1. 74893.29981
    Maybe the most important argument in David Chalmers’s monumental book Constructing the World (Chalmers, 2012) is the one he calls the ‘Frontloading Argument’, which is used in Chapter 4 to argue for the book’s central thesis, A Priori Scrutability. And, prima facie, the Front-loading Argument looks very strong. I shall be arguing here, however, that it is incapable of securing the conclusion it is meant to establish. My interest is not in the conclusion for which Chalmers is arguing. As it happens, I am skeptical about A Priori Scrutability. Indeed, my views about the a priori are closer to Quine’s than to Chalmers’s. But my goal here is not to argue for any substantive conclusion but just for a dialectical one: Despite its initial appeal, the Frontloading Argument fails as an argument for A Priori Scrutability.
    Found 20 hours, 48 minutes ago on Richard G Heck's site
  2. 150797.29988
    For more than twenty five years, Fine has been challenging the traditional interpretation of the violations of Bell inequalities (BI) by experiment. A natural interpretation of Fine’s theorem is that it provides us with an alternative set of assumptions on which to put the blame for the failure of the BI, and a new interpretation of the violation of the BI by experiment should follow. This is not, however, how Fine interprets his theorem. Indeed, Fine claims that his result undermines other interpretations, including the traditional interpretation in terms of local realism. The aim of this paper is to understand and to assess Fine’s claims. We distinguish three different strategies that Fine uses in order to support his interpretation of his result. We show that none of these strategies is successful. Fine fails to prove that local realism is not at stake in the violation of the BI by quantum phenomena.
    Found 1 day, 17 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  3. 150806.299903
    Let an argument be modally valid just in case, necessarily, if its premises are true, then its conclusion is true. Propositions begins with the assumption that some arguments are modally valid. Chapter 1—‘Propositions and Modal Validity’—argues that the premises and conclusions of modally valid arguments exist necessarily, have their truth conditions essentially, and are the fundamental bearers of truth and falsity. Again, some arguments are modally valid. So there are the premises and conclusions of modally valid arguments. So there are necessarily existing fundamental bearers of truth and falsity that have their truth conditions essentially. I shall call these entities ‘propositions’. So there are propositions.
    Found 1 day, 17 hours ago on Trenton Merricks's site
  4. 201750.299923
    Computer simulation of an epistemic landscape model, modified to include explicit representation of a centralised funding body, show the method of funding allocation has significant effects on communal trade-off between exploration and exploitation, with consequences for the community’s ability to generate significant truths. The results show this effect is contextual, and depends on the size of the landscape being explored, with funding that includes explicit random allocation performing significantly better than peer-review on large landscapes. The paper proposes a way of incorporating external institutional factors in formal social epistemology, and offers a way of bringing such investigations to bear on current research policy questions.
    Found 2 days, 8 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  5. 208960.299941
    11 August 1895 – 12 June 1980 Continuing with my Egon Pearson posts in honor of his birthday, I reblog a post by Aris Spanos:  “Egon Pearson’s Neglected Contributions to Statistics“. Egon Pearson (11 August 1895 – 12 June 1980), is widely known today for his contribution in recasting of Fisher’s significance testing into the Neyman-Pearson (1933) theory of hypothesis testing. …
    Found 2 days, 10 hours ago on D. G. Mayo's blog
  6. 306856.299957
    The spectrum argument purports to show that the better-than relation is not transitive, and consequently that orthodox value theory is built on dubious foundations. The argument works by constructing a sequence of increasingly less painful but more drawn-out experiences, such that each experience in the spectrum is worse than the previous one, yet the final experience is better than the experience with which the spectrum began. Hence the betterness relation admits cycles, threatening either transitivity or asymmetry of the relation. This paper examines recent attempts to block the spectrum argument, using the idea that it is a mistake to affirm that every experience in the spectrum is worse than its predecessor: an alternative hypothesis is that adjacent experiences may be incommensurable in value, or that due to vagueness in the underlying concepts, it is indeterminate which is better. While these attempts formally succeed as responses to the spectrum argument, they have additional, as yet unacknowledged costs that are significant. In order to effectively block the argument in its most typical form, in which the first element is radically inferior to the last, it is necessary to suppose that the incommensurability (or indeterminacy) is particularly acute: what might be called radical incommensurability (radical indeterminacy). We explain these costs, and draw some general lessons about the plausibility of the available options for those who wish to save orthodox axiology from the spectrum argument.
