1. 10527.383069
    The idea of justice occupies centre stage both in ethics, and in legal and political philosophy. We apply it to individual actions, to laws, and to public policies, and we think in each case that if they are unjust this is a strong, maybe even conclusive, reason to reject them. Classically, justice was counted as one of the four cardinal virtues (and sometimes as the most important of the four); in modern times John Rawls famously described it as ‘the first virtue of social institutions’ (Rawls 1971, p.3; Rawls, 1999, p.3). We might debate which of these realms of practical philosophy has first claim on justice: is it first and foremost a property of the law, for example, and only derivatively a property of individuals and other institutions?
    Found 2 hours, 55 minutes ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  2. 10616.383156
    Loop quantum gravity has formalized a robust scheme in resolving classical singularities in a variety of symmetry-reduced models of gravity. In this essay, we demonstrate that the same quantum correction which is crucial for singularity resolution is also responsible for the phenomenon of signature change in these models, whereby one effectively transitions from a ‘fuzzy’ Euclidean space to a Lorentzian space-time in deep quantum regimes. As long as one uses a quantization scheme which respects covariance, holonomy corrections from loop quantum gravity generically leads to non-singular signature change, thereby giving an emergent notion of time in the theory. Robustness of this mechanism is established by comparison across large class of midisuperspace models and allowing for diverse quantization ambiguities. Conceptual and mathematical consequences of such an underlying quantum-deformed space-time are briefly discussed.
    Found 2 hours, 56 minutes ago on PhilSci Archive
  3. 10657.383188
    Harvey Brown’s Physical Relativity defends a view, the dynamical perspective, on the nature of spacetime that goes beyond the familiar dichotomy of substantivalist/relationist views. A full defense of this view requires attention to the way that our use of spacetime concepts connect with the physical world. Reflection on such matters, I argue, reveals that the dynamical perspective affords the only possible view about the ontological status of spacetime, in that putative rivals fail to express anything, either true or false. I conclude with remarks aimed at clarifying what is and isn’t in dispute with regards to the explanatory priority of spacetime and dynamics, at countering an objection raised by John Norton to views of this sort, and at clarifying the relation between background and effective spacetime structure.
    Found 2 hours, 57 minutes ago on PhilSci Archive
  4. 17141.383214
    One of the problems for the traditional ‘Rationalists and Empiricists’ story of early modern philosophy is that it is surprisingly difficult to define ‘rationalism’ and ’empiricism’ appropriately (see here for a previous discussion). …
    Found 4 hours, 45 minutes ago on The Mod Squad
  5. 214306.383239
    I argue that Emilie du Châtelet’s metaphysics of corporeal substance in the 1740s was a species of realism. This result challenges the ruling consensus, which takes her to have been decisively influenced by Leibniz, an idealist. In addition, I argue that du Châtelet’s ontology of body is a mixture of realism and idealism, likewise non-Leibnizian. This too questions the scholarly consensus; and opens the way for a long due and careful reassessment of her overall doctrine. I suggest that her view is best understood as dualism, a two-substance metaphysics that puts du Châtelet relatively close to Christian Wolff.
    Found 2 days, 11 hours ago on PhilPapers
  6. 214391.383263
    Jonathan Greig (LMU Munich) posted the picture above to Twitter the other day, crediting Laura Castelli with finding it. It’s from a 14th Century illuminated manuscript by Thomas Le Myésier, Breviculum ex artibus Raimundi Lulli electum, and depicts Aristotle, Averroes, and Ramon Llull leading an army charging the Tower of Falsehood. …
    Found 2 days, 11 hours ago on Richard Zach's blog
  7. 326979.383297
    There are good reasons to believe that the classical structure of space-time, as it appears in general relativity, breaks down at small length scales of the order of the Planck scale [3]. This poses a problem in particular for any theory of quantum gravity, which should extend to such short length scales. Assuming that the classical concept of space-time (described as a manifold) is no longer viable as a fundamental concept in such a theory, one needs to explain how it emerges as an approximate concept in the appropriate (long distance) limit.
    Found 3 days, 18 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  8. 433501.383324
    Wiggins’ (2012) argument against propositional accounts of knowing how is based on a development of some considerations taken from Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. Aristotle argued that the knowledge needed for participation in an ethos cannot be codified in propositional form so as to let it be imparted to someone who did not already have it. This is because any putative codification would be incomplete, and require that knowledge in order to extend it to novel cases. On a reasonable interpretation of his argument, Wiggins claims that the same goes for practical knowledge in general, and that this shows that a propositional view of knowing how is incorrect. This paper shows that this argument is unsound.
    Found 5 days ago on PhilPapers
  9. 442125.383348
    Omnipotence is maximal power. Maximal greatness (or perfection) includes omnipotence. According to traditional Western theism, God is maximally great (or perfect), and therefore is omnipotent. Omnipotence seems puzzling, even paradoxical, to many philosophers. They wonder, for example, whether God can create a spherical cube, or make a stone so massive that he cannot move it. Is there a consistent analysis of omnipotence? What are the implications of such an analysis for the nature of God?
    Found 5 days, 2 hours ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  10. 442131.383372
    Until fairly recently secession has been a neglected topic among philosophers. Two factors may explain why philosophers have now begun to turn their attention to secession. First, in the past two decades there has been a great increase not only in the number of attempted secessions, but also in successful secessions, and philosophers may simply be reacting to this new reality, attempting to make normative sense of it. The reasons for the frequency of attempts to secede are complex, but there are two recent developments that make the prospect of state-breaking more promising: improvement in national security and liberalization of trade.
    Found 5 days, 2 hours ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  11. 451167.383396
    Are you a liberal, socialist or conservative? Are you fiscally conservative but socially liberal? Or socially conservative and fiscally liberal? Are you a classical liberal or a neo-liberal? Are you a Marxist socialist or a neo-Marxist socialist? …
    Found 5 days, 5 hours ago on John Danaher's blog
  12. 614899.383424
    The paper has a twofold aim. On the one hand, it provides what appears to be the first game-theoretic modeling of Napole´on’s last campaign, which ended dramatically on June 18, 1815, at Waterloo. It is specifically concerned with the decision Napole´on made on June 17, 1815, to detach part of his army and send it against the Prussians, whom he had defeated, though not destroyed, on June 16 at Ligny. Military strategists and historians agree that this decision was crucial but disagree about whether it was rational. Hypothesizing a zero-sum game between Napole´on and Blu¨cher, and computing its solution, we show that dividing his army could have been a cautious strategy on Napole´on’s part, a conclusion which runs counter to the charges of misjudgment commonly heard since Clausewitz. On the other hand, the paper addresses some methodological issues relative to ‘‘analytic narratives’’. Some political scientists and economists who are both formally and historically minded have proposed to explain historical events in terms of properly mathematical game-theoretic models. We liken the present study to this ‘‘analytic narrative’’ methodology, which we defend against some of objections that it has
    Found 1 week ago on Philippe Mongin's site
  13. 668706.383452
    This paper responds to a new objection, due to Ben Bramble, against attitudinal theories of sensory pleasure and pain: the objection from unconscious pleasures and pains. According to the objection, attitudinal theories are unable to accommodate the fact that sometimes we experience pleasures and pains of which we are, at the time, unaware. In response, I distinguish two kinds of unawareness and argue that the subjects in the examples that support the objection are unaware of their sensations in only a weak sense, and this weak sort of unawareness of a sensation does not preclude its being an object of one’s attitudes.
    Found 1 week ago on Chris Heathwood's site
  14. 672967.383476
    In this paper, I will argue that metaphysicians ought to utilize quantum theories of gravity (QG) as incubators for a future metaphysics. In §2, I will argue why this ought to be done. In §3, I will present case studies from the history of science where physical theories have challenged both the dogmatic and speculative metaphysician. In §4, I will present two theories of QG and demonstrate the challenge they pose to certain aspects of our current metaphysics; in particular, how they challenge our understanding of the abstract-concrete distinction. The central goal of this paper is to encourage metaphysicians to look to physical theories, especially those involving cosmology such as string theory and loop quantum gravity, when doing metaphysics.
