1. 60031.621337
    For Aristotle, the happy life is the highest human good. But could even unhappy human lives have a grain of intrinsic goodness? Aristotle’s views about the value of the “mere living,” in contrast to the good living, have been neglected in the scholarship, in spite of his recurrent preoccupation with this question. Offering a close reading of a passage from Nicomachean Ethics IX.9, I argue that, for Aristotle, all human lives are intrinsically good by virtue of fully satisfying the definition, and thus function, of their biological species. On the one hand, this rudimentary goodness is independent of whether the life is lived well or badly; on the other hand, it is ultimately outweighed by the badness inflicted on life by vice or extreme pain, so that the unhappy lives are, all things considered, not worth choosing.
    Found 16 hours, 40 minutes ago on PhilPapers
  2. 81075.621401
    It is murder to disconnect a patient who can only survive with a ventilator without consent and in order to inherit from them. Every murder is a killing. So, it is a killing to disconnect a patient who can only survive with a ventilator without consent and in order to inherit from them. …
    Found 22 hours, 31 minutes ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  3. 82899.62142
    Much of our ordinary thought and talk about responsibility exhibits what I call the ‘pie fallacy’ – the fallacy of thinking that there is a fixed amount of responsibility for every outcome, to be distributed among all those, if any, who are responsible for it. The pie fallacy is a fallacy, I argue, because how responsible an agent is for some outcome is fully grounded in facts about the agent, the outcome and the relationships between them; it does not depend, in particular, on how responsible anyone else is for that same outcome. In this paper, I explore how the pie fallacy can arise by considering several different kinds of case in which two or more agents are responsible for the same outcome. I’ll end with some brief remarks on the potential consequences of my arguments for how to think about responsibility in war.
    Found 23 hours, 1 minute ago on Alex Kaiserman's site
  4. 82955.621435
    Frankfurt cases are often presented as counterexamples to the principle that one is morally responsible for one’s action only if one could have acted otherwise. But ‘could have acted otherwise’ is context-sensitive; it’s therefore open to a proponent of this principle to reply that although there is a salient sense in which agents in Frankfurt-style cases couldn’t have acted otherwise, there’s another, different sense in which they could have, and it is this latter sense which is relevant to what we are morally responsible for doing. In this paper, I will evaluate the prospects of this contextualist response. I will argue that despite some initial signs of promise, the response fails, for reasons that were clearly anticipated in Frankfurt’s original paper.
    Found 23 hours, 2 minutes ago on Alex Kaiserman's site
  5. 84737.621459
    Alice is driving to an appointment she doesn’t care much about. She is, however, curious whether she will arrive on time. To satisfy her curiosity, she stops driving, since she knows that if she stops driving, she won’t arrive on time. …
    Found 23 hours, 32 minutes ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  6. 90771.621497
    Philosophy of biology is a branch of philosophy of science that centers on philosophical issues concerning biology. While philosophical interest in biology has a long history, philosophy of biology as semi-autonomous discipline originated in the 1970s, with an international society (the International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology) and dedicated academic journals from the 1980s onward. One of the original motivations for pursuing a philosophy of biology was in reaction to the dominant focus on physics in philosophy of science, where the treatment of topics such as “explanation” and “laws” was felt to be unsatisfactory in the context of biology. For example, many explanations in physics involve general laws, but biology involves few if any basic laws. Thus, philosophy of biology informs and provides a context for larger questions in the philosophy of science. However, a lot of work in the philosophy of biology is pursued independently of problems in the general philosophy of science. Such work concerns issues specific to biology, and such accounts are not always generalizable. From its inception, philosophy of biology has been heavily focused on philosophy of evolutionary biology. This, among other reasons, reflects both the central place of evolution within biology, and the implications that evolution has for traditional philosophical topics, such as morality and human nature. However, over the decades, philosophy of biology has branched out to other domains, such as microbiology and ecology. A development that has run in parallel to this growth has been the increasing collaboration between philosophers and biologists. Such collaboration has become increasingly common in areas at the frontier of research, such as the topics concerning the extended synthesis. As a consequence, philosophical work has often become more focused on specific conceptual problems directly relevant for empirical practice, producing more tailor-made accounts that are not easily generalizable.
    Found 1 day, 1 hour ago on Grant Ramsey's site
  7. 92388.621537
    The flexibility of human behaviorIn the early part of 2020, millions of people around the world radically altered their daily behavior in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We acquired new means of remote work, collaboration, and learning. …
    Found 1 day, 1 hour ago on The Brains Blog
  8. 117822.621557
    Attitudinal embeddings, such as ‘I hope that murder is wrong’ or ‘she is glad that eating meat is not wrong’ are a less substantial problem for expressivists than is standardly thought. If expressivists are entitled to talk of normative beliefs, they can explain what it is to for an attitude to be semantically related to a normative content in terms of being functionally related to a belief with a normative content.
