1. 3464.58838
    Georgi Gardiner’s “Virtues of Attention” sets out to do three main things: to (i) motivate the importance of attention for epistemological theorizing; to (ii) argue that the normativity of attention is illuminated by virtue epistemology; and to (iii) highlight how the virtues of proper attention are plausibly conceived of as collective and institutional virtues, and not merely as individual virtues.
    Found 57 minutes ago on J. Adam Carter's site
  2. 160697.588622
    In Fischer and Sytsma (2021) we put forward a bold hypothesis: the zombie argument against materialism is built on zombie intuitions – intuitions that are ‘killed’ (cancelled) by the context provided but kept cognitively alive by linguistic salience bias. We then provided evidence from corpus studies as well as surveys and experiments with typicality, plausibility, and agreement ratings to support this hypothesis. The four commentators have provided helpful and thought-provoking objections, in particular to our main experiment, that point to new hypotheses. Here, we’ll respond to the principal points our commentators raise, focusing on the new hypotheses and how they might be tested. We briefly summarise the target article in Sect.1, with a focus on the aspects targeted by commentators. Sect.2 discusses the primary objections Chalmers and Liu raised, namely, to the experimental materials we used, and spells out the competing hypotheses their objections motivate. Sect.3 reports a follow-up study that examined these hypotheses. In Sect.4, we turn to further concerns about the main experiment’s materials and procedure, raised by Frankish and Machery. In conversation with these two commentators, the final Sect.5 brings out the need for empirical investigation of laypeople’s intuitions about philosophical zombies (and other ‘problem intuitions’ motivating the ‘hard problem of consciousness’) and highlights what is new and important about our ambitious ‘aetiological strategy’ that seeks to develop and assess debunking explanations of intuitions.
    Found 1 day, 20 hours ago on Justin Sytsma's site
  3. 260459.588659
    We propose that measures of information integration can be more straightforwardly interpreted as measures of agency rather than of consciousness. This may be useful to the goals of consciousness research, given how agency and consciousness are “duals” in many (though not all) respects.
    Found 3 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  4. 333284.58869
    Normativity is a fundamental feature of selfhood. In the Modern, Enlightenment tradition, being a self is having the capacity to be autonomous, that is, to be responsible for one's own actions and beliefs. To be a self, an organism must be capable of freely following cognitive, behavioural and linguistic norms. It must be able to justify its positions by giving reasons to others -- and to itself. These capacities are contrasted not only with mechanical causation in the physical world, but with the heteronomous status of slaves, of individuals controlled by hypnosis or evil neurosurgeons, or of those manipulated by propaganda or advertising. Thoughts and actions are only mine in so far as I, as an independent individual, take responsibility for them. Only by such deliberative and conscious activity can I take ownership of them. Descartes' rejection of received opinion and Kant's insistence that a Subject must be self-regulating exemplify this Modern tradition.
    Found 3 days, 20 hours ago on PhilPapers
  5. 449139.588727
    Many philosophers, following Williamson (The Philosophical Review 105(4): 489–523, 1996), Williamson (Knowledge and its Limits, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2000), subscribe to the constitutive rule account of assertion (CRAA). They hold that the activity of asserting is constituted by a single constitutive rule of assertion. However, in recent work, Maitra (in: Brown & Cappelen (ed). Assertion: new philosophical essays, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2011), Johnson (Acta Analytica 33(1): 51–67, 2018), and Kelp and Simion (Synthese 197(1): 125–137, 2020a), Kelp and Simion (in: Goldberg (ed) The Oxford Handbook of Assertion, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2020b) aim to show that, for all the most popular versions of the constitutive rule of assertion proposed in the literature, asserting is not an activity constituted by a single constitutive rule and that therefore CRAA is very likely false. To reach this conclusion, they all present a version of what can be dubbed the engagement condition objection. That is, they each propose a necessary condition on engaging in rule-constituted activities. Then they argue that, for all the most popular versions of the constitutive rule of assertion proposed in the literature, one can make assertions without satisfying this condition. In response, I present a counterexample that shows that the proposed engagement conditions lead to counterintuitive results, and I propose an alternative that better captures our intuitions. Then I argue that this alternative engagement condition is compatible with all the most popular versions of the constitutive rule of assertion.
