1. 251140.129283
    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.
    Found 2 days, 21 hours ago on Teresa Marques's site
  2. 264292.129356
    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.
    Found 3 days, 1 hour ago on Daniel Dennett's site
  3. 285747.129374
    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. …
    Found 3 days, 7 hours ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  4. 359177.12939
    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. …
    Found 4 days, 3 hours ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  5. 417819.129404
    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. …
    Found 4 days, 20 hours ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  6. 445021.129418
    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. …
    Found 5 days, 3 hours ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  7. 445026.129432
    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. …
    Found 5 days, 3 hours ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  8. 462969.129447
    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. …
    Found 5 days, 8 hours ago on Azimuth
  9. 540498.12946
    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. …
    Found 6 days, 6 hours ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  10. 563403.129474
    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.
    Found 6 days, 12 hours ago on PhilPapers
  11. 583415.129488
    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.
    Found 6 days, 18 hours ago on Mark Sainsbury's site
  12. 603316.129502
    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, & Zalta 2014, Menzel & Zalta2014) provides a solution to those problems.
    Found 6 days, 23 hours ago on Ed Zalta's site
  13. 621246.129515
    According to Crispin Wright, we have evidential justification for, or knowledge of, various propositions that we quotidianly accept only if we have antecedent justification for accepting general hinge propositions––called ‘cornerstones’–– which cannot be evidentially supported. Wright contends that this doesn’t elicit scepticism, for we are non-evidentially entitled to accept cornerstones. This paper focuses on the Leaching Worry––the concern that since the epistemic risky of accepting a cornerstone C without evidence for it is significantly high, the epistemic risky of accepting a proposition P for which C is a cornerstone is also significantly high, to the effect that one cannot have evidential justification for, or knowledge that, P. We suggest that Wright’s original response to the Leaching Worry retains its strength if risk is construed in accordance with two non-orthodox (non-probabilistic) notions of risk recently introduced by Duncan Pritchard (modal notion) and Philip Ebert, Martin Smith and Ian Durbach (normic notion). We concede, however, that Luca Moretti’s recent probabilistic variant of the Leaching Worry isn’t undercut by Wright's original response. We put forward two novel responses: revising the notion of significant epistemic risk originally adopted by Wright, or broadening the range of attitudes that we are nonevidentially entitled to.
    Found 1 week ago on PhilPapers
  14. 621310.129528
    Instability occurs when the very fact of choosing one particular possible option rather than another affects the expected values of those possible options. In decision theory: An act is stable iff given that it is actually performed, its expected utility is maximal. When there is no stable choice available, the resulting instability can seem to pose a dilemma of practical rationality. A structurally very similar kind of instability, which occurs in cases of anti-expertise, can likewise seem to create dilemmas of epistemic rationality. One possible line of response to such cases of instability, suggested by both Jeffrey (1983) and Sorensen (1987), is to insist that a rational agent can simply refuse to accept that such instability applies to herself in the first place. According to this line of thought it can be rational for a subject to discount even very strong empirical evidence that the anti-expertise condition obtains. I present a new variety of anti-expertise condition where no particular empirical stage-setting is required, since the subject can deduce a priori that an anti-expertise condition obtains. This kind of anti-expertise case is therefore not amenable to the line of response that Jeffrey and Sorensen recommend.
    Found 1 week ago on PhilPapers
  15. 641570.129542
    Plato’s Euthyphro, I argue, lays out a metaethics that responds to persistent and unresolved value disagreement, and that is a genuine contender for us today. With this proposal, I reject centuries of scholarship, not to speak of countless anthologies and syllabi in ethics and the philosophy of law. The Euthyphro begins with three cases of unresolved value disagreement. These cases are to be adjudicated by the law, which turns out to be difficult. Today if an author starts with three examples, we expect that the subsequent text is going to address them. This, I submit, is the structure of the Euthyphro.
