I sitt berömda bevis för tidens overklighet påstod McTaggart att det sätt händelser tycks skifta position i tiden från framtid till nutid och till förfluten tid, innebär en motsägelse. Vad McTaggart egentligen menade har varit föremål för en livlig debatt ända sedan beviset först publicerades 1908. Beviset består av två delar. I den första argumenterar McTaggart för att ingenting kan förändras förutom genom att övergå från framtid till förfluten tid. I den andra argumenterar han för att en sådan övergång innebär (...) en motsägelse och att det därför inte kan finnas någon förändring överhuvudtaget, vilket i sin tur innebär att det heller inte finns någon tid. De flesta filosofer är i dag eniga om att McTaggart har fel, men oeniga om på vilket sätt han har fel. Olika filosofer förkastar olika delar av beviset, beroende på om de har vad som kallas en A- eller B-uppfattning av tiden. De som har en A-uppfattning förnekar att tid förstådd som övergång från framtid till förfluten tid är motsägelsefull. De som har en B-uppfattning förnekar att en övergång från framtid till förfluten tid är nödvändig för förändring, men håller med om att sådan övergång är motsägelsefull. Det är min uppfattning att denna oenighet beror på att McTaggarts argument från första början blivit missuppfattat, av både A- och B-teoretiker. Av någon anledning har det alltid betraktats som ett självständigt argument, ett som är oberoende av det ontologiska system McTaggart förespråkade. Jag föreslår ett nytt sätt att förstå hur han menade att tiden är motsägelsefull. Ett sätt som tar hans ontologiska system som utgångspunkt. (shrink)
I use some ideas of Keith DeRose's to develop an (invariantist!) account of why sceptical reasoning doesn't show that I don't know that I'm not a brain in a vat. I argue that knowledge is subject to the risk-of-error constraint: a true belief won’t have the status of knowledge if there is a substantial risk of the belief being in error that hasn’t been brought under control. When a substantial risk of error is present (i.e. beliefs in propositions that are (...) false in nearby worlds), satisfying the constraint requires bringing the risk under control. This is achieved either by sensitivity, i.e. you wouldn’t have the belief if it were false, or by identifying evidence for the proposition. However, when the risk of error is not substantial (i.e. beliefs in propositions that are not false in nearby worlds), the constraint is satisfied by default. My belief that I am not a brain in a vat is insensitive and I have no evidence for it, but since it is not false in nearby worlds, it satisfies the constraint by default. (shrink)
The article reports discussions at an international conference of leading Kant scholars held at the University of Marburg (Germany) in 1998. The conference was concerned with both the current state and the need for revisions of the Academy edition of Kant's Gesammelte Schriften as well. As became clear, a complete revision is necessary in the case of Vols. XX-XXIV and XXVII-XXIX, since these can hardly be used for research. Improvements of various extent and content should be attempted in other volumes (...) as well-even in Vols. I-IX, Kant's published works, the best edited part of the edition. (shrink)
Chapters 17 and 18 of the TTP constitute a textual unit in which Spinoza submits the case of the ancient Hebrew state to close examination. This is not the work of a historian, at least not in any sense that we, twenty-first century readers, would recognize as such. Many of Spinoza’s claims in these chapters are highly speculative, and seem to be poorly backed by historical evidence. Other claims are broad-brush, ahistorical generalizations: for example, in a marginal note, Spinoza refers (...) to his Jewish contemporaries as if they were identical with the ancient Hebrews. Projections from Spinoza’s own experience of his Jewish and Dutch contemporaries are quite common, and the Erastian lesson that Spinoza attempts to draw from his “history” of the ancient Hebrew state is all too conspicuous. Even Spinoza’s philosophical arguments in these two chapters are not uniformly convincing, as I will attempt to show. Yet in spite of all these faults, the two chapters are a masterpiece of their own kind: a case study of the psychological foundations of politics and religion. The work that comes closest in my mind is Freud’s 1939 Der Mann Moses und die monotheistische Religion. The two works are similar not only in terms of their chronological subject matter – the Hebrews of Moses’s time – but also in their attempt to reconstruct the communal psyche of the Hebrews in order to demonstrate their respective social theories about the foundation of civilization. Needless to say, there are numerous differences between the two works, not the least of which are their distinct aims and the very different political contexts in which they were produced. We will return to this