1. 65475.066983
    Here’s how Fisher stated his fundamental theorem: The rate of increase of fitness of any species is equal to the genetic variance in fitness. But clearly this is only going to be true under some conditions! …
    Found 18 hours, 11 minutes ago on Azimuth
  2. 74488.067052
    Back in April, I suggested that there are two possible privation theories concerning evil: every evil is a privation for every evil, what makes it be evil is a privation. Well, Aquinas essentially scooped me, in the first article of the De Malo, by distinguishing two senses of evil in the statement “evil is a privation”. …
    Found 20 hours, 41 minutes ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  3. 83627.067074
    If you believe p, do you believe you believe p? Here’s one model for thinking about this. You have the first order belief—you believe p. On top of that, you have some extra mechanism (call it doxastic introspection) that monitors your internal state and extracts information about what beliefs you have. …
    Found 23 hours, 13 minutes ago on Robbie Williams's blog
  4. 115561.067089
    In particular, we show how to replace the file-metaphor with two theses: one semantic and one metasemantic. We argue that the metaphor of mental files can be cashed out in terms of relational representational facts (​viz.​ facts about the coordination of mental representations) and a metasemantic thesis about the role that information-relations to objects play in grounding coordination.
    Found 1 day, 8 hours ago on Aidan Gray's site
  5. 115782.067103
    Electoral representative government embodies a compromise, exchanging political equality and broader distribution of political power for the supposed epistemic benefit that comes through the use of elected representatives. Direct democracy would do better by considerations of political equality, inclusivity, responsiveness, self-government, and other aspects of political morality commonly brought under the heading of “democracy,” but it also would almost certainly result in epistemically poorer decision-making. This chapter draws attention to the significant epistemic shortfalls of electoral representative democracy and suggests that this is a compromise that is not working out. Perhaps more surprisingly, the chapter suggests that there are non-electoral alternatives that do at least as well as electoral representative government on the democracy scorecard, and which would likely to better than electoral representative government on the epistemic scorecard. To do this, the chapter presents seven core questions of institutional epistemic competence and suggests that two non-electoral alternatives— lottocratic systems and systems of technocratic agencies coupled with extensive citizen oversight— would do better than electoral representative systems at answering those core questions, while doing no worse by the lights of other considerations of political morality.
    Found 1 day, 8 hours ago on Alex Guerrero's site
  6. 128940.067123
    There are various ‘fundamental theorems’ in mathematics. The fundamental theorem of arithmetic, the fundamental theorem of algebra, and the fundamental theorem of calculus are the most famous. These three are gems of mathematics. …
    Found 1 day, 11 hours ago on Azimuth
  7. 134580.067139
    This paper addresses a task in Interactive Task Learning (Laird et al. IEEE Intell Syst 32:6–21, 2017). The agent must learn to build towers which are constrained by rules, and whenever the agent performs an action which violates a rule the teacher provides verbal corrective feedback: e.g. “No, red blocks should be on blue blocks”. The agent must learn to build rule compliant towers from these corrections and the context in which they were given. The agent is not only ignorant of the rules at the start of the learning process, but it also has a deficient domain model, which lacks the concepts in which the rules are expressed. Therefore an agent that takes advantage of the linguistic evidence must learn the denotations of neologisms and adapt its conceptualisation of the planning domain to incorporate those denotations. We show that by incorporating constraints on interpretation that are imposed by discourse coherence into the models for learning (Hobbs in On the coherence and structure of discourse, Stanford University, Stanford, 1985; Asher et al. in Logics of conversation, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2003), an agent which utilizes linguistic evidence outperforms a strong baseline which does not.
    Found 1 day, 13 hours ago on Alex Lascarides's site
  8. 148114.067206
    As the extended mind debate came to maturation, it has conceptualized how cognitive artifacts extend various memory capacities, including working memory, prospective memory, spatial memory, and semantic memory. Surprisingly, the relation between autobiographical memory and artifacts has not received much attention in the extended mind literature. In this paper, I first distinguish between “cognitive artifacts” used for practical cognitive tasks and “evocative objects” used for remembering our personal past. I then go on to describe a number of ways in which evocative objects and our autobiographical memory are integrated into new systemic wholes, allowing us to remember our personal past in a more reliable and detailed manner. After discussing some empirical work on evocative objects and lifelogging technology, I elaborate on the dimension of autobiographical dependency, which is the degree to which we depend on an object to be able to remember a personal experience. When this dependency is strong, we integrate information in the embodied brain and in an object to reconstruct an autobiographical memory. In such cases, the information we use to remember our personal past is distributed across embodied agents and evocative objects.
    Found 1 day, 17 hours ago on PhilPapers
  9. 148166.06726
    Peter van Inwagen (1983, pp. 182-188) presented a landmark argument for the incompatibility of determinism and moral responsibility. The argument—which came to be known as the Direct Argument—can be expressed thus:1 (1) Determinism is true.
    Found 1 day, 17 hours ago on PhilPapers
  10. 148228.067277
    The violation of Bell inequalities seems to establish an important fact about the world: that it is non-local. However, this result relies on the assumption of the statistical independence of the measurement settings with respect to potential past events that might have determined them. Superdeterminism refers to the view that a local, and determinist, account of Bell inequalities violations is possible, by rejecting this assumption of statistical independence. We examine and clarify various problems with superdeterminism, looking in particular at its consequences on the nature of scientific laws and scientific reasoning. We argue that the view requires a neo-Humean account of at least some laws, and creates a significant problem for the use of statistical independence in other parts of physics and science more generally.
    Found 1 day, 17 hours ago on PhilPapers
  11. 151425.067292
    C. D. Broad famously labelled the problem of providing our inductive practices with a proper justification “the scandal of philosophy” (Broad, 1952). Recently, John Norton has provided a dissolution of this problem (2014). According to Norton, inductive inference is grounded in particular facts obtaining within particular domains (J. Norton, 2003b, 2010, 2014). Because the material theory does not involve a universal schema of induction, Norton claims it dissolves the problem of induction (which implies that such universal schemas cannot be justified). In this paper, I critically evaluate Norton’s dissolution. In particular, I argue that the problem of induction is an epistemological problem, that Norton’s material theory entails an externalist epistemology, and that it is a common feature of such epistemologies that they dissolve the problem of induction. The upshot is that the material theory is not unique in its ability to reap the specifically epistemic benefits of dissolving the problem of induction, and thus that the epistemic advantages of the material theory over extant alternatives in this regard are fewer than it may appear at first sight.
    Found 1 day, 18 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  12. 165272.067382
    Say that a possible thought content has finite complexity provided that the thought content can be represented by a sentence of finite length in a language whose basic terms are the fundamental concepts in the thought content. …
    Found 1 day, 21 hours ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  13. 198697.067414
    This paper is about a topic in the semantics of interrogatives. In what follows a number of assumptions figure at the background which. though intuitively appealing, have not gone unchallenged. and it seems therefore only fair to draw the reader‘s attention to them at the outset.
    Found 2 days, 7 hours ago on Martin Stokhof's site
  14. 206534.067429
    While I was never much one for the analytical tradition of philosophy, I have always held a deep respect for epistemology, especially Susan Haack, and her theory of foundherentism. There will always be something endearing about a theorist who is willing to adopt a "third way" to a given problem, even if that third way is no more complicated than adopting the strengths of two competing positions, and mitigating the weakness in an attempt to resolve the issue at hand.
    Found 2 days, 9 hours ago on PhilPapers
  15. 234638.067443
    An European Union commission has voted to ban the use of lead ammunition near wetlands and waterways! The proposal now needs to be approved by the European Parliament and Council. They are expected to approve the ban. …
    Found 2 days, 17 hours ago on Azimuth
  16. 282506.067457
    The longstanding problem to understand if, why, and how objective functioning of the brain gives rise to a subjective perspective has been, in the last few decades, commonly known as the hard problem of consciousness. However, due to the strictly subjective and qualitative character of subjective experience, it is difficult to get a firm grip on the problem itself, which led some philosophers even to deny the very existence of the problem. In this paper, we point to a relation between the quantity of information (i.e. Kolmogorov complexity) and the phenomenon of subjective experience. In a thought experiment that we construct, the amount of information existing subjectively will be significantly higher than the amount of information existing objectively. We argue that such a quantifiable discrepancy clearly identifies one mathematically well-defined aspect of the hard problem which, in turn, makes it at least much harder to deny its existence. If we take a stronger stance, this aspect of the problem further undermines hopes that a satisfactory strictly physicalist explanation of the subjective experience could be ever given.
    Found 3 days, 6 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  17. 282552.067471
    Philosophers of science and meta-scientists alike now typically model scientists’ behavior as driven by credit maximization. In this paper I argue that this modeling assumption cannot account for how scientists have a default level of trust in each other’s assertions. The normative implication of this is that science policy should not only focus on incentive reform.
    Found 3 days, 6 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  18. 282608.067486
    Our best theory of space, time and gravity is the general theory of relativity (GR). It accounts for gravitational phenomena in terms of the curvature of spacetime. In more mathematical presentations of the theory, solutions are standardly represented as n-tuples: (M, gab, φ1, φ2, . . .). The φs are objects that represent the assorted material content of spacetime (such as stars and electromagnetic fields). M and gab together represent spacetime itself. M is a differentiable manifold representing the 4-dimensional continuum of spacetime points. gab is a Lorentzian metric tensor defined on M . It encodes some of spacetime’s key spatiotemporal properties, such as the spacetime distances along paths in M . In particular, spacetime’s curvature can be defined in terms of gab.
    Found 3 days, 6 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  19. 288335.067499
    Theories of epistemic rationality that take disagreement (or other higher-order evidence) seriously tend to be “modest” in a certain sense: they say that there are circumstances in which it is rational to doubt their correctness. Modest views have been criticized on the grounds that they undermine themselves—they’re self-defeating. The standard Self-Defeat Objections depend on principles forbidding epistemically akratic beliefs; but there are good reasons to doubt these principles—even New Rational Reflection, which was designed to allow for certain special cases that are intuitively akratic. On the other hand, if we construct a Self-Defeat Objection without relying on anti-akratic principles, modest principles turn out not to undermine themselves. In the end, modesty should not be seen as a defect in a theory of rational belief.
    Found 3 days, 8 hours ago on David Christensen's site
  20. 288385.06753
    The Animalist Says We Are Animals. This Thesis is Commonly Understood as the Universal Generalization That All Human Persons Are Human Animals. This Article Proposes an Alternative: The Thesis is a Generic That Admits of Exceptions. We Defend the Resulting View, Which We Call ​Generic Animalism ​, and Show its Aptitude for Diagnosing the Limits of Eight Case-Based Objections to Animalism.
    Found 3 days, 8 hours ago on Andrew Bailey's site
  21. 288476.06757
    The answer to (1) is: no. One thing that is clear is that, if a model M extracted from a model of TZT is actually a model of TZTU, then each each level l + 1 of the extracted model is of size i of the size of level l, for some concrete n. For each n this is a first-order condition expressible in L(TZT). DEFINITION 1 • Let φl,m be the formula of L(TZT) that says that the cardinality of level l + 1 is in of the cardinality of level l. • For each l ∈ Z, let Σl be the type {¬φl,m : m ∈ IN}. • Let us give the name ‘TZT(Omit)’ to the smallest theory that locally omits all the Σl.
    Found 3 days, 8 hours ago on Thomas Forster's site
  22. 323204.067602
    Pretense is generally characterized in such a way as to constitutively involve imagination— pretending involves imagining. We argue that this is a mistake. Although pretense often involves imagination (especially among adults and children in the developed world), it need not. And although pretense shares some of the properties of imagination, it isn’t a kind of imagination. Indeed, the core nature of pretense is closer to imitation than it is to imagination, and likely shares some of its motivation with the former. Two main strands of argument are presented for our view. One is anthropological: looking at the forms that pretend play takes in traditional cultures. The other concerns the different ways in which pretense (especially childhood pretense) and imagination interact with one’s evaluative / affective systems.
    Found 3 days, 17 hours ago on Peter Carruthers's site
  23. 336772.067634
    A. J. Ayer’s empiricist criterion of meaning was supposed to have sorted all statements into nonsense on the one hand, and tautologies or genuinely factual statements on the other. Unfortunately for Ayer, it follows from classical logic that his criterion is trivial – it classifies all statements as either tautologies or genuinely factual, but none as nonsense. However, in this paper I argue that Ayer’s criterion of meaning can be defended from classical proofs of its triviality by the adoption of a relevant logic – an idea which is motivated because, according to Ayer, the genuinely factual statements are those which observation is relevant to.
    Found 3 days, 21 hours ago on PhilPapers
  24. 354315.067664
    (2300 words, 12 minute read. )So far, I've (1) argued that we need a rational explanation of polarization, (2) described an experiment showing how in principle we could give one, and (3) suggested that this explanation can be applied to the psychological mechanisms that drive polarization.Over the next two weeks, I'll put these normative claims on a firm theoretical foundation. …
    Found 4 days, 2 hours ago on Kevin Dorst's blog
  25. 394595.067698
    How homogenous are the sources of human motivation? Textbook Humeans hold that every human action is motivated by desire, thus any heterogeneity derives from differing objects of desire. Textbook Kantians hold that although some human actions are motivated by desire, others are motivated by reason. This conflict has no substance until one has settled on an understanding of the key terms—‘desire, ‘reason’, ‘source’, and ‘motivation’—each of which is itself a battleground. One question that has arisen in this vicinity concerns whether there is any overlap between cognitive and conative states, i.e., whether there are states such that to be in one is at once (and indivisibly) to take the world to be a certain way and to be motivated to act. This is the state-question. My question here is different: not whether cognitive and conative states are necessarily distinct, but whether passion and reason constitute fundamentally distinct sources of human motivation. This is the source-question. In what follows. I argue for an affirmative answer to the source-question while remaining neutral on the state-question. I adopt a posture of neutrality not because of any uncertainty as to its answer, but in order to show that recourse to this answer is not required to defend a (broadly) Kantian picture of human motivation.
    Found 4 days, 13 hours ago on PhilPapers
  26. 398314.067732
    Many, but not all, theorists think that racially based discrimination only counts as racism, and its perpetrators as racists, when the discrimination aligns with the power structures in society. This has the following odd consequence: Simply by defeating Nazis militarily, without in any way changing their hearts or minds, you can turn them into non-racists. …
    Found 4 days, 14 hours ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  27. 398815.067764
    Despite attempts to apply the lessons of causal modelling to the observed correlations typical of entangled bipartite quantum systems, Wood and Spekkens argue that any causal model purporting to explain these correlations must be fine tuned; that is, it must violate the assumption of faithfulness. The faithfulness assumption is a principle of parsimony, and the intuition behind it is basic and compelling: when no statistical correlation exists between the occurrences of a pair of events, we have no reason for supposing there to be a causal connection between them. This paper is an attempt to undermine the reasonableness of the assumption of faithfulness in the quantum context. Employing a symmetry relation between an entangled bipartite quantum system and a ‘sideways’ quantum system consisting of a single photon passing sequentially through two polarisers, I argue that Wood and Spekkens’ analysis applies equally to this sideways system. If this is correct, then the consequence endorsed by Wood and Spekkens for an ordinary entangled quantum system amounts to a rejection of a causal explanation in the sideways, single photon system, too. Unless rejecting this causal explanation can be sufficiently justified, then it looks as though the sideways system is fine tuned, and so a violation of faithfulness in the ordinary entangled system may be more tolerable than first thought. Thus extending the classical ‘no fine-tuning’ principle of parsimony to the quantum realm may well be too hasty.
    Found 4 days, 14 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  28. 456724.067796
    I provide some philosophical groundwork for the recently proposed ‘trans-Planckian censorship’ conjecture in theoretical physics. In particular, I argue that early universe cosmology is, at least as we usually understand it, autonomous with regards to quantum gravity, the high energy physics that governs the Planck regime in our universe. Trans-Planckian censorship is then seen as a means of rendering this autonomy a novel empirical constraint within contemporary quantum gravity research.
    Found 5 days, 6 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  29. 456773.068015
    The signals in nerve include electrical, mechanical and thermal components and are characterized by the complexity of processes. The modelling of these signals is analyzed from the viewpoint of DeLanda who has demonstrated the possibility to expose the philosophical theories of Deleuze by using the notions from nonlinear dynamics. It is demonstrated that the mathematical modelling of processes in nerves by authors of this paper follows the general ideas of multiplicity and causal interactions described by DeLanda.
    Found 5 days, 6 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  30. 456837.068064
    The recent [1] attempts to justify, from first principles, and within the standard framework, the emergence of classical behavior in the post-inflationary cosmological context. Accounting for this emergence is an important issue, as it underlies the extraordinary empirical success of our current understanding of cosmology. In this work, we offer a critique of this and other efforts at explaining the emergence of classical behavior in cosmology within the standard framework. We argue that such endeavors are generically found lacking in conceptual clarity, as they invariably rely, either upon unjustified, implicit assumptions, or on circular logic. We conclude that, within the standard approach, the emergence of classical behavior in cosmology constitutes an unexplained phenomenon.
    Found 5 days, 6 hours ago on PhilSci Archive