Economic policy evaluations require social welfare functions for variable-size populations. Two important candidates are critical-level generalized utilitarianism (CLGU) and rank-discounted critical-level generalized utilitarianism, which was recently characterized by Asheim and Zuber (2014) (AZ). AZ introduce a novel axiom, existence of egalitarian equivalence (EEE). First, we show that, under some uncontroversial criteria for a plausible social welfare relation, EEE suffices to rule out the Repugnant Conclusion of population ethics (without AZ’s other novel axioms). Second, we provide a new characterization of CLGU: AZ’s set of axioms is equivalent to CLGU when EEE is replaced by the axiom same-number independence.
. Where do journal editors look to find someone to referee your manuscript (in the typical “double blind” review system in academic journals)? One obvious place to look is the reference list in your paper. …
ABSTRACT: Many artists, art critics, and poets suggest that an aesthetic appreciation of artworks may modify our perception of the world, including quotidian things and scenes. I call this Art-to-World, AtW. Focusing on visual artworks, in this paper I articulate an empirically-informed account of AtW that is based on content-related views of aesthetic experience, and on Goodman’s and Elgin’s concept of exemplification. An aesthetic encounter with artworks demands paying attention to its aesthetic, expressive, or design properties that realize its purpose. Attention to these properties make percipients better able to spot them in other entities and scenes as well. The upshot is that an aesthetic commerce with artworks enlarges the scope of what we are able to see and has therefore momentous epistemic consequences.
Quantum entanglement poses a challenge to the traditional metaphysical view that an extrinsic property of an object is determined by its intrinsic properties. So structural realists might be tempted to cite quantum entanglement as evidence for structural realism. I argue, however, that quantum entanglement undermines structural realism. If we classify two entangled electrons as a single system, we can say that their spin properties are intrinsic properties of the system, and that we can have knowledge about these intrinsic properties. Specifically, we can know that the parts of the system are entangled and spatially separated from each other. In addition, the concept of supervenience neither illuminates quantum entanglement nor helps structural realism.
We look to mitonuclear ecology and the phenomenon of Mother’s Curse to argue that the sex of parents and offspring among populations of eukaryotic organisms, as well as the mitochondrial genome, ought to be taken into account in the conceptualization of evolutionary fitness. Subsequently, we show how characterizations of fitness considered by philosophers that do not take sex and the mitochondrial genome into account may suffer. Last, we reflect on the debate regarding the fundamentality of trait versus organism fitness and gesture at the idea that the former lies at the conceptual basis of evolutionary theory.
This paper presents challenge cases for prominent pragmatic responses to the proviso problem. The proviso problem (Geurts 1996, 1999) is the problem for many theories of presupposition of explaining why sentences predicted to semantically presuppose ψ ⊃ P seem in certain uses to commit the speaker to an unconditional presupposition P — for instance, why a use of (1) would typically commit the speaker not merely to (1a), but to the logically stronger (1b).
Leo Strauss was a twentieth-century German Jewish émigré
to the United States whose intellectual corpus spans ancient, medieval
and modern political philosophy and includes, among others, studies of
Plato, Maimonides, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Spinoza, and Nietzsche. Strauss wrote mainly as a historian of philosophy and most of his
writings take the form of commentaries on important thinkers and their
writings. Yet as he put it: “There is no inquiry into the
history of philosophy that is not at the same time a
philosophical inquiry” (PL, p. 41). While much of his
philosophical project involved an attempt to rethink pre-modern
philosophy, the impetus for this reconsideration and the philosophical
problems that vexed Strauss most were decidedly modern.
Every beginning real analysis student learns the classic Heine-Borel theorem, that the interval [0, 1] is compact. The standard proof involves techniques such as constructing a sequence and appealing to the completeness of the reals (which some may find unsatisfying). In this article, we present a different perspective by showing how the Heine- Borel theorem can be derived from a few fundamental results in mathematical logic. In particular, we put an ultrametric on the space of infinite binary sequences. Compactness of this space can be established from Brouwer’s fan theorem. This result can be derived from either Konig’s infinity lemma or from Godel’s compactness theorem in model theory. The Heine-Borel theorem is an immediate corollary. This illustrates an interesting connection between the fundamental yet different notions of compactness in analysis and compactness in logic.
