Philosophical Progress and blog posts found on 07 July 20202020-07-07T23:59:00Z2020-07-07T23:59:00ZPhilosophical,2020-07-07://<b>Alfred Archer, Georgina Mills: <a href="">Anger, Affective Injustice and Emotion Regulation</a></b> (pdf, 10095 words)<br /> <div>Victims of oppression are often called to let go of their anger in order to facilitate better discussion to bring about the end of their oppression. According to Amia Srinivasan (2018), this constitutes an affective injustice. In this paper, we use research on emotion regulation to shed light on the nature of affective injustice. By drawing on the literature on emotion regulation, we illustrate specifically what kind of work is put upon people who are experiencing affective injustice and why it is damaging. We begin by explaining affective injustice and how it can amount to a call for emotion regulation. Then we explain the various techniques that can be used to regulate emotions and explain how each might be harmful here. In the penultimate section of the paper, we explain how the upshot of this is that victims of affective injustice are left with a dilemma. Either they try to regulate their anger in a way that involves ignoring the fact of their oppression or they regulate it in a way that is likely to be harmful for them. Finally, we consider whether there are any good solutions to this dilemma, and how this issue opens up the possibility for further research into emotion regulation and moral philosophy.</div><br /> <b>Gerald L. Hull, Creative Focus: <a href="">Empirical and Rational Normativity</a></b> (doc, 18902 words)<br /> <div>There are Humeans and unHumeans, disagreeing as to the validity of the <i>Treatise</i>’s ideas regarding practical reason, but not as to their importance. The basic argument here is that the enduring irresolution of their Hume-centric debates has been fostered by what can be called <i>the fallacy of normative monism</i>, i.e. a failure to distinguish between two different kinds of normativity: empirical vs. rational. Humeans take the empirical normativity of personal desire to constitute the only real kind, while unHumeans insist that only the objective rationality associated with categorical morality can provide reliable normative guidance. In turn, the failure to recognize the dual nature of normativity has helped engender <i>motivational obscurantism</i>: as essentially causal notions, <i>motive</i> and <i>motivation</i> obscure the rational processes that lie at the heart of deliberation and choice. Once it is realized that normativity takes two different forms, each with its own distinctive role, it becomes possible to mediate if not mitigate the differences between Humeans and unHumeans. Choice will be the key to understanding practical reasoning, and its analysis will provide the basis for a belief/desire model that upends conventional wisdom regarding motivation and desire.</div><br /> <b>Lorenzo Casini, Alessio Moneta, Marco Capasso: <a href="">Variable Definition and Independent Components</a></b> (pdf, 5400 words)<br /> <div>In the causal modelling literature, it is well known that “ill-defined” variables may give rise to “ambiguous manipulations” (Spirtes and Scheines, 2004). Here, we illustrate how ill-defined variables may also induce mistakes in causal inference when standard causal search methods are applied (Spirtes et al., ; Pearl, 2009). To address the problem, we introduce a representation framework, which exploits an independent component representation of the data, and demonstrate its potential for detecting ill-defined variables and avoiding mistaken causal inferences.</div><br /> <b>Nicolas Porot, Eric Mandelbaum: <a href="">The science of belief: A progress report</a></b> (pdf, 12806 words)<br /> <div>The empirical study of belief is emerging at a rapid clip, uniting work from all corners of cognitive science. Reliance on belief in understanding and predicting behavior is widespread. Examples can be found, inter alia, in the placebo, attribution theory, theory of mind, and comparative psychological literatures. Research on belief also provides evidence for robust generalizations, including about how we fix, store, and change our beliefs. Evidence supports the existence of a Spinozan system of belief fixation: one that is automatic and independent of belief rejection. Independent research supports the existence of a system of fragmented belief storage: one that relies on large numbers of causally isolated, context-sensitive stores of belief in memory. Finally, empirical and observational data support at least two systems of belief change. One system adheres, mostly, to epistemological norms of updating; the other, the psychological immune system, functions to guard our most centrally held beliefs from potential inconsistency with newly formed beliefs. Refining our understanding of these systems can shed light on pressing real-world issues, such as how fake news, propaganda, and brainwashing exploit our psychology of belief, and how best to construct our modern informational world.</div><br /> <b>Rudolf Lindpointner: <a href="">Physics and Ontology - or The 'ontology-ladenness' of epistemology and the 'scientific realism'-debate</a></b> (pdf, 23755 words)<br /> <div>The question of what ontological insights can be gained from the knowledge of physics (keyword: ontic structural realism) cannot obviously be separated from the view of physics as a science from an epistemological perspective. This is also visible in the debate about 'scientific realism'. This debate makes it evident, in the form of the importance of perception as a criterion for the assertion of existence in relation to the 'theoretical entities' of physics, that epistemology itself is 'ontologically laden'.