1. 515.598424
    Robert Sinclair’s Quine, Conceptual Pragmatism, and the Analytic-Synthetic Distinction persuasively argues that Quine’s epistemology was deeply influenced by C. I. Lewis’s pragmatism. Sinclair’s account raises the question why Quine himself frequently downplayed Lewis’s influence. Looking back, Quine has always said that Rudolf Carnap was his “greatest teacher” and that his 1933 meeting with the German philosopher was his “first experience of sustained intellectual engagement with anyone of an older generation” (1970, 41; 1985, 97-8, my emphasis). Quine’s autobiographies contain only a handful of biographical references to Lewis and he regularly soft-pedaled the latter’s influence in private correspondence. In this note, I discuss some archival evidence that helps us better understand Quine’s reluctance to acknowledge Lewis’s influence. I contextualize the relation between Lewis and Quine and argue that the latter viewed his teacher as a retrograde force in modern epistemology, impeding the more rigorous approach that Carnap had been developing in Europe. Next, I briefly discuss Lewis’s contribution to the development of scientific philosophy in the United States and argue that Quine underestimated his teacher’s role in this process. In doing so, I argue that Quine’s zealous commitment to Carnap’s approach negatively affected his assessment of Lewis’s influence, thereby supplementing Sinclair’s praiseworthy reconstruction with an explanation of why Quine himself underestimated Lewis’s role.
    Found 8 minutes ago on Pieter van der Kolk's site
  2. 3772.598538
    Mr. Hume concerning the Nature of That Relation’ (ERCE, 1824), Mary Shepherd (1777–1847) presents an incisive critique of Hume. Her central objection to Hume concerns the demonstrability of causal principles. Hume famously argues that causal principles cannot be demonstrated. Shepherd aims to prove the opposite. Specifically, according to Shepherd, the causal maxim—everything that begins to exist must have a cause—is demonstratively true. Both Hume and Shepherd’s arguments are bold: as Hume notes in his discussion of the maxim, the default early modern position on the causal maxim is to treat it as self-evident,1 “without any proof given or demanded” (T
    Found 1 hour, 2 minutes ago on Ergo
  3. 3802.598553
    In updating our beliefs on the basis of our background attitudes and evidence we frequently employ objects in our environment to represent pertinent information. For example, we may write our premises and lemmas on a whiteboard to aid in a proof or move the beads of an abacus to assist in a calculation. In both cases, we generate extramental (that is, occurring outside of the mind) representational states, and, at least in the case of the abacus, we operate over these states in light of their contents (e.g., the integers represented by the beads) to generate new representations. In this paper, I argue that our belief updating processes and the grounds of their rational evaluation are partly constituted by extramental representations and operations. In other words, we don’t merely update our attitudes through an internal process of reasoning on the basis of available evidence. If we are to accurately understand and rationally evaluate our belief updating processes and resultant attitudes, we need to examine how we representationally appropriate our extramental environment in the updating process.
    Found 1 hour, 3 minutes ago on Ergo
  4. 3851.598565
    Do Descartes, Locke, and Hume have an internalist or externalist view of epistemic justification? Internalism is, roughly, the view that a belief that p is justified by a mental state, such as the awareness of evidence. By contrast, externalism is, roughly, the view that a belief that p is justified by facts about the belief-forming process, such as the reliability of the belief-forming process. I argue that they all think that the awareness of evidence is required for justification, but none of them think that the awareness of evidence alone is sufficient for justification. Similarly, I argue that they all think that reliability of the belief-forming process is required for justification, but none of them think reliability alone is sufficient for justification. So, neither a fully internalist position nor a fully externalist position adequately captures their views of justification; rather, both the supporting evidence and the reliability of the belief-forming process explain why we should hold those beliefs, and hence explain why those beliefs are justified. Thus, they each have a partly internalist, partly externalist view of justification.
