Machine learning has become a key component of contemporary information systems. Unlike prior information systems explicitly programmed in formal languages, ML systems infer rules from data. This paper shows what this difference means for the critical analysis of socio-technical systems based on machine learning. To provide a foundation for future critical analysis of machine learning-based systems, we engage with how the term is framed and constructed in self-education resources. For this, we analyze machine learning tutorials, an important information source for (...) self-learners and a key tool for the formation of the practices of the machine learning community. Our analysis identifies canonical examples of machine learning as well as important misconceptions and problematic framings. Our results show that machine learning is presented as being universally applicable and that the application of machine learning without special expertise is actively encouraged. Explanations of machine learning algorithms are missing or strongly limited. Meanwhile, the importance of data is vastly understated. This has implications for the manifestation of social inequalities through machine learning-based systems. (shrink)
An architect and architectural philosopher, Berlage created a series of buildings and a body of writings that probed the problems and possibilities of Modernism. His principal texts, given here in English for the first time, present a vital chapter in the history of European Modernism.
Hendrik Lorenz presents a comprehensive study of Plato's and Aristotle's conceptions of non-rational desire. They see this as something that humans share with animals, and which aims primarily at the pleasures of food, drink, and sex. Lorenz explores the cognitive resources that both philosophers make available for the explanation of such desires, and what they take rationality to add to the motivational structure of human beings. In doing so, he finds conceptions of the mind that are coherent and deeply (...) integrated with both philosophers' views about such topics as the relation between body and soul, or the nature of the virtues. (shrink)
This festschrift collects a number of insightful essays by a group of accomplished Christian scholars, all of who have either worked with or studied under Hendrik Hart during his 35-year tenure as Senior Member in Systematic Philosophy at the Institute for Christian Studies, Toronto, Canada.
The revised edition contains a new chapter which provides an elegant description of the semantics. The various classes of lambda calculus models are described in a uniform manner. Some didactical improvements have been made to this edition. An example of a simple model is given and then the general theory (of categorical models) is developed. Indications are given of those parts of the book which can be used to form a coherent course.
Aristotle takes practical wisdom and arts or crafts to be forms of knowledge which, we argue, can usefully be thought of as ‘empiricist’. This empiricism has two key features: knowledge does not rest on grasping unobservable natures or essences; and knowledge does not rest on grasping logical relations that hold among propositions. Instead, knowledge rests on observation, memory, experience and everyday uses of reason. While Aristotle’s conception of theoretical knowledge does require grasping unobservable essences and logical relations that hold among (...) suitable propositions, his conception of practical and productive knowledge avoids such requirements and is consistent with empiricism. (shrink)
Ancient philosophical theories of soul are in many respects sensitive to ways of speaking and thinking about the soul psuchê] that are not specifically philosophical or theoretical. We therefore begin with what the word ‘soul’ meant to speakers of Classical Greek, and what it would have been natural to think about and associate with the soul. We then turn to various Presocratic thinkers, and to the philosophical theories that are our primary concern, those of Plato (first in the Phaedo, then (...) in the Republic), Aristotle (in the De Anima or On the Soul ), Epicurus, and the Stoics. These are by far the most carefully worked out theories of soul in ancient philosophy. Later theoretical developments — for instance, in the writings of Plotinus and other Platonists, as well as the Church Fathers — are best studied against the background of the classical theories, from which, in large part, they derive. (shrink)
In this paper, we first classify different types of second opinions and evaluate the ethical and epistemological implications of providing those in a clinical context. Second, we discuss the issue of how artificial intelligent could replace the human cognitive labour of providing such second opinion and find that several AI reach the levels of accuracy and efficiency needed to clarify their use an urgent ethical issue. Third, we outline the normative conditions of how AI may be used as second opinion (...) in clinical processes, weighing the benefits of its efficiency against concerns of responsibility attribution. Fourth, we provide a ‘rule of disagreement’ that fulfils these conditions while retaining some of the benefits of expanding the use of AI-based decision support systems in clinical contexts. This is because the rule of disagreement proposes to use AI as much as possible, but retain the ability to use human second opinions to resolve disagreements between AI and physician-in-charge. Fifth, we discuss some counterarguments. (shrink)
ABSTRACT:I argue that there are, according to Aristotle, two importantly different kinds of goals or ends in the domain of human agency and that one of these two kinds has been frequently, though not universally, overlooked. Apart from psychological goals, goals that agents adopt as their purposes, there are also, I submit, goals that actions have by being the kinds of actions they are and, in some cases, by occurring in the circumstances in which they do. These latter goals belong (...) to suitable actions whether or not agents adopt them as purposes and whether or not agents are aware of them. There is evidence both in Aristotle's ethical writings and in his discussion of chance and luck in Physics II.4–6 that he recognizes goals of this latter kind. (shrink)
A historical overview is given of the contributions of Hendrik Antoon Lorentz in quantum theory. Although especially his early work is valuable, the main importance of Lorentz’s work lies in the conceptual clarifications he provided and in his critique of the foundations of quantum theory.
New fetal therapies offer important prospects for improving health. However, having to consider both the fetus and the pregnant woman makes the risk–benefit analysis of fetal therapy trials challenging. Regulatory guidance is limited, and proposed ethical frameworks are overly restrictive or permissive. We propose a new ethical framework for fetal therapy research. First, we argue that considering only biomedical benefits fails to capture all relevant interests. Thus, we endorse expanding the considered benefits to include evidence-based psychosocial effects of fetal therapies. (...) Second, we reject the commonly proposed categorical risk and/or benefit thresholds for assessing fetal therapy research. Instead, we propose that the individual risks for the pregnant woman and the fetus should be justified by the benefits for them and the study’s social value. Studies that meet this overall proportionality criterion but have mildly unfavorable risk–benefit ratios for pregnant women and/or fetuses may be acceptable. (shrink)
It is an assumption common to many theories of rationality that all practical reasons are based on a person's given desires. I shall call any approach to practical reasons which accepts this assumption a "Humean approach". In spite of many criticisms, the Humean approach has numerous followers who take it to be the natural and inevitable view of practical reason. I will develop an argument against the Humean view aiming to explain its appeal, as well as to expose its mistake. (...) I focus on just one argument in favour of the Humean approach, which I believe can be constructed as the background idea of many Humean accounts: the argument from motivation. (shrink)
We analyze investors’ perception and long-term effects of board gender diversity on firms’ stock market performance in an international setting. Our results, controlling for the endogenous nature of board compositions, indicate that female board representation neither improves nor reduces firms’ long-term stock performance. Hence, we argue that it is imperative to go beyond the conventional thinking in terms of the business case for gender diversity and broaden the perspective also to incorporate societal and ethical aspects in the strive to board (...) gender equality. Even more so, as our results show that it does not entail reduced shareholder value, which the literature on mandatory gender quotas commonly seems to suggest. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that a person can have a reason to do what she cannot do. In a nutshell, the argument is that a person can have derivate reasons relating to an action that she has a non-derivative reason to perform. There are clear examples of derivative reasons that a person has in cases where she cannot do what she (non-derivatively) has reason to do. She couldn’t have those derivative reasons, unless she also had the non-derivative reason to (...) do what she cannot do. I discuss a number of objections to this view, in particular two: (1) The objection that if there were reasons to do what one cannot do, many of those would be ‘crazy reasons’, and (2) the worry that if there were such reasons, then agents would have reasons to engage in futile deliberations and tryings. I develop an explanation of ‘crazy reasons’ that shows that not all reasons to do the impossible are crazy and only those that are need to be filtered out, and, regarding the second objecting, I show that the reasons for trying as well as for taking the means to doing something—instrumental reasons in a broad sense—are different from the reasons for performing the action in the first place. They are affected by impossibility, and we can explain why that is so. The view I argue for is that a person may have a reason to do what she cannot do, but she does not have a reason to try to do so or to take means to realizing the impossible. (shrink)
The present volume produced in honour of the turcologist Petra Kappert concentrates on the subject of social upheavals. The papers range widely, historically from the beginnings of the Ottoman Empire up to the present day, geographically from Persia to the Caucasus and from there to Berlin today, and thematically the volume offers an impressive variety of subjects from history, philology, literature and cultural studies to the philosophy of law, sociology and politics.
Many social situations require a mental model of the knowledge, beliefs, goals, and intentions of others: a Theory of Mind (ToM). If a person can reason about other people’s beliefs about his own beliefs or intentions, he is demonstrating second-order ToM reasoning. A standard task to test second-order ToM reasoning is the second-order false belief task. A different approach to investigating ToM reasoning is through its application in a strategic game. Another task that is believed to involve the application of (...) second-order ToM is the comprehension of sentences that the hearer can only understand by considering the speaker’s alternatives. In this study we tested 40 children between 8 and 10 years old and 27 adult controls on (adaptations of) the three tasks mentioned above: the false belief task, a strategic game, and a sentence comprehension task. The results show interesting differences between adults and children, between the three tasks, and between this study and previous research. (shrink)
This paper explores the role and resolution of disagreements between physicians and their diagnostic AI-based decision support systems. With an ever-growing number of applications for these independently operating diagnostic tools, it becomes less and less clear what a physician ought to do in case their diagnosis is in faultless conflict with the results of the DSS. The consequences of such uncertainty can ultimately lead to effects detrimental to the intended purpose of such machines, e.g. by shifting the burden of proof (...) towards a physician. Thus, we require normative clarity for integrating these machines without affecting established, trusted, and relied upon workflows. In reconstructing different causes of conflicts between physicians and their AI-based tools—inspired by the approach of “meaningful human control” over autonomous systems and the challenges to resolve them—we will delineate normative conditions for “meaningful disagreements”. These incorporate the potential of DSS to take on more tasks and outline how the moral responsibility of a physician can be preserved in an increasingly automated clinical work environment. (shrink)
Kaum ein anderer Denker hat die jüdische Moderne in einem so hohen Maße beeinflusst wie der Philosoph Baruch Spinoza. Als eine intellektuelle Grenzfigur, die nach ihrer Verbannung aus der jüdischen Gemeinde Amsterdams im Jahre 1656 in die christlich-abendländische Geisteswelt eintrat, inspirierte er jene Aufklärer der Haskala, die ein gutes Jahrhundert später nach einem eigenen jüdischen Weg in die europäische Moderne suchten. Diese Denker trafen dabei auf eine nichtjüdische Gelehrtenwelt, in der sich mit dem Namen des niederländischen Philosophen ebenso idealisierende Erwartungen (...) wie irrationale Ängste gegenüber dem in Spinoza identifizierten intellektuellen Idealtypus des Jüdischen verbanden. Somit ist die Geschichte der jüdischen Rezeption Spinozas seit dem Zeitalter der europäischen Aufklärung stets ein Indikator dafür, welchen Stand das wechselhafte Verhältnis zwischen jüdischer und nichtjüdischer Welt gerade erreicht hatte. Im Nachvollzug der Verlaufsformen der jüdischen Spinoza-Rezeption vom 17. bis ins 20. Jahrhundert zeigt die vorliegende Studie, wie sich jüdisches Selbstbild und Fremdzuschreibung immer wieder wechselseitig bedingt haben. (shrink)
Many of the things we do in the course of a day we don't do intentionally: blushing, sneezing, breathing, blinking, smiling—to name but a few. But we also do act intentionally, and often when we do we act for reasons. Whether we always act for reasons when we act intentionally is controversial. But at least the converse is generally accepted: when we act for reasons we always act intentionally. Necessarily, it seems. In this paper, I argue that acting intentionally is (...) not in all cases acting for a reason. Instead, intentional agency involves a specific kind of control. Having this kind of control makes it possible to modify one's action in the light of reasons. Intentional agency opens the possibility of acting in the light of reasons. I also explain why when we act with an intention we act for reasons. In the second part of the paper, I draw on these results to show that the dominant view of reasons to intend and the rationality of intentions should be rejected. (shrink)
This contribution is a review article on the three most important books by F. Gerrit Immink in practical theology. His approach to this discipline is studying faith praxis of the Protestantse Kerk in Nederland which is a church in the Reformed tradition. In his first book he explained his approach to practical theology in a discussion with the action theory and hermeneutical-communucative approaches. His choice for the study of faith praxis opens the way for a more theological approach to him (...) in which communication between God and people is an important aspect. His second book forms the central part of this article. He uses the concept performance in the liturgy which is adopted from the theater world. In the performance by means of the execution of the liturgy by the congregation they all get involved in the message from the Bible of that Sunday, they are touched by it, it has an effect on them, and they get a new perspective on the problems of everyday life. This is possible through the work of the Holy Spirit. The epiclese prayers in the liturgy are prayers for the enlightening and work by the Spirit. He discusses singing, praying, preaching, baptism and Holy Communion in detail. The main idea is that the performance in the liturgy does something to you, it has an effect on you, something happens to you. To my mind there is no need to choose between the ritual approach and the approach he is putting on the table. The approaches can enrich each other. (shrink)
Ulrike Heuer argues that there can be a reason for a person to perform an action that this person cannot perform, as long as this person can take efficient steps towards performing this action. In this reply, I first argue that Heuer's examples fail to undermine my claim that there cannot be a reason for a person to perform an action if it is impossible that this person will perform this action. I then argue that, on a plausible (...) interpretation of what 'efficient steps' are, Heuer's claim is consistent with my claim. I end by showing that Heuer fails to undermine the arguments I gave for my claim. (shrink)
Luck, Value, and Commitment comprises eleven new essays which engage with, or take their point of departure from, the influential work in moral and political philosophy of Bernard Williams (1929-2003).
Is the wrongness of an action a reason not to perform it? Of course it is, you may answer. That an action is wrong both explains and justifies not doing it. Yet, there are doubts. Thinking that wrongness is a reason is confused, so an argument by Jonathan Dancy. There can’t be such a reason if ‘ϕ-ing is wrong’ is verdictive, and an all things considered judgment about what (not) to do in a certain situation. Such judgments are based on (...) all the relevant reasons for and against ϕ-ing. If that ϕ-ing is wrong, while being an all things considered verdict, would itself be a reason, it would upset the balance of reasons: it would be a further reason which has not yet been considered in reaching the verdict. Hence, the judgment wasn’t ‘all things considered' after all. I show that the argument against wrongness being a reason is unsuccessful, because its main assumption is false. Is main assumption is that a consideration which necessarily does not affect the balance of reasons is not a reason. I also argue that there can be no deontic buck-passing account. (shrink)