1. 33928.954483
    According to David Chalmers, the virtual entities found in Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) environments instantiate virtual properties of a specific kind. It has recently been objected that such a view (i) can’t extend to all types of properties; (ii) leads to a proliferation of property-types; (iii) implausibly ascribes massive errors to VR and AR users; and (iv) faces an analogue of Jackson’s “many-property problem”. My first objective here is to show that advocates of virtual properties can deal with each of these objections. The other goal of this paper is to examine the consequences of Chalmers’ theory in the particular case of AR. If we countenance virtual properties, AR highlights that non-virtual objects can possess both non-virtual and virtual properties. With AR, it also appears that a same non-virtual object can have different and even incompatible properties across augmented environments. Lastly, considering properties in light of AR highlights the risk of an “augmented solipsism”, and calls forth interesting questions about the persistence conditions of non-virtual objects in AR environments.
    Found 9 hours, 25 minutes ago on PhilPapers
  2. 97040.954601
    In recent decades, Bayesian modeling has achieved extraordinary success within perceptual psychology (Knill and Richards, 1996; Rescorla, 2015; Rescorla, 2020a; Rescorla, 2021). Bayesian models posit that the perceptual system assigns subjective probabilities (or credences) to hypotheses regarding distal conditions (e.g. hypotheses regarding possible shapes, sizes, colors, or speeds of perceived objects). The perceptual system deploys its subjective probabilities to estimate distal conditions based upon proximal sensory input (e.g. retinal stimulations). It does so through computations that are fast, automatic, subpersonal, and inaccessible to conscious introspection.
    Found 1 day, 2 hours ago on Michael Rescorla's site
  3. 207186.954624
    We plead for a fluid margin, or mixed/indeterminate buffer zone, between Physical and Non-Physical Causal Closures, and for a Neutrosophic Causal Closure Principle claiming that the chances of all physical effects are determined by their prior partially physical and partially non-physical causes.
    Found 2 days, 9 hours ago on PhilPapers
  4. 207227.954634
    An influential version of the Consequence argument, the most famous argument for the incompatibility of free will and determinism, goes as follows: For an agent to be able to do otherwise, there has to be a possible world with the same laws and the same past as her actual world in which she does otherwise. However, if the actual world is deterministic, there is no such world. Hence, no agent in a deterministic world can ever do otherwise. In this paper, I discuss a recent version of this argument due to Christopher Franklin: the ‘No Opportunity argument’. I argue that the No Opportunity argument overgeneralizes. If its premises were true, things would be obstacles to doing otherwise that have nothing to do with determinism and that intuitively are not obstacles.
    Found 2 days, 9 hours ago on PhilPapers
  5. 264937.954642
    According to First-Person Realism, one's own first-person perspective on the world is metaphysically privileged in some way. After clarifying First-Person Realism by reference to parallel debates in the metaphysics of modality and time, I survey eight different arguments in favor of First-Person Realism.
    Found 3 days, 1 hour ago on PhilPapers
  6. 264961.954651
    There are two ways to characterize symmetric relations. One is intensional: necessarily, Rxy iff Ryx. In some discussions of relations, however, what is important is whether or not a relation gives rise to the same completion of a given type (fact, state of affairs, or proposition) for each of its possible applications to some fixed relata. Kit Fine calls relations that do ‘strictly symmetric’. Is there is a difference between the notions of necessary and strict symmetry that would prevent them from being used interchangeably in such discussions? I show that there is. While the notions coincide assuming an intensional account of relations and their completions, according to which relations/completions are identical if they are necessarily coinstantiated/equivalent, they come apart assuming a hyperintensional account, which individuates relations and completions more finely on the basis of relations’ real definitions. I establish this by identifying two definable relations, each of which is necessarily symmetric but nonetheless results in distinct facts when it applies to the same objects in opposite orders. In each case, I argue that these facts are distinct because they have different grounds.
    Found 3 days, 1 hour ago on PhilPapers
  7. 270303.954659
    In this paper, we do two things: first, we offer a metaphysical account of what it is to be an individual person through Hegel’s understanding of the concrete universal; and second, we show how this account of an individual can help in thinking about love. The aim is to show that Hegel’s distinctive account of individuality and universality can do justice to two intuitions about love which appear to be in tension: on the one hand, that love can involve a response to properties that an individual possesses; but on the other hand, what it is to love someone is not just to love their properties, but to love them as the distinct individual they are. We claim that Hegel’s conception of the relation between individuals and their properties, which relies on his account of the concrete universal, can resolve this tension and make sense of this aspect of love.
    Found 3 days, 3 hours ago on Ergo
  8. 340633.954668
    In his recent The Parmenidean Ascent, Michael Della Rocca develops a regress-theoretic case, reminiscent of F.H. Bradley’s famous argument in Appearance and Reality, against the intelligibility of relations and in favor of a monistic conception of reality. I argue that Della Rocca illicitly supposes that “internal” relations – in one sense of that word – lead to a “chain” regress, a regress of relations relating relations and relata. In contrast, I contend that if “internal” or grounded relations lead to a regress at all, it is a kind of “fission” regress within the relata themselves, and that a chain regress for relations only arises, if at all, for so-called “external” relations, relations not grounded in their relata. In this way, I contend that Della Rocca pursues a regress for so-called “internal” or grounded relations that only arises, if at all, for so-called “external” relations, relations not grounded in their relata. I compare Della Rocca’s case against relations with Bradley’s reasoning in Appearance and Reality, and suggest in this context that Bradley may, perhaps, have the upper hand.
    Found 3 days, 22 hours ago on Kevin Morris's site
  9. 726714.954682
    Monists and pluralists disagree concerning how many ordinary objects there are in a single situation. For instance, pluralists argue that a statue and the clay it is made of have different properties, and thereby are different. The standard monist’s response is to hold that there is just a single object, and that, under the description “being a statue”, this object is, e.g., aesthetically valuable, and that, under the description “being a piece of clay”, it is not aesthetically valuable. However, Fine provided an ontological reading of the expression “an object under a description”: the theory of rigid embodiments. The debate between monists and pluralists reduplicates in the domain of ordinary occurrences, like walks and conferences.
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on PhilPapers
  10. 736567.95469
    Three accounts of effective realism (ER) have been advanced in this journal to solve three problems for scientific realism: Fraser and Vickers ([forthcoming]) develop a version of ER about non-relativistic quantum mechanics that they argue is compatible with all the main realist versions (‘interpretations’) of quantum mechanics avoiding the problem of underde-termination among them; Williams ([2019]) and Fraser ([2020b]) propose ER about quantum field theory as a response to the problems facing realist interpretations; Robertson and Wilson ([forthcoming]) propose ER to deal with the dubious ontological status of the entities belonging to superseded theories. This paper argues for the unification of these proposals based on realism about modal structure and the idea of scale relativity of ontology developed by ontic structural realists. This solves problems some or all the accounts of ER face, especially that of making explicit in what way they are realist. Furthermore, we respond to a recent critique that has been raised against the ontic structural realist account of quantum mechanics that we employ.
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on PhilSci Archive
  11. 842149.9547
    the actual dispositional properties of an entity fully and ultimately determine how that entity could be. Powers are modal properties in two senses. Firstly, powers are modal properties in the sense that they are modally robust: it is metaphysically impossible for fragility to be directed to something other than shattering (Bird 2016). This is because the identity of a power is fixed by what it is for. 3 Secondly, powers are modal properties because they have (nontrivial) modal consequences — they are the source of some modal facts, they can act as truthmakers for certain modal claims (Jacobs 2010; Vetter 2015). The fact that the sugar cube is soluble, together with the fact that solubility is directed at dissolving, fully grounds the fact that the sugar cube could be dissolved. Or, to use our preferred formulation, the modal claim ‘possibly, the sugar cube dissolves’ is made true by the sugar cube’s solubility. 4
    Found 1 week, 2 days ago on PhilPapers
  12. 909542.954707
    We re-examine the old question to what extent mathematics may be compared to a game. Under the spell of Wittgenstein, we propose that the more refined object of comparison is a “motley of language games”, the nature of which was (implicitly) clarified by Hilbert: via different language games, axiomatization lies at the basis of both the rigour and the applicability of mathematics. In the “formalist” game, mathematics resembles chess via a clear conceptual dictionary. Accepting this resemblance: like positions in chess, mathematical sentences cannot be true or false; true statements in mathematics are about sentences, namely that they are theorems (if they are). In principle, the certainty of mathematics resides in proofs, but to this end, in practice these must be “surveyable”. Hilbert and Wittgenstein proposed almost oppositie criteria for surveyability; we try to overcome their difference by invoking computer-verified proofs. The “applied” language game is based on Hilbert’s axiomatization program for physics (and other scientific disciplines), refined by Wittgenstein’s idea that theorems are yardsticks to which empirical phenomena may be compared, and further improved by invoking elements of van Fraassen’s constructive empiricism. From this perspective, in an appendix we also briefly review the varying roles and structures of axioms, definitions, and proofs in mathematics. Our view is not meant as a philosophy of mathematics by itself, but as a coat rack analogous to category theory, onto which various (traditional and new) philosophies of mathematics (such as formalism, intuitionism, structuralism, deductivism, and the philosophy of mathematical practice) may be attached and may even peacefully support each other.
    Found 1 week, 3 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  13. 1188955.954716
    The purpose of this appendix is to show how the conceptual framework – call this CF1 – proposed in the main text relates to Russellian Monism (RM) and can accrue RM’s benefits, while avoiding the combination problem that challenges many forms of RM. For efficiency it will be assumed that readers are familiar with the main text and with CF1.
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on PhilPapers
  14. 1192771.954724
    Aesthetic evaluations of human bodies have important implications for moral recognition and for individuals’ access to social and material goods. Unfortunately, there is a widespread aesthetic disregard for non-white bodies. Aesthetic evaluations depend on the aesthetic properties we regard objects as having. And it is widely agreed that aesthetic properties are directly accessed in our experience of aesthetic objects. How, then, might we explain aesthetic evaluations that systematically favour features associated with white identity? Critical race philosophers, like Alia Al-Saji, Mariana Ortega, Paul C. Taylor, and George Yancy, argue that this is because the perception of racialized bodies is affected by the social structures in which they are appreciated. The aim of this paper is to propose how social structures can affect aesthetic perception. I argue that mental imagery acquired through the interaction with aesthetic phenomena structures the perception of non-aesthetic properties of bodies, so that aesthetic properties consistent with racist stereotypes are attributed to individuals.
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on Ergo
  15. 1192885.954732
    The starting point of this paper is the thought that the phenomenal appearances that accompany mental states are somehow only there, or only real, from the standpoint of the subject of those mental states. The world differs across subjects in terms of which appearances obtain. Not only are subjects standpoints across which the world varies, subjects are standpoints that we can moreover ‘adopt’ in our own theorizing about the world (or stand back from). The picture that is suggested by these claims has an appeal but is at the same time obscure and stands in need of regimentation. This paper explores and motivates a metaphysical account of what it is for subjects to be standpoints, what it is to adopt standpoints in our representations and, most importantly, how these notions might help us better understand the subjective character of conscious mental states. Some well-known observations by Thomas Nagel serve as starting points and the paper concludes by revisiting Nagel’s argument for the inevitable incompleteness of objective accounts of mental states, which will be reframed in terms of the central commitments of the proposed framework.
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on Ergo
  16. 1193073.954741
    According to Bird’s Naïve Dispositional Monism, all properties are powers, and are individuated by their manifestations. Lowe has famously challenged the position with an individuation regress or circularity argument. Bird has then offered a structuralist side-step in the form of Structuralist Dispositional Monism, according to which powers are individuated through the unique position they occupy in an asymmetric power-structure. However, Structuralist Dispositional Monism has been argued to be just as problematic as Naïve Dispositional Monism, if not more so.
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on Ergo
  17. 1246744.95475
    Hylomorphists claim that substances—human beings, oak trees, chemical compounds—are compounds of matter and form. If a house is a substance, then its matter would be some bricks and timbers and its form the structure those bricks and timbers take on. While hylomorphism is traditionally presented as a theory of change, it only treats the coming-to-be and passing-away of matter-form compounds. But many hylomorphists understand forms to be entities in their own right, as parts or constituents of substances. So, a neglected question arises: how, when, and from where do forms come to be? I take up the view of one prominent and representative hylomorphist, Kathrin Koslicki, and argue that she cannot answer these questions satisfactorily. I close with a proposal for an account of the generation of forms based on machinery many hylomorphists already accept, namely, causal powers, that points to a deflationary metaphysics of form.
    Found 2 weeks ago on PhilPapers
  18. 1304433.954758
    Experiential acquaintance is an alleged relation between ourselves and our experiences that has sometimes been hypothesized as necessary for knowledge of our experiences. This paper begins with a clarification of ‘acquaintance’ and an explanation of ‘experience’ that focuses attention on a famous, but flawed, argument by G. E. Moore. It goes on to critically examine several recent arguments concerning experiential acquaintance and to show how internalist foundationalism can respond to a famous Sellarsian dilemma without appeal to a relation of acquaintance with our experiences. It concludes that we can dispense with experiential acquaintance.
    Found 2 weeks, 1 day ago on PhilPapers
  19. 1537772.954766
    The space of possible worlds is vast. Some of these possible worlds are materialist worlds, some may be worlds bottoming out in 0s and 1s, or other strange things we cannot even dream of… and some are idealist worlds. From among all of the worlds subjectively indistinguishable from our own, the idealist ones have uniquely compelling virtues. Idealism gives us a world that is just as it appears; a world that’s fit to literally enter our minds when we perceive it. If the world is an idealist world, we live in a perceptual Eden. We did not fall from Eden. Rather, we deluded ourselves into believing that we couldn’t possibly live in Eden when we committed to materialism. Reflecting on these big-picture issues gives us reason to question this commitment and embrace a radically new account of reality and our relation to it.
    Found 2 weeks, 3 days ago on H. Yetter-Chappell's site
  20. 1537798.954774
    The Aristotelian view of universals, according to which each universal generically depends for its existence on its instantiations, has recently come under attack by a series of ground-theoretic arguments (Alvarado, 2020; Costa, 2021; Raven 2022; replies in Giordani and Tremolanti 2022; Imaguire 2021). Such arguments seem all to build on alleged circularities of priority, ground, or dependence, generated by the Aristotelian view. Indeed, on the one hand, the Aristotelian view requires (1) universals to depend on their instantiations, while, on the other hand, there seem to be powerful reasons to claim the reverse is true too: (2) instantiations depend on the universals they are instantiations of. The last such arguments, presented by Raven (2022), promises to offer several significant improvements over its predecessors. First, it does not assume, and is therefore free from controversies over, the transitivity of grounding (Raven 2022, 7). Second, it offers new reasons in favour of (2), based on two popular views on how states of affairs are constructed from their constituents.
    Found 2 weeks, 3 days ago on Damiano Costa's site
  21. 1537830.954782
    This article defends the existence of borderline consciousness. In borderline consciousness, conscious experience is neither determinately present nor determinately absent, but rather somewhere between. The argument in brief is this. In considering what types of systems are conscious, we face a quadrilemma. Either nothing is conscious, or everything is conscious, or there’s a sharp boundary across the apparent continuum between conscious systems and nonconscious ones, or consciousness is a vague property admitting indeterminate cases. Assuming mainstream naturalism about consciousness, we ought to reject the first three options, which forces us to the fourth, indeterminacy. Standard objections to the existence of borderline consciousness turn on the inconceivability of borderline cases. However, borderline cases are only inconceivable by an inappropriately demanding standard of conceiv-ability. I conclude with some plausible cases and applications.
    Found 2 weeks, 3 days ago on Eric Schwitzgebel's site
  22. 1537844.954791
    I haven’t really come to bury Quine but to praise him. He did have the idea. He did make some unfortunate mistakes which are good examples of mistakes others can make working with this theory. I don’t think NF(U) is so terribly difficult: but it requires a kind of discipline which is not needed in ordinary set theory.
    Found 2 weeks, 3 days ago on M. Randall Holmes's site
  23. 1944399.954799
    There’s more to Boethius (480–524 AD) than I knew! Sure, he wrote On the Consolation of Philosophy while imprisoned, later to be executed. And sure, it contains worthy stoic chestnuts like “Nothing is miserable unless you think it is so; and on the other hand, nothing brings happiness unless you are content with it.” But how did he get there? …
    Found 3 weeks, 1 day ago on Azimuth
  24. 1946184.954807
    How does one formalize the structure of structures necessary for the foundations of physics? This work is an attempt at conceptualizing the metaphysics of pregeometric structures, upon which new and existing notions of quantum geometry may find a foundation. We discuss the philosophy of pregeometric structures due to Wheeler, Leibniz as well as modern manifestations in topos theory. We draw attention to evidence suggesting that the framework of formal language, in particular, homotopy type theory, provides the conceptual building blocks for a theory of pregeometry. This work is largely a synthesis of ideas that serve as a precursor for conceptualizing the notion of space in physical theories. In particular, the approach we espouse is based on a constructivist philosophy, wherein “structureless structures” are syntactic types realizing formal proofs and programs. Spaces and algebras relevant to physical theories are modeled as type-theoretic routines constructed from compositional rules of a formal language. This offers the remarkable possibility of taxonomizing distinct notions of geometry using a common theoretical framework. In particular, this perspective addresses the crucial issue of how spatiality may be realized in models that link formal computation to physics, such as the Wolfram model.
    Found 3 weeks, 1 day ago on PhilSci Archive
  25. 1946222.954816
    According to the Humean Best Systems Account, laws are generalizations in the best systematization of non-modal matters of fact. Recently, it has become popular to interpret the notion of a best system pragmatically. The best system is sensitive to our interests—that is, to our goals, abilities, and limitations. This account promises a metaphysically minimalistic analysis of laws, but I argue that it is not as minimalistic as it might appear. Some of the concepts it employs are modally robust, leading to a dilemma.
    Found 3 weeks, 1 day ago on PhilSci Archive
  26. 2870103.954825
    Mindcraft is a series of opinion posts on current issues in cognitive science by Brains Blog founder Gualtiero Piccinini. Do you agree? Disagree? Please contribute on the discussion board below! If you’d like to write a full-length response, please contact editors Dan Burnston and Nick Byrd. …
    Found 1 month ago on The Brains Blog
  27. 2922977.954835
    Metaphysicians of causation have long debated the existence of primitive causal modalities (e.g., powers), with reductionists and realists taking opposing stances. However, little attention has been given to the legitimacy of the metaphysical question itself, despite our longstanding awareness of Rudolf Carnap’s critique of metaphysics. This article develops a (broadly) Carnapian-pragmatist approach to causation as an alternative to existing metaphysical approaches. Within this pragmatist approach, metaphysical questions about causation are reinterpreted as practical questions about the choice of causal frameworks. To motivate and justify this new approach, I argue that, in emphasizing the priority of ontology over methodology, metaphysical approaches to causation fail to adequately capture the interplay between causal ontology and causal methodology in scientific practice. In contrast, the Carnapian approach provides a more appealing alternative that emphasizes the mutual dependence and “balance” between the two in an ongoing process of scientific inquiry. I use the recent controversy over “What counts as a cause” in statistical causal inference as a case study to demonstrate how the Carnapian approach can help us better understand the role of ontological issues in methodological practices.
    Found 1 month ago on PhilSci Archive
  28. 2922985.954845
    The potential reducibility of chemical entities to their physical bases is a matter of dispute between ontological reductionists on one hand, and emergentists on the other. However, relevant debates typically revolve around the reducibility of so-called ‘higher-level’ chemical entities, such as molecules. Perhaps surprisingly, even committed proponents of emergence for these higher-level chemical entities appear to accept that the ‘lowest-level’ chemical entities – atomic species – are reducible to their physical bases. In particular, the microstructural view of chemical elements, actively developed and defended by emergentists, appears to hold that the explanatory power of nuclear charge justifies being reductionist about atomic species. My first task in this paper is to establish that nuclear charge cannot ultimately provide explanations sufficient to justify a reductionist approach to atomic species, unless we abandon the persuasive intuition that the presence of an element in a substance ought to explain the properties of that substance. The ‘missing piece’ for explaining the properties of substances by way of their elemental constituents is the electronegativity values of participant atoms. But electronegativity is a strikingly disunified concept that appears distinctly unamenable to analysis by way of fundamental physical principles. Through evaluating the uncertain physical identity of electronegativity, as well as its widespread and indispensable epistemic utility in chemical practice, I argue that electronegativity provides compelling grounds to seriously consider emergence for atomic species.
    Found 1 month ago on PhilSci Archive
  29. 2922992.954854
    We consider the duality between General Relativity and the theory of Einstein algebras, in the extended setting where one permits non-Hausdorff manifolds. We show that the duality breaks down, and then go on to discuss a sense in which general relativity, formulated using non-Hausdorff manifolds, exhibits excess structure when compared to Einstein algebras. We discuss how these results bear on a class of algebraically-motivated deflationist views about spacetime ontology. We conclude with a conjecture concerning non-Hausdorff spacetimes with no bifurcate curves.
    Found 1 month ago on PhilSci Archive
  30. 2923045.954863
    Animalism is prima facie the most plausible view about what we are; it aligns better with science and common sense, and is metaphysically more parsimonious. Thought experiments involving the brain, however, tend to elicit intuitions contrary to animalism. In this paper, I examine two classical thought experiments from the literature, brain transplant and cerebrum transplant, and a new one, cerebrum regeneration. I argue that they are theoretically possible, but that a scientifically informed account of what would actually happen shows that in none of the cases would the person be separated from the animal. Our intuitions in these cases, when adequately informed by neuroscience, do not conflict with animalism – rather, they suggest a correction of the animalist position: the persisting animal should be at least minimally sentient. Sentience animalism is a new formulation of the animalist account of personal identity that allows us to reconcile facts about our biological persistence conditions with the intuition that human persistence should involve some kind of psychological continuity.
    Found 1 month ago on PhilSci Archive