In spite of being ubiquitous in life sciences, the concept of information is harshly criticized. Uses of the concept other than those derived from Shannon's theory are denounced as pernicious metaphors. We perform a computational experiment to explore whether Shannon's information is adequate to describe the uses of said concept in commonplace scientific practice. Our results show that semantic sequences do not have unique complexity values different from the value of meaningless sequences. This result suggests that quantitative theoretical frameworks do (...) not account fully for the complex phenomenon that the term “information” refers to. We propose a restructuring of the concept into two related, but independent notions, and conclude that a complete theory of biological information must account completely not only for both notions, but also for the relationship between them. (shrink)
Resumen.- La ciudad de los camiones (1918), Ofrece un testimonio muy vivaz y chispeante de las transformaciones urbanas de la ciudad de México hacia el final de la lucha armada en el país y con el fin de exponer, ya no reflexiones y preocupaciones en torno de la vida política y de la revolución mexicana, sino de pasar revista a un hecho singular: el surgimiento de las líneas de autobuses en la ciudad. Sus autores fueron Pablo Prida y Carlos (...) Ortega, notables autores de obras de teatro de revista políticas en la transición del porfiriato a la revolución y al período posrevolucionario. El autor de la música fue Manuel Castro Padilla. En este artículo nos proponemos valorar las aportaciones humorísticas y teatrales que en su recorrido en autobús por la ciudad de México en 1918 hace esta singular obra de revista teatral de Prida y Ortega. (shrink)
Interest in ethical aspects associated to product acquisition and consumption is a growing trend among consumers. In this context, the concept of “product with ethical attributes” has arisen to refer to products with explicit social and environmental characteristics. However, one of the factors that most hinders the purchasing of these products is certainly price. Given the difficulty of reducing price, the question that arises is the extent to which other product attributes can attenuate the negative impact of price on perceived (...) value. We assume that the special benefits associated to this type of products are, at a different level, attenuators of the relationship between price and perceived value. Focusing on Fair Trade organic coffee, hypotheses are tested regarding survey data from 407 customers. They were interviewed in an actual purchasing scenario. The models are tested using conventional Structural Equation Models and the Latent Moderated Structural Equation method. The results obtained shed some light on a highly generalised belief that the marketing of these products can only be improved by reducing their price. However, although a price reduction could be desirable, albeit complicated in this product category, its effects could be reduced by acting on other variables such as the ethical aspects, quality and healthiness of this product category. (shrink)
This paper investigates ontological dimensions of the blockchain by asking what kind of socio-technical object bitcoin is. It discusses both blockchain's political qualities and the political forms enabled by its emergence. It first observes recent approaches to the ontology of money and the political qualities of the ledgers used by the current fractional reserve banking model. It then directs the same questions at blockchain technology. The paper discusses an ontology proposed by Ole Bjerg and argues in favour of a mixed-ontology (...) approach to blockchains. It then questions the political qualities of the distributed ledger as a digital object and highlights the apparent absence of authority figures in the model. Finally, it argues that the political ontology of the blockchain can be framed as the displacement of authority from institutional actors into instrumental control of trust, in a dynamically distributed environment. (shrink)
La filosofía analítica parte del presupuesto de que muchos de nuestros errores se deben al uso incorrecto del lenguaje. El lenguaje dificulta entender los problemas que planteamos y genera, muchas veces, laberintos de los que resulta difícil escapar. Los problemas no son, en ocasiones, más que problemas lingüísticos devenidos del uso impropio de las palabras. La filosofía analítica propone examinar rigurosamente los términos empleados y las expresiones utilizadas. Por esta razón, es necesario estudiar las estructuras lingüísticas con el fin de (...) inquirir las posibles paradojas. El uso del lenguaje tiene repercusión sobre nuestra forma de entender el mundo. Emprender el estudio la evolución seguida por Ludwing Wittgenstein del análisis del lenguaje en su labor laboriosa pero fascinante. Por una parte, ha obtenido importantes resultados en el plano terapéutico y práctico y, por otra, su mismo esfuerzo de reagrupar estos resultados surgidos de las investigaciones sobre el lenguaje es cada vez más valioso. (shrink)
An Essay on Kant’s Theory of Evil shows the centrality of the doctrine of radical evil within Kant's critical philosophy. Combining textual accuracy with systematic ethical theory, it fills the gaps Kant left open in his own doctrine, and provides a non-mystifying account of human immorality, which shows the pertinence of the Kantian view to our moral concerns.
