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  Subjects -> PHILOSOPHY (Total: 762 journals)
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ISSN (Print) 1572-8420 - ISSN (Online) 0165-0106
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2469 journals]
  • Priority Perdurantism

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      Abstract: Abstract In this paper, I introduce a version of perdurantism called Priority Perdurantism, according to which perduring, four-dimensional objects are ontologically fundamental and the temporal parts of those objects are ontologically derivative, depending for their existence and their identity on the four-dimensional wholes of which they are parts. I argue that by switching the order of the priority relations this opens up new solutions to the too-many-thinkers problem and the personite problem – solutions that are more ontologically robust than standard maximality solutions. I then consider and respond to two initial objections to the view: that it no longer counts as a perdurantist theory and that it reintroduces the problem of temporary intrinsics. I conclude by offering two further advantages of priority perdurantism: that it is consistent with hunky time and with the existence of irreducibly temporally-extended actions, such as those pertaining to deliberative agency.
      PubDate: 2022-08-08
       
  • Moral Encroachment and Positive Profiling

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      Abstract: Abstract Some claim that moral factors affect the epistemic status of our beliefs. Call this the moral encroachment thesis. It’s been argued that the moral encroachment thesis can explain at least part of the wrongness of racial profiling. The thesis predicts that the high moral stakes in cases of racial profiling make it more difficult for these racist beliefs to be justified or to constitute knowledge. This paper considers a class of racial generalizations that seem to do just the opposite of this. The high moral stakes of the beliefs we infer from these generalizations make it easier rather than harder for these beliefs to be justified or to constitute knowledge. I argue that the existence of this class of cases—cases of “positive profiling”—give us reason to expand our account of moral encroachment in a way that brings it closer to the ideal of pragmatic encroachment that motivates it in the first place.
      PubDate: 2022-08-08
       
  • The Importance of Understanding Deep Learning

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      Abstract: Abstract Some machine learning models, in particular deep neural networks (DNNs), are not very well understood; nevertheless, they are frequently used in science. Does this lack of understanding pose a problem for using DNNs to understand empirical phenomena' Emily Sullivan has recently argued that understanding with DNNs is not limited by our lack of understanding of DNNs themselves. In the present paper, we will argue, contra Sullivan, that our current lack of understanding of DNNs does limit our ability to understand with DNNs. Sullivan’s claim hinges on which notion of understanding is at play. If we employ a weak notion of understanding, then her claim is tenable, but rather weak. If, however, we employ a strong notion of understanding, particularly explanatory understanding, then her claim is not tenable.
      PubDate: 2022-08-07
       
  • Does Property-Perception Entail the Content View'

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      Abstract: Abstract Visual perception is widely taken to present properties such as redness, roundness, and so on. This in turn might be thought to give rise to accuracy conditions for experience, and so content, regardless of which metaphysical view of perception one endorses. An influential version of this argument —Susanna Siegel’s ‘Argument from Appearing’ — aims to establish the existence of content as common ground between representational and relational views of perception. This goes against proponents of ‘austere’ relationalism who deny that content plays a substantive role in philosophical explanations of conscious perceptual experience. Though Siegel’s argument purports to be neutral with respect to the metaphysics of perception, it relies upon an equivocation between the presentation of property-types and property-instances. Consequently, the argument begs the question against the austere relational view, and so fails to establish the desired conclusion. So while relationalists can and should allow that experiences have accuracy conditions, it does not follow from this that they have contents of any philosophically interesting or significant kind.
      PubDate: 2022-08-04
       
  • Does Macbeth See a Dagger' An Empirical Argument for the
           Existence-Neutrality of Seeing

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      Abstract: Abstract In a recent paper, Justin D’Ambrosio (2020) has offered an empirical argument in support of a negative solution to the puzzle of Macbeth’s dagger—namely, the question of whether, in the famous scene from Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth sees a dagger in front of him. D’Ambrosio’s strategy consists in showing that “seeing” is not an existence-neutral verb; that is, that the way it is used in ordinary language is not neutral with respect to whether its complement exists. In this paper, we offer an empirical argument in favor of an existence-neutral reading of “seeing”. In particular, we argue that existence-neutral readings are readily available to language users. We thus call into question D’Ambrosio’s argument for the claim that Macbeth does not see a dagger. According to our positive solution, Macbeth sees a dagger, even though there is not a dagger in front of him.
      PubDate: 2022-08-04
       
