1. 26602.033577
    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, 23 minutes ago on PhilPapers
  2. 207736.033623
    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
  3. 245463.033644
    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
  4. 257791.033659
    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
  5. 423793.033672
    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
  6. 423942.033688
    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
  7. 423961.033702
    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
  8. 497362.033716
    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.
    Found 5 days, 18 hours ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  9. 605456.033729
    In our last several chapters we have defended Jonathan Bennett’s Simple Theory of Counterfactuals. One consequence of Bennett’s theory is that counterfactual backtracking – supposing that the past would be different if the present were different—is legitimate. We closed our last chapter endorsing backtracking writ large by arguing that nomological determinism entails counterfactual determinism.
    Found 1 week ago on PhilPapers
  10. 608295.033742
    [Thanks to the Singularity Bros podcast for inspiring me to write this post. It was a conversation I had with the hosts of this podcast that prompted me to further elaborate on the idea of ethical behaviourism.] …
    Found 1 week ago on John Danaher's blog
  11. 611512.033757
    What is meant by ‘One True Logic’ is sometimes not made entirely clear — what is a logic and what is it for one of them to be true? Since the study of logic involves giving a theory of logical consequence for formal languages, the view must be that there is one true theory of logical consequence. In order for such a logic to be true, it must be capable of correct representation. What do logics represent? It is clear from the various uses of applied logic, they can represent many different sorts of phenomena. But for the purposes of traditional pure logic, though, theories of consequence are frequently taken to represent natural language inference.
    Found 1 week ago on Aaron J Cotnoir's site
  12. 670309.033852
    The idea that gauge theory has ‘surplus’ structure poses a puzzle: in one much discussed sense, this structure is redundant; but on the other hand, it is also widely held to play an essential role in the theory. In this paper, we employ category-theoretic tools to illuminate an aspect of this puzzle. We precisify what is meant by ‘surplus’ structure by means of functorial comparisons with equivalence classes of gauge fields, and then show that such structure is essential for any theory that represents a rich collection of physically relevant fields which are ‘local’ in nature.
    Found 1 week ago on PhilSci Archive
  13. 670354.033868
    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.
    Found 1 week ago on PhilSci Archive
  14. 951855.033884
    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.
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on PhilPapers
  15. 951889.033897
    Humeans and anti-Humeans agree that laws of nature should explain scientifically particular matters of fact. One objection to Humean accounts of laws contends that Humean laws cannot explain particular matters of fact because their explanations are harmfully circular. This article distinguishes between metaphysical and semantic characterizations of the circularity and argues for a new semantic version of the circularity objection. The new formulation suggests that Humean explanations are harmfully circular because the content of the sentences being explained is part of the content of the sentences doing the explaining. I describe the nature of partial content and demonstrate how this account of partial content renders Humean explanations ineffective while sparing anti-Humean explanations from the same fate.
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on PhilPapers
  16. 1078301.033912
    Individuals play a prominent role in many metaphysical theories. According to an individualistic metaphysics, reality is determined (at least in part) by the pattern of properties and relations that hold between individuals. A number of philosophers have recently brought to attention alternative views in which individuals do not play such a prominent role; in this paper we will investigate one of these alternatives. The possible motivations for such views are various. Some are very general: worlds that are qualitatively alike — worlds that differ only concerning which individuals play which qualitative roles — are observationally equivalent. At least one line of thought driving the search for individual free metaphysics is so that we can eliminate observationally equivalent worlds.
    Found 1 week, 5 days ago on Andrew Bacon's site
  17. 1181730.033926
    There is a salient contrast in how theoretical representations are regarded. Some are regarded as revealing the nature of what they represent, as in familiar cases of theoretical identification in physical chemistry where water is represented as hydrogen hydroxide and gold is represented as the element with atomic number 79. Other theoretical representations are regarded as serving particular explanatory aims without further presumption to reveal the nature of what is represented, as in the representation of gold as the skin of Ra in Egyptology or the representation of the meaning of an English sentence as a function from possible worlds to truth values in truth-conditional semantics. Call the first attitude realist and the second attitude instrumentalist. Metaphysical explanation purports to reveal the nature of whatever falls within its purview, so it would appear that a realist attitude towards its representations is a natural default. I offer reasons for skepticism about such default realism that emerge from attending to several case studies of metaphysical explanation – numbers, de re modality, cognitive attitudes – and identifying a common etiological thread that runs through them.
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on Ori Simchen's site
  18. 1189642.03394
    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
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  19. 1671305.033953
    There have been several recent attempts to model ordinary intuitions about actual causation by combining a counterfactual definition of the causal relation with an abnormality-based account of causal judgments. In these models, the underlying psychological theory is that people automatically focus on abnormal events when judging the actual causes of an effect. This approach has enabled authors such as Halpern and Hitchcock (Br J Philos Sci axt050, 2014) to capture an impressive array of ordinary causal intuitions. However, in this paper I demonstrate how these abnormality-based accounts still systematically fail to predict ordinary causal judgments in specific types of scenarios: those in which the effect is normal. I will argue that the reason for this is that the underlying psychological theory is wrong: the idea that intuitive actual causes are abnormal events is only partially correct. To model ordinary judgments more realistically, researchers working in this area must adopt a more plausible underlying psychological theory: the correspondence hypothesis about judgments of actual causation. One of the consequences of this correspondence hypothesis is that normal effects are judged to have normal causes.
    Found 2 weeks, 5 days ago on PhilPapers
  20. 1728928.033967
    The modal properties of the principle of the causal closure of the physical have traditionally been said to prevent anything outside the physical world from affecting the physical universe and vice versa. This idea has been shown to be relative to the definition of the principle (Gamper 2017). A traditional definition prevents the one universe from affecting any other universe, but with a modified definition, e.g. (ibid.), the causal closure of the physical can be consistent with the possibility of one universe affecting the other universe. Gamper (2017) proved this modal property by implementing interfaces between universes. Interfaces are thus possible, but are they realistic? To answer this question, I propose a two-step process where the second step is scientific research. The first step, however, is to fill the gap between the principles or basic assumptions and science with a consistent theoretical framework that accommodates the modal properties of an ontology that matches the basic assumptions.
    Found 2 weeks, 6 days ago on PhilPapers
  21. 1728945.03398
    In Mathematics is megethology (Lewis, 1993) David K. Lewis proposes a structuralist reconstruction of classical set theory based on mereology. In order to formulate suitable hypotheses about the size of the universe of individuals without the help of set-theoretical notions, he uses the device of Boolos’ plural quantification for treating second order logic without commitment to set-theoretical entities. In this paper we show how, assuming the existence of a pairing function on atoms, as the unique assumption non expressed in a mereological language, a mereological foundation of set theory is achievable within first order logic. Furthermore, we show how a mereological codification of ordered pairs is achievable with a very restricted use of the notion of plurality without plural quantification.
    Found 2 weeks, 6 days ago on PhilPapers
  22. 1746651.033993
    Here’s a cute connection between topological entropy, braids, and the golden ratio. I learned about it in this paper: • Jean-Luc Thiffeault and Matthew D. Finn, Topology, braids, and mixing in fluids. …
    Found 2 weeks, 6 days ago on Azimuth
  23. 1804283.034008
    J. D. Hamkins and W. Woodin, “The universal finite set,” ArXiv e-prints, pp. 1-16, 2017. (manuscript under review)   Citation arχiv @ARTICLE{HamkinsWoodin:The-universal-finite-set, author = {Joel David Hamkins and W.~Hugh Woodin}, title = {The universal finite set}, journal = {ArXiv e-prints}, year = {2017}, volume = {}, number = {}, pages = {1--16}, month = {}, note = {manuscript under review}, abstract = {}, keywords = {under-review}, source = {}, doi = {}, eprint = {1711.07952}, archivePrefix = {arXiv}, primaryClass = {math.LO}, url = {http://jdh.hamkins.org/the-universal-finite-set}, } Abstract. …
    Found 2 weeks, 6 days ago on Joel David Hamkins's blog
  24. 1896805.034021
    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.
    Found 3 weeks ago on Rachel Singpurwalla's site
  25. 1958530.034036
    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.
    Found 3 weeks, 1 day ago on Ori Simchen's site
  26. 2017497.03405
    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.
    Found 3 weeks, 2 days ago on PhilPapers
  27. 2065531.034065
    You aren’t supposed to talk about it. Not really. And certainly not in front of the kids. But that isn’t why you don’t remember it. That isn’t why you don’t remember the way it feels. You don’t remember the way it feels because it doesn’t leave a memory trace to begin with. The facts are retained, but the feeling disappears. What I’m alluding to is the pain of childbirth—hush, don’t let my kids read this, but it did hurt! Yet although I can remember that labor pains hurt, I can’t remember what they felt like. Although I can remember that they were too traumatic to sleep through and that while standing under the shower trying to alleviate the agony, I tore down the soap dish bolted into the wall, I can’t conjure up the sensory experience itself. Although my memory of the events leading up to the birth is pellucid—I remember how the nurses were impressed that I wanted to suffer through it unmedicated and how, when it came down to the wire, my obstetrician started humming Blue Moon—my memory of the bodily sensations is nonexistent. Introspection, here, reveals an utter blank. Contrary to the adage about experience being the best teacher, experience’s pedagogy was an utter failure.
    Found 3 weeks, 2 days ago on Barbara Gail Montero's site
  28. 2783436.034079
    Ammonius (ca. 435/445–517/526) taught philosophy at Alexandria, where his father Hermeias had taught earlier. Known primarily for his commentaries on Aristotle, which were said to be of greater benefit than anyone else’s, he was also distinguished in geometry and astronomy. Himself a pupil of Proclus at Athens, at Alexandria Ammonius taught most of the important Platonists of the late 5th and early 6th centuries: Asclepius, Damascius and Simplicius, Eutocius, and Olympiodorus; Elias and David are considered indirect pupils of his. Damascius, who went on to head the school at Athens, heard Ammonius lecture, but attached himself rather to the mentorship of Isidore and followed him to Athens.
    Found 1 month ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  29. 2825745.034092
    The project of naturalistic metaphysics appears straightforward. Start with one’s best scientific theories and infer one’s metaphysical commitments from what these theories say exist, the sort of ideological frameworks they employ. Yet, as many have noted, naturalism poses challenges for metaphysics as it is typically practiced. In particular, once scientific theories themselves offer verdicts about the sort of things that exist, the properties they have, and the spatiotemporal structures they occupy, what more is there for metaphysicians to contribute than simply repeating what is already known? Even if the work is straightforward, in becoming naturalistic, metaphysics seems to promote its own obsolescence. The goal of this paper is to evaluate one influential response to this concern, one that has been appealing to many contemporary metaphysicians who are naturalists. This is to argue that although it might appear that metaphysics and science are aimed at a common set of questions about the sorts of entities the world contains and what they are like, this appearance is misleading. Metaphysicians rather address a distinctive subject matter, a subject matter more fundamental than that of science.
    Found 1 month ago on PhilPapers
  30. 2841057.034105
    [Editor's Note: The following new entry by David Vander Laan replaces the former entry on this topic by the previous authors.] In the philosophy of religion, creation is the action by which God brings an object into existence, while conservation is the action by which God maintains the existence of an object over time. The major monotheisms unambiguously affirm that God both created the world and conserves it. It is less clear, however, whether creation and conservation are to be conceived as distinct kinds of actions. The question has its roots in medieval and early modern characterizations of divine action, and it has received renewed attention in recent decades.
    Found 1 month ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy