228 research outputs found

    Statistical VS Wave Realism in the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics

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    Different realistic attitudes towards wavefunctions and quantum states are as old as quantum theory itself. Recently Pusey, Barret and Rudolph (PBR) on the one hand, and Auletta and Tarozzi (AT) on the other, have proposed new interesting arguments in favor of a broad realistic interpretation of quantum mechanics that can be considered the modern heir to some views held by the fathers of quantum theory. In this paper we give a new and detailed presentation of such arguments, propose a new taxonomy of different realistic positions in the foundations of quantum mechanics and assess the scope, within this new taxonomy, of these realistic arguments

    Ontology and Mathematics in Classical Field Theories and Quantum Mechanics

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    A draft of a possible comparison between the use made of mathematics in classical field theories and in quantum mechanics is presented. Hilbert’s space formalism, although not only elegant and powerful but intuitive as well, does not give us a spatio-temporal representation of physical events. The picture of the electromagnetic field as an entity which is real in itself – i.e., as a wave without support – fostered by the emergence of special relativity can be seen as the first step, favored by many physicists and philosophers, of a gradual “escape” from intuition into a purely mathematical representation of the external world. After the introduction, in recent theoretical physics, of fiber bundle formalism the classical notion of field acquires a new spatio-temporal intuitiveness. This intuitiveness is clearly foreshadowed in the Kantian and Meinongian analysis of the notion of magnitude. At the end of the paper we show that, contrary to what happens in quantum mechanics, mathematics plays a truly explicative role in general relativity, without any loss of spatio-temporal intuitiveness

    Considerazioni epistemologiche sulle scienze storico-filologiche

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    Premettiamo che, per quel che ne sappiamo, non esiste una letteratura epistemologica sul tema che vorremmo affrontare, cioè quello del metodo della filologia. O meglio, grandi filologi, da Lachmann a Greg, da Pasquali a Robinson si sono posti problemi metodologici, ma nessun filosofo della scienza si è mosso nella stessa direzione. Nonostante ciò, va riconosciuto ad alcuni studiosi di ermeneutica e critica del testo il tentativo di esplicitare almeno in parte la “logica” dell’accertamento del valore comunicativo delle opere letterarie, facendo leva soprattutto sul contributo della semiotica che, a partire dagli anni sessanta, si è gradualmente imposta nel panorama delle discipline filologiche come modello di rigore e risorsa euristico-descrittiva in grado di mettere al riparo dalle derive dell’arbitrio soggettivistico, sempre in agguato finché la considerazione dei testi era di competenza dell’idealismo crociano (in Italia) e dello storicismo in generale.[... segue nel testo ...]Presentato dal Dipartimento di Scienze di Base e Fondamenti

    Mechanistic explanations and the ethics of nudging

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    Abstract: Nudges have proven to be effective tools for steering citizens toward desirable behaviors and make valuable additions to any policy-maker’s toolbox. Disappointingly, however, there are no mechanistic explanations for how nudges work, leaving policy-makers unable to explain what happens when they are implemented. This paper identifies some neglected ethical implications of the resulting citizens lack of awareness of such mechanisms. We first examine mechanistic explanations in relation to citizens’ understanding on how they work. Then, we look at mechanistic explanations in light of the suggestion advanced by some ethicists that nudges be considered ethically acceptable in modern liberal democracies provided the explicit transparency of the nudges employed.Keywords: Nudge; Ethics of Nudging; Mechanistic Evidence; In-principle Transparency; Explicit TransparencySpiegazioni meccanicistiche e l’etica dei nudges Riassunto: I nudge si sono rivelati strumenti di policy efficaci nello "spingere gentilmente" i cittadini verso comportamenti considerati desiderabili. Per questa ragione i nudge sono considerati validi strumenti della cassetta degli attrezzi di un policymaker. Tuttavia, è in qualche modo deludente la mancanza di spiegazioni meccanicistiche dei nudge, dalla quale risulta l'incapacità dei policymaker di spiegare quello che succede quando i nudge vengono effettivamente implementati. Questo articolo identifica alcune implicazioni etiche finora trascurate connesse alla inconsapevolezza da parte dei cittadini circa i meccanismi che governano i nudge. Da una parte, le nostre considerazioni metteranno in relazione le spiegazioni meccanicistiche con la comprensione dei nudge da parte dei cittadini. Dall'altra parte, metteremo in relazione le spiegazioni meccanicistiche con il concetto di trasparenza esplicita, ossia la richiesta avanzata da alcuni eticisti al fine di considerare i nudge eticamente accettabili nelle moderne democrazie liberali.Parole chiave: Nudge; Etica dei nudge; Spiegazioni meccanicistiche; Trasparenza implicita; Trasparenza esplicit

    Evolutionary Dynamics and Accurate Perception. Critical Realism as an Empirically Testable Hypothesis

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    none5sìAbstract: Mathematical models can be profitably used to establish whether our perception of the external world is accurate. Donald Hoffman and his collaborators have developed a promising mathematical framework within which this question can be addressed and which is based on an exhaustive taxonomy of the different possible relations between perceptual representations and the external world. After reformulating their framework by means of an improved formal system, we discuss their application of evolutionary game theory, which appears to show that an essentially anti-realistic perceptual strategy would in the long run biologically outcompete its rivals. We argue that their model does not take the crucial biological significance of environmental changes into due consideration and propose alternative models which do. We conclude that a partially realistic representation would be favoured in our models.openVincenzo Fano; Adriano Angelucci; Gabriele Ferretti; Roberto Macrelli; Gino TarozziFano, Vincenzo; Angelucci, Adriano; Ferretti, Gabriele; Macrelli, Roberto; Tarozzi, Gin


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    In the logical context, ignorance is traditionally defined recurring to epistemic logic S4S_4 \cite{Hintikka1962}. In particular, an agent ignores a formula φ\varphi when s/he does not know neither φ\varphi nor its negation ¬φ\neg\varphi: \neg\K\varphi\land\neg\K\neg\varphi (where \K is the epistemic operator for knowledge). In other words, ignorance is essentially interpreted as ``lack of knowledge''. \textcolor{red}{This received view has - as we point out - some problems, in particular we will highlight how it does not allow to express a type of content-theoretic ignorance, i.e. an ignorance of φ\varphi that stems from an unfamiliarity with its meaning.} Contrarily to this trend, in this paper, we introduce and investigate a modal logic having a primitive epistemic operator \I, modeling ignorance. Our modal logic is essentially constructed on the modal logics based on weak Kleene three-valued logic introduced by Krister Segerberg \cite{Segerberg67}. Such non-classical propositional basis allows to define a Kripke-style semantics with the following, very intuitive, interpretation: a formula φ\varphi is ignored by an agent if φ\varphi is neither true nor false in every world accessible to the agent. As a consequence of this choice, we obtain \textcolor{red}{a type of content-theoretic} notion of ignorance, which is essentially different from the traditional approach based on S4S_4. \textcolor{red}{We dub it \emph{severe ignorance}.} We axiomatize, prove completeness and decidability for the logic of reflexive (three-valued) Kripke frames, which we find the most suitable candidate for our novel proposal and, finally, compare our approach with the most traditional one
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