1. 1474.555325
    If a colleague has been speaking ill of you behind your back, you may resent them for so doing. Furthermore, such resentment may be appropriate, or called-for, or fitting, and certainly morally (and otherwise) permissible. But for such resentment to be fully appropriate, it is not sufficient that that colleague has in fact been badmouthing you. It’s also necessary for you to have adequate evidence to that extent. Even if there is an objectivist sense in which it’s appropriate to resent them if and only if they have been badmouthing you, there are also more subjective notions that accommodate the intuition that if you resent them without sufficient evidence, you are being morally irresponsible, and this even if as things happen to turn out, they were badmouthing you. With such, more subjective forms of evaluation in mind, then, we can ask: What evidence suffices for justified resentment? We can ask, that is, questions in the evidence law of resentment (and of morality more generally).
    Found 24 minutes ago on PhilPapers
  2. 2399.555392
    I’ve been thinking about Petri nets a lot. Around 2010, I got excited about using them to describe chemical reactions, population dynamics and more, using ideas taken from quantum physics. Then I started working with my student Blake Pollard on ‘open’ Petri nets, which you can glue together to form larger Petri nets. …
    Found 39 minutes ago on Azimuth
  3. 4073.555411
    My source for the doctrine I call Humean Humility is section 1.4.4 of Hume’s Treatise of Human Nature, the section in which he gives his critique of “the modern philosophy.” Hume contends that the world according to the modern philosophy—a world with primary qualities but no secondary qualities—is a world of which we can form no conception. There are echoes of Hume’s premises (if not his conclusion) in two contemporary foci of philosophical attention: Russellian Monism, which agrees with Hume that there would be something defective in a world without anything like the traditional secondaries, but unlike Hume, goes on to attribute such qualities to the world, and Ramseyan Humility, which agrees with Hume that there must be more to any conceivable world than just structure with no underlying intrinsic or nonrelational properties, then goes on to argue that we could never know what these intrinsic properties are. In what follows, I examine all three views, as well as the merits of several possible lines of reply to them, including causal structuralism and dispositional monism.
    Found 1 hour, 7 minutes ago on James Van Cleve's site
  4. 4123.555427
    Before I leave this subject I shall employ the same principles to explain that distinction of reason, which is so much talk’d of, and is so little understood, in the schools. Of this kind is the distinction betwixt figure and the body figur’d; motion and the body mov’d. The difficulty of explaining this distinction arises from the principle above explain’d, that all ideas, which are different, are separable. For it follows from thence, that if the figure be different from the body, their ideas must be separable as well as distinguishable: if they be not different, their ideas can neither be separable nor distinguishable. What then is meant by a distinction of reason, since it implies neither a difference nor separation? (T; SBN 24-25) In this paragraph, Hume poses the problem of how to understand the “distinction of reason” that figures in the philosophies of the medievals, Descartes, and the Port Royalists. The problem in a nutshell is that a distinction of reason is supposed to be a distinction in thought between things that are inseparable in reality; yet according to Hume’s own principles, whatever things are distinct are distinguishable, whatever things are distinguishable are separable in thought, and whatever things are separable in thought are separable in reality. It follows that things inseparable in reality should be neither distinguishable in thought nor distinct, period, so a distinction of reason ought on Hume’s principles to be impossible. Yet Hume goes on to try to make room for it in his philosophy, to the consternation of many commentators. I argue that he can indeed make room for it; the key is to recognize that ‘distinction of reason’ is an incomplete symbol.
    Found 1 hour, 8 minutes ago on James Van Cleve's site
  5. 17017.555442
    According to the oft-cited IPAT formula (I = P 9 A 9 T), environmental impact (I) is the product of complex interactions between three basic factors: population (P), affluence (A), and technology (T). Contemporary debates about climate justice have largely focused on the latter two factors, stressing the need to curb wasteful consumption and encouraging investment in green technologies that may enable us to maintain a high standard of living while leaving a smaller environmental footprint. However, while much attention has been paid to the A and T parts of the equation, relatively little attention has been paid to P. This omission, of course, is hardly surprising, for as a brief survey of twentieth-century history reminds us, state-sanctioned attempts to control population size – whether for environmental or nonenvironmental purposes – have often proved disastrous from a human rights perspective. However, as Sarah Conly argues in her new book, given the environmental calamity that sits at our doorstep, we no longer have the luxury of ignoring what has ostensibly become the elephant in the room in contemporary debates about climate justice. In addition to curbing consumption and boosting investment in green technology, we also need to start thinking seriously about curbing population growth, at least for the foreseeable future.
