This collection presents the English-language reader for the first time with essays that are representative of Bernstein's much-neglected revisionist period, 1901-1921. Bernstein himself suggested that this later work included significant new elements, indicating further progress in his liberal-socialist theory. Bernstein's later work acquires additional significance in light of the events of 1989, which have discredited not only Marxism-Leninism, but revolutionary Marxist theory in general, thus making the reevaluation of Bernstein's revisionism a worthwhile experience.
Most recent accounts of personal autonomy acknowledge that the social environment a person lives in, and the personal relationships she entertains, have some impact on her autonomy. Two kinds of conceptualizing social conditions are traditionally distinguished in this regard: Causally relational accounts hold that certain relationships and social environments play a causal role for the development and ongoing exercise of autonomy. Constitutively relational accounts, by contrast, claim that autonomy is at least partly constituted by a person’s social environment or standing. (...) The central aim of this paper is to raise the question how causally and constitutively relational approaches relate to the fact that we exercise our autonomy over time. I argue that once the temporal scope of autonomy is opened up, we need not only to think differently about the social dimension of autonomy. We also need to reconsider the very distinction between causally and constitutively relational accounts, because it is itself a synchronic distinction. (shrink)
Platonic Patterns is a reprint collection of many of Holger Thesleff's studies in Plato—spanning from 1967 to 2003. It includes three books, four articles and a new introduction by the author, which sets the general outline of his interpretation of Plato. Whereas much of the scholarship on Plato has tended to operate within the frame of one language and/or a single school of thought, Thesleff constructively combines several discoveries and theories of various scholars with his own research, focusing on (...) how Plato can be understood in his own context. The work represents small but significant breakthroughs in research on Plato from an internationally inclusive standpoint. Having previously been published mainly in Finland by scholarly societies, availability outside the Nordic countries has, up until now, been minimal. Thesleff employs his singular expertise of Greek language and literature to make innovative contributions to the study and interpretation of Plato. He thematically stresses the significance of the less overt elements found in Plato's dialogues, such as Plato's use of humor and his linguistic expression, while taking into account the chronology and/or the intended audience. (shrink)
This book aims to lay bare the logical foundations of tractable reasoning. It draws on Marvin Minsky's seminal work on frames, which has been highly influential in computer science and, to a lesser extent, in cognitive science. Only very few people have explored ideas about frames in logic, which is why the investigation in this book breaks new ground. The apparent intractability of dynamic, inferential reasoning is an unsolved problem in both cognitive science and logic-oriented artificial intelligence. By means of (...) a logical investigation of frames and frame concepts, Andreas devises a novel logic of tractable reasoning, called frame logic. Moreover, he devises a novel belief revision scheme, which is tractable for frame logic. These tractability results shed new light on our logical and cognitive means to carry out dynamic, inferential reasoning. Modularity remains central for tractability, and so the author sets forth a logical variant of the massive modularity hypothesis in cognitive science. (shrink)
In this paper, we analyse actual causation in terms of production. The latter concept is made precise by a strengthened Ramsey Test semantics of conditionals: \ iff, after suspending judgement about A and C, C is believed in the course of assuming A. This test allows us to verify or falsify that an event brings about another event. Complementing the concept of production by a weak condition of difference-making gives rise to a full-fledged analysis of causation.
Als Wissenschaftslogik bezeichnet Carnap jene Disziplin, welche die Nachfolge der traditionellen Philosophie im 20. Jahrhundert antreten sollte. Den zentralen Bezugspunkt von Carnaps wissenschaftslogischen Arbeiten bildet die von Frege und Russell entwickelte mathematische Logik. Dies gilt auch für die Zweistufenkonzeption, mit der Carnap ein allgemeines Schema zur Analyse der Bedeutung von Begriffen nichtmathematischer Theorien entwirft. Dabei wird die Abhängigkeit der begrifflichen Bedeutung von den Aussagen der jeweiligen Theorie explizit anerkannt, was eine Überwindung der Dogmen des Empirismus innerhalb des Logischen Empirismus einschlieβt. (...) Allerdings geht Carnap in seinen Arbeiten zur Semantik formaler Sprachen auf die spezifischen Eigenschaften von theoretischen Termen nicht ein, so daβ die Überwindung der Dogmen des Empirismus unvollständig bleibt. Darauf gründet sich die wesentliche Aufgabe der vorliegenden Untersuchung, welche darin besteht, die Deutung von theoretischen Termen durch Postulate im Rahmen der mathematischen Logik exakt zu beschreiben. (shrink)
We aim to devise a Ramsey test analysis of actual causation. Our method is to define a strengthened Ramsey test for causal models. Unlike the accounts of Halpern and Pearl () and Halpern (), the resulting analysis deals satisfactorily with both over- determination and conjunctive scenarios.
