Philosophical Progress and blog posts found on 28 March 20232023-03-28T23:59:00Z2023-03-28T23:59:00ZPhilosophical,2023-03-28://<b>Samantha Matherne: <a href="">Aesthetic Humility: A Kantian Model</a></b> (doc, 10926 words)<br /> <div>Unlike its moral and intellectual counterparts, the virtue of aesthetic humility has been widely neglected. In order to begin filling in this gap, I argue that Kant’s aesthetics is a promising resource for developing a model of aesthetic humility. Initially, however, this may seem like an unpromising starting point as Kant’s aesthetics might appear to promote aesthetic arrogance instead. In spite of this <i>prima facie</i> worry, I claim that Kant’s aesthetics provides an illuminating model of aesthetic humility that sheds light not only on the self- and other-directed attitudes it involves, but also on how aesthetic humility can serve as a corrective to the vices of aesthetic arrogance and aesthetic servility. In addition to revealing the ways in which Kant’s aesthetics prizes humility rather than arrogance, I aim to show that the Kantian model of aesthetic humility can enrich our understanding of humility more generally and contribute to the on-going effort in aesthetics to analyze specific aesthetic virtues and vices.</div><br /> <b>The Brains Blog: <a href="">The Pragmatic Use of Metaphor in Empirical Psychology</a></b> (html, 965 words)<br /> <div>In this post, I explore how analogical modes of explanation have been used in empirical psychology to loop together data derived through experiments and descriptive explanation. Metaphor has been used to transcend the limitations of experiments on human subjects because it allows for framing higher-level interpretation of data through notions of purpose, constraints, and goals. &hellip;</div><br /> <b>Azimuth: <a href="">Chemistry and Invariant Theory</a></b> (html, 1971 words)<br /> <div>In an alternative history of the world, perhaps quantum mechanics could have been discovered by chemists following up on the theories of two mathematicians from the late 1800s: Sylvester, and Gordan. Both are famous for their work on invariant theory, which we would now call part of group representation theory. &hellip;</div><br /> Articles and blog posts found on 27 March 20232023-03-27T23:59:00Z2023-03-27T23:59:00ZPhilosophical,2023-03-27://<b>Marc Lange: <a href="">A new circularity in explanations by Humean laws of nature</a></b> (pdf, 8587 words)<br /> <div>Humean accounts of natural law have long been charged with being unable to account for the laws’ explanatory power in science. One form of this objection is to charge Humean accounts with explanatory circularity: a fact in the Humean mosaic helps to explain why some regularity is a law (first premise), but that law, in turn, helps to explain why that mosaic fact holds (second premise). To this objection, Humeans have replied that the explanation in the first premise is metaphysical whereas the explanation in the second premise is scientific, so (since these two varieties of explanation operate very differently) the two explanations cannot be chained together to yield explanatory circularity. This paper presents a new circularity argument that avoids this objection because both explanations in the premises are metaphysical. The new circularity argument also avoids the objection that the contrasts at the point where the two explanations are chained together fail to line up properly. The upshot is to leave the Humean account of law with two unattractive options: to regard scientific explanation under natural law as not constituting genuine explanation at all or to regard the Humean account as involving a vicious explanatory circularity.</div><br /> <b>The Brains Blog: <a href="">A Suspicious Science: The Uses of Psychology</a></b> (html, 800 words)<br /> <div>In A Suspicious Science, I analyze the epistemic context of the uses of psychology in contemporary society so as to develop an interdisciplinary, multi-level human science. I distinguish three uses of psychology: positivist-pragmatic empirical study, discursive therapeutic approaches which promote expressive individualism, and reflexive creative practices employed in the arts and the humanities. &hellip;</div><br /> <b>Alexander Pruss's Blog: <a href="">Asserting without intending to</a></b> (html, 373 words)<br /> <div>Intention seems essential to assertion. Thus, it seems that a necessary condition for assertion is an intention condition like: I intended my utterance u to be an assertion to you. But this is false. Suppose that I have promised to mail you my report on some matter. &hellip;</div><br /> Articles and blog posts found on 26 March 20232023-03-26T23:59:00Z2023-03-26T23:59:00ZPhilosophical,2023-03-26://<b>Anthony Cross: <a href="">Social Aesthetic Goods and Aesthetic Alienation</a></b> (pdf, 9337 words)<br /> <div>The aesthetic domain is a social one. We coordinate our individual acts of creation, appreciation, and performance with those of others in the context of social aesthetic practices. More strongly, many of the richest goods of our aesthetic lives are constitutively social—their value lies in the fact that individuals are engaged in joint aesthetic agency, that they are doing something <i>together</i>, which they understand as a cooperative and collaborative project that outstrips what can be realized alone.