1. 13154.970831
    Scary news from Australia: • Marc Rigby, Insect population decline leaves Australian scientists scratching for solutions, ABC Far North, 23 February 2018. I’ll quote the start: A global crash in insect populations has found its way to Australia, with entomologists across the country reporting lower than average numbers of wild insects. …
    Found 3 hours, 39 minutes ago on Azimuth
  2. 210198.970955
    Phenotypic flexibility includes systems such as individual learning, social learning, and the adaptive immune system. Since the evolution of genes by natural selection is a relatively slow process, mechanisms of phenotypic flexibility are evolved to adapt to contingencies on the time scales ranging
    Found 2 days, 10 hours ago on Peter Richerson's site
  3. 267078.970997
    Moral psychology and criminal jurisprudence share several important concepts, such as responsibility, excuse, blame, and punishment. Even if these shared concepts play somewhat different roles in these two domains, there is clearly significant overlap in their nature and demands. In fact, given the importance of moral ideas to the formation and reform of criminal law principles and practices and the effect of well-settled criminal law doctrine on our moral assumptions and beliefs, we should expect mutual influence and interaction between these domains. Culpability is one concept shared by moral psychology and criminal jurisprudence. But while culpability is a concept recognized in moral philosophy, it is deployed more regularly within the criminal law. Culpability plays an important role in the criminal law and in a broadly retributive justification of punishment, which understands the desert basis of criminal censure and sanction to consist in culpable wrongdoing. However, culpability is not a unitary concept in the criminal law. We can and should distinguish three different kinds of culpability within a retributive criminal jurisprudence.
    Found 3 days, 2 hours ago on David O. Brink's site
  4. 312684.971039
    How does language (spoken or written) impact thought? One useful way to approach this important but elusive question may be to consider language itself as a cognition-enhancing animal-built structure. To take this perspective is to view language as a kind of self-constructed cognitive niche. These self-constructed cognitive niches play, I suggest, three distinct but deeply interlocking roles in human thought and reason.
    Found 3 days, 14 hours ago on Andy Clark's site
  5. 317394.971094
    Malebranche argues that ideas are representative beings existing in God. He defends this thesis by an inference to the best explanation of human perception. It is well-known that Malebranche’s theory of vision in God was forcefully rejected by philosophers such as Arnauld, Locke, and Berkeley. However, the notion that ideas exist in God was not the only controversial aspect of Malebranche’s approach. Another controversy centered around Malebranche’s view that ideas are to be understood as posits in an explanatory theory. Opponents of this approach, including Arnauld and Locke, held that our talk about ideas was not explanatory but instead merely descriptive: we use the word ‘idea’ to describe phenomena that we observe by reflecting on our own minds. This controversy has not received much attention from scholars, but in the present paper I will show that it was an explicit and important subject of concern for Malebranche, Arnuald, Locke, and Berkeley and that attention to this controversy can illuminate several aspects of these philosophers’ work.
    Found 3 days, 16 hours ago on PhilPapers
  6. 330550.971127
    One of the main themes of my book about Carnap is that a decisive component of the original motivation first to write the Aufbau and then to push forward to the radical pluralism of the Syntax (and beyond) was Carnap’s diagnosis of the political situation immediately after the First World War in Germany. …
    Found 3 days, 19 hours ago on André Carus's Carnap Blog
  7. 469166.971161
    Hohwy (Hohwy 2016, Hohwy 2017) argues there is a tension between the free energy principle and leading depictions of mind as embodied, enactive, and extended (so-called ‘EEE1 cognition’). The tension is traced to the importance, in free energy formulations, of a conception of mind and agency that depends upon the presence of a ‘Markov blanket’ demarcating the agent from the surrounding world. In what follows I show that the Markov blanket considerations do not, in fact, lead to the kinds of tension that Hohwy depicts. On the contrary, they actively favour the EEE story. This is because the Markov property, as exemplified in biological agents, picks out neither a unique nor a stationary boundary. It is this multiplicity and mutability– rather than the absence of agent-environment boundaries as such - that EEE cognition celebrates.
    Found 5 days, 10 hours ago on Andy Clark's site
  8. 470727.971201
    We all rely on this basic assumption when we try to interpret each other’s actions. For instance, if Suzie frequently asks for chocolate ice cream, we infer that she likes chocolate ice cream. Why? Because we assume she is choosing the correct way of getting what she wants. It could be that she hates chocolate ice cream, but she’s irrational, so she acts to get the things she hates; but we assume this isn’t the case. Notice that without this sort of assumption, we would have no way of identifying each other’s desires and beliefs.
    Found 5 days, 10 hours ago on Michael Huemer's site
  9. 497709.971235
    Moral psychology and criminal jurisprudence share several important concepts, such as responsibility, excuse, blame, and punishment. Even if these shared concepts play somewhat different roles in these two domains, there is clearly significant overlap in their nature and demands. In fact, given the importance of moral ideas to the formation and reform of criminal law principles and practices and the effect of well-settled criminal law doctrine on our moral assumptions and beliefs, we should expect mutual influence and interaction between these domains. Culpability is one concept shared by moral psychology and criminal jurisprudence. But while culpability is a concept recognized in moral philosophy, it is deployed more regularly within the criminal law. Culpability plays an important role in the criminal law and in a broadly retributive justification of punishment, which understands the desert basis of criminal censure and sanction to consist in culpable wrongdoing. However, culpability is not a unitary concept in the criminal law. We can and should distinguish three different kinds of culpability within a retributive criminal jurisprudence.
    Found 5 days, 18 hours ago on David O. Brink's site
  10. 554523.971259
    In March, I’ll be talking at Spencer Breiner‘s workshop on Applied Category Theory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. I’ll be giving a joint talk with John Foley about our work using operads to design networks. …
    Found 6 days, 10 hours ago on Azimuth
  11. 558587.971273
    The Gelukpa (or Geluk) tradition of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy is inspired by the works of Tsongkhapa (1357–1419), who set out a distinctly nominalist Buddhist tradition that differs sharply from other forms of Buddhist thought not only in Tibet, but elsewhere in the Buddhist world. The negative dialectics of the Middle Way (madhyamaka) is the centerpiece of the Geluk intellectual tradition and is the philosophy that is commonly held in Tibet to represent the highest view. The Middle Way, a philosophy systematized in the second century by Nāgārjuna, seeks to chart a “middle way” between the extremes of essentialism and nihilism with the notion of two truths: the ultimate truth of emptiness and the relative truth of dependent existence.
    Found 6 days, 11 hours ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  12. 558593.971287
    Joseph Butler is best known for his criticisms of the hedonic and egoistic “selfish” theories associated with Hobbes and Bernard Mandeville and for his positive arguments that self-love and conscience are not at odds if properly understood (and indeed promote and sanction the same actions). In addition to his importance as a moral philosopher Butler was also an influential Anglican theologian. Unsurprisingly his theology and philosophy were connected — his main writings in moral philosophy were published sermons, a work of natural theology, and a brief dissertation attached to that work. Although most of Butler’s moral arguments make rich use of passages from scripture and familiar Christian stories and concepts, they make little reference to — and depend little on the reader having — any particular religious commitments.
    Found 6 days, 11 hours ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  13. 558600.9713
    Respect has great importance in everyday life. As children we are taught (one hopes) to respect our parents, teachers, and elders, school rules and traffic laws, family and cultural traditions, other people's feelings and rights, our country's flag and leaders, the truth and people's differing opinions. And we come to value respect for such things; when we're older, we may shake our heads (or fists) at people who seem not to have learned to respect them. We develop great respect for people we consider exemplary and lose respect for those we discover to be clay-footed, and so we may try to respect only those who are truly worthy of our respect.
    Found 6 days, 11 hours ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  14. 572654.971313
    Davidson’s well-known language skepticism—the claim that there is no such a thing as a language—has recognizably Gricean underpinnings, some of which also underlie his continuity skepticism—the claim that there can be no philosophically illuminating account of the emergence of language and thought. My first aim in this paper is to highlight aspects of the complicated relationship between central Davidsonian and Gricean ideas concerning language. After a brief review of Davidson’s two skeptical claims and their Gricean underpinnings, I provide my own take on how Davidson’s continuity skepticism can be resisted consistently with his rejection of the Gricean priority claim, yet without giving up some of Grice’s own insights regarding the origins of meaning.
