Questions regarding the formation of the Universe and ‘what was there’ before it came to existence have been of great interest to mankind at all times. Several suggestions have been presented during the ages – mostly assuming a preliminary state prior to creation. Nevertheless, theories that require initial conditions are not considered complete, since they lack an explanation of what created such conditions. We therefore propose the ‘Creatio Ex Nihilo’ (CEN) theory, aimed at describing the origin of the Universe from (...) ‘nothing’ in information terms. The suggested framework does not require amendments to the laws of physics: but rather provides a new scenario to the Universe initiation process, and from that point merges with state-of-the-art cosmological models. The paper is aimed at providing a first step towards a more complete model of the Universe creation – proving that creation Ex Nihilo is feasible. Further adjustments, elaborations, formalisms and experiments are required to formulate and support the theory. (shrink)
The usefulness of machine learning algorithms has led to their widespread adoption prior to the development of a conceptual framework for making sense of them. One common response to this situation is to say that machine learning suffers from a “black box problem.” That is, machine learning algorithms are “opaque” to human users, failing to be “interpretable” or “explicable” in terms that would render categorization procedures “understandable.” The purpose of this paper is to challenge the widespread agreement about the existence (...) and importance of a black box problem. The first section argues that “interpretability” and cognates lack precise meanings when applied to algorithms. This makes the concepts difficult to use when trying to solve the problems that have motivated the call for interpretability. Furthermore, since there is no adequate account of the concepts themselves, it is not possible to assess whether particular technical features supply formal definitions of those concepts. The second section argues that there are ways of being a responsible user of these algorithms that do not require interpretability. In many cases in which a black box problem is cited, interpretability is a means to a further end such as justification or non-discrimination. Since addressing these problems need not involve something that looks like an “interpretation” of an algorithm, the focus on interpretability artificially constrains the solution space by characterizing one possible solution as the problem itself. Where possible, discussion should be reformulated in terms of the ends of interpretability. (shrink)
This text is a unique intellectual biography of America's most celebrated president. It fills a conspicuous void by shedding new light not only on Lincoln but also on the religious and intellectual culture of the nineteenth century.
Abraham Lincoln was the greatest of our presidents. He saved the Union, and because he saved the Union, he was able to free the slaves. But he did more than this. Without him, we might have had no reason to celebrate the bicentennial first of Declaration of Independence and the then of the Constitution. It is therefore altogether fitting that we mark the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth.
Corporeality: Emergent consciousness within its spatial dimensions develops our understanding of what we can experience through our bodies in relation to the space around us. Rather than considering architecture as being about manifestation and mediation of fixed meanings, the book focuses instead on architectural space as a field that envelopes us incessantly, intimately, and affectively. We are in immediate contact with that space, and the way we relate to it determines how we are able to grasp the realities of the (...) social and material worlds around us. This enquiry considers architectural space and its impact on and relation to us from a range of disciplines and perspectives, leading from space to sense and to sensibility. The theatre becomes a central point of reference on this journey, allowing us to understand how space “works” by linking concrete spatial conditions to corresponding “forms of experience”. It allows showing how the ways we feel, think, and act emerge from within the rich texture of the pre-conscious and non-contemplative. That texture is induced and nourished by our bodily encounters with space. Offering a view of how immediate experience is generated in the body, this book enhances empirical research into the links between space, body, experience and consciousness. Maya Nanitchkova Öztürk is Associate Professor in Theory and Criticism of Architecture. Her academic interests and publications focus on space-body relationships and experience of space/place, as grounds for developing analytical methodologies and interdisciplinary links in discourse, and teaching. She works at Bilkent University (Ankara), Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, Department of Interior Architecture and Environmental Design. She is on the editorial boards of ISI journal Space and Culture, and the web-journal Consciousness, Literature and the Arts. (shrink)