</div><br /> <b>Dorit Abusch, Mats Rooth: <a href="">Parallel and Differential Contributions from Language and Image in the Discourse Representation of Picturebooks</a></b> (pdf, 8174 words)<br /> <div>This paper proposes an account in Discourse Representation Theory of children’s picturebooks, combining language and image. The focus is on works where the language and image have a different pragmatic status, with the linguistic part of the book being prosaic and understated by comparison with the pictorial part. The effect of wryness and incongruity is analyzed in pragmatic terms.</div><br /> <b>Henrique Gomes, Jeremy Butterfield: <a href="">The Hole Argument and Beyond: Part II: Treating Non-isomorphic Spacetimes</a></b> (pdf, 18028 words)<br /> <div>In this two-part paper we review, and then develop, the assessment of the hole argument for general relativity. The review (in Part I) discussed how to compare points in isomorphic space-times, i.e. models of the theory. This second Part proposes a framework for making comparisons of non-isomorphic spacetimes. It combines two ideas we discussed in Part I—the philosophical idea of counterparts, and the idea of threading points between spacetimes other than by isomorphism—with the mathematics of fibre bundles. We first recall the ideas from Part I (Section 1). Then in Section 2 and an Appendix, we define a fibre bundle whose fibres are isomorphic copies of a given spacetime or model, and discuss connections on this fibre bundle. This material proceeds on analogy with field-space formulations of gauge theories. Finally, in Section 3, we show how this fibre bundle gives natural expressions of the philosophical ideas of counterparts, and of threading.</div><br /> <b>Henrique Gomes, Jeremy Butterfield: <a href="">The Hole Argument and Beyond: Part I: The Story so Far</a></b> (pdf, 19442 words)<br /> <div>In this two-part paper, we review, and then develop, the assessment of the hole argument for general relativity. This first Part reviews the literature hitherto, focussing on the philosophical aspects. It also introduces two main ideas we will need in Part II: which will propose a framework for making comparisons of non-isomorphic spacetimes. In Section 1 of this paper, we recall Einstein’s original argument. Section 2 recalls the argument’s revival by philosophers in the 1980s and 1990s. This includes the first main idea we will need in Part II: namely, that two spacetime points in different possible situations are never strictly identical—they are merely counterparts. In Section 3, we report—and rebut—more recent claims to “dissolve” the argument. Our rebuttal is based on the fact that in differential geometry, and its applications in physics such as general relativity, points are in some cases identified, or correspond with each other, between one context and another, by means other than isometry (or isomorphism). We call such a correspondence a threading of points. This is the second main idea we shall use in Part II.</div><br /> <b>Ichinose Masaki: <a href="">Risk, Precaution, and Causation</a></b> (pdf, 11088 words)<br /> <div>We are always exposed to harm, for it is utterly impossible to enjoy perfect safety. During the pandemic, we received vaccines, knowing that we might suffer from side effects. Still, we did so because we could expect inoculation from the virus. Besides the pandemic, when, say, we are walking on the street, we are exposed to the danger of being hit by a car or falling victim to some random act of violence. Even when we are quietly reading a book in the library, there is still the possibility of a massive earthquake, and especially so in some countries like Japan. Considerations of this kind must make us realize that we are living, strictly speaking, in a dangerous world, one where we do not know, in any exact sense, what will happen next. Many philosophers discuss this point by highlighting the fatal difficulty of making perfectly accurate predictions about the future. The problem lies in the intrinsic difference between the past and the future. For example, David Hume once clearly described this difference in the context of his arguments about our causal inferences based upon past experience.</div><br /> <b>Joe Coles: <a href="">Space-Time Normalisation in GRWf Theory</a></b> (pdf, 3386 words)<br /> <div><b></b> Roderich Tumulka’s GRWf theory offers a simple, realist and relativistic solution to the measurement problem of quantum mechanics. It is achieved by the introduction of a stochastic dynamical collapse of the wavefunction. An issue with dynamical collapse theories is that they involve an amendment to the Schrodinger equation; amending the dynamics of such a tried and tested theory is seen by some as problematic. This paper proposes an alteration to GRWf that avoids the need to amend the Schrodinger equation via what might be seen as a primary set of solutions to the Schrodinger equation that satisfy a normalisation condition over space and time. The traditional Born-normalised solutions are shown to be conditionalisations of these primary solutions.</div><br /> <b>Joel Krueger, Robert Hanna: <a href="">Editorial: The shape of lives to come</a></b> (pdf, 1207 words)<br /> <div>Hanna. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice.</div><br /> <b>Marcelo Fischborn: <a href=",%20Questions%20for%20a%20science%20of%20moral%20responsibility.pdf">Questions for a science of moral responsibility</a></b> (pdf, 7933 words)<br /> <div>In the last few decades, the literature on moral responsibility has been increasingly populated by scientific studies. Studies in neuroscience and psychology, in particular, have been claimed to be relevant for discussions about moral responsibility in a number of ways.</div><br /> <b>Marcelo Fischborn: <a href=",%20Libet-style%20experiments,%20neuroscience,%20and%20libertarian%20free%20will.pdf">Libet-style experiments, neuroscience, and libertarian free will</a></b> (pdf, 6562 words)<br /> <div>People have disagreed on the significance of Libet-style experiments for discussions about free will. In what specifically concerns free will in a libertarian sense, some argue that Libet-style experiments pose a threat to its existence by providing support to the claim that decisions are determined by unconscious brain events. Others disagree by claiming that determinism, in a sense that conflicts with libertarian free will, cannot be established by sciences other than fundamental physics. This paper rejects both positions. First, it is argued that neuroscience and psychology could in principle provide support for milder deterministic claims that would also conflict with libertarian free will. Second, it is argued that Libet-style experiments—due to some of their peculiar features, ones that need not be shared by neuro-science as a whole—currently do not (but possibly could) support such less demanding deterministic claims. The general result is that neuroscience and psychology could in principle undermine libertarian free will, but that Libet-style experiments have not done that so far.</div><br /> <b>Meghan Sullivan: <a href="">The Limits of ‘Longtermism’</a></b> (pdf, 427 words)<br /> <div>1. Sullivan begins by pondering what she would do with a billion dollars, but says the “longtermists” would think her ideas too small and misdirected. What would <i>you</i> do with a billion dollars? Would longtermists, using Sullivan’s criteria, approve of your plan? 2. Sullivan explains that longtermism is based on two assumptions. The first is utilitarianism, the idea that “measurable impact matters the most in ethics.” In your own philanthropy, how important are quantifiable results? 3. The FTX Future Fund argues that “now is the ‘crucial time in human history’ for shaping the future.” Sullivan points out that people throughout history (e.g., Archimedes, Oppenheimer) probably thought the same thing about their own times. Do you think our time is actually different from any other time before? Why or why not? 4. Sullivan believes trying to “lock in” one’s goals for the future is foolish, and even dangerous, since coming generations will not share all of our moral concerns. What ethical issues animated your parents but do not interest you? Which of our current concerns do you think the next generation will discard?</div><br /> <b>Michal Masny: <a href="">Extension and Replacement</a></b> (pdf, 9793 words)<br /> <div><b></b>Many people believe that it is better to extend the length of a happy life than to create a new happy life, even if the total welfare is the same in both cases. Despite the popularity of this view, one would be hard-pressed to find a fully compelling justification for it in the literature. This paper develops a novel account of why and when extension is better than replacement which applies not just to persons, but also to non-human animals and humanity as a whole.</div><br /> <b>Nicholas Allott, Deirdre Wilson: <a href="">Chomsky and pragmatics</a></b> (pdf, 7526 words)<br /> <div>Pragmatics is traditionally defined as the study of language use as opposed to language structure, but it is often more narrowly construed as the study of linguistic communication, or speaker’s meaning, or overtly intentional communication (whether verbal or non-verbal). It has been approached in a variety of ways: as an extension of formal grammar, or as a branch of philosophy, sociolinguistics or cognitive science (Ariel 2010; Huang 2017). The central problem for pragmatics is that what is communicated by use of an utterance may depart from, or go well beyond, the linguistically encoded meaning of the sentence uttered. As Chomsky (1995, 29) puts it, “If intuition is any guide, there seems to be a considerable gap between the semantic resources of language literally interpreted and thoughts expressed using them.” Pragmatic processes crucially rely on background or contextual information supplied by the hearer, which may significantly affect the outcome of the comprehension process.</div><br /> <b>Nicholas Allott, Terje Lohndal, Georges Rey: <a href="">Synoptic Introduction</a></b> (pdf, 9066 words)<br /> <div>Noam Chomsky is justly famous for his revolutionary contributions to linguistics, psychology and philosophy. He is presently in his 92nd year, and we thought it high time to provide an overview of the major achievements of his now more than sixty-year-old research program and its prospects for the future. This is particularly pressing in the light of persistent rumors, encouraged by a number of authors , that his program has proven bankrupt, “completely wrong” and has been replaced by various sorts of proposals in general statistical learning and “functionalist/constructionist” linguistic theories (which we return to below).</div><br /> <b>Niels de Haan: <a href="">Group agents, moral competence and duty-bearers: the update argument</a></b> (pdf, 13862 words)<br /> <div>According to some collectivists, purposive groups that lack decision-making procedures such as riot mobs, friends walking together, or the pro-life lobby can be morally responsible and have moral duties. I focus on plural subject- and we-mode-collectivism. I argue that purposive groups do not qualify as duty-bearers even if they qualify as agents on either view. To qualify as a duty-bearer, an agent must be morally competent. I develop the Update Argument. An agent is morally competent only if the agent has sufficient positive and negative control over updating their goal-seeking states. Positive control involves the general ability to update one’s goal-seeking states, whereas negative control involves the absence of other agents with the capacity to arbitrarily interfere with updating one’s goal-seeking states. I argue that even if purposive groups qualify as plural subjects or we-mode group agents, these groups necessarily lack negative control over updating their goal-seeking states. This creates a cut-off point for groups as duty-bearers: Organized groups may qualify as duty-bearers, whereas purposive groups <i>cannot</i> qualify as duty-bearers.</div><br /> <b>Philip Goff: <a href="">Should Panpsychists be Christians?</a></b> (pdf, 4178 words)<br /> <div>There is a divide in the panpsychist research community, perhaps somewhat reminiscent of the split in the original psychoanalytic movement between Jungians and Freudians. There are those, such as David Chalmers, Angela Mendelovici, and Luke Roelofs, Itay Shani, and myself, who do have certain convictions which may be called ‘spiritual,’ or at least which depart more radically from our standard naturalistic picture of reality than bog-standard panpsychism. I have just finished a book arguing that the universe has a purpose, for example.</div><br /> <b>Saurav Pandey, Junaid Majeed Bhat, Sheldon Goldstein, David A. Huse, Manas Kulkarni, Anupam Kundu: <a href="">Boltzmann entropy of a freely expanding quantum ideal gas</a></b> (pdf, 14265 words)<br /> <div>We study the time evolution of the Boltzmann entropy of a microstate during the non-equilibrium free expansion of a one-dimensional quantum ideal gas. This quantum Boltzmann entropy, SB, essentially counts the “number” of independent wavefunctions (microstates) giving rise to a specified macrostate. It generally depends on the choice of macrovariables, such as the type and amount of coarse-graining, specifying a non-equilibrium macrostate of the system, but its extensive part agrees with the thermodynamic entropy in thermal equilibrium macrostates. We examine two choices of macrovariables: the U - macrovariables are local observables in position space, while the f -macrovariables also include structure in momentum space. For the quantum gas, we use a non-classical choice of the f -macrovariables. For both choices, the corresponding entropies s <sub>B</sub> and s <sub>B</sub> grow and eventually saturate. As in the classical case, the growth rate of s <sub>B</sub> depends on the momentum coarse-graining scale. If the gas is initially at equilibrium and is then released to expand to occupy twice the initial volume, the per-particle increase in the entropy for the f -macrostate, ∆s <sub>B</sub>, satisfies log 2 ≤ ∆s B ≤ 2 log 2 for fermions, and 0 ≤ ∆s B ≤ log 2 for bosons. For the same initial conditions, the change in the entropy ∆s <sub>B</sub> for the U -macrostate is greater than ∆s <sub>B</sub> when the gas is in the quantum regime where the final stationary state is not at thermal equilibrium.</div><br /> <b>Sergio Cremaschi: <a href="">Naturalisation without naturalism: a prospect for metaethics</a></b> (pdf, 7136 words)<br /> <div>I discuss first the various meanings of naturalism in philosophy and then in ethics: that of American Naturalism, that of Dewey’s pragmatism, the sense of negation of Moore’s negation of naturalism, the neo-Aristotelian, and that of external realists. I will argue a fundamental heterogeneity of these meanings and add that the reasons for the apparent unity of a naturalist front in recent philosophical debates depend more on factors studied by the sociology of knowledge than philosophical reasons. I suggest one plausible naturalism, Aristotle’s and Dewey’s claim that moral good is not specifically moral. Finally, I add that scientific exploration programs into the biological bases of behaviour and coordination of behaviour within groups are promising but hardly ‘naturalistic’ and compatible with ethical intuitionism or Kantian ethics.</div><br /> <b>T. Parent: <a href="">Beall &amp; Cotnoir on Omnipotence</a></b> (pdf, 3106 words)<br /> <div>Can God create an unliftable stone? Beall &amp; Cotnoir have offered a new answer, suggesting that ‘God can create an unliftable stone’ is a truth-value gap--neither true nor false. I argue that their solution is susceptible to a revenge paradox, concerning whether God has the power to render the sentence non-gappy. More exactly, the revenge paradox concerns whether God has the power to realize the attribute &#34;having the power to create an unliftable stone or not.