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Philosophies, Volume 5, Issue 2 (June 2020) – 5 articles

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Article
What Is Physical Information?
Philosophies 2020, 5(2), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5020010 - 24 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1031
Abstract
This paper presents the concept of physical information, and it discusses what physical information is, and how it can be defined. The existence of physical information has been discussed in several studies which recognize that properties of information are characteristic of physical phenomena. [...] Read more.
This paper presents the concept of physical information, and it discusses what physical information is, and how it can be defined. The existence of physical information has been discussed in several studies which recognize that properties of information are characteristic of physical phenomena. That is, information has an objective existence, a lack of meaning, and can be quantified. In addition, these studies recognize how a phenomenon that is denoted as physical information can be expressed as an organization of natural or artificial entities. This paper argues that concepts of (abstract) information that are associated with meaning also depend (to a substantial degree) on physical information. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies - Part 2)
Article
Digitocracy: Ruling and Being Ruled
Philosophies 2020, 5(2), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5020009 - 12 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2111
Abstract
Digitalisation is attracting much scholarly attention at present. However, scholars often take its benefits for granted, overlooking the essential question: “Does digital technology make us better?” This paper aims to help fill this gap by examining digitalisation as a form of government (digitocracy) [...] Read more.
Digitalisation is attracting much scholarly attention at present. However, scholars often take its benefits for granted, overlooking the essential question: “Does digital technology make us better?” This paper aims to help fill this gap by examining digitalisation as a form of government (digitocracy) and the way it shapes a new kind of man: animal digitalis. I argue that the digitalised man is animal-like rather than machine-like. This man does not use efficient and cold machine-like language, but is rather emotionalised through digital technology. If those who are ruled acted like machines, data would not be produced on a mass scale, and machine learning would stop learning. Digital man has animal features and is ruled by his brain’s reward system. We need to abandon this new form of government and the resulting man. To overcome digitalisation, we need a humanism that recovers the proper place of man over animals and artefacts, but maintains respect for the value of nature. Full article
Article
i-Soc: An Info-Sociological Approach to Structural–Agent Causal Symmetry
Philosophies 2020, 5(2), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5020008 - 20 Apr 2020
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Abstract
In this article, I discuss the sociality of information flow by investigating a momentous yet often-neglected side of it—the reinforcing info-causal loops between habitus and structures. I treat habitus as a principled agent and explain how structure sustains itself (under the framework of [...] Read more.
In this article, I discuss the sociality of information flow by investigating a momentous yet often-neglected side of it—the reinforcing info-causal loops between habitus and structures. I treat habitus as a principled agent and explain how structure sustains itself (under the framework of Fiske and Pinker et al.) by upholding principles as goals or reducing them into subroutines (goal subjugation). At the structural level, four dominant categorical schemes—game theory, network analysis, systems functionalism, and field theory—are investigated for the characteristic information flow that they can capture. The result is an info-sociological approach that acknowledges causal symmetry between structure and agents. Full article
Article
Multiplicity of Research Programs in the Biological Systematics: A Case for Scientific Pluralism
Philosophies 2020, 5(2), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5020007 - 15 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 976
Abstract
Biological diversity (BD) explored by biological systematics is a complex yet organized natural phenomenon and can be partitioned into several aspects, defined naturally with reference to various causal factors structuring biota. These BD aspects are studied by particular research programs based on specific [...] Read more.
Biological diversity (BD) explored by biological systematics is a complex yet organized natural phenomenon and can be partitioned into several aspects, defined naturally with reference to various causal factors structuring biota. These BD aspects are studied by particular research programs based on specific taxonomic theories (TTs). They provide, in total, a framework for comprehending the structure of biological systematics and its multi-aspect relations to other fields of biology. General principles of individualizing BD aspects and construing TTs as quasi-axiomatics are briefly considered. It is stressed that each TT is characterized by a specific combination of interrelated ontological and epistemological premises most adequate to the BD aspect a TT deals with. The following contemporary research programs in systematics are recognized and characterized in brief: phenetic, rational (with several subprograms), numerical, typological (with several subprograms), biosystematic, biomorphic, phylogenetic (with several subprograms), and evo-devo. From a scientific pluralism perspective, all of these research programs, if related to naturally defined particular BD aspects, are of the same biological and scientific significance. They elaborate “locally” natural classifications that can be united by a generalized faceted classification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renegotiating Disciplinary Fields in the Life Sciences)
Article
Perfecting Bodies: Who Are the Disabled in Andrew Niccol’s Gattaca?
Philosophies 2020, 5(2), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5020006 - 01 Apr 2020
Viewed by 1139
Abstract
This paper will examine the impact of genetic technologies on the corporeal and economical aspects of human lives while emphasizing the ambiguity of disability under these subversive circumstances. In 2013, the world was introduced to CRISPR genetic editing technology, followed by the controversial [...] Read more.
This paper will examine the impact of genetic technologies on the corporeal and economical aspects of human lives while emphasizing the ambiguity of disability under these subversive circumstances. In 2013, the world was introduced to CRISPR genetic editing technology, followed by the controversial announcement in 2018 from Chinese scientist He Jiankui, who claims to have genetically engineered twins that were born HIV-immune. The possible social outcome of genetic treatment leading to the alteration of human embryos to create physically and intellectually superior offspring, as well as its impact on the social treatment of disabled bodies, is clearly illustrated in Andrew Niccol’s directive debut Gattaca. Here, I will discuss Niccol’s utilization of disabled characters in interrogating the employment of disabled characters as a narrative vehicle to reflect upon social paradigms. I examine both the subversion and expansion of the social construct of disability in Gattaca’s narrative, emphasizing the film’s portrayal of economic differences as a disabling factor in a world of augmentative technology. Full article
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