Philosophical Progress and blog posts found on 18 May 20222022-05-18T23:59:00Z2022-05-18T23:59:00ZPhilosophical,2022-05-18://<b>Danaja Rutar, Erwin de Wolff, Iris van Rooij, Johan Kwisthout: <a href="">Structure Learning in Predictive Processing Needs Revision</a></b> (pdf, 6885 words)<br /> <div>The predictive processing account aspires to explain all of cognition using a single, unifying principle. Among the major challenges is to explain how brains are able to infer the structure of their generative models. Recent attempts to further this goal build on existing ideas and techniques from engineering fields, like Bayesian statistics and machine learning. While apparently promising, these approaches make specious assumptions that effectively confuse structure learning with Bayesian parameter estimation in a fixed state space. We illustrate how this leads to a set of theoretical problems for the predictive processing account. These problems highlight a need for developing new formalisms specifically tailored to the theoretical aims of scientific explanation. We lay the groundwork for a possible way forward.</div><br /> <b>Harvey Lederman: <a href="">Fregeanism, sententialism, and scope</a></b> (pdf, 23847 words)<br /> <div>Among philosophers, Fregeanism and sententialism are widely considered two of the leading theories of the semantics of attitude reports. Among linguists, these approaches have received little recent sustained discussion. This paper aims to bridge this divide. I present a new formal implementation of Fregeanism and sententialism, with the goal of showing that these theories can be developed in sufficient detail and concreteness to be serious competitors to the theories which are more popular among semanticists.</div><br /> <b>Jeremy Goodman: <a href="">Perspectivism</a></b> (pdf, 16387 words)<br /> <div>The authors contributed equally to this paper. defend a Millian contextualist semantics for propositional attitude ascriptions, according to which ordinary uses of this sentence are true but involve a mid-sentence shift in context. Absent any constraints on the relevant parameters of context sensitivity, such a semantics would be untenable: it would undermine the good standing of systematic theorizing about the propositional attitudes, trivializing many of the central questions of epistemology, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of action. In response to this problem, we prove a series of tenability results. We show that, given certain constraints on the parameters of context sensitivity, there is a broad class of principles of propositional attitude psychology whose good standing follows from corresponding claims about people’s mental representations. But these constraints also have some surprising consequences: they are jointly incompatible with coarse-grained theories of propositions, and they are in tension with a natural picture of how speakers and hearers coordinate on the interpretation of attitude ascriptions. In light of these consequences we explore different ways in which the contextualist picture might be developed, and argue that our preferred way compares favorably with Fregeanism and neo-Russellianism.</div><br /> <b>Kyle Blumberg Harvey Lederman: <a href="">Revisionist reporting</a></b> (pdf, 15931 words)<br /> <div>Several theorists have observed that attitude reports have what we call ‘‘revisionist’’ uses. For example, even if Pete has never met Ann and has no idea that she exists, Jane can still say to Jim ‘Pete believes Ann can learn to play tennis in ten lessons’ if Pete believes all 6-year-olds can learn to play tennis in ten lessons and it is part of Jane and Jim’s background knowledge that Ann is a 6-year-old. Jane’s assertion seems acceptable because the claim she reports Pete as believing (that Ann can learn to play tennis in ten lessons) is entailed by Pete’s beliefs if they are revised in light of Jane and Jim’s background knowledge. We provide a semantic theory of revisionist reports based on this idea. We observe that the admissible ‘‘revisions’’ are limited in a striking way. Jane cannot say ‘Pete thinks Ann is a 6-year-old and can play tennis in ten lessons’ in the same context that she can say ‘Pete believes Ann can learn to play tennis ten lessons’, even though this too follows from Jane and Jim’s background knowledge together with what Pete believes. Our theory predicts the infelicity of these latter reports. It also has the resources to predict the truth of ‘‘exported’’ attitude reports and casts the relationship between these reports The authors contributed equally to this paper.</div><br /> <b>Robert Pasnau: <a href="">Medieval Engagement with Authorial Intention</a></b> (pdf, 9947 words)<br /> <div>Words, thoughts, things. Here is the stuff that theory is made of. Make these into the three corners of a triangle and you get the classical theory of semantics. Leave out one corner of the triangle and the result is a theory with all the virtues of a straight line, and all the depth as well. It was the so-called Middle Ages of European thought that arrived at a particularly deep account of how thought mediates between word and thing, command and action. Modern theory has been characteristically skeptical about whether anything is gained by attempting to look within the soul behind the words. Medieval theory characteristically thought that nothing mattered more. Medieval readers seek to engage with the author behind the text because they understand reading to be a form of interpersonal engagement. The text is not simply an impersonal artifact, good for stimulating certain sorts of responses, but is an expression of the thoughts of another mind. Ultimately, it is the value of minds connecting with other minds that causes medieval readers to care about authorial intention.</div><br /> <b>Vincent Conitzer: <a href="">For Learning in Symmetric Teams, Local Optima are Global Nash Equilibria</a></b> (pdf, 12681 words)<br /> <div>Although it has been known since the 1970s that a globally optimal strategy profile in a common-payoff game is a Nash equilibrium, global optimality is a strict requirement that limits the result’s applicability. In this work, we show that any locally optimal symmetric strategy profile is also a (global) Nash equilibrium. Furthermore, we show that this result is robust to perturbations to the common payoff and to the local optimum. Applied to machine learning, our result provides a global guarantee for any gradient method that finds a local optimum in symmetric strategy space. While this result indicates stability to unilateral deviation, we nevertheless identify broad classes of games where mixed local optima are unstable under joint, asymmetric deviations. We analyze the prevalence of instability by running learning algorithms in a suite of symmetric games, and we conclude by discussing the applicability of our results to multi-agent RL, cooperative inverse RL, and decentralized POMDPs.</div><br /> <b>M-Phi: <a href="">Should we agree? III: the rationality of groups</a></b> (html, 2390 words)<br /> <div>In the previous two posts in this series (here and here), I described two arguments for the conclusion that the members of a group should agree. One was an epistemic argument and one a pragmatic argument. &hellip;</div><br /> <b>Alexander Pruss's Blog: <a href="">Dog whistles</a></b> (html, 182 words)<br /> <div>From time to time I’ve had occasion to make use of examples where someone says different things to two different interlocutors in a single utterance. My favorite examples were pointing to a bottle and saying “Gift!”, which would mean a very different thing to a German speaker and to an English speaker, or using coded language while speaking to someone while knowing a spy is overhearing. &hellip;</div><br /> <b>John Danaher's blog: <a href="">Darwin's Logical Argument for Natural Selection</a></b> (html, 1641 words)<br /> <div> One of the things I occasionally like to do is to re-read books that had an early influence on my thinking. It is an instructive exercise. Sometimes, when you read a book early in life you are easily impressed by its ideas and arguments. &hellip;</div><br /> <b>wo's weblog: <a href="">Evidential externalism and evidence of irrationality</a></b> (html, 1876 words)<br /> <div>Evidential externalism and evidence of irrationality Posted on Wednesday, 18 May 2022. Let Ep mean that your evidence entails p. Let an externalist scenario be a scenario in which either Ep holds without EEp or ¬Ep holds without E¬Ep. &hellip;</div><br /> Articles and blog posts found on 17 May 20222022-05-17T23:59:00Z2022-05-17T23:59:00ZPhilosophical,2022-05-17://<b>Andrew Peet: <a href="">The Metasemantics of the Lying/Misleading Distinction</a></b> (pdf, 9278 words)<br /> <div>In July 2021 the British Labour MP Dawn Bulter was expelled from the House of Commons for stating that ‘The prime minister has lied to this house time and time again’. The basis for her expulsion was the use of ‘unparlamentry language’: the word ‘lie’. Other examples of unparlamentry language include ‘coward’, ‘hooligan’, and ‘traitor’. These are all, like the word ‘lie’, pejorative expressions. They do more than describe their target: they evoke a range of negative emotional responses and associations that denigrate their target. This is what gives pejoratives their unique power to offend. If Butler had instead said that ‘The prime minister has repeatedly stated known falsehoods to the house’ it is not clear that she would have been expelled. It is also not clear that her statement would have been nearly as powerful.