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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The relational interpretation of quantum mechanics proposes to solve the measurement problem and reconcile completeness and locality of quantum mechanics by postulating relativity to the observer for events and facts, instead of an absolute “view from nowhere”. The aim of this paper is to clarify this interpretation, and in particular, one of its central claims concerning the possibility for an observer to have knowledge about other observer’s events. I consider three possible readings of this claim (deflationist, relationist and relativist), and develop the most promising one, relativism, to show how it fares when confronted with the traditional interpretative problems of quantum mechanics. Although it provides answers to some problems, I claim that there is currently no adapted locality criterion to evaluate whether the resulting interpretation is local or not.
This paper semantically analyzes “free perception” sequences in pictorial narratives such as comics, where one panel shows a character looking, and the next panel shows what they see. Pictorial contents are assumed to be viewpoint-centered propositions. A framework for the representation of pictorial narratives is used where indexing and embedding of certain panels is characterized by hidden operators. The resulting enriched pictorial narratives are interpreted in a dynamic framework. A possible worlds construction using action alternatives captures the epistemic effect of perceptual actions. Free perception sequences are implicitly anaphoric, as analyzed using cross-panel indexing. It is argued that some cases of free perception are truly intensional, and must involve embedding in the framework that is employed. Examples are drawn from comics and film.
Anna Alexandrova, A Philosophy for the Science of Well-Being (OUP, 2017)Here’s an attitude I sometimes encounter among scientists: “It is not my job as a scientist to figure out what true well-being is and to choose my constructs accordingly. …
I’d like to explain a conjecture about Wigner crystals, which we came up with in a discussion on Google+. It’s a purely mathematical conjecture that’s pretty simple to state, motivated by the picture above. …
Like most other ancient philosophers, Plato maintains a virtue-based
eudaemonistic conception of ethics. That is to say, happiness or
well-being (eudaimonia) is the highest aim of moral thought
and conduct, and the virtues (aretê:
‘excellence’) are the requisite skills and dispositions
needed to attain it. If Plato’s conception of happiness is
elusive and his support for a morality of happiness seems somewhat
subdued, there are several reasons. First, he nowhere defines the
concept or makes it the direct target of investigation, but introduces
it in an oblique way in the pursuit of other questions.
Pierre Bayle (1647–1706) was a Huguenot, i.e., a French
Protestant, who spent almost the whole of his productive life as a
refugee in Holland. His life was devoted entirely to scholarship, and
his erudition was second to none in his, or perhaps any,
period. Although much of what he wrote was embedded in technical
religious issues, for a century he was one the most widely read
philosophers. In particular, his Dictionnaire historique et
critique was among the most popular works of the eighteenth
century. The content of this huge and strange, yet fascinating work is
difficult to describe: history, literary criticism, theology,
obscenity, in addition to philosophical treatments of toleration, the
problem of evil, epistemological questions, and much more.
Discussing the contemporary debate about the metaphysics of relations and structural realism, I analyse the philosophical significance of relational quantum mechanics (RQM). Relativising properties of objects (or systems) to other objects (or systems), RQM affirms that reality is inherently relational. My claim is that RQM can be seen as an instantiation of the ontology of ontic structural realism, for which relations are prior to objects, since it provides good reasons for the argument from the primacy of relation. In order to provide some evidence, RQM is interpreted focusing on its metametaphysics, in particular in relation to the very concept of relation, and to the meaning such concept assumes in the dispute between realism and antirealism.
Classical higher-order logic, when utilized as a meta-logic in which various other (classical and non-classical) logics can be shallowly embedded, is well suited for realising a universal logic reasoning approach. Universal logic reasoning in turn, as envisioned already by Leibniz, may support the rigorous formalisation and deep logical analysis of rational arguments within machines. A respective universal logic reasoning framework is described and a range of exemplary applications are discussed. In the future, universal logic reasoning in combination with appropriate, controlled forms of rational argumentation may serve as a communication layer between humans and intelligent machines.
This paper concerns the three great modal dichotomies: (i) the necessary/contingent dichotomy; (ii) the a priori/empirical dichotomy; and (iii) the analytic/synthetic dichotomy. These can be combined to produce a tri-dichotomy of eight modal categories. The question as to which of the eight categories house statements and which do not is a pivotal battleground in the history of analytic philosophy, with key protagonists including Descartes, Hume, Kant, Kripke, Putnam and Kaplan. All parties to the debate have accepted that some categories are void. This paper defends the contrary view that all eight categories house statements—a position I dub ‘octopropositionalism’. Examples of statements belonging to all eight categories are given.
