In this paper I argue for a special kind of injustice I call “trust injustice.” Taking Miranda Fricker's work on epistemic injustice as my starting point, I argue that there are some ethical constraints on trust relationships. If I am right about this, then we sometimes have duties to maintain trust relationships that are independent of the social roles we play.
There is currently debate between deflationists and anti-deflationists about the ontology of persisting objects. Some deflationists think that disputes between, for example, four-dimensionalists (e.g. Ted Sider and David Lewis) and quasi-nihilists (e.g. Peter Van Inwagen and Trenton Merricks) are merely verbal disputes. Anti-deflationists deny this. Eli Hirsch is a deflationist who maintains that many ontological disputes are merely verbal. Theodore Sider maintains that the disputes are not merely verbal. Hirsch and Sider are thus engaged in a metaontological dispute. In this (...) paper, I argue that Hirsch's metaontological dispute with Sider is, by Hirsch's own lights, itself merely verbal. I conclude that the mere verbalness of his metaontological dispute with Sider suggests that Hirsch's account of what makes a dispute merely verbal may be problematic. (shrink)
It has been shown that for the Reissner-Nordström solution to the vacuum Einstein field equations charge, like mass, has a unique space-time signature (Marsh, Found. Phys. 38:293–300, 2008). The presence of charge results in a negative curvature. This work, which includes a discussion of effective mass, is extended here to the Kerr-Newman solution.
Charge, like mass in Newtonian mechanics, is an irreducible element of electromagnetic theory that must be introduced ab initio. Its origin is not properly a part of the theory. Fields are then defined in terms of forces on either masses—in the case of Newtonian mechanics, or charges in the case of electromagnetism. General Relativity changed our way of thinking about the gravitational field by replacing the concept of a force field with the curvature of space-time. Mass, however, remained an irreducible (...) element. It is shown here that the Reissner-Nordström solution to the Einstein field equations tells us that charge, like mass, has a unique space-time signature. (shrink)
Pope Benedict XVI interleaved two themes in his lecture at the University of Regensburg on September 12, 2006.1 These will be discussed here in two separate parts: Truth, Faith, and Reason and The Dialogue of Cultures. The first addresses the Pope’s proposal to expand scientific reasoning to include the “rationality of faith”; and the second with the threat of radical Islam, and whether a “dialogue of cultures” is possible if the West persists in its belief in what the Pope calls (...) a “reason which is deaf to the divine.”. (shrink)
Problems with the conceptual foundations of quantum mechanics date back to attempts by Max Born, Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, as well as many others in the 1920s to continue to employ the classical concept of a particle in the context of the quantum world. The experimental observations at the time and the assumption that the classical concept of a particle was to be preserved have led to an enormous literature on the foundations of quantum mechanics and a great deal of (...) confusion then and now among non-physicists and students in any field that involves quantum theory. It is the historical approach to the teaching of quantum mechanics that is at the root of the problem. Spacetime is the arena within which quantum mechanical phenomena take place. For this reason, several Appendices are devoted to the nature of spacetime as well as to topics that can help us understand it such as vacuum fluctuations, the Unruh effect and Hawking radiation. Because of the success of quantum mechanical calculations, those who wish to understand the foundations of the theory are often given the apocryphal advice, "just ignore the issue and calculate". It is hoped that this book will help dispel some of the dismay, frustration, and confusion among those who refuse to take to heart this admonition. (shrink)
As fundamentalist religious thought strengthens its hold on U.S. politics and increases its role in politics around the world, enlightened values that form the very foundation of modern society are coming under attack. This essay explores some ramifications of these current conflicts.