1. 167007.347259
    Gallow on causal counterfactuals without miracles and backtracking Posted on Friday, 27 Jan 2023. Gallow (2023) spells out an interventionist theory of counterfactuals that promises to preserve two apparently incompatible intuitions. …
    Found 1 day, 22 hours ago on wo's weblog
  2. 220957.347468
    The Hole Argument presents a formidable challenge against spacetime substantivalism. The doctrine of substantivalism, roughly, holds that spacetime exists independently from matter. In the theory of General Relativity (GR), fields are represented as functions f(x) over a base manifold M, so f(p) represents the value of f at point p. In vacuum GR, the sole field is the metric g(x).
    Found 2 days, 13 hours ago on PhilPapers
  3. 243821.34749
    The main idea expressed in this thesis is that phenomenal character can be somehow understood in terms of representational content. This, if true, represents substantial progress toward closing the mind-body explanatory gap: if we can give a naturalistic account of representational content, we only need to plug in Intentionalism and we get a naturalistic account of phenomenal experience.
    Found 2 days, 19 hours ago on Manolo Martínez's site
  4. 740406.347516
    This paper concerns the recent revival of entity realism. Having been started with the work of Ian Hacking, Nancy Cartwright and Ronald Giere, the project of entity realism has recently been developed by Matthias Egg, Markus Eronen, and Bence Nanay. The paper opens a dialogue among these recent views on entity realism and integrates them into a more advanced view. The result is an epistemological criterion for reality: the property-tokens of a certain type may be taken as real insofar as only they can be materially inferred from the evidence obtained in a variety of independent ways of detection.
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on PhilPapers
  5. 764112.347531
    A paradigmatic aesthetic experience is a perceptual experience focused on the beauty of an object like a work of art or an aspect of nature. Some philosophers take it that this is the only kind of aesthetic experience, though many more take it that there are other varieties as well. You might, for instance, have an aesthetic experience by witnessing not a beautiful but a sublime storm. You might have an aesthetic experience not by having a perceptual but rather by having an (imagined) emotional experience of the deep suffering of Sethe expressed in Toni Morrison’s great novel Beloved.
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  6. 778638.347553
    Expressions like “I feel your pain” or “I share your sadness” play an important role in our moral lives. They convey our empathy, which is of crucial moral significance. In fact, some philosophers consider empathy to be, not just morally important, but the key to understanding morality. Whether or not we go that far, empathy is clearly central to how we understand, treat, and hope to be treated by other people. But the kind of empathy that is communicated through expressions like “I feel your pain” is also peculiar. For it seems to require something perplexing and elusive: sharing another’s experience. It’s not clear how this is possible. We each experience the world from our own point of view, which no one else occupies. My experiences are mine; your experiences are yours. How could we share each other’s experiences? This issue is related to, but different from, a long-standing puzzle about knowing other minds. Wittgenstein (1958) writes: If what I feel is always my pain only, what can the supposition mean that someone else has pain? (pp. 56).
    Found 1 week, 2 days ago on Emad H. Atiq's site
  7. 778647.347574
    On a textbook view, Cartesian dualism faces an insurmountable difficulty: it posits two substances with nothing in common – pure thought and pure extension – and claims that they somehow interact. How could that be? The sense of mystery is undeniable but, as so often happens with mysteries, the underlying problem is elusive. Perhaps the problem concerns causation. In her letter first raising the problem, Princess Elizabeth writes that to move the body the mind would have to make some sort of impact on it. If impact is a transfer of some quality or quantity from cause to effect the problem is immediate: mind and body have incompatible natures, so nothing can be transferred from one to the other. But it is not clear that Descartes thinks causation works this way, and if he does then that is his mistake. The flagpole is a cause of its shadow, and yet, nothing whatsoever is being transferred from one to the other.
    Found 1 week, 2 days ago on Zoltán Gendler Szabó's site
  8. 820278.34759
    We can divide medieval discussions of the insolubles— logical paradoxes such as the Liar—into two main periods, before and after Bradwardine, who wrote his treatise on Insolubles in Oxford in the early 1320s. Bradwardine’s aim was to develop a solution to the insolubles which, unlike the then dominant theories, restrictio and cassatio, placed no restriction on self-reference or the theory of truth. He claimed to be able to prove that insolubles signify not only that they are false but also that they are true, and so are false. Few subsequent writers on insolubles followed him completely.