    Found 1 hour, 4 minutes ago on Ergo
  5. 3876.59858
    Slurs have been standardly assumed to bear a very direct, very distinctive semantic relationship to what philosophers have called “neutral counterpart” terms. I argue that this is mistaken: the general relationship between paradigmatic slurs and their “neutral counterparts” should be assumed to be the same one that obtains between ‘chick flick’ and ‘romantic comedy’, as well a huge number of other more prosaic pairs of derogatory and “less derogatory” expressions. The most plausible general relationship between these latter expressions — and thus, I argue, between paradigmatic slurs and “neutral counterpart” terms — is one of overlap in presumed extension, grounded in overlap in associated stereotypes. The resulting framework has the advantages of being simple, unified, and, unlike its orthodox rivals, neatly accommodating of a much wider range of data than has previously been considered. More importantly, it positions us to better understand, identify, and confront the insidious mechanisms of ordinary bigotry.
    Found 1 hour, 4 minutes ago on Ergo
  6. 3908.598591
    In response to criticism, we often say – in these or similar words – “Let’s see you do better!” Prima facie, it looks like this response is a challenge of a certain kind – a challenge to prove that one has what has recently been called standing. More generally, the data here seems to point a certain kind of norm of criticism: be better. Slightly more carefully: One must: criticize x with respect to standard s only if one is better than x with respect to standard s. In this paper, I defend precisely this norm of criticism – an underexplored norm that is nevertheless ubiquitous in our lives, once we begin looking for it. The be better norm is, I hope to show, continuously invoked in a wide range of ordinary settings, can undergird and explain the widely endorsed non-hypocrisy condition on the standing to blame, and apparent counterexamples to the norm are no such counterexamples at all. I further contend that, given some plausible principles, my previous “moral commitment” account of the moral standing to blame will be extensionally equivalent to the be better norm.
    Found 1 hour, 5 minutes ago on Ergo
  7. 12877.598602
    Jessica Keiser’s Non-Ideal Foundations of Language is a serious, sustained attempt to engage in systematic philosophy of language while leaving aside some of the persistent, and arguably pernicious, idealizations that the field has long taken for granted. In short, it’s rad. Of course, I have my reservations about certain aspects of the project – on which more below. But, to be clear: for anyone who had a niggling sense that, for all their talk of being interested in understanding real-world communication and hip to developments over in linguistics, philosophers of language have been missing something important about language use, this is the book for you. And if the reader hasn’t had that sense, this book should serve as a helpful corrective.
    Found 3 hours, 34 minutes ago on Eliot Michaelson's site
  8. 12901.598616
    When thinking about online speech, it’s tempting to start with questions like: What’s new here? Do online speech environments enable new types of speech acts, new semantic phenomena, new expressive effects? In other words: how has the shift to online speech fundamentally changed how we use language to communicate, coordinate, obfuscate, rouse, empower, disempower, insult, etc.? What hidden truths might online speech reveal about the nature of meaning and communication more broadly?
    Found 3 hours, 35 minutes ago on Eliot Michaelson's site
  9. 12925.598632
    During the town hall, the President . . . tried to separate himself from his recent retweet of a conspiracy theory from an account linked to QAnon, which baselessly claimed that former Vice President Joe Biden orchestrated to have Seal Team Six killed to cover up the fake death of al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden. . . .
    Found 3 hours, 35 minutes ago on Eliot Michaelson's site
  10. 12947.598648
    According to Jakobson (1960, pp. 353-57), there are six functions of language: the referential, poetic, emotive, conative, phatic, and metalingual functions. To expand on just two of these, the emotive function involves using language to express emotions or feelings rather than information. It is exemplified by pure exclamatives like ‘Wow!’ The phatic function, in contrast, involves the use of language to open, close, or maintain a channel of communication. Exemplars include utterances of ‘Hello’, ‘Um’, or ‘Bye’. Analytic philosophers tend not to pay Jakobson much heed these days. And perhaps that is justified; his categories are vague at best, introduced more via ostention than by definition. Still, the general approach to understanding language is one worth taking seriously: a picture of language as serving a multitude of functions. What is the function of language? There isn’t just one on this picture. Rather, language is a tool that we can, without in any way sullying it, put to a variety of uses in different circumstances.
