1. 14484.33454
    What is to be a human person? Since the cognitive revolution half a century ago, the analytic philosophy of mind has interpreted the question as the mind-body problem: how are mental states that have cognitive or semantic content related to their concomitant brain states or causal neural processes? Let me call this the vertical problem. Functionalism seems to offer the most convincing account of this relationship: the mind is not the brain; the mind is what the brain does.
    Found 4 hours, 1 minute ago on PhilPapers
  2. 14706.334652
    These responses are replies to the contributions to a book symposium devoted to my book Knowing and Seeing. Groundwork for a New Empiricism (2019), held at the University of Vienna in February 2020.
    Found 4 hours, 5 minutes ago on PhilPapers
  3. 14927.334673
    The literature on epistemic responsibility has traditionally focused on justified belief formation and actions that lead to it. Similarly, accounts of collective epistemic responsibility have addressed the issue of collective belief formation and associated actions. However, cases in which we face an epistemic harm that could be prevented only by a collective action, requiring an effort of an unorganized group, have been left out of these discussions. Examples of collectively preventable epistemic harms include a premature abandonment of a promising research program within a given scientific domain, or the prevalence of pernicious biases in a certain field of study. In this paper we propose an account of collective epistemic responsibility, which fills this gap. Building on Hindriks’ (2018) account of collective moral responsibility, we introduce the Epistemic Duty to Join Forces. Our theory provides an account of the responsibilities of scientists to prevent epistemic harms during inquiry. It also suggests fruitful applications to other discussions, such as those concerning epistemic injustice and epistemically pernicious groups.
    Found 4 hours, 8 minutes ago on PhilPapers
  4. 44062.33469
    You're a fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Of course you are! How could you not be? (Okay, if you don't know what I'm talking about, check it out here.) And if you're a fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender, you love Uncle Iroh. …
    Found 12 hours, 14 minutes ago on The Splintered Mind
  5. 53396.334704
    We have various everyday measures for identifying the presence of consciousness, such as the capacity for verbal report and the intentional control of behaviour. However, there are many contexts in which these measures are difficult (if not impossible) to apply, and even when they can be applied one might have doubts as to their validity in determining the presence/absence of consciousness. Everyday measures for identifying consciousness are particularly problematic when it comes to ‘challenging cases’—human infants, people with brain damage, non-human animals, and AI systems. There is a pressing need to identify measures of consciousness that can be applied to challenging cases. This paper explores one of the most promising strategies for identifying and validating such measures—the natural kind strategy. The paper is in two broad parts. Part I introduces the natural kind strategy, and contrasts it with other influential approaches in the field. Part II considers a number of objections to the approach, arguing that none succeeds.
    Found 14 hours, 49 minutes ago on Nicholas Shea's site
  6. 72786.334719
    This thesis is made available online and is protected by original copyright. Please scroll down to view the document itself. Please refer to the repository record for this item for information to help you to cite it. Our policy information is available from the repository home page.
    Found 20 hours, 13 minutes ago on PhilPapers
  7. 131468.334733
    The kinds of real or natural kinds that support explanation and prediction in the social sciences are difficult to identify and track because they change through time, intersect with one another, and they do not always exhibit their properties when one encounters them. As a result, conceptual practices directed at these kinds will often refer in ways that are partial, equivocal, or redundant. To improve this epistemic situation, it is important to employ open-ended classificatory concepts, to understand when different research programs are tracking the same real kind, and to maintain an ongoing commitment to interact causally with real kinds to focus reference on those kinds. A tempting view of these non-idealized epistemic conditions should be avoided: that they signal an ontological structure of the social world so plentiful that it would permit ameliorated (norm-driven, conceptually engineered) classificatory schemes to achieve their normative aims regardless of whether they defer (in ways to be described) to real-kind classificatory schemes. To ground these discussions, the essay appeals to an overlooked convergence in the systematic naturalistic frameworks of Richard Boyd and Ruth Millikan.
    Found 1 day, 12 hours ago on PhilPapers
  8. 179960.334747
    This paper aims to clarify Merleau-Ponty’s contribution to an embodied-enactive account of mathematical cognition. I first identify the main points of interest in the current discussions of embodied higher cognition and explain how they relate to Merleau-Ponty and his sources, in particular Husserl’s late works. Subsequently, I explain these convergences in greater detail by more specifically discussing the domains of geometry and algebra and by clarifying the role of gestalt psychology in Merleau-Ponty’s account. Beyond that, I explain how, for Merleau-Ponty, mathematical cognition requires not only the presence and actual manipulation of some concrete perceptible symbols but, more strongly, how it is fundamentally linked to the structural transformation of the concrete configurations of symbolic systems to which these symbols appertain. Furthermore, I fill a gap in the literature by explaining Merleau-Ponty’s claim that these structural transformations are operated through motor intentionality. This makes it possible, in turn, to contrast Merleau-Ponty’s approach to ontologically idealistic and realistic views on mathematical objects. On Merleau-Ponty’s account, mathematical objects are relational entities, that is, gestalts that necessarily imply situated cognizers to whom they afford a specific type of engagement in the world and on whom they depend in their eventual structural transformations. I argue that, by attributing a strongly constitutive role to phenomenal configurations and their motor transformation in mathematical thinking, Merleau-Ponty contributes to clarifying the worldly, historical, and socio-cultural aspects of mathematical truths without compromising what we perceive as their universality, certainty, and necessity.
    Found 2 days, 1 hour ago on PhilSci Archive
  9. 180039.334762
    In this essay, I discuss what can be the underlying principle to the philosophy of cognitive science that is useful for us to understand human nature. Reviewing the principles of science as already presented by Noam Chomsky, I expand the discussion by briefly discussing the computational aspect of the human mind, the key I argued, to unify the mental and physical aspects of the human brain/mind. The discussion led to Aristotelian psychology (or epistemology) as the suggestion for a way forward in the understanding of the nature of human mind from the mysteriousness of its nature as understood by the rationalists started by René Descartes.
    Found 2 days, 2 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  10. 191894.334776
    Messiah: Al is a good man. He leads a fulfilling life. Those around him appreciate him and treat him with respect. Shortly before his death, he makes an unsettling discovery. Unbeknownst to him, those in his community believe he is a Messiah: someone chosen by God, with innate virtue, and deserving of unconditional respect. As it happens, Al really is a good man, worthy of respect. But if, counterfactually, his behaviour and personality were disagreeable, those around him would continue to be positively disposed towards him. They all interpret Al’s behaviour through the lens of the “Messiah-script,” without seeing him for who he really is.
    Found 2 days, 5 hours ago on PhilPapers
  11. 237789.33479
    Paleontological evidence suggests that human artefacts with intentional markings might have originated already in the Lower Paleolithic, up to 500.000 years ago and well before the advent of ‘behavioural modernity’. These markings apparently did not serve instrumental, tool-like functions, nor do they appear to be forms of figurative art. Instead, they display abstract geometric patterns that potentially testify to an emerging ability of symbol use. In a variation on Ian Hacking’s speculative account of the possible role of “likeness-making” in the evolution of human cognition and language, this essay explores the central role that the embodied processes of making and the collective practices of using such artefacts might have played in early human cognitive evolution. Two paradigmatic findings of Lower Paleolithic artefacts are discussed as tentative evidence of likenesses acting as material scaffolds in the emergence of symbolic reference-making. They might provide the link between basic abilities of mimesis and imitation and the development of modern language and thought.
    Found 2 days, 18 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  12. 249405.334822
    According to a standard interpretation, Plato’s conception of our moral psychology evolved over the course of his written dialogues. In his earlier dialogues, notably the Protagoras, Meno, and Gorgias, Plato’s Socrates maintains that we always do what we believe is best. Many commentators infer from this that Socrates holds that the psyche is simple, in the sense that there is only one ultimate source of motivation: reason. By contrast, in the Republic, Phaedrus, and Timaeus, Socrates holds that the psyche is complex, or has three distinct and semi-autonomous sources of motivation, which he calls the reasoning, spirited, and appetitive parts. While the rational part determines what is best overall and motivates us to pursue it, the spirited and appetitive parts incline us towards different objectives, such as victory, honor, and esteem, or the satisfaction of our desires for food, drink, and sex.
    Found 2 days, 21 hours ago on Rachel Singpurwalla's site
  13. 356076.334839
    This paper examines an ancient debate over the rationality of perception. What leads the Stoics to affirm, and the Epicureans to deny, that to form a sense-impression is an activity of reason? The answer, we argue, lies in a disagreement over what is required for epistemic success. For the Stoics, epistemic success consists in believing the right propositions, and only rational states, in virtue of their predicational structure, put us in touch with propositions. Since they identify some sense-impressions as criteria of truth and thus as the basis for epistemic success, the Stoics maintain that sense-impressions must be rational. The Epicureans agree with the Stoics that sense-impressions function as criteria of truth, and also agree broadly on what it means for a state to be rational, but deny that sense-impressions are rational because (1) they think that epistemic success must be supported by a state that is necessarily error-free and (2) accept that rational states can be false. In reconstructing this debate, we refine the standard interpretation of the fundamental difference between Epicurean and Stoic epistemology and also develop parallels with epistemological debates today. One upshot is a more nuanced appreciation of the merits of Epicurean epistemology vis-à-vis the Stoics.
    Found 4 days, 2 hours ago on Whitney Schwab's site
  14. 356144.334859
    The first philosophers in the Greek tradition to refer to themselves as “skeptics” (skeptikoi) were the Pyrrhonists, members of a movement that broke off from Plato's Academy in the first century BCE. From the perspective of Aenesidemus, the movement's founder, the Academics had over the previous two centuries increasingly compromised their philosophical stance, primarily under the pressure of Stoic objections. Aenesidemus pithily distilled his understanding of the contemporary philosophical scene as “Stoics fighting Stoics” (Photius, Biblio. 212, 170a16–17).
    Found 4 days, 2 hours ago on Whitney Schwab's site
  15. 356145.334877
    The first philosophers in the Greek tradition to refer to themselves as “skeptics” (skeptikoi) were the Pyrrhonists, members of a movement that broke off from Plato's Academy in the first century BCE. From the perspective of Aenesidemus, the movement's founder, the Academics had over the previous two centuries increasingly compromised their philosophical stance, primarily under the pressure of Stoic objections. Aenesidemus pithily distilled his understanding of the contemporary philosophical scene as “Stoics fighting Stoics” (Photius, Biblio. 212, 170a16–17).
    Found 4 days, 2 hours ago on Whitney Schwab's site
  16. 412624.334895
    We present an empirically supported theoretical and methodological framework for quantifying the system-level properties of person-plus-tool interactions in order to answer the question: “Are person-plus-tool-systems extended cognitive systems?” Nineteen participants provided perceptual judgments regarding their ability to pass through apertures of various widths while using visual information, blindfolded wielding a rod, or blindfolded wielding an Enactive Torch—a vibrotactile sensory-substitution device for detecting distance. Monofractal, multifractal, and recurrence quantification analyses were conducted to assess features of person-plus-tool movement dynamics. Trials where people utilized the rod or Enactive Torch demonstrated stable “self-similarity,” or indices of healthy and adaptive single systems, regardless of aperture width, trial order, features of the participants’ judgments, and participant characteristics. Enactive Torch trials exhibited a somewhat greater range of dynamic fluctuations than the rod trials, as well as less movement recurrence, suggesting that the Enactive Torch allowed for more exploratory movements. Findings provide support for the notion that person-plus-tool systems can be classified as extended cognitive systems and a framework for quantifying system-level properties of these systems. Implications concerning future research on extended cognition are discussed.
    Found 4 days, 18 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  17. 540114.334911
    Koreans have been key players in Asian intellectual history and have historically been great propagators of intercultural adaptation. The “Three Teachings” of China, in the form of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism (sometimes written “Taoism”), had all made their way into Korea by the fifth century CE, blending with the pre-existing institutions and culture there. Korean Confucians had used Confucian ideas, especially those advocating hierarchy and moral leadership, to bolster a powerful state bureaucracy in order to provide society with a rigidly structured and organised modus vivendi.
    Found 6 days, 6 hours ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  18. 557466.334925
    “The poorest he that is in England has a life to live as the greatest he” (ThomasRainsborough, spokesman for the Levellers at the Putnam Debates)What does it mean to say that everyone is equal? It does not mean that everyone has (or should have) the same amount of nice things, money, or happiness. …
    Found 6 days, 10 hours ago on The Philosopher's Beard
  19. 557537.33494
    An important question confronting feminist philosophers is why women are sometimes complicit in their own subordination. The dominant view holds that complicity is best understood in terms of adaptive preferences. This view assumes that agents will naturally gravitate away from subordination and towards flourishing as long as they do not have things imposed on them that disrupt this trajectory. However, there is reason to believe that ‘impositions’ do not explain all of the ways in which complicity can arise. This paper defends a phenomenological account of complicity, which offers an alternative explanation.
    Found 6 days, 10 hours ago on PhilPapers
  20. 634546.334953
    The new mechanists and the autonomy approach both aim to account for how biological phenomena are explained. One identifies appeals to how components of a mechanism are organized so that their activities produce a phenomenon. The other directs attention towards the whole organism and focuses on how it achieves self-maintenance. This paper discusses challenges each confronts and how each could benefit from collaboration with the other: the new mechanistic framework can gain by taking into account what happens outside individual mechanisms, while the autonomy approach can ground itself in biological research into how the actual components constituting an autonomous system interact and contribute in different ways to realize and maintain the system. To press the case that these two traditions should be constructively integrated we describe how three recent developments in the autonomy tradition together provide a bridge between the two traditions: (1) a framework of work and constraints, (2) a conception of function grounded in the organization of an autonomous system, and (3) a focus on control.
    Found 1 week ago on PhilPapers
  21. 690169.334967
    “Al-Fârâbî’s metaphysics”, as understood here, means not just his views, and arguments for those views, on a series of metaphysical topics, but his project of reconstructing and reviving metaphysics as a science. This is part of his larger project of reconstructing and reviving “the sciences of the ancients”: his scientific project in metaphysics is inseparable from his interpretation and assimilation of Aristotle’s Metaphysics. We start with some motivation for Fârâbî’s larger project of reconstructing “the sciences of the ancients”, then turn to what he says about metaphysics as one such science and about Aristotle’s Metaphysics, and then to details of his reconstruction of metaphysics as a science, both in his account of maximally universal concepts such as being and unity, and in his account of God as the first cause of existence.
  22. 699003.33498
    It is a common thought that authoritative law is necessary because we disagree about justice. This idea often rests on law’s purported instrumental value, on its ability to get us, imperfect and biased agents, closest to a just society: we do best, from the perspective of justice independently defined, by having clear legal rules to follow and rights to respect. In The Doctrine of Right, Kant rejects such an instrumental conception of law and instead defends the more controversial claim that, absent authoritative law, there will often be no answer to be had about what justice (or, for Kant, right) requires of us in our interactions with one another. On this view, in a situation without authoritative law—in a state of nature—a person is unable coherently to pursue the aim of acting rightly. Authoritative law is required for Kant, then, not because a person, in obeying the law, is thereby more likely to do what right demands; rather, it is required because without it, there will often be no sense to be made of this question of what right demands.
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on Daniel Koltonski's site
  23. 740266.334994
    GPT-3 is a computer program trained on a huge database of internet text and designed to produce language outputs that look human. Given the right prompts, it can produce strikingly humanlike outputs, as I've discussed in previous posts here and here. …
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on The Splintered Mind
  24. 902039.335009
    One of the currently most discussed themes in the philosophy of action is whether there is some kind of collective intention that explains what groups do independent of what the individuals who make up the group intend and do. One of the main obstacles to solve this problem is that on the one hand collective intentionality is no simple summation, aggregate, or distributive pattern of individual intentionality (the Irreducibility Claim), while on the other hand collective intentionality is in the heads of the participating individuals, so to speak, and so it is owned by each of the separate individuals who make up the group (the Individual Ownership Claim). The claims are contradictory and until now no satisfactory solution how to reconcile them has been found. In this article I argue that the constitution view, like the one developed by Lynne R. Baker, can provide a way to sidestep the contradiction. Just as a statue as such is constituted by the marble it is made of but has characteristics that are different from the marble (a statue has a head and legs, while the marble hasn’t; while the marble is stony and the statue as such isn’t), I argue that a group is constituted by its members and that a group on the one hand and its members on the other hand have different characteristics. This is possible because group and members are on different levels. Then there is no longer a contradiction between the Irreducibility Claim and the Individual Ownership Claim, for the former claim concerns the group level and the latter claim concerns the level of the group members. This explains that a group can have intentions that are no simple summation, aggregate, or distributive patterns of the intentions of its members and that group intentions can be different from if not contradictory to what the individual members taken together intend.
    Found 1 week, 3 days ago on Henk bij de Weg's site
  25. 902455.335025
    Testimony from victims of gendered violence is often wrongly disbelieved. This paper explores a way to address this problem by developing a phenomenological approach to testimony. Guided by the concept of ‘disclosedness’, a tripartite analysis of testimony as an affective, embodied, communicative act is developed. Affect indicates how scepticism may arise through the social moods that often attune agents to victims’ testimony. The embodiment of meaning suggests testimony should not be approached as an assertion, but as a process of ‘articulating an understanding’. This account is deepened in the discussion of testimony as a communicative act. It is argued that testimony must be considered as a relational whole, and thus our aim in receiving victims’ testimony should be to honour the relational conditions under which the truth of testimony can be heard. Approaching testimony as the collaborative process of enabling an understanding to be articulated can enhance our conception of gendered violence, whilst also better serving the victims of gendered violence by helping to overcome the lack of trust and excessive scepticism with which victims’ testimony is often met.
    Found 1 week, 3 days ago on PhilPapers
  26. 976558.335039
    This article presents two related challenges to the idea that, to ensure policy evaluation is comprehensive, all costs and benefits should be aggregated into a single, equity-weighted wellbeing metric. The first is to point out how, even allowing for equity-weighting, the use of a single metric limits the extent to which we can take distributional concerns into account. The second challenge starts from the observation that in this and many other ways, aggregating diverse effects into a single metric of evaluation necessarily involves settling many moral questions that reasonable people disagree about. This raises serious questions as to what role such a method of policy evaluation can and should play in informing policy-making in liberal democracies. Ultimately, to ensure comprehensiveness of policy evaluation in a wider sense, namely, that all the diverse effects that reasonable people might think matter are kept score of, we need multiple metrics as inputs to public deliberation.
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on Johanna Thoma's site
  27. 981456.335056
    The many definitions of sophistry at the beginning of Plato’s Sophist have puzzled scholars just as much as they puzzled the dialogue’s main speakers: the Visitor from Elea and Theaetetus. The aim of this paper is to give an account of that puzzlement. This puzzlement, it is argued, stems not from a logical or epis­ temological problem, but from the metaphysical problem that, given the multi­ plicity of accounts, the interlocutors do not know what the sophist essentially is. It transpires that, in order to properly account for this puzzle, one must jettison the traditional view of Plato’s method of division, on which divisions must be exclusive and mark out relations of essential predication. It is then shown on independent grounds that, although Platonic division in the Sophist must express predication relations and be transitive, it need not be dichotomous, exclusive, or express relations of essential predication. Once the requirements of exclusivity and essential predication are dropped, it is possible to make sense of the reasons that the Visitor from Elea and Theaetetus are puzzled. Moreover, with this in hand, it is possible to see Plato making an important methodological point in the dialogue: division on its own without any norms does not necessarily lead to the discovery of essences.
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on PhilPapers
  28. 1027355.335069
    The Animal Breeding Research Organisation (ABRO) was formed as a result of the recommendations of a joint Committee of the Agricultural Improvement Council and the Agricultural Research Council, set up in 1943, to consider the directions which research in animal genetics and breeding in Great Britain should take to advance scientific knowledge and assist animal production in the farming industry.
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  29. 1057913.335086
    The important ‘no-envy’ fairness criterion has typically been attributed to Foley (1967) and sometimes to Tinbergen (1946, 1953). We reveal that Jan Tinbergen introduced ‘no-envy’ as a fairness criterion in his article “Mathematiese Psychologie” published in 1930 in the Dutch journal Mens en Maatschappij and translated as “Mathematical Psychology” in 2021 in the Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics. Our article accompanies the translation: we introduce Tinbergen’s 1930 formulation of the ‘no-envy’ criterion, compare it to other formulations, and comment on its significance for the fairness literature in philosophy and economics.
    Found 1 week, 5 days ago on Conrad Heilmann's site
  30. 1160256.3351
    Galen Strawson (2006) thinks it is ‘obviously’ false that ‘the terms of physics can fully capture the nature or essence of experience’ (p. 4). He also describes this view as ‘crazy’ (p. 7). I think that he has been carried away by first impressions. It is certainly true that ‘physicSalism’, as he dubs this view, is strongly counterintuitive. But at the same time there are compelling arguments in its favour. I think that these arguments are sound and that the contrary intuitions are misbegotten.
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on David Papineau's site