There is an urgent need in philosophy of mathematics for new approaches which pay closer attention to mathematical practice. This book will blaze the trail: it offers philosophical analyses of important characteristics of contemporary mathematics and of many aspects of mathematical activity which escape purely formal logical treatment.
Luigi Einaudi was a leading liberal economist, economic historian and political figure. This book provides the English-speaking world with a first critical edition of an unpublished version of Einaudi’s most important epistemological essay. The issues analysed here lie at the core of the problem concerning the nature and scope of economic sciences and the role played by economists in the public sphere, with particular emphasis on the interaction between economists and the ruling class. The earlier version of this essay has (...) also been considered the "historical epilogue" of the Italian tradition in public finance. An extensive reappraisal of this newly discovered document will help to reconsider and cast light on that tradition. This critical edition includes a comprehensive introduction and conclusion, both of which aim to place Einaudi’s essay in the context of his earlier epistemological speculation and the associated debates, and to assess the unsettled questions he left as an enduring heritage for the current generation of social scientists. (shrink)
Some philosophers argue that false speech and false belief are impossible. In the Sophist, Plato addresses this 'falsehood paradox', which purports to prove that one can neither say nor believe falsehoods. In this book Paolo Crivelli closely examines the whole dialogue and shows how Plato's brilliant solution to the paradox is radically different from those put forward by modern philosophers. He surveys and critically discusses the vast range of literature which has developed around the Sophist over the past fifty (...) years, and provides original solutions to several problems that are so far unsolved. His book will be important for all who are interested in the Sophist and in ancient ontology and philosophy of language more generally. (shrink)
Neuroeconomics, neuromarketing, neuroaesthetics, and neurotheology are just a few of the novel disciplines that have been inspired by a combination of ancient knowledge along with recent discoveries about how the human brain works.This fascinating and thought provoking new book critically questions our love affair with brain imaging.
The widespread use of brain imaging techniques encourages conceiving of neuroscience as the forthcoming “mindscience.” Perhaps surprisingly for many, this conclusion is still largely unwarranted. The present paper surveys various shortcomings of neuroscience as a putative “mindscience.” The analysis shows that the scope of mind (both cognitive and phenomenal) falls outside that of neuroscience. Of course, such a conclusion does not endorse any metaphysical or antiscientific stance as to the nature of the mind. Rather, it challenges a series of assumptions (...) that the undeniable success of neuroscience has fostered. In fact, physicalism is here taken as the only viable ontological framework – an assumption that does not imply that the central nervous system exhausts the physical domain. (shrink)
The performative turn in aesthetics is paralleled by a similar transformation in the epistemology of geography with the rise of the so-called non-representational theory. This paper focuses on the connection between non-representational geography and the morphological approaches to landscape elaborated by Humboldt in the XIX century and Carl Sauer in the XX century. At stake there is the possibility to establish a virtuous relationship between aesthetics and geographical knowledge, which have often been separated despite their indisputable kinships and liaison points.
A novel theoretical framework for an embodied, non-representational approach to language that extends and deepens enactive theory, bridging the gap between sensorimotor skills and language. -/- Linguistic Bodies offers a fully embodied and fully social treatment of human language without positing mental representations. The authors present the first coherent, overarching theory that connects dynamical explanations of action and perception with language. Arguing from the assumption of a deep continuity between life and mind, they show that this continuity extends to language. (...) Expanding and deepening enactive theory, they offer a constitutive account of language and the co-emergent phenomena of personhood, reflexivity, social normativity, and ideality. Language, they argue, is not something we add to a range of existing cognitive capacities but a new way of being embodied. Each of us is a linguistic body in a community of other linguistic bodies. The book describes three distinct yet entangled kinds of human embodiment, organic, sensorimotor, and intersubjective; it traces the emergence of linguistic sensitivities and introduces the novel concept of linguistic bodies; and it explores the implications of living as linguistic bodies in perpetual becoming, applying the concept of linguistic bodies to questions of language acquisition, parenting, autism, grammar, symbol, narrative, and gesture, and to such ethical concerns as microaggression, institutional speech, and pedagogy. (shrink)
