1. 17823.957536
    A standard thing in the philosophy of science to say such stochastic explanation questions is that one can given an answer in terms of the objective chance of the event, even when these chances are less than 1/2. …
    Found 4 hours, 57 minutes ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  2. 26388.957583
    spective. As a consequence of the perspectival nature of perception, when we perceive, say, a circular coin from different angles, there is a respect in which the coin looks circular throughout, but also a respect in which the coin's appearance changes. More generally, perception of shape and size properties has both a constant aspect—an aspect that remains stable across changes in perspective—and a perspectival aspect—an aspect that changes depending on one's perspective on the object. How should we account for the perspectival aspect of spatial perception? We present a framework within which to discuss the perspectival aspect of perception and put forward three desiderata that any account of the perspectival aspect of perception should satisfy. We discuss views on which the perspectival aspect of perception is analyzed in terms of constitutively mind‐dependent appearance properties as well as views on which the perspectival aspect of perception is analyzed in terms of representations of mind‐independent perspectival properties.
    Found 7 hours, 19 minutes ago on PhilPapers
  3. 29920.9576
    Superficially, dreidel appears to be a simple game of luck, and a badly designed game at that. It lacks balance, clarity, and (apparently) meaningful strategic choice. From this perspective, its prominence in the modern Hannukah tradition is puzzling. …
    Found 8 hours, 18 minutes ago on The Splintered Mind
  4. 34001.957618
    In this paper we investigate the history of relationalism and its present use in some interpretations of quantum mechanics. In the first part of this article we will provide a conceptual analysis of the relation between substantivalism, relationalism and relativism in the history of both physics and philosophy. In the second part, we will address some relational interpretations of quantum mechanics, namely, Bohr’s relational approach, the modal interpretation by Kochen, the perspectival modal version by Bene and Dieks and the relational interpretation by Rovelli. We will argue that all these interpretations ground their understanding of relations in epistemological terms. By taking into account the analysis on the first part of our work, we intend to highlight the fact that there is a different possibility for understanding quantum mechanics in relational terms which has not been yet considered within the foundational literature. This possibility is to consider relations in (non-relativist) ontological terms. We will argue that such an understanding might be capable of providing a novel approach to the problem of representing what quantum mechanics is really talking about.
    Found 9 hours, 26 minutes ago on PhilSci Archive
  5. 71871.957635
    . In preparation for a new post that takes up some of the recent battles on reforming or replacing p-values, I reblog an older post on power, one of the most misunderstood and abused notions in statistics. …
    Found 19 hours, 57 minutes ago on D. G. Mayo's blog
  6. 74505.957651
    Aside from its sheer intractability, the problem of vagueness has a historical dimension that lends it extra bite. The modern development of logic was primarily concerned to codify the canons of reasoning employed in mathematical proofs. A striking feature of the mathematical realm is that it’s one which is sharp: there’s no such thing as a number which is borderline odd, and the languages of pure mathematics don’t contain vague expressions of other categories; for example, none of Hilbert’s problems use ‘many’ in their formulation. So when we turn to the description of the empirical realm, we cannot avoid the question whether the apparent lack of sharpness requires that accommodations in logic be made. Epistemicism is the view that no accommodations need to be made, since the empirical realm is no less sharp than the mathematical (Sorensen 1988, 2001; Williamson 1994). In particular, if F is a predicate whose application is typically persistent across small changes in some quantity but not persistent across some large ones, then if some such large change is decomposed into a series of small changes, there will be a particular small change which unseats the predicate. On this view, the term ‘vague’ simply marks the epistemic inaccessibility of which small change does the damage.
