Special Issue "Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies - Part 3"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 May 2022) | Viewed by 10829

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic
E-Mail Website1 Website2
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, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Marcin J. Schroeder
E-Mail Website
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, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue, “Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies—Part 3”, is the third in a series. The previous two parts resulted in 34 contributions by 41 authors, attracting the interest of researchers from various different research fields, ranging from logic, mathematics, physics, and biology to cognitive sciences and philosophy. Based on that response and success of the previous two Special Issues, which also resulted in two open access books, we have decided to continue exploring Contemporary Natural Philosophy with the help of researchers investigating the variety of 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 in their cultural contexts, including technology”—as we put it in the introduction to Part 1. More information is given on the web pages of Parts 1 and 2:

https://www.mdpi.com/journal/philosophies/special_issues/Philosophy_and_Philosophies and

https://www.mdpi.com/journal/philosophies/special_issues/Philosophy_and_Philosophies2

as well in the Editorials

https://www.mdpi.com/2409-9287/3/4/42 and

https://www.mdpi.com/2409-9287/5/3/22

Along with the topics already discussed in the previous two issues, in the present Special Issue, we would particularly like to encourage addressing the human aspect of natural philosophy, extended evolutionary syntheses, and life and capacities of cognition and consciousness, from a naturalist point of view.

We look forward to new contributions that will help to build a new common naturalist human-centered worldview.

Prof. Dr. Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic
Prof. Dr. Marcin J. Schroeder
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 double-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 semimonthly 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 1200 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 (9 papers)