In his review of my book, Le voyage de Nietzsche à Sorrente, Emmanuel Salanskis writes that it is an agreeable read and philologically precise, but that it presents some philosophical difficulties.The first alleged difficulty lies in the conception of “epiphany.” Salanskis asks, “Can we really include Nietzsche among adherents of an aesthetics of the ‘instant’ (170) like Virginia Woolf ?” No, certainly not. On the page cited, I discuss James Joyce’s conception of epiphany (and mention Virginia Woolf only in passing) (...) in order to distinguish Joycean epiphanies and the aesthetics of the instant from Nietzsche’s epiphanies. The latter, I argue shortly thereafter, are “from an epistemological point of view not moments .. (shrink)
Paolo Mancosu provides an original investigation of historical and systematic aspects of the notions of abstraction and infinity and their interaction. A familiar way of introducing concepts in mathematics rests on so-called definitions by abstraction. An example of this is Hume's Principle, which introduces the concept of number by stating that two concepts have the same number if and only if the objects falling under each one of them can be put in one-one correspondence. This principle is at the (...) core of neo-logicism. In the first two chapters of the book, Mancosu provides a historical analysis of the mathematical uses and foundational discussion of definitions by abstraction up to Frege, Peano, and Russell. Chapter one shows that abstraction principles were quite widespread in the mathematical practice that preceded Frege's discussion of them and the second chapter provides the first contextual analysis of Frege's discussion of abstraction principles in section 64 of the Grundlagen. In the second part of the book, Mancosu discusses a novel approach to measuring the size of infinite sets known as the theory of numerosities and shows how this new development leads to deep mathematical, historical, and philosophical problems. The final chapter of the book explore how this theory of numerosities can be exploited to provide surprisingly novel perspectives on neo-logicism. (shrink)
Natural language conditionals seem to be subject to three logical requirements: they invalidate Antecedent Strengthening, they validate so-called Simplification of Disjunctive Antecedents, and they allow for the replacement of logically equivalent clauses in antecedent position. Unfortunately, these requirements are jointly inconsistent. Conservative solutions to the puzzle drop Simplification, treating it as a pragmatic inference. I show that pragmatic accounts of Simplification fail, and develop a truthmaker semantics for conditionals that captures all the relevant data. Differently from existing truthmaker semantics, my (...) semantics extends, rather than replaces, standard possible worlds semantics. The main innovation is the notion of a truthmaker in play: this notion is cognitive, rather than metaphysical, and can be defined in a purely syntactic way. (shrink)
Italian political thinker Paolo Virno argues that the category of "multitude" is a far better tool to analyze contemporary issues than the Hobbesian concept of "people." Globalization is forcing us to rethink some of the categories—such as "the people"—that traditionally have been associated with the now eroding state. Italian political thinker Paolo Virno argues that the category of "multitude," elaborated by Spinoza and for the most part left fallow since the seventeenth century, is a far better tool to (...) analyze contemporary issues than the Hobbesian concept of "people," favored by classical political philosophy. Hobbes, who detested the notion of multitude, defined it as shunning political unity, resisting authority, and never entering into lasting agreements. "When they rebel against the state," Hobbes wrote, "the citizens are the multitude against the people." But the multitude isn't just a negative notion, it is a rich concept that allows us to examine anew plural experiences and forms of nonrepresentative democracy. Drawing from philosophy of language, political economics, and ethics, Virno shows that being foreign, "not-feeling-at-home-anywhere," is a condition that forces the multitude to place its trust in the intellect. In conclusion, Virno suggests that the metamorphosis of the social systems in the West during the last twenty years is leading to a paradoxical "Communism of the Capital.". (shrink)
A proposal for the biological grounding of intrinsic teleology and sense-making through the theory of autopoiesis is critically evaluated. Autopoiesis provides a systemic language for speaking about intrinsic teleology but its original formulation needs to be elaborated further in order to explain sense-making. This is done by introducing adaptivity, a many-layered property that allows organisms to regulate themselves with respect to their conditions of viability. Adaptivity leads to more articulated concepts of behaviour, agency, sense-construction, health, and temporality than those given (...) so far by autopoiesis and enaction. These and other implications for understanding the organismic generation of values are explored. (shrink)
