Philosophical Progress and blog posts found on 27 September 20232023-09-27T23:59:00Z2023-09-27T23:59:00ZPhilosophical,2023-09-27://<b>Andrea Iacona, Vincenzo Crupi: <a href="">The Evidential Conditional</a></b> (pdf, 12009 words)<br /> <div>This paper outlines an account of conditionals, the <i>evidential account</i>, which rests on the idea that a conditional is true just in case its antecedent supports its consequent. As we will show, the evidential account exhibits some distinctive logical features that deserve careful consideration. On the one hand, it departs from the material reading of ‘if then’ exactly in the way we would like it to depart from that reading. On the other, it significantly differs from the non-material accounts which hinge on the Ramsey Test, advocated by Adams, Stalnaker, Lewis, and others.</div><br /> <b>Bradford Skow: <a href="">On experiencing music from within</a></b> (pdf, 5752 words)<br /> <div>Experiencing the emotion in a piece of music “from within” involves imagining feeling that emotion, but just what does one imagine, and why? It has been suggested that one imagines, of one’s experience of hearing the sounds, that it is one’s feeling the emotion. This suggestion, it is argued here, is unworkable. A better idea is that one imagines oneself to be expressing one’s emotion in the sounds of the music. But imagining, by itself, is subject to few constraints; it is possible, with enough effort, to listen to an anxious piece of music, and imagine oneself expressing one’s joy through it. To vindicate the idea, then, the constraints under which one imagines when one listens “from within” must be described. It is argued that one imagines feeling (e.g.) sad, when listening to sad music from within, because one begins by imagining one’s hearing the sounds to be one’s perceiving one’s own behavior, and then allows this imaginative episode to unfold involuntarily. An imagining that one feels sad is then generated, in part, by an offline-running of one’s disposition to infer what emotion one feels from internal perceptions of one’s behavior.</div><br /> <b>Eric Raidl, Andrea Iacona, Vincenzo Crupi: <a href="">An Axiomatic System for Concessive Conditionals</a></b> (pdf, 9065 words)<br /> <div>Iacona, a concessive conditional <i>p → q</i> is adequately formalized as a conjunction of conditionals. This paper presents a sound and complete axiomatic system for concessive conditionals so understood. The soundness and completeness proofs that will be provided rely on a method that has been employed by Raidl, Iacona, and Crupi to prove the soundness and completeness of an analogous system for evidential conditionals.</div><br /> <b>Peter Kearney: <a href="">Mathematical Determinacy and Internal Categoricity</a></b> (pdf, 12625 words)<br /> <div>Some mathematical concepts (such as “natural number” or “real number”) are commonly understood to be about a single mathematical domain (the natural numbers, the real numbers). In contrast, a mathematical concept such as that of “group” is not intended to be about one particular mathematical domain, but rather to describe a class of different structures which share certain properties but also exhibit important differences (some groups are finite, some infinite, some abelian, some non-abelian etc.). The mathematical concept of “set” has a more controversial status, with some mathematicians believing that the set concept determines a unique universe of sets, while others believe that the set concept delineates a range of different set universes (a set-theoretic “multiverse”).</div><br /> <b>Vincenzo Crupi, Andrea Iacona: <a href="">Outline of a Theory of Reasons</a></b> (pdf, 13058 words)<br /> <div><i>This paper investigates the logic of reasons. Its aim is to provide an analysis of the sentences of the form ‘p is a reason for q’ that yields a coherent account of their logical properties. The idea that we will develop is that ‘p is a reason for q’ is acceptable just in case a suitably defined relation of incompatibility obtains between p and</i> ¬<i>q. As we will suggest, a theory of reasons based on this idea can solve three challenging puzzles that concern, respectively, contraposing reasons, conflicting reasons, and supererogatory reasons, and opens a new perspective on some classical issues concerning non-deductive inferences.</i></div><br /> <b>Vincenzo Crupi, Fabrizio Calzavarini: <a href="">Critique of pure Bayesian cognitive science: A view from the philosophy of science</a></b> (pdf, 9130 words)<br /> <div>Bayesian approaches to human cognition have been extensively advocated in the last decades, but sharp objections have been raised too within cognitive science. In this paper, we outline a diagnosis of what has gone wrong with the prevalent strand of Bayesian cognitive science (here labelled pure Bayesian cognitive science), relying on selected illustrations from the psychology of reasoning and tools from the philosophy of science. Bayesians’ reliance on so-called method of rational analysis is a key point of our discussion. We tentatively conclude on a constructive note, though: an appropriately modified variant of Bayesian cognitive science can still be coherently pursued, as some scholars have noted.