Dictionary of Arguments

Philosophical and Scientific Issues in Dispute

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The author or concept searched is found in the following 4 entries.
Disputed term/author/ism Author
Computer Model Weizenbaum I 234
Computer Model/General Problem Solver/GPS/Artificial Intelligence/Newell/Simon/Weizenbaum: (described in A. Newell and H. A. Simon, Human Problem Solving, Englewood Cliffs (N. J. 1972, Chap. 9: Logic, GPS and Human Behavior, p. 455-554). General Problem Solver/Weizenbaum: is basically nothing more than a programming language in which you can write programs for certain highly specialized tasks.
I 236
The General Problem Solver (GPS) is a frame within which the logical theory program runs. To solve problems, you have to work with very general symbolic structures that represent objects, operators, properties of objects and differences between objects, and one also has to create a method catalog. But even then, GPS does not allow you to draw conclusions from such "principles". WeizenbaumVsSimon/WeizenbaumVsNewell: the statement that the General Problem Solver (GPS) is in every sense an embodiment of human problem solving is tantamount to the statement that the algebra of the secondary school is also such an embodiment.
I 237
Problem: that says nothing about the psychology of human problem solving. Outside world/Newell/Simon: Particular attention should be paid to the restrictions on GPS access to the outside world. The initial part of the explicit commands to GPS has been acquired by humans long before this when building up their vocabulary. ---
I 238
WeizenbaumVsSimon/WeizenbaumVsNewell: this is where the true facts are bypassed. In reality, the question is what happens to the whole person as he or she builds up his or her vocabulary. How is his/her understanding of what a "problem" is shaped by the experiences that are an inseparable part of his/her vocabulary acquisition?

Weizenbaum I
Joseph Weizenbaum
Computer Power and Human Reason. From Judgment to Calculation, W. H. Freeman & Comp. 1976
German Edition:
Die Macht der Computer und die Ohnmacht der Vernunft Frankfurt/M. 1978

Priorities Carver Corr I 432
Priorities/self-regulation/control processes/Simon/Carver/Scheier: Problem: shifting from one goal to another as focal in behaviour (Dreisbach and Goschke 2004(1); Shallice 1978)(2).
Corr I 433
This critical phenomenon is often overlooked. The problem of priority management was addressed many years ago by Simon (1967)(3), who pointed out that any entity with many goals needs a way to rank them for pursuit and a mechanism to change rankings as necessary. He argued as follows: most of people’s goals are largely out of awareness at any given moment. Only the one with the highest priority has full access to consciousness. Sometimes events occur during the pursuit of that top-priority goal that create problems for another goal that currently has a lower priority.
If the situation evolves enough to seriously threaten the second goal, some mechanism is needed for changing priorities, so that the second goal replaces the first one as focal. Negative feelings and shifting prioritization Simon (1967)(3) proposed that emotions are calls for reprioritization. He suggested that emotion arising with respect to a goal that is out of awareness eventually causes people to interrupt their behaviour and give that goal a higher priority than it had. The stronger the emotion, the stronger is the claim being made that the unattended goal should have higher priority than the presently focal goal.
CarverVsSimon/ScheierVsSimon: {Simon] did not address the possibility that an as-yet-unattained goal might yield its place in line. Positive feelings may represent a reprioritization cue, but a cue to reduce the priority of the goal to which the feeling pertains.
Corr I 434
Affect/goals/Carver/Scheier: Thesis: affect is part of the prioritization process. We are not claiming that affect is the only source of shifts in goal prioritization. Opportunities to attain incentives sometimes appear unexpectedly, and people put aside their plans to take advantage of them (Hayes-Roth and Hayes-Roth 1979(4); Payton 1990(5)).

