1. 13337.952087
    What I call the active mind approach revolves around the claim that what is “on” a person’s mind is in an important sense brought on and held on to through the agent’s self-conscious rational activity. In the first part, I state the gist of this perspective in a deliberately strong way in order to create a touchstone for critical discussion. In the second part, I engage with two categories of our mental lives that seem to speak against construing the mind as active. First, I discuss affectivity, in particular emotion, and show that emotional episodes are active engagements. Second, I discuss habitual action, and in particular those manifestations of habit which are initially opaque to the agent. In my responses to both objections, the notion of a practical self-understanding will play a central role. The result will be a qualified defence and expansion of the active mind position.
    Found 3 hours, 42 minutes ago on Jan Slaby's site
  2. 16325.952142
    A number of arguments purport to show that quantum field theory cannot be given an interpretation in terms of localizable particles. We show, in light of such arguments, that the classical ~ → 0 limit can aid our understanding of the particle content of quantum field theories. In particular, we demonstrate that for the massive Klein-Gordon field, the classical limits of number operators can be understood to encode local information about particles in the corresponding classical field theory.
    Found 4 hours, 32 minutes ago on PhilSci Archive
  3. 16390.952159
    The origin of life occupies a very important place in the study of the evolution. Its liminal location between life and non-life poses special challenges to researchers who study this subject. Current approaches in studying the origin and evolution of early life are reductive: they either reduce the domain of non-life to the domain of life or vice versa. This contribution seeks to provide a perspective that would avoid reductionism of any kind. Its goal is to outline a frame that would include both domains and their respective evolutions as its particular cases. The study examines the main theoretical perspectives on the origin and evolution of early life and provides a constructive critique of these perspectives. An objective view requires viewing an object or a phenomenon from all available points of view. The goal of this contribution is not to prove the current perspectives wrong and to deny their achievements. It seeks to provide an angle that would be sufficiently wide and would allow synthesizing current perspectives for a comprehensive and objective interpretation of the origin and evolution of early life. In other words, it seeks to outline a frame for an objective view that will help understand life’s place within the universe.
    Found 4 hours, 33 minutes ago on PhilSci Archive
  4. 16408.952173
    To make sense of large data sets, we often look for patterns in how data points are “shaped” in the space of possible measurement outcomes. The emerging field of topological data analysis (TDA) offers a toolkit for formalizing the process of identifying such shapes. This paper aims to discover why and how the resulting analysis should be understood as reflecting significant features of the systems that generated the data. I argue that a particular feature of TDA—its functoriality— is what enables TDA to translate visual intuitions about structure in data into precise, computationally tractable descriptions of real-world systems.
    Found 4 hours, 33 minutes ago on PhilSci Archive
  5. 45840.952187
    Corruptionist Thomists think that after death and before the resurrection, our souls exist in a disembodied state and have mental states, but we do not exist. For we are not our souls. Survivalist Thomists think we continue to exist between death and the resurrection. …
    Found 12 hours, 44 minutes ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  6. 71755.9522
    This paper generalises Enelow (J Polit 43(4):1062–1089, 1981) and Lehtinen’s (Theory Decis 63(1):1–40, 2007b) model of strategic voting under amendment agendas by allowing any number of alternatives and any voting order. The generalisation enables studying utilitarian efficiencies in an incomplete information model with a large number of alternatives. Furthermore, it allows for studying how strategic voting affects path-dependence. Strategic voting increases utilitarian efficiency also when there are more than three alternatives. The existence of a Condorcet winner does not guarantee path-independence if the voters engage in strategic voting under incomplete information. A criterion for evaluating path-dependence, the degree of path-dependence, is proposed, and the generalised model is used to study how strategic voting affects it. When there is a Condorcet winner, strategic voting inevitably increases the degree of path-dependence, but when there is no Condorcet winner, strategic voting decreases path-dependence. Computer simulations show, however, that on average it increases the degree of path-dependence.