    Found 4 hours, 43 minutes ago on PhilPapers
  6. 59473.555456
    In August 2019, a bill was passed in Victoria, Australia making it possible for people to change their official record of sex in the birth register by making a statutory declaration that they believe their sex to be as nominated. From May 2020, any person observed male at birth will be able to change their legal sex to ‘female’, and any person observed female at birth will be able to change their legal sex to ‘male’. Similar bills have been considered in other countries (New Zealand, the UK), and have already passed into law in other states of Australia (Tasmania) and in other countries (Ireland, Malta, Norway, Argentina, Portugal, and Belgium).
    Found 16 hours, 31 minutes ago on PhilPapers
  7. 59536.55547
    I argue that racism is essentially a civic character trait: to be a racist is to have a character that rationally reflects racial supremacist sociopolitical values. As with moral vice accounts of racism, character is my account’s primary evaluative focus: character is directly evaluated as racist, and all other racist things are racist insofar as, and because, they cause, are caused by, express or are otherwise suitably related to racist character. Yet as with political accounts of racism, sociopolitical considerations provide my account’s primary evaluative standard: satisfying the sociopolitical standard of racial supremacy is what makes racist character racist.
    Found 16 hours, 32 minutes ago on PhilPapers
  8. 84588.555484
    Anna Stilz's Territorial Sovereignty covers an impressively wide terrain, from the state's right to rule over a territory to the right to secede, from cultural neutrality to equitable access to natural resources, from collective self-determination to cooperation with international institutions, from coercive to noncoercive responses to the commission of injustice. In this paper, I examine Stilz's account and defence of territorial sovereignty in the light of the view that there are landmarks (monuments, geological structures, and landscapes) which are located in and subject to the jurisdiction of sovereign states, but which are deemed to be of outstanding value to humankind as a whole, irrespective of whatever economic value they might have. Put differently, I am interested in bringing Stilz's account to bear on the notion of humankind's common heritage.
    Found 23 hours, 29 minutes ago on Cecile Fabre's site
  9. 120418.555504
    The Enigma of Reason opens up with a double enigma. Many scholars throughout history have thought of reason as a cognitive silver bullet, which would allow humans to innovate, to overcome their cognitive and emotional failings, to solve a wide variety of problems, and to better understand the world around them. The first enigma, then, is why only humans would be endowed with such a superpower? Why wouldn’t such a capacity, with its multiple advantages, have evolved in many other organisms? The second enigma stems from the mismatch between this lofty view of reason, and reality: experience and experiments have shown time and again that human reason is as flawed, biased, and prone to mistakes as the rest of our cognition.
    Found 1 day, 9 hours ago on Dan Sperber's site
  10. 173410.555521
    This chapter overviews recent work on the semantics and pragmatics of arguments. In natural languages, arguments are conventionally associated with particular grammatical constructions, such as: (1) a. P1, . . . , Pn. Therefore, C; b. Suppose P1, . . . , Pn. Then, C. These constructions involve argument words such as ‘therefore’, ‘thus’, ‘so, ‘hence’ and ‘then’ — entailment words (cf. Brasoveanu (2007)) or, as I will call them, following Beaver 2001, pp. 209, argument connectives — which are used in natural languages to signal the presence of arguments. It is, therefore, natural to study the speech act of giving an argument by looking at semantics and pragmatics of argument connectives.
    Found 2 days ago on Carlotta Pavese's site
  11. 175493.555536
    According to one influential theory, the standard of proof for criminal trials should be interpreted in probabilistic terms. On this view, a proposition P is proved to the criminal standard just in case the probability of P, given the presented evidence, is above some high threshold – typically 90% or 95% (see, for instance, Cullison, 1969, section IIIA, McCauliff, 1982, Shauer and Zeckhauser, 1996, section III, Hedden and Colyvan, 2019). While this has an obvious appeal, the criminal standard of proof is closely associated, in legal doctrine, in jury instructions, and in the popular imagination, with the idea of proof ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ . And this phrase doesn’t obviously indicate a probability threshold, which would be more naturally conveyed with the words ‘to a high probability’ or some such. In fact, the idea that something has been proved ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ suggests a rather different way of thinking about uncertainty – that doubts can be divided into two categories, the reasonable and the unreasonable, and that all doubts of the former kind have been answered. Some theorists insist that the ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ phrasing is deeply unclear – and no help when it comes to understanding the criminal standard of proof (Laudan, 2006, chap. 2). While I agree that it would be a mistake to fixate on these words too closely, their meaning is hardly opaque – it is natural, in many contexts, to distinguish between doubts that are serious and demand attention and doubts that are speculative or frivolous.
    Found 2 days ago on PhilPapers
  12. 186079.55555
    This paper explores three ways in which physics may involve counterpossible reasoning. The first way arises when evaluating false theories: to say what the world would be like if the theory were true, we need to evaluate counterfactuals with physically impossible antecedents. The second way relates to the role of counterfactuals in characterizing causal structure: to say what causes what in physics, we need to make reference to physically impossible scenarios. The third way is novel: to model metaphysical dependence in physics, we need to consider counterfactual consequences of metaphysical impossibilities. Physics accordingly bears substantial and surprising counterpossible commitments.
    Found 2 days, 3 hours ago on Alastair Wilson's site
  13. 194559.555563
    Sometimes supererogation is defined by a conjunction of a positive evaluation of performing the action and a denial of a negative evaluation of non-performance. For instance: The action is good to do but not bad not to do. …
    Found 2 days, 6 hours ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  14. 209600.555577
    I recently became a father. Well, when I say recently, I mean just over a year ago (October 2019). Being a parent raises a number of practical and philosophical questions. Should you have children in the first place? …
    Found 2 days, 10 hours ago on John Danaher's blog
  15. 213547.555594
    We are excited about the next Neural Mechanisms webinar this Friday. As always, it is free. You can find information about how and when to join the webinar below or at the Neural Mechanisms website—where you can also join sign up for the mailing list that notifies people about upcoming webinars, webconferences, and more! …
    Found 2 days, 11 hours ago on The Brains Blog
  16. 229846.555611
    Computer simulations serve myriad purposes in science: from experimental design in high-energy physics, to predicting tomorrow’s weather in meteorology, to exploring and evaluating candidate molecules in drug research. But is simulation also a tool for observing the world? Can we measure the world via computer simulation? It might seem not. Yet, in the geosciences, there are now ‘observational’ datasets composed entirely of simulation output. And in various fields, especially chemistry and engineering, one finds software designed to enable ‘virtual measurements’ of quantities of interest.
    Found 2 days, 15 hours ago on Wendy Parker's site
  17. 229849.555626
    To what extent are factors that are extrinsic to the artwork relevant to judgements of artistic value? One might approach this question using traditional philosophical methods, but one can also approach it using empirical methods; that is, by doing experimental philosophical aesthetics. This paper provides an example of the latter approach. We report two empirical studies that examine the significance of three sorts of extrinsic factors for judgements of artistic value: the causal-historical factor of contagion, the ontological factor of uniqueness, and the contextual factor of appreciative environment.
    Found 2 days, 15 hours ago on Aaron Meskin's site
  18. 229860.55564
    While ‘most’ and ‘more than half’ are generally assumed to be truth-conditionally equivalent, the former is usually interpreted as conveying greater proportions than the latter. Previous work has attempted to explain this difference in terms of pragmatic strengthening or variation in meanings. In this paper, we propose a novel explanation that keeps the truth-conditions equivalence. We argue that the difference in typical sets between the two expressions emerges as a result of two previously independently motivated mechanisms. First, the two expressions have different sets of pragmatic alternatives. Second, listeners tend to minimize the expected distance between their representation of the world and the speaker’s observation. We support this explanation with a computational model of usage in the Rational Speech Act framework. Moreover, we report the results of a quantifier production experiment. We find that the difference in typical proportions associated with the two expressions can be explained by our account.
    Found 2 days, 15 hours ago on Jakub Szymanik's site
  19. 229870.555656
    multimethod experiments (total N ⫽ 4,065 participants) investigated the nature of perceiving sexual harassment by testing whether perceptions of sexual harassment and its impact are facilitated when harassing behaviors target those who fit with the prototype of women (e.g., those who have feminine features, interests, and characteristics) relative to those who fit less well with this prototype. Studies A1–A5 demonstrate that participants’ mental representation of sexual harassment targets overlapped with the prototypes of women as assessed through participant-generated drawings, face selection tasks, reverse correlation, and self-report measures. In Studies B1–B4, participants were less likely to label incidents as sexual harassment when they targeted nonprototypical women compared with prototypical women. In Studies C1 and C2, participants perceived sexual harassment claims to be less credible and the harassment itself to be less psychologically harmful when the victims were nonprototypical women rather than prototypical women. This research offers theoretical and methodological advances to the study of sexual harassment through social cognition and prototypicality perspectives, and it has implications for harassment reporting and litigation as well as the realization of fundamental civil rights. For materials, data, and preregistrations of all studies, see https://osf.io/xehu9/.
