Showing posts with label Philosophy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Philosophy. Show all posts

Friday, February 06, 2015

Tradition Square of Opposition




Parsons, Terence, "The Traditional Square of Opposition", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2014 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = .



Contrary- All S are P, No S is P All s is P is contrary to the claim NO S is P. 

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A contrary can be true as well as false. Contraries can both be false. Contraries can't both be true. 

The A and E forms entail each other's negations 

Subcontrary Some S are P, Some S are not P

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Sub contraries can't both be false. Sub contraries can both be true. The negation of the I form entails the (unnegated) E form, and vice versa. 

Contradiction- All S are P, Some S are not P, Some S are P, No S are P

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For contradictions -Two propositions are contradictory if they cannot both be true and they cannot both be false. Contradictory means there is exactly one truth value and if one proposition is true the other MUST be false. If one is false the other MUST be true. 

The propositions can't both be true and the propositions can't both be false. 

The A and O forms entail each other's negations, as do the E and I forms. 

The negation of the A form entails the (unnegated) O form, and vice versa; likewise for the E and I forms.
 Super alteration[- Every S is P, implies Some S are P No S is P, implies Some S are not P 

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The two propositions can be true.

 Sub alteration- All S are P, Some S are P No S are P, Some S are not P 

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A proposition is a subaltern of another if it must be true The A form entails the I form, and the E form entails the O form. 

"The 'I' proposition, the particular affirmative (particularis affirmativa), Latin 'quoddam S est P', usually translated as 'some S are P'" . 

As in the first(Proposition 1) or the "I" "To be clear the I proposition is SOME S is P. This is what is meant by a I proposition. Well you can certainly infer if an I proposition is true that an E proposition is false because they are contradictory. Unfortunately there is NOTHING else to infer with certainty. That is there will be times where the proposition will be true and different times it will be false. This is called contingent truths. That is the proposition is not true 100% of the time. It has false cases. Deductive logic tries to stay away from contingent truths." 

"The 'I' proposition, the particular affirmative (particularis affirmativa), Latin 'quoddam S est P', usually translated as 'some S are P'" 

Summary

Universal statements are contraries: 'every man is just' and 'no man is just' cannot be true together, although one may be true and the other false, and also both may be false (if at least one man is just, and at least one man is not just).

Particular statements are subcontraries. 'Some man is just' and 'some man is not just' cannot be false together

The particular statement of one quality is the subaltern of the universal statement of that same quality, which is the superaltern of the particular statement, because in Aristotelian semantics 'every A is B' implies 'some A is B' and 'no A is B' implies 'some A is not B'. Note that modern formal interpretations of English sentences interpret 'every A is B' as 'for any x, x is A implies x is B', which does not imply 'some x is A'. This is a matter of semantic interpretation, however, and does not mean, as is sometimes claimed, that Aristotelian logic is 'wrong'.

The universal affirmative and the particular negative are contradictories. If some A is not B, not every A is B. Conversely, though this is not the case in modern semantics, it was thought that if every A is not B, some A is not B. This interpretation has caused difficulties (see below). While Aristotle's Greek does not represent the particular negative as 'some A is not B', but as 'not every A is B', someone in his commentary on the Peri hermaneias, renders the particular negative as 'quoddam A non est B', literally 'a certain A is not a B', and in all medieval writing on logic it is customary to represent the particular proposition in this way.

These relationships became the basis of a diagram originating with Boethius and used by medieval logicians to classify the logical relationships. The propositions are placed in the four corners of a square, and the relations represented as lines drawn between them, whence the name 'The Square of Opposition'.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Rationalism vs Empiricism

The dispute between rationalism and empiricism concerns the extent to which we are dependent upon sense experience in our effort to gain knowledge. Rationalists claim that there are significant ways in which our concepts and knowledge are gained independently of sense experience. Empiricists claim that sense experience is the ultimate source of all our concepts and knowledge.

Rationalists generally develop their view in two ways. First, they argue that there are cases where the content of our concepts or knowledge outstrips the information that sense experience can provide. Second, they construct accounts of how reason in some form or other provides that additional information about the world. Empiricists present complementary lines of thought. First, they develop accounts of how experience provides the information that rationalists cite, insofar as we have it in the first place. (Empiricists will at times opt for skepticism as an alternative to rationalism: if experience cannot provide the concepts or knowledge the rationalists cite, then we don't have them.) Second, empiricists attack the rationalists' accounts of how reason is a source of concepts or knowledge. SEE: Markie, Peter, "Rationalism vs. Empiricism http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/rationalism-empiricism/", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2013 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.),

 Long before I had come to understand this nature of rationalism there were already signs that such a journey was already being awakened. This was an understanding for me as to the nature of what could be gained from the ability to visualize beyond empirical nature of our journey into the sensible realm.

I guess in a such an awakening,  as to what we know,  there is the realization that what comes after helps to make that sense. So in a way one might like to see how rationalism together with Empiricism actually works. It is not in the sense that I might define one group of historical thinkers to contrast each other to say that one should excel over another, but to define how such a rationally sound person moves toward empiricism to understand the reality we created by experimentation and repeatability that empiricism enshrouds.

So this awakening while slow to materialize, comes from understanding something about the logic of the world and the definitions and architecture of that logical approach. To me in this day and age it has lead to some theory about which computational view could hold the idea about how we might see this reality. I am reticence to view this  as a form of that reality. It is for what holds me back is a self evident moment using deducted features of our reasoning,  which could move us to that moment of clarity.

 The Empiricism Thesis: We have no source of knowledge in S or for the concepts we use in S other than sense experience Empircism -

 Empirical fact would not be the basis of reality for Nick Bostrum's simulation argument for instance. I hope to explain why.

 The basis of this association(Rationalist, or, a Empiricist) is whether one gains by a deductive method, or, an inductive method. A sense experience tells us, science as we know it, is inductive. We must garner repeatable experiments to verify reality, a rationalist, by logic and reason of theory alone. Verification, comes afterward. This for a rationalist is a deductive something which can be true, can be "innate" before we accept the inductive method means,  that is it can be rationally ascertained. It is only after ward that such a process could be said to be true or false.


If the late character of our sources may incite us to doubt the authenticity of this tradition, there remains that, in its spirit, it is in no way out of character, as can be seen by reading or rereading what Plato says about the sciences fit for the formation of philosophers in book VII of the Republic, and especially about geometry at Republic, VII, 526c8-527c11. We should only keep in mind that, for Plato, geometry, as well as all other mathematical sciences, is not an end in itself, but only a prerequisite meant to test and develop the power of abstraction in the student, that is, his ability to go beyond the level of sensible experience which keeps us within the "visible" realm, that of the material world, all the way to the pure intelligible. And geometry, as can be seen through the experiment with the slave boy in the Meno (Meno, 80d1-86d2), can also make us discover the existence of truths (that of a theorem of geometry such as, in the case of the Meno, the one about doubling a square) that may be said to be "transcendant" in that they don't depend upon what we may think about them, but have to be accepted by any reasonable being, which should lead us into wondering whether such transcendant truths might not exist as well in other areas, such as ethics and matters relating to men's ultimate happiness, whether we may be able to "demonstrate" them or not.See: Frequently Asked Questions about Plato by Bernard SUZANNE
When you examine deeply the very nature of your journey, then, you come to realize what is hidden underneath "experience." So while being an empiricist, it is necessary to know that such a joining with the rationalist correlates with the reasoned only after the mentioned experience. These are "corollary experiences," which serve to identify that which had been identified long before the sensible world had been made known.





Paradoxically, it was Einstein who reluctantly introduced the notion of spontaneous events, which might after all be the root of Bellʼs theorem. The lesson for the future could, however, be that we should build the notion of locality on the operationally clear 'no-signalling' condition—the impossibility of transferring information faster than light. After all, this is all that theory of relativity requires.

The moral of the story is that Bellʼs theorem, in all its forms, tells us not what quantum mechanics is, but what quantum mechanics is not.
Quantum non-locality—it ainʼt necessarily so... -

Empiricism then is to validate as a corollary that which had been cognate(maybe poor choice of word here but instead should use cognition). This does not mean you stop the process, but to extend the visionary possibility of that which can be cognitive....peering into the very nature of reality. Becomes the " we should build the notion of locality on the operationally clear 'no-signalling' condition."

Here the question of entanglement raises it's head to ask what is really being trasmitted as the corrallary of information,  as a direct physical connection in a computational system. In a quantum gravity scheme what is exchanged as a spin 2 graviton we might examine in the corollary of this no signalling condition but as a direct understanding of gravitational signalling.?

Such an examination reveals the Innate process with which we may already know "some thing,"  is awakened by moving into the world of science. While we consider such computational reality in context of a ontological question,  then,  such a journey may be represented as the geometry of the being which reveals a deeper question about the make-up of that reality.


Affective Field Theory of Emotion regarding sensory development may aid in the journey for understanding the place with which "the idea/form in expression arises," and that which is reasoned, beyond the related abstractions of "such a beginning," by becoming the ideal, in the empiricist world.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Affective Field Theory of Emotion

 "Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love. Albert Einstein"

While developing a philosophical understanding of emotion it has come to mind that research over the years has provided a model consideration for understanding the valence affect. This valence affect with regard to the Decision making process that from a cognitive standpoint is inclusive of logical and emotive forces. This process was a long one in which I thought to place ourselves,  in terms of a self evident point of expression,  so as to suggest,  the next question rests on a Inductive realization with which the history has thus far been explained.

So the totality of this entry is an examination with regard to emotion and its necessity in the logic analysis approach to such a question. To what is self evident. To what is decisive.

The next step is always important.  So I had to demonstrate the current historical examination for what has been done with regard to emotion so that I could reveal some of the work that I had done in the years past.

 This work then is a stepping point toward a new and entertaining thought about what the next technologies might reveal about our emotive and logical state of being as we make our decisions with all that we had gained with in experience. So the next step is a series of posts that will reflect this attempt by me to objectify what has thought to been totally subjective and without regard.

"No aspect of our mental life is more important to the quality and meaning of our existence than emotions. They are what make life worth living, or sometimes ending. So it is not surprising that most of the great classical philosophers—Plato, Aristotle, Spinoza, Descartes, Hobbes, Hume—had recognizable theories of emotion, conceived as responses to certain sorts of events of concern to a subject, triggering bodily changes and typically motivating characteristic behavior. What is surprising is that in much of the twentieth-century philosophers of mind and psychologists tended to neglect them—perhaps because the sheer variety of phenomena covered by the word “emotion” and its closest neighbors tends to discourage tidy theory. In recent years, however, emotions have once again become the focus of vigorous interest in philosophy, as well as in other branches of cognitive science. In view of the proliferation of increasingly fruitful exchanges between researchers of different stripes, it is no longer useful to speak of the philosophy of emotion in isolation from the approaches of other disciplines, particularly psychology, neurology, evolutionary biology, and even economics. While it is quite impossible to do justice to those approaches here, some sidelong glances in their direction will aim to suggest their philosophical importance. de Sousa, Ronald, "Emotion", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2014 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.),"

"If the view that emotions are a kind of perception can be sustained, then the connection between emotion and cognition will have been secured. But there is yet another way of establishing this connection, compatible with the perceptual model. This is to draw attention to the role of emotions as providing the framework for cognitions of the more conventional kind. de Sousa (1987) and Amélie Rorty (1980) propose this sort of account, according to which emotions are not so much perceptions as they are ways of seeing—species of determinate patterns of salience among objects of attention, lines of inquiry, and inferential strategies (see also Roberts 2003).de Sousa, Ronald, "Emotion", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2014 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), Emotion"
.
"Under the Heading of #6. Perceptual Theories-A crucial mandate of cognitivist theories is to avert the charge that emotions are merely “subjective.” But propositional attitudes are not the only cognitive states. A more basic feature of cognition is that is has a “mind-to-world direction of fit.” The expression is meant to sum up the contrast between cognition and the conative orientation, in which success is defined in terms of the opposite, world-to-mind, direction of fit (Searle 1983). We will or desire what does not yet exist, and deem ourselves successful if the world is brought into line with the mind's plan
The exploration of questions raised by these characteristics is a thriving ongoing collaborative project in the theory of emotions, in which philosophy will continue both to inform and to draw on a wide range of philosophical expertise as well as the parallel explorations of other branches of cognitive science. Conclusion: Adequacy Conditions on Philosophical Theories of Emotion -de Sousa, Ronald, "Emotion", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2014 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), Emotion"
"Thus, secondary reflection is one important aspect of our access to the self. It is the properly philosophical mode of reflection because, in Marcel's view, philosophy must return to concrete situations if it is to merit the name “philosophy.” These difficult reflections are “properly philosophical” insofar as they lead to a more truthful, more intimate communication with both myself and with any other person whom these reflections include (Marcel 1951a, pp. 79–80). Secondary reflection, which recoups the unity of experience, points the way toward a fuller understanding of the participation alluded to in examples of the mysterious.Primary and Secondary Reflection-Treanor, Brian, "Gabriel (-Honoré) Marcel", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2014 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), forthcoming Marcel Gabriele."
"Early decision theorists recognized the importance of emotion and discussed it in detail (e.g., Bentham, 1789; Jevons, 1871; Smith, 1759). Nevertheless, emotions did not make it into decision research because they were seen as intrinsically unstable and unpredictable, partly because they could not be measured objectively. Today, most problems with unpredictability and immeasurability of emotions have been solved. Emotions can be reliably measured in various verbal (e.g., via rating scales) and non-verbal ways (e.g., via FACS or facial EMG’s; Larsen & Fredrickson, 1999; Parrott, & Hertel, 1999). More- over, the impact of emotion on behavior is actually sim- pler and more systematic than previously thought. Emo- tions behave lawfully (Frijda, 1988, 2006), and their con- sequences are clear, stable and quite predictable. This has opened up opportunities for an integrative account of the different emotional influences on decision making. We present such an account in this article.On emotion specificity in decision making: Why feeling is for doing-(PDF) Marcel Zeelenberg∗1, Rob M. A. Nelissen1, Seger M. Breugelmans2, & Rik Pieters3 1 Department of Social Psychology and TIBER, Tilburg University 2 Department of Developmental, Clinical and Cross-cultural Psychology, Tilburg University 3 Department of Marketing and TIBER, Tilburg University"
 

"We can now restate our opening questions. Is the special felt qualitative tendency in valence, as it is structurally represented in descriptive theories, an intrinsic feature of emotion experience as such; that is, something that exists prior to the self-reports that describe it? Or is it instead created and structured by features of second-order awareness, such as these self- reports? The argument here is that valence is created by attention in sec- ond-order awareness. There is nothing scientifically objective or precise that we can say about valence apart from its elaboration in second-order awareness. Second-order awareness does not create the underlying phenomenology of emotion experience, but it does shape and articulate what exactly it means to us. This conclusion would appear to threaten the scientific foundation of descriptive theories of affect, because it undermines the objectivity of the phenomenon they claim to study. It also contradicts the driving assumption of several dominant neuroscientific theories of valence, according to which valence is an intrinsic objective property of affective experience.Emotion Experience and the Indeterminacy of Valence by LOUIS C. CHARLAND"