</div><br /> <b>Tom Dougherty: <a href="">The Scope of Consent</a></b> (pdf, 67630 words)<br /> <div>Like many philosophers, I have a talent for abstraction. That might sound like boasting, but really “abstraction” is just a polite word for not paying attention to what is going on around you. Because this comes easily to me, life is often full of surprises, like finding out after a medical procedure what it involved. Apparently, a biopsy involves cutting out bits of one’s body. I had thought that a tube was being put down my throat to take photos. It was a good hospital, so the medical staff had asked whether I knew what a biopsy was. Because I mistakenly half-thought that I did, I signed the consent form without realising what I was getting myself into. When I later found out what had happened, I began to wonder: had I really consented to a biopsy? By signing the form, I had certainly consented to <i>something</i>. But was the actual medical procedure something that I had authorised? Or as I like to put that question: did the biopsy fall within the scope of my consent?</div><br /> <b>Travis Lacroix: <a href="">Reflexivity, Functional Reference, and Modularity: Alternative Targets for Language Origins</a></b> (pdf, 5012 words)<br /> <div>Researchers in language origins typically try to explain how com-positional communication might evolve to bridge the gap between animal communication and natural language. However, as an explanatory target, compositionality has been shown to be problematic for a gradualist approach to the evolution of language. In this paper, I suggest that reflexivity provides an apt and plausible alternative target which does not succumb to the problems that compositionality faces. I further explain how proto-reflexivity, which depends upon functional reference, gives rise to complex communication systems via modular composition.</div><br /> <b>Richard Brown's blog: <a href="">No Euthyphro Dilemma for Higher-order theories</a></b> (html, 1315 words)<br /> <div>I just came across Daniel Stoljar’s forthcoming paper A Euthyphro Dilemma for Higher-order theories. In it he tries to present a kind of dilemma for the higher-order thought theory but I find his reasoning highly suspect. &hellip;</div><br /> <b>Scott Aaronson's blog: <a href="">My Enlightenment fanaticism</a></b> (html, 1776 words)<br /> <div>« Scott’s Zoom tip: Email the link! My Enlightenment fanaticism If there were ever a time for liberals and progressives to put aside their internal squabbles, you’d think it was now. The President of the United States is a racist gangster, who might not leave if he loses the coming election—all the more reason to ensure he loses in a landslide. &hellip;</div><br /> <b>The Philosopher's Beard: <a href="">The Feminist Case For Men’s Rights</a></b> (html, 1067 words)<br /> <div>The case for men’s rights follows straightforwardly from the feminist critique of the structural injustice of gender rules and roles. Yes, those rules are wrong because they oppress women. But they are also wrong because they oppress men, whether by causing physical, emotional and moral suffering or callously neglecting their needs and interests. &hellip;</div><br /> Articles and blog posts found on 06 July 20202020-07-06T23:59:00Z2020-07-06T23:59:00ZPhilosophical,2020-07-06://<b>Alexander R. Pruss: <a href="">Avoiding Dutch Books Despite Inconsistent Credences</a></b> (pdf, 12716 words)<br /> <div>It is often loosely said that Ramsey (1931) and de Finetti (1937) proved that if your credences are inconsistent, then you will be willing to accept a Dutch Book, a wager portfolio that is sure to result in a loss. Of course, their theorems are true, but the claim about acceptance of Dutch Books assumes a particular method of calculating expected utilities given the inconsistent credences. I will argue that there are better ways of calculating expected utilities given a potentially inconsistent credence assignment, and that for a large class of credences— a class that includes many inconsistent examples—these ways are immune to Dutch Books and single-shot domination failures. The crucial move is to replace Finite Additivity with Monotonicity (if A ⊆ B, then P (A) ≤ P (B)) and then calculate expected utilities for positive U via the formula <sup>R ∞</sup> P (U &gt; y) dy. This shows that Dutch Book arguments for probabilism, the thesis that one’s credences should be consistent, do not establish their conclusion. Finally, I will consider a modified argument based on multi-step domination failure that does better, but nonetheless is not as compelling as the Dutch Book arguments appeared to be.</div><br /> <b>Mauro Avon: <a href="">A different approach to logic: absolute logic</a></b> (pdf, 47871 words)<br /> <div>The paper is about ‘absolute logic’: an approach to logic that differs from the standard first-order logic and other known approaches. It should be a new approach the author has created proposing to obtain a general and unifying approach to logic and a faithful model of human mathematical deductive process. In first-order logic there exist two different concepts of term and formula, in place of these two concepts in our approach we have just one notion of expression. The set-builder notation is enclosed as an expression-building pattern. In our system we can easily express second-order, third order and any-order conditions. The meaning of a sentence will depend solely on the meaning of the symbols it contains, it will not depend on external ‘structures’. Our deductive system is based on a very simple definition of proof and provides a good model of human mathematical deductive process. The soundness and consistency of the system are proved. We also discuss how our system relates to the most know types of paradoxes, from the discussion no specific vulnerability to paradoxes comes out. The paper provides both the theoretical material and a fully documented example of deduction.