Using as a springboard a three-way debate between theoretical physicist Lee Smolin, philosopher of science Nancy Cartwright and myself, I address in layman’s terms the issues of why we need a unified theory of the fundamental interactions and why, in my opinion, string and M-theory currently offer the best hope. The focus will be on responding more generally to the various criticisms. I also describe the diverse application of string/M-theory techniques to other branches of physics and mathematics which render the (...) whole enterprise worthwhile whether or not “a theory of everything” is forthcoming. (shrink)
Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 has been implicated in Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis. Here, we demonstrate that overexpression of p25, an activator of cdk5, led to increased levels of BACE1 mRNA and protein in vitro and in vivo. A p25/cdk5 responsive region containing multiple sites for signal transducer and activator of transcription was identified in the BACE1 promoter. STAT3 interacts with the BACE1 promoter, and p25-overexpressing mice had elevated levels of pSTAT3 and BACE1, whereas cdk5-deficient mice had reduced levels. Furthermore, mice with a (...) targeted mutation in the STAT3 cdk5 responsive site had lower levels of BACE1. Increased BACE levels in p25 overexpressing mice correlated with enhanced amyloidogenic processing that could be reversed by a cdk5 inhibitor. These data demonstrate a pathway by which p25/cdk5 increases the amyloidogenic processing of APP through STAT3-mediated transcriptional control of BACE1 that could have implications for AD pathogenesis. (shrink)
We argue performance in the serial reaction time task is associated with gradations of awareness that provide examples of fringe consciousness [Mangan, B. . Taking phenomenology seriously: the “fringe” and its implications for cognitive research. Consciousness and Cognition, 2, 89–108, Mangan, B. . The conscious “fringe”: Bringing William James up to date. In B. J. Baars, W. P. Banks & J. B. Newman , Essential sources in the scientific study of consciousness . Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.], and address limitations (...) of the traditional SRT procedure, including criticism of exclusion generation tasks. Two experiments are conducted with a modified SRT procedure where irrelevant stimulus attributes obscure the sequence rule. Our modified paradigm, which includes a novel exclusion task, makes it easier to demonstrate a previously controversial influence of response stimulus interval on awareness. It also allows identification of participants showing fringe consciousness rather than explicit sequence knowledge, as reflected by dissociations between different awareness measures. The NEO-PI-R variable Openness to Feelings influenced the diversity of subjective feelings reported during two awareness measures, but not the degree of learning and awareness as previously found with traditional SRT tasks [Norman, E., Price, M. C., & Duff, S. C. . Fringe consciousness in sequence learning: the influence of individual differences. Consciousness and Cognition, 15, 723–760.]. This suggests possible distinctions between two components of fringe consciousness. (shrink)
This long-awaited book replaces Hughes and Cresswell's two classic studies of modal logic: _An Introduction to Modal Logic_ and _A Companion to Modal Logic_. _A New Introduction to Modal Logic_ is an entirely new work, completely re-written by the authors. They have incorporated all the new developments that have taken place since 1968 in both modal propositional logic and modal predicate logic, without sacrificing tha clarity of exposition and approachability that were essential features of their earlier works. The book takes (...) readers from the most basic systems of modal propositional logic right up to systems of modal predicate with identity. It covers both technical developments such as completeness and incompleteness, and finite and infinite models, and their philosophical applications, especially in the area of modal predicate logic. (shrink)
The book offers a proposal on how to define truth in all its complexity, without reductionism, showing at the same time which questions a theory of truth has to answer and which questions, although related to truth, do not belong within the scope of such a theory. Just like any other theory, a theory of truth has its structure and limits. The semantic core of the position is that truth-ascriptions are pro-forms, i.e. natural language propositional variables. The book also offers (...) an explanation of the syntactic behaviour of truth-terms, and the pragmatic roles of truth-acts. The theory of truth we present is a technical proposal, relatively uncontaminated by radical philosophical discussion. It makes indeed philosophical points, but it is intended to be a conceptual analysis, as neutral as possible, of the aspects that may serve as a point of departure for more philosophically-laden destinations. Like the Fregean account of quantifiers, which is prior to and, to a large extent, independent of the metaphysical debate about existence and its forms, or the Kaplanian view on demonstratives, that is neutral regarding the debate about individuals and the possibilities we have to actually “reach” them in a referring act, we intend our proposal about truth to be a sophisticated and explicative setting that helps to situate other debates about truth accurately, far from the distorted and sometimes strongly ideological discussions that have turned the topic into a paradigm of philosophical impasse. (shrink)
While not taking St. Anselm’s ontological argument in the Proslogion to be valid, this paper shows that the dismissal of the thesis by both St. Thomas Aquinas and Kant does less than justice to St. Anselm’s text. In Chapter II of the Proslogion Anselm defines God as ‘something than which nothing greater can be thought’, claiming that this notion ‘exists in the mind’. The question is does its subject, God, exist ‘in re’. Can one proceed from the mental existence to (...) real existence given that to exist in re is greater than to exist notionally? This paper sets out several of Anselm’s premises from which he concludes that the notional existence of God defined by Anselm entails God’s actual existence, Aquinas dismissed Anselm’s arguments – possibly not having Anselm’s full text at hand. Anselm maintains that if ‘something than which nothing greater can be thought’ can be conceived, then to deny its existence in re constitutes a self-contradiction. The present paper examines in detail the elements of which Anselm’s elegant arguments are composed: q.v. Reference is made to Anselm’s Reply to Gaunilo, and to Anselm’s ontology set out in Monologion. Much, for the modern reader, turns on the topical logic of ‘perfection’ and of ‘greatness’. Again: much turns on the Kantian question ‘Is existence a predicate?’ And on the question: what kinds of things can be the subject of predicates? The comparison which Anselm is making between real and conceptual existence is not like any other comparison. This may be the flaw in his arguments. (shrink)
First published in 1908 as the second edition of a 1900 original, this book explains the content of the fifth and sixth books of Euclid's Elements, which are primarily concerned with ratio and magnitudes. Hill furnishes the text with copious diagrams to illustrate key points of Euclidian reasoning. This book will be of value to anyone with an interest in the history of education.
These two texts are fundamental for the understanding not only of Neoplatonism but also of the conventions of biography in late antiquity. Neither has received such extensive annotation before in English, and this new commentary makes full use of recent scholarship. The long introduction is intended both as a beginner’s guide to Neoplatonism and as a survey of ancient biographical writing.
What makes the words we speak mean what they do? Possible-worlds semantics articulates the view that the meanings of words contribute to determining, for each sentence, which possible worlds would make the sentence true, and which would make it false. M. J. Cresswell argues that the non-semantic facts on which such semantic facts supervene are facts about the causal interactions between the linguistic behaviour of speakers and the facts in the world that they are speaking about, and that the kind (...) of causation involved is best analysed using David Lewis's account of causation in terms of counterfactuals. Although philosophers have worked on the question of the connection between meaning and linguistic behaviour, it has mostly been without regard to the work done in possible-world semantics and Language in the World is a book-length examination of this problem. (shrink)
In the _Proslogion_, St. Anselm presents a philosophical argument for the existence of God. Anselm's proof, known since the time of Kant as the ontological argument for the existence of God, has played an important role in the history of philosophy and has been incorporated in various forms into the systems of Descartes, Leibniz, Hegel, and others. Included in this edition of the_ Proslogion _are Gaunilo's "A Reply on Behalf of the Fool" and St. Anselm's "The Author's Reply to Gaunilo." (...) All three works are in the original Latin with English translation on facing pages. Professor Charlesworth's introduction provides a helpful discussion of the context of the _Proslogion_ in the theological tradition and in Anselm's own thought and writing. (shrink)