Philosophical Progress and blog posts found on 17 January 20212021-01-17T23:59:00Z2021-01-17T23:59:00ZPhilosophical,2021-01-17://<b>Cécile Fabre: <a href="">Territorial Sovereignty and Humankind's Common Heritage</a></b> (pdf, 4151 words)<br /> <div>Anna Stilz's <i>Territorial Sovereignty</i> covers an impressively wide terrain, from the state's right to rule over a territory to the right to secede, from cultural neutrality to equitable access to natural resources, from collective self-determination to cooperation with international institutions, from coercive to noncoercive responses to the commission of injustice. In this paper, I examine Stilz's account and defence of territorial sovereignty in the light of the view that there are landmarks (monuments, geological structures, and landscapes) which are located in and subject to the jurisdiction of sovereign states, but which are deemed to be of outstanding value to humankind as a whole, irrespective of whatever economic value they might have. Put differently, I am interested in bringing Stilz's account to bear on the notion of humankind's common <i>heritage</i>.</div><br /> <b>Holly Lawford-Smith: <a href="">Women-only spaces and the right to exclude</a></b> (pdf, 9107 words)<br /> <div>In August 2019, a bill was passed in Victoria, Australia making it possible for people to change their official record of sex in the birth register by making a statutory declaration that they believe their sex to be as nominated. From May 2020, any person observed male at birth will be able to change their legal sex to ‘female’, and any person observed female at birth will be able to change their legal sex to ‘male’. Similar bills have been considered in other countries (New Zealand, the UK), and have already passed into law in other states of Australia (Tasmania) and in other countries (Ireland, Malta, Norway, Argentina, Portugal, and Belgium).</div><br /> <b>James Van Cleve: <a href="">Humean Humility and its Contemporary Echoes</a></b> (doc, 17344 words)<br /> <div>My source for the doctrine I call Humean Humility is section 1.4.4 of Hume’s <i>Treatise of Human Nature</i>, the section in which he gives his critique of “the modern philosophy.” Hume contends that the world according to the modern philosophy—a world with primary qualities but no secondary qualities—is a world of which we can form no conception. There are echoes of Hume’s premises (if not his conclusion) in two contemporary foci of philosophical attention: Russellian Monism, which agrees with Hume that there would be something defective in a world without anything like the traditional secondaries, but unlike Hume, goes on to attribute such qualities to the world, and Ramseyan Humility, which agrees with Hume that there must be more to any conceivable world than just structure with no underlying intrinsic or nonrelational properties, then goes on to argue that we could never know what these intrinsic properties are. In what follows, I examine all three views, as well as the merits of several possible lines of reply to them, including causal structuralism and dispositional monism.</div><br /> <b>James Van Cleve: <a href="">‘Distinction of Reason’ is an Incomplete Symbol</a></b> (pdf, 3382 words)<br /> <div>Before I leave this subject I shall employ the same principles to explain that distinction of reason, which is so much talk’d of, and is so little understood, in the schools. Of this kind is the distinction betwixt figure and the body figur’d; motion and the body mov’d. The difficulty of explaining this distinction arises from the principle above explain’d, that all ideas, which are different, are separable. For it follows from thence, that if the figure be different from the body, their ideas must be separable as well as distinguishable: if they be not different, their ideas can neither be separable nor distinguishable. What then is meant by a distinction of reason, since it implies neither a difference nor separation? (T; SBN 24-25) In this paragraph, Hume poses the problem of how to understand the “distinction of reason” that figures in the philosophies of the medievals, Descartes, and the Port Royalists. The problem in a nutshell is that a distinction of reason is supposed to be a distinction in thought between things that are inseparable in reality; yet according to Hume’s own principles, whatever things are distinct are distinguishable, whatever things are distinguishable are separable in thought, and whatever things are separable in thought are separable in reality. It follows that things inseparable in reality should be neither distinguishable in thought nor distinct, period, so a distinction of reason ought on Hume’s principles to be impossible. Yet Hume goes on to try to make room for it in his philosophy, to the consternation of many commentators. I argue that he can indeed make room for it; the key is to recognize that ‘distinction of reason’ is an incomplete symbol.</div><br /> <b>Jeremy Fischer: <a href="">Racism as Civic Vice</a></b> (pdf, 13466 words)<br /> <div>I argue that racism is essentially a civic character trait: to be a racist is to have a character that rationally reflects racial supremacist sociopolitical values. As with moral vice accounts of racism, character is my account’s<i> primary evaluative focus</i>: character is directly evaluated as racist, and all other racist things are racist insofar as, and because, they cause, are caused by, express or are otherwise suitably related to racist character. Yet as with political accounts of racism, sociopolitical considerations provide my account’s<i> primary evaluative standard</i>: satisfying the sociopolitical standard of racial supremacy is what makes racist character racist.</div><br /> <b>Sarah Conly: <a href="">One child: Do we have a right to more?</a></b> (pdf, 1902 words)<br /> <div>According to the oft-cited IPAT formula (I = P 9 A 9 T), environmental impact (I) is the product of complex interactions between three basic factors: population (P), affluence (A), and technology (T). Contemporary debates about climate justice have largely focused on the latter two factors, stressing the need to curb wasteful consumption and encouraging investment in green technologies that may enable us to maintain a high standard of living while leaving a smaller environmental footprint. However, while much attention has been paid to the A and T parts of the equation, relatively little attention has been paid to P. This omission, of course, is hardly surprising, for as a brief survey of twentieth-century history reminds us, state-sanctioned attempts to control population size – whether for environmental or nonenvironmental purposes – have often proved disastrous from a human rights perspective. However, as Sarah Conly argues in her new book, given the environmental calamity that sits at our doorstep, we no longer have the luxury of ignoring what has ostensibly become the elephant in the room in contemporary debates about climate justice. In addition to curbing consumption and boosting investment in green technology, we also need to start thinking seriously about curbing population growth, at least for the foreseeable future.</div><br /> Articles and blog posts found on 16 January 20212021-01-16T23:59:00Z2021-01-16T23:59:00ZPhilosophical,2021-01-16://<b>Carlotta Pavese: <a href="">The Semantics and Pragmatics of Argumentation</a></b> (pdf, 12016 words)<br /> <div>This chapter overviews recent work on the semantics and pragmatics of arguments. In natural languages, arguments are conventionally associated with particular grammatical constructions, such as: (1) a. P1, . . . , Pn. Therefore, C; b. Suppose P1, . . . , Pn. Then, C. These constructions involve argument words such as ‘therefore’, ‘thus’, ‘so, ‘hence’ and ‘then’ — entailment words (cf. Brasoveanu (2007)) or, as I will call them, following Beaver 2001, pp. 209, argument connectives — which are used in natural languages to signal the presence of arguments. It is, therefore, natural to study the speech act of giving an argument by looking at semantics and pragmatics of argument connectives.</div><br /> <b>Hugo Mercier, Dan Sperber: <a href="">Précis of The Enigma of Reason</a></b> (pdf, 2897 words)<br /> <div><i>The Enigma of Reason</i> opens up with a double enigma. Many scholars throughout history have thought of reason as a cognitive silver bullet, which would allow humans to innovate, to overcome their cognitive and emotional failings, to solve a wide variety of problems, and to better understand the world around them. The first enigma, then, is why only humans would be endowed with such a superpower? Why wouldn’t such a capacity, with its multiple advantages, have evolved in many other organisms? The second enigma stems from the mismatch between this lofty view of reason, and reality: experience and experiments have shown time and again that human reason is as flawed, biased, and prone to mistakes as the rest of our cognition.</div><br /> <b>Martin Smith: <a href="">More on Normic Support and the Criminal Standard of Proof</a></b> (pdf, 8488 words)<br /> <div>According to one influential theory, the standard of proof for criminal trials should be interpreted in probabilistic terms. On this view, a proposition P is proved to the criminal standard just in case the probability of P, given the presented evidence, is above some high threshold – typically 90% or 95% (see, for instance, Cullison, 1969, section IIIA, McCauliff, 1982, Shauer and Zeckhauser, 1996, section III, Hedden and Colyvan, 2019). While this has an obvious appeal, the criminal standard of proof is closely associated, in legal doctrine, in jury instructions, and in the popular imagination, with the idea of proof ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ . And this phrase doesn’t obviously indicate a probability threshold, which would be more naturally conveyed with the words ‘to a high probability’ or some such. In fact, the idea that something has been proved ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ suggests a rather different way of thinking about uncertainty – that doubts can be divided into two categories, the reasonable and the unreasonable, and that all doubts of the former kind have been answered. Some theorists insist that the ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ phrasing is deeply unclear – and no help when it comes to understanding the criminal standard of proof (Laudan, 2006, chap. 2). While I agree that it would be a mistake to fixate on these words too closely, their meaning is hardly opaque – it is natural, in many contexts, to distinguish between doubts that are serious and demand attention and doubts that are speculative or frivolous.</div><br /> Articles and blog posts found on 15 January 20212021-01-15T23:59:00Z2021-01-15T23:59:00ZPhilosophical,2021-01-15://<b>Alain Morin: <a href="">Harassment</a></b> (pdf, 18823 words)<br /> <div>multimethod experiments (total <i>N</i> ⫽ 4,065 participants) investigated the nature of perceiving sexual harassment by testing whether perceptions of sexual harassment and its impact are facilitated when harassing behaviors target those who fit with the prototype of women (e.g., those who have feminine features, interests, and characteristics) relative to those who fit less well with this prototype. Studies A1–A5 demonstrate that participants’ mental representation of sexual harassment targets overlapped with the prototypes of women as assessed through participant-generated drawings, face selection tasks, reverse correlation, and self-report measures. In Studies B1–B4, participants were less likely to label incidents as sexual harassment when they targeted nonprototypical women compared with prototypical women. In Studies C1 and C2, participants perceived sexual harassment claims to be less credible and the harassment itself to be less psychologically harmful when the victims were nonprototypical women rather than prototypical women. This research offers theoretical and methodological advances to the study of sexual harassment through social cognition and prototypicality perspectives, and it has implications for harassment reporting and litigation as well as the realization of fundamental civil rights. For materials, data, and preregistrations of all studies, see</div><br /> <b>Alastair Wilson: <a href="">Counterpossible Reasoning in Physics</a></b> (pdf, 5212 words)<br /> <div>This paper explores three ways in which physics may involve counterpossible reasoning. The first way arises when evaluating false theories: to say what the world would be like if the theory were true, we need to evaluate counterfactuals with physically impossible antecedents. The second way relates to the role of counterfactuals in characterizing causal structure: to say what causes what in physics, we need to make reference to physically impossible scenarios. The third way is novel: to model metaphysical dependence in physics, we need to consider counterfactual consequences of metaphysical impossibilities. Physics accordingly bears substantial and surprising counterpossible commitments.</div><br /> <b>Albert Newen, Gottfried Vosgerau: <a href="">Situated Mental Representations: Why we need mental representations and how we should understand them</a></b> (pdf, 14808 words)<br /> <div>Mental representations are a means to explain behavior. This, at least, is the idea on which cognitive (behavioral) science is built: that there are certain kinds of behavior, namely minimally flexible behavior, which cannot be explained by appealing to stimulus-response patterns. Flexible behavior is understood as behavior that can differ even in response to one and the same type of stimulus or that can be elicited without the relevant stimulus being present. Since this implies that there is no simple one-to-one relation between stimulus and behavior, flexible behavior is not explainable by simple stimulus-response patterns. Thus, some inner processes of the behaving system (of a minimal complexity) are assumed to have an influence on what kind of behavior is selected given a specific stimulus. These inner processes (or states) are then taken to stand for something else (features, properties, objects, etc.) and are hence called “mental representations”. They are presupposed for two main reasons, 1. to account for flexible reactions to one and the same stimulus and 2. to account for behavior triggered when the relevant entities are not present. The latter case is highlighted by J.</div><br /> <b>Camilla Flodin: <a href="">Adorno’s Utopian Animals</a></b> (pdf, 3661 words)<br /> <div>Scientists warn us that we are living in an era of human—induced mass extinc— tion of species caused by our social practice of “co—opting resources, fragment— ing habitats, introducing non—native species, spreading pathogens, killing species directly, and changing global climate”.1 Mass extinction is characterised by a dramatic reduction in species during a geologically short interval. This kind of species extinction has happened five times over the last half billion years—referred to as the Big Five. And now we are entering into a sixth, expected to be the most detrimental since the asteroid impact eradicated the dinosaurs 66 million years ago.2 Today, over 26,500 species are threatened with extinction, according to the IUCN Red list.3 Even without the impact of humans, species would die out, but, as an example, the extinction of anthro— pogenic vertebrae is estimated to be up to 100 times higher than what scientists refer to as “the background rate”.4</div><br /> <b>Cecilia Sioholm: <a href="">Arendt on Aesthetic and Political Judgement Thought as the Pre-Political</a></b> (pdf, 3517 words)<br /> <div>In present times, around the globe, we are witnessing a public sphere in crisis, distorted through fake news, lies, threats of violence and call for constraints. This has occurred not only in states of authoritarian rule, but also in liberal societies. Thus, one of the great challenges for critical thought today is to be able to maintain sound methods of reflection when the public space, which since the enlightenment has been called upon to maintain a legacy of critical reflection and freedom, appears undermined. For Kant, Arendt, Habermas and others the public sphere was expected to sustain a measure of soundness of thought. But when the public sphere can no longer do so, and thought retreats into itself, what means do we have to engage in the world and develop a thought that is congruent with political possibilities? The concept of “critical thought” in this context refers not to the school of critical theory, but to the kind of thought that Arendt advocates—a thought that is socially, ethically and poli— tically astute. It means to scrutinise opinions and beliefs and to practice a certain “Socratic midwifery”.l It is in this context that the inner voice is heard.</div><br /> <b>Christopher Taylor, Daniel Dennett: <a href="">Rearguing Consequential Questions: A Reply to Gustafsson</a></b> (pdf, 3137 words)<br /> <div>Several months before the publication of “Dennett and Taylor’s Alleged Refutation of the Consequence Argument,” Johan Gustafsson was kind enough to send us an advance copy of that article, and the resulting correspondence was, in our opinion, quite entertaining and instructive.</div><br /> <b>Fausto Carcassi, Jakub Szymanik: <a href="">An Alternatives Account of ‘Most’ and ‘More Than Half’</a></b> (pdf, 14593 words)<br /> <div>While ‘most’ and ‘more than half’ are generally assumed to be truth-conditionally equivalent, the former is usually interpreted as conveying greater proportions than the latter. Previous work has attempted to explain this difference in terms of pragmatic strengthening or variation in meanings. In this paper, we propose a novel explanation that keeps the truth-conditions equivalence. We argue that the difference in typical sets between the two expressions emerges as a result of two previously independently motivated mechanisms. First, the two expressions have different sets of pragmatic alternatives. Second, listeners tend to minimize the expected distance between their representation of the world and the speaker’s observation. We support this explanation with a computational model of usage in the Rational Speech Act framework. Moreover, we report the results of a quantifier production experiment. We find that the difference in typical proportions associated with the two expressions can be explained by our account.</div><br /> <b>Franz Dietrich: <a href="">Fully Bayesian Aggregation</a></b> (pdf, 13708 words)<br /> <div>Can a group be an orthodox rational agent? This requires the group’s aggregate preferences to follow expected utility (static rationality) and to evolve by Bayesian updating (dynamic rationality). Group rationality is possible, but the only preference aggregation rules which achieve it (and are minimally Paretian and continuous) are the linear-geometric rules, which combine individual values linearly and individual beliefs geometrically. Linear-geometric preference aggregation contrasts with classic linear-linear preference aggregation, which combines both values and beliefs linearly, and achieves only static rationality. Our characterisation of linear-geometric preference aggregation implies as corollaries a characterisation of linear value aggregation (Harsanyi’s Theorem) and a characterisation of geometric belief aggregation.</div><br /> <b>Hugo Mercier, Dan Sperber: <a href="">Bounded Reason in a Social World</a></b> (pdf, 6511 words)<br /> <div>Herbert Simon (1983, pp. 34– 35) distinguished three “visions of rationality”: (1) the “Olympian model,” which “serves, perhaps, as a model of the mind of God, but certainly not as a model of the mind of man;” (2) the “behavioral” model, which “postulates that human rationality is very limited, very much bounded by the situation and by human computational powers;” and (3) the “intuitive model,” which “is in fact a component of the behavioral theory.” Bounded rationality, with its intuitive component, is to be explained, Simon adds, in an evolutionary perspective. Our joint work on reasoning and in particular our book <i>The Enigma of Reason</i> (Mercier &amp; Sperber, 2017) describes mechanisms of intuitive inference in general and the mechanism of reason in a way that is quite consistent with Simon’s defense of a “bounded rationality” approach to human reason. Like other evolutionary psychologists (in particular, Leda Cosmides and John Tooby, see Tooby &amp; Cosmides, 1992) and like Gerd Gigerenzer’s ‘adaptive toolbox’ approach (Gigerenzer, 2007; Gigerenzer, Todd, &amp; ABC Research Group, 1999), we don’t see bounded rationality as an inferior version of Olympian rationality, nor do we think that human or other animal inferences should be measured against abstract rationality criteria. Our distinct contribution is to argue that there is an evolved mechanism that can reasonably be called “reason,” the function of which is to address problems of coordination and communication by producing and evaluating reasons used as justifications or as arguments in communicative interactions.</div><br /> <b>Hugo Mercier, Dan Sperber: <a href="">Replies to Critics</a></b> (pdf, 7460 words)<br /> <div>We are very thankful to our colleagues who have provided such thoughtful and constructive discussions of our book, <i>The Enigma of Reason</i>. Since these commentaries each raise a different set of issues, we respond to them one by one.</div><br /> <b>Jeff Engelhardt: <a href="">Be Gone! The Logic of Misandrogyny</a></b> (doc, 767 words)<br /> <div>This paper develops a conception of misandrogyny that is analogous to Kate Manne’s account of misogyny. On Manne’s view, misogyny is a system of mechanisms that together police and enforce the gendered hierarchy of a patriarchal order. The patriarchal gender hierarchy is constituted by norms that call women to give feminine­coded goods to men. On the account developed here, misandrogyny is a system of mechanisms that together police and enforce the gender binary of a patriarchal order. The gender binary is constituted by norms that preclude the existence of persons who aren’t consistently ‘read’ either as a man (and only a man) or as a woman (and only a woman). Misandrogyny thus polices and enforces exactly the <i>nonexistence</i> of people who are neither women (only) nor men (only). While misogyny pushes women down into their patriarchal place, misandrogyny pushes gender non­conforming persons out of existence—either by pushing the person out of literal or social existence or by pushing the person into a stable, patriarchal gendered position. Section 1 articulates and motivates the overall account of misandrogyny; section two characterizes three kinds of misandrogynist mechanism.</div><br /> <b>Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen, Luca Moretti: <a href="">Non-Evidentialist Epistemology: Introduction and Overview</a></b> (pdf, 9809 words)<br /> <div>The aim of this edited collection is to explore <i>non-evidentialist epistemology</i> or <i>nonevidentialism</i>—roughly, the view that evidence is not required in order for a doxastic attitude to have a positive epistemic standing. According to this view, it is possible for belief or acceptance to be epistemically justified, warranted, or rational in the absence of supporting evidence. To introduce non-evidentialist epistemology it is helpful to take a look at the contrasting view, <i>evidentialism</i>.</div><br /> <b>Pamela Ann J. Boongaling: <a href="">What Does It Mean to “Throw Away the Ladder”?</a></b> (pdf, 5992 words)<br /> <div>of Wittgenstein’s <i>Tractatus</i> should reconsider their equation of “throwing away the ladder” with the “end of philosophy.” To do this, I will show that an inconsistency arises in Wittgenstein’s view regarding the relationship of philosophy and science since he associates “the correct method of philosophy” with the propositions of science at the end of the aforementioned text. Due to this, I will maintain that it is reasonable to posit that the sharp distinction that Wittgenstein makes between philosophy and science in the <i>Tractatus</i> is merely illusory. An interesting consequence of this is that if this interpretation holds then this provides sufficient grounds to maintain that what some scholars refer to as “the end of philosophy” may actually be the beginning of “Wittgenstein’s naturalism.”</div><br /> <b>Peter Myrdal: <a href="">Force, Motion, and Leibniz’s Argument from Successiveness</a></b> (pdf, 12498 words)<br /> <div>This essay proposes a new interpretation of a central, and yet overlooked, argument Leibniz offers against Descartes’s power-free ontology of the corporeal world. Appealing to considerations about the successiveness of motion, Leibniz attempts to show that the reality of motion requires force. It is often assumed that the argument is driven by concerns inspired by Zeno. Against such a reading, this essay contends that Leibniz’s argument is instead best understood against the background of an Aristotelian view of the priority of real being over time. The essay also shows how this alternative interpretation can help to shed new light on the difference between Leibnizian forces and Aristotelian powers, as well as on Leibniz’s famous claim that accounting for force leads us beyond the mechanistic corporeal realm.