This paper compares two readings of Baruch Spinoza – those of Gilles Deleuze and Rama Kanta Tripathi – with a particular focus on three features of Spinoza’s philosophy: the relationship between substance and attribute; the problem of acosmism and unity; and the problem of the parallelism of attributes. Deleuze and Tripathi’s understanding of these three issues in Spinoza’s thought illustrates for us their own concerns with becoming over substance and māyā, respectively. This investigation provides not just two interesting and contradictory (...) interpretations of Spinoza, but also gives us insight into Deleuze’s metaphysics and Tripathi’s Vedāntic philosophy. (shrink)
Toward the end of the twentieth century, Highland Maya intellectuals and activists in Guatemala began to argue for the recognition of indigenous customary law, rooted in traditional Maya moral and ritual discourse. Such law is often in tension with the Western notion of rights that undergirds national and international treatises regarding indigenous peoples. This essay identifies three distinct but mutually engaged pairs of moral concepts—hot/cold, left/right, and favorable/not favorable—articulated through K'iche' Maya quotidian and ceremonial practices and speech. (...) It also identifies the extent to which they do not necessarily align with Western notions of good and bad. These three pairs of moral terms, specifically as conserved through the high-register of Maya discourse used by traditional ceremonial specialists, illustrate a normative means by which Highland Maya discern understandings of justice, and ground their advocacy for restorative justice. (shrink)
In the following pages, I make an argument on behalf of “wisdom education,” i.e., an approach to education that emphasizes the development of better thinking skills as well as socialization and the development of students’ sense-of-self. Wisdom education can best be facilitated through dialogical interactions that encourage critical reflection and modification of one’s presuppositions. This account presupposes that wisdom is given to dialectical forces. While the paper is primarily theoretical, it touches upon my work as a teachers’ educator, which almost (...) always utilizes dialogical pedagogies in the belief that these pedagogies are potent platforms for better learning and thinking and thus are more meaningful and transformative. (shrink)
At the center of Lincoln’s political thought and career is an intense passion for equality that runs so deep in the speeches, messages, and letters that it has the force of religious conviction for Lincoln. George Kateb examines these writings to reveal that this passion explains Lincoln’s reverence for both the Constitution and the Union.
The evidence-based medicine (EBM) movement is touted as a new paradigm in medical education and practice, a description that carries with it an enthusiasm for science that has not been seen since logical positivism ﬂourished (circa 1920–1950). At the same time, the term ‘‘evidence-based medicine’’ has a ring of obviousness to it, as few physicians, one suspects, would claim that they do not attempt to base their clinical decision-making on available evidence. However, the apparent obviousness of EBM can and should (...) be challenged on the grounds of how ‘evidence’ has been problematised in the philosophy of science. EBM enthusiasm, it follows, ought to be tempered. The post-positivist, feminist, and phenomenological philosophies of science that are examined in this paper contest the seemingly unproblematic nature of evidence that underlies EBM by emphasizing different features of the social nature of science. The appeal to the authority of evidence that characterizes evidence-based practices does not increase objectivity but rather obscures the subjective elements that inescapably enter all forms of human inquiry. The seeming common sense of EBM only occurs because of its assumed removal from the social context of medical practice. In the current age where the institutional power of medicine is suspect, a model that represents biomedicine as politically disinterested or merely scientiﬁc should give pause. (shrink)
In this, his last work, J. David Greenstone provides an important new analysis of American liberalism and of Lincoln's unique contribution to the nation's political life. Greenstone addresses Louis Hartz's well-known claim that a tradition of liberal consensus has characterized American political life from the time of the founders. Although he acknowledges the force of Hartz's thesis, Greenstone nevertheless finds it inadequate for explaining prominent instances of American political discord, most notably the Civil War. Originally published in 1993. 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)