</div><br /> <b>D. G. Mayo's blog: <a href="">Philosophy of Scientific Experiment: 40+ years on</a></b> (html, 1106 words)<br /> <div>Some time, around the 1980s, philosophers of science turned their attention to scientific experiments in a way that contrasted with the reigning approaches to philosophy of science. My colleague, Wendy Parker, and I decided to embark on an experiment of our own, aimed at elucidating some central themes of this evolving movement, sometimes referred to as the ‘new experimentalism.’ It was to begin tomorrow, but due to unexpected weather conditions, I’ll be traveling back then, and find myself with an additional afternoon in New York City. &hellip;</div><br /> <b>wo's weblog: <a href="">Exploring the Rational Speech Act framework</a></b> (html, 2870 words)<br /> <div>I've been playing around with the Rational Speech Act framework lately, and I want to write a few blog posts clarifying my thoughts. In this post, I'll introduce the framework and go through a simple application. &hellip;</div><br /> Articles and blog posts found on 26 September 20232023-09-26T23:59:00Z2023-09-26T23:59:00ZPhilosophical,2023-09-26://<b>Angela Mendelovici,David Bourget: <a href="">Review of Tye&#39;s Vagueness and the Evolution of Consciousness</a></b> (pdf, 2278 words)<br /> <div>Michael Tye is perhaps best known for his defense of <i>tracking representationalism</i>, a view that combines representationalism (the view that an experience's phenomenal character is determined by its representational content) with a tracking theory of representation (the view that mental representation is a matter of causal covariation, carrying information, or, more generally, <i>tracking</i>). In <i>Vagueness and the Evolution of Consciousness</i>, Tye takes an unexpected turn, endorsing a combination of tracking representationalism and <i>panpsychism</i>, understood here as the view that phenomenal consciousness is a primitive feature of the fundamental constituents of reality. While Tye takes both panpsychism and tracking representationalism to fail as theories of consciousness, he argues that their combination–– <i>panpsychist representationalism</i>––can avoid the problems of both.</div><br /> <b>Boucher, Sandy C.: <a href="">An argument for global realism about the units of selection</a></b> (pdf, 12408 words)<br /> <div>This paper defends global realism about the units of selection, the view that there is always (or nearly always) an objective fact of the matter concerning the level at which natural selection acts. The argument proceeds in two stages. First, it is argued that global conventionalist-pluralism is false. This is established by identifying plausible sufficient conditions for irreducible selection at a particular level, and showing that these conditions are sometimes satisfied in nature. Second, it is argued that local pluralism – the view that while realism is true of some selection regimes, pluralist conventionalism holds for others – should also be rejected. I show that the main arguments for local pluralism are consistent with global realism. I also suggest that local pluralism offers an unacceptably disunified view of the metaphysics of selection. It follows that we should accept global realism. But this leaves open the question of how to classify so called ‘multi-level selection type 1’ (MLS1) processes, such as Wilson’s classic trait-group model for the evolution of altruism: should they be interpreted as particle selection or collective selection? On the assumption of global realism, at most one of these is correct. I argue, against global realists such as Sober, that MLS1 processes should be understood as particle, not collective, selection, due to three features of MLS1: the reducibility of collective fitness, the absence of collective reproduction, and the dispensable role of collectives.</div><br /> <b>Chris Tucker: <a href="">The All or Nothing Ranking Reversal and the Unity of Morality</a></b> (pdf, 9395 words)<br /> <div><b></b>Supererogatory acts are, in some sense, morally better their non-supererogatory alternatives. In this sense, what is it for one option A to be better than an alternative B? I argue for three main conclusions. First, relative rankings are a type of all-in action guidance. If A is better than B, then morality recommends that you A rather than B. Such all-in guidance is useful when acts have the same deontic status. Second, I argue that Right &gt; Wrong: permissible acts are always better than their impermissible alternatives. If Right &gt; Wrong were false, then morality’s deontic verdicts would sometimes conflict with its relative rankings. Such conflict would undermine the thought that morality is a coherent, authoritative guide to action. Third, the All or Nothing Problem is not a counterexample to Right &gt; Wrong as is commonly thought. Instead, it involves an interesting ranking reversal: whether A &gt; B can depend on whether a certain alternative is added as a third option.