1. 38660.099075
    Unlike its moral and intellectual counterparts, the virtue of aesthetic humility has been widely neglected. In order to begin filling in this gap, I argue that Kant’s aesthetics is a promising resource for developing a model of aesthetic humility. Initially, however, this may seem like an unpromising starting point as Kant’s aesthetics might appear to promote aesthetic arrogance instead. In spite of this prima facie worry, I claim that Kant’s aesthetics provides an illuminating model of aesthetic humility that sheds light not only on the self- and other-directed attitudes it involves, but also on how aesthetic humility can serve as a corrective to the vices of aesthetic arrogance and aesthetic servility. In addition to revealing the ways in which Kant’s aesthetics prizes humility rather than arrogance, I aim to show that the Kantian model of aesthetic humility can enrich our understanding of humility more generally and contribute to the on-going effort in aesthetics to analyze specific aesthetic virtues and vices.
    Found 10 hours, 44 minutes ago on PhilPapers
  2. 38692.099152
    In this post, I explore how analogical modes of explanation have been used in empirical psychology to loop together data derived through experiments and descriptive explanation. Metaphor has been used to transcend the limitations of experiments on human subjects because it allows for framing higher-level interpretation of data through notions of purpose, constraints, and goals. …
    Found 10 hours, 44 minutes ago on The Brains Blog
  3. 105551.099185
    In an alternative history of the world, perhaps quantum mechanics could have been discovered by chemists following up on the theories of two mathematicians from the late 1800s: Sylvester, and Gordan. Both are famous for their work on invariant theory, which we would now call part of group representation theory. …
    Found 1 day, 5 hours ago on Azimuth
  4. 128246.099204
    Intention seems essential to assertion. Thus, it seems that a necessary condition for assertion is an intention condition like: I intended my utterance u to be an assertion to you. But this is false. Suppose that I have promised to mail you my report on some matter. …
    Found 1 day, 11 hours ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  5. 138142.099219
    Humean accounts of natural law have long been charged with being unable to account for the laws’ explanatory power in science. One form of this objection is to charge Humean accounts with explanatory circularity: a fact in the Humean mosaic helps to explain why some regularity is a law (first premise), but that law, in turn, helps to explain why that mosaic fact holds (second premise). To this objection, Humeans have replied that the explanation in the first premise is metaphysical whereas the explanation in the second premise is scientific, so (since these two varieties of explanation operate very differently) the two explanations cannot be chained together to yield explanatory circularity. This paper presents a new circularity argument that avoids this objection because both explanations in the premises are metaphysical. The new circularity argument also avoids the objection that the contrasts at the point where the two explanations are chained together fail to line up properly. The upshot is to leave the Humean account of law with two unattractive options: to regard scientific explanation under natural law as not constituting genuine explanation at all or to regard the Humean account as involving a vicious explanatory circularity.
    Found 1 day, 14 hours ago on Marc Lange's site
  6. 180636.099234
    In A Suspicious Science, I analyze the epistemic context of the uses of psychology in contemporary society so as to develop an interdisciplinary, multi-level human science. I distinguish three uses of psychology: positivist-pragmatic empirical study, discursive therapeutic approaches which promote expressive individualism, and reflexive creative practices employed in the arts and the humanities. …
    Found 2 days, 2 hours ago on The Brains Blog
  7. 198665.09925
    Many people believe that it is better to extend the length of a happy life than to create a new happy life, even if the total welfare is the same in both cases. Despite the popularity of this view, one would be hard-pressed to find a fully compelling justification for it in the literature. This paper develops a novel account of why and when extension is better than replacement which applies not just to persons, but also to non-human animals and humanity as a whole.
    Found 2 days, 7 hours ago on Michal Masny's site
  8. 206430.099266
    Via FlickrA while ago, I wrote an extended analysis of John Stuart Mill's defence of free speech. As noted in that piece, Mill is not, as he is sometimes perceived to be, a free speech absolutist. He thinks you can restrict some forms of speech, particularly forms of speech that incite violence, amount to fraud or cause harm. …
    Found 2 days, 9 hours ago on John Danaher's blog
  9. 206509.099282
    Pragmatics is traditionally defined as the study of language use as opposed to language structure, but it is often more narrowly construed as the study of linguistic communication, or speaker’s meaning, or overtly intentional communication (whether verbal or non-verbal). It has been approached in a variety of ways: as an extension of formal grammar, or as a branch of philosophy, sociolinguistics or cognitive science (Ariel 2010; Huang 2017). The central problem for pragmatics is that what is communicated by use of an utterance may depart from, or go well beyond, the linguistically encoded meaning of the sentence uttered. As Chomsky (1995, 29) puts it, “If intuition is any guide, there seems to be a considerable gap between the semantic resources of language literally interpreted and thoughts expressed using them.” Pragmatic processes crucially rely on background or contextual information supplied by the hearer, which may significantly affect the outcome of the comprehension process.
    Found 2 days, 9 hours ago on Nicholas Allott's site
  10. 206581.099299
    Noam Chomsky is justly famous for his revolutionary contributions to linguistics, psychology and philosophy. He is presently in his 92nd year, and we thought it high time to provide an overview of the major achievements of his now more than sixty-year-old research program and its prospects for the future. This is particularly pressing in the light of persistent rumors, encouraged by a number of authors , that his program has proven bankrupt, “completely wrong” and has been replaced by various sorts of proposals in general statistical learning and “functionalist/constructionist” linguistic theories (which we return to below).
    Found 2 days, 9 hours ago on Nicholas Allott's site
  11. 207852.099324
    This paper proposes an account in Discourse Representation Theory of children’s picturebooks, combining language and image. The focus is on works where the language and image have a different pragmatic status, with the linguistic part of the book being prosaic and understated by comparison with the pictorial part. The effect of wryness and incongruity is analyzed in pragmatic terms.
    Found 2 days, 9 hours ago on Mats Rooth's site
  12. 220655.09934
    In this two-part paper we review, and then develop, the assessment of the hole argument for general relativity. The review (in Part I) discussed how to compare points in isomorphic space-times, i.e. models of the theory. This second Part proposes a framework for making comparisons of non-isomorphic spacetimes. It combines two ideas we discussed in Part I—the philosophical idea of counterparts, and the idea of threading points between spacetimes other than by isomorphism—with the mathematics of fibre bundles. We first recall the ideas from Part I (Section 1). Then in Section 2 and an Appendix, we define a fibre bundle whose fibres are isomorphic copies of a given spacetime or model, and discuss connections on this fibre bundle. This material proceeds on analogy with field-space formulations of gauge theories. Finally, in Section 3, we show how this fibre bundle gives natural expressions of the philosophical ideas of counterparts, and of threading.
    Found 2 days, 13 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  13. 220727.099354
    In this two-part paper, we review, and then develop, the assessment of the hole argument for general relativity. This first Part reviews the literature hitherto, focussing on the philosophical aspects. It also introduces two main ideas we will need in Part II: which will propose a framework for making comparisons of non-isomorphic spacetimes. In Section 1 of this paper, we recall Einstein’s original argument. Section 2 recalls the argument’s revival by philosophers in the 1980s and 1990s. This includes the first main idea we will need in Part II: namely, that two spacetime points in different possible situations are never strictly identical—they are merely counterparts. In Section 3, we report—and rebut—more recent claims to “dissolve” the argument. Our rebuttal is based on the fact that in differential geometry, and its applications in physics such as general relativity, points are in some cases identified, or correspond with each other, between one context and another, by means other than isometry (or isomorphism). We call such a correspondence a threading of points. This is the second main idea we shall use in Part II.
