1. 16460.058121
    In this article, I offer responses to five commentaries on my recently published book, Cosmopolitan Peace. Those articles address my conception of individual and collective agency, my account of self-determination (and its implication for the problem of annexation during and after the war), and my accounts of, respectively, reparations and remembrance after war. I revise or provide further defences of those accounts in the light of my commentators’ probing remarks.
    Found 4 hours, 34 minutes ago on Cecile Fabre's site
  2. 25137.058178
    Each of Alice and Seabiscuit is a human or a horse. But Alice is a human or a horse “on other grounds” than Seabiscuit is a human or a horse. In Alice’s case, it’s because she is a human and in Seabiscuit’s it’s because he’s a horse. …
    Found 6 hours, 58 minutes ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  3. 28461.058196
    In his new paper, 'An Argument for Objective Possibilism', Pete Graham argues that Actualism has trouble with cases of merely permissible (i.e. not required) beneficial sacrifice. Suppose that the agent can now save two out of three lives, but knows that if they do, they will subsequently choose to save the third life at the cost of losing their leg. …
    Found 7 hours, 54 minutes ago on Philosophy, et cetera
  4. 96469.058211
    Recent work on agency has been largely an attempt to characterize the ideal agent, that is to say, not necessarily an agent that is always successful, and not necessarily an agent that is always morally attractive, but in any case an agent that is always and one-hundred-percent an agent. It is granted that real-world agency falls short of the ideal, but is either affirmed or presumed that the defective or incomplete agency we all-too-often encounter is to be understood by way of the ideal. To be sure, there is disagreement as to what the anchoring features of ideal agency are, with candidates such as full-fledged commitment to one’s actions, knowing what one is doing, and taking on challenges all in the mix. Here I want to recommend a different approach, one that takes the bounded-rationality research program as a model for investigating agency. Not only is all real-world agency, as I will explain, bounded, and not only should we try to make sense of the varied forms of bounded agency on their own terms, without seeing them as deviations from an ideal; we should not be trying to articulate a conception of ideal agency.
    Found 1 day, 2 hours ago on Elijah Millgram's site
  5. 126095.058226
    Across languages, certain logically natural concepts are not lexicalized, even though they can be expressed by complex expressions. This is for instance the case for the quantifier not all. In this paper, we propose an explanation for this fact based on the following idea: the logical lexicon of languages is partly shaped by a tradeoff between informativity and cost, and the inventory of logical expressions tends to maximize average informativity and minimize average cost. The account we propose is based on a decision-theoretic model of how speakers choose their messages in various situations (a modified version of the Rational Speech Act model).
    Found 1 day, 11 hours ago on Benjamin Spector's site
  6. 167233.05824
    Some acts that accord with duty have what philosophers call moral worth. These acts manifest the agent’s virtuous motives and, thus, do her credit. More precisely, an act that accords with duty has moral worth if and only if the agent’s reason for performing it is the same as what would have motivated a perfectly virtuous agent to perform it. To illustrate, suppose that I’ve rescued a drowning child. This, we’ll assume, was my duty. Nevertheless, my act needn’t have moral worth. For if my only reason for rescuing the child was that I anticipated receiving a reward, it won’t. After all, this is not what would have motivated a perfectly virtuous agent.
    Found 1 day, 22 hours ago on PhilPapers
  7. 172077.058254
    Standard semantic theories predict that non-deictic readings for complex demonstratives should be much more widely available than they in fact are. If such readings are the result of a lexical ambiguity, as Kaplan (in: Almog, Perry, Wettstein (eds) Themes from Kaplan, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1977) and others suggest, we should expect them to be available wherever a definite description can be used. The same prediction follows from ‘hidden argument’ theories like the ones described by King (Complex Demonstratives: a Quantificational Account, MIT Press, Cambridge, ) and Elbourne (Situations and Individuals, MIT Press, Cambridge, 2005). Wolter (That’s That; the Semantics and Pragmatics of Demonstrative Noun Phrases. Ph.D. thesis, University of California at Santa Cruz, 2006), however, has shown that complex demonstratives admit non-deictic interpretations only when a precise set of structural constrains are met. In this paper, I argue that Wolter’s results, properly understood, upend the philosophical status quo. They fatally undermine the ambiguity theory and demand a fundamental rethinking of the hidden argument approach.
    Found 1 day, 23 hours ago on Ethan Nowak's site
  8. 179809.058268
    Fictionalists believe that scientific models are about model systems that are imaginary. Weisberg has claimed that fictionalism is indefensible because many scientific models are about model systems that are unimaginable. According to a certain account of imagination, what Weisberg says is plausible. According to another, more defensible account of imagination, it is not. I discuss these issues within the context of an allegedly unimaginable model system in ecology, but the conclusions I draw are more general. I then describe how fictionalism should be recast in order to deal with Weisberg’s critique.
