Science & Logic

Neural Mechanisms Online: James Haxby will livestream on June 3rd.

The next Neural Mechanisms Online webinar “Hyperalignment: Modeling shared information encoded in idiosyncratic cortical topographies” will be delivered by James V. Haxby on June 3rd. See below for details about the free talk and how to join. ¶ ¶ Hyperalignment: Modeling shared information encoded in idiosyncratic cortical topographies ¶ ¶ James V. Haxby (Dartmouth College) h 14-16 Greenwhich Mean Time / 16-18 CEST (check your local time here) Join the meeting via Webex (the link will be activated 10 mins before the talk) ¶ Abstract. Information that is shared across brains is encoded in idiosyncratic fine-scale functional topographies. Hyperalignment captures shared information by projecting pattern vectors for neural responses and connectivities into a common, high-dimensional information space, rather than by aligning topographies in a canonical anatomical space. Individual transformation matrices project information from individual anatomical spaces into the common model information space, preserving the geometry of pairwise dissimilarities between pattern vectors, and model cortical topography as mixtures of overlapping, individual-specific topographic basis functions, rather than as contiguous functional areas. The fundamental property of brain function that is preserved across brains is information content, rather than the functional properties of local features that support that content. In this Perspective, we present the conceptual framework that motivates hyperalignment, its computational underpinnings for joint modeling of a common information space and idiosyncratic cortical topographies, and discuss implications for understanding the structure of cortical functional architecture. You can find the paper here. ¶ Practical information: How to join the session can be found... -

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Shangri La Variations

I ¶ There are two paths to Shangri La. One goes by the sea, the other by the mountains. You are on the mountain path and about to enter Shangri La. You can choose how your belief state will change as you enter through the gate, in response to whatever evidence you may receive. At the moment, you are (rationally) confident that you have travelled by the mountains. You know that you will not receive any surprising new evidence as you step through the gate. You want to maximize the expected accuracy of your future belief state – at least with respect to the path you took. How should you plan to change your credence in the hypothesis that you have travelled by the mountains?... -

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Beginning Category Theory: Chs 1 to 14 (etc.)

Back from Cornwall, and I have now revised Chapters 1 to 14 of Beginning Category Theory. So here they are. ¶ As before, to keep things simple, there is one long PDF with both the reworked chapters and the remaining unrevised chapters from the 2015/2018 Gentle Intro. I have... -

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Theories of Biological Development

[New Entry by Melinda Bonnie Fagan and Jane Maienschein on June 3, 2022.] Development is a central biological process, and ideas about its nature have been influential in biological thought. This entry surveys the history of these ideas through the lens of "epigenesis vs. preformation". Epigenesis is, roughly, the thesis... -

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Theories of Biological Development [New Entry by Melinda Bonnie Fagan and Jane Maienschein on June 3, 2022.] Development is a central biological process, and ideas about its nature have been influential in biological thought. This entry surveys the history of these ideas through the lens of "epigenesis vs. preformation". Epigenesis is, roughly, the thesis that every developing entity starts from material that is unformed, with form emerging gradually, over time, in the process of development. Preformation, in contrast, is... Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy -


Beginning Category Theory: Chs 1 to 14 (etc.) Back from Cornwall, and I have now revised Chapters 1 to 14 of Beginning Category Theory. So here they are. As before, to keep things simple, there is one long PDF with both the reworked chapters and the remaining unrevised chapters from the 2015/2018 Gentle Intro. I have added a little to Ch. 2, and tidied up Ch. 12. But the main revision this time is a much improved version of Chapter 14 on equalizers... Logic Matters -


Upon Reflection, Ep. 11: Testing for Implicit Bias In this episode, I read my short paper with Morgan Thompson in WIRES Cognitive Science titled, “Testing for Implicit Bias: Values, Psychometrics, and Science Communication”. You may have heard about implicit bias. It is measured by indirect rather than direct measures of bias. We reconstruct arguments from debates about these measures, reveal some instances of … Continue reading Upon Reflection, Ep. 11: Testing for Implicit Bias Via Nick Byrd - Postdoc. and Asst. Professor studying... Nick Byrd -


Primary and Secondary Qualities in Early Modern Philosophy [New Entry by Martha Bolton on June 1, 2022.] Many philosophers maintain there is a significant difference between primary and secondary qualities but disagree about its foundation. It may be plausible that we perceive things as having a small number of basic qualities which are determinates or degrees of the following: size, figure, extension, duration, motion, position, color, taste, odor, sound, heat, coldness, and tactual qualities such as hardness, softness, roughness and smoothness. The first... Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy -


Supertasks [Revised entry by JB Manchak and Bryan W. Roberts on May 31, 2022. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] A supertask is a task that consists in infinitely many component steps, but which in some sense is completed in a finite amount of time. Supertasks were studied by the pre-Socratics and continue to be objects of interest to modern philosophers, logicians and physicists. The term "super-task" itself was coined by J.F. Thomson (1954).... Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy -


Scripting is Imagining Michael Omoge is an assistant professor at the University of Alberta. He is interested in questions about perception, imagination, and modal epistemology. A post by Michael OmogeIn his insightful review of the volume, Epistemic Uses of Imagination (2021), edited by Christopher Badura and Amy Kind, Tom Schoonen (2022) raised a problem for the view I defended in the volume. I’ll quote him at length: Another issue with respect to the justification use of imagination is... The Junkyard -