</div><br /> <b>Christian List: <a href="">A quadrilemma for theories of consciousness</a></b> (pdf, 6037 words)<br /> <div><b></b>In this discussion paper, I argue that no theory of consciousness can simultaneously respect four initially plausible metaphysical claims – namely, “first-person realism”, “non-solipsism”, “non-fragmentation”, and “one world” – but that any three of the four claims are mutually consistent. So, theories of consciousness face a “quadrilemma”. Since it will be hard to achieve a consensus on which of the four claims to retain and which to give up, we arrive at a landscape of competing theories, all of which have pros and cons. I will briefly indicate which kinds of theories correspond to the four horns of the quadrilemma.</div><br /> <b>David Thorstad: <a href="">Three mistakes in the moral mathematics of existential risk</a></b> (pdf, 11067 words)<br /> <div>Longtermists have recently argued that it is overwhelmingly important to do what we can to mitigate existential risks to humanity. I consider three mistakes that are often made in calculating the value of existential risk mitigation: focusing on cumulative risk rather than period risk; ignoring background risk; and neglecting population dynamics. I show how correcting these mistakes pushes the value of existential risk mitigation substantially below leading estimates, potentially low enough to threaten the normative case for existential risk mitigation. I use this discussion to draw four positive lessons for the study of existential risk: the importance of treating existential risk as an intergenerational coordination problem; a surprising dialectical flip in the relevance of background risk levels to the case for existential risk mitigation; renewed importance of population dynamics, including the dynamics of digital minds; and a novel form of the cluelessness challenge to longtermism.</div><br /> <b>David Wiens: <a href="">Against Ideal Guidance, Again: A Reply to Erman and M&ouml;ller</a></b> (pdf, 4802 words)<br /> <div>Eva Erman and Niklas Möller (2022) have recently presented a trenchant critique of my (2015) argument that ideal normative theories are uninformative for certain practical purposes. Their criticisms are largely correct. In this note, I develop the ideas behind my earlier argument in a way that circumvents their critique and explains more clearly why ideal theory is uninformative for certain purposes while leaving open the possibility that it might be informative for other purposes. Eva Erman and Niklas Möller (2022) have recently presented a trenchant critique of my (2015) argument that ideal normative theories are uninformative for certain practical purposes: namely, for specifying the normative principles we should realize (the “Target View”), and for specifying a set of principles that we should use to normatively rank feasible options (the “Benchmark View”). Their criticisms are largely correct: my model is at turns obscure and clumsy and my arguments contain several missteps. Even still, we can develop the ideas behind my original argument in a way that circumvents their critique. In this note, I do just that in an effort to more clearly explain why ideal theory is uninformative for certain purposes while leaving open the possibility that it might be informative for other purposes.</div><br /> <b>Evan Behrle: <a href="">Desert and Economic Interdependence</a></b> (pdf, 15089 words)<br /> <div>Outside of philosophy, the idea that workers deserve to be paid according to their productive contributions is very popular. But political philosophers have given it relatively little attention. In this paper, I argue against the attempt to use this idea about desert and contribution to vindicate significant income inequality. I claim that reward according to contribution fails on its own terms when the following condition holds: the size of each worker’s contribution depends on what others only together do. When workers only together make another more productive, that is not reflected in the sum of their own contributions. Thus reward according to contribution recognizes individual accomplishments without recognizing their dependence on collectives, dependence that is, in complex economies, ubiquitous.</div><br /> <b>Gerald Hull: <a href="">The Detoxification of Desire</a></b> (doc, 6574 words)<br /> <div>Agency is the remarkable ability to impose cognitivity on the world. It’s especially amazing because thought seems so different from the other things in the Universe: it works by different rules, according to reason instead of necessity. Agency represents the marriage of thought and effectiveness, more specifically of the twined elements of <i>practical reasoning</i> and <i>action</i>. The antecedent practical reasoning is principally <i>cognitive</i>; the action in which it culminates is principally <i>causal</i>. These elements form a natural whole – each is meaningless without the other. Without the guiding intelligence of practical reasoning there is nothing that can properly be called “action”, and without action the idea of practical reasoning becomes pointless. The problem is, they require the involvement of two categorically distinct and ostensibly incompatible perspectives. <i>Cognitivity</i> can be understood as governance by, or adherence to, the epistemic norms of truth and validity. <i>Causality</i>, on the other hand, is determination by efficient, necessitating factors – particularly desires in the case of action. Cognitivity and causality as such appear at odds with one another: either something is the kind of thing to be governed by the rationality of normative rules or the kind to be governed by the necessity of efficient causes, but not both. Nonetheless, agency intrinsically <i>does</i> encompass both. The fundamental aim here is to develop a model of agency that explicates the complex relation between cognitivity and causality in practical reasoning and action.