    Found 20 hours, 41 minutes ago on Graeme Forbes's site
  7. 74526.957665
    The problem of referential opacity is manifested primarily by the failure of a certain inference rule of classical logic to produce intuitively acceptable results when applied to ascriptions of mental states. The rule is known variously as Leibniz’s Law, or as the Substitutivity of Identicals, or, in some logical systems, as Identity Elimination. However, the term ‘referential opacity’ for the phenomenon in question is somewhat tendentious, since it embodies a debatable diagnosis of the problem. We shall often use the more neutral ‘substitution failure’ instead (‘apparent substitution failure’ would be even more neutral). And we reserve “Leibniz’s Law” for a principle about objects and properties, which says (1) Ifx and y are the same object, then x and y have the same properties.
    Found 20 hours, 42 minutes ago on Graeme Forbes's site
  8. 77315.957678
    How one builds, checks, validates and interprets a model depends on its ‘purpose’. This is true even if the same model is used for different purposes, which means that a model built for one purpose but now used for another may need to be re-checked, re-validated and maybe even rebuilt in a different way. Here we review some of the different purposes for building a simulation model of complex social phenomena, focussing on five in particular: theoretical exposition, prediction, explanation, description and illustration. The chapter looks at some of the implications in terms of the ways in which the intended purpose might fail. In particular, it looks at the ways that a confusion of modelling purposes can fatally weaken modelling projects, whilst giving a false sense of their quality. This analysis motivates some of the ways in which these ‘dangers’ might be avoided or mitigated.
    Found 21 hours, 28 minutes ago on Bruce Edmonds's site
  9. 92162.957691
    According to the Standard Model account of religion, religious concepts tend to conform to “minimally counterintuitive” schemas. Laypeople may, to varying degrees, verbally endorse the abstract doctrines taught by professional theologians. But, outside the Sunday school exam room, the implicit representations that tend to guide people’s everyday thinking, feeling, and behavior are about minimally counterintuitive entities. According to the Standard Model, these implicit representations are the essential thing to be explained by the cognitive science of religion (CSR). It is argued here that this theoretical orientation of mainstream CSR misses a whole dimension of religiosity—the acceptance of certain religious authorities, that is, the acceptance of other people’s superior expertise. Average believers (especially in doctrinal traditions) tend to accept the authority of religious experts who espouse highly counterintuitive ideas that they (the laypeople) understand in a distorted form, if at all. These highly counterintuitive ideas are culturally successful because laypeople see them as being justified by people they have reason to regard as epistemic authorities. The tendency for people to endorse (without fully understanding) highly counterintuitive religious ideas espoused by intellectuals may explain parallels in the development of separate traditions (e.g., Judaism and Hinduism), as religious philosophers follow parallel lines of reasoning.
    Found 1 day, 1 hour ago on PhilSci Archive
  10. 92373.957707
    Zylstra's work shows that, if we are going to try to analyze essence in terms of necessity and intrinsicality and deliver the goods on Fine's celebrated Socrates/{Socrates} example (Socrates does not belong essentially to {Socrates}, but {Socrates} essentially contains Socrates), we had better understand intrinsicality as term-relative, at least in the case of relations. …
    Found 1 day, 1 hour ago on Tristan Haze's blog
  11. 127188.957721
    Suppose you agreed with me that the science of well-being should strive to be value-apt, that mid-level theories is the way to provide value-aptness, and that all of this is compatible with scientific objectivity. …
    Found 1 day, 11 hours ago on The Brains Blog
  12. 197040.957735
    From the Icosahedron to E8 Here is a little article I’m writing for the Newsletter of the London Mathematical Society. The regular icosahedron is connected to many ‘exceptional objects’ in mathematics, and here I describe two ways of using it to construct One uses a subring of the quaternions called the ‘icosians’, while the other uses Du Val’s work on the resolution of Kleinian singularities. …
    Found 2 days, 6 hours ago on Azimuth
  13. 199923.957748
    Iterated reflection principles have been employed extensively to unfold epistemic commitments that are incurred by accepting a mathematical theory. Recently this has been applied to theories of truth. The idea is to start with a collection of Tarski-biconditionals and arrive by finitely iterated reflection at strong compositional truth theories. In the context of classical logic it is incoherent to adopt an initial truth theory in which A and ‘A is true’ are inter-derivable. In this article we show how in the context of a weaker logic, which we call Basic De Morgan Logic, we can coherently start with such a fully disquotational truth theory and arrive at a strong compositional truth theory by applying a natural uniform reflection principle a finite number of times.
    Found 2 days, 7 hours ago on PhilPapers
  14. 207505.957797
    The paper explains why an ontology of permanent point particles that are individuated by their relative positions and that move on continuous trajectories as given by a deterministic law of motion constitutes the best solution to the measurement problem in both quantum mechanics and quantum field theory. This case is made by comparing the Bohmian theory to collapse theories such as the GRW matter density and the GRW flash theory. It is argued that the Bohmian theory makes the minimal changes, concerning only the dynamics and neither the ontology nor the account of probabilities, that are necessary to get from classical mechanics to quantum physics. There is no cogent reason to go beyond these minimal changes.
    Found 2 days, 9 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  15. 207522.957825
    I will defend two claims. First, Schaffer's priority monism is in tension with many research programs in quantum gravity. Second, priority monism can be modified into a view more amenable to this physics. The first claim is grounded in the fact that promising approaches to quantum gravity such as loop quantum gravity or string theory deny the fundamental reality of spacetime. Since fundamental spacetime plays an important role in Schaffer's priority monism by being identified with the fundamental structure, namely the cosmos, the disappearance of spacetime in these views might undermine classical priority monism. My second claim is that priority monism can avoid this issue with two moves: first, in dropping one of its core assumption, namely that the fundamental structure is spatio-temporal, second, by identifying the connection between the nonspatio-temporal structure and the derivative spatio-temporal structure with mereological composition.
    Found 2 days, 9 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  16. 245249.957842
    An interesting new paper by Zylstra attempts to cast doubt on the project of analyzing essence in terms of necessity plus something else. As Fine famously pointed out, it is plausible that the set {Soctrates} essentially contains Socrates but that Socrates does not essentially belong to {Socrates}. …
    Found 2 days, 20 hours ago on Tristan Haze's blog
  17. 254446.957856
    In certain crystals you can knock an electron out of its favorite place and leave a hole: a place with a missing electron. Sometimes these holes can move around like particles. And naturally these holes attract electrons, since they are places an electron would want to be. …
    Found 2 days, 22 hours ago on Azimuth
  18. 257577.957869
    My aim in this chapter is to defend explanatory indispensability arguments for the existence of irreducibly evaluative properties from what I call the supervenience objection. A structurally similar argument and objection are found in the philosophy of mathematics. My strategy is to argue that a response to the supervenience objection is available that is structurally similar to a recent response made in the philosophy of mathematics case. My claim is that reductive realists in metaethics, like nominalists in philosophy of mathematics, have to take what has been called the ‘hard road’. And in metaethics, like in philosophy of mathematics, we have good reasons to think that this road is not navigable. I proceed as follows: Section 10.1 deals with some preliminary background issues. In Section 10.2 I outline the structure of explanatory indispensability arguments in general before giving some cases from metaethics and philosophy of mathematics. In this section I also make some remarks about good explanations and consider and respond to a proto-version of the supervenience objection. I then turn, in Section 10.3, to the supervenience objection itself, and the structurally similar objection in philosophy of mathematics, which I call the nominalist objection. In Section 10.4 I give my response to the supervenience objection, drawing on a recent response Mark Colyvan has made to the nominalist objection.
    Found 2 days, 23 hours ago on PhilPapers
  19. 257606.957882
    Kratzer’s semantics for the deontic modals ought, must, etc., is criticized and improvements are suggested. Specifically, a solution is offered for the strong/weak, must/ought contrast, based on connecting must to right and ought to good as their respective ordering norms. A formal treatment of the semantics of must is proposed. For the semantics of ought it is argued that good enough should replace best in the formula giving truth conditions. A semantics for supposed to slightly different from that for ought is proposed that connects interestingly with the “normative judgement internalism” problem. An extended analysis of the workings of the ordering source in Kratzer semantics reveals several problems and related possible solutions. And finally, it is argued that ‘We must do the right things” and “We ought to pursue good things” are provably necessary in Kratzer semantics, which is, I think, a welcome result, although, since formal, does not tell what are the right and good things.
    Found 2 days, 23 hours ago on PhilPapers
  20. 273170.957895
    When I awoke with glowing, translucent hands, and hundreds of five-pointed yellow stars lined up along the left of my visual field, my first thought was that a dream must have made itself self-defeatingly obvious. …
    Found 3 days, 3 hours ago on Scott Aaronson's blog
  21. 315178.957911
    I offer some responses to Prosser’s ‘Experiencing Time’, one of whose goals is to debunk a view of temporal experience somewhat prevalent in the metaphysics literature, which I call ‘Perceptualism’. According to Perceptualism: (1) it is part of the content of perceptual experience that time passes in a metaphysically strong sense: the present has a metaphysically privileged status, and time passes in virtue of changes in which events this ‘objective present’ highlights, and moreover (2) this gives us evidence in favor of strong passage. Prosser argues that perception cannot be sensitive to whether the strong passage obtains, and therefore cannot represent strong passage in a way that gives us evidence of its truth. Although I accept this conclusion, I argue that Prosser’s argument for it is problematic. It threatens to over-generalize to rule out uncontroversial cases of perceptual knowledge, such as our knowledge that we live in a spatial world. Furthermore, a successful argument ruling out perceptual evidence for strong passage would have to give constraints on the theory/observation distinction of a kind not provided by Prosser’s discussion. I also comment on several other parts of the book.
    Found 3 days, 15 hours ago on PhilPapers
  22. 362596.95794
    One of the most fundamental claims of classical Natural Law (NL), as I understand it, is that: The right exercise of our wills is precisely that which fullfills the proper functions of the will. This claim is, I think, close to trivial. …
    Found 4 days, 4 hours ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  23. 366082.957959
    Call a semantics for a given language externalist just in case it assigns to any expression of the language in question an “entity in the world” as its semantic value (perhaps relative to a context or other parameters). Thus for example, the (extensional) semantics in the now standard semantics textbook Heim, Kratzer [1998] is externalist since it takes names to be type e and one place predicates to be type <e,t>. This means that the semantics assigns individuals to names and sets of individuals to one place predicates. So externalist semantic theories posit a semantic relation (perhaps relative to a context or other parameters) between expressions of the language and entities in the world. Such relations have gone by many names: ‘___having ___ as its semantic value (relative to context c)’; ‘__refers to __ (relative to c)’; ‘||__|| = __’; etc. I think it is safe to say that much recent semantic theorizing is externalist in this sense.
    Found 4 days, 5 hours ago on Jeffrey King's site
  24. 366104.957973
    Consider the class of contextually sensitive expressions whose context independent meanings do not by themselves suffice to secure semantic values for those expressions in contexts. Demonstratives and deictically used pronouns are the most obvious examples of such expressions. But arguably gradable adjectives, modals, possessives, tense, quantifiers, expressions that take implicit arguments (‘ready’) and ‘only’ are examples as well.
    Found 4 days, 5 hours ago on Jeffrey King's site
  25. 366116.957986
    I am a structured content guy. I became convinced of the superiority of the structured approach to content in the late 1980s and there is a sense in which I haven’t looked back much. Instead, I have devoted my time to trying to figure out exactly how to understand what structured content is. Back in the late 80s and early 90s, it was common for structured proposition theorists to represent structured propositions as n-tuples. For example, in Soames [1987] we find the following: The proposition expressed by an atomic formula éPt1 , . . . ,tnù relative to a context C and assignment f is <<o1 , . . . ,on >,P*>, where P* is the property expressed by P, and oi is the content of t i relative to C and f.
    Found 4 days, 5 hours ago on Jeffrey King's site
  26. 369030.958002
    This argument is valid: Necessarily, any morally perfect being can morally perfectly deal with any possible situation. Necessarily, one can only morally deal with a situation one would exist in. So, necessarily, any morally perfect being is a necessary being. …
    Found 4 days, 6 hours ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  27. 423579.958033
    Philosophers spend a lot of time attempting to give analyses of philosophically interesting notions. Analyses have been proposed for knowledge, moral rightness, species- hood, object- hood, persistence, change, reference, and much more. It is therefore surprising that there isn’t more consensus among philosophers regarding what they are attempting to do in providing purported analyses. Philosophers don’t agree about the things that are being analyzed, nor what it is to analyze something. In what follows, we’ll see a sampling of views on what philosophical analysis is. The present work isn’t meant to be exhaustive and there is much work that will not be discussed. However, it does purport to illustrate the main lines of thinking about analysis in recent philosophy. The present work also makes no attempt to discuss the views about analysis of historical figures like Gottlob Frege, G. E. Moore, and Bertrand Russell. There is a rich literature on this topic and interested readers should consult it. Here, we focus on more contemporary views.
    Found 4 days, 21 hours ago on Jeffrey King's site
  28. 423678.958053
    What I plan to do in the present paper is, first, sketch the theory of propositions I defended in a recent book I coauthored with Scott Soames and Jeff Speaks. Second, I want to respond to a criticism of that view raised by Peter Hanks [2015]. Finally, I want to discuss some changes in my view since the publication of King, Soames, Speaks [2014]. Before all that, let me begin by motivating my view of propositions and describing how I came to hold it.
    Found 4 days, 21 hours ago on Jeffrey King's site
  29. 423728.958082
    In preparing to give a theory of what meanings are, David Lewis [1970] famously wrote: ‘In order to say what a meaning is, we must first ask what a meaning does, and then find something that does that.’ Loosely following the spirit of Lewis’ remark, before talking about what propositions are—before talking about the metaphysics of propositions—it would serve us well to talk about what advocates of propositions think they do. We begin, then, with a discussion of the roles propositions are alleged to play in philosophy.
    Found 4 days, 21 hours ago on Jeffrey King's site
  30. 423747.958104
    Those who believe in propositions take them to play a number of roles in philosophy of language and related areas. Propositions are thought to be the information contents of natural language sentences. Thus, sentences of different languages that have the same information content, such as ‘Snow is white.’ and ‘Schnee ist weiss’, are thought to express the same proposition. The proposition expressed by a sentence is thought to be (at least one of the things) asserted by a serious utterance of the sentence. When one understands a sentence, one grasps the proposition it expresses. The proposition expressed by a sentence is its meaning: it is what a compositional semantics assigns to the sentence. Further, propositions are primary bearers of truth-values. A true sentence is one that expresses a proposition that is true; a true belief in one whose propositional content is true. Propositions are also thought to be the bearers of modal attributes: they are possible, necessary and impossible. They are also the things we doubt, believe, assume and hope. Indeed, believing, doubting and so on are often called propositional attitudes in virtue of the fact that many take them to be mental states the objects of which are propositions. Further, propositions are thought to be designated by that clauses such as ‘that snow is white’. Hence a sentence like ‘It is true that snow is white’ is thought to predicate truth of the proposition that snow is white; a sentence like ‘Rebecca believes that snow is white’ is thought to assert that Rebecca stands in the relation of belief to the proposition that snow is white; and a sentence like ‘It is possible that snow is white’ is thought to predicate the attribute of being possible of the proposition that snow is white.
    Found 4 days, 21 hours ago on Jeffrey King's site