  • How to Choose a Gauge' The Case of Hamiltonian Electromagnetism

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      Abstract: Abstract We develop some ideas about gauge symmetry in the context of Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetism in the Hamiltonian formalism. One great benefit of this formalism is that it pairs momentum and configurational degrees of freedom, so that a decomposition of one side into subsets can be translated into a decomposition of the other. In the case of electromagnetism, this enables us to pair degrees of freedom of the electric field with degrees of freedom of the vector potential. Another benefit is that the formalism algorithmically identifies subsets of the equations of motion that represent time-dependent symmetries. For electromagnetism, these two benefits allow us to define gauge-fixing in parallel to special decompositions of the electric field. More specifically, we apply the Helmholtz decomposition theorem to split the electric field into its Coulombic and radiative parts, and show how this gives a special role to the Coulomb gauge (i.e. div \((\mathbf{A}) = 0\) ). We relate this argument to Maudlin’s (Entropy, 2018. https://doi.org/10.3390/e20060465) discussion, which advocated the Coulomb gauge.
      PubDate: 2022-08-02
       
  • Chalmers’ Argument from Relativity

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      Abstract: Abstract David Chalmers has recently argued that Relativity Theory supports the notion that shapes are Twin-Earthable. In this paper this argument is challenged. I reconstruct the argument in five steps where the last step is the conclusion. I proceed to argue that one step in the argument can be interpreted in two different ways. The problem is that on the first interpretation of the step, the conclusion does not follow. And on the second interpretation of the step, it contradicts a previous step in the argument. I conclude that Relativity Theory does not entail that phenomenal and functional twins could represent different shapes.
      PubDate: 2022-08-01
       
  • Sander Verhaegh: Working from Within: The Nature and Development of
           Quine’s Naturalism

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      PubDate: 2022-08-01
       
  • Psychology and Neuroscience: The Distinctness Question

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      Abstract: Abstract In a recent paper, Gualtiero Piccinini and Carl Craver have argued that psychology is not distinct from neuroscience. Many have argued that Piccinini and Craver’s argument is unsuccessful. However, none of these authors have questioned the appropriateness of Piccinini and Craver’s argument for their key premise—that functional analyses are mechanism sketches. My first and main goal in this paper is to show that Piccinini and Craver offer normative considerations (on what functional analyses should be) in support of what is a descriptive premise and to provide some guidelines on how to argue for this premise. My second goal is to show that the distinctness question should be of great significance for philosophy of cognitive science.
      PubDate: 2022-08-01
       
  • Epistemic Collaborations: Distributed Cognition and Virtue Reliabilism

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      Abstract: Abstract Strong epistemic anti-individualism—i.e., the claim that knowledge can be irreducibly social—is increasingly debated within mainstream and social epistemology. Most existing approaches attempt to argue for the view on the basis of aggregative analyses, which focus on the way certain groups aggregate the epistemic attitudes of their members. Such approaches are well motivated, given that many groups to which we often ascribe group knowledge—such as juries and committees—operate in this way. Yet another way that group knowledge can be generated is on the basis of epistemic collaborations, such as scientific research teams and Transactive Memory Systems. To produce knowledge, epistemic collaborations rely heavily on the mutual interactions of their group members. This is a distinctive feature of epistemic collaborations that renders them resistant to aggregative analyses. To accommodate this kind of group knowledge, the paper combines virtue reliabilism with the hypothesis of distributed cognition in order to introduce the hybrid approach of distributed virtue reliabilism. On this view, (1) beliefs produced by epistemic collaborations entertain positive epistemic standing (i.e., they are both reliable and epistemically responsible) in virtue of the mutual interactions of their group members; (2) this positive epistemic standing is a collective property; (3) epistemic collaborations qualify as epistemic group agents; (4) collaborative knowledge is a special kind of group knowledge, motivating strong epistemic anti-individualism in a distinctive way.
      PubDate: 2022-08-01
       
  • Explaining Why There is Something Rather than Nothing

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      Abstract: Abstract It is sometimes supposed that, in principle, we cannot offer an explanation for why there is something rather than nothing. I argue that this supposition is a mistake, and stems from a needlessly myopic conception of the form explanations can legitimately take. After making this more general point, I proceed to offer a speculative suggestion regarding one sort of explanation which can in principle serve as an answer to the question “why is there something rather than nothing'” The suggestion is that there may be something rather than nothing in virtue of the truth of certain sorts of subjunctive conditionals.
      PubDate: 2022-08-01
       
  • General Relativity, Mental Causation, and Energy Conservation

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      Abstract: Abstract The conservation of energy and momentum have been viewed as undermining Cartesian mental causation since the 1690s. Modern discussions of the topic tend to use mid-nineteenth century physics, neglecting both locality and Noether’s theorem and its converse. The relevance of General Relativity (GR) has rarely been considered. But a few authors have proposed that the non-localizability of gravitational energy and consequent lack of physically meaningful local conservation laws answers the conservation objection to mental causation: conservation already fails in GR, so there is nothing for minds to violate. This paper is motivated by two ideas. First, one might take seriously the fact that GR formally has an infinity of rigid symmetries of the action and hence, by Noether’s first theorem, an infinity of conserved energies-momenta (thus answering Schrödinger’s 1918 false-negative objection). Second, Sean Carroll has asked (rhetorically) how one should modify the Dirac–Maxwell–Einstein equations to describe mental causation. This paper uses the generalized Bianchi identities to show that General Relativity tends to exclude, not facilitate, such Cartesian mental causation. In the simplest case, Cartesian mental influence must be spatio-temporally constant, and hence 0. The difficulty may diminish for more complicated models. Its persuasiveness is also affected by larger world-view considerations. The new general relativistic objection provides some support for realism about gravitational energy-momentum in GR (taking pseudotensor laws seriously). Such realism also might help to answer an objection to theories of causation involving conserved quantities, because energies-momenta would be conserved even in GR.
      PubDate: 2022-08-01
       
  • Parts of Falling Objects: Galileo’s Thought Experiment in
           Mereological Setting

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      Abstract: Abstract This paper aims to formalize Galileo’s argument (and its variations) against the Aristotelian view that the weight of free-falling bodies influences their speed. I obtain this via the application of concepts of parthood and of mereological sum, and via recognition of a principle which is not explicitly formulated by the Italian thinker but seems to be natural and helpful in understanding the logical mechanism behind Galileo’s train of thought. I also compare my reconstruction to one of those put forward by Atkinson and Peijnenburg (Stud Hist Philos Sci 35(1):115–136, 2004), and propose a formalization which is based on a principle introduced by them, which I shall call the speed is mediative principle.
      PubDate: 2022-08-01
       
  • Really Complex Demonstratives: A Dilemma

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      Abstract: Abstract I have two aims for the present paper, one narrow and one broad. The narrow aim is to show that a class of data originally described by Lynsey Wolter (That’s that; the semantics and pragmatics of demonstrative noun phrases, PhD thesis, University of California at Santa Cruz, 2006) empirically undermine the leading treatments of complex demonstratives that have been described in the literature. The broader aim of the paper is to show that Wolter demonstratives, as I will call the constructions I focus on, are a threat not just to existing treatments, but to any possible theory that retains the uncontroversial assumptions that relative clauses always form a constituent with the nouns they modify, and that semantic composition proceeds sequentially and locally, with the inputs to interpretation having the structure syntax tells us they do.
      PubDate: 2022-08-01
       
  • The Hardest Paradox for Closure

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      Abstract: Abstract According to the principle of Conjunction Closure, if one has justification for believing each of a set of propositions, one has justification for believing their conjunction. The lottery and preface paradoxes can both be seen as posing challenges for Closure, but leave open familiar strategies for preserving the principle. While this is all relatively well-trodden ground, a new Closure-challenging paradox has recently emerged, in two somewhat different forms, due to Backes (Synthese 196(9):3773–3787, 2019a) and Praolini (Australas J Philos 97(4):715–726, 2019). This paradox synthesises elements of the lottery and the preface and is designed to close off the familiar Closure-preserving strategies. By appealing to a normic theory of justification, I will defend Closure in the face of this new paradox. Along the way I will draw more general conclusions about justification, normalcy and defeat, which bear upon what Backes (Philos Stud 176(11):2877–2895, 2019b) has dubbed the ‘easy defeat’ problem for the normic theory.
      PubDate: 2022-08-01
       
  • Unsuccessful Remembering: A Challenge for the Relational View of Memory

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      Abstract: Abstract This paper explores the relationship between a prominent version of the relational view of memory and recent work on forms of unsuccessful remembering or memory errors. I argue that unsuccessful remembering poses an important challenge for the relational view. Unsuccessful remembering can be divided into two kinds: misremembering and confabulating. I discuss each of these cases in light of a recent relational account, according to which remembering is characterized by an experiential relation to past events, and I argue that experiential relations do not adequately distinguish between remembering and unsuccessful remembering. This is because there are, on the one hand, cases of remembering that do not instantiate the relevant experiential relations, and, on the other hand, cases of confabulation and misremembering that do instantiate the relevant experiential relations. I conclude by suggesting that any successful relationalist attempt to explain remembering needs to come to grips with unsuccessful remembering.
      PubDate: 2022-08-01
       
  • On Different Ways of Being Equal

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      Abstract: Abstract The aim of this paper is to present a constructive solution to Frege’s puzzle (largely limited to the mathematical context) based on type theory. Two ways in which an equality statement may be said to have cognitive significance are distinguished. One concerns the mode of presentation of the equality, the other its mode of proof. Frege’s distinction between sense and reference, which emphasizes the former aspect, cannot adequately explain the cognitive significance of equality statements unless a clear identity criterion for senses is provided. It is argued that providing a solution based on proofs is more satisfactory from the standpoint of constructive semantics.
      PubDate: 2022-08-01
       
  • The Myth of Generic Grounding

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      Abstract: Abstract Motivated by avoiding a difficulty confronting the usual formulations of identity criteria, Fine (Philos Stud 173:1–19, 2016) has proposed and developed a generic account of grounding. In this paper, I examine two versions of the account (one in terms of arbitrary objects, and the other in terms of metaphysical laws). I argue that both proposals fail, as it is difficult to see how the strategy of ‘going generic’ can really solve the problem. I conclude that the idea of generic grounding is mysterious and unmotivated.
      PubDate: 2022-08-01
       
  • The Prospects for a Monist Theory of Non-causal Explanation in Science and
           Mathematics

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      Abstract: Abstract We explore the prospects of a monist account of explanation for both non-causal explanations in science and pure mathematics. Our starting point is the counterfactual theory of explanation (CTE) for explanations in science, as advocated in the recent literature on explanation. We argue that, despite the obvious differences between mathematical and scientific explanation, the CTE can be extended to cover both non-causal explanations in science and mathematical explanations. In particular, a successful application of the CTE to mathematical explanations requires us to rely on counterpossibles. We conclude that the CTE is a promising candidate for a monist account of explanation in both science and mathematics.
      PubDate: 2022-08-01
       
  • Assertion, Stakes and Expected Blameworthiness: An Insensitive
           Invariantist Solution to the Bank Cases

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      Abstract: Abstract Contextualists and Subject Sensitive Invariantists often cite the knowledge norm of assertion as part of their argument. They claim that the knowledge norms in conjunction with our intuitions about when a subject is properly asserting in low or high stakes contexts provides strong evidence that what counts as knowledge depends on practical factors. In this paper, I present new data to suggest they are mistaken in the way they think about cases involving high and low stakes and I show how insensitive invariantists can explain the data. I exploit recent work done on the distinction between flouting a norm and being blamed for that violation to formulate a rigorous theory of rational expected blameworthiness that allows insensitive invariantists to explain the data cited.
      PubDate: 2022-08-01
       
 
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