    Found 5 days, 4 hours ago on PhilPapers
  6. 506893.588762
    The historically-influential perceptual analogy states that intuitions and perceptual experiences are alike in many important respects. Phenomenalists defend a particular reading of this analogy according to which intuitions and perceptual experiences share a common phenomenal character. Call this the 'phenomenalist thesis'. The phenomenalist thesis has proven highly influential in recent years. However, insufficient attention has been given to the challenges it raises for theories of intuition. In this paper, I first develop one such challenge. I argue that if we take the idea that intuitions and perceptual experiences have a common phenomenal character seriously, then a version of the familiar problem of perceptual presence arises for intuitions. I call this the 'problem of intuitive presence'. In the second part of the paper I sketch a novel enactivist solution to this problem.
    Found 5 days, 20 hours ago on PhilPapers
  7. 622522.588799
    As with most topics in philosophy, there is no consensus about what experimental philosophy is. Most broadly, experimental philosophy involves using scientific methods to collect empirical data for the purpose of casting light on philosophical issues. Such a definition threatens to be too broad, however: Taking the nature of matter to be a philosophical issue, research at the Large Hadron Collider would count as experimental philosophy. Others have suggested more narrow definitions, characterizing experimental philosophy in terms of the use of scientific methods to investigate intuitions. This threatens to be too narrow, however, excluding such work as Eric Schwitzgebel’s comparison of the rates of theft of ethics books to similar volumes from other areas of philosophy for the purpose of finding out whether philosophical training in ethics promotes moral behavior. While restricting experimental philosophy to the study of intuitions is too narrow, this nonetheless covers most of the research in this area. Focusing on this research, we begin by discussing some of the methods that have been used by experimental philosophers. We then distinguish between three types of goals that have guided experimental philosophers, illustrating these goals with some examples.
    Found 1 week ago on Justin Sytsma's site
  8. 622529.588819
    Eugen Fischer and colleagues expand on a body of empirical work offering a debunking explanation of a key assumption involved in the argument from illusion. Following Snowden (1992), we can distinguish between the base case and the spreading step in the argument. Fischer et al. target the base case. In the most prominent current versions of the argument, the key move in the base case involves the phenomenal principle (Robinson, 1994, 32): “If there sensibly appears to a subject to be something which possesses a particular sensible quality then there is something of which the subject is aware which does possess that sensible quality.” In brief, Fischer et al. contend that the move here from a seemingly uncontroversial claim such as “the coin appears elliptical to me” to there being something of which the subject is aware that is elliptical requires that the initial claim be given a “literal interpretation” such that something elliptical has appeared to the subject. But they contend that under such an interpretation the claim should no longer be taken to be uncontroversial, assuming too much of what the argument needs to establish. And they argue that much of the intuitive appeal of this move can be explained in terms of accepting the claim based on the dominant usage of appearance verbs (e.g., I think the coin is elliptical), then shifting to the less salient phenomenal usage required for the conclusion. Fischer et al. then present the results of a series of nifty new studies in cross-cultural psycholinguistics to support the conclusion that people make stereotypical inferences warranted by the dominant sense of appearance verbs, even in contexts where this dominant sense is inappropriate.
    Found 1 week ago on Justin Sytsma's site
  9. 622534.588834
    Eugen Fischer and John Collins have brought together an impressive, and important, series of essays concerning the methodological debates between rationalists and naturalists, and how these debates have been impacted by work in experimental philosophy. The work at issue concerns the evidential value of intuitions, and as such is only a small part of the experimental philosophy corpus as I understand it. In fact, Fischer and Collins define experimental philosophy in this narrow sense in their introduction. On their view, experimental philosophy ‘‘builds on the assumption that, for better or worse, intuitions are crucially involved in philosophical work’’ (3). The parenthetical serves to emphasize that such work could either be pursued from a positive perspective aiming to vindicate the use of intuitions in philosophy or from a negative perspective aiming to undermine that use. Noting these two perspectives, it might then seem that experimental philosophy is neutral with regard to methodological debate: ‘‘experimental philosophy is not a party to the dispute between methodological rationalism and naturalism, but offers a new framework for settling it’’ (23).
    Found 1 week ago on Justin Sytsma's site
  10. 734800.588848
    Writing comments on a post about adversarial collaboration feels like a place where I should be adversarial (if in a collaborative spirit). But I agree with basically everything Eric says here. Frankly, this is all spot on. You probably don’t want to read 500 words from me just saying “yep, this” and agreeing with his excellent, sensible advice, though. So, let me attempt to be provocative: Eric doesn’t go far enough! (Not that he was trying to, of course.) All philosophers should be asking themselves what empirical evidence would actually test their views. Collaboration should be the rule, not the exception. And we should expect collaborations to have an adversarial element, treating this as a feature, not a bug.