The seventeenth century saw dramatic advances in mathematical theory and practice. With the recovery of many of the classical Greek mathematical texts, new techniques were introduced, and within 100 years, the rules of analytic geometry, geometry of indivisibles, arithmatic of infinites, and calculus were developed. Although many technical studies have been devoted to these innovations, Mancosu provides the first comprehensive account of the relationship between mathematical advances of the seventeenth century and the philosophy of mathematics of the period. Starting with (...) the Renaissance debates on the certainty of mathematics, Mancosu leads the reader through the foundational issues raised by the emergence of these new mathematical techniques, including the influence of the Aristotelian conception of science in Cavalieri and Guldin, the foundational relevance of Descartes' Geometrie, the relation between geometrical and epistemological theories of the infinite, and the Leibnizian calculus and the opposition to infinitesimalist procedures. In the process Mancosu draws a sophisticated picture of the subtle dependencies between technical development and philosophical reflection in seventeenth century mathematics. (shrink)
This paper reformulates some of the questions raised by extended mind theorists from an enactive, life/mind continuity perspective. Because of its reliance on concepts such as autopoiesis, the enactive approach has been deemed internalist and thus incompatible with the extended mind hypothesis. This paper answers this criticism by showing (1) that the relation between organism and cogniser is not one of co-extension, (2) that cognition is a relational phenomenon and thereby has no location, and (3) that the individuality of a (...) cogniser is inevitably linked with the question of its autonomy, a question ignored by the extended mind hypothesis but for which the enactive approach proposes a precise, operational, albeit non-functionalist answer. The paper raises a pespective of embedded and intersecting forms of autonomous identity generation, some of which correspond to the canonical cases discussed in the extended mind literature, but on the whole of wider generality. In addressing these issues, this paper proposes unbiased, non-species specific definitions of cognition, agency and mediation, thus filling in gaps in the extended mind debates that have led to paradoxical situations and a problematic over-reliance on intutions about what counts as cognitive. (shrink)
This volume succeeds the same authors' well-known An Introduction to Modal Logic and A Companion to Modal Logic. We designate the three books and their authors NIML, IML, CML and H&C respectively. Sadly, George Hughes died partway through the writing of NIML.
From Brouwer To Hilbert: The Debate on the Foundations of Mathematics in the 1920s offers the first comprehensive introduction to the most exciting period in the foundation of mathematics in the twentieth century. The 1920s witnessed the seminal foundational work of Hilbert and Bernays in proof theory, Brouwer's refinement of intuitionistic mathematics, and Weyl's predicativist approach to the foundations of analysis. This impressive collection makes available the first English translations of twenty-five central articles by these important contributors and many others. (...) The articles have been translated for the first time from Dutch, French, and German, and the volume is divided into four sections devoted to (1) Brouwer, (2) Weyl, (3) Bernays and Hilbert, and (4) the emergence of intuitionistic logic. Each section opens with an introduction which provides the necessary historical and technical context for understanding the articles. Although most contemporary work in this field takes its start from the groundbreaking contributions of these major figures, a good, scholarly introduction to the area was not available until now. Unique and accessible, From Brouwer To Hilbert will serve as an ideal text for undergraduate and graduate courses in the philosophy of mathematics, and will also be an invaluable resource for philosophers, mathematicians, and interested non-specialists. (shrink)
Aristotle's theory of truth, which has been the most influential account of the concept of truth from Antiquity onwards, spans several areas of philosophy: philosophy of language, logic, ontology and epistemology. In this 2004 book, Paolo Crivelli discusses all the main aspects of Aristotle's views on truth and falsehood. He analyses in detail the main relevant passages, addresses some well-known problems of Aristotelian semantics, and assesses Aristotle's theory from the point of view of modern analytic philosophy. In the process (...) he discusses most of the literature on Aristotle's semantic theory to have appeared in the last two centuries. His book vindicates and clarifies the often repeated claim that Aristotle's is a correspondence theory of truth. It will be of interest to a wide range of readers working in both ancient philosophy and modern philosophy of language. (shrink)
Heinrich Behmann (1891-1970) obtained his Habilitation under David Hilbert in Göttingen in 1921 with a thesis on the decision problem. In his thesis, he solved - independently of Löwenheim and Skolem's earlier work - the decision problem for monadic second-order logic in a framework that combined elements of the algebra of logic and the newer axiomatic approach to logic then being developed in Göttingen. In a talk given in 1921, he outlined this solution, but also presented important programmatic remarks on (...) the significance of the decision problem and of decision procedures more generally. The text of this talk as well as a partial English translation are included. (shrink)