1. Dreisbach, G. and Goschke, T. 2004. How positive affect modulates cognitive control: reduced perseveration at the cost of increased distractibility, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 30: 343–53
2. Shallice, T. 1978. The dominant action system: an information-processing approach to consciousness, in K. S. Pope and J. L. Singer (eds.), The stream of consciousness: scientific investigations into the flow of human experience, pp. 117–57. New York: Wiley
3. Simon, H. A. 1967. Motivational and emotional controls of cognition, Psychological Review 74: 29–39
4. Hayes-Roth, B. and Hayes-Roth, F. 1979. A cognitive model of planning, Cognitive Science3: 275–310
5. Payton, D. W. 1990. Internalized plans: a representation for action resources, in P. Maes (ed.),Designing autonomous agents: theory and practice from biology to engineering and back, pp. 89–103. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press

Charles S. Carver and Michael F. Scheier, “Self-regulation and controlling personality functioning” in: Corr, Ph. J. & Matthews, G. (eds.) 2009. The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press

Corr I
Philip J. Corr
Gerald Matthews
The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology New York 2009
System Theory Weizenbaum I 322
System theory/Forrester/Weizenbaum: J. W. Forrester from MIT, the spiritual father of "cybernetic system theory", noted in front of a US Congress Committee (J. W. Forrester Testimony before the Subcommitee on Urban Growth oft he Committe on Banking and Currency oft he United States House of Representatives, given in Washington, D. C., Oct. 7, 1971, 91st Congress, 2nd Session, Part III, p 205-265): Thesis: the human thinking is not suitable to explain the behavior of social systems. WeizenbaumVsForrester: he claims that the way Plato, Spinoza, Hume, Mill, Gandi and many others have thought about social systems is inferior to the system analysis method. According to Forrester, the problem is that human thinking is based on thought models.
Forrester: a model of thought is unclear. It is incomplete. It is inaccurately worded. In addition, a thought model in an individual changes with time and even in the course of a talk ... The goals are different and remain unspoken.
I 324
Forrester/Weizenbaum: claims that computer systems, in contrast to social systems, eliminate insecurity completely. But there are some behaviors that are "more desirable" than others. How are they made possible? Forrester: they are probably only possible if we have a proper understanding of the theory of dynamic systems and are prepared to submit to self-discipline and endure the constraints that must accompany the desired behaviour.
WeizenbaumVsForrester/WeizenbaumVsSkinner/WeizenbaumVsSimon: in the context in which Forrester uses the expressions "system" and "dynamic", the only way to gain an understanding that alone leads to "desirable behaviours" is the method of a "scientific analysis" according to Forrester (or Skinner or the >General Problem Solver (see A. Newell/H.A. Simon)
I 325
WeizenbaumVsForrester: For Forrester, the world literally consists of back coupling loops. ---
I 327
Meaning/System Theory/WeizenbaumVsForrester: the systems we have investigated, have been clearly shown that meaning has been completely transformed into function.

Weizenbaum I
Joseph Weizenbaum
Computer Power and Human Reason. From Judgment to Calculation, W. H. Freeman & Comp. 1976
German Edition:
Die Macht der Computer und die Ohnmacht der Vernunft Frankfurt/M. 1978

Thinking Simon Weizenbaum I 177
Thinking/Human/H. A. Simon: (H. A. Simon, The Sciences and the Artificial, Cambridge, 1969, p. 52f): From the experimental evidence (when solving clad arithmetic problems, the acquisition of concepts, memory performances, processing visual stimuli and solving tasks using natural languages) generalisations about human thinking can be deduced. These are simple processes.... only human pride can claim that the obvious complexity of human behaviour has a completely different cause than that of the ant.
I 178
WeizenbaumVsSimon, H. A.: Simon's hypothesis was that the inner environment of the human being (his organism) was irrelevant for his behaviour. However, the examples are not suitable for the methods of investigating human individuals as they have been developed in the psychological laboratories.

psySimn II
Herbert A. Simon
Models of Thought New Haven 1979

Simon I
Herbert A. Simon
The Sciences of the Artificial Cambridge, MA 1970

Weizenbaum I
Joseph Weizenbaum
Computer Power and Human Reason. From Judgment to Calculation, W. H. Freeman & Comp. 1976
German Edition:
Die Macht der Computer und die Ohnmacht der Vernunft Frankfurt/M. 1978