</div><br /> <b>Andrew Peet: <a href="">Deciding What We Mean</a></b> (pdf, 6812 words)<br /> <div>Stipulation gives us a degree of control over meaning. By stipulating how I will use a term I am able to determine the meaning it will receive on future occasions of use. My stipulation will affect the truth conditional content of my future utterances. But the mechanisms of stipulation are mysterious. As Cappelen (2018) argues, meaning is typically determined in an inscrutable way by a myriad of external factors beyond our control. How does stipulation override these factors? And the powers of stipulation are limited. Firstly, the power of stipulation is typically short lived. Secondly, some stipulations simply don’t get off the ground. What explains the limits of stipulation? I consider and reject two related approaches to stipulation: the speaker meaning approach and the micro-languages approach. I then provide an alternative: the fittingness approach. Stipulation determines meaning by determining the word use it is fitting to hold the speaker to. This account is able to capture the mechanisms and limits of stipulation, whilst also explaining why we should care about stipulative success. I close by briefly drawing out some lessons for conceptual engineering.</div><br /> <b>Becky Millar: <a href="">Grief, Continuing Bonds, and Unreciprocated Love</a></b> (pdf, 10530 words)<br /> <div>The widely accepted “continuing bonds” model of grief tells us that rather than bereavement necessitating the cessation of one’s relationship with the deceased, very often the relationship continues instead in an adapted form. However, this framework appears to conflict with philosophical approaches that treat reciprocity or mutuality of some form as central to loving relationships. Seemingly the dead cannot be active participants, rendering it puzzling how we should understand claims about continued relationships with them. In this article, we resolve this tension by highlighting two fundamental aspects of paradigmatic loving relationships that can, and often do, continue in an adapted form following bereavement: love and mutual shaping of interests, choices, and self- concepts. Attention to these continuing features of relationships helps to capture and clarify the phenomenological and behavioral features of continuing bonds. However, love and mutual shaping must also change in important ways following bereavement. Love becomes unreciprocated, and although the dead continue to shape our interests, choices, and self- concepts, we predominantly shape their legacies</div><br /> <b>Bram Vaassen: <a href="">Absence and Abnormality</a></b> (pdf, 3949 words)<br /> <div>Absences pose a dilemma for theories of causation. Allowing them to be causes seems to make theories too permissive (Lewis, 2000). Banning them from being causes seems to make theories too restrictive (Schaffer, 2000, 2004). An increasingly popular approach to this dilemma is to acknowledge that norms can affect which absences count as causes (e.g., Thomson, 2003; McGrath, 2005; Henne et al., 2017; Willemsen, 2018). In this article, I distinguish between two influential implementations of such ‘abnormality’ approaches and argue that so-called ‘double-prevention mechanisms’ provide counterexamples against both.</div><br /> <b>David Plunkett, Daniel Wodak: <a href="">Legal positivism and the real definition of law</a></b> (pdf, 20444 words)<br /> <div>We explore an underappreciated tension at the heart of the debate over legal positivism. On the one hand, many legal philosophers aspire for the debate to tell us what law is, and the nature of law. But on the other hand, the positions in the debate are generally formulated such that they’re about something else: what law is necessarily connected to or dependent on. This is a genuine tension, because theses about what law is necessarily connected to or dependent on do not by themselves state or automatically settle what law is or the nature of law. This tension prompts us to propose a new approach to formulating positivism and antipositivism as theses about the real definition of law. Our proposal is simple, but fruitful. We argue that it better insulates and unifies the debate: that is, it prevents orthogonal theses from trivially vindicating or falsifying positivism and antipositivism, and it explains how different threads of the existing debate contribute to a single topic. We close by briefly considering two recent arguments about exclusive positivism (one against, by Scott Hershovitz, and one for, by Scott Shapiro), to illustrate how our discussion bears on contemporary jurisprudential debates.</div><br /> <b>Federica Russo: <a href="">Philosophy of science in practice in ecological model building</a></b> (pdf, 13072 words)<br /> <div>This article addresses the contributions of the literature on the new mechanistic philosophy of science for the scientific practice of model building in ecology. This is reflected in a one-to-one interdisciplinary collaboration between an ecologist and a philosopher of science during science-in-the-making. We argue that the identification, reconstruction and understanding of mechanisms is context-sensitive, and for this case study mechanistic modeling did not present a normative role but a heuristic one. We expect our study to provides useful epistemic tools for the improvement of empirically-riven work in the debates about mechanistic explanation of ecological phenomena.</div><br /> <b>Jonathan Leader Maynard: <a href="">Quentin Skinner and the Analysis of Ideology</a></b> (pdf, 9552 words)<br /> <div>The question I pursue in this paper is essentially the same “intractably large but crucial” one concerning “the connections between the world of ideology and the world of political action” posed by Quentin Skinner in his 1974 article, ‘Some Problems in the Analysis of Political Thought and Action’. How, exactly, do ideologies influence the way people act (singularly or collectively) in politics? Probably the most contentious and provocative aspect of my paper is the suggestion, in re-posing this question, that it has not already been satisfactorily answered – over and over indeed – in existing political and social theory. But, having worked on the study of ideology for just over a decade, specifically in the context of ideology’s role in political violence, I feel the question has still not been fully answered. When we suggest, for example, that Stalinist ideology mattered to the Great Terror of 1936- 8, or that Nazi ideology explains Germany’s T-4 ‘Euthanasia’ killings of disabled persons, or that ethnonationalist ideologies contributed to patterns of ethnic violence in Yugoslavia or Rwanda, <i>what kind of ideological influence are we actually referring to?</i> It seems to me that most scholars of ideology (and violence) only implicitly characterise the link between ideology and action, and those implicit accounts are generally either implausible or question-begging. There are exceptions, but the most illuminating discussions – and I count Skinner’s analysis in ‘Some Problems’ to be among them – still offer only fragments of an overall answer.</div><br /> <b>Jonathan Leader Maynard, Alex Worsnip: <a href="">Clarifying Political Normativity: A Reply to Matt Sleat</a></b> (pdf, 5082 words)<br /> <div>Many recent realists in political theory have explicitly or implicitly advanced the idea of a ‘distinctively political normativity’: the contention that certain claims about what ought to be done in politics involve a distinctive kind of normativity that is not simply a species of moral normativity. Our recent paper ‘Is there a distinctively political normativity?’ (Leader Maynard and Worsnip 2018) sought to show that the most prominent identifiable arguments for this claim are unpersuasive.