1. 6461.221649
    What if your brain could talk to you? ’That’s a silly question’, I hear you say, ‘My brain already talks to me.’ To the best of our current knowledge, the mind is the brain, and the mind is always talking. …
    Found 1 hour, 47 minutes ago on John Danaher's blog
  2. 9812.221701
    Creativity is the production of things that are novel and valuable (whether physical artefacts, actions, or ideas). Humans are unique in the extent of their creativity, which plays a central role in innovation and problem solving, as well as in the arts. But what are the cognitive sources of novelty? More particularly, what are the cognitive sources of stochasticity in creative production? I will argue that they belong to two broad categories. One is associative, enabling the selection of goal-relevant ideas that have become activated by happenstance in an unrelated context. The other relies on selection processes that leverage stochastic fluctuations in neural activity. While the components appealed to in these accounts are well established, the ways in which I combine them together are new.
    Found 2 hours, 43 minutes ago on Peter Carruthers's site
  3. 10626.221719
    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, 57 minutes ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  4. 378508.221733
    Suppose that a contraceptive has the following properties: Fewer than 1% of users have a pregnancy annually. At least 5% of users annually experience a cycle where the contraceptive fails to prevent fertilization but does prevent implantation. …
    Found 4 days, 9 hours ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  5. 442230.221747
    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
  6. 451266.22176
    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
  7. 499886.221776
    Although the proper definition of ‘rape’ is itself a matter of some dispute, rape is generally understood to involve sexual penetration of a person by force and/or without that person's consent. Rape is committed overwhelmingly by men and boys, usually against women and girls, and sometimes against other men and boys. (For the most part, this entry will assume male perpetrators and female victims.) Virtually all feminists agree that rape is a grave wrong, one too often ignored, mischaracterized, and legitimized. Feminists differ, however, about how the crime of rape is best understood, and about how rape should be combated both legally and socially.
    Found 5 days, 18 hours ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  8. 614998.221789
    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
  9. 748625.221805
    I'm working through Daniel Batson's latest book, What's Wrong with Morality? Batson distinguishes between four different types of motives for seemingly moral behavior, each with a different type of ultimate goal. …
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on The Splintered Mind
  10. 890497.22182
    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
  11. 955325.221835
    Results in social choice theory such as the Arrow and Gibbard- Satterthwaite theorems constrain the existence of rational collective decision making procedures in groups of agents. The Gibbard—Satterthwaite theorem says that no voting procedure is strategy-proof. That is, there will always be situations in which it is in a voter’s interest to misrepresent its true preferences i.e., vote strategically. We present some properties of strategic voting and then examine 7 via a bimodal logic utilizing epistemic and strategizing modalities 7 the knowledge-theoretic properties of voting situations and note that unless the voter knows that it should vote strategically, and how, i.e., knows what the other voters’ preferences are and which alternate preference P' it should use, the voter will not strategize. Our results suggest that opinion polls in election situations effectively serve as the first n — 1 stages in an n stage election.
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on Eric Pacuit's site
  12. 1019119.221848
    The donation and transfer of human gametes (eggs and sperm) for reproductive purposes raises many important and difficult questions. Some of these relate directly to policy and practice; others are more conceptual. Gamete donation occupies an interesting position within bioethics, having something in common both with other forms of donation (blood and organs, for example) and with reproductive technologies not involving donation (ranging from IVF through to more controversial areas like cloning, embryo selection, and genetic modification). It also shares some features with adoption and surrogacy, practices which also (arguably at least) involve the transfer or delegation of parental duties and rights.
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  13. 1429078.221861
    Image courtesy of BagoGames via Flickr Yuval Noah Harari wrote an article in the Guardian a couple of months back entitled ‘The meaning of life in a world without work’. I was intrigued. Harari has gained a great deal of notoriety for his books Sapiens and Homo Deus. …
    Found 2 weeks, 2 days ago on John Danaher's blog
  14. 1613337.221876
    The determination of “who is a J” within a society is treated as an aggregation of the views of the members of the society regarding this question. Methods, similar to those used in Social Choice theory are applied to axiomatize three criteria for determining who is a J: 1) a J is whoever defines oneself to be a J. 2) a J is whoever a “dictator” determines is a J. 3) a J is whoever an “oligarchy” of individuals agrees is a J.
    Found 2 weeks, 4 days ago on PhilPapers
  15. 1633131.22189
    This essay makes a case for the practical authority of deliberations and the intentions they yield. I argue that sound deliberations yielding an intention to act are together a (i) content-independent reason not to re-open deliberations about how to act and (ii) a content-independent reason to act as intended on the basis of those sound deliberations. Many philosophers have argued that this sort of ‘bootstrapping’ is impossible. In this essay, I neither rehearse nor challenge those arguments. Rather, my aim is to defend
    Found 2 weeks, 4 days ago on Matthew Noah Smith's site
  16. 1633141.221905
    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
  17. 1655091.221921
    According to Margaret Gilbert’s collective epistemology, we should take attributions of beliefs to groups seriously, rather than metaphorically or as reducible to individual belief. I argue that, similarly, attributions of belief to markets ought to be taken seriously and not merely as reports of the average beliefs of market participants. While many of Gilbert’s purported examples of group belief are better thought of as instances of acceptance, some collectives, such as courts and markets, genuinely believe. Such collectives enact truth-aimed processes that are beyond the control of any single individual. These processes produce beliefs that are distinct from any individual belief and do not merely report the "average" or "majority" view of the group. In the case of markets, beliefs are indicated by prices, though it is often difficult to infer beliefs from prices and those inferences are almost always uncertain. Market beliefs are justified when traders collectively possess sufficient evidence, there are sufficient incentives for participants to trade based upon the evidence they possess, sophisticated traders have enough power to counter common cognitive biases, and there is no manipulation of prices. Thus, in some cases markets can know.
    Found 2 weeks, 5 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  18. 1699134.221935
    Jason Brennan says: June 6, 2017 at 5:17 pm Thanks for the opportunity to discuss this further. Christiano leads mostly with an empirical critique, but that’s frankly not a promising route for him to take, and I don’t find any of the purported empirical criticisms troubling. …
    Found 2 weeks, 5 days ago on PEA Soup
  19. 2337641.221949
    The idea of the social contract goes back at least to Epicurus (Thrasher 2013). In its recognizably modern form, however, the idea is revived by Thomas Hobbes; it was developed in different ways by John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Immanuel Kant. After Kant, the idea largely fell into disrepute until it was resurrected by John Rawls. It is now at the heart of the work of a number of moral and political philosophers. The basic idea is simple: in some way, the agreement of all individuals subject to collectively enforced social arrangements shows that those arrangements have some normative property (they are legitimate, just, obligating, etc.).
    Found 3 weeks, 6 days ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  20. 2395426.221962
    The Black-Scholes(-Merton) model of options pricing establishes a theoretical relationship between the “fair” price of an option and other parameters characterizing the option and prevailing market conditions. Here I discuss a common application of the model with the following striking feature: the (expected) output of analysis apparently contradicts one of the core assumptions of the model on which the analysis is based. I will present several attitudes one might take towards this situation, and argue that it reveals ways in which a “broken” model can nonetheless provide useful (and tradeable) information.
    Found 3 weeks, 6 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  21. 2472732.221975
    « Yet more errors in papers The Social Justice Warriors are right As you might know, I haven’t been exactly the world’s most consistent fan of the Social Justice movement, nor has it been the most consistent fan of me. …
    Found 4 weeks ago on Scott Aaronson's blog
  22. 2678316.221988
    The criminal law is broadly retributive insofar as it predicates censure and sanction on culpable or responsible wrongdoing. Wrongdoing for which the agent is not responsible and, hence not culpable (in this sense) is excused. Responsibility and excuse are scalar phenomena, because the capacities constitutive of the normative competence required for responsibility can be had in different degrees and their impairment can be a matter of degree. Ideally, the criminal law would aim to deliver just deserts in cases of partial responsibility, making censure and sanction proportional to the degree of culpable wrongdoing. However, with some qualifications, American criminal law is bivalent about responsibility and excuse. It treats responsibility as all or nothing, and it is very stingy with excuse, in effect, treating many cases of partial responsibility as if the individuals were fully responsible. It is normatively problematic to treat responsibility and excuse as bivalent when the underlying facts about them are scalar in nature. In this essay, I want to explain this concern about the bivalent character of American criminal law, take partial responsibility seriously, and explore realistic alternatives to bivalence about excuse.
    Found 1 month ago on David O. Brink's site
  23. 2795394.222003
    Both “optimists” and “sceptics” in regard to extraterrestrial intelligence tend to hold the view that we are entitled to an epistemically clear position: either there will be a signal, in the sufficiently general sense, proving the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI), or no such signal is forthcoming. The distinction, I wish to argue here, is not at all so clear-cut. On the contrary, there are arguments, intrinsic to the subject matter, to the effect that the detection of ETI will be a protracted affair characterized by uncertainty at every step. Such view of SETI discovery mandates different policies from those conventionally discussed in the literature. We should not gear our expectations and publicly promote the view that the Contact will be a clear-cut, Archimedean “Eureka!”-style discovery. In contrast, the tempo and mode of the process of discovery might significantly influence societal and political reactions to the discovery. We should be prepared for such a protracted unfolding of events.
    Found 1 month ago on PhilSci Archive
  24. 2888285.222017
    Amartya Sen has recently levelled a series of what he alleges to be quite serious but very general objections against Rawls, Rawlsian fellow travellers, and other social contract accounts of justice. In The Idea of Justice, published in 2009, Sen specifically charges his target philosophical views with what he calls transcendentalism and procedural parochialism, and with being mistakenly narrowly focused on institutions. He also thinks that there is a basic incoherence—arising from a version of Derek Parfit’s Identity Problem—internal to the Rawlsian theoretical apparatus. Sen would have political philosophy pursue inter-societal comparisons of relative justice more directly and in the manner of social choice theory. Yet the positive argument that he develops in support of this method is quite thin. That aside, Sen’s polemical strategy of inflicting death by a thousand cuts is ineffective against the Rawlsian paradigm. For, as I show herein, none of these criticisms has the force we might be led to expect.
    Found 1 month ago on PhilPapers
  25. 2926582.22203
    In this article, I outline various ways in which artifacts are interwoven with autobiographical memory systems and conceptualize what this implies for the self. I first sketch the narrative approach to the self, arguing that who we are as persons is essentially our (unfolding) life story, which, in turn, determines our present beliefs and desires, but also directs our future goals and actions. I then argue that our autobiographical memory is partly anchored in our embodied interactions with an ecology of artifacts in our environment. Lifelogs, photos, videos, journals, diaries, souvenirs, jewelry, books, works of art, and many other meaningful objects trigger and sometimes constitute emotionally laden autobiographical memories. Autobiographical memory is thus distributed across embodied agents and various environmental structures. To defend this claim, I draw on and integrate distributed cognition theory and empirical research in human-technology interaction. Based on this, I conclude that the self is neither defined by psychological states realized by the brain nor by biological states realized by the organism, but should be seen as a distributed and relational construct.
    Found 1 month ago on PhilPapers
  26. 2933775.222042
    In the discipline of international relations there are contending general theories or theoretical perspectives. Realism, also known as political realism, is a view of international politics that stresses its competitive and conflictual side. It is usually contrasted with idealism or liberalism, which tends to emphasize cooperation. Realists consider the principal actors in the international arena to be states, which are concerned with their own security, act in pursuit of their own national interests, and struggle for power. The negative side of the realists’ emphasis on power and self-interest is often their skepticism regarding the relevance of ethical norms to relations among states.
    Found 1 month ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  27. 3049072.222056
    “Africana philosophy” is the name for an emergent and still developing field of ideas and idea-spaces, intellectual endeavors, discourses, and discursive networks within and beyond academic philosophy that was recognized as such by national and international organizations of professional philosophers, including the American Philosophical Association, starting in the 1980s. Thus, the name does not refer to a particular philosophy, philosophical system, method, or tradition. Rather, Africana philosophy is a third-order, metaphilosophical, umbrella-concept used to bring organizing oversight to various efforts of philosophizing—that is, activities of reflective, critical thinking and articulation and aesthetic expression—engaged in by persons and peoples African and of African descent who were and are indigenous residents of continental Africa and residents of the many African Diasporas worldwide.
    Found 1 month ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  28. 3066336.222077
    I argue that bodybuilding should not qualify as a sport, given that at the competition stage it lacks an essential feature of sports, namely, skillful activity. Based on the classic distinction between Leib (the lived body) and Körper (the objective body) in phenomenology, I argue that bodybuilding competition's sole purpose is to present the Körper, whereas sports are about manifestations of Leib. I consider several objections to this analysis, after which I conclude that bodybuilding is an endeavor closer to both beauty competitions and classical sculpture rather than to any other known sports.
    Found 1 month ago on Istvan Aranyosi's site
  29. 3334946.222094
    On Wednesday, Scott Alexander finally completed his sprawling serial novel Unsong, after a year and a half of work—incredibly, in his spare time while also working as a full-term resident in psychiatry, and also regularly updating Slate Star Codex, which I consider to be the world’s best blog. …
    Found 1 month, 1 week ago on Scott Aaronson's blog
  30. 3573222.222108
    As Danny Glover put it, environmental injustice (EIJ) is about the fact that South-Central Los Angeles children have only one-third of the lung capacity of Santa Monica children (van Gelder 2001). South-Central LA is mostly black and heavily polluted; Santa Monica is mostly white and pristine. Children bear the brunt of the difference. In most nations poor people, minorities, and children bear EIJ—disproportionate pollution that causes poorer health and higher death rates. This article shows how scientists and engineers contribute to EIJ if they mask, thus encourage, EIJ by using flawed analytic techniques such as short-term studies or incomplete verification and validation. It illustrates EIJ effects of three such errors: using small or nonrepresentative samples, misrepresenting uncertainty, and misusing statistical significance.
    Found 1 month, 1 week ago on Kristin Shrader-Frechette's site