1. 172846.187447
    What justifies differences in the acceptance of paternalism towards competent minors and older people? I propose two arguments. The first argument draws on the widely accepted view that paternalism is easier to justify the more good it promotes for the paternalizee. It argues that paternalism targeting young people generally promotes more good for the people interfered with than similar paternalism targeting older people. While promoting people’s interests or well-being is essential to the justification of paternalism, the first argument has certain unfair implications in that it disfavours paternalism towards the worse off. The second argument caters to such fairness concerns. It argues that priority or inequality aversion supports age-differentiated paternalism because young people, who act imprudently and thereby risk their interests or well-being, are worse off than older people who act in similar ways. I suggest that both arguments are pertinent in evaluating specific paternalistic acts and policies.
    Found 2 days ago on PhilPapers
  2. 172907.187598
    Stephen Mumford and Alexander Bird disagree about which properties are powers and, correspondingly, about the extent of the philosophical work to which powers may be put. Unfortunately, there is an important respect in which these authors are talking past each other and so the reason for their disagreement remains obscured. I highlight what has gone wrong in their recent exchange, attempt to clear up the confusion and pinpoint the true source of their disagreement. My hope is to redirect the efforts of these authors and their followers onto more pressing foundational issues in the metaphysics of powers.
    Found 2 days ago on PhilPapers
  3. 181796.187622
    An explanation is an answer to a why-question, and so a causal explanation is an answer to “Why X?” that says something about the causes of X. For example, “Because it rained,” as an answer to “Why is the ground wet?,” is a causal explanation. Causal explanation is philosophically important because explanation-in-general is philosophically important, and causal explanation is a basic kind of explanation. So a complete philosophy will include a theory of explanation, and a complete theory of explanation will offer criteria for being a causal explanation.
    Found 2 days, 2 hours ago on Bradford Skow's site
  4. 181812.187643
    This paper aims to establish and defend a realist position focused on scientific phenomena, particularly in the context of particle physics. Building on insights from scientific practice, the study addresses the limitations of previous realist positions and acknowledges the trend towards local realism. The primary objective is to develop an inferential blueprint that integrates theoretical and ontological layers, with a central focus on the concept of scientific phenomena. The framework is based on bottom-up inferences, specifically identifying robust patterns called ‘signatures,’ which can be inferred from the data and causally related to the phenomenon, analogous to traces of smoke indicating fire. A phenomenon can be stabilized bottom-up by utilizing multiple partially converging signatures, demonstrating resilience even in the presence of theoretical changes. Theoretical models can serve as a supportive structure atop this stable foundation, encouraging the search for additional signatures.
    Found 2 days, 2 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  5. 181820.187677
    In this paper I revisit an important response to the Moral Twin Earth (MTE) challenge: The Common Functional Role strategy (CFR). I argue that CFR is open to a revenge problem. MTE-cases allegedly show that two linguistic communities can be in genuine disagreement even when they are regulated by distinct families of properties. CFR provides a way to reconcile the intuition that the two communities are in genuine disagreement with the claim that the use of moral terms by both communities is causally regulated by different families of properties. This is done by identifying a functional role that those families of properties both fulfil. Still, even if CFR is successful, its proponents need to face a serious revenge problem. Roughly, it could be that the families of properties that regulate each community are equally perfect realizers of the relevant higher-order functional state. I suggest that the proponent of CFR faces a dilemma: either CFR has controversial implications about first-order moral theory, or CFR needs to be coupled with substantive and parochial empirical/metaphysical assumptions to avoid those implications.
    Found 2 days, 2 hours ago on PhilPapers
  6. 181899.187696
    I discuss Gheaus’s argument against the claim that the requirements of justice are not constrained by feasibility concerns. I show that the general strategy exemplified by this argument is not only dialectically puzzling, but also imposes a heavy cost on theories of justice — puzzling because it simply sidesteps a presupposition of any plausible formulation of the so-called ‘feasibility requirement’; costly because it it deprives justice of its normative implications for action. I also show that Gheaus’s attempt to recover this normative force presupposes an epistemic dimension to the feasibility requirement that most proponents of that requirement would reject.
    Found 2 days, 2 hours ago on David Wiens's site
  7. 181925.187711
    The most well established method in economics for comparing two options that affect multiple people is Pareto-superiority: Pareto-superiority An option is Pareto-superior to a second option if it is better for at least one person and worse for no-one.
    Found 2 days, 2 hours ago on Toby Ord's site
  8. 181993.18773
    The latest leaps forward in AI with its large language models, deep fakes, and counterfeit people are rightly causing anxiety. Yet people are responding as though AI is just one more scary new technology, like electricity, cars, or nuclear power once were. We invented it, so the argument goes, so we should be able to regulate and manage it for our own benefit. Not so. I believe this situation is new and serious and our survival is at stake.
