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Displaying: 1-10 of 11969 documents


1. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 115 > Issue: 8
Stephan Leuenberger Global Supervenience without Reducibility
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Does the global supervenience of one class on another entail reductionism, in the sense that any property in the former class is definable from properties in the latter class? This question appears to be at the same time formally tractable and philosophically significant. It seems formally tractable because the concepts involved are susceptible to rigorous definition. It is philosophically significant because in a number of debates about inter-level relationships, there are prima facie plausible positions that presuppose that there is no such entailment: standard versions of non-reductive physicalism and of normative non-naturalism accept global supervenience while rejecting reductionism. I identify a gap in an influential argument for the entailment, due to Frank Jackson and Robert Stalnaker, and draw on the model theory of infinitary languages to argue that some globally supervening properties are not reducible.
2. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 115 > Issue: 8
Gabriel Uzquiano Groups: Toward a Theory of Plural Embodiment
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Groups are ubiquitous in our lives. But while some of them are highly structured and appear to support a shared intentionality and even a shared agency, others are much less cohesive and do not seem to demand much of their individual members. Queues, for example, seem to be, at a given time, nothing over and above some individuals as they exemplify a certain spatial arrangement. Indeed, the main aim of this paper is to develop the more general thought that at a given time, a group is nothing over and above some individual members as they exemplify a certain complex condition. The general conception of groups that emerges is able to accommodate a variety of constraints on a reasonable answer to the question of what are groups.
3. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 115 > Issue: 7
Peter Koellner On the Question of Whether the Mind Can Be Mechanized, I: From Gödel to Penrose
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In this paper I address the question of whether the incompleteness theorems imply that “the mind cannot be mechanized,” where this is understood in the specific sense that “the mathematical outputs of the idealized human mind do not coincide with the mathematical outputs of any idealized finite machine.” Gödel argued that his incompleteness theorems implied a weaker, disjunctive conclusion to the effect that either “the mind cannot be mechanized” or “mathematical truth outstrips the idealized human mind.” Others, most notably, Lucas and Penrose, have claimed more—they have claimed that the incompleteness theorems actually imply the first disjunct. I will show that by sharpening the fundamental concepts involved and articulating the background assumptions governing them, one can prove Gödel’s disjunction, one can show (by invoking results of Reinhardt and Carlson) that the arguments of Lucas and Penrose fail, and one can see what likely led proponents of the first disjunct astray.
4. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 115 > Issue: 7
Manuel García-Carpintero Pure Quotation Is Demonstrative Reference
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In a paper published recently in the Journal of Philosophy, Mario Gómez-Torrente provides a methodological argument for the “disquotational,” Tarski-inspired theory of pure quotation. Gómez-Torrente’s previous work has greatly contributed to making this theory perhaps the most widely supported view of pure quotation in recent years, against all other theories including the Davidsonian, demonstrative view for which I myself have argued. Gómez-Torrente argues that rival views make quotation “an eccentric or anomalous phenomenon.” I aim to turn the methodological tables. I reply to his objections to my own version of a demonstrative account, and I show that disquotational proposals provide no better account of the data. I also show that, unlike the demonstrative account, disquotational views make an ungrounded distinction between quotations that semantically refer to their intuitive referents and others that merely speaker-refer to them. I conclude that the demonstrative account is to be preferred on abductive grounds.
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5. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 115 > Issue: 7
Alexandra Zinke A BULLET for Invariance: Another Argument against the Invariance Criterion for Logical Terms
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According to the classical invariance criterion, a term is logical if and only if its extension is isomorphism-invariant. However, a number of authors have devised examples that challenge the sufficiency of this condition: accepting these examples as logical constants would introduce objectionable contingent elements into logic. Recently, Gil Sagi has responded that these objections are based on a fallacious inference from the modal status of a sentence to the modal status of the proposition expressed by that sentence. The present paper demonstrates that Sagi’s response, though successful, is futile. There is another objection, based on the same type of example, that is not susceptible to Sagi’s criticism: accepting the examples as logical terms would have the fatal consequence that any contingent metalanguage sentence is entailed by the truth of some logically true object-language sentence. I conclude with a sketch of an alternative to the classical invariance criterion.
6. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 115 > Issue: 6
Nicholas Shackel Scope or Focus? Normative Focus and the Metaphysics of Normative Relations
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A prolonged debate about the nature of norms has been conducted in terms of the scope of a modal operator. Here I argue that the features of what I call Normative Focus are more fundamental than scope. We shall see limitations of scope contrasted with better analysis in terms of Normative Focus. Some authors address such limitations by extending what they mean by scope. I show that scope is still not doing the work: what does it is their elicitation of our tacit knowledge of Normative Focus. Finally, I show that scope cannot capture Normative Focus because scope allows us to make only one distinction where we need to make three. So we should leave scope to the philosophers of language and turn instead to the ontology of Normative Focus.
7. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 115 > Issue: 6
Kevin Reuter, Michael Messerli Transformative Decisions
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Some decisions we make—such as becoming a parent or moving to a different part of the world—are transformative. According to L. A. Paul (Transformative Experience, 2014), transformative decisions pose a major problem to us because they fall outside the realm of rationality. Her argument for that conclusion rests on the premise that subjective value (that is, the value of experiencing a certain outcome of a decision) is central in transformative decisions. This paper challenges that premise and hence the overall conclusion that transformative decisions usually are not rational. In the theoretical part of the paper, we specify conditions under which transformative decisions are possibly rational and likely rational. The data we present in the empirical part of the paper reveal that subjective value often plays only a minor role in people’s decision-making process. Putting both parts together, we argue that people have a great chance of making rational transformative choices.
8. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 115 > Issue: 5
Franz Dietrich, Christian List From Degrees of Belief to Binary Beliefs: Lessons from Judgment-Aggregation Theory
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What is the relationship between degrees of belief and binary beliefs? Can the latter be expressed as a function of the former—a so-called “belief-binarization rule”—without running into difficulties such as the lottery paradox? We show that this problem can be usefully analyzed from the perspective of judgment-aggregation theory. Although some formal similarities between belief binarization and judgment aggregation have been noted before, the connection between the two problems has not yet been studied in full generality. In this paper, we seek to fill this gap. The paper is organized around a baseline impossibility theorem, which we use to map out the space of possible solutions to the belief-binarization problem. Our theorem shows that, except in limiting cases, there exists no belief-binarization rule satisfying four initially plausible desiderata. Surprisingly, this result is a direct corollary of the judgment-aggregation variant of Arrow’s classic impossibility theorem in social choice theory.
book reviews
9. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 115 > Issue: 5
David Heyd Lisa Tessman: When Doing the Right Thing Is Impossible
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10. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 115 > Issue: 5
Sven Ove Hansson Hannes Leitgeb: The Stability of Belief: How Rational Belief Coheres with Probability
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