According to the orthodox account developed by Kaplan, indexicals like I, you, and now invariably refer to elements of the context of speech. This essay argues that the orthodoxy is wrong. I, you, and the like are shifted by certain modal operators and hence can fail to refer to elements of the context, for example, I can fail to refer to the speaker. More precisely, indexicals are syntactically akin to logical variables. They can be free, in which case they work, (...) roughly, on the Kaplan model. But they can also be bound: this happens, in a systematic fashion, when they are in the scope of epistemic modals or attitude verbs. The new view has two interesting philosophical consequences. First, it vindicates a broadly Fregean perspective on referential expressions, essentially refuting the idea that indexicals are rigid designators. Second, it suggests a new picture of the interaction between context and linguistic meaning: compositional semantics does not need to look at the context and hence has no need for a context parameter. (shrink)
This paper focuses on the normative analysis—in the sense of the classic decision-theoretic formulation—of decision problems that arise in connection with forensic expert reporting. We distinguish this analytical account from other common types of decision analyses, such as descriptive approaches. While decision theory is, since several decades, an extensively discussed topic in legal literature, its use in forensic science is more recent, and with an emphasis on goals such as the analysis of the logical structure of forensic expert conclusions regarding, (...) for example, propositions of common source of evidential and known materials. Typical examples are so-called identification decisions, especially categorical conclusions according to which fingermarks come from a particular a person of interest. We will present and compare ways of stating forensic identification decisions in decision-theoretic terms and explain their underlying rationale. In particular, we will emphasize the importance of viewing this analysis as normative in the sense of providing a reflective rather than a prescriptive reference point against which people in charge of forensic identification decisions may compare their otherwise intuitive and informal reasoning, before acting. Normative decision analysis in forensic science thus provides a vector through which current practice can be articulated, scrutinized and rethought. (shrink)
A significant body of research concludes that stable beliefs of perceived consumer effectiveness lead to sustainable consumption choices. Consumers who believe that their decisions can significantly affect environmental and social issues are more likely to behave sustainably. Little is known, however, about how perceived consumer effectiveness can be increased. We find that feelings of guilt and pride, activated by a single consumption episode, can regulate sustainable consumption by affecting consumers’ general perception of effectiveness. This paper demonstrates the impact that guilt (...) and pride have on perceived consumer effectiveness and shows how this effect rests on the ability of these emotions to influence perceptions of agency. After experiencing guilt or pride, consumers see themselves as the cause of relevant sustainability outcomes. The process of causal attribution associated with these emotions influences consumers’ use of neutralization techniques. Through the reduction in consumers’ ability to neutralize their sense of personal responsibility, guilt and pride positively influence perceived consumer effectiveness. The inability to rationalize-away their personal responsibility, persuades consumers that they affect sustainability outcomes through their decisions. The research advances our understanding of sustainable consumption and identifies a new avenue for the regulation of individual consumer behavior that has significant implications for the development of sustainable marketing initiatives. (shrink)
The literature on indicative conditionals contains two appealing views. The first is the selectional view: on this view, conditionals operate by selecting a single possibility, which is used to evaluate the consequent. The second is the informational view: on this view, conditionals don’t express propositions, but rather impose constraints on information states of speakers. Both views are supported by strong arguments, but they are incompatible on their standard formulations. Hence it appears that we have to choose between mutually exclusive options. (...) But the options are not exclusive. This paper develops a theory of the semantics and assertability of conditionals that is both selectional and informational. The theory vindicates the signature inferences of both selectional and informational theories, including so-called Conditionals Excluded Middle and principles about the interplay between conditionals and ‘might’. It also predicts some interesting and puzzling facts about the assertion of conditionals. (shrink)
From Brouwer To Hilbert: The Debate on the Foundations of Mathematics in the 1920s offers the first comprehensive introduction to the most exciting period in the foundation of mathematics in the twentieth century. The 1920s witnessed the seminal foundational work of Hilbert and Bernays in proof theory, Brouwer's refinement of intuitionistic mathematics, and Weyl's predicativist approach to the foundations of analysis. This impressive collection makes available the first English translations of twenty-five central articles by these important contributors and many others. (...) The articles have been translated for the first time from Dutch, French, and German, and the volume is divided into four sections devoted to Brouwer, Weyl, Bernays and Hilbert, and the emergence of intuitionistic logic. Each section opens with an introduction which provides the necessary historical and technical context for understanding the articles. Although most contemporary work in this field takes its start from the groundbreaking contributions of these major figures, a good, scholarly introduction to the area was not available until now. Unique and accessible, From Brouwer To Hilbert will serve as an ideal text for undergraduate and graduate courses in the philosophy of mathematics, and will also be an invaluable resource for philosophers, mathematicians, and interested non-specialists. (shrink)
On a popular view dating back to Russell, descriptions, both definite and indefinite alike, work syntactically and semantically like quantifiers. I have an argument against Russell's view. The argument supports a different picture: descriptions can behave syntactically and semantically like variables. This basic idea can be implemented in very different systematic analyses, but, whichever way one goes, there will be a significant departure from Russell. The claim that descriptions are variables is not new: what I offer is a new way (...) of defending it. The argument centers on attitude reports. I argue that we should recognize a new reading of descriptions under attitude reports, which I call ‘singular opaque’. The existence of this reading cannot be explained on the traditional Russellian view, and demands a switch to the variable view. Along the way, some interesting new facts about attitude reports come to light. (shrink)
The philosophical analysis of mathematical explanations concerns itself with two different, although connected, areas of investigation. The first area addresses the problem of whether mathematics can play an explanatory role in the natural and social sciences. The second deals with the problem of whether mathematical explanations occur within mathematics itself. Accordingly, this entry surveys the contributions to both areas, it shows their relevance to the history of philosophy and science, it articulates their connection, and points to the philosophical pay-offs to (...) be expected by deepening our understanding of the topic. (shrink)
After a period of neglect, the idealist and romantic philosophies that emerged in the wake of Kant's revolutionary writings have once more become important foci of philosophical interest, especially in relation to the question of the role of religion in human life. By developing and reinterpreting basic Kantian ideas, an array of thinkers including Schelling, Hegel, Friedrich Schlegel, Hölderlin and Novalis transformed the conceptual framework within which the nature of religion could be considered. Furthermore, in doing so they significantly shaped (...) the philosophical perspectives from within which later thinkers such as Feuerbach, Kierkegaard, Wagner and Nietzsche could re-pose the question of religion. This volume explores the spaces opened during this extended period of post-Kantian thinking for a reconsideration of the place of religion within the project of human self-fashioning. (shrink)
Cantor’s theory of cardinal numbers offers a way to generalize arithmetic from finite sets to infinite sets using the notion of one-to-one association between two sets. As is well known, all countable infinite sets have the same ‘size’ in this account, namely that of the cardinality of the natural numbers. However, throughout the history of reflections on infinity another powerful intuition has played a major role: if a collection A is properly included in a collection B then the ‘size’ of (...) A should be less than the ‘size’ of B. This second intuition was not developed mathematically in a satisfactory way until quite recently. In this article I begin by reviewing the contributions of some thinkers who argued in favor of the assignment of different sizes to infinite collections of natural numbers. Then, I review some recent mathematical developments that generalize the part–whole principle to infinite sets in a coherent fashion. Finally, I show how these new developments are important for a proper evaluation of a number of positions in philosophy of mathematics which argue either for the inevitability of the Cantorian notion of infinite number or for the rational nature of the Cantorian generalization as opposed to that, based on the part–whole principle, envisaged by Bolzano. (shrink)
This paper investigates what happens when we merge two different lines of theorizing about counterfactuals. One is the comparative closeness view, which was developed by Stalnaker and Lewis in the framework of possible worlds semantics. The second is the interventionist view, which is part of the causal models framework developed in statistics and computer science. Common lore and existing literature have it that the two views can be easily fit together, aside from a few details. I argue that, on the (...) contrary, transplanting causal-models-inspired ideas in a possible worlds framework yields a new semantics. The difference is grounded in different algorithms for handling inconsistent information, hence it touches on issues that are at the very heart of a semantics for contrary-to-fact conditionals. Roughly, Stalnaker/Lewis semantics requires us to evaluate the consequent of a counterfactual at all closest antecedent-verifying possibilities. Causal-models-based semantics also does this, but in addition uses the information contained in the antecedent, together with background causal information, to shift what worlds count as closest. This makes systematically different predictions and generates a new logic. The upshot is that we have a new semantics to study, and a substantial theoretical choice to make. (shrink)
