Buildings are meaningful parts of the environment; and when they are architecture, they aspire to greater meaning. Several accounts of architectural semiosis have been offered based on analogies to biology and language. These are critiqued. Critiqued, too, are accounts of semiosis generally that use systems-theoretical concepts and language. The essay goes on to outline what could be a contribution to biosemiotics from the work of perception psychologist, J. J. Gibson, as brought through architecture in the form of isovist field theory. (...) This theory is not treated as an example of systems thinking as it usually is, but, with the help of philosopher Martin Buber as well as Jesper Hoffmeyer, as a way out of it—able to describe the meaning of objects and space phenomenologically and ecologically at once. (shrink)
Karl Christian Friedrich Krause left an impressive oeuvre consisting of 256 books and articles, covering numerous branches of philosophy, the humanities, and science. His Urbild der Menschheit, his Vorlesungen über das System der Philosophie and his Vorlesungen über die Grundwahrheiten der Wissenschaft are of particular pertinence for philosophers today.  See: E. M. Ureña and E. Fuchs, “Einführung in das Gesamtwerk”, in Karl Christian Friedrich Krause. Band 1: Entwurf des Systems der Philosophie, ed. T. Bach and O. Breidbach.
The so-called “conciliatory” norm in epistemology and meta-ethics requires that an agent, upon encountering peer disagreement with her judgment, lower her confidence about that judgment. But whether agents actually abide by this norm is unclear. Although confidence is excessively researched in the empirical sciences, possible effects of disagreement on confidence have been understudied. Here, we target this lacuna, reporting a study that measured confidence about moral beliefs before and after exposure to moral discourse about a controversial issue. Our findings indicate (...) that participants do not abide by the conciliatory norm. Neither do they conform to a rival “steadfast” norm that demands their confidence to remain the same. Instead, moral discourse seems to boost confidence. Interestingly, we also find a confidence boost for factual beliefs, and a correlation between the extremity of moral views and confidence. One possible explanation of our findings is that when engaging in moral discourse participants become more extreme in their opinions, which leads them to become more confident about them, or vice versa: they become more confident and in turn more extreme. Although our work provides initial evidence for the former mechanism, further research is needed for a better understanding of confidence and moral discourse. (shrink)
Benedikt Stattler was born on January 30, 1728 in Kötzting in Bavaria. In 1745 he entered the Society of Jesus, to which he remained loyal in spirit and in deed until his death, in spite of its suppression in 1773 by Clement XIV From 1760 until 1781 he taught philosophy and theology in Staubing, Solothurn, Innsbruck and Ingolstadt, where the famous J. M. Sailer, Bishop of Regensburg, was his pupil. He died in Munich in 1797. Stattler, then, lived and (...) worked at the very height of the so-called Aufklarungszeit, a fact which had the deepest repercussions on his whole career. He was a zealous man and truly apostolic. Perhaps, if anything he was over-zealous and was in fact carried much too far in his spirit of accommodation and flexibility when faced with the rationalist enemies of the Church and Christianity. He was filled with the idea that they should be met on their own ground in order to win them for the Church. And in order to do that he decided that he must break with tradition. Modern modes of thinking must be used if there is to be even the possibility of discussion with present-day thinkers, was his principle. Accordingly he brushed aside Aristotle, St. Thomas and all the Scholastics and made his own the philosophy of Christian Wolff. For him that was the only way of preserving the Christian and Catholic faith and of safeguarding Christian morality, the Christian way of life. Filled with that idea he wrote indefatigably. Many of his works, however, very early fell foul of the Roman authorities and were put on the Index of forbidden books. And in fact, as Dr. Scholz rightly points out over and over again, Stattler became a victim of the Aufklärung which he sought to Christianize and he himself became a rationalist and, in morals, and out-and-out subjectivist. (shrink)