    Found 1 week ago on PhilSci Archive
  15. 722018.3835
    In Colin Maclaurin’s four-volume An Account of Sir Issac Newton’s Philosophical Discoveries, published posthumously by his wife Anne, he responds in a footnote to Spinoza’s “Epistle 15,” the so-called “worm in the blood” letter. …
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on The Mod Squad
  16. 890398.383527
    In his An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Locke’s primary aim is to provide an empiricist theory of ideas that can support interesting results about the nature of language and knowledge. Within this theory, Locke distinguishes between simple ideas and complex ideas (E II.ii.1: 119). Roughly, an idea is complex if it has other ideas as parts; otherwise, it is simple. For Locke, as is well known, all simple ideas derive from sensation (perception through sight, taste, smell, hearing, or touch) or reflection (a form of introspection directed at mental acts) (E II.i.2-4: 104-106). Aetiology also plays a role in Locke’s classification of complex ideas: ideas of modes, ideas of substances, and ideas of relations. All complex ideas are formed by a voluntary act of combination or composition. Ideas of modes, such as numbers, beauty, and theft (E II.xii.5: 165) are formed without considering whether the combinations conform to real patterns existing in the world (E II.xi.6: 158, E II.xxii.1: 288, E II.xxxi.3: 376). Ideas of substances (such as human beings, sheep, and armies – E II.xii.6: 165), by contrast, are formed with a desire “to copy Things, as they really do exist” (E II.xxxi.3: 377). Ideas of relations are like ideas of modes (E II.xxxi.14: 383-384), except that their aetiology includes, in addition to the mental act of composition, the distinct mental act of comparison on the basis of some respect or dimension (E II.xi.4: 157, E II.xxv.1: 319).
    Found 1 week, 3 days ago on Samuel Rickless's site
  17. 952925.383554
    Ugliness is a neglected topic in contemporary analytic aesthetics. This is regrettable given that this topic is not just genuinely fascinating, but could also illuminate other areas in the field, seeing as ugliness, albeit unexplored, does feature rather prominently in several debates in aesthetics. This paper articulates a ‘deformity-related’ conception of ugliness. Ultimately, I argue that deformity, understood in a certain way, and displeasure, jointly suffice for ugliness. First, I motivate my proposal, by locating a ‘deformity-related’ conception of ugliness in aesthetic tradition, offering examples in support, and rejecting related alternative suggestions. Second, I argue that the proposal boasts considerable merits. Not only does it capture much of what we ordinarily think of as ugly, but it also comprises an objective criterion for ugliness, offers unity and comprehensiveness, and is informative and explanatorily potent. Third, I discuss a number of objections, thereby demonstrating that the proposal withstands reflective scrutiny.
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on PhilPapers
  18. 1069449.383593
    Is the Christian doctrine of the Trinity consistent with a very strong version of the thesis of divine simplicity? Yes, so long as the simple divine nature is a relational nature, a nature that could be characterized in terms of such relations as knowing and loving. This divine nature functions simultaneously as agent, patient, and action: as knower, known and knowledge, and lover, beloved, and love. We can then distinguish three really distinct aspects of the one simple reality: God-qua-knower-simpliciter, God-qua-known-simpliciter, and God-quaknower-cum-known, which can be identified with Father, Son, and Spirit, respectively. However, it would be a mistake to suppose that God-qua-knower knows but is not known, or that God-qua-known is known but does not know, since it is essential that each of the three Persons both knows and is known (loves, and is beloved). Instead, we must attach the qualifications also to the action and not just to the agent or patient. So, the Father (God-qua-knower) knows-qua-knower, and similarly the Spirit loves-qua-knower-and-known. I will draw on work on qua-objects by Kit Fine and Nicholas Asher and on my own account of relational facts to elucidate this model more fully.