</div><br /> <b>M-Phi: <a href="">Update on updating -- or: a fall from favour</a></b> (html, 537 words)<br /> <div>Life comes at you fast. Last week, I wrote a blogpost extolling the virtues of the following scoring rule, which I called the enhanced log rule: $$\mathfrak{l}^\star_1(x) = -\log x + x \ \ \ \ \ \mbox{and}\ \ \ \ \ \ \ \mathfrak{l}^\star_0(x) = x$$And I extolled its virtues. &hellip;</div><br /> Articles and blog posts found on 05 July 20202020-07-05T23:59:00Z2020-07-05T23:59:00ZPhilosophical,2020-07-05://<b>: <a href="">Euclidean Geometry is a Priori</a></b> (pdf, 5621 words)<br /> <div>in the article, an argument is given that Euclidean geometry is a priori in the same way that numbers are a priori, the result of modelling, not the world, but our activities in the world. keywords: symmetry, Euclidean geometry, axioms, Weyl's axioms, philosophy of geometry Until the appearance of non-Euclidean geometries, Euclidean geometry and numbers had an equal status in mathematics. Indeed, until then, mathematics was described as the science of numbers and space. Whether it was thought that mathematical objects belong to a special world of ideas(Plato), or that they are ultimate abstractions drawn from the real world (Aristotle),or that they are a priori forms of our rational cognition (Kant), mathematical truths were considered, because of the clarity of their subject matter, a priori objective truths that are not subject to experimental veri?cation. Descartes in Meditations (1641) writes: "I counted as the most certain the truths which I concieved clearly as regards ?gures, numbers, and other matters which pertain to arithmetic and geometry, and, in general to pure and abstract mathematics.". Even Hume considered mathematics to be a non-empirical science that deals not with facts but with relations of ideas.</div><br /> <b>Hans Halvorson: <a href="">John Bell on Subject and Object</a></b> (pdf, 1266 words)<br /> <div>It’s quite amazing that in the span of four short pages, John Bell can make the pioneers of quantum mechanics seem collectively like just so many addle-brains. I’m speaking here of Bell’s article “Subject and object” (1987). I cannot deny the rhetorical effectiveness of this article. In fact, I consider it a model for how one can — with the effective application of insinuation and rhetorical question — render a view seemingly unworthy of serious consideration. Nonetheless, I cannot hold Bell’s paper up as a paradigm of philosophical inquiry, because he gives so little effort to understanding what others were saying. We can do better, and we must do better, if we’re ever going to make progress with the foundations of quantum physics. Bell begins his article by claiming that: 1. Quantum mechanics is fundamentally about the results of ‘measurements’.</div><br /> <b>Santiago Amaya, Universidad de los Andes: <a href="">Out of Habit</a></b> (pdf, 14129 words)<br /> <div>Accounts of intentional agency typically assign beliefs a central role in the genesis of action. According to them, if someone acts with an intention, the person’s action is guided by her beliefs. The beliefs guide the action by directing the agent towards ways of achieving what she intends. In this respect, they help rationalize it. They explain the action by revealing the connection the person saw between what she did and what she intended with it.</div><br /> Articles and blog posts found on 04 July 20202020-07-04T23:59:00Z2020-07-04T23:59:00ZPhilosophical,2020-07-04://<b>Michael E. Miller: <a href="">Infrared Cancellation and Measurement</a></b> (pdf, 5957 words)<br /> <div>Quantum field theories containing massless particles such as photons and gluons are divergent not just in the ultraviolet, but also in the infrared. Infrared divergences are typically regarded as less conceptually problematic than ultraviolet divergences because there is a reasonably straightforward cancellation mechanism that renders measurable physical observables such as decay rates and cross-sections infrared finite. In this paper, I scrutinize the restriction to measurable physical observables that is required to make the cancellation mechanism applicable. I argue that this restriction does not necessitate a retreat to operationalism about the meaning of the theory as one might reasonably have worried, but it does call attention to a collection of under-appreciated conceptual issues lurking in the infrared regime of quantum field theories with massless particles.</div><br /> <b>Peter Hawke, Aybüke Ozgün: <a href="">Truthmaker Semantics for Epistemic Logic</a></b> (pdf, 18250 words)<br /> <div>We explore some possibilities for developing epistemic logic using truthmaker semantics. We identify three possible targets of analysis for the epistemic logician. We then list some candidate epistemic principles and review the arguments that render some controversial. We then present the classic Hintikkan approach to epistemic logic and note - as per the ‘problem of logical omniscience’ - that it validates all of the aforementioned principles, controversial or otherwise. We then lay out a truthmaker framework in the style of Kit Fine and present six different ways of extending this semantics with a conditional knowledge operator, drawing on notions of implication and content that are prominent in Fine’s work. We demonstrate that different logics are thereby generated, bearing on the aforementioned epistemic principles. Finally, we offer preliminary observations about the prospects for each logic.</div><br /> <b>Tom Dougherty: <a href="">Coerced Consent with an Unknown Future</a></b> (pdf, 13785 words)<br /> <div>coerced consent is even more ethically complex because people are often unsure or misled about what will happen if they refuse to consent. This can happen for many reasons. Others can be menacing and demanding, while leaving room for doubt as to whether they are actually making threats or what exactly they are threatening. And even without being threatened, people can be fearful of how others would respond to their withholding consent.</div><br /> Articles and blog posts found on 03 July 20202020-07-03T23:59:00Z2020-07-03T23:59:00ZPhilosophical,2020-07-03://<b>Benjamin Ferguson: <a href="">Why Buy Local?</a></b> (pdf, 8832 words)<br /> <div>Claims that we ought to ‘buy local’ are increasingly common. From food television and celebrity chefs (Williams 2017) to the news media (Naylor 2018) and even agricultural extension publications (Grubinger 2010), many voices are advocating for local food. We are told that locavorism—the practice of buying and consuming local food products—is healthier, tastier, and safer than consuming non-local alternatives and that it has environmental, economic, and social benefits (Schnell 2013; Cleveland 2015). Popular writers, such as Michael Pollan argue that we should “think global, [but] buy local” and that we should, “given the choice, buy local over organic” (Weinraub 2006). Although some of the reasons for buying local are prudential, buy local advocates also present arguments that frame locavorism as a <i>morally</i> significant choice. But are there really good moral reasons to buy local?</div><br /> <b>Christian de Ronde: <a href="">Measuring Quantum Superpositions (Or, “It is only the theory which decides what can be observed.”)</a></b> (pdf, 17859 words)<br /> <div>In this work we attempt to confront the orthodox widespread claim present in the foundational literature of Quantum Mechanics (QM) according to which ‘superpositions are never actually observed in the lab’. In order to do so, we begin by providing a critical analysis of the famous measurement problem which, we will argue, was originated by the strict application of the empirical-positivist requirements to subsume the quantum formalism under their specific understanding of ‘theory’. In this context, the ad hoc introduction of the projection postulate (or measurement rule) can be understood as a necessary requirement coming from a naive empiricist standpoint which presupposes that observations are self evident givens of “common sense” experience —independent of metaphysical (categorical) presuppositions. We then turn our attention to two “non-collapse” interpretations of QM —namely, modal and many worlds— which even though deny that the “collapse” is a real physical process anyhow retain the measurement rule as a necessary element of the theory. In contraposition, following Einstein’s claim according to which “it is only the theory which decides what can be observed”, we propose a return to the realist representational understanding of ‘physical theories’ in which ‘observation’ is considered as derived from theoretical presuppositions. It is from this standpoint that we discuss a new non-classical conceptual representation which allows us to understand quantum phenomena in an intuitive (anschaulicht) manner. Leaving behind the projection postulate, we discuss the general physical conditions for measuring and observing quantum superpositions.</div><br /> <b>Romy Vekony, Al Mele, David Rose: <a href="">Intentional Action Without Knowledge</a></b> (pdf, 5349 words)<br /> <div>In order to be doing something intentionally, must one know that one is doing it? Some philosophers have answered yes. Stuart Hampshire (1956: 95) contends that “if a man is doing something without knowing that he is doing it, then it must be true that he is not doing it intentionally.” Similarly, Christopher Olsen (1969: 324) claims that one “cannot not know” what one is doing intentionally. And Michael Gorr and Terence Horgan (1982: 255) claim that “P’s A-ing at t is intentional under the description ‘A-ing’ if and only if (i) this event is an act, and (ii) P knows, at t, of this act that it is an A-ing by him.” More recently, Eric Marcus (2019: 4) defends what he calls “The Knowledge Thesis” – “It is impossible for a person to do something intentionally without knowing that she is doing it” – against objections featuring self-deception. And John Schwenkler (2019: 34) attributes the following thesis to Elizabeth Anscombe: “A person does something intentionally only if she knows that she is doing it.” The quoted claims, straightforwardly interpreted, express or entail a thesis that we formulate as follows: (KT) An agent is doing something intentionally only if he knows that he is doing it.</div><br /> <b>S. Roush: <a href="">Belief and Decision under Uncertainty</a></b> (pdf, 25268 words)<br /> <div>If I believe that London Bridge is falling down then I take it to be the case that that bridge is falling down. I am committed to the world being a certain way, involving crumbling stone, heaving asphalt, and probably a lot of frightened people. If I believe, however ridiculously, that the bridge is falling down, then it would make sense for me to put a bet on that. If my friends think I believe the bridge is falling then they have expectations about my behavior. For example they don’t expect me to try to drive a car over this bridge. (Although they might if they saw my belief itself as a sign of delusion that put me at higher risk for suicide.) All of this can be so without London Bridge actually falling down, because reality does not necessarily match my belief about it. A false belief is still a belief.</div><br /> <b>Sherrilyn Roush: <a href="">Sensitivity and Closure</a></b> (pdf, 12932 words)<br /> <div>From the mid-1980’s to the early 2000’s the wide-ranging resources of the concept we now call <i>sensitivity</i>, which Robert Nozick used to give an analysis of the concepts of <i>knowledge</i> and <i>evidence</i>, went largely unappreciated in epistemology. This was in part because these resources were upstaged by a glamorous implication the condition has for skepticism, and in part because of loss of faith in the project of giving a theory of knowledge at all, due to the failure time and again to construct a theory without counterexamples. The sensitivity condition, or as Nozick called it the variation condition, which requires that were p to be false you wouldn’t believe it, had its own apparent counterexamples. And while the implication of this condition for skepticism was elegant and principled – it is possible to know that there is a table in front of you <i>without</i> knowing you are not a brain in a vat – it had the price of denying closure of knowledge under known implication, that is, denying that knowing q and knowing that q implies p are together sufficient to make the belief in p that you have on that basis knowledge. Many felt this was too much to pay for what seemed to be the sensitivity condition’s primary selling point.</div><br /> <b>Sonia Roca-Royes: <a href="">Concepts and the epistemology of essence</a></b> (pdf, 12502 words)<br /> <div>This paper is an exploration of the prospects of rationalist, concept-based epistemologies of modality as far as essentialist and <i>de re</i> modal claims are concerned. I grant certain explanatory power to such epistemologies but, primarily, I identify their limitations. I first explore them in view of the (possible) existence of <i>general</i> as well as of <i>singular</i> modally loaded concepts and find their explanatory scope severely limited. Inspired by the abstractionist’s concept-and-entitlement based hybrid model, the paper then explores a similarly hybrid strategy. The outcome of this exploration is that, regardless of its explanatory scope, it would be a misnomer to describe such hybrid view as concept-based. The result generalizes.</div><br /> <b>Sònia Roca-Royes: <a href="">Essentialist Blindness Would Not Preclude Counterfactual Knowledge</a></b> (pdf, 9736 words)<br /> <div><b>Résumé :</b> L’objectif de cet article est double. Il défend d’abord, contre une menace potentielle, la thèse selon laquelle une capacité pour la connaissance essentialiste ne doit pas figurer parmi les capacités fondamentales pour la connaissance des contrefactuels. Il évalue ensuite une conséquence de cette thèse, ou du moins de la défense que j’en fais qui s’appuie sur une discussion des théories de Kment et de Williamson portant sur le lien entre la modalité et les contrefactuels. <b>Abstract:</b> This paper does two things. First, it defends, against a potential threat to it, the claim that a capacity for essentialist knowledge should not be placed among the core capacities for counterfactual knowledge. Second, it assesses a consequence of that claim—or better: of the discussion by means of which I defend it—in relation to Kment’s and Williamson’s views on the relation between modality and counterfactuals.</div><br /> <b>M-Phi: <a href="">Updating by minimizing expected inaccuracy</a></b> (html, 3036 words)<br /> <div>One of the central questions of Bayesian epistemology concerns how you should update your credences in response to new evidence you obtain. The proposal I want to discuss here belongs to an approach that consists of two steps. &hellip;</div><br /> Articles and blog posts found on 02 July 20202020-07-02T23:59:00Z2020-07-02T23:59:00ZPhilosophical,2020-07-02://<b>Alexandre Costa-Leite: <a href="">Oppositions in a point</a></b> (pdf, 1752 words)<br /> <div>In the environment of a two-valued logic such as first-order logic, (logical) oppositions are regularly four: contradiction, contrariety, subcontrariety and subalternation. By the very beginning, these relations were displayed using the square of opposition and, later, Robert Blanch´e in [2] showed how the square induces another bidimensional object: the hexagon of opposition. Recently, some authors investigated generalizations of the square to hexagons and to three-dimensional solids and so on (cf. [1], [4] and [5]).</div><br /> <b>Dirk Kindermann: <a href="">No Way To WAM</a></b> (pdf, 5347 words)<br /> <div><b></b>Many epistemologists explain the empirically attested contextual variation in knowledge ascriptions by appeal to a kind of warranted assertability maneuver (WAM) that finds the locus of variability in epistemic norms of assertion. I show that this way to WAM fails. It cannot explain the variability of embedded uses of knowledge sentences in assertoric speech acts in which the knowledge sentences are not themselves asserted.</div><br /> <b>Nick Hughes: <a href="">The Unity of Evidence and Coherence</a></b> (pdf, 11863 words)<br /> <div>An emerging theme in normative theory, including both ethics and epistemology, is that there is an important distinction to be drawn between <i>substantive</i> and <i>structural</i> requirements of rationality (Scanlon 2007; Worsnip 2018a). The goal of this chapter is to examine this distinction as it applies within the epistemic domain. What is the relationship between substantive and structural requirements of epistemic rationality?</div><br /> <b>Pablo Gilabert: <a href="">Alienation, Freedom, and Dignity</a></b> (doc, 14276 words)<br /> <div>The topic of alienation has fallen out of fashion in social and political philosophy. It used to be salient, especially in socialist thought and in debates about labor practices in capitalism. Although the lack of identification of people with their working lives—their alienation as workers—remains practically important, normative engagement with it has been set back by at least four objections. They concern the problems of essentialist views, a mishandling of the distinction between the good and the right, the danger of paternalistic impositions, and the significance of democratic authorization. This paper recasts the critique of alienation in a way that vindicates its importance for social and political philosophy and rebuts these objections. First, it provides an analytic framework to understand alienation—distinguishing its various conceptual, explanatory, and normative dimensions. Second, it accounts for the normative aspect of the critique of alienation by articulating it in terms of prudential and moral ideas of positive freedom regarding human flourishing and solidaristic empowerment. Finally, the normative account is developed further, and sharpened to respond to the four objections, through the introduction of the Dignitarian Approach—the view that we have reason to organize social life in such a way that we respond appropriately to the valuable features of individual human beings that give rise to their dignity.</div><br /> <b>Philip Goff: <a href="">Panpsychism and Free Will</a></b> (pdf, 8605 words)<br /> <div>There has been a resurgence of interest in panpsychism in contemporary philosophy of mind. According to its supporters, panpsychism offers an attractive solution to the mind-body problem, avoiding the deep difficulties associated with the more conventional options of dualism and materialism. There has been little focus, however, on whether panpsychism can help with philosophical problems pertaining to free will. In this paper I will argue: (A) that it is coherent and consistent with observation to postulate a kind of libertarian agent causation at the micro-level, and (B) that <i>if</i> one if believes in libertarian agent causation at the macro-level, there are significant advantages in also postulating its existence at the micro-level.</div><br /> <b>Philip Goff: <a href="">Essentialist modal rationalism</a></b> (pdf, 3957 words)<br /> <div>It used to be thought that rational coherence and metaphysical possibility went hand in hand. Kripke and Putnam put a spanner in the works by proposing examples of propositions which seem to violate this principle. I will propose a nuanced form of modal rationalism consistent with the Kripke/Putnam cases. The rough idea is that rational coherence entails possibility when you grasp the essential nature of what you’re conceiving of.</div><br /> <b>Alexander Pruss's Blog: <a href="">Does supererogation always deserve praise?</a></b> (html, 200 words)<br /> <div>Suppose that Bob spent a month making a birthday cake for Alice that was only slightly better than what was available in the store, and Bob did not enjoy the process at all. One can fill out the case in such a way that what Bob did was permissible. &hellip;</div><br /> <b>Alexander Pruss's Blog: <a href="">Generalizing supererogation</a></b> (html, 192 words)<br /> <div>My preferred way of understanding supererogation is that an action is supererogatory provided that it is permissible and more burdensome than some permissible alternative (see here for a defense). This suggests an interesting generalization. &hellip;</div><br /> <b>Alexander Pruss's Blog: <a href="">Supererogation and determinism</a></b> (html, 172 words)<br /> <div>If at most one action is possible for one, that action is not supererogatory. If determinism is true, then there is never more than one action possible for one. So, if any action is supererogatory, determinism is false. &hellip;</div><br /> Articles and blog posts found on 01 July 20202020-07-01T23:59:00Z2020-07-01T23:59:00ZPhilosophical,2020-07-01://<b>Bruno Bentzen: <a href="">Sense, reference, and computation</a></b> (pdf, 7542 words)<br /> <div>In this paper, I revisit Frege’s theory of sense and reference in the constructive setting of the meaning explanations of type theory, extending and sharpening a program–value analysis of sense and reference proposed by Martin-Löf building on previous work of Dummett. I propose a computational identity criterion for senses and argue that it validates what I see as the most plausible interpretation of Frege’s equipollence principle for both sentences and singular terms. Before doing so, I examine Frege’s implementation of his theory of sense and reference in the logical framework of <i>Grundgesetze</i>, his doctrine of truth values, and views on sameness of sense as equipollence of assertions.