1. 3033.890495
    The notion of individualised evidence holds the key to solve the puzzle of statistical evidence, but there’s still no consensus on how exactly to define it. To make progress on the problem, epistemologists have proposed various accounts of individualised evidence in terms of causal or modal anti-luck conditions on knowledge like appropriate causation (Thomson 1986), sensitivity (Enoch et al. 2012) and safety (Pritchard 2018). In this paper, I show that each of these fails as satisfactory anti-luck condition, and that such failure lends abductive support to the following conclusion: once the familiar anti-luck intuition on knowledge is extended to individualised evidence, no single causal or modal anti-luck condition on knowledge can succeed as the right anti-luck condition on individualised evidence. This conclusion casts serious doubts on the fruitfulness of the move from anti-luck conditions on knowledge to anti-luck conditions on individualised evidence. I expand on these doubts and point out further aspects where epistemology and the law come apart: epistemic anti- luck conditions on knowledge do not adequately characterise the legal notion of individualised evidence.
    Found 50 minutes ago on PhilPapers
  2. 34614.890588
    Recent developments in the US have brought renewed interest to the ethics of abortion. I will skip over most of that rather parochial and politically tribalised debate and instead consider the ethical implications of prioritising the right to life of a foetus over the right to autonomy of its mother. …
    Found 9 hours, 36 minutes ago on The Philosopher's Beard
  3. 58623.890607
    I stipulate that: According to pure divine temporalism, God is a being in time without a timeless existence all of whose decisions are made at moments of time. I will argue that on plausible assumtions divine temporalism is incompatible with divine creative libertarian freedom. …
    Found 16 hours, 17 minutes ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  4. 115903.890621
    Many philosophical accounts of scientific theory comparison take as a starting point competition between mutually exclusive alternative hypotheses. However, in scientific inquiry, it often appears that hypotheses which are in competition with one another are not mutually exclusive. For example, a hypothesis which postulates one cause of a particular event may compete with a hypothesis which postulates a conjunction of causes. It appears that the conjunctive hypothesis does not exclude the single-cause hypothesis, but rather entails it, since the single-cause hypothesis may be seen as a special case of the conjunctive hypothesis. The apparent existence of logical relations between competing hypotheses then presents a problem for models of scientific inference which assume that competing theories are mutually exclusive. The problem has been raised in slightly different guises for both for Inference to the Best Explanation and Bayesianism. In this paper, I show how taking a hierarchical view of theory comparison allows us to resolve this problem. Scientific theory evaluation takes place at multiple levels, with more general theories competing against each other at higher levels and more specific hypotheses competing at lower levels. Higher-level theories can be seen as mutually exclusive alternatives, even while logical relations are respected at lower levels.
    Found 1 day, 8 hours ago on Leah Henderson's site
  5. 118591.890647
    Some recent discussions of mechanistic explanation have focused on control operations. But control is often associated with teleological or normative-sounding concepts like goals and set-points, prompting the question: Does an explanation that refers to parts or mechanisms “controlling” each other thereby fail to be mechanistic? In this paper I introduce and explain a distinction between what I call open-ended and closed-ended control operations. I then argue that explanations that enlist control operations to do explanatory work can count as mechanistic only if such control operations are closed-ended, not open-ended.
    Found 1 day, 8 hours ago on PhilPapers
  6. 118650.890663
    In this paper, I draw attention to an obstacle to determining to what extent the portrait of normal science as a problem-solving activity applies outside the natural sciences. I give two examples from social anthropology, one from the heyday of British structural-functionalism and one from recent British anthropology, “responding” to Marilyn Strathern’s problem of the feminist fieldworker.
