We investigate the form of mathematical structuralism that acknowledges the existence of structures and their distinctive structural elements. This form of structuralism has been subject to criticisms recently, and our view is that the problems raised are resolved by proper, mathematics-free theoretical foundations. Starting with an axiomatic theory of abstract objects, we identify a mathematical structure as an abstract object encoding the truths of a mathematical theory. From such foundations, we derive consequences that address the main questions and issues that (...) have arisen. Namely, elements of different structures are different. A structure and its elements ontologically depend on each other. There are no haecceities and each element of a structure must be discernible within the theory. These consequences are not developed piecemeal but rather follow from our definitions of basic structuralist concepts. (shrink)
Biological phenomena can be investigated at multiple levels, from the molecular to the cellular to the organismic to the ecological. In typical biology instruction, these levels have been segregated. Yet, it is by examining the connections between such levels that many phenomena in biology, and complex systems in general, are best explained. We describe a computation-based approach that enables students to investigate the connections between different biological levels. Using agent-based, embodied modeling tools, students model the microrules underlying a biological phenomenon (...) and observe the resultant aggregate dynamics. We describe 2 cases in which this approach was used. In both cases, students framed hypotheses, constructed multiagent models that incorporate these hypotheses, and tested these by running their models and observing the outcomes. Contrasting these cases against traditionally used, classical equation-based approaches, we argue that the embodied modeling approach connects more directly to students’ experience, enables extended investigations as well as deeper understanding, and enables “advanced” topics to be productively introduced into the high school curriculum. (shrink)
What is free will? Can it exist in a determined universe? How can we determine who, if anyone, possesses it? Philosophers have been debating these questions for millennia. In recent decades neuroscientists have joined the fray with questions of their own. Which neural mechanisms could enable conscious control of action? What are intentional actions? Do contemporary developments in neuroscience rule out free will or, instead, illuminate how it works? Over the past few years, neuroscientists and philosophers have increasingly come to (...) understand that both fields can make substantive contributions to the free-will debate, so working together is the best path forward to understanding whether, when, and how our choices might be free. We therefore asked leading philosophers and neuroscientists which questions related to free will they would most like the other field to answer. Those experts then voted on the 15 most important questions for each field to answer. This book is a collection of the answers to those questions along with follow-up questions from world experts in the neuroscience and philosophy of free will. These varied perspectives will fascinate, illuminate, and stimulate students from both fields along with anyone who wants to be brought up to date on these profound issues. (shrink)
What are the consequences, for human moral practice, of an evolutionary understanding of that practice? By ‘moral practice’ we mean the way in which human beings think, talk and debate in moral terms. We suggest that the proper upshot of such considerations is moderate support for anti-realism in ethics.
New perspectives on the various aspects of the theme of tradition in the Middle Ages.00The volume studies how philosophical traditions were understood and discussed in the middle ages and how they were used in formulating new ones. In addition, it analyzes the extent to which historians have reconstructed the subject. Bringing together seventeen case studies ranging from Hugues de Saint-Victor to Pietro Pomponazzi, the volume presents an all-encompassing perspective on the theme of "tradition".0.
The volume is dedicated to Berthold of Moosburg’s commentary on Proclus’ _Elements of Theology_. This overlooked work from the 14th century proposed, as an alternative to the prevailing Aristotelian metaphysics, a superior wisdom of the Good articulated within the Platonic tradition, both pagan and Christian.