Anti-Bayesian update and scoring rules in infinite spaces Bayesian update on evidence E is transitioning from a credence function P to the credence function P(⋅∣E). Anti-Bayesian update on E is moving from P to P(⋅∣Ec) (where Ec is the complement of E). Whether one thinks that Bayesian update is rationally required, it is clear that Bayesian update is better than anti-Bayesian update. But here is a fun fact (assuming the Axiom of Choice). For any scoring rule on an infinite space, there is... Alexander Pruss -


Shangri La Variations I There are two paths to Shangri La. One goes by the sea, the other by the mountains. You are on the mountain path and about to enter Shangri La. You can choose how your belief state will change as you enter through the gate, in response to whatever evidence you may receive. At the moment, you are (rationally) confident that you have travelled by the mountains. You know that you will not receive any... Wo’s Weblog -


Neural Mechanisms Online: James Haxby will livestream on June 3rd. The next Neural Mechanisms Online webinar “Hyperalignment: Modeling shared information encoded in idiosyncratic cortical topographies” will be delivered by James V. Haxby on June 3rd. See below for details about the free talk and how to join. Hyperalignment: Modeling shared information encoded in idiosyncratic cortical topographies James V. Haxby (Dartmouth College) h 14-16 Greenwhich Mean Time / 16-18 CEST (check your local time here) Join the meeting via Webex (the link will be activated 10... Brains Blog -


Physicalism and the progress of science People sometimes use the progress of science to argue for physicalism about the mind. But it seems to me that Dostoevskii made more progress in understanding the human mind by existential reflection than anybody has by studying the brain directly. More generally, if we want to understand human minds, we should turn to literature and the spiritual masters rather than to neuroscience. Thus, any argument for physicalism about the mind from the progress of science... Alexander Pruss -


Techno-Optimism: An Analysis, An Evaluation and A Modest Defence Here's a new paper. This one was a bit of a labour of love. It is an analysis of what it means to be a techno-optimist and how one might defend a techno-optimistic stance. It is due out in Philosophy and Technology. I'll post the official version when it is available. For now, I've posted links to the final prepublication draft. Title: Techno-optimism: an analysis, an evaluation and a modest defenceLinks: Official; Philpapers; ResearchgateAbstract: What... Philosophical Disquisitions -


The hollow universe of modern physics To say that the material world alone exists is not terribly informative unless we have some account of what matter is.  Those who are most tempted to materialism are also inclined to answer that matter is whatever physics says it is.  The trouble with that is that physics tells us less than meets the eye about the nature of matter.  As Poincaré, Duhem, Russell, Eddington, and other late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century philosophers and scientists... Edward Feser -


Plato’s Myths [Revised entry by Catalin Partenie on May 24, 2022. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] What the ancient Greeks - at least in the archaic phase of their civilization - called muthos was quite different from what we and the media nowadays call "myth". For them a muthos was a true story, a story that unveils the true origin of the world and human beings. For us a myth is something to be "debunked": a widespread,... Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy -


D. Mayo & D. Hand: “Statistical significance and its critics: practicing damaging science, or damaging scientific practice?”   . Prof. Deborah Mayo, Emerita Department of Philosophy Virginia Tech . Prof. David Hand Department of Mathematics Statistics Imperial College London Statistical significance and its critics: practicing damaging science, or damaging scientific practice?  (Synthese) [pdf of full paper.] Abstract: While the common procedure of statistical significance testing and its accompanying concept of p-values have long been surrounded by controversy, renewed concern has been triggered by the replication crisis in science. Many blame statistical significance... Error Statistics -


Algebraic Propositional Logic [Revised entry by Ramon Jansana on May 20, 2022. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] George Boole was the first to present logic as a mathematical theory in algebraic style. In his work, and in that of the other algebraists of the algebraic tradition of logic of the nineteenth century, the distinction between a formal language and a mathematically rigorous semantics for it was still not drawn. What the algebraists in this tradition did was to... Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy -


Random quoteRepression itself breeds the counter-forces that will eventually defeat its instigators.Willem Frederik Wertheim (1907-1998)  Philosophy by the Way -


Ad Hoc Ad Hoc by Rachel Katler Other Daily Nous Comics / More Info about DN Comics Rachel Katler on Twitter Daily Nous -


AN INTERESTING IDEA I was idly watching a cable news panel discussion about the Buffalo grocery store massacre when one of the panel members said something that I had either forgotten or else never knew, namely that the California ban on carrying weapons openly was passed while Reagan was governor in response to the appearance of a group of Black Panthers openly and legally carrying weapons at the state capitol.  It got me to thinking… The Philosopher’s Stone -


Defaults in Semantics and Pragmatics [Revised entry by Katarzyna M. Jaszczolt on May 18, 2022. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] 'Default' can mean many different things in theories of meaning. It is so not only because of the multiplicity of approaches and dimensions from which meaning can be studied but also due to the fact the theoretical landscape is changing swiftly and dynamically. First, there is the dimension of the ongoing debates concerning the delimitation of explicit content (e.g., Jaszczolt... Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy -


Darwin's Logical Argument for Natural Selection One of the things I occasionally like to do is to re-read books that had an early influence on my thinking. It is an instructive exercise. Sometimes, when you read a book early in life you are easily impressed by its ideas and arguments. Oftentimes, this because so many of them are new to you. They have, as a result, an outsized influence on your worldview. When you re-read them, you often find them less... Philosophical Disquisitions -