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  Subjects -> PHILOSOPHY (Total: 762 journals)
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Erkenntnis
Journal Prestige (SJR): 1.502
Citation Impact (citeScore): 1
Number of Followers: 30  
 
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 1572-8420 - ISSN (Online) 0165-0106
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2469 journals]
  • Correction to: Explaining Why There is Something Rather
           than Nothing

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      Abstract: In the original publication of this article, we have missed to include second affiliation of the corresponding author in the online published article. Now the same has been provided in this correction.
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
       
  • Strengthening Weak Emergence

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      Abstract: Abstract I offer an improved version of Bedau’s influential (Philos Perspect 11:375–99, 1997) account of weak emergence in light of insights from information theory. Bedau analyzes weak emergence in terms of the non-derivability of a system’s macrostates from its microstates except by simulation. However, non-derivability alone does not guarantee that a system’s macrostates are weakly emergent. Rather, it is non-derivability plus the algorithmic compressibility of the system’s macrostates that makes them weakly emergent. I argue that the resulting information-theoretic picture provides a metaphysical account of weak emergence rather than a merely epistemic one.
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
       
  • The Modal Logic of Potential Infinity: Branching Versus Convergent
           Possibilities

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      Abstract: Abstract Modal logic provides an elegant way to understand the notion of potential infinity. This raises the question of what the right modal logic is for reasoning about potential infinity. In this article I identify a choice point in determining the right modal logic: Can a potentially infinite collection ever be expanded in two mutually incompatible ways' If not, then the possible expansions are convergent; if so, then the possible expansions are branching. When possible expansions are convergent, the right modal logic is S4.2, and a mirroring theorem due to Linnebo allows for a natural potentialist interpretation of mathematical discourse. When the possible expansions are branching, the right modal logic is S4. However, the usual box and diamond do not suffice to express everything the potentialist wants to express. I argue that the potentialist also needs an operator expressing that something will eventually happen in every possible expansion. I prove that the result of adding this operator to S4 makes the set of validities Pi-1-1 hard. This result makes it unlikely that there is any natural translation of ordinary mathematical discourse into the potentialist framework in the context of branching possibilities.
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
       
  • Finding True Clusters: On the Importance of Simplicity in Science

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      Abstract: Abstract The main point of this paper is to underscore the link between simplicity and truth in an unsupervised machine learning context. More precisely, we argue that parametric and dimensional simplicity are not indicators of truth but the methodological principle that urges us to pay attention to such notions of simplicity is truth conducive. The truth that we are looking for are specific geometrical shapes and we know which algorithm can find which shapes provided that we pay attention to parametric and dimensional simplicity.
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
       
  • The Cognitive Philosophy of Reflection

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      Abstract: Abstract Hilary Kornblith argues that many traditional philosophical accounts involve problematic views of reflection (understood as second-order mental states). According to Kornblith, reflection does not add reliability, which makes it unfit to underlie a separate form of knowledge. We show that a broader understanding of reflection, encompassing Type 2 processes, working memory, and episodic long-term memory, can provide philosophy with elucidating input that a restricted view misses. We further argue that reflection in fact often does add reliability, through generalizability, flexibility, and creativity that is helpful in newly encountered situations, even if the restricted sense of both reflection and knowledge is accepted. And so, a division of knowledge into one reflexive (animal) form and one reflective form remains a plausible, and possibly fruitful, option.
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
       
  • Non-metric Propositional Similarity

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      Abstract: Abstract The idea that sentences can be closer or further apart in meaning is highly intuitive. Not only that, it is also a pillar of logic, semantic theory and the philosophy of science, and follows from other commitments about similarity. The present paper proposes a novel way of comparing the ‘distance’ between two pairs of propositions. We define ‘ \(p_1\) is closer in meaning to \(p_2\) than \(p_3\) is to \(p_4\) ’ and thereby give a precise account of comparative propositional similarity facts. Notably, our definition eschews metric assumptions, which are unrealistic in most applications of interest.
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
       
  • Learning from Non-Causal Models

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      Abstract: Abstract This paper defends the thesis of learning from non-causal models: viz. that the study of some model can prompt justified changes in one’s confidence in empirical hypotheses about a real-world target in the absence of any known or predicted similarity between model and target with regards to their causal features. Recognizing that we can learn from non-causal models matters not only to our understanding of past scientific achievements, but also to contemporary debates in the philosophy of science. At one end of the philosophical spectrum, my thesis undermines the views of those who, like Cartwright (Erkenntnis 70:45–58, 2009), follow Hesse (Models and Analogies in Science, Notre Dame, University of Notre Dame Press, 1963) in restricting the possibility of learning from models to only those situations where a model identifies some causal factors present in the target. At the other end of the spectrum, my thesis also helps undermine some extremely permissive positions, e.g., Grüne-Yanoff’s (Erkenntnis 70(1):81–99, 2009, Philos Sci 80(5): 850–861, 2013) claim that learning from a model is possible even in the absence of any similarity at all between model and target. The thesis that we can learn from non-causal models offers a cautious middle ground between these two extremes.
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
       
  • Interpreting Supersymmetry

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      Abstract: Abstract Supersymmetry in quantum physics is a mathematically simple phenomenon that raises deep foundational questions. To motivate these questions, I present a toy model, the supersymmetric harmonic oscillator, and its superspace representation, which adds extra anticommuting dimensions to spacetime. I then explain and comment on three foundational questions about this superspace formalism: whether superspace is a substance, whether it should count as spatiotemporal, and whether it is a necessary postulate if one wants to use the theory to unify bosons and fermions.
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
       
  • Authoritative Knowledge

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      Abstract: Abstract This paper investigates ‘authoritative knowledge’, a neglected species of practical knowledge gained on the basis of exercising practical authority. I argue that, like perceptual knowledge, authoritative knowledge is non-inferential. I then present a broadly reliabilist account of the process by which authority yields knowledge, and use this account to address certain objections.
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
       
  • The Type-B Moral Error Theory

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      Abstract: Abstract I introduce a new version of Moral Error Theory, which I call Type-B Moral Error Theory. According to a Type-B theorist there are no facts of the kind required for there to be morality in stricto sensu, but there can be irreducible ‘normative’ properties which she deems, strictly speaking, to be morally irrelevant. She accepts that there are instrumental all things considered oughts, and categorical pro tanto oughts (both of which she deems morally irrelevant), but denies that there are categorical all things considered oughts on pain of requiring ‘queer’ facts to obtain. I detail the most central motivation of this version of the theory against its more traditional rival, according to which there are no irreducible normative properties at all. The motivation is that it, unlike its rival, can successfully be defended against the notorious charge of self-defeat.
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
       
  • What is Intelligence For' A Peircean Pragmatist Response to the
           Knowing-How, Knowing-That Debate

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      Abstract: Abstract Mainstream philosophy has seen a recent flowering in discussions of intellectualism which revisits Gilbert Ryle’s famous distinction between ‘knowing how’ and ‘knowing that’, and challenges his argument that the former cannot be reduced to the latter. These debates so far appear not to have engaged with pragmatist philosophy in any substantial way, which is curious as the relation between theory and practice is one of pragmatism’s main themes. Accordingly, this paper examines the contemporary debate in the light of Charles Peirce’s habit-based epistemology. We argue both that knowing-that can be understood as a particularly sophisticated form of knowing-how, and that all bodily competencies—if sufficiently deliberately developed—can be analysed as instantiating propositional structure broadly conceived. In this way, intellectualism and anti-intellectualism are seen to be not opposed, and both true, although Peirce’s original naturalistic account of propositional structure does lead him to reject what we shall call ‘linguistic intellectualism’.
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
       
  • Lotteries, Possible Worlds, and Probability

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      Abstract: Abstract A necessary criterion of Duncan Pritchard’s Anti-luck Virtue Epistemology is his safety condition. A believer cannot know p unless her belief is safe. Her belief is safe only if p could not have easily been false. But “easily” is not to be understood probabilistically. The chance that p is false might be extremely low and yet p remains unsafe. This is what happens, Pritchard argues, in lottery examples and explains why knowledge is not a function of the probabilistic strength of one’s evidence. This paper argues that, contra Pritchard, modality holds no epistemic advantage over this type of “probabilistic evidentialism” that he criticizes. I begin with a review of Pritchard’s argument supporting modality over probability; second, I explain the problems with this argument, and third, I offer an alternative explanation of the lottery example (which purportedly shows modality is superior to probability). At the completion of the paper, modality and probability are on equal epistemic footing.
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
       
  • Content Extraction, Ontological Mootness and Nominalism: Difficulties on
           the Easy Road

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      Abstract: Abstract In his latest book Aboutness, Stephen Yablo has proposed a new ‘easy road’ nominalist strategy: instead of engaging in the hard work of paraphrasing a scientific theory which presupposes numbers in a nominalistically acceptable way, nominalists are, according to Yablo, entitled to accept the theory as true, while rejecting the existence of numbers, if from the theory’s content the presupposition that there are numbers can be subtracted away, yielding thus a number-free content remainder. Perfect extricability, i.e. extricability in every possible world, of the presupposition that there are numbers from any content apparently involving them is, in Yablo’s view, sufficient to make the existence of numbers moot. In this paper I will argue that perfect extricability fails as a criterion of ontological mootness.
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
       
  • Nihilism, But Not Necessarily

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      Abstract: Abstract It’s widely accepted that we have most reason to accept theories that best fulfill the following naturalistically respectable criteria: (1) internal consistency, (2) consistency with the facts, and (3) exemplification of the theoretical virtues. It’s also widely accepted that metaphysical theories are necessarily true. I argue that if you accept the aforementioned criteria, you have most reason to reject that metaphysical theories are necessarily true. By applying the criteria to worlds that are all prima facie possible, I show that contingent local matters of particular fact partly determine which theory of composition we should accept at a world. For instance, I argue that when we apply the criteria to our world, we should accept Mereological Nihilism. Furthermore, even if you think that the worlds I mention, such as gunky worlds, are impossible, you should still reject the brute principle that metaphysical theories are necessarily true. Instead, you should only accept that a theory of composition is necessarily true if contingent local matters of particular fact at possible worlds cannot tell in favor of one theory of composition over another.
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
       
  • Tropes, Unmanifested Dispositions and Powerful Qualities

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      Abstract: Abstract According to a well-known argument, originally due to David Armstrong, powers theory is objectionable, as it leads to a ‘Meinongian’ ontology on which some entities are real but do not actually exist. I argue here that the right conclusion to draw from this argument has thus far not been identified and that doing so has significant implications for powers theory. Specifically, I argue that the key consequence of the argument is that it provides substantial grounds for trope powers theorists, but not other powers theorists, to accept one version of the view that properties are powerful qualities. In particular, they have grounds to favour the view that powerful properties are properties with exclusively qualitative natures that ground modal facts.
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
       
  • Self-Determination in Plenitude

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      Abstract: Abstract On a plenitudinous ontology, in every filled region of spacetime, there is at least one object that’s ‘exactly then and there’; one per each modal profile that the matter in the region satisfies. One of the strongest arguments for plenitude, the “argument from anthropocentrism” (also known as the argument from arbitrariness), puts pressure on us to accept that members of different communities correctly self-identify under different subject concepts. I explore this consequence and offer an account of selves on which self-determination is both socially and individually variant; we determine our spatiotemporal boundaries, our de re modal properties, and the kind of being that we are. We do this by determining which of many candidate beings has the property of being a self.
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
       
  • Expressivism and Explaining Irrationality: Reply to Baker

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      Abstract: Abstract In a recent paper in this journal, Derek Baker (Erkenntnis 83(4):829–852, 2018) raises an objection to expressivism as it has been developed by Mark Schroeder (Being for, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2008). Baker argues that Schroeder’s expressivist (1) is committed to certain sentences expressing rationally incoherent states of mind, and he objects (2) that the expressivist cannot explain why these states would be rationally incoherent. The aim of this paper is to show that Baker’s argument for (1) is unsound, and that (1) is unlikely to be true. This obviates the need to explain the alleged rational incoherence, and so Baker’s objection to Schroeder’s expressivism is undermined.
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
       
  • Quantifier Variance, Mathematicians’ Freedom and the Revenge of Quinean
           Indispensability Worries

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      Abstract: Abstract Invoking a form of quantifier variance promises to let us explain mathematicians’ freedom to introduce new kinds of mathematical objects in a way that avoids some problems for standard platonist and nominalist views. In this paper I’ll note that, despite traditional associations between quantifier variance and Carnapian rejection of metaphysics, Siderian realists about metaphysics can naturally be quantifier variantists. Unfortunately a variant on the Quinean indispensability argument concerning grounding seems to pose a problem for philosophers who accept this hybrid. However I will charitably reconstruct this problem and then argue for optimism about solving it.
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
       
  • Natural Analogy: A Hessean Approach to Analogical Reasoning in Theorizing

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      Abstract: Abstract This paper proposes an account of natural analogy in scientific theorizing via Mary Hesse’s original understanding of analogical reasoning. Starting with discussing Hesse’s examples and her symbolic scheme, I argue that the traditional distinction between the type of formal analogy and the type of material analogy should be abandoned. All analogies in theorizing, that are both formal and material, contain a set of pretheoretic associations and a theoretic structure between two analogues. I thus provide a new interpretation of Hesse’s symbolic scheme to reveal the pretheoretical and the structural dimensions of analogy and further illustrate the account of natural analogy by applying it to the history of the construction of Coulomb’s law, which is traditionally seen as a typical case of formal analogy, arguing that pretheoretic associations as well as a theoretic structure play a necessary role in this case. In the final part of this paper, I argue that the account of natural analogy is preferable to Dedre Gentner’s structural mapping theory.
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
       
  • Indeterminacy and Normativity

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      Abstract: Abstract This paper develops and defends the view that substantively normative uses of words like “good”, “right” and “ought” (e.g. moral uses) are irresolvably indeterminate: any single case of application is like a borderline case for a vague or indeterminate term, in that the meaning-fixing facts (use, intentions, conventions, causal connections, reference magnets, etc.), together with the non-linguistic facts, fail to determine a truth-value for the target sentence in context. Normative claims, like vague or indeterminate borderline claims, are not meaningless, though. By making them, the speaker communicates information about the precisifications that s/he accepts. The analogy with vague/indeterminate language, I argue, lays out a new and interesting foundation for a subjectivist approach to normativity.
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
       
 
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