in ideal circumstances. Third, because of tensions between political feasibility and moral permissibility, clinical theory provides only weak support for geoengineering techniques that aim to manage incoming solar radiation. (shrink)
Some types of solar radiation management (SRM) research are ethically problematic because they expose persons, animals, and ecosystems to significant risks. In our earlier work, we argued for ethical norms for SRM research based on norms for biomedical research. Biomedical researchers may not conduct research on persons without their consent, but universal consent is impractical for SRM research. We argue that instead of requiring universal consent, ethical norms for SRM research require only political legitimacy in decision-making about global SRM trials. (...) Using Allen Buchanan & Robert Keohane's model of global political legitimacy, we examine several existing global institutions as possible analogues for a politically legitimate SRM decision-making body. (shrink)
In this paper, we argue that ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’, which is the view that ideal primary positive conceivability entails primary metaphysical possibility, is self-defeating. To this end, we outline two reductio arguments against ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’. The first reductio shows that, from supposing that ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’ is true, it follows that conceivability both is and is not conclusive evidence for possibility. The second reductio shows that, from supposing that ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’ is true, it follows that it is possible (...) that ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’ is necessarily false, and hence that ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’ is false. We then argue that adopting a weaker position according to which conceivability is merely prima facie evidence for possibility provides limited protection from our criticism of conceivability arguments. (shrink)
Significant associations have been found between specific human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles and organ transplant rejection, autoimmune disease development, and the response to infection. Traditional searches for disease associations have conventionally measured risk associated with the presence of individual HLA alleles. However, given the high level of HLA polymorphism, the pattern of amino acid variability, and the fact that most of the HLA variation occurs at functionally important sites, it may be that a combination of variable amino acid sites shared (...) by several alleles (shared epitopes) are better descriptors of the actual causative genetic variants. Here we describe a novel approach to genetic association analysis in which genes/proteins are broken down into smaller sequence features and then variant types defined for each feature, allowing for independent analysis of disease association with each sequence feature variant type. We have used this approach to analyze a cohort of systemic sclerosis patients and show that a sequence feature composed of specific amino acid residues in peptide binding pockets 4 and 7 of HLA-DRB1 explains much of the molecular determinant of risk for systemic sclerosis. (shrink)
Machine learning algorithms may radically improve our ability to diagnose and treat disease. For moral, legal, and scientific reasons, it is essential that doctors and patients be able to understand and explain the predictions of these models. Scalable, customisable, and ethical solutions can be achieved by working together with relevant stakeholders, including patients, data scientists, and policy makers.
The revival of analytic metaphysics in the latter half of the twentieth century is typically understood as a consequence of the critiques of logical positivism, Quine’s naturalization of ontology, Kripke’s Naming and Necessity, clarifications of modal notions in logic, and the theoretical exploitation of possible worlds. However, this explanation overlooks the work of metaphysicians at the height of positivism and linguisticism that affected metaphysics of the late twentieth century. Donald C. Williams is one such philosopher. In this paper I explain (...) how Williams’s fundamental ontology and philosophy of time influenced in part the early formation of David Lewis’s metaphysics. Thus, Williams played an important role in the revival of analytic metaphysics. (shrink)
Justification has long been considered a necessary condition for knowledge, and theories that deny the necessity of justification have been dismissed as nonstarters. In this chapter, we challenge this long-standing view by showing that many of the arguments offered in support of it fall short and by providing empirical evidence that individuals are often willing to attribute knowledge when epistemic justification is lacking.
This paper provides a method for characterizing space events using the framework of conceptual spaces. We focus specifically on estimating and ranking the likelihood of collisions between space objects. The objective is to design an approach for anticipatory decision support for space operators who can take preventive actions on the basis of assessments of relative risk. To make this possible our approach draws on the fusion of both hard and soft data within a single decision support framework. Contextual data is (...) also taken into account, for example data about space weather effects, by drawing on the Space Domain Ontologies, a large system of ontologies designed to support all aspects of space situational awareness. The framework is coupled with a mathematical programming scheme that frames a mathematically optimal approach for decision support, providing a quantitative basis for ranking potential for collision across multiple satellite pairs. The goal is to provide the broadest possible information foundation for critical assessments of collision likelihood. (shrink)
Currently, the widely used notion of activity is increasingly present in computer science. However, because this notion is used in specific contexts, it becomes vague. Here, the notion of activity is scrutinized in various contexts and, accordingly, put in perspective. It is discussed through four scientific disciplines: computer science, biology, economics, and epistemology. The definition of activity usually used in simulation is extended to new qualitative and quantitative definitions. In computer science, biology and economics disciplines, the new simulation activity definition (...) is first applied critically. Then, activity is discussed generally. In epistemology, activity is discussed, in a prospective way, as a possible framework in models of human beliefs and knowledge. (shrink)
This volume has been brought together to generate new ideas and provoke discussion about what constitutes arts education in the twenty-first century, both within the institution and beyond. Art, Artists and Pedagogy is intended for educators who teach the arts from early childhood to tertiary level, artists working in the community, or those studying arts in education from undergraduate to Masters or PhD level.
