REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0330.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: consciousness; awareness; attention; free will; self-awareness
Online: 17 November 2022 (08:59:13 CET)
Consciousness is usually perceived as a state of being aware of one’s environment as well as self. Despite its omnipresence in our life, understanding this concept is challenging. This has given rise to several theories attempting to explain the nature of consciousness, as well as hard and soft problems of consciousness. In fact, the boundaries of consciousness defined by these theories are a topic of continued discussion, particularly in light of the recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI). Some of these theories consider consciousness as a simple integration of information while others purport the need for an agency in the process of integration for an entity to be considered conscious. Some theories consider consciousness as a graded entity and some equate consciousness with content of awareness. In this work, major theories of consciousness are reviewed and compared, focusing on awareness, attention, and sense of self. These findings are interpreted in relation to AI in order to ascertain what makes AI distinct from natural intelligence.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0038.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: thermodynamics; info-entropy; ontology; epistemology; palaeo-Hebrew; poetry
Online: 2 November 2022 (03:31:27 CET)
Physics has been thought to truly represent reality since at least Galileo, and the foundations of physics are always established using philosophical ideas. In particular, the elegant naming of physical entities is usually very influential in the acceptance of physical theories. We here demonstrate (using current developments in thermodynamics as an example) that both the epistemology and the ontology of physics ultimately rest on poetic language. What we understand depends essentially on the language we use. We wish to establish our knowledge securely, but strictly speaking this is impossible using only analytic language. Knowledge of the meanings of things must use a natural language designed to express meaning, that is, poetic language. Although the world is really there, and although we can indeed know it truly, this knowledge is never either complete or certain but ultimately must rest on intuition. Reading a recently discovered artefact with a palaeo-Hebrew inscription as from the first century, we demonstrate from it that this ontological understanding long predates the Hellenic period. Poetic language is primary, both logically and temporally.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0042.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: Bad Behavior; Institutions; Heterodox Economics; Development
Online: 5 October 2022 (12:43:21 CEST)
How important are institutions for the development of nations? Are there any existing measures which quantify the behavior of institutions? Is there any theoretical justification for measuring their behavior? This paper introduces a framework influenced by Plato’s needs theory to provide justification for measuring the behavior of institutions. This involves introducing the humanization hypothesis which states that the behavior of institutions can be measured as they, similar to human beings, are living entities with similar hierarchical needs which are essential for their survival. The paper employs an explanatory and descriptive research design which is highly theoretical in nature.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0376.v2
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: free will; undecidability; temporal asymmetry; compatibilism; predictability; dynamic systems
Online: 23 August 2022 (11:28:17 CEST)
One of the central criteria for free will is “Could I have done otherwise?” But because of a temporal asymmetry in human choice, the question makes no sense. The question is backward-looking, while human choices are forward-looking. At the time when any choice is actually made, there is as of yet no action to do otherwise. Expectation is the only thing to contradict (do other than). So the ability to do something not expected by the ultimate expecter, Laplace’s demon, is a better criterion for free will. If human action is fundamentally unpredictable, then we have free will. Scientists have studied a form of fundamental unpredictability, known as undecidability. The features that make a system capable of undecidable dynamics have been identified: program-data duality; potential to access an infinite computational medium; and the ability to implement negation. Humans have all three of these features, so we very likely are fundamentally unpredictable, so we have free will.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0429.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: cut-elimination; Hilbert arithmetic; metaphor; proposition; propositional logic; quantum meas-urement
Online: 28 July 2022 (06:27:31 CEST)
Hilbert arithmetic in a wide sense, including Hilbert arithmetic in a narrow sense consisting by two dual and anti-isometric Peano arithmetics, on the one hand, and the qubit Hilbert space (originating for the standard separable complex Hilbert space of quantum mechanics), on the other hand, allows for an arithmetic version of Gentzen’s cut elimination and quantum measurement to be described uniformy as two processes occurring accordingly in those two branches. A philosophical reflection also justifying that unity by quantum neo-Pythagoreanism links it to the opposition of propositional logic, to which Gentzen’s cut rule refers immediately, on the one hand, and the linguistic and mathematical theory of metaphor therefore sharing the same structure borrowed from Hilbert arithmetic in a wide sense. An example by hermeneutical circle modeled as a dual pair of a syllogism (accomplishable also by a Turing machine) and a relevant metaphor (being a formal and logical mistake and thus fundamentally inaccessible to any Turing machine) visualizes human understanding corresponding also to Gentzen’s cut elimination and the Gödel dichotomy about the relation of arithmetic to set theory: either incompleteness or contradiction. The metaphor as the complementing “half” of any understanding of hermeneutical circle is what allows for that Gödel-like incompleteness to be overcome in human thought.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0084.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: philosophy of emotion; science of emotion; meta-semantic pluralism; embodied cognition; mind; mind-body problem; perception; cognition; emotion; cultural evolution; dual-inheritance theory; evolutionary norm psychology
Online: 6 July 2022 (03:55:00 CEST)
In this paper, I give readers an idea of what some scholars are interested in, what I found interesting, and what may be of future interest in the philosophy of emotion. I begin with a brief overview of the general topics of interests in the philosophy of emotion. I then discuss what I believe to be some of the most interesting topics in the contemporary discourse, including questions about how philosophy can inform the science of emotion, conceptions of the mind and the mind-body problem, concerns about perception, cognition, and emotion, along with questions about the place of 4E approaches and meta-semantic pluralist approaches in the embodied cognitive tradition. Finally, I discuss the emerging field of cultural evolution, the import of a dual-inheritance theory in this emerging field, and I propose a possible way to integrate the frameworks of dual-inheritance theory and meta-semantic pluralism to demonstrate at least one way in which the philosophy of emotion can contribute to the emerging field of cultural evolution.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0035.v2