    Found 1 week, 5 days ago on Robert C. Koons's site
  19. 1127126.383618
    This paper aims to contribute to the analysis of the nature of mathematical modality, and to the applications of the latter to unrestricted quantification and absolute decidability. Rather than countenancing the interpretational type of mathematical modality as a primitive, I argue that the interpretational type of mathematical modality is a species of epistemic modality. I argue, then, that the framework of multi-dimensional intensional semantics ought to be applied to the mathematical setting. The framework permits of a formally precise account of the priority and relation between epistemic mathematical modality and metaphysical mathematical modality. The discrepancy between the modal systems governing the parameters in the multi-dimensional intensional setting provides an explanation of the difference between the metaphysical possibility of absolute decidability and our knowledge thereof. I demonstrate, finally, how the duality axioms of the epistemic logic for the semantics can be availed of, in order to defuse the paradox of knowability.
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on PhilPapers
  20. 1127523.383641
    In Q2, article 3 of the first part of the Summa Theologica, Aquinas argues that we can in fact demonstrate God’s existence, using only our natural reason (without resort to faith). His main argument in favor of this conclusion is an appeal to the authority of St. Paul’s letter to the Romans 1:20. Aquinas considers three objections to his position: 1. The existence of God is an article of faith, revealed by the Scriptures, not a matter of rational proof. 2. We cannot know God’s essence or nature (as Aquinas himself concedes). How can we prove the existence of an utterly unknown thing? 3. Since we cannot see God directly in this life (as, again, Aquinas would concede), we can know God only on the basis of His effects (i.e., creation). However, creation is finite, and God is infinite, and we cannot infer an infinite cause from a finite effect.
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on Robert C. Koons's site
  21. 1127607.383665
    Aristotle's theory of nature offered a number of advantages from a Christian point of view. It allowed for a profound difference between human beings and other material entities based on a distinction between rationality and sub-rationality, which fit nicely with the Biblical conception of humans as the unique bearers of the divine image in the physical world. At the same time, Aristotelianism conceived of human desires and aspirations as continuous with the striving of all natural entities to their essence-determined ends, providing an objective and scientific basis for objective norms in ethics, aesthetics, and politics. The Scientific Revolution of the last three hundred years, while clearly enabling an amazing degree of progress in our understanding of the physical basis of the world (both at the very small and very large ends of the scale), occasioned the unnecessary loss of many metaphysical insights of Aristotle and the Aristotelian tradition, insights which remain essential to the understanding of middle-sized objects-- like human beings. The quantum revolution of the last one hundred years has gradually transformed the imaginative landscape of natural science, creating new opportunities for the recovery of those same Aristotelian themes. (191)
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on Robert C. Koons's site
  22. 1127623.383689
    In a series of at least ten books and articles over the last twenty-two years, Timothy O’Connor and his collaborators have developed one of the most rigorous, subtle, and influential accounts of the relation between mind and body, which for present purposes we can call ‘emergent individualism’. My own work has been shaped and enriched by this body of work. Consequently, the critique I offer here is a decidedly friendly, intended to advance our understanding of the mind while building on the contributions of O’Connor and his co-authors (Wong, Churchill, Theiner, and Jacobs).
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on Robert C. Koons's site
  23. 1134610.383713
    [Editor's Note: The following new entry by Thomas Nickles replaces the former entry on this topic by the previous authors.] Many scientists, philosophers, and laypersons have regarded science as the one human enterprise that successfully escapes the contingencies of history to establish eternal truths about the universe, via a special, rational method of inquiry. Historicists oppose this view. In the 1960s several historically informed philosophers of science challenged the then-dominant accounts of scientific method advanced by the Popperians and the positivists (the logical positivists and logical empiricists) for failing to fit historical scientific practice and failing particularly to account for deep scientific change.
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  24. 1134616.383736
    Ideas are among the most important items in Descartes’ philosophy. They serve to unify his ontology and epistemology. As he says in a letter to Guillaume Gibieuf (1583–1650), dated 19 January 1642, “I am certain that I can have no knowledge of what is outside me except by means of the ideas I have within me.”[ 1 ] Descartes never published anything that specifically worked out a theory of ideas. Even so, he said enough in published and unpublished work, as well as in correspondence, that allows for a basic reconstruction of a theory. This entry will focus principally on the theory of ideas and how it relates to Descartes’ ontology, though in Section 6 of this entry, which includes discussion of simple natures and Descartes’ concepts of clarity and distinctness, certain components of his epistemology are briefly considered.
