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Philosophies, Volume 4, Issue 3 (September 2019)

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Open AccessEssay
Conversational Systems in Machine Learning from the Point of View of the Philosophy of Science—Using Alime Chat and Related Studies
Philosophies 2019, 4(3), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies4030041 (registering DOI)
Received: 25 June 2019 / Revised: 15 July 2019 / Accepted: 18 July 2019 / Published: 23 July 2019
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Abstract
This essay discusses current research efforts in conversational systems from the philosophy of science point of view and evaluates some conversational systems research activities from the standpoint of naturalism philosophical theory. Conversational systems or chatbots have advanced over the decades and now have [...] Read more.
This essay discusses current research efforts in conversational systems from the philosophy of science point of view and evaluates some conversational systems research activities from the standpoint of naturalism philosophical theory. Conversational systems or chatbots have advanced over the decades and now have become mainstream applications. They are software that users can communicate with, using natural language. Particular attention is given to the Alime Chat conversational system, already in industrial use, and the related research. The competitive nature of systems in production is a result of different researchers and developers trying to produce new conversational systems that can outperform previous or state-of-the-art systems. Different factors affect the quality of the conversational systems produced, and how one system is assessed as being better than another is a function of objectivity and of the relevant experimental results. This essay examines the research practices from, among others, Longino’s view on objectivity and Popper’s stand on falsification. Furthermore, the need for qualitative and large datasets is emphasized. This is in addition to the importance of the peer-review process in scientific publishing, as a means of developing, validating, or rejecting theories, claims, or methodologies in the research community. In conclusion, open data and open scientific discussion fora should become more prominent over the mere publication-focused trend. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Matching a Trope Ontology to the Basic Formal Ontology
Philosophies 2019, 4(3), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies4030040
Received: 19 May 2019 / Revised: 15 July 2019 / Accepted: 15 July 2019 / Published: 18 July 2019
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Abstract
Applied ontology, at the foundational level, is as much philosophy as engineering and as such provides a different aspect of contemporary natural philosophy. A prominent foundational ontology in this field is the Basic Formal Ontology (BFO). It is important for lesser known ontologies, [...] Read more.
Applied ontology, at the foundational level, is as much philosophy as engineering and as such provides a different aspect of contemporary natural philosophy. A prominent foundational ontology in this field is the Basic Formal Ontology (BFO). It is important for lesser known ontologies, like the trope ontology of interest here, to match to BFO because BFO acts like the glue between many disparate ontologies. Moreover, such matchings provide philosophical insight into ontologies. As such, the core research question here is how we can match a trope ontology to BFO (which is based on universals) and what insights such a matching provides for foundational ontology. This article provides a logical matching, starting with BFO’s top entities (continuants and occurrences) and identifies key ontological issues that arise, such as whether universals and mereological sums are equivalent. This article concludes with general observations about the matching, including that matching to universals is generally straightforward, but not so much the matching between relations. In particular, the treatment of occurrences as causal chains is different in the trope ontology, compared to BFO’s use of time arguments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies - Part 2)
Open AccessArticle
Embodied AI beyond Embodied Cognition and Enactivism
Philosophies 2019, 4(3), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies4030039
Received: 18 April 2019 / Revised: 10 July 2019 / Accepted: 11 July 2019 / Published: 16 July 2019
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Abstract
Over the last three decades, the rise of embodied cognition (EC) articulated in various schools (or versions) of embodied, embedded, extended and enacted cognition (Gallagher’s 4E) has offered AI a way out of traditional computationalism—an approach (or an understanding) loosely referred to as [...] Read more.
Over the last three decades, the rise of embodied cognition (EC) articulated in various schools (or versions) of embodied, embedded, extended and enacted cognition (Gallagher’s 4E) has offered AI a way out of traditional computationalism—an approach (or an understanding) loosely referred to as embodied AI. This view has split into various branches ranging from a weak form on the brink of functionalism (loosely represented by Clarks’ parity principle) to a strong form (often corresponding to autopoietic-friendly enactivism) suggesting that body–world interactions constitute cognition. From an ontological perspective, however, constitution is a problematic notion with no obvious empirical or technical advantages. This paper discusses the ontological issues of these two approaches in regard to embodied AI and its ontological commitments: circularity, epiphenomenalism, mentalism, and disguised dualism. The paper also outlines an even more radical approach that may offer some ontological advantages. The new approach, called the mind-object identity, is then briefly compared with sensorimotor direct realism and with the embodied identity theory. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Artificial Pain May Induce Empathy, Morality, and Ethics in the Conscious Mind of Robots
Philosophies 2019, 4(3), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies4030038
Received: 6 June 2019 / Revised: 7 July 2019 / Accepted: 8 July 2019 / Published: 13 July 2019
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Abstract
In this paper, a working hypothesis is proposed that a nervous system for pain sensation is a key component for shaping the conscious minds of robots (artificial systems). In this article, this hypothesis is argued from several viewpoints towards its verification. A developmental [...] Read more.
