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Displaying: 1-20 of 45 documents


1. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 12
Andy Clark Consciousness as Generative Entanglement
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Recent work in cognitive and computational neuroscience depicts the human brain as a complex, multi-layer prediction engine. This family of models has had great success in accounting for a wide variety of phenomena involving perception, action, and attention. But despite their clear promise as accounts of the neurocomputational origins of perceptual experience, they have not yet been leveraged so as to shed light on the so-called “hard problem” of consciousness—the problem of explaining why and how the world is subjectively experienced at all, and why those experiences seem just the way they do. To address this issue, I motivate and defend a picture of conscious experience as flowing from “generative entanglements” that mix predictions about the world, the body, and (crucially) our own reactive dispositions.
2. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 12
Rachael Wiseman The Misidentification of Immunity to Error through Misidentification
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Sidney Shoemaker credits Wittgenstein’s Blue Book with identifying a special kind of immunity to error that is characteristic of ‘I’ in its “use as subject” (Shoemaker 1968). This immunity to error is thought by Shoemaker, and by many following him, to be central to the meaning of ‘I’ and thus to the topics of self-knowledge, self-consciousness and personal memory. This paper argues that Wittgenstein’s work does not contain the thesis, nor any version of the thesis, that there is a use of ‘I’—‘use as subject’—which is ‘immune to error through misidentification’. It offers an interpretative corrective and shows that the passage in question is part of a deep challenge to IEM and to accounts of first-person thought that begin with the idea that there are two uses of the word ‘I’. With the corrective in place novel perspectives on the relation between self-consciousness and subjectivity become visible.
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3. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 12
Alexander Motchoulski, Phil Smolenski Principles of Collective Choice and Constraints of Fairness: Why the Difference Principle Would Be Chosen behind the Veil of Ignorance
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In “The Difference Principle Would Not Be Chosen behind the Veil of Ignorance,” Johan E. Gustafsson argues that the parties in the Original Position (OP) would not choose the Difference Principle to regulate their society’s basic structure. In reply to this internal critique, we provide two arguments. First, his choice models do not serve as a counterexample to the choice of the difference principle, as the models must assume that individual rationality scales to collective contexts in a way that begs the question in favor of utilitarianism. Second, the choice models he develops are incompatible with the constraints of fairness that apply in the OP, which by design subordinates claims of rationality to claims of impartiality. When the OP is modeled correctly the difference principle is indeed entailed by the conditions of the OP.
book reviews
4. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 12
Dorothy Edgington Andrew Bacon: Vagueness and Thought
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5. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 12
Index to Volume CXVI
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6. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 11
Franz Dietrich, Antonios Staras, Robert Sugden A Broomean Model of Rationality and Reasoning
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John Broome has developed an account of rationality and reasoning which gives philosophical foundations for choice theory and the psychology of rational agents. We formalize his account into a model that differs from ordinary choice-theoretic models through focusing on psychology and the reasoning process. Within that model, we ask Broome’s central question of whether reasoning can make us more rational: whether it allows us to acquire transitive preferences, consistent beliefs, non-akratic intentions, and so on. We identify three structural types of rationality requirements: consistency requirements, completeness requirements, and closedness requirements. Many standard rationality requirements fall under this typology. Based on three theorems, we argue that reasoning is successful in achieving closedness requirements, but not in achieving consistency or completeness requirements. We assess how far our negative results reveal gaps in Broome's theory, or deficiencies in choice theory and behavioral economics.
7. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 11
Isaac Wilhelm The Ontology of Mechanisms
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I propose a metaphysical theory of mechanisms based on the notion of causation. In particular, I use causation to formulate existence, identity, and parthood conditions for mechanisms. These conditions provide a sound metaphysical basis for accounts of mechanistic explanation, mechanistic organization, and for more restrictive theories of mechanisms.
book reviews
8. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 11
Matthew McGrath Jessica Brown: Fallibilism: Evidence and Knowledge
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9. 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.
10. 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
11. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 10
Stephen Mumford Jennifer McKitrick: Dispositional Pluralism
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12. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 10
New Books
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13. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 9
Ittay Nissan-Rozen The Value of Chance and the Satisfaction of Claims
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A new explanation for the fairness of lotteries is presented. The explanation draws on elements of John Broome's and Richard Bradley's accounts, but is distinct from both of them. I start with Broome's idea that the fairness of lotteries has something to do with satisfying claims in a way which is proportional to their strength. I present an intuitive explication of "the strength of a claim" and show that under this explication, the "personal good" for an individual gained by some proposition becoming true has a decreasing marginal contribution to the strength of the individual's claim for the proposition to be true. Then I use Bradley's account to deduce Broome's claim that fairness demands satisfying claims in a way which is proportional to their strength. Several implications of this account are discussed.
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14. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 9
J. T. M. Miller Natural Name Theory and Linguistic Kinds
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The natural name theory, recently discussed by Johnson (2018), is proposed as an explanation of pure quotation where the quoted term(s) refers to a linguistic object such as in the sentence ‘In the above, ‘bank’ is ambiguous’. After outlining the theory, I raise a problem for the natural name theory. I argue that positing a resemblance relation between the name and the linguistic object it names does not allow us to rule out cases where the natural name fails to resemble the linguistic object it names. I argue that to avoid this problem, we can combine the natural name theory with a type-realist metaphysics of language, and hold that the name is natural because the name is an instance of the kind that it names. I conclude by reflecting on the importance of the metaphysics of language for questions in the philosophy of language.
book reviews
15. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 9
Hille Paakkunainen Ralph Wedgwood: The Value of Rationality
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16. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 9
Kris McDaniel Karen Bennett: Making Things Up
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17. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 9
New Books
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18. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 8
Justin D’Ambrosio A New Perceptual Adverbialism
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In this paper, I develop and defend a new adverbial theory of perception. I first present a semantics for direct-object perceptual reports that treats their object-positions as supplying adverbial modifiers, and I show how this semantics definitively solves the many-property problem for adverbialism. My solution is distinctive in that it articulates adverbialism from within a well-established formal semantic framework and ties adverbialism to a plausible semantics for perceptual reports in English. I then go on to present adverbialism as a theory of the metaphysics of perception. The metaphysics I develop treats adverbial perception as a directed activity: it is an activity with success conditions. When perception is successful, the agent bears a relation to a concrete particular, but perception need not be successful; this allows perception to be fundamentally non-relational. The result is a novel formulation of adverbialism that eliminates the need for representational contents, but also treats successful and unsuccessful perceptual events as having a fundamental common factor.
19. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 8
Saul Smilansky A Hostage Situation
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Moral life sometimes involves life-and-death decisions, and philosophers often consider them by examining intuitions about ideal cases. Contemporary philosophical discourse on such matters has been dominated by Trolley-type cases, which typically present us with the need to make decisions on whether to sacrifice one person in order to save a larger number of similar others. Such cases lead to a distinct view of moral dilemmas and of moral life generally. The case I present here, “Hostage Situation,” is quite unlike them and should generate intuitions that differ greatly from those brought forth by standard Trolley-type cases. The implications are surprising and suggest that familiar and widely prevalent perceptions of the normative field are inadequate.
20. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 8
New Books
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