The author or concept searched is found in the following 3 controversies.
Disputed term/author/ism Author Vs Author
Simons, P. Wiggins Vs Simons, P. Simons I 216
Superposition/Simons: it is not just a pragmatic resistance that lets us assume that two objects cannot be superposed and yet have no common part. Simons: nevertheless pro,
WigginsVsSuperposition/WigginsVsSimons: he makes this clear in the following principle:
Principle/Wiggins: A and a real part or component B of a third thing C, where A unequal C and A ≠ B and where no part or component of A is a part or component of B or of C, cannot completely occupy the same space at the same time.
Simons: where does this lead?
rta: be the container from a to t. This means that space can become the object of timeless operators and predicates of extensional mereology.
Frame of Reference: we assume it as fixed, so that identity of spaces can be determined. Then we can apply all axioms of CEM (Extensional Mereology), also the Sum-Axiom and the SSP are not contradictory. (…+…)
I 217
SimonsVsWiggins: that does not seem particularly frightening. It even seems to be able to be amplified. For example, we can assume a Strong Supplement Principle (SSP) that is relativized to times: (…+…) SimonsVsCoincidence Principle: if it were correct, it would establish a very close conceptual link between mereological relations and spatial relations between continuants.
Simons pro Wiggins: in any case we can agree that "space" can only be mapped by reference to its occupants. ((s) >no "empty space").
Thus, the conceptual utility of the part-whole relations between continuants will consist in their necessity for the formation of spatial concepts.
Coincidence Principle/Simons: it is neat and it provides a seductive simplification.
SimonsVsCoincidence Principle/SimonsVsWiggins: one pays too high a price.
I 218
But with his rejection we must also reject one of the premises, WP, PP or SSP. Which one? I would reject SSP (see below). But first we want to test WP against a hypothetical counter-example from Sharvy.
I 220
WigginsVsSuperposition/Simons: his argument for WP goes like this: Suppose A and B were distinct and at the same place at the same time. Then they cannot be distinguished by location. Then they have to be distinguished by their properties.
Problem: no space region (volume) can be described simultaneously by different predicates (be it color, form, texture etc.).
(s) It cannot be spherical and cube-shaped at the same time).
I 221
Simons: the latter may be true, but that does not speak against the possibility of a perfect mixture, because its qualities do not have to be those of its ingredients in isolation, which is proved by the imperfect mixtures every day. ((s) Contradiction to above I 218: there mixture of compound is distinguished by the fact that the properties of the ingredients are largely preserved in the mixture.)
Superposition/Simons: Assuming that it would be possible that the occupation of space by a mass would be a gradual matter, then it would be possible that different masses occupy the same region
Simons: although the occupation would have different intensity distributions.
Simons: if this were the case, Wiggins' principle would be wrong and then we would have to doubt its necessity.

Wiggins I
D. Wiggins
Essays on Identity and Substance Oxford 2016

Wiggins II
David Wiggins
"The De Re ’Must’: A Note on the Logical Form of Essentialist Claims"
Truth and Meaning, G. Evans/J. McDowell Oxford 1976

Simons I
P. Simons
Parts. A Study in Ontology Oxford New York 1987
Various Authors Hofstadter Vs Various Authors II 108
Arthur Koestler: VsKoestler: "Koestler's Fallacy": general inability to see that unusual events is likely in the long run. Reason: 1. Because we do not notice non-events, we misjudge the basis.
2. We are weak in the assessment of event combinations.
3. We overlook the principle of equivalence of curious coincidences: for one theory of the supernatural, one chance is as good as another.
II 482
Sapir-Whorf-Thesis: Language controls thinking. A programmer in the language X can only think in terms offered by the language. (HofstadterVsWhorf) VsWhorf: the power of a great literary work does not come from the language into which the author was accidentally born, otherwise all Russians would have to be great writers. It also stems from the history of his experiences and his ability to make experiences.
II 486
Language/Hofstadter: Question: Why is there not a single word for the phrase "Come and have a look" after so many thousand years, e.g. "Kamhuseda"? Also novels have not become shorter in the last 200 years!
Reason: The ideas have another dimension.
II 688
Artificial Intelligence: Avon Barr: "information-processing cognition model". "Everything interesting about cognition happens above the 100 millisecond level, the time it takes to recognize your mother. VsBarr: just as well you can say:" everything above this level..., the time you need to recognize your mother."
II 701
VsBarr: confusion of levels: "cognition as arithmetic process": even if the neurons cope with sums in an analogous way, this does not mean that the epiphenomena themselves also do arithmetic. Example: if taxis stop at red, this does not mean that traffic jams stop at red.
II 701
Simon: (Artificial Intelligence pioneer): Common ground between the brain and information-processing processes is obvious. VsSimon: How can he believe that? Computers still do not have subcognitive actions in the most elementary sense. There is no common sense program. ((s) See Hofstadter II 696)
Def Intelligence/Simon/Newell: mind, bound in any matter that can be arranged into patterns.
II 703
Symbol/HofstadterVsSimon/Nevell: for me has more to do with representative expressiveness (representation). To represent something else, something must be immensely rich.
HofstadterVsSymbol Manipulation, "symbol processing": the manipulation of meaningless signs is not enough to generate understanding, although it is enough to enrich them with meaning in a limited sense of the word. (Gödel, Escher, Bach, Chapters II to VI).
II 704
Computer/Artificial Intelligence/AI/Consciousness/HofstadterVsSimon/Newell: Problem: they see the computer as lifeless, passive objects and also the symbols as passive. Denotation /Hofstadter: does not happen at all on the level of symbols! Also the single ant is not "symbolic".
II 720
Thinking/Boole: believed he could grasp the "laws of thinking" through rules for manipulating claims.
II 723
Cognition/VsSimon/Newell: Thesis: In every truly cognitive system there must be several levels that allow a rigid syntax at the lowest level to develop into a fluid semantics at the highest level. Symbolic events are reversed into non-symbolic events.
II 724
Symbol/Newell: a physical symbol is actually identical to a Lisp Atom with an attached list. ("property list"). HofstadterVs. Symbol/Bits/Hofstadter: Bits are not symbols.
Meaning/Lisp/Hofstadter: The logic of Lisp does not rise from a lower level. It is fully present in the written program, even when there is no computer.

