Cover of Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia
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1. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 36 > Issue: 1
Francesca Poggiolesi, Nissim Francez Towards a generalization of the logic of grounding
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The main goal of this paper is to provide a ground-analysis of two classical connectives that have so far been ignored in the literature, namely the exclusive disjunction, and the ternary disjunction. Such ground-analysis not only serves to extend the applicability of the logic of grounding but also leads to a generalization of Poggiolesi (2016)’s definition of the notion of complete and immediate grounding.
2. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 36 > Issue: 1
Ezequiel Zerbudis Making sense of the ‘is’ of constitution
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I consider a problem that arises in connection with (alleged) cases of coincident objects (such as a statue and the lump of clay it is made of) and that affects the two main accounts that have been given of such cases, namely, Pluralism (according to which statue and lump are distinct) and Monism (according to which they are one). The problem is that both views seem committed to accepting strained interpretations of some of the statements used to describe the situation. I consider Pickel’s arguments against the Pluralist’s strategy of interpreting ‘is’ as expressing constitution in sentences such as ‘The statue is the lump of clay’, and provide reasons for rejecting them—so as to vindicate, eventually, the Pluralist position.
3. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 36 > Issue: 1
Nathaniel Gan Fictionalism and Meinongianism
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Fictionalism about a kind of disputed object is often motivated by the fact that the view interprets discourse about those objects literally without an ontological commitment to them. This paper argues that this motivation is inadequate because some viable alternatives to fictionalism have similar attractions. Meinongianism—the view that there are true statements about non-existent objects—is one such view. Meinongianism bears significant similarity to fictionalism, so intuitive doubts about its viability are difficult to sustain for fictionalists. Moreover, Meinongianism avoids some of fictionalism’s weaknesses, thus it is even preferable to fictionalism in some respects.
4. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 36 > Issue: 1
Antonio Blanco Salgueiro Uptake: ¿entender o aceptar?
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Austin introduces the idea of securing the uptake in the context of dealing with the illocution-perlocution distinction. In recent times, the notion is employed by some neoaustinian scholars to argue that the uptake is what triggers the deontic effects (rights, duties, obligations, permissions, etc.) associated to an illocution. Here, a distinction is made between two kinds of uptake: uptake-as-understanding and uptake-asaccepting, and the stance that the second is the one needed for a plausible theory of speech action inspired by Austin’s original ideas is defended. When that notion is adopted, some old problems about speech action can be clarified.
5. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 36 > Issue: 1
Javier Suárez El holobionte/hologenoma como nivel de seleccion: una aproximacion a la evolucion de los consorcios de multiples especies
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The units or levels of selection debate concerns the question of what kind of biological systems are stable enough that part of their evolution is a result of the process of natural selection acting at their level. Traditionally, the debate has concerned at least two different, though related, questions: the question of the level at which interaction with the environment occurs (which entity acts as an interactor), and the question of the level at which reproduction occurs (which entity acts as a replicator or reproducer). In recent years, biologists and philosophers have discussed a new aspect of this debate, namely the possibility that certain multi-species consortia formed by a host and its microbiome (holobionts/ hologenomes) may act as a unit of selection. This thesis, however, has not been without criticism, as it is doubtful that such consortia could meet the conditions required to achieve the degree of stability that would allow them to experience natural selection. The purpose of this paper is to systematically examine such criticisms and to defend the thesis that the holobiont/hologenome can act as a genuine level of selection both in the form of an interactor and in the form of a reproducer. To do so, it will be argued that the microbiome should be characterized in functional rather than taxonomic terms.
6. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 36 > Issue: 1
Jonas Rafael Becker Arenhart, Vítor Medeiros Costa Quasi-truth and incomplete information in historical sciences
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Quasi-truth is a formal approach to a pragmatically-oriented view of truth. The basic plan motivating the framework consists in providing for a more realistic account of truth, accommodating situations where there is incomplete information, as typically happens in the practice of science. The historical sciences are a case in hand, where incomplete information is the rule. It would seem, then, that the quasi-truth approach would be the most appropriate one to deal with historical sciences, then. In this paper, we explore this possibility and use the historical sciences as a test case for the approach of quasi-truth. Our claim is that, on what concerns historical sciences, the quasi-truth approach fails in two basic senses; first, by misrepresenting some cases concerning incomplete information, and second, by falling short of accounting for many features of incomplete information peculiar to historical sciences. We conclude that, despite its stated goals, quasi-truth must be either amended or substituted if the goal of a more faithful representation of scientific practice is to be achieved.
7. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 36 > Issue: 1
Fausto Corvino, Alberto Pirni Discharging the moral responsibility for collective unjust enrichment in the global economy
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In this article we wonder how a person can discharge the political responsibility for supporting and benefiting from unjust social structures. Firstly, we introduce the concept of structural injustice and defend it against three possible objections: ‘explanatory nationalism’, a diachronic interpretation of the benefits of industry-led growth, being part of a social structure does not automatically mean being responsible for its negative consequences. Then, we hold that both Iris Marion Young’s ‘social connection model’ and Robin Zheng’s ‘role-ideal model’ provide clear indications on how to unload responsibility for supporting/participating in unjust social structures, but fail to explain how to get rid of responsibility for unjust enrichment. We maintain that both models should be complemented with a global redistributive scheme that allows to disgorge the benefits that are unfairly obtained in the global economic system, besides undertaking collective transformative actions and assuming ideal-role responsibilities.
errata
8. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 36 > Issue: 1
Nancy Cartwright Errata in Middle-range theory: Without it what could anyone do?
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9. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 36 > Issue: 1
Summary
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10. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 36 > Issue: 1
Referees for THEORIA (2019-2020)/Informantes de THEORIA (2019-2020)
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in honour of miguel sánchez-mazas
11. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 35 > Issue: 3
Javier de Lorenzo, Andoni Ibarra The fanciful optimism of Miguel Sánchez-Mazas. Let us calculate... = Freedom and Justice
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May 2020 marked the 25th anniversary of the death of Miguel Sánchez-Mazas, founder of Theoria. An International Journal of Theory, History and Foundations of Science, and regarded as the person who brought mathematical logic to Spain. Here we present some of his biographical features and a summary of his contributions, from his early work in the 1950s - introducing contemporary advances in logic and philosophy of science in a philosophically backward milieu dominated by the scholasticism of that era in Spain - to the development of a project of Lebnizian lineage aimed at producing an arithmetic calculation that would elude some of the difficulties confronting Leibniz’s calculus.
the lullius lectures
12. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 35 > Issue: 3
Nancy Cartwright Middle-range theory: Without it what could anyone do?
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Philosophers of science have had little to say about ‘middle-range theory’ although much of what is done in science and of what drives its successes falls under that label. These lectures aim to spark an interest in the topic and to lay groundwork for further research on it. ‘Middle’ in ‘middle range’ is with respect to the level both of abstraction and generality. Much middle-range theory is about things that come under the label ‘mechanism’. The lectures explore three different kinds of mechanism: struc tural mechanisms or underlying systems that afford causal pathways; causal-chain mechanisms that are represented in what in policy contexts are called ‘theories of change’ and for which I give an extended account following the causal process theory of Wesley Salmon; and middle-range-law mechanisms like those discussed by Jon Elster, which I claim are —and rightly are— rampant throughout the social sciences. The theory of the democratic peace, that democracies do not go to war with democracies, serves as a running example. The discussions build up to the start of, first , an argument that reliability in social (and natural) science depends not so much on evidence as it does on the support of a virtuous tangle of practices (without which there couldn’t even be evidence), and second, a defence of a community-practice centred instrumentalist understanding of many of the central basic principles that we use (often successfully) in social (and in natural) science for explanation, prediction and evaluation.
articles
13. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 35 > Issue: 3
José Ángel Gascón Cómo argumentar con coherencia
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When disagreements arise about the quality of arguments, arguers frequently rely on coherence. Argumentative coherence is mainly manifested in accusations of incoherence and in the production of analogies. With the help of the elements of warrant and of rebuttals in Toulmin’s model, it is possible to give a first analysis of this notion.
14. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 35 > Issue: 3
Louis Vervoort, Tomasz Blusiewicz Free will and (in)determinism in the brain: a case for naturalized philosophy
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In this article we study the question of free will from an interdisciplinary angle, drawing on philosophy, neurobiology and physics. We start by reviewing relevant neurobiological findings on the functioning of the brain, notably as presented in (Koch, 2009); we assess these against the physics of (in)determinism. These biophysics findings seem to indicate that neuronal processes are not quantum but classical in nature. We conclude from this that there is little support for the existence of an immaterial ‘mind’, capable of ruling over matter independently of the causal past. But what, then, can free will be? We propose a compatibilist account that resonates well with neurobiology and physics, and that highlights that free will comes in degrees — degrees which vary with the conscious grasp the ‘free’ agent has over his actions. Finally, we analyze the well-known Libet experiment on free will through the lens of our model. We submit this interdisciplinary investigation as a typical case of naturalized philosophy: in our theorizing we privilege assumptions that find evidence in science, but our conceptual work also suggests new avenues for research in a few scientific disciplines.
15. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 35 > Issue: 3
Anouk Barberousse, Françoise Longy, Francesca Merlin, Stéphanie Ruphy Natural kinds: a new synthesis
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What is a natural kind? This old yet lasting philosophical question has recently received new competing answers (e.g., Chakravartty, 2007; Magnus, 2014; Khalidi, 2013; Slater, 2015; Ereshefsky & Reydon, 2015). We show that the main ingredients of an encompassing and coherent account of natural kinds are actually on the table, but in need of the right articulation. It is by adopting a non-reductionist, naturalistic and non-conceptualist approach that, in this paper, we elaborate a new synthesis of all these ingredients. Our resulting proposition is a multiple-compartment theory of natural kinds that defines them in purely ontological terms, clearly distinguishes and relates ontological and epistemological issues —more precisely, two grains of ontological descriptions and two grains of explanatory success of natural kinds—, and which sheds light on why natural kinds play an epistemic role both within science and in everyday life.
16. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 35 > Issue: 3
Summary
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17. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 35 > Issue: 3
Contents of Volume 35
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articles
18. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 35 > Issue: 2
Thomas Bartelborth The rehabilitation of deductive reasoning
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The paper aims at the rehabilitation of deductive reasoning. As a paradigm of reliable reasoning, it should be applicable in every confirmation context. In particular, it should transmit inductive justification, so that if D justifies a hypothesis H, then D also justifies all deductive conclusions from H. Nevertheless, most current philosophers of science reject such a transmission principle as false. They argue against it by providing apparent counter-examples and also by showing that it is incompatible with common confirmation theories such as HD-confirmation and Bayesianism. I argue in the opposite direction that we should stick to the transmission principle and revise instead our justification theories towards more cautious justification procedures that respect the transmission principle. This will avoid further paradoxes of these theories and, in particular, will enable us to apply our confirmed hypotheses to new situations in a well-founded way.
19. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 35 > Issue: 2
Daniel E. Kalpokas Perception as a propositional attitude
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It is widely held that the content of perceptual experience is propositional in nature. However, in a well-known article, “Is Perception a Propositional Attitude?” (2009), Crane has argued against this thesis. He therein assumes that experience has intentional content and indirectly argues that experience has non-propositional content by showing that from what he considers to be the main reasons in favour of “the propositional-attitude thesis”, it does not really follow that experience has propositional content. In this paper I shall discuss Crane’s arguments against the propositional-attitude thesis and will try to show, in contrast, that they are unconvincing. My conclusion will be that, despite all that Crane claims, perceptual content could after all be propositional in nature.
20. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 35 > Issue: 2
Adán Sus How to be a realist about Minkowski spacetime without believing in magical explanations
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The question about the relation between spacetime structure and the symmetries of laws has received renewed attention in a recent discussion about the status of Minkowski spacetime in Special Relativity. In that context we find two extreme positions (either spacetime explains symmetries of laws or vice-versa) and a general assumption about the debate being mainly about explanation. The aim of this paper is twofold: first, to argue that the ontological dimension of the debate cannot be ignored; second, to claim that taking ontology into account involves considering a third perspective on the relation between spacetime and symmetries of laws; one in which both terms would be somehow derived from common assumptions on the formulation of a given physical theory.