    Found 3 days, 13 hours ago on PhilPapers
  7. 324470.299975
    E.S. Pearson (11 Aug, 1895-12 June, 1980) This is a belated birthday post for E.S. Pearson (11 August 1895-12 June, 1980). It’s basically a post from 2012 which concerns an issue of interpretation (long-run performance vs probativeness) that’s badly confused these days. …
    Found 3 days, 18 hours ago on D. G. Mayo's blog
  8. 368433.3
    It is widely accepted that you cannot force someone to make a valid promise. If a robber after finding that I have no valuables with me puts a gun to my head and says: “I will shoot you unless you promise to go home and bring me all of the jewelry there”, and I say “I promise”, my promise seems to be null and void. …
    Found 4 days, 6 hours ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  9. 646240.300015
    Schupbach and Sprenger (2011) introduce a novel probabilistic approach to measuring the explanatory power that a given explanans exerts over a corresponding explanandum. Though we are sympathetic to their general approach, we argue that it does not (without revision) adequately capture the way in which the causal explanatory power that c exerts on e varies with background knowledge. We then amend their approach so that it does capture this variance. Though our account of explanatory power is less ambitious than Schupbach and Sprenger’s in the sense that it is limited to causal explanatory power, it is also more ambitious because we do not limit its domain to cases where c genuinely explains e. Instead, we claim that c causally explains e if and only if our account says that c explains e with some positive amount of causal explanatory power.
    Found 1 week ago on PhilSci Archive
  10. 696535.300029
    Persistence judgments are ordinary judgments about whether an object survives a change, or perishes. For instance, if a house fire only superficially damages the kitchen, people judge that the house survived. But if the fire burnt the house to the ground instead, people judge that the house did not survive but was instead destroyed. We are interested in what drives these judgments, in part because objects are so central to our conception of the world, and our persistence judgments get to the very heart of the folk notion of an object.
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on PhilPapers
  11. 739705.300043
    Though many philosophers agree that stakes play a role in ordinary knowledge ascriptions, there is disagreement about what explains this. One view, epistemic contextualism, holds that “to know” is a context sensitive verb and that the truth conditions for knowledge ascriptions can vary across conversational contexts (e.g., DeRose, 2009). For instance, Bob’s statement “I know the bank will be open tomorrow” can be true in low stakes contexts and false in high stakes contexts. Another view, interest-relative invariantism, denies that “to know” is a context sensitive verb and that the truth conditions for knowledge ascriptions vary according to conversational contexts. Instead, cases like the Bank cases show that practical factors—i.e., stakes—play a distinctive role in determining whether the knowledge relation obtains (e.g., Stanley, 2005). Yet another alternative, which we’ll call classical invariantism, denies that “to know” is a context sensitive verb and that practical factors, such as stakes, play a direct role in determining whether the knowledge relation obtains. Instead, stakes affect knowledge ascriptions only by affecting our assessment of factors that have traditionally been taken to constitute or be necessary for knowledge, such as e.g., belief, quality of evidence, etc. (e.g., Bach, 2005; Weatherson, 2005; Ganson, 2007; Nagel, 2008). If this is right, then the role of stakes in knowledge ascriptions fails to motivate such surprising views as epistemic contextualism or interest-relative invariantism. Naturally, epistemic contextualists and interest-relative invariantists deny this, claiming that even when the factors that have traditionally been taken to constitute or be necessary for knowledge are held fixed, stakes continue to play a role in ordinary knowledge ascriptions (e.g., DeRose, 2009; Lawlor, 2013).
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on PhilPapers
  12. 739755.300057
    The authors argue in favor of the “nonconciliation” (or “steadfast”) position concerning the problem of peer disagreement. Throughout the paper they place heavy emphasis on matters of phenomenology—on how things seem epistemically with respect to the net import of one’s available evidence vis-à-vis the disputed claim p, and on how such phenomenology is affected by the awareness that an interlocutor whom one initially regards as an epistemic peer disagrees with oneself about p. Central to the argument is a nested goal/sub-goal hierarchy that the authors claim is inherent to the structure of epistemically responsible belief-formation: pursuing true beliefs by pursuing beliefs that are objectively likely given one’s total available evidence; pursuing this sub-goal by pursuing beliefs that are likely true (given that evidence) relative to one’s own deep epistemic sensibility; and pursuing this sub-sub-goal by forming beliefs in accordance with one’s own all-in, ultima facie, epistemic seemings.
