1. 43559.572756
    The name “capitalism” derives from Marx’s false analogy between medieval land ownership and the “ownership of the means of production.” However, unlike medieval land, capital goods can be rented out, e.g., by Frank Knight’s entrepreneur, and then the capital owner does not hold those management or product rights. What then is the characteristic institution in our civilization? It is the voluntary renting of workers. What then is the relationship between Classical Liberalism, the dominant philosophy behind Economics, and a lifetime labour contract? Frank Knight had plenty to say about the doctrine of inalienable rights which disallows such contracts.
    Found 12 hours, 5 minutes ago on David Ellerman's site
  2. 51140.572892
    Philosophers are fond of wild hypotheticals: psychophysicists confined to black-and-white rooms, trolleys targeting victims with unnerving precision, magic rings that turn those who wear them invisible (and perhaps unjust). …
    Found 14 hours, 12 minutes ago on Under the Net
  3. 74709.572905
    One of the most urgent challenges facing the left is the need to come to terms with the meanings of “imperialism” and “anti-imperialism” in our time. When the workers of the world are facing increasingly dire conditions of labor and survival, and the possibility of direct military confrontation between and among the globe’s major economic powers seems less remote every day, it is crucially important for Marxists to assess the nature of the international class struggle in the current
    Found 20 hours, 45 minutes ago on William Robinson's site
  4. 95880.572915
    Effective field theory (EFT) is a computationally powerful theoretical framework, finding application in many areas of physics. The framework, applied to the Standard Model of particle physics, is even more empirically successful than our theoretical understanding would lead us to expect. I argue that this is a problem for our understanding of how the Standard Model relates to some successor theory. The problem manifests as two theoretical anomalies involving relevant parameters: the cosmological constant and the Higgs mass. The persistent failure to fix these anomalies from within suggests that the way forward is to go beyond the EFT framework.
    Found 1 day, 2 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  5. 95898.572925
    When Kuhn first published his Structure of Scientific Revolutions he was accused of promoting an “irrationalist” account of science. Although it has since been argued that this charge is unfair in one aspect or another, the early criticism still exerts an influence on our understanding of Kuhn. In particular, normal science is often characterized as dogmatic and uncritical, even by commentators sympathetic to Kuhn. I argue not only that there is no textual evidence for this view but also that normal science is much better understood as being based on epistemically justified commitment to a paradigm and as pragmatic in its handling of anomalies. I also argue that normal science is an example of what I call Kuhn’s program of revisionary rational reconstruction.
    Found 1 day, 2 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  6. 95918.572938
    In this paper I issue a challenge to what I call the “Independence Thesis of Theory Assessment” (ITTA). According to ITTA, the evidence for (or against) a theory must be assessed independently from the theory explaining the evidence. I argue that ITTA is undermined by cases of evidential uncertainty, in which scientists have been guided by the explanatory power of their theories in the assessment of the evidence. Instead, I argue, these cases speak in favor of a model of theory assessment in which explanatory power may indeed contribute to the stabilization of the evidential basis.
    Found 1 day, 2 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  7. 95937.572948
    This paper revisits Lakatos’s meta-philosophy concerning the use of historical facts for the purpose of philosophical theorizing about science. Despite Lakatos’s bad reputation on that question – which mostly springs from his suggestion that the actual history could be detailed in the footnotes of texts of rational reconstructions of science – Lakatos in fact had quite reasonable things to say about the meta-philosophy of science. In particular, Lakatos’s writings contain the idea that any philosophical methodology of science should aim at the maximization of rationally explainable facts, albeit without pretence to ever be able to explain all historical facts as rational. I will discuss this idea in the light of the contemporary meta-philosophical literature. Finally, the paper argues with Kuhn that there are many unappreciated analogies between Kuhn’s and Lakatos’s accounts of science and that Lakatos’s account is, contrary to what Lakatos himself claimed, not more rational than Kuhn’s, even by Lakatos’s own meta-philosophical criteria.
    Found 1 day, 2 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  8. 95957.572958
    Predictivism is the thesis that evidence successfully predicted by a scientific theory counts more (or ought to count more) in the confirmation of that theory than already known evidence would. One rationale that has been proposed for predictivism is that predictive success guards against ad hoc hypotheses. Despite the intuitive attraction of predictivism, there is historical evidence that speaks against it. As valuable as the historical evidence is, however, it is largely indirect evidence for the epistemic attitudes of individual – albeit prominent – scientists. This paper presents the results of an empirical study of scientists’ attitudes toward predictivism and ad hoc-ness (n=492), which will put the debate on a more robust empirical footing. The paper also draws attention to a tension between the ad hoc-ness avoidance rationale of predictivism and the ways philosophers have spelled out the notion of ad hocness.