</div><br /> <b>Jon Williamson: <a href="">Where do we stand on maximal entropy?</a></b> (pdf, 9614 words)<br /> <div>Edwin Jaynes’ <i>principle of maximum entropy</i> holds that one should use the probability distribution with maximum entropy, from all those that fit the evidence, to draw inferences, because that is the distribution that is maximally non-committal with respect to propositions that are underdetermined by the evidence. The principle was widely applied in the years following its introduction in 1957, and in 1978 Jaynes took stock, writing the paper ‘Where do we stand on maximum entropy?’ to present his view of the state of the art. Jaynes’ principle needs to be generalised to a principle of <i>maximal</i> entropy if it is to be applied to first-order inductive logic, where there may be no unique maximum entropy function. The development of this objective Bayesian inductive logic has also been very fertile and it is the task of this chapter to take stock. The chapter provides an introduction to the logic and its motivation, explaining how it overcomes some problems with Carnap’s approach to inductive logic and with the subjective Bayesian approach. It also describes a range of recent results that shed light on features of the logic, its robustness and its decidability, as well as methods for performing inference in the logic.</div><br /> <b>Jonathan Birch: <a href="">When is a brain organoid a sentience candidate?</a></b> (pdf, 9269 words)<br /> <div>It would be unwise to dismiss the possibility of human brain organoids developing sentience. However, scepticism about this idea is appropriate when considering current organoids. It is a point of consensus that a brainstem-dead human is not sentient, and current organoids lack a functioning brainstem. There are nonetheless troubling early warning signs, suggesting organoid research may create forms of sentience in the near future. To err on the side of caution, researchers with very different views about the neural basis of sentience should unite behind the “brainstem rule”: if a neural organoid develops or innervates a functioning brainstem that registers and prioritizes its needs, regulates arousal, and leads to sleep-wake cycles, then it is a sentience candidate. If organoid research leads to the creation of sentience candidates, a moratorium or indefinite ban on the creation of the relevant type of organoid may be appropriate. A different way forward, more consistent with existing approaches to animal research, would be to require ethical review and harm-benefit analysis for all research on sentience candidates.</div><br /> <b>Lavazza, Andrea,Levin, Sergei,Farina, Mirko: <a href="">The Quarantine Model and its Limits</a></b> (pdf, 11424 words)<br /> <div>There are several well-established theories of criminal punishment and of its justification. The quarantine model (advocated by Pereboom and Caruso) has recently emerged as one of the most prominent theories in the field, by denying the very idea of criminal justice. This theory claims that no one ought to be criminally punished because fundamentally people do not deserve any kind of punishment. On these grounds, the quarantine model proposes forms of incapacitation based on public safety considerations. In this article, we briefly review a series of objections raised against the quarantine model and propose some new or revised arguments, which are aimed at showing its inconsistencies and weaknesses. These arguments are related to (a) the lack of a reliable way of determining who is dangerous and the consequent need to make judgments about confinement based on probabilities, and (b) the prospect that the quarantine model may encourage certain crimes. Given the arguments we present in this paper, the quarantine model proves to be less solid, humane, and desirable than its proponents claim.</div><br /> <b>Nicholas Southwood,David Wiens: <a href="">&amp;quot;Actual&amp;quot; does not imply &amp;quot;feasible&amp;quot;</a></b> (pdf, 12321 words)<br /> <div>The familiar complaint that some ambitious proposal, while appealing in theory, is infeasible in practice naturally invites the following retort: History abounds with instances of things that seemed infeasible at the time, yet that have actually come to pass. Think of the abolition of slavery, the enfranchisement of women, the election of a black president in the United States, and the creation of the International Criminal Court. Each of these things must have seemed frankly fanciful prior to their realization. Yet, they were actually achieved. Presumably, then, many of the ambitious proposals that seem infeasible in our own time may well turn out to be perfectly feasible as well. Those who insist on the infeasibility of, say, eliminating global poverty, reversing climate change and creating a world state have simply failed to learn the lessons of history.