Already a subscriber? - Login here
Not yet a subscriber? - Subscribe here

Browse by:



Displaying: 21-40 of 45 documents


21. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 7
Trevor Teitel Holes in Spacetime: Some Neglected Essentials
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
The hole argument purports to show that all spacetime theories of a certain form are indeterministic, including General Relativity. The argument has sparked an industry of searching for a metaphysics of spacetime with the right modal implications to rescue determinism. In this paper, I first argue that certain prominent replies to the hole argument—namely, those that appeal to an essentialist doctrine about spacetime—fail to deliver the requisite modal implications. My argument involves showing that threats to determinism like the hole argument are more general than has heretofore been recognized. I then propose a novel essentialist doctrine about spacetime that successfully rescues determinism, what I call sufficiency metric essentialism. However, I ultimately argue that this doctrine is independently problematic, and teaches us that no essentialist doctrine about spacetime can succeed. I close by suggesting some lessons for future work on spacetime and the metaphysics of physics more broadly, and also drawing some morals for contemporary metaphysics, in particular about whether essence can be used to articulate a precise structuralist doctrine, and the relationship between essence and modality.
22. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 7
Benjamin Eva Principles of Indifference
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
The principle of indifference (PI) states that in the absence of any relevant evidence, a rational agent will distribute their credence equally among all the possible outcomes under consideration. Despite its intuitive plausibility, PI famously falls prey to paradox, and so is widely rejected as a principle of ideal rationality. In this article, I present a novel rehabilitation of PI in terms of the epistemology of comparative confidence judgments. In particular, I consider two natural comparative reformulations of PI and argue that while one of them prescribes the adoption of patently irrational epistemic states, the other (which is only available when we drop the standard but controversial “Opinionation” assumption from the comparative confidence framework) provides a consistent formulation of PI that overcomes the most salient limitations of existing formulations.
23. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 7
New Books: Anthologies
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
24. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 6
Simon Goldstein A Theory of Conditional Assertion
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
According to one tradition, uttering an indicative conditional involves performing a special sort of speech act: a conditional assertion. We introduce a formal framework that models this speech act. Using this framework, we show that any theory of conditional assertion validates several inferences in the logic of conditionals, including the False Antecedent inference (that not A implies if A, then C). Next, we determine the space of truth-conditional semantics for conditionals consistent with conditional assertion. The truth value of any such conditional is settled whenever the antecedent is false, and whenever the antecedent is true and the consequent is false. Then, we consider the space of dynamic meanings consistent with the theory of conditional assertion. We develop a new family of dynamic conditional-assertion operators that combine a traditional test operator with an update operation.
25. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 6
Jacob Beck Perception is Analog: The Argument from Weber's Law
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
In the 1980s, a number of philosophers argued that perception is analog. In the ensuing years, these arguments were forcefully criticized, leaving the thesis in doubt. This paper draws on Weber’s Law, a well-entrenched finding from psychophysics, to advance a new argument that perception is analog. This new argument is an adaptation of an argument that cognitive scientists have leveraged in support of the contention that primitive numerical representations are analog. But the argument here is extended to the representation of non-numerical magnitudes, such as luminance and distance, and shown to apply to perception and not just cognition. The relevant sense of ‘analog’ is also clarified, and two powerful objections are addressed. Finally, the question whether perception’s analog vehicles are located in conscious experience is explored and related to a well-known controversy within psychophysics.
26. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 6
New Books: Anthologies
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
27. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 5
Sophie Horowitz The Truth Problem for Permissivism
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Epistemologists often assume that rationality bears an important connection to the truth. In this paper I examine the implications of this commitment for permissivism: if rationality is a guide to the truth, can it also allow some leeway in how we should respond to our evidence? I first discuss a particular strategy for connecting permissive rationality and the truth, developed in a recent paper by Miriam Schoenfield. I argue that this limited truth-connection is unsatisfying, and the version of permissivism that supports it faces serious challenges; so, for mainstream permissivism, the truth problem is still unsolved. I then discuss a strategy available to impermissivists, according to which rationality bears a quite strong connection to truth. I argue that this second strategy is successful.
28. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 5
Brad Armendt Causal Decision Theory and Decision Instability
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
The problem of the man who met death in Damascus appeared in the infancy of the theory of rational choice known as causal decision theory. A straightforward, unadorned version of causal decision theory is presented here and applied, along with Brian Skyrms’s deliberation dynamics, to Death in Damascus and similar problems. Decision instability is a fascinating topic, but not a source of difficulty for causal decision theory. Andy Egan’s purported counterexample to causal decision theory, Murder Lesion, is considered; a simple response shows how Murder Lesion and similar examples fail to be counterexamples, and clarifies the use of the unadorned theory in problems of decision instability. I compare unadorned causal decision theory to previous treatments by Frank Arntzenius and by Jim Joyce, and recommend a well-founded heuristic that all three accounts can endorse. Whatever course deliberation takes, causal decision theory is consistently a good guide to rational action.
comments and criticism
29. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 5
Theron Pummer All or Nothing, but If Not All, Next Best or Nothing
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Suppose two children face a deadly threat. You can either do nothing, save one child by sacrificing your arms, or save both by sacrificing your arms. Here are two plausible claims: first, it is permissible to do nothing; second, it is wrong to save only one. Joe Horton argues that the combination of these two claims has the implausible implication that if you are not going to save both children, you ought to save neither. This is one instance of what he calls the ALL OR NOTHING PROBLEM. I here present CONDITIONAL PERMISSIONS as the solution. Although saving only one child is wrong, it can be conditionally permissible, that is, permissible given what you are not going to do. You ought to save both children or save neither, but if you are not going to save both, you ought to do the next best thing (save one) or save neither.
30. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 5
New Books: Anthologies
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
31. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 4
Arvid Båve Acts and Alternative Analyses
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
I show that the act-type theories of Soames and Hanks entail that every sentence with alternative analyses (including every atomic sentence with a polyadic predicate) is ambiguous, many of them massively so. I assume that act types directed toward distinct objects are themselves distinct, plus some standard semantic axioms, and infer that act-type theorists are committed to saying that ‘Mary loves John’ expresses both the act type of predicating [loving John] of Mary and that of predicating [being loved by Mary] of John. Since the two properties are distinct, so are the act types. Hence, the sentence expresses two propositions. I also discuss a non-standard “pluralist” act-type theory, as well as some retreat positions, which all come with considerable problems. Finally, I extrapolate to a general constraint on theories of structured propositions, and find that Jeffrey King’s theory has the same unacceptable consequence as the act-type theory.
32. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 4
Kentaro Fujimoto Predicativism about Classes
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Classes are the objects of the second sort of second-order set theory. They have sets as their members and behave like sets, but paradoxes tell us that many classes cannot be sets. Then, what are classes? Predicativism about classes suggests that classes are predicates of sets, and this article investigates the question from the predicativist point of view in light of recent developments in the use of classes in set theory. Predicativism has been considered too restrictive and unable to accommodate the use of classes in set theory. This diagnosis, however, is only true of a certain specific type of predicativism. In this article, we propose a new type of predicativism, which we call liberal predicativism, and argue that predicativism is still a highly viable option, and our liberal version provides a sufficiently versatile and workable nominalist concept of classes for set theory.
book reviews
33. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 4
Daniel Greco Sarah Moss: Probabilistic Knowledge
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
34. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 4
New Books: Translations
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
35. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 3
David Shoemaker Hurt Feelings
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
In introducing the reactive attitudes “of people directly involved in transactions with each other,” P. F. Strawson lists “gratitude, resentment, forgiveness, love, and hurt feelings.” To show how our interpersonal emotional practices of responsibility could not be undermined by determinism’s truth, Strawson focused exclusively on resentment, specifically on its nature and actual excusing and exempting conditions. So have many other philosophers theorizing about responsibility in Strawson’s wake. This method and focus has generated a host of quality of will theories of responsibility. What I show in this paper is that if Strawson—and his followers—had focused on hurt feelings instead of resentment, not only would quality of will theories of responsibility be disfavored, but none of our other theories of responsibility could adequately account for them. I conclude by exploring what a conundrum this poses for our methods and starting points in theorizing about responsibility.
36. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 3
Michael Ridge Relaxing Realism or Deferring Debate?
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
In this paper I argue that so-called “Relaxed Realism” of the sort defended by T. M. Scanlon fails on its own terms by failing to distinguish itself from its putative rivals—in particular, from Quasi-Realism. On a whole host of questions, Relaxed Realism and Quasi-Realism give exactly the same answers, and these answers make up much of the core of the view. Scanlon offers three possible points of contrast, each of which I argue is not fit for purpose. Along the way I argue that Quasi-Realists can provide a better account of practical rationality than Relaxed Realists can, so insofar as they are distinct Quasi-Realism is superior.
book reviews
37. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 3
Maureen Donnelly Geoffrey Hellman and Stewart Shapiro: Varieties of Continua: From Regions to Points and Back
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
38. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 3
New Books: Translations
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
39. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 2
Ethan Jerzak Two Ways to Want?
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
I present unexplored and unaccounted for uses of ‘wants’. I call them advisory uses, on which information inaccessible to the desirer herself helps determine what she wants. I show that extant theories by Stalnaker, Heim, and Levinson fail to predict these uses. They also fail to predict true indicative conditionals with ‘wants’ in the consequent. These problems are related: intuitively valid reasoning with modus ponens on the basis of the conditionals in question results in unembedded advisory uses. I consider two fixes, and end up endorsing a relativist semantics, according to which desire attributions express information-neutral propositions. On this view, ‘wants’ functions as a precisification of ‘ought’, which exhibits similar unembedded and compositional behavior. I conclude by sketching a pragmatic account of the purpose of desire attributions that explains why it made sense for them to evolve in this way.
40. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 2
Richard Holton Lying About
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
We do not report lies with that-clauses but with about-clauses: he lied about x. It is argued that this is because the content of a lie need not be the content of what is said, and about-clauses give us the requisite flexibility. Building on the work of Stephen Yablo, an attempt is made to give an account of lying about in terms of partial content and topic.