    Found 3 hours, 35 minutes ago on Eliot Michaelson's site
  11. 18686.598663
    This is a conceptual attempt to integrate the major current psychotherapeutic methods via the introduction ofMacro Psychology. The idea is fully philosophical, and the aim is to spur debate. Clinically, we land in the following picture: Scenarios with a maltreated dog, its owner, and a therapist. Conditioning: The therapist takes the dog to a safe environment. Behavioral therapy: The therapist instructs the owner to take regular long walks with the dog, to feed it regularly, to let it have access to fresh water, and to stop hitting it. Cognitive behavioral therapy: The therapist instructs the owner to take regular long walks with the dog, to feed it regularly, to let it have access to fresh water, and to stop hitting it. The therapist also tells the owner why. Psychodynamically oriented therapy: The therapist tries to help the owner to reconnect to repressed parts that care for the dog.
    Found 5 hours, 11 minutes ago on PhilPapers
  12. 18708.598673
    If you’re reading a journal like this, you’re probably familiar with seeing papers defending this or that decision theory. Familiar decision theories include: • Causal Decision Theory (Gibbard and Harper 1978; Lewis 1981; Skyrms 1990; Joyce 1999); • Evidential Decision Theory (Ahmed 2014); • Benchmark theory (Wedgwood 2013); • Risk-Weighted theory (Buchak 2013); • Tournament Decision Theory (Podgorski 2022); and • Functional Decision Theory (Levinstein and Soares 2020) Other theories haven’t had snappy ‘isms’ applied to them, such as the nonstandard version of Causal Decision Theory that Dmitri Gallow (2020) defends, or the pluralist decision theory that Jack Spencer (2021) defends, or the broadly ratificationist theory that Melissa Fusco (n.d.) defends.
    Found 5 hours, 11 minutes ago on PhilPapers
  13. 18740.598683
    In Nicomachean Ethics vii and ix 4, Aristotle describes those with vice in extraordinarily different ways. In EN vii, it looks as though those with vice are free from psychic conflict, wholehearted in the pursuit of their ends, and entirely undisposed to regret. In EN ix 4, it looks as though they are afflicted with psychic conflict, ambivalent in the pursuit of their ends, and inevitably plagued with regret. Interpreters disagree about whether these discussions can be made consistent, and for those who think that they can, there is disagreement about how consistency is to be achieved.
    Found 5 hours, 12 minutes ago on PhilPapers
  14. 21685.598693
    Suppose there is an infinitely long line with equally-spaced positions numbered sequentially with the integers. At each position there is a person drowning. All the persons are on par in all relevant respects and equally related to you. …
    Found 6 hours, 1 minute ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  15. 25060.598704
    When You Will Not Stampede Me released, my friend Ilya Somin presented some thoughtful criticism on the Reason website. Here is my belated response. Ilya’s in blockquotes, I’m not. But I think he and some other advocates of non-conformism may underrate some key arguments for—limited, but still substantial—conformity. …
    Found 6 hours, 57 minutes ago on Bet On It
  16. 27210.598714
    Galileo wrote that mathematics is the language in which God has written the book of the universe. This simple fact is the raison d’être for philosophy of physics, for while sentences of non-mathematical languages directly describe the world around us, the ‘sentences’ of mathematics only describe abstract objects. Unless the world literally is mathematics, we need more than just the bare text of definitions and equations to understand what the book of the world says about – the world. What we need are interpretations of physical theories: “If the primary task of the physicist is to construct models and theories of the world, the primary task of a philosopher of physics is to interpret these products of physics, be they theories, models, simulations, or experiments” (Rickles 2016). This, then, is “the question of interpretation: under what conditions is the theory true? What does it say the world is like?” (van Fraassen 1991, 242).