    Found 1 day, 2 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  9. 95976.572967
    Successful replication is a hallmark of scientific truth. Discordant evidence refers to the situation where findings from different studies of the same phenomenon do not agree. Although evidential discordance can spur scientific discovery, it also gives scientists a reason to rationally disagree and thereby compromises the formation of scientific consensus. Discordance indicates that facts about the phenomenon of interest remain unsettled and that a finding may not be reliably replicable. We single out persistent evidential discordance as a particularly difficult problem for the epistemology of science, and distinguish between different causes of evidential discordance – non-systematic error, noise, and bias. Unlike discordance brought about by non-systematic error or noise, persistent discordance often cannot be rationally resolved by temporarily suspending judgment and collecting more data within existing lines of inquiry. We suggest that the analysis of enriched lines of evidence (Boyd 2018) provides a useful approach to diagnosing and evaluating episodes of persistent evidential discordance. Attention to the line of evidence, which extends from raw data to an evidential claim supporting or disconfirming a hypothesis, can help researchers to locate the source of discordance between inconsistent findings. We argue that reference to metadata, information about how the data were generated and processed, can be a key step in the process of resolving normative questions of correctness, i.e., whether a line of evidence provides a legitimate answer to a particular research question. We illustrate our argument with two cases: the alleged discovery of gravitational waves in the late 1960s, and the social priming controversy in experimental psychology.
    Found 1 day, 2 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  10. 96008.572975
    Some debates about the role of non-epistemic values in science discuss the so-called Value-Free Ideal together with the autonomy thesis, to the point that they may be assumed to be intertwined. As I will argue in this article, the two are independent from one another, are supported by different arguments, and ought to be disentangled. I will also show that the arguments against value-freedom and supporting a value-laden conception of science, are different from the arguments against autonomy and supporting democratized science. Moreover, while some of the arguments against autonomy and for democratized science may actually be consistent with value-freedom, they conflict with some philosophical views about the internal diversity of well-designed epistemic communities. This article distinguishes the Value-Free Ideal and the autonomy thesis, as well as their antitheses, and investigates their relations to some of the socio-epistemological models of the social organization of scientific research. Its aim is to make explicit some incompatibilities between different normative frameworks developed in philosophy of science.
    Found 1 day, 2 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  11. 153677.572985
    The aim of this paper is to present a constructive solution to Frege’s puzzle (largely limited to the mathematical context) based on type theory. Two ways in which an equality statement may be said to have cognitive significance are distinguished. One concerns the mode of presentation of the equality, the other its mode of proof. Frege’s distinction between sense and reference, which emphasizes the former aspect, cannot adequately explain the cognitive significance of equality statements unless a clear identity criterion for senses is provided. It is argued that providing a solution based on proofs is more satisfactory from the standpoint of constructive semantics.
    Found 1 day, 18 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  12. 224069.572994
    As predicted, the nationalist parties have slightly improved their scores in the European parliamentary elections. Put together, the parties belonging to the European Conservatives & Reformists and Identity & Democracy groups have won 131 seats over the 720 of the European Parliaments, to which we should also add part of the 100 seats earned by non-aligned parties. …
    Found 2 days, 14 hours ago on The Archimedean Point
  13. 236468.573002
    Let’s start with some uncontroversial facts. In 1817–1818, Beethoven composed the Piano Sonata No. 29 in B flat major, Opus 106, which is known as the Hammerklavier Sonata. In 1970, Glenn Gould performed the Hammerklavier in Toronto. In 1995, András Schiff performed the Hammerklavier in New York. We can conclude that there is something— the Hammerklavier—that Beethoven composed and that Gould and Schiff performed. But what sort of thing is this?
    Found 2 days, 17 hours ago on Ben Caplan's site
  14. 263784.573009
    This is a report on the project “Axiomatizing Conditional Normative Reasoning” (ANCoR, M 3240-N) funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). The project aims to deepen our understanding of conditional normative reasoning by providing an axiomatic study of it at the propositional but also first-order level. The focus is on a particular framework, the so-called preference-based logic for conditional obligation, whose main strength has to do with the treatment of contrary-to-duty reasoning and reasoning about exceptions. The project considers not only the meta-theory of this family of logics but also its mechanization.
    Found 3 days, 1 hour ago on X. Parent's site
  15. 326609.573018
    Pain, Ross; University of Bristol, Philosophy interventionism, transitions in human evolution, cultural complexity, causation Theorists of human evolution are interested in understanding major shifts in human behavioral capacities (e.g., the creation of a novel technological industry, such as the Acheulean). This task faces empirical challenges arising both from the complexity of these events and the time-depths involved. However, we also confront issues of a more philosophical nature, such as how to best think about causation and explanation. This article considers such fundamental questions from the perspective of a prominent theory of causation in the philosophy of science literature, namely, the interventionist theory of causation. A signature feature of this framework is its recognition of a family of distinct types of causes. We set out several of these causal notions and show how they can contribute to explaining transitions in human behavioral complexity. We do so, first, in a preliminary way, and then in a more detailed way, taking the origins of behavioral modernity as our extended case study. We conclude by suggesting some ways in which the approach developed here might be elaborated and extended.
    Found 3 days, 18 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  16. 326716.573026
    Structural representations are likely the most talked about representational posits in the contemporary debate over cognitive representations. Indeed, the debate surrounding them is so vast virtually every claim about them has been made. Some, for instance, claimed structural representations are di erent from indicators. Others argued they are the same. Some claimed structural representations mesh perfectly with mechanistic explanations, others argued they can’t in principle mash. Some claimed structural representations are central to predictive processing accounts of cognition, others rebuked predictive processing networks are blissfully structural representation free. And so forth. Here, I suggest this confusing state of a airs is due to the fact that the term “structural representations” is applied to a number of distinct conceptions of representations. In this paper, I distinguish four such conceptions, argue that these four conceptions are actually distinct, and then show that such a fourfold distinction can be used to clarify some of the most pressing questions concerning structural representations and their role in cognitive theorizing, making these questions more easily answerable.
    Found 3 days, 18 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  17. 326745.57304
    The timing of the origin of flowering plants (Angiosperm) is hotly debated. It has been suggested that the disagreement between the fossil record of angiosperm origin strongly conflicts with the origin estimates generated by molecular clocks. I argue that this conflict reveals lessons about whether or under what conditions scientific disagreement is likely to bear fruit. Specifically, I point to issues of evidence quality and social epistemic structures which deserve more attention in understanding the productivity of disagreement.
    Found 3 days, 18 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  18. 326774.573048
    The Kuhnian view of theory choice (post Structure) leaves a lot of space for a diversity of theory choice preferences. It remains mysterious, however, how scientists could ever converge on a theory, given this diversity. This paper will argue that there is a solution to the problem of convergence, which can be had even on Kuhn’s own terms.
    Found 3 days, 18 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  19. 326809.573056
    According to the ω-rule, it is valid to infer that all natural numbers possess some property, if possesses it, 1 possesses it, 2 possesses it, and so on. The ω-rule is important because its inclusion in certain arithmetical theories results in true arithmetic. It is controversial because it seems impossible for finite human beings to follow, given that it seems to require accepting infinitely many premises. Inspired by a remark of Wittgenstein’s, I argue that the mystery of how we follow the ω-rule subsides once we treat the rule as helping to give meaning to the symbol, “…”.
    Found 3 days, 18 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  20. 326843.573065
    We give a new and elementary construction of primitive positive decomposition of higher arity relations into binary relations on finite domains. Such decompositions come up in applications to constraint satisfaction problems, clone theory and relational databases. The construction exploits functional completeness of 2-input functions in many-valued logic by interpreting relations as graphs of partially defined multivalued ‘functions’. The ‘functions’ are then composed from ordinary functions in the usual sense. The construction is computationally effective and relies on well-developed methods of functional decomposition, but reduces relations only to ternary relations. An additional construction then decomposes ternary into binary relations, also effectively, by converting certain disjunctions into existential quantifications. The result gives a uniform proof of Peirce’s reduction thesis on finite domains, and shows that the graph of any Sheffer function composes all relations there.
    Found 3 days, 18 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  21. 326879.573073
    We study logical reduction (factorization) of relations into relations of lower arity by Boolean or relative products that come from applying conjunctions and existential quantifiers to predicates, i.e. by primitive positive formulas of predicate calculus. Our algebraic framework unifies natural joins and data dependencies of database theory and relational algebra of clone theory with the bond algebra of C.S. Peirce. We also offer new constructions of reductions, systematically study irreducible relations and reductions to them, and introduce a new characteristic of relations, ternarity, that measures their ‘complexity of relating’ and allows to refine reduction results. In particular, we refine Peirce’s controversial reduction thesis, and show that reducibility behavior is dramatically different on finite and infinite domains.
    Found 3 days, 18 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  22. 326912.573081
    We argue that traditional formulations of the reduction thesis that tie it to privileged relational operations do not suffice for Peirce’s justification of the categories, and invite the charge of gerrymandering to make it come out as true. We then develop a more robust invariant formulation of the thesis by explicating the use of triads in any relational operations, which is immune to that charge. The explication also allows us to track how Thirdness enters the structure of higher order relations, and even propose a numerical measure of it. Our analysis reveals new conceptual phenomena when negation or disjunction are used to compound relations.
    Found 3 days, 18 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  23. 357229.573089
    I’ve been thinking a bit about Integerated Information Theory (IIT) as a physicalist-friendly alternative to functionalism as an account of consciousness. The basic idea of IIT is that we measure the amount of consciousness in a system by subdividing the system into pairs of subsystems and calculating how well one can predict the next state of each of the two subsystems without knowing the state of the other. …
    Found 4 days, 3 hours ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  24. 414588.573098
    Under what conditions are material objects, such as particles, parts of a whole object? This is the composition question and is a longstanding open question in philosophy. Existing attempts to specify a non-trivial restriction on composition tend to be vague and face serious counterexamples. Consequently, two extreme answers have become mainstream: composition (the forming of a whole by its parts) happens under no or all conditions. In this paper, we provide a self-contained introduction to the integrated information theory (IIT) of consciousness. We show that IIT specifies a non-trivial restriction on composition: composition happens when integrated information is maximized. We compare the IIT restriction to existing proposals and argue that the IIT restriction has significant advantages, especially in response to the problems of vagueness and counterexamples. An appendix provides an introduction to calculating parts and wholes with a simple system.
    Found 4 days, 19 hours ago on Kelvin J. McQueen's site
  25. 426164.573106
    I’ve been imagining a very slow embodiment of computation. You have some abstract computer program designed for a finite-time finite-space subset of a Turing machine. And now you have a big tank of black and white paint that is constantly being stirred in a deterministic way, but one that is some ways into the ergodic hierarchy: it’s weakly mixing. …
    Found 4 days, 22 hours ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  26. 452462.573114
    In the middle chapters of Morality by Degrees, Alastair Norcross argues that there is no principled way to determine the absolute value of an action (incl. whether it is ‘good’ or ‘bad’), only whether it is better or worse than specific alternatives.1 It’s natural to assume that we should judge an action good (bad) just to the extent that it makes things go better (worse) than if the act hadn’t been performed. …
    Found 5 days, 5 hours ago on Good Thoughts
  27. 509236.573121
    If you could watch an individual water molecule, once in a while you’d see it do this. As it bounces around, every so often it hits another water molecule hard enough enough for one to steal a hydrogen nucleus—that is, a proton—from the other! …
    Found 5 days, 21 hours ago on Azimuth
  28. 618385.573129
    Tversky & Kahneman famously showed that many people judge (incoherently) that Linda is “more likely” to be a feminist bank teller than to be a bank teller. I’m often struck by people making a moral analogue of this mistake: thinking that something is more important when it affects just a subgroup than when it affects all of those people and more. …
    Found 1 week ago on Good Thoughts
  29. 650845.573137
    We study the anchoring effect in a computational model of group deliberation on preference rankings. Anchoring is a form of path-dependence through which the opinions of those who speak early have a stronger influence on the outcome of deliberation than the opinions of those who speak later. We show that anchoring can occur even among fully rational agents. We then compare the respective effects of anchoring and three other determinants of the deliberative outcome: the relative weight or social influence of the speakers, the popularity of a given speaker’s opinion, and the homogeneity of the group. We find that, on average, anchoring has the strongest effect among these. We finally show that anchoring is often correlated with increases in proximity to single-plateauedness. We conclude that anchoring can constitute a structural bias that might hinder some of the otherwise positive effects of group deliberation.
    Found 1 week ago on PhilSci Archive
  30. 650937.573146
    The collapse of a quantum state can be understood as a mathematical way to construct a joint probability density even for operators that do not commute. We can formalize that construction as a non-commutative, non-associative collapse product that is nonlinear in its left operand as a model for joint measurements at time-like separation, in part inspired by the sequential product for positive semi-definite operators. The familiar collapse picture, in which a quantum state collapses after each measurement as a way to construct a joint probability density for consecutive measurements, is equivalent to a no-collapse picture in which Luders transformers applied to subsequent measurements construct a Quantum-Mechanics–Free-Subsystem of Quantum Non-Demolition operators, not as a dynamical process but as an alternative mathematical model for the same consecutive measurements. The no-collapse picture is particularly simpler when we apply signal analysis to millions or billions of consecutive measurements.
    Found 1 week ago on PhilSci Archive