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).

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Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Marcin J. Schroeder
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Guest Editor
Global Learning Center, IEHE (Institute for Excellence in Higher Education), Tohoku University, 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
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Guest Editor
1. Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, 412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden
2. School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Mälardalen University, 721 23 Västerås, 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

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Published Papers (11 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies—Part 2
Philosophies 2020, 5(3), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5030022 - 14 Sep 2020
Viewed by 492
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)

Research

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Open AccessArticle
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 773
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)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Contemporary Idola Mentis
Philosophies 2020, 5(3), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5030019 - 01 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 613
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)
Open AccessArticle
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 1 | Viewed by 691
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)
Open AccessArticle
What Is Physical Information?
Philosophies 2020, 5(2), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5020010 - 24 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 925
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
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1315
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
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1129
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
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1101
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
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1457
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
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1164
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)

Other

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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
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1515
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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