    Found 2 days, 2 hours ago on Susan Blackmore's site
  9. 183153.187755
    In this episode, John and Sven discuss the methods of technology ethics. What exactly is it that technology ethicists do? How can they answer the core questions about the value of technology and our moral response to it? …
    Found 2 days, 2 hours ago on John Danaher's blog
  10. 217693.187791
    ‘Biodiversity’ is widely recognized as an extremely ambiguous concept in conservation science and ecology. It is defined in a number of different and incompatible ways in the scientific literature, and is also “exported” beyond the scientific community, where it may take on a host of other meanings for governments, policy-makers, non-governmental organizations, and the general public at large. One might respond to this ambiguity by either pushing for its clarification, and by extension the adoption of a single, univocal biodiversity concept, or by rejecting the term entirely, replacing it with a relevant, more precise concept in each context. In this paper, I argue for a third approach. Drawing on literature describing change in large organizations, I explore ways in which ambiguity might be seen as productive – as a manner, at the very least, in which we can enable action by a mixed coalition of actors with different and, at times, contradictory interests and value commitments. I explore how this literature – in particular, a taxonomy of rhetorical uses of ambiguous concepts – could enable us to put the ambiguity of biodiversity to work for us, offering us a way to intervene in conflicts about the concept by helping to develop both clearer descriptive analyses and normative “rules for engagement” in debates surrounding biodiversity.
    Found 2 days, 12 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  11. 217713.187807
    Current cosmological observations place little constraints on the nature of dark matter, allowing the development of a large number of viable models and various methods for probing their properties. At first glance, this variety of models and methods provides ideal grounds for the employment of robustness arguments in dark matter research. The aim of this article is to examine the extent to which such arguments can be used to overcome various methodological and theoretical challenges. The main conclusion is that while robustness arguments have a limited scope in the context of dark matter research, they can still be used for increasing the scientists’ confidence about the properties of specific models.
    Found 2 days, 12 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  12. 217822.187837
    In a recent article, Halvorson and Manchak [forthcoming] claim that there is no basis for the Hole Argument, because (in a certain sense) hole isometries are unique. This raises two important questions: (a) does their argument succeed?; (b) how does this mathematical-cum-formalist response to the Hole Argument relate to other recent responses to the Hole Argument in the same tradition—in particular, that of Weatherall [2018]? In this article, ad (a), we argue that Halvorson and Manchak’s claim does not go through; ad (b), we argue that although a charitable reading would see Halvorson and Manchak as filling an important hole (no pun intended) in Weatherall’s argument, in fact this reading is implausible; there is no need to supplement Weatherall’s work with Halvorson and Manchak’s results.
    Found 2 days, 12 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  13. 251470.187856
    If X is reducible to the natural, then likely the vast improvement of natural science over the last three hundred years would have led to a much better knowledge of X. If X is not reducible to the natural, then it is not likely that the vast improvement of natural science over the last three hundred years would have led to a much better knowledge of X. …
    Found 2 days, 21 hours ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  14. 258019.187876
    I'm loving reading the 1643 correspondence between Elisabeth of Bohemia and Descartes! I'm embarrassed to confess that I hadn't read it before now; the standard Cottingham et al. edition presents only selections from Descartes' side. …
    Found 2 days, 23 hours ago on The Splintered Mind
  15. 258019.187903
    Suppose we combine a Humean account of causation on which causation is a function of the pattern of intrinsically acausal events in reality with a functionalist account of consciousness. (David Lewis, for instance, accepted both.) …
    Found 2 days, 23 hours ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  16. 260550.187925
    The non-relativistic Schrodinger equation on a domain Ω ⊂ Rn with boundary is often considered with homogeneous Dirichlet boundary conditions (ψ(x) = 0 for x on the boundary) or homogeneous Neumann boundary conditions (∂nψ(x) = 0 for x on the boundary and ∂n the normal derivative) or Robin boundary conditions (∂nψ(x) = αψ(x) for x on the boundary and α a real parameter). Physically, the Dirichlet condition applies if outside of Ω the potential is much higher than inside (“potential well”). We ask, when does the Neumann or Robin condition apply physically? Our answer is, when the potential is much lower (at the appropriate level) in a thin layer before a potential well, or when a negative delta potential of the appropriate strength is added close to the potential well.
    Found 3 days ago on R. Tumulka's site
  17. 263042.187944
    Some philosophers have posited a distinctively logical notion of necessity – logical necessity – under which logical truths alone are necessary. This posit leads to the following two questions: 1. Logical truths are usual taken to be sentences, necessary truths to be propositions. Is there then a propositional notion of logical necessity corresponding to the linguistic notion of logical truth and, if there is, then how is the correspondence to be made out?
    Found 3 days, 1 hour ago on Andrew Bacon's site
  18. 264156.187964
    Mikkonen’s new book and his emphasis on understanding should be regarded as an important contribution to the contemporary debate on the cognitive value of literary narratives. As I shall argue, his notion of understanding can also help explain how literature is existentially valuable. In so doing, his account can support a radicalized contemporary neo-cognitivism according to which literature can affect us existentially and lead to a personal transformation.
    Found 3 days, 1 hour ago on PhilPapers
  19. 314761.18798
    Listen. Time passes. Things change. Old certainties fade, and tomorrow is a new day. We talk, frequently, of differences between past, present, and future. We talk of these as not merely different locations, but as changing.¹ What previously we anticipated as a future possibility becomes a present predicament, and then a past life-lesson, before finally being forgotten as ancient history. Suppose we take that talk as reflecting a mind-independent reality; how do we make sense of time passing? A number of issues converge here. I’m primarily interested in how we deal with cases where what we used to say is no longer true. More specifically, I’m interested in cases where we accept three things: a) we think that what’s true about the past is true because of how the past is b) we accept that how the past is isn’t the same as how the past was when it was present c) we think that there’s an important sense in which what makes things past is that they are now settled.
    Found 3 days, 15 hours ago on Graeme A. Forbes's site
  20. 321860.188
    Plato’s Socrates uses the term δεύτερος πλοῦς (Phd. 99c9–d1) in connection with his intellectual autobiography, in the course of which he was led away from that “wisdom” (σοφία) they call “the study of nature” (φύσεως ἱστορία, Phd. 96a8) to instead look to “the truth of things” (τῶν ὄντων τὴν ἀλήθειαν) in the logoi (Phd. 99e6). He compares this move to a flight—a “flight into the logoi”—and calls this “flight into the logoi” the “second voyage” (δεύτερος πλοῦς, Phd. 99c9–d1). The decisive passage runs as follows: [S1] ἔδοξε δή μοι χρῆναι εἰς τοὺς λόγους καταφυγόντα ἐν ἐκε ίνοις σκοπεῖν τῶν ὄντων τὴν ἀλήθειαν. [S2] ἴσως μὲν οὖν ᾧ εἰκάζω τρόπον τινὰ οὐκ ἔοικεν: [S3] οὐ γὰρ πάνυ συγχωρῶ τὸν ἐν λόγοις σκοπούμενον τὰ ὄντα ἐν εἰκόσι μᾶλλον σκοπεῖν ἢ τὸν ἐν ἔργοις.¹ Preliminary translation: [S1a] So I decided that I must take refuge in the logoi and look at the truth of things in them. [S2] However, perhaps this image is inadequate; [S3] for I do not altogether admit that one who investigates things by means of the logoi is dealing with images more than one who looks at realities.
    Found 3 days, 17 hours ago on PhilPapers
  21. 321879.188017
    In book Λ. of the Metaphysics, Aristotle suggests that an unmoved, unmoving being (God) is the source of all movement in the cosmos. He explains that this being instigates movement through desire. But how does desire affect movement? And what would make Aristotle’s God an object of desire? I attend to both questions in this paper, arguing that God’s existence as pure actuality (energeia) is crucial to understanding God’s status as the primary and ultimate source of wonder, and that it is as the ultimate source of wonder that we can make sense of how God affects desire.
    Found 3 days, 17 hours ago on PhilPapers
  22. 321900.188038
    The argument from vagueness (Lewis 1986; Sider 1997, 2001) has had a tremendous influence in discussions about the metaphysics of material objects. If successful, it serves as a refutation of the intuitive claim that composition is restricted (some pluralities of objects have a fusion and some don’t) and forces us to endorse one of two radical views: compositional nihilism (no plurality of objects has a fusion) or compositional universalism (every plurality of objects has a fusion). The argument from vagueness goes, very roughly, as follows: P1 If composition is restricted, then composition is vague.
    Found 3 days, 17 hours ago on PhilPapers
  23. 321921.188056
    Depression is a widespread and debilitating disorder, with significant social and economic impacts (World Health Organization 2021). The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the situation, leading to a sharp increase in cases of depression worldwide (Santomauro et al. 2021). Despite the urgent need for effective treatments, developing new antidepressant drugs has proven to be difficult, with roughly 90% of compounds that work on animals failing to work on humans (Garner 2014). To put the point differently, a big problem for developing more effective treatments for depression is the difficulty of extrapolating from seemingly effective treatments used on animals to effective treatments for human beings. One obstacle to this sort of extrapolation is the fact that depression occurs much more frequently among women than men— by an almost 2:1 ratio—and animal research on depression has been done almost exclusively using male animals (Beery and Zucker 2011; Shansky 2019). In light of this, the seemingly easy solution would be to improve the male-female sex ratio in animal research. But such a remedial step does little when the problem itself—i.e., the problem of effective extrapolation—arises from 1 Although I focus on depression (major depressive disorder), much of my argument generalizes and applies to other mental health disorders.
    Found 3 days, 17 hours ago on PhilPapers
  24. 321944.188074
    The question whether the notion of rigidity can be extended in a fruitful way beyond singular terms has received a standard answer in the literature, according to which non-singular terms designate kinds, properties or other abstract singular objects and generalized rigidity is the same thing as singular term rigidity, but for terms designating such objects. I offer some new criticisms of this view and go on to defend an alternative view, on which non-singular terms designate extensions in general, and generalized rigidity is identity of extension across possible worlds. I develop some fundamental positive considerations that make this view virtually inevitable as a view of generalized rigidity, emphasizing its exclusive ability to offer a purely logical justification of the necessity of several kinds of statements that go beyond true identity statements between rigid singular terms.
    Found 3 days, 17 hours ago on PhilPapers
  25. 360407.188094
    Experiencing the emotion in a piece of music “from within” involves imagining feeling that emotion, but just what does one imagine, and why? It has been suggested that one imagines, of one’s experience of hearing the sounds, that it is one’s feeling the emotion. This suggestion, it is argued here, is unworkable. A better idea is that one imagines oneself to be expressing one’s emotion in the sounds of the music. But imagining, by itself, is subject to few constraints; it is possible, with enough effort, to listen to an anxious piece of music, and imagine oneself expressing one’s joy through it. To vindicate the idea, then, the constraints under which one imagines when one listens “from within” must be described. It is argued that one imagines feeling (e.g.) sad, when listening to sad music from within, because one begins by imagining one’s hearing the sounds to be one’s perceiving one’s own behavior, and then allows this imaginative episode to unfold involuntarily. An imagining that one feels sad is then generated, in part, by an offline-running of one’s disposition to infer what emotion one feels from internal perceptions of one’s behavior.
    Found 4 days, 4 hours ago on Bradford Skow's site
  26. 361846.188114
    I've been playing around with the Rational Speech Act framework lately, and I want to write a few blog posts clarifying my thoughts. In this post, I'll introduce the framework and go through a simple application. …
    Found 4 days, 4 hours ago on wo's weblog
  27. 362880.188132
    This paper outlines an account of conditionals, the evidential account, which rests on the idea that a conditional is true just in case its antecedent supports its consequent. As we will show, the evidential account exhibits some distinctive logical features that deserve careful consideration. On the one hand, it departs from the material reading of ‘if then’ exactly in the way we would like it to depart from that reading. On the other, it significantly differs from the non-material accounts which hinge on the Ramsey Test, advocated by Adams, Stalnaker, Lewis, and others.
    Found 4 days, 4 hours ago on Vincenzo Crupi's site
  28. 362901.188156
    Iacona, a concessive conditional p → q is adequately formalized as a conjunction of conditionals. This paper presents a sound and complete axiomatic system for concessive conditionals so understood. The soundness and completeness proofs that will be provided rely on a method that has been employed by Raidl, Iacona, and Crupi to prove the soundness and completeness of an analogous system for evidential conditionals.
    Found 4 days, 4 hours ago on Vincenzo Crupi's site
  29. 362922.188197
    This paper investigates the logic of reasons. Its aim is to provide an analysis of the sentences of the form ‘p is a reason for q’ that yields a coherent account of their logical properties. The idea that we will develop is that ‘p is a reason for q’ is acceptable just in case a suitably defined relation of incompatibility obtains between p and ¬q. As we will suggest, a theory of reasons based on this idea can solve three challenging puzzles that concern, respectively, contraposing reasons, conflicting reasons, and supererogatory reasons, and opens a new perspective on some classical issues concerning non-deductive inferences.
    Found 4 days, 4 hours ago on Vincenzo Crupi's site
  30. 362944.18822
    Bayesian approaches to human cognition have been extensively advocated in the last decades, but sharp objections have been raised too within cognitive science. In this paper, we outline a diagnosis of what has gone wrong with the prevalent strand of Bayesian cognitive science (here labelled pure Bayesian cognitive science), relying on selected illustrations from the psychology of reasoning and tools from the philosophy of science. Bayesians’ reliance on so-called method of rational analysis is a key point of our discussion. We tentatively conclude on a constructive note, though: an appropriately modified variant of Bayesian cognitive science can still be coherently pursued, as some scholars have noted.
    Found 4 days, 4 hours ago on Vincenzo Crupi's site