Hofstadter I
Douglas Hofstadter
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
German Edition:
Gödel, Escher, Bach - ein Endloses Geflochtenes Band Stuttgart 2017

Hofstadter II
Douglas Hofstadter
Metamagical Themas: Questing for the Essence of Mind and Pattern
German Edition:
Metamagicum München 1994
Wiggins, D. Simons Vs Wiggins, D. I 130
Event/Mereology/Relation/Simons: how do the mereological relations between events look like? Here we do not need to modify the predicates timely like continuants. This makes the event interesting for philosophers who want to preserve the extensionality. Relation currently: is for events direct and narrow.
Relation to the space: is for events indirect on the continuants involved in them.
Duality/Wiggins: (1980,25-6,n12): Events are "dual" to continuants in this regard.
SimonsVsWiggins: this is not perfect because continuants occupy space and continue as well.
Event/splitting/scattered/Simons: because continuants are involved in them they can be split (to be divided, dispersed, scattered). And therefore they can have both spatial and temporal parts.
But not as events involves continuants. E.g. increase in the intensity of a magnetic field.
Field: whether itself is a continuant is controversial.
Event/localisation: localization is only possible by the continuants involved in them.
Entering/time/happening/Simons: the time of the happening (whether continuants involved or not) can only be calculated by measuring time intervals. We must rely on local cyclic processes.

I 221
Superposition/SimonsVsWiggins: what the superposition of things of the same kind is about is that we have no way to track things ((s) in its coming together and breaking up):
I 222
Namely, they are temporarily indistinguishable. (This is an epistemic problem). epistemic/(s): why are epistemic problems at all important or interesting, because we have to revise our language use in epistemic impossibility: for basically indistinguishable we should not use different words. (No distinction without difference).
Simons: Example two bee swarms unite and separate again. We generally do not know if the two are afterwards the same two as before. This could be, however, clarified by tracking each individual bee. Therefore, it is not an ontological problem.
Superposition/Simons: there are apparently cases where things can superimpose in the same way and we can still track them:
E.g. moving points of light or shadow, which overlap for a moment.
E.g. mutually parallel wavefronts. Here we assume in addition uniform wave velocity.
E.g. (Shorter): clouds of water vapor that can be manipulated by a "cloud projector".
Here we have a means of identification: causal paths.
I 223
WP/Wiggins: pro: Space can be displayed only by reference to its occupiers (availability), and spatial facts are conceptually independent of the existence of facts about individual things (particular) and the identities of these particulars. Now, if space is mapped by reference to permanent particulars the non-identity of the particulars A and B, that are both of the type f, has to be sufficient to be determine that the place of A to t is different from the place of B t. Simons: pro illustration by reference to ED.
SimonsVsWiggins: nevertheless objects of the same type may coincide: because the requirement of illustration only requires that some specific continuants can impossibly coincide with others of their kind. There are exceptions, though they are a minority: e.g. see above clouds, points of light, shadow, waves, etc.
VsSimons: it could be argued that these objects are not material or substances.
Simons: they actually are not substances. Just like accidents or disruptions.
SimonsVsVs: still the answer is owed if two things of a kind can superimpose whether they can be substances. The examples suggest that we can appease Wiggins' fear that we cannot retrace the traces if we find the appropriate means. E.g. separate causes or uniform speed.
Wiggins/Simons: is only right if everything with which we can trace a continuant is, so to speak, in his own container. If it is so his principle (WP) is correct.
These cases seem to make out the majority, so we have no problem to map the space (illustrating, mapping).
Sortal concept/Simons: (for a continuant) tells us, inter alia, under which conditions the object continues to exist and under which it ceases. These were the "existence-conditions". ((s) meaning linguistically!).
Superposition/SimonsVsWiggins: that various objects can superimpose follows from the fact that a single piece of matter can be in such a state that it simultaneously fulfills different existence conditions. ((s) meaning intensional).

I 260
Nec/Wiggins: predicate modifier working on λ-abstraction, rather than using the proposition operator "N". QuineVsWiggins: (1977, 236): misleading:
"Nec[(λx)(λy)(x = y)]" for
"the relation like any r and s have if they are necessary identical"
"(λx)(λy)(N(x = y)" (p. 293).
SimonsVsWiggins : "Nec" seems to be superfluous and Wiggins suggests so himself.

Simons I
P. Simons
Parts. A Study in Ontology Oxford New York 1987

The author or concept searched is found in the following 2 theses of the more related field of specialization.
Disputed term/author/ism Author
Essentialism Chisholm, R. II 166
SimonsVsChisholm/SimonsVsBrentano: Thesis: Chisholm has inherited from Brentano a mereological essentialism with which I disagree. But I will use these ideas to give a slightly different interpretation of Wittgenstein's Tractatus. Wittgenstein himself was not as clear about facts as it seems. Self-criticism: confusion of facts and complexes.
There are worlds between the later Wittgenstein and Brentano, but there are overlaps between Brentano and the Tractatus.
Simons I 2
Chisholm/Mereological Essentialism/Simons: Chisholm represents mereological essentialism: thesis: no object can have other parts than it has actual. Vs: Problem: to explain why normal objects are not modally rigid (all parts essential). Solution/Chisholm: Thesis: (appearing) things are logical constructions of objects to which mereological essentialism applies. Solution/Chisholm: Thesis: the actual ones are mereologically constant and the phenomena again logical constructions from unchangeable objects. SimonsVsChisholm: the price is too high.
Simons I 275
Mereological Essentialism/Intermediate Position/Chisholm/Simons: there is another one that Chisholm rejects: that some parts are essential and others are not. That is my position. ChisholmVsSimons: all parts are necessary.
Simons: Thesis: some parts are essential (not necessary!).

Simons I
P. Simons
Parts. A Study in Ontology Oxford New York 1987
mereolog. Essentia Plantinga, A. Simons I 275
Mereological Essentialism/Middle Way/Intermediate Position/Plantinga:
Thesis 1.
for each x and y: if x is ever a part of y, then y is necessary so that x is a part of it at one time or another.
Simons: this is nothing but WME:
WME (N)(x ‹‹ y › N(E!y › (Et)[x ‹‹t y]))

Thesis 2.
For each x. y and t, if x has y as part to t, then x necessarily has y as part to t.
New: this is temporally rigid mereological essentialism:
Mereological Essentialism/intermediate position/Chisholm/Simons: there is another one that Chisholm rejects: that some parts are essential and others are not. That's my position.
ChisholmVsSimons: all parts are necessary.
Simons: thesis: some parts are essential (not necessary!).

Simons I
P. Simons
Parts. A Study in Ontology Oxford New York 1987

The author or concept searched is found in the following theses of an allied field of specialization.
Disputed term/author/ism Author
Object/Property Burke, P. Simons 205
BurkeVsSimons: (Burke 1980 394ff): thesis: the type of an object is a function of its properties (qualities). coinciding objects must have the same characteristics - SimonsVsBurke: a folded sofa bed has other than the bed.
I 204
Burke: thesis: different materials properties can not be simultaneously embodied in one and the same matter. SimonsVsBurke: but, eg different committees have the same members.