    Found 19 hours, 55 minutes ago on Aki Lehtinen's site
  7. 71927.952214
    The most common argument against the use of rational choice models outside economics is that they make unrealistic assumptions about individual behavior. We argue that whether the falsity of assumptions matters in a given model depends on which factors are explanatorily relevant. Since the explanatory factors may vary from application to application, effective criticism of economic model building should be based on model-specific arguments showing how the result really depends on the false assumptions. However, some modeling results in imperialistic applications are relatively robust with respect to unrealistic assumptions.
    Found 19 hours, 58 minutes ago on Aki Lehtinen's site
  8. 72020.952227
    Political science and economic science . . . make use of the same language, the same mode of abstraction, the same instruments of thought and the same method of reasoning. (Black 1998, 354) Proponents as well as opponents of economics imperialism agree that imperialism is a matter of unification; providing a unified framework for social scientific analysis. Uskali Mäki distinguishes between derivational and ontological unification and argues that the latter should serve as a constraint for the former. We explore whether, in the case of rational-choice political science, self-interested behavior can be seen as a common causal element and solution concepts as the common derivational element, and whether the former constraints the use of the latter. We find that this is not the case. Instead, what is common to economics and rational-choice political science is a set of research heuristics and a focus on institutions with similar structures and forms of organization.
    Found 20 hours ago on Aki Lehtinen's site
  9. 72063.952254
    This paper examines the welfare consequences of strategic voting under the Borda rule in a comparison of utilitarian efficiencies in simulated voting games under two behavioural assumptions: expected utility-maximising behaviour and sincere behaviour. Utilitarian efficiency is higher in the former than in the latter. Strategic voting increases utilitarian efficiency particularly if the distribution of preference intensities correlates with voter types. The Borda rule is shown to have two advantages: strategic voting is beneficial even if some but not all voter types engage in strategic behaviour, and even if the voters’ information is based on unreliable signals.
    Found 20 hours, 1 minute ago on Aki Lehtinen's site
  10. 72248.952269
    This paper reconsiders the discussion on ordinal utilities versus preference intensities in voting theory. It is shown by way of an example that arguments concerning observability and risk-attitudes that have been presented in favour of Arrow’s Independence of Irrelevant Alternatives (IIA), and against utilitarian evaluation, fail due to strategic voting. The failure of these two arguments is then used to justify utilitarian evaluation of outcomes in voting. Given a utilitarian viewpoint, it is then argued that strategy-proofness is not normatively acceptable. Social choice theory is criticised not just by showing that some of its most important conditions are not normatively acceptable, but also by showing that the very idea of imposing condition on social choice function under the assumption of sincere behaviour does not make much sense because satisfying a condition does not quarantee that a voting rule actually has the properties that the condition confers to it under sincere behaviour. IIA, the binary intensity IIA, and monotonicity are used as illustrations of this phenomenon.
    Found 20 hours, 4 minutes ago on Aki Lehtinen's site
  11. 74109.952282
    The distinguishability between pairs of quantum states, as measured by quantum fidelity, is formulated on phase space. The fidelity is physically interpreted as the probability that the pair are mistaken for each other upon an measurement. The mathematical representation is based on the concept of symplectic capacity in symplectic topology. The fidelity is the absolute square of the complex-valued overlap between the symplectic capacities of the pair of states. The symplec-tic capacity for a given state, onto any conjugate plane of degrees of freedom, is postulated to be bounded from below by the Gromov width h/2. This generalize the Gibbs-Liouville theorem in classical mechanics, which state that the volume of a region of phase space is invariant under the Hamiltonian flow of the system, by constraining the shape of the flow. It is shown that for closed Hamiltonian systems, the Schrodinger equation is the mathematical representation for the conservation of fidelity.
    Found 20 hours, 35 minutes ago on PhilSci Archive
  12. 74171.952296
    The measurement problem is addressed from the viewpoint that it is the distinguishability between the state preparation and its quantum ensemble, i.e. the set of states with which it has a non-zero overlap, that is at the heart of the difference between classical and quantum measurements. The measure for the degree of distinguishability between pairs of quantum states, i.e. the quantum fidelity, is for this purpose generalized, by the application of the superposition principle, to the setting where there exists an arbitrary-dimensional quantum ensemble.
