Robert Batterman examines a form of scientific reasoning called asymptotic reasoning, arguing that it has important consequences for our understanding of the scientific process as a whole. He maintains that asymptotic reasoning is essential for explaining what physicists call universal behavior. With clarity and rigor, he simplifies complex questions about universal behavior, demonstrating a profound understanding of the underlying structures that ground them. This book introduces a valuable new method that is certain to fill explanatory gaps across disciplines.
But do animals know that other creatures have minds? And how would we know if they do? In "Mindreading Animals," Robert Lurz offers a fresh approach to the hotly debated question of mental-state attribution in nonhuman animals.
This article discusses minimal model explanations, which we argue are distinct from various causal, mechanical, difference-making, and so on, strategies prominent in the philosophical literature. We contend that what accounts for the explanatory power of these models is not that they have certain features in common with real systems. Rather, the models are explanatory because of a story about why a class of systems will all display the same large-scale behavior because the details that distinguish them are irrelevant. This story (...) explains patterns across extremely diverse systems and shows how minimal models can be used to understand real systems. (shrink)
This paper examines contemporary attempts to explicate the explanatory role of mathematics in the physical sciences. Most such approaches involve developing so-called mapping accounts of the relationships between the physical world and mathematical structures. The paper argues that the use of idealizations in physical theorizing poses serious difficulties for such mapping accounts. A new approach to the applicability of mathematics is proposed.
Formal axiology is based on the logical nature of meaning, namely intension, and on the structure of intension as a set of predicates. It applies set theory to this set of predicates. Set theory is a certain kind of mathematics that deals with subsets in general, and of finite and infinite sets in particular. Since mathematics is objective and a priori, formal axiology is an objective and a priori science; and a test based on it is an objective test based (...) on an objective standard.1. (shrink)
This paper examines the role of mathematical idealization in describing and explaining various features of the world. It examines two cases: first, briefly, the modeling of shock formation using the idealization of the continuum. Second, and in more detail, the breaking of droplets from the points of view of both analytic fluid mechanics and molecular dynamical simulations at the nano-level. It argues that the continuum idealizations are explanatorily ineliminable and that a full understanding of certain physical phenomena cannot be obtained (...) through completely detailed, non-idealized representations. (shrink)
This research study sought to identify whether there is a relationship between ethical perceptions and culture. An examination of the cultural variables suggests that there is a relationship between two of Hofstede's cultural dimensions (i.e., Uncertainty Avoidance and Individualism) and ethical perceptions. This finding supports the hypothetical linkage between the cultural environment and the perceived ethical problem variables posited in Hunt and Vitell's General Theory of Marketing Ethics (1986).
This paper aims to draw attention to an explanatory problem posed by the existence of multiply realized or universal behavior exhibited by certain physical systems. The problem is to explain how it is possible that systems radically distinct at lower-scales can nevertheless exhibit identical or nearly identical behavior at upper-scales. Theoretically this is reflected by the fact that continuum theories such as fluid mechanics are spectacularly successful at predicting, describing, and explaining fluid behaviors despite the fact that they do not (...) recognize the discrete nature of fluids. A standard attempt to reduce one theory to another, is shown to fail to answer the appropriate question about autonomy. (shrink)
This volume is a collection of fourteen essays by leading philosophers on issues concerning the nature, existence, and our knowledge of animal minds. The nature of animal minds has been a topic of interest to philosophers since the origins of philosophy, and recent years have seen significant philosophical engagement with the subject. However, there is no volume that represents the current state of play in this important and growing field. The purpose of this volume is to highlight the state of (...) the debate. The issues which are covered include whether and to what degree animals think in a language or in iconic structures, possess concepts, are conscious, self-aware, metacognize, attribute states of mind to others, and have emotions, as well as issues pertaining to our knowledge of and the scientific standards for attributing mental states to animals. (shrink)
This paper looks at emergence in physical theories and argues that an appropriate way to understand socalled “emergent protectorates” is via the explanatory apparatus of the renormalization group. It is argued that mathematical singularities play a crucial role in our understanding of at least some well-defined emergent features of the world.
This paper concerns what Jerry Fodor calls a 'metaphysical mystery': How can there by macroregularities that are realized by wildly heterogeneous lower level mechanisms? But the answer to this question is not as mysterious as many, including Jaegwon Kim, Ned Block, and Jerry Fodor might think. The multiple realizability of the properties of the special sciences such as psychology is best understood as a kind of universality, where 'universality' is used in the technical sense one finds in the physics literature. (...) It is argued that the same explanatory strategy used by physicists to provide understanding of universal behavior in physics can be used to explain how special science properties can be heterogeneously multiply realized. (shrink)
A traditional view of mathematical modeling holds, roughly, that the more details of the phenomenon being modeled that are represented in the model, the better the model is. This paper argues that often times this ‘details is better’ approach is misguided. One ought, in certain circumstances, to search for an exactly solvable minimal model—one which is, essentially, a caricature of the physics of the phenomenon in question.
