‘The problem with simulations is that they are doomed to succeed.’ So runs a common criticism of simulations—that they can be used to ‘prove’ anything and are thus of little or no scientific value. While this particular objection represents a minority view, especially among those who work with simulations in a scientific context, it raises a difficult question: what standards should we use to differentiate a simulation that fails from one that succeeds? In this paper we build on a structural (...) analysis of simulation developed in previous work to provide an evaluative account of the variety of ways in which simulations do fail. We expand the structural analysis in terms of the relationship between a simulation and its real-world target emphasizing the important role of aspects intended to correspond and also those specifically intended not to correspond to reality. The result is an outline both of the ways in which simulations can fail and the scientific importance of those various forms of failure. (shrink)
Robustness has long been recognized as an important parameter for evaluating game-theoretic results, but talk of ‘robustness’ generally remains vague. What we offer here is a graphic measure for a particular kind of robustness (‘matrix robustness’), using a three-dimensional display of the universe of 2 × 2 game theory. In such a measure specific games appear as specific volumes (Prisoner’s Dilemma, Stag Hunt, etc.), allowing a graphic image of the extent of particular game-theoretic effects in terms of those games. The (...) measure also allows for an easy comparison between different effects in terms of matrix robustness. Here we use the measure to compare the robustness of Tit for Tat’s well-known success in spatialized games (Axelrod, R. (1984). The evolution of cooperation . New York: Basic Books; Grim, P. et al. (1998). The philosophical computer: Exploratory essays in philosophical computer modeling . Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press) with the robustness of a recent game-theoretic model of the contact hypothesis regarding prejudice reduction (Grim et al. 2005. Public Affairs Quarterly, 19 , 95–125). (shrink)
Is simulation some new kind of science? We argue that instead simulation fits smoothly into existing scientific practice, but does so in several importantly different ways. Simulations in general, and computer simulations in particular, ought to be understood as techniques which, like many scientific techniques, can be employed in the service of various and diverse epistemic goals. We focus our attentions on the way in which simulations can function as (i) explanatory and (ii) predictive tools. We argue that a wide (...) variety of simulations, both computational and physical, are best conceived in terms of a set of common features: initial or input conditions, a mechanism or set of rules, and a set of results or output conditions. Studying simulations in these terms yields a new understanding of their character as well as a body of normative recommendations for the care and feeding of scientific simulations. (shrink)
Winfield’s explication of Hegel’s theory of mind, especially Hegel’s theory of intelligence, is, he suggests, important for solving three problems that continue to haunt contemporary work in the philosophy of mind and epistemology: 1) A problem concerning the acquisition of language and its place in an account of consciousness, 2) A problem concerning the objectivity of representations, and 3) A problem concerning the grounds of knowing. I think Winfield is correct in identifying all three problems as having their source in (...) Kantian philosophy. I examine these three problems more carefully through a critical lens aimed at recent work by John McDowell and Robert Brandom. Both philosophers claim certain Hegelian influences. I argue that, in crucial ways, both Brandom and McDowell have each inherited the problems Hegel sought to solve and that are so clearly articulated in Winfield’s essay. (shrink)
Agency in Archaeology is the first critical volume to scrutinize the concept of agency and to examine in-depth its potential to inform our understanding of the past. Theories of agency recognize that human beings make choices, hold intentions and take action. This offers archaeologists scope to move beyond looking at the broad structural or environmental change and instead to consider the individual and the group. The book brings together nineteen internationally renowned scholars who have very different, and often conflicting, stances (...) on the meaning and use of agency theory to archaeology. (shrink)
The paper focuses on Rufinus’ translation of Eusebius’ Historia Ecclesiastica 1, 1-3, which discusses trinitarian and christological matters. Firstly, I will analyze how Rufinus amends or removes statements which are close to Origenism and Arianism, sometimes replacing them with orthodox ones; I will then examine Rufinus’ way of citing and interpreting the Bible, by correcting Eusebius’ reading, when it is suspected of heresy, or by explaining passages himself. This work of emendation reveals, on the one hand, Rufinus’ desire to give (...) the readers a text which fits perfectly with the nicen-constantinopolitan creed, and, on the other hand, his aim of protecting himself from accusations. (shrink)
Alfred Mele and David Robb (1998, 2003) offer what they claim is a counter-example to the principle of alternative possibilities (PAP), the principle that a person is morally responsible for what he has done only if he could have done otherwise. In their example, a person makes a decision by his own indeterministic causal process though antecedent circumstances ensure he could not have done otherwise. Specifically, a simultaneously occurring process in him would deterministically cause the decision at the precise (...) time it actually occurs if he were not to make it 'on his own' i.e. without being deterministically caused.Their case is designed to avoid a well-known dilemma that has plagued earlier apparent counterexamples of this sort. We argue, however, that Mele andRobb's example does not have all the features necessary in order for it to undermine PAP. It still fails to avoid the original dilemma. (shrink)
The present study explored a multi-construct model of moral development. Variables commonly seen in the moral development literature, such as family interactions, spiritual life, ascription to various sources of moral authority, empathy, shame, guilt and moral judgement competence, were investigated. Results from the current study support previous research that the three moral emotions of empathy, shame and guilt interrelate. Further, it was found that the relationship one has with a higher power involves empathy and guilt. Implications for moral education are (...) discussed. Future research should continue to explore a multi-construct model of morality. (shrink)
G.E. Schulze's Aenesidemus, despite its importance for the development of post-Kantian idealism, has not been fully translated into English. Now and then, when I have time, I will upload draft translations of parts of the text here, with the goal of, at some point, providing a complete translation. These drafts will be rough and I welcome feedback! -/- This document contains only the Title page, Schulze's indication of the contents of the work, and the preface.