    Found 1 day, 8 hours ago on PhilPapers
  7. 138568.890676
    It is common to see claims that if only women were in charge things would be much better and nicer, for example that people would be much happier at work, inequality would fall, climate change would be solved. …
    Found 1 day, 14 hours ago on The Philosopher's Beard
  8. 159778.890689
    People reason not just in beliefs, but also in intentions, preferences, and other attitudes. They form preferences from existing preferences, or intentions from existing beliefs and intentions, and so on, often facing choices between rival conclusions. Building on Broome (2013) and Dietrich et al. (2019), we present a philosophical and formal analysis of reasoning in attitudes with or without facing such choices. Reasoning in attitudes is a mental activity that differs fundamentally from reasoning about attitudes, a form of theoretical reasoning by which one discovers rather than forms attitudes. Reasoning in attitudes has standard formal features (such as monotonicity), but is indeterministic (re‡ecting choice in reasoning). Like theoretical reasoning, it need not follow logical entailment, but for different reasons related to indeterminism. This makes reasoning in attitudes harder to model logically than theoretical reasoning.
    Found 1 day, 20 hours ago on PhilPapers
  9. 159781.890702
    This paper presents a seemingly inconsistent triad from Malinowski and a solution to it, concerning the requirement to do intensive fieldwork.
    Found 1 day, 20 hours ago on PhilPapers
  10. 159844.890714
    Ever since Hermann Minkowski’s now infamous comments in 1908 concerning the proper way to view space-time, the debate has raged as to whether or not the universe should be viewed as a four-dimensional, unified whole wherein the past, present, and future are equally real or whether the views espoused by the possibilists, historicists, and presentists regarding the unreality of the future (and, for presentists, the past) are more accurate. Now, a century after Minkowski’s proposed block universe first sparked debate, we present a new, more conclusive argument in favor of the eternalism. Utilizing an argument based on the relativity of simultaneity in the tradition of Putnam and Rietdijk and novel but reasonable assumptions as to the nature of “reality”, we show that the past, present, and future should be treated as equally real, thus ruling that presentism and other theories of time that bestow special ontological status to the past, present, or future are untenable. Finally, we will respond to our critics who suggest that: 1) there is no metaphysical difference between the positions of eternalism and presentism, 2) the present must be defined as the “here” as well as the “now”, or 3) presentism is correct and our understanding of relativity is incomplete because it does not incorporate a preferred frame. We call response 1 deflationary since it purports to dissolve or deconstruct the age-old debate between the two views and response 2 compatibilist because it does nothing to alter special relativity (SR) arguing instead that SR unadorned has the resources to save presentism. Response 3 we will call incompatibilism because it adorns SR in some way in order to save presentism a la some sort of preferred frame. We show that neither 1 nor 2 can save presentism and 3 is not well motivated at this juncture except as an ad hoc device to refute eternalism.
    Found 1 day, 20 hours ago on Nathan Nobis's site
  11. 159851.890728
    Inferential approaches to legal liability (including cases of pre-emption), embedded in a dialogical framework yield, so we suggest, a quite intuitive implementation of Armgardt’s proposal to respond to Moore’s (2010) study of cases of causal overdetermination in Law, provided the deployment of a fully interpreted language as the one of Martin-Löf’s (1984) Constructive Type Theory is casted in a dialogical framework – rather than in a possible-world one – , whereby (1) hypothetical judgements (involving non-actualized tokens) can be explicitly distinguished from categorical conditional judgements, (2) tokens of actions can be introduced as explicit denizens of the object-language, (3) actual harm/tort events are analysed as tokens dependent upon tokens of their (putative) causes – i.e. as (multi) functions over tokens of their causes, (4) tokens of actions can be “enriched” with a timing function. The paper will be divided in two main parts. . The first one follows Armgardt’s strategy to start by establishing collective Liability and proceed afterwards with the identification of individual Liability. The second main part, proposes a framework for the attribution of individual responsibility with regard to the determination of individual Causation. This second way is led by the rationale that legally liable is the one who caused the damage, individually or in association with others.
    Found 1 day, 20 hours ago on Shahid Rahman's site
  12. 159862.890741
    I raise the question of whether there is a hidden source of doubt in Descartes’ first meditation, if one adopts the perspective of some people he describes as insane.
    Found 1 day, 20 hours ago on PhilPapers
  13. 171889.890753
    In this paper we take a meta-theoretical stance to compare two frameworks that endeavor to explain phenomenal experience. In particular, we compare Feinberg & Mallatt’s Neurobiological Naturalism (NN) and Tononi and colleagues’ Integrated Information Theory (IIT), given that the former pointed out some similarities between the two theories (Feinberg & Mallatt 2016c-d). To probe how similar they are, we first give a general introduction to both frameworks. Next, we provide a ground plan for carrying out our analysis. We move on to articulate a philosophical profile of NN and IIT, addressing their ontological commitments and epistemological foundations. Finally, we compare the two point-by-point, also discussing how they stand on the issue of artificial consciousness. We find the two theories to be constitutionally different. IIT treats consciousness as a fundamental feature of the world (its ontology) and investigates its structure from the mathematical standpoint of integrated information (its epistemology). NN, by contrast, treats consciousness as an emerging feature confined to living organisms with complex brains (its ontology) and investigates with neurobiology, complex systems theory, and the tenet of irreducible subjectivity (its epistemology).
    Found 1 day, 23 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  14. 172024.890769
    Active materials are self-propelled non-living entities which, in some circumstances, exhibit a number of cognitively interesting behaviors such as gradient-following, avoiding obstacles, signaling and group coordination. A live proposal across both scientific and philosophical discussions is that this may make them useful as minimal models of cognition (Hanczyc 2014, McGivern 2019). Batterman and Rice (2014) have argued that what makes a minimal model explanatory is that the model is ultimately in the same universality class as the target system, which underpins why it exhibits the same macrobehavior. We appeal to recent research in basal cognition (Lyon et al. 2021) to establish appropriate target systems and essential features of cognition as a target of modeling. Looking at self-propelled oil droplets, a type of active material, we do not find that organization alone indicates that these systems exhibit the essential features of cognition. We then examine the specific behaviors of oil droplets but also fail to find that these demonstrate the essential features of cognition. Because cognitive behaviors are not a universality class, Batterman & Rice’s account of the explanatory power of minimal models simply does not apply. However, we also want to stress that it is not intended to; cognition is not the same type of behavioral phenomena as those found in physics. We then look to the minimal cognition methodology of Beer (1996, 2020) to show how active materials can be explanatorily valuable regardless of their cognitive status because they engage in specific behaviors that have traditionally been expected to involve internal representational dynamics. It is not because these model systems are also cognitive that they can be explanatory, but because they can reveal misconceptions about the cognitive underpinnings of certain, specific behaviors in target systems where such behaviors are cognitive.
    Found 1 day, 23 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  15. 172078.890784
    Why is it that people simultaneously treat social robots as mere designed artifacts, yet show willingness to interact with them as if they were real agents? Here, we argue that Dennett’s distinction between the intentional stance and the design stance can help us to resolve this puzzle, allowing us to further our understanding of social robots as interactive depictions.
    Found 1 day, 23 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  16. 172131.890797
    The study of active matter systems demonstrates the usefulness of considering how interactions might co-constitute agential dynamics. Active matter systems are comprised of self-propelled independent entities which, en masse, take part in complex and interesting collective group behaviors at a far-from-equilibrium state (Menon, 2010, Takatori and Brady 2015). These systems are modelled using very simple rules (Vicsek at al. 1995), which reveal the interactive nature of the collective behaviors seen from humble to highly complex entities. I argue that the study of active matter systems demonstrates the utility of using a minimal approach to agency in studying interactive agential dynamics in more complex systems. I give examples of how this can be useful for thinking about agency in more complex systems by treating interactions as an ontological category (Longino 2021). The examples of coordination dynamics (Kelso 2001) and participatory sense-making (De Jaegher and Di Paolo 2007) are provided to show how understanding agency requires us to look beyond the individuals to the interactive agential dynamics that can guide, scaffold, or constrain their activity.
    Found 1 day, 23 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  17. 213411.890812
    Metaphors are found all throughout science: in published papers, working hypotheses, policy documents, lecture slides, grant proposals, and press releases. They serve different functions, but perhaps most striking is the way they enable understanding, of a theory, phenomenon, or idea. In this paper, we leverage recent advances on the nature of metaphor and the nature of understanding to explore how they accomplish this feat. We attempt to shift the focus away from the epistemic value of the content of metaphors, to the epistemic value of the metaphor’s consequences. Many famous scientific metaphors are epistemically good, not primarily because of what they say about the world, but because of how they cause us to think. Specifically, metaphors increase understanding either by improving our sets of representations (by making them more minimal or more accurate), or by making it easier for us to encode and process data about complex subjects by changing how we are disposed to conceptualize those subjects. This view hints towards new positions concerning testimonial understanding, factivity, abilities, discovery via metaphor, and the relation between metaphors and models.
    Found 2 days, 11 hours ago on Michael T. Stuart's site
  18. 217008.890827
    System R-Mingle (RM) was invented by J. Michael Dunn in the middle of the 1960s. This system got its name due to the characteristic logical principle called “Mingle.” Although this principle allows for certain irrelevant inferences, it can protect us from (the worst effects of) the paradoxes of relevance. Furthermore, separating the first-degree entailment fragment of a mingle logic allows one to concentrate on the characteristic principle of that fragment, known as “Safety.” Based on a purely Tarskian formulation of first-degree entailment systems, four types of Safety can be distinguished and corresponding proof systems can be constructed, forming a diamond-shaped lattice with infinitely many systems between its vertices. The corner systems of the diamond can be supplied with uniform and rather natural semantics, which reaffirms the rightful place of the mingle logics in the family of the first-degree entailment systems.
    Found 2 days, 12 hours ago on Heinrich Wansing's site
  19. 226824.890845
    Some cosmological theories lead to the worrisome conclusion that most people with present brain states like ours are Boltzmann brains—random aggregations of molecules in space that came together to form a brain in a little bubble of oxygen. …
    Found 2 days, 15 hours ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  20. 258794.890858
    School boosters are tax-exempt organizations that engage in fundraising efforts to provide public schools with supplementary resources. This paper argues that prevailing forms of school boosting are defeasibly unjust. Section 1 shows that inequalities in public education funding in the United States violate John Rawls’s two principles of domestic justice. Section 2 argues that prevailing forms of school boosting exacerbate and plausibly perpetuate these injustices. Section 3 then contends that boosting thereby defeasibly violates Rawlsian principles of nonideal theory for rectifying injustice. Thus, boosting should be presumptively either made illegal or substantially reformed. Finally, Section 4 responds to potential objections.
    Found 2 days, 23 hours ago on Marcus Arvan's site
  21. 287557.89087
    In this two-part essay, we distinguish several senses in which general relativity has been regarded as “locally special relativistic”. In Part 1, we focused on senses in which a relativistic spacetime may be said to be “locally (approximately) Minkowskian”. Here, in Part 2, we consider what it might mean to say that a matter theory is “locally special relativisitc”. We isolate and evaluate three criteria in the literature and show that they are incompatible: matter theories satisfying one will generally violate others. We then consider what would happen if any of those criteria failed for a given theory.
    Found 3 days, 7 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  22. 287622.890883
    Approaching a hundred years since the publication of Born’s epochal 1926 papers, the status of the Born rule is still the subject of lively discussion in the physics and philosophy literatures. Here I examine some approaches to justifying the Born rule within the mathematical framework that construes quantum probability theory as the study of probability measures on the projection lattices of von Neumann algebras. Of particular concern is the role of Gleason’s theorem and its generalizations. A common line is to credit the Gleason theorems with providing a derivation of the Born rule, but then to complain that the theorems offer little physical insight into the emergence of quantum probabilities and the Born rule and/or that they commit the sin of “non-contextuality.” It is argued that both the credit and the complaints are off the mark.
    Found 3 days, 7 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  23. 287686.890896
    In this two-part essay, we distinguish several senses in which general relativity has been regarded as “locally special relativistic”. Here, in Part 1, we focus on senses in which a relativistic spacetime has been said to be “locally (approximately) Minkowskian”. After critiquing several proposals in the literature, we present a result capturing a substantive sense in which every relativistic spacetime is locally approximately Minkowskian. We then show that Minkowski spacetime is not distinguished in this result: every relativistic spacetime is locally approximately every other spacetime in the same sense. In Part 2, we will consider “locally specially relativistic” matter theories.
    Found 3 days, 7 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  24. 287755.890909
    Scientists often diverge widely when choosing between research programs. This can seem to be rooted in disagreements about which of several theories, competing to address shared questions or phenomena, is currently the most epistemically or explanatorily valuable—i.e. most successful. But many such cases are actually more directly rooted in differing judgments of pursuit-worthiness, concerning which theory will be best down the line, or which addresses the most significant data or questions. Using case studies from 16th-century astronomy and 20th-century geology and biology, I argue that divergent theory choice is thus often driven by considerations of scientific process, even where direct epistemic or explanatory evaluation of its final products appears more relevant. Broadly following Kuhn’s analysis of theoretical virtues, I suggest that widely shared criteria for pursuit-worthiness function as imprecise, mutually-conflicting values. However, even Kuhn and others sensitive to pragmatic dimensions of theory ‘acceptance’, including the virtue of fruitfulness, still commonly understate the role of pursuit-worthiness—especially by exaggerating the impact of more present-oriented virtues, or failing to stress how ‘competing’ theories excel at addressing different questions or data. This framework clarifies the nature of the choice and competition involved in theory choice, and the role of alternative theoretical virtues.
    Found 3 days, 7 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  25. 296920.890925
    Inspired by Kelsen’s view that norms establish causal-like connections between facts and sanctions, we develop a deontic logic in which a proposition is obligatory iff its complement causes a violation. We provide a logic for normative causality, define non-contextual and contextual notions of illicit and duty, and show that the logic of such duties is well-behaved and solves the main deontic paradoxes.
    Found 3 days, 10 hours ago on X. Parent's site
  26. 315000.890938
    One can think of Everettian multiverse quantum mechanics as beginning by proposing two theses: The global wavefunction evolves according to the Schroedinger equation. Superpositions in the global wavefunction can be correctly interpreted as equally real branches in a multiverse. …
    Found 3 days, 15 hours ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  27. 336012.890951
    A PDF of this blogpost is available here. I don't have an estimate for how long it will be before the Greenland ice sheet collapses, and I don't have an estimate for how long it will be before the average temperature at Earth's surface rises more than 3C above pre-industrial levels. …
    Found 3 days, 21 hours ago on M-Phi
  28. 345458.890963
    At the onset of quantum mechanics, it was argued that the new theory would entail a rejection of classical logic. The main arguments to support this claim come from the noncommutativity of quantum observables, which allegedly would generate a non-distributive lattice of propositions, and from quantum superpositions, which would entail new rules for quantum disjunctions. While the quantum logic program is not as popular as it once was, a crucial question remains unsettled: what is the relationship between the logical structures of classical and quantum mechanics? In this essay we answer this question by showing that the original arguments promoting quantum logic contain serious flaws, and that quantum theory does satisfy the classical distributivity law once the full meaning of quantum propositions is properly taken into account. Moreover, we show that quantum mechanics can generate a distributive lattice of propositions, which, unlike the one of quantum logic, includes statements about expectation values which are of undoubtable physical interest. Lastly, we show that the lattice of statistical propositions in classical mechanics follows the same structure, yielding an analogue non-commutative sublattice of classical propositions. This fact entails that the purported difference between classical and quantum logic stems from a misconstructed parallel between the two theories.
    Found 3 days, 23 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  29. 349801.890976
    This paper explores an idea of Stoic descent that is largely neglected nowadays, the idea that an argument is valid when the conditional formed by the conjunction of its premises as antecedent and its conclusion as consequent is true. As it will be argued, once some basic features of our naïve understanding of validity are properly spelled out, and a suitable account of conditionals is adopted, the equivalence between valid arguments and true conditionals makes perfect sense. The account of validity outlined here, which displays one coherent way to articulate the Stoic intuition, accords with standard formal treatments of deductive validity and encompasses an independently grounded characterization of inductive validity.
    Found 4 days, 1 hour ago on PhilPapers
  30. 353555.890989
    Are systems really as causally sensitive as it seems they are required to be for Infinite Puppetry to make sense?For example, we are bombarded, presumably, constantly by all kinds of particles around us, and yet our minds are peaceful (or relatively peaceful? …
    Found 4 days, 2 hours ago on The Splintered Mind