    Found 20 hours, 36 minutes ago on PhilSci Archive
  13. 75297.952309
    For a PDF version of this post, see here.Many years ago, I was climbing Sgùrr na Banachdich with my friend Alex. It's a mountain in the Black Cuillin, a horseshoe of summits that surround Loch Coruisk at the southern end of the Isle of Skye. …
    Found 20 hours, 54 minutes ago on M-Phi
  14. 79020.952323
    Gerundive imagination reports with an embedded reflexive subject (e.g. Zeno imagines himself swimming ) are ambiguous between an ‘inside’ and an ‘outside’ reading: the inside reading captures the imaginer’s directly making the described experience (here: swimming); the outside reading captures the imaginer’s having an experience of an event, involving his own counterpart, from an out-of-body point of view (watching one’s counterpart swim). Our paper explains the inside/outside-ambiguity through the observation (i) that imagining can referentially target different phenomenal experiences – esp. proprioception (i.e. bodily feeling) and visual perception (seeing, watching) – and (ii) that imagining and its associated experience can both be de se. Inside/outside readings then arise from intuitive constraints in the lexical semantics of verbs like feel, see. Keywords: Inside/outside readings · Imagistic perspective · Experiential imagining · Self-imagining · Counterfactual parasitism.
    Found 21 hours, 57 minutes ago on Markus Werning's site
  15. 133833.952351
    Models of decision-making under uncertainty gain much of their power from the specification of states so as to resolve all uncertainty. However, this specification can undermine the presumed observability of preferences on which axiomatic theories of decision-making are based. We introduce the notion of a contingency. Contingencies need not resolve all uncertainty, but preferences over functions from contingencies to outcomes are (at least in principle) observable. In sufficiently simple situations, states and contingencies coincide. In more challenging situations, the analyst must choose between sacrificing observability in order to harness the power of states that resolve all uncertainty, or preserving observability by working with contingencies.
    Found 1 day, 13 hours ago on Itzhak Gilboa's site
  16. 133876.952369
    In Part I of this paper, we identified and compared various schemes for trivalent truth conditions for indicative conditionals, most notably the proposals by de Finetti (1936) and Reichenbach (1935, 1944) on the one hand, and by Cooper (Inquiry, 11, 295–320, 1968) and Cantwell (Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic, 49, 245– 260, ) on the other. Here we provide the proof theory for the resulting logics DF/TT and CC/TT, using tableau calculi and sequent calculi, and proving soundness and completeness results. Then we turn to the algebraic semantics, where both logics have substantive limitations: DF/TT allows for algebraic completeness, but not for the construction of a canonical model, while CC/TT fails the construction of a Lindenbaum-Tarski algebra. With these results in mind, we draw up the balance and sketch future research projects.
    Found 1 day, 13 hours ago on Lorenzo Rossi's site
  17. 133900.952384
    The notion of grounding is usually conceived as an objective and explanatory relation. It connects two relata if one—the ground—determines or explains the other—the consequence. In the contemporary literature on grounding, much effort has been devoted to logically characterize the formal aspects of grounding, but a major hard problem remains: defining suitable grounding principles for universal and existential formulae. Indeed, several grounding principles for quantified formulae have been proposed, but all of them are exposed to paradoxes in some very natural contexts of application. We introduce in this paper a first-order formal system that captures the notion of grounding and avoids the paradoxes in a novel and non-trivial way. The system we present formally develops Bolzano’s ideas on grounding by employing Hilbert’s ε-terms and an adapted version of Fine’s theory of arbitrary objects.
    Found 1 day, 13 hours ago on Lorenzo Rossi's site
  18. 133962.952399
    This paper reports the first empirical investigation of the hypothesis that epistemic appraisals form part of the structure of concepts. To date, studies of concepts have focused on the way concepts encode properties of objects, and the way those features are used in categorisation and in other cognitive tasks. Philosophical considerations show the importance of also considering how a thinker assesses the epistemic value of beliefs and other cognitive resources, and in particular, concepts.
    Found 1 day, 13 hours ago on Jake Quilty-Dunn's site
  19. 133964.952418
    Can future robots and AI-systems have consciousness and genuinely human intelligence – or even better, superhuman intelligence? Is it possible for them to behave ethically? Here we look at these questions from the point of view of philosophy and AI, and argue that these questions are related: their answer hinges on the fulfillment of the same condition. Starting from an analysis of the concept of consciousness, we argue that the key capacity that computers and robots should possess in order to emulate human cognition and (ethical) consciousness is the capacity to learn and apply ‘coherent webs-of-theories’. We conjecture that where classic AI has been, in essence, ‘data-driven’, the greatest leap forward would be ‘theory-driven’ AI. We review prominent work in deep learning and cognitive neuroscience to back-up this claim. This paper is an attempt at synthesis between recent work in philosophy, AI and cognitive science.
    Found 1 day, 13 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  20. 133980.952431
    According to one narrative about the history of the concept of emergence in metaphysics and philosophy of science, when British emergentists initially appealed to emergence in the early twentieth century, they aimed to lay the groundwork for a philosophy of nature that was supposed to constitute a middle course between two antagonistic worldviews: reductive physicalism and non-physicalist dualism. While reductive physicalism aims to establish that all concrete goings-on, ranging from social phenomena to biological and chemical processes, are reducible to fundamental physical states and processes explicated by, and invoked in, an ideal physics, non-physicalist dualism holds that some phenomena resist any kind of physical reducibility, and are radically autonomous vis-à-vis physical goings-on. The emergentist idea is that a more plausible way of making sense of the natural world is through accepting that some phenomena resist physical reduction, but that is not to say that such phenomena “float free” of the physical. Such phenomena are taken to be “emergent”, suggesting that there is an emergence relation between the emergent entities and their so-called physical “emergence bases”.
    Found 1 day, 13 hours ago on Umut Baysan's site
  21. 133991.952445
    In a recent paper, Justin D’Ambrosio (2020) has offered an empirical argument in support of a negative solution to the puzzle of Macbeth’s dagger—namely, the question of whether, in the famous scene from Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth sees a dagger in front of him. D’Ambrosio’s strategy consists in showing that “seeing” is not an existence-neutral verb; that is, that the way it is used in ordinary language is not neutral with respect to whether its complement exists. In this paper, we offer an empirical argument in favor of an existence-neutral reading of “seeing”. In particular, we argue that existence-neutral readings are readily available to language users. We thus call into question D’Ambrosio’s argument for the claim that Macbeth does not see a dagger. According to our positive solution, Macbeth sees a dagger, even though there is not a dagger in front of him.
    Found 1 day, 13 hours ago on PhilPapers
  22. 133999.952459
    Effective altruism is based on a very simple idea: we should do the most good we can. Obeying the usual rules about not stealing, cheating, hurting, and killing is not enough, or at least not enough for those of us who have the good fortune to live in material comfort, who can feed, house, and clothe ourselves and our families and still have money or time to spare. …
    Found 1 day, 13 hours ago on The Philosopher's Beard
  23. 134009.952473
    Cheap talk has often been thought incapable of supporting the emergence of cooperation because costless signals, easily faked, are unlikely to be reliable (Zahavi and Zahavi, 1997). I show how, in a social network model of cheap talk with reinforcement learning, cheap talk does enable the emergence of cooperation, provided that individuals also temporally discount the past. This establishes one mechanism that suffices for moving a population of initially uncooperative individuals to a state of mutually beneficial cooperation even in the absence of formal institutions.
    Found 1 day, 13 hours ago on Jeffrey Barrett's site
  24. 134013.952487
    This paper examines two questions about scientists’ search for knowledge. First, which search strategies generate discoveries effectively? Second, is it advantageous to diversify search strategies? We argue pace Weisberg and Muldoon (2009) that, on the first question, a search strategy that deliberately seeks novel research approaches need not be optimal. On the second question, we argue they have not shown epistemic reasons exist for the division of cognitive labor, identifying the errors that led to their conclusions. Furthermore, we generalize the epistemic landscape model, showing that one should be skeptical about the benefits of social learning in epistemically complex environments.
    Found 1 day, 13 hours ago on Jeffrey Barrett's site
  25. 134052.952501
    As many Western countries emerged from initial periods of lockdown in spring 2020, they had brought COVID-19 infection rates down significantly. This was followed, however, with more drastic second and third waves of viral spread, which many of these same countries are struggling to bring under control, even with the implementation of further periods of lockdown. Could this have been prevented by policymakers? We revisit two strategies that were focus of much discussion during the early stages of the pandemic, and which were implemented in several Western countries, albeit in a weakened form. These strategies both proceed by targeting certain segments of the population, while allowing others to go about their lives unhindered. The first suggests selectively isolating those that would most likely suffer severe adverse effects if infected – in particular the elderly. The second involves identifying and quarantining those who are likely to be infected through a contact tracing app that would centrally store users’ information. We suggest that both strategies showed promise in preventing the need for further lockdowns, albeit in a significantly more stringent form than anything that was implemented in Western countries. We then proceed to an ethical evaluation of these more stringent policies. We contend that selective isolation strategies face severe ethical problems due to its discriminatory nature, while the ethical issues with a more aggressive contact tracing regime can be mitigated. This analysis has implications for how to respond effectively and ethically to future pandemics, and perhaps contains lessons on how to successfully emerge from our current predicament.
    Found 1 day, 13 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  26. 134061.952517
    In the 1920s, Ackermann and von Neumann, in pursuit of Hilbert’s Programme, were working on consistency proofs for arithmetical systems. One proposed method of giving such proofs is Hilbert’s epsilon-substitution method. There was, however, a second approach which was not reflected in the publications of the Hilbert school in the 1920s, and which is a direct precursor of Hilbert’s first epsilon theorem and a certain ‘general consistency result’ due to Bernays. An analysis of the form of this so-called ‘failed proof’ sheds further light on an interpretation of Hilbert’s Programme as an instrumentalist enterprise with the aim of showing that whenever a ‘real’ proposition can be proved by ‘ideal’ means, it can also be proved by ‘real’, finitary means.
    Found 1 day, 13 hours ago on Richard Zach's site
  27. 140461.952531
    From time to time I find myself musing whether Pascal’s Wager doesn’t simply completely destroy ordinary probabilistic decision theory. Consider an ordinary decision, such as whether to walk or bike to work. …
    Found 1 day, 15 hours ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  28. 144145.952545
    Suppose I will live forever in heaven, and I have two infinite decks of cards. Each card specifies the good things that will happen to me over the next day. Every card in the left deck provides a hundred units of goods. …
    Found 1 day, 16 hours ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  29. 189539.952558
    On the basis of a coherently applied physicalist ontology, I will argue that there is nothing conceptual in logic and mathematics. What we usually call “mathematical concepts”—from the most exotic ones to the most “evident” ones—are just names tagged to various elements of mathematical formalism. In fact they have nothing to do with concepts, as they have nothing to do with the actual things; they can be completely ignored by both philosophy and physics.
    Found 2 days, 4 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  30. 189678.952572
    In this note we provide a concise report on the complexity of the causal ordering problem, originally introduced by Simon to reason about causal dependencies implicit in systems of mathematical equations. We show that Simon’s classical algorithm to infer causal ordering is NP-Hard—an intractability previously guessed but never proven. We present then a detailed account based on Nayak’s suggested algorithmic solution (the best available), which is dominated by computing transitive closure—bounded in time by O(|V|·|S|), where S(E, V) is the input system structure composed of a set E of equations over a set V of variables with number of variable appearances (density) |S|. We also comment on the potential of causal ordering for emerging applications in large-scale hypothesis management and analytics. Keywords: Causal ordering, Causal reasoning, Structural equations, Hypothesis management.
    Found 2 days, 4 hours ago on PhilSci Archive