[RG #105] Movement Ecology: Establishing a Novel Interdisciplinary Field of Research to Explore the Causes, Patterns, Mechanisms and Consequences of Organism Movements
September 1, 2006 - August 31, 2007
Ran Nathan (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
We aim to develop a coherent representation that captures the essential features of movement in terms of casual components, goals, information requirements and capacities, around which future studies could be organized and from which predictable consequences could be established for all sorts of organisms. This would be a launching pad for mathematical modeling, hypothesis generation, measurement and data analysis -- a coherent basis reaching from first principles to consequences, and allowing prediction and testing in real world situations. The four elements of the framework are the internal state of the organism, its movement and navigation mechanisms, and the external factors affecting the system, all resulting in the final movement behaviour and trajectory.
Once the framework has been developed, we can develop qualitative mathematical machinery that will allow us to simulate movement patterns under various explicit assumptions abot the four basic components of our conceptual model. If we can simulate under different scenarios, we can predict. If we can predict, we can compare prediction with observation, and we can test hypotheses about the model itself and our construction of it as being representative of reality.
March 1 - August 31, 2008
David Enoch (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
Though not often found in the interdisciplinary literature -- metaethics (in the analytic tradition) is a fairly abstract, professional-philosophical debate -- metaethics is easily characterizable as intersubdisciplinary: one cannot seriously study the metaphysics of morals without possessing at least a good overall grasp of metaphysics; one cannot seriously study moral epistemology without at least a good overall understanding of epistemology; and similarly, it is impossible to me a metaethicist without a good grasp of major theories and arguments in the philosophy of language, mind, and action, and perhaps in aesthetics as well.
Indeed, the metaethical debate has recently become even wider in scope, for it is now widely noted that just as morality is a particular instance of a largely normative discourse, metaethics is a particular instance of metanormativity. Normative discourse also includes, for example, the part of epistemic discourse that deals with obviously normative notions such as justification, entitlement, and reasons for belief. There is a close link between the philosophical problems surrounding moral discourse and those surrounding epistemic discourse. And a comprehensive metanormative theory will need to be general enough to be applied to different kinds of normative discourses (such as morality, the normative part of epistemology, some parts of aesthetic discourse), but also to accomodate the differences between them.