    Found 1 day, 8 hours ago on PhilPapers
  9. 136159.621571
    In a 2015 article entitled “The Irrelevance of Ethics,” MacIntyre argues that acquiring the moral virtues would undermine someone’s capacity to be a good trader in the financial system and, conversely, that a proper training in the virtues of good trading directly militates against the acquisition of the moral virtues. In this paper, we reconsider MacIntyre’s rather damning indictment of financial trading, arguing that his negative assessment is overstated. The financial system is in fact more internally diverse and dynamic, and more reformable, than suggested by MacIntyre’s treatment. The challenge at the heart of MacIntyre’s claims can be crystallized in the question, “under which conditions, if any, can a person be an effective trader and simultaneously live a worthy human life?” We conclude that there are realistic possibilities of integrity and growth in moral virtue for those who work in the financial sector, at least for those operating in a work environment minimally permissive toward virtue, provided they possess characters of integrity and genuine aptitude for the skills and attitudes required in their professional tasks.
    Found 1 day, 13 hours ago on David Thunder's site
  10. 137812.621586
    Some patterns of attitudes (and absences thereof) don’t fit together right, in a distinctive sort of way: they are jointly incoherent. Examples include inconsistent beliefs, cyclical preferences, failures to intend the means to one’s ends, and various forms of akrasia. Very plausibly, such incoherent combinations of states are irrational. (The particular kind of irrationality that they involve is often labelled structural irrationality.) Also very plausibly, facts about what is rational or irrational have normative significance – roughly, that is, they at least have some bearing on what attitudes we ought to have (or get ourselves to have).
    Found 1 day, 14 hours ago on Alex Worsnip's site
  11. 170455.621615
    According to Recently Popular Pragmatist Views It May Be Rational for One to Believe P When One’s Evidence Doesn’T Favour P Over Not-P. This May Happen According to Pragmatists in Situations Where One Can Gain Something Practically Important Out of Believing P. In This Paper I Argue That Given Some Independently Plausible Assumptions About the Argumentative Nature of Philosophy and the Irrelevance of Bribes for Good Arguments, Pragmatism Leads to a Contradiction. Key Words: Reasons to Believe; Evidentialism; Pragmatism; Arguments; Methodology; Rationality; Belief; Pragmatic Reasons.
    Found 1 day, 23 hours ago on PhilPapers
  12. 170477.621632
    A long-standing tradition, largely present in both the physical and the philosophical literature, regards the advent of (special) relativity –with its block-universe picture– as the failure of any indeterministic program in physics. On the contrary, in this paper, we note that upholding reasonable principles of finiteness of information hints at a picture of the physical world that should be both relativistic and indeterministic. We thus rebut the block-universe picture by assuming that fundamental indeterminacy itself should as well be regarded as a relational property when considered in a relativistic scenario. We discuss the consequence that this view may have when correlated randomness is introduced, both in the classical case and in the quantum one.
    Found 1 day, 23 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  13. 170498.621646
    Epicurus posited that the best life involves the greatest pleasures. He also argued that it involves attaining tranquillity. Commentators from Aristippus of Cyrene to Ken Binmore have expressed scepticism that these two claims are compatible. For, they argue, Epicurus’ tranquil life is so austere that it is hard to see how it could be maximally pleasurable. Here, I offer an Epicurean account of the pleasures of tranquillity. I also consider different ways of valuing lives from a hedonistic point of view. Benthamite hedonists value lives by the sum of pleasures minus the sum of pains, weighted by intensity and duration. Meanwhile, Binmore proposes that Epicurus valued lives by their worst episode. In contrast, I offer an Epicurean argument for why the best life is one in which a person attains tranquillity and tastes its pleasures until death.
    Found 1 day, 23 hours ago on PhilPapers
  14. 212920.62166
    One well-established way to make metaphysical claims is to use facts about explanation as a guide to facts about metaphysics. For example, some grounding theorists have argued that from the fact that there are non-causal explanations, it follows that there is a non-causal form of metaphysical determination. In debates about emergence, reduction, and the explanatory gap, the apparent unavailability of certain explanations has been taken as evidence for positions such as dualism and strong emergentism. In debates about metaphysical fundamentality, the metaphysically fundamental is often taken to be equivalent to that which has no explanation. In each of these cases, facts about the availability and nature of explanation are used as guides to, or evidence for, facts about metaphysics.