</div><br /> <b>Matthieu Queloz: <a href="">Nietzsche’s Conceptual Ethics</a></b> (pdf, 13082 words)<br /> <div>If ethical reflection on which concepts to use has an avatar, it must be Nietzsche, who regarded many of our inherited concepts as deeply problematic, and took more seriously than most the question of what concepts we should live by. Moreover, his turn away from traditional attempts to derive the one right set of concepts from timeless rational foundations makes his approach to the evaluation of concepts particularly instructive, promising a Nietzschean alternative to Wittgensteinian nonfoundationalism. Yet two seemingly contrary modes of evaluation fall out of Nietzsche’s work: one looks to concepts’ <i>effects</i>, the other to what concepts <i>express</i>. I offer an account of the expressive character of concepts which unifies these two modes and accounts for Nietzsche’s seemingly bifurcating interests in what concepts express and what effects they have. On this account, Nietzsche is fundamentally concerned about what effects concepts are likely to have going forward, and it is precisely this concern that motivates his preoccupation with what concepts express. Nietzsche evaluates concepts by asking for whom they have a point, and he typically approaches that question through a backward inference from a concept via the instrumental need it fills to the conditions that engender that need and thereby render the concept pointful. For a concept to be pointful is for it to serve the concerns of its users through its actual <i>effects</i>. But even when it is not pointful, a concept <i>expresses</i> the presuppositions of its pointfulness, which we can work back to by asking who <i>would</i> have need of such a concept. What emerges is a powerful approach to conceptual ethics that looks beyond the formal virtues and vices of concepts at the presuppositions we buy into by using certain concepts.</div><br /> <b>Nilanjan Das: <a href="">Credal Imprecision and the Value of Evidence</a></b> (pdf, 21253 words)<br /> <div>This paper is about a tension between two theses. The first is <i>Value of Evidence</i>: roughly, the thesis that it is always rational for an agent to gather and use cost-free evidence for making decisions. The second is <i>Rationality of Imprecision</i>: the thesis that an agent can be rationally required to adopt doxastic states that are <i>imprecise</i>, i.e., not representable by a single credence function. While others have noticed this tension, I offer a new diagnosis of it. I show that it arises when an agent with an imprecise doxastic state engages in an <i>unreflective inquiry</i>, an inquiry where they revise their beliefs using an updating rule that doesn’t satisfy a weak reflection principle. In such an unreflective inquiry, certain synchronic norms of instrumental rationality can make it instrumentally irrational for an agent to gather and use cost-free evidence. I then go on to propose a diachronic norm of instrumental rationality that preserves <i>Value of Evidence</i> in unreflective inquiries. This, I suggest, may help us reconcile this thesis with <i>Rationality of Imprecision</i>.</div><br /> <b>The Brains Blog: <a href="">Cognitive Science of Philosophy Symposium: Moral Dilemmas</a></b> (html, 4748 words)<br /> <div>Welcome to the Brains Blog’s Symposium series on the Cognitive Science of Philosophy. The aim of the series is to examine the use of diverse methods to generate philosophical insight. Each symposium is comprised of two parts. &hellip;</div><br /> <b>Alexander Pruss's Blog: <a href="">A near lie</a></b> (html, 243 words)<br /> <div>Alice knows that her friend Bob has no pets and no experience with birds. While recommending Bob for a birdkeeping job at a zoo and having discovered or to be surprisingly ignorant about birds, she says: Bob has a fine collection of Southern yellow-beaked triggles. &hellip;</div><br /> <b>The Splintered Mind: <a href="">Our Infinite Predecessors: Flipping the Doomsday Argument on Its Head</a></b> (html, 1434 words)<br /> <div>The Doomsday Argument purports to show, probabilistically, that humanity will not endure for much longer: Likely, at least 5% of the humans who will ever live have already lived. If 60 billion have lived so far, then probably no more than 1.2 trillion humans will live, ever. &hellip;</div><br /> Articles and blog posts found on 16 May 20222022-05-16T23:59:00Z2022-05-16T23:59:00ZPhilosophical,2022-05-16://<b>Henry Ian Schiller: <a href="">Genericity and Inductive Inference</a></b> (pdf, 10832 words)<br /> <div>We are often justified in acting on the basis of evidential confirmation. I argue that such evidence supports belief in non-quantificational – or generic – generalizations, rather than universally quantified generalizations. I show how this account supports, rather than undermines, a Bayesian account of confirmation. Induction from confirming instances of a generalization to belief in the corresponding generic is part of a reasoning instinct that is typically (but not always) correct, and allows us to approximate the predictions that formal epistemology would make.</div><br /> <b>Lara Buchak: <a href="">Normative Theories of Rational Choice: Rivals to Expected Utility</a></b> (html, 13724 words)<br /> <div><i>Expected utility theory</i>, which holds that a decision-maker ought to maximize expected utility, is the prevailing theory of instrumental rationality. Nonetheless, four major challenges have arisen to the claim that the theory characterizes all rational preferences. These challenges are the phenomena of infinite or unbounded value, incommensurable goods, imprecise probabilities, and risk-aversion. The challenges have been accompanied by alternative theories that attempt to do better. Expected utility theory consists of three components. The first is a utility function that assigns real numbers to consequences.</div><br /> <b>Samantha Wakil, James Justus: <a href="">The ‘niche’ in niche‑based theorizing: much ado about nothing</a></b> (pdf, 11007 words)<br /> <div>The niche is allegedly the conceptual bedrock underpinning the most prominent, and some would say most important, theorizing in ecology. We argue this point of view is more aspirational than veridical. Rather than critically dissect existing definitions of the concept, the supposedly significant work it is thought to have done in ecology is our evaluative target. There is no denying the impressive mathematical sophistication and theoretical ingenuity of the ecological modeling that invokes ‘niche’ terminology. But despite the pervasive labeling, we demonstrate that niche talk is nothing more than a gloss on theory developed without it, that doesn’t need it, and that doesn’t benefit from it.</div><br /> <b>Sonam Thakchoe: <a href="">The Theory of Two Truths in India</a></b> (html, 21198 words)<br /> <div>The theory of the two truths has a twenty-five century long history behind it. It has its origin in the sixth century BCE<sup>[ 1 ]</sup> India with the emergence of the Siddhārtha Gautama. It is said, according to the <i>Pitāpūtrasamāgama-sūtra</i>, Siddhārtha became a buddha “awakened one” because he fully understood the meaning of the two truths—conventional truth (saṁvṛti-satya) and ultimate truth (paramārtha-satya)—and that the reality of all the objects of knowledge, the text says, is exhaustively comprised of the two truths (Sde Dge, <i>dkon brtsegs nga</i>, 60b). The theory of the two truths, according to the <i>Samādhirāja-sūtra</i>, is a unique contribution made by the Buddha towards Indian philosophy.</div><br /> <b>Vincent Conitzer: <a href="">Efficient Algorithms for Planning with Participation Constraints</a></b> (pdf, 12934 words)<br /> <div>We consider the problem of planning with participation constraints introduced in [Zhang et al., 2022]. In this problem, a principal chooses actions in a Markov decision process, resulting in separate utilities for the principal and the agent. However, the agent can and will choose to end the process whenever his expected onward utility becomes negative. The principal seeks to compute and commit to a policy that maximizes her expected utility, under the constraint that the agent should always want to continue participating. We provide the first polynomial-time exact algorithm for this problem for finite-horizon settings, where previously only an additive ? -approximation algorithm was known. Our approach can also be extended to the (discounted) infinite-horizon case, for which we give an algorithm that runs in time polynomial in the size of the input and log(1/?), and returns a policy that is optimal up to an additive error of ?.</div><br /> Articles and blog posts found on 15 May 20222022-05-15T23:59:00Z2022-05-15T23:59:00ZPhilosophical,2022-05-15://<b>Carter Dillard: <a href="">Constituting Over Constitutions</a></b> (pdf, 13278 words)<br /> <div>In philosophy, legal theory and law, the <i>Grundnorm</i>, or basic norm, is often assumed to be the constitution, or that which overrides other norms. That is incorrect. This paper argues that the <i>Grundnorm</i> should be the norm which regulates human procreation. This norm must proceed from the theoretical absence of human power, or a zero baseline. This essay attempts to correct the <i>Grundnorm</i> fallacy with what will be called the Zero-Baseline Model. The correction reorients our human rights regimes and family planning systems, in ways that lead to an inevitable list of specific policy reforms that largely invert current family planning models and policies in use at the United Nations, European Union, the United States, and elsewhere. Those reforms can all be described in a simple narrative of reorienting family planning laws and policies from what would-be parents desire, subjectively, towards what all future children need, objectively. And as the evidence shows, those reforms prove highly effective and much more efficient in promoting child welfare, reducing economic and other inequalities, mitigating the climate and other ecological crises, protecting non-humans, and building democracy, than their alternatives.</div><br /> <b>Daniel A. Herrmann, Jacob VanDrunen: <a href="">Sifting the Signal from the Noise</a></b> (pdf, 5254 words)<br /> <div>Signalling games are useful for understanding how language emerges. In the standard models the dynamics in some sense already knows what the signals are, even if they do not yet have meaning. In this paper we relax this assumption, and develop a simple model we call an ‘attention game’ in which agents have to learn which feature in their environment is the signal. We demonstrate that simple reinforcement learning agents can still learn to coordinate in contexts in which (i) the agents do not already know what the signal is and (ii) the other features in the agents’ environment are uncorrelated with the signal. Furthermore, we show that, in cases in which other features are correlated with the signal, there is a surprising trade-off between learning what the signal is, and success in action. We show that the mutual information between a signal and a feature plays a key role in governing the accuracy and attention of the agent.</div><br /> <b>David Kinney, Christopher Kempes: <a href="">Epistemology and Anomaly Detection in Astrobiology</a></b> (pdf, 12907 words)<br /> <div>We examine the epistemological foundations of a leading technique in the search for evidence of life on exosolar planets. Specifically, we consider the “transit method” for spectroscopic analysis of exoplanet atmospheres, and the practice of treating anomalous chemical compositions of the atmospheres of exosolar planets as indicators of the potential presence of life. We propose a methodology for ranking the anomalousness of atmospheres that uses the mathematical apparatus of support vector machines, and which aims to be agnostic with respect to the particular chemical biosignatures of life. We argue that our approach is justified by an appeal to the “hinge” model of epistemic justification first proposed by Wittgenstein (1969). We then compare our approach to previous work due to Walker et al. (2018) and Cleland (2019a, 2019b).</div><br /> <b>Franklin Jacoby: <a href="">Exploratory Modeling and Indeterminacy in the Search for Life</a></b> (pdf, 10898 words)<br /> <div>The aim of this article is to use a model from the origin of life studies to provide some depth and detail to our understanding of exploratory models by suggesting that some of these models should be understood as indeterminate. Models that are indeterminate are a type of exploratory model and therefore have extensive potential and can prompt new lines of research. They are distinctive in that, given the current state of scientific understanding, we cannot specify how and where the model will be useful in understanding the natural world: in this case, the origin of life on Earth. The purpose of introducing indeterminacy is to emphasize the epistemic uncertainty associated with modeling, a feature of this practice that has been under emphasized in the literature in favor of attempts to understand the more specific epistemic successes afforded by models.</div><br /> <b>James Woodward: <a href="">Responses</a></b> (pdf, 10805 words)<br /> <div>Katrina Elliott and Marc Lange (hereafter EL) have many, many objections to my flagpole paper. For reasons of space I will not address all of these but I will say that in my judgment their unaddressed objections are also unpersuasive. One general issue raised by EL concerns the logic of the inference to conclusions about causal direction. EL depict me as holding that causal conclusions can be inferred just from information about relative frequencies (or at least they suggest that this may be my view ).</div><br /> <b>James Woodward: <a href="">Flagpoles anyone? Causal and explanatory asymmetries</a></b> (pdf, 27464 words)<br /> <div>This paper discusses some procedures developed in recent work in machine learning for inferring causal direction from observational data. The role of independence and invariance assumptions is emphasized. Several familiar examples, including Hempel’s flagpole, problem are explored in the light of these ideas. The framework is then applied to problems having to do with explanatory direction in non-causal explanation.</div><br /> <b>Jiji Zhang: <a href="">On the unity between observational and experimental causal discovery</a></b> (pdf, 6458 words)<br /> <div>In “Flagpoles anyone? Causal and explanatory asymmetries”, James Woodward supplements his celebrated interventionist account of causation and explanation with a set of new ideas about causal and explanatory asymmetries, which he extracts from some cutting-edge methods for causal discovery from observational data. Among other things, Woodward draws interesting connections between observational causal discovery and interventionist themes that are inspired in the first place by experimental causal discovery, alluding to a sort of unity between observational and experimental causal discovery. In this paper, I make explicit what I take to be the implicated unity. Like experimental causal discovery, observational causal discovery also relies on interventions (or exogenous variations, to be more accurate), albeit interventions that are not carried out by investigators and hence need to be detected as part of the inference. The observational patterns appealed to in observational causal discovery are not only surrogates for <i>would-be</i> interventions, as Woodward sometimes puts it; they also serve to mark relevant interventions that <i>actually</i> happen in the data generating process. KEYWORDS: causal discovery; exogenous variation; intervention; interventionism; invariance; observational data.</div><br /> <b>Katrina Elliott, Marc Lange: <a href="">Running it up the flagpole to see if anyone salutes: A response to Woodward on causal and explanatory asymmetries</a></b> (pdf, 5948 words)<br /> <div>Does smoke cause fire or does fire cause smoke? James Woodward’s “Flagpoles anyone? Causal and explanatory asymmetries” argues that various statistical independence relations not only help us to uncover the directions of causal and explanatory relations in our world, but also are the worldly basis of causal and explanatory directions. We raise questions about Woodward’s envisioned epistemology, but our primary focus is on his metaphysics. We argue that any alleged connection between statistical (in)dependence and causal/explanatory direction is contingent, at best. The directions of causal/explanatory relations in our world seem not to depend on the statistical (in)dependence relations in our world (conceived of either as frequency patterns or as relations among chances). Thus, we doubt that statistical (in)dependence relations are the worldly basis of causal and explanatory directions. KEYWORDS: explanation; causation; asymmetry; counterfactual; invariance; interventionism; James Woodward.</div><br /> <b>Kun Zhang: <a href="">Computational causal discovery: Advantages and assumptions</a></b> (pdf, 6861 words)<br /> <div>I would like to congratulate James Woodward for another landmark accomplishment, after publishing his <i>Making Things Happen: A Theory of Causal Explanation</i> (Woodward, 2003). <i>Makes Things Happens</i> gives an elegant interventionist theory for understanding explanation and causation. The new contribution ( Woodward, 2022) relies on that theory and further makes a big step towards empirical inference of causal relations from non-experimental data. In this paper, I will focus on some of the emerging computational methods for finding causal relations from non-experimental data and attempt to complement Woodward’s contribution with discussions on 1) how these methods are connected to the interventionist theory of causality, 2) how informative the output of the methods is, including whether they output directed causal graphs and how they deal with confounders (unmeasured common causes of two measured variables), and 3) the assumptions underlying the asymptotic correctness of the output of the methods about causal relations. Different causal discovery methods may rely on different aspects of the joint distribution of the data, and this discussion aims to provide a technical account of the assumptions.