Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

Determinism Related Abstracts

3 Arithmetic Operations in Deterministic P Systems Based on the Weak Rule Priority

Authors: Chinedu Peter, Dashrath Singh


Membrane computing is a computability model which abstracts its structures and functions from the biological cell. The main ingredient of membrane computing is the notion of a membrane structure, which consists of several cell-like membranes recurrently placed inside a unique skin membrane. The emergence of several variants of membrane computing gives rise to the notion of a P system. The paper presents a variant of P systems for arithmetic operations on non-negative integers based on the weak priorities for rule application. Consequently, we obtain deterministic P systems. Two membranes suffice. There are at most four objects for multiplication and five objects for division throughout the computation processes. The model is simple and has a potential for possible extension to non-negative integers and real numbers in general.

Keywords: Determinism, P system, binary operation, weak rule priority

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2 The Discussions of Love, Determinism, and Providence in Ibn Sina (Avicenna) and al-Kirmani

Authors: Maria De Cillis


This paper addresses the subject of love in two of the most prominent Islamic philosophers: Ibn Sīnā (known in the Latin World as Avicenna d. 1037) Avicenna and al-Kirmānī (DC 1021). By surveying the connection that the concept of love entertains with the notions of divine providence and determinism in the luminaries’ theoretical systems, the present paper highlights differences and similarities in their respective approaches to the subjects. Through a thorough analysis of primary and secondary literature, it will be shown that Avicenna’s thought, which is mainly informed by the Aristotelian and Farābīan metaphysical and cosmological stances, is also integrated with mystical underpinnings. Particularly, in Avicenna’s Risāla fī’l-ʿishq love becomes the expression of the divine providence which operates through the intellectual striving the souls undertake in their desire to return to their First Cause. Love is also portrayed as an instrument helping the divine decree to remain unadulterated by way of keeping existing beings within their species and genera as well as an instrument which is employed by God to know and be known. This paper also discusses that if on the one hand, al-Kirmānī speaks of love as the Aristotelian and Farābian motive-force spurring existents to achieve perfection and as a tool which facilitates the status quo of divine creation, on the other hand, he remains steadily positioned within Ismā‘īlī and Neoplatonic paradigms: the return of all loving-beings to their Source is interrupted at the level of the first Intellect, whilst God remains inaccessible and ineffable. By investigating his opus magnum, the Rāḥat al-ʿaql, we shall highlight how al-Kirmānī also emphasizes the notion of divine providence which allows humans to attain their ultimate completeness by following the teachings of the Imams, repositories of the knowledge necessary to serve the unreachable deity.

Keywords: Determinism, love, Avicenna, al-Kirmani, Ismaili philosophy

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1 An Emergentist Defense of Incompatibility between Morally Significant Freedom and Causal Determinism

Authors: Lubos Rojka


The common perception of morally responsible behavior is that it presupposes freedom of choice, and that free decisions and actions are not determined by natural events, but by a person. In other words, the moral agent has the ability and the possibility of doing otherwise when making morally responsible decisions, and natural causal determinism cannot fully account for morally significant freedom. The incompatibility between a person’s morally significant freedom and causal determinism appears to be a natural position. Nevertheless, some of the most influential philosophical theories on moral responsibility are compatibilist or semi-compatibilist, and they exclude the requirement of alternative possibilities, which contradicts the claims of classical incompatibilism. The compatibilists often employ Frankfurt-style thought experiments to prove their theory. The goal of this paper is to examine the role of imaginary Frankfurt-style examples in compatibilist accounts. More specifically, the compatibilist accounts defended by John Martin Fischer and Michael McKenna will be inserted into the broader understanding of a person elaborated by Harry Frankfurt, Robert Kane and Walter Glannon. Deeper analysis reveals that the exclusion of alternative possibilities based on Frankfurt-style examples is problematic and misleading. A more comprehensive account of moral responsibility and morally significant (source) freedom requires higher order complex theories of human will and consciousness, in which rational and self-creative abilities and a real possibility to choose otherwise, at least on some occasions during a lifetime, are necessary. Theoretical moral reasons and their logical relations seem to require a sort of higher-order agent-causal incompatibilism. The ability of theoretical or abstract moral reasoning requires complex (strongly emergent) mental and conscious properties, among which an effective free will, together with first and second-order desires. Such a hierarchical theoretical model unifies reasons-responsiveness, mesh theory and emergentism. It is incompatible with physical causal determinism, because such determinism only allows non-systematic processes that may be hard to predict, but not complex (strongly) emergent systems. An agent’s effective will and conscious reflectivity is the starting point of a morally responsible action, which explains why a decision is 'up to the subject'. A free decision does not always have a complete causal history. This kind of an emergentist source hyper-incompatibilism seems to be the best direction of the search for an adequate explanation of moral responsibility in the traditional (merit-based) sense. Physical causal determinism as a universal theory would exclude morally significant freedom and responsibility in the traditional sense because it would exclude the emergence of and supervenience by the essential complex properties of human consciousness.

Keywords: Consciousness, free will, Determinism, Moral Responsibility, Emergence

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