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on Justin Sytsma's site
  11. 780784.588862
    One body of research in experimental philosophy indicates that non-philosophers by and large do not employ the concept of phenomenal consciousness. Another body of research, however, suggests that people treat phenomenal consciousness as essential for having free will. In this chapter, we explore the tension between these findings. We suggest that the dominant, ordinary usages of ‘consciousness’ concern notions of being awake, aware, and exercising control, all of which bear a clear connection to free will. Based on this, we argue that findings purporting to show that people take the capacity for phenomenal consciousness to be necessary for free will are better interpreted in terms of a non-phenomenal understanding of consciousness. We explore this suggestion by calling on extant work on the dimensions of mind perception, and we expand on it, presenting the results of a new study employing a global sample.
    Found 1 week, 2 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  12. 808176.58888
    I offer a case that quantum query complexity still has loads of enticing and fundamental open problems—from relativized QMA versus QCMA and BQP versus IP, to time/space tradeoffs for collision and element distinctness, to polynomial degree versus quantum query complexity for partial functions, to the Unitary Synthesis Problem and more.
    Found 1 week, 2 days ago on Scott Aaronson's site
  13. 820642.588894
    Most authors who discuss willpower assume that everyone knows what it is, but our assumptions differ to such an extent that we talk past each other. We agree that willpower is the psychological function that resists temptations – variously known as impulses, addictions, or bad habits; that it operates simultaneously with temptations, without prior commitment; and that ’s skill at exec-use of it is limited by its cost, commonly called effort, as well as by the person utive functioning. However, accounts are usually not clear about how motivation functions during the application of willpower, or how motivation is related to effort. Some accounts depict willpower as the perceiving or formation of motivational contingencies that outweigh the temptation, and some depict it as a continuous use of mechanisms that interfere with reweighing the temptation. Some others now suggest that impulse control can bypass motivation altogether, although they refer to this route as habit rather than willpower.
    Found 1 week, 2 days ago on Daniel Kelly's site
  14. 854253.588909
    In his superb book, The Metaphysics of Representation, Williams sketches biconditional reductive definitions of representational states in nonrepresentational terms (xvii). The central idea is an extremely innovative variety of interpretationism about belief and desire. Williams is inspired by David Lewis but departs significantly from him. I am sympathetic to interpretationism for some basic beliefs and desires. However, I will raise three worries for Williams’s version (§2–4). Then, I will suggest a modified version (§5). I will conclude with a general question (§6).
    Found 1 week, 2 days ago on PhilPapers
  15. 896305.588923
    Is freedom compatible with determinism? Davidson (in “Mental Events”) famously rephrased this question by replacing “freedom” with “anomaly of the mental”, that is, failure to fall under a law. In order to prove that the anomaly of the mental is compatible with other conjectures he makes, in particular that: (a) there is psycho-physical causation; (b) “where there is causality, there must be a law” (Davidson 1970, p. 208); and (c) the mental supervenes on the physical, Davidson proposed a model (i.e., an interpretation under which all these conjectures are true), that came to be known as anomalous monism.
    Found 1 week, 3 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  16. 1023015.588937
    One way visual representations might function in scientific reasoning is to convey content that is true or false, analogous to making a claim. An alternative way that visual representations might function is as an object that may make statements true or false, but is not itself true or false, analogous to a scientific model. In this paper I evaluate the most recent and extended defense of this laer position and show that the case study involved does not in fact support the view that the diagrams discussed function as truth-makers rather than truth bearers.
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  17. 1023066.588952
    Our approach aims at accounting for causal claims in terms of how the physical states of the underlying dynamical system evolve with time. Causal claims assert connections between two sets of physicals states—their truth depends on whether the two sets in question are genuinely connected by time evolution such that physical states from one set evolve with time into the states of the other set. We demonstrate the virtues of our approach by showing how it is able to account for typical causes, causally relevant factors, being ‘the’ cause, and cases of overdetermination and causation by absences.
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  18. 1023087.588965
    In this essay, I explore Justus Buchler’s ordinal naturalism with the goal of establishing how his phenomenological approach extends the range of human inquiry to include the many and varied traits of natural phenomena that are not “simply” the result of sensate experience or material functions. To achieve this goal I critically assess Buchler’s notion of “ontological parity”–the idea that abstract phenomena such as values, relations, ideals, and other mental contents are just as relevant as sense-data when one attempts to provide an adequate description of the world in naturalistic terms. I argue that certain phenomena, subsisting within what Buchler calls the “proceptive domain,” are legitimate objects of knowledge as they are part of a larger domain of phenomenological analysis: nature more broadly and justly understood. It is my view that in the attempt to describe the natural world Buchler’s ordinal naturalism succeeds where other forms of naturalism fail because his form of naturalism offers a more capacious view of nature that attempts to describe whatever is in any way, not just focus on what is readily apparent to specific forms of observation that may privilege one domain of analysis over another. I draw the conclusion that because Buchler’s ordinal naturalism contains within it a working principle of ontological parity, his approach to nature fulfills the criteria of the phenomenological method, and so I title his ordinal naturalism an ordinal phenomenology (Corrington 1992, 1-6, 9-14). Ultimately it is my aim to bring Buchler’s thought into closer connection with continental phenomenology, as well as to illustrate a more just and open understanding of nature through an analysis of his unique variety of philosophical naturalism.
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  19. 1023171.58898
    The shift from electromechanical computing to fully electronic, digital, Turing-complete computing was one of the most influential technological developments of the twentieth century. The social, economic, political, interdisciplinary, and cultural aspects behind that shift were significant, but are often ignored. When the contingencies and controversies behind the birth of modern computing are forgotten, the history of computing is often misrepresented as one of uncomplicated linear progress. In this article some of the sociocultural aspects of the birth of modern computing are reviewed. The significance of interdisciplinary work is discussed. The concept of the stored-program paradigm is introduced, and some sociocultural factors behind its birth are discussed. Finally, it is argued that some traits of research that are often considered to be negative, such as opportunism, eclecticism, and stubbornness, have played a positive role in the birth of modern computing technology.
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  20. 1023209.588994
    Within the field of neuroscience, it is assumed that the central nervous system is divided into two functionally distinct components: the brain, which does the cognizing, and the spinal cord, which is a conduit of information enabling the brain to do its job. We dub this the “Cinderella view” of the spinal cord. Here, we suggest it should be abandoned. Marshalling recent empirical findings, we claim that the spinal cord is best conceived as an intrabodily cognitive extension: a piece of biological circuitry that, together with the brain, constitutes our cognitive engine. To do so, after a brief introduction to the anatomy of the spinal cord, we briefly present a number of empirical studies highlighting the role played by the spinal cord in cognitive processing. Having so done, we claim that the spinal cord satisfies two popular and often endorsed criteria used to adjudicate cases of cognitive extension; namely the parity principle and the so-called “trust and glue” criteria. This, we argue, is sufficient to vindicate the role of the spinal cord as an intrabodily mental extension. We then steel our case considering a sizable number of prominent anti-extension arguments, showing that none of them poses a serious threat to our main claim. We then conclude the essay, spelling out a number of far-from trivial implications of our view. Keywords: Spinal cord, Spinal cord injury, sfMRI, Extended mind, Embodied cognition, Internalism.
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on PhilPapers
  21. 1054348.589008
    As we saw in the previous post, the private language discussion brings along with it a critique of the “object-in-a-box" conception of mind, and it is this latter conception that Wittgenstein turns to in §§246-255 (with a detour concerning a priori propositions in §§251-252). …
    Found 1 week, 5 days ago on Philip Cartwright's blog
  22. 1069724.589022
    Some philosophers have argued that we do not hear sounds as located in the environment. Others have objected that this straightforwardly contradicts the phenomenology of auditory experience. And from this they draw metaphysical conclusions about the nature of sounds— that they are events or properties of vibrating surfaces rather than waves or sensations. I argue that there is a minimal, but recognizable, notion of audition to which this phenomenal objection does not apply. While this notion doesn’t correspond to our ordinary notion of auditory experience, it does—in conjunction with our lack of an uncontroversial individuation of the senses and recent interest in distinctively multisensory features of perceptual experiences—raise the possibility of more expansive notions of audition, including some that do plausibly count as corresponding to our everyday notion of audition, that lack the spatial phenomenology cited in the objection. Until this possibility is ruled out, the phenomenal objection and metaphysical conclusions drawn from it remain inconclusive.