Michel Janssen and Harvey Brown have driven a prominent recent debate concerning the direction of an alleged arrow of explanation between Minkowski spacetime and Lorentz invariance of dynamical laws in special relativity. In this article, I critically assess this controversy with the aim of clarifying the explanatory foundations of the theory. First, I show that two assumptions shared by the parties—that the dispute is independent of issues concerning spacetime ontology, and that there is an urgent need for a constructive interpretation (...) of special relativity—are problematic and negatively affect the debate. Second, I argue that the whole discussion relies on a misleading conception of the link between Minkowski spacetime structure and Lorentz invari-ance, a misconception that in turn sheds more shadows than light on our understand-ing of the explanatory nature and power of Einstein’s theory. I state that the arrow connecting Lorentz invariance and Minkowski spacetime is not explanatory and uni-directional, but analytic and bidirectional, and that this analytic arrow grounds the chronogeometric explanations of physical phenomena that special relativity offers. (shrink)
According to a popular narrative, in 1932 von Neumann introduced a theorem that intended to be a proof of the impossibility of hidden variables in quantum mechanics. However, the narrative goes, Bell later spotted a flaw that allegedly shows its irrelevance. Bell’s widely accepted criticism has been challenged by Bub and Dieks: they claim that the proof shows that viable hidden variables theories cannot be theories in Hilbert space. Bub’s and Dieks’ reassessment has been in turn challenged by Mermin and (...) Schack. Hereby I critically assess their reply, with the aim of bringing further clarification concerning the meaning, scope and relevance of von Neumann’s theorem. I show that despite Mermin and Schack’s response, Bub’s and Dieks’ reassessment is quite correct, and that this reading gets strongly reinforced when we carefully consider the connection between von Neumann’s proof and Gleason’s theorem. (shrink)
When we speak about different interpretations of quantum mechanics it is suggested that there is one single quantum theory that can be interpreted in different ways. However, after an explicit characterization of what it is to interpret quantum mechanics, the right diagnosis is that we have a case of predictively equivalent rival theories. I extract some lessons regarding the resulting underdetermination of theory choice. Issues about theoretical identity, theoretical and methodological pluralism, and the prospects for a realist stance towards quantum (...) theory can be properly addressed once we recognize that interpretations of quantum mechanics are rival theories. (shrink)
It is a widespread belief that the Kochen-Specker theorem imposes a contextuality constraint on the ontology of beables in quantum hidden variables theories. On the other hand, after Bell’s influential critique, the importance of von Neumann’s wrongly called ‘impossibility proof’ has been severely questioned. However, Max Jammer, Jeffrey Bub and Dennis Dieks have proposed insightful reassessments of von Neumann’s theorem: what it really shows is that hidden variables theories cannot represent their beables by means of Hermitian operators in Hilbert space. (...) Hereby I show that i) the very same constraint can be derived from Gleason’s theorem, and that ii) if we consider the import of von Neumann’s and Gleason’s theorems, the relevance of the Kochen-Specker theorem for hidden variables theories gets substantially weakened: it does not force them to be contextual in any interesting sense of the term. (shrink)
In 1991 Larry Laudan and Jarret Leplin proposed a solution for the problem of empirical equivalence and the empirical underdetermination that is often thought to result from it. In this paper we argue that, even though Laudan and Leplin’s reasoning is essentially correct, their solution should be accurately assessed in order to appreciate its nature and scope. Indeed, Laudan and Leplin’s analysis does not succeed in completely removing the problem or, as they put it, in refuting the thesis of underdetermination (...) as a consequence of empirical equivalence. Instead, what they show is merely that science possesses tools that may eventually lead out of an underdetermination impasse. We apply their argument to a real case of two empirically equivalent theories: Lorentz’s ether theory and Einstein’s special relativity. This example illustrates the validity of Laudan and Leplin’s reasoning, but also shows the importance of the reassessment we argue for. (shrink)