comparison with Freud’s Moses and Monotheism toward the end of the essay, but let me first stage the background for our discussion. Chapter 16 of the TTP begins a new section of the book which primarily deals with the relation between religion and the state. In this chapter Spinoza presents an outline of his political theory and his understanding of key notions such as right, power, the state of nature, the social contract, sovereignty, democracy, and justice. The title of chapter 17 announces its aim and focus: “showing that no one can transfer everything to the Supreme Power, and that this is not necessary; on the Hebrew Republic, as it was during the life of Moses, and after his death, before they elected Kings, and on its excellence; and finally, on the causes why the divine Republic [Respublica divina] could perish, and could hardly survive without rebellions” (III/201). The far less ambitious title of eighteenth chapter states that in it “certain Political doctrines are inferred from the Republic and history of the Hebrews” (III/221). Essentially, the two chapters present a surprising, ironic, and penetrating reading of the story of the divine Hebrew Republic, a reading which highlights both how much and how little was achieved by the use of the fantastic political device of attributing divine sanctification to the state and its sovereign. (shrink)
This paper argues classical statistics and standard econometrics are based on a desire to meet scientific standards for accumulating reliable knowledge. Science requires two inputs, mining of existing data for inspiration and new or 'out-of-sample' data for predictive testing. Avoidance of data-mining is neither possible nor desirable. In economics out-of-sample data is relatively scarce, so the production process should intensively exploit the existing data. But the two inputs should be thought of as complements rather than substitutes. And we neglect the (...) importance of out-of-sample testing in the production of reliable knowledge. Avoidance of data-mining is not a substitute for tests conducted in new samples. The problem is not that data-mining corrupts the process, the problem is our collective neglect of out-of-sample encompassing, stability and forecast tests. So the data-mining issue diverts us from the crucial margin. (shrink)
The text of Kant’s first dissertation is a translation from Latin from an academic publication of a collection of Kant’s works: Kant, I. Meditationum quarundam de igne succincta delineatio... In: Königlich Preußischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, ed., 1910. Kants Gesammelte Schriften. 1. Abhandling: Werke. Band I: Vorkritische Schriften I, 1747-1756. Berlin: Georg Reimer, 1910, pp. 369-384. The publication is available at https://korpora.zim.uni-duisburg- essen.de/kant/aa01/ [Accessed 10 March 2019]. Pagination and illustrations are from the same publication, the page numbers are in square brackets (...) at the beginning of the page. Page footnotes, if indicated, draw on the commentaries of Lewis White Beck, the translator of the dissertation into English from the following edition: Kant, I., 2012. Natural Science, edited by E. Watkins, translated by L. W. Beck, J. B. Edwards, O. Reinhardt, M. Schönfeld and E. Watkins. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 713-714. It was important for the translator to follow the course of Kant’s thought and as far as possible preserve his style, including recurring words. Natural science terminology keeps as close as possible to the dissertation text, so instead of the term “gas”, which Kant does not use, the translator resorts to a loan-translation “elastic liquid,” harking back to the Russian term упругая жидкость which was proposed by Mikhail V. Lomonosov but did not catch on. For the same reason the translator uses the loan translation “moment” instead of the more common “motive force”. “Gradus”, however, is always translated as “degree” for the sake of uniformity. All the translator’s additions to the Kantian text are within square brackets. When the meaning of a word is translated in a form that departs from the original meaning due to context the Latin original is attached within round brackets in the grammatical form used by Kant. To facilitate understanding, long compound sentences of the Kantian text are sometimes broken up into several simple sentences. The structure of the text and title page format have been preserved. The translator would like to express sincere gratitude to Alexei N. Krouglov and Svyatopolk N. Yeschenko for their valuable advice, remarks and help and support in preparing this publication. (shrink)
Extreme human enhancement could result in “posthuman” modes of being. After offering some definitions and conceptual clarification, I argue for two theses. First, some posthuman modes of being would be very worthwhile. Second, it could be very good for human beings to become posthuman.