    Found 2 days, 11 hours ago on Elanor Taylor's site
  15. 259336.621673
    My new book project, The Weirdness of the World, engages big-picture metaphysics and cosmology. This has me thinking about solipsism and materialism (aka physicalism), among other things. According to solipsism, the only thing that exists is my own mind. …
    Found 3 days ago on The Splintered Mind
  16. 263881.621713
    Programmed cell death (PCD) in unicellular organisms is in some instances an altruistic trait. When the beneficiaries are clones or close kin, kin selection theory may be used to explain the evolution of the trait, and when the trait evolves in groups of distantly related individuals, group or multilevel selection theory is invoked. In mixed microbial communities, the benefits are also available to unrelated taxa. But the evolutionary ecology of PCD in communities is poorly understood. Few hypotheses have been offered concerning the community role of PCD despite its far-reaching effects.
    Found 3 days, 1 hour ago on Grant Ramsey's site
  17. 291215.621733
    This paper puts forward an account of imaginative immersion. Elaborating on Kendall Walton’s thesis that imagining aims at the fictional truth, it first argues that imaginings are inherently rule- or norm-governed: they are ‘regulated’ by that which is presented as fictionally true. It then shows that an imaginer can follow the rule or norm mandating her to imagine the propositions presented as fictional truths either by acquiring explicit beliefs about how the rule (norm) is to be followed, or directly, without acquiring such beliefs. It proceeds to argue that to the extent that an imaginer follows this rule (norm) without holding such beliefs, she is more immersed in her imaginings. The general idea is that immersion in an activity is a matter of following rules or norms that apply to that activity without explicitly thinking about how to follow them, that is, without ‘doxastic mediation.’ Lastly, the paper shows that this thesis can explain various features associated with imaginative immersion, such as the sort of attentiveness it involves, the emotional response it generates, and its relation to spoilers.
    Found 3 days, 8 hours ago on PhilPapers
  18. 304061.621747
    Maybe you only have 1000 units of some 10 million points of utility and allocation A2 resource, but 10,000 people need the will generate 100,000 points of utility, this is resource or would benefit from it. One question: why do you control the resource? Leave that aside for now. A second question: how should you allocate the resource? If you are a decision- maker in a health system, and if the resource has to do with medicine or public health, we are in the world of the ethics of at least a consideration (although perhaps not a decisive one) in favour of A1. If we want to build in uncertainty, we can shift to an expected utility framework or talk in terms of expected cost–benefit analysis. We can call all of these broad outcome regarding ethical principles. Everyone should accept that these reason to limit our focus to health effects? There is a powerful case to the contrary, which they seem to acknowledge, and perhaps agree with—but then we are already in a broader, and correspondingly more evidentially complex, situation.
    Found 3 days, 12 hours ago on Alex Guerrero's site
  19. 321910.621778
    Knock Shrine, IrelandOn the 21st of August 1879, in a small rural village called Knock in Ireland, an unusual event took place. At the gable end of the local church, the Virgin Mary, along with St Joseph and St John the Evangelist is alleged to have appeared to a group of villagers. …
    Found 3 days, 17 hours ago on John Danaher's blog
  20. 349136.621818
    This introduction consists of two parts. In the first part, the special issue editors introduce inductive metaphysics from a historical as well as from a systematic point of view and discuss what distinguishes it from other modern approaches to metaphysics. In the second part, they give a brief summary of the individual articles in this special issue.
    Found 4 days ago on PhilPapers
  21. 353303.621838
    In 'Lessons from the Pandemic', I summarized what I took to be some of the biggest mistakes of the pandemic response, and tried to give a sense of the scale of the potential damage done, along with some concrete suggestions for how we might have done vastly better. …
    Found 4 days, 2 hours ago on Philosophy, et cetera
  22. 359433.621852
    High-fidelity cultural transmission, rather than brute intelligence, is the secret of our species’ success, or so many cultural evolutionists claim. It has been selected because it ensures the spread, stability and longevity of beneficial cultural traditions, and it supports cumulative cultural change. To play these roles, however, fidelity must be a causally-efficient property of cultural transmission. This is where the grain problem comes in and challenges the explanatory potency of fidelity. Assessing the degree of fidelity of any episode or mechanism of cultural transmission always depends upon an investigator’s choice of grain of analysis at which cultural traditions are being studied. The fidelity of cultural transmission then appears to be relative to the granularity at which one approaches cultural variation, and since there is a multiplicity of grains of description by which the same tradition can be studied, there results a multiplicity of measures of fidelity for a same event or mechanism of cultural transmission. If this is correct, because fidelity is always relative to the grain of analysis dictated by the local and specific research interests of the investigator, then there seems to be no fact of the matter as to whether cultural transmission is faithful or not, independently from a researcher’s framework of analysis. The aims of this paper are to offer a conceptual clarification of the grain problem in cultural evolution, to assess its causes, to unpack its epistemological implications, and to examine its reach and consequences for a science of cultural evolution.