In this paper, we analyze the relationship between the logic of gift and team performance. We explore this connection empirically, using a detailed data set from the National Basketball Association. In particular, we use the NBA Cares Community Assist Award as a way to measure gift-giving to the community. We explore the response of an entire team after one if its members has been recognized for his gift-giving behavior. Using two winners, we show that after a player has received the (...) award there is an increase in the number of assists given by each member of the team, and that there is also an increase in the number of wins. Therefore, our results show that the team’s performance would improve after a player has been recognized because of his gift-giving attitude. This finding to management implies that managers’ incentivization of a sharing and giving philosophy would not only improve their relationship bond but it would also help them increase their performance. (shrink)
Se propone un examen crítico de la última obra de J.-L. Marion titulada, dedicada a la unión de alma y cuerpo, y cuya tesis principal es: los problemas que esta unión suscita confunden dos términos, cuerpo y mi cuerpo. Esta confusión lleva a que se apliquen al primero categorías propias del segundo. Se examinan las "paradojas ónticas" que mi cuerpo (la carne) inaugura (a); se despeja la tesis de dos interpretaciones de las meditaciones primera y sexta (b); se discute la (...) "excepción a la metafísica" instaurada por el conocimiento de mi cuerpo (c); se arriesga, siguiendo una indicación del autor, la apertura a una dimensión ética que exige examinar ya no la unión de cuerpo y alma, sino la unión por el amor a un semejante y a la comunidad de semejantes (d). The article carries out a critical examination of J.-L. Marion's latest work, "Sur la pensée passive de Descartes", whose main thesis is that the problems posed by the union of body and soul confuse two terms: body and my body. This confusion leads to the application to the former of categories inherent to the latter. The paper examines the "ontic paradoxes" that my body (the flesh) gives rise to (a); it clarifies the thesis of two interpretations of the First and Sixth Meditations (b); it discusses the "exception to metaphysics" established by the knowledge of my body (c); and, following an indication by the author, it proposes an opening to the ethical dimension, which demands an examination of the union, through love, with a fellow human being and with the community of human beings, rather than of the union of body and soul (d). Neste artigo, propõe-se um exame crítico da última obra de J.-L. Marion, intitulada "Sur la pensée passive de Descartes", dedicada à união de alma e corpo, e cuja tese principal é: os problemas que essa união suscita confundem dois termos, corpo e meu corpo. Essa confusão leva a que se apliquem ao primeiro categorias próprias do segundo. Examinam-se os "paradoxos ônticos" que meu corpo (a carne) inaugura; a tese de duas interpretações das medita ccedil;ões primeira e sexta é esclarecida; arrisca-se, seguindo uma indicação do autor, a abertura a uma dimensão ética que exige examinar já não a união de corpo e alma, mas sim a união pelo amor a um semelhante e à comunidade de semelhantes. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that the case of Einstein׳s special relativity vs. Hendrik Lorentz׳s ether theory can be decided in terms of empirical evidence, in spite of the predictive equivalence between the theories. In the historical and philosophical literature this case has been typically addressed focusing on non-empirical features. I claim that non-empirical features are not enough to provide a fully objective and uniquely determined choice in instances of empirical equivalence. However, I argue that if we consider arguments proposed (...) by Richard Boyd, and by Larry Laudan and Jarret Leplin, a choice based on non-entailed empirical evidence favoring Einstein׳s theory can be made. (shrink)