Abraham Lincoln’s hallowed place in American memory is secure: He saved the Union, put an end to slavery, and was assassinated for these very successes. At the same time, Lincoln’s many undeniable achievements came at terrible—and lasting—democratic cost. Informed by the work of Carl Schmitt and Giorgio Agamben, this essay aspires to illuminate that cost by analyzing two cases where Lincoln exercised a sovereign decisionism—one involving the exile of Ohio politician Clement Vallandigham for publicly opposing the Civil (...) War and the draft, a second involving the mass execution of Dakota Sioux Indians for daring to rise up and enact their own sovereign prerogatives during the war. This decisionism reveals Lincoln’s problematic resort to anti-political practices to deal with adversaries. Given the damage Lincoln did to American democracy, the essay also investigates what he might have done to make amends for it. Finally, it explores how Lincoln’s place in American history might be remembered more agonistically, architecturally speaking, on the Mall in Washington, D.C. (shrink)
Maya Deren was a Russian-born American filmmaker, theorist, poet, and photographer working at the forefront of the American avant-garde in the 1940s and 1950s. Influenced by Jean Cocteau and Marcel Duchamp, she is best known for her seminal film Meshes of the Afternoon, a dream-like experiment with time and symbol, looped narrative and provocative imagery, setting the stage for the twentieth-century's groundbreaking aesthetic movements and films. Maya Deren assesses both the filmmaker's completed work and her numerous unfinished projects, (...) arguing Deren's overarching aesthetic is founded on principles of incompletion, contingency, and openness. Combining the contrasting approaches of documentary, experimental, and creative film, Deren created a wholly original experience for film audiences that disrupted the subjectivity of cinema, its standards of continuity, and its dubious facility with promoting categories of realism. This critical retrospective reflects on the development of Deren's career and the productive tensions she initiated that continue to energize film. (shrink)
The standard counterexamples to David Lewis’s account of intrinsicality involve two sorts of properties: identity properties and necessary properties. Proponents of the account have attempted to deflect these counterexamples in a number of ways. This paper argues that none of these moves are legitimate. Furthermore, this paper argues that no account along the lines of Lewis’s can succeed, for an adequate account of intrinsicality must be sensitive to hyperintensional distinctions among properties.
A sample of Yukatek Maya children was tested on their capacity to attribute false beliefs to a variety of stimuli, both natural and non-natural. Children's capacity to correctly infer that humans have limited perceptual access, and are, therefore, not likely to know what is inside a container if the contents have been surreptitiously replaced, is shown to have significant consequences. Children who passed the test with the human stimulus showed a nuanced capacity to attribute similar or dissimilar knowledge to (...) other natural and non-natural entities, consistently with these entities' cultural representations. In contrast, those who failed the test with the human stimulus tended to attribute similar beliefs to all natural and non-natural entity stimuli. (shrink)
Abraham Lincoln's 1838 Lyceum speech is of interest for its explicit argument - that extra-legal violence is not a legitimate inference from popular sovereignty - but especially for the manner in which Lincoln led his listeners to this conclusion, which many of them would have resisted. His defence of American political institutions relies on informal, non- institutional, rhetorical means. By employing such means, Lincoln addressed a gap in the American framers' view of a representative's duty: he sought (...) to change public opinion as well as represent it. Lincoln's response to violence invites comparison with that of the abolitionists, who were frequently its targets. Both saw rhetoric as a necessary complement to formal institutions, but Lincoln goes further than the abolitionists in considering the dangers in an appeal from popular opinion to rights. (shrink)
Resemblances obtain not only between objects but between properties. Resemblances of the latter sort - in particular resemblances between quantitative properties - prove to be the downfall of a well-known theory of universals, namely the one presented by David Armstrong. This paper examines Armstrong's efforts to account for such resemblances within the framework of his theory and also explores several extensions of that theory. All of them fail.