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: Descartes; Dualism; Intensional Fallacy; Masked Man Fallacy; Cogito; Introspection; Doubt
Online: 4 July 2022 (03:40:56 CEST)
Descartes believed that there was a logical path from doubting the existence of the body to affirming mind-body dualism. In the 20th and 21st centuries, a critique of Cartesian reasoning first made by Arnauld in 1641 has been revived and widely accepted. Several writers including Paul Churchland and Gary Hatfield make the case that the argument for dualism commits the masked man fallacy; that the Cartesian argument relies on mere ignorance of the body to reach its conclusion. In this paper, I show that the argument from Cartesian doubt to mind-body dualism does not depend on mere ignorance. It depends on reliable knowledge about what can and can not be known. Descartes’ method of doubt leads to the conclusion that the body can never under any circumstance be known as the mind is known. The argument for dualism rests on that knowledge, not on ignorance. This paper reveals a viable Cartesian argument for mind-body dualism and explicates the missteps of Descartes’ contemporaneous and present-day critics.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0136.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: Consciousness; awareness; free will; decision-making; attention; self-awareness
Online: 9 June 2022 (07:27:39 CEST)
The notion of free will seems so intuitive to us that it would be hard, even impossible, to imagine that we live in a world without ever exerting any willpower. This view of reality is not only hindrance to inspiration, it poses a serious threat to our moral and social responsibilities. Nonetheless, many scientific and philosophical schools of thought such as determinism purport free will as a mere illusion. As an attempt to rescue free will put forward by libertarianism, compatibilism or physical indeterminism that either exempts our mind from the universal rules of cause and effect by offering our minds a metaphysical status or substitute free will with random will rooted in the laws of quantum mechanics. This manuscript offers an alternative perspective under a new paradigm of consciousness called physical libertarianism that explicates true free will through the unwavering laws of cause and effect. Based on this paradigm, consciousness is the result of interaction of awareness and decision-making process. By applying awareness to the process of decision-making awareness-based choice selection or true free will is conceived. In return, by assigning the power of decision making to the process of awareness discretionary selection of information for attention or intentional attention is emerged. Through integration of these two mental functions, an independent entity called “I” is formed that differentiates natural intelligence from artificial intelligence. While determinism can aptly describe the world of inanimate objects and artificial intelligence, because of “I,” determinism has no jurisdiction over the realm of natural intelligence.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0073.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: Consciousness; awareness; free will; attention; self-awareness
Online: 6 June 2022 (09:01:24 CEST)
Consciousness is usually interpreted as a state of being aware of one’s environment as well as self, while awareness is understood as knowledge of something. Despite their semantic differences, in philosophy, these terms are often used interchangeably, as is the case of the hard problem of consciousness proposed by Chalmers, which in fact is the hard problem of awareness. Trilogy paradigm of consciousness (or simply “trilogy”) offers a new paradigm where consciousness is the result of a unique interaction between awareness and the decision-making process. By conferring the input of awareness to the decision-making process, a new mental function of awareness-based choice selection (ABCS) or true free will emerges. Likewise, application of the power of decision-making to the process of awareness gives rise to discretionary selection of information for awareness (DSIA) or intentional attention. The intertwined actions of ABCS and DSIA comprise “I” which is the faculty of our consciousness and is what sets natural intelligence (NI) apart from artificial intelligence (AI). Based on trilogy, mind is an unconscious compilation of all mental function excluding ABCS and DSIA that are the essence of consciousness. As humans, we are a union of “I,” our minds, and our bodies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0245.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: Disease; Diffusion; Health; Health Impact Fund; Impact Rewards; Incentives; Innovation; Monop-oly Rewards; Pandemic; Patents; Pharmaceuticals; Poverty; Vaccines
Online: 19 May 2022 (03:19:21 CEST)
Globalized in 1995 through the TRIPs Agreement, humanity’s dominant mechanism for encouraging innovations involves 20-year product patents, whose monopoly features enable innovators to reap large markups or licensing fees from early users. Exclusive reliance on this reward mechanism in the pharmaceutical sector is morally problematic for two main reasons. First, it imposes a great burden on poor people who cannot afford to buy patented treatments at monopoly prices and whose specific health problems are therefore neglected by pharmacological research. Second, it discourages pharmaceutical firms from fighting diseases at the population level with the aim of slashing their incidence. These problems can be much alleviated by establishing a supplementary alternative reward mechanism that would enable pharmaceutical innovators to exchange their monopoly privileges on a patented product for impact rewards based on the actual health gains achieved with this product. Such an international Health Impact Fund (HIF) would create powerful new incentives to develop remedies against diseases concentrated among the poor, rapidly to provide such remedies with ample care at very low prices, and to deploy them strategically to contain, suppress, and ideally to eradicate the target disease. By promoting innovations and their diffusion together, the HIF would greatly enlarge the benefits, and thereby also the cost-effectiveness, of the pharmaceutical sector, in favor of the world’s poor especially.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0170.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: Edith Stein; care ethics; personalism; feminism; empathy; emotions; caring; phenomenology
Online: 18 April 2022 (11:41:18 CEST)
The personalist ethics of Edith Stein and her feminist thought are intrinsically interrelated. This unique connection constitutes perhaps the main novelty of Stein’s ethical thought that makes her a forerunner of some recent developments in feminist ethics, particularly ethics of care. A few scholars noticed the resemblance between Stein’s feminist personalism and care ethics, yet none of them have properly explored it. This paper offers an in-depth discussion of the overlaps and differences between Stein’s ethical insights and the core ideas of care ethics. It argues that both Stein and care ethicists relocate a certain set of practices, values and attitudes from the periphery to the center of ethical reflection. This includes relationality, emotionality and care. The paper finally argues that it is plausible and fruitful to read Stein’s advocacy of ‘woman’s values and attitudes’ in a critical feminist way, rather than as an instance of essentialist difference feminism.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0118.v3
Online: 30 November 2021 (12:01:50 CET)
Chivalry is a concept that is both familiar and distant to many Japanese. There is no other social class in the world that resembles knights as much as the samurai in Japan. However, why is there such a gap between the behaviour of knights and samurais, even though they are both a social class with honor? This paper compares chivalry and Bushido, the Japanese Samurai code.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0473.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: 1.globalization, 2. participative democracy, 3. deliberative democracy, 4. Collective decision-making, 5. human nature
Online: 19 April 2021 (12:14:03 CEST)
We live in the time of profound transformations commonly labelled with the word “globalization”. The rise of one ecological-technological-social system encompassing our whole planet is an important element of these processes. Solving big global problems demands knowledge of two complementary sorts: on the one hand – going “in depth”, on the other – going “in breadth”. The present paper assumes the second (in a sense: philosophical) perspective. It tries to analyze some relations between the development of technology (IT) and the development of democracy. The notion of democracy, its various forms and axiological reasons for it are considered first. In the subsequent chapter different consequences (both positive and negative) the IT development has for contemporary democracy are discussed. In the next chapter the evolutionary nature of the technological development is debated as well as the question of (democratic) control of this process. The development of Artificial General Intelligence is presented as a challenge for democracy
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0098.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: Consciousness; Mind; Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics; Causality; Evolution
Online: 4 September 2020 (11:11:07 CEST)
We propose a novel interpretation of consciousness and an enlarged definition of locality, which provide a solution to the problem of the consistency of measurements in quantum mechanics: consciousness is a characteristics of the Universe as a whole. Besides its physical consequences, this interpretation has also moral implications: individuality comes out naturally to be just an accident functional to evolution which shaped past and present history through competition, and realizing this fact should enforce cooperation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0303.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: classical extensional mereology; summative mereology; mereology of quantum chemical systems; mereology of chemical wholes; behavioral mereology
Online: 13 August 2020 (11:28:55 CEST)
This paper examines whether classical extensional mereology is adequate for formalizing the whole-parts relation in quantum chemical systems. Although other philosophers have argued that classical extensional and summative mereology does not adequately formalize whole-parts relation within organic wholes and social wholes, such critiques often assume that summative mereology is appropriate for formalizing the whole-parts relation in inorganic wholes such as atoms and molecules. However, my discussion of atoms and molecules as they are conceptualized in quantum chemistry will establish that standard mereology cannot adequately fulfill this task, since the properties and behavior of such wholes are context-dependent and cannot simply be reduced to the summative properties of their parts. To the extent that philosophers of chemistry have called for the development of an alternative mereology for quantum chemical systems, this paper ends by proposing behavioral mereology as a promising step in that direction. According to behavioral mereology, considerations of what constitutes a part of a whole is dependent upon the observable behavior displayed by these entities. Thus, relationality and context-dependence are stipulated from the outset and this makes behavioral mereology particularly well-suited as a mereology of quantum chemical wholes. The question of which mereology is appropriate for formalizing the whole-parts relation in quantum chemical systems is relevant to contemporary philosophy of chemistry, since this issue is related to the more general question of the reducibility of chemical wholes to their parts and of the reducibility of chemistry to physics, which have been of central importance within the philosophy of chemistry for several decades. More generally, this paper puts contemporary discussions of mereology within the philosophy of chemistry into a broader historical and philosophical context. In doing so, this paper also bridges the gap between formal mereology, conceived as a branch of formal ontology, and ‘applied’ mereology, conceived as a branch of philosophy of science.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0316.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: JTB account of knowledge; Gettier problems; contextualization of belief and knowledge; epistemic and non-epistemic dimensions of law
Online: 15 July 2020 (05:43:24 CEST)
Echoing the long-held JTB account of knowledge, according to which knowledge can be conceptually analyzed as justified true belief, Backes (2019) argues that our epistemic aim is to believe truly or accurately and emphasizes on that “a belief is justified iff it is highly probable”. We maintain that this line of reasoning is deficient, in terms of epistemic concerns and non-epistemic concerns of interest for both philosophy and legal theory. Specifically, in this short paper, we argue for the ineffectiveness of the aforementioned Backes’ view to meet the challenges posed by the ongoing rapid techno-scientific transformation of our contemporary societies and ways-of life.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0267.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: quality of care; Covid-19; relational caring; care ethics; practical wisdom; mismatch; humanness: solicitude: habitability
Online: 21 June 2020 (11:49:59 CEST)
The Covid-19 pandemic is a tragedy for those who have been hard hit worldwide. At the same time, it is also a test of concepts and practices of what good care is and requires, and how quality of care can be accounted for. In this paper we put our Care-Ethical Model of Quality (CEMQ) to the test. Instead of thinking about care in healthcare and social welfare as a set of separate care acts, we think about care as a complex practice of relational caring, crossed by other practices. Instead of thinking about professional caregivers as functionaries obeying external rules, we think about them as practically wise professionals. Instead of thinking about developing external quality criteria and systems, we think about cultivating (self-)reflective quality awareness. Instead of abstracting from societal forces that make care possible but also limit it, we acknowledge them and find ways to deal with them. Based on these critical insights, the CEMQ model can be helpful to describe, interrogate, evaluate, and improve existing care practices. It has four entries: (i) the care receiver considered from their humanness, (ii) the caregiver considered from their solicitude, (iii) the care facility considered from its habitability and (iv) the societal, institutional and scholarly context considered from the perspective of the good life, justice and decency. The crux is enabling all these different entries with all their different aspects to be taken into account. In Corona times this turns out to be more crucial than ever.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0074.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: VR; aging effect; gender difference; control device; wayfinding strategy
Online: 5 May 2020 (11:32:12 CEST)
The application of Virtual Reality in a driving simulation is not novel, yet little is known about the use of this technology by senior populations. The effects of age, sex, control device (joystick or handlebar), and task type on wayfinding proficiency using a virtual reality (VR) driving simulation were explored. The driving experimental model involved 96 randomly recruited participants, including 48 young people and 48 seniors (split evenly by gender in each group). The experimental results and statistical analyses indicate that in a VR driving scenario task type significantly affected VR driving performance. Navigational scores were significantly higher for the straight (easy) task than for the curved (difficult) task. The aging effect was the main reason for significant and interacting effects of sex and control device. It was found that interactions between age and sex difference indicated that the young group exhibited better wayfinding performance than the senior group, and in the young group males had better performance than females. Similarly, interactions between age and control device indicated that the handlebar control device type resulted in better performance than the joystick device in the young group, but no difference was found in the senior group due to age or learning effects. Findings provide an understanding of the evaluation of the interface designs of navigational support systems, taking into consideration any effects of age, sex, control device, and task type within three-dimensional VR games and driving systems. With a VR driving simulator, seniors can test drive inaccessible products, such as electric bicycles or cars, using a computer at home.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0072.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: consciousness; mental monism; idealism; automata; cellular automata
Online: 5 March 2020 (02:21:55 CET)
Models of consciousness are usually developed within physical monist or dualistic frameworks, in which the structure and dynamics of the mind derive from the workings of the physical world (in particular, the brain). Little attention has been given to modeling within a mental monist framework, deriving the structure and dynamics of the mental world from primitive mental constituents only. Mental monism is gaining attention as a candidate solution to Chalmers’ Hard Problem, and it is therefore timely to examine possible formal models of consciousness within it. Here, we propose a minimal set of hypotheses that any credible model of consciousness (within mental monism) should respect. From those hypotheses, it is feasible to construct many formal models that permit universal computation in the mental world, through cellular automata. We need further hypotheses to define transition rules for particular models, and we propose a transition rule with the unusual property of deep copying in the time dimension. In conclusion, we hope to dispel the notion that mental monism requires a deus ex machina, by showing that a parsimonious set of assumptions can yield a naturalistic and computationally potent mental world.
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: complexity; uncertainty; cognition; allostasis; homeostasis; free energy principle; active inference; environmental complexity thesis; adaptation; representation; interoception; biorhythms; life-mind continuity
Online: 29 February 2020 (12:33:12 CET)
What is the function of cognition? On one influential account, cognition evolved to co-ordinate behaviour with environmental change or complexity (Godfrey-Smith 1996). Liberal interpretations of this view ascribe cognition to an extraordinarily broad set of biological systems – even bacteria, which modulate their activity in response to salient external cues, would seem to qualify as cognitive agents. However, equating cognition with adaptive flexibility per se glosses over important distinctions in the way biological organisms deal with environmental complexity. Drawing on contemporary advances in theoretical biology and computational neuroscience, we cash these distinctions out in terms of different kinds of generative models, and the representational and uncertainty-resolving capacities they afford. This analysis leads us to propose a formal criterion for delineating cognition from other, more pervasive forms of adaptive plasticity. On this view, biological cognition is rooted in a particular kind of functional organisation; namely, that which enables the agent to detach from the present and engage in counterfactual (active) inference.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0363.v2
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: Materialist philosophy; State of nature; Hobbes; Kropotkin
Online: 19 February 2020 (11:50:14 CET)
A methodological similarity between Thomas Hobbes and Pëtr Kropotkin is the intention to spread a theoretical foundation to everyone, in the sense that they are willing to give to all the people a clear description of the reality and a subsequent political view. To do so, they use a scientific method, deductive (starting from empirical observations) in the case of Hobbes, inductive-deductive in the case of Kropotkin. Kropotkin underlines the educational value of the scientific method.In this work we want to highlight that, although they both start their argumentations from a materialist ontology, Hobbes and Kropotkin conjecture two completely different states of nature. Hobbes describes the state of nature through the two famous metaphors homo homini lupus (citing Plautus) and bellum omnium contra omnes, while Kropotkin introduced the theory of mutual aid. Both the theory of a state of war by Hobbes and the theory of mutual aid by Kropotkin have been revolutionary. Hobbes has been influenced by the scientific revolution initiated by Francis Bacon, one of his mentors, and Galileo Galilei, together with a criticism towards the ancient Greece philosophers, in particular Aristotle. Kropotkin has been influenced by the ground-breaking writings of Charles Darwin together with a very fruitful Russian scientific environment.We want to stress here that the disenchanted view of the human nature in Hobbes, a state of war due to the fact that everyone has rights on everything, helps him to legitimate sovereignty, while the positive view of human nature in Kropotkin, a spontaneous mutual aid among people in a community, helps him to legitimate anarchy. Therefore, the fascinating scientific methods of the two materialists Hobbes and Kropotkin to structure a solid political theory cannot neglect different views on human nature due to their historical contexts.
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: Determinism; Uncertainty principle; Quantum mechanics; Chance
Online: 23 December 2019 (12:14:01 CET)
We define life as the amplification of quantum uncertainty up to macroscopic scales. A living being is any amplifier that achieves this goal. We argue that everything we know about life can be explained from this idea. We study a ladder mechanism to estimate the probability that the amplification occurs spontaneously in nature. The amplification mechanism is so sensitive to small variations of its own parameters that it acts as a bifurcation itself, i.e. it implies that the universe is either everywhere dead or alive wherever possible. Since the first option is excluded by the existence of life on earth, we infer that the universe hosts a huge number of inhabited planets (possibly one per star on average). We also investigate models of conscious and unconscious learning processes, as well as the structure of the brain and evolution. Finally, we address the problem of creating artificial life.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0111.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: predictive brain; modularity of the mind; cognitive function; functional segregation
Online: 10 November 2019 (13:40:28 CET)
Modularity is arguably one of the most influential theses guiding research on brain and cognitive function since phrenology. This paper considers the following question: is modularity entailed by recent Bayesian models of brain and cognitive function, especially the predictive processing framework? It starts by considering three of the most well-articulated arguments for the view that modularity and predictive processing work well together. It argues that all three kinds of arguments for modularity come up short, albeit for different reasons. The analysis in this paper, although formulated in the context of predictive processing, speaks to broader issues with how to understand the relationship between functional segregation and integration and the reciprocal architecture of the predictive brain. These conclusions have implications for how to study brain and cognitive function. Specifically, when cognitive neuroscience works within an acyclic Markov decision scheme, adopted by most Bayesian models of brain and cognitive function, it may very well be methodologically misguided. This speaks to an increasing tendency within the cognitive neurosciences to emphasise recurrent and reciprocal neuronal processing captured within newly emerging dynamical causal modelling frameworks. The conclusions also suggest that functional integration is an organising principle of brain and cognitive function.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0070.v2
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: right to try; innovation in medicine; innovative care; innovative practice; distinction between research and practice
Online: 29 October 2019 (17:04:12 CET)
A significant part of the literature on innovative practice in medicine relates to seizing opportunities and curbing harms for patients in desperate situations. Unfortunately, the term innovation has multiple meanings and a rich rhetorical flourish that adds confusion and misunderstanding to an already difficult debate. This paper aims to enhance the current definition of innovative practice for medicine. First, we replace the term innovation with the more literal of new non-validated practice. To identify this meaning, we analyse the traditional research ethics’ distinction between research, validated practice, and innovation in the Belmont Report. Second, we propose the following explicit definition of new non-validated practice: the first or recent use of diagnostic, therapeutic or preventive interventions that introduce a significant change, with an insufficient level of evidence of safety or efficacy for regular healthcare, and with the main aim to benefit individual patients. This definition is a promising conceptual tool to inform empirical research, ethicists, and the harmonization of its regulation and legislation (e.g. right-to-try laws).
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: evo-devo; individuality; novelty; pregnancy; reproduction; transition
Online: 11 October 2019 (05:38:00 CEST)
The question of how to conceive of the relation between the pregnant female and the embryo has become a recent focus of debate in the philosophical literature. Here we consider this problem in the context of current debates on individuality in the philosophy of biology by looking at how pregnancy is individuated in different disciplinary contexts. Firstly, we review different notions of biological individuality in the literature, examine how each of them applies to the case of pregnancy, and claim that recent work on the evolution of eutherian reproduction offers insights for new criteria for rethinking the individuality of pregnancy. Then, we reconstruct the main assumptions underlying the established biological account of pregnancy. Finally, we develop an alternative account based on the hypothesis that pregnancy is an evolved relational novelty and maintain that pregnant females are conceived as historical reproductive individuals. In the final section before the conclusions, we discuss how the historical reproductive biological individuality of pregnancy differs from, and coexists with, other views of individuality, and examine some of its consequences.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201909.0325.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: speciesism; intuition; evolutionary debunking arguments; experimental philosophy; species-egalitarianism; conservation; singer; williams; kagan; jacquet
Online: 29 September 2019 (06:07:31 CEST)
This article argues for five correctives to the current ethical debate about speciesism, and proposes normative, conceptual, methodological and experimental avenues to move this debate forward. Firstly, it clarifies the Principle of Equal Consideration of Interests and points out limitations of its scope. Secondly, it disambiguates between ‘favouritist’ and ‘species-relative’ views about moral treatment. Thirdly, it argues that not all moral intuitions about speciesism should be given equal weight. Fourthly, it emphasizes the importance of empirical research to corroborate statements about ‘folk speciesism’. Fifthly, it disambiguates between the moral significance of species and the moral status of their individual members. For each of these issues, it is shown that they have either been overlooked, or been given inapt treatment, in recent contributions to the debate. Building on the correctives, new directions are proposed for ethical inquiry into the moral relevance of species and species membership.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0016.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: Wittgenstein; Derrida; meaning; hierarchy; deferral; learnability; teachability; différance; origin; identity; difference
Online: 2 August 2019 (05:30:26 CEST)
Meaning understood in terms of teachability and learnability is crucial to Wittgenstein’s later work. As regards the resolution of philosophical problems – and epistemological problems in particular - this approach seems to posit a hierarchy of meaning that excludes endless deferral. This is the basis of Wittgenstein’s attack on philosophical scepticism. Derrida’s approach to language seems to require both non-hierarchy and endless deferral. Consequently fundamental to his concept of origin is identity and difference simultaneously, irreducibly, non-simply. One question is whether it is possible for there to be a compromise between the two philosophers: a hierarchy of meaning that does not in principle exclude endless deferral.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0110.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: causality; deep learning; machine learning; counterfactual; explainable AI; blended cognition; mechanisms; system
Online: 8 July 2019 (08:10:29 CEST)
Causality is the most important topic in the history of Western Science, and since the beginning of the statistical paradigm, it meaning has been reconceptualized many times. Causality entered into the realm of multi-causal and statistical scenarios some centuries ago. Despite of widespread critics, today Deep Learning and Machine Learning advances are not weakening causality but are creating a new way of finding indirect factors correlations. This process makes possible us to talk about approximate causality, as well as about a situated causality.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201906.0050.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: mind brain interaction, Avicenna, consciousness, cognition, incorporeity of mind, mind matter interaction
Online: 6 June 2019 (12:58:52 CEST)
Mind and brain/matter interaction is one of the important and controversial issues in Islamic philosophy. In fact, in the resources of Islamic philosophy, one of the basic parts of philosophical discussions is related to mind’s nature and its interaction with the brain. Especially, in Avicenna’s philosophy, there are many articles and books which have addressed the topic of mind and brain and the relation between them. Avicenna was a profound philosopher, an expert physicist and a proficient physician of his time. Because of his experimental proficiency in medicine and surgery and his deep philosophical analysis, his discussion about mind and brain is very interesting for our time, due to recent advances in neuroscience. In this article, we have explained one of Avicenna’s arguments (in his famous opus “al-Isharat”) about the incorporeity of mind (self), which is very close to modern neuroscience and physics literature. In addition, we explain his model of mind and brain interaction. Avicenna described the mechanism of the causal effect of mind on the brain via a third identity, which works as an interface between them (in his main book “al-Shifa”). We try to illustrate his model by the use of some examples, inspired from modern physics. Also, we explore the philosophical constraints which must be considered in any model of mind-matter interaction, within the Islamic philosophy framework. In fact, we propose a new understanding of Avicenna’s philosophy which is in agreement with modern physics and neuroscience.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201903.0074.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: thought experiments, framework assumptions, Jonathan Swift, Newtonian Physics, Tamudic law of lost property, Talmudic laws of Damages, profanation of God's Name
Online: 6 March 2019 (11:01:18 CET)
The paper presents Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels as the first attempt to claim that thought experiments, namely the close analysis of contrived counterfactual scenarios, are the only way we challenge normative framework assumptions and learn anything significantly new in and outside science. The standard epistemologies of his day – Baconian empiricism and Cartesian rationalism –fiercely ridiculed in the course of Gulliver's third voyage, are cruelly dismissed as powerless to advance knowledge, and keep it in normative check. The transformative effect of the clever thought experiments presented in the three other voyages (of imagining London shrunk to a twelfth of its size and enlarged to giant proportions, and a more responsible and intelligent race of beings inserted above (normally sized) humans) enable Swift to obtain critical normative distance from several major assumptions about politics, religion, aesthetics, ethics, and much more, including the limits of the thought experiment itself. In the second part of the paper, the impressivre use to which the Talmudic literature puts such imagined counterfactual scenarios, is examined, with special reference to ethics and law.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0054.v2
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: philosophy of information; organised complexity; Kolmogorov complexity; logical depth; ethics of information; computational ethics; infoethics; machine ethics; computational complexity
Online: 20 December 2018 (05:34:55 CET)
I review previous attempts, including recent ones, to introduce technical aspects of digital information and computation into the discussion of ethics. I survey some limitations and advantages of these attempts to produce guiding principles at different scales. In particular, I briefly introduce and discuss questions, approaches, challenges, and limitations based on, or related to, simulation, information theory, integrated information, computer simulation, intractability, algorithmic complexity, and measures of computational organisation and sophistication. I discuss and propose a set of features that ethical frameworks must possess in order to be considered well-grounded, both in theoretical and methodological terms. I will show that while global ethical frameworks that are uncomputable are desirable because they provide non-teleological direction and open-ended meaning, constrained versions should be able to provide guidelines at more local and immediate time scales. In connection to the ethics of artificial intelligence, one point that must be underscored about computational approaches is that (General) AI should only embrace an ethical framework that we humans are willing to adopt. I think that such a framework is possible, taking the form of a general and universal (in the sense of computation) framework built from first computational principles.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0076.v1
Online: 6 December 2018 (06:35:01 CET)
An examination of Emmanuel Levinas’ writings on money reveals his distance from—and indebtedness to—a philosophical predecessor, Georg Simmel. Levinas and Simmel share a phenomenological approach to analyses of the proximity of the stranger, the importance of the face, and the interruption of the dyadic relationship by the third. Money is closely linked to the conception of totality because money is the medium that compares heterogeneous values. Levinas goes beyond Simmel in positing an ethical relation to money permitting transcendence.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0042.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: information theory; epistemology; Buddhism; worldviews; causality
Online: 4 December 2018 (03:13:08 CET)
Information theory has been developed for seventy years with technological applications that have transformed our societies. The increasing ability to store, transmit, and process information is having a revolutionary impact in most disciplines. The goal of this work is to compare the formal approach to information with Buddhist philosophy. Considering both approaches as compatible and complementary, I argue that information theory can improve our understanding of Buddhist philosophy and vice versa. The resulting synthesis leads to a worldview based on information that overcomes limitations of the currently dominating physics-based worldview.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0635.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: justice, fascism, Nazi, Gnosticism, power, ethics, will
Online: 30 November 2018 (15:49:55 CET)
To show that underlying Schmitt's account of fascist politics lies a Gnostic-like metaphysical dualism separating the realms of value and power. Contrary to the normative political tradition of the West, which defends an ethical politics, Schmitt - jurist and theorist of the Nazis - aligns himself with Machiavelli and Hobbes to defend realpolitik: where sovereignty is ultimately a function of the Dictator's will alone. This paper shows the contradiction within such a position, which criticizes values in politics but by its advocacy, and its defense of the Dictator's willing, relies on valuation, choice, and hence the ethical.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0213.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: Quantum field theory, Quantum gravity, Causality, Unitarity, Fakeons, Quantization, Correspondence principle, Philosophy, Philosophy of science
Online: 8 November 2018 (11:52:55 CET)
We discuss the fate of the correspondence principle beyond quantum mechanics, specifically in quantum field theory and quantum gravity, in connection with the intrinsic limitations of the human ability to observe the external world. We conclude that the best correspondence principle is made of unitarity, locality, proper renormalizability (a refinement of strict renormalizability), combined with fundamental local symmetries and the requirement of having a finite number of fields. Quantum gravity is identified in an essentially unique way. The gauge interactions are uniquely identified in form. Instead, the matter sector remains basically unrestricted. The major prediction is the violation of causality at small distances.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0628.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: natural philosophy; philosophy of science; Jungian psychology; depth psychology; analytical psychology; phenomenological psychology; evolutionary psychology; active imagination; Aristotle’s four causes; aesthetics in science; philosophy as a way of life
Online: 26 October 2018 (11:30:46 CEST)
A revitalized practice of natural philosophy can help people to live a better life and promote a flourishing ecosystem. Such a philosophy is natural in two senses. First, it is natural by seeking to understand the whole of nature, including mental phenomena, In particular, a comprehensive natural philosophy should address the phenomena of sentience by embracing first- and second-person methods of investigation. Moreover, to expand our understanding of the world, natural philosophy should embrace a full panoply of explanations, similar to Aristotle’s four causes. Second, such a philosophy is natural by being grounded in human nature, taking full account of human capacities and limitations. Future natural philosophers should also make use of all human capacities, including emotion and intuition as well as reason and perception, to investigate nature. Finally, since the majority of our brain's activities are unconscious, natural philosophy should explore the unconscious mind with the aim of deepening our relation to the rest of nature and enhancing well-being.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0560.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: natural philosophy; cosmology; emptiness; vacuum; void; dark energy; space flight; exoplanet; big freeze; big crunch; everyday lifeworld
Online: 24 October 2018 (09:27:57 CEST)
The cosmological relevance of emptiness—that is, space without bodies—is not yet sufficiently appreciated in natural philosophy. This paper addresses two aspects of cosmic emptiness from the perspective of natural philosophy: the distances to the stars in the closer cosmic environment and the expansion of space as a result of the accelerated expansion of the universe. Both aspects will be discussed from both a historical and a systematic perspective. Emptiness can be interpreted as “coming” in a two-fold sense: Whereas in the past knowledge of emptiness as it were came to human beings, in the future it is coming insofar as its relevance in the cosmos will increase.The longer and more closely emptiness was studied since the beginning of modernity, the larger became the spaces over which it was found to extend. From a systematic perspective, I will show with regard to the closer cosmic environment that the earth may be separated from the perhaps habitable planets of other stars by an emptiness that is inimical to life and cannot be traversed by humans. This assumption is a result of the discussion of the constraints and possibilities of interstellar space travel as defined by the known natural laws and technical means. With the accelerated expansion of the universe, the distances to other galaxies (outside of the so-called local group) are increasing. According to the current standard model of cosmology and assuming that the acceleration will remain constant, in the distant future this expansion will lead first to a substantial change in the epistemic conditions of cosmological knowledge and finally to the completion of the cosmic emptiness and of its relevance, respectively. Imagining the postulated completely empty last state leads human thought to the very limits of what is conceivable.
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: irrationality; human senses; human mind; material continuity; existence
Online: 22 October 2018 (12:57:08 CEST)
It has been a challenge to visualize in nature some concepts from abstract subjects such as mathematics and philosophy. Irrationality is certainly among the least comprehensive. This essay aimed to propose that irrationality is simply an illusion resulting from the human inability to grasp the full nature of reality, rather than actual continuity flaws in the fabric of existence. There are three major arguments: (1) human senses have limitations and these are likely to be extended to the intellect, (2) there are no observable existential discontinuities in everyday experience, and (3) some rational phenomena have irrational components. These arguments point towards the existence of a physical existence of irrational quantities or distances, visible to the human eye but not fully comprehended through arithmetic abstraction.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0403.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: philosophy; epistemology; empirio-criticism; neuroscience; brain
Online: 20 September 2018 (08:04:55 CEST)
The French-Swiss Professor in inductive philosophy Richard Avenarius (1843-1896), the father of empirio-criticism together with Ernst Mach, is one of the most underrated and misunderstood philosophers ever. It mostly depends upon his terminology, which displays an insurmountable difficulty. However, influenced by the most innovative proposals of his times of transition between the idealistic/rationalist legacies and the new Materialism/scientific interpretation of reality – i.e, by cultural evolutionism, linguistics, biomechanics, entropy/energy and, above all, by the newborn experimental psychology-, he produced a complete system of philosophy and innovative methods of investigation of the laws of knowledge. Hints (chunk, scrap, fragments) of his original ideas can be found not only in philosophers of mind after him - such as Gestalt, phenomenalism, behaviourism, functionalism and cybernetics, autopoiesis, dynamical systems theory, embedded/embodied mind, free-energy principle of the brain – but also in recent neuroscientific theories – nervous transduction, electric spikes, cracking of neural code, multisensory integration -. Our aim is to provide the first chronological English summary of his masterpiece, the “Kritik”, to give the possibility to the (almost) totally unaware English speakers to appreciate such a neglected and innovative thinker.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0143.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: induction; naturalism; evidence and justification; epistemic norms; induction and concept formation; induction and discovery of laws
Online: 8 June 2018 (16:24:17 CEST)
Epistemological naturalism dismisses the notion that epistemology is a basis for the empirical sciences. In particular, it rejects the demand for a general justification of induction. Making inductive generalisations is a basic habit among humans. There is no such thing as a logic of inductive inference. The role of induction in science is heuristic; it is our way of inventing new theoretical predicates and developing theories. We discover new laws by applying inductive thinking; but this is not any kind of inference which can be evaluated as more or less rational.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201709.0147.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: history of psychology; humanism; reformation; metaphysics; empirical psychology
Online: 29 September 2017 (03:41:09 CEST)
Subjectivity has always been a part of philosophical speculations. However, Immanuel Kant is mentioned as the main figure to bring in subjectivity in modern philosophy by comparing the Critique of Pure Reason with the Copernican revolution. We might include Descartes as well, and not least the followers of Kant, like Fichte and Hegel. Yet none of these end up with subjectivity as the only premise for thinking, but rather combine it with objectivity. Hence, subjectivity has appeared as a stranger in philosophy and yet not fully accepted. In this paper, I try to pursue the aspect of subjectivity by not looking at philosophy, but rather at psychology. The appearance of the term can be dated back to 1520 when the Croatian humanist Marcus Marulus published the thesis entitled “Psychology, the Nature of the Soul”. This thesis is lost, but by pursuing the appearance of the term, four different movements seem to contribute with and highlight an aspect of subjectivity. One is Humanism, the other is Reformation, the third is a focus on the empirical aspects of science and the fourth is the dissemination of folk culture to academics and aristocracy by means of the art of printing. The finding, therefore, is that psychology is not to be regarded as a discipline that grows out of philosophy, but rather as a discipline that conflicts philosophy, but nevertheless intervenes it and makes it progress.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201701.0005.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: logical laws; normativity of logic; reasoning; thinking
Online: 2 January 2017 (11:12:15 CET)
In this paper it is examined how, if at all, logical laws can be normative for human reasoning, wherein the notion of normativity is analysed with respect to approaches to logic given in works of Aristotle, Descartes, Kant, Frege and Wittgenstein. During the ancient and medieval period, logic was being considered in terms of discourse and dialogical practice, but since Descartes and especially Kant it has been treated as a system of laws with which the process of individual human reasoning has been compared. Therefore, normativity can be investigated in private sphere (for thinking and reasoning) and in public sphere (for dialogic practices in a community). Wittgenstein discussed both aspects of normativity: in Tractatus, a focus is on laws of logic that are primarily normative for the state of affairs in the world, while in Philosophical Investigations an emphasis is on a social aspect of normativity (which is closer to Aristotle’s view), which is derived from adopted rules that have been applied in a certain community. Taken that way, logic is certainly normative in the public sphere, but the more difficult issue is whether logic is normative for thinking, regarding to the difference between the logical laws and those of thought.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201612.0131.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: physicists, experimental set-up, drawings, spirituality, interaction
Online: 28 December 2016 (10:24:28 CET)
To understand the possibility of interaction between scientific experimenting and artistic drawing in the form of drawings made in notebooks, assumed is a common element, a spiritual property, and transference as a mechanism for causality. Scientists, scientific experiments and artistic drawings all have different merits. Here the concept ‘speaking out’ in its meaning of expressiveness is proposed to bridge these differences. Scientific action and artistic action cannot be compared directly. However, a common spiritual element will make the investigated object, experimental set-up and notebook drawings comparable in the sense of translations authorized by the physicist. They all then speak out from the same source. In this paper considered are recent drawings made by physicists during experimentation, in notebooks and diaries. Discussed is transferal causality between the physicist, the artistic drawing and all the relevant objects belonging to the experiment. Spiritual properties are introduced for the physicist being a person, and for the investigated object, the experimental set-up and the drawings as objects.