1. 161483.469135
Consider the crucible of character theodicy, that we are permitted by God to meet with great evils in order to form a character with virtues like courage and sacrificial love whose significant exercise requires significant evils. …
Found 1 day, 20 hours ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
2. 216318.469254
Common-sense morality includes various agent-centred constraints, including ones against killing unnecessarily and breaking a promise. However, it’s not always clear whether, had an agent φ-ed, she would have violated a constraint. And sometimes the reason for this is not that we lack knowledge of the relevant facts, but that there is no fact about whether her φ-ing would have constituted a constraint-violation. What, then, is a constraint-accepting theory (that is, a theory that includes such constraints) to say about whether it would have been permissible for her to have φ- ed? In this paper, I canvass various possible approaches to answering this question and argue that teleology offers the most plausible approach—teleology being the view that every act has its deontic status in virtue of how its outcome (or prospect) ranks relative to those of its alternatives. So although, until recently, it had been thought that only deontological theories can accommodate constraints, it turns out that teleological theories not only can accommodate constraints, but can do so more plausibly than deontological theories can.
Found 2 days, 12 hours ago on PhilPapers
3. 396812.4693
In philosophy of statistics, Deborah Mayo and Aris Spanos have championed the following epistemic principle, which applies to frequentist tests: Severity Principle (full). Data x (produced by process G) provides good evidence for hypothesis H (just) to the extent that test T severely passes H with x . (Mayo and Spanos 2011, pp.162). They have also devised a severity score that is meant to measure the strength of the evidence by quantifying the degree of severity with which H passes the test T (Mayo and Spanos 2006, 2011; Spanos 2013). That score is a real number defined on the interval [0,1]. In this paper, I put forward a paradoxical feature of the severity score as a measure of evidence. To do this, I create a scenario where a frequentist statistician S is interested in finding out if there is a difference between the means of two normally distributed random variables. The null hypothesis (H0) states that there is no difference between the two means.
Found 4 days, 14 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
4. 518813.469338
Last week, I wrote about a problem that arises if you wish to aggregate the credal judgments of a group of agents when one or more of those agents has incoherent credences. I focussed on the case of two agents, Adila and Benoit, who have credence functions $c_A$ and $c_B$, respectively. …
Found 6 days ago on M-Phi
5. 522095.469375
Today’s Virtual Colloquium is “Global and Local Atheisms” by Jeanine Diller. Dr. Diller received her PhD from the University of Michigan and is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy and Program on Religious Studies of the University of Toledo in Ohio. …
Found 6 days, 1 hour ago on The Prosblogion
6. 562434.469419
Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) is widely criticized for being an unreliable form of ampliative inference – partly because the explanatory hypotheses we have considered at a given time may all be false, and partly because there is an asymmetry between the comparative judgment on which an IBE is based and the absolute verdict that IBE is meant to license. In this paper, I present a further reason to doubt the epistemic merits of IBE and argue that it motivates moving to an inferential pattern in which IBE emerges as a degenerate limiting case. Since this inferential pattern is structurally similar to an argumentative strategy known as Inferential Robustness Analysis (IRA), it effectively combines the most attractive features of IBE and IRA into a unified approach to non-deductive inference.
Found 6 days, 12 hours ago on PhilPapers
7. 677782.469454
Beauty is perfectly rational and on Sunday knows with certainty that the following events will transpire: After falling into a dreamless sleep Sunday night, she will awaken Monday morning. Later that day she will be told that it is Monday. That evening she will once again fall into a dreamless sleep, and then a fair coin will be tossed. If it lands heads, Beauty will remain asleep until Wednesday. If the coin lands tails, her memory of Monday will be erased prior to her awakening again on Tuesday with experiences subjectively indiscernible from the experiences she had on Monday.
Found 1 week ago on PhilPapers
8. 800946.469504
Omniscience is the property of having complete or maximal knowledge. Along with omnipotence and perfect goodness, it is usually taken to be one of the central divine attributes. Once source of the attribution of omniscience to God derives from the numerous biblical passages that ascribe vast knowledge to him. St. Thomas Aquinas (Summa Theologiae I, q. 14), in his discussion of the knowledge of God, cites such texts as Job 12:13: “With God are wisdom and strength; he has counsel and understanding” and Rom. 11:13: “O the depths of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!” Another source is provided by the requirements of formulating one or another theological doctrine.
Found 1 week, 2 days ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
9. 834912.469536
There was a period in the 1970’s when the admissions data for the UC–Berkeley graduate school (hereafter, BGS) exhibited some (prima facie) peculiar statistical correlations. Specifically, a strong negative correlation was observed between being female and being accepted into BGS. This negative correlation (in the overall population of BGS applicants) was (initially) a cause for some concern regarding the possibility of gender bias in the admissions process at BGS. However, closer scrutiny of the BGS admissions data from this period revealed that no individual department’s admissions data exhibited a negative correlation between being female and being admitted. In fact, every department reported a positive correlation between being female and being accepted. In other words, a correlation that appears at the level of the general population of BGS applicants is reversed in every single department of BGS. This sort of correlation reversal is known as Simpson’s Paradox. Because admissions decisions at BGS are made (autonomously) by each individual department, the lack of departmental correlations seems to rule-out the gender bias hypothesis as the best (causal) explanation of the observed correlations in the data. As it happens, there was a strong positive correlation between being female and applying to a department with a (relatively) high rejection rate.
Found 1 week, 2 days ago on Branden Fitelson's site
10. 1031654.469578
Naturalistic philosophers rely on literature search and review in a number of ways and for different purposes. Yet this article shows how processes of literature search and review are likely to be affected by widespread and systematic biases. A solution to this problem is offered here. Whilst the tradition of systematic reviews of literature from scientific disciplines has been neglected in philosophy, systematic reviews are important tools that minimize bias in literature search and review and allow for greater reproducibility and transparency. If naturalistic philosophers wish to reduce bias in their research, they should then supplement their traditional tools for literature search and review by including systematic methodologies.
Found 1 week, 4 days ago on PhilSci Archive
11. 1081679.469613
Reductive intellectualists (e.g., Stanley & Williamson 2001; Stanley 2011a; 2011b; Brogaard 2008; 2009; 2011) hold that knowledge-how is a kind of knowledge-that. If this thesis is correct, then we should expect the defeasibility conditions for knowledge-how and knowledge-that to be uniform—viz., that the mechanisms of epistemic defeat which undermine propositional knowledge will be equally capable of imperilling knowledge-how. The goal of this paper is twofold: first, against intellectualism, we will show that knowledge-how is in fact resilient to being undermined by the very kinds of traditional (propositional) epistemic defeaters which clearly defeat the items of propositional knowledge which intellectualists identify with knowledge-how. Second, we aim to fill an important lacuna in the contemporary debate, which is to develop an alternative way in which epistemic defeat for knowledge-how could be modelled within an anti-intellectualist framework.
Found 1 week, 5 days ago on PhilPapers
12. 1098539.469646
Let's suppose that Adila and Benoit are both experts, and suppose that we are interested in gleaning from their opinions about a certain proposition $X$ and its negation $\overline{X}$ a judgment of our own about $X$ and $\overline{X}$. …
Found 1 week, 5 days ago on M-Phi
13. 1139492.469678
Epistemology has focused primarily on propositional knowledge, that is, on how it is we can know true propositions, where propositions represent the world as being a certain way, and when true, what is known is simply that the world is a certain way. Thus what is known is the structure of the objective world, that is, of some mind-independent truths, where the paradigm is that of sensory perception. The only kind of knowledge that would be mind-dependent in any sense would be knowledge of the contents of someone’s mind. And since it is plausible to think of a mind as part of the world to be known, and since one cannot know the content of a mind unless the mind contains that content, both realism and the factivity of knowledge are upheld even where such truths are in some sense mind-dependent.
Found 1 week, 6 days ago on PhilPapers
14. 1254968.469709
According to the orthodox treatment of risk preferences in decision theory, they are to be explained in terms of the agent’s desires about concrete outcomes. The orthodoxy has been criticised both for conflating two types of attitudes and for committing agents to attitudes that do not seem rationally required. To avoid these problems, it has been suggested that an agent’s attitudes to risk should be captured by a risk function that is independent of her utility and probability functions. The main problem with that approach is that it suggests that attitudes to risk are wholly distinct from people’s (non-instrumental) desires. To overcome this problem, we develop a framework where an agent’s utility function is defined over chance propositions (i.e., propositions describing objective probability distributions) as well as ordinary (non-chance) ones, and argue that one should explain different risk attitudes in terms of different forms of the utility function over such propositions.
