This paper demonstrates the practical and philosophical strengths of adopting Luciano Floridi’s “general definition of information” (GDI) for use in the information sciences (IS). Many definitions of information have been proposed, but little work has been done to determine which definitions are most coherent or useful. Consequently, doubts have been cast on the necessity and possibility of finding a definition. In response to these doubts, the paper shows how items and events central to IS are adequately described by Floridi’s conception (...) of information, and demonstrates how it helps clarify the muddy theoretical framework resulting from the many previous definitions. To this end, it analyzes definitions, popular in IS, that conceive of information as energy, processes, knowledge, and physical objects. The paper finds that each of these definitions produces problematic or counterintuitive implications that the GDI suitably accounts for. It discusses the role of truth in IS, notes why the GDI is preferable to its truth-requiring variant, and ends with comments about the import of such a theory for IS research and practice. (shrink)
In this short paper, we show that a popular view in information science, information-as-thing, fails to account for a common example of information that seems physical. We then demonstrate how the distinction between types and tokens, recently used to analyse Shannon information, can account for this same example by viewing information as abstract, and discuss existing definitions of information that are consistent with this approach. -/- Dans ce court article nous montrons qu'une vision populaire en sciences de l'information, l'information en (...) tant qu’une chose, échoue à rendre compte d'un exemple commun d'information qui semble physique. Nous démontrons ensuite comment la distinction type/token, utilisée récemment pour analyser l'information de Shannon, peut rendre compte de ce même exemple en considérant l'information comme abstraite, et nous discutons des définitions existantes de l’information qui sont compatibles avec cette approche. (shrink)
The situationist movement in psychology and, more recently, in philosophy has been associated with a number of striking claims, including that most people do not have the moral virtues and vices, that any ethical theory which is wedded to such character traits is empirically inadequate, and that much of our behavior is causally influenced, to significant degrees, by psychological influences about which we are often unaware. Yet Christian philosophers have had virtually nothing to say about situationist claims. The goal (...) of this paper is to consider whether Christians should start to be worried about them. (shrink)
In recent centuries Christians of various denominations have endorsed many different political philosophies that they see as being truly biblical in their approach. Over this time there has been an increasing hostility, by some Christians, towards free markets and political philosophies that hold human liberty as the highest goal such as libertarianism and classical liberalism. This criticism is unwarranted and misplaced as libertarianism and free markets are not only compatible with Christianity, they are also the most biblically sound of all (...) economics systems and political philosophies endorsed by Christians today. Therefore, this paper will argue that Christians of all denominations should endorse free markets and libertarianism if they wish to create a world that follows biblical principles and the teachings of Jesus. (shrink)
Contemporary Christian ethics encounters the challenge to communicate genuinely Christian normative orientations within the scientific debate in such a way as to render these orientations comprehensible, and to maintain or enhance their plausibility even for non-Christians. This essay, therefore, proceeds from a biblical motif, takes up certain themes from the Christian tradition (in particular the idea of social justice), and connects both with a compelling contemporary approach to ethics by secular moral philosophy, i.e. with Axel Honneth's reception (...) of Hegel, as based on Hegel's theory of recognition. As a first step, elements of an ethics of recognition are developed on the basis of an anthropological recourse to the conditions of intersubjective encounters. These conditions are then brought to bear on the idea of social justice, as developed in the social-Catholic tradition, and as systematically explored in the Pastoral Letter of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Economic Justice For All (1986). Proceeding from this basis, aspects of a Christian ethics of community service with regard to long-term care can be defined. (shrink)
This is the third volume in Alvin Plantinga's trilogy on the notion of warrant, which he defines as that which distinguishes knowledge from true belief. In this volume, Plantinga examines warrant's role in theistic belief, tackling the questions of whether it is rational, reasonable, justifiable, and warranted to accept Christian belief and whether there is something epistemically unacceptable in doing so. He contends that Christian beliefs are warranted to the extent that they are formed by properly functioning cognitive (...) faculties, thus, insofar as they are warranted, Christian beliefs are knowledge if they are true. (shrink)
This is a companion paper to Braüner where a natural deduction system for propositional hybrid logic is given. In the present paper we generalize the system to the first-order case. Our natural deduction system for first-order hybrid logic can be extended with additional inference rules corresponding to conditions on the accessibility relations and the quantifier domains expressed by so-called geometric theories. We prove soundness and completeness and we prove a normalisation theorem. Moreover, we give an axiom system first-order hybrid logic.
In the paper (Braüner, 2001) we gave a minimal condition for the existence of a homophonic theory of truth for a modal or tense logic. In the present paper we generalise this result to arbitrary modal logics and we also show that a modal logic permits the existence of a homophonic theory of truth if and only if it permits the definition of a socalled master modality. Moreover, we explore a connection between the master modality and hybrid logic: We show (...) that if attention is restricted to bidirectional frames, then the expressive power of the master modality is exactly what is needed to translate the bounded fragment of first-order logic into hybrid logic in a truth preserving way. We believe that this throws new light on Arthur Prior's fourth grade tense logic. (shrink)
This is the first book-length treatment of hybrid logic and its proof-theory. Hybrid logic is an extension of ordinary modal logic which allows explicit reference to individual points in a model. This is useful for many applications, for example when reasoning about time one often wants to formulate a series of statements about what happens at specific times. There is little consensus about proof-theory for ordinary modal logic. Many modal-logical proof systems lack important properties and the relationships between proof systems (...) for different modal logics are often unclear. In the present book we demonstrate that hybrid-logical proof-theory remedies these deficiencies by giving a spectrum of well-behaved proof systems for a spectrum of different hybrid logics. (shrink)
The shift of interest from community to individuality and freedom brought by modernity challenged the central place once occupied by religion, pushing it to the outskirts of human life. All these led to an increased indifference towards any transcendental guarantor that could act in a neutral reason-governed space. In the case of Islam, such a situation is impossible to tolerate, because it would mean God’s desecration by reducing the Qur’an to the statute of a simple book like many others that (...) offer an opinion on a Supreme Being who does not decide the destiny of humanity any more, but becomes a simple matter of opinion. While Western Christianity adjusted to modernity reaching even to justify the developments which led to a dissolution of sacred, stating that they were consistent with its essence, Islam accepted modernity only to the extent of this one’s capacity to verify the realities stated by the Qur’an. (shrink)
The goal of this paper is to introduce a new Gentzen formulation of the modal logic S5. The history of this problem goes back to the fifties where a counter-example to cut-elimination was given for an otherwise natural and straightforward formulation of S5. Since then, several cut-free Gentzen style formulations of S5 have been given. However, all these systems are technically involved, and furthermore, they differ considerably from Gentzen's original formulation of classical logic. In this paper we give a new (...) sequent system for S5 which is a straightforward and technically simple extension of Gentzen's original sequent system for classical logic. A characteristic feature is the notion of a connection in a proof. The new system satisfies cut-elimination as well as the subformula property. Cut-elimination is proved by giving an algorithm for eliminating cuts. The fact that we give an algorithm for eliminating cuts makes it clear that our system is susceptible to a formulae-as-types computational interpretation. (shrink)
In the moral and spiritual vacuum left in Russia by the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989-1991, some of the thinkers who first opposed the Leninist revolution of 1917 have come to a new prominence, and among these is the religious philosopher Nikolai Berdyaev (1874-1948). He expressed a passionate protest against the revolution and was clearly the most comprehensive contemporary critic of the revolutionary project from a Christian perspective. From his consistently religious perspective he foresaw with precision much (...) of the inhuman and tyrannical potential of the revolutionary project. (shrink)
Hybrid logics are a principled generalization of both modal logics and description logics, a standard formalism for knowledge representation. In this paper we give the first constructive version of hybrid logic, thereby showing that it is possible to hybridize constructive modal logics. Alternative systems are discussed, but we fix on a reasonable and well-motivated version of intuitionistic hybrid logic and prove essential proof-theoretical results for a natural deduction formulation of it. Our natural deduction system is also extended with additional inference (...) rules corresponding to conditions on the accessibility relations expressed by so-called geometric theories. Thus, we give natural deduction systems in a uniform way for a wide class of constructive hybrid logics. This shows that constructive hybrid logics are a viable enterprise and opens up the way for future applications. (shrink)
The main aim of the present paper is to use a proof system for hybrid modal logic to formalize what are called false-belief tasks in cognitive psychology, thereby investigating the interplay between cognition and logical reasoning about belief. We consider two different versions of the Smarties task, involving respectively a shift of perspective to another person and to another time. Our formalizations disclose that despite this difference, the two versions of the Smarties task have exactly the same underlying logical structure. (...) We also consider the Sally-Anne task, having a more complicated logical structure, presupposing a “principle of inertia” saying that a belief is preserved over time, unless there is belief to the contrary. (shrink)
Are companies, churches, and states genuine agents? Or are they just collections of individuals that give a misleading impression of unity? This question is important, since the answer dictates how we should explain the behaviour of these entities and whether we should treat them as responsible and accountable on the model of individual agents. Group Agency offers a new approach to that question and is relevant, therefore, to a range of fields from philosophy to law, politics, and the social sciences. (...)Christian List and Philip Pettit argue that there really are group or corporate agents, over and above the individual agents who compose them, and that a proper approach to the social sciences, law, morality, and politics must take account of this fact. Unlike some earlier defences of group agency, their account is entirely unmysterious in character and, despite not being technically difficult, is grounded in cutting-edge work in social choice theory, economics, and philosophy. (shrink)
Applied Christian Ethics addresses selected themes in Christian social ethics. Part one shows the roots of contributors in the realist school; part two focuses on different levels of the significance of economics for social justice; and part three deals with both existential experience and government policy in war and peace issues.
In this paper two different natural deduction systems forhybrid logic are compared and contrasted.One of the systems was originally given by the author of the presentpaper whereasthe other system under consideration is a modifiedversion of a natural deductionsystem given by Jerry Seligman.We give translations in both directions between the systems,and moreover, we devise a set of reduction rules forthe latter system bytranslation of already known reduction rules for the former system.