Ethnobiology has become increasingly concerned with applied and normative questions about biocultural diversity and the livelihoods of local communities. While this development has created new opportunities for connecting ethnobiological research with ecological and social sciences, it also raises questions about the role of cognitive perspectives in current ethnobiology. In fact, there are clear signs of institutional separation as research on folkbiological cognition has increasingly found its home in the cognitive science community, weakening its ties to institutionalized ethnobiology. Rather than accepting this separation as inevitable disciplinary specialization, this short perspective article argues for a systemic perspective that addresses mutual influences and causal entanglement of cognitive and non-cognitive factors in socio-ecological dynamics. Such an integrative perspective requires a new conversation about cognition in ethnobiology beyond traditional polarization around issues of cognitive universals and cultural relativity.
Interior–boundary conditions (IBCs) are boundary conditions on wave functions for Schrodinger equations that allow that probability can flow into (and thus be lost at) a boundary of configuration space while getting added in another part of configuration space. IBCs are of particular interest because they allow defining Hamiltonians involving particle creation and annihilation (as used in quantum field theories) without the need for renormalization or ultraviolet cut-off. For those Hamiltonians, the relevant boundary has codimension 3. In this paper, we develop (what we conjecture is) the general form of IBCs for the Laplacian operator (or Schrodinger operators), but we focus on the simpler case of boundaries with codimension 1.
Evolutionary psychology is one of many biologically informed
approaches to the study of human behavior. Along with cognitive
psychologists, evolutionary psychologists propose that much, if not
all, of our behavior can be explained by appeal to internal
psychological mechanisms. What distinguishes evolutionary
psychologists from many cognitive psychologists is the proposal that
the relevant internal mechanisms are adaptations—products of
natural selection—that helped our ancestors get around the
world, survive and reproduce. To understand the central claims of
evolutionary psychology we require an understanding of some key
concepts in evolutionary biology, cognitive psychology, philosophy of
science and philosophy of mind.
As Elisabeth of Bohemia famously pointed out, Descartes appears to be committed to the following inconsistent triad:
In every instance of causation, there is an a priori conceptual connection between cause and effect. …
In a recent paper, Werndl and Frigg discuss the relationship between the Boltzmannian and Gibbsian framework of statistical mechanics, addressing in particular the question when equilibrium values calculated in both frameworks coincide. In this comment, I point out serious flaws in their work and try to put their results into proper context. I also clarify the concept of Boltzmann equilibrium, the status of the “Khinchin condition” and their connection to the law of large numbers.
To introduce what a philosopher could understand by identity and mutual recognition, we could first say that it make much of difference depending whether we focus on willing as much as the knowing self, in line with a Spinozist tradition keen in aligning rational grounds for ethics, or with Leibniz, Kant and Hegel to open the field of a subjective world of experience of the relation of ethical values, as given through our original trust in the world. In order to assess the importance of fine nuances in the overall sentiment of gratitude, we would like to present Spinoza’s careful use of the term in his Ethics, in an optic different from Descartes’ unconditional apology of the same. But, why to choose the early modern XVIIth Century Cartesian philosopher Baruch Spinoza to focus on moral sentiment ethics of mutual recognition?
The American speculative philosopher Grace de Laguna would have been right to judge that 1950s state-of-the-art analytic philosophy of mind was playing catch up with the philosophical world of her youth. …
You pray for me to get a benefit and God grants your prayer. The benefit is in an important sense a result of your prayer. But you didn’t cause the benefit, for if you had, it would have been an instance of causation with God as an intermediate cause, and it seems to violate divine aseity for God ever to be an intermediate cause. …
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong argues that ‘ought’ does not entail ‘can’, but instead conversationally implicates it. I argue that Sinnott-Armstrong is actually committed to a hybrid view about the relation between ‘ought’ and ‘can’. I then give a tensed formulation of the view that ‘ought’ entails ‘can’ that deals with Sinnott-Armstrong’s argument and that is more unified than Sinnott-Armstrong’s view.
A.J. Ayer (1910–1989) was only 24 when he wrote the book that made his
philosophical name, Language, Truth, and Logic (hereafter
LTL), published in 1936. In it he put forward what were
understood to be the major theses of logical positivism, and so
established himself as the leading English representative of the
movement, Viennese in origin. In endorsing these views Ayer saw
himself as continuing in the line of British empiricism established by
John Locke and David Hume, an empiricism whose most recent
representative was Bertrand Russell. Throughout his subsequent career
he remained true to this tradition’s rejection of the
possibility of synthetic a priori knowledge, and so he saw
the method of philosophy to be the analysis of the meaning of key
terms, such as ‘causality’, ‘truth’,
‘knowledge’, ‘freedom’, and so on.
Over the past decades, political philosophers and applied ethicists
have been increasingly interested in the value of personal
relationships. The goods they generate—or, perhaps, of which
they consist—are obviously important, both instrumentally and
non-instrumentally, for how well individuals’ lives go on
various accounts of what makes a life good: They are highly desired by
most people, can bring a lot of pleasure and joy and, at least some of
them—such as friendship or love—have objective value. More
recently, these goods have also been said to be relevant to
determining individuals’ duties and even rights.
Intuitionistic logic encompasses the general principles of logical
reasoning which have been abstracted by logicians from intuitionistic
mathematics, as developed by
L. E. J. Brouwer
beginning in his  and . Because these principles also
hold for Russian recursive mathematics and the constructive analysis
of E. Bishop and his followers, intuitionistic logic may be considered
the logical basis of
constructive mathematics. Although intuitionistic analysis conflicts with classical analysis,
intuitionistic Heyting arithmetic is a subsystem of classical Peano
arithmetic. It follows that intuitionistic propositional logic is a
proper subsystem of classical propositional logic, and pure
intuitionistic predicate logic is a proper subsystem of pure classical
The term ‘incommensurable’ means ‘to have no common
measure’. The idea has its origins in Ancient Greek mathematics,
where it meant no common measure between magnitudes. For example,
there is no common measure between the lengths of the side and the
diagonal of a square. Today, such incommensurable relations are
represented by irrational numbers. The metaphorical application of
this mathematical notion specifically to the relation between
successive scientific theories became controversial in 1962 after it
was popularised by two influential philosophers of science: Thomas
Kuhn and Paul Feyerabend.
The paper provides a critical discussion of the Super-Humean view of spacetime (Huggett’s regularity account) and the “minimalist ontology” in terms of Leibnizian relations and primitive matter points, recently developed by Esfeld et al. It investigates, in particular, the empirical adequacy of the proposed metaphysics, arguing that Super-Humeanism cannot provide a plausible account of space and time without committing to bona fide geometric structure in the fundamental relations. Against this backdrop, I propose a moderate version of Super-Humeanism and discuss its possible application to Euclidean space and General Relativity.
Temporal reasoning with conditionals is more complex than both classical temporal reasoning and reasoning with timeless conditionals, and can lead to some rather counter-intuitive conclusions. For instance, Aristotle’s famous “Sea Battle Tomorrow” puzzle leads to a fatalistic conclusion: whether there will be a sea battle tomorrow or not, but that is necessarily the case now. We propose a branching-time logic LTC to formalise reasoning about temporal conditionals and provide that logic with adequate formal semantics. The logic LTC extends the Nexttime fragment of CTL , with operators for model updates, restricting the domain to only future moments where antecedent is still possible to satisfy. We provide formal semantics for these operators that implements the restrictor interpretation of antecedents of temporalized conditionals, by suitably restricting the domain of discourse. As a motivating example, we demonstrate that a naturally formalised in our logic version of the ‘Sea Battle’ argument renders it unsound, thereby providing a solution to the problem with fatalist conclusion that it entails, because its underlying reasoning per cases argument no longer applies when these cases are treated not as material implications but as temporal conditionals. On the technical side, we analyze the semantics of LTC and provide a series of reductions of LTC-formulae, first recursively eliminating the dynamic update operators and then the path quantifiers in such formulae. Using these reductions we obtain a sound and complete axiomatization for LTC, and reduce its decision problem to that of the modal logic KD.
Alfred North Whitehead (1861–1947) was a British mathematician
and philosopher best known for his work in mathematical logic and the
philosophy of science. In collaboration with Bertrand Russell, he
co-authored the landmark three-volume Principia Mathematica
(1910, 1912, 1913). Later, he was instrumental in pioneering the
approach to metaphysics now known as process philosophy. Although there are important continuities throughout his career,
Whitehead’s intellectual life is often divided into three main
periods. The first corresponds roughly to his time at Cambridge from
1884 to 1910. It was during these years that he worked primarily on
issues in mathematics and logic.
Conciliationists say that when you meet an epistemic peer who disagrees with you, you should alter your credence towards theirs. While there are counterexamples to conciliationism here is a simple argument that normally something like conciliationism is correct without the assumption of epistemic peerhood:
That someone’s credence in a proposition p is significantly below 1/2 is normally evidence against p.
Learning evidence against a proposition typically should lower one’s credence. …
29. Know that the philosophers, notwithstanding the multiplicity of their groups and the diversity of their doctrines, can be divided into three main divisions: Materialists, Naturalists, and Theists.30. …
This is a survey chapter about issues in the epistemology of elementary arithmetic. Given the title of this volume, it is worth noting right at the outset that the classification of arithmetic as science is itself philosophically debatable, and that this debate overlaps with debates about the epistemology of arithmetic.
Ramsey famously pronounced that discounting “future enjoyments” would be ethically indefensible. Suppes enunciated an equity criterion implying that all individuals’ welfare should be treated equally. By contrast, Arrow (1999a, b) accepted, perhaps rather reluctantly, the logical force of Koopmans’ argument that no satisfactory preference ordering on a sufficiently unrestricted domain of infinite utility streams satisfies equal treatment. In this paper, we first derive an equitable utilitarian objective based on a version of the Vickrey–Harsanyi original position, extended to allow a variable and uncertain population with no finite bound. Following the work of Chichilnisky and others on sustainability, slightly weakening the conditions of Koopmans and co-authors allows intergenerational equity to be satisfied. In fact, assuming that the expected total number of individuals who ever live is finite, and that each individual’s utility is bounded both above and below, there is a coherent equitable objective based on expected total utility. Moreover, it implies the “extinction discounting rule” advocated by, inter alia, the Stern Review on climate change.
While there are many ways to define social philosophy as a distinct field of study, I propose to look at it as constituted by a certain perspective on its objects. The ‘society’ in the focus of philosophical inquiry is less a specific object then a set of relations that can appear in different forms and on three different levels. Social philosophy, I argue, is well-advised to account for the different senses or appearances of the social in the form of order, of practices, and of social subjects. And it should account for three respective forms of power that operate at these three levels in rather specific ways. Reflection on these phenomena or figures of power can then lead to reflections on the possibility of transforming given social relations and therefore to the project of a possible politics. I offer a certain constellation or grid of concepts which can guide or frame social-philosophical investigations of such an orientation.
Hope is ubiquitous: family members express hope that we find love and happiness, politicians call for hope in response to tragedies, and optimists urge people to keep their hopes up. We also tell ourselves to maintain hope, to find it, or in darker moments, to give it up. We hope for frivolous things, too.
Voluntary offsetting allows you to ‘neutralise’ your carbon dioxide emissions by preventing the same amount of carbon dioxide from being emitted by someone else, most often somewhere else. Offsetting is a very polarised issue: some defend it as an effective way for individuals to neutralise their carbon emissions, while others have fiercely opposed it as a morally dubious practice
In this post, I take a position in the middle: I believe that under some conditions, emitting-and-offsetting should be morally acceptable. …
By Gordon Hull
I’m teaching a Foucault seminar this term, and one of the things I’m trying to do is get better on the doxography of his essays. That led me to a discovery about “What is an Author” that I’m going to share on the (hopefully not hubristic) assumption that other folks didn’t know it either. …
Help! Well, it’s not back to square one, but it is time to radically re-think plans for the shape of the book (and what will go into it, and what will survive as online supplements). Let me explain the practical problem — as all thoughts and comments will be gratefully received. …
Introduction: Designing the Mind Chapter 1: The Age of AI Chapter 2: The Problem of AI Consciousness Chapter 3: Consciousness Engineering Chapter 4: How to Catch an AI Zombie: Testing for Consciousness in Machines Chapter 5: Could you Merge with AI?
Jack Spencer argues that we can perform actions that are metaphysically impossible to perform on the basis of cases like (Simple G): Simple G: Suppose that determinism is true. Let h be the complete specification of the initial conditions of the universe. Let l be the complete specification of the deterministic laws of the universe. Let h ∧ l be their conjunction. Suppose that G has not, does not, and will not believe that h ∧ l. G never finds herself reading a book or listening to a radio programme about the initial conditions or the laws of nature; G was home from school and sick with the flu on the day that her physics teacher covered the initial conditions and the laws of nature in class, and the physics teacher never bothered to go over the material again. We may suppose that it is fairly common knowledge in G’s community that h ∧ l, that matriculating high school seniors are expected to know that h ∧ l, that many of G’s classmates know that h ∧ l, and that G is one of the brightest students in her class. (Spencer 2017, p. 468)
According to the kind of open futurist at issue, both of these claims may well fail to be true. According to many, however, the disjunction of these claims can be represented as p ∨ ~p – that is, as an instance of LEM. And if this is so, the open futurist is plainly in a difficult position. She must either deny LEM outright, or instead maintain that a disjunction can be true without either of its disjuncts being true. And whereas open futurists have defended both such options with considerable care and ingenuity, both are also faced with substantial costs.
The problems of modern physics are man made. The Copenhagen version of quantum mechanics is formulated in a vague prosaic way, inconsistencies and paradoxes are the price. New interpretations try to solve the problem, however a reformulation rather than an interpretation is needed. In this manuscript I will point out, where the Copenhagen formulation of quantum mechanics is flawed and how one can make sense out of it. Then I will show, that it is possible to give a precise formulation of quantum mechanics without losing its compelling ability in describing experiments.
According to a thesis often called ‘transparency,’ the deliberative question whether I should believe that p must give way to the factual question whether p, since “the only way to answer the question whether to believe that p is to answer the question whether p” (Shah and Velleman 2005: 499). Transparency is widely accepted by philosophers. Indeed, it’s standardly taken as a datum, and it’s so widely accepted that it is hard to find a philosopher who rejects it. But as I show in this note, transparency is false, since it cannot accommodate suspension of judgment. According to a thesis often called ‘transparency,’ the deliberative question whether I should believe that p must give way to the factual question whether p, since “the only way to answer the question whether to believe that p is to answer the question whether p,” as Shah and Velleman put it (2005: 499). Transparency does not say that answering the question whether p is one of multiple ways to answer the question whether I should believe that p. Nor does it say that, in order to answer the question whether I should believe that p, I must do multiple things, including answering the question whether p. It says that answering the question whether p suffices for answering the question whether I should believe that p, and it says that answering the question whether p is the only way to answer the question whether I should believe that p. If I want to know whether I should believe that p, there is only one thing I can do, and only one thing I must do: answer the question whether p. This is what transparency says.