    Found 1 week ago on Katja Maria Vogt's site
  16. 641704.129555
    Dynamic Belief Update (DBU) is a model checking problem in Dynamic Epistemic Logic (DEL) concerning the effect of applying a number of epistemic actions on an initial epistemic model. It can also be considered as a plan verification problem in epistemic planning. The problem is known to be PSPACE-hard. To better understand the source of complexity of the problem, previous research has investigated the complexity of 128 parameterized versions of the problem with parameters such as number of agents and size of actions. The complexity of many parameter combinations has been determined, but previous research left a few combinations as open problems. In this paper, we solve most of the remaining open problems by proving all of them to be fixed-parameter intractable. Only two parameter combinations are still left as open problem for future research.
    Found 1 week ago on Thomas Bolander's site
  17. 641842.129569
    Neuroscientists have located brain activity that prepares or encodes action plans before agents are aware of intending to act. On the basis of these findings and broader agency research, activity in these regions has been proposed as the neural realizers of practical intention. My aim in this paper is to evaluate the case for taking these neural states to be neural representations of intention. I draw on work in philosophy of action on the role and nature of practical intentions to construct a framework of the functional profile of intentions fit for empirical investigation. With this framework, I turn to the broader empirical neuroscience literature on agency to assess these proposed neural representations of intention. I argue that while these neural states in some respects satisfy the functions of intention in planning agency prospective of action, their fit with the role of intention in action execution is not well supported. I close by offering a sketch of which experimental task features could aid in the search for the neural realizer of intention in action.
    Found 1 week ago on PhilSci Archive
  18. 641846.129583
    ​: The free energy principle (FEP) portends to provide a unifying principle for the biological and cognitive sciences. It states that for a system to maintain non-equilibrium steady-state with its environment it must minimise its (information-theoretic) free energy. Under the FEP, to minimise free energy is equivalent to engaging in approximate Bayesian inference. According to the FEP, therefore, inference is at the explanatory base of biology and cognition. In this paper, we discuss a specific challenge to this inferential formulation of adaptive self-organisation. We call it the ​universal ethology challenge​: it states that the FEP cannot unify biology and cognition, for life itself (or adaptive self-organisation) does not require inferential routines to select adaptive solutions to environmental pressures (as mandated by the FEP). We show that it is possible to overcome the universal ethology challenge by providing a cautious and exploratory treatment of inference under the FEP. We conclude that there are good reasons for thinking that the FEP can unify biology and cognition under the notion of approximate Bayesian inference, even if further challenges must be addressed to properly draw such a conclusion.
    Found 1 week ago on PhilSci Archive
  19. 641861.129641
    We claim that the various sharpenings in a supervaluationist analysis are best understood as possible worlds in a Kripke structure. It’s not just that supervaluationism wishes to assert ¬(∀n)(if a man with n hairs on his head is bald then so is a man with n + 1 hairs on his head) while refusing to assert (∃n)(a man with n hairs on his head is bald but is a man with n + 1 hairs on his head is not) and that this refusal can be accomplished by a constructive logic (tho’ it can)—the point is that the obvious Kripke semantics for this endeavour has as its possible worlds precisely the sharpenings that supervaluationism postulates. Indeed the sharpenings do nothing else. The fit is too exact to be coincidence.
    Found 1 week ago on Thomas Forster's site
  20. 641878.129664
    Were governments justified in imposing lockdowns to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic? We argue that a convincing answer to this question is to date wanting, by critically analyzing the factual basis of a recent paper, “How Government Leaders Violated Their Epistemic Duties During the SARS-CoV-2 Crisis” (Winsberg et al. 2020). In their paper, Winsberg et al. argue that government leaders did not, at the beginning of the pandemic, meet the epistemic requirements necessitated to impose lockdowns. We focus on Winsberg et al.’s contentions that knowledge about COVID-19 resultant projections were inadequate; that epidemiologists were biased in their estimates of relevant figures; that there was insufficient evidence supporting the efficacy of lockdowns; and that lockdowns cause more harm than good. We argue that none of these claims are sufficiently supported by evidence, thus impairing their case against lockdowns, and leaving open the question of whether lockdowns were justified.