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Article
The Philosophy of Nature of the Natural Realism. The Operator Algebra from Physics to Logic
Philosophies 2022, 7(6), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies7060121 - 26 Oct 2022
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Abstract
This contribution is an essay of formal philosophy—and more specifically of formal ontology and formal epistemology—applied, respectively, to the philosophy of nature and to the philosophy of sciences, interpreted the former as the ontology and the latter as the epistemology of the modern [...] Read more.
This contribution is an essay of formal philosophy—and more specifically of formal ontology and formal epistemology—applied, respectively, to the philosophy of nature and to the philosophy of sciences, interpreted the former as the ontology and the latter as the epistemology of the modern mathematical, natural, and artificial sciences, the theoretical computer science included. I present the formal philosophy in the framework of the category theory (CT) as an axiomatic metalanguage—in many senses “wider” than set theory (ST)—of mathematics and logic, both of the “extensional” logics of the pure and applied mathematical sciences (=mathematical logic), and the “intensional” modal logics of the philosophical disciplines (=philosophical logic). It is particularly significant in this categorical framework the possibility of extending the operator algebra formalism from (quantum and classical) physics to logic, via the so-called “Boolean algebras with operators” (BAOs), with this extension being the core of our formal ontology. In this context, I discuss the relevance of the algebraic Hopf coproduct and colimit operations, and then of the category of coalgebras in the computations over lattices of quantum numbers in the quantum field theory (QFT), interpreted as the fundamental physics. This coalgebraic formalism is particularly relevant for modeling the notion of the “quantum vacuum foliation” in QFT of dissipative systems, as a foundation of the notion of “complexity” in physics, and “memory” in biological and neural systems, using the powerful “colimit” operators. Finally, I suggest that in the CT logic, the relational semantics of BAOs, applied to the modal coalgebraic relational logic of the “possible worlds” in Kripke’s model theory, is the proper logic of the formal ontology and epistemology of the natural realism, as a formalized philosophy of nature and sciences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies - Part 3)
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Article
Aesthetic Gadgets: Rethinking Universalism in Evolutionary Aesthetics
Philosophies 2022, 7(4), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies7040071 - 21 Jun 2022
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Abstract
There is a growing appetite for the inclusion of outcomes of empirical research into philosophical aesthetics. At the same time, evolutionary aesthetics remains in the margins with little mutual discussion with the various strands of philosophical aesthetics. This is surprising, because the evolutionary [...] Read more.
There is a growing appetite for the inclusion of outcomes of empirical research into philosophical aesthetics. At the same time, evolutionary aesthetics remains in the margins with little mutual discussion with the various strands of philosophical aesthetics. This is surprising, because the evolutionary framework has the power to bring these two approaches together. This article demonstrates that the evolutionary approach builds a biocultural bridge between our philosophical and empirical understanding of humans as aesthetic agents who share the preconditions for aesthetic experience, but are not determined by them. Sometimes, philosophers are wary of the evolutionary framework. Does the research program of evolutionary aesthetics presuppose an intrinsic aesthetic instinct that would determine the way we form aesthetic judgments, regardless of the environment with which we interact? I argue that it does not. Imitation and mindreading are considered to be central features of the aesthetic module. Recently, and contrary to the prior view, it has been shown that imitation and mindreading are not likely to be innate instincts but socially learned, yet evolved patterns of behavior. Hence, I offer grounds for the idea that the cognitive aesthetic module(s) is socially learned, too. This outcome questions the need for the traditional differentiation between empirical and philosophical aesthetics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies - Part 3)
Article
Naturalizing Morality to Unveil the Status of Violence: Coalition Enforcement, Cognitive Moral Niches, and Moral Bubbles in an Evolutionary Perspective
Philosophies 2022, 7(2), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies7020039 - 02 Apr 2022
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Abstract
I propose that the relationship between moral and violent behavior is overlooked in current philosophical, epistemological, and cognitive studies. To the aim of clarifying the complex dynamics of this interplay, I will describe, adopting an evolutionary perspective, the concepts of coalition enforcement, [...] Read more.
I propose that the relationship between moral and violent behavior is overlooked in current philosophical, epistemological, and cognitive studies. To the aim of clarifying the complex dynamics of this interplay, I will describe, adopting an evolutionary perspective, the concepts of coalition enforcement, cognitive moral niche, and of what I call moral bubbles. Showing the interesting relationships between these three basic concepts, I will explain the role of morality in causing and justifying violence. The main theoretical merit of the concept of coalition enforcement is that it permits the naturalization of morality that is the only conceptual means to unveil, in a naturalized way, the status of violence beyond the constraints generated by the so-called moral bubbles that prevent agents from seeing the potential violence generated by their own moral acts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies - Part 3)
Article
Information in Explaining Cognition: How to Evaluate It?
Philosophies 2022, 7(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies7020028 - 08 Mar 2022
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Abstract
The claims that “The brain processes information” or “Cognition is information processing” are accepted as truisms in cognitive science. However, it is unclear how to evaluate such claims absent a specification of “information” as it is used by neurocognitive theories. The aim of [...] Read more.
The claims that “The brain processes information” or “Cognition is information processing” are accepted as truisms in cognitive science. However, it is unclear how to evaluate such claims absent a specification of “information” as it is used by neurocognitive theories. The aim of this article is, thus, to identify the key features of information that information-based neurocognitive theories posit. A systematic identification of these features can reveal the explanatory role that information plays in specific neurocognitive theories, and can, therefore, be both theoretically and practically important. These features can be used, in turn, as desiderata against which candidate theories of information may be evaluated. After discussing some characteristics of explanation in cognitive science and their implications for “information”, three notions are briefly introduced: natural, sensory, and endogenous information. Subsequently, six desiderata are identified and defended based on cognitive scientific practices. The global workspace theory of consciousness is then used as a specific case study that arguably posits either five or six corresponding features of information. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies - Part 3)
Article
Multidisciplinarity, Interdisciplinarity, and Transdisciplinarity: The Tower of Babel in the Age of Two Cultures
Philosophies 2022, 7(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies7020026 - 07 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1174
Abstract
Despite the continuous emphasis on globalization, we witness increasing divisions and divisiveness in all domains of human activities. One of the reasons, if not the main one, is the intellectual fragmentation of humanity, compared in the title to the failed attempt at building [...] Read more.