    Found 2 days, 13 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  14. 220772.099368
    The cultural red king effect occurs when discriminatory bargaining practices emerge because of a disparity in learning speed between members of a minority and a majority. This effect has been shown to occur in some Nash Demand Game models and has been proposed as a tool for shedding light on the origins of sexist and racist discrimination in academic collaborations. This paper argues that none of the three main strategies used in the literature to support the epistemic value of these models—structural similarity, empirical confirmation, and how-possibly explanations—provides strong support for this modeling practice in its present form.
    Found 2 days, 13 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  15. 235132.099383
    Can God create an unliftable stone? Beall & Cotnoir have offered a new answer, suggesting that ‘God can create an unliftable stone’ is a truth-value gap--neither true nor false. I argue that their solution is susceptible to a revenge paradox, concerning whether God has the power to render the sentence non-gappy. More exactly, the revenge paradox concerns whether God has the power to realize the attribute "having the power to create an unliftable stone or not." Assuming a being with all powers can realize that "dilemma attribute," then in brief, it still follows that there is some possible task which God cannot perform. In reply, B&C might suggest that the revenge paradox merely shows another truth-value gap--effectively, God neither has nor lacks the power to realize the dilemma attribute. But since I have the power to realize the attribute, God must as well. Beall & Cotnoir might respond that God does not have such a power since, per Aquinas, some powers are contrary to God’s nature. Yet such an Aquinian suggestion is sufficient to block the original paradox, in which case, there is little motivation to proffer truth-value gaps in addition. I conclude that Beall & Cotnoir do not provide a well-motivated solution to the paradox.
    Found 2 days, 17 hours ago on PhilPapers
  16. 235135.099397
    We are always exposed to harm, for it is utterly impossible to enjoy perfect safety. During the pandemic, we received vaccines, knowing that we might suffer from side effects. Still, we did so because we could expect inoculation from the virus. Besides the pandemic, when, say, we are walking on the street, we are exposed to the danger of being hit by a car or falling victim to some random act of violence. Even when we are quietly reading a book in the library, there is still the possibility of a massive earthquake, and especially so in some countries like Japan. Considerations of this kind must make us realize that we are living, strictly speaking, in a dangerous world, one where we do not know, in any exact sense, what will happen next. Many philosophers discuss this point by highlighting the fatal difficulty of making perfectly accurate predictions about the future. The problem lies in the intrinsic difference between the past and the future. For example, David Hume once clearly described this difference in the context of his arguments about our causal inferences based upon past experience.
    Found 2 days, 17 hours ago on Masaki Ichinose's site
  17. 235151.099411
    The aesthetic domain is a social one. We coordinate our individual acts of creation, appreciation, and performance with those of others in the context of social aesthetic practices. More strongly, many of the richest goods of our aesthetic lives are constitutively social—their value lies in the fact that individuals are engaged in joint aesthetic agency, that they are doing something together, which they understand as a cooperative and collaborative project that outstrips what can be realized alone.
    Found 2 days, 17 hours ago on PhilPapers
  18. 235167.099425
    1. Sullivan begins by pondering what she would do with a billion dollars, but says the “longtermists” would think her ideas too small and misdirected. What would you do with a billion dollars? Would longtermists, using Sullivan’s criteria, approve of your plan? 2. Sullivan explains that longtermism is based on two assumptions. The first is utilitarianism, the idea that “measurable impact matters the most in ethics.” In your own philanthropy, how important are quantifiable results? 3. The FTX Future Fund argues that “now is the ‘crucial time in human history’ for shaping the future.” Sullivan points out that people throughout history (e.g., Archimedes, Oppenheimer) probably thought the same thing about their own times. Do you think our time is actually different from any other time before? Why or why not? 4. Sullivan believes trying to “lock in” one’s goals for the future is foolish, and even dangerous, since coming generations will not share all of our moral concerns. What ethical issues animated your parents but do not interest you? Which of our current concerns do you think the next generation will discard?
    Found 2 days, 17 hours ago on Meghan Sullivan's site
  19. 235172.099441
    Hanna. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice.
