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Displaying: 1-4 of 4 documents


1. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 10
Paul Egré, Cathal O’Madagain Concept Utility
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Practices of concept-revision among scientists seem to indicate that concepts can be improved. In 2006, the International Astronomical Union revised the concept "Planet" so that it excluded Pluto, and insisting that the result was an improvement. But what could it mean for one concept or conceptual scheme to be better than another? Here we draw on the theory of epistemic utility to address this question. We show how the plausibility and informativeness of beliefs, two features that contribute to their utility, have direct correlates in our concepts. These are how inclusive a concept is, or how many objects in an environment it applies to, and how homogeneous it is, or how similar the objects that fall under the concept are. We provide ways to measure these values, and argue that in combination they can provide us with a single principle of concept utility. The resulting principle can be used to decide how best to categorize an environment, and can rationalize practices of concept revision.
2. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 10
Lei Zhong The Hard Problem for Soft Moral Realism
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Several leading moral philosophers have recently proposed a soft version of moral realism, according to which moral facts—though it is reasonable to postulate them—cannot metaphysically explain other facts (Dworkin 2011; Parfit 2011; Scanlon 2014). However, soft moral realism is faced with what I call the “Hard Problem,” namely, the problem of how this soft version of moral metaphysics could accommodate moral knowledge. This paper reconstructs and examines three approaches to solving the Hard Problem on behalf of the soft realist: the autonomy approach, the intuitionist approach, and the third-factor approach. I then argue that none of them is successful.
book reviews
3. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 10
Stephen Mumford Jennifer McKitrick: Dispositional Pluralism
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4. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 10
New Books
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