How far should our realism extend? For many years philosophers of mathematics and philosophers of ethics have worked independently to address the question of how best to understand the entities apparently referred to by mathematical and ethical talk. But the similarities between their endeavours are not often emphasised. This book provides that emphasis. In particular, it focuses on two types of argumentative strategies that have been deployed in both areas. The first—debunking arguments—aims to put pressure on realism by emphasising the (...) seeming redundancy of mathematical or moral entities when it comes to explaining our judgements. In the moral realm this challenge has been made by Gilbert Harman and Sharon Street; in the mathematical realm it is known as the 'Benacerraf-Field' problem. The second strategy—indispensability arguments—aims to provide support for realism by emphasising the seeming intellectual indispensability of mathematical or moral entities, for example when constructing good explanatory theories. This strategy is associated with Quine and Putnam in mathematics and with Nicholas Sturgeon and David Enoch in ethics. Explanation in Ethics and Mathematics addresses these issues through an explicitly comparative methodology which we call the 'companions in illumination' approach. By considering how argumentative strategies in the philosophy of mathematics might apply to the philosophy of ethics, and vice versa, the papers collected here break new ground in both areas. For good measure, two further companions for illumination are also broached: the philosophy of chance and the philosophy of religion. Collectively, these comparisons light up new questions, arguments, and problems of interest to scholars interested in realism in any area. (shrink)
Descartes claimed that the Cogito is ‘so firm and sure that all the most extravagant suppositions of the sceptics were incapable of shaking it’. This paper aims to demonstrate that this claim is false by presenting a sceptical scenario for the Cogito. It is argued that the story ‘The Circular Ruins’ by J. L. Borges illustrates that one can doubt one’s own existence and that pace Descartes (and many others) the claim ‘I am, I exist, is necessarily true whenever it (...) is put forward by me or conceived in my mind’ is false. (shrink)
According to Alix Cohen, Kant defines emotions as ‘feelings’. Although I find her account of Kantian feelings compelling, I provide three reasons to doubt that it is an account of emotions: (1) it is unclear why Cohen identifies emotions with Kantian feelings; (2) some Kantian feelings are not emotions; (3) some Kantian desires may be emotions. I propose, however, that with some qualifications Cohen’s account may be upheld, provided its extra-textual assumptions about emotions are explicated. Against her claim that Kantian (...) feelings have a derived intentionality, I argue that the text is compatible with their being intrinsically intentional. (shrink)
Even though Pietraszewski acknowledges the tentative nature of the theory and the multiple lines of adjacent research needed to flesh it out, he insists that the finite set of primitives he identified is necessary and sufficient for defining social groups in the context of conflict. In this commentary I expose three interrelated conundrums that cast doubt on this simplistic presumption.
Nietzschean Psychology and Psychotherapy describes Nietzsche as an unacknowledged critic of psychology and mental health, bringing out and integrating his teachings about wise living, coping with pain and suffering, and effecting self-change and self-cultivation.
Commentators disagree about Kant’s view on the proper treatment of emotions. In contrast to a tendency in this literature to treat them uniformly, I argue that, according to Kant, feelings (but not affects) require cultivation, and inclinations – although they can and perhaps may be cultivated – generally require discipline. The appropriate treatment for emotions depends on their susceptibility to rational constraint and on the threat they pose to rational deliberation. Although I read Kant as recommending that we cultivate certain (...) emotions, I argue that my reading is not vulnerable to Thomason’s recent pertinent objections to such readings. (shrink)
Assuming the existence of a supercompact cardinal and a weakly compact cardinal above it, we provide a generic extension where there are no Aronszajn trees of height ω 2 or ω 3 . On the other hand we show that some large cardinal assumptions are necessary for such a consistency result.
Moral philosophers are, among other things, in the business of constructing moral theories. And moral theories are, among other things, supposed to explain moral phenomena. Consequently, one’s views about the nature of moral explanation will influence the kinds of moral theories one is willing to countenance. Many moral philosophers are (explicitly or implicitly) committed to a deductive model of explanation. As I see it, this commitment lies at the heart of the current debate between moral particularists and moral generalists. In (...) this paper I argue that we have good reasons to give up this commitment. In fact, I show that an examination of the literature on scientific explanation reveals that we are used to, and comfortable with, non-deductive explanations in almost all areas of inquiry. As a result, I argue that we have reason to believe that moral explanations need not be grounded in exceptionless moral principles. (shrink)
The contribution by De Dreu and Gross oversimplifies the complexity of the topic. I provide counterarguments that undermine the two sweeping contentions on which the article's argument depends, and I argue that asymmetric conflict is best understood at the finer-grained level of studying the sequences of strikes and counterstrikes that the rival actors have in store for one another.
In this essay I offer a new particularist reading of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. I argue that the interpretation I present not only helps us to resolve some puzzles about Aristotle’s goals and methods, but it also gives rise to a novel account of morality—an account that is both interesting and plausible in its own right. The goal of this paper is, in part, exegetical—that is, to figure out how to best understand the text of the Nicomachean Ethics. But this paper (...) also aims to contribute to the current exciting and controversial debate over particularism. By taking the first steps towards a comprehensive particularist reading of Aristotle’s Ethics I hope to demonstrate that some of the mistrust of particularism is misplaces and that what is, perhaps, the most influential moral theory in the history of philosophy is, arguably, a particularist moral theory. (shrink)
According to the transcendental Aesthetic of the Critique of pure reason there are two properties of time that cannot be intellectualised: passage and infinitude. This study tries to show that these essential properties of time come to light in Kant’s Critique of Judgement. The contemplation of beauty will be understood as a non-succesive time and the wonder which we experience in seeing the sublime will be understood through Kant’s concept of infinite moment. These two aesthetic concepts of time will be (...) integrated in Kant’s broader view of time as developed in the first Critique. (shrink)
The paper identifies a distinctive feature of friendship. Friendship, it is argued, is a relationship between two people in which each participant values the other and successfully communicates this fact to the other. This feature of friendship, it is claimed, explains why friendship plays a key role in human happiness, why it is praised by philosophers, poets, and novelists, and why we all seek friends. Although the characterization of friendship proposed here differs from other views in the literature, it is (...) shown that it accommodates key insights of other writers on the topic. Thus, in accordance with the Aristotelian strategy the paper employs, it is shown that the account on offer preserves the received opinions on friendship. (shrink)
What makes some acts morally right and others morally wrong? Traditionally, philosophers have thought that in order to answer this question we must find and formulate exceptionless moral principles—principles that capture all and only morally right actions. Utilitarianism and Kantianism are paradigmatic examples of such attempts. In recent years, however, there has been a growing interest in a novel approach—Particularism—although its precise content is still a matter of controversy. In this paper I develop and motivate a new formulation of particularism (...) as a research program and I show that my formulation is not vulnerable to the most common objections to particularism. Moreover, I argue that the particularist research program shows enough promise to warrant further exploration. (shrink)
The paper examines the meaning of a Hegelian expression: “the ascension of the human spirit to God”, which was formulated in the philosopher’s 1829 summer course dedicated to the proofs of God’s existence. We argue that the Hegelian formula describes a double movement: the first one refers to the departure of thinking from the Phenomenon and its arrival to the Ideal, and the second one describes the opposite movement, in which thinking crosses the barrier between the Ideal and the Phenomenon.
A forcing poset of size 221 which adds no new reals is described and shown to provide a Δ22 definable well-order of the reals . The encoding of this well-order is obtained by playing with products of Aronszajn trees: some products are special while other are Suslin trees. The paper also deals with the Magidor–Malitz logic: it is consistent that this logic is highly noncompact.
_Reading Proclus and the_ Book of Causes: _Western Scholarly Networks and Debates, Volume 1_ provides a fresh account, based on previously unknown documents, of the diffusion of Hellenic and Islamic thought in the Latin West.
In this paper I assess the viability of a particularist explanation of moral knowledge. First, I consider two arguments by Sean McKeever and Michael Ridge that purport to show that a generalist, principle-based explanation of practical wisdom—understood as the ability to acquire moral knowledge in a wide range of situations—is superior to a particularist, non-principle-based account. I contend that both arguments are unsuccessful. Then, I propose a particularist-friendly explanation of knowledge of particular moral facts. I argue that when we are (...) careful to keep separate the various explanatory tasks at hand we can see that a particularist-friendly explanation of the fact that Jane knows that A is morally right might not be so difficult to come by. Moreover, I suggest that a particularist approach to explaining knowledge of particular moral facts may go some way towards discharging the challenge of moral scepticism. (shrink)
Multiple groups have interests that intersect within the new field of deep submergence archaeology. These groups‟ differing priorities present challenges for interdisciplinary collaboration, particularly as there are no established guidelines for best practices in such scenarios. Associating the term 'archaeology' with projects directed at underwater cultural heritage that are are not guided by archaeologists poses a real risk to that heritage. Recognizing that the relevant professional organizations, local laws, and conventions currently have little ability to protect pieces of cultural heritage (...) across disciplines and international boundaries, the authors propose institution-specific mechanisms, called Archaeology Review Boards , guided by local and international laws and conventions concerning cultural heritage, as the best means to provide oversight for academically centered archaeological activities at the local level. (shrink)
The issue of proper functioning of operative computing and the utility of program verification, both in general and of specific methods, has been discussed a lot. In many of those discussions, attempts have been made to take mathematics as a model of knowledge and certitude achieving, and accordingly infer about the suitable ways to handle computing. I shortly review three approaches to the subject, and then take a stance by considering social factors which affect the epistemic status of both mathematics (...) and computing. I use the analogy between mathematics and computing in reverse—that is to say, I consider operative computing as a form of making mathematics, and so attempt to learn from computing to mathematics in general. I conclude that mathematics engineering is a field to be both developed for practical improvement of doing mathematics and taken into consideration while philosophizing about mathematics as well. (shrink)
Commentators provide two different accounts of desires in Kant: “feeling-based” accounts stress their connection with feelings, while “action-based” accounts view them as causes of action. I argue that “feeling-based” accounts blur the feeling-desire distinction, while the “action-based” accounts conflict with Kantian desires that do not cause action. On my alternative, Kantian desires are dispositions to action normally directed at producing future objects, and so they differ from the feelings they are connected to, which refer to the way we are affected (...) by objects. This account preserves the feeling-desire distinction, is compatible with desires that do not cause action, and anticipates holistic theories of desire that combine dispositional, hedonic, and evaluative components. (shrink)