1. 42001.367491
    Unlike its moral and intellectual counterparts, the virtue of aesthetic humility has been widely neglected. In order to begin filling in this gap, I argue that Kant’s aesthetics is a promising resource for developing a model of aesthetic humility. Initially, however, this may seem like an unpromising starting point as Kant’s aesthetics might appear to promote aesthetic arrogance instead. In spite of this prima facie worry, I claim that Kant’s aesthetics provides an illuminating model of aesthetic humility that sheds light not only on the self- and other-directed attitudes it involves, but also on how aesthetic humility can serve as a corrective to the vices of aesthetic arrogance and aesthetic servility. In addition to revealing the ways in which Kant’s aesthetics prizes humility rather than arrogance, I aim to show that the Kantian model of aesthetic humility can enrich our understanding of humility more generally and contribute to the on-going effort in aesthetics to analyze specific aesthetic virtues and vices.
    Found 11 hours, 40 minutes ago on PhilPapers
  2. 108892.367726
    In an alternative history of the world, perhaps quantum mechanics could have been discovered by chemists following up on the theories of two mathematicians from the late 1800s: Sylvester, and Gordan. Both are famous for their work on invariant theory, which we would now call part of group representation theory. …
    Found 1 day, 6 hours ago on Azimuth
  3. 282005.367751
    People have disagreed on the significance of Libet-style experiments for discussions about free will. In what specifically concerns free will in a libertarian sense, some argue that Libet-style experiments pose a threat to its existence by providing support to the claim that decisions are determined by unconscious brain events. Others disagree by claiming that determinism, in a sense that conflicts with libertarian free will, cannot be established by sciences other than fundamental physics. This paper rejects both positions. First, it is argued that neuroscience and psychology could in principle provide support for milder deterministic claims that would also conflict with libertarian free will. Second, it is argued that Libet-style experiments—due to some of their peculiar features, ones that need not be shared by neuro-science as a whole—currently do not (but possibly could) support such less demanding deterministic claims. The general result is that neuroscience and psychology could in principle undermine libertarian free will, but that Libet-style experiments have not done that so far.
    Found 3 days, 6 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  4. 572100.367783
    Quilty-Dunn et al.’s wide-ranging defense of LoT argues that vision traffics in abstract, structured representational formats. We agree: Vision, like language, is compositional—just as words compose into phrases, many visual representations contain discrete constituents that combine in systematic ways. Here, we amass evidence extending this proposal, and explore its implications for how vision interfaces with the rest of the mind. The world we see is populated by colors, textures, edges, and countless other visual features. Yet we see more than a collection of features: we also see whole objects, and relations within and between those objects. How are these entities represented? Here, we advance the case for LoT-like representation in perception. We argue that at least two types of visual representations are compositional, and we explore their connections with the rest of the mind.
    Found 6 days, 14 hours ago on E. J. Green's site
  5. 575757.367803
    We propose a new single-winner voting system using ranked ballots: Stable Voting. The motivating principle of Stable Voting is that if a candidate A would win without another candidate B in the election, and A beats B in a head-to-head majority comparison, then A should still win in the election with B included (unless there is another candidate A who has the same kind of claim to winning, in which case a tiebreaker may choose between such candidates). We call this principle Stability for Winners (with Tie-breaking). Stable Voting satisfies this principle while also having a remarkable ability to avoid tied outcomes in elections even with small numbers of voters.
    Found 6 days, 15 hours ago on Eric Pacuit's site
  6. 577845.367818
    « On overexcitable children Of course Grover’s algorithm offers a quantum advantage! I was really, really hoping that I’d be able to avoid blogging about this new arXiv preprint, by E. M. Stoudenmire and Xavier Waintal: Grover’s Algorithm Offers No Quantum Advantage Grover’s algorithm is one of the primary algorithms offered as evidence that quantum computers can provide an advantage over classical computers. …
    Found 6 days, 16 hours ago on Scott Aaronson's blog
  7. 801825.367832
    Both (Gruber, Block, & Montemayor, 2022) and (Buonomano & Rovelli, 2021) contain interesting interdisciplinary proposals for how to think about the relation between humans’ experience of time and what time is like. This is a complex topic. Tackling it requires confronting difficult questions about (i) which features of experience and which features of time are difficult to fit together (if any), (ii) which discipline(s) should attempt the required explanation(s) (if any are required), and (iii) what these explanation(s) might look like. I’m very sympathetic to aspects of each proposal. In what follows, I offer some comments, starting with (Buonomano & Rovelli, 2021). At the outset, Buonomano and Rovelli (hereafter B&R) distinguish three reasons why “the theoretical physicist is led to reject the idea that the commonsense view of time could remain valid outside a limited domain”. The first concerns the time reversal invariance of elementary mechanical laws, the second relativity’s conflict with the notion of a global present, and the third the absence of a time variable in the basic equations of many theories of quantum gravity. They set aside the third as it pertains to the evolving frontiers of physics and concentrate on the first two, which pertain to well established theories.
    Found 1 week, 2 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  8. 837293.36785
    The philosophical literatures on models and thought experiments have been developing exponentially, and independently, for decades. This independence is surprising, given how similar models and thought experiments are. They each have “lives of their own,” they sit between theory and experience, they are important for both pedagogy and cutting-edge science, they galvanize conceptual changes and paradigm shifts, and they involve entertaining imaginary scenarios and working out what happens. Recently, philosophers have begun to highlight these similarities. This entry aims at taking the idea further, by trying to systematically identify places where insights from one literature can be taken up in the other. Along the way, important differences will also be highlighted.
    Found 1 week, 2 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  9. 917219.367867
    Side effects are ubiquitous in medicine and they often play a role in treatment decisions for patients and clinicians alike. Philosophers and health researchers often appeal to side effects to illustrate issues with contemporary medical research and practice. However, technical definitions of ‘side effect’ differ among health authorities. Here I review some of the common definitions of side effect and highlight their issues. In response, I offer an account of side effects as jointly (i) unintended and (ii) effects due to the causal capacities or invariances of an intervention. I discuss (i) by examining the intentions or reasons behind therapeutic interventions, and I discuss (ii) by appealing to a manipulationist model of causation. The analysis here highlights that side effects are conceptually distinct from related outcomes like adverse events, adverse drug reactions, and placebo effects. The analysis also allows for reflection on the use of ‘side effect’ as a technical term in medical research and practice.
    Found 1 week, 3 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  10. 960467.367881
    We put forward a two-factor account of anosognosia for hemiplegia—more generally, anosognosia for motor impairments—considered as a delusion. Anosognosia is a patient’s lack of knowledge of their illness or impairment, and patients who lack knowledge of their motor impairments believe that they can still move limbs that are, in reality, paralysed. This belief fits the DSM-5 definition of delusion.
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on Martin Davies's site
  11. 1150002.367898
    This paper argues that knowledge of what it’s like varies along a spectrum from more exact to more approximate, and that phenomenal concepts vary along a spectrum in how precisely they characterize what it’s like to undergo their target experiences. This degreed picture contrasts with the standard all-or-nothing picture, where phenomenal concepts and phenomenal knowledge lack any such degreed structure. I motivate the degreed picture by appeal to (1) limits in epistemic abilities such as recognition, imagination, and inference, and (2) the semantics of ‘knows what it’s like’ expressions. I argue that approximate phenomenal knowledge cannot be explained merely via determinable or vague phenomenal concepts. I develop a framework for systematizing approximate knowledge of phenomenal character. And I explain how my view challenges some standard assumptions about the acquisition conditions, requirements for mastery, and referential mechanisms of phenomenal concepts.
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on PhilPapers
  12. 1494236.367912
    Despite quantum theory’s remarkable success at predicting the statistical results of experiments, many philosophers worry that it nonetheless lacks some crucial connection between theory and experiment. Such worries constitute the Quantum Measurement Problems. One can broadly identify two kinds of worries: 1) pragmatic: it is unclear how to model our measurement processes in order to extract experimental predictions, and 2) realist: we lack a satisfying ontological account of measurement processes. While both issues deserve attention, the pragmatic worries have worse consequences if left unanswered: If our pragmatic theory-to-experiment linkage is unsatisfactory, then quantum theory is at risk of losing both its evidential support and its physical salience. Avoiding these risks is at the core of what I will call the Pragmatic Measurement Problem.
    Found 2 weeks, 3 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  13. 1789380.367926
    Paul Stenner is not persuaded by the illusionist view presented in my interview with Katarína Sklutová. In fact, he thinks I am a trickster, who is not only defending a position I call ‘illusionism’ but perpetrating an intellectual illusion myself. He suggests that my arguments against qualia are a piece of misdirection, designed to deceive readers into accepting that we should eliminate the notions of mind and consciousness altogether and think of ourselves (if only we could think!) as unfeeling machines. Stenner thinks I am motivated in this aim by a desire to defend a crude form of materialism, which ignores modern physics. I’m puzzled. I don’t recognize Stenner’s account of what I am doing or why I am doing it. Indeed, after reading Stenner’s reply, I wasn’t sure whether he disagrees with my actual views, as opposed to the caricature he presents. Rather than speculate about this, I shall use this reply to clarify my position and the background to it. Perhaps I didn’t express myself carefully enough in the interview. If so, let me try to do better. I shall begin by making some preliminary points about the background to my view of consciousness and then sketch both the view I endorse and the one I reject. Perhaps this will pinpoint the substantive issues on which Stenner and I disagree and help readers decide where their own sympathies lie.
    Found 2 weeks, 6 days ago on Keith Frankish's site
  14. 1789409.367941
    : In recent years, the name “illusionism” has been widely adopted for the view that consciousness does not involve awareness of special “phenomenal” properties and that belief in such properties is due to an introspective illusion. The name has served to focus attention on the position and its attractions, but it has also misled some people about what illusionists believe. This paper aims to clarify the situation. It explains how illusionists conceive of consciousness, what exactly it is they claim to be illusory, and why they talk of illusion rather than theoretical error.
    Found 2 weeks, 6 days ago on Keith Frankish's site
  15. 1789439.367955
    In the philosophy of mind, Frankish is best known for his “illusionist” theory of consciousness, according to which phenomenal consciousness in an introspective illusion – that it is an artefact of the limitations of introspection (Frankish 2017, 22). This view is not a new one and it has many powerful defenders, pre-eminently the American philosopher Daniel Dennett. In the following interview, we are discussing illusionism as one of the theoretical approaches to the problem of consciousness. Specifically, we are focusing on the main hypotheses of illusionism, its response to the so-called “hard problem of consciousness”, as well as its answer to other problems related to philosophical and scientific research on consciousness.
    Found 2 weeks, 6 days ago on Keith Frankish's site
  16. 1840839.367985
    Based on the PBR theorem about the reality of the wave function, we show that the wave function assigned to a cognitive system, which is used to calculate probabilities of thoughts/judgment outcomes in quantum cognition, is a real representation of the cognitive state of the system. In short, quantum cognition implies quantum minds. However, this result does not mean that we have quantum minds and our brain is a quantum computer, since quantum cognition by its standard formulation has not been fully confirmed by experiments. We hope that more crucial experiments can be done in the near future to determine whether or not quantum cognition is real.
    Found 3 weeks ago on PhilSci Archive
  17. 2188118.368026
    The last decade has seen an explosion of interest in the possibility of suffering in non-humans, including animals only very distantly related to us, as well as artificial intelligence systems. Much of this research takes a stance that has come to be known as ‘sentientism’ - i.e. that capacity to have negative or positive feelings is necessary (and, typically, sufficient) for moral status. Dissatisfied with this development, Shepherd (2023) has recently offered a series of arguments against the view that consciousness is necessary for moral status. However, as researchers involved in research on sentience in non-human animals and artificial intelligences, as well as ethics regarding non-human minds, we did not find his arguments very convincing. Here, we shall use this opportunity to defend sentientism, which we hope will clarify why the view is becoming ever closer to the mainstream position in the field, and eliminate some common misconceptions. We will do so by addressing each of his arguments in order.
    Found 3 weeks, 4 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  18. 2188150.368058
    Due to their contested ethical and legal status, human cerebral organoids (HCOs) have become the subject of one of the most rapidly expanding debates in the recent bioethics literature. There is no doubt that their potential scientific usefulness is immense. Human cerebral organoids constitute 3D biological cultures grown in a lab to work as a placeholder model for the human brain, and their similarity can allow us to engage in research that would otherwise not be possible. Yet, it is precisely this similarity that raises ethical issues. That is, if these organoids resemble human brains, might they deserve similar protections?
    Found 3 weeks, 4 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  19. 2361865.368074
    Deep neural networks have found many useful applications in recent years. Of particular interest have been those instances where their successes imitate human cognition and many consider artificial intelligences to offer a lens for understanding human intelligence. Here, we criticize the underlying conflation between the predictive and explanatory power of deep neural networks by examining the goals of modeling.
    Found 3 weeks, 6 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  20. 2490097.368088
    Kohda and colleagues (2023) present results suggesting that cleaner fish can recognize a photograph of themselves based on introspection of a mental image of their face (“autoscopic”), which they take as evidence of private self-awareness. Having ruled out a kinesthetic visual-matching mechanism, the authors claim that the use of an autoscopic image represents the only possible explanation for their results. Arguably, other still unknown underlying mechanisms could account for the results. Even if we were to accept that subjects formed and used an autoscopic image leading to self-recognition, it would only show that fish may possess one aspect of private self-awareness, leaving out access to other mental events such as emotions, goals, sensations, memories, thoughts, etc. The authors suggest that since there is self-recognition and self-awareness in fish, and yet fish do not possess language and inner speech, then the latter are not required for self-processes. Inferring that human and fish cognition can directly be compared is problematic, and there is strong evidence that in humans, inner speech is indeed associated with self-awareness. Importantly, whatever results the authors obtained by extensively testing a total of 26 fish in highly artificial water tanks, they cannot be generalized to wild fish.
    Found 4 weeks ago on Alain Morin's site
  21. 2587606.368102
    I examine how Kant understood the formality of pure general logic, which is what distinguishes it from other sciences. This formality is grounded in his conception of the understanding as the faculty for thinking, and as the faculty that contributes the form to cognition. Pure general logic is formal cognition or formal philosophy because it studies the laws of thinking that make thinking what it is, as thinking. I investigate how we should understand this task of pure general logic by proposing two plausible interpretations of it, one that is more, another that is less, Fregean. On the more Fregean proposal, pure general logic makes distinct the concepts <concept>, <judgment>, and <inference>, while on the less Fregean proposal it merely articulates the system of the laws that govern material cognitions in virtue of their form, or what they are as thoughts. Ultimately, I argue that the crux of the difference between these proposals comes down to how they understand Kant’s conception of consciousness or awareness (Bewußtsein), which is “a representation that another representation is in me” (JL, 9:33). According to the more Fregean proposal this is a second-order representation. According to the less Fregean proposal consciousness is formal. It is the form of the original representation and is what makes the representation what it is. I argue that ultimately Kant’s system of logic dissolves on the more Fregean interpretation, and that the less Fregean proposal is truer to Kant.
    Found 4 weeks, 1 day ago on Tyke Nunez's site
  22. 2789986.368119
    Both (Gruber, Block, & Montemayor, 2022) and (Buonomano & Rovelli, 2021) contain interesting interdisciplinary proposals for how to think about the relation between humans’ experience of time and what time is like. This is a complex topic. Tackling it requires confronting difficult questions about (i) which features of experience and which features of time are difficult to fit together (if any), (ii) which discipline(s) should attempt the required explanation(s) (if any), and (iii) what these explanation(s) might look like. I’m very sympathetic to aspects of each proposal. In what follows, I offer some comments, starting with (Buonomano & Rovelli, 2021).
    Found 1 month ago on Natalja Deng's site
  23. 2801281.368136
    Brain regions might carry out well-defined functions— edge detection in primary visual cortex, “error monitoring” in the anterior cingulate cortex, and so on. But regions don’t function alone, so when they combine in functional circuits or networks, the behavior of the circuit/network might lead to emergent behaviors, as discussed in the previous post (Emergence in the Brain, Part I). …
    Found 1 month ago on The Brains Blog
  24. 2814989.36815
    Although a substantial number of papers is published on the topic of consciousness, there is still little consensus on what its nature is and how the physical and phenomenal worlds are connected. Most published research establishes a causal relation between the brain and the mind, but it lacks a cogent theory of how this relation comes to be. In contrast, this paper uses a set of thought experiments grounded in quantum information theory to derive a framework for resolving the hard problem of consciousness. Despite the common tendency to treat the problem purely philosophically, in this paper, consciousness and qualia are analyzed through established formal theory deriving conclusions regarding their relation which provide counter-arguments for the commonly held dualist view. Through the informational monism framework, a case is made for a fundamentally phenomenal nature of information.
    Found 1 month ago on PhilPapers
  25. 2815053.368164
    Understanding the biological basis of consciousness is one of the central challenges for modern science. Is a mature scientific explanation really possible, and if so, how should consciousness science be organized so as to achieve this? This thesis is a collection of four papers which approach these questions via an account of the natural categories or ‘kinds’, drawn from philosophy of science, to which paradigmatic mental phenomena like consciousness belong. The central claims defended in the thesis are twofold.
    Found 1 month ago on PhilPapers
  26. 2861186.368179
    Predictive processing is one of the most popular axes along which research on cognition is developed (Hohwy, 2013; Clark, 2016). The core insight driving this research programme is that cognitive systems operate in probabilistic terms, formulating predictions about their environment and then adjusting them based on whether their expectations are met or not. Among the various elaborations of this conceptual pillar is the Free-Energy Principle (see Friston, Kilner and Harrison, 2006; Friston, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013), which, in a nutshell, states that adaptive systems strive to keep their free-energy (a proxy for surprise, which is an information-theoretical notion) at a minimum, by making the case that they remain within a certain range of (unsurprising) states enabling their survival. In particular, this is done by behaving in a way that approaches optimal Bayesian inference. Based on a prior probabilistic distribution linking environmental states of affairs to the sensory states the system may enter in because of them, as well as on the basis of the actual sensory states the system enters in as a result of environmental influences, adaptive systems can try to act on their environment so as minimise the likelihood that they will enter in unsuitable states for their own survival.
    Found 1 month ago on PhilSci Archive
  27. 2872840.368195
    For agents like us, the feeling of effort is a very useful thing. It helps us sense how hard an action is, control its level of intensity, and decide whether to continue or stop performing it. While there has been progress in understanding the feeling of mental effort and the feeling of bodily effort, this has not translated into a unified account of the general feeling of effort. To advance in this direction, I defend the single-feeling view, which states that the feeling of effort is one and the same for both mental and bodily actions. This feeling represents the subjective costs, both mental and physical, of performing a given action. Cost-based approaches have recently become influential for the feeling of mental effort. Here I focus on arguing that our sense of bodily effort does not simply represent physiological processes, but rather represents the subjective costs of a bodily action. Through this paper I discuss the role of the feeling of effort (and affective states more broadly) in action guidance and the sense of agency. I also define efforts themselves in terms of the feeling of effort.
    Found 1 month ago on PhilPapers
  28. 2912785.368209
    Our awareness of the boundedness of the spatial sensory field—a paradigmatic structural feature of visual experience—possesses a distinctive epistemic role. Properly understood, this result undermines a widely assumed picture of how visual experience permits us to learn about the world. This paper defends an alternative picture in which visual experience provides at least two kinds of non-inferential justification for beliefs about the external world. Accommodating this justification in turn requires recognising a new way for visual experience to encode information about the world. Reflection upon the epistemic contribution of sensory experience’s structural features thus forces us to revise our understanding of how perception, cognition, and the world fit together.
    Found 1 month ago on Dominic Alford-Duguid's site
  29. 2976592.368233
    In the debate over whether mathematical facts, properties, or entities explain physical events (in what philosophers call “extra-mathematical” explanations), Aidan Lyon’s (2012) affirmative answer stands out for its employment of the program explanation (PE) methodology of Frank Jackson and Philip Pettit (1990). Juha Saatsi (2012; 2016) objects, however, that Lyon’s examples from the indispensabilist literature are (i) unsuitable for PE, (ii) nominalizable into non-mathematical terms, and (iii) mysterious about the explanatory relation alleged to obtain between the PE’s mathematical explanantia and physical explananda. In this paper, I propose a counterexample to Saatsi’s objections. My counterexample is Frank Jackson’s (1998a) program explanation for color experience, which I argue needs recasting as an extra-mathematical PE due to its implicit reliance on reflectance, a property that suffers conceptual regress unless redefined with Fourier harmonics. Pace Saatsi, I argue that this recast example is an authoritative PE, nonnominalizable, and minimally esoteric. Important for the indispensability debate at large, moreover, is that my counterexample reifies Fourier harmonics without the Enhanced Indispensability Argument (an argument to which Lyon applies PE as a premise).
    Found 1 month ago on PhilSci Archive
  30. 2988728.368251
    This paper investigates some classical oppositional categories, like synthetic vs. analytic, posterior vs. prior, imagination vs. grammar, metaphor vs. hermeneutic, metaphysics vs. observation, innovation vs. routine, and image vs. sound, and the role they play in epistemology and philosophy of science. The epistemological framework of objective cognitive constructivism is of special interest in these investigations. Oppositional relations are formally represented using algebraic lattice structures like the cube and the hexagon of opposition, with applications in the contexts of modern color theory, Kantian philosophy, Jungian psychology, and linguistics.
    Found 1 month ago on PhilPapers