At a time in which labour markets are becoming increasingly globalised and precarisation processes are altering young people’s working and living conditions, a whole network of public and private agencies are developing different entrepreneurship programmes as the main mechanism to deal with youth exclusion and unemployment. Grounded in two on-going research projects conducted in Europe and Australia, this article proposes a preliminary, thought-provoking engagement with the concept of global grammars of enterprise to examine how the truth regimes are framed and (...) articulated in these networks. We argue that this concept enables us to identify, examine and analyse the shifting, unstable, but always strategic power relations between the governmental discourses on entrepreneurship and the enterprising behaviour and dispositions of persons and groups, and the particular «declensions» and local «translations» of the ideas of entrepreneurship that organisations and young people perform within a process of globalised precarisation.Al albur de la globalización de los mercados laborales, al mismo tiempo que ciertos procesos de precarización están alterando profundamente las condiciones de vida y de trabajo de las personas jóvenes, se despliega toda una red de agentes públicos y privados que buscan fomentar el emprendimiento como principal mecanismo para enfrentar la exclusión y el paro juvenil. Fundamentado en dos proyectos de investigación en curso en Europa y Australia, el artículo se involucra preliminar y provocativamente con el concepto analítico de gramáticas globales del emprendimiento para analizar cómo se enmarcan y articulan los regímenes de verdad de estas redes. Argumentamos que este constructo posibilita abordar las inestables y estratégicas relaciones de poder entre los discursos gubernamentales del emprendimiento y las disposiciones y los comportamientos; las declinaciones particulares y las «traducciones» locales que la juventud y algunas organizaciones afines realizan de ellos en el marco de un proceso de precarización globalizado. (shrink)
On a prominent family of views about the justification of legitimate policy-making (public justification views), considerations about the rights and well-being of nonhuman animals can only play a derivative role at best. On these views, these considerations matter only if they can figure in the content of the public reasons that citizens can offer each other. This thesis I call the Indirect View. Some authors have argued that this constitutes a reason to reject the ideal of public justification, or at (...) least to qualify it. It is unclear, however, whether public justification theorists will be persuaded by this. In this paper, I argue that they should. In order to do so, I focus on three justifications of the ideal of public justification that have been offered in the literature (justice, our reactive attitudes, and civic friendship), and contend that none of them supports the Indirect View. In some cases, this is because the value in question (e.g. justice) might indeed be extended to animals. In other cases, this is because there is often a trade-off between the values in play and considerations about the rights and well-being of animals in which the former do not always outweigh the latter. (shrink)
I agree with the view expressed in the target article that the early structural organization of the mammalian neocortex (the primordial neocortical organization) is different from its final one and resembles the more primitive organization of reptilian cortex. During the early development of the neocortex, a distinctly mammalian multilayered pyramidal-cell plate is introduced within a more primitive reptilian-like cortex, establishing simultaneously layer I (marginal zone) above it and layer VII (subplate zone) below it. This multilayered pyramidal-cell plate represents a recent (...) mammalian innovation in the evolution of the cerebral cortex of vertebrates. Hence, the term neocortex is preferable to isocortex. (shrink)
Desde un estudio de caso con perspectiva crítica de género, analizamos la enseñanza de la Educación Física en la escuela graduada “Joaquín V. González” de la Universidad Nacional de La Plata entre los años 1929 y 1946. Damos cuenta de la impronta escolanovista (e higienista) en la formación de niños varones y de las particularidades que presentó, identificando masculinidades deseadas.