</div><br /> <b>Rafael Ventura: <a href="">Structural Inequality in Collaboration Networks</a></b> (pdf, 9290 words)<br /> <div>Recent models of scientific collaboration show that minorities can end up at a disadvantage in bargaining scenarios. However, these models presuppose the existence of social categories. Here, we present a model of scientific collaboration in which inequality arises in the absence of social categories. We assume that all agents are identical except for the position that they occupy in the collaboration network. We show that inequality arises in the absence of social categories. We also show that this is due to the structure of the collaboration network and that similar patterns arise in two real-world collaboration networks.</div><br /> <b>Sina Fazelpour, Hannah Rubin: <a href="">Diversity and homophily in social networks</a></b> (pdf, 5621 words)<br /> <div>Diversity of social identities can improve the performance of groups through varied cognitive and communicative pathways. Recently, research efforts have focused on identifying when we should expect to see these potential benefits in real-world settings. While most research to date has studied this topic at individual and interpersonal levels, in this paper, we develop an agent-based model to explore how various aspects of homophily, the tendency of individuals to associate with similar others, affects performance at a larger scale. Study 1 examines how two types of homophily—identity-driven and opinion-driven—impact collective performance on a sequential decision-making task via modulating network formation and trust relations. Study 2 considers how the presence of identity-based conformity pressure can affect the findings from the first study. Overall, we find that the effect of homophily on performance is complex, depending on the operative dimensions of similarity, mediating pathways, and the specific outcome of interest. Finally, we discuss the implications of our results for policy interventions aiming to improve group performance.</div><br /> <b>Terence Rajivan Edward: <a href="">A metaphysical solution to the all-or-nothing problem</a></b> (pdf, 754 words)<br /> <div><i></i>In this paper, I present a metaphysical solution to the all-or-nothing problem, which rejects the description of the choices in favour of lower-level descriptions. Two children are drowning. You could take your boat and try to rescue them but that would be a significant risk to your life. So it is morally acceptable for you to do nothing. However, if you sail your boat out, then there is no extra cost in rescuing both. So it is morally acceptable to rescue both, but not to just rescue one. To leave the other child to drown: that would be very wrong. But then if it is morally acceptable for you to do nothing but not to rescue only one, then doing nothing is somehow morally better than rescuing one drowning child. You ought to do nothing rather than rescue only one. That is a counterintuitive conclusion. How, if at all, can we avoid that conclusion? Joe Horton devised this philosophical problem (2017), by adapting an example presented by Derek Parfit.</div><br /> Articles and blog posts found on 14 May 20222022-05-14T23:59:00Z2022-05-14T23:59:00ZPhilosophical,2022-05-14://<b>Eliot Michaelson: <a href="">The Vagaries of Reference</a></b> (pdf, 7281 words)<br /> <div>Evans (1973)’s Madagascar case and other cases like it have long been taken to represent a serious challenge for the Causal Theory of Names. The present essay answers this challenge on behalf of the causal theorist. The key is to treat acts of uttering names as events. Like other events, utterances of names sometimes turn out to have features which only become clear in retrospect.</div><br /> <b>Marvin Backes, Matti Eklund, Eliot Michaelson: <a href="">Should Moral Intuitionism Go Social?</a></b> (pdf, 7065 words)<br /> <div>In recent work, Bengson, Cuneo, and Shafer-Landau (2020) develop a new social version of moral intuitionism that promises to explain why our moral intuitions are trustworthy. In this brief note, we raise several worries for their account and present some general challenges for the broader class of views we call <i>Social Moral Intuitionism</i>. We close by reflecting on Bengson, Cuneo, and Shafer-Landau’s comparison between what they call the “perceptual practice” and the “moral intuition practice”, which we take to raise some difficult normative and meta-normative questions for theorists of all stripes.</div><br /> <b>Nilanjan Das: <a href="">Against Irrealism</a></b> (pdf, 6464 words)<br /> <div>The argument in the book is constructed in such a way that the reader could ‘get off the bus’ at the end of each chapter, without endorsing the more thorough-going anti-realism of the following chapter (in addition, the no-self theory described in the second chapter does not presuppose any of the irrealist conclusions of the first chapter). The destination arrived at the end of the fourth chapter is, I believe, a relatively accurate reconstruction of key Madhyamaka claims in a contemporary philosophical idiom. I believe this to be an attractive philosophical position for purely systematic reasons. Nevertheless, those who disagree might still find it interesting to discover how an ancient Indian philosophical tradition like Madhyamaka links up with key ideas in metaphysics, epistemology, the philosophy of language, and ethics that are at the centre of many philosophical debates of the present day. I hope that the reframing of some central Madhyamaka ideas using contemporary Western philosophical tools I attempted in this book will facilitate the better understanding of Madhyamaka, and that it may help us to see how ancient Indian and 21<sup>st</sup> century analytic philosophy might learn from one another.</div><br /> <b>Robert Pasnau: <a href="">Old Bad Attitudes</a></b> (pdf, 16617 words)<br /> <div>In the summer of 1401, a debate began that has continued more or less continuously ever since, concerning the place of women in a world that has been dominated by men. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the person who singlehandedly began this debate was a woman, Christine de Pizan, a widow with children living on the fringes of the French aristocracy, who until then had distinguished herself only as the author of conventional courtly poetry. In a series of fierce letters, Christine set out to pick a fight, and succeeding in starting a debate that continued for centuries under the heading of the “querelle des femmes.” Christine knew, in so doing, that she was breaking new intellectual ground, refusing to accept a judgment about the inferiority of women that, in her words, had been the conclusion of “nearly all the treatises of philosophers, poets, and orators too numerous to mention.” But Christine did not conceive of herself as a philosopher, and did not press her case through the scholastic approach of the universities. Her work has, accordingly, been generally neglected within philosophical circles.</div><br /> <b>Susan Vineberg: <a href="">Dutch Book Arguments</a></b> (html, 16385 words)<br /> <div>The Dutch Book argument (DBA) for probabilism (namely the view that an agent’s degrees of belief should satisfy the axioms of probability) traces to Ramsey’s work in “Truth and Probability”. He mentioned only in passing that an agent who violates the probability axioms would be vulnerable to having a book made against him and this has led to considerable debate and confusion both about exactly what Ramsey intended to show and about if, and how, a cogent version of the argument can be given. The basic idea behind the argument has also been applied in defense of a variety of principles, some of which place additional constraints on an agent’s current beliefs, with others, such as Conditionalization, purporting to govern how degrees of belief should evolve over time.</div><br /> Articles and blog posts found on 13 May 20222022-05-13T23:59:00Z2022-05-13T23:59:00ZPhilosophical,2022-05-13://<b>Birte Wrage: <a href="">Caring Animals and Care Ethics</a></b> (pdf, 10391 words)<br /> <div>Are there nonhuman animals who behave<i> morally</i>? In this paper I answer this question in the affirmative by applying the framework of care ethics to the animal morality debate. According to care ethics, empathic care is the wellspring of morality in humans. While there have been several suggestive analyses of nonhuman animals as empathic, much of the literature within the animal morality debate has marginalized analyses from the perspective of care ethics. In this paper I examine care ethics to extract its core commitments to what is required for moral care: emotional motivation that enables the intentional meeting of another’s needs, and forward-looking responsibility in particular relationships. What is not required, I argue, are metarepresentational capacities or the ability to scrutinize one’s reasons for action, and thus being retrospectively accountable. This minimal account of moral care is illustrated by moral practices of parental care seen in many nonhuman animal species. In response to the worry that parental care in nonhuman animals lacks all evaluation and is therefore nonmoral I point to cultural differences in human parenting and to normativity in nonhuman animals.</div><br /> <b>Clotilde Torregrossa: <a href="">Experimental Aesthetics and Conceptual Engineering</a></b> (pdf, 8200 words)<br /> <div>Experimental Philosophy (X-Phi) is now a fully-fledged methodological project with applications in almost all areas of analytic philosophy, including, as of recently, aesthetics. Another methodological project which has been attracting attention in the last few years is conceptual engineering (CE). Its areas of implementation are now diverse, but as was the case initially with experimental philosophy, aesthetics has unfortunately been left out (or perhaps aestheticians have failed to pay attention to CE) until now. In this paper, I argue that if conceptual engineers are interested in expanding their project to the field of aesthetics, which would greatly benefit the field, then they should rely on the existing experimental work of aestheticians.</div><br /> <b>David Bourget, Angela Mendelovici: <a href="">Is Narrow Content ’s &#34;Narrow Content&#34; Narrow Content?</a></b> (pdf, 8475 words)<br /> <div>Internalism about mental content is, roughly, the view that there is a kind of mental content—narrow content—that is determined by a subject’s internal state. Over the past few decades, philosophers have developed a variety of arguments for and against internalism, including arguments from intuitions about possible cases, causal efficacy, privileged access, and the psychological roles of contentful states. Juhani Yli-Vakkuri and John Hawthorne’s Narrow Content offers an exceptionally rigorous treatment of this topic. It advances the bold thesis that all versions of internalism are either false or “pointless”—that is, roughly, of no interest. This overarching conclusion is pursued by exploring various possible regimentations of the internalist thesis. In the process, Y&amp;H rule out many variations on the internalist view, which constitutes solid progress on multiple fronts.</div><br /> <b>Federico Laudisa: <a href=",%20How%20and%20When%20Did%20Locality%20Become%20Local%20Realism.docx">When Did Locality Become ‘Local Realism’? A Historical and Critical Analysis (1963­1978)</a></b> (doc, 16575 words)<br /> <div>The history of the debates on the foundational implications of the Bell non­locality theorem displayed very soon a tendency to put the theorem in a perspective that was not entirely motivated by its very assumptions, in particular in term of a ‘local­realistic’ narrative, according to which a major target of the theorem would be the very possibility to conceive quantum theory as a theory concerning ‘real’ stuff in the world out­there. I present here a historico­critical analysis of the stages, between 1963 and 1978, through which the locality condition of the original Bell theorem almost undiscernibly turned into a ‘local realism’ condition, a circumstance which too often has affected the analysis of how serious the consequences of the Bell theorem turn out to be. In particular, the analysis puts into focus the interpretive oscillations and inconsistencies that emerge in the very descriptions that many leading figures provided themselves of the deep work they devoted to the theorem and its consequences.</div><br /> <b>Guy Longworth, Simon Wimmer: <a href="">Cook Wilson on knowledge and forms of thinking</a></b> (pdf, 11646 words)<br /> <div>John Cook Wilson is an important predecessor of contemporary knowledge first epistemologists: among other parallels, he claimed that knowledge is indefinable. We reconstruct four arguments for this claim discernible in his work, three of which find no clear analogues in contemporary discussions of knowledge first epistemology. We pay special attention to Cook Wilson’s view of the relation between knowledge and forms of thinking (like belief). Claims of Cook Wilson’s that support the indefinability of knowledge include: that knowledge, unlike belief, straddles an active/passive divide; that, rather than entailing belief, knowledge excludes belief; and that understanding forms of thinking other than knowledge (such as belief) depends on understanding knowledge. Reflecting on Cook Wilson’s framework highlights underappreciated concerns relevant to any attempt to define knowledge.</div><br /> <b>JTM Miller: <a href="">There are no uninstantiated words</a></b> (pdf, 2451 words)<br /> <div>Kaplan (1990; 2011) argues that there are no unspoken words. Hawthorne and Lepore (2011) put forward examples that purport to show that there can be such words. Here, I argue that Kaplan is correct, if we grant him a minor variation. While Hawthorne and Lepore might be right that there can be <i>unspoken</i> words, I will argue that they fail to show that there can be <i>uninstantiated</i> words.</div><br /> <b>Joseph Taigen: <a href="">The Key</a></b> (pdf, 1687 words)<br /> <div>I returned home after lunch, at the usual place, taking the metro and then walking to my street a little, trying to avoid most of the dangers and traps that the city invariably offers us, whether because of the economic, cultural or because of the thirst I find in her to get something, something that is to survive and make ends meet and at least get to work. I was on a very psychotic wave, but I took my pills, one in the morning, two at night, with dinner, but I was essentially looking for the idea of going to New York to defend my thesis, either in Portuguese or in English. Later I realized that, whether in one language or another, I would be bullied, humiliated, even, but I kept insisting on the idea of freeing myself from medicines and tobacco. Later I realized that this was the reason why a Brazilian woman had left me planted in my place of travel. I realized, therefore, that most people do not understand who takes psychotropic drugs, especially a stranger who approaches them. Then I got home and there I noticed that I had dropped the key from my shorts pocket, so I rang the bells</div><br /> <b>Justin Mooney: <a href="">Criteria of Identity Without Sortals</a></b> (doc, 10895 words)<br /> <div>All ordinary objects should be treated like children. A child can cease to be a child without ceasing to exist. That is what happens when it grows into an adult. Similarly, I believe that a clay statue can cease to be a statue without ceasing to exist, which is what happens when it is squashed into an amorphous lump; a car can cease to be a car without ceasing to exist, which is what happens when it is crushed into a block of scrap metal; and a person can cease to be a person without ceasing to exist, which is what happens when a person dies and becomes a corpse. I will call this view 1 These examples are taken from the literature. The statue/lump case and the person/corpse case are widely discussed. The car/block of scrap metal case is from Hirsch (1982: 25­26). Roughly, an object is ordinary if and only if it is an object of a sort that the folk countenance. Admittedly, folk acceptance of objects of a given sort is probably best viewed as falling along a spectrum, rather than being a binary property.</div><br /> <b>Lorenzo Casini, Jürgen Landes: <a href="">Confirmation by Robustness Analysis: A Bayesian Account</a></b> (pdf, 21423 words)<br /> <div>Some authors claim that minimal models have limited epistemic value (Fumagalli, ; Grüne-Yanoff, 2009a). Others defend the epistemic benefits of modelling by invoking the role of robustness analysis for hypothesis confirmation (see, e.g., Levins, ; Kuorikoski et al., 2010) but such arguments find much resistance (see, e.g., Odenbaugh &amp; Alexandrova, 2011). In this paper, we offer a Bayesian rationalization and defence of the view that robustness analysis can play a confirmatory role, and thereby shed light on the potential of minimal models for hypothesis confirmation.</div><br /> <b>Mark Fabian, Anna Alexandrova: <a href="">Democratising Measurement: or Why Thick Concepts Call for Coproduction</a></b> (pdf, 12046 words)<br /> <div>Thick concepts, namely those concepts that describe and evaluate simultaneously, present a challenge to science. Since science does not have a monopoly on value judgments, what is responsible research involving such concepts? Using measurement of wellbeing as an example, we first present the options open to researchers wishing to study phenomena denoted by such concepts. We argue that while it is possible to treat these concepts as technical terms, or to make the relevant value judgment in-house, the responsible thing to do, especially in the context of public policy, is to make this value judgment through a legitimate political process that includes all the stakeholders of this research. We then develop a participatory model of measurement based on the ideal of co-production. To show that this model is feasible and realistic, we illustrate it with a case study of co-production of a concept of thriving conducted by the authors in collaboration with a UK anti-poverty charity Turn2us.</div><br /> <b>Martin Smith: <a href="">Risky Belief</a></b> (pdf, 9990 words)<br /> <div><i>Closure principles</i> in epistemology state that some positive epistemic status – such as knowledge or justification – is closed under a given logical operation or relation. One of the most discussed closure principles states that justification is closed under conjunction: If one justifiably believes P1 and justifiably believes P2 … and justifiably believes Pn, then one has justification for believing P1  P2  …  Pn. Call this <i>Justification Conjunction Closure</i> (JCC) . While many have found this principle attractive , there is a powerful reason for rejecting it – conjunction <i>aggregates the risk of falsity</i>. That is, a conjunction (in general) is at a higher risk of falsity than its individual conjuncts.</div><br /> <b>Michał Gil Sanchez, Zalán Gyenis: <a href="">Probability and Symmetric Lo Gi C</a></b> (pdf, 6586 words)<br /> <div>In this paper we study the interaction between symmetric logic and probability. In particular, we axiomatize the convex hull of the set of evaluations of symmetric logic, yielding the notion of probability in symmetric logic. This answers an open problem of Williams [12] and Paris [8].</div><br /> <b>Patrick Todd: <a href="">Foreknowledge requires determinism</a></b> (pdf, 13320 words)<br /> <div>There is a longstanding argument that purports to show that divine foreknowledge is inconsistent with human freedom to do otherwise. Proponents of this argument, however, have for some time been met with the following reply: the argument posits what would have to be a mysterious <i>non-causal constraint</i> on freedom. In this paper, I argue that this objection is misguided – not because after all there can indeed be non-causal constraints on freedom (as in Pike, Fischer, and Hunt), but because the success of the incompatibilist’s argument does not <i>require</i> the real possibility of non-causal constraints on freedom. I contend that the incompatibilist’s argument is best seen as <i>showing</i> that, given divine foreknowledge, <i>something</i> makes one unfree – and that this something is most plausibly identified, not with the foreknowledge itself, but with the causally deterministic factors that would have to be in place in order for there to be infallible foreknowledge in the first place.</div><br /> <b>Paul Studtmann, Shyam Gouri-Suresh: <a href="">Multiple Moralities</a></b> (doc, 7284 words)<br /> <div>In this paper, we provide a game theoretic examination of indirect utilitarianism by comparing the expected payoffs of attempts to apply a deontological principle and a utilitarian principle within the context of the Prisoner’s Dilemma (PD). Although many of the best-known utilitarians and consequentialists have accepted some indirect form of their respective views, the results in this paper suggest that they have been overly quick to dismiss altogether the benefits of directly enacting utilitarian principles. We show that for infallible moral agents, what we call ‘non-autonomous agents’, direct utilitarianism dominates indirect utilitarianism via deontology in terms of achieving the maximized utilitarian outcome, but only in underlying games where the maximized utilitarian outcome involves unequal payoffs. In other situations, indirect utilitarianism implemented through Kantian deontology either ties or dominates direct utilitarianism in terms of achieving the maximized utilitarian outcome. We also examine the two different moralities on the assumption that fallibility, which is a form of autonomy, is an aspect of moral agency by introducing <i>Endogenized Morality Models (EMM’s)</i>. We believe that just as indirect utilitarians worry about the cost of applying moral principles, so too they should worry about the fact that humans have both pro-social and materialistically selfish motivations and hence are fallible moral agents. We show that there are conditions under which fallible autonomous utilitarians achieve higher expected material and psychic payoffs than fallible autonomous deontologists and conditions under which they do not.</div><br /> <b>Shi Qiu: <a href="'s%20paper.docx">The Aesthetic Connotation of Techniques Associated with Tao</a></b> (doc, 2206 words)<br /> <div>A lot of fables in <i>Chuang Tzu</i> interpret techniques, where the combination of techniques and “Tao” is aimed at freeing people from mere technical labor and preventing them from being alienated. The fables <i>Ziqing Carved a Bell Stand with Wood</i> and <i>The Cook Named Ding Cuts up an Ox</i> are taken as examples in this paper, in which, just like in other fables touching upon techniques, the unity of Tao and techniques is promoted to facilitate the return of souls to the true nature and accomplish the technical labor with spiritual freedom and pleasure as the ultimate goal.</div><br /> <b>Ten-Herng Lai: <a href="">Objectionable Commemorations, Historical Value, and Repudiatory Honouring</a></b> (pdf, 5142 words)<br /> <div>Many have argued that certain statues or monuments are objectionable, and thus ought to be removed. Even if their arguments are compelling, a major obstacle is the apparent historical value of those commemorations. Preservation in some form seems to be the best way to respect the value of commemorations as connections to the past or opportunities to learn important historical lessons. Against this, I argue that we have exaggerated the historical value of objectionable commemorations. Sometimes commemorations connect to biased or distorted versions of history, if not mere myths. We can also learn historical lessons through what I call repudiatory honouring: the honouring of certain victims or resistors that can only make sense if the oppressor(s) or target(s) of resistance are deemed unjust, where no part of the original objectionable commemorations is preserved. This type of commemorative practice can even help to overcome some of the obstacles objectionable commemorations pose against properly connecting to the past.</div><br /> <b>Victor Excelcius: <a href="">New Treaty on Understanding Reform</a></b> (pdf, 9728 words)<br /> <div>So what do we live for? What is the value of life? Is there a path through philosophy, like others such as biography, biology, the common sense path? Is finitude the defining criterion of “how to live life”? Does this awareness of finitude prevent us from living it? Yes, how should life be lived? And is there any moral purpose in this precept of the mind? If science better seeks the human condition through the study of human discourses and behaviors, human and social science, where to insert and how to understand madness and unreason? At least we have these two variables, which, more or less accidentally, man attends to and scientist understands. But what becomes of the philosopher in this “social” frame? Society is subsumed under divinity, is it not also a totality of human manifestations? Is not man the forgotten, decentered center of philosophy? Is not the journey of the spirit a strictly spiritual achievement? And what is is not also mental? Does man not need to run away from himself in order to find himself, without having to invent happiness in (minimum) traveled, recurring spaces, in a certain space of greater dimensions such as the city? The city, moreover, is a medina, in our view.</div><br /> <b>Şerife Tekin: <a href=",%20Tekin,%20PIO,%202022.pdf">Participatory Interactive Objectivity in Psychiatry</a></b> (pdf, 5102 words)<br /> <div>This paper challenges the exclusion of patients from epistemic practices in psychiatry by examining the creation and revision processes of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), a document produced by the American Psychiatric Association that identifies the properties of mental disorders and thereby guides research, diagnosis, treatment, and various administrative tasks. It argues there are epistemic – rather than exclusively social/political – reasons for including patients in the DSM revision process. Individuals with mental disorders are indispensable resources to enhance psychiatric epistemology, especially in the context of the crisis, controversy, and uncertainty surrounding mental health research and treatment.</div><br /> Articles and blog posts found on 12 May 20222022-05-12T23:59:00Z2022-05-12T23:59:00ZPhilosophical,2022-05-12://<b>Alan Nelson, Jill Buroker: <a href="">Port Royal Logic</a></b> (html, 11731 words)<br /> <div><i>La Logique ou l’art de penser</i> (<i>Logic, or the Art of Thinking</i>) is better known as the <i>Port-Royal Logic</i> (hereinafter <i>Logic</i>). It was one of the most influential pieces of philosophy written in the early modern period. This influence took two main forms. It was in many ways the most widely read text in formal logic from Aristotle to the end of the nineteenth century. It emphasized general principles of careful thinking over the memorization of complicated formal rules found in traditional texts. The result is a relatively compact work written in vernacular instead of the imposing Latin tomes otherwise available.</div><br /> <b>Andrew Wayne: <a href="">Explanatory asymmetry in non‐causal explanation</a></b> (pdf, 9325 words)<br /> <div>The problem of explanatory asymmetry remains a serious challenge for non‐causal accounts of explanation. This paper proposes a novel solution, and it does so by appealing to the theoretical context in which an explanation is offered. The paper develops the problem of explanatory asymmetry for non‐causal dependency accounts of explanation, focusing specifically on Alexander Reutlinger’s Counterfactual Theory of Explanation and recent work by Marc Lange and Lina Jansson. It defends the idea that nomological possibility with respect to a global theory is the right constraint on explanation, and it shows how this breaks the apparent symmetry in counterfactual dependence that is the source of the problem. This solution appeals to theoretical context, and the paper develops and defends the version of contextualism in explanation that is required.</div><br /> <b>John Tasioulas, Guglielmo Verdirame: <a href="">Philosophy of International Law</a></b> (html, 15671 words)<br /> <div>The English phrase “international law” was first coined by the utilitarian philosopher, Jeremy Bentham (Janis 1984). But philosophical engagement with international legal themes stretches back to writings on natural law in ancient Greece and Rome. Philosophers in this tradition—such as Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, and the Stoics—advanced the idea of a universal normative order over and above the laws and customs found in particular societies that is discoverable through the exercise of ordinary human, or “natural”, reason (Nussbaum 2019: 18–96). In the Middle Ages, Christian beliefs framed the idea of normative universalism which, at times, was cynically deployed to justify the wrongs of Christian rulers but, at its best, provided the basis for subjecting their conduct to moral censure, as the criticisms of the <i>Conquistadores</i> in some of the Spanish Scholastics illustrate (Pagden 2003; Pagden &amp; Lawrence 1991).</div><br /> <b>Leonardo Bich, Derek Skillings: <a href="">There are no intermediate stages: An organizational view on development</a></b> (pdf, 10443 words)<br /> <div>organisms. These accounts may address how complex forms are generated, the origin of differentiation and morphological variation, growth, regeneration, metamorphosis, and other related phenomena. (see for example Muller &amp; Newman, 2003). In some cases, development is identified with any changes taking place throughout the entire life cycle of an organism, including phenomena such as the production of new blood cells or senescence (Gilbert &amp; Barresi, 2018).</div><br /> <b>Rafael Ventura: <a href="">Signaling in an Unknown World</a></b> (pdf, 9893 words)<br /> <div>This paper proposes a sender-receiver model to explain two large-scale patterns observed in natural languages: Zipf’s inverse power law relating the frequency of word use and word rank, and the negative correlation between the frequency of word use and rate of lexical change. Computer simulations show that the model recreates Zipf’s inverse power law and the negative correlation between signal frequency and rate of change, provided that agents balance the rates with which they invent new signals and forget old ones. Results are robust across a wide range of parameter values and structural assumptions, such as different forgetting rules and forgetting rates. Analysis of the model further suggests that Zipf’s law relating word frequency and rank arises because of language-external factors and that frequent signals change less because frequent signals are less subject to drift than rare ones. The paper concludes with some brief considerations on model-based and data-driven approaches in philosophy.</div><br /> <b>Roderich Tumulka: <a href="">Limitations to Genuine Measurements in Ontological Models of Quantum Mechanics</a></b> (pdf, 1672 words)<br /> <div>Given an ontological model of a quantum system, a “genuine measurement,” as opposed to a quantum measurement, means an experiment that determines the value of a beable, i.e., of a variable that, according to the model, has an actual value in nature before the experiment. We prove a theorem showing that in every ontological model, it is impossible to measure all beables. Put differently, there is no experiment that would reliably determine the ontic state. This result shows that the positivistic idea that a physical theory should only involve observable quantities is too optimistic.</div><br /> <b>Samuel C. Fletcher, Galin Jones, Alexander Rothman: <a href=",%20What%20Is%20a%20Replication.pdf">Discussion: What Is a Replication?</a></b> (pdf, 4226 words)<br /> <div>Machery (2020) has recently proposed a “resampling” account of experimental replication to dissolve a debate in psychology about the relative merits of direct and conceptual replication. We argue that (i) on matters of replication’s function and typology, the resampling account is not substantially different from the functional account of replication extant in the literature; (ii) on what generalizations can be drawn from replications, the resampling account is too restrictive and relies on a misunderstanding of the relation between random sampling and generalizability; and (iii) Machery’s reading of the debate on the relative importance of direct and conceptual replication elides a deeper debate about values and the distribution of research resources in science.</div><br /> <b>Sara Green: <a href="">Philosophy of Systems and Synthetic Biology</a></b> (html, 19475 words)<br /> <div>This entry aims to clarify how systems and synthetic biology contribute to and extend discussions within philosophy of science. Unlike fields such as developmental biology or molecular biology, systems and synthetic biology are not easily demarcated by a focus on a specific subject area or level of organization. Rather, they are characterized by the development and application of mathematical, computational, and synthetic modeling strategies in response to complex problems and challenges within the life sciences. Proponents of systems and synthetic biology often stress the necessity of a perspective that goes beyond the scope of molecular biology and genetic engineering, respectively.</div><br /> <b>Uriah Kriegel: <a href="">The Value of Consciousness to the One Who Has It</a></b> (pdf, 11127 words)<br /> <div>There is a strong intuition that a zombie’s life is never good or bad <i>for the zombie</i>. This suggests that consciousness has a special role in making life good or bad for the one who lives it. What explains this? In this paper, I consider five possible explanations of the intuition that a zombie’s life is never worth living, plus the option of rejecting the intuition. I point out the considerable costs of each option, though making clear which option strikes me as least problematic.</div><br /> <b>Uwe Steinhoff: <a href="">For Free Speech, “Religious Offense,” and “Undermining Self-Respect”: A Reply to Bonotti and Seglow</a></b> (pdf, 8980 words)<br /> <div>Recent arguments trying to justify further free speech restrictions by appealing to harms that are allegedly serious enough to warrant such restrictions regularly fail to provide sufficient empirical evidence and normative argument. This is also true for the attempt made by Bonotti and Seglow. They offer no valid argument for their claim that it is wrong to direct “religiously offensive speech” at “unjustly disadvantaged” minorities (thereby allegedly undermining their “self-respect”), nor for their further claim that this is not the case when such speech is directed at “established majorities.” Moreover, their account has either counter-intuitive moral implications or succumbs to logical or pragmatic incoherence. Thus, they have not adduced convincing reasons to further restrict speech. In fact, some of the reasons for this failure provide, in turn, positive reasons in support of free speech. Two important (not new, but newly confirmed) reasons are that restricting free speech undermines both equal civic standing as well as fact-guided (as opposed to blindly ideological) policies. Free speech, in contrast, is indispensable for both.</div><br />