At the entrance to Berlin’s Humboldt University where Hegel once taught, one of Marx’s slogans has been carved into the wall in large gilded letters: “Die Philosophen haben die Welt nur verschieden interpretiert; es kömmt darauf an, sie zu verändem.” Well, the world has certainly changed for the instructors and staff who once worked for the East German regime. For these former members of the Akademie, the days of wine and roses are over, with nothing remaining but a bad hangover. (...) What had been considered a pedagogical virtue, i.e., to appear as if convinced and to convince others that communist political propaganda was indeed philosophy, is now a discredited vice. For over four decades, the academic apparatchiks said it was the best of times, even if others were saying it was worst. Today, unsustained by bureaucratic fiat, the former staff and faculty find themselves confronted with a confusing new world - one which they had been assured had been consigned to the historical dustbin. Of course, without recourse to the formalities of a trial, it is almost impossible to determine the particular degree of complicity, if any, on the part of any individual related to the miserable doings of the Akademie. All of them claim to be innocent of any wrongdoing, of any action that would have inhibited the development of any would-be philosopher. Some, who even find friends among us, remain committed to the principle that philosophy has meaning only as a rationale for political correctness. Others simply claim to have had no role in past misdemeanors, having served as minor functionaries, a type found in any government. But despite these and other explanations, more than a few West German scholars have found it difficult to forgive and forget the prolonged degradation of Berlin’s famous university. (shrink)
We construct by diagonalization a non-well-founded primitive recursive tree, which is well-founded for co-r.e. sets, provable in Σ1 0. It follows that the supremum of order-types of primitive recursive well-orderings, whose well-foundedness on co-r.e. sets is provable in Σ1 0, equals the limit of all recursive ordinals ω1 ck . RID=""ID="" Mathematics Subject Classification (2000): 03B30, 03F15 RID=""ID="" Supported by the Deutschen Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina grant #BMBF-LPD 9801-7 with funds from the Bundesministerium für Bildung, Wissenschaft, Forschung und Technologie. RID=""ID="" (...) I would like to thank A. SETZER for his hospitality during my stay in Uppsala in December 1998 – these investigations are inspired by a discussion with him; S. BUSS for his hospitality during my stay at UCSD and for valuable remarks on a previous version of this paper; and M. MÖLLERFELD for remarks on a previous title. (shrink)
Massimo Dell'Utri (1990) provides a reconstruction of Hilary Putnam's argument (1981, chapter 1) to show that the hypothesis that we are brains in a vat is self-refuting. I will explain why the argument Dell'Utri offers us is, on the face of it, quite problematic. Then I will provide a way out of the difficulty.
In this article, moving from being to becoming, we construe the ‘self’ as a dynamic process rather than as a static entity. To this end we draw on dialectics and Bayesian accounts of cognition. The former allows us to holistically consider the ‘self’ as the interplay between internalization and externalization and the latter to operationalize our suggestion formally. Internalization is considered here as the co-construction of bodily hierarchical models of the world and the organism, while externalization is taken as the (...) collective transformation of the world. We do not consider these processes as sequentially linked, but rather as a dialectic between the collective and the individual. This leads us to the suggestion of the self as a historical product of dialectical attunement across multiple time scales, from species evolution and culture to individual development and everyday learning. Subsequently, we describe concrete means for empirically testing our proposal in the form of two-person psychophysiology and multi-level analyses of intersubjectivity. Taken together, we suggest that a fine-grained analysis of social interaction might allow us to reconsider the ‘self’ beyond the static individual, i.e. how it emerges and manifests itself in social relations. Such an approach, we believe, could be relevant in multiple fields, from ethics and psychiatry to pedagogy and artificial intelligence. (shrink)
IPCC SPECIAL REPORT ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND LAND (SRCCL) -/- Chapter 3: Climate Change and Land: An IPCC special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems.
David Chalmers appears to assume that we can meaningfully discuss what goes on in human heads without paying any attention to the words in which we couch our statements. This paper challenges this assumption and argues that the initial problem is that of metalanguage: if we want to say something clear and valid about us humans, we must think about ourselves outside conceptual English created by one particular history and culture and try to think from a global, panhuman point of (...) view. This means that instead of relying on untranslatable English words such as 'consciousness' and 'experience' we must try to rely on panhuman concepts expressed in cross-translatable words such as THINK, KNOW, and FEEL (Wierzbicka, 2018). The paper argues that after 'a hundred years of consciousness studies' it is time to try to say something about us (humans), about how we think and how we differ from cats and bats, in words that are clear, stable, and human rather than parochially English. (shrink)