1. 13585.129001
    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 3 hours, 46 minutes ago on PhilPapers
  2. 13717.12912
    The present paper proposes a route to modal claims that allows us to infer to certain possibilities even if they are sensorily unimaginable and beyond the evidential capacity of stipulative imagining. After a brief introduction, Sect. 2 discusses imaginative resistance to help carve a niche for the kinds of inferences about which this essay is chiefly concerned. Section provides three classic examples, along with a discussion of their similarities and differences. Section 4 recasts the notion of potential explanation in Lipton’s (Inference to the best explanation, Routledge, Abingdon, 2004) in order to accommodate inferences to possibility claims; Sect. 5 then attempts to characterise a principle underlying such inferences. Section 6 concludes by discussing how the proposal relates to other modal epistemologies, with emphasis on the potential of such inferences to produce genuinely new ideas.
    Found 3 hours, 48 minutes ago on PhilPapers
  3. 13806.129143
    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 3 hours, 50 minutes ago on PhilPapers
  4. 71665.129158
    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 19 hours, 54 minutes ago on PhilPapers
  5. 190636.129172
    It is a platitude that when we reason, we often take things for granted, sometimes even justifiably so. The chemist might reason from the fact that a substance turns litmus paper red to that substance being an acid. In so doing, they take for granted, reasonably enough, that this test for acidity is valid. We ordinarily reason from things looking a certain way to their being that way. We take for granted, reasonably enough, that things are as they look.
    Found 2 days, 4 hours ago on PhilPapers
  6. 255728.129186
    Taking perceptual experience to consist in a relation of acquaintance with the sensible qualities, I argue that the state of being acquainted with a sensible quality is intrinsically a form of knowledge, and not merely a means to more familiar kinds of knowledge, such as propositional or dispositional knowledge. We should accept the epistemic claim for its explanatory power and theoretical usefulness. That acquaintance is knowledge best explains the intuitive epistemic appeal of ‘Edenic’ counterfactuals involving unmediated perceptual contact with reality (cf. Chalmers, in: Gendler, Hawthorne (eds) Perceptual experience, Oxford University Press, 2006). It explains the elusiveness of knowledge gained through new acquaintances. It coheres with the knowledge-like functional role of acquaintance in the special context of evaluative beliefs and evaluative reasoning, where the objects of acquaintance serve as evidence and inferential basis. And, finally, taking acquaintance to be knowledge is theoretically fruitful: it helps vindicate claims about the relationship between knowledge and concern for others we already find intuitive or outright accept. After developing a novel case for the epistemic claim, I respond to two familiar objections against it: namely, (1) that there are no pre-propositional, pre-conceptual cases of perceptual experience that remain epistemically relevant (Sellars in Empiricism and the philosophy of mind, Routledge, 1968, McDowell, in: Lindgard (ed) John McDowell: Experience, norm, and nature, Blackwell, 2008); and (2) that the category of knowledge appears gerrymandered once we add ‘object’ knowledge to the epistemological mix (Farkas, in: Knowles, Raleigh (eds), Acquaintance: new essays, Oxford University Press, 2019).
    Found 2 days, 23 hours ago on Emad H. Atiq's site
  7. 354955.129216
    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
  8. 355023.129266
    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
  9. 355024.129288
    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
  10. 368085.129306
    Will it rain tomorrow? Will there be a sea battle tomorrow? Will my death be painful? Wondering about the future plays a central role in our cognitive lives. It is integral to our inquiries, our planning, our hopes, and our fears. The aim of this paper is to consider various accounts of future contingents and the implications that they have for wondering about the future. I will argue that reflecting on the nature of wondering about the future supports an Ockhamist account of future contingents according to which many of them are true. Alternative accounts which maintain that no future contingents are true, either by claiming that they are all false or by claiming that they are neither true nor false, face diculties concerning why it is appropriate to wonder about them. Reflecting on wondering in general, and wondering about the future in particular, suggests that in wondering how the future will go, we implicitly assume that there is a determinate fact of the matter. Oftentimes, alternatives to the Ockhamist account of future contingents are motivated by appeal to an asymmetry in our mental attitudes about the past and the future: the future is open and unknown in a way in which the past is not. I will argue that reflecting on wondering pulls in the opposite direction. Wondering about the future is much like wondering about the past or the present. Just as when we wonder whether it is presently raining in Glasgow, when we wonder whether it will rain tomorrow, we assume there is a true, yet unknown answer to the question that serves as the content of our wondering, and this is what makes our wondering about the future appropriate.
    Found 4 days, 6 hours ago on Stephan Torre's site
  11. 411503.129319
    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
  12. 511971.129336
    It is widely agreed that conditionals of the form ‘if p, q’ come with one of two types of marking: they are either subjunctive or indicative. What does this difference tell us about the conditionals’ semantics (broadly construed)? Many agree with the following negative answer: the difference between subjunctive and indicative conditionals matches neither the distinction between counterfactual and noncounterfactual conditionals nor the distinction between nonfactual and factual conditionals. Both subjunctive and indicative conditionals can suggest that the antecedent is false; they can leave it open what the truth value of the antecedent is; and they can suggest that the antecedent is true. Typically, subjunctive conditionals do suggest something about their antecedent — they typically convey counterfactuality —, while, typically, indicative conditionals leave the truth value of the antecedent open, but since there are exceptions to this rule neither a conditional’s subjunctive marking nor its indicative marking indefeasibly conveys anything about the antecedent’s truth value. In other words, neither kind of marking entails, or semantically presupposes, or conventionally implicates anything about the antecedent’s truth value. But what then does the difference between subjunctive and indicative conditionals tell us about the conditionals’ semantics?
    Found 5 days, 22 hours ago on Julia Zakkou's site
  13. 541405.12935
    The notion of credit plays a central role in virtue epistemology and in the literature on moral worth. While virtue epistemologists and ethicists have devoted a significant amount of work to provide an account of creditable success, a unified theory of credit applicable to both epistemology and ethics, as well as a discussion of the general form it should take, are largely missing from the literature. Our goal is to lay out a theory of credit that seems to underlie much of the discussion in virtue epistemology, which we dub the Cake Theory. We argue that given the goals that virtue epistemologists and ethicists who discuss moral worth have, this theory is problematic, for it makes credit depend on the wrong facts.
    Found 6 days, 6 hours ago on PhilPapers
  14. 633496.129372
    Farbod Akhlaghi (2021) presents an original argument against both noncognitivism and naturalism in metaethics. The argument revolves around the idea that wholesale moral error is at least epistemically possible. Akhlaghi thinks that neither noncognitivists nor naturalists are able to explain this on the assumption that their theories are true. He takes this to show that noncognitivism and naturalism are false. In this reply, I argue that metaethical theories should at most allow for the epistemic possibility of wholesale moral error on one particular conception of epistemic possibility, and that neither noncognitivists nor naturalists have trouble doing so. In section 2, I argue that metaethical theories should allow for the epistemic possibility of wholesale moral error only if epistemic possibility consists in having a non-zero probability given our evidence. In section 3, I reconstruct Akhlaghi’s argument against noncognitivism and naturalism. In section 4, I argue that it fails. Section 5 concludes.
    Found 1 week ago on PhilPapers
  15. 655775.129414
    Mainstream epistemology has typically taken for granted a traditional picture of the metaphysics of mind, according to which cognitive processes (e.g. memory storage and retrieval) play out entirely within the bounds of the skull and skin. But this simple ‘intracranial’ picture is falling increasingly out of step with contemporary thinking in the philosophy of mind and cognitive science. Likewise, though, proponents of active externalist approaches to the mind—e.g. the hypothesis of extended cognitition (HEC)—have proceeded by and large without asking what epistemological ramifications should arise once cognition is understood as criss-crossing the bounds of brain and world. This paper aims to motivate a puzzle that arises only once these two strands of thinking are brought in contact with one another. In particular, we want to first highlight a kind of condition of epistemological adequacy that should be accepted by proponents of extended cognition; once this condition is motivated, the remainder of the paper demonstrates how attempts to satisfy this condition seem to inevitably devolve into a novel kind of epistemic circularity. At the end of the day, proponents of extended cognition have a novel epistemological puzzle on their hands.
    Found 1 week ago on J. Adam Carter's site
  16. 864645.129448
    The scientific community takes for granted a view of science that may be called standard empiricism. This holds that the basic intellectual aim of science is truth, nothing being presupposed about the truth, the basic method being to assess theories with respect to evidence. A basic tenet of the view is that science must not accept any thesis about the world as a part of scientific knowledge independent of evidence, let alone in violation of evidence. But physics only accepts unified theories, and persistently rejects infinitely many ad hoc rivals that fit the phenomena even better. In persistently rejecting these infinitely many empirically more successful rival theories, physics thereby makes a substantial assumption about the universe – it is such that all ad hoc theories are false – an assumption that is accepted implicitly independently of evidence, even in a sense against the evidence. That contradicts standard empiricism. The scientific community needs to adopt a new conception of science that represents the assumption of physics as a hierarchy of assumptions, thus facilitating the improvement of the assumption that is made, as science proceeds.
    Found 1 week, 3 days ago on PhilPapers
  17. 901334.129465
    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
  18. 901392.129479
    AI systems have seen dramatic advancement in recent years, bringing many applications that pervade our everyday life. However, we are still mostly seeing instances of narrow AI: many of these recent developments are typically focused on a very limited set of competencies and goals, e.g., image interpretation, natural language processing, classification, prediction, and many others. Moreover, while these successes can be accredited to improved algorithms and techniques, they are also tightly linked to the availability of huge datasets and computational power [21]. State-of-the-art AI still lacks many capabilities that would naturally be included in a notion of (human) intelligence. Examples of these capabilities are generalizability, adaptability, robustness, explainability, causal analysis, abstraction, common sense reasoning, ethical reasoning [28], as well as a complex and seamless integration of learning and reasoning supported by both implicit and explicit knowledge [20].
    Found 1 week, 3 days ago on PhilPapers
  19. 975437.129492
    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
  20. 1038306.12951
    Bayesians have a well-developed account of how you should change your credences when you learn new evidence; that is, when your body of evidence grows. What’s more, they have a range of epistemic and pragmatic arguments that support that account. But they do not have a satisfactory account of when and how you should change your credences when you become aware of new possibilities; that is, when your awareness grows. In this paper, I consider each of the arguments for the Bayesian’s account of how respond to evidence, and I ask whether they can generate a Bayesian account of how to respond to awareness growth. I argue that, with one exception, they can’t. I conclude that our credal response to awareness growth is considerably less rigorously constrained than our credal response to new evidence.
    Found 1 week, 5 days ago on PhilPapers
  21. 1143122.129523
    Decreasing accuracy through learning Posted on Wednesday, 17 Nov 2021. Last week I gave a talk in which I claimed (as an aside) that if you update your credences by conditionalising on a true proposition then your credences never become more inaccurate. …
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on wo's weblog
  22. 1164169.129537
    Suppose I take a nasty fall while biking. But I remain conscious. Here is the obvious first thing for a formal epistemologist to do: increase my credence in the effectiveness of this brand of helmets. …
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  23. 1182096.129594
    On J586, a planet peopled by sentient vegetation, seven blobs of color, stacked high like scoops of ice cream, float in a test tube-like container. The super-powered guardian of J586 sits opposite the hovering cyan and magenta patches and tentatively addresses something that looks more like a traffic light than an organism. The guardian slowly asks these blobs about who and what they are. Remarkably, the blobs explain that they have been exiled from their homeworld and express their deep regret for the chaos they have just wrought on J586.
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on Sam Cowling's site
  24. 1182154.129612
    Democracy is in trouble, and it is democracy’s own fault—that is Robert Talisse’s intriguing contention is his recent book, Overdoing Democracy: Why We Must Put Politics in its Place (2019). What gets democracy into trouble, according to Talisse, is the idea that a democratic form of government is intrinsically valuable, which in turn entails a deliberative conception of democracy that, in combination with the social-psychological fact of social sorting, leads to rampant polarization. According to Talisse, we therefore need to put democracy in its place by resisting the expansive view of the scope of democracy and making room for non-political spaces of interaction, in which we can form civic friendships. However, in what follows, I argue that what Talisse has actually provided is an excellent reason for rejecting rather than merely mitigating the detrimental effects of the idea that democracy is intrinsically valuable. Specifically, we ought to stop fetishizing democracy and instead embrace an instrumentalist view of democracy as a social practice that is instituted and maintained for purposes external to itself. Once we do this, democracy no longer needs saving from itself.
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij's site
  25. 1352779.12963
    Are ethical virtues the same for everyone regardless of geographical, historical, and social context? Or are they keyed to the local environment in a way that means they vary across contexts? Ethical virtues govern behaviour across all the situations of one’s life. The fundamental structures of human life are the same for everyone, but how these structures play out depends on our context. Does this mean that ethical virtues are universal, reflecting the basic structures of the human condition, or local, reflecting the conditions in which those structures play out? This chapter addresses this question through the motivational structure of ethical virtues. It begins by outlining an empirical model of evaluative attitudes, then argues that the motivational structure of each ethical virtue is a cluster of such attitudes. For many virtues, the relevant attitudes depend on the specific challenges of the environment. Those virtues will thus be local in their details. The chapter concludes by identifying two varieties of universality: the attitudes composing ethical integrity do not refer to the environment at all; one attitude in the virtue of honesty refers to environmental features that are themselves universal.
    Found 2 weeks, 1 day ago on Jonathan Webber's site
  26. 1386036.129646
    How could the initial, drastic decisions to implement “lockdowns” to control the spread of COVID-19 infections be justifiable, when they were made on the basis of such uncertain evidence? We defend the imposition of lockdowns in some countries by first, and focusing on the UK, looking at the evidence that undergirded the decision, second, arguing that this provided us with sufficient grounds to restrict liberty given the circumstances, and third, defending the use of poorly-empirically-constrained epidemiological models as tools that can legitimately guide public policy.
    Found 2 weeks, 2 days ago on PhilPapers
  27. 1386102.12966
    I propose and defend a novel view called ‘de se consequentialism’, which is noteworthy for two reasons. First, it demonstrates — contra Doug Portmore, Mark Schroeder, Campbell Brown, and Michael Smith, among others that a consequentialist theory employing agent-neutral value is logically consistent with agent-centered constraints. Second, de se consequentialism clari es both the nature of agent-centered constraints and why philosophers have found them puzzling, thereby meriting attention from even dedicated non-consequentialists. Scrutiny reveals that moral theories in general, whether consequentialist or not, incorporate constraints by assessing states in a rst-personal guise. Consequently, it is no coincidence that de se consequentialism mimics constraints: its distinctive feature is the very feature through which non-consequentialist theories enact them.
    Found 2 weeks, 2 days ago on PhilPapers
  28. 1430425.129673
    One proposed criterion for discerning legitimate value influences in science is to allow values that further justice-related social aims. According to this moral account, promoting human egalitarian values is legitimate and productive in science because of the moral superiority of those values. I argue that we can have a more general and feasible guide for science without appealing to the social aims of science. Earlier proposals that are more empirically focused (e.g., highlighting the significance of knowledge) can better achieve the intended outcomes of the moral account.
    Found 2 weeks, 2 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  29. 1430660.129687
    A “Zanzibar” is an island of measurement values that internally cohere, but are detached from independent contact with reality. Contemporary philosophy of measurement has embraced coherence as the highest epistemic virtue to which successful measurement can realistically aspire. Does this amount to a concession that Zanzibars are unavoidable? On the one hand, the demand for global coherence has the power to disrupt local Zanzibars, by ensuring that local measurements cohere with background theory, model-based simulations, and alternative measurement techniques. On the other hand, global coherence without a constitutive contribution from the observer-independent world seems no more than a giant Zanzibar: intersubjectivity unmoored from objectivity. Indeed, biting this anti-realist bullet, contemporary coherentists assert that measurement is “the continuation of theory construction” (van Fraassen 2008, 112), that quantity values are not discovered but “come into being” through measurement (Chang 2004, 213), and consequently that computer simulations have the same epistemic standing as measurements (Morrison 2009).
    Found 2 weeks, 2 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  30. 1461765.129701
    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 epistemic actions. The complexity of many parameter combinations has been determined, but previous research left 14 parameter combinations open. In this paper, we solve all of these open problems. Most of the parameter combinations turns out to be fixed-parameter intractable, except 2 that are fixed-parameter tractable.
    Found 2 weeks, 2 days ago on Thomas Bolander's site