Despite the continuous emphasis on globalization, we witness increasing divisions and divisiveness in all domains of human activities. One of the reasons, if not the main one, is the intellectual fragmentation of humanity, compared in the title to the failed attempt at building the Biblical Tower of Babel. The attempts to reintegrate worldview, fragmented by the specialization of education (C.P. Snow’s The Two Cultures) and expected to be achieved through reforms in curricula at all levels of education, were based on the assumption that the design of a curriculum should focus on the wide distribution of subjects of study, as if the distribution was the goal. The key point is not the distribution of themes, but the development of skills in the integration of knowledge. The quantitative assessment of the width of knowledge by the number of disciplines is of secondary importance. We cannot expect the miracle that students without any intellectual tools developed for this purpose would perform the job of integration, which their teachers do not promote or demonstrate, and which they cannot achieve for themselves. There are many other reasons for the increasing interest in making inquiries interdisciplinary, but there is little progress in the methodology of the integration of knowledge. This paper is a study of the transition from multidisciplinarity to interdisciplinarity, and further, to transdisciplinarity, with some suggestions regarding the use of methodological tools of structuralism and the choice of a conceptual framework. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies - Part 3)
Article
A Constructive Treatment to Elemental Life Forms through Mathematical Philosophy
Philosophies 2021, 6(4), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies6040084 - 12 Oct 2021
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Abstract
The quest to understand the natural and the mathematical as well as philosophical principles of dynamics of life forms are ancient in the human history of science. In ancient times, Pythagoras and Plato, and later, Copernicus and Galileo, correctly observed that the grand [...] Read more.
The quest to understand the natural and the mathematical as well as philosophical principles of dynamics of life forms are ancient in the human history of science. In ancient times, Pythagoras and Plato, and later, Copernicus and Galileo, correctly observed that the grand book of nature is written in the language of mathematics. Platonism, Aristotelian logism, neo-realism, monadism of Leibniz, Hegelian idealism and others have made efforts to understand reasons of existence of life forms in nature and the underlying principles through the lenses of philosophy and mathematics. In this paper, an approach is made to treat the similar question about nature and existential life forms in view of mathematical philosophy. The approach follows constructivism to formulate an abstract model to understand existential life forms in nature and its dynamics by selectively combining the elements of various schools of thoughts. The formalisms of predicate logic, probabilistic inference and homotopy theory of algebraic topology are employed to construct a structure in local time-scale horizon and in cosmological time-scale horizon. It aims to resolve the relative and apparent conflicts present in various thoughts in the process, and it has made an effort to establish a logically coherent interpretation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies - Part 3)
Article
Naturalizing Logic: How Knowledge of Mechanisms Enhances Inductive Inference
Philosophies 2021, 6(2), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies6020052 - 21 Jun 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 984
Abstract
This paper naturalizes inductive inference by showing how scientific knowledge of real mechanisms provides large benefits to it. I show how knowledge about mechanisms contributes to generalization, inference to the best explanation, causal inference, and reasoning with probabilities. Generalization from some A are [...] Read more.
This paper naturalizes inductive inference by showing how scientific knowledge of real mechanisms provides large benefits to it. I show how knowledge about mechanisms contributes to generalization, inference to the best explanation, causal inference, and reasoning with probabilities. Generalization from some A are B to all A are B is more plausible when a mechanism connects A to B. Inference to the best explanation is strengthened when the explanations are mechanistic and when explanatory hypotheses are themselves mechanistically explained. Causal inference in medical explanation, counterfactual reasoning, and analogy also benefit from mechanistic connections. Mechanisms also help with problems concerning the interpretation, availability, and computation of probabilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies - Part 3)
Article
The Cognitive Philosophy of Communication
Philosophies 2020, 5(4), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5040039 - 19 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1264
Abstract
Numerous species use different forms of communication in order to successfully interact in their respective environment. This article seeks to elucidate limitations of the classical conduit metaphor by investigating communication from the perspectives of biology and artificial neural networks. First, communication is a [...] Read more.
Numerous species use different forms of communication in order to successfully interact in their respective environment. This article seeks to elucidate limitations of the classical conduit metaphor by investigating communication from the perspectives of biology and artificial neural networks. First, communication is a biological natural phenomenon, found to be fruitfully grounded in an organism’s embodied structures and memory system, where specific abilities are tied to procedural, semantic, and episodic long-term memory as well as to working memory. Second, the account explicates differences between non-verbal and verbal communication and shows how artificial neural networks can communicate by means of ontologically non-committal modelling. This approach enables new perspectives of communication to emerge regarding both sender and receiver. It is further shown that communication features gradient properties that are plausibly divided into a reflexive and a reflective form, parallel to knowledge and reflection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies - Part 3)
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Essay
Scientific Observation Is Socio-Materially Augmented Perception: Toward a Participatory Realism
Philosophies 2022, 7(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies7020037 - 30 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1898
Abstract
There is an overlooked similarity between three classic accounts of the conditions of object experience from three distinct disciplines. (1) Sociology: the “inversion” that accompanies discovery in the natural sciences, as local causes of effects are reattributed to an observed object. (2) Psychology: [...] Read more.
There is an overlooked similarity between three classic accounts of the conditions of object experience from three distinct disciplines. (1) Sociology: the “inversion” that accompanies discovery in the natural sciences, as local causes of effects are reattributed to an observed object. (2) Psychology: the “externalization” that accompanies mastery of a visual–tactile sensory substitution interface, as tactile sensations of the proximal interface are transformed into vision-like experience of a distal object. (3) Biology: the “projection” that brings forth an animal’s Umwelt, as impressions on its body’s sensory surfaces are reconfigured into perception of an external object. This similarity between the effects of scientific practice and interface-use on the one hand, and of sensorimotor interaction on the other, becomes intelligible once we accept that skillful engagement with instruments and interfaces constitutes a socio-material augmentation of our basic perceptual capacity. This enactive interpretation stands in contrast to anti-realism about science associated with constructivist interpretations of these three phenomena, which are motivated by viewing them as the internal mental construction of the experienced object. Instead, it favors a participatory realism: the sensorimotor basis of perceptual experience loops not only through our body, but also through the external world. This allows us to conceive of object experience in relational terms, i.e., as one or more subjects directly engaging with the world. Consequently, we can appreciate scientific observation in its full complexity: it is a socio-materially augmented process of becoming acquainted with the observed object that—like tool-use and perceiving more generally—is irreducibly self, other-, and world-involving. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies - Part 3)
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