 "Emotions are the key to the human decision making processes since decisions and actions are primary irrational and not cognitive-The Emotions in Emotions Analytics"
" The sort of mental processes described as cognitive are largely influenced by research which has successfully used this paradigm in the past, likely starting with Thomas Aquinas, who divided the study of behavior into two broad categories: cognitive (how we know the world), and affective (how we understand the world via feelings and emotions)[disputed ].[citation needed] Consequently, this description tends to apply to processes such as memory, association, concept formation, pattern recognition, language, attention, perception, action, problem solving and mental imagery.[14][15] Traditionally, emotion was not thought of as a cognitive process. This division is now regarded as largely artificial, and much research is currently being undertaken to examine the cognitive psychology of emotion; research also includes one's awareness of one's own strategies and methods of cognition called metacognition and includes metamemory. 
Research into cognition is usually scientific and quantitative, or involves creating models to describe or explain certain behaviors. Cognition"
***
 The part of the body in which the soul directly exercises its functions is not the heart at all, or the whole of the brain. It is rather the innermost part of the brain, which is a certain very small gland situated in the middle of the brain's substance and suspended above the passage through which the spirits in the brain's anterior cavities communicate with those in its posterior cavities. The slightest movements on the part of this gland may alter very greatly the course of these spirits, and conversely any change, however slight, taking place in the course of the spirits may do much to change the movements of the gland” (AT XI:351, CSM I:340). The Passions of the Soul "
 "The word endocrine derives from the Greek words ἐνδο- endo- "inside, within," and κρίνειν krinein "to separate, distinguish".Endocrine system -"

 "The thymus was known to the ancient Greeks, and its name comes from the Greek word θυμός (thumos), meaning "anger",[22] or "heart, soul, desire, life", possibly because of its location in the chest, near where emotions are subjectively felt; or else the name comes from the herb thyme (also in Greek θύμος or θυμάρι), which became the name for a "warty excrescence", possibly due to its resemblance to a bunch of thyme Thymus -"


"The James–Lange theory has remained influential. Its main contribution is the emphasis it places on the embodiment of emotions, especially the argument that changes in the bodily concomitants of emotions can alter their experienced intensity. Most contemporary neuroscientists would endorse a modified James–Lange view in which bodily feedback modulates the experience of emotion." (p. 583)James–Lange theory -"
"Phillip Bard contributed to the theory with his work on animals. Bard found that sensory, motor, and physiological information all had to pass through the diencephalon (particularly the thalamus), before being subjected to any further processing. Therefore, Cannon also argued that it was not anatomically possible for sensory events to trigger a physiological response prior to triggering conscious awareness and emotional stimuli had to trigger both physiological and experiential aspects of emotion simultaneously.[33]Cannon–Bard theory -"

"Maranon found that most of these patients felt something but in the absence of an actual emotion-evoking stimulus, the patients were unable to interpret their physiological arousal as an experienced emotion. Schachter did agree that physiological reactions played a big role in emotions. He suggested that physiological reactions contributed to emotional experience by facilitating a focused cognitive appraisal of a given physiologically arousing event and that this appraisal was what defined the subjective emotional experience. Emotions were thus a result of two-stage process: general physiological arousal, and experience of emotion.Two-factor theory -"

 ***

TEDxSF - Roz Picard - Emotion Technology -http://youtu.be/ujxriwApPP4

Empatica is an affective computing company, focused on human data analytics. We develop groundbreaking wearable devices with medical quality sensing.-
Skin conductance response in regular subjects differs when given fair and unfair offers, respectively. However, psychopaths have been shown to have no difference in skin conductance between fair and unfair offers.[2] This may indicate that the use of lie detectors relying on skin conductivity gives psychopaths an advantage that non-psychopaths do not have in criminal investigations.-"
 "Whether scientific method is at all suited for the study of the subjective aspect of emotion, feelings, is a question for philosophy of science and epistemology. In practise, the use of self-report (i.e. questionnaires) has been widely adopted by researchers. Additionally, web-based research is being used to conduct large-scale studies on the components of happiness for example. Alongside this researchers also use fMRI, EEG and physiological measures of skin conductance, muscle tension and hormone secretion. This hybrid approach should allow researchers to gradually pinpoint the affective phenomenon. There are also a few commercial systems available that claim to measure emotions, for instance using automated video analysis (nViso) or skin conductance (Affectiva).Affective Science -"






" Founded in 2011, Nymi is a spinoff from the University of Toronto, focused on delivering unique and usable digital identity solutions. The company's first product is the Nymi Band, a wearable technology device that delivers Persistent Identity experiences by using the wearer's unique electric cardiac signature as a biometric. Nymi is proudly based in Toronto and is privately-funded by Ignition Partners, Relay Ventures, MasterCard and Salesforce Ventures. http://www.nymi.com/news/now-nymi/"
"Affective computing is the study and development of systems and devices that can recognize, interpret, process, and simulate human affects. It is an interdisciplinary field spanning computer science, psychology, and cognitive science.[1] While the origins of the field may be traced as far back as to early philosophical enquiries into emotion,[2] the more modern branch of computer science originated with Rosalind Picard's 1995 paper[3] on affective computing.[4][5] A motivation for the research is the ability to simulate empathy. The machine should interpret the emotional state of humans and adapt its behaviour to them, giving an appropriate response for those emotions.Affective Computing -"

The advances made and put forth here paint a different picture then the one assumed here in regard to the development of emotions that work toward identifying innate characteristics of the person? As well, as factors that are now discernible physiologically with regard to the economics of barter and trade. This observation goes back to principle inherent in wireless communication(as fractal antennas) and the work of Benoit Mandelbrot who brought forward through recognition, its utilization of fractals and development by Seth Cohen.
 ***

" In view of the proliferation of increasingly fruitful exchanges between researchers of different stripes, it is no longer useful to speak of the philosophy of emotion in isolation from the approaches of other disciplines, particularly psychology, neurology, evolutionary biology, and even economics.
 Twentieth-century Anglo-American philosophy and psychology tended to incorporate emotions into other, better understood mental categories. Under the influence of a “tough-minded” ideology committed to behaviorism, it seemed easier to look for adequate theories of action or will, as well as theories of belief or knowledge, than to construct adequate theories of emotion. Economic models of rational decision and agency inspired by Bayesian theory are essentially assimilative models, viewing emotion either as a species of belief, or as a species of desire.

That enviably resilient Bayesian model has been cracked, in the eyes of many philosophers, by such refractory phenomena as akrasia or “weakness of will.” In cases of akrasia, traditional descriptive rationality seems to be violated, insofar as the “strongest” desire does not win, even when paired with the appropriate belief (Davidson 1980). Emotion is ready to pick up the slack. Recent work, often drawing support from the burgeoning study of the emotional brain, has recognised that while emotions typically involve both cognitive and conative states, they are distinct from both, if only in being significantly more complex. Emotion-
de Sousa, Ronald, "Emotion", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2014 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.)"

 "The subjective theory of value is a theory of value which advances the idea that the value of a good is not determined by any inherent property of the good, nor by the amount of labor required to produce the good, but instead value is determined by the importance an acting individual places on a good for the achievement of their desired ends-
In the philosophy of decision theory, Bayesian inference is closely related to discussions of subjective probability, often called "Bayesian probability". Bayesian probability provides a rational method for updating beliefs.

Bayesian epistemology is an epistemological movement that uses techniques of Bayesian inference as a means of justifying the rules of inductive logic.Bayesian Inference"

 "Decision theory in economics, psychology, philosophy, mathematics, and statistics is concerned with identifying the values, uncertainties and other issues relevant in a given decision, its rationality, and the resulting optimal decision. It is closely related to the field of game theory as to interactions of agents with at least partially conflicting interests whose decisions affect each other. Decision  Theory -"
"In economics, the social science that studies the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services, emotions are analyzed in some sub-fields of microeconomics, in order to assess the role of emotions on purchase decision-making and risk perception Disciplinary approaches -"
 

"Broadly speaking, there are two views on Bayesian probability that interpret the 'probability' concept in different ways. For objectivists, probability objectively measures the plausibility of propositions, i.e. the probability of a proposition corresponds to a reasonable belief everyone (even a "robot") sharing the same knowledge should share in accordance with the rules of Bayesian statistics, which can be justified by requirements of rationality and consistency.[2][5] Requirements of rationality and consistency are also important for subjectivists, for which the probability corresponds to a 'personal belief'.[6] For subjectivists however, rationality and consistency constrain the probabilities a subject may have, but allow for substantial variation within those constraints. The objective and subjective variants of Bayesian probability differ mainly in their interpretation and construction of the prior probability.Objective and subjective Bayesian probabilities -"
***

"Contemporary analytic philosophers of mind generally use the term “belief” to refer to the attitude we have, roughly, whenever we take something to be the case or regard it as true. To believe something, in this sense, needn't involve actively reflecting on it: Of the vast number of things ordinary adults believe, only a few can be at the fore of the mind at any single time. Nor does the term “belief”, in standard philosophical usage, imply any uncertainty or any extended reflection about the matter in question (as it sometimes does in ordinary English usage). Many of the things we believe, in the relevant sense, are quite mundane: that we have heads, that it's the 21st century, that a coffee mug is on the desk. Forming beliefs is thus one of the most basic and important features of the mind, and the concept of belief plays a crucial role in both philosophy of mind and epistemology.Belief -"

 Forming beliefs is thus one of the most basic and important features of the mind, and the concept of belief plays a crucial role in both philosophy of mind and epistemology. The “mind-body problem”, for example, so central to philosophy of mind, is in part the question of whether and how a purely physical organism can have beliefs. Much of epistemology revolves around questions about when and how our beliefs are justified or qualify as knowledge. Belief -

 Nevertheless, many contemporary philosophers of science and analytic philosophers are strongly critical of Popper's philosophy of science.[14] Popper's mistrust of inductive reasoning has led to claims that he misrepresents scientific practice. Among the professional philosophers of science, the Popperian view has never been seriously preferred to probabilistic induction, which is the mainstream account of scientific reasoning.Falsifiability -
See also: The Logic of Scientific Discovery (PDF)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Naturalness 2014-Weizmann Institute of Science

Information about the event was blogged by Professor Matt Strassler at, At the Naturalness 2014 Conference. See also his explanation on Naturalness and the Standard Model

Information about the event itself.

The discovery of a Higgs boson, with a mass around 125 GeV, at the LHC is a great victory for the Standard Model (SM). With its minimal scalar sector of electroweak symmetry breaking, the SM at short distances, well below the proton radius, is a complete weakly coupled theory. Even though the SM cannot explain several experimental observations such as neutrino masses, the baryon asymmetry of the universe and the origin of dark matter, one cannot deduce an energy scale at which the SM would be forced to be extended (with the exceptions of the Planck scale and the Landau pole of the hypercharge force). See: Naturalness 2014
***

 
In physics, naturalness is the property that the free parameters or physical constants appearing in a physical theory should take relative values "of order 1". That is, a natural theory would have parameters with values like 2.34 rather than 234,000 or 0.000234. This is in contrast to current theory like the standard model, where there are a number of parameters that vary by many orders of magnitude, and require extensive "fine-tuning" of those values in order for the theory to predict a universe like the one we live in.

The requirement that satisfactory theories should be "natural" in this sense is a current of thought initiated around the 1960s in particle physics. It is an aesthetic criterion, not a physical one, that arises from the seeming non-naturalness of the standard model and the broader topics of the hierarchy problem, fine-tuning, and the anthropic principle.

It is not always compatible with Occam's razor, since many instances of "natural" theories have more parameters than "fine-tuned" theories such as the Standard Model.
 ***

  Now that naturalism has become an accepted component of philosophy, there has recently been interest in Kuhn's work in the light of developments in the relevant sciences, many of which provide corroboration for Kuhn's claim that science is driven by relations of perceived similarity and analogy. It may yet be that a characteristically Kuhnian thesis will play a prominent part in our understanding of science http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/thomas-kuhn/
***

A non-technical discussion of the naturalness criterion and its implications for new physics searches at the LHC. To be published in the book "LHC Perspectives", edited by G. Kane and A. Pierce. See: Naturally Speaking: The Naturalness Criterion and Physics at the LHC
(PDF)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Materialism

Materialism is a form of philosophical monism which holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all phenomena, including mental phenomena and consciousness, are the result of material interactions.

Materialism is typically considered by many philosophers to be closely related to physicalism; the view that all that exists is ultimately physical. Philosophical physicalism has evolved from materialism with the discoveries of the physical sciences to incorporate far more sophisticated notions of physicality than mere ordinary matter, such as: spacetime, physical energies and forces, dark matter, and so on. Thus the term "physicalism" is preferable over "materialism", while others use the terms as if they are synonymous.
Contrasting philosophies to materialism or physicalism include idealism and other forms of monism, dualism and pluralism.[according to whom?]

 

Overview

Materialism belongs to the class of monist ontology. As such, it is different from ontological theories based on dualism or pluralism. For singular explanations of the phenomenal reality, materialism would be in contrast to idealism, neutral monism, and spiritualism.

Despite the large number of philosophical schools and subtle nuances between many,[1][2][3] all philosophies are said to fall into one of two primary categories, which are defined in contrast to each other: Idealism, and materialism.[a] The basic proposition of these two categories pertains to the nature of reality, and the primary distinction between them is the way they answer two fundamental questions: "what does reality consist of" and "how does it originate?" To idealists, spirit or mind or the objects of mind (ideas) are primary, and matter secondary. To materialists, matter is primary, and mind or spirit or ideas are secondary, the product of matter acting upon matter.[3]

The materialist view is perhaps best understood in its opposition to the doctrines of immaterial substance applied to the mind historically, famously by René Descartes. However, by itself materialism says nothing about how material substance should be characterized. In practice, it is frequently assimilated to one variety of physicalism or another.

Materialism is often associated with reductionism, according to which the objects or phenomena individuated at one level of description, if they are genuine, must be explicable in terms of the objects or phenomena at some other level of description — typically, at a more reduced level. Non-reductive materialism explicitly rejects this notion, however, taking the material constitution of all particulars to be consistent with the existence of real objects, properties, or phenomena not explicable in the terms canonically used for the basic material constituents. Jerry Fodor influentially argues this view, according to which empirical laws and explanations in "special sciences" like psychology or geology are invisible from the perspective of basic physics. A lot of vigorous literature has grown up around the relation between these views.
Modern philosophical materialists extend the definition of other scientifically observable entities such as energy, forces, and the curvature of space. However philosophers such as Mary Midgley suggest that the concept of "matter" is elusive and poorly defined.[4]

Materialism typically contrasts with dualism, phenomenalism, idealism, vitalism, and dual-aspect monism. Its materiality can, in some ways, be linked to the concept of Determinism, as espoused by Enlightenment thinkers.

During the 19th century, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels extended the concept of materialism to elaborate a materialist conception of history centered on the roughly empirical world of human activity (practice, including labor) and the institutions created, reproduced, or destroyed by that activity (see materialist conception of history). Later Marxists developed the notion of dialectical materialism which characterized later Marxist philosophy and method.

 

History

 

Axial Age

Materialism developed, possibly independently, in several geographically separated regions of Eurasia during what Karl Jaspers termed the Axial Age (approximately 800 to 200 BC).

In Ancient Indian philosophy, materialism developed around 600 BC with the works of Ajita Kesakambali, Payasi, Kanada, and the proponents of the Cārvāka school of philosophy. Kanada became one of the early proponents of atomism. The NyayaVaisesika school (600 BC - 100 BC) developed one of the earliest forms of atomism, though their proofs of God and their positing that the consciousness was not material precludes labelling them as materialists. Buddhist atomism and the Jaina school continued the atomic tradition.

Xunzi (ca. 312–230 BC) developed a Confucian doctrine centered on realism and materialism in Ancient China.[citation needed]

Ancient Greek philosophers like Thales, Anaxagoras (ca. 500 BC – 428 BC), Epicurus and Democritus prefigure later materialists. The Latin poem De Rerum Natura by Lucretius (ca. 99 BC – ca. 55 BC) reflects the mechanistic philosophy of Democritus and Epicurus. According to this view, all that exists is matter and void, and all phenomena result from different motions and conglomerations of base material particles called "atoms" (literally: "indivisibles"). De Rerum Natura provides mechanistic explanations for phenomena such as erosion, evaporation, wind, and sound. Famous principles like "nothing can touch body but body" first appeared in the works of Lucretius. Democritus and Epicurus however did not hold to a monist ontology since they held to the ontological separation of matter and space i.e. space being "another kind" of being, indicating that the definition of "materialism" is wider than given scope for in this article.

 

Common Era

Chinese thinkers of the early common era said to be materialists include Yang Xiong (53 BC – AD 18) and Wang Chong (c AD 27 – AD 100).

Later Indian materialist Jayaraashi Bhatta (6th century) in his work Tattvopaplavasimha ("The upsetting of all principles") refuted the Nyaya Sutra epistemology. The materialistic Cārvāka philosophy appears to have died out some time after 1400. When Madhavacharya compiled Sarva-darśana-samgraha (a digest of all philosophies) in the 14th century, he had no Cārvāka/Lokāyata text to quote from, or even refer to.[5]
In early 12th-century al-Andalus, the Arabian philosopher, Ibn Tufail (Abubacer), wrote discussions on materialism in his philosophical novel, Hayy ibn Yaqdhan (Philosophus Autodidactus), while vaguely foreshadowing the idea of a historical materialism.[6]

 

Modern era

The French cleric Pierre Gassendi (1592-1665) represented the materialist tradition in opposition to the attempts of René Descartes (1596-1650) to provide the natural sciences with dualist foundations. There followed the materialist and atheist abbé Jean Meslier (1664-1729), Julien Offroy de La Mettrie, the German-French Paul-Henri Thiry Baron d'Holbach (1723-1789), the Encyclopedist Denis Diderot (1713-1784), and other French Enlightenment thinkers; as well as (in England) John "Walking" Stewart (1747-1822), whose insistence in seeing matter as endowed with a moral dimension had a major impact on the philosophical poetry of William Wordsworth (1770-1850).

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) wrote that "...materialism is the philosophy of the subject who forgets to take account of himself".[7] He claimed that an observing subject can only know material objects through the mediation of the brain and its particular organization. That is, the brain itself is the "determiner" of how material objects will be experienced or perceived:
"Everything objective, extended, active, and hence everything material, is regarded by materialism as so solid a basis for its explanations that a reduction to this (especially if it should ultimately result in thrust and counter-thrust) can leave nothing to be desired. But all this is something that is given only very indirectly and conditionally, and is therefore only relatively present, for it has passed through the machinery and fabrication of the brain, and hence has entered the forms of time, space, and causality, by virtue of which it is first of all presented as extended in space and operating in time."[8]
The German materialist and atheist anthropologist Ludwig Feuerbach would signal a new turn in materialism through his book, The Essence of Christianity (1841), which provided a humanist account of religion as the outward projection of man's inward nature. Feuerbach's materialism would later heavily influence Karl Marx.

 

Scientific materialists

Many current and recent philosophers—e.g., Daniel Dennett, Willard Van Orman Quine, Donald Davidson, John Rogers Searle, and Jerry Fodor—operate within a broadly physicalist or materialist framework, producing rival accounts of how best to accommodate mind, including functionalism, anomalous monism, identity theory, and so on.[9]

Scientific "Materialism" is often synonymous with, and has so far been described, as being a reductive materialism. In recent years, Paul and Patricia Churchland have advocated a radically contrasting position (at least, in regards to certain hypotheses); eliminativist materialism holds that some mental phenomena simply do not exist at all, and that talk of those mental phenomena reflects a totally spurious "folk psychology" and introspection illusion. That is, an eliminative materialist might suggest that a concept like "belief" simply has no basis in fact - the way folk science speaks of demon-caused illnesses. Reductive materialism being at one end of a continuum (our theories will reduce to facts) and eliminative materialism on the other (certain theories will need to be eliminated in light of new facts), Revisionary materialism is somewhere in the middle.[9]

Some scientific materialists have been criticized, for example by Noam Chomsky, for failing to provide clear definitions for what constitutes matter, leaving the term "materialism" without any definite meaning. Chomsky also states that since the concept of matter may be affected by new scientific discoveries, as has happened in the past, scientific materialists are being dogmatic in assuming the opposite.[10]

 

Defining matter

The nature and definition of matter - like other key concepts in science and philosophy - have occasioned much debate.[11] Is there a single kind of matter (hyle) which everything is made of, or multiple kinds? Is matter a continuous substance capable of expressing multiple forms (hylomorphism),[12] or a number of discrete, unchanging constituents (atomism)?[13] Does it have intrinsic properties (substance theory),[14][15] or is it lacking them (prima materia)?

One challenge to the traditional concept of matter as tangible "stuff" came with the rise of field physics in the 19th century. Relativity shows that matter and energy (including the spatially distributed energy of fields) are interchangeable. This enables the ontological view that energy is prima materia and matter is one of its forms. On the other hand, the Standard Model of Particle physics uses quantum field theory to describe all interactions. On this view it could be said that fields are prima materia and the energy is a property of the field.