Found 2 weeks ago on PhilPapers
15. 1319997.469741
For any person, there are some things they know, and some things they don’t. What exactly is the difference? What does it take to know something? It’s not enough just to believe it—we don’t know the things we’re wrong about. Knowledge seems to be more like a way of getting at the truth. The analysis of knowledge concerns the attempt to articulate in what exactly this kind of “getting at the truth” consists. More particularly, the project of analysing knowledge is to state conditions that are individually necessary and jointly sufficient for propositional knowledge, thoroughly answering the question, what does it take to know something?
Found 2 weeks, 1 day ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
16. 1321107.469772
I’m surprised it’s a year already since posting my published comments on the ASA Document on P-Values. Since then, there have been a slew of papers rehearsing the well-worn fallacies of tests (a tad bit more than the usual rate). …
Found 2 weeks, 1 day ago on D. G. Mayo's blog
17. 1385427.469805
When is a belief or judgment justified? One might be forgiven for thinking the search for single answer to this question to be hopeless. The concept of justification is required to fulfil several tasks: to evaluate beliefs epistemically, to fill in the gap between truth and knowledge, to describe the virtuous organization of one’s beliefs, to describe the relationship between evidence and theory (and thus relate to confirmation and probabilification). While some of these may be held to overlap, the prospects for fulfilling all may well seem poor. Furthermore the internalist requires that justification be an introspectible property of beliefs and a fundamental epistemic concept, while the externalist is often happy to ignore the concept altogether or at best regard it as an embarrassing add-on to their epistemology. In the light of this one might reasonably give up on justification altogether or adopt pluralist approach, denying that justification is any single property of beliefs of judgments.
Found 2 weeks, 2 days ago on Alexander Bird's site
18. 1781825.469836
Population axiologists hope to shed light on central questions in population ethics (How many people should we want there to be? How well off should we want them to be? What if these things are in tension?) by ranking populations that differ with respect to the number of people they contain, and with respect to how well off those people are. But the enterprise of population axiology has, for thirty five years, been overshadowed by certain paradoxes – collections of propositions that are individually truthy (each looks true, at first glance), but jointly inconsistent (they cannot all be true). Here is one of the simplest :
Found 2 weeks, 6 days ago on Caspar Hare's site
19. 1782040.469868
We could imagine critters whose perceptual system works as follows: When they have an object in their visual field, instead of the perceptual system delivering the presence of a dog, it delivers something like: dog:0.93, coyote:0.03, wolf:0.03, deer:0.01. …
Found 2 weeks, 6 days ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
20. 1813634.4699
Moderate pragmatic invariantism (MPI) is a proposal to explain why our intuitions about the truth-value of knowledge claims vary with stakes and salient error-possibilities. The basic idea is that this variation is due to a variation not in the propositions expressed (as epistemic contextualists would have it) but in the propositions conversationally implicated. I will argue that MPI is mistaken: I will distinguish two kinds of implicature, namely, additive and substitutional implicatures. I will then argue, first, that the proponent of MPI cannot appeal to additive implicatures because they don’t affect truth-value intuitions in the required way. Second, I will argue that the proponent of MPI cannot appeal to substitutional implicatures either because, even though they may have the required effects on truth-value intuitions, they don’t feature in the relevant cases. It follows that MPI is mistaken because whether the proponent of MPI appeals to additive or substitutional implicatures, at least one of the claims that make up her view is false. Along the way, I will suggest principles about implicatures that should be relevant not only to MPI, but to pragmatic accounts of seemingly semantic intuitions in general.
Found 2 weeks, 6 days ago on PhilPapers
21. 1897339.469973
In a previous post, I floated the possibility that we might use recent work in decision theory by Orri Stefánsson and Richard Bradley to solve the so-called Swamping Problem for veritism. In this post, I'll show that, in fact, this putative solution can't work.According to the Swamping Problem, I value beliefs that are both justified and true more than I value beliefs that are true but unjustified; and, we might suppose, I value beliefs that are justified but false more than I value beliefs that are both unjustified and false. …
Found 3 weeks ago on M-Phi
22. 1929200.470013
This paper is about some of the ways in which people sometimes speak while being indifferent toward what they say. It is argued that what Harry Frankfurt called ‘bullshitting’ is a mode of speech marked by indifference toward inquiry, the cooperative project of reaching truth in discourse. On this view bullshitting is characterized by indifference toward the project of advancing inquiry by making progress on specific subinquiries, represented by so-called questions under discussion. This account preserves the central insight of Frankfurt’s influential analysis of bullshitting in seeing the characteristic of bullshitting as indifference toward truth and falsity. Yet it is shown that speaking with indifference toward truth is a wider phenomenon than the one Frankfurt identified. The account offered in this paper thereby agrees with various critics of Frankfurt who argue that bullshitting is compatible with not being indifferent toward the truth-value of one’s assertions. Further, it is argued that, while bullshitting and lying are not mutually exclusive, most lies are not instances of bullshitting. The account thereby avoids the problem that Frankfurt’s view ultimately is insufficient to adequately distinguish bullshitting and lying.
