1. 5397.147804
    I am finding myself frustrated trying to figure out whether the fundamental bearers of aesthetic properties are mental states or things out in the world. When I think about the fact that there does not seem to be any significant difference between the beauty of music that one actually listens to with one’s ears versus “music” that is directly piped to the auditory center of the brain, that makes me think that the fundamental bearers of aesthetic properties are mental states. …
    Found 1 hour, 29 minutes ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  2. 70515.147876
    I’m talking about carbon dioxide scrubbers. This post will just be an extended quote from an excellent book, which is free online: • David McKay, Sustainable Energy: Without the Hot Air. It will help us begin to understand the economics. …
    Found 19 hours, 35 minutes ago on Azimuth
  3. 79530.147904
    This paper discusses the relevance of supertask computation for the determinacy of arithmetic. Recent work in the philosophy of physics has made plausible the possibility of supertask computers, capable of running through infinitely many individual computations in a finite time. A natural thought is that, if true, this implies that arithmetical truth is determinate (at least for e.g. sentences saying that every number has a certain decidable property). In this paper we argue, via a careful analysis of putative arguments from supertask computations to determinacy, that this natural thought is mistaken: supertasks are of no help in explaining arithmetical determinacy.
    Found 22 hours, 5 minutes ago on Daniel Waxman's site
  4. 85297.147929
    Suppose we have a group of perfect Bayesian agents with the same evidence who nonetheless disagree. By definition of “perfect Bayesian agent”, the disagreement must be rooted in differences in priors between these peers. …
    Found 23 hours, 41 minutes ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  5. 90982.147952
    Gao (2017) presents a new mentalistic reformulation of the well-known measurement problem affecting the standard formulation of quantum mechanics. According to this author, it is essentially a determinate-experience problem, namely a problem about the compatibility between the linearity of the Schrödinger’s equation, the fundamental law of quantum theory, and definite experiences perceived by conscious observers. In this essay I aim to clarify (i) that the well-known measurement problem is a mathematical consequence of quantum theory’s formalism, and that (ii) its mentalistic variant does not grasp the relevant causes which are responsible for this puzzling issue. The first part of this paper will be concluded claiming that the “physical” formulation of the measurement problem cannot be reduced to its mentalistic version. In the second part of this work it will be shown that, contrary to the case of quantum mechanics, Bohmian mechanics and GRW theories provide clear explanations of the physical processes responsible for the definite localization of macroscopic objects and, consequently, for well-defined perceptions of measurement outcomes by conscious observers. More precisely, the macro-objectification of states of experimental devices is obtained exclusively in virtue of their clear ontologies and dynamical laws without any intervention of human observers. Hence, it will be argued that in these theoretical frameworks the measurement problem and the determinate-experience problem are logically distinct issues.
    Found 1 day, 1 hour ago on PhilSci Archive
  6. 127399.147976
    I continue a week of Fisherian posts begun on his birthday (Feb 17). This is his contribution to the “Triad”–an exchange between  Fisher, Neyman and Pearson 20 years after the Fisher-Neyman break-up. The other two are below. …
    Found 1 day, 11 hours ago on D. G. Mayo's blog
  7. 148672.148006
    Biological market theory has in recent years become an important part of the social evolutionist’s toolkit. This article discusses the explanatory potential and pitfalls of biological market theory in the context of big picture accounts of the evolution of human cooperation and morality. I begin by assessing an influential account that presents biological market dynamics as a key driver of the evolution of fairness norms in humans. I argue that this account is problematic for theoretical, empirical, and conceptual reasons. After mapping the evidential and explanatory limits of biological market theory, I suggest that it can nevertheless fill a lacuna in an alternative account of hominin evolution. Trade on a biological marketplace can help explain why norm-based cooperation did not break down when our late-Pleistocene ancestors entered new, challenging social and economic environments.
    Found 1 day, 17 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  8. 148709.148029
    De Finetti is one of the founding fathers of the subjective school of probability. He held that probabilities are subjective, coherent degrees of expectation, and he argued that none of the objective interpretations of probability make sense. While his theory has been influential in science and philosophy, it has encountered various objections. I argue that these objections overlook central aspects of de Finetti’s philosophy of probability and are largely unfounded. I propose a new interpretation of de Finetti’s theory that highlights these aspects and explains how they are an integral part of de Finetti’s instrumentalist philosophy of probability. I conclude by drawing an analogy between misconceptions about de Finetti’s philosophy of probability and common misconceptions about instrumentalism.
    Found 1 day, 17 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  9. 160522.148057
    Commenting on my 'Right Wrong-Makers' draft, Doug Portmore suggested to me that (i) virtuous agents should care about what ultimately matters, and (ii) this is not the same as any feature of actions, and so in particular isn't the same thing as an action's right- (or wrong-)making features. …
    Found 1 day, 20 hours ago on Philosophy, et cetera
  10. 192939.148081
    One avenue for questioning theories that posit moral facts is to argue that we lack the ability to know those facts. If it could be shown that the assumptions the theories involve, for example about the nature of moral facts, leave no room for moral knowledge then that is commonly seen as a reductio. This line of reasoning helps explain why moral diversity is given such a central role in meta-ethics, since the extensive disagreement that occurs over moral issues is often taken to reinforce the worries about our ability to know moral truths even assuming that they exist.
    Found 2 days, 5 hours ago on PhilPapers
  11. 222628.148105
    . As part of the week of posts on R.A.Fisher (February 17, 1890 – July 29, 1962), I reblog a guest post by Stephen Senn from 2012, and 2017. See especially the comments from Feb 2017. ‘Fisher’s alternative to the alternative’ By: Stephen Senn [2012 marked] the 50th anniversary of RA Fisher’s death. …
    Found 2 days, 13 hours ago on D. G. Mayo's blog
  12. 307737.148131
    17 February 1890–29 July 1962 Today is R.A. Fisher’s birthday. I will post some Fisherian items this week in honor of it*. This paper comes just before the conflicts with Neyman and Pearson erupted. Fisher links his tests and sufficiency, to the Neyman and Pearson lemma in terms of power. …
    Found 3 days, 13 hours ago on D. G. Mayo's blog
  13. 320533.148159
    This article describes some recent work on ‘direct air capture’ of carbon dioxide—essentially, sucking it out of the air: • Jon Gerntner, The tiny Swiss company that thinks it can help stop climate change, New York Times Magazine, 12 February 2019. …
    Found 3 days, 17 hours ago on Azimuth
  14. 373215.148182
    A key gizmo in Gibbard’s formal model of normative judgment is the thing he used to call a “complete system of norms” (Gibbard [1986, 1990]), and which, by around Gibbard [2003], evolved into the hyperplan. In this paper I want to ask what hyperplans are, and ask how best to use them in modeling normative thinking. One part of this paper is exegetical. There is perhaps less than universal agreement in the literature on how Gibbard’s systematizing with hyperplans works exactly. I offer a take. The other part is exploratory. I think there is a way of theorizing with hyperplans that is not quite Gibbard’s way, but which is also expressivistic, and which is worth looking at. I have tried to say so in Yalcin [2012, ], but here I offer a more focused development. I will call (my take on) Gibbard’s package of views about how to model with hyperplans Plan A. I spend the first section of the paper setting Plan A out. The alternative I will set out, Plan B, is the topic of the sections after that. Even if you don’t leave the paper preferring Plan B to Plan A, I hope you’ll find the contrast clarifying. In separating these two ways of theorizing with hyperplans, really I’m trying bring out two rather different ways of conceptualizing expressivism.
    Found 4 days, 7 hours ago on Seth Yalcin's site
  15. 424222.148209
    This paper is an attempt to articulate and defend a new imperative, Auschwitz survivor Charlotte Delbo’s Il faut donner à voir: “They must be made to see.” Assuming the ‘they’ in Delbo’s imperative is ‘us’ gives rise to three questions: (1) what must we see? (2) can we see it? and (3) why is it that we must? I maintain that what we must see is the reality of evil; that we are by and large unwilling, and often unable, to see the reality of evil; and that if there is to be comprehension of—to say nothing of justice for—the survivors of evil, we nonetheless must.
    Found 4 days, 21 hours ago on PhilPapers
  16. 424342.148232
    Consider the following three claims. (i) There are no truths of the form ‘p and ~p’. (ii) No one holds a belief of the form ‘p and ~p’. (iii) No one holds any pairs of beliefs of the form {p, ~p}. Irad Kimhi has recently argued, in effect, that each of these claims holds and holds with metaphysical necessity. Furthermore, he maintains that they are ultimately not distinct claims at all, but the same claim formulated in different ways. I find his argument suggestive, if not entirely transparent. I do think there is at least an important kernel of truth even in (iii), and that (i) ultimately explains what’s right about the other two. Consciousness of an impossibility makes belief in the obtaining of the corresponding state of affairs an impossibility. Interestingly, an appreciation of this fact brings into view a novel conception of inference, according to which it consists in the consciousness of necessity. This essay outlines and defends this position. A central element of the defense is that it reveals how reasoners satisfy what Paul Boghossian the Taking Condition and do so without engendering regress.
    Found 4 days, 21 hours ago on PhilPapers
  17. 424442.148255
    Is it appropriate to honour artists who have created great works but who have also acted immorally? In this paper, after arguing that honouring involves picking out a person as someone we ought to admire, we present three moral reasons against honouring immoral artists. First, we argue that honouring can serve to condone their behaviour, through the mediums of emotional prioritization and exemplar identification. Second, we argue that honouring immoral artists can generate undue epistemic credibility for the artists, which can lead to an indirect form of testimonial injustice for the artists’ victims. Third, we argue, building on the first two reasons, that honouring immoral artists can also serve to silence their victims. We end by considering how we might respond to these reasons.
    Found 4 days, 21 hours ago on PhilPapers
  18. 437934.148278
    Aristotelian natural law approaches provide an attractive middle road between objectivist and subjectivist answers to various normative questions: the answers to the questions are relative to the kind of entity that they concern, but not to the particular particular entity. …
    Found 5 days, 1 hour ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  19. 437936.148329
    Problem: It seems that if God necessarily exists, then the moral automatically supervenes on the non-moral. For, any two worlds that differ in moral facts also differ in what God believes about moral facts, and presumably belief facts are non-moral. …
    Found 5 days, 1 hour ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  20. 442440.148358
    The logical analysis of agency and games—for an expository introduction to the field see van der Hoek and Pauly’s overview paper 2007—has boomed in the last two decades giving rise to a plethora of different logics in particular within the multi-agent systems field. At the heart of these logics are always representations of the possible choices (or actions) of groups of players (or agents) and their powers to force specific outcomes of the game. Some logics take the former as primitives, like STIT (the logic of seeing to it that, [Bel-nap et al., 2001; Horty, 2001]), some take the latter like CL (coalition logic, [Pauly, 2002; Goranko et al., 2013]) and ATL (alternating-time temporal logic, [Alur et al., 2002]). In these formalisms the power of players is modeled in terms of the notion of effectivity. In a strategic game, the α-effectivity of a group of players consists of those sets of outcomes of the game for which the players have some collective action which forces the outcome of the game to end up in that set, no matter what the other players do [Moulin and Peleg, 1982]. So, if a set of outcomes X belongs to the α-effectivity of a set of players J , there exists an individual action for each agent in J such that, for all actions of the other players, the outcome of the game will be contained in X. If we keep the actions of the other agents fixed, then the selection of an individual action for each agent in J corresponds to a choice of J under the assumption that the other agents stick to their choices.
    Found 5 days, 2 hours ago on Davide Grossi's site
  21. 442455.148382
    In this paper we attempt to shed light on the concept of an agent’s knowledge after a non-deterministic action is executed. We start by making a comparison between notions of non-deterministic choice, and between notions of sequential composition, of settings with dynamic and/or epistemic character; namely Propositional Dynamic Logic (PDL), Dynamic Epistemic Logic (DEL), and the more recent logic of Semi-Public Environments (SPE). These logics represent two different approaches for defining the aforementioned actions, and in order to provide unified frameworks that encompass both, we define the logics DELVO (DEL+Vision+Ontic change) and PDLVE (PDL+Vision+Epistemic operators). DELVO is given a sound and complete axiomatisation.
    Found 5 days, 2 hours ago on Davide Grossi's site
  22. 447039.148405
    We argue that the most plausible characterisation of the norm of truth—it is permissible to believe that p if and only if p is true—is unable to explain Transparency in doxastic deliberation, a task for which it is claimed to be equipped. In addition, the failure of the norm to do this work undermines the most plausible account of how the norm guides belief formation at all. Those attracted to normativism about belief for its perceived explanatory credentials had better look elsewhere.
    Found 5 days, 4 hours ago on Ema Sullivan-Bissett's site
  23. 474070.148428
    For the last day of blogging my book The Emotional Mind, I’m going to skip straight to the last chapter on mental architecture. This is where propose a control theory of the mind as a whole. It is perhaps the most ambitious and speculative chapter of a book that is probably already too ambitious for its own good. …
    Found 5 days, 11 hours ago on The Brains Blog
  24. 492092.148451
    Propositional attitude reporting sentences concern cognitive relations people bear to propositions. A paradigm example is the sentence ‘Jill believes that Jack broke his crown’. Arguably, ‘believes, ‘hopes’, and ‘knows’ are propositional attitude verb and, when followed by a clause that includes a full sentence expressing a proposition (a that-clause) form propositional attitude reporting sentences. Attributions of cognitive relations to propositions can also take other forms. For example, ‘Jack believes what Jill said’ and ‘Jack believes everything Jill believes’ are both propositional attitude ascriptions, even though the attitude verb is not followed by a that-clause.
    Found 5 days, 16 hours ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  25. 492110.148475
    The Buddha (fl. circa 450 BCE) is the individual whose teachings form the basis of the Buddhist tradition. These teachings, preserved in texts known as the Nikāyas or Āgamas, concern the quest for liberation from suffering. While the ultimate aim of the Buddha’s teachings is thus to help individuals attain the good life, his analysis of the source of suffering centrally involves claims concerning the nature of persons, as well as how we acquire knowledge about the world and our place in it. These teachings formed the basis of a philosophical tradition that developed and defended a variety of sophisticated theories in metaphysics and epistemology.
    Found 5 days, 16 hours ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  26. 539897.148497
    The majority of translation theories remerging from the works of contemporary philosophers suffer from a lack of well-organized textual/semiotic analysis tools. Although such theories are specifically important because of their postulates, their incoherent methods normally make them difficult to be used or even sufficiently understood. Hermeneutic theories, however, have been re-visiting and re-constructing their principles, showing a remarkable tendency toward methodological and empirical investigation guided by their philosophy. Translational hermeneu-tics, as a major movement, has suggested six fundamental principles. Although this contribution systemizes and simplifies hermeneutic conceptions, it still needs to construct a lingual analytic system for practical translation. Seeking to address this problem, this study views the six principles in the light of narratology and suggests a unified organization based on Ricoeur’s narrative theory by breaking the principles into a cognitive-existential dimension (subjectivity, historicity, phenomenology) and a lingual/semiotic dimension (process character, holistic nature, reflection). This framework processes both minimal and maximal language variables and addresses practical and pedagogical considerations.
    Found 6 days, 5 hours ago on PhilPapers
  27. 601907.148525
    What is self-defense? Most theorists of self-defense are mainly interested in explaining why and when we are morally justified in defending ourselves from a threat posed by another. The moral questions here are important, not just because self-defense represents an interesting moral conundrum, but because morality, at least in this case, is, or should be, a reliable guide to the law. So theorists of self-defense often start with paradigm cases—the culpable aggressor, the justified aggressor, the innocent aggressor, the innocent threat, and so on—and try to explain moral intuitions about them with the help of moral theory, whether Hohfeldian, utilitarian, Thomist, or other. Progress has been achieved in this way, but, like Uwe Steinhoff, I think it is worth asking the question of what, exactly, is supposed to count as self­ defense.
    Found 6 days, 23 hours ago on Samuel Rickless's site
  28. 615676.14855
    In the philosophy of mind, those who take anti-reductionism really seriously will also reject the supervenience of the mental on the non-mental. After all, if a mental property does not reduce to the non-mental, we should be able to apply a rearrangement principle to fix the non-mental properties but change the mental one, much as one can fix the shape of an object but change its electrical charge, precisely because charge doesn’t reduce to shape or shape to charge. …
    Found 1 week ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  29. 623324.148574
    Image from Brett Streutker via Flickr Have you ever met somebody who has it all worked out? Someone who had their life goals identified from a young age and worked their damnedest to achieve them? …
    Found 1 week ago on John Danaher's blog
  30. 647836.1486
    As part of its imitation of a Platonic dialogue, Bernard Suits’s The Grasshopper: Games, Life, and Utopia mimics the structure found in many such dialogues. They raise a substantive issue about, say, virtue or justice, but then say that to address it properly we must first answer the definitional question “what is virtue?” or “what is justice?” The Grasshopper likewise starts by proposing an evaluative thesis, that playing games is good in itself and even constitutes the “ideal of existence,” but then switches in a long middle section to the analytical question of what it is to play a game, where it gives a set of necessary and sufficient conditions for doing so. Only when that is done does it return to the evaluative thesis, its defence of which turns crucially on the analysis it’s given. Socrates would applaud.
    Found 1 week ago on Thomas Hurka's site