    Found 6 days, 15 hours ago on Dorit Bar-On's site
  15. 731562.971329
    Traditionally philosophical discussions on moral responsibility have focused on the human components in moral action. Accounts of how to ascribe moral responsibility usually describe human agents performing actions that have well-defined, direct consequences. In today’s increasingly technological society, however, human activity cannot be properly understood without making reference to technological artifacts, which complicates the ascription of moral responsibility (Jonas 1984; Waelbers 2009).[ 1 ] As we interact with and through these artifacts, they affect the decisions that we make and how we make them (Latour 1992).
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  16. 789233.971342
    Autonomous agents are self-governing agents. But what is a self-governing agent? Governing oneself is no guarantee that one will have a greater range of options in the future, or the sort of opportunities one most wants to have. Since, moreover, a person can govern herself without being able to appreciate the difference between right and wrong, it seems that an autonomous agent can do something wrong without being to blame for her action. What, then, are the necessary and sufficient features of this self-relation? Philosophers have offered a wide range of competing answers to this question.
    Found 1 week, 2 days ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  17. 829840.971356
    The internet has made it easier than ever to speak to others. It has empowered individuals to publish our opinions without first convincing a media company of their commercial value; to find and share others' views without the fuss of photocopying and mailing newspaper clippings; and to respond to those views without the limitations of a newspaper letter page. …
    Found 1 week, 2 days ago on The Philosopher's Beard
  18. 880211.97137
    In ‘Freedom and Resentment’ P. F. Strawson argues that reactive attitudes like resentment and indignation cannot be eliminated altogether, because doing so would involve exiting interpersonal relationships altogether. I describe an alternative to resentment: a form of moral sadness about wrongdoing that, I argue, preserves our participation in interpersonal relationships. Substituting this moral sadness for resentment and indignation would amount to a deep and far-reaching change in the way we relate to each other – while keeping in place the interpersonal relationships, which, Strawson rightfully believes, cannot be eliminated.
    Found 1 week, 3 days ago on David Goldman's site
  19. 894384.971383
    International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
    Found 1 week, 3 days ago on PhilPapers
  20. 962104.971396
    Louis Pierre Althusser (1918–1990) was one of the most influential Marxist philosophers of the 20th Century. As they seemed to offer a renewal of Marxist thought as well as to render Marxism philosophically respectable, the claims he advanced in the 1960s about Marxist philosophy were discussed and debated worldwide. Due to apparent reversals in his theoretical positions, to the ill-fated facts of his life, and to the historical fortunes of Marxism in the late twentieth century, this intense interest in Althusser’s reading of Marx did not survive the 1970s. Despite the comparative indifference shown to his work as a whole after these events, the theory of ideology Althusser developed within it has been broadly deployed in the social sciences and humanities and has provided a foundation for much “post-Marxist” philosophy.
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  21. 962110.971409
    In Japan, Confucianism stands, along with Buddhism, as a major religio-philosophical teaching introduced from the larger Asian cultural arena at the dawn of civilization in Japanese history, roughly the mid-sixth century. Unlike Buddhism which ultimately hailed from India, Confucianism was first and foremost a distinctly Chinese teaching. It spread, however, from Han dynasty China, into Korea, and then later entered Japan via, for the most part, the Korean peninsula. In significant respects, then, Confucianism is the intellectual force defining much of the East Asian identity of Japan, especially in relation to philosophical thought and practice.
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  22. 962117.971422
    Giacomo (Jacopo) Zabarella (b. 1533 in Padua, d. 1589 in Padua) is considered the prime representative of Renaissance Italian Aristotelianism. Known most of all for his writings on logic and methodology, Zabarella was an alumnus of the University of Padua, where he received his Ph.D. in philosophy. Throughout his teaching career at his native university, he also taught philosophy of nature and science of the soul (De anima). Among his main works are the collected logical works Opera logica (1578) and writings on natural philosophy, De rebus naturalibus (1590). Zabarella was an orthodox Aristotelian seeking to defend the scientific status of theoretical natural philosophy against the pressures emanating from the practical disciplines, i.e., the art of medicine and anatomy.