In the mid 1970s labor-saving technology was introduced into a Maya subsistence agricultural community that markedly increased the efficiency with which maize could be ground and water collected. This increased efficiency introduces a possible savings in the time that women allocate to work, which can be reapportioned to child care, food production, domestic work, or leisure. An earlier study suggested that this labor-saving technology had a positive effect in decreasing the age at which these Maya women begin their (...) reproductive careers. Although there is a statistical association between the age at which women bear their first child and the introduction of modern technology, this association does not demonstrate that the decline in age at first birth is causally related to the presence of technology. This paper pursues two objectives to evaluate this potential causal relationship in greater detail. First, a theory relating technological change to the initiation of a reproductive career is briefly developed in order to make qualitative predictions about behavioral changes as a response to changing technology. Second, these predictions are then tested against time allocation data recently collected in this same Maya community.We suggest that both of the conditions necessary to initiate reproduction—fecundity and access to mates—fundamentally depend on the amount of help that a girl provides to her family. Further, the help that a girl provides can be affected by technological changes. Analyses show that when modern technology is available, unmarried young women do not change the time allocated to domestic tasks and child care, and allocate more time to low-energy leisure activities. This lack of perceived benefit to working more and a potential concomitant shift towards a positive energy balance may in part explain why Maya women leave home and initiate reproduction at a younger age after labor-saving technology is introduced. (shrink)
Excerpt from Lincoln and Public Morality Finally, there were the problems related to the prosecution of the war and to the aims for which it was being fought. If this did not bear directly on such matters as graft and dishonesty, it was no less related to the basic problem of public morality. For it was not only desirable but perhaps even necessary for national survival to discuss honestly and forthrightly the war aims. The risks in misrepresentation or dishonesty (...) were formidable, and any leader who was unwilling to enunciate a position on the critical questions of the day was courting personal and national disaster. Lincoln had no intention of doing either. Too long, even before the secession crisis, he had spoken for Union above all, and if he was committee to an ideal of freedom for all it was to be achieved and maintained in an indestructible union. His unequivocal posi tion in this regard was, in a sense, a measure of his high public morality. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works. (shrink)
Unlike many important leaders and historical figures, Abraham Lincoln is generally regarded as a singularly good and morally virtuous human being. Lincoln's Ethics assesses Lincoln's moral character and his many morally fraught decisions regarding slavery and the rights of African-Americans, as well as his actions and policies as commander in chief during the Civil War. Some of these decisions and policies have been the subject of considerable criticism. Lincoln undoubtedly possessed many important moral virtues, such as (...) kindness and magnanimity, to a very high degree. Despite this, there are also grounds to question the goodness of his character. Many fault him as a husband, father and son, and many claim that he was a racist. Carson explains Lincoln's virtues and assesses these criticisms. (shrink)
In the century since the publication of the special theory of relativity, there remains a tendency to venerate Einstein's genius without actually understanding his achievement. This book offers the opportunity to truly comprehend the workings of one of humanity's greatest minds. Acclaimed by Einstein himself, it is among the clearest, most readable expositions of relativity theory. It explains the problems Einstein faced, the experiments that led to his theories, and what his findings reveal about the forces that govern the universe. (...) The concepts of relativity and the fourth dimension unfold with all the vivid excitement of research into the unknown, in language anyone can readily understand. 1957 ed. (shrink)
One of the most fundamental and recurring issues in the social sciences--the relation between language and thought--is examined in this work from a broad and coherent interdisciplinary perspective. Many of the great historical issues are also addressed and newly examined such as: the multifunctionality of language, the role of natural logic in the structuring of linguistic rules, and the place of linguistic disambiguation and repair in particular cultures.
While most of healthcare research and practice fully endorses evidence-based healthcare, a minority view borrows popular themes from philosophy of science like underdetermination and value-ladenness to question the legitimacy of the evidence-based movement’s philosophical underpinnings. While the feminist origins go unacknowledged, those critics adopt a feminist reading of the “gap argument” to challenge the perceived objectivism of evidence-based practice. From there, the critics seem to despair over the “subjective elements” that values introduce to clinical reasoning, demonstrating that they do not (...) subscribe to feminist science studies’ normative program——where contextual values can enable good science and justified decisions. In this paper, I investigate why it is that the critics of evidence-based medicine adopt feminist science’s characterization of the problem but resist the productive solutions offered by those same theorists. I suggest that the common feminist empiricist appeal to idealized epistemic communities is impractical for those working within the current biomedical context and instead offer an alternate stream of feminist research into the empirical content of values (found in the work of Elizabeth Anderson and Sharyn Clough) as a more helpful recourse for facilitating the important task of legitimate and justified clinical decision-making. I use a case study on clinical decision-making to illustrate the fruitfulness of the latter feminist empiricist framework. -/- See response by Sharyn Clough: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1aN See reply by Maya Goldenberg: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1oY. (shrink)
This is the first volume of a projected three-volume work on the little known South Indian folk cult of the goddess Draupadi and on the classical epic, the Mahabharata, that the cult brings to life in mythic, ritual and dramatic forms.
The political genius of Abraham Lincoln remains unequivocal. As a great leader, he saved the Union, presided over the end of slavery, and helped to pave the way for an interracial democracy. In his speeches and letters, he offered enduring wisdom about human equality, democracy, free labor, and free society. This rare combination of theory and practice in politics cemented Lincoln’s legacy as one of the most talented statesmen in American history. Providing an accessible framework for understanding (...) class='Hi'>Lincoln’s statesmanship, this thoughtful study examines Lincoln’s political intellect in terms of the traditional moral vision of statecraft as understood by the political philosophers Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas. The enduring wisdom and timeless teachings of these great thinkers, author Joseph R. Fornieri shows, can lead to a deeper appreciation of statesmanship and of its embodiment in Abraham Lincoln. Statesmanship, Fornieri posits, is a moral greatness that stems from six virtues: wisdom, prudence, duty, magnanimity, rhetoric, and patriotism. Drawing on insights from history, politics, and philosophy, Fornieri tackles the question of how Lincoln evidenced each of these virtues. Through close textual analysis of Lincoln’s speeches and writings and careful consideration of relevant secondary literature, Fornieri reveals Lincoln to be a _philosopher statesman_ in whom political thought and action were united. Lincoln’s character is best understood, he contends, in terms of Aquinas’s understanding of magnanimity or greatness of soul, the crowning virtue of statesmanship. True political greatness, as evidenced by Lincoln, involves both humility and sacrifice for the common good. With the great philosophers and books of western civilization as his guide, Fornieri demonstrates the important contribution of normative political philosophy to an understanding of our sixteenth president. Informed by political theory that draws on the classics in revealing the timelessness of Lincoln’s example, his interdisciplinary study offers profound insights for anyone interested in the nature of leadership, statesmanship, political ethics, political history, and constitutional law. (shrink)
Esse artigo analisa a apropriação e a influência do conceito Māyā na filosofia de Schopenhauer durante o período de gênese de sua filosofia. Diferente das análises meramente comparativas, nosso foco é apresentar uma pesquisa histórico-filosófica a partir dos Manuscritos Juvenis e d’O Mundo como Vontade e como Representação, assim como, delimitar a “Índia schopenhaueriana” a partir das obras consultadas pelo filósofo durante o referido período: Oupnek’hat, Asiatisches Magazin, Mythologie des Indous e Asiatick Researches. Nosso objetivo é demonstrar, cronologicamente, como Schopenhauer (...) se apropriou do conceito Māyā, utilizando-o com sentidos e formas diferentes até consolidar o seu uso com a ideia de ilusão e influenciar sua teoria da Representação. (shrink)
El trabajo analiza las consecuencias que genera la mayor presencia de China en el eje estratégico argentino-brasileño. El análisis se centra en la década que transcurre entre el 2004 y el 2014. En esa etapa coincide la expansión de China con los cambios de gobierno en Argentina y Brasil. Los dos gobiernos fueron cuestionadores del modelo neoliberal y acordaron algunas líneas de acción. Se analizan las relaciones comerciales y los acuerdos de asociación estratégica con China y las consecuencias que se (...) han generado. El estudio señala que los cambios de gobierno fueron políticamente funcionales a las necesidades sistémicas planteadas por China. (shrink)
It is tempting to regard the perpetrators of the September 11th terrorist attacks as evil incarnate. But their motives, as Bruce Lincoln’s acclaimed Holy Terrors makes clear, were profoundly and intensely religious. Thus what we need after the events of 9/11, Lincoln argues, is greater clarity about what we take religion to be. Holy Terrors begins with a gripping dissection of the instruction manual given to each of the 9/11 hijackers. In their evocation of passages from the Quran, (...) we learn how the terrorists justified acts of destruction and mass murder “in the name of God, the most merciful, the most compassionate.” Lincoln then offers a provocative comparison of President Bush’s October 7, 2001 speech announcing U.S. military action in Afghanistan alongside the videotaped speech released by Osama bin Laden just a few hours later. As Lincoln authoritatively demonstrates, a close analysis of the rhetoric used by leaders as different as George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden—as well as Mohamed Atta and even Jerry Falwell—betrays startling similarities. These