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on PhilPapers
  13. 779205.300082
    Illustration by Slate Last week a team of 72 scientists released the preprint of an article attempting to address one aspect of the reproducibility crisis, the crisis of conscience in which scientists are increasingly skeptical about the rigor of our current methods of conducting scientific research. …
    Found 1 week, 2 days ago on D. G. Mayo's blog
  14. 811641.300124
    A core question of contemporary social morality concerns how we ought to handle racial categorization. By this we mean, for instance, classifying or thinking of a person as Black, Korean, Latino, White, etc.² While it is widely FN:2 agreed that racial categorization played a crucial role in past racial oppression, there remains disagreement among philosophers and social theorists about the ideal role for racial categorization in future endeavors. At one extreme of this disagreement are short-term eliminativists who want to do away with racial categorization relatively quickly (e.g. Appiah, 1995; D’Souza, 1996; Muir, 1993; Wasserstrom, 2001/1980; Webster, 1992; Zack, 1993, 2002), typically because they view it as mistaken and oppressive. At the opposite end of the spectrum, long-term conservationists hold that racial identities and communities are beneficial, and that racial categorization —suitably reformed —is essential to fostering them (e.g. Outlaw, 1990, 1995, 1996). While extreme forms of conservationism have fewer proponents in academia than the most radical eliminativist positions, many theorists advocate more moderate positions. In between the two poles, there are many who believe that racial categorization is valuable (and perhaps necessary) given the continued existence of racial inequality and the lingering effects of past racism (e.g. Haslanger, 2000; Mills, 1998; Root, 2000; Shelby, 2002, 2005; Sundstrom, 2002; Taylor, 2004; Young, 1989). Such authors agree on the short-term need for racial categorization in at least some domains, but they often differ with regard to its long-term value.
    Found 1 week, 2 days ago on PhilPapers
  15. 819035.30016
    Suppose that I am throwing a perfectly sharp dart uniformly randomly at a continuous target. The chance that I will hit the center is zero. What if I throw an infinite number of independent darts at the target? …
    Found 1 week, 2 days ago on Alexander Pruss's Blog
  16. 890409.300196
    What is a normative reason for acting? In this paper, I introduce and defend a novel answer to this question. The starting-point is the view that reasons are right-makers. By exploring difficulties facing it, I arrive at an alternative, according to which reasons are evidence of respects in which it is right to perform an act, for example, that it keeps a promise. This is similar to the proposal that reasons for a person to act are evidence that she ought to do so; however, as I explain, it differs from that proposal in two significant ways. As a result, I argue, the evidence-based account of reasons I advance shares the advantages of its predecessor while avoiding many of the difficulties facing it.
    Found 1 week, 3 days ago on Daniel Whiting's site
  17. 1042620.300279
    According to epistemic deontologism, attributions of epistemic justification are deontic claims about what we ought to believe. One of the most prominent objections to this conception, due mainly to William P. Alston (1988), is that the principle that ‘ought’ implies ‘can’ (OIC) rules out deontologism because our beliefs are not under our voluntary control. In this paper, I offer a partial defense of Alston’s critique of deontologism. While Alston is right that OIC rules out epistemic deontologism, appealing to doxastic involuntarism is not necessary for generating that tension. Deontologists would still have a problem with OIC if doxastic voluntarism turned out to be true or if deontologism did not require voluntarism. This is because, in short, epistemic justification does not imply ‘can’. If, as deontologists maintain, epistemic justification implies ‘oughts’, then epistemic justification must also imply ‘can’ given OIC. But since epistemic justification does not imply ‘can’, OIC dictates that we reject deontologism. I end by exploring the possible consequences of this incompatibility between OIC and deontologism. My conclusion is that at least one of the following claims must be true. Either (i) ‘ought’ does not imply ‘can’, (ii) attributions of epistemic justification are not deontic claims, or (iii) epistemic claims lack categorical normative authority.
    Found 1 week, 5 days ago on PhilPapers
  18. 1050036.300314
    A central proposition of this book is that there are no universal rules for inductive inference. The chapters so far have sought to argue for this proposition and to illustrate it by showing how several popular accounts of inductive inference fail to provide universally applicable rules. Many in an influential segment of the philosophy of science community will judge these efforts to be mistaken and futile. In their view, the problem has been solved, finally and irrevocably.
    Found 1 week, 5 days ago on John Norton's site
  19. 1064945.300332
    Re-posting after a technical glitch this morning (eds.) 1. Current events are reminding us that patriotism, at least of the sort that gets publicly acknowledged, is a confusing virtue. I don’t mean that the patriot might get drawn into doing bad things on behalf of his country. …
    Found 1 week, 5 days ago on PEA Soup
  20. 1101174.300353
    1. Current events are reminding us that patriotism, at least of the sort that gets publicly acknowledged, is a confusing virtue. I don’t mean that the patriot might get drawn into doing bad things on behalf of his country. …
    Found 1 week, 5 days ago on PEA Soup
  21. 1166135.300368
    Boghossian (1996) has put forward an interesting explanation of how we can acquire logical knowledge via implicit definitions that makes use of a special template. Ebert (2005) has argued that the template is unserviceable, as it doesn't transmit warrant. In this paper, we defend the template. We first suggest that Jenkins (2008)’s response to Ebert fails because it focuses on doxastic rather than propositional warrant. Then, we reject Ebert’s objection by showing that it depends on an implausible and incoherent assumption. Boghossian (1996) offers an explanation of how we can acquire a priori knowledge of logical truths and rules based on a template. Ebert (2005) contends that Boghossian’s template is incomplete, and that it becomes non-transmissive of warrant once completed. We argue that Jenkins (2008)’s response to Ebert fails because it focuses on doxastic rather than propositional warrant. Then, we rebut Ebert’s objection on Boghossian’s behalf by showing that it rests on an implausible assumption and is internally incoherent.
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on Luca Moretti's site
  22. 1169094.300382
    In normative political theory, it is widely accepted that democratic decision making cannot be reduced to voting alone, but that it requires reasoned and well-informed discussion by those involved in and/or subject to the decisions in question, under conditions of equality and respect. In short, democracy requires deliberation (e.g., Cohen 1989; Gutmann and Thompson 1996; Dryzek 2000; Fishkin 2009; Mansbridge et al. 2010). In formal political theory, by contrast, the study of democracy has focused less on deliberation, and more on the aggregation of individual preferences or opinions into collective decisions – social choices – typically through voting (e.g., Arrow 1951/1963; Riker 1982; Austen-Smith and Banks 2000, 2005; Mueller 2003). While the literature on deliberation has an optimistic flavour, the literature on social choice is more mixed. It is centred around several paradoxes and impossibility results showing that collective decision making cannot generally satisfy certain plausible desiderata. Any democratic aggregation rule that we use in practice seems, at best, a compromise.
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on Christian List's site
  23. 1222857.300406
    In 1986 David Gauthier proposed an arbitration scheme for two player cardinal bargaining games based on interpersonal comparisons of players’ relative concessions. In Gauthier’s original arbitration scheme, players’ relative concessions are defined in terms of Raiffa-normalized cardinal utility gains, and so it cannot be directly applied to ordinal bargaining problems. In this paper I propose a relative benefit equilibrating bargaining solution (RBEBS ) for two and n-player ordinal and quasiconvex ordinal bargaining problems with finite sets of feasible basic agreements based on the measure of players’ ordinal relative individual advantage gains. I provide an axiomatic characterization of this bargaining solution and discuss the conceptual relationship between RBEBS and ordinal egalitarian bargaining solution (OEBS ) proposed by Conley and Wilkie (2012). I show the relationship between the measurement procedure for ordinal relative individual advantage gains and the measurement procedure for players’ ordinal relative concessions, and argue that the proposed arbitration scheme for ordinal games can be interpreted as an ordinal version of Gauthier’s arbitration scheme.
    Found 2 weeks ago on PhilSci Archive
  24. 1330163.300424
    Robust Virtue Epistemology (RVE) maintains that knowledge is achieved just when an agent gets to the truth through, or because of, the manifestation of intellectual virtue or ability. A notorious objection to the view is that the satisfaction of the virtue condition will be insufficient to ensure the safety of the target belief; that is, RVE is no anti-luck epistemology. Some of the most promising recent attempts to get around this problem are considered and shown to ultimately fail. Finally, a new proposal for defending RVE as a kind of anti-luck epistemology is defended. The view developed here turns importantly on the idea that knowledge depends on ability and luck in a way that is gradient, not rigid, and that we know just when our cognitive success depends on ability not rather, but more so, than luck.
