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Philosophies, Volume 5, Issue 3 (September 2020) – 13 articles

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Article
Curatorial Ethics and Indeterminacy of Practice
Philosophies 2020, 5(3), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5030023 - 18 Sep 2020
Viewed by 1191
Abstract
This article defines “curatorial ethics” as a notion that has to be configured and constantly revisited by an independent curator throughout her practice. By inquiring into the personal motives, biases and drives, she would establish her own ethical position, convert it into a [...] Read more.
This article defines “curatorial ethics” as a notion that has to be configured and constantly revisited by an independent curator throughout her practice. By inquiring into the personal motives, biases and drives, she would establish her own ethical position, convert it into a professional ethic and apply it to judge her own professional performance and her colleagues. Such perspective opposes the traditional understanding a professional ethic as a set of unitary guidelines to be passed to specialists (i.e., via education or early career). The notion of curatorial responsibility is redefined accordingly, and with conceptual inspiration from Gilles Deleuze and Karen Barad’s concepts of “becoming” (Deleuze) and “intra-action” (Barad). A curator is addressed as accountable for configuring her practice in response to agendas and actions of other parties involved in the art project. That is, for facilitating the co-constitution of individual subject positions and practices via opening up herself to the terrors and potentials of unprecedented self-transformation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Curating Ethics)
Editorial
Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies—Part 2
Philosophies 2020, 5(3), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5030022 - 14 Sep 2020
Viewed by 1001
Abstract
This is a short presentation by the Guest Editors of the series of Special Issues of the journal Philosophies under the common title “Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies” in which we present Part 2. The series will continue, and the call for contributions [...] Read more.
This is a short presentation by the Guest Editors of the series of Special Issues of the journal Philosophies under the common title “Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies” in which we present Part 2. The series will continue, and the call for contributions to the next Special Issue will appear shortly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies - Part 2)
Article
A Cognitive Perspective on Knowledge How: Why Intellectualism Is Neuro-Psychologically Implausible
Philosophies 2020, 5(3), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5030021 - 05 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1186
Abstract
We defend two theses: (1) Knowledge how and knowledge that are two distinct forms of knowledge, and; (2) Stanley-style intellectualism is neuro-psychologically implausible. Our naturalistic argument for the distinction between knowledge how and knowledge that is based on a consideration of the nature [...] Read more.
We defend two theses: (1) Knowledge how and knowledge that are two distinct forms of knowledge, and; (2) Stanley-style intellectualism is neuro-psychologically implausible. Our naturalistic argument for the distinction between knowledge how and knowledge that is based on a consideration of the nature of slips and basic activities. We further argue that Stanley’s brand of intellectualism has certain ontological consequences that go against modern cognitive neuroscience and psychology. We tie up our line of thought by showing that input from cognitive neuroscience and psychology, on multiple levels of analysis, cohere in supporting the distinction between two separate forms of knowledge. The upshot is a neuro-psychologically plausible understanding of knowledge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies - Part 2)
Article
The Ethics of Genetic Cognitive Enhancement: Gene Editing or Embryo Selection?
Philosophies 2020, 5(3), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5030020 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3247
Abstract
Recent research with human embryos, in different parts of the world, has sparked a new debate on the ethics of genetic human enhancement. This debate, however, has mainly focused on gene-editing technologies, especially CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats). Less attention has [...] Read more.
Recent research with human embryos, in different parts of the world, has sparked a new debate on the ethics of genetic human enhancement. This debate, however, has mainly focused on gene-editing technologies, especially CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats). Less attention has been given to the prospect of pursuing genetic human enhancement by means of IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation) in conjunction with in vitro gametogenesis, genome-wide association studies, and embryo selection. This article examines the different ethical implications of the quest for cognitive enhancement by means of gene-editing on the one hand, and embryo selection on the other. The article focuses on the ethics of cognitive enhancement by means of embryo selection, as this technology is more likely to become commercially available before cognitive enhancement by means of gene-editing. This article argues that the philosophical debate on the ethics of enhancement should take into consideration public attitudes to research on human genomics and human enhancement technologies. The article discusses, then, some of the recent findings of the SIENNA Project, which in 2019 conducted a survey on public attitudes to human genomics and human enhancement technologies in 11 countries (France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Brazil, South Africa, South Korea, and United States). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Enhancement Technologies and Our Merger with Machines)
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Article
Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Contemporary Idola Mentis
Philosophies 2020, 5(3), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5030019 - 01 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1155
Abstract
Contemporary Natural Philosophy is understood here as a project of the pursuit of the integrated description of reality distinguished by the precisely formulated criteria of objectivity, and by the assumption that the statements of this description can be assessed only as true or [...] Read more.