This paper provides a defense of the ethical/political dimensions of Kant’s liberalism by gauging the strength of the critique of one of its most acerbic contemporary critics, Richard Rorty. Rorty’s dissatisfaction with Kant’s position can be traced back to a narrative of the coming to age of our culture, which bears surprising similarities to Kant’s account of the Enlightenment. Yet, in Rorty’s version of the story, Kant’s philosophy is mistakenly assimilated to a form of “Platonism.” This is due, I argue, (...) to the fact that Rorty confuses the “transcendental” with the “transcendent” in Kant. To set the score straight, I present a “de-Platonized” reading of Kant’s 1784 Enlightenment essay, whose goal is to protect the achievements of liberalism against Rorty’s poetic excesses. (shrink)
This paper suggests a general interpretative strategy for reading Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason namely, as an attempt to find a middle ground between what Kant considers two forms of excess: the appeal to a transcendent conception of God and the denial of any claim that presupposes God’s existence. To make my case, I use the example of two contemporary thinkers (Wolterstorff and Rorty) and trace their dispute to the antinomic character of “religious reason.” Putting things this way (...) underscores the originality of Kant’s view: the wake-up call of an antinomy serves us to motivate Kant’s solution to the problem raised by dogmatic religious claims, as well as to capture what is the distinctive ethical function he reserved for religion in the critical system, i.e., the support of the non-individualistic virtues involved in shared undertakings and common pursuits. Throughout the discussion, I show the importance that radical evil had in Kant’s “constructing” the idea of God. (shrink)
This paper explores a usually neglected notion in Kant’s account of moral fall and regeneration in Religion: the notion of “heart” (Herz). This notion belongs to a constellation of concepts that Kant develops for the purposes of moral imputation and the attribution of responsibility. The other chief components of Kant’s conceptual framework are “propensity” (Hang), “character” (Charakter), and “disposition” (Gesinnung). Although interpreters have tended to use these notions interchangeably, understanding their proper meaning, function, and scope in Kantian ethics is essential (...) to preserve the consistency of the doctrine of radical evil. To make good on this claim, I discuss the contributions that the notion of “heart” makes to Kant’s account of the human moral condition and argue that it is irreducible to the other components of his conceptual framework. This notion, we discover, is crucial to the success of Kant’s anthropological argument in Religion and invites us to reevaluate the role emotions play in our moral lives. (shrink)
Clinical trials of xenotransplantation may begin early in the next decade, with kidneys from genetically modified pigs transplanted into adult humans. If successful, transplanting pig hearts into children with advanced heart failure may be the next step. Typically, clinical trials have a specified end date, and participants are aware of the amount of time they will be in the study. This is not so with XTx. The current ethical consensus is that XTx recipients must consent to lifelong monitoring. While this (...) presents challenges to the right to withdraw in the adult population, additional and unanswered questions also linger in the paediatric population. In paediatric XTx, parents or guardians consent not only to the initial treatment of the child but also to lifelong monitoring, thus making a decision whose consequences will remain present as the child develops the capacity for assent, and finally the capacity for informed consent or refusal. This article presents and evaluates unanswered paediatric ethical questions in regard to the right to withdraw from XTx follow-up in the paediatric population. (shrink)
“But surely if it's not irrational, it can’t be OCD!” my friend exclaimed, when I told them about the paper Carolina Flores and Brent Kious provided their excellent comments for. In all fairness, my friend is not working in philosophy, or psychiatry, or in psychology. Still, I take their sentiment to be expressive of a widely held view: if you have a certain mental illness, then you must be irrational. Conversely, rationality guarantees mental health; the sane life is the rational (...) life. -/- In my paper, I attempted to complicate this picture. My main line of thought was that if the sane life is the rational life, we do not have a good conception of rationality yet. For, our best theories of rationality fail to capture what is going wrong in some cases of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Addressing the criticisms raised by my commentators will allow me to clear up some misunderstandings and sketch avenues for further work. (shrink)
In this paper I analyze three artificial examples of empirical equivalence: van Fraassen’s alternative formulations of Newton’s theory, the Poincaré-Reichenbach argument for the conventionality of geometry; and predictively equivalent ‘systems of the world’. These examples have received attention in the philosophy of science literature because they are supposed to illustrate the connection between predictive equivalence and underdetermination of theory choice. I conclude that this view is wrong. These examples of empirical equivalence are harmless with respect to the problem of underdetermination.