1. 112612.091123
    Lewtas [2017] recently articulated an argument claiming that emergent conscious causal powers are impossible. In developing his argument, Lewtas makes several assumptions about emergence, phenomenal consciousness, categorical properties, and causation. We argue that there are plausible alternatives to these assumptions. Thus, the proponent of emergent conscious causal powers can escape Lewtas’s challenge.
    Found 1 day, 7 hours ago on PhilPapers
  2. 112656.091195
    Derek Parfit defended Non-Realist Cognitivism. It is an open secret that this meta-ethical theory is often thought at best puzzling and at worst objectionably unclear. Employing truthmaker theory, I provide an account of Non-Realist Cognitivism that dispels charges of objectionable unclarity, clarifies how to assess it, and explains why, if plausible, it would be an attractive theory. I develop concerns that the theory involves cheating into an objection that ultimately reveals Non-Realist Cognitivism faces a dilemma. Whether it can escape demands further attention. In bridging meta-ethics and the truthmaking literature, I illustrate the importance of greater meta-metaphysical reflection in meta-ethics.
    Found 1 day, 7 hours ago on PhilPapers
  3. 472039.091213
    It is commonly maintained that neuroplastic mechanisms in the brain provide empirical support for the hypothesis of multiple realizability. We show in various case studies that neuroplasticity stems from preexisting mechanisms and processes inherent in the neural (or biochemical) structure of the brain. We argue that not only does neuroplasticity fail to provide empirical evidence of multiple realization, its inability to do so strengthens the mind-body identity theory. Finally, we argue that a recently proposed identity theory called Flat Physicalism can be enlisted to explain the current state of the mind-body problem more adequately.
    Found 5 days, 11 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  4. 521690.091244
    Frege famously claimed that variations in the sense of a proper name can sometimes be ‘tolerated’. In this paper, we offer a novel explanation of this puzzling claim. Frege, we argue, follows Trendelenburg in holding that we think in language— sometimes individually and sometimes together. Variations in sense can be tolerated in just those cases where we are using language to coordinate our actions, but we are not engaged in thinking together about an issue.
    Found 6 days ago on Eliot Michaelson's site
  5. 538714.091265
    Physicalism demands an explication of what it means for something to be physical. But the most popular way of providing one—viz., characterizing the physical in terms of the postulates of a scientifically derived physical theory—is met with serious trouble. Proponents of physicalism can either appeal to current physical theory or to some future physical theory (preferably an ideal and complete one). Neither option is promising: currentism almost assuredly renders physicalism false and futurism appears to render it indeterminate or trivial. The purpose of this essay is to argue that attempts to characterize the mental encounter a similar dilemma: currentism with respect to the mental is likely to be inadequate or contain falsehoods and futurism leaves too many significant questions about the nature of mentality unanswered. This new dilemma, we show, threatens both sides of the current debate surrounding the metaphysical status of the mind.
    Found 6 days, 5 hours ago on Andreas Elpidorou's site
  6. 580770.091279
    In On the Plurality of Worlds (Lewis 1986), David Lewis imposes a condition on realist theories of modality which he calls ‘plenitude’. Lewis apparently assigns this condition considerable importance, and uses it to motivate his Humean principle of recombination, but he never says exactly what plenitude amounts to. This chapter first sets aside some obvious ways of reconstructing the plenitude criterion which do not fit with the textual evidence. An objection to modal realism due to John Divers and Joseph Melia (Divers and Melia 2002) is diagnosed as equivocating between an overly-demanding plenitude constraint and a weaker constraint which fails to establish their conclusion. An alternative deflationary interpretation of the plenitude condition has it following from an application of standard theoretical virtues to a modal realist’s total theory; Lewis’ correspondence provides new evidence in support of this interpretation. The deflationary plenitude criterion also has broader application, beyond Lewisian modal realism.
    Found 6 days, 17 hours ago on Alastair Wilson's site
  7. 645163.091293
    What are the necessary and sufficient conditions under which a set of material objects S composes something? In other words: what is the criterion—i.e. a condition that is both sufficient and necessary—ψ such that: ψ(S) iff the objects in set S compose (Comp) an object x: ∃x(Comp(S, x))?
    Found 1 week ago on PhilSci Archive
  8. 833403.091307
    On the basis of a wide range of historical examples various features of axioms are discussed in relation to their use in mathematical practice. A very general framework for this discussion is provided, and it is argued that axioms can play many roles in mathematics and that viewing them as self-evident truths does not do justice to the ways in which mathematicians employ axioms. Possible origins of axioms and criteria for choosing axioms are also examined. The distinctions introduced aim at clarifying discussions in philosophy of mathematics and contributing towards a more refined view of mathematical practice.
    Found 1 week, 2 days ago on Dirk Schlimm's site
  9. 860848.091321
    One day, quite some time ago, I happened on a photograph of Napoleon's youngest brother, Jerome, taken in 1852. And I realized then, with an amazement I have not been able to lessen since: ‘I am looking at eyes that looked at the Emperor.’ Sometimes I would mention this amazement, but since no one seemed to share it, nor even to understand it (life consists of these little touches of solitude), I forgot about it.
    Found 1 week, 2 days ago on Vivian Mizrahi's site
  10. 980876.091335
    This paper explores a middle way between realism and eliminativism about grounding. Grounding-talk is intelligible and useful, but it fails to pick out grounding relations that exist or obtain in reality. Instead, grounding-talk allows us to convey facts about what metaphysically explains what, and about the worldly dependence relations that give rise to those explanations.
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on PhilPapers
  11. 997144.091348
    Mathematical pluralism can take one of three forms: (1) every consistent mathematical theory is about its own domain of individuals and relations; (2) every mathematical theory, consistent or inconsistent, is about its own (possibly uninteresting) domain of individuals and relations; and (3) many of the principal philosophies of mathematics is based upon some insight or truth about the nature of mathematics that can be preserved. (1) includes the multiverse approach to set theory. (2) helps us to understand the significance of the distinguished non-logical individual and relation terms of even inconsistent theories. (3) is a metaphilosophical form of mathematical pluralism and hasn’t been discussed in the literature. In what follows, I show how the analysis of theoretical mathematics in object theory exhibits all three forms of mathematical pluralism.
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on Ed Zalta's site
  12. 1159843.091361
    An argument is presented that if a theory of quantum gravity is physically discrete at the Planck scale and the theory recovers General Relativity as an approximation, then, at the current stage of our knowledge, causal sets must arise within the theory, even if they are not its basis. We show in particular that an apparent alternative to causal sets, viz. a certain sort of discrete Lorentzian simplicial complex, cannot recover General Relativistic spacetimes in the appropriately unique way. For it cannot discriminate between Minkowski spacetime and a spacetime with a certain sort of gravitational wave burst.
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  13. 1204543.091375
    In the search for a theory of quantum gravity, there are strong theoretical pressures that have pushed in the direction of theories in which space (or spacetime) is not present at the fundamental level. The task of recovering the appearances is especially pressing in such theories. This chapter looks at the cognitive processes that produce spatial experience to better understand the empirical constraints on such theories. There is no question that we have immediate awareness of the visible and tangible reality of space, but what that awareness amounts to, and whether it supports the requirement that space has to be recovered as concrete external structure, is not something that has received enough attention. This chapter fills that gap. If one asks what. . . is characteristic of the world of ideas of physics, one is first of all struck by the following: the concepts of physics relate to a real outside world, that is, ideas are established relating to things such as bodies, fields, etc., which claim ‘real existence’ that is independent of the perceiving subject-ideas which on the other hand, have been brought into as secure a relationship as possible with the sense-data. It is further characteristic of these physical objects that they are thought of as arranged in a spacetime continuum.
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on Jenann Ismael's site
  14. 1212900.091388
    In a recent article, P. Roger Turner and Justin Capes argue that no one is, or ever was, even partly morally responsible for certain world-indexed truths. Here we present our reasons for thinking that their argument is unsound: It depends on the premise that possible worlds are maximally consistent states of affairs, which is, under plausible assumptions concerning states of affairs, demonstrably false. Our argument to show this is based on Bertrand Russell’s original ‘paradox of propositions’. We should then opt for a different approach to explain world-indexed truths whose upshot is that we may be (at least partly) morally responsible for some of them. The result to the effect that there are no maximally consistent states of affairs is independently interesting though, since this notion motivates an account of the nature of possible worlds in the metaphysics of modality. We also register in this article, independently of our response to Turner and Capes, and in the spirit of Russell’s aforementioned paradox and many other versions thereof, a proof of the claim that there is no set of all true propositions one can render false.
    Found 2 weeks ago on PhilPapers
  15. 1326044.091401
    To some, this internecine debate resembles an Abbott and Costello skit. In saying this I do not intend to cast aspersions on interesting, insightful work that has developed problems and solutions for specific X-First views. Rather, I intend to draw attention to something about the debate itself. It takes as a starting point that some normative feature is fundamental to all others. Little to nothing is said about whether or why we should think that. That said, to my knowledge there has been no clear argument against the X-First program,¹ and no clear articulation of an alternative to it either. Hence my two main goals in this chapter. First, I provide a fairly simple argument that one shouldn’t be an X-Firster about the normative domain. The central move is to show that X-First theories have dubious merits when applied to a range of analogous domains. Second, I offer an alternative to X-First views. I develop an approach—taking normativity to be a determinable—that provides a stark contrast with X-First views, especially in how it treats the structure and unity of normativity.
    Found 2 weeks, 1 day ago on Daniel Wodak's site
  16. 1326067.091415
    The paper explores Hermann Weyl’s turn to intuitionism through a philosophical prism of normative framework transitions. It focuses on three central themes that occupied Weyl’s thought: the notion of the continuum, logical existence, and the necessity of intuitionism, constructivism, and formalism to adequately address the foundational crisis of mathematics. The analysis of these themes reveals Weyl’s continuous endeavor to deal with such fundamental problems and suggests a view that provides a different perspective concerning Weyl’s wavering foundational positions. Building on a philosophical model of scientific framework transitions and the special role that normative indecision or ambivalence plays in the process, the paper examines Weyl’s motives for considering such a radical shift in the first place. It concludes by showing that Weyl’s shifting stances should be regarded as symptoms of a deep, convoluted intrapersonal process of self-deliberation induced by exposure to external criticism.
    Found 2 weeks, 1 day ago on PhilSci Archive
  17. 1326105.091429
    In this paper, I explore the connection between certain metaphysical views of time and emotional attitudes concerning one’s own death and mortality. I argue that one metaphysical view of time, B-theory, offers consolation to mortals in the face of death relative to commonsense and another metaphysical view of time, A-theory. Consolation comes from three places. First, B-theory implies that time does not really pass, and as a result one has less reason to worry about one’s time growing short. Second, B-theory entails that there is a real sense in which one’s death does not result in one’s annihilation, and this fact can temper feelings of existential distress. Third, B-theory has the consequence that the benefits one has lost (or will lose) have concrete existence, and this fact can mitigate the emotional significance of the losses of death.
    Found 2 weeks, 1 day ago on PhilPapers
  18. 1645429.091444
    In the article we apply language of category theory in order to formalize core methodological principles that structure the methodology of thought elaborated by Russian modern psychiatrist and philosopher A. Kurpatov. According to the author such formalization could be useful both from the standpoint of unification of ways of thinking about brain functioning and reasoning in particular, and from the standpoint of search of uniform language of scientific thought in general.
    Found 2 weeks, 5 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  19. 1645459.09146
    In this essay I explore how travel and border-crossing for abortion care constitutes a challenge to methodological nationalism, which serves to obscure such experiences from view. Drawing up field research conducted at two abortion clinics in Albuquerque, New Mexico, I also explore some implications of regarding pregnant people who travel for abortion care as a type of migrant, even (but not necessarily) if they are U.S. citizens and legal residents. Finally, I assess how this discursive shift can make important contributions to pandemic and migration ethics.
    Found 2 weeks, 5 days ago on Amy Reed-Sandoval's site
  20. 1645478.091477
    In this work I present a detailed critique of the dignity-related arguments that have been advanced against the creation of human–nonhuman chimeras that could possess human-like mental capacities. My main claim is that the arguments so far advanced are incapable of grounding a principled objection against the creation of such creatures. I conclude that these arguments have one, or more, of the following problems: (a) they confuse the ethical assessment of the creation of chimeras with the ethical assessment of how such creatures would be treated in specific contexts (e.g. in the laboratory), (b) they misrepresent how a being could be treated solely as means towards others’ ends, (c) they fall short of demonstrating how humanity’s dignity would be violated by the creation of such entities, and (d) they fail to properly characterise the moral responsibilities that moral agents have towards other moral agents and sentient beings.
    Found 2 weeks, 5 days ago on John Danaher's site
  21. 1645577.091491
    By means of any one of the relations just listed, the other three relations can be defined. Here, following Tarski, we shall take both identity and  as primitive. Accordingly, the other three relations may be defined as follows.
    Found 2 weeks, 5 days ago on Neil Tennant's site
  22. 1879906.091514
    The puzzle of cross-modal shape experience is the puzzle of reconciling the apparent differences between our visual and haptic experiences of shape with their apparent similarities. This paper proposes that we can resolve the cross-modal puzzle by reflecting on another puzzle. The puzzle of perspectival character challenges us to reconcile the variability of shape experience through shifts in perspective with its constancy. An attractive approach to the latter puzzle holds that shape experience is complex, involving both perspectival aspects and constant aspects. I argue here that parallel distinctions between perspectival and constant aspects of shape experience arise in sight and touch, and that perspectival aspects are modality-specific while at least some constant aspects are constitutively multisensory. I then address a powerful challenge to the idea that aspects of spatial phenomenology are shared cross-modally.
    Found 3 weeks ago on E. J. Green's site
  23. 1906647.091537
    It is common belief that semantic properties supervene on non-semantic properties: no two possible worlds can be non-semantic duplicates and fail to be semantic duplicates. The view enjoys somewhat of an orthodoxy status in contemporary philosophy of language and metaphysics, and is often assumed without argument. Yet, work by Stephen Kearns and Ofra Magidor has claimed that it is vulnerable to a variant of the classical arguments against the supervenience of the phenomenal on the physical. This paper does three things: it clarifies what semantic supervenience is about, it responds to the objections that have been leveled against it, and provides a new battery of arguments in its favor. I argue that the thesis of semantic supervenience is safe from classical anti-supervenience arguments, and show that its rejection generates unwelcome consequences. I conclude that there are substantial reasons to embrace the received wisdom: semantic properties supervene.
    Found 3 weeks, 1 day ago on PhilPapers
  24. 2045817.09155
    Causal relevance comes in many varieties, and causation is only one of them. There is direct and indirect relevance, and positive and negative relevance, but only the directly and positively relevant things are causes. Relevant non-causes include background conditions, enablers, ennoblers, and preventers. By distinguishing enabling from causing we can defang switching examples, so that they no longer threaten the transitivity of causation. And by distinguishing preventing from causing a negative (and I have a lot of arguments that they differ) we can clear a path to denying that double prevention is causation. But I don’t issue a blanket denial: double prevention sometimes is and sometimes isn’t causation, and I describe when.
    Found 3 weeks, 2 days ago on Bradford Skow's site
  25. 2096273.091564
    A serious problem for adverbialism about intentionality is the many-property problem, one major aspect of which is the claim that natural inferences between thought contents are blocked if adverbialism is true. Kriegel (2007. “Intentional Inexistence and Phenomenal Intentionality.” Philosophical Perspectives 21: 307– “The 340.
    Found 3 weeks, 3 days ago on Casey Woodling's site
  26. 2368962.091581
    The Doctrine of Microphysical Supervenience states that microphysical duplicates cannot differ in their intrinsic properties. According to Merricks (a, ), however, this thesis is false, since microphysical duplicates can differ with respect to the intrinsic property of consciousness. In my view, Merricks’ argument is plausible, and extant attempts to reject it are problematic. However, the argument also threatens to make consciousness appear mysterious, by implying that consciousness facts fail to be microphysically determined and that there can be brute and inexplicable differences in consciousness between material things. The paper therefore develops an account that can respect the soundness of Merricks’ argument while avoiding these problematic consequences. At the heart of the proposal is the idea that consciousness can be microphysically grounded despite failing to microphysical supervene. The proposed view also has the interesting consequence that consciousness is an intrinsic property despite depending on extrinsic factors for its instantiation.
    Found 3 weeks, 6 days ago on PhilPapers
  27. 2378505.091594
    We are both philosophers of physics. As such, we often find ourselves explaining to puzzled faces, on family, friends, students, strangers on trains, even colleagues on occasion, what physics (which rests on experiment) has to do with philosophy (which apparently does not). It's a fair question. We'd like to take this opportunity to answer it by considering some examples in which physics affects philosophy; and then examining how this is possible. We hope that by the end, it will be clear that physicists and philosophers can both benefit greatly from working together.
    Found 3 weeks, 6 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  28. 2600253.091607
    I defend the intention-dependence of artifacts (IDA), which says that something is an artifact of kind K only if it is the successful product of an intention to make an artifact of kind K. I consider objections from two directions. First, that artifacts are often mind- and intention-dependent, but that this isn’t necessary, as shown by swamp cases. I offer various error theories for why someone would have artifact intuitions in such cases. Second, that while artifacts are necessarily mind-dependent, they aren’t necessarily intention-dependent. I consider and reject three kinds of cases which purport to show this: accidental creation, automated production, and mass production. I argue that intentions are present in all of these cases, but not where we would normally expect.
    Found 1 month ago on PhilPapers
  29. 2600300.091621
    At the beginning of Part 2 of his essay on miracles, Hume gives four arguments for the unreliability of testimony for specifically religious miracles. Understanding two of these arguments requires looking at them in the context of 18th century sectarianism. In effect, Hume argues that if you believe in the miracles of the Bible, then you ought to be a Catholic. But Catholicism is absurd, so you ought not believe in the miracles of the Bible.
    Found 1 month ago on PhilPapers
  30. 2667959.091634
    The main metaphysical contrast illustrated in Correia and Rosenkranz’s Nothing to Come is between what Williamson (2013) called temporaryism, – i.e., the view according to which sometimes some things sometimes do not exist – and permanentism, the view that always everything always exists. The formulation of the two views needs three clarifications. First, the quantification involved in these existence claims is meant to be unrestricted, so that the dispute between them turns out to be (supposedly) genuine: the view that the future is unreal does not amount to the trivial claim that it is unreal (or does not exist) now, i.e., that it is not located in the now. In what follows we will also assume unrestricted quantification for all (non-)existence statements.
    Found 1 month ago on PhilSci Archive