1. 660883.741516
    From today June 6 to Sunday, June 9, more than 400 million Europeans are invited to vote for European parliamentary elections. As those who have followed these elections even superficially know, far-right parties are predicted to be making significant progress across the continent compared to previous elections. …
    Found 1 week ago on The Archimedean Point
  2. 692029.741655
    Famously, Adrian Moore has argued that absolute representations of reality are possible: that it is possible to represent reality from no particular point of view. Moreover, Moore believes that absolute representations are a desideratum of physics. Recently, however, debates in the philosophy of physics have arisen regarding the apparent impossibility of absolute representations of certain aspects of nature in light of our current best theories of physics. Throughout this article, we take gravitational energy as a particular case study of an aspect of nature that seemingly does not admit of an absolute representation. There is, therefore, a prima facie tension between Moore’s a priori case on the one hand, and the state-of-play in modern physics on the other. This article overcomes this tension by demonstrating how, when formulated in the correct way, modern physics admits of an absolute representation of gravitational energy after all. In so doing, the article offers a detailed case study of Moore’s argument for absolute representations, clarifying its structure and bringing it into contact with the distinction drawn by philosophers of physics between coordinate-freedom and coordinate-independence, as well as the philosophy of spacetime physics.
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on PhilSci Archive
  3. 692057.741667
    Stegenga (forthcoming) formulates and defends a novel account of scientific progress, according to which science makes progress just in case there is a change in scientific justification. Here we present several problems for Stegenga’s account, concerning respectively (i) obtaining misleading evidence, (ii) losses or destruction of evidence, (iii) oscillations in scientific justification, and (iv) the possibility of scientific regress. We conclude by sketching a substantially different justification-based account of scientific progress that avoids these problems.
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on PhilSci Archive
  4. 692086.741679
    A number of philosophers working in values and science have recently called for more attention to the nature of value judgments. Following Douglas (2009) on the history of the value-free ideal, I think contemporary work in values and science can benefit from its history.
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on PhilSci Archive
  5. 692116.741689
    Title: A History of Metaethics and Values in Science Carl Hempel, and Ernest Nagel for the sciences’ value neutrality. I also consider whether these arguments can be disentangled from their controversial metaethical claims by looking at Robert Alexander’s (1974) account of value neutrality based on the view that a scientist’s aims are discharged by making empirical statements. Drawing upon Leach’s (1968a; 1969b) defense of the argument from inductive risk, I argue Alexander fails to offer a metaethically neutral version of the value neutrality of the sciences. Though I do not explicitly explore this, I think the history I sketch is relevant to recent calls for philosophers of science to more fully characterize the ‘values’ in ‘values and science.’ Acknowledgments: Versions of this paper were presented at the Philosophy of Science Association’s 2022 poster session, Cal State-Long Beach’s Philosophy Day!, and UW Philosophy’s works-in-progress series. Thanks to those audiences for discussion and encouragement. Thanks also to two anonymous reviewers for helpful suggestions, to the students in my Autumn 2023 seminar for working through some of the history of science and values with me, and to Matt Brown for his support over the years.
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on PhilSci Archive
  6. 692147.741699
    Discussions in the philosophy of explanation involving scientific explanations often include a form of logical entailment, causal history, unification, and more. Strevens([10],[11]) constructs the Kairetic account in an attempt to unify the entailment structure, causal relations, and the notion of difference-making in a manner that also offers high-level explanations. When dealing with quantum mechanics, Strevens then points toward the Deductive-Nomological account of probabilities, known as the DNP account. In this paper, I will introduce the preliminary accounts (D- N, causal, Unificationism) and the Kairetic and DNP accounts and offer an extension of the Kairetic/DNP account to accommodate the view of complementarities. This will be done through a scheme that I call context-dependent mapping. This will be illustrated in a couple of example cases.