    Found 2 days, 17 hours ago on Joel Krueger's site
  20. 235199.09947
    According to some collectivists, purposive groups that lack decision-making procedures such as riot mobs, friends walking together, or the pro-life lobby can be morally responsible and have moral duties. I focus on plural subject- and we-mode-collectivism. I argue that purposive groups do not qualify as duty-bearers even if they qualify as agents on either view. To qualify as a duty-bearer, an agent must be morally competent. I develop the Update Argument. An agent is morally competent only if the agent has sufficient positive and negative control over updating their goal-seeking states. Positive control involves the general ability to update one’s goal-seeking states, whereas negative control involves the absence of other agents with the capacity to arbitrarily interfere with updating one’s goal-seeking states. I argue that even if purposive groups qualify as plural subjects or we-mode group agents, these groups necessarily lack negative control over updating their goal-seeking states. This creates a cut-off point for groups as duty-bearers: Organized groups may qualify as duty-bearers, whereas purposive groups cannot qualify as duty-bearers.
    Found 2 days, 17 hours ago on PhilPapers
  21. 235208.099493
    We study the time evolution of the Boltzmann entropy of a microstate during the non-equilibrium free expansion of a one-dimensional quantum ideal gas. This quantum Boltzmann entropy, SB, essentially counts the “number” of independent wavefunctions (microstates) giving rise to a specified macrostate. It generally depends on the choice of macrovariables, such as the type and amount of coarse-graining, specifying a non-equilibrium macrostate of the system, but its extensive part agrees with the thermodynamic entropy in thermal equilibrium macrostates. We examine two choices of macrovariables: the U - macrovariables are local observables in position space, while the f -macrovariables also include structure in momentum space. For the quantum gas, we use a non-classical choice of the f -macrovariables. For both choices, the corresponding entropies s B and s B grow and eventually saturate. As in the classical case, the growth rate of s B depends on the momentum coarse-graining scale. If the gas is initially at equilibrium and is then released to expand to occupy twice the initial volume, the per-particle increase in the entropy for the f -macrostate, ∆s B, satisfies log 2 ≤ ∆s B ≤ 2 log 2 for fermions, and 0 ≤ ∆s B ≤ log 2 for bosons. For the same initial conditions, the change in the entropy ∆s B for the U -macrostate is greater than ∆s B when the gas is in the quantum regime where the final stationary state is not at thermal equilibrium.
    Found 2 days, 17 hours ago on Sheldon Goldstein's site
  22. 235212.099509
    There is a divide in the panpsychist research community, perhaps somewhat reminiscent of the split in the original psychoanalytic movement between Jungians and Freudians. There are those, such as David Chalmers, Angela Mendelovici, and Luke Roelofs, Itay Shani, and myself, who do have certain convictions which may be called ‘spiritual,’ or at least which depart more radically from our standard naturalistic picture of reality than bog-standard panpsychism. I have just finished a book arguing that the universe has a purpose, for example.
    Found 2 days, 17 hours ago on Philip Goff's site
  23. 235214.099525
    War. A pandemic. Floods, droughts, storms, fires, and other climate impacts. Not to mention the persistence of extreme poverty and widespread lack of access to energy, food, and education. These challenges threaten to swamp even our medium-term plans — and highlight pressing shortcomings in our local, national, and global governance systems.
    Found 2 days, 17 hours ago on Toby Ord's site
  24. 235217.099543
    The creation of the atomic bomb is one of the most famous and well-studied examples of developing a transformative technology — one that changes the shape of human affairs. Teams of scientists and engineers in many different countries knew in advance that the technology may have tremendous implications for the world and strived to turn the idea into reality. The history of their projects provides many insights that may be useful as scientists and engineers today strive to develop new transformative technologies, such as artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, or nanotechnology.