</div><br /> <b>Charlie Kurth: <a href="">Cultivating Disgust: Prospects and Moral Implications</a></b> (pdf, 10930 words)<br /> <div>Is disgust morally valuable? The answer to that question turns, in large part, on what we can do to shape disgust for the better. But this cultivation question has received surprisingly little attention in philosophical debates. To address this deficiency, this paper examines empirical work on disgust and emotion regulation. This research reveals that while we can exert some control over how we experience disgust, there’s little we can do to substantively change it at a more fundamental level. These empirical insights have revisionary implications both for debates about disgust’s moral value, and for our understanding of agency and moral development more generally.</div><br /> <b>Declan Smithies: <a href="">The Epistemic Function of Higher-Order Evidence</a></b> (pdf, 10018 words)<br /> <div>Imagine you’re a solo pilot flying a small plane in Arizona. You’re wondering whether to take a scenic detour via the Grand Canyon en route to your final destination. You know how far you can fly on a full tank and how much fuel remains in the tank. You also know the distance from here to the Grand Canyon and from there to your final destination. But you need to do some mental arithmetic in order to calculate whether you have enough fuel to safely complete the journey. You perform the calculation correctly and deduce that you have enough fuel. On that basis, you decide to take the detour. So far, so good!</div><br /> <b>Itzhak Gilboa: <a href="">Theories and cases in decisions under uncertainty</a></b> (pdf, 7349 words)<br /> <div>Article hiSfOU/f We present and axiomatize a model combining and generalizing theory—based and analogy— RECEIVEd 22 January 2020 based reasoning in decision under uncertainty. An agent has beliefs over a set of theories Available online 17June 2020 describing the data generating process, given by decision weights. She also puts weight on similarity to past cases. When a case is added to her memory and a new problem geeJ/ngfishnder uncertainty is encountered, two types of learning take place. First, the decision weight assigned to Case—based reasoning each theory is multiplied by its conditional probability. Second, subsequent problems are Rule—based reasoning assessed for their similarity to past cases, including the newly—added case. If no weight Theories is put on past cases, the model is equivalent to Bayesian reasoning over the theories. However, when this weight is positive, the learning process continually adjusts the balance between case—based and theory—based reasoning. In particular, a “black swan" which is considered a surprise by all theories would shift the weight to case—based reasoning. © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.</div><br /> <b>Kai von Fintel, Sabine Iatridou: <a href="">Prolegomena to a theory of X-marking</a></b> (pdf, 14446 words)<br /> <div>The morphological marking that distinguishes conditionals that are called “counterfactual” or “subjunctive” from those that are not called that does not always signal counterfactuality, nor is it consistently “subjunctive”. It is often found in other modal constructions, such as in the expression of unattainable desires and in weak necessity modality. We propose to call it “X-marking”. In this paper, we lay out desiderata for a successful theory of X-marking and make an initial informal proposal. Much remains to be done.</div><br /> <b>Luca Incurvati, Carlo Nicolai: <a href="">On Logical and Scientific Strength</a></b> (pdf, 8851 words)<br /> <div>The notion of strength has featured prominently in recent debates about abductivism in the epistemology of logic. Following Williamson and Russell, we distinguish between logical and scientific strength and discuss the limits of the characterizations they employ. We then suggest understanding logical strength in terms of interpretability strength and scientific strength as a special case of logical strength. We present applications of the resulting notions to comparisons between logics in the traditional sense and mathematical theories.</div><br /> <b>Nilanjan Das: <a href="">A Problem for Ganeri’s Buddhaghosa</a></b> (pdf, 4275 words)<br /> <div>Jonardon Ganeri’s <i>Attention, Not Self</i> is a terrific book. It aims to defend a picture of the mind that emerges from the work of Theravāda Abhidhamma Buddhists writing in Pāli, especially Buddhagosa (5th century CE). The Buddhists defend the theory of “no-self”, i.e., the view that there is no ultimately real referent of the first person pronoun “I” which plays the role of a subject with respect to conscious experiences and thoughts and the role of an agent with respect to mental, linguistic and physical acts. This raises a challenge. The theory of “no-self” is hard to reconcile with the fact that our conscious experiences and actions seemingly unfold within a <i>perspective</i> occupied by a subject who undergoes those experiences and performs actions. Ganeri brilliantly reconstructs Buddhaghosa’s response to this challenge. Attention plays a central role in this response: it explains those perspectival features of ordinary conscious experiences and intentional actions which create the illusion of an ultimately real self.</div><br /> <b>Peter Millican: <a href="">Alan Turing and Human-Like Intelligence</a></b> (pdf, 14827 words)<br /> <div>The concept of Human-Like Computing became central to visions of Artificial Intelligence through the work of Alan Turing, whose model of computation (1936) is explicated in terms of the potential operations of a human “computer”, and whose famous test for intelligent machinery (1950) is based on indistinguishability from human verbal behaviour. But here I shall challenge the apparent human-centredness of the 1936 model (now known as the Turing machine), and suggest a different genesis of the idea with a primary focus on the foundations of mathematics, and with human comparisons making an entrance only in retrospective justification of the model. It will also turn out, more surprisingly, that the 1950 account of intelligence is ultimately far less human-centred than it initially appears to be, because the <i>universality</i> of computation – as established in the 1936 paper – makes human intelligence just one variety amongst many. It is only when Turing considers <i>consciousness</i> that he treats intelligence in a way that cannot properly be carried over to machines. But here he is mistaken, since his own work gave ample reason to reinterpret intelligence as sophisticated information processing for some purpose, and to divorce this from the subjective consciousness with which it is humanly associated.</div><br /> <b>Samuel Cumming, Lauren Winans: <a href="">Counterfactuals and Abduction</a></b> (pdf, 15178 words)<br /> <div>Those with an interest in the topic will concur that special rules apply when reasoning from a hypothesis that is marked as (potentially) counterfactual. Statements that are not tied to the way things happen to be seem to tell us more, by a sort of accommodation, about the way things generally go – getting at the laws and propensities of the governing system. The apparent sui generis modal nature of counterfactual claims has, furthermore, encouraged philosophers in their search for objective (“metaphysical”) understandings of necessity and possibility.</div><br /> <b>Steven Umbrello: <a href="">Coupling Levels of Abstraction in Understanding Meaningful Human Control of Autonomous Weapons: A Two-Tiered Approach</a></b> (doc, 7253 words)<br /> <div>The international debate on the ethics and legality of autonomous weapon systems (AWS) as well as the call for a ban are primarily focused on the nebulous concept of fully autonomous AWS. More specifically, on AWS that are capable of target selection and engagement without human supervision or control. This paper argues that such a conception of autonomy is divorced both from military planning and decision-making operations as well as the design requirements that govern AWS engineering and subsequently the tracking and tracing of moral responsibility. To do this, this paper marries two different levels of meaningful human control (MHC), termed levels of abstraction, to couple military operations with design ethics. In doing so, this paper argues that the contentious notion of ‘full’ autonomy is not problematic under this two-tiered understanding of MHC.</div><br /> <b>Susan G. Sterrett: <a href="">The Physics of Miniature Worlds</a></b> (pdf, 22329 words)<br /> <div>After his father died, in early 1913, Ludwig Wittgenstein spent some time with various friends, family, and acquaintances. In late 1913, he began making plans to withdraw to Norway, away from Cambridge [UK], where he had been working very closely with Bertrand Russell, and away from people, to work on solving the problems of logic. There was no looking back at aeronautics as an alternative career after that, it seems. The age-old problem of controlled, heavier-than-air flight on a scale that permitted humans to fly had [just recently] been solved, albeit by others (Fig. 17.1). There was still exciting and important work to do in aeronautics, but he had by then made the agonizing decision to become a philosopher, and, in working with Russell, he had found the age-old problem that he felt he was meant to solve instead: finding a correct theory of symbolism [105].</div><br /> <b>Valentin Goranko: <a href="">How deontic logic ought to be: towards a many-sorted framework for normative reasoning</a></b> (pdf, 8942 words)<br /> <div>Formalising adequately normative logical reasoning with deontic logic has been notoriously problematic. Here I argue that one of the major reasons is that a typical deontic inference combines different types of sentences, expressing (inter alia) propositions, norms, and actions. These have different logical properties and formally mixing them can leads to unnatural (or, plainly absurd) conclusions, of which deontic logic abounds. Thus, I argue that deontic logical reasoning is inherently many-sorted and that an adequate logical formalisation of such reasoning ought to involve separate, yet inter-related syntactic sorts, at least including norms, actions, and propositions. Here I propose such formal logical framework, illustrate its use for formalising commonsense normative reasoning, and provide formal semantics for a large fragment of it.</div><br /> <b>Wesley Buckwalter, David Rose, John Turri: <a href="">Impossible Intentions</a></b> (pdf, 5807 words)<br /> <div>Philosophers are divided on whether it is possible to intend believed-impossible outcomes. Several thought experiments in the action theory literature suggest that this is conceptually possible, though they have not been tested in ordinary social cognition. We conducted three experiments to determine whether, on the ordinary view, it is conceptually possible to intend believed-impossible outcomes. Our findings indicate that participants firmly countenance the possibility of intending believed-impossible outcomes, suggesting that it is conceptually possible to intend to do something that one believes is impossible.</div><br />