Logic & Philosophy of Science Colloquium


Patrick Grim
Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy
SUNY Stony Brook

"Tangled Webs: Network Structure in Cooperation, Communication, and Epistemology"


Computational modeling offers an environment in which to explore a range of philosophical issues.  How can altruism emerge from egoism?  How does a sound take on a meaning?  How can altruism emerge from egoism?  Can a scientific community learn more when individual scientists learn less?  Suggestive hints, worthy of further philosophical scrutiny, arise in simulations focusing on local interaction in a range of network structures. 

This paper builds on earlier work regarding (a) cooperation in the spatialized Prisoner's Dilemma and (b) the emergence of simple signaling in a spatialized environment of wandering food sources and predators by means of imitation, localized genetic algorithms, and simple neural net learning.  Stimulated by work out of UC Irvine, those earlier attempts are extended here in two ways: (1) to a wider consideration of spatial networks, and (2) to a range of intriguing questions in the general area of epistemology and philosophy of science. 
Patrick Grim is Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at SUNY Stony Brook and spent last semester as the Weinberg Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan.  He is author of The Incomplete Universe: Totality, Knowledge, and Truth, The Philosophical Computer: Exploratory Essays in Philosophical Computer Modeling (with Gary Mar and Paul St. Denis), and founding editor of 25 volumes of The Philosopher's Annual.  His recent work appears not only in philosophical journals (Analysis, Journal of Philosophical Logic, Nous, Synthese, Theory and Decision, Public Affairs Quarterly) but in a range of other disciplines (Journal of Theoretical Biology, Adaptive Behavior, BioSystems, Evolution of Communication, Journal for Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence, Interaction Studies, IEEE Transactions on Fuzzy Systems). 

Friday, March 16, 2007
SST 777
3 pm

Refreshments will be served