    Found 2 days, 1 hour ago on PhilSci Archive
  9. 179910.058282
    Most approaches to quantum gravity suggest that relativistic spacetime is not fundamental, but instead emerges from some non-spatiotemporal structure. This paper investigates the implications of this suggestion for the possibility of time travel in the sense of the existence of closed timelike curves in some relativistic spacetimes. In short, will quantum gravity reverse or strengthen general relativity’s verdict that time travel is possible?
    Found 2 days, 1 hour ago on PhilSci Archive
  10. 201928.058297
    It is commonly held that quantification requires a form of ‘individuation’ (see Kratzer, 1995, von Fintel, 2004). This note is concerned with the ontology of the plural individuals denoted by a plural noun like twins. Its main goal is to explain what type of object plural nouns like twins denote and why, and in what sense, this object qualifies as an ‘individual’. We also explain why plural nouns like squares do denote an object that qualifies as an ‘individual’.
    Found 2 days, 8 hours ago on Alda Mari's site
  11. 202053.05831
    The publication of the seminal collective work The Generic Book (Carlson and Pelletier ) gave rise to a flourishing research program. A principal contribution of The Generic Book was the establishment of a unified terminology that paved the way for detailed and specific studies, the results of which are intended to be cumulative. Since then, much of the research has focused on syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic issues, and researchers have made important advances within these fields as well as at their interfaces.
    Found 2 days, 8 hours ago on Alda Mari's site
  12. 210161.058324
    There are people living among us who have done terrible things to other human beings – murder and rape, for example – yet who nonetheless deserve society’s forgiveness. They have been convicted for their crimes and punished by the laws we collectively agreed such moral transgressions deserve. …
    Found 2 days, 10 hours ago on The Philosopher's Beard
  13. 227383.058339
    Despite your efforts, you have not made progress toward figuring out whether your color vision is reliable.1 If you did not know or were not justified in believing Reliability in the first place, this process of reasoning does not provide you with justification or knowledge now. The bootstrapping problem in epistemology arises for views that seem to be committed to the implausible result that this form of reasoning does generate justified belief in or knowledge of Reliability.2 Though this problem has been raised for a number of different kinds of theories, in this paper I will concentrate on the problem as it arises for so- called dogmatist theories of epistemic justification.
    Found 2 days, 15 hours ago on PhilPapers
  14. 227415.058356
    The dominant framework for addressing procreative ethics has revolved around the notion of harm, largely due to Derek Parfit’s famous non- identity problem. Focusing exclusively on the question of harm treats what procreators owe their offspring as akin to what they would owe strangers (if they owe them anything at all). Procreators, however, usually expect (and are expected) to parent the persons they create, so we cannot understand what procreators owe their offspring without also appealing to their role as prospective parents. I argue that prospective parents can wrong their future children just by failing to act well in their role as parents, whether or not their offspring are ultimately harmed or benefitted by their creation. Their obligations as prospective parents bear on the motivations behind their reproductive choices, including the choice to select for some genetic trait in their offspring. Even when procreators’ motivations aren’t malicious, or purely selfish, they can still fail to recognize and act for the end of the parental role. Procreators can wrong their offspring by selecting for some genetic trait, then, when doing so would violate their obligations as prospective parents, or when their motivation for doing so is antithetical to the end of the parental role.
    Found 2 days, 15 hours ago on PhilPapers
  15. 240964.05837
    For Knox, ‘spacetime’ is to be defined functionally, as that which picks out a structure of local inertial frames. Assuming that Knox is motivated to construct this functional definition of spacetime on the grounds that it appears to identify that structure which plays the operational role of spacetime—i.e., that structure which is actually surveyed by physical rods and clocks built from matter fields—we identify in this paper important limitations of her approach: these limitations are based upon the fact that there is a gap between inertial frame structure and that which is operationally significant in the above sense. We present five concrete cases in which these two notions come apart, before considering various ways in which Knox’s spacetime functionalism might be amended in light of these issues.
    Found 2 days, 18 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  16. 251203.058384
    A vexing problem in contemporary epistemology – one with origins in Plato’s Meno – concerns the value of knowledge, and in particular, whether and how the value of knowledge exceeds the value of mere (unknown) true opinion. The recent literature is deeply divided on the matter of how best to address the problem. One point, however, remains unquestioned: that if a solution is to be found, it will be at the personal level, the level at which states of whole persons, as such, appear. We take exception to this orthodoxy, or at least to its unquestioned status. We argue that subpersonal states play a significant – arguably, primary – role in much epistemically relevant cognition and thus constitute a domain in which we might reasonably expect to locate the “missing source” of epistemic value, beyond the value attached to mere true belief.
    Found 2 days, 21 hours ago on J. Adam Carter's site
  17. 291484.058398
    Consider a subjective expected utility preference relation. It is usually held that the representations with which this preference is compatible differ only in one respect, namely, the possible scales for the measurement of utility. In this paper, I discuss the fact that there are, metaphorically speaking, two additional dimensions along which infinitely many more admissible representations can be found. The first additional dimension is that of state-dependence. The second—and, in this context, much lesser-known—additional dimension is that of act-dependence. One major implication of their usually neglected existence is that the standard axiomatizations of subjective expected utility fail to provide the measurement of subjective probability with satisfactory behavioral foundations.
    Found 3 days, 8 hours ago on Jean Baccelli's site
  18. 294415.058416
    The first task of this lecture is to present a well known problem concerning probabilistic independence that arises whenever elements with extreme probabilities (probabilities of 0 and 1) are of serious interest, to criticize briefly a solution published in 2017 by two leading writers in this area, and to compare it with the solution offered by Karl Popper in 1994 in appendix *XX of Logik der Forschung.
    Found 3 days, 9 hours ago on David Miller's site
  19. 294439.058431
    The doctrine that the content of the conclusion of a deductively valid argument is included in the content of its premises, taken jointly, is a familiar one. It has important consequences for the question of what value valid arguments possess, since it indicates the poverty of three traditional answers: that arguments may and should be used as instruments of persuasion, that they may and should be used as instruments of justication; and that they may and should be used to advance knowledge. The truth is, however, that in each of these cases the argument has only a managerial role and, if there is any work done, it is the premises that do it. It will be maintained that this point has little force against the critical rationalist answer, which I shall defend, that the principal purpose of deductive reasoning from an assemblage of premises is the exploration of their content, facilitating their criticism and rejection.
    Found 3 days, 9 hours ago on David Miller's site
  20. 294467.058445
    In the axiomatic theory of relative probability expounded in appendices iv and v of The Logic of Scientic Discovery, the relation a ∼ c =Df ∀b[p(a, b) = p(c, b)] of probabilistic indistinguishability on a set S is demonstrably a congruence, and the quotient S = S/∼ is demonstrably a Boolean algebra. The two-element algebra { ,1} satises the axioms if and only if | , p(1 | ), and | ) are assigned the value 1, and p( , 1) is assigned the value 0 (where is the interpretation of the quotient p/∼). The four-element models are almost as straightforwardly described. This note sketches a method of construction and authentication that can, in principle, be applied to larger algebras, and identies all the eight-element models of Popper's system.
    Found 3 days, 9 hours ago on David Miller's site
  21. 309515.058459
    Throughout the recent history of research at the intersection of evolution and development, notions such as developmental constraint, evolutionary novelty, and evolvability have been prominent, but the term ‘developmental bias’ has scarcely been used. And one may even doubt whether a unique and principled definition of bias is possible. I argue that the concept of developmental bias can still play a vital scientific role by means of setting an explanatory agenda that motivates investigation and guides the formulation of integrative explanatory frameworks.
    Found 3 days, 13 hours ago on Ingo Brigandt's site
  22. 321914.058475
    There is a growing body of evidence that the human brain may be organized according to principles of predictive processing. An important conjecture in neuroscience is that a brain organized in this way can effectively and efficiently approximate Bayesian inferences. Given that many forms of cognition seem to be well characterized as a form of Bayesian inference, this conjecture has great import for cognitive science. It suggests that predictive processing may provide a neurally plausible account of how forms of cognition that are modeled as Bayesian inference may be physically implemented in the brain. Yet, as we show in this paper, the jury is still out on whether or not the conjecture is really true. Specifically, we demonstrate that each key subcomputation invoked in predictive processing potentially hides a computationally intractable problem. We discuss the implications of these sobering results for the predictive processing account and propose a way to move forward.
    Found 3 days, 17 hours ago on Johan Kwisthout's site
  23. 331984.058489
    Non-symmetric relations allow for differential application. A binary relation R can hold of a and b in two different ways: . aRb and . bRa. Different states of affairs result from completing R by means of a and b, depending on the order in which a and b are combined with R. The extension of a binary non-symmetric relation is, accordingly, not to be understood in terms of a set of unordered pairs. One has to operate with a structured conception of the extension of a relation, for instance in terms of ordered pairs, that not only considers which things R relates, but also the order in which it relates them.
