Special Issue "Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies - Part 2"

A special issue of Philosophies (ISSN 2409-9287).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Marcin J. Schroeder
Website
Guest Editor
IEHE (Institute for Excellence in Higher Education), Global Learning Center, Tohoku University, 41 Kawauchi, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8576, Japan
Interests: philosophy of information and computation; philosophy and history of science and logic; foundations of physics and mathematics; mathematical formalization of scientific theories
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic

Guest Editor
1 Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, 412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden
2 School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Computer Science Laboratory, Mälardalen University, Sweden
Interests: computing paradigms; computational mechanisms of cognition; philosophy of science; epistemology of science; computing and philosophy; ethics of computing; information ethics; roboethics and engineering ethics; sustainability ethics
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue, “Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies—Part 2”, is the sequel of the Part 1 published last year that attracted huge interest of researchers from variety of research fields, ranging from mathematics to logic, biology and philosophy. Motivated by the sustained stream of high quality contributions, we decided to continue for another year to explore the Contemporary Natural Philosophy through the views of researchers investigating broader domains of knowledge based on “the idea of unity of nature and human as its integral part, from different perspectives of sciences, humanities and liberal arts from their cultural contexts, including technology”—as we put it in the introduction to the Part 1. More information is given on the web page of the Part 1 https://www.mdpi.com/journal/philosophies/special_issues/Philosophy_and_Philosophies and in the Editorial https://www.mdpi.com/journal/philosophies/special_issues/Philosophy_and_Philosophies#Editorial.

Prof. Dr. Marcin J. Schroeder
Prof. Dr. Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Philosophies is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

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Published Papers (7 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
What Is Physical Information?
Philosophies 2020, 5(2), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5020010 - 24 Jun 2020
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)
Open AccessArticle
A Naturalistic Perspective on Knowledge How: Grasping Truths in a Practical Way
Philosophies 2020, 5(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5010005 - 12 Mar 2020
Abstract
For quite some time, cognitive science has offered philosophy an opportunity to address central problems with an arsenal of relevant theories and empirical data. However, even among those naturalistically inclined, it has been hard to find a universally accepted way to do so. [...] Read more.
For quite some time, cognitive science has offered philosophy an opportunity to address central problems with an arsenal of relevant theories and empirical data. However, even among those naturalistically inclined, it has been hard to find a universally accepted way to do so. In this article, we offer a case study of how cognitive-science input can elucidate an epistemological issue that has caused extensive debate. We explore Jason Stanley’s idea of the practical grasp of a propositional truth and present naturalistic arguments against his reductive approach to knowledge. We argue that a plausible interpretation of cognitive-science input concerning knowledge—even if one accepts that knowledge how is partly propositional—must involve an element of knowing how to act correctly upon the proposition; and this element of knowing how to act correctly cannot itself be propositional. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies - Part 2)
Open AccessArticle
De Libero Arbitrio—A Thought-Experiment about the Freedom of Human Will
Philosophies 2020, 5(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5010003 - 16 Feb 2020
Abstract
The discussion of whether or not humans are able to act freely is ongoing, even though, and precisely because, technical methods for detecting the physical state of the brain are constantly improving. The brain as a physical–chemical object seems to be pre-determined by [...] Read more.
The discussion of whether or not humans are able to act freely is ongoing, even though, and precisely because, technical methods for detecting the physical state of the brain are constantly improving. The brain as a physical–chemical object seems to be pre-determined by its physical and chemical states, while at the same time human consciousness gives the impression of being able to decide subjectively and freely on its own. Determinists claim that this free decision is just a form of misinterpretation of an epiphenomenon and that the alleged “free decision” has actually been determined by the physical state of the brain before the human subject gives the impression of being able to decide freely. The basis for this is a set of experiments, the first of which was specified by Benjamin Libet. Determinism, as the philosophical position that all events are entirely determined by previously existing causes, in principle enables the existence of a perfect predictor. In this paper, a thought-experiment is introduced which demonstrates that a subjective consciousness can break any forecast about its physical state, independently of the method of its detection, and, consequentially, to refute claims about its purely deterministic role. The thought-experiment picks up on an idea of the philosopher Alvin I. Goldman. Logically, the proof follows the path of a ‘reductio ad absurdum’. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies - Part 2)
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Open AccessArticle
Matching a Trope Ontology to the Basic Formal Ontology
Philosophies 2019, 4(3), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies4030040 - 18 Jul 2019
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
Philosophy in Reality: Scientific Discovery and Logical Recovery
Philosophies 2019, 4(2), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies4020022 - 14 May 2019
Abstract
Three disciplines address the codified forms and rules of human thought and reasoning: logic, available since antiquity; dialectics as a process of logical reasoning; and semiotics which focuses on the epistemological properties of the extant domain. However, both the paradigmatic-historical model of knowledge [...] Read more.
Three disciplines address the codified forms and rules of human thought and reasoning: logic, available since antiquity; dialectics as a process of logical reasoning; and semiotics which focuses on the epistemological properties of the extant domain. However, both the paradigmatic-historical model of knowledge and the logical-semiotic model of thought tend to incorrectly emphasize the separation and differences between the respective domains vs. their overlap and interactions. We propose a sublation of linguistic logics of objects and static forms by a dynamic logic of real physical-mental processes designated as the Logic in Reality (LIR). In our generalized logical theory, dialectics and semiotics are recovered from reductionist interpretations and reunited in a new synthetic paradigm centered on meaning and its communication. Our theory constitutes a meta-thesis composed of elements from science, logic and philosophy. We apply the theory to gain new insights into the structure and role of semiosis, information and communication and propose the concept of ‘ontolon’ to define the element of reasoning as a real dynamic process. It is part of a project within natural philosophy, which will address broader aspects of the dynamics of the growth of civilizations and their potential implications for the information society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies - Part 2)
Open AccessArticle
Spurious, Emergent Laws in Number Worlds
Philosophies 2019, 4(2), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies4020017 - 16 Apr 2019
Abstract
We study some aspects of the emergence of lógos from xáos on a basal model of the universe using methods and techniques from algorithmic information and Ramsey theories. Thereby an intrinsic and unusual mixture of meaningful and spurious, emerging laws surfaces. The spurious, [...] Read more.
We study some aspects of the emergence of lógos from xáos on a basal model of the universe using methods and techniques from algorithmic information and Ramsey theories. Thereby an intrinsic and unusual mixture of meaningful and spurious, emerging laws surfaces. The spurious, emergent laws abound, they can be found almost everywhere. In accord with the ancient Greek theogony one could say that lógos, the Gods and the laws of the universe, originate from “the void,” or from xáos, a picture which supports the unresolvable/irreducible lawless hypothesis. The analysis presented in this paper suggests that the “laws” discovered in science correspond merely to syntactical correlations, are local and not universal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies - Part 2)

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Open AccessPerspective
Breakthrough Knowledge Synthesis in the Age of Google
Philosophies 2020, 5(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5010004 - 04 Mar 2020
Abstract
Epistemology is the main branch of philosophy that studies the nature of knowledge, but how is new knowledge created? In this perspective article, I introduce a novel method of knowledge discovery that synthesizes online findings from current and prior research. This web-based knowledge [...] Read more.
Epistemology is the main branch of philosophy that studies the nature of knowledge, but how is new knowledge created? In this perspective article, I introduce a novel method of knowledge discovery that synthesizes online findings from current and prior research. This web-based knowledge synthesis method is especially relevant in today’s information technology environment, where the research community has easy access to online interactive tools and an expansive selection of digitized peer-reviewed literature. Based on a grounded theory methodology, the innovative synthesis method presented here can be used to organize, analyze and combine concepts from an intermixed selection of quantitative and qualitative research, inferring an emerging theory or thesis of new knowledge. Novel relationships are formed when synthesizing causal theories—accordingly, this article reviews basic logical principles of associative relationships, mediators and causal pathways inferred in knowledge synthesis. I also provide specific examples from my own knowledge syntheses in the field of epidemiology. The application of this web-based knowledge synthesis method, and its unique potential to discover breakthrough knowledge, will be of interest to researchers in other areas, such as education, health, humanities, and the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies - Part 2)
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