    Found 2 days, 17 hours ago on Toby Ord's site
  25. 235276.099566
    Despite the lower levels of psychopathy in women than in men, the scientific interest in studying psychopathy in female participants is increasing. Nevertheless, the number of studies investigating psychopathy in women and associated phenomena remains low. The influence of psychopathy in women inmates on experimental tasks of emotional recognition and moral judgment was evaluated, aiming to contribute to this field of research. Utilitarian moral judgment was predicted by psychopathy, specifically by primary and secondary psychopathy, while primary psychopathy predicted a worse performance on the emotional recognition task. There was no significant influence of general intellectual abilities on either task. Contrarily to what was expected, emotional recognition did not prove to be a significant mediator of the relationship between psychopathy and utilitarian moral judgment. These results emphasize that the tendency to utilitarian moral judgment and worse recognition of facial expressions of emotion are associated to higher psychopathy scores in female inmates (especially primary psychopathy), but more studies are necessary to address the role of the emotional component in the process of moral judgment.
    Found 2 days, 17 hours ago on PhilPapers
  26. 278588.09959
    Roderich Tumulka’s GRWf theory offers a simple, realist and relativistic solution to the measurement problem of quantum mechanics. It is achieved by the introduction of a stochastic dynamical collapse of the wavefunction. An issue with dynamical collapse theories is that they involve an amendment to the Schrodinger equation; amending the dynamics of such a tried and tested theory is seen by some as problematic. This paper proposes an alteration to GRWf that avoids the need to amend the Schrodinger equation via what might be seen as a primary set of solutions to the Schrodinger equation that satisfy a normalisation condition over space and time. The traditional Born-normalised solutions are shown to be conditionalisations of these primary solutions.
    Found 3 days, 5 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  27. 278628.099605
    In the last few decades, the literature on moral responsibility has been increasingly populated by scientific studies. Studies in neuroscience and psychology, in particular, have been claimed to be relevant for discussions about moral responsibility in a number of ways.
    Found 3 days, 5 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  28. 278664.099622
    People have disagreed on the significance of Libet-style experiments for discussions about free will. In what specifically concerns free will in a libertarian sense, some argue that Libet-style experiments pose a threat to its existence by providing support to the claim that decisions are determined by unconscious brain events. Others disagree by claiming that determinism, in a sense that conflicts with libertarian free will, cannot be established by sciences other than fundamental physics. This paper rejects both positions. First, it is argued that neuroscience and psychology could in principle provide support for milder deterministic claims that would also conflict with libertarian free will. Second, it is argued that Libet-style experiments—due to some of their peculiar features, ones that need not be shared by neuro-science as a whole—currently do not (but possibly could) support such less demanding deterministic claims. The general result is that neuroscience and psychology could in principle undermine libertarian free will, but that Libet-style experiments have not done that so far.
    Found 3 days, 5 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  29. 279854.099639
    This chart made by Toby Ord shows four things: • Everything we can observe now is the ‘observable universe’. • Everything we can ever observe if we stay here is the ‘eventually observable universe’. • Everything we can ever observe if we send spacecraft out in every direction at all speeds slower than light is the ‘ultimately observable universe’. …
    Found 3 days, 5 hours ago on Azimuth
  30. 280302.099653
    I discuss first the various meanings of naturalism in philosophy and then in ethics: that of American Naturalism, that of Dewey’s pragmatism, the sense of negation of Moore’s negation of naturalism, the neo-Aristotelian, and that of external realists. I will argue a fundamental heterogeneity of these meanings and add that the reasons for the apparent unity of a naturalist front in recent philosophical debates depend more on factors studied by the sociology of knowledge than philosophical reasons. I suggest one plausible naturalism, Aristotle’s and Dewey’s claim that moral good is not specifically moral. Finally, I add that scientific exploration programs into the biological bases of behaviour and coordination of behaviour within groups are promising but hardly ‘naturalistic’ and compatible with ethical intuitionism or Kantian ethics.
    Found 3 days, 5 hours ago on PhilPapers