</div><br /> <b>Shanto Iyengar, Masha Krupenkin: <a href="">The Strengthening of Partisan Affect</a></b> (pdf, 7719 words)<br /> <div>Partisanship continues to divide Americans. Using data from the American National Election Studies (ANES), we find that partisans not only feel more negatively about the opposing party, but also that this negativity has become more consistent and has a greater impact on their political participation. We find that while partisan animus began to rise in the 1980s, it has grown dramatically over the past two decades. As partisan affect has intensified, it is also more structured; ingroup favoritism is increasingly associated with outgroup animus. Finally, hostility toward the opposing party has eclipsed positive affect for ones’ own party as a motive for political participation.</div><br /> <b>Shen-yi Liao, Aaron Meskin, Jade Fletcher: <a href="">The Vanity of Small Differences: Empirical Studies of Artistic Value and Extrinsic Factors</a></b> (pdf, 6239 words)<br /> <div><b></b>To what extent are factors that are extrinsic to the artwork relevant to judgements of artistic value? One might approach this question using traditional philosophical methods, but one can also approach it using empirical methods; that is, by doing experimental philosophical aesthetics. This paper provides an example of the latter approach. We report two empirical studies that examine the significance of three sorts of extrinsic factors for judgements of artistic value: the causal-historical factor of contagion, the ontological factor of uniqueness, and the contextual factor of appreciative environment.</div><br /> <b>Teresa Marques: <a href="">Illocutionary force and attitude mode in normative disputes</a></b> (pdf, 9611 words)<br /> <div>In this paper, I assess recent Stalnakerian views of communication in moral and normative domains. These views model context updates with normative claims. They also aim to explain how people disagree when they follow different norms or values. I present four problems for these Stalnakerian views. I conclude that the problems require a new conception of how common ground relates to illocutionary force and attitude mode, which is still lacking.</div><br /> <b>Wendy S. Parker: <a href="">Virtually a measurement</a></b> (pdf, 878 words)<br /> <div>Computer simulations serve myriad purposes in science: from experimental design in high-energy physics, to predicting tomorrow’s weather in meteorology, to exploring and evaluating candidate molecules in drug research. But is simulation also a tool for observing the world? Can we measure the world via computer simulation? It might seem not. Yet, in the geosciences, there are now ‘observational’ datasets composed entirely of simulation output. And in various fields, especially chemistry and engineering, one finds software designed to enable ‘virtual measurements’ of quantities of interest.</div><br /> <b>The Brains Blog: <a href="">David Barack will be live-streaming “Computation with Neural Manifolds” on January 22</a></b> (html, 381 words)<br /> <div>We are excited about the next Neural Mechanisms webinar this Friday. As always, it is free. You can find information about how and when to join the webinar below or at the Neural Mechanisms website—where you can also join sign up for the mailing list that notifies people about upcoming webinars, webconferences, and more! &hellip;</div><br /> <b>Alexander Pruss's Blog: <a href="">Defining supererogation</a></b> (html, 574 words)<br /> <div>Sometimes supererogation is defined by a conjunction of a positive evaluation of performing the action and a denial of a negative evaluation of non-performance. For instance: The action is good to do but not bad not to do. &hellip;</div><br /> <b>John Danaher's blog: <a href="">The Parent-Child Relationship: Can it justify becoming a parent?</a></b> (html, 2811 words)<br /> <div> I recently became a father. Well, when I say recently, I mean just over a year ago (October 2019). Being a parent raises a number of practical and philosophical questions. Should you have children in the first place? &hellip;</div><br /> Articles and blog posts found on 14 January 20212021-01-14T23:59:00Z2021-01-14T23:59:00ZPhilosophical,2021-01-14://<b>Alexander Pruss's Blog: <a href="">Probabilistic reasoning and disjunctive Gettier cases</a></b> (html, 1239 words)<br /> <div>A disjunctive Gettier case looks like this. You have a justified belief in p, you have no reason to believe q, and you justifiedly believe the disjunction p or q. But it turns out that p is false and q is true. &hellip;</div><br /> Articles and blog posts found on 13 January 20212021-01-13T23:59:00Z2021-01-13T23:59:00ZPhilosophical,2021-01-13://<b>Alexander Pruss's Blog: <a href="">Epistemology and the presumption of (im)permissibility</a></b> (html, 588 words)<br /> <div>Normally, our overt behavior has the presumption of moral permissibility: an action is morally permissible unless there is some specific reason why it would be morally impermissible. Oddly, this is not so in epistemology. &hellip;</div><br /> <b>Alexander Pruss's Blog: <a href="">More on Bostock</a></b> (html, 221 words)<br /> <div>In Bostock, the Supreme Court held that a refusal to hire, say, a man who is attracted to men is discrimination on the basis of sex if one wouldn’t refuse to hire a woman who is attracted to men. The idea is that a rule is discriminatory if it precludes a man from doing something that a woman is permitted to do or vice versa. &hellip;</div><br /> Articles and blog posts found on 12 January 20212021-01-12T23:59:00Z2021-01-12T23:59:00ZPhilosophical,2021-01-12://<b>Alexander Pruss's Blog: <a href="">Posteriors and subjective Bayesianism</a></b> (html, 241 words)<br /> <div>Rough question: How much of a constraint does subjective Bayesianism put on the posteriors? Let’s make the question precise. Suppose I start with some consistent and regular prior probabilities on some countable sample space, gathered some evidence E (a non-empty subset of the sample space), applied Bayesian conditionalization, and obtained a posterior probability distribution PE. &hellip;</div><br /> <b>Alexander Pruss's Blog: <a href="">Change without a plurality of times</a></b> (html, 771 words)<br /> <div>Assume presentism. Then Aristotle’s definition of change as the actuality of a potentiality seems to have a serious logical problem. For consider a precise statement of that definition: There is change just in case there is a potentiality P and an actuality A and A is the actuality of P. Given presentism, quantification has to be over present items. &hellip;</div><br /> <b>Azimuth: <a href="">This Week’s Finds (1-50)</a></b> (html, 357 words)<br /> <div>Take a copy of this! • This Week’s Finds in Mathematical Physics (1-50), 242 pages. These are the first 50 issues of This Week’s Finds of Mathematical Physics. This series has sometimes been called the world’s first blog, though it was originally posted on a “usenet newsgroup” called sci.physics.research — a form of communication that predated the world-wide web. &hellip;</div><br /> Articles and blog posts found on 11 January 20212021-01-11T23:59:00Z2021-01-11T23:59:00ZPhilosophical,2021-01-11://<b>Edward N. Zalta: <a href="">Non-Symmetrical Relations and Their Converses</a></b> (pdf, 4397 words)<br /> <div>Problems about the existence of converses for non-symmetric relations go back to Russell 1903. These resurfaced in Fine 2000 and were recently rehearsed in MacBride 2014. In this paper, I focus one problem that is described in all three works. I show how object theory (Zalta 1983, 1993; Bueno, Menzel, &amp; Zalta 2014, Menzel &amp; Zalta2014) provides a solution to those problems.</div><br /> <b>Lina Maria Lissia: <a href="">Against Belief Closure</a></b> (pdf, 9903 words)<br /> <div><b></b> I argue that we should solve the Lottery Paradox by denying that rational belief is closed under classical logic. To reach this conclusion, I build on my previous result that (a slight variant of) McGee’s election scenario is a lottery scenario (see blinded paper currently under review). Indeed, this result implies that the sensible ways to deal with McGee’s scenario are the same as the sensible ways to deal with the lottery scenario: we should either reject the Lockean Thesis or Belief Closure. After recalling my argument to this conclusion, I demonstrate that a McGee-like example (which is just, in fact, Carroll’s barbershop paradox) can be provided in which the Lockean Thesis plays no role: this proves that denying Belief Closure is the right way to deal with both McGee’s scenario and the Lottery Paradox. A straightforward consequence of my approach is that Carroll’s puzzle is solved, too.</div><br /> <b>Mark Sainsbury: <a href="">Fictional names: reference, definiteness and ontology</a></b> (pdf, 5710 words)<br /> <div>Definite linguistic expressions, for example proper names and singular and plural pronouns, are easy to introduce. Indefinite expressions may pave the way, but are not essential. It is also not essential that there be entities to which the successfully introduced definites refer. This is the underlying fact that makes fiction possible, and it gives guidance about fictional names: we have no need in general to suppose that there exist entities to which they refer.</div><br /> <b>Alexander Pruss's Blog: <a href="">Change and potentiality</a></b> (html, 641 words)<br /> <div>Aristotle defines motion or, more generally, change as the actuality of potentiality. Imagine a helicopter hovering in one location, x. Its being at the same location x at time t2 as it was at time t1 is an actualization of its potentiality at t1: namely, its potentiality to keep itself hovering in the same place by counteracting the force of gravity. &hellip;</div><br />