Starting from the idea that functions are formally similar to actions in that they are described and explained in a similar way, so that both admit of an accordion effect, I turn to Anscombe’s insight that the point of practical reasoning is to render explicit the relation between the different descriptions of an action generated by the accordion effect. The upshot is, roughly, that an item has a function if what it does can be accounted for by functional reasoning. Put (...) differently, a part of a system has a function if what it does is a functional part of what the system does. (shrink)
The aim of Modality and Explanatory Reasoning (MER) is to shed light on metaphysical necessity and the broader class of modal properties to which it belongs. This topic is approached with two goals: to develop a new and reductive analysis of modality, and to understand the purpose and origin of modal thought. I argue that a proper understanding of modality requires us to reconceptualize its relationship to causation and other forms of explanation such as grounding, a relation that connects metaphysically (...) fundamental facts to non-fundamental ones. While many philosophers have tried to give modal analyses of causation and explanation, often in counterfactual terms, I argue that we obtain a more plausible, explanatorily powerful and unified theory if we regard explanation as more fundamental than modality. The function of modal thought is to facilitate a common type of thought experiment – counterfactual reasoning – that allows us to investigate explanatory connections and which is closely related to the controlled experiments of empirical science. Necessity is defined in terms of explanation, and modal facts often reflect underlying facts about explanatory relationships. The study of modal facts is important for philosophy not because these facts are of much metaphysical interest in their own right, but largely because they provide evidence about explanatory connections. (shrink)
Boris Kment takes a new approach to the study of modality that emphasises the origin of modal notions in everyday thought. He argues that the concepts of necessity and possibility originate in counterfactual reasoning, which allows us to investigate explanatory connections. Contrary to accepted views, explanation is more fundamental than modality.
In a wide-ranging 2007 study of Claude Lévi-Strauss's aesthetic thought, Boris Wiseman demonstrates not only its centrality within his oeuvre but also the importance of Levi-Strauss for contemporary aesthetic enquiry. Reconstructing the internal logic of Lévi-Strauss's thinking on aesthetics, and showing how anthropological and aesthetic ideas intertwine at the most elemental levels in the elaboration of his system of thought, Wiseman demonstrates that Lévi-Strauss's aesthetic theory forms an integral part of his approach to Amerindian masks, body decoration and mythology. (...) He reveals the significance of Lévi-Strauss's anthropological analysis of an 'untamed' mode of thinking at work in totemism, classification and myth-making for his conception of art and aesthetic experience. In this way, structural anthropology is shown to lead to ethnoaesthetics. Lévi-Strauss, Anthropology and Aesthetics adopts a broad-ranging approach that combines the different perspectives of anthropology, philosophy, aesthetic theory and literary criticism into an unusual and imaginative whole. (shrink)
I propose a general alethic theory of epistemic risk according to which the riskiness of an agent’s credence function encodes her relative sensitivity to different types of graded error. After motivating and mathematically developing this approach, I show that the epistemic risk function is a scaled reflection of expected inaccuracy. This duality between risk and information enables us to explore the relationship between attitudes to epistemic risk, the choice of scoring rules in epistemic utility theory, and the selection of priors (...) in Bayesian epistemology more generally. (shrink)
In this paper, I make a contribution to a naturalistically-minded theory of truthmakers by proposing a solution to the nasty problem of truthmakers for negative truths. After formulating the difficulty, I consider and reject a number of solutions to the problem, including Armstrong's states of affairs of totality, incompatibility accounts, and JC Beall 's polarity view. I then defend the position that absences of truthmakers are real and are responsible for making negative truths true. According to the positive account of (...) absences I offer, absences of contingent states of affairs are causally relevant mind-independent features of the physical world, located within space and time, and capable of being discovered by scientific inquiry. Recognition of the reality of absences strengthens truthmaker theory as a naturalistic metaphysics, as truth and falsity of each and every contingent proposition finds an ontological grounding in some region of the physical universe. (shrink)
Evidential decision theory (EDT) says that the choiceworthiness of an option depends on its evidential connections to possible outcomes. Causal decision theory (CDT) holds that it depends on your beliefs about its causal connections. While Newcomb cases support CDT, Arif Ahmed has described examples that support EDT. A new account is needed to get all cases right. I argue that an option A’s choiceworthiness is determined by the probability that a good outcome ensues at possible A-worlds that match actuality in (...) the facts causally unaffected by your decision (the “unaffected facts”). Moreover, you should evaluate A on the assumption that A is compossible with the unaffected facts. This view entails that you should use EDT when evaluating A on the assumption that the unaffected facts determine your action, but use CDT when assessing A on the opposite assumption. A’s choiceworthiness equals a weighted average of these conditional assessments. The weights are determined by your beliefs about whether the unaffected fact determine your action. This account gets both Newcomb and Ahmed cases right. According to an influential view, whether you take the unaffected facts to determine your action can make a difference to whether you can regard yourself as free and the action as being under your control. While my account is neutral on this issue, it entails that whether you take the unaffected facts to determine your action is important in a different way: it matters to whether you should follow EDT or CDT. (shrink)
Approximate coherentism suggests that imperfectly rational agents should hold approximately coherent credences. This norm is intended as a generalization of ordinary coherence. I argue that it may be unable to play this role by considering its application under learning experiences. While it is unclear how imperfect agents should revise their beliefs, I suggest a plausible route is through Bayesian updating. However, Bayesian updating can take an incoherent agent from relatively more coherent credences to relatively less coherent credences, depending on the (...) data observed. Thus, comparative rationality judgments among incoherent agents are unduly sensitive to luck. (shrink)
This book is a monograph aimed at an analysis of the reasons for fundamental theory change in science. The book was written and published in the last years of the Soviet Union, this fact explains the ‘dialectico-materialistic’ terminology used by the author.
While there are satisfactory answers to the question "How to teach children mathematics?", there are no satisfactory answers to the question "Which mathematics to teach children?". This paper provides an answer to the last question for preschool children, although the answer is also applicable to older children. This answer, together with an appropriate methodology on how to teach mathematics, gives a clear conception of the place of mathematics in the children’s world and our role in helping children develop their mathematical (...) abilities. From the point of view of this conception, the standards established today are limiting and too focused on numbers and geometric figures: these topics are too prominent and elaborated, and other mathematical contents are subordinated to them. Adhering to the standards, we drastically limit the mathematics of the child's world, hamper the correct mathematical development of a child, and we can turn her away from mathematics. (shrink)
Im 2009 erschienenen Buch "Philosophie des Leidens" versucht Boris Wandruszka, jene immanente Lebensstruktur und Lebensdynamik aufzudecken, die zu den einfachsten und fundamentalen Strukturmomenten des Leidens vorstosst; diese erste "Wissenschaft vom Leiden" transzendierte daher nicht die Grenzen der Anschaubarkeit, sondern verblieb in der "Immanenz des 'inneren Lebens' bzw. des Erlebens". Im aktuellen Buch "Metaphysik des Leidens" werden die "realen Bedingungen der Moglichkeit von Leiden" ermittelt: Wie muss eine Welt beschaffen sein, damit darin ein leidendes Wesen erscheinen konne? Welche Rolle hat (...) das Leiden in Bezug zum fundamentalen Widerfahrnis-, Resonanz- und Responsivitatscharakter des Lebens? Es wird gezeigt, dass menschliches Leben, das einer plural-agonalen Welt ausgesetzt ist, nicht leidfrei moglich ist, dass aber andererseits das Leid nicht das letzte Wort sein kann, sondern notwendig auf Ganzheit, Reifung, Erlosung und Harmonie bezogen ist. Nur auf dem Hintergrund der Spannung zwischen absoluter Seins-, Sinn- und Lebensfulle und der stets problematischen und fragilen Teilhabe von Menschen am "absoluten und leiduberwindenden Urleben" kann Leiden entstehen, durchlitten, verstanden, aber auch uberwunden werden. Hier erreicht der "Opfergedanke", in dem das unvermeidliche Leid frei angenommen und dadurch transformiert wird, seine reinste und hochste Ausformung. Erst nach Klarung dieser Verhaltnisse wird die "Theodizeefrage" als "das Problem der Probleme" angegangen und am Leitfaden der Hiob-Erzahlung diskutiert. Letztlich erweist sich, dass trotz allem Schmerz, Mangel, Unrecht und Unsinn ein "Potential des Unendlichen" im Leiden verborgen liegt, das auf seine Uberwindung durch Sein-, Sinn- und Werterfullung, durch Tat, Erkenntnis und Liebe verweist und dass diese drei "Machte" der Leidensherausforderung bedurfen, um ihre Weite, Tiefe und Hohe auszuloten. (shrink)
Analysing several characteristic mathematical models: natural and real numbers, Euclidean geometry, group theory, and set theory, I argue that a mathematical model in its final form is a junction of a set of axioms and an internal partial interpretation of the corresponding language. It follows from the analysis that (i) mathematical objects do not exist in the external world: they are our internally imagined objects, some of which, at least approximately, we can realize or represent; (ii) mathematical truths are not (...) truths about the external world but specifications (formulations) of mathematical conceptions; (iii) mathematics is first and foremost our imagined tool by which, with certain assumptions about its applicability, we explore nature and synthesize our rational cognition of it. (shrink)
La motivation de l’amalgamation de jeu de mots se circonscrit à la combinaison de lexèmes source cognitivement reconnus comme ayant une similitude linguistique, ou un effet d’oxymore. Il est possible que les interlocuteurs remotivent ensuite des groupes de consonnes de ces formes, s’ils leurs associent des traits sémantiques pour former d’autres amalgames.L’amalgamation de jeu de mots est destinée à renforcer la saillance cognitive. La forme produite se démarque alors de son cotexte essentiellement composé de lexèmes monomorphémiques, de dérivés et de (...) composés non-tronqués. Cela change la façon dont on se focalise sur un référent, que ce soit par la mise en relief d’une lexie sur laquelle on attire l’attention, ou par la réduction de son impact sur les interlocuteurs qui doivent reconstituer mentalement les éléments sources possiblement gênants. Cette approche principale dévoile une arborescence d’objectifs possibles, comprenant l’humour, l’attractivité commerciale, les mots d’esprits pour défendre ses idées, l’esthétisme littéraire, l’euphémisme, le dysphémisme, ou l’idiosyncrasie pour exprimer son individualité ou paraître original et créatif.L’examen de formes coréférentielles au sein ou en dehors de l’amalgamation de jeu de mots démontre que l’objectif repose sur l’occurrence. L’analyse, dans des situations variées, d’occurrences de mêmes formes amalgamées par jeu de mots prouve que la motivation repose sur l’usage et se trouve sur l’interface sémantique-pragmatique. Cependant, la pragmatique doit parfois prendre le relais des limites de la sémantique pour mettre en lumière la motivation d’une forme amalgamée, puisque la forme peut rester ambigüe. (shrink)
A significant thread in Boris Hessen‟s iconic essay, The Social and Economic Roots of Newton’s Principia (1931), is his critique of Newton‟s involving God in his physics. Contra Newton, Hessen believes that nature does not need God in order to function properly. Hessen gives two, quite distinct, „internal‟ explanations of Newton‟s failure to see this. The first explanation is that Newton‟s failure is caused by his believing that motion is a mode instead of an attribute or essence of matter. (...) The second explanation is that Newton‟s failure is owed to his considering mechanical motion as the sole form of the motion of matter: Newton, in Hessen‟s view, did not realize that matter has many forms of motion which constantly transform into one another while conserving energy. In the present paper, I defend the thesis that none of these explanations can account for Newton‟s failure. Hessen‟s first explanation is problematic because even if Newton believed that motion is an attribute or essence of matter, he would still be obliged to involve God in physics. His second explanation fails too because he does not show exactly how the multiplicity and inter-transformation of forms of motion can account for nature‟s organizational structure. (shrink)
We further investigate a divisibility relation on the set of BN ultrafilters on the set of natural numbers. We single out prime ultrafilters (divisible only by 1 and themselves) and establish a hierarchy in which a position of every ultrafilter depends on the set of prime ultrafilters it is divisible by. We also construct ultrafilters with many immediate successors in this hierarchy and find positions of products of ultrafilters.
In this article, logical concepts are defined using the internal syntactic and semantic structure of language. For a first-order language, it has been shown that its logical constants are connectives and a certain type of quantifiers for which the universal and existential quantifiers form a functionally complete set of quantifiers. Neither equality nor cardinal quantifiers belong to the logical constants of a first-order language.
