1. 115419.440903
    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, 8 hours ago on PhilPapers
  2. 474846.441063
    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
  3. 520689.441133
    When interacting with other people, we assume that they have their reasons for what they do and believe, and experience recognizable feelings and emotions. When people act from weakness of will or are otherwise irrational, what they do can still be comprehensible to us, since we know what it is like to fall for temptation and act against one’s better judgment. Still, when someone’s experiences, feelings and way of thinking is vastly different from our own, understanding them becomes increasingly difficult. Delusions and psychosis are often seen as marking the end of intelligibility. In this paper, I argue first for the importance of seeing other people as intelligible as long as this is at all possible. Second, I argue, based on both previous literature and my own lived experience, that more psychotic phenomena than previously thought can be rendered at least somewhat intelligible. Besides bizarre experiences like illusions, hallucinations and intense feelings of significance, I also explain what it is like to lose one’s bedrock, and how this loss impacts which beliefs one has reason to reject. Finally, I give an inside account of some disturbances of reason, and show that there are important similarities between certain psychotic reasoning problems and common non-pathological phenomena.
    Found 6 days ago on PhilPapers
  4. 541521.441172
    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, 6 hours ago on Andreas Elpidorou's site
  5. 560761.44121
    Smartphone use plays an increasingly important role in our daily lives. Philosophical research that has used first-wave or second-wave theories of extended cognition in order to understand our engagement with digital technologies has focused on the contribution of these technologies to the completion of specific cognitive tasks (e.g., remembering, reasoning, problem-solving, navigation). However, in a considerable number of cases, everyday smartphone use is either task-unrelated or task-free. In psychological research, these cases have been captured by notions such as absent-minded smartphone use (Marty- Dugas et al., 2018) or smartphone-related inattentiveness (Liebherr et al., 2020). Given the prevalence of these cases, we develop a conceptual framework that can accommodate the functional and phenomenological characteristics of task-unrelated or task-free smartphone use. To this end, we will integrate research on second-wave extended cognition with mind-wandering research and introduce the concept of ‘extended mind-wandering’. Elaborating the family resemblances approach to mind-wandering (Seli, Kane, Smallwood, et al., 2018), we will argue that task-unrelated or task-free smartphone use shares many characteristics with mind-wandering. We will suggest that an empirically informed conceptual analysis of cases of extended mind-wandering can enrich current work on digitally extended cognition by specifying the influence of the attention economy on our cognitive dynamics.
    Found 6 days, 11 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  6. 560904.441262
    Substrate independence and mind­body functionalism claim that thinking does not depend on any particular kind of physical implementation. But real­world information processing depends on energy and energy depends on material substrates. Biological evidence for these claims comes from ecology and neuroscience, while computational evidence comes from neuromorphic computing and deep learning. Attention to energy requirements undermines the use of substrate independence to support claims about the feasibility of artificial intelligence, the moral standing of robots, the possibility that we may be living in a computer simulation, the plausibility of transferring minds into computers, and the autonomy of psychology from neuroscience.
    Found 6 days, 11 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  7. 627224.441303
    I've previously argued that sadistic pleasure (in oppressing the innocent) lacks value. But consider a complication. Suppose this time that the sadistic majority are all conscientious utilitarians who would never willingly increase net suffering in the world. …
    Found 1 week ago on Philosophy, et cetera
  8. 752355.44134
    We call attention to certain cases of epistemic akrasia, arguing that they support belief-credence dualism. Belief-credence dualism is the view that belief and credence are irreducible, equally fundamental attitudes. Consider the case of an agent who believes p, has low credence in p, and thus believes that they shouldn’t believe p. We argue that dualists, as opposed to belief-firsters (who say credence reduces to belief) and credence-firsters (who say belief reduces to credence) can best explain features of akratic cases, including the observation that akratic beliefs seem to be held despite possessing a defeater for those beliefs, and that, in akratic cases, one can simultaneously believe and have low confidence in the very same proposition.
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on PhilPapers
  9. 863655.441375
    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. 1162532.441412
    Extrapolation of causal claims from study populations to other populations of interest is a problematic issue. The standard approach in experimental research, which prioritises randomized controlled trials and statistical evidence, is not devoid of difficulties. Granted that, it has been defended that evidence of mechanisms is indispensable for causal extrapolation. We argue, contrarily, that this sort of evidence is not indispensable. Nonetheless, we also think that occasionally it may be helpful. In order to clarify its relevance, we introduce a distinction between a positive and a negative role of evidence of mechanisms. Our conclusion is that the former is highly questionable, but the latter may be a trustworthy resource for causal extrapolation. KEYWORDS: Extrapolation; evidence of mechanisms; statistical evidence; mechanism; causality; evidence; external validity; randomized controlled trial.
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  11. 1207350.441447
    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
  12. 1225609.441483
    In this paper I offer a defense of the motivational theory of desire. According to the motivational view, a desire is basically a disposition to bring about the desire’s content. First, I argue that two rival views on the nature of desire, the evaluative theory and the deontic theory, fall prey to the problem of the death of desire and that, when one tries to develop a plausible version of these theories which is able to overcome this problem, one ends up with a view that is not relevantly different from the evaluative view. Second, I respond to some objections to the claim that motivations are sufficient for desire, namely, the Radioman objection and the objection that some motivational states like intentions and habits are not desires. KEYWORDS: desires; motivational theory; evaluative theory; deontic theory; death of desire; intentions; habits.
    Found 2 weeks ago on PhilSci Archive
  13. 1305633.44152
    Philosophers are sometimes prone to excessive skepticism, especially in the face of persisting disagreement. People often seem really bothered by the lack of consensus in philosophy (including, e.g., Derek Parfit, Jason Brennan, and most recently, Liam Kofi Bright). …
    Found 2 weeks, 1 day ago on Philosophy, et cetera
  14. 1328863.441554
    The paper presents a number of empirical arguments for the perceptual view of speech comprehension. It then argues that a particular version of phenomenal dogmatism can confer immediate justification upon belief. In combination, these two views can bypass Davidsonian skepticism toward knowledge of meanings. The perceptual view alone, however, can bypass a variation on the Davidsonian argument. One reason Davidson thought meanings were not truly graspable was that he believed meanings were private (unlike behavior). But if the perceptual view of speech comprehension is correct, then meanings (or at least conveyed meanings) are public objects like other perceivable entities. Hence, there is no particular problem of language comprehension, even if meanings originate in “private” mental states.
    Found 2 weeks, 1 day ago on Berit Brogaard's site
  15. 1328912.44159
    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
  16. 1625463.44163
    The distinction between objective and subjective reasons plays an important role in both folk normative thought and many research programs in metaethics. But the relation between objective and subjective reasons (or, more aptly, objective and subjective favoring) is unclear. This paper explores problems related to the unity of objective and subjective reasons for actions and attitudes and then offers a novel objectivist account of subjective reasons.
    Found 2 weeks, 4 days ago on Daniel Wodak's site
  17. 1882713.441666
    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
  18. 1909454.441728
    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
  19. 1977010.441767
    The operations of deep networks are widely acknowledged to be inscrutable. The growing field of “Explainable AI” (XAI) has emerged in direct response to this problem. However, owing to the nature of the opacity in question, XAI has been forced to prioritise interpretability at the expense of completeness, and even realism, so that its explanations are frequently interpretable without being underpinned by more comprehensive explanations faithful to the way a network computes its predictions. While this has been taken to be a shortcoming of the field of XAI, I argue that it is broadly the right approach to the problem.
    Found 3 weeks, 1 day ago on PhilSci Archive
  20. 2048624.441804
    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
  21. 2069865.441838
    « On turning 40 today In which I answer more quantum computing questions Yesterday, I had fun doing an open-ended Q&A at the Astral Codex Ten weekly online meetup. See here for the YouTube video. The questions were mainly about quantum computing, but ranged over various other topics as well, including education policy, the Great Stagnation, and what my biggest disagreements with Scott Alexander are. …
    Found 3 weeks, 2 days ago on Scott Aaronson's blog
  22. 2099080.441874
    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
  23. 2208167.441917
    Computers are used to make decisions in an increasing number of domains. There is widespread agreement that some of these uses are ethically problematic. Far less clear is where ethical problems arise, and what might be done about them. This paper expands and defends the Ethical Gravity Thesis: ethical problems that arise at higher levels of analysis of an automated decision-making system are inherited by lower levels of analysis. Particular instantiations of systems can add new problems, but not ameliorate more general ones. We defend this thesis by adapting Marr’s famous 1982 framework for understanding information-processing systems. We show how this framework allows one to situate ethical problems at the appropriate level of abstraction, which in turn can be used to target appropriate interventions.
    Found 3 weeks, 4 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  24. 2353414.441953
    Imagination and other forms of mental simulation allow us to live beyond the current immediate environment. Imagination that involves an experience of self further enables one to incorporate or utilize the contents of episodic simulation in a way that is of importance to oneself. However, the simulated self can be found in a variety of forms. The present study provides some empirical data to explore the various ways in which the self could be represented in observer-perspective imagination as well as the potential limits on such representations. In observer-perspective imagination, the point of view or perspective is dissociated from the location of one’s simulated body. We have found that while there are different ways to identify with oneself in an observer-perspective imagination, the identification is rarely dissociated from first-person perspective in imagination. Such variety and limits pave the way for understanding how we identify with ourselves in imagination. Our results suggest that the first-person perspective is a strong attractor for identification. The empirical studies and analysis in this paper demonstrate how observer-perspective episodic simulation serves as a special case for research on identification in mental simulation, and similar methods can be applied in the studies of memory and future thinking.
    Found 3 weeks, 6 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  25. 2371769.44199
    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
  26. 2384917.442024
    When we make eye contact, we experience a form of interpersonal connection that plays a central role in human social life, communication, and interpersonal understanding. From the earliest days of infancy, humans are sensitive to the eyes of others, preferring to look at faces over other kinds of stimuli, and faces that return their gaze most of all (Farroni et al. 2002). By around six weeks of age, they become capable of holding eye contact with their caregiver and, as Daniel Stern (1977, p. 46) puts it, the caregiver “experiences for the first time the very certain impression that the infant is really looking at her, even more, into her eyes … that she and the baby are finally ‘connected’.” Later this connection takes a communicative form in the play of expression and response that psychologists call ‘protoconversation’ and, by around nine to twelve months of age, in the initiation and maintenance of joint attention. The motivation to engage in this form of interpersonal connection for its own sake is thought by many to be a distinctive feature of human social life and to have played a role in the evolution of human language and thought (Tomasello 2019). This is arguably reflected in the peculiar morphology of the human eye, which is relatively elongated and has a greater amount of visible white sclera, thereby facilitating eye contact and gaze following (Kobayashi and Kohshima 2001).
    Found 3 weeks, 6 days ago on Philosopher's Imprint
  27. 2395417.442063
    Since Sun-Joo Shin’s groundbreaking study (2002), Peirce’s existential graphs have attracted much attention as a way of writing logic that seems profoundly different from our usual logical calculi. In particular, Shin argued that existential graphs enjoy a distinctive property that marks them out as “diagrammatic”: they are “multiply readable,” in the sense that there are several different, equally legitimate ways to translate one and the same graph into a standard logical language. Stenning (2000) and Bellucci and Pietarinen (2016) have retorted that similar phenomena of multiple readability can arise for sentential notations as well. Focusing on the simplest kinds of existential graphs, called alpha graphs (AGs), this paper argues that multiple readability does point to important features of AGs, but that both Shin and her critics have misdiagnosed its source.
    Found 3 weeks, 6 days ago on Dirk Schlimm's site
  28. 2558541.442101
    How badly can you go wrong at one thing while succeeding at another? This paper pursues a version of this question that is provoked by Chapter 3 of Williams’s The Metaphysics of Representation: How badly can you go wrong at understanding why ordinary things in the world behave as they do, while succeeding at locking onto those things as objects of thought? Williams’s discussion entails that success along these two dimensions goes hand in hand. It entails that to count as thinking about ordinary things, a subject must also count as being sufficiently right about why they behave as they do. I think this is a wrong result. The paper is structured as follows. §1 summarises the relevant part of Williams’s Chapter 3. §2 explains how this part of Williams’s proposal generates the result I have indicated, and why I think this result is bad. §3 considers some possible lines of reply. §4 attempts a more general diagnosis.
    Found 4 weeks, 1 day ago on Imogen Dickie's site
  29. 2614251.442137
    Welcome to the Brains Blog’s Symposium series on the Cognitive Science of Philosophy. The aim of the series is to examine the use of methods from the cognitive sciences to generate philosophical insight. …
    Found 1 month ago on The Brains Blog
  30. 2729313.442176
    Much confusion and disagreement around the notion of time is due to the fact that we commonly fail to recognize that we call “time” a variety of distinct notions, which are only partially related to one another. The time of the researcher in quantum gravity (like myself), the time of the cosmologist, the time of scientist that studies black holes, the time of the engineering designing a GPS system, the time of biology, the time of the train-station master, the time of the historian, the time of the lover waiting for her love to arrive, the time of the old man thinking about his life and the time of the kid dreaming her future, are obviously somewhat related, but they are profoundly different.
    Found 1 month ago on PhilSci Archive