According to the dominant cosmological model, the Lambda-CDM model, less than 5% of the universe's energy density is made up of the "matter" described by the Standard Model of Particle Physics, and the majority of the universe is composed of dark matter and dark energy - with no agreement amongst scientists about what these are made of.[16]

With the advent of quantum physics, some scientists believed the concept of matter had merely changed, while others believed the conventional position could no longer be maintained. For instance Werner Heisenberg said "The ontology of materialism rested upon the illusion that the kind of existence, the direct 'actuality' of the world around us, can be extrapolated into the atomic range. This extrapolation, however, is impossible... atoms are not things." Likewise, some philosophers[which?] feel that these dichotomies necessitate a switch from materialism to physicalism. Others use the terms "materialism" and "physicalism" interchangeably.[17]

The concept of matter has changed in response to new scientific discoveries. Thus materialism has no definite content independent of the particular theory of matter on which it is based. According to Noam Chomsky, any property can be considered material, if one defines matter such that it has that property.[10]

 

Physicalism

George Stack distinguishes between materialism and physicalism:
In the twentieth century, physicalism has emerged out of positivism. Physicalism restricts meaningful statements to physical bodies or processes that are verifiable or in principle verifiable. It is an empirical hypothesis that is subject to revision and, hence, lacks the dogmatic stance of classical materialism. Herbert Feigl defended physicalism in the United States and consistently held that mental states are brain states and that mental terms have the same referent as physical terms. The twentieth century has witnessed many materialist theories of the mental, and much debate surrounding them.[18]
—George J. Stack, Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy

 

Criticism and alternatives

 

Scientific objections

Some modern day physicists and science writers—such as Paul Davies and John Gribbin—have argued that materialism has been disproven by certain scientific findings in physics, such as quantum mechanics and chaos theory. In 1991, Gribbin and Davies released their book The Matter Myth, the first chapter of which, "The Death of Materialism", contained the following passage:
Then came our Quantum theory, which totally transformed our image of matter. The old assumption that the microscopic world of atoms was simply a scaled-down version of the everyday world had to be abandoned. Newton's deterministic machine was replaced by a shadowy and paradoxical conjunction of waves and particles, governed by the laws of chance, rather than the rigid rules of causality. An extension of the quantum theory goes beyond even this; it paints a picture in which solid matter dissolves away, to be replaced by weird excitations and vibrations of invisible field energy. 
Quantum physics undermines materialism because it reveals that matter has far less "substance" than we might believe. But another development goes even further by demolishing Newton's image of matter as inert lumps. This development is the theory of chaos, which has recently gained widespread attention. 
— Paul Davies and John Gribbin, The Matter Myth, Chapter 1
Davies' and Gribbin's objections are shared by proponents of digital physics who view information rather than matter to be fundamental. Their objections were also shared by some founders of quantum theory, such as Max Planck, who wrote:
As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter.
— Max Planck, Das Wesen der Materie, 1944

 

Religious and spiritual objections

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, materialism denies the existence of both deities and "souls".[19] It is therefore incompatible with most world religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. In most of Hinduism and transcendentalism, all matter is believed to be an illusion called Maya, blinding us from knowing the truth. Maya is the limited, purely physical and mental reality in which our everyday consciousness has become entangled. Maya gets destroyed for a person when s/he perceives Brahman with transcendental knowledge. In contrast, Joseph Smith, the founder of the Latter Day Saint Movement, taught "There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes; We cannot see it; but when our bodies are purified we shall see that it is all matter."[20] This spirit element has always existed; it is co-eternal with God.[21] It is also called intelligence or the light of truth, which like all observable matter "was not created or made, neither indeed can be."[22] Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints view the revelations of Joseph Smith as a restoration of original Christian doctrine, which they believe began to be corrupted at the hands of post-apostolic theologians in the centuries after Christ. The writings of many of these theologians indicate a clear influence of Greek metaphysical philosophies such as Neoplatonism, which characterized divinity as an utterly simple, immaterial, formless, substance/essence (ousia) that transcended all that was physical. Despite strong opposition from many Christians,[23] this metaphysical depiction of God eventually became incorporated into the doctrine of the Christian church, displacing the original Judeo-Christian concept of a physical, corporeal God who created humans in His image and likeness.[24]

 

Philosophical objections

Kant argued against all three forms of materialism, subjective idealism (which he contrasts with his "transcendental idealism"[25]) and dualism.[26] However, Kant also argues that change and time require an enduring substrate,[27] and does so in connection with his Refutation of Idealism.[28] Postmodern/poststructuralist thinkers also express a skepticism about any all-encompassing metaphysical scheme. Philosopher Mary Midgley,[29] among others,[30][31][32][33] argues that materialism is a self-refuting idea, at least in its eliminative form.

 

Idealisms

An argument for idealism, such as those of Hegel and Berkeley, is ipso facto an argument against materialism. Matter can be argued to be redundant, as in bundle theory, and mind-independent properties can in turn be reduced to subjective percepts. Berkeley presents an example of the latter by pointing out that it is impossible to gather direct evidence of matter, as there is no direct experience of matter; all that is experienced is perception, whether internal or external. As such, the existence of matter can only be assumed from the apparent (perceived) stability of perceptions; it finds absolutely no evidence in direct experience.
If matter and energy are seen as necessary to explain the physical world, but incapable of explaining mind, dualism results. Emergence, holism, and process philosophy seek to ameliorate the perceived shortcomings of traditional (especially mechanistic) materialism without abandoning materialism entirely.

 

Materialism as methodology

Some critics object to materialism as part of an overly skeptical, narrow or reductivist approach to theorizing, rather than to the ontological claim that matter is the only substance. Particle physicist and Anglican theologian John Polkinghorne objects to what he calls promissory materialism — claims that materialistic science will eventually succeed in explaining phenomena it has not so far been able to explain.[34] Polkinghorne prefers "dual-aspect monism" to faith in materialism.[35]


 

Notes

a. ^ Indeed it has been noted it is difficult if not impossible to define one category without contrasting it with the other.[2][3]


Further reading

External links