    Found 2 days, 15 hours ago on Alain Morin's site
  20. 229880.555671
    of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus should reconsider their equation of “throwing away the ladder” with the “end of philosophy.” To do this, I will show that an inconsistency arises in Wittgenstein’s view regarding the relationship of philosophy and science since he associates “the correct method of philosophy” with the propositions of science at the end of the aforementioned text. Due to this, I will maintain that it is reasonable to posit that the sharp distinction that Wittgenstein makes between philosophy and science in the Tractatus is merely illusory. An interesting consequence of this is that if this interpretation holds then this provides sufficient grounds to maintain that what some scholars refer to as “the end of philosophy” may actually be the beginning of “Wittgenstein’s naturalism.”
    Found 2 days, 15 hours ago on James Conant's site
  21. 229883.555688
    Mental representations are a means to explain behavior. This, at least, is the idea on which cognitive (behavioral) science is built: that there are certain kinds of behavior, namely minimally flexible behavior, which cannot be explained by appealing to stimulus-response patterns. Flexible behavior is understood as behavior that can differ even in response to one and the same type of stimulus or that can be elicited without the relevant stimulus being present. Since this implies that there is no simple one-to-one relation between stimulus and behavior, flexible behavior is not explainable by simple stimulus-response patterns. Thus, some inner processes of the behaving system (of a minimal complexity) are assumed to have an influence on what kind of behavior is selected given a specific stimulus. These inner processes (or states) are then taken to stand for something else (features, properties, objects, etc.) and are hence called “mental representations”. They are presupposed for two main reasons, 1. to account for flexible reactions to one and the same stimulus and 2. to account for behavior triggered when the relevant entities are not present. The latter case is highlighted by J.
    Found 2 days, 15 hours ago on Albert Newen's site
  22. 229886.555704
    This paper develops a conception of misandrogyny that is analogous to Kate Manne’s account of misogyny. On Manne’s view, misogyny is a system of mechanisms that together police and enforce the gendered hierarchy of a patriarchal order. The patriarchal gender hierarchy is constituted by norms that call women to give feminine­coded goods to men. On the account developed here, misandrogyny is a system of mechanisms that together police and enforce the gender binary of a patriarchal order. The gender binary is constituted by norms that preclude the existence of persons who aren’t consistently ‘read’ either as a man (and only a man) or as a woman (and only a woman). Misandrogyny thus polices and enforces exactly the nonexistence of people who are neither women (only) nor men (only). While misogyny pushes women down into their patriarchal place, misandrogyny pushes gender non­conforming persons out of existence—either by pushing the person out of literal or social existence or by pushing the person into a stable, patriarchal gendered position. Section 1 articulates and motivates the overall account of misandrogyny; section two characterizes three kinds of misandrogynist mechanism.
    Found 2 days, 15 hours ago on Jeff Engelhardt's site
  23. 229889.555739
    Partisanship continues to divide Americans. Using data from the American National Election Studies (ANES), we find that partisans not only feel more negatively about the opposing party, but also that this negativity has become more consistent and has a greater impact on their political participation. We find that while partisan animus began to rise in the 1980s, it has grown dramatically over the past two decades. As partisan affect has intensified, it is also more structured; ingroup favoritism is increasingly associated with outgroup animus. Finally, hostility toward the opposing party has eclipsed positive affect for ones’ own party as a motive for political participation.
    Found 2 days, 15 hours ago on Robert Talisse's site
  24. 229894.555755
    Herbert Simon (1983, pp. 34– 35) distinguished three “visions of rationality”: (1) the “Olympian model,” which “serves, perhaps, as a model of the mind of God, but certainly not as a model of the mind of man;” (2) the “behavioral” model, which “postulates that human rationality is very limited, very much bounded by the situation and by human computational powers;” and (3) the “intuitive model,” which “is in fact a component of the behavioral theory.” Bounded rationality, with its intuitive component, is to be explained, Simon adds, in an evolutionary perspective. Our joint work on reasoning and in particular our book The Enigma of Reason (Mercier & Sperber, 2017) describes mechanisms of intuitive inference in general and the mechanism of reason in a way that is quite consistent with Simon’s defense of a “bounded rationality” approach to human reason. Like other evolutionary psychologists (in particular, Leda Cosmides and John Tooby, see Tooby & Cosmides, 1992) and like Gerd Gigerenzer’s ‘adaptive toolbox’ approach (Gigerenzer, 2007; Gigerenzer, Todd, & ABC Research Group, 1999), we don’t see bounded rationality as an inferior version of Olympian rationality, nor do we think that human or other animal inferences should be measured against abstract rationality criteria. Our distinct contribution is to argue that there is an evolved mechanism that can reasonably be called “reason,” the function of which is to address problems of coordination and communication by producing and evaluating reasons used as justifications or as arguments in communicative interactions.