    Found 3 days, 20 hours ago on Ralf Bader's site
  24. 332015.058504
    It is clear that, according to Kant, we have transcendental freedom. It is not so clear, however, how far this freedom extends. In particular, it is unclear whether there is freedom within the prudential realm: whether we can freely choose which ends of self-love to pursue as well as how to pursue them. Relatedly, it is clear that we can be practically irrational by ignoring the commands of pure practical reason and siding with self-love instead. However, it is not clear whether Kant recognises any other forms of practical irrationality, in particular whether there is room for weakness of will in terms of implementing one’s commitment to give priority to duty, as well as room for prudential irrationality. In short: What kinds of choices does transcendental freedom encompass? Can we fail to act morally despite having a good will? Is there freedom within the prudential realm? And can we be practically irrational in prudential matters?
    Found 3 days, 20 hours ago on Ralf Bader's site
  25. 335133.058536
    The terminology is most clearly associated with Bertrand Russell, but the distinction between knowledge by acquaintance and knowledge by description is arguably a critical component of classical or traditional versions of foundationalism. Let us say that one has inferential or nonfoundational knowledge that p when one’s knowledge that p depends on one’s knowledge of some other proposition(s) from which one can legitimately infer p; and one has foundational or noninferential knowledge that p when one’s knowledge that p does not depend on any other knowledge one has in this way.
    Found 3 days, 21 hours ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  26. 335159.058571
    Sometimes, philosophy drives science. Cosmology between 1932–48 provides an excellent example how explicitly philosophical considerations directed the evolution of a modern science during a crucial period of its development. The following article exhibits these philosophical aspects of cosmological thinking in detail, beginning with a brief sketch of the historical development of general relativity cosmology until 1932. Following this, the historical participants in the philosophical debate are introduced, along with the basic ideas of their competing positions. Then the critical stages of the debate — 1935–37 — are closely explored by focussing directly upon the arguments of the participating scientists and philosophers.
    Found 3 days, 21 hours ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  27. 335291.058597
    Probability-related terminology played an important role in medieval and Renaissance philosophy. Terms such as ‘probable’ (probabilis), ‘credible’ (credibilis) or ‘truth-like’ (verisimilis) were used to assess philosophical claims, qualify uncertain conclusions, gauge the force of arguments and temper academic disagreement. Beyond that, they had a significant impact on the regulation of legal proceedings, moral action and everyday life. The probability-related terminology of the Middle Ages descended from ancient sources such as Aristotle, Cicero and Boethius. There is no precedent, however, for many medieval ways of connecting these terms to rules and principles for legal and practical decision-making.
    Found 3 days, 21 hours ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  28. 335321.058612
    [Editor’s Note: Much of the content in the following entry originally appeared in the entry titled The Concept of Evolution to 1872. The latter has been split into two separate entries.] “Evolution” in contemporary discussions denotes the theory of the change of organic species over time. Prior to the second half of the nineteenth century, the term was used primarily, if not exclusively, in an embryological sense to designate the development of the individual embryo. These same ambiguities of usage also surround the German term “Entwicklungsgeschichte” which originally was used in an embryological context.
    Found 3 days, 21 hours ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  29. 335348.058626
    Some phenomena within nature exhibit such exquisiteness of structure, function or interconnectedness that many people have found it natural to see a deliberative and directive mind behind those phenomena. The mind in question is typically taken to be supernatural. Philosophically inclined thinkers have both historically and at present labored to shape the relevant intuition into a more formal, logically rigorous inference. The resultant theistic arguments, in their various logical forms, share a focus on plan, purpose, intention, and design, and are thus classified as teleological arguments (or, frequently, as arguments from or to design).
    Found 3 days, 21 hours ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  30. 336650.05864
    It is often assumed that morally permissible acts are morally better than impermissible acts. We call this claim Betterness of Permissibility. Yet, we show that some striking counterexamples show that the claim’s truth cannot be taken for granted. Furthermore, even if Betterness of Permissibility is true, it is unclear why. Apart from appeals to its intuitive plausibility, no arguments in favour of the condition exist. We fill this lacuna by identifying two fundamental conditions that jointly entail betterness of permissibility: ‘reasons monotonicity of permissibility’ and the ‘weak classical view’. We then argue that there are good reasons for accepting both of the fundamental conditions. We note that there exist plausible moral theories that reject one of the fundamental conditions. However, the way in which those theories reject the fundamental conditions does not allow them to endorse the counterexamples that motivate the belief that Betterness of Permissibility might be false.
    Found 3 days, 21 hours ago on Benjamin Ferguson's site