In real-time, Twitter strongly imprints world events, popular culture, and the day-to-day; Twitter records an ever growing compendium of language use and change; and Twitter has been shown to enable certain kinds of prediction. Vitally, and absent from many standard corpora such as books and news archives, Twitter also encodes popularity and spreading through retweets. Here, we describe Storywrangler, an ongoing, day-scale curation of over 100 billion tweets containing around 1 trillion 1-grams from 2008 to 2020. For each day, we (...) break tweets into 1-, 2-, and 3-grams across 150+ languages, record usage frequencies, and generate Zipf distributions. We make the data set available through an interactive time series viewer, and as downloadable time series and daily distributions. We showcase a few examples of the many possible avenues of study we aim to enable including how social amplification can be visualized through ‘contagiograms’. (shrink)
The overall goal of the approach developed in this paper is to estimate the likelihood of a given kinetic kill scenario between hostile spacebased adversaries using the mathematical framework of Complex Conceptual Spaces Single Observation. Conceptual spaces are a cognitive model that provide a method for systematically and automatically mimicking human decision making. For accurate decisions to be made, the fusion of both hard and soft data into a single decision framework is required. This presents several challenges to this data (...) fusion framework. The first is the challenge involved in handling multiple complex terminologies, which is addressed by drawing on a set of Space Domain Ontologies. Another challenge is the complex combinatorics involved when considering all possible feature combinations. This can be mitigated by using integer linear programming optimization that is outlined by the Complex Conceptual Spaces Single Observation mathematical model framework. A third challenge is the complicated physics that is involved in a spacecraft collision that must be addressed to obtain a better understanding of threat assessment. Overcoming these various challenges allows for a quantitative ranking for the potential of a kinetic kill collision across multiple spacecraft pairs. In addition to overcoming these challenges this paper will break down threat assessment into four domains and identify a ranking of threat both for each individual domain and for the four domains combined. Simulation results are shown to verify the developed concepts. (shrink)
In the 1920s, DavidHilbert proposed a research program with the aim of providing mathematics with a secure foundation. This was to be accomplished by first formalizing logic and mathematics in their entirety, and then showing---using only so-called finitistic principles---that these formalizations are free of contradictions. ;In the area of logic, the Hilbert school accomplished major advances both in introducing new systems of logic, and in developing central metalogical notions, such as completeness and decidability. The analysis of (...) unpublished material presented in Chapter 2 shows that a completeness proof for propositional logic was found by Hilbert and his assistant Paul Bernays already in 1917--18, and that Bernays's contribution was much greater than is commonly acknowledged. Aside from logic, the main technical contribution of Hilbert's Program are the development of formal mathematical theories and proof-theoretical investigations thereof, in particular, consistency proofs. In this respect Wilhelm Ackermann's 1924 dissertation is a milestone both in the development of the Program and in proof theory in general. Ackermann gives a consistency proof for a second-order version of primitive recursive arithmetic which, surprisingly, explicitly uses a finitistic version of transfinite induction up to www . He also gave a faulty consistency proof for a system of second-order arithmetic based on Hilbert's &egr;-substitution method. Detailed analyses of both proofs in Chapter 3 shed light on the development of finitism and proof theory in the 1920s as practiced in Hilbert's school. ;In a series of papers, Charles Parsons has attempted to map out a notion of mathematical intuition which he also brings to bear on Hilbert's finitism. According to him, mathematical intuition fails to be able to underwrite the kind of intuitive knowledge Hilbert thought was attainable by the finitist. It is argued in Chapter 4 that the extent of finitistic knowledge which intuition can provide is broader than Parsons supposes. According to another influential analysis of finitism due to W. W. Tait, finitist reasoning coincides with primitive recursive reasoning. The acceptance of non-primitive recursive methods in Ackermann's dissertation presented in Chapter 3, together with additional textual evidence presented in Chapter 4, shows that this identification is untenable as far as Hilbert's conception of finitism is concerned. Tait's conception, however, differs from Hilbert's in important respects, yet it is also open to criticisms leading to the conclusion that finitism encompasses more than just primitive recursive reasoning. (shrink)