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  25. 1191062.383759
    Kant is known for having said relatively little about truth in Critique of Pure Reason (1781/7), and most commentators have followed suit. Many (including Bennett 1966, Strawson 1966, Wolff 1973, Hossenfelder 1978, Allison 1983, Guyer 1987, Longueness 1993, Gardner 1999, and others) have no entry for “truth” in their index, and others have only few references for this term. Nevertheless, there are important lessons to be learned from Kant about truth, lessons
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on Gila Sher's site
  26. 1301796.383783
    A-theoretic presentness is commonly regarded as non-solipsist and non-relative. The non-solipsism of a non-relative, A-theoretic presentness requires at least two space-like separated things to be present simpliciter together – this co-presentness further implies the global, non-relative, non-conventional simultaneity of them. Yet, this implication clashes with the general view that there is no global, non-relative, non-conventional simultaneity in Minkowski space-time. In order to resolve this conflict, this paper explores the possibility that the non-solipsism of a non-relative, A-theoretic presentness does not require at least two space-like separated things to be present simpliciter together. This can be done by holding exclusive disjunctivism – that mutually space-like separated things are present simpliciter exclusively disjunctively, and each one of them gets to be present simpliciter in a non-successive way (just like mutually time-like related things are present simpliciter exclusively disjunctively, and each one of them gets to be present simpliciter, but in a successive way).
    Found 2 weeks, 1 day ago on PhilPapers
  27. 1305628.383806
    Over at PhilPercs, J. Edward Hackett is documenting his reading of Whitehead's Process and Reality for the first time. Hackett is a Jamesian scholar, so a lot has to do on the overlap between Whiteheadian process philosophy, and Jamesian pragmatism and radical empiricism. …
    Found 2 weeks, 1 day ago on James K. Stanescu's blog
  28. 1366864.38383
    The instability of meaning under theory change, construed as instability of reference, requires a dense meaning space. That is, the space of referents is densely populated so that slight change in theory can shift the referent of a term to another nearby in the space. If, however, the meaning space is sparse, there are no suitable referents nearby in the space. The referents of terms can remain unchanged, even with substantial changes in the theory, simply because there are no better referents to which to attach the terms. Dense and sparse meaning spaces are associated with antirealist and realist inclinations, respectively.
    Found 2 weeks, 1 day ago on John Norton's site
  29. 1539527.383854
    August W. Schlegel (Sept. 5, 1767, Hanover – May 12, 1845, Bonn) was a German essayist, critic, translator, philosopher, and poet. Although the philosophical dimension and profundity of his writings remain underrated, he is considered to be one of the founders of the German Romantic Movement—which he conceived of as a European movement—as well as one of the most prominent disseminators of its philosophical foundational ideas, not only in Germany but also abroad and, most notably, in Britain. Schlegel had an outstanding knowledge of art, history, literature, architecture, anthropology, and foreign languages, which made him a decisive figure in the early development of comparative literature (cf.
    Found 2 weeks, 3 days ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  30. 1633042.383877
    Lee Bonteçou’s striking and haunting piece, Untitled 1959/1960 is a three-dimensional piece of work rendered out of steel and canvas, framed and hung as if a normal painting. Taut, seemingly grimy canvas is fashioned, using steel armature and thin wire, into two volcanic cones, the centers of which are deep, black ovals. The ovals appear as limitless abysses piercing the space occupied by the artwork. When viewed in the white box of a gallery space, it feels as if Bonteçou has rent a hole in the surface of reality to reveal a lurking, violent deep darkness. This piece, like much of Bonteçou’s work in that era, embodied a startling mix of painting and sculpture. Viewed today, it remains surprising and aesthetically remarkable.
    Found 2 weeks, 4 days ago on Matthew Noah Smith's site