    Found 1 week, 5 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  23. 1103948.589037
    Realistic Newcomb Problems (EDC, ch.4) Posted on Saturday, 11 Sep 2021 Chapter 4 of Evidence, Decision and Causality considers whether there are any "realistic" Newcomb Problems – and in particular, whether there are any such cases in which EDT gives obviously wrong advice. …
    Found 1 week, 5 days ago on wo's weblog
  24. 1130453.58905
    Science is as much defined by the local “instrumentarium,” the equipment available to an experimenter at a particular time and place, as by its discoveries and theories. Instruments are devices for detecting and measuring natural phenomena, linked causally to those aspects of nature they are used to record. Some are inorganic, made of glass and metal, while others are organic, the bodies and body parts of living or once living plants and animals. In contrast, pieces of apparatus are quite different in the ways in which they work. They too can be organic or inorganic, but their role is to model things, process, structures, and so on in the natural world. They are used to study natural processes by simulating them in a user-friendly way. Keeping the distinction between instruments and apparatus in mind is crucial to understanding the power of the experimental method.
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  25. 1130676.589091
    The purpose of this paper is to explore a possible resolution to one of the main objections to machine thought as propounded by Alan Turing in the imitation game that bears his name. That machines will, at some point, be able to think is the central idea of this text, a claim supported by a schema posited by Andy Clark and David Chalmers in their paper, “The Extended Mind” (1998). Their notion of active externalism is used to support, strengthen, and further what John Searle calls “the systems reply” to his objection to machine thought or strong Artificial Intelligence in his Chinese Room thought experiment. Relevant objections and replies to these objections are considered, then some conclusions about machine thought and the Turing Test are examined.
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  26. 1259005.589128
    The following argument is widely assumed to be invalid: ​there is a pain in my finger; my finger is in my mouth; therefore, there is a pain in my mouth​. The apparent invalidity of this argument has recently been used to motivate the conclusion that pains are not spatial entities. We argue that this is a mistake. We do so by drawing attention to the metaphysics of pains and holes and provide a framework for their location which both vindicates the argument’s validity and explains why it appears invalid. To this end, we show that previously proposed explanations for the apparent invalidity of the argument fail. Moreover, we show that our account accommodates and explains seemingly opposing linguistic data. We conclude that the ‘pain-in-mouth argument’ does not undermine the view that pains are spatial entities.
    Found 2 weeks ago on PhilPapers
  27. 1392960.589183
    What distinguishes sensory systems from other biological adaptations? The standard answer is that an organism’s sensory systems are channels for receiving information about its environment. I argue that this account is mistaken. I begin by identifying a core problem that sensory systems have evolved to address, and go on to show that there are two ways sensory systems confront the problem. Information use is integral to one of the solutions, but not to the other. One important consequence of the discussion is that theorists routinely overestimate the extent to which plants utilize information in their tropistic responses to environmental conditions.
    Found 2 weeks, 2 days ago on Todd Ganson's site
  28. 1416643.589221
    Is rational insight mysterious? What, if so, is the nature of the mystery? And just how serious is it: does it simply mean we lack a complete theory of how rational insight works? Or does it mean we should reject the whole idea of rational insight? These questions, and others related to them, are of central importance to the epistemology of the a priori.
    Found 2 weeks, 2 days ago on Carrie Ichikawa Jenkins's site
  29. 1432238.589259
    In the first part I argue that Buddhism and Hinduism can be unified by a Pure Consciousness thesis, which says that the nature of ultimate reality is an unconditioned and pure consciousness and that the phenomenal world is a mere appearance of pure consciousness. In the second part I argue that the Pure Consciousness thesis can be supported by an argument from quantum physics. According to our best scientific theories, the fundamental nature of reality consists of quantum fields, and it seems that quantum fields have merely particle-like appearances—particles seem to be mere epiphenomena. This interpretation can be generalized. There appear to be individual entities, small and large, and their ontological reality is precisely what it appears to be—they are mere appearances.
    Found 2 weeks, 2 days ago on PhilPapers
  30. 1432359.589293
    Buddhism and Hinduism appear to be separated by irreconcilable differences. I argue that this apparent gulf can be overcome. The argument has three main parts. First, I argue that the Buddhist doctrine of dependent arising is not a metaphysical principle of real causation, but a principle of fabrication. Second, I argue that this interpretation of dependent arising enables a unification of the main schools of Buddhism. Third, I argue that Buddhism can be unified fully with Advaita Vedānta, the most important philosophical school of Hinduism, and I argue that a substantial unity can be established between Buddhism and the three main schools of Vedānta. In particular, Buddhism and Vedānta can agree that the highest aim and good consists in the direct realization of an unconditioned and pure mind or consciousness.
    Found 2 weeks, 2 days ago on PhilPapers