Brane theory or Mtheory requires seven additional dimensions beyond the four of standard spacetime. I suggest that observational evidence for the existence of at least one of these additional dimensions can be found in the phenomenon that Rudolph Carnap called the “now” problem. I will argue that the main difficulty in explaining the “now” phenomenon is that it cannot be resolved within a conventional 4dimensional spacetime, but it has a very natural and almost intuitive explanation in a higher dimensional continuum. A brane model for the universe not only provides a straightforward explanation for all of the observed properties of the “now” moment, including the asymmetry between the past and the future, it also eliminates the familiar paradoxes of time travel because the brane model does not allow time travel, which would entail a forbidden departure from the brane. The brane model provides a natural physical context for what philosophers call “presentism” because the brane exists only in (and indeed defines) the moving “now” or present moment at each spatial point.
Relationships between current theories, and relationships between current theories and the sought theory of quantum gravity (QG), play an essential role in motivating the need for QG, aiding the search for QG, and defining what would count as QG. Correspondence is the broad class of inter-theory relationships intended to demonstrate the necessary compatibility of two theories whose domains of validity overlap, in the overlap regions. The variety of roles that correspondence plays in the search for QG are illustrated, using examples from specific QG approaches. Reduction is argued to be a special case of correspondence, and to form part of the definition of QG. Finally, the appropriate account of emergence in the context of QG is presented, and compared to conceptions of emergence in the broader philosophy literature. It is argued that, while emergence is likely to hold between QG and general relativity, emergence is not part of the definition of QG, and nor can it serve usefully in the development and justification of the new theory.
Philosophy of the Social Sciences 2017, Vol. 47(6) 410 –439 © The Author(s) 2017 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav DOI: 10.1177/0048393117726172 https://doi.org/10.1177/0048393117726172 journals.sagepub.com/home/pos Many existing defenses of group rights seem to rely on the notion of group freedom. To date, however, no adequate analysis of this notion has been offered. Group freedom is best understood in terms of processes of social categorization that are embedded in social mechanisms. Such processes often give rise to group-specific constraints and enablements. On the proposed social mechanism account, group rights are demands for group freedom. Even so, group rights often serve to eradicate individual unfreedom. Furthermore, generic measures sometimes provide the most appropriate solution to a problem of group unfreedom.
What does it mean for a thing to be ugly, or perhaps better, for something to be judged as such? We should admit that the matter is not transparent. Maybe that seems odd, since we find things ugly all the time; should not this be plain as day, then? But usually, it is what seems plainest that, in the end, is most obscure. So what, then, is ugliness? What does it mean to find something ugly? Looking to cast some light on the matter, we might consider using Kant’s well-known account of beauty as our starting point, since Kant—apparently following ‘common sense’ (in the usual, and not Kantian sense of the term)—says that ugliness is ‘contrary to beauty’. Assuming the adequacy of Kant’s account of the beautiful, then, we should only need to work out its ‘opposite’ to clarify ugliness.
John Anderson (1893–1962) was a Scottish philosopher who worked
primarily in Australia. In 1927 he was appointed to the Challis Chair
of Philosophy at the University of Sydney and occupied this position
until his retirement in 1958. In relative isolation he developed a
distinctive realist philosophy which was inspirational for generations
of students at Sydney. While developing this position, he carried most
of the teaching load in philosophy at the university, wrote the
articles for which he is primarily known, and as contributor and
editor kept the Australasian Journal of Psychology and
The topic of scientific revolutions has been philosophically important
since Thomas Kuhn’s account in The Structure of Scientific
Revolutions (1962, 1970). Kuhn’s death in 1996 and the
fiftieth anniversary of Structure in 2012 have renewed
attention to the issues raised by his work. It is controversial
whether or not there have been any revolutions in the strictly Kuhnian
sense. It is also controversial what exactly a Kuhnian revolution is,
or would be. Although talk of revolution is often exaggerated, most
analysts agree that there have been transformative scientific
developments of various kinds, whether Kuhnian or not.
The French Cartesian Nicolas Malebranche was hailed by his
contemporary, Pierre Bayle, as “the premier philosopher of our
age.” Over the course of his philosophical career, Malebranche
published major works on metaphysics, theology, and ethics, as well as
studies of optics, the laws of motion and the nature of color. He is
known principally for offering a highly original synthesis of the views
of his intellectual heroes, St. Augustine and René Descartes. Two distinctive results of this synthesis are Malebranche’s doctrine
that we see bodies through ideas in God and his occasionalist
conclusion that God is the only real cause.
To some extent, scholars disagree about the role of the Greek
sources in Arabic and Islamic philosophy (henceforth falsafa,
the Arabic loan word for
φιλοσοφία).[ 1 ]
While acknowledging the existence of a Greek heritage, those who
consider the Qur’an and the Islamic tradition as the main source
of inspiration for
falsafa claim that the latter did not arise from the encounter
of learned Muslims with the Greek philosophical heritage: instead,
according to them falsafa stemmed from the Qur’anic
hikma (“wisdom”). As a consequence, the Greek
texts in translation are conceived of as instruments for the
philosophers to perform the task of seeking
wisdom.[ 2 ]
However, most scholars
frequently side with the opinion that what gave rise to the
intellectual tradition of falsafa was the so-called movement
of translation from
Greek.[ 3 ]
This entry will not discuss the issue, let
alone try to settle it: it will limit itself to p
Arguably the foremost social theorist of the twentieth century, Max
Weber is known as a principal architect of modern social science along
with Karl Marx and Emil Durkheim. Weber’s wide-ranging
contributions gave critical impetus to the birth of new academic
disciplines such as sociology as well as to the significant
reorientation in law, economics, political science, and religious
studies. His methodological writings were instrumental in establishing
the self-identity of modern social science as a distinct field of
inquiry; he is still claimed as the source of inspiration by empirical
positivists and their hermeneutic detractors alike.
Though the duties of care owed toward innocents in war and in civil life are at the bottom univocally determined by the same ethical principles, Bazargan-Forward argues that those very principles will yield in these two contexts different “in-practice” duties. Furthermore, the duty of care we owe toward our own innocents is less stringent than the duty of care we owe toward foreign innocents in war. This is because risks associated with civil life but not war (a) often increase the expected welfare of the individuals upon whom the risk is imposed, (b) are often imposed with consent, and (c) are often imposed reciprocally. The conclusion—that we have a pro tanto reason for adopting a more stringent standard of risk imposition toward foreign innocents in war—has implications for not only what standards of risk we should adopt in war, but also how we should weigh domestic versus foreign civilian lives.
According to a standard interpretation, Plato’s conception of our moral psychology evolved over the course of his written dialogues. In his earlier dialogues, notably the Protagoras, Meno, and Gorgias, Plato’s Socrates maintains that we always do what we believe is best. Many commentators infer from this that Socrates holds that the psyche is simple, in the sense that there is only one ultimate source of motivation: reason. By contrast, in the Republic, Phaedrus, and Timaeus, Socrates holds that the psyche is complex, or has three distinct and semi-autonomous sources of motivation, which he calls the reasoning, spirited, and appetitive parts. While the rational part determines what is best overall and motivates us to pursue it, the spirited and appetitive parts incline us toward different objectives, such as victory, honor, and esteem, or the satisfaction of our desires for food, drink, and sex.
José Ortega y Gasset (1883–1955) was a prolific and
distinguished Spanish philosopher in the twentieth century. In the
course of his career as philosopher, social theorist, essayist,
cultural and aesthetic critic, educator, politician and editor of the
influential journal, Revista de Occidente, he has written on
a broad range of themes and issues. Among his many books are:
Meditations on Quixote (1914), Invertebrate Spain
(1921), The Theme of Our Time (1923), Ideas on the
Novel (1925), The Dehumanization of Art (1925), What
is Philosophy? (1929), The Revolt of the Masses (1930),
En Torno a Galileo [Man and Crisis] (1933),
History as a System (1935), Man and People
(1939–40), The Origin of Philosophy (1943), The
Idea of Principle in Leibnitz and the Evolution of Deductive
When we construct a model of something, we must distinguish those features of the model which represent features of that which we model, from those features which are intrinsic to the model and play no representational role. The latter are artifacts of the model. For example, if we use string to make a model of a polygon, the shape of the model represents a feature of the polygon, and the size of the model may or may not represent a feature of the polygon, but the thickness and three-dimensionality of the string is certainly an artifact of the model.
Erich Lehmann 20 November 1917 – 12 September 2009
Erich Lehmann was born 100 years ago today! (20 November 1917 – 12 September 2009). Lehmann was Neyman’s first student at Berkeley (Ph.D 1942), and his framing of Neyman-Pearson (NP) methods has had an enormous influence on the way we typically view them. …
According to Dominic Lopes, expressiveness in pictures should be analyzed solely in terms of “expression looks” of various sorts, namely the look of a figure, a scene and/or a design. But, according to this view, it seems puzzling that expressive pictures should have any emotional effect on their audiences. Yet Lopes explicitly ties his “contour theory” of expression in pictures to empathic responses in spectators. Thus, despite his deflationary account of pictorial expression, he claims that pictures can give us practice in various “empathic skills.” I argue that Lopes’s account of empathic responses to pictures, while interesting and enlightening, nevertheless ignores the most important way in which pictures exercise and enhance our empathic skills, namely, by giving us practice in taking the emotional perspective of another person.