For the uninitiated, the dense nature of mathematical language can act as an obscuring force. With this essay we aim to bring two classical results of discrete mathematics into the light. To this end we analyze winning strategies in a certain class of solitaire games. The gains are non-standard proofs of the results of K˝onig  and Vizing . For the standard treatment of these results, see . (For a dense and obscure version of the non-standard proofs presented here, see .) First, let’s introduce the games.
In Rabern and Rabern (2008) we presented a two question solution to ‘the hardest logic puzzle ever’ (as presented in Boolos (1996)), which relied on self-referential questions. In this note we respond to several worries related to this solution. We clarify our claim that some yes-no questions cannot be answered by the gods and thus that asking such questions of the gods will result in head explosion. We argue that the inclusion of exploding head possibilities is neither cheating nor ad hoc but is instead forced upon us by principles related to Tarski’s theorem. We also respond to concerns that have been raised about our use of self-referential questions in support of the two question solution. In particular, we address the worry that there is a revenge problem lurking, which is analogous to revenge problems that arise for purported solutions to the liar paradox. And we make some further observations about the relationship between self-referential questions, truth-telling gods and the semantic paradoxes. In the appendix we give a two question solution to the modified puzzle (where Random randomly answers ‘ja’ or ‘da’).
The semantic paradoxes are often associated with self-reference or referential circularity. However, Yablo has shown in  that there are infinitary versions of the paradoxes that do not involve this form of circularity. It remains an open question what relations of reference between collections of sentences afford the structure necessary for paradoxicality. In  we laid the groundwork for a general investigation into the nature of reference structures that support the semantic paradoxes. The remaining task is to classify the so-called dangerous directed graphs. In appendix A of , we sketched a reformulation of the problem in terms of fixed points of certain functions. Here we expand on this reformulation, removing all syntactic considerations to get a purely mathematical problem. It is definitely possible that the problem’s solution depends on the axioms of set theory we choose—this would be an interesting outcome.
On an influential line of thinking tracing back to Ramsey, conditionals are closely linked to the attitude of supposition. When applied to counterfactuals, this view suggests a subjunctive version of the so-called Ramsey test: the probability of a counterfactual If A, would B ought to be equivalent to the probability of B, under the subjunctive supposition that A. I present a collapse result for any view that endorses the subjunctive version of the Ramsey test. Starting from plausible assumptions, the result shows that one’s rational credence in a would-counterfactual and in the corresponding might-counterfactual have to be identical.
It is always unjust to punish without the right kind of authority over those that one punishes. Sometimes that authority may be given to us by them (as in the case of a University’s authority over adult students, or maybe even in the case of mutual authority in friendship) and sometimes it may come from some other relationship (as in the case of the state’s authority over us). …
Should a scientist rely on methodological triangulation? Heesen et al. (Synthese 196(8):3067–3081, 2019) recently provided a convincing affirmative answer. However, their approach requires belief gambles if the evidence is discordant. We instead propose epistemically modest triangulation (EMT), according to which one should withhold judgement in such cases. We show that for a scientist in a methodologically diffident situation the expected utility of EMT is greater than that of Heesen et al.’s (2019) triangulation or that of using a single method. We also show that EMT is more appropriate for increasing epistemic trust in science. In short: triangulate, but do not gamble with evidence.
Early modern philosophy in Europe and Great Britain is awash with
discussions of the emotions: they figure not only in philosophical
psychology and related fields, but also in theories of epistemic
method, metaphysics, ethics, political theory and practical reasoning
in general. Moreover, interest in the emotions links philosophy with
work in other, sometimes unexpected areas, such as medicine, art,
literature, and practical guides on everything from child-rearing to
the treatment of subordinates. Because of the breadth of the topic,
this article can offer only an overview, but perhaps it will be enough
to give some idea how philosophically rich and challenging the
conception of the emotions was in this period.
The conventional wisdom in ethics is that pure moral laws are metaphysically necessary. By contrast, Moral Contingentism holds that pure moral laws are metaphysically contingent. This paper raises a normative objection to Moral Contingentism: it is worse equipped than Moral Necessitarianism to account for the normative standing or authority of the pure moral laws to govern the lives of the agents in the worlds where they hold.
It is intuitive to say that persons have infinite value, and recently Rasmussen and Bailey have given some cool arguments for this thesis. But what does it mean to say that humans have infinite value? …
I investigate the extent to which perspectival realism (PR) agrees with frequentist statistical methodology and philosophy, with an emphasis on J. Neyman’s views. Based on the example of the stopping rule problem I argue that PR can naturally be associated with frequentist statistics. Then I analyze Neyman’s conception of statistical inference to conclude that PR and Neyman’s conception are incongruent. Additionally, I show that Neyman’s philosophy is internally inconsistent. I conclude that Neyman’s frequentism weakens the philosophical validity and universality of PR as analyzed from the point of view of statistical methodology.
It has been known for some time that context-dependence poses a problem for disquotationalism, but the problem has largely been regarded as one of detail: one that will be solved by the right sort of cleverness. I argue here that the problem is one of principle and that extant solutions, which are based upon the notion of translation, cannot succeed.
Penelope Maddy’s Second Philosophy is one of the most well-known approaches in recent philosophy of mathematics. She applies her second-philosophical method to analyze mathematical methodology by reconstructing historical cases in a setting of means-ends relations. However, outside of Maddy’s own work, this kind of methodological analysis has not yet been extensively used and analyzed. In the present work, we will make a first step in this direction. We develop a general framework that allows us to clarify the procedure and aims of the Second Philosopher’s investigation into set-theoretic methodology; provides a platform to analyze the Second Philosopher’s methods themselves; and can be applied to further questions in the philosophy of set theory.
To this end, I maintain that this property is individuated by its phenomenal roles, which can be internal – individuating the property per se – and external – determining further phenomenal or physical properties or states. I then argue that this individuation allows phenomenal roles to be organized in a necessarily asymmetrical net, thereby overcoming the circularity objection to dispositionalism. Finally, I provide reasons to argue that these roles satisfy modal fixity, as posited by Bird, and are not fundamental properties, contra Chalmers’ panpsychism. Thus, bodily pain can be considered a substantial dispositional property entrenched in non-fundamental laws of nature.
I used to think that it’s quite possible that all our mental representations of the world are propositional in nature. To do that, I had to have a broad notion of proposition, much broader than what we normally consider to be linguistically expressible. …
Joseph Henrich's ambitious tome, The WEIRDest People in the World, is driving me nuts. It's good enough and interesting enough that I want to read it. Henrich's general idea is that people in Western, Educated, Industrial, Rich, Democratic (WEIRD) societies differ psychologically from people in more traditionally structured societies, and that the family policies of the Catholic Church in medieval Europe lie at the historical root of this difference. …
In some severely uncertain situations, exemplified by climate change and novel pandemics, policymakers lack a reasoned basis for assigning probabilities to the possible outcomes of the policies they must choose between. I outline and defend an uncertainty averse, egalitarian approach to policy evaluation in these contexts. The upshot is a theory of distributive justice which offers especially strong reasons to guard against individual and collective misfortune.
People care very much about being listened to. In everyday talk, we make moral-sounding judgements of people as listeners: praising a doctor who listens well even if she does not have a ready solution, or blaming a boss who does not listen even if the employee manages to get her situation addressed. In this sense, listening is a normative behaviour: that is, we ought to be good listeners. Whilst several disciplines have addressed the normative importance of interpersonal listening—particularly in sociology, psychology, media and culture studies— analytic philosophy does not have a framework for dealing with listening as a normative interpersonal behaviour. Listening usually gets reduced mere speech-parsing (in philosophy of language), or into a matter of belief and trust in the testimony of credible knowers (in social epistemology). My preliminary task is to analyse why this reductive view is taken for granted in the discipline; to diagnose the problem behind the reduction and propose a more useful alternative approach.
The pragmatism—anti-pragmatism debate concerns whether practical considerations can constitute genuinely normative wrong-kind reasons (WKRs) for and against doxastic attitudes, whereas the encroachment—anti-encroachment debate concerns whether practical considerations can affect what right-kind reasons (RKRs) one has or needs to have in order to enjoy some epistemic status. While these are two separate issues, my main aim is to show that pragmatists have a plausible debunking explanation to offer of encroachment cases: that the practical considerations in these cases only generate WKRs against belief, rather than affect the RKRs, so that the agents in these cases ought to withhold belief, but only in a practical or all-things-considered sense. Moreover, I argue that the pragmatist debunker’s explanation of what’s going on in encroachment cases is more plausible than the encroacher’s because they’re structurally identical to cases involving WKRs against other attitudes like admiration and fear. These analogous WKR-cases not only support the surprising conclusion that pragmatists should be anti-encroachers, but they also challenge the encroacher’s view independently of whether pragmatism is true.
Traditionally, the mechanism design literature has been primarily focused on settings where the bidders’ valuations are independent. However, in settings where valuations are correlated, much stronger results are possible. For example, the entire surplus of efficient allocations can be extracted as revenue. These stronger results are true, in theory, under generic conditions on parameter values. But in practice, they are rarely, if ever, implementable due to the stringent requirement that the mechanism designer knows the distribution of the bidders types exactly. In this work, we provide a computationally efficient and sample efficient method for designing mechanisms that can robustly handle imprecise estimates of the distribution over bidder valuations. This method guarantees that the selected mechanism will perform at least as well as any ex-post mechanism with high probability. The mechanism also performs nearly optimally with sufficient information and correlation. Further, we show that when the distribution is not known, and must be estimated from samples from the true distribution, a sufficiently high degree of correlation is essential to implement optimal mechanisms. Finally, we demonstrate through simulations that this new mechanism design paradigm generates mechanisms that perform significantly better than traditional mechanism design techniques given sufficient samples.
The article at hand presents the results of a literature review on the ethical issues related to scientific authorship. These issues are understood as questions and/or concerns about obligations, values or virtues in relation to reporting, authorship and publication of research results. For this purpose, the Web of Science core collection was searched for English resources published between 1945 and 2018, and a total of 324 items were analyzed. Based on the review of the documents, ten ethical themes have been identified, some of which entail several ethical issues. Ranked on the basis of their frequency of occurrence these themes are: 1) attribution, 2) violations of the norms of authorship, 3) bias, 4) responsibility and accountability, 5) authorship order, 6) citations and referencing, 7) definition of authorship, 8) publication strategy, 9) originality, and 10) sanctions. In mapping these themes, the current article explores major ethical issue and provides a critical discussion about the application of codes of conduct, various understandings of culture, and contributing factors to unethical behavior.
Many believe that employment can be wrongfully exploitative, even if it is consensual and mutually beneficial. At the same time, it may seem third parties should not do anything to preclude or eliminate such arrangements, given these same considerations of consent and benefit. I argue that there are perfectly sensible, intuitive ethical positions that vindicate this “Reasonable View.” The view requires such defense because the literature often suggests that there is no theoretical space for it. I respond to arguments for the clearest symptom of this obscuration: the so-called nonworseness claim that a consensual, mutually beneficial transaction cannot be “morally worse” than its absence. In addition to making space for the Reasonable View, this serves my dialectical goal of encouraging distinct attention to first- and third-party obligations.
This article is concerned with one of the notable but forgotten research strands that developed out of French nineteenth-century positivism, a strand that turned attention to the study of scientific discovery and was actively pursued by French epistemologists around the turn of the nineteenth century. I first sketch the context in which this research program emerged. I show that the program was a natural offshoot of French neopositivism; the latter was a current of twentieth-century thought that, even if implicitly, challenged the positivism of first-generation positivists such as Comte. I then survey what French epistemologists—including Ernest Naville, Élie Rabier, Pierre Duhem, Édouard Le Roy, Abel Rey, André Lalande, Théodule-Armand Ribot, Edmond Goblot, and Jacques Picard, among others—had to say about the logic, psychology, and sociology of discovery. My story demonstrates the inaccuracy of existing historical accounts of the philosophical study of scientific discovery.