Pathognomy, Sine Qua Non and Constitutive Matching (Philosophy of Diagnosis, Part 2)

This series of philosophical papers unpacks six philosophical issues in diagnostics and develops a pluralistic model of diagnosis. This paper presents a set of minimal constraints which any theory of diagnostics must satisfy based on pathognomy and sine qua non relationships.

Automatic Gadfly: Socrates by Machine

Recently, I’ve been experimenting with creating philosophical work using massive machine learning language models such as GPT-2, sometimes prompted to adopt specific philosophers’ styles and sometimes just letting it run. I’ve generated essay text, clinical trial reports and aphorisms in different philosophers’ styles. After reading Justin Weinberg’s post on the …

Dual Use Technology and GPT-3

Yesterday, AI researchers published a new paper entitled Language Models are Few-Shot Learners. This paper introduces GPT-3 (Generative Pretrained Transformer 3), the follow-up to last year’s GPT-2, which at the time it was released was the largest language model out there. GPT-2 was particularly impactful because of a cycle of media hype and consternation …

Random Reflections: Cochrane and the Origins of Hierarchies

In 1972, Archie Cochrane published Effectiveness and Efficiency: Random Reflections on Health Services. In a little under 86 pages, Cochrane offers a wide-ranged but succinct delivery of his experience and his philosophy of evidence in clinical practice. It’s a fascinating gallop through the concerns of one of the most influential figures …

Crisis Thresholds: network demarcation and the Kuhnian turning point

In at least some of his work (e.g. 1962), Kuhn refers to a ‘crisis’ within the scientific community, which occurs when the build-up of anomalies becomes so substantial that most of the community begin to search for an alternative to the dominant paradigm. The crisis precipitates a period of revolutionary …