    Found 1 week ago on PhilPapers
  21. 641883.129678
    Traditionally, it had been assumed that meta-representational Theory of Mind (ToM) emerges around the age of 4 when children come to master standard false belief (FB) tasks. More recent research with various implicit measures, though, has documented much earlier competence and thus challenged the traditional picture. In interactive FB tasks, for instance, infants have been shown to track an interlocutor’s false or true belief when interpreting her ambiguous communicative acts (Southgate et al. 2010 Dev. Sci. 13, 907– 912. (doi:10.1111/j.1467–7687.2009.00946.x)). However, several replication attempts so far have produced mixed findings (e.g. Dörrenberg et al. 2018 Cogn. Dev. 46, 12–30. (doi:10.
    Found 1 week ago on Hannes Rakoczy's site
  22. 641887.129695
    Research Professor, Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA); Professor, Medical Anthropology Research Center-DAFITS, Rovira i Virgili University fernando.vidal@icrea.cat aBstract: Tracheostomy with invasive ventilation (TIV) may be required for the survival of patients at advanced stages of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In Japan it has been shown that a proactive approach toward TIV may prolong the survival of ALS patients by over 10 years by preventing the lethal respiratory failure that generally occurs within 3-5 years of the onset of the disease. Measures to prolong life expectancy without foregoing quality of life have produced better results in Japan than in other developed countries. This ‘Japanese bias’ has been attributed to socio-cultural and religious factors as well as to the availability of material resources in Japan. In this article, we use the concepts of onozukara in kadō (Japanese traditional flower art, also called ikebana) and amae (passive love) to illuminate features of patient care that may contribute to this ‘Japanese bias’.
    Found 1 week ago on PhilPapers
  23. 641897.129709
    Monism about well-being is the view that there is exactly one basic (prudential) good and exactly one basic (prudential) bad. Pluralism about well-being is the view that there is either more than one basic good or more than one basic bad. We can illustrate this distinction by contrasting hedonism and desire satisfactionism, on the one hand, with objective list theories, on the other. Hedonism and desire satisfactionism disagree about what the basic goods and bads are, but they agree about their number: they both say that there is a single basic good and a single basic bad. By contrast, objective list theories—or at least the paradigmatic ones—posit either a plurality of basic goods or a plurality of basic bads. Parfit, for example, considers an objective list theory on which “moral goodness, rational activity, … and the awareness of true beauty” are all basic goods (Parfit 1984: 499).
    Found 1 week ago on John Danaher's site
  24. 641912.129725
    It is commonly accepted that what we ought to do collectively does not imply anything about what each of us ought to do individually. According to this line of reasoning, if cooperating will make no difference to an outcome, then you are not morally required to do it. And if cooperating will be personally costly to you as well, this is an even stronger reason to not do it. However, this reasoning results in a self-defeating, yet entirely predictable outcome. If everyone is rational, they will not cooperate, resulting in an aggregate outcome that is devastating for everyone. This dismal analysis explains why climate change and other collective action problems are so difficult to ameliorate. The goal of this paper is to provide a different, exploratory framework for thinking about individual reasons for action in collective action problems. I argue that the concept of commitment gives us a new perspective on collective action problems. Once we take the structure of commitment into account, this activates requirements of diachronic rationality that give individuals instrumental reasons to cooperate in collective action problems.
    Found 1 week ago on PhilPapers
  25. 641948.129739
    I show how the two great Humean ways of understanding laws of nature, projectivism and systems theory, have unwittingly reprised developments in metaethics over the past century. This demonstration helps us explain and understand trends in both literatures. It also allows work on laws to “leapfrog” over the birth of many new positions, the nomic counterparts of new theories in metaethics. However, like leap-frogging from (say) agriculture to the internet age, it’s hardly clear that we’ve landed in a good place. My reactionary advice is to return to Hume and work on the central insights that motivated Humeanism about modality in the first place. When updated with contemporary insights, there we will find an attractive naturalistic theory of laws, or so I’ll argue, and along the way we’ll see how projectivism and systems theory both get something right about this overall theory.
    Found 1 week ago on PhilSci Archive
  26. 670140.129752
    If one had to identify the biggest change within the philosophical tradition in the 21st century, it would certainly be the rapid rise of experimental philosophy to address differences in intuitions about concepts. Yet, it is within the philosophy of medicine that one particular conceptual debate has overshadowed all others: the long-standing dispute between so-called ‘naturalists’ and ‘normativists’ about the concepts of health and disease. It is, therefore, surprising that the philosophy of medicine has, so far, not drawn on the tools of XPhi. I shall use this opportunity to defend and advocate the use of empirical methods to inform and advance this and other debates within the philosophy of medicine.
    Found 1 week ago on PhilSci Archive
  27. 670189.129766
    It is an honor and a pleasure to contribute to this festschrift for George Ellis. I first became interested in the topic of downward causation as a result of conversations that I had many years ago with Roger Sperry when I was a postdoc at Caltech. I’ve always thought that there was something right in the basic idea but it has only been recently, partly as a consequence of reading work by Ellis (and others such as Denis Noble) as well as some philosophical criticisms of downward causation that struck me as misguided that I have thought that I might have something to say on this subject. The ideas that follow reflect the influence of Ellis and Noble as well as some recent developments in machine learning and computer science concerning forming macro-variables from more fine-grained realizing micro-variables (e.g.
    Found 1 week ago on PhilSci Archive
  28. 670242.129782
    When we make decisions we are invariably comparing outcomes that happen at different times. How much should you sacrifice now to get a better job later? Should you switch to solar? Purchase a gym membership? Studies of intertemporal decision-making suggest that we often exhibit two types of time preferences: future discounting, that all else being equal, we prefer that future pleasures happen sooner than later (and vice versa for pains); and past discounting, that all else being equal, we prefer that pleasures happen in the present or future than in the past (and again, vice versa for pains). Are these time preferences rational? It’s important that we make progress on this question, for assumptions about what discounting is normatively optimal inform public policy decisions throughout the world. Both social science and philosophy discuss the normative standing of discounting, philosophy focusing mostly on past discounting and social science mostly on future discounting. To a very rough first approximation, the two fields appear to disagree on when or if temporal discounting is rational. Future discounting is judged irrational by philosophers and as often rational by social scientists. Past discounting, by contrast, is viewed as rational by some philosophers but as (probably) irrational by social scientists.
    Found 1 week ago on PhilSci Archive
  29. 670297.129798
    For Jerry Fodor, Hume’s Treatise of Human Nature is “the foundational document of cognitive science” whose significance transcends mere historical interest: it is a source of theoretical inspiration in cognitive psychology. Here I am going to argue that those reading Hume along Fodor’s lines rely on a problematic, albeit inspiring, construction of Hume’s science of mind. My strategy in this paper is to contrast Fodor’s understanding of the Humean mind (consonant with the widely received view of Hume in both cognitive science and much of Hume scholarship) with an alternative understanding that I propose. I thereby intend to show that the received view of Hume’s science of mind can be fruitfully revised while critically engaging with Fodor’s contemporary appropriation. Consequently, I use this occasion to put forward a rather unorthodox interpretation of Hume’s theory in dialogue with Fodor as my guide.
    Found 1 week ago on PhilSci Archive
  30. 670395.129811
    Programs in quantum gravity often claim that time emerges from fundamentally timeless physics. In the semiclassical time program time arises only after approximations are taken. Here we ask what justifies taking these approximations and show that time seems to sneak in when answering this question. This raises the worry that the approach is either unjustified or circular in deriving time from no–time.
    Found 1 week ago on PhilSci Archive