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on PhilSci Archive
  7. 714902.741719
    Today I’d like to wrap up my discussion of how to implement the Game of Life in our agent-based model software called AlgebraicABMs. Kris Brown’s software for the Game of Life is here: • game_of_life: code and explanation of the code. …
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on Azimuth
  8. 715907.741734
    In the context of the probabilistic fine-tuning argument for the existence of a divine designer, appeals to the existence of a multiverse have often seemed ad hoc. The situation is rather different, though, if we have independent evidence from physics for a multiverse. I argue that the fate of the fine-tuning argument depends on open questions in fundamental physics and cosmology. I also argue that the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics opens up new routes to undercutting the force of the fine-tuning argument.
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on Alastair Wilson's site
  9. 715936.741743
    The big bang is the cause of every event in our universe, and hence it explains all subsequent cosmic history. But can we explain the big bang itself? This chapter explores a number of different styles of explanation that might be offered. These include causal explanations of the big bang, either by a physical or a nonphysical cause: here I focus especially on Roger Penrose’s conformal cyclic cosmology. They also include non-causal explanations of the big bang in terms of an underlying physical or non-physical fundamental basis for the universe, or in terms of fundamental physical laws.
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on Alastair Wilson's site
  10. 740528.741757
    There’s one respect in which philosophical training seems to make (many) philosophers worse at practical ethics. Too many are tempted to treat tidy thought experiments as a model for messy real-world ethical quandaries. …
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on Good Thoughts
  11. 744218.741771
    A distinction is made between superpositional and non-superpositional quantum computers. The notion of quantum learning systems { quantum computers that modify themselves in order to improve their performance { is introduced. A particular non-superpositional quantum learning system, a quantum neurocomputer, is described: a conventional neural network implemented in a system which is a variation on the familiar two-slit apparatus from quantum physics. This is followed by a discussion of the advantages that quantum computers in general, and quantum neurocomputers in particular, might bring, not only to our search for more powerful computational systems, but also to our search for greater understanding of the brain, the mind, and quantum physics itself.
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on Ron Chrisley's site
  12. 805627.741785
    The Epicurean argument is that death considered as cessation of existence does us no harm, since it doesn’t harm us when we are alive (as we are not dead then) and it doesn’t harm us when we are dead (since we don’t exist then to be harmed). …
    Found 1 week, 2 days ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  13. 815038.741796
    How Constitutional Litigation Can Help End Exclusionary Zoning A guest post by Ilya Somin Here’s a guest essay by Ilya Somin of GMU’s Scalia Law School. While Ilya and I continue to disagree on war and peace, we are (nearly) of one mind on both immigration and housing. …
    Found 1 week, 2 days ago on Bet On It
  14. 831774.741817
    Famous problems in variable-population welfare economics have led some to suggest that social welfare comparisons over such populations may be incomplete. In the theory of rational choice with incomplete preferences, attention has recently centered on the Expected Multi-Utility framework, which permits incompleteness but preserves vNM independence and can be derived from weak, attractive axioms. Here, we apply this framework to variable-population welfare economics. We show that Expected Multi-Utility for social preferences, combined with a stochastic ex-ante- Pareto-type axiom, characterizes Expected Critical-Set Generalized Utilitarianism, in the presence of basic axioms. The further addition of Negative Dominance, an axiom recently introduced to the philosophy literature, yields a characterization of Expected Critical-Level Generalized Utilitarianism.
    Found 1 week, 2 days ago on Peter Fritz's site
  15. 865161.741827
    In this 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.
    Found 1 week, 3 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  16. 865191.741837
    In this paper, I argue that current attempts at classifying life–mind continuity (LMC) feature several important ambiguities. We can resolve these ambiguities by distinguishing between the extensional, categorical, and systematic relationships that LMC might encompass. In section 1, I begin by introducing the notion of LMC and the theory behind it. In section 2, I show how different ideas of mind shape different approaches to continuity and how to achieve its aim. In section 3, I canvas various canonical formulations and classifications of LMC; I then demonstrate that they retain important ambiguities. Section 4 builds on this by arguing that we must conceive of the extensional and categorical aspects of continuity independently. In section 5, I show further that current literature has underexplored multiple systematic aspects of continuity. I then take a constructive approach in section 6 by providing a classification model for LMC based on extensional and categorical commitments. Here, I comment on aspects of the thesis omitted from the model but essential for a full classification and thorough comparison between various approaches to LMC. All of these arguments lay the foundation for more exhaustively classifying accounts of LMC.
    Found 1 week, 3 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  17. 865223.741846
    In contrast to the history of science and to science and technology studies, the value discourse in the philosophy of science has not provided a thorough analysis of the material culture of science. Instruments in science have a special characteristic, namely that they explicitly and clearly emerge from and remain embedded in social contexts, and are thus imbued with values. We argue that the materials (in most cases they are artifacts) used in science are necessarily influenced by both epistemic and non-epistemic considerations. A consequence of this is that a descriptive term cannot give sufficient information whether an artifact is performing in an acceptable way. Instead of the prevailing descriptive approach, we therefore advocate a normative notion of values in the material culture of science. To this end, we connect the material culture of science to the so-called “new demarcation problem”, in order to lay the foundations for a value-sensitive approach to the analysis of instruments. By assessing the five approaches of demarcation concerning value-influences, it will be shown that they break down at various points if the material aspects of science are taken seriously.
    Found 1 week, 3 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  18. 865252.741858
    Although the basic approach of the many-worlds interpretation is that the ontology of our universe is a unitarily evolving highly entangled wavefunction, we live in a world in which we only perceive a tiny part of the global wavefunction, and the quantum state corresponding to our world does not evolve unitarily, making our world an effectively open system. Recently, the common approach that within a world conservation laws hold only for an ensemble of measurements was questioned. The paper analyzes how this can affect viewing worlds as open systems and proposes a possible resolution of the unitarity puzzle.
    Found 1 week, 3 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  19. 867899.741867
    Bernard Mandeville (1670–1733), an Anglo-Dutch physician and philosopher, achieved fame through his notorious work The Fable of the Bees: Or, Private Vices, Publick Benefits. He is most well-known for arguing that economic prosperity depends upon harnessing individuals’ self-interested and even vicious passions, an idea which outraged his contemporaries and has subsequently led to him occupying an important place in the history of economic thought. The Fable of the Bees is a far more wide-ranging work, however, which offers incisive explorations of human nature, the passions, and the origins of moral and social norms.
    Found 1 week, 3 days ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  20. 868295.741876
    The remaining seven papers (eight, if you count this introductory piece) in this volume of Oxford Studies in Epistemology constitute a special issue on applied epistemology, an exciting, novel, and currently burgeoning subfield of epistemology. The term ‘applied epistemology’ is a relatively recent one, however, and anecdotally, many people I’ve encountered are not quite sure what it denotes, or what different works within the field have in common. In this introductory piece, I’ll venture some views about these questions, and about why applied epistemology is worth doing, as well as about its dangers.
    Found 1 week, 3 days ago on Alex Worsnip's site
  21. 888038.741886
    There’s currently a big debate in psychology and philosophy about misinformation. I’ve particularly enjoyed the work of Dan Williams, who argues that misinformation in a “narrow” sense—false claims whose falsehood can be reliably and objectively ascertained—is relatively rare. …
    Found 1 week, 3 days ago on Stefan’s Substack
  22. 906047.741897
    Traditional formulations of the Principle of Double Effect deal with things that are said to have absolute prohibitions against them, like killing the innocent: such things must never be intended, but sometimes may be produced as a side-effect. …
    Found 1 week, 3 days ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  23. 906048.741911
    By the power of Gabriel Calzada Álvarez, I’m going to be a visiting professor this summer at the Universidad de las Hespérides in the Canary Islands. I expect it to be a glorious experience for my entire family. …
    Found 1 week, 3 days ago on Bet On It
  24. 974595.741925
    This paper discusses some remarks Kaplan made in ”Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice” concerning empty names. I show how his objections to a particular view involving descriptions derived from Ramsification can be avoided by a nearby alternative framed in terms of discourse reference. I offer a treatment of empty names as variables carrying presuppositions concerning unique occupants of roles, or sets of properties, determined by the originating discourse.