Embodied approaches in cognitive science hold that the body is crucial for cognition. What this claim amounts to, however, still remains unclear. This paper contributes to its clarification by confronting three ways of understanding embodiment—the sensorimotor approach, extended cognition and enactivism—with Locked-in syndrome. LIS is a case of severe global paralysis in which patients are unable to move and yet largely remain cognitively intact. We propose that LIS poses a challenge to embodied approaches to cognition requiring them to make explicit (...) the notion of embodiment they defend and its role for cognition. We argue that the sensorimotor and the extended functionalist approaches either fall short of accounting for cognition in LIS from an embodied perspective or do it too broadly by relegating the body only to a historical role. Enactivism conceives of the body as autonomous system and of cognition as sense-making. From this perspective embodiment is not equated with bodily movement but with forms of agency that do not disappear with body paralysis. Enactivism offers a clarifying perspective on embodiment and thus currently appears to be the framework in embodied cognition best suited to address the challenge posed by LIS. (shrink)
On a traditional view, the semantics of natural language makes essential use of a context parameter, i.e. a set of coordinates that represents the situation of speech. In classical semantic frameworks, this parameter plays two key roles: first, context contributes to determining the content of utterance; second, it is crucial for defining logical consequence. I point out that recent empirical proposals about context shift in natural language (in particular, context-shifting semantics in the style of Anand and Nevins 2004) are incompatible (...) with the traditional view of context. At the same time, there is increasing cross-linguistic support for this brand of context shift. Hence I suggest that context has no place in semantic theory proper. We should revert back to so-called multiple-indexing frameworks that were developed by Montague and others, and relegate context to the postsemantic stage. (shrink)
In this paper we investigate splitting algebras in varieties of logics, with special consideration for varieties of BL-algebras and similar structures. In the case of the variety of all BL-algebras a complete characterization of the splitting algebras is obtained.
Know-how and expressivism are usually regarded as disjoint topics, belonging to distant areas of philosophy. This paper argues that, despite obvious differences, the two debates have important similarities. In particular, semantic and conceptual tools developed by expressivists can be exported to the know-how debate. On the one hand, some of the expressivists' semantic resources can be used to deflect Stanley and Williamson's influential argument for factualism about know-how: the claim that knowing how to do something consists in knowing a fact. (...) On the other, expressivism provides the resources to formulate a nonfactualist account of know-how. On this account, know-how has a kind of nonpropositional content and plays the role of guiding performance of action, rather than recording information from the environment. (shrink)
This paper explores the epistemology of extrapolation from model organisms to humans in molecular medicine. We take into account two common views on the issue, the homology view and the disanalogy view. In response to both interpretations, we argue that the foundational basis of extrapolations cannot simply be provided by homology and that relevant disanalogies can, thanks to the techniques of molecular biology, be experimentally controlled and exploited to allow useful and reliable extrapolations. The case of "humanised mice" in the (...) context of cancer stem cell research provides evidence of how animal models can be construed to approximate bona fide causal analogue models of human diseases. To supplement this view we show how the epistemology of model organisms needs to take into account the engineering side of molecular medicine. Model organisms are often manipulated to create analogies or remove disanalogies with the target system. We maintain that highlighting this feature is fundamental to explain what warrants extrapolation in the search for the molecular causes of disease. (shrink)
A growing body of literature documents the important role played by moral outrage or moral anger in stakeholders’ reactions to cases of corporate social irresponsibility. Existing research focuses more on the consequences of moral outrage than a systematic analysis of how appraisals of irresponsible corporate behavior can lead to this emotional experience. In this paper, we develop and test, in two field studies, an extended model of moral outrage that identifies the cognitions that lead to, and are associated with, this (...) emotional experience. This research contributes to the existing literature on reactions to corporate social irresponsibility by explaining how observers’ evaluation of irresponsible corporate behavior leads to reactions of moral anger. The paper also helps clarify the difference between moral outrage and other types of anger and offers useful insights for managers who have to confront public outrage following cases of irresponsible corporate behavior. Finally, the analysis of the causes of stakeholders’ anger at irresponsible corporations opens important avenues for future research that are presented in the paper. (shrink)