&#34; Assuming a being with all powers can realize that &#34;dilemma attribute,&#34; then in brief, it still follows that there is some possible task which God cannot perform. In reply, B&amp;C might suggest that the revenge paradox merely shows another truth-value gap--effectively, God neither has nor lacks the power to realize the dilemma attribute. But since I have the power to realize the attribute, God must as well. Beall &amp; Cotnoir might respond that God does not have such a power since, per Aquinas, some powers are contrary to God’s nature. Yet such an Aquinian suggestion is sufficient to block the original paradox, in which case, there is little motivation to proffer truth-value gaps in addition. I conclude that Beall &amp; Cotnoir do not provide a well-motivated solution to the paradox.</div><br /> <b>Teresa Pinto, Fernando Barbosa: <a href="">Psychopathy, Emotional Recognition, and Moral Judgment in Female Inmates</a></b> (pdf, 8294 words)<br /> <div>Despite the lower levels of psychopathy in women than in men, the scientific interest in studying psychopathy in female participants is increasing. Nevertheless, the number of studies investigating psychopathy in women and associated phenomena remains low. The influence of psychopathy in women inmates on experimental tasks of emotional recognition and moral judgment was evaluated, aiming to contribute to this field of research. Utilitarian moral judgment was predicted by psychopathy, specifically by primary and secondary psychopathy, while primary psychopathy predicted a worse performance on the emotional recognition task. There was no significant influence of general intellectual abilities on either task. Contrarily to what was expected, emotional recognition did not prove to be a significant mediator of the relationship between psychopathy and utilitarian moral judgment. These results emphasize that the tendency to utilitarian moral judgment and worse recognition of facial expressions of emotion are associated to higher psychopathy scores in female inmates (especially primary psychopathy), but more studies are necessary to address the role of the emotional component in the process of moral judgment.</div><br /> <b>Thomas Hale, Finlay Moorhouse, Research Scholar, Toby Ord, Senior Research Fellow, Anne-Marie Slaughter: <a href="">Toward a Declaration on Future Generations</a></b> (pdf, 10586 words)<br /> <div>War. A pandemic. Floods, droughts, storms, fires, and other climate impacts. Not to mention the persistence of extreme poverty and widespread lack of access to energy, food, and education. These challenges threaten to swamp even our medium-term plans — and highlight pressing shortcomings in our local, national, and global governance systems.</div><br /> <b>Tim Elmo Feiten: <a href="">The Map/Territory Relationship in Game-Theoretic Modeling of Cultural Evolution</a></b> (pdf, 5006 words)<br /> <div>The cultural red king effect occurs when discriminatory bargaining practices emerge because of a disparity in learning speed between members of a minority and a majority. This effect has been shown to occur in some Nash Demand Game models and has been proposed as a tool for shedding light on the origins of sexist and racist discrimination in academic collaborations. This paper argues that none of the three main strategies used in the literature to support the epistemic value of these models—structural similarity, empirical confirmation, and how-possibly explanations—provides strong support for this modeling practice in its present form.</div><br /> <b>Toby Ord: <a href="">Lessons from the Development of the Atomic Bomb</a></b> (pdf, 19566 words)<br /> <div>The creation of the atomic bomb is one of the most famous and well-studied examples of developing a transformative technology — one that changes the shape of human affairs. Teams of scientists and engineers in many different countries knew in advance that the technology may have tremendous implications for the world and strived to turn the idea into reality. The history of their projects provides many insights that may be useful as scientists and engineers today strive to develop new transformative technologies, such as artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, or nanotechnology.</div><br /> <b>Azimuth: <a href="">Four ‘Universes’</a></b> (html, 478 words)<br /> <div>This chart made by Toby Ord shows four things: • Everything we can observe now is the ‘observable universe’. • Everything we can ever observe if we stay here is the ‘eventually observable universe’. • Everything we can ever observe if we send spacecraft out in every direction at all speeds slower than light is the ‘ultimately observable universe’. &hellip;</div><br /> <b>John Danaher's blog: <a href="">Should harmful speech be restricted? More on Mill and Free Speech</a></b> (html, 4218 words)<br /> <div> Via FlickrA while ago, I wrote an extended analysis of John Stuart Mill's defence of free speech. As noted in that piece, Mill is not, as he is sometimes perceived to be, a free speech absolutist. He thinks you can restrict some forms of speech, particularly forms of speech that incite violence, amount to fraud or cause harm. &hellip;</div><br /> Articles and blog posts found on 25 March 20232023-03-25T23:59:00Z2023-03-25T23:59:00ZPhilosophical,2023-03-25://<b>Andrea Sangiovanni, Juri Viehoff: <a href="">Solidarity in Social and Political Philosophy</a></b> (html, 15353 words)<br /> <div>The term “solidarity” first becomes prevalent in the early- to late-nineteenth century in France. Since then, it has always been used to describe a special relationship of unity and mutual indebtedness within a group. The term’s origins lie in French legal usage, in which the Roman legal concept of an obligation <i>in solidum</i>—a joint contractual obligation in which each signatory declared himself liable for the debts of all together—long had a place in the French <i>code civile</i> (Blais 2007; Hayward 1959; Wildt 1999). Solidarity expands beyond its legal origins to become a central social and political concept in response to anxiety about the centrifugal, individualizing forces of commercial and industrial society.