commonalities have considerable implications for our understanding of religion and its interrelationships with politics and culture in a postcolonial world, implications that Lincoln draws out with skill and sensitivity. With a chapter new to this edition, “Theses on Religion and Violence,” Holy Terrors remains one of the essential books on September 11 and a classic study on the character of religion. “Modernity has ended twice: in its Marxist form in 1989 Berlin, and in its liberal form on September 11, 2001. In order to understand such major historical changes we need both large-scale and focused analyses—a combination seldom to be found in one volume. But here Bruce Lincoln . . . has given us just such a mix of discrete and large-picture analysis.”—Stephen Healey, Christian Century “From time to time there appears a work . . . that serves to focus the wide-ranging, often contentious discussion of religion’s significance within broader cultural dynamics. Bruce Lincoln’s Holy Terrors is one such text. . . . Anyone still struggling toward a more nuanced comprehension of 9/11 would do well to spend time with this book.”—Theodore Pulcini, Middle East Journal. (shrink)
In this article I argue that the Critical Kant endorses the claim that God creates the best possible world, and that this claim is best understood as committing him to the view that God creates an infinitely valuable world. Kant’s understudied Critical theory of the best possible world differs significantly from his better-known quasi-Leibnizian pre-Critical account insofar as it uses an axiological rather than ontological metric for the goodness of worlds. The axiological metric introduces unique challenges for a Kantian account (...) of the best possible world. These challenges are in turn resolved via an infinite value interpretation. (shrink)
We describe PADUA, a protocol designed to support two agents debating a classification by offering arguments based on association rules mined from individual datasets. We motivate the style of argumentation supported by PADUA, and describe the protocol. We discuss the strategies and tactics that can be employed by agents participating in a PADUA dialogue. PADUA is applied to a typical problem in the classification of routine claims for a hypothetical welfare benefit. We particularly address the problems that arise from the (...) extensive number of misclassified examples typically found in such domains, where the high error rate is a widely recognised problem. We give examples of the use of PADUA in this domain, and explore in particular the effect of intermediate predicates. We have also done a large scale evaluation designed to test the effectiveness of using PADUA to detect misclassified examples, and to provide a comparison with other classification systems. (shrink)
The public rejection of scientific claims is widely recognized by scientific and governmental institutions to be threatening to modern democratic societies. Intense conflict between science and the public over diverse health and environmental issues have invited speculation by concerned officials regarding both the source of and the solution to the problem of public resistance towards scientific and policy positions on such hot-button issues as global warming, genetically modified crops, environmental toxins, and nuclear waste disposal. The London Royal Society’s influential report (...) “Public Understanding of Science”, which spearheaded the now-thriving area of science... (shrink)
How will the adoption of genetically modified staple crops reconfigure labor processes in Sub-Saharan Africa? This article focuses on Uganda, where GM varieties of matooke, the country’s primary carbohydrate staple, are expected to be commercialized within the next few years. The paper draws on survey data and focus groups with a random sample of over one hundred and fifty growers to investigate the potential ways a variety engineered to be resistant to banana bacterial wilt might impact labor dynamics. A BBW (...) resistant GM variety will displace labor currently allocated to disease prevention and control, and increase the labor required for harvesting higher yields. How farmers can address the need for more harvesting labor varies significantly according to region. In the southwestern highlands, producers can increase their portion of hired labor. In the central and eastern regions, where farms tend to be smaller and subsistence-oriented, farmers are more likely to intensify their use of unpaid family labor, particularly that of wives. Hence, while GM technology may result in increased yields for small-scale farmers in Uganda, this is likely to come at the cost of intensifying the agricultural labor burdens of women in the central and eastern region. (shrink)