    Found 4 days, 3 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  23. 359484.621866
    Gradable adjectives denote properties that are relativized to contextual thresholds of application: how long an object must be in order to count as long in a context of utterance depends on what the threshold is in that context. But thresholds are variable across contexts and adjectives, and are in general uncertain. This leads to two questions about the meanings of gradable adjectives in particular contexts of utterance: what truth conditions are they understood to introduce, and what information are they taken to communicate? In this paper, we consider two kinds of answers to these questions, one from semantic theory, and one from Bayesian pragmatics, and assess them relative to human judgments about truth and communicated information. Our findings indicate that although the Bayesian accounts accurately model human judgments about what is communicated, they do not capture human judgments about truth conditions unless also supplemented with the threshold conventions postulated by semantic theory.
    Found 4 days, 3 hours ago on Chris Kennedy's site
  24. 359489.62188
    1) "[Few]" bears R to "[doing]"; "[most]" bears R to "[allowing]". 2) Ceteris paribus, [few] is no worse than [most]. 3) If (1) and (2), then ceteris paribus, [doing] is no worse than [allowing]. C) [Doing] is no worse than [allowing].
    Found 4 days, 3 hours ago on PhilPapers
  25. 359535.621894
    The paper discusses a number of issues having to do with mechanistic explanation in biology. It argues that, as an empirical matter, in mechanistic explanations, there is often a kind of correspondence between difference making information and information about spatio­temporal or geometrical relations of a sort emphasized in causal process theories of causation. This correspondence can function as a constraint on successful mechanistic explanation. The paper also discusses modularity conditions and the circumstances under which they fail. Failures of modularity are distinguished from cases involving redundancy and causal cycles.
    Found 4 days, 3 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  26. 359570.62191
    Bryce Gessell (Sothern Virginia University) is the first author of this third post in this book symposium for the edited volume Neural Mechanisms: New Challenges in Philosophy of Neuroscience (Springer 2021).We called our chapter “Prediction and Topological Models in Neuroscience,” and we wrote it in the spirit of Jack Gallant. …
    Found 4 days, 3 hours ago on The Brains Blog
  27. 359574.621927
    Recently, there has been increasing interest in methodological aspects of advanced imaging, including the role of guidelines, recommendations, and experts’ consensus, the practice of self-referral, and the risk of diagnostic procedure overuse. In a recent Delphi study of the European Association for Nuclear Medicine (EANM), panelists were asked to give their opinion on 47 scientific questions about imaging in prostate cancer. Nine additional questions exploring the experts’ attitudes and opinions relating to the procedure of consensus building itself were also included. The purpose was to provide insights into the mechanism of recommendation choice and consensus building as seen from the experts’ point of view. Results: Regarding the factors likely to influence the willingness to refer a patient for imaging, the most voted were incorporation into guidelines and data from scientific literature, while personal experience and personal relationship were chosen by a small minority.
    Found 4 days, 3 hours ago on elisabetta lalumera's site
  28. 379662.621942
    Daniel Burnston (Tulane University) and Philipp Haueis (Bielefeld University) are the authors of this last post in this book symposium for the edited volume Neural Mechanisms: New Challenges in Philosophy of Neuroscience (Springer 2021).Concepts in science change over time. …
    Found 4 days, 9 hours ago on The Brains Blog
  29. 385049.621959
    A theory of induction has many purposes. It should offer or permit answers to general sceptical challenges to induction, or at least explain why answering these problems is unnecessary. Metaphorically, it should help us defend the heartland of science. The theory should also help us understand and evaluate inductive inferences in everyday science. In other words, it should help elucidate reasoning in the familiar territory of science. Additionally, it should justify the intuitively plausible inductions that occur in largely unfamiliar (for the inductively inferring scientists) domains where scientists’ background knowledge is exiguous. I shall call these unfamiliar domains ‘the frontiers of science’.
    Found 4 days, 10 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  30. 431308.621975
    In the ongoing pandemic, death statistics influence people’s feelings and government policy. But when does COVID-19 qualify as the cause of death? As philosophers of medicine interested in conceptual clarification, we address the question by analyzing the World Health Organization’s rules for the certification of death. We show that for COVID-19, WHO rules take into account both facts (causal chains) and values (the importance of prevention).
    Found 4 days, 23 hours ago on elisabetta lalumera's site