</div><br /> <b>wo's weblog: <a href="">Gustafsson on decision-making under ignorance</a></b> (html, 1450 words)<br /> <div>Gustafsson on decision-making under ignorance Posted on Friday, 24 Mar 2023. Decision theory textbooks often distinguish between decision-making under risk and decision-making under uncertainty or ignorance. &hellip;</div><br /> Articles and blog posts found on 24 March 20232023-03-24T23:59:00Z2023-03-24T23:59:00ZPhilosophical,2023-03-24://<b>James Fanciullo, Jesse Hill: <a href="">What’s Wrong With Virtue Signaling?</a></b> (pdf, 9809 words)<br /> <div>A novel account of virtue signaling and what makes it bad has recently been offered by Justin Tosi and Brandon Warmke. Despite plausibly vindicating the folk’s conception of virtue signaling as a bad thing, their account has recently been attacked by both Neil Levy and Evan Westra. According to Levy and Westra, virtue signaling actually supports the aims and progress of public moral discourse. In this paper, we rebut these recent defenses of virtue signaling. We suggest that virtue signaling only supports the aims of public moral discourse to the extent it is an instance of a more general phenomenon that we call <i>norm</i> signaling. We then argue that, if anything, virtue signaling will undermine the quality of public moral discourse by undermining the evidence we typically rely on from the testimony and norm signaling of others. Thus, we conclude, not only is virtue signaling not needed, but its epistemological effects warrant its bad reputation.</div><br /> <b>Stefan Teufel, Roderich Tumulka, Cornelia Vogel: <a href="">Typical Macroscopic Long-Time Behavior for Random Hamiltonians</a></b> (pdf, 17699 words)<br /> <div>We consider a closed macroscopic quantum system in a pure state ψt evolving unitarily and take for granted that different macro states correspond to mutually orthogonal subspaces Hν (macro spaces) of Hilbert space, each of which has large dimension. We extend previous work on the question what the evolution of ψt looks like macroscopically, specifically on how much of ψ<sub>t</sub> lies in each Hν . Previous bounds concerned the absolute error for typical ψ and/or t and are valid for arbitrary Hamiltonians H; now, we provide bounds on the relative error, which means much tighter bounds, with probability close to 1 by modeling H as a random matrix, more precisely as a random band matrix (i.e., where only entries near the main diagonal are significantly nonzero) in a basis aligned with the macro spaces. We exploit particularly that the eigenvectors of H are delocalized in this basis. Our main mathematical results confirm the two phenomena of generalized normal typicality (a type of long-time behavior) and dynamical typicality (a type of similarity within the ensemble of ψ from an initial macro space). They are based on an extension we prove of a no-gaps delocalization result for random matrices by Rudelson and Vershynin [32].</div><br /> <b>Alexander Pruss's Blog: <a href="">Rightness fetishism and intentional aiming</a></b> (html, 931 words)<br /> <div>For a long time I’ve had an odd fascination with cases where you have to intentionally aim at something that is neither your end nor a means to your end. The first case to come to my mind was something like this: Let’s say you want to send a nerve signal from your brain to your forearm (e.g., maybe you are hooked up to a device that detects these nerve signals and dispenses chocolate covered almonds). &hellip;</div><br /> <b>Scott Aaronson's blog: <a href="">Xavier Waintal responds (tl;dr Grover is still quadratically faster)</a></b> (html, 1650 words)<br /> <div>« Of course Grover’s algorithm offers a quantum advantage! Xavier Waintal responds (tl;dr Grover is still quadratically faster) This morning Xavier Waintal, coauthor of the new arXiv preprint “””refuting””” Grover’s algorithm, which I dismantled here yesterday, emailed me a two-paragraph response. &hellip;</div><br /> Articles and blog posts found on 22 March 20232023-03-22T23:59:00Z2023-03-22T23:59:00ZPhilosophical,2023-03-22://<b>: <a href="">A defense of the veritist account of the goal of inquiry</a></b> (pdf, 4383 words)<br /> <div>Veritists hold that the goal of inquiry is true belief, while justificationists contend that the goal of inquiry is justified belief. Recently, Christoph Kelp makes two new objections to both veritism and justificationism. Further, he claims that the two objections suggest that the goal of inquiry is knowledge. This paper defends a sophisticated version of veritism against Kelp’s two objections.</div><br /> <b>Alon Hafri, E.J. Green, Chaz Firestone: <a href="">Compositionality in Visual Perception</a></b> (pdf, 2266 words)<br /> <div>Quilty-Dunn et al.’s wide-ranging defense of LoT argues that vision traffics in abstract, structured representational formats. We agree: Vision, like language, is <i>compositional—</i>just as words compose into phrases, many visual representations contain discrete constituents that combine in systematic ways. Here, we amass evidence extending this proposal, and explore its implications for how vision interfaces with the rest of the mind. The world we see is populated by colors, textures, edges, and countless other visual features. Yet we see more than a collection of features: we also see whole objects, and relations within and between those objects. How are these entities represented? Here, we advance the case for LoT-like representation in perception. We argue that at least two types of visual representations are compositional, and we explore their connections with the rest of the mind.</div><br /> <b>Eric Pacuit, Wesley H. Holliday: <a href="">Stable Voting</a></b> (pdf, 6084 words)<br /> <div>We propose a new single-winner voting system using ranked ballots: Stable Voting. The motivating principle of Stable Voting is that if a candidate <i>A</i> would win without another candidate <i>B</i> in the election, and <i>A</i> beats <i>B</i> in a head-to-head majority comparison, then <i>A</i> should still win in the election with <i>B</i> included (unless there is another candidate <i>A</i> who has the same kind of claim to winning, in which case a tiebreaker may choose between such candidates). We call this principle Stability for Winners (with Tie-breaking). Stable Voting satisfies this principle while also having a remarkable ability to avoid tied outcomes in elections even with small numbers of voters.</div><br /> <b>Kyle Singh: <a href="">Redundancies and Profundities</a></b> (pdf, 5609 words)<br /> <div>We reevaluate the status of the gauge principle and reposition it as an intermediary structure dependent on the initial conditions we endow on our theory. We explore how the gauge symmetry manifests in the context of basic quantum electrodynamics, spontaneous symmetry breaking and the modern scattering amplitudes program. We also investigate the addition of an auxiliary field in φ theory and see how the dynamics are altered. Modal language is pointed to and utilized as a convenient way to articulate the weight gauge symmetry demands in our theories as well as the principles of locality and Lorentz invariance. A shifting scale ontology is introduced with regards to the gauge principle and other structures of Quantum Field Theory in general.</div><br /> <b>Markus Kneer, Markus Christen: <a href="">Responsibility Gaps and Retributive Dispositions: Evidence from the US, Japan and Germany</a></b> (pdf, 7171 words)<br /> <div>Danaher (2016) has argued that increasing robotization can lead to <i>retribution gaps</i>: Situation in which the normative fact that nobody can be justly held responsible for a harmful outcome stands in conflict with our retributivist moral dispositions. In this paper, we report a cross-cultural empirical study based on Sparrow’s (2007) famous example of an autonomous weapon system committing a war crime, which was conducted with participants from the US, Japan and Germany. We find that (i) people manifest a considerable willingness to hold autonomous systems morally responsible, (ii) partially exculpate human agents when interacting with such systems, and that more generally (iii) the possibility of normative responsibility gaps is indeed at odds with people’s pronounced retributivist inclinations. We discuss what these results mean for potential implications of the retribution gap and other positions in the responsibility gap literature.</div><br /> <b>Mogens Lærke: <a href="">Nathaniel Culverwell’s Stoic Theory of Common Notions</a></b> (pdf, 8832 words)<br /> <div>This chapter takes a closer look at the doctrine of common notions and universal consent developed by Nathaniel Culverwell (1619–51) in his <i>Elegant and Learned Discourse of the Light of Nature</i>, a work based on lectures delivered at Cambridge in 1645–46, but only published posthumously in 1652, followed by three additional editions in 1654, 1661, and 1669.</div><br /> <b>Mostapha Diss, Eric Kamwa, Abdelmonaim Tlidi: <a href="">On Some k-scoring Rules for Committee Elections: Agreement and Condorcet Principle</a></b> (pdf, 12336 words)<br /> <div>Given a collection of individual preferences on a set of candidates and a desired number of winners, a multi-winner voting rule outputs groups of winners, which we call committees. In this paper, we consider five multi-winner voting rules widely studied in the literature of social choice theory: the <i>k</i>-Plurality rule, the <i>k</i>-Borda rule, the <i>k</i>-Negative Plurality rule, the Bloc rule, and the Chamberlin-Courant rule. The objective of this paper is to provide a comparison of these multi-winner voting rules according to some principles by taking into account a probabilistic approach using the well-known Impartial Anonymous Culture (IAC) assumption. We first evaluate the probability that each pair of the considered voting rules selects the same unique committee in order to identify which multi-winner rules are the most likely to agree for a given number of candidates and a fixed target size of the committee. In this matter, our results show that the Chamberlin-Courant rule and the <i>k</i>-Plurality rule on one side, and the <i>k</i>-Borda rule and the Bloc rule on the other side, are the pairs of rules that most agree in comparison to other pairs. Furthermore, we evaluate the probability of every multi-winner voting rule selecting the Condorcet committee <i>à la</i> Gehrlein when it exists. The Condorcet committee <i>à la</i> Gehrlein is a fixed-size committee such that every member defeats every non-member in pairwise comparisons. In addition, we compare the considered multi-winner voting rules according to their ability (susceptibility) to select a committee containing the Condorcet winner (loser) when one exists. Here, our results tell us that in general, the <i>k</i>-Borda rule has the highest performance amongst all the considered voting rules. Finally, we highlight that this paper is one of the very rare contributions in the literature giving exact results under the Impartial Anonymous Culture (IAC) condition for the case of four candidates.</div><br /> <b>Nicolai K. Knudsen: <a href="">A Pluralist Approach to Joint Responsibility</a></b> (pdf, 10414 words)<br /> <div>The dominant accounts of group moral responsibility argue that only those groups that have organizational capacities that mirror the agential capacities of rational and morally competent individuals are morally responsible agents. Undergirding these arguments is the taken-for-granted assumption that there is only one type of moral responsibility. This paper challenges this assumption and outlines a pluralist approach to the moral responsibility of groups. I first describe three types of groups that lack some of the capacities often assumed necessary for an entity to be morally responsible and suggest that these aberrant groups nonetheless warrant some of our reactive attitudes. Drawing on David Shoemaker’s tripartite theory, I argue that this is so because aberrant groups, although they are not fully-formed moral agents, might still have morally relevant emergent capacities such as the capacity for having and expressing a largely coherent evaluative outlook, the empathic and coordinative capacities for having regard for other agents, or the capacity for judging. I argue that these three sets of capacities are independent of each other and that each is sufficient to make the group fit to be held responsible in some way.</div><br /> <b>Robert Goldblatt, Ian Hodkinson: <a href="">Achronal Width</a></b> (pdf, 17784 words)<br /> <div>We develop a method for showing that various modal logics that are valid in their countably generated canonical Kripke frames must also be valid in their uncountably generated ones. This is applied to many systems, including the logics of finite width, and a broader class of multimodal logics of ‘finite achronal width’ that are introduced here.</div><br /> <b>Scott Soames: <a href="">Is There a Social Science of Morality?</a></b> (pdf, 8106 words)<br /> <div>The <i>Moral Sense</i> is an ambitious work that aims to reshape the ways in which many of us -- philosophers, social scientists, educated men and women generally -- think about fundamental moral matters. Its central philosophical thesis is that there is such a thing as empirical knowledge of moral facts, which can be deepened, advanced, and made more systematic by social scientific research. Its central social scientific thesis is that we have a moral sense consisting of a complex set of social dispositions relating us to our fellows that is the product of our innate endowment and our earliest familial experience. Although the moral sense does not yield a detailed or comprehensive set of universal moral rules, it can, Wilson argues, provide a factual basis relevant to the moral assessment of agents, their acts, and their policies in widely different circumstances.</div><br /> <b>Scott Soames: <a href="">Plural Agents, Private Intentions, and Legal Interpretation</a></b> (pdf, 2463 words)<br /> <div>The chief problem posed in “<i>Multimember Legislative Bodies and Intended Meaning</i>&#34; is one in which lawmakers pass a tax bill supported by two equal groups with conflicting interpretations of the bill's content. One believes it taxes imported tomatoes, among other things; the other believes it exempts tomatoes. They disagree because they received supposedly authoritative, but in fact conflicting, information about the <i>meaning</i> of ‘fruit’ in the bill's text. One group was told it is used with its biological sense, which includes tomatoes as edible seed-bearing reproductive parts of a plant.</div><br /> <b>Azimuth: <a href="">The Vela Pulsar</a></b> (html, 610 words)<br /> <div>If you could see in X-rays, one of the brightest things you’d see in the night sky is the Vela pulsar. It was formed when a huge star’s core collapsed about 12,000 years ago. The outer parts of the star shot off into space. &hellip;</div><br /> <b>Scott Aaronson's blog: <a href="">Of course Grover’s algorithm offers a quantum advantage!</a></b> (html, 1205 words)<br /> <div>« On overexcitable children Of course Grover’s algorithm offers a quantum advantage! I was really, really hoping that I’d be able to avoid blogging about this new arXiv preprint, by E. M. Stoudenmire and Xavier Waintal: Grover’s Algorithm Offers No Quantum Advantage Grover’s algorithm is one of the primary algorithms offered as evidence that quantum computers can provide an advantage over classical computers. &hellip;</div><br />