l. There is an antinomy in Hare's thought between Ought-Implies-Can and No-Indicatives-from-Imperatives. It cannot be resolved by drawing a distinction between implication and entailment. 2. Luther resolved this antinomy in the l6th century, but to understand his solution, we need to understand his problem. He thought the necessity of Divine foreknowledge removed contingency from human acts, thus making it impossible for sinners to do otherwise than sin. 3. Erasmus objected (on behalf of Free Will) that this violates Ought-Implies-Can which he (...) supported with Hare-style ordinary language arguments. 4. Luther a) pointed out the antinomy and b) resolved it by undermining the prescriptivist arguments for Ought-Implies-Can. 5. We can reinforce Luther's argument with an example due to David Lewis. 6. Whatever its merits as a moral principle, Ought-Implies-Can is not a logical truth and should not be included in deontic logics. Most deontic logics, and maybe the discipline itself, should therefore be abandoned. 7. Could it be that Ought-Conversationally-Implies-Can? Yes - in some contexts. But a) even if these contexts are central to the evolution of Ought, the implication is not built into the semantics of the word; b) nor is the parallel implication built into the semantics of orders; and c) in some cases Ought conversationally implies Can, only because Ought-Implies-Can is a background moral belief. d) Points a) and b) suggest a criticism of prescriptivism - that Oughts do not entail imperatives but that the relation is one of conversational implicature. 8. If Ought-Implies-Can is treated as a moral principle, Erasmus' argument for Free Will can be revived (given his Christian assumptions). But it does not 'prove' Pelagianism as Luther supposed. A semi-Pelagian alternative is available. (shrink)
Some of the most important developments of symbolic logic took place in the 1920s. Foremost among them are the distinction between syntax and semantics and the formulation of questions of completeness and decidability of logical systems. DavidHilbert and his students played a very important part in these developments. Their contributions can be traced to unpublished lecture notes and other manuscripts by Hilbert and Bernays dating to the period 1917-1923. The aim of this paper is to describe (...) these results, focussing primarily on propositional logic, and to put them in their historical context. It is argued that truth-value semantics, syntactic ("Post-") and semantic completeness, decidability, and other results were first obtained by Hilbert and Bernays in 1918, and that Bernays's role in their discovery and the subsequent development of mathematical logic is much greater than has so far been acknowledged. (shrink)
DavidHilbert's finitistic standpoint is a conception of elementary number theory designed to answer the intuitionist doubts regarding the security and certainty of mathematics. Hilbert was unfortunately not exact in delineating what that viewpoint was, and Hilbert himself changed his usage of the term through the 1920s and 30s. The purpose of this paper is to outline what the main problems are in understanding Hilbert and Bernays on this issue, based on some publications by them (...) which have so far received little attention, and on a number of philosophical reconstructions of the viewpoint (in particular, by Hand, Kitcher, and Tait). (shrink)
Despite a large and multifaceted effort to understand the vast landscape of phenotypic data, their current form inhibits productive data analysis. The lack of a community-wide, consensus-based, human- and machine-interpretable language for describing phenotypes and their genomic and environmental contexts is perhaps the most pressing scientific bottleneck to integration across many key fields in biology, including genomics, systems biology, development, medicine, evolution, ecology, and systematics. Here we survey the current phenomics landscape, including data resources and handling, and the progress that (...) has been made to accurately capture relevant data descriptions for phenotypes. We present an example of the kind of integration across domains that computable phenotypes would enable, and we call upon the broader biology community, publishers, and relevant funding agencies to support efforts to surmount today's data barriers and facilitate analytical reproducibility. (shrink)
Gözlemlenenlerden gözlemlen(e)meyenlere diğer bir deyişle genel yasalara ulaşma imkânı veren çıkarım yöntemi olarak tümevarımsal ya da endüktif akıl yürütmenin rasyonel olarak temellendirilmesinin imkanına yönelik soruşturma tarih içerisinde tümevarım sorunu ya da endüksiyon problemi olarak tezahür etmiştir. Bu sorunun temel argümanı tarihsel okumalara baktığımızda İskoç ampirist filozof David Hume tarafından öne sürülmüştür. Hume, tümevarımsal çıkarımlar temelinde, gözlenmeyen meseleler hakkındaki inançlarımıza hangi gerekçelerle ulaştığımızı soruşturmaktadır. Hume soruşturmasının sonucunda gözlemlenenden gözlemlen(e)meyen durumlara ilişkin yapılan olgu meseleleri ile ilgili bütün tümevarımsal akıl yürütmelerin dolaylı (...) ya da dolaysız olarak nedensellik ilişkisine ve bu ilişkinin temelinde yer alan doğanın düzenliliği ilkesi ya da “gelecek her zaman geçmişe benzer” önermesine dayandığını ifade ederek bütün tümevarımsal akıl yürütmelerde ortak olan geleceğin her zaman geçmişe benzeyeceği ifadesinin rasyonel olarak temellendirilmesinin mümkün olmadığını belirtmektedir. Bu bağlamda, çalışmada tümevarımsal akıl yürütme sonucunda ulaşılan sonuca inanmanın hiçbir rasyonel temelinin olamayacağı yönündeki Hume’un görüşü argüman formunda yeniden yapılandırılarak ortaya konulacaktır. (shrink)
There is growing interest in the use of technology to enhance the tracking and quality of clinical information available for patients in disaster settings. This paper describes the design and evaluation of the Wireless Internet Information System for Medical Response in Disasters (WIISARD).
Dramatic advances in 3D Web technologies have recently led to widespread development of virtual world Web browsers and 3D content. A natural question is whether 3D thumbnails can be used to find one’s way about such 3D content the way that text and 2D thumbnail images are used to navigate 2D Web content. We have conducted an empirical experiment that shows interactive 3D thumbnails, which we call worldlets, improve travelers’ landmark knowledge and expedite wayfinding in virtual environments.
This study aimed to understand the preserved elements of self-identity in persons with moderate to severe dementia attributable to Alzheimer’s disease. A semi-structured interview was developed to explore the narrative self among residents with dementia in a residential care facility and residents without dementia in an independent living setting. The interviews were transcribed verbatim from audio recordings and analyzed for common themes, while being sensitive to possible differences between the groups. The participants with dementia showed evidence of self-reference even though (...) losses in explicit memory were evident. The most noticeable difference between the two groups was time frame reference. Nonetheless, all participants showed understanding of their role in relationships and exhibited concrete preferences. Our findings suggest that memory loss and other cognitive deficits associated with moderate to severe dementia do not necessarily lead to a loss of “self.”. (shrink)
Hilbert izlencesinin kanıt kuramsal amacı tarihsel gelişimi içinde özetlendikten sonra arka plandaki model-kuramsal motivasyonu belirtilmektedir. Hilbert'in nihai hedefinin matematiğin temellerine ilişkin tüm epistemolojik ve ontolojik varsayımlardan arındırılmış bir matematik kuramı geliştirmek olduğu savunulmaktadır. Yakın geçmişte mantıktaki bazı gelişmelerin Hilbert izlencesinin yalnızca adcı varsayımlar temelinde sürdürülebileceğine ilişkin yeni bir bakış açısı sağladığı öne sürülmektedir.
I defend an ontological distinction between three kinds of relation: internal,external and grounded relations. Even though, as we shall see, this trichotomy is basic, it is not found in influential contemporary metaphysics. Specifically, the widespread tendency, exemplified notably by David Armstrong, of not recognizing grounded relations as distinct from external relations, can be shown to be mistaken. I propose a definition of each of the three kinds of relation. Of vital importance to the parsimony of metaphysics, I also argue (...) that only external relations are ontologically fundamental. (shrink)
The foundational ideas of DavidHilbert have been generally misunderstood. In this dissertation prospectus, different aims of Hilbert are summarized and a new interpretation of Hilbert's work in the foundations of mathematics is roughly sketched out. Hilbert's view of the axiomatic method, his response to criticisms of set theory and intuitionist criticisms of the classical foundations of mathematics, and his view of the role of logical inference in mathematical reasoning are briefly outlined.
In this open peer commentary, we categorize the possible “neuroscience in national security” definitions of misuse of science and identify which, if any, are uniquely presented by advances in neuroscience. To define misuse, we first define what we would consider appropriate use: the application of reasonably safe and effective technology, based on valid and reliable scientific research, to serve a legitimate end. This definition presents distinct opportunities for assessing misuse: misuse is the application of invalid or unreliable science, or is (...) the use of reliable scientific methods to serve illegitimate ends. Ultimately, we conclude that while national security is often a politicized issue, assessing the state of scientific progress should not be. (shrink)
Context — Children and adults with psychopathic traits and conduct or oppositional defiant disorder demonstrate poor decision making and are impaired in reversal learning. However, the neural basis of this impairment has not previously been investigated. Furthermore, despite high comorbidity of psychopathic traits and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, to our knowledge, no research has attempted to distinguish neural correlates of childhood psychopathic traits and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Objective—To determine the neural regions that underlie the reversal learning impairments in children with psychopathic traits (...) plus conduct or oppositional defiant disorder. Design — Case-control study. Setting — Government clinical research institute. Participants — Forty-two adolescents aged 10 to 17 years: 14 with psychopathic traits and oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder, 14 with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder only, and 14 healthy controls. Main Outcome Measure — Blood oxygenation level–dependent signal as measured via functional magnetic resonance imaging during a probabilistic reversal task. Results — Children with psychopathic traits showed abnormal responses within the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (Brodmann area 10) during punished reversal errors compared with children wit hattention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and healthy children (P < .05 corrected for multiple comparisons). Conclusions — To our knowledge, this study provides the first evidence of abnormal ventromedial prefrontal cortex responsiveness in children with psychopathic traits and demonstrates this dysfunction was not attributable to comorbid attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. These findings suggest that reversal learning impairments in patients with developmental psychopathic traits relate to abnormal processing of reinforcement information. (shrink)
Reid, Constance. Hilbert (a Biography). Reviewed by Corcoran in Philosophy of Science 39 (1972), 106–08. -/- Constance Reid was an insider of the Berkeley-Stanford logic circle. Her San Francisco home was in Ashbury Heights near the homes of logicians such as Dana Scott and John Corcoran. Her sister Julia Robinson was one of the top mathematical logicians of her generation, as was Julia’s husband Raphael Robinson for whom Robinson Arithmetic was named. Julia was a Tarski PhD and, in recognition (...) of a distinguished career, was elected President of the American Mathematics Society. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julia_Robinson http://www.awm-math.org/noetherbrochure/Robinson82.html. (shrink)
Yuri Matiyasevich's theorem states that the set of all Diophantine equations which have a solution in non-negative integers is not recursive. Craig Smoryński's theorem states that the set of all Diophantine equations which have at most finitely many solutions in non-negative integers is not recursively enumerable. Let R be a subring of Q with or without 1. By H_{10}(R), we denote the problem of whether there exists an algorithm which for any given Diophantine equation with integer coefficients, can decide whether (...) or not the equation has a solution in R. We prove that a positive solution to H_{10}(R) implies that the set of all Diophantine equations with a finite number of solutions in R is recursively enumerable. We show the converse implication for every infinite set R \subseteq Q such that there exist computable functions \tau_1,\tau_2:N \to Z which satisfy (\forall n \in N \tau_2(n) \neq 0) \wedge ({\frac{\tau_1(n)}{\tau_2(n)}: n \in N}=R). This implication for R=N guarantees that Smoryński's theorem follows from Matiyasevich's theorem. Harvey Friedman conjectures that the set of all polynomials of several variables with integer coefficients that have a rational solution is not recursive. Harvey Friedman conjectures that the set of all polynomials of several variables with integer coefficients that have only finitely many rational solutions is not recursively enumerable. These conjectures are equivalent by our results for R=Q. (shrink)
Résumé – Nous nous intéressons à l’enseignement et l’apprentissage de l’infini en classe de mathématiques en considérant les différences et les relations entre infini potentiel et infini actuel. Nous présentons les principaux éléments de notre étude philosophique, épistémologique et didactique, ainsi que trois situations visant à conduire un travail explicite avec les élèves sur ces questions en début de lycée. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------- Abstract – We are interested in the teaching and learning of infinite in mathematics class, taking into account the relations (...) between potential infinite and actual infinite. We report the main elements of our current philosophical, epistemological and didactical study; we also present three mathematical situations that we consider relevant for this purpose and to be explored with 10 and 11 grade students. (shrink)
We introduce a realist, unextravagant interpretation of quantum theory that builds on the existing physical structure of the theory and allows experiments to have definite outcomes but leaves the theory’s basic dynamical content essentially intact. Much as classical systems have specific states that evolve along definite trajectories through configuration spaces, the traditional formulation of quantum theory permits assuming that closed quantum systems have specific states that evolve unitarily along definite trajectories through Hilbert spaces, and our interpretation extends this intuitive (...) picture of states and Hilbert-space trajectories to the more realistic case of open quantum systems despite the generic development of entanglement. We provide independent justification for the partial-trace operation for density matrices, reformulate wave-function collapse in terms of an underlying interpolating dynamics, derive the Born rule from deeper principles, resolve several open questions regarding ontological stability and dynamics, address a number of familiar no-go theorems, and argue that our interpretation is ultimately compatible with Lorentz invariance. Along the way, we also investigate a number of unexplored features of quantum theory, including an interesting geometrical structure—which we call subsystem space—that we believe merits further study. We conclude with a summary, a list of criteria for future work on quantum foundations, and further research directions. We include an appendix that briefly reviews the traditional Copenhagen interpretation and the measurement problem of quantum theory, as well as the instrumentalist approach and a collection of foundational theorems not otherwise discussed in the main text. (shrink)
David Benatar argues that coming into existence is always a harm, and that – for all of us unfortunate enough to have come into existence – it would be better had we never come to be. We contend that if one accepts Benatar’s arguments for the asymmetry between the presence and absence of pleasure and pain, and the poor quality of life, one must also accept that suicide is preferable to continued existence, and that his view therefore implies both (...) anti-natalism and pro-mortalism. This conclusion has been argued for before by Elizabeth Harman – she takes it that because Benatar claims that our lives are ‘awful’, it follows that ‘we would be better off to kill ourselves’. Though we agree with Harman’s conclusion, we think that her argument is too quick, and that Benatar’s arguments for non-pro-mortalism deserve more serious consideration than she gives them. We make our case using a tripartite structure. We start by examining the prima facie case for the claim that pro-mortalism follows from Benatar’s position, presenting his response to the contrary, and furthering the dialectic by showing that Benatar’s position is not just that coming into existence is a harm, but that existence itself is a harm. We then look to Benatar’s treatment of the Epicurean line, which is important for him as it undermines his anti-death argument for non-pro-mortalism. We demonstrate that he fails to address the concern that the Epicurean line raises, and that he cannot therefore use the harm of death as an argument for non-pro-mortalism. Finally, we turn to Benatar’s ro-life argument for non-pro-mortalism, built upon his notion of interests, and argue that while the interest in continued existence may indeed have moral relevance, it is almost always irrational. Given that neither Benatar’s anti-death nor pro-life arguments for non-pro-mortalism work, we conclude that pro-mortalism follows from his anti-natalism, As such, if it is better never to have been, then it is better no longer to be. (shrink)
Since the pioneering work of Birkhoff and von Neumann, quantum logic has been interpreted as the logic of (closed) subspaces of a Hilbert space. There is a progression from the usual Boolean logic of subsets to the "quantum logic" of subspaces of a general vector space--which is then specialized to the closed subspaces of a Hilbert space. But there is a "dual" progression. The notion of a partition (or quotient set or equivalence relation) is dual (in a category-theoretic (...) sense) to the notion of a subset. Hence the Boolean logic of subsets has a dual logic of partitions. Then the dual progression is from that logic of partitions to the quantum logic of direct-sum decompositions (i.e., the vector space version of a set partition) of a general vector space--which can then be specialized to the direct-sum decompositions of a Hilbert space. This allows the logic to express measurement by any self-adjoint operators rather than just the projection operators associated with subspaces. In this introductory paper, the focus is on the quantum logic of direct-sum decompositions of a finite-dimensional vector space (including such a Hilbert space). The primary special case examined is finite vector spaces over ℤ₂ where the pedagogical model of quantum mechanics over sets (QM/Sets) is formulated. In the Appendix, the combinatorics of direct-sum decompositions of finite vector spaces over GF(q) is analyzed with computations for the case of QM/Sets where q=2. (shrink)
We summarize a new realist, unextravagant interpretation of quantum theory that builds on the existing physical structure of the theory and allows experiments to have definite outcomes but leaves the theory's basic dynamical content essentially intact. Much as classical systems have specific states that evolve along definite trajectories through configuration spaces, the traditional formulation of quantum theory permits assuming that closed quantum systems have specific states that evolve unitarily along definite trajectories through Hilbert spaces, and our interpretation extends this (...) intuitive picture of states and Hilbert-space trajectories to the more realistic case of open quantum systems despite the generic development of entanglement. Our interpretation—which we claim is ultimately compatible with Lorentz invariance—reformulates wave-function collapse in terms of an underlying interpolating dynamics, makes it possible to derive the Born rule from deeper principles, and resolves several open questions regarding ontological stability and dynamics. (shrink)
Recent attention to "self-consistent" (Rosser-style) systems raises anew the question of the proper interpretation of the Gödel Second Incompleteness Theorem and its effect on Hilbert's Program. The traditional rendering and consequence is defended with new arguments justifying the intensional correctness of the derivability conditions.
In the mid-seventeenth century a movement of self-styled experimental philosophers emerged in Britain. Originating in the discipline of natural philosophy amongst Fellows of the fledgling Royal Society of London, it soon spread to medicine and by the eighteenth century had impacted moral and political philosophy and even aesthetics. Early modern experimental philosophers gave epistemic priority to observation and experiment over theorising and speculation. They decried the use of hypotheses and system-building without recourse to experiment and, in some quarters, developed a (...) philosophy of experiment. The movement spread to the Netherlands and France in the early eighteenth century and later impacted Germany. Its important role in early modern philosophy was subsequently eclipsed by the widespread adoption of the Kantian historiography of modern philosophy, which emphasised the distinction between rationalism and empiricism and had no place for the historical phenomenon of early modern experimental philosophy. The re-emergence of interest in early modern experimental philosophy roughly coincided with the development of contemporary x-phi and there are some important similarities between the two. (shrink)
We discuss the philosophical implications of formal results showing the con- sequences of adding the epsilon operator to intuitionistic predicate logic. These results are related to Diaconescu’s theorem, a result originating in topos theory that, translated to constructive set theory, says that the axiom of choice (an “existence principle”) implies the law of excluded middle (which purports to be a logical principle). As a logical choice principle, epsilon allows us to translate that result to a logical setting, where one can (...) get an analogue of Diaconescu’s result, but also can disentangle the roles of certain other assumptions that are hidden in mathematical presentations. It is our view that these results have not received the attention they deserve: logicians are unlikely to read a discussion because the results considered are “already well known,” while the results are simultaneously unknown to philosophers who do not specialize in what most philosophers will regard as esoteric logics. This is a problem, since these results have important implications for and promise signif i cant illumination of contem- porary debates in metaphysics. The point of this paper is to make the nature of the results clear in a way accessible to philosophers who do not specialize in logic, and in a way that makes clear their implications for contemporary philo- sophical discussions. To make the latter point, we will focus on Dummettian discussions of realism and anti-realism. Keywords: epsilon, axiom of choice, metaphysics, intuitionistic logic, Dummett, realism, antirealism. (shrink)
Silence often plays a significant role in Christian experience and practice. However, the varieties of silence and the effects of silence for good and. bad merit examination. It is important to distinguish between physical, auditory, and metaphorical silence, and bet- ween experiencing silence as "quiet" and experiencing silence as keeping quiet . Silence can be an instrumental good as well as an expressive good, a concomitant good, or a constitutive good. Christian monks, theologians, and other thinkers sometimes identify experiences of (...) silence, for example, as light or dark, as spatially vast or enclosed, and as temporal or atemporal. Practices of silence can bring persons closer to God, though a kenotic spirituality; of silence and a stress on solitude create perils for some members of religious orders, such as Carthusians. The chief aim of this article is to show, with philosophical techniques, how silence .can be good in manifold ways and even, perhaps, an ideal. (shrink)
David Lewis objected to theories that posit necessary connections between distinct entities and to theories that involve a magical grasping of their primitives. In On the Plurality of Worlds, Lewis objected to nondescript ersatzism on these grounds. The literature contains several reconstructions of Lewis’ critique of nondescript ersatzism but none of these interpretations adequately address his main argument because they fail to see that Lewis’ critique is based on broader methodological considerations. I argue that a closer look at his (...) methodology reveals the broader objection he presented against nondescript ersatzism. This objection, I further argue, remains a challenge for the ersatzer who posits structure-less entities as possible worlds. (shrink)
My first paper on the Is/Ought issue. The young Arthur Prior endorsed the Autonomy of Ethics, in the form of Hume’s No-Ought-From-Is (NOFI) but the later Prior developed a seemingly devastating counter-argument. I defend Prior's earlier logical thesis (albeit in a modified form) against his later self. However it is important to distinguish between three versions of the Autonomy of Ethics: Ontological, Semantic and Ontological. Ontological Autonomy is the thesis that moral judgments, to be true, must answer to a realm (...) of sui generis non-natural PROPERTIES. Semantic autonomy insists on a realm of sui generis non-natural PREDICATES which do not mean the same as any natural counterparts. Logical Autonomy maintains that moral conclusions cannot be derived from non-moral premises.-moral premises with the aid of logic alone. Logical Autonomy does not entail Semantic Autonomy and Semantic Autonomy does not entail Ontological Autonomy. But, given some plausible assumptions Ontological Autonomy entails Semantic Autonomy and given the conservativeness of logic – the idea that in a valid argument you don’t get out what you haven’t put in – Semantic Autonomy entails Logical Autonomy. So if Logical Autonomy is false – as Prior appears to prove – then Semantic and Ontological Autonomy would appear to be false too! I develop a version of Logical Autonomy (or NOFI) and vindicate it against Prior’s counterexamples, which are also counterexamples to the conservativeness of logic as traditionally conceived. The key concept here is an idea derived in part from Quine - that of INFERENCE-RELATIVE VACUITY. I prove that you cannot derive conclusions in which the moral terms appear non-vacuously from premises from which they are absent. But this is because you cannot derive conclusions in which ANY (non-logical) terms appear non-vacuously from premises from which they are absent Thus NOFI or Logical Autonomy comes out as an instance of the conservativeness of logic. This means that the reverse entailment that I have suggested turns out to be a mistake. The falsehood of Logical Autonomy would not entail either the falsehood Semantic Autonomy or the falsehood of Ontological Autonomy, since Semantic Autonomy only entails Logical Autonomy with the aid of the conservativeness of logic of which Logical Autonomy is simply an instance. Thus NOFI or Logical Autonomy is vindicated, but it turns out to be a less world-shattering thesis than some have supposed. It provides no support for either non-cognitivism or non-naturalism. (shrink)
Harsanyi und Rawls haben zu der Frage, wie die wichtigen Güter in einem Staat verteilt sein sollten, zwei sehr ähnliche Theorien entwickelt, kommen aber zu unterschiedlichen Schlüssen. Harsanyi plädiert für eine utilitaristische Regel, Rawls dagegen für eine Regel, die sich auf diejenigen konzentriert, denen es in der Gesellschaft am schlechtesten geht. Die fast fünfzig Jahre andauernde Diskussion zwischen den beiden wird hier systematisch dargestellt und analysiert. Erstens wird gezeigt, dass sich unter Berücksichtigung von Abneigung gegen Risiko und abnehmendem Grenznutzen die (...) auf dem Urzustand beruhenden Argumentationen weitaus ähnlicher sind, als den Autoren bewusst ist. Allerdings gibt Harsanyis Theorie wahrscheinlich den Armen im Gegensatz zu Rawls nur relative und keine absolute Priorität. Zweitens wird allerdings die Argumentation über den Urzustand infrage gestellt. Dabei sprechen außerhalb des Urzustandes mehrere praktische Erwägungen tendenziell für Rawls’ Differenzprinzip. (shrink)
Obstacles to achieving a global climate treaty include disagreements about questions of justice raised by the UNFCCC's principle that countries should respond to climate change by taking cooperative action "in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities and their social and economic conditions". Aiming to circumvent such disagreements, Climate Change Justice authors Eric Posner and David Weisbach argue against shaping treaty proposals according to requirements of either distributive or corrective justice. The USA's climate envoy, Todd Stern, (...) takes a similar position. In this article I explain the practical and theoretical drawbacks of Posner & Weisbach's welfarist perspective and propose an alternative. I show that their arguments fail to rule out John Rawls' non-utilitarian, political conception of international justice and human rights, the Law of Peoples. On this basis I develop a conception of climate justice that highlights implications of some of Rawls' principles and adds a principle for determining fair shares of climate -treaty-related benefits and burdens. I propose this conception as a moral framework for negotiating a treaty that would promote human welfare consistently with requirements of justice, and I argue that a treaty proposal satisfying these requirements could best satisfy Posner & Weisbach's own feasibility criteria. (shrink)
Taking my cue from Michael Smith, I try to extract a decent argument for non-cognitivism from the text of the Treatise. I argue that the premises are false and that the whole thing rests on a petitio principi. I then re-jig the argument so as to support that conclusion that Hume actually believed (namely that an action is virtuous if it would excite the approbation of a suitably qualified spectator). This argument too rests on false premises and a begged question. (...) Thus the Motivation Argument fails BOTH as an argument for noncognitivism AND as an argument for what Hume actually believed, that moral distinctions are not derived from reason and that moral properties are akin to secondary qualities. So far as the Motivation Argument is concerned, both cognitivists and rationalists can rest easy. Themes: 1) Hume’s Slavery of Reason thesis is only defensible if passions are not only desires but sometimes dispositions to acquire desires (DTADs). 2) A desire for our good on the whole, which Humeans need to posit to fend off apparent counterexamples to the Slavery of Reason Thesis, does not sit well with the Humean theory of how novel desires arise (an objection due originally to Reid). 3) Hume is wrong to suppose that ‘abstract or demonstrative reasoning never influences any of our actions, but only as it directs our judgment concerning causes and effects’ as the examples of Russell and Hobbes convincingly demonstrate. This ironic as both Russell and Hobbes subscribed to the Slavery of Reason Thesis. 4) I critique Michael Smith’s critique of motivational externalism. (shrink)
The original purpose of the present study, 2011, started with a preprint «On the Probable Failure of the Uncountable Power Set Axiom», 1988, is to save from the transfinite deadlock of higher set theory the jewel of mathematical Continuum — this genuine, even if mostly forgotten today raison d’être of all traditional set-theoretical enterprises to Infinity and beyond, from Georg Cantor to DavidHilbert to Kurt Gödel to W. Hugh Woodin to Buzz Lightyear.
This paper outlines Lewis’s favoured foundational account of linguistic representation, and outlines and briefly evaluates variations and modifications. Section 1 gives an opinionated exegesis of Lewis’ work on the foundations of reference—his interpretationism. I look at the way that the metaphysical distinction between natural and non-natural properties came to play a central role in his thinking about language. Lewis’s own deployment of this notion has implausible commitments, so in section 2 I consider variations and alternatives. Section 3 briefly considers a (...) buck-passing strategy involving fine-grained linguistic conventions. (shrink)
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