    Found 2 weeks, 1 day ago on PhilPapers
  25. 1330786.300438
    We define a notion of difference-making for partial grounds of a fact in rough analogy to existing notions of difference-making for causes of an event. Using orthodox assumptions about ground, we show that it induces a non-trivial division with examples of partial grounds on both sides. We then demonstrate the theoretical fruitfulness of the notion by applying it to the analysis of a certain kind of putative counter-example to the transitivity of ground recently described by Jonathan Schaffer. First, we show that our conceptual apparatus of difference-making enables us to give a much clearer description than Schaffer does of what makes the relevant instances of transitivity appear problematic. Second, we suggest that difference-making is best seen as a mark of good grounding-based explanations rather than a necessary condition on grounding, and argue that this enables us to deal with the counter-example in a satisfactory way. Along the way, we show that Schaffer’s own proposal for salvaging a form of transitivity by moving to a contrastive conception of ground is unsuccessful. We conclude by sketching some natural strategies for extending our proposal to a more comprehensive account of grounding-based explanations.
    Found 2 weeks, 1 day ago on PhilPapers
  26. 1330885.300481
    A popular view in mainstream social epistemology maintains that, in the face of a revealed peer disagreement over p, neither party should remain just as confident vis-a-vis p as she initially was. This ‘conciliatory’ insight has been defended with regard to individual epistemic peers. However, to the extent that (non-summativist) groups are candidates for group knowledge and beliefs, we should expect groups (no less than individuals) to be in the market for disagreements. The aim here will be to carve out and explore an extension of the conciliatory insight from individual peer disagreement to group peer disagreement; in doing so, I’ll raise and address three key problems that face any plausible defence of such a constraint.
    Found 2 weeks, 1 day ago on PhilPapers
  27. 1330916.300502
    According to reductive intellectualists about knowledge-how (e.g. Stanley and Williamson 2001; Stanley 2011; Brogaard 2008; 2009) knowledge-how is a kind of knowledge-that. To the extent that this is right, then insofar as we might conceive of ways knowledge could be extended with reference to active externalist (e.g. Clark and Chalmers 1998; Clark 2008) approaches in the philosophy of mind (e.g. the extended mind thesis and the hypothesis of extended cognition), we should expect no interesting difference between the two. However, insofar as anti-intellectualist approaches to knowledge-how (e.g. Ryle 1946; 1949) are a viable option, there is an overlooked issue of how knowledge-how might be extended, via active externalism, in ways very differently from knowledge-that. This paper explores this overlooked space, and in doing so, illustrates how a novel form of extended knowledge-how emerges from a pairing of active externalism in the philosophy of mind with anti-intellectualism in the theory of knowledge. Crucial to our argument will be a new way of thinking about the extended mind thesis, as it pertains to the kinds of state one is in (on an anti-intellectualist construal) when one knows how to do something, and how this state connects with non-accidentally successful performance.
    Found 2 weeks, 1 day ago on PhilPapers
  28. 1338087.300516
    This chapter suggests a scheme of reconstruction, which explains how scenarios, questions and arguments figure in thought experiments. It then develops a typology of ethical thought experiments according to their function, which can be epistemic, illustrative, rhetorical, heuristic or theory-internal. Epistemic functions of supporting or refuting ethical claims rely on metaethical assumptions, for example, an epistemological background of reflective equilibrium. In this context, thought experiments may involve intuitive as well as explicitly argued judgements; they can be used to generate moral commitments, to explore consequences of moral theories, and to show inconsistencies within or between moral commitments and moral theory; but the results of thought experiments by themselves do not settle what is epistemically justified and may also be rejected. Finally, some prominent challenges are discussed: do unrealistic scenarios undermine epistemic thought experiments? Are ethical thought experiments misleading? Do they rely on weak analogies? Are there specifically moral objections to ethical thought experiments?
    Found 2 weeks, 1 day ago on PhilSci Archive
  29. 1353119.300531
    Foundationalists distinguish basic from nonbasic beliefs. To say that a belief of a person is basic is to say that it is justified and that it owes its justification to something other than (i) her other beliefs or (ii) any features of the relations between them. (For simplicity’s sake, I will leave (ii) aside in what follows.) To say that a belief of a person is nonbasic is to say that it is justified and not basic. Two theses constitute Foundationalism: a. Minimalism. There are some basic beliefs. b. Exclusivism. If there are any nonbasic beliefs, that is solely because they (ultimately) owe their justification to at least one basic belief.
    Found 2 weeks, 1 day ago on Daniel Howard-Snyder's site
  30. 1354986.300545
    It is sometimes claimed that the Bayesian framework automatically implements Occam’s razor—that conditionalizing on data consistent with both a simple theory and a complex theory more or less inevitably favours the simpler theory. But it is shown here that the automatic razor doesn’t cut it for certain mundane curve-fitting problems.
    Found 2 weeks, 1 day ago on Gordon Belot's site