    Found 1 week, 2 days ago on Stephen Read's site
  9. 820308.347604
    Walter de Segrave was at Merton College, Oxford from 1321 until at least 1338. Segrave’s ‘Insolubles’ is his only known work, which appears to have been composed at Oxford in the late 1320s or early 1330s, consistent with the fact that it is clearly a response to Bradwardine’s own ‘Insolubles’, composed when Bradwardine was regent master at Balliol College, that is, from 1321-23, before he moved to Merton in 1323. The dominant theory at the time Bradwardine was writing was restrictivism, the claim that a part cannot supposit for the whole of which it is part (and consequently, for its contradictory or anything convertible with it), at least in the presence of a privative term, in particular, privative alethic and epistemic terms such as ‘false’ and ‘unknown’.
    Found 1 week, 2 days ago on Stephen Read's site
  10. 820344.347617
    Forty years ago, Niels Green-Pedersen listed five different accounts of valid consequence, variously promoted by logicians in the early fourteenth century and discussed by Niels Drukken of Denmark in his commentary on Aristotle’s Prior Analytics, written in Paris in the late 1330s. Two of these arguably fail to give defining conditions: truth preservation was shown by Buridan and others to be neither necessary nor sufficient; incompatibility of the opposite of the conclusion with the premises is merely circular if incompatibility is analysed in terms of consequence. Buridan was perhaps the first to define consequence in terms of preservation of what we might dub verification, that is, signifying as things are. John Mair pinpointed a sophism which threatens to undermine this proposal. Bradwardine turned it around: he suggested that a necessary condition on consequence was that the premises signify everything the conclusion signifies. Dumbleton gave counterexamples to Bradwardine’s postulates in which the conclusion arguably signifies more than, or even completely differently from the premises. Yet a long-standing tradition held that some species of validity depend on the conclusion being in some way contained in the premises. We explore the connection between signification and consequence and its role in solving the insolubles.
    Found 1 week, 2 days ago on Stephen Read's site
  11. 1144338.347631
    How should we account for the extraordinary regularity in the world? Humeans and Non-Humeans sharply disagree. According to Non-Humeans, the world behaves in an extraordinarily regular way because of certain necessary connections in nature. However, Humeans have thought that Non-Humean views are metaphysically objectionable. In particular, there are two general metaphysical principles that Humeans have found attractive that are incompatible with all existing versions of Non-Humeanism. My goal in this paper is to develop a novel version of Non-Humeanism that is consistent with (and even entails) both of these general metaphysical principles. By endorsing such a view, one can have the explanatory benefits of Non-Humeanism while at the same time avoiding two of the major metaphysical objections towards Non-Humeanism.
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on David Builes's site
  12. 1151543.347644
    When introducing the metaphysics of properties—usually in class, but sometimes on airplanes—we often find ourselves in the awkward position of having to explain what kinds of things properties are in the broadest possible sense. Faced with this challenge, a first strategy is to enumerate examples: redness, humanity, fragility. A second strategy is to describe their theoretical role: they are the ways things are or could be, but not the things that have them. Understandably enough, some remain quite confused even at this point. It is tempting, then, to launch into a third, more ambitious strategy, which begins by sketching a picture of reality according to which there are, on the one hand, elbows and alligators and, on the other hand, numbers and possibilities. The former are concrete entities. They can be created or destroyed. They have more or less specific locations. They can be known through perception. In contrast, the latter are abstract entities. They aren’t created or destroyed (though our words for and thoughts about them are). They aren’t located anywhere (or at least not in any familiar way). They can be known, but such knowledge is secured only through peculiar means like mathematical intuition or rational reflection. Our introduction to the metaphysics of properties now continues: properties are like numbers and possibilities, not elbows and alligators. They are abstract entities, not concrete things. So, just as mathematical inquiry into numbers is a distinctive enterprise that requires mathematical expertise, metaphysical inquiry into properties is similarly complicated and, among other things, it requires a clear understanding of this distinction between abstract and concrete entities (on this picture and competing views of the abstract-concrete distinction, see Burgess and Rosen 1997 and Szabo 2003).
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on Sam Cowling's site
  13. 1254442.347657
    In [1] it is claimed that, based on radiation emission measurements described in [2], a certain variant” of the Orch OR theory has been refuted. I agree with this claim. However, the significance of this result for Orch OR per se is unclear. After all, the refuted “variant” was never advocated by anyone, and it contradicts the views of Hameroff and Penrose (hereafter: HP) who invented Orch OR [3].
    Found 2 weeks ago on Kelvin J. McQueen's site
  14. 1436313.347671
    Mereological harmony is the idea that the mereological structure of objects mirrors the mereological structure of locations. Grounding harmony is the idea that there is a similar mirroring between the grounding structure of objects and locations. Our goal in this paper is exploratory: we introduce and then explore two notions of grounding harmony: locative and structural. We outline potential locative and structural harmony principles for grounding, and show which of these principles may entail, or be entailed by, principles of mereological harmony. We then present a case study in grounding harmony, by applying it to Schaffer’s (in Philos Rev 119(1):31, 2010a) specific version of priority monism. We show that, given a strong form of grounding harmony, Schaffer-style monism is inconsistent, but that this inconsistency can be resolved by offering bespoke notions of grounding harmony. We use Schaffer’s priority monism to demonstrate a broader tension within certain packages of metaphysical views, including versions of priority pluralism. We close by briefly considering the case against structural grounding harmony.
    Found 2 weeks, 2 days ago on Sam Baron's site
  15. 1562651.347684
    There are two overarching aims of the five collated papers that make up my thesis. The first is to demonstrate that making sense of an ineffable Islamic God in virtue of classical logic and various truth theories (under the purview of analytic philosophy) motivates a theological contradiction. The second is to offer a solution to this problem. I spend a substantial part of my thesis establishing the first of these aims. The reason for this is twofold. Firstly, it is to illustrate the incompatibility between an ineffable God of Islam and various modes of logical and metaphysical inquiry that fall under the purview of analytic philosophy. Although, it becomes increasingly evident that we cannot philosophically make sense of an absolute ineffable God, my inquiry still bears relevance. It offers a comprehensive insight into the logical and metaphysical perspectives that are responsible for motivating the theological contradiction in question. Secondly, fleshing out the various logical and metaphysical perspectives helps lay the theoretical groundwork for the solution.
    Found 2 weeks, 4 days ago on PhilPapers
  16. 1562681.347697
    A common conception of facts is as worldly entities, complexes made up of non-factual constituents such as properties, relations and property-bearers. Understood in this way facts face the unity problem, the problem of explaining why various constituents are combined to form a fact. In many cases the constituents could have existed without being unified in the fact—so in virtue of what are they so unified? I shall present a new approach to the unity problem. First, facts which are grounded are unified by the obtaining of their grounds. Second, many ungrounded facts are such that they must obtain if their non-factual constituents exist (e.g. if the property ?ness is essential to a particular, ?, then if ? exists the fact that ? is ? must obtain). In this way the obtaining of these facts is explained by the essence of some of their constituents. I also address the possibility of facts which are brutely unified (i.e. neither grounded nor essentially unified), and compare the account I offer with some of the main alternatives.
    Found 2 weeks, 4 days ago on PhilPapers
  17. 1562713.347711
    Howard Robinson’s From the Knowledge Argument to Mental Substance contains two quite different arguments from the vagueness of composite objects to the conclusion that I am not a physical object at all. One of them, developed over the course of several chapters, takes the following form: All composite physical objects (and only composite physical objects are candidates to be a human being) are non-fundamental; non-fundamental things are inevitably vague in various ways; this vagueness shows that we must “make a conceptual interpretation of them”, treating them as “artefacts of conceptualisation”; and this in turn precludes our identifying ourselves with any such things. Some interesting morals fall out of close consideration of Robinson’s argument; but, in the end, materialists can reasonably resist it.
    Found 2 weeks, 4 days ago on PhilPapers
  18. 1606337.347724
    We start by presenting three different views that jointly imply that all people have a large number of conscious beings in their immediate vicinity, and that the number greatly varies from person to person. We then present and assess an argument to the conclusion that how confident people should be in these views should sensitively depend on how massive they happen to be. According to the argument, sometimes irreducibly de se observations can be powerful evidence for or against believing in metaphysical theories.
    Found 2 weeks, 4 days ago on PhilPapers
  19. 1662921.347736
    Functional reductionism brings functionalism and reductionism together, making reduction a matter of recovering the right behaviour. The goal of this paper is to consider a problem for functional reductionism, and then propose a solution. To begin with, let’s introduce the central notions of the debate. First, functionalism is the view that ‘to be x is to play the role of x’. In this sense, x can be deemed as functionally defined. This view has been the main position in the philosophy of mind for a long time. For instance, a functionalist account of phenomenal states would define ‘pain’ in terms of its causal roles, i.e. as ‘that state that is caused by bodily injury, that cause the belief that there is something wrong with the body’ and so on. Functionalism is now becoming increasingly prominent in different areas within the philosophy of science as well, in particular in the philosophy of physics. For example, according to Knox (2019) and Lam and Wüthrich (2018), we should define spacetime in terms of its functional role, i.e. as that thing that plays the theoretical role of spacetime, and not in terms of some intrinsic features. In a slogan, ‘spacetime is as spacetime does’.
    Found 2 weeks, 5 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  20. 1729133.34775
    Leibniz famously holds that in creating the world God chooses between possible worlds, actualizing one of them—the most perfect one. Possible worlds are constituted by possible individual substances. Creation thus amounts to God’s choosing to actualize some of all possible individuals and presupposes “an infinite number of series of possible things” only some of which “attain existence” (A VI.iv, 1651/AG, 29). This paper proposes to radically reconsider Leibniz’s conception of the nature of possible things or possibilia, as well as the very ground of possibility.
    Found 2 weeks, 6 days ago on PhilPapers
  21. 1729151.347763
    Consider a particular neutrino. According to an abundant conception of properties this neutrino has a great many properties, including one corresponding to almost every predicate attributable to the neutrino. Among these abundant properties some are fairly straightforward. For example, the neutrino has half a unit of spin, and a tiny rest mass. Others are more complicated. For example, the neutrino has no electric charge, and is a member of the set {neutrinos and tigers}. Some of the abundant properties have only an apparently tenuous connection to the neutrino itself, such as being one of the things that I am thinking about right now, or having a name coined in 1933.
    Found 2 weeks, 6 days ago on Elanor Taylor's site
  22. 1782067.347788
    The aim of this article is to make a case for the pertinence of a biographical approach to the history of scientific objects. I first lay out the rationale of that approach by revisiting and extending my earlier work on the topic. I consider the characteristics of scientific objects that motivate the biographical metaphor, and I indicate its virtues and limitations by bringing out the positive and negative analogies between biographies of scientific objects and ordinary biographies. I then point out various ways in which scientific objects may pass away and argue that their demise should be conceptualized as a process. Finally, I sketch the history of the concept of “ether” in nineteenth and early twentieth century physics and suggest that it lends itself particularly well to a biographical treatment. To that effect, I discuss the identity, heuristic character, and recalcitrance of the ether and examine the reasons that may have led to its passing.
    Found 2 weeks, 6 days ago on Theodore Arabatzis's site
  23. 1998167.347806
    According to some views of consciousness, when I experience the taste of mango, I also have an inner awareness of that mango-taste experience. What is this inner awareness? A common way to characterize a mental state is in terms of its content and attitude. This is what I propose to do in this paper. The characterization of inner awareness I will propose is intended to help address certain difficulties regarding the similarity and dissimilarity between inner awareness and sense perception, as well as concerning the observability of the self.
    Found 3 weeks, 2 days ago on Uriah Kriegel's site
  24. 1998171.34782
    Isaac Wilhelm (2020) compares two answers to this question: (i) the fact that the mug is self-identical (for example) is grounded in the fact that the mug exists; (ii) the fact that the mug is self-identical is grounded in the mug itself. Wilhelm argues that (i) results in a troubling disunity in our account of what grounds identity facts, and concludes that (ii) is the better answer (§2-§3). He takes this conclusion to have a broader significance. For (ii) is not available to fact-grounders, who hold that grounding obtains only between facts; (ii) is only available to entity-grounders, who think that grounding can also obtain between entities of various other kinds: objects, properties, events, and so on. Wilhelm concludes that this gives us a reason to be entity-grounders. Here I rebut Wilhelm’s argument. I show that (i) is not the only answer that commits us to a disunity; (ii) brings with it a disunity of the very same kind. The advocate of (ii) has a natural way of restoring unity – but this maneuver is equally available to the advocate of (i), leaving neither theorist with any particular advantage (§4).
    Found 3 weeks, 2 days ago on Neil Mehta's site
  25. 2015503.347842
    Kammerer on acquaintance and certainty Posted on Friday, 06 Jan 2023. Many experiences have phenomenal properties: there is something it is like to have them. A puzzling fact about these properties is that we appear to know about them in a special, direct fashion: we are "acquainted" with the phenomenal properties of our experiences. …
    Found 3 weeks, 2 days ago on wo's weblog
  26. 2124917.347857
    The current conception of the plurality of worlds is founded on a set theoretic understanding of possibilia. This paper provides an alternative category theoretic conception and argues that it is at least as serviceable for our understanding of possibilia. In addition to or instead of the notion of possibilia conceived as possible objects or possible individuals, this alternative to set theoretic modal realism requires the notion of possible morphisms, conceived as possible changes, processes or transformations. To support this alternative conception of the plurality of worlds, I provide two examples where a category theoretic account can do work traditionally done by the set theoretic account: one on modal logic and another on paradoxes of size. I argue that the categorial account works at least as well as the set theoretic account, and moreover suggest that it has something to add in each case: it makes apparent avenues of inquiry that were obscured, if not invisible, on the set theoretic account. I conclude with a plea for epistemological humility about our acceptance of either a category-like or set-like realist ontology of modality.
    Found 3 weeks, 3 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  27. 2126891.347871
    Self-knowledge is the knowledge we have of our inner lives. In this thesis I develop and defend an account of a particular kind of self-knowledge: our first-person knowledge of our current conscious mental states. Such states include (but are not limited to) our own current perceptual experiences, pains, sensations, and imagery. I argue that self-knowledge of these states is possible because we have a special kind of access to them. This access takes the form of a relation of awareness, between a subject and the phenomenal properties of their current conscious states, which has certain epistemic and metaphysical features. This relation of awareness I call ‘acquaintance’. It is because we are aware of our current conscious states in this way that we are able to form judgements about them. These judgements, when properly justified, amount to self-knowledge. My account is made in three stages. Firstly, I give an argument for the features of the acquaintance relation. I argue that these features constitute an awareness of the phenomenal properties of our conscious states which is epistemically secure enough to form the basis of self-knowledge. Secondly, I argue that our current conscious mental states are individuated by their phenomenal properties. Hence, by being acquainted with a state’s phenomenal properties, we can be aware of both what kind of mental state it is (its state type), and what the state represents (its content). This gives us all the information we need to be able to form judgements in which we accurately self-ascribe these states. Finally, I explain how it is that these selfascriptions are justified. I argue that the resulting account - the Acquaintance Account - explains our first-person knowledge of current conscious states.
    Found 3 weeks, 3 days ago on PhilPapers
  28. 2473260.347886
    Pluralist mathematical realism, the view that there exists more than one mathematical universe, has become an influential position in the philosophy of mathematics. I argue that, if mathematical pluralism is true (and we have good reason to believe that it is), then mathematical realism cannot (easily) be justified by arguments from the indispensability of mathematics to science. This is because any justificatory chain of inferences from mathematical applications in science to the total body of mathematical theorems can cover at most one mathematical universe. Indispensability arguments may thus lose their central role in the debate about mathematical ontology. Keywords: indispensability; mathematical realism; mathematical pluralism; set-theoretic multiverse, Continuum Hypothesis.
    Found 4 weeks ago on PhilPapers
  29. 2538571.347899
    The notion of emergence couples the notions of dependence and autonomy, in a way primarily motivated by natural reality’s seeming to exhibit a ‘leveled’ structure, corresponding roughly to relations between goings-on (entities, features) treated by the diverse sciences. For example, people, plants, planets, and other macroscopic objects depend upon lower-level (e.g., cellular or molecular, and ultimately fundamental physical) configurations, in that (at a minimum) the existence of such macro-objects at a time (over a temporal interval) requires the existence of lower-level configurations at that time (over that interval), and the properties of macroscopic objects at a time (over an interval) are to at least some extent a function of properties of these lower-level configurations at that time (over that interval). And yet notwithstanding these forms of cotemporal dependence, higher-level entities and features seem also to be autonomous from lower-level configurations and features in various respects. Perhaps most saliently, the content of and commitment to (at least the approximate truth of) distinctive special-science taxonomies and broadly causal laws naturally suggests that higher-level goings-on are autonomous both ontologically and causally—that is, are both distinct from and distinctively efficacious as compared to their dependence base goings-on. Such broadly pretheoretic appearances in turn motivate attention to a notion of distinctively metaphysical emergence, understood more specifically as coupling synchronic or (as I’ll usually put it, to avoid common readings of ‘synchronic’ as involving a single time) cotemporal dependence with ontological and causal autonomy.
    Found 4 weeks, 1 day ago on Jessica Wilson's site
  30. 2609405.347913
    Imagine the following alternative history of the world: Things are qualitatively just as they actually are. There is no difference in anything like the shape, size, or mass of objects. There is no difference in the number of entities. Even so, there is a non-qualitative difference and it concerns you in particular. According to this alternative history, you fail to exist. In your place, there is a distinct individual, Double. Double has all the qualitative properties, whether mental or physical, you actually have, but, despite all these similarities, you and Double are distinct individuals.
    Found 1 month ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy