In this 1921 opus, Wittgenstein defined the object of philosophy as the logical clarification of thoughts and proposed the solution to most philosophic problems by means of a critical method of linguistic analysis. Beginning with the principles of symbolism, the author applies his theories to traditional philosophy, examines the logical structure of propositions and the nature of logical inference, and much more. Definitive translation. Introduction by Bertrand Russell.
A Treatise of Human Nature, David Hume's comprehensive attempt to base philosophy on a new, observationally grounded study of human nature, is one of the most important texts in Western philosophy. It is also the focal point of current attempts to understand 18th-century western philosophy. The Treatise addresses many of the most fundamental philosophical issues: causation, existence, freedom and necessity, and morality. The volume also includes Humes own abstract of the Treatise, a substantial introduction, extensive annotations, a glossary, a comprehensive (...) index, and suggestions for further reading. (shrink)
With reference to recently proposed theoretical models accounting for reduction in terms of a unified dynamics governing all physical processes, we analyze the problem of working out a worldview accommodating our knowledge about natural phenomena. We stress the relevant conceptual differences between the considered models and standard quantum mechanics. In spite of the fact that both theories describe systems within a genuine Hilbert space framework, the peculiar features of the spontaneous reduction models limit drastically the states which are dynamically stable. (...) This fact by itself allows one to work out an interpretation of the formalism which makes it possible to give a satisfactory description of the world in terms of the values taken by an appropriately defined mass density function in ordinary configuration space. A topology based on this function and which is radically different from the one characterizing the Hilbert space is introduced, and in terms of it the idea of similarity of macroscopic situations is precisely defined. Finally, the formalism and the interpretation are shown to yield a natural criterion for establishing the psychophysical parallelism. The conclusion is that, within the considered theories and at the nonrelativistic level, one can satisfy all sensible requirements for a completely satisfactory macro-objective description of reality. (shrink)
We present some striking global consequences of a model quaternionic quantum field theory which is locally complex. We show how making the quaternionic structure a dynamical quantity naturally leads to the prediction of cosmic strings and nonbaryonic hot dark matter candidates.
According to the prevailing sentiment, changing the past is logically impossible. The prevailing sentiment is wrong. In this paper, I argue that the claim that changing the past entails a contradiction ultimately rests upon an empirical assumption, and so the conclusion that changing the past is logically impossible is to be resisted. I then present and discuss a model of time which drops the empirical assumption and coherently models changing the past. Finally, I defend the model, and changing the past, (...) against objections. (shrink)
Some philosophers argue that any attempt to model changing the past will either be contradictory or really model avoiding the past. Using Nicholas Smith's (1997) argument as a basis, I formulate a generic version of this Avoidance Argument. I argue that the Avoidance Argument fails because (i) it involves an equivocation of what is meant by ‘bifurcation of the time of an event’ and (ii) resolving the equivocation results in the falsity of at least one of the premises. Hence, the (...) Avoidance Argument will not support the claim that changing the past is logically impossible. (shrink)
The Cambridge Capital Controversy was one of the most significant debates in Twentieth Century economics. First published in 1972, this book provides an accessible reconstruction of the controversy with detailed discussion of the major points raised by its primary protagonists: Piero Sraffa and Joan Robinson on the post-Keynesian side and Robert Solow and Paul Samuelson on the neo-classical side. The book is now considered to be a classic. This fiftieth anniversary edition comes with a new preface by the author and (...) two new afterwords that reflect on the author's contribution to the field and the significance of the book in the history of economics. Topics covered include the measurement of capital, the revival of interest in Irving Fisher's rate of return on investment, the double-switching debate, Sraffa's prelude to a critique of neoclassical theory, and the 'new' theories of the rate of profits in capitalist society. (shrink)
The formulation of a relativistic theory of state-vector reduction is proposed and analyzed, and its conceptual consequences are elucidated. In particular, a detailed discussion of stochastic invariance and of local and nonlocal aspects at the level of individual systems is presented.
We apply the distinction between parameter independence and outcome independence to the linear and nonlinear models of a recent nonrelativistic theory of continuous state vector reduction. We show that in the nonlinear model there is a set of realizations of the stochastic process that drives the state vector reduction for which parameter independence is violated for parallel spin components in the EPR-Bohm setup. Such a set has an appreciable probability of occurrence (≈ 1/2). On the other hand, the linear model (...) exhibits only extremely small parameter dependence effects. We investigate some specific features of the models and we recall that, as has been pointed out recently, if one wants to be able to speak of definite outcomes (or equivalently of possessed objective elements of reality) at finite times, one has to slightly change the criteria for their attribution to physical systems. The concluding section is devoted to a detailed discussion of the difficulties which one meets when one tries to take, as a starting point for the formulation of a relativistic theory, a nonrelativistic scheme which exhibits parameter dependence. Here we derive a theorem which identifies the precise sense in which the occurrence of parameter dependence forbids a genuinely relativistic generalization. Finally we show how the appreciable parameter dependence of the nonlinear model gives rise to problems with relativity, while the extremely weak parameter dependence of the linear model does not give rise to any difficulty, provided one takes into account the appropriate criteria for the attribution of definite outcomes. (shrink)
We analyse a recent paper in which an alleged devastating criticism of the so called GRW proposal to account for the objectification of the properties of macroscopic systems has been presented and we show that the author has not taken into account the precise implications of the GRW theory. This fact makes his conclusions basically wrong. We also perform a survey of measurement theory aimed to focus better on the physical and the conceptual aspects of the so-called macro-objectification problem.
Numerous informal logi- cians and argumentation theorists restrict their theorizing to what they call “real” arguments. But is there a clear distinction to be made between “real” and “non-real” arguments? Here I explore four possible accounts of the alleged distinction and argue that none can serve the theoretical uses to which the distinction is most often put. Résumé: Plusieurs logiciens construction formels et théoriciens de l’argument- ation limitent leur non de théories à ce qu’ils appellent des arguments « authentiques ». (...) Mais y-a- t’il une distinction claire entre des arguments« authentiques » et « inau- thentiques » ? Ici j’explore quatre descriptions possibles de cette préten- due distinction et je soutiens qu’- aucune ne répond aux besoins théori- ques auxquels elles sont censées ré- pondre. (shrink)