    Found 7 hours, 33 minutes ago on PhilSci Archive
  17. 27216.598724
    This essay examines the philosophical significance of Ω-logic in Zermelo- Fraenkel set theory with choice (ZFC). The categorical duality between coalgebra and algebra permits Boolean-valued algebraic models of ZFC to be interpreted as coalgebras. The hyperintensional profile of Ω-logical validity can then be countenanced within a coalgebraic logic. I argue that the philosophical significance of the foregoing is two-fold. First, because the epistemic and modal and hyperintensional profiles of Ω-logical validity correspond to those of second-order logical consequence, Ω-logical validity is genuinely logical. Second, the foregoing provides a hyperintensional account of the interpretation of mathematical vocabulary.
    Found 7 hours, 33 minutes ago on PhilSci Archive
  18. 71511.598735
    A longstanding debate at the center of the ethics of belief literature concerns whether the fact that having some doxastic attitude would be beneficial or harmful constitutes a genuine normative reason for or against having that attitude. In other words, do practical considerations bear on what you really ought to believe? Parties to this debate have traditionally focused on cases involving benefits or harms to the believer. For example, suppose believing that there’s an afterlife would alleviate your crippling anxiety about death, or believing that your son committed a violent crime would cause you suffering. Pragmatists say that these benefits and harms constitute normative reasons for and against you having these respective beliefs that really matter to what you ought to believe. Anti-pragmatists, on the other hand, insist that the benefits and harms of these beliefs at best generate normative reasons for you to want and cause yourself to have or lack these beliefs, but not normative reasons for believing or withholding from belief itself. The only normative reasons for or against you having some doxastic attitude, the anti-pragmatist claims, are epistemic reasons, which are considerations that have to do with believing the truth and avoiding error—e.g., the evidence.
    Found 19 hours, 51 minutes ago on Stephanie Leary's site
  19. 76447.598754
    This paper addresses different but interrelated themes in the history and philosophy of biology. The proposal is primarily metatheoretical. I will address how different biological theories and approaches have been linked throughout the history of biology. I will focus on two inextricably linked aspects of biological theories: their explanatory methods and the concepts that underlie their explanations. My central thesis is that the interpretation of biological concepts is related to the nature of the explanation.
    Found 21 hours, 14 minutes ago on PhilPapers
  20. 76473.598764
    The market failures approach to business ethics has recently garnered substantial critical attention (see, e.g., Cohen and Peterson 2019; Moriarty 2020; Steinberg 2017; Hsieh 2017; von Kriegstein 2016; Smith 2018; Endorfer and Larue 2022; Singer 2018). Though precursors of this view can be found in the literature (e.g., McMahon 1981; Friedman 1970), it was Joseph Heath (2004, 2006, 2014, 2023) who developed the approach and gave it its name. The market failures approach (henceforth: MFA) is concerned with the ethical obligations of managers of firms (Heath 2014, 69). Roughly, it holds that managers ought not to conduct their businesses in a way that exploits market failures. “Market failure” is a technical term, meaning any failure of the conditions of the first fundamental welfare theorem, sometimes called the “Pareto conditions” (see Arrow 1951). The theorem states that if the Pareto conditions hold, then the market equilibrium will use society’s scarce resources efficiently, meaning that no one could be made better-off without making anyone else worse off.
    Found 21 hours, 14 minutes ago on PhilPapers
  21. 76499.598773
    The ownership of natural resources, particularly land, is of the utmost importance for understanding many economic problems our world faces today. Developed countries are undergoing housing crises, and have been for some time. The ratio of the median income to the median-priced home or apartment has risen for decades. This means that many people have to spend a greater percentage of their incomes on housing, burdened by real estate debt. Other people cannot get on the so called “property ladder” at all, and are forced to either rent or live with their parents. Almost one third of Americans between 18 and 34 live with their parents, a share that is higher in almost all European countries, and over half in many. High housing prices contribute to the financialization of the economy, prevent family formation, and divert capital from more productive uses.
    Found 21 hours, 14 minutes ago on PhilPapers
  22. 76520.598784
    Our diverse and breathtaking intelligence is embodied in our skills. Think of Olympic gymnastics, and the amount of strength, flexibility, and control required to perform even a simple beam routine; think of a carpenter skillfully carving the wood, where complicated techniques come across as sheer easiness of the bodily movements; of a pianist performing a sonata, balancing their technical virtuosity with their elegance; or, yet again, of the creativity of the mathematician, who creates new forms and structures. Throughout our lifetimes, we acquire a vast number of skills. Children work on skills from infancy and throughout development, from very simple skills to more advanced ones; adults continue to refine their skills through old age. And skills’ improvement and refinement is not bound to the human lifespan alone either. Somehow, it crosses generations. Skills both foster cultural evolution and are refined by it—e.g., in music, culture enriches songs and tunes through centuries; across generations, it perfects tools and building techniques. Cumulative culture affects theoretical and intellectual skills as much as practical and embodied skills—as the development of mathematical thinking since its dawn shows.
    Found 21 hours, 15 minutes ago on PhilPapers
  23. 76547.598793
    Philosophers of mind (from eliminative materialists to psychofunctionalists to interpretivists) generally assume that a normative ideal delimits which mental phenomena exist (though they disagree about how to characterize the ideal in question). This assumption is dubious. A comprehensive ontology of mind includes some mental phenomena that are neither (a) explanatorily fecund posits in any branch of cognitive science that aims to unveil the mechanistic structure of cognitive systems nor (b) ideal (nor even progressively closer to ideal) posits in any given folk psychological practice. Indeed, one major function of scientific psychology has been (and will be) to introduce just such (normatively suboptimal but real) mental phenomena into folk psychological taxonomies. The development and public dissemination of IQ research over the course of the 20th Century is a case in point.
    Found 21 hours, 15 minutes ago on PhilPapers
  24. 90000.598803
    Welcome to the Brains Blog’s Symposium on Experience, Phenomenology, and Quantum Mechanics. Despite a long history of discussion in physics and the philosophy of physics, the relationship between experience, phenomenology, and quantum mechanics (QM) has often been hindered by traditional disciplinary boundaries. …
    Found 1 day, 1 hour ago on The Brains Blog
  25. 101706.598816
    My 11-year-old has an interesting intuition, that it is impossible to have an infinite number of conscious beings. She is untroubled by Hilbert’s Hotel, and insists the intuition is specific to conscious beigs, but is unable to put her finger on what exactly bothers her about an infinity of conscious beings. …
    Found 1 day, 4 hours ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  26. 101707.598827
    Tyler Cowen recently rewatched Casablanca on the big screen, and ended up concluding that “Rick was wanting Ilsa to suffer as much as possible.” Recurring Bet On It writer Dan Klein begs to differ in today’s guest essay. …
    Found 1 day, 4 hours ago on Bet On It
  27. 113310.598837
    David Hugh-Jones has a very nice post on his substack about the explanatory power of simple 2x2 games. He discusses the prisoner’s dilemma, the trust game, the battle of the sexes, matching pennies, and the stag hunt. …
    Found 1 day, 7 hours ago on The Archimedean Point
  28. 121854.598848
    Department of Philosophy, University of Graz, Austria I’m very grateful to Mahdi Khalili, Andrea Reichenberger, and Harald Wiltsche for engaging so carefully with my work and for raising questions and concerns that have pushed me to refine and develop my position. …
    Found 1 day, 9 hours ago on The Brains Blog
  29. 124856.598858
    Harald A. Wiltsche, Department of Philosophy & Applied Ethics Linköping University, Sweden It is a common perception that phenomenology and the broader “continental” strand in modern philosophy is characterized by a distant, and at times, even adversarial attitude towards the exact sciences. …
    Found 1 day, 10 hours ago on The Brains Blog
  30. 124856.59887
    Technical University of Munich Philipp Berghofer champions a phenomenological experience-first epistemology und he argues for the justificatory force of experiences. The significance that experience has for our everyday lives seems indisputable. …
    Found 1 day, 10 hours ago on The Brains Blog