In this paper, a working hypothesis is proposed that a nervous system for pain sensation is a key component for shaping the conscious minds of robots (artificial systems). In this article, this hypothesis is argued from several viewpoints towards its verification. A developmental process of empathy, morality, and ethics based on the mirror neuron system (MNS) that promotes the emergence of the concept of self (and others) scaffolds the emergence of artificial minds. Firstly, an outline of the ideological background on issues of the mind in a broad sense is shown, followed by the limitation of the current progress of artificial intelligence (AI), focusing on deep learning. Next, artificial pain is introduced, along with its architectures in the early stage of self-inflicted experiences of pain, and later, in the sharing stage of the pain between self and others. Then, cognitive developmental robotics (CDR) is revisited for two important concepts—physical embodiment and social interaction, both of which help to shape conscious minds. Following the working hypothesis, existing studies of CDR are briefly introduced and missing issues are indicated. Finally, the issue of how robots (artificial systems) could be moral agents is addressed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Philosophy in the Artworld: Some Recent Theories of Contemporary Art
Philosophies 2019, 4(3), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies4030037
Received: 17 June 2019 / Revised: 8 July 2019 / Accepted: 8 July 2019 / Published: 12 July 2019
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Abstract
“The contemporary” is a phrase in frequent use in artworld discourse as a placeholder term for broader, world-picturing concepts such as “the contemporary condition” or “contemporaneity”. Brief references to key texts by philosophers such as Giorgio Agamben, Jacques Rancière, and Peter Osborne often [...] Read more.
“The contemporary” is a phrase in frequent use in artworld discourse as a placeholder term for broader, world-picturing concepts such as “the contemporary condition” or “contemporaneity”. Brief references to key texts by philosophers such as Giorgio Agamben, Jacques Rancière, and Peter Osborne often tend to suffice as indicating the outer limits of theoretical discussion. In an attempt to add some depth to the discourse, this paper outlines my approach to these questions, then explores in some detail what these three theorists have had to say in recent years about contemporaneity in general and contemporary art in particular, and about the links between both. It also examines key essays by Jean-Luc Nancy, Néstor García Canclini, as well as the artist-theorist Jean-Phillipe Antoine, each of whom have contributed significantly to these debates. The analysis moves from Agamben’s poetic evocation of “contemporariness” as a Nietzschean experience of “untimeliness” in relation to one’s times, through Nancy’s emphasis on art’s constant recursion to its origins, Rancière’s attribution of dissensus to the current regime of art, Osborne’s insistence on contemporary art’s “post-conceptual” character, to Canclini’s preference for a “post-autonomous” art, which captures the world at the point of its coming into being. I conclude by echoing Antoine’s call for artists and others to think historically, to “knit together a specific variety of times”, a task that is especially pressing when presentist immanence strives to encompasses everything. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Philosophies of Time, Media and Contemporaneity)
Open AccessArticle
Testosterone: ‘the Best Discriminating Factor’
Philosophies 2019, 4(3), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies4030036
Received: 6 June 2019 / Revised: 5 July 2019 / Accepted: 8 July 2019 / Published: 11 July 2019
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Abstract
In 2011 the IAAF introduced the Hyperandrogenism Regulations in an attempt to deal with a difficult problem; that of ensuring ‘fair’ competition in female athletics as a result of athletes with differences in sexual development competing against women without such conditions. In 2015, [...] Read more.
In 2011 the IAAF introduced the Hyperandrogenism Regulations in an attempt to deal with a difficult problem; that of ensuring ‘fair’ competition in female athletics as a result of athletes with differences in sexual development competing against women without such conditions. In 2015, following a challenge to those regulations by Indian athlete, Dutee Chand, The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) considered the merit of the regulations and determined that there was insufficient scientific evidence to justify their imposition. The regulations were suspended by the CAS, until more convincing evidence could be provided (CAS 2014/A/3759 Chand v AFI and IAAF). The IAAF duly commissioned further research (Bermon and Garnier, 2017) and introduced amended regulations (the Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification (the DSD Regulations)). Although not universal, the IAAF has faced significant criticism from several angles about its approach to the problem. In particular, there has been criticism of the value of the scientific research on which the regulations are based (Franklin et al., 2018; Karkazis et al., 2012; Koh et al., 2018; Sőnksen et al., 2018; Tucker, 2017, Pielke, Tucker & Boye 2019) and also from those in the ethical and human rights fields seeking to ensure that the rights of individual athletes are protected (Adair, 2011; Buzuvis, 2016; Koh et al., 2018). In light of such criticism, this paper considers the IAAF’s approach in dealing with the perceived problem and considers its conduct against an objective framework of ‘good sporting governance’ (Geeraert, 2013; Henry and Lee 2004). It is this paper’s contention that the IAAF’s approach to rule creation in this area demonstrates less than ideal governance practice and, in doing so, notes the role of historical, cultural and institutional barriers as well as an over-reliance on insufficiently conclusive scientific evidence to provide a seemingly objective solution to a fundamentally more complex problem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Philosophical Issues in Sport Science)
Open AccessArticle
Unnatural Technology in a “Natural” Practice? Human Nature and Performance-Enhancing Technology in Sport
Philosophies 2019, 4(3), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies4030035
Received: 15 April 2019 / Revised: 13 June 2019 / Accepted: 20 June 2019 / Published: 26 June 2019
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Abstract
(1) Background: The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) utilizes three criteria to include a technology in the List of Banned Substances and Methods—performance enhancement, health, and the spirit of sport. The latter is arguably the most fundamental one, as WADA justifies the anti-doping mission [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) utilizes three criteria to include a technology in the List of Banned Substances and Methods—performance enhancement, health, and the spirit of sport. The latter is arguably the most fundamental one, as WADA justifies the anti-doping mission by appealing to it. (2) Method: Given the interrelationship among the notions of “human nature,” “natural talent,” and “sport,” I investigate what view of human nature underpins the “spirit of sport” criterion. To do so, I focus on both WADA’s official documents and scholarly formulations of the spirit of sport (that align with that of WADA). (3) Results: I show that the value attributed to excellence and effort in WADA’s formulation of the “spirit of sport” criterion has its roots in the notion of human nature of the work ethic that resulted from the secularization of the Protestant ethic. (4) Conclusion: Drawing on my analysis of the “spirit of sport” criterion, I pose critical questions concerning the justification of WADA’s anti-doping campaign and a tentative solution to move forward in the debate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Philosophical Issues in Sport Science)
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