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  23. 1067230.971435
    The meta-problem of consciousness is (to a first approximation) the problem of explaining why we think that there is a problem of consciousness. Just as metacognition is cognition about cognition, and a metatheory is a theory about theories, the metaproblem is a problem about a problem. The initial problem is the hard problem of consciousness: why and how do physical processes in the brain give rise to conscious experience? The relevant sort of consciousness here is phenomenal consciousness. A system is phenomenally conscious if there is something it is like to be that system, from the first-person point of view. The meta-problem is roughly the problem of explaining why we think phenomenal consciousness poses a hard problem, or in other terms, the problem of explaining why we think consciousness is hard to explain.
    Found 1 week, 5 days ago on PhilPapers
  24. 1067473.971448
    Optogenetic techniques are described as “revolutionary” for the unprecedented causal control they allow neuroscientists to exert over neural activity in awake behaving animals. In this paper, I demonstrate by means of a case study that optogenetic techniques will only illuminate causal links between the brain and behavior to the extent that their error characteristics are known and, further, that determining these error characteristics requires (1) comparison of optogenetic techniques with techniques having well known error characteristics (methodological pluralism) and (2) consideration of the broader neural and behavioral context in which the targets of optogenetic interventions are situated (perspectival pluralism).
    Found 1 week, 5 days ago on PhilPapers
  25. 1077389.971461
    Karl Leonhard Reinhold (1757–1823), Austrian philosopher and first occupant of the chair on Critical Philosophy established at the University of Jena in 1787, first achieved fame as a proponent of popular Enlightenment and as an early and effective popularizer of the Kantian philosophy. During his period at the University of Jena (1787–94), Reinhold proclaimed the need for a more “scientific” and systematic presentation of the Critical philosophy, one based upon a single, self-evident first principle. In an effort to satisfy this need, he expounded his own “Elementary Philosophy” in a series of influential works between 1789 and 1791.
    Found 1 week, 5 days ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  26. 1110583.971474
    How should we think about the moral status of non-human (or pre-human) entities? Do animals/robots/foetuses have moral status? If so, why? It is important to get the answer right. Entities with moral status are objects of moral concern. …
    Found 1 week, 5 days ago on John Danaher's blog
  27. 1116651.971489
    [The following is a guest post by Bob Lockie. — JS]He who says that all things happen of necessity can hardly find fault with one who denies that all happens by necessity; for on his own theory this very argument is voiced by necessity (Epicurus 1964: XL).Lockie, Robert. …
    Found 1 week, 5 days ago on The Brains Blog
  28. 1131927.971504
    For the past few weeks, people on- and offline have spoken up to question Winston Churchill’s legacy. They generally highlight his racism, his support for the use of concentration camps, his treatment of Ireland, his complicity in the Bengal famine, and more. …
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on Justice Everywhere
  29. 1288250.971519
    A proper understanding of the moral and political significance of migration requires a focus on global inequalities. More specifically, it requires a focus on those global inequalities that affect people’s ability to participate in the production of economic goods and non-economic goods (e.g., relationships of intimacy and care, opportunities for self-expression, well-functioning institutions, etc.). We call cooperative infrastructures the complex material and immaterial technologies that allow human beings to cooperate in order to generate human goods. By enabling migrants to access high-quality cooperative infrastructures, migration contributes to the diffusion of technical and socio-political innovations; in this way, it positively affects the ability of individuals from poorer countries to participate in the production of human goods. However, migration can also damage the material and immaterial components of the cooperative infrastructures accessible in both host countries and sending countries; these potential downsides of migration should not be ignored, although arguably they can often be neutralized, alleviated, or compensated.
    Found 2 weeks ago on Matteo Mameli's site
  30. 1423124.971532
    Gertrude Elizabeth Margaret Anscombe was one of the most gifted philosophers of the twentieth century. Her work continues to strongly influence philosophers working in action theory and moral philosophy. Like the work of her friend Ludwig Wittgenstein, Anscombe’s work is marked by a keen analytic sensibility.
    Found 2 weeks, 2 days ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy