These are my links for December 14th from 10:36 to 10:53:
- The PhilPapers Surveys – The PhilPapers Survey was a survey of professional philosophers and others on their philosophical views, carried out in November 2009. The Survey was taken by 3226 respondents, including 1803 philosophy faculty members and/or PhDs and 829 philosophy graduate students.
The PhilPapers Metasurvey was a concurrent survey of professional philosophers and other concerning their predictions of the results of the Survey. The Metasurvey was taken by 727 respondents including 438 professional philosophers and PhDs and 210 philosophy graduate students.
Preliminary results and discussion are included below. Further results and analysis will be made available in coming months.
- UC Davis Philosophy 102, Theory of Knowledge: Table of Contents for Lecture Notes – The subject of this course is what has come to be called "theory of knowledge" or "epistemology." The two names are interchangeable in common use. (A similar pair of terms for philosophical disciplines is 'theory of value' (or 'value theory') and the little-used 'axiology.') Until the nineteenth century, there had been no special term to indicate the study of knowledge as such, even though knowledge had been studied from the very beginning of Western philosophy . The word "epistemology" was coined by James Ferrier in his 1856 book Institutes of Metaphysics. The root word 'episteme' in Greek means 'knowledge,' while the '-ology' suffix signifies, roughly, 'study of.' Compare terms such as 'biology' (study of life), 'geology' (study of the earth), etc. Shortly after Ferrier, Eduard Zeller in 1862 introduced the German word 'Erkenntnistheorie' in Ueber Aufgabe und Bedeutung der Erkenntnistheorie. This word is translated into English as "theory of knowledge."
- Human or Cylon? Group testing on Battlestar Galactica (application/pdf Object) – Does statistics have a place though in the world of science fiction? Because science fiction writers try to merge the sci-fi world with the real world in a believable way, one might think that statistics could make a significant contribution to solving sci-fi problems.
In the hit Sci Fi Network television show, the new Battlestar Galactica (a re-imagined version of the 1970’s show), there is an attempt to use science to solve a very important problem. Due to the excessive amount of time the proposed solution would take to complete, it is deemed impractical and never implemented. This paper shows how the problem could have been solved instead using a statistical technique called “group testing.” Scientists use this technique to solve many real-world problems, including the screening of blood donations for diseases. When applied to the problem on Battlestar Galactica, it will be shown that group testing could have a made dramatic difference to the course of the show
- The Ninth Annual Year in Ideas – Magazine – NYTimes.com – Once again, The Times Magazine looks back on the past year from our favored perch: ideas. Like a magpie building its nest, we have hunted eclectically, though not without discrimination, for noteworthy notions of 2009 — the twigs and sticks and shiny paper scraps of human ingenuity, which, when collected and woven together, form a sort of cognitive shelter, in which the curious mind can incubate, hatch and feather. Unlike birds, we can also alphabetize. And so we hereby present, from A to Z, the most clever, important, silly and just plain weird innovations we carried back from all corners of the thinking world. To offer a nonalphabetical option for navigating the entries, this year we have attached tags to each item indicating subject matter.