If definitive evidence concerning treatment effectiveness becomes available from an ongoing randomized clinical trial, then the trial could be stopped early, with the public release of results benefiting current and future patients. However, stopping an ongoing trial based on accruing outcome data requires methodological rigor to preserve validity of the trial conclusions. This has led to the use of formal interim monitoring procedures, which include inefficacy monitoring that will stop a trial early when the experimental treatment appears not to be (...) working. For participants, inefficacy monitoring is especially important as it ensures that they are not being treated worse than if they had not enrolled on the trial. We discuss the importance of reporting with trial results the formal interim inefficacy monitoring guidelines that were utilized, and, if none were used, the reasons for their absence. A survey of two leading medical journals suggests that this is not current practice. (shrink)
In this paper, we reflect on the connection between the notions of organism and organisation, with a specific interest in how this bears upon the issue of the reality of the organism. We do this by presenting the case of Buffon, who developed complex views about the relation between the notions of “organised” and “organic” matter. We argue that, contrary to what some interpreters have suggested, these notions are not orthogonal in his thought. Also, we argue that Buffon has a (...) view in which organisation is not just ubiquitous, but basic and fundamental in nature, and hence also fully natural. We suggest that he can hold this view because of his anti-mathematicism. Buffon’s case is interesting, in our view, because he can regard organisation, and organisms, as perfectly natural, and can admit their reality without invoking problematic supernaturalist views, and because he allows organisation and the organismal to come in kinds and degrees. Thus, his view tries to do justice to two cautionary notes for the debate on the reality of the organism: the need for a commitment to a broadly naturalist perspective, and the need to acknowledge the interesting features of organisms through which we make sense of them. (shrink)
We construct and study structures imitating the field of complex numbers with exponentiation. We give a natural, albeit non first-order, axiomatisation for the corresponding class of structures and prove that the class has a unique model in every uncountable cardinality. This gives grounds to conjecture that the unique model of cardinality continuum is isomorphic to the field of complex numbers with exponentiation.
Though it has been nearly two decades since the fall of Communism in the former Soviet Union and the accompanying disintegration of the Soviet state, a strange aspect of the current cultural situation in Russia and in the other former republics of the USSR is that the people still identify themselves as post-Soviet. Yet, the difference between the Soviet past and a capitalist present is striking, which raises many questions: Why are the new elites referring to the old times to (...) legitimize themselves? Why do commercial advertisements stress that the products they offer are exactly the same as they used to be in Soviet times? And, why, year after year, does the government in Moscow organize impressive celebrations for Victory Day, inevitably drawing parallels to the old Soviet ceremonies? Back in the USSR by Boris Kagarlitsky tackles these questions and more as it reflects on what happened in Russia after the collapse of the old regime and how this has affected social and cultural life, as well as the everyday lives of ordinary people. In this arresting work, Kagarlitsky also delves into what type of intelligentsia still exists in the former USSR and the cultural products that are being produced by these artists, including novels, films, and music. (shrink)
The concept of inertial frame of reference is analysed. It has been shown that this fundamental concept of physics is not clear enough. A definition of inertial frame of reference is proposed which expresses its key inherent property. The definition is operational and powerful. Many other properties of inertial frames follow from the definition or it makes them plausible. In particular, the definition shows why physical laws obey space and time symmetries and the principle of relativity, it resolves the problem (...) of clock synchronization and the role of light in it, as well as the problem of the geometry of inertial frames. (shrink)
Many philosophers have argued that statistical evidence regarding group char- acteristics (particularly stereotypical ones) can create normative conflicts between the requirements of epistemic rationality and our moral obligations to each other. In a recent paper, Johnson-King and Babic argue that such conflicts can usually be avoided: what ordinary morality requires, they argue, epistemic rationality permits. In this paper, we show that as data gets large, Johnson-King and Babic’s approach becomes less plausible. More constructively, we build on their project and develop (...) a generalized model of reasoning about stereotypes under which one can indeed avoid normative conflicts, even in a big data world, when data contain some noise. In doing so, we also articulate a general approach to rational belief updating for noisy data. (shrink)
The essential role of language in rational cognition is analysed. The approach is functional: only the results of the connection between language, reality, and thinking are considered. Scientific language is analysed as an extension and improvement of everyday language. The analysis gives a uniform view of language and rational cognition. The consequences for the nature of ontology, truth, logic, thinking, scientific theories, and mathematics are derived.
Boris Roman Gibhardt, : Denkfigur Rhythmus. Probleme und Potenziale des Rhythmusbegriffs in den Künsten, Hannover : Wehrhahn Verlag 2020 – ISBN-13 : 978-3-86525-783-3, 240 S. Reviewed in ArtHist.net by Judith Preiß, Tübingen School of Education, Universität Tübingen. Rhythmus scheint auf den ersten Blick zu den Begriffen zu zählen, mit denen sich zeitliche und formale Aspekte ästhetischer Phänomene relativ unproblematisch beschreiben lassen. Wenig - Recensions.