Background: Informed consent is a legal as well as ethical prerequisite in clinical research. For dementia research, informed consent can be a problem if subjects with dementia, whose capacity for understanding and thus also decision making might be limited, are to be exam- ined. This might result in exclusion of dementia patients from research, as capacity for understanding and decision making are often equated with the ability for rational decision making. However, this valuation has been criticized at times for attaching (...) too much impor- tance to the cognitive aspect of decision making. -/- Methods: This qualitative study investigates the actual consent procedure of a clini- cal research study in Germany with regard to dementia patients’ subjective and objective understanding of informed consent information. Research participants were ten dementia patients, who volunteered in two clinical research studies, as well as their caregivers. Data were collected by use of semi-structured interviews. -/- Results: It was determined that the patients’ comprehension of informed consent infor- mation was rather limited. However, a number of patients were quite aware of this. In con- trast, all caregivers claimed to have fully understood the provided information, while their objective comprehension was also incomplete. Several participants indicated that they did not attach much importance to the information given in the consent procedure and that their consent did not primarily depend on this information. Rather, participation in the research study for them seemed to be more of a problem-focused coping strategy for dealing with their diagnosis of dementia. -/- Conclusion: For research ethics these results raise the question whether the currently prevailing emphasis on the cognitive aspect of autonomous decision making, i.e., compre- hension, may be too one-sided, and to what extent the “volitional” aspect in giving consent should be given greater consideration. (shrink)
After decades of neglect philosophers of physics have discovered gauge theories--arguably the paradigm of modern field physics--as a genuine topic for foundational and philosophical research. Incidentally, in the last couple of years interest from the philosophy of physics in structural realism--in the eyes of its proponents the best suited realist position towards modern physics--has also raised. This paper tries to connect both topics and aims to show that structural realism gains further credence from an ontological analysis of gauge theories--in particular (...) U(1) gauge theory. In the first part of the paper the framework of fiber bundle gauge theories is briefly presented and the interpretation of local gauge symmetry will be examined. In the second part, an ontological underdetermination of gauge theories is carved out by considering the various kinds of non-locality involved in such typical effects as the Aharonov-Bohm effect. The analysis shows that the peculiar form of non-separability figuring in gauge theories is a variant of spatiotemporal holism and can be distinguished from quantum theoretic holism. In the last part of the paper the arguments for a gauge theoretic support of structural realism are laid out and discussed. (shrink)
The well-known formal semantics of conditionals due to Stalnaker Studies in logical theory, Blackwell, Oxford, 1968), Lewis, and Gärdenfors The logic and 1140 epistemology of scientific change, North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1978, Knowledge in flux, MIT Press, Cambridge, 1988) all fail to distinguish between trivially and nontrivially true indicative conditionals. This problem has been addressed by Rott :345–370, 1986) in terms of a strengthened Ramsey Test. In this paper, we refine Rott’s strengthened Ramsey Test and the corresponding analysis of explanatory relations. We (...) show that our final analysis captures the presumed asymmetry between explanans and explanandum much better than Rott’s original analysis. (shrink)
Whether meaning is compositional has been a major issue in linguistics and formal philosophy of language for the last 2 decades. Semantic holism is widely and plausibly considered as an objection to the principle of semantic compositionality therein. It comes as a surprise that the holistic peculiarities of scientific language have been rarely addressed in formal accounts so far, given that semantic holism has its roots in the philosophy of science. For this reason, a model-theoretic approach to semantic holism in (...) the language of science is presented here. This approach preserves compositionality to a large extent. *Received September 2009; revised February 2010. †To contact the author, please write to: Seminar for Philosophy, Logic, and Theory of Science, Hauspostfach 49, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich 80539, Germany; e-mail: holger[email protected] (shrink)
We put forth an analysis of causation. The analysis centers on the notion of a causal model that provides only partial information as to which events occur, but complete information about the dependences between the events. The basic idea is this: an event causes another just in case there is a causal model that is uninformative on both events and in which the first event makes a difference as to the occurrence of the other. We show that our analysis captures (...) more causal scenarios than the other counterfactual accounts to date. (shrink)
A simple explanation of theoreticity says that a term is theoretical if and only if it refers to nonobservational entities. Paradigmatic examples of such entities are electrons, neutrinos, gravitational forces, genes etc. There is yet another explanation of theoreticity: a theoretical term is one whose meaning becomes determined through the axioms of a scientific theory. The meaning of the term ‘force’, for example, is seen to be determined by Newton’s laws of motion and further laws about special forces, such as (...) the law of gravitation. Theoreticity is a property that is commonly applied to both expressions in the language of science, and referents and concepts of such expressions. Objects, relations and functions as well as concepts thereof may thus qualify as theoretical in a derived sense. (shrink)
Modal logic has been applied in many different areas, as reasoning about time, knowledge and belief, necessity and possibility, to mention only some examples. In the present paper, an attempt is made to use modal logic to account for the semantics of theoretical sentences in scientific language. Theoretical sentences have been studied extensively since the work of Ramsey and Carnap. The present attempt at a modal analysis is motivated by there being several intended interpretations of the theoretical terms once these (...) terms are introduced through the axioms of a theory. (shrink)
Structural realism is sometimes said to undermine the theory underdetermination (TUD) argument against realism, since, in usual TUD scenarios, the supposed underdetermination concerns the object-like theoretical content but not the structural content. The paper explores the possibility of structural TUD by considering some special cases from modern physics, but also questions the validity of the TUD argument itself. The upshot is that cases of structural TUD cannot be excluded, but that TUD is perhaps not such a terribly serious anti-realistic argument.
The present paper aims at a synthesis of belief revision theory with the Sneed formalism known as the structuralist theory of science. This synthesis is brought about by a dynamisation of classical structuralism, with an abductive inference rule and base generated revisions in the style of Rott (2001). The formalism of prioritised default logic (PDL) serves as the medium of the synthesis. Why seek to integrate the Sneed formalism into belief revision theory? With the hybrid system of the present investigation, (...) a substantial simplification of the ranking information that is necessary to define revisions and contractions uniquely is achieved. This system is, furthermore, expressive enough to capture complex and non-trivial scientific examples. It is thus closely related to a novel research area within belief revision theory which addresses the dynamics of scientific knowledge. (shrink)
In this paper, a new account of empirical claims in structuralism is developed. Its novelty derives from the use that is made of the linguistic approach to scientific theories despite the presumed incompatibility of structuralism with that approach. It is shown how the linguistic approach can be applied to the framework of structuralism if the semantic foundations of that approach are refined to do justice to the doctrine of indirect interpretation of theoretical terms. This doctrine goes back to Carnap but (...) has been advanced until the present day without a proper semantic explanation. (shrink)
The paper provides a formal representation of goal systems. The focus is on three properties: consistency, conflict, and coherence. An aim is to attain conceptual clarity of these properties. It is argued that consistency is adequately regarded as a property relative to the decision situation or, more specifically, the set of alternatives that the agent faces. Moreover, as a condition of rationality, consistency is stronger than some writers have claimed. Conflict is adequately regarded as a relation over subsets of a (...) given goal system and should likewise be regarded as relative to the set of alternatives that the agent faces. Coherence is given a probabilistic interpretation, based on a support relation over subsets of goal systems. (shrink)
This paper explores the argument structure of the concept of spontaneous symmetry breaking in the electroweak gauge theory of the Standard Model: the so-called Higgs mechanism. As commonly understood, the Higgs argument is designed to introduce the masses of the gauge bosons by a spontaneous breaking of the gauge symmetry of an additional field, the Higgs field. The technical derivation of the Higgs mechanism, however, consists in a mere reshuffling of degrees of freedom by transforming the Higgs Lagrangian in a (...) gauge-invariant manner. This already raises serious doubts about the adequacy of the entire manoeuvre. It will be shown that no straightforward ontic interpretation of the Higgs mechanism is tenable, since gauge transformations possess no real instantiations. In addition, the explanatory value of the Higgs argument will be critically examined. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to scrutinize active externalism and its repercussions for externalism about mental content. I start from the claim that active externalism is a version of content externalism that follows from the extended cognition thesis as a thesis about cognitive vehicles. Various features of active content externalism are explored by comparison with the known forms of passive externalism – in particular with respect to the multiple realizability of the relevant external content-determining components and with respect to (...) mental causation. A crucial result is that social externalism is already a version of active externalism. I conclude with a first sketch of a general account of meaning inspired by extended cognition: a use theory supplemented by a functional-role account. (shrink)
