•  19
    Emergentism as an option in the philosophy of religion: between materialist atheism and pantheism
    Suri: Journal of the Philosophical Association of the Philippines 7 (2): 1-22. 2019.
    Among worldviews, in addition to the options of materialist atheism, pantheism and personal theism, there exists a fourth, “local emergentism”. It holds that there are no gods, nor does the universe overall have divine aspects or any purpose. But locally, in our region of space and time, the properties of matter have given rise to entities which are completely different from matter in kind and to a degree god-like: consciousnesses with rational powers and intrinsic worth. The emergentist option …Read more
  •  8
    Fifty years of effort in artificial intelligence (AI) and the formalization of legal reasoning have produced both successes and failures. Considerable success in organizing and displaying evidence and its interrelationships has been accompanied by failure to achieve the original ambition of AI as applied to law: fully automated legal decision-making. The obstacles to formalizing legal reasoning have proved to be the same ones that make the formalization of commonsense reasoning so difficult, and…Read more
  • Reasonable science (review)
    New Criterion 22 (3): 70-73. 2003.
  •  1
    David Stove's Darwinian Fairytales (review)
    MercatorNet 0-0. 2006.
    Favourably reviews David Stove's Darwinian Fairytales, which argued that Darwinism is a complex theory with a distant relation to empirical evidence.
  •  58
    Philosophy in Sydney
    In G. Oppy & N. Trakakis (eds.), The Antipodean Philosopher, Lexington Books. pp. 61-66. 2011.
    Let me tell you what philosophy is about, then about how Sydney does it in its own special way. Does life have a meaning, and if so what is it? What can I be certain of, and how should I act when I am not certain? Why are the established truths of my tribe better than the primitive superstitions of your tribe? Why should I do as I’m told? Those are questions it’s easy to avoid, in the rush to acquire goods and prestige. Even for many of a more serious outlook, they are questions easy to dismiss …Read more
  •  4
    Last bastion of reason (review)
    New Criterion 18 (9): 74-78. 2000.
    Attacks the irrationalism of Lakatos's Proofs and Refutations and defends mathematics as a "last bastion" of reason against postmodernist and deconstructionist currents.
  •  7
    Feature selection methods for solving the reference class problem
    Columbia Law Review Sidebar 110 12-23. 2010.
    Probabilistic inference from frequencies, such as "Most Quakers are pacifists; Nixon is a Quaker, so probably Nixon is a pacifist" suffer from the problem that an individual is typically a member of many "reference classes" (such as Quakers, Republicans, Californians, etc) in which the frequency of the target attribute varies. How to choose the best class or combine the information? The article argues that the problem can be solved by the feature selection methods used in contemporary Big Data s…Read more
  •  8
    Adaptive information and animal behaviour: Why motorists stop at red traffic lights
    with Ronald W. Templeton
    Evolutionary Theory 10 145-155. 1992.
    Argues that information, in the animal behaviour or evolutionary context, is correlation/covariation. The alternation of red and green traffic lights is information because it is (quite strictly) correlated with the times when it is safe to drive through the intersection; thus driving in accordance with the lights is adaptive (causative of survival). Daylength is usefully, though less strictly, correlated with the optimal time to breed. Information in the sense of covariance implies what is adap…Read more
  • Elliptical orbits and the Aristotelian Scientific Revolution
    Studia Neoaristotelica 13 (2): 69-79. 2016.
    The Scientific Revolution was far from the anti-Aristotelian movement traditionally pictured. Its applied mathematics pursued by new means the Aristotelian ideal of science as knowledge by insight into necessary causes. Newton’s derivation of Kepler’s elliptical planetary orbits from the inverse square law of gravity is a central example.
  •  265
    More on part IX of Hume's dialogues
    Philosophical Quarterly 30 (118): 69-71. 1980.
    Defends the cosmological argument for the existence of God against Hume's criticisms. Hume objects that since a cause is before its effect, an eternal succession has no cause; but that would rule of by fiat the possibility of God's creating the world from eternity. Hume argues that once a cause is given for each of a collection of objects, there is not need to posit a cause of the whole collection; but that is to assume the universe to be a heap of things arbitrarily grouped rather than a whole …Read more
  •  41
    A “professional issues and ethics in mathematics” course
    Australian Mathematical Society Gazette 32 98-100. 2005.
    Some courses achieve existence, some have to create Professional Issues and Ethics in existence thrust upon them. It is normally Mathematics; but if you don’t do it, we will a struggle to create a course on the ethical be.” I accepted. or social aspects of science or mathematics. The gift of a greenfield site and a bull- This is the story of one that was forced to dozer is a happy occasion, undoubtedly. But exist by an unusual confluence of outside cirwhat to do next? It seemed to me I should cu…Read more
  •  7
    Review of Sylla's translation of Jacob Bernoulli's Art of Conjecturing, emphasising Bernoulli's success in understanding multiple quantifiers to formulate and prove a law of large numbers
  •  47
    Brains, unlike artificial neural nets, use symbols to summarise and reason about perceptual input. But unlike symbolic AI, they “ground” the symbols in the data: the symbols have meaning in terms of data, not just meaning imposed by the outside user. If neural nets could be made to grow their own symbols in the way that brains do, there would be a good prospect of combining neural networks and symbolic AI, in such a way as to combine the good features of each. The article argues the cluster analy…Read more
  •  11
    Seized by the spirit of modern science (review)
    with Stephen Gaukroger, John Schuster, and Alan Taylor
    Metascience 6 (1): 1-28. 1997.
    Reviews of Peter Dear's Discipline and Experience: The Mathematical Way in the Scientific Revolution.
  •  15
    Regulated capitalism, market socialism
    Dissent 5 11-13. 2001.
    In response to Eric Aarons' `Why Communism failed' (Dissent no. 4, 2001) it is argued that the present "capitalist" system is in fact so regulated as to be a hybrid of capitalist and socialist principles. It has some success in putting economic power into the hands of most people, though it needs restraint to cope with market failures.
  •  41
    In What Science Knows, the Australian philosopher and mathematician James Franklin explains in captivating and straightforward prose how science works its magic. It offers a semipopular introduction to an objective Bayesian/logical probabilist account of scientific reasoning, arguing that inductive reasoning is logically justified (though actually existing science sometimes falls short). Its account of mathematics is Aristotelian realist.
  •  6
    Collection of articles on themes of Australian Catholic philosophy and history. Articles of philosophical interest include 'Catholic thought and Catholic Action: Dr Paddy Ryan MSC' (on the scholastic philosopher and anti-Communist), 'Catholic schooldays with philosophy', 'Traditional Catholic philosophy: baby and bathwater', 'Secular versus Catholic conceptions of values in Australian education', 'Accountancy as computational casuistics', 'The Mabo High Court and natural law values', and 'Stove,…Read more
  •  28
    The teaching of the Aquinas Academy in its first thirty years was based on the scholastic philosophy of Thomas Aquinas, then regarded as the official philosophy of the Catholic Church. That philosophy has not been so much heard of in the last thirty years, but it has a strong presence below the surface. Its natural law theory of ethics, especially, still informs Vatican pronouncements on moral topics such as contraception and euthanasia. It has also been important in Australia in the High Court’…Read more
  •  124
    Two caricatures, I: Pascal's Wager
    International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 44 (2). 1998.
    Pascal’s wager and Leibniz’s theory that this is the best of all possible worlds are latecomers in the Faith-and-Reason tradition. They have remained interlopers; they have never been taken as seriously as the older arguments for the existence of God and other themes related to faith and reason.
  •  56
    Two caricatures, II: Leibniz's best world
    International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 52 (1): 45-56. 2002.
    Leibniz's best-of-all-possible worlds solution to the problem of evil isdefended. Enlightenment misrepresentations are removed. The apparentobviousness of the possibility of better worlds is undermined by the muchbetter understanding achieved in modern mathematical sciences of howglobal structure constrains local possibilities. It is argued that alternativeviews, especially standard materialism, fail to make sense of the problem ofevil, by implying that evil does not matter, absolutely speaking.…Read more
  •  10
    Language suggestive of natural law ethics, similar to the Catholic understanding of ethical foundations, is prevalent in a number of disciplines. But it does not always issue in a full-blooded commitment to objective ethics, being undermined by relativist ethical currents. In law and politics, there is a robust conception of "human rights", but it has become somewhat detached from both the worth of persons in themselves and from duties. In education, talk of "values" imports ethical consideratio…Read more
  •  18
    A collection of articles on the the principles of social justice from an Australian Catholic perspective. Contents: Forward (Archbishop Philip Wilson), Introduction (James Franklin), The right to life (James Franklin), The right to serve and worship God in public and private (John Sharpe), The right to religious formation (Richard Rymarz), The right to personal liberty under just law (Michael Casey), The right to equal protection of just law regardless of sex, nationality, colour or creed (Sam …Read more
  •  10
    ParkWoosuk.* * _ Philosophy’s Loss of Logic to Mathematics: An Inadequately Understood Take-Over _. Studies in Applied Philosophy, Epistemology, and Rational Ethics; 43. Springer, 2018. ISBN: 978-3-319-95146-1 ; 978-3-030-06984-1 978-3-319-95147-8. Pp. xii + 230. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-95147-8
  •  10
    The objective Bayesian view of proof (or logical probability, or evidential support) is explained and defended: that the relation of evidence to hypothesis (in legal trials, science etc) is a strictly logical one, comparable to deductive logic. This view is distinguished from the thesis, which had some popularity in law in the 1980s, that legal evidence ought to be evaluated using numerical probabilities and formulas. While numbers are not always useful, a central role is played in uncertain rea…Read more
  •  8
    Quantity and number
    In Daniel D. Novotný & Lukáš Novák (eds.), Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives in Metaphysics, Routledge. pp. 221-244. 2014.
    Quantity is the first category that Aristotle lists after substance. It has extraordinary epistemological clarity: "2+2=4" is the model of a self-evident and universally known truth. Continuous quantities such as the ratio of circumference to diameter of a circle are as clearly known as discrete ones. The theory that mathematics was "the science of quantity" was once the leading philosophy of mathematics. The article looks at puzzles in the classification and epistemology of quantity.
  •  48
    How were reliable predictions made before Pascal and Fermat's discovery of the mathematics of probability in 1654? What methods in law, science, commerce, philosophy, and logic helped us to get at the truth in cases where certainty was not attainable? The book examines how judges, witch inquisitors, and juries evaluated evidence; how scientists weighed reasons for and against scientific theories; and how merchants counted shipwrecks to determine insurance rates. Also included are the problem of …Read more
  •  36
    The leaders of the Scientific Revolution were not Baconian in temperament, in trying to build up theories from data. Their project was that same as in Aristotle's Posterior Analytics: they hoped to find necessary principles that would show why the observations must be as they are. Their use of mathematics to do so expanded the Aristotelian project beyond the qualitative methods used by Aristotle and the scholastics. In many cases they succeeded.
  •  15
    Donald Cary Williams
    In Edward Zalta (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. pp. 0. 2013.
    Stanford Encyclopedia article surveying the life and work of D.C. Williams, notably in defending realism in metaphysics in the mid-twentieth century and in justifying induction by the logic of statistical inference.