This is a translation of the short, third letter in G.E. Schulze's Aenesidemus, without its lengthy appendix. -/- Excerpts of the appendix which follows this letter have been translated into English by George di Giovanni in Between Kant and Hegel, eds. G. di Giovanni and H.S. Harris, (Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company Inc., 2000).
E.J. Lowe has recently proposed a model of mental causation on which mental events are emergent, thus exerting a novel, downward causal influence on physical events. Yet on Lowe's model, mental causation is at the same time empirically undetectable, and in this sense is "invisible". Lowe's model is ingenious, but I don't think emergentists should welcome it, for it seems to me that a primary virtue of emergentism is its bold empirical prediction about the long-term results of human physiology. Here (...) I'll try to restore emergentism's empirical status, but my broader aim is to use Lowe's model to explore some central topics in the mental causation debate, including the "causal closure" of the physical world and the nature of causal powers. (shrink)
Introduction , Sophie Gibb 1. Mental Causation , John Heil 2. Physical Realization without Preemption , Sydney Shoemaker 3. Mental Causation in the Physical World , Peter Menzies 4. Mental Causation: Ontology and Patterns of Variation , Paul Noordhof 5. Causation is Macroscopic but not Irreducible , David Papineau 6. Substance Causation, Powers, and Human Agency , E. J. Lowe 7. Agent Causation in a Neo-Aristotelian Metaphysics , Jonathan D. Jacobs and Timothy O’Connor 8. Mental Causation and Double Prevention , (...) Sophie Gibb 9. The Identity Theory as a Solution to the Exclusion Problem , David Robb 10. Continuant Causation, Fundamentality, and Freedom , Peter Simons 11. There is no Exclusion Problem , Steinvor Tholl Arnadottir and Tim Crane. (shrink)
From 1991 to 1994 the Dutch Health Insurance Council financed research on Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO). This is a technique for providing cardiopulmonary bypass to patients with pulmonary and/or cardiac failure. Most often, these patients are premature neonates. During ECMO, blood is drained from the right atrium, pumped along a membrane where gas exchange takes place, and then redirected to the aorta. To prevent blood clotting, heparin is added. However, with the heparin added, the risk of hemorrhage is considerably increased. (...) Therefore, both the chance of surviving and the chance of severe disability are higher with ECMO than with conventional treatment (i.e., ventilator support). (shrink)
Book Reviews K. Robb, Literacy and Paideia in Ancient Greece. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. Pp. x + 13o. Cloth, $45.oo. Robb's book can perhaps best be viewed in the context of previous studies of orality and literacy in the ancient Greek world, especially those of E. A. Havelock: Preface to Plato , The Literate Revolution and Its Cultural Consequences , and The Muse Learns to Write . Havelock's work has stimulated much discussion, some of it still (...) very polemical , and insofar as Robb shares some of Havelock's beliefs about the influence of alphabetic literacy on Plato and other representatives of the so-called "Literate Revolution," he is vulnerable to similar criticisms. And yet Robb claims not only Havelock among "oralist pioneers" , but also such diverse scholars as P. Friedl/inder, J... (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is twofold: a) to explore the compatibility of Minkowski’s space-time representation of the Special theory of relativity with a dynamic conception of space-time; b) to locate its roots in invariant features - like entropic relations - of the propagation of signals in space-time. From its very beginning Minkowski’s four-dimensional space-time was associated with a static view of reality, e.g. a block universe. Einstein added his influential voice to this conception when he wrote: ‘From a “happening” (...) in three-dimensional space, physics becomes (…) an “existence” in the four-dimensional “world”.’ (Einstein, Relativity 1920, 122) Yet it is by no means clear that Minkowski himself was a believer in the block universe. In his 1908 Cologne lecture on ‘Space and Time’ he speaks of a four-dimensional physics but concedes that a ‘necessary’ time order can be established at every world point. Although the conception of the block universe has gained much currency, an alternative view has been in circulation since the 1910s according to which the trajectories of particles constitute histories in space-time. (Robb 1914, Cunningham 1915, Carathéodorys 1924, Schlick 1917, Reichenbach 1924). (shrink)
In his rieview-like outline the author gives us a view of an important stream of the American and English philosophical thought of the XXth century, which has been unjustly neglected. First he briefly describes the five generation waves of the American personalism - from G. H. Howinson, J. W. E. Bowen, P. A. Bertocii. M. L. King up to C. R. Robb. He sheds light on the specific aspect of the development of this stream in Great Britain. Further, he (...) examines the mean sterams of the Anglo-American personalism, its idealiastic as well as its realistic branches. He presents all sterams of these two branches, emphasizing their respective characte_ristic features in the works of their important representatives. More than hundred representatives of personalism proof the manifold of the interpretations of the fundamental concept of the person. (shrink)