Found 3 weeks, 1 day ago on Don Fallis's site
23. 1954980.470046
Counterfactuals about scientific practice reveal some curious facts about our prior probabilities. Our handling of experimental suggests an approximate flatness in our prior distributions of various constants (cf. …
Found 3 weeks, 1 day ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
24. 2151422.47008
Many in philosophy understand truth in terms of precise semantic values, true propositions. Following Braun and Sider, I say that in this sense almost nothing we say is, literally, true. But I take the stand that this formal account of truth constitutes a vitally useful idealization in understanding many features of the structure of language. The pitfall identified by Braun and Sider concerns issues about application of language to the world. In understanding these issues I propose an alternative modeling tool summarized in the idea that inaccuracy of statements is accommodated by their imprecision. This yields a pragmatist account, but one not subject to the usual ways of dismissing pragmatism. The paper addresses some prima facie objections and concludes with implications for how we address certain problems in philosophy.
Found 3 weeks, 3 days ago on Paul Teller's site
25. 2158453.470114
One currently popular view about the nature of objective probabilities, or objective chances, is that they – or some of them, at least – are primitive features of the physical world, not reducible to anything else nor explicable in terms of frequencies, degrees of belief, or anything else. In this paper I explore the question of what the semantic content of primitive chance claims could be. Every attempt I look at to supply such content either comes up empty-handed, or begs important questions against the skeptic who doubts the meaningfulness of primitive chance claims. In the second half of the paper I show that, by contrast, there are clear, and clearly contentful, ways to understand objective chance claims if we ground them on deterministic physical underpinnings.
Found 3 weeks, 3 days ago on PhilSci Archive
26. 2173904.470148
This article deals with the nature of the objective-subjective dichotomy, first from a general historical point of view, and then with regard to the use of these terms over time to describe theories of probability. The different (metaphysical and epistemological) meanings of “objective” and “subjective” are analyzed, and then used to show that all probability theories can be divided into three broad classes.
Found 3 weeks, 4 days ago on PhilSci Archive
27. 2372730.470181
Many philosophers have argued that you should only assert what you know to be the case (e.g. Williamson 1996). If you don't know that P is true, you shouldn't go around saying that P is true. Furthermore, to assert what you don't know isn't just bad manners; it violates a constitutive norm, fundamental to what assertion is. …
Found 3 weeks, 6 days ago on The Splintered Mind
28. 2410479.470219
Aesthetic non-inferentialism is the widely-held thesis that aesthetic judgments either are identical to, or are made on the basis of, sensory states like perceptual experience and emotion. It is sometimes objected to on the basis that testimony is a legitimate source of such judgments. Less often is the view challenged on the grounds that one’s inferences can be a source of aesthetic judgments. This paper aims to do precisely that. According to the theory defended here, aesthetic judgments may be unreasoned, insofar as they are immediate judgments made on the basis of, and acquiring their justification from, causally prior sensory states. Yet they may also be reasoned, insofar as they may be the outputs of certain inferences. Crucially, a token aesthetic judgment may be unreasoned and reasoned, simultaneously. A key reason for allowing inference to constitute a legitimate ground for aesthetic judgment emerges from reflection upon the nature of aesthetic expertise.
Found 3 weeks, 6 days ago on PhilPapers
29. 2414943.470252
Recent thinking within philosophy of mind about the ways cognition can extend (e.g. Clark 2011; Clark & Chalmers 1998; Wilson 2000, 2004; Menary 2006) has yet to be integrated with philosophical theories of emotion, which give cognition a central role. We carve out new ground at the intersection of these areas, and in doing so, defend what we call the extended emotion thesis: i.e., the claim that some emotions can extend beyond skin and skull to parts of the external world.
Found 3 weeks, 6 days ago on PhilPapers
30. 2430397.470285
. As part of the week of recognizing R.A.Fisher (February 17, 1890 – July 29, 1962), I reblog a guest post by Stephen Senn from 2012. (I will comment in the comments.) ‘Fisher’s alternative to the alternative’ By: Stephen Senn [2012 marked] the 50th anniversary of RA Fisher’s death. …
Found 4 weeks ago on D. G. Mayo's blog