In this paper I report a public discussion with E.P. Wigner that took place in 1987 at a conference on fundamental problems in Quantum Mechanics. In it Wigner clarified an idea that was widely attributed to him about consciousness playing a direct role in the quantum measurement process. He significantly revised that idea, and distanced himself from the earlier notion that consciousness plays a direct role.
Quantum mechanics and probability theory share one peculiarity. Both have well established mathematical formalisms, yet both are subject to controversy about the meaning and interpretation of their basic concepts. Since probability plays a fundamental role in QM, the conceptual problems of one theory can affect the other. We first classify the interpretations of probability into three major classes: inferential probability, ensemble probability, and propensity. Class is the basis of inductive logic; deals with the frequencies of events in repeatable experiments; describes (...) a form of causality that is weaker than determinism. An important, but neglected, paper by P. Humphreys demonstrated that propensity must differ mathematically, as well as conceptually, from probability, but he did not develop a theory of propensity. Such a theory is developed in this paper. Propensity theory shares many, but not all, of the axioms of probability theory. As a consequence, propensity supports the Law of Large Numbers from probability theory, but does not support Bayes theorem. Although there are particular problems within QM to which any of the classes of probability may be applied, it is argued that the intrinsic quantum probabilities are most naturally interpreted as quantum propensities. This does not alter the familiar statistical interpretation of QM. But the interpretation of quantum states as representing knowledge is untenable. Examples show that a density matrix fails to represent knowledge. (shrink)
Schlosshauer has criticized the conclusion of Wiebe and Ballentine (Phys. Rev. A 72:022109, 2005) that decoherence is not essential for the emergence of classicality from quantum mechanics. I reply to the issues raised in his critique, which range from the interpretation of quantum mechanics to the criterion for classicality, and conclude that the role of decoherence in these issues is much more restricted than is often claimed.
The modern state claims supreme authority over the lives of all its citizens. Drawing together political philosophy, jurisprudence, and public choice theory, this book forces the reader to reconsider some basic assumptions about the authority of the state. Various popular and influential theories - conventionalism, contractarianism, and communitarianism - are assessed by the author and found to fail. Leslie Green argues that only the consent of the governed can justify the state's claims to authority. While he denies that there (...) is a general obligation to obey the law, he nonetheless rejects philosophical anarchism and defends civility - the willingness to tolerate some imperfection in institutions - as a political virtue. (shrink)
A psychiatrist who has received international recognition for her research on the neural basis of primate social cognition, Leslie Brothers, M.D., offers here a major argument about the social dimension of the human brain, drawing on both her own work and a wealth of information from research laboratories, neurosurgical clinics, and psychiatric wards. Brothers offers the tale of Robinson Crusoe as a metaphor for neuroscience's classic notion of the brain: a starkly isolated figure, working, praying, writing alone. But the (...) famous castaway of literature, she notes, came from society and returned to society. So too with our brains: they have evolved a specialized capacity for exchanging signals with other brains--they are designed to be social. This can be seen in the brain's sensitive attunement to the meanings of facial expressions and physical gestures and the way it assigns mental lives to physical bodies--a feat we too often take for granted. Brothers describes fascinating case studies that show that certain kinds of brain damage can destroy a patient's ability to interpret faces, leaving him or her with the sense that they are surrounded by zombies. She takes us down to the level of the individual neuron, exploring the response of brain cells to social events. Perhaps most important, she connects neuroscience, psychiatry, and sociology as never before, showing how our daily interaction creates an organized social world--a network of brains that generates meaningful behavior and thought. Our emotions and our sense of self have no existence outside of a social context. Brothers conducts her argument with grace and style. By broadening our approach to the brain, this groundbreaking book makes an important contribution to our understanding of the human mind. (shrink)
This paper addresses the relationship between law and coercive force. It defends, against Frederick Schauer's contrary claims, the following propositions: The force of law consists in three things, not one: the imposition of duties, the use of coercion, and the exercise of social power. These are different and distinct. Even if coercion is not part of the concept of law, coercion is connected to law many important ways, and these are amply recognized in contemporary analytic jurisprudence. We cannot determine how (...) important coercion is to the efficacy of law until we know what counts as coercive force. The question of what counts as coercion is not a matter for generalization or stipulation. It requires an explanation of the concept of coercion. (shrink)
The notion of experience plays a deeply ambiguous role in philosophical thinking. In ordinary discourse we say that applicants for employment as joiner, farmhand or nanny should have some previous experience with carpentry, livestock or children. Such uses of the word clearly presuppose the existence of the relevant objects of experience. In other usages the focus is more on the mental effect on the subject , as when someone says that they have had several unpleasant experiences that day–a wetting in (...) a thunderstorm, an altercation with a traffic warden, and a long wait at the station. (shrink)
The central argument that Leslie Smith makes in this study is that reasoning by mathematical induction develops during childhood. The basis for this claim is a study conducted with children aged five to seven years in school years one and two.
The projection postulate, which prescribes “collapse of the state vector” upon measurement, is not an essential part of quantum mechanics. Rather it is only an optional discarding of certain branches of the state vector that are expected to be irrelevant for the purpose at hand. However, its use is hazardous, and there are examples of repeated measurements for which the conventional application of the projection postulate leads to incorrect results.
This research addresses the question of whether men and women in sales differ in their ethical attitudes and decision making. The study asked 209 subjects to respond to 20 ethical scenarios, half of which were "relational" and half "non-relational." The study concludes (1) that there are significant ethical differences between the sexes in situations that involve relational issues, but not in non-relational situations, and (2) that gender-based ethical differences change with age and years of experience. The implications of these finding (...) for sales organizations are discussed. (shrink)
The attempt to derive (rather than assume) the statistical postulate of quantum theory from the many-universes interpretation of Everett and De Witt is analyzed The many-universes interpretation is found to be neither necessary nor sufficient for the task.
Smith, Glass, and Miller have reported a meta-analysis of over 500 studies comparing some form of psychological therapy with a control condition. They report that when averaged over all dependent measures of outcome, psychological therapy is. 85 standard deviations better than the control treatment. We examined the subset of studies included in the Smith et al. metaanalysis that contained a psychotherapy and a placebo treatment. The median of the mean effect sizes for these 32 studies was. 15. There was a (...) nonsignificant inverse relationship between mean outcome and the following: sample size, duration of therapy, use of measures of outcome other than undisguised self-report, measurement of outcome at follow-up, and use of real patients rather than subjects solicited for the purposes of participation in a research study. A qualitative analysis of the studies in terms of the type of patient involved indicates that those using psychiatric outpatients had essentially zero effect sizes and that none using psychiatric inpaticnts provide convincing evidence for psychotherapeutic effectiveness. The onty studies clearly demonstrating significant effects of psychotherapy were the ones that did not use real patients. For the most part, these studies involved small samples of subjects and brief treatments, occasionally described in quasibeliavioristic language. It was concluded that for real patients there is no evidence that the benefits of psychotherapy are greater than those of placebo treatment. (shrink)
Working within the sensing, intuition, feeling, thinking approach to biblical hermeneutics, the present study focuses attention on the distinctive voices of introverted intuition and extraverted intuition, by analysing the way in which two small groups, one comprising dominant introverted intuitive types and the other comprising dominant extraverted intuitive types, explored and reflected on the Lucan narrative of the Good Samaritan, a passage rich in material to stimulate the perceiving process. Two distinctive voices emerged from these two groups.Contribution: Situated within the (...) reader perspective approach to biblical hermeneutics, the SIFT method is concerned with identifying the influence of the psychological type of the reader in shaping the interpretation of text. The foundations of the SIFT approach distinguish among the four functions of sensing, intuition, feeling, and thinking. The present study builds on this foundation by developing the nuance of the orientation in which the function is expressed, in this case focusing specifically on the comparison between introverted intuition and extraverted intuition. (shrink)
This compelling study of the origins of all that exists, including explanations of the entire material world, traces the responses of philosophers and scientists to the most elemental and haunting question of all: why is _anything_ here—or anything _anywhere_? Why is there something rather than nothing? Why not nothing? It includes the thoughts of dozens of luminaries from Plato and Aristotle to Aquinas and Leibniz to modern thinkers such as physicists Stephen Hawking and Steven Weinberg, philosophers Robert Nozick and Derek (...) Parfit, philosophers of religion Alvin Plantinga and Richard Swinburne, and the Dalai Lama. The first accessible volume to cover a wide range of possible reasons for the existence of all reality, from over 50 renowned thinkers, including Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Descartes, Leibniz, Hume, Bertrand Russell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Weinberg, Robert Nozick, Derek Parfit, Alvin Plantinga, Richard Swinburne, John Polkinghorne, Paul Davies, and the Dalai Lama Features insights by scientists, philosophers, and theologians Includes informative and helpful editorial introductions to each section Provides a wealth of suggestions for further reading and research Presents material that is both comprehensive and comprehensible. (shrink)
Leslie Stephen was an English biographer, and a writer on philosophy, ethics and literature. He was educated at Eton, King's College, London, and then Trinity College in Cambridge, where he remained as a fellow and a tutor for his entire career. He was also a keen mountaineer, taking part in first ascents of nine peaks in the Alps. He served as the first editor of the Dictionary of National Biography and in 1871 he became editor of the Cornhill Magazine. (...) During his eleven-year tenure he wrote two successful books on ethics, of which this work, published in 1882, was one. It was widely adopted as a standard textbook on moral philosophy, and became one of the most influential publications on the ideas of evolutionary ethics that had been inspired by Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. (shrink)
Sir Leslie Stephen, the founding editor of the Dictionary of National Biography, and a writer on philosophy, ethics, and literature, was educated at Eton, King's College London and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he remained as a fellow and a tutor for a number of years. Though a sickly child, he later became a keen and successful mountaineer, taking part in first ascents of nine peaks in the Alps. In 1871 he became editor of the Cornhill Magazine. During his eleven-year (...) tenure, he wrote two successful books on ethics, including The Science of Ethics in 1892, which was widely adopted as a standard textbook. This two-volume work, which was first published in 1896, brings together the lectures he gave to various ethical societies, mostly in London. In Volume 2, he discusses the ethical issues surrounding a range of topics, including luxury, heredity, crime and punishment, and duty. (shrink)
Scholars have shown renewed interest in the construct of courage. Recent studies have explored its theoretical underpinnings and measurement. Yet courage is generally discussed in its broad form to include physical, psychological, and moral features. To understand a more practical form of moral courage, research is needed to uncover how ethical challenges are effectively managed in organizational settings. We argue that professional moral courage is a managerial competency. To describe it and derive items for scale development, we studied managers in (...) the U.S. military and examined prior work on moral courage. Two methods were used to measure PMC producing a five dimensional scale that organized under a single second-order factor, which we termed overall PMC. The five dimensions are moral agency, multiple values, endurance of threats, going beyond compliance, and moral goals. Convergent and discriminant validity are analyzed by use of confirmatory factor analysis procedures. We conclude by presenting a framework for proactive organizational ethics, which reflects how to support PMC as a management practice. (shrink)
The goal of this paper is to provide an extensive account of Robert Leslie Ellisʼs largely forgotten work on philosophy of science and probability theory. On the one hand, it is suggested that both his ‘idealist’ renovation of the Baconian theory of induction and a ‘realism’ vis-à-vis natural kinds were the result of a complex dialogue with the work of William Whewell. On the other hand, it is shown to what extent the combining of these two positions contributed to (...) Ellisʼs reformulation of the metaphysical foundations of traditional probability theory. This parallel is assessed with reference to the disagreement between Ellis and Whewell on the nature of (pure) mathematics and its relation to scientific knowledge. (shrink)
Leslie Stephen was a writer, philosopher and literary critic whose work was published widely in the nineteenth century. As a young man Stephen was ordained deacon, but he later became agnostic and much of his work reflects his interest in challenging popular religion. This two-volume work, first published in 1876, is no exception: it focuses on the eighteenth-century deist controversy and its effects, as well as the reactions to what Stephen saw as a revolution in thought. Comprehensive and full (...) of detailed analysis, this is an important work in the history of ideas. Volume 1 contains a thorough discussion of the arguments for and against deism, and of the state of theology at the end of the century. Volume 2 focuses on eighteenth-century moral philosophy, political philosophy, literature, and on the literary and religious reactions to the revolution in thought. It also discusses utilitarianism in depth. (shrink)
Might we be parts of a divine mind? Could anything like an afterlife make sense? Starting with a Platonic answer to why the world exists, _Immortality Defended_ suggests we could well be immortal in all of three separate ways. Tackles the fundamental questions posed by our very existence, among them, "why does the cosmos exist?", "is there a divine mind or God?", and "in what sense might we have afterlives?" Defends a belief in immortality, without the need for a religious (...) affiliation or rejection of modern science Explores the ideas of "Einsteinian immortality", the divine afterlife, and the theory of an infinite and divine mind Draws from the work of a wide-range of philosophers, from ancient Greece to the present day, and incorporates up-to-date scientific findings Written in a thought-provoking and engaging manner, accessible to anyone intrigued by the wonder of our being. (shrink)
The pioneering ideas of Glenn D. Paige for a paradigm shift from killing to nonkilling are highlighted. The relevance of anthropology for this paradigm is advanced. The accumulating scientific evidence proves that nonviolent and peaceful societies not only exist, but are actually the norm throughout human prehistory and history. This scientific fact is elucidated through a historical inventory of the most important documentation. Ethnographic cases are summarized of the Semai as a nonviolent society, the transition from killing to nonkilling of (...) the Waorani, and the critiques of the representation of the Yanomami as a killing society. Several of the most important cross-cultural studies are discussed. The assertions of some of the most vocal opponents to this paradigm are refuted. The systemic cultural and ideological bias privileging violence and war over nonviolence and peace is documented. (shrink)
This paper offers three objections to Leslie’s recent and already influential theory of generics :375–403, 2007a, Philos Rev 117:1–47, 2008): her proposed metaphysical truth-conditions are subject to systematic counter-examples, the proposed disquotational semantics fails, and there is evidence that generics do not express cognitively primitive generalisations.
