The "Supplement" transmitted as the second book of "On the Soul" by Alexander of Aphrodisias is a collection of short texts on a wide range of topics from psychology, including the general hylomorphic account of soul and its faculties, and the theory of vision; questions in ethics ; and issues relating to responsibility, chance and fate. One of the texts in the collection, "On Intellect", had a major influence on medieval Arabic and Western thought, greater than that of Alexander's "On (...) the Soul" itself. The treatises may all be by Alexander himself; certainly the majority of them are closely connected with his other works. Many of them, however, consist of collections of arguments on particular issues, collections which probably incorporate material from earlier in the history of the Peripatetic school. This translation is from a new edition of the Greek text based on a collation of all known manuscripts and comparison with medieval Arabic and Latin translations. (shrink)
Résumé — Alexandre d’Aphrodise a été étudié plus intensément en Europe continentale que dans le monde anglophone. Cet article s’interroge sur les raisons culturelles d’un tel fait. L’une des raisons de l’étude de la philosophie antique en général dans le monde anglophone est la volonté de montrer qu’elle est reliée, et peut rendre service, à des débats philosophiques contemporains. Un cas emblématique nous est fourni par le débat concernant le libre arbitre et le déterminisme. Susanne Bobzien a défendu la thèse (...) qu’alors que les termes du débat contemporain peuvent être décelés au IIe siècle après J.-C., et en particulier dans le traité d’Alexandre Sur le destin, il serait anachronique de les faire remonter à la période hellénistique. La partie finale du présent article se penche sur la façon dont elle rend compte de l’approche post-hellénistique de la question, vue comme le développement, à partir d’un certain nombre de textes aristotéliciens, d’une nouvelle doctrine de la contingence, reflétée dans une série de textes généralement décrits comme médioplatoniciens. On se demande, finalement, quelle relation il faut supposer entre ce développement et les changements, dans la forme et dans le fond, du déterminisme stoïcien.L’accident du déterminisme— Alexander of Aphrodisias has been studied more intensively in continental Europe than in the English-speaking world. This paper examines the cultural reasons for this. One factor in the study of ancient philosophy generally in the English-speaking world is the pressure to show that it relates to, and can be of service in, contemporary philosophical debates. One such case is the debate concerning free-will and determinism. Susanne Bobzien has argued that while the terms of the contemporary debate can be recognised in the second century AD, and in particular in Alexander’s treatise On Fate, it is anachronistic to read them back into the Hellenistic period. The latter part of the present paper examines her account of the origin of the new approach to the question in the development from a number of Aristotelian texts of a new account of contingency, reflected in a range of texts commonly described as Middle Platonist, and asks what relation we should suppose between this development and changes in the formulation and conception of Stoic determinism. (shrink)
This volume relates to natural philosophy apart from the study of living things. Topics covered include the principles of scientific inquiry, place, time, motion, the heavens, the sublunary world, meteorology and the study of materials.
The first of the projected volumes of commentary to accompany the texts and translations in Theophrastus of Eresus: Sources for his Life, Writings, Thought and Influence , edited by W.W. Fortenbaugh and others.
A significant feature of John Stuart Mill's moral theory is the introduction of qualitative differences as relevant to the comparative value of pleasures. Despite its significance, Mill presents his doctrine of qualities of pleasures in only a few paragraphs in the second chapter of Utilitarianism, where he begins the brief discussion by saying: utilitarian writers in general have placed the superiority of mental over bodily pleasures chiefly … in their circumstantial advantages rather than in their intrinsic nature.… [B]ut they might (...) have taken the … higher ground with entire consistency. It is quite compatible with the principle of utility to recognize the fact, that some kinds of pleasure are more desirable and more valuable than others. It would be absurd that while, in estimating all other things, quality is considered as well as quantity, the estimation of pleasures should be supposed to depend on quantity alone. (shrink)
Richard Sorabji, in his introduction to the series, Ancient Commentators on Aristotle, of which this volume is a part, claims that these works "represent a missing link in the history of philosophy: the Latin-speaking Middle Ages obtained their knowledge of Aristotle at least partly through the medium of the commentaries. Without an appreciation of this, medieval interpretations of Aristotle will not be understood". If this remark is true of any volume in the series, it is certainly true of this one, (...) which presents R. W. Sharples' translation of the second half of Alexander's Quaestiones, a group of inquiries, 69 in total, on Aristotle's work and thought regarding the nature of providence, the soul, coming-to-be and passing-away, the finiteness of the universe, the nature of magnetism, and other topics. (shrink)
Los intentos más recientes de repensar las normas democráticas están ejemplificados por dos pensadores franceses contemporáneos. Pierre Rosavallon critica los movimientos de protesta y trata de institucionalizar sus fuerzas. Jacques Rancière, por otra parte, ha definido notoriamente la política democrática de forma que se da sólo en momentos en los que se re-imagina caóticamente el orden existente. Su enfoque se revela de forma que reclama más atención hacia las normas razonables de ese orden de lo que el propio Rancière admite. (...) Tales normas constituyen un modelo de la democracia disidente, y puede inspirarse en los radicales populares de la era de la fundación americana. (shrink)
Robert Batterman examines a form of scientific reasoning called asymptotic reasoning, arguing that it has important consequences for our understanding of the scientific process as a whole. He maintains that asymptotic reasoning is essential for explaining what physicists call universal behavior. With clarity and rigor, he simplifies complex questions about universal behavior, demonstrating a profound understanding of the underlying structures that ground them. This book introduces a valuable new method that is certain to fill explanatory gaps across disciplines.
When Carl Henry presented an evaluation of the Reformation and its impact on the worldview of that period, he often put forth the Reformation as an example, which needed emulation by the modern evangelical church. His focus in his evaluation were on actions related to an orthodox view of God’s self-revelation in the areas of epistemology, authority, and life application. Henry’s conviction was that these actions, undertaken particularly by the Reformers Luther and Calvin, were necessary for a redemptive impact on (...) the world through the modern evangelical church. (shrink)
This article discusses minimal model explanations, which we argue are distinct from various causal, mechanical, difference-making, and so on, strategies prominent in the philosophical literature. We contend that what accounts for the explanatory power of these models is not that they have certain features in common with real systems. Rather, the models are explanatory because of a story about why a class of systems will all display the same large-scale behavior because the details that distinguish them are irrelevant. This story (...) explains patterns across extremely diverse systems and shows how minimal models can be used to understand real systems. (shrink)
But do animals know that other creatures have minds? And how would we know if they do? In "Mindreading Animals," Robert Lurz offers a fresh approach to the hotly debated question of mental-state attribution in nonhuman animals.
This paper examines contemporary attempts to explicate the explanatory role of mathematics in the physical sciences. Most such approaches involve developing so-called mapping accounts of the relationships between the physical world and mathematical structures. The paper argues that the use of idealizations in physical theorizing poses serious difficulties for such mapping accounts. A new approach to the applicability of mathematics is proposed.
This paper examines the role of mathematical idealization in describing and explaining various features of the world. It examines two cases: first, briefly, the modeling of shock formation using the idealization of the continuum. Second, and in more detail, the breaking of droplets from the points of view of both analytic fluid mechanics and molecular dynamical simulations at the nano-level. It argues that the continuum idealizations are explanatorily ineliminable and that a full understanding of certain physical phenomena cannot be obtained (...) through completely detailed, non-idealized representations. (shrink)
This paper aims to draw attention to an explanatory problem posed by the existence of multiply realized or universal behavior exhibited by certain physical systems. The problem is to explain how it is possible that systems radically distinct at lower-scales can nevertheless exhibit identical or nearly identical behavior at upper-scales. Theoretically this is reflected by the fact that continuum theories such as fluid mechanics are spectacularly successful at predicting, describing, and explaining fluid behaviors despite the fact that they do not (...) recognize the discrete nature of fluids. A standard attempt to reduce one theory to another, is shown to fail to answer the appropriate question about autonomy. (shrink)
This paper looks at emergence in physical theories and argues that an appropriate way to understand socalled “emergent protectorates” is via the explanatory apparatus of the renormalization group. It is argued that mathematical singularities play a crucial role in our understanding of at least some well-defined emergent features of the world.
In 1935, as the Nazis’ state-of-the art eugenics exhibition from the Deutsches Hygiene Museum was concluding its American tour, a decision had to be made about whether to return the displays to Germany or to house them in an American museum. After the American Academy of Medicine decided against the display because of its political implications, the director of the Buffalo Museum of Science, Carlos Cummings, himself a physician, offered his institution as the exhibition's permanent home. “What is the astounding (...) eugenics program upon which Chancellor Hitler has launched the German people?” Cummings wondered aloud. “As a matter of public interest, without endorsement,” he added, “the Museum will display in the Central Hall throughout this final quarter of 1935, a set of fifty-one posters and charts. . . which gives Americans a graphic explanation of Germany's campaign to rear in posterity ‘a new race nobility.’” Seven years later, with war raging, the museum received permission from the company that had insured the exhibition, to dismantle it from its permanent home in the museum's Hall of Heredity. An exhibition about eugenics, Nazi eugenics no less, that had been enthusiastically received as it had traveled the United States in the mid-1930s, had seemingly fallen victim to the war against eugenics launched by cultural anthropologists and geneticists. In light of the broad scholarship on eugenics, this certainly would be a plausible reading of the deinstallation of the Nazi eugenics exhibition. But the three books under review here suggest a more complex reading, one that suggests that eugenics and racism, considered as ideological systems, were less easily dislodged from American culture than from Buffalo's Museum of Science. (shrink)
This paper concerns what Jerry Fodor calls a 'metaphysical mystery': How can there by macroregularities that are realized by wildly heterogeneous lower level mechanisms? But the answer to this question is not as mysterious as many, including Jaegwon Kim, Ned Block, and Jerry Fodor might think. The multiple realizability of the properties of the special sciences such as psychology is best understood as a kind of universality, where 'universality' is used in the technical sense one finds in the physics literature. (...) It is argued that the same explanatory strategy used by physicists to provide understanding of universal behavior in physics can be used to explain how special science properties can be heterogeneously multiply realized. (shrink)
A traditional view of mathematical modeling holds, roughly, that the more details of the phenomenon being modeled that are represented in the model, the better the model is. This paper argues that often times this ‘details is better’ approach is misguided. One ought, in certain circumstances, to search for an exactly solvable minimal model—one which is, essentially, a caricature of the physics of the phenomenon in question.
This volume is a collection of fourteen essays by leading philosophers on issues concerning the nature, existence, and our knowledge of animal minds. The nature of animal minds has been a topic of interest to philosophers since the origins of philosophy, and recent years have seen significant philosophical engagement with the subject. However, there is no volume that represents the current state of play in this important and growing field. The purpose of this volume is to highlight the state of (...) the debate. The issues which are covered include whether and to what degree animals think in a language or in iconic structures, possess concepts, are conscious, self-aware, metacognize, attribute states of mind to others, and have emotions, as well as issues pertaining to our knowledge of and the scientific standards for attributing mental states to animals. (shrink)
This paper examines a fundamental problem in applied mathematics. How can one model the behavior of materials that display radically different, dominant behaviors at different length scales. Although we have good models for material behaviors at small and large scales, it is often hard to relate these scale-based models to one another. Macroscale models represent the integrated effects of very subtle factors that are practically invisible at the smallest, atomic, scales. For this reason it has been notoriously difficult to model (...) realistic materials with a simple bottom-up-from-the-atoms strategy. The widespread failure of that strategy forced physicists interested in overall macro-behavior of materials toward completely top-down modeling strategies familiar from traditional continuum mechanics. The problem of the ``tyranny of scales'' asks whether we can exploit our rather rich knowledge of intermediate micro- scale behaviors in a manner that would allow us to bridge between these two dominant methodologies. Macroscopic scale behaviors often fall into large common classes of behaviors such as the class of isotropic elastic solids, characterized by two phenomenological parameters---so-called elastic coefficients. Can we employ knowledge of lower scale behaviors to understand this universality---to determine the coefficients and to group the systems into classes exhibiting similar behavior? (shrink)
In its broadest sense, "universality" is a technical term for something quite ordinary. It refers to the existence of patterns of behavior by physical systems that recur and repeat despite the fact that in some sense the situations in which these patterns recur and repeat are different. Rainbows, for example, always exhibit the same pattern of spacings and intensities of their bows despite the fact that the rain showers are different on each occasion. They are different because the shapes of (...) the drops, and their sizes can vary quite widely due to differences in temperature, wind direction, etc. There are different questions one might ask about such patterns. For instance, one might ask why the particular rainbow... (shrink)
If we are flexible, hybrid and unfinished creatures that tend to incorporate or at least employ technological artefacts in our cognitive lives, then the sort of technological regime we live under should shape the kinds of minds we possess and the sorts of beings we are. E-Memory consists in digital systems and services we use to record, store and access digital memory traces to augment, re-use or replace organismic systems of memory. I consider the various advantages of extended and embedded (...) approaches to cognition in making sense of E-Memory and some of the problems that debate can engender. I also explore how the different approaches imply different answers to questions such as: does our use of internet technology imply the diminishment of ourselves and our cognitive abilities? Whether or not our technologies can become actual parts of our minds, they may still influence our cognitive profile. I suggest E-Memory systems have four factors: totality, practical cognitive incorporability, autonomy and entanglement which conjointly have a novel incorporation profile and hence afford some novel cognitive possibilities. I find that thanks to the properties of totality and incorporability we can expect an increasing reliance on E-Memory. Yet the potentially highly entangled and autonomous nature of these technologie pose questions about whether they should really be counted as proper parts of our minds. (shrink)
Among discrete emotions, basic emotions are the most elemental; most distinct; most continuous across species, time, and place; and most intimately related to survival-critical functions. For an emotion to be afforded basic emotion status it must meet criteria of: (a) distinctness (primarily in behavioral and physiological characteristics), (b) hard-wiredness (circuitry built into the nervous system), and (c) functionality (provides a generalized solution to a particular survival-relevant challenge or opportunity). A set of six emotions that most clearly meet these criteria (enjoyment, (...) anger, disgust, fear, surprise, sadness) and three additional emotions (relief/contentment, interest, love) for which the evidence is not yet quite as strong is described. Empirical approaches that are most and least useful for establishing basic-emotion status are discussed. Basic emotions are thought to have a central organizing mechanism and to have the capacity to influence behavior, thoughts, and other fundamental processes. (shrink)
A revised edition of an undergraduate text for students in history of psychology courses. Designed for one semester, covers: the history of psychology in ancient philosophy, structuralism, neurophysiology, functionalism, behaviorism, psychoanalysis, and gestalt theories. The new edition has expanded.
This research study sought to identify whether there is a relationship between ethical perceptions and culture. An examination of the cultural variables suggests that there is a relationship between two of Hofstede's cultural dimensions (i.e., Uncertainty Avoidance and Individualism) and ethical perceptions. This finding supports the hypothetical linkage between the cultural environment and the perceived ethical problem variables posited in Hunt and Vitell's General Theory of Marketing Ethics (1986).
This paper addresses issues surrounding the concept of geometric phase or "anholonomy". Certain physical phenomena apparently require for their explanation and understanding, reference to toplogocial/geometric features of some abstract space of parameters. These issues are related to the question of how gauge structures are to be interpreted and whether or not the debate over their "reality" is really going to be fruitful.
Mesoscale modeling is often considered merely as a practical strategy used when information on lower-scale details is lacking, or when there is a need to make models cognitively or computationally tractable. Without dismissing the importance of practical constraints for modeling choices, we argue that mesoscale models should not just be considered as abbreviations or placeholders for more “complete” models. Because many systems exhibit different behaviors at various spatial and temporal scales, bottom-up approaches are almost always doomed to fail. Mesoscale models (...) capture aspects of multi-scale systems that cannot be parameterized by simple averaging of lower-scale details. To understand the behavior of multi-scale systems, it is essential to identify mesoscale parameters that “code for” lower-scale details in a way that relate phenomena intermediate between microscopic and macroscopic features. We illustrate this point using examples of modeling of multi-scale systems in materials science and biology, where identification of material parameters such as stiffness or strain is a central step. The examples illustrate important aspects of a so-called “middle-out” modeling strategy. Rather than attempting to model the system bottom-up, one starts at intermediate scales where systems exhibit behaviors distinct from those at the atomic and continuum scales. One then seeks to upscale and downscale to gain a more complete understanding of the multi-scale system. The cases highlight how parameterization of lower-scale details not only enables tractable modeling but is also central to understanding functional and organizational features of multi-scale systems. (shrink)
The study of insight in problem solving and creative thinking has seen an upsurge of interest in the last 30 years. Current theorising concerning insight has taken one of two tacks. The special-process view, which grew out of the Gestalt psychologists’ theorising about insight, proposes that insight is the result of a dedicated set of processes that is activated by the individual's reaching impasse while trying to deal with a problematic situation. In contrast, the business-as-usual view argues that insight is (...) brought about by the same processes that underlie ordinary thinking . Although those two views are typically treated as being in opposition, it has recently been proposed that a complete understanding of insight will require bringing together aspects of both views. The present paper carries that proposal further. Critical analysis of those two viewpoints demonstrates that each has a positive contribution to make to our understanding of insight, but also is.. (shrink)
This paper addresses a relatively common scientific (as opposed to philosophical) conception of intertheoretic reduction between physical theories. This is the sense of reduction in which one (typically newer and more refined) theory is said to reduce to another (typically older and coarser) theory in the limit as some small parameter tends to zero. Three examples of such reductions are discussed: First, the reduction of Special Relativity (SR) to Newtonian Mechanics (NM) as (v/c)20; second, the reduction of wave optics to (...) geometrical optics as 0; and third, the reduction of Quantum Mechanics (QM) to Classical Mechanics (CM) as0. I argue for the following two claims. First, the case of SR reducing to NM is an instance of a genuine reductive relationship while the latter two cases are not. The reason for this concerns the nature of the limiting relationships between the theory pairs. In the SR/NM case, it is possible to consider SR as a regular perturbation of NM; whereas in the cases of wave and geometrical optics and QM/CM, the perturbation problem is singular. The second claim I wish to support is that as a result of the singular nature of the limits between these theory pairs, it is reasonable to maintain that third theories exist describing the asymptotic limiting domains. In the optics case, such a theory has been called catastrophe optics. In the QM/CM case, it is semiclassical mechanics. Aspects of both theories are discussed in some detail. (shrink)