Unthinkable Syndromes. Paradoxa of Relevance and Constraints on Diagnostic Categories

Merin, Arthur Unthinkable Syndromes. Paradoxa of Relevance and Constraints on Diagnostic Categories. In: Pre-Proceedings of the 26th International Wittgenstein Symposium. Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society, Kirchberg am Wechsel, pp. 233-235.


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Bodies of collective knowledge evolve through individual action, like all products that have a use. They also can be evaluated from the engineer's optimizing design perspective. But can individual participants in their making recognize local optimality? Can they work to realize it? Are they unable to act seriosly in a way that would ensure acquisition of a certain suboptimal design feature? One might hope for a simple answer: appeal to innate constraints on the form of categorization. But such constraints cannot wholly pre-empt the need for individual checks and thus for agency. The use of categorial schemes engages facts about the world that do not leap to the eye. They are unlike syntactic or phonological constraints of language, or edge-and orientation-detection algorithms of visual perception. What we should thus be looking for will be modest: constraints, innate or otherwise, that rule out the choice of categorial schemes which are clearly suboptimal and that are, in principle, open to agents' instant observation. We look to a limited if important domain of systematic knowledge: medical diagnostic knowledge.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bayesian Reasoning; Paradoxa of Relevance; Natural Categories; Carnap, R.; Reichenbach, H.
Subjects: Philosophie > Philosophische Disziplinen > Bewußtseinsphilosophie, Philosophie des Geistes und der Psychologie
Philosophie > Philosophische Journale, Kongresse, Vereinigungen > Wittgenstein Symposium Kirchberg, Pre-Proceedings > Kirchberg 2003
Depositing User: Stefan Köstenbauer
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2008 11:36
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2011 18:52
URI: http://sammelpunkt.philo.at/id/eprint/1659

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