818,722 research outputs found

    Internal Perspectivalism: The Solution to Generality Problems About Proper Function and Natural Norms

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    In this paper, I argue that what counts as the proper function of a trait is a matter of the de facto perspective that the biological system, itself, possesses on what counts as proper functioning for that trait. Unlike non-perspectival accounts, internal perspectivalism does not succumb to generality problems. But unlike external perspectivalism, internal perspectivalism can provide a fully naturalistic, mind-independent grounding of proper function and natural norms. The attribution of perspectives to biological systems is intended to be neither metaphorical nor anthropomorphic: I do not mean to imply that such systems thereby must possess agency, cognition, intentions, concepts, or mental or psychological states. Instead, such systems provide the grounding for norms of performance when they internally enforce their own standard of (i.e., their own perspective on) what constitutes proper functioning or malfunctioning. By operating with a fixed, determinate level of generality, such systems provide the basis for an account of proper function that is immune to generality problems

    Information-Theoretic Philosophy of Mind

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    Being Emergence vs. Pattern Emergence: Complexity, Control, and Goal-Directedness in Biological Systems

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    Emergence is much discussed by both philosophers and scientists. But, as noted by Mitchell (2012), there is a significant gulf; philosophers and scientists talk past each other. We contend that this is because philosophers and scientists typically mean different things by emergence, leading us to distinguish being emergence and pattern emergence. While related to distinctions offered by others between, for example, strong/weak emergence or epistemic/ontological emergence (Clayton, 2004, pp. 9–11), we argue that the being vs. pattern distinction better captures what the two groups are addressing. In identifying pattern emergence as the central concern of scientists, however, we do not mean that pattern emergence is of no interest to philosophers. Rather, we argue that philosophers should attend to, and even contribute to, discussions of pattern emergence. But it is important that this discussion be distinguished, not conflated, with discussions of being emergence. In the following section we explicate the notion of being emergence and show how it has been the focus of many philosophical discussions, historical and contemporary. In section 3 we turn to pattern emergence, briefly presenting a few of the ways it figures in the discussions of scientists (and philosophers of science who contribute to these discussions in science). Finally, in sections 4 and 5, we consider the relevance of pattern emergence to several central topics in philosophy of biology: the emergence of complexity, of control, and of goal-directedness in biological systems

    Ultra-relativistic spinning particle and a rotating body in external fields

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    We use the vector model of spinning particle to analyze the influence of spin-field coupling on the particle's trajectory in ultra-relativistic regime. The Lagrangian with minimal spin-gravity interaction yields the equations equivalent to the Mathisson-Papapetrou-Tulczyjew-Dixon (MPTD) equations of a rotating body. We show that they have unsatisfactory behavior in the ultra-relativistic limit. In particular, three-dimensional acceleration of the particle increases with velocity and becomes infinite in the ultra-relativistic limit. The reason is that in the equation for trajectory emerges the term which can be thought as an effective metric generated by the minimal spin-gravity coupling. Therefore we examine the non-minimal interaction through the gravimagnetic moment κ\kappa, and show that the theory with κ=1\kappa=1 is free of the problems detected in MPTD-equations. Hence the non-minimally interacting theory seem more promising candidate for description of a relativistic rotating body in general relativity. The Lagrangian for the particle in an arbitrary electromagnetic field in Minkowski space leads to generalized Frenkel and Bargmann-Michel-Telegdi equations. The particle with magnetic moment in electromagnetic field and the particle with gravimagnetic moment in gravitational field have very similar structure of equations of motion. In particular, the spin-electromagnetic coupling also produces an effective metric for the particle with anomalous magnetic moment. If we use the usual special-relativity notions for time and distance, then the critical speed, which the particle cannot exceed during its evolution in electromagnetic field, is different from the speed of light. This can be corrected assuming that the three-dimensional geometry should be defined with respect to the effective metric.Comment: 34 pages, close to published version. arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:1509.0492

    Winning Cores in Parity Games

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    We introduce the novel notion of winning cores in parity games and develop a deterministic polynomial-time under-approximation algorithm for solving parity games based on winning core approximation. Underlying this algorithm are a number properties about winning cores which are interesting in their own right. In particular, we show that the winning core and the winning region for a player in a parity game are equivalently empty. Moreover, the winning core contains all fatal attractors but is not necessarily a dominion itself. Experimental results are very positive both with respect to quality of approximation and running time. It outperforms existing state-of-the-art algorithms significantly on most benchmarks

    Mechanistic Causation and Constraints: Perspectival Parts and Powers, Non-Perspectival Modal Patterns

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    Any successful account of the metaphysics of mechanistic causation must satisfy at least five key desiderata. In this paper, I lay out these five desiderata and explain why existing accounts of the metaphysics of mechanistic causation fail to satisfy them. I then present an alternative account which does satisfy the five desiderata. According to this alternative account, we must resort to a type of ontological entity that is new to metaphysics, but not to science: constraints. In this paper, I explain how a constraints-based metaphysics fits best with the emerging consensus on the nature of mechanistic explanation

    The disadvantage of winning an election

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    This paper analyzes the problem that an incumbent faces during the legislature when deciding how to react to popular initiatives or policy proposals coming from different sources. We argue that this potential source of electoral disadvantage that the incumbent obtains after being elected can jeopardize the reelection possibilities of the incumbent. We analyze the decision of the incumbent when facing reelection and we characterize the conditions under which the advantages that the incumbent obtains can overcome the disadvantages. Finally, we use the results of this analysis to discuss some implications of the use of mechanisms of direct democracy like referenda and popular assemblies on electoral competition.Incumbency advantage, Referenda, Popular initiatives, Elections.