This book marks a total departure from previous studies of the Boxer War. It evaluates the way the war was perceived and portrayed at the time by the mass media. As such the book offers insights to a wider audience than that of sinologists or Chinese historians. The important distinction made by the author is between image makers and eyewitnesses. Whole categories of powerful image makers, both Chinese and foreign, never saw anything of the Boxer War but were responsible for (...) disseminating images of that war to millions of people in China and throughout the world. (shrink)
Focusing on the concept of freedom, Leslie Paul Thiele makes Heidegger's philosophical works speak directly to politics in a postmodern world. Neither excusing Heidegger for his political sins nor ignoring their lesson, Thiele nonetheless refrains from polemic in order creatively to engage one of the greatest philosophers of our time. The product of this engagement is a vindication of a democratic and ecological politics firmly grounded in philosophic inquiry. Using Heidegger's understanding of freedom as a point of departure, Timely (...) Meditations lays out the philosophic and political nature and potential of freedom in thought, speech, and deed. This disclosive freedom is contrasted to both modern (positive and negative) and postmodern (Nietzschean and Foucaultian) variations. The result is an original and provocative study that challenges our present understanding of liberty while underlining dangerous collusion with the contemporary forces of technology. Timely Meditations marks an increasingly rare achievement today. For unlike many theorists who attempt to steer a course into the world of postmodern politics, Thiele does so without forsaking philosophic foundations and without abandoning practical hopes and tasks for rhetorical diversions. Originally published in 1995. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905. (shrink)
Reverend H.F.C. Logan is put forward as the formerly unidentified figure to which Robert Leslie Ellis referred in a journal entry of 1840 in which he wrote that it was due to his influence that William Whewell came to uphold particular Kantian views on time and space. The historical evidence of Ellis’s early familiarity with, and later commitment to Kant is noteworthy for at least two reasons. Firstly, it puts into doubt the accepted view of the second generation of (...) reformers of British algebra as non-philosophical, practice-oriented mathematicians. Secondly, in so far as Logan was the correspondent of William Rowan Hamilton, it re-emphasizes that the role of Kantianism in the transition from ‘symbolical’ to ‘abstract’ algebra in nineteenth-century British algebra requires closer scrutiny. (shrink)
Generic sentences (e.g., bare plural sentences such as “dogs have four legs” and “mosquitoes carry malaria”) are used to talk about kinds of things. Three experiments investigated the conceptual foundations of generics as well as claims within the formal semantic approaches to generics concerning the roles of prevalence, cue validity and normalcy in licensing generics. Two classes of generic sentences that pose challenges to both the conceptually based and formal semantic approaches to generics were investigated. Striking property generics (e.g. “sharks (...) bite swimmers”) are true even though only a tiny minority of instances have the property and thus pose obvious problems for quantificational approaches, and they also do not seem to characterize kinds in terms of the principled or statistical connections investigated in previous research ( Prasada and Dillingham, 2006 ; Prasada and Dillingham, 2009). The second class — minority characteristic generics (e.g. “ducks lay eggs”) — also poses serious problems for quantificational accounts, and appears to involve principled connections even though fewer than half of its instances have the relevant property. The experiments revealed three principal discoveries: first, striking generics involve neither principled nor statistical connections. Instead, they involve a causal connection between a kind and a property. Second, minority characteristic generics exhibit the characteristics of principled connections, which suggests that principled connections license the expectation that most instances will have the property, but do not require it. Finally, the experiments also provided evidence that prevalence and the acceptability of generics may be dissociated and provided data that are problematic for normalcy approaches to generics, and for the idea that cue validity licenses low prevalence generics. As such, the studies provided evidence in favor of a conceptually based approach to the semantics of generics ( Leslie, 2007 ; Leslie, 2008; see also Carlson, 2009). (shrink)
We argue that Brandon and Carson's (1996) "The Indeterministic Character of Evolutionary Theory" fails to identify any indeterminism that would require evolutionary theory to be a statistical or probabilistic theory. Specifically, we argue that (1) their demonstration of a mechanism by which quantum indeterminism might "percolate up" to the biological level is irrelevant; (2) their argument that natural selection is indeterministic because it is inextricably connected with drift fails to join the issue with determinism; and (3) their view that experimental (...) methodology in botany assumes indeterminism is both false and incompatible with the commitment to discoverable causal mechanisms underlying biological processes. We remain convinced that the probabilism of the theory of evolution is epistemically, not ontologically, motivated. (shrink)