</div><br /> Articles and blog posts found on 25 September 20232023-09-25T23:59:00Z2023-09-25T23:59:00ZPhilosophical,2023-09-25://<b>Aldo Filomeno Farrerons: <a href="">How bad is the postulation of a low entropy initial state of the universe?</a></b> (pdf, 5827 words)<br /> <div>I briefly summarize, through an informal interview, the main answers given to the ‘Past Hypothesis’, the postulation of a low-entropy initial state of the universe. I have chosen this as an open problem in contemporary philosophy, specifically in the foundations of physics. I hope this (too brief) overview helps the reader in gaining perspective and in appreciating the varied and fascinating landscape of arguments and proposals in this debate—a debate which is part of the quest to explain and interpret our scientific picture of the universe.</div><br /> <b>Brian Cutter: <a href="*/1FnsEBQ8ENSXaZz4w8Ryl8mTuOWmzvacU?e=download&uuid=68d865cf-637b-497c-9f13-56d80a1ca8e2">Illusion, Delusion, and Neural Sense Data: Comments on Adam Pautz’s <i>Perception</i></a></b> (pdf, 3909 words)<br /> <div>Pautz’s <i>Perception</i> is a fantastic book, a wide-ranging exploration of the main philosophical theories of perception and perhaps the best single-volume introduction to the philosophy of perception in existence.</div><br /> <b>Peter W. Evans, Gerard J. Milburn, Sally Shrapnel: <a href="">How clocks define physical time</a></b> (pdf, 8891 words)<br /> <div>It is the prevailing paradigm in contemporary physics to model the dynamical evolution of physical systems in terms of a real parameter conventionally denoted as ‘<i>t</i>’ (‘<i>little tee</i>’). We typically call such dynamical models ‘laws of nature’ and <i>t</i> we call ‘physical time’. It is common in the philosophy of time to regard <i>t</i> as time itself, and to take the global structure of general relativity as the ultimate guide to physical time, and so consequently the true nature of time. In this paper we defend the idea that physical time, <i>t</i>, is rather better defined as an operational modelling parameter: we measure relations between changing physical quantities using bespoke physical systems—i.e. clocks—that coordinate local coincidences. We argue that the sorts of physical systems that make good clocks—what we call <i>precision clocks</i>— are those that exhibit self-sustained oscillations known as limit cycles, which are ubiquitous in open, driven, stable, dissipative systems. We develop the physical and philosophical ramifications of this conception of physical time, particularly the notion that physical time does not track something ‘out there’ in the world. As a result, we speculate that physical time is perhaps not as different from manifest time as many philosophers of time (and apparently general relativity) seem to suggest.</div><br /> <b>Peter van Inwagen: <a href="">Paraphrase Techniques for Nihilists</a></b> (pdf, 7254 words)<br /> <div>Nihilists hold that there are no composite objects—that everything lacks proper parts, that everything is a mereological simple. Cian Dorr and Gideon Rosen (Rosen and Dorr) and Ted Sider (Sider) have defended nihilism.¹ Semi-nihilists hold that there are some composite objects, but many fewer of them than most people would suppose. Trenton Merricks, Eric Olson, and I are semi-nihilists.²</div><br /> <b>Shan Gao: <a href="">Is superluminal signaling possible in collapse theories of quantum mechanics?</a></b> (pdf, 3162 words)<br /> <div>It is a received view that superluminal signaling is prohibited in collapse theories of quantum mechanics. In this paper, I argue that this may be not the case. I propose two possible mechanisms of superluminal signaling in collapse theories. The first one is based on the well-accepted solution to the tails problem, and the second one is based on certain assumptions about the minds of observers. Finally, I also discuss how collapse theories can avoid such superluminal signaling.</div><br /> <b>Alexander Pruss's Blog: <a href="">The Principles of Sufficient and Partial Reasons</a></b> (html, 265 words)<br /> <div>I have argued that the causal account of metaphysical possibility implies the Principle of Sufficient Reason (see Section here). The argument was basically this: If p is contingently true but unexplained, then let q be the proposition that p is unexplained but true. &hellip;</div><br /> <b>James K. Stanescu's blog: <a href="">Why Metaphysics? Some Thoughts on Weird Empiricism and Animal Studies</a></b> (html, 1329 words)<br /> <div>Those who know me, or even just looking at my recent blog posts, know I have been doing a lot of work on metaphysics. Particularly on the work of William James, and the trajectory of thinkers that could be called radical empiricists (Bergson, Whitehead, Deleuze, Stengers, Massumi, etc.). &hellip;</div><br /> Articles and blog posts found on 24 September 20232023-09-24T23:59:00Z2023-09-24T23:59:00ZPhilosophical,2023-09-24://<b>Amalia Amaya: <a href="">LA COHERENCIA EN LA ARGUMENTACI&Oacute;N JUR&Iacute;DICA</a></b> (pdf, 19971 words)<br /> <div>Las teorías de la coherencia y de la adjudicación en el Derecho han ocupado una posición prominente en la teoría del Derecho en las últimas décadas.