Contemporary Natural Philosophy is understood here as a project of the pursuit of the integrated description of reality distinguished by the precisely formulated criteria of objectivity, and by the assumption that the statements of this description can be assessed only as true or false according to clearly specified verification procedures established with the exclusive goal of the discrimination between these two logical values, but not with respect to any other norms or values established by the preferences of human collectives or by the individual choices. This distinction assumes only logical consistency, but not completeness. Completeness (i.e., the feasibility to assign true or false value to all possible statements) is desirable, but may be impossible. This paper is not intended as a comprehensive program for the development of the Contemporary Natural Philosophy but rather as a preparation for such program advocating some necessary revisions and extensions of the methodology currently considered as the scientific method. This is the actual focus of the paper and the reason for the reference to Baconian idola mentis. Francis Bacon wrote in Novum Organum about the fallacies obstructing progress of science. The present paper is an attempt to remove obstacles for the Contemporary Natural Philosophy project to which we have assigned the names of the Idols of the Number, the Idols of the Common Sense, and the Idols of the Elephant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies - Part 2)
Article
The Philosophy of Freedom and the History of Art: An Interdisciplinary View
Philosophies 2020, 5(3), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5030018 - 01 Sep 2020
Viewed by 1319
Abstract
This article investigates the relationship between the philosophy of freedom and the history of art. It maintains that contemplating the two fields together is productive and necessary in understanding some of the compelling interdisciplinary aspects at work in both arenas. Isaiah Berlin’s seminal [...] Read more.
This article investigates the relationship between the philosophy of freedom and the history of art. It maintains that contemplating the two fields together is productive and necessary in understanding some of the compelling interdisciplinary aspects at work in both arenas. Isaiah Berlin’s seminal Two Concepts of Liberty (1958) acts as a touchstone, as the essay establishes the historical and political grounds for uniting the two fields, with other thinkers contributing to the analysis. The ideas discussed correlate the history of art as a narrative of creativity and freedom with art’s political function as it pertains to the positive–negative liberty perspective. These two forces offer a fecund way of thinking about freedom and the arts co-terminally. This essay argues that the creative motivations embedded in the history of art are intimately linked to political motivations, which it is claimed tie the two subjects together both historically and philosophically. Full article
Article
Natural Morphological Computation as Foundation of Learning to Learn in Humans, Other Living Organisms, and Intelligent Machines
Philosophies 2020, 5(3), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5030017 - 01 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1151
Abstract
The emerging contemporary natural philosophy provides a common ground for the integrative view of the natural, the artificial, and the human-social knowledge and practices. Learning process is central for acquiring, maintaining, and managing knowledge, both theoretical and practical. This paper explores the relationships [...] Read more.
The emerging contemporary natural philosophy provides a common ground for the integrative view of the natural, the artificial, and the human-social knowledge and practices. Learning process is central for acquiring, maintaining, and managing knowledge, both theoretical and practical. This paper explores the relationships between the present advances in understanding of learning in the sciences of the artificial (deep learning, robotics), natural sciences (neuroscience, cognitive science, biology), and philosophy (philosophy of computing, philosophy of mind, natural philosophy). The question is, what at this stage of the development the inspiration from nature, specifically its computational models such as info-computation through morphological computing, can contribute to machine learning and artificial intelligence, and how much on the other hand models and experiments in machine learning and robotics can motivate, justify, and inform research in computational cognitive science, neurosciences, and computing nature. We propose that one contribution can be understanding of the mechanisms of ‘learning to learn’, as a step towards deep learning with symbolic layer of computation/information processing in a framework linking connectionism with symbolism. As all natural systems possessing intelligence are cognitive systems, we describe the evolutionary arguments for the necessity of learning to learn for a system to reach human-level intelligence through evolution and development. The paper thus presents a contribution to the epistemology of the contemporary philosophy of nature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies - Part 2)
Article
The Limits of Classical Extensional Mereology for the Formalization of Whole–Parts Relations in Quantum Chemical Systems
Philosophies 2020, 5(3), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5030016 - 13 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1183
Abstract
This paper examines whether classical extensional mereology is adequate for formalizing the whole–parts relation in quantum chemical systems. Although other philosophers have argued that classical extensional and summative mereology does not adequately formalize whole–parts relation within organic wholes and social wholes, such critiques [...] Read more.
This paper examines whether classical extensional mereology is adequate for formalizing the whole–parts relation in quantum chemical systems. Although other philosophers have argued that classical extensional and summative mereology does not adequately formalize whole–parts relation within organic wholes and social wholes, such critiques often assume that summative mereology is appropriate for formalizing the whole–parts relation in inorganic wholes such as atoms and molecules. However, my discussion of atoms and molecules as they are conceptualized in quantum chemistry will establish that standard mereology cannot adequately fulfill this task, since the properties and behavior of such wholes are context-dependent and cannot simply be reduced to the summative properties of their parts. To the extent that philosophers of chemistry have called for the development of an alternative mereology for quantum chemical systems, this paper ends by proposing behavioral mereology as a promising step in that direction. According to behavioral mereology, considerations of what constitutes a part of a whole is dependent upon the observable behavior displayed by these entities. Thus, relationality and context-dependence are stipulated from the outset and this makes behavioral mereology particularly well-suited as a mereology of quantum chemical wholes. The question of which mereology is appropriate for formalizing the whole–parts relation in quantum chemical systems is relevant to contemporary philosophy of chemistry, since this issue is related to the more general questions of the reducibility of chemical wholes to their parts and of the reducibility of chemistry to physics, which have been of central importance within the philosophy of chemistry for several decades. More generally, this paper puts contemporary discussions of mereology within the philosophy of chemistry into a broader historical and philosophical context. In doing so, this paper also bridges the gap between formal mereology, conceived as a branch of formal ontology, and “applied” mereology, conceived as a branch of philosophy of science. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Logic and Science)
Article
Sleeping Beauty on Monty Hall
Philosophies 2020, 5(3), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5030015 - 13 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1068
Abstract
Inspired by the Monty Hall Problem and a popular simple solution to it, we present a number of game-show puzzles that are analogous to the notorious Sleeping Beauty Problem (and variations on it), but much easier to solve. We replace the awakenings of [...] Read more.
Inspired by the Monty Hall Problem and a popular simple solution to it, we present a number of game-show puzzles that are analogous to the notorious Sleeping Beauty Problem (and variations on it), but much easier to solve. We replace the awakenings of Sleeping Beauty by contestants on a game show, like Monty Hall’s, and increase the number of awakenings/contestants in the same way that the number of doors in the Monty Hall Problem is increased to make it easier to see what the solution to the problem is. We show that these game-show proxies for the Sleeping Beauty Problem and variations on it can be solved through simple applications of Bayes’s theorem. This means that we will phrase our analysis in terms of credences or degrees of belief. We will also rephrase our analysis, however, in terms of relative frequencies. Overall, our paper is intended to showcase, in a simple yet non-trivial example, the efficacy of a tried-and-true strategy for addressing problems in philosophy of science, i.e., develop a simple model for the problem and vary its parameters. Given that the Sleeping Beauty Problem, much more so than the Monty Hall Problem, challenges the intuitions about probabilities of many when they first encounter it, the application of this strategy to this conundrum, we believe, is pedagogically useful. Full article
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Article
Superhuman Enhancements via Implants: Beyond the Human Mind
Philosophies 2020, 5(3), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5030014 - 10 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1885
Abstract
In this article, a practical look is taken at some of the possible enhancements for humans through the use of implants, particularly into the brain or nervous system. Some cognitive enhancements may not turn out to be practically useful, whereas others may turn [...] Read more.
In this article, a practical look is taken at some of the possible enhancements for humans through the use of implants, particularly into the brain or nervous system. Some cognitive enhancements may not turn out to be practically useful, whereas others may turn out to be mere steps on the way to the construction of superhumans. The emphasis here is the focus on enhancements that take such recipients beyond the human norm rather than any implantations employed merely for therapy. This is divided into what we know has already been tried and tested and what remains at this time as more speculative. Five examples from the author’s own experimentation are described. Each case is looked at in detail, from the inside, to give a unique personal experience. The premise is that humans are essentially their brains and that bodies serve as interfaces between brains and the environment. The possibility of building an Interplanetary Creature, having an intelligence and possibly a consciousness of its own, is also considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Enhancement Technologies and Our Merger with Machines)
Article
Can a Soldier Say No to an Enhancing Intervention?
Philosophies 2020, 5(3), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5030013 - 03 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2099
Abstract
Technological advancements have provided militaries with the possibility to enhance human performance and to provide soldiers with better warfighting capabilities. Though these technologies hold significant potential, their use is not without cost to the individual. This paper explores the complexities associated with using [...] Read more.
Technological advancements have provided militaries with the possibility to enhance human performance and to provide soldiers with better warfighting capabilities. Though these technologies hold significant potential, their use is not without cost to the individual. This paper explores the complexities associated with using human cognitive enhancements in the military, focusing on how the purpose and context of these technologies could potentially undermine a soldier’s ability to say no to these interventions. We focus on cognitive enhancements and their ability to also enhance a soldier’s autonomy (i.e., autonomy-enhancing technologies). Through this lens, we explore situations that could potentially compel a soldier to accept such technologies and how this acceptance could impact rights to individual autonomy and informed consent within the military. In this examination, we highlight the contextual elements of vulnerability—institutional and differential vulnerability. In addition, we focus on scenarios in which a soldier’s right to say no to such enhancements can be diminished given the special nature of their work and the significance of making better moral decisions. We propose that though in some situations, a soldier may be compelled to accept said enhancements; with their right to say no diminished, it is not a blanket rule, and safeguards ought to be in place to ensure that autonomy and informed consent are not overridden. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Enhancement Technologies and Our Merger with Machines)
Article
Autonomy and the Ownership of Our Own Destiny: Tracking the External World and Human Behavior, and the Paradox of Autonomy
Philosophies 2020, 5(3), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5030012 - 20 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1471
Abstract
Research on autonomy exhibits a constellation of variegated perspectives, from the problem of the crude deprivation of it to the study of the distinction between personal and moral autonomy, and from the problem of the role of a “self as narrator”, who classifies [...] Read more.
Research on autonomy exhibits a constellation of variegated perspectives, from the problem of the crude deprivation of it to the study of the distinction between personal and moral autonomy, and from the problem of the role of a “self as narrator”, who classifies its own actions as autonomous or not, to the importance of the political side and, finally, to the need of defending and enhancing human autonomy. My precise concern in this article will be the examination of the role of the human cognitive processes that give rise to the most important ways of tracking the external world and human behavior in their relationship to some central aspects of human autonomy, also to the aim of clarifying the link between autonomy and the ownership of our own destinies. I will also focus on the preservation of human autonomy as an important component of human dignity, seeing it as strictly associated with knowledge and, even more significantly, with the constant production of new and pertinent knowledge of various kinds. I will also describe the important paradox of autonomy, which resorts to the fact that, on one side, cognitions (from science to morality, from common knowledge to philosophy, etc.) are necessary to be able to perform autonomous actions and decisions because we need believe in rules that justify and identify our choices, but, on the other side, these same rules can become (for example, as a result of contrasting with other internalized and approved moral rules or knowledge contents) oppressive norms that diminish autonomy and can thus, paradoxically, defeat agents’ autonomous capacity “to take ownership”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Testimony and Autonomy in Social Epistemology)
Article
Marketing the Prosthesis: Supercrip and Superhuman Narratives in Contemporary Cultural Representations
Philosophies 2020, 5(3), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5030011 - 10 Jul 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2207
Abstract
This paper examines prosthetic technology in the context of posthumanism and disability studies. The following research discusses the posthuman subject in contemporary times, focusing on prosthetic applications to deliberate how the disabled body is empowered through prosthetic enhancement and cultural representations. The disability [...] Read more.
This paper examines prosthetic technology in the context of posthumanism and disability studies. The following research discusses the posthuman subject in contemporary times, focusing on prosthetic applications to deliberate how the disabled body is empowered through prosthetic enhancement and cultural representations. The disability market both intersects and transcends race, religion, and gender; the promise of technology bettering the human condition is its ultimate product. Bionic technology, in particular, is a burgeoning field; our engineering skills already show promise of a future where physical impediment will be almost obsolete. I aim to cross-examine empowering marketing images and phrases embedded in cinema and media that emphasize how disability becomes super-ability with prosthetic enhancement. Though the benefits of biotechnology are most empowering to the disabled population, further scrutiny raises a number of paradoxical questions exposed by the market’s advance. With all these tools at our disposal, why is it that the disabled have yet to reap the rewards? How are disabled bodies, biotechnology, and posthuman possibilities commodified and commercialized? Most importantly, what impact will this have on our society? This paper exemplifies empowering and inclusive messages emphasized in disabled representation, as well as raising bioethical concerns that fuel the ongoing debate of the technological haves and have-nots. Furthermore, this paper challenges the ideals of normative bodies while depicting the disabled as an open, embodied site where technology, corporeality, and sociology interact. To conclude, I believe that an interdisciplinary approach that balances the debate between scientific advance, capital gain, and social equality is essential to embracing diverse forms of embodiment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Enhancement Technologies and Our Merger with Machines)
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