1. 13235.914778
    Showing that the arithmetic mean number of offspring for a trait type often fails to be a predictive measure of fitness was a welcome correction to the philosophical literature on fitness. While the higher mathematical moments (variance, skew, kurtosis, etc.) of a probability-weighted offspring distribution can influence fitness measurement in distinct ways, the geometric mean number of offspring is commonly singled out as the most appropriate measure. For it is well-suited to a compounding (multiplicative) process and is sensitive to variance in offspring number. The geometric mean thus proves to be a predictively efficacious measure of fitness in examples featuring discrete generations and within- or between-generation variance in offspring output. Unfortunately, this advance has subsequently led some to conclude that the arithmetic mean is never (or at best infrequently) a good measure of fitness and that the geometric mean should accordingly be the default measure of fitness. We show not only that the arithmetic mean is a perfectly reasonable measure of fitness so long as one is clear about what it refers to (in particular, when it refers to growth rate), but also that it functions as a more general measure when properly interpreted. It must suffice as a measure of fitness in any case where the geometric mean has been effectively deployed as a measure. We conclude with a discussion about why the mathematical equivalence we highlight cannot be dismissed as merely of mathematical interest.
    Found 3 hours, 40 minutes ago on Pierrick Bourrat's site
  2. 50325.914859
    Pierre Janet commented in 1919: “All the famous moralists of olden days drew attention to the way in which certain happenings would leave indelible and distressing memories - memories to which the sufferer was continually returning, and by which he was tormented, by day and by night” (Janet 1919/1925: 589, quoted in van der Kolk and van der Hart 1989:1530).
    Found 13 hours, 58 minutes ago on PhilSci Archive
  3. 50347.914889
    According to realists, theories are successful because they are true, but according to selectionists, theories are successful because they have gone through a rigorous selection process. Wray claims that the realist and selectionist explanations are rivals to each other. Lee objects that they are instead complementary to each other. In my view, Lee’s objection presupposes that the realist explanation is true, and thus it begs the question against selectionists. By contrast, the selectionist explanation invokes a scientific theory, and thus it is not clear whether it is a realist explanation or an antirealist explanation. Finally, the six new arguments for scientific realism in the literature truly complement the no-miracles argument.
    Found 13 hours, 59 minutes ago on PhilSci Archive
  4. 71753.914906
    This extended abstract summarises some of the basic points of AI ethics and policy as they present themselves now. We explain the notion of AI, the main ethical issues in AI and the main policy aims and means.
    Found 19 hours, 55 minutes ago on Vincent C. Müller's site
  5. 87439.91492
    . Prof. Deborah Mayo, Emerita Department of Philosophy Virginia Tech . Prof. David Hand Department of Mathematics Statistics Imperial College London Statistical significance and its critics: practicing damaging science, or damaging scientific practice? …
    Found 1 day ago on D. G. Mayo's blog
  6. 108069.914936
    In his famous paper, An Unsolvable Problem of Elementary Number Theory, Alonzo Church (1936) identified the intuitive notion of effective calculability with the mathematically precise notion of recursiveness. This proposal, known as Church’s Thesis, has been widely accepted. Only a few papers have been written against it. One of these is László Kalmár’s An Argument Against the Plausibility of Church’s Thesis from 1959. The aim of this paper is to present Kalmár’s argument and to fill in missing details based on his general philosophical thoughts on mathematics.
    Found 1 day, 6 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  7. 120737.914951
    For centuries, women have encountered too many hurdles to make it to the forefront of academia. They missed out on proper education or lacked the necessary cultural, social and economic resources to continue their studies. Even if they were granted equal access to higher education and did make it to the vanguard, their work was often consciously or unconsciously marginalized. The conclusion is as disturbing as it is inescapable: mistaken and often reprehensible ideas on sex and gender have affected centres of learning throughout our history and created numerous barriers for female scholars.
    Found 1 day, 9 hours ago on Pieter van der Kolk's site
  8. 120741.914967
    We analyzed co-citation patterns in 332.498 articles published in Anglophone psychology journals between 1946 and 1990 to estimate (1) when cognitive psychology first emerged as a clearly delineated subdiscipline, (2) how fast it grew, (3) to what extent it replaced other (e.g., behaviorist) approaches to psychology, (4) to what degree it was more appealing to scholars from a younger generation, and (5) whether it was more interdisciplinary than alternative traditions. We detected a major shift in the structure of co-citation networks between approximately 1955 and 1975 and draw novel conclusions about the developments commonly referred to as ‘the cognitive turn’.
    Found 1 day, 9 hours ago on Pieter van der Kolk's site
  9. 120745.914981
    The dominant response to Peter Singer’s defense of an extremely demanding duty of aid argues that an affluent person’s duty of aid is limited by her moral entitlement to live her own life. This paper argues that this entitlement provides a basis not for limiting an affluent person’s duty of aid but rather for the claim that she too is wronged by a world marked by widespread desperate need; and the wrong she suffers is a distinctive one: the activation of a duty of aid so demanding that it dominates her life, crowding out her own valuable projects and involvements.
    Found 1 day, 9 hours ago on Daniel Koltonski's site
  10. 120750.914994
    Many philosophers believe that there is a kind of thought about an object that is in some sense particularly directly about the object.¹ I will use the terms de re or singular thought for thoughts of this sort (I’ll use these interchangeably). Many papers on the subject of singular thought initially illustrate the idea of such a thought by considering a case in which a subject is visually perceiving an object and is having occurrent thoughts about the object she is perceiving.² I don’t think this is a coincidence. Having occurrent thoughts about an object I am visually perceiving with the thought in some sense “directed” at the perceived object is, for the sighted believer in singular thought at least, the paradigm of a singular thought. Indeed, a main question is how to move beyond this case and characterize the conditions under which one does or can have singular thoughts. This question will be discussed subsequently. I plan to outline a broadly Russellian approach to singular thought and explore its consequences in section . In section  I’ll critically discuss two recent attempts to explicate the notion of singular thought by means of the notion of a mental file.
    Found 1 day, 9 hours ago on Jeffrey C. King's site
  11. 120790.915012
    Some of the most influential moral philosophers in the English-speaking world say or suggest that we should only pay attention to moral judgments made in certain states of mind, where these states exclude anxious states. In this paper, I argue that this position faces at least two major problems.
    Found 1 day, 9 hours ago on PhilPapers
  12. 165857.915048
    Several approaches to developing a theory of quantum gravity suggest that space-time—as described by general relativity—is not fundamental. Instead, spacetime is supposed to be explained by reference to the relations between more fundamental entities, analogous to ‘atoms’ of spacetime, which themselves are not (fully) spatiotemporal. Such a case may be understood as emergence of content : a ‘hierarchical’ case of emergence, where spacetime emerges at a ‘higher’, or less-fundamental, level than its ‘lower-level’ nonspatiotempral basis. But quantum gravity cosmology also presents us with the possibility of emergence of context : where spacetime emerges from some ‘prior’ non-spatiotemporal state (replacing the Big Bang), due to particular conditions in the early universe. I present a general conception of emergence which is plausibly able to accommodate both pictures. This is a positive conception that does not rely on a failure of reduction or explanation in any sense (indeed, reduction is a necessary feature of quantum gravity, and is useful in understanding emergence in this case). I also consider the possibility that the distinction between content- and context- based explanations is blurred, or usefully ‘collapsed’, in the case of spacetime emergence.
    Found 1 day, 22 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  13. 171006.915083
    This paper looks at the nature of normal-proper functions and the role they play in theories of representational content. More specifically: I lay down two desiderata for a theory which tries to capture what's distinctive of normal-proper functions and discuss two prominent theories which claim to satisfy them. I discuss the advantages of having normal-proper functions ground a theory of representational content. And, I look at both orthodox and heterodox versions of such theories.
    Found 1 day, 23 hours ago on PhilPapers
  14. 171071.915115
    It is argued that higher-order awareness is central to one type of everyday rationality. The author starts by specifying the target notion of rationality, contrasting it with other useful notions in the neighbourhood. It is then shown that the target notion relies on first-person awareness of the unfolding of cognition. This is used to explain the kernel of truth in epistemic conservatism, the structure of defeasibility, and the root motive behind the widely accepted distinction between rational inference and trivial entailment.
    Found 1 day, 23 hours ago on PhilPapers
  15. 201751.915147
    Introduction In §§246-250 Wittgenstein considers pain in relation to knowledge, and in §253 he invites us to untangle the conceptual confusion involved in treating pain as a kind of possession. Both passages aim to undermine the notion that sensations represent “inner objects” – akin to physical objects, but existing in the mind rather than the outside world. …
    Found 2 days, 8 hours ago on Philip Cartwright's blog
  16. 237829.915163
    1. What is it, or what would it be, for one person to think with another? How should we understand the idea of people thinking together and, in that way or ways, sharing their thinking as well as their thoughts? My primary aim is to begin to explore this question by describing one sort of activity which seems to figure essentially in connection with this more general idea of thinking together. In our opening quotation, Fanny Seward seems to commit herself to at least two, and perhaps three, relevant claims. The first of these claims is that there is such a thing as thinking together. Seward characterizes herself as undertaking this activity of thinking with her mother, Frances. As mentioned, my primary aim will be to uncover one essential element of the sort of activity she may have had in mind. The second claim is that there is such an activity as thinking together with someone instead of—that is, presumably, without—speaking with them. Although I do not wish to exclude that as a possibility, my present focus will be on the more quotidian seeming cases of thinking together that depend upon speech.
    Found 2 days, 18 hours ago on Guy Longworth's site
  17. 245106.915178
    George Boole was the first to present logic as a mathematical theory in algebraic style. In his work, and in that of the other algebraists of the algebraic tradition of logic of the nineteenth century, the distinction between a formal language and a mathematically rigorous semantics for it was still not drawn. What the algebraists in this tradition did was to build algebraic theories (of Boolean algebras, and relation algebras) with among other interpretations a logical one. The works of Frege and Russell introduced a different perspective on the way to approach logic. In those works, a logic system was given by a formal language and a deductive calculus, namely a set of axioms and a set of inference rules.
    Found 2 days, 20 hours ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  18. 259630.915223
    I had been posting commentaries daily from January 6, 2022 (on my editorial “The Statistics Wars and Intellectual conflicts of Interest”, Conservation Biology) until Sir David Cox died on January 18, at which point I switched to some memorial items. …
    Found 3 days ago on D. G. Mayo's blog
  19. 302825.915269
    Charles Sanders Peirce was a philosopher, but it is not easy to classify him in philosophy because of the breadth of his work. (Please refer to the table of contents of the entry Charles Sanders Peirce. ) Logic was one of the main topics on which Peirce wrote. If we focus on logic, however, it becomes apparent that both Peirce’s concept of logic and his work on logic were much broader than his predecessors’, his contemporaries’, and ours. First, Peirce located logic in his large architectonic framework of philosophy, which is why some strongly believe that Peirce’s logic cannot be properly understood without understanding his pragmatism and his semiotics, to mention but two of his other contributions.
    Found 3 days, 12 hours ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  20. 303368.915305
    How does the human mind develop over the individual’s lifetime? This is the central question of the study of cognitive development. How does the human mind work in relation to other animal minds? This is the central question of comparative psychology. Developmental comparative psychology integrates the two questions. It tries to understand how the human mind works by understanding how it came about over time, both ontogenetically (in each individual’s life history) and phylogenetically (over the course of evolution). To do so, it compares the cognitive capacities and processes of individuals across different developmental time points as well as across species. When comparing humans to other species, the main focus is usually on our closest living relatives: the other primates, in particular the nonhuman great apes, such as chimpanzees. But for many questions, other species are of great theoretical interest too. For example, when it comes to future planning or tool use, the species cognitively most similar to humans seem to be various bird species.
    Found 3 days, 12 hours ago on Hannes Rakoczy's site
  21. 344310.915347
    Matthew McGrath (2018) has challenged all theories that allow for immediate perceptual justification, i.e. theories that allow that S can have perceptual justification for p that is not dependent upon S’s justification for believing some other proposition q.1, 2 His challenge comes by way of arguing for what he calls the “looks view” of visual justification. Roughly, the looks view says that our simple visual beliefs are mediately justified based on the looks of things.
    Found 3 days, 23 hours ago on PhilPapers
  22. 345719.915384
    I thank the editors for inviting me to discuss the role of the Research Ethics Board (REB) and the relationship between academic freedom and the new ethical guidelines governing research on human subjects. My opinions reflect my experience in overseeing the operations of the REB and trying to ensure that the Acadia community complies with the new guidelines; in offering them, however, I don’t claim to speak for every member of the REB.
    Found 4 days ago on Stephen Maitzen's site
  23. 345725.915429
    The primary responsibility of the Financial Policy Committee (FPC), a committee of the Bank of England, is to contribute to the Bank of England’s financial stability objective. It does this primarily by identifying, monitoring and taking action to remove or reduce systemic risks, with a view to protecting and enhancing the resilience of the UK financial system. Subject to that, it supports the economic policy of Her Majesty’s Government, including its objectives for growth and employment.
    Found 4 days ago on Henry Farrell's site
  24. 345729.915472
    Whilst the topic of representations is one of the key topics in philosophy of mind, it has only occasionally been noted that representations and representational features may be gradual. Apart from vague allusions, little has been said on what representational gradation amounts to and why it could be explanatorily useful. The aim of this paper is to provide a novel take on gradation of representational features within the neuroscientific framework of predictive processing. More specifically, we provide a gradual account of two features of structural representations: structural similarity and decoupling. We argue that structural similarity can be analysed in terms of two dimensions: number of preserved relations and state space granularity. Both dimensions can take on different values and hence render structural similarity gradual. We further argue that decoupling is gradual in two ways. First, we show that different brain areas are involved in decoupled cognitive processes to a greater or lesser degree depending on the cause (internal or external) of their activity. Second, and more importantly, we show that the degree of decoupling can be further regulated in some brain areas through precision weighting of prediction error. We lastly argue that gradation of decoupling (via precision weighting) and gradation of structural similarity (via state space granularity) are conducive to behavioural success.
    Found 4 days ago on Johan Kwisthout's site
  25. 345781.915491
    The article aims to introduce the sub-discipline of the philosophy of chemistry to the chemical community at large. The origins of the field are briefly reviewed including some possible causes for the delay in its arrival into the philosophy of science. Some critical remarks are leveled at some of the current work that has been conducted, and reasons for the gulf between philosophy of chemistry and mainstream chemistry are explored. Finally, a novel approach consists of a close examination of how scientific concepts evolve. This theme is discussed with the aid of the work of the early twentieth century amateur scientists Anton van den Broek, who first proposed that the elements in the periodic table should be ordered according to their atomic numbers rather than their atomic weights.
    Found 4 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  26. 345787.915506
    A crucial step in the history of General Relativity was Einstein’s adoption of the principle of general covariance which demands a coordinate independent formulation for our spacetime theories. General covariance helps us to disentangle a theory’s substantive content from its merely representational artifacts. It is an indispensable tool for a modern understanding of spacetime theories, especially regarding their background structures and symmetry. Motivated by quantum gravity, one may wish to extend these notions to quantum spacetime theories (whatever those are). Relatedly, one might want to extend these notions to discrete spacetime theories (i.e., lattice theories). In [1] I developed two discrete analogs of general covariance for non-Lorentzian lattice theories. This paper extends these results to a Lorentzian setting.
    Found 4 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  27. 345792.915521
    Our scientific theories, like our cognitive structures in general, consist of propositions linked by evidential, explanatory, probabilistic, and logical connections. Those theoretical webs ‘impinge on the world at their edges,’ subject to a continuing barrage of incoming evidence (Quine 1951, 1953). Our credences in the various elements of those structures change in response to that continuing barrage of evidence, as do the perceived connections between them.
    Found 4 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  28. 396616.915537
    This article carefully analyzes a recent paper by Weisberg in which it is claimed that when Mendeleev discovered the periodic table he was not working as a modeler but instead as a theorist. I argue that Weisberg is mistaken in several respects and that the periodic table should be regarded as a classification, not as a theory. In the second part of the article an attempt is made to elevate the status of classifications by suggesting that they provide a form of ‘side-ways explanation’.
    Found 4 days, 14 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  29. 396737.91555
    We propose a new semantics for counterfactual conditionals. It is primarily motivated by the need for an adequate framework for evaluating counter-factual explanations of algorithmic decisions. We argue that orthodox Lewis- Stalnaker similarity semantics and interventionist causal modelling semantics are not adequate frameworks because they classify too many counterfactuals as true. Our proposed semantics overcomes this problem of the orthodox approaches and has further advantages, including simplicity, robustness, closeness to practice and applicability. It is based on the idea that a counterfactual A € C is true at an elementary possibility ω just in case C is true at all variants of ω at which A is true, other things being equal. We provide a novel explication of the idea of a variation that makes a given sentence true while leaving other things (but not necessarily all other things) equal.
    Found 4 days, 14 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  30. 396994.915563
    The article examines a recent interventionist account of causation by Ross, in which electronic configurations of atoms are considered to be the cause of chemical behavior. More specifically I respond to the claim that a change in electronic configuration of an atom, such as occurs in the artificial synthesis of elements, causes a change in the behavior of the atom in question. I argue that chemical behavior is governed as much by the nuclear charge of an atom as it is by its electronic structure. It is suggested that an adequate analysis requires attention to the dynamical interactions between nuclear charges and those of electrons, as typically carried out through the application of the Schrödinger equation. It is concluded that electronic configurations can only be said be causal in a weak sense that is somewhat analogous to the causal arguments that are invoked in folk physics.
    Found 4 days, 14 hours ago on PhilSci Archive