Philosophy of mathematics is moving in a new direction: away from a foundationalism in terms of formal logic and traditional ontology, and towards a broader range of approaches that are united by a focus on mathematical practice. The scientific research network PhiMSAMP (Philosophy of Mathematics: Sociological Aspects and Mathematical Practice) consisted of researchers from a variety of backgrounds and fields, brought together by their common interest in the shift of philosophy of mathematics towards mathematical practice. Hosted by the Rheinische Friedrich- (...) Wilhelms-Universitat Bonn and funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) from 2006-2010, the network organized and contributed to a number of workshops and conferences on the topic of mathematical practice. The refereed contributions in this volume represent the research results of the network and consists of contributions of the network members as well as selected paper versions of presentations at the network's mid-term conference, "Is mathematics special?" (PhiMSAMP-3) held in Vienna 2008. (shrink)
Panentheism seems to be an attractive alternative to classical theism. It is not clear, though, what exactly panentheism asserts and how it relates to classical theism. By way of clarifying the thesis of panentheism, I argue that panentheism and classical theism differ only as regards the modal status of the world. According to panentheism, the world is an intrinsic property of God – necessarily there is a world – and according to classical theism the world is an extrinsic property of (...) God – it is only contingently true that there is a world. Therefore, as long as we do not have an argument showing that necessarily there is a world, panentheism is not an attractive alternative to classical theism. (shrink)
There is a variety of concepts of the divine in the eastern and western theological and philosophical traditions. There is, however, not enough reflection on the logic behind concepts of God and their justification. I clarify some necessary and sufficient conditions any attempt to explicate a concept of God has to take into account. I argue that each concept of God is a cypher for a particular worldview and distinguishes three types of justification frequently used to bestow content on particular (...) concepts of God: philosophical, theological, and scientific. I turn to four fundamental models of the God–world relation and argue that the most promising concept of God is panentheistic, on which the universe is essentially divine but is not exhaustive of the divine being. (shrink)
We do not believe that logic is the sole answer to deep and intriguing questions about human behaviour, but we think that it might be a useful tool in simulating and understanding it to a certain degree and in specifically restricted areas of application. We do not aim to resolve the question of what rational behaviour in games with mistaken and changing beliefs is. Rather, we develop a formal and abstract framework that allows us to reason about behaviour in games (...) with mistaken and changing beliefs leaving aside normative questions concerning whether the agents are behaving “rationally”; we focus on what agents do in a game. In this paper, we are not concerned with the reasoning process of the economic agent; rather, our intended application is artificial agents, e.g., autonomous agents interacting with a human user or with each other as part of a computer game or in a virtual world. We give a story of mistaken beliefs that is a typical example of the situation in which we should want our formal setting to be applied. Then we give the definitions for our formal system and how to use this setting to get a backward induction solution. We then apply our semantics to the story related earlier and give an analysis of it. Our final section contains a discussion of related work and future projects. We discuss the advantages of our approach over existing approaches and indicate how it can be connected to the existing literature. (shrink)
ABSTRACTDot-probe studies usually find an attentional bias towards threatening stimuli only in anxious participants, but not in non-anxious participants. In the present study, we conducted two experiments to investigate whether attentional bias towards angry faces in unselected samples is moderated by the extent to which the current task requires social processing. In Experiment 1, participants performed a dot-probe task involving classification of either socially meaningful targets or meaningless targets. Targets were preceded by two photographic face cues, one angry and one (...) neutral. Angry face cues only produced significant cueing scores with socially meaningful targets, not with meaningless targets. In Experiment 2, participants classified only meaningful targets, which were either socially meaningful or not. Again, mean cue... (shrink)
The distinction between data and phenomena introduced by Bogen and Woodward (Philosophical Review 97(3):303–352, 1988) was meant to help accounting for scientific practice, especially in relation with scientific theory testing. Their article and the subsequent discussion is primarily viewed as internal to philosophy of science. We shall argue that the data/phenomena distinction can be used much more broadly in modelling processes in philosophy.
In climate science, climate models are one of the main tools for understanding phenomena. Here, we develop a framework to assess the fitness of a climate model for providing understanding. The framework is based on three dimensions: representational accuracy, representational depth, and graspability. We show that this framework does justice to the intuition that classical process-based climate models give understanding of phenomena. While simple climate models are characterized by a larger graspability, state-of-the-art models have a higher representational accuracy and representational (...) depth. We then compare the fitness-for-providing understanding of process-based to data-driven models that are built with machine learning. We show that at first glance, data-driven models seem either unnecessary or inadequate for understanding. However, a case study from atmospheric research demonstrates that this is a false dilemma. Data-driven models can be useful tools for understanding , specifically for phenomena for which scientists can argue from the coherence of the models with background knowledge to their representational accuracy and for which the model complexity can be reduced such that they are graspable to a satisfactory extent. When citing this paper, please use the full journal title Studies in History and Philosophy of Science. (shrink)
Karl Christian Friedrich Krause war ein bemerkenswerter Denker des Deutschen Idealismus. Seine Schriften können ohne Zweifel mit denen Hegels, Schellings und Fichtes konkurrieren. Gerade im Bereich der theoretischen Philosophie bietet das Krausesche Œuvre eine Fundgrube an Einsichten und Argumenten, die der heutigen, oftmals betont postmodernen oder atheistischen Philosophie eine dringend benötigte Kontrastfolie sein können. Sinn und Zweck der Arbeit ist es, den Panentheismus Krauses zeitgemäß darzustellen und Brückenschläge zur heutigen religionsphilosophischen Debatte aufzuzeigen.
Der vorliegende Band ist der wechselseitigen Durchdringung von exegetischen und philosophischen Anliegen in der spätantiken neuplatonischen Kommentarliteratur anhand prominenter Fallbeispiele von Porphyrios bis David gewidmet. Welche Erwartungshaltungen leiten die Kommentatoren bei der Interpretation einzelner Texte und Textstellen? Wie und warum nehmen sie zu den Gedanken, die in den von ihnen kommentierten Texten zum Ausdruck kommen, so Stellung, wie sie Stellung nehmen? Dabei bildet die Frage, welche Ansätze die Kommentatoren entwickelt haben, um das Verhältnis zwischen platonischen und aristotelischen Theorien zu bestimmen, (...) das Leitmotiv des vorliegenden Bandes. Es zeigt sich, dass die Rede von einer Harmonisierungstendenz der Kommentatoren zwar aufs Ganze gesehen berechtigt, jedoch allzu undifferenziert ist. Die Beiträge zeichnen ein facettenreiches, einzelne Kommentatoren und Kommentierungstraditionen übergreifendes Bild von der wechselseitigen Durchdringung exegetischer und philosophischer Interessen überhaupt, welche sich im Schaffen der spätantiken Kommentatoren manifestiert. (shrink)
Recent research has shown that book collecting by private individuals and institutions was a widespread phenomenon in Bilād al-Shām. At least from the Ayyubid period onwards, countless volumes were produced, changed hands in the book market, and lay around in libraries. To this day, Damascus occupies a central position in our knowledge about libraries and book culture in general, while other cities and regions lag behind. In this article, the inventory of an Aleppine book collector is used to take a (...) glimpse at the book culture of Aleppo in the first decades of the seventeenth century. Although most probably not reflecting the sum total of his library, the inventory still allows to ascertain the specific taste of its compiler, an otherwise unknown Aleppine bibliophile. The inventory also provides evidence for the early distribution of Arabic print and pushes the door open for investigating the role of local agents in the early days of attempts by Orientalists to acquire Arabic manuscripts for European libraries. (shrink)
Should or shouldn’t Christians endorse the transhumanist agenda of changing human nature in ways fitting to one’s needs? To answer this question, we first have to be clear on what precisely the thesis of transhumanism entails that we are going to evaluate. Once this point is clarified, I argue that Christians can in principle fully endorse the transhumanist agenda because there is nothing in Christian faith that is in contradiction to it. In fact, given certain plausible moral assumptions, Christians should (...) endorse a moderate enhancement of human nature. I end with a brief case study that analyses the theological implications of the idea of immortal Christian cyborgs. I argue that the existence of Christian cyborgs who know no natural death has no impact on the Christian hope of immortality in the presence of God. (shrink)
The existence of God is once again the focus of vivid philosophical discussion. From the point of view of analytic theology, however, people often talk past each other when they debate about the putative existence or nonexistence of God. In the worst case, for instance, atheists deny the existence of a God, which no theists ever claimed to exist. In order to avoid confusions like this we need to be clear about the function of the term 'God' in its different (...) contexts of use. In what follows, I distinguish between the functions of 'God' in philosophical contexts on the one hand and in theological contexts on the other in order to provide a schema, which helps to avoid confusion in the debate on the existence or non-existence of God. (shrink)
We argue that mathematical knowledge is context dependent. Our main argument is that on pain of distorting mathematical practice, one must analyse the notion of having available a proof, which supplies justification in mathematics, in a context dependent way.
"Foundations of the Formal Sciences" is a series of interdisciplinary conferences in mathematics, philosophy, computer science and linguistics. The main goal is to reestablish the traditionally strong links between these areas of research that have been lost in the past decades. The second conference in the series had the subtitle "Applications of Mathematical Logic in Philosophy and Linguistics" and brought speakers from all parts of the Formal Sciences together to give a holistic view of how mathematical methods can improve our (...) philosophical and technical understanding of language and scientific discourse, ranging from the theoretical level up to applications in language recognition software. Audience: This volume is of interest to all formal philosophers and theoretical linguists. In addition to that, logicians interested in the applications of their field and logic students in mathematics, computer science, philosophy and linguistics can use the volume to broaden their knowledge of applications of logic. (shrink)
The Tria Opuscula by the Late Antique Neoplatonist Proklos are accessible in full in the translation into medieval Latin by Wilhelm von Moerbeke, as well as in fragments in the Greek texts of Late Antique and Byzantine authors. Using the form of a commentary on passages, this work assesses what we can learn from these sources about the original Greek text of the three works. At the same time the commentary serves the elucidation of the first complete Greek retroversion of (...) the Tria Opuscula, which is published here. (shrink)
On the one hand, arguably, I am neither this nor that. Arguably, neither is God this or that – so, am I God? Otherwise it seems that I must be this and God must be that. On the other hand, the being of the universe is not something of which I could plausibly be construed as the ultimate cause. That is God's creative act. Because I do not create the universe, I am not God. So I am God and I (...) am not God. Here's a solution: God is One but also Three, I am but one. (shrink)
Panpsychism has become a highly attractive position in the philosophy of mind. On panpsychism, both the physical and the mental are inseparable and fundamental features of reality. Panentheism has also become immensely popular in the philosophy of religion. Panentheism strives for a higher reconciliation of an atheistic pantheism, on which the universe itself is causa sui, and the ontological dualism of necessarily existing, eternal creator and contingent, finite creation. Historically and systematically, panpsychism and panentheism often went together as essential parts (...) of an all-embracing metaphysical theory of Being. The present collection of essays analyses the relation between panpsychism and panentheism and provides critical reflections on the significance of panpsychistic and panentheistic thinking for recent debates in philosophy and theology. (shrink)
I start by way of clarifying briefly the problem of special divine intervention. Once this is done, I argue that laws of nature are generalizations that derive from the dispositional behaviour of natural kinds. Based on this conception of laws of nature I provide a metaphysical model according to which God can realize acts of special divine providence by way of temporarily changing the dispositions of natural entities. I show that this model does not contradict scientific practice and is consistent (...) with the assumption that the physical realm is causally closed. I then argue that prima facie any putative candidate for an act of God could also be seen as a random event or as indicating that there is something wrong with our formulation of the corresponding law of nature. While there is no sufficient philosophical or scientific reason to prefer one of these models, I argue that there are sufficient and legitimate theological reasons to endorse a framework in which at least the obtaining of some anomic states of affairs is seen as the effect of special divine intervention. Doing so, theology has the hermeneutic resources to uncover a dimension of meaningful reality, which without faith could not be seen. (shrink)