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61. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 115 > Issue: 2
New Books
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62. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 115 > Issue: 1
Kevin J. S. Zollman The Credit Economy and the Economic Rationality of Science
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Theories of scientific rationality typically pertain to belief. In this paper, the author argues that we should expand our focus to include motivations as well as belief. An economic model is used to evaluate whether science is best served by scientists motivated only by truth, only by credit, or by both truth and credit. In many, but not all, situations, scientists motivated by both truth and credit should be judged as the most rational scientists.
63. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 115 > Issue: 1
Walter Horn Epistemic Closure, Home Truths, and Easy Philosophy
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In spite of the intuitiveness of epistemic closure, there has been a stubborn stalemate regarding whether it is true, largely because some of the “Moorean” things we seem to know easily (like that I’m sitting on a green chair) seem clearly to entail “heavyweight” philosophical things that we apparently cannot know easily—or perhaps even at all (like that I’m not actually lying in bed dreaming). In this paper, I will show that two widely accepted facts about what we do and don’t know—facts with which any minimally acceptable understanding of knowledge must comport—are jointly inconsistent with the truth of CLR. The proof works by supposing the truth of “Categorialism,” a thesis about the relation between basic categories and common nouns and predicates, which is itself a heavyweight claim that cannot be easily known to be either true or false.
book reviews
64. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 115 > Issue: 1
Bernard R. Boxill Tommie Shelby: Dark Ghettos: Injustice, Dissent, and Reform
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65. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 114 > Issue: 12
Lisa Miracchi Perception First
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I develop a new account of perception on which it is metaphysically and explanatorily prior to illusion, hallucination, and perceptual experience (understood as neutral between these possibilities). I argue that this view can rival the mainstream experience-first representationalist approach in explanatory power by using competences as a key theoretical tool: it can help to explain the nature of perception, how illusion and hallucination depend on it, and how cognitive science can help to explain in virtue of what we perceive. According to the Competence View, perception is a kind of target-oriented activity that manifests the agent’s perceptual competence. This characterization of perception helps to explain the role of the subject in perception, as well as how perception has accuracy conditions. Illusion and hallucination are explained as degenerate exercises of perceptual competences. Lastly, I show the Competence View provides a flexible and robust framework for investigation in cognitive science.
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66. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 114 > Issue: 12
Daniel Dohrn Nobody Bodily Knows Possibility
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Against modal rationalism, Manolo Martínez argues that elementary bodily mechanisms allow cognizers to know possibility. He presents an exemplary behavioral mechanism adapted to maximizing expected outcome in a random game. The bodily mechanism purportedly tracks probabilities and related possibilities. However, it is doubtful that cognizers like us can know metaphysical modalities purely by virtue of bodily mechanisms without using rational capacities. Firstly, Martínez’s mechanism is limited. But knowledge of probabilities arguably has to cover a variety of probabilistic outcomes. One may need an ability to calculate probabilities. Bodily mechanisms can realize such an ability, but this will presumably amount to instantiating rational capacities. Secondly, the purported connection between the items tracked by the bodily mechanism and genuine metaphysical possibilities is tenuous. There are points at which it may fail. Further, we would need to know by rational metaphysical considerations that the connection holds in order to bodily know possibilities.
67. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 114 > Issue: 12
Index to Volume CXIV
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68. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 114 > Issue: 11
Stephanie Collins Filling Collective Duty Gaps
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A collective duty gap arises when a group has caused harm that requires remedying but no (or not enough) member(s) did harm that can justify the imposition of individual remedial duties. Examples range from airplane crashes to climate change. How might collective duty gaps be filled? This paper starts by examining two promising proposals for filling them. Both proposals are found inadequate. Thus, while gap-filling duties can be defended against objections from unfairness and demandingness, we need a substantive justification for their existence. I argue that substantive justification can be found in the normative force of commitments individuals make to others with regard to ends. Along the way, I argue that gap-filling duties must be conceptualized differently in group agents, as compared to non-agent groups: in the former, gap-filling duties can be understood as duties to “take up the slack”; in the latter, this would be a category error.
69. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 114 > Issue: 11
H. K. Andersen Patterns, Information, and Causation
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This paper articulates an account of causation as a collection of information-theoretic relationships between patterns instantiated in the causal nexus. I draw on Dennett’s account of real patterns to characterize potential causal relata as patterns with specific identification criteria and noise tolerance levels, and actual causal relata as those patterns instantiated at some spatiotemporal location in the rich causal nexus as originally developed by Salmon. I develop a representation framework using phase space to precisely characterize causal relata, including their degree(s) of counterfactual robustness, causal profiles, causal connectivity, and privileged grain size. By doing so, I show how the philosophical notion of causation can be rendered in a format that is amenable for direct application of mathematical techniques from information theory such that the resulting informational measures are causal informational measures. This account provides a metaphysics of causation that supports interventionist semantics and causal modeling and discovery techniques.
book reviews
70. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 114 > Issue: 11
David Mark Kovacs Thomas Hofweber: Ontology and the Ambitions of Metaphysics
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