The desideratum of semantic interoperability has been intensively discussed in medical informatics circles in recent years. Originally, experts assumed that this issue could be sufficiently addressed by insisting simply on the application of shared clinical terminologies or clinical information models. However, the use of the term ‘ontology’ has been steadily increasing more recently. We discuss criteria for distinguishing clinical ontologies from clinical terminologies and information models. Then, we briefly present the role clinical ontologies play in two multicentric research projects. Finally, (...) we discuss the interactions between these different kinds of knowledge representation artifacts and the stakeholders involved in developing interoperational real-world clinical applications. We provide ontology engineering examples from two EU-funded projects. (shrink)
There is a growing consensus that the mental lexicon contains both abstract and word-specific acoustic information. To investigate their relative importance for word recognition, we tested to what extent perceptual learning is word specific or generalizable to other words. In an exposure phase, participants were divided into two groups; each group was semantically biased to interpret an ambiguous Mandarin tone contour as either tone1 or tone2. In a subsequent test phase, the perception of ambiguous contours was dependent on the exposure (...) phase: Participants who heard ambiguous contours as tone1 during exposure were more likely to perceive ambiguous contours as tone1 than participants who heard ambiguous contours as tone2 during exposure. This learning effect was only slightly larger for previously encountered than for not previously encountered words. The results speak for an architecture with prelexical analysis of phonological categories to achieve both lexical access and episodic storage of exemplars. (shrink)
The paper is a kind of opinionated review paper on current issues in the debate about Structural Realism, roughly the view that we should be committed in the structural rather than object-like content of our best current scientific theories. The major thesis in the first part of the paper is that Structural Realism has to take structurally derived intrinsic properties into account, while in the second part key elements of aligning Structural Realism with a Humean framework are outlined.
The goal of the paper is to develop and propose a general model of the state space of AI. Given the breathtaking progress in AI research and technologies in recent years, such conceptual work is of substantial theoretical interest. The present AI hype is mainly driven by the triumph of deep learning neural networks. As the distinguishing feature of such networks is the ability to self-learn, self-learning is identified as one important dimension of the AI state space. Another dimension is (...) recognized as generalization, the possibility to go over from specific to more general types of problems. A third dimension is semantic grounding. Our overall analysis connects to a number of known foundational issues in the philosophy of mind and cognition: the blockhead objection, the Turing test, the symbol grounding problem, the Chinese room argument, and use theories of meaning. It shall finally be argued that the dimension of grounding decomposes into three sub-dimensions. And the dimension of self-learning turns out as only one of a whole range of “self-x-capacities” that span the self-x-subspace of the full AI state space. (shrink)
The distinction between the syntactic and the semantic approach to scientific theories emerged in formal philosophy of science. The semantic approach is commonly considered more advanced and more successful than the syntactic one, but the transition from the one approach to the other was not brought about without any loss. In essence, it is the formal analysis of atomic propositions and the analysis of deductive reasoning that dropped out of consideration in at least some of the elaborated versions of the (...) semantic approach. In structuralist theory of science, as founded by Sneed and Stegmüller, the focus is on global propositions concerning the question of whether or not certain empirical systems satisfy a set-theoretic predicate that encodes the axioms of a scientific theory. Hence, an analysis of deductive reasoning from atomic premisses with the help of a given theory is missing. The objective of the present paper is to develop a deductive system on the basis of the structuralist framework. This system comes with a novel formulation of empirical propositions in structuralism. (shrink)