Recently the first protective measurement has been realized in experiment [Nature Phys. 13, 1191 (2017)], which can measure the expectation value of an observable from a single quantum system. This raises an important and pressing issue of whether protective measurement implies the reality of the wave function. If the answer is yes, this will improve the influential PBR theorem [Nature Phys. 8, 475 (2012)] by removing auxiliary assumptions, and help settle the issue about the nature of the wave function. In this paper, we demonstrate that this is indeed the case. It is shown that a ψ-epistemic model and quantum mechanics have different predictions about the variance of the result of a Zeno-type protective measurement with finite N .
It is difficult for the metaphysician to not be fascinated by Stephen Hawking’s question, ‘What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to govern?’ (Hawking, 1988, p. 174). Like a Tuscan countryside in the eyes of a painter, this statement inspires quite the stream of consciousness, at least in my idiosyncratic mind. For one thing, Hawking’s wording sounds as if abstract entities provide push and pull to the universe. Why would the equations govern anything, rather than merely describing how events tend to unfold? Objections aside though, I like Hawking’s question because it makes me wonder, given the mathematical nature of fundamental physical theories, what, in the realm of concreta, the lofty equations are describing. And, in another blip of consciousness, I am reminded of my Russellian monist friends, who would perhaps see, in Hawking’s question, the related question: how do we know what is ontologically fundamental, if science just details the nomological-causal structure of the world, and remains silent about its underlying categorical properties? Not quite like the rich hues of Tuscany at sunset, but alas, the mathematical nature of physics intrigues me.
This study investigated the development of intuitions about which properties are associated with the brain and which are associated with the body. A sample of 60 children aged 6, 8, and 10 years, as well a sample of 20 adults, were told about a brain transplant between two individuals and were asked about where certain properties resided after the transplant. Adults and older children construed the characteristics associated with fine-motor behaviour, culpability, social contract and best friendships as transferring with the brain. Characteristics associated with gross-motor behaviour, physical/biological properties, ownership and familial relationships were more likely to be seen as remaining with the body. Domain-based explanations for this pattern of results are discussed. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
do know that preverbal infants assume that intrinsic behaviors are associated more with distinctive insides than, say, with distinctive hats (9); however, this study reveals infer-social contingency may have only been cognitively integrated later. This is plausible, but it cannot explain why contingency and furriness also work if self-propulsion is a foundational part of the expectations. Perhaps instead, there are initially two different systems for predators and prey: A hair-trigger detection system for
Personality is increasingly being viewed as a complex and changing system. Self-processes are worth considering in this context because of their highly dynamic quality: they interact and influence one another in extremely intricate ways. In this chapter we first classify self-related terms and examine the following key processes in detail: self-awareness and associated processes (e.g., self-reflection, self-distancing, mindfulness), mental time travel (autobiography and prospection), and self-knowledge (including self-concept). More briefly, we also review Theory-of-Mind, self-rumination, self-esteem, and self-talk. We present information about neuroanatomy, subtypes, measurement, and functions of self-processes, as well as links with personality. Some important messages proposed are: (1) self-awareness is made up of various sub-processes and must be divided into self-reflection and self-rumination, (2) prospection depends on autobiographical knowledge, (3) our self-concept often is inaccurate, and (4) self-talk is present in most—if not all—other self-processes.
The question whether Frege’s theory of indirect reference enforces an infinite hierarchy of senses has been hotly debated in the secondary literature. Perhaps the most influential treatment of the issue is that of Burge (1979), who offers an argument for the hierarchy from rather minimal Fregean assumptions. I argue that this argument, endorsed by many, does not itself enforce an infinite hierarchy of senses. I conclude that whether or not the theory of indirect reference can avail itself of only finitely many senses is pending further theoretical development.
Examining previous discussions on how to construe the concepts of gender and race, we advocate what we call strategic conceptual engineering. This is the employment of a (possibly novel) concept for specific epistemic or social aims, concomitant with the openness to use a different concept (e.g., of race) for other purposes. We illustrate this approach by sketching three distinct concepts of gender and arguing that all of them are needed, as they answer to different social aims. The first concept serves the aim of identifying and explaining gender-based discrimination. It is similar to Haslanger’s well-known account, except that rather than offering a definition of ‘woman’ we focus on ‘gender’ as one among several axes of discrimination. The second concept of gender is to assign legal rights and social recognitions, and thus is to be trans-inclusive. We argue that this cannot be achieved by previously suggested concepts that include substantial gender-related psychological features, such as awareness of social expectations. Instead, our concept counts someone as being of a certain gender solely based on the person’s self-identification with this gender. The third concept of gender serves the aim of personal empowerment by means of one’s gender identity. In this context, substantial psychological features and awareness of one’s social situation are involved. While previous accounts of concepts have focused on their role in determining extensions, we point to contexts where a concept’s role in explanation and moral reasoning can be more important.
Ongoing empirical discoveries in molecular biology have generated novel conceptual challenges and perspectives. Philosophers of biology have reacted to these trends when investigating the practice of molecular biology and contributed to scientific debates on methodological and conceptual matters. This article reviews some major philosophical issues in molecular biology. First, philosophical accounts of mechanistic explanation yield a notion of explanation in the context of molecular biology that does not have to rely on laws of nature and comports well with molecular discovery. Second, reductionism continues to be debated and increasingly be rejected by scientists. Philosophers have likewise moved away from reduction toward integration across fields or integrative explanations covering several levels of organization. Third, although the gene concept has undergone substantial transformation and even fragmentation, it still enjoys widespread use by molecular biologists, which has prompted philosophers to understand the empirical reasons for this. At the same time, it has been argued the notion of ‘genetic information’ is largely an empty metaphor, which generates the illusion of explanatory understanding without offering an adequate explanation of molecular and developmental mechanisms.
Grice’s (1975) epochal factorization of what is communicated by an utterance (in context) into the sub-components of what is semantically expressed and what is pragmatically implicated prompts the question of how exactly to distinguish between semantic content and pragmatic implicature. There are vibrant debates on this question, and this paper picks up and further develops one strand among them. Specifically, it is focused on one of Grice’s (1975) proposed criteria – namely, cancellability.
With phenomenal characters, we seem finally to have come face to face with paradigmatic instances of intrinsic properties. The hurtfulness of pain, the acrid smell of sulphur, the taste and flavor of pineapple—these things are intrinsic qualities if anything is.
Many viewers of time travel movies and readers of time travel fiction see loops where there are none. The loops they think are there are persistent cognitive illusions. In what follows I explain why they are illusions and how the illusion arises.https://www.philosophicalprogress.org/sourcesadmin
The thesis I am called upon to defend is this: given any collection of objects, no matter how disparate or widely scattered, there is a further object composed of them all. For example, there is an object composed of my left tennis shoe and the lace that is threaded through its eyelets—so far, perhaps, no surprise. But there are all of the following objects as well: the object composed of the lace threaded through my left shoe and the lace threaded through my right shoe; the object composed of the Eiffel Tower and the tip of my nose; the object composed of the moon and the six pennies scattered across my desktop. For any objects a through z, whatever and wherever they may be, there is an object having those objects as its parts. This thesis goes by several names: conjunctivism (Chisholm), unrestricted composition (Lewis), and mereological universalism (van Inwagen). It is often thought to fly in the face of common sense, but it has won the allegiance of several philosophers, and it is a standard element in the formal theory of part and whole as it was developed in the twentieth century. In what follows I shall explain why I believe it to be true.
This article discusses the following issues about space and time: whether they are absolute or relative, whether they depend on minds, what their topological and metrical structures may be, McTaggart’s argument against the reality of time, the ensuing split between static and dynamic theories of time, problems with presentism, and the possibility of time travel. Our opening questions are posed in the following query from Kant: What, then, are space and time? Are they real existences? Are they only determinations or relations of things, yet such as would belong to things even if they were not intuited?
Although Reid never addresses Molyneux’s question by name, he has much to say that bears upon it, particularly in his discussions of the capacities of the blind and the relations of visible to tangible figure. My goal in this essay is to ascertain and evaluate Reid’s answer. On a first reading, it can seem that Reid gives two inconsistent answers. I shall argue, however, that the inconsistency goes away once we distinguish different versions of what is being asked. I shall also argue that Reid’s answer of yes to one important Molyneux question is more plausible than Berkeley’s answer of no.
Discussions of whether perceptual states have nonconceptual content typically define the issue in a way that is bound to be confusing to anyone entering the debate for the first time—they conflate questions about the nature of contents per se with questions about the requirements on perceivers if they are to be in states with those contents. My principal aim in what follows is to provide a more perspicuous way of setting up the issue, building on work by Speaks, Byrne, and Crowther. My secondary aim is to sharpen and endorse one of the arguments for the nonconceptuality of perceptual states— the argument from experience as a source of concepts.
Karl Popper argued in 1974 that evolutionary theory contains no testable laws and is therefore a metaphysical research program. Four years later, he said that he had changed his mind. Here we seek to understand Popper’s initial position and his subsequent retraction. We argue, contrary to Popper’s own assessment, that he did not change his mind at all about the substance of his original claim. We also explore how Popper ’s views have ramifications for contemporary discussion of the nature of laws and the structure of evolutionary theory.
The rise of medically unexplained conditions like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome in the United States looks remarkably similar to the explosion of neurasthenia diagnoses in the late nineteenth century. In this paper, I argue the historical connection between neurasthenia and today’s medically unexplained conditions hinges largely on the uncritical acceptance of naturalism in medicine. I show how this cultural acceptance shapes the way in which we interpret and make sense of nervous distress while, at the same time, neglecting the unique social and historical forces that continue to produce it. I draw on the methods of hermeneutic philosophy to expose the limits of naturalism and forward an account of health and illness that acknowledges the extent to which we are always embedded in contexts of meaning that determine how we experience and understand our suffering.
Antiochus, who was active in the latter part of the second and the
early part of the first centuries B.C.E., was a member of the Academy,
Plato’s school, during its skeptical phase. After espousing skepticism
himself, he became a dogmatist. He defended an epistemological theory
essentially the same as the Stoics’ and an ethical theory which
synthesized elements from the Stoa and Plato and Aristotle. In both
areas he claimed to be reviving the doctrines of the Old Academy of
Plato and his earliest successors and
“Affirmative action” means positive steps taken to
increase the representation of women and minorities in areas of
employment, education, and culture from which they have been
historically excluded. When those steps involve preferential
selection—selection on the basis of race, gender, or
ethnicity—affirmative action generates intense controversy. The development, defense, and contestation of preferential affirmative
action has proceeded along two paths. One has been legal and
administrative as courts, legislatures, and executive departments of
government have made and applied rules requiring affirmative action.
Stoicism was one of the new philosophical movements of the Hellenistic
period. The name derives from the porch (stoa poikilê)
in the Agora at Athens decorated with mural paintings, where the
members of the school congregated, and their lectures were held. Unlike ‘epicurean,’ the sense of the English adjective
‘stoical’ is not utterly misleading with regard to its
philosophical origins. The Stoics did, in fact, hold that emotions
like fear or envy (or impassioned sexual attachments, or passionate
love of anything whatsoever) either were, or arose from, false
judgements and that the sage – a person who had attained moral and
intellectual perfection – would not undergo them.
It is commonly held that retraction data, if we accept them, show that assessment relativism is to be preferred over non-indexical relativism (a.k.a. non-indexical contextualism). I will argue that this is not the case. Whether retraction data have the suggested probative force depends on substantive questions about the proper treatment of tense and location. One’s preferred account in these domains should determine which form of relativism one prefers.
The Trap Door Spiders was a literary dining club that met in New York in the middle part of the 20th century. It was home to a number of luminaries, but its best-known members were probably the science fiction authors (and publishers) Isaac Asimov, L. Sprague DeCamp and Lester Del-Rey. …
In a series of articles in this journal, Michael Tye (2002) and Paul Noordhof (2001, 2002) have sparred over the correct explanation of the putative invalidity of the following argument: the pain is in my fingertip; the fingertip is in my mouth; therefore, the pain is in my mouth. Whereas Tye explains the failure of the argument by stating that “pain” creates an intensional context, Noordhof maintains that the “in” in “the pain is in my fingertip” is not spatial, but has state-attributing character. In this paper, we offer a third account, explaining the failure of the argument through state-attributing pragmatic implicatures. Empirical evidence is provided in support of this account.
The standard view in philosophy treats pains as phenomenally conscious mental states. This view has a number of corollaries, including that it is generally taken to rule out the existence of unfelt pains. The primary argument in support of the standard view is that it supposedly corresponds with the commonsense conception of pain. In this paper, we challenge this doctrine about the commonsense conception of pain, and with it the support offered for the standard view, by presenting the results of a series of new empirical studies that indicate that lay people not only tend to believe that unfelt pains are possible, but actually, quite common.
A central question for philosophical psychology is which mental faculties form natural kinds. There is hot debate over the kind status of faculties as diverse as consciousness, seeing, concepts, emotions, constancy and the senses. In this paper, I take emotions and concepts as my main focus, and argue that questions over the kind status of these faculties are complicated by the undeservedly overlooked fact that natural kinds are indeterminate in certain ways. I will show that indeterminacy issues have led to an impasse in the debates over emotions and concepts. I examine possible ways to resolve this impasse, and argue against one of them. I then suggest a different method, which places more emphasis on a close analysis of predictive and explanatory practices in psychology. I argue that when we apply this method, a new position emerges: that it is indeterminate whether concepts or emotions are natural kinds. They are neither determinately natural kinds, nor determinately not natural kinds. Along the way, we will see that natural kinds have been put to two completely different theoretical uses, which are often been blurred together, and that they are ill-suited to fulfil one of them.
Taking literally the concept of emotional truth requires breaking the monopoly on truth of belief-like states. To this end, I look to perceptions for a model of non-propositional states that might be true or false, and to desires for a model of propositional attitudes the norm of which is other than the semantic satisfaction of their propositional object. Those models inspire a conception of generic truth, which can admit of degrees for analogue representations such as emotions; belief-like states, by contrast, are digital representations. I argue that the gravest problem—objectivity—is not insurmountable.
You may very well know the Five Books website, where a wide-ranging cast of contributors are asked “to make book recommendations in their area of work and explain their choices in an interview”. The recommendations are often quirky, sometimes even slightly bizarre, but rarely without interest. …
You and I are epistemic peers and we calculate a 15% tip on a very expensive restaurant bill for a very large party. As shared background information, add that calculation mistakes for you and me are pretty much random rather than systematic. …
In this paper, I argue that the “positive argument” for Constructive Empiricism (CE), according to which CE “makes better sense of science, and of scientific activity, than realism does” (van Fraassen 1980, 73), is an Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE). But constructive empiricists are critical of IBE, and thus they have to be critical of their own “positive argument” for CE. If my argument is sound, then constructive empiricists are in the awkward position of having to reject their own “positive argument” for CE by their own lights.
It is now commonly acknowledged that much early theorising concerning modal notions suffered from various confusions and conflations. A major advance, at least in twentieth century philosophy, was Kripke’s work, which brought great clarity too the nature of—and varieties of—modality (e.g.