<sup>22</sup> Esto está en sincronía con la emergencia del coherentismo a lo largo de una diversidad de campos del conocimiento. El coherentismo se ha propuesto como una alternativa a la explicación fundacionista de la estructura del conocimiento y de la justificación (BonJour, 1985; Lehrer, 2000). La coherencia es también un tema principal en el nuevo, emergente, campo de la epistemología formal (Olsson, 1997; 1998). En la filosofía de la ciencia, el coherentismo explicativo ha sido defendido como una alternativa principal al hasta ahora predominante enfoque Bayesiano de la teoría de la elección (Thagard, 1989). Las teorías coherentistas de la verdad son mucho más controvertidas que los enfoques coherentistas a la justificación de las creencias científicas y empíricas. Sin embargo, en las últimas décadas, nuevas formas de la teoría de la verdad como coherencia han sido desarrolladas y esta teoría aún sigue siendo una de las principales competidoras de la teoría tradicional de la verdad como correspondencia (Walker, 1989; Alcoff, 2001; Young, 2001). En el campo de lo práctico, más que de lo teórico, la coherencia también juega un papel preponderante. Explicaciones importantes de la deliberación práctica dan a la coherencia un lugar privilegiado (Hurley, 1989; Richardson, 1994; Millgram y Thagard, 1996), mientras que el razonamiento moral es considerado de manera amplia como un razonamiento de tipo coherentista (Rawls, 1999; Goldman, 1988; DePaul, 1993). La coherencia aparece no sólo en enfoques filosóficos al razonamiento y a la racionalidad, sino también en los enfoques psicológicos a estos temas.</div><br /> <b>Markus Https://Orcidorg Kneer,Dan Haybron: <a href="">Taking the morality out of happiness</a></b> (pdf, 10160 words)<br /> <div>In an important and widely discussed series of studies, Jonathan Phillips and colleagues have suggested that the ordinary concept of happiness has a substantial moral component. For instance, two persons who enjoy the same extent of positive emotions and are equally satisfied with their lives are judged as happy to different degrees if one is less moral than the other. Considering that the relation between morality and happiness or self-interest has been one of the central questions of moral philosophy since at least Plato, such a result would be of considerable philosophical interest. On closer examination of the original research and new studies, we suggest that the data point to a different conclusion: in the dominant folk understanding of happiness, morality has no fundamental role. Findings seeming to indicate a moralized concept are better explained, we suggest, by folk theories on which extreme moral turpitude indicates that an individual suffers from psychological dysfunction.</div><br /> Articles and blog posts found on 23 September 20232023-09-23T23:59:00Z2023-09-23T23:59:00ZPhilosophical,2023-09-23://<b>Heather Douglas: <a href="">Structuring Institutions for Responsible and Accountable Science</a></b> (doc, 4978 words)<br /> <div>Oversight institutions which hold science and scientists accountable for responsible science have thus far not focused on the general societal impact of science. Responsibility for societal impact is now a pervasive aspect of scientific practice, but accountability remains elusive. I argue here that we should proceed cautiously, and that only clear and precise floors for responsibility should have accountability mechanisms. For the remainder of societal responsibilities in science, we should institutionalize assistive ethical mechanisms, which help scientists meet their responsibilities and share rather than offload ethical labor.</div><br /> <b>Michal Masny: <a href="">Conservatism about Prudential Goods</a></b> (pdf, 9885 words)<br /> <div><b></b> Conservatism about the Valuable is the view that we have a distinctive moral reason to conserve certain things which are <i>valuable simpliciter</i>, such as the Grand Canyon or the Golden Gate Bridge, even when we could replace them with something better. This paper argues that we also have a moral reason to conserve certain <i>prudential goods,</i> such as loving relationships and important personal projects, even when we could replace them with something better, examines the theoretical foundations of this view, and explores its implications for how we should direct our lives in youth, adulthood, and older age.</div><br /> <b>Azimuth: <a href="">The Moduli Space of Acute Triangles</a></b> (html, 1036 words)<br /> <div>Recently Quanta magazine came out with an article explaining modular forms: • Jordana Cepelewicz, Behold modular forms, the ‘fifth fundamental operation’ of math, Quanta, 23 September 2023. It does a heroically good job. &hellip;</div><br /> Articles and blog posts found on 22 September 20232023-09-22T23:59:00Z2023-09-22T23:59:00ZPhilosophical,2023-09-22://<b>Daniel John VandenHeuvel: <a href="">New Mathematical and Statistical Methods for Tissue Engineering</a></b> (pdf, 44988 words)<br /> <div>This work was performed under the supervision of Professor Matthew J. Simpson, Doctor Pascal R. Buenzli, and Professor Maria A. Woodruff. I declare that the work submitted in this thesis is my own, except as acknowledged in the text and footnotes, and has not been previously submitted for a degree at Queensland University of Technology or any other institution.</div><br /> <b>David Thorstad: <a href="">Against the newer evidentialists</a></b> (pdf, 10369 words)<br /> <div>A new wave of evidentialist theorizing concedes that evidentialism may be extensionally incorrect as an account of all-things-considered rational belief. Nevertheless, these newer evidentialists maintain that there is an importantly distinct type of epistemic rationality about which evidentialism may be the correct account. I argue that natural ways of developing the newer evidentialist position face opposite problems. One version, due to David Christensen (2021), may correctly describe what rationality requires, but does not entail the existence of a distinctively epistemic type of rationality. Another version, due to Barry Maguire and Jack Woods (2020), characterizes a normative concept that is both distinct and epistemic, but struggles to explain why this concept should be classified as a type of rationality. I conclude that the newer evidentialist strategy of extensional compromise may be less favorable to evidentialism than previously supposed.</div><br /> <b>Joshua Duclos: <a href="">Virtue Ethics and Action Guidance</a></b> (pdf, 8326 words)<br /> <div>Since reemerging as a serious alternative to utilitarianism and deontology, virtue ethics has been dogged by the objection that, being agent-centered rather act-centered, it lacks the ability to provide adequate action-guidance. Virtue ethics has also been faulted for devolving into moral cultural relativism. Acknowledging that virtue ethics has little future as a normative ethical theory so long as these two objections stand, Rosalind Hursthouse attempts to ameliorate both with an action-based, naturalistic theory of virtue ethics. Despite its merits, I argue that Hurthouse’s theory fails to successfully solve the problems associated with action guidance and relativism precisely because her attempt to provide a non-cultural basis for virtue ethics undermines the possibility of using virtue ethics to derive useful action-guidance. The action-guiding power of virtue is derived from culture; seeking to avoid the cultural grounding of virtue merely brings one back to the problem of how virtue ethics can provide action-guidance.</div><br /> <b>Preston Lennon: <a href="">Are Phenomenal Theories of Thought Chauvinistic?</a></b> (pdf, 8184 words)<br /> <div>The phenomenal view of thought holds that thinking is an experience with phenomenal character that determines what the thought is about. This paper develops and responds to the objection that the phenomenal view is <i>chauvinistic</i>: it withholds thoughts from creatures that in fact have them. I develop four chauvinism objections to the phenomenal view—one from introspection, one from interpersonal differences, one from thought experiments, and one from the unconscious thought paradigm in psychology—and show that the phenomenal view can resist all four.</div><br /> <b>Stefan Https://Orcidorg Riedener: <a href="">Human extinction from a Thomist perspective</a></b> (pdf, 10044 words)<br /> <div>“Existential risks” are risks that threaten the destruction of humanity’s long-term potential: risks ofnu-clear wars, pandemics, supervolcano eruptions, and so on. On standard utilitarianism, it seems, thereduction of such risks should be a key global priority today. Many effective altruists agree with thisverdict. But how should the importance of these risks be assessed on a Christian moral theory? Inthis paper, I begin to answer this question – taking Thomas Aquinas as a reference, and the risks ofanthropogenic extinction as an example. I’ll suggest that on a Thomist framework, driving ourselvesextinct would constitute a complete failure to fulfil our God-given nature, a radical form of hubris, anda loss of cosmological significance. So the reduction of such risks seems vital for Thomists, or Christiansmore broadly. Indeed, I end with the thought that these considerations are not parochially Christian, orindeed specifically religious: everyone with a similar view of mankind – as immensely valuable yet fallenand fragile – should agree that existential risks are a pressing moral concern.</div><br /> Articles and blog posts found on 21 September 20232023-09-21T23:59:00Z2023-09-21T23:59:00ZPhilosophical,2023-09-21://<b>David Papineau: <a href="">Quine and Naturalism</a></b> (doc, 9144 words)<br /> <div>Willard Van Ormond Quine is rightly regarded as the pivotal figure in the rise of philosophical naturalism in the second half of the twentieth century. Looking back at his work from a contemporary perspective, however, it is striking how far his assumptions and concerns diverge from those of present-day naturalists. In this paper I shall explore these differences, hoping thereby to cast light both on the historical Quine and on contemporary naturalism.</div><br /> <b>David Papineau, Thomas Rowe: <a href="">The MWI and Distributive Justice</a></b> (pdf, 2563 words)<br /> <div>Before proceeding, let us put one issue to one side. Huw Price argued that a concern with fairness should lead Everettians to reject the Born rule that dictates the standard probabilities for outcomes in chancy quantum situations. If all the possible selves who experience such outcomes are equally real, argues Price, you should not favour the interests of the high-probability ones over the low-probability ones, but should treat them all equally. It would be unconscionable, argued Price, for an Everettian to deliberately engender a real successor who dies miserably in a plane crash, just to allow another successor to enjoy a few days on a sunny beach [2].</div><br /> <b>Joel Krueger: <a href="*/10bUZcU_LBpMoj8dcIHM2J9GjeX_GyQO-?e=download&uuid=668ff01d-5cb7-4c40-bb9e-d4169a62ac6b">An ecological approach to affective injustice</a></b> (pdf, 13002 words)<br /> <div>There is growing philosophical interest in “affective injustice”: injustice faced by individuals specifically in their capacity as affective beings. Current debates tend to focus on affective injustice at the psychological level. In this paper, I argue that the built environment can be a vehicle for affective injustice — specifically, what Wildman et al. (2022) term “affective powerlessness”. I use resources from ecological psychology to develop this claim. I consider two cases where certain kinds of bodies are, either intentionally or unintentionally, deprived of access to goods affording the development and maintenance of their subjective well-being: hostile architecture and masking practices in autism. This deprivation, I argue further, leads to a significant weakening and diminishment of their spatial agency, hinders their well-being, and in so doing gives rise to a pervasive experience of affective powerlessness. By drawing attention to these themes, I show that an ecological approach helpfully supplements existing approaches. It highlights how affective injustice can emerge via the way bodies are positioned in space, and the central role that built environments play in determining this positioning.</div><br /> <b>Peter van Inwagen: <a href="">Replies</a></b> (pdf, 37948 words)<br /> <div>It would be pleasant if we could resolve all the problems and paradoxes and embarrassments with which “revealed peer disagreement” presents our discipline simply by accepting the following general epistemological principle: (SE) It is possible for there to be a body of evidence that is sufficient to warrant belief that a certain proposition is true <i>and</i> sufficient to warrant belief that that proposition is false. Consider, for example, the proposition that free will is incompatible with determinism. On the basis of careful consideration a certain body of evidence, I believe that this proposition is true. On the basis of equally careful consideration of that very same body of evidence, David Lewis believed that it was false. But if (SE) is true, it is at least possible that both our beliefs were warranted – that the evidence each of us had was <i>sufficient</i> to warrant his belief.</div><br /> <b>Peter van Inwagen: <a href="">The Problem of Free Will Revisited</a></b> (pdf, 8430 words)<br /> <div>In 1886 and 1887, the American philosopher George Santayana, then a very young man, took a leave of absence from his doctoral studies at Harvard University and spent those two years in Berlin, attending the lectures of various famous professors. He was particularly impressed by the lectures of the great psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus. Ebbinghaus, for his part, took a fatherly interest in the young American. In his autobiography, Santayana relates the following anecdote.</div><br /> <b>Rivkah Hatchwell, David Papineau: <a href="">Expert Judgement without Values: Credences not Inductive Risks</a></b> (doc, 8881 words)<br /> <div>Many contemporary philosophers of science think it is proper for ethical considerations to play a role in deciding scientific claims. We disagree, not least because this is likely to bring science into disrepute.</div><br /> <b>Alexander Pruss's Blog: <a href="">Dry eternity</a></b> (html, 619 words)<br /> <div>Koons and I have used causal paradoxes of infinity, such as Grim Reapers, to argue against infinite causal chains, and hence against an infinite causally-interconnected past. A couple of times people have asked me what I think of Alex Malpass’s Dry Eternity paradox, which is supposed to show that similar problems arise if you have God and an infinite future. &hellip;</div><br /> <b>Alexander Pruss's Blog: <a href="">The infinite future problem for causal accounts of metaphysical possibility</a></b> (html, 274 words)<br /> <div>Starting with my dissertation, I’ve defended an account of metaphysical possibility on which it is nothing other than causal possibility. I would try to define this as follows: p is possible0 iff p is actually true p is possiblen + 1 iff things have the causal power to make it be that p is possiblen. &hellip;</div><br />