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Postdoc Position: "Socially Disruptive Technologies and Conceptual Change"

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TU Eindhoven
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This Postdoc position will be part of the Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies research program, a new 10 year long international program (2020-29) of seven academic institutions in the Netherlands. This programme has a combined budget of € 27 million, and is funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) in the Gravitation funding scheme for excellent research, and by matching funds from the participating institutions.

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News source: Jobs In Philosophy

Wittgenstein and the Limits of Language

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2020.06.07 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Hanne Appelqvist (ed.), Wittgenstein and the Limits of Language, Routledge, 2020, 298pp., $140.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780815385011. Reviewed by Duncan Richter, Virginia Military Institute This is a collection of essays, most but not all exegetical, about the idea of limits of language in Wittgenstein's work, early and late. The papers are high in quality and varied in subject matter. I will say something about each of them, but start with some more general remarks about the book's topic. In the foreword to the Tractatus, Wittgenstein says that a limit to thought cannot be drawn, because that would involve thinking both sides of the limit, including the unthinkable. Instead, therefore, he proposes to draw a limit to the expression of thoughts. We might well wonder exactly what this means, and whether it can be done without a parallel problem involving expressing the inexpressible. In his 1929... Read More

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Epidemiological Models: A Simple Explanation of How they Work

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There is a certain logic in the way the universe works and so it is not surprising that the same models can describe phenomena that seem to be completely different. Here, I'll show you how the same equations describe chain reactions that govern such different phenomena as the spread of an epidemic, the cycle of extraction of crude oil, and even the nuclear reaction that creates atomic explosions. All these phenomena depend on the efficiency of energy transfer, the parameter that's known in energy studies as EROI (energy return on energy invested), related to the "transmission factor" (R) of epidemiological models. Above, a classic clip from Walt Disney's 1957 movie, "Our friend, the atom."  You may be surprised to discover that epidemiological models share the same basic core of peak oil models. And it is not just about peak oil, the same models are used to describe chemical reactions, resource depletion, the fishing industry, the diffusion of memes on the Web, and even the nuclear chain reaction that leads to nuclear explosions. It is always the same idea: reinforcing feedbacks lead the system to grow in a frenzy of exploitation of an available resource: oil, fish, atomic nuclei, or people to be infected. In the end, it is perhaps the most typical way the universe uses dissipate potentials. As always, entropy rules everything! Modeling these phenomena has a story that starts with the model developed in the 1920s by Vito Volterra and Alfred Lotka. They go under the name of "Lotka-Volterra" models or, sometimes, "Prey-Predator" models. This heritage is not normally recognized by people in the field of epidemiology, but the model is the same: the virus is a predator and we are the prey. The only difference is that an epidemic cycle is so short, typically a few months, that the prey, people, don't reproduce during the cycle. Then, if you think that oil companies are predators and oil fields are the prey, then we have again the same model. Finally, you can see the. . .

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News source: Cassandra's Legacy

You are What you Read: How to Manage your Personal Echo Chamber

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Mr. Trump has often being accused of "lying" in his many speeches and tweets. For sure, much of what he says can be said to be "contrary to fact." But is the president really lying or is he simply stating what he thinks truth is? One man's lies are another man's truth. And the problem is that people tend to see the world according to the different echo chamber in which they live. Everyone seeks for facts that support their opinions. We badly need to take control of the information flow that we receive and I think we can do that. Let me show you how I try to do it by disclosing my personal information bubble.Not long ago, I stumbled in a comment on "Quora" for the question, "Why do some people deny climate change? Here is a shortened version:CO2 levels of 400 ppm being dangerously high are not accepted by scientists I find credible. There is no significant sea rise. The temperature has not changed by even 1 degree C. over the past century. Climate Change has not increased hurricanes or their intensity. I may rethink this if there is an undoubtedly measurable change in the level of the seas, or a decade long temperature rise.Now, if you are an average reader of "Cassandra's Legacy" you'll agree with me every statement in this paragraph is wrong in the sense of being "contrary to fact." But I am sure that the writer of this paragraph is a good person. He signed with his full name and I could see his profile. He defines himself as a "retired nurse professional" and I think that if he were a neighbor of mine we could be good friends (as long as we would avoid discussing climate science!). He truly believes in what he says and he thinks his vision of the world is the right one. What's wrong here? How can it be that "Truth" is so different depending on the viewpoint? The problem is that we all live in an "information bubbles" or "echo chambers" where views are shared with other members of the same bubble/chamber. And if everyone thinks that something is true, then it is. . .

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News source: Cassandra's Legacy

John Dewey’s aesthetic philosophy

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John Dewey was an American philosopher, psychologist, and social reformer who developed theories that changed philosophical perspectives and contributed extensively to education, democracy, pragmatism, and the philosophy of logic, politics, and aesthetics in the first half of the twentieth-century.Born in Burlington, Vermont, in 1859, Dewey graduated from the University of Vermont in 1879. Following his graduation Dewey taught for a few years until he concluded that teaching at primary and secondary schools did not suit him. He enrolled at Johns Hopkins University to study for his PhD. After teaching at the University of Michigan and then at the University of Chicago, Dewey finally settled at Columbia University.Dewey contributed substantially to various philosophical and interdisciplinary fields throughout his life, including aesthetics. He was, along with historians Charles A. Beard and James Harvey Robinson, and economist Thorstein Veblen, one of the founders of The New School, a private research university in New York City founded in 1919. In 1899 he was elected president of the American Psychological Association.The principle of aesthetic philosophy is linked with theories of beauty, and the philosophy of art. Dewey’s most well-known work on aesthetics is his book, Art as Experience (1934). This was originally a speech he delivered at the first William James Lecture at Harvard University in 1932. Art and aesthetics, Dewey suggested, are intertwined inextricably with the culture and surroundings in which they stand. Therefore, to understand art and its aesthetic value, it is necessary to look at it within life and the outside experiences in which the art exists. As aesthetic experience bears organic origins, Dewey argued in Art and Experience that aesthetic experience can be recognised in everyday experiences, events, and surroundings.Dewey’s theory on aesthetics has been a point of reference across various disciplines, which include psychology, pragmatics,. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

William Ramsey will livestream “Defending Representational Realism” Friday June 12

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We are excited about the next Neural Mechanisms webinar this Friday. As always, it is free. You can find information about how and when to join the webinar below or at the Neural Mechanisms website—where you can also join sign up for the mailing list that notifies people about upcoming webinars, webconferences, and more! You can also see prior Neural Mechanisms sessions on the Neural Mechanisms YouTube channel a few months after each session. Defending Representational Realism William Ramsey (University of Nevada) 12 June 202014-16 Greenwhich Mean Time(Convert to your local time here) Abstract. The representations that are invoked by theorists and researchers in cognitive science allow for a variety of different ontological interpretations. Along with both straightforward realist and eliminativist positions, there are various forms of deflationism. Deflationist accounts deny that the explanatory value or even accuracy of representational theories depends upon the existence of objectively real structures or states that play a representational role in the brain. Alternatively, many deny the existence of any sort of representational content that is objectively real and independent of our explanatory goals or interpretative activities. In this chapter, I am going to argue that this sort of representational deflationism doesn’t really work. After spelling out what a robust sort of realism does or does not entail, I’ll offer some general reasons for thinking realism is preferable to deflationism. Then I will look at three versions of deflationism and argue that all three either fail to capture our scientific practice, or collapse into a more straightforward sort of realism or eliminativism. Join the session (up to 10 minutes early) | Read the paper Related: How to connect to Neural Mechanism Webinars

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News source: Philosophy of Mind – The Brains Blog

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