Offering a theory of imagination, and indirectly a defense of the humanities, this overly-rich and confusing work contains more literature than philosophy, and more philosophy than imagination. The author makes many suggestive comparisons: e.g., the literary equivalent of traditional positivism is the novels of Robbe-Grillet; the poetic equivalents of Peirce's firstness, secondness, and thirdness are the poems of Wallace Stevens, Ezra Pound, and T. S. Eliot, respectively. While Levi's division of the imagination into its teleological, dramatic, literary, and metaphysical forms (...) is well taken, he fails to heed Plato's warning to define the essence and not to be satisfied with a list of its kinds. The printing is careless.--A. B. (shrink)
Table of Contents; Introduction by Francesco Orilia and Simone Gozzano; Modes and Mind by John Heil; Does Ontology Matter? by Anna-Sofia Maurin; Basic Ontology, Multiple Realizability and Mental Causation by Francesco Orilia; The “Supervenience Argument”:Kim’s Challenge to Nonreductive Physicalism by Ausonio Marras and Juhani Yli-Vakkuri; Tropes’ Simplicity and Mental Causation by Simone Gozzano; Zombies from Below by David Robb; Tropes and Perception by E. Jonathan Lowe; About the authors.
What is a natural kind ? As we shall see, the concept of a natural kind has a long history. Many of the interesting doctrines can be detected in Aristotle, were revived by Locke and Leibniz, and have again become fashionable in recent years. Equally there has been agreement about certain paradigm examples: the kinds oak, stickleback and gold are natural kinds, and the kinds table, nation and banknote are not. Sadly agreement does not extend much further. It is impossible (...) to discover a single consistent doctrine in the literature, and different discussions focus on different doctrines without writers or readers being aware of the fact. In this paper I shall attempt to find a defensible distinction between natural and non-natural kinds. (shrink)
Almost thirty years ago, in an attempt to undermine what he termed "the principle of alternate possibilities" (the thesis that people are morally responsible for what they have done only if they could have done otherwise), Harry Frankfurt offered an ingenious thought-experiment that has played a major role in subsequent work on moral responsibility and free will. Several philosophers, including David Widerker and Robert Kane, argued recently that this thought-experiment and others like it are fundamentally flawed. This paper develops a (...) new Frankfurt-style example that is immune to their objections. [Reprinted in Laura Waddell Ekstrom, ed., Agency and Responsibility: Essays on the Metaphysics of Freedom (Westview Press, 2001), pp. 241-54; and in John Martin Fischer, ed., Free Will, Vol. III (Routledge, 2005), pp. 330-42.]. (shrink)
In this article I develop an interpretation of the opening passages of Hegel's essay ‘With what must the beginning of science be made?’ I suggest firstly that Hegel is engaging there with a distinctive problem, the overcoming of which he understands to be necessary in order to guarantee the scientific character of the derivation of the fundamental categories of thought which he undertakes in the Science of Logic. I refer to this as ‘the problem of beginning’. I proceed to clarify (...) the nature of the problem, which I understand to be motivated by a concern to avoid arbitrariness, and then to detail the nature of Hegel's proposed solution, which turns on understanding how the concept of ‘pure being’, understood in a specific sense to be both mediated and immediate, avoids the concerns about arbitrariness which accompany attempts to begin merely with something mediated, or merely with something immediate. On this basis, I offer a number of criticisms of alternative approaches to the beginning of Hegel's Logic. (shrink)
A case study is presented of the development of computer-based support tools for power engineers in the electricity supply industry. The objective was to develop an expert system to support witching schedule production. A user-centred approach was followed which led the user community to conclude that a switching schedule production assistant (SSPA) was required which would leave control with the power engineer. Prototype systems were developed and evaluated in user trials which revealed that a significant and more general purpose tool (...) would be a computer generated electricity network display that the engineers could manipulate. The paper concludes that the process of enabling users to evaluate alternative forms of technology can facilitate the development systems that are useful, acceptable and usable. (shrink)