Among discrete emotions, basic emotions are the most elemental; most distinct; most continuous across species, time, and place; and most intimately related to survival-critical functions. For an emotion to be afforded basic emotion status it must meet criteria of: (a) distinctness (primarily in behavioral and physiological characteristics), (b) hard-wiredness (circuitry built into the nervous system), and (c) functionality (provides a generalized solution to a particular survival-relevant challenge or opportunity). A set of six emotions that most clearly meet these criteria (enjoyment, (...) anger, disgust, fear, surprise, sadness) and three additional emotions (relief/contentment, interest, love) for which the evidence is not yet quite as strong is described. Empirical approaches that are most and least useful for establishing basic-emotion status are discussed. Basic emotions are thought to have a central organizing mechanism and to have the capacity to influence behavior, thoughts, and other fundamental processes. (shrink)
The study of insight in problem solving and creative thinking has seen an upsurge of interest in the last 30 years. Current theorising concerning insight has taken one of two tacks. The special-process view, which grew out of the Gestalt psychologists’ theorising about insight, proposes that insight is the result of a dedicated set of processes that is activated by the individual's reaching impasse while trying to deal with a problematic situation. In contrast, the business-as-usual view argues that insight is (...) brought about by the same processes that underlie ordinary thinking . Although those two views are typically treated as being in opposition, it has recently been proposed that a complete understanding of insight will require bringing together aspects of both views. The present paper carries that proposal further. Critical analysis of those two viewpoints demonstrates that each has a positive contribution to make to our understanding of insight, but also is.. (shrink)
The authors investigate the differences in ethical perceptions of Australian and Hong Kong international managers. Ethical perceptions are measured with respect to different industry types, cultures and modes of entry into international markets. Mode of entry refers to how firms select to enter foreign markets. Modes of entry include: exporting (indirect or direct), contractual methods (licensing and franchising) and via direct foreign investment (joint ventures and wholly-owned subsidiaries). It was determined that culture and mode of entry have a significant effect (...) on the perception of ethical problems. (shrink)
This paper examines a fundamental problem in applied mathematics. How can one model the behavior of materials that display radically different, dominant behaviors at different length scales. Although we have good models for material behaviors at small and large scales, it is often hard to relate these scale-based models to one another. Macroscale models represent the integrated effects of very subtle factors that are practically invisible at the smallest, atomic, scales. For this reason it has been notoriously difficult to model (...) realistic materials with a simple bottom-up-from-the-atoms strategy. The widespread failure of that strategy forced physicists interested in overall macro-behavior of materials toward completely top-down modeling strategies familiar from traditional continuum mechanics. The problem of the ``tyranny of scales'' asks whether we can exploit our rather rich knowledge of intermediate micro- scale behaviors in a manner that would allow us to bridge between these two dominant methodologies. Macroscopic scale behaviors often fall into large common classes of behaviors such as the class of isotropic elastic solids, characterized by two phenomenological parameters---so-called elastic coefficients. Can we employ knowledge of lower scale behaviors to understand this universality---to determine the coefficients and to group the systems into classes exhibiting similar behavior? (shrink)
In his paper “The Catholic Church, the American Military, and Homosexual Reorientation Therapy,” David W. Lutz ultimately concludes that it is “appropriate, and highly ethical” for the American military to offer reorientation therapy to help homosexuals overcome “the vice of sodomy.” The major thrust of his paper, however, is to call for abandonment of the “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell” policy currently in place in the military. Lutz’s paper covers much ground, and this review begins by examining whether such a wide view (...) is necessary for the ultimate conclusions. It goes on to ask whether Lutz has omitted to mention important considerations bearing on this issue, and whether Lutz’s call for the introduction of reorientation therapy is a serious call or a symbolic response to homosexual activities. Lutz fails to address essential issues such as the actual experiences of other nations having homosexuals in the military, and issues regarding what constitutes “reorientation therapy,” the latter leading to questions about how such a therapy would actually be implemented. (shrink)
In its broadest sense, "universality" is a technical term for something quite ordinary. It refers to the existence of patterns of behavior by physical systems that recur and repeat despite the fact that in some sense the situations in which these patterns recur and repeat are different. Rainbows, for example, always exhibit the same pattern of spacings and intensities of their bows despite the fact that the rain showers are different on each occasion. They are different because the shapes of (...) the drops, and their sizes can vary quite widely due to differences in temperature, wind direction, etc. There are different questions one might ask about such patterns. For instance, one might ask why the particular rainbow... (shrink)
This paper presents a theory of scientific study which is regarded as a social learning process of scientific knowledge creation, revision, application, monitoring and dissemination with the aim of securing good quality, general, objective, testable and complete scientific knowledge of the domain. The theory stipulates the aim of scientific study that forms the basis of its principles. It also makes seven assumptions about scientific study and defines the major participating entities. It extends a recent process model of scientific study into (...) a detailed interaction model as this process model already addresses many issues of philosophy of science. The detailed interaction model of scientific study provides a common template of scientific activities for developing logical models in different scientific disciplines, or alternatively for developing ontologies of different scientific disciplines. Differences between research and scientific studies are discussed, and a possible way to develop a scientific theory of scientific study is described. (shrink)
Spiritual values in the workplace, increasingly discussed and applied in the business ethics literature, can be viewed from an individual, organizational, or interactive perspective. The following study examined previously unexplored workplace spirituality outcomes. Using data collected from five samples consisting of full-time workers taking graduate coursework, results indicated that perceptions of organizational-level spirituality (“organizational spirituality”) appear to matter most to attitudinal and attachment-related outcomes. Specifically, organizational spirituality was found to be positively related to job involvement, organizational identification, and work rewards (...) satisfaction, and negatively related to organizational frustration. Personal spirituality was positively related to intrinsic, extrinsic, and total work rewards satisfaction. The interaction of personal spirituality and organizational spirituality was found related to total work rewards satisfaction. Future workplace spirituality research directions are discussed. (shrink)
This paper addresses issues surrounding the concept of geometric phase or "anholonomy". Certain physical phenomena apparently require for their explanation and understanding, reference to toplogocial/geometric features of some abstract space of parameters. These issues are related to the question of how gauge structures are to be interpreted and whether or not the debate over their "reality" is really going to be fruitful.
In many evolutionary/functionalist theories, emotions organize the activity of the autonomic nervous system and other physiological systems. Two kinds of patterned activity are discussed: coherence, and specificity. For each kind of patterning, significant methodological obstacles are considered that need to be overcome before empirical studies can adequately test theories and resolve controversies. Finally, links that coherence and specificity have with health and well-being are considered.
If we are flexible, hybrid and unfinished creatures that tend to incorporate or at least employ technological artefacts in our cognitive lives, then the sort of technological regime we live under should shape the kinds of minds we possess and the sorts of beings we are. E-Memory consists in digital systems and services we use to record, store and access digital memory traces to augment, re-use or replace organismic systems of memory. I consider the various advantages of extended and embedded (...) approaches to cognition in making sense of E-Memory and some of the problems that debate can engender. I also explore how the different approaches imply different answers to questions such as: does our use of internet technology imply the diminishment of ourselves and our cognitive abilities? Whether or not our technologies can become actual parts of our minds, they may still influence our cognitive profile. I suggest E-Memory systems have four factors: totality, practical cognitive incorporability, autonomy and entanglement which conjointly have a novel incorporation profile and hence afford some novel cognitive possibilities. I find that thanks to the properties of totality and incorporability we can expect an increasing reliance on E-Memory. Yet the potentially highly entangled and autonomous nature of these technologie pose questions about whether they should really be counted as proper parts of our minds. (shrink)
This paper argues that scientific studies distinguish themselves from other studies by a combination of their processes, their (knowledge) elements and the roles of these elements. This is supported by constructing a process model. An illustrative example based on Newtonian mechanics shows how scientific knowledge is structured according to the process model. To distinguish scientific studies from research and scientific research, two additional process models are built for such processes. We apply these process models: (1) to argue that scientific progress (...) should emphasize both the process of change and the content of change; (2) to chart the major stages of scientific study development; and (3) to define “science”. (shrink)
This paper posits that organizational variables are the factors that lead to the moral decline of companies like Enron and Worldcom. The individuals involved created environments within the organizations that precipitated a spiral of unethical decision-making. It is proposed that at the executive level, it is the organizational factors associated with power and decision-making that have the critical influence on moral and ethical behavior. The study has used variables that were deemed to be surrogate measures of the ethical violations (OSHA (...) and EPA violations), the risky shift phenomenon (executive team size), banality of wrong-doing (reputation score for firms) and escalating commitment (tenure with the firm/change in revenue for declining firms). The research found that there were small correlations between ethical violations and the three organizational variables. (shrink)
This paper addresses a relatively common scientific (as opposed to philosophical) conception of intertheoretic reduction between physical theories. This is the sense of reduction in which one (typically newer and more refined) theory is said to reduce to another (typically older and coarser) theory in the limit as some small parameter tends to zero. Three examples of such reductions are discussed: First, the reduction of Special Relativity (SR) to Newtonian Mechanics (NM) as (v/c)20; second, the reduction of wave optics to (...) geometrical optics as 0; and third, the reduction of Quantum Mechanics (QM) to Classical Mechanics (CM) as0. I argue for the following two claims. First, the case of SR reducing to NM is an instance of a genuine reductive relationship while the latter two cases are not. The reason for this concerns the nature of the limiting relationships between the theory pairs. In the SR/NM case, it is possible to consider SR as a regular perturbation of NM; whereas in the cases of wave and geometrical optics and QM/CM, the perturbation problem is singular. The second claim I wish to support is that as a result of the singular nature of the limits between these theory pairs, it is reasonable to maintain that third theories exist describing the asymptotic limiting domains. In the optics case, such a theory has been called catastrophe optics. In the QM/CM case, it is semiclassical mechanics. Aspects of both theories are discussed in some detail. (shrink)