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)
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.
The complete system of knowledge is a standard trope of science fiction, a techno-utopian dream and an aesthetic ideal. It is Solomon’s House, the Encyclopaedia and the Museum. It is also an ideology – of Enlightenment, High Modernism and absolute governance. Far from ending the dream of a total archive, 20th-century positivist rationality brought it ever closer. From Paul Otlet’s ‘Mundaneum’ to Mass-Observation, from the Unity of Science movement to Wikipedia, the dream of universal knowledge dies hard. As a political (...) tool, the total archive encompasses population statistics, gross domestic product, indices of the Standard of Living and the international ideology of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the World Health Organization, the free market and, most recently, Big Data. Questions of the total archive engage key issues in the philosophy of classification, the poetics of the universal, the ideology of surveillance and the technologies of information retrieval. What are the social structures and political dynamics required to sustain total archives, and what are the temporalities implied by such projects? This introduction and the articles that follow describe and place in historical context a series of concrete instances of totality. Our analysis is arranged according to four central themes: the relationship between the Archive and archives ; the image of the archive and the aesthetics of totality; pathologies of accumulation; and the specific historical trajectory of the total archive in the 19th and 20th centuries. (shrink)
British social survey movement ‘Mass-Observation’ was founded in 1937 by a poet, a film-maker and an ornithologist. It purported to offer a new kind of sociology – one informed by surrealism and working with a ‘mass’ of Observers recording day-to-day interactions. Various commentators have debated the importance and precise identity of M-O in its first phase, especially in light of its combination of social science and surrealism. This article draws on new archival research, in particular into the ‘paperwork’ practices of (...) Charles Madge, arguing that M-O is best understood as an attempt to define a new relationship between the survey subject and information organiser. The latter – as sociologist, planner or artist – was a distinctive interwar persona, central to ‘scientific humanism’. Bathos, as a formal strategy in modernist aesthetics, is introduced as an explanation of the failure of this particular part of the M-O project. Questions of subjectivity and data link M-O to a longer history of heterodox sociological inquiry. This analysis resolves some of the apparent paradoxes that have been prominent in studies of M-O, and draws attention to the unfulfilled promise of a vast archive of social data. (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 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)
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)
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.
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.
This is partly a book about Aristotle’s four causes (material, formal, efficient, and final cause), partly a systematic discussion of the relation between form and matter, causation, and teleology. Its overall aim is to show that the four causes form a system, so that the form of a natural thing relates to its matter as the final cause of a natural process relates to its efficient cause. It reaches two highly distinctive conclusions. The first is that the formal cause or (...) essence of a thing is not a property but a generic thing. The second is that the final cause of a process is not its purpose but the course that processes of its kind typically take. (shrink)
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)
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)
I argue that Avicenna allows for at least one case where we can intellectually grasp a particular individual as such: Each human intellect can intellect itself as numerically this one intellect without relying on any general notion or concept. This is because humans can retain their individuality when separated from their bodies. I discuss passages in which Avicenna appears to affirm and deny that humans can intellect themselves. I conclude that in contrast to the self-awareness that Avicenna showcases in his (...) “floating human” thought experiment, human self-intellection is a rare achievement, and I explain how it differs from the more perfect self-intellection of the divine intellect.RésuméJe soutiens qu'Avicenne admet au moins un cas où il est possible pour notre intellect de saisir un individu particulier en soi : chaque intellect humain peut s'appréhender comme étant numériquement lui-même sans avoir recours à une notion ou un concept général. Car l’être humain préserve son identité lorsqu'il est séparé de son corps. Nous discutons des textes où Avicenne semble affirmer et nier qu'un être humain peut s'appréhender lui-même. Nous concluons que, contrairement à la conscience de soi qu'invoque Avicenne dans l'expérience de pensée de « l'homme volant», l'auto-intellection humaine est une réalisation rare et nous expliquons ce qui la distingue de l'auto-intellection plus complète de l'intellect divin. (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.
Businesses that rely heavily on cash transactions have been found to be particularly susceptible to low tax ethics. Recent research indicates that cash is a highly powerful and tempting reward, which elicits a strong emotional response. In this article, we investigate how emotions affect tax ethics in a series of experimental studies. Specifically, we show that affective priming and the ease with which tax information is retrieved moderate tax ethics. We also show that the relative effectiveness of deterrence, such as (...) audit probabilities and tax fines, is moderated by affect. These results point toward a complex picture of tax ethics, requiring a multifaceted policy approach that emphasizes not only enforcement, but also cognitive and affective aspects of human behavior. (shrink)
On the received view, counterfactuals are analysed using the concept of closeness between possible worlds: the counterfactual 'If it had been the case that p, then it would have been the case that q' is true at a world w just in case q is true at all the possible p-worlds closest to w. The degree of closeness between two worlds is usually thought to be determined by weighting different respects of similarity between them. The question I consider in the (...) paper is which weights attach to different respects of similarity. I start by considering Lewis's answer to the question and argue against it by presenting several counterexamples. I use the same examples to motivate a general principle about closeness: if a fact obtains in both of two worlds, then this similarity is relevant to the closeness between them if and only if the fact has the same explanation in the two worlds. I use this principle and some ideas of Lewis's to formulate a general account of counterfactuals, and I argue that this account can explain the asymmetry of counterfactual dependence. The paper concludes with a discussion of some examples that cannot be accommodated by the present version of the account and therefore necessitate further work on the details. (shrink)
During the last quarter of a century, a number of philosophers have become attracted to the idea that necessity can be analyzed in terms of a hyperintensional notion of essence. One challenge for proponents of this view is to give a plausible explanation of our modal knowledge. The goal of this paper is to develop a strategy for meeting this challenge. My approach rests on an account of modality that I developed in previous work, and which analyzes modal properties in (...) terms of the notion of a metaphysical law. I discuss what information about the metaphysical laws is required for modal knowledge. Moreover, I describe two ways in which we might be able to acquire this information. The first way employs inference to the best explanation. The metaphysical laws, including the essential truths, play a crucial role in causal and grounding explanations and we can gain knowledge of these laws by abductive inferences from facts of which we have perceptual or a priori knowledge. The second way of gaining information about the metaphysical laws rests on knowledge that is partly constitutive of competence with the concepts that are needed to express the relevant information. Finally, I consider how knowledge of the metaphysical laws can be used to establish modal claims, paying special attention to the much-discussed connection between conceiving and possibility. (shrink)
Popyt na zawody i kompetencje na podlaskim rynku pracy a potrzeby pracodawców w zakresie kształcenia ustawicznego pracowników w wieku 45 lat i więcej Katarzyna Baczyńska-Koc, Magdalena Borys, Andrzej Klimczuk, Iwona Pietrzak, Bogusław Plawgo, Katarzyna Radziewicz, Ewa Rollnik-Sadowska, Cecylia Sadowska-Snarska & Justyna Żynel-Etel .
I will argue that Aristotle’s fourfold division of four causes naturally arises from a combination of two distinctions (a) between things and changes, and (b) between that which potentially is something and what it potentially is. Within this scheme, what is usually called the “efficient cause” is something that potentially is a certain natural change, and the “final cause” is, at least in a basic sense, what the efficient cause potentially is. I will further argue that the essences of things (...) and changes are not features or attributes of them, but paradigms that set the standards according to which these things and changes may be judged to be natural or typical. The “formal cause” of a natural thing will be shown to be its essence in this sense: it sets the standards of typicality that apply to instances of its kind. The final cause will be shown to set the standard of typicality for natural changes. When we understand Aristotle’s doctrine of the four causes in this way, it becomes clear on what basis he could convincingly argue that final causality is operative in the whole of nature. (shrink)
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)
I argue that a tripartite analysis of simple statements such as “Bucephalus is a horse”, according to which they divide into two terms and a copula, requires the notion of a repeatable: something such that more than one particular can literally be it. I pose a familiar dilemma with respect to repeatables, and turn to Avicenna for a solution, who discusses a similar dilemma concerning quiddities. I conclude by describing how Avicenna’s quiddities relate to repeatables, and how both quiddities and (...) repeatables may contribute to a tripartite analysis of predication. (shrink)
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.
Antihaecceitists believe that all facts about specific individuals—such as the fact that Fred exists, or that Katie is tall—globally supervene on purely qualitative facts. Haecceitists deny that. The issue is not only of interest in itself, but receives additional importance from its intimate connection to the question of whether all fundamental facts are qualitative or whether they include facts about which specific individuals there are and how qualitative properties and relations are distributed over them. Those who think that all fundamental (...) facts are qualitative are arguably committed to antihaecceitism. The goal of this paper is to point out some problems for antihaecceitism (and therefore for the thesis that all fundamental facts are qualitative). The article focuses on two common assumptions about possible worlds: (i) Sets of possible worlds are the bearers of objective physical chance. (ii) Counterfactual conditionals can be defined by appeal to a relation of closeness between possible worlds. The essay tries to show that absurd consequences ensue if either of these assumptions is combined with antihaecceitism. Then it considers a natural response by the antihaecceitist, which is to deny that worlds play the role described in (i) and (ii). Instead, the reply continues, we can introduce a new set of entities that are defined in terms of worlds and that behave the way worlds do on the haecceitist position. That allows the antihaecceitist to formulate antihaecceitist friendly versions of (i) and (ii) by replacing the appeal to possible worlds with reference to the newly introduced entities. This maneuver invites an obvious reply, however. If the new entities are the things that play the role we typically associate with worlds, as partially described by (i) and (ii), then it is natural to conclude that they really are the entities we talk about when we speak of worlds, so that haecceitism is true after all. (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)
Drawing from cognitive learning theories we hypothesize that exposure to nationalistic appeals that suggest consumers should shun foreign brands for moral reasons increases the general belief in consumers that buying foreign brands is morally wrong. In parallel, drawing from the theory of psychological reactance we posit that such appeals may, against their communication goal, increase the reputation of foreign luxury brands. We term the juxtaposition of these apparently contradictory effects the “Ambivalence Hypothesis.” Further, drawing from prior research on source-similarity effects (...) we posit that foreign luxury brands that communicate cultural proximity to target consumers reinforce psychological reactance. We test these hypotheses experimentally in the context of luxury car brand advertising in China, a market that is heavily dominated by foreign brands, and therefore provides a breeding ground for ambivalent consumer reactions. Results show that exposure to nationalistic appeals enhances consumers’ national identity dispositions, which results in higher levels of consumer ethnocentrism. Further, nationalistic appeals enhance the social responsibility associations that consumers hold for foreign luxury brands and their countries of origin, which results in a higher brand reputation. Finally, effects of nationalistic appeals on foreign luxury brand reputation are positively stronger for brands using a local vs. a foreign or a global positioning. These findings suggest that nationalistic appeals are a double-edged sword with important implications for ethics in political communication and luxury brand marketing. (shrink)
On the one hand, Aristotle claims that the matter of a material thing is not part of its form. On the other hand, he suggests that the proper account of a natural thing must include a specification of the kind of matter in which it is realized. There are three possible strategies for dealing with this apparent tension. First, there may be two kinds of definition, so that the definition of the form of a thing does not include any specification (...) of its matter, whereas the definition of a compound does. Second, the definition of a substance may not include a specification of its matter at all, but still reveal in what kinds of matter its form can be realized. Third, there may be a special kind of matter, functional matter, which belongs to the form of certain things. I will show that the functional matter of a thing does not belong to its form, but that an adequate account of natural substances and their functions must nonetheless involve a reference to their functional matter. This means that the function of a natural thing is not the same as its form and that its adequate account as a natural thing is not a definition. (shrink)
This chapter argues that the distinction between ambitious and modest transcendental arguments, developed and deployed by various authors in the wake of Stroud’s influential critique of transcendental reasoning, may be pointless when applied to transcendental arguments from performative inconsistency that have moral statements as their conclusions. If moral truth is assertorically constrained, then any modest moral transcendental argument from performative inconsistency can be converted into an ambitious moral transcendental argument. The chapter provides an account of performative inconsistency and suggests an (...) alternative to the widespread reading of transcendental conditionals in terms of an ‘if-then’-sentences whose antecedents express a proposition to the effect that some x is possible and whose consequents express a statement to the effect that some y is actual. (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)