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on Andreas Stokke's site
  25. 980582.741935
    This book is the second of two volumes on belief and counterfactuals. It consists of five of a total of eleven chapters. ... ... Finally, while merely a change in terminology, I should perhaps note that, throughout the second volume, I follow my own suggestion from the first volume of referring to subjective probabilities not anymore as what they are not, viz., degrees of belief, but as what they are: degrees of certainty.
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  26. 980617.741944
    Given synthetic Euclidean geometry, I define length λ(a, b) (of a segment ab), by taking equivalence classes with respect to the congruence relation, ≡: i.e., λ(a, b) = λ(c, d) ↔ ab ≡ cd. By geometric constructions and explicit definitions, one may define the Length structure, L = (L, ,⊕,⪯, ), “instantiated by Euclidean geometry”, so to speak. One may show that this structure is isomorphic to the set of non-negative elements of the one-dimensional linearly ordered vector space over R. One may define the notion of a numerical scale (for length) and a unit (for length). One may show how numerical scales for length are determined by Cartesian coordinate systems. One may also obtain a derivation of Maxwell’s quantity formula, Q = {Q}[Q], for lengths.
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  27. 1078851.741954
    Before posting new reflections on where we are 5 years after the ASA P-value controversy–both my own and readers’–I will reblog some reader commentaries from 2022 in connection with my (2022) editorial in Conservation Biology: “The Statistical Wars and Intellectual Conflicts of Interest”. …
    Found 1 week, 5 days ago on D. G. Mayo's blog
  28. 1082534.741965
    Why is copper red? Why is it so soft compared to, say, nickel—the element right next to it in the periodic table? Why is it such a good conductor of electricity? All of this stems from a violation of Hund’s rules. …
    Found 1 week, 5 days ago on Azimuth
  29. 1095998.741976
    Downward causation plays a central role in the debate around levels of mechanism. Both levels’ enthusiasts and skeptics reject it, arguing that it is incoherent to conceive of wholes causing the parts which constitute them. In this paper, I advance an argument from causal constraints against claims of the unintelligibility of constitutive downward causation, arguing that constitution relations neither exhaust the totality of relations that a proper whole is subject to, nor do they preclude another type of relation that a proper whole can have with respect to another proper whole.
    Found 1 week, 5 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  30. 1096027.741987
    Let us consider an acyclic causal model M of the sort that is central to causal modeling (Spirtes et al. 1993/2000, Pearl 2000/2009, Halpern 2016, Hitchcock 2018). Readers familiar with them can skip this section. M = , F ⟩ is a causal model if, and only if, is a signature and = {F1 , . . . , Fn represents a set of n structural equations, for a finite natural number n. S = , , R is a signature if, and only if, is a finite set of exogenous variables, V = V1 , . . . ,Vn is a set of n endogenous variables that is disjoint from U, and R : U ∪ V → R assigns to each exogenous or endogenous variable X in U ∪ V its range (not co-domain) R (X) ⊆ R. F = F1 , . . . , Fn represents a set of n structural equations if, and only if, for each natural number i, 1 ≤ i ≤ n: Fi is a function from the Cartesian product i = X∈U∪V\{Vi R (X) of the ranges of all exogenous and endogenous variables other than Vi into the range R (Vi) of the endogenous variable Vi. The set of possible worlds of the causal model M is defined as the Cartesian productW = X∈U∪VR (X) of the ranges of all exogenous and endogenous variables.
    Found 1 week, 5 days ago on PhilSci Archive