    Found 2 days, 15 hours ago on Dan Sperber's site
  25. 229905.555771
    In present times, around the globe, we are witnessing a public sphere in crisis, distorted through fake news, lies, threats of violence and call for constraints. This has occurred not only in states of authoritarian rule, but also in liberal societies. Thus, one of the great challenges for critical thought today is to be able to maintain sound methods of reflection when the public space, which since the enlightenment has been called upon to maintain a legacy of critical reflection and freedom, appears undermined. For Kant, Arendt, Habermas and others the public sphere was expected to sustain a measure of soundness of thought. But when the public sphere can no longer do so, and thought retreats into itself, what means do we have to engage in the world and develop a thought that is congruent with political possibilities? The concept of “critical thought” in this context refers not to the school of critical theory, but to the kind of thought that Arendt advocates—a thought that is socially, ethically and poli— tically astute. It means to scrutinise opinions and beliefs and to practice a certain “Socratic midwifery”.l It is in this context that the inner voice is heard.
    Found 2 days, 15 hours ago on PhilPapers
  26. 229910.555786
    Scientists warn us that we are living in an era of human—induced mass extinc— tion of species caused by our social practice of “co—opting resources, fragment— ing habitats, introducing non—native species, spreading pathogens, killing species directly, and changing global climate”.1 Mass extinction is characterised by a dramatic reduction in species during a geologically short interval. This kind of species extinction has happened five times over the last half billion years—referred to as the Big Five. And now we are entering into a sixth, expected to be the most detrimental since the asteroid impact eradicated the dinosaurs 66 million years ago.2 Today, over 26,500 species are threatened with extinction, according to the IUCN Red list.3 Even without the impact of humans, species would die out, but, as an example, the extinction of anthro— pogenic vertebrae is estimated to be up to 100 times higher than what scientists refer to as “the background rate”.4
    Found 2 days, 15 hours ago on PhilPapers
  27. 233113.5558
    The aim of this edited collection is to explore non-evidentialist epistemology or nonevidentialism—roughly, the view that evidence is not required in order for a doxastic attitude to have a positive epistemic standing. According to this view, it is possible for belief or acceptance to be epistemically justified, warranted, or rational in the absence of supporting evidence. To introduce non-evidentialist epistemology it is helpful to take a look at the contrasting view, evidentialism.
    Found 2 days, 16 hours ago on Luca Moretti's site
  28. 233580.555814
    This essay proposes a new interpretation of a central, and yet overlooked, argument Leibniz offers against Descartes’s power-free ontology of the corporeal world. Appealing to considerations about the successiveness of motion, Leibniz attempts to show that the reality of motion requires force. It is often assumed that the argument is driven by concerns inspired by Zeno. Against such a reading, this essay contends that Leibniz’s argument is instead best understood against the background of an Aristotelian view of the priority of real being over time. The essay also shows how this alternative interpretation can help to shed new light on the difference between Leibnizian forces and Aristotelian powers, as well as on Leibniz’s famous claim that accounting for force leads us beyond the mechanistic corporeal realm.
    Found 2 days, 16 hours ago on PhilPapers
  29. 233943.55583
    Can a group be an orthodox rational agent? This requires the group’s aggregate preferences to follow expected utility (static rationality) and to evolve by Bayesian updating (dynamic rationality). Group rationality is possible, but the only preference aggregation rules which achieve it (and are minimally Paretian and continuous) are the linear-geometric rules, which combine individual values linearly and individual beliefs geometrically. Linear-geometric preference aggregation contrasts with classic linear-linear preference aggregation, which combines both values and beliefs linearly, and achieves only static rationality. Our characterisation of linear-geometric preference aggregation implies as corollaries a characterisation of linear value aggregation (Harsanyi’s Theorem) and a characterisation of geometric belief aggregation.
    Found 2 days, 16 hours ago on PhilPapers
  30. 235724.555843
    We are very thankful to our colleagues who have provided such thoughtful and constructive discussions of our book, The Enigma of Reason. Since these commentaries each raise a different set of issues, we respond to them one by one.
    Found 2 days, 17 hours ago on Dan Sperber's site