Most work on collective action assumes that group members are undifferentiated by status, or standing, in the group. Yet such undifferentiated groups are rare, if they exist at all. Here we extend an existing sociological research program to address how extant status hierarchies help organize collective actions by coordinating how much and when group members should contribute to group efforts. We outline three theoretically derived predictions of how status hierarchies organize patterns of behavior to produce larger public goods. We review (...) existing evidence relevant to two of the three hypotheses and present results from a preliminary experimental test of the third. Findings are consistent with the model. The tendency of these dynamics to lead status-differentiated groups to produce larger public goods may help explain the ubiquity of hierarchy in groups, despite the often negative effects of status inequalities for many group members. (shrink)
Worries about mental causation are prominent in contemporary discussions of the mind and human agency. Originally, the problem of mental causation was that of understanding how a mental substance (thought to be immaterial) could interact with a material substance, a body. Most philosophers nowadays repudiate immaterial minds, but the problem of mental causation has not gone away. Instead, focus has shifted to mental properties. How could mental properties be causally relevant to bodily behavior? How could something mental qua mental cause (...) what it does? After looking at the traditional Problem of Interaction, we survey various versions of the property-based problem and look at proposed solutions to them. (shrink)
Alfred A. Robb. THEOREM 54 If P1 and P2 be a pair of parallel inertia planes while an inertia plane Q1 has parallel general lines a and b in common with P1 and P2 respectively and if Q2 be an inertia plane parallel to Q1 through some ...
This paper argues firstly that the argument of Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit is necessary for the justification of the beginning of his logical project, and secondly that Hegel's attempt to secure the beginning of his Science of Logic by relying upon the argument of the Phenomenology fails. I argue firstly that the position taken up at the beginning of Hegel's Logic is constructed in such a fashion that it relies upon the argument of the Phenomenology to justify it. I then (...) offer some support for the view of the relationship between the two texts defended by Maker in order to see how the two might be thought to be compatible. Finally, in the longest part of the paper, I offer a number of reasons for thinking that attempts to render the two compatible in this fashion fail. I therefore conclude that, as it stands, the beginning of Hegel's Logic is not secured against objection in the way that Hegel wants it to be. (shrink)
Is God's foreknowledge compatible with human freedom? One of the most attractive attempts to reconcile the two is the Ockhamistic view, which subscribes not only to human freedom and divine omniscience, but retains our most fundamental intuitions concerning God and time: that the past is immutable, that God exists and acts in time, and that there is no backward causation. In order to achieve all that, Ockhamists distinguish ‘hard facts’ about the past which cannot possibly be altered from ‘soft facts’ (...) about the past which are alterable, and argue that God's prior beliefs about human actions are soft facts about the past. (shrink)
Recent discussions of mental causation have focused on three principles: (1) Mental properties are (sometimes) causally relevant to physical effects; (2) mental properties are not physical properties; (3) every physical event has in its causal history only physical events and physical properties. Since these principles seem to be inconsistent, solutions have focused on rejecting one or more of them. But I argue that, in spite of appearances, (1)–(3) are not inconsistent. The reason is that 'properties' is used in different senses (...) in the principles. In (1) and (3), 'properties' should be read as 'tropes' (properties here are particulars), while in (2) 'properties' should read as 'types' (properties here are universals or classes). Although mental types are distinct from physical types, every mental trope is a physical trope. This allows mental properties to be causally relevant to physical effects without violating the closed character of the physical world. (shrink)
This book examines the progress of literacy in ancient Greece from its origins with the introduction of the alphabet in the eighth century to the fourth century, when the major cultural institutions of Athens became totally dependent on alphabetic literacy. Professor Robb introduces much new evidence and re-evaluates older evidence to demonstrate that early Greek literacy can only be understood in terms of the rich oral culture that immediately preceded it, one that was dominated by the oral performance of (...) epical verse, or "Homer". The eventual dependence of Athenian democratic institutions, notably law and higher education, on the technology of writing contributed to the "miracle" of Greece. (shrink)
An important contribution to the foundations of probability theory, statistics and statistical physics has been made by E. T. Jaynes. The recent publication of his collected works provides an appropriate opportunity to attempt an assessment of this contribution.