1. 27569.146805
    In 'Why I Am Not a Utilitarian', Michael Huemer objects that "there are so many counter-examples, and the intuitions about these examples are strong and widespread, it’s hard to see how utilitarianism could be justified overall." …
    Found 7 hours, 39 minutes ago on Philosophy, et cetera
  2. 49481.146923
    Michael Klenk, “Pragmatism and Moral Objectivity”, European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy [Online], XIII-2 | 2021, Online since 20 December 2021, connection on 22 December 2021.
    Found 13 hours, 44 minutes ago on Michael Klenk's site
  3. 49551.146947
    Killer drove drunk and, for reasons beyond his control, killed a child that ran onto the street. Merely Reckless also drove drunk but, for reasons beyond his control, was lucky and killed nobody. Suppose that the outcome in each case differs solely due to factors beyond the agents’ control. Still, these factors supposedly influence the respective moral praise- and blameworthiness of both agents: Killer seems more blameworthy than Merely Reckless, and so the latter is morally lucky. However, it is also widely accepted that only things within one’s control shall determine how praise- and blameworthy one is; accordingly, there should be no moral luck.
    Found 13 hours, 45 minutes ago on Michael Klenk's site
  4. 83634.146962
    Human behavior and thought often exhibit a familiar pattern of within group similarity and between group difference. Many of these patterns are attributed to cultural differences. For much of the history of its investigation into behavior and thought, however, cognitive science has been disproportionately focused on uncovering and explaining the more universal features of human minds—or the universal features of minds in general.
    Found 23 hours, 13 minutes ago on Daniel Kelly's site
  5. 85420.146976
    Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) argued that the supreme principle of morality is a principle of practical rationality that he dubbed the “Categorical Imperative” (CI). Kant characterized the CI as an objective, rationally necessary and unconditional principle that we must follow despite any natural desires we may have to the contrary. All specific moral requirements, according to Kant, are justified by this principle, which means that all immoral actions are irrational because they violate the CI. Other philosophers, such as Hobbes, Locke and Aquinas, had also argued that moral requirements are based on standards of rationality.
    Found 23 hours, 43 minutes ago on John Danaher's site
  6. 113018.146989
    How should we measure knowledge? According to the Counting Approach, we can measure knowledge by counting pieces of knowledge. Versions of the Counting Approach that try to measure knowledge by counting true beliefs with suitable support or by counting propositions known run into problems, stemming from infinite numbers of propositions and beliefs, difficulties in individuating propositions and beliefs, and cases in which knowing the same number of propositions contributes differently to knowledge. In this paper I develop a novel question-relative and contextualist version of the counting approach, which measures an agent's knowledge by counting the number of complete answers of a contextually salient issue they can rule out. The question-relative and contextualist version of the Counting Approach avoids the issues for the proposition and belief-based systems, and offers a general, systematic, and explanatory system for measuring knowledge.
    Found 1 day, 7 hours ago on PhilPapers
  7. 113068.147002
    This paper explores the socio-epistemic practice of shopping for experts. I argue that expert shopping is particularly likely to occur on what Thi Nguyen calls cognitive islands (i.e., a domain that is both subtle and isolated). To support my claim, I focus on the case of macroeconomics. First, I make a prima-facie case for thinking that macroeconomics is a cognitive island. I, then, argue that ordinary people are particularly likely to engage in expert shopping when it comes to macroeconomic matters. I go on to distinguish two kinds of expert shopping, which I call cynical and wishful expert shopping, and introduce the notion of assisted expert shopping, which occurs when people or organizations shop for experts on behalf of other people. I argue that assisted expert shopping can consist of a particularly worrisome combination of cynical and wishful expert shopping, which sometimes result in what I call a propagandistic use of expertise. Finally, I critically examine some possible reasons for optimism and find them wanting. I conclude by suggesting that that much of what I said about shopping for macroeconomic experts might also apply mutatis mutandis to other policy-relevant domains of expertise.
    Found 1 day, 7 hours ago on PhilPapers
  8. 119642.147015
    Alice and Bob are friends, but Carl is a friend of neither. Carl pays Bob to betray Alice in some nasty way, and Bob being greedy does so. What Carl has done is as bad as what Alice has done. However, Alice was disloyal whereas Carl’s action was not a failure of loyalty. …
    Found 1 day, 9 hours ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  9. 182824.147029
    I like many kinds of periodic table, but hate this one. See the problem? Element 57 is drawn right next to element 72, replacing the element that should be there: element 71. So lutetium, element 71, is being denied its rightful place as a transition metal and is classified as a rare earth. …
    Found 2 days, 2 hours ago on Azimuth
  10. 207770.147043
    Maudlin’s ‘metric essentialist’ response to the hole argument of general relativity is well-known, but differs strikingly from his response to what is often regarded as being the analogous problem in the context of Newtonian gravity (viz., the possibility of a Leibnizian static shift), which centres around a certain epistemological argument. In this paper, we explicate the reasons underlying this divergence of responses. We then apply recent work from the philosophy of language in order to assess Dasgupta’s arguments, centred around the notion of ‘inexpressible ignorance’, that Maudlin’s epistemological argument given in response to the static shift is unsuccessful. Finally, we analyse how the epistemological argument plays out in the context of the gauge redundancy in electromagnetism, finding that the situation is interestingly different from the spacetime case.
    Found 2 days, 9 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  11. 207921.147056
    This paper proposes a framework for representing in Bayesian terms the idea that analogical arguments of various degrees of strength may provide inductive support to yet untested scientific hypotheses. On this account, contextual information plays a crucial role in determining whether, and to what extent, a given similarity or dissimilarity between source and target may confirm an empirical hypothesis over a rival one. In addition to showing confirmation by analogy compatible with the adoption of a Bayesian standpoint, the proposal outlined in this paper reveals a close agreement between the fulfillment of Hesse’s (1963) criteria for analogical arguments capable of inductive support and the attribution of confirmatory power by the lights of Bayesian confirmation theory. In this sense, the Bayesian representation not only enriches a framework, Hesse’s, of enduring relevance for understanding scientific activity, but may offer something akin to a proof of concept of it.
    Found 2 days, 9 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  12. 218262.14707
    We owe our children at least a normal degree of effor for their welfare. For instance, we owe it to them to provide food, water, education and affection in normal circumstances by the normal means of doing so. …
    Found 2 days, 12 hours ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  13. 228858.147083
    Call a quantifier ‘unrestricted’ if it ranges over absolutely all objects. Arguably, unrestricted quantification is often presupposed in philosophical inquiry. However, developing a semantic theory that vindicates unrestricted quantification proves rather difficult, at least as long as we formulate our semantic theory within a classical first-order language. It has been argued that using a type theory as framework for our semantic theory provides a resolution of this problem, at least if a broadly Fregean interpretation of type theory is assumed. However, the intelligibility of this interpretation has been questioned. In this paper I introduce a type-free theory of properties that can also be used to vindicate unrestricted quantification. This alternative emerges very naturally by reflecting on the features on which the type-theoretic solution of the problem of unrestricted quantification relies. Although this alternative theory is formulated in a non-classical logic, it preserves the deductive strength of classical strict type theory in a natural way. The ideas developed in this paper make crucial use of Russell’s notion of range of significance.
    Found 2 days, 15 hours ago on PhilPapers
  14. 258994.147096
    The value of liberty fi gures prominently in people’s individual self- conceptions. They see themselves as free agents capable of deliberating about and choosing what they should pursue or do. This value in turn features in accounts of moral and political philosophy concerning whether an action or policy is permissible, reasonable, or legitimate. People want to be free and it’s hard to think of a theoretical tradition that doesn’t at least aff ord lip service to some notion of liberty. Indeed, even proponents of presumptively illiberal theories will tend to off er some putative justifi cation in terms of some other value to account for whatever impositions against liberty they tolerate. Authoritarians of all stripes feel at least some pressure to argue that these are necessary to promote virtue, for example, or protect important traditions. Alternatively, they may provide some conception of liberty according to which the imposition is necessary to secure or protect it. Accordingly, “work makes you free” (even in a forced labor camp!) rather than merely useful, manageable, or whatever. Every ideological outpost claims the mantle of liberty in one way or another, however plausible their claims appear and however successfully they withstand scrutiny.
    Found 2 days, 23 hours ago on Kyle Swan's site
  15. 286544.14711
    is very reliable in assigning this credence—previously, he denied the effectiveness of masks, and other measures he claimed to be effective turned out not to be. We can conceptualise the reliability assigned to a person for a given proposition as a number ranging from 0 (completely unreliable) to 1 (completely reliable). A completely unreliable person would make entirely random reports. Their statements would never be related to the truth. Even if they were true, they would be true merely by coincidence. Others could never rely on what they said. To such a person, we could assign a reliability of 0. But they are a hypothetical person; most people of flesh and blood are not that unreliable, not even your erratic politician. Imagine that you assign 0.2 to them regarding the claim that masks lower the risk of coronavirus transmission.
    Found 3 days, 7 hours ago on PhilPapers
  16. 289249.147123
    In 'Emergence and Incremental Impact', I argued (contra Kingston and Sinnott-Armstrong) that emergent properties do nothing to undermine the basic case for individual impact: they're just another kind of threshold case, and thresholds are compatible with difference-making increments.In that old post, I assumed counterfactual determinacy to make the case for there being some precise increment(s) that make a difference whenever a collection of increments together does. …
    Found 3 days, 8 hours ago on Philosophy, et cetera
  17. 293557.147136
    Here is a big picture story about Newtonian mechanics: The state of the system at all times t > t0 is explained by the initial conditions of the system at t0 and the prevalent forces. But what are the initial conditions? …
    Found 3 days, 9 hours ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  18. 301728.14715
    Using correlations and hierarchical regression analysis, Verhaeghen and Mirabito (2021) found that while self-awareness was associated with self-regulation, inner speech was not, suggesting that the latter does not play a causal role in either self-awareness nor self-regulation. This motivated the authors to claim that “inner speech is easiest understood as an epiphenomenon” (p. 8). In this Commentary, I suggest that the authors conceptualized and measured inner speech, self-regulation, and self-awareness in inappropriate ways. The two measures chosen to assess inner speech either do not relate to self-regulation (VISQ) or self-awareness (SVQ). Self-awareness was measured using composites of various scales assessing mindfulness (which represents a related, yet different construct) which contains multiple items not representative of a typical self-awareness process. The self-regulation measure was also produced using various subscales assessing self-preoccupation and self-compassion—two self-processes very loosely associated with the target construct. Different results would have been obtained if the authors had used established measures. Their results contradict what has been consistently reported in the literature and do not cast doubt on the recognized fact that inner speech plays a significant, and often causal, role in self-awareness and self-regulation.
    Found 3 days, 11 hours ago on Alain Morin's site
  19. 301739.147163
    The first sentence in the title means roughly: All the people around are tired. The second means: Do not mess with any of them. Even though the second sentence looks just like a negative counterpart of the first, it doesn’t have the expected compositional meaning: it doesn’t mean “do not mess with all the people”. This phenomenon is extremely general. It takes place with Bare Plurals, as in the title. It figures prominently in the behavior of Plural Definites (I spoke to the students in trouble @ "/I didn’t speak to the students in trouble @ ¬$). It also takes place with to Donkey pronouns (Every farmer who had a donkey sold it @ "/ No man who had a donkey sold it @ ¬$). These switches of quantificational force under polarity reversals calls to mind Free Choice phenomena. In particular, a determiner like any is interpreted as a narrow scope existential in a sentence like I didn’t talk to any student in trouble @ ¬ $; however, in positive environments, the existential meaning of any emerges as strengthened to universal I spoke to any student in trouble @ ". It is tempting to conjecture that the source of this uniform behavior is a uniform mechanism. While these constructions (Free Choice any, Bare Plurals, Plural Definites, and Donkey pronouns) have been studied extensively, and insightful approaches to Plural Definites in terms of Free Choice mechanisms have also been proposed (Bar Lev 2018, 2021), a unitary analysis has not been attempted to the best of my knowledge. In spite of the many challenges that a unified analysis faces, it is worth a try, for, if successful, it would considerably push forward our understanding of a wide range of very diverse constructions.
    Found 3 days, 11 hours ago on Gennaro Chierchia's site
  20. 301775.147176
    Our folk psychology is built around the ascription of beliefs (and related cognitive states) and desires (and related conative states). How and when children develop a concept of these different kinds of propositional attitudes has been the subject of a long-standing debate. Asymmetry accounts assume that children develop a conception of desires earlier than they develop a concept of beliefs.
    Found 3 days, 11 hours ago on Hannes Rakoczy's site
  21. 301846.14719
    The complex societal challenges of the 21st Century require scientific researchers and academically educated professionals capable of conducting scientific research in complex problem contexts. Our central claim is that educational approaches inspired by a traditional empiricist epistemology insufficiently foster the required deep conceptual understanding and higher-order thinking skills necessary for epistemic tasks in scientific research. Conversely, we argue that constructivist epistemologies (developed in the philosophy of science in practice) provide better guidance to educational approaches to promote research skills. We also argue that teachers adopting a constructivist learning theory do not necessarily embrace a constructivist epistemology. On the contrary, in educational practice, novel educational approaches that adopt constructivist learning theories (e.g., project-based learning, PjBL) often maintain traditional empiricist epistemologies. Philosophers of science can help develop educational designs focused on learning to conduct scientific research, combining constructivist learning theory with constructivist epistemology. We illustrate this by an example from a bachelor's program in Biomedical Engineering, where we introduce conceptual models and modeling as an alternative to the traditional focus on hypothesis testing in conducting scientific research. This educational approach includes the so-called B&K method for (re-)constructing scientific models to scaffold teaching and learning conceptual modeling.
    Found 3 days, 11 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  22. 301851.147217
    This is the first part of a larger project that aims to develop a cross-categorical semantic account of a broad range of as if constructions in English. In this paper, we focus on descriptive uses of as if with regular truth-conditional content.
    Found 3 days, 11 hours ago on Justin Bledin's site
  23. 373866.147233
    First proposed by John Duns Scotus (1266–1308), a haecceity is a non-qualitative property responsible for a substance’s individuation and identity. As understood by Scotus, a haecceity is not a bare particular underlying qualities. It is, rather, a non-qualitative property of a substance or thing: it is a “thisness” (a haecceitas, from the Latin haec, meaning “this”) as opposed to a “whatness” (a quidditas, from the Latin quid, meaning “what”) – akin to what are sometimes known in recent philosophy as “suchnesses.” The origins of the proposal have both philosophical and theological components.
    Found 4 days, 7 hours ago on John Danaher's site
  24. 380634.147246
    . Nathan Schachtman,  Esq., J.D. Legal Counsel for Scientific Challenges Of Significance, Error, Confidence, and Confusion – In the Law and In Statistical Practice The metaphor of law as an “empty vessel” is frequently invoked to describe the law generally, as well as pejoratively to describe lawyers. …
    Found 4 days, 9 hours ago on D. G. Mayo's blog
  25. 381052.147263
    One of the biggest problems in applications of animal welfare science is our ability to make comparisons between different individuals, particularly different species. Although welfare science provides methods for measuring the welfare of individual animals, there’s no established method for comparing measures between individuals. This problem occurs because of the underdetermination of the conclusions given the data, arising from two sources of variation that we cannot distinguish – variation in the underlying target variable (welfare experience) and in the relationship of measured indicators to the target. In this paper I describe the similarity assumptions that underlie our current applications of interspecies comparisons and examine in which cases they are justified, as well as describing alternative methods we may use when they are not. In the end, all our available options for making interspecies comparisons are imperfect, and we need to make explicit context-specific decisions about which will be best for the task at hand while acknowledging their potential limitations. Future developments in our understanding of the biology of sentience will help strengthen our methods of making welfare comparisons.
    Found 4 days, 9 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  26. 381110.147279
    A defence is offered of a version of the branch-counting rule for probability in the Everett interpretation (otherwise known as many-worlds interpretation) of quantum mechanics that both depends on the state and is continuous in the norm topology on Hilbert space. The well-known branch-counting rule, for realistic models of measurements, in which branches are defined by decoherence theory, fails this test. The new rule hinges on the use of decoherence theory in defining branching structure, and specifically decoherent histories theory. On this basis ratios of branch numbers are defined, free of any convention. They agree with the Born rule, and deliver a notion of objective probability similar to naïve frequentism, save that the frequencies of outcomes are not confined to a single world at different times, but spread over worlds at a single time. Nor is it ad hoc: it is recognizably akin to the combinatorial approach to thermodynamic probability, as introduced by Boltzmann in 1879. It is identical to the procedure followed by Planck, Bose, Einstein and Dirac in defining the equilibrium distribution of the Bose-Einstein gas. It also connects in a simple way with the decision-theory approach to quantum probability.
    Found 4 days, 9 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  27. 381164.147293
    Mechanistic explanations, according to one prominent account, are derived from objective explanations (Craver 2007, 2014). Mechanistic standards of explanation are in turn pulled from nature, and are thereby insulated from the values of investigators, since explanation is an objectively defined achievement grounded in the causal structure of the world (Craver 2014). This results in the closure of mechanism’s explanatory standards—it is insulated from the values, norms and goals of investigators. I raise two problems with this position. First, it relies on several ontological claims which, while plausible, fail to guarantee the objectivity of mechanistic explanatory standards to the degree of certainty required. Second, Craver’s position itself introduces a value–laden explanatory standard—the 3M requirement (Kaplan & Craver 2011)—which undermines the closure of explanatory standards. I show how in practice mechanistic explanation is in part guided by explanatory taste, shorthand for background contextual values that influence our standards of explanation. Mechanism often has a particular pragmatically-oriented taste for control, and gerrymanders explanatory standards in order to obtain it. I conclude by arguing that objectivity, rather than being obtained through the right set of explanatory standards, is better thought of as the result of processes of intersubjective criticism, which renders visible the contextual values of communities of investigators and allows them to be controlled for (Longino 1990).
    Found 4 days, 9 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  28. 394401.147306
    Along with hallucinations and illusions, afterimages have shaped the philosophical debate about the nature of perception. Often referred to as optical or visual illusions, experiences of afterimages have been abundantly exploited by philosophers to argue against naïve realism. This paper offers an alternative account to this traditional view by providing a tentative account of the colors of the afterimages from an objectivist perspective. Contrary to the widespread approach to afterimages, this paper explores the possibility that the colors of afterimages are not ontologically different from “ordinary” colors and that experiences of afterimages fail to provide a motivation for rejecting naïve realism.
    Found 4 days, 13 hours ago on Vivian Mizrahi's site
  29. 402249.14732
    Skepticism about blameworthiness says that there is good reason to doubt that, in our world, humans are ever blameworthy for their deeds. A significant problem for the discussion of this view is that it is unclear how to understand the kind of blame that should be at issue. This paper makes a new proposal. The basic idea is that the kind of blame skeptics should be skeptical about is constituted by responses that can violate the targets’ claims and by the responders’ thought that the targets have forfeited this claim because of their morally objectionable actions and because of how they were when they performed them. This view identifies an important part of our everyday lives and frames discussions about skepticism about blameworthiness in a new way.
    Found 4 days, 15 hours ago on PhilPapers
  30. 402320.147333
    This paper engages in what might be called anticipatory virtue epistemology, as it anticipates some virtue epistemological risks related to a near-future version of brain-computer interface technology called neuromedia (Lynch 2014, 2016, Carter 2017, Pritchard 2018b). I analyze how neuromedia is poised to negatively affect the intellectual character of agents, focusing specifically on the virtue of intellectual perseverance, which involves a disposition to mentally persist in the face of challenges towards the realization of one’s intellectual goals (King 2014, Battaly 2017). First, I present and motivate what I call ‘the cognitive offloading argument’, which holds that excessive cognitive offloading of the sort incentivized by a device like neuromedia threatens to undermine intellectual virtue development from the standpoint of the theory of virtue responsibilism. Then, I examine the cognitive offloading argument as it applies to the virtue of intellectual perseverance, arguing that neuromedia may increase cognitive efficiency at the cost of intellectual perseverance. If used in an epistemically responsible manner, however, cognitive offloading devices may not undermine intellectual perseverance but instead allow us to persevere with respect to